Sermon on the Mount

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Brown bears at Brooks Falls Katmai National Park. Photograped by Brocken Inaglory in July of 1998

Good morning, beloved,

Sunday, the Lord”s day, a day of rest, a day of peace, or supposedly such, we forget what God‘s original design. We forget He designed us to work for six days and on the seventh, we rest. I am grateful, grateful for God’s design. It is flawless, it is beautiful and to this daughter, necessary.

However, can I just get some agreement here? Even if I cut out everything outside of our home on Sunday afternoons, things still creep in. Even if our goal is rest, the house still needs to be picked up. Dishes still need to be done. We have to start packing, as our floors will be torn up soon. We are painting a bathroom. Time to spend with the family that can be fun. So my quiet is now, before I open my email, read my messages on Facebook, and today, remember, Your will be done, Lord, on earth as it is in heaven.

Your will- from Blue Letter Bible’s Lexicon:

1) what one wishes or has determined shall be done

a) of the purpose of God to bless mankind through Christ

b) of what God wishes to be done by us

1) commands, precepts

2) will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure

Oh, we must see this word, thelēma, in action in other parts of the Word. Come with me, and let’s dive in. 😉

Matthew 7: 21 “Not all those who say [L to me] ·‘You are our Lord’ [L ‘Lord! Lord!’] will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do ·what my Father in heaven wants [the will of my Father in heaven].

So, the first thing to remember about God’s will, those who do what the Father wants will enter the kingdom. That word only interests me but as my family likes to call it..this becomes a rabbit trail.

Matthew 12: 50 My true brother and sister and mother are those who do ·what my Father in heaven wants [the will of my Father in heaven].”

Jesus calls His family those who do the will of His Father in heaven. We are His family! What a blessed thought.

Matthew 26:42 Then Jesus went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for ·this painful thing [L this thing; C the cup of suffering; v. 39] to be taken from me, and if I must ·do [drink] it, ·I pray that what you want [L may your] will be done.”

Jesus, twice asked the Father, to be taken from the cup of suffering, and yet, Jesus, of course, did take the cup, asking the Father for His will be done. Whatever we face today, we face it with the knowledge, that  the One who drank from this horrible cup, can give us the strength to cope with it .

Psalm 40:8 My God, I ·want [delight; take pleasure] to do ·what you want [your pleasure].

    Your ·teachings [instructions; laws] are in my heart.”

I will tell ·about your goodness [the good news] in the great ·meeting of your people[assembly].
Lord, you know ·my lips are not silent [L I have not restrained my lips].

May this be our prayer today. Our desire to take delight in doing His pleasure. To hold to His teachings in our hearts and proclaim the good news.

Romans 12:2 Do not be ·shaped by [conformed to; pressed into a mold by] this ·world [age]; instead be ·changed within [transformed] by ·a new way of thinking [orchanging the way you think; L the renewing of your mind]. Then you will be able to ·decide [discern; test and approve] what ·God wants for you [is God’s will]; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.

This culture, this world we live in has a powerful hold and strength. As Paul says, this mold of this age kills. The world holds nothing but death. Instead, let us be changed, transformed into a new way to think. Asking the Lord, with Your teachings, instructions in my heart; with the example of Christ; with knowing we are family then please, change us. Transform us. We want to know Your will. We want transformation. Lord, we seek You to know what is good, what is pleasing and what is perfect.

Oh, I could go on with this one. Join me again tomorrow, when I work through more of the Word of God with this one phrase: Will of God.

My thankfuls today:

257. Laughter, what a precious gift, to laugh.

258. A new day, provisions, hope.

259. Watching our son play basketball with a smile on his face.

Pray on. Pray on.


Love God?

