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.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A SECURE FAMILY

The election is over and no doubt many changes will occur in America. We Christians trust that the Lord of all nations has put a man in charge for the common good of all. We pray that this man will honor God and do his best for our country as well as the whole world. We will hold up President-elect Donald Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence in prayer asking that God's hand on them will be evident.

        We have just finished celebrating Thanksgiving Day. George Washington, our first president, instituted this day by proclamation for the purpose of showing gratitude to God for establishing this new country - the United States of America. We weren't very united at first and there were many problems to work through but by the Lord's grace we came together as "one nation under God". Many have tried to tear down our Christian principles, and chip away at our personal freedoms. Some have tried to tell us that what is evil is good, and what is good is evil.There is a reason people come here seeking a better life - they want power to rest with the people, not the government. Our constitution was written to limit, not increase this power. I believe among nations we are unique in this way.

        Families gathered on this special day to celebrate and be grateful for our blessings. I'm always aware that there are many who don't have a family or are not living close enough to be with them. As I was sitting in church this morning I looked around me and praised God that I would never be without a family.

        The 'church' as described in the Bible is the body of Christ. It's not a building or any particular denomination.

". . .so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."  Romans 12:4

"The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body." 
I Corinthians 12:12

        This is why we believers have such a special bond with one another; WE ARE ONE BODY! We will spend eternity together and while here on earth, we can experience being a family and belonging to each other. Belonging is important!  Many experience feeling more connected to other believers than to our own flesh and blood family who are not believers. We bond with our earthly family and feel a part of each other in some ways and somewhat estranged in other ways.

        It is Jesus Christ who is the head of the church, which is Christ's body - see Colossians 1:24. We who believe are the body of Christ! We are one with Him, we belong to Him. We are one member of the body who will serve Him with the other members. As part of this body, we are a family, safe and secure. Our human families may disappoint us, but God's family will be there for us.

        Loneliness - alone-ness can be painful at any time, but especially during the holiday season. My precious husband of so many years passed into the presence of the Lord eleven months ago. For the first time in my life I am alone, but I never feel alone because I'm in the body of Christ. I think for many, the natural inclination is to go looking for a special someone. And, if you find someone to connect with, you will no doubt be happier. The problem is. . .this often is a temporary solution.

        If you're looking for a forever friend and a secure, stable relationship; try Jesus! He came to earth to mingle among us and show us He is a real flesh and blood Savior. In John 3:3 Jesus tells us how to become a member of His body. . .

"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

Really, it's that simple - just ask Jesus to forgive your sins and make you alive spiritually - first birth is physical, second birth is spiritual. You will love being a part of His family!

Thank you Jesus for who you are and what you have done for us. Thank you for gathering all your sheep together as one family, always safe and secure in Your love. To be alone, and not feel alone is a wonderful gift.


 

       

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

ELECTION DAY - WHAT WILL GOD DO?

Many in the U.S. and much of the world will be anxiously waiting for the results of the presidential election that has occupied the news cycle 24/7 for a very long time. I think there will be a collective sigh of relief when the results come in this evening, no matter how you voted.

        When you look at the world around you through a prism of faith, the highs and lows, the valleys and mountain peaks cannot shake your well-being. King David of the Old Testament experienced a lot of conflict and drama in his life. He was not a perfect man and knew it. He was sustained by the gift of faith and wrote in Psalm 16:8. . .

"Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."

        Emotions are running high. Many are passionate about their candidate and will be devastated if he/she doesn't win. Our country has become divided into two very different 'world views'. The Christian world view generally aligns with the Republican Party, the non-Christians align with the Democrat Party. Of course there are believers in both parties; they simply see the world differently.

        Words from a song..."America, America, God rest His grace on thee..." God has done this since the inception of our country. We're evolving as a nation, as all nations do, but the evidence of a 'God-honoring' beginning is still very much a part of who we are. Mistakes have been made through history. Many don't  know that the Democrats tried to suppress emancipating the black slaves during Civil War times. They formed the Klu Klux Klan which brutally murdered many southern blacks unjustly. President Andrew Jackson stole land from the Native Americans, destroyed their homes and killed them for no better reason then to prosper financially. Not all of our presidents have had the people's welfare at heart.

        The NAACP - National Association for Advancement of Colored People - was formed with the help of white citizens, mostly from the Republican party, who wanted black people to have a voice. When it came time to end such travesties as the Jim Crow Laws practiced in the south, the Democrats in Congress initially voted against the Civil Rights Bill. If you take the time to search the history of the Planned Parenthood Organization and it's founder who wrote these words...

