Archive | December 2013

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 38 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Quiet Time


Connected, I feel better.

Braver.

Stronger.

Surer.

Freer.

Infused with every word.

Each letter.

Each sentence.

Clarity.

Knowledge.

Past is silenced.

Gone.

Released.

Forgotten.

Forgiven.

Newness, alert awakened.

Fresh.

Ready.

Eager.

Strengthening.

Though the day is normal.

Same routine.

Same habitat.

Commonplace.

Extraordinary.

Wings are unfurling.

Breeze incoming.

Breathe of God.

Soaring.

Beautifully.

By God I am redeemed.

-d.f.a.v. 12/28/13

That wonderful time of connection with God in prayer and His Word!

–Faye

Ending 2013

There is a wisdom saying that there are two things in life that are certain. Death and taxes. This may have to be altered a bit as I learned recently that somehow 50% of American’s avoid paying taxes. Hmm…that’s another post! So this leaves us with death, death is certain.

For many people death is the ultimate ending. Your body ceases to operate, your heart stops pumping, your brain stops functioning, your body no longer lives. You’re gone. You no longer exist. Immediately our bodies begin the process of returning to the earth. Dust to dust. Ashes to ashes.

“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:27-28 (NIV)

According to God’s Word death is not the end. We do not cease to exist when our earthly bodies fail us for the last time.

In life on earth our death is a certainty. In the afterlife judgment is the certainty. In judgment one thing is essential, a certainty, a must, an absolute and that is whether or not your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

 

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15 (NIV)

“In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying ‘You must be born again.'” John 3:3-7 (NIV)

Being born again doesn’t protect your body housing your soul or your spirit from physical death. Being born again involves the soul (spirit) and Jesus.

As the year 2013 tick-tocks to an end we tend to reflect on the past 365 days, plan for the future. Ending and beginning.

My suggestion to you is to be sure you have taken care of the most important thing in your life, the ending of the physical and the continuation of the spiritual. Have you been born again?

I’m not asking you if you go to church, belong to a church, were baptized as a baby, have been baptized as an adult but not as a true Believer in Jesus Christ. I’m asking you have you been born again? When your earthly life is over, where will your spirit reside? Heaven or hell. In the presence of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit or in Hades in the presence of Satan? Do you KNOW Jesus personally, intimately, deeply, truthfully?

If you aren’t sure, please read the following scriptures. If you do not have a Bible (and if you don’t and you would like one please leave me a comment) there are multiple on-line sources you can utilize to find these scriptures yourself and I encourage you to do so. Be sure what I quote to you is what these scriptures read in the Bible. I’ve used the New International Version (NIV) if you look these passages up in a Bible of another translation (King James, New King James, English Standard Version, The Living Bible – for example) the words won’t be the same but the meaning should be.

These first eight scripture passages are sometimes referred to as the Roman Road. They will walk you through the steps to becoming born again, and help explain why and how that happens. The Gospel of John is my suggestion for your first venture into reading and understanding the Word of God. It is one of my personal favorites in the New Testament.

Romans 1:20-21 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

Romans 3:23  “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in[b] Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 10:9-10 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

Romans 10:13 “…for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 11:36 “For from him and through him and for him are all things.  To him be the glory forever! Amen.”

Acts 2:38 “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the  forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

The Gospel of John but especially 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the  world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not  condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in  the name of God’s one and only Son.”

Your future depends on the decisions you make right now. If you are making a decision for Christ, to ask Him into your heart to be Lord of your life, accepting His AMAZING GIFT OF ETERNITY WITH GOD please tell someone. Find a church that teaches the Word of God and become a disciple of Christ.

No better way to bring in the New Year than to walk into it holding tight to the hand of God.

–Faye


 

Why America Needs a Phil Robertson

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Photo from Duck Dynasty Quotes Facebook page, photo credit unknown.

He sports a beard at least a foot plus long, according to GQ he has severe bunions on his big toes and his wardrobe consists of camouflage, camouflage and white tee-shirts.  Fashionable in the swamps and woods of Louisiana but not in the halls and offices of local, state or federal government.

He has a degree from Louisiana Tech in education and is a former teacher in a private Christian school.  Underestimating his intelligence is a mistake. Even if when he speaks he has the ability to say exactly what needs to be said without a load of twenty dollars words to say it though the language may be coarse, don’t think of him as lacking in the ability to understand the twenty dollar words.  

A&E made that mistake.  Robertson, one of the stars of Duck Dynasty A&E’s blockbuster semi-reality television show, has never been shy about sharing his religious views. Despite knowing Robertson’s views on “controversial” issues such as homosexuality, they asked him to do a interview on his home turf with GQ magazine.  When said interview yielded quotes from Robinson that are so far from being politically correct they seem unbelievable A&E acts surprised and shocked. Reacting quickly with a knee-jerk reaction they suspend Robertson for an undetermined time frame and the fallout continues.

