Cusp of the New Year 2019

 

2018 is soon to become a memory as 2019 approaches, so here’s a short version of my year of following Abba/Father.

In Mid-January as I started this blog, another blogger suggested her readers choose a word for the new year’s theme. Choosing Abba/Father for my word began a year of experimenting with ways to carve out more time to focus on the Lord, drawing nearer and experiencing  increase of Abba’s presence. I found abundant relief in choosing to forgive others as I’ve been forgiven, finding new power in The Lord’s Prayer.  This led to letting go of fear and replacing it with truth.  I began declaring truth, applying the Blood of Jesus, calling angels to do their jobs, and experiencing healings in my body, soul and mind. I stumbled discerning how to manage the increase in finances, but the Spirit was faithful to give me resources that spoke right to my needs. New outlets have opened up for the fruits of the Spirit developing in me to be used .

I took opportunities to plant seeds & water God-things in friends, loved ones, and family and was blessed to help a granddaughter ask Jesus and Holy Spirit in her life and mentor her.  Another blessing: to connect with a former Pastor when he came to our area to lecture on Charles G. Finney in the heart of the area where he was saved and began his ministry.  It was wonderful to catch up with Pastor’s work & family and to share what the Lord is doing in me and my family.  Also, I’m again mailing out encouraging notes/cards; a ministry I laid down for a bit. Wonder of wonders – in October I experimented with the Business Card template on Word Publisher and developed a contact card to hand out.  My blog tag is so long and our address so new, it’s hard to keep writing it out for people and the cards are a good help.

image000000_33 Yes, I’ve missed opportunities and blown chances this year, so I’m glad the Bible says so much about restoration!

Looking toward 2019, I’ve chosen Shalom for my theme word.  I plan to finish my Psalm 91 study over the next several weeks.  I’ll join our church fast from January 2-22,  reading Jentezen Franklin’s book & journal The Fasting Edge in preparation/support for my fast.  I’ve chosen the Moravian Daily Texts 2019 for my devotional which includes a passage from the Old Testament, Psalms & Proverbs, New Testament and a hymn for each day.

Jentezen Franklin compares fasting to sharpening an ax, using this story taken from Tony Evans Speaks Out on Fasting (p.5-6) (I’ve condensed it) a strong, young lumberjack challenged a respected veteran lumberjack to a contest to see who could chop down more trees in a day.  They started out early in the day, the young man confidently swinging his ax at tree after tree over the day, confident in his own strength, seeing the veteran lumberjack taking several breaks. At the end of the day, the young man was astonished that the other had felled more trees.  How? “The older, wiser man kindly replied,’Son, what you don’t understand is that every time I sat down for what you call a break, I was sharpening my ax. A well-sharpened ax makes for a lot less work, so trees fell faster.’ ” (Jentezen Franklin The Fasting Edge p. 2-3)

  What do you think?  As you prepare for the new year, is it wise to set aside time to seek the Lord and pray, denying your flesh, especially if you notice your “edge” is a bit dull?  I challenge you to join me along with our congregation, to cut something out of your life for 21 days – denying your flesh – to devote time to seek the Lord and lay down your plans before Him so He can guide you through 2019.  Happy New Year!

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Shalom To You!

christmas bauble
 Matty Cooper  Pexels.com

Peace on earth is a popular theme at Christmas time; in the Christmas cards I’m sending, I’m adding a prayer for Shalom for my family, friends and loved ones for 2019. What are we really asking for? What does Shalom mean?

Returning to the One New Man Bible Glossary page 1785, this is what I found:

Shalom cannot be translated into English with a single word.  Shalom comes from Shalem meaning to be complete.  When there is Shalom, there is:                                                                                                   

  • tranquility

  • justice

  • sufficient food, clothing, housing

There is Divine health, with no sickness.       Dove

Shalom means an absence of:

  • disorder

  • injustice

  • bribery

  • corruption

  • conflict

  • lack 

  • hatred

  • abuse violence

  • pain suffering

  • immorality

  • and all other negative forces

A rabbi wrote that Shalom means “No good thing is withheld.”                                          elated Therefore when we pray for the Shalom of Jerusalem, we are praying that there will not be any:

  • injustice
  • disorder
  • strife
  • violence
  • poverty
  • sickness
  • abuse
  • accidents
  • homelessness
  • pain
  • hunger
  • and more.
odeon of herodes atticus
 Josiah Lewis  Pexels.com
Psalm 122: I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the House of the LORD.  Our feet have stood within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together, wherever the tribes go up, the tribes of Yah, to the testimony of Israel, to give thanks to the LORD.  For there are set thrones of judgement, the thrones of the house of David.
Pray fervently for the Shalom of Jerusalem!  They that love you will have security.  Peace be within your walls, security within your palaces.
For my brothers’ and companions’ sake, I shall now say Peace Be Within You. Because of the House of the LORD our God I shall seek your good.
woman and sheep beside body of water photo
 Pixabay on Pexels.com

When Shalom reigns there will be no immorality, no injustice.  The principles advocated in the Torah will be followed by all. Then the command to love your neighbor will be made complete.

