Guilt can eat you up, spit you out,
throw you down in the dirt
and stomp on you!
Besides that, it can make you feel bad! -Edna Ingram
Bobby gave a devotional one Wednesday night about our conscience. Little babies do not have a conscience…nor do they need one. They are pure and innocent just like Adam and Eve, before they disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 3:1-13) He related that it feels like there is a little box inside our chest that turns.
As soon as they ate of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve had a conscience…and wow! Did it hurt! Their conscience hurt so bad they hid from God. Most of us who are of sound mind and are pre-teen and above can relate to that hurt!
Bobby went on to say that when we do develop a conscience, it is round…like the piece of wood in the background above. It doesn’t hurt when it turns. But when we are educated to discern between right and wrong, and then…when we do something wrong, it is like the square one in the foreground. It does hurt at every turn.
The second time we do the wrong it doesn’t hurt quite as badly, because the corners are worn down a little. Every time we do the wrong, the corners are worn down a little more…until it is rounded like the first one and it doesn’t hurt at all. Scary, isn’t it? There are many who are in this predicament because they can do a lot of bad stuff and it doesn’t bother them at all.
The apostle Paul in Acts 8 was persecuting Christians and he was living under the old law at a time when the new law was in effect. He even put Christians in jail and in some cases had them killed for following Jesus. (Stephen, first Christian to die for Christ) Acts 7:54-60.Paul (Saul, at the time) didn’t know the new law was in effect and had been since Acts chapter 2, when the church of Christ began.
Paul was on his way to Damascus to seize Christians to arrest them and take them back to Jerusalem to prison. Paul’s conscience did not bother him at that time, because he thought he was doing God’s will. God got his attention in Acts chapter 9 and it tells of his conversion, after he went on into Damascus to see Ananias.
I think Bobby described the conscience in graphic detail and I remember that is what it feels like. Most of us over the age of about 6 know the pain of a guilty conscience. The rest of the book of Acts continues with the history of the Lord’s church.
During my lifetime at certain points I tended to read certain Scriptures and not think too much about them, but at the various seasons of life, some tend to have very special meaning. Here are my favorites for the seasons of my life. Precious Promises!
1. Early Spring of Life:
Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
2. Late Spring of Life:
When we first learned and obeyed the gospel…(About 11:00 one night back in 1956) Luke 1:32-33: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” My overall favorite!
3. Summer of Life:
When our children were growing up: Proverbs 22:6: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
4. Autumn of Life:
Romans 8:37-39 “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
5. Winter of Life: (Favorite at this point in time.)
2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
Raising children has given me a number of experiences and observations that serve as good object lessons. Once such observation took place several years ago at a wedding reception. Our son, Daniel was about 11 years old at the time and was almost as tall as his mother, but he was still very much a mama’s boy and when he would get tired he would go over, stand beside his mother and lay his head on her shoulder.
At the reception, there was a woman who was about the same size as my wife and had the same hairstyle and color. When Daniel got tired he walked over to the woman, whom he had never met, stood beside her and…thinking she was his mother, laid his head on her shoulder.
The woman was obviously puzzled by his actions, because she didn’t know him, but she put her arm around him and allowed him to rest his head on her shoulder. The woman had been talking with someone and as she resumed her conversation, Daniel noticed she did not sound like his mother. He raised his head and realized he was leaning on a stranger. He gave a very brief apology and went hurriedly in search of his mother. Obviously, he was thoroughly embarrassed and I was thoroughly amused.
We sing the song, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, and the chorus of the song is ‘Leaning on Jesus, leaning on Jesus, safe and secure from all alarms, Leaning on Jesus, leaning on Jesus, leaning on the everlasting arms.” Truly, it is a comfort leaning on the teachings and promises of Jesus our Lord.
Yet, just as Daniel was comfortable leaning on the shoulder of a stranger, there are so many who think they are leaning on Jesus but are following the teachings and promises made by man.
Jesus warns His listeners in His sermon on the mount in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven but only he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?” Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evil doers!” Can’t you just hear the shock in the voice of those to whom Jesus was speaking. Those who thought they were leaning on Jesus but were not doing His will. They were leaning on a stranger.
