2016 Word of the year – Prepare – Psalm 23 – My(part 3)

Part 1
Part 2

To Review:

Step One – He paved the way long before we were born;

Romans 5:7-9
7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Step Two – Recognize we are separated from God by our actions

Romans 3:10-12
10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”

Step Three – We have to believe.

That is the first part of our part of the price. To believe.

Acts 16:30-31
30Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Which brings me to Step Four – RECEIVE!

Faith through Grace. IT’S A GIFT!
A GIFT
The other person in a deal can GIFT the item to you. That is the other way a deal can be made!

What is our responsibility in the event of being offered a gift? RECEIVE!

And now, on with Part Three. Picking up with Step four.

Step Four – Receive the Gift!
The only way to own a gift is to receive that gift from the original owner.
To say yes to the dealer, that is giving you a gift – the ability to pay for the vehicle you wanted, without you having to do anything, really.

Why wouldn’t someone want to receive a gift?
They may not believe that they deserve the gift,
In the area of salvation, that is correct. As I’ve discussed, we are all sinners, no one is worthy. That is why Jesus came to die on the cross on our behalf.

What is this gift? Payment for Sin

Romans 6:23
The wages of sin is death.

Because of sin, we are separated from God. In any relationship, a separation can determine the priority of that relationship.
What is the ATTITUDE? This shows the importance of the relationship.
Adam and Eve were so embarrassed about their sin that they hid from God.
God was so invested in that relationship He came looking for them.
Was He surprised that they ate of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil? Of course not! He wanted to show them how important it is to follow his rules to live and his paradise. He also wanted to show them that he had their back. He had a plan.

First the plan had to do with sacrificing animals to pay the price for their sin with one animal per person. This was the promised that He gave to not only Adam and Eve, but also to Lucifer. Genesis 3:15

He will send a deliverer who will be bruised in his heel(death) but will crush the head of the serpent(ressurection). That is how much God wants to have a relationship with you and me.

The sacrifices started out one-for-one for Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:21-24
One for Cain and one for Able. Genesis 4:3-7
Noah sacrificed for his family. Genesis 8:20-22
Then there were sacrifices for houses ( Exodus 12) and then for tribes and then for nations.
The ultimate sacrifice was One Man for the World!

Jesus paid the Price

John 3:16-18
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

The issue is blood of goats and Rams was not satisfying the debt but rather delaying the consequence of sin which is death. The sacrifices the Old Testament did not pay the debt they only delayed it until the time that the perfect sacrifice, the perfect lamb could be given. There was no one that could walk perfectly enough to pay the price for themselves much less pay the price for all of creation, until Jesus!

The rest of Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 1:29
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

1 Peter 1:18-19
18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your forefathers,
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot.

Hebrews 9:11-12
11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come, He entered the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands (that is, not of this creation).
12 He did not enter by the blood of goats and calves, but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, thus securing eternal redemption.

The item (US) is so desired by God that He chose to pay the price for us, or in more detailed terms, he wiped the Slate clean.

2 Corthinans 5:17-19
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s trespasses against them.

The story of Cain and Abel(Genesis 4) explain to us how there are heart issues behind our sacrifices.
Attitude.
One’s offering was received, one’s was not. And Cain did not take heed, and went on to commit the first recorded murder.

Just because we pay a sacrifice it doesn’t mean that it’s received. Anything that we have to give was given to us in the first place!

1 cor 13….if I speak in tongues…and have not love…it is nothing.

3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

But there are going to be those that stand at the gate and say Lord Lord did we not prophesy in your name did we not heal in your name did we not raise the dead and your name? And he is going to say depart from me you evildoers, for I never knew you. To me that implies that evil doers can cast out demons, heal the sick, and raise the Dead. That means that they are evil teachers prophesied that do not know the Lord Jesus!

Matthew 7:22-23
22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness.’

There’s the parable of the 10 Virgins – five did not prepare. Matthew 25

There are all the people that were the religious leaders of the day – they were condemned for hypocrisy by Christ. Matthew 23

It is said many times when we stand in the Kingdom we’re going to be very surprised you got it and who didn’t. That kind of brings to mind the thing about the pharisee and the tax collector before the altar. The tax collector, a despised man, is on his knees saying “Lord have mercy on me a sinner.” The pharisee is standing up, which in and of itself says a lot about his attitude’ and saying “Lord I’ve done this and I’ve done that and I’ve done the other.” ( Luke 19:9-14)

Where do I fall in the room between these two? Does this mean rich men can’t get to heaven? Oh, thank heavens, NO! It means it’s harder for a rich man to enter in than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. (Matthew 19:23-24)
It also means that God is interested in our hearts.

We are like the person not making our relationship a priority. The whole point of making relationship priority is you have to actually know that is a priority! You have to know that you want that relationship! You have to know the value of that relationship! When we are lost in sin and we didn’t have any desire for Jesus Christ, He chose to state how valuable is the relationship to him. He gave his life for us because he wanted to spend eternal life with us.

Romans 5:9
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The value of this gift is not dependent upon OUR goodness, but solely upon the perfection of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

The fact that God the Father chose to allow His own son to die on the cross IN OUR PLACE, is what imparts worth and value to us.

