Due Process Hindered by Media Frenzy

Why Due Process?  A Lesson from History

There was a powerful man.  He wanted property that belonged to his neighbor so he set up a meeting at a local restaurant and asked his neighbor if he was willing to sell.

The neighbor refused which made the man very sad.  He left the meeting pouting because of his inability to convince the neighbor to make a deal.

An Evil Conspiracy Begins

Later that night the man’s wife asked him why he was so depressed. After discussing his attempts to purchase the property, his wife conspired an evil plot.

The plot was carried out by those who were secretly hired by the wife.  The neighbor, who was now seen as an enemy that stood in the way of her and her husband’s expansion plans, was to be promoted in front of the townspeople.

A Media Frenzy Orchestrated

As the proceedings began, false accusations were brought before the people.  The media was employed to put the attendants at the proceedings in a frenzy. A false narrative was given that stirred the people to react foolishly which caused the death of the neighbor. This happened even though the townspeople knew that the neighbor was a good man and worthy of the promotion.

The Target Destroyed

The destruction of the neighbor was completed before any of the accusers’ credibility could be questioned.

After the funeral, the wife and her powerful husband confiscated the property leaving the neighbor’s wife and children unable to provide for themselves.

For a while the couple enjoyed the ill-gotten property.  They thought their coverup was complete and felt no remorse over their evil deed.

All the neighbor’s hard labor in growing a successful vineyard seemed to have been wasted.  His house was turned into a potting shed. The vines were removed and replaced with herbs and flowers.

The property became a private grove where the couple could entertain their rich friends and acquaintances.  Business deals were made and celebrated there.

Photo of grapes
(Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com from Pexels)

The Evil Plot Uncovered

A message was delivered to the powerful man.  The details revealed that Someone knew of his terrible deed. For a short while, the rich man felt sorrowful for what he had done.  Yet, his wife continued her evil ways. It seemed that nothing could stop her from attacking all who opposed her continual pursuit of power.

The couple’s desire for more power and prestige led them to formulate a plan to take over a nearby city. They covenanted with another powerful man and engaged in efforts to take the city.  While those plans were carried out, the husband was killed.

Our view of what lies ahead may seem overwhelming.
(Photo courtesy of Pexels.)

Power Threatened

An opposition party arose that threatened the power and livelihood of the wife.  Using her great power and hefty bank account, she was able to protect herself.  She updated her appearance and used her words wisely to control those around her.

Thinking that she could control any man with her looks and her sly words, she boldly and confidently suggested that no one could rise to resist her.   But soon her demise would come.

The wife rented a tower to proclaim her victory and authority over anyone who would come against her. Yet, those whom she abused day by day with her insults, derogatory language, and belittling remarks realized that there was no point in thinking that she would one day appreciate or care for their efforts to keep her happy.

Photo of police officer and man with evidence
(Photo courtesy of Pexels.)

Called into Question

Finally, her helpers saw that protecting this woman was depriving them of the life and liberty they desired for themselves.  They were not prospering as she had promised them.  The only ones who had prospered were the woman and her evil husband and their powerful friends.  Suddenly, they realized that they had only been used to help this woman cover her evil and her harm of innocent people.

Truth Prevails

Once the helpers’ eyes were opened to the realization that they had been lied to and used only for the evil woman’s gain they made a choice to be truthful to themselves.

This was not the life that they wanted to live.  This was not the woman they wanted to support.

As a short trial ensued, those who had previously supported the woman gave their testimony to the evil she had committed. They then assisted in the downfall of her and her kingdom.

No Where to Hide

This event in history reminds us that although evil may prevail for a time, governments and peoples are to follow the laws set forth by Almighty God.  Eventually evil will be dealt with by God if those peoples and governments do not follow through with their God-ordained responsibilities.

God’s intervention in the above situation may have seemed delayed, yet God gives people a choice as to whether they will arise and do what is right and necessary to control evil. God waits to see how they will react when temptation is before them.  Will the people choose evil or good?

No man or woman can do any deed, good or evil, and hide it from the All-Seeing Eye of God.  We will all stand either before the Judgment Seat of Christ or before the Great White Throne of Almighty God.

Always remember, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” Would you rather have the ‘wages’ or the ‘gift’?

Just so you know, the wicked wife had a choice too. She chose the wages and succumbed to a horrible death. Her pursuit of power had come to an end.

Two Takeaways

  1. Good always wins over evil in the end.
  2. Be aware, Satan knows the Good Book, too.

(For more intel on the story, see the Book of 1 Kings.)

©2018 by authorpeggyclark.com

Hospital: A Depiction of Contradiction

An Orderly Place in a Disorderly World

Assorted characters, diverse personalities, uniformed staff pass as I stroll down the hallway.  My mind thinks of strangers passing in the night.

To my left a child is crying.  Nurses are bent over trying to console and yet do their duties.

Another left and a gentleman is being placed in a wheelchair surrounded by friends.  Hopefully, he is going home.

Ahead, a young man rests his back and his left foot on the wall behind him, phone in hand, the broom by his side.  Yet, I am thankful for I must pass into the room he needs to enter.  He waits patiently.

It is an orderly place in a disorderly world.  Or maybe it’s a disorderly place in an ordered world.  I guess it depends upon our perception.

Fast forward and one sees flashes of concern, bewilderment, laughter, boredom, distraction, and confusion. It is an artist’s vignette of emotions, an author’s journal in character study.   One can observe a vast portraiture of the human soul.

A hosital bench is a great place to observe human character. (Photo courtesy of Pexels.)
A hospital bench is a great place to observe human character. (Photo courtesy of Pexels.)

A Place of Contradictions

It is a place of contradictions.

The cafeteria helps to escape the silence, yet everyone is strangers.  Patient rooms are filled with silence; yet voices try to fill the void.

Private rooms never seem private. Doors open and close.  Another blood pressure check, and chit-chat rises and then falls with the closing door.

Patients pursue answers yet struggle to know the questions.

Professionals come trained to investigate, yet their examinations have no answer sheets.

Hospitals known for healing, and yet there exists such pain. Protocols meant to heal, and yet may leave one lifeless.

Visitors on a mission but find the patient has been dismissed.

A Place Sought for Healing But Does Not Possess the Answer to Life

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.”  Psalm 121:1-3

I may look unto this natural world seeking the help that I desire, but the help I need comes from the Lord Himself.  He has made all things, even me.

God is my keeper.  He stays alert even when I am asleep.  No matter what may come against me, I am the Lord’s.

Suffering may abound, but it will not last forever. It is only a little season and cannot demand its own way. God is the Great Physician.  He ruleth over all.

Gives Physical Hope But Does Not Possess Eternal Hope

Eternity is but a breath away for everyone.  But eternity for the righteous is an entrance into glory.  All pain and suffering will the righteous leave behind.

One never knows when he or she will walk down the hallways of a hospital seeking answers for the sake of a loved one.

Yet there is One who has all answers and His name is Jesus.  Because He is the Hope of the World, I can rest in His answer to my prayers for my loved one.

My friend, I hope you are ready for eternity.  Don’t let a day pass that you do not call upon Jesus for the hope of eternal life.  He waits for the call of those who seek His face and His deliverance.

Perfect healing may come on this side of eternity, but for those who cross through the shadow of death, only the righteous will experience perfect healing as they enter Heaven.  I hope you are prepared.

May we meet in Heaven one day.

©2018 by Peggy Clark

If you are currently experiencing health problems, may this Get Well Soon card by Artsy Bee be a blessing to you.
If you are currently experiencing health problems, may this Get Well Soon card by Artsy Bee be a blessing to you.  (Photo courtesy of Pexels.)

 

Cancer: The Dreaded Diagnosis

As I wrote my last post (see Life’s Unexpected Adjustments or Crises?) I did not realize how soon life’s unexpected adjustments would come to a dear friend of mine.

I found the hospital number in my messages this  morning.  I called certainly not expecting to hear the word ‘cancer,’ but as the conversation continued I feared the worst. 

Yes, the diagnosis is cancer.  Yet, on the other side of the phone line the voice was amazingly calm and peaceful.

What can a friend do but cry?  But there is hope.

Yes, I prayed with my dear friend.

Her thoughts were not on herself.  She is a Christian and does not fear eternity.  Her thoughts were on her loved ones that she wants to see in Heaven one day.

Will this diagnosis take her life?

Jesus already has her life.  Cancer cannot take that away from her.

I pray for her complete healing.

God works in mysterious and miraculous ways.  After all, Christ is the Great Physician.  He knows what the body needs.  It is no small thing for Him to heal in a moment’s time.

So life will be an adjustment for her and her family.  Health, finances, schedules will all be changed.

Yet, one thing will not change.  She will continue to be God’s child.  God is her Heavenly Father and He will not forsake her.

We, as God’s children, have that promise continually.  “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.”

So today is an adjustment from the normal.  Tests are being run.  Doctors will discuss with family their future plans.

