Election Advice?

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Follow God’s advice! Pray for wisdom and discernment as you watch the first Presidential debate tonight. Pray as Solomon did: “…give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” 1 Kings 3:9   God answered his prayer and He will grant your request too! Watch with the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and let the Holy Spirit guide you.

Satan Knows Scripture!!!

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Got your attention? The first time that I truly perused Matthew 4:1-11 I knew that I had to start diligently reading and studying my bible. The passage begins with the Holy Spirit leading Christ into the desert to be tempted by the devil. The devil does appear after Christ has fasted for 40 days and nights. He is hungry, and the devil strikes when he believes Christ is in a weakened state. How wrong Satan was on that count! Then the devil quotes scripture, specifically Psalm 91:11-12, urging Christ to use His power to save Himself. Jesus reminds him that it is also written not to put God to the test. Satan tries for a third time and is again rebuked by Christ. Defeated,  Satan leaves Him and Christ is attended by angels. The fact that the devil was able to quote scripture was all I needed to convict me. If Satan knows the Word and can use it to confuse me, I need to know it in order to withstand his attacks. Read this encounter once again and examine yourself honestly. Without scripture to sustain you, how will you ever be able to keep Satan at bay?

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A Time to Uproot

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fall-clip-art-th    Autumn begins officially on September 22nd this year. We think of cooler temperatures, football games, and colored leaves. It’s also time for apple picking, pumpkins, and harvesting the last crops in our gardens. Gardeners among us need to uproot annuals that are starting to look tired after blooming all summer long. Their beauty11949861411952951849tree_whit_fruits_01-svg-thumb is fading and we are anxious to replace them with chrysanthymums and other hardy fall favorites. The days are growing shorter and the nights are lengthening. We make preparations for these changes and so do the animals. Squirrels are gathering acorns, birds are again frequenting feeders and hummingbirds are readying for their departure to their winter home.

As I read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 this morning, I focused on the line “a time to plant and a time to uproot.” Spring is the time to plant and look forward to the rebirth of favorite trees and perennials. What was once brown begins to show signs of life. In autumn the opposite occurs. Grass is beginning to wither and crops like corn and soybean are drying in the fields. Soon they will be uprooted and the fields will lay bare. Maybe it’s time we uprooted the unnecessary things in our lives. Perhaps we need to do some “autumn cleaning.” I need to spend more time in scripture, more time listening to Christian music, and more time reaching out to others. I first need to weed out the interruptions that I allow to consume my waking hours. That means less time on social media and less time “relaxing” with television programs and secular music. Join me as I uproot the distractions and spendicon029 more time with the Lord. How can I hear Him when I’m occupied with frivolous activities? Yes, it’s time to uproot and plan more time with God.

 

Are You A Patriot?

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Today is Patriot Day!  It is the day set aside as a national day of mourning for those lost in the attacks on our country on September 11, 2001. Webster defines a patriot as a person who loves and strongly supports and fights for his or her country; also one who supports its authority and interests. Perhaps we all need to examine ourselves on this special day and ask “Am I a patriot?”

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1 Peter 2:13 advises us to submit ourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority. With this being an election year, we really need to search ourselves and ask for God’s guidance in picking the leader who will best be suited to lead our country. Take it to the Lord in prayer, not just today, but every day that remains until the election. Ask for wisdom and discernment in choosing the candidate that will be pleasing to Him.

Let us all meditate on these scriptures:

Proverbs 11:14  For lack of guidance a nation falls, but the victory is won through many advisers.

Proverbs 16:13  Kings (leaders) take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right.

Proverbs 28:2  When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.

Proverbs 29:4  By justice a king (leader) gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.

Not happy with things as they are now? We need to keep in mind Paul’s advice to the Romans. “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Romans 13:1

May we all celebrate Patriot’s Day with our hearts focused on God, depending on Him to provide for our country’s future. His guidance will lead us through the days ahead. Be prepared to listen!

 

Celebrate Grandparents’ Day

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Exodus 20:12 exhorts us to honor our parents. What better way to honor our parents than to honor their parents also. Today I’d like to do just that in advance of Grandparents’ Day on Sunday, September 11th. Unfortunately most of my childhood photos were destroyed so I have no pictures of myself with them. They live on in my memories, however, and in these photos I inherited from their early adulthood.

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My maternal grandfather, Louis Heil, was born in 1892. He was a first generation U.S. citizen of German heritage. At the turn of the century, he visited Germany with his parents. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for him to fight against these distant relatives in World War I, but he did as an infantryman. Upon returning to the States, he became engaged to my grandmother, Ida Ackerman, whom he married on November 24, 1921. Their only child, my mother, Edith, was born on December 9, 1922. My grandmother was a housewife, caring for their daughter as well as her in-laws. Gramps was a bank teller and worked for the Franklin Savings Bank in Brooklyn, NY. He retired from there in 1954 as head teller. Being their only grandchild, I was the apple of both their eyes. I have fond memories of trips to the Bronx Zoo, Jones Beach, Montauk Point, the 1965 World’s Fair, and a special trip to Miami Beach with just my grandmother when I was a junior in college.Whenever we dined out, my granddad and I always picked the gooiest, richest desserts. All holidays were split between my parents’ home and theirs. We were a family of five from my earliest memories until my grandfather passed in 1971. Oh, how I loved to see them. My grandmother was an Auntie Mame type and taught me the twist! They showered me with love and played games with me. Wish I had pictures of all of us trying out the hula hoop in 1958! I share these memories with you and encourage you to share yours. It’s one way we can still honor our loved ones. They may be gone, but they are definitely not forgotten. Happy Grandparents’ Day, Gran and Gramps!

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A Labor of Love

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desk-work-thLabor Day was first signed into law by President Grover Cleveland in 1894. It began as a day of rest for workers, celebrated by parades and picnics. It is now also recognized as the unofficial end of summer with family and friends gathering for one last hurrah for the summer season. As we celebrate, take some time out to read and meditate on what scripture has to say about work. Make each day you work an offering of love to our Lord!

Proverbs 12:11  He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.

Proverbs 12:14  From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.

Proverbs 14:23  All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Proverbs 21:25  The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work.

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 Colossians 3:23  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.

 

 

Society’s Ego Trip

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John 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.

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Our society tends to focus on the individual and encourages us to put ourselves first. It’s important to have a good self concept, but the Christian life is one of humility and putting others before ourselves as Christ did when He died on the cross for all our sins. The song “My Way”,  written by Paul Anka in the 1960’s and first performed by Frank Sinatra, has long been an all time favorite of many. It has always struck a wrong chord with me. I heard a braggard boasting about a life devoted to himself. “I did it my way” is the common refrain. In fact, the word “I” is used sixteen times, the contraction “I’ve” is there six times, the contractions “I’ll” and I’m” are both used twice,  and “my” appears nine times! Yes, we live in a “me, myself and I” world. There’s even a much newer song entitled just that, “Me, Myself and I”, that was recorded by Beyonce. The lyrics of that hit are crude and obscene, but also focus on self gratification above all else. How about we think of GOD’S WAY? Life is not all about us. We were created by a loving Father and need to remember Paul’s admonition in Ephesians 4:22-24 to”put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” It’s a daily struggle and speaks to the need to listen to Christian music also. We have to immerse ourselves in scripture and constantly strive to follow Christ’s example as we attempt to co-exist with the secular world. It may not be easy at times, but it is definitely worth it.  Our future in eternity awaits us!

We Have A Problem, People!

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Hope I’ve gotten your attention! First of all, it irks me when someone says “No problem!” Usually there is still a problem from my point of view, but I try to swallow my annoyance and smile. Today, I searched “National God Day” after first trying “National Praise God Day” and “National Worship God Day.” using the Silk browser on my kindle. The only responses the latter two elicited were references to the National Day of Prayer. When I tried “National God Day”,  I was asked if I hadn’t meant “National DOG Day” instead! REALLY?!!!

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I’ve been accused of being too serious about my faith in the Lord more than once, but this takes the cake! We celebrate everything else with special days and National Dog Day was this past Friday, August 26th. Yes, we can have fun and smile along with others as I did, BUT what about God? He is our Father and the Creator of this world and everything in it. I was surprised to find no mention of Thanksgiving Day. Truly we need to celebrate God every day of the year!  “Sing to God, sing in praise of His name, extol Him who rides on the clouds, rejoice before Him –  His name is the LORD.”  Psalm 68:4

Prayer is our way to communicate with the Lord, but how many of us acknowledge Him on the National Day of Prayer or other days. I’ve heard people say “Well, I pray in church with everyone else.” We need to speak with God personally every day and not just with requests for ourselves or others. Thank God for what He has done in your life. Our Father is ever faithful. Let Him hear from you often. Sing praises to His name!

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Never Stop Learning!

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Add to your tree of knowledge!

Summer is drawing to an end. August seems to be a month devoted to preparation for returning to school and the world of reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. We think of preschoolers, elementary grade youngsters, middle school youth, high school students and those entering college. Pictures of young children and youth on their “first” day of school shine on the Facebook posts of proud parents and grandparents. Smiling faces, mostly, looking forward to another year of learning. Although I am a retired teacher, I still look forward to learning opportunities throughout the year. We’re never too old to learn new things and it’s encouraging to accept that fact. Learning experiences are all around us on a daily basis.

Scripture encourages us to continue to grow in wisdom. Proverbs 1:5 counsels to “let the wise listen and add to their learning …” Surely, we can add to our knowledge daily. “Can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” That’s just an excuse to be lazy and vegetate. For Proverbs 1:7 emphasizes that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Look forward to each day and strive to achieve growth.

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What can I learn today?

Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom, not wealth, and his prayer was answered abundantly. Maybe we adults need to do the same. Ask the Lord what He would like you to learn in the coming year and to guide you in that learning experience. Our world has so much to offer. Look around and be stimulated by your environment. Let us use the intelligence with which the Lord has blessed us and continue to grow mentally. It’s never too late to learn a new skill or even a new language. THINK BIG AND LEARN!

 

Hacked But Happy?!!!

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Hacker!

Last week, I was hacked for the first time. It really rattled me because I try to be so careful in my use of Facebook. My first reaction was to quit my email account as well as all social media. That would have included this blogging site.  BUT, then I prayed for God’s guidance to get me through this inconvenience. I also prayed for wisdom, patience, self-control and strength. When faced with problems, I am usually weak and apt to fold. Oh, how I needed the Lord to save me from myself!

My prayers were answered! I felt led to take up the challenge with the Lord as my guide. I’m the first to admit that I’m technologically challenged so this was not as easy as it might appear to others. Romans 8:28 bolstered me. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Yes, God would enable me to see benefits come from this disruption if I kept my focus on Him and followed the Holy Spirit through the maze of social media and Internet concerns.

Having  already experienced suspicious email activity in June, I felt led to discontinue my longstanding email account. Changing my password hadn’t helped then so I terminated service completely, saved almost $40.00 a month, and promoted my secondary email address to be primary. Slowly I transferred my connections over to the new data. It was tedious but God led me through it. I felt encouraged!

Hacking also showed me that friends do care, some more than others. Having received bogus emails, loyal friends called to check on my well being as well as to offer advice regarding improving my security. Again, I felt encouraged!

Finally, I decided that I needed to keep my blog and continue to share the way God has worked in my life. Two days later, I was chosen as one of five Christian bloggers mentioned on the website of Courageous Christian Father –  5 Christian Bloggers to Follow! If I had quit, I would have missed this blessing!

I thank the dear Lord for turning this situation around. Satan tried to derail me, but I maintained my focus on God and He brought so many blessings to me. Without His presence in my life, I would never have been able to succeed. A hack attack brought me benefits!

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BLESSED!!!