Saturday, December 28, 2013

Jesus Paid It All

 Isaiah 53:5

But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being {fell} upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. (NASV)

When I started this blog, my first thought for a title was, In My Silent Retreat. As time went on I discovered that, although, a lot of things take place in a silent retreat with Jesus; if he had not done what he did on the cross I would not be doing what I'm doing. At first I used the image, Jesus Paid it All, but it never occurred to me that it would be the title of my blog.

Last Easter I spent a lot of time thinking about Jesus carrying the cross, and what kind of love that must be. The only thing that keeps coming to mind is a soldier, fighting a war for his country. Then God gave it to me. We are all soldiers: fighting for our souls. God gives us a freedom, and when we turn to him Satan is always trying us. At first I didn't know how to fight. I was a baby christian. It came to me, Jesus already paid. I just need to hang out with him. 

This last month I celebrated his birthday early. Everyday I posted something concerning Mary. From her visitation with the angle Gabriel to the birth of Jesus.  I learned something from Mary. Patience is important when giving birth to something. Regardless of what people say about you, stay loyal to God. Mary knew she was giving birth to the one who would one day walk mankind through all obstacles.  So when I'm giving birth to something I hang out with the one who paid it all. He gets me through it.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013

This was a different kind of christmas for me. I didn't recieve a lot of gifts. I did recieve some and no matter how big or small; they were nice. This year was all about Jesus, and Giving. I though about one of my favorite bible verses.

All the way up to Christmas I concentrated on Mary. I thought about all she went though. I thought about her faith. Joseph was about to put her away, but she stood faithful to God. She didn't have all the comforts that are alloted to most women giving birth. Yet she pondered things in her heart. I found myself pondering things in my heart. Guess what, I may never be comfortable. I wasn't comfortable when I truly found Jesus. I stood on his words and I had what I needed. One of which was love thy neighbor. People aren't always lovable, but it's all in learning to give.

I spent this Christmas with a couple that isn't able to get around much anymore. We prepared a nice dinner and opened presents. They enjoyed watching the game, a bible story on the history channel, and talking.  It was nice to get away from things and give of myself. In my pondering, I really found the meaning of Christmas. Give something good. God gave his only begotten son. I could never stand up to that, but I can celebrate it with people who would otherwise be alone. It's not that they have no one. It's just that this time of year everyone is spreading themselves thin. They have their primary family and extended family. By the time a person reaches 90 years old, you become an extendion of the family. They see their families on Christmas eve or a couple days before. This was the best Christmas ever, because the best present is giving, What is better then giving of yourself. After all Jesus gave himself.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Taking Time Out to Thank God.

It all started December 4, I hurried to get my hair and nails done for the christmas party, at church sunday. I looked around me and everyone was in a hurry, too. As I got ready to go the temperature dropped. This is what I woke up to on thursday.

We turned on the television, only to hear that some had lost power-no heat, lights, etc. I started to pray and thank God for all I had. I still had lights, heat, etc.  St. Schlastica Retreat Center could probably take in quite a few families if need be. Then I started to notice; no one was complaining. No one I talked to, no one on television. Those who believed probably prayed for those who didn't believe, as well as for themselves. All of a sudden I started to see God grace. My friend has a tree branch come through her roof.  She never complained. She likes to write her prayers out, and that is what she spent the day doing.  Another lady lived about 45 miles away.  Just about the whole town had lost power. When she called back she was sad, but she never complained.
My Grandmother use to say children should be trained in the way they should go. She believed that if they strayed, they would return. All the people i'm talking about, never once complained. Whether they lost hours at work or had to do doubles; never complained. They all called on Jesus. I was stuck in the house for 4 days. I had plenty of time to reflect. What God showed me was in times like this, people find him and they are able to put their feelings aside and find each other. Thank Jesus for once again another insight. Now, the weatherman said we would get more snow tonight. I can't help but wonder what God is going to show me this time.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A word in the day of the Lord.

