Treating Others

“If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (…) You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” Roman 14:8-12

        Today is October 31st; a day commemorated by some as skulls, witches, and zombies and others, like me, with grinning jack-o-lanterns and lots of (my grandson says) “good” candy. One could tell he was growing up when he asked me to please buy “good” candy (name-brand chocolate bars) instead of lollipops or wrapped candy like smarties. Maybe next year I will shock him and buy apples.

        October 31st has become a very hot topic in Christianity; I try to respect each person’s opinion and belief; I rarely make comment. Those who “get my goat” are the true grown-ups who have found the right answers about this commemoration AFTER they and their own children have walked throughout the neighborhoods collecting candy for years; or those who turn out their lights and leave their homes for a few hours. In the neighborhood where we live, most folks who are participating take a folding table and chair out to the end of the driveway and treat the kids. Those who don’t want to participate turn out their lights; it works but I am always surprised by the number of people who don’t participate. Sometimes it is for religious beliefs, a very few sincerely can not afford it, but most non-participators just can’t be bothered.

        So, as a Christian who chooses to reward the little cuties who trudge through the streets in cute costumes with sacks (usually with their parents or grandparents or both in tow), what should I do? KEEP MY OPINION TO MYSELF UNLESS A BIBLE VERSE CLEARLY AND UNDERSTANDABLY COMMANDS AGAINST IT! It is truly a concept easy to understand … DO NOT JUDGE YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST UNLESS GOD HAS MADE IT CLEAR IN HIS WORD! Paul wrote very clearly in his epistle to the Romans, “each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” I figure it this way … as long as I am not convicted by the Holy Spirit who does His job very well … I can commemorate October 31st, I can give gifts at Christmas, eat chocolate bunnies and eggs at Easter, have a tattoo to honor my Mom, paint my fingernails, and if my brother or sister in Christ IS convicted to not do these things than I can keep my mouth shut! We can also, by the way, ask the same respect of them.

        We are all going to face God; the Bible says so. The Bible also says that if we ask for forgiveness of our sins, God will forgive and forget them. I’m not certain if God will bring these little beliefs up in our face to face or not; He is God and can do as He pleases. If He does, I am certain that we will be able to talk it through with Him and will understand what He tells us. We may laugh about our little differences or we may shed a tear or two but – one thing is for certain – judging, being contemptuous or treating members of our Christian family meanly or bitterly is WRONG … the Bible tells us so! 

Let us ever love each other

 With a heart that’s warm and true,

 Ever doing to our brother

 As to us we’d have him do. Refrain:

 Kind and loving to each other,

 Gentle words to all we meet;

 Thus we follow Christ our Savior,

 Proving all His service sweet. 

© 2008 Carden’s Design. All Rights Reserved.

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.

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Treat it Right

“Priests are to perform My service in such a way that they do not become guilty and die for treating it with contempt. I am the Lord, who makes them holy.” Leviticus 22:9

        When my kids were in their late teens, I worked a full time job, attended college full time, and directed the choir at my home church. The church was 40 minutes from our home so usually I went from work to my Mom’s for dinner. I loved directing the choir. We were blessed with a gifted accompanist, a woman who lived to praise the Lord on the keyboards, organ and piano. When she arrived at practice it was though a thousand lights came on at once; her personality bubbled with joy. Some nights we could have continued choir practice for hours but it seemed, as soon as the music stopped, I was always exhausted. I can remember my Mom saying, every night, “drive carefully with the windows open and call me when you get home.”       

        There is joy in serving the Lord, part time or full time, but there is also responsibility. They performed the sacrifices and rituals in the tabernacle and acted as mediator between man and God. The priests of Israel were chosen by God to especially serve Him, from the tribe of Levi. They originated in one family, that of Aaron, Moses’ brother. Before the days of a king, they were expected to serve as judges over the rest of Israel in all moral, civil, and legal matters. They were entrusted by God to serve others by serving Him. Although trained in their appointments from birth, they were not divine and often went astray. 

        In today’s scripture, God is warning the priests about their behavior in and out of the tabernacle. He warns them to perform their service in His holiness as to do otherwise could result in guilt and even death. Just as He promises to provide our every spiritual need; the Lord promised to make them holy. Strangely, even though it has been many thousands of years since God’s promise to the priest, His requirement has not changed… treat our service for Him as a holy gift and do not defame it! 

