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Jesus, Forgetfulness and Love

jesus doorFebruary 8, 2018 – Jesus

You know, sometimes I would just like to shake some people and tell them to “wake up and smell the coffee.” As I look around me on a daily basis and see the miraculous works of God, I don’t understand how they can say they don’t believe.

Then I have to take a step back into time and remember that my previous life was not one that honored God. While a lot of it was just survival, still I could have found the time and willingness to stay close to my Lord, but for a long time I did not do it.

I reconnected with Jesus in February of 1992 at a church I was invited to by a small child. I’ve gone through many levels, walked through many doors since then and it has been onward and upward since.

When I look around this world and see what God has created, when I read my bible and begin to understand the real sacrifice of Jesus, it is just so hard for me to understand why so many of my friends, so many of my family members still refuse to have their eyes opened even as mine were.

As with so many circumstances, I will continually pray for them. Sometimes we are not the ones that are meant to lead our cherished ones to the Lord. As bad as that feels, I pray that some day the Lord will send them someone they will believe. In the meantime I am so thankful that God sent his son Jesus as intercessor between us and the father.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

question markFebruary 9, 2018 – Forgetfulness

I walk into the kitchen and I stand there. What did I come in there for? I’ll walk out, go do something else and then suddenly remember why I went there. I sometimes think that my forgetfulness is a sign of my advancing age, but I’m not what is really considered old yet.

I don’t forget important things, like paying bills and taking medicine, just little things like looking for my glasses or searching for a book, or finding my keys. It always seems to come back to me and my day goes on.

Medical research says that short term memory loss is normal for most people in this day and age, even the young ones. It’s not because we can’t focus, it’s because there is so much more information and activity that crowds our mind.

I won’t believe I am in the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer, really, I did look up the symptoms, but sometimes I do get frustrated over these small memory lapses. All in all, I do live a very blessed life and today I am thankful that my forgetfulness is not as big an issue as I sometimes think it is.

Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,

Jesus with children 2February 10, 2018 – Unconditional Love

We use the word very often: Love, but do we actually, completely understand what it means. Think about it, you love your new car, you love that new dress you just bought, you love that new phone you just got or you love the way your hair looks today. You love your job, your love your spouse, you love you children, your parents and your siblings, but should the love of humans be grouped with the love of objects?

Dictionary.com gives a whole list of definitions of love, but I am only going to use a few of them here. 1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. 2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend. 15. to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her. 16. to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person). 17. to have a strong liking for; take great pleasure in: to love music. 18. to need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight.

These definitions covers a broad spectrum and several of the definitions fit with each of us, for example, I love my family and friends, I love different types of food, and most of all I love Jesus.

Sadly there are few who understand unconditional love. Their love for others or the love they receive from others has certain conditions attached. “If you love me, you won’t look at other women”, “If you love me, you’ll let me go out with boys”, “If you love me you’ll buy that diamond ring for me”.

Animals are capable of love, even the wild ones. that’s why you see in these documentaries and lion defending it’s mates or its cubs, a mother bear leading her cubs to food or a mother hen sheltering her chicks.

Animals often learn to love their humans as well. Dogs, cats and even birds express their love for their owners in different ways, wagging their tail, muzzling your hand, chirping when you walk in the room or sitting in front of you waiting to be petted. I think animals have a better sense of unconditional love. They love their humans even if they might forget to stop and pet them or talk to them.

Jesus loved everyone unconditionally. Not once did he say I’ll love you if you do as I say. He loved/loves all of us, even the wayward ones who have not yet turned to him. Today I am thankful for the unconditional love of Jesus and my family and friends

1 Corinthians 13:13“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

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Truth, Heaven and Reunions

eyeFebruary 5, 2018 – Truth

We live in a chaotic world today. It seems that every day there is skulduggery going on somewhere in our country and always everywhere around the world. Not only are we being lied to by politicians, but many of our religious leaders as well.