 Thanksgiving with The Simpkins
This year I was invited out for thanksgivings. It was such a blessing. I heard the most wonderful  blessing over the food, I had ever heard. Maybe I just payed more attention, because it came from a 90 year old. I have the pleasure of spending time with a couple who have been married for 70 years. They taught sunday school for over 50 years. What a blessing.

The family wanted to capture this moment, because it might not happen again. When Mr. Simpkins began to bless the table, 2 members recorded it with their cellphones. It wasn't' Father thank you for this food we are about to recieve. It was every bit of 5 minutes. Any other time everyone would be upset at having cellphones out at the table. What came across my mind was just how many tables had Mr. Simpkins blessed. there's 365 days in a year; do the math. It came so naturally. He was talking to his father and friend. I could tell that he has a relationship with our heavenly father, and this was a continous conversation that goes on all during the day.

His wife tells a story, that they never missed church for any reason unless they were sick, until recently. They don't get out much anymore.  What dedication. Every once in a while Mrs. Simpkins still has sunday school in her home. She tells a story that she couldn't have taught sunday school without the presence of the Holy Spirit. She talked about preparing herself though reading scripture and fasting. It's a blessing to be in the presence of Elders.  Thank you Jesus for the saints before, now, and after me. I pray that you use me for years to come, just as you did Mr and Mrs. Simpkins.  

I'm sitting here on my computer, and it's  Saturday night. I start going thru communities I've joined. Someone is speaking on John 15:12.
All week long I've been thinking about the importance of God in your life, family, and friends. I have a friend I met through volunteer work. She is in her 70's and devoted her whole life to serving God. We both like to sew.  She told me one day that there was this program that she didn't want to get in because she didn't want to hurt anyone. I got to thinking: if it have not been for people like her, I would have left church a long time ago. I would have settled to worship in my house. I've been praying about this for some time. When people first enter the church they are babes in faith. Their not ready for strong food, they are still drinking milk. We have to rely on the spirit to guide us, so we can guide them. There was a time when I almost left the church, because of criticism, rude remarks, etc. God had his hand on me and I kept coming back, but I have seem people just walk away. I always tell people to pursue scripture and your life will illustrate the fruits. 

Galatians 5:22-23

New International Version (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 

Without these you see the flaws, but with these you see the person.  I'm still praying for people who have been hurt in the church to come back.

Good-morning, afternoon, or evening-what ever time of day it is; may it be blessed and used to glorify God. Everyday I weak up and seek God's will, just like so many others. This time God uses my senses. He causes me to hear-listen for him- in everything. Step out in faith from what I cannot see, and believe. He said I want you to stop talking so much and be a good listener. Then use the words I give you.

Just the other day I received bad news on the telephone. God said pay very close attention and you will have the answer. She went into her problem and I listened, then I said a few word and that calmed her. To make a long story short, God showed me that listening is very important. I listened to her and I listened to God. Lest I say God blessed 2 people, who were ready to give up. The lady told me today that God is good all the time. The other person was talking about suicide and before the day was over, was about to smile. He said you really pray. I said no we prayed.

After all way over I started to ponder. A word that God spoke to me more than once, as I sat and thought about these people and how I have been in there shoes. I looked up the word ponder in my concordance. Almost 20 years ago I met a lady who was very obedient to God. She came to my house with The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance Of  The Bible. I was just a baby christian, so I looked at it and was amazed at all the words, and said thank you. Now when the Lord gives me a word; my eyes go straight to it.  I found the word ponder in two places.

Proverbs 4:26 Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.

Proverbs 5:6 Lest you ponder her path of life-Her ways are unstable; You do not know them.

All the Lord ask me to do is LISTEN, be OBEDIENT, and BELIEVE.  Need I say everyone received a blessing. Please listen for God today. It may be through someone, something, or directly to you. When you hear him use that experience to glorify him. Thanks to everyone who prayed for me; I heard him. A friend said to me one day," nothing is wasted. Everything-trade, experience- you will eventually use." Amen.

