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Friday, December 31, 2010

Thinking Positive for the New Year

It's easy to think negative about problems you're facing.  I think about Joshua.  He was faced with leading Israel across the Jordan and conquering new land, unfamiliar land.  One thing you have to do when facing adversity is talk positive and think positive while working on what you may see as a negative.  We can see shortcomings in our family members and problems at church or in the lives of those around us, or even in ourselves, but if we concentrate on the positive, the negative will fade (where it belongs) in the background.  God had to tell Joshua more than once "Be strong and of a good courage". In verses 6,7, and 9, of the 1st Chapter of this book,  God repeats to Joshua "BE STRONG, BE COURAGEOUS".  This is a message that we all need to learn in adversity.

God did not promise smooth sailing.  He only promised to get us to the other side.

~Let's live Holy~

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Whatever you get, get it right...

Proverbs 13:11
Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall have increase.
…He that gathereth by labor shall increase.  This word labor literally means “hand”— working with your own hand.    Have you ever heard someone say “get your own”, not always in a mean spirited way of being selfish, but encouraging you to have your own resources.   God is very much like this.  He wants to give us our own testimony; our own increase, wealth, spirituality.  He promises that if we labor, we will have increase.
 Often we dislike people who jump in the video after the work is already done. I don’t believe God cares for this attitude either.  God honors burdens and hard labor, working. The first part of the scripture deals with getting wealth the wrong way.   It will not be permanent if gotten the wrong way.  Good ends never justify wrong means.   Years ago, the Lord showed me a scripture about getting something you want the wrong way.  As a convert, I tried to rationalize how this could work but God showed me this scripture: 
Ezekiel 22:13:   Behold, therefore, I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made...
 Just “smitten” and “dishonest gain” jumped out from the page.  I left that idea alone. The idea of the original Hebrew language is that God caused something to happen to the person’s new found wealth.    When people are greedy, they will not hold onto their gain long.
 Bernard Madoff, made off with $50 billion but only for a space of time.
The next time you think about cheating someone to get an extra buck, think about this.

~Let’s Live Holy~

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Quotes on Honesty

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.  ~Mark Twain
No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.  ~Abraham Lincoln
Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind.  ~Austin O'Malley
The most dangerous untruths are truths moderately distorted.  ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Truth fears no questions.  ~Unknown
"Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons." ~Thomas Hardy
Source  for the above  :

--Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826), letter to John Melish, January 13, 1813
Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.
Spencer Johnson 
Click on links for sources

--Let's live Holy--

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Good Old Fashioned Repentance

In a house with three noisy children, somebody seemingly always has to repent. As a mother, I am constantly forcing, teeth-grinding apologies out of my children.  I have heard from some parents, that they don't bother to make children apologize if they're not really sorry. Whether I am using the Dr. Phil method of child raising or not, I'm not sure, but I can get answers quicker sometimes just praying for and communicating with my children.

My middle child who is the most inquisitive of my three children, asked me about this "forced" apology thing one day.
"Why do I have to apologize, if I'm not even sorry?" My son asked glaring sideways at his little brother.

"Because you hurt his feelings" I said. " It's as simple as that.  The issue is not you all the time, it's sometimes just the right thing to do." I said, surprised that I actually had an answer--well --to anything this boy asked. It was a stimulating question.  Should you do what you feel (leave his brother hanging) which may be more honest, or just do what is right, and maybe feel dishonest?

My son with his usual smirk said "But Mom, isn't this lying?  Are you a precious saint of God, telling me to lie? I'm not sorry, he's a crybaby".

"Okay smarty, do we always do things based on how we feel?"  I said."When you hurt someone, you owe them, even if you feel they are a crybaby. Am I right?"

Then I launched into a list of things that I did not "feel" like doing either, picking up his clothes, reminding him about homework, and oh, I don't know, cooking his dinner---and this was more trouble than it was worth to him to keep this argument going. closed. This is a lesson in how to win an argument by guilt--Mothering 101.

This conversation  though (he did grudgingly apologize) made me think.

If I get angry and knock a plate out of someone's hand, I owe them an apology even if I think I am justified.   Have you ever heard someone say about a former inmate, "they paid their debt"?  Joe Jailbird can be unremorseful, he's not quite feeling the repentance thing,  but society (the law) said he owed a debt.
Now about us and God.  We may not feel we owe a debt to God, but the debt still exists every time we do wrong. The debt is piling up.   President Obama did not create the debt, but the debt became his responsibility once he took office. We become debtors  and take on responsibility for that liability once we realize that we are doing wrong. 

