Our God Given Will To Choose

God has given us the freedom to choose good or evil. Just look with me at the beginning, in Genesis, chapter two, where God told Adam, “You are free to eat from every tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of Knowledge of good and evil.” They did though, and from that time on, we have the freedom to choose good or evil. Does that mean God won’t love us anymore if we choose evil? The Bible tells us that after they sinned, God made clothes for Adam and Eve out of the leaves of the fig tree. To me, this tells me a little about God’s love. After all, don’t we dress our children in warm clothes when it is cold outside even though they are naughty?

When we choose evil, does that mean we cannot ever come back to God? Of course not! He will gladly take us into his arms when we tell Him we are sorry. Still, we say,  “I could never be as good as the folks in the Bible. They always did the right things.”

Well, let’s look at a few of the people we read about in the Bible. Abraham had his wife lie to the leaders in Egypt, telling them that she was Abraham’s sister, not his wife. In order to be sure that Jacob would get the blessing from his father, which should go to the oldest son, Their mother had Jacob dress in the furry skin like Esau’s, and had him wear some of Esau’s clothes and even made Esau’s favorite stew. Then Jacob went into his father, who was ill and blind, to get his brother’s blessing.

We all know David, who is listed in the Bible as the man of God’s heart, took the wife of one of his fighters and made love to her. Then, he put her husband in the front of the battle so he would be killed and he could marry her! And, we know that Peter, in the New Testament, lied, telling the people he didn’t know Jesus when Jesus was being tortured.

All of these people and many more were richly used by God even though God forgave them. If you made the wrong choice, God still loves you. He will forgive you too. Isn’t it awful the wrong choices people are making today? But God will still forgive them. Why? because He always loves us, every one of us, even though we make the wrong choices He stands ready to forgive us.

 

 

 

 

 

I Graduated too!

Yes, I did graduate, but I didn’t get a diploma, just a water bottle. I graduated from my Physical Therapy sessions. However, my instructor said I must do my exercises every day, or at least three times a week in order to realize my improvement. What would happen if I didn’t do them? Well, I would fall back, and maybe not be able to walk at all!

That is true with just about anything, even life itself. If we decide to sit in our rocking chair and let the rest of the world go by, the world will go by and our bones will too. We will not be worth anything to the world, or even to ourselves. Or, if we don’t play the piano often, we will lose that ability. How about a big basketball or football player? If they forget their practice sessions they won’t be a big player very long. will they?

However, I’m thinking about something that is real to many today. In former generations, It was common for families to attend church every Sunday. Then they decided not to go every Sunday which would give them more time to sleep. Soon they decided that sleep was more important than going to church. so they didn’t go at all!  It is the same with reading the Bible. In quite a few homes today, the Bible is never opened, yet it is the most purchased book in the world today. Why? in former generations the Bible became tattered and worn because of use, and today’s Bible pages are still as stiff as the day they bought it.

I guess I,m taking my physical Therapy sessions quite far, but we should remember to continue those things that are good, otherwise, we will use them. I intend to continue doing my exercises. How about you? Why not decide to go to church this Sunday?

 

 

Our Little Children

Lost Sheep

The police were taking a dead teenager out of a shallow grave. I watched this on my television screen and I thought about the boy’s parents. He had been missing for three days! Had they been worried about him? All they knew was that three boys had gone out somewhere and now their son was dead! The police are still looking for the other missing two boys.

Oh! how I wish this story was big news, but it isn’t. There are stories every day about lost boys and girls. Are the parents even home when the child decides to go somewhere? When was the last time they sat down to eat dinner together? Do they know where their child was going and with whom?

God deeply cares about these little children and it is up to us to see that they are okay. There are a couple of parables in the book of Matthew, chapter 15 that tells about God’s love. In one of these, Jesus tells us about a man who has one hundred sheep in his care. One is lost. Does he not leave the ninety-nine sheep and go to find the lost lamb? When he finds him, he puts the lamb on his shoulders, rejoicing, and goes back to his other sheep.

God loves those thousands of young teenagers who have left home for one reason or another. He desperately wants each one of them to return. Their parents want them to return too, but God has put them in charge and many of them have failed as parents. They have not really cared who their teenagers are with or where they are going. They have not punished them when they needed it. They haven’t been with them enough, even to having dinner together. Just talking or praying together once in awhile would be good.

Teenagers are children needing someone to lean on. Most of them will tell you they don’t believe there is a God. They need parents who care and will tell them that they love them and that God loves them too. They will be like the man in the Bible who goes out to find the little-lost lamb and bring him home. What can we do to help these lost little lambs? We can pray for them and instead of saying, “Those teenagers! How awful they are, always getting into trouble!” Let’s figure out how to find them, put them on our shoulders and bring them home.

The Importance Of Keeping Close

Our family has three birthdays quite close together so we decided to celebrate all of them yesterday by walking along the Columbia River Walk. However, walking is rough for me so I was riding on my scooter. At one point I stopped my scooter to watch the boats on the river.  At another I watched my kids and grandkids walking a little ahead of me. No one was talking much and we were just looking at the river and reading the signs telling of the history before our city of Vancouver was born.  We are together and are family and saw one another often so there wasn’t much need for talking. We bring everyday news to my son in New Mexico so he too feels close to all of us. My daughter and her husband will be visiting him soon.

