Some Things I Learned Recently

This is a very hard post to write. I’ve learned some things recently that are being taught in Bible classes and churches. As a result, I have done a study on what exactly the Bible says about each idea. I realize I don’t have a lot of time to perhaps keep your interest if this isn’t for you or you don’t agree. But I am compelled to write this. I don’t get up easily at 5:30 AM unless God won’t let me sleep any longer. This is one of those mornings.

In studying the Bible, of course I have learned of God’s “predestination” of the saints. I don’t believe that this means He chooses some to be His and some not to be. He has given EVERY created being free will. WE ALL HAVE TO MAKE A CHOICE. FOR HIM TO BE OUR GOD, TO ASK HIM TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS, ACCEPTING WHAT HIS SON JESUS CHRIST DID ON THE CROSS, (DIED FOR EACH PERSON WHO WAS EVER BORN) AND AT THAT MOMENT THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD COMES AND LIVES WITHIN YOU. John 3:16-17 says “For God so loved the world, that He gave His begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world might be saved through Him. When I look up the word world, that means everyone who has ever been or ever will be born. EVERYONE. So as some would say, there are elites or chosen, that really no one has a clear choice at one time in their lives to choose for Jesus Christ. The Word of God says everyone has a choice, over and over and over. To not have a choice means that taken to their logical conclusion, that even hell and all who suffer there eternally are foreordained by God. God is so rendered morally ambiguous at best and a moral monster at worst. I believe that it is everywhere free will is assumed in the Bible. It is necessary to preserve human responsibility for sin and evil and it is necessary to preserve God from being responsible for sin and evil of any kind. 

Some will say  “Well, if God created all things, He must have created evil.” NO!! A thousand times no! To say so is to take away the impeccable nature, the pure righteousness, infinite love and grace of God. So where did evil come then? You may remember the story of Lucifer, the created angel of light. He wanted to be like God and have the power of God. So he chose to lead a rebellion in heaven with many other created angels, who also chose to follow Lucifer. There was a battle, but of course God and His mighty angels who chose God won as they will every time. Lucifer and his band were cast out and HELL and the Abyss was created for them. God did not create it for people, but in His foreknowledge, He knew that some day people He would create would not choose to accept HIM as their God or His Son as their Savior. It is not that HE chose, but that we all make our choice. So God allowed the entrance of sin and evil into His good creation but did not cause or coerce.

I believe that it is very important to write this as some might believe that God has sent evil or just bad things in my life to bring me to Him. I would say to that, “Absolutely not!” I have said many, many times how my Lord God has taken care of me in spite of my hard headedness and strong will. Yes, I do believe that things, many things really bad or hurtful in so many different ways happened to me because HE allowed them as way to make me see I am absolutely nothing without HIM and how much I needed HIM as my Savior and my God. Sometimes, little children come to God and they don’t go through all these things. However, I know how stubborn I was.  I didn’t want anyone including God to tell me what to do. I could have turned away from Him in anger and hate with all that has happened to me. I chose to go to Him. He always knew that eventually I would. He is God and knows all things including the future. But it was my choice. It is still my choice every day whether I follow Him by studying His Word, by speaking and listening in prayer. But He has given me the  peace I can have regardless of how sick I am, what is happening in our family or extended family or my business world or the world as we know it today. I know it is there for me, but I have to reach out in trust and thanksgiving to Him. He never leaves me. It is me, when I am in sin, that walks away from Him. Again, my choice.  But how wonderful it is, when I walk back to my Savior and say I am so sorry. I know I have already been forgiven of every sin I have ever done or ever will do. That work was done on the cross by Jesus shedding His perfect blood for me. Still, the Lord expects us to be salt and light to the world. How can we, when we are behaving as the rest of the world does? Sometimes that is my sin. I want very much to be salt and light to the world He has given me to speak to and participate in and with. But again, every day I make that choice. Doesn’t mean He loves me any less or more bad comes my way, but you see now that I have tasted of the Source of Peace, I can’t do without it.

If you disagree with me, I would urge you to ask God to show you all His scriptures concerning our choices. In every case where it talks of God wooing or drawing, there is text above or below that talks about choice. Read the whole thing. Don’t just take a scripture here and there and make a doctrine about it. The books of John, Romans and First Corinthians are great starting places.

