REMEMBER ME…

I wrote this twelve years ago for my son Micah.  He was in grade school at the time.  Here’s my little note to him, and the poem that followed.-anita

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Micah…I thought of this poem one day when I went to pick you up from school.  The wind blew a leaf off of one of the trees where I was parked, and it reminded me of the day we picked up colored leaves and brought them home.  Do you remember us doing that?  Anyway, I hope all of the things we do together will never be forgotten by you.  Even when I am gone…I’ll be looking down from Heaven on you…I’ll still be there with you!  I’ll see you soon son!  Love, mom

As the years come and go

And you move away…

When you’re old and gray…

Will you still remember me?

In the crisp fall air,

When the wind is blowing;

The logs in the fireplace

Are crackling and glowing…

Will you still remember me?

When in a bowl, the colored leaves lie…

When people you love, must say good-bye..

Will you still remember me?

When objects of Christmas fill the room,

Will you know that I’m missing

And fell the gloom?

Or will my actions done now, everyday

Make you know I’m still there…

I’ve not gone away?

Even though you don’t see me

My presence you’ll feel…

When you see colored leaves…

Or on your knees kneel;

For I’ve taught you of Jesus,

And life evermore…

How you can find Heaven

Through Jesus, The Door.

So when my boat sails, far away from your sight…

Don’t worry about me…everything is all right!

It sure doesn’t mean that the river of life ends…

I haven’t gone far…I’m just around the bend!

I’ll see you soon son!

Love you!…mom

By:  Anita Mondragon November 2004

Lower Your Shields, February 28, 2016  by Dan Leavitt

 

The Shield of Faith – Thureos

Ephesians 6:16-18 (TLB)

In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. And you will need the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit—which is the Word of God.

Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit’s wishes. Plead with him, reminding him of your needs, and keep praying earnestly for all Christians everywhere.

 

Lower the Shields

 

2 Corinthians 6  (NLT)

As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it. For God says,

“At just the right time, I heard you.
On the day of salvation, I helped you.”

Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

Paul’s Hardships

We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.

Shields Down

11 Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. 12 There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us. 13 I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us!

 

The Obsolete Shield

Galatians 3:25 (TLB)

25 But now that Christ has come, we don’t need those laws any longer to guard us and lead us to him.

 

The Shield of Pride

James 1:5 (NLT)

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

 

The Shield of Stubbornness

Jeremiah 18:12

12 But the people replied, “Don’t waste your breath. We will continue to live as we want to, stubbornly following our own evil desires.”

 

Lower Your Shields

James 5:16-18The Message (MSG)

Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.

 

God Our Shield

Psalm 3:3 (TLB)

But Lord, you are my shield, my glory, and my only hope. You alone can lift my head, now bowed in shame.

 

Lower Your Shields of Pride, Arrogance, Sarcasm,

1 Peter 3:8-12(MSG)

8-12 Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a ble ssing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WERE THEY BLIND?

 

 

I’ve often thought about the Sadducees and the Pharisees and their inability to view Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. How could anyone be so blind? Did they miss all the wonderful miracles Jesus was working? Were they, in fact, blinded to the truth or rather were they simply choosing to ignore what was right before their eyes? These men were learned in the law and the Old Testament and surely had read verses (messianic prophesy) like those in Isaiah 53, for example.

 

In researching this topic a bit, I came across some relevant verses in the book of John (John 11:47-53). Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the dead after 4 days. The 4-day period is significant here because the Jews had a belief at the time that the spirit of the dead could revisit the body for up to 3 days after death. Apparently, Jesus took this belief into account and wanted to insure that those present to Lazarus’ raising could not counter that Jesus had not raised him but rather that the spirit of Lazarus had returned. Jesus wanted to ensure that God would get credit for the act of resurrecting Lazarus (John 11:40).

 

A couple of interesting things happened shortly thereafter. The Pharisees convened a council to discuss what Jesus was doing and how they should react.