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View from the observation tower, Brown County State Park, Indiana, USA by Poco a poco

Good morning, beloved,

I come to the garden…does it ever surprise you how amazingly sinful you can be? I’m not talking about murder, or some horrible sin. I’m talking about..and then about…and then about…you know, here’s the deal: we’ve done this before. We’ve looked at how Jesus viewed sin.(Sermon on the Mount) He saw no difference in the thought life and the actual deed of murder, adultery, etc.  We’ve looked at how God the Father sees sin. It’s bloody, it’s messy, He hates it. How many animals lost their little innocent lives because of the sin of Israel? How about the precious blood of Jesus? The last sacrifice, for all mankind, for all time…He was all we all needed.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
More lyrics:

Yet, we look at our sin and put up walls. He couldn’t forgive that. I’ve sinned too many times. And, guess what? We listened to the lies..

Look up! See the risen Son of God!

I forget sometimes how to love. I forget how to be Jesus with skin on to those around me. John has some words for me. Maybe for you?

1 John 4

19 We love because ·God [L he] first loved us. 20 If people say, “I love God,” but hate their brothers or sisters [C fellow believers], they are liars. [L For] Those who do not love their brothers and sisters[C fellow believers], whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have never seen. 21 And ·God gave us this command [L we have this command from him]: Those who love God must also love their brothers and sisters [C fellow believers; John 13:34]. EXB

Friends, I need these words this morning. I believe the Lord is lifting me up. Lifting my head, saying, Daughter, you are better than this. You are more than this.

So, for me, maybe for you, we need to remember we are more than the mud pile Satan invites us to play in (that actually is a tar pit). God has gardens for us to play in. 🙂 His Spirit is here to guide us. Give us ways out of the temptation. His hand extends to you, to me.(See, I have ·written [engraved; inscribed] your name on my ·hand [palms].Isaiah 49:16)  His Word in our hearts showing us the strength that resides in those who call God Father.

Love Him? Love those who surround you whom God has called.

Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare of the Day:

Three Startling Graces of God:

109. He holds His scarred, strong, merciful hand to His daughter, always.

110. His Word, so thankful for His Word.

111. His Spirit, guiding, directing, moving me towards my heavenly home.

We all have people and situations that will be challenging us. Pushing us to new growth, not to wallow in pity or anger that people aren’t perfect like us. I think, wait, I know whom God graces to put in our lives, there is a purpose for us. We can’t wait until the pain is over. We can’t wait until people start acting better, doing better. Then we can check that off our list, right? No, John said it. We love God? Well, then, we love those whom God puts in our lives. All of ’em. Not just the easy ones.


Pray on. Pray.



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Godavari Bridge Image taken using Ramesh Ramaiah’s Samsung camera.

Good morning friends,

It has been one of those lazy mornings where I pray a neighbor doesn’t stop by cuz I’m still in me pjs. LOL. Course if they did stop by, my kids would open the door and welcome them in and they’d see me as I truly am so…bring it! (or maybe I’ll go get dressed…) Joshua and the two olders are helping over at Gages Lake  Bible Church. Luke, Ella and I have had a glorious morning of watching one of our favorite movies and cleaning up a bit. I was able to have time to talk to a dear friend who now lives in Texas. I love how the Lord times things exactly when I need them. I needed fellowship this morning. God knew how much…

I was wondering if you could be praying for my Mama? She has a terrible sinus infection and has not been sleeping for nearly a week now. I’m praying and praying for God to release rest and peace over her body. Would you join me? I would so appreciate that. I’m trying not to worry, but she’s my best friend…and the worry is a love transmitted into constant thought and prayer.

I think about that and wonder about God’s will in that suffering. Not sleeping is horrible. Not being able to breathe right…yuck. Where is the glory of God in suffering? His perspective is what I look for today. And the verses we are looking through are perfectly timed…

Matthew 7:

21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.

22 Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?

23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].(practice lawlessness..)

24 So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them [obeying them] will be like a sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock.

