A Royal Event

As many already know and watched on television, Prince Harry (the Queen of England’s grandson) and Meghan Markle of the United States were united in married a few weeks ago.  It was quite an exciting Royal event and yes, I watched it.  All the who’s who of England and the United states were there to celebrate all the glitz and glamor of the royal family. People were lining the streets, cheering the couple as they rode down the street in their beautiful carriage pulled by white thoroughbred horses, signifying royalty. Then of course, they were followed by the royal military, also on white horses. Oh so much pomp and circumstance!

As I was listening to the cheering for the royal couple, I felt saddened as I thought about some 2000 years ago when my Lord Jesus, bloody and beaten, was dragged through a street in Jerusalem.  He was headed to Golgotha, the place of the Scull, to be hung on a rugged cross to die a horrific death to pay for my sins.  No cheering for Him, only being spat upon and the jeering of that crowd! Crucify Him, Crucify Him!  But wait, He too is Royalty!  Not just a Prince, but the King of Kings, yet pain and agony was His welcome.  The tears began to flood my eyes.

As quickly as the tears began to flow, the heavenly Father reminded me that “one day” soon, when only He knows, our Lord Jesus Christ will return. The trumpet will sound, and this time He will be accompanied by the angels in heaven cheering His coming, singing; Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah!  Let us also rejoice and shout for joy exulting Him! Let us celebrate and ascribe what is due to Him, all glory and honor!!!Hallelujah and praise be to the Lord of Lords, Who is the King of Kings!!!And by the way Jesus also, will be mounted on a white thoroughbred horse signifying His “eternal” Royalty!!!

Joy,

Phyllis

“My Peace I Give You.”

Have you ever said or heard this statement, “Everything seems upside down in the world today.” The headlines in the newspaper and on every TV news channel are violence, rebellion, anger and just plain scary news.  It is certainly enough to cause fear to rise in our heart. Our heavenly Father’s desire is for us to live in His peace (with undivided trust). Jesus says in Philippians 4: 6 “Do not be fearful about anything, but in every circumstance, and in everything by prayer and petition, continue to make your request known.” Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

A.W. Tozer states, “God has charged Himself with full responsibility for our eternal happenings and stands ready to take the management of our lives the moment we turn and trust in faith to Him.”  There are some 147 times that the word “trust” is in the Bible. I have heard my husband, Jon say on many occasions that if God says something once we can believe it, but when said 147 times He is trying to get our full attention. Because we received the Lord Jesus as our Savior, we now have the Holy Spirit to be peace in us, but not only in us, but also to flow out of us to others that are in need of God’s peace.

The story is told that during the Korean War Billy Graham had the opportunity to minister to American soldiers. While there he learned of an incident that stirred his heart. One Christmas Eve a young marine lay dying on Heart Break Ridge. One chaplain climbed up to the young man and whispered, “May I help you, Son?” The marine answered, “No, it’s alright.” The chaplain was amazed at the soldier’s tranquility. When he looked down at the young man’s side he understood the source. He was clutching in his bloody hand the Bible and his finger was placed on the calm assurance of John 14:27 “My peace I give you.” (Taken from McHenry’s Stories)

Joy,

Phyllis

Marvelous Moments with the Master

Busy, busy, busy! Our lives are so filled with work, children’s activities, frenzied, hectic schedules, just getting through another day. Jesus advised His apostles in Mark 6:31 “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest awhile.” We are commanded to “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

A number of years ago I was given a book by Charles Swindoll, “Intimacy with the Almighty.” Many things in that little book made an impact on my life, but one statement that Swindoll quoted from A.W. Tozer touched me so deeply that it led me to a journey of a deeper intimacy with God. “May not the inadequacy of much of our spiritual experience be traced back to our habit of skipping through the corridors of the Kingdom like children in the market place, chattering about everything, but pausing to learn the true value of nothing,”

“It is well said, No person can expect to make progress in holiness, who is not often and long with God.” Andrew Murray.

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call on me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things that you know not.”

Psalm 26:8 “Lord, I love the habitation of Your presence, and where Your Glory dwells.”

Psalm 5:3 “In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord I wait for You to speak to my heart.”

What an awesome thing to think that our heavenly Father welcomes us into His presence where we can have the sweet satisfying companionship of our Lord. Psalm 27:8 “Come and talk with Me, O my people.” And my heart responds, “Lord I am coming.”

Lord, I do not want to miss those marvelous moments with You.

Joy,

Phyllis

A High Price to Pay!

As I was getting our home all decorated for soon to arrive Christmas, I couldn’t help but think how Jesus left the “splendor” of heaven those many years ago to come to be born in a barn in an animal feeding trough. He then walked the dusty roads to heal the sick and raise the dead. His journey’s end in this old sin driven world was to be beaten unmercifully and hung on an old rugged cross to die for me and you. Because of that great love for us, the Bible in Romans 8:29 states that we who have accepted Christ as our personal Savior have been destined from the beginning to be molded into the image of God’s dear Son. Jesus paid the highest price that could be paid, His precious blood for us to be transformed.

