Written in 2014 at the age of 75, recorded in 2021 at the age of 82, this song expresses the powerful work of God through many years to bring me into fellowship with Him as our Father, His Son, and His Holy Spirit. There is truly a joy and wonder of His life at work in us.
God sent His Son
God’s Son sent His Spirit
God’s Spirit lives in us
We find these truths throughout the Word of God, and Romans 8 expounds on the work of the Trinity. From the planning to the inception, God is sovereign; in control; and bringing to pass His plans for our salvation; made before the foundation of the world.
The power of the gospel that brings about the obedience of faith in all nations (1:5; 16:26) is the working of the Holy Spirit since the completion of Christ’s work (1:4); and will be finished as He has planned.
Connecting the Dots
The Holy Bible is a precious book; a canon; a volume of many books; but more than anything else, it is a workbook, which we must use for all time and endurance of life. It identifies the author, His work, and His workers. We go through, looking for God. He permeates the whole book. We find Him in the beginning and the end. We find Him in Jesus Christ. We find Him in the Holy Spirit. We see Him working in His creatures; in His creation and His redemption. All is His.
When we come to the book of Romans we go a little deeper in our understanding of truth that has been hidden from some because of the change in the teaching and preaching of the gospel in the last century.
It is only as we see that God has full control to work what He has planned from the foundation of the world; before the world began (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:9) that we can be assured of “no condemnation” and “no separation.” We cannot save ourselves from God’s wrath; or keep ourselves through the suffering and temptation of this world.
This chapter connects these truths to each of the Trinity. They are united in this great plan for the power of the gospel for our salvation. As we meditate we look for the work of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In all study of the Bible we find Christ at the center; all things connecting to and pointing from and to Him for all things.
Treasure, Impact, Assurance
In the halfway mark in Paul’s letter to Romans we need to stop; take a breather; and sit down with this letter that is included in God’s word. I cannot in these notes unpack what has been recorded here for His people. If we take the time to read, meditate, saturate, and absorb what is here we find a treasure box from which God, by His Spirit, brings us to understand the fullness of the truth which we have been given in and through Christ Jesus, our Lord. To understood predestination we need to let God lead us to see the truth of His own work and glory in us. To get the full impact of the whole book of Romans we must allow the Holy Spirit, that intercedes for us, to lead us and teach us here and through the remainder of Paul’s letter.
In Romans 8:19-39 we can look for these words; meditate on the verses from which these come; experience the impact; and be assured of the power of the gospel and the Holy Spirit to accomplish all His work within us ~ for His glory and our joy.
Dear Father, we are helpless, except for your life that is given us in Christ. I pray for the authority of your word to be commanded in us by the power of your Holy Spirit; to accomplish all that you have planned for each of us today. In Jesus name I thank you and praise you. Amen.
What is your vision for 2021?
Will the next year be any different than this year of chaos and upheaval?
Can you see clearly what lies ahead?
We must look more than ever with eyes of faith toward the unknown.
We must prepare to face a new year with a renewed and a clearly defined purpose.
We must remove the clutter of our being, clear our vision of the waste we have around us, leaving room for the newness God has prepared for us as His people.
Our rooms are cluttered with things we don’t need; our minds are filled with thoughts that drag us down or keep us in a tailspin; our lives are wasting away with the sights and sounds of the world.
2020 has either opened our eyes to see the condition of our world and our part in it, or it has served to bury us in its avalanche of fear and degradation. We must each survey our own personal environment, pray for wisdom to know where we are in the scheme of things, and respond obediently and passionately to God’s leading.
In response to my own needs, I have begun~~~~~
I have cleared my desktop, physically and digitally, filing so that if what I am saving is significant, I can come back to it ~ if not, it is out of sight and mind until the time I can go through all my files.
Paper to be recycled is deposited in a bin in the garage ready for weekly pick-up.
Paying bills online has become the norm.
Removing clothes I don’t wear frees space in the closet, plus someone at Goodwill is blessed by my discards.
There are many other ways and areas to de-clutter physically ~ these our hands have to deal with ~ but the most important is to declutter the mind and heart. Our eyes and ears are manipulated by what we see and hear. With the continual onslaught of the world’s condition in our face, we cannot see clearly with the eyes of faith.
