Sunday, August 14, 2011

Something to ponder...

"The King is in the Audience"

The scene is a theatre in England . The audience, chatting amiably, drifts to their seats. The orchestra, in starched shirts and tuxedos, is tuning its instruments. Stagehands scurry behind huge and heavy curtains, checking props and ropes, making last minute adjustments. Finally, the lights lower. At the top of the director’s baton the orchestra swings softly into a familiar overture. Suddenly, the orchestra is interrupted awkwardly in the middle of a musical phrase. A deathly silence follows as music sheets are quietly switched. Then comes the swelling strains of the national anthem. In the wings, the stage manager and the director run from actor to actor whispering excitedly, “Give it all you’ve got tonight! Play as you’ve never played before!” “Why?” the anxious question is asked. “Because,” comes the reply, “King George has just come in. The King is in the audience!”

The King of Kings and the Lord or Lords is always in the audience of our lives, and with us as we meet in congregations, whether that be two or twenty, on a Sunday or a Wednesday. Because of this we must live life with all we’ve got; the best we’ve got. We must “play as we’ve never played before.”

Taken from:

"Daily Vitamins for Spiritual Growth – Fr. Anthony Coniaris"

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Hi All! Just stopping in to say Hello! It seems like ages since I've posted anything.

Summer seems to be flying ...we wait for the cold and snow to go, and now that Summer is finally here, there doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to do all that we want to get done.

I was remembering earlier where I was this time last year ... not in a good place...and so thankful that things have changed for the better.

Something I've learned this past year is that you will most likely carry some sort of residual effect with you for a long while once you've had a stroke.  My speech is still a bit slow and I sometimes can't think of the word I want to say. My walking sure isn't what it used to be! I'm much slower and have learned that it's up to ME to keep the pace I'm comfortable with, not anyone else.

I tire easily too. Some days it's all I can do to get one major thing done, rather than the many I used to do seemingly all at once. Not any more. I've learned that this is a 'new normal' for me and it's okay.

For most of my life I've lived with limitations...fought against them for awhile, but have finally come to a place of acceptance and peace with who I am and what I can do. I don't fuss anymore over the things I can't do anymore. As my Uncle Buss used to say "That's past..." and if it's past, why try to relive it? Or why try to bring it back???

We live at times so much in the past that we don't celebrate TODAY and today is all we have.I've learned that too!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Valley of Vision

The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,

Thou has brought me to the valley of vision,

where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;

hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold

thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox

that the way down is the way up,

that to be low is to be high,

that the broken heart is the healed heart,

that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,

that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,

that to have nothing is to possess all,

that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,

that to give is to receive,

that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,

deepest wells,

and the deeper the wells the brighter

thy stars shine;

Let me find thy light in my darkness,

Thy life in my death,

that every good work or thought found in me

thy joy in my sorrow,

thy grace in my sin,

thy riches in my poverty

thy glory in my valley.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Are you God's enemy?

Are You an Enemy of God?

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God. (James 4:4)

For good or ill, without question our children imitate us. What they see in us — our values, actions, and speech — significantly influence them. After giving four reasons for the quarrels and conflicts we face in our families and communities, James the apostle summarizes his words with a stinging indictment. He calls his audience — the converted Jews, the twelve tribes dispersed abroad — adulteresses. This is not the first time God refers to his covenant people with such disdain (see also Isa. 1:21, Jer. 3:3-10). This term is a common prophetic portrayal of faithless Israel. In Deuteronomy 31:16, as Moses is facing death and Israel is soon to enter into the Promised Land, Yahweh tells him that his people will play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, that they will forsake him and break his covenant which he had made with them. He vividly portrays this in Ezekiel 16:23-26 after reporting how he had rescued his people from helplessness as new born infants, cleansing them, taking them into his care. They rewarded his faithfulness by whoring after other gods in a most horrid and lascivious manner. And we see how God punished his servant Solomon who began his kingly reign as one who loved God (1 Kings 3:1ff) and soon enough 'loved foreign women,' going after the wicked gods of Ashtoreth, Chemosh, and Milcom (1 Kings 11:1ff). James says that friendship with the world is proof of hostility toward God. What does he mean by 'friendship with the world?' John addresses the issue (1 John 2:15-17), saying that one who loves the world does not have the love of God in him. Jesus says that the coming of the Son of Man is like the days of Noah, when men were eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away (Matt. 24:37-38). In other words Noah was warning people of the coming judgment of God but they continued living as they always had, totally oblivious to their peril.

Recently our house was without hot water on a Sunday morning so I went to my local workout facility to shave and shower. I was amazed at how Sunday was 'just another day' to so many people. They were 'eating and drinking', apparently giving no thought whatsoever to their souls, preferring instead to feed their flesh on the Lord’s Day while their souls languished. Thus friendship with the world is thinking, valuing, or acting in ways contrary to God’s law. It means living as though one is not accountable to the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. This hostility toward God reveals itself in numerous ways. Some mock God, saying, 'Let us tear their fetters apart, let us cast away their cords from us' (Psa. 1:1-2). In other words, 'Why should we be restricted by God! We will do as we please.' Others are enemies of the cross of Christ whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things (Phil. 3:18-19). That is, they do not see the centrality of the cross for personal, familial, ecclesiastical, or national living. They go first to the latest studies on how to rear children or how to solve our economic problems, without realizing that man’s greatest and most foundational need is to be in right relationship with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus. In summary James is saying that one who is a friend of the world is an enemy of God.