"We are paying for and even submitting to the dictates of an ever increasing, unceasingly-spawning class of human beings who should never have been born at all." Margaret Sanger (taken from a publication - The Pivot of Civilization)

Hillary Clinton claims to be "in awe" of this woman who was a champion of birth control and abortion. Birth control is good, but what Sanger wanted was for white, educated people to have more
children and poor, uneducated minorities - none! The babies she called 'unwanted' were not unwanted by their mother, but by Sanger and people of her elite group.

        I find it useless to try and make sense of all that is happening politically. But I know this; God is in control, His power is supreme and He'll never be voted out of His position - which is, the God of the Universe! He created it and He'll take care of it. Unlike the human beings He created - and we think we're so smart - He sees the beginning and the end. We see only a fragment of time in history and have no idea what tomorrow will bring. None! But we'll never stop trying to guess! Remember the first line of Psalm 23...

"The Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want..." hard for most of us to conceive living without wanting! Trust Him, He has a plan that has been in place since creation.

        To know who really is control of this election will give us peace. The Lord who loves us doesn't want us to fuss and fume and get all upset. He just wants us to remember to stay in His Word so we'll know that "He works all things together for good..." Romans 8:28. God is the only one on the throne! David wrote, speaking of Jesus...

"All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for the dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations."

There will come a day when every knee will bow and tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord - Philippians 2:10. When, one day, you stand before the throne of God, you'll never be asked who you voted for or what political party you belonged to. The only question you need to have the right answer for is this. . .Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Nothing else will matter!

"For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his Holy throne." Psalm 47: 7-8

Okay, now I'm going to take a deep breath and turn on the TV. It's almost 5 PM and the polls are closing in the east. Because I can look at this important event through the prism of faith, I will relax - well, sort of, I'm human after all! It is so hard to 'walk in faith', I know that. But during the times of disappointment and chaos in our life, knowing how to do this is what gets us through the storm and  into the son-shine!

Lord I know so many prayers have touched you today. I'm sure you'd like to personally respond to each one with an explanation of why You do what You do. We'll know someday and in the meantime Lord, keep us focused on your ever-present love and sovereignty. You know what it's like down here Lord, promises are broken and we can't trust anyone but YOU. I will not be shaken because you are at my side!


       





Tuesday, October 25, 2016

ALL ABOUT HALLOWEEN





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.



Thursday, October 29, 2015


HALLOWEEN AND CHRISTIANS

THIS IS A RE-POST FROM A YEAR AGO.


   This photo was taken early this month when I was visiting the beautiful Dallas Arboretum.









I've always enjoyed this explanation of what it's like to be a Christian.

JUST LIKE A PUMPKIN

Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God chooses you from His patch brings you in and washes all the dirt off. He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of fear, envy, hate, anger and disbelief. Then He carves a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.”

Many Christian parents wonder if they should celebrate Halloween with their children. We always have. We are not celebrating evil witches and scary monsters. We’re participating in a ‘holiday’ that is fun to prepare for – costumes and carved pumpkins, candy apples, carmel corn, and best of all, the adorable neighborhood children who come to our door in costume.

        If you explore the history of Halloween, you’ll find, like many other holidays, it has Christian roots. It’s difficult to pin down a date specific, but we can probably go back as far as the early hundreds. The Druids, who were priests of ancient Gaul and Britain, believed that witches, demons and spirits of the dead roamed the earth on the eve of November 1st. Bonfires were lit to drive away any bad spirits that might be present. To protect themselves, they offered treats, like candy. This is where the question 'Trick or Treat?' comes from. They also wore a disguise or costume to look like the imagined spirits so they wouldn’t be harmed. 
        Halloween is a fun event for children who love the mysteries of witches and gremlins and the excitement of being scared. What fun they have dressing up as a ‘make believe’ character, eating candy, and carving pumpkins into what we commonly call jack-o’-lanterns.
        Halloween is celebrated globally. Children in Britain and many other countries make their jack-o’-lanterns from turnips, here in the U.S. and in Canada, we use pumpkins. This time of year, you’ll find fields of beautiful round orange-colored squash, the symbol of fall and fun!
        Roman Catholic Pope Gregory IV authorized “All Saints Day” in 837. It’s been around a while! This day was set aside to honor all the saints who had no ‘special day’. Saints were known as ‘hallowed’ or ‘holy ones’ thus the name ‘All Hollows Day’. The night before this day was called, ‘All Hallows Even’ and eventually became shortened to Halloween.
        In 1978 my husband and I visited the Vatican in Rome. It was November 1st and we were in the center of the square waiting for the new Pope, John Paul II, to appear and address the crowd of about 100,000 people. He gave his short message in five languages. Very impressive! We were thrilled to be there, and were mesmerized by the beauty of the statues along the roofline of the building. They stood like soldiers guarding a palace. Suddenly we realized that we were among the few left in the square. It was a mystery to us how quickly everyone had disappeared. I’ll never forget that special ‘All Saints Day’ and how one hundred thousand people simply vanished in a blink of an eye. Or so it seemed.
        There are ways to accentuate the Christian heritage of this day. We’ve often made a little pumpkin sign that we plant by the front door that says “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” – Joshua 24:15. We’ve also included ‘JUST LIKE A PUMPKIN’ printed out on orange paper, with a pumpkin for decoration, and add this to their bag of candy. Our hope is that parents will read this, and those who don’t know the Lord will have a better understanding of Who He is, and what He’s done! So simple, so appropriate and so Biblical. Jesus permeates our life in ways we never think of or look for.

