What Color Is Love?

I was nothing, a zero, the least likely to succeed at anything. I was the ugliest, dumbest thing God ever created. I was lower than the earth, worth less than a grub to eaten by birds. There was nothing about me that anyone would desire.

Hear the cry of the masses:

“I’m too fat.” “I’m disfigured.” “People run when they see my scars.” “People turn away in disgust.” “I have Down’s Syndrome; I’m unlovable.” “I’m stupid.” “I’ll never amount to anything.” “We’re poor and starving. No one cares.” “I’m crippled, but no one pays any attention to my needs.” “My skin is the wrong color so people dont like me.”

There are people in the world who do care and who do reach out and make a difference. I am thankful and grateful for those people, but if you aren’t doing because it’s what Jesus would do, if you aren’t doing it to put a smile on His face, then you’re doing it for the wrong reason, and your reward is the thanks you get in this life. Col_3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

In spite of the efforts of kind, compassionate people, there are many who are homeless, abandoned, deserted, judged by others for the sins and crimes they’ve committed. The prostitutes, runaways, pedophiles, murderers, animal and child abusers, all treated as the scum of the earth. But we don’t know their stories. We don’t know what brought them to those places in their lives. It is not our place to judge. All who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior will one day stand before Him, the supreme judge of the earth, and give an account before they are senteneced to eternal separation from Him in the lake of fire called hell. God will take no pleasure in passing the sentence, for He provided His only BEGOTTEN Son to take their punishment so they wouldn’t have to. It is not their sins that send them to hell, it is rejection of the precious gift God gave. The color of love is red: red for the blood that Jesus shed, not just on the cruel cross of Calvary, but when he was beaten into a bloody mess of flesh and bone by that cat-o’-nine-tails. It was by the blood He shed when the crown of four to six inch thorns thrust into his brow. It was the blood that oozed from His poor battered face when his beard was ripped out by handfuls.

Jesus didn’t have to go through any of that. He could have called angels to get Him off the cross and kill every magistrate and soldier in attendance. He could have gotten Himself off of the cross. Mat_26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Why do we use red as the color for Valentine’s Day? For Christmas? For Santa’s suit? Jesus had a bleeding heart. It bled for humanity, for the depravity, the anguish, the futility and desperation, for the homeless, the poor, the needy, the forgotten, the ignored, the wasted, the destitute, the despairing, the disfigured.

Luk_19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Eph_2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
Col_2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

In God’s eyes, we are walking dead people until we realize our depraved state, our need for Him. Until we realize that we are indeed weak and poor, unable to control our own lives and destiny, we are dead. That’s why Jesus told Nicodemus that we must be “born again.” We need to have spiritual life breathed into us. He promises to give us new life, new direction, hope, peace, joy, an abundant life.

Does that mean He’ll give us everything we want and we’ll never have another problem? No. If we never have another problem we’ll forget we need Him. He will teach us, through the power of His Holy Spirit (who will take up residence in our hearts) how to deal with the problems that come our way. He will give us the peace that passes understanding (It won’t make sense to the rest of the world.). He will supply our every need.

I have a friend who is living off of Food Stamps and $109 a month. She loves and trusts God. It isn’t easy, but she’s discovering that she can be happy and content without a lot of “stuff” to clutter her life.

One final note: It is vitally important to understand that, regardless of what modern “versions” of the Bible say, Jesus is the only BEGOTTEN Son of God. As Christians, we are all God’s children; we are all sons and daughters. Jesus is the only One Begotten of God. Jesus had an earthly foster dad: Joseph. Joseph was married to Mary and raised Jesus as his own son, but Jesus was begotten of God the Father. The KJV seems to be the only version that has not taken away Jesus’s deity.

My Most Prized Possession-Writing 101

I thought about this a long time. There are so many things I could choose: a hand-carved wooden plate from Germany, my mother’s platter with the rose in the middle, my Little Golden Book printed in 1952 called “Prayers For Children,” photos of long-deceased relatives that were dear to me and my family, paintings done by my deceased father-in-law. So many things to choose from.

