Friday, February 28, 2014

My Thoughts From the Sermon Series “The Beatitudes” (5)


“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

One of my favorite descriptions of grace and mercy is:

Grace is receiving what I don’t deserve.
Mercy is not receiving what I do deserve.

Thankfully, God shows me both. I desperately need both.

As PB said Sunday:
“And this is what the 5th Beatitude really says… O the Bliss of the man who gets right inside other people, until he can see with their eyes, think with their thoughts, feel with their feelings, for he who does that will find others do the same for him, and will know that that is what God in Jesus Christ has done!

Jesus looks at the vile nature of man and still went forward to show mercy to us. Mercy, by it’s very nature, is something undeserved, unearned, unmerited, unwarranted, and unnatural. Is is supernatural.”

To receive mercy, I must show mercy.

On my email signature I have, “Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”

For years I’ve heard, “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you judge him.”

Or how about the Native American quote: “Do not judge your neighbor until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.”

Every one of these can be tweaked to say – show mercy to others. Show them love, don’t judge them, don’t criticize them. I could go on and on with a list of Bible verses that say this very same thing – using different words, different examples.

My note to PB:
“This sermon was one that needed to be preached.

Well said, PB. What was said from the pulpit needed to be said and you delivered God’s message very well.”

PB mentioned nine sins in his sermon that we often forget to show mercy over – then he stated “…. and the list goes on and on.” The Bible is not a book of “can’t do’s.” But God was specific on what is righteous living.

In this sermon about mercy, PB mentioned anger, not the righteous anger mentioned in another post but a sinful anger over certain types of sin. When we get angry with someone because of their sin. When we think one sin is worse than another and we focus on it and not on the love of God. While listening to him, I realized that often my sin isn’t anger but it’s apathy. I have a tendency to say “I am not going to change your mind and you won’t change my mind” so I say nothing. I ignore the sin. In doing this, I am ignoring a portion of my responsibility as a Christian, I am ignoring that part where God tells me to hold another Christian accountable – IN LOVE. Not judging, not condemning but with prayer and love help them overcome the sin and turn from it. Just as I would pray they do for me.

My apathy is one of my sins. 

I want to be the person God desires me to be. I fall short of the mark. I want God to show me mercy where I'm weak. I must learn to show mercy to others in the same measure I want God's mercy.

Mercy is God’s love in action.

Thank you, PB.

(remember, these are my thoughts concerning this passage of Scripture and not all are from PB)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

My Thoughts From the Sermon Series “The Beatitudes” (4)

The Beatitudes Matthew 5  3-12 (1)

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.”

I’ve never been really hungry. I used to fast on a regular basis and spend time in prayer and Bible study (notice I said used to…) This beatitude  really convicted me. Why did I stop? No idea…. I just did. -

Anyway, I’ve never been really hungry. And when I did fast, I only fasted from food, never from water. So I've never been really thirsty. When I would drive the combine for my Dad I would always have a water jug with me. So when the heat and dust would cause thirst, I would pause and drink.

So to really understand “hunger and thirst for righteousness” I don’t - if I’m identifying “hunger and thirst” with food and water.

However, I do understand  “yearning.” The thesaurus lists the synonyms of yearning as:


This yearning I understand. I can wrap my mind around “yearning” and then  put a perspective on “hunger” on “thirsting.”

Sometimes I have a yearning to read my Bible. Such a strong pull towards God’s Word. I really feel a NEED to pick up my Bible and read.  I know when this yearning appears that I should stop what I’m doing and read my Bible.  Duh. This is not rocket science…

But do I always do it? No. “I’ll do it later” is a very common thought for this procrastinator.  God is speaking to me at a particular time and I’m ignoring Him.

Righteousness.  The synonyms of righteousness are:


These words could describe many people that you and I know – but it is pairing these characteristics with Christ that creates righteousness.

Righteousness is putting God first in our lives, having no other “god’s” “idols” before us.

What do I have in my life that I put before God? Oh, man, again – a convicting thought.

My family, my interests, my church, my friends, my blogging, – what do I spend more time on than Christ? How much time do I spend reading His Word, praying, doing what He needs me to do for His Kingdom…..

We I spend more time on so many things than I do on the thoughts of Christ.

To be filled, to be satisfied, I must be holy. I need to strive for righteousness. I need to let go of ME and yearn for Christ.

“Blessed is the man that hungers and thirsts for righteousness for they will be satisfied.”

Thank you, PM.
(PB was gone this week, Family Minister Matt filled in.)

(these are my thoughts concerning this passage of Scripture and not all are from PM)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Thoughts From the Sermon Series “The Beatitudes” (3)

The Beatitudes Matthew 5  3-12 (3)
“Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.”

When did our world begin equating meekness with weakness? Even the dictionary describes this word as a form of weakness. But to go back to the Greek, Meekness in this passage of scripture does not mean weakness.

“Blessed is the man who is always angry at the right time and never angry at the wrong time.”  It is self control – guided by Jesus.  It is being even tempered.

Meekness comes from an unshakable confidence in God.

“Blessed is the man who has every instinct, every impulse, every passion under control. Blessed is the man who is entirely self-controlled.” Self controlled with e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e.

Meekness is true humility that has no room for pride.

humility = teachable

Sometimes when I believe I’m being self controlled, I’m actually just being apathetic. Oh, my, I have so much work to do in my life. (I will be writing more on apathy when we get to mercy.)

An unshakable confidence in God. Self control. Humility. WOW.  PB really stepped on my toes in this one.

Just when I think “I’ve got it” I realize I’m being prideful and God points out all the things I need to improve on.

Jesus showed Righteous anger himself. Anger in itself is not a sin, not a lack of self control. A selfish anger is sin. Selfless anger is not sin. Righteous anger – an anger with the sin we see in the world is not a sin.  Letting God control that anger within us is what makes the difference.

Being on my knees – that’s the best way to become meek.

Thank you, PB.

(remember, these are my thoughts concerning this passage of Scripture and not all are from PB)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Thoughts From the Sermon Series “The Beatitudes” (2)

The Beatitudes Matthew 5  3-12 (2)
“Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.”

Blessed is more than “happy.” PB in this series says “Oh, for the Bliss…. “ – utter joy and contentment. Being satisfied.

Happy is an emotion that comes from outside stimulation. Joy is an emotion that comes from the inside. My relationship with God gives me joy.

“Happy are the sad” says there is a state of bliss that comes with a heart that is broken. Not broken for a death but broken for the suffering that goes on around me – and broken for my sins.

It’s so easy for me to say “Forgive me for having a rude thought about someone,” or “forgive me for overeating,” words are often easy. But to actually MOURN for these sins that are inside of me. That is an effort that I often don’t want to take the time to commit to.

It’s making my sins personal and realizing that each time I think that thought or chose to overeat (these are just examples of some of my sins) – I – Me – I  am the one hitting that nail in His hand one more time with a hammer that I HOLD.

My sin is mine. I must take responsibility for it. I must mourn from deep within my soul for my sin. Confess, ask for forgiveness and TURN FROM IT.


That is the key, you know. Turning from it. Making a change.

A continual living in sin is pounding the nails. It is causing the pain. I must commit to make the change.

Thank you PB.

(remember, these are my thoughts concerning this passage of Scripture and not all are from PB)

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Thoughts From the Sermon Series “The Beatitudes”

The Beatitudes Matthew 5  3-12 (1)
I love the Beatitudes. I’ve been a Christian for years… And ever since I was old enough to understand, I have loved this passage of scripture. I have many notes on these verses. So when PB (Pastor Brad) started his sermon series on this passage, I was more than excited and started praying immediately that I would learn something new.

God did not disappoint. Every week He has taught me something new, and/or reiterated something I had forgotten. (did I choose to forget because it was convicting?) Hmmm.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Do I have a humble and honest opinion of myself? Being poor in spirit is just that. Being honest about my thoughts, my feelings, who I am, how I act, how I respond to others… – how I recognize and face my sins.

All aspects of my life. Do I honestly evaluate who I am in Christ? Do I use the plumb line of His life to look at myself?

If I’m honest here Smile I have to say no. I look at what I want me to be more often than who I really am.

God was convicting on this Beatitude!

Thank you, PB. (I think!!)

(these are my thoughts concerning this passage of Scripture and not all are from PB)

Recipe: Penne With Roasted Vegetables

Penne With Roasted Vegetables  (3)
Randy and I each gave this recipe 4 stars.
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 large zucchini, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound whole-grain penne
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  1. preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
  2. In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with the olive oil, then spread them out on the baking sheet
  3. Sprinkle the vegetables with the salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder and bake just until fork-tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the penne according to package directions. Drain.
  5. Place 1/2 cup of the roasted vegetables and the wine or stock in a a blender or food processor and blend until smooth
  6. Place the puree in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, just until heated through.
  7. Serve the pasta and sauce topped with the roasted vegetables. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Serves 6

We liked it – next time I may puree more of the vegetables for the sauce. We also thought it might be good to switch the butternut squash with tomatoes.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Weather in Kansas…..

Remember me posting the efforts of A. last week?

Snow Day 02-05-2014 (9)          Completed Project by Andru 02-06-2014 (2)

He made our drive easier to get into and out of from the garage. He loved being out of school for 3 snow days!!!

Then this morning:

4 more inches 02-10-2014 (1)
4 More Inches

I don’t mind this weather when I can stay home! But when I need to get out it’s not my cuppa tea!!!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Day

I’m retired but for some reason “Snow Day” still gives me excitement! Not sure why but I love to be able to stay home all day without having to get out for anything. – Have I ever told you that I’m a homebody?

Today is our second snow day! At least I put my clothes on today! Yesterday I stayed in warm pajamas and robe! It was a wonderful day! I had stew in the crock pot and spent all day reading. What a great way to spend the day!!

8oclock Snow Storm 02042014 (5)          10oclock Snow Storm 01042014 (2)

12oclock Snow Storm 02-04-2014 (2)          2oclock Snow Storm 02-04-2014 (2)

4oclock Snow Storm 02-04-2014 (4)          6oclock Snow Storm 02-04-2014 (3)

Not much change after noon but it did continue to snow off and on until late evening.  Beautiful!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

War is Here to Stay

The husband and I don’t get a newspaper on a regular basis. Just once in a while. I have a good friend, Gale, who does get the paper and she is so kind as to save the “books” pages and she passes them on to me. (Thank you, Gale!!)

On Sunday, January 19, 2014 there was an article by Gaylord Dold entitled “War is here to stay, thanks to evolution, author says” This is an article about Christopher Coker’s Book “Can War Be Eliminated?”

Interesting article. You can read the article in it’s entirety H.E.R.E..

Coker gives an answer to his question “Can War Be Eliminated?”  His answer is No. His argument in his book – according to Dold is “…a centrality emerging at the pace of evolution’s long arc, which includes the primate’s genetic propensity to align in-groups against out-groups, territorial instincts……. and evolution’s selection of warrior abilities.”

It’s an interesting article and Dold did a great review on the book.

However, I have a much simpler answer to Christopher Coker’s question.

No, I agree with him,  war will never be eliminated. But I don’t believe it has anything to do with the evolution of war. Yes, we have people fighting over territories, freedoms, – or lack of, our war fighting abilities have ‘progressed’ if you really consider it progress – but there is one reason and one reason only that we have wars.

Jesus says to believers  in Matthew, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen.

Mark writes, “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened. Those things must take place.

Luke tells us,”When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end does not follow immediately.”

There will always be war because God says there will always be war.  But it is interesting to read [hear] people explain their version of “Can War Be Eliminated?’

Good review by Gaylord Dold.