I LEFT HIM SITTING IN THE SEAT

I wrote this poem 10 years ago, but was reminded of it the other day. I go to church and get blessed, but I tend to forget very quickly all that God has done for me! I get too caught up in the busyness of life…. Am I alone? I think not. -anita

The Gathering Journal

Every year Jesus’ parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover…   When it was over they left for home. Jesus stayed behind, but his parents didn’t know it.   Thinking he was with them, they journeyed for a whole day and then began looking for him among relatives and neighbors…  They didn’t find him, so went back to Jerusalem…   The next day they found him in the Temple…The teachers were impressed…But his parents were not; they were upset and hurt. His mother said, “… Why have you done this to us? -Luke 2:41-4

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In that quiet, sweet place of worship,
with my hands raised up in praise,
I could feel Him standing close to me…
I saw His smile and felt His gaze.
I wished this moment to go on…
That His presence would stay near;
But when the last song was sung,

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YOU’VE NEVER BEEN BRIGHTER!

For a righteous man may fall seven times
but he dares to rise again… -Proverbs 24:16a

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Last night, I was watching a show on T.V.  A comment was made by a father to his daughter.

She said, “Why do I seem to do everything wrong in my life?”

The father held his daughter close and whispered in her ear, “Didn’t you know?  The sparkle in a diamond, depends on the flaws it has.  I look at you now, and you’ve never been brighter!”

That’s what our Heavenly Father whispers to us when we kneel before Him and ask for forgiveness for our short-comings and failures!  When we acknowledge our weakness to Him, He makes us strong and we shine brighter as we draw close to Him!

Anita

 

 

GIVE IT ALL TO HIM!

“…He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.” -Isaiah 30:19 (b)

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“And shall I still the load retain

Which Thou hast offered to sustain?

No, at Thy bidding I will flee,

And cast my burdens all on Thee!” -Unknown

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At times, we all try to carry our “stuff” around.  We never think to call on Jesus.  But the above verse says that God is gracious.  He will hear our cry and answer.

If you’re going through some “stuff” right now…give it to Jesus.  Let Him carry your burden!

Anita

WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU?

He hath shown thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? -Micah 6:8

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Sometimes, before we become Believers, we think that God will require too much from us.  This is why some folks never come to KNOW Jesus in a personal way…they think they will have to give up too much.

But take a look at the verse above…

We are to DO justly.  That means to do what is right.  “Even if the stars fall from heaven…DO RIGHT” -Bob Jones senior

We are to LOVE mercy.  That means be compassionate-not judgmental.  Remember how Jesus had mercy on you when you weren’t deserving.

And lastly, we are to WALK humbly before God.  That means leave your pride at the altar, realize your own sin, ask for forgiveness-knowing that you need God’s mercy and love just like everyone else.

If all of humanity followed these three things, the world would be a better place.  Problem is…even Believers seem to fail at following these three things!

Stop for a moment.  Take inventory.  Do YOU as a Believer follow these three things that God requires?  If the answer is no, start to follow them today!

  1. Do justly
  2. Love mercy
  3.  Walk humbly before God

Anita

 

ARE YOU BUSY?

Take a look at this!  Good advice Lee! -anita

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If you’re at all like me, you lead a fairly busy life. Before I retired a couple years ago, I thought I was very busy. Once I retired, all of those things that I had put off because I was busy, jumped to the head of the line. You may have heard some retirees say things like, “I’m busier now than when I had a job!” Believe them—they’re right on the money with that opinion.

 So how does that busyness affect my spiritual life (and maybe yours, as well)? I still make sure to go to church on Sunday. I still pray my morning prayers and usually conversationally pray to God at various times during the day. What usually suffers, though, is the time I commit to reading the Bible and various devotionals that I love. Well, how does that affect you, one might ask.

 I’ve noticed an interesting correlation between my lack of consistent time spent in the Word and my daily approach to life. My observation is this: when I regularly read the Bible it molds me for the day. There’s nothing all that mystical about it, maybe. What I sense is that, when I read God’s Word, it causes me to think on things of God. I have His thoughts, His character, His wisdom, His mannerisms fresh and anew in my mind. Bible reading, by its very nature, forces me to think about God! Now how profound is that!? Of course, I’m being facetious here but, as many research studies have proven, our actions follow our thoughts. If I have God in my mind for the day, my actions mostly play out in God-pleasing ways.

 So what happens if I haven’t read the Bible for a few days, one might further ask? In short, I don’t like the person I become. I slip back into the ways of the world. I find myself being more impatient, easily angered by people (especially drivers of cars), and my thoughts often are consumed with things important to the world and, conversely, probably not that important to God, even abhorrent to Him in some cases. I even find myself uttering a swear word now and again, and saying things to people—even my dear wife, I hate to say—that are not helpful and are even hurtful or judgmental.

 This was all brought home to me recently when I found time to read one of my favorite devotionals, Tabletalk. In an article on “the world,” it said, “The world tempts us to adopt its values—materialism, favoritism, sexual uncleanness, pride, and so forth.” The article goes on to say, we must not succumb. “We must have our minds renewed continually by the Word of God…If we do not regularly attend [read] the Word of God, we will end up loving the world.” The article notes that we attend to God’s Word by hearing biblical preaching and reading the Scriptures.

 In my view, that’s good advice, indeed. I’d rather have my day played out with God’s Word in my heart than all the junk into which the world would rather see me invest my time. I want His ways to be my ways even though I’ll never fully attain that in this life [Is 55:8-9]. But, to be obedient to Him and to show Him my love, I must continually try!

