“If, by some still small voice, He calls me to paths I do not know, I’ll answer with my hand in His, ‘I’ll go where You want me to go!’” Mary Brown, 1856-1918   Every year we step through the gate of the New Year. On the threshold, we often turn our head one last time and say goodbye to what’s behind. Goodbye, joy and goodbye sorrow. Then we sigh and step through the gate, a little unsure of what the New Year will bring. After all, the skies seem dark and ominous. Is there a storm coming maybe? “Please hold me, Lord,” we whisper. “Wasn’t the old year already difficult enough? Can’t we travel on the wings of Your love to pastures full of sunshine and rest?” The young Jewish Dutch girl Anne Frank wrote once, “How difficult it is to keep steady in a world where idealism is mocked and love is so often crushed. It is so hard to walk in a world where people show themselvesContinue reading »

The Bible has hundreds of prophecies, but not all prophets have the people’s good at heart. Take, for example, Jonah. God called Jonah to prophesy to the people of Nineveh about God’s judgment on their sin and what would happen to them if they did not turn from their sin and turn to God, but Jonah did not want to preach to Nineveh. He knew God would forgive them if they repented, but Jonah thought they deserved judgment instead of mercy. After he initially ran from God and found himself swallowed by a whale, he agreed to go, but he did so grudgingly. Even though when the people heard his prophecy, they repented and were saved, Jonah was not happy about it. Jonah did not love the people of Nineveh, but God did. God wanted the people to be saved; Jonah did not. In the end, he only agreed to go to save himself from God’s wrath.   “But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. HeContinue reading »

Music is instrumental in dazzling our heart strings. It manages to delight, comfort, inspire, and encourage us. The Master Maestro is God Almighty, who splendidly orchestrates in harmonic rhythm. He never misses a beat and is always on key. We all have our favorite songs, melodies, and lyrical treats. Yes, and we have our preferred artists, as well. Moments for instrumental sounds arrive, as do moments for upbeat, lively melodies. Our moods have occasions when we desire and welcome the benefits of soothing music, too. All races, cultures and types of people enjoy music. We certainly have that in common on a global scale. Music is used to unite and to aid in reconciling differences. It also “speaks” love languages in an array of ways. Yes, indeed music comes into play in remedial fashions. We’re so grateful for the musical professionals who entertain and engage us with their musical gifts. They work, in earnest, to advance their crafts. Appreciation extends for what they invest and share with us of theirContinue reading »

What pleasure we have in the gift of laughter. God knows that we sure need it. Hearty laughter releases and delights. Yes, our lives do need lightness; laughter is one way that we achieve it. There are levels of laughter, chuckles, robust forms, giggles, and cackling laughter. Indeed, we sometimes need to laugh. It sure adds benefits to our well being. Psalm 126:2 – KJV Then was our mouth filled with laughter, . . . Proverbs 17:22 – KJV A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. MatthewContinue reading »

Have no fear; God is forever here. His “well” never runs dry. Our Lord always has timely plans and solutions. We read in 1 Kings 17:7 – KJV that the brook dried up. Yep, it sure did. But God didn’t dry up. He gave Elijah another means of sustenance. God always has means to supply. Rest assured that the answers are in God . . . . I Kings 17:7 – KJV And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, Philippians 4:11 – KJV Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Thirst for God is immensely pleasurable. Ah! How refreshing is it to quench our thirst for godliness? Our cups run over in gratifying measures. We can’t contain all of the lovely provisions that reward for righteousness. Yes, our thirsts are quenched as we live in company with Christ and the gospel truths that teach, admonish, encourage, and prove the well placed words in Bible content. We drink, in gratitude, the multiple flavors of biblically based answers. Ah! Matthew 5:6 – KJV Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

“But suppose the wicked stop doing all the sins they have done and obey all my rules and do what is fair and right. Then they will surely live; they will not die. Their sins will be forgotten. Because they have done what is right, they will live. I do not really want the wicked to die, says the Lord God. I want them to stop their bad ways and live. (emphasis mine) Ezekiel 18:21-23 (NCV) You never know what insight a different translation can provide to the Word of God. Take Ezekiel 18:23 for example. Bible Hub online has 21 different translations for each verse and you will find them listed one after the other so that it is easy to go through and compare translations and seek clarity on a verse for various reasons. Sometimes we just don’t “get it” and want to figure it out, or sometimes we may be offering light and insight for another brother, sister or perhaps a new believer and want a more modernized English translation.Continue reading »

The thought of someone we don’t like going to Hell should never make us happy. We are supposed to see through the eyes of Jesus and he sees everyone as worth saving. Yet, while we live in the flesh, we will constantly do what Paul spoke of in Romans 7. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at warContinue reading »

Recently, I read about a 90-year-old registered nurse, Florence Rigney, our nation’s oldest working nurse. She continues on her job of caring for others. A video was posted honoring her and her long term service. Ms. Rigney was crowned, given a bouquet of flowers and had a letter read to her sent, in her honor, from the governor of the state of Washington. Wow! What an inspiration. Also, I read headlines about 103-year-old, Loren Wade, who waters plants at a Kansas Walmart. Stanislaw Kowalski, at 104 years old, ran a 100 meter race! Seniors are such treasures and often don’t receive sufficient love, honor and respect. Salutes and cheers extend to the elderly and how they inspire. Psalm 92:14 – KJV They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;

I was amazed when I saw the colorful, intricate construction on a youtube video. It was of tiny houses, barely bigger than a doghouse, with doors, round little windows, and slanted roofs, so the rain would run off. All of them were on wheels, so they could be moved. They actually looked cozy. But they were no doghouses, but shelters for the homeless in Oakland. They were entirely made of trash. Garbage, after all, can be recycled. These homes are part of a project set up by an artist, Gregory Kloehn, who wants to supply the homeless with places of their own. Mr. Kloehn searches the streets for illegally dumped garbage, furniture, and material and uses it to make many such houses for the homeless. Some of his contraptions are real works of art. It may not be much, but it means the world for a homeless person, and it brings hope and light. And in this case, garbage is being used to bring that hope. That night when IContinue reading »