When you are reading here whether you found me intentionally or accidently, please take time to leave a comment and let me know where you are and what you are thinking. I love feed back. Vondi

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ha! I may be on my way to getting my knees fixed! I can hardly believe it! I’m still holding my breath. As the old saying goes, “There’s many a slip between cup and lip.” To be free of pain is something I can hardly imagine. Someone told me the surgery was painful but, honestly, I can’t conceive of any pain worse than what I live with every day. To simply stand up and walk across the room without first considering the number of steps, or cook dinner without maneuvering around on crutches, to walk out on the deck and down in the yard to play with the dogs, to go out and plant flowers and then weed around them a few days later. It all takes my breath away, just to think about it.
I look at people who just hop up to go do something minor—put an empty coffee cup to the sink or run to let the dogs in or get something to snack on. When I do those things I save them all up to be done at once and then I plan them out carefully. When I stand up I already have an itinerary plotted out in my head. The kitchen is on the way to let the dogs out so I take the cup along to set on the counter as I go past; when the dogs are out I come back and go in the kitchen to rinse the cup in the sink and get my snack. When I have those two little tasks accomplished, I go back to let the dogs and they follow me as I pick up my snack on the way back to my room and my chair. When they are all in I put the gate across the door so I don’t have to worry what the naughty ones are doing.
Rachael will make four separate trips.
When I go in my room in the evenings I usually close the blinds. There’s never been anyone out there but living in town makes me nervous. Usually Rachael and Michael stick their head in the door and say good night. I’ve been known to ask them to come in and close the blinds. Yes, it is out of their way and they have to take those extra steps across the room. But they love me so they do it for me. It isn’t because I’m lazy, it is because it hurts to get up and walk those few feet. And it takes probably three times as long for me to get stood up to do it as it does for them take the extra steps clear across the room. I would probably be criticized by some. I’m sure some would think me lazy. I would like for them to walk a week on my knees.
But I MAY have them fixed! It is breath taking!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

