Monday, December 20, 2010

Does anyone know what Christmas is all about?

That's Charlie Brown's question to the cast of the Christmas play he's directing.  Linus Van Pelt is the only one who gives the answer to Charlie Brown's question, which you will see later.  Let's start by taking a look at what Christmas is not.

Christmas is not about Christmas trees covered in ornaments and lights.  Christmas is not about expensive presents and gifts.  Christmas is not about Santa Claus and all his reindeer.  Christmas is not about eating lots of food and drinking oneself silly.  Christmas is not about lights and decorations.

So what is Christmas about, you ask?  Christmas is about the greatest miracle of all - God Himself coming to Earth in human form, to live among the humans He created.  The greatest gift of all is God giving Jesus to us.  Jesus came to Earth as a baby - the tiniest, most fragile type of human.  He was born in the humblest of circumstances, sharing living quarters with common animals.  His bed was a feeding trough lined with hay.  He was not born in the big city of Jerusalem, but in the small town of Bethlehem, as was prophesied.  There was no big announcement celebrating His birth, just a visitation by the angels to some shepherds keeping watch over their sheep at night.  One of the many names of Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and how appropriate that the first people to visit Him in the manger were shepherds themselves.

Speaking of the angels and the shepherds, let's watch Linus's answer to Charlie Brown:



Friend, if you are reading this and you have not yet repented of your sins and turned your heart and your life over to Jesus Christ, I implore you to do so as soon as possible.  Tomorrow is not promised to us; indeed, your next breath may very well be your last.  I pray you make the most important decision of your life for Jesus Christ.  If you do, this may be the most happy Christmas you ever have!

Thanks for reading!  Have a blessed Christmas!

Diane

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Window dressing

Do you attend one of those churches where the women wear designer clothes and carry designer purses?  Do you feel uncomfortable with it, like I do?  Does it make you feel like you're inferior since you don't have designer clothes and/or an expensive purse?

If you wear designer clothes and carry an expensive purse to church, think about what kind of message you're sending to someone who is visiting your church for the first time.  Are you implying that if they don't dress like you do that they won't be welcome in your church?

God looks at the interior, not the exterior.  What's in your heart is more important than what you wear or the purse you carry. In 1 Samuel 16:7(b), the Lord says to Samuel, "For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

A humble, God-fearing spirit is more attractive and more important than fancy clothes, fancy hairdos and jewelry or an expensive purse.  In 1 Peter 3:3-4, Peter says:  "Do not let your adornment be merely outward - arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel - rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."  In 1 Timothy 2:9, Paul also speaks to this issue.  He says: ". . .in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing. . ." For those who think they need to dress better than they normally do as a sign of respect to God, that's fine too, but you can pull it off without the designer clothes and the expensive purse.  Jesus didn't wear Birkenstocks, just regular sandals, and He didn't have a place to lay His head.

There is a difference between dressing modestly and nicely and dressing ostentatiously.  The former is pleasing to God, while the latter is showing off.  God is not impressed by fancy clothing.  It reminds me of the Laodiceans in the book of Revelations.  They acted and dressed like they were better than everyone else too.  But hear what Jesus says to the Laodiceans:  "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' - and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked - I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see."

If God has blessed you with wealth, you should share it with others in need.  Instead of paying $200.00 for a Coach purse, perhaps you could spend $20.00 for a Kmart purse and donate the rest to your church or to a charity.  Purses break and wear out, but good deeds performed for others in need will buy you rewards in Heaven, which is much more important.  In 1 Timothy 6:18-19, Paul says, "Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."

That's all for now.  See you soon!

Diane

Friday, October 29, 2010

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around

Have you ever heard someone say when they're asked where they're going when they die, "I'm going to Hell. All my friends will be there and it'll be a great party!"? Dude (or dudette), your friends may all be there, but it ain't gonna be no party. Let's take a look at what Hell is really like.