        We no longer need to be born in to a certain family or meet a list of requirements to be in the service of the King! We are reborn and adopted as His children at the foot of Jesus’ cross at Calvary… it is a GIFT! Yet, we are still to serve Him willingly and always remember who we are serving.                                                               

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people!” Ephesians 6:7 

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.

Trick & Treat

“Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, ‘I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.’ When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. So Pharaoh summoned Abram. ‘What have you done to me?’ he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!’ Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.” Genesis 12:10-20 

          Wow! Sorry for the lengthy scripture lesson this morning but I wanted you to see the whole story. Yes, this is the same Abram and Sarai that will be renamed Abraham and Sarah by God later on in their lives; the same couple through whom the child of covenantal blessing would be born! They (and their ancestors) certainly took many detours to the truth sometimes. In this story Abram (fearing for his life and without seeking God’s permission) devised a lie then coerced his wife into living in it. As God does not impede our sinful behavior, even after we belong to Him, this story is a great example of His omnipotent “interference.” Abram made a bad choice; God brought illness to the Pharaoh and his household so he could not take Sarai as his wife. However, Pharaoh’s surprising reaction is what I’d like to look at today!

          Pharaoh was the ultimate ruler in Egypt – Abram was right; he could have had him killed immediately when he entered Egypt. Yet, because of Abram and Sarai’s deception, he allowed him to live peacefully in the country. During this time, Abram was materially prosperous. In the background, God was working and caused Pharaoh, along with his household, to become ill. The scriptures don’t tell us how they knew his illness was connected to Abram and Sarai but he found out.

          The Egyptian ruler called Abram into his chambers. He admonished him for lying but, rather than have him killed, Pharaoh told him to gather his riches, take his wife, and leave Egypt. Then he told his soldiers to allow them to leave peacefully! I wonder… if I was able to pinpoint the exact cause of my illness… would I be so compassionate? The scripture doesn’t SAY this but don’t you think God intervened in the situation from the day of Abram’s deception; even here? In a few short chapters, God will make covenant with Abram and change his name to Abraham. We may never understand the workings or the mind of God but we know it is always right and fair. If God can work through men (and women) that don’t trust in Him – how much more can He work through, and FOR, us? 

Though we cannot see

And we can’t quite understand

Remember God is still in control

He has promised to see you thru somehow

And He’s working even now 

God is working; He’s still working

God is working even now

Though we often don’t know just how

God is working; He’s still working

God is working even now.

 

(Lyrics by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir)

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.

Trickster

“The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau. After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau’s heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them. The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was content to stay at home among the tents.” Genesis 25

               We love our grandchildren; all three of them, but they are very different. They are growing up way too fast, the eldest is eleven, middle is ten, and the youngest is 8 ½. Mats, the oldest, is definitely Grammie’s boy … need I say more? Amelia, the middle grandchild, came to us through marriage but we couldn’t love her anymore if she were biologically ours. They are all adorable, smart, and personable but each has their personal quirk. Emma, the little one, has a latent funny streak; a dry humor that just comes out of her cute little freckled face without warning. She is just out and out funny; not that the others aren’t at times but Emma’s laugh is contagious, boisterous, and warms her grandparents’ hearts. She is also the one most likely to be behind any tricks pulled on her cousins, parents, or grandparents.

        Isaac and Rebekah had an “arranged” marriage, at his mother’s insistence. She did not want her only child to marry a woman born anywhere but from the country of her birth. Rebekah willingly left her home and family to marry Isaac; unbeknownst to her, the son of God’s promise to Abraham who would be renamed Israel. Their sons, Esau and Jacob, were the first recorded Biblical twins; obviously fraternal as they were vastly different in looks, personalities, and likes from the day of their birth.

        We all know the story; Jacob (although God’s chosen child to carry on the covenant for reasons only God knows) was a Mama’s boy. What his mother said, he did; without question. One of his “claims to fame” was as a trickster; it seemed that he could pull off deceitful acts. Yet, my thoughts as I read his story was more about his mother, Rebekah, and the influence she wielded in his life. It caused me to think about my husband and my influence in the loves of our grandchildren. What are we teaching them by our example? Are we reflecting God in our actions, in our behavior towards them and others, in our discipline of them when it is necessary?

