Monday, July 21, 2008

Call hith wife...

Ok... one more from my delightful 6 year old grandson!

This one was related to me by his mom (whom I find equally delightful)!

He asked to use her cell phone to call Papa (my husband... he's Papa, I'm Nana).

She got him all set up and Papa's cell phone was ringing. A few moments later mom notices he is sitting there, staring at the phone, deep in thought.

She asks him, "Well, did you talk to Papa?"

He pauses for a moment... still deep in thought... and says, "He thaid to call hith WIFE!?" Then a moment later he said, "I fink that'th Nana!"


Farmers Can't Do Nuffin'.

I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren. When I get to have one on one time with one of them, it is especially delightful!

The other day I had the opportunity to spend some time with the 6 yr. old grandson. He is particularly amusing to me because of his pronunciations - as you can imagine a 6 yr. old to use. I was driving him through the county farmland to meet his parents at a drop-off point. As we traveled through the farmland I pointed out all the corn in the fields and how tall it was. He decided to give me his 'take' on the farmers' responsibilities. (I'm attempting to share this in his vernacular... please bear with me in the spelling!)

He said, "Farmers can't do nuffin. All they can do is get up and eat breakfast and then go feed the cowth and clean up cow poop. Then they feed the chickenth and clean up chicken poop. Then they feed the pigth..."

To which I interjected, "... and they clean up pig poop?"

He said, "Yeah... then they feed the goatth and clean up goat poop. And feed the sheepth and clean up sheepth poop and then cut their hair and they are goatth."

I asked him, "So the sheep turn into goats when you cut their hair?"

He says, "No. Sheep ARE goatth when you cut their hair."

Stifling a giggle, I asked him, "So who taught you that?"

He said, "My dad... no [big brother's name]... no, dad told that to me and [big brother's name]."

This child was so very deep in thought as he related this information to me. I enjoy very much seeing the world through his eyes! Its a very interesting place!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I thought I'd share with you the actual lyrics to the song... most of us are quite familiar with the first verse... but did you know that there is more to the song? And it just gets better and better in my opinion!

The Star-Spangled Banner

O! say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming.
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


OUR National Anthem

A MUST SEE video! We guarantee that after you watch this video you will NEVER take our National Anthem for granted again. This video is dedicated to every person who serves in our military and safety forces and who continue to keep us safe and FREE. From all of us at we wish all of you a very happy Independence Day!


Friday, July 4, 2008

Food for Thought about Global Warming...

Ok, while I don't pretend to have all the answers and I'm sure its possible that I'll step on some toes, I'm going to just throw out a thought or two on the topic of 'global warming' ... please bear with me and if you don't agree, please bear with grace! Thanks, in advance!

Well, I have not jumped on the 'go green' bandwagon. Not because I'm against reducing, reusing, and recycling... because I'm all for being good stewards of His creation. I've not jumped on the 'go green' bandwagon because I don't believe all the 'global warming' propaganda/hype (sorry if those words offend... I don't mean them to be offensive, I'm just not sure what words to use if I don't ascribe to it).

Ever since the first time I heard the term 'global warming' and the subsequent warnings that the earth is getting hotter, the polar caps are melting, and WE MUST DO SOMETHNG TO STOP IT NOW (while we still have the chance!) I had a scripture "pop up in my spirit" and I haven't been able to get past it.

Then last week, during the midweek service at church, a comment was made that really struck me and I looked up that scripture that "pops up in my spirit" and was even more awestruck at the verse!

Let me share the comment... or, more accurately put, my paraphrase of the comment...

"For someone to think that 'we' (mere humans) have the power to destroy something that God created - or worse yet - think 'we' (mere humans) have the power to stop 'global warming' if it were true - is awfully arrogant!" I was struck by the truth of the comment... mankind has always had a weakness in that area, hasn't it? Thinking back to the Tower of Babel, or how about Abraham and Sarah and Hagar, or the Israelites wanting a human king, or the disciples wanting to overthrow the current authority and put Jesus in charge? (Or trying to usher in the Second Coming by moving Jews from all over the world back to Israel? But that's another topic... we won't "go there" today!)

So here we are in present day 'bible times' and mankind thinks it can 'fix' the problem of global warming or that mankind can actually destroy the creation that God spoke into existence! Wow... it just seems to me that present-day mankind is thinking more highly of themselves than they ought!

Oh, and what was the scripture that keeps "popping up in my spirit"?

"While the earth remains,
seedtime and harvest
cold and heat
winter and summer
and day and night
shall not cease." Genesis 8:22 NKJV

What I was even more awestruck by was reading the verses just before this one, I found that not only were these God's words, but He spoke them to Noah AFTER Noah came off the Ark and built an altar and offered burnt offerings to the Lord... and the Lord promised him that He would never again curse the ground or destroy every living thing! And the very next words recorded are "while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, COLD AND HEAT, WINTER AND SUMMER, and day and night SHALL NOT CEASE!"