25 And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

26 And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a stupid (foolish) man who built his house upon the sand.

27 And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great and complete was the fall of it.

These verses are full of contrasts. Those who do the will of the Father and those who disregard His will. Those who listen and obey and those who do not…

 …he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Let’s look for some more verses that “flesh” out the will of the Father..

Romans 12: Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

Which might be suffering, pain, loss…yet God’s will is eternal and our lives, if found in Christ, are eternal bound.

1 Thessalonians 4:For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated (separated and set apart for pure and holy living): that you should abstain and shrink from all sexual vice,That each one of you should know how to possess (control, manage) his own body in consecration (purity, separated from things profane) and honor,Not [to be used] in the passion of lust like the heathen, who are ignorant of the true God and have no knowledge of His will,

1 Thessalonians 5: 18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].

I give thanks that Mom can pray at all hours. I give thanks that she is with me and is so devoted to my family. I give thanks that she has been married to my Dad for forty some years. I give thanks that she can continue on, and that God will heal her, it may not be until she looks into the eyes of Jesus, but my Mom doesn’t complain. I’m amazed.  I’m pretty honed at the art of complaining and there will be days when I get off the phone with her and realize..I never asked how she was doing…sigh.

Hebrews 13:21 Strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah); to Whom be the glory forever and ever (to the ages of the ages). Amen (so be it).

So we are getting what His will is, right? By no means a complete list, but a good start! 🙂 Now let’s look in depth at “Practice lawlessness).

Practice (ergazomai): practice is in the present tense which denotes continual action. (p.115, SOTM, @Precept Int’l)

1) to work, labour, do work

2) to trade, to make gains by trading, “do business”

3) to do, work out

a) exercise, perform, commit

b) to cause to exist, produce

4) to work for, earn by working, to acquire

lawlessness (anomia)

1) the condition of without law

a) because ignorant of it

b) because of violating it

2) contempt and violation of law, iniquity, wickedness

To work for, work out contempt for the law, violating the law, to work for wickedness…gag.

I do not want to be known as a foolish woman. I want none of that, thank you very much. Lord, I want to build my house on the rock. I’ll ask the Lord…help me stand! Please listen to this song..I’ve included the lyrics:

 wake up to another day
I don’t know if I can face
All the fears, that is tearing me down
Yea, I’m trying to be brave
But I’m afraid, about to fade
I wanna stand but I don’t know how

I look up and all I see is Your love holding me
When I feel like giving up
When my heart is hurt too much
Feels like I’ve reached the end
No, I won’t turn and run
This battle will be won
When I’ve done all I can
I stand stand stand
I stand stand stand

Some days I lose my place
It’s a fight to keep my faith
But You are with me, I am not alone, no
But all around my work is late
Toss like an ocean wave
You are my rock and the storm clouds blow

I look up and all I see is Your love holding me
When I feel like giving up
When my heart is hurt too much
Feels like I’ve reached the end
No, I won’t turn and run
This battle will be won
When I’ve done all I can
I stand stand stand
I stand stand stand

On Your promise, I will stand
Oh look the ground is sinking sand
On Your promise, I will stand
Oh look the ground is sinking sand
Sinking sand oh who woooh
It’s sinking sinking, yea ye

When I feel like giving up
When my heart is hurt too much
Feels like I’ve reached the end
No, I won’t turn and run
This battle will be won, yea yea
So I’ll stand stand stand
I stand stand
I’ll stand stand stand

Let’s look at one more word as we finish this beautiful study by Precept Ministries International. How I thank God to finish this study! Such encouragement…lets look at this..the affect it had on the crowds…


1) to strike out, expel by a blow, drive out or away

2) to cast off by a blow, to drive out

a) commonly, to strike one out of self-possession, to strike with panic, shock, astonish

3) to be struck with amazement, astonished, amazed

Literally, the crowds were blown away! Astonished! How about you? How does it feel that you love the greatest Teacher EVER? The crowds were struck! You can be filled with the Spirit of God causing you to walk in wisdom and light and truth. How I wish I could hold your hand and show you what He has shown me over these past few years of pain and suffering that it was all worth it to know Him. And I don’t even pretend to know Him well…So imperfectly do I follow my King! Yet, His love is so powerful so filling!

