It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Author Unknown

Saturday, January 27, 2007

IN THE VALLEYS I GROW





IN THE VALLEY I GROW

Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe
It's then I have to remember
That it's in the valleys I grow.

If I always stayed on the mountain top
And never experienced pain,
I would never appreciate God's love
And would be living in vain.

I have so much to learn
And my growth is very slow,
Sometimes I need the mountain tops,
But it's in the valleys I grow.

I do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.

My little valleys are nothing
When I picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan's loss.

Forgive me Lord, for complaining
When I'm feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
That it's in the valleys I grow.

Continue to strengthen me,
Lord And use my life each day
To share your love with others
And help them find their way.

Thank you for valleys,
Lord For this one thing I know
The mountain tops are glorious
But it's in the valleys I grow!


This is an old poem...maybe it is a song, I'm not sure. When I read this I was reminded that every day is a lesson. There are so many things to learn and just because one becomes a senior citizen is no reason to stop learning.

Lessons in life are not always easy and sometimes the toughest to learn are the most valuable.

Trusting in God brings me through each day and I pray I'll learn the lesson sent my way.


'On Ya' - ma

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My Bible Study Notes: Chapter 17, TO LIVE IS CHRIST




My Study Notes – Chapter 17, TO LIVE IS CHRIST

Acts 16: 1-3

He came to Derbe and then to Lystra , where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek

Acts 16:1


Paul encountered Timothy a young believer that would play an important part in his future ministry. Paul was very endearing to many and had many close friends and associates. We rarely see him work alone. He wanted to take Timothy on his journey and took a risk on this young man.

Timothy was special right from the start.

In 1 Timothy 4:12 Paul counseled Timothy not to let anyone look down on him because of his youth.

In II Timothy 3:15 we see that in spite of his youth Timothy was fertile soil from which ministry grew.

A person doesn’t have to turn 20 in order for God to use him in ministry.


Timothy was unique because of his background of having a Jewish mother and a Greek father. Growing up in a home where one believes and the other doesn’t would have been very difficult.

When two different belief systems are joined the result is often lack of balance and harmony.

Timothy had a unique perspective of practices that he and Paul would encounter in their ministry
1) Agnosticism because of his father’s belief
2) Judaism because of his Mother’s heritage, and
3) Christianity because of his Mother’s belief Christ as Messiah and Savior

His mother , Lois and his grandmother, Eunice, were good examples of faith to the young Timothy Their lives were devoted to God and their sincerity won Timothy to the truth.

When a parent practices sin or rebellion against God, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will share some of the same tendencies. They are not the only heritage that is passed on to future generations. Faithfulness has in even greater influence.

Nothing carries more weight than sincere faithfulness.

Years later Paul would call Timothy ‘ My dear son’ To Paul , Timothy was his son in the faith.

We each receive a heritage of faith from our ancestors. Each of us can affect future generations by passing on the wonderful message of God even to the thousandth generation.

How great is our God!

‘On Ya’ - ma

Monday, January 08, 2007

PROBLEMS???



1 --- 2 --- 3 --- 4 --- 5

Five ways God uses Problems

1 --- 2 --- 3 --- 4 --- 5



The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you -
depending on how you respond to them.

Unfortunately, most people fail to see how God wants to use problems
for good in their lives.

They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than
pausing to consider what benefit they might bring.

Here are five ways God wants to use the problems in your life:

--- 1 ---
God uses problems to DIRECT you.
Sometimes God must light a fire under you to get you moving.
Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to
change. Is God trying to get your attention? ''Sometimes it
takes a painful situation to make us change our ways.''
Proverbs 20:30

--- 2 ---
God uses problems to INSPECT you.
People are like tea bags...if you want to know what's inside
them, just drop them into hot ever water! Has God tested
your faith with a problem What do problems reveal about
you? ''When you have many kinds of troubles, you should
be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test
your faith, and this will give you patience.'' James 1:2-3

--- 3 ---
God uses problems to CORRECT you.
Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It's
likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a
hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned.
Sometimes we only learn the value of something...health,
money, a relationship... by losing it. ''It was the best thing
that could have happened to me, for it taught me
to pay attention to your laws.'' Psalm 119:71-72

--- 4 ---
God uses problems to PROTECT you.
A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents you from
being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend
was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss
had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem - but
it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year
later when management's actions were eventually discovered.
''You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good...
Genesis 50:20

--- 5 ---
God uses problems to PERFECT you.
Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders.
God is far more interested in your character than your comfort.
Your relationship to God and your character are the only two
things you're going to take with you into eternity.

