NOW BLOSSOMS GETSEMANE

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” -Song of Solomon 2:1

***************

One of the names for Jesus is, The Rose of Sharon.

As I was looking through some things, I found an old book given to me by one of my dear, departed friends.  It contained a poem that goes along with the above verse.  I share it with you now. -anita

***************

Birds’ songs bursting everywhere,

Gorgeous flowers perfume the air.

Scriptures fulfilled by HIS PRAYER,

And His love still lingers there.

In this place of sweet repose

God gave us a precious Rose.

By:  Audrey McDaniel

THANKS A LOT, ADAM!

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

************************

Did you ever think about what Adam did in the fall and wonder why we got painted with the same brush? I mean, maybe if someone else was in the Garden, maybe they wouldn’t have had the desire to eat from the one tree that was made off-limits by God? Maybe you or I would have done a better job of being obedient to God’s directives?

I’ve thought about this and, honestly, often have felt it is unfair that, because Adam blew it, we all have to suffer.

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for very long, you’ve probably seen me quote something from one of my most favorite theologians, Dr. R.C. Sproul. And, I’m about to do so once again. I am most grateful to Dr. Sproul for his wonderful insights into the things of God. He so often manages to take my childish thinking & sets it on a much better path. Sounds like what a good teacher should do, don’t you think?

In Sproul’s teaching series, The Drama of Redemption, he reminds us that through Adam sin entered the world and so death spread to all men (Rom 5:12). In God’s sovereignty, He has ordained that Adam was our federal representative in that Garden. Adam’s actions get imputed to us. Well, now, my brain cries out: that’s not fair! God, why didn’t you put someone else in the Garden…one who wouldn’t slip and fall so easily and put us all in the “sin-pickle” we’re all in now??? And further, why do we have to take the rap when it was Adam who failed, not me?!  Dr. Sproul makes the point that we didn’t get the chance to elect Adam, God appointed him. And, to my meager mind, that just doesn’t seem fair… or does it?

Dr. Sproul goes on to say in effect, however, what makes you, Lee, think you could do a better job?! Sproul continues, “God makes perfect choices, so if He wanted someone to make the choice we would have made in the same circumstances, there was no better option than Adam.”  Really! No, God, I’m pretty sure I would have followed your dictate & avoided that tree. At least that’s what my mind wants me to believe.

In my heart, though, when I’m completely honest, I can think back to many, many times when there was a choice before me, and I opted for the choice that I knew would bring trouble. And I still made that foolish choice! Speaking for God here, Sproul says, “Adam’s choices are our choices.” I hate it, but down deep, I know that’s true. It’s a fingers-on-the-hot-stove phenomenon for me. So many times I just have to try it to see what it feels like. Wow. And even more amazingly, I’m often so surprised when my finger gets burned & it hurts!

No, Sproul is right. Every one of us has a streak of curiosity that so often leads to burned fingers.

Thankfully, God in His great wisdom provided One who did not fail. Who was perfectly obedient. Who stood in for us and was victorious in doing so. One whose fingers were not burned for choices made…but whose hands were pierced for making the choices He made…for us. Thank you, precious Lord!

By:  Lee Pierce

YOU’RE A GOOD FATHER!

This morning, as I got my husband off to work, I thanked him for all that he does for us.  He exhausts himself, working long, hard hours at a job he dislikes, to give us not only the things that we need… but the things that we want as well.  He takes care of us.  Sometimes, I’m sure it seems to him that I take all of that for granted.  I really don’t…but I need to tell him how thankful I am, and I fail to do that most of the time.

Then I remembered my own dad.  He did the same for us.  He was a pastor of a church, and held down a full-time job as a mechanic.  He also did side jobs when they became available.  He did whatever it took to care of us.  I should have thanked him more!

That’s what God has done for all of us from the beginning. He gave His Only Son to die…not just for me…but for the whole world!   Everything He does, is for our good, and our prosperity.  He pursues us with an unending love.  Sometimes, when I am a wayward daughter, I wonder if I exhaust Him in His pursuit of my well-being.  I need to tell Him more often how grateful I am for all that He’s done for me.  I need to thank Him for His mercy and grace!

So…today…I give thanks to all the men in my life!  I thank my husband for taking care of us.  I thank my daddy for his hard work to provide.  I thank God for sending Jesus to save me, and for His never-ending  grace and mercy towards me!  Like the song says, “If not for grace…I’d be a hopeless case…an empty place…if not for grace!”  I’m not sure who wrote those words, but they are truth!

Ladies… thank your husbands for going to work everyday and giving you what you need and want!  Children…tell your daddy’s, “Thank You!” for providing a nice home and all that it includes!   Most of all…let us ALL give thanks to The Father above.  Let us tell Him everyday,  “You’re a GOOD, GOOD Father!”

Anita Mondragon -2016

WILL YOU FALL? … OR STAND?