This begs at least two questions — are you an enemy of God and what does this do to your children? While the blood of Christ removes the wrath and condemnation of God from the true follower of Jesus (Rom. 3:24-26, 1 John 2:2, 4:10) some want to push this further by saying that God is never angry with the Christian. This is both dangerous and unbiblical. We are told that God can be pleased with our actions (1 John 3:22, Col. 1:10, 3:20, Heb. 13:16). If he can be pleased then he conversely can be displeased (Hos. 9:4, Isa. 1:14, Jer. 6:20). Further, we are told not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30), and we know that Jesus wondered or marvelled at the unbelief of those in his home town (Mark 6:6). Clearly Jesus was angry with Peter when Peter told him that he would not allow Jesus to be arrested. Jesus rebuked him by saying, 'Get behind Me Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s' (Matt. 16:21-25).

It’s like this — a father, walking hand in hand with his four year old, finding his child breaking free from his grasp and venturing into a street of heavy traffic, watches helplessly as he narrowly escapes being hit by a car that comes to a screeching halt. The first emotion of the father is relief, but the second will likely be anger. Why? Because he loves his son and does not want him needlessly to suffer! Likewise, to be sure the wrath of God is removed by Christ’s atoning or propitiating death, but he still is angry with his people who persist in sinful rebellion against him.

So, one way you know you love the world and consequently are an enemy of God is when your values are contrary to the six petitions of the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13). As a baptized and professing follower of the Lord Jesus you ought to be all about hallowing God’s name, seeking his glory above everything else in your life. You ought to be all about the salvation of sinners in all the nations of the world. You ought to be zealous in submitting joyfully to God in every circumstance of life, of being content with your daily bread, of being able to forgive others who have wronged you, of being so zealous for holiness that you are careful to avoid temptation that could plunge you into eternal ruin (Heb. 10:26-31). If you are not 'all about' these things then you are an enemy of God. And on the other hand, if you are 'all about' seeking first the kingdom of heaven, of earnestly praying for, labouring for, and delighting in the six petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, then you are a friend of God. His smile is on your life. He is pleased with you.

Your children are watching you. What are they seeing? Do they see a parent who says he loves Jesus but who exhibits a love for the world, whose life is set on mammon, who lives contrary to the Lord’s Prayer? Surely we all fail in this to some degree, but we must repent. How? Get a fresh glimpse of the beauty and loveliness of Jesus, remembering how you were an enemy of God, how you were without hope and without God, how you were headed to perdition. Then remember God’s mercy to you in Christ. Dwell on his glory and power. Ask the Holy Spirit to stir within you a love for the things he loves and a hatred for the things he hates. The only way to get it is to go daily into the 'sanctuary' (Psa. 63:1-2, 73:15-20), to spend long periods of time in sweet communion with him.

This article by:
Rev. Allen M Baker, Pastor of Christ Community Presbyterian Church in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday prayer

My Mom on the left with guitar.
Thank you Father my Mom is
still here.
Thank You for Your continued grace
and mercy to each of us.
Thank You that I am able to help her
do what needs doing, and sometimes
that involves just listening to her
Being patient.
Not wanting to hurry her thoughts.
Understanding when it takes longer to gather her thoughts then it used to.
She's not 16 anymore as she was in this photo.
And she's lived a long and healthy life until these past months.
Thank you.
And she's still smiling!
Thank you!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday prayer

Thank you Lord
for another day.
Only You know what it will hold
And I trust You,
because You hold the day.
Thank you that Mom is
getting the help she needs.
The process is going slower
than expected, but she's leaning
on You.
Thank You that I have recovered
enough to help her.
Thank you for Your grace and mercy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


This is from Randy Alcorn:

"Worry is momentary atheism crying out for correction by trust in a good and sovereign God. Paul, whom we seldom think of as vulnerable, wrote, “For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. … But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” God uses suffering to break us of self-dependence and bring us to rely on him."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Crucifixion of Jesus


A medical explanation of what Jesus endured on the day He died
By Dr. C. Truman Davis*

A Physician Analyzes the Crucifixion.

From New Wine Magazine, April 1982.
Originally published in Arizona Medicine,
March 1965, Arizona Medical Association.

Several years ago I became interested in the physical aspects of the passion, or suffering, of Jesus Christ when I read an account of the crucifixion in Jim Bishop's book, The Day Christ Died. I suddenly realized that I had taken the crucifixion more or less for granted all these years - that I had grown callous to its horror by a too-easy familiarity with the grim details. It finally occurred to me that, as a physician, I did not even know the actual immediate cause of Christ's death. The gospel writers do not help much on this point. Since crucifixion and scourging were so common during their lifetimes, they undoubtedly considered a detailed description superfluous. For that reason we have only the concise words of the evangelists: "Pilate, having scourged Jesus, delivered Him to them to be crucified ... and they crucified Him."

