Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Crumpled Piece of Paper

 

This quote can be taken several different ways, according to who you have put  your trust in.  

Ask yourself, have you ever broken a person trust in you?  Not proud of this confession but I have crumbled my own paper by not being trust worthy.  My mouth which is connected to my heart has gossiped, told lies, and made excuses which if known would make people not trust me.  

  • For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. Matthew 15:18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man. Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander. Mark 7:21

The first ones that come to mind when I read these scriptures is, politicians.  They make tons of promise to do this or that to make life better for you. Sad to say, those who will or can keep those promises are few. They all have a few crumples. 

It's easy to see others as crumpled piece of paper but we never think we are as bad as those who break the trust we have put in them.  Yet the scriptures are for everyone, yes even me.  I am that piece of crumpled piece of paper. 

The first step to forgiveness for ourselves and to others  is seeing ourselves as a crumpled piece of paper.  Oh, we may not have committed murder or adultery except in our minds.  Isn't it just like God to lump all the sins together. , He does not divide them into bad sins and not so bad sins.   

The battle starts in the mind and it's a daily battle.  To have victory in this battle you must go to ground zero.  John MacArthur talks about this in his book, Dealing with Sins of the Mind.  He says, once we know where to focus your assault, you can defeat your enemy with an overwhelming, Bible powered barrage.  

We all start out as a crumpled piece of paper but just don't know it till a certain age.  No one teach a child how to lie when they are caught doing something Mommy told them not to.  Those sweet darling little people are only acting out of their own crumpled piece of paper.  They are not born perfect, only Christ was born perfect and still is. He was, is and never will be crumpled. 
 Romans 3:23-24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 

Who can you fully trust in this world, only Jesus Christ, for only He is worthy first of all.  I did not die for your sin and neither did you die for my sins.  Only Jesus who was not born a crumpled piece of paper did.  

If this post brings questions to your mind, or confuses you, please write to me, either in the comment below or by email, bettydraper1947@gmail.com.  

One last thing, God loves you with a love that is beyond any human love.  It's unconditional and He proved it by sending His Son to die for your  crumpled piece of paper.  

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Angry Roots

 


I have written before about anger for it is the sin that so easily besets me.  And because I am one of those people who wants to get to the root of my anger it takes a few days to come to terms with the roots I find. 

The kicker is the surface ones are off shoots of the deep ones.  A quick, I am sorry, sooths the surface ones for a while.   This is exactly what the devil wants me to think.  He will never want me to even see the deep roots.  

As I think on the picture of roots of anger, I realize when the roots of ones life is angry the tree cannot be stable.  It bothers me greatly to believe I am unstable, yet each outburst of anger makes it more clear.  

Just the other day I had one of those outburst about the same thing I had a bout of  the day before and the day before.  They are coming more often because with each outburst my tree gets weaker.  Again, the devils wants to destroy me and those around me too and he will use the roots to do that. 

There are tons of information out there on how to deal with ones anger, lots of help from professional too.  Also, there are tons of scriptures to help rid oneself of anger.  

I gleamed this below from a commentary on angry.  

2 Timothy 2:23 says: “Don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.”

These types of arguments just end up poking at people’s hearts.

And let’s be honest, many of the things we argue about aren’t worth fighting for. Many arguments don’t actually impact us, or others, positively. Many arguments don’t lead to constructive solutions. Many arguments might seem incredibly important in the moment, but are blindingly unimportant in the long-run. Many arguments stem from selfish issues inside of our immature hearts. Many arguments run far away from child-like trust in our Creator and run deep into the insecurities of needing to get our way or proving our point or demanding our recognition.

At the age of 74 with years of walking with the Lord I am still not as mature as I think I am.  I realize this every time I let my anger overtake me, every time I try to press my way onto someone, every time I think my opinion must be spoke. every time I fail to listen to others, every time I am quick to speak instead of slow to speak and when I am quick to anger.  

Thank God  His love does not depend on my maturity, thank God.  It's a truth I run to when I put  myself down for failing AGAIN with this anger issue.  Out of His love I can safely look at the deep roots, give a biblical response to it. Out of His love I can forgive myself for once again falling into the trap of selfishness.  Out of His love I can get back up and walk with Him.  It's only the blood of Jesus that can get to the deep roots and cleanse them. 

Monday, May 24, 2021

 




Every Thursday  several ladies and I meet to study the book of Hebrews.  As we talk about our  past days the one thing that stands out to me is we are all ready for a new day.  

