YOU…make the difference!

Nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. -1 Corinthians 15:58

I happened to read a devotional in Our Daily Bread the other day, and thought about one of my dear friends.  She is in chronic pain, and, I’m sure at times, discouraged with her situation.

But the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15, that our bodies may be weak now but they will be “raised in power” (verse 43).  Because God promises we will be resurrected through Christ, we can trust Him to use every offering, every small effort done for Him, to make a difference in His Kingdom (verse 58).

Remember…even if we are physically limited, our smile, a kind word of encouragement, a prayer, a phone call, or an email…or just our show of faith in God can and will minister to those around us!  When we serve the Lord, no act of love…no matter how small makes an impact on the world around you!

This little reminder was at the bottom of the devotion:

Do what you can with what you have and leave the results to God!

anita/Our Daily Bread

 

THE EYES OF THE LORD…

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. -Matthew 10:29

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. … -Matthew 6:25-34

I happened to see these verses in action yesterday and again this morning.  Let me explain…

Yesterday evening, I went out to give my flowers one last drink before turning in for the night.  That’s when I saw it-a wounded pigeon.  It was standing at my neighbor’s patio door looking bedraggled and forlorn.  I knew it was hurt, but couldn’t tell how bad.

I began to approach it, so I could inspect it better.  I thought it would fly away, but it just sat there looking at me and cocking its head as I spoke to it gently saying, “Oh!  You poor thing…what happened to you?”  ….  Then I began praying out loud, asking God to have mercy on it.  As I got closer, I realized one of its legs had been bitten off.  It didn’t look like it would make it through the night.

My neighbor saw me and came out.  She said it had been there since yesterday.

I sprinkled some water until it pooled near the bird.  It drank for some time.  Then Joe brought me a hand full of crushed cereal and I tossed it towards the bird.  It pecked at it ferociously and then hopped behind some flower pots on my neighbors porch for the night.

I prayed for that bird all night long.  I kept reminding God that He said He sees each sparrow that falls, and I prayed for His mercy on that bird.

First thing I got up this morning, I went out to see if it was dead or alive.  It was sitting there-looking much better!  It was actually preening itself.  Just then, my neighbor opened her door and the bird actually flew a short distance!  We were both so very happy that it had lived!

She gave it some water in a little dish, and I threw some toasted bread crumbs its way.  It really does look like it’s going to make it!

I think God is trying to tell us something in these verses.  Life… and living it to the full…each moment…that’s what counts.  Not how many “things” you have, not how new your car is, or how big your house is…or if you wear designer clothes or not; it’s about loving those around you, seeing the beauty in the things He has prepared for you, and trusting in Him for all things-for He IS the provider!

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. –2 Chronicles 16:9

Today-STOP!  And smell the roses.  Look at the beautiful sky.  Listen to the birds sing their praises to God. Feel the warm breeze.  Watch the trees raise their arms toward heaven.  Then-give God praise for being alive!!

Anita

The Holy Spirit: He Is Your Best Friend – Sermon Notes by Daniel Leavitt

Exodus 31:1-11 (NKJV)

31 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 to design artistic works…

 

The Holy Spirit is Your Friend
John 15:26Living Bible (TLB)

“But I will send you the Comforter—the Holy Spirit, the source of all truth. He will come to you from the Father and will tell you all about me.

 

 

The Blasphemy Challenge

Matthew 12:31

“So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven–except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.
Holy Spirit: What He Does Not Do

1. Does Not Convict You of Sin

John 16
Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

 

  1. Does Not Keep A Record

Hebrews 8:12

For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

 

Hebrews 10 (TLB)

10 Under this new plan we have been forgiven and made clean by Christ’s dying for us once and for all.

11 Under the old agreement the priests stood before the altar day after day offering sacrifices that could never take away our sins. 12 But Christ gave himself to God for our sins as one sacrifice for all time and then sat down in the place of highest honor at God’s right hand, 14 For by that one offering he made forever perfect in the sight of God all those whom he is making holy.

15 And the Holy Spirit testifies that this is so, for he has said,

17 And then he adds, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.”

 

2 Corinthians 5:19 (TLB)

19 For God was in Christ, restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men’s sins against them but blotting them out. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others.

