The season of giving and thankfulness is upon us – My favorite time of the year!
9bCling to what is good. 10Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; ~ Romans 12:9b-10 NKJV
Is that even possible in our society today?
Of course it is. And no better time than now. Tis the season to invite friends over for food, drink, and conversation by the fire. Give cheerfully – not expensively. Bake cookies. Be kind. Mend fences.
Some folks suffer from depression during the holidays and my heart goes out to them. It isn’t easy to be cheerful when your heart is heavy or the budget does not allow for much gift giving. Toss the materialism and enjoy giving the most valuable gifts: Time, love, laughter and hope. God does not want any to suffer pain or fear.
Be of the same mind to one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. ~ Romans 12:16 NKJV
Continue to pray for God’s strength while clinging to good. He is faithful and your example will bless others.
This year is my 60th birthday in Christ Jesus! I wish I could testify that my life was powerfully transformed the moment I accepted Yeshua as my personal Savior and that I lived according to His perfect will this past 60 years.
Truthfully, I have been more conformed than transformed.
1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ~ Romans 12:1-2 NKJV
Most of my life was not spent serving God, but in serving myself. As a new believer, I was eager to learn God’s ways, but my enthusiasm waned as I progressed through childhood and on into adult life. I became primarily focused on personal achievement, starting a family, and “the cares of this life” took over. Focusing on the cares of life became such a priority that I slowly conformed to cultural “norms” of this world. My body was not a living sacrifice to God. I sporadically walked out my faith by thinking I was keeping the Ten Commandments, but for the most part I was “missing in action”.
Encouraged by the Apostle Paul, my focus now is to finish my faith race much stronger than I began. To know the heart of God, read Romans 12. The whole chapter spells out in plain language how to live a life that is pleasing to Our Holy Father God. He states what our reasonable service should look like:
We should be transformed by the renewing of our minds. How do we do that? – By reading His Holy Word, the Bible. We are to live, serve, and forgive fervently by the power of His love and Spirit. So praying the sinner’s prayer puts our names in The Book of Life, but real transformation requires more from us. We must draw close to Him and learn His ways. That, dear friend, is accomplished through the daily reading of His “Good Book”. There is no short cut to learning how to behave like a Christian. Don’t waste valuable time missing the mark like I did. Jump into Romans 12 with me and next time we will continue studying what God says about finding His perfect will in our lives.
Until then, HAPPY 60th BORN-AGAIN BIRTHDAY TO ME! and thank you for following
As I look upon the state of our nation and the entire world I am sad to recognize the fulfillment of Bible prophecy regarding the end times. The stage is set for the Restrainer to be removed from planet Earth so that the Antichrist should be revealed. He will spread his wicked agenda across the globe.
7For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the One who is holding it back steps out of the way. 8Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and destroy him by the splendor of His coming. 9This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth. ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 NIV
Every heart of every person is driven by love. Yes, even the wicked love something.
15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For 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. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. ~ 1 John 2:15-17 NKJV
Mankind is now standing on the edge of a timeline precipice. We have a unique viewpoint of world events via media technology. Those who are watching can view approaching fulfillment of God’s prophecy regarding the end of the age of man governing himself. Soon Jesus Christ will return to Earth, conquer Satan, and set up His kingdom. Yeshua, our Messiah Jesus, will reign for one thousand years upon this Earth. He will reign with strong power over evil. As we have seen, the wicked who do not love truth shall be destroyed at His coming.
Now would be a very good time to be sure that you do not believe Satan’s lies. If you have not surrendered your love of worldly things to Jesus, there is no better time to take care of eternal business than right now. Helpful guidance is available here, talk to another believer or Pastor that you respect, or email me with questions.
Prayer – Father, as we lift Your Name above the heavens and all of the planets, stars, and galaxies of Your creation, convict hearts today that love the lie rather than Your Truth. In the Matchless and Wonderful Name of our Redeemer, Jesus, thank you for such an awesome gift of salvation for those who sincerely choose eternal life over death by asking You to replace love of the world with Your love of Truth in their hearts. Amen.
These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. ~ 1 John 2:26 NKJV
There’s one last thing I need to do with Dad’s New Testament Bible. It’s time to put it away. Dad’s testimony is posted in several articles on this blog and will hopefully be read by many people in the coming years. It hurts my heart, but the binding is pretty much shot.
Sorting out the loose pages, I decided the last thing for me to do is the old-fashioned remedy – no, not duct tape! A hair band will do fine –
at least for now. God’s Word lives on inside its covers and it is up to my Father in Heaven whether to use this relic as a witnessing tool in the future – or not.
The last thing left now is what some call closure. I just chalk it up to another crying day in a tough but victorious year in our Lord Jesus:
“Thank you again, Dad. The last thing you accomplished posthumously with your little Bible was this quote from page 381”:
For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before Him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. ~ Hebrews 4:12-13
So hey! It looks like God is still using Dad’s Bible to send His message out; and it’s not the last thing.