  1. The Pharisees acknowledged that what Jesus was doing was wondrous: They agreed that Jesus was performing “many signs,” also translated “attesting miracles.”
  2. Verse 11:48 may contain a clue: some of those present voiced concern that, if Jesus was allowed to continue, “…all men will believe in Him….” Further in their concern was the fact that, if Jesus would win over the hearts of the people, this would be a threat to Rome and “…the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
  3. Finally, the Bible takes time to explain that Caiaphas, who was serving as high priest, stated that it is expedient that one man should die rather than the whole nation perish. The Bible notes in verse 51 that Caiaphas “…did not say this of his own initiative….” No, he had prophesied that Jesus was “going to die for the nation….” Even more astoundingly, his prophesy included the thought that Jesus would die also to “…gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.” See John 10:16 in Jesus’ own words. Amazing that Caiaphas could have these prophetic insights yet reach the conclusions he did!

 

To me these facts all add up to this: these religious leaders were more concerned with keeping the status quo intact, i.e., their special position in the Jewish society of the time. Which coincidentally, accorded them much power, wealth and respect. Their lives were supposedly focused on studying God, His laws, His thoughts (the OT Bible). Yet when God was in their presence and was busy doing what only God could do and saying things in a manner that could only come from God, they chose to ignore Him. In fact, they wanted to expunge Him from their world!

 

A sad statement indeed, but I suppose all of us pick and choose which of God’s truths, attributes, teachings we will adopt into our lives at times. And probably for many of the same self-serving kinds of reasons the Pharisees did. It can’t be new news to our Lord that people haven’t changed all that much in 2,000 years.

By:  Lee Pierce

 

HEY GOD…I THINK YOU’VE MADE A MISTAKE!!

Have you ever felt that the things going on in your life are a mistake?  …That God’s personal secretary must have pulled the wrong file folder?  Because the “Plan” that’s playing out in your life, MUST belong to someone else!

So, you go to God in earnest prayer…but His line, always seems to be busy.  You cry out to Him, and explain that there must have been a mistake…this CAN’T be HIS plan for you!  You ask Him to check again and make sure He has the correct spelling of your name…make sure  He’s looking at YOUR file; but, you don’t hear back.  It seems like He’s far away…maybe non-existent.

After awhile, His “unreturned” calls don’t matter to you  anymore, because NOW, you don’t want to talk to Him.  You have feelings of hurt and anger towards Him.

Yes…you’re saved, and on your way to Heaven…but it’s like you and He are strangers.  The close fellowship between you is gone.  You’re starting to mistrust Him…

This is a BAD place to be-but we’ve all been there before…some of us, maybe more than once.  It seems our whole lives have felt like this, and the more we try to do what is right, the more abandoned we feel!

We begin to ask questions…”Has God forsaken me? ”  “Is He tired of all my messages?”  “Is He ignoring me?”  “Has He forgotten me?”  “Does He even love me anymore?”  “How could He let me go through all of this if He REALLY loves me??”

The truth is…we’re like diamonds in the rough.  When God finds us, He can see the finished product…but first, there is a lot that must be removed…we must be cut and polished…then we will be beautiful.  The same holds true with silver.  The silver must pass through the fire many times to rid it of the dross and impurities that lie within.  The silver is only ready for use, when the Silversmith can see his reflection.

The trials of fire that we go through, will remove our impurities; then God can see His reflection in us…others will see His reflection in us too!

In regards to your “unanswered” prayers…be sure…He IS listening!  And by the way…He has no secretary.  He manages His own office…keeps His own books.  He KNOWS the plans He has for you…   “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you (give you peace) and not to harm you (not to give you evil), plans to give you hope and a future.”   Jeremiah 29:11

Take heart!

YOU ARE SPECIAL TO GOD ALMIGHTY!

