I’d Rather Have Jesus

I'd Rather Have Jesus

Just wanted to share a song today that has been a huge blessing to me lately.  It has helped me to stay focused on what is important in the Christian life, rather than being sidetracked by the things this world has to offer.  When the world offers fame and fortune, or false satisfaction, I remember that it is Jesus Christ that I serve, and I would rather have Him and His approval than anything else.

 

I’d Rather Have Jesus

             

(1) I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold,

I’d rather be His than have riches untold;

I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands,

I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.

             

CHORUS:

Than to be the king of a vast domain

Or be held in sin’s dread sway;

I’d rather have Jesus than anything

This world affords today.

             

(2) I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause,

I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;

I’d rather have Jesus than world-wide fame,

I’d rather be true to His holy name.

             

(3) He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom,

He’s sweeter than honey from out the comb;

He’s all that my hungering spirit needs,

I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead.

Quick thoughts on serving the Lord

I have been considering this question much lately:  Why as Christians are we embracing the sins of the world so readily and not taking a stand for righteousness and the truth of the Gospel?  Because all these things (premarital sex, adultery, homosexuality, abortion, lying, stealing, cheating…) are all portrayed in our media and our society as being good and acceptable, and as emotionally appealing.  Emotions – that part of you that always wants to feel good and make others feel good.  The world will say, “Take care of yourself, and do what you feel is right in your heart.”  THAT IS A GINORMOUS LIE!!!  Our heart can be deceived (Jeremiah 17:90)  We must recognize that standing for the truth and standing for righteousness will not always come with that emotional high of feeling good and making everyone happy.  We must acknowledge that when we do stand up for the truth and the right, God will bless our lives, and will be there to help us withstand.  But it will not always “feel good,” and rarely will we please the people that are around us.  That’s why our lives cannot be based on our feelings and emotions, but on the rock solid truth of God’s Word.  Accepting Christ comes with so many blessing – new life, forgiveness of sin, grace, mercy, the Love of the Father, freedom in Christ, and so many other things.  It also comes with other words we don’t like to think about – obedience, faithfulness, confession and repentance of sin, being dead to the world and alive unto good works, and servants to Jesus Christ.  We want the blessing without the sacrifice.  It doesn’t work that way.  

Choose you this day who you will serve, and serve without looking to the left or to the right, and without looking back.  Serve Faithfully and Joyously, regardless.  I like that word – regardless.  Regardless of who says I’m wrong, regardless of who tries to prevent me, regardless of what happens, I will still seek to promote Christ with my life. 

I used to live in a country that didn’t care if you were a Christian.  You could live your life and seek to tell others about Christ, and people wouldn’t get all up in arms over silly things.  Today we face the likelihood that we are going to offend others with our faith.  Soon, it won’t just be likely, it will be the reality.  Now is the time to make our decision firm and fixed in our minds that we will serve Christ – regardless.

The gospel of Christ Jesus

Verse to Meditate on

Verse to Meditate on

I have been seriously MIA lately! But I thought I’d share some verses that I have been reading today and thinking about. It is so important to learn the truth of God’s Word for ourselves, and to pass these truths along to our children and the next generation. I pray as a mother of two children, and one on the way, I can be aware of the need to teach and instruct my children in the Word of God.

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This second lesson from Ruth’s life comes from chapter 2 of the book of Ruth.  We can learn from Ruth’s life that she took no thought for herself while serving her mother-in-law.  Ruth was willing to consider Naomi’s need above her own, and she went beyond what would have been expected of her in order to do that.  Ruth humbled herself to the mean task of gleaning.  Gleaning was truly a tedious task.  The gleaners in the fields were essentially gathering in the leftovers and the castoffs of the harvest.  When the reapers went through, they were to leave that which was dropped for the poor and the unfortunate.  God had made provision for this when He gave the laws to Moses:

Leviticus 19:9, 10 ~ “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.  And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.”

Those who did not have food for their own tables would come behind the reapers, and arduously pick up those few small kernels that were left on the ground.  It was the least praiseworthy job in all Israel.  And Ruth was willing to do it to help support her mother-in-law through their reduced circumstances. 

As a mother, I am often putting another’s needs before my own!  That’s kinda the understood duty of a mom. The kids need caring for and our of love and just sheer duty, we make sure they are cared for, fed, changed, bathed, etc.  But I wonder about other people, outside the home.  Are my eyes watching to be a helper?  An encourager?  A friend?  Am I willing to help others? 

Ruth did not consider going back to her life in Moab.  She didn’t consider trying to find someone else the help her out, she shouldered the task herself.  She didn’t take the easy way out.  She showed she was willing to do whatever it took to help her month-in-law.  Now we know the end of the story.  Boaz takes notice, watches our for her, falls in love, marries her, and they live happily ever after.  But Ruth didn’t know any of this. She didn’t know that by doing this menial task, she was paving her way out of poverty and into wealth.  All she knew was that she and Naomi had needs that weren’t going to be met unless she took action.  But we also see that in the end, God blesses her effort and her life is changed so much for the better!  But before we look into all the blessings, stay tuned for a couple more steps in Ruth’s life.  And watch as she stays faithful to God and faithful to Naomi.

Lessons on Ruth (#2)

Lessons while shoveling snow…and we have plenty of it!

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Well today dawned bright and sunny to the excitement of our whole family!  We have about 14 inches of snow on the ground and the 44 degree, sunny weather was very welcome.  Melting snow all around is wonderful!  Warm weather means that this mommy and her kiddos get to go outside and play and take a walk after several weeks of being cooped up inside.  (Can you say CABIN FEVER!!!)