When Daniel found out he was leaning on a stranger he ran immediately to find his mother. I want to challenge each one of us to look closely at the one on whom we are leaning. Look closely at the teachings and promises that we follow. We may think we are leaning on Jesus but if we are not doing the will of Jesus…if we have not been obedient to His words, we may well be leaning on a stranger.
…And the sheep hear His voice: and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers. (John 10:3-5)
Oh my aching feet. I uncovered a pair of good-looking shoes in my closet and decided to give them another try. They are Easy Spirit and they should be comfortable…but if you knew my feet….
I tried them on and walked in them…so far so good after 2 hours. I honestly can’t remember if I bought them at a thrift store or new from a store! Oh Yeah! I can look inside and see….
You know, Jesus bought His church. He didn’t for sure get it at a thrift store. It cost Him and His Father everything! And you know what? We can look inside and see what it cost. We can attend the assembly of His church and every Sunday we are reminded of what it cost when we partake of communion.
We can also look inside the Bible and read about the cost…and His great love for us. And after almost 2000 years…so far so good…and it will be…all during eternity.
In fact, Jesus said, “…The gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18; Colossians 1: 18-24
The leaders of our nation need to try their best to fix the economy, instead of tearing it down… and the cost of living, where one income would do for a family… so the mother, if she wished, could stay home and take care of her family. I know that my husband and I would rather pay extra income tax towards giving a mother a reward for marriage and for taking care of the children in their own home, rather than seeing day care centers spring up all over our nation and funded by our government, which we help pay for anyway!
As it now stands if a couple has children out of wedlock, they gain more monetarily by remaining single and either living in the same house without marriage or go their separate ways without benefit of a mother and father to their little one. What a sad commentary it is when evil and weakness is rewarded in our country and on the other hand and for the same consideration, marriage and making a home for a little child is penalized!
If every house hold were taxed for this reason, what an improvement in morals and child care it would have for the United States! Granted, it takes more than perks to have good morals, but our country has been penalizing morals and marriage and giving perks for immorality for a long time.
For instance people can draw more money for living together than for being married in some cases. I don’t begrudge them the money, except for the fact that the little child doesn’t have a good home and also I would like for them to be encouraged to live right and have good spiritual health along with the other needful things in life.
We had rather give our taxes for a mother to be able to be with her children rather than working…than for a grant of thousands of dollars, to study the digestive system of a buzzard and the many other foolish things they give grants to.
And then…there are the cases in families where being satisfied with a smaller loaf of bread would help. -Edna L. Ingram
Originally posted on familyties8:
Just imagine that someone very close to you died…and the day of their funeral, you decided you were tired and would just sleep in that day and skip the funeral or maybe you had taken a job and had to work that day or maybe company came and you stayed home with them. Do you think that decision would persuade anyone that you were really close to that person…or that you even cared for them at all?
Well,Someone did die…and that Someone did it because He loved us so very much that He gave up, not only His life, but also His equality with God, (Philippians 2:5-8) to be our Savior and take our sins away on that cross (if we obey Him.)
Many do not even accept Him and obey Him…but many who do, eventually let their dedication slide and when the church meets together they cannot be depended…
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Today, exactly thirteen years ago (on St. Patrick’s Day) our house burned. I had come in from working at the post office that Saturday morning and after lunch decided to wash my hair. First I turned on the central heat because it was a tad chilly in the house; (Mistake #1) then I let Baby Bird out of the cage…mistake #2! As I was rinsing my hair, I could hear Baby Bird squawking and flying wild about the room. I finished rinsing my hair and put a towel over it and raised my head up. I could tell what he was upset about and it was pretty serious. Black smoke was pouring out of the vents in the ceiling. I hurried around trying to get Baby Bird on my hand to put him back in his cage and get outside. He wouldn’t let me. I was beginning to feel the effects of the smoke and sadly, had to get out and leave him. The squirrel cage of the central heat unit in the attic had frozen up. One of our neighbors later that afternoon, said that he heard an explosion before he saw the smoke. I didn’t hear it with the water running over my head. As I went out to move the car from under the carport and down the road a ways, an old classmate stopped and told me he would go tell Bobby at the shop….As I was about to move the van, Bobby drove up and moved it for me and someone had called the fire dept. I told Bobby, in tears, that I couldn’t get Baby Bird out. Bobby wanted to go in and get Baby Bird but I was afraid the burning ceiling would fall in on him. He went in to get him, with me begging him not to. I told him he’d probably be dead from the smoke by that time. By that time there was quite an audience out in the road watching the fire with me. The fire dept had left the screen door propped open and Bobby saw Baby Bird fly by and went in to get him and brought him to me. I was so happy to have the little fellow again! The month before the fire, my kidneys shut down from a prescription I had received from a doctor who thought I had rheumatoid arthritis, which I was found to not have. I was in the hospital about 2 weeks until they were sure my kidneys were working okay again. That’s why the smoke got to me so fast. About a month after the fire, I lost my full time (temporary position) and went back to part time. They had left me in the full time position 8 months longer than they were supposed to over the 6 months’ time limit. So that was a triple whammy in about the space of about 3 months. Three bad happenings??? No, not really! It wasn’t long until I realized they were all three big blessings? We are told in Romans 8:28 that “….all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” All of these really did work together for our good. In June of that year I could tell my strength was not building up as fast as I needed it to, so I retired from the postal service. Eight years later Bobby decided to retire from his barber shop. So we have had these 5 years together without a constant watching of the clock….just in time for our little Great-Grandchildren to arrive on the scene.