By:  Anita Mondragon 2016

 

PRAYER IS A SEED

I woke up this morning thinking about the importance of the words we speak into the atmosphere.  The Bible says that God SPOKE the worlds into being.  We are made in His image, so I began to wonder…What are MY words speaking into being?  A sobering thought to say the least!

I ran across this poem written by a friend from a former church I attended…pretty powerful stuff!  After reading this again, I realize I need to not just read it…but heed  it, and learn that sometimes, I need to keep my big mouth shut! -anita

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Prayer is a seed

That you plan in

God’s garden

Just outside His throne room

You water it frequently

He cultivates and tends to it

It grows

It eventually yields the desired fruit

of His plans concerning you

Words are seeds that are planted

in the atmosphere…they, too are

watered, cultivated and tended.

They grow

Eventually they yield fruit: which kind

of seed was it that was planted?

What will YOUR yield produce-good or bad fruit?

…Then plant accordingly!

By:  Caj Hunter

K.I.D.S. CORNER PRESENTS…PEOPLE WHO CAN BE TRUSTED

“Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”  Eph. 6:11

The boys in Fred’s neighborhood thought they were having fun.  :We’ll throw the wood all over old Mr. Jenkins’ lawn…that’ll show him he shouldn’t be so crabby.  Next time he’ll let us play in his field.”

Fred was the only Christian in the group, and he knew that this would be wrong; but he could not convince the other boys.

That night the boys did just as they said, but very early the next morning, Fred was there stacking the wood in a pile.  When Mr. Jenkins saw this, he gave Fred a dollar and asked him if he would want a regular job helping around the yard and house.  “You look like a boy who can be trusted,” said Mr. Jenkins, “and that’s what I need.”

There are many people in the Bible who proved that they could be trusted.  Daniel proved it to the king, Moses proved it in leading the children of Israel.  Joshua and Caleb proved it when the spies came back with a bad report.  Ruth proved it when she left her idols and came with her mother-in-law to worship the true God.

Through our lives we prove to people whether or not they can trust us.  How can we be trustworthy?  By asking God to give us the strength and help that it takes.  Remember, this strength comes from reading His Word every single day!

Questions:

  1. What were the boys in the neighborhood planning to do to Mr. Jenkins?
  2.  Whey was Fred different from the other boys?
  3.  What did Fred do early the next morning?
  4.  What was the result of this?
  5.  Name three people in the Bible who could be trusted.
  6.  How do we receive strength to live lives such as these men lived?

Pray that you will be a good soldier for the Lord Jesus Christ.  A soldier always obeys his commanding officer.  Pray that you will be obedient to you Commanding Officer, the Lord Jesus!

By:  Ruth I. Johnson

TOTAL PRAISE TO MY ROCK OF COMFORT!

The following, is from a booklet called, “UPWORDS”.  It was put together by the Literary Department of a church we once attended.  This particular piece was written by a friend of mine!  Enjoy!-anita

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Several years ago, someone very dear to me gave me a small rock on a wooden easel with the word, “Forever” printed on it.  The implication was that his love for me would be forever.  Sadly, that was not to be.  Years later as I looked at the rock, I suddenly saw it in a more profound way, but this time, I did not see the rock as a declaration of undying love given as a token of appeasement, but as THE ROCK HIMSELF!

After many, many years of being alone, I now know that this is the “FOREVER” I was searching for all these years, while by myself; but I know I could not have done it without HIS grace.

I may be speaking to someone who is having difficulty being alone and you are convinced GOD has forgotten you.  Please know that nothing could be farther from the truth!

Ask yourself…would GOD bring such thoughts to your mind?  Is HE the author of confusion?  Would HE cause you to have doubts about HIM?  OF COURSE NOT!  We all know this is a lie from the pit, so keep this in mind…”HE GAVE US BEAUTY FOR ASHES, THE OIL OF JOY FOR MOURNING, THE GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE spirit OF HEAVINESS, THAT WE MIGHT BE TREES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE PLANTING OF THE LORD, THAT HE MIGHT BE GLORIFIED.”

