About Me

My photo

Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

CAN GOD STOP A HURRICANE?

These past several days most of us have followed the course of two hurricanes that hit our nation's shores. Lives were lost, property destroyed, havoc and chaos reigned where these vicious storms landed in the United States as well as some beautiful Caribbean islands. 

I'm well aware that barely a week goes by that some place in the world isn't coping with a catastrophe of one kind or another. We also have our own storms in life - someone or some event that tears through us leaving us shaken and devastated. This is what a hurricane does, tears apart and destroys, even kills, what is important to us.

How then, can we believe that our loving Father, who deals with us in grace with mercy, would have anything to do with a killer hurricane, flood, fires or earthquakes? The Bible says He does. At times I'm  tempted to ignore some parts of Scripture so only God's kindness and love is pictured. Shame on me! No one needs to, or should, make excuses or shield anyone from the whole picture of who God is. God is God and those of us who love Him don't need to defend him. We tend to judge through 'worldly' eyes. What looks tragic to us is not how God views the situation. He has a plan and purpose for all that happens. 

Whenever I begin to question what the Lord is doing I think of Job. If you've read his story in the book of Job you'll remember that God dealt rather harshly with him and his family - who, for all to see, were innocent people who were just living their lives. Job got frustrated, his faith appeared to be shaken and he asked God to answer some of his questions ...

Job 38:1 "Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm."

Vs. 4 -5 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me if you understand who marked off its dimensions. Surely you know!" 
Vs. 8 "Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst from the womb?"
vs. 16 "Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?"
vs. 33 "Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God's dominion over the earth?"
vs. 37 "Who has the wisdom to count the clouds? Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens when the dust becomes hard and the clods of earth stick together?"

These are just a few verses - you will be so blessed if you read the book of Job for yourself; it's pure poetry! The result of this 'conversation' that occurred, was that Job was totally humbled by the sovereign creator of the universe as we would be. God made it quite clear that He'd engineered every detail for the purpose for which it was made and He has sovereign authority. We are so small in our understanding and the Lord is so big, and so in control!

Psalm 107 begins with. . ."his love endures forever." Because we can count on the fact that God's love will endure forever, we can cry out to Him and know that He will respond to us. Four times in Psalm 107 the people "cried out to the Lord" and they were delivered from their distress. He wants us to come to Him, He wants a relationship with His children just as we desire a relationship with our children. Notice this, after the fourth time the people cried out to the Lord, 

"He stilled the storm to a whisper, the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven."  Psalm 107:29

This Psalm passage goes on to report how after a period of judgement of "wickedness" the Lord restored this land. 

Has our Lord set before us these calamities of life to punish us for our sinful human nature? No, He wants us to know our human nature is sinful and He has a person, Jesus Christ, who will pay the price so we can live eternally in heaven. He wants to build faith and trust in those who love Him. Those who deny God will never trust or have faith. 

"You (the Lord) have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat." 
Isaiah 25:4

Can God stop a hurricane? Yes, He can! Does He always chose to? Obviously, no. He allows our belongings and even sometimes our lives to be taken by a storm. Based on human thinking, this doesn't make sense if He truly loves us. God's wisdom is always foolish to those who don't believe...I Corinthians I. The Lord is the author and finisher of our faith...Hebrews 12:2. We simply trust Him. I know, this appears to be 'too simple'. We try and make our heavenly Father complicated, but He's not. 

The God of the Bible is always pointing us to His Son; the One He sent to become Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
Acts 4:12

Jesus - the name above all names!

Thank you Lord that even though we don't always understand what you are doing, and why you are doing it, we can count on you to do what You've planned and purposed from the beginning of time. Help us learn to have peace in every circumstance and trust you completely.




Thursday, August 17, 2017

WOW, A MIRACULOUS MUSEUM

I was thrilled recently when I heard about a new museum being built in the heart of Washington, D.C. This museum will be called The Museum of the Bible. I was not only thrilled but astonished! How could this happen in our country that is becoming so secular? Oh, that's right, I forgot the God of the universe can do anything He wants to do and He wanted a museum in our Capital that would honor His Word, the Bible.

I recently picked up some literature about the museum. I'm going to quote a few words here. " WE EXIST TO INVITE ALL PEOPLE TO ENGAGE WITH THE BIBLE. I love the "all people". The museum will have traveling exhibits, I believe they've already begun. I hope to experience this museum personally but many won't be able to do that so these exhibits are vital to sharing God's Word, literally throughout the world.