Yet, one adjustment will not be made.  Cancer will never defeat her.  She is God’s and no weapon formed against her will stand. Eternity cannot rob her of her joy.  For that, I am grateful.

I have a sister in Christ.  And, IN CHRIST she will remain.  To God be the glory!

I look forward to hearing her testimony of complete healing.

Thank you for your prayers for her speedy recovery.

©2018 by Peggy Clark

Life’s Unexpected Adjustments or Crises?

Unexpected Events

It has been the most unusual day.  I am sitting in a parking lot outside a medical facility with my car hood up.  My car has not overheated, but I have a split hose.  Thankfully, an employee inside has offered to take my husband to an auto parts store during her lunch break.

While I am waiting for his appointment to be over, I have encountered a spider.  I knock it off my skirt but have no idea where it is now.  We will have to endure the heat and the car together.

Next the most unusual occurrence of all.  As I look up in my mirror, I see a fawn running across the lawn.  It must have been spooked from its hiding place or lost from its mother.  I hope it can find its way back to where she left it.

Photo of fawn standing in grassSo unexpected to see a fawn running across the grass in a highly visible location. (Photo by Vincent Van-Zalinger. Courtesy of Unsplash)

Unexpected Events Sometimes Call for Major Adjustments

I have been sitting here reading about crisis points of belief.  The author speaks of making major adjustments in our lives to follow God.

I am thinking of how thankful I am that I can be at peace no matter what happens.  Not everything is a crisis even though circumstances may present themselves as such.

Life happens.  Things wear out or decay.  New things quit working properly.  It is to be expected.  Some things we can prepare for, but some take us by surprise.

No matter what happens or what adjustments need to be made in our lives, God is faithful.  We can rely on the living God to take us through every situation.

Road sign photo
Not all changes in direction are crises.  (Photo by Brett Sayles.  Courtesy of Pexels.)

Other’s Circumstances May Cause Us to Make Adjustments

We have now been to the auto parts store; the hose has been replaced; and we are on our way.

Yet, another encounter—a gentleman and his grandson are locked out of his vehicle.  We offer our help.  After much effort and assistance his door is finally unlocked.

I am thankful that my husband was not afraid or too proud to ask for help when we needed it.  We were given assistance in our time of need.  God was very gracious to allow the hose to break after we arrived at our destination and not in transit on the highway.

I think of the gentleman locked out of his vehicle.  It reminds me of how horrible it would be to be locked out of a place much more important than a vehicle.

It would be tragic to be locked out of Heaven because we were too proud or too afraid to ask for the help we needed.  Our Saviour stands ready to hear our heart’s cry.  If we will admit our sinful condition, Christ Jesus will cleanse us, forgive us, and meet our needs.

Sometimes life does require adjustments.  Schedules can change.  Health can change.  Financial conditions can change.  Our jobs can disappear overnight.  At such times we may experience a crisis of belief.  We must remember, however, that God never changes.  He remains faithful.

An Adjustment for Which We All Must Be Prepared

There is one adjustment for which we must be prepared.  That adjustment will be our entrance into eternity.

Eternity waits for everyone.  Which eternity we experience is our choice.  There are only two doors.

Don’t wait until Heaven’s door is locked to ask for entrance to a glorious eternity.  The other door leads to an eternal suffering no one wants to enter.

May you and I meet one day in eternity in Heaven’s glorious abode.

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Thessalonians 5:23

©2018 by Peggy Clark

Peggy Clark is the author of So, What's the Latest News?  Messages from a Prisoner in Rome. This commentary of Colossians may be purchased at Amazon and other online retailers.

Abraham’s Altars: A Visible Journal and Example to Us

(Photo of man with luggage beginning journey by Mantas Hesthaven from Pexels.)
(Photo by Mantas Hesthaven from Pexels.)

Ever been told what to do but not given the directions?

What if someone told you to sell your house, pack your belongings, and leave without any idea of where you were to go?

Abram received such a call.  The amazing thing is that he obeyed the call, sold his house and possessions, and started a journey not knowing where he went.

 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee. (Genesis 12:1)

Abram’s Call

God called Abram unto a place of which Abram did not know. God did not reveal the location to him, tell him a hotel room would be waiting, or what community services were available.  He only knew he had heard God’s voice speak to him.

Abram in obedience began the journey away from what was secure to him, away from family, and away from familiar places.  He had to trust that God knew what He was doing and where He was leading him. Because of his obedience God changed Abram’s name to Abraham.

Abraham’s Altar

In every place God spoke to him, Abraham took time to build an altar.  The altar was a visible reminder that he had heard God speak.

Whenever Abraham began to wander, he had a physical place to which he could return and remind himself of God’s voice.

As we read about Abraham’s journeys in Scripture, we find that Abraham returned at various times to the altars he had built so that he could commune with God and regain his focus.

In our journey thru life, we can and should build altars that remind us of where God has brought us from to where He is taking us.

Keeping mementos and collecting souvenirs of places we’ve been become more precious to us the longer we live.  The mementos bring back special memories tucked away in our hearts.  The souvenirs remind us of precious time spent with family and friends.

Scripture speaks of stirring up our minds by way of remembrance (2 Peter 3:1).  When and where did we hear God’s calling?  What caused us to start down the path we are taking?  How did we know this was the right job or the right school?  How do we know we are in God’s will at this moment?

A Remembrance of Important Events

Abraham’s building of altars was his way of keeping a remembrance of important events in his life.

Writing two letters was Apostle Peter’s way of reminding the recipients of the words the prophets had spoken and the commandments that the apostles had given to the early church.  Those letters are recorded in 1 and 2 Peter.

Building Personal Memorials

Today we build memorials to do the same.  But how do we build personal memorials so we do not forget the important events in our own lives?

The Scrapbook

Some people keep scrapbooks.

Saving ‘scraps’ of life whether it be placemats from restaurants, postcards and stamps, or photos of birthday parties and anniversaries, and attaching them to pages in a book provides people a way to look back over their lives.

Those ‘scraps’ bring to their remembrance what might have been forgotten if they had not taken the time to memorialize them.

Keeping mementos and recording events helps us to remember special times.
Keeping mementos and recording events helps us to remember special times. (Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels.)

The Journal

Keeping a journal is another way we can refresh our memories.  Writing down why we are doing this or that can be invaluable when we feel as if we are stuck in life.

Recording goals and noting when those goals are attained helps us see the progress we are making.

Prayers jotted down and answers received encourage us when we find ourselves in need of another answer to our prayers. The noting of scriptures that gave us light during difficult times serve as reminders of God’s presence.  Chronicling hard-learned lessons can prevent us from making the same mistakes again.

There are many types of journals, but in one respect they are all the same. They are a memorial of our lives lived daily.

Journals are a place we can return to when we forget where we are and a place where our remembrance can stir our minds to renew the plans God purposed for our lives.

A journal is a report card.  It shows us that God has been at work in our past and reminds us that He is still at work in our present.

Did your parents keep a scrapbook of your childhood?

Do you keep a journal?  If so, what type of journal do you keep?

In what way was Abraham’s building of altars like keeping a journal?

I encourage you to begin journaling your special moments if you have not done so.

How precious it would be to recall the words that you feel God has spoken to you when you find yourself needing to remember.  I am sure Abraham was glad he had a place to remind himself of God’s words.

©2018 by Peggy Clark

 

 

Missing Out on Chicken and Tomato Biscuit?

Sitting in a Southern restaurant wondering why the staff hasn’t heard of a chicken and tomato biscuit with mayonnaise.

Grilled chicken is especially delicious when placed inside a freshly baked biscuit.
Grilled chicken is especially delicious when placed inside a freshly baked tomato biscuit. (Photo from Pixabay courtesy of Pexels.)

Does the staff realize what they’ve been missing? 

Everyone should have the opportunity to devour one of these at least once in their lifetime.

Summertime invokes the desire for a fresh slice of tomato on every sandwich.  That is, if the tomato is freshly picked from the garden.  Who cares for an unripe tomato — unless they’re fried, of course.

We wonder about people who don’t know about things we suppose they should know. Yet, how can they know if no one has told them?

Nothing like making your own fresh biscuits. (Photo courtesy of Pexels.)
Nothing like making your own fresh tomato biscuits. (Photo courtesy of Pexels.)

Let me introduce you to the chicken and tomato biscuit. 

Cut a freshly baked biscuit in half.  Slather each half with your favorite mayonnaise.

Don’t forget the tomato!

Slice a ripe tomato.  Place one or two slices on the biscuit.  Salt and pepper if you like.

Add a piece of chicken, and wallah, you’re in for a treat.

Have a napkin handy.

Slices of ripe tomato taste delicious on any sandwich.
Sliced tomato ready for making your chicken and tomato biscuit.

Something else you may be missing

While we’re enjoying our biscuits, let me introduce you to something even more wonderful.

I forget how many people don’t know about it. Yet, I am reminded that people are ignorant of the knowledge of this.  They don’t know that they are kept from this because of their lack of understanding.