''We can rejoice when we run into problems... they help us learn
to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us
and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our
hope and faith are strong and steady.''

Romans 5:3-4


Here's the point:

God is at work in your life - even when you do not recognize it or understand it.
But it's much easier and profitable when you cooperate with Him.

''Success can be measured not only in achievements, but in
lessons learned, lives touched and moments shared along the way.''


Author Unknown


1 --- 2 --- 3 --- 4 --- 5


The good Lord knows we all have problems in our lives and I never really thought about the fact that maybe, just maybe, it was Him that sent those problems my way.
I don't think He does cause the problems, but as in all else, He can take the impossible and make it something possible.

He can use our problems to help us on the Way !

When I read the article above, it really gave me lots to think about.

Soon I'll be back to my Bible Study , but in the meantime, I'll be sharing a few thoughts and articles etc. Things that I think are worth putting down in writing and sharing.

'On Ya' - ma

Friday, January 05, 2007

Epiphany - the Feast of the Three Kings



We three kings of Orient are;
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.

Refrain
O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Born a King on Bethlehem’s plain
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.

Refrain

Frankincense to offer have I;
Incense owns a Deity nigh;
Prayer and praising, voices raising,
Worshipping God on high.

Refrain

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone cold tomb.

Refrain

Glorious now behold Him arise;
King and God and sacrifice;
Alleluia, Alleluia,
Sounds through the earth and skies.
Refrain

John H. Hopkins Jr. 1857

Hopkins wrote this carol for a Christmas pageant at the General Theological Seminary in New York City

January 6 is celebrated as Epiphany. It goes by other names in various church traditions. In Hispanic and Latin culture, as well as some places in Europe, it is known as Three Kings’ Day

Epiphany is the climax of the Christmas Season and the Twelve Days of Christmas, which are usually counted from December 25th until January 5th. In most traditions, the day before Epiphany is the Twelfth Day of Christmas, the evening of which is called Twelfth Night.

In traditional Christian churches Christmas, as well as Easter, is celebrated as a period of time, a season of the church year, rather than just a day. The Season of Christmas begins with the First Sunday of Advent, marked by expectation and anticipation, and concludes with Epiphany, which looks ahead to the mission of the church to the world in light of the Nativity.

The term epiphany means "to show" or "to make known" or even "to reveal." In Western churches, it remembers the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing "reveal" Jesus to the world as Lord and King.

Epiphany has theological significance as a teaching tool in the church. The Wise Men or Magi who brought gifts to the infant Jesus were the first Gentiles to acknowledge Jesus as "King" and so were the first to "show" or "reveal" Jesus to a wider world as the incarnate Christ. This act of worship by the Magi, which corresponded to Simeon’s blessing that this child Jesus would be "a light for revelation to the Gentiles" (Luke 2:32), was one of the first indications that Jesus came for all people, of all nations, of all races, and that the work of God in the world would not be limited to only a few.

When the “wise men from the East” visited little Jesus, they brought three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Not exactly your average baby shower gifts, are they? (Of course, Jesus was not your average baby!) But seriously, what were those wise men thinking?

Gold, the most precious substance of the ancient world, was a gift fit for a King. No doubt it also came in handy when Joseph, Mary and Jesus made their midnight flight to Egypt to avoid Herod’s assassins. (Matthew 2:13)

Frankincense is harvested in much the same way as maple syrup; it’s the hardened sap of a tree.
If you break apart the word “frankincense” you’ll see that the last part is “incense”. That’s exactly what frankincense was (and still is) used for. God commanded the Israelites to burn incense before His altar every day; the gift of frankincense acknowledged Jesus as God.

