Saturday, May 23, 2020

31. Growing in Prayer - The Learning Tree – Fear of Coronavirus

11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you.  ~Jeremiah 29:11-12

I see fear in our Nation, but God says in I John 4:18, “18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].”  Do you live in God’s love?  (I John 4:7-8).
My husband and I are 89 and 87.  We are prime targets for Coronavirus!  But we live in God’s love and according to Jeremiah 29, He has plans for us, not to harm us but for peace.  He will provide our safety IF we live in His love.  It is sad to say some folks do not understand God’s love.  They do not have trust in their hearts, and they do not live trust with others.  Perhaps they have hardened their hearts as it says in Isaiah 58:11.  In this verse (“drought” means your heart has been harden by the things that have come upon you).  We are to live God’s agape love with each other regardless of what has happened in our life.

As a Nation, we have to open up this country for work and so important for worship.  If I must remind you the First Amendment of our Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”  The Bible says in Romans13:1-2 tells us to obey the government God has set up. If the Governors are so strict regarding the Coronavirus to prevent worshiping together, they are acting in power or fear or both.  Rather than obeying those who want to prevent us for worshiping together, we always obey the laws of God first.

We have a part; God has a part.  God’s part is Jeramiah 29 (promises to Israel in Babylon and it is our  promise today), our part is to obey the rules of our government….wear a mask; wash your hands often; do not touch your face, mouth, or eyes; and social distancing.  And any other rules to safe guard our person.  The horror to me is to cause someone else to have Coronavirus.

“Many times, we have no control over the circumstances and events in life but our refusal to speak doubt and fear will keep our hearts more inclined to what God can do rather than what we cannot.”[1]

When we face challenging times, we are not to speak defeating words but to be obedient to God in all things.  Our words can speak life or speak death. (Proverbs 18:21)

God created and owns all things (IChronicles 29:11-12).  He is in control!  He has a part to our living, protection, and to grow righteousness.  We have a part (Colossians3:23-24) to be faithful, reading God’s Word for directions to all challenges of life and obeying His precepts (a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought).  Be always in prayer for God’s direction, pray for each other, pray for those who are arrogate and do not use common sense.

[1] Roy Hicks, Sr., G.Th., D.D., Faith’s Confession of God’s Word.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

30. Growing in Prayer – The Learning Tree - Tribute to My Mother

28 “Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:  29 “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.”  Proverbs 31:10-31

It will be Mother’s Day this coming weekend, May 10, 2020.   The Bible tells us to honor our father and mother that it may go well with you (Ephesians 6:1-3).  Mothers are irreplaceable….good, bad or indifferent . . . . They are irreplaceable.   I know my Mother is to me.  She was my friend, soulmate, and confidant.  She was my Mother. 

She exemplified my Heavenly Father’s forgiveness.   She would fight a circle saw for me when I was right and when I was in the wrong, she let me know in uncertain terms.  We did not always get along through the years, but we loved each other through it all.  When the chips were down, she stood in defense of me and carried my banner.

Mother was a lady with great dignity often showing her stoic English bearing and her physical stature of the Dutch.  She often called herself the Dutch woman.  Meaning she was short and stout.  To me she was beautiful.

My first memory of Mother was when I was about two.  We were in church and I was standing in the pew beside her….her arm was around me, and she was singing to the roof tops.  Mother was a presence of warmth and security.  It seems she was light.

Most of all I remember her hands.  She had exceptionally large hands as soft as velvet.  When I was a little girl her hand covered my back as she rubbed Grandma Freeman’s miracle cure for congestion, sore throats, and what “ails you.” 

She worked constantly for the comfort of her family.  She literally loved and patted her
cooking on to the table for us.  Her hands cleaned, washed our clothes in black wash pots in the back yard, yet those big hands made the delicate embroidery, tucking, and smocking on the beautiful clothes I wore.  She always sang or hummed while she worked.  She worked outside the home and I remember waking in the dark of the night, she at her peddle sewing machine making my beautiful clothes.

Mother was very mischievous and such a tease!  She laughed freely and brought great joy to our family. 

She cast over me an influence which has lasted all my life. The good effects of her early training I can never lose. If it had not been for her appreciation and her faith in me at a critical time in my life, I would have never met life’s trials with the trust and faith that I survive in my Lord Jesus.

I realize in my now ancient years, I had a beautiful, secure with no fear and tender childhood that lives in me today.  The greatest gift my Mother and Daddy gave me was their love for each other….they adored each other, and it permeated my brother and me.

After her 98th Birthday, she told me she was tired and was ready to go home.  A week before she breathed her last, she went to sleep…peaceably and quietly.  In the early morning hours of September 15, 2004 as I held her hand she slipped away.  I have never been as sure of anything in life as she slipped from my hand; Jesus took my Mother’s hand and led her into His Glory.  My Mother was truly a Proverbs 31 woman.

We honor our Mothers this Sunday, May 10, 2020.  They are God’s gift to us all.  Pray for your Mother.