Archive for the ‘Bible’ Tag

Joy?   Leave a comment

Our sermon this morning blessed my heart.  Pastor was giving us a word for the Christmas season, from the book of Nehemiah.  As a side note, I love the book of Nehemiah.  Years ago we had an adult Bible study on it, using a book titled “Hand me Another Brick”.  It is an excellent book – I recommend it.

He was in chapter 8 this morning.  The setting was after the wall was completed.  It was the day of the New Year celebration, and all the people had gathered to hear Ezra reading the book of the Law.  As he read, the words were explained to the people.  The Bible tells us that the people praised the Lord, but also as they heard the words Ezra was reading, they started weeping.  They were convicted in their hearts of their sins, and the sins of their fathers as they heard how they were supposed to live and worship God.

Nehemiah consoled and encouraged them.  “This day is holy to our Lord”, he said.  “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength“.  (my emphasis) You may have heard those words before.  You may have said them, or taught them.  This morning Pastor reminded us that the joy does not come from us.  We don’t have to have joy before we can get joy.  The joy is a free gift, from God.  It is God’s joy.  He doesn’t wait until we are perfect to give it to us.  He doesn’t wait for our lives to be trouble-free to give it to us.  It is a joy we can have today, for today is holy.

This holiday season, you may not be feeling your best. Your life may not be at a high point right now.  God says to receive the joy.  Receive it on faith if you have to, but receive it.  It is a free gift He gives willingly.  Enjoy the joy.

 

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Posted December 17, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Randomness

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NOTES FROM LENT REFLECTIONS   Leave a comment

I may have mentioned this before, but a few years ago I signed up for Lent and Advent daily devotional/reflections from Goshen College.  I so enjoy it!  I recommend signing up — you can get a gem in your email inbox during Lent and/or Advent.  I have been super busy at work and have met myself coming and going and have not had time to write blog posts like I want to.  But I did pull from the Lent devotionals a few things from just this week alone that I’d like to share with you.  Think about it, reflect on it.  Make it personal for your life.

“Remember how you were sustained before.  Remember”
Exodus 17

“No one party ever has a monopoly on Truth.  It is with this sense of wonder that I accept neither a sedating grace, nor a self-bestowed grace, but a “costly grace” that simultaneously comforts, discomforts, and calls us to follow the Incarnate God.”
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17

“Brokenness happens in life.  It is not what we desire or hope for, but challenges and fractures befall us.  Looking at restorative processes in nature is a helpful reminder that renewal in the midst of brokenness does happen.  Jesus is the orchardist who is committed to acting in our lives.  Christ is the one who brings salve to our wounds. We are made right by the loving, Creator God.”
Romans 5:1-11

“This Lent, may we be able to see the strangeness of Jesus, the ways in which he pushes cultural boundaries.  May we be able to look beyond the surface of the familiar stories and be drawn in by Jesus, who confuses our expectations.  May we be so compelled that our lives speak of this Jesus.”
John 4:5-42

Posted March 17, 2017 by Maureen in Christian, Musings, Uncategorized

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Every Day   Leave a comment

Last year I finally got down my New Living Translation One Year Bible and read through it.  I’ve been reading through the whole Bible since I became a born-again Christian, over 30 years ago.  It has never taken me a year to read through the whole thing — my usual time is a year and a half.  I have never pressured myself to read through the whole Bible in a year — as long as I am reading it every day than that is the most important thing to me.

But I wanted to read my Bible in a different way, so I took down my One Year Bible that I had purchased years ago.  I have enjoyed it very much!  Reading the same thing in a new translation has opened scripture to me in new and fresh ways.  Reading a bit of Old and New Testaments, as well as a little of Psalms and Proverbs every day was different and interesting to me.

But as the year went on I began to miss “my” Bible more and more.  The one with the leather cover and my initials in it. The one with all the papers stuck in it. The one with highlights and margin notes and notes from my Study Bible and notes from sermons.  I missed the feel of the pages and knowing just exactly where verses and chapters fell on the page.

So now I am done with my One Year Bible and I am back reading in “my” Bible.  Oh, how I have missed the feel of your cover and the sound of your pages turning!  Read your Bible every day.  It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to get through the whole thing. Just read it every day.