Despite the gospel accounts silence on the details of Christ's crucifixion, many have looked into this subject in the past. In my personal study of the event from a medical viewpoint, I am indebted especially to Dr. Pierre Barbet, a French surgeon who did exhaustive historical and experimental research and wrote extensively on the topic.

An attempt to examine the infinite psychic and spiritual suffering of the Incarnate1 God in atonement for the sins of fallen man is beyond the scope of this article. However, the physiological and anatomical aspects of our Lord's passion we can examine in some detail. What did the body of Jesus of Nazareth actually endure during those hours of torture?

The physical passion of Christ began in Gethsemane. Of the many aspects of His initial suffering, the one which is of particular physiological interest is the bloody sweat. Interestingly enough, the physician, St. Luke, is the only evangelist to mention this occurrence. He says, "And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground" (Luke 22:44 KJV).

Every attempt imaginable has been used by modern scholars to explain away the phenomenon of bloody sweat, apparently under the mistaken impression that it simply does not occur. A great deal of effort could be saved by consulting the medical literature. Though very rare, the phenomenon of hematidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process alone could have produced marked weakness and possible shock.

Although Jesus' betrayal and arrest are important portions of the passion story, the next event in the account which is significant from a medical perspective is His trial before the Sanhedrin and Caiaphas, the High Priest. Here the first physical trauma was inflicted. A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiaphas. The palace guards then blindfolded Him, mockingly taunted Him to identify them as each passed by, spat on Him, and struck Him in the face.

Before Pilate

In the early morning, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and worn out from a sleepless night, Jesus was taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia, the seat of government of the Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate. We are familiar with Pilate's action in attempting to shift responsibility to Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Judea. Jesus apparently suffered no physical mistreatment at the hands of Herod and was returned to Pilate. It was then, in response to the outcry of the mob, that Pilate ordered Barabbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.

Preparations for Jesus' scourging were carried out at Caesar's orders. The prisoner was stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. The Roman legionnaire stepped forward with the flagrum, or flagellum, in his hand. This was a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip was brought down with full force again and again across Jesus' shoulders, back, and legs. At first the weighted thongs cut through the skin only. Then, as the blows continued, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles.

The small balls of lead first produced large deep bruises that were broken open by subsequent blows. Finally, the skin of the back was hanging in long ribbons, and the entire area was an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it was determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner was near death, the beating was finally stopped.


The half-fainting Jesus was then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with his own blood. The Roman soldiers saw a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be a king. They threw a robe across His shoulders and placed a stick in His hand for a scepter. They still needed a crown to make their travesty complete. Small flexible branches covered with long thorns, commonly used for kindling fires in the charcoal braziers in the courtyard, were plaited into the shape of a crude crown. The crown was pressed into his scalp and again there was copious bleeding as the thorns pierced the very vascular tissue. After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers took the stick from His hand and struck Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tired of their sadistic sport and tore the robe from His back. The robe had already become adherent to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, caused excruciating pain. The wounds again began to bleed.


In deference to Jewish custom, the Romans apparently returned His garments. The heavy patibulum of the cross was tied across His shoulders. The procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves, and the execution detail of Roman soldiers headed by a centurion began its slow journey along the route which we know today as the Via Dolorosa.

In spite of Jesus' efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious loss of blood, was too much. He stumbled and fell. The rough wood of the beam gouged into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tried to rise, but human muscles had been pushed beyond their endurance. The centurion, anxious to proceed with the crucifixion, selected a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross. Jesus followed, still bleeding and sweating the cold, clammy sweat of shock. The 650-yard journey from the Fortress Antonia to Golgotha was finally completed. The prisoner was again stripped of His clothing except for a loin cloth which was allowed the Jews.

The crucifixion began. Jesus was offered wine mixed with myrrh, a mild analgesic, pain-reliving mixture. He refused the drink. Simon was ordered to place the patibulum on the ground, and Jesus was quickly thrown backward, with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire felt for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drove a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood. Quickly, he moved to the other side and repeated the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The patibulum was then lifted into place at the top of the stipes, and the titulus reading "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" was nailed into place.

The left foot was pressed backward against the right foot. With both feet extended, toes down, a nail was driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The victim was now crucified.

On the Cross

As Jesus slowly sagged down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain shot along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain. The nails in the wrists were putting pressure on the median nerve, large nerve trunks which traverse the mid-wrist and hand. As He pushed himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He placed His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there was searing agony as the nail tore through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of this feet.

At this point, another phenomenon occurred. As the arms fatigued, great waves of cramps swept over the muscles, knotting them in deep relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps came the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by the arm, the pectoral muscles, the large muscles of the chest, were paralyzed and the intercostal muscles, the small muscles between the ribs, were unable to act. Air could be drawn into the lungs, but could not be exhaled. Jesus fought to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, the carbon dioxide level increased in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subsided.

The Last Words

Spasmodically, He was able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen. It was undoubtedly during these periods that He uttered the seven short sentences that are recorded.

The first - looking down at the Roman soldiers throwing dice6 for His seamless garment: "Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do."