Why do they not understand?  Is it because they haven’t been told?
How can anyone partake of something to which they have never been exposed?

Let me introduce you to Truth

Let me introduce you to Truth.  Truth is a living eternally-existent Being.

In Truth resides all truth.  When someone does not know Truth, they do not realize Who they are missing.

Some people simply do not understand that they are alienated or separated from the eternal life that resides in Truth.

Who wouldn’t want to know Truth?
Who wouldn’t want to partake of the eternal life that resides in Him?

Know Truth

To know Truth is to be set free.

In fact, knowing Truth sets a person free from the blindness of his or her heart (John 8:32).

Truth then sends His Spirit to guide that person into all truth (John 16:13).  Everyone who knows Truth hears His voice of truth as it is spoken unto them (John 18:37b).

Find Truth

Where can truth be found?  Truth is found in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:21).

All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge reside in Christ (Colossians 2:3).  The great wonder is that He wants us to partake of those treasures.

Just as that chicken and tomato biscuit fills the longing in our hungry stomachs, Truth fills the longing in our hungry hearts.

Don’t miss Truth by not knowing Truth

Just ask Truth to fill you with truth.  He will remove any blindness in your heart, and you will no longer be alienated from the life that is found only in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:18).

“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” (John 3:16).

By the way, I hope you enjoyed your chicken and tomato biscuit.  Invite Jesus to eat the next one with you.

©2018 by Peggy Clark

 

 

 

 

Winnowing Wheat: Picture of the Greatest Harvest

Winnowing Wheat

A Memory from My Youth

It was time for wheat harvest. The days were very hot. Dad and Uncle Finley kept a close watch on the fields so that the wheat could be harvested at just the right moment.

They also kept a close watch on the sky. A hard rain and/or high wind could ruin the crop. That is a fearful thing for a farmer.

Wheat heads are ripening fast.
(Photo by Alejandro Brown.)

I can still see Uncle Finley eating grains of wheat as he leaned back against a wall.  He would take the wheat tops and rake the seeds out into his hand and eat them.

As a child I was curious. I remember asking Uncle Finley why he was eating the seeds. He told me that the seeds were wheat and placed some in my hand and told me to eat them.

I looked at him strangely.  I thought, ‘I have never eaten these seeds. Will they hurt me?’

Uncle Finley started telling me that the seeds were what we used to make our bread.  In order to convince me, he also told me of other foods we make with wheat.

Yes, I ate the seeds.  They were hard, of course, yet they were tasty.

There's nothing tastier than a slice of warm bread with freshly made butter slathered on top.
There’s nothing tastier than a slice of warm bread with freshly made butter slathered on top.  (Photo courtesy of Pexels.)

Winnowing by Machine

Usually a farmer in our community came with his combine. The combine would thresh the wheat, separating the seeds from the chaff and straw.  Then another man riding on the combine would pull a lever and let the grains of wheat pour into sacks.

The sacks of wheat were tied with twine and stored in our granary. Some would be used for flour; but most for feeding our animals.

The straw (the stems of the wheat plants) would be left behind in the field. Later, we would bind the straw into bales and store in the barn for bedding.

Winnowing wheat is a hot and tiring job whether by machine or by hand.
Winnowing wheat is a hot and tiring job whether by machine or by hand.

Winnowing by Hand

I remember times when we had to separate the wheat from the chaff by hand. Those were back breaking days.

The wheat would be spread out on a large white sheet. Each of us would take a corner and lift the sheet. Then we would fling the wheat up into the air so that the wind would carry away the chaff leaving the heavier grains of seed to fall back into the sheet. This process is called winnowing.

It seemed we could never get the wheat clean enough. Yet, when Mom saw that the wheat was finally clean, we would gather up the corners of the sheet so that we wouldn’t lose any of the precious grains.  Then we would pour the grain into clean sacks and store for later use.

Winnowing the World

Those harvesting days help me to understand Scriptures such as Matthew 13:30 and Matthew 3:12.

“Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:30

“Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”  Matthew 3:12

Jesus used fields of wheat as a picture of the peoples of the world.
Jesus used fields of wheat as a picture of the peoples of the world. (Photo courtesy of Pexels.)

Jesus speaks of His children as being precious wheat. The floor is the world that He has created. The wind and other forces of nature are under His control.

Just as our family lifted the sheets and let the wind carry the chaff away, so will Jesus separate or winnow His precious seed from the chaff.

Jesus will gather his precious children into His garner which is heaven.  And the chaff, those who rejected His love extended toward them, will be cast into an unquenchable fire.

Having harvested wheat, I understand just how precious each grain of wheat is.  Plowing, disking, seeding, fertilizing, and harvesting is no easy task. It is very labor-intensive.

Neither has Jesus spared any expense, even giving His own life, so that at harvest time many souls will be ready for heaven.

I am glad that I am one of those that Jesus considers precious seed. I look forward to the day when He will garner me into heaven.

Are you one of those precious seeds?  If not, you can be.

Let Jesus speak to your heart as you read these words from John 3:16-17; 36.

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.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Believe on Jesus the Messiah.  Give your heart to Him today, and He will prepare you for heaven.

Then when Jesus winnows the peoples of the earth, you will be part of those who will be gathered to live with Him in heaven.

(Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keets Moved to New Home

Adventurous Keet Flies the Coop!

We recently moved our keets to their new home (biddy cage).

The keets seem to enjoy the fresh air and the ability to see beyond their protected space.

(Keets are baby guineas in case you didn’t know.)

Keets are happy in their new living quarters.
Keets are happy in their new living quarters.

Keet Saved from Disaster

One of the keets is especially adventurous.  In fact, before we expected to move the keets to a larger space, this keet ‘flew the coop.’  Thankfully, I heard her (or his) activity before she got entangled in anything harmful.

Now in the biddy cage, this keet has already decided to roost on a low branch placed strategically inside the cage.  She (or possibly he) is obviously a leader.

Keets love the view from the biddy cage.
Keets love the view from inside the biddy cage.

Being a leader can have its advantages and its disadvantages.

Inside the safety of the storage container (see previous post), the keets were kept warm under the heat of a light bulb.  They had plenty of fresh water and food given to them daily.  The container was kept clean (keets are messy).

Yet, this keet decided to try its wings and fly over the top and onto the floor in one of our bedrooms.  If I had not heard its wings fluttering against a vent, this bird may have died from lack of food and water.

Because of this keet’s activities, the keets were moved outdoors.  Within the protection of the biddy cage, this keet is now free to try her wings and encourage others to do the same.

Although we have not seen any of the other keets resting on the branch, I am sure that encouragement from this keet will have them following suit shortly.

Protective Boundaries

To follow the adventurous keet as it flew out of the protective storage container could have been disastrous for the other keets.  However, within the protection of the biddy cage, it is advantageous for the keets to follow in resting on the roost.

Follow the Leader?

Just like the keets, children are young and inexperienced in the ways of the world.  They do not understand that danger lurks outside the protective boundaries set by their parents and other caring adults.

Children repeat the words they hear, imitate the actions they see, and model their lives after those that are honored as leaders or heroes. 

Children repeat the words they hear, imitate the actions they see, and model their lives after those that are honored as leaders or heroes.  Sadly, many times children follow the unwise and corrupt.  Habits are formed which lead to destruction.

Children will follow the leader.  However, it is important that the leader be knowledgeable and upright and praiseworthy.  What is cultivated in the child is what has been honored before their eyes.

An Example Worthy of Imitation

As we lead our children are we cultivating that which is praiseworthy?  Are we cultivating what is honorable?  Are we giving our children an example to imitate that follows truth and godliness?

Can we say as Paul did, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample” (Philippians 3:17)?

Children are great imitators.  May they ‘mark’ those who walk wisely and follow their example.

©2018 by Peggy Clark

Keets Bring New Life to the Farm

 

Keets are happy in their new living quarters.
Keets are happy in their new living quarters.

New Life on the Farm

Seeing new life around the farm is a blessing.  Blossoming faces lift themselves toward life-sustaining sunshine.  Butterflies flit once again.  And the sounds of animal babies mooing or peeping or meowing let us know that life continues even after winter’s long and harsh visit.

Keets Are Here!

Keets have arrived.  That’s baby guineas for newbies to farm life.  They are a skittish bunch.  I’m afraid we may have more males than we desire, but as long as they get along we will be okay.

Keets are finding out where the feed is located.
Keets are finding out where the feed is located.  We removed the shavings after this photo.

Living quarters are a large plastic storage container with paper towels for flooring.  We’ve discovered that keets like to scratch for their feed so the feeder has been removed.  We also took out the shavings and replaced them with paper towels to accommodate their feeding habits.

The keets are a happy bunch.  They huddle together, sing together, eat together, and sleep together in a corner of the bin. Life holds many exciting adventures for them.  We pray that they will continue happily when we place them in a larger pen, and finally, to the yard.

Fresh Perspective

New life is always welcome.  It refreshes and cleanses away the dreary days of winter.  The hope of new life gives us something to look forward to each day.

