Mary Crisp Jameson - copyright material







Saturday, February 10, 2018

Trivia

     While reading Nehemiah 12 this morning, I paused to re-read verse 46, (NLT) "The custom of having choir directors to lead the choirs in hymns of praise and thanksgiving to God began long ago in the days of David and Asaph."  How could I have missed this until today?  What a great trivia question! 
     In order to verify this New Living Translation, I looked up the King James version, "For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God."  Next, I looked up the New International Version,  "For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there had been directors for the musicians and for the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God."
     Don't ask me why trivia came to mind, but it did.  This led me to pull up a scriptural trivia quiz.  Having never been good with trivia, I was surprised when I got the first 2 quizzes of five questions correct, but the quizzes kept getting harder, so I quit after missing all of the next 2 sets.   
     No wonder I missed a few, for example:

Isaiah tells us to make straight what in the desert to prepare the way of the Lord?
  1. Street
  2. River
  3. Highway
  4. Interstate
     My logical mind ruled out all but river because, back in that day, there were no streets, highways, or interstates.  Wrong answer!  Isaiah 40:3 "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."

Here's another:
What does the Lord tell Isaiah he will plant in the wilderness?
  1. The Cedar
  2. Shittah tree
  3. The Myrtle
  4. Oil Tree
  5. All of the above
I did not have a clue, but I guessed they had Olive Oil, so I selected Oil tree.  Wrong answer, again.  Isaiah 41:19 "I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:"   Correct answer, "All of the Above."  Who knew? Certainly not me. 

Stay tuned for more trivia to come ...
 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Contentment

     Don't we all just love to stumble upon a secret?
     Paul didn't just stubble upon the secret to being content.  God revealed it to him, just as He reveals it to me if I seek to find it.  Paul has made it easy and shown me how to discover contentment through his writings in Philippians.  From my interpretation, true contentment cannot be found without full and complete faith in God. 
     I have found that when my faith is weak it leads to: 
            F  ear
            A nxiety
            I mpatience
            T hink negatively
            H arvest few Godly blessing

     These are all actions which do not lead to a life of contentment.  Rather than remaining in a weakened state of faithlessness and discontentment, I would do good to consider the words of Paul, while he was in prison, when he wrote in Philippians 4, "...I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content...I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
      When I think about doing all things through Christ, I have to remind myself what our Bible study director said today, "We can do all things as long as it is what God wants in our life."  God is the Navigator, not me. 
     Also, just what is this secret to contentment?  It is certainly not self-indulgence or the "I" factor but rather, to "always be full of joy in the Lord.  Be considerate in all you do. Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy or praise.  Keep putting into practice all you and learned and received." 
     Paul had already stated, "For God's way of making us right with himself depends on faith." (NLT)  
      It appears that my actions, attitudes, and my FAITH in and LOVE for God is the key factor to contentment.   In summary:

  More desire for God's work over personal self-indulgence
   More love toward others over love of self                           
   More faith in God over fear and anxiety                              
   More reliance upon God's timing over impatience              
   More seeking what God wants over my wants             
   More thankfulness to God over personal credit    
   More pure thoughts over dishonorable negative ones
   More heartfelt joy over sadness and unhappiness
   More prayer over going it alone
     These added together =HEREIN TO BE CONTENT            

Monday, February 5, 2018

A Clean House

     I try to keep a clean house and actually like everything neat and in its place.  However, when I get involved in a project, whether sewing, crafting, or outside work, I have a tendency to let things go, and my house gets messy.  It was consoling to hear, during a movie, the comment, "Life is messy and it's okay for things to get messy too."  I understand that to the fullest; however, there is one thing I should never neglect and allow to get messy, and that is my relationship with God.  

1 Peter 2 "Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good."

Psalm 119:16 "I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word."


Sunday, February 4, 2018

'Tis So Sweet

     Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

     When I consider who I trust the most, I can honestly say it would be members of my family, but only to a limited degree, because they are not experts in handling all my needs.  Only God can do this.  He is the only One who can supply both my eternal security and all my earthly needs.  For this I am truly grateful. 