Today, exactly thirteen years ago (on St. Patrick’s Day) our house burned. I had come in from working at the post office that Saturday morning and after lunch decided to wash my hair. First I turned on the central heat because it was a tad chilly in the house; (Mistake #1) then I let Baby Bird out of the cage…mistake #2! As I was rinsing my hair, I could hear Baby Bird squawking and flying wild about the room. I finished rinsing my hair and put a towel over it and raised my head up.
I could tell what he was upset about and it was pretty serious. Black smoke was pouring out of the vents in the ceiling. I hurried around trying to get Baby Bird on my hand to put him back in his cage and get outside. He wouldn’t let me. I was beginning to feel the effects of the smoke and sadly, had to get out and leave him. The squirrel cage of the central heat unit in the attic had frozen up. One of our neighbors later that afternoon, said that he heard an explosion before he saw the smoke. I didn’t hear it with the water running over my head.
As I went out to move the car from under the carport and down the road a ways, an old classmate stopped and told me he would go tell Bobby at the shop….As I was about to move the van, Bobby drove up and moved it for me and someone had called the fire dept. I told Bobby, in tears, that I couldn’t get Baby Bird out. Bobby wanted to go in and get Baby Bird but I was afraid the burning ceiling would fall in on him. He went in to get him, with me begging him not to. I told him he’d probably be dead from the smoke by that time. By that time there was quite an audience out in the road watching the fire with me. The fire dept had left the screen door propped open and Bobby saw Baby Bird fly by and went in to get him and brought him to me. I was so happy to have the little fellow again!
The month before the fire, my kidneys shut down from a prescription I had received from a doctor who thought I had rheumatoid arthritis, which I was found to not have. I was in the hospital about 2 weeks until they were sure my kidneys were working okay again. That’s why the smoke got to me so fast.
About a month after the fire, I lost my full time (temporary position) and went back to part time. They had left me in the full time position 8 months longer than they were supposed to over the 6 months’ time limit. So that was a triple whammy in about the space of about 3 months. Three bad happenings??? No, not really! It wasn’t long until I realized they were all three big blessings? We are told in Romans 8:28 that “….all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
All of these really did work together for our good. In June of that year I could tell my strength was not building up as fast as I needed it to, so I retired from the postal service. Eight years later Bobby decided to retire from his barber shop. So we have had these 5 years together without a constant watching of the clock….just in time for our little Great-Grandchildren to arrive on the scene.
Bobby goes through a lot of preparatory stages before he puts the knife to the wood in his carving of guns or airplanes. Here is a picture of the specs of the one he is working on now. There’s no comparison with him to NASA because they, of course, go through even more preparation in building space shuttles, satellites, etc. This reminds me of a spiritual thought:
Not comparing God to NASA and Bobby…but God went through much, much more preparation in the building of His church. He prepared a nation and then a tribe for His beloved Son to come through. This Son would come in human form and have the name of Jesus…and it was prophesied that He would die upon a cruel cross in the fullness of time. It was prophesied that this would happen during the Roman empire.