I thank you Lord that we can see your influence all around us and help us to be reminded that YOU are the genesis of our celebrations. Help us to find a blessing in Halloween.













Saturday, October 8, 2016

BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6 – 7

*If you don't read the rest of this blog, scroll down to the end and read the last paragraph - you'll be glad you did.

I recently took a medical test called a ‘MRI’. They slide you into a narrow tube and take pictures of the inside of your body. You have ear plugs because it’s a noisy procedure. I had extensive back surgery four years ago and they like to check and make sure that everything is still good. Some people feel claustrophobic while in this tube and get a little panicky. The technician asked me if I was “anxious”. I told him, “No, not at all; be anxious for nothing!” He looked confused, so I told him “That’s a Bible verse.” "Oh yes, where is that verse?" he asked. As the apostle Peter once said, it's always good to be prepared - I Peter 3:15.
        We have a lot of reasons to be up-tight and stressed out. Most of us suffer from anxiety from time to time, sometimes extreme anxiety. The Lord doesn't want His children to live like this. I've often written about the fact that believers should not use these two words - worry and fear. But we hear them all the time, "I worry about. . .", "I'm afraid that. . ." The Lord said we should start living here on earth as we will in heaven - anxiety free because we know He cares for us and is protecting us.
        Not only does God protect us, we can linger in the shadow of His wings. I made that statement once and a little boy asked me if God is a bird. A reasonable question for a five year old, after all, only birds have wings. Sometimes it's helpful to understand Biblical history in order to make better sense of Bible verses. Picture the Jewish priests of old. They wore a four-cornered garment around their shoulders that draped below their knees. The outer edges of this garment were fringed and the corners had tassels, tzitzit in Hebrew. The dictionary refers to these tassels as 'wings'. You can picture a rabbi raising his arms; a picture of a place to hide, be protected and spiritually healed.
        Recall the story of the women in Mark 5:25 - 29. She had "been subject to bleeding for twelve years." She'd suffered a great deal, been under the care of many doctors and spent all she had. She was desperate so when she heard that Jesus was near preaching and healing, she went to Him. She was familiar with this verse from Malachi 4:2
"But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will arrive with healing in its wings."
She had been given the faith to believe that this verse referred to the Messiah - Jesus. She knew if she could just touch His clothes, she'd be cured. . ."If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed."  Mark 5:28, and indeed she was. She was cured of her anxiety and illness. But important, she understood that Jesus had healed her spiritually and she was forgiven of all her sin and now would appear before God with no shame or condemnation. Romans 8:1
        As Job wrote in Job 1, Satan is roaming this world looking for those he can devour. Satan will attack us anyway he can and loves to see us upset and full of fear and anxiety. But we can live in amazing peace as we come to understand that God is sovereign and is working for our good. We can relax and know we are safe in Him. Our real life is hidden in Christ - Colossians 3:3.
        David wrote in Psalm 17: 8
"Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.. ."
        Going back to the 'do not be anxious for anything' verse, Paul was telling the believers in Philippi to bring their concerns to the Lord in prayer with an attitude of gratitude. This is the only way we can find true peace...and when we have peace, the rest of our life often falls into place. We are the 'apple of God's eye' and we can hide in the shadow of His wings!

