About Marie

Happily married to the same awesome guy for 47 years. Love God, reading, cats and travel. Avid crafter, especially counted cross stitch and crochet.

Do You Know God?

How well do you know God? Do you know Him to be in control, always just, wanting what is best for His children (us)? Do you know His Word, His ways, His desires? Do you know His promises?

Are you absolutely sure He is who He says He is, that He can do what He says He can, and that He will?  He does not lie!  He can do more and be more than we can begin to imagine.

Do you believe in His incredible love? That He wants what is best for you? The question then becomes why or why not?

There is absolutely nothing like knowing He cares about our puny lives.  We are rooted and established in His love (Eph. 3:17). He is not preoccupied, neglectful, or in any way self-centered. We are more value to Him than we think (Jeremiah 29:11, Matthew 10:29-31, Romans 5:8). He specifically chose us (1 Peter 2:9, Ephesians 1:4, Ephesians 2:10). We are His children (1 John 3:1).

He gave His best, His most loved Son for us so that in the belief of that alone, we could become His most valued possession. (John 3:16)

What will it take? Are you convinced of His love? If so then tell Him. Like this:

Oh, How He Loves You and Me

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

Chasing Vines – – Book Review

I love it when a book relates to my personal life and circumstances. (Don’t we all?) I am a farm girl/gardener at heart. I know the taste of milk straight from the cow, cracklins fresh from the hot grease, tomatoes, and green beans hand-picked. Yet, grapes, the how and why of them, and their relationship to my Christian growth, is a new concept.

Using John 15:1-8 Chasing Vines covers our growth as branches of the One Vine. She covers such topics as, personal growth, abiding, bearing fruit, pruning, fertilizing, manure, and much more. In her matchless style, she brings these eight verses to life, giving insight into the growth process of the grape as it relates to our own lives as Christians.

Beth’s comment, “I’m pretty sure most people who serve an unseen God for enough years, trying their danged hardest to obey His inaudible directions and love His confounding people with their own contorted hearts, live a quarter-inch from sheer madness much of the time,” (pg. 56) resounded with me.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re a celebrity preacher/teacher or sojourn with a small group of Believers, people are people.  They’re difficult, demanding, denying, disturbing, dusty, deliberate, defying…  I get it.

Throughout the book, the reader is made aware of the need to be a good fruit producer.  Ms. Moore contends it is not only possible but probable that the branches (believers and unbelievers, alike) can produce bitter and bad fruit.  Her solution: Galatians 5:22-23. If these 9 qualities are in any way being compromised it’s bad fruit.  If, on the other hand, they are supported, then the fruit is good.

Although I highly recommend this book, and since this is a review, I must say that I did find a bit of insensitivity to the elderly in her discussion of pruning.  From time to time I also found way more discussion of a concept than was necessary.  But as I said before, all in all, all of it, is worth it.

I want to leave you with these words, directly from Miss Beth, “If you’re in Christ, He is your true Vine, whether you realize it or not. But a whole new way of flourishing begins when you know it. When you count on it. When you live like it. When you let go of the vines you thought were giving you life.” (pg. 129)

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

WORSHIPFUL WAYS

A Satisfied Spirit

The words of a well know praise song by Tim Hughes have been ringing in my heart for days.

Here I am to Worship – Worship is not about me.  It is about God.

Here I am to bow down – Time on my knees is necessary to reminding me of my position as a Believer.  Although I am much loved by the Holy One I am not Him.

Here I am to say that You’re my God – There can be no other god in my life.  This includes stuff, people, pets, food, clothes…That is not to say I’m not to have it but whatever in my life is taking His place, has to go.

You’re altogether lovely – You have allowed me to discover You in the beauty of ALL Your creation.

Altogether holy – Completely set aside for Your plan and not able to be less than who…

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The Promises of God – Storybook Bible – Review

The Promises of God Storybook Bible is not just another children’s Bible but one that proves God is always in control, can always be trusted, always loves His children, always provides, always cares, always…

It’s very interesting to read children’s versions of the Bible, especially after having read and taught the ‘adult’ version for so many years.  Because God’s Word is alive and active, any retelling of the story should reiterate those truths that we know so well and allow ‘new’ truths to become real.  For instance, why did Joseph cry when he saw his brothers again.  We’re often taught that it was because he missed them so much, but could it also be that even though he had forgiven them their betrayal still hurt.

God’s sovereignty is a consistent theme throughout the stories, helping children (actually, anyone who reads it) understand that God is in total control of all aspects of life.

I’m always cautious with Paul’s part of the story and presenting it in such a way that children understand that he is being used by God, through his writings, to help the Believers, both then and now, understand God’s Word, Jesus’ life and sacrifice, and how it applies to our everyday lives. Jennifer Lyell does this beautifully. Check out his quote from her words on 1 & 2 Thessalonians.