Hell is described as a place with everlasting fire (Matthew 25:41)and unquenchable fire (Matthew 3:12); a place of torment (Luke 16:23, 2 Thes. 1:9); and a place where there is a lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). Hell is a place of fire and brimstone (Revelation 14:10). People in Hell are tormented with fire (Revelation 14:10) forever and ever (Revelation 14:11). They are punished eternally (Matthew 25:45). Doesn't sound like a very fun place to spend eternity, does it?

There is only one way to avoid going to Hell when you die, and that is to repent of your sins and receive Jesus Christ into your heart as your Savior. When you repent of your sins and ask Jesus to live in your heart, His Holy Spirit will come and live inside you and change you. You won't change externally, but internally you will be a new creation in Christ Jesus. You will have a personal relationship with Jesus. Friend, I urge you today to turn your heart and your life over to Jesus. You won't regret it. The only time it's too late to avoid going to Hell is after you take your last breath. I look forward to meeting you in Heaven!

That's all for now! Thanks for reading! See you again soon!

Diane

Sunday, October 3, 2010

When the music fades . . .

>
I'm coming back to the heart of worship,
And it's all about you, it's all about you, Jesus.
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it,
And it's all about you, it's all about you, Jesus.

The refrain above is from a worship song called "The Heart of Worship" by Matt Redman. You can read the rest of the lyrics here. The Lord brought this song to mind when I woke up one day last week. I thought about the song for few minutes and realized why the Lord called my attention to it. The Lord was trying to tell me that worship should be simple.

Worship music shouldn't be performed like a Broadway production, on a big stage with fancy lights, stage decorations, fog machines, Power Point lyric slide shows with fancy backgrounds, a big choir, and lots of musical instruments. All those things are distracting to what really matters, which is praising the Lord with my whole heart, thanking Him for who He is and what He's done for me, and thanking Him for what he's going to do.

My family has been attending a non-denominational charismatic church for the past 5 years and their way of doing worship is just like the first line of the paragraph above. I was a member of that big choir for over 4 years until the summer of 2009 when the Lord told me I was burned out and I needed to take the summer off, so I did. At the end of the summer, I asked the Lord if I should go back to choir and He again told me no. I really haven't missed it at all. Choir took a lot of my time and my family was really getting annoyed at the time I was spending away from them.

I have been attending Sunday evening services at a local Calvary Chapel for the last few weeks (I've been trying to get my husband to switch to Calvary Chapel, but he's not ready yet. Prayers would be appreciated.) Worship is led by the pastor's wife, who sings and plays keyboard. Last Sunday, there were bongo drums accompanying the keyboard. There is no Power Point slide show, just a couple of printed lyric sheets. Since I already know most of the songs, I can just close my eyes and commune with the Lord while I'm singing. It has been so refreshing just to sit and simply sing while the keyboard plays, with no other distractions.

Not only should we make sure the surroundings of worship are not distracting, we should also look at the lyrics of the songs we are singing in worship. There are songs by Christian artists that may be perfectly good songs, but they are not worship songs. There are so-called worship songs that are what I call "cheerleader" songs – there is a fast beat that the singers jump up and down to and the songs have "feel-good" lyrics. These songs do not praise Jesus.

Worship is not just songs or surroundings, but an attitude of the heart. Matt Redman nails this in the bridge of "The Heart of Worship":

I'll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

Paul writes in Ephesians 5:18b-20: ". . . but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Now there's a recipe for true worship.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading! See you again soon!

Diane

Friday, September 24, 2010

Knock 3 times

Solid Brass Dook KnockerOn the CBS TV show The Big Bang Theory, Jim Parsons' character Sheldon Cooper has an annoying way of getting his neighbor Penny to answer the door.  He stands at her door and says, "Penny."  (knock knock knock) "Penny."  (knock knock knock) "Penny."  (knock knock knock).  Penny finally gets tired of Sheldon knocking and opens the door. His persistence gets Sheldon into Penny's apartment.

