and the One who walks with me on it.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Time Off

To All My Readers,

I need some time off to deal with personal matters so I will not be posting until Monday.  As for yesterday's post, I was half done when I fell asleep for the night- after being outside all day.  Oops!  It was a good sleep though.

Be blessed in the Lord
       and may His glorious presence be with you!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Weeds of Life

       The daffodils and tulips are in bloom, the sun is shining and the breeze is more warm than cold- it finally feels like we are in spring and heading to summer.  Much prefer summer since I don’t generate a lot of body heat within myself- isn’t it reptiles that are like that?  Anyway, there’s something else that is in full bloom now as well dandelions!  Woohoo, how exciting, right?  Seriously, they are kind of pretty when in yellow flower stage, the early leaves are great for salad, and apparently dandelion root tea is great to help fight some cancer.  And how special it is when a young child picks one for their mom or someone else they love- so precious AND so annoying at the same time.

       These nasty but resilient plants start out small but then grow rather big to spread out over the grass, shade it so it weakens or dies and they have more water to grow bigger.  It reminds me of the seed sown among thorns that choke out the growing seed- Word (Lk. 8:7).  Of course, they don’t keep their pretty yellow ‘flower’ because it turns to fluffy seed spreaders all too soon.

So pretty...    right?
And those which fell among thorns are the ones who, when they have heard, go forth and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of life*, and do not bear to maturity.  Lk. 8:14
   *-care, anxiety, distractions {family, jobs, vehicles, bills, technological toys, tv}
   -riches, money, possessions, abundance (of external possessions) {self explanatory}
     -pleasure or desires for pleasure, sensual delight {sensual means all body pleasures- drink, food, sex, fantasy, sloth}

       As we can see, the devil still brings these same things into the lives of Christians today to try and choke out the Word of God from remaining, growing, becoming stronger and becoming fruitful in us.  The ‘weeds like cares’ want to oppress us with the final goal of killing our spiritual life- and eternal life if possible.  The ‘weeds like riches and pleasures’ may seem pleasurable and respite from troubles for a while, but in the end, they choke the spiritual life out of us leaving us empty and miserable.

       So, what am I going to do with those ‘wonderful’ yellow flowers growing out in my yard?  I’m gonna go rip them out at the roots and give the grass a fighting chance.  In my own life, I’m going to consider setting aside time each week to investigate if I am allowing any of the above to damage my spiritual life and if found, I will rip those out too!  At the very least- I’ll do the best I can do and pray that the Lord will rip out those I am not strong enough to pull, those I missed the roots of and those I don’t even see.

Therefore I say to you, Do not be anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Mt. 6:25
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Php. 4:6,7

Do not lay up treasures on earth for yourselves, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up treasures in Heaven for yourselves  Mt. 6:19,20
And He said to them, Watch and keep yourselves from covetousness. For a man's life is not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.  Lk. 12:15

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Rom. 8:13 ESV
But those belonging to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts.  Gal. 5:24

because all that is in the world,
the lust of the flesh,
and the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life,
is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jh. 2:16

Gonna spend some time pulling weeds this week, how about you?

Monday, April 29, 2013

What If We Knew the Date?

       We all know many people have claimed this or that date as the end of the world, the rapture, when the Antichrist is revealed or Jesus returns (Mt. 24:3-14).  The dates come and they go with nothing remarkable about them.  Perhaps the one and maybe only good thing about the claims is they make people think about our time being limited.  So, what if we, as followers of Christ, knew the thirties (random date- 17 years away) is when the Book of Revelation will take place.

Would it change the way we are living today?

How much harder would we try to share Jesus with our loved ones?
Then we are ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as God exhorting through us, we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  2Cor. 5:20

Would we have more boldness to share the gospel with strangers?
And He said to them, Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved  Mk. 16:15,16

Would we give more money to further the gospel reach?

Would we care less about toys, technology, job advancement and financial freedom than care for others?
For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mt. 16:26

Would we try to be more Christ-like?
The night is far spent, the day is at hand; therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk becomingly, as in the day; not in carousings and drinking; not in co-habitation and lustful acts; not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not take thought beforehand for the lusts of the flesh.  Rom. 13:12-14

What exactly would we do

                 or would we just put everything off for another day because they’ve been saying the end is near since the apostle’s time- and it hasn’t come yet!

       The truth is it could start tomorrow, or a week or month from now.  How many people will not hear the gospel because we don’t think the end is near?  The problem with that thinking is we can’t count on those unsaved souls being alive tomorrow.  They could get in an accident, die of a heart attack, someone could murder them or an airplane can land on their head.  If they die without Jesus Christ as their Lord, they will be in hell.  Is that what we want? 

When I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; and you do not give him warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked one shall die in his iniquity; but I will require his blood at your hand.  Ez. 3:18

       I’m questioning myself tonight because it’s been a long time since I felt like I was putting great effort in sharing the gospel.  I look around at the people all around me and I wonder where they will spend eternity.  Sure, I want them to be in Heaven, but do I want it enough to do something about it.

I’m gonna need to think about this more

Lord, I’d like more opportunities to speak about You.
          Please open up those doors for me and I will walk through!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Does 'Peace that Passes All Understanding' Exist?

picture from

       Perhaps I’ve told this story before, but it is important for this post as well.  I sat across from a usually quiet lady as she told me of her past- a hard life full of many difficult trials, sorrows and loss.  Just before we had to leave the break room, the last thing she said was about how she found her uncle’s dead body washed up on shore.  My mouth gaped open, not because of the news I heard but because of the great peace surrounding her as she spoke.  How was it possible?

Her peace was beyond my understanding

       Our family was in a great trial at the time and I could not understand how she could be so peaceful when recounting such hardships.  Out of jealousy I said to God, “I don’t know how she has that peace, but I want to have it too.”  The only peace I had experienced was peace in normal or good times.  But that lady’s peace- that was peace that passed all my understanding.

       Most people cannot comprehend that kind of peace- including many Christians.  When much is going wrong, when your world is falling down around your ears, when you’ve suffered great loss or in the worst trial of your life yet there is a deep abiding peace in you, THAT is the peace that most men don’t understanding.  And I’m sure it is the peace we all really want to have, because we know in this world there will be troubles (Jh. 16:33).

do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. Php. 4:6,7   (*as a well-garrisoned stronghold (Is. 26:1,3). There shall be peace secure within, whatever outward troubles may besiege.°)

       This Scripture says we are not to be anxious about anything, but the reality is for many it is a daily struggle.  Jobs, family, finances, houses, vehicles, and many other problems contribute to stress and anxiety in our lives.  These verses make it sound as if we just need to say a few words and ask God and we will have this peace.  Well, it will work when combined with faith* in God.  For years I prayed but didn’t really trust God to know what was best for me.  (*faith- pistis- fully confident and trusting- in God)

       I don’t think I have all the answers; there’s lots I still need to learn, but since I have thrown myself in the Father’s hands trusting that He won’t allow anything in my life that He doesn’t want, I have this peace (in Him Jh. 16:33) that makes even me question how I got to where that lady was.  The only answer- “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father…” (Jm. 1:17).  My Father changed me (and continues to change me 2Cor. 3:18) and I didn’t even notice.

So to answer the question, the peace that passes all understanding does exist!

Thank you Lord for that peace in my life… You are the greatest!


°JFB Commentary