That was how CNN reported the death of internationally renown Christian apologists, Dr Ravi Zacharias on 19 May, 2020.
Before seeing that post, I was already aware of that news via an earlier blog post on Bruce Cooper’s Reason Cases for Christ. And my first reaction was, “We have lost a great Christian apologist. Ravi will be greatly missed…”
A friend of mine who is also an ardent admirer of Ravi’s, reacted in a similar tone: “Yeah, Ravi will be greatly missed. His contribution to Christian Apologetics was immense.”
Although I never got to meet him personally in his lifetime, I have read a couple of his articles and also listened to his recorded audio or video messages.
In all, I am convinced that Ravi was a man of very deep spiritual convictions.
He was a good soldier of Christ who travelled across several seas, oceans and mountains around the…
Good day readers, welcome to another busy week of musings!
It is not slow for us during this “shutdown” because we have LOTS of things to do in our house, outside our house; in the yard, garden, garage, shed…This season we’re in did not stop me working to spring clean motel rooms for the neighbor, has not stopped my once a week cleaning for my friend Joe, who vacates the house while I clean; I wear mask and gloves while I’m there of course.
Monday John started installing a ceiling fan in our bedroom and encountered a block in the wall on his way to get the wire to the ceiling. I’d been thinking maybe we could put the new door on the room at the same time and this situation necessitating a wall panel being removed was the perfect opportunity for John to widen the doorway and get the door out of the garage installed along with the fan. On top of that, we’ve been working topsoil from the local quarry into our yard and garden beds so there’s a load just behind our “parking area” in the driveway that’s slowly depleting.
Tuesday we went to our local green house and got tomato, pepper, and marigold plants as well as a bag of yellow onions and a bag of shallots to plant. We already had bean, pea, kale, radish, cucumber, spinach, spaghetti squash, yellow squash, yellow zucchini, delecata (sweet potato) – yes, that’s 4 types of squashes – seeds. I’ve been busy after work at the motel mixing the topsoil, the soil we put it over, compost from our yard, and filling a bucket of rocks culled from the mix in each bed. We’ve got several low spots in the yard that need fill, so nothing goes to waste in our yard!
We went for a drive searching for a pear tree Wednesday evening, finding lots of plum, cherry, and yellow delicious apple trees but no pear. On our way back from the city, I got the call from my Life Group for our messenger group chat. Needless to say, John and I haven’t been reading together in the evenings since he’s been turkey hunting in the morning and is very tired by evening. To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose on earth as Ecclesiastes says!
There are a lot of needs and prayer requests around us, which brought this song to mind:
The Solid Rock
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name
When darkness veils his lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil
No matter how sweet things seem in this life, how rocky, our hope is in Jesus Christ alone. Are you ready for the trumpet to sound and we who are still on earth will be taken up to Heaven? Here’s a photo of my grandson that his big sister sent. We got him a ball for his Birthday in February. It broke and he’s enjoying it as much as a hat as he did when it was a ball! I think this is part of what Jesus meant when He said we need to come to God as a child; he’s so happy with a broken ball! Shalom dear readers, until next week.
Coming to my 57th Birthday isn’t a big, notable Birthday for me today (May 14), but it’s the50th Birthday forWatertown Women’s Connection [our local StoneCroft group];we had a big party planned for the luncheon today that was cancelled due to Covid 19. It’s also the 72nd anniversary of Israel being declared a sovereign nation in 1948.
This morning I made my own gluten free, dairy free chocolate-chocolate cake and my husband John shared it with me. We at it mid-afternoon; it’s got instant coffee in it as well as all the chocolate, so I know if I eat it too late in the day, I won’t go to sleep well, so I’ll virtually share it with you all.
I hope I can actually share a cake like this with you in Heaven some day! I’ve heard God has all our favorite things there, so this must be one of them. I’ve also heard everything in Heaven is made of light, so no calories and no clean up!
This Proverb has always meant a lot to me:
Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:
As this Proverb declares, the Lord has mightily blessed me with children and a husband who rise up and call me blessed. I’ll share with you some of my blessings.
My granddaughter Ashlynn called and talked to me this morning on her daddy’s phone. She started with, “Happy Birthday Grandma” then told me she’s wearing Mommy’s dress and some makeup. Mom was still sleeping and so was her big sister. She took me for a tour of her toys, telling me about the new ones she got a week ago when she turned 4. Here’s her picture; she was afraid her teeth would start falling out when she turned 4!