Now, why am I telling you about my family staying close? Well, it’s because I don’t think any of us stay close enough to our Father who is in heaven. He has given us a book without error where He tells us how we are to live. You may have a black, red or white Bible in your home but that might be the only thing familiar to you because you have to dust it every once in awhile. Why don’t you pick it up and read one of the Old Testament stories, such as Moses taking the children of Israel across the Red Sea on dry land! Or Abraham almost sacrificing his son. How about a reading of the baby, Jesus, born in a barn in a terrible time in history.

The people living at that time and written about in our Bibles were not always good. You will read about many dishonorable, even crazy things they did, which will give us some comfort when we do some dumb things today.

Anyhow, we should be as close to our Bible as to our family. Pick it up today and know more than its cover. Really read it and keep it close. Remember, it is God’s love letter just to you.

We All Want Freedom!

BirddayafternoonMy son and I had a surprise visitor the other day. Blazer, our cat, brought Mr. Blue Jay for a visit. They must have wanted this visit very much because I can’t imagine how the two of them got through our small cat door together! After Mr. Blue Jay strutted around a bit, he started to play a game with Blazer. He got up on a Kitchen counter and swooped down on Blazer who got up on his back legs to try to catch him. Before he could catch him, Mr. Blue Jay would be up on the counter again. They soon tired of that game and Mr. Blue Jay retired to the kitchen window, looking out and wishing he were free. He couldn’t get his freedom there so he got down on the floor and strutted to the living room. Ron told me to open up the patio door and he chased Mr. Blue Jay outdoors and to his freedom. That was the end of our visit.

This is High School graduation week and thousands of teenagers are thinking, “I am free! Mom and Dad can’t tell me where to go or what to do anymore,” After graduation, some of them go back home to think “what’s next”, some gather with their friends and celebrate and others get into trouble. All of them know that their freedom comes with a price. Whether they are going off to college, learning their chosen career in trade school or finding a job that fits. They will have to learn how to manage their freedom.

The best way all of us can do this is to follow God’s leading. Remember He said He will never leave us nor forsake us. If we ask Him to lead us through bad times and good He will always be with us and freedom will be ours! That’s what freedom really is. Try it and see. I hope Mr. Blue Jay didn’t lose too many feathers during his visit. I guess he earned his freedom that day. I can’t say, “You’re welcome to come again, anytime, Mr. Blue Jay.”

Know Yourself

I am now 92 years of age so I think I know enough about this subject to write about it. You need to know which talents and abilities are natural for you, the gifts that God has given you when you were born. If you develop these you won’t end up getting that gold watch for working in a job you have hated all your life.

God has a plan for your life but do you listen or learn about what you are really good at and what you would love doing for the rest of your lives. I at 92 now look back in time and know that God has led me and though I should have done more on developing my gifts I am not sorry, nor would I have done things differently.

I once had a chance to sing popular songs on the radio. I turned that down. Should I be sorry about that? It would possibly have changed my life and I know, my singing. My singing has always been for the Lord. When my first husband died, I had three children and we were living in a resort town. I loved that town and it would have been easy to get a job there. I listened and studied my Bible and finally sent out letters showing my education and previous work I had done. I got a job working at a church which needed someone to aid in education, youth and choir music! What could have been better?

I could go on and tell you many other things I have done just by listening and learning what goes with my talents and abilities, but I think you get the idea. Please know what your talents and abilities are. Spend time in prayer and study your Bible. God will lead you where you will be happy to go. You will be satisfied when you get to be 92, because you will know you have done your best, even though you, like me, will wish you had done more.

No Good People

When we go to funerals we often hear these words, “He or she was a good person”. These words are spoken to make the mourners feel better.  He or she probably did many good things, But were they good people? No, and neither are you or me.

A long time ago God watched His children grow from one generation to another. He dearly loved each of them even as He saw sin entered every one of them. He had established the burning of animals as a sacrifice for their forgiveness of sin but saw that wasn’t working, so this is what God did.

He sent his own son into the world to die for the sins of all of us. That must have been difficult for Him, but He loved us even though all of us sinned. So Jesus died for all of us, even the most wicked man or woman in the world! He died for every sin we have committed, even those we haven’t committed yet! We must love God and Jesus, confess our sins and we will be forgiven. God knew that there are no good people and that this was the only way of calling Him Father and Jesus, our brother, and Savior.

There are so many who don’t know their sins can be forgiven, some who don’t care, and some who don’t want to care. We are told that it is up to us, who have already confessed our sins and are children of God, to tell others. Wouldn’t we want our children and grandchildren to be God’s children and go to heaven one day? I am sure there is a resounding “yes” to that question.

Still, though we might be a good artist, singer or mechanic, we still are not good people. We are only good for the death and resurrection of our good brother, Jesus. So, we should trust God and not the government which is full of not good people!