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God’s Wonders

Under the open blue sky
I sit digesting the
fruits of God’s wonders –
Birds and insects fly free
engaged in the sounds of
their beings.

Gentle breezes blow –
Tree branches sway
in the movements
of the morning air.

It’s crisp out here
in this fresh a.m. beauty
Yes, splendid glory to view –
The magnificence of God
cannot be contained.

It’s such a joy to witness.
As the bible says, truly,
the earth is the Lord’s
and the fullness thereof.
Let everything that has breath
praise the Lord.

Certainly, God is the Master
of creation and the Master
of our fate.

But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT) Samuel told King Saul that God said to attack the Amalekites and completely annihilate them including the women, children, and animals. The battle was waged and the Israelites attacked the Amalekites, just as God had commanded. Unfortunately, they also kept the King of the Amalekites and the best of the animals. As a result, God sent Samuel to deliver the message to Saul that since he had not obeyed, God was removing him from the throne. When Samuel calls Saul on the carpet about not destroying everything, Saul claims he saved the best animals to sacrifice to God. So first he partially obeyed, which is basically saying “I will follow Your instructions, but only the part I want to.” It is the same as the temptation of Eve. God saidContinue reading »

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Friendship Delights – Part Two

Days ago in Rest in Hope, I posted Part One of “Friendship Delights” that shared about the bond of David and Jonathan, the son of King Saul. Another favorite bible friendship story is that of Naomi and Ruth. Naomi’s two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah became widows, as did Naomi. After her husband passed, returning to her homeland, Judah, was Naomi’s mission. Orpah and Ruth told Naomi that they’d go with her to her people. Naomi discouraged them both, but Ruth persisted. She said to Naomi these words from the book of Ruth 1:16 – KJV, “. . . Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:” How touching is that love, loyalty and devotion?

Naomi convinced Orpah to return to her kinfolk, but Ruth refused to be deterred. Off she went with her mother-in-law to a destiny of which she likely had no foreknowledge. Upon reaching and settling in Judah, Ruth listened to her mother-in-law’s wise and timely advice. Subsequently, Ruth gained Boaz as a husband and he gained a jewel of a wife. Ruth conceived and birthed Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David. Little known is that, according to the genealogy in Matthew 1:5, Rahab, the harlot, — Joshua 2 — was the great-grandmother of David.

Ruth 4:18 – KJV:

Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, and Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, and Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, and Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

Matthew 1:5 – KJV:

. . . And Naasson begat Salmon; and Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; and Jesse begat David the king.

Note: The spellings of the subject names differ in the Old and New Testaments.

I end this with a salute to my nearest and dearest best friend, Arnetta, who has passed on, but memories of her remain solidly in my heart. Ours was a proven and treasured friendship — indeed. The photo that accompanies this piece is of Arnetta and I from “back in the day.”

Abortion has been a topic that has stirred passionate responses from antiquity. While this is a medical process, the procedure often combines the ending of life with severe brutality- for both the unborn and the mother. While technology has made the procedure quicker in the modern era, the methods are frighteningly similar to those used in more ancient periods. One of the most renowned Church Fathers was Tertullian, living around 200 AD. Abortion and infanticide were practices the ancient world knew well and he spoke strongly against them. He said: “Among surgeons’ tools there is a certain instrument that is designed with a nicely-adjusted flexible frame for first of all opening the uterus and then keeping it open. It also has a circular blade, by which the limbs within the womb are dissected with careful, but unflinching care. Then a copper spike is driven into the unborn to take its life. From this infanticide method, some gave it the name, ‘Killer of the Infant’.” Tertullian, in another article, writes: “Are youContinue reading »

Recently, I watched a YouTube documentary video titled, Water: The Great Mystery. That program was strikingly interesting. In one part, two bowls of water were placed in front of a dog. The dog chose the spring water, the better of the water choices. I was like, “Wow, how did the dog know?!” Largely, before I viewed that water documentary, I’d taken water for granted. The program taught of many benefits of water — the power of water — the memory of water — the “personality” of water, etc. In the very beginning of the bible, water is mentioned in Genesis 1:2 – KJV, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In the book of Kings, Naaman dipped in the water of Jordan and was healed of leprosy. 2 Kings 5:14 – KJV, “Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying ofContinue reading »

