All One Body We

All one bodyFor as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)

My husband and I like to tease each other that we are both “missing parts” 🙂 I have had my gallbladder removed (cholecystectomy), and he had his thyroid removed (thyroidectomy) – the suffix “-ectomy” is from the Greek word for the “act of cutting out”. Now, our bodies still function, but not as well as they would if we still had all our parts. There are some things that our head (or our mind) might want to do, but we just can’t (at least not without taking medication!)…

I find it fascinating that the Lord refers to His Church as the “Body of Christ”, and that every born-again believer is a “member” of that Body. The word “member” means “a part belonging to a whole”! Isn’t that wonderful?! Christ is the Head, and we are the Body – we are to work together in harmony to accomplish whatever our Head asks us to do. Every member has their specific job as it pleased the Lord to determine – just like the human body has hands, feet, eyes, ears, noses (1 Corinthians 15-18). So, when one member is not working properly, or has “cut out” entirely, the Body of Christ will still function, but not to its fullest potential.

This makes me think that I don’t want to be the one that causes the body to be dysfunctional. But, I know that when I am in sin, and am ignoring the Holy Spirit’s leading in my life and going my own way – someone else has to fill in where I “cut out”. Or, I may have to fill in sometimes where others have “cut out”, and then I get overwhelmed because I can’t keep up with it all. (I know, sometimes we take on unnecessary stuff in our lives and then we can’t accomplish the necessary!)

However, when the Body of Christ works together and everyone is doing what God has called them to do, it is a beautiful thing!! I know – I’ve seen it happen many times at my own Church!

You know how, when you stub your toe, your whole body reacts – your mouth yells, your hand grabs your toe, your body jumps up and down?? Or, when you hear some beautiful music and your eyes fill with tears, you may get goosebumps all over your body, and you feel warm and fuzzy inside?? Well, as a Body, we weep when other member weep, and we rejoice with them when they rejoice.

And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26)

So, as you go to Church, as you pray for other believers, as you go about serving and ministering – remember, we are all one body, and we are doing it all for our Head, the LORD Jesus Christ, that He may be glorified through us.

Let’s remember Whose body we belong to, and let’s take care of that body

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

 Like a mighty army moves the Church of God;

Brothers, we are treading where the Saints have trod.

We are not divided; All one body we:

One in hope and doctrine, One in charity.”

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Bountiful Blessings!

Psalm 13.6I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” Psalm 13:6  

Dear Readers,

This time of year, as Thanksgiving approaches, we all tend to start thinking about things that we are thankful for. The Lord touched my heart with Psalm 13:6 a few months ago after I had surgery and so many people reached out to me, I was overwhelmed with the bountiful blessings I received from the hands of those who love me. But as I meditated on this verse, I realized that the Lord has dealt bountifully to me in so many ways, and I have no cause to complain about anything!

First and foremost, He has redeemed me! The Scripture is clear that “ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Because of our sinful state, every human being deserves nothing more than to spend eternity in Hell because our Just and Holy God cannot be in the presence of sin. BUT, Praise be to God, He made a Way through the Lord Jesus Christ, that if we believe on Christ, on Who He is and what He did on the cross to pay for our sins, we can be redeemed (the price was paid to pay the debt), or saved (Romans 10:9). I am “born-again” into God’s family – GLORY HALLELUJAH!!! If THAT was where it ended, if THAT was all God has done for me, that’s HUGE!! That’s enough!! What a bountiful blessing!!

But there’s more…

He has given me a Church family, the body of Christ, who care for me, support me, encourage me. We all work together to serve Christ and to do His work here on earth. (My next post is going to be about the body of Christ.) What a bountiful blessing!!

But there’s more…

He has given me a husband, children, grandchildren, a family who loves me and who I love and care for and cherish while I am here on this earth!! What a bountiful blessing!!

And there is so much more…

I live in the USA – Land of the free and home of the brave!

I have money in the bank!
I have food in my pantry.

I have a roof over my head.

I have an education.

I have clothes to wear.

I have furniture in my house.

I have electricity,

I have running water.

I have hot water.

I have a phone.