Then she took me to her bedroom and tried to find something under her bed; she couldn’t reach what she wanted, but gave me a “virtual tour” of the rest of the bedroom as her big sis slept on. Her dad and mom got me a new Kindle and 6 months of Kindle Unlimited to try. I recently deleted Kindle from my phone because it wasn’t working right, then couldn’t get it to download again, so I’d just been thinking I could use a new Kindle. I’d sold mine several years ago when the app worked on my phone. I count this as another instance of God knowing what I want/need before I even ask!
On Mother’s day, my Pennsylvania son Harold and grandsons Owen and Logan did Google Hangouts video chat with me. I got an email this morning. Their family sent me a gift card so I can buy something off my Amazon wish list. Owen and Logan did a video Hangout with me this afternoon and their mom Jana sent me a Happy Birthday text. After spending a week tearing down the playground in their back yard, they just finished putting up a swing set in the yard. They’ve gotten too big for the slides, but still enjoy the swings. It gives Jana more garden space as well another piece of lawn. Here are the boys checking out the new swing set.
My granddaughter Faith sent me a Birthday text this morning. Her dad, my son Alex, called me a little while ago. We’re eager to visit when the restrictions are lifted and are putting aside things to take to them. They sent me this homemade card the beginning of the week. I love my creative, artistic grandchildren!
My daughter in California sent me a comfort package from Taproot Magazine‘s store which arrived last weekend. It had a yellow beeswax pine cone-shaped candle, a “make-do-dream” sticker, a ceramic/clay handle-less tea mug with a tin of ‘Marble & Milkweed Tea For Dreamers’, and a hand dyed cotton scarf. They also did a Skype chat with me. Since Mother’s Day was 4 days before my Birthday, I got a nice card from her family for that as well. I love the fancy cards she finds; I have a pop-out butterfly card hanging in my office from a year ago and they sent a pop-out flower this year:Oh, as you see beneath the card, I got the middle of my puzzle done, but there’s lots of blue sky and green grass left to finish! The middle is the stones of Stonehenge which were interesting to piece together. The puzzle has gone to the bottom of my things to do list for now. Monday I got a new book to proofread from my publisher which kept me busy for two days and again today typing up corrections to send to her.
Yesterday we spent the afternoon expanding our garden beds and filling in with wheelbarrows full of compost and soil, after I’d spent the morning doing my weekly house cleaning for a friend. These are the flowers John picked for me while out turkey hunting this morning and he blessed me by making supper and cleaning up dishes. It’s a busy time of year for us even with the sequestering!
I leave you with encouragement from Havilah Cunnington and verses from two songs that have been running through my head the past two days.
Surrounded(Fight My Battles)by Elyssa Smith
It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You!It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You!
This is how I fight my battles! This is how I fight my battles! My weapon is a melody!
Way Makerby Osinachi Kalu Okoro Egbu
(God) You are way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness…My God, that is who You are!
Even when I don’t see it You’re working, even when I don’t feel it You’re working; You never stop; You never stop working! You never stop working! Amen.
A sign shall be given A virgin will conceive A human baby bearing Undiminished deity The glory of the nations A light for all to see That hope for all who will embrace His warm reality
Chorus: Immanuel Our God is with us And if God is with us Who could stand against us Our God is with us Immanuel
For all those who live in the shadow of death A glorious light has dawned For all those who stumble in the darkness Behold your light has come
So what will be your answer? Will you hear the call? Of Him who did not spare His son But gave him for us all On earth there is no power There is no depth or height That could ever separate us From the love of God in Christ
Immanuel Our God is with us And if God is with us Who could stand against us Our God is with us Immanuel
Isaiah 53 was part of my daily devotions and it just hit me in a new way. Let’s look into verses 3-6 today. I’m using the New Living Translation.
Isaiah 53:3He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.
I realize I have turned my back on Jesus, looked the other way. I have joined those who despised and rejected Him, and did not care. Not only was this before I met Him, I’ve had times since, sometimes daily, when I’ve turned my back, looking to my own way.
Isaiah 53:4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!