I read something the other day.  Actually, my husband, Mike showed it to me.  It was a quote from Max Lucado.  I would like to share it with you, for it was something I’d never really thought about before; and the longer I pondered on it, I found that it had made a great impact on my thinking.  It goes like this, and I quote:

“THE BIBLE IS THE STORY OF TWO GARDENS:  EDEN AND GETHSEMANE.  IN THE FIRST, ADAM TOOK A FALL.  IN THE SECOND, JESUS TOOK A STAND.” -MAX LUCADO

I can really identify with the first garden, as I believe most of the human race can.  However, the second garden is where I fail.

I fall everyday in my Spiritual walk with the Lord.  Ohhhhh!  Don’t look down the end of your self-righteous nose at me and shake your head like you sin no more!  We all sin, everyday…because we are SINNERS,  saved by the Grace of God Almighty.  Nothing more…nothing less!  Thank God, I’m not able to fall from Grace, for HIS Grace is sufficient for me!    But…with my inability, because of my corrupted flesh, I find it difficult to take a stand for what is right, and good.  It’s easier to go with the flow, than to stick out in a crowd and be different.  Am I alone in this boat?  I think not.

So…today we can decide.  Do we join in with everyone else and risk falling…losing sight of  our call to be a light in the dark?  Or do we take a stand and let our light shine before all those around us, and show them the way to Jesus?

IT’S YOUR CHOICE!  WHICH GARDEN DO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN TODAY?

Anita Mondragon 06/27/2016

Hide, Abide and Enjoy the Ride

When You  Abide in Christ Your Goal is to Seek His Will for You

 

Perfection is the Wrong Direction

Isaiah 41:10 (TLB)

Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].

 

Stop overestimating yourself and stop underestimating God

Amos 5:23-24 (MSG)

“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-raising 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?

Do you know what I want?

I want justice—oceans of it.

I want fairness—rivers of it.

That’s what I want. That’s all I want.

 

Don’t labor in vain, labor with purpose

1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

John 15:7-8The Message (MSG)
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

 

Good works behind the scenes in your life

Isaiah 45:15-

Clearly, you are a God who works behind the scenes,

God of Israel, Savior God.

Humiliated, all those others will be ashamed to show their faces in public.

Out of work and at loose ends, the makers of no-god idols won’t know what to do with themselves.

The people of Israel, though, are saved by you, God, saved with an eternal salvation.

They won’t be ashamed, they won’t be at loose ends, ever.

“I am God, the one and only.

I don’t just talk to myself or mumble under my breath.

I never told Jacob,

‘Seek me in emptiness, in dark nothingness.’

I am God. I work out in the open,

saying what’s right, setting things right.

So gather around, come on in, all you refugees and castoffs.

They don’t seem to know much, do they—

those who carry around their no-god blocks of wood,

praying for help to a dead stick?

So tell me what you think. Look at the evidence.

Put your heads together. Make your case.

Who told you, and a long time ago, what’s going on here?

Who made sense of things for you?

Wasn’t I the one? God?

It had to be me. I’m the only God there is—

The only God who does things right and knows how to help.

So turn to me and be helped—saved!—

everyone, whoever and wherever you are.

I am God, the only God there is, the one and only.

 

24-25 All who have raged against him will be brought before him, disgraced by their unbelief.

And all who are connected with Israel will have a robust, praising, good life in God!

Courage is Greater Than

Philippians 1:6 (TLB)

And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.

psa-3-5-web-watermarkedProverbs 3 (NLT)

Trusting in the Lord

My child,[a] never forget the things I have taught you.
    Store my commands in your heart.
If you do this, you will live many years,
    and your life will be satisfying.
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
    Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
    Write them deep within your heart.
Then you will find favor with both God and people,
    and you will earn a good reputation.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
    Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body
    and strength for your bones.

Honor the Lord with your wealth
    and with the best part of everything you produce.
10 Then he will fill your barns with grain,
    and your vats will overflow with good wine.

11 My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline,
    and don’t be upset when he corrects you.
12 For the Lord corrects those he loves,
    just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.[b]

13 Joyful is the person who finds wisdom,
    the one who gains understanding.
14 For wisdom is more profitable than silver,
    and her wages are better than gold.
15 Wisdom is more precious than rubies;
    nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 She offers you long life in her right hand,
    and riches and honor in her left.
17 She will guide you down delightful paths;
    all her ways are satisfying.
18 Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
    happy are those who hold her tightly.

19 By wisdom the Lord founded the earth;
    by understanding he created the heavens.
20 By his knowledge the deep fountains of the earth burst forth,
    and the dew settles beneath the night sky.

21 My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment.
    Hang on to them,
22 for they will refresh your soul.
    They are like jewels on a necklace.
23 They keep you safe on your way,
    and your feet will not stumble.
24 You can go to bed without fear;
    you will lie down and sleep soundly.
25 You need not be afraid of sudden disaster
    or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,
26 for the Lord is your security.
    He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.

27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it
    when it’s in your power to help them.
28 If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say,
    “Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you.”

29 Don’t plot harm against your neighbor,
    for those who live nearby trust you.
30 Don’t pick a fight without reason,
    when no one has done you harm.