I have the internet.

And so on … and so on … and so on …

What bountiful blessings!

I am so blessed, and I think that if you count your blessings, you would have to conclude that YOU have bountiful blessings, too!!

Happy Thanksgiving! Have a bountifully blessed holiday!

Love,

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

To our bountiful Father above, We will offer our tribute of praise, For the glorious gift of His love, And the blessings that hallow our days.” (S. F. Bennett)

Let’s Take A Walk

walk 1That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:10)

About a month ago, my husband and I took an amazing 10-day trip to Italy — we visited Rome, Florence, Venice, and the Cinque Terre on the west coast. We saw a lot of wonderful sights, and did a LOT of walking. I figured out that we averaged over 5 miles a day and over 30 flights of stairs per day (thanks to my FitBit :)). It was a trip-of-a-lifetime!!!

Here’s how our walking went:

  • Sometimes we just strolled along, enjoying just looking at everything, and just being there

  • Sometimes we were in a hurry to get somewhere, and the other tourists got in our way, there were so many people in some areas!

  • Sometimes we had to climb steep steps to get to the top of a tower or hill, it was hard work and ourIMG_3615 legs were tired and we were tempted to quit, but the view from on top was spectacular!

  • At the end of the first few days we were sore, and tired, but we felt we had accomplished a lot.

  • Sometimes we stopped walking, and we sat at an outside table at a restaurant, enjoying some Italian tasty treat, sipping cappuccinos and being thankful that we could have this time together.

  • Sometimes we got out our guide book and followed its suggestions on where to stay, where to eat, what to see, and special walks we could take in at specific town.

  • Sometimes we would stop to talk to people and ask them where they were from, and, in turn, we’d tell them where we are from.

We had many walks to remember, and I snapped MANY photos along the way, to help us

remember our wonderful trip even years from now, when our memories of it are fading.

Since we came back, I have tried to keep walking because I feel like we conditioned our bodies

with all that walking, and I didn’t want to lose the progress I had made.

Now, I have recently noticed how often the Lord calls our relationship with Him our “walk”, and there are MANY verses that refer to our process of sanctification this way. I think I know why: As I look back over my musings about ‘How our walking went’, I noticed a lot of similarities between our walking in Italy, and our walking wit the Lord:

  • Sometimes our walk with the Lord is enjoyable, in fact many times, it is so comforting to spend time with Him, and just enjoy being there with Him, knowing Who He is.

  • Sometimes, though, we get in a hurry, we want quick answers to our problems, we want to get where we’re going, and we get annoyed by the other people who are traveling on the same road with us (even fellow Christians!).

  • Sometimes our walk is rough and steep, and we are tempted to quit, but if we persevere, and overcome that obstacle, we can look back and see how the Lord was there with us, and that view is spectacular!

  • Sometimes, we are tired and hurting, but God often accomplishes His work in us through suffering.

  • It’s good to take time in our walk with the Lord to just sit still, be thankful for Who He is, and what He has done, and drink in His goodness.

  • It’s also good to get out His guide book – the Bible – for directions on how to live our lives, and how to have a special walk with Him.

  • And, along our walk with Him, we should stop and talk to others, and share with them the reason for the hope that is in us – we know why we are here and where we came from.

  • And once we get used to walking with the Lord, we don’t want to backslide to our previous walk, we want to keep walking with the Lord.

I hope you are taking a walk with the Lord, and that you are enjoying that walk.walk 2

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

All you need is LOVE

Heart treeAnd thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:30)

Life has been so busy, I fully intended to write this post soon after and as a follow up to my post, Idol Talk, which I just realized I posted a month ago!

I’m sure you all can identify.

So, going back to my post of a month ago – remember I said that to me, it seems that all sin is a form of idolatry? Because, idolatry is when we turn to anything else but God through His Son Jesus Christ for fulfillment or satisfaction in this life.

So, what is the answer to this “sin which does so easily beset us”? The answer is the next verse in Hebrews 12:2 – “Looking unto Jesus”! When we look to Jesus for fulfillment or satisfaction in this life, we allow His Holy Spirit to guide and control us, and when we “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16), we will not fulfil the lust of the flesh. A little later in that chapter 5 of Galatians, Paul lists the works of the flesh, most of which we talked about in my previous post, and then he lists the fruit of the Spirit in verses 22 & 23.