Oh, what a price!

Several years ago I heard a preacher share a story (fiction or true, I am unaware), but it sure illustrates my point. In a small village in Africa it was time for a young man to be married. As was the usual custom, he would go around the area and visit all the eligible ladies. At that point the fathers would begin to state how many cows it would take to buy their daughter. Not one had ever been worth more than six cows. Most had no more value than 2 or 3 cows. A very strange thing happened when this young man saw a young woman and told her father that he would pay 8 cows. WHAT 8 COWS? No one had ever paid that, especially for a somewhat sad and undesirable prospect. Several years later when the young man and his 8 cow wife came back to the village to visit her family, people were in awe of her beauty and grace. WHAT HAPPENED was the talk of the village. The young man made this statement, “I paid more for my wife that has ever been paid so that she could become what I paid for her!”

Oh, my friend, didn’t Jesus pay the highest price that has ever been paid that we could be being changed into His likeness day by day by the power of the Holy Spirit.

WOW, what a Savior!

Joy,

Phyllis

The Fire

A few weeks ago I was visiting by phone with a friend that lives in Portland, Oregon.  In the conversation the subject came up of the terrible fires that were raging in the Eagle Creek area as well as many other states. The one in Oregon was started by a teenager igniting fireworks during a burn ban and it started a fire that engulfed the Cascade Locks area.  It has burned 48,668 acres and is only 46% contained as of 9/20/17.

Surely, that the teenager never thought before he ignited those fireworks that what he did would cause so much damage.

The Bible states in James 3:6   NIV “Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the course of one’s life on fire, and is itself on fire by hell.”

I know in my own life the Lord has had to correct me on many occasions for what I said to, or about others that was not Christ-like. How many times do we say something not thinking about the harm and hurt that it may cause?  I know that only the Lord can control our tongue as we are totally surrendered to Him in this area of our lives.

Under South Korean law, anybody who makes a false statement and thereby damages the credit or reputation of another person shall be subject to imprisonment up to five years (taken from McHenry’s Stories for the Soul).  What if we lived in South Korea, would our normal routine of conversation place us under the threat of incarceration?  No matter where we live, in America where we have free speech or South Korea, as Christians we are commanded to abstain from using our tongue for evil, but instead use this beautiful gift of speech for blessing others and praising God.  Those same fireworks in Oregon that were used for evil can also, bring excitement on the 4th of July in America to celebrate and bring joy when used properly.

Joy,

Phyllis

Church Bells Ringing

I was asked to share in Sunday School  Psalms 95.   In my study, I was reading Charles Spurgeon’s exposition of the first 6 verses.  He states that it reminds him of Great Church Bells Ringing.  The psalm is truly about the worthiness of worshiping our Lord.  Worship is defined in Webster’s 1828 dictionary as “to bow down, to fear or reverence. To adore, to honor, to respect with dignity, worth and worthiness, to honor with extreme love and submission.”  I am afraid that sometime we think worship is only about music.  Truly, music is part of worship, but worship according to Webster’s definition, is far more.  It is every part of our being to love, adore, and honor the Lord with extreme love and submission (obedience).

In verse 1-2 the Psalmist speaks of our shouting joyfully and triumphantly to the Lord. We as God’s children should be overjoyed to use our voices in singing to our Lord, but also in speaking to others about our Lord. Then in the next 3 verses he speaks of the greatness of our Lord. We must never lose the wonder of our heavenly Father. I will summarize 3-5 verses: “The Lord is a great God, a great King. The depths of the earth are in His hands, the mountain peaks are His.  The sea is His, He made it. He formed the dry land. He is our Maker. We are the sheep of His pasture, the sheep under His care.”

I wonder if we really pondered and rehearsed the unspeakable awesomeness of our heavenly Father, what would overwhelmingly rise up from the depths of our heart.  Would it not be to worship!  For You, Oh God are worthy!  Such joy unspeakable! Like Church Bells Ringing, inviting all to come and worship our amazing Lord!

Joy,

Phyllis

Flapping or Soaring?

When I was a child growing up, we raised chickens.  I remember when I would go out early in the morning seeing a Bantam rooster, (usually a brightly colored chick about ¼ the size of a regular chicken) just vigorously flapping his wings as though he was going to fly to the moon. Sadly however, he really never got off the ground.  In contrast when Jon and I were in Wyoming we saw the majestic eagle soaring high in the sky above the troubles of this world. Oh, what beauty!