Anticipation is the promise of what can be if we will only look for it.

Anticipation of new life

Anticipation is the promise of what can be if we will only look for it.  Sometimes it makes us impatient wondering where new life can be found.

But new life is not far from any of us.  In fact, it’s closer than we may imagine.

“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”  John 4:10

Keets have their own personalities.

Gift of New Life

Every living creature needs water to survive.  The keets must have fresh water each day and I must give it to them.  They cannot give it to themselves.

Life is the same.  We cannot give ourselves life.  It must come from someone else.  Our parents birthed us into this world.  They gave us what we needed to survive.

New life is the same.  We cannot give it to ourselves.  It must come from someone else.  That someone else is Jesus Christ.  Only He has the power to give it to us.

New life is eternal.  It is spiritual.  It lasts beyond this world.

“Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”  John 4:13-14

Jesus the Messiah offers the water of life to all who will come to Him.  His gift of new life sustains through all eternity.

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” John 17:3

 

Overcoming Obstacles in Life

Is there an obstacle looming before you? Do the circumstances of life hinder you from moving forward? Be encouraged. No obstacle is too large to overcome if you endure.

The Pioneer’s Obstacle

Our view of what lies ahead may seem overwhelming.
Our view of what lies ahead may seem overwhelming.

American pioneers traveling westward sought passageways through the majestic Rocky Mountain Range.  Determination and grit led them to overcome the difficulties encountered as they faced the daunting heights and freezing temperatures.

Spurred on by their belief that a future and a hope lay on the other side of the seemingly impossible to climb obstacle, they crossed into a land rich with resources.

Fruit trees provided sustenance for those who happened upon them.
Fruit trees provided sustenance for those who happened upon them.

The fertile valleys gave families sustenance.  Homes were built.  Towns and cities sprung up.  Businesses boomed.  The quest for a better life was fulfilled for many even though it came at great cost.

Overcoming Our Obstacles

Jesus is with us as we walk through our valleys and as we climb our mountains. His rod and staff guide us as we face each challenge of life.  His promise to never leave us or forsake us is as true today as when He first spoke it.

We may have a “Rocky Mountain Range” looming before us.  Yet, what we see as an obstacle hindering our movement forward, may instead be the gateway to a new and fulfilling ministry for Christ.

If it is, our view of the impasse does not hinder what lies ahead. God is not limited by our circumstances.  Neither does any obstacle challenge Him or His resources.  Instead, they are opportunities for Him to display His unlimited power.

 

The valleys may meander, but they lead to greater heights and accomplishments.
The valleys may meander, but they lead to greater heights and accomplishments.

Do not let opposition impede your progress. If God has told you move forward, then keep moving forward.  Acknowledge Him every step of the way.

The howling winds, deep snows, and other weather conditions gave the pioneers limited opportunity to reach the other side of their obstacle. Your window of opportunity may be limited also.

Don’t let God’s promises to you slip away. Grasp hold of what He has for you.

And remember, the promise of Heaven is just ahead.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation:  for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.  James 1:12.

Photo by Pexels
Accept your challenge and win the crown!

The Dirt Road

Roads We Choose to Travel – or Not

Photo by Peggy Clark
Photo by Peggy Clark.  Sometimes life takes us down roads we do not wish to travel.

Because of our limited knowledge, we assume some roads are better than others.

We think that we can control our destiny by the roads that we choose, but we cannot know what lies ahead or what awaits us at the end of the journey.

Some roads become bridges.
Some roads become bridges that connect new friends. (Parrot Island Bridge photo by Wuhan. Courtesy of Pixabay.)

We assume concrete is better than pavement or that gravel is better than dirt.

Concrete may lead us to major cities with skyscraper views, suspension bridges, and fancy restaurants.

Pavement may lead us to more rural areas, smaller towns, and private businesses.

Gravel slows our pace and lets us pay more attention to the various ways people live. We see more of the detail in housing, outdoor life, and personal preference.

One never knows what one might discover down a gravel road.
One never knows what one might discover down a gravel road. (Photo by Cassie Boca. Courtesy of Unsplash.)

But dirt.  It’s the road most people are afraid to take.  Where will we end up? What if we can’t turn around?  What if there’s danger ahead?

The Advantage of the Dirt Road

But the dirt road narrows our vision to one place at a time. We become less distracted by all the busyness.  We notice things we never do on other roads:  the farmer milking the cow, the children playing on a swing-set, the mother hoeing the garden.

Suddenly we notice how the buildings are arranged, the particular plantings in the yard, the curtains swaying in the open windows, and the creative ways in which people erect their mailboxes.

Mailbox photo
Mailboxes sometimes reveal the creativity of their owners. (Photo by Xavier-Massa, courtesy of Unsplash.)

We stop and discover new friends, partake of fresh fruits and vegetables, and learn about the history of the area.

That is, some do.  Others stop and turn around in private driveways, never to return to discover what lies ahead.  They are afraid to discover something new. They do not wish to travel down the unknown road.

Traveling Down the Unknown Roads

My father loved traveling down the unknown roads.

This is how my father discovered where to buy the best molasses, where to pick the best peaches, and where to return for sourwood honey.  We loved riding with him ‘just to find out where it leads.  You never know where it might come out.’

I still like riding the backroads.  People are always friendly, yet understandably less so today.

You never know where a road will lead you. Sometimes you find a valuable shortcut. Sometimes the road is long and winding and never seems to end, but you always see new places and meet new faces.

People still return a wave and a smile, but you would never have known unless you had ridden down the dirt road.

Do you have a special memory of traveling down an unknown road?  Please share your comments below.

©2017 by Peggy Clark

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Missionary

To the Missionary Waiting in the Wilderness

Dear Missionary,

It may seem like you are in a dark place now. It may not look like what God called you to do. But God in His wisdom knew you would need this experience to toughen you for the ministry ahead.

“But I trusted in thee, O LORD:  I said, Thou art my God.

My times are in thy hand.”  Psalm 31:14-15a

Unexpected Circumstances

Elijah’s calling was to preach to the leadership of his nation (1 Kings 17-18). He was even able to speak directly to the king.

I’m sure Elijah didn’t expect his next stop to be in the wilderness with no one with which to fellowship. When his water supply began to dwindle, he probably wondered what God was doing in his life.

"I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water." Isaiah 41:18
“I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.” Isaiah 41:18

Slow Growth

Elijah’s ministry then grew from zero to two, a widow and her son. At least he had someone to talk to, that is, until tragedy struck.

Calling Questioned

The widow woman’s son died, and Elijah’s ministry was questioned. Yet, in the midst of tragedy, Elijah went to God in prayer and a miracle happened. The son was brought back to life.

Standing Alone

From there Elijah would face the false prophets and false priests who deceived the nation. One man stood alone against so many.

Yet he knew he was not alone. He was on a mission from God.

God’s Perspective

Your mission may not seem as important as Elijah’s, but the soul of the widow woman was just as important to God as the nation’s repentance from the false religion that plagued the masses.

God’s Preparation

Your mission is just as important as Elijah’s. God knows where you are and He knows where you are headed.

This trial is preparing you. Meanwhile, God is preparing the soil to be receptive to the message He has given you.

God’s Timing

God’s timing is perfect. Wait on Him to perform His plan through you.

We may not always understand what God is doing at any moment, but we know that God can always be trusted to do what is right. When you don’t see His hand at work, trust His heart.

“Let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:20

 

May your wilderness experience soon turn into pools of living water (See Isaiah 41:18).


A Prayer for the Missionary

Dear Father God in Heaven,

Sometimes we fail to understand Your plan. Even Moses could not understand why he and the Hebrew children were led to the Red Sea.  Yet, You opened the way which seemed impossible. You led them through on dry land.

When your people prayed, they failed to believe that You would answer their prayers and release Peter from prison.

When Paul and Silas prayed, the prison was shaken so that a jailer and his family could be saved.

When your enemies set John on the Isle of Patmos, they did not realize You would use John to write the words of Revelation.

You are Almighty God. Show your wonders and power to the discouraged missionary and grant him or her the strength to carry on Your mighty work until Your plan for their lives is accomplished.

Someone is waiting to hear Your gospel message. May the gospel find them through this missionary.

In Christ’s name,

Amen

©2017 by Peggy Clark

 

 

10 Promises That Have Not Been Broken

Have you ever been promised something but the person giving you the promise failed to keep his or her word?
Maybe you have made a promise to someone but failed to keep it.
There are some promises, however, that have been kept. Here are just a few.

Ten Promises That Have Not Been Broken

  • God promised Adam and Eve that a Redeemer would come who would take away their sin.  That Redeemer came.

 

  • God promised Abraham that He (God) would provide Himself a sacrifice for sin, and He did.

 

  • God revealed to Noah that a worldwide flood was coming on the earth.  He told Noah to build an ark and his household would be saved.  Noah obeyed.

God kept His word and sent the flood.

This ark is located in the Netherlands.
This replica of the ark is in the the Netherlands. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay.)