more lessons from little dogs

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen. . . I Corinthians 1:27 & 28
Yesterday the Lord taught me a lesson from Gabriel. Today my lesson was from Sebastian. When I woke up I sat up with my feet on the floor and considered life for a few minutes before standing up.  It sometimes takes some determination to stand on my knees.
As I was sitting there Sebastian and Gable got up. They both stretched the cramps out of their bones and scratched a couple itches then hopped down. Gable came and sat not too far from me ready for whatever the day might hold. Sebastian came and pushed himself under my hands and between my feet, begging for, demanding attention. Sebastian is devoted to me on his own terms and when it suits him. His is honestly a case of ‘cupboard love.’
By that I mean that his devotion to me is based on what he can get. Gable’s devotion is constant, regardless of circumstances. Sebastian kind of looks out for his own interests first. Gable would sleep with me if I were on an iceberg. Sebastian chooses to sleep in my room because it is warmer and he can pick his spot to snuggle. In R & M’s room he has to share with Maxim and Mika sometimes it is crowded and it is usually colder than my room. He likes to lie in my chair because it is warm and soft and he can be all cozy even when he’s stretched out. Gable would lay on me every moment if he could even if my chair had rocks where he had to be.
Sebastian is very devoted when I have food. He is Mr. Johnny-on-the spot. As soon as the goodies appear to be gone, he’s gone. Gable stays beside me even when the treat bag is empty. Sebastian will grab a treat from my hand even when it is meant for Mika or Gable. Gable grabs his treat, but only those meant for him. Sebastian is greedy. Gable is patient—well most times.
When I call Gable to me for petting or scratching, he comes and revels in it. He knows beyond any doubt that he’s My Dog and he has complete confidence in that fact. Sebastian, on the other hand, comes to me on his terms and demands attention. He knows I’ll pet him but his acceptance of that attention isn’t as loving and humble as Gable’s. He demands it more those of a spoiled child requiring praise and rewards. And if he doesn’t get it he reacts just as he does when the treats are gone; he leaves. I look up and Gable is still there waiting for whatever I decide but Sebastian, as soon as he’s gotten his quota of petting and scratching, is gone.
Here’s the lesson. Lots of Christians are like Sebastian. They only follow God for the good things they hope to get. And if the good things are not forth coming upon demand they walk away. Oh, they still give lip service and if you asked them they would certainly claim to be a Christian, but they aren’t really. Their devotion is all to their Self. If God is handing out the goodies and the blessings they are right there like Sebastian, Mr. Johnny-on-the-spot, demand their share. But other times you would never guess who they belonged to. Any strangers coming to our house very quickly know which of us is Gable’s Master by his actions and devotion. Do people know who Our Master is within a short time of meeting us?
Now Sebastian is a little dog. He wasn’t raised by me; he hasn’t spent his whole life with me. I love him and I think it’s cute the way he comes and wants to be patted when I’m sitting there in the early morning trying to remember what my name is. But Gable’s devotion has found its place in my heart. If I were forced to choose, it would be Gable. Happily, I don’t have to choose.
Much of the world only comes to God for what they want, when they want it. They pay little attention to Him for 29 days out of the month and then on the odd 30th day they suddenly come demanding a good meal, or worse yet a bag of candy. Not only do they not follow Him, but they go pattering off after other gods. And yet they want to call themselves Christians.
I think if Sebastian would talk, he’d probably claim to be my dog, maybe not. He does spend most of the day with me alone—probably 20 out of the 24 hours—but most assuredly his heart isn’t as faithful as Gable’s is. (lol little dogs and ‘hearts’! But you know what I mean.) He is only with me for what he can get out of the deal. Now, little dogs don’t really have logical intentions so don’t say that I think any less of Sebastian because he is responding to elemental impulses. He’s a little dog and I love him; but God used him to teach me something.
We can’t be like that little dog, only relating to God for our immediate selfish interests. Jesus condemned those people who followed Him around the sea after he had fed them with loaves and fishes. He said, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. He knew what impulse they were following. They didn’t especially want to know Jesus and his teaching, they only wanted some more bread and fish. That’s Sebastian.
Jesus gave them some hard teaching then and many of them left. He asked the disciples, Will ye also go away? Now HERE is Gabriel, Peter said: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6:68) THAT is Gabriel. He isn’t going any place because I’m his One—so to speak.
We must take the lessons to heart. In serving the Lord we cannot be a Sebastian, coming to God only for the goodies. We must be like Gabe, devoted and faithful.
Hmmm. The things God uses to teach us. He really will use the ‘foolish things’ and the ‘weak things’ and the ‘base things’ of the world to teach us what He requires of us.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