So this morning, I decided to read the book of Ruth since my husband will be preaching a message on Ruth’s life this evening in church.  And since I may not get to hear it, I figured I’d just go ahead and read the account from the Bible, and see what I could glean from her story. Did you catch the “glean” pun?  ;)  So I read the four chapters this morning, then went about my day, thinking little more of it.  And this afternoon as I was shoveling all that snow, I began to think about it again.  I learned some things from her life, and I pray that the observations I made may be a blessing to someone else also.

First, Ruth was willing to leave her comfort zone in order to minister to a person that she loved – her mother-in-law, Naomi.  May I also point out that Naomi tried to convince Ruth to turn back and return to her home country of Moab.  Naomi knew she had nothing to offer Ruth and that she was returning to unknown circumstances in Bethlehem Judah.  She knew the famine was over, but not having a husband or anyone to provide for her, she would have had to means of support for herself or her two daughters-in-law.  So, she tried to persuade her two daughters-in-law to return to Moab.  Orpah heeds the admonition, and returns; but we see Ruth steadfastly clinging to her mother-in-law, and refusing to forsake her.  Such faithfulness is rarely found!  But what would this faithfulness mean for Ruth?  Certainly it meant a blessing for Naomi, but for Ruth it meant the forsaking of all that she had ever known, and all that she called familiar.  It meant the embracing of a new religion, a new culture, and a new family, all at once.  And she was more than willing to do so, to show love to her mother-in-law. 

The lesson here is, are you willing to step out of your comfort zone to minister to others?  Sometimes, it may seem there are no benefits for us, but what a blessing we can be to someone else!  Stepping out of our comfort zone may mean putting someone else’s needs before our own.  It may mean that you are put on display.  It may mean that you are left vulnerable to ridicule.  It may also mean that risk of failure.  But when we are truly following God’s leading, we can be sure He will always bless our efforts.

For my family, stepping out of our comfort zone has meant uprooting our family and traveling across the country to take the pastorate of a church in western PA.  For my husband, a new job was involved, with new people and different surrounding.  It was a big and sometimes scary move, but God has blessed us with such victories along the way!  For Ruth, it meant of a forsaking of familiar things.  For you, it might mean something completely different.  But we should always be willing to serve the Lord, even when it means doing something that might get us out of our little bubble.  Don’t be afraid to follow the Lord’s leading!  My Father has a plan for our lives, and it is so much better than anything we could have dreamed up.

The blessings in having my dryer quit!

 

So today my dryer quit. I’m still hoping my super handy husband can get it back up and running, but until then, I have four lines of drying clothes strung throughout my house!  Isn’t it funny how a day you thought you had all planned out suddenly takes an interesting turn?  But I the midst of the midmorning laundry chaos, the Lord showed me the silver lining, and how He has prepared me for this and blessed me…oh yes I said it – THE LORD HAS BLESSED ME!!!

Three days ago, I got “a bee in my bonnet”, to use the cliché.  I just had to clean out the master bedroom closet.  It had to be done, and it was going to get done TODAY!!!  Our closet has been a work in progress since we moved.  For one thing, it is now not only the place to keep our clothes and shoes, but it also contains many of the contents of out backyard shed back in Cottonwood: Christmas decorations and lots of miscellaneous items not normally stored in my closet.  We don’t have a shed at our new home, so all the things I used to store outside are now in my closet.  That means it has already been worked over about three times since we moved in last Oct.  In the process, I found my extra close-line sting.  It had gotten stuck in some random place and forgotten after we moved.  I was glad to know where it was in case I ever needed it.  I haven’t used a clothes-line since I stopped cloth diapering before the move.  So, even in just this small part, God was preparing ahead of time what He knew I would need on this Saturday mornings.

The second thing is that if we do need a new one (which is looking likely at this point), God has times this just right in the tax return season.  Our return will be small this year, but certainly enough to cover a new dryer if needed.  Or if needed we could pull from our scant, but present savings.  It’s seems sometimes in life that we can’t get ahead and stay ahead in our finances.  However, when looking at it from another perspective, we’re so thankful that God is supplying so that we don’t get behind and go back into debt.

But I’m still praying my husband can fix it!  Update on the situation to come.  :)  Until then, keep serving the Lord with your whole heart, and seek to honor Him and Glorify Him today.

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UPDATE: February 10th
So my husband was able to fix our dryer!!! Probably temporary, but at least it is up and running again, and no more clotheslines for me! Wanna know the funny part about how he fixed it? I wish I could tell you that he truly was a genius (which he really is) and I wish I could tell you that he miraculously fixed it (but he didn’t). In truth, all that he had to do was reset the breaker (which I had already tried) and unplug it from the wall. And since it was set to dry the clothes it had never dried, when he plugged it back in, it automatically came on! End of story, and it’s still working three loads of clothes later. But he did say that he’s pretty sure the motor is going bad, so it was probably a safety switch that triggered it to not work on Saturday morning. I’m thankful we didn’t have a drop several hundred dollars right at this moment though. Our Kenmore dryer just keeps on going!

Reposting from Cary Schmidt: HAVE YOU EVER BEEN HURT BY CHURCH?

This is an excellent article talking about what we can do when we have been hurt by Christians and those who attend church.  When we go to church, we expect to find a peaceful, safe environment, but we are often disappointed.  The church seems to be always full of hypocritical, selfish people.  Why is that?  Well, I won’t rewrite the article, so click on the link and read for yourself!  It’s is a longer article, but well worth the read.

http://caryschmidt.com/2014/01/have-you-ever-been-hurt-at-church