I hope that this offers you some food for thought today!


Monday, April 28, 2008

Relationship vs. Fellowship

Have you ever filled out a job application and had to list references? Did you have to identify their relationship to you as well? How about the paperwork you fill out at the doctor’s office or hospital? You are asked to list numerous ailments/conditions that family members have and then you are asked to identify their relationship to you.

Have you ever had someone preach a message and heard them refer to your personal ‘relationship’ with God? How about when you were born again? Did you hear how you need to confess your sins, repent, ask Jesus to forgive you, and then you can have a personal relationship with God?

There are subtle differences between the words relationship and fellowship. I believe that most people say relationship but mean fellowship when speaking about the Christian walk. At the risk of seeming petty, I’d like to draw attention to these two words for a fresh look at them.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines relationship as:
1. The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.
2. Connection by blood or marriage; kinship.
3. A particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other: has a close relationship with his siblings.
4. A romantic or sexual involvement

The Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines it in similar fashion and adds synonyms to it.

re‧la‧tion‧ship /– noun
1. a connection, association, or involvement.
2. connection between persons by blood or marriage.
3. an emotional or other connection between people: the relationship between teachers and students.
4. a sexual involvement; affair.

—Synonyms 1. dependence, alliance, kinship. 2. affinity, consanguinity. Relationship, kinship refer to connection with others by blood or by marriage. Relationship can be applied to connection either by birth or by marriage: relationship to a ruling family. Kinship generally denotes common descent and implies a more intimate connection than relationship: the ties and obligations of kinship.

(Notice how kinship intensifies the meaning of relationship. Kinship includes relationship, but is more intimate than relationship.)

The American Heritage Dictionary defines fellowship as follows:
a. The condition of sharing similar interests, ideals, or experiences, as by reason of profession, religion, or nationality.
b. The companionship of individuals in a congenial atmosphere and on equal terms.
2. A close association of friends or equals sharing similar interests.
3. Friendship; comradeship.
a. The financial grant made to a fellow in a college or university.
b. The status of having been awarded such a grant.
c. A foundation established for the awarding of such a grant.

Random House Dictionary defines fellowship as:
1. the condition or relation of being a fellow: the fellowship of humankind.
2. friendly relationship; companionship: the fellowship of father and son.
3. community of interest, feeling, etc.
4. communion, as between members of the same church.
5. friendliness.
6. an association of persons having similar tastes, interests, etc.
7. a company, guild, or corporation.
8. Education.
a. the body of fellows in a college or university.
b. the position or emoluments of a fellow of a college or university, or the sum of money he or she receives.
c. a foundation for the maintenance of a fellow in a college or university.
–verb (used with object)
to admit to fellowship, esp. religious fellowship.
–verb (used without object)
to join in fellowship, esp. religious fellowship.
—Synonyms 2. comradeship, camaraderie, friendship, society, intimacy.

While the two words sound the same and are defined similarly, one is more intimate and more specific.

How do we make our connection to God using the word ‘relationship’? Let me give you an example of ‘relationship’ evangelism.

Acknowledge your sin, repent of it, ask God to forgive you, and you will have a personal relationship with Him.

On the surface, this seems wonderful. But is it really the connection that God wants with his children?

From the moment that God created man and placed him in the garden, man has had a ‘personal relationship’ with God. It is one of Creator and created. Whether you have believed on Him as your Lord and Savior or not, you have a personal relationship with God. He is the Creator and we are His creation. THAT is the relationship and it is quite personal.

But to have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ makes that relationship become more intimate as kinship. Scripture declares that when we are born again we become children of God; kinship. When we are born again, God becomes our Father; kinship. (Remember that kinship is a more ‘intimate’ relationship.)

But with regard to our faith life, do we want to stop there or is there more?

While I believe that kinship is incredibly important and a huge blessing ~ I believe there is much more. I believe, while God wants all of mankind to become His children, what God wants is fellowship with His children.

Unfortunately, in our American society, there are numerous examples of ‘kinship’ that does not include fellowship. There are many children who have kinship but no fellowship with one (or both) parents. These are people who have sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents (all kinship) but no fellowship. They are related by blood (or marriage) and yet they never see each other, never spend any time together, and do not know each other. They have a relationship of kinship but no fellowship. I think that this is unfortunate – both of the natural family as well as the spiritual family – as I see many examples of this in the church family also.

But I don’t believe this is what our Father God wants… I think we need to press a bit further toward His heart. That means we may have to get out of our ‘comfort zone’ but we’ll find ourselves in a more intimate place with our Lord.

Intimacy requires trust. There is no way around that. You cannot have intimacy without trust. You must trust the person to whom you are being intimate with and you must also be trustworthy. This is also a challenge for many because of influences from society and personal experience. You must search the Word of God to find His heart toward you and let that build your trust and your faith. He is gentle and loving and patient… all very important ‘trust-building’ characteristics.