We clear our thinking by daily closing our eyes and ears to man’s words and our own thoughts, taking hold of God’s Word, and praying fervently for a steadfast faith in Christ. We must pray for others and ourselves to know our heavenly Father and from Him, the eternal life Jesus came to give. Then we can see clearly the kingdom that rules over all creation and mankind, and live in the hope that is in Him.
And even as the majority of the world lives in oblivion, we have the promise, the presence, and the power of almighty God, our Father, opening heaven so that our focus is on Him and His plans for us as part of His kingdom rule on earth.
This is not a new year’s resolution but the Way of eternal life our heavenly Father has prepared for His children. Are you God’s child? How do you know and what difference does this make? Is your life any different than the life of an unbeliever? What do you want in this new year?
We are not left to ourselves but have the words and power of eternal life through the Word of God, and by His Spirit, we can live victoriously through whatever a new year brings.
Father, we praise you that your grace is sufficient for us to face an uncertain year. We thank you that your kingdom and your Word endures forever through every obstacle and every trial, as light in the darkness of this world. You never leave us or forsake us but supply every need ~ to your glory, and for our joy, In Jesus’ name, I thank you and praise you. Amen.
“Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.” Gen. 1:16
From the beginning of creation, God has proven some things to be greater than others. Without considering a lot of other comparisons, such as wealth, health, talents, etc., let us look at this time of year known as Christmas.
Many who live for the holidays end the year hopeless and depressed. For many, a warm fuzzy feeling turns into a prickly spur. When Christmas is over, most return to their abnormal lives.
Whether we observe this holiday as with the Roman Catholic Church and Christ in its Mass ~ or in gift-giving within family traditions, we are missing something greater. Far beyond the thought of the birth of Christ two thousand years ago, there is a reality that escapes us.
As hard as we try to ‘keep Christ in Christmas,” we miss Him because He is hidden in the lights, the glitter, the shopping, and the entertainment. Aside from what has become known as Christmas, there are blessings made null and void by man’s traditions.
What man has set up for a celebration is not enough to satisfy the hearts and needs of men. Only our creator knows and has planned a greater life than we can ask or imagine.
Many will not be gathering this season with family. Many have lost loved ones this year, but even for those who will celebrate with their families, let’s consider what is greater ~ what God our Father has prepared for us as heirs of His kingdom.
Once-a-year joy is nothing compared to the year-round joy in Christ.
Union in Christ between His people is not relegated to one season a year.
Greater than Christmas is our relationship with our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ by His Holy Spirit.
We do not have to wait for gifts once a year. His gifts are given every day ~ love, joy, peace, comfort, hope. and more.
He is no longer a baby we can put back in a smelly stable.
He is no longer a man hanging on a bloody cross.
Christ cannot be brought down by hocus pocus in the Roman Mass to be crucified over and over. (transubstantiation)
Christ is King of kings, and Lord of lords, ruling in heaven and earth, blessing His people ~ dwelling in the hearts of men who worship and obey Him.
Greater than the Temple and Soloman ~ In Christ’s Own Words
“But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.” Matthew 12:6.
“The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.” Matthew 12:42
There is none greater than the Father and the Son who created and upholds all things by the “word of His power ~ sitting at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Heb. 1:3
He is still fulfilling His purpose for being here ~ to save His people from their sins, This is the “good news” every day.
Oh, how much we forfeit by settling for what seems good. The best and greatest of life is hidden in Christ for those who daily seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness.
The life of God, which in the incarnation entered human nature is the root in which we are to stand and grow. It is by the same almighty power that worked there and from then on to the resurrection which works daily in us. Our one need (now) is to study, to know, and to trust the life revealed in Christ as the life that is now ours. Humility ~ Andrew Murray
Gracious Father in heaven, send your Holy Spirit to reveal your Son as the eternal gift for man every day, now, and forever. For your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Image by congerdesign.
Without delving into details of this year, I want to specifically come to the subject of separation, and to quickly get to the main one that led me to write this post.
Many have died from the virus. More have died from heart disease and cancer and most of these separated from their loved ones because of the restrictions in medical facilities. Our children and I were blessed to be with Jerry when he died on June 1 from heart failure.
Among many others, one of the areas has been the separation of the children of God from their heavenly Father and His family, and between His family members.
While it is tragic, we can find something good in all this. We have a closer look at who are truly God’s people. It is in times like these that a sifting takes place, and we see a separation of true believers from those who are only habitual worshipers.
There has been a hunger and thirst among some who love the Father and Jesus, the Son ~ those who have not had a place to worship. Many churches are still closed, and their members are not even looking for one that is open.
We have been blessed to increase our membership during these last few months, not only because of other churches being closed but because some have adopted new movements that have sprung up this year. This is proof that the teaching may not have been sound when we had the liberty to worship.
It is evident that when the church is shaken, there will be revision. God’s kingdom could not go on the way it had been. It is being turned upside-down and inside-out. If we return to what we consider even half-normal it will never be the same.
“And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.” Leviticus 20:26
The separation of God’s people from the world will continue as we see who will worship during these times, and who simply do not care anymore.
‘Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”
2 Corinthians 6:17
Other activities on the Lord’s Day are becoming more and more prominent, but He is forming a family for Himself who love and worship according to what pleases Him. These are the ones who live in peace and blessings from Him. These will be more prepared for the next round of separation. If God’s people do not turn in repentance and true faith, we will see another wave of chaos and violence leading to a greater separation.
Be joyful, if you are able to meet with God’s people. Pray fervently for His mercy and healing so restrictions may be lifted. But, more than anything, pray for those closest to you to be brought safely into the fold of the great Shepherd.
As His people, we are promised His presence and power at all times, in any distress or dilemma we may encounter.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
NOTHING ~ nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35, 37-39
I post this today for disciples of Christ as the particular day we prove our devotion to Him ~ the day separated from other days of the week. Observing this day is a projection toward the final day when He will separate His people from this world and eternally to Himself.
“All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.” Matthew 25:32
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29
Dear Father in heaven, send your Holy Spirit to bring us to repentance. Turn us from the world, its fear and chaos ~ to worship you in spirit and truth, in reverence and awe. Show us your great and mighty work in your church today ~ for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
2006 was a different year with different circumstances and the only reason I record the events here is as an archive for our family. So, if you who are reading, don’t like to hear how God brings His children to love and depend on Him more, you may want to skip this post.
The first six months of that year were the last for Jerry and me to care for my mother with Alzheimer’s disease. After four and a half years with us, she died on August 2 and was buried on August 7.
August 9, we learned our pastor and half the families in our church were moving to Tennessee ~ a drastic division in the church.
September 19, Jerry had an emergency by-pass surgery on his left leg.
October 24, his leg was amputated.
November 8, he came home from rehab.
For the remainder of the year, we waited for healing which did not happen until three years later, after another surgery to remove the graft inserted in the by-pass.
That was 2006. Fast-forward to 2020.
On this day, fourteen years ago, I am recalling that day of amputation and the years that followed until Jerry’s death on June 1, five months ago.
Of the fourteen years, he did not walk for the first three years. As we waited for healing, he was fitted for a prosthesis but every time he tried to use it the wound opened.
After the last surgery, he still experienced spasms and pain, soreness and discomfort that he finally accepted. He used a walker for eight years as he was able. He drove again for about five years, until 2017 when he could no longer wear a shoe and resigned himself to a wheelchair for the last three years. During these three years, we knew the Father’s care through our church family and our children and their families.
The date, October 24, 2006, and the anniversary, startled me as I lay in bed this morning. I was frozen as I imagined how he faced that day until after 5:00 P.M. His life would no longer be the same. He was 70; I was 67. We were both still strong enough to face that trial physically. It was not until the week before his death, we understood how strong our heavenly Father had made us, spiritually.
All we lost was for our gain, for eternity.
He did not complain; I did not complain ~ we both learned to praise Him in all things ~ to establish and live by the Glad Rule our heavenly Father taught us.
In his last days, Jerry would say, “I wonder what it will be like.”
Could he tell us, we might listen and take heed to what waits for us beyond this wilderness ~ and praise Him.
Heavenly Father, thank you that you gave us a spirit of praise and thanksgiving. You showed us your grace, mercy, and glory in the middle of the worst times in this life. Thank you for your Holy Spirit that lives in your children to declare the love of Christ and your kingdom on this earth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
As I woke up on a Lord’s Day morning a week ago, these words of Jesus from John 16:32 were my words. From my heart and soul, I would say in the reality of His presence and power, “I am not alone. My Father is with me.”
Jesus spoke these words to His disciples as He ended His teachings of three years, before His High-Priestly prayer to the Father, then to the Garden of Gethsemane ~ on His way to the crucifixion.
But, we may say, His Father turned His back on Him while He was suffering for our sins, in obedience to His will. Yes, but it was for one time, and so that we may know His everlasting presence with us. He will never leave us, nor forsake us because He looks upon us as His own, now joined to Christ, His Son. We dwell in Him and He, in us, by His Spirit which He has given us (1 John 3:24).
We never fear that He may turn His back on us. He has given His Son as a propitiation for our sins, appeasing His anger, that we never know His wrath. We turn to Him in repentance and faith for the abundant life He gives in Christ (John 10:10).
How blessed to know even when we are alone physically, He is always with us. I have been a sister, a wife, and a mother, but always, I am a daughter to my heavenly Father.
Gracious Father, thank you for your promises that make us your own, not by anything we can do, but because you have desired us and sired us by your will here, and forever. We praise you for revealing your plans for our relationship with you through Jesus Christ, your Son, and for keeping us always in your care, leading us by your Holy Spirit, for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I thank you and praise you. Amen.
As I have read through the Bible every year for years on end, grace has abounded to me in wisdom and understanding. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, the finger of God pointed out certain truths. Light was shone on the things that seemed to matter each year as I read.
In the Old Testament, the chapter I could not get through without lingering and memorizing was Isaiah 53.
Memorization and meditation have required me to stop so as to know that I am standing on solid ground. That is not enough. This hard surface needs to be broken up. There are layers here, a covering over of the truth hidden for centuries. The atoning work of Christ has been trampled underfoot. Buried deep within the world’s way of education are the nuggets of truth we now have to dig for.
John 17 is a source of one of these truths, but without this main one, revealed in Jesus’ open prayer to the Father in heaven, none of the others are explainable. And now, at this point, I am not able to speak of what is hidden here. I just know at this time in my life, in this new age and stage, I cannot go anywhere, be anywhere ~ even alone ~ without having my Father’s revelation in the twenty-six verses of this chapter of John’s gospel.
I have for weeks been eating, drinking, sleeping with these words recorded the last night of Jesus’ life before His crucifixion. I sense here the means of finishing my course with joy ~ the treasures hidden here are worth every moment of my thought and time, meditation, memorization and documenting.
I invite you to pray, to join me in reading, studying, meditation and memorization. Lend me not only your ear but share whatever you uncover of this lost treasure so that I can record our findings. I have read commentaries, but so far, these do not speak of the deeper truths I am looking for. Sometimes, we are the few our Father puts to the task.
As I venture to be a part of a small prayer group in our church and to perhaps begin a ministry for Christian widows, I believe this project of John 17 will be a major source of wisdom and knowledge and also, for our other series and books. I will post again on this subject as the Lord leads. Thank you for your prayers and comments.
Gracious Father, as you woke me this morning, you reminded me how we begin each week. “Now upon the first day of the week, ….. they came to the sepulcher, bringing the spices they had prepared, and others with them. And they found the stone rolled away.” I come from the empty tomb having worshipped my risen Lord and Savior yesterday. I come to this day with pick and shovel, to be “about my Father’s business.” I desire to find in this day those truths needful for faith and obedience and, as those who are taught, “to speak a word to the weary.” I pray we all seek to discover the truths of life you have given us through your written Word and your precious Living Word, Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.
The first morning Jerry was in ICU, Eyes of Agony were my thoughts for both of us. I could only record my thoughts, not his. When I saw him that afternoon, he acknowledged he was dying (his heart was losing its beat). He already had his share of suffering and did not want any help to remain here.
The second morning’s thought was completely different. “Everything New” seemed so strange in light of what was happening. What could this mean except the Holy Spirit’s insight for me to know that for Jerry everything would be new for him in heaven?
What about me?
I sensed an assurance that in the Lord’s timing, he would make all things new for me, too. I have to continually remember those thoughts.
The first month I had to settle a lot of things, transfer data to my accounts, and other things ~ social security, etc. There was no time to think of what had happened that week in the ER, ICU, and Hospice.
Last month I began taking care of things here in the home.
Sorrow came in spurts as if my heart was being sucked out of my chest. I felt I had died with Jerry.
A week ago and through my first birthday without him in 59 years, I was in a dark tunnel.
These feelings have been uncontrollable, making me know the truth of God’s Word from Lamentations 3:26 “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
After days in the tunnel, I found myself on a deserted island. It was time for me to face the reality of being alone ~ but at least there was fresh air, blue skies, and vegetation. (The Glad Rule)I knew there had been others on the same island when I fell into a pit. It was shallow enough that I could have climbed out, but the small space was just right for my pitifulness.
Days later, I experienced what seemed a tidal wave so strong as to wash me out of the pit, off the island, and into the ocean ~ a sea of uncertainty.
I thought, “I have to walk on water or drown.” Instead, I sensed a lifting and holding and later the ability to float. This has to be the result of many prayers for me.
At times I thought I would see land.
There is none in sight, yet. I am waiting, still dealing with the sorrow ~ but even in tears, to replace these thoughts with the promises of my heavenly Father and everything new He has planned.
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” Isaiah 41:10
“For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.” Isaiah 54:5
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Dear Father, I believe Your Word is true and powerful to accomplish all you say you will do. I praise you for your promises and wait for you. Fill me with your Spirit and move me as you desire to accomplish all your holy will for me. Let me continue to be a witness of your grace, goodness, and glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
The world would call this “brainwashing.” And they would be right.
“Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
that He might sanctify and cleanse her
with the washing of water by the word,”
If we don’t minister to the minds and spirits of our children, the world will. They are drawn to, caught up, and carried away by the spirit of the world ~ the spirit of oppression. They will learn how to satisfy their lusts and cravings. They will die to you in their pursuit of a world that caters to the flesh and its selfishness.
And they will not come back to you if you do not give them a foundation for life. Except God does a miraculous work to bring them to Himself, you will not see them outside themselves and their depravity.
All this may seem harsh and unreal ~ and it is.
If you, as a parent, have ever had a chaotic moment, you can relate to how children grow up if they do not have a firm footing in a faith-based education.
We understand the need for children to learn how to work and acquire what they need physically. The world’s educational system provides these instructions. But, because we are creatures of a living God, and created in His image living by His Spirit, we need more than physical food and instruction. We do not live by bread alone (Matthew 4:4).
If you are a Christian parent, believing in the things of God, you are obligated to teach your children who He is and why they are here. Each parent is accountable and will be answerable to Him for how we have instructed them while in our care.
We do not let children go hungry; we know their needs and provide their physical food.
The spirit of man needs to be fed with “manna from above.” Spiritual food is found in God’s Word. “Every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” is available for us and our children.
From the time they are born, they are privy to hearing. From the time they begin to speak, they are capable of repeating what you tell them. They need to hear from your heart and spirit what you believe is the foundation for true life. They need you to put the words into their mouths and their hearts. No one else is going to do this. It is your work as a parent.
How many Bible verses do you know? How many have you taught your children?
It may be that you have to learn together. You have to take the initiative to pray, seeking the Lord’s guidance, and finding the means to begin the process whereby you daily have a verse to memorize. Without this, nothing else they learn will have any true meaning.
We all need a foundation, a basis for living. God’s Word is the only source for this.
His manual for life has been preserved through the centuries and never fails to work the truths in the minds, hearts, and spirits of those who memorize and meditate on what He gives.
Wisdom and knowledge bring us and our children through the worst times in this world of oppression. It has been proven as a help as relating to other subjects that are taught. It is also our means of ministering to others.
One of the easiest means of teaching our children is with a catechism (Protestant questions and answers of the Christian faith with Bible references.)
Means for memorization can be found in the following links. The first is a parent’s seminar from Intoxicated on Life that is very informative and valuable. Hip Homeschool Moms and Faith Gateway are sites among others you will find online.
Dear Father in heaven, forgive us for failing to feed our minds and spirits with your provisions. Show us your ways, teach us your paths, lead us in your truth, and teach us and our children how to fulfill our purpose and to glorify and enjoy you now and forever. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Suggested Reading: Child Keeping ~ God’s Blessing to Parents