American’s have flocked to Robinson’s defense. Both those who agree with his beliefs and those who don’t but do believe he has the right to freely express them.

Why this strong response? Why are American’s reacting like a mama bear whose cubs have been attacked? Because, as a nation overall it’s my belief we NEED Robertson. 

People like knowing what you see is what you get, no chance fame or fortune will reveal a different person entirely. After all, money hasn’t changed Phil Robertson.  People clamoring for his attention, for a sound bite or a photo hasn’t been a pleasant burden but one he has bore.  Robertson’s refusal to cower to executive big wigs, the powerful media or lobbying groups is refreshing.  So impressed are we that we sign petitions demanding justice. We start clamoring for Phil Robertson to run for president. President of the United States in the 2016 campaign.

Can’t deny we need a person with Robertson’s solid, unshakeable belief in the Bible and God in the Oval Office. Can’t deny we’ve not had a candidate we could wholeheartedly support like Robertson in decades. Can’t deny the images that come to mind of Robertson in the Oval Office, Miss Kay in the kitchen teaching the chef how to cook like a pioneer and life in the White House aren’t amusing. But it would be a grave disservice to Robertson.

What appeals to the average Joe and Jane is Robertson’s realness. Take the man from his beloved swamps and woods and he is not happy, happy, happy. Force such a drastic change upon Robertson and he would rebel. It would be like caging a wild bird and clipping its wings.

But we want Robertson in charge. Or someone like him. Someone unafraid of speaking and campaigning for a America more like yesteryear. Don’t we?

Yes and no. We have to remember we’ve opened Pandora’s box and we can’t force what has escaped back inside. Fixing America’s problems isn’t a job for someone with no political ambition to be elected. It isn’t for those who would lose such a huge part of themselves to serve they would cease being who and what they are. And the past prepares us for the future but it isn’t the future nor the present.

I respect Phil Robertson. I would love to see him in the White House. But it would be the wrong thing, I think, to put Robertson in such a position. He doesn’t want it.

Somewhere in America though is a person who has Robertson’s candor, firm and unshakable faith in God and ability to deliver the changes we want in America. Stand up our friend and walk on.

–Faye

Merry Christmas!

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One baby, born to earthly parents of little financial worth grows and up as a carpenter’s son.  One man who willingly laid his life down for humanity to heal the broken relationships between God and His creation in a brutal death with great pain.   One baby, one God. One sacrifice.  Millions of redeemed souls and counting.  Never underestimate the power of One.

Merry Christmas,
–Faye

Image pinned from Pinterest, photo credit unknown!

Prayer from the Cottage by the Sea-Merry Christmas

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Abba Father,
O gracious Lord of Heaven and Earth
Hear my prayer,

Not for the gifts we want beneath our tree,
Not for riches, wealth or anything
Just for this days purpose, let it be.

Inspire us to do the giving,
To give to them is to give to You
Unfurl for us the joy of living,

Silence not the hymn we sing
Increase our joyful noise tenfold
Hold not the bells, let them ring.

Take us to Bethlehem past
When upon a manger bed
The Messiah lay at last.

Surround us that we choose to love
No bitterness we choose to drink
Your peace light on us like doves.

Not just one night, not just one day
O Abba here You among us dwell
May our hearts hear what You say.

So much is true and so much wrong
The souls of mankind are at stake
To You or Satan do we each belong?

Hear my prayer my pleas increase
At Christmas Lord You should be everywhere
Within us all Your spirit increase.

Christmas and Easter come once a year
Lord fuel our desire to be like You
To speak Your truth without any fear.

The path to Heaven is narrow and straight
From it we do so often stray
But draw us back before it’s too late.

Give us backbone, increase our trust
May we stand for You regardless of
The cost in things that rot and rust.

On this Christmas Eve and Day 2013
Bless us with Your light and strength
For in You Abba we have everything.

May our celebration of Your birthday
Be one of worship, prayer and song
The world see at last in us the Way,

A path defined and centuries old
Not for comforts, to be safe from flames
But for the God, the I Am, all foretold.

In us Abba let the world read on
Find their way one by one by one
Be no more Your children slyly conned.

Amen!

d.f.a.v. 12-24-13

Hello!
It is cold and getting colder by the Sea. Rolling out onto the deck briefly the cold saps my strength so I decided to stay instead in “my nest” by the window looking over the horizon.

Here in the Cottage by the Sea, the place for just Jesus and me, we’ve left behind the decorations mainly. Only a driftwood nativity and candles. Simple. Sincere. Uncluttered.

