RANDOM THOUGHTS OF GOD
It has been granted to (us) on behalf of Christ... to believe on Him... Philippians 1:29
My goal is to share the Love of Christ with all who will come and read of how He is at work in my life and can be in yours. May God bless you here.
Psalm 46 this morning I suddenly realized that a favorite verse (10)
which calms many believers in times of stress, is not actually a very
love the seeming gentleness of “Be still and know that I am God.”
But I have always wondered why this gentle reminder is in this
slightly turbulent Psalm. Why does the subject turn from talking
about God's ability to control in a harsh and Godly manner,
and suddenly become a gentle “prompting” to us to trust Him.
Well. It apparently doesn't.
all versions use these words. Several use the Word, “CEASE! or
DESIST!” And some notes indicate that the phrase “Be still...”
could be translated: ENOUGH! And that would indicate that the words
are actually directed to those causing the CHAOS in the world
of sin. ENOUGH will be spoken and the sin and sinfulness will STOP!
It will happen in God's time, but it WILL happen.
with the wars!
with the murders and other crime!
with the chaotic uprisings and hate mongering!
with brutality and stubbornness against God and His people.
with the lack of commonsense replaced by stupidity and cruelty.
of not listening to God Almighty!
- “DESIST and learn that I am God, supreme over the
nations, supreme over the earth.” (caps mine)
- CEASE striving
and know that I am God; (caps mine)
STILL and know that I am God.” (caps mine)
I AM GOD!
is a reminder that God will not be eternally rejected. He will not
let sin go on forever. He will put an end to it. Anyone not covered
by the blood of Christ will be REJECTED by Him and will come to a
very bad ending. He will conquer; and He will be the last word on the
subject! Hallelu Yah! Amen.
Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who
has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease
to the end of the earth; He breaks
the bow and cuts
the spear in two; He burns
the chariots with fire.
that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be
exalted in the earth.”
of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.
this first week of the 2017, I find myself tearing up over the
influence of someone who has moved away from my life; but who had
immeasurable influence on it.
I came into this new phase of my life back in 2005, God literally
pushed me into a program called Celebrate Recovery and broke my heart
over what I had been and what I needed to be instead. CR, as we call
it, was just the tool He wanted to use it to turn me from hating into
loving; from twisting everything to God's failures in my life to
seeing God's Great Power and Love and Mercy at work in my life.
walk before me was extremely painful and exhausting. But due to this
influential woman in my life, I learned to cling to God through, not
just my own personal prayers and pleading, but by reaching out for Joy
in the music that was the epitome of all that I needed to pray.
Because of her, I became a “hand raiser,” unable to stop reaching
up to God as I prayed along with these songs. To this day, I find
pure Joy in singing my prayers. A morning of musical prayer is always
a very high note in my life!
not many people in my church “arm raise,” the question sometimes
came up as to whether it was really alright to do that.
one evening prayer meeting, a small discussion came up and our
precious guiding light Shepherd leader was put on the spot by
everyone looking to him for an answer:
his sweet way, he said that it surely is not wrong and, in itself
does, not interrupt a calm and orderly worship service. But it is
true that the Bible only mentions it in regard to prayer. What I did
not say, but thought, was, “But I AM praying!”
will never forget how this woman influenced my growth in Christ by
showing me how to reach up to God in prayer, as well as look up to
Him as the owner, Savior and Lord of my life.
we all “reach up” to God with our prayers, even if our arms do
may we see the power of God in our lives day after day in this new
year and beyond!
late I have seen arguments that say, “Of course she did. The Angel
of God told her.” (Most of these comments were of male origin.
Ladies, what do you think?)
I do not have actual experience with being pregnant, but I am a woman
and I have paid very close attention to the process over the years;
vicariously, through many friends and relatives who have been
pregnant. So I am going to jump in here and say, “No, she didn't”.
what did Mary know?
knew she was a virgin.
will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
also knew that she was betrothed to Joseph.
virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of
did not know why Gabriel greeted her the way he did.
you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting
this might be.”
was told to not be afraid because this was a message of blessing from
God that he was bringing.
not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.
what did he actually tell her?
will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The
Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will
reign over Jacob’s descendants
his kingdom will never end.” and
Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will
overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of
Mary, in turn, said
“good-bye” with these words:
am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be
the angel left her.