If we say NO?
Walking away from a gift?
I think just about everyone can say that there was one person in their life that “got away”.
Was it because you didn’t say that you love them?
Was it because you didn’t recognize you needed them in your life?
Was it because you were just too of your full of yourself at that time? Whatever the reason there are so many people that had a person that they gave up on, and that person left them.

The point is, to actually OWN a gift, you have to say YES, and receive that gift.
And the beauty of the Love of God is that, we can say no.
Unlike Sheep.
Though, like sheep, if we say no, our lives will end in eternal death. and we do not have the protections that are provided to the sheep by having a shepherd looking over them. But that comes in more detail in my discussion about Jesus being my shepherd.

So, we can’t pay, but there is a price.
We are told to COUNT THE COST in several parables.
Luke 14:28-30 and Luke 14:31-33
Matthew 8:18-22
Matthew 19

Payment Plan

So what’s the payment plan?
That is walking out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
That is walking a life where we are persecuted for Christ sake, we sacrifice the lusts of the flesh for the growth of the spirit.
That is choosing live as much like Christ as we possibly can.
That is coming to him when we fail, because he rose again from the dead his blood continues to be effective as the price to pay for her since.
There is no longer any need for sacrificing lambs and goats and Rams and Bulls. There’s not even any reason to sacrifice doves and pigeons.

Romans 12 1-2
12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1 Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Yes, there is a payment plan – and that means there is someone to whom we make payment.
The gift of God is eternal life, Peace, Joy, and love, unconditional love. I do not understand why anyone would say no.

Part four and step five of MY and the word Shepherd are combined.
That will come next!

MY Advent Devotions

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank

for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

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2016 Word of the Year – Prepare? – yeah, right!

This contains many photos of our trip for surgery.

In January, the Lord gave me this word to meditate upon this year.
Prepare

In 2014, we weren’t prepared to deal with cancer.
We chose a procedure that had a 98% cure rate…as in, no recurrence. It is called HIFU.
At that time, it was not approved in the United States.
In 2015, February, we made out of pocket, traveled to Cancun, Mexico, to receive this state of the art procedure to treat Prostate cancer.
January 2016, the PSA let us know that we were not in the 98%.
So, we started to research options.
From January, to August, the PSA rose from 1.7 to 5.6. In the last few months, it doubled. It was time to do something, but, what?

By now, the procedure had been FDA approved, but not insurance covered. So, still out of pocket. In the meantime, I started doing intense research on the prostate, and what nutritional options would strengthen Jim’s body to fight off this enemy.
~~~~~~~~~

James 1:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

~~~~~~~~~
In September, We went to see the doctor and obtain biopsies in order to make sure that we have all the options for any future need for cancer treatments.
We were told that November 29th was the date that was open. We were waiting for confirmation, and working to handle our money in order to pay for this procedure.

In addition to choosing to repeat the HIFU, we wanted to get a second opinion for the cancer treatment – and we went through the process of setting up a visit to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, their prostate division based in Atlanta.

We were scheduled for August 17-21. We would be flown in, and see the medical team Thursday, Friday, then stay over the weekend, and get the final recommendations on Monday. We were working with the travel team, the medical information team and everyone at that center.

One week before our trip, we spoke with the Nurse Navigator. We discussed the HIFU done in February 2015, and let her know that we were planning on doing a repeat to eradicate the remission.
She took our information to the medical director who then said that we were not a good fit for their program.
Why?
Jim had not jumped up on a surgery table when his PSA was at 5 when he was 50.
Jim had undergone HIFU without biopsies, based upon Dr. Wheeler’s explanation of Prostate Cancer development, and because of the incidence of track back metastisis at the site of biopsies.
We based it upon a specialized MRI system that indicated the dubious nature of the mass – even though it was in a very difficult place to be found by biopsies.
We did not follow the CTCA procedure. Of course not, we weren’t their patient! So, they denied us the opportunity to ask questions about traditional treatments, to talk with naturopath and nutritionist about how to combat the side effects, and to strengthen Jim’s body to fight cancer.

This was like a punch in the stomach. We didn’t know what the Lord was up to, but at least we knew that we were not going to go to Atlanta.
Then, fires around Atlanta. The city was dealing with the smoke just as we were going to be there. That seemed like a good enough reason for God to change that plan. I don’t do well in smoke filled areas.

Every good gift comes from the Father of Lights…

We went ahead and sent part of the downpayment for Jim’s treatment at the end of November, and we were working on obtaining other funding. I even was a bit rough on Doc about the date…when??? November 29th, but many things need to be orchestrated – please be patient. That was the conversation on Wednesday, November 16.

Friday, November 18, before noon, we got the call that the place had been set up, and we were scheduled for Sunday, November 20. At 9am. WHAT?!?! So, we cleared out schedules, and left for St. Augustine on Friday evening. I had just unpacked my suitcase from my plans to be in Boston. Now, I just had to put those clothes back into the suitcase! I threw most of next weeks groceries I’d just purchased into the freezer!

If we had gone to Atlanta as planned, for the CTCA consult, we would not have been available for this opening! We would have been sitting around Atlanta watching the forest burn, instead of burning out the cancer.

We arrived into the hotel in St. Augustine Beach around 8. We ate at Wendy’s because it was so late.

