Does anyone listen anymore & May Scripture Writing Plan

not-listening

Sometimes I wonder. I just wonder what kind of people we are becoming.  Raising a generation on technology.  Our cell phones, for instance.  You don’t have to know much of anything going out into the world.  Why?  Because you can call anyone at any time & find out what to do.  How many times has my 12 year old puzzled me to the point my knee jerk reaction is “Google it.”  Not to be confused with it’s close cousin “Googol”, which if I remember correctly from 7th grade math class, that a googol is a 1 with 100 zeros behind it.  And not JUST an internet sensation that I am mainly dependent on for vast amounts of knowledge.  Just a little history lesson on math.  Bet you don’t get that often.

ANYWHOO- There are many times that I personally may not hold myself responsible for listening as closely as I need to because why? I can call or text at any time & find out what that person said.  Perhaps for example when my sweetie is giving me his grocery list, as I head out the door, I may or may not listen as intentively as I could, because, well you know, I have a LOT of other things I need to be remembering right then.  I know once I get to the Kroger, I can text him & find out everything he told me, plus some other things he forgot.  Sometimes I wonder, do I do this with God, too?  Am I guilty of not listening, not heeding the warnings of sin, until I get into a fix, then I start trying to pray my way out of it?  Then, I have time to listen & talk to God.  I believe that is why we should daily stay in contact with God.  I feel like if we are listening to the Lord, by studying our Bibles & talking to Him through prayer, we will have little time to be judging, looking down our noses at others, & fault finding.

Solomon had some beautiful words about listening in the book of Proverbs-

Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel

Proverbs 19:20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days.

And this wonderful piece that is titled “The beginning of knowledge”

Proverbs 1: 10-19

My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait to shed blood;
Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause;
12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,[a]
And whole, like those who go down to the Pit;
13 We shall find all kinds of precious possessions,
We shall fill our houses with spoil;
14 Cast in your lot among us,
Let us all have one purse”—
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them,
Keep your foot from their path;
16 For their feet run to evil,
And they make haste to shed blood.
17 Surely, in vain the net is spread
In the sight of any bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood,
They lurk secretly for their own lives.
19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain;
It takes away the life of its owners.

How relevant is that over 3,000 years later?  We should listen & stay away from sin, as much as possible.  I truly believe staying in God’s Word is one of the most important ways to keep listening.

May Scritpure Writing Plan English

My sweet friend Shannon, over at Sweet Blessings, said I could share her scripture writing plans.  This is the one for May.

If you get a chance, go on over there & let her know what a “sweet blessing” she is for creating these scripture plans.

Y’all, I have so much to catch y’all up on.  I will be back with pictures, before long!  Until next time, I should be going, because I should be washing clothes.

 

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What to do if someone is drowning & how I am getting ready for a wedding

Drowning

It has been said when rescuing someone from drowning, to approach them from the back.  Because of their panic, if you come at them from the front, they could grab you & pull you down with them. Fear & panic can cause you to think & act unwisely.

As Christians, I think this is the same thing that happens to us sometimes.   We get news that times are a changin’ & we panic.  Bless our hearts.  We start saying things that are not uplifting.  We start acting like we know it all & are sooo much better than what is going on that we forget.  We forget that we are those same sinners that need forgiveness.  Still.  Ya’ll, just because someone is different, than we are, does not give us the right to judge.  We should not spew hate.  Are we not still the same group of people that are supposed to be leading people to Jesus?  Not sending them running the other way.  We, as Christians, have such a terrific opportunity to tell others the truth about what the Bible says about sin.  Let’s not mess it up.  We need to be sure we season our words with grace.  We need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.  I was reading in Romans 1 about what the God inspired apostle Paul said about sin.  He laid it down pretty simple about the wicked & Godless people:

Romans 1: 26-27

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.(NKJV)

But he didn’t stop there.  He also called out some other sins.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.(NKJV)

This covers about every sin there is.  He went from one end of the spectrum of envy & murder all the way to being unloving.  Did you notice he mentioned, disobeying parents & gossiping?

gossip

Do you know anyone that’s guilty of that?  Do you know anyone who gossips or stands by & listens to another person gossiping?  Ouch!  That hits close to home.  It’s sin, just like being a homosexual or murderer, according to the passage above.

The scripture goes on to say in Romans 2:

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? (NKJV)

The apostle Paul was talking to the church at Rome.  Christians that were passing judgment on those around them for their sins.  He was telling them they should not be judging others, because they too, were sinners.  We are taught the ONLY judgment we can speak of is a righteous judgment.

John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

I read an article the other day written by a person who was an active member of a church.  However, is not now.  He said a secret about a lot of people professing Christianity is that they don’t read their Bibles.  Oh they attend every service, warm their pew, give of their means, & sing loud.  But when they are faced with sin, they start going along with the crowd.  They agree to whatever the Christians are saying.  However, never opening their Bibles to see what God is really saying.

Listen folks, don’t take someone else’s word for what God’s commandments are. Make sure you know.  You are the only one responsible for you.

Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;(NKJV)

II Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.(KJV)

Timothy

I hope everybody has been having a good week.  It has been hot here & you know what?  That’s what it’s supposed to be for July in Mississippi.  But we are still just complaining away.  Now don’t that beat all?  At least it will hopefully not be SO hot when my daughter gets married this fall.  I wonder if there is a way to look at the weather, that far in advance?We want some good weather so that everybody will be comfortable for an outside wedding & what have you.  Until next time, I pray you will stay out of the heat.  I will perhaps be sitting under the air conditioner, staying cool, while watching way too many episodes of “Say Yes To The Dress”.  HEY, we have got to do our research here.  And of course I will do all of this while I should be washing clothes.

biscuit love

Credits: Our Daily Bread, patheos, a happy lass, pinterest

 

Things we tell ourselves & chickens coming home to roost

Back last year, we had a student from Freed Hardeman University come to preach to us. He mentioned in his lesson, that he was learning Latin. He said it had given him a new meaning to how he understood the word of God. After services, I told him if he could explain to me what the apostle Paul was talking about in Romans 7, then & only then would I be impressed. We laughed, because at that time, Romans 7 was a mystery to me. Since then, I have done more study & have read different people’s views & have formed a conclusion about it. One of the verses has actually made more sense to me as of late.

Romans 7: 19 says For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil, that I do not want.

Everybody has a struggle. Whether it’s something that comes along from time to time or a problem we carry around every day. It’s there. Sometimes we try to tell ourselves, no one will ever know. Or it won’t hurt just this one time. Or it’s not hurting anybody but me. One of my favorites, that I tell myself,

“At least it’s not as bad as, insert some other sin here.”

But you know what? It’s still sin, so really put whatever you want there. God doesn’t like it.

It’s just so hard, though. I don’t wake up every day & say, “Well, let’s get to the sinnin’.” But, I am human. There are times I have to really focus & pray about not letting myself fall into a trap of gossiping, judging, being negative, saying hurtful things, keeping my nose in my own business and other various & asundry personality traits that my Mamaw warned me against practicing. My Mamaw was a wonderful Christian woman. She cautioned us about being ugly. She always said of someone who was behaving vicariously without regard of consequences-

Actual picture of chickens roosting for those who don't know, bless your heart.

Actual picture of chickens roosting for those who don’t know, bless your heart.

“Their chickens will come home to roost.”

Meaning what comes around goes around. You reap what you sow. Mamaw wanted us reaping good, not bad. So she would caution us about puttin’ on the dog. She didn’t want us trying to get above our raisings. She did not want us doing things we ought not. But if we did, she didn’t want us acting like we didn’t do it. She was all about everybody owning up to what they did. She spoke quite frequently to me about how it’s important to have pretty ways.

You know what? Even though I know I shouldn’t do something, whether my Mamaw’s direction is on my mind or the voice inside me saying, “This is not right,” it just happens. All my good efforts fizzle into a pile of well-intentioned intentions. I begin to feel like the apostle Paul- just sort of in a frenzy. I don’t want to act in a way that’s unacceptable to the Lord. But if there’s anybody out there to cut their nose off to spite their face, it’s me. I just have a way, of sometimes, you know, not shuttin’ up. Thank goodness I have a Lord that forgives pitiful people, like me. He’s just awesome like that. I know if I confess my sins, He is faithful & just to forgive my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9) Every. Day.

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today. It doesn’t matter what struggle you have. Take it to Jesus. He will help you. I promise! Your sins will never be too bad for him to forgive. I hope your week is starting out good. It was a sunny day in Mississippi & that’s always a plus! You take care & I will see you again soon. For now, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.

Photo credit: turbokitty.wordpress.com

 

Sin that can’t be forgiven

gift of forgiveness

Did you know there is sin that God can’t forgive?  Those sins are sins we don’t ask forgiveness for! Yes, God can forgive any sin there is known to man.  We have to bring those to him & ask forgiveness.  Otherwise, how does the Lord know we are truly repentant?  I want to share with you a personal story about a conversation I had with a loved one.  This is a story of repentance & forgiveness.

After much prayer & faithful patience, (What I really mean is sleepless nights, asking, “Why Lord?”, what could I have done to prevent this?, what can I do to help this?, slight wringing of hands, shortness of breath, and did I say A LOT of prayer??) I had a wonderful, uplifting, repentant, tearful & grave conversation with a loved one about the Lord.  This person had been out of church for some time.  They came to the realization, things in their life just wasn’t right.  They knew the only way to make it right was repentance.  Finally, they bravely took that step to say I am sorry, Lord, please forgive me.  Since that conversation ,this person has certainly been living up to a Christ-like standard. Just the other night I heard them say, “Things are so much better since I started back to church.  Everything just seems easier.  I am so much happier!”  Isn’t it amazing the peace you get from letting go of the sin that weights you down?  How many times do we keep ourselves from that happiness & peace?  All because of our stubbornness & pride.

Psalms 32 is a wonderful explanation to what this disease sin does to you & how you can get rid of it.

Psalms 32: 3 & 4 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.

