Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Holiness



You can’t make yourself holy.  Holiness is a gift.  You walk with God, and holiness is the result.
  For our sakes God made Him (Jesus) who did not know sin to be sin, so that in Him we might become the very holiness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21.
  Scripture tells us that God wants us to grow in holiness: It is God's Will that you grow in holiness: 1 Thessalonians 4:3.
  God tells us in His Word: Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.
Leviticus 19:2; 1 Peter 1:16
  Jesus said: In a word, you must be made perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48.
  As we surrender ourselves to God and follow Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, They cause us to grow in holiness.
  Strive for peace with all men, and for that holiness without which no one can see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Sword of the Spirit

God wants us to use Scripture passages, His Word, not just to claim His promises to us, but to fight against the evil spirits in the world. In Ephesians 6:10-17 St. Paul gives us the tools for Christian warfare, for waging the battle against the temptations and attacks of the devil. One of them is the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
  It's important that we all read something from the Bible every day. This fills the data base of our mind with Scriptures. Then, when the need arises, the particular Scripture passage or passages we need to pray will come to our mind. If we don't remember where we read them in the Bible, a few words or a phrase in a search engine will show us where they are. I write these passages on index cards and use them during my prayer time when praying for myself or interceding for others.
  The following are just a few Scripture passages I have prayed:
For healing: I will give you back your health and heal your wounds, says the Lord. Jeremiah 30:17.
For those experiencing a tragedy in their lives: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3.
For someone experiencing seizures: No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent. Psalm 91:9-10.
For childlessness: He establishes in her home the barren wife as the joyful mother of children. Psalm 113:9.
For physical or emotional weakness: The Lord will give you strength. Psalm 29:11.
For fear: Fear is useless; what is needed is trust... Luke 8:50.
  If you are praying for a particular situation and no Scripture passages come to mind, you can always look up an individual word in a concordance, online or in book form. That will show you passages that deal with that subject. Then you can choose one or more to pray.
  Praying the Word of God is very a powerful spiritual weapon. Use it often.


May the mercy of the Father, the peace of the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus be yours in abundance.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sexuality Confusion

In the Beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,...
God created man in his image; in the divine image He created him;
male and female He created them.  God blessed them, saying: "Be fertile and multiply;...
Genesis 1:1, 27-28.


  It could not have been clearer. God created men and women.  They were to join together to procreate and form a family. He did not create homosexuals or transgender people. He did not create many genders.


  The thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy,
I [Jesus] came that they might have life and have it to the full. John 10-10


  Where there is destruction and distortion we see the work of the devil.


  Much has been written in the last decade on this subject, both good and bad. I recently came across two blog posts that I thought were particularly interesting. The first is a Matt Walsh blog on how far to go to protect your children from being indoctrinated by the Left. The second is the experience of a man who felt led by the Holy Spirit to attend the recent Gay Pride parade in San Francisco. For someone who has never attended a Gay Pride event, it's good to hear about what "Gay Pride" really stands for.
  I think it's worth your time to read both.


http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/if-protecting-my-childs-innocence-means-im-keeping-him-in-a-christian-bubble-so-be-it/


http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/ "Boots-on-the-ground reflections from today's San Francisco (LGBT) Pride event"; posted June 25.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Dinner With Jesus


  What would you wear if you were invited to have dinner with Jesus?  Actually, each time you gather at church that’s exactly what you’re doing, having dinner with Jesus.  Just think—the bread, the wine, the table, the tablecloth, the candles—you sitting across from Jesus on the altar.

  When we go out to dinner at a fine restaurant, we dress in our better clothes.  Shouldn’t we dress just as nicely when we come to have dinner with Jesus?  We also dress in nicer clothes when we attend special occasions such as graduations, weddings, parties, proms.  Did you ever wonder why?  It’s because our dress reflects that the occasion is special.  To attend a wedding in sneakers and sweatpants would be an insult to the bride and groom.  The way we dress shows respect for the people we are honoring.