 

2 Corinthians 5:19 (TLB)

For God was in Christ, restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men’s sins against them but blotting them out. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others.

 

  1. Does Not Require You to Strive for Holiness

 

1 Corinthians 1:21ff

God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation.

 

22-25 While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.”

 

26-31 Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

 

Hebrews 10:14 (TLB)

For by that one offering he made forever perfect in the sight of God all those whom he is making holy.

 

  1. Does Not Give You More God

Colossians 2:9-10 (MSG)

8-10 Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.

BE GREATFUL, BE CONFIDENT, BE HAPPY

 

What He Does

 

  1. Seals You Until There Is No More Sin

 

Ephesians 4:30  (NCV)

And do not make the Holy Spirit sad. The Spirit is God’s proof that you belong to him. God gave you the Spirit to show that God will make you free when the final day comes.

1 Corinthians 1:8Living Bible (TLB)

And he guarantees right up to the end that you will be counted free from all sin and guilt on that day when he returns.

 

  1. The Power to Overcome Evil

 

1 John 2  (ESV)   12 I am writing to you, little children,

because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.

(MSG) 13-14 And a second reminder, dear children: You know the Father from personal experience. You veterans know the One who started it all; and you young men—such vitality and strength! God’s word is so steady in you. Your fellowship with God enables you to gain a victory over the Evil One. (KJV: young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.

 

15-17 Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

 

  1. He Will Comfort You in All Things

 

Philippians 4:19-20 (MSG)

You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.

 

 

 

The Holy Spirit, Revised & Expanded

By: Charles C. Ryrie

MOODY PUBLISHERS / 1997 / PAPERBACK

 

 

 

NO COMMANDMENT GREATER…

Sorry for the lateness of the blog post today!  We had some plumbing issues we had to take care of…

When my dad semi-retired from being head pastor of the church he’d shepherded for more than 15 years, one of the members of the congregation (my favorite) gave him a card that read:

“Old preachers never die…they just go out to pastor.”

That was my dad alright!  He never stopped preaching the word-even if he only had an audience of one.

My neighbor is kind of like that.  He used to pastor a church.  After that, he became a plumber, and is now he’s an electrician.

He helped us today when we got stuck with our plumbing problem.  We offered to pay him for his help, but he refused.  We paid him anyway.  But my point is this….  Every time we see him, he has a Scripture to talk about.  He shares the Gospel and God’s Word with everyone he meets.  He talks the talk.  But even more than talking the talk…he tries to walk the walk!  There has never been a time in the last four years that we have lived here, that he has refused to help us – either at our request, or just because he saw that we were in need; which brings me to today’s Scriptures:

* Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” –Mark 12:30-31

*Love your neighbor as yourself.‘ –Matthew 22:39

*He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.‘” –Luke 10:27

* “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. 10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.

11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. 12 You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

13 “You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. 14 You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

15 “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life[a] of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

17 “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. –Leviticus 19:9-18

Anita

COMMIT…TRUST…AND WATCH IT HAPPEN! (in HIS time)

“Commit your way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and he shall bring it to pass.” -Psalm 37:5

There are always “doors” of opportunity put in our path.  That doesn’t necessarily mean they are “doors” sent from God.

My dad always used to say, “If you see a door or opportunity, knock on it.  If it opens-walk through it with confidence.  However, if it doesn’t open…move on!  Don’t try to jimmie the lock, break the door down, or look for a window to crawl through…just move on!  That door belongs to someone else.  God has yours just down the way, so keep on walking!” -M.B. Schuessler

In my life,  I’ve encountered numerous doors.  Many did not open when I knocked, but I wanted the things behind the door, so I forced my way in.  I did end up with the things behind the door, and at first, they were sweet-but in the end, I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth.  They weren’t what I really wanted after all.

I have come to realize that ONLY the doors that God opens bring me life and peace!  If we let Him open the doors, we are walking in His Perfect Will.  If we force the door…we are walking in His Permissive Will-but there will be consequences!

Our prayer should be this…

“Lord, we want to be more like you.  May we see where changes are necessary, and trust you for the help we need.”

When we ask for something from God…we need to let His “yes” be yes…and His “no!” be no.  After all, He IS our daddy-so He knows best!

