REFRIGERATOR NOTES…

I hang things on my refrigerator from time to time to help keep me in focus.  The following are from Pastor Danny’s sermon notes in the past.  One is a quote from a famous author, the other is a Scripture from the MOST FAMOUS AUTHOR…THE Author and Finisher of my faith, Jesus! -anita

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“The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become, because HE made us.  HE invented us.  HE invented all the different people who you and I were intended to be…It is when I turn to CHRIST, when I give up myself to HIS personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own.” -C. S. Lewis

What does God’s imprint look like in you?

“I can’t stand your religious meetings.  I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions.  I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals.  I’m sick of your fund-rasing schemes, your public relations and image making.  I’ve had ALL I can take of your noisy ego-music… 

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU SANG TO ME?”-Amos 5:21-24 (MSG)

Pastor Danny

BEHOLD

The news of late, has been about devastation in other countries with earthquakes, war, famine. And, many times while watching it, I wonder to myself if all those people taken, were ready to meet God.  No matter what your political view, or opinion regarding war… it is a sobering thought to think that a lot of those people were NOT ready for eternity.

We are not all called to be Missionaries…but we are called to carry the Good News to those around us if we KNOW Jesus in a personal way!  Are your neighbors ready?  Have you even asked them?  I’m not pointing fingers…I am guilty  myself.  Then I read things like the following poem, and realize how important sharing is! -anita

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Behold the whitened harvest,

Behold the falling grain;

Behold the souls in bondage;

O, must they cry in vain?

Behold the Master’s calling,

“Go ye,” is His command.

Oh, won’t you heed His urgent plea,

To reach that distant land?

By:  Olga J. Weiss

PESKY WILLOW

This morning, I’d like to share another heart-warming post written by my daughter, Jessica Lutz.  Enjoy! -anita

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I glanced over to see where the rasping sound was coming from only to find her wee fingers entwined within the willow.  Her Moses basket is her safe place if she’s not in someones arms.  It’s her comfort and security, except for the braided trunk that curves, with a mind of its own.  Somehow her hand found its loop.  Although she hates the texture, she continues to grab hold and fight with it.  Exhausting herself.  Still – she fights.  She won’t win.  The handle isn’t going anywhere.  Eventually, I turn her the other direction where she can no longer see it.  Still – it won’t be long until her arm rubs against its rough texture.  Then the fight will begin again.

I do the same thing at times.  No.  I don’t fight with the handle of a basket.  I fight against circumstances, people, the past, regrets…myself.  I don’t like the way it makes me feel.  Yet I keep grabbing hold and wrestling.  Exhausting myself like it will somehow make a difference.  Still – I fight.  I can become so entwined that I loose sight of life…my purpose.  Things may seem to resolve for a time.  Out of sight out of mind… but It won’t be long before I rub against it and I’m entangled yet again.  I won’t win.

The only hope for Chaela, is that I cut off, and remove the looped willow.  The only hope I have, is choosing to allow God to remove certain things from my heart.

Maybe you too need to allow God to remove a few things?

Until then…
Jessie -January 13, 2016

 

BE 3P

Here is a little something for your freezing morning from the booklet, “Upwords”.  Enjoy!-anita

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My heart suffers from breakage.

My mind is threatened with takeover.

My body battles with weakness;

But my soul keeps it together for me.

Because my soul belongs to G. O. D.

That makes all of me 3P…

Prayerful, Positive, and Patient!

By:  Ty Lattimore

RUN!

“If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him;  If we deny Him, He also will deny us.” II Tim. 2:12

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“A charge to keep I have,

A God to glorify;

A never-dying soul to save,

And fit it for the sky!-Unknown

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Living the Christian Life as a true Believer, is not an easy task.  Sometimes we have the idea that just because we KNOW Jesus as our Savior, life should be a bed of roses and we should have no problems.  We of those that have lived the Believer’s life, know that “the bed of roses”, also contain many thorns!  The secret to getting through the thorny parts of life, is to remember the sweet times, the soft moments, the fragrance of knowing that the Almighty God is there with you…ALWAYS!

Jesus had his own “thorns” to deal with during His time here on earth…and NOT just the thorns they placed on His head.  He didn’t have a house to live in…He walked everywhere He went…He ate whatever was offered to Him.  The Government at the time was constantly after Him, trying to kill Him because of His ministry…His friends forsook Him in the end…even God The Father…HIS Father, turned His back on Him!  But Jesus never lost sight of the goal…TO SAVE US FROM OUR SINS!  Jesus saw the end of things…that’s what He kept in mind as He hung there between Heaven and earth, and died for our sins.

 

  Not an easy task…but WOW!  What a reward it will be!

By:  Anita Mondragon 2016

THE NAME OF THE LORD IS…

He was more talkative than usual as he climbed the stairs to bed.  Something was bothering him, I just wasn’t sure what it was.