Fruit”, like grapes, is what grows on a branch that is connected to a vine. That vine, through the branch, sends the nourishment, water, and the genetic makeup to that fruit in order to determine what kind of fruit it will be. If the branch does it’s job, and stays connected to the vine, it will produce good fruit. Spiritual “fruit” is what grows when we are abiding in Christ, the True Vine, we are the branches that will bear much good fruit if we stay connected and yielded to Christ through His Holy Spirit Who dwells in us once we are saved or born again (John 15).

So, let’s look briefly at those sins we talked about last time, and see how if we love God and walk in His Spirit, we can show forth the fruit of the Spirit which is the opposite of those sins – or, the antidote.

Remember: Greed, envy, lust, sloth, gluttony, anger, and pride?

The Spirit-filled opposite of Greed would be Love, self-sacrificing, agape love. Being content with what you have, and generously sharing it with others. “…It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

The antidote for envy is gentleness (kindness) and joy with thankfulness, helping others and putting their needs above your own, receiving the joy that you can only have from giving of yourself, and being thankful and content with what God has given you. Philippians 2:2 & puts it this way, “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves”.

Goodness is the spiritual answer to Lust, Control your passion to desire more for yourself and use it to serve and help others. Let God’s goodness fill you as you yield more and more of yourself to His Holy Spirit. Renew your mind with His Word, meditating on it constantly and His goodness will fill you and flow out from you. Romans 12:2 saysAnd be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

If you feel slothful, ask the Lord to fill you with patience and faith to see the end results that come after putting in much hard work, and also with zeal and diligence to do a good job. Many times our hard work is not rewarded with instant gratification, but God encourages us in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Overcome Gluttony with temperance, letting God control your desires so you can do what pleases Him, and not feed your flesh. Be healthy in body so that you are fit to serve God and others, so you are not limited by being overweight and out of shape. “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things…But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:25,27).

Anger is eradicated with longsuffering, faith, gentleness, and peace. Take time to understand the needs and desires of others before acting and speaking. Forgive as you have been forgiven. A soft answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1), so keep a soft answer on your lips to keep you from angry words. Be patient and wait on the Lord for His timing and working in situations.

And of course, Pride is overthrown by humility or meekness. Get rid of that inflated ego, after all, everything we have and are was given to us by God (1 Corinthians 4:7). Replace it with a servant’s heart like Jesus’ (Matthew 20:28). Glory in God not yourself, edifying others, not yourself. Galatians 6:14,But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”

So, fellow Christians, let’s yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit who lives inside us, so that He increases and we decrease (John 3:30).

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

The root determines the fruit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Precious Jewels

Precious jewels“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her … She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:10,11)

Let’s imagine for a moment that a family has entrusted a banker with a box full of beautiful, expensive jewels. They have been in the family for generations and are priceless and irreplaceable. Now imagine that, rather than quietly locking those jewels in the bank’s vault, the banker puts them out in the middle of the bank’s main lobby in a glass case with no lock on the door. He takes great pains to display them very attractively and put up colorful signs that draw the attention of all who walk by. Would that be wise? Do you think that the owners of those jewels would appreciate it? I think that we would all certainly agree that that would be the height of foolishness and that the owners of the jewels would be horrified.

Can you see the parallels between those jewels and you? Do you realize that those jewels represent your body? Your jewels also belong to another and should be kept safely locked up for him. If you are single, would your future husband wish you to be careless with these treasures? If you are married, do you think your husband wants you to be careless with his treasure? Would he enjoy knowing how many other men had seen, been attracted to, and enjoyed gazing at them; to know how many other men had dreamed of owning what was rightfully his alone; to know of the potential risk to the safety of his jewels? I think we can safely answer all of these questions with a resounding, “No!”