The lady I helped, I could not judge because I had been somewhat where she is. Needless, to say there were some areas that seemed a little gray. My blessing is I don't have to understand, for God to use me. He understands.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Books to Enrich Knowledge On The Christian Life

Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century: On Heaven and Earth.
Before Jorge Mario Bergoglio, became Pope Frances on March 13, 2013, he was archbishop of Buenos Aires.  During this time of public service he became friends with Rabbi Abraham Skorka. This friendship resulted in many long talks on subjects such as: God, devil, atheists, religions, leaders, disciples, etc. It is interesting to see how such topics are contrasted between these two men. Growing up a Christian I never heard the take the Jewish faith took on such subjects. 
Here is Chapter 1,  I found interesting and could see that Pope Francis has a desire to relate to everyone.

One Author to Look at. Joshua Harris
Joshua is senior pastor of  Covenant Life church in Maryland. He is the author of quit a few books. Among the list is Dug Down Deep. Here he discusses Boy meets Girl.

Humble Orthodoxy by Joshua Harris
Joshua Harris got the idea to write on the subject humble orthodoxy from a specking engagement that he did on the subject. At first it would only be a chapter in his book Dug Down Deep. After he got so much response on the topic he decided to partnership with Eric Stanford to write a book on it. Stanford used the chapter on humble orthodoxy from the book along with Harris’s sermons to create this book, complete with a study guide.

The definition Harris gives for orthodoxy is, “right thinking about God. It’s about teaching and belief based on the established, proven, cherished truths of the faith.” These are the basis for Christianity such as: There is only one God. He is triune; the father, son, and Holy Spirit.  His only begotten son, Jesus is our savior.  He was born of a virgin, etc.  According to Harris the word orthodoxy sometimes gets a bad rap when people use it as a tool to reprimand.  Harris questions if, “good doctrine necessarily lead to being argumentative, annoying, and arrogant?”  He makes it very clear if we are going to teach like Jesus, then we need to love like Jesus. This is why we need to humble ourselves.  Mean spirited people teaching the word of Christ; have been the reason so many leave the church. Harris is able to parallel’s these types of attitudes to the ones of the Pharisees in his day.  We need a equal portion of both humbling and orthodoxy, “ We must care deeply about truth, and we must also defend and share this truth with compassion and humility.”   Stanford intergraded scripture along with stories in the discussion. This is the perfect book for a discussion group.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for doing this review. I was not required to write a positive review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Karen Kingsbury


Reading this collection was my first time reading Karen Kingsbury’s Inspirational fiction, and I have to say I’m already hooked. In this collection Karen takes on subjects such death, depression, adoption, foster care, family, etc. This collection consists of 3 novels: Where Yesterday Lives, When Joy came to stay, and On Every Side.

Where Yesterday Lives

The story line opens with John Barrett  found having a heart attack. He has not been healthy for years, addressing a stream of surgeries. Barrett dies as a result, which brings the family together. They haven't been close in years, each suffering their personal turmoil. It wasn't until the funeral when each of the sibling got a chance to speak about their father; they could see that he wanted them to be a family. The book is really centered around the life of journalist Ellen Barrett, but Kingsbury finds a way to journey and entwine the lives of her siblings: Jane, Amy, Megan, and Aaron. This story was a good reminder of the old saying; You don't know where you're going until you know where you've been. Grounded in good spirituality, this book is a must read.

