Read the Back of the Book

One of the many things that I love about the Christmas season is getting to watch Hallmark Christmas movies on TV.  Every one of the movies is cheerful and full of adventure. As the movie begins, we get to enjoy the breathtaking scene of the falling snow and the beautiful village full of joyful Christmas decorations. Of course, the movie starts with the introduction of the leading characters and then moves into the plot of the story.  Then, just when you think all is well they start building up the problems and disappointments with which the character must deal.  We know that there will be something that will cause stress and confusion in the journey for the characters. However, I never get all worried and fearful, WHY YOU MAY ASK? Because I have seen so many of the movies that I know how they will end.  Boy gets girl, they kiss and live happily ever after.

As we contemplate on all the problems and anxious events that are happening in our world today and in our personal lives, I think that we should remind ourselves that God’s got this!  You see if you have received Jesus as your personal Savior then you can count on what the Bible says in the end. It turns out OK!  Best said in an old song, “I read the back of the Book and we win.”

“I’ve been readin’ in the Bible bout the ending of the age, and one thing’s for certain it grows closer every day.  But I’m not concerned about the way it will end.

  ‘Cause I’ve read the back of the book and we win.

I’ve read the back of the book and we win, no more livin’ in darkness, we’ll be living at home again.  You see there ain’t no need to worry about it if you’re born again.  I’ve read the back of the book and we win.

No, there’s ain’t no need to worry about it if you’re born again

I’ve read the back of the book, and we WIN!”

I am so thankful that our Heavenly Father let us read the end in the Bible so that we don’t have to be worried through all the middle stuff that happens in life.

Joy and Merry Christmas,


Being real about the cost of discipleship!

Jesus lays out terms of discipleship. Just as there are many today, there were crowds of people in Jesus day that followed Him because they loved the miracles, His healings, and free food.  Jesus was cool and the talk of the town.  They loved His gifts and benefits without a personal relationship with Him.  They were following Him for what He did rather than for Who He was, God’s Son. Luke 14:27 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me, cannot be my disciple.” Col. 2:6 “As you have received Christ Jesus, continue to live in Him.”  Matthew 16:24-25 Jesus said to His disciples. “If anyone desires to be my disciple, let them deny themselves, disregard, lose sight of, forget themselves and their own interests, take up their cross and follow me.”

James Dobson tells a story of Irina Ratushenshaya, who was from the Soviet Union in the 1990’s.  She shared after being raised in an atheist’s home, she found an old Slavic Bible when she was 23.  She taught herself to read it and discovered a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Her faith was discovered by the KGB, who had infiltrated the Russian Orthodox Church pretending to be priests. Irina was sent to a labor camp.  She refused to deny her Lord so they tortured her.  A tooth was drilled without anesthetic to test her tolerance for pain.  She was placed in an unheated room of 50 degrees for 5 months and given a cotton gown.  She sat on a cold floor and was fed only every other day.  Irina shared, ”being a Christian follower is not a very pragmatic thing to do and doesn’t bring many benefits in the Soviet Union.” President Ragan heard about her and arranged for her release through government channels.

When I read this story, I had to ask myself, “If that ever happens in America, would the Lord be able to count on me to be His true (follower) disciple?” The question for all of us, that claim Jesus as our Savior today, is not whether we are willing to suffer for Him, but are we willing to deny ourselves and LIVE for Him!




“Come unto Me, (Jesus speaking) all who labor and are weary, heavy laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to “REST.”  I will ease and refresh your souls.  Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble and you will find REST (relief and ease and refreshment and blessed quietness) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome, good, not harsh, hard, sharp or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant. My burden is light and easy to be borne.” Matthew 11:28-30   Amplified Bible

Bible REST is by definition when one ceases to become agitated or disturbed, but instead finds a place of quietness.  The Bible speaks of REST some 71 times. Notice that the scripture says, “Come to Me.” Notice the verse also says, “Learn of Me.”  So many times, we try to have rest for our anxious souls without coming to Jesus.  Some go to pills, alcohol, self- help books, busyness, or anything to occupy their troubled minds other than Jesus.  The verse also states that we not only are to come to the Lord , but we must learn of Him. I have found that the more I learn of my Lord the more I can trust that He will do exactly what His Word says. “ For all the promises of God in Christ are yes and amen.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

Then the scripture begins to talk about the yoke.  When the oxen of olden days were yoked together to do work, the older and trained oxen would be yoked with a younger more immature oxen so that older could teach the younger.  Jesus says that His yoke is especially made to fit us, to guide us and empower us as we do the work that He has assigned us here on earth.

When I was a little girl we lived on several acres of land. Every year my daddy planted a large garden.  We also owned an old mule to help with the plowing.  Daddy used to say, as he would harness the mule, that is was very important that the harness was properly fitted or it would rub sore places on the mule. Jesus is trying to tell us that if we will “Come to Him, learn of Him and be yoked together with Him,” He will give us REST (tranquility of mind) and refresh our souls.  No more hurts and sores in our soul trying to do things in our own strength and in our own way. Thank you Jesus……




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!!!



“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)



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.



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!



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.



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!



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.