        I can't end this blog without sharing a precious story I read some time ago and have never forgotten. A forest ranger was walking through an area that had been burned to the ground. He came upon a large bird with her wings spread out, dead, but the body was whole. What a sad sight this ranger thought. He poked the bird with a stick and her body crumbled apart as four little baby birds scurried away from beneath her wings. She knew danger was coming and spread her wings to protect her babies. She could have  flown away and saved herself, but she stayed there and died so her babies could live. It reminds me of Jesus on the cross - He could have saved Himself, but He withstood the pain, paid the price for our inequities, spread out His arms, and died so those who believe in Him could live. What an incredible love!

Thank you Lord for giving us a way to cope with this world and all the problems that come to us. Bring your truth to our hearts every time we stumble and become afraid. Let your peace wash over us.  



Saturday, September 10, 2016

THE ONE THING THAT NEVER CHANGES

I get very frustrated when something I've done dozens of times no longer works, at least not in the same way. I have added photos to my blog so many times but now I must  use a different system to download and store pictures I've taken on my phone. I must learn the new way and it's a struggle. This verse comes to mind. . . 

" Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
Hebrews 13:8

Praise God something is the same! I appreciate modern technology and see the value in trying my best to 'keep up'. I take issue with constant change however - how are we supposed to have a sense of calm and peace when we can't count on stability in our life? When things are in a constant state of flux - I lack confidence. Do you? And this is exactly the time we need to cling to the One who is stable - Jesus Christ.

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock in whom I take refuge. . .my stronghold."
Psalm 18:2

I find great comfort in knowing that I worship the God who never changes, the alpha and omega - beginning and the end. Our human relationships are based on behavior - if someone does all the right things, behaves in the way we want and shows us love, we love them back, if not, we don't. God's love never fails. Sometimes we don't judge His acts as loving but we know ultimately, they will be for the best. This is when we walk in faith and trust in the character of God. In  I John 4, we are told "God is love" - by faith, we can believe this - always.

There are some things about me, and you, that will never change in God's view and the way He sees us, His beloved child.

I AM ACCEPTED. . .

I have been justified - Romans 5:1
I have been bought with a price. I belong to God - I Cor. 6:19-20
I am a saint - Ephesians 1:1
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins - Colossians 1:14
I am complete in Christ - Colossians 2:10

I AM SECURE

I am free forever from condemnation - Romans 8:1-2
I am assured that all things will work together for good - Rom 8:28
I cannot be separated from the love of God - Romans 8:35
I am confident that the good work that God has begun in me will be perfected - Philippians 1:6
I can find grace and mercy in time of need. - Hebrews 4:16

I AM SIGNIFICANT

I am the salt and light of the earth - Matthew 5:13,14
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm - Ephesians 2:6
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit - John 15:16
I am God's workmanship - Ephesians 2:10
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me - Phil.4:13

What you believe about yourself and your relationship to God determines your behavior, joy and peace.

Lord, when I get super frustrated please remind me that I am your child and you are my rock and protection - the same today, yesterday and forever.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

THE SHEEP OF HIS PASTURE

I looked out the window to the scene below as the plane landed at the airport in Glasgow, Scotland. I saw beautiful rolling shamrock green hills dotted with sheep and couldn't help but think of this verse in Psalm 100:3. . .

"Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture."

Psalm 100 is very short - the shortest psalm in fact. You might want to read the whole thing, all five verses. You'll be glad you did.

Sheep without a shepherd are usually in trouble - sort of like us humans. We're often in turmoil and forget that we have our very own shepherd who loves us and is able to lead us out of our present dilemma so we can leave the mess behind and enjoy greener pastures.

At the Glasgow airport, our group of writers were met by smiling  Peter Murphy. Peter, founder of 'Murphy Writing of Stockton University' in New Jersey would lead our workshop for the next several days assisted by his helpful, efficient daughter, Amanda. We all boarded a bus and headed for Dundee. I enjoyed the beautiful scenery along the way. This would be our home for the following week - the University of Dundee. Dundee is a lovely place spread along the River Tay. The University sits atop a hill and flows into a small town with plenty of all you need, pubs, restaurants, shopping, and a very nice museum. We stayed in the dorms - they call them 'flats' - and had the choice of walking up a very steep hill, or climbing 105 steps everyday to our classroom at the university. It crossed my mind that I might be getting too old for this kind of strenuous activity, but I did it and no doubt am better off for it!