Paul wrote these letters to the church in Thessalonica thousands of years ago. But God put them in the Bible because they’re also promises for us today, and they have been for followers of Jesus from the beginning.  We are all to wait for Him to come back and not worry about when it will be because God knows the perfect time.  And we are to listen only to teachers who teach what matches the things Jesus taught.  And we should encourage one another to work hard telling people about Jesus like Paul did! (pg. 255)

I shared this book with a delightful family to read and review for me.  Their comments were very positive with only one suggestion which I found quite interesting.  They felt that sometimes the titles were misleading and should have better matched the story and the concept of God’s Promises.

I would have liked to see some of Mrs. Lyell’s stories of the other New Testament writers, like James and Peter, included in this book.

I highly recommend this book.  Jennifer Lyell is an awesome storyteller. It will be an excellent resource for family devotions, Children’s Sunday School and small group teachers.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from B & H Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Should you click on a link and purchase this book I receive no remuneration.

 

 

6 Biblical Ways To Have A Life That God Will Bless

Every time I read through the Bible  I find new and usable insights.  Isaiah is telling the Israelites to get their act together because their lives are not what God expects. In the middle of Chapter 33, I came across six solid, Biblical ways to have a life that God will bless.  (BTW, I don’t try to read through in a year.  I like to do it at my own pace, without the pressure and stress of specific assignments.)

Raise your standard of living

1 – Live right.  Simply said make the right choices.  Know God’s voice and really listen.  As Proverbs 3:5 says, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding.

2 – Speak the truth.  The concept of truth is in so many verses but my favorite is in the 10 Commandments.  Exodus 20:16 says no false witness.  In other words, don’t lie.

3 – Despise exploitation.   How about some synonyms here; misuse, abuse, unfair treatment, oppression.  Take a stand on these issues.  This world is full of people who mistreat others.  Don’t let yourself get caught up in thinking your way is the only way.  Only God’s way is the only way!

4 – Refuse bribes.   If you ______ , then I _________.  Bribes are not always about monetary gain.  Actually, in the simplest way to explain, a bribe tries to get a person what they want by whatever means they can.

5 – Reject violence.  This one is so simple, but so hard to accomplish in this world.  Can you walk away from television, computers, movies, books, magazines, newspapers?  Can you walk away, not read, not listen.  It will be hard, but if you want to raise your personal standard of life then you may have to take a serious, personal inventory of what you are reading, seeing, and hearing. Then make the hard choice to reject violence.

6 – Avoid evil amusements.  Entertainment, pleasure, interest. Essentially we are to avoid those activities that cause us to sin or fall into sin.  There are several lists of these types of activities.  Check out 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:3-6, or Revelation 22:12-15.  Then do what you have to.

Your standard of living and my standard of living are two different things.  I think we can agree that if we add these six to that standard we can be ‘safe and stable’, ‘nourished and satisfied.”

Oh, LORD, I live in this world.  I know what You want. Help me to take a stand.  Help me to model what is right.  Plant your Word in my heart, nourish me with it, guide me to a healthy, satisfying, moral life.  Make it so in Jesus’ name.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Perservere

Each year I choose “One Word” to help focus and define the days ahead.  This time I was quite challenged.  I had prayed and thought and talked and listened and waited.  Finally, the word was made plain to me.  It would be a year to perservere.

I was quite surprised at the many different words that mean the same thing as I looked for the One Verse that would underscore 2020 for me.  I chose James 1:4 and found that persevere can be translated as patience, endurance, steadfastness, strength, and wait(ing).

Although the NIV is my preferred translation for memorization (as seen above) the VOICE Bible with its preceding verses was quite interesting.

The MESSAGE, another favorite of mine adds to the meaning, also.

The New Living Translation says it like this,

It looks like I’m going to have an interesting and busy year. Hopefully, the joys and the challenges will be tempered with a new sense of perseverance.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

The Ark and the Arc

The Jesse Tree – The Ark and the Arc

Time has passed since Adam and Eve.  The earth was becoming populated as God had commanded but, it was a violent, perverted place.  God was not happy at all with what He was seeing.  He had to do something about it.

He called on Noah, the only righteous person He could find.  God told him to build an ark.  Noah has no idea what an ark is but, he’s willing to do what is asked because he trusts God totally.  So, he builds the ark and puts a set of each kind of animal in it as well as his wife (Zipporah), children, and their wives.

And it rains and rains and rains some more.  The entire earth is covered with water.  All the valleys are full.  All the mountains are submerged.  40 days and nights.  No one but Noah, his family, and the animals are left alive.

Then God begins the process of drying it all out.  When everything is ready Noah opens the doors and they walk upon the earth again.  It’s a new earth.  It has new grass, new trees, new everything, including, a special promise with something never seen before.