The second - to the penitent thief: "Today, thou shalt be with me in Paradise."

The third - looking down at Mary His mother, He said: "Woman, behold your son." Then turning to the terrified, grief-stricken adolescent John , the beloved apostle, He said: "Behold your mother."

The fourth cry is from the beginning of Psalm 22: "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

He suffered hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, and searing pain as tissue was torn from His lacerated back from His movement up and down against the rough timbers of the cross. Then another agony began: a deep crushing pain in the chest as the pericardium, the sac surrounding the heart, slowly filled with serum and began to compress the heart.

The prophecy in Psalm 22:14 was being fulfilled: "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint, my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels."

The end was rapidly approaching. The loss of tissue fluids had reached a critical level; the compressed heart was struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood to the tissues, and the tortured lungs were making a frantic effort to inhale small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues sent their flood of stimuli to the brain. Jesus gasped His fifth cry: "I thirst." Again we read in the prophetic psalm: "My strength is dried up like a potsherd; my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou has brought me into the dust of death" (Psalm 22:15 KJV).

A sponge soaked in posca, the cheap, sour wine that was the staple drink of the Roman legionnaires, was lifted to Jesus' lips. His body was now in extremis, and He could feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. This realization brought forth His sixth word, possibly little more than a tortured whisper: "It is finished." His mission of atonement had been completed. Finally, He could allow His body to die. With one last surge of strength, He once again pressed His torn feet against the nail, straightened His legs, took a deeper breath, and uttered His seventh and last cry: "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit."


The common method of ending a crucifixion was by crurifracture, the breaking of the bones of the leg. This prevented the victim from pushing himself upward; the tension could not be relieved from the muscles of the chest, and rapid suffocation occurred. The legs of the two thieves were broken, but when the soldiers approached Jesus, they saw that this was unnecessary.

Apparently, to make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. John 19:34 states, "And immediately there came out blood and water." Thus there was an escape of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart and the blood of the interior of the heart. This is rather conclusive post-mortem evidence that Jesus died, not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.


In these events, we have seen a glimpse of the epitome of evil that man can exhibit toward his fellow man and toward God. This is an ugly sight and is likely to leave us despondent and depressed.

But the crucifixion was not the end of the story. How grateful we can be that we have a sequel: a glimpse of the infinite mercy of God toward man--the gift of atonement, the miracle of the resurrection, and the expectation of Easter morning.

*Dr. C. Truman Davis is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He is a practicing ophthalmologist, a pastor, and author of a book about medicine and the Bible.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A better god?

"A better god has been discovered by the heretics: one who never takes offense, is never angry, never inflicts punishments, has prepared no fire in Gehenna, and requires no gnashing of teeth in the outer darkness! He is purely and simply 'good.' He forbids all delinquency-but only in word, for sake of appearances, so that you may seem to honor God. For He does not want your fear."

Tertullian, 200 AD

I copied this from Randy Alcorn on Facebook today...and it fits perfectly with what is happening in our country...few believe what the Bible says and those who do are considered 'out of step' with reality. We, as God-fearing, born again believers, are in the minority. We are prompted to fit in with the seeker-sensitive movement, whose God is pretty well described above.

What happened? I personally think we've gotten away from teaching the Word of God to teaching specifically for those who have itching ears. And those of us who do desire the sincere meat of the Word find ourselves going hungry all too often.

May God have mercy on us. We pray for our country, we pray for our military, (as we should);  we pray for comfort and convenience, but do we really pray to the God who created this universe and all it holds to BE the LORD of all? For if He is LORD, we, His slaves, will be inconvenienced and uncomfortable and we may not see peace as we'd like it. He comes to bring a sword. He comes to divide. But we have forgotten that.

May God have mercy upon us. May we draw ever close to Him. May things of this earth be held ever so lightly so that we may release them freely and quickly should He ask us to. May our lamps be filled with oil and He not find us lacking when He comes.

Father, be merciful to us, Your children.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

No Hypocrites!

In reading the devotional, Pearls of Great Price, I came upon this just this morning:

"One of the goals of my life is exactly the same as yours. I don't want to be a hypocrite. Every day I want to shorten the distance between that which I profess and that which I actually live. I want no gaps between my "talk" and my "walk".

It's why I like to repeat every day for the next month, this "Text for Self-Evaluation," proposed  by John Wesley. The questions reflect the heart of Scripture, so every morning we should ask ourselves:

Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I'm a better person that I really am?
Do I laugh at the mistakes of others, reveling in their errors and misfortunes?
Do I insist on having my own way?
Is there a tendency for me to put others down so that I'll be thought of more highly?
Do I pass on to others what is told to me in confidence?
Am I thoughtful in expressing 'thanks' to people for what they've done for me, no matter how insignificant it seems?
Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, or habits?
Am I self-conscious, self-pitying or self-justifying?
Did the Bible live in me yesterday?
Did I disobey God in anything yesterday?
Did I insist on doing something about which Whenmy conscience was uneasy?
Did I handle discouragement well or did I have to be coddled?
Am I enjoying prayer?
When did I last speak to someone about Christ?
Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, or hold resentment toward? If so, what am I doing about it?
Is Christ real to me?