"Tis Sweet
'Tis so sweet to trust in you,
The one who made me new.
From morning's break through night-time dew,
Your words ring true.
You've proved it o'er and o'er
As you simply give me more.
Through stormy, cloudy weather,
We walk together.
When raindrops puddle beneath my feet,
Your love endures, so soft and sweet.
'Tis so precious to  trust in you,
My Savior, my friend, so true.
From the cross to the nail-scared hand,
Your strength helps me firmly stand.
And, if I fall through sinful pride - my own,
You are there- I'm never alone.
Oh! 'Tis so sweet, I owe it all
To the Cross, amazing Grace, the Savior's call.
In all I do,
'Tis so sweet to trust in you.
                                          Mary Crisp Jameson


Friday, February 2, 2018

If Only!

     The Old Testament is filled with wars and battles and with kings and how they ruled.  The majority of these kings did "evil in the Lord's sight."  A few kings did "what was pleasing in the Lord's sight; however failed to remove all the pagan shrines, and the people never committed themselves to following the God of their ancestors."  King Amaziah "did what was pleasing in the Lord's sight, but not wholeheartedly."    I found it refreshing when I came across what was said about King Josiah in 2 Kings 23, "Never before had there been a king like Josiah, who turned to the Lord with his heart and soul and strength, obeying all the laws of Moses.  And there has never been a king like him since."  Then there was King Uzziah who, as long as he "sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success."  However, scripture went on to tell me that "when he became powerful, he also became proud which lead to his downfall2 Chronicles 31 tells us that King Hezekiah "sought his God wholeheartedly.  As a result, he was very successful." 
     I have always had a tendency to skip over a lot of the readings regarding these kings and their wars, but there is a lot in the Old Testament to be learned about living.  These scriptures teach patience for many of the Kings did not wait upon the Lord's direction.  These scriptures teach fear and reverence for God.  They teach about the rewards of obedience and the results of disobedience.  They show us the nature of God and about His forgiving heart when we turn back to Him. 
     Reading through the Old Testament reminds me of our Nations today.  If only the people would unite together; if only leaders would lead according to God's direction; if only we would tear down our pagan shrines; if only we would all commit to following God; if only we could rid ourselves of our prideful nature -- what a work could be done. 
     Finally, if only I would commit wholeheartedly!  It would be good to hear, "well done, thy good and faithful servant."
    

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Finished the Work

     I, like most people, measure success by my accomplishments, my finances, the car I drive, the home I live in, and the clothes I wear.  Yet, when I consider the fact that I am here on this earth for just a short period of time, until the Lord returns in the air to carry me home, none of these things will matter.  What will matter is how I lived my life for Jesus and my willingness to share my faith with others.  What will matter is how I loved and treated others. 
     In the words of David Platt, "We will not wish we had made more money, acquired more stuff, lived more comfortably, taken more vacations, watched more television, pursued greater retirement, or been more successful in the eyes of this world, instead, we will wish we had given more of ourselves to living for the day when every nation, tribe, people, and language will bow around the throne and sing the praises of the Savior who delights in radical obedience and the God who deserves eternal worship."
     In a prayer Jesus spoke in John 17 to His Father, He said, "I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do."   I sincerely hope I don't miss the opportunities set before me to "finish the work."
    

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Five Ws

     I've been told that good journalism, or the way to tell a good story, is with the use of the five Ws - Who, What, Where, When, and Why. 
     The who of my story is Jesus, the Son of God.
     Where it all begin was out in the universe before the world was even created.  Then, the where was a scene taking place in a manager, and later upon a cross between two thieves.  
     When did the main focus of the story occur? When the temple veil tore into from top to bottom, the earth shook, the rocks split apart, graves opened and some of the dead arose, and then again when the stone was rolled away.  The "final when" of the chapter is only known to God when He returns in the air.
     What is this all about?  It's about truth and mercy; it's about love, peace, and light.  It's about a King willing to live, rejected by many, in order to teach and heal.  It's about a Savior willing to give up His life for sinners.  It's about forgiveness.  It's about death and life everlasting. 
      Why?  It was all done in order to provide an eternal home to those who believe.  It was done to save me and you.  John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
      Often writers add "How" to their storyline.   My further thoughts would be that the how will take place when Jesus returns in the air to take His people home.  1 Thessalonians 4:17 "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."