But what is most precious to me, what I value more than any thing is something that can never be lost, stolen, or re-possessed. My most prize possession can’t be held, smelled, touched or tasted. It is my relationship with my heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is a little of why this is my most prized possession. I know there are critics who think God is just a fantasy for foolish people who are unenlightened, or people who think people like me have been brainwashed or deluded. But that person doesn’t understand how important this relationship is.

Until I was around twenty-three years old I was 100% convinced that I was the ugliest, dumbest thing on the planet. I had no purpose and no right to be alive. I was taking up someone elses’ air space. My sole purpose was to be the entertainment for cruel kids and sharp-tongued parents. It seemed my peers agreed with me. No one ever thought I could be good at anything. No one believed anyone would ever want to marry me. Why should they? I was awkward, uncoordinated, and not good at one single sport. I couldn’t even dribble a basketball. I had really bad allergies and was always blowing my nose or sneezing. My desk at school was always piled high with tissues.

I’m thankful to say that all of my detractors were wrong. And hindsight being what it is, I realize that not EVERYONE felt that way about me, only a few, but that was enough to color my attitude and I lost some of my friends because I didn’t know how to be one. I only knew how to soak up whatever was given to me. In other words, it made me self-centered and negative.

I did get married and had two children, but I really didn’t know how to be a good mom or wife either–until. . .

My sister-in-law is a Christian; she was when I met her. While my husband was waiting to be able to out-process from the U.S. Coast Guard, his sister took me to a Billy Graham movie: Time To Run. I saw myself in that movie and it made me want to change. It was like looking in a mirror and seeing the kind of person I was. I was seeing myself through God’s eyes. He loved me. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die on a cruel cross, after being tormented, not for anything He had done, but for my sins. He took my place. I should have been crucified. I deserve to go to hell. But He loved me so much that He took my punishment and offered me a new life. He showed me how to be the kind of person that can love and have compassion on others. Through His word, the Bible (KJV) He taught me how to be a good wife and mother. I haven’t been perfect, and I won’t be in this life; but He has given me a joy, peace, and contentment beyond anything I ever could have imagined. I let Him down on a daily basis, but He still loves me, forgives me, and encourages me to keep trying. He’s my heavenly Father, my Savior and my best friend. I have a home waiting for me in heaven because I accepted His free gift of salvation.

This gift is free, and offered to every person on the planet. Anyone who ends up in hell goes of their own volition because they reject the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ. People want there to be many ways to get to heaven. But if Someone sacrificed His life to be the ticket, the door to go through, doesn’t He have the right to decide that He’s the only way? If there could be another way, then sacrificing Himself was the dumbest act of all eternity, since He didn’t have to do it. It is our selfish pride, refusing to bow to the God of the universe, that makes us want to earn salvation, to make our own way to heaven. If we could earn it, it wouldn’t be free. It wasn’t free for Jesus. “He was wounded for our transgressions (sins); he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

God does not expect us to be perfect. We can’t change ourselves, or clean ourselves up before we come to Him. He takes us just as we are. Then He cleans us up and makes us new. Jesus told one of the religious leaders, Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” This is referring to a spiritual re-birth that can only occur by asking Jesus to take away the junk and make us new. As we attend church, sit under preachers that really preach His word, and not this feel-good nonsense that doesn’t help anybody become a better person, God uses His word to teach us how to live the life He has planned for us. The Bible is the manual for our journey on earth. It sure changed me because the Holy Spirit came to live in my heart when I asked Jesus for that new life. The Holy Spirit helps me understand God’s word when I read it. He teaches me how to apply it to my life. I am a new creature. Old things are passed away. The old negative, critical, angry me is dead. I am alive in Christ. Praise the Lord!

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Who Is Jesus?

Today is Sunday, the day the apostles and the early Christians met together to worship God. In our society today there seems to be much confusion over who Jesus is, or was. The Muslims say he was a good man and a great prophet. The Jews think he was a heretic. In Mark 8:27-29 Jesus was asking his disciples who people were saying he was. The answer was that some people were saying he was John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the other prophets come back to life. Then Jesus asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said Peter answered correctly.