 Being worn down by an issue we cannot control like a virus is wearying.  Seems there are so many different opinions on how to handle the crisis and each one stands on ideas they can prove from history.  

  Anytime one has been beaten down for long period of time a new day has to come forth to give us that lift in our Spirits. 

  The way we respond to trials of life reveal something about the strength of our Christian faith and how we think about what God says about, "a new day".   If we deny our troubles, or if we give in to anger or bitterness, or if we blame others for our problems, we miss what God intends to teach us through what happens to us. It is a great advance spiritually to be able to say, "I believe God has allowed this difficulty for my good and His glory. "'

 Think how many times you have been hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.   II Cor 4:8-9. 

 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118

Yesterday is gone.  The problems and troubles of yesterday and even a month ago are in the past.  Today is a new day and the good news is you get a new start. 

We often get so preoccupied with our problems that we carrying them into a new day.  We pack up our anxiety, stress, and fear from yesterday and sit them on the top of our “to do list” of today.  WHY?  Today is a new day!  Today means you get a new start! You get a new start at making amends with your brother and sister who offended you yesterday.  You get a new start at demonstrating your faith in God to provide for you yet another day.  You get a new start to show love to your enemies.  You get a new start to get things right with God.  You get a new start at praising God for this new day.  Do not bring old grudges, lack of faith, nasty attitudes, and fears into today.  

The scripture says “This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.”  It doesn’t say this is the day that I will bring all my troubles and mope around as if I am defeated and complain and murmur about life.  It says, this is the day.  This is your new start that the Lord made. 

The ultimate measure of a man [or women] is not where he [she] stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he [she] stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King Jr.



Sunday, May 16, 2021

Pill Box Talk

Yesterday I had a brainstorm for a new post as I listened to my friend tell about her bad back. I was laughing  as she told me she had to get a new raised seat for her toilet with handles on the side to help her get on and off.

Being older then her and been through some serious surgeries in the past couple of years I could identify with her.  So, I said, do you have one of those pill boxes?  Of course, she said, I have  one pill I can't seem to remember to take without a pill box.

By that time my mind was running backwards to our visit with my daughter who is 43 and work circles around me. We ran somewhere almost every day so I got pretty wore out and so did she, but there is a difference in  a 74 women  being worn out and a 44 women being worn out.  She snap back and ready to run the next day, I, on the other hand needed a day to rest before we did our next run.

Our daughter also has  a pill box but it only has a couple of pills in it but our 39 year old son does not have a pill box.  Somewhere between those two ages of 39 and 43 is when  I bought my first pill container.

Slowly but surely as I aged I added more meds which meant a larger pill box, and if I remember right I wore my first back brace, insoles in my shoes for the back, and those dreaded elastic stocking for circulations in my 50s.   Then came artificial lenses in my eyes to replace eye glasses.  false teeth to replace bad teeth and a couple of minor surgeries.

Even more quickly in my late 60's came a couple of major surgeries which meant my bigger pill box was getting fuller.  I graduated from using a cane and wheelchair to a brand new knee which set off the alarm at the airport security that I could at least walk through.  

There is something encouraging and discouraging to be with women close to my age for we never run out of things to talk about as we compare what's new in our health.  It takes, on purpose, finding something more exciting to talk about then our ailments to get us out of the discouraging aging  part.

Gradually we get around to talking about last week sermon and what we gleamed from it.  We put our pillbox talk aside and it's not long we are back to being encouraged in the Lord and finding the power to rise above all that aging brings.  We start to use the wisdom learned from years of being in the Word, walking with the Creator of the universe and by the time we have ended our day we go back home encouraged.
Just as a hammer and high heat are used to forge instruments of iron, God uses trials to develop genuine faith and strength of character in us.
1 Peter 1:6-7
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 
Even with the frailness of my  health and despite the amount of pills needed to keep my  body running I know where my journey ends up and there is no dread of the end.  I don't know who developed the pill box but I am grateful for it.

Isn't that where contentment come from. Being grateful to have lived a full life, not a perfect life but a full one. At 74 I have no need for anymore adventure,  I don't yearn for much anymore except to be near our children and grandchildren.  Despite our age we  are not ready to retire from our ministry. God is still using us. In about an hour we meet up with  single gal home from Indonesia, we are excited to hear how her journey is going.  Our  health has ended our serving overseas but here in American there is a pill box in every store just waiting to be filled up with meds to help us stay serving him in an active way.

How many of you use a pill box?


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Risk.