The building will be eight stories high and have 430,000 square feet! They will be "developing a cutting-edge Bible curriculum using the latest in interactive technology, and pioneering groundbreaking research and raising up the next generation of biblical scholars through its Scholars Initiative." The brochure further states that. . .

"The Bible speaks to issues relevant to all humanity. Throughout the millennia, it has been passed on from generation to generation and from continent to continent. The beauty and historical impact of this book is for all people."

You can go on-line for more information - museumofthebible.org
or if you'd like to be involved with this historic museum go to www.1mn.me

I wrote this poem a few years ago; it seems appropriate to again share it with this blog.

THE WORD

I love the feel
   of a Bible 
in my hand.

The sequence of words,
   the rhythm of the phrase,
the creation of a metaphor
   on the page.

As I turn the delicate pages, 
   fragile and thin, 
pregnant with wisdom

I applaud the genius
   of the One who
gave birth to the living Word.

Seeking truth
   a message is revealed
that pierces my heart.

The discovery of a loving,
   sovereign God,
abounding in grace
   brings great joy
and much peace.

Thank you Lord for giving the world this wonderful museum. I know you will raise up those who will support it so your gospel of love can be shared with all your people.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

LOOKING FOR THE PERFECT CHURCH

Most church-going believers do this from to time; 'church dating' or 'church hopping', looking for a group that is just right for them. Some judge the church by the friendliness of the people who attend, good Bible studies, activities and classes for their children, or a fun group of seniors to be with. Some are very attentive to the type of music played, how often communion is served or, as in my case, good teaching of Biblical principles, doctrine and theology. I can be a little forgiving if I sense a strong love for Jesus and His Word. Priests, ministers and pastors are first and foremost human beings who are not perfect people, but whom God has chosen to lead. 

You need to see yourself as a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God. The first requirement to becoming a Christian is to understand that you are a sinner. This is a big stretch for a lot of us who think of ourselves as 'good' people. In our minds, we've pretty much kept the Ten Commandments, or at least tried to. Of course we ultimately have to admit that we're not 'perfect'.

Now this presents a big problem as only those who are perfect will be in heaven and have eternal life. We have a perfect God who has a perfect plan for His children and has created a perfect place for us to spend eternity. Heaven can be nothing but perfectly 'perfect'. He gave us the Ten Commandments (called the law) to show us that we need a Savior.

" So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the law."  Ephesians 3:24 -25

We can't generate our own faith, Ephesians 2:8 tells us that faith is a gift. We can't work for it or earn it by our good behavior. Hebrews 12:2 offers a further explanation of faith - Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith. Some translations read, "initiator and finisher" - He starts and completes the faith we've been given. 

If you take a look at a passage in I Corinthians 12, you'll discover that "the church'' is literally the body of believers. The Old Testament refers to the Temple and Synagogues as actual buildings for worship, but the New Testament church isn't a physical place, building or organization - it is simply the believers!

I often hear people say they attend a particular church because they feel the Holy Spirit. I think this is a good thing about corporate worship, believers coming together as one to sing praises to the Lord and worship Him as a unit. In reality, if you have been 'born again' - John 3: 3 - 8, God's Spirit, which is the Holy Spirit, lives in you. Once the Lord has revealed Himself to you and His Spirit is in you, you don't need to look for it anyplace else, not in a particular church, or 'holy place'; it's part of you and can't be separated from you. 

So, why do we feel so alive in Christ at times and so blah...empty, fearful, angry and alone at other times?  The truth is that even though God's Spirit is with us, we can't always feel it.  John 3:8 explains -

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." Jesus said this.

Spiritual truth isn't like other 'truth'. I know that 8 x 10 = 80; I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I am the mother of five children, these facts will always be true. But one day I know that "in all things God works for good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose", Romans 8:28  Then a few days later I've forgotten this truth as I'm attacked (Satan is always involved with these events), and feel the need to defend my actions, or I might be sick, in physical pain and want to cry out - "Unfair!!" I am not able to feel the Holy Spirit in me and God's hand in mine. I'm not able to remember the spiritual truth that God is always working for my good - no matter how I perceive it at the moment and how miserable I am. 

God has a reason for this; learn to trust Him. If we were always 'high' on the Holy Spirit we might forget to come to the Lord for "our daily bread". We're like that you know - when life is good we feel powerful and not in need of our Creator. God wants us to have a relationship with Him; this is why He's given us His Spirit.

