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How About a Laugh? Chuckle Maybe?

DSCF0314First a little riddle: What season is it when you’re on a trampoline? (I chose this riddle for my grandson who competes in trampoline. The answer is at the end of my post.)

It’s unusual for me to wake up with a heavy heart, but this morning I did. I don’t know when the Lord put together the verses I needed to hear today, but there they were as I began my day with Him.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28.

Have you ever wondered if Jesus laughed? Scripture tells us He was a man of sorrows. Of all men, Jesus knew the work and weight of sin, not His personal sin. He had none. He is holy. But the weight of our sin. Even with the weight of our sin on His shoulders I believe He had times of laughter.

I see Jesus with the children blessing the little wiggly, giggly toddlers and such. Then one preschooler sits on His knee, cocks his head and asks, “I try to love my little brother, but when he hits me, I hit back. Will I still go to heaven?”

Ok, so maybe, Jesus didn’t laugh at the questions but I’m certain there had to be a smile, and later when he met alone with the disciples, I can hear the laughter as they recounted some of the incredulous questions children ask.

Even King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes of a time to laugh. Psalm 126 is a song speaks of our time to laugh.

“When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

Then was our mouth filled with laufhter, and our tongue with singing:

then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

Turn again our captivity, O lORD, as the streams in the south.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed,

shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

As I finished reading these verses a little chorus I sang with the Sunday School and camp children came to mind. It goes like this:

IMG_0556“The joy of the Loooord, is my strength. The joy of the Loooord, is my strength. The joy of the Loooord, is my strength. Oh, the joy of the Lord is my strength.

He fills my mouth with laughter, Ha, ha ha, ha ha. He fills my mouth with laughter, Ha, ha ha, ha ha. He fills my mouth with laughter, Ha, ha ha, ha ha. Oh, the joy of the Lord is my strength.

The final verse is simply Ha, ha all the way through ending with, Oh, the joy of the Lord is my strength. The children loved it and so did I for it always brought a smile and even a few chuckles to everyone, including those who looked like they may have sucked on a sour lemon.

Today are you feeling heavy-hearted? The Lord invites you to come, give your heaviness to Him, and He will give you rest-and it may be through laughter, at least a chuckle, or a smile.


And by the way, after filling my heart with laughter, when I went to see about my Mom, I found myself plunging and mopping up where her stool had overflowed. I had to smile and sing my chorus.

Now for the  riddle’s answer: Spring time!

Share the funniest thing your child has said or asked you, and we can all share in some laughter.

 

 

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Let’s Do It Now

516“All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.

They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;

To make known to the sons of men thy mighty acts,

and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.

Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, 

and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.” Psalm 145:10-13

The kingdom of God:

Glorious in majesty>abundant wealth in greatness

The kingdom of God reflects the character of God who is abundant in greatness. There is none like Him.

“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” Ex. 15:11.

“And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.

And I saw as the colour of amber, as the appearance of fire round about within it, from the appearance of his loins even upward, and from the appearance of his loins even downward, I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about.

As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, saw as the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD, And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.” Ezek. 1:26-28.

Everlasting>perpetual , without end, always

As is His kingdom so is our God.

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalm 90:2.

“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1Tim. 1:17.

Many view the kingdom of God as some distant future home. This is only one piece of His kingdom, the final glorious majesty of His kingdom. The essence of the kingdom of God is among us, for the King dwells within us.

“From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand…Matt. 4:17; And as ye go preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 10:7.

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” John 3:5-7.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord God shall call.” Acts 2:38-39.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Gal. 2:20.

As followers of Christ, we are children of the King. We are no longer of this world. It is time for us to join the saints.

“All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.

They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;

To make known to the sons of men thy mighty acts,

and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.”

“Giving thanks to the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” Col. 1:12,13.

What have you been talking about today? Let’s begin to speak like we are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,

”for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”  Rom. 1:16.

We are children of the King. There is none like Him. We have something to talk about. Let us make known by word and deed His glorious majesty. Let’s do it now.

 

 

 L

Sharing My Blessing

The following post is borrowed with permission. I believe it holds a blessing for us all but I received a double blessing for it was written by my grandson. So I received a double blessing, the truth within the post and the testimony of Elijah’s faith.

