Dust is a Must

Thoughts on Housekeeping

A house becomes a home when you can write “I love you on the furniture.”

I can’t tell you how many countless hours I have spent cleaning—at least 8 hours every weekend making sure things were perfect—”in case someone came over”. Then I realized one day that no one ever came over; they were all out living life and having fun! So ……

Dust If You Must

by Rose Milligan

Dust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better

To paint a picture, or write a letter,

Bake a cake, or plant a seed;

Ponder the difference between want and need?

 

Dust if you must, but there’s not much time,

With rivers to swim, and mountains to climb;

Music to hear, and books to read;

Friends to cherish, and life to lead.

 

Dust if you must, but the world’s out there

With the sun in your eyes, and the wind in your hair;

A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,

This day will not come around again.

 

Dust if you must, but bear in mind,

Old age will come and it’s not kind.

And when you go (and go you must)

Truth Bomb

by Ricky Smith

Ephesians 2:14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Recent news briefings can leave one highly anxious of what could be when we read of turmoil in the Middle East, in Korea, or even in Chicago. It is easy to live in fear of what could be and be absent of peace. Bombs are dropping, or threats of missile attacks occur daily. Consider a truth bomb of peace.

Peace is desired by many, yet experienced by few. Nations war with each other, and individuals war within themselves. Whether globally or personally, there is a longing for peace.

Ephesians 2:14 reminds us of our Source of peace. Christ himself is our peace. This word structure suggests that He alone, in His own Person, can offer true peace. In other words, without Him, peace cannot be attained.

Peace comes from the word eir? (????) which means “to join”. Literally peace joins two things together. In the context of Ephesians, Paul is expressing the Gospel’s ability and intent to break down barriers between Jews and Gentiles.

This contextual principal can easily translate to any two people, or nations, who war among themselves. Peace can be achieved when we allow the only Provider of peace to rule and join hearts together. Politicians would be wise to heed this counsel. Marriages would be wise to put Christ as the center of their home. Business partners can work in harmony when they allow the Peacemaker to give what only can come from Him.

Being made in His image, all of God’s creation longs for peace, and through Him all walls of division can be broken. Perhaps some politicians should consult Him!

Monkey Business, The day a monkey bite me

When I was fourteen a new family moved into the house next door. The man was a race car driver and kept his hot rod under the carport. I am not sure what type of car it was except he took it to the drag strip to race. It ran on nitro and had the big wide tires on the back and little narrow ones up front. But that’s another story, he also had a pet monkey.

At first he kept the monkey a secret, but it did not take to long for a bunch of kids find out about the monkey. As the months passed by he started to let us take the monkey out in the back yard. He even put the monkey on a lease attached to a cable, so the monkey could stay out side alone for a little while. My mother told us not to get around the monkey unless the owner was near by. We did not do to good about obeying her rule and would get caught many times playing with the monkey. Normally the monkey was very friendly and easy going, but it did not like crowds.

One day, several of us was playing around with the monkey. I was holding it and my little nephew pulled it’s tail. The monkey grabbed my hand and bite it. I started screaming, “Get this monkey off of me!” The owner came out and took the monkey in the house and then took me to my mother. She was not too happy. I was okay, after a trip to the hospital and about two more weeks of shots. Finally, I understood why she did not want us to be playing with the monkey unless the owner was close by, a lesson learned at a high cost.

Today many people are playing around with sin. Just because nothing bad happened to them, this time, they begin to think they are safe. But rest assured that we can not sin and get by with it. The Bible says be sure your sins will find you out.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Letting Your Soul Catch Up

By Steve Goodier

Did you know that practicing some form of relaxation is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself? Taking time each day to quiet your mind and breathe deeply, can make a big difference in how you feel throughout your day and into the night. And dedicating a day every week for mental and spiritual renewal is equally important.

We’re told that the word “relax” has its origin in the Latin word “relaxare,” which means “to loosen.” When we relax, we are in effect loosening tension, releasing tightly held energy and letting go. From the state of relaxation we can experience calm peacefulness.

Another great word is the Hebrew word “Shabbat” which, of course, is a day of rest. But it quite literally means to “quit; stop; take a break.” Whatever you are doing, stop it. Whatever you are saying, be quiet. Sit down and take a look around. Don’t do anything. Don’t say anything. Fold your hands. Take a deep breath…

Extended periods of rest are a biological necessity. The human body is like an old-fashioned wind-up clock. If it is not rewound by rest, ultimately it will run itself down.

A group of Americans made a trip with Brazilian natives down the Amazon River. The first day they rushed. The second day they rushed. The next day they rushed. One day, anxious to continue the trek, they were surprised to find the natives seated together in a circle.