As I read these questions, I was convicted of areas in my life that I need help in. Areas where I fall short and need to change.  In light of eternity,  we are only here for a short time and this helps me make the most of each and every day.  This will be posted on my refrigerator, not only so I can read it, but others can too. Perhaps it will speak to their hearts and perhaps they'll see a change in me.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Passion of the Christ

The Passion of the Christ

"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
Colossians 1:17

When I saw the movie The Passion of the Christ, I was struck by the brute cruelty with which the soldiers treated Jesus. Like a bunch of poorly paid drunken legionnaires, they couldn't wait to take out all their frustrations on who they thought was a stupid, luckless Jew. They beat and abused him mercilessly.

The face that Moses had begged to see - was forbidden to see - was slapped bloody (Exodus 33:19-20). The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth's rebellion now twisted around his brow. The back of Jesus' legs felt the whip - soon the body of the Savior would look like a plowed Judean field. By the time the spitting is through, more saliva is on Jesus than in him. When the soldiers raised the mallet to sink the spikes into Jesus' hands, it occurred to me that the Son of God whom they were crucifying was the very One sustaining their lives! Someone must sustain their lives minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds a man's molecules together? Only by the Son do "all things hold together" Colossians 1:17. How amazing, how incomprensible that the Son, the victim, is granting breath and being to his own executioners!

Close your eyes and think deeply on the things you just read. Consider so great a Savior who would submit himself to such torture ... for your salvation. Think of the cost and sacrifice involved in Jesus' crucifixion. Then, commit afresh and anew to live on a higher, more sanctified level as you trust and obey him with new resolve. Praise your Savior for granting you breath and being, as well as life eternal.

Dear Savior, I am awestruck that you did not turn away from the cross, but traveled the road to Calvary for me. May my life today reflect my love and devotion to you.

From The Pearl of Great Price by Joni Eareckson Tada, April 1

What the Son Endured...

What the Son Endured

"Anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse."
Deuteronomy 21:23

The pain and humility Jesus physically suffered leading up to his death was a mere warm-up to the real dread he faced. As he hung on the cross, he began to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during those hours that his body was impaled, an earthly, foul odor must have wafted, not around his nose, but in his heart. He felt dirty. Human wickedness began to crawl upon his spotless being - the living excrement from our souls. The apple of the Father's eye began to turn brown with the rot of our sin.

From heaven, the Father roused himself like a lion disturbed, shook his mane, and must have roared against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross. Never has the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of His hot breath. It was the wrath of God being poured our like hot oil on the wounded heart of the Son of Man. And the Father watched as his heart's treasure, the mirror-image of himself sank drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah's stored rage against humankind exploded in a single direction. The Trinity had planned it. The Son endured it. The Spirit enabled him. The Father rejected the Son whom he loved; the God-man from Nazareth, perished.

This is who asks you to trust him when he calls you to suffer. This is the One who asks you to obey him when it's hard, when your flesh is itching to have a little worldly candy. This is the One who asks you to honor him when you face tough choices. Jesus Christ bore the wrath of hell so that you might enjoy a home in heaven with him, the Father, and the Holy Spirit. Celebrate this marvelous gift as you reflect on Easter Sunday.

Father, thank you for giving me the gift of your Son. May my life be to the praise of Your glory!

From the devotional Pearls of Great Price, by Joni Eareckson Tada, April 2

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kill your sins...

"In April, 1983, Robert Vierling of Winchester, Missouri, was found on his bed, crushed to death by his sixteen-foot, one-hundred-pound, per Burmese python. Vierling's wife said he had complete trust in the snake and often played with it on the bed. Each of us lives with many unseen snakes, all more deadly than a Burmese python. These snakes, which are constantly with us, are called 'sins' in the Bible. The process of killing them is called mortification. The doctrine of mortification is seldom heard today, partly because the word mortify is a King James term that's rendered 'put to death' in modern translations. But mortification is absolutely critical, for the Bible says that even though killing the snakes of sin in our lives won't get us to Heaven - only the life and death of Jesus Christ can do that - unless we bring deadly violence against them all our lives, we've never experienced the saving work of Christ.

God's Word teaches this in Romans 8:12-13: "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors - not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live." In other words, if we complacently live by the deeds and desires God calls sinful, we will suffer certain spiritual death and its eternal consequences. But if, by the Holy Spirit, we constantly struggle to kill these sinful deeds and desires, we show that we really possess and will forever enjoy eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Mortification of sin is extremely important, but why mention it in a book on simplifying our spirituality? It's here because mortification does simplify the spiritual life by telling us clearly what we must do with the single most complicating factor in our lives - sin - and why. The Bible says we must kill our sins, not tolerate or expose them in the name of grace, or they will kill us.

In our ongoing war with our sins, we should also remember other Bible truths that complement our understanding and practice of mortification. These include the eternal forgiveness of all the sins of all believers through the cross of Jesus, the grace of God preserving His people to the end, and the truth that in this life we'll never experience the permanent removal of all sin or the desire to sin. Consistent with them all is this teaching in Romans 8:12-13 that, regardless of our professed beliefs, one evidence that Christ has truly saved us is a lethal, lifelong fight against every sin we commit.

