TRUST and THE LORD WILL GUIDE

“Trust in the Lord completely and do not rely upon your own opinions. With all your heart rely on Him to guide you and He will lead you in every decision you make.  Become intimate with Him in whatever you do, and He will lead you wherever you go. Don’t think for a moment that you know it all.” Proverbs 3:5-7 PTB

A new year is upon us, and so many things are happening in the world that seemingly overwhelm us.  What will 2022 hold for us as a nation, and more importantly, for us and our families personally? Bad news! Bad News! Lots of FEAR!! All we hear.

I have been young, and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken. As one that has become old, and looking back on my life, I can testify that the Lord has always been there for me and my family in the good times and the seemingly bad times. 

Trusting in the Lord is a choice of the will.  One can get caught up in fear of what might happen in 2022, or take God at His Word. Stay close in the presence of the Lord, and He will guide you.

In World War 2 an American plane was flying a mission in Africa. Under the cloak of darkness they flew toward their destination of Benghazi in North Africa.  A strong tail wind pushed the plane much faster than expected.  When the instruments revealed they had reached their destination, the crew members kept flying in disbelief of what the gauges said.  They “felt” the instruments were wrong. They eventually ran out of gas; the plane crashed and all the crew were killed. 

We as God’s children need to stop trusting in our own judgements and feelings about the future.    Trust in the Lord and His Word!! He has given us His Word, the Holy Spirit and His promises. Surely that is ENOUGH!

 

Joy

Phyllis

Thanksgiving!

In 1621 America celebrated the harvest and other blessings of the past year.  The holiday was believed to be modeled by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people. It wasn’t until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln and then later presidents supported the event.  In 1941 Congress made it an official National holiday. 

I can remember when the children in school would dress up as Pilgrims and Indians having a play to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Have you ever helped your children make the turkey drawing using their hands as the pattern?  Those were such fun filled day for the children in our schools. Some might call them the “good old days.”

Long before America decided to declare to be thankful on a certain National Holiday, the God of the universe stated over 70 times in the KJ version of the Bible to give thanks. Our Lord knew that having a thankful heart was the key to having a contented life. I am afraid that we have forgotten this truth as we are so tuned into this world and all the problems that we have forgotten to give thanks in “all” things.1 Thes.5:18

 Colossians 3:17… And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

 1 Chronicles 16:34… Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good for His steadfast love endures forever.

Psalms 118:24…This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

 Colossians 3:15… Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly.

 Psalms 107:1…Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.

Just a few verses to remind us that no matter how bad things are in this world, in Jesus Christ our Lord we have been blessed beyond measure.

Joy,

Phyllis

Looking for Fruit… Part 2

I want to continue sharing this month about my adventure in gardening.  As I mentioned last month, I have been gardening in my City Picker’s Gardening wagon for 2 years now.  I have been very excited almost every day as I am able to harvest vegetables. As I told you last month, I couldn’t help but believe that our Lord is pleased when He sees His children producing the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faithfulness, and self-control.

As Paul Harvey would say, here is the rest of the story.  I bought a hot pepper plant at the same time as my City Picker’s plants, however I decided to plant it in a different container.  I was careful to use the wonderful Miracle Grow Mix with the great nutrients.  After a few weeks I went out each day to check my hot pepper plant. To my surprise, I noticed that it had no peppers, not even a hint of a pepper.  I decided that the greenery was getting so big that I should transplant it into a larger container. Once again expecting some sign of the fruit it should be producing, not a trace.  I fertilized it just like Neal Sperry (our Texas authority on all gardening) said to do.  I watered, I pampered, NO PEPPERS. The green plant now is huge, but still no sign of anything resembling a pepper to harvest. Just a big fat green plant. Can you feel my frustration and disappointment?

I now want to share of another fruit of the Spirit found in John 4:35, “Behold I say unto you, lift up your eyes and behold the fields that are white unto harvest.”  Matthew 28:19a, “Therefore go and make disciples!” I can’t help but wonder if our Father in heaven might be saddened and disappointed in our lives when His blood bought children just sit in our comfortable churches getting fatter and fatter as we learn more information and enjoy our many, many activities, while our neighbors, community, state, and the world are going to hell in a hand basket.  Just a thought!!

“People need the Lord! Every day they pass me by, I can see it in their eyes, empty people filled with care, headed who knows where. On, they go through private pain, living fear to fear. Laughter hides their silent cries, only Jesus hears. We are called to take His light to a world where wrong seems right. What could be so great a cost for sharing Life with one who is lost?

Part of the Lyrics to “People need the Lord,” by Steve Green

Joy,

Phyllis

 

Looking for Fruit!