Love you all, can’t wait to meet you in heaven…:) Pray on. Pray on. Oh, and btw, I’m starting up 1 Peter with Precepts on Monday..join me?


False prophets

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Almond tree by Nicolás Pérez.

Good morning, beloved,

Rain! Oh, I have to tell you, I was so excited for the rain. I love rain. Now weeks and weeks of no sunshine, no good for this bear, but when we sit in our sunroom and listen to the rain patter on the roof..beautiful. The world already seems greener to me. When we went out for our walk today, there was this cute little barn swallow that was belting out his praise to his Creator.

A Barn Swallow flying over a lake in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The upper side of the bird is Steve Stearns


I love walking early in the morning with Joshua. The quiet is precious to me. We hear the birds, we watch the squirrels scurry, and the sun rises as we walk. Some mornings as we walk around the lake we see a beautiful mist rising off the lake. The sun rising on the lake spreading its orange, red and yellow hues across the still lake..all crying out in beautiful praise to our God.

Danny has continued his little saying all this week. Today is going to be a good day, Mom. Now the other kids are beginning to pick up on this and repeat it…and he has his nose a bit out of joint. Wanting this to be between just him and Mom, he protested at the nods his brothers and sister were giving him by repeating. I believe the Lord revealed a good way to ease his nose back into place. I told him he was giving me a blessing every time he said that to me and I repeated it back to him. I told him if the other kids pick this up the encouragement and blessing spreads even farther. He is still thinking that through, yet I know it to be true. When our mouths are full of truth and blessing, we don’t have time for arguments and sinful thoughts and patterns of behavior.

Such a lesson for me…at night since he was very little he has always said the same phrase to me. Always. Love you, see you in the morning, good night and I repeat it back to him. And then he says have a good night. We cannot go to bed without saying these words to one another or he finds me to say it. Another example of blessing! Another chance for my son to teach me, and I am grateful .

Well two days left on our tour of the Sermon on the Mount. I cannot believe the summer is gone! We spent the summer touring the Sermon and now we are drawing to a close. Want to know what we are studying next? Stay tuned! Can’t wait.

Matthew 7:15Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves. 16 You will fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?

We will know them by their fruit…hmmm...fruit: of works or deeds, “fruit” being the visible expression of power working inwardly and invisibly, the character of the “fruit” being evidence of the character of the power producing it, Mat 7:16

Let’s consult the whole Word to find more about fruit!

Jeremiah 5: 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests exercise rule at their own hands and by means of the prophets. And My people love to have it so! But what will you do when the end comes?

For someone to be called a prophet, they must prophesy truly every time. Never a mistake. Ever. So a false prophet is going to mess up. He isn’t going to be perfect every time. This next set is long but bear with it, we learn much!

Jeremiah 23:

16 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Do not listen to the words of the [false] prophets who prophesy to you. They teach you vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility) and fill you with vain hopes; they speak a vision of their own minds and not from the mouth of the Lord.

17 They are continually saying to those who despise Me and the word of the Lord, The Lord has said: You shall have peace; and they say to everyone who walks after the stubbornness of his own mind and heart, No evil shall come upon you.

18 For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord, that he should perceive and hear His word? Who has marked His word [noticing and observing and giving attention to it] and has [actually] heard it?

19 Behold, the tempest of the Lord has gone forth in wrath, a whirling tempest; it shall whirland burst upon the heads of the wicked.

20 The anger of the Lord shall not turn back until He has executed and accomplished the thoughts and intents of His mind and heart. In the latter days you shall consider andunderstand it perfectly.

21 I did not send these [false] prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.

22 But if they had stood in My council, then they would have caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them [My people] from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.

