Mary Crisp Jameson - copyright material







Sunday, May 17, 2015

Heaven Is For Real

      Lately, my “Friendly Shade” has been getting a lot of rain, and I mean a whole lot of rain!   The ground is saturated, but I am determined not to complain for I know that in just a few weeks the ground could dry up and I will again be wishing and praying for rain. I really hope I am not often caught “wanting what I don’t have and not wanting what I have.”
      You know, when I think about the heavens and all the rain we have been getting, I can’t help but consider that God created and controls the heavens. (Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens…) God owns it all, so why worry about how much or how little the rain falls?   Who am I to question the God who controls all the elements sent from heaven.   ( Deuteronomy 10:14 To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens…)    Actually the Lordopens the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands….” Deut. 28:12    I can just imagine the humor He gets out of watching and listening to His people as they get excited over the sunshine after a long bough of rain, or the rain shower after long months of dry spells and even the rainbow that shows out as God sets the bow over the land.  
    God's abundant storehouse in heaven is used by Him when needed, often to accomplish a purpose.  When the Israelites demanded food, the Lord told Moses, “I will rain bread from heaven for you….Exodus 16:4) When Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed, it came out of the heavens. (Genesis 19:24 Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah from the Lord out of the heavens.) Our dew comes from heaven. (May God give you heaven’s dew… Genesis 27:28) When Noah was instructed to build the Ark, it was because God was about to “bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens.” Genesis 8:2 Afterwards, God set His “bow in the cloud.” Our sun, moon, and stars are set in the heavens. (Deuteronomy 4:19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the heavenly array….) It is from heaven that our winds are created. (Jeremiah 49:36 I will bring against Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven…) From heaven comes the thunder and lightning. (When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roars; he makes clouds rise from the ends of earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouse. Jeremiah 10:13 ) It was from heaven that a bright light descended upon Saul and blinded him. (Acts 9:3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.) In 2 Kings 1:10 Elijah asked God to send down fire. (“If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven” …)
     Even though there is a storehouse in heaven, we are warned not to bow down to any of them. God is the One in control of it all and it is to Him we should bow and worship. (“… do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.”)
     Heaven is God’s throne, and it is the place we should all seek. (Matthew 5:34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne.) (Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
     Truly, “Heaven is for real!”    Although in terms of the distance heaven is from the earth, God is always near and available.  The wonders we have seen and read about are only a glimpse and a tiny taste of what we will experience eternally in heaven.   In the time between now and then God is waiting for us to seek Him daily and to praise Him for the heavenly show of abundance sent to earth. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Love

     There is no greater joy than having my daughter come to visit on Mother’s Day.  What is so precious is not the gifts or flowers, but the love and fellowship we share together  as we enjoy each other’s company over a simple cup of coffee here in a “Friendly Shade.”  
     Actually this past Sunday was filled with families enjoying the same.  There were so many good posts on Facebook about moms.  Many were loving comments, appreciative comments, and thankful comments. 
     Love was in all those that I read, even though most children would have to admit they really didn’t appreciate their parent’s love until after they matured and left home.  It is then they realized all the rules, all the restrictions, and all the hovering over how they dressed, who they saw, and where they went was an act of lovingly teaching and guiding them toward the path of being able to make wise and mature decisions.   It was a form of protection.  Most would have to admit they never really appreciated the amount of forgiveness bestowed when that child probably “got on the parents nerves" about as much as the parents frustrated the rebellious soon-to-be adult until they had children of their own.
     How tragic it is when we all forget the number of times God has to forgive us when we pull away from his guidance and direction.  He is a Father who wants our companionship.  More than even a parent, God has such an awesome unconditional love regardless of where we have been or what we have done.  
     Let us never fail to realize that there is only one unforgiveable sin, and that is not believing in the “only begotten Son of God”  who died for our sins.  If we believe, God is willing to forgive us of any previous sin we have committed.  By believing, we can move forward, we can grow, and we can find love and be able to show love. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Being Selective

     I just returned from a mini vacation and admit that I am one of those travelers who like to snack.  I found myself shuffling through a can of mixed nuts trying to pick out the ones I liked the best, leaving the others for someone else.  I had already come up with an excuse if I got caught.  “I am practicing the fine art of being selective.  In fact, I was taught to be selective.” 
     Well, I might be missing the mark here a little with my application, but everyone does need to be taught, at an early age, to be selective in life. 
     Often times, being selective does not come naturally.  It has to be thought out and practiced.  We need to choose wisely how we treat others.  We need to be selective with the language we use.  We need to be selective in the people we choose to become involved with.  Not only do we need to choose how we treat others, but, most importantly, we need to choose how we use God’s name.   Our selective behavior not only affects others, but it is what builds our character and also affects how we grow spiritually.       