My Bible

Posted January 2, 2016 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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HYMNS WE WON’T SING   Leave a comment

When you are singing a worship chorus or hymn in church, or in a group, or just by yourself, do you ever think to yourself, “We won’t be singing THAT in heaven!”  No?  Is that just me that does that?

I try not to be “so heavenly minded that I am no earthly good”, but I do think about my final home.  People who adopt pets talk about bringing them to their “forever home”.  My husband and I just adopted two cats, so I have recent experience with that phrase.  This earth is not my home.  I do my best while I am here, but I am looking forward to my forever home – to be with God in heaven, to see Jesus face to face, to see my mansion, to watch and listen to the angels and heavenly creatures worshiping God.  So many things to look forward to!

I am sure there will be singing in heaven.  That’s not in the Bible – that is just me talking.  So whenever I sing a worship chorus or hear a hymn, I can’t help thinking, “Yup – that will be one we can sing in heaven”.  Or, “I love this song, but I’m looking forward to the day when we won’t be singing it anymore”.

I started to make a list of hymns we would sing in heaven, but actually the list of hymns we won’t sing is easier to compile.  How many can you guess without looking?  How many do you think are on my list – the hymns we won’t sing once we get to heaven?  10?  20?  30?  I chose from a list I found, and I didn’t pick every one – just the most popular and/or ones I have sung or heard.  So how many do you think?  Go ahead – Google it and take a guess.  I’ll wait.

[Humming and tapping my foot]

Back?  Ready?  Scroll down and take a look at my list.  Did you get the same ones?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abide With Me

Are You Washed In The Blood?

Be Thou My Vision

Christ The Lord Is Risen Today

Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing

Count Your Blessings

Day By Day

Faith Of Our Fathers

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah

He Hideth My Soul

He Is Coming Again

He Lives!

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

I Love To Tell The Story

I Need thee Every Hour

I’ll Fly Away

In The Garden

In The Sweet By And By

It Is Well

Jesus, Lover Of My Soul

Jesus Paid It All

Just As I Am

Leaning On The Everlasting Arms

Lord I’m Coming Home

Nearer My God, To Thee

Now We Thank All Our God

Old Time Religion

Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior

Peace, Perfect Peace

Precious Lord Take My Hand

Rock Of Ages

Safe In The Arms Of Jesus

Softly And Tenderly Jesus Is Calling

Standing On The Promises

Take My Life And Let It Be

The Old Rugged Cross

There Is A Fountain

There Is Power In The Blood

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Trust And Obey

Victory In Jesus

What A Day That Will Be

What A Friend We Have In Jesus

When I Survey The Wondrous Cross

When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder

When We All Get To Heaven

This list (which, as I said, is not exhaustive) has 47 hymns on it that, while marvelous and truly wonderful to sing, we will never sing again once we are in heaven!

And just for fun – here is a list of hymns I think we will sing in heaven.  Just according to me – there is no Biblical backing for this list or my thinking we will sing in heaven.

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Alas And Did My Savior Bleed

Amazing Grace

Before The Throne Of God Above

Blessed Assurance

Crown Him With Many Crowns

Fairest Lord Jesus

Holy, Holy, Holy

How Great Thou Art

Love Lifted Me

O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing

O Worship The King

Posted November 24, 2015 by Maureen in Christian, Randomness

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SONG OF PRAISE   Leave a comment

I read in the “Our Daily Bread” devotional just recently the following:

Praise is the song of a soul set free

I don’t know what it is like in your church/denomination, but in the one I attend there has been a trend the past at least 10-15 years to stop singing hymns on Sunday morning.  I don’t know why that is, but I have had a chance to know several young people who have attended Christian colleges, and some of them have had a worship emphasis.  And they say they are taught not to sing hymns anymore.  Why? I don’t know!

I had a friend a long time ago tell me that their pastor told them he didn’t want hymns sung in the church because, and I quote, “They are old and slow”.  I was dumbfounded.  My jaw dropped.  A pastor said that??!!  “Old”????  The Bible is old – do we stop reading it and teaching it because it is old?  “Slow”???  Have you ever sung “I’ll fly away”?  What about “There is Power in the Blood”?  Slow? I don’t think so!