  Is the way we dress for church the most important thing?  No, the most important thing is that we have come to worship and thank God.  Does Jesus care what we wear to church?  Jesus cares that we show Him the same honor and respect that we would show to the President of the United States or any other important person.  What would you wear if you were invited to dinner with the President?  What do you wear when you come to have dinner with Jesus?
 Bring gifts, and enter His courts; worship the Lord in holy attire.  Psalm 96:8b

A Pause In Reflections

If anyone was wondering whether I'd given up this blog, I haven't. Had an injury. Between that and summer company (I live near the beach), have found it difficult to find time to write. Hopefully by September I can get back to my regular weekly schedule.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

On Values and Principles

Every adult has values and principles which have developed in us through what we have been taught and what we have experienced. Values are those things which we hold in high esteem and are important to us. Principles, as defined by the dictionary, are "a rule or code of conduct"; "a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine or assumption."  Although our fundamental values and principles are formed in childhood, they continue to grow and change as long as we live.
  We usually don't sit down and think about what our values and principles are, but it's a good idea to do that from time to time. Recently I came across a listing of the foundational principles of an organization I have been following since the 70's, Focus on the Family, based in Colorado Springs, CO. Upon reading them, I found that they were an accurate description of the principles I have come to accept as valuable, and so I thought I would share them here. I have found that following these principles leads not only to peace, which is the defining theme of my blog, but to fulfillment in life.


The Value of Children
Children are a heritage from God and a blessing from His hand. Parents are therefore accountable to Him for raising, shaping and preparing children for a life of service to His kingdom and to humanity.


The Permanence of Marriage
The institution of marriage is a sacred covenant designed by God to model the love of Christ for His people and to serve both the public and private good as the basic building block of human civilization. Marriage is intended by God to be a thriving, lifelong relationship between a man and a woman through trials, sickness, financial crises and emotional stresses. Therefore, Christians are called to defend and protect God's marriage design and to minister in Christ's name to those who suffer the consequences of broken marriages.


The Pre-Eminence of Evangelism
The ultimate purpose of life is to know and glorify God and to attain eternal life through Jesus Christ, beginning within our own families and then reaching out to a suffering humanity that needs to embrace His love and sacrifice.


The Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that human life is created by God in His image. It is of inestimable worth and significance in all its dimensions, including the preborn, the aged, the mentally disabled, those deemed unattractive, the physically challenged, and every other condition in which humanness is expressed from the single-cell stage of development to natural death. Christians are therefore called to defend, protect and value all human life.


The Importance of Social Responsibility
God has ordained the social institutions of family, church and government for the benefit of mankind and as a reflection of His divine nature. Therefore, Christians are called to support these institutions, according to God's design and purpose, and to protect them against destructive social influences. Such involvement is in obedience to Christ's lordship over all creation and is required by His command to care for the well-being of all people.


The Value of Male and Female
God created humans in His image, intentionally and immutably male and female, each bringing unique and complementary qualities to sexuality and relationships. Sexuality is a glorious gift from God to be offered back to Him either in marriage for procreation, union and mutual delight, or in celibacy for undivided devotion to Christ. Christians are called to proclaim the truth and beauty of God's design and the redemption of sexual brokenness in our lives and culture through Jesus Christ.


One thing that I would add is the importance of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, being baptized, and filled with the Holy Spirit. This is actually the first and foremost principle because the others flow from it. It's the power of the Holy Spirit within us which enables us to live according to the other principles.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Price You Pay for the Good Life

A young woman posted a video on Facebook of her little daughter taking her first steps. But the mother wasn't there to see it. She was at work and the video was taken by the babysitter.
  How sad--to miss your child's first steps; or first word; or all the many firsts in your little one's life. To miss the cute ways preschoolers say words. To not be there to kiss the bumps and bruises or to take them to the doctor when they're injured. To not be there when they get home from school or to read and sing to them before bed. To not be there for their games and special events.
  I'm sorry if you have to work outside the home; or if you are a divorced or single parent; if you have no choice. But there are so many who do have a choice and choose work or a career over raising their children.
  I had a day care business for many years. I would estimate that about 65% of my clients did not have to work outside the home for financial reasons. They worked for a large home (of course each child must have their own room), nice cars, adult "toys", and a yearly vacation to Disney World. Those are all nice things, and we are blessed if we can afford them. But they often come with a price not paid with money -- time with our children; time with our families; time to build and nurture a good marriage.
  My husband and I raised four children. For most of that time I was able to be home when the children were home. I had the day care business in my home. Most of our cars during that time were used and we continued to use them until they were no longer worth repairing. We lived in a small three-bedroom ranch with one bath. We rarely spent vacations away from home. I clipped coupons, looked for sales, and cooked economical meals. My children's birthday parties were small house parties I planned myself with as many guests as the age of the child.
  Today most young couples would not be willing to live the way my husband and I did while raising our children. But it was worth the sacrifice. All four of our children graduated college and are good, productive citizens. All four married and three of them have children (so far). My husband and I have been complimented many times on what nice people our children are. I wouldn't trade that for anything the world has to offer.