Almost daily, I experience little miracles, so do most believers. Sometimes we can't comprehend all that is taking place in the midst of these small miracles but that doesn't mean they are not happening. We need to look at our life through the lens of faith. At times, we experience a huge miracle and we say "Oh wow!" That is the Lord allowing you to feel His presence.

Trust that the Lord will guide you to the church of His choosing and you'll be satisfied there. You may be at a certain church for a very specific reason that you may never know, but God knows. If you hear the gospel being distorted and a liberal 'philosophy' woven into your pastor's messages, it's probably time to leave with good cause. By all means, tell the pastor, elder board, whoever seems appropriate, why you are leaving. 

Above all, give thanks in all circumstances, I Thessalonians 5:18. Know that if you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit resides in you and you, as part of the body of believers, are the church. 

Thank you Lord for giving us direction when we ask for it. Help us to be patient in our search for perfection and to know that eternal life with you in heaven is utter perfection!

Monday, July 24, 2017

DOES SAYING "I DO" MEAN YOU WILL?

"I _______ take ________ to be my wife (husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death."

We Christians sometimes joke about the fact that the Bible states that there is no marriage in heaven - Matthew 22:30, and we are neither "male nor female" - Galatians 3:28 When we leave this earth and get our new resurrected bodies, that's the end of it. In a way, that makes me sad because I had a good marriage and loved my husband who came into my life and made it so much better. He's the one who shared Jesus as a personal Savior. We are 'saved' by God alone, but He often uses one of His believers to come along beside us in a very hands-on manner to share the miracle of being "born again" - John 3:3 I do know that whatever God is doing is for our utmost best. I trust Him.

World - wide, I don't know, but in the United States approximately 50% of those who get married, get divorced. I wish I did know as I have many people from all over the world who read this blog. I'm sure the numbers are different for each country. A very sad result is that this leaves a lot of children in a single parent home. And they usually suffer because of this; each in their own way. I've read studies that claim that nearly 90% of men in jail have been raised without a father in the home. Children feel more secure when they have a mother and father who are stable and love each other. Christian marriages fail too. Selfishness, immaturity and often infidelity are a clear and present stumbling block; a hurdle we must all clear in order not to fail our wedding vows.

Relationships in general, especially family relationships, can be difficult. Why is this? Emotions and feelings are much more intense than we experience toward a neighbor or casual friend because we care so much more. There is a solution for those who believe in God and use His Word, the Bible, as a guide.

Matthew 11:28 - 29  "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke (teachings) upon you and learn from me. I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

These words were spoken by Jesus and notice He doesn't say, try harder, be nicer, love more, go to a psychologist - no, He just says "Come to me". Our natural tendency when faced with a difficult person is to become defensive, maybe even hostile. Nothing is more painful than being misunderstood, falsely accused or having our motives misinterpreted. We strike back. The Lord suggests a different approach - instead of fighting with a person you love, fight for them!  If your loved one is being unreasonable, there is a reason that even they might not know. Ask the Lord to reveal this to them and heal their pain. 

Often times we need to go through something really bad before it gets better. God never loses control; it is He who directs our lives and we need to trust Him, totally.

Romans 8:28  "For we know that in all things God works for the  good of those who love him and who have been called according to his purpose."

This is the first verse I memorized after becoming a Christian. It is so soothing! It says so much! God is working in all things for our good if we love Him; not everyone, only those who love Him, the believers. He has called us for a purpose; there is a specific reason we are alive on this earth. There are times we wander around in the wilderness wondering - why am I here? God knows why He has chosen us. Some He's called to do amazing, extraordinary things, others simply are here as an extension of His love. 

Mother Teresa said,  "We can do no great things - only small things with great love."  She understood that whatever is accomplished is done by the power of God and He gets the praise.

Your husband or wife cannot, no matter how wonderful they are, make you happy. That comes from within - if your mind and heart is in turmoil, it will spread into all areas of your life, especially your close family relationships. You will have no peace, certainly no joy, and you will probably have the need to blame someone close to you. For sure, pain and chaos will follow!

'Joy is entirely different than 'happy'. Happiness is based on circumstances, true joy and peace of mind comes from having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Jesus isn't just a way, He is the only way.

John 6:30, Jesus knew what was coming and said, "In this world you will have trouble" . . .He also said that He'd overcome the world so when we have a problem to overcome, we go to the Lord. In Matthew 6:32 - 34 Jesus explains that we don't need to run after the things of this world, but rather seek (find) Him and we'll have everything we need. He also tells us not to worry about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own. 