Matthew 22:36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

There’s always a choice: surrender to the flesh and the world’s view or to Christ and God’s view.  True Shalom is only found in Him, in a heart and mind surrendered to His love.  Thanks be to God for sending His son to save us from the wrath of God we deserve; to reconcile us to the love that is found in Him. Think about it:  if Jesus chose not to do the Father’s Will; to be obedient unto death on the cross, we would have no chance to experience true Shalom!  Praise be to God who knows how to fulfill prophecies no matter how many generations come between His speaking and the fulfillment.

Have a blessed Christmas my dear readers, as you meditate on what this season portends. 69v

Jesus Christ God’s Greatest Gift given to us on December 25th

I light of what I shared in Friday’s post (12-14-2018) this adds to what I wrote, but the final thought I come to is: we wast time debating over issues like this that distract us from rejoicing in thanks to God for sending Christ Jesus to save us and reconcile us back to the Father!

Freedomborn

Ws 3.

69vWs 3Christmas is a special time of year and many celebrate God’s greatest Gift to Mankind, His beloved Son Jesus Christ. We have been asked a few times now by different Blogging friends if we would continue confirming Jesus Birth as being on the 25th of December.

We felt the best way to do this is to share with you in the sequence of advents that God reveals in the Scriptures that happened before and after His birth. We will look today at a few of these and at another time we will look at the signs in the Heavens before and at the time of Jesus Birth and also confirmation through other events and times of Jesus Life and Death, which also confirm that He was Born on the 25th of December.

Zacharias, who was John the Baptist’s father and also a High Priest appointed by God to make…

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Christmas Is Coming!

Christmas is Coming

*The music to Christmas is Coming was composed by Edith Nesbit Bland in the late nineteenth century. The author of the lyrics is unknown but the popularity of this traditional Christmas song is handed down from generation to generation in the form of a nursery rhyme.

The words of Christmas is coming reflects the Christmas
festival of celebration of being a time of plenty
but that charity should be given to the less
fortunate according to the giver’s means!

Christmas is Coming : Lyrics

nature bird animal meadow
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Christmas is coming,
The geese are getting fat,
Please put a penny
In the old man’s hat.
If you haven’t got a penny,
A ha’penny will do,                    
If you haven’t got a ha’penny,
Then God bless you. 

*https://www.carols.org.uk/christmas_is_coming.htm

Last week in my Musings, I mentioned Jesus Christ most likely wasn’t born in December according to those who know traditional Jewish practices.  First,                                                   Luke 1:5 In the days of King Herod of Judea there was a certain priest named Zechariah from the division Abijah, and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron and her name was Elizabeth.

 In  1 Chronicles 24:1  we have an account of the way the sons of Aaron were divided into 24 divisions for the priesthood duties.  The Abijah division served in the temple twice a year, in June and December which would mean John the Baptist was probably born in March – April or September-October [depending on the lunar calendar used] and Jesus being born 6 months later, would have been March – April or September – October . [info taken from One New Man Bible glossary p.1711-1712]  We have examples of this these days by how Easter sometimes falls during Passover and Christmas and Hanukkah often overlap because the dates are figured according to two different calendars. 

Luke 2:8 And shepherds were in this field, living out of doors and keeping watch by night over their flocks.  (One New Man Bible)
white sheep on farm
Photo by kailash kumar on Pexels.com

I have heard in the spring at the time of the Passover, shepherds tending their sheep on the hills of Bethlehem had to watch the lambs very closely.  The ones without spot or blemish were wrapped in swaddling cloths (as Jesus was) so they would be preserved for the temple Priests to use for Passover lambs . 

Also, I’ve heard this may have been the time of Succoth or Booths when the Israelites made dwelling places outside of their houses to remind them of when they dwelt in tents in the wilderness. Shepherds were not always in the fields with their flocks at night, but shortly before Passover they would have been; possibly during the time of Booths.