In Luke 11:5-8, Jesus tells the parable of the persistent friend who by continually knocking at his neighbor's door in the middle of the night, persuade him to get up and give him the loaves of bread that he needs to give to his visitor.  In Luke 18:1-5, Jesus tells the parable of the widow who hounds a judge to get her justice from her adversary and he finally does, because he is weary of her persistence.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:7, ""Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."

This has an application for us in our prayer life. We are to be persistent in prayer.  We need to keep praying until we get an answer to our prayers, whether the answer is "yes," "no," or "not  now." Hebrews 4:16 states "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."  So we should be bold and persistent in prayer.  That shows God that we really want what we're praying for.  I looked at my prayer journal this morning and I saw the date that I started it,which was 10/25/09.  There are still lots of needs that I'm still praying for, and I will keep praying until my prayers are answered or I leave in the Rapture, whichever comes first. 

That's all for now. See you again soon!

Diane

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Prime choice

Did you ever stop to consider that your life is filled with choices?  Everything that happens in your life is a result of a choice you have made, with the exception of being born (someone else's choice), paying taxes (the government's choice) or dying (God's choice, unless it's suicide - then it's your choice).

Every day starts with a choice - should I get out of bed when the alarm rings or call in sick to work?  Or should I hit the buzzer and sleep five more minutes?  You then decide what to have for breakfast, what to wear to work, etc.  Even if you're doing nothing, you have made a choice - you could be doing something.

Some choices are easy. "Should I have eggs or cereal for breakfast?" "Should I buy this car or that one?" Some choices are hard.  "Who should I marry?"  "Should I have children?" "Should I take my loved one off of life support?"

There is one choice that is the most important of all - where you will spend eternity.  Where will you go when you die?  There are two choices here - you can go to Heaven when you die, or you can go to Hell.  There is no purgatory or in-between.

So if you have decided that you want to go to Heaven when you die, there's only one way to get there - through belief in Jesus Christ as your Savior.  You have to repent of your sins and ask Jesus into your heart and let Him rule over your life. Jesus Himself said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me."

If you don't make a decision about where you want to spend your eternity, you have made a choice - you will go to Hell. If you have not yet made the choice to repent of your sins and ask Jesus to live in your heart, You can go here for details on how to do that.  I pray that you do so soon and not put it off.  As reflected in some of my other posts on this blog, you never know when your time on Earth will be up.  You will then wish for all eternity that you had made the right choice.

That's all for now!  Thanks for reading!

Diane

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

8 days a week

There are those Christians who only think about Jesus one hour a week, during worship.  They do whatever they want the other 167 hours of the week.  They seldom read their Bibles, they don't pray, and they don't live the way that Jesus would have us live. Even worse are those who only attend church on Christmas or Easter, and ignore Jesus the rest of the year.

But that's not how Jesus wants us to live.  He wants us to have a relationship with Him.  To have a relationship with someone means that we spend time with them.  We talk to the other person.  We try to learn all we can about the other person so we know them more and love them even more.  We want the other person to be pleased with us.

I'm sure Jesus is grieved when Christians spend only an hour a week in His presence, when they don't read and study His Word, or when they don't spend time in prayer.  He loves them and wants to be their Friend.  He misses them when they don't spend time with Him.

Take a close look at your relationship with Jesus.  Are you as close to Him as you could be?  Do you spend time in His presence - praying to Him, reading His Word?  Do you live your life so that He would approve of it?  He wants us to live by the rules He has written in his Word.  And when we fail, (as we sometimes do), He forgives us and our relationship with Him is restored.

The Beatles once sang:  "Eight days a week is not enough to show I care."  There isn't enough earthly time to tell Jesus how much we love Him, how grateful we are that He died on the Cross for our sins and that we're saved.  However, we will have all eternity in Heaven to praise Him and show our love to Him.  I can't wait - can you?

