Wednesday, November 9, 2011


The answer to that question is a direct NO!!! Following the Lord can’t happen without hard work…to quote Dr Dennis Kinlaw. I dearly love Dr Kinlaw’s writing. His devotional, This Day With The Master is truly a pleasure to read. He has written many wonderful, thought provoking books, not books you can breeze through but ones that takes quiet contemplation. And worth every minute, he has great insight and it is obvious He walked very close to the Lord. There will be other thoughts of his interspersed in this blog but you would do yourself a big favor if you acquired his books for your own reading pleasure.

The object of our Christian life is being conformed to the image of Christ, and that’s not at all easy. God expects us to use what He has given us in order to know Him better. It becomes an intellectual shaping of our minds, as He says in I Cor 2:16, “…we have the mind of Christ.” Or Phil 2:5, “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”  The Father’s intention is for us to think like Jesus…Col 1:9 says “let me see things from Your point of view.” He wants our old, carnal minds gone! The second important transformation for us is to surrender our will to Him. That’s a difficult thing to do  and rarely a once-for-all thing, we all will experience those times when that “little voice”  inside of us corrects our thoughts and actions. And incidentally, yielding the will is connected to taking up your cross…we are to bow the knee, yield our right to ourselves and our own plans and intensions, to His desire for us. And His desire for us is always correct and in our best interest. Any desire God has for us is best and we CAN reach a point when we clearly understand that principle and automatically seek His guidance. Another aspect of this is Jesus telling the disciples the “way is narrow, and few their be that find it,” Matt 7:14, the way to life eternal and a quality, godly life here, is narrow and difficult. Knowing Jesus intimately is hard work, no shortcuts…He expects us to roll up our spiritual sleeves and get to it! Of course He is there to help but He will never do for us what we can do for ourselves. Working for Him is our calling and our responsibility…no magic here!

It’s interesting that in our day and age, what is pushed most is “self-help…” and self-fulfillment, self-satisfaction…self, self, self! We cannot find real fulfillment inside of ourselves, it comes from the external…God Himself.We need to remember that the Lord Himself looked to the Father for leading and direction. If HE needed guidance from His Father, surely we do also.

I’ve walked with the Lord for a long time. Most of that time I was learning trust and other character qualities that are important for workers to have. I don’t really know exactly when it was that I found myself looking to and talking to Him about everything. I am a widow, my kids and grandkids are adults, He is my all! I learned I could turn to him in full confidence that the steps I was about to take were the right ones and should they be incorrect, He would “nudge” me internally to halt. What a wonderfully freeing sense that is. There are so many places in Scripture that tell us our varying relationships to Him…Father, brother, friend, husband, many more, but you get the picture. The relationships are very personal ones and we are entitled to them…He will never let us down or desert us or give us bad advice…He is always available to us. I realized I couldn’t go wrong, as long as I was yielded, close and listening. We are all entitled to walk that close to the Lord, but it is not an easy path and certainly not to be taken lightly. But we need to think about it, and act. Are you willing?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Have you ever noticed that we only seem to look at problems and events in our lives from our small, human perspective? I tend to, and am trying to learn not to but to do what it says in Colossians 1:9, “ see things from God’s point of view.” Not an easy thing to “unlearn” worry and fretting and “re-learn” trust! There have been times when I have almost hated that word…it makes me feel guilty! But, it is fact. Learning to trust in the Lord is possibly one of our most difficult tasks in our Christian life. He does NOT see or do things as we do, and His view is the right one. We as adults are so use to our own way of thinking, seeing, and doing all our lives, we DO NOT include God in our thought patterns and decisions, we just go right ahead and do what we want to do. And that’s where our problems come in.