 

  • God promised the children of Israel that they would be delivered from Egypt’s bondage after 400 years passed.  He kept His promise and delivered them.

 

  • God promised Hannah a son.  She had Samuel.
Hannah longed to have a baby. God gave her the desire of her heart by giving her Samuel.  (Photo courtesy of Pixabay.)

 

  • God promised King David that his son Solomon would sit on his throne.  He did.

 

  • When Israel sinned against God, God said they would go into captivity for 70 years, but afterward He would deliver them.  When 70 years were ended, they were given their freedom by King Cyrus.

 

  • God promised a virgin would conceive and bear a son who would be called Emmanuel, the Saviour of the world.  God kept His promise.

Jesus was called Emmanuel, and He became the Saviour of the world.

 

  • God promised He would pay our sin debt by dying on a cross, but He would rise again the third day.  He did.

 

  • Jesus has promised to forgive those who will come to Him believing and admitting their sinful conditions, willing to repent of their sins, and asking for His forgiveness; and He will.

The Promise to Come

God promised He would come again and take those who believe on Him to Heaven to be with Him forever; and He will.

One day the sky will split and Jesus will take those who have believed on Him to heaven to live eternally.
One day the sky will split and Jesus will take those who have received Him as Lord and Saviour to heaven to live with Him eternally. (Photo courtesy of Pixabay.)

Will You Be Left Behind?

What if the rapture were to take place today?  Would you be prepared?

There is only one way to go to heaven.  That is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life:  no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

The return of Christ for His own is a promise that will not be broken. 

God has not failed to keep any of His promises. He will not fail to keep the promise of His soon return. I pray you are prepared to meet Him. If not, please ask Him to come into your heart today.  I would love to hear about it.

©2017 by Peggy Clark


Join in the conversation:
  1. How does it make you feel when someone breaks a promise?
  2. Have you ever broken your promise?
  3. Is it wise for us to promise anything unless we know we can follow through with that promise?
  4. Have broken promises kept you from believing in others?
  5. Christ never breaks His promises. He will forgive when we do our part of asking and being willing to repent. Will you trust Him to keep His Word?

    Can you number the events of the rapture in order?

I Thessalonians 4:16-17

___________      The Lord will appear in the clouds.

___________      The saints begin their endless existence with the Lord.

___________      The trump of God will also sound.

___________      The voice of the archangel will sound.

___________      The dead in Christ will rise.

___________      The Lord will give a great shout.

___________      The living saints will be changed and raptured.


 

 

 

Finding Strength in God Alone

The Man Who Found Strength in His Weakness

I love to see horses galloping across a mountain ridge, muscles bulging, nostrils exhaling steam in the crisp air. What a picture of strength and power to anyone who views such a sight.

Mankind has depended upon the strength of the horse to defeat his enemy in battle, but it is a strength upon which we are commanded not to depend. The strength that we must depend upon can only come from the Source of All Strength who desires to bestow us with power that confounds the unbelieving onlooker and draws their attention to Almighty God.

The horse is a symbol of strength.
The horse is a symbol of strength. (Photo from Pixabay.)

We each have leaned upon our horses of money, family, friends, and societal status. Our experiences have taught us, however, that these horses will not sustain us.

The Bible tells us about a man named Paul who leaned upon his horse of religious pride. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and considered himself blameless concerning the law. Some might say he was a bully who used the law to hide his own weaknesses.

Paul’s intention was to destroy the followers of Jesus. Yet he was brought to his face in the dirt on a road to Damascus. The brilliance of God’s presence stripped him to the foundation of his religious beliefs. The walls of his resistance were broken down by a voice from heaven, “[I]t is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” (Acts 9:5).

Left blinded, Paul’s companions led him by the hand into Damascus where he was left on Straight Street. When the dust settled, three days had passed before he finally regained any sight.

It was there on Straight Street where the Master Architect in Heaven began to reveal His plans for Paul’s life. Through the disciple, Ananias, God began laying a new foundation that would enable Paul to truly know Christ and the power of His resurrection.

Following God’s instructions, Ananias lay his hands upon Paul speaking words that opened the windows of Paul’s understanding. His life’s calling was revealed to him. He would be God’s witness to all men, experiencing great things “for Christ’s sake” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Paul’s experiences “for Christ’s sake” soon revealed a path that would take him through mental, physical, and emotional suffering. Having a weak body and contemptible speech, his horse of self-sufficiency toppled. Seeking deliverance from his weaknesses, God’s words of wisdom came to him, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Humbled to submission, Paul realized that he could do nothing without the indwelling power of Christ. He became thankful for his weaknesses because those weaknesses revealed Christ’s strength at work through him.  In fact, his weaknesses became the tools that God used to make his ministry powerful.

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

(Photo from Pixabay.)
(Photo from Pixabay.)

What transformation must take place before we can truly become strong? With Paul, this transformation began with prayer, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6).

God gave Paul a simple instruction, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”  Paul obeyed and was led to the city of Damascus, and there the cracks in his foundation were replaced with the solid foundation that enabled him to truly stand for Christ.

As Paul yielded to God’s plan, his life was transformed. He found that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. The horses that he had previously depended upon were laid aside.

                “And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:3–5).

Many are the stories that one could tell of those who “out of weakness were made strong” (Hebrews 11:34).  Weakness is the catapult that drives us to God’s presence. It is the horse that bucks us into the arms of God’s abounding grace that is given to us as we submit to its transforming power to conform us to the image of Christ. We learn to embrace this misunderstood friend as we lay ourselves prostrate before a holy God and wait for His empowerment from on high.

Circumstances of life may have left us in difficult places. Yet as we yield to God’s transforming power, we will discover that He can make our lives fruitful regardless of any handicaps or weaknesses that hinder us.

Emptied of our own strength, we must acknowledge that the horses of this world cannot empower us. We must then choose to embrace the Source of All Strength, our Almighty God, who enables us to do all things through Christ.

My prayer for you today is that you will focus not upon your weaknesses but upon the One who can accomplish great feats through you that will confound unbelievers and draw them into the arms of the true Source of All Strength.

When you feel weak and defeated may the following verse be an encouragement to you. It has helped me tremendously when my weaknesses have tried to overwhelm me.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward [me]; that [I], always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

Prayer

Dear Father in Heaven, I realize I have no strength of my own. I confess that I have depended upon the horses of this world and they have failed me. I now lay them aside and embrace You as the Source of All Strength. I yield to Your transforming power. Enable me to fulfill Your purpose and follow Your plan for my life. Thank you for Your indwelling presence that will make my life fruitful and will empower me to do Your will through Christ my Saviour. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Questions

  1. In what ways do we allow our weaknesses/handicaps to hinder us from doing God’s will?
  2. How is God’s strength perfected in us?
  3. What horses have I personally leaned upon to strengthen me instead of leaning upon the strength that only God can give me?

All Scripture quotations above are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

©2017 by Peggy Clark

Ephesians 6:15

Are Your Feet Shod Properly?

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15

When I reminisce on the word shod I picture a rancher shoeing a horse. He carefully shapes each shoe and attaches each one to fit the horse’s hooves.  They must be a perfect fit or they won’t protect properly.

The rancher knows that his horses need shoes to protect their hooves or they will not be able to do the work that he needs them to do.  A limping horse is of no value to the rancher.

Recently my husband and I stopped at a shoe store. My husband wanted me to have a new pair of sandals. Thankfully, I found a pair that was comfortable.

The sales clerk placed them in a box and kept them safe at the counter while we continued to look. There were several pairs that we liked, but they did not fit the bottom of my feet properly.  Not finding another pair we made our purchase and left.

Arriving home, the package was placed in the bedroom to be opened later. I will probably not open the package until I need the shoes inside.

These sandals can be adjusted to one’s feet.

We are to prepare ourselves by shodding our feet.

I’m afraid that’s also what we do with our Bibles. We bring them home and place them on the end table or some other location to be opened later.

It’s not that we think the Bible is of no importance. It certainly is. But just as the rancher prepares his horse for the work he has to do, we are to prepare ourselves for the work God has us to do.

To shod myself I must put forth the effort to put on my shoes.

For the sandals that I purchased to be of any value to me, I must take them out of the package and put them on my feet. I must shod myself with my shoes to protect my feet from stones and other debris that would cause harm. I do not wish to endure the pain of a stumped toe or jagged cut.

As my physical feet are shod with sandals so my spiritual feet are shod with God’s Word.

Just as the rancher prepares his horse’s hooves to be fitted with shoes, I must prepare myself to be fitted with the gospel of peace.

To shod myself with the gospel of peace I must open the Bible and absorb its words. As I shod myself with God’s Word, I am being provided with the protection that I need to walk through the debris of life.

A turn onto the wrong path can leave me limping through life. Instead, I want to walk through God’s fields with a healthy and Christ-honoring stride.

Preparing ourselves with the gospel of peace will keep us from limping in God’s fields.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Ephesians 6:13-16

 

 

Purpose in Life

 Purpose Gives Life Meaning

Abandoned Fawn Finds a New Friend Photo
An abandoned fawn finds a much-needed friend.

