Posted by: beamsofjoy | September 24, 2010

Old Fashioned Clothes

The church my husband and I have recently been attending is having Old Fashioned Day on Sunday.  I’ve searched and searched, but can find nothing appropriate to wear.  Now if they’d just said OLD clothes, I’d have a closet-full that would fit the bill.  I actually gave away an old fashioned bonnet of my late mother-in-law’s just a few weeks ago, thinking I’d never have a need for it.  All this focus on clothing has brought me to the point of asking myself, what does God want me to wear?

I found the answer in Isaiah 61:10.  The Bible says, I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”

Thinking about the robe of righteousness made me think of the coronation robe I’d seen in photos of Queen Elizabeth on the day she was crowned, so I did some research.  Here’s what I found:

The six-yard long Robe of State is a crimson velvet mantle edged with ermine and two rows of hand-made embroidered gold lace and gold filigree work.  The robe was made by Messrs. Ede and Ravenscroft of Chancery Lane, London.  The velvet had been hand-woven by Warners of Braintree, Essex, from silk supplied by Lady Hart Dyke of Lullington Castle.

The coronation robe is recognized worldwide as the symbol of the queen’s royalty.  Our robe of righteousness should also be recognized by the world as a symbol of our relationship with the King of Kings.  Although the coronation robe was beautiful, it was not what made Elizabeth the queen.  In fact, she was not officially crowned until 16 months after she ascended to the throne upon the death of her father.  In the same way, our robe of righteousness is not what makes us a child of the King.  We become His child when we accept the garment of salvation and accept Jesus as our personal Savior.  We as His children should live lives of righteousness to honor Him, and show the world to Whom we belong.  Elizabeth wore the royal robe because she wanted to show the world she was the queen.  We should also wear our robe of righteousness to let the world know that we are eternal royalty as children of the Almighty King.

In 1 Peter, chapter 3, talking about the Christian woman, it says:  “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

Someday, my Father will clothe me in fine linen.  Revelation 19:14 says “And the armies which were in Heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”  Fine linen is quite expensive.  I recently saw one sheet advertised ON SALE for $295.  The fine linen we will wear on that glorious day was very expensive, too.  Christ paid for it with His life.

My Heavenly Father has clothed me with the garment of salvation and the robe of righteousness, and adorned me with His meek and quiet spirit.  And I have a robe of white linen awaiting me someday.  So when Sunday comes, I probably won’t be wearing old fashioned clothing on the outside.  But I WILL be clothed with old fashioned salvation, and that’s good enough for me.

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Posted by: beamsofjoy | September 17, 2010

What Time Is It?

 It’s not the past.

We can’t rest on past victories.  Paul had done all the right “religious” things.  He said in Phil 3:4-6 : Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:  Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 

Yet in Phil 3:13-14 he said Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

We can’t dwell on guilt for past sins.  Ps 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Micah 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Dwelling on the past will prevent us from moving forward.

Just one life; too soon it will pass.  Only what’s done for Christ will last.

It’s not the future.

We could spend all our time planning, but never doing.  Be a doer of the word.

Jms 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

We shouldn’t worry about the future.  God is already there.  The phrase “fear not” is found 28 times in the Bible.

Deut 31:8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

 Lk 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.

It’s the present.  So what does that mean?

It’s time to work.  Work for the night is coming.

Neh 4:6 So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.

The people had a mind to work, so the wall was built and the people were protected.  No one could do it all, but everyone could do their part.

 It’s time to harvest.  The fields are white, but where are the laborers?

Jn 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.    If we saw the harvest field as Jesus sees it, would we work more diligently?  Will we reach them in time?

 It’s time to watch.  His appearing could be any time.  At no other time in history have all the signs given in the Bible come together so abundantly and so quickly.  The final harvest is at hand.

Rv 14:15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

 If you have never accepted Christ as your personal Savior, now is the day of salvation. 

Isa 49:8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee,

 2Cor 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

 Romans 3:23-25  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 Romans 10:9-13: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 RIGHT NOW is the only time we are guaranteed to have.  We don’t have the promise of one more breath, one more heartbeat.  Hell is a real and terrible place.  What of this world’s pleasures is worth risking eternity in Hell for?

Yesterday is gone; tomorrow may never come.  Today is a gift.  That’s why it’s called the present.  What are you going to do with your gift of today? 