 

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Saturday, November 19, I woke up barely able to keep back tears. I did not have any peace about the procedure, but Jim was freaking out enough that I needed to stay calm.
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We had breakfast at a local eatery, and Jim started on his clear liquid diet.

 

We did have to find some clear liquid options – which ended up being cartons of bone broth and green jello.

Mostly, Jim drank water. water. water.

First, we explored Palatka.

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This is where the specialists have their out patient clinic, and more importantly,
the Ablatherm HIFU machine.

 

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. Isaiah 53:5

We traveled around St Augustine, took photos, and just basically spent time enjoying each other.

Fort Matanzas,

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Crescent Beach – just across the road.

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We had not been in the hotel very long when we got the call that the anesthesiologist had been called back home, and that the procedure was canceled for Sunday. “Go ahead and eat some supper, breakfast tomorrow, then clear liquids again after 10, and nothing by mouth after midnight. You are scheduled for noon on Monday.”
I guess God wanted a different anesthesiologist for the procedure.

Exodus 31 – God set apart specific ones for specific giftings

We went to Applebees, because of the burgers.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.
29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified

 

It was so beautiful out, that we took a walk along this St Augustine Beach community.(Christmas lights at the beach)

street view

street view

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dock

dock

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We walked out on the dark, and looked at the stars!

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Then we finished our Christmas Lights walk!
 

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We returned to the frog place for breakfast. Jim really enjoyed their omelet.

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Then, we  spent Sunday driving around, enjoying the sights, and each other.

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Monday morning, enemas, and take off for Palatka, Florida.
I was very nervous, very sensitive – and I felt like I was going to fall into a crying fit at any minute. But I needed to be strong for Jim.
As we were waiting, with Jim in the spiffy paper gown,

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we overheard the conversation between the engineer and the doctor about the machine. A cable was not working correctly on the machine. The one that connected the ultrasound to the HIFU machine was dead. It had been working just fine on Saturday. It’s canceled for mechanical reasons.

What? Ok.
“Better before than during” – Jim said, after he took a moment.

“the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:7.

Nerves?
Yes.
Disappointed?
Completely.
Confused?
You bet.

Jim’s comment:

It’s really futile to complain that something is not going right when you are listening to “The Sovereignty of God” by AW Pink

How’s this for preparation – I had brought my medicines for up to one extra day, through Tuesday. I will run out Tuesday evening, and Wednesday morning. Oops. I know I heard a voice in my head telling me to fill in the whole medicine container! I didn’t listen. “I’ll be home – there’s no way that we would be here past Tuesday!” Yeah, Right! Another lesson to LISTEN!

We took another drive.

So, today(I wrote this while waiting for him during the surgery), Tuesday, enemas again. Jim should be very cleaned out by now!

At 9am, we arrived at the clinic again.
The office nurse is not here.
The office doctor came in, then left, and did not unlock the medicine cabinet.
Whew. I’m not telling Jim what I’ve overheard this time.
Jim’s snapping – and who can blame him? He’s not angry, he’s just very guarded. He’s so tired. Very hungry. Tired of drinking bone broth and eating jello!
More nervous than he was any of the previous days. And again, who can blame him?
Jim went out for a walk, and I was not sure if he would come back in.

I found the gown for him this time.
I found the chux to put under him on the chair.
I’ve sat watching the doc, the technician, the anesthesiolgist looking through the cabinets and such in this office. I have heard the doctor say that he didn’t have the catheters that he is used to using.
And then, I was asked to go sit in the waiting room. Of course, that is probably better for me anyway, because I could hear almost everything that they were saying. Now, they could have closed additional doors, but, I was struggling between being able to know what was going on, and being somewhere peaceful!

Prepare for this? HOW?
Be wrapped in the word of God.
Jim played some scripture music as we were on our way here.
I’m focusing on the scriptures while I’m waiting.

Storms?
This feels like a hurricane that just keeps swirling around and coming back and hitting again.
And each time, I feel weaker – and yet, maybe this feeling of being resigned to the Lord’s hand, is exactly where I need to be.
Waiting in the palm of God’s hand.

I met the couple that are going after Jim. Mike and Sandy Norris.
A very sweet couple.
We discussed how we all got here.
We discussed how we believed that God’s hand was in these delays.
I’m so grateful for Christians to sit with.

Post Procedure

  • He had much difficulty with the intubation – almost called off the procedure.
    If not for the new anesthesiologist – this would have been canceled.
  • Jim was difficult to wake up – if not for this very skilled anesthesiologist, we may have ended up at the hospital across the street.
  • Jim could not have the same type of catheter…the had to have one through his abdomen.
    If not for the experienced Doctor, this could have been a serious complication.
  • Considering the stress of all the delays, Jim’s blood pressure remained safe.
    His oxygen even remained 98 and above!

Jim has some wins as well.

Jim was not happy with the placement of the catheter, but, when one is under anesthesia, one cannot understand all the things the doctor explains.

The upside is that the doctor said that he was able to do everything that he wanted to do and that the tissue responded so well, just melting instantly, that he didn’t even go around to do some other areas that were ‘just in case’.
Now, it’s a different type of recovery than the first time. But recover, we shall!

I’m trying to finish this the following week.
To be honest, we are still struggling, which is why this blog is a week late.