 

 

Life is short.

Not that anyone notices.

However, a quick trip through any graveyard will reveal the various ages when people die.

Young or old, death is no respecter of persons.

My family realized this when my five-year-old daughter’s best friend died in a freak accident.

Yes, even five-year-olds die.

I realized it as a young person when several friends of mine died needlessly.

I also realized it as an adult when my father died in his fifties. Since then I have realized it when my grandmothers and grandfather died. (My other grandfather died before I was born.)

Since life is so short, of what should it consist?

What makes life truly worth living?

And if life has any value, what value should we give it?

Purpose gives meaning to life.

It is our purpose on this earth that gives us value.  A man or woman without purpose has little life for which to live.

What is it that gives us the desire to live?

Waterwheels remain to remind us of days gone by when their purpose was to turn gears for machinery.
Waterwheels remain to remind us of days gone by when their purpose was to turn gears for machinery.

I remember my father’s words.

My father had said that he would never have heart surgery again. This was before all the modern advances that reduced the surgical procedure’s invasiveness.

However, the time came when he spoke of heart surgery again. I told him I thought he would never have surgery again.

He replied, “When it comes to dying, a man will do anything to live.”

Those words stuck in my mind.

People tell me they wouldn’t want to be in such and such a condition and would want to die instead.

It is then that I remember the words of my father and realize that people do not know what they will desire until they face death themselves. It is then that life takes on added meaning.

Once upon a time this building owner's purpose was to entertain people. The building itself now needs a renewed purpose.
Once upon a time this building owner’s purpose was to entertain people. The building itself now needs a renewed purpose.

The desire to live gives purpose to life.

It is the desire to live that gives new purpose to life even though the focus changes when we must face death ourselves.

Then the time has come to heal old wounds, make the apologies we should have made long ago, tell our loved ones how much we love them, and reach out to others with the compassion we never had before.

Yes, life has value down to the end of our last breath.

Every word has purpose.

Even our last words have purpose. They set a pattern for the future of our families.

Our last words can leave our loved ones with a blessing or a curse.

Jacob blessed his children before he climbed back into bed and gave up the ghost (Genesis 49).

David blessed Solomon and gave him wise counsel that directed the future of the kingdom of Israel (1 Kings 2).

Jesus blessed the disciple John and gave him the responsibility of caring for Jesus’ earthly mother (John 19:26-27).

Our lives affect the future.

Our lives affect the future of others.

Soldiers are willing to die on the battlefield because they want their families to have a future.

The men at the Alamo gave their lives so Texas would one day be free from Mexican rule.

Shammah stood in the middle of a bean patch and fought against the enemy so his people would have food (2 Samuel 23:11-12).

Jesus gave His life on a cross so that all people could have a future and a hope. His last words as recorded in Luke 24:46-49 gave his disciples understanding and future direction for their lives.

Markers are placed to remember a grave even though the name of the remains may have been long forgotten.
Markers are placed to remember a grave even though the name of the remains may have been long forgotten.

Our life’s purpose gives meaning to life.

Whether we understand our value or not, others need us to fulfill our purpose.

Fulfilling our purpose will give meaning to our lives.

An orphaned opossum is cared for by a concerned caregiver.
An orphaned opossum is cared for by a concerned caregiver.

Copyright 2017 by authorpeggyclark.com


 

 

 

Mother Seeking Proverbs 31 Woman

The Proverbs 31 Woman

A Mother’s Lesson Plan

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10

King Lemuel’s mother gave her son valuable lessons concerning the pitfalls into which any son can fall prey.  She was highly concerned that he be guided properly, so she bore this role personally.

A virtuous woman is a source of strength for her husband.
A virtuous woman is a source of strength for her husband.

 Two important areas she discussed in her lesson plans were women and strong drink.

This mother knew that if her son did not conduct himself properly in these two areas, his authority over his kingdom would be damaged and his judgment thwarted.

To protect his future kingship, she wisely advised him:

“Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.

It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink.” Proverbs 31:3-4

Her plans included two important words.

The list of attributes describing the virtuous woman that this mother desired for her son may seem challenging to today’s woman but are basically contained in two words which this mother used to teach an important lesson to her son.

The first is ‘ruby’ and the second is ‘heart’.

Lemuel’s mother wanted to instill in Lemuel the value of a good woman. To do this, she placed the image of a ruby in his mind.

As a man in training for kingship, young Lemuel would be taught the value of gems and their use in commerce.

Precious stones were given by visiting royalty as presents unto kings. Lemuel had to be able to distinguish quality between the various stones presented.

Why did this mother choose the ruby to educate her son in these matters?
What qualities does a ruby possess that would describe a virtuous woman?

Large transparent rubies are rarer than diamonds. Thus, the value of a natural, transparent ruby is more than that of a diamond.

Obviously, this mother realized that a virtuous woman would be someone for whom Lemuel would have to diligently seek. A virtuous woman was not a common commodity.

The more transparent a ruby is the greater the value. Although all rubies have some flaws, the less imperfections a ruby has, the more it is desired.

When a woman is transparent, she has nothing to hide. She allows her husband to see her as she is. She does not try to put a veil over his eyes as to her character.

A ruby can be heat treated to remove some internal flaws.

Trials and afflictions are the fires that God uses to purify man. A virtuous woman can endure those trials and afflictions and remain true.

It takes an expert to distinguish between a natural and a man-made ruby.

God is the expert that can discern a woman’s heart and her motives. A wise man will seek God’s will when contemplating courtship. His eyes cannot see into a woman’s heart, but God’s eyes can.

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:11-12

The second word that King Lemuel’s mother focused upon was heart.

Men consider trust a major factor in describing a healthy marriage.

If a man feels he cannot confide in his wife, if he feels she has betrayed his confidences, he will stop entrusting her with his words. This may lead him to seek spoil or an unscriptural relationship with another.

Many marriages end because another woman chose to listen to a married man’s words and keep them in confidence, thus drawing the man away from his wife.

The advice that King Lemuel’s mother gave was directed in such a way that King Lemuel would be able to understand the consequences of unwise choices.  She turned his focus upon his own heart and how it would be affected by those choices.

The choice that he would make as to a wife would do him good or do him evil all the days of his life.

He could choose that which was more valuable than rubies in which he could safely invest his heart and profit, or he could choose that which was of less value and loose his investment and suffer loss.

"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband." Proverbs 12:4
“A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.” Proverbs 12:4

“Who can find a virtuous woman?”

She is described as transparent and trustworthy.

She reflects what is inside of her, the character of Christ. She is a haven for her husband and keeps his words close to herself.

Her motives are pure, showing her intent to protect her husband’s heart.  Therefore, she is given the liberty to accomplish all that the Proverbs 31 woman had liberty to accomplish.

The virtuous Proverbs 31 woman could involve herself in such activities as described in Proverbs 31:13-24 because she could be trusted to do those things without bringing shame to her husband or her household.

The Proverbs 31 woman was portrayed, not by her performance, but by the transparency of her true nature.

King Lemuel was taught to ask himself two important questions as he sought for a wife.

Does this woman’s transparency or lack thereof reveal Christlike character or a flawed character?
Does this woman’s transparency or lack thereof reveal a trustworthy heart or a questionable one?

King Lemuel’s adopted course of action hopefully brought him a Proverbs 31 woman that he safely trusted in all his days.

©2016 authorpeggyclark.com


Join in the conversation. Leave your comment below.
  • The Proverbs 31 woman is usually described by what she does.
  • Do you define the Proverbs 31 woman by her performance?
  • If measuring performance, how do you measure up?
  • According to Proverbs 31:30, what woman is to be praised?
  • Did the Proverbs 31 woman’s performance define her relationship with God or did her relationship with God define her performance?
  • How does your above answer correspond with Ephesians 2:8-10?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Potter’s ‘Brand’

Every Potter’s Work Is Unique

I met a new potter this weekend while taking pictures at an event I attended. Since I love pottery, we struck up a conversation and “friended” each other. Her work was beautiful, especially the various mugs and trays that she had on display.

Although there are several potters who work in my area, each potter’s work is unique.

Potters brand their pieces with special markings.
Potters brand their pieces with special markings.

Every Potter Eventually Establishes a ‘Brand’

Not only are their individual items uniquely made, but the colors used and patterns applied are unique to each potter.

You might say they each have their ‘brand’.  That brand is established by their unique styles.

That style is brought out by hands that carefully mold and form from the potter’s viewpoint and vision.

Sometimes the clay wishes to cooperate with the potter. Sometimes it does not. The potter patiently places the clay back on the wheel until finally the clay submits to the potter’s wishes.

Potters use a variety of colors and markings.
Potters use a variety of colors and markings.

The Potter Knows the Potential of the Clay

It’s not that the potter doesn’t consider the clay’s texture or color or strength. The potter knows those things. But the potter also knows what the clay can become when it yields itself to his or her touch.