        Children, of our blood +/or of our heart, are the Church of tomorrow; our godly heritage. Although not taken from the scriptures, the following adage is amazing truth.

Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.

 If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

 If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.

 If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.

 If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.

 If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.

 If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.

 If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

 If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.

 If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.

 If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.

 If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

 If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.

 If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.

 If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.

 If children live with fairness, they learn justice.

 If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.

 If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.

 If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live. 

Copyright © 1972 by Dorothy Law Nolte

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.

From Your Heart

“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-20

        Music … from a young age it has been a source of joy, peace, and worship for me. Public speaking is very hard for me but I can sing in front of thousands without trepidation. Making music just comes naturally; even when I can’t speak, I can sing. During life’s hardest moments a song will be running through my mind, my heart, my soul. It has always been difficult for me not to sing. My Dad shares the story of my telling him, “Someday you will pay to hear me sing,” when I was being scolded for singing at the dinner table. Later, when I was a teenager, he laughed to himself as he sat and listened to one of my concerts for which he had purchased a ticket.

        People have spoken awesome words about music. Carlos Santana, noted Latin musician, said, “Just as Jesus created wine from water, we humans are capable of transmuting emotion into music.” My Mom often quoted Psalm 66:1, in relation to her love (but self-perceived lack of talent) of music, “The Bible says, ‘Make a joyful noise the Lord,’ and that is what I do.” Writer, Aldous Huxley said, “After silence, that which comes closest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” Arnold Bennett, WWI French Director of Information wrote, “Its language is a language which the soul alone understands, but which the soul can never translate.” Mary Anne Evan, whose pen name in an effort to have her words taken seriously in the early 19th century was George Eliot, penned, “There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, which does not find relief in music.” Lastly, my own favorite verse about music is “Let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy.” (Psalm 5:11)

        I’m not one to believe in coincidence but trust instead in the omnipotent knowledge and plan of the Lord so, isn’t it amazing that each of these quotes deal with emotional expression through music? Perusing the Scriptures, the vast majority of verse which include the words music, song, sing, or singing show that emotion is musically demonstrated; in fact, often God directs it to be so! Music is lifelong; we sing to babies to evoke emotion and often sing (or at least my family did) at the bedside of one we know will imminently be crossing over into Glory!

        And, wonderfully, all of this is not only permitted but encouraged in the Word of God. The apostle Paul wrote, in today’s verse, to the church at Ephesus, and to us all, “make music from your heart to the Lord.” Whether in the darkest valleys, the highest mountaintops, times of joy or times of grief, days of doubt or days of delight … sing to the Lord; He promises to listen!!

“God listens to the godly person who does His will.” John 9:31

 

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.

Memory friends, Family friends, Lifetime friends

“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” Proverbs 27:9

“I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 1:2 

        I don’t know about you but the older I get the more I cherish my family and my friends. Sometimes I am ambiguous about Facebook because I wonder if I am wasting my time; a lot of people on my “friends” list rarely post or acknowledge that they are reading posts. Yet for those who do post; I so enjoy seeing their lives; I like to think of them in three categories. My memory friends are those who have shared years and years of my life, even if from afar; schools, neighborhoods, jobs. Family friends are exactly that; aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, siblings … I especially enjoy their pictures! Then there are the few lifetime friends; I won’t begin to name them as I am certain to leave one out but I would share my deepest pains, joys, and secrets with them. 

        For me, there are blessings and difficulties to having divergent friends on social media, such as Facebook. I feel totally free to share my faith with any of them and I pray for each of them daily; that is the blessing! The difficulty is loving those you can tell are on the “wide” road. They know who God is, they even take time to thank Him for their blessings or beseech Him in their sorrows, but they do not allow Him to be their Lord; to walk beside them and share their lives. I pray for them even harder; I ask the Lord to give me the courage to jump in when they open the door for me to share my faith directly with them. Some I’ve shared the walk of faith with but, for one reason or the other, they have walked away from the Lord. Others have never committed to an intimate relationship with the Lord but I can hear them searching … Finally, there are my “soul” friends, we share a faith in the Lord, trust in Jesus, and search for His direction … I LOVE praying WITH them! 