We were a varied bunch - varied in age, where we came from, careers, faith, politics, writing experiences, etc. But somehow with all the differences we were able to meld into one group, supportive of one another, complimenting one another. We were also blessed with a 'faculty' of talented, capable and caring people who assisted the class. This we had in common - the love of writing. I'll always remember my classmates and wish there had been more time to hear their stories.

I am a wanderer at heart and was so happy for the opportunity to do some sightseeing, together as a group and independently. What a thrill to visit beautiful Edinburgh and explore the 11th century castle which was used as a fortress and involved in many historical conflicts. If you are a fan of the TV 'Outlander' series, the story of the Jacobite Rising in 1745, you'd be interested to know the involvement of this historic castle/fortress in this event. I could  picture Jamie and Claire there! Even though I've never been a Harry Potter fan, I must admit that I enjoyed visiting the Elephant House Coffee Shop where J.K. Rowling wrote her first Harry Potter book. Edinburgh is absolutely a charming place.

St. Andrews was another thrill. This famous school of royalty was birthed in 1413. The prized golf course, home of so many distinguished tournaments, is like an oasis on the sea, sandy beach and all. It's simply stunning. The buildings spread through a rambling campus. Prince William and Princess Kate of England attended this school together. I so wish my late husband could have been here with me - being a golfer, he would have loved it.

I spent a couple of days in Glasgow, then flew to Dublin, Ireland - another place I've never been and home to many famous writers - George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, and William Butler Yeats. I saw a big sign in the airport which said. . .

"We don't travel to escape life; we travel so life doesn't escape us."

Amen to that! Travel is so very enriching and I thank the Lord profusely every time He sends me on a trip. In fact, I have a favorite travel verse that I find very comforting.

"My presence will go with you and I will give you rest."
Exodus 33:14

I feel safe anyplace in the world because I know the Lord is always with me, wherever I am. I've discovered that the best and least expensive way to see a city is to get a 'Hop-On, Hop-Off' bus. It'll take you to all the sights and places of interest and there will be someone on board, or a tape, that will give a running commentary of information. I was in Dublin three days and spent two of them hopping on and off buses.

I was so excited to be on the campus of Trinity College established in 1592 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First in order to provide a 'Protestant' influence. It's so beautiful. I stood in line a very long time along with a constant growing group of people, hundreds I'd say, to see the 'Book of Kells' exhibit. This is a precious book written around 800 A.D that contains the four gospels, written by hand in Latin by monks and beautifully illustrated with amazing vivid colors, and perfectly preserved. The fact that all these people, day after day, stand in line for hours to see a copy of the gospels from the Bible in a language that most cannot read, does not escape my notice. Sometimes we're led to believe that there isn't much interest in the God of the Bible anymore - I've witnessed  much evidence that this is not true.  

After viewing the Book of Kells exhibit, I found my way to the old original library into what they call the 'Long Room'. It took my breath away! The room is 65 meters long, contains over 200,000 of the library's oldest books stacked two stories high with a beautiful barrel-vaulted ceiling and marble busts lined up on both sides - Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Homer, - we know these guys! I stood there, enthralled.

I made a stop to an interesting museum in a park-like setting outside of the downtown area and saw the original painting by Spanish artist Salvador Dali - 'Christ of St John of the Cross' painted in 1951. This oil on canvas has become quite famous because of the unusual perspective; looking down from above at Christ on the cross.

I visited St. Patrick's Cathedral. St. Patrick wasn't buried there; his grave is in Northern Ireland. Guinness, the man who started the brewery and supplies thousands (or is it millions?)of gallons of beer to the world every day, paid to restore this old cathedral which was built around 1220 A.D. Within these walls is the large stone that was found under the well where it's been said St. Patrick baptized people. The guide on the bus said that there were both Catholic and Protestant churches in the Dublin area and also the church of the 'Born-Agains'. He said this was the most active and attended church in this part of Ireland. This is true in the U.S. also.  Praise the Lord, we are moving away from 'religion' and seeking a 'relationship' with Jesus!  This is exactly why I write this blog, to encourage this transformation of thinking. 

On my last day in Dublin - I stayed at a B&B in Donnybrook a few miles from city center - I was getting a little tired, so much walking, mostly on uneven surfaces. It started to rain, about 5 PM. I was in an area of pubs and ducked into 'The Bank on College Green'. Again, it almost took my breath away! Such an exquisite  building; at one time a bank. I sat down and looked at the menu. There was a list of whiskey's, yup, Irish whiskey! I had to chuckle when I saw 'Writer's Tears' and would love to know the genesis of the name. I had a bowl of steaming hot seafood chowder, super delicious...ahh, kismet! This was a great way to end my short stay in Dublin.