     James 3:3-5 “Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.  Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.  Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things.  Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!”
    Psalm 39:1  “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.”

      In closing, let us also remember that in the end, God will also be selective. 

      Psalm 75:7 “But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.”
     Revelation 22:12 “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.”

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Oh! Jesus Love Me!

      I’m keeping it simple in “A Friendly Shade” today. What is more simple than knowing that Jesus loves me? There is no need to dig through science books. There is no need to analyze or rationale it. All I need is faith, belief, and a heart that I’ve asked Jesus to come into and dwell with me. 
 
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.
 
     Oh, Jesus Loves Me
 
Jesus loves me when I’m sad,
All He wants is to make me glad.
Jesus knows just what I need;
He will supply it all, guaranteed.
 
Oh, Jesus loves me –
Oh, Jesus loves me.
  This I know, as onward I go,
  For the Bible tells me so.
 
Jesus loves me when my days are grey,
He is in my heart to stay.
Jesus loves to walk with me;
He will hear my every plea.
 
Oh, Jesus loves me-
Oh, Jesus loves me.
  Listen to the voice calling out,
  Listen to the angels give a shout.
 
Jesus loves me all day long,
He will keep me going strong.
Jesus wipes away my tears;
He is there through all my fears.

Oh, Jesus loves me-
Oh, Jesus loves me.
  Listen to the scripture telling me so,
  Given to the people so they’ll know.
 
Jesus loves me through the night.
I am precious in His sight.
Jesus loves me young or old,
He’ll embrace and tightly hold.
 
Oh, Jesus loves me-
Oh, Jesus loves me.
  Get saved today, and you will see,
  Hearts will heal- we’ll shout with glee!

Oh, Jesus loves me-
Oh, Jesus loves me.
  How do I know? Oh, how do I know?
  He’s the One who tells me so.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

THREE DAYS!

     “The saddest and the happiest day was in 3 days.”  This was on a sign I saw during  Easter.  As Christians we can only imagine how the followers of Jesus felt, as they stood and watched Him hanging on that cross and even before, when they watched the abuse and the nails being driven into His hand.  Yet joy occurred in just 3 days.   Jesus gave us hope and life in his resurrection.  Death, burial, and resurrection-it all happened in three days.

     As I reflected on this in “A Friendly Shade,” I thought it might be interesting to discover what other Biblical events brought sadness or happiness in just 3 days. 
 
     I went back to Genesis 40 when Joseph was in prison with the Pharaoh’s butler and baker.  They both had dreams which Joseph interpreted. One ended up being a very happy day while the other ended sadly. 
     12 And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:13 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.
…………………
     16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head:17 And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bake meats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.18 And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days:19 Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.20 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.21 And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand:22 But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.
     The question to consider here is, what did the butler do with his joy?  How long did it take before he remembered his promise to Joseph? 

     After the death of Moses, we find in Joshua 1 that the people were told they would finally possess the land promised to them.    This 3-day wait must have been very exciting as preparations were being made.   Here we must remember the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness because of disobedience and lack of faith. 
     11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the Lord your God giveth you to possess it.

          I cannot leave out the story of Jonah who tried to flee from doing the Lord’s calling.   After being in the belly of a whale for 3 days, can you imagine the happiness of being back on dry land?    Then in Matthew we find a comparison being made.  
     17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights………Matthew12: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

     In Mark 8, we find Jesus feeding the multitude after they had been with Him for 3 days. This act truly shows Jesus’ love and power.  Of course, His healing power had already, time and time again, been demonstrated to the people following him. 
     2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat:3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far. 4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. 8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets. 9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand:

     In Luke 2, we find the story of Jesus when Joseph and Mary were returning from the feast of the Passover.  Unknowingly, Jesus tarried behind, and Joseph and Mary had to return to look for Him.  After 3 days they found him in the temple.   In response to their question about why he has stayed behind, Jesus said,  vs 49: “How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?
     42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.  43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.  45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.  46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

     We also see in Act 9 when Saul was on the road to Damascus with intent to persecute the followers of Jesus, he was suddenly blinded by a light from heaven.  What joy there must have been when, after 3 days,  he could see again.  Here was a cruel man who suddenly had his life changed.  vs 20 “And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.”   
     And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.  And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.   And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
 
     There are many more references to 3 days in the Bible, but none overshadow the death, burial and resurrection of my Lord.    John 2: 19   Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.  

The saddest and the happiest in just 3 days certainly has meaning.           

 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sleepless in "A Friendly Shade!"

     When I decided to write about the sleepless nights going on at "A Friendly Shade," I immediately thought about the romatic comedy titled, "Sleepless in Seattle." The main character, living in Seattle, was dubbed "Sleepless in Seattle" since his wife died, resulting in many emotional sleepless nights. Hearing the story on the radio, Annie becomes obsessed with the man who cannot sleep. The sleepless nights were about concern for what was missing in his life.   
     Most everyone has sleepless nights at some time or the other. I have them quite often here at "A Friendly Shade." It is also difficult not to become emotionally upset about not being able to go back to sleep.  When all else fails, what can we do in the middle of the night when we are wide awake? I, personally, find that if I can stop agonizing over the need to get some sleep before the alarm goes off, I will find restful time with the Lord. It is in these moments I can offer up prayers for others in need, or I can find peaceful moments by listening for God’s voice in my own life.
     Hopefully we have all read or heard the story of Samuel. What a good example of the voice of God calling in the night!
     1 Samuel 3:3-10
The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. 6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Killing Jesus"

     "A Friendly Shade," takes my thoughts in many different directions as I search for what to post.  This Easter season had me looking through the list of books downloaded on my Kindle.  I noticed, "Killing Kennedy", written by Bill O'Reilly, and remembered how much I enjoyed reading his book.  I have yet to order, "Killing Jesus," also written by Bill O'Reilly, but expect to read that one soon.   
     In the meantime, I decided to post my own version of "Killing Jesus."  As a matter of fact our pastor asked us to contemplate, explore, and share the death of Christ on the cross.  The sermon's scripture today was from Isaiah 53.  In verse 7, I was reminded of Jesus's great love for us as He took on our sins in silence.   "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth."
     By Jesus's actions, He basically said, "I will gladly, and in silence, lay down my life on the cross for you. I will pay the price for your sins." That is just what He did.  He bore the ridicule, the stripes on His back, and the nails.  He did that for me and for all of mankind.

          Killing Jesus

“Let Him die,” was the decree,
    yet killing Jesus was not to be.
“Kill Him! Kill Him!” followed the cry,
    but no reason why.

The mob moved within the crowd
    shouting in voices angry and loud.
“He’s spreading rumors all abroad,
     a common man, liar, and fraud.
“Kill Him! Kill Him!”
Oh! So much mayhem!

Soldiers took the whip to thresh,  
    bringing blood and tearing flesh.   
A vine of thorns became His crown;
To a splintered cross His hands were bound;
Nails pierced His hands and feet.
The crowd came alive and began to repeat,
    “Kill Him! Kill Him!”
People watched with faces grim.     
Mockers spit in His face-
  beneath them, was His place.
The cross, slammed into the ground,
    anguish was profound;
Agony and pain
    doubled from bodily strain.
Blood covered barren skin,
    or what had been.

“Father, forgive them,” was heard by those standing there,
    just before the heavens opened, a Son to declare.
Rejected, mocked, battered, and shamed;
   a King, unnamed-
In death, the temple rent in twain.
The earth did quake the valley and plain. 
Over it all, light turned to darkness,
    shouts ended in quietness.
Fear appeared on the witness face
    in that very place.     
All was silence
    after the violence.

“Kill Him! Kill Him,” had been the cry.   
They did not know He would not die-
    nor why.
"Arise! Arise!" was God's own cry.
Salvation was the reason why.

A resurrection was God's decree;
  a plan foretold to set the sinner free.
The Son of God, a Savior, missing from the grave.
He arose to live! Souls to save.
A coming day for all to see-
Killing Jesus was not to be.
                                         Mary Crisp Jameson