And for this, we give HIM…TOTAL PRAISE!

By:  May McCormick

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.  Psalm 139:13-16 (Read entire chapter Psalm 139)

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Sixty-four years ago today, marks the time when my spirit left the nursery of Heaven, and I became flesh and blood here on earth.  I was born in a small Kansas town, and blessed to be raised in a Christian home with devout Believers in God Almighty.

As I grew in the knowledge of The Lord, my spiritual eyes were opened, and like Dorothy, I soon realized,  I “wasn’t in Kansas anymore.”

At a very young age, I began to seek God.  I started down the path (the yellow brick road) in my quest for Truth.  God was gracious, and sent many angels to accompany me on my journey.

I wasn’t on this journey long, before I knew the dogs of hell were in hot pursuit of my soul as well; they wanted to keep me from my eternal destiny.  Although I stayed on the right road for sometime, I became distracted by the pleasures of sin.  I was lulled to sleep, (in the fields of Poppies), and forgot my way for a time…until God sent the cold winds of Heaven and aroused my soul.

Finally, with the help of my Godly family and friends, I arrived at the alter of Forgiveness.  Unlike the wizard in the story of OZ…Jesus did not hide Himself or make excuses.  He didn’t tell me to come back later because He was busy…He made it clear that TODAY was the day of Salvation for me (and you.)  He granted my request that very day at the alter of Forgiveness!  Like Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Jesus placed a crown on my head and made me a princess!

There have been many weary days I’ve encountered in this life…days where I whisper to my Father… “I just want to go home…”, but He reminds me that there’s work to do here… for there are many souls that are still in need of finding the way to their eternal destination.  So it’s my turn to be a friend to those in their quest of The Truth… (Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”  John 14:6)

Someday, my path will end here on earth, and as the face of Jesus, my Savior comes into view, I’ll lay my crown at His feet and whisper, “There’s no place like home!”

By:  Anita Mondragon February 22, 2016

CHRISTIAN DUALISM – NOT A CHANCE

 

In many parts of human theology, there is a concept of dualism at work. While dualism can have many meanings and applications, in several belief systems it carries the meaning of two, opposing forces that are equally capable and in constant opposition.

 

Many far eastern religions, for example, employ the idea of Yin and Yang (meaning dark-bright). In Taoism (also termed Daoism), yin-yang are more seen as complementary and present in everything and are constantly interacting. These concepts also are found in Confucianism and Buddhism.

 

In Basic Theology by Charles Ryrie, he discusses theological dualism and notes that often this is portrayed as that there are two entities, good and evil, which are equally powerful. God being the good & Satan being the bad.

 

Ryrie would be quick to point out that, although good and evil are in constant strife and evil often appears to be “winning” the battle, ultimately that can’t be. The Bible teaches us never to underestimate the power of Satan, but it also teaches, at least implicitly, never to overestimate Satan’s abilities. Dr. R.C. Sproul states, “…certain theological traditions encourage people to blame demons for every ill….” We need to keep in mind that Satan is a vanquished foe, he just doesn’t act like it sometimes (as God permits). But Satan is a created being just like we are. In Ezek 28:13-17, the Bible talks about Satan and notes in verse 13 “…on the day you were created…” and later in verse 16, it says Satan was profane and cast “from the mountain of God.”

 

It bothers me greatly that in many movies coming out of Hollywood, where Satan (evil) is at least implicitly a character in the cast, he is given great power, and usually good (God) is never mentioned nor is He allowed to prevail. That old film The Exorcist left me with a feeling that evil somehow “won.” I refuse to watch movies like that anymore.

 

In Mark 3:11, the Bible makes quite clear how evil views our Lord. “And whenever the unclean spirits beheld Him, they would fall down before Him and cry out, saying, ‘You are the Son of God!’ ”

 

While our world and its people accord evil a great deal of power (sometimes simply by denying there is a devil), there is no dualism. There is only one Supreme Being and His name is the Lord.

