What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

"Watch, Stand Fast in the Faith, Be Brave, Be Strong."

"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 
Let ALL that you do be done with love."
I Corinthians 16:13-14

(I am trying, Lord. Help me here. Thank you.)

"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.
Test yourselves.
Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? ...
Unless indeed you are disqualified..."
2 Corinthians 13:5

"And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him,
though He bears long with them?
I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.
Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes,
will He really find faith on the earth?"
Luke 18:7-8

These past few days have really put me into a bit of a quandary.  I am perplexed at the total shift in our society. Although the media would have us believe that it IS a total shift to the left, I believe that if the whole nation were brave enough to speak their true hearts, we would find that it is not as "total" of a shift as they would lead us to believe.  What I don't understand is how so many people are actually celebrating something that is such an unbelievable heresy...and even deliberately teaching their children that this is a good thing. 

In Matthew chapter 24 Jesus' disciples are asking Him about the end of the age...specifically in the following verses:

Verse 3: 
"And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

Verse 4-5:  
And Jesus answered and said to them:
"Take heed that no one deceives you.
For many will come in My name, saying 
'I am the Christ, and will deceive many."

Verse 24:

"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive,
if possible, even the elect."

Verse 33-39:
"So you also, when you see all these things,
know that it is near--at the doors!

Assuredly, I say to you, 
this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
Heaven and earth will pass away, 
but MY words will by NO MEANS PASS AWAY."

But of that day and hour no one knows,
not even the angels of heaven,
by My Father only.

For as in the days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
until the day that Noah entered the ark,
and did not know until the flood came and took them all away,
so also will be coming of the Son of Man be."

Verse 42-44:

But know THIS:
that if the master of the house had known what hour
the thief would come,
he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.

Therefore, you also be ready,

I find it very interesting that the iconic symbol of the current wave of deception in our country is a rainbow. The rainbow first came into existence in the time of Noah*, which can be found in the book of Genesis, chapters 6-9.  In Genesis 6:5-8 it says:

"Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth,
and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

So the Lord said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth,
both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air,
for I am sorry that I have made them.

But NOAH found grace in the eyes of the Lord."

I think we all know the story of Noah and the Ark...how God instructed him exactly how to build the Ark, and who would be allowed to enter the ark with him...only his family and two of every kind of animals on the earth.  (see Genesis chapter 7 for specific details).   And then came the flood...and every living thing that was left on the earth was destroyed, except for Noah and his family and those animals that were with them on the Ark.

And when the floods receded and Noah and his family were able to leave the Ark, God spoke to Noah and promised that He would never again destroy all of the earth with a flood (Genesis 9:8-17), and in verse 13 in particular He said:

"I set My rainbow in the cloud, 
and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth..."

The rainbow was meant to be a symbol of God's covenant never to destroy all of the earth again with a flood.  It doesn't mean that God will never judge the earth again, but rather that He will not destroy it with a flood.

To use a rainbow as a symbol of something that is anathema to God is a real sacrilege, and a type of "in your face, God" expression of rebellion. I think I would think twice about that before using God's rainbow as a symbol of something we know that God hates.

I know that I am rambling here...I have so many thoughts on this subject that I can't begin to express them all in this short venue.  

Please let me state one thing here: 
 God does not hate sinners. But God DOES hate sin.  
Jesus came to forgive sinners and save them, giving them eternal life.
But there is one condition...REPENTANCE.  Repentance means to turn away from sin...to change one's mind and heart and behavior.  Jesus told about the woman taken in adultery in John 8:1-11.  According to the law, she should have been stoned for her sin of adultery.  Jesus said to her accusers, (verse 7)

"He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first."

When the accusers each left one by one, Jesus asked the woman where were all of her accusers...and asked "Has no one condemned you?"

She replied in verse 11, "No one, Lord."

And Jesus said to her,

"Neither do I condemn you; 


Note that Jesus did NOT say, "Neither do I condemn you, now go on and have a good life.  Go on and keep living in sin because you have been forgiven, go on and keep doing what you want to do!"

NO, that would be totally opposite everything that Jesus stood for...if it was okay for us to continue living in sin after Christ gave His life for us and forgave us for our sins, His whole purpose would be ineffectual.  He came to give us new and abundant life...

"I am the light of the world.  He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, 
but have the light of life."
(John 8:12)

And again He says in John 10:9-10

"I am the door.  
If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
I have come that they may have life,
and that they may have it more abundantly."

I know I have to wrap this up somehow.  Please understand that I am not trying to stand in judgment of any person or group of people. I am merely stating the truth of God's Word.  

I Corinthians 6:9-20 talks about the Sanctity of the Body...the holiness of the body that is washed and justified by Christ, and the holiness of the body as the temple of God's Holy Spirit who is in you if you are born again...

"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, 
whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
For you were bought at a price; 
therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit,
which are God's." (verses 19-20)

Verses 9-11 says:

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?
Do not be deceived.
Neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers,
nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
nor thieves, nor covetous,
nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.


And also in 2 Corinthians 5:17~

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new."

Ephesians 4:17-27 says to the believer as a new man in Christ:

"This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, 
that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, 
in the futility of their mind,

having their understanding darkened,
being alienated from the the life of God,
because of the ignorance that is in them,
because of the blindness of their heart;

who, being past feeling,
have given themselves over to lewdness,
to work all uncleanness with greediness.

But you have not so learned Christ,

if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, 
as the truth is in Jesus:

that you put off, concerning your former conduct, 
the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

and that you put on the 
new man which was created according to God, 
in true righteousness and holiness.

Therefore, putting away lying,
'Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," 
for we are members of one another.

Be angry, and do not sin:
Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 
nor give place to the devil."

As believers in Christ we are to:

"Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,
For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.
But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light,
for whatever makes manifest is light.

Therefore He (the Lord) says:
"Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light."

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
redeeming the time, 
because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be unwise,
but understand what the will of the Lord is."

Ephesians 5:11-17

I know there are many people, yes, even Christians, who think that the latest Supreme Court decision is a good one. We are each entitled to our own opinions, and so far as I know, we still have the right to freedom of speech. 

 I have disconnected the comment form for this particular post.  Why?  Well, because I would rather not leave it open for discussion or dissension.  This is my opinion based on what I believe is found in the Word of God, the Bible. There has been much said in opposition to what I believe already in the media, social media, and even among family and friends. If you wish to make a statement of your own beliefs, you may do so wherever you wish.  But this is my post. This is what I believe.

 I certainly believe in love and forgiveness...but we as Christians must stand for THE TRUTH.  We must "WATCH, STAND FAST IN THE FAITH, BE BRAVE, AND BE STRONG".  We need to "REDEEM THE TIME...BECAUSE THE DAYS ARE EVIL."

"Finally, my brethren,
For we do not wrestle against
flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this age,
against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God,
that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, 
Ephesians 6:10-13

Amen and Goodnight.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Quick Change Artist (Rerun)

(This is a "rerun", originally "aired" on 9/20/13, but nothing much has changed...I'm still that same "quick change artist"...and these thoughts are still right-on for me and my situation...and maybe yours as well! Read on...and if you didn't comment the last time, feel free to do so this time!)

Been kicking some thoughts around in my head this week, and never got around to putting them on paper, so now I will try to remember what they were.  Usually when I think I've got something really good to say, by the time I get around to saying it it no longer seems quite so special.  Perhaps things have happened to change my viewpoint, or to draw my attention to other topics even more significant. (In my mind, that is)

Earlier this week I was thinking about how I sometimes feel like the female version of Superman, not in the powerful superhero sense, but in the quick change of clothes in the phone booth from Clark Kent, Newspaper Reporter, to Superman.  But my quick change is just the opposite...like when I come home from my job as a church business administrator everyday, dressed semi-professionally, (dress pants, shoes, top/jacket depending on the season, etc.), the minute I walk in the door of my house at the end of the day, off come the shoes, the jewelry (why is it I feel naked when I go out the door if I don't have on my watch, rings, earrings, bracelet, necklace, but the minute I walk in the door of my house I suddenly feel like I am being strangled by too many "chains" around my body?)...and then I peel off my slacks, top, and grab the most comfy, loose fitting, somewhat stained and grungy t-shirt and capris, and slide my feet into the softest, lighter than air shoes (my new Skechers Go Walk shoes)
and then I breathe such a sigh of relief...I am home.
I am the real me again.  Not that I don't feel I am
the real me at my job, but that's the other me.  The
professional me who has to think, make decisions,
figure out problems, deal with weighty issues, sometimes financial, sometimes supervisory, sometimes unpleasant situations that fall on my shoulders because "that's your job".