Proverbs 31 asks “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her … She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Let us be such women, whose “price is far above rubies!” Let us not present ourselves as being cheap and of little worth, but rather as those who have been bought with a great price (1 Corinthians 6:20). Protect the treasures that belong to your husband, so that his heart may safely trust in you. Do your husband good all the days of your life; even if you don’t know yet who he might be.

Think again of the analogy of the jewels. Most likely the majority of the people passing by those unguarded jewels in the bank lobby would not be thieves; but more than likely most people would be drooling at the thought of owning those jewels! They would be dreaming of what they could do if only those jewels belonged to them; they would feel tempted by how easily within reach those jewels were; they might start to imagine how they could actually go about taking those jewels and how much they would enjoy owning them. Many would stand and stare at the jewels, admiring and enjoying their beauty. Most people would not actually take the jewels, but many would entertain thoughts of “what if?” Perhaps, eventually, a man who had never really thought he would steal something would be overcome by just how easily in reach those jewels were and would give in to the temptation to steal one. “Surely it would not be wrong to take one; they must really not be all that valuable–after all, they are sitting here out on display and unguarded!” Or, perhaps a professional jewelry thief was passing by and, with no qualms of conscience, simply stole them all away, leaving the owners devastated by a loss that could never be recovered!!

Do you know that when you dress in a revealing, sensual way, you are treating your jewels as carelessly as that banker treated those entrusted to him? You are sending the message that your jewels really aren’t all that valuable and are free for the taking; you could even be catching the eye of a “jewel thief”!

You owe it to the Lord who has bought you with a great price to dress as though you belong to Him and not to the Enemy. You owe it to yourself to dress as though you are not cheap and free for the taking, but are a valuable child of God. You owe it to your future husband to save yourself for him in every way.

I hope this little analogy has been helpful to you and has prompted you to examine yourself and how you are treating your “precious jewels”. You are His jewel!

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

“And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels” (Malachi 3:17)

Idol Talk

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:21) idol

Dear Readers,

My daughter just came home from a summer internship /missions trip to Guam, and as a joke to her brother who is just finishing seminary, she brought him back this little idol. Of course, it’s not a problem to him, he’s not going to bow down to it or worship it, that would make him an idolater.

Do you think of yourself as an idolater?

I don’t like to think of myself as one, I know I don’t bow down and worship statues, but, let’s talk about idols. I have been studying sins and virtues these last few weeks, and have come to a very convicting conclusion:

All sin is a form of idolatry.

So (talking of idols) idolatry is turning to anything other than God for our happiness, satisfaction and contentment. Now, I can’t speak for you, but I know myself and I know we humans all fight the same battles, and I know that my biggest idol is “ME”- what makes ME happy!

Think about the following sins:

Greed – If only I had more money, material things, could go shopping and buy whatever I want, then I would be happy!

Envy – If only I had the house, husband, money, lifestyle, children, or body that so-and-so has, then I would be happy!

Lust – If only I had my sexual or physical desires satisfied, then I would be happy!

Sloth -If only I could relax and watch TV, play video games, read, or sleep all day, then I’d be happy!

Gluttony – If I could just get my fill of that delicious food, then I’d be happy!

Anger – If people would just do what I want them to do, the way I want it done, then I’d be happy!

Pride – If people would just give me the respect, admiration, and attention I want, then I’d be happy!

Do you see how all of these sins make it “all about ME” instead of all about Him? THAT’S idolatry! They are all works of the flesh. This is what happens when we let the flesh rule us, the flesh takes a natural need or passion and takes it to excessive, abusive levels. When I turn to anything else but God through His Son Jesus Christ for fulfillment or satisfaction in this life, it is sin- IDOLATRY! God’s Word tells us to “walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16).

And the sad thing is that all these things don’t satisfy us, oh they may for a short time, but it’s never enough, we always want MORE! Jesus is the only One who satisfies our longings because what we all are really longing for is Him! Wow! That went full circle, didn’t it? It’s no wonder John ended his epistle of 1 John with a warning about idols! (See 1 John 5:21 above)

So, how do I overcome this idolatry that is rampant inside me?

