Mary Crisp Jameson - copyright material







Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ten Plagues

      When God has a plan, nothing or anyone can stop it.  When Moses was sent to deliver the Israelites from the cruel hand of the Egyptians, he had to deal with a hard-hearted Pharaoh.  In fact, Pharaoh was so against what God requested that God actually issued 10 plagues  upon the Egyptians.  Why did God use 10 plagues, since He had the power to impose His will at any time?  Scriptures tell us, "I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharaoh and his whole army.  After this the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord!" (NLV-Exodus 14:4)  
     I pray it does not take anything like these plagues to wake us up to what the Lord wants us to do; although, I must admit, we are having a lot of devastation  and turning from God today.    What will it take to wake up the souls of man to God and His wonderful salvation plan?  God did not send His only Son to earth to be crucified in order to be rejected. 
     As a reminder, here are the 10 plagues God used against the Egyptian people:

1.  The Nile turned to blood.  The fish died and the water stank.  There was none to drink.

2.  Frogs covered the land, entering bedrooms, jumping into ovens and kneading bowls. They tormented the poor Egyptian souls.

3.  Dust turned into swarms of gnats, covering everyone, people and animals alike.  They came from the dust and spread with the wind's gust.

4.  Next came swarms of flies.  They filled the houses and the palace.  No one was spared from their malice.

5.  The livestock died; horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep, and goats.  None were spared.  For this the people were unprepared.

6.  Festering boils infected the Egyptians and their animals.  The boils spread by soot and ashes in the air which was more than they could bear.

7.  A devastating hailstone blew in killing people and animals, wiping out plants and trees.  Yet it did not bring Pharaoh to his knees.

8  The East wind brought in swarms of locust which covered the whole country and darkened the land.  They devoured the plants and the fruit which had survived the hailstorm.  Not a single leaf remained, in any form.

9.  Deep darkness so thick the people could not see was brought upon the land.  No one moved, and all went un-soothed.

10.  It took death to break the stubborn heart as all the first born sons and animals were struck down.  This brought crying and loud wailing never heard before, all lasting for hours and more.   


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Innocent?

     Shakespeare quoted:
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exists and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts..."

I stopped here as I considered Pilate, his part, Jesus' part, and our part in the stages of life.  Pilate was a man who set the stage, and he played his part well, or so he thought, when he proclaimed, "I am innocent..."

Scene 1:  The stage is set as Pilate makes his entry.  He stands above a jeering and angry crowd.  Not far away is Jesus and another man, named Barabbas.  Barabbas is a murderer while Jesus is only being imprisoned for telling the truth; however, the crowd wants Jesus released to them to be crucified.  They care nothing about punishment for Barabbas.  Pilate, fearing not pleasing the people, takes water, washes his hands and states, "I am innocent of this man's blood."  Pilate then commands Jesus be flogged and given to the people to be crucified.  Jesus is allowed to not only be beaten until his flesh is torn and bleeding, but is mocked, spit upon, patronized, and then nailed to a wooden cross. 
     The curtain falls, but where am I in all of this?  I wish I could say, "I wasn't there.  I am innocent."  However, in reality I was there.  I was among the crowd.  I was an unbeliever.  Even as a Christian today, I have the ability to crucify my Lord by not acknowledging Him and by going my own way apart from Him.

Scene 2:  The curtain opens and the stage is set with three crosses, the center one illuminated.  Jesus, the innocent Son of God, is there upon that center cross.  He is in agony and pain.  His blood flows freely and jammed upon His head is a crown of thorns.  Yet, He is enduring it all as he shows mercy to one of the thieves hanging on the cross beside Him.  He shows love as He instructs one of His disciples to care for His mother.  He forgives all when He prays, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."  He shows obedience to His Father by finishing His task here on earth.  He actually takes on the sin of all mankind as He cries out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" Then as the curtain falls, a loud voice is heard again crying, "It is finished!"
     What, again, is my part to play?  I wasn't there. "I am innocent of Jesus's pain and suffering."  Or was I?  Or am I?   What options do I have in the character I must play?  I can either turn away in unbelief and add to the stripes on Jesus' back.  I can insult and mock Him, or I can choose to believe that Jesus died for me.  I can choose to believe that Jesus was and is the very Son of God.

Scene 3:  The curtain opens.  There is darkness and silence.  Why?  Could it be that the Light of the World was given up in death?  Then suddenly an eruption occurs.  The earth begins to quake and shake, the rocks split, and the temple veil splits from top to bottom.  Graves open up and many bodies of the saints arise.  This brings terror to the faces of His persecutors.  I see tears of grief on the faces of those who loved Him.  There is a sense of awe all around.  The curtain falls, but not before we hear the truth spoken, "Truly, this was the Son of God."
     The part I have to play is obvious.  I am no longer blind to the truth.  I am not innocent in all that has taken place.  Jesus took the beating and the pain for me.  He took the mocking for me.  He took the nails and hung there on that cross for me.  He didn't just die; He died in my place.  When He went to the grave, He lifted me up out of the grave. 