Diane

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dark clouds

Dark, Cloud-Filled Sky over Baranello and Surrounding Countryside Photographic Poster Print by O. Louis Mazzatenta, 24x32I was reading in 1 Kings 8 a couple weeks ago and discovered verse 12:  "Then Solomon spoke: The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud.'"  Then I thought about where else in Scripture the Lord is referred to as living in the dark cloud.  Exodus 20:21 (NLT) reads:  "As the people stood in the distance, Moses approached the dark cloud where God was." 

Are there dark clouds in your life, dear friend?  Are you depressed or anxious?  Do you have health problems? Do you have financial problems?  Are you unemployed?  Have you lost loved ones through death, divorce, or estrangement?

God is with you in these dark clouds as well.  In Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV), it says:  "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."  I also love Isaiah 43:2 (NKJV), which reads:  "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;  And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you."

This song by Mandisa says it all - "He is With You."



God loves you, so don't be afraid to reach out to Him in prayer for whatever situation you find yourself in. He will help you through it.  I know from personal experience.

That's all for now!  My son is at Boy Scout camp next week, so I hope to be able to post more.  See you soon!

Diane

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Paging the Ambassador

I was reading the other day in 2 Corinthians, and verse 20 in chapter 5 really caught my eye and got me thinking.  It reads:  "Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God." (NKJV).  The New Living Translation reads even better:  "So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, 'Come back to God!'”

So what exactly is an ambassador?  I looked it up at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary website and definition 2 A fits the above verse perfectly.  The definition is:  "an authorized representative or messenger."  Only a Christian can be an ambassador for Christ.  A non-believer in Christ does not qualify.

Definition number 1 listed for ambassador on the Merriam-Webster listing gives the definition of an ambassador in civil or governmental terms:  "an official envoy; especially : a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment."  The difference in our ambassadorship for Christ is that our diplomatic assignment is permanent, unless we backslide and move away from Christ.

Philippians 3:20 states that our citizenship is in Heaven.  "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. ." We are ambassadors of heaven, and the King we represent is Jesus.  So both Merriam-Webster definitions of "ambassador" fit. 

So how do we become good ambassadors?  Let's look at some Scriptures.  Colossians 3:12-17 (NLT) says:  "Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father." (emphasis added)

By putting on Christ in our daily actions and words, we are His ambassadors - or representatives - in the world.  Colossians 4:5-6 further states:  "Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone."  We are called to be ambassadors of Christ to not only our fellow Christians, but unbelievers as well.  It is said that we are often the only Jesus that some folks see.  So take a look at your attitude and demeanor and purpose to show to the world and to fellow Christians that you are an ambassador of Christ.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Peach Mothers Day Satin Roses Bouquet in VaseAs I stand by the graveside
I wonder what she would have looked like today
If she were still alive.

Would her hair be completely white?
Would her hair have been short?
Or maybe she would have had a perm in it.


Would her face have shown the lines of time?
Would her neck sag?
Would she still be fat and sassy?
Or would she be skinny
With atrophied muscles?

Would her mind still remember things?
Or would she have lost her memories
Of days gone by and loved ones
Lost to the sands of time? 

Would she still have been able to walk?
Or would she have to use a walker or cane,
Or be confined to a wheelchair
And allowing the wheels to be her legs.

Would she still call me on the phone
And demand that I come see her
Or take her out to lunch?

Alas, I will never know these things,
As she was only 66 when she passed away.
Taken by a returning cancer,
I prayed that if it were her time to go
That she would go quickly and not suffer too much or too long.
My prayer was answered.

As I stand by the graveside now
I wonder what my children think about me.
Do they love me? They have a funny way of showing it.
Will they in years to come
Remember me as the mother

Who did the best she could to raise them right?
Will they think of me as beautiful?
Worthy of their love and affection?
Only time will tell.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

7 is a serious number

Olde Old English Number 7 Vinyl DecalI was reading in 2 Kings the other day about how it took Solomon 7 years to build the Temple in Jerusalem.  Given today's building techniques, it would probably only take about 7 months! I then began to realize that the number 7 is seen many times in Scripture.