Cindy

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Its Late, But So Much Has Happened…

Those of you who have been following me for a while know that my life can change on a dime! And Sunday it did. I had been doing so great, but sitting there as the service was starting up, I was having trouble getting enough air. I thought if I could just get out in the atrium with my inhaler to a vent, I wouldn’t cause a stir. Au contraire! I got to the vent, took a hit off the inhaler and promptly passed out. I heard, “there she goes!” Thank goodness there were people around me and someone to catch me, I guess. Someone went and got my husband and my purse which has a little personal air spirometer, but I couldn’t hardly make the ball go up. So I knew I was in trouble. And then once we got into the car, my right arm starting just aching horribly, then my chest. I felt a lot of pressure. We were too far from our hospital, so we went to a small city hospital ( never again) but of course once I was stable and had to stay because of my heart issues ( you can’t leave against med advice or medicare won’t pay).  We hear a man screaming down the hall, “let me die, I want to die. I want to commit suicide.” Over and over he was yelling and screaming that!  I knew right then we were there to pray for that man. Which of course we began to do. I couldn’t know his name because of HIPPA of course, but God knows who he is. 

Because for some reason they didn’t get my BP med dosage correct, my BP soared and with it came the most awful headache I’ve ever had. It was with me all the time I was there. I kept telling them I needed more meds. I got them just as I left but it took me 3 doses of meds when I got home and this morning to get it back to what is normal for me and no sick headache. I did have absolutely wonderful nurses! Sunday night, my coughing went south and I was running out of strength to cough anymore ( by then I’d been at it for over 3 hours. Hard, rib cracking, muscle pulling, coughing. Finally I got some Solumedrol-my miracle drug, and no coughing for over 2 hours! I also got cough syrup and Benadryl  2 hours before the Solumedrol, but they didn’t work. That’s what happens when things go so far. NOTHING works except Solumedrol. How thankful I am that I live in a time that the medicine exists!!

The reason I had to stay over night was to have a cardiac stress in the am. But honestly, I have never had a stress test that took all day! Management agreed with me when I spoke with them late in the afternoon. If you’ve never had one, you can’t eat or drink or take your heart meds until you’ve the test completed, so you see why my body went a little nuts!!  At least it was over and we left at 7 pm. 

So what else could good could possibly have come out this? I tell you honestly when you can’t sleep for any reason, that’s one of the best times to commune with the Father and  I had hours. I, of course, was praying about my condition, but He led me  off to so many other subjects. I have to admit, it was kind of wonderful. He was right there and bad as I had it. I knew it and until I started really going downhill, I had been praying and praising for all the blessings, for that man, just for everything He brought to my mind to talk about. I guess I have been a little too busy for all that special time with Him. I write about it. I pray alot, but do I listen? The first time God spoke to me was after I had been on a long praise to Him and just ran out of words. I think He said FINALLY!!! I did apologize. I like to talk, but I have been learning to listen over the years. 

Two things I have learned: One thing He desires, is to be my very best, closest friend. He already knows everything about me. It’s silly when I try to hide anything from Him. He is constantly reminding me that I am His Righteousness. Glory!!! Remember I just wrote there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. That is truth.

Late enough and it’s long enough, don’t you think? G’ night!

Cindy

 

 

What Does God Say About Being A Youth?

If you read much of the Bible, you might notice a that God used a lot of very young people! David, when he was anointed King of the Israelites by Samuel in 1 Samuel 16, was barely in his teens. He had a very interesting life, one worth studying for the goodness of it, but also for his failures. We all fail.  Timothy in the New Testament was very young as well when Paul appointed him as a pastor. He even reminded Timothy to not let others look down on his because of his youth! 1 Timothy 4: 12  Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct,, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.  I wish I had been willing to follow Him, just because of this verse!