Praise God, Jesus rose the 3th day and is Alive! 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Global Warming

     There is a lot of talk and, yes, arguments over global warming or, in other words, warming climate change.  Whether this is happening or not, God is still in control.  His words are true, and I believe we will always have seasons. 
Genesis 8:22
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
Psalm 104:19
"He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down."

     Regardless of whether global warming is occuring, it is God who is in complete control of our seasons and weather, and it is not up to me to know the seasons. 
Daniel 2:21a
"He changes times and seasons;..."
Acts 1:7
"And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."

     Lastly, it is up to me to enjoy what God has given me.  To praise Him for the seasons in my  life.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
 "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

     To sum up, although God is in control, it is, however, my responsibility to do what I can to monitor my habits in order to keep my environment as safe and clean as possible. This would include unnecessary emissions as well as littering of our beautiful countryside.   "And God created man...and said.. replenish the earth, and subdue it..."     

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Blessings

     Once upon a time there was a woman in need.  She was retired and slowly aging but had the spunk of endurance.  Yet. she was facing an overwhelming  job, or so she thought!  She owned a house which needed renovating in order to place it on the market to sell.  The lady had worked  tirelessly and determined, but there was just too much to get done.  What was she to do? 
     There was her husband who worked alongside her and supported her, but let's face it and be honest, there was still work which needed to be accomplished sooner than both of them could physically handle in order to meet her established schedule.   
     You know, it tells us in scripture not to worry.  It also tells us that God will send blessings to those who love him.  "I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing." 
     Many blessings were sent her way this past week.   First of all, the weather turned cool which made it possible to open up all the exterior door of the house so they could be painted inside and out.  Next, a friend next door used his tractor to haul off and clean up a huge array of junk from the back yard which had been left there by previous renters.  Third, but certainly not least, a very dear friend arrived for the second time and spend his day off  volunteering to do all kinds of renovations that were not within the scope of her knowledge or experience to accomplish.  He worked with amazing speed and endurance.  There was simply no task he could not do or was unwilling to do. 
     There is no ending to this story yet, but the lady in this story recognizes the hand of God in her life, in this on-going project,  in the people sent to help, and in all of her blessings- past, present, and future.    
     Romans 8:28  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Good Boss

     There is much to be said about being a boss.  Bosses are different in desires, demands, and attitudes.  And admit it!  We all want to be a boss. 
     When I think about the boss over me, I have to appreciate the fact that there is only one true boss.  He is loving, kind, and willing to sacrifice His very own life for me.  Yet Jesus gives us the freedom to make choices, allowing us to be the boss over ourselves; however, with guiding words on how to be a good boss.  Therefore, even though you may think you will never be a boss, in the real world you actually are. 
     The Word of God is filled with words of wisdom on what it takes to make a good boss in attitude, selflessness, responsibility, respectfulness, and in humility.  Below are just a few scriptures, but a full study of the Bible will yield a host of good leadership skills.

Galatians 6:9  "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Hebrews 13:7 "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you.  Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith."

James 1:12  "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."

John 3:30 "He must become greater; I must become less."

Matthew 7:12 "So in everything do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and Prophets."

1 Timothy 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity."

Philippians 2:3 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves."

Proverbs 13:4 "Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper."

      

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Calming Anxiety

     Mark 4:39  "And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became calm."
     What do you do when you have anxious moments?  It does not matter whether it is a physical, financial, relational, or any simple issue in life.  We all have anxious moments.  As Christians, we have a Holy Spirit living inside of us.  We have the power to use that force to quiet the soul.
     "Hush, be still."  God, the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three in one protecting, leading, sheltering.  Seek Him first.   He can calm the waves, the sea, and the storm building within us.
    

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Abundantly More

     In moments when our faith wavers, it would be good to remember Ephesians 3:20.  Because God is omnipotent,  he can do all things and more abundantly than we can ever do on our own.  Then verse 21 helps us remember to give Him the glory for the work He has chosen to do in our lives.  
     When I look back on the events of my life, I can truly say that I have been blessed through God amazing works. 
     To add to my own understanding of the meaning of verses 20-21, I read it in several versions:

Ephesians 3:20-21 King James Version (KJV)

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21 New International Version (NIV)
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21 Living Bible (TLB)

20 Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes. 21 May he be given glory forever and ever through endless ages because of his master plan of salvation for the Church through Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 3:20-21 The Message (MSG)
20-21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!