Anita

I SHOULD HAVE…

The promise I drew from my box this morning, declared this:

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin. -James 4:17

At first when I read it, my thinking went back to the way I was taught;  and to be honest, the only time I heard that verse quoted was when I was being scolded for doing something I knew I shouldn’t be doing.

However, after pondering this verse, I realize there is much more to it than meets the eye.  I have always viewed this verse as a measuring stick to show me the things I’ve done wrong, and that surely fits, but what about the sins of omission?  What about the things I should have done, but did not do?

We always seem to focus on the bad things we’ve done…the actions we’ve committed that were wrong, as being sin -and they are; but what about the acts of forgiveness, the kindness we should have shown but did not, the friend or relative we should have witnessed to but failed miserably in that quest?  Or, what about the homeless person, the addict, the prostitute we should have felt compassion for-but did not?  In the eyes of God, are these not sins as well?

From now on, when we see that verse or hear it, let’s allow its words to encompass us… to speak to us in its full context.  It’s not only the things we do that we’ll be judged for…it is also those things that we fail to do!

Anita

PROPHESYING, DREAMS, AND VISIONS…

“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”-Joel 2:28

“‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” –Acts 2:17

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These two verses say the same thing, almost word for word.

We “live” these verses in our home just about every day.  Some of you may not understand what I’m saying here so let me explain…

As most readers of this blog know, our son Joel is a worshiper, as well as a prophet.  Even though he is only nine years old, he has said some profound things that were, and are spot on! When this happens, my husband and I just look at each other in amazement, and at the same time say, “Where did that come from?”  These things are full of insight beyond his years!  They have everything to do with God, His Word, His view, His heart, His truth. And, they come from out of no where at the appropriate time!

Then there is my husband….  He is a dreamer.  He dreams almost every night.  Most times, his dreams are of a Spiritual nature.  Some are of Heaven, and angels, while others are a warning, revealing the wicked and their evil plans to destroy us; but at the same time reassuring us of His, (God’s) protection.

Last night, he woke me, excited to tell me what he had just dreamed about.  It was a hair raiser!  This person we knew from years ago was trying to stab him in the back.  The attempt to do so, was made three times, and each time, God was there to protect him… literally “have his back.”  This particular person has done much evil against us in the past, and apparently is at it again-this time, through the spirit world…through her railings to a “god” other than God Almighty.

I share all of this with you because it is important for all of us to remember not to pray amiss.   We have all been hurt and harmed by folks in our past, but we cannot pray God’s wrath on them.  We cannot pray things like, “Fix ’em or kill ’em!”  The “fixing” and the decision to let them live or take their life is entirely in God’s hands.  He doesn’t need our input…His decision will be just.  He says vengeance is His…and His alone!

I know a few folks out there that “pray” against certain people.  They “pray” for your destruction and death.  Just like it says in Psalm 38:12 Meanwhile, my enemies lay traps to kill me. Those who wish me harm make plans to ruin me. All day long they plan their treachery. (And might I add…they “pray” against me.)

When we “pray” prayers of death and destruction upon those who we believe have harmed us-we need to ask ourselves, WHO are we praying to?  It certainly isn’t God Almighty!  He says to do good to those that hate you, to pray for their salvation… NOT pray for their death and destruction…not pray evil upon them!

Mark 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

FORGIVE!  If you do…you will find peace!

Anita

 

WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THIS BLOG MAKE?

I read the following early this morning, and decided to share it with our readers.  I must admit…I often wonder the same thing about our blog.

ARE we making a difference…making an impact on the Kingdom of God? Are folks coming to KNOW Jesus in a personal way?  Are those in bondage being set free from their chains and shackles by the words that are put forth in our blog?  I certainly hope so!  If we are making a difference in your life-let us know…encourage us to continue to proclaim the TRUTH…because the TRUTH will set men free!   Thanks X for once again causing us to look a “little deeper.” -anita

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What DIFFERENCE Does This Blog Make?

I have an ongoing conversation with 2 (sometimes more) blog readers and a fellow minister in the field.  The conversation varies a bit in depth and content with each, but I am talking specifically about a conversation in which Jesus vis-à-vis the homeless and the church is the topic.  In these few individuals, I get a fair bit of regular feedback (making it a conversation).  Of all the others who stop by here to look (whether regularly, once in a while, or just one time), I get very little feedback – beyond a “like”.  Sometimes… but usually not much.