If Jesus had been guilty of what they accused Him of, the Jewish Law’s penalty would be stoning. During the Roman empire, the penalty was crucifixion. It all comes together just as it was prophesied. He was born, he lived about 33 years, he told about His kingdom for about 3 years and then He was crucified for the sins of the world, because of His great love for us.
Then on the third day, He was resurrected and after He had left instructions for His apostles that He had chosen, He ascended back to heaven… and they remained in Jerusalem until power came from on high. On the Day of Pentecost after the resurrection (50 days from the Passover) the church began and 3,000 heard the apostles teaching, believed, repented, confessed Christ and were baptized into Christ on that first day. Since that day many more have been added to His church by being obedient to the gospel of Christ.
Sadly, there is another prophesy that will come true someday, stated in several places in Scripture and in different ways. This one:
(2 Thessalonians 1: 7-12) “… And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed ) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
We hear a lot of talk in our nation today about “the separation of church and state.” Many in our society believe that religion has no place in the political arena. Even some Christians believe that because our citizenship is in heaven, we have no right or responsibility to participate in civil government. As our nation prepares for another election, every Christian should consider this question: Does God want His people involved in civil government?
A clear answer to this question can be found in the Bible. For example, in Genesis 14:18, we read of Melchizedek, who was the priest of God Most High; he was also king of Salem. In Genesis 29:41, we read of Joseph, the son of Jacob, who through the providence of God was raised to power in the kingdom of Egypt. In Exodus 1-2, we read of Moses , who through the providence of God was brought up in the palace as grandson to the Pharaoh of Egypt.
Throughout the history of Israel, God sent prophets to be advisors to Israel’s kings. Samuel was advisor to King Saul; the prophets Gad and Nathan were advisors to King David; Elijah prophesied to the wicked King Ahab; Isaiah was advisor to King Hezekiah of Judah; and Jeremiah prophesied to the last four kings of Judah. God also sent prophets as counselors to other nations. Daniel served as advisor to the kings of Babylon, and Jonah was sent to preach to the city of wicked Nineveh in Assyria.
In the New Testament, we are told in Matthew 14:1-5 that John the Baptist rebuked King Herod for his immoral conduct. In Luke 21:12-13, Jesus tells his disciples that they will be brought before kings and governors as witnesses to them. In Acts 9:15, the Lord, speaking about Saul of Tarsus, says that he would carry the name of the Lord before the Gentiles and kings. Saul, later called Paul preached to the Roman governors, Felix and Festus, to King Agrippa and even to Caesar and his court in Rome. It is obvious as we look at both the old and New Testaments, God has always wanted His people to be involved in influencing civil governments.
An objective examination of our history reveals that the principles of Christianity had an overwhelming influence on our founding fathers and the forging of this great nation. These Christian principles produced a government that gave every citizen the opportunity and the responsibility to participate in the political process. Having a government that is “of the people, by the people and for the people,” there has never been a nation throughout history where Christians have had a greater opportunity to be an influence for the cause of Christ. For almost two centuries the citizens of this nation enjoyed the freedom to speak, to print and to preach what we believe, and it is the principle of Christianity that prevailed in such struggles as abolishing slavery and extending civil rights to every citizen.
Yet in the last fifty years, these freedoms have been threatened. Prayer and the Bible have been removed from our public schools. Efforts are underway and great strides have been made to remove the influence of God and Christianity from every level of government and almost every aspect of public life.
Why are these things happening in our nation? The answer is simple. While the advocates of atheism and humanism have been actively working to influence our government, Christians for the most part have been complacent and willing to sit quietly on the sidelines and let it happen. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5: 13-16 that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Much can be said about these words of Christ, but it is obvious that He wants us as Christians to affect the world around us and to permeate every aspect of society with the illuminating, liberating, life-giving influence of Christ and His Word.
As we approach the next national election, let’s take our influence for Christ outside the walls of our church buildings. Let’s speak out for Christ on the moral issues that are debated in the political arena. Let’s inform ourselves and others…about the candidates and where they stand on the moral issues, and let’s cast our vote for the candidates that hold most closely to the Christian principles upon which our nation was founded. May we let our light shine for Christ in every aspect of our society, including the political arena…and may God continue to bless America. -Wendell Ingram, in House to House /Heart to Heart publication
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord”. Psalm 33:12
TO MY GROWN UP SELF: Dear self, I don’t know how long it has been since you thought of me, your little girl self.
