Blog 212 for April 24, 2021
What are you...What am I, bellyaching about? Do we walk this journey alone? Or do we have a Friend who goes with us? Well, what I know is that I hit some bumps on the road in these days of my life. I also know that my Forever Friend holds my hand and helps me when the way gets tough.
Have you ever been hit with a myriad of circumstances that tested you almost to the breaking point? Well, join the crowd; you are not alone. During these months of the coronavirus, Covid-19, the world’s pandemic, many folks have been brought to their knees and near to the breaking point. The challenges can be beyond measure, yet HIS GRACE IS ALWAYS SUFFICIENT.
Well, here’s our story; hopefully in a nutshell. We’ve been hit…
With sickness, from cancer to intestinal blockage to heart issues to high blood pressure.
With emergency room visits, doctor’s appointments, and hospital stays and prescriptions.
With bills, hospital, air-condition/heating unit, multiple cabin rental needs, washing machine, etc.
It’s interesting that while we pray every day, not only for many, many friends and family but for our own needs as well, we ask God to take these difficult places away. And unless we delve into the situation, we can’t see the blessing for seeing the hard place. Usually, there is a blessing in every hard place. Look for it. Find it.
Here’s the crux of the matter. No matter the problem, the difficulty, God has it all under His control. He will take care of you. His grace is sufficient. Take your difficulty to the Lord in prayer. God is for us.
Enjoy the YouTube video, “His Grace Is Sufficient For Me” sung by the Booth Brothers.
Blog 211 for April 17, 2021
SPRINGTIME IN THE TENNESSEE MOUNTAINS
Greetings to all our blog readers. Guess what? We are getting ready to head out to the mountains. We hope wherever you are, that Spring has announced her arrival...that beautiful blossoms are everywhere. We are hoping also that the budding of Spring has brought HOPE to your lives. Seems as if nothing is more spectacular than the Springtime. Life and beauty fill our world. Oh, the pictures of Spring, from Texas to Oregon to Colorado to Indiana to Virginia to Tennessee to Florida and all in-between; they are so beautiful.
Spring usually begins on March 21. Spring lasts till about June 21. Spring is the time of year when life begins again in nature. Birds stretch their wings. Ponds and lakes become alive with new life. Here at our condo, we see the new baby ducks following their mom around the canal. Bees get busy with their pollination duties. Spring Break beckons to the young.
One of the most beautiful places at this time of year is our Nation’s Capital. In 1912, the city of Tokyo sent no less than 3000 cherry trees to Washington D.C. as a gift. Today we marvel at these gorgeous blossoms that surround the Capital.
Enjoy the photos of Spring. Be blessed by our Creator God. And enjoy “America, the Beautiful” by Morman Tabernacle Choir.
Blog 210 for April 10, 2021
The Law of
Seedtime and Harvest
Do you think that this law only applies to Spring (planting), Summer (growing), and Fall (harvesting)? Well, that law certainly applies to those three seasons; but I think this immutable law is for every month of every year, every season of life.
We are forever planting for a future harvest. Take the harvest of a good education for example. We plant seeds in kindergarten and grammar school when we are young. We continue in our junior and senior high school years, preparing for college entrance to the University of our choice. And even 4 years of college is not enough for many who are planting seeds for a Master’s degree, and on to a Doctor’s degree.
We plan/plant seeds for the vocation we have chosen. We take the appropriate classes for our job search. We prepare ourselves for the interview. Then after we have received the job, our planting turns to seeds planted for advancements. On and on we travel participating in this immutable law of Seedtime and Harvest until we reach the top.
There are many other areas of our life that follow this same pattern of sowing and reaping; seedtime and harvest. There are our plans for a family; our spouse, then children. Next, buying our first house and making it a home; then the education of our children. And the cycle starts all over again.
As sure as we plant and do what is necessary for growth, the harvest will come; and, how great the harvest can be. You must read God’s Word about the groundwork for a successful harvest. Read the whole chapter of Matthew 13. Verses 1-9 speak of the four kinds of soil; 1. Wayside soil, 2. Stony places, 3. Among thorns, and 4. Good ground. Work your ground, make it good ground, that your harvest will be great.
The greatest harvest is God’s final call when He comes again. May we be in that greatest final harvest. Please make your calling and election sure. Break up the fallow ground. Build on solid ground. Have your name written in the Lamb’s Book of life. Confess your sins; believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Then live for Jesus. Honor Him. Be His witness. Serve Him. Read His Word and Pray. May your living not be in vain. Lead others to Jesus. Build your harvest for Jesus, so you can lay trophies at His feet when you get to Heaven.
In 1844, Henry Alford wrote about the Harvest in this beautiful song, “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come”.
Come ye thankful people come; Raise the song of harvest home. All is safely gathered in; ere the winter storms begin. God, our Maker, doth provide for our wants to be supplied. Come to God’s own temple come; Raise the song of harvest home.