Holidays or not I have much on my heart and mind unrelated to celebrations and gatherings. The older I get the quieter and simpler I want my Christmas.

Take a break from whatever distractions you have and find time to really connect with the Messiah, Immanuel, Savior, King, our comfort and our peace.

May God help you observe these two days in His grace and power!

God bless you!
–Faye

The Price of Duck Stands

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Photo from Facebook fan page. Photo credit unknown. Pictured Phil and Kay Robinson.

It feels like everyone in America has taken sides in the Duck Dynasty and A&E controversy. Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Robinson family, Duck Commander and founder of the world known Duck Commander business has clearly defined his stance on being placed on hiatus from the smash hit Duck Dynasty for A&E and what led to it.

So also has:
*The Robertson family
*Cracker Barrel (who removed merchandise then replaced it after public outcry grew overwhelming)
*Glenn Beck, of The Blaze Network
*Gov. Bobby Jindal, current governor of Louisiana
*Lt. Gov. of Louisiana Jay Dardenne
*State Representative of Louisiana, Marcus Hunter
*Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska and presidential candidate
*Mike Huckabee
*GLLAD
*The Sheriff of Douglas County, Georgia
*probably all added together over a million regular Jane and Joe’s
*and the list goes on…

On the off chance you are unaware of what Robinson did to get suspended from Dusk Dynasty I will attempt to give you a brief overview. In an interview for the January issue of GQ Magazine Robinson is quoted as saying homosexuality is a sin as are other sexual acts. He is also quoted concerning his experience of the plight of African-American’s during the 1960’s as one where he worked along beside them in cotton fields and none of them complained to him concerning their treatment by white people.

What price do the regular Jane and Joe pay to take a stand with Phil Robertson? Seriously, what do you and I risk by saying we support Phil Robertson? What do we risk by standing firm on the Word of God period? Shouldn’t the latter be the real reason we speak up?

I do think Robinson, well-educated man that he is, certainly could have expressed his viewpoints using less course language. I also think Drew Magory who wrote the piece for GQ could have refrained from his vulgar profanity in writing the piece. Magory’s choice of words is far more offensive than Robinson’s, in my opinion.

But my point today is what price can most of us who support Robinson and/or the Bible expect to pay? For most of us that price depends on how well-known we are in society and perhaps in the way we voice our opinion.

Using myself as an example, as a blogger with a subscribed readership of under 200 my remarks will not draw the attention that a blogger with a readership of 2000 will. Therefore, my risk is smaller than others.

It increases however in the personal arena as I have some friends from my former place of employment and college days who are homosexuals…they don’t know, until they read this, that I support Robinson’s viewpoint.

Why? The subject has just never come up with the exception of one relationship.

In my previous work environment discussing your sexual orientation wasn’t a topic for conversation. Even if facts are well known, they just aren’t discussed. They didn’t ask my opinion and I didn’t offer it.

The exception is the relationship I have with my friend, Mitch, who I have blogged about previously. To publicly say I not only support Phil Robinson but I agree with his viewpoint on where God stands with homosexuality, will cause some jaws to drop in surprise. Mitch will be deeply wounded. For his sake alone I want to justify, somehow, the view of God and homosexuality.

Even at the cost of my relationship with Mitch, my cost is nothing compared to that of the Robertson’s or the bloggers, commentators on blogs, discourses on the subject, or the next one in the limelight whose risks far outweigh mine.

But stand I do. Not for Phil Robertson but upon the Holy Bible and Jesus Christ because it is what my God tells me to do.

Homosexuality is a sin against God. It is far outside the purpose He had in creating us and it goes against nature.

I don’t think one is condemned to hell simply because of it. I don’t think it is irrevocable, permanent or grounds of immediate condemnation from anyone. I do think God can and will deliver us all from our sins if we allow Him and surrender all to Him. Especially those sins that to dream of conquering seems impossible.

We are all sinners and we all have one or more particular sin we struggle with. Yet, the only reason someone ends up spending eternity in hell is because they choose to. You won’t end up in hell without walking through your opportunity to have a personal relationship with God.

However, although I believe God and the Bible and stand publicly for both I don’t think this means I or anyone else has a right to express our stance, our opinion or faith irresponsibly, in anger or hate, with malice or in words or actions that strip a person of their value in God’s eyes. The church and Christians have gravelly wounded many who are in desperate need of a cup of cold water instead of hatred, loathing, and contempt.

Nor do we become the doormat trampled on in our loving response to any sinner. We, as a people, must find a way to do the right thing, the God ordained mission to bring people to a saving relationship with Him, in a less judgmental or harsh manner.

