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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Out in the Fields With God

I came across this poem this week.

As a matter of fact,
it was the first morning that
spring time loveliness had shown her face on our little farm.
I happened upon this poem
shortly before we were to head out the door to a wooded trail for a
welcome breath of God's unveiling of spring
I know it is just a brief respite,
and Spring in her full glory is not here yet,
but the poem and the day were very nourishing to both body and spirit.

They both were a needed reminder to trust in the
one Who holds every season in His hands,
whether the beautiful changing of the seasons,
or the seasons of troubles that come to each of us in this life.

I really would do well to spend more times "out in the fields with God".

This poem is attributed to Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
The little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday,
Among the fields, above the sea,
Among the winds at play;
Among the lowing herds,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fears of what may happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover~scented grass,
Among the new mown hay,
Among the rustling of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born~
Out in the fields with God!

Our day was lovely.
I felt and feel blessed beyond measure
to have spent a beautiful day in the woods with my blessings and grandblessings.

I feel above all else grateful to know God,
and His word,
and His great love and provision for us.
I hope you can enjoy this gentle reminder as well.

Love to you all,

Friday, February 11, 2011

Finally...the conclusion on being Rooted and Grounded in Love :)

Hello friends!

We have been studying the subject of being rooted and grounded in love. We are concluding the third part of this lesson on not being moved from our role as compassionate, loving women in His church.

Point A, was loving in thought, we follow now with loving in word and in deed.

My prayer for all of us is to always approach the scriptures with

humble, open hearts.

I hope your day is wonderful and that you enjoy this study!


B. Once we get our thoughts under control, keeping our tongue in check to love in word will be much easier. Once again I speak on a subject that I am constantly working on myself.

We need to think and speak uplifting, edifying, loving, true, kind words. Matthew records Christ's words: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:35-37.

I don't know about you, but I find that to be a very weighty scripture. It's also one that tells us that our thoughts and speech are inexorably linked.

The Holy Spirit inspired the writer of Hebrews to say

“But exhort one another daily, while it is called today;

lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

Hebrews 3:13

It’s an obligation we have to uplift and encourage one another, to help keep each other on the path to Heaven. The love and concern we have for one another should be sincere and ever present. This includes having the loving courage to kindly admonish one another when we see others drifting into sin. Sometimes we hesitate to speak up or show concern, for fear of angering someone, or hurting their feelings, or perhaps even being deemed a "busybody", but we will be held accountable if we don’t warn others that are drifting into sin. We can read that sad account in Ezekiel chapter 33 where God admonishes us to be watchmen (or women).

We do need to be careful to have our facts right, to know the scriptures, and to approach others humbly and lovingly with open arms, open ears and an open heart. This will prevent us from being false accusers as we are warned of in Titus 2:3.

The power of a positive word has lifted many a fainting heart, including mine. Just a few words, whether written or spoken, can make a dark day bearable. "Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24 and Proverbs 17:22 says "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." A kind word can help a struggling heart remember that there is hope. What a powerful gift an encouraging word is, and it costs so little to give. Romans 12:9 & 10 says “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” Dissimulation is falseness, the complete opposite of sincerity. The phrase "in honour preferring" literally means to take the lead in outdoing one another in showing honour to one another. This brings us to our next step, which is loving in deed.

C. To keep from being moved in our roll as women we must control our thoughts and our words, and back it all up with our deeds.

Now really we all know what it means to love in deed. It means put your money where your mouth is. If you talk the talk, walk the walk. Nike has the perfect slogan for Christianity.

Just do it.

We all get too busy at times. We’ve touched on that already. We don’t want to be under Satan’s yoke so that we are too busy with this life to really be helping others (and ourselves) make it to the next one.

We are all familiar with the teachings of James, the brother of our Lord. “But be ye doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass, for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgettteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” James 1:22-25 Did you hear that? A doer of the WORK.

He continues in Chapter 2 verses 14-26 explaining to us repeatedly that faith without works is dead. He goes on to list some works we should be doing in James chapter one: bridling our tongues, visiting widows and orphans, keeping ourselves pure. We can add to that list: taking food to the sick, caring for children of someone who is sick or who has a new little one, cleaning someone’s home, or cleaning the building, teaching or helping with Bible class, inviting others to Bible study, preparing communion, sending someone flowers, coming to ladies days and ladies Bible studies to be edified, sewing clothes or making homemade gifts for others, reading to a shut in, gathering and sending goods to a missionary, praying for those in need. Just reaching out and giving a hug, a pat, a squeeze on the arm and saying I love you and I’m praying for you and I’m here for you and meaning it…and the list goes on. It's not just thinking about doing these things, it's doing them!

