"Everyday Moments"
with BJ
4/12/2019 Preparing for the holiday II

How to prepare for Easter:
  Read your Bible
    Pray - for yourself, for your family, for your country, for a loved one to receive Christ
      Spend some time really thinking about the events of Jesus' death and resurrection 
        Think about how the disciples felt 
             Praise the Lord in song  - and if you can't sing then speak it or be bold and shout it 
                  Thank God for everything - the good and the bad that happens in life, the lessons learned 
 Get outside
   All of nature speaks to the glory of God
      Notice the different shades of green the new leaves are on the trees
          Notice the beauty of all the flowers - maybe plant some around your home
              The birds, the animals are all having babies
                     It's life!  It's fresh!  It's new! 
                          Praise God for His gifts!
Thanks for listening,
BJ 

4/8/2019 Getting Clean

I work in a hardware store. Even though it is retail it is still dirty work.  There is merchandise to dust and paint to be mixed. There is loading fertilizers, mulch , soils, manures and plants into customers cars.  There is the filling of propane tanks and unloading merchandise trucks. At the end of the day I just want to get clean.
 
At the end of the day I want to get clean for another reason. Throughout the day I have been bombarded by foul language, filthy jokes, dirty stories, gossip, liars, cheats and thieves.  I feel discouraged, disheartened, disappointed and angry to the point that I wonder why God puts up with us! 
 
I just want to be clean!
 
So I seek the Lord.  I cry,  I pray,  I read His word, I sing His praise, I look outside at His beautiful handiwork .
I thank Him for being with me through all the irritating times as well as the truly difficult times. I t feels good to be clean.
 
Thanks for listening,
BJ 

3/24/2019 Preparing for the holiday

Ah, Christmas! A joyous time! We look forward to it and prepare weeks ahead of the day.  Some of us even find excuses to prolong the festivities long past the day.
 
Do we prepare as much for Easter?
 
It is much easier to prepare to celebrate the birth of the Christ child. It is life!  A time when Heaven came down to earth. God with us! The greatest gift!
 
The birth of Jesus is not the complete gift.  Jesus came to die for our sins. To rise again on the third day - conqueror over death and hell!  Easter is the time to celebrate a victory! Jesus has completed the gift - God's greatest gift.  The gift of life - eternal life! 
 
Praise God the Father for His unspeakable gift!
Praise Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!
 
Thanks for listening,
BJ 

12/17/2018 I Heard the Bells

I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day  by Henry W. Longfellow 
 
I heard the bells on Christmas day, their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on earth good will to men.
I thought how, as the day had come, the belfries of all Christendom had rolled along the unbroken song of peace on earth good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head, There is no peace on earth I said, for hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth good will to men.
Yet pealed the bells more loud and deep, God is not dead, nor doth He sleep, the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth good will to men.
Then ringing, singing on it's way the world revolved from night to day, a voice, a chime, a chant sublime of peace on earth good will to men. 
 
Sometimes we just need to be reminded.
Thanks for listening,
BJ 

11/26/2018 Psalm 91:1-2

Psalm 91: 1-2 says:
"We live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all gods. This I declare, that He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God and I am trusting Him."
 
For all of us who are hurting, who are worried about loved ones - remember this- God is in control.
When you can think of nothing to say in a prayer because your heart is so broken, just whisper the name of Jesus. When you feel you can no longer go on, the Holy Spirit will be there to comfort you.
 
Praise God - He is our refuge, our place of safety! 
 
 
Thanks for listening,
BJ 

11/18/2018 Thanksgiving week

It is the week of Thanksgiving. Where are your thoughts?  Is it on family and friends? Or a huge turkey dinner followed by football?  Maybe you are thinking of giving to the homeless or visiting the sick and home bound?
 
All of these are fine but don't forget to give thanks to God who provided all the family, friends, food, football and opportunities to serve. On top of all of that He sent His only Son to die for our sins! He provided a way of salvation because we are not worthy.
 
The challenge for this week: Let's praise the Lord every morning. Let's thank Him every evening. 
 
It is good to praise the Lord!  It is good to thank God for His goodness!...for His grace!...for His mercy!
 