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin”. Romans 7:24-25

By Turning to Jesus, being close to Him, and allowing myself to be complete in Him, letting Him be my portion, and the fulfillment of my needs; and then allowing His Holy Spirit to work in and through me to serve and minister to others.

As the songwriter so aptly put it:

Complete in Thee—each want supplied, And no good thing to me denied;

Since Thou my portion, Lord, wilt be, I ask no more, complete in Thee.”

Next time I’ll talk about some Christ-like virtues and how, by walking in the Spirit, He will be manifested in us and these are the antidotes to that sin that so easily besets us (Hebrews 12:1).

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

When we talk about idols, our biggest idol is ourSELF

Eagle or Buzzard?

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. (I Corinthians 10:12-14)

Dear Readers:

IMG_9617
Perched high above the city

 

Have you ever watched bald eagles? They are a majestic bird. They seem to exude an air of royalty, honor, virtue, beauty, and power. Whenever we see an eagle around here in Southeastern Pennsylvania it is a rare sight and people stop to observe and take photos. It’s no wonder our forefathers chose the Bald Eagle to be our national bird. It is symbolic of our national pride and honor. The eagle is featured on many state flags, national emblems and logos. Outwardly, it looks like an impressive bird, they have the appearance of beauty and perfection.

We recently took an amazing trip to Juneau, Alaska. It was the trip of a lifetime! We marveled at the glories of God’s creation: The mountains, glaciers, trees, wildlife, MOUNTAINS everywhere! We did a lot of exploring, learning, and observing the local scenery and habitats. One of the things that amazed us was the number of bald eagles! Apparently, Juneau is one of the most densely eagle-populated areas in the world! They were beautiful, we never got tired of watching them soar overhead, or taking photos of them perched on different objects. But we noticed something…

Those eagles were not so regal, in fact, upon close inspection, they were not perfect creatures! Whilst we did see them swooping down to the water and snatching fish from their natural habitat, they were also scavengers, along the lines of those buzzards we see by the roads here in Pennsylvania, chewing on roadkill! We saw them by the waterside, and in the dump, looking for some dead critters to eat. The locals call them “beach varmints” or the “state pigeon” –

IMG_0286
Scavenging a dead salmon

because they’re so prolific.

Ben Franklin, who wanted the national bird to be the turkey, had some things to say about the eagle, In a letter to his daughter, he wrote: “I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen as the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly.” One of our tour guides said that it is not unusual to find several small dog collars in an eagles’ nest — and you know what that means!

 

So, while Bald Eagles have the illusion of being perfect and honorable and majestic, they have a carnal side. And so do we! As Christians, we tend to try to appear perfect and honorable. But the truth is, we have a carnal or flesh nature that we constantly battle. We are tempted to go hang out by the “dump” or “by the roadside” looking for scraps from the world around us, hoping nobody sees us, when we could be soaring like eagles. We are not perfect. We should never think we are. When we see someone who is down and out, we should think, “there but for the grace of God go I”, and lend a helping hand. I hope someone would extend the same grace and mercy to me. Let’s not fool ourselves.

It is only by God’s grace and helping hand that we can escape a temptation that Satan puts in our way. God WILL allow things in our lives that we can’t handle (by ourselves), so that we will turn to Him for the “way of escape” that He and only He can offer. If there is any good in us, it comes from God, so give Him the glory:

For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Cor. 4:7)

I am thankful that our God is a God of second chances (and third and fourth…), that He loves me unconditionally. He highly values humility, and He will humble me if I don’t humble myself, so I need to be sure that I am NOT prideful and glorying in myself as if I had something to do with it, anyways. He will cause me to “mount up with wings as eagles” in His time, and in His way.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

So, reader, let’s choose to be like the Eagles, but remember that we are still buzzards without God’s enabling grace, and let’s be ever thankful to Him for that Amazing Grace.

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

And it’s all because of God’s Amazing Grace…         

IMG_0068
“Lady Baltimore”  a female who was injured and cannot live on her own in the wild.

          Here’s a few more eagle photos for you to enjoy…

 

 

IMG_0282
This guy was sitting by the water looking for salmon
IMG_9604
This couple lived on an old fuel dock right outside our hotel room window.

