Monday, June 27, 2016

Devotional: Let Endurance Have It's Perfect Work

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:4
 
The photo above is that of my daughter (far out ahead) and her boyfriend behind, hiking toward the goal and joy of summiting the mountain they were climbing.   When my daughter climbs a mountain, she is so excited to go that she wears her friends out in her joy to get to the top.  Her endurance (patience) of the climb results in great reward in going as far as possible to the top.
 
This verse above comes on the heels of verse 2-3 where James tells us to consider it all joy when we encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience.

The idea of patience is endurance. The New American Standard Bible says, "Let endurance have its perfect work..."

The fact that the verse says "let" endurance have its perfect work, indicates to me that it is possible for us to fight against it.

When we encounter trials we are to count it joy because then we have the chance to let the testing of our faith produce in us this endurance  or patience.

How might we fight against allowing endurance to have its perfect work in us?  The opposite of endurance is resistance, idleness, laziness, apathy and timidity.  If we are not enduring or being patient, then we are resisting what has come to test our faith.  We can also resist by not taking action.

Climbing a mountain is not my idea of fun.  I resist the idea of pushing forward to get to the top.  You might call me idle or lazy.  Perhaps even apathetic to the idea of climbing a mountain. I have no endurance or patience for it.

Endurance is active not passive.  It's always moving forward not backward. When trials come your way to test your faith, endurance (patience) is what propels you on in your faith to keep " looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

Jesus is our example.  He endured the cross but looked forward to the joy of sitting down at the right hand of the throne of God when He was finished.  We too are to endure with patience the testing of our faith while looking forward to hearing, "Well done thou good and faithful servant" at the end of our time here on earth.

Let endurance have its perfect work in you and remember that it's not passive, it's active.  Keep moving in your faith and remain focused on the joy ahead of you!
---------------------------------
 
If you would like to receive these weekly devotionals in your inbox sign up here.
Please visit me at Sufficient Grace For Suffering Saints

If you or someone you know needs help preparing a shower talk, here is help!  Bridal Shower Talk Help

Monday, June 20, 2016

Devotional: Tender Merices



James 5:7,12

 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Do you ever find yourself wishing the Lord would hurry up and come?  I know I do.

As I watch the news each day and see all that is wrong in the world and our nation, it makes me anxious for the Lord's return.  As I see loved ones suffer and die from horrible illnesses and as I deal with my own physical issues, I find myself wishing the Lord would just hurry up and come take me out of here.

I bet you have had your times of feeling this way too.  But James tells us to be patient while we wait.  God has His time table just like the farmer who plants a crop, He waits for just the right time to harvest.  God isn't ready to harvest yet.

Look to those who have gone on ahead of us and the trials they patiently endured.  See how God was tender and merciful toward them. He will be tender and merciful toward you and me as well as we wait for His return. We may endure hardships in this world, He will go through them with you and in the end God will greet us with tender mercies.

Even now, God gives us tender mercies each day.  Today take some time to sit down and write down some of the mercies God has showered upon you even in your hardships.

------------------------


 
If you would like to receive these weekly devotionals in your inbox sign up here.
Please visit me at Sufficient Grace For Suffering Saints

If you or someone you know needs help preparing a shower talk, here is help!  Bridal Shower Talk Help
 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Prepare Your Mind for Action

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Restraining Grace of God


I don't think our pastor or most of the people at church had heard the news about the Orlando shooting before coming to church today. However, the sermon was very applicable to the situation. From my notes:

----What makes men to differ is the restraining grace of God. David wanted to slaughter Nabal and all his men, but God restrained him. If God did not restrain you and me from doing evil we would slaughter others.

When we say, "Who would do such a thing?!"  It's just a way of building up our own righteousness in comparison to others."----

Ouch.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Trip to Walla Walla & Other Stuff

Nathaniel and I had a good trip to Walla Walla to pick up a bed that my mom had borrowed during my dad's illness.

On the way over a Sheriff come up behind  me and put on his lights.  I was sure I was in some sort of trouble but didn't know what I had done.  I pulled over and he went on around me and passed the guy ahead of me and stopped the pickup ahead of him.  Don't know what he did.  He wasn't speeding. 

That little scare got me wondering where the important papers were that they always ask about and if they were up to date.  When I got to Dayton I pulled off and rifled through the glove box and the center console.  Finally found them.  I traveled a little easier after that.

Arrived at my mom's and Blayne Barnhart, her friend, was there waiting for us so he could help load the bed up.

Then the four of us went out to eat at the little cafe on the Odd Fellows Campus. $2.50 per person, all you can eat buffet.  Nathaniel cleaned up.