 A child may take cookies from a forbidden cookie jar and proudly come into the room with cookie crumbs all over his shirt.  He does not understand his actions. He is not trying to hide.  But once that child tries to hide what he is doing, he has become aware of wrongdoing and needs to apologize for his wrong.

We are responsible to God for our sins once he notifies us of the wrong we have committed against him.  Actually this happens pretty early in our life, so most of us are living off of credit. Unfortunately, we inherited this balance which only the blood of Christ can pay off for us.  It gets cleared by repentance.  The old chapter 7 bankruptcies used to do this.  God has something better.

In the bible, repent is to"turn" from wrong to do what is right; to turn so completely that I stop the action that led to the debt and go the opposite way.  No one would believe that a person has repented or is sorry if they continue to perform the offense...would you? 

Something to think about...

---Let's Live Holy---

Monday, November 22, 2010

Our Prayers Received....

The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.  Psalms 6:9
In this Psalms David is in great distress because of his enemies.  If we study the life of David we will see that he had developed a dependence on God in times of distress.    David also had great confidence that God would first, hear him, and then, that He would receive his prayers.  Often people look at prayer as just words said in private, or maybe just in your thoughts.  But David talks of tears and deep communion with God.
The word receive in this scripture is defined in the original language as something “captured, seized, fetched, to go and get, or take”.  If we live right, God will actually take our prayers in his hand, he will come from on high and go get them, to take care of them.  Often our children ask us for things (and as the holiday season comes, there is certainly more begging) and in order to remember them, we write it down.  As a parent, that is our way of making sure those requests are a taken care of.  We take those concerns into our own hands, only because it is in our power to grant their needs or wants.  We are their source of receiving.   “Mom, I want a bike”, “Dad, I need $10 by Friday for school”.  We may not be able to supply that need, at that moment, but we take it in hand.
When I am an obedient child of God, he will take my prayers in hand, write them down, and at his own time, take care of those needs. 

If I cannot pray with deep assurance that God will answer, then I need to find what may be breaking my communion with him.

Here’s a clue,
Jesus said:
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (St. John 15:7)

Today is a beautiful day because I know God has written down my needs.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What is Faith?

What is Faith?
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). I don’t see it, but I believe I have it.  Sounds simple right?  Sounds illogical?  But, Faith is actually very practical and sometimes logical.   If we believe God is who He is, doesn’t it follow logically that He can do all he says He can? The fact that he sees all, understands all, and controls all should be enough.  But sometimes it is not.  I have learned to have more faith in God as I move on in life.  The many miracles God has worked for our family has me awestruck.
Think about it.  The one that formed the eyes (the very concept of seeing) “shall he not see”, and the person that came up with the concept of hearing itself, ‘shall he not hear” asks the Psalmist?  You see God created reason, and often uses reason to talk to man about faith.  People talk of blind faith, but God is not against us thinking or asking.  In fact he invites us to reason and talk with Him.   What He is not happy with, is willful ignorance of Him.   God reveals himself all around us. He will converse with us and commune with us about our problems, but we must listen to HIM.
One time, my husband and I had mission work to do at Hyde Park Hospital in Chicago.  We were on staff with the Chaplain, and had duties we were scheduled to perform that day in visiting the patients.  We also were in serious financial troubles at the time.  My husband only had enough money to make it to work, where he had a check waiting for him.   We did not have enough bus fare to get there, stay to make visitations and get home, and our phone was cut off that morning so we couldn’t call.   Here comes logical or illogical. Why would God give us this opening, and then we miss our duties (which the hospital was very tight on)?  So we prayed, and God told us to go on to the bus stop. Illogical?  Maybe.
As we got there, we noticed a larger crowd than usual.  We asked what was going on, and no one seemed to know except that the bus was sitting at the corner down the street for the last 10 minutes.  Finally, the bus started moving toward our stop.  When the driver opened the door, he stopped everyone from boarding and said these words “listen up people, the fare box is broken in case you were wondering why I was sitting there, I was tryin’ to get it to work, but it won’t work.  So here’s what I’m going to do, I ‘m going to give everyone a transfer good for a few hours….” I almost didn’t hear the rest, my husband and I just looked at each other and laughed.  As we sat on the bus I thought about how God blessed us and the other people too.  What a miracle! And God was right on time.

--Let’s Live Holy---

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's Those little Things

O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me--- Psalms 139:1
Have you ever seen anyone go through a stop sign because there were no policemen around to stop them?   This is how many people are with God.  There is something about us folks that walk on two feet.  We tend to do things, that even though we know they are wrong, we do them because often no one sees us or somehow we believe can get away with it.  But God put an inner eye (kind of a creepy way to say it, but there it is) in each one of us called the Conscience.  That thing that tells us that what we are doing is wrong and someone is watching.
Friend whenever you get that feeling, ask yourself, do I really just have to do this?  The answer is probably “No”.  Would I really want anyone see me do this or think this?  Again, the answer is probably “No”.    That’s the time to resist the temptation to do the wrong thing.  God is watching everything we do.  He knows what we are thinking about and will think about tomorrow, and we cannot hide from Him anyway.
So live your life better today.
Holy living is all about being honest with God anyway.  Start today.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Conviction, Part 2 (Facebook is the Devil)

I was in the hair salon one day and the ladies were talking about men and relationships.  One lady was talking about how someone put something on her status that went out to all her friends and exposed her two timing with another guy.  There was a whole lot of commotion on her Facebook page.  One lady said, it’s too much drama… Honey, Facebook is the devil!  We all laughed at that one.   My husband refuses to let me mention his name on my Facebook page. I admit, I have not used it in a while and my sister practically forced me to get one so she could communicate with me.
But my 15 year old practically lived there.  She would jump up from the table, “I need to go check my status!”  This unfortunately did not match the same level of need to do her homework. So I had to put some restrictions there.  We would be riding in the car, having a conversation and she would blurt out,  “Mom, are you using the computer when we get home? I need to check my status.”
 I would ask my 8 year old “where is your sister?”
  “She’s probably on Facebook”, he’d reply slowly and sadly shaking his head.  The poor child was addicted!
It reminded me of the Flintstones episode where Fred was addicted to gambling and kept saying “bet, b-b-bet, b-b-bet!” and his eyes would get all wild turn into hypnotizing circles.
            This summer though, she got involved with a youth group at our church.  She loved it and I was glad to see her do something other than being bent down under the glowing light of her computer.  It was too much!
            Slowly, she began to pull away from this obsession and hang out with the young people at church.  They would play games in the church’s gym, have fun eating contests, poetry nights and go places, and she loved it.  But she began to feel convicted about things that she was addicted to.  Like most teens,  she had more serious problems than Facebook, but for her, to cut this addiction totally out took a change of heart?   God was really talking to her about how she was wasting her life in general.
  One day I noticed that she hadn't said much about her status (which she would sometimes show me ).

 Guess what.  Lo and behold, while I was away on a mission one Sunday, God saved my daughter.  Hallelujah! 
 She has really changed!  The old girl is definitely gone and Jesus put a new one in her place.  She loves being saved.  Recently, I asked her what happened to her Facebook page.
“Oh mama, I shut that thing down a couple of months ago, before I got saved”, she said,  and I didn’t even know. I had not realized this particular change was part of her commitment to the Lord.  She told me she was thinking about getting saved all summer and knew she was addicted to it, so she shut it down.  My girl!   My husband said “What? She really must be saved.”
But this was a lesson to me; anything that is going to hinder me from serving God fully or will distract me from my true purpose, God will often talk to me about letting go. Whatever those addictions are. 
Salvation is all about change from the heart. 
Whatever is hindering me, is the thing God wants me to surrender to be a better person.  All habits are not sinful, but some things just get in the way.  
----Let’s live Holy…

What is Conviction? Part 1 How do you know …..?

Those that have been in evangelistic company have heard the words “he’s under conviction”.  The word conviction means a feeling of the weight of my sinful actions. That feeling you get when the police roll up behind you, when you know you’ve been going 80 in a 65 mile zone.  When you see those blue lights flash behind you and you know you are wrong and have been caught. That arrested feeling.  You know—the guilt, like everyone can see you nursing that Tom Collins in your hand or can smell the weed in your pocket, or see the porn under your mattress, and even though you have done it a thousand times before, all of a sudden, it feels wrong.  Things that you never gave a second thought, now feel real heavy.  Paul described it this way in giving his testimony in Romans 7: 
 13 Did that which is good (God's Law) then prove fatal [bringing death] to me? Certainly not! It was sin, working death in me by using this good thing [as a weapon], in order that through the commandment sin might be shown up clearly to be sin, that the extreme malignity and immeasurable sinfulness of sin might plainly appear.  (Amplified Bible)
….oh yeah, the sinfulness of sin.  That’s a whole lotta sin.  I had a man say one time, “you’re too sin conscious, too worried about sin”.  But isn’t that the problem?  We are not concerned enough?  Sin is what separates us from God.  Why did we need deliverance from sin?  The whole purpose of Christ’s sacrifice of his life was as an offering for sin, to take sin away from us so that we could have a path to God.  Listen to this conversation Jesus had with sinful religious people,
 34Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin.
35Now a slave does not remain in a household permanently (forever); the son [of
 the house] does remain forever.
36So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and

We hear this last part (v.36) hear a lot from the King James Version as:
 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
People use this quote all the time....but did you know that He was talking about being delivered from sin and not being a slave to sin anymore?

--Let’s live Holy….

 unquestionably free.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Riddle Answer

What has a lot of hands and feet, runs night and day but has no heart?

Answer:  a backslidden church

Please explain:  The church at Laodecia in Revelations 3:14-22 was a church that was rich and doing well outwardly but had lost their zeal and love for Christ.  As a result, they had what many churches have today:    routine with no passion; activities but no personal devotion to Christ.  They can live right on Sunday, but by Monday they carry on, living like unchanged people.  They have gotten so dull, that they may be dead like the dry bones in the book of Ezekiel; or more proverbially like the chicken with his head cut off that doesn't realize he is dead and is still running around the yard.

Is your church doing a lot for the community, activities for the children, retreats, bible studies but bickering, arguing, divided, hateful, gossiping, club hopping choir members,  or deacons and preachers that treat the church like their own personal cash cow? If you are in a church like this and hate what you see, please pray to find something better.  God does have people that are on fire for God. Don't confuse emotionalism with spiritual fire.  True spiritual fire results in a spiritual, holy life.  Be careful to move on when God tells you because it has been my experience that it won't be long before you start to feel it's not so bad and make excuses for the wrongs that you see.

When my spiritual fervency fades, it is time to get back to the old path of loving Christ so much, I refuse to go along with wrong, not matter what the cost. 

A lukewarm church is like a couple who stays together, because it's too expensive to divorce, or it's "cheaper to keep her" but have lost the romance out of their marriage.  They have the house, car and friends but their relationship is dead. How is your relationship with the Master?  This is the condition of many churches, and all who can need to pray. 

a good solid church I can recommend is

What is the Old Path?

So I guess you are wondering exactly what is the Old Path?  

The Old Path is what all Christians need to get back to! 

We live in the American age of the "mega church".   A mega church can have 100,000 members, but if none of them is living a holy life, what is the point? 

God calls people out of sin to a holy life.  He takes them from the kingdom of darkness to the light.  The old path is holiness.

Do you have to be Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama or a monk in a monastery to be holy?  Not according to the bible.  Being holy is obtained through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Many churches teach the St. Augustine view that holiness is something imputed to us through Christ's work on the cross.  In other words  YOU CAN'T REALLY BE HOLY.    But God never asked anything that was impossible.   Christ is our righteousness, but  he also gives us power to actually live right and overcome wrong.   Holiness is not just something we dream of as a believer, but it is imparted to our lives through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


The Lord saved me in 1982  while attending the University of Chicago, (a hot bed of agnosticism) and to top things off,  I was a member of a mega church on the South Side of Chicago under a now infamous Pastor of national fame. Still, I found no peace.  Why? I was still carrying a load of sins. I had a whole barn full of things I was doing in my non-church life.  I think they call this "hypocrisy". 

The point is, I was going to a church where holy living was something that no one  seemed to expect nor was it taught as being a reality.  However,  through all of this, God started dealing with me about living a holy life.  I asked people at church who had been Christians longer than I had, "how do you live holy?"  None of them seemed to know.  Their response was, "nobody can be perfect", which was not what I was looking for. My soul was at stake and I needed answers.  I would have settled for staying out of trouble with God for one day.   That would have been good enough for me.

Well, before I gave up on holiness as a pipe dream, I asked God to show me someone that was living right, because frankly, I was tired of getting on my knees every night about the same sins.  "There has to be something better than this" I thought.  I was so frustrated with myself "why can't I stop doing things that I know are wrong?  Why do I keep giving in?"  God was faithful to me and heard my prayer for help.  I met a young lady in my Calculus class  who was serious about being saved--unlike me.

She was not the "I just go to church, attend bible study but I have two boyfriends and some weed in my pocket" saved", but REALLY saved from her sins.  I wanted what she had, so I followed her up.  I heard messages that convicted me of my sins.  I told God that I was tired of living this double life and that I wanted real salvation.  Mind you,  I thought I was a Christian anyway because I believed in God, Christ and all that,  and went to church; but God showed me three scriptures that I did not even know were in the bible:

I John 3:8-9 (He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.)


 I John 1:9 (If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness)

God saved me in my room at home, and no one had to tell me that a change had taken place in my heart.  I knew God had cleansed me, forgave and delivered me from my sins.

Come back again and I will tell you more....