23 Am I a God at hand, says the Lord, and not a God afar off?

So false prophets:

  • teach you vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)
  • fill you with vain hopes
  • they speak a vision of their own minds and not from the mouth of the Lord
  • To those who despise Me and the word of the Lord: You shall have peace; and they say to everyone who walks after the stubbornness of his own mind and heart, No evil shall come upon you.

God is angry! He did not send the false prophets! They prophesy but not from the Lord’s mouth. Frightening. Absolutely frightening…

2 Peter’s all about false prophets.

Ezekiel 34:

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them, even to the [spiritual] shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: Woe to the [spiritual] shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the sheep?

You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you kill the fatlings, but you do not feed the sheep.

The diseased and weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the hurtand crippled you have not bandaged, those gone astray you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought to find, but with force and hardhearted harshness you have ruled them.

And they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild beasts of the field.

My sheep wandered through all the mountains and upon every high hill; yes, My sheep were scattered upon all the face of the earth and no one searched or sought for them.

Shepherds are the false prophets!  They aren’t feeding the body! They are gorging themselves and nobody is strengthened by the words coming from their mouths. No healings, no lost sheep found, they are ruling with force and harshness. Now His beloved are scattered and being devoured by the beasts.

Now with these verses under our belt, I’m going to move back to Matthew 7:

21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.

22 Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name and driven out demons in Your name and done many mighty works in Your name?

23 And then I will say to them openly (publicly), I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].

Are the dots connected? Seems to me that those who think they are prophesying in His name are nowhere near the mark. Rather those who do His will in heaven with enter the kingdom of heaven. If they disregard His commands, Jesus will publicly disregard them. They drove our demons…really? Mighty works…really? Obviously to Jesus, He saw their hearts and He saw they were not feeding the body of believers, rather they filled people with false hope, vanity and have visions that do not come from Him.

Do you wonder about Christian t.v. prophets? What are people drawn to the most? (SOTM, p.144, @Precepts Int’l) The healings, the amazing miracle stories..the slayings in the Spirit…do people want to hear that God giving grace in the daily struggle but tomorrow the same struggles or more are in your life? Not so much. People love having their ears tickled. We have to be very careful who we follow. Very. Consider the following:

“What is so dangerous about following people who emphasize prophesying, casting out demons, or performing miracles over obedience to the whole counsel of God? To which gate would they be leading people?” (SOTM, p. 144@Precepts Int’l)

On that note, I have all my people up and going and making their green smoothies and our kitchen looks like the last days of a misspent life. 😉 Pray on..pray on!



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A sunrise in Zwickau (Saxony, Germany) by André Karwath

Good morning, beloved!

My girl is walking around! No brace! I am So thankful for this gift from God. It still twinges when she turns or twists..but it is so much better! Praise God. He raises us up. He lifts us on high. The only downside I see is now she is a dedicated Barbie fan. 😉 Noah did get his stitches out and he is in good shape. The doctor was thrilled with his leg’s healing.  Yet, she did say he is unable to run or jump for two months since the surgery. This should be interesting. Ahem. He received his gift from his grandparents last night as well. My dad made him an amplifier for his guitar. Very, very fun stuff. 🙂

Let’s begin our study for the day! Matthew 7

Keep on asking and it will be given you;  keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.

For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.

Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone?

10 Or if he asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent?

11 If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and ]advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him!

Zeroing in on verse seven, Jesus has some specific instructions:

  • Keep on asking
  • Keep on seeking
  • Keep on knocking

Why? You will receive, you will find and the door will be opened! (He repeats these phrases twice in two verses! Remember repetition means the Lord wants you to get it!) It would be unimaginable to me as a parent to give my child a stone or a serpent when he/she asks for food. Unthinkable! That is, of course, Jesus’ point here. We give good gifts to our children but I’m not perfect. I don’t see as my God sees. He is in heaven, perfect, willing to give good gifts to those who keep on asking. 🙂

I will admit to you what comes first to my mind is asking for things like a car for Joshua, or financial security enough to cover our med bills  or a Vitamix with all the smoothies we are eating…yet, this chapter is the culmination of a Sermon and if we look back through the chapters, Jesus is teaching us to trust Him above all else and everything we need will be provided. Walking in the Spirit, fleeing evil, holding tight to the will of God in our lives…so even if i don’t “get” these things, I trust in Him, I hold tight to Him and He will provide. He will care for us. Are we making it just as He promised? In the palm of His hand, we have joy and peace. No matter if we stay at one car, live paycheck to paycheck and have no Vitamix :)!

Matthew 7:12 So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets.

Our example in life is our Father in how we treat others. Knowing we are not perfect, Jesus commands us to treat those around us as we desire to be treated. We cannot give those who God has placed in our lives stones or serpents. Jesus tells us this sums up the law and prophets..let’s look into this deeper.

Romans 3: 

20 For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [[a]not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character].

21 But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets,

22 Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believingwith personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction,

Matthew 5: 

17 Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them.20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness (your uprightness and your right standing with God) is more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus has begun to summarize what He began in Chapter 5. Do you see?

Matthew 22: 

35 And one of their number, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him.

36 Teacher, which [e]kind of commandment is great and important (the principal kind) in the Law? [Some commandments are light—which are heavy?]

37 And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).

38 This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment.

39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.

40 These two commandments [f]sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets.

Well, I need to get moving. Love Him totally and completely and love those God has put in your life. Pray on, pray on.


Dogs and swine ?

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No dogs allowed; Pigs guard houses on Aitutaki by Ciell

Good morning, beloved,

This is a first. Choosing a picture of pigs, it has to be a first. Matthew 7:6 records a verse that “…at first glance seems totally unrelated to the Sermon on the Mount. ” (SOTM, pg. 109) I hear people quote this verse and I am always stuck on the swine and can’t ever seem to get to what Jesus is teaching us here. So let’s look together.

“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory.” Psalm 149:4 AMP

I do have a praise to share first. I took off Ella’s knee immobilizer yesterday. She swam in the lake yesterday and requested we not put the brace back on. She isn’t willing to bend it all the way, she says it hurts too much yet she isn’t walking a little better and bending it a bit. Huge. So thankful for that! I think we may head to the lake again today to see if we can continue to loosen it up. Thank you for your prayers. Noah gets his stitches out this afternoon and hopefully he will be able to take the boot off.  Yesterday I heard Kay Arthur’s message on chapter 6 of Matthew. And I want to share that with you, it was as if Kay was speaking just to me. God is good. 🙂

I’m also reading a wonderful book right now that I got on my Kindle.  This man hiked the Appalachian Trail soon after he lost his wife to cancer. This is the story of how God revealed Himself to the author. Powerful book…if you need a reminder that God is always in the business of rehabilitating hearts. Hiking Through by Paul V. Stutzman..

Here we go! Matthew 7:6 Do not give that which is holy (the sacred thing) to the dogs, and do not throw your pearls before hogs, lest they trample upon them with their feet and turn and tear you in pieces.

Let’s look through the Scriptures and get some clues to this verse!

Philippians 3:2 Look out for those dogs [Judaizers, legalists], look out for those mischief-makers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.

Well, this verse contains a warning, isn’t it?

The dogs as we can see are those who: kyōn of those whose moral impurity will exclude them from the New Jerusalem. The Jews used the term of Gentiles, under the idea of ceremonial impurity. Among the Greeks it was an epithet of impudence. Lat., canis, and Eng., “hound” are etymologically akin to it.

Moral impurity…what’s a Judaizer, tho? One who conforms to the religion of the Jews. So one who follows the customs and laws of the Jews that were no longer required under the New Covenant. There was a religion formed that combined the faith of Jesus but held people to the laws of Jews. Unnecessary!