When they change the word of God to mean what they want it to mean, or when they don’t even preach from the bible, then they are indeed lying to their congregations and leading them down the wrong paths. How many famous preachers have we seen exposed and how often to you read about the hidden agendas, secret lives and lies of politicians?

Truth was a big deal in my family. You did not lie. That was the bottom line and the punishment from that was more severe than for other offenses. But, today, parents don’t have a lot of control over their children. Corporal punishment has been outlawed and with all the advancements in technology, we can hardly keep an eye on what they are doing. If they lie, most parents seem to over look it.

Realistically, how can they successfully teach their children to tell the truth if all they see around them in the outside world is lies? Children are no longer raised to respect and obey their parents and the parents can’t or won’t do anything about it.

When media outlets spread false news, when peer pressure pushes our kids into stepping away from the beliefs of their ancestors and parents, when they start to believe all the lies of Satan, such as drug use is no big deal, sex outside of marriage is perfectly fine, and material wealth is more important than believing in Jesus, we are indeed a lost world.

But I know the truth. I know that material items don’t matter, that all the brilliant glitter of the world they are growing up in is fake and only believing in Jesus will save you. I know that for all the money in the world, all the drugs that make you high, nothing the world has to offer can assure us of eternal love, happiness and life but Jesus. Today I am thankful that I know the truth.

heavensFebruary 6, 2018 – Heaven

On a still summer night, when all the stars are bright, do you ever wonder? Do you ever wonder where heaven is? Some people explain it as another world, maybe on one of the millions of stars we see in the heavens. Others explain it as another dimension or another plane, and still others insist it inside of us.

God created the beautiful heavens we look at. He created the earth, the stars, the moon, and all the other galaxies just as he created the sun, the wind, the water and the air we breath. The bible clearly tells us that Heave is only attainable through a belief in the son of God.

We cannot physically reach out and touch it. We cannot travel on a rocket and find it out among the stars. We cannot see it from the back porch on a clear summers night and we cannot walk through an unknown door into another plane or dimension and experience it. There is only one way to heaven and that is through the son. Today I am thankful that one day I will be in heaven, through nothing I have done but believe on Jesus, for he paid the price that we might all be there with him.

sistersFebruary 7, 2018 – Reunions

I mentioned before that my family was never a really close family. I only met my fathers parents once that I remember and maybe met my moms parents twice. I met one aunt early in my childhood, but never heard from her again and I know mom had another sister that I never met. I couldn’t even tell you if my father had any siblings

Most family reunions are fun. I’ve been to a few, even though they were not my blood kin, and they were a blast. I think the closest we’ve ever gotten to a family reunion is when my older sister, step-father and myself moved to this little rural town where my little sister took up residence many years ago. Sadly my older sister and stepfather are no longer with us. All that is left is my sister, and myself here and a half-brother in Colorado.

I’ve been a guest at a few other family reunions over the years and for the most part they were fun. I’ve been to a few that ended up in arguments and fights, with family members leaving and vowing never to speak to other family members again. I thought “how sad”.

I lived with my son, his wife and kids off and on for seven years and that seems like so long ago. It’s been almost eleven years since I have seen any of them and I won’t see my son again until we reunite in heaven. Today I am thankful that some day I will attend the biggest reunion of the ages in heaven with all those family members that are missing, all those I cannot visit here and Jesus.

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Family, Reminders, and It Is What It Is

hen and chicksFebruary 2, 2018 – Family

My family was not a close family. I only remember meeting my fathers parents once and staying with my mothers parents for a very short time when I was very young. I never met my Aunt Joan and only have vague memories of my Aunt Carol when she stayed with us for a short while in Security, Colorado.

I don’t even know what my grandparents names were except that Moms parents had the last name of Berger and Dad’s parents had the last name of Kimes. I don’t know if I had any other uncles or aunts and I have no idea how many cousins I may still have.