Fellowship, at its best, is each knowing the ‘heart’ of the other. To fellowship with the Father is to know His heart and He knows yours. To be able to fellowship with Him, you must be in His Word – for it is there He is revealed to you. To fellowship with Him you not only need to know Him but be known by Him. That means talking with Him, spending time with Him, including Him in all areas of your life.

This is a very worthy goal… fellowship with the Father.

CLICK HERE if you want a list of all the scripture verses that have "fellowship" in them...


Friday, April 25, 2008

Show your faith by your works... love your neighbor!

We are commanded to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

In this, God is telling us to love Him and demonstrate our love for Him by loving our neighbor.

So who is our neighbor? Jesus answered this same question with a parable.

30 Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.' 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?" 37 And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." Luke 10:30-37 NKJV*

v. 30 Notice that Jesus doesn’t identify the man who “went down from Jerusalem”. We don’t know if this man was a Jew or Gentile. Even though Jesus didn’t specifically mention the ethnicity of this man, we assume he is a Jew. The robbers/thieves didn’t necessarily pay attention to his nationality or race or religion. Whatever distinguishing characteristics we would use today are missing in Jesus’ parable. They (the robbers) simply saw an opportunity and seized upon it to do the work of their “father”.

v. 31 A certain priest – this would be a man that knows the word of God. He knows that God has expectations of him to reach out to others. But he passes by the injured person and leaves him for dead.

v. 32 A Levite – this is a man that not only knows the word of God, but ministers to God Himself. He is supposed to be very close to God because of his calling. Yet he passes by the injured man and leaves him for dead.

v. 33 A Samaritan – this is a man who is considered despised by the Jews. Very often there was open hostility and hatred between Samaritans and Jews. Samaritans were people of Samaria and were thought of by the Jews as a mongrel race and of a polluted religion. Jesus ministered to and taught the Samaritans. The woman at the well was a Samaritan and she spoke about Jacob being their father in John 4:12 which says to me that they are children of Israel/Jacob. They were a people that believed the God of Israel. The Samaritan saw the injured person and saw him as a person in need, not as a “certain” type of man – he had compassion on him.

v. 34 The Samaritan went to him, cleansed his wounds, bound them up, put him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn where he cared for him.

v. 35 The next day, when he had to continue on his journey, he made provision for the man to be cared for by the innkeeper, paid in advance for whatever costs would be incurred and went his way – promising to return and repay, if necessary, any costs that accumulated beyond what he pre-paid. The Samaritan saw an opportunity and seized upon it to do the work of his “father”. He demonstrates his love for his God by demonstrating love for his fellow man.

This Samaritan didn't perform surgery. It didn't take special skill to do what he did. He didn't need years of schooling or training. He, as well as the priest and the Levite, were without excuse. Each man in this parable was expected to reach out to this injured person - this person in need.

This proves that none of us have an excuse for not "doing" in the kingdom of God. All He requires is a willing and obedient heart; a heart that beats for Him.

What is interesting in this parable is that, if we assume that the injured man was a Jew, it was his own "brothers" that came across him. Two of those brothers passed him by. It is likely that these were brothers that he either received teaching from or worshipped with every Sabbath. The one that didn't pass him by was the least likely person to have stopped - even though he was a "brother" too.

Jesus said in John 13:34-35*, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Jesus was speaking to His disciples – not the general population. He was speaking to those who number themselves with him. He was speaking to those who name the name of Jesus. He was speaking to us.

His message here is that we are to love our brethren. As He has loved us, we are to love one another. By this outward act, the unbeliever will know that we are His disciples – when we demonstrate that love that He has given us, toward our brethren. When the general population – the unbelievers, the backslidden, the lost – when they see our love for each other, it will draw them to the one Who has placed that love within us.

Notice that He said it was a commandment? Just as the Samaritan was obeying God’s command to love God and to love his neighbor as himself, we are to be obedient to Jesus’ command to love one another – as well as obey the command to love God and our neighbor.

Who is our neighbor? Are you being obedient? Is there any area that you need to change? Are you loving God by loving His people? Are you serving God by serving His people? There are many areas that you could serve God in. Ask God, ask your pastor, ask your choir director or Sunday School teacher or other leader in your church… you can be obedient and serve in some area, in some capacity, regardless of your age, or your education, or your abilities ~ or your perceived lack of these attributes. Can you pick up a mop and broom? Can you vacuum? Can you wash dishes? Can you supervise children? Can you help out with supervising the children? Can you teach a Sunday School class? Can you play an instrument? Can you tell others of the love of the Lord? Can you pick someone up for service? These are just a few of the ways you can be like the Samaritan and serve God by serving His people – love God by loving His people.

What are you waiting for?

*All Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc.