Mary Crisp Jameson - copyright material







Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Burning Bush

     I wonder if one reason a lot of us don't get close to God is that we are waiting for a "burning bush" experience.  Or is it that we are afraid we will have a "burning bush" experience and be asked to do something out of the norm?  
     When Moses first saw the burning bush out in the wilderness he thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up."  In the course of the conversation, God said to Moses, "I am who I am."    Later God said, “This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation."  
     For me, even if I never have a visual "burning bush" experience, I know that God never changes and His Word never changes.  From generation to generation, He is who He is. 
     I know God wants me to know Him.  He wants daily fellowship with me.  If I give God my daily devotion, I do not need to witness a visual burning bush. That burning bush experience is in my heart, and I have an opportunity to pass His name on to the next generation. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Light

     In my studies on the Treasure from the Parables, I was reading in Matthew about the 10 virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of the virgins were wise and took additional oil to keep their lamps burning; the other five did not take the extra oil, and their oil ran out.  By the time they returned with the oil needed to light their way, the door was shut and they could not enter into the wedding banquet.  They missed out.  They had not prepared. 
    In essence, what Jesus was saying was that if you do not believe in Jesus, you will not have an understanding of God, not be prepared, and you will miss out on eternal life.  The door will be closed. 
     Jesus said in John 8:12,  "...I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

              The Light!

You, Oh Lord, are the light of the world.
By your command, the earth unfurled;
Darkness turned to light,
The sun and stars shone bright.

Your light, Oh Lord, is a lamp unto my path;
Wisdom to fear you and your wrath.
A  lamp unto my feet;
Your love, so sweet! 
Your light, giving understanding;
Wisdom expanding. 

You, Oh Lord, are the light of the Cross;
For me there will be no loss.
Your light saved my soul;
Jesus' blood dripped red to make me whole-
A light of understanding, a light to see God's glory
A light, the life-changing story. 
                            Mary Crisp Jameson

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Achilles' heel

     Ever since Adam and Eve, there have been flaws and weaknesses in the human race.  So easily, we succumb to our own personal ones.  I often have to stop and talk with God to ask Him, "Please forgive my thoughts and change my heart and my mind."  I so want to keep the clutter and litter away from A Friendly Shade and out of my life.   
     Thinking through the Bible characters, I see Samson, who was blessed from birth, but his Achilles' heel was his uncontrolled lust which led to his destruction.  Joseph's brothers had a problem with jealously, which lead to a life of guilt and shame over what they had done to Joseph and their father.  Not only in scripture but in life today, there are so many who do not strive to overcome their weaknesses and self-destruct.
    I pray that I will stop and talk with God more often.  The choice is mine to seek strength to overcome the sin which infiltrates my life; sin which will destroy my blessings and my walk with God.   I pray that I seek strength to overcome my Achilles' heel.  The choice is mine!
          
    
    

Monday, January 9, 2017

I Am With You

     No one likes to stand alone.  We all need to know someone has our back.  That is just exactly what God does when we love and obey Him.  Not only is He powerful and all knowing, but He is everywhere!  Many times God told His people,  "I am with you." 

In Exodus 3:12 when Moses said, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharoah and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"  God replied, "I will be with you."

In Judges 6 when Gideon asked, Lord, how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family?" God said, "I will be with you."

In Jeremiah, when Jeremiah was called and responded with, "Ah, Sovereign Lord, I do not know how to speak, I am only a child."  God said, "I am with you."  Several other times in Jeremiah, God states, "I am with you."

In Genesis God told Isaac, "I am the God of your father Abraham.  Do not be afraid, for 'I am with you' ". 

In Isaiah 41 it says, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

In Haggai we find, "Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord.
 
In Matthew 19-20 we find, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
 
Again in Acts 18:9-10 the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision, "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. 10 For I am with you,..." 
    
     Knowing that God is with me strengthens me daily. 
 