lessons from a little dog

There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer; The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks; The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands; The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces. (Proverbs 30:24-29)
It is strange how the Lord uses the most mundane and seemingly foolish things to teach us lessons.
This morning I was up early-not quite as early as I usually am but earlier than most of the rest of the world. I trucked around doing my morning things and then put the dogs outside. Everyone should have a dog that has to go out first thing in the morning. It forces us to actually experience the weather, rather than glean information for the tv or radio.
Anyway, I put the dogs out, put the eggs on for R & M, made sure the coffee maker was on, and collected the lunch materials on the counter. Of those activities collecting the lunch materials is by far the biggest job: two packages of lunch meat, two jars of mayonnaise, lettuce, fruit, chips, sandwich boxes, smaller plastic containers for the fruit, a plastic bag for Michael’s chips, paper towels to assemble the sandwiches on and peel the fruit on, my favorite knife, a spoon to stir my coffee, and by this time, MY COFFEE!
When that is done it’s time to go and let the dogs back IN.  Ya gotta love ‘em! And there is the source of my lesson. When the dogs come in they are all full of energy from their run around the yard and the cold. Sebastian and Gabe tear around like wild things, Maxim bounces in between them and around Mika. Mika wags her tail and once in a great while bounces into that typical ‘let’s play’ stance, her front legs and chest on the floor and her rear in the air. That isn’t often though because her bones are old; usually she just wags her tail and gives a little ‘wruff.’ Once all of that is finished Maxim goes upstairs to make sure his Mom and Dad are awake. The little dogs come in beside me when I sit down to make lunches and Mika wanders around making sure the house is all secure.
During the course of the next hour or so, R & M get up and have their breakfast, get their coffee ready to take with them, put the lunch materials away and trundle on out to work, leaving me sitting alone at the counter, reading my book and finishing my coffee.
Now here’s the lesson. Mika goes and lays herself down on the rug between the hall and the den. Sebastian and Maxim go in my room where it is nice and cozy and warm. But Gabriel stays right beside me. It’s chilly in the kitchen/dining room area, especially for a little dog with no fuzzy hair. There’s a crowded spot on the floor between the wall and a decorative basket full of shells R&M collected on their various trips to Florida. Gable snuggles down in that spot. Rachael brought a dog bed and put it there to make it a little more comfy, but it is still cold in there. He could go in where the pillows are fluffy and the heater makes it warm, but Gable stays.

Wherever I am, he is there. If he can sit on me or snuggle close beside me, he does. If he has to lie on the floor, he does. If I get up to go after more coffee, he goes with me. If I go to the bathroom, he is right behind me. If I go to look out the front windows, he goes, too. No matter what I’m doing he is there. His faithfulness is incredible. I’m nothing special. I don’t wear a crown. I’m not God certainly. I can’t play with him. I can’t even hold him on my lap anymore when I’m sitting in my chair because his small weight hurts my knees. I’ve knocked my crutches over on him and that has to hurt! I’ve tripped over him and kicked him a few times in moving clumsily as I do on my crutches. And yet there he is, right with me; unless I specifically tell him to ‘Stay’ he goes where I go. And still, in spite of any thing that may have happened to him previously, when I sit in my big chair he hops up to snuggle down beside me in the corner and leans his head up against my side to have his chin rubbed. His devotion makes me feel very small and unworthy.

And WE as the professed children of God get put out and walk away from God when things don’t go like we’d planned. Or sometimes something happens and we are hurt emotionally or physically and we complain because God didn’t keep it from happening. Or we pray for something foolish and aren’t given the answer to our prayer. Or putting aside a sin that God requires of us is ‘just too much.’ Or we just decide we should be able to do our own thing. Or sometimes it just isn’t convenient to be a Christian. So we decide that God isn’t worthy of our devotion.
How foolish is that! How… prideful, arrogant, haughty, I don’t know the word…of Man that we have such a shallow devotion to our Lord! Aren’t we better that that little dog? Isn’t God more worthy of our devotion than an old lady on crutches? And yet, there’s Gable—faithful in cold and in heat, in comfort and in pain, in convenience and in inconvenience, in hunger and in satiation, in punishment and approval . No matter what, he is dedicated to me. And I love him in return. And his devotion makes me feel very small and unworthy of such a great gift. It kind of reminds me of the scripture: What is man, that thou art mindful of him? (Ps 8:4) Who am I that this little dog pays so much attention to me? I know it’s a backward application, but it just reminded me of the verse.
I am really nothing for that little dog. I mean seriously, yes I feed him— or no, I don’t feed him, R & M do that; they physically put the food down for him. I can’t even claim that little bit of care any more. I really don’t do anything for him any more. Yet he is faithful to me! And YET when we don’t get some little demand of God answered to our pleasure or something we had planned goes awry, we get all whiny and decide not to go to church—as though that will get back at God! We just walk away.
I don’t know what it would take to make Gable walk away from me; maybe my cold dead body lying for a week on the kitchen floor. Okay, that’s a facetious exaggeration, but seriously, he is loyal, constant, committed to me.
We must be just that devoted and constant and faithful to our heavenly Father.
Wow! What a lesson. It has left me in tears.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The false security of self-help salvation