When we add these works to our list of what we can and should be doing then we are fulfilling God's will to edify, encourage, and uplift one another. We will be helping to build up a strong and loving church that shall not be moved. If we are too busy for these good works, then my friends, we are just too busy and something needs to change. “My little children , let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

And so we begin, and end at the scriptures.

No matter what our intentions

are for faithfulness, no matter how good we are, or how much we long for Heaven, nothing will keep us standing fast in our faith, if we don't keep God's word in our heart by studying it daily. Our roots will start to wither up and die…until one day we topple.

What about you today? In what state are your spiritual roots? Are you a spiritual Redwood…or more like a tumbleweed? If you already have acquired the habit of daily Bible study, I commend you, and I encourage you to not give it up but to keep digging deeper. If you're Bible study habits aren't what they should be, won't you consider taking the time to implement a change in your life? Won't you make and take the opportunity to study so that your roots can grow deep into His word. It does take work to stay rooted and grounded in love, to not be moved. We may have to shift our schedules around a bit or get up a little earlier to make time for study. But when we look around us and see once faithful Christians and once faithful Christian couples uprooted and fallen...when we see suffering and illness and discouragement all around us, we know that Satan is at work.

And we know we have to work too.

We must study.

We must focus on Christ and our hope of Heaven.

We must work at loving in thought, in word and in deed

so that we won't be moved away from our hope.

It will be worth every bit of our time and effort in this garden of Christianity, when one day the harvest comes, and because our roots have grown strong and deep, we reap the reward of an eternal life of perfect peace and joy in Heaven.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

1 Thes. 4:16-17


Love to you all,


Friday, February 4, 2011

Rooted & Grounded Part 3A~Our role as compassionate loving women in His church

I don't believe it is a coincidence,

that the older and wiser faithful Christians are,

the more they talk about the importance of love and compassion for one another,

along with our obedience to Christ.

I often wonder about the fact that John, the apostle of Love, was the only apostle thought to have died a natural death in his old age.

I do not separate obedience from love.

That is a lie the devil has long propagated and will until our LORD returns.

But too often it seems we leave one or the other out,

and all too often,

possibly as a reaction from defending our position against Liberal theologians who preach

only the Love of Christ,

with little or no obedience to His word,

we often err on the side of teaching such a harsh obedience,

that some where Christ's love is washed down the drain

along with His cleansing blood.

These thoughts were part of what brought me to this last point in my study of how to stay rooted and grounded in love.


III. I shall not be moved from my role as a compassionate, loving woman in His church

Because you are here I assume you, like me, have no desire to be lost one day. I assume it frightens you as it does me when you see once faithful friends depart from the Faith and Christian marriages falling apart. What makes folks dry up at the roots? We’ve talked about two main reasons: lack of study and a lack of focus on our hope in Christ of Heaven. I believe the third biggest reason that Christians are falling away is a lack of love, concern and compassion for one another. These are attributes that we women not only possess, but that we naturally excel at. God created us uniquely different from men. He put within us a compassionate, emotional, tender heart, created for reaching out and helping all of those in need.

Let's look at ways that we can improve our service as women standing firm in His word. We'll be discussing becoming more compassionate in thought in word and in deed. But first read with me excerpts from Proverbs chapter 31

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life…She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy…She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household and eateth not the bread of idleness…Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”

That's the epitome of femininity. What a beautiful picture this paints of a godly woman laboring lovingly within her roll. It's not that men aren’t to be compassionate and tenderhearted to others. It’s just that God clearly created us with a uniquely gentle touch. We have an uncanny ability to sense needs and sorrows in other people’s hearts that our husbands may overlook. It gives us a "hand up" if you will in fulfilling our obligation to love, edify, uplift and teach in a uniquely feminine manner, with deep love and compassion.

I am taking the liberty of assuming that this group of ladies understands the roll of women in the church. I assume that you are already rooted and grounded in that knowledge. For this reason, we will spend less time focusing on the boundaries of our roll and more on a few simple principles to facilitate our service to Christ. However, to avoid confusion, we will briefly touch on God’s defined roll for us.

In 1 Timothy 1:9-12 we are told “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection; But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” These verses, and others that time won't permit us to explore today, give us our limits within our rolls.