So this takes me to the second post of today. I do remember well, what it was to be young. Really young, as a child, when my daddy wouldn’t let me do what I wanted to do, I’d tell him, he was a mean daddy! The audacity that I had! Where did it come from? Oh, the Bible is pretty clear about that:  Romans 3:23  says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”   You might say,  Cindy, you were just a child! Yes, but I knew right from wrong! Like any child, I wanted my own way. Like any teen, any adult, we all want our own way. But usually our ways are God’s ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts-that’s in Isaiah, by the way.  I’ll put it another way. Do you have to teach a small child to lie? No, of course not. Children do it naturally and have to be taught to tell the truth. It’s our very nature to be this way. People are not basically good, again, it’s a taught or chosen way. This is why I get so very upset when I see teens and young adults or even older adults (who should know better!) who have obviously not been taught the whole truth, maybe all the history, or outright lies. No one should be manipulated to do any of these things we are seeing on any of the networks or in any publications of any kind.

I remember very well how it felt to be a teenager! You might say, that was a long, long time ago, Cindy and things are different now. Children and teens are different now. I would agree that some things are different. We have the internet, more channels than we need on TV, X-box or whatever video games-so many with great violence. And movies that are graphic in their violence and sex. I don’t think that means that morals, courtesy or faith had to change. IF, ANYTHING, THEY NEED TO BE STRONGER! I know how hard that is as a teen when all you want to do is just fit in, be a part of the crowd. In my case, the -in-crowd.  However, my mother was forever saying, “Be a leader, Cindy, not a follower.”  Still, I followed as closely as possible, to a point, admittedly, but mostly I was there. You see, in those days, I never asked God what I should do. I didn’t want to hear His answers.

I have already written how I came to know Jesus personally at age 20 in a previous post. I won’t go into the details here except to say if you think you have messed up your life, made impossible to forgive decisions, taken the wrong path, the wrong stuff, been abused or been the abuser, I can tell you without any doubt in my mind or my heart that there is nothing that He will not forgive your for, except if you don’t accept His Son and what He did in His Sacrifice for you. That’s it. It is so simple. How to come to God. A living God who loves YOU. Let Him put His Spirit in you and His arms around you, Today!!

Cindy

Today’s Content: Our Thoughts

Some people say they can’t control their thoughts! Especially when they are young! They seem to bounce hither and yon and with the influence of the internet, TV, movies, games. Well, I guess it’s obvious where some peoples’ thoughts are alot! But God says that we are to direct our conscious thoughts towards Him, in worship, in prayer, in trusting, in thankfulness. Oh, let me count the many, many ways!!

It is our choice to reject thoughts we know don’t please Him-negative thoughts, anxious thoughts, even evil thoughts.  But He says that if we are quick to confess the sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us and purify us just that quickly! (my paraphrase from 1 John 1:9)  If we do this on a regular basis, your thoughts will keep your mind in His Presence and your feet following His path. I can tell by living, that this choice isn’t easy, but it is incredible when I do it.

Some added scriptures here are:  Palsm 20:6-8  Now I know that the Lord save His anointed; He will answer him from heaven from His holy heaven, With the saving strength of His right hand. Some boast in chariots, and some in horses; But we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God. They have bowed down and fallen; But we have risen and stood upright.   this is Zacharias prophesing when his John was born, here is the part about going before the Messiah:  Luke 1: 76-79  “And you child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will on  BEFORE THE LORD TO PREPARE HIS WAYS; To give to His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins, Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us, To SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH,  To guide our feet into the way of peace.”     How awesome were those scriptures for us? Take them into your heart and mind and meditate on them!

 

 

Presentation

Today I read David Jeremiah’s devotional. It certainly hit home! He is talking about how appearance has become a dominant factor in our age. People get cosmetic surgery, weight reduction surgery, do the latest and greatest in workouts, and starvation diets. Then, there are the latest clothes, phones, cars… you know what I’m talking about. But from God’s point of view, appearance doesn’t really seem to matter. Elijah, was known as a hairy man wearing a leather belt around his waist. And was also known as a “troublemaker” and eccentric. In fact, Elijah was put on the shelf, so to speak by God for 3 years to learn, while there was a severe drought that he had told King Ahab that God was going to bring and it wouldn’t stop until he said so. But as a man, except for the fact that he was hairy and wore this leather belt,  was not recognizable for being a great man of God. (Read the story 1 Kings 17- 18:39)

So it was for John the Baptist, also. Clothed with camel’s hair and leather belt, he ate locusts (grasshoppers) and wild honey.  When Israel was looking for a successor to King Saul,  Samuel was told by God that the appearance didn’t matter, 1 Samuel 16:7. In Isaiah 53:2, he said there would be nothing about the Messiah’s appearance to make him stand out. 