The BIG Picture

Memorial DayThe counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.”  (Psalm 33:11-13)

 On Monday, my husband and I went to the Kennett Square Memorial Day Parade and watched the various bands and groups go by, our Church had a float and several vintage tractors owned by a Church member in it, there were also a couple of local High School Marching Bands. They reminded me of when I was in High school, when I was a flag-twirler in the marching band. We went to every football game and did the half-time show, we also marched in several competitions around the state, as well as this same Memorial Day Parade (many, many years ago).

Our band director would choreograph each part and work with us for a few weeks in the summer at band camp: Every day, all day, marching outside in the hot summer sun, practicing, practicing, practicing. Sometimes in our separate groups – the band, the flags, the pikes, the baton twirlers. Then eventually all together. We all had to memorize our parts and routines, and then we all we went out on the field and somehow it all came together – eight steps forward, eight steps in place, eight steps to the right, eight steps to the left, diagonally to the right, diagonally to the left, etc. etc. To each of us it was all about memorizing our little part, doing it all right and at the right time, not tripping, not messing up, and making sure that we are in time with those around us and with the beat of the drummers. We did what we were told, we smiled and marched. We just had to obey our Band Director and trust that he knew what he was doing! To the audience up in the grandstands, they got a different view – they looked down from up high and could see the patterns, they could see the intricate patterns we made and the words we spelled, they could see the BIG PICTURE!!

Isn’t that the way life is most of the time? We only see our own little part – our “music and steps”. We try to do what’s required of us, we try to keep up with those around us, we try not to trip, and not to mess up. We smile and keep on marching on. We know in our head that God is “choreographing” everything for our good and His glory, but it’s hard sometimes, because we don’t see the BIG PICTURE! Sometimes we wonder what in the world is going on?? Sometimes it’s hard to trust and obey.

That’s where faith in our AMAZING GOD comes in! We have to trust that He is sovereign and He is good. If He was only SOVEREIGN – He can do whatever He wants whenever He wants because He has absolute power – that would be SCARY!! But, because He is also GOOD – He loves us, and will only allow what is best for us into our lives– then we can trust in His great Love and care for us. We can trust that He will work “…all things together for good to them who love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28) – THAT’S ME!!

Most of the time we do not see the big picture, but it gives me great comfort to know that God does, and that He sees all, knows all, is everywhere, and can do anything. My job is to trust Him and to obey what I know He has told me to do. Take the next step as it is revealed to me and leave the rest to Him. There is nothing too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:17). He can work things out so much better than we could in our tiny, ignorant, finite minds. Here are some great verses that remind me of that:

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8)

Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.” (Jeremiah 32:17)

 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” (Psalm 115:3)

I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.” (Job 42:2)

Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors. Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: … yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isaiah 46:8-10)

I hope this has been a blessing to you, to keep on trusting and obeying as God “choreographs” our lives for our good and His glory.

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus.

Consider the Lilies

Lily1Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? … Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” (Matthew 6:27-29)

Are you a worrier? Do you find yourself going over and over in your head something that has happened, or something that is going to happen? I have to admit that sometime I do!

Worrying is not only unproductive, unhealthy, and causes undue stress, but do you know that God considers worrying a SIN?

The term “taking thought” in Matthew 6:27 is from the Greek word merimnáō , which Strong’s defines as: “to go to pieces” because pulled apart (in different directions), like the force exerted by sinful anxiety (worry). It is the same word used for “careful”, like Martha in Luke 10:41, and also in Philippians 4:6. James 1:8 tells us that a double-minded person (one who is worried and pulled apart by anxiety) is unstable in all her ways – trusting God one minute, not trusting Him the next. I know we all worry at times, and we think that we can’t help it. But, HELP IT!

Jesus tells us to “consider the lilies”. The word “consider” is the Greek word, katamanthánō, which Strong’s says means: to properly, thoroughly (exactly) learn; to grasp something conclusively by considering it carefully. So, God wants us to study the lilies, and learn from them. Well, the lilies don’t worry about how they look, or how they will get water or food, and look at how beautiful they are! God takes care of them, and the sparrows, and He certainly can take care of His children who are made in His image, and who He sent His Son to die for because of His Great love for us. We are valuable to Him. Especially when we have put all our trust in Him for our salvation and have received the FREE GIFT He offers.