One of my blog readers and I speak frequently about whether we are making a difference in the world with our blogs.  It FEELS like we have joined a vanity club where we basically “like” each other’s stuff, and where that is about the extent of our “difference” in the world.  This is ironic for a blog that purposefully stinks (see this post for more on that https://fatbeggars.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/if-my-blog-stinks/comment-page-1/).

“Like”…. What does it mean?

Probably it means someone likes your post.  But that is a bit broad.  It almost certainly (though possibly not) means that person actually read your post.  There was something favorable about it, but that really could be as little as stroking your ego in hopes that you will come stroke mine.  It could mean the post deeply inspired a reader or brought profound conviction.  That, however, would suppose a bit more response in the comments or by email, so… it is not all that likely.

So, I wonder…

If you read here, have you found something challenging?  Convicting?  Inspirational?  Encouraging?

I would love to find a homeless person responding saying, “Your blog gives me hope, and makes me feel valued.  I bear the image of God, and there is no greater vocation.”  – Yeah.  I would love that!  I would love it if a reader responded saying, “I have read here a bit, and I see where our church could be doing so much more to serve Jesus among the homeless….”  – Yeah.  I would really love that!!!

But I think if those things were happening, I would get that feedback unsolicited.  And after two years without getting such feedback, I am wondering what difference this blog actually makes.  It is time, it seems, for such assessment.  I don’t write here just to write or collect “likes”.  I write here because I was encouraged to get on the grid with my message after years of refusing to get on the grid with it.  Those encouraging me to do that seemed very insightful and sure it would make a difference.  As far as getting on the grid is concerned, this is as far as I want to go seeking limelight.  I do not seek personal notoriety.  I seek that proverbial “difference”, and I am wondering if this is the way to go about it.

There are other avenues of service I am actively involved in and pursuing.  This is not the only one.  And for that matter, I could go back to printing my “Revolutionary Rag” for the streets.  I really think I was reaching Lubbock’s homeless by that method with far greater frequency and depth.  (Stories on that by request.)

So, I am open to the opinion(s) of others.  Does anyone care?  I am open to opinions that I might normally resist, but I want to hear them… if they are out there.

Any thoughts?

Agent X-Fat Beggars School of Prophets

IT’S THE WAITING…THAT’S THE HARD PART!

I found myself in earnest prayer this morning for one of my children.  I KNOW what God’s Word says…”Bring up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it…” –Proverbs 22:6; but when you’re going through it…watching them struggle and make huge mistakes that are irreversible, it’s difficult as a parent to wait until they come to their senses!

So, I went to my Promise Box for some comforting words from the Lord.  These promises in my box usually have one verse, and a little poem.  God must have known I needed a little more….  The promise I drew, has four verses on it!  Here is what it says…

Prayer:  “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!” -Psalm 4:1

Promise:  “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I WILL deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me.” -Psalm 50:15

Prayer:  “Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low.” -Psalm 142:6

Promise:  “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” -Deut 33:27

These verses are an encouragement to us all.  If we have a need or request, these verses assure us that God will hear our cry, and not only be our refuge, but WILL deliver us and our children!

Thank you Lord for being such a GOOD, GOOD FATHER!

Anita

 

THEY DESERVE IT!

I just want to take this opportunity to say “Thank you!” to my dear husband!  He works so hard everyday to provide for us, and I realized I should say thank you to him more often!

Just like today; it is Saturday…his real only day off…and he is out working a gig in the mountains, trying to make more money for his family.  He had to get up early like every other day, get ready, load up the car with sound equipment, drive for 2 hours or more, unload, set up, monitor, tear down, load up, drive back….  Not much of a “day off!”

I guess my point is this…I’m retired.  Yes, my day is full of “home” work, yard work, supervising children, and the like…but I can take a break when I want or need to.  I know there are a lot of us stay at home moms, and yes, we have our hands full with the needs of our families and every day life; but let’s not forget our husbands and the sacrifices they make for us on a daily basis as well!

Let’s show our husbands a little extra love and gratitude.  After all…they deserve it!

anita