Thanks for listening,
BJ 
 
 
 
 
 
 

11/4/2018 Thy Word

"Thy word have I hid in my heart. That I might not sin against Thee.
That I might not sin, that I might not sin, Thy word have I hid in my heart." 
 
A simple chorus from my childhood. We would sing it just before getting a new Bible verse to memorize. That was a long time ago. Too long ago - I haven't kept up the practice of memorizing a verse of scripture.  I remember hearing stories of Christians in foreign countries whose Bibles were taken away. The only word of God they had was what they had "hid in their hearts".
 
Well, it's time for a change.  I challenge myself and any who read this to memorize a verse/passage of scripture this week. Some tips toward this.....write it on a 3x5 card, put it by your bed and read it when you get up and before you go to sleep. Maybe you can tack it up on your fridge or a bulletin board. If you have a family, have everyone read their verse before you eat dinner. Let's all hide God's word in our hearts!
 
Thanks for listening,
BJ 

7/26/2018 His grace is enough

"I feel privileged to have had cancer." 
When my co-worker said these words to me I thought he may still be suffering from"chemo brain".
He went on to explain:  There were times when he thought he might die.  There were times when he felt the chemo was burning him from inside. There were times when he had utter despair.  In those times he would suddenly get a rush of joy, a rush of contentment, a rush of comfort.  He knew in his heart it was God and the prayers of Godly people that gave him those moments. "It was nothing else I have ever experienced. I know God's hand was on me. I would not wish cancer on anyone, nor would I like to have it again, but I do not regret the experience - to feel the touch of God on my life."
We have a gentleman in our congregation who is very slowly dying of cancer. Yet everyone who visits him comes away blessed. God is using him in his weakness to spread the love of God.
God was with Noah in the flood, with the three Hebrew children in the fire, with Daniel in the lion's den. But God is not just a God of history - He is here, now, still walking through the fires with us!
When we have despair - He gives us hope!  When we have nothing left - His grace is enough to sustain us! PRAISE GOD ! HE IS WITH US!

Thanks for listening,
BJ

5/24/2018 Eden

Recently Mike and I had a drive on the Parkway. We pulled off at one of the overlooks, along with other motorists.  It was so beautiful, looking over the valley and the mountains in the distance.  The other folks we bustling about, taking pictures, talking about the view and how much farther they had to travel. Then they all jumped back in their cars to roar away leaving Mike and I alone.  Mike started to speak but I hushed him. "Just listen", I said, "No cars, no people..."  I felt sorry for Mike. Because of his hearing loss he could not hear it -  four different bird calls, one bee buzzing by, and the wind rustling through the trees to my left and traveling to the trees to my right. For an instant I felt transported and thought, 'this is what Eden was like'.

I thank God for that moment. It was truly a treasure.

Thanks for listening,
BJ

4/1/2018 April Fools Day!

I'm sure that when Jesus died on the cross and the people laid Him in the tomb Satan was rejoicing.  He thought he had won. The Bible says that Jesus then descended into Hell.(  again, in our place)  I can imagine Satan laughing and his minions dancing around Jesus in triumph. I'm thinking it was agonizing for Jesus, but He stood silent and took the abuse - again, for us.
But on the third day - in the blink of an eye - Jesus took the keys  of death and hell and rose from the grave!  Jesus is alive! He is the conqueror over sin and death and hell! 
The greatest April Fool joke ever!

So April Fools, Satan!  My God's not dead!  He's surely alive!
And you, Satan, are the fool.

Praise God, I serve a risen Savior!

Thanks for listening,
BJ

3/31/2018 Peter's prayer

Peter - whom Jesus called the rock - had denied knowing Jesus to avoid the same fate as Jesus. Today his heart would be filled with sorrow and perhaps his prayer went like this:

My Father God, Who is in Heaven, have mercy on me! I was ready, God, ready to defend Jesus and help Him build His kingdom! Yet Jesus told me that when push came to shove I would deny him 3 times before the rooster crowed. Not so, I thought in my arrogance! But I did deny Him. I denied Him 3 times and then the rooster crowed. I turned and I saw Jesus at that moment. He did not have the look of "I told you so". He did not have the look of disappointment or disgust. He looked on me with love. I denied Him and He still loved me! Oh Father God, forgive me! Only You can forgive me and change me. Help me to be the man that Jesus thought I was. Help me to follow in His footsteps. Give me the words and the strength to tell others of Jesus and His teachings. I am weak but You, God, can make me strong. My desire is to serve You. Please forgive me and help me to do Your will. Amen.

