Thanksgiving Greetings

Praying you all enjoy a warm and blessed day, remembering to be thankful for all the blessings–and trials–of the year behind us. I love Thanksgiving. It is a day that realyl does get me thinking about all that the Lord has blessed me with. I love writing my Bible study blog, learning so much and becoming more and more excited about the Bible every single day. I love my writing blog, just having fun and meeting lots of friendly people out there in cyberspace. I love my family, although too many of them are miles and an ocean away. I love the tradition of Thanksgiving, for all it reminds us of in the founding of our country as the early settlers struggled through their first year. I love friends, my church family, all who have become a part of my life. Right now, I’m especially thankful for the many helpful hands that are working to give us a new kitchen. It’s going to be fine for cooking the turkey, the potatoes and gravy. Lots of the mess is cleaned up from the living room, and I’m pretty sure we’ll have help from the family tomorrow to help us with some things. I love my job. Sometimes it’s hard, and it stretches me. But God always seems to show me the way, using His Word, to help me help those who come looking for ways to solve their problems. Mostly, I love my Savior. I love the God Who allowed His only Son to bear the burden of my sin, and to rise in triumph over death so that we, too, could have eternal life in heaven. That’s lots of thanks to give.

The Days of Noah

Matthew 24:37. “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”

Noah faithfully built and preached for a very long time before God turned loose the faucets of the sky and the earth. Rain?  What was rain?   Flood?  Really?

“Riiiiiight, Noah.  You preach it, fella.  We’re just going to keep on partying and having a good time, and you go ahead with your weird little sons and their weird little wives. You gather up all the livestock and you just toddle right on into your funny-looking tub.

“What’s that?  If we repent and enter the ark with you, we’ll be saved?  Hey, guys!  The END OF THE WORLD is coming.  Y’all want to be SAVED, just repent of your ‘sin’ and climb into the ark with Noah and his nerdy little family. HA!  Hahahahahah!  What a joke!”

They were given plenty, more then plenty, of warning.  They were told exactly what was about to happen, but they weren’t listening.  They weren’t concerned.  They were having a great time, and they didn’t figure they were doing a single thing wrong. After all, they had good hearts, right?  They meant well. And God would understand.  He was supposed to be merciful, right?  So how could a merciful God allow a “flood” to destroy the whole earth?  Come on!  Let the doom-sayers go live in their ark with all the smelly animals. I’m staying here.

Busy!

Originally posted on Just Writing!:

I’m really sorry I didn’t get to read too many of your posts today on the daily prompt.  Incredibly busy day. We selected counterop, looked at tile for backsplash and floor, looked at sinks and faucets.  Some people just love doing this.  I don’t.  After an hour or so, I’m ready to say, “Just send me one of everything!”  I’m not a shopper, never have been.

Then a friend came to help install upper and lower cabinets on the north-facing wall, and I’m delighted with the effect so far. The only cabinets left are the wall cabinets on the south-facing wall and the ones we’ll use for the little breakfast bar thingamabob. The counter can’t be measured and cut until all cabinets are installed.

I love the countertop.  It’s called “cashmere white,” a granite top with a light touch of blue and some other sparkles. I’m thinking to pick up…

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Day Nor Hour

Matthew 24:36. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

I will never understand why anyone thinks he can go against the clear teaching of the Word. Jesus said that not even the angels in heaven know the day nor the hour of Christ’s return.  The man who made all this fuss and feathers was a highly regarded Bible teacher by many, many people. His arrogant insistence that he DID know what God says he COULD NOT know brought nothing but scorn and embarrassment to believers everywhere.

It’s not the first time.  Here is a list of many other false predictions. Satan will use every single thing he can to discredit Christians, to make them look foolish in the eyes of the world.

This I promise you:  If anyone says he knows the exact day and hour of Christ’s return, he is lying.  He may be lying while believing his own delusions, but he is lying. Do not follow him. Do not trust his preaching or his teaching. He is operating in total rebellion to God’s Word, and he is a false teacher.

Can we preach and teach about end times?  Sure!  We need to understand what the signs are, and what they mean. The Bible says that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness(II Tim. 3:16).  Some believe it is a waste of time to preach doctrine because it is so “dry and boring.”  Others believe it is unnecessary to teach about God’s holiness, but rather to emphasize His love, while still others preach the holiness of God to the exclusion of His love, mercy, and grace. Others refuse to study prophecy and the end times, preferring to focus on the right here and now.  All of those positions are wrong.  We are to study the whole counsel of God, not just the parts we’re comfortable with, or that we feel appeal to the popular culture.  Jesus didn’t have much appeal to the pop culture of His day, after all.

The whole counsel of God.  Without it, we lose our balance, lose our way, and become prey to all the “newest” teachings that flood our world via the internet, radio, TV, print media, and so on. Hold up God’s Word above all else. Even the hard parts.

This Generation

Matthew 24:34-35.  “Verily I say unto you,This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.”

Jesus said “This generation. . . .”   He was not speaking  of the generation among whom He lived and walked. He was speaking of the last generation living on earth at the time all these thing will be fulfilled. Of course there were disciples who believed fervently that Jesus would return in their lifetimes, but it didn’t happen that way. Every generation since has had believers who long and hope for the return of Jesus Christ. We are no different. What we have to understand is that all these things will come to pass within the lifespan of one generation, the last generation of people to live on the earth before everything changes forever.

I love God’s promise in verse 35.  Heaven and earth as we know it will pass away forever, but His Word shall stand. No one, nothing, not Hell itself, can alter what God has spoken.  Satan continues to attack, turning  people against the Word of God, against Christianity, even here in our beloved country. He may succeed for a time, but the day is coming when even HIS knee will bow, and HIS tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!

Cleaning. Blech.

Renovation requires a lot of cleaning up. We won’t really tackle the dust until the sanding is done, but we’re constantly sweeping, wiping, trying to keep the dust tolerable.  My major allergies are house dust, mold, and mildew.  Not a good combo here in PA where it’s often humid, summer or winter.

Today, home from church and lunched and changed into work clothes, I decided to replace the stuff I keep under the kitchen sink. Our new sink will be coming with the new counterop, sometime in the near future, please.  In the meantime, I’m thankful to have hot and cold running water again.  The new sink base is ready to fill up, so I decided to be a good housewife and wipe down all the jugs, bottles and spraybottles of supplies one typically keeps under the sink.

Ick.

Really ick. When I was taking this stuff out, I knew it was a little dusty. I was in a hurry, so didn’t pay much attention. Putting it back, though, I find I’m giving everything a hot soapy bath. Even things in cardboard containers, like SOS pads.  I’m also promising myself I’ll not let it get this bad again.

We’ll see.

So anyway, I’m thinking about all the stuff I keep in my own personal, inner “kitchen sink.” You know, the little sins that  don’t get a whole lot of attention until it’s time to do an all-out revival-type “search me, O God, and try my heart” kind of cleaning.  Bad attitudes about things like the weather.

May I ask, please, how it has EVER changed the weather for anyone to have a bad attitude about it?

Bad attitudes about work, for which I should be nothing but thankful. Bad attitudes about certain people who, God bless them, just don’t seem to understand some things. Bad attitudes about the news. Well, do you think maybe God will give me a pass on that one right now?  Really.

Bad attitudes about my dearly beloved, who is the best man in the whole wide world for me. No one else would have tolerated all my bad attitudes all these years :)

Come on, you know what I mean. The sponge that gets tossed in a little holder under the sink but that you didn’t rinse out very well?  After a while, it starts to stink.  So do our “little sins,” The little foxes that spoil the vines (Song of Solomon 2:15).

So while I’m wiping down, scrubbing, drying and replacing, I’m wondering how often God has to do that in my heart, and does He ever get weary of doing the same task over and over and over?

Or does He just love me?

Renovation

If you’re a Facebook friend, you may have seen the pictures and videos I’ve been posting as progress continues on the renovation of my old, tired kitchen.  It’s a lot of work.  We’re so thankful for our friend Norm Yeager, who has spent the last few weeks visiting various friends to help out with construction projects.  He has spent at least three full days helping Terry, possibly more.  Memory dims. He’s leaving this morning to go help someone else for a couple of days before he goes back to his longsuffering wife. Thanks for letting him do this, Sherry. Such a blessing to so many.

Anyway.  Others have come to lend a hand. Joe Schmidt has helped us tremendously in supplying cabinets. Our son Dan has spent many long hours, and I’m sure there will be more.  He can be the muscle for things Terry can’t life or carry, and he also helps keep his dad’s ADD brain from shooting all over the place :)  Time Delp spent some time yesterday.  Our son Mike was here for a couple of days and helped take down the wall between the kitchen and dining room.  Today our son-in-law Aaron will be here for a while to help set some more cabinets and, I think, put down the last piece of sub-flooring.

I took a picture of Norm and Terry working on tearing up the ugly old brown floor. I captioned it, “When two good men work together, the job gets done.”  It’s amazing how much more four hands can accomplish, especially when the hearts and attitudes are in harmony. It’s been fun to watch these two work together.

normterry

So I’ve been thinking about  the scriptural passage that talks about how we are all a part of the body of Christ, all with different abilities, jobs, and gifts that are to be used together for God’s glory.  You can read it in I Cor. 12:12-31.  Some parts of the body aren’t so glamorous.  No one really cares to take a good long look at a liver or at the bowels, yet the body would die without both of these inglamorous parts. We’d rather spend time enjoying faces:  Eyes, lips, noses, hair. We love to look at those who are beautiful, and the older I grow the more I realize that there is beauty in every single human being because we are made in the image and likeness of God.

Some body parts have inglorious jobs. Feet get stood on all day. Baby toes are really cute, but not so much after they start running, getting shoved into sneakers, and smelling a little funky :) And think about noses.  Mine doesn’t work so well any more.  There are many things I can no longer smell.  The inside of a nose isn’t exactly a stunningly beautiful thing, but without our noses, with the hairs that help sift out dust and allergens,  we’d be in a lot of trouble. Noses get the breath to our lungs. We wouldn’t survive without noses.

Part of maturity in Christ is to be content, and even thankful, for whatever part of the body God has created us to be.  We are all necessary to the work. We are all loved and deeply valued by God. We are His workmanship (Eph. 2:10), His poetry, his masterpiece, His work of art.

Some have hands to build, and heads to understand how to do so.  Some have tongues to speak, sing, teach, and minds to help them do so. Some have the beautiful feet that run to spread the gospel of peace. Whatever we are, whatever the part of the body God has ordained us to be, we have something to offer. We can all be an encouragement to others.

Terry and I are thankful for those who have been such an encouragement to us in this huge job of work.  We have a long way to go, but Terry is one of those who has hands and a head to guide his hands in such work. He needs more physical help these days than he used to, and God is providing that help.

It’s a beautiful thing.