Now, at what price will we stand publicly for Christ? Will we risk our place in society? Our jobs? Our relationships? Our way of life? Our families way of life? Our families?

Jesus told us in Luke 9:57-62 about the cost of following Him and He ends that discourse with these words, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.”

Don’t look back,
–Faye

A Message in the Season

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Heaven’s robes swept aside
In swaddling clothes to first abide,
Streets of gold beneath His feet
Became instead miles of dust and heat.
Praise of Heaven traded for a cry of “Crucify”!
As it was to Calvary He would arrive.
Address then the “right hand of God”
Then a manger for a baby’s sleepy nod.
Angels worshipping the Holy Deity
Shepherds faces the God as man appease.
Clean, bright and beautiful surrounds
Replaced by the rough stable Joseph found,
Why would God do such an unthinkable thing?
To bridge a gap, to close the ring.
To do for us what we could not
To rid our souls of all dark blots,
To bring God to the Gentile world
A ray of hope and love afford.
Remind us all in the Fall of Man
Even then God knew and had a plan.
Redemption came at quite a hard price
The life blood of one Jesus Christ.
The mantle of a Heavenly King
Cast aside as He gave everything,
Come let us worship this Holy One
Whose work in us is never done.
               -d.f.a.v. 12-22-13

Come!  Let us Adore Him!
–Faye

No Use For

 

Brother Christian went to lunch

At the local eatery in town

When a bearded man walked up

Standing there looking down.
Uninvited by anyone
The bearded man looked in contempt
At Bro. Christian sitting there
The man said. “This is what I think.”

 

“I have no use for hypocrites

Have no use for liars

Have no use for sermons

Warning of some final hour.

 

Have no use for crutches

Have no use for being weak

Have no use for “godly” folks

Nor the double life they speak.

 

Have no use for ole’ time religion

Have no use for television shame

Have no use for being judged

By those who are missing in their aim.

 

Have no use for hand waving

Have no use for drooping songs

Have no use for two-faced folks

Telling me it is me that’s wrong.

 

Have no use for those in adultery

Have no use for cheating thieves

Have no use for anyone

Who bullies, jeers and tease.”

 

When the man’s statement ended

When Bro. Christian drew a breath

When everyone in the place believed

Bro. Christian’s rebuttal was in death,

 

When Bro. Christian agreed with him

When no excuses tried to run the race

When Bro. Christian simply told the man

“Yes, we have all that in our place.”

 

The man stood there in disbelief

The man’s mouth fell open too

The man was in such shock

He said, “I’d like to talk to you.”

 

Bro. Christian spoke of God’s great grace

Of Calvary, death and empty tomb

He explained about spiritual growth

How salvation was much like a womb.

 

“Most of us don’t have it right

Most of us don’t understand

Most of us are all you said

But we’re headed for Gloryland.

 

We join by faith God’s church

We try to offer supporting hands

We all must truthfully acknowledge

That we are often out of God’s plans.”

 

The man got up to leave right then

The man said not another word

The man just seemed to disappear

Not another word was heard.

 

In the congregation Sunday morning

In the shock of the stunned crowd

In humbleness the man knelt down

Saying, “Lord, I’ve been too proud”.

 

He rose at last to silence

He rose to find tears in many eyes

He rose understanding Jesus’ sacrifice

And at last he understood the why’s.

 

Why that none of us are perfect

Why none of us are without sin

Why none of us are righteous

Why we are all fallen men.

 

Why in the church on Sunday morning

Why in the shops of everyday

Why in the schools and businesses

God’s people try to find a way.

 

A way to walk upright in this life

A way to not bring God shame

A way to learn to listen

To the God who called our name.

    d.f.a.v. 12-17-13

 

Not perfect, but still trying!

–Faye

 

 

 

Christmas Hymn & Song

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“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” while
“Shepherds their Watch were Keeping”
A host burst forth with
“Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”ing.

“Away in a Manger” the
“Carol of the Bells” rang.
“Go Tell it on the Mountain”
“O Little Town of Bethlehem” sang.

“Joy to the World” flew down as
“O Come All ye Faithful” was proclaiming.
“What Child is This” “The First Noel” asked?
While “Mary Did You Know” they were thinking.

“O Holy Night”, a “Silent Night”,
“We Three Kings” followed “O Star of Wonder”
In my heart “I Heard the Bells” ring out “Do You Know What I Know” Mary pondered.

“Infant High, Infant Lowly” the Messiah has arrived.
It’s the “Sweet Little Jesus Boy”
“Who Would Imagine a King?”
Would bring such “Joy, Joy, Joy!”
d.f.a.v. 12-18-13
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Joyfully,
–Faye