Prayer Vigil

From Julie Dibbles’ blog: https://juliedibblewrites.wordpress.com/2018/08/17/the-prayer-vigil/

Aren’t we all mourning for adults whose childhood innocence was stolen in the name of God, mourning because their pain has been hushed and silenced for so long, mourning because some of the adults still don’t know what healing from this trauma is.

If you are a follower of Jesus, join this prayer vigil Friday August 24th at 8pm Easterntime covering all victims of sex crimes by priests with focus on the 1000 or more who have come forward in PA and for those who need to repent.

If you are a leader and follower of Jesus, please gather people. Gather them in your home, at the church, at your place of work, at your child’s sports field, on the neighborhood green, online for this prayer vigil.

If you are a follower of Jesus who has friends who have influence in their communities, please share this vigil’s time and purpose with them and ask them to share it.

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Where is Your Joy?

Joy

The Joy of the Lord
Who handles your joy? In His Word, God promises us joy. It is fruit of the Spirit. It is within us at all times, if the Spirit is within us. Can you feel it?
Joy is directly related to peace (also fruit of the Spirit).
God gives us everlasting, continuous joy and peace. (Jesus said, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.) We are not to be troubled (angry, jealous) or afraid (fear lack of control).
How we handle God’s gifts is up to us. We decide who controls our joy and peace.
Your so-called friend stabbed you in the back? Don’t give your friend your joy and peace. Your spouse hurt you? Don’t give away God’s gifts.
Focus on God. Granted, we have no power in ourselves to “get over it.” Die to self. Allow God to fill you with His presence, His joy, His peace. He is the God of Comfort, the God Who Heals.
Harboring hurts only hurts us. We are to be obedient and show others Christ in us. Yes, even when it’s tough. Don’t use your own strength – use God’s. It’s eternal and powerful.
Don’t allow the fleeting things of this world to rob you of your joy and peace. Set your mind on things above. Allow God to work in and through you.

Random Acts of Kindness Award

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Stuart, you’ve done it again, nomination for the RAKA. You do bless my socks off.

My Random Act of Kindness story is all of you in this blogging world that I’ve run into. Kindness is so much more than sweet, nice, or encouraging words (although, it is all of those, when they are truly meant). Sometimes it is a kindness to point out a hard truth. Sometimes it is kind to bare one’s heart and share the deeply buried treasures (pretty or not). It is kind, always, to share the marvelous workings of the Holy Spirit. Kindness is rightly dividing the Word of God.

Here’s to you, my Blogger World Friends. Thank you for your kindnesses. I have been receiving your gifts and treasuring them.

Thank you, Amy. Stuart, thank you. Daily 😊. Julie, Wendi, Ana, Maxine, you are all blessings to me. William, I treasure your special gifts. Vickie, Christy, Savannah, Brenda, and Sue, you lift me up. John, 140CharacterChristian, Lynn and Cindy, your gifts of words are a kindness to so many. David, Rotimi, Danielle, Marie, Vanessa, Jess, and Lois, I so appreciate you.

Also very much appreciated for your kindness are the comments and replies I read from many of you in so many of the blogs we share. Thank you.

The award was created by Mws R Writings
Random Acts of Kindness Award/KA

Here are the rules:

Tell who you nominate and why.

Copy and share the picture that shows the award, posted above.

Share a paragraph of something that impacted your own life in the way of receiving kindness or how you extended kindness to someone else.

Nominate anyone or share to your own page. If you so choose to Participate. Tag or pingback to the original person who nominated you, or the original post.

Safe?

Can We Live in Safety? Can Our Kids / Grandkids?

The short answer is no. We cannot built a safe environment for ourselves, our kids, or our grandkids. We cannot control everything in our, and their, lives. We can try to keep the boogie man out; we can do everything in our power to keep them innocent and pure. BUT, evil lurks: sometimes it’s in other people, sometimes it’s within our kids / grandkids and the choices they make.

Our military stands at the ready to protect our country. The US is now creating a Space Force to protect us from warfare waged in space. Can we feel protected?

Hackers can break into our accounts. Thieves can break into our personal space. We set up guards. Can anti-virus and credit protection keep us safe?

All we can do is trust that the steps we have taken, and that our government have taken, are enough to keep us safe, right?

Of course it’s not enough.

So we’re left with the fact that God lets these awful things happen. Sudden illness; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; thievery; bullying. So much evil in this world, and we don’t like it.

What can we do?

We can live in peace. We have no need to live in fear for our lives, our kid’s lives, or our grandkids.

Why? How?

Even though this world is not a safe place, and we cannot promise safety to our kids, we can go about our lives in peace.

God’s got this. God’s got YOU, and your kids and grandkids. He is our loving, powerful, omniscient, omnipresent God. HE is in control.

Isaiah 41.10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. This tells me God is always with me, therefore, whatever happens, even if it’s scary, I need not fear. (Think of Jesus in the boat in the storm. The disciples were terrified for their lives, but Jesus knew God had them.)

Isaiah 41.13 For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. God’s got me. I’m safe with Him, even when my surroundings may not be safe.

Isaiah 43.1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. God created me for a purpose. He will keep me until that purpose is fulfilled, and then I get to go with Him.