Start by giving your heart to the Savior.  Then begin every day by giving that day of your life to Him.  Then the things that you spend your time on here will count for all eternity.

Posted by: beamsofjoy | September 11, 2010

Who Do You Love? Thoughts On September 11

Today is September 11.  I remember this date nine years ago.  It was a day like any other, until I got an instant message from my sister-in-law telling me a plane had just hit the World Trade Center.  As a licensed pilot, my first question was “Small plane?”  Her answer came back quickly – No.  My next question was “Accident?”  Again the response was – No.  Like the rest of the nation, I instantly became glued to news reports of what was taking place in our nation, and watched in horror and anger as the towers plummeted to the ground, taking so many lives with them.  The news only got more grim as video of smoke rising from the Pentagon hit the airwaves, and the news that there was another flight had crashed in a field.

My daughter was 10 at the time, and was in school about 15 miles away.  All I could think of was that I wanted to be with her.  As I watched on television as people calledout  the names of their loved ones who were missing, I realized how precious every moment spent with those we love truly is.  When I was finally able to get to my daughter, I held her and wouldn’t let go.  She didn’t understand at the time, but she will someday.

I’m blessed to have both of my parents still living.  I spend one evening each week with them.  Yes, there are other things I could do with that time.  But I want to show them I love them while I still can.  I’m so thankful that God allowed me to learn to appreciate them while I can still show them that appreciation.  Some people only learn to appreciate their parents after they’re gone.

My husband is a gift from God, and I’m thankful for him every day.  Yes, he’s human; yes, he makes mistakes; and yes, he has some habits that drive me crazy.  But I don’t imagine that living with ME is a picnic every day, either.  He is a good Christian man and leads our household according to Godly principles.

My sister lives just 25 minutes away, yet I don’t get to see her very often.  Between family obligations and different job schedules, it isn’t easy to get together.  She isn’t an openly emotional person, and declarations of love would make her uncomfortable.  But we have a phrase that we both know means “I love you” and I try to make sure I say it any time I talk to her.

I spent the day with my best friend yesterday.  We talked, shopped, and talked some more.  We don’t get to do that nearly often enough.  We also went to Drake Rehabilitation Center to visit another friend.  The friend we visited was thrown from a horse a few weeks ago, landing head-first on the road, and suffered major brain damage.  The paramedics said they lost her three times before they were able to get her stable enough to put her on the medical helicopter.  She spent a week in neurosurgical ICU hovering between life and death.  She recognized me yesterday, and I was able to hug her and tell her I love her.

So today, on September 11, as so many people in this nation mourn anew the loss of their loved ones nine years ago, I think of all the people I love.  There are so many.  Do they know I love them?  Will I have another opportunity to tell them?

Let’s decide today that we will take every opportunity to tell –and show– the people we love how much we care about them.  Give them a call, write them a letter, or drop by for a visit.  Tomorrow might be too late.

Posted by: beamsofjoy | September 3, 2010

Welcome to Paradise

The dictionary describes Paradise as a place of extreme beauty, delight or happiness.  On earth, paradise is different for different people, a sandy beach with palm trees swaying in the ocean breeze; a snow-capped mountain glistening in the sunlight, a forest with a stream babbling quietly over the stones.  Whatever your paradise is, I’d like for you to keep it pictured in your mind while reading this. 

But I want to talk about God’s paradise…Heaven.  No matter what your picture of paradise is, the Bible says that our imaginations can’t even come close. 

1Cor 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

When you plan a trip to paradise, there are some steps you must take to make it happen.

The first step is to decide where to go.  This decision must be made beforehand.  The Bible tells us that if we want to go to God’s paradise, we have to make that decision now.

Josh 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Lk 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

You can’t “not decide.”  Not choosing Jesus is the same as choosing the devil.

The second step, once you’ve decided where you want to go, is to figure out if you can afford the trip.

You may have to go to a less-expensive place, or stay fewer days in the place of your first choice.

But I have good news for you…your trip to God’s paradise in Heaven has already been paid for in full by Jesus Christ!

1Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1Cor 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

Luke 23:39-43: And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.  But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?  And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.  And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Okay, so you’ve decided you want to go to God’s paradise, Heaven.  You’ve figured out that Jesus paid the price in full on the cross.