Of course, I often have similar issues to deal with when I get home...make decisions, figure out problems, deal with weighty issues, OFTENTIMES financial, sometimes "supervisory"...and even deal with unpleasant situations because that's my job as a mother, wife, homemaker, cook, bill payer, etc....but when I'm home I'm on safe ground...I know I am beloved, treasured, and secure. I am not in danger of losing my position because I didn't handle something right, or forgot some very important deadline, or called in sick too often.  When I am home, I am free to be me. I can breathe...I can laugh, I can cry, I can get angry and be forgiven...I am loved unconditionally.

Now please don't get the wrong idea here, especially if you happen to know me at my place of employment and wonder if something has triggered all this...No, nothing has happened. I am just making general observations here...probably most people who are employed can relate to this no matter where they work.

I don't have any astounding revelations here or answers to these questions...just thinking out loud. One thing I do know for certain...even if I wasn't exactly beloved, treasured and secure in my home, I am beloved, treasured, and secure with my Lord.

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!"       I John 3:1

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."  I John 4:10

"But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, 
Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear..." I John 4:18a

Therefore, I do not fear that I will not be loved or accepted by my Heavenly Father...He loved me before I was even born...I am highly treasured by God...no matter what position I am in, what clothes I wear, or what I do to try to make myself appear righteous and noble...He loves me...just the way I am. My righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6)...without God, I am nothing. But in Christ, I am precious in His sight.  And so are you, dear friend, if you belong to Jesus.  And if you are not certain about that...ask Him to show you how much He loves you. You may be surprised at what you will discover.
This is the real me, taking a walk in the woods and loving that feeling of freedom
from pressure and deadlines...
On the journey of life...precious and beloved...as are you, my friend.
UPDATED PICTURE 6/18/15...This is the real me today, except I still have on my jewelry...but I can't
wait to get home and sit in my rocker on my front porch and "RELAX", like it says in the sign above my head! 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fresh and Flourishing

"The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,

He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

Those who are planted in the house of the Lord

shall flourish in the courts of our God.

They shall still bear fruit in old age;

They shall be fresh and flourishing,

To declare that the Lord is upright;

He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him."

Psalm 92:12-15

It is my prayer that I would be "fresh and flourishing", and continuing to "bear fruit in old age".  As I draw closer to the time of "retirement"  (no, nothing definite as of yet...still a dream for the future...but getting closer all the time)...I pray that God will continue to bless, guide and keep me focused on Him and His kingdom work.  I fear that I fail the test too often...perhaps even tonight as I had to say no to someone who asked for my assistance...but it was due to circumstances beyond my control...and I was already in the middle of my own family concerns.  I pray that God will provide exactly what this one needs.  Lord, help me to stay sensitive to Your promptings...and to know exactly when to say "yes", and when to say "no".  


Friday, June 5, 2015

"The Light Has Come" -Random Journal Day Update

This Original Post  was written on 5/26/2013...I think that was the last time I really washed my windows I am ashamed to admit...but this past year was a bit difficult...and clean windows weren't at the top of my list of things to be concerned about.  However, recently I have been noticing that there are cobwebs and many smudges and smears from bugs, birds and dusty roads coating my windows. It is time for another good window washing day before it gets too hot.  

Anyway, my friends, today is Random Journal Day, a day to share something that we've written in our journals or someplace that we want to share with the world.  I've admitted before that I've sort of run out of suitable journal entries to share...and most of my latest writing has been right here on this blog. So, my apologies to the other ladies who are sharing their deep dark secrets from their old journals. I hope this will still be a blessing to you today.  After reading this (again!) take a little stroll over to Enthusiastically Dawn - Random Journal Day and see what our other friends are sharing. I know you'll be blessed.