Isaiah 43.5 Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed (descendants) from the east, and gather thee from the west; God has a purpose for our kids and grandkids, too. He will keep and preserve them.

Matthew 10.28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. When our physical or emotional life is in danger, it’s hard to keep an eternal focus. Call on the Lord.

Lamentations 3.57 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not. When we call Him, He answers.

Psalm 4.8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. We need not lay awake at night, worrying about our lives or the lives of others. If we can’t sleep, talk to God.

Romans 15.13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Not in our own power, but in the power of the Holy Spirit, can we fear not, and live in joy and peace.

I close with this passage, comforting words from God that are close to my heart:

Psalm 73.23-26 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

A Love Letter to You

love letter

Dearest (insert your name here), my Beloved,

I have searched thee, and I have known thee. I understand your thoughts afar off. I encompass your path, and I am acquainted with all your ways. I have beset you behind and before, and I have laid My hand upon you. Take heart, my beloved! There is nowhere you can go from My Spirit, nowhere you can flee from my presence. Even if you dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall my hand lead you, and My right hand shall hold you. I have made thee most fearfully and wonderfully. I have made your soul to know that I have created a marvelous work in you.                                         Ps 139

I take pleasure in you. I beautify the meek with salvation.                                         Ps 149.4

I am ever in the midst of thee, and I am mighty. I will save. I will rejoice over thee with joy; I will rest in my love for you; I will joy over thee with singing.                     Zeph 3.17

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.                                                                                                                     Is 41.10

I will show you the path of life: in My presence is fullness of joy, and at My right hand there are pleasures for evermore.                                                                                 Ps 16.11

I am love. I have brought you to dwell in Me, and I dwell in you.                     1 John 4.16

Out of my love, I have created you in order that I may have a relationship with you. You are rooted and grounded in love. I draw you to Me, that you may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of Me, your Creator and Lover of your soul.                                                Ephesians 3.17 – 19

My Dear, you are Mine forever. And I have given unto you eternal life; you shall never perish, and no one can ever pluck you out of my hand.                                    John 10.28

I will cherish you forever, and we will be together forever.

Agape,

Your Lord and Creator, Jehovah

So Teach Us to Number Our Days

Number our days

My big news this week is that I applied for social security. I am officially old now.

We have a family site on the Internet, in which we share news and pictures of what’s up in our lives. I posted a picture of my new form and let everyone know that I had taken the plunge.

But what grabbed my attention, and what this blog is about, was the response my younger brother posted:

“wow….. I thought it would take longer for this much time to pass”

I’m going to have to ponder that one for a while. My brother gets pretty deep sometimes.

Psalm 90.12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

3 2 1 Quote Forgiveness

forgiveness pic

Stuart, thank you for giving me this opportunity, for nominating me. Also, thank you for the flexibility, because I broke the rules. I created a series of quotes, as a conversation. I sat and typed as the words fell out. I did use your topic, though: forgiveness.

Go ahead and grab your coffee; this is longer than usual.

*****

So, you still have told me nothing about ‘the incident,’ as you put it.

You pretty much know what happened.

Well, that’s only what I’ve heard from other people. It’s not the same as your perspective, and I think it would help our relationship if we could talk about it.

I don’t talk about it.

Can we talk about it without discussing what actually happened?

Sure, we can skirt around it all you want. But I will say one thing up front. Being a guy, you’re never going to understand the perspective of a victim like I do.

You’re right. One, I have never been a victim like you have. And, mine is the perspective of the male, the one who is usually the authority, the stronger, the dominant one. I think you know me well enough by now that you know I view my gender as a gift from God, to handle wisely and lovingly; that He created us both, male and female, as different but equal.

Yeah, I get that. And you must know that I trust you, given that we’re even having this conversation.

Thank you for that. Please know I will never knowingly break that trust. If I come close, you will let me know?

Yep, and ditto for me?

Yes.

~silence~

From our previous discussions, I know that you’re struggling with your relationship with God because of the incident. You’re upset that He would as willingly forgive those men who hurt you as He forgives you.

He doesn’t seem like a fair God.

Do you have difficulty seeing Him as a God Who loves you?

I get that He loves the world, you know, the whole, “For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”

Do you think He loves you, personally?

I’ve seen His grace in my life a lot. I mean, like a lot. I credit Him with my rescue in the first place. That could never have happened if God hadn’t intervened. And I do thank Him for that, I really do. I think that shows His love for me. And other things. Yes, I think God loves me.

So, God loves you, but you’re mad that He loves those guys as much as He loves you?

No, He can love them as much as He wants. But, for what they did, they should never be forgiven. They should never get to spend eternity with Him because they should go to hell. That’s justice and righteous. God is a God of justice and righteousness, too.

I agree that those men deserve hell for what they did…. Do you think you deserve hell for your sins?

You do NOT get to put me in the same category with them! I would never do to anyone what they did, over and over and OVER!

I’m sorry that happened.

Listen, I have to get going. I think we’re finished talking for today.

I get that. Before we part, I’ll leave you with this these verses: James 2.10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” Also Jeremiah 17.9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” And you know Romans 6.23 tells us that the wages of sin is death.