The third step is to make your reservations.  Friend, you can know that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, you can know that Heaven is a wonderful place and Hell is a terrible one.  But unless you accept the price that Jesus paid, and ask Him to be your personal Savior, YOU DO NOT HAVE A RESERVATION IN HEAVEN.  Knowing in your head is not enough.  The Bible says that even the demons KNOW Jesus is the Christ.

James 2:19: Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Romans 10:9-11:  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Okay, you’ve decided you want to go to God’s paradise.  You’ve accepted the price that Jesus paid on the cross, and you’ve made your reservation by asking Jesus to be your personal Savior.  Is there anything left to be done?  YES!

When the time of the trip is approaching, you must be ready to leave.  We are all leaving this world one way or another….either through death or through the return of Jesus to call His people home.  Either way, we need to be ready and stay ready for the trip.

Luke 12:18-20: And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

James 4:13 & 14: Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Lastly, we get excited and tell other people about our trip.  My family had the awesome opportunity to visit Hawaii for a few days a few years ago.  I was so excited,  I was practically stopping strangers on the street to tell them about it!  My Christian friend, who are you telling about Heaven?  Does your neighbor know that your trip is planned?  Do they know that the price has been paid for them to go, too?  We would never be ashamed to tell people we were going to a paradise on Earth.  Why do we hesitate to tell people about Heaven?

You can’t send a “wish you were here” postcard from Heaven.  Christian friend, when you get there, who are you going to wish you’d told?

My unsaved friends, if you want to spend eternity in paradise,  you have to plan for it now.  Accept the blood that Jesus shed on the cross as the payment for your sins as the price of your ticket.  Ask Jesus to apply that blood, that payment, to your record, and to be your Savior.  Then tell someone else about the wonderful trip you have planned.

But we have to do whatever we’re going to do NOW.

Jms 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Life as we know it could end tonight.  Are you ready?  Is your reservation made?  If so, who are you telling about it?  Who would you send your “wish you were here” postcard to if you could?

Ezek 39:8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.

2Cor 6:2 …behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Posted by: beamsofjoy | August 26, 2010

Fully Rely On God

FULLY RELY ON GOD

So many times through my own power I tried to make things right.
So many times the tears have flowed through the long and lonely night.
Sometimes it seemed that all I did only served to make things worse.
I’ve wondered what I could have done to earn such a bitter curse.

“Stand on your own two feet” they say. “Stiff upper lip” you know.
“Put on your game face” and “Wear a smile.” Never let your real pain show.
So on I went through pain and grief, not knowing which way to turn.
Where was the peace I’d heard about? For sweet rest my soul did yearn.

I’d cry to God and ask for help, but seldom listened for His reply.
It seemed He never blessed my plans, and my heart cried out, “Lord, why?”
But I kept my mask so firmly in place that the world could never see
That the person they all thought I was, was someone I could never be.

The world thought I had it together, that my life was running smooth.
That I had all things well in hand, settled into an organized groove.
But they couldn’t see the inside, where the real battle was being fought.
They didn’t feel the emptiness, the fulfillment that my heart sought.

On I went, until the day that my tired soul could fight no more.
“I give up, God! I can’t go on! I’m lying down to move no more!”
God’s response was swift and gentle, and I could almost see him smile.
As He said, “Finally, my child! Now, let ME drive awhile.”

At first it wasn’t easy, giving up all that control.
But slowly He picked up the pieces, and healed my broken soul.
I’ve learned that if I’ll listen, and then simply obey,
The giants seem much smaller when they loom up in my way.

Now when I face those giants, and it seems defeat must be my lot,
I hide behind my Daddy and say, “Show ‘em what You’ve got!”
You see, He always knows the right way, even in the darkest night.
And if I’ll give Him all control, I’ll always come out right.

Who would have thought that quitting was the only way to win?
But it’s when I quit trying that His power rules again.
So if you’re in a quandary, and don’t know quite what to do,
Just fully rely on God, and He will see you through.

Posted by: beamsofjoy | August 26, 2010

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

This blog has been created to serve two purposes.  The first is to encourage Christians in their walk with the Savior through His love letter to us–the Bible.  The second is to shine the light of His love into the lives of those who have not yet begun a personal relationship with Him.  It is the goal of the author to post new material each Friday.

My prayer is that your eyes will be opened to behold the beams of joy He sheds into your life every day.

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