Friday, March 9, 2018

Everlasting Misery!

There is a judgment to come, in which every man shall be sentenced to a state of everlasting happiness, or misery.  Matthew Henry re: Matthew 25: 31-33.

The consequences of "everlasting misery" are, I believe, the most misunderstood fact of Christianity in non-believers. If they would understand the depth of that misery, I sometimes think it could make them realize what's at risk for them. And, that misery is ETERNAL! FOREVER! NEVER STOPS!
Imagine having nothing, ever, to drink. Imagine not finding any food to eat, no grass even. Think of 100-pound hailstones coming at you, beating on you, and still time goes on. You will be totally, forever, separated from a loving God and all of your loving family. There will be no one to ease your misery.
But God is in control of that, as well. He hardens hearts to the truth as easily as He cultivates and draws them to His Son. Our job, as Christians, is to pray, love, encourage, befriend, and pile on more love. Leave judging to the Father, and love one another, even the unlovable. 

Women's Day?

When I was a young woman I was so proud of myself, proud that I could keep up with the men when working. I was so proud I even showed off about it. What a fool I was! 

I know better now, but I still have shameful memories of my behavior.  I know that the Father has little regard concerning my physical or mental strength. What's important to Him is if I live a life that glorifies Him, am I serving Him with my talents rather than serving myself. 

I have been a slow learner over the years. Thankfully He is patient and loving me until I finally get it. He's still working. It breaks my heart, and His, that we are so self-absorbed and look so little to Him for our strength.

Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Ps. 37:4

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mothers, Beware!

Deuteronomy 4:9
"Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.

One day long ago a very wise woman said to me, "Shirley, you do too much for your children." I was surprised to hear her say that. I had always thought that's what a mother was supposed to do, you know, take such good care of them.

Later, another wise woman told me, "I'll bet your bras and panties are old and tattered because you are giving to your children, but not being kind and generous to yourself. Don't treat yourself so shabbily, for you're teaching your children that they are more important than you, and they will end up treating you that way."

I believe they were right.

My children have always been good to me, but I did change some of my habits, and I'm pretty sure I went right out and bought new underwear.

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Monday, May 1, 2017

It's All for the Joy

I have a friend that came here to the states from Jamaica to live with her son and family. Her name is Thelma. I call her Ms. Thelma or Sister Thelma because we are sisters in Christ. I normally don't speak that way, but she does, and I do it to respect her.

Thelma tells me of Jamaica, of the beautiful white sands and clear blue waters. She describes these things to me with love of her former home. This gives her joy, and she tells me she wants me to go to see Jamaica. But I know that it is also very hot there, and I know that I will never be able to go. I listen with longing to see what she has seen and touched and smelled.

I live here in Georgia, but I came here about twenty years ago from Nebraska. I try to paint a verbal picture to Thelma of the rolling sandhills, the beautiful river valleys and farmlands, and the flat prairies from which you can see for miles and miles. She listens carefully, but can't quite imagine that kind of country. When I tell her something she can't quite fathom, she says, "Oh, true?" And I relate more to her because it gives me joy to talk about my beloved home.

When people share with one another the things they have seen, heard, and touched, the listener almost always accepts the stories as truth, perhaps desiring to experience what the other has described. Sometimes we share in awe with another what has been related to us, and announce our desire to encounter such things.

The disciple, John, says in 1 John 1:3 that he wants us to know,  what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. NASB

It gave John and the disciples joy to share their experiences. They knew Jesus, talked with Him, touched Him, traveled with Him and listened to His teachings. Unlike Thelma stories for me, everyone who chooses can know, see, and hear His teachings, all of which can change their lives. And, unlike other stories that are shared, the story of those who know Christ, have experienced Him in their lives, and have communication with Him are mostly rejected in the world. The world is willing, and even eager, to listen to the stories of travelers, adventurers, chance meetings of the famous or rich, even the fictional stories that writers put to pen or filmmakers to the screen. But, alas, the most important story that will affect one's eternal future, many in the world will reject. They blatantly and harshly affirm they don't want to hear it.