In my Ladies Bible Study group we are going through a book called, The Secret of Contentment by Juanita Purcell, and the topic this week was “Learning to be Content without Worrying”. It was very convicting.

The author tells us that someone has called worry the “God can’t” disease, because God has promised us that all things are possible with Him (Luke 1:37), and that if we don’t believe God we make Him a liar (1 John 5:10) and are saying “God can’t”. So, when we worry that things won’t turn out well, we are calling God an impotent liar! WHOA! I don’t want to do that!

She also let us know that worry is NOT a disease. A disease is a disorder of structure or function in our body with specific signs and symptom, it is destructive and makes us sick, but we CAN’T help it! Worry DOES make us sick, but it is a choice, it is self-induced, so we CAN help it! So, HELP IT!

Worry distorts our thinking, disrupts our work, disquiets our soul, disturbs our body, disfigures our face, destroys our poise, depresses our friends, demoralizes our life, defeats our faith, and debilitates our energy.” William A. Ward

Worry means that we don’t trust God to work things out for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28), and He tells us NOT to do it, in fact, He tells us to pray and be thankful, and then He will give us peace (Philippians 4:6,7) –  if we don’t we are disobeying God, which is sin!

My favorite passage that we looked at for how to overcome worry is in Isaiah 40:27-29, and 41:10,13), here is my paraphrase of it:

Why are you worrying as if you have to handle this all by yourself?

Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?

The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth and everything in between is with you, holding you by the hand! He will never get tired, He will never leave you, He will give you the strength you need when you need it most, He will help you! So don’t be afraid, just give it all to Him, He’s in control of it all anyway!

There was a cute little song that was popular a few years ago called, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!by Bobby McFerrin ~ watch the video, it will make you smile, in fact, you’re probably singing and whistling it now 🙂 I think there is a lot of truth to that phrase – “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” The KJV Bible uses the word “Blessed” instead of what we would today say as “happy”, so we could KJV-ize it and say, “Don’t Worry, Be Blessed!” Don’t you think we would be a lot happier if we weren’t so worried and anxious about so many things like Martha was? (See Luke 10). And wouldn’t you like to stand before Jesus and have Him say that you did what Mary did instead “…also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word…one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part”. I hope that He will commend me for doing the needful and good thing, and that I will not be ashamed at His coming (1 John 2:28) by being needlessly anxious and worried about things that I have absolutely NO control over anyway.

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

Don’t worry – Be Happy (blessed)!

 

 

Thorns and Nails

Thorns and nailAnd they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!” (Matthew 27:28-29

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” (Colossians 2:14)

Recently, I was preparing to teach our final lesson for Good News Club – the Easter lesson, the Good News! I decided to make a crown of thorns to show the children, and since my husband is a carpenter, find a big nail to show them how Christ suffered for our sins.

First, I went outside and gathered some wild rose branches from the side bushes, and started weaving and winding it into a crown-shape. As I was getting stabbed and poked by those rose thorns, I started thinking about the soldiers who made the crown of thorns for Jesus’ head. The little pricks I received were nothing compared to the cuts that those large thorns would have given them as they plaited that crown of thorns for Jesus. And I thought how much they must have hated Him and despised Him as they suffered those pricks and worked, making it just so they could ridicule Him. Then I remembered how they shoved it down on His head, gave him a robe and a stick and mocked Him as King of the Jews! What utter wrath must have motivated them. And yet He still loved them!

Then, I went down to my husband’s shop to find a big old nail to show them. I found one that had been pulled out of an old beam, but it was bent. So I laid it on the concrete floor of his shop, held it with the fingers of one hand and tapped at it with a sledgehammer with the other hand. You guessed it! The nail twisted and as the sledgehammer struck, a little bit of the end of my finger got caught under that nail and pinched and I got a big blood blister! So, then I was thinking about those Roman soldiers who took those big nails, spread Jesus’ hands out on that wooden cross and drove the nail into his flesh. I wonder if, in their haste and anger, they ever struck their own finger with the hammer as they drove those nails in? What anger and hatred must have filled their hearts to do such a cold and cruel thing! And yet He still loved them!