All the world is God’s own field. Fruit unto His praise to yield: wheat and tares together sown, unto joy or sorrow grown. First the blade, and then the ear. Then the full corn shall appear. Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.
For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home; From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away; Give His angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast. But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.
Even so, Lord, quickly come to Thy final harvest home. Gather Thou Thy people in Free from sorrow, free from sin; There forever purified, in Thy presence to abide. Come with all Thine angels come; Raise the glorious harvest home.
And I say, “Amen”.
Blog 209 for April 3, 2021
I can’t thank GOD enough for what He did for us...the sacrifice He made for our redemption. GOD gave His only SON so that we might be saved. That atoning blood of Jesus, GOD’S only SON, paid the debt that we could not pay. Oh, what love! John describes it in chapter 3, verse 16,
“For GOD so loved the world that HE gave HIS only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in HIM should not perish but have everlasting life".
Frederick Lehman penned those beautiful words,
“O love of GOD, how rich and pure, How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure - the saints’ and angels’ song!”
And Bill & Gloria Gaither penned that masterpiece,
“God sent His Son- they called Him Jesus; He came to love, heal and forgive. He lived and died to buy my pardon; An empty tomb is there to prove my Savior lives…”
I can’t thank JESUS enough for HIS incarnation; HIS earthly mission...leaving the splendors of Heaven to become a man, living among us, and dying on an old rugged cross in our place. I should have been crucified for my own sins, but JESUS took my place. What a debt I owe! George Bennard said it this way,
“On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame; And I love that old cross where the dearest and best For a world of lost sinners was slain. So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies, at last, I lay down. I will cling to the old rugged cross...and exchange it someday for a crown."
Philip Bliss expressed it like this,
“Man of Sorrows” What a name for the SON of God, who came ruined sinners to reclaim. Hallelujah! What a SAVIOR!”
I can’t thank the HOLY SPIRIT enough for HIS ever-present indwelling, filling us with God’s love, helping us to live sacrificial lives, loving our neighbors as ourselves, and giving us the power to be overcomers. Yes, daily I don’t walk alone. I have a very present help in the time of need. The precious HOLY SPIRIT lives, abides, & fills this vessel. John says in chapter 14, verse 16, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another COUNSELOR to be with you forever."
Frank Bottome wrote it this way,
“O spread the tidings ‘round, wherever man is found, Wherever human hearts and human woes abound. Let every Christian tongue proclaim the joyful sound: The COMFORTER has come! The COMFORTER has come. The HOLY GHOST from heaven, the Father’s promise given! O spread the tidings ‘round wherever man is found: The COMFORTER has come!”
Join me in praising the Triune God. “Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD." Ps. 150:6
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise HIM all creatures here below. Praise HIM above, ye heavenly hosts. Praise FATHER, SON, and HOLY GHOST. Amen." (Words by Thomas Ken)
Enjoy First Baptist Dallas, TX, Choir and Orchestra on this YouTube video.
Blog 208 for March 27, 2021
...THAT IS, January, February, and March 2021? Can you believe that three months are behind us as we continue walking “in the park”? Can you believe that I just received a cabin rental reservation for January dates in the year 2022? Several years ago, I could not conceive of 2022. It seemed a long way off. But my confession today is that time waits for no man.
January 2021 was filled with stuff that we all encounter sometime in our lives. January 1, 2021, Charles came home from five days in the hospital. Then we had follow-up doctor appointments; one being our primary care physician. The only problem with our primary care doctor was that he had taken an early retirement, which left us without one after about twenty years. After much work, we finally got a new one. So January included medical issues, deaths of friends, getting our first Moderna vaccine, working on taxes, seeing Triumphant Quartet, The Guardians, and Ann Downing in concerts, and Charles preaching at a chapel service at the Holiness camp and other normal things that we all encounter.
February was filled with doctor appointments, out-of-town visitors, a visit to my sister in Mississippi, birthday remembrances of our son-in-law and two grandsons, and a tour of an independent living facility...all simple and common occurrences. The minutes and days of February just ticked away until it brought in March.
March brought us those usual winds. Our schedule included getting our second Moderna vaccine, enjoying a Blackwood Brothers gospel singing concert at the Lakeland Holiness Camp. There were family birthday celebrations of two grandsons, a radiation cancer doctor appointment, a mammogram, fasting blood work, Palm Sunday celebration, to name a few of what took our time this month. So we keep putting one foot in front of the other, as we march into the unknown, never knowing what a day might bring.
April is upon us. The minutes, hours, and days just keep running away from us. And this reminds me of a choir song that I found once in my collection of music, entitled “Please Stop Running Away From God." What a powerful word that is. There are generations of children who are running away from God. We have THIS moment; let’s make the best of it.