In January, 2001, the Reuters news network reported the story of South African Lucas Sibanda, who was attacked by a python. Trapped in the snake's constricting coil, Sibanda bit the reptile below the head and kicked and punched until it released its grip. Then he killed the python with a stick.

Pythons of sin will attack and fight against us all our lives. Unless by the Holy Spirit we fight back like Lucas Sibanda, we show that there is spiritual life in us.

Get deadly with your sins."

Donald S. Whitney, Simplify Your Spiritual Life, pg. 128-19

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Prayer Need

Dear Friends,  I received this today from a friend...some of you know him. His sister Lori is in a local hospital .. the John that's mentioned is Lori's husband.

"As far as my sister, she went unconscious last night in the hospital and her heart stopped. They got it going again thank the Lord, and they put her on a ventilator to keep her breathing. They medicated her heavily last night so she would not fight and try to pull out the tubes and IV's. We will keep praying until He gets the glory out of this. I know something good is gonna happen, the drs are amazed that she has lasted this long. Also be praying for my mother as well as this is very hard on her.

Please have your church pray tomorrow. There is power in agreement of many brothers and sisters.

Also be praying for John he really needs a personal encounter with the Father.  John needs to know HIM personally and not just mentally or generally. He needs to know who is he is, Christ,  and what authority he has in prayer."
Thank you all!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Something to think about...

"I want God and spirituality, but not the church."

More people say this today than ever. Spirituality is in; church is out. Why? For some, the painful memories of previous church experiences keep them away. For others, church problems aren't worth the hassle. For many, church just "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren." A sacrificial love for Christian brothers and sisters is one of the first, best, and more reliable evidences of having passed from spiritual death into eternal life through Christ. Anyone who claims to possess this love for God's people. but avoids their regular gatherings, needs to reexamine his relationship with the Father of this family.

Second, anyone who calls Jesus "Lord" must submit to the authority of His Word when it warns against "forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some" (Hebrews 10:25). The New Testament knows nothing of the individualized spirituality of today and nothing of a Christianity that exists apart from the local church.

Remember too that the church is Jesus' idea, not man's. More than that, the church is His body. The apostle Paul reminds us, "Christ is the head of the church; and He is Savior of the body," and "we are members of His body" (Ephesians 5:23,30). Even though it may sometimes appear otherwise, the body of Christ has not been severed from its Head; Jesus is still the Head of the church. Why wouldn't anyone want to actively participate in the only organization on earth where Jesus Christ is the Head? When one of His earliest promises was, "I will build My church" (Matthew 16:18), why wouldn't anyone want a part in what Jesus Himself is building?

Look at Jesus' own example. He wasn't a spiritual loner. Twelve disciples always traveled with Him, often teaching and ministering as well. Furthermore, Luke 4:16 reminds us that, "as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day." Why did Jesus make it His custom to go to the synagogue every Sabbath? Because He would hear the Word of God, worship God, and fellowship with His people there.

That's how participation in congregational spirituality builds our individual spirituality. When we're fed by the preaching and teaching of Scripture, receive the Lord's Supper, sing praises and pray with Christ's people, and talk about the things of God together, the Spirit strengthens us in ways that do not occur when we're alone.

So attend, join, worship in, learn in, give to, fellowship with, and spiritually thrive in a local body of
Christ that's faithful to God's Word. Find teachers and models there who can help with simplifying your spiritual life. Failing this, consider starting some type of small group in the church to discuss or study a book on the subject.

Christian spirituality is not an isolationist, self-absorbed spirituality. True spirituality is relational - not only toward God, but also with the people of God. Proverbs 18:1 teaches, "A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he rages against all wise judgment." Don't isolate yourself from the people of God. Take God, spirituality, and the church. That's God's plan. His ways are simpler and healthier for our souls than any we contrive on our own."

Excerpt taken from Simplify Your Spiritual Life by Donald S.Whitney, pages 35-36

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Gospel & Prayer

The Gospel and Prayer

"Because I teach and write about spirituality, occasionally I'm asked to comment on scientific studies about the efficacy of prayer. The research always seems to include the assumption that one person's prayers are essentially as acceptable as another's. One of the flaws with such studies is that they do not associate prayer with the gospel. No one can begin to understand prayer until he grasps what the gospel teaches us about prayer.

The Bible, rather than assuring everyone that God hears their prayers, slams heaven's door against all who think God will hear them despite their sins: 'But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear' (Isaiah 59:2). In one sense, of course, God hears everything. But in this text we're told that God does not hear with a view to answering those who sin against Him. And, of course, since every person except Jesus has sinned against God, the hopes of are dashed of everyone who thinks all it takes for God to hear is for them to pray.

In fact, the Bible is even more shockingly counterintuitive in Proverbs 15:8: 'The sacrifice (which includes the prayer) of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord.' Many people seem to think, 'It's true, I'm not a dedicated Christian; but if I get into a difficult situation and humble myself to pray, and I'm really sincere, surely God will accept my prayer.' Or they believe, 'Even though I'm not really a follower of Jesus, if God is merciful and loving, He will look favorably on the prayers of those who come to Him when they're in real need and pray hard enough.'