Many sources claim that 7 is the number of perfection, and since God is perfect, 7 is His number. Let's take a look at some of the many places that the number 7 is found in the Bible.

In the book of Genesis, we read that God created the earth in 7 days. (Genesis 1) In Genesis 4:15, the Lord decrees that anyone who kills Cain will be punished sevenfold. In Genesis 7:2, Noah is commanded to take seven of every clean animal into the ark.  Noah also sent out the dove in 7 day intervals.  (Genesis 8:10 and 8:12) There is also the 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine in Egypt, which Joseph interpreted from Pharoah's dream. (Genesis 41)

In the book of Exodus, the feast of Passover occurs for 7 days.  (Exodus 13:3-10)  The first reference to a week being 7 days is also found in Exodus, along with the pattern for the distribution and use of manna.  (Exodus 16)

In Leviticus 25, the land was to be fallow during the seventh year, so the land could have a Sabbath rest.  After seven 7 year cycles (7 X 7) there was then a year of Jubilee in the 50th year.

In Joshua 6, the walls of Jericho fell on the seventh day after the Israelites marched around the city seven times.

The book of Proverbs gives us two examples of the number 7.  Proverbs 6:16-19 lists the 7 things that are detestable to the Lord, and Proverbs 9:1 lists the 7 pillars of the House of Wisdom.

Daniel's prophecies about the end times are built on the number 7 and multiples of 7.  

There are many more references to the number 7 in the Old Testament, but now I'll move on to the New Testament, which also contains many mentions of the number 7.  In Matthew 15:32-37, Jesus took 7 loaves of bread and multiplied it, and there were 7 baskets of leftover bread.  In Matthew 18:22, Jesus says that we should forgive others not just 7 times, but 70 X 7.


In Acts 6:3-6, 7 men of honest report who were filled with the Holy Spirit and with wisdom were appointed to distribute the food to the widows.  In Revelation, we find references to the number 7 all through the book - the 7 churches of Asia, the 7 golden lampstands, the 7 spirits of God, the scroll with 7 seals, the 7 trumpets, the 7 angels with the 7 golden bowls with the plagues, and the 7 thunders.

There are many more references to the number 7 in the Bible and in Christian and Jewish tradition that I didn't even mention.  I don't want to do all your Bible research for you!  LOL!

Isaac Newton discovered that there were 7 colors in the rainbow, and since God created the rainbow, wouldn't you just know it would stand as a symbol of His perfection?

Full disclosure:  I adapted most of the above from the Wikipedia listing for the number 7, which you can find here. I also used BibleGateway.com for research into where the number 7 appeared in Scripture.

Thanks for reading!  Until next time -

God bless!

Diane

P.S.:  For those of you curious about the title, I borrowed it too.  The St. Louis area Mobil gas stations have a promotion where if the St. Louis Cardinals score 6 or more runs in a game, you can purchase a soft drink, a coffee, or a frozen drink for 25 cents the next day.  That promotion is entitled "6 is a Serious Number,"  hence my "7 is a serious number" title. 

    Friday, April 2, 2010

    What's so good about Good Friday?

    The Agony of Jesus Crucifixion KeychainIt sure wasn't a good Friday for Jesus.  He had a crown of thorns forced upon His head, and was scourged with a whip.  He was mercilessly interrogated by the religious leaders and condemned by those He came to save.  He was forced to carry His cross through the streets of Jerusalem after being beaten.  He was nailed to a cross, and His clothes were distributed to uncouth Roman soldiers by a game of chance.  He died a painful and horrible death.

    But it was a good Friday for us.  Because Jesus died on the cross, our sins are forgiven and we have eternal life. 