Women are to dress modestly. Ladies I do not mean to offend, but God's word is clear. Christian women don’t show cleavage, (not even cl, what we call the little we have in our family :) ) or a tease line from too short of shirts that show your belly or your back, or tight clothing, or panties peaking above your britches in back, or too short of skirts or shorts. If you are unsure of what modest means, if you don’t want to take my word for it from studying God’s word, then do a word study yourself. Look up the Hebrew and Greek definitions for modesty and the different articles of clothing named in the Bible. Every scholar that I have read upon this subject has come to the same conclusion. We must be clothed from shoulder to knee. That does not mean only at church. That's here, work, school, sporting events, etc. I know this is a difficult subject for some, simply because many have allowed the influence of the world, rather than the influence of the word to help pick our wardrobe. Examine your self and your standard. Which is influencing your clothing purchase more? There is nothing wrong with being beautiful both inside and out, but there will be no sexy in heaven. This is all part of growing those roots down into the word, girls. What we are to adorn ourselves with is good works, which we will shortly discuss.

These verses also limit where and when and to whom women can teach. Women are not to be in positions of authority in the church. We are not to publicly teach a man nor even privately in a manner that would usurp authority. It may sound odd to say we must stand firm on this submissive roll we have, but it’s the truth.

We can turn to other verses to see who and what we are to be teaching. In Titus2:3-5 we read “The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

God tells us that there is a time for every purpose under Heaven. These scriptures tell us that there is a time when we must be learners and a time when we must be teachers. Both require a humble, loving heart, a listening ear, and a desire to fulfill the Lord's commands. So what improvements might we make in being more loving and compassionate that we might remain saved, and help others to remain saved as well?

A. First, let’s look at learning to love in thought and teach other women to do the same.

What do I mean? I mean controlling our thoughts positively and lovingly when it comes to what we are thinking of others. This is the first step and more than half the battle in showing more love to others! “The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.” Proverbs 16:23

Matthew records our Lord and Savior’s words “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Matthew 12:34.

Philippians 4:8 tells us “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” God clearly tells us what we should be meditating upon. I don’t think the Holy Spirit left anything out. Do you?

We often get a little too put out, a little too easily with one another. We assume we know why sister so and so did such and such. We feel strongly a need to say something...or at least to condemn her in our hearts. But let's slow down a little. Let's turn to God and His word and look at a few things.

We know that Christ judges from within a man, not from without. 1 Samuel 16:7 says “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him; for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance,

But the LORD looketh on the heart."

Christ never judges us by the outward appearance of things because He knows all things in our heart. “And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,” Luke 9:47

It's true that saints (that's us) will judge the world according to 1 Corinthians 6:2. However, John 7:24 warns us “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” We see we are commanded to judge others at times. But, we're not Christ. We can't look into the heart of those we see. During those times when we are easily offended by words or deeds of others, we need to remember that we can only see their words and actions, but we can’t see their heart or the struggles they are enduring. We don’t know if they were just wronged by someone elses unkind word or deed. We don’t' know if they were just diagnosed with cancer, or found out that a family member was.. We don't know what suffering they have been through or are now experiencing.

We also need to take into account their spiritual maturity level. Are they a babe in Christ? Have they even come to the knowledge that what they are doing is wrong? Have a little patience. If we try to assume the best despite their actions, and reach out to them in a loving manner, they may be more willing to receive our teaching and even open up and share the burdens of their heart. This turns what could have been a bad situation into an opportunity for both them and us to grow in the Lord, and closer to each other.

I am not saying ignore sin, or turn a blind eye to sin. We must teach the truth to erring Christians and young or weak Christians. I am saying assume the best of others, think the best, and reach out with love and concern and gentle teaching, not with anger and assumptions and harsh condemnations, to our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is the fulfilling of the law, according to Christ in Matthew 23:40.

1 Corinthians 13:5 says “…love thinketh no evil;” that means love does not assume the worst. Paul writes to us also in Ephesians 4:1-3 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

And in Ephesians chapter 5:1-2 says “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.”

Peter writes to us “Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart, fervently:” in 1 Peter 1:22.

Unfeigned love is un-pretended, not false, sincere, thinking-the-best kind of love. Let’s remember that we are all different, that everybody doesn’t think just like us or have the spiritual maturity that we may have. Some of us are more passionate (remember that word ) some of us are more laid back. We all have different upbringings and experiences. It takes many unique members to make up this wonderful church of our LORD. Let’s all work on having a more compassionate and patient heart with each member's differences, maturity levels and opinions in matters of opinion.

God, as our Creator, knows how different we all are, yet He designed the church to be a vast network of Christians that work beautifully together. Let’s exhibit a more positive outlook clothed in grace and love towards our sisters and brothers in Christ.