Last year during the Covid shut down, my son, knowing how bored I would be isolated at home, bought me for Mother’s Day a City Pickers Garden container.  It is about 24” X 20” container with wheels.  It was perfect after filling with all the growing ingredients to make my 2 okra plants, 2 bell pepper plants and 2 squash plants grow and produce vegetables. It was fun. This year I decided again to grow vegetables in my City Picker’s Garden.  Each morning I go to the patio to water my little garden.  It brings a smile and excitement to my heart when I see the fruits of my labor ready to harvest.

This morning as I went to check the plants, I was reminded of Galatians 5:22-23 in the Bible that states: “The Fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control.” I think we can certainly say, that is Jesus personified.  We know, this heavenly fruit is only produced in and threw a believer by the power of the Holy Spirit. That life that is totally surrendered to the Lordship of Christ.

I cannot help but let my imagination wonder if each day our Heavenly Father might be looking for that Heavenly Fruit in His beloved children.  You see, Jesus labored much on that old, rugged cross for you and me. Our Heavenly Father has watered us with His Word, filled our hearts with faith to believe, and has empowered us with His eternal power.

Oh, how wonderful it is to bring joy to our Heavenly Father’s heart when He sees love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and self-control being lived out by His children.

Joy

Phyllis

BE A BIRD WATCHER!

Every where we turn there is bad and worrisome news. At times I confess, I get caught up in all the worries that the world news is telling me!  Yesterday as I was sitting on my patio watching the birds flying and landing in the yard, seemingly without a care in the world, I was reminded of what my heavenly Father tells me in His Word about His care for His children!

Matthew 6 tells us God’s perspective on WORRY. (I have taken part from verses due to space)

Verse 25: I tell you, STOP being uneasy, anxious, and worried about your life.

Verse 26: Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow or reap or gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them.  Are you not worth more than they?

Verse 27: And who of you by worrying can add one unit of measure to your stature or span of your life.

Verse 28: Why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies (bluebonnets in Texas), they neither toil nor spin.

Verse 31: Therefore, do not worry!

Verse 32 Your heavenly Father knows well what you need.

Verse 33: Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things will be given to you.

Why should I be discouraged,

Why should the shadows come,

Why should my heart be lonely,

 And long for heaven, heaven and home,

 When Jesus is my portion, My constant Friend is He,

Oh, oh, oh His eye is on the sparrow  and I know he watches over me.

Let not your heart be troubled, His tender Word I hear

And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fear;

Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;

HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW, AND I KNOW HE WATCHES OVER ME! By Civilla Martin & Charles Gabriel

Joy,

Phyllis

 

Good News!

I am sure that you have heard of “the bad news bears.”  Nowadays seems all we hear is, “doom and gloom.”   Guess what?  I have some “good news!” God almighty is still in control.  He delights in showing Himself strong and in control in seemingly out of control, bad situations.

Exodus:  God’s children were in Egyptian captivity with no deliverer, an impossible situation? …GOOD NEWS, God through Moses delivered them, parted the red sea so that they walked on dry land to cross over to safety and provided every provision that they would need on their journey.

Daniel 6:   Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den with no way out, impossible situation?….GOOD NEWS, God stopped the mouths of the lions and saved Daniel. The Savior saved His servant.

Matthew 1:   Jesus was born of a virgin, impossible?…GOOD NEWS, all things are possible with God.

Matthew 14:  When there were no provisions, with five thousand hungry men, plus women and children and only 5 small loaves and 2 fish with which to feed them, that’s impossible?…..GOOD NEWS.  Jesus multiplied the fish and bread, then all were fed with 12 baskets left over.

Luke 24:6:  Jesus was crucified and in the grave for 3 days, an impossible situation? …GOOD NEWS, “Up from the grave Jesus arose,” and God raised Him from the grave so that we could experience salvation and have new life with God eternally!

I could go on and on.  I think the problem is that we have been reading and listening to the wrong source (the boob tube, the social media mess).

As children we sang the little song, “The B I B L E is the book is for me.” Let us get back to the book that has all of God’s promises, of Jesus Christ, our Savior. Now that is GOOD NEWS folks!!!

Joy

Phyllis

PRAYING FOR YOUR FAMILY

 As we begin the New Year, we all try to set some goals and resolutions for the new year.  For me it is seems to always involve, “no more sweets,” or exercising more. Most of us don’t do too well at keeping them.  I would like to suggest that we add one more very important priority. This is one we really need to keep. It is praying for our family like never before. The world today has so many evil obstacles in their lives.  The devil is like a roaring lion trying to kill, steal, and destroy. So much of our time is spent on other things that I am afraid we tend to neglect, or at least are inconsistent in taking them to our heavenly Father in prayer.  If we really believe that God hears and answers prayer, then we must PRAY.