-Lee Pierce

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN HATED?

Here’s a good question for you to ponder….  “Have you ever been hated?”  And, if so, … WHY??

Good one Lee! -anita

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If you’re like me, you want to be liked. I dislike having arguments with other people, particularly people that I care about. I go out of my way to try and be conciliatory, to work things out with other folks. My theory is: life’s too short to be fighting with others.

 

Clearly, though, there are times when I get on someone’s wrong side. They get angry with me, they judge me, they may even attack me (hopefully just verbally) for something I say or do. As a Christian, part of my responsibility is to love others as Christ loves us…to be at peace as far as I can control that. “…not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead….” [1 Peter 3:9] [Rom 12:18]

 

Sometimes, though, others will look at me and simply judge me, usually for something I say. Many times that judgment comes because of something I say concerning the Lord Jesus. There are times when I get “written off” as a person of worth simply because I love the Lord and believe that God oversees all things, created all things. You’ve probably seen “the look”: the one judging you looks at you and maybe rolls their eyes or looks back at you askance. From that point forward you are viewed as having no worth and are disliked to some degree, maybe even hated.

 

Sometimes maybe I deserve that treatment, especially when I get on my soap box and expound to others. I may even appear to be judgmental toward another person or persons. Of course, most people take offense when I (or you) appear to be judging them, and rightly so. “Judge not lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged….” [Mt 7:1-2] And, may we never forget that reference later in this passage in Matthew about our viewing that speck in our brother’s eye!

 

I just read something that applies here in a discussion of being hated by the world. [John 15:18-21] The point of this discussion was to emphasize that we should be hated by the world for the right reasons. The article states: “When we are hated by the world, it must be because we are faithful to Christ and the proclamation of His gospel and not because we are belligerent, annoying, or otherwise not enjoyable to be around.”

 

I believe we should speak of and live by His truth; we never should water that down. But there are many ways that such Godly truth is imparted—one important way is to live our lives out like Jesus wants us to: by obeying Him and by loving others the way He loves us. That statement alone precludes judging them but rather, mandates that we show them love. If we show them such love—even when they act obnoxiously toward us—they will probably begin to wonder how we are able to do that. They may even ask us about that ability and loving response, and voila! There’s our opening to talk about the One who enables us to love, even when we’re disliked/hated.

 -Lee Pierce

Parable of the lilies

This is so beautiful, I had to share…Don’t forget to notice the ‘little things’ in life….they make everything more special! -anita

Wilderness Joy

Small things in the hands of a big God
can make a big difference. ~ Md Mohan

Lilly 5 copyWe are like common clay jars that carry this glorious
treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow
of power will be seen as God’s, not ours. 2 Corinthians 4 v 7


It’s Monday morning in the supermarket, and the flowers not sold
last week, are on special. It’s very embarrassing for that dejected
bunch of large pink lilies, now reduced to $4 – not chosen,
not wanted. (So this feeling of not being valued can happen even to
lilies, those flowers of which Jesus said,” Solomon in all his glory
was not dressed as beautifully as they are.”)
But the story of the lilies has a happy ending!!. I come along and
see them, and to me they are a treasure. Delighted, I purchase them,
and they bring me joy for over two…

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START PRAISING!

The Bible says “God inhabits the praises of His people.” -Psalm 22:3

When we get to feeling low…when everything seems to be going wrong…when the devil’s voice is louder than God’s whisper….  It’s time to start praising!

Satan used to be the director of music in heaven.  But when he lost his position and was cast out of heaven, he began to distort music.  When we sing praises to God Almighty, the devil can’t stand it!

Do you want to get rid of his influence in your life?  Do you want to hear the whisper of God?  Do you want changes in your bleak situations?

Then ….  START PRAISING YOUR SAVIOR!  GIVE HONOR TO YOUR REDEEMER!

Anita

LOST NO MORE!

I wrote this poem back in 2009.  I was that lost lamb until Jesus found me!  Hope it speaks to you… -anita

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There’s an old song sung,

Where a story is told,

Of ninety-nine sheep,

Who were safe in the fold.

But one lamb was lost,

It had gone astray;

Up on the mountain…

In the hills far away.

So the Shepherd went looking,

For that wayward, lost sheep.

Though the road He traveled,

Was rough and steep;

He knew it would soon die,

If not in His care;

And the thought of that,

Was more than the Shepherd could bear!

So, He crossed through waters

That were dangerous and deep

With the night dark and long,

As He searched for that sheep.

Then out in the desert,

He heard its sad bleating.

It was wounded, and bruised,

It’s life quickly fleeting.

The Shepherd gently placed

The lamb on His shoulders;

And trudged up that mountain,

O’er rocks and boulders.

As the lamb looked back

At the path now trod,

He saw drops of blood

On the rocks, and the sod.

The Shepherd was bleeding,

His hands-ripped, and torn;

His precious brow…

Pierced, by many a thorn!

His side bled too,

And so did His feet;

Then that sorrowful lamb

Began to bleat.

“Dear Shepherd, forgive

This wandering sheep,

That strayed from the fold

To the mountains steep!

I know I was wayward,

I was stubborn and strayed;

Now, you’ve suffered

Much anguish

Because I went

My own way!

Forgive me Dear Shepherd!”

The lamb did bleat.

But the Shepherd cried loudly…

“I have found my sheep!”

“Though I’m battered, and bruised,

And beaten sore,

It was worth it all…

For this lamb’s lost no more!

My sheep that was lost

No longer will roam!

So rejoice and make ready,

For we’re on our way home!”

-Anita Mondragon 2009