Whether we are doing the mundane things of life or vacationing, time is swiftly passing. Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. If you hear HIS voice, harden not your heart. Enjoy Anne Murray as she sings "Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling."
Blog 207 for March 20, 2021
Not sure this morning, who out there in “blog-land," is struggling with the pressures of life. But let me confess, there are days in this 4th quarter of my life that I struggle with events, circumstances, not of my making; even some of my own making, daily routine, sicknesses, doctor visits, family issues, death, loss, change, hurt, our political climate, the news of the day, the pandemic; simply put, all things that overwhelm me (and you, too).
Here’s the GOOD NEWS. God has an answer for your struggle and mine. Ingest Peter’s instructions and blessing as found in
I Peter 5:6-11.
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, CASTING ALL YOUR CARE UPON HIM, FOR HE CARES FOR YOU. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Casting All Your Care Upon Him,
For He Cares For You
Oh, how I love “the brethren," God’s people, my family, and friends. Thank you for keeping on, keeping on. God will not forsake you nor me. He will take care of us. There’s a powerful old song entitled, “God Will Take Care Of You." Other great songs about God’s care are “Take Your Burdens To The Lord And Leave Them There,” “Someone To Care," “I’ve Got Confidence," God’s Gonna See Me Through," “Does Jesus Care?" and on and on. He really does care about you. Rejoice. God has it under His control.
Enjoy the official video for “Does Jesus Care?”
Blog 206 for March 13, 2021
America needs a pottery lesson. Reading the suggested Jeremiah 18 scripture in a recent devotional book, hit the “nail on the head” for me. That is, it was a wake-up call for what we’ve known all along. America needs to turn back to God.
What a chapter Jeremiah 18 is! Feel free to read the whole chapter. The chapter begins with the Word of the Lord coming to the weeping prophet, Jeremiah. It goes on to speak of the Potter’s House, the marred vessel of clay, and destroying it but starting anew, re-shaping, re-making another vessel. It continues asking the all-important question, “O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this Potter?”
Oh my, the sins of Judah...Jeremiah charged the Jews with two major offenses against God, spiritual adultery and breaking the law of Moses. The Jews ignored Jeremiah’s warning that Jerusalem was doomed.
Many times God has had to start over again with countries and people. In these difficult times when so much of our country has forgotten God, we realize what could be on the horizon for us… ”the clay being smashed and the Potter starting over again, shaping a new vessel”.
The weeping prophet reminds me of two things; we can wait too long and be doomed; or we can receive the “wake-up” call, repent, and find pardon and redemption. God will begin shaping a new vessel. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning! WHEW!....in the morning light! Please, let’s submit to the Potter for a re-shaping, a re-making. May America come back to God.
Enjoy “Nothing’s Too Hard for God” written & sung by Nancy Harmon along with the Gaither group backing her up.
Blog 205 for March 6, 2021
ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE WHO…..?
...let others go to war and fight the serious battles going on in the U.S. Congress? Are you one who never contacts our Senators and Representatives to give them your opinion concerning an upcoming vote in Congress? Lest you think I have faithfully done those things, let me confess that I have at times let others fight the good fight, those battles in the Halls of Congress. BUT it is “high” time we ALL joined the army. It’s time to get a list of our U.S. Senators and Representatives. Give them a phone call, email, or text message as to how you want them to vote on a particular issue.
Coming up soon is the U.S. Senate vote on the Equality Act. The name of the bill may sound good, but should you read and understand it, it is not; so the vote should be “NO."
Reading after Rev. Franklin Graham will enlighten you as to why and how to find out who your State Senators and Representatives are. Also, their phone numbers are available. According to Rev. Graham, there are seven radical demands in this act.
The bill would end the federal legal recognition of complementary male and female sex, in favor of gender identity.
The bill would eliminate the traditional right to privacy of women and girls in public facilities in favor of gender identity.
The bill would eviscerate women’s and girls' sports.
The bill would be used to mandate school curricula that affirm and promote sexual orientation and gender identity views.
The bill would be used to remove custody rights from parents who refuse to have their minor children undergo transgender medical interventions and procedures.
Since the Equality Act (the bill) exempts itself from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, religious schools, hospitals, and adoption agencies could face federal sanctions for upholding their teachings with regard to life, sexuality, and marriage under the legislation.
The bill’s text that name a form of “discrimination on the basis of pregnancy” would be used to punish healthcare providers who refuse to perform an abortion or to outlaw policies that ban funding for the procedure.
So, get the whole armor of God on, and call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on the Equality Act. Our Florida Senators and their phone numbers are Marco Rubio - ph. 1-202-224-3041 and Rick Scott - ph. 1-202-224-5274. Also, tell them to block the nominations of Becerra and Levin as Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Dept. of Health and Human Services.
I love America. I want America to return to God. Join Charles and me in prayer for our country. Enjoy, “God Bless America” by Lee Greenwood on a YouTube video.