Whenever I see a blog that has a positive bearing toward the things of God I book mark it if it is at all biblical. One thing I’ve found, however, is that MOST of them offer check lists and humanistic philosophies for ‘how to be a Christian.’ That really bothers me. We do not ‘be a Christian’ by following a check list. We don’t ‘be a Christian’ by applying the positive aspects of self improvement to our life. That only makes a better professor. I was just disappointed yet again today in reading a blog that started out on a very positive note only to degenerate into a set of checklists: Do this; you have to follow this; you can’t do this and so forth.
To really be a Christian, we must focus all of our energy on getting to know the Savior. We must be entirely involved in finding out what the Lord requires of us within the pages of His Word. And finally we must be entirely involved in doing the Will that we find within the pages of the Bible. And that takes work.
I think the problem is too often that people want the outward appearance of being a Christian without really putting in the work. So they read the self help books and the 40 day, 30 day, 10 day, etc, spiritual campaigns that are supposed to make you a better Christian. The read books like the “Purpose Driven Life’ and the Purpose Driven Church” and other pseudo religious literature that are best compared to getting to be a preacher by climbing over the back wall of the church grounds. Christ phrased it, He that…climbeth up some other way. John 10:1
When we pursue the ‘self-help’ kind of religion we are like a man who sets out to be body builder but doesn’t want to do the hours at the gym and all the reps necessary to have the toned and sculpted musculature necessary for a body-builder. He might read all the books, and watch all the TV shows and videos that talk about a well muscled form, but he will never be a body builder until he walks away from the books and videos and TV shows and gets into the gym to begin lifting weights.
‘Being a Christian’ is exactly like that. The books and the videos, and the devotional guides and the checklists and all the other paraphernalia available in religious circles today are only making the false teachers rich. They don’t make Christians. They don’t produce righteous, victorious, rejoicing children of God. The only thing that accomplishes that is God sent conviction and sincere repentance of sins. When that comes there will be a true turning from, forsaking all sin. When a man, woman or child is willing to make that commitment, we find that the fantastic gift of eternal Salvation is bestowed upon them. Then they are born again as the Children of God.
But that is only one step on the road to Heaven. Some want to teach that once you have grabbed that gift it can never be taken away from you. And while it is true that Satan cannot take it from us and the Lord won’t take it from us, we are very capable of casting it aside. When we fail to spend time in fellowship with the Lord we drop that beautiful gift in the mud. When we fail to study and follow the Word of God we commit sin and tread underfoot the gift of Salvation. The Hebrew writer tells us if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Hebrews 10:26-29.
It isn’t enough to pursue a path of ‘self help.’ Our help must come from above and our path must be learned from the pages of God’s Word alone. No man can teach the ways of God. Understanding of those ways comes only through the Holy Spirit and the individual alone together in reading and prayer.