MARY DID YOU KNOW - Mark Lowry
[Verse 1] Mary did
you know that your baby boy will some day walk on water? Mary did
you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters? Did
you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? This child
that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.
[Verse 2] Mary
did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man? Mary
did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand? Did
you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? And when
you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.
Mary did you know
The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the
dead will live again. The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the
praises of the lamb
[Verse 3] Mary did you know that your
baby boy is Lord of all creation? Mary did you know that your baby
boy would one day rule the nations? Did you know that your baby
boy is heaven's perfect Lamb? This sleeping child you're holding
is the great I AM
may be declared to have known, and maybe understood, the facts
of verse three; but the truth is that she didn't know exactly what
the rest: probably not. She pondered the praises and blessings and
certain other happenings, in her heart... but, no. she didn't know
what would happen or when.
the first thing she did not know was that they would have to flea
from the murderous Herod to save the baby's life.
did she know that He would grow up in a fairly normal way after that.
Nor did she know when He would depart to His ministry. Nor did she
know exactly what His ministry would be.
that those expecting the Messiah, were expecting a warrior who would
grab a sword and take over the whole world. And she was raising the
gentlest, wisest child ever born.
she did not know or realize exactly what His life would really mean.
But she stepped right up and said yes to God, and promised to keep
this difficult calling which came from Him:
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold,
from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in
the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent
He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
you ever noticed that most of the truly beautiful praises recorded in
God's Word come from a heart that remembers all the things that He
has already accomplished? May we also have such a heart.
I was journaling this Sunday's sermon and went back to hear the end
portion again, I was taken by the summary of the very last subject on
Cor 2:4 - For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart
and with many tears, not to grieve you but
to let you know the depth of my love for you.
often do we actually declare
our love for other people?
Or do we assume that they know that we love them and avoid telling
them directly that we do? This is an age old problem that runs in
families, and cultures down through time.
am tempted to assume that in the Pharisaical culture that Paul was
raised in, telling of love was a hard thing to do. Whether or not
this is true, what is true is that when Paul met Christ, Christ
filled him with love that ever overflowed from him to the people he
this case, the people had forgotten his love for them and became
wrapped up in gossip
about him; very negative
to him and harmful
to them. As he is writing this letter he has just been through what
he describes as a “life and death” situation which held him in
some despair and now he is hearing about the gossip and harm that is
a part of the church at this point. His heart is broken and the words
he writes come from deep inside him. He must make corrections in
their thinking and it weighs heavily on him to have to do that.
he moves forward and writes an urgent letter to them from his heart;
his Holy Spirit, love-filled heart! The overflow of the love that God
has for Him is loudly stated in verse 2:4: I love you! I did love
you, I do love you , and I will always love you; because God,
Himself, gave me this love for you!
John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.” We truly love only
How often do we feel like that, let alone say
that to the people we love?
do not have the capacity to love a deep and abiding love without God's
love in us. Love, without God's love, is always selfish. It happens
when someone else makes an effort to love us and that makes us feel
good. We respond to our own needs and not the needs of others. What
can this love relationship do for ME; rather than how can this
relationship help me do things to show love for that person.
we grow in the ability to let God flow His great love out of us and
onto others; coworkers, friends, extended family and especially to
our children and our spouses. May we be quick to say “I love you,”
or at least “Love ya” (and maybe a hug) to those God has given us
think that right now would be a good time for me to write down the names of
as many extended relatives as I can think of and ask myself if I love
them at all, let alone God's way. Will you join me?
3:14 - And over all these
virtues put on love,
which binds them
all together in perfect unity.
- Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe
yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and
we were saved we became a part of the Body of Christ and were given
the Holy Spirit to guide us, comfort us and give us the desire and
the strength to be different—different from who we were and
different from who non-Christians are. In many places in Scripture,
we are told to be different; to cloth ourselves in various ways that
protect us and help us shine in a world of darkness.