The potter has the end piece in view.

He or she sees it in all its beautiful form as finished and sitting on a customer’s table. He or she knows its usefulness and the blessing it will be as it pours out its contents to those who sit at the table.

Different sizes of pitchers for a variety of uses.
Potters make pitchers in a variety of sizes for different uses.

Our Master in Heaven Is

the Great Potter

It’s the same way with our Master in Heaven. He is the Great Potter who forms us and molds us to be the vessels that will bless those for whom we are poured out in service for Him.

Our Great Potter knows our frame, but He sees what we can be. He sees us as what we will be in His kingdom.

He is the author and finisher of our faith. One day our faith will end in sight.

One day soon we will see our Great Potter face to face. May He say of us in that day, “Well done!”

Copyright©2017 by Peggy Clark

Photos © by Peggy Clark

Peggy Clark is the author of So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome, available from WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan. Check out her blog at https://sowhatsthelatestnews.info.

 

Devotional: Empty Vessels Have Potential

The Potential of an Empty Vessel

An Empty Vessel Can Collect Dust

What is the potential in having a lot of empty vessels?

A case of canning jars sitting on the back porch collecting dust may not seem to be of much value to a passerby.

Dusty canning jars waiting to be used.
Dusty jars waiting to be used.

An Empty Vessel Has Potential

However, a person with knowledge and insight can see past the emptiness of the jars to the potential they hold.

Yes, those empty jars may have little value. But once they are filled with green beans or tomatoes or pickles, suddenly they have great value.

An Empty Vessel Can Be Filled

Those once empty jars now have the potential to feed starving souls.  They have the potential to sustain and maintain others’ needs. They can also be reused again and again.

Empty jars waiting to be filled.
Empty vessels waiting to be filled.

An Empty Vessel Can Be Limited

Are we like those empty vessels sitting on the porch collecting dust?

Have we limited our potential by remaining empty?

An Empty Vessel Can Be Used to Bless Others

“[B]ut be filled with the Spirit.”  Ephesians 5:18

As we allow ourselves to be filled with the Spirit of Christ, we overflow into the lives of others.

Our fullness sustains others with our encouraging thoughts, words, and prayers. Our fullness flows into the lives of others as we share our blessings. Those blessings meet others’ needs as well as our own.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  Acts 20:35

Empty vessels need to be filled.
Empty vessels need to be filled.

As the contents of a jar is replaced with another substance (invisible air is replaced with visible blessing), so our ‘self’ is replaced by the fullness of Christ.

“that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19

Filled Vessels Can Serve Christ to Others

As Christ lives in the vessels He fills, Christ is served to others.

Others enjoy our fullness in Christ and receive added blessing.  Their vessels receive hope and are filled with potential. Their souls can then receive the valuableness of having Christ, the only One who can truly give sustenance and meaning to life.

The jar is valued by its contents. Garden vegetables are saved for a wintry day.
The jar is valued by its contents. Garden vegetables are saved for a wintry day.

He came to give us life and that “more abundantly.”  John 10:10

May Your Empty Vessels Be Filled to Their Full Potential

You may wish to pull out those empty jars and fill them with blessings that can be shared with others. Whether it be vegetables, plants, flower arrangements, or spare change, empty vessels were created to be used. They provide a means of storing our precious items for a later time.

And May You Be Filled with the Potential Christ Desires for You

You were created with potential. Christ’s desire is for you to be filled with Him.  His grace and mercy is offered to you.  May you be all that Christ has created you to be.

Join in the conversation:

 

When Duty Becomes Love

I wonder what happened to Martha’s ministry after she saw Lazarus raised from the dead.

How did her ministry change as she walked away from that tomb of death with her brother?

Martha’s Ministry After Lazarus’ Death

John 11 – 12

I wonder what happened to Martha’s ministry after she saw Lazarus raised from the dead. 

How did her ministry change as she walked away from that tomb of death with her brother?


Martha was known for her hospitality. Her home was an anchor for Jesus and His disciples.

Jesus frequently stayed at her house as He traveled in and out of nearby Jerusalem.

Her home was a haven from the weariness of the dusty roads that threaded the countryside.

How many times did Jesus wash His feet there? How many times did a warm meal fill His empty stomach? How many times did He lay His head down to rest there?

I wonder what the pillows would say if they could talk. I wonder what the dogs under the table would repeat if only we could understand their barkings.

Martha’s gift

Martha had a gift. She loved to cook and to serve. She opened her home not only to Jesus but to His followers also.

I wonder if she looked forward in anticipation of Jesus’s next return from His wanderings about Galilee. Did she realize how important her ministry was to Him during His 3 ½ years of evangelization?

So, what happened that dreadful day that her brother died? Did she lose all hope and sink in despair? Did her faith in Christ falter?

Her thoughts must have troubled her. Where was He? Where was the Christ that she so loved? Where was the Christ that so loved her brother?

Lazarus was dead. That was a fact. She had to face it. Jesus did not come.

But Christ knew. The messengers told Him Lazarus was sick, but they had returned without Him.

Her heart sank as she looked desperately down the long road that she had seen Jesus travel so many times before, but He was not there.

Today she and Mary would prepare Lazarus for the grave. His body would be thoroughly cleaned. Spices would be placed upon his body to temporarily preserve and prevent the soon-coming stench of death.  His body would be wound tightly in linens. Then would begin the procession to the burial site where his body would be placed among the skeletal remains of other loved ones gone on before.


Today was now yesterday. Lazarus was buried. What was in Martha’s thoughts as she looked down the road and saw no Jesus? Oh, how her heart must have yearned to talk to Him. If only He would have come, her brother had not died.


But he did die. Three days have passed. Now it is the fourth day. There is no hope.

The mourners are beginning to leave.

Family members are packing their bags in hopes of returning to their homes safely. There is nothing left for them to do but finish the day with Martha and start their trip early in the morning.

It’s been four days. Even the superstitious believe that Lazarus’s spirit has left his body to never return.

Martha’s lack of understanding

Four days of preparing meals and preparing beds and serving drinks. Martha’s body must have cried out for relief. Yet she’s sitting with her guests when a messenger arrives.

Jesus has returned! Yes, He’s on His way!

But as Martha looked out the window she did not see Jesus. He was not there; but, she would go to Him. Yes, she would go to where He was.

“Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.

Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”

Martha regretted that Jesus had not been there. Maybe she thought that she should have sent for Him sooner. Maybe she thought that she and Lazarus were not as important as some others in His life. The ‘maybe’s’ occupied her thought life. The ‘maybe’s’ clouded her ability to hear Jesus’s words as He spoke to her:

“Thy brother shall rise again.”

Martha acknowledged that she knew that Lazarus would rise again at the last day. But her ‘maybe’s’ kept her from hearing the most precious words she could hear on that fateful day:

“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

If only she could have placed Lazarus’s name in that verse at that tearful moment. Jesus was telling her that He is the resurrection, that He is the life. He (Lazarus) that believes in me (Jesus), though Lazarus is dead, yet shall Lazarus live!

Though Martha acknowledged that Jesus is the Christ, she did not understand His resurrection power. Without fully understanding Jesus’ words to her, she left to find her sister Mary and tell her of His return.

The conversation that passed between Martha and Mary, as Martha led Mary to where Jesus was waiting, must have been filled with a mixture of emotions. Painful because Lazarus is dead, yet joyful because Jesus is near. A chorus of loud wailing followed them as they made their way to where Jesus was waiting.

Jesus’ painful request

Upon seeing Jesus His request to them was the simple response, “Where have ye laid him?”

As Martha and Mary led Jesus to the tomb, they felt Jesus’ pain over the death of Lazarus. As they heard Jesus weeping, it must have comforted them.

Yes, He did love Lazarus. Maybe His tears helped to heal their hurting hearts. Even those that followed behind acknowledged how Jesus must have loved Lazarus.

Then came the shocking words:

“Jesus said, Take ye away the stone.”

Take away the stone? How could Jesus want to see Lazarus’ body now?

“Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.”

How could Martha see Lazarus again in his present state? She could not fathom how she would feel seeing him after being dead four days. She did not wish to see his swollen body, nor smell the stench nor see the maggots at work consuming his flesh.

Lord, he stinketh. He’s been dead four days. You don’t want to see him now. Why did you not come sooner? You could have seen him then. Not now, Lord.

“Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?”

Oh, if only she had heard and understood His precious words.

Suddenly, a booming voice was heard.

“Lazarus, come forth.”

Could it be? Could Jesus really raise Lazarus back from the dead? Is He truly the resurrection and the life?

Martha’s mind must have been racing. If I will “believe”; yes, Lord, I will believe.

“And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin.  Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.”

A change of ministry

Martha walked home with her brother that day. Later, (John 12:2) we find Martha serving Jesus at her table.

Her table was where she ministered to Jesus. He and His disciples were always welcome at her table.

Martha was a servant. Her gift of hospitality became a gift of love.

No longer did she serve out of duty. Her life was changed when she realized Who it was that she was serving.