Monday, January 17, 2011

me 'n' God 'n' early morning

There’s something about early, early morning that I like. I think it’s the peace of being awake before the world wakes up. I like to sit here quiet with very soft music playing. It’s a time to think about things—not worrisome things or plans or what the day holds, but just to think about the Lord, about how much I love my kids, about happy things that have happened to me.
I used to wonder about Pappy, who would be up in the early morning reading his Bible or just looking out at the day. And now I understand. It is a good time of day.
I’ve never before been able to enjoy this time of day. When I worked at day care, I often woke up in the middle of the night--about this time really 3:30, 4:00. But then it was the stress and pressure of the job that made sleeping short. I had a lot of things to worry about and plan and thing through. It was never this peaceful, quiet kind of wakefulness. I was always trying to go back to sleep.
Then after the day care finally got moved, wakefulness was a habit and when I woke up it was a bother, because I knew I would be tired in the morning and I wanted to go back to sleep. But now it is a joy.
We’ve been talking about having my knees fixed and the possibility of surgery. And that’s good. But I wonder if having my knees repaired will alter the tempo of my days. I don’t want to lose this time alone with me and God and my thoughts. When the Lord healed Rachael of lymphoma, I told Him I wouldn’t bug Him about healing my knees and that promise has paid of in great spiritual dividends. Not being able to walk has left me chair bound and I spend hours some days, reading the bible and following different topics along as the Spirit leads. That’s a very good thing and I don’t want to lose it. I’m afraid if I were able to bop around and do this and that without thinking about the number of steps or the pain involved that I might get so busy with life that I would lose this quiet flow of walking quietly with the Lord.
There’s a peace in this kind of walk. I’ve always loved the Lord and I’ve lived for Him for most of my life—not just drifted along ‘being good’ but consciously made choices to do and be what He would have me to be. And that has been a blessing. But I’ve never been able to just be quietly in the center of His will with no need to get up and going. I know I was pursuing legitimate tasks and I was doing them within His Will. Up until now though, I’ve always had something that needed doing. I’ve always had my times of contemplation cut short by necessities. Now, now I can wake up at 3:30 and sit quietly in the peace with no driving need to go back to sleep so I can wake up in three or four hours and do something important. These hours alone in the dark become my important thing to do.
I used to like sitting in Notah’s old house and looking down across the valley and watching the lights come on, then the color shift from darkness to the lighter and lighter grays of the coming day. “My” window in the Angelo house faced west. So the view was different from watching the sun come up. It was like a window on how that rising sun affected the world. Maybe it wasn’t the blazing beauty of a desert sunrise but it was beautiful and gave me a backwards view of the coming morning.
Then when they moved to Tierra Grande I had a direct view of the Manzanos and the gradual lightening of the sky, the rising sun casting the mountain into relief as the first blush of light shone above it. Sometimes when there were no clouds the brightness seeped up across the entire sky. Other times when there were blowing particles in the air there would be fingers of light blazing up from behind the mountain. And other times, the clouds would put on a spectacular display of reflected and refracted and changing colors as the sun rose from its resting place of the night.
Here in Westerville, I don’t have the pyrotechnics of the sunrise, I have the wall of the neighbor lady’s house. But I still have the peace of morning and the sleeping neighborhood around me. This time of morning it is just me and God. And THAT is a very good thing.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