How deceived we all were; sometimes still can be. We think sometimes we live and die to ourselves, but many times don’t realize what our sins and selfishness as well as the sins of others put Christ through. When we try to live by “cheap grace”, we don’t really see that it was our own sorrows, troubles and punishment He bore for us.
Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole.He was whipped so we could be healed.
Yes, His head, hands, feet and side were pierced for my rebellion, his body crushed for my sins, His beating and whipping that turned His back into hamburger made the way for me to be healed and whole. His blood came from His head, hands, feet, side, back; flaying His body open to exposing internal parts. There isn’t a single sickness, illness, or infirmity His blood can’t cover; that was not paid for on the cross.
Isaiah 53:6All of us, like sheep have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on himthe sins of us all.
Yes, Father God laid on Him the sins of us all; all human beings that ever were and ever will be on this planet. There isn’t a single one of us who has not strayed away and left God’s paths to follow our own. I don’t know about you, but my own paths have mucked up my life quite a bit. I realize I’m definitely no better than anyone else, but am so thankful Jesus paid the price and I have chosen to accept that payment to the best of my understanding. I’m so thankful Holy Spirit continues to open my eyes to see more of the wonders of Christ’s salvation.
Our Father in heaven, holy is Your name. Let Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. We have sinned; have gone astray. We are so sorry for not understanding, for our unbelief and times we turn away. Lord Jesus, we apply the blood sacrifice You paid to our hearts and thank You for covering us with Your righteousness. We accept the price You paid and recon ourselves dead to sin, alive in Your grace. Help us to apply that blood to our relationships and accept the things You’ve given us, including healing of our body, soul and mind. We leave ourselves in the hands of the Living God who lives forever; interceding before the throne for each of us. In the precious name of Christ, Amen.
Shalom to you all, my dear ones. May you truly experience Emmanuel, God with us. I leave you with this beautiful view of Yoho National Park, Canada; one of the puzzles we’ve done on our dining table while sequestered.
What is the Lord saying right now? Over and over again, I’m haring: Repent and Do Not Fear! These afflictions bring us to a point of decision: am I going to trust human wisdom or God’s? Am I going to sink into hopelessness or grow deeper in my relationship with Him?
Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Fear never really took hold for me. I’ve been finding grace, peace and excitement in Holy Spirit during this time. It’s not been easy for me, since my life’s not a lot different than normal, to take time aside to seek Him. I’ve started doing jigsaw puzzles at one end of our dining table that can get me quite distracted! This one was only 750 pieces, the one I just started is 1,000!
Hallelujah! My husband’s chosen not to watch the news on the living room TV, which has been a great turnaround in our household! One evening last week I was on Kindle on my laptop in my office readingLove’s Unfading Light, a Historical Christian Romance novel by Naomi Rawlings, the first in the Eagle Harbor series. John came in to see what I was doing and began reading over my shoulder. He got interested in the story and we finished reading the book, then we read chapter one of book 2 included at the end and he said, “Is that all?” He told me to buy the next book!
John decided it’s a good way to spend our evenings, so I’ve brought my laptop out to the living room and we’ve made it through the second book, Love’s Every Whisper, in four evenings and just started book 3, Love’s Sure Dawn, last evening.
Naomi Rawlings packs a LOT of stuff into each book. There’s so many characters and so many unexpected happenings, it keeps you turning pages. The first book is set in 1880 on the shore of Lake Superior, the one I remember from Gordon Lightfoot’s song: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. It’s the largest, deepest, farthest west of the Great Lakes chain in the northern part of the U.S. and southern part of Canada. I am attached to the Great Lakes, my mother having grown up in Buffalo,on the shore of Lake Erie. Her grandfather was part of a ship’s crew in the 1880’s time frame and I’ve heard many stories and was around that lake at least twice a year visiting my grandparents outside the city. I grew up near enough to Lake Ontario to experience the Lake Effect snow storms and now live even nearer Lake Ontario shores. It’s an awesome thing for me even today to be so close I can see Canada’s shore on the other side of the lake and experience the special winds, clouds and weather that come with the lake. It can be as fickle as the waters in the Bible we read about with Jesus and His disciples.
Naomi does a good job of showing the difference in that time between the two shipping magnate’s families and the rest of the community. It really makes you think: is it better to be a rich family or a God fearing family? Her characters, both rich and poor, go through much struggle to find their true worth in God’s sight. The situations are quite real and Naomi has done her duty researching thoroughly. I highly recommend this series; I some how got connected with the author and was able to download the first book for free. I see it as good use for this time of sequestering.