I don’t normally post, as I normally don’t have anything I feel is worth saying. But tonight I do. I absolutely love this song. It’s part of Crowder’s newest album and it’s easily one of my two favorite songs from it (especially the acoustic which is this link). YOUTUBE.COM

Crowder – Official Acoustic for “Hundred Miles,” from the album I KNOW A GHOST. Get I KNOW A GHOST here: https://crowder.lnk.to/iknowaghostyd

Last Saturday I showed my grandma Kay this song and she asked me a simple question in response: how do we glorify God most?

My initial gut thought the generic Christian answer: by living for and in Him. By following the path God has set for us.

However, God showed me a different answer tonight as I did my nightly bible reading/study.

I listen to songs and videos as I do my studying as it helps me focus and often times brings up new questions and thoughts. Tonight I was listening to the video “the serenity prayer” by the Skit Guys Which sparked the thought.

First, the question isn’t “How do we glorify God most?”. To get the full scope of the question is has to be asked like this: “How do we glorify most Him who is glorified in of Himself? How do we glorify Him most who is already the most glorified?”

blog fathers-day-822550_960_720And it’s about what we do in response and because of Him. I now firmly believe that we glorify Him most in our letting go. He is most glorified in us when we completely let go of everything and run to and grasp onto Him with as much determination as we humanly can. When we hold onto His hand like a child holds onto their parents. The pride a parent is supposed to feel when their child runs up to them with open arms and holds onto them without letting go is only a absolutely microscopic fraction of what God, our Abba Father, must feel when we do the same with Him. That’s how we glorify Him most.


Father, may we most glorify you today by letting go of all that is not of you and clinging always and only to your strong hand.

Now, my question is: What holds us back from glorifying our God? What are we holding on to that He wants relinquished?

Are You Loved?

 “I have loved you, saith the LORD.

Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us?

Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob,

and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage

waste for the dragons of the wilderness.” Mal. 1:2,3

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Image courtesy of pixabay

When life gets hard and yes, it does get hard. There are disappointments, pain, sickness, and death. Do these things cause you to wonder if God loves you? Have you like, Israel, accused God of not loving you? Have you ever felt like an Esau instead of Jacob?

Esau was the object of God’s hatred for sin. Esau defied God in pride.

“Whereas Edom saith,

We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places;

thus saith the Lord of hosts,

They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever.”Mal. 1:4

Jacob and Esau, twins, one coveted the blessing of his father, the other despised it and sold it for a morsel of bread. Both were born in sin but one believed the blessing of his father would bring him riches. The other only cared about satisfying his fleshly appetites. Jacob went about receiving the inheritance the wrong way, but eventually came to God his way. Esau forfeited it altogether. Jacob came to know the love of God. Esau would inherit only the wrath of God. Neither boy possessed qualities to endear them to or make them worthy of God’s love, nor do we. Yet, we find in Romans 5:8-11…

 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

For if, when we were enemies,

we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Rom. 5:8-11.

“I have loved you, saith the LORD.

Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us?”

cross-sunset-sunrise-hill-70847.jpeg“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are haled. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isa. 53:3-6

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…

And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him…When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost…John 19:17, 18a, 30…

 that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life…

blog tombb796a201f64ff34f04fe09f604ff0ae4--easter-crafts-crafts-for-kids“And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus…He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” John 24:3,6,7

If you are asking, Does God love me, look at the cross and know the love of God, look at the resurrected Lord and know you have inherited everlasting life.

 

 

Possible, Probable, Promised

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courtesy of Pixabay free images

Wow! After spending over a year studying Revelation with my Precept Bible Study group, we have finally finished. For those spending much of their lives studying prophecy I realize that doesn’t seem like much. But we were exhausted and elated. What did we learn? Many hold to possible interpretations, others hold to the more probable, and then there are the things that are promised, things we can know.

I’m sharing, as I understand, a possible and probable sequence of events from the book of Revelation and the many cross references that fill in some of the blanks found in this book. What I have gained is a place to start when sharing with others about the second coming of Christ. I welcome your comments, differences, and questions, knowing with the possible, probable things, there is always room to grow in understanding.

Revelation 1 is how the revelation came to us and by whom.

  • The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John; who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. (1:1-2)

The first thing John saw was the risen Christ (verses 12-20).

