Tuesday, February 28, 2012


...abandoned by the Father on the cross, 
so His children
could be in His embrace,

God's gift of faith is greater than all the power of hell,
or any scheme of man.

Nothing, can separate us from His love...

Our response -

To walk in a manner worthy of our precious Savior.

"Be steadfast,
always abounding in the work of the Lord, 
knowing that your toil is not in vain
in the Lord."

1 Corinthians 15:58

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Remember His Wonderful Deeds

"Oh give thanks to the LORD,
call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.

Sing to Him,
sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.

Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.

Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face continually.

Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done,
His marvels and the judgments from His mouth."

1 Chronicles 16:8-12

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lesson from Small Group

"Let no one say when he is tempted, "I'm being tempted by God";
 for God cannot be tempted by evil, 
and He Himself does not tempt anyone.  
But each one is tempted when he is carried away 
and enticed by his own lust.  
Then, when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; 
and when sin is accomplished, 
it brings forth death." 

James 1:13-15

I am really looking forward to the culmination of my salvation - when I am completely transformed into Christ's image.  The day when Jesus returns.  The day of glorification.  The day when the child of God will shed all vestiges of sin.  No more battles with it.  We will see Jesus and when we see Him, we will be like Him - utterly and completely pure.  Sin, gone.  

Can't wait.

In the meantime, we are to be working out our salvation with fear and trembling.  We didn't have to work for being delivered from the penalty and power of sin.  Jesus did all that work for us.  People dead in their sin can't work to get out of their sin.  They are lifeless.  Helpless.  The Holy Spirit breathes life into us and then, we are to actively pursue obedience, to work at sinning less and less and looking more and more like our Savior, with a healthy fear of offending God and a righteous awe and respect for Him.  

God has no vulnerability to evil because of His divine, holy nature.  He cannot be tempted.  It's quite the contrary with us, even after we are granted salvation.  We still face the strong desire within ourselves to acquire something to fulfill the flesh.  These are corrupt, deformed desires, rooted solely in ourselves.  The passage above is not teaching us that the devil is roaring like a lion here, dragging off the unguarded believer into sin.  James is teaching us that it is the believer who drags himself off into sin.  We are the cause of giving in to temptation.  This passage is teaching us that sin is a result of a process.  We desire something we shouldn't.  Sex outside of the context of marriage.  Withholding intimacy within the context of marriage.  Too much food.  Watching that movie.  Reading that book.  Hurting someone.  Spending money we don't have.  Wanting clothes we don't need.   Gossiping about someone.  Honor and glory for what rightly belongs to God.  Worrying.  The list goes on and on.  When we don't cut the desire off as soon as we recognize it, we enter the next phase.  We entertain ideas on how to get that desire met.  We plan for getting that desire met.  Sin is born.  We execute, and our peace and joy in Christ and our communion and fellowship with Him and the Father is gone.  We are reveling in our sin.  

So what can we do about this?  

Know your weaknesses.  Take time right now to identify them.  Identify the sinful desires that visit you.  Figure out who you are in this area so when the desire appears you recognize it and cut it off, immediately.  Take the thought captive to the Word of God.  Replace the deformed desire with the Word of God and thinking upon that which is true and lovely and pure and good and excellent.  (Like Jesus, and seeing Him, face to face.)  You will then have success in keeping the temptation from turning into sin.  We will never be perfect at this, but we can get better and better at it.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Result of God's Distinguishing, Particular Love

"But we should always give thanks to God for you,
brethren beloved by the Lord,
because God has chosen you
from the beginning for salvation
through sanctification by the Spirit
and faith in the truth.
It was for this He called you
through our gospel, 
that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."

2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14

"For those whom He foreknew,
He also predestined 
to become conformed to the image of His Son,
so that He would be the firstborn 
among many brethren;
and these whom He predestined,
He also called; 
and these whom He called,
He also justified; 
and these whom He justified,
 He also glorified."

Romans 8:29, 30

"But we all, with unveiled face,
beholding as in a mirror 
the glory of the Lord, 
 are being transformed into the same image
from glory to glory,
just as from the Lord,
 the Spirit."

2 Corinthians 3:18

"I know that You can do all things,
and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted."

Job 42:2

Planned before creation, 
with God's everlasting love 
and the absolute power of The Spirit behind it,
we have an incredible, 
unthwartable destiny. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Leavenworth 2 and Twins with Twins

Leavenworth at night...

Our quaintly appointed room...

Love this one of Karin and Annie...

The men I love...
(The tree behind them was really cool.  
It looked like snow was falling over it...)

Annie has always looked great in hats, 
and she ended up wearing this one home!

How you hot tub when you leave your suit at home...harumph...

This mural was in the pool room.  
Can you tell what it is depicting?  
We LOVED it!  
(Click on the image to get a better look...)


And one last pic for you...twins with twins.  I watch Vivie and Annah on Fridays.  Karin and I got to hang out with these two cuties today.  They are so much fun!

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Karin, my older sister by eleven minutes, is here for the week.  Yes, we are twins and this picture was taken in Leavenworth, not the penitentiary in Kansas, but a small Bavarian Village in the beautiful Cascade mountains.  

We are having great fun, more pictures coming soon...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Are You Ready?