confessing Christ

I heard this morning on the news that the man who had been homeless on the street in Columbus when he was discovered by a news person was caught in a hotel room being disorderly. Doctor Phil cornered him on a show he had been scheduled for and made him admit that, well, maybe he hadn’t been 100% free of alcohol after all.
Now where the truth is in this, I don’t know. He may well have been free of alcohol initially, but when the opportunity presented itself in a posh hotel room stocked with its nice little supply of booze, he took advantage of it. But the thing is, Doctor Phil button-holed him and got him to agree to going into a rehab program.
What breaks my heart in this whole thing is that the man had been very vocal about how Christ had turned his life around. AND NOW we discover that maybe it wasn’t so completely turned around as he made it seem. It brought to my mind the scripture: seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Hebrews 6:6
Satan is always trying to prove himself greater than God. This poor man has done what so very, very many do today. They start out making a daring and bold statement of how they were saved and then shortly are found in a blatant sin. And Satan is right there to jump up and down and prove to the world that the power of God is worthless! The news commentators this morning said, “Now fame may be proving too much for the man to handle and he is spiraling out of control.” “Ted Williams is seeking help to face his demons head on.” “Problems like that don’t just go away.” Yessiree, guess he didn’t have so much religion after all!
I was thinking of how Satan is gloating these last two days as this man’s nation-wide exposure has proven him a liar and that God wasn’t able to do what Williams claimed He had done. Satan is saying, “See, God wasn’t able to keep this man from drinking, but MY rehab program can accomplish it!” And many so-called Christians are nodding their heads sagely and saying compassionately, “Oh yes, if the man needs help in conquering this addiction then let’s put him in rehab and help him!” And once more Satan has ‘proven’ that God can’t conquer our flesh.
This poor man has crucified Christ afresh and brought shame on Him. I don’t know if I should blame the man or the institution that taught him about Salvation and what the Lord can do for us. It is popular to teach that all an individual needs to do is just “confess with the mouth that Jesus is Lord’ and he is born again. Ted Williams had evidently ‘confessed Jesus as Lord’ and claimed his salvation. But something went wrong. How sad. Popular religion is sending men and women to hell by the thousands. They coerce (mildly, but still a kind of forcing) people into ‘confessing Jesus as Lord” but the men and women have no victory to live according to Christ’s example.
WHY is that? I mean, the Bible says that is ‘all’ you have to do to be saved, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved Romans 10:9 So why is it not helping? Why do we find people making a great profession and then going out into sin. And I’m not talking about sin as some ‘fanatics’ might use the term, but sin as the Bible teaches it: drunkenness, fornication, adultery, lying, lasciviousness, malice, deceit, malignity, concupiscence, envy. That is some list, but it is never mentioned in most of the pulpits of America. Consequently, the thought that these habits might be sin never enters the mind of the people who sit in the pews.
And YET, when a ‘christian’ is caught by the police in a drunk and disorderly charge or when a ‘christian’ is caught having an illicit affair or exposed in any number of other less dramatic but still wrong action, the world (Satan) jumps on it with glee. And the ‘christian’ puts Christ to shame. AND THEN the rest of the pseudo-Christian religious world rises up in defense of the sinner saying “We are all only human; we all sin. We cannot help sinning, but Jesus’ blood covers up those sins. It’s only necessary that we confess Christ as Savior and then they don’t count any more.” But those sins DO count no matter what we say from our lips.
The difficulty arises when we think of the consequences of “confessing Christ with the mouth.” When Peter and Paul and John were writing to the believers across the known world, there were tremendous consequences to confessing Christ as Lord. The Roman Empire was murdering anyone who named the name of Christ. To ‘confess with the mouth’ required total and absolute commitment to the cause of Christ, for the very words would result in death at worst, torture at best-depending on how you look at it. Today, ‘confessing Christ’ with our mouth especially in the US, has very few consequences. It is simply another religious philosophy. It doesn’t require any deep commitment at all.
Consequently when we confess Christ with our mouth today, there is no need for the deep soul searching that preceded following Christ in Paul's time. There is no need for the deep separation from all things of earth. There is no need for the realignment of values and goals and daily lifestyle that existed in Paul’s day. When Paul and Peter wrote, to “confess with the mouth” meant that the believer had considered all of the ramifications of speaking that belief aloud and that he had chosen to lay aside all that the ‘old man’ (put off the old man with his practices Col 3:9) had valued and had chosen instead to put on the new man ( the new, which is renewed in regard to knowledge, after the image of Him who did create him; Col 3:10 Young’s literal translation ) which dramatically and dangerously set them apart from everyone else. Today ‘confessing with the mouth’ does not result in that peril. A confession of Christ today is something that can come superficially from the lips instead of the necessity of it coming from the depths of a man’s heart as it did in the days of the early Church.
I want the world to know that Jesus’ blood doesn’t ‘cover’ any sin. Jesus’ blood removes our sins as far as the east is from the west and makes us a ‘new creature.’ “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Corinthians 5:17) That new creature that He makes of us lives a life free from sin: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world" (Titus 2:12) As Christians living ‘soberly, righteously, and godly’ we will NOT be ‘sinning more or less every day” Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin”. Romans 6:6-7 When the ‘old man is crucified’ with Christ the ‘accidents’ that flower into sin do not happen and we no longer ‘serve sin.’ We STOP sinning. And when the temptations come we have the power to rebuke them.
I feel very sorry for Ted Williams. I sincerely wish he could have connected with a true Man of God who would have instructed him on his road to righteousness. There IS victory in Jesus, complete victory, victory over drugs and alcohol, victory over lustful thoughts and actions, victory to live a life free from sin.
I’m almost positive there will be ‘christians’ who shout, “No, No, No! You are being proud, you are claiming to be greater than God. We all sin. Are you better than the apostle who said if we claim to have no sin we are deceiving ourselves and if we say we have not sinned the truth isn’t in us!” But I am here to tell you that I have indeed sinned and once I carried that load of sin, and NOW the blood of Christ has cleansed me from that sin, and by his grace and power I have victory over all sin. Praise the Lord I’m not a sinner any more! I used to be, but I’m not any more!