Chapters 2 & 3 give us insight into what Jesus saw and showed to John as He related the letters to the churches. These are, “the things which are,” spoken of in Rev. 1:19. These churches existed and were given instruction, warning, and/or encouragement from the Lord. I believe the essence of these churches still exist in the church of Jesus Christ. I think we each experience the character of these churches along our road to glory.

Possible Sequence of Events:

Between chapters 3 and 4 I would place the rapture, the being caught up with the Lord.

  • “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise firs: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”1Thess. 4:15-17.

I am not completely convinced of this timing, but scripture seems to point that way. What I am convinced of is that the church will not be on the earth when God’s wrath is poured out.

  • “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” 1Thess. 1:10.
  • “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” 1Thess. 5:9,10

This may be the time the church stands before the Judgment Seat of Christ, a time or rewards not life or death. Everlasting life is already belongs to the follower of Christ.

  • “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 2Cor. 5:10.

So then, chapters 4-22 are “the things which shall be hereafter.”

  • “After this I looked, and behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”(4:1).

Chapter 6 begins with Christ opening the 7 sealed scroll. Here is where I believe the 70th week spoken of by Daniel begins. I’m not including each reference but you will find referenced material in chapters 2, 7-12.

POSSIBLE ORDER OF EVENTS FOR REVELATION

  1. The 4th final kingdom of Rome(Terrible dreadful beast/kingdom of Daniel) is revived.
  2. It covers the earth
  3. Out of this kingdom comes one from among the 6 historic kingdoms, 4 of which are spoken of by Daniel.(Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Mede/Persian, Greece, Rome) This kingdom being the 7th.
  4. This is the Little Horn spoken of by Daniel growing larger than others.
  5. Maybe makes appearance at time of 1st seal in Rev. 6.
  6. At which time a covenant(spoken of as of many by Daniel) may be made with Israel.
  7. This beast/king is killed-fatal wound but rises from the dead at a time when the 2 witnesses of the Lord in Rev. 11 are plaguing the people of Jerusalem. They preach for 3 ½ years.
  8. The 7th seal introduces the 7 trumpet judgments
  9. The risen little horn/beast/antichrist kills the two witnesses. All the world (except those in the book of life) are amazed and worship him.
  10. A great earthquake follows and destroys 1/10 of Jerusalem. 7000 are killed- rest glorify God.

III. 3 ½ years left in Daniel’s 70th week.

  1. Abomination of Desolation occurs at/around 7th trumpet. (This is where the man of lawlessness is revealed and the great tribulation begins. This is the time of God’s wrath or the bowl judgments-the final judgments that will complete God’s wrath.)
  2. Beast sets his throne/image in the Holy Place-Temple of Jerusalem
  3. Puts an end to sacrifices; the false prophet represents him to the people
  4. All Must take his mark of 666(mark of a man) to buy and sell or die
  5. Babylon Judged
  6. Seven bowls are poured out on Babylon the city and all those taking the mark of the beast and worshipping him.
  7. The 7th bowl finishes Babylon.
  8. The King of kings defeats beast and false prophet.
  9. They are thrown into lake of fire.
  10. Satan is bound for 1000 years.
  11. Saints raised to rule with Christ for the 1000 years. The rest of the dead are not raised until after the 1000 year reign. And yes, I do believe it will be a literal reign.
  12. This is where I would place the Judgment of the Nations spoken of in Matthew 25.
  13. The End and the Beginning
  14. Satan loosed after 1000 years
  15. Deceives the nations and surrounds the city
  16. Fire from heaven destroys him
  17. He is cast into the lake of fire with beast , false prophet and those who worshipped the beast-forever.
  18. Rest of the dead judged-not found in book of life cast into lake of fire.
  19. New Heaven and New Earth
  20. God’s covenant completed
  21. All whose names are in the book of life will dwell with God

VII. All Invited to Come

  1. Be ready
  2. He is coming quickly.

We’ve looked at one interpretation of the events of Revelation. It is definitely not something to divide company with any believer. But following are some things I do know as promised by God.

The time is at hand:

  • “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” Rev. 1:3

Jesus Christ is the living Son of God:

  • “I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am alive forevermore. Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. ”Rev. 1:17-18.

