DO YOU IMPART WISDOM? OR PASS JUDGMENT?

This is primarily for us older ladies…hopefully mature in the ways of the Lord.

The older I get, the more I realize that I make snap judgments on folks when we first meet.   I think most older folks do this without knowing.  Then when it is brought to our attention, we say we are just eccentric.

I find myself doing this a lot lately.  I do it…and I must admit, I really hate this flaw I have!

The other day, my mind was “evaluating” someone in a harsh way and I heard God say, “Do you recall the verses in Titus 2:3-5?  Let Me refresh your memory….  They say, ‘… teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.’  That is what I want from you…to be a teacher…not a judge!”

That was quite a reprimand!  But yes…I had it coming!

I have lived my life and am now in my 60’s.  So why can’t I make allowances for younger folks that have no experience?  Why do I berate their actions, and make little room for forgiveness and understanding?   It’s very unfair of me to have this attitude, for when I was that age, I made the same mistakes and wanted folks to forgive me!  Yet, I can’t seem to find it in my heart to forgive them.  Lord, forgive me!

I have purposed in my heart to try to do better.  I want God to use me as a teacher…I no longer want to be a judge!

Today, God gave me an opportunity to give advice to a young person.  When we parted, she said, “I really appreciate your wisdom!”  I said with a chuckle…”No, I’m not wise…just experienced!  Your story and mine are very similar!”

Remember ladies…we are to be teachers and good examples to the younger women.  If we remember where and what we came from…we will be much kinder, and infinitely more helpful!

Anita

IT WORKS! TRY IT!

My great grand-daughter was in the hospital this past week with Kawasaki disease.  She had a severe rash all over her little body, swollen hands and feet..it was awful!  It was effecting her heart and liver….

But God….  He intervened!  Why?  Because there were many prayers going up to Him.  The Bible says in James 5:16, “… pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Now, I’m not trying to make it sound like those of us that prayed are perfect…but since we all have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, we ARE righteous before God Almighty.  When He hears us pray, and ask that His will be done in the name of His Son Jesus, He hears and answers for Jesus’ sake, and ours because we have trusted in His ONLY begotten Son!

Do you have an insurmountable problem?  If you KNOW Jesus as your Savior, you can make your petitions known unto God the Father, and He will hear, and answer your prayers!

Prayer works!  Try it!

Anita

DUMP THOSE OLD “FILES”! PUT ‘EM IN THE CLOUD!

Old paper files are now a thing of the past.  NOW, we put all our stuff in the cloud.

I don’t know about you…but I have an old file cabinet I need to get rid of!  ….  You know…it’s that one in the back of my mind!  I’m pretty sure everyone has one.

Mine is chock full of folders that are decades old.  They contain notes on how to get revenge…get even.  Yes…they all have names of the offenders as well.  They list all the hurts and wounds caused by these folks.  Demeaning words carelessly spoken in anger.  Abuse-both physical and verbal.  You name it…it’s there!

If hanging on to all of this ugly stuff isn’t bad enough…I tend to blame every new offender and hold them in account for past violations done to me!  I run to the cabinet and pull out all the old folders of past offenses; AND, I begin a new file with their name on it.

I drudge up all the ugly, and wallow in its dirt and mire.

Forgiveness never crosses my mind.

The room in which I harbor my file folders is too full to add one folder full of good memories.

I have wasted much of my life in this room…

Time to clean out the file cabinet!

Time to let the Holy Spirit shred the ugliness!

Time to give it to the “Cloud” (Heaven), and allow Jesus to replace it with forgiveness!

Anita

THE BIBLE: JUST ANOTHER BOOK TO BE READ?

Here’s another thought provoker from Lee!  Enjoy! -anita

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When was the last time you picked up your Bible and read it? Actually read it (not just skim through a passage) and then pondered what you just read and how it applies to your life?

 

The Bible, of course, is more than just a book; the Bible is God’s own words on virtually every topic that affects our lives! Which is what He intended in the first place. God oversaw the pens of some 40 men who wrote the Holy Scriptures. When Jesus spoke of the Apostles and their words, He said it was not them (the Apostles) speaking but “the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” [Mt 10:19-20]

 

I never cease to wonder that God, in His great plan for His creation, gave us His own words—His thoughts, His wisdom, His truth—to guide us in living day-to-day. Beyond sending us His own Son to live and die for us, He gave us insights into His own mind!

