Monday, December 14, 2015

What serving God is.

Where he leads me I will follow
Micah 6:6-8   
With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high?Shall I come before him with burnt offeringswith calves a year old?
7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of ramswith ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”

We think  that God wants the sacrifices of our earthly goods, accomplishments and strengths.  What I am and can do.  To impress God with my value. We want to be equal to God in what we bring.

8 He (God) told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you 
but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?

Here we have God's desire stated - a giving of ourselves:
                  in our actions   = do justice
                  in our attitude   = love kindness (mercy) 
                  in  our lifestyle = to walk humbly with
                                               our God.

This can also be seen in the following New Testament vers

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Understand the LORD wants our loving fellowship and love and trust in Him.  Anybody can keep  rules and regulations without any heart or love or faith.   Anyone can give money or time to impress the world with their value or worth.   

But in fact, our true worth come from the LORD God Almighty, creator of heaven and earth and creator of all - thus our lives are a gift from God.   His heart's desire is for us to love  and trust HIM with gratitude and joy. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Who is Jesus?

Who is Jesus?  copyright Connie Jones Prince Dearden 2015
                                           used by permission
The reason of our celebration of Christmas
Our LORD Jesus Christ's birth 

The baby in the manger          
The Saviour on the Cross
Creator of the universe
Seeker of the lost.

The Mighty God among us
Emmanuel - His name
Wonderful - Counselor
Every day the same.

Jesus the Good Shepherd
Who dearly loves His sheep
The Everlasting Father
At times, we make Him weep.

He is the Good Samaritan
The judge of all the Earth
We are precious to Him -
Knows us before our birth.

Jesus is coming back again
This is our blessed hope
Until then, we'll carry on
As He gives us strength to cope.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace
The one of whom we sing
King of Kings and Lord of lords

Ms. Connie Dearden is a poet, songwriter, artist and author.   I am privileged to be allowed to use this poem she wrote.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


Ephesians 1:4  Even as He 
chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and 
blameless before him. 
5 In love He predestined us 
for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the
 purpose of his will.

God has a divine purpose and plan.

God knows all the pathways taken by all mankind

God is directing all things  and He has a specific end.

God's plans are all in place.  They were in place before the foundation of  the world.

Nothing in all history, past, present and in the future is out of God's control.

Romans 11:36  
For from him (God)and through him (God) and to 
him (God) are all things. To him  (God) be glory forever. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Our Secular and Sacred lives are one

Colossians  1:16-17  For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things were created through him and for him.  17  And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.   

Note the words:  How    - Created
                          Where  - in heaven
                                        on earth 
                           Who    - by HIM, (Jesus Christ) through HIM. in HIM
                           What   - All things  
                           Why    - for HIM               
                           When  - Genesis chapter 1  In the beginning

We do not have a secular life and a spiritual life separate from each other.  The LORD God Almighty, (through his Son Jesus Christ) is in all things, from beginning to the end (Revelation 1:8)

It is therefore important for us to understand everything about us, and in all of creation,  is known to our LORD and creator and it is ALL important to him.  

We sometimes think when things come our way that hurt and destroy even, it is because God doesn't care or is not able to protect us.  This is because we, as finite beings, do not have all knowledge and understanding.  But God is there and does care and will deal with all things appropriately in His divine time.  

We are called to love and trust Him.     
Not afraid

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Effective Love

In our world today it seems many who claim to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ feel it doesn't matter that the LORD of Heaven and Earth calls us to righteousness, living before him according to his ways.

Instead, we to often feel free to break His laws to accommodate our choices, according to our man stated rights. Many  believe God loves us weather we follow his laws and precepts or not. That when our choices are in direct opposition to what He set forth in creation as His plans and purposes it is just old fashioned and not really how God has made us to live, cuz look, I feel this way and if it were not right and it is what I want to do I would not feel this way.

As I read the chapter below I saw anew God's viewpoint about our walk with Him. What loving Him and accepting Him as LORD of our lives means. I cannot say it better than it has been said. We need to walk in His way as His children. Our love is shown in obedience. 

1 John 3;1-10, 18, 23-24    English Standard Version  (I love KJV as I see it as more powerful in expression but  this version is more readable to any who have not grown up on KJV )

3 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.2 Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.     3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 

5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.

6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.

8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.  Love One Another

18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God,  and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Called to be the dwelling place of the Most High God.

I Peter 2: 4-5, 9:  4. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 

 Christ is described as "a living stone".   What are some characteristics of a real stone?   It has density,   weight, it cannot easily be broken unless by a greater power, it has substance.   Those are characteristics which could describe Christ:  substance, power, cannot be broken as there is no greater power above him,  true strength.  