He does not expect us to do this change alone. He gives us others ,
as brothers and sisters and members of the same body to reach out and
achieve this change in ourselves and to help the others to also reach
out in change.
need and responding to it
anger out of the situation
blame wherever necessary
and acting with thoughtfulness
these things as often as necessary
- Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a
grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
of our the simple hurts we experience in life are unintended: slights
that may not have been meant as heard; injuries to our hearts or
pride that may not even have been intended to hurt us, but were
chosen as a hurt; some are actually intended, but may not be worth
the time and effort to respond with being hurt. Checking these things
off as inconsequential should be our chosen reaction. Getting angry
and holding a grudge is not good for any body; yours or ours (the
Body of Christ.)
makes me think of the old adage about “If your head hurts, slam a
hammer onto your finger and you will forget about your head hurting.”
A pretty ridiculous thing to do, but probably true enough. Not giving
others room to irritate us without creating a chasm in the body is
the proper thing to do. Keeping the body healthy with forgiveness
keeps the body working for Christ in the best way.
- And over all these virtues
put on love,
which binds them
all together in perfect unity.
the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with
all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. This summation of
God's commandments for us is the key to being different; God is Love;
we love because He first loved us.
also told us that others would know us by our love for one
1:7... From the very first day you heard and recognized the truth of
what God is doing, you’ve been hungry for more. It’s as
vigorous in you now as when you learned it from our friend and
close associate Epaphras. He is one reliable worker for Christ! I
could always depend on him. He’s the one who told us how
thoroughly love had been worked into your lives by the Spirit.
Corinthians13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
- Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as
members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Peace develops in our
lives as we turn away from fear and grumbling and turn more and more
to Praise and Thanksgiving:
- Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and
admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs
from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
One of my favorite
preoccupations is to watch the sky. A clear sky is nice, but one with
at least a few clouds is even better; the sky becomes a drawing board
for God with wonderful patterns and shapes scattered about. Last
night was an excellent example as an array of “mountainous”
billowy cumulus clouds appeared in the sky reflecting the last lights
of the day on bright white surfaces which appeared to be mountains in
the distance. There are no mountains north of me, but it is always
fun to look up and see the mountain-like clouds shining in God's
Another special time
for me is catching bird pictures and videos from a site online Bird)
that allows me to be a “bird watcher” from my home. It is
wonderful to see the variety and colorfulness of birds around the
world. There is no end to the numbers and colors and mating rituals!
God's creatures are extremely beautiful (with the exception of
spiders) and something to be enjoyed—from a distance—and to
Praise the Lord about mountains, lakes, rivers, oceans, forests,
meadows and even farmlands which are all beautiful to behold and rich
and colorful enough to send us praising the Lord, the Creator of it
all, even in it's sin tarnished state.
17 - And whatever you
do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.
And, thus we are
instructed to pray IN Jesus Name... “In Jesus name, and for His
sake, Amen.” The world seems to despise that phrase more than even
the call to Allah for destruction of all who are not themselves. But
that is God's fight. Ours is to tame ourselves with praises to
Almighty God, through Bible truths and wonder. Ours is to love, even
as God Almighty has loved us. His love endures forever; and it is
never failing! Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him!
said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the
Jesus was answering the Priests inquiry as to why He let His
followers gather grain to eat on the Sabbath. He quite simply
declared that the Sabbath was not a chain, but a blessing for all. It
gave people the right to rest, for at least one day every
people He included in this statement where not just the upper crust,
but it did include the upper crust. And it went all the way down to
the lowliest of slaves. God's commandment to keep the Sabbath was to
insure that all people and animals would get a day of rest each week.
For the Israelites the day was set—Saturday, the seventh day.
the faith grew around the world and as Christ came and lived and died
and rose again for us, believers began to celebrate Sunday, the first
day of the week, as a day of rest in honor of His resurrection. There
is a lot of debate a this, but the thing that really matters is that
we take a day of rest every week.
was a time in this country when businesses were closed and farmers
did only the absolute necessities to care for their animals and then
they also rested.
of course, nearly all service businesses are open seven days a week,
but most give their workers at least one day a week off, and most
have been forced to give two days a week off; plus Holidays, and
these holidays have been adjusted to be on Monday, creating a three
day weekend almost every month.
of that is to say, that we have been given more time off than seems
right. But it does not stop there; especially if you count sick days,
personal days, and vacation days. WOW. Talk about overkill!!
yet, there are workers who do not get all of these privileged days
off: It is those who work hard so that they can work even more; and
they are primarily those who wish to move up the ladder, higher and
higher. It also includes those who work for themselves and want to
push themselves into what is considered successful in our society.
