Monday, January 30, 2017

Least of These

I listen to people say end the flood of refugees from Muslim countries and others say open our borders to everyone, struck by one thing - these are comments made by my brothers and sisters in Christ. I realize we need to vet people entering our country - I don't want to let criminals and terrorists enter the USA, but are we missing the mark here?

In Matthew 25 we find these words spoken by Jesus:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Maybe people in war-torn nations are not the least of these? Maybe this is not an evangelistic opportunity? Maybe, I've misinterpreted the passage? I want to get it right, I want to be in His will concerning those who need help.

Over the centuries, missionaries entered friendly and only friendly countries to bring the Gospel to the lost, right? No, many missionaries entered hostile areas and proclaimed the Gospel to hostile people.

Ultimately the Body of Christ should be the Lord's hands and feet on earth spreading the Good News in love without a hint of legalism. I pray we see the least of these with the eyes of Christ and are filled with His love for them.

So instead of posting subjective Memes, every news article known to man to prove a point or dismiss an opposing opinion, why don't we dig into the Word and spend time in prayer? It will lower your blood pressure, diminish your headache, and fill your heart with love.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Last year at this time, the primary season was about to kick off with what I jokingly referred to as the Cast of Thousands. Each primary that went by, I was astounded at which candidates were out and which candidates were still standing.

Fast forward to January 2017, a new president has been sworn into office. He might not be who I consider an ideal candidate, he might not be someone I would choose if asked which American president would you most like to meet? However, he is the POTUS.

People marched in protest which is their right, though I disapprove of the vandalism I witnessed and the mounds of trash left behind by protesters. Vandalism is a crime, protesting is not.

My weapons will be prayer and fasting, not bashing him on Facebook and Twitter. To be honest, I hope he stops tweeting!!! To my Christian brothers and sisters still complaining about Obama - STOP. To my Christian brothers and sisters in Christ complaining about Trump - STOP.

Instead of inundating FB and Twitter with political posts, take the time to pray. Stop murmuring and complaining. Stop judging. Stop the hate.

Examine your hearts, where are you placing your trust? Is is in the Lord and His promises or what you read online? Love your neighbor. Who is your neighbor? Everyone is your neighbor.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Monday, January 16, 2017

Houston Marathon

Yesterday was the Houston Marathon, one of my nephews ran the 1/2 marathon to raise money for Bo's Place. My nephew and his wife have received counseling there since the death of their child a few months ago. I am so proud he crushed it.

When a tragedy occurs, we often wonder why? We think were You even there God? Some people become angry and don't want to hear His name or anything about Him. Many times, well-meaning friends and family are determined the person will get over their grief in a week and beat the person over the head with Scripture because, in reality, they are right fighters. They are most concerned with being right. Please right fighters, I urge you to be quiet and let the person grieve. Pray for the grief-stricken in your private prayer time. Pray with them if they ask you to pray with them, otherwise be quiet. Silence is OK.

We frequently hear the expression life is not a sprint but a marathon. The same applies to our spiritual life. There are starts and stops, bumps in the road, twists and turns, but none of these are too great for Christ.

He loves us, He is there with us in the good, the bad, the dark, frightening, and lonely moments. Nothing can separate us from His love. We have this promise:

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Trust Him, hold onto His promises and know you are loved.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Weeds in the Garden

Living in an area which allows for gardening year round is great except for one annoying aspect (even worse than August heat) - WEEDS!!! We have species of weeds which flourish in winter, species which flourish in spring, species which flourish in summer. and species which flourish in autumn. And to add to the mix, we have weeds that remain green and grow during droughts and others which grow when it rains and or floods.

It is cold and wet this weekend, a few snowflakes, a little sleet - gives me an excuse not to pull Chickweed and Velcro Weed which have popped up in my lawn and in 2 of my flower beds. How dare they try to choke out my Pansies, Petunias, Violas, Snapdragons, and Dusty Millers! Next Saturday, the high is predicted to be 80, so I will be working in the yard. Velcro Weed is a nickname for Galium Aparine, you pull it out of the ground and it sticks to your hands, your clothes, your shoes, if you don't pull it before it blooms, it goes to seed and the seeds stick to you, too. It is terrible.

Weeds are an illustration of the things of this world that choke out our time with God in His Word and in prayer. We are back to our normal routines after the holidays. If our schedule got off track during the holidays, we need to correct it now. It is easy to stay in bed 20 minutes more on a cold morning instead of getting up to pray. It is easy to watch the news, weather, and traffic over and over before work instead of spending time in the Word. I get it, I've done it, I will do it again. I am not perfect.

