Chaff in the Wind

Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. Psalm 1:4-5 NIV

Do you look at another to be the judge of where they might stand in the eyes of God? I sometimes can judge others without even realizing it. I click a share button, or comment on a post to voice my opinion. Most times I try to give a positive post to change the atmosphere, but am attacked with rebuttals, which I don’t answer. We are a sinful and judgmental society. Some are always looking for something to use to condemn another’s life. We come by it naturally, because of Adam and Eve. They placed sinfulness in our lives that hasn’t stopped.

Jesus changed that. He came to help us through our sinful moments. I have to admit I have used words like crazy and nuts pertaining to some of our women leaders in the government. I could have said she needs help. I have to watch my words in the future, but still get my point across. Sometimes it’s so hard because my emotions get in the way. God is our way out of this sinfulness. When we reach for the share button and hesitate, don’t share. Realize that God is giving you guidance. You can ignore Him and be the chaff in the wind, if you feel compelled. If want to comment and can’t find uplifting words, don’t use any. We need to try the rest of Lent to change our language, ourselves, and others. Let’s see if we can make a change. You might be only one person, but it will spread.

Lord help us to change our words to help others change their words. Nudge us to do the right thing in this electronic age. Help us to lift others up instead of tearing them down. Amen

Share Your Bounty

Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Isaiah 58:6-7

 For a while, I found it  so hard to figure out where to share food. I Each day I read or hear on the news that hundreds of thousands or millions were stolen from charities (like Haiti). I am afraid I no longer give monetary gifts to organizations that provide food. This is a hard thing to admit. However, God does not want me to  stop helping, but does want me to be wise with my money. Throughout the years I  have worked in food pantries and given faithfully to organizations. I tried to reach out and do the right thing. I had gotten disillusioned and felt a despair. It upsets me and I began to feel what’s the use? 

Do you find it hard to figure out where to share with others because of other’s greed?  However, it’s especially hard  for people during all the holidays. Many elderly, shut-ins, and people on low incomes find it hard to enjoy the holidays. We all have food banks in our communities, so this is an easy answer to sharing food. Many stores have great sales on canned veggies and fruits. Rice a Roni, Noodle Roni, mac and cheese, jello, pudding and all sorts of other inexpensive items can be purchased. I give my self a limit and see how much I can purchase. I never forget the goodies because they always make the body feel good. Time is getting short, so go out as soon as you can. I’ll be going out this week, or it won’t get to the pantry in time for Easter distribution. God did it with only five loaves and two fishes, surely we can spare a five cans or two boxes of food. These too will multiply.

Lord help us to give to others without resentment and despair. Help our gifts to be multiplied ten fold. Help our friends to enjoy our gifts and have a wonderful Easter. Amen

Fourth Sunday of Lent

He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.” So some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath.” 

This struck a cord with me because no matter how much good I try to do, or how much I try, there’s always someone ready to find fault. It can be an innocent opinion I give, which I never allowed myself to do before. Someone always jumps in and criticizes me. Once a criticism is thrown out to the world, it’s hard to take it back. When I try to explain, they make it a cover up. A lot of things are on  the internet right now angering everyone. People’s reputations are being torn apart. Jesus performed miracles and because he did, he was feared. All that was seen was that he broke a rule.

With all the rhetoric that is being thrown around on the internet, do you find yourself being drawn into the divisiveness. I sometimes do, but try to be respectful, or just share the post I’ve received without a comment. I try to comment sparingly. If like me you have fallen into this trap periodically make sure you have all the facts before you pass it along. We can’t even say we saw it on the news. We’re finding out the news can be bias too. Don’t be like the Pharisees and wash out the goodness by repeating the bad.We need to wash the clay from our eyes, so we can see the goodness in life once again. Use the rest of the Lent season to help wash away your biases.

Lord we pray for you to help us be aware of the goodness in the things around us. Remind us to live in each moment with  goodness. Give us strength to not be like the Pharisees by putting down the goodness of others. 