I was always curious, when I was older, why none of our relatives stepped in to help out and take us kids when my mom was institutionalized in a mental hospital for 6 years. For the most part my family was just three of us Kimes sisters, a half brother and half sister, my mom, and two step fathers, the first who didn’t last long and really had nothing to do with us kids and the second who just passed away two years ago.

But God, in his wisdom has given me more family over the years than I could have ever expected. I have had a total of four moms beside my real mom, six dads besides my real dad, and eight other siblings. The extra parents and siblings came from the foster homes and I have long since lost contact with them, even though I have made efforts to find the ones who treated me as family.

Even so, I have so many others that have come into my life over the years that it would take a while to list them all. They are not blood related, but they are heart related and many of them have been more family to me than my original parents, foster parents and step parents have been.

While our numbers are declining and there are only two sisters and one brother left from my mothers unions, I still have so many around me that I consider family, that I love and who love me in return, and even though I lost my only son two years a go, I still have innumerable kids that I call my own. Today I am thankful that I have such a big family and look forward to the day when it will be even larger in Heaven.

common senseFebruary 3, 2018 – Reminders

As I get older, my memory is not as good as it used to be. I can walk into a room, stand there for 5 minutes, not remembering what I went in there for, walk out and 5 minutes later remember what I wanted in that other room. I can be talking about something, or have something I want to say, but if I am interrupted, I completely forget what it was until a few hours later, and by then it isn’t worth saying.

No, I do not have Alzheimer’s nor do I have Dementia. Daily life on this planet is just full of stressful information and events. Even on a calm, free day, there are things that need to be done or issues that need to be addressed, but as we get older we are not as good at handling them, thus they can interfere with our short term memories.

I don’t forget to pay the bills, I don’t forget to cook, eat, do laundry, clean the house and I most certainly do not forget any appointments. There are some things that I can’t remember as well such as phone numbers, anniversaries or birthdays, but I have spreadsheets set up and calendars noted for these occasions so it isn’t necessary to clutter this older brain with them

Satan likes to throw reminders at us all the time. Reminders of the sinful life we led, reminders of all the mistakes we made, and reminders of all the bad things that have happened in our lives. What we do with these reminders is up to us. I like to remind myself that I am not perfect and that I am forgiven for all of my past mistakes.

When I do this and thank Jesus for forgiving me, he seems to send me good reminders; reminders of some of the things I did right, reminders of some of the good people who have crossed my path, reminders of the blessings he showers on me each day and reminders of how he is right here beside me all the time. Today I am thankful for those reminders.

doggieFebruary 4, 2018 – It Is What It Is

We run around most of our lives wondering why things happen the way they do. Many of us complain all the time about what life has thrown at us. Some of us, like myself were born poor and struggled for much of our adult life to have it better than our parents did.

We go through life, often making one mistake after another until we finally reach that level where experience and logic take over. For some people, that never happens but for many it is a rude awakening when they look back at all the years that were wasted.

I looked back often when I changed levels in my life, and it took the attitude of my younger sister to change my view of things. I was always on the offensive because of what I had been through. I was never going to let someone step all over me again, and yet I did a few times.

For all the times I complained to my sister, I truly believe that she had more of a Christian attitude than I did. I’ve learned from her. One of her favorite sayings when something went wrong or I was upset about something not going my way was “it is what it is”. In other words, whatever was going on would eventually change and I just needed to sit back, accept it and go on with my life.

I never hear my sis complain, I never hear her bring up anything bad out of her past, in fact, until my older sister told me some things, I had no idea the things my little sis had gone through, and still, she not once talked about them or complained to me about them.

We talked at length over a few months before I moved here about Jesus, and when I received her card telling me that the people at the food bank had prayed with her, and she had accepted Jesus, it sent shivers through me. I was walking on air to know my little sis was saved.

I’ve learned through her upbeat attitude that many times “it is what it is” and you just do the best you can and go on with the other things that need to be done. So when I hurt, I just do what I need for the pain and go on because “it is what it is”. When We have to go to the hospital or the ER, we pack up and go without complaints because it is a necessary thing and “it is what it is”.