The View through my clean window

For those of you who happen to also be my Facebook friends, you've already heard me bragging about washing my windows yesterday...13 of them...and that's only half of the windows in my house. I ran out of steam and had to quit.  I was so proud of the fact that I had spent my day washing these windows...and many of you were duly impressed. Obviously, window washing is not something that many of us enjoy doing, and that's why it is such a big event when it happens once or twice a year (maybe).  I happen to live in a national forest, and I love looking out my windows at the birds and the trees and all of nature surrounding our home.  If you've followed this blog for a while, you know that there has been quite a bit of wildlife to view  (Click on the highlighted words to check out some previous posts about this).

But the "wildlife" around our home in the woods is not really what I want to discuss with you today. No, actually, what I have on my mind is what I discovered this morning when the sun came up.  

You've heard the old saying, "Pride goeth before the fall"?  Actually that comes from the book of Proverbs 16:18 ~
"Pride goes before destruction, 
and a haughty spirit before a fall."

That's what I experienced this morning as I opened the curtains on my freshly washed windows to let the morning sunshine in...and what to my horror did I see but streaks and smudges on my supposedly sparkling clean windows!!! How could that be? I worked so hard all afternoon washing both the inside and outside of these windows, and inspecting every one before I put the freshly scrubbed screens back on and called it quits for the day.

This is when I realized a truth about myself and people in general...

You know, we can work so hard to clean ourselves up on the outside and inside, scrubbing every blemish and flaw and making ourselves appear to be smudge-free to the rest of the world.  And then the light shines through us, revealing the shadows and smears of dust and grime that the stains of sin have left in our hearts and minds and bodies.  We thought we had done a pretty good job of covering it up, but when the true Light of God's SON shines, the darkness of our evil hearts is exposed and we realize that cleaning ourselves up in our own strength just isn't going to cut it.

"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world,
and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil.
For everyone practicing evil hates the light
and does not come to the light,
lest his deeds should be exposed.
But he who does the truth comes to the Light,
that his deeds may be clearly seen,
that they have been done in God."
John 3:19-21

Listen to what Jesus said to the Pharisees in John chapter 8:12 ~

"I AM the Light of the world.
He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness,
but have the Light of life."

Again, see this message in I John 1:5-7~

"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you,
that GOD is LIGHT and in Him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, 
and walk in darkness,
we lie and do not practice the truth.
BUT, if we walk in the LIGHT as He is in the Light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son
CLEANSES us from all sin."

Isn't it amazing the lessons that can be learned from a mundane experience such as washing windows? If we are listening and paying attention, God is speaking to us through many aspects of nature and basic daily life experiences. Perhaps we just need to "wash the windows" of our spiritual eyes more often to see the Light that He is shining upon our way. We may be surprised to see what is waiting for us right outside our windows!

I love to share old hymns with you...and here is one that goes along with today's thoughts:

"The Light of the World"

"The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin;
The Light of the world is Jesus;
Like sunshine at noon-day 
His glory shone in,
The Light of the world is Jesus.

Come to the Light,
'tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the Light
has dawned upon me;
Once I was blind,
but now I can see;
The Light of the world is Jesus.

No darkness have we who in Jesus abide,
The Light of the world is Jesus;
We walk in the light
when we follow our guide,
The Light of the world is Jesus.

Ye dwellers of darkness with sin-blinded eyes,
The Light of the world is Jesus;
Go, wash at His bidding, 
and light will arise,
The Light of the world is Jesus.

No need of the sun-light in heaven, we're told,
The Light of the world is Jesus;
The Lamb is the Light
in the city of gold,
The Light of the world is Jesus.


Come to the Light,
'tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the Light has dawned upon me;
Once I was blind, but now I can see;
The Light of the world is Jesus."

(Philip P. Bliss, 1838-1876)

My final thought for today...Have YOU "come to the Light?  'Tis shining for thee!"  
On a more practical note: some of my friends tell me that using newsprint paper to wipe the windows after applying vinegar or Windex will help to reduce the problem of streaking and smears. I'll have to try that next time!  Maybe another analogy would be to let the "Good NEWS" printed in God's Word wash away all our smudges and stains! Jesus washes us white as snow...and that's very Good News!!!