I miss singing hymns.  Don’t get me wrong – the worship at the churches I’ve attended the past 10-15 years have had good worship.  Great singing, great leadership, great instruments, great songs and choruses.  I’ve been lifted almost to heaven with some of the worship I’ve heard in church.  It isn’t that the worship is bad.  It is just lacking.  Missing something.  It has been missing hymns.

I wish we sang hymns more in church.  Here are some of my favorites.  What hymns do you like?

It is Well with my Soul

Blessed Assurance

Day by Day

How Great Thou Art

Rock of Ages

Nearer my God to Thee

Amazing Grace

Softly and Tenderly

I’ll Fly Away

Christ the Solid Rock

Holy, Holy, Holy

O the deep, deep love of Jesus

A Mighty Fortress is our God

O Worship the King

To God be the Glory

Crown Him with Many Crowns

All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name

Be Thou my Vision

Come Thou Font of Every Blessing

Fairest Lord Jesus

Great is Thy Faithfulness

He Lives!

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing

The Old Rugged Cross

There is Power in the Blood

Victory in Jesus

What a Day That will be

When we all get to Heaven

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Posted July 20, 2015 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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Relating   1 comment

For my scripture reading I am doing the read-scripture-in-order program.  I enjoyed it so much the first time I’m going it again.  During the time you read the books of Kings you also read Chronicles and Psalms.

Do you ever put yourself into your scripture reading?  Do you wonder what it was like to walk through the Red Sea?  See the world engulfed in water?  See a giant like Goliath?  See Solomon’s temple?

I often find myself wondering these things, thinking on the scripture I read that morning as I go about my day.  What was it like to live in the desert with David when he was hiding from Saul, on the run with a band of men that looked to you for leadership and guidance and provision?  David did it when he was young – probably in his late teens and early 20’s.  That’s a lot of responsibility for someone so young, but he must have been good at it since the numbers of men joining him kept growing.

I recently read 2 Chronicles 22 and 28-29 about David making extensive plans and provisions for the temple that he knew his son Solomon would build.  I don’t know why that section so strikes me every time I read it.  Perhaps it is because I’m a woman and know how much enjoyment can be had by planning and saving and gathering – in preparation for a future home / event / baby / remodel.

By the time Solomon had established himself into his kingdom, everything was ready for the temple.  How marvelous it must have looked!  How awesome to live in Jerusalem during that time and see it all slowly take shape.  What a blessing to be there during the dedication. And how wonderful it must have been to bring your sacrifice to the temple for the first Passover celebration!

What about you?  What scripture do you really relate to and think about and picture yourself in?

Posted January 30, 2014 by Maureen in Christian, Musings

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Be Careful What You Pray For   Leave a comment

Do you have a prayer list?  People you pray for regularly? 

I have a group….. well, list of people I pray for to receive Jesus as their Savior.  Men I have dated.  Family.  Friends.  Coworkers.  Many of them I’ve prayed for many years now.

Lately, I have experienced spiritual attack by those I’ve been praying for.  I don’t mean they have been under spiritual attack — I mean I have.

I am a mature Christian who has experienced spiritual attacks (directed to me and to others) before, so I can say with confidence an attack is what is going on, without going into all the details and giving explanations. 

When you pray for people — do you mean it?  It may seem a strange question, but I think it needs to be asked.  Do you really want God to answer you prayer for those people?  If so, be prepared.

When I pray for salvation I really do mean it.  I’ve had a brother die and go to hell because he wasn’t a Christian, and I really don’t want anyone else I have been praying for to go to hell.  I want them to accept Jesus as their savior.  I want them to surrender their lives to God. 

So the spiritual attacks did not surprise me.  What was a bit surprising was that I have had to fight my normal, human reaction to the attacks.  If I forget these are people I’ve been praying for, I can start to really dislike them, and resent their treatment of me.  But I do get past that and ask God to help me to love them like He does.  I try to remember to put on my spiritual armor every day, and read the Bible every day. 

So, be careful what you pray for.  You may have unexpected consequences.  But don’t stop praying, and (I can’t say this often enough) read your Bible every day!!

Posted July 11, 2012 by Maureen in Being Single, Christian, Memories

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