When we don’t admit that we have sin, we wear ourselves out physically. We lose sleep, we can’t eat, we worry, we stress.  Wouldn’t it just be easier, just to admit our sin?  You would think.  I know personally,sometimes I get stubborn & try to dismiss things.  Or I make excuses to myself about it. However, I should know by now, life is circle.  What comes around, goes around.  You reap what you sow.  If I don’t confess my sins to the Lord, it’s not good.

Psalms 32:5 says this- I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

The Lord forgives me when I ask for it.  So, it’s probably a good idea to let go of my stubborn headed, I can do this myself attitude & humble myself- daily.  This means 1. having a humble heart to forgive others. 2. Having a humble heart to say I am sorry to others.  And by all means having a humble heart to keep my mouth shut so that I don’t have to worry about number 2.  Hurting feelings is like breaking a dish.  Sure you can pick up the shattered pieces & put it all back together.  No matter how hard you try to make it just like it was, it will never be the same.  That’s no excuse for not trying to make things as right as you can.  How can you ever be in a right state with God if you have those who you have hurt & are too prideful to ask for forgiveness?  Jesus says you can’t. 

Matthew 5:23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember your brother has something against you,

v. 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go your way.  First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Pretty self explanatory.  You do someone wrong, go make it right, so that you can stay in a right relationship with God.  Or if you know someone has something against you, no matter if it’s your fault or not.  Try to make it right.  But if you can’t move on.  Do not hang around to let those people drag you down in gloom & doom with them!  Ya’ll, it’s just not worth it!

That is all I am going to say about forgiveness from others, in this article.  I will post another time about what to do when you are at odds with others & you did nothing to cause it.  Because Lord knows it’s bound to happen.  Just keep an open line with God.  We all need forgiveness. Each. And. Every. One. Of. Us. (Bless our hearts!)  I am so glad you came by to visit with me today.  You always brighten my day.  I hope you have a wonderful rest of the day.  Make it happy!  As for me, I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

When God says apologies are not enough

Sometimes being sorry, for faulting someone, is just not enough. Let me explain myself. When you are hurt by angry words or when someone treats you unfairly, an apology can do wonders. However, forgiveness does not always put everything back together like it was before. Many people may feel that they can treat others with hatred & discontent-but should be put right back in good graces once they breath an apology. While apologies & seeking forgiveness for wronging someone is essential to mending relationships, sin in any form is at a cost. And yes anger & lashing out at others is a sin.

Let’s consider what the Bible teaches-

Ephesians 4:26 says this:

“Be angry and do not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”

On in verse 27 it says “ nor give place to the devil.”

Then on down in verse 31 the apostle Paul writes to the Ephesians,

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice.”

What’s the cure for anger? Verse 32 says,

“And be kind to one another , tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

There is a price for sin & not listening to God’s teachings. Take for instance, one of the most remarkable men of the Bible- Moses. In Numbers 12:3, it states “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth. Verse 7 of the same chapter indicates God saying Moses was faithful in all his house. Verse 8 says that God spoke to him face to face. God must have had a really high opinion of Moses. In Deuteronomy 34:10 it says But since then there was not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” Now, with all the wonderful things the Bible says about Moses, there was an incident that happened in Numbers 20 starting in verse 7, which God did not approve of.

Numbers 20:7 Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying v. 8 Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.

Moses took the rod, as He had commanded. Moses & Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock. Then for whatever reason instead of speaking to the rock, he struck the rock twice with the rod. And you know what happened after that? The water came out in abundance. Enough to give water to the congregation and their animals. It looked like everything went well, until the Lord had His say. If Moses did not think God would notice he disobeyed him, he found out pretty quickly, He was not amused. The Lord said in verse 12 to Moses & Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore, you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have promised.”

Moses picked right back up & kept on following God. In Deuteronomy 3:23-25 he pleaded with the Lord to see the promised land. Even with the faithfulness & forgiveness He bestowed upon Moses, because of his sin, He would not go back on His word. Finally, the Lord got tired of his apologizing, & angrily responded in verse 26 to Moses“Enough of that! Speak no more to Me of this matter.”

Moses was a great leader of the Bible. He wrote five books of the Bible. He was the deliverer of the Lord’s commandments which is thus referred to as the Law of Moses. This Law was what Christ lived under. However, because of his sin, he was not granted the gift of entering the promised land. Sin can be forgiven, however there is responsibility for those sin. Take for example someone who is a prisoner in jail.  They may truly be sorry for the things they have done.  God can forgive them.  However, they still have time to serve.  Somethings can just not be regained after sin. Many times things cannot ever be as they were before. God will forgive. However, people need to consider the damage, that can be done to others, before letting the devil have his way with their actions & words.

I believe we should all make efforts to right our wrongs. Especially in relationships. However, we should not be surprised when saying you are sorry does not put everything back together again. This is why we should consider the long lasting detriment sin can have. Perhaps this will be enough help us to bridle our tongues & be watchful of what we do. As a southern girl we are groomed to be mindful of someone else’s feelings. I can remember my mama teaching me to not say this or that or do this or that. Why? Because it might hurt a person’s feelings. Let’s do our best to be kind & tenderhearted to one another. That way, we don’t have to worry about making apologies.

 

I appreciate so much you stopping by to visit with me. I have to be going for now, because I should be washing clothes……….