No matter who was in her home, she was now serving the Resurrection and the Life.  She was serving Jesus. She was not just serving in love but she was serving love.

Copyright ©2017 by Peggy Clark

Above Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, King James Version.

Peggy Clark is also the author of So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome. This title is available from Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You Are Not Alone”

Words That Attract Attention

You are not alone.

It has been said that those four words attract the most attention from email subscribers.

You are not alone…

What is it about those words that gets people’s attention?  that compels people to open their email and read the enclosed words?

In the busyness of this modern world, you would think that it would be impossible to be lonely. Yet, many people are.

Fences protect animals from harm.
 Environmental factors can make us feel alone.

Reasons People Are Lonely

Some are lonely because they have lost their spouse. Some are lonely because they have never married. Some are lonely because they have never found a friend whom they consider trustworthy.

Whatever the reason, people can feel lonely even in the midst of a roomful of people. It isn’t the presence of human bodies that keeps one from feeling lonely. It is the lack of connection.

Lack of Connection

People just aren’t connected as they once were.

In the past, women connected by joining in quilting groups or by get-togethers to cook for mourning or suffering community members.

It wasn’t the quilting or the cooking that connected them. Although that was what brought them together. It was the communication between attendees that joined their hearts together. Women looked forward to such times with great eagerness.

quilted jacket
Quilting bees bring people together.

Words of Comfort

You are not alone…

Those words bring comfort to anyone who senses separation.

But how does one keep from feeling alone even if no person is present?

In Christ, we are never alone. He has said in His word that He will never leave us or forsake us. It is our relationship with Christ that keeps us from being alone at any given time.

Having a personal relationship with Christ means that we can communicate with Him at any given moment. We can allow Him to speak to us through His Word (Scripture).

We can trust that He is present in our circumstances whether we feel His presence or not.

How to Never Be Alone

Being “in Christ” will keep us from being alone because “In Christ” you truly are not alone.

“[F]or he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5

“And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest…for I will not leave thee.”  Genesis 28:15

“[A]nd, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20

You can be physically alone, and yet, not be lonely.


Join in the conversation:

Have you ever felt ‘alone’ even though you were in a room full of people?

What suggestions do you have to help someone who feels lonely?

What do you do when you feel lonely?

 

It’s a Psalm 31 Day, A Prayer of Encouragement

May your heart be blessed by God's Word.
May your heart be blessed by God’s Word.

It’s a Psalm 31 Day.

That’s what I felt spoken to my mind today as I started to pray.

So, I opened my Bible to view the day through Scripture. I read the words over and over.

Yes, the Scripture spoke to my heart because a friend of mine is going through a difficult time.

I read the words over and over.

Then I turned the words into a prayer. Maybe some of those words will speak to your heart. Yes, it is a Psalm 31 Day!

In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed:  deliver me in thy righteousness.

Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defense to save me.

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.

Pull me out of the net that [those who wish to do me harm] have laid privily for me:  for thou art my strength.

Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

I have hated [the lying vanities that people speak]: but I trust in [You] Lord.

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou has considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;

And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.

Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.

For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.

I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbors, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.

I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind:  I am like a broken vessel.

For I have heard the slander of many:  fear was on every side:  while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.

But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.

My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.

Make thy face to shine upon [me]: save me for thy mercies’ sake.

Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.

Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man:  thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

Blessed be the LORD:  for he hath shewed me his marvelous kindness in a strong city.

For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes:  nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.

O love the LORD, all ye his saints:  for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Psalm 31:1-24 (Insertions mine)

Scripture taken from Psalm 31, King James Bible

Join the conversation:

Have you been through a difficult time? What verses of Scripture have encouraged you the most?

What encouraging reading material would you suggest to a person who is going through a difficult time?

Are you involved in a helps ministry?

The Creators’ Fence Gives Protection

The Safety within the Fence

I love to see horses galloping across the pasture, manes tossing in the breeze.

It gives me a sense of freedom, a feeling inside that makes me feel as if I am running with them.

The power that horses display as they race each other, back and forth, can be somewhat intimidating. The scene makes me appreciate the stature of such amazing creatures of God.

Horses show their curiosity.
Horses show their curiosity.

Although we have thoughts of freedom when we see horses displaying their playful antics, it is the fence surrounding the pasture that keeps them within the realm of safety.

The fence is as much a force to safely protect the horses inside its structure as it is a force meant to keep dangerous intruders without. It isn’t as if the horses aren’t able to jump the fence. They have the power to do so. But, they know and respect their boundaries.

The ranch owner inspects the fences he has installed on a regular basis. Any breakdown in the stockade must be repaired immediately.

A breach in the enclosure may cause an unsuspecting animal to run loose into the pathway of an oncoming vehicle or into a field with depressions that may cause a broken ankle or leg.

The rancher also inspects the pasture regularly to make sure that there is nothing to harm his animals. He looks for dangerous weeds and shrubs and destroys them in the proper manner.  Animal holes or dens are closed and the inhabitants removed to other locations. The growth and abundance of grass is checked and areas closed off if necessary. His tasks are never-ending.

Fences protect animals from harm.
Fences protect animals from harm.

Just as a rancher strives to protect his beautiful horses, God wishes to protect His most precious creation, mankind.

God has given the Ten Commandments or Decalogue as a fence of protection.  Its instructions are given to protect mankind from the heartaches and pains that are found outside His fence.

Some who do not understand the purpose of the rancher’s fence may see it as a restriction. In other words, they may see it as a detriment to the exercise of freedom. However, the horses are free to roam anywhere within the confines of the fence. Due to those confines, the horses experience security, freedom from fear, and freedom from painful experiences.

The world outside the fence is not constructed to protect the best interests of the horses.  The roadside does not extend mercy to the horse, nor does the landscape provide a way of safety.

Wild animals may see the horse as an appetizing meal. Fresh water is not readily supplied, and a healthy meal is not always granted. Thorns and thistles, as well as, stones and pebbles abound. These can do great harm to the horses’ feet.

In the same way, those who do not understand the purpose of God’s laws may see them as restrictive or as a detriment to the exercise of freedom. However, God has given mankind the choice of remaining within His fence or roaming outside its protective borders.

The world outside God’s fence does not operate in the best interests of mankind. The snares of Satan lie in wait to entrap unsuspecting visitors. His deathtraps shed no mercy on those who stumble upon them.

Because the refreshing water of God’s Word is neglected, thorns and thistles grow around one’s heart leaving guilt and painful scars. The bondage of sin grows deeper and its vines entwine the mind and heart of those who enter its pathway.

In contrast, God’s fence brings freedom from guilt, insecurity, and bondage. It gives liberty to live happily and joyfully within its confines. Its inhabitants enjoy the blessings of God and receive His promises of fruitfulness. His laws also give value and meaning to life.

Ten Commandments from the Holy Bible
Ten Commandments from the Holy Bible

When the horse stays within the confines of the fence, he is protected by his master. But when he leaves the confines of the fence, he is open to the forces of destruction.

When we live within the confines of God’s fence, we are protected by our Heavenly Master. But when we leave the confines of His fence, we open ourselves to the forces of destruction.

God has given us His laws “for our good” that we may lead peaceable and happy lives. It is always in our best interests to live inside God’s protective fence.

And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. Deuteronomy 6:24


Share in the conversation:
What feeling do you experience when you see horses galloping across a field?
How do fences protect the horse?
How is God’s Word like a fence of protection for you?

 

Copyright©2017 by Peggy Clark

Speaking in Love, 1 Cor. 1

Speaking in Love

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbol.” 1 Cor. 13:1

In A Chance to Die, author Elisabeth Elliot speaks of an incident where the missionary Amy Carmichael had taken several of her orphanage children and co-workers through a certain village.

After Ms. Carmichael had spoken to some men who were gathered in front of a temple, one of the children requested permission to speak. She proclaimed boldly to the men “pelting them with facts as to their folly in worshipping somebody who did not love them and had not made them.” (Elliot 1987)

Such boldness from a little child could come only because of her own personal relationship with the Creator God who had shown His love to her.

Love compels us to speak in truth.

Love for these men’s souls compelled Ms. Carmichael and the orphan girl to speak of the one true God who was able to save them.

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind.” (1Cor. 13:4)

Love controls our responses.

Love continues to respond in love despite the circumstances. Love seeks truth and shares that truth with others.

Love does not compromise.

Love is compassionate, but it is not compromising when it comes to the truths of God’s Word. For it is the truth of God’s Word that sets men free from the bondage of sin.

Love is kind.

Love is also kind. It always speaks truthfully in a manner and tone that is friendly and amicable.

Excerpt from Poem by Amy Carmichael
Excerpt from Poem by Amy Carmichael

Words given kindly are more apt to be received than those that are perceived to be harshly given.


How do our words fall on the ears of those in our audience?
Are we speaking out of love for what is best for those listening?
How can we keep from sounding like brass instruments or cymbals which do not give a proper tone?

Copyright 2017 by Peggy Clark