What makes us believe one person's report as true but reject another's as untrue? What makes us believe the most exotic story of UFO's or ghost sitings, but reject the Truth of a Living Savior who once walked this earth and sacrificed Himself to save us? The Good News! It's a way out of eternal damnation, free to those who will accept it!

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8. NASB

This is why.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

This Is Christmas

It was a nice enough Christmas eve worship. As the pastor said, it's not your grandparents' Christmas carols. Well, it was the same words, but the praise team had beefed it up a bit, and with the drums and bass guitar, it was different, but good. The message was pure gospel. The room was full of church members and visitors looking for a Christmas eve experience. Communion was taken. 

But when the lights went down, and we encircled the room with our candles lit, as we always do on Christmas eve, it was a reminder of what being a child of Christ means. Tt's a reminder that Christmas is about Jesus, and He came to earth to light up the world from the darkness of sin. nd the candles in our hands remind us that we are here to share Him with those who don't know. That's when the whole service comes together, and it's the very best part. We're the family of God, and we light the world with His love. And that's what Christmas is all about.

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I Vote To Ban Whisker Burns

Some sports teams don't shave until a certain goal has been reached, such as a championship or a league game, maybe even a win over their dreaded rival. So, I'm wondering if this trend of men not shaving and looking like they just stepped off skid row is due to a united effort to win a common objective. For instance, I was thinking, wouldn't it be interesting if they have said to one another in some magical way, "Let's all grow our beards just long enough to shred the ladies' faces to a crimson mass of raw meat, and then we'll all shave after the election (not knowing, or caring, what their choice would be).

So, today, in addition to a decision for president, I'm dreaming of fresh faced gentlemen with faces smooth and clean and soft as a baby's butt. That's not too much for an old gal to wish for is it? I know I shouldn't care what these young, and not so young bucks do, but I'm tired of seeing men who look like they should be pushing a grocery cart full of old clothes and blankets through the inner-city alleys.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Precious Friendships

There are some things in this life to which we give too much attention, too much thought, and for which we pay too much. Automobile comes to mind. Some park their cars at the extreme end of a parking lot to protect it. How I wish we would be as protective to the things in life that are truly important. A monetary investment is important, but people in our lives are so much more dear and precious to us.

I have, once again, had that very fact thrust in my face. When it comes to the relationships in my life, I am especially sensitive, tender, and passionately loyal. In this case, the relationships being my friends, and how I hate change or any circumstance that causes a separation of sorts between us. Often in my long lifetime I have experienced separation from good friends for various reasons, and each time it has a devastating effect on me. I have noticed that not all people have the same reactions, and I wonder why it is that it affects me so. This is a quandry that I am sure will never be answered.

I don't like moving. I haven't moved often in my life, compared to some, but I have moved enough to know I don't like it. I hate leaving my dear friends, sometimes knowing that it's probable I  will never see them again. I lived fifty years in one vacinity before moving away to another state. Saying goodbye to my friends hurt so badly I could hardly bear it. Five years later we moved to another state, leaving good friends behind. 

This morning I became quite melancholy, and a bit depressed over some things that will separate friends from me in a less dramatic way, but it will be a change that keeps us from seeing each other as often. I don't like that. I can handle change. What I find hard to handle is separation from friends, permanently or temporarily.

The worst sort of separation between friends is the kind that comes from disagreements and difference of opinions. I loathe this most of all, and take great care to avoid these situations, though they will come even when you think all is well.

I know that I am too sensitive about some things. But my friendships are precious to me. I love to spend time with them and get to know about their lives. I love to hear their stories, where they've come from, and learn what they believe. These people are where I want to invest my time and my emotions, and to be torn away from that investment is almost intolerable for me. Once you are considered my friend, you will always be considered as such. My precious friends may not be close, but they will always be my friend.