There is a marriage supper of the Lamb:

  • “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” Rev. 19:9

There is an eternal lake of fire:

  • “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Rev. 14,15.

Jesus is returning and when He does it will be quickly, too quickly to change who you are.

  • “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last….Surely, I come quickly…”Rev. 22:11-13,20.

And finally:

A little boy raised his hand after I explained the plan of salvation to children in a kids’ bible class.

“Yes, do you have a question?”

“No,” he answered defiantly. “I don’t believe any of this is true.”

The other children gasped in unison leaving little oxygen in the room.

“You have to,” some exclaimed.

I quieted the class.

“No, kids. He doesn’t have to believe it. But remember his not believing it, doesn’t change the truth.”

John’s writing tells us:

“…These sayings are faithful and true…”

Believe it or not. The decision is yours. But your choice will not change the truth. Jesus will return. Where will you spend eternity?

 

 

 

 

Take the First Step

one step

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:

for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth,

to the Jew first, and to the Greek.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:

as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” Rom. 1:16-17.

Faith is only as good as the object or person it is placed in. Another person will fail you. Faith placed in faith will fail you. Only One is worthy of complete faith, and He invites us to try Him.

“O taste and see that the LORD is good:

blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8

The Lord also tells us,

“But without faith it is impossible to please him:

for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,

and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

Life is a series of steps taken in faith, faith in something or someone. If placed in anything other than our creator God and redeemer, Jesus Christ, faith will ultimately disappoint. Placed in the great “I Am” faith leads to reward and God is the reward. He takes us from faith to faith until the goal is reached.

The first step is to believe the gospel,

“For God so loved the world,

that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,

but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

Take the first step. Our heavenly Father is there and will take you step by step from faith to faith to the journey’s end, no matter how long or hard the journey may be.

Have you taken that first step? Where has your faith journey with God taken you? If you haven’t begun won’t you today?

 

 

 

Gigantic Fear or Gigantic Faith

“And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day: give me a man, that we may fight together. When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid…all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.” 1Sam. 17:10,11,24.

So begins the account of David, shepherd boy, and Goliath, giant Philistine warrior.

In my morning time with the Lord, I am using the study guide, Goliath Must Fall, by Louie Giglio, published by Thomas Nelson. I’ve not read the book or used the video that can be used for small group study but you can get a good review of the book on Heather Greer’s site, By The Book.

We all face our own giants in this world. They are bigger and stronger than we. They arise in our minds taunting us, shout in our ears lies of defeat, and we, like the Israelite army melt or run in fear. We don’t have to fear for we have a David, a champion, who fights for us, a champion who has fought every giant we face and won. He is only a prayer away.

“I sought the LORD, and he heard me,

and delivered me from all my fears.

They looked unto him, and were lightened:

and their faces were not ashamed.

This poor man cried,

and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him,

and delivereth them…

You seek, you look to, and cry to the Lord.

He hears, delivers, gives sure hope, saves out of all troubles, encamps around us, and again, delivers.

 O taste and see that the LORD is good:

blessed is the man that trusteth in him…

The righteous cry,

and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;

and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous:

but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” Psalm 34:4-8, 17-19

You are invited to taste and see the Lord’s goodness simply by trusting him to be God.

You will see He is near the broken hearted and saves the humble. You will see He delivers His own out of all, not some but all, trouble.

How do we know God will do all this?

First, He is able.

“Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:

Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them:

the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts, is his name.” Jeremiah 32:17,18

 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Eph. 3:20,21

blog tombb796a201f64ff34f04fe09f604ff0ae4--easter-crafts-crafts-for-kidsSecond, He has already done it.

“This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses…Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, who ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:32,36.

Christ on the cross tasted death, sins victory but for a moment. Christ risen from the dead defeated our greatest enemy. This is the assurance of victory over any giant we face for all eternity.

Let us walk in the faith of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world:

and this is the vctory that overcometh the world,

even our faith.

Who is he that overcometh the world,

but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God…

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God;

that ye may know that ye have eternal life,

and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

And this is the conficence that we have in him,

that, if we ask any thing according to his will,

he heareth us:

And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask,

we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1John 5:4,5,13-15.

Fear not. Have faith in your Champion. The giant is dead.