I DON’T KNOW MUCH…

I really don’t know much…none of us do, but the only thing we need to know is that Jesus loved us so much that He died for us so that we could be with Him. That is all you need to know! Know it. Believe it! Accept it! You’ll be glad you did! -anita

The Gathering Journal

I was raised in church…went just about every Sunday since I was two weeks old.  My daddy was a Baptist preacher for over forty years.  We went to church on Wednesday nights for prayer meeting, and Thursday for visitation.  We had special events for teens, ladies, men on most Saturdays.  I spent more time in the church than I ever did at home.  IT WAS MY HOME!

I know many, many scriptures, although I don’t know their addresses (where to find them), but I can quote them verbatim.  I have hidden the Word of God in my heart, and my parents taught my brother and I the scriptures like it says to do in Deuteronomy, I believe, where it says to talk about them in the morning, and when you lie down, and when you walk in the way.  God was brought into every…EVERY situation that arose in our household.

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WHAT KIND OF TOOL ARE YOU??

THIS IS A RE-POST…BUT I NEEDED TO HEAR IT AGAIN. -anita

The Gathering Journal

In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and earthenware, and some for noble use, some for ignoble. If any one purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work. (2 Timothy 2:20-21 RSV)

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I woke up thinking about tools, and their specific use.  I know…weird huh?!  But the above verse came to mind.  I said tools, the Bible uses the word, vessels.  Either way, they are things used for specific purposes.

We always hear, and I believe the Bible teaches that we all were created for a purpose.  The main purpose I believe is to glorify God, and bring others to Salvation.  However, we are all endowed with different gifts to bring glory to God and show Salvation to the…

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LIVE A LIFE WORTHY OF YOUR CALLING

My husband and I were out, having coffee this morning.  He read the following verse to me…

“… I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. ” -Ephesians 4:1-2

If you KNOW Jesus as your Savior, you have a calling on your life.  It may not be a calling to teach or preach.  It may not have a fancy title such as Evangelist, Worship Leader, or Head Pastor…but to us that know the Lord, we are called to be like Jesus-humble, gentle, patient, and loving to all.

Listen to the following song…it says it all

HOW ELSE WOULD JESUS HAVE COME?

Here’s a good one from our own Lee Pierce! Take a look…this guy will really make you think! -anita

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 Outside of your prayer times, do you ever just think about God. Maybe when you see a beautiful sunrise or sunset? Or some circumstance occurs and you just somehow know that God’s hand was in it? At times like these, maybe your thoughts just turn to think on God and how awesome He is.

 I was thinking the other day about our Lord and how He came to earth. The thought struck me: Why did He come as a man and not as something else. I guess my thinking got a little silly when I began to think things like, maybe He should have come as a giant? Or maybe not as a man at all, but maybe as a giant bird like a splendid eagle, perhaps. The one common aspect of Jesus in my mind, as I conjured up other ways He might have appeared, is that He was huge, much bigger and august than we.

 My thoughts then turned to a story I heard years ago when I believe it was radio personality Art Linkletter who narrated “The Birds.” This story was about a farmer who saw a small flock of birds which he tried to help come in out of the cold, blowing wind. He became frustrated when they wouldn’t do what he tried to get them to do in order to receive his help. He came quite angry with the birds until he realized he didn’t look and act like them. He wasn’t a bird. Maybe if he became a bird, they would accept his help…and then he thought of Jesus. The point of the narrative, of course, is that Jesus left the divine throne room and the presence of His Holy Father to come to earth and become like us, but without sin. He took on the form of a man. A man who, while still somehow God, could live and die a man’s death to pay the penalty of sin on our behalf.

 Finally, my thoughts turned to the verses in Revelation where Jesus returns to earth [Rev 19:11-21]. In that passage, Jesus is depicted as astride a white horse, with eyes as flames of fire, and with a sharp sword coming out of His mouth, leading the armies of heaven, all of whom are astride white horses, as well. The Bible doesn’t say that He would be huge but the picture painted of our returning Lord is extremely imposing.

 When Jesus comes back to defeat the kings of the earth and their armies, He will be nothing like the simple carpenter’s son who came the first time. All my silly fantasizing aside, Jesus will come as absolute king and judge of the earth, and in a manner that will leave no doubt as to Who is in charge! He made the earth and the heavens in the first place, and when He comes to take them back, there will be none who will stop Him.

 As with all things of God, Jesus chose exactly the right form and manner to come to our world and accomplish His goals. And, when He comes back, that will be exactly right, also!

-Lee Pierce

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