Matthew 19: 4-6 - God created male and female, they would become "one flesh". My words, so if we separate, the flesh is torn and a piece of us dies. If you've come from a broken home, the sad truth is, you have a good chance of also breaking up your family. If you were a troubled youth and left the family, you've given permission for your siblings, if you have them, to also act out and exert their independence and defiance. "What goes around comes around" and statistics show this to be true.

Ephesians 5:28 says that "a man who loves his wife, loves himself." I've always thought this was an interesting statement, finally the Lord revealed how this is true; subject for another blog. A wife is told to honor and respect. If she does this, even when she doesn't feel like it, the result will be that the husband will show love in return. I know there are many intolerable circumstances, physical, emotional abuse, alcohol and drug addiction that affects the whole family, continued infidelity - so many obstacles to a good marriage. I know sometimes, even if you have children, divorce is your only recourse. Don't count on yourself to get through it, count on God.

When your mate is stressed and struggling, fight for them by praying for the Lord to intervene. God won't solve every problem in the way you might like, but He will deal with it in His time and way; you can trust Him. Remember, nothing will ever, ever separate you from God's love. Read Romans 8:38, you will be blessed.

So, think about it, when you said "I do", did you also commit to "I will?" Every day I am aware that I don't need to fight this world by myself, help is ready and waiting - I call on my Lord and Savior, Jesus.

Thank you Lord that you are always there for us, when we fall, you'll get us back on our feet. Problems and circumstances overwhelm, give us patience, sustain us during the painful times. Help us seek real joy, not just worldly 'happy'.



Saturday, July 8, 2017

WHAT IF ~













What if the sun rose in the west and set in the east - would the earth spin in the opposite direction?

What if the grass was blue, the sky green, clouds not puffy, and the waves of the sea invisible; would all those poems need to be re-written?

What if we really evolved from apes? Could I go to the zoo and watch them watching me, or would there be no more apes - just humans?

What if Eve wasn't tempted, and had no desire to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Would we all be running around naked in the Garden of Eden?

What if Noah ignored God and didn't build the ark? It must have seemed foolish to build a boat in the middle of a desert. Would the flood have been the end of God's creation?

What if everything wrong became right and everything right became wrong? Would we all be happier?

What if God so loved the world He gave His only son?  What if? 


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

ONE NATION UNDER GOD




"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." 

The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure."

Gettysburg Address - Abraham Lincoln November 1863

I saw some students being interviewed on TV recently. The question was asked, "Who did we (the U.S.) fight to win our independence?" There were about eight of them. They looked at each other, some just shrugged their shoulders, others tried to answer the question. One said France, another said "Maybe Spain" another said "The guys in the red coats" at which time one of the girls said, "The British!"

Times have changed, our country has changed, school curriculum's, attitudes and yes - morals have changed. My parents talked about American history at the dinner table, a lot, so did my husband and I when our children were growing up. We are a nation of immigrants - the only true American is the native Indian.

Under the law, we are equal, but we are different. We have different educations, skills and abilities. We are not guaranteed under the Constitution to have freedom from religion, but to have freedom of religion. We are free to practice any and all religions, or no religion at all.

My sweet paternal grandparents, Harry and Ruby, grew up in Chicago, and had parents who came here from Sweden. They said  that no matter what country people came from, they wanted to first be an American. . .in thought, word and deed. They didn't want to change America, they wanted to be a part of America. They also wanted to hold on to their various ethnic roots. The Swedish liked meatballs and pickled herring and usually attended a Lutheran church. Many spoke only a few words of English when they arrived. No one had any special privileges, or a government subsidy to help them survive. They were on there own, sink or swim. My maternal grandfather first arrived from Sweden 1904 with $35.00 in his pocket; that was all he had. Despite their many difficulties in this new land, very few gave up and returned to the 'old country'. They stayed and persevered!

Most not only survived but eventually thrived; it wasn't easy. I believe their struggles made them strong and gave them the will and desire to make America what it is. They were self-sufficient, responsible people who built this amazing country. I didn't realize how amazing until I begin to travel with my husband in my early 30's. Most people take pride in their country; I'm very proud of mine.

Those who wrote our constitution and became our first governing body were God-fearing men. Most of our early immigrants were from Europe and they brought their Christian beliefs and principles with them. Our motto is "In God We Trust". Now many come from other faiths and worship many different gods. They don't always want to assimilate as the earlier immigrants did. Many come to take advantage of what they consider to be a wealthy government. Our government is supported by hardworking citizens. We pay taxes and the legislature decides how these funds should be distributed - much like other free countries. Law abiding people respectful of our history and traditions are always welcome.

