I’m Back!

  • December 26, 2017 at 9:52 pm in

I’m sorry that I have been absent for so long. My site has been down, and I am so not techie! My brother finally found some time to get me back up and running, and I am thrilled to start writing again!

This month, I have been doing a lot of soul searching. It is easy to become so busy that one doesn’t really know where she is at with God. A friend was feeling the same way and asked if we could go through The Walk of Repentance together again, and so we are.

When going through a Bible study, you have got to be willing to cry out to God: “Search me! Try me! Show me the things in my life that don’t please You and that keep me from a close walk with You. Change me from the inside out!” This is not easy but it is vital. We need to truly be as desperate for God as we are for the air we breathe.

I don’t have a lot to say right now, but I’m sure I will be writing more in the next few weeks as God inspires. Please keep me in your prayers. God bless you all!

CD Review: Stronger Together (The Nelons)

When you think of the Nelons, you may think of great harmony and good songs. This CD will not disappoint.

One Little Word talks about the name of Jesus. It’s amazing how effective that one word is no matter how low you get.

Family Chain reminds us that, although we may lose loved ones on this earth, if they know Jesus, the separation is only temporary.

The highlight of the CD, for me, is Then Came the Morning. I love the song anyway but Amber Nelon Thompson does an awesome job on this classic.

Jason Clark sings Gate of Heaven.

Karen Peck Gooch joins Kelly Nelon Clark and the Nelons to sing You Can’t Make Old Friends.

I’m so glad someone finally brought back I Think I’ll Read it Again. I have loved that song ever since Gold City released it in the 1980s.

Other songs included are: In My Father’s House, The Awakening, and Angels Hover Near You.

 

CD Review: Classics Volume One (Blackwood Brothers Quartet)

The Blackwood Brothers have released yet another CD of classics. Songs include: I’d Rather Have Jesus, He Touched Me, If That Isn’t Love, Who Am I, The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power, Without Him, Sweet Beulah Land, What a Day That Will Be, The Eastern Gate, and The Love of God.

The CD was produced and arranged by Trey Ivey who also plays piano on the recording. Longtime Blackwood Brothers fans will still enjoy the group today.

Suicide: Never the Answer

Lately, I have been thinking of someone that I used to pray for quite regularly. Last year, he decided to end his life, making prayer no longer necessary. This was not a close friend so I did not feel the loss as keenly as some and yet it still leaves a void, as I wish I could send another email to see how he is doing.

Quite a few years ago, one of my cousins committed suicide. Again, we weren’t close, but it made me wonder what it is that causes such hopelessness that one can lose sight of friends and family and do such a permanent thing.

I expect that just about everyone has grieved someone who hit that place of despair. People don’t like pain. They don’t like problems. Many times, taking their own life seems like an easy way out, but it always leaves behind people who now have a part of their heart missing because of a senseless act.

I thank God that I have never been seriously suicidal. When I begin to feel really low, I find a friend to reach out to, who I know will tell me how good God is and how much they love me. That does so much to lift me out of a dark valley.

I have several friends who deal with depression and I’ve been there myself, but I just want to encourage you, my readers. The things we go through on this earth really are light and temporary trials. They may not seem like it at the time, but this too shall pass. No matter how much you are suffering now, you will cause much more pain by ending your life too soon. You may think that no one loves you but that is a lie from the enemy who likes nothing better than to kill, steal, and destroy. Fight against those thoughts.

If you are reaching the point of despair, call a trusted friend, read Bible verses that remind you of God’s love and His presence, play Christian music. Do not play depressing secular music during this time. God placed you here for a reason. Focus on Him and on others instead of yourself and your circumstances. Don’t make others grieve for a lifetime because you couldn’t hold on just a little longer.

Thinking Out Loud 6/30/17

I am having a setback with my health right now which can be very discouraging but I am noticing a difference this time. God is answering my prayer to draw me closer to Himself. I still take breaks to read or watch a movie, but it is not as challenging to spend time in His presence as it has been at times. I find myself longing for it, embracing it, and actually finding peace in it, which I cannot say is always the case.

I become overwhelmed when I think of everything I have to do in a short amount of time and, yet, my God never fails. He is working even when I cannot, and I praise Him for that.

Although I do not like being down, there are benefits. For one thing, I actually notice when I’m having a good day. I also know that, when I have energy, it’s easy to spend that on everything except for the important things. When I slow down is when I take time to think and pray and evaluate what I’m doing and what God desires me to do. My goal is to live this way all of the time.

I think the key is to be content in all seasons. When I’m well, I should praise God because He has a work for me to do. When I’m down, I should praise Him because He has something He desires to speak to me. When I’m in between, I have even more to praise Him for as I get the best of both worlds.

I desire to be still and know that He is God. Not always easy, but that is where peace and contentment reside. In spite of what I may believe, my worth is not based on how much I am accomplishing. God can perform His work with or without me. My job is to seek Him, know what He wants from me, and then do it. I can truly praise Him in all circumstances because I trust my Father to do what is best for me.

Tomorrow may be rough, and I may wonder again what my place and purpose is but I continue to pray, Lord, draw me nearer. Let me feel Your presence. Don’t let go of my hand even when I lose sight of You. Keep taking me back to Your Word and Your Truth. Help me to be faithful.

Stay Focused

A friend recently posted that he needs to focus less on how bad he is and more on how great Christ is. I’d never thought about that before but that is a good observation. On the flip side, however, I don’t know if we can truly see how great Christ is until we realize how vile we are.