 


Preikestolen is a mountain formed like a huge pulpit towering over the Lysefjord in Rogaland, Fjord Norway. There is a crack between the plateau of Pulpit Rock and the mountain, and it is said that on the day seven sisters marry seven brothers from the Lysefjord area, the plateau will tear itself away from the mountain and fall into the ford, creating a huge wave that will destroy all life in the surrounding area.

 The crack is real and it could literally break off from the mountain someday but, I would not put my faith in when seven sisters and seven brothers marry as to when.   Not knowing when it could  happen might make me not want to sit very long on it though.   Maybe just walk out to the edge, ONCE, then quickly run back to the more solid part of the mountain.  It does take a little bit of courage or foolishness to risk that it will not break off.  I mean its been there forever, as long as anyone can remember and it has not fell off yet! But, what if you are on it when it breaks off?   
  
This reminded me of the risk one takes concerning their eternity.  Maybe you have not heard yet how you can be assured of where you will spend your life after death. Some believe nothing is out there after death, when you are dead, you are just that, dead.  Another belief is when you die if you have done what your religion requires you will have wine, women and riches.  Others believe doing good works here on earth assure you of a place in heaven. Then, there are some who believe when you die you get reincarnated into something else, or someone else. There is so many beliefs out there, one to fit any mind set you have.  There may even be a belief that seven sisters and seven brothers have to marry before you die.  
 
Everyone at some time in their life struggles with where they will go after death.  Some chose a belief and some go even further and seek out some answers as to where they will spend eternity, if they even believe in eternity.  

Gosh Betty, can you stop with the death talk...it's depressing.  I know, I know, it can be, can't it?   

So why write on this?  Well I have been meeting lots of seekers lately. Those who are questioning what happens after death.  Questing their beliefs because they have not found peace for the troubling questions in their hearts.  

For me, I found answers to my questions in the Bible after years of searching other belief. Questions such as:  Who God is, who man is, what sin is and where will I go when I die?  

I want to throw out the question to you.  If you were standing on that rock and it broke off and you fell into the water and death came...where would your soul go?  

I believe the bible teaches we are all sinners in need of a Savior. 

 Romans 3:22 all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. 

Roman 6:23 For the wage of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Roman 5:8 But God demonstrates  His own love toward us, in that while we yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Roman 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, for with your heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation. 

If you are seeking the way, Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the light.  I would be more then willing to talk to you about this subject if you would like.   I realize I am taking a risk since this message could offend but the message is worth taking that risk. .  

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Crank it up....

 Those who know me, know I am a southern country/bluegrass gospel girl down to the bone.  In fact it took me going to the jungles of Papua New Guinea to expand my music appreciation.  

Related image

Maybe it was listening to the drum beat coming from the village every morning that got old, or maybe it was the songs being sung by people with red teeth from chewing betel  nut mixed with lime powder that turns it red.    Hard to enjoy a song when the ones who sings has a mouth full of red stuff.  

    There were times I just wanted to hear something from my music. Out would come my country/bluegrass gospel with its pure harmony and the pure story of Jesus.   Those songs brought joy to my heart and ease the struggle of living so remote.  Well, that is when there was electricity.  


Unless you have lived without electricity or on a limited supply as we were you can never appreciate all electricity brings.  All missionaries take their favorite music to what ever country they are ministering in, praying they will have electricity at least half of the time.   My missionary neighbor brought El Divo with her and played it the only way it should be played, LOUD.  


I remember the first time I heard these guys…cold chills ran all over me. Four powerful beautiful voice blending in harmony.  If I learned anything living in two third world countries where songs are sung in another language its that you do not have to understand the words, just the heart of the music. Those four Italian men who make up the group El Divo along with my country/bluegrass groups were instrumental in encouraging me to keep on for the Lord.     



Never have I appreciate music more then when we lived  overseas.     
But I will let you be the judge of what I am talking about.  

Crank it up and Wait for it.  https://youtu.be/ZfWunxmaUVw

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Just like Job

 

At the end of Ted Dekker book, "Heaven" he says this, "we are all Job's one way or another".  We belong to God and declared righteous not for what we do but because of our belief in Jesus and His shed blood on the cross. The whole book is about God and Satan battling for the souls and minds of man.  Dekker is able with words to paint a vivid picture of what  that battle looks like in the heavens and also here on earth.  No matter what Satan throws at Job, he never deny God.  I am sure Job must have felt like dying many times but God had put a hand on Satan and kept him from killing Job.  The book is a great picture of the love of God for His creation and the length He will go to bring us to redemption and back into a relationship with Him.  

I came away from the book encouraged that God has done and will do the same for me.  I have been sifted and found want wanting several times yet God did not let Satan take my life.   He set up barriers and hedges to keep me safe.  And there are times I felt that safety net of love surrounding me.  But more important then feeling it is I know it, deep down in my soul and that knowledge  help me understand why God put the story of Job in the Bible.   I have believed God's Word even though at times when the evil in the earth  makes me want to scream at God to stop this madness in our world.  To put an end to the pain we suffer and bring peace.   I believe without a doubt He will end it someday and until then I need to understand the battle going on for the sake of my testimony.  

I read this recently on a blog post while I was reading Ted Dekker book and it ran true in me.  


"If you don’t do anything about your mental garden, your mind and spirit will continue to war against each other. This is usually an unconscious pattern. For example, God’s word will tell you to give, but your mind constantly tells you to hold on to everything you’ve got. Your mind tells you to always get the last word, but God says to turn the other cheek and a soft answer calms the situation. Again, your mind tells you to work hard and strive for success, yet the Bible says, seek God’s kingdom first and everything you need will be added unto you.

If you don’t address the false thinking that contradicts God’s word, you’ll continue to be what the Bible calls “double-minded” and because we continue to waver in our desires and beliefs, we can’t receive anything from God. 

Job was not a double minded mind and even when his friends and family told him to deny his God he did not give in because he knew in whom he had believed in.  

The battle always starts in the mind.  My former pastor use to say, you cannot keep the birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your head.  

For sure there are battles between good and evil we can see all over the world.  Watch TV for five minutes and you will be made aware of it.  It's easy to allow the things we hear outside what the bible teaches us to cause us to drift from His Word. 

2 Corinthians 11:3 – “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from
your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

How is your mind today...is it consumed by fear of the virus or whether or not to wear a mask?  Is it tossed on issues brought to us from the media or does it stay on the things of the Lord.  What times we live in, we have so many more choices to chose from because of communications, so many tools for Satan to use against us, to keep our minds frustrated.  

Just as Job's so called friends confused him so the world voices confused us. Clarity for living today comes from God's Word.  Set you minds on Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern (conditioning) of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Heaven...

 


Heaven, does it sound like a place you would like to go??  Living in an age where information on any subject can be had with just the click of a button,  I wonder how this information  above affects you? 

For me,  when I read this.  it took out some of mystery of heaven and also took away some of my fears of the transition from earth to heaven.  

I love the part of Angels taking me to heaven, I don't have to go alone.  To be in the presence of God is to know I will be loved on for He loves me unconditionally.  And to worship with angels and other believers will be like going to church which I love.  And I am sure the music will be the best. 

To know I will not be in some sort of state where I will not know anything is also comforting.  I love knowing I will have my wit about me as I view my new home.  My senses will be under my control.  

My memory will be in there and my voice will be available as I meet and greet other believers.   Yet I will still have some degree of knowledge of what is happening on earth.  

Tonight I watched a movie on aliens from somewhere.  It was scary, uncomfortable and did not make me want to ever meet with someone from outer space.   Such a different feeling reading a small peek into heaven from Gods Word.  It became less fearful and more comfortable to think about.  

How about you, does this kind of information help you as you think about your time to leave this earth and arrive on heavens shores?  


Monday, March 1, 2021

Suffering

A dear missionary friend of mine wrote the below and it was so good I had to share it on every avenue available.  Thomas and Laura Scherer along with their two children serve in Southeast Asia in a village tucked in the jungle.   



Oh! To be like Jesus! Well . . . mostly.