Last night my husband said to me, you maybe a pretty woman Cindy, but what’s really been important to me in the long run is that you are a good woman. I know what he meant by that–it’s really the Jesus in us that makes us attractive–if we let Him do so and not hide Him in a closet! David Jeremiah says that part of our presentation to others is the “fragrance of Christ” as His life radiates through ours. Probably a better way of saying it.

For me personally, this was very telling at the end: Some flowers must be broken or bruised before they emit any fragrance.  So true of me!

Cindy

My Thoughts on My God

This is a reply that I wrote to someone today about my thoughts on God. I thought I would share as I felt as if I had worshipped Him when I finished writing.

In the first chapter of the Book of John, verse 12, it says ” But as many as RECEIVED HIM, to them He gave them the right (the Latin word is power) to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. So this is where I would say that the Lord God is in ME, because I’ve asked Him and the Holy Spirit to come and live in me (Rev 3:20)…so there is no separation between me and my Father God. In John 14:6, Jesus says I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. So that creation out there for the most part has rejected God or followed false gods as they have from the beginning. If you believe the creation story in Genesis (and I do) then you know that Adam and Eve wanted to have the knowledge that they were promised by Satan and turned from God’s direction to have it. People are still doing that today. I would tell you that besides my coming to faith, my life really took off when I began to study God’s Word. It truly changed my life. It is His love letter to His children. Certainly I read other things, but not about other gods or beliefs. They can do nothing for me. My God is Faithful always.  He says to seek Him with all your heart and you will find Him. He says to try Him, but not to test HIm. He will never fail you. He never lets you go once He has your hand. Sometimes I feel far away because of my actions or my words and when I come back and apologize, He says, “I never left you. I had you the whole time.” If you knew my whole story, then you would know the Truth about our God. He does miracles. He leads and I follow, He guides, He answers. He is not a THING up there somewhere, but a real, living God, Almighty in ALL things! I am proud to worship HIM!

Cindy

God Continues to Remain Faithful

Now I know you are saying, “Well of course, Cindy!” And I am too, but sometimes you just have to acknowledge how very faithful HE is, even when we are not! I’ve had a rough year as you know. Last week, my husband had Salmonella poisoning and thank the Lord, they finally figured out what it was and gave him the right meds. I am so grateful for medicines. Did you know that penicillin was discovered during WWII? Can you imagine what might have happened in your life without it being available? I know I wouldn’t be here! But you know that I am always saying that the Lord has a plan for our lives. I believe it so strongly. This week, I am struggling with my lungs. It just seems that, it’s always something. Everything that happens with me, even the bad stuff, somehow gives me opportunity to share Jesus with whomever HE brings to me. Even customer service reps when I am complaining about the bill being incorrect or the service. It’s just amazing to me, really. Trust me, this isn’t something I do consciously! It just happens. God makes the conversations happen.

We are to go to Mayo again later this summer for more testing. I am really pleased with all of the people I am met so far. I am just sorry that I have to go through it all. My hopes are that they will have some answers on how to better my lung condition and how my esophagus impacts that. Doesn’t look like a lot of fun to me! Once I have all the results, I’ll be more forthcoming, but right now I think there’s a lot of guessing going on.

I turned 67 this month! A lot of people ask me why I still am working! Well, because I love it, of course and God hasn’t told me to stop either. But again, there sometimes people to speak with in my work too, so I understand and am to carry on!

Today’s devotional from Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, is just perfect for what I am saying:  

I  AM THE TRUTH: the One who came to set you free. As the Holy Spirit controls your mind and actions more fully, you become free in Me. You are increasingly released to become the one I created you to be. This is a work that I do in you as you yield to My Spirit. I can do My best handiwork when you sit in the stillness of My Presence, focusing your entire being on Me.

Let your thoughts burst freely upon your consciousness, stimulating abundant Life. I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. As you follow Me, I lead you along paths of newness: ways you have never imagined. Don’t worry about what is on the road up ahead. I want you to find your security in knowing Me, the One who died to set you free.

John 8:32   Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

John 14:6  Jesus answered “I am the Way and the Truth and the LIfe. No one comes to the Father except thru me. 

Philippians 2:13   For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.

 

All very important truths. Please take them into your heart.

Cindy