Blayne gave us the grand tour of the building.  They have a really cool library with antique furniture. Would love to curl up in there to read!



After our tour, Blayne went on to other things and the three of us went back to Mom's apartment. 

I asked if she wanted help going through any of Dad's things.  We went through quite a few things, consolidated the things she wanted to keep all into one three drawer Rubbermaid and I took the stuff she doesn't want along with the empty Rubbermaid home.  I will donate the stuff that we don't want.  I may keep the Rubbermaid chest.  Will at least wait to give it away until I know for sure I don't have a purpose for it.

It was a good day. Nathaniel drove all the way home. Nice break for me at the wheel.  

The Lord is good. 

Monday, June 06, 2016

Building Yourselves Up On Your Most Holy Faith



Sunday, June 05, 2016

Sunday

This has been a good day.

Enjoyed a good sermon at church and fellowship.

We came home and went next door to help celebrate our neighbor's son's graduation from highschool.

Came home and continued writing the book of Galatians and writing my thoughts on it.

Was starting to write a new devotional to put in the que when the doorbell rang.

It was the internet tech guy to fix our internet.

He installed a new dish on top of our house.

While we were without internet, I started reading a book on the Civil War.

Once our internet was back up, I finished my devotional writing.

Sarah is now at evening church where she goes on Sunday nights.

Nathaniel has been at the neighbor's house all afternoon.

Rick is watching a movie.

And I am thinking about eating something.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Starting a New Journible



I'm excited to start this new Journible. I recently finished James through Jude and it was a very profitable exercise. In case you don't know what a Journible is,, you write out the scriptures on the right hand pages and then you write your insights and applications of the scriptures on the left hand pages. When you are done you have a keepsake journal you can refer to later as well as something that can be passed down to future generations for their benefit.  I highly recommend it.


Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Returning to My True Passion Again


Some years ago I used to write devotionals that I emailed to people and posted on my blog.  Well, life got busy and I stopped writing devotionals for the most part and my email list went away.  In the mean time, I have continued my personal devotional times, I just have not made it a habit of sharing what I have been learning.

It is my passion to be of encouragement to others through my writing, so with that in mind I have decided to start up my devotional writing again.  I would be honored if you would want to receive these each week in your inbox.  You can sign up on my blog by entering your email address in the box at the top of the right column and clicking subscribe.

I will begin sending the weekly devotional on Monday, June 6. I hope you will join me!


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Farewell, Dad, Until We Meet Again In Heaven

1For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
6Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.  Romans 8:1-10


"Today we wipe our tears with Kleenex, but on that day God will wipe away all our tears."~Tim Counts

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4







Friday, May 13, 2016

To Vote or Not to Vote, That is the Question



I know many intelligent people, most Christians, who say they will not be voting this year.  They cite many reasons.
1. There are no viable candidates.
2. The candidates are immoral.
3. The  candidates say things they shouldn't say.
4. The  candidates don't know anything about being president.
5. The  candidates are only interested in self aggrandizement.
6. The  candidates are not godly people.
7. The candidates are liars.
8. I want to vote my conscience, therefore I can't vote for either candidate.

The list goes on and on and on,  so I won't continue to list the reasons.  You see what I am saying.

Given the reasons above and others, are these good reasons Christian voters should sit the election out and not vote?

I plan to vote and here is why:

1. I am an American citizen, and I am registered to vote.  Voting is a civic duty and a privilege that our fore-bearers fought for and some died for.  I owe it to them and my country to carry out my civic duty to vote.

2. While it is true, that as Christians neither candidate is what we would all want in the White House,  we must remember that we are not voting for a pastor or elder.  The office of pastor/elder is a much higher calling than the POTUS.  So, yes, we would prefer to have a godly man that would hold up godly principles in the White House, but obviously, we are not given that choice in this election and we are not voting for a pastor to lead us.

3. We as Christians are commanded to go out and make disciples.  One of the guiding principles that I am going to use when voting is this:  Which candidate will be more apt to maintain our freedom to follow that command of Christ?  We need to vote for the one who will be more apt to not make laws that restrict that freedom.

4. Other Biblical Examples:

We see in the kings of Israel, that God gave them the leaders they deserved based on how they as a nation blessed Him.  We know that whoever we get as a POTUS is who God intends for us to have and it will be for His purposes alone. However, that does not absolve us of fulfilling our civic duty to vote.

We see many godly people who worked for wicked kings, not all by choice, but all willing to do what God wanted them to do.  Daniel, Esther competed to be the king's wife, Nehemiah was the cup bearer to the king, and others to name a few.