To my little girl self: Oh my! I think of you all the time….remembering the happy times and a few sad times. I wonder how different I would have been if our mother had not died so young. I know you don’t remember her at all being only 3. I doubt life would have been a lot different with such a wonderful dad and a grandmother who helped him out a lot…but it would have been easier on them. But I’m looking at that, not used to having a mother and that isn’t fair to her. In fact just calling someone ‘Mother’, ‘Mom’ or ‘Mommy’, isn’t in my vocabulary and I can’t remember when it was. When I speak of her I always say “our mother”.
To my grown up self: Well in growing up, I remember only one or two times envying my friends who had a mother…but I think there were more times when they envied me. LOL They seemed to want to spend the night with me and my sister a lot. They thought we had more fun at our house.
To my little girl self: One thing I regret that my dad did: Our mother was an artist and had a scholarship to go to art school and she married my dad instead. But she drew a lot on the backs of calendars etc., and Daddy let us play with them…..I know his thinking and I respect him for it. I know he was thinking that our mother was taken from us and he wasn’t going to take her stuff away from us too…But oh! How I’d like to have her art work now! I don’t remember our brother playing with her stuff because he was always making airplanes and doing boy stuff. But we would play school with them and use those for our papers. It wasn’t long until we were a little older and we remembered them but realized they were gone. Our brother can draw really well but my sister and I can’t at all. We reap what we sow…or destroy. LOL
To my grown up self: Now that you are grown up what single thing did you learn that helped you in your adult life?
To my little girl self: Well, I remember being left with a neighbor woman only once because a guy who used dirty language was going to be cutting wood with my dad that day…but all the other times, I went with him. He always made sure we were at home when my brother and sister came in from school too. My dad being a great mother/father figure made me realize that our children can and may have to…. do without one parent or the other…and if I were going to be one, I needed to try to be the best I could be for them. He had the tough part of being dad but he also had the sweet tender part, needed of being a mother. His influence went a long way into how I view a mother should be. He has been gone now for 23 years but I still feel a perpetual hug from him.
This year is almost gone…it makes you wonder what the new year holds. Here is my view of some of the years gone by…and I must add that they went by mighty fast!
When our children were small and so sweet and precious, I thought that no time in life could be as good as this.
Then they started growing up and their activities multiplied and we were on the road a lot trying to take in all their activities…and I thought that no time in life would ever be as good as this!
Well they were almost grown up and we were so proud of them. Their values echoed our values and it was then that, finally, I began to know that there would be other good times.
When they grew up and moved a few hundred miles away, I would stand at the window to watch for them when we were expecting them. I could see headlights top the hill about a mile west of us and I would stand at the window to see if the car would turn south at the next hill. Sometimes it did…sometimes it kept going east…but when the car came under the street lights a couple of blocks from our house, I could tell if it was their car and I would turn on the porch light for them and be ready to hug them. I would stand and watch for hours. It was about a 7 hour drive for them and I would start watching at eleven P.M., just in case they got to leave a little earlier than planned,
Then the grandchildren came and what a grand time that was! We were busy going to their activities as they were growing up and it was so good to watch them as they excelled in lots of things they did. They are grown now and their values echo their parents’ values and when they come, we are not situated geographically where we can watch for their headlights…we just have to be content with their cars pulling up in our driveway…but it seems that no time in life can top this either.
The sad times in our lives besides the passing away of both our parents was our daughter passing away at the age of 32, in 1990. We had a hard time coming to grips with losing her but so many prayers of our Christian brothers and sisters helped tremendously. Now she is in our hearts so much, it hardly seems she’s gone from us at times. We speak of her often and it helps.
Now our son has gone through all these phases in his life…one of them being the ‘empty nest syndrome‘, which is the most distasteful of them all, (except for the death of a child) …but it has to be endured for the next phase to come around.
Then came the phase of his and Kathy’s grandchildren…4 of them so far! I’m excited for him and Kathy! I’m excited for us!
Every phase of life has its great moments, its griefs and its missions. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future and we are going to rush into it with faith in God, without fear, and with great anticipation…knowing that it still holds a lot of things that we have never experienced before!
Jeremiah 9:24: “…but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.”
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 48 trips to carry that many people.