When asked the reason for the delay, a guide answered, “They are waiting. They cannot move further until their souls have caught up with their bodies.”

Do you owe yourself time to let your soul catch up with your body?

Lukewarm

The attributes of God described in the Bible, holiness is seen most often. Men fell down in the holy presence of God. Leaders, priests, and Kings all trembled at the magnitude of His holiness. Even the angels cry, “Holy, Holy, Holy is our God.”
Holiness is the key to truly understanding God. This is why sin is serious. It separates us from God; it stands in direct opposition to Him. It corrupts our character and our testimony; it prevents holiness and quenches and grieves the Spirit within.
J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) in his book on holiness said that we must stand guard as a soldier on enemy ground. The problem is that many love the world and have a hard time separating. They believe in heaven but they don’t truly long for it. They “say” that they fear God but they don’t live like it. They indulge temptation rather than fight it. They enjoy sin rather than confront it and they compromise rather than conquer. The lukewarm church avoids the heat of conviction. Holiness, to them, is outdated, old-fashioned (too conservative).
Are you willing to do what it takes to truly know God?
Seeking to identify the middle ground between our responsibility (obedience) and God’s role in sanctification (holiness) can be challenging, but it doesn’t need to be. The Bible is filled with passages about obedience that leads to holiness. For example, 1 Peter 1:14 says, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:” 1 John 3:3 “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” And Romans 6:19 tells us to present our bodies as slaves to righteousness.”I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” Peter asks, What sort of people ought you to be in holiness and godliness? (2 Peter 3:11)”Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,”.
It’s clear from Scripture that obedience produces sanctification (holiness). Holiness is a by-product of our submission to the work of the Spirit. Sadly, many don’t seek the surrendered life. They want the narrow road to be broad and the cross to be light, but holiness has a cost.
J.C. Ryle noted that holiness will cost a man his sins. He must be willing to give up every habit and practice which is wrong in God’s sight…There must be no separate truce with any special sin which he loves.” Ryle continues, “Our sins are often as dear to us as our children: we love them, hug them, cleave to them, and delight in them. To part with them is as hard as cutting off a right hand, or plucking out a right eye, but it must be done. The parting must come.” Holiness comes with a price, there is a cost, death to self and crucifixion to the world. To be filled mightily with the Spirit, we must first be emptied of self. Pride and arrogance hinder holiness. We are to overcome sin, not surrender to it.
Holiness challenges lukewarm living. A majority of Christian are turning a deaf ear to the call to holiness. Conviction is replaced with complacency. Their thought is, “I’m just not convicted about that like you are.” Often, the reason is because they are not truly seeking God…they are set more toward Sodom than on following Him unconditionally. Lukewarm living disdains the heat of conviction. It “loves the world” more than the things of God. A call to holiness challenges our lifestyle (mine included); it forces us to confront idols and remove destructive habits.
We are called to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Him. The day of the passive, lukewarm Church must come to an end, if we truly desire for families to be restored and for lives to be rebuilt.

Compare and Contrast

by Ricky Smith

How does your life before Christ compare to your life in Christ? Read some thoughts from Ephesians 2:11 “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;”

Did you enjoy compare and contrast exercises in school? Whether in Science or English class, we are familiar with the process. Perhaps the most significant exercise we could undertake was encouraged by Paul to the church in Ephesians 2:11. If you were to compare and contrast your life before Christ with your life in Him, would you notice a measurable difference?

The Ephesians were a Gentile community who were branded with the label of circumcision. For thousands of years, God’s people were marked by a physical alteration that made then clean through the infant surgery of circumcision.

This was nullified by Christ’s death on the cross. When we read in Matthew 27:51, we learn of the immediate physical impact of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. The old covenant was abolished and a new covenant was born. The limitation and restrictions placed on the Gentile community were altered, and they were invited to freely join in communion.

As the Ephesians processed through this change in identity, the new covenant represented much more than a physical change. More importantly, their spiritual position with God changed and their eternal destiny was moved.

The Ephesians were challenged to remember what was, so they could better understand what is. The exercise of remembering is healthy for us as well. Compare your life without Christ, with the peace and purpose you now possess. Contrast the life condemned to eternal separation, with the hope of the eternal presence of God.

Even if you were regenerated as a child and don’t have vivid memories of sin and dramatic change, there is still reason to rest and recall the change of eternity and the peace in your heart. I’d challenge you to take a few minutes in prayer and in writing down what you note when you compare and contrast your life with Christ.  Take it a step further and boldly share some of what you note on your personal social media.

