Saturday Already?

I woke up around 2 a.m., attended to what woke me up. Crawled back into bed, realized quickly that sleep was not going to come easily. Struggled to get comfy, turned on my bedside lamp and opened my book. Right now I’m reading A View Across the Rooftops by Suzanne Kelman. It’s a story about the Nazi occupation of Holland, their brutal extinction of the Jews in Amsterdam, and the end of WWII. It’s not an easy story to read, but it is well worth the effort.

I found I was becoming more and more restless, however, and finally had to get up around 4 a.m. I have restless leg syndrome, and it’s usually under good control due to the advice I received on Facebook from many friends. But this time? Not any relief. I finally resorted to an excellent standby–veterinarian horse liniment! The old gray mare is feeling less jumpy 🙂

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I get mine at the tractor supply. My chiropractor suggested it some years ago, and it truly is helpful.

However, I’m awake now. Wide awake. It’s 5:30 a.m. and I’ve been awake since 3:30 or so, finally got up at 4 a.m. I wonder what the day will bring. Brain fog will set in early, I think!

Anyway, thinking about some things. I had a delightful day yesterday. It was what I’ve begun to call my Teaching Day at church. At 11 a.m. I have a women’s Bible study group. We had some new faces there yesterday. We had our first session in the book of Hebrews, and boy, am I ever loving it already! A friend suggested a book by Nancy Guthrie, Hoping for Something Better. I don’t usually like to teach from any book but the Bible, but this book is outstanding. I am definitely using the Bible as the main focus for study, but Guthrie has done an outstanding job of breaking down the book of Hebrews into clear and simple terms.

Yesterday, we looked at the theme of the book of Hebrews, established in chapter one, verse one: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets.” The very first word in the book is the theme of the book. God is the center of the whole Bible.

I’m blogging the book of John right now, and it’s very easy to tie it to the study in Hebrews. John is all about Jesus, the Son of God. Let me tell you, these studies are life-changing!

I go from the Bible study group to my homeschool co-op history class. A great bunch of young people, they are interested and they participate! Can you imagine, we actually have FUN in history class? Right now we’re looking at some of the ways God intervened in the efforts of the Pilgrims to leave Holland and journey for 66 storm-filled days in a ship that was approximately the length of a volleyball court. It was tossed in those storms like a cork, up one gigantic wave and down another. Seasickness was terrible and unavoidable. They didn’t have Dramamine back then 🙂 There are stories of the way God both took life and preserved life.

When the Mayflower finally dropped anchor near what is now Provincetown, the first thing they did was thank God for protecting them during that miserable voyage. Then they set about to write a short document about how a “civil body politic” could be governed by rules agreed upon by all of them. The Mayflower Compact was the first written constitution, if you will, in the New World. It was about 150 years ahead of America’s Constitution.

I was curious about that wording, “body politic,” so of course I did some research. Simply stated, a “civil body politic” is a group of citizens acting together as a law making body.

Being a word nerd, I like to go to etymonline.com to learn the origin of words. Here’s the breakdown of the word politic: early 15c., “pertaining to public affairs,” from Middle French politique “political” (14c.) and directly from Latin politicus “of citizens or the state, civil, civic,” from Greek politikos “of citizens, pertaining to the state and its administration; pertaining to public life,” from polites “citizen,” from polis “city” (see polis). Replaced in most adjectival senses by political. From mid-15c. as “prudent, judicious.”

I wonder what those Pilgrims from 400 years ago would think of politics in America today. Probably not much. They prayed about everything, seeking God’s leading. Most of today’s politicians don’t spend a whole lot of time in prayer unless it makes them look good to their constituents. How do I know that? Well, people who walk with God and seek Him daily are not typified by lying.

Okay, that’s enough. I’m feeling a bit sleepy!

A Day of Rest

I’m so interested in what we’re studying in the book of John right now that I hesitate to leave it even for a day, never mind two! But I’ve had a rough couple of days, physically, and my body is aching and weary. I think I’m going back to bed in a little while, and that’s probably where I’ll spend most of my day.

Getting older comes with a whole host of physical challenges that I never even thought about before.

I hope you, also, are enjoying this study in John. I’ve read the book many times, but never to teach it on a verse-by-verse scale. It’s a huge blessing to me. Every word that Jesus speaks is purposeful and profound.

This is a challenge: Every word! So many of the words we speak are anything BUT purposeful and profound.

Now I realize that God does not expect us to go around with folded hands and long, sad faces. There is nothing wrong with laughter. After all, a merry heart does good like a medicine ( Prov. 17:22). We just need to make sure the things we’re laughing at are not inappropriate, and not hurtful to others.

“Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt” (Col. 4:6). This is certainly a challenge for me. I have a very fast mouth. That’s nothing to be proud of. When one has a fast mouth, things come pouring out that really ought not, need not, be said at all. Has it improved over time? Yes, I think so. I hope so. I’ll be so glad when I get to heaven and God gives me a new body, including a sanctified mind and mouth!

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Well, this has turned into a ramble that I wasn’t planning to write–but that’s okay. Sometimes I just have to start typing, and let God take over.

Billy Graham

I have seen many, many posts about Billy Graham. I’m old enough to have vague memories of when he got started. There is no doubt about his impact for Christ, and he was indeed a vital, inspiring preacher of the gospel. He was one of the greats of the last century, and this century as well. And so, by the way, was his wife.

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I have also read that people have heard or read that now that Billy is gone, the power of the gospel will disappear from America.

Dr. Graham would be the first to stand against such an encomium. It is true that his influence was world-wide, and many thousands of souls are and will be in heaven because of his work.

But the Holy Spirit of God is not removed from America or any other place in the world because of the death of one man, no matter how much of a giant of God he may have been.

I’m thinking of the thousands of humble pastors laboring in churches large and small across America. Many of them are underpaid and overworked. Many will live their lives, serving God and their congregations, with no fanfare or recognition. Their wives will labor quietly beside them, and never achieve national prominence.

When they step on shore and find it heaven, touch a hand and find it God’s, I believe they will hear the exact same words as Billy Graham: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Billy Graham may have been America’s pastor. That was the call God placed on his life and in his heart. It is no less a calling to be the unknown, faithful pastor of a church no one will remember 50 years from now. The work needs to be done. God calls men and women to do it. And He gifts them according to their calling.

When Christ comes to take all believers out of this world, THEN the Holy Spirit will be removed from this nation and all the nations of the world. In the meantime, let’s not forget to honor our pastors and other ministers of God in our local churches.

Billy Graham deserves the praise he is receiving, but I’m dead certain he would simply bow his head and say, “All glory to God.”