Sheep under His care

Well, no matter when Jesus was really born, this is the time when most of the world is celebrating His coming and we get lots of opportunities to proclaim His coming and why He came.  Also, we have a number of chances to give to let others know God gave the best gift; His only son so we could be saved from our sins and reconciled back to the Father, brought back into relationship with the One who made us and loves us from Eternity to Eternity.  

Going back to the words of Mrs. Bland, if you have the means, please give wherever you see an opportunity.  If you don’t have monetary means, what else can you give?  Your time and attention? Something you can make with your own hands?  Your prayers?  Maybe it’s a phone call, an encouraging word or smile to someone you meet, a short text, visit, or just attending many of the various events in your area.  Maybe like us, you’ve been kept inside due to the winter weather which has cancelled a number of activities lately.  It’s been a good time to order and send things off our family’s Amazon wish lists, to get Christmas cards ready to mail, time to wrap what we’ve bought locally, and time to contact family and organize our schedule to visit them all in the next couple weeks.  

No matter what is going on in your world, set your thoughts on the goodness of our God and give thanks for what you have, not what you’ve not.  Hearts in general are a bit lighter, faces a bit brighter this time of year when we’re thinking about the joys of Christmas and enjoying the lights and festivities.  Remember, peace on earth begins in each of our hearts as we turn to Christ, no matter what time of year it is!  No matter what’s going on in your life right now, I encourage you to use this time as a springboard to joy, peace, love and a deep contemplation of all we have in Jesus Christ.  The kind of joy that comes from the LORD is something we can have no matter what our circumstances are. Give out an extra hug to someone!

I’ll get back to my Psalm 91 study after Christmas!

My dear readers, I pray true Shalom (complete peace & provision including return of lost possessions/finances, reconciliation, health and well-being) in Jesus name, Amen

blessing forever

Musings for Early December

The Wind Blows

Welcome dear readers to another installment in my scattered & collected musings for this week.  I plan to expound upon some of these topics later.

First, I’m glad to have read two books from our local library by the Bush family this summer/fall.  Good background for these remembrances of George H.W. Bush as he’s “graduated to Heaven”.

Once Saved Always Saved?  Many verses in the Bible -old and new testaments-do not support this belief.

Is Salvation ONLY A Ticket To Heaven?  Are we just offering “fire insurance”?

Was Jesus Christ Born in December?  Jewish history reveals from the things mentioned around Christ’s birth that he was born in the spring around Passover, rather than Hanukkah.

Why do we Celebrate Christmas in December?  Something to do with some of the first converts after the original Apostle’s time.

Angel Flight 44?  A mission that began with a few Christians willing to obey God’s promptings that led to caring for a lot of people immediately after Hurricane Katrina that involved an old Super DC-3 airplane and two radically obedient men.

What could Happen if we Practice Radical Obedience?  Could we do as great exploits as those involved in Angel Flight 44?

What Does Ayurvedics have to do with US?  Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra’s revolution in integrated medicine in our country and around the world.  As Christians, should we be involved at all with this New Age option for health?

How Can We be Healthy Long-Term?  Can integrated medicine fit into Biblical principles?

Am I a Good tree or Bad tree?  What does the Bible really say?

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

 My Psalm 91 study Lesson 12:

Psalm 91:14a: “he has loved me, therefore I will…”

Peggy Joyce Ruth notes that Psalm 91 changes with verse 14.  God has been talking about His promises in 3rd person, but changes to speaking to us personally from His secret place, announcing promises in the first person.  Verses 14 & 15 & 16 are a challenge to set our love on God;  these promises are made only to those who have genuinely set their love on God.  Jesus says:

John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.

There are so many benefits to cultivating a growing relationship with the Lord God of the Universe!  My dear friend, what are you doing to strengthen your relationship with Him?image000000_8

 

Child, you are Mine

Authority in Jesus/Prayer and Declare

This week I will concentrate on the concepts in lesson 11 of Peggy Joyce Ruth’s Psalm 91 workbook, covering chapter thirteen in the reading:

Psalm 91:13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

blur boots celebration close up
Photo by Albrecht Fietz on Pexels.com

A corresponding verse:

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

We as Christians have been given authority over the enemy, but it is not automatic; we must speak forth the authority we have in Jesus’ name when we encounter the enemy.  Peggy’s husband cautions that:  too many Christians take authority when they should be praying, and pray when they should be taking authority. (p. 75) She notes that Jesus for the most part prayed during the night and took authority during the day.