When Joy Came To Stay

 I really love the suspense of this story. 
The protagonist in this story is a young woman in her twenties, Maggie Stovall, who is a journalist for the Cleveland Gazette newspaper. Maggie appears to really have it pulled together. She is married to the love of her life, Ben Stovall. Ben is a successful lawyer at a law firm. They are portrayed as having high christian morals. Since they couldn't have any children of their own, they became foster parents to Casey and Cameron. The boys were seven years old twins. Everything looked really good from the outside. Except Karen has a secret that has been eating at her for about seven year, and one day Karen broke all the way down, which lands her in Orchards Psychiatric Hospital. This is where Karen begins to open up and come from behind her mask.
While Karen is receiving treatment Ben finds out who he really is. He has held everyone to such high expectations- that it could have been what drove Maggie to feel that if he knew her dirty little secret, he wouldn't want her anymore. Did Maggie really pay attention to what Ben was saying or did she hear what she wanted to hear? In his search to find out what has driven his wife to this point, Ben realizes that he really loves Maggie for who she is. At this point he is willing to except what he finds out. Maggie Stovall represents so many people plagued by depression and forced to live in a world that may not understand that it strikes christians too. Thanks Karen for taking on this subject in hopes of helping others understand what it is like to live with depression. Most of all things for helping people realize that prayer can get you through anything.

On Every Side

In this wonderful piece of inspirational fiction, Kingsbury tackles the subject of religious freedom, which was inspired by an actual case in Marshfield Wisconsin.  The story line centers in Bethany, Philadelphia around a Jesus Statue in Jericho Park. Two lawyers on opposite sides are drawn together by Faith Evans, alias Faith Moses.  Evans worked for WKZN affiliate where she did Wednesday’s Child, which highlighted children in the foster care system seeking a permanent home.

Evans was warned about airing her political views on the network, but upon hearing the bad news that a legal group named HOUR was interested in having the Jesus Statue removed to protect innocent bystanders from having any certain religious view pushed on them. Evans couldn’t help her self she was raised in a Christian home.  Once again Kingsbury uses this situation to show how our past can play into our future. 

The young and very bright attorney Jordan Riley, who worked for Hour, grew up next door to Evans. His mother died of cancer, which lead to him and his sister being separated in the foster care system.  During this time Evans and Riley were young, but had deep feelings for each other. After losing his mother, sister, and Faith, Jordan had decided the Jesus he saw in the park with open arms didn’t exist.  On the other hand, Evans father, Bob Moses and his friend Joshua Nunn, “had opened the Religious Freedom Institute in Bethany, Pennsylvania.”  After opening the institute Moses had a heart attack, which left Nunn alone to handle such cases.  Without spoiling too much for you, this is a must read.

I received this book free from blogging for books, and my opinion is my own.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Getting to know Jesus

Today I woke up feeling mundane; a word that the Holy Spirit put in my spirit. why? I didn't know how to describe my feelings this morning. This is a word that I don't commonly use so I googled it. According to, the definition for mundane:
  1.  of or pertaining to this world or earth as contrasted with heaven; worldly; earthly: mundane affairs. 
  2.  common; ordinary; banal; unimaginative.
  3.  of or  pertaining to the world, universe, or earth.

Now I know that I felt this way because I would be meditating on the life of Jesus as a teenager. I want a closer relationship with Jesus, and since he came to earth and walked in human form; I wanted to know what it must have been like for him. I don't know about you, but for me being a teenager was hard. What I got from my time with Jesus this morning was to fellowship with my heavenly father at all times. Discuss every aspect of my life with him. This will keep me on tract with the things I need to do to continue living a christian life.

I used Luke 2:51-52 from The New American Bible, "51 He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man."  I must state here that this isn't the only passage I used during the last few weeks to get to know Jesus. It's the one that drew things together for me. The majority of verses came from Luke.  What I discovered was a very human Jesus that came down from heaven to save us and along the way showed examples.

I don't usually use background music, but today I did. The Gregorian Melodies Popular Chants-my introduction to Benedictine Monks- brought the spirit of Jesus that I always feel when I enter church.

This is an sample of Gregorian Chants, it's titled Guide me God.

Best Gregorian Chant bits.