When the bills are higher than expected or something goes wrong with the car, we do what is necessary to have these things taken care of because “it is what it is”. Acceptance of what life throws at you is a way to get on with life without wallowing in self pity or burdening someone with your complaints. Today I am thankful that for the most part I can accept “it is what it is” in many circumstances.

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Forgiveness, Home and Friends

heartsJanuary 30, 2018 – Forgiveness

Sometimes we find it hard to forgive, especially if someone has hurt us deeply. Whether it is a superficial, emotional wound or an actual, physical injury caused by another person, we are a race of people who tend to hold onto every negative experience we have had.

Some of us feed on the negativity of our hurts. We milk others for sympathy. We make others feel guilty about something they may have done or said in a moment of weakness or anger, and we harvest that guilt and often bring it out to hold over their heads when we think they need to be reminded.

For years I hung onto the negative things from my past life, often reliving them in my mind, over and over again. I wanted vengeance, I deserved retribution, or I thought I did. I needed to get even with those that hurt me, I wanted to hurt them back, often going over scenarios in my mind on how I could get even with them.

But as time passed, so did any opportunities to hurt someone. I had to weigh the consequences of what my actions might cause. Even so, I still hung onto that need to remember and relive every hurtful word or event.

Then I met Jesus. Then I released all my pain, all my sorrow, all my need for vengeance. Today I am thankful that through him I have learned to forgive.

Mark 11:25 – And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

jesus doorJanuary 31, 2018 – Home

I have lived in many houses during my life, some good, some not so good. I’ve lived with other families, with friends, with relatives and loved ones and by myself. I never considered any of them a permanent home. I never thought of any of those places as where I would stay for the duration of my time on earth.

There is a saying that I have heard many times “Home is where your heart is”. Many people believe that it means home is where you came from, where you grew up at or where your family originated. For many that would mean that their home is in another country or state and for others it may be just across town.

I was born in Chicago, but it was not and is not my home. I was raised for a good part of my childhood in Colorado but it is was not and is not my home. I lived in Ohio for many years, spent a year in Vermont, eight months in Arizona and five years in Florida, but they were not my home.

I live in Missouri now and I love it, but as I have gotten more and more into reading God’s word, I realize that even though I call it home, it is only temporary. Home is where Jesus is waiting. It is in Heaven for now, but someday it will be here on earth. Home is where your heart is and today I am thankful that some day I will be in my true home with Jesus.

racconsFebruary 1, 2018 – Friends

I was an introvert when I was young. I was never really good at making friends. Sure, I wanted to be accepted by other kids in school, especially the “cool” ones, the popular ones, but I didn’t fit in with them.

I was a “nerd”, often the only one in my classes that received awards for Merit Roll, Honor Roll, Deans List, Presidents List and Citizenship, so I didn’t fit in with the popular kids. Truly, it never bothered me much, for I lived in my own little world with a few friends and all my books.

As I grew older and made other friends, I found out that true friendship was hard to find. There didn’t seem to be very many people you could trust. Some hung around with you because on that particular day, they had no one else to hang around with, but as soon as their other friends came around, you were forgotten or talked about.

I’ve had people who called me friends, but mostly they did that for selfish purposes, usually on the job where I had some influence and they thought if they were friends with me it would be to their advantage.

Then I had my church friends, many who I looked up to when I became a Christian, only to discover that they were no different than the ones outside of church. Some were gossips, others were friendly just because that was the face they put on for everyone on Sunday.

But, over the years I have had some true friendships. I still have two life long friends from junior high. We’ve been friends for over 50 years – wow!! I never thought of that before. Over the years I have met some truly wonderful people and friendships have developed and grown. Today I am thankful for the trued friends I do have.

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Gods Cathedral

pathJanuary 29, 2018 – Gods Cathedral

Have you ever been to Gods Cathedral? It is a magnificent place to visit. It doesn’t cost you anything to walk through it. There are no collection plates or donation boxes and no one will ask you for a monetary gift.. He takes care of everything, the maintenance of the whole place fall directly in his hands.