Here are two more Scriptures about our heart attitude.
Proverbs 15:15 All the days of the afflicted are evil, But he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.
So, let us renounce any fear, which causes stress, which damages our body, soul and mind. Replace it with a merry heart within which gives life. I like what Graham Cooke says: every Problem comes with a Promise, Provision, and a Promotion. The Promise of God is that He’s with us and all our hope is in Him. He knows all our needs before we voice them, and supplies them just in time. Stick close with Him in this and you’ll see promotion; new faith, peace and well being. This morning, Pastor shared the story of Job and these ‘P’s describe his testimony in a nutshell.
I’m looking for the revelation that brings revival! Lord, Let Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Amen.
Oh what a Savior! Isn’t He wonderful! Sing alleluia, Christ is Risen! I hope you all had a blessed Easter; Christ has risen! Here I finish my study of Biblical chapter 5’s and verse 7’s. These verses are fitting following Easter week!
1 Peter 5:7 …casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Give all your worries, cares, fears, and anxious thoughts to God, for He really does care for you!
1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
This verse explains the Trinity of God, although the doctrine of “The Trinity” is not exactly spelled out in words in the Bible. This verse is similar:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.
Remember when the women came to the empty tomb and wondered how they were going to move the huge stone? The power of God had already done it by the time they arrived! Similarly, those in Heaven wondered how the scroll was going to be open; no one was found worthy…until…revelation 5:7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
Hallelujah! Only the Lamb that was slain was worthy to take the scroll and open it.
After all the despair and sins of the fathers in my previous posts in this series, we finally get into the grace of God found in Jesus Christ. How glorious this age of grace is!
Jeremiah 31:29 In those days they shall say no more: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’
We now all stand or fall on our own merit; in the light of Christ! Let’s kick the devil out of our family bloodline and take on the DNA of Jesus Christ, multiple blessings for our entire family. I pray you will choose to stand in the Light, connected to the Vine; alive in Christ alone!
Blessed Passover and Easter week to you all. Welcome to the 7th installment of Biblical Chapter 5’s and verse 7’s. We learn of the new way of life in Jesus. I also encourage you to contemplate as we come to Resurrection Sunday all that it means in our lives.
1 Corinthians 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
Christ was our Passover lamb, the final one for all time. The old leaven has to do with the false piety of religious leaders, which is still encountered today. We are new creations in Christ so our sinful self is removed through His sacrifice and our renewed life in Him.
1 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.
So much happens in the Spirit realm that most of us never get a glimpse of. If we walk by sight, we think our battle is with our spouse, children, boss, driver irritating you on the road… if we walk by faith we can treat others as we want to be treated, see them as God sees them and speak life into each situation.
Galatians 5:7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
Certain religious leaders were insisting the new Believers needed to be circumcised and follow all the Jewish religious laws. Paul had taught them what freedom in Christ meant and they’d left off his teachings to be put back in bondage by the rules of men.
Ephesians 5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
Paul is teaching them about living in the light, leaving idol worship and other immoral sins. He makes it clear these are works of the flesh and Believers should stay away from these practices.
1 Thessalonians 5:7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
The Day of the Lord is coming as a thief in the night. Do not follow these practices that will drag you into the darkness. Be sober, drunk only in the Holy Spirit, and walk in the Light.
1 Timothy 5:7 And these things command, that they may be blameless.
Paul is teaching Timothy to keep the church’s widows free from open criticism; teaching them to place their hope in God and pray to Him for help. This is a Godly widow free from reproach; not the one who lives only for worldly pleasure and is spiritually dead.
Hebrews 5:7 … who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,
Jesus did not take the mantle of Priest, but let Father God bestow it upon Him after His death and resurrection. In His flesh, He learned obedience as He suffered for God’s will. He showed how to walk in the world, not of the world.
James 5:7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.
So shall we wait patiently for the return of Christ, continue planting, watering and harvesting the salvation of all those on earth that will be saved. The precious fruit is developed as we abide in Him; we shall receive the early and latter rain from the Father’s hand.