When God wants to enlarge our faith and us as a person, He allows trouble to enter in. It may be the result of a wrong decision, our own or someone else’s, a questionable action or many other things pertaining to our lives. Distress/stress will bring out the “real” us. How we re-act to trouble tells a lot about us…good or bad. God never has led us to believe that the Christian life is a bed of roses…it is not, He likens it to battle and in Ephesians Paul lists pieces of armor we are to use to enable us to defeat the enemy. And…make no mistake about it, the enemy will always be right there to make the most of any difficulty we encounter. And if he can spread doubt and anger in us, directed toward God, he is a happy camper. There are so many things in life that cannot be explained, and so our “human” re-action is anger, discouragement, doubt of God’s goodness and love for us. I have found it takes years of experiences with the Lord’s intentions and how He achieves increased faith and trust in us, years and years. And, each passing month and year should produce a strengthened faith in Him. It does not come upon us overnight, sad to say.  Paul tells us to “endure hardness as a good soldier,” 2 Tim 2:3, and Peter in 1 Pet 4:12 adds “do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial that has come upon you as though something strange has happened.” Both Peter and Paul are speaking to our ATTITUDE toward hardship! It is an attack by the evil one and they want us to think right and understand the appropriateness of the battle we are in. It helps me to remember that Satan’s battle is with God, whom he hates…we are the battlefield. How we handle our difficulties reflects back on what we know of God and His character and the trust we are willing to put in His faithfulness day by day. Not an easy thing, takes lots of practice with various difficulties and trials but we can master it and come out men and women of true faith in the Living God. Remember, each distressful event can strengthen our faith if we look to Him with confidence in His love, mercy and goodness.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I am currently reading in Luke, one of my favorites. Luke records a lot of interaction between Jesus and the Pharisees. We have those among us now you know…those who think themselves “righteous” and above everyone else but their lives don’t show it to be true. It has always fascinated me that people think no one watches them! I saw this sooooo many times in prison…men would come to Bible study and/or services and act very “holy” but leave that setting and they were as blasphemous as ever. They may have thought they were kidding me, but after a number of years, I could tell who was real and who wasn’t. And of course they were not fooling any of the other men that lived with them! I’m convinced this goes on all the time, we just are not aware of it. We live behind closed doors, and believe no one knows what goes on behind those doors. But, that frequently isn’t so…even pastor’s homes are not immune. Again, in prison I cannot tell you how many men told me they came from a pastors home, but could not in their minds reconcile the difference between what Dad said and what Dad did. I truly believe many young people today are terribly confused by what they either read from God’s Word or hear in Church and the way they see their parents living. Very confusing for young minds and spirits to grapple with. Remember that Jesus said “it is better for you to be thrown in the middle of the sea with a millstone around your neck than for you to lead one of these little ones astray.” Your very life style can “lead a little one astray” and I don’t think He was speaking of only babies when He used the term, little ones. In Luke 7:36-50 we read this event: Jesus went to dinner at the home of a Pharisee. While there, a woman approached Him, knelt at His feet, washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. The Pharisee was offended by this, and criticized Jesus thinking He should have known “what kind of woman” she was! Jesus knew what was in the mans mind, told him a story about two debtors, one owed his creditor a large amount of money, the other a small sum. The creditor forgave them both. Jesus asked the Pharisee which one would love the creditor the most? Simon’s answer was that he supposed, the one that was forgiven most. Jesus told him he had judged rightly. Then Jesus said to him, “ I came into your house and you gave me no water to wash my feet, you gave me no kiss of greeting nor did you anoint my head with oil. But this woman has not ceased to kiss my feet, she washed them with her tears and dried them with her hair and anointed them with fragrant oil. So, I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven her for she loved much. But, to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little. He turned to the woman and said, your sins are forgiven, go in peace, your faith has saved you.”

How many times do we not speak up to or for someone because we “don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings” or don’t want to start something, or just are afraid to speak up. Thank God Jesus never was. There are times I wonder why when people, some, friends of mine, congratulate or thank someone that is a down right ungodly person, and puffing them up don’t they realize they are offending their God? Ungodly people act in ungodly ways, sometimes even act in nice ways. But, should we make something of it and allow them to believe we condone their overall behavior? Will this help in their coming to a realization of their sinful ways or attitudes? I wonder…I am sure the Pharisee that in his heart was criticizing Jesus, did not care about the woman, he was concerned about his reputation…he had a house full of guests! Many times we do things to keep peace when we should not, and that adds to our sin. After all, there are sins of omission as well as sins of commission. Either one can be forgiven but we must be careful of our words, our actions, our friendships, who we seem to align ourselves with. All this is inherent in this section of Scripture that speaks volumes to forgiveness and quality of loving Him and how they frequently are tied together. So I ask you, how do you love Him? This is a question I ask myself frequently…and it is not a matter of “how much?” It is a matter of quality and depth and I suspect we have to know Him a long time to love Him with the quality of love this woman did. Why do I say this? She risked a lot…in that day, women did not attend these dinners, just men. And…women NEVER took down their hair except in their own bedroom, and only in the presence of their husbands. Jesus did not rebuke her, in fact He commended her, commenting on her love for Him. So I guess, we need to evaluate our own quality of love and commitment to Him from time to time. And, remember to ask His forgiveness for not doing it more often.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


This morning, I wrote on my status for FB that I was grateful for God allowing me life when He did. I’d like to elaborate a bit on that, primarily because there is so much more to say…I’ve lived nearly 3/4 of a century and it has been extremely eventful to say the least! If you read my blogs you know I love Israel and her history, have read and researched from a Biblical perspective how and why she is back in the land God gave her 4,000 years ago. So I will start with the events as I know them, that brought her home.

We have to go back to the late 19th century when what were referred to as Zionists began to write letters, get bills passed, make people aware of the plight of the Jews. They had been homeless now for nearly 2,000 years, A Roman General named Titus completely destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, just a Jesus predicted in Matt 24, and drove all the Jews out of the area. It is referred to as the Diaspora, and has lasted until 1948. These things are all recorded in the Scripture for us, and very detailed. But you have to read it for yourself…and you will find it fascinating, that God would give us so much information. And……we can believe it or not, our choice.