Lee Pierce-2016

LOVE YOUR JOB!

“My heart took delight in all my work.”  Ecclesiastes  2:10 NIV

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I have been reading a book by Max Lucado, called Cure For The Common Life.  I want to share a few things that I have learned from Max’s view of certain scripture passages.  One part of the book deals with jobs.  Do any of you remember the old Country Western song by Johnny Paycheck, called, Take This Job And Shove It?  Well, Max says, you can Take Your Job And Love It.  Read the following…then you decide.-anita

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Do you recall the story in the Bible, where Peter had fished all night long and caught nothing?  He is completely worn out!  After a long day of work…have you ever felt that way?  Maybe you feel that way before you even leave the house!  Some jobs seem futile, and without reward.

Here are some statistics for us to consider:

  1. One-third of Americans say, “I hate my job!”
  2.  Two-thirds of these folks labor in the wrong career.
  3. Others find employment success, but no satisfaction.
  4. MOST SUICIDES OCCUR ON SUNDAY NIGHTS!  (yikes!!)
  5. MOST HEART ATTACKS OCCUR ON MONDAY MORNINGS!

If you fit into one of the above categories…what can you do?  Perhaps a job or career change is a bit too much.  Maybe changing your attitude about your job would help.

Back to the story of Peter and Jesus.  Jesus is teaching the multitudes.  Eventually, there are so many people gathering around to hear Jesus, that Jesus is standing in the water; then He notices two boats tied up.  The fishermen had been fishing all night, and were now cleaning their nets.  Jesus climbs into Peter’s boat, and asks him to take it out on the water.  Then He uses the boat for a pulpit.

Jesus claimed Peter’s boat.  He didn’t request it…he just got on, and began to preach.  He could, and can do that…because ALL boats belong to Him!  Max says, “Your boat is where you spend your day, make your living, and to a large degree live your life.”

Every job we do belongs to God.  If you drive a truck…it’s HIS truck…if you are a nurse in a hospital…it’s HIS hospital…if you work in a call center…it is HIS call center!  Get the picture?  Jesus says to ALL of us:  “Your work is MY work.”  God’s eyes see the work of our hands.  Do you know that what we do on a regular week-day matters to Him as much as what we do on Sundays?  “With God, our work matters as much as our worship!”-Max

When we do our work as unto the Lord…”…This is so you can show others the goodness of God.”  (I Peter 2:9 NLT)  “…Let every detail in your lives-words, actions, whatever-be done in the name of the Master, Jesus.” (Col. 3:17 MSG)  “You don’t drive to an office; you drive to a sanctuary.  You don’t attend a school, you attend a temple…Your boat is God’s pulpit.”-Max

By our job descriptions, we may do many things…but by God’s description…we are pastors, teachers, evangelists, and prophets to those we work with.  You were sent to your job for a special reason!    Do you spend your work hours in worship and prayer.  Do you ask God to point out  someone in need that you can help?  Are you just there to make money…OR a difference?

Every morning you climb into your boat, Jesus climbs in with you if you KNOW Him. He told Peter to let his nets down one more time.  Peter was tired, and explained to Jesus that they had fished all night, and caught nothing.  Jesus said…try it one more time.  Peter was obedient, and they ended up with so many fish, they almost sank the boat trying to haul them all in!

Try to see Jesus in your job.  Not the carpenter, the teacher, nor the healer…but Jesus, the Lord…the Master of the sea…commander of ALL things!  Jesus is there with you in the common mundane things of everyday.  He stands next to you as you work alongside grouchy co-workers.  He understands the difficulty you face!

Max put it this way, “God can make a garden out of the cesspool you call work, if you take Him with you.  …Everything changes when you give Jesus your boat!”

By:  Max Lucado (Paraphrased by anita)