Peace for Anxious Days

By Max Lucado

When my daughters were single-digit ages—two, five, and seven—I wowed them with a miracle. I told them the story of Moses and the manna and invited them to follow me on a wilderness trek through the house.

“Who knows,” I suggested, “manna may fall from the sky again.”

We dressed in sheets and sandals and did our best Bedouin hike through the bedrooms. The girls, on my instruction, complained to me, Moses, of hunger and demanded I take them back to Egypt, or at least to the kitchen. When we entered the den, I urged them to play up their parts: groan, moan, and beg for food.

“Look up,” I urged. “Manna might fall any minute.”

Two-year-old Sara obliged with no questions, but Jenna and Andrea had their doubts. How can manna fall from a ceiling?

Just like the Hebrews. “How can God feed us in the wilderness?”

Just like you? You look at tomorrow’s demands, next week’s bills, next month’s silent calendar. Your future looks as barren as the Sinai Desert. “How can I face my future?” God tells you what I told my daughters: “Look up.”

When my daughters did, manna fell! Well, not manna, but vanilla wafers dropped from the ceiling and landed on the carpet. Sara squealed with delight and started munching. Jenna and Andrea were old enough to request an explanation.

My answer was simple. I knew the itinerary. I knew we would enter this room. Vanilla wafers fit safely on the topside of the ceiling-fan blades. I had placed them there in advance. When they groaned and moaned, I turned on the switch.

God’s answer to the Hebrews was similar. Did he know their itinerary? Did he know they would grow hungry? Yes and yes. And at the right time, he tilted the manna basket toward earth.

And what about you? God knows what you need and where you’ll be. Any chance he has some vanilla wafers on tomorrow’s ceiling fans? Trust him. give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
(Matthew 6:33-34 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.).

Walk With A Purpose

by Ricky Smith

Everything I am, everything I ever hope to be is in the hands of God, for He is my Creator and has established my being. This idea is communicated in Deuteronomy 32:6 “ Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?” and again Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  To be part of God’s workmanship implies that I have been made for a reason.

I have been committed to tell students for the past 25 years that they are not a mistake! God has made each individual for a purpose and we are not simply here to occupy space and use air. In 2:10 we learn that we have been created to bring Him glory through action. These are not random acts of kindness, rather God has prearranged action for us to walk in. Consider Colossians 1:10 which reads, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;”

These are not to be random or one off actions. We are challenged to “walk in them”. Walk with purpose. This idea implies purposeful conduct that carries continuity in action. Consistent behavior over time that repeatedly reflects glory to the Father in the work that God has for us. This is not a purpose that prolongs the self-centered tendencies of man, but purpose that maintains a central focus on the eternal perspective of Kingdom advancement.

As We Grow Older

from a post of Linda Denney

As we grow older, and hence wiser, we slowly realize that wearing a $300 or a $30.00 watch – – they both tell the same time. Whether we carry a $300 or a $30.00 wallet/handbag – – the amount of money inside is the same.  Whether the house we live in is 300 or 3000 sq. ft. – – loneliness is the same. Whether you drive a $8,000 Honda or a $80,000 Benz –they both serve the same purpose. You will realize, your true inner happiness does not come from the MATERIAL things of this world.
Therefore, I hope you realize, when you have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, have sung songs with, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven and earth with – – That is true happiness!!
SIX UNDENIABLE FACTS OF LIFE:
1. Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy. So when they grow up they will know the value of things not the price.
2. Best awarded words: “Eat your food as your medicines. Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food.”
3. The One who loves you will never leave you because even if there are 100 reasons to give up he or she will find one reason to hold on.
4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human. Only a few really understand it.
5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, You have to manage!
6. If you just want to Walk Fast, Walk Alone! But if you want to Walk Far, Walk Together!
SIX BEST DOCTORS IN THE WORLD:
1. Sunlight
2. Rest
3. Exercise
4. Diet
5. Self Confidence and
6. Friends
Maintain them in all stages of Life and enjoy a healthy life.
The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Tuesday With Karen

 
by Karen Icenhour
When God has control, we’ll see peace bestowed,
His leadership is the sweetest thing we’ll know;
His eyes will see the extent every need,
And His hand is beside us waiting to lead!
When God has control, we’ll walk the right direction,
Then our life will see His hedge of protection;
We might have times things will go wrong,
Following His guide will keep our heart strong!
When God has control, we’ll know abundant grace,
Oh, what love is there when His Spirit fills a place;
When we obey His instruction as we live,
There’s nothing like the sweet joy He can give!
When God has control, we need not worry or fret,
Rich blessings from His hand is what we’ll get;
Seeking God’s face, in knowing His perfect will,
Gives precious peace, & a life richly fulfilled!