When God made the earth as we know it, He apparently had a time-frame for how long He would deal with humans…I say apparently because I do not know and have not read to my knowledge, any dates for the end but He has given us many, many events to watch for so that we know when it is near. Israel once again being back in the land He gave to her thousands of years ago. Another important happening is for the city of Jerusalem to be controlled by the Jews. This happened in 1967. He said the Israeli’s would make the land bloom, grow, be prosperous and important once again..

If you pay attention and think about what I am telling you, you will understand that life and history is all about God and His people, the Jews. The rest of us are part of the story but only a small part. Jesus made that clear in John 15 in the story of the vine, and the grafting in of “another” branch…that’s us, gentiles…He graciously offered us a place in His Kingdom if we would accept His gift of eternal life by admitting our unsaved and hopeless condition without Christ, yield to Him and be His “body” here to further His Kingdom . The primary reason that happened was because of the unbelief of the Jews ending in the crucifixion of the Lord, all part of the Triune God’s plan from before the foundation of the world.

God has been working out His plan for the end time for probably a couple of hundred years…some of the events that needed to happen did happen in the time period of
WWl. Papers were signed giving legal claim to the area now Israel. The League of Nations was formed and some of the members championed the cause of the Jews. Most important I think was the British Empire was given the land we now call Palestine, plus a little more, because they were part of the Allies that conquered the Ottoman Turks. The Turks held most of the Middle East, it was divided up among the allies, Great Britain, US, and France. This “victory” put the land into the hands God wanted it in, basically non-Arab hands. Then we move on to WWll…the horrible holocaust and the influx of Jews from all over the world…truly an act of God, drawing them back to their homeland. The League of Nations was no longer a power, but the United Nations had taken it’s place. They were asked to finish what the League had started, give the Jews back their homeland and the Arabs living in the area an equal amount of land for theirs. The Arabs refused, the Jews accepted. Israel became a recognized nation on May 14, 1948, and the two groups of people are fighting on until this day. I have other blogs about Israel that you can read to get more information if you like.

The last thing I want to put down for this blog is something from Daniel, he said learning would increase rapidly, people would “run to and fro” and Jesus said in Matthew that “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the day of the Son of man.” If you will recall, in Noah’s day, the people of the world were so corrupt, God destroyed them all but Noah and his family, eight people in all. Pretty bleak huh? I’ve live nearly 74 years, seen most of these things happen, count myself blessed to have been born in this time-period. The car, the planes and military  weapons, the atom bomb and Hiroshima, the birth of the EU, computers, cell phones…TV!!!  My grandkids cannot believe I grew up without TV and a computer! But…….we have paid a terrible price, our marriages and family life, our Christian life has turned into religiosity, most of us do not “know” God as we should, we run around and around doing nothing…you get the picture don’t you. I am still thankful for the lifetime God has given me, the love and mercy He has shown me, I trust He has made me worthy of His love. 

Friday, November 4, 2011


I’ve known the Lord for 35+ years now, I frequently throughout the day tell the Lord I love Him or thank Him for bringing me and my family to Himself…I have tried for years to make it part of my thinking process to be grateful. Then, there are times when I am overwhelmed with the thought, actually a reality, that I don’t know Him nearly well enough, or love Him with the kind of quality and depth I should. When I think about the time some of the “old timers” gave to Him…I don’t know how to feel! I know I do not measure up. And I also know He is the only One I can compare myself to…I guess what I am saying is, I want more. But…I do not always know how to achieve that place. I have read about how much God desires our intimacy, and I know what He means, but I’m not there…I want to be but I’m not, at least not yet.

I am a single…divorced/widowed, and live by myself. I am semi-retired, spend most of my day either reading, praying, memorizing Scripture or doing the things I need to do for Wings of Eagles. Friends stop by and visit, Christian friends so we usually end up talking about the Lord, or people we know with problems and how we can help for give them encouragement. But I continue to “feel” it’s not enough. I want to know more about him. Most of His character qualities are evident, I see them and do my best to incorporate them into my life because I really do want to be like Him. I think frequently about Heaven, probably because of my age and due to a lot of my friends are going home. I’ve re-read everything I can find about Heaven and still can’t get a good idea of what it will be like. But I know that is my home, and earth is just a stop-over.

I wonder how people manage to get along with out Him to turn to…who do they ask for advice? Who do they turn to just to talk? Who do they look to for comfort in the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep? I cannot not imagine. I have been His for so long, I cannot remember what it was like, and I don’t really want to. Most of the time I feel as though my life before Christ took me for His own, happened to someone else. And when I seriously think about the direction my life and the lives of my kids might , no would have taken…thankful is not anywhere near strong enough to explain Our lives were a mess, and they would only have gotten worse, but a loving, gracious God stepped in and brought us to Himself, all three within a year or so. Talk about the Love of God!

Well, I think that is enough ThinkingOutLoud for today…God bless you and keep you, talk to you tomorrow!