You can visit it anytime you want to, and the things you will find there will amaze you. There are no man-made pews or alters there, no priest walking around in flashy robes, no candles being burned and no animal sacrifices. There is no incense burned nor flowery speeches made.

The chorus doesn’t have to come to practice twice a week and there are no electrical musical instruments but the music there is more beautiful than anything you hear in a conventional church. There are no choral robes to be donned and no choir books handed out.

God created his Cathedral many centuries ago and offered it to us free of charge. He didn’t ask us to cut and saw any wood or buy any nails. He didn’t demand that we labor for years to build nor did he ask us to furnish any of the furnishings for this excellent cathedral.

Where is Gods cathedral and how can you get there? Anyone can visit it at any time. Just walk through nature, smell the aromas of flowers and plants, watch the rituals of the birds and forest animals and listen to the bubbling brooks. Wait until dark and look at the gem studded sky twinkling around a beautiful and perfect moon. Listen to the quiet. Gods Cathedral is all around us in everything he made. Today I am thankful for Gods cathedral.

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Trust, Paraklesis, and Pain

oldman prayingJanuary 26, 2018 – Trust

Some people find it hard to trust others. When I was young I trusted everyone. I believed everything anyone told me. I was naive, I’ll admit that, but I was never taught anything about life out on my own. My family never had sit down talks about what to expect out in the world. Our only sit-downs was when a punishment was being decided or chores for the week were being handed out.

As things turned out, I married a man before my first summer out of high school was over, only to find out when I was five months pregnant that he had married me under an assumed name, was still married to someone else and had an extensive criminal record with open warrants.

Still, I wanted to trust people, and so I trusted another man, one who said I was the world to him. Over the course of 20 year abusive relationship which I got stuck in, I found out that there was not one word that came out of his mouth that was true. I know this had a lot to do with a growing mistrust of all people.

Even after I became a Christian, I learned early on that there were even Christians that you could not trust. I learned that not all the people I looked up to at church were honest with me, and even found out that some were gossiping about me, even spreading untrue stories, so I held onto my mistrust of people for several years.

Starting around 1996 I started to meet some people who proved to me that they could be trusted. I’ve met many more over the years. As I learned to trust more in Jesus, more trustworthy people showed up in my life. Today I am thankful I learned to trust Jesus and that I have so many people today that I can totally trust.

Hands holding the worldJanuary 27, 2018 – Paraklesis

Paraklesis is a Latin word. The simple definition is comfort, encouragement and exhortations. Advocatus is another Latin word meaning advocate or helper and in the Latin translations of the bible is has been used with paraklesis when talking about Jesus.

There are many advocates that will pass through our lives. Teachers, preachers, lawyers, doctors are just a few examples of advocates or helpers that we depend on all the time. A teacher helps you to learn, and preacher helps you to understand the word of a God, a lawyer will defend you when you are wrongly accused and work toward a positive end when going up against an adversary that has wronged you and a doctor helps you maintain your health.

There is one parakletos – advocatus that stands out from the rest. He is the one who Jesus sent us to help us after he ascended to heaven, the Holy Spirit. He is always with us and around us, helping to protect us and helping to guide us into making the good decisions in our lives and following the teachings of Christ.

Today I am thankful that I have a parakletos/advocatus to help me through this life until Jesus calls me home or comes back to get his children.

John 14:15 -17“If you love me, you will obey my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever. That helper is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it doesn’t see or know him. You know him, because he lives with you and will be in you.

sad-smileyJanuary 28, 2018 – Pain

There are different types of pain. Some of it is physical, some emotional and some psychological. When we get sick or injured, different parts of our bodies will hurt. Inside and out, we can feel pain. Often it will go away after whatever is afflicting us is healed, and sometimes, when we are struck down by incurable diseases, it lingers unto death.