A rainbow.  A red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet arch in the sky.  Did you know it’s not an arch but a full circle?  All we can see is part of it.  It is not only a physical reminder of God’s promise never to destroy the earth by water again, but it also represents the total perfection of God, His love, and eternity.  It is never-ending!

Genesis 6:5-22

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

The Jesse Tree is all about knowing the people God put in place to point to the birth of the one who would save us all.

That Darn Snake

Adam and Eve were enjoying the garden (Genesis 3) when a talking ‘snake’ approached them.  Have you known a couple of those?  I’ll bet you have.

How about the ‘friend’ who talks you into doing something you know you shouldn’t be doing.  Like, just run the red light or stop sign.  Or, no one will ever know if you cheat on …  How about, I know it’s late but just one more … Gossip, put-downs, bullying…

Rationalizing can get us into all kinds of trouble.  And yes, both Adam and Eve started the whole ‘passing the buck’, it’s not my fault, the other person made me do it.  Some no’s are meant to be no.

Have you ever thought about the fact that Adam and Eve had everything?  By God’s design, they had each other, the perfect home, great health, plentiful food and water, God’s presence…  It wasn’t enough.  It never is.  There’s always something more, isn’t there?

That’s what that darn snake wanted them to think.  That it wasn’t enough.  That they could have more.  That God doesn’t always know everything.  In fact, the snake wanted to replace God in their thoughts and lives.

Now, here’s the thing.  Any time we consider replacing God with anything, good or bad, there’s going to be a consequence.  That’s what they didn’t take into account.  The fruit looked good, smelled good, probably even tasted good.  But, God had said no!

Can you imagine the scene when they heard God walking in the garden that evening?  He was looking for them.  He wanted to talk to them.  So, here’s the rub.  It’s impossible to hide from God.  He knows where you are, always.  He knew where Adam and Eve were but, He wanted them to come to Him.

And they did, dressed in leaves.  “What have you done?”  Adam said she made me do it.  Eve said the snake made me do it.  The snake snickered at the whole thing.

God put them out of the garden.  You know the rest of the story, right?  Adam would have to work for all the things that had been his.  Eve would have painful births and would desire her husband.  Both were banished from the garden.

But God knew the rest of the story.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

The Jesse Tree is all about knowing the people God put in place to point to the birth of the one who would save us all.

The Creation

Look at God’s Work!

In the beginning, there was nothing but water and God.

Then, God said, let there be light.  He knew the light meant nothing without darkness.  So he created that, too.  He separated the two and called them day and night, evening and morning.  The first day.

On the second day, God separated the water.  Some on the earth and some in the sky. He also determined there to be dry ground and separated it from the water.  Now, we have land and sea.  A place ready for the next day of work.

Here we are at the morning of the third day.  God tells the land to produce plants and trees that bear seeds and fruit.  And so it is.

God, on the fourth day, puts the sun, moon, and stars in the heavens and sets them in motion.  He knows the plants will need sunshine to produce as He intended.

Now, He creates birds and fish, in the sea and on the land.  He looks out over it all and says, “It is good!”  It’s the end of day 5.

Day 6 is going to be a busy one.  It’s all about creating livestock and animals that move along the ground.  Then He creates mankind.  Man and woman.  He makes them look just like Him.  He tells them to rule and subdue the earth.  He tells them what they can eat.  He looks around and says,  “It is good.”

Then God rests.

The Jesse Tree is all about knowing the genealogy of Jesus.  The people God put in place to point to the birth of the one who would save us all.  Adam and Eve were the first with many more to follow.

Blessings to you and yours!

Part 1 of the Jesse Tree Devotional

Fresh Start Bible Review

As a Small Group, Bible Study leader I was (and am) very excited about this new resource, the Fresh Start Bible.

There are many kinds of study Bibles. Some are historical and archeological. Some are topical. Some are word referenced, giving the reader specific guidance as to meaning usage. Some are paraphrased into modern language usage for better understanding. All are intended to point the Believer to a better understanding of His Word and how it applies to daily life. The Fresh Start Bible is no exception. Using the New Living Translation it has hundreds of articles written by various people that enhance and provide understanding. Several short ‘side-bars’ provoke deeper thought about known concepts and stories. It includes many articles about questions that both the new and seasoned believers might have. Personal comments, historical facts, and suggestions for personal, everyday use abound.

I decided to use this Bible as my main resource in preparing and teaching a series of lessons on how the Tabernacle of the Old Testament applies to contemporary worship. It was helpful and informative, leading not only me but also my fellow learners to new insights and thoughts about the subject.

In a future upgrade to this work, I would suggest more ‘side-bars’, commentary and articles for the Old Testament portion.

I highly recommend this resource for both Bible study leaders as well as learners.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy free from Gateway Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”