We said our bed-time prayers, turned on his favorite story of “Narnia”, and said our “good-nights”.

I had just drifted off to sleep, my body and mind finally relaxing.  Suddenly, I was awakened to sobs of terror coming from his room.  Hurriedly, I ran across the hall, threw open the door, and went to his side.  He was shaking, tears running down his face uncontrollably!  I held him close as I sat on the edge of his bed and asked, “What’s wrong?”  “There’s something…someone in my room!”  As I try to reassure him that no one is there, I look under the bed and in the closet.  I say, “See…there isn’t anyone here!”  He’s not convinced.  So, I hold him close and pray aloud for God’s angels to stand guard over him while he sleeps.  I pray for the warring angels with their swords of fire to stand watch and stave off any evil that dare come near his door.

He’s calm now.  I tuck him in once again, kiss his angel face, and remind him that me and ‘pop’ are right across the hall…AND…that Jesus is there, in his room, WITH him.

I climb back into my bed.  We exchange a few more “I love you s and good-nights”.  Then… all is quiet.  Peace prevails!

I’m reminded of the verse that says, “The NAME of the Lord is a strong tower…those that run into it, shall be safe!”-Proverbs 18:10

I laid there a moment, pondering….  When I’m having a fitful, sleepless night myself, WHY do I not find safety and solace in the NAME of the Lord?  Why do I know to call on him to calm my children, spouse, and friends, but never think of doing it for myself?

There is a little song Joel and I sing sometimes when he’s afraid.  I think I heard it on TBN, on one of the children shows.  It says, “God is bigger than the boogy-man!  He’s bigger than Godzilla, or the monsters on T.V.  Yes!  God is bigger than the boogy-man, and He will protect me!”

Now, that’s only a kid song, but it holds a lot of truth for all of us!  God will never leave us or forsake us.  When you’re feeling all alone, be SURE…He is right there beside you and He’s not going anywhere!

By:  Anita Mondragon April 2016

Christ is both God & yet fully man

Here’s a good one from our own, Lee Pierce.  Enjoy!-anita

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In the time of Christ on earth, it was common for people to believe that even to touch His clothing would manifest healing. For example, in Luke 6:19 the Bible says:

And all the multitudes were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.

 

So it’s not surprising that the woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years believed that, if she could just get close to Jesus and touch his garment, she would be healed (Mark 5:25-28). So, amidst the crowd around Jesus that day, she did just that and was immediately healed. “…she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.” (Mark 5:29b)

 

Upon reading this story again recently, I was struck once again with a curious fact. Jesus, who clearly is God in the flesh, knew immediately that power had gone forth from Himself: “…immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth….” (Mark 5:30) What I find interesting here is in what Jesus does next. The God of all creation, who upholds the universe by the power of His hand, turns around in the crowd and says, “Who touched my garments?”

 

In reading this passage in the past, I guess I always thought that Jesus knew the answer all along and asked the question for effect…to maybe further test the faith of the one who had in fact touched his garment. And, indeed, the woman who was the object of His healing came forth, prostrated herself and told Jesus her story. But there may be more to this than Jesus seeking to have the woman identify herself so that He could personally interact with her (which is pretty awesome in itself, I would say!).

 

In researching this a bit more, I came across another point of view on this story in a recent installment of Ligonier Ministries’ Tabletalk magazine. The point posited here was that, while Christ knew that some power had left Him, He didn’t know to whom it went. As the article states, “Here we see a manifestation of the two natures of our Lord.” The Bible emphasizes in multiple places that the incarnate Christ was fully man, one who had to eat and sleep just like all of mankind. Thus, this author maintains, Christ as God both had supernatural power and had the ability to share it with His people. But He also, in staying true to His human nature, could put Himself in the situation where He couldn’t/didn’t know who had touched Him in that crowd. I find it amazing that He could functionally partition those two aspects of His person!

 

Then I have to ask; why would Jesus care who had been healed (Jesus was actually busy and in the process of heading to the house of Jairus to heal his daughter)? The answer probably is that Jesus wanted to address some abundant superstition: that there is supernatural healing power in His garments. We see this even today as some religious groups claim that they possess powerful relics with healing properties from Jesus’ time, such as a bit of wood supposedly from the Cross of Christ. No, Jesus seems to want to make it clear that her faith had healed her (“…your faith has made you well….” Mark 5:34). But the healing came from Him, not from the garment which possessed no power in and of itself. Thus, Jesus states, “…be healed of your affliction.” A pronouncement which confirms that she is permanently healed…because of her faith…in Him.

By:  Lee Pierce

 

 

SING YOUR PRAISE TO THE LORD!