I know tomorrow it will be hard to get out of bed because it will be 25 and I am not a morning person. My alarm is set, I will have water in the kettle, coffee grounds in the press...I will light the fire and spend quiet time in prayer and in the Bible before the hustle and bustle of grocery shopping and Saturday morning errands.

Ladies make time for reading your Bible and prayer. You will never regret it. (P.S. It is 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning and 22. The rain is gone, the sun is out, the bird baths are frozen solid, I walked across the lawn to fill bird feeders, it is not often our ground is so frozen I don't sink in the mulch as I step into 1 flower bed to fill 1 of the bird feeders!)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Merry Heart

I took my mother to Walmart the other day, it was a pleasant day, so I waited in the car while she purchased a few items. My justification for waiting in the car - I didn't want to be around all the shoppers with colds and I dislike Walmart.

My car windows are open, a nice breeze is blowing, and I am reading a book. Occasionally, I glance towards the doors to see if mom is on her way out to my car. People milling about the parking lot. People smiling, people laughing, people oh so irritated they are at Walmart 2 days after Christmas.

I am nearing the end of my book, maybe I will finish it before mom returns to the car! I look up once more...and a woman is walking by my car on the way to her car. My mouth falls open, I gape at her, I think why did I leave my camera at home? I put my book down, I lean out my window, I crane my neck, I try not to laugh.

The woman tells someone she is talking to, OK, I have to go now, I need to unload my grocery cart. I think to myself, was she talking on the phone as she dressed and left home? It is the only rational explanation. Because she was wearing a beautiful paisley blouse, looked like it was part of a business suit. Her hair was impeccably styled. Her makeup was artfully applied. And the blouse totally clashed with her floral, flannel pajama bottoms and house shoes!

I generally do not laugh at people or make fun of people, but I did laugh over this. I wondered if I should have alerted her to the fact her Paisley blouse/PJ ensemble did not work or if I should have said ma'am go back home and finish dressing before you drive to the office.

I thought back to the time my feet felt funny as I walked to church for an early morning prayer session. I arrived, looked down, I had a running shoe on one foot and a walking shoe on the other. How did I manage that, grabbing shoes out of the closet in the dark, trying to be quiet and not disturb my husband? Everyone at the prayer session laughed when we exited the chapel and they saw my feet. I laughed as well. I thought of my friend riding the elevator at the mall, looking down and noticing she never changed shoes and was wearing fuzzy slippers which entitled her to a new pair of shoes on the spot!

What has any of this to do with a Christian blog? We need to laugh and not take ourselves so seriously all the time. Proverbs tells us: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Ladies, I pray 2017 is filled with joy, with laughter, and well-chosen shoes and ensembles.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

SSMT 2017, Verse 1

I am on board with Beth Moore's Siesta Scripture Memory Team to commit Scriptures to memory this year. My 1st verse is Psalm 36:5, ESV
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
It is a short verse, but I felt led to make it my 1st verse. It is not too late to join us as we commit at least 24 verses to memory this year. Instructions can be found on her and The SSMT Facebook page: LPM SSMT 2017

I think of all the things that are etched in my memory and think Scripture should be in it (there is some, but I could use more), too. One note and I can still sing the theme to Gilligan's Island and or The Flinstones. All manner of by brain for decades, and I tell myself it is so hard to memorize the written word, but I think I've talked myself into it. I don't think it was easy memorizing the Barefoot Boy Poem in 7th grade, I don't think it was easy memorizing how to conjugate verbs in Latin, French, or German. I was much younger, my brain was more nimble, but I agonized over some of it because I did not really want to pour my energy into those things. (I just thought of the Episcopal Catechism, I had to memorize for confirmation!) There were phone calls to make, makeup to try, ballet and pointe classes which were far more important than memorizing a poem!

Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim’s jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,—
I was once a barefoot boy! (There is more, but you get the drift)

Memorizing Scripture will take effort because my brain is not as nimble as it used to be, but there are not the ballet and pointe classes, nor the makeup to try, and fewer phone calls to distract me. I can pour my energy into memorization because I want to do this.

I pray 2017 is a year in which we look to the Lord, keep our focus on Him, and let the distractions of 2016 be a thing of the past. Blessings ladies!