    In the Old Testament, animals were sacrificed so sins could be forgiven.  In the book of Genesis, the Lord told Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Issac.  The Lord was testing Abraham's faith, but Abraham obeyed.  As Abraham and Isaac was going to Mount Moriah, Isaac asked where the lamb was for the sacrifice.  Abraham said that the Lord would provide a substitute,  Abraham took Isaac, bound him, and place him on the altar.  As Abraham was about to slay Isaac, the Lord told him no.  He provided a substitute - a ram was caught in the thicket.    The Scripture state that the punishment for sin is death.  Jesus became our substitute when He died on the cross.

    Passover is a holiday celebrated by the Jewish people to remember how the Lord delivered Israel from the Egyptians.  A lamb is killed for the Passover meal.  Jesus became the Passover lamb for us when He died on the cross.  His blood was shed so that we would be passed over from the punishment of sin.

    I am sorrowful when I meditate on Jesus' death on the cross.  It saddens me that He had to die in such a painful way so that I could be forgiven.  It was because of me - and you - and you too - that He had to die in our place.  Yet Jesus knew that it was His Father's plan before the beginning of the world that He had to die, even though His human side pleaded with God that He wouldn't have to die such a painful death.  When I think about Jesus's death, it makes me want to be more like Him, so that His sacrificial death would not be in vain.  I am ever so grateful that He died for me.

    Friend, is Jesus your Savior?  Have you asked Him to forgive your sins and live in your heart?  Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart and is waiting for you to let Him in.  All you have to do is pray a simple prayer, like this:

    Jesus, I know I'm a sinner.  I repent of my sins and I ask you to come into my heart and live there forever.  Thank you for dying on the cross to save me from my sins.  Lord, help lead me and guide me for the rest of my days.

    Now that you've said that prayer, your life has been changed forever!  You are now a child of God!  Please post a comment and tell me all about it!

    That's all for now.  See you next time!

    Diane

    Monday, March 8, 2010

    Castaway all

    Hand Made in America Cast Your Cares Metal Bible Christmas Ornament
    “Cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NKJV)
    While I was in prayer one morning, the Lord impressed on me this verse.  He even told me that it was in 1 Peter, and I skimmed through 1 Peter but couldn’t find it, and I even skimmed 2 Peter, but still couldn’t find it.  So I went to my Bible’s concordance, and the verse was in 1 Peter all along!  God is so amazing! David also spoke of casting his cares upon the Lord.  In Psalm 55:22 (NKJV), David wrote, “Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”  
    “Casting” is a fisherman’s term, and so appropriate since Peter was once a fisherman by trade (before he became a fisher of men, that is).  Then and now, fishermen cast their nets into the water to catch fish.  Casting is a word that means to throw.  In the same way, we are to cast, or throw, all our cares on Jesus.  Not only is He our Savior, He is our Friend.  A friend cares about what another friend is going through.  A friend listens to us when we tell them about our troubles and tries to help us the best way they can.  Jesus is there for us whenever we need Him – He is but a prayer away. 
    When we cast our cares upon Jesus, we are to leave our cares with Him. It’s easy to cry to Jesus about all our troubles. But remembering to leave our cares and burdens with Him as we go about our daily business is the hardest part.  Only if He brings them to our attention another time are we to think on them again that particular day.  I pray every morning.  I have a list of people that I pray for, and prayers concerns for those particular people.  I have to remember however, that once prayer time is done, I need to leave my concerns and cares with Jesus for Him to take care of.  This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be persistent in prayer. We are to keep praying for a situation or person until our prayer is answered.
    So remember when times are tough and it seems like you’re at the end of your rope, Jesus loves you and is ready for you to cast your cares upon Him. He’s waiting for you right now.  Open your heart up to Him and tell Him about your concerns. 
    That’s all for now.  See you again soon!
    Diane

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Wherefore art thou, Spring?


    Although February has only 28 days (and some years, 29),
    The month feels twice as long
    Thanks to dreary, cold days
    Sometimes punctuated with ice and snow.
    The fourteenth of the month is a lover’s holiday
    But for those not in love, it is a lonely day.
    And on the second day, Punxsutawney Phil,
    That prognosticator of spring,
    Had the nerve to see his shadow once again,
    Cursing us with six more weeks of winter.