Thanks for listening,
BJ

3/29/2018 prayer in the garden

It is the night when we think of Jesus praying in the garden. He had asked His followers to watch and pray with Him - but they fell asleep. Perhaps, had they stayed awake, one prayer would have gone like this:

Father God. You are a great and mighty God. You have created everything and You know everything. Please, I pray, help me understand. Jesus is a great teacher and I love Him. Tonight He is being mysterious and speaks in riddles about suffering for us. "The Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world". Is this true, Father? Is Jesus to die for our sins? Oh please, say it is not so! I am not worthy that He should die for me! And, Father God, we have all learned so much from Jesus. I feel we have much more to learn. Please, Father, do not take Jesus from us. He is suffering. I can hear Him crying out to You, Father God! Crying! Has He not suffered enough?
Yet, Father, remembering what Jesus taught us, I submit to Your will. Jesus taught us to love You, obey You, serve You and to trust You. I am trusting You, Father, for Jesus' life, for our lives, for my life - for You alone are God. Amen.

Thanks for listening,
BJ


3/27/2018 Easter week

It is the week before Easter. Last Sunday was Palm Sunday and we studied Jesus Christ's triumphal entry into the city.  The people lined the streets and hailed Him. What a joyous day!
But how did Jesus feel?  Knowing what was in store for Him, knowing that all these people who cheer Him now would curse Him later in the week, how did He feel?
Being fully God yet stuck in a human body, I imagine Him feeling the building anguish of what was to come. Being in human form He felt the heartache of being loved one day and hated the next, the excruciating physical pain and suffering of the beatings and the crucifixion, the abandonment of his friends, the separation from the Father - horrors we could never endure. 
Yet being fully God He knew His duty, He felt love for those He was dying for, He felt sorrow for souls lost . So He went willingly to the cross, to die a horrible death - to be the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. For me, for you.

Thanks for listening,
BJ

2/19/2018 Soldier on

We have a small church body.  A good number of them are sick or recovering from illness or surgeries.
My group of employees is smaller yet. A good number of them are out of work due to flu, surgeries and/or cancer treatments.  Some are in therapy because they just can't handle life.
My family group is, again, smaller yet.  Some of them have the usual sinus trouble, colds, etc.  Some of them are battling cancer, blood pressure and heart problems.
That's just my corner of the world. Across the United States people are hurting and in need.  Across the globe it is even more so.
I just listened to two songs by Rachel...(sorry, Rachel, I've forgotten your last name), "This is My Fight Song" and "I'm Gonna Stand By You".  Both made me think:  Our lives are in God's hands and He has asked us to trust Him. (and not give up!) Jesus asked us to love our neighbors as ourselves, to bear each other's burdens and to pray unceasingly.
We need to keep fighting the good fight, trusting God to do His will. We must try to help where we can. We must pray without ceasing for healing, relief of suffering, for salvation, for help -  for those we care about and for those we don't even know. Soldier on.
Thanks for listening,
BJ

12/7/2017 Christ - mas'

A co-worker asked me why the holiday was called Christmas. I told him I believed it was named that because it was a day set aside to have a mass, or church service, especially dedicated to the birth of Christ. 
He replied, "Oh, I thought mas' - like the spanish word for more.

I liked his answer. We could all use more of Christ. More of Him in our Christmas celebration, more of Him in our daily lives.

Christ - mas'

Thanks for listening,
BJ

11/30/2017 November30

It's the last day of November. How did you do with your month of thankfulness?  I found there was always something to be thankful for. Food, clothes, my job, my family, my pets, and that God kept me alert on the roadways to avoid accidents while others drive like crazy people! (oops, did I say that out loud?!)

Now it is the Christmas season!  Bring on the lights and the music! Bring on more reasons to praise the Lord!

Now you will meet many "Scrooges" as you go along. (most of them are in retail!)  Try not to let them dampen your spirits. Pray for them that they will get the full "Scrooge" treatment and learn to keep Christmas in their heart all year long. God still works that miracle in people everyday. After all, Jesus was born to save us - all of us.