My next post will bring the final points of this lesson.



Have a wonderful night friends!



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The List

I know it's February First and not January First.
We have been a little busy,
but I am AWARE I am a month off with posting my resolutions.
Thankfully there is no wrong time in life to set a few worthy goals.
And believe you me,
I am all about setting goals!

I LOVE lists. To a fault. I am one worthy of joining list makers anonymous. I can see my self stepping forward almost eagerly and excitedly confessing...

I'm a list maker.

I, um, make lists...

I'm one of those. You know, one that, if I do something that isn't on my list,
I write it down so I can cross it off.
Oh, if you're a list maker, you KNOW the satisfaction of crossing things off your list. It's almost as good as the feeling of throwing a completely crossed off list away.

***day dreams a minute***


Ahem, where was I?

Oh, right. Lists.

I have put some mundane things on my lists over the years. Things such as "take shower", "brush teeth", "check mail" or even "get dressed"...o.k. most of those were back in the day when I was outnumbered by toddlers, but still, if I do it, it's going on.


I make lists for the day,
for the week,
for the season,
for the school year,
for my garden,
for my house...hay~yi~yi, for our house
....my head could start swimming thinking of the list for our house...

and those are just normal lists.
Not Christmas lists,
or VBS lists
or "insert odd event here" lists.

Usually my lists are ridiculously too long, made the night before when in my exhausted delirium I sat planning a new day, for some reason thinking I would turn into Wonder Woman overnight, wake up with enough energy to shame the Tazmanian Devil, and cheerfully and completely finish homeschooling my five (then four, then three) kiddos and then accomplish forty other things on my list, which almost ALWAYS includes painting something (o.k. usually multiple) things white.

I know.

I know.

Admitting it is half the problem,


Other days,
(I sure wish I could say more often,but my mama taught me not to lie)
but some days, I write my lists down in tiny chunks.
Ridiculously tiny.
Wash dishes.
Dry dishes.
Put dishes away.
Make bed.
Dust my dresser.
Dust hubby's dresser.
Dust bedside table.
Paint one thing white. (yep)
Go ahead and laugh.
It's my life, and I don't mind.

But onto The List

Lists are good things,
and they do help me,
and many people to stay focused and get things accomplished.
And believe me,
the things on my list do need to get done.
I kind of think Sheet rock on a wall is a real help in a bedroom.
And install toilet in maser bath is a worthy goal
(that's on hubby's list...don't get me started on that list...hubby's poor head will start spinning)
Finish grading and recording science tests is important.
Bible study is always at the top of my lists.
And 95% of the time, I get it accomplished.

But at the New Year it's a very good time to re-focus and re-examine my lists and my goals.
Firstly to re-examine myself spiritually.
Really look at my strengths and weaknesses.
See how I can be a better helpmeet to the love of my life.
See where I need to improve as a mom, and grandma.
How to be a better sister and friend.

During this time of introspection I have heard more than a sermon or two, read more that an article or two, and read multiple scriptures on two things.

Trusting in God.

And Evangelism.

These are the two areas of my life that I need the most improvement.
Now, there are plenty of other things I need to work on, and I am and will.
But these two stand out.



1)Work with all my might, praying and studying to learn to trust in God more.

2)See the lost souls all around me and try and do something about it.
Pray, study, gulp down that fear of conflict, and speak up.

That is my list.

Of course I still have a hundred little lists.

I'm a list maker, did I mention?

But this is THE LIST and here is my reminder and motivation to keep at it.
"You Never Mentioned Him to Me"

When in the better land before the bar we stand, How deeply grieved our souls will be; If any lost one there, should cry in deep despair,
"You never mentioned Him to me"
"You never mentioned Him to me,
You helped me not the light to see;
You met me day by day,
and knew I was a stray,
Yet never mentioned Him to me."
O let us spread the word where'er it may be heard, Help groping souls the light to see; That yonder none may say, "you showed me not the way,"
"You never mentioned Him to me,
You helped me not the light to see;
You met me day by day,
and knew I was a stray,
Yet never mentioned Him to me."
A few sweet words may guide a lost one to His side, Or turn sad eyes on Calvary; So work as days go by, that yonder none may cry, "you never mentioned Him to me,"
"You never mentioned Him to me,
You helped me not the light to see;
You met me day by day and knew I was astray,
Yet never mentioned Him to me."

~James Rowe/ J. W. Gaines


Feel free to encourage me.
Remind me.
Ask me if I'm sticking with it.
It's that important.

Love to you all,