When Jesus was resurrected from the dead he appeared to the discipes in an upper room at least twice. One of those times the disciple Thomas was absent; another time Thomas was there. Thomas had doubted the report that Jesus had returned from the dead and said he would not believe unless he could put his finger in the nail prints in Jesus’s hands and thrust his hand in the wound made a sword in Jesus’s side. When Jesus appeared to Thomas he encouraged Thomas to do those things. When he did he answered with awe and wonder and proclaimed, “My Lord and my God.” 

Jesus did not rebuke Thomas for his words but received them gladly. If he had just been a good man or a prophet he would have rebuked Thomas. Because Jesus was fully God and fully man (don’t try to figure it out; our little finite minds can’t comprehend the mind of God) he accepted Thomas’s worship. Jesus was the only one qualified to pay our sin debt because he was the only perfect being to ever have lived. And the good news is–He is alive today. 

For those who choose to doubt and not believe, I’m praying for you. It is your choice to believe or not. But here’s the crux of the matter: If I’m wrong I have nothing to lose. I’m no worse off than as if I didn’t believe. However, those who choose not to believe have everything to lose: eternal life, peace with God, peace and blessings in this life, especially during difficult times. It is God who has kept my marriage together. It is God who calms my fears. It is God who changed me from a whining, self-centered, negative wretch to a happy, positive, outgoing, other-people-centered person.

Give God a chance. You’ll be glad you did.

Peace With God

Pinson Mounds A Lovely MothThis lovely moth was seen at Pinson Mounds State Park near Jackson, TN. I took the photo with my Nikon Coolpix camera. This small, noiseless creature reminds me of God’s grace and peace. The moth goes where the wind blows, with no thought or worry about how long it will live, or where. It is guided by the hand of God. Scripture says not a sparrow falls from a tree without God’s notice. It also says the He has numbered the very hairs of our head. God takes care of all of the wildflowers, and trees, and takes note of each one that falls or dies. Matthew 6:26-30 tells us that God cares so much more for us than the birds of the air or the flowers of the field. Read Psalm 139 to see how much God loves you, then read John 3:16,17. No one could possibly love you more than God. After all, He created you–on purpose. Jeremiah 11:29.

OMG Moments

To me, OMG stands for Oh, My Goodness!.  My husband and I became full-time RV’ers seventeen years ago. We had a tw0-weekend yard sale, packed up the stuff we wanted to keep for later years to give to the kids in boxes, and took it to a relative’s house. We are at that house now, opening boxes that have been in a storage shed, going through things, and throwing much of it away.

But then there are those treasures. You know, the photographs you never wrote on the back of, but they bring back fond memories. There is a box with the set of dishes my my parents got for me to take to business school (44 years ago). There are handmade curtains I can no longer use, afghans I had made, gifts that had been given to us, keepsakes from long ago travels.

Memory Lane is such a sweet place. I love my life now but reading back over signatures from my JUNIOR HIGH autograph pages, and my senior memories book and yearbook bring tears of joy as I look back in time. Not all of my school days were happy ones; in fact many were not, but they helped mold and make me who and what I am today. I am grateful and wistful. Some things are wonderful, sweet memories, and others are reminders that I’m glad to be the age I am now.

If you are one of those many people who have been bullied in school, take heart. It’s tough; it’s cruel; but it is training ground for who you want to be. It isn’t easy to ignore the hurts and frustrations, but please, for your own sake, do try. Ignore the taunting. Ten years from now they won’t remember why they picked on you. The bullies will have moved away, or you will, and life will go on, and you will have grown more confident and bolder from the experience. You will learn where your strengths are and they will guide you to fulfillment. My favorite phrase in the Bible is “it came to pass,” because that means it didn’t come to stay. Life is a journey with valleys and mountains, sunshine and rain. We need them all. Keep pressing forward. Never give up your dreams. You’ll be glad you did some day. I know from experience.

 

Lights of Christmas at night

Lights of Christmas at night