I believe - do you?

Thanks for listening,
BJ

11/16/2017 How is it going?

How is your month going? Have you been writing a list of things you are thankful for? I have. My list contains my relationship with the Lord, my family, the beauty of nature and eyes to see it, music and ears to hear it, the warmth of hug and so on.

I love to give thanks to God for His good gifts!  God loves to receive our thanks!

But you know who doesn't?  Satan. He hates it when we give praise to God.  Satan loves to makes us miserable - because he is miserable and misery loves company. I have found some of my days have also had its moments of misery. You, too?  Well, don't let Satan win!  Keep praising the Lord! Our God is great and deserving of our praise!

So shout it out loud - GET THEE BEHIND ME, SATAN!  I AM A CHILD OF GOD!  I WILL FILL MY DAYS WITH PRAISE FOR THE GOD WHO LOVES ME!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Thanks for listening,
BJ

11/1/2017 Giving Thanks

I can't believe it is November already!  Where has the year gone?!  Soon the holidays will be upon us. Speaking of holidays,let's talk about Thanksgiving. Some say it is the forgotten holiday, the disappearing one squished in between Halloween and Christmas. This is probably because it is not a "gifty" holiday. Decorations are usually at a minimum, there is no candy to hand out or gifts to buy. In truth it is a "gifty" holiday. It is the time to give gifts to God -our Heavenly Father, to Jesus- our Savior and to the Holy Spirit-our constant companion and guide. Gifts of Praise and Gratitude!

So here is the challenge: Don't let Thanksgiving just be a day - make it the whole month! Maybe even keep a journal. Write down at least one thing everyday that you are thankful for, grateful for or a praise for answered prayers.

"Let all the Earth praise the Lord!"

Thanks for listening,
BJ

10/9/2017 Autumn

Bright blue days
  and lavender nights
    orange the harvest moon
Red and yellow
  where green had been
    fading much too soon
Enjoy this enchanting autumn season

God is so good to give us beauty for every  season!


Thanks for listening,
BJ

10/2/2017 Giving to the Lord

There is an old story & song about a quite elderly man who, on his deathbed, took inventory of his life. He was just an ordinary man. He loved Jesus but he was not a preacher, teacher or missionary and it grieved him that he had not done anything grand for the Savior he loved. "My Lord, I'm sorry I did do more" he prayed. Then he breathed his last.  As he stood before the pearly gates, they opened and a voice said "Come".   The man entered and was quickly met by a young man who shook his hand saying"Thank you for giving to the Lord!".  Another man came and did the same, then a woman and a child - one by they came to greet the man. "I'm not sure I understand." said the recently deceased man. One by one they told their story :
"You gave your tithe to the church. The church used that money for programs like helping the homeless. That's how I met the Lord."  "You gave extra for the gospel to be brought to China. That's when I met the Lord."  "When the church needed money for Sunday School materials, you gave extra to meet the need. I found Jesus in Sunday School."   
The man's heart burst with joy as he heard story after story. He didn't realize he had helped so many. 
Then he heard the words we all long for......"Well done, My good and faithful servant."

Out tithes and offerings DO make a difference, whether it is  50 cents or 50 dollars.

Thanks for listening, BJ

9/25/2017 I Surrender All

There is an old hymn, by Judson VanDeVenter, that was often sung at altar calls. The words are as follows:
"All to Jesus I surrender. All to Him I freely give. I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all, all to Thee my Blessed Savior, I surrender all."

Beautiful and heartfelt. Many people wept at the altar, confessing their sins and asking for forgiveness. But did they really surrender ALL?
As humans, we find it hard to let go of everything. We feel if we surrender all we will lose who we are - "the me I know".  That is why the Bible tells us we must "die to self" and be "born again". The "new me" will be so much better!
Surrendering to Jesus ALL our thoughts, hopes, fears, dreams, goals, pain....
Surrendering to Jesus ALL of our cares regarding family, friends, finances, jobs, homes.....
ALL - every bit, every corner of our life.
Surrendering and trusting Jesus with our ALL.

Time to take inventory........have we surrendered ALL ?