My daughter found this painted stone at Red Rock Canyon last week. Soon it will be placed far, far from Nevada – for someone else who needs inspiration.
What is going on? A project is trending about leaving a stone of inspiration for another person to find. The message painted on the rock is meant to inspire that person who in turn leaves it in another location for the next person to find and so on; a paying it forward project, so to speak.
My daughter found a Proverbs 3:5 Inspiration Stone:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; ~ Proverbs 3:5 NKJV
If you are somewhere in Alaska, you could be the next person to find this rock:
Proverbs 3:5 is a precious message. Isn’t it miraculous how God’s Word ties us all together and binds us to Himself with a painted rock? You know what is even more amazing? This rock may have been created by God millions of years ago in order to be picked up and lovingly painted by someone living now; left in some random location for another special someone to find, who may be blessed in a personal way just by finding it. Think of the journey of this one little stone. This rock is about the size of a large egg and look what it can do! God is using it as a witnessing tool to spread His love message to a vast number of people.
WOW! What can you do compared to a rock? Hmmmm …
I love the next verse:
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6 NKJV
I believe God is doing a mighty work with this project by directing the paths of individuals all over the planet to read and to think about His Word; and to share in being God’s witnesses. I like the word “laugh” painted on this rock. I laughed when I realized how God keeps everything so simple for us. He makes it so easy to witness for Him that sometimes it’s fun.
Have you found one of these rocks? Be on the lookout – Evidently, they are all over the place!
Sometimes we would like to participate in God’s work, but don’t know how. In this case, I didn’t find the rock – my daughter did. She was inspired to bring it to me so that I could tell you the story and then place the rock in a location frequented by lots of people. So easy. Praise God, I became part of all this, even though I didn’t go anywhere or find anything.
What can you do? Suggestions:
If you know an “inspiration found” story, you can share it or post the link here in comments.
If you are God-favored and find an inspiration rock, please tell us!
Share this article and see who else knows about this.
Find a group doing this and join up. Paint your own inspiration stone. Get it circulating.
I am leaving this Proverbs 3:5 Rock somewhere in Alaska this week. It will be found and another story will unfold. Another person will be inspired – and another – and another …
If you need more inspiration, here is a link to my article, What Can You Do?
(If you don’t find a stone of inspiration, don’t worry. The Bible is full of God’s messages to you. The same important stuff is all in there. Read it. Live it. Share it.)
I just wanted more time together. Just another hug . . . one more chance to hold his hand . . . tell him how much I love him again . . . I would have given . . . anything.
My stepdad battled Alzheimer’s for over ten years. Our last days with him have been crying days – mostly for him.
One family member said, “I hate what Alzheimer’s does to people.”
I agree. As my stepdad slowly broke down under the insidious disease process, we crumpled emotionally beside him. There were times as we held hands at the dining table that he would look away with a hurtful expression on his face and mutter to the wall, “Oh well . . . It is what it is.”
In my heart I waged war; won his battle by finding a miraculous cure; traded places; did more; did anything to prevent what we all knew was happening. But in reality, I had no such ability or power.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ~ 2 Tim. 4:18 NIV
My stepdad was a Christ believer. His heart was huge for everyone he knew; and he was so loved in return. Then our prayers for a miracle were painfully answered as our family expected – but dreaded. My stepdad was released from Alzheimer’s torment a few days ago. Even though I am mourning the loss, I am thankful to God for mercifully calling him Home. He will no longer suffer. He is leaping for joy in Heaven with Jesus, friends, and family in Glory.
My friend, John, called yesterday to pay his respects to Mom. He told me to “just look at it as if he has graduated.” Thank you, John. That simple encouragement has comforted me more than anything else. Graduation means a reward at the end of the struggle; the victory over life’s hurts. His diploma is now a page in The Lamb’s Book of Life with his name written there for all to see. It means honorably finishing the course and moving on to a new beginning. Thanks to Jesus, It is finished! Jesus paid the price for our sins and didn’t leave anything undone. He has done everything that no one else is able to do. Thank you, Jesus. I know that I will see my stepdad again when it’s my turn to graduate.
My stepdad was a boxer as a young man – a fighter; and he fought the ravages of time (he was 85) and of Alzheimer’s right up until the end. Even though he could no longer speak the Words, I will copy them here on his behalf; as I am confident he owned this scripture as he took his last breaths:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. ~ 2 Tim. 4:7-8 NIV
My stepdad was also a race car driver when he was young. He always drove a pickup truck and never relinquished his set of keys after he quit driving. I’m sure he hoped he would need those keys again someday because that truck is still parked in his garage.
Gosh! I would give anything to see him driving it around in Heaven right now . . .