For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, May 30, 2015

So Many Socks

Psalm 51:7-10
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.Let me hear joy and gladness;    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
When my kids were at home the laundry piled up. Keeping jeans, sports uniforms, and oh so many socks clean turned into a daily task. I was thankful when the girls were old enough to help out. One of the challenges of washing clothes still plagues me. Stains. Those daily stains of life can be a real challenge. Ketchup, grass stains, food, even paint. Thank goodness for Dawn dish detergent which worked for most of them.

In the Psalm, David knew his stains ran deeper than his outward appearance, they marred his soul. For him to be totally cleansed he needed God. The only way he'd be whiter than snow was to bow before his Lord. We've all sinned, it is the nature of people to mess up. There's only one way to be cleansed. Jesus. He gave his life as a sacrifice for all of us. I am still amazed that he loves me that much. Years ago I bowed before him, accepted his grace, got baptized, and received the Holy Spirit. Even though I still fall down, he loves me and accepts my repentant prayers. Jesus is the only way to heaven. He's the way, the truth and the light. And living for him fills my life with joy and hope. Praise God for his grace!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Quick Licks or Big Slurps

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

My family traveled many-a-summer to dairy whips all over the state. Mom had a favorite one near Peebles that served the best foot longs and shakes. I loved the Tasty Freeze on Route 50. I'm not sure what the name of it is now, but it's still in business. And of course, the Dairy Queen offered a yummy list of sweet treats. Whether I got a hot fudge sundae, banana split, or twist cone, I had to figure out the best way to eat it. Slow with small bites, quick licks, or big slurps. Did I savor the cool creamy desert or eat so fast I got brain freeze. Maybe something in between worked best. No matter how I ate it, I loved the sweet taste.

All my life I've been told to read my Bible. I've heard that I should go verse by verse to study. Use the Greek to decipher the meaning. Read the Bible in a year. Look at several translations at the same time. Try a study guide. So many ways to learn about Jesus. Which one is best? I've tried many of the methods. And you know what? I've learned something new from every one of them. Whether I take tiny bites and read a verse or two, or study several chapters in one gulp, I've learned from the scripture. The only times I've not gained from reading the Bible is when I haven't done it at all. I cherish the truths I've learned from God's word. They've changed my life and made it much sweeter than I could've imagined. Praise God for his word.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Gravity and Grace

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

©Penny Frost McGinnis
I just finished reading Cynthia Rutchi's, As Waters Gone By. It's a tale of love, fear, confusion and forgiveness; one of the best stories I've read in a long time. As sometimes happens, a particular line in the book caught my attention. "Grace always outweighs gravity." Wow! That's one I want to remember. The times I need to cling to grace the most, I'm down, fallen due to sin, down and depressed, physically down, exhausted and not thinking clearly, and on and on.

The apostle Paul knew this secret and told everyone about it in his writings. He fell down, was tempted, and at times physically exhausted. He knew what it meant to cling to Jesus promise. "My grace is sufficient." No matter what I go through, I know I can cling to the grace Jesus gives me tied to my hope in him. Through Jesus' power I can rest on him and be strong. Praise God for his gift of grace.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

2 Timothy 1:5I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

There's nothing sweeter than holding a brand new grandbaby. I inherited that love from my mom. The sweet smell, the soft skin, the hope in a new life spills over and pours blessings on the one whose arms wrap around the beautiful bundle. But as I look into the face of each grandchild, I also see responsibility. As grandma, I play a part in their lives just like Lois did for Timothy. Like my mom has done for my kids. And my grandmothers did for me.

We're not alone on our journey. God provides help. Whether I am the Grammy, the mom, the aunt or the friend I want nothing more than to show them Jesus. May patience, kindness, love, and encouragement flow from me.

I'm so thankful for the women in my life who've shown me hope and faith. Thank you, Mom! Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Am I Happy

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Tim made sure I didn't miss this pretty pink tulip.
Do you remember the song from Bible school, "If You're Happy and You Know It"? We clapped our hands and shouted amen. It was a fun song to sing, but I'd like to change the words. Instead of happy, what if we sing "If You're Joyful". To me, happy is a feeling dependent on circumstance and inconsistent with the deep joy Jesus gives. Joy's not dependent on anything except my relationship with God.

I've been sick for a week. Run a fever every day. Am I happy? No. But I still have joy because I know Jesus loves me. My heart fills with joy because God gave me my husband who takes care of me and family and friends who check on me. I hope to feel better soon. I don't usually ask this but if you think to, pray for me.

Praise God I can sing, "I'm joyful and I know it."