Thanks for listening,
BJ

9/9/2017 Eye of the storm

Hurricane Irma is a powerful storm. The eye is well defined. In one picture you could look straight down the eye and see the ocean! It is a massive storm and is leaving much destruction in its wake.  As storms go - it is impressive!  
Should I be afraid?  Prepared - yes. Afraid - no. He who sits on the throne is in control. It is good to be reminded.
There are many "storms" happening right now. Fires out west, flooding and hurricanes in the south and east, an earthquake and hurricane in Mexico - and that's just on our continent!  Then there are wars and rumors of wars, governments against governments, people against people.  On a more personal front, the "storms" of our own life, Spiritual battles, emotional and physical battles. It can all be just too much to cope with.
Again, it is good to be reminded - God is in control! 
God is with us in the eye of the storm, in the midst of the battle. Jesus walked on water and calmed the wind and the waves. The Holy Spirit is our constant companion, comforting us and guiding us. What is there to fear with such an awesome team on our side!

Thanks for listening,
BJ

8/28/2017 precious gifts

A hummingbird stopping at the flowers on my deck
   My cat sleeping on my lap
       Sharing laughter with friends
           A hug from my granddaughter
              The taste of fresh vegetables from my garden
                 "I love you"s shared with my son and daughter
                      The stillness of everything during the eclipse
                           The sound of crickets at night
                                The birds songs during the day
                                     A butterfly on the wing
                                        Holding hands with my husband
                                           The scent of flowers in the air
                                               A gentle breeze to cool me when it's hot

God gives the best gifts! He's awesome!

Thanks for listening
BJ
 

8/7/2017 Even If

My apologies to all preachers and teachers everywhere - but I am a music person and often lyrics to a song will stick with me more than the spoken word.

I have been going through some really tough days at work. In my travels to and from work I listen to the radio and find encouragement in the songs played. (Thank you, God, for Christian songwriters) Here are the words to the chorus of a new song by Mercy Me called Even If:

"I know You're able and I know You can save through the fire with Your mighty hand, but even if you don't my hope is in you alone. I know the sorrow and I know the hurt will all go away if You just say the word, but even if you don't my hope is in you alone."

It is good to be reminded: Yes, our God is able. Our God is awesome. Our God is all powerful. There is nothing too hard for HIm.
He can do anything.!  And our hope is in HIm!  Not in our own strength or abilities. His ways are perfect - ours are not. He is not a "genie in a bottle" to do our will, to fulfill our requests. Even so, our hope is in Him and Him alone.

Our strength is in You, Lord. Our help is from You, Lord. Our hope is in You, Lord and You alone!

Thanks for listening,

BJ

8/1/2017 Stay on the Path

How many times have we heard these statements:

"Hold my hand so you don't get lost"   "Don't stray over there or you'll get into poison ivy"   "Don't stray off the path or you'll get lost" "Stay on this business path and you'll be a success"

It seems life is full of different paths and staying on a path is apparently difficult for us - we all want to go our own way.  The Bible tells us we are all like sheep who have gone astray.

Many times we want to take short cuts to our goal so we stray from our path. Then what happens? Well, we could get lost or see a business fail. In the jungle movies, one who strays from the path almost always gets stuck in quicksand (ooo, not good). In the Star Wars movie (yep, I'm going there again) Yoda tells Luke he must finish his training (his path) or he will do more harm than good.

Do more harm than good? I know I don't want to do that.

We all want to get from point A to point B without any stops. But sometimes God has things He wants us to learn - training, if you will - before we can do any good when we get to point B. New Christians are especially vulnerable. They are on fire for God but lack the training to lead others to Christ. Sometimes, not meaning to, they do more harm than good. The point is this- whether your path is long or short, straight or curvy, smooth or rough - walk with God, be patient, let Him lead - stay on the path!

Thanks for listening, BJ

6/26/2017 I

I haven't written in a long time. I have not been in a great frame of mind so it was hard to think of something inspiring. It started with Memorial Day. Pastor Mike asked - What are you thinking of?  Everyone had the proper answers - my dad, my brother, etc. What was I thinking?  "How is the sale going? Do I have enough people on the floor or too many? Will the boss be happy with the sales figures?"   Argh!  I've been in retail a long time, maybe too long.  I'm tired of crabby customers. I'm tired of unproductive employees. I'm tired of lazy Americans. I'm tired of people who steal from us. I'm tired of people who argue over prices. I'm tired of people who are abusive and the foul language! Why do people have to be that way!! Lying, cheating, stealing, lazy, argumentative. Argh! WHY?