    But my soul longs for Spring,
    For warm sunshine on my upturned face,
    Bright green grass springing up from the cold, hard ground,
    And tulips and daffodils waving brightly in the gentle breeze.
    My heart longs for blue skies instead of gray,
    With puffy white clouds breaking up the blue.
    Leaf buds on barren branches,
    Signal the promise of leaves yet to come.
    Birds trill their joyful songs
    And build their nests in the tall tree tops.
    My body longs for warmer temperatures,
    So I can put away my winter coat
    And wear a light jacket, or if it’s warm enough,
    No jacket at all,
    So I can enjoy the breeze.

    Spring brings new hope and new life
    From the cold and barren winter.
    O calendar!  Make short work of these last few weeks of winter
    And bring me my heart’s desire of Spring!

    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives

    Reading about the stories here and here made me think a bit more about the last paragraph of my last post.  I felt those sentiments deserved some expansion. 

    Did that mother and those two children wake up that Saturday morning and know they were going to be dead by the end of the day?  Or those two men who were in that plane - did they think that would never see their loved ones again?  And on a bigger scale, on 9/11, those who worked in the Twin Towers or in the Pentagon, or who were passengers on those airplanes didn't know that they wouldn't be coming home that evening. It was just an ordinary day for them.

    Do any of us really know if we're going to wake up tomorrow morning? Will we be killed in an accident?  Or be murdered?  Or this country may even be attacked by an nuclear weapon.  Or the Rapture may occur and your loved ones who believe in Christ will vanish, leaving you behind.  These events that I just mentioned can happen so quickly that there is not even time to blink.

    If God decided that my days on Earth would be over, I have no fear.  I am ready to go whenever the Lord feels my time here on Earth has been completed because I believe in Jesus and if I died, I would be in Heaven.   I have confidence that should my life be over, I would not be lost for eternity. 

    Dear friend, if you have not yet repented of your sins and asked Jesus to be the Savior of your soul and of your life, I implore you to do so today.  If you need assistance, I would be more than happy to guide you.  Please leave a comment with your e-mail address and I will contact you.  Don't hesitate - tomorrow may be too late. 

    Saturday, February 13, 2010

    Every day is a good day


    My husband gave me a necklace for Christmas with a pendant attached that reads, “Each day is a gift from God.”   Not only is the messsage food for thought, but it’s amazing I got a necklace at all – it wasn’t even on my Christmas list! If you want to see the necklace, post a comment and I'll post a photo of it.  Until then, I found a journal (see below) with this title.
    God is the creator of time.  He created the sun and the moon so  there would be day and night.  The Bible also mentions months and years.  Each day is 24 hours long.  Assuming that you sleep 8 hours every night,  that leaves 16 hours for you to make a difference with.   
    This gift of today (and every day) from God is something that we can’t return to the store to get what we really want, or regift it to someone else.  It is ours alone, and it is our choice as to what to do with it.  So now that we realize that this day  is a gift from God, what will you do with it?  Will you spend the day helping others?  Will you spend the day working?  Instead of wasting the day doing nothing, you could help spread the Gospel.   Or you could spend quality time with your family.  The choice is yours.
    Only God Himself determines how many days we will live.  Someday, your days on Earth will be over and God will come to call you home.  When that happens, will you have made the most of the days He has given you?  When you see God, what will you tell Him about how you spent the days that He gave you? 

    Monday, January 25, 2010

    WWJT? (What Would Jesus Tweet?)

    If Jesus came to Earth today and lived among us, how do you think he would use today's technology to present the Gospel?  Would He have a web site - maybe named jesuschrist.com?  Would you be able to follow Him on Twitter?  Would Jesus share His parables via blog posts?  Would He friend you on Facebook?  Would Jesus put His prophecies on His Facebook wall?  Instead of praying to Jesus, would you be able to send Him an e-mail?  Would He have a YouTube channel?