The doctor that was supposed to follow up with Jim, and in fact, talked to him on Wednesday, giving him great calming advice, decided on Monday that Jim was not a candidate for his practice.
WHAT? We were just IN his clinic! He’d been talking to us, and gave Jim his cell phone number! And talked to him on said cell phone!

Disappointed?
Yeah!
Confused?
Completely.
Jim was completely frustrated, potentially angry, but I was not with him, because my leg had given out.

Same day – I found out that my pain doctor may not take me back because I’d rescheduled 2 appointments over the last year, and cancelled one. Not one no show…but, still, I was told that she could not schedule me until he looked over my chart and decided he still wanted me for a patient. WHAT? now it’s wrong to reschedule or cancel appointments?

Angry?
you bet.
And I fell apart.
I was trying very hard not to cry as I went in to see my doctor, and ask for pain meds!

I did get in to see my PCP, and she gave me a new medicine for the pain in my hip. One that will not have the side effects that the previous one had. Surprise? IT WORKS BETTER THAN THE OTHER ONE WITH A PAIN PILL! No pain pills! No pain! And sleep, precious sleep.

How do you prepare for surprises?
You put your faith in the Lord, and you dwell on His word, and you join together, and remind each other that we are a team, Jim, me and God.

Isaiah 54:17
No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.

I found this devotional on Isaiah 54:17 by James MacDonald
It reminds me of everything that I believe about God walking with us through storms.

no-weapon-formed-resized
And another devotional about preparing for warfare came with this graphic above. From ChristiansTT, it teaches about warfare in prayer.

The point is, just because we don’t know the answer – our faith tells us that we know the ONE that holds the ANSWER in His hand.
If we did not believe this – we would not be where we are today.
We would both be locked up in a hospital for not being able to think straight!

  • Our lives are not perfect, but we live in the One Who is.
  • they are riddled with sin, but woven with mercy.
  • they are encumbered with guilt, but awash with grace.
  • they are surrounded with storms, but enveloped with his words “Peace, be still”.
  • HE holds us together…without the Love of God through Jesus Christ – we would not be able to handle the storms.

Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom,
and the Power
and the Glory,
Forever.
Amen.

We celebrated Thanksgiving by giving thanks that the Lord is in His house, and in our hearts.
We celebrate Advent, by remembering that many before us have waited to see God’s hand move on their behalf.
We will celebrate Christmas, by thanking the Creator of the Universe for choosing to give of Himself to win us back to Him.
My studies in Prepare this year have been very appropriate.
My studies in Psalm 23 have been very personal.
My heart is that you will be blessed by something in my life stories.

Thank you for sharing them with me.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank

for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Posted in Bible Thoughts, Choose Life, Jounral, Joy in the Journey, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Christmas Time 2016

It is Christmas time – and this is one of the two seasons of the year that I love.

Christmas – because God gave us Jesus as a gift to deliver us –

Here is a scripture writing plan for December from Sweet Blessings.

Here’s a very traditional version of Joy to the World!

And here’s my current favorite version!

And this is just gorgeous!

My other favorite Holiday is the point of Christmas – it is Easter.

But, for now, we will be celebrating Advent.

I have created a page in which I will post my Advent Devotions.

I will also repost them to my facebook and on The WildBerry Patch FB page daily.

I pray that this season will be filled with the Joy of the Lord in your lives!

And I pray for this world – as this song prayed for Emmanuel.

And may the faithful rise up and shine a light into this dark world.

More Advent Devotions

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank

for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

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Thanksgiving Thoughts

I wrote this in 2015 – and it’s true in 2016, and forever.

For my online friends and family.

I have so many of my friends here on Facebook. Family, too.
I just want to let all of you know that I am so thankful for you.
Some of you I’ve known for long,
Some of you flew in like a song.
Some lived near then moved away,
Only one seems he’s here to stay!
Whether we are near or far
Whether we just share the stars
Thank you for touching my heart,
And in my life, a very big part.
Happy and blessed thanksgiving.

My Advent Devotions

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank

for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

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2016 – Word of the Year – Prepare – Psalm 23 MY(part2)

lord-is-my-shepherd_t_nv

I started this series in October.

Then the world fell apart! Well, just The United States going crazy over an election.

In the midst of all the noise, I was reminded what my government thought of me in 2009, 2012, and now again in 2016.

In the midst of this, I was hit with not being prepared for the path placed before me, being Cancer in my husband. Even this plan has changed, and become up in the air!

ps23tattoo

Today, I saw a sweet young lady’s tattoo that had a lamb on it, with the words “The Lord is my Shepherd” above it. Interesting way for God to remind me that I need to get back to the work HE has placed before me!

Psalm 23.
I’ve been looking at the meaning of the first words of the first verse.

The.
Lord.
Is.
MY…
and I ended with the first part of my understanding of MY.

Here’s a gift for the families, or for folks that want to color, as they meditate upon Psalm 23.

ps23colorPsalm 23 Coloring Pages

Here’s part two.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When we want to own something, we go and purchase it.
By paying the cost we free that item from its previous owner, and make it our own.

Sometimes, that is done with the trade.
Our son Stephen has a gift for finding things people want who have things that he wants in order to trade with them and both parties are happy.

There is also the concept of bartering.
Our two daughters-in-love have a system of bartering for clothes and hair care. Some parents barter babysitting. “I’ll watch your kids this week and you watch my kids next week”. Both parties benefit.