The big question: what types of problems are the lion, cobra, young lion and serpent (dragon in KJV)?

lion on green grass field
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

LION is a big, bad, bold problem that hits you in the face such as a mass shooting, a car wreck, financial or “natural” disaster. A YOUNG LION is a small, irritating problem that can develop into a larger one if we don’t head them off.  It’s like the “little foxes” from Song of Solomon 2:15 that spoil the vines.

brown lion
Photo by Edgar on Pexels.com

COBRA is a sneaky, fatal problem like a church split, marital problems…puncture wounds that were undetected until the poison made its way through the body.

nature australia reptile snake
Photo by mark broadhurst on Pexels.com

DRAGON (serpent) is an unfounded fear; a fantasy, also called a vain imagination. These fears are totally unfounded, but can become self-fulfilling prophecies if we don’t take authority over them.  Fear of the future is a big one; dire predictions in the news, agoraphobia, etc.

black dragon roof ornament
Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

Peggy notes that up to this point in Psalm 91, God gives us promises.  In this verse, the words ‘tread’ and ‘trample‘ reflect authority. Once you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you have the fullness of Christ, the same power that was used to raise Him from the grave.  Most of us do not realize what this means and very few use the authority He’s given us. Think About It.  Have you ever had a premonition?  What did you do with it?  If you used it as a prompting to pray, I bet the premonition was not fulfilled.

Here’s encouragement:

                          “Sweet Hour Of Prayer”

  1. Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!

    That calls me from a world of care,

    And bids me at my Father’s throne

    Make all my wants and wishes known.

    In seasons of distress and grief,

    My soul has often found relief,

    And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,

    By thy return, sweet hour of prayer.

The following verse shows the authority Jesus gave his disciples:

Matthew 10:1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power (authority) over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.

Since we have the same authority the first disciples had, I leave you all with a challenge: Pray and live according to Philippians chapter 4:

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!  Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Meditate on These Things

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Let us use the authority Christ has given us to bring healing, health, and true Shalom to those around us! walking and leaping

 

 

 

 

Killing Me Softly with His Song…

he thinks of me

Killing Me Softly with His Song

I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style
And so I came to see him, to listen for a while
And there he was, this young boy, a stranger to my eyes...
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
I felt all flushed with fever, embarrassed by the crowd
I felt he’d found my letters and read each one out loud
I prayed that he would finish, but he just kept right on…
Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly…
Songwriters: Norman Gimbel / Charles Fox
Killing Me Softly with His Song lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

I’m told this is the story of a young woman drawn to a young man who was singing about Jesus; that it was the awakening to salvation for Roberta Flack.  I grew up hearing it, but the song’s made an even deeper impression since I was told this.  Do you remember the first time the Spirit laid your heart open and showed you what was in it?  The day Jesus Christ was revealed to you and salvation came; when you made Him your Lord and Savior?

Remember the woman at the well in John chapter 428 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him. 

This account of Jesus has brought many women in male-dominated countries/religions to salvation, similar to the tale of “Killing Me Softly”.

woman holding her left arm
Photo by Joy Deb on Pexels.com 

The Lord DOES think of each of us individually; He dances over us and sings all around us because we are His precious possessions (as in Isaiah 62:5), If we Believers are open to the Spirit’s leading, He will use us also to touch lives and bring His salvation to those in our realm.  I remind you that each of us is put on earth for a specific time, given specific gifting to fulfill our destiny; our part of what the Lord is doing on earth at this time.

Lesson 10 in Peggy Joyce Ruth’s study: Psalm 91:10-12

No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

This part of the Psalm transitions from covering individual protection to household.  This lesson has a great number of accounts included that cover testimonies of a community that joined in praying Psalm 91 over their soldiers and ALL of them returning from the war, a raging fire that went around a rancher’s home, outbuildings, fields and even his hunting stand, to a wife’s family that was full of calamities and a husband’s full of heart attacks/early death that made a covenant based on the Psalm and claimed it over their entire family.  Note: verses 11-12 were used by Jesus against Satan’s challenge.  Also, think about God giving the angels charge over us; providing this means to protect us.

Hebrews 1:14 Are they (angels) not all ministering spirits, sent to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? 

So, Whom shall I fear???  Have a wonderfully thankful end of November, preparing our hearts to celebrate the advent of our Savior; giving praise and thanks to the Father in the name of Jesus!

Promises of God