Have a blessed time of contemplation as we remember Jesus’ death, 3 days in hell separated from the Father, wresting the keys of death and Hades from the devil. THEN…Up from the grave He arose! Alive forevermore, interceding for us all at His Father’s throne!
Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
From the Sermon on the Mount; Jesus stressed the fact that if we are not merciful to others, God can’t give mercy to us.
Mark 5:7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”
The boat carrying Jesus and His disciples across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. The demons inside the wild man living among the tombs cried out because they knew who Jesus was and did not want to leave the territory they were given by Satan.
Luke 5:7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
Simon Peter had fished all day. Jesus commandeered his fishing boat to go out into the lake because the crowds were pressing in on Him. Peter knew Jesus had some kind of authority, so he did what He told him to do. Not expecting any fish, he threw out one net that was quickly filled to overflowing. This miracle caused Simon Peter to leave his boat and follow Jesus!
John 5:7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
This sick man didn’t realize who Jesus was. He thought he might help him be first in the water, but didn’t realize Jesus could heal without the angel. Most in Jesus’ day did not realize God was in their midst in human form. Don’t many of us fall into this same scenario?
Acts 5:7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.
After the Holy Spirit fell and the disciples were living in community sharing their resources, this is the account of Ananias and Sapphira not telling the truth about money they were donating. I guess they thought they were deceiving the Apostles, but it was God the Holy Spirit! Both were struck dead. Remember 2 Samuel 6 when they were bringing the Ark of the Covenant home on the ox cart instead of carrying it on poles by the Priests (as God commanded)? Uzzah reached out a hand to steady the cart, aroused God’s anger and was struck dead. Two lessons about the holiness of God and encounters between Holiness and unrighteousness.
Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
Apostle Paul was explaining what a big deal it was that Jesus died for unclean sinners. You might be willing to die for a righteous person, or a good man, but would you choose to die for a vile sinner?
I am so thankful for the grace found in Christ after all the years of sinners trying to get right with God on their own. Have you recently contemplated all you have because Jesus, the Lion of Judah, paid the price? During this Lenten season, let’s take pause to think about the glory of God and His holiness and the gap Christ reconciled through His body between Father God and His children. I pray you find the deep love of God and true Shalom my dear readers.
This week I share the final Old Testament books that have 5 chapters and 7 verses in them. Most of the minor prophets are short books, so they didn’t make it in this list! Interesting note: Daylight savings Time begins in Israel today!
Ezekiel 5:7 Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Because you have multiplied disobedience more than the nations that are all around you, have not walked in My statutes nor kept My judgments, nor even done according to the judgments of the nations that are all around you’—
God had told them to destroy before them these nations that worshiped other gods so they would not adopt their practices and corrupt the land God had given them. Here God is pointing out that the Israelites had gone even deeper into these sins than the other nations!
Daniel 5:7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spoke, saying to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and tells me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck; and he shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”
None of these false prophets could even start to tell the king what he dreamed. With God’s Spirit, Daniel was able to tell the king the dream AND interpretation and was given the rewards and promotion mentioned in this verse.
Hosea 5:7 They have dealt treacherously with the Lord, for they have begotten pagan children. Now a New Moon shall devour them and their heritage.
Hosea is another prophet God used to point out the Israelites’ sins and call them to repentance. Israel had new moon feasts which God allowed, but pagans worshiped the new moon instead of marking times and seasons with it.As with King Saul, this generation also went after other nations for spouses and adopted their false religions and reaped destruction.
Amos 5:7 You who turn justice to wormwood, and lay righteousness to rest in the earth!”
How God’s people provoke Him! Each generation has a chance to turn to God, each generation has those who choose not to and break His Father heart.
Micah 5:7 Then the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples, like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, that tarry for no man nor wait for the sons of men.
Even though the Lord scattered His chosen people among the nations, He used – is still using – them to bless and prosper those they dwell in the midst of.
Zechariah 5:7 Here is a lead disc lifted up, and this is a woman sitting inside the basket”; 8 then he said, “This is Wickedness!” And he thrust her down into the basket, and threw the lead cover over its mouth.
Shortly before 400 years of silence between God and His people, Zechariah along with Micah, is chosen to enumerate the sins of the people and announce the coming grace of the Lord, that great and terrible day when wickedness will be vanquished; glorious for those who choose to follow Christ Jesus!