Today, decide who you will serve – Joshua 24:15 With these words, Joshua challenges the people of Israel to choose who will be the one that they serve, God or the idols of their time. These words resonate today, as never before has the foundations of our Christian faith been challenged by the petty figures which inhabit the political landscape. The words of such politicians are easy to hear and incite our feelings, but are empty of lasting value and filled with the confidence brought about the power of this world. Even the great Philosopher, Aristotle had little to say of the rhetoricians, who pander to crowds with orchestrated speeches. He stated that these speakers care little about the essential messages but rather arouse emotions as a means to appeal to listeners. Aristotle lamented, as did Joshua before him and Jesus after him, that people follow the words of these speakers- often to their detriment. The words of these politicians give false hope, empty promises, and a false sense ofContinue reading »

Love, honor and appreciation is extended to the mothers who pour into their children abundant love, care, discipline and diligence in child rearing. The same extends to those non-mothers who generously administer tender loving care as relatives and guardians. My mother passed away when I was a teenager. My dearly beloved aunt Margie stepped in to care for me and my sister. Aunt Margie had two children of her own, but she chose to “mother” us, as well. Through the years, Aunt Margie has done the same for other relatives. Indeed, she’s a jewel in the ways in which she so consistently exhibits love and care. I adored my mother, Helen. As her youngest child, yes, I was spoiled. She was a treasure of a mother. Certainly, we knew that we were loved by the constant evidence presented by Mama. “Recovering” from her absence was a huge challenge. Rebellion was one way that I acted out my profound grief. Coming to grips with my motherless status was immensely difficult. FolksContinue reading »

Fear and faith both like to sail into the harbor of our thoughts and there unload their cargo. It should be abundantly clear that fear should never be allowed to throw out its anchor, but should be banned immediately. Let’s welcome faith however with open arms. Faith is the voice of God and will bring good tidings and cargo from far away places. There is a beautiful story about a small, sick boy somewhere in the African jungle, who lay sick in his hut with a high fever. There was little hope for the boy. His body was weak and he seemed more dead than alive. An old missionary was trying to save the boy, but he lacked the supplies that were needed. ‘If only I would have some ice,’ the old man thought to himself. ‘Then I could control the fevers better and would I be able to save this boy’s life.’ But where can you find ice in the middle of tropical Africa? But the mother of theContinue reading »

The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. Psalm 37:23 He orders my steps. I need not fear what is up ahead because He orders my steps. He counts the hairs on my head. He knew me before I was born. He has numbered my days. Our prayers need not be long and fluid, flowing from one spiritual word to another. Our prayers don’t need many words and lofty phrases. God looks on the heart and He sees us and He knows the desires of our heart even before we do. He has planned my life with all its twists and turns, failures and triumphs, joys and sorrows. He orders my steps. David said in Psalm 37:23 that “the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord.” In prayer, I speak these words, You order my steps… Before I can even get to the word “so,” He stills my lips until the words “You order my steps” hang in the air. It is enough, HeContinue reading »

An everlasting love. An all consuming love. A burning passion. A love that never dies. What has God promised us? He will never leave nor forsake you, for He has told you in His Word. In Deuteronomy 31:6 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” And Romans 13:5 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” And Romans 8: 38-39 that took my breath upon my first reading of it: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”   Perhaps you are not a believer in eternal love because you have been hurt by people,Continue reading »

Why would I believe in Jesus? After all, there are so many religions and philosophies and they all claim to have the answer, so why Christianity? Isn’t it just another religion? I was talking to a young man who was adamant in his conviction that Christians were narrow-minded and should be much more tolerant of other religions and philosophies. He shook his head and wondered, “Don’t you know that all roads lead to Rome?” Why Christians are so easily being branded as intolerant is a bit puzzling, as Jesus Himself reached out to everybody and never excluded anybody. He has commanded us clearly to do the same, regardless of race, color or worldview. When Jesus said to love your neighbor, He meant everyone we come in contact with. But this statement that all roads lead to Rome demands further investigation. Are there really so many different religions? It may seem that way, but in essence, there are only two religions. Only two; come on, you must know better than that?Continue reading »