2 Peter 2:22 There has befallen them the thing spoken of in the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and, The sow is washed only to wallow again in the mire.

Chapter 2 of 2 peter talks about the ungodly, the unrighteous. So this ending verse repeats a proverb. All of the desires of the wicked and their fate are listed. I have to tell you it makes me so sad to see our country falling to this in so many ways.  Ugh. Such sadness. Their eyes have become dark  and the Spirit of God is nowhere to be found as our country continues to deny the Lord.

Revelation 22: 

14 Blessed (happy and to be envied) are those who cleanse their garments, that they may have the authority and right to [approach] the tree of life and to enter through the gates into the city.

15 [But] without are the dogs and those who practice sorceries (magic arts) and impurity [the lewd, adulterers] and the murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and deals in falsehood (untruth, error, deception, cheating).

Dogs: those who practice sorceries, the lewd, the adulterers, murders, idolaters, and the liars.  Friends, it seems pretty clear who are the dogs. Yet how is this principle lived out?

Matthew 10: 

11 And into whatever town or village you go, inquire who in it is deserving, and stay there [at his house] until you leave [that vicinity].

12 As you go into the house, give your greetings and wish it well.

13 Then if indeed that house is deserving, let come upon it your peace [that is, freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin]. But if it is not deserving, let your peace return to you.

14 And whoever will not receive and accept and welcome you nor listen to your message, as you leave that house or town, shake the dust [of it] from your feet.

15 Truly I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Freedom from all the distressed that are experienced as the result of  sin: peace. You. Free. Unchained.

If you are not accepted, welcome and finally do not listen to your message, shake the dust off your feet. Interesting. There is not a time frame given. Or a patience…for the ungodly. Hmmm..let’s look further with Paul..

Acts 18:

After this [Paul] departed from Athens and went to Corinth.

There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently arrived from Italy with Priscilla his wife, due to the fact that Claudius had issued an edict that all the Jews were to leave Rome. And [Paul] went to see them,

And because he was of the same occupation, he stayed with them; and they worked [together], for they were tentmakers by trade.

But he discoursed and argued in the synagogue every Sabbath and won over [both] Jews and Greeks.

By the time Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was completely engrossed with preaching, earnestly arguing and testifying to the Jews that Jesus [is] the Christ.

But since they kept opposing and abusing and reviling him, he shook out his clothing [against them] and said to them, Your blood be upon your [own] heads! I am innocent [of it]. From now on I will go to the Gentiles (the heathen).

Now, here is some more guidance. This looks like weeks and weeks of Paul discoursing and arguing in the synagogue.  He was preaching, testifying BUT they kept opposing, abusing and reviling him. So, he did exactly what Jesus instructed and shook the dust off. Now, here’s one more:

Titus 3: 

10 [As for] a man who is factious [a heretical sectarian and cause of divisions], after admonishing him a first and second time, reject [him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him],

11 Well aware that such a person has utterly changed (is perverted and corrupted); he goes on sinning [though he] is convicted of guilt and self-condemned.

Here is another layer: men who are:

  • factious
  • heretical sectarian
  • cause of divisions

Admonishing at least twice, right? Reject him then. When you see that the person is perverted and corrupted, yet he continues to sin. Well, he is convicted. Let me add one more quote, now this is from Chuck Smith, pastor and commentator:

Don’t give that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and they turn again and rend you (Mat 7:6).

There are some people with which you just cannot share the things of God. You just shouldn’t even try to share the things of God with them. They will not respect them. They’ll just make fun of them. They will just trample them under their feet and then they’ll return to tear you. Now, how am I to know then who I can share and who I should not be sharing the truths of God with unless I make some kind of a judgement?