The thing is, both parties need to want something from the other. Both parties have to agree upon the value of that item or service or relationship. If the price of one person’s belonging is higher than the other can pay, the owner has the ability to make or break the deal by adjusting, or making provision for the deal, or not. The person in the lesser position is at the mercy of the person with the more coveted belonging.

In the case of salvation I have to want to be set free from my old life and be given a new life in Jesus Christ. That wouldn’t make any difference if God did not want a relationship with me.

In the situation with Jesus, I don’t have enough to buy my salvation. I am so far in the hole that I cannot get myself out in order to purchase my salvation. The rules in the Old Testament prove that we cannot earn our way into heaven. The price for salvation is so immeasurably High that only the owner of that gift can meet the price.

At the time of Adam and Eve, God chose to provide the sacrifice. It was the first time that a life was given for a life. The first blood sacrifice. It was the first death in the garden. That is a serious message about separation from God, and that is the evidence of the cost for sin.

Romans 6:23a

The wages of sin is death.

Habbakuk 1:13

Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.

When we have sin in our lives we have enslaved ourselves to sin. Ever notice how easy it is to say yes to sin after you say yes once?
Ever notice how difficult it is to say no once you’ve said yes?
Ever try to only take one bite of a decadent dessert, and not finish it once it is sitting in front of you? I have! on all accounts!

There is an awesome chapter about sin, and slavery to it.

Romans 6

When Adam and Eve sinned, they separated themselves from their relationship with God who would walk in the garden with them normally.

Genesis 3:

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Adam and Eve had never felt the need to hide from God before. Their disobedience (sin) separated them from a pure and free relationship with their creator.

The fact that God created a sacrifice for them or perform the sacrifice for them, shows how great was his desire to be in relationship with his creation. God paid the price on their behalf. Actually, He made the first sacrifice by creating them skins to cover their nakedness.

Genesis 3:21

21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

And Adam and Eve suffered the consequences of their choices.