For about two years I’ve been thinking a lot about suffering. That may sound morbid, but life is full of suffering no matter where you live in the world, so I figure I’d like to think well about it. Suffering is so multi-faceted, but one type of suffering I’ve thought about is the suffering believers experience. For a true Jesus follower, suffering is kind of one of the promises/guarantees given to us, repeated over and over.
It’s easy to pick and choose the nice parts of scripture. It’s easy to say, “Make me like Jesus! He was patient, he was loving, he was kind, he was gracious! I want to be like that!” But I’m not prone to say, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. I want to be like Jesus in that way!”
Two years ago I was reading a book by Joni Eareckson Tada, and she talked about her suffering. (when that woman talks about suffering I listen!) She talked about how when we suffer, God is so good to use it to conform us to the image of His Son, and we benefit. We also benefit because we know Him better because of the suffering. But what Joni wrote next really stopped me (like I couldn’t read again for 2 weeks!). She said that when we suffer and know God better, that is not what it means to suffer like Jesus suffered. Jesus suffered so that OTHERS could know God better! I’m not kidding when I say I didn’t pick up this book for a solid two weeks! How I wrestled with God! It’s one thing to go through hardship knowing I’ll be better for it. But what if the only benefit of my suffering is the blessing of another?
It was towards the end of May 2019 when I finally said, “Ok God, I mean it, make me like Jesus in EVERY way. I’ll suffer if it means others will know You better.”
God’s timing is so precious, because the rest of 2019 was a whirlwind of hardships for our family. It was like God stripped everything away so that the only thing left was Jesus. Psalm 73 became my filter for how I saw life, verses 16-17 especially, “When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight, until I came into the sanctuary of God.”
With everything stable and familiar and certain stripped away, we found out that what God said was true. In His presence there is fullness of joy, at His right hand there are pleasures forevermore! (Ps. 16:11)
Have you ever watched a really great movie, and you can’t help but talk about it? And you want others who haven’t seen it to see it, so that they can enjoy it as much as you have. That’s a super simple way to explain how we feel about being God’s kids and having a relationship with Him. The joy we know because we’ve walked with Him is seriously nothing like this world can offer! Thomas often says, “The bitter makes the sweet all the sweeter.” We would not savor our Lord like we do today had it not been for the privilege to walk through some really hard things.
So we rejoice in our sufferings, because He gives it meaning. And we pray that the treasure we have found in Him would shine through us towards others as we ask our Lord to give us the strength and the grace to walk like Jesus walked, in every way.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Now and Not Yet

 



Today I heard a great sermon in church, one that resonated with my soul and gave understanding into some verses in Matthew 9.  

That whole chapter is about miracle healings, from healing a child who was dead and, a women who had an issue of blood for 12 years, another child who had died, healing two blind men, and healing a man tormented with demons.  Verse 35-36 says Jesus was going through the villages, cities proclaiming the gospel and healing every kind of disease and sickness.  Jesus was filled with compassion for the people and their needs.  

Healings have never been the same as they were when Jesus walked this earth.  In the early years of my salvation I begin to seek out the why.   In the Matthew 9 account of healings Jesus says nothing about any doctors or did He use any medicine to heal.  He touch, spoke few and miraculous healing happened. Do I believe He could heal with just a word from heaven?  Yes, yes, yes  but I don't question the why not for the now.  

Understanding these few scriptures put it in to context and gives hope for the future.  Jesus was establishing His ministry on earth in these verses.  You might think it was the ministry of healing but it was His ministry of who He is. In verse 35 tells us He was about His Father business and it was not healing.  He was proclaiming the gospel which is who He is, what will happen to Him and what His death and resurrection will bring to all who believe in Him and not the healing.  He was establishing His authority.  

If His main ministry was healing everyone would have gotten healed to this day. Would be no need for doctors, hospital,  nursing homes and funeral homes.  Ever since the fall of mankind in the garden it was appointed for man to die once, so first we all are going to die.  Also it was appointed for all to  have trouble here on earth before we die.
 God operates in the Now and Not Yet.

The model of healing Jesus used in Matthew will operate again in its fullness in heaven.  He wants us to focus on Him, here and now in this trouble world.  There is a bigger picture in all this and it became clearer to me when I spent some quality time with the Lord in the hospital with covid.  I cannot tell you how many chances I had to witness to all who came into my room about Jesus.  Nurses would send other nurses to talk to me, not because I was miraculously getting healed but because I was not.  It was not one touch, or one word from any one that got me released from the hospital. It was God using doctors and nurses and medicine that got me to where I was well enough to leave the hospital.  And my part was to give God the glory through it all.  There was no way you were going to leave my room without hearing the name of Jesus probably more then once.  

I am always humbled when God uses me to witness for Him and nothing brings me more joy then to do so.  To see Him in the big picture takes my eyes off me and others and puts my trust exactly where it should be. God waste nothing is one of my favorite quotes and I use it a lot. I have to because He has shown me this truth over and over and over.  

One more quote from the sermon, one I have mentioned in this post already, but deserves to be used over and over.  Christ is the focus in any healing,  not the healing itself.  If we focus in the now, our hardships,  we become hard and will not have compassion on others.  Lets focus on the not yet on a daily bases.  It can bring contentment for the now.