1-6 Hallelujah!
Praise God in his holy house of worship,
    praise him under the open skies;
Praise him for his acts of power,
    praise him for his magnificent greatness;
Praise with a blast on the trumpet,
    praise by strumming soft strings;
Praise him with castanets and dance,
    praise him with banjo and flute;
Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum,
    praise him with fiddles and mandolin.
Let every living, breathing creature praise God!
    Hallelujah!-Psalm 150:1-6 MSG

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This morning, I stood at the open door of our house, seeing my husband off to work as I always do.  As I waved, and threw kisses, I noticed how crisp and clean the air was as I gulped in the goodness of God.  The sun was just peeking over the horizon, and the distant farmhouse became a silhouette against the blazing orange!  As if that were not enough for my eyes to behold…the birds in the near-by trees, burst into song like a glorious choir.  One lone Turtle Dove sat perched on the neighbor’s roof, and began cooing his praise like a solo part, and I was reminded of the above verse.

I know today isn’t Sunday, and some of us think that church is the only place to worship… while we sit in the house of God…but the above verses say to, “praise Him under the open skies for His acts of power and greatness.”

Just the fact that I was able to observe and be a part of that glorious site this morning made me say aloud, “Sing your praise birds!  Praise YOU Jesus!…You’re so awesome!”

LET EVERYTHING THAT HAS BREATH, PRAISE THE LORD!

By:  Anita Mondragon April 2016

DEATH GRIP

Here is another beautiful post written by my daughter, Jessica Lutz.  Enjoy!-anita

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I woke to her stirring.  It was unusual as she typically sleeps through the night.  Slowly I reached into her cradle but before I picked her up she began to scream.  Hysterical.  I knew what she wanted – she was hungry.  With fists clinched tight she continued to scream until she drew close and began to suck her milk.  As time passed she loosened her death grip until finally her palms fell wide upon my pillow.  Content…full…at peace…she fell asleep once more.

Lying next to her I swept those fine threads of crimson…stroked that chubby cheek…kissed those wee fingers and laid her back within the confines of her cradle.

I shook my head.
She’s like her mama in more ways than one.

At times I too hold a death grip of control.  Especially if I’m hungry.  Hungry for love.  Time.  Security.  Pinterest perfection seeps in and I can make everyone living within these walls a bit crazy.  It’s true.  Fear can howl loud and make one frantic.  Hysterical.

But – I’m learning.  Learning to press into Jesus during those times.  Open the palms and allow Him to fill that unquenchable hunger only He can.  Then and only then can I live each day full…content…at peace…and I rest in the cradle of His arms.

Until then…
Jessie -Feb. 17, 2016

 

 

IGNORANCE VERSUS INNOCENCE

The other night, my husband and I were watching a movie…I don’t even remember the name of it, but one line struck me, and I have been pondering on it ever since.  It was this, “Ignorance is not the same as innocence!”

Here are a couple of comments on this statement:

  1.  Innocence = not knowing…Ignorance = not wanting to know.
  2. Innocence = the lack of knowledge (like Adam and Eve before the fall.) …Ignorance = you have time to form an opinion, and chose to be misinformed, rather than explore the truth.

The Bible has quite a lot to say about Ignorance and Innocence:

They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart.-Eph. 4:18

31The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?-Jer. 5:31

30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.-Acts 17:30

If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?-Proverbs 24:12

You are to do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance; so you are to make atonement for the temple.-Ez. 45:20

Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.-Romans 10:3

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.-Romans 1:20

All the above verses show us that there are different sins…those that are deliberate, and those that we do unknowingly…unintentionally… ignorantly, but still are an offense to God; but sacrifice, or in this present day, repentance is still needed to atone for those sins.  Romans 1:20, and Acts 17:30,  says it all…We are without excuse, and are commanded by God to repent.  When we stand before God on Judgement Day, the excuse of, “I did not know…therefore I am innocent.”, will not hold up. In Romans 5:12, it says,  “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

I found this while searching, and studying this subject.  It explains things very well.

God says repeatedly in His word that He “would not have us to be ignorant” (Romans 1:13, 11:25; I Corinthians 10:1, 12:1; II Corinthians 1:8, 2:11; I Thessalonians 4:13; II Peter 3:8).  Yet many times we allow ourselves to be willfully ignorant by picking & choosing what we will accept as truth from God’s word.  We even do so with regard to the very character of God, divorcing from Him those attributes which make us uncomfortable.  As is often said, “There is none so blind as one who will not see.”

We cannot love God without loving the (whole) truth, for He is Truth.  The love of the truth is what will protect believers from end time deceptions to which even God will turn some over (II Thessalonians 2:10-11).

A message below from Min. Art Katz.

Let’s search the Word, and ask for wisdom, so that we will be ready to stand before a Holy God!

By:  Anita Mondragon-2016