Then there’s myrrh. You probably used myrrh today yourself – it’s found in many mouthwashes, toothpastes, and makeup! Ancient Egyptians used it in embalming. It’s a poignant but appropriate gift for the Child who would one day die for us all.


On our church calendar Epiphany will be on Sunday, January 7th this year.

‘On Ya’ - ma

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A New Year's Reflection



Ralph Waldo Emerson suggested that one should
write on his heart that every year can be the best
year he ever lived.
Therefore, I should like to
give you a text for the New Year.

It wouldn't be
a bad idea to write it down somewhere so you
could consult it now and then. But it is so short
that all you need to do is write it on your consciousness. .
This will see you through the beginning of the year, the middle of the year,
and the end of the year.

It is the first four words
with which the Bible begins
:
"In the beginning God..."
(Genesis 1:1)


Take Him at the start and you will have a
wonderful time in the New Year.

This year
Practice the art of forgetting.


Man is what he remembers, but man is also
what he forgets. One of the healthiest things a
human being can do is to become a master of forgetting.
Whatever you do, don't lug your resentments, your hates,
your frustrations, your disappointments,
your regrets into the new year.
Forge ahead! It is a great art to know how to
forget. Drop it, skip it, let it go -- whatever it is.
Start anew.year...

Make up your mind you are going to take hold
of the new year and shake the life out of it.
Drop the 't' off 'forget' and forge ahead, on the
basis of the text, "In the beginning God..."

Live a day at a time and take it as it comes.
Have you seen a calendar for the new year?
Well, you know something? In order to get to
January 2nd, you have to live through
January 1st -- no other way.
Live a day at a time and live on the basis of
easy does it. Don't get too worked up about it.
Just take it as it comes.

And then finally one more thing I would
suggest for making the New Year a wonderful
year is to expect great things and put your life
in God's hands.
Have high hopes, have great dreams, have
great belief. See visions and believe in them.

Believe that life is good and that it is going to
be better and the best is yet to come.
You know something? You are very likely
to get just what you expect.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale


After I read this reflection I knew I would have to post it here in this journal. It is so worthwhile.

Hope this NEW YEAR is the best yet to come !

'On Ya' - ma

Monday, January 01, 2007

NEW YEAR 2007



For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. What gain have the workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; moreover, it is God's gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil.


Ecclesiastes 3:1-13


Hear the good news: It's a New Year!

2007 brings with it the possibility of a new season, including the opportunity to re-order our time in order to see God in a new way. Our work in this year starts fresh today.

Holy Father,
God of our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows.
We praise You for Your unequaled greatness.
Thank You for the year behind us and for the year ahead.
Help us in Your new year, Father, to fret less and laugh more.
To teach our children to laugh by laughing with them.
To teach others to love by loving them.
Knowing, when Love came to the stable in Bethlehem, He came for us.
So that Love could be with us, and we could know You.
That we could share Love with others.
Help us, Father, to hear Your love song in every sunrise,
in the chriping of sparrows in our backyards,
in the stories of our old folks, and the fantasies of our children.
Help us to stop and listen to Your love songs,
so that we may know You better and better.
We rejoice in the world You loved into being.
Thank You for another new year and for new chances every day.
We pray for peace, for light, and for hope, that we might spread them to others.
Forgive us for falling short this past year.
We leave the irreparable past in your hands, and step out into the unknown new year knowing You will go with us.
We accept Your gift of a new year and we rejoice in what's ahead, depending on You to help us do exactly what You want..


God of all seasons, thank you for the gift of time. Help me to see time in a new way in 2007. May my time this year be spent seeking healthy relationships with you, things, and others as I strive to be more righteous.

I say it again, we rejoice!
In Jesus name,
Amen.

May this New Year bring you peace in your heart and a closer relationship with our dear Lord. With that all is possible ! For it is written 'nothing is impossible with God'.

'On Ya' - ma