  1. Learn to pray God’s will.
  2. Faith Praying: Matthew 6:10 “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is being done in heaven.” Find out what the Lord has in mind for your family and join the Father in praying His will. Psalm 36:9 says: “In Thy light, we see light.”  Which means that we must be in God’s Light ourselves as we seek to know how to pray for our family.
  3. Promise Praying: We must be led by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. Match our speech with God’s promises. 2 Corinthians 1:20 “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding YES.  And through Christ our AMEN ascends to God for His glory. NLT

 

  1. What can I expect when I pray?
  • He hears: Psalms 40:1 “I waited patiently and expectantly, and the Lord heard my cry.”
  • He speaks to His children: “My sheep hear my voice”: John 10:27.
  • “The Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest…..your God who goes before you, will Himself fight on your behalf.” Exodus 14:14

What have you found to be the greatest impediment to praying consistently for your family?

Galatians 6:9 “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Oh, Father my desire for my family is taken from Psalm 27:4, that they may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of their lives and gaze on the beauty of the Lord and seek Him.

Joy

Phyllis

White as Snow

“Come now, let us reason together. says the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Isaiah 1:18a

Today I was in my art studio painting a dog portrait.  As I felt like I had not gotten the picture exactly right, I began to take alcohol and a Q tip to remove the acrylic paint from the areas on the canvas that needed changing.  I noticed that no matter how much scrubbing, there was some paint that never came off completely.  What ends up happening is that after it dries, I just try paint over the smug. Most of the time it covers, but I know that there is still a messy place under the finished painting.

I wonder if that is what we do sometimes spiritually.  The Bible is clear that we all sin (make mistakes.)  Instead of confessing that sin to Jesus, we try to get relief of the guilt by trying to forget it or just paint over it by trying to do better the next time. If we could just remember that we as God’s children have access to Jesus, our Savior that died and shed His blood on that old rugged cross, that we might be forgiven and have a new clean canvas.  By confessing our sin.      1 John 1:9 says that He is faithful to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

What can wash away my sin?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

What can make me whole again?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus

     Oh! precious is the flow

     That makes me white as snow,

     Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Nothing can my sin erase

Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Nought of works, ‘tis all of grace_

Nothing but the blood of Jesu. (written by: Robert Lowry 1876)

Joy

Phyllis

Together

My heart grieves over the anger we are seeing and how divided we are as a nation, and even the people of the Church of the living God. The enemy has done his job well to cause chaos.  As I was reading the book of Nehemiah in my quiet time, I was reminded of what can happen when people from different backgrounds, skills, and opinions, set their minds and hearts to the task God has given them.

In chapter 1-3 we find that the leader Nehemiah, “was sent by God” to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem that had been broken down. He had volunteers to help. I was struck by the way the volunteers were about the work. Together the task was underway.

Eliashib and his brethren built the Sheep gate, next to him the men of Jericho built, next to them Zaccur built, next to him Hassenaah built, next to him Meremoth built, next to him Meshullam built, and so on and so on listing names and brethren throughout the entire 3nd chapter of Nehemiah.  I was struck by all the people of different skills and opinions worked side by side together to rebuild what had been broken down. We must keep in mind that the enemy using Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem all the while was working to get them distracted, discouraged, and divided. They had one goal, to do the task that the Lord had set before them.  The wall was rebuilt in record time.

Can we see any correlation to our chaos and confusion today?

There is strength together.  Working side by side.

I traveled with about 25 ladies in a Women’s Retreat ministry for nearly 15 years.  At the, retirement gathering of that ministry, we were sharing some of the amazing things that we witnessed during our time together. I will forever be touched that during all those 15 years, I never heard a critical or unkind word from any woman on the team.  How could that be?????

We had one purpose:  Honor the Lord, each other, and serve the people, TOGETHER!

Joy,

Phyllis

Taking the Mask off!

2 Cor 3:18 “And all of us as with unveiled faces, continue to behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are continually being changed into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another from the Lord, the Spirit. (Amplified Bible)

As we have been wearing the masks everywhere during the Covid 19 pandemic that has swept our world, I could not help but think how uncomfortable it has become. My glasses fog up where I can’t see as well, my breathing is impaired, I can’t smile and be friendly with others like I love to do, and certainly having conversations and  being understood is much more difficult.

I am afraid that many times, we as Christians, wear our spiritual masks trying to hide the real condition of our walk with the Lord or the lack there of. Moses face shown with the glory of the Lord after he encountered God on the mountain, however as the days went by, the glory began to fade,  so he wore the face covering so that others might not see it fading).  Exodus 34:25-39 Could that be us?  Are we one way at home and another around other folks. Is the glory fading? What are some of the things that the spiritual mask covers?  Secret sins, ungodly TV or movies, critical spirit, gossiping, self-protection, and others that I am sure the Holy Spirit can bring to our mind.

It is time to repent and take off the spiritual masks!!!

What are we gaining by removing our spiritual masks?  We can see much more clearly the truths in the Bible, we can once again have that personal intimacy, and once again have those amazing conversations with our heavenly Father, and certainly now, we can freely breath in the breath and power of the Holy Spirit.

 And with an “open face,” we are being constantly changed from glory to glory into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Joy

Phyllis