That’s the part I’m so mad about. Goodbye.

~~~~~~

It’s been a while. Have you been able to process?

Yeah, I admit I sin. Everybody does, I know I’m not a saint or even close to it.

But?

But I’m NOT like them. I could never be like them. They do NOT deserve forgiveness.

Do you deserve forgiveness?

Of course not. No one does. But God gives grace, and He gave me grace.

But you’re mad that He could pour out His grace on those men.

You would be, too! You have never been in my shoes, but I’m pretty sure you would feel the same way if you were.

I’ll never know, Lord willing.

No. So don’t speak to me like you ever will.

I can’t. All I can do is give you what God says.

I KNOW what He says! And that’s what makes me mad at Him!

So you think there should be a rule, some sort of plumb line that, if a person crosses it, then they are automatically scratched from the Heaven list.

Absolutely!

Well, there is such a plumb line. Any sin keeps us from Heaven. But you think that some sins can be forgiven and be on the Heaven side, and some sins can’t be forgiven, and be on the hell side.

Something like that.

So you think your rules are better than God’s?

I think it’s only right.

And that God’s wrong?

Listen, I know that God’s never wrong. I know what the Bible says, and He’s perfect and all that. I just don’t agree that He should ever forgive people like that.

Maybe He didn’t.

That’s not the point. The point is that He could. God can forgive anyone, and He does! He just chooses, and He grabs them, and He changes their hearts and then they get to go to Heaven.

And that’s not okay?

Not after what they’ve done.

And you can’t forgive them?

NO..

So, again, I ask: Do you think your rules are better than God’s?

I’ll leave it at this: I know God’s right. He gets to make the rules. I just don’t like all of them, and I don’t agree with Him. He’s a big God. I think He can take a little disagreement. … … I have to go now.

Then today I leave you with these: 1Samuel 15.23 “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” And Matthew 6.15 “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

~~~~~

I agreed to meet with you today. Don’t you think I’m doing really well?

Yes, I do. Why do you think you want to meet with me?

~sigh~ Because, against my better judgement, I like you very much, and I respect what you have to say.

If your judgement votes against me, who or what is the driving force behind you being here?

Oh brother. Okay, it’s God.

I’m going to agree with you on that one. I’m grateful He’s working in you. I’ll tell you, He’s been working in me, too. I’m struggling with this; not like you, but I’m ‘way not enough to cover this. I’ve had some pretty deep times with God. I know you pay attention to Him. Have you had good conversation with Him lately?

I did a study on the verses you left with me. Number one, I looked up idolatry. Basically I came to the conclusion that you’re hinting, ever so subtly, that I’m being stubborn in not agreeing with God, so I’m committing iniquity, or in iniquity, or however you put it. And that, because I think I’m right and He’s wrong, that I’m setting myself up as my idol, putting myself on the throne and deciding that I know best. That about cover it?

Did you hear my voice telling you that, or God’s?

Same thing, isn’t it?

Really no. Really really no.

Umph. Fine. That’s what God was telling me while I was reading His Word and studying it.

You didn’t like it, I take it?

Duh.

I never do, either. Hebrews 12.11 “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” That means all of us are grieved when God chastens us. But, He gives us the peaceable fruit of righteousness if we learn from it.

So I have to learn from it in order to get the peace fruit.

Matthew 7.16 “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Do you want peace?

You know I do.

You already have the Holy Spirit within you, and He empowers you with the Fruit of the Spirit. Part of that is peace. Learn from Him. What about the second verse?

The forgiveness part?

Matthew 6.15 “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

I’m hitting a brick wall there, one that I prefer to walk away from.

I know you already know this, but I’m throwing it out anyway. Forgiveness isn’t for letting anyone off the hook. It’s for the forgiver. It’s one of God’s gifts for blessing you.

So I’ve heard.

My dear, you don’t have to generate forgiveness. It’s not in you. I see that, and I think you do, too. It’s not in anybody to forgive such a thing.

So, just let God do it in me or though me or whatever?

Pray about it. Just a tip: when I’m really struggling with something, wrestling with God, so to speak, it helps me to physically put myself in a position of obedience and worship.

What do you do? Kneel?

Well, actually, I … prostrate myself.

Like, on your belly?

Full out, face down, nose rubbing on whatever is under me. I humble myself and pour myself out to God, begging for His mercy on me.

~gulp~ Umm

Here’s a tissue.

I can’t even think about that without crying. I really don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know that I even want to. What about 1 John 1.9? “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” Can I confess my sin of unforgiveness and be forgiven?

I think God will handle that. Just give it to Him.

*****

This quote challenge was generated by the person behind https://aguycalledbloke.blog/

You choose 3 bloggers to write 2 quotes, each, on 1 word given to them by you. If you want a better example of how it’s supposed to be done, click over to Stuart’s post: https://stubaby777.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/3-2-1-quote-me-love

My nominations are:

Amy https://anewlife256599767.wordpress.com/

William https://walkwithgod.blog/

Vickie https://vicklea.com/

These are completely optional, no obligation. I just love reading your stuff. 😊

The word for the quote is: Peace