The photo is a quilt I sewed together after we were attacked by terrorists on 9/11/2001. I enjoyed this project and am always reminded when I take the quilt out of the closet of how many young men and women have laid their life on the line to protect our freedom and democracy and those of many other countries who needed our help. Visit a national cemetery some day; an awesome experience.

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance."  Psalm 33:12

I love to go to baseball games, even when our team isn't very good. We have a big military presence at the Padres games. They are asked to stand and they receive a huge heart felt ovation. They play the song, 'God Bless America' - land that I love, stand beside her, and guide her. . .yes Lord, we ask that you continue to do that. Of course no game can start without the 'Star Spangled Banner', our national anthem. I usually cry.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA - 241 YEARS YOUNG!












Friday, May 26, 2017

THE HOPEFUL AND THE HOPELESS

Bible verses fall into many categories. Some speak of love, some of sin, salvation, faith, grace, God's sovereignty - this list could get very long. No matter what subject is being addressed, we know the God of the Bible is speaking to His children so we can learn about our Heavenly Father and understand who He is and what He wants for us. Grace and mercy prevail above all and the fact that He is steadfast and true to those who know Him. He also chastises us because He is our Father in heaven. I've recently been so blessed by reading and studying Psalm 107. I hope you'll want to join me as God reveals His desires and character.

"Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever."  Ps. 107:1

        Are you like me? Do you think there have been enough storms and difficult times in your life and there will come a day when most everything is nearly perfect? If so, you are a hopeful person. You may not realize it, but the hope you have is rooted in what you believe about God.
        I haven't written a blog in several weeks; seems like an eternity. I've been too busy being miserable. Three weeks ago I
awoke with a painful infection in my mouth. This resulted in having a molar extracted. The pain was intense. About the same time, I missed a stair and badly twisted my right foot which resulted in a very painful sprain. The doctor fit me with an orthopedic 'boot' which enabled me to put weight on it and 'hobble' around with my cane. I've been feeling sorry for myself.
        I knew my problems were temporary so I didn't feel hopeless, just distressed. Most things in life that cause us great distress are more temporary than permanent so we have hope that our situation will improve. We can count on the Lord to go to great lengths for us . . .

Ps. 107:16 "He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron" - like Superman, nothing will be able to stop Him.

Ps. 107:20 "He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave" - John I describes Jesus Christ as the "Word". Isaiah 53:5 tells us we are healed by his wounds. John 3:16 says that those who believe will have everlasting life - they are rescued from the grave. The Bible is one whole complete story.

Ps.107:23 - 30 " Merchants went out on the sea in ships. God spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted the waves. "They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits' end." God stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. He can calm the storms in our life too.


Ps. 107:41, 43 "He lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families and flocks. Not a government program or another human being but God Himself lifts us out of our affliction. "Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord."

        As you read through this Psalm you may notice the phrase, "Then they cried to the Lord" four times. God sees our stress, in fact, since He is the Sovereign Lord, He plans it! What seems to cause Him to come to our rescue is our crying out to Him and asking for His help. He brings distress into our life so we seek Him and come to depend on Him alone.
        For this reason, those of us who have put our trust in Him are hopeful that we will be rescued out of our misery. Those who are not assured of God's love and protection often feel hopeless. In order to have hope we must have the faith to believe. Faith is a gift from God - Ephesians 2:9. If you ask for this life changing faith, you'll have it - God won't say no, He's already given you the faith to ask!
        Many years ago, February 1973 to be exact, I was standing at my kitchen sink with a jar of jelly in my hand. I'd tried everything to open that jar, I failed. I remember thinking, "This is hopeless!" At that moment I remembered what a Bible teacher (thank you Glenna) had said recently - "When we run into a problem we can't solve the first thing we do is look for help. Only as a last resort will we ask the Lord to help us. We need to go to Him first; He's God of the Universe and He can do anything!" I was so frustrated I decided to put this to the test. I think I felt a bit foolish, not being able to open a jar of jelly wasn't exactly a crises. But to me, at that moment it was, so the Lord used this to show me that He could see my hopelessness and wanted me to know He cared and He was there for me. . .always. The moment I asked for His help the lid flew off the jar and I felt my body get warm and knew I was filled with the Holy Spirit. All believers are filled with the Holy Spirit. This was a dramatic experience; life changed.

        Don't follow the 'hopeless' road; you don't need to.

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1 "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."  Hebrews 12:2

Thank you Jesus for being our hope and help us to reach out to others to share your love and grace.