We suffer emotional and psychological pain when someone speaks cruelly to us, when someones breaks our trust or betrays us, when someone spreads gossip, or when we have lost a loved one. We can also suffer psychological anguish with the loss of a job, a personal and valued item, or a friendship. Some of this pain will never go away unless we give it away, to God.

Pain is often an indicator that something is wrong. It is often the first symptom of an illness, disease or injury. While our researchers and scientists have worked for centuries to find ways to ease pain. Not any one substance can take away the emotional pain a person goes through. Yes, they can prescribe drugs that might take your mind off of it for awhile or dull the pain, but they don’t have an overall cure for that kind of pain.

The only way to get relief from pain without becoming an addict is to give it to Jesus. He is the original, the all time, the best healer. No physician or scientist can ever come close to the miracles he performs and nothing they create can eliminate pain the way he does.

I suffer pain from diseases and while the doctors can dull it, it will never go away, I’ve learned to live with it. I have suffered great emotional and psychological pain caused by others during my life, and for many years I felt it was something I would always be haunted by. But I’ve learned to give my pain to Jesus. Today I am thankful to have him to take away my pain.

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Grace, Health and Blessings

Note: I know I am far behind. I’ve been having internet and computer problems. I will be catching up as quickly as possible.

bibleJanuary 23, 2018 – Grace

Merriam Webster defines “Grace” several different ways. I think the ones that fit best are “approval/favor” and the archaic definition of “mercy/pardon”. Grace from God is not earned by something you do. It is extended to your through forgiveness of your sins once you accept and believe on his son, “Jesus Christ”.

We go through this life seeking approval and favor from many different sources. We look to our parents and teachers when we are young. We look to our friends, our significant others, spouse and bosses as we live out each day, and sometimes it is heartbreaking not to find the approval we so badly want.

Any child psychologist will tell you that, when you are raising your child, you need to give them that feeling of being in your grace, that feeling that you approve of them, who they are, what they do and what they can become. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more families also raised their young that they need to diligently seek Gods grace above all others?

Today I am thankful that God chose me to receive his grace through his son, Jesus Christ

Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved through grace and not of ourselves, it is a gift of God 9 not by works so no one can boast

laughterJanuary 24, 2018 – Health

Social Media sites are a good way to keep in touch with family and friends. It is an immediate way for you to stay on top of what is happening in the lives of those you care about. You can see their pictures of growing kids and grand kids, hear about family events or catastrophes. I don’t really care for Twitter. I mostly stay in touch via Facebook. Phone conversations are to long and dragged out and at least on Facebook, I can type out what I want to say and review it before I post it.

Over the last few years I have seen a lot of woes on there from friends and family. I know we are all getting older, but it seems like so many are getting sick, developing incurable diseases or getting injured. Everyday. It seems, someone is in the hospital or down with an awful illness. I see my friends deteriorating in their health, I pray for them, but it saddens me.

When I look at the what the majority of them are going through and compare it to my aches and pains, what I am going through seems so minor in comparison. Today I am thankful for the health that I do enjoy, it could be so much worse.

Jesus with children 2January 25, 2018 – Blessings

For years I lived my life as a miserable person. Stuck in a 20 year abusive relationship, I learned to think that there would never be anything good in my life. Existing from day to day, sometimes wishing he would go ahead and kill me, I was sure I had committed some horrible sin that I was being punished for.

When God finally opened the door that would let me escape this relationship, I still exited with a load of garbage. Internal as well as external scars existed and I was sure I would carry them for the rest of my life. Finally able to voice my thoughts and opinions, I became a complainer, a “woe is me” type of person. Everything was still wrong in my life and there still didn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

As I grew in my walk with Jesus, my eyesight was slowly restored and I began to see the blessings in every day. Sometimes they were just small ones like acknowledgment from a co-worker on a job well done, or the friendly smile from a person walking past me. Sometimes they were huge ones, like being offered a better job, or being told how much I was valued, or actually falling in love.

Today I am thankful that the Lord cleared my vision and allowed me to see the blessings in my life.