 

I came across an interesting phrase the other day: a writer (Dr. Burk Parsons) said, “When I read the Bible, it reads me….” I love to encounter unusual phrases like that which cause me to stop dead in my tracks and ask myself, “Whoa, now what does the writer mean by that?!” His point was that, when we take the time to open and read the Bible, the Holy Spirit convicts us, comforts us, humbles us, and assures us of important truths. Reading the Bible is not just a physical or mental exercise, it’s also an emotional, educational and spiritual endeavor.  Dr. Parsons also said, “Anyone who says the Bible is boring isn’t reading the Bible with a heart of faith….”

 

Lots of people own one or more Bibles—according to Relevant magazine, the Bible still is by far the most read book in the world with over 4 billion copies bought in the last 5 years alone. I have traveled extensively for work over the last several years. Every time I packed for a trip I felt compelled to put my Bible and study devotionals in my suitcase. I just wanted my Bible there with me, no matter where I was. But having a Bible in your possession isn’t the same as sitting down and reading it and thinking deeply about what it’s telling you.

 

Dr. Parson noted that people everywhere are constantly looking for a word from God. He says, “If we want a special word from God, we need only open the Bible and read it….” Think about it: the words of the Bible are not thoughts from some author like J.K. Rowling or James Michener, even as successful and widely read as both of those authors are. No, the words of Scripture are God’s words; God is speaking to you and me in the pages of the Bible. I find that wonderfully incredible. I hope you do, too!

-Lee Pierce

WE HAVE SO MUCH, THANKS TO THE LORD

Take a look at this from our own, Lee Pierce!  Good one brother! -anita

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Are there things you wish you had, but just can’t afford them? I’m not talking about far-fetched things. Like 10,000-square-foot houses or 120-foot yachts; I’m talking about maybe some basic things. A new dress, a newer car (to replace the one that’s falling apart), a new TV maybe… Things we wish we had.

Sometimes, when I’ve thought about something I wished I had, another thought comes to mind to put things in perspective: Most of us – even the poorer ones of us – have more than most of the people now populating earth. Further, we have more life luxuries than even the wealthiest of kings in ages past. Now, I’m pretty sure I know where – or from Whom – that thought comes. God is reminding me of how well He is providing for me and for my family! Just the other morning, as I was showering, it occurred to me to thank God for the blessing of a warm shower when there are so many people around the world who either can rarely bathe or who do so in a cold river!

My thinking was piqued the other day by a recent article in Our Daily Bread. The article topic was on our propensity for forgetting God’s faithfulness in caring for us. The example used in the article was that of the Israelites and their complaining to Moses that they were starving in the desert after leaving the abundance they enjoyed in Egypt. I guess they quickly somehow forgot how onerous was their treatment at the hands of the pharaoh and how miserable was their life as slaves!

Most of us who know a bit about the Bible know that God responded by sending manna to slake their hunger. But He also provided meat [Ex 16:12-13]. Yet the people complained [Numbers 11:4-6]. As I thought about this situation and the people’s ingratitude, I wondered how I would have responded. Would I have been so ungrateful? At least in part, I think about how awesome it would be to see God’s hand wonderfully at work day after day. Every evening there was meat, and manna for bread every single morning. And all of this was not due to the efforts of the local equivalent of the Salvation Army; rather this was God’s hand clearly at work each and every day, right there in the middle of the barren desert!

I guess my amazement comes because so seldom can we know for sure that God has done something for us. I know, of course, that many events in our lives, things we know are near impossible yet they come to pass, are born of God and we should by all means give Him the credit and the glory. But this provision for the Israelites in the desert was clearly all of God and could have come only from Him. A true no-doubter! I guess I would hope that, with that knowledge, I would have been ever so thankful and on my knees in prayer and thanksgiving every day. I hope you can say that, too! He deserves it!

-Lee Pierce

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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