But Lord, Forgiving is Hard


 

 

 

 

“Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive?” —Matthew 18:21

I try to be a forgiving person because I know I definitely need be forgiven at times. Right now I need forgiveness from a dear friend. I hurt her heart and it doesn’t seem to be mending. I have come the conclusion it may never heal. I will have to accept that and remember the good memories I have of her. I do not want to harbor anger toward her. However, no matter how hurt we may be, we are called to be a forgiving people.

If you have been hurt by someone and are harboring anger and hurt, please reach out to them. If distance is a problem like mine because I live in NYS and she in Washington State, try hard, but distance makes it harder. She will always be part of my family and long distance separation has caused a break in our communication. Speaking on the phone doesn’t give us the opportunity to read into another person’s feelings. Opening our hearts and hands to others automatically leaves us susceptible to misunderstandings, but shouldn’t lead to breaks in a life long relationship. God understands that forgiving is hard, but is important for people, that’s probably why he asks it of us. He forgives our sins, can we do any less?

Lord help us to give the compassion that we expect from others. Help us to be a forgiving people and to forgive others without reservation. Help us to show the love for others that you showed on the cross, as you forgave the thief on the cross and those that crucified you. Amen

What Distractions are in your Life?

Stay true to what is right for the sake of you own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you” (1 Timothy 4:16).

There’s so much going on in our lives, it’s easy to get distracted. When we’re trying to build up  our careers, our families, even our finances, it is so easy to get sidetracked. It’s important that we keep the most important things in focus.

If we want to fulfill God’s calling for our lives, we must refuse to be diverted, particularly by advances made by the enemy. Right now I find Facebook a distraction. I can’t seem to get away from the election and all the fallout. God wants us to be informed, but not to pass on the hate-filled posts that are appearing on Facebook. The posts anger and disappoint me.  I joined Facebook to keep in contact with other writers, as an outlet for my web posts and keeping in contact with friends and family.

 The Bible tells us, “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching.” Are we living by our teachings when we repost vile and nasty things. How can we think we are a good example to anyone who reads our posts. I have fallen prey to reposting something I felt was important, only to get attacked. I didn’t write the post, I just shared a link. It’s so easy to push that share button. I reposted something tonight and decided it was a bad idea. Maybe for Lent we should give up sharing all political posting. For Lent get our minds on God, how we can make things better and pray for guidance to do it.

Lord give us the strength and courage to not answer a negative post. Give us the courage, no matter how much a post aggravates us to be strong and not press the share button. Let there be peace and let it begin with us. AMEN

Miriam Part 1 ~ Devoted Sister

Now available for pre-order!
Available now at the special price of $0.99 cents for pre-order.
The price will go up shortly after release on 6th March. Please tell your friends and family!
 I’m sure most of you know about Miriam, the little girl who watched over her three-month-old brother as he sailed in a basket boat on the crocodile-infested River Nile. We’ve probably also heard the story of the Hebrew boy who grew up in an Egyptian palace. But during that time, what was happening to his sister, Miriam?
This book is the 3rd in the “Out of the Shadow” series. Miriam lived her entire life under the shadow of her little brother, Moses. Join Miriam as she steps out of that shadow and develops her own God-ordained leadership role.

Written in creative non-fiction, the story stays close to the biblical narrative> Enjoy getting to know Miriam as she grows from that little girl into a strong leader of God’s people. See her reactions to the plagues sent by God to the Egyptian Pharaoh. Watch her as she joins the Children of Israel in the excitement of preparing for a journey that will last for the rest of their lives.

If you have ever felt inadequate, if you battle inferiority because you are a woman, or if you feel unable to make good decisions, you need to read his book! God made us as we are, because man needed us! (Don’t believe me? Read Genesis 2:18.)