But this text tells us that, instead of being impressed, the Lord actually abominates these prayers. Why? Because such people believe God should hear their prayers based upon their temporary humility and piety. In other words, they believe their own righteousness - in this case, expressed in a short-lived acknowledgement that they need God's help - obligates God to answer.

Instead of being honored to receive the momentary sincerity of those who want something from Him, God is insulted by their prayers, for they imply that the work of Jesus wasn't necessary. It's as though they're saying, 'The life and death of Your Son weren't needed in my case; it was all a big mistake. I believe You should hear me based upon what I have done - especially in these prayers - and I don't need what Jesus did in order to be heard by You.' Could anything be more offensive to God?

When it comes to knowing God and being heard by Him, Jesus was unequivocal: 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me' (John 14:6). Confidence that our prayers are heard cannot come from our sincerity, humility, or need; rather, 'we have confidence to enter the holy places (the presence of God) by the blood of Jesus' (Hebrews 10:19). Until people come in repentance to God through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ - who alone can remove the sin that separates us from God - their prayers will not be answered.

Does God ever answer the prayer of a non-Christian? Many stories claim that He does. In reality, are these 'answered prayers' simply God doing in His providence what He was going to do regardless of the prayers? The clearest ground biblically is this: except for those prayers leading to salvation, we can give no assurance to anyone outside of Christ that God will answer his prayer. It is only through the gospel that we truly begin to pray for only then - after Jesus has made us and our prayers acceptable to the Father - do the promises of prayer in the Bible apply to us.

Once we respond to the gospel in repentance and faith and are adopted into God's family, our newly begun relationship with our heavenly Father becomes markedly prayerful. No longer is prayer just an obligation or a hoop to jump through to get what we want, for the gospel makes prayer a desire and not a mere duty. Through the gospel we receive the Spirit who causes us to cry, 'Abba! Father! (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6) with a new heavenward, Fatherward orientation. In other words, the Spirit of God causes us to want to talk to God.

Prayer should still remain a discipline, for even with the God-given desire to pray, it's easy to be distracted from habits of prayer by the crush of the responsibilities. But thanks to the grace of God in the gospel, our prayers are always welcome."

Article taken from Tabletalk Magazine, March, 2011

Written by Donald S. Whitney, senior associate dean of the school of theology and professor of biblical spirituality at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Friday, March 4, 2011


"I know what it is to be in need,
and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any
and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,
whether living in plenty or in want"
Philippians 4:12

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I Am Thine!

1. I am thine, O Lord, I have heard thy voice,
and it told thy love to me;
but I long to rise in the arms of faith
and be closer drawn to thee.


Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,
to the cross where thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,
to thy precious, bleeding side.

2. Consecrate me now to thy service, Lord,
by the power of grace divine;
let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
and my will be lost in thine.

3. O the pure delight of a single hour
that before thy throne I spend,
when I kneel in prayer, and with thee, my God,
I commune as friend with friend!

4. There are depths of love that I cannot know
till I cross the narrow sea;
there are heights of joy that I may not reach
till I rest in peace with thee.

Written by Fanny Crosby

Sunday, February 20, 2011

For Robie...

This is for Robie, who visited my blog earlier this week and left a comment: 

I was touched by what you wrote and I thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. You are indeed right when you said there is always someone a little worse off than we are. I too tell myself that quite often. While I'm not in a wheelchair, I have chronic health conditions that limit what I can do, especially since I had bilateral strokes in July of 2010.

I used to wonder 'why me' and now I say 'why not me?' Things happen to many of us that we'd rather not have to deal with. What I'm learning is that my attitude makes a world of difference when problems surface. I want to be known as someone who trusts what the Lord does in my life ... who ever seeks to give Him honor and glory for each day. May I be remembered, if I'm remembered at all, as someone who loved the Lord and loved His people.

Robie, I encourage you to keep in touch with me. I so appreciate hearing from others! One reason I write is in hopes it will minister to other people...those I know and those I don't.

May the Lord meet each need and may you come to understand your purpose in this life.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Knowing God

"What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it - the fact that he knows me.  I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind.  All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me.  I know Him because He first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when His care falters.

This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort - the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates - in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good.  There is tremendous relief in knowing that His love to me is utterly realistic based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion Him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench His determination to bless me.

There is, certainly, great cause for humility in the thought that He sees all the twisted things about me that my fellow humans do not see (and I am glad!), and that He sees more corruption in me than that which I see in myself (which, in all conscience, is enough).  There is, however, equally great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and have given His Son to die for me in order to realize this purpose.  We cannot work these thoughts out here, but merely to mention them is enough to show how much it means to know not merely that we know God, but that He knows us."

from the book Knowing God, by J.I. Packer, pages 41-42

Thursday, February 17, 2011


"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

"I will never forget the day they moved me away from 'acute care' to 'chronic care' in the hospital. As they wheeled my stretcher under the sign, I got a lump in my throat. It meant 'the doctors don't know what else to do, and I won't regain use of my body'. My condition was chronic.