I love Pilgrim’s Progress as we take a journey with a man who realizes that he is a sinner and on his way to Hell. Unlike the average person who doesn’t seem to care, he is determined to find a way to rid himself of the heavy burden that he carried. Once he meets Evangelist who tells him about the Celestial City and the path that would lead him there, he takes off, ignoring the pleas of his loved ones who desire him to stay.

The first part of the journey is a struggle, as his burden weighs him down, and he cannot get his mind off of it. Eventually he finds himself at the foot of the cross, and it is there that his burden rolls away and he begins to feel free. He still has a long road ahead to the Celestial City, however.

Along the way, he meets all kinds of people. Some are determined to walk the straight and narrow path and some are convinced they can find an easier way to get to the pearly gates. Occasionally, Christian himself veers off the path as he sees how easy it is for others, but God, in His mercy, always brings him back.

The end of the story finds him reaching his destination and, oh, the joy when the doors swing open and he is permitted entrance. Every trial and test and hardship was so worth it! Nothing else mattered for he had made it!

This is a great picture of what every Believer goes through. In some ways, I think it’s harder for those who are raised in church than those who were saved from a life of sin. Those who remember that moment when their burden rolled away know what they have been saved from. Others can easily forget.

I was raised in church, but I still remember when God began to change our family. We went from being church goers to learning how to have a relationship with the Almighty God. My mom took a stand and declared with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” From then on, everything that didn’t please God was removed from our lives. Sure, there have been bumps along the way. There are still times when I get in a rut and allow myself to get busy with things that take precedent over close fellowship with Him but I’m thankful that He doesn’t leave me there. It doesn’t take long for me to miss His closeness, and I run back into His arms.

I guess this is the long way of trying to encourage you not to despair. If you have a hard time looking past your failures and shortcomings, repent of those things and know that, if you truly want to be rid of them, your Savior will help you. He will not leave you as you are but He will be able to use you mightily for His Kingdom because you will have no doubt that you cannot do anything good without Him.

What Would Jesus Do?

A popular fad of the 1990s which some promoted and others looked down upon, “What Would Jesus Do?” is a question that we should still be asking ourselves.

It’s easy to act in the spur of the moment, responding as our flesh desires instead of taking time to ponder the right thing to do. Yet Jesus set the example that He wanted us to follow.

Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek, to be humble and merciful, to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. He taught us how to confront Pharisees while having compassion for “sinners.”

In every situation, there is a right way and a wrong way to handle it. I challenge you to get into the Word and find the right way to deal with the things you are facing right now. It may not be easy but, in the long run, you will be glad you did.

CD Review: Signature Ballads (Brian Free)

Brian Free has been singing professionally since 1982. Although he is older than me, I feel like I have watched him grow up on stage. I was a huge Gold City fan in the 1980s and, when Brian left to form his own group, I continued to follow his music. Although Brian Free & Assurance are more progressive than even I prefer, their lyrics are very strong. This CD highlights twelve of those amazing songs on which Brian was featured.

Songs included are:

Unashamed; I Believe; He Still Saves; There’ll Come a Day; I Want to Be That Man; He Will Carry You; For God So Loved; Only God Knows; Die Another Day; Calvary’s Cry; Stand Among the Millions; and Never Walk Alone.

Study the Word

“The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible.” A good slogan but I wonder how many people even attempt to live life with the Bible as their sole guide.

There are some verses that are relatively easy to apply when coming to know Christ. After all, who wouldn’t want to live in Heaven forever? Let’s sing, “Every promise in the book is mine” and cling to those promises. But what about, “Love your enemy”? “Do good to those who hate you”? “Bless those who persecute you?” Or even, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them so that your Father in Heaven may forgive your sins”?

Throughout the New Testament, the running themes are: love, forgive, bear each other’s burdens, go the extra mile, care for others more than you care for yourself. These are not always easy to do but we are commanded to do them just the same. If you are a parent, these are the things that you need to be emulating for your children. They are much more likely to do what you do than what you tell them to do.

If you want your children or grandchildren to show you mercy, teach them how to be merciful. If you want them to be patient with you, be patient with them. In everything you do, ask yourself: Would I want my child to do this or to act or talk this way? I don’t have children so I think of my siblings and my nieces and nephews and others who look up to me. No matter what your status, people are watching.

There is a reason that we are to hide God’s Word in our hearts. We must study it so that we know what it says and, therefore, we’ll know whether or not we are living up to God’s standards. If you are not in a habit of studying your Bible, I encourage you to start today. Know what it says and then ask for God’s help to do those things. This is the only way to truly have joy unspeakable and full of glory.

What Kind of An Impact Are You Making?

As I was sitting in my recliner reading my Bible this morning, I thought of my grandma. One of my favorite memories is coming out of my room in the morning and seeing her with her glasses off, reading. She would make notes in the margins and I decided that, more than anything, I would love to have my grandma’s Bible when she passed away.

The years have taken their toll to the point that my grandma is just a shell of the woman she used to be but I still love her dearly, and I am so grateful for the influence she had on my life.

When I am old and feeble, I wonder what others will remember about me. Am I making a positive impact or is my life inconsequential? Will those closest to me remember me as a woman who walked with God or will they wonder where I am going to go when I die? It is so important to live the life that you would want those following you to also live. There is no room in the Kingdom of God for, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Everything you do should be evaluated in light of Scripture and what you know to be right or wrong. Do not compare yourself with others, because God doesn’t. Think of those who look up to you and ask yourself, “What kind of impact am I making in their lives?” If you do not want them to become like you, I would encourage you to begin to make some changes. Whether you like it or not, your life can lead someone closer to the Lord or further away from Him.

 

Top