In the very next verse it says we like "living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house". It is the same designation given to Christ  "living stones".    Why? For what purpose?

Ephesians 1: 22 -23  (ESV) says:  And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. 

This states that we are his body.   I Peter states we are are living stones, and that Christ is the living stone. So where Christ is living and resident, his life is indwelling us, making us living stones.  

But the gift of His life in us is not to provide us with special things like houses, unlimited access to money and no problems.   His gift isn't our ticket to all our human heart desires.   

It is a gift of life at the price of Christ's life. At the price of His taking upon himself the sins of the whole world, to pay the price we could not ever pay.  Have you considered just how great that price is?  But He paid that price and with His blood, could become the means of us having life.   Only though Him can we have salvation.

And after his death, Hebrews tells us death could not retain a hold on him because he had no handles for sin to hang onto and destroy life. As a man without sin, life flipped death off and Jesus was made alive in resurrection.    

But on top of making our life secure in Him, He then indwells us, giving us the tools for life.  Moreover, to  be a holy priesthood. That our lives can be a spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God because we are indwelt by His Son Jesus Christ.

Additionally as His Body, of which He Christ Jesus, is head we are called to be ones who allow His Glory to be seen in the world.  

As a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation we are, as it were a new United State of Jesus Christ.    Why? That by our lives we may proclaim we are citizens of His nation.   Our lives can proclaim our allegiance is to Him and His Lordship and by serving him as priests,  can call others to citizenship in this eternal kingdom.  

All this can be done because the Living Son of God indwells and enables us.   But we have to chose to walk in obedience and faith for others to see the LORD in us.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Glory!

Hebrews 1:2-3 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the Glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

Jesus is the radiance of the glory of God. Therefore, the church, the body of Christ, fills the church with his radiance. Our purpose, as the body of Christ is to live our lives so His radiance of glory may be seen by the world.

We need to stop focusing on the negatives of /in the world around us - this does NOT show forth the Glory of God resident within us. We need to deliberately focus on the great Glory of God and allow our lives to be a vehicle for His Glory to show forth Christ Jesus  - to manifest His GLORY!.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Isaiah 40:3-5

Isaiah 40:3-5 (ESV)

A voice cries:  
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

IN THE WILDERNESS  (a place that is  dry, hot and uncomfortable)  This is where I begin:

1.   To prepare a place.   
           This is something I do, while I am yet in the wilderness.  I 
           get a place ready in the wilderness.  
                                                          For who?

                                                  FOR THE LORD 

                    Not a place for my comfort and ease but a place to grow and
                    room to minister for my LORD.

2.   To make a straight highway
                                         Not  TO  God but FOR  God
           I need to  search out those paths in my life that cause me to  walk
           a crooked  way.    How do I  lose the straight pathway?    In 
                    a)  The valleys of human ideas and wisdom.
                    b)  Personal mountains of self-righteousness
                    c)  Uneven ground caused by my seeing sinful words and 
                          actions in my life as just "that's how I am, I can't help it."
                   d)  Rough places of boulders Satan places in my way to trip me 
 I need to face these areas personally bringing the light of God's truth to them.    To search them out and bring God's truth to each valley.  Only in confession and repentance can I begin to  make the pathway straight for HIM.   Only in my yielding to God fully - even in a desert - can this happen.  

I need to yield to him my "Independence" "Liberty" and "Rights". Only in this place can the glory of the LORD be revealed and enable those in my life to truly see HIM.

This can only be done by the empowering of the LORD, but  my will is a factor.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A V.E. Frankl quote

Ultimately a man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must  recognize that it is he who is asked.   Viktor E Frankl

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

10 Life Changing Things Elisabeth Elliot Said

From my teen years I have admired Elisabeth Elliot.  Below are some quotes I came across.  She has left this life behind now - Her glory.  Our loss.

I  can imagine  great rejoicing in glory.

The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman.”

“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.”

“Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business. If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future, I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now.”

“Where does your security lie? Is God your refuge, your hiding place, your stronghold, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your redeemer, your Saviour, your guide? If He is, you don't need to search any further for security.”

“One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.”

“Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.”

“But the question to precede all others, which finally determines the course of our lives is, 'What do I really want?' Was it to love what God commands, in the words of the collect, and to desire what He promises? Did I want what I wanted, or did I want what He wanted, no matter what it might cost?”

“God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don’t have now, we don’t need now.”

“Don’t dig up in doubt what you have planted in faith.”

“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”

“When ours (Plans) are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable).”

BONUS: "Leave it all in the hands that were wounded for you."