 






















 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Declutter

     I don't make new year resolutions, but I do create goals.  One of my recent goals is to de-clutter my home at "A Friendly Shade."  
     I guess one of the hardest things to de-clutter is my closet.  It is hard for me to decide to toss good but unworn clothes.  For that reason, I am about to try something I read.   The article said to turn every clothes hanger backward.  Then, when I wear something I like, place the hanger the right direction.  At the end of the season, if the hanger is still turned backward, it is time to remove that particular garment from my closet.  Hmmm, wonder if this will really work?
     There are other things at A Friendly Shade which I also need to de-clutter.  Actually, rather than de-cluttering I just need to prioritize.  By that, I mean put God first.  Instead of getting up early to start projects of any kind, I need to start with God's Word.  If I can do that, I believe I can de-clutter  more effectively.  I will no longer be thinking so much as the world thinks.  I will no longer be so much into accumulating things which need de-cluttering down the road. 
     In de-cluttering,  my house be cleaner, and by placing God first, my mind and spirit will become cleaner, with God being the deepest desire of my heart rather than worldly possessions.   


    
    

Friday, January 6, 2017

Wealth Management

      There are all kinds of New Year resolutions made every year.  Most deal with either diet or money.   I think, aside from a closer relationship with God, those should be at the top of our lists.
     As I get older, my health becomes a major concern, and it is effected a great deal by my eating habits.
     Then in my retirement years, I can look back and see how much wealthier I would have been had I had better spending habits. 
     There is much said, scripturally, about finances and the need to be good financial managers.   Proverbs 21:20 (NLT) "The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get."  To be honest, as I opened my closet this morning, this verse hit home with me.  I have hangers of clothes in my closet, some of which I have not worn in quite some time.  Then I have some which are like brand new.  I usually end up grabbing the same outfits every week because they are the ones I really like to wear.  The others hang there in the hope that I might chose to wear them once or twice a year.  Just look at the money I could have saved had I not hit that sell rack  as I was "floating the mall!"
     Then Proverbs 22:7 says, "The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the  lender." (KJV)  Nothing could be more true!  Those credit card bills and bank loans come around much too quickly.  I am sure when we open our mail and see those bills, we are wishing we had not bought that gadget taking up shelf space or that we had not gone out for that expensive meal last month, or even spent quite so much money this past Christmas.   What happened to budgets!
     For those who struggle with poor spending habits, remember Hebrews 13:5, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
     It is not too late to begin, now, to curtail bad spending habits.  It gets harder the higher those credit card balances become.  I, for one, have never been an advocate of credit cards.  As a banker, I believe they are one of the worse culprits to our worldly debt.  I am, however, a great proponent to savings accounts.  I can never express enough the need, no matter your debt situation, to start some kind of savings even if it is the smallest amount.  Whatever you have to do - skip a lunch, skip that case of cokes, skip that shopping trip.   Put that extra tidbit of money into your savings account.  
     I like the quote, "Out of sight, out of mind."   Have a percentage of your paycheck direct deposited to your savings account.  If you don't see it, you won't spend it.  Then leave it there!  Add to it weekly, monthly, yearly.  Watch it grow.  You will be encouraged to add more. 
     Never forget, ask God to help you. 

    

 

 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Timing

     In the final days of the first week of this new year, I am still reminded of my blog a few days ago on being "too late."  However, my thoughts were taken another direction on the subject this morning as I read In Touch regarding how "timing is critical."  
     I thought back to last year and wondered how many times I missed an opportunity to serve as Jesus did.  How many times did I fail to say, "I am sorry," when I should have?  How many times did I walk past a needy person in need of a simple hot cup of soup or provide a friendly smile to someone having a bad day?   How many times did I fail to ask forgiveness and lost a close relationship?  How many times did I ignore my fellowman when they had lost a loved one?
     Psalms 130:2 cries out, "Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications."  I know God hears me when I call out to him, yet, how often do I sit quietly in praise listening for His voice?  I should be calling out, to quote In Touch, "God, what would you have me do? God, I am willing to do as you direct."
     The right timing begins with listening and hearing God's quiet nudge.  So today, I pray for a listening ear, a discerning mind, a loving heart, and courage to action.