Genesis 3:23-24

23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[e] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Adam and Eve were separated from the intimate relationship they had previously enjoyed with God.

~~~~~~~~~

Step One – He paved the way long before we were born;

Romans 5:7-9

7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Step Two – Recognize we are separated from God by our actions

Romans 3:10-12

10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”

Step Three – We have to believe.

That is the first part of our part of the price. To believe.

Acts 16:30-31

30Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.”

It’s in the contract:

Mark 16:16

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Here’s the contract:

John 3:16-19

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Acts 2:37-39

37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

Acts 16:30-31

29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

John 3:36;

Unfortunately we don’t even have that much that we can give towards this purchase!

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

Back to my analogy:

“The thing is, both parties need to want something from the other. Both parties have to agree upon the value of that item or service or relationship. If the price of one person’s belonging is higher than the other can pay, the owner has the ability to make or break the deal by adjusting, or making provision for the deal, or not. The person in the lesser position is at the mercy of the person with the more coveted belonging”.

We can’t even come up the down payment to believe that we are sinners and we need a savior.
We can’t even muster up the down payment of wanting to have a relationship with God.
God in His grace and mercy saw our poor, wretched selves, and not only did he pay the price with Jesus Christ on the cross, he gave us the ability to say “I want you in my life”.

The point of being able to trade with someone is that both of you have to want the trade. Both of you have to have something that the other one wants. Even if that something is a $20,000 car, and your other person is the car salesman. If you don’t have $20,000 in your account, you can’t buy that car. Sometimes, when the car dealer wants to sell the car to you bad enough, they will actually set up a loan in order for you to be able to pay in parts. It’s not your money that is paying for the car, because you didn’t have any. It is the car dealers money and they are asking you to pay it in steps.

We don’t have enough in our account to pay or earn or by our salvation. The Creator God wanted a relationship with us so badly, it had such value to him, that he chose to pay off our debt. That is salvation.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

He paid a debt He did not owe!

Faith through Grace. IT’S A GIFT!

Which brings me to Step Four – RECEIVE!

GIFT
The other person in a deal can GIFT the item to you. That is the other way a deal can be made!

What is our responsibility in the event of being offered a gift? RECEIVE!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That will be Part 3 of Psalm 23 – MY

I’ll discuss receiving the gift, not receiving the gift, and the payment plan!
What does this have to do with my one word, prepare?
This is the beginning, the preparation work, the foundation stone for everything else in my life. I hope you will join me!

Team Wildman

Team Wildman

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi

Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank

for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!

Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!

I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THE SKY IS FALLING! The end of the world as we know it!

Yes, Donald Trump is going to be our next president.
No, Hillary Clinton did not win.
And, no, all the independent candidates only kept the big show from being more of a separation. 1-2-6% just didn’t come close to winning…but, it could have effected the outcome, one way or another.
I know very seriously committed Christians that voted in every one of those categories. No one has the Christian mandate.

AND YET – that is NOT the focus of my post!

godneverpanics

AS CHRISTIANS – What should our response be?

My first post this morning was to thank friends of mine on the “other side of the aisle” for having respectful discussions with me throughout this election.

KB, I want to thank you for reaching out to me this election. I pray that our respect for one another is a symbol for others that vehemently disagree and the who…but completely agree in the need for change. SS, you and I have described our political relationship as being on opposite sides so dramatically that we end up back to back fighting for the same issues from different points of view.

I know how you feel on the day after an election, and you ladies did not gloat and rub your victories in my face in 2008 and 2012. I wish I would say ” good race”, but I can’t. What I can say is thank you for your love for our country. May God bless America…and may we the people come together to don’t a more perfect union!
Thank you, ladies, and other friends that disagree with my position…I’m thanking DP, JR, DE and others. Thank you for the respectful freedom to discuss our differences. THIS is what makes America great!

Then, I wrote this post on Facebook this morning, as I saw folks blasting both sides:

For 8 years, I’ve been respectful of a man for which I had no respect. I hope those that were for Hillary can find themselves able to honor the way the founders set up our method of election, and be respectful. Our country needs to be united against our common foes…poverty, uneducated, Healthcare issues and security issues among so many others. Let’s all be AMERICAN!

I’m going to post that discussion here. I’m not going to name my friend, because she is not the only Christian that is feeling this way.

One response:

Yes, you were, but we need to face the fact that many, MANY people were not respectful of President Obama. Those people have no right to expect Hillary supporters to all of a sudden respect Trump. What goes around, comes around.

My reply:

It doesn’t mean that Christians shouldn’t raise the bar and live above the past. We can encourage one another to shine a light. To be a light. People live down to your expectations.

Her comment:

I totally agree that we should encourage one another to do what’s right, but I think that Christians who were disrespectful of President Obama gave up their opportunity to be the light in this particular situation.

My reply:

Repentance and confession go a long way…and then, they can show their change by their quiet response to wrath. The Christian life is about growth. I’m speaking a vision…I hope believers will hear. Every day I have to try to live and love better than yesterday. In times like these, that’s the light that can be shown. I hope that a sinful past does not eliminate my future opportunities to be salt and light. By grace through Faith I stand! And that not of myself! The psalmist said that we are to shine brighter and brighter…I call out to my brothers and sisters to rise to the call of the kingdom of God, not muck around in sport game celebrations. Even sports know it’s unsportsmanlike. We are to be different…and someone has to call out and remind us that we have a higher calling! That is what I am attempting to do.

I got one response from another friend that said:

I am not united with bigots, racists, misogynists, and xenophopes.

hmmm. That means me.

Another post by a friend, was this meme:

bullyvotingmap

Here’s my response:

This is highly offensive to me. If you are one that is posting such memes, this is to you.
It just hurts me when folks make such generalizations. As if I’m ignorant…and those like me could not possibly have an intelligent reason for our position. I cannot comprehend your position, and you cannot comprehend mine, but isn’t that where we grow by respecting each other and not supporting memes and such that call each other ugly names? Doesn’t that smack of bullying? And isn’t that a huge thing Democrats have screamed about trump? Wasn’t part of Hillary’s campaign anti bullying? I just don’t understand the divisiveness. And yes, just as blacks consider themselves judged as part of a whole group…and the Democrat position was anti bias, I’m part of the group indicated in red…I have been bullied and judged by this meme.
I’m anti-bullying, anti-stereotyping. Are you?

And this is just in response to the stuff that those pro Hillary and anti Trump have posted.

I’ve told those that are pro trump that I will not be posting or liking any of their meme’s either. On both sides, there have been some funny things, but, not everyone sees the humor.