Esther strikes me the most.  She was willing to become a wicked king's wife, which was no doubt repugnant to her, in order that she could be in a position to sway his intentions that one of his henchmen had against the Jews.  No doubt in my mind that joining the competition to be the king's wife was not in line with her conscience, but she did it anyway so that she might have an influence in the future for the good of her people.

We are not asked to marry either of the candidates running for office.  We are just supposed to vote. It makes sense to me to vote even if the candidate does not line up perfectly with what my conscience says, but with a view to a wider purpose...that perhaps this candidate will do more to retain our religious freedom to assemble, worship and share the gospel than the other one will.

I want to challenge you all to think about the ramifications of not voting and the possibilities of voting for an imperfect person, but one who so far seems to want to maintain our religious freedoms.






Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Children Often Resemble Their Parents



“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.”
1 John 3:2

Children often resemble their parents. I get comments all the time that I look like my mom or I look like my dad.  

Those whom God has saved are called children of God.  No one has seen God at any time, but this verse says we will be like him when He appears and we will see Him as He is.  We as God's children will resemble our Father.  What will that look like?  

The next verse says everyone who has this hope purifies himself, just as He is pure.  We know that much.  We also know that we have work to do in preparation for that day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Comfort for Those Bereaved of Husband and Father


I sat down to drink something after a brisk walk with the dogs and suddenly out of the blue the phrase "a father to the fatherless" popped into my mind.
  Yes, I may be an adult on my own with a family of my own, but the loss of my dad still has a profound effect on me and I am sure it does on others who have lost their fathers no matter their age.  
I got tears in my eyes thinking about the fact that I may no longer have an earthly father but God is my father and I can find comfort in Him.  I just felt like God was wrapping His arms around me at that moment when I realized this.  I will always miss my earthly father, but I will never be truly fatherless.
Psalm 68:4  Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name Jah, and rejoice before him.A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.
For those who have lost their husbands, God is a husband to them.  What comfort to know that we are never truly alone no matter what happens in our lives!

Isaiah 54:5For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tribute to My Dad



Where do I start?

My earliest memories are when I was little and for some reason I loved to rub my nose in the hair on his arm. Who knows why?  But it brings back pleasant memories thinking about it.

He was the best bedtime story-teller ever! His rendition of the Three Billy Goats Gruff was the best!  He would change his voice for each goat that trip tramped across the Troll's bridge.  And there was the Three Little Pigs and each pig had a different voice and the big bad wolf had a rough voice. We loved bed time stories with him.

He had a love for youth.  We had a number of foster children over the years, and he loved planning and doing activities with the youth at church and at Camp Gilead.  I remember the great New Year's Eve parties he would put on for the church youth at our house and then later at the church.  What a fun time that was playing pool and other games, watching Bear Country and then beginning the New Year in prayer.

He loved the outdoors and I remember many camping trips as we crossed the United States to go visit relatives.  So many memories were made on those trips.  We had a lot of mishaps along the way and he trusted God to take care of us.  We learned to look for God's hand in our travels.

He loved music and directed the church choir for a long time and often directed the congregational singing.  He loved putting special emphasis on certain parts of the hymns.

He loved preaching.  He stuck to the Scripture. There were tough times in his ministry, but he always persevered.  Often he wondered if he was having any impact for Christ on people, but in his later years he would hear from various ones that his ministry in their lives had helped to shape them into the people they are today.  Praise God for that.

He practiced what he preached.  He was a humble man.  He was a wonderful example to us kids, growing up.

His love for the Lord shined through his whole life.  He and my mom had daily devotions every morning and they had a box filled with the names of all the people they knew and ministered to over the years and each morning they would take three or four names from the box to pray for.  This was a practice they did up until he began to feel so poorly that he couldn't do it anymore.  He believed in the power of prayer.

My dad will be dearly missed.  It just isn't the same seeing his empty chair in the living room when I go to visit.  I'm going to miss his sense of humor, his puns, his "under the nose" looks, his prayers, his music and singing.

Oh, I remember attending Sunday School with him sometime in the last ten months when he was doing better and in the Sunday school class they sang some hymns.  I was sitting next to Dad and we were harmonizing.  I remember the Sunday School teacher commenting on our harmony.  That was a special time singing with him that I will remember for a long time because it was the last time I heard him sing.

I bet he is enjoying the singing in heaven right now.  He is no doubt singing at the top of his lungs in worship to his Savior. I'm looking forward to the day when I can harmonize with him again.  I love you Daddy and miss you so much!