In Isaiah 40:31 we see that God teaches through Isaiah the prophet that His desire is that His children soar as eagles, not just flapping as one trying, but never getting out of the barnyard. In Isaiah 40:26 we see the very first thing that we must do if we are going to soar.  Lift up our eyes on high and see. See what? He, Who has created all things and is strong in power.  In Verse 28 He is the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the end of the earth, Who does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding. Verse 29 reminds us that He is the One that gives power to him who has no might.

In verse 31 our heavenly Father concludes that those who WAIT FOR,  EXPECT,  LOOK FOR, and HOPE in God shall change and renew their strength and they shall lift their wings and mount up (close to God) as eagles (mount up to the sun); they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint, or become weary.

Lord, as my body weakens and life causes weariness at times, I choose now to look up and behold my great and mighty God, so that I too might soar on eagle’s wings by His power and strength.

Joy,

Phyllis

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“Jesus is taking our picture”

Have you ever shared or taught a special Bible scripture and then circumstances came into your life where you personally had to trust God about the truth of that scripture?  That happened to me just this past week.  I was speaking at a ladies event using the verse in Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present and well proven help in trouble.”(those scary times). Amplified version

Just a few days later at 2:00 AM we were waked by an 80 mile an hour wind hitting our house.  Of course we were immediately out of bed and turning on the TV to see what was happening.  I got our safe space under the stairwell ready for occupancy. It felt like our windows were going to break, we could hear the debris flying outside as it hit the house, and the whistling sounded like our roof was ready to fly off.  Thank the Lord that it didn’t. I will tell you that it was a very scary time.  Was Psalm 46:1 true for us that early morning? A very resounding YES! The next morning we found damage all over our neighborhood where the EFO tornado had come blowing through. God didn’t prevent the happening, but I can tell you He was with us in the midst of that storm.

I read a story recently in McHenry’s Quotes: When Donald and Simmie Godwin took their 4 year old grandson on a camping trip at Lake Superior they got a good theology lesson.  A bad thunderstorm came up and the little guy was fascinated by the flashes of “whitning.” He watched the sky light up for a few minutes then gave his commentary. “Look! Jesus is taking my picture.”  Our activities and attitudes never escape the attention of our God. He is constantly taking our picture.  Just a reminder of His amazing love for us.

A great lesson from a 4 year old.

Joy,

Phyllis

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The Master Artist

“For we are God’s workmanship recreated in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:10

When I am inspired as an artist to draw or paint a picture, I usually get a new clean white canvas.  As the painting begins step by step to slowly become the image that I had in my heart and mind, only then can others begin to see it, too. There are many phases and hours spent in the development of the painting.  What a joy for me, as the artist to see that image coming to life on the canvas.

When we repent from our sins and receive Jesus into our life as Lord and Savior, I think at that moment, we become a new clean canvas. 1 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if any person is in Christ, he is a new creation.”  God the Father then begins His work in our lives to make us into the image of Jesus, His dear Son.  Unlike my paintings, it does not just take a few days or hours, but a lifetime of the Father’s love and care instead. Truly He is the Master Artist. He uses many light and bright colors (days).  Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and peace.”  He also uses dark colors (days) to contrast those days. Why? He is teaching us trust and thankfulness in all things. 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Be thankful in everything no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful for this is the will of God for you, who are in Christ.”

We must remember that only the Master Artist knows what He has to do to make that image of His Son, Jesus come alive on our canvas. He is using all the colors and every brush stroke that is needed to develop a beautiful painting.  In the eternal “Art Show” of God, we will be one of many famous portraits painted by the mighty hand of God, as we come alive in Jesus on that heavenly canvas.

Joy,

Phyllis

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Christmas Boots

Well it is Christmas time again.  At almost every Christmas event, we are asked to share one memorable event that we remember about Christmas as kids.  As I was thinking about that this Christmas season, I remember that my brother and I would get a new pair of handmade western boots under the Christmas tree. We were so in to horseback riding that we would wear out each pair by the next Christmas. I can even today remember how great they fit.  They were perfectly made by the boot maker. The tough leather that held our feet and ankles protected them from scratches and cuts as we rode through brush. The just right size heels kept our feet in the saddle stirrups as we would round up the cattle. They were precisely crafted for the job they were made to accomplish.

As I was thinking about those amazing boots I couldn’t help but think of how our heavenly Father says in Psalm 139:14 that we are; “fearfully and wonderfully made.”  God made each of us for His pleasure. He is the Master Craftsman when it comes to making special people for a special task. You see, God knew before the foundation of the world that He had a unique place in this world for you and me.  We were hand crafted by the Master for that assignment.  What an amazing truth.

Sometime the enemy, people or even circumstances will try to convince us that we are not of any value and cannot do anything right, but we must remind ourselves of what the Bible says about a person that has accepted Jesus as their personal Savior. “You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God Himself.”  Remember, as one of my dear friends would remind us, “If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.” Begin to praise Him now for His wonderful grace and His marvelous workmanship in making YOU SO VERY SPECIAL.

Joy,

Phyllis

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