Monday, April 20, 2015

Words of Inspiration from Harold E Dye's "The Weaver"

I read "The Weaver" by Harold E Dye in the mid-60's as a teen in high school and loved it.  It was a borrowed book and I looked for years to find a copy to own.  I was delighted to find and buy a copy and am so enjoying re-reading  it 55 years later.

The story line is the weaving of Navajo rugs, the colors used, and what those colors in the rug signify In the chapter "Tracing the Design" this statement resonated very strongly with me.

"We are all of us weavers.  Each has the same loom: the loom of life.  Each has the same shuttle: the shuttle of time.  

Each has some threads at his disposal: qualities of mind and heart and spirit.  Each in his own way, each in his own day, weaves his own pattern, for better or for worse.  We do not all weave with the same degree of skill or conscientiousness.  

Some get the thread all tangled, knotted or broken and the ultimate design seems as lacking in sense as surrealistic art while others, inspired by the guiding fingers of the heavenly Artist, weave the pattern beautifully and well.  Rich or poor, foolish or wise.....................  we belong to the ancient guild of weavers, and we trace out our designs against the backdrop of eternity."

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Hope of Easter

Part of Easter message by John Weldon I found so powerful.  

Because of the resurrection of Christ; because He conquered death;
1) My life is not futile
2) My failures are not fatal.
3) My death is not final.

Herein is my hope!

Thank you for your love, care, protection and provision  my LORD and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  I see the troubles and trial of our daily lives, as we, your children being in your boat with you LORD.  It is a safe place because you are there,  in the stormy seas of life.

I run to you in the bow of the boat screaming "Master, don't you care that I parish"    And the Master speaks peace to the storm.

Father God, thank you that in you alone we are secure in life or death, in plenty or in want.  We are in the boat with you  and therefore safe what ever the seas look like

Not only Master of the winds and waves, but also you are Shepherd, a shepherd who has called us and secure in your fold.   We are safe in you - sheep with a caring master!!!!.  We are safe   We are secure in you.  Thank you LORD.

Friday, February 20, 2015

We often think of O.T. Prophets as showing a God who is mean and vengeful, and  against  his own chosen people.  What we too easily forget is that God, when rejected by his people, who didn't just go their own way, but deliberately broke his commands and worshiped other gods.  All God did, was let them have their own way, but without his hedge of protection keeping them protected from   enemies that they were already flirting with.  Moreover, they felt their security lay in their own strength - declaring to the world their self-sufficiency.   Even when God warned them by his prophets that  they were in danger and needed to turn back to him, they responded with a resounding NO.

Go forward  around 2,500 years to the USA today, we are a nation who has come more and more to see our strength and safety lies in our "self sufficiency: We feel that our 'might" makes all we do or desire our right.  Our culture has moved steadily away from God's ways.  In fact we say our choices are our right.  And God's ways are obsolete and irrelevant.  Are we walking into a life where God withdraws his hedge  of protection over America?  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Psalm 32:8-9   I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;  I will counsel you with my eye upon you. 9. Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.

When God created us he created us in his image.  I always thought that was yes, how we were formed and yes, that we had speech and abilities to think. But as I read the verse above it came to my mind that the greatest way we were made most like him in that he created in us the option of choice.  Not just a choice of one good over another good, but choice based on the freedom he gave us to chose his way or our own way.   And with that 'option' he made a definite choice - the fruit of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The verse above indicates to me he wanted a created being who chose him out of an inner desire for him, a desire created by our coming to know him and love him as our creator.  And of course, on his death and resurrection he made a way for us to have eternal life in Him - to be eternally in his presence.  He didn't want us constrained to love or serve him, but he wanted us to come because we love him.  

Our salvation came in the OT in the same way as in the NT - by our faith in him and love for him.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ephesians 4:17-19 (NIV)
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.

They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

Two phrases stand out  in the passage above:
                 "separated from the life of God because....."
                 "ignorance that is in them due to..  "

A focus on the heart of the passage leads to the very heart of the problem  the Gentiles have:    "the hardening of their hearts...

So tracing it backwards a hardened heart begins before we get to the hardened part.   A definite progression is in action here.

You must no longer live as the Gentile do

4)  in the futility of their thinking
3)  They are darkened in their understanding
2)  and separated from the life of God
1)  because of the ignorance that in in them

4-1 the process how their hearts became hardened.  It started seemingly small as step one, but each step opened the door for the next step leading to the futility of their thinking.

The end of futility of their thinking leads from step 1-4:

1) Having lost all sensitivity
2) They have given themselves over to sensuality
3) So as to indulge in every kind of impurity
4) With a continual lust for more.

So that, having lost our conscience, and increasing sensuality and impurity the lust grows 'til, without Christ we are lost, unable to stop a life of sin.