Why do some hardships never go away? You and and plead until your knees are sore, yet the pinched nerve doesn't heal, the multiple sclerosis doesn't halt, the Alzheimer's doesn't regress, the marriage doesn't get better, the job promotion never comes, and the engagement ring never arrives. After decades in a wheelchair, this is my conclusion:

The core of God's plan is to rescue us from sin and self-centeredness. Suffering - especially the chronic kind - is God's choicest tool to accomplish this. It is a long process. But it means that I can accept my paralysis as a chronic condition. When I broke my neck, it wasn't a jigsaw puzzle I had to solve fast or a quick jolt to get me back on track. My paralyzing accident was the beginning of a lengthy process of becoming like Christ.

May I share with you one of my 'chronic' Bible verses that won't go away?  James 1:2-4 says 'When all kinds of trials crowd into your lives my brothers, don't resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed' (Phillips). When that finally happens, the only thing that will be chronic is joy!

Lord, help me to embrace the chronic conditions in my life. I want endurance to be fully developed in my life. Help me to hang on."

This was today's reading in the devotional "Pearls of Great Price" by Joni Eareckson Tada and it spoke to my heart about the chronic conditions I live with. There is a good and Godly purpose to them. May her words minister to you today.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday, Jan. 29

May we all experience these things at some time in our life.....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Charles Spurgeon

"Holy wonder will lead you to grateful worship and heartfelt thanksgiving. It will cause within you godly watchfulness; you will be afraid to sin against such a love as this. Feeling the presence of the mighty God in the gift of His dear Son, you will put off your shoes from your feet, because the place whereon you stand is holy ground. You will be moved at the same time to glorious hope. If Jesus has done such marvelous things on your behalf, you will feel that heaven itself is not too great for your expectation. Who can be astonished at anything, when he has once been astonished at the manger and the cross? What is there wonderful left after one has seen the Savior?"

Charles H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Something to think about...

"We are too apt to forget that temptation to sin will rarely present itself in its true colors. Never when we are tempted will we hear sin say to us, "I am your deadly enemy ... I want to ruin your life."  That's not how it works. Sin, instead, comes to us like Judas with a kiss ... But we cannot alter its nature and character in the sight of God."

J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Prayer needs..

Would you please pray with me for these needs?

#1. Craig, an Elder in our church, has pneumonia in both lungs and his kidneys aren't functioning as they should. He has been put on a ventilator and transferred to a larger hospital downtown.

#2. Mary, a lifelong friend of my Mom's ... was hospitalized this week suffering from delusions.

Thank you! Blessings.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

We had a Sanctity of Human Life service at our church this morning. We need not only to pray for the groups that help women (Crisis Pregnancy Centers, etc.,) but also pray for those who work in abortion clinics. Pray that God will changed their hearts because unless and until there is a heart change, there will never be an end to abortion.

May God forgive us for our lack of care and committment to this need ... may He grant us wisdom in supporting and giving of our time in volunteering and praying for the groups who support life. Prayer does change things but only if we pray!

This was a living human being .... what would he have been like? What color were his eyes? What would his laugh have been like?
Oh God, forgive us, for we have sinned against You!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday, Jan.22, 2011

Oh it's COLD here in this part of the world!
So thankful for a warm house,
food in the cupboards,
shoes to wear,
a coat to put on should I need to go out..
We have so much to be thankful for!


Friday, January 14, 2011

Country roads...

 I don't live in an area like this, but on days like this, I wish I did.
I think.
Then I stop and think about country roads...
hard to maneuver in snowy weather.
Muddy and sloppy in wet weather.
Icy and slick in really cold weather.
But they're beautiful to look at especially
when you don't have to get out ...
so, I'll just think about them from time to time
and be grateful for what I have and where I am.
Thinking is good.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Psalm 23:2

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

Psalm 23:2

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Lord is my shepherd...

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Psalm 23: 1

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Read this in my devotional this morning:

"We need never doubt the truth of God's presence with us. Jesus Christ is Immanuel - a name that literally means 'God with us'. Christ's life, death, and resurrection are the supreme evidence that God will go to any lengths - even paying the ultimate cost of His only Son - to dwell among His people.
God is truly with us ...
Wherever we are.
Whenever we feel abandoned or alone.
Whatever circumstances we are going through.
It is our privilege to be in relationship with God for eternity. This is why He came to earth, and this is why He died. May our lives be filled with Immanuel."

by Cynthia Heald, Abiding in Christ, pg. 31-32

Thought you'd like to read this. Blessings!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas, 2010

Christmas Pictures, 2010

My angel of a daughter-in-law, Jane and me
She helped me so much during my time in the hospital
this Summer.

My husband, our son David, Me. and our son Shawn

Christmas Day at home
L-R My husband "Fred", Stephanie, Sydney, Perri, me & Erica
(Four of our grandgirls)

Christmas Eve at my sister Rita's home
In this photo, l-r, my sister Sharon, Rita & Me
These are two of my four sisters

Thursday, January 6, 2011


In case you haven't noticed, I've been playing with the new design templates on my blog. Not sure which one I'll end up with ... maybe just keep changing them till I find one I like. Sometimes, too many choices is not a good thing!

Blessings to you!
Hi Friends!

Happy Thursday to you all.