Now Peter was there listening to the Lord and it is interesting that he picks this up in his epistle, in his second epistle of Peter, he talks about as it has happened according, he’s talking about the false teachers and the wicked people and the false prophets and all. And he said, “And it is happen to them according to the true proverb, The dog has returned to his vomit; and the pig to his wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:22) They’ve turned back to their old natures and he uses the same dog and pig kind of a concept.

There are some people that just mock and ridicule the things of the spirit. And for me to take the precious things of God, those beautiful things that God’s done to my life and start relating them to him it’s, it’s just — you’re just taking pearls and casting them before swine. You are not to do that. Oh, but how in the world can I know? How can I walk that narrow without judging and yet not being a fool in taking the pearls and giving them to the swine? How in the world can I walk that? Well, the good Lord tells us in the next verse.

Ask, and it shall be given you (Mat 7:7);

I’m sorry this hasn’t gotten posted yet today. I’ve actually had a day at home and am getting back on track with my cleaning schedule. My life has not given me many chances to stay put. 🙂 God bless you and keep you and may His beautiful face shine upon you this day!



To judge or not to judge…

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Heartleaf Iceplant (Aptenia cordifolia) by Jj Harrison

Good morning, beloved!

It is so good to be in His presence this morning, surrounded by my boys and hubby. We are looking through the paper, shocked at more violence and mayhem in Wisconsin yesterday.  We are enjoying the quiet of a beautiful morning. The sun streaming through the windows. Starburst trying to find bones and balls to throw in our laps. She has a ball (she’s really not supposed to have) so it’s close to her mouth and she’s trying to sneaky by touching the ball lightly with her front paw to bring it to her mouth. We are all having a good laugh. It feels good to laugh.

Our hope does not rest in our circumstances. Our hope is not in what society can offer. Our hope can only be found in Him. Proclaim it this morning. God has blessed you. He has blessed me, my family. No matter our circumstances we look to faithful God to supply all our needs. When people ask how I doing, it’s hard for me to answer. Our circumstances overwhelm me and I don’t know how to start the conversation. Yet, I don’t lose hope and I know people care. My faith is buoyed by people’s care.  So as I turn to our study this morning, I thank you, once again, for reading these words, praying for us and if I can ever pray for you, please share.

Matthew 7: 

Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged andcriticized and condemned yourselves.

For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticizedand condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.

Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?

Or how can you say to your brother, Let me get the tiny particle out of your eye, when there is the beam of timber in your own eye?

You hypocrite, first get the beam of timber out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the tiny particle out of your brother’s eye.

Let’s remember Jesus’ audience here.  Matthew 5: 1

Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him.

Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

Jesus is speaking to the multitudes. This message is for all who hear.  So is he calling us a hypocrite? We have to be careful when we are speaking not to judge a situation, give our opinion and think that our words helped another. Ahem. Rather, in our conversation, should it not always start with the Spirit‘s guidance and prayer for words that glorify the King?

Hypocrite (hypokritēs); corresponding to the above, primarily denotes “one who answers;” then, “a stage-actor;” it was a custom for Greek and Roman actors to speak in large masks with mechanical devices for augmenting the force of the voice; hence the word became used metaphorically of “a dissembler, a hypocrite.

When we wear our masks, pretending everything is okay and pronounce judgement on others, we are in sin. Plain and simple.

Judge(krino): primarily denotes “to separate, select, choose;” hence, “to determine,” and so “to judge, pronounce judgment.” “The uses of this verb in the NT may be analyzed as follows: (a) to assume the office of a judge

Goodness, what qualifies me to judge? Nothing. Nothing at all. When I get to the end of my life and I meet my maker, my desire, my goal is to walk through my life with Him and we see together that through the power of His Spirit, I fought the urge to judge or condemn others. It has never been my place. Lord, forgive me!

Jesus knows our timbers. He knows the logs. Our eyes are not pure without the Spirit’s guidance and influence. The Word should be our guide in our conversations.

Alright, beloved, my day calls to me. Think, pray on. Pray on.