Friday, January 7, 2011


Last evening Rachael came back from the grocery. She called and said I should stay in my room a ‘minute’ while she changed her clothes and vacuumed the living room and den. Then she hustled upstairs and I could hear her when she ran the vacuum quickly up there. Then she came down and grabbed the sweeper here and cleaned up. By that time I was standing up and getting ready to go in the kitchen.
I thought while she was doing that how positions in life change. Twenty five years ago I was the one running the vacuum and putting groceries away. Now I sit at the counter and watch and provide background conversation.
While I was involved with preschool/daycare I had arrived at the conclusion that the younger generation now was a failure. Everyday I met parents who weren’t really grown up yet. They walked in with constant excuses for their life. This person did them wrong. That thing didn’t happen when it should. The ‘check’ didn’t come on time. The boss didn’t like them so she didn’t give them enough hours. Their boyfriend/ girlfriend kicked them out and they had no place to live. The lousy lady at JFS didn’t approve their food stamp quota. They didn’t have enough money for gas. AND YET! Their nails were done with extensions and ceramic polish. Their hair was carefully cut and tinted and highlighted. They put their cigarettes out before they walked in the door and lit another as they walked out. They drove better cars than I did. They talked about what they did the night before or their plans for the next weekend. By and large they acted like over-indulged children who had and took no control of their lives.
My son and daughter have restored my hope for the future. The Lord promised me I’d live to see my kids grown to become responsible, viable, godly adults. And now I look with amazement at Michael and Rachael as they do everything right and responsibly. I look at Notah who took not only a wife but two little kids who desperately needed a daddy. Now they have a good family in a great home and Notah has demonstrated that he is a grown-up. He and Kerra are raising good kids and seeing to it that they are in church and growing up in the nurture of the Lord. They aren’t overly indulgent of them, nor are they overly strict with them. Notah has become a good parent, even though Seth and Keva weren’t his to begin with, they are most certainly his now! 
I really don’t mind the shift in position. I love being grandma. I love letting my kids and kids in law make the decisions and then following along with them. Why? Because the decisions they make are good ones. I don’t see them deciding to do foolish things. I don’t see them living self indulgent lives. I’ve never had a reason to second guess any of them. They’ve chosen to live lives pleasing to God and that is the best choice.
The Lord does keep His promises!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Jesus Blood Can Make the Vilest Sinner Clean

For me the graphics kind of take away from this song, but the words and melody are so great I posted it anyway.  I KNOW that Jesus' blood can make the vilest sinner free!   Today the aspect of being free from sin is  not taught in many of our churches.  People are taught to simply 'believe' and to 'accept Christ as Savior' or "make a decision for Christ." And well, yes we do that, but there is more to it than that.  Those directions are simplistic. There must be a grieving for sin and a repentance of sin and a decision to turn away from it!
There is a heart change that takes place when we repent of sin and hate it.  The sinner can never be free until he hates sin.  He can never have victory until he takes that blood and lets it run over his spirit and remove the bondage that sin holds over him.   Only then does he 'quit the sin business..'
Thank the Lord, the sinner who comes to Christ can and does quit sinning.  Not through his own power but through the blessed blood of Jesus!