Oh, right, SIN.    The world needs Jesus.  Soldier on.

Thanks for listening,
BJ

5/16/2017 Star Wars

When I was younger I taught a sunday school class for teens. I often would use unconventional materials to reach them. One day I walked into the class with the book "Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back" and announced we were going to talk about sin. The teens, of course, thought I was going to tell them they couldn't go see the movie or read the book. Instead I used a passage from the book to help them see the hold sin can have on our lives.

For those of you who know the story - this is the part where Luke was in training with Yoda. Luke exclaims that he feels "the force". Yoda fires back at Luke that what he feels is anger, fear and aggression. Beware of them, warns Yoda, they will lead you to the dark side!  Then Luke asks a very important question...is the dark side stronger?  No, Yoda assures him, but it is easier, quicker and more seductive. It comes with a price.

That is what sin is in our lives. It is easier, quicker, more seductive and, yes, it comes with a price.  We all must make that choice in our lives - to choose a good path or to choose a dark path.  One follows God and leads to life and eternity in Heaven. One follows Satan and leads to death and eternity in Hell.

What path will you choose?  Choose life!  Jesus told us He is The Way, The Truth and The Life. No one comes to The Father but through Him.  If you haven't already, give your life to Christ today.

Thanks for listening,
 BJ

4/27/2017 Getting up on Sunday

I have to admit sometimes it is really hard to get up and go to church on Sunday. I don't mean when I am sick, then I should stay home. I mean the times when I just feel.....blah.  I don't want to go anywhere or do anything. I certainly don't feel like trying to be nice to everyone I see. I just feel blah.

But it is Sunday morning and I have a "duty", a promise to my Lord, to be at church service. So I go and what do you think happens?  I get blessed!  Either the songs revive me, the scripture challenges me or the message inspires me. Sometimes all three!  Occasionally a single phrase in the sermon was just what I needed to hear.  Then the Lord taps me on the shoulder and says "See, aren't you glad you came?"   Yes, Lord, I am glad - I am very glad!


God is so good!  Even when I give him my "frumpiness", He gives me blessings!


My advice - even when you don't feel like it - go to church!

Thanks for listening
BJ

4/20/2017 Stay Awake!

In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed. He had asked His disciples to stay awake and keep watch. It had been a long day. The disciples just couldn't keep their eyes open. They soon fell fast asleep. Jesus came, woke them and asked again that they stay awake. Again, they fell asleep.

Today, we are asked to stay awake!  Stay alert!   Watch and pray for Jesus is coming again.  No one knows the day or the hour when Christ will return, but make no mistake - the Bible is clear that Jesus will return. (read Revelation chapters 1,2 & 3) !

The parable of the wedding feast and the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) also reminds us to be ready, to keep watch. No one really
wants to be left out of the celebration.

So stay awake! Stay alert! Watch & pray! Be ready! Praise His name and continue His work until He comes again!

Thanks for listening
BJ

4/11/2017 Christmas and Easter

As a child I was given a coloring sheet in Sunday School. It had lots of flowers along the border with this message in the center:

Christmas without Easter is meaningless.
          Easter without Christmas is impossible.


Simple, profound, truth.

Thanks for listening
BJ

4/6/2017 God answers prayer

Last week our Pastor reminded us that God always answers prayer. Sometimes it doesn't seem like He hears us, but He does. Pastor reminded us that God answers all prayers: the answer might be YES, the answer might be NO, or the answer might be NOT NOW, WAIT, BE PATIENT.

Former President Jimmy Carter had a similar message:
"God always answers prayers.
Sometimes it's yes.
Sometimes it's no.
Sometimes it's  -you've gotta be kidding!"

Ain't it the truth.

Thanks for listening
BJ

3/23/2017 All the worlds Thy hands have made

"Oh Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds Thy hands have made....."