And it includes those who are working for commissions, and pay taxes
as an individual contractor. There are millions of these in this
country. It also includes those who work two jobs that overlap and
keep them working 7 days a week.
is a sickness that invades our society so badly that homes are
wrecked, stresses rise, and bodies fail; all because people are not
taking a day of rest—at least one day of rest—each week.
call this the “rat race” trying to be cute about it ; but mice
can die of “body failure,” too, if they get too stressed out.
gave us a clue and Jesus reiterated that clue: TAKE A DAY OF REST
FROM YOUR WORK EVERY WEEK. Spend time with your family or friends and
relax. Shut off your work computer; shut down your work phone; take
time to breathe. The world will not end because you do that; but you
might end because you did not.
I was young, time past too slowly. I pushed to be on with life. I am
sure I am not alone in that. I pushed for school to start, I pushed
for Christmas to come, I pushed for school to be out and summer to
come. I pushed to be in the next level of classes.
Moving on in life was the dominate pressure. Time kept it's own
schedule and I had to wait, wait, and wait. It was agony.
I finally got out of school and I started working, time seemed to
settle in: Things happened in good time and there was no need to
rush. I was an adult and that was all I had been seeking as a child.
Time was my friend now.
that I am more than officially old--declared by the letter I received
from AARP, welcoming me to old age—I am frantic to slow things
down. Time whizzes past me at lightening speed! Putting on the brakes
does not help at all; but I keep trying.
it really ten years ago that I met and fell in love with several
Middle School and High School teens? Are they really out there now
ministering and working hard, even raising babies and trying live as
good examples and good teachers of the faith. Some are actually
teaching Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers. Wow. How did that all
happen in such a short time?
it really five years ago that I helped with leading a group of five
year olds learning to be cheerleaders? Now they are ten and quickly
advancing through elementary school! The shoes I bought that matched
the uniform shirts we wore are now officially five years old. Whoa!
I read in Mark this morning, I was loudly reminded that God has a
timetable. He knows the beginning, the end and the circumstance of
all the goes on in our lives. Mark 1:14After
John was put in prison,
Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The
time has come,” he said...”
struck me the loudest was that Jesus did not preach openly in Galilee
until John was no longer
preaching there! He did not
Father's timetable! Neither did He try to stop what needed to happen
in the meantime.
of my greatest delights is that I know that God knew me before I was
born and chose me to be my mother's baby. He did not place me until
it was my time to be born. He did not withhold me just because I
would be born in sin. It was my time and my place to be born.
does not make mistakes and He does not waver. He sets the time. He
created time. He uses time. And He knows the end of time and all
things, including me.
knows when and where and under what circumstances I will die. There
is great comfort in that. Whatever happens to me, God will be in
charge of whether I live or He takes me home. There is great in that
have nearly died three times: The first and second times I was
completely unaware of how dangerous my problem was. The third time, I
knew exactly how much danger I was in: I just smiled and let the Lord
take care of everything. Obviously, He let me continue my life each
time. God is Good!
God's timetable is one of
the hardest things we are asked to do. We live in time and we want
time! We want time to do all the things we want to do. We do not like
to be interrupted. We do not like to be delayed. Nor do we like to be
hurried. We have our own timetable entrenched in our heads (not
necessarily a bad thing), and changes to the table are very hard for
our beloved Jesus always knew when the time was right. He knew when
to begin and He knew when to end. He asked the Father to override His
desire for the time to die to be put off. He went willingly to the
Cross to Die for our sins.
least we can do is trust His timetable for our lives; even when it
makes no sense at all to us. And that is much of the time.
may we realize everyday that you are in charge of our time. And may
we dedicate that time to you and to your timetable for us. May you
bring us humbly to your side and walk us through this life with
patience and trust. In Jesus Name, Amen.