As a follower of Christ, here is how I have handled the last 8 years of a presidency that I did not agree with.

1. I have dual citizenship! United States Citizen(by birth) and
The Kingdom of Heaven (by rebirth).

  • Phil 3:20
    But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
  • Romans 8:17
    Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
  • John 17:15-17
    15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by[a] the truth; your word is truth.
  • John 18:36
    36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

2. Responsibility to My Heavenly King
I’m going to post this after #3, but I wanted it to be clear that my first responsibility is to my Heavenly King. This is from where all of my decisions derive, and this is where my world view is formed.

Here’s a hint!

Mark 12:29-33
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.
33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Here, take a break and listen to Rich Mullins singing Creed!

3. Responsibility to my earthly government

  • Romans 13:1-2

    1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
    2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

  • Mark 12:13-17

    17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

    Matthew 22:15-22

  • Romans 14:17-18

    17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval

  • A great sermon was preached on 11/6/2016 by David Uth of First Baptist Church of Orlando. I hope I can update this soon, when that podcast is published.

Back to point 2.

no-matter-who-is-president-jesus-is-king

Is Jesus my King? YES!

Joshua 24:14-15
14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.
15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

1 John 3:23
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.

John 1:12
1 John 4:15
Acts 16:31
1 Corinthians 3:11

Now, what is my responsibility as a Christian – to those around me?
Jesus had a lot to say, and none of it depended upon the outcome of an election.

Ephesians 4:1-3
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

LOVE

John 13:34-35
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 15:17
This is my command: Love each other.

If you are not familiar with the standard of how love acts, in the life of a Christian, please click on 1 Corinthians 13.

PEACE

Romans 12:18
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Hebrews 12:14
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Psalm 34:14
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

2 Corinthians 13:11
Finally, brothers, rejoice! Aim for perfect harmony, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

FORGIVENESS, KINDNESS, COMPASSIONATE

Ephesians 4:31-32
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

galatians 5:13-16
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 5:22-26
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.

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

LIGHT(to cause darkness to flee)

Ephesians 5:8-9
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light,
9for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth.

Matthew 5:14-16
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

SALT (preservative, seasoning)

Matthew 5:13
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot

Mark 9:50
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

Colossians 4:6
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Get rid of ugliness:

Galatians 4:29-32
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Romans 14:19; Romans 15:2; Colossians 3:8;1 Thessalonians 5:11

And verse upon verse upon verse about the dangers of the tongue!

Focus on the Good:

Phillipians 4:8-9
8 Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things.
9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Speak not evil of governing authorities

2 Peter 2:10
But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

Jude 8

Exodus 22:28
Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

The wisdom of Solomon:

Ecclesiastes 10:20
Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.

And if you can’t bring yourself to do that, here are a few verses that always bring me to my knees:

Matt 5:43 – 46
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

Luke 6:27-28
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Why?
Because Christians are called to be DIFFERENT than the rest of the world.
Christians are supposed to be growing into the likeness and image of CHRIST JESUS!

Philipians 2:5
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,

John 13:15
“For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.

Romans 8:29
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Mark 8:34-35
And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

John 15:10
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

John 13:35
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

I’m commanded to love those that use me, abuse me, persecute me, and even are my enemies. Jesus Loved from the cross.

But I have another responsibility, to this country, based on my citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven.

2 Chronicles 7:14
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

My responsibility is:

  • as one of HIS people
  • called by HIS name
  • HUMBLE MYSELF
  • Pray
  • Seek HIS face
  • Turn from MY wicked ways
  • THEN
  • He will hear me
  • and forgive me
  • and heal our land.

But the verse is PLURAL – MY PEOPLE!
There is a need for revival in the land – for the children of God to rise up to their responsibility for the condition of our country.
I know that I have not been consistent with this set of requirements to be a good citizen. Have you?

Yahweh, Jehovah, Yeshua or Jesus(however you want to speak the name of God) did not put any clarification that this only applied when the King was a Godly King. In fact, Daniel was led to pray for the King of Persia…
Israelites were called to pray for the leaders when in Babylon(jeremiah 29:7)
The early Christians were told to pray for the government, that would kill them.

Our government in the United States of America grants us freedom of religion – at this time – in the constitution. That is NOT the case around the world. And, according to the scriptures, that will not be the case forever.

Matthew 24 is a good place to read about how things will change.
Luke 21.
Mark 13.
And they are changing.

1 Timothy 4
2 Peter 3
1 Thessalonians 5

So, my prayer, dear Christian, follower of Christ, lover of the true Light – is this:

Hebrews 10:22-25
22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
25 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.

Jeremiah was told

(Jeremiah 29:7):
7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Jeremiah 29:11-13
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.
12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

1 Timothy 2:1-4
2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Let’s humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.
Let’s stand in the gap on behalf of our nation.
Let’s make our speech, both written and spoken, be wholesome and edifying, not given to gossip and division.

prayforamerica2

Let’s live our lives to rise to glorify God in our bodies, and not fall to the destructive methods of others.

Romans 12:1-2
12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

When Jesus returns for his Bride – I want him to be able to pick me out of the crowd! I want to be different. How about you?

note – this does not discuss the grace and mercy of God upon us, the propitiation for our sin through Jesus Christ, and the forgiveness when we fail. On the other hand, I did not reference the times we are told to be perfect as he is perfect or holy as he is holy. The point is – we are supposed to aim higher. That is my goal. I fail often, but by His grace, I go before the throne, call upon the name of Jesus, and I’m cleansed, and welcomed back to try again.

Team Wildman

Team Wildman

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank

for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Posted in Bible Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Holidays – Why I don’t celebrate Halloween

IT’S SCARY!
No, actually, that’s not the original reason that I stopped celebrating Halloween. I once participated in Halloween dances, haunted houses, and watched horror movies. So, I cannot say that this is the reason I quit.

Once, many years ago, my dear husband refused to watch a scary movie with me. His reason? It gave him nightmares! Over the years, I stopped watching the crime dramas because, they, too, gave me nightmares. Why would I want to put myself through such things? Still, that has little to do with why I stopped celebrating Halloween.