I need to end where I begin, Psalm 100. . .

"For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." Vs. 5

Thank you Lord for allowing me to go on this wonderful trip, meet such interesting people, be inspired to be a better writer and see more of this lovely world you have made for us - the sheep of your pasture.



Sunday, July 24, 2016

ONE WAY ONLY - GOD'S WAY

I'm in the midst of gathering together things I need to take on my trip to Scotland. I'm also trying to gather my wits and focus on what must be done before I leave. I'm not a detailed oriented person, so I depend on the Lord - a lot.

Even though I'm a bit frantic at the moment, I've learned something the last few years since I started writing a Bible blog - when the Lord makes known that He has something for me to say, I'd better drop everything and sit down and write.

"My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer."  Psalm 45:1

Well, I don't always feel that "my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer" so the purpose of this trip to Scotland is to attend a writer's work shop at the University of Dundee which is close to the North Sea, not far from the famous St. Andrews and Edinburgh. I've never been to this country and am so grateful for this opportunity.

We live in a dangerous world. Actually, one way or another, this world has always been dangerous. Sometimes I resist turning the radio on in the morning, afraid I might hear there has been another terrorist attack or that more American policemen have been killed.

Many turn to a 'higher power' during times of stress and worry and search for enlightenment. You won't often hear a Christian talk of being 'enlightened' even though we have come out of the dark and into the light. John wrote in I John 1:5 - 8.

"God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. . .if we walk in the light, as he is the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 

If you're like me, you need to read these verses many times to grasp the significance of what God is teaching us. God is the light and if we walk in His light, the blood Jesus shed on the cross will purify us from all sin. Not just some sin, all sin. I realize to an unbeliever, this sounds a bit bizarre, foolish even - see I Corinthians 1; you won't feel alone. True 'enlightenment' comes from Jesus, just Him, He made it easy for us!

After we die, and we all will die at some point unless we're caught up in the rapture, we will be judged. What is God going to judge? Just one thing, if we believe in Jesus as our Savior. Those who don't believe will be judged by the law and their good works and none will stand. Christ fulfilled the law for those who believe - Scripture says "Christ is the end of the law". . .Romans 10:4. Paul wrote to the Galatians - "Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law." . . .Galatians 3:24 We are saved by God's grace - Ephesians 2:8 - 9.

We also need to be aware that Satan is real and always looking for those he can deceive - from the beginning he's been a liar who steals or distorts the truth. He is also clever and doesn't show his real colors. If he did, we'd recognize the devil and flee from him. So he comes in disguise.

"And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light."  2 Corinthians 11:14

"An angel of light" looks good, appears to be good, but is wicked and full of lies.

This might be a good time to mention a book I've been reading. It was written by a grandson of Billy Graham, Tullian Tchividjian, JESUS + NOTHING = EVERYTHING. If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we will have eternal life with God. This is the only way we attain eternal life. Jesus is all we need.

It's all about Jesus and what He did on the cross for those who believe. But we want to make it about us and what we do. As Paul wrote in Romans 11:5 - 6, addressing the Jews to clarify that it isn't their 'religious' works that please God and will usher them into heaven, but rather God's grace toward them. Furthermore, grace and works don't mix; it's one or the other - one way, God's way!

"So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would not no longer be grace."

Take note of this verse; you won't hear it recited very often. You will hear that you must accept Jesus and go to church, study the Bible, tithe, work in the Sunday school or help pass out food to the needy - or any number of other things. You probably will do many of these things because God has put His Holy Spirit in you and this will be your natural desire - to help others and shine God's light wherever, and whenever you can. God has a purpose for each of us, but these works can never 'save'.

I want to mention a great movie - a history of American Politics - the good, bad and ugly! If possible, go see 'Hillary's America' in a theater near you. You can also buy the book, same title as movie, written by a Christian, Denish D'Souza. It's a great re-cap of American history told with honesty and reveals truth that many don't know, but certainly should know. Also, check out my books on Amazon, available very inexpensively as e- books too. . .

BLOGGING GOD'S WORD
Seeing Ourselves Through God's Eyes

THE GOD WHO SEES ME
A Collection of Blogs

HOW IS THE DAY?
A Mission to Africa

Lord thank you for the opportunity to write in Your Name - the 'I Am', the 'Alpha and Omega',  - beginning and the end, Almighty God. Thank you for all You will teach me and show me on this trip to Scotland and Ireland. In Jesus name. . .the only way to You.