"For I consider that 
the sufferings of this present time
are not worthy to be compared 
with the glory
that is to be revealed to us."  
Romans 8:18

What did Paul's sufferings look like?

"...in far more imprisonments,
beaten times without number,
often in danger of death,
five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes,
three times I was beaten with rods,
once I was stoned, 
three times I was shipwrecked,
 a night and a day I have spent in the deep.
I have been on frequent journeys,
in danger from rivers,
dangers from robbers, 
dangers from my countrymen, 
dangers from the Gentiles, 
dangers in the city,
dangers in the wilderness,
dangers on the sea,
dangers among false brethren;
I have been in labor and hardship,
through many sleepless nights,
in hunger and thirst, 
often without food,
in cold and exposure..."
2 Corinthians 11:23-27

Can any of us say we have come even close to such suffering?

What did Jesus say would occur to some of us before He returns?

"Many will come in My name, saying, 
'I am the Christ',
and will mislead many.
You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars,
See that you are not frightened,
for these things must take place,
but that is no yet the end.
For nation will rise against nation,
 and kingdom against kingdom,
and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
But all these things are merely 
the beginning of birth pangs.
Then they will deliver you to tribulation,
and will kill you,
and you will be hated by all nations
because of My name.
At that time many will fall away 
and will betray one another and hate one another.
Many false prophets will arise
and will mislead many.
Because lawlessness is increased, 
most people's love will grow cold.
But the one who endures to the end,
he will be saved."
Matthew 24:5-13 

John had this to say about the coming times - 

"If anyone is destined for captivity, 
to captivity he goes; 
if anyone kills with the sword, 
with the sword he must be killed.
Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints."
Revelation 13:10

What are you doing to prepare?

Are you ready for what is going to happen before the Lord's return?

What will you do if your family is drug before you and you are told 
if you give up Christ, they will not slaughter your child,
or grandchild?

Are you prepared to face such a choice?

When the church was young, 
believers faced great persecution.  
As the end of the age closes, 
the church will face the greatest persecution ever to occur. 

Are you ready?  

Will you stand for Christ?

Do you love Jesus above all things?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jesus, Our Redeemer

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, 
the forgiveness of our trespasses, 
according to the riches of His grace."

Ephesians 1:7

I've been thinking this morning, about Adam and Eve.  When they were created, they came into life having wonderful, sweet, daily, communion with God.  I believe it was Jesus with Whom they walked in the Garden of Eden, it was Christ pre-incarnate.  When they chose to listen to the counsel of Satan, rather than the Wonderful Counselor's, they lost that wonderful, sweet, daily, physical-presence-communion with God.  They gained death - physical as well as spiritual separation from God and their bodies began to age and eventually returned to dust.  How excruciating it must have been, when they began to realize what they had lost.  Choosing not to listen to God gained nothing good, only death, misery, and separation from Him.  Man was created to live by the Word of God.  Suffering is still the consequence when we choose not to walk in the counsel of God.  But Jesus did not leave Adam and Eve without hope.  Before He sent them out of the garden, He gave them a picture of what He was going to do someday.  He killed an innocent animal, spilling its blood, to cover guilty Adam and Eve.  The Creator, Jesus, would come at the fullness of time, as The Redeemer, and pay the price for sin with His blood, restoring relationship.  His death would release His children from the bondage and power of sin.  His death would release His chosen ones from Satan's domain, which Adam had plunged the human race into by choosing to heed Satan's counsel. 

You are I were born into sin.  We were born enemies of God, unable to please God, not even desiring to have communion with Him.  Before the fall, Adam and Eve's hearts must have leapt with joy when they heard the sound of Jesus coming to them.  Don't you think they ran to Him, eager to hear what He would teach them that day?  Not so with us, before Jesus opens our eyes and reveals Himself to us, we do not seek Him.  We do not desire Him.  We do not desire righteousness and holiness.  We do not desire His wisdom and counsel.  We are blind to the goodness and holiness of God.  We are unable to revel in the glory of God.  We revel in self-glory.  We are attracted only to self.  We are born self-pleasers.  We are so sinful, the Father must drag us to Jesus.  

Jesus paid the price to restore our relationship back to what Adam and Eve had in the garden, before the fall.  Jesus paid the price to release us from the bondage and power of sin and the kingdom of Satan.  Jesus paid the price to restore that sweet and intimate communion with God.  We'll never fully comprehend the price He paid, the shedding of His precious blood.  We'll never understand the wrath He bore because we didn't have to pay the price.  Jesus, while on the cross, experienced an eternity's worth of torment - of being separated from the Father, for each of His children, His gift's from the Father.  The Innocent paying the price for the guilty.  We deserved the torment of the Father's wrath and separation from Him.  We deserved the nails driven into our hands and feet.  Instead of it being our hands and feet, Jesus, without struggling, quietly and willingly laid His hands and feet out and took the searing pain of the piercing.  We will never experience God's wrath for the punishment for our sin so we'll never completely understand what Jesus endured, what He bore to accomplish our redemption, but we can choose now to serve and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  We now hear His wise, sweet voice.  We also now have an eternity with Him,  to thank Him, Thank Him, THANK HIM!