31 Don’t envy violent people
    or copy their ways.
32 Such wicked people are detestable to the Lord,
    but he offers his friendship to the godly.

33 The Lord curses the house of the wicked,
    but he blesses the home of the upright.

34 The Lord mocks the mockers
    but is gracious to the humble.[c]

35 The wise inherit honor,
    but fools are put to shame!

 

 

 

 

 

SWAP EVERYTHING!!

“And bear the burdens of one another, for in this way you fulfill the law of The Messiah.” -Galatians 6:2

**********

Yesterday was the 3rd annual swap meet for The Gathering Community Church.  If you weren’t there…you missed a great time!  The kids played in the sprinkler, the guys … and some of the girls played basketball, the food was amazing, the ladies talked and laughed, and yes…were sad at some of the things that were shared;  but the fellowship was awesome for all who attended!

This was not only a swap of clothes, shoes, household items, tools, toys, and  office stuff;  … it was a “swap” of stories, hopes, dreams, concerns,  and prayers for each other.

The Bible says that we are to “…bear one another’s burdens.”  We are to be willing to listen to our brothers and sisters in the Lord when they are having a joyful time in their lives, but also when things are hard, and they are in need of our help and prayer.

If you want to be a blessing today, and receive a blessing as well…listen…REALLY LISTEN  to those around you.  Share in their joy.. and.pray for them in their sorrow.  It will encourage them, and bless both of you!

Anita

I AM…

Jesus saith unto him, “I Am  the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”  John 14:6

*******

“How gracious was Thy gift to me: That I a sinner, lost might live.  Thyself, Thou didst all… freely give.  Mine, evermore to be.” -Unknown

What a sobering thought!  That The Son of God, the Creator of all things would give Himself to die for me…a sinner!

Anita

THE VALLEY OF REST

I’m not sure if I’ve already posted this…if I have, please forgive me for posting it again. -anita

*************

In the still valley, there is a quietness

Yet I hear all the songs in my heart.

The music floats softly around me,

It’s hushed…but I hear every part.

These songs that I hear have no words,

Yet sweet and clear they resound, like the songs of a bird.

Far…in the depths of the ocean,

Are restless waves that shall never reach the shore.

But here in the valley of silence,

There’s rest far away from their roar.

Here, their unrest cannot reach me;

Though their treacherous waves never cease.

*******

I have dreams of God, and His angels…

Their footsteps, I scarcely can hear.

They pass through this valley so quietly,

Yet I know they are very near!

Their presence is always surrounding…

Their peace is ever abounding!

You ask, “Where’s this place?…Where’s this valley,

Where a burdened soul can be blessed?”

It’s just beyond the mountain of Sorrow,

Through the stream of Prayer…

Just yonder…there…in the field of Rest!

By:  Anita Mondragon May 2005

LORD…YOU’RE MIGHTY!!

LORD…YOU’RE MIGHTY!
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I
will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

*********************************

I went to bed singing that song last night, and woke up with it still resounding in my ears!
God has done some amazing things for us this week. Some may call them insignificant, but we call them miracles! To start off with, one of our kids wanted our couch and chair/ottoman. It was oversized for our living room, so we gave it to them for very little. This meant we had nothing to sit on until they were replaced. Thank God for Craigslist! We found a loveseat, decorator chair, couch table, large mirror, and huge side table all for less than what one chair would have cost us! That was miracle number one this week.
We went to the grocery store yesterday. They had a lot of things we had on our list marked down.When we got home, and checked the receipt, they had failed to give us the mark-down price, and had actually charged us for some items we did not buy. My husband took the receipt back, hoping they would make things right…it would have been about $12.00.
They ended up giving us everything for free that they charged wrong for! It was $35.00 worth of items! That was miracle number two.
I was in the midst of making beans and green chile when the phone rang. It was for an interview call that my husband has been waiting on for months! He applied for this job about seven months ago. They had him in for several interviews, and even sent him for his physical. Then…he heard nothing more.   When the call came through yesterday, the man said he couldn’t figure out why they had not hired my husband the last time they interviewed him! He has an appointment set to talk with them again at the end of this month! That was miracle number three!
These may seem like small victories to some of you…but to us, they were just what we needed!  On this ocean of life, when the storm clouds gather, and my ship is going down…these “little” miracles are what keep me afloat…keep things in perspective. God KNOWS what I need…and if I’ll just hang on to these small victories…He will come through for me in the end.
All I can say at this point, is…LORD…YOU’RE MIGHTY!!

Anita

HELP…IT COMES FROM THE LORD!

“My help comes from the Lord, which made Heaven and earth.”  Psalm 121:2

***********

“I am with thee to deliver, from the dread destroyer’s power.

Victory shall be as a river, if you trust this very hour!” -Unknown

 

When Satan comes in like a flood, and you feel you are being overpowered by his wiles… just remember, you CAN overcome the Evil One just by TRUSTING and BELIEVING God.  He will deliver you!

Therefore I say unto you, Whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you will receive them, and you shall have them.  Mark 11:24

Anita