NOT EVERYTHING

NOT EVERYTHING
I am guilty of not being all that familiar with the Bible yet. I am reading, and, of course, listening at church, and otherwise slowly becoming more enlightened. However, I misjudged a situation with a friend partly because I was too loyal to her and partly because I did not really know what all the Bible said about her type of situation.

One thing I have learned, recently, besides my lack of knowledge of the Bible, is that having much knowledge of the Bible, and being able to quote book, chapter and verse, is not everything. This person in question really knows the Bible, yet she is absolutely not following what she knkows. She seems to be digging a deeper and deeper hole and I cannot help her much. When I try to explain she just repeats “one day at a time” or “it’ll all work out”.

One needs to both learn what God’s Word says and then act in harmony with the Word to the extent possible. My trying to emulate Jesus as much as I can, without better familiarity of what He actually said is not going to get me very far. Likewise, my friend’s quoting scripture like a pastor could, but living in a worldly manner, in opposition to God’s Word, will not work for her. It is not a good idea to eat just fruit or just veggies; we need both. We need a balance of both Bible knowledge and daily practice.

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IMPROVED UPON

IMPROVED UPON

I have noticed that when I talk to people about Jesus, most of them say they already know Him or already have a personal relationship with Him. But in telling them my testimony and how our relationship with Him can be improved upon, sometimes they seem to put up walls, as if I might be tresspassing their boundaries, which, of course, I do not intend to do. I think everyone who does not, or who does, have a relationship with Jesus can improve upon it.

Jesus is always more than we think He is. He can and has done more for us than we will ever consciously realize.

When we say we know Him well enough it sometimes means “I don’t want to talk about it.” I feel sad that so many people really do not want to talk about it. I know they may feel uncomfortable talking to a complete stranger about something so personal. I do understand that because I often feel more reluctance than I need to about approaching the subject of Jesus with strangers when I’m out and about. Sometimes I just make a casual comment like “I’m so glad Jesus is helping me with this” or “If I didn’t have Jesus onboard, I’d be really lost.” So there seems to be a two-way street of reluctance. I know that in my case, I need to really understand that if someone rejects my wanting to talk with them about Jesus, they are not necessarily rejecting me. And, most important, it is not about me; it’s about Jesus! It’s also about the high probability that we’re truly in the End Time, and people really need Jesus! It is a matter of life and death for some people to find Jesus or allow Him to find them. I knkow; been there, done that. It is important not to wait until things seem perfect and then add Jesus to one’s life; we need to let it happen now; though things in our lives are imperfect. Now is the time for us to improve upon whatever our relationship with Jesus is right now; be it not at all , to mediocre, to even on the good side. Let this happen for us; let it happen for Him! Let’s all improve upon our relationship with Jesus now! Right now! In Jesus’ name, amen.

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COMFORT ZONE

COMFORT ZONE

I spent the last two days at a ladies’ conference. There was much good information shared there, and much inspiration. However, one of the speakers stated “God never pushes you beyond your comfort zone.” I beg to differ. I believe there are many, many people whose strength and endurance are never tested to any great degree; however, some of us are pushed to utter limits by Jesus, because He wants us to do the most and the best we can do while we are here on earth. Some people feel tested, victimized, and singled out to be severely punished for no good reason. Some people do not understand, (I’m sure I’m one of them) that most difficulties make us stronger; if not physically, mentally and spiritually. God isn’t being mean, rude or uncaring when difficulties arise in our lives. And, most importantly, He does not abandon us when we are in the throes of difficulty. In his book “the road less traveled”, M. Scott Peck, quite a number of years ago now, said “Life is difficult.” For most of us, this is absolutely a fact. There are spiritual leaders out there who entice people to come to Jesus stating that when they do, everything will be all right.

No more sickness.

No more pain.

No more hurt

and no weight gain.

(I had to haha.)

I think that if we really want Him to never push us beyond our comfort zones He might oblige. It is possible. But not at all probable.

The honeymoon was over quickly after my baptism. I was in the ER the very next day! Though later surgery was successful and saved my life, *still* I met with difficulties:gaining too much; losing both of my parents, mother-in-law and a classmate in a short time; having my rent increased twice in a short time; various bouts of illness; missing work unpaid; you name it.

The difference is that I am no longer alone. Whatever happens, Jesus is right with me in it. There is less separation anxiety. There is less feeling of abandonment. If I need someone to talk to, He is always listening. If I need His help, He is always there to assist.

I had an intestinal issue at the very end of our Ladies’ conference. I didn’t want to miss the end of the very last speaker’s presentation so I endured the waves of pain and the feeling that I was going to not make it to the bathroom. I didn’t want to interrupt my friends I was sitting with. I asked Jesus to help me and asked why I had to go through this pain. He encouraged me to reach out for help but I was reluctant; so I continued to suffer. Finally, she was at the end of her teaching and I reached out to my friend, letting her know I was in trouble. I almost didn’t make it to the bathroom but I didn’t soil my clothes. I did, however, need help afterwards. A nurse was summoned to help me stand and clean up. I felt really embarrassed. I realized it was my doing because I could have asked for help sooner; He had encouraged me to do just that. This was not a case of Jesus pushing me beyond my comfort zone; it was I who did that. We often blame God for our difficulties when it is often our own doing or undoing that gets in the way. Blaming rarely solves anything. Going to the edge of our comfort zone often can solve something. Jesus is always here–and there–to help. In Jesus’ name.

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THE ROD AND THE TELEPHONE CABLE

THE ROD AND THE TELEPHONE CABLE

I bought a flexible bin to hold odds and ends. With it, to my surprise, came four rigid rods. I discovered that there was a vertical “pocket” for each rod to be fitted into, with a velcro (hook and loop) flap to keep the rod in its pocket. The bin was flexible, but with even one rod, there was some sturdiness about it; certainly with all four rods. Without the rods, the bin would collapse.

Then, not two feet away, I noticed my iPhone cable. It was straightened out at the ends but in the middle, I had it looped over several times and held with a velcro (hook and loop) strap. The phone cable was quite flexible. It supported my phone not so much in its cableness but in what flowed through the cable.

And I thought, God is that way. He is capable of being rigid enough to be supportive when He needs to be, yet He can be flexible as my phone cable, when that is called for. Many think of Jesus as being more rigid than flexible. They speak of His being “unchangeable,” assuming that this means rigidity at all times. I believe His unchangeable nature is capable of being either rigid or flexible or anywhere in between, depending on the situation. If God isn’t able to meet every situation, who is? Unchangeable doesn’t mean always rigid; always stuck in the past; always out of step with now. No, He can be unchangeable yet here with us now, in the now of our human progress. He can be modern as well as not. He can be like the branch in the springtime that bends with the breeze; yet the same branch, not a different one, can snap and break in the winter wind. We haven’t changed branches; just the nature of the branch has changed. The nature of God can change without His changing. He can be the rod or the telephone cable. He made them both. And He made me. Certainly He has some flexibility about Him not only to accept the free spiritedness of me but to find me useful to Him with such characteristics. I think some people narrow their view of God to where he is perceived as just a rod; not a cable. I think they do Him an injustice, in fact, they are insulting Him. He is more than they think;more than I think.

The air we breathe undergoes some changes when we breathe it in and back out. But it does not cease to be air. As air, it is unchangeable. Yet it is flexible enough to handle our breathing it. God can be a supportive rod or go with the flow; He can do either but remain God. In Jesus’ name.

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WE ARE ALL TEACHERS

WE ARE ALL TEACHERS

Some people consider that only those who have graduated with degrees can be teachers. I submit that as we are all students, we are all teachers also.

One day when my daughter was quite young, I was correcting her on some point. She suddenly snapped:”You’re not my teacher!” I informed her that indeed I was her teacher; perhaps her very first teacher. I further told her that it was my job to listen to her and it was her job to listen to me. On some occasions, she did.

Though it is okay for me to listen to what some sighted people have to say about my blindness, it also behooves them to realize that I am also their teacher. They might learn something of great value from me. Those who assume I cannot do a thing may want to rethink that point and to listen to my sharing how I, indeed, do accomplish that thing.

Jesus does not require that I be sighted to live my life and to educate others as to my capabilities and alternative ways to do everyday tasks. Jesus knows that, in fact, I might have a perspective on something unknown to many of the sighted. He would encourage you to ask when you do not know; never to assume. He knows that each of us is not only a student, but also a teacher. Let us learn from one another. Let us ask, and learn from Jesus, our greatest teacher. In Jesus’ name.

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WE ARE ALL STUDENTS

WE ARE ALL STUDENTS

When I was in school, I asked a CATzillion questions. I had a teacher in fourth grade who would answer my questions by saying: “that’s not in the book” or “that’s not in our lesson” or “go look it up in the library.” So I did.

I have experienced that so often, when some sighted people speak to me, they tell me what I already know. They often assume that my brain is out to lunch–sometimes it is, haha. They feed me what they perceive my life to be. Sometimes they are not all that interested in finding out the truth of how I live as a blind person. Their fear level is less if they think along their own lines, not discovering mine. Consider the following:A Prayer For The Student; written by a father whose son was in school where he was

having some problems. This boy was 10 years old and he came home from school

depressed. The reason the boy was depressed is because he said that the teachers

wouldn’t let him learn. The father said, “What do you mean they don’t let you learn,

that’s what you go to school for”, he said. “No, no, the teachers only want to

teach me what THEY know, they don’t want to teach me what

I want to know.” And the father who was a famous Chilean biologist named

Umberto Macheralo wrote this poem called , “The Prayer for the Student”

So the student says to the teacher, “Don’t impose on me what

you know, I want to explore the unknown, and be the source of my own

discoveries. Let the known be my liberation not my slavery. The world of your truth can be my limitation, your wisdom can

be my negation. Don’t instruct me, let’s walk together.

Let my richness begin where yours ends. Show me so that I can stand on your shoulders. Reveal yourself so that I can be something different. You believe that every human being can love and create.

I understand then your fear when I ask you to live according

to your own wisdom.

You will not know who I am by listening to yourself. Don’t instruct me – let me be. Your failure is that I be identical to you!”

Jesus wants us to learn from Him; however, He wants us to use our own minds, too. He wants us to learn from each other and from our own individual study. Some of us are students for life.

 

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ADDENDUM

ADDENDUM:I found this addition to the verse I quoted previously:I found this to be a great reminder that God is always around us in the little and simple things that we take for granted. . . even in our electronic age . . .

So I would like to add one more:

The man cried, “God, I need your help!” And an e-mail arrived reaching out with good news and encouragement. But, the man deleted it and continued crying.

~ ~ ~
In Jesus; Name

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LEST YOU MISS OUT ON HIM

LEST YOU MISS OUT ON HIM

Several posts ago I talked about not missing out on God and/or your personal relationship with Jesus. I cited the piece regarding the man on the roof who did not recognize God in various guises. I have been privileged to receive another, similar, but different verse conveying a similar message. I am, as you know, one who thinks that important points bear repeating. I believe way too many people–including those who claim to be Christians–miss out on the very God who creted them; who loves them; who wants to guide them. Don’t let yourself be one of them–ASK Jesus to help you recognize Him in the everydays of your life. And now the verse:


The man whispered, “God, speak to me.”
And a meadowlark sang. But the man did not hear.

So the man yelled, “God, speak to me!”
Thunder rolled across the sky. But the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said, “God, let me see you.”
A star shone brightly. But he noticed it not.
And the man shouted, “God, show me a miracle.”
And a life was born. But the man was unaware.
So, the man cried out in despair, “Touch me, God, and let me know that you are here!”
Whereupon God reached down and touched the man.
But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

The man whispered, “God, speak to me.”
And a meadowlark sang. But the man did not hear.

So the man yelled, “God, speak to me!”
Thunder rolled across the sky. But the man did not listen.
The man looked around and said, “God, let me see you.”
A star shone brightly. But he noticed it not.
And the man shouted, “God, show me a miracle.”
And a life was born. But the man was unaware.
So, the man cried out in despair, “Touch me, God, and let me know that you are here!”
Whereupon God reached down and touched the man.
But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.
Moral: Don’t miss out on a blessing because it isn’t packaged the way you expect.

 




In Jesus’ name

 

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JESUS COMFORT US!

Jesus, we ask that You help us in releasing the old year and accepting the new one, in spite of much sadness around us. Bless our lives and the lives of our loved ones and those we do not even know. We ask for the comfort we know You, only You, can provide. You are waiting to help us; to love us; to comfort us; to bring us peace. We know even at these sad times that there is joy in You; joy we can share with You even now as we grieve. We give it all to You; we know You can handle it. We await the joy and peace from You as You comfort us. In Jesus’ Name amen

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PEOPLE DYING ALL AROUND US:

We are in a new year. We’ve been shouting out “happy new year” to our families, friends, and people we don’t even know. However, I feel a sadness.

In December of 2014, my Dad passed on from cancer. This past November, one of my classmates died of heart and breathing issues. In December of 2015 my Mom passed mostly to old age and after complications from an infection. Then, just a week before Christmas, my boss, who is such a good guy, was informed that his 22-year-old son was found in bed, deceased. Then the world sent a lightning bolt into my life with the news that Natalie Cole, daughter of Nat King Cole, had passed away at age 65. That’s very close to my age. It could have been me.

But wait, there’s more! I just received an email informing me that my mother-in-law had passed on Thursday evening.

I realize that the older I get, the more this kind of thing will happen; however, it is not easy to take when you know you will not physically ever see them or hear from them again.

I’ve heard people say, under such circumstances “It was their time to go with God. God needs them more than we do. It’s all in God’s plan,” etc. Though there could be some truth in those words, such utterances rarely console the grieving person. My parents and mother-in-law were older, so their deaths were almost expected. But what about my boss’s son; Natalie Cole, and so many others succumbing to an untimely death?

I apologize for such a morbid post on the second day of a brand new year. I am still working on this issue as some of you out there may be also. What is important is that when we are saved by Jesus, we do physically die; however, the real essence of who we are lives on, with Jesus! We feel sad about the worldly disconnect, which is humanly natural. But think of what awaits those who have been saved and how happy and free from pain and suffering they are now. “He’s in a better place,” my boss said about his son. Knowing this can be reassuring and relieving some of our grief. And, as I’ve mentioned before, give it over to Jesus; He experienced abject grief and He knows our grief. He can take the burden from us.

Isaiah 53



King James Bible: 3He 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. 4Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for {of} our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. 6All 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. 7He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth. 11He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied; by His knowledge shall My righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.



 

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