TIME TO GET BACK TO LEARNING!

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

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Time for school to start again!  Parents, and children alike are excited at this time.  New clothes, new shoes, brand new school supplies, lunch boxes, backpacks-all with that “new smell” to them!

Summer Vacation was fun…but it’s time to get back to learning!

How many of us have “stepped away” from God for a short while?  We just got tired of all the rules…the discipline…the consequences…the study/learning part of going through trials and trusting God to handle it all for us.  ….So we “took a short vacation”, did our own thing for a time, and soon found out that learning from Him wasn’t so hard after all!

“Vacation” from Him seemed fun at first, until the consequences of our actions caught up with us! In fact, the lessons we had to go through during our “vacation” were very unpleasant!  …. And those consequences?  ….Well, they were more than we could bear at times!

Then, there are others of you that have never come to God.  Maybe you’ve never heard of His love and grace.  You’ve always done things your own way and paid the consequences; but now, you are looking for a change.  You are tired…weary!

Which ever dilemma you find yourself in, know this:   Jesus is still right where He was when we decided to take a detour.  He still stands there with arms open wide, waiting for us to come back and LEARN how to live life the easy way.  The Bible says, He’ll show us how to rest from all the nonsense of this world, He will walk with us, and we will find rest for our souls.

Are you tired?  I know I am!  Time to come back and LEARN from Him!  He will be right there for us when our problems seem unsolvable.  He will solve them for us!

Would sitting at the feet of Jesus, and learning from Him be something that some of you have never done?  If you come to Him, He’ll make everything new!  The ugly things you’ve suffered will go away; you’ll find that “new smell”, even in the mundane things of everyday life!  He will give you something new to wear…it’s called the robe of righteousness!

Come to “school” with me, and let’s learn from the Master!  Are you with me?

Anita

 

HUMBLE AND KIND

I read a post yesterday – Treating Each Other Better, on a blog site called, The Devotional Guy. He had a video on there that reminded me of the following scripture.

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. -Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
Take a look at the following video.  Let the words fill your heart and mind…it will do you good! -anita

“Humble And Kind”
(written by Lori McKenna)

You know there’s a light that glows by the front door
Don’t forget the key’s under the mat
When childhood stars shine,
Always stay humble and kindGo to church ’cause your mamma says to
Visit grandpa every chance that you can
It won’t be wasted time
Always stay humble and kindHold the door, say “please”, say “thank you”
Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie
I know you got mountains to climb
But always stay humble and kind
When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride
But always stay humble and kindDon’t expect a free ride from no one
Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why:
Bitterness keeps you from flyin’
Always stay humble and kindKnow the difference between sleeping with someone
And sleeping with someone you love
“I love you” ain’t no pick-up line
So always stay humble and kindHold the door, say “please”, say “thank you”
Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie
I know you got mountains to climb
But always stay humble and kind
When those dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride
But always stay humble and kindWhen it’s hot, eat a root beer popsicle
Shut off the AC and roll the windows down
Let that summer sun shine
Always stay humble and kindDon’t take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you’re going don’t forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind

Tim McGraw “Humble and Kind”

As a Christian and a Christ-imitator, I cannot denounce the hatred wrought by racism loudly enough. Jesus loved me while I was yet a sinner. God granted me grace and mercy when I did not deserve it. For me to think that somehow the color of my skin raises me above someone else is vile and foolhardy.  Brothers and sisters, we cannot continue to treat each other this way.  We cannot continue to make it a black thing or a white thing or a brown thing. Taking pride in our ethnicity and our culture is one thing; allowing our arrogance to divide us is another.  God loves you, just like God loves me. He loves you if you’re white. He loves you if you’re brown. He loves you if you’re black. More importantly, God forgives us, regardless of our race, ethnicity, gender, or national origin. When we believe in Jesus Christ for our salvation and ask God for His forgiveness, He does so joyfully, delighting in us, just as we are. It is really that simple.

Without forgiveness, we will find it difficult to move forward. The time has come to let our love for Christ speak clearly through how we treat one another. I am only one person unable to change the world alone. But, I can change that small portion of the world I’m in.  So can you; I believe you will. Godspeed. Go in peace. Love one another as Christ first loved you.

THAT JUST ABOUT SUMS IT ALL UP!
BE HUMBLE…BE KIND!

 

Tim McGraw “Humble and Kind”

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

Lightning was a rescue horse.

She had a stubborn streak that went deep and gave her fortitude to not budge an inch while standing on my toes … despite me pushing and heaving my shoulder into her side to get her to release my boot from under her hoof.

You see, her stubbornness was surpassed by her intelligence. She knew exactly what she was doing by nonchalantly blinking in the sunshine, pretending to ignore the fact that she was crushing my vulnerable feet. She was definitely the one in charge, and training the trainer… this whole ‘training a green horse’ thing was not off to a good start for me.

And then there was her fear, which surpassed all of her other great quality traits. The sight of anything flapping in the wind would cause her to jump and bolt as if being chased by a pack of wolves…

But the fading scars etched into her bony frame gave me pause to not get upset at her for her varying degrees of faults.

I had the joy of getting to know this memorable horse a few summers back, when I worked at a Christian dude ranch in Colorado.

herding horses... really
Yup, that’s me. =)

Needless to say, Lightning wasn’t allowed to have dude guests ride her, thanks to the above-mentioned safety concerns. But I occasionally got to clamber atop this tall and spirited horse, praying for dear life that nothing around me would flap, clank or sneeze!

But as fate would have it, along came a little boy who fell in love with Lightning at first sight. I questioned his choice of horse, considering we had many other fabulous and beautiful steeds, and I thought Lightning was a rather ugly horse. But he saw something in her that I could not.

So one afternoon we arranged for this boy to pet Lightning while she stood at a hitching post eating a bowl full of grain.

hitching posts.jpg
The hitching posts at Wind River Ranch

I watched amazed (and a tad jealous) as this horse that was so rude and careless toward me, turned into a gentle and sweet mare around this boy. She gave quiet nickers of thanks as she carefully nibbled grass from his hands, in between happily gulping down and drooling large mouthfuls of her grain.

And then I got choked up as I heard this boy whisper to Lightning, while gently stroking her scarred nose- “You are such a beautiful horse, Lightning. I love you so much. You’re my favorite horse in all the world.”

I hardly dared to breathe, not wanting to interrupt this pure joy and affection. It was in that moment I felt like I got a glimpse of what God’s love toward us is like.

At every turn, life lies to us that we are ugly because of our failures, or that there is something wrong with us because of the wounds that leave deep scars. And it’s easy for me to respond toward God and other people out of fear or pain or both.

eye of horse

And yet God sees us in all of these things and loves us deeply.  He whispers to His children with so much love in His voice-
“You are altogether beautiful, my love” (Song of Solomon 4:7).
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
“I will… transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope” (Hosea
 2:15)


And even if you are rejecting God because of your pain, He still says- “Goddemonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Which voice are we going to listen to today?

Will we let our hurt and loss define us and motivate our actions and responses?

Or will we be defined by God’s healing Love that flows into the deepest part of our pain and promises to never leave us?

“Surely he [Jesus] took up our pain and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:4-6

Julie

MOTHER EARTH???

 

Here’s a good one for all of us to ponder!  Thanks Lee!  You always write thought provoking posts!  By the way…I LOVE your last thought so much…I put it in bold print so no one would miss the whole reason of you writing this post!  Awesome! -anita

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I’m always a little perplexed when I see bumper stickers touting Gaia worship and other bumper art exhorting us to Love Our Mother (meaning Mother Earth). Who’s Gaia, you might ask?

Gaia in Greek mythology was the goddess of the earth. Many people who follow this personification thinking assign Gaia to be Mother Earth.

According to some sources, the usage of Gaia was revived in 1979 by author James Lovelock, Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. Lovelock’s hypothesis proposes that living organisms and inorganic material are part of a system that work together to maintain the Earth as a fit environment for life. According to Wikipedia, this “Gaia Hypothesis” was “embraced to some extent by New Age environmentalists as part of the heightened awareness of environmental concerns of the 1990s.” As I searched the web more to determine the credibility of that last comment on this topic, it appears that some modern sources claim  the idea of Mother Earth is a “later form of a pre-Indo-European Great Mother venerated in Neolithic times [the Neolithic Age ended around 1700 BC with the onset of the Bronze Age]. In a related context, the use of the term “Mother Nature” appears in western literature around 1300 AD.

On a web site with an URL of goldenageofgaia, I found numerous New Age spiritual writings. This one description seems to be representative of what I found there: It not only draws on and synthesizes all terrestrial spiritual traditions but it incorporates the wisdom of off-planet and other-dimensional spiritual philosophies as well. Some of the writings there spend considerable time and ink discussing “truth.” And, according to one new-age author, this is how we find truth: The truth is unknown. The way to get to an understanding of it is unknown. And so New Age philosophers find themselves often on the track of the speculative and the incomprehensible. They’ve learned to let go of the old and embrace the new, without needing to have all the answers.

I’m not sure what “truth” it is that they’re seeking. Truth is palpably all around us. In simple form, I can say I ate breakfast and that is true. I can also say the sun has properly arisen in the eastern sky every single morning that I have been alive, and that again is true. If I look a little further, and in the Bible, I find Jesus, the One who is truth Himself. “If you abide in my word…you shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” [John 8:31-32] The freedom Jesus references here is spiritual freedom, freedom from the bonds of sin. We also come to know that Jesus is truth because He is God.

I find this line of new age thinking sad, indeed. I would first admit that, yes, our planet Earth seems to have some built-in systems for cleansing itself when we muck things up. But that doesn’t make Earth a goddess with divine capabilities. I also have long wondered about the many references to “Mother Earth” found in all sorts of places; even casual conversations among friends and neighbors. It’s been quite a while since I heard comments on the weather or natural disasters and other such phenomena ascribed to the will of the God of the Bible.

No, I’m convinced that the idea of Mother Nature is a direct assault on the divinity of our God in heaven. It seems to be very much in line with the type of thinking found throughout atheistic humanism, which works very hard at writing God out of our daily lives. In that effort, the concept of Mother Nature fits quite nicely instead of acknowledging the biblical God who can (and will) judge us.

So is this world managed, sustained, controlled by Mother Earth? No, I would say emphatically, it is loved and sustained by Father God.

Lee Pierce

The WORD for the day…

Here’s the promise I drew this morning….  It’s from the WORD of God, and a good word indeed.  When things start going askew today, take heart in the following promise; it’s a promise from God, to you!

“Be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.” -1 Chronicles 22:13

Remember this…

“In the common round of duty, lift your heart in praise;

For the lord has surely promise strength of all your days!” -Unknown

In the words of Tiny Tim…”God bless us…everyone!”

Anita

A DAY WITH DADDY…

My husband runs sound for the Denver Municipal Band, and the Jazz part of that band had a gig at Stern Park last night.  They were going to have a fireworks display after the gig as well!  A real treat!

This was all going to happen in Littleton, and there was a Tiny House Festival going on in that neck of the woods as well,  so my son and I decided to join dad in his adventure.

I’m a huge fan of the Tiny House movement, and have always wanted to see them in person, so my husband, although not a fan at the thought of living in a small space like that, willingly agreed to take me, for he knows my love of these small spaces and he always puts me first!

He made a wonderful breakfast for us…cheese omlettes, bacon, hash browns, toast…really delicious!  Then we got ready and  left the house at 11 a.m. We were gone all day, and arrived back at home twelve hours later.  It was a long day, but flew by quickly because we were enjoying ourselves.

Our son kept going up to his dad and hugging him, telling him, “I love you daddy!” Or…”Thanks for bringing us dad…this is really fun!”  I too spoke of my love and gratitude for my husband’s kindness and generosity to me.

On our way home, my husband said, “I’m really glad you guys came with me today!  It would have been such a looooong day without you!  You’ve made it so much better by being here with me!”

When I awoke this morning, my first thought was of yesterday.  We all had such a wonderful time, just being in each other’s company.  Eating together, talking, sharing our dreams…it really was an unforgettable day!

Then I heard God say…”That’s the kind of quality time I want to spend with YOU…everyday!”  WOW!  I had never really thought about that, but if we KNOW Jesus as our Savior, then we are called “The Bride of Christ‘…He IS our husband!  And, we are called the ‘Sons of God‘…so we ARE His children…He IS our daddy!

When put in that perspective, we can see God’s side of things.  He wants to be with us each moment of everyday.  We should invite him to accompany us through all of our doings during the day.  He wants to be there with us.  I want to add something right here….  If we KNOW Him…He is with us.  He said He’ll never leave us or forsake us.  But He wants us to “feel” His presence.  He’s like us (or rather, we’re like Him), He wants to be invited.  He’d rather not “crash” your party…He wants to feel welcome!  When we welcome Him, He says, “You’ve made My day so much better by being here with me!”

He wants to ‘eat’ with us.  The Bible says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good!” -Psalm 34:8  When we read His Word, He feeds our souls and sustains us with the things we’ve read!

He wants to ‘talk’ with us.  That is what prayer is for.  It is our way to communicate with God…to tell him our deepest desires and take our fears to Him.  Here’s what it says in 1 John 5:14- “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”

He wants to ‘hear’ about our dreams.  You see, He has dreams and plans for us as well. He says in Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Do you want an unforgettable day???  Then spend some time with your Daddy!

Anita

COMPETITION

Here’s some good advice from a blog site called, “Those who sin differently.”  Take a look… -anita

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Try this today (or tomorrow, if it’s late already when you’re reading this): Set aside a few extra minutes for your quiet time with God, and bring a pencil and paper, or whatever your favorite note-taking accessories may be.  (Those who have spent a lot of time over the years talking with and listening to God will probably tell you that this is a good idea, anyway.  You can jot down what God tells you, and record what you talk to God about, so that you can see how He replies later.)

For the first few minutes, though, don’t try to jump into your quiet time.  Instead, jot down all of the thoughts that naturally run through your mind.  What kinds of things compete for your quiet time?

  • Are they chores or responsibilities?  Make a list so that you can accomplish them efficiently.
  • Are they good ideas?  Jot them down so you don’t lose them.
  • Are they relationships with others?  Make a note to pray for them, whether that is a prayer of thanks for a good relationship, or a prayer for the opportunity to restore a relationship that’s a little rocky right now.

Once these thoughts are written down, they’re “safe” – you don’t have to continue to dwell on them while you’re talking with God.  You don’t have to worry that you’ll forget something that occurred to you, or try to read the Bible while trying to hold onto that one good idea that you need to act upon later.  You can even capture things you learn from God, and then – once writing them down – keep the conversation going with Him.

Now that you’re ready, spend some time with God.  If He guides you to a particular Bible passage today, read that. If you’re not sure where to start, why not read Matthew 6:25-34, and remember that God takes care of you?

Those who sin differently

ONE THING NEEDFUL…

Here’s a good one from a blogger at Wilderness Joy.  Check them out…they have some really good stuff!  I especially enjoyed this one.  The going’s on of this world have made me tired, weary and emotionally distraught, so this was a great reminder that I need to spend more time with God…alone!  Take a look… -anita

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“We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught,
but after spending time alone with God,
we find that He injects into our bodies energy,
power and strength.” ~ Charles Stanley

Resting copy
Find a quiet, secluded place
so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God.
Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage.
The focus will shift from you to God,
and you will begin to sense His grace. (MSG). Matthew 6:6

 

We sit close to our Lord
and are enfolded in His loving embrace.
We sit close to Him and hear Him speaking words of love to us.
We sit close to Him and tell Him of our love for Him.
How it blesses Him when we come eagerly to sit in His presence.
How it warms His heart when we come close to spend time with Him.
So many seek to do things for Him,  so few choose just to be with Him.
What does it mean to wait on God?
You sit down, close your mouth, and just listen to God.
You may read your Bible. You may pray.
But most all, you’re quiet in front of God.~ Rick Warren

Wilderness joy

The tower of safety, IS the name of THE LORD!

The promise I drew from my box this morning simply said:

The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run into it and are safe. -Proverbs 18:10

It was accompanied by this little poem…

“Though there are dangers untold and stern

Confronting me in the way,

Willingly still would I go, nor turn,

But trust Thee for grace each day.” -Unknown

Although the verse above is short, it speaks volumes!  When troubles come into our life and we feel overwhelmed, all we need to do is call on the name of the Lord.  Calling on His name makes the enemy flee.  His name is not only a name…it is a ‘place’ we can run to and find protection!

Anita

COMMUNITY VS ISOLATION

I was thinking about community vs isolation, and wanted to share some verses with you.  Here’s what God has to say about it.  Take a look…

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. -Hebrews 10:24-25

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. -Romans 12:4-5

How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity! -Psalm 133:1

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” -Matthew 18:20

These are only a few of the verses found in the Bible concerning ‘community.’  There are many more.  Community…fellowship with Believers is crucial to your spiritual walk.

We as believers are to encourage one another.  Satan knows this and tries to prevent this interaction among the saved.  Satan is the author of isolation!  If he can keep a believer alienated from other believers, he can make them ineffective for the cause of Christ.  He can whisper lies to them…and they will eventually believe those lies because they have no one else there to speak the Truth.

We should all have someone we can confide in…vent to…speak whatever is on our heart and mind-without judgement.  This “pal” should be a believer, should listen with an open ear, and then give Godly, sound, Biblical advice to their brother or sister in Christ!

Find yourself a Godly friend.  Share your deepest fears with them.  Pray with them. Then both of you take those concerns to God in prayer together and watch the devil flee!

Anita