The worlds Thy hands have made...have you taken time to consider all the "worlds"?
Consider the world of your own back yard-which is different from the world in Yosemite, which is different from the island of Maui, which is different from the bayous in Louisiana, which is different from the everglades in Florida or the tundra in Alaska.
The United States is amazing with all of its different climate zones and yet it is different from say-Ireland or Norway or Peru. Each country on our planet- our world -has its own weather patterns, plants, animals, people and customs. How great is our God to make us all so unique! How marvelous are His ways!

Now consider other "worlds":  There is the world on land and the undersea world. There are worlds so big - like the planets and stars in our solar system and then other solar systems beyond ours. There are worlds so small - tiny systems in a drop of water or living on the head of a pin - only seen by the help of high powered microscopes. Our God made it all - every minute detail!
         "...How great Thou art, how great Thou art!"

Thanks for listening,
BJ

3/2/2017 Part two (please read part one first)

A couple more years pass. I find myself holding my mother's hand as she lays dying from colon cancer. She is my mother, I am her child, but suddenly she seems so small.  The familiar song comes to me again.  I weep openly and pray again - Please, God, bless this little one for she is weak, but You are strong.

More years pass.  I find myself overwhelmed with responsibilities I don't feel equipped to handle. I cry out to God - I can't do this!  I am not strong enough, I am not smart enough!  Then the voice of my Lord comes to me..." My child, my little one, remember when you are weak I will be your strength. You are not alone. Together we can get through anything. Take My hand, trust Me, I love you."

"....yes, Jesus loves me. 
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so."

Thanks for listening
BJ

3/2/2017 Little ones to Him belong... part one

"Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak, but He is strong....."

The familiar strains of the beloved children's song brings back pleasant memories as I now listen to my children sing. I was once one of God's little ones. I felt God's presence at a young age and delighted in attending Sunday School. Now I look at my children and those around them, so small. I breathe a prayer - Please, God, bless these little ones for they are weak but You are strong.

Jesus Loves Me is a beautiful little song - but is it just for children?

   Fast forward a few years.... I am visiting my grandmother in the nursing home as I have done many times before. But this time seems different.  I look around at the other residents.  Some are like Grandma, broken bodies but sharp minds.  There are others whose minds have gone as well.  My heart breaks as Grandma tells of the numerous residents who never get a visitor.  Who cares for them, I wonder.  Then the familiar strains come to mind again - "...little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong..."  A tear rambles down my cheek and I breathe a prayer - Please, God, bless these little ones, for they are weak, but You are strong.

2/23/2017 Thank you, God, for color!

   Color.  What a wonderful thing God created.

   Do you remember when TV and movies were first made in color?  OK, I'm showing my age.  For all you "young whippersnappers" , TV and movies and photographs were, at one time,  all in black and white.  When they started being produced in color we all said "Wow! Look at that!". Think of the movie "The Wizard of Oz".  When the movie starts it is in black and white. When Dorothy lands in Oz suddenly everything is in color.  That was a big "WOW" moment in the theater.

   The sad thing is we've always had these "wow" moments, but most people don't notice them.  Think about it.  God could have made our world, our lives, in black and white.  We would not have known the difference.  But God loves us and chose to give us color!  The striking red Cardinal in an evergreen tree, the orange fall leaves against a brilliant blue sky, the rainbow, sunsets ......I could go on.  The point is this - "wow" moments happen everyday, you just have to open your eyes

   Thanks for listening,
   BJ

2/15/2017 Moon Child

        As a child I would look at the moon through my bedroom window. I thought of it as a friend shining in the darkness, comforting me so I would not be afraid. I marveled at how it changed every night. Sometimes it would be a full circle, then dwindle away to a small sliver and then back again. I wondered how it did that. After all, the sun was a light in the day time and it never changed its shape. Why did the moon change?
      Now I'm older. I still love to look at the moon. It still feels like a friend in the darkness. I understand now that the moon has no light of its own but reflects the light of the sun.
      I've decided I would like to be a "moon child". Now some of you may think I've gone back to the sixties and the "hippie" movement, but bear with me a moment.....
      Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is our light!  We too, as followers of Christ, can shine for HIm - sharing His light and love with others.
      The Holy Spirit is our comforter.  As the Holy Spirit comforts us in the dark times of our life we, too, can comfort others.

      Yep, I want to be a "moon child" - reflecting the Son, being a friend to one in the dark, comforting those in need.

         Thanks for listening,
         BJ