When we decided to make it known to our family that we would not be participating in holidays, we mentioned Christmas, Easter and Halloween. Which one got the reaction? Halloween. The one that has nothing to do with celebrating Christ Jesus. I have one family member that has never spoken to me again since.

One church we participated in many years ago, had a harvest party, and asked that children come as Bible characters. I caved in. What harm could come from this? We had a dress for one that with some wings, she became an Angel. The others all had animal sleepers, and went as animals from the ark. All this did was to muddy the waters, and give others reasons to question our integrity. My desire is to be a light to the world, shining Christ’s light. I do not want to be accused of sounding an uncertain sound, or having a filtered light, or casting a shadow.

I am going to share my thoughts on this holiday.
This is how I came up with my decision to not participate at all, in any way.

What is a Christian supposed to focus upon?
Phillipians 4:8-9

8 Finally, brothers and sisters,

  • whatever is true,
  • whatever is noble,
  • whatever is right,
  • whatever is pure,
  • whatever is lovely,
  • whatever is admirable
  • if anything is excellent or praiseworthy

    think about such things.

9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.
And the God of peace will be with you.

In my experience, there is nothing in Halloween that fits these categories. And, yes, I have heard all of the excuses to participate…I’ll share my thoughts on those later.

So, if Halloween is NOT these things, upon what does it focus?

Witches – worshippers of the devil

Death

Darkness

  • We’ve been called OUT of darkness –
    1 Peter 2:9

    But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

    John 8:12

    Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

  • We are called into the Light –
    1 John 1:5-7

    5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
    6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
    7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

  • We are called to BE light –Matthew 5:14-16

    14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
    15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
    16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

  • and darkness is the realm of the devil:
    Acts 26:18

    to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.

Horror

  • this is a simple statement – look at the Halloween movie offerings!
  • My issue with this is that it feeds fear.2 Timothy 1:7

    7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind

  • Jesus said that He came to give us peace…
    John 14:27

    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

  • All through scripture, God tells us not to be afraid…he doesn’t say there aren’t things to be afraid of. If it is best for me to not be afraid, why would I put myself in the position to be fearful to get an adrenaline rush?

Monsters, demons, vampires and the undead.
Again – none of these glorifies God or confirms the gospel of Christ.

Here is the one scripture verse that really turned my head:
2 Corinthians 6:14-16

14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

So – is it serious enough just to base this upon what the current practice does? Well, I look around at the continual decay of the celebration. More and more decorations are based around scaring, with death, and witchcraft and demonic activities. In my area, there are even sheets hanging from the trees covered in “blood”.
None of this brings Phillipians 4:8-9 to mind!
None of this brings the light of Christ into our midst… were delivered From darkness into HIS LIGHT. Why would I want to go back there?

To do a very simple research upon the roots of Halloween, I have turned to Wikipedia. This is NOT known for it’s religious bent! Even so, this research option includes some of the pagan background of Halloween.

Just reading the generic write up of Halloween in Wikipedia sets my nerves on edge. There are too many similarities to the various occult practices. As for using it to celebrate those that have gone on before, such as all hallows eve? We are not told to celebrate the dead…and even when the rich man asks Lazarus, who was in Abraham’s bosom, awaiting the day of the resurrection, Abraham says that there is a chasm between the living and the dead, and that no one could go through it.(Luke 16:19-31) Those who have died are either in the place of suffering, or are in the place Jesus called paradise when he spoke to the thief upon the cross.

I present some interesting articles, that of course, support my position, some more than others.

So, why do Christians participate in Halloween?
Why do Christians participate in any worldly activity?
It is much easier to just follow along rather than stand up for one’s beliefs.
In many cases, it is even excused by those in leadership.

You, dear reader, can google why a Christian SHOULD celebrate Halloween on your own. There are many, many articles out there to support this position.

I said I would comment on some of the reasons Christians use to excuse participating in Halloween.
Some just do not see the harm in participating in this high holy day of the devil.
Some use it to pass out Christian Tracts – little pamphlets that present the gospel.
my issues with this:

  • Who really believes that a child that is looking for candy is going to be happy about a little booklet?
  • Who really believes that a child looking for candy is going to READ said booklet?
  • Could this be considered a bait and switch tactic? Oh, yes, the church has gotten very good at bait and switch in order to ‘preach’ the gospel, or to ‘catch’ converts.
  • It’s very dangerous to bring the worldly ways, the pagan ways, into the gospel. There are passages that speak about this, and stories that illustrate this in the Bible. Strange fire and uncertain sound come to mind.

Christianity is not immune to the occult practices, and has it’s share of worship of the dead, as well as giving demons and the devil way too much credit for some things, and not enough credit for others. In fact, even angels and those that have passed on before us are sometimes given special powers and honor that is not biblical! That does not make any of this right. It is the Bible that is my source for my decision.

Again, for me, I must turn to scripture:

2 Corinthians 6:17

Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

More than any other thing, I want to hear the Lord say, “Enter into the Joy of the Lord”.
My heart’s desire is to be received by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Do I think that celebrating Halloween would keep someone out of the Kingdom of God? I honestly don’t know. I know that for me to participate is for me to go against all that I have learned about Jesus Christ, God the Father, and against all that the Holy Spirit confirms in my spirit. For me, this is not something I want to risk damaging my relationship with my Creator God. For me, this is playing with fire. I know that I will get burned. This is my experience any time I go against what I believe the Bible leads me to do. I want to enter in at the straight gate….

Matthew 7:14

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Contemplating this very post has had an effect upon my recent watching of murder mysteries. Not the scary, gory ones…these are the ones on Hallmark channel! I believe that a sign of a living relationship with Jesus Christ is that we grow, and change, and learn to look more and more like Him. For my own peace of mind, I will be giving these shows up as well.

I want my life to stand for all that Jesus has given me.
I do not want to complicate it.
I do not want to contaminate it.
Seriously, giving up a scary holiday is the least that I can do to tell my Father God that HE is my one and only God.
Giving up gory or non-gory, scary shows is such a tiny offering, considering all that my Lord has given me.

Deuteronomy 30:15-19

15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them,
18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live

Here is my declaration:

Joshua 24:14-15

14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.
15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Team Wildman

Team Wildman

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I want to thank

for the ability to search the Bible online.

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here are some that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Posted in Bible Thoughts, Choose Life, Holidays | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment