I am thankful for my creator

Day one of the challenge to repeat this phrase for five minutes at the beginning of the day.

It is amazing the things God brings to mind when I expressed my gratitude for him in my life. Thoughts of family now and those gone on before, significant people who touched me in powerful ways and co-workers. Just the fact that I can tell my story freely and without shame it’s a privilege from God.

Veterans Day – Thinking about and Thankful to God

So family Honey walks in and hands me a notebook and says here are my thoughts for this morning. I said I am glad my girl is a treasure and she is still my girl. (Me happy!!) So here are her thoughts:
 
Thinking about and Thankful to God
For our Veterans and active service men and women
 
The morning air is crisp, cool, sweet to smell and the sun shines brightly. I awoke being thankful that God has allowed me to see another day. Almost instantly my mind went to the Active Service men & women, Veterans, the upcoming Veterans Day and my late father-in-law who also served in the military.
 
I thought about the sacrifice(s) these men and women make, have made and are currently making for this country and also the honor they are to be given for what they volunteer to do. I thought about the families they leave behind through deployment, the worry, and concern of the family if they will ever see that loved one again, will he or she return and what will they face in transitioning from soldier to civilian.
 
For the love of our country they put themselves in harm’s way, many times on foreign soil, they do it to protect those things they love be it family, country, a way of life or other reasons.
 
As an encouragement and a word of thankfulness to all the veterans and active service men and women, I am reminded of Joshua 1:9 which says… “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go”.
 
Therefore I say thank you, for the freedoms, we enjoy, through your service for our country. Because I see in each of you a willingness to do as Jesus did, whether past, present, or future, veterans or active service men and women I am reminded of John 15:13 “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.”
 
Yes, I know that this is what Jesus was telling His disciples and it speaks of Him laying down His life voluntarily for us, but in 1 John 3:16 says…”By this we know what love is: Jesus laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
 
For the freedoms, we enjoy through their service for the privileges we enjoy as a people and as a nation. Lord help us to be mindful and say thank you.
 
Thank you, Veterans and Active Service men and women not only on this day but every day throughout the year.
 
Lord help me and those reading this to be mindful of what we can do or what we can say for encouragement just like the Lord was encouraging Joshua.
 
Sister Sandra Davis November 10, 2017

Facebook or TheBook

What is most important, what has long-lasting, what will be the best choice for me today? Today I considered what I am most devoted too. I asked myself what matters most to me personally, what is my driving force and are my choices today aligned with that goal.

I am a Disciple of Jesus by choice, I am living my life with an eternal destiny in view and a daily realization that “any moment”, “in the twinkling of an eye” my Savior and Lord could return to take me home.

When I woke up this morning my thoughts immediately began to thank God for restoring my Spirit in His great compassion. Every night I lay down, not knowing for a certainty, you know, I could not say beyond a shadow of a doubt I will be here tomorrow, and so when my eyes are opened, my conciousness is restored, when I know who I am, where I am and whose I am I start thanking God for continued faithfulness to give me another day. Last night it rained, turned cold and I never missed a snore. Psalm 3:5 “says I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me.”

I, by the sustaining power of Christ, lay down and from that moment on my life was all in His care. The world kept moving, creatures and nightlife all moved without my knowledge, the heating unit maintained its temperature, the rain did not intrude into my space, my wife of 47 years was tightly snuggled next to me, and I knew none of it until I woke up. I woke up, yes I woke up in safety you know why? this verse says it was because the Lord was watching over me!! Hallelujah! to God be the Glory and Praise, His faithfulness was demonstrated again and so I thanked and praised Him.

Then, the trouble came, the momentary thought of choice. Would I check Facebook or TheBook? This should not even be a choice, but because I am made in the image of God the thought came to my mind.

What has God got to do with FaceBook? I am glad you asked. God is all about relationship, He wants the same things we want from our Facebook friends. We expect to have many followers, guess what Jesus wants disciples (followers) too. We expect them to respond to our posts even when we are not with them personally, they can’t see me make the post but I expect that they will take time to read and respond. God expects us, even though we can’t see Him, to read TheBook and respond as well. We check for likes, loves, wows and other emotions the Facebook allows, God also wants love and likes and our emotions to be given to Him.

What’s the big difference? unlike Facebook, I will never get a “your friend” is no longer in your friend list. Romans 8:38-39 puts it this way:  [38] For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, [39] nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The end of the story The Book makes that promise that I can depend because the author of TheBook (the Bible) sustains me. Facebook with limited liability.

I choose TheBook

 

 

Meditation in the Morning – Gratitude as a Prayer

“I am grateful to my Creator.”

People who have resolved to repeat this for five minutes a day for an entire month have found the tremendously positive impact that this exercise will have on all aspects of their life.

This is one of the most important messages you can tell yourself.

Living with this gratitude elevates you. You become a more spiritual person. You become a more joyful person. You become a kinder and more compassionate person. You become a calmer and more peaceful person. You become a person who lives in greater harmony with others.

Right this moment, imagine the joy you would feel if you were to feel an intense sense of gratitude to your Creator. Allow yourself to begin to feel some of this now.

In what ways might your envy of others be similar to this?

-Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
Aish.com

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman said: When you get up in the morning, let the world wait. Defy it a little. First, learn something to inspire you. Take a few moments to meditate upon it. And then you may plunge ahead into the darkness, full of light with which to illuminate it.

Every morning, actually some mornings and some evenings because I still work rotating shifts, when I wake up before I get out of bed, I am endeavoring to silently recite a blessing to God, thanking Him for returning my soul to me. While I don’t usually think that I might “die before I wake” as I go to sleep, (Remember the bedtime prayer) “Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray the Lord, my soul to keep; but if I doe before I wake, I pray the Lord, my soul, to take.” I am aware that my life is in the hands of God; my well-being depends on His chesed and His providence. In that sense each new day, when I become aware that I’m still here, is a gift from God.

One of my 89-year-old mothers’ friends puts it this way, “If I wake up and I know who I am, where I am, whose I am and who you are its time to give God some praise”.

Do you realize how many events take place when you are sleeping, these events are not on the other side of the globe but in our cities and communities and neighborhoods sometimes even on our streets? We are waking up to hear news of someone getting robbed just two streets over or police reports of multiple car break-ins on our cul-de-sac. (Now that’s bold, in my opinion, since you have only one way in and out.

But, as Jesus said: Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. (Matthew 24:43 NLT)

So because my creator, savior, and Lord continually watch over me (and all that I care for) all day and all night I will rise and bow, I will give Him praise and will have gratitude for all He has done.

That said here’s the blessing:

I invite you to join me and we can become aware of each new day and the promise it brings.

“I gratefully thank You, living and existing King for restoring my soul to me with compassion. Abundant is your faithfulness.”

God, Guide Me Today

Father God, 

Where I go today, I pray it be only in the path You have directed for me.

If I stumble today, I pray it only be into the deep waters of grace You have provided for me.

If I fall today, I pray that it only be into the arms of Jesus where I know I am held and loved.

No matter what comes my way and no matter where You lead me, I pray that my eyes will only be focused on You; my Rock and my Stay.  Please, God, guide me today for I don’t know what the day may hold, but I do know that You are holding my day!

Amen!

Proverbs 16:9 – “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.”

Psalm 37:23 – “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”

Psalm 25:12 – “What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.”

Charles Stanley – “Earthly wisdom is doing what comes naturally. Godly wisdom is doing what the Holy Spirit compels us to do.”

Thomas Merton – “For each one of us, there is only one thing necessary: to fulfill our own destiny, according to God’s will, to be what God wants us to be.”

Frederick Buechner – “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

Psalm 25:10 – “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.”

Luke 22:42 – “Not my will, but thine, be done.”

Dr. Tony Evans – “When you realize God’s purpose for your life isn’t just about you, He will use you in a mighty way.”

Joanna Gaines – “God, . . . I trusted you with my dream and you took it far beyond what I ever could have dreamed or imagined.”

POREUTHENTES- AS YOU ARE GOING…

The Adventure Continues…

My Pastor introduced the word today in our education department meeting.

Poreuthentes is a Greek participle which appears 15 times in the New Testament. In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), it’s typically translated as the command “Go.” I’m no scholar of Greek, but something I’ve learned about this word is that, in Greek, it’s better translated as “as you are going” or “while you proceed on your way through life.

It still holds the sense of the imperative, but it also offers context for the commands to follow. That’s what this blog is- it sets the stage of my life, as I am going, for the things that are going on in the world around me and that I get to be a part of.

I am “going” in the sense that each of us is going, proceeding through our own life. It has nothing to do with the distance from home or the physical location in the world. Rather, “going, proceeding, making my way” through life is inevitable and that’s what I hope to share along this journey.

What should we eat? Part 2

Clean and Unclean Animals: Does God Care What Meats We Eat?

Now we have arrived at our present day food choices. Which include many of the choices not given by our covenant God. Who, by the way, only has our best interest at heart. Some cultures in the world have strict religious rules about the preparation, kind and types of food that can be consumed, while many other people groups consume all types of food sources. But our question has to do with the Disciple of Christ choices so I will get back on the point.

As He, Jesus/Messiah, was winding up His discourse in Matthew 7, Jesus Christ asked, “Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:9-11).

Just as a physical father wants the best for his children—including giving them good things to eat—our Heavenly Father wants the best for us as well.

And just as our physical fathers taught us, God educates us on many aspects of living, and that includes which meats we can eat and those which He prohibits us from eating.

God defines clean and unclean animals

The meats God defines as clean and unclean are differentiated in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. This knowledge goes back much further, though, since Noah knew which animals were clean and unclean before the Flood (Genesis 7:2). Simply stated, God explains that:

  • Clean fish must have scales and fins. Bass, cod, flounder, grouper, salmon, snapper, trout and tuna all fit this category. Since catfish, lobsters, crabs, shrimp and many other water creatures do not have fins and scales, God says we should not eat them.
  • Animals must have cloven (divided) hooves and chew the cud. These types of animals include antelope, cattle, goat, elk and deer. On the other hand, rabbits and pigs do not qualify as being clean and good to eat.

In Deuteronomy 14:11-18 we read that all clean birds may be eaten, but those we are not to eat include eagles, vultures, buzzards, falcons, ravens, ostriches, owls, seagulls, hawks, jackdaws (part of the crow family), storks and herons. Chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, quail and pheasants do not appear on this list of unclean birds and are considered clean—okay for us to eat.

Most insects are not good to eat, but God says some insects, such as locusts, grasshoppers, and crickets, are okay to eat (Leviticus 11:22).

It is beyond the scope of this short explanation to enumerate every possible example of clean and unclean animals. (excerpted from  life Hope and Truth Article).

“Be holy”

Many have tried to rationalize why God declared some animals to be good for human consumption while others are not. Some have pointed out various health benefits of avoiding the unclean foods. However, God does not say that He gave these laws for health reasons, so better cooking methods today do not negate God’s rules. Even if we don’t totally understand the reasons, God wants us to obey. Through the pen of the prophet Isaiah, God declares that His thoughts and His ways are different from ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).

The Levitical priesthood was given the responsibility to teach the people the difference between “the holy and the unholy” and to help them “discern between the unclean and the clean” (Ezekiel 44:23).

God declares that He is holy and wants us to be holy (Leviticus 11:45; 20:7) as His sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:17-18). John 1:12 and 20:17 and other scriptures also verify this concept. Our Father wants all of us to be like Him—holy and clean.

Every father wants what is best for his children, and God is no exception. We cannot remain clean if we eat things that are unclean.

God has given some detailed instructions regarding clean and unclean animals—the ones we are to eat and which ones we should avoid. He also leaves it to us to “discern between the unclean and the clean” when He does not explicitly mention every animal. However, by examining their physical characteristics in light of God’s Word, we determine whether they are fit for humans to eat. King Solomon wrote, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2).

Because He loves us, God certainly does care what meats we eat, and we have His loving instructions and commandments to prove it. “Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” (Deuteronomy 5:29). (excerpted from  life Hope and Truth Article).

Well, my friends, I could speak of Romans 14, Acts 10:9-16, Colossians 2:16-17 or 1 Timothy 4:1-5 all of which have been used as proof texts that the laws of food have changed. But I leave you with this final thought.

When we get physically sick or when we have the one sin that cannot be hidden, gluttony, what is the first thing the Doctor asks when looking for a plan of action? For me, it is most often; “What are you eating?”  What does our government suggest on the (MyPlate website) recommendations? You guessed it more fruits and vegetables. To bring us back to good health our physicians go right back to the diet and what we are eating and that my friend is where we started. If these learned professionals recognize that what we eat makes a difference doesn’t it stand to reason that God our Creator and Covenant Partner knows best what we need?

I leave it to you to decide what meats you eat, hopefully, you will be a good Berean and search the Scriptures Daily to see if the Holy Spirit gives you clear guidance.

 

Until next time My friend grace and peace be multiplied to you.

What should we eat?

A friend recently asked a question about Deuteronomy 14:1-21 which has to do with what we can eat. An almost identical list can be found in Leviticus 11:2-20. So I thought I would undertake to give my observation, interpretation, and application of that text as I am learning life through the eyes of Messiah. I am asking that you, dear reader, be a “Berean” as explained in  (Acts 17:11).

You are the children of the Lord your God

The text begins by establishing that the people to whom these loving instructions are given are in a special relationship with “the Lord (YHVH) their God.

The importance of this opening text just leaps off the page to me in that because I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ, I am now considered a child of the Lord. Because someone took to heart the Word of Jesus in  Matthew 28:18:20

Joseph Benson states it this way: Ye (You) are not only the creatures, and the offspring, but the peculiar people, the worshippers, the servants, and those of you that are truly pious (devout, godly, reverent), the adopted children of Jehovah, the one living and true God, who is your God in covenant; and therefore you should not dishonour Him, your heavenly Father, nor disparage(ridicule, discredit, mock, demean, denounce) yourselves, by unworthy or unbecoming practices, such as here (in Deuteronomy  14:1-21) follow; and whom you must not disobey. Underlines are my insertion.

The lists in Deuteronomy 14:4-20 and Leviticus 11:2b-23 both have three sections. They are classified according to the categories of animals living on land (Deuteronomy 14:4-8; Leviticus 11:2b-8), water animals (Deuteronomy 14:9-10; Leviticus 11:9-12) and animals living in the air (Deuteronomy 14:11-20; Leviticus 11:13-23).

Let’s digress for a moment and consider where we first learn in Scripture about what we should or should not eat.

In the book of Genesis and the creation chapters, we find one of the first, loving instructions, was….you guessed it “what to eat”. Genesis 1:27-31 and in Genesis 2:16-17 right again “what NOT to eat”.

Look! I have given you

Now having seen what God says, He goes further and lists what kinds of food He has lovingly prepared and created and for which creature(s) in (Genesis 1:29-30). The Bible timeline shows that man, woman and all the creatures on the earth ate what God prepared for them. But wait! something changed, something went wrong. The “peculiar people, the worshippers, the servants, and those of you that are truly pious (devout, godly, reverent), the adopted children of Jehovah, the one living and true God, who is your God in covenant.”  was disobeyed the instructions were disregarded man and woman decided to eat the one (1) forbidden thing in all the garden. Our heavenly Father had given them all the fruits and herbs and vegetables in the garden except for one. So as many of us do today we see what God says and make a conscious choice NOT to do His will. Their and our covenant God had given them dominion over everything, blessed them to be fruitful and multiply and made them caretakers over His creation and because they thought they knew better than their creator what they should eat, sin came into the existence.

Along comes the Serpent, who is the Devil, and deceives Eve. Genesis 3:6 records—

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

1 Timothy 2:14 states—

And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

Eve was led astray and frustrated by underhandedness of the Devil. The Scripture says that she became a sinner before Adam. Yet, God did not impute Eve’s sin to the human race but Adam’s. The sin that caused the ruin of the race was willful, determined rebellion on the part of Adam.

Adam was not deceived! He was not tempted or beguiled by the Devil—Adam chose of his own free will to rebel against God! What happened when Adam ate the forbidden fruit? Romans 5:12 tells us that God imputed his sin and its penalty to the entire human race—

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men because all sinned.

Let’s fast forward to the flood (Genesis 6:5-12)

Everyone and every creature is still basically vegetarian eating from the assigned, by God, food groups. Now something happens the world has become so corrupt that it needs a good cleansing and so God looks and finds Noah, a righteous man, as stated by Scripture. How will you be remembered when your time on earth is over? When you are gone, how will others describe your faith in God?

We learn four important things about Noah. First, Noah was a “righteous man.” The word translated “righteous” (tsaddiq) connotes “conformity to the standard.” In the case of Noah, he conformed to the standard set by God.

Second, Noah was “blameless.” The word “blameless” (tamim) involves the idea of completeness. Noah conformed to the standard set by God and his life was “complete,” with no essential quality missing.

Third, Noah “walked with God.” This means he had daily, step-by-step fellowship with God. He had God as his companion as he walked through life. It takes work to be godly. Is your walk with God active on a daily basis?

Fourth and lastly, Noah walked with God before his family. Noah’s godliness was the godliness of a man who was involved in ordinary life. He did not withdraw from society. Noah was out and about in God’s world. He provided for his family. Apparently, Noah instructed his family to believe in God…and they did!

How long has our Heavenly Father Cared about What we eat?

Before the Torah, the Law, the loving Instructions are given on Mount Sinai God made a distinction.

Make note that we cannot blame the texts in Leviticus and Deuteronomy for being the first case of what to eat. It is evident in the flood account that God has determined that certain animals are called clean and unclean. (Genesis 7:1-3). Next, the flood comes, all on the Ark survive and then are released on to the earth again and God gives more dietary commands.

Read (Genesis 8:15-9:4) to see what has changed. Now here is where I use math to determine what animals are approved for eating. If only 1 pair male and female of the unclean animals came into the Ark for preservation and Noah ate one of those animals then 2-1=1 and that means there would be no ability for the unclean animals to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth after their kind. Hence, I believe Noah and his family sacrificed to the Lord and ate only from the clean animals that came into the Ark by seven pairs of male and female.

 

That’s enough to chew on for today I’ll post a part 2 later.