Jesus loved them just as He loves you and me. He suffered these things and so much more to pay the price we owed for the sinful things we have thought, said, and done — things that offend our Holy God. He offers it all as a gift that we just have to reach out and receive. He died and rose again on the third day because He is GOD! He conquered death and the grave so that we can be saved, so that we can be redeemed. He told Nicodemus, “You must be born again”, we are all born physically and that begins our physical life on earth. But we must be born AGAIN, spiritually, in order to start our Spirit-filled life as a Christian, or “little Christ”.

Have you received the gift Christ offers? Have you been saved, redeemed, converted, born again (they all mean the same thing)?

You can settle it right now by believing the Gospel, the Good News:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”  (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

I couldn’t help getting emotional as the children touched the sharp thorns on the crown, and imitated putting a nail in their hands, contorting their faces in empathetic pain as they tried to imagine what Jesus went through. When they asked me, “Why are you crying?” I said, “because He chose to do this for ME, and for YOU!” It’s no wonder one of those Roman Soldiers, after witnessing Jesus’ death on the cross, declared, Truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54).

And, then HE ROSE FROM THE DEAD!!

And that’s what Easter/Resurrection Sunday is all about.

~Graced and Grateful Grammy

He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed!!

Why “Graced and Grateful Grammy?”

Hello Dear Friend,

This is my first attempt at blogging, so bear with me as I work out the kinks in how to do this.   First of all, I would like to introduce myself:  I am a born-again Christian by God’s grace; I have been married to the same man for over 34 years; I am the mother of 5 mostly grown children (aged 17 – 29); I am the grandmother of 3 (so far :)); I am originally from England, my mother (a very English lady who reminds us all somewhat of Winne the Pooh!) lives close by and we get together for tea and biscuits and a rousing game of Rummikub or Scrabble quite often; I love flowers, especially those of the English variety-roses, hollyhocks, hydrangeas, etc.; my husband has his own construction company along with a few smaller businesses to which I am the bookkeeper, secretary, office and marketing manager; we are active in our local Church which we have been members of for about 27 years and where we both love to teach; there is much more I could share, but that will come as this blog progresses…

I have learned many things in my walk with my Savior (mostly the hard way, I am sorry to say) and according to the instruction of Titus 2:3-5, I am to pass this teaching on to younger women.  So, here goes:IMG_6616b

I chose the name of the blog to be “Graced and Grateful Grammy”, partly because I like the alliteration, and mostly because it really says who I am.

I have had God’s grace bestowed on me, so I feel “Graced”. Grace is defined as “the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”  Well, He has favored me in so many ways I cannot begin to list them all, I will make a feeble attempt, though:  Firstly, my Salvation: God loved me and saved me through faith from the punishment of my sin – eternal separation from Him in an ungodly place called Hell – by sending His only begotten Son to pay the price and take my place as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8,9).  Secondly, my family, who love me despite my human frailties and idiosyncrasies. Thirdly, my Church family who love and support me spiritually, emotionally, and physically in so many ways as the needs have arisen.

I am “Grateful” because of the above-listed grace that has been extended to me, and so out of thankfulness to the LORD, I try to serve Him and love Him with all my heart as He has commanded. Thus, this blog. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” Colossians 3:15

I am a “Grammy” – that is what my 3 grandchildren call me. I am a rather young grandmother, and I must confess that I love telling people that I have five children and three grandchildren, and having them say “Wow! You don’t look old enough to have grandchildren!” ~ I know they are probably just saying it to make me feel good, but it works! There! Now you know how prideful I am, but Proverbs 27:2 tells us, “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.”

So, this Graced and Grateful Grammy is hoping to pass on some of this grace and gratefulness to you, dear reader, and maybe we can grow together in God’s grace and encourage and edify each other in our walk with the LORD.

Thank you for bearing with me,

Graced and Grateful Grammy