    In Daniel 12:4, the man clothed in linen (most likely an angel) says to Daniel:  "But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."  Without a big increase in knowledge, we wouldn't even have computers, and without some brainy person inventing it, I wouldn't be even able to make this blog post, let alone put it out on the Internet for the whole world to see.

    The Internet is a great place to share the Gospel.  There are folks who might not ever pick up a book or know to look for a church.  But they know their way around the Internet, and they know how to search to find what they're looking for.  We are Jesus' hands and feet on Earth.  Since this technology is available to us, we should use it to the best of our ability to spread the Gospel.

    Because of TV, people have short attention spans.  People don't have the patience to sit through long sermons or books any more, even if it's a subject that interests them. So how do we use this technology to spread the Good News?   This blog is a great example.  Even though I have some poetry on here, there are a lot of posts that are Christian in nature.  I pray that these posts would help folks understand the Bible and faith better.   If you're on Twitter, you can tweet Bible verses. Start a YouTube channel of videos of Bible based pastors and good Christian music. Or you can set up a web site. Use your imagination! 

    Thanks for reading!  Have a great evening!

    Diane

    Friday, January 22, 2010

    Citygarden in Summer

    I wrote the poem below for a poetry contest.  I thought you all might enjoy it.  For more information on Citygarden, click here.

    Citygarden in Summer

    An oasis of green
    In the midst of hot concrete sidewalks
    And tall, imposing skyscrapers.
    A place to cool off physically and emotionally
    From the oppressive heat of the St. Louis summer.
    The sculptures stand stoically, inviting viewing and discussion.
    Tourists shoot photos of their children with the white bunnies.
    Children frolic in the fountains
    And wade in the reflecting pool.
    Workers sit on the snakelike benches
    And enjoy the scenery while eating their lunches.
    Children and adults as well
    Make melodies by dancing on the shiny square chimes.
    Beautiful flowers, towering trees and bushy shrubs
    Help make Citygarden an oasis of green in the hot city.

    Thanks for reading!

    Diane

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    In the storms of life

    Tonight's post is on Matthew 8:23-27 (NKJV).

    23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
    26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

    When we make the decision to receive Jesus as our Savior, we "get into the boat" with Him. We set off from the shores of our old lives to go on a faith journey with God.

    At first, it's smooth sailing. The seas of our faith journey are placid and the waves are gentle. But then storms come in our lives - job troubles, financial troubles, health problems, personal problems. We feel like the boat of our life is being swamped. Like the disciples, we cry out to God for help, but it seems like God's sleeping when He doesn't respond right away or He responds in a way we don't expect or want.

    We are fearful of the outcome of our difficulties. We want our will to be done and not God's. That's when our faith needs to be stronger. We need to spend more time in prayer with God, to hear His voice and listen to His guidance.

    Eventually, life's storms end. The seas calm once again. We look back at the storm we have gone through and see that God has been there through it with us through it all. And then we look ahead to the journey we have ahead of us and know that no matter what happens, God will be with us. We can praise Him during and after the storm.

    This post reminds me of the old hymn, "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me." Here are a couple of the verses (courtesy of Cyberhymnal.org):

    Jesus, Savior, pilot me
    Over life’s tempestuous sea;
    Unknown waves before me roll,
    Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
    Chart and compass come from Thee;
    Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

    When the darkling heavens frown,
    And the wrathful winds come down,
    And the fierce waves, tossed on high,
    Lash themselves against the sky,
    Jesus, Savior, pilot me,
    Over life’s tempestuous sea.

    I'm going through some rough seas myself right now. I'm having difficulties at my job - I'm being falsely accused of stuff I didn't do, and I got good reviews but no raise. I'm having health difficulties as well - see the post below for details on that. I guess I need to follow my own advice, huh? I need to press in more in prayer.

    Thanks for reading! See you again soon!

    Diane