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Naomi – Beloved Mother in Law
Naomi had a lot to be bitter about. Moved from her home to God’s “scrub bucket,” she lived for years in a foreign and idolatrous land. She experienced several devastating losses before she made the first of many huge decisions.If you’ve faced tragedy, been terrified of the future, or faced overwhelming decisions, this is the book for you.

Eve – Mother of All. We have all heard of Eve, the very first woman who was created in God’s own image. She lived in a beautiful garden, the Garden of Eden, and she was married to the first man, Adam. She lived a perfect life in an idyllic setting. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long.

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by your situation, or faced seemingly impossible challenges, you will identify with this woman who had no mother, sister, or even a female friend.

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First Sunday of Lent

At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry Matthew 4:1-2 NIV

Well it’s the first Sunday in Lent. Have you been successful in choosing a tasty delectable to give up for Lent or chosen to do some good for others? I’ve decided to do both. I’m not bragging. At my age I figure I better double up on my penance. I was going to give up only Doritos. They are my all time favorite snack, but I was afraid I would substitute one of the many other crunchy, chip type snacks, so I’m giving up all salty crunch snacks. I’ll have to give the bag I opened last night to my nephews. Hmm, I wonder if the chips will get stale over the forty days. It’s not going to be easy; no matter what cart I pick in the grocery store, it seems pull me toward the snack isle. I’m older and weaker, but during Lent I’ll rely on prayer. Lots of short prayers in the grocery store. This will help me feel God’s nudge and he will help me to succeed.

Do you have time for every activity under the sun, but think it’s silly or old-time to fast during Lent? If so, please take the time to time to pray and act on that prayer. This Lent season reflect on who you are as a Christian. God is always calling you or me to go out and do something. We don’t because we feel we don’t have the time. Other times we may feel a nudge to pray and spend time alone with God and don’t. If God calls us, who are we not to answer. It doesn’t have to be hours of prayer, just spend some time with Him. He has a lot more to do than we do, especially now days. If He’s willing to spend time with us, who are we to ignore His nudges. He will supply the time and strength to answer His calls on us. During our Lent fasting, its a great time speak to God and ask him where he’s calling. Watch each day as he leads you to help another or spend time with him. Remember our fasting and praying is nothing compared to what he gave for us.

Lord help us to use this Lenten season wisely. Help us to grow and change. May our prayers be the catalyst to help others and our country. May our prayers ensure us of a future for our children and grandchildren.

Ash Wednesday

 

and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” Ezekiel 9:4

I didn’t think I would find a scripture for Ash Wednesday, but I did. In biblical times ashes were a symbol of mourning and penance. By having their foreheads marked with the sign of a cross it symbolized that they belonged to Jesus Christ, who died on the Cross. Today is the first day of Lent.  As a Christian, I will go to mass and receive ashes on my forehead. However, I never knew the palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday service were saved and burned to produce ashes for this service. As an adult, I’d never seen this done or knew about it. When my girls were altar servers (which was a long time ago) was the first time I experienced this event. It really made receiving ashes more personal. Rituals bring the meaning of things together for me.

You know receiving ashes is a sign of penance or admitting we are sinners. It also means we are sorry for our sins. You learned that as a child. However through all our sadness over our sins today, remember today also symbolizes we belong to Jesus, who died on the cross. Belonging to Jesus should lighten it up a little. Let our prayer services, fasting and good deeds during Lent help us draw closer together. We should use our fasting and praying during Lent as a way to bring our families, friends, and country together. The small things you give up for Lent or the good deeds we do can never repay what Jesus did for us. During mass, we will receive ashes with the sign of the cross. As I learned years ago, the mark on our forehead is an outward sign of our sinfulness. Remember, if  along with God’s forgiveness, we forgive ourselves, we will become different people, as we go through the Lenten Season. We could possibly turn things around in our country.

Father God, as we start out our Lenten season hear our prayers and accept our fasting for our families and our country. Help us to keep our Lenten promises to you. Give us the grace and strength to get through these trying times. We ask you this in Jesus’s name. Amen