        How about you? Are you living as Jesus asks us to in John 15; as His friend? Whether on social media, in your social circle, in the neighborhood or at your job … are you praying for them or with them? Are there friends who resemble mine?  

                                         (A little “girl scout” ditty with an “el” 2nd verse …) 

                                                  Make new friends but keep the old;

                                                     One is silver and the other gold!  

                                                  Love your friends; pray for them, too.

                                                  Jesus loves them, just as He does you! 

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone 

 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.

 

As You Wait

“Dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.  They said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” Jude 1:17-21

Every morning at 6:45 am my grandson and I get into our black Chevrolet SUV and drive the mile out to Mats’ bus stop. When we arrive there are usually three other SUVs, either black or navy, idling at the crossroad. Along with the young man who stands in front of his home, within viewing distance of the bus stop, three young ladies get on the “high school” bus. Two or three minutes later, the bus comes to pick up my grandson for his elongated day at Vineland Public Charter School. While I never would have guessed that I’d be sitting at a school bus stop with an 11 year old at this age, Mats and I have some of our more precious moments waiting in the SUV.

There have been times when I’ve thought about fulfilling his dream by home schooling him but he is blessed to attend a good school with small classes and dedicated teachers. It’s not a great world, is it? Every day we hear about murders, attacks, swindles and politically correct sin. I pray for my kids and grandkids; the peace and morality of my childhood is gone forever. Our world seems to be in a downward spiral toward takeover by the powers of the evil one.

Yet, Jude (reputed to be the step brother of Jesus and James) wrote to the early Christian church directives for living in the last times. Obviously, over 2000 years later, they were not living in the last days but were at the very top of the spiral; little did they know. We, the modern church of Christ, are still waiting for the Lord’s return. Jude’s advice to the early church is applicable to us; 1) Build your faith, 2) Pray in the Holy Spirit, and 3) Keep yourself IN God’s Love! Don’t give up or give in … the Lord, our Lord, is the King of kings, the Creator of the Universe, and the Beginning and the End, HE WILL BE The VICTOR at the end of time. Praise His Holy Name; whether tomorrow or another 2000 years from today … we will share in the victory of God! Just wait!!!

 

Above the clouds with all glory and might

 Up in the skies He will appear

 More than amazing and awesome will be

 The day Jesus Christ will return

And I will go up to meet Him

 

Jesus will return to take His Church up with Him!

and on that day there will be crying and weeping

by those who will stay behind!

In the multitude of the chosen I will be,

Yes, with all assurance, Jesus my King, I’ll see face to face.  (Author not found)

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.

Co-Pays

“I desire to do Your will, my God; Your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8 

        I have been covered under Medicare since two years after the onset of my illness. I have no idea why the government program insists that a person their Social Security Department just certified as permanently disabled wait two years but that is the policy. But to regress, I believe Medicare is a necessary program but it is far from comprehensive. It covers no dental or vision issues and has a 20% co-pay. Considering a visit to my general practice physician costs over $75, I always have a co-pay of $16-20 for each appointment. 20% doesn’t seem like much at first but one new or reoccurrencing illness and a patient can be heavily laden with medical debt. I am blessed; I do not have to make the choice between paying for medications or food or any of life’s other necessities. Yet, there are many people who make such a choice daily. 

        There seem to be many co-pays in our daily lives; prescriptions, motor vehicle charges, insurance pay-outs … they are called by many names, fees, deductibles, tarrifs, etc. Yet what they simply are is a business method of paying for less than the total due. They seem to be a rather new phenomena; I can’t remember paying them when my children were young; if you were covered, you were covered! 

        As children of God, our sins are COVERED by the blood of Jesus; not partially ~ COMPLETELY! God doesn’t limit His forgiveness to some of our sin; He forgives us over and over again. But, how about us? Have we given our ALL to God or do we withhold part of our lives to maintain control? Do we spend energy on worrying about things instead of placing our trust in Him 100%? Have we set a co-pay on our hearts?  

Everything I need I find in You; I believe Your promises are true.

I will lift my burdens up to You; Your loving grace will see me through.

All that I am is for You, My Savior; I live by Your Word and surrender to You.

Here where I stand in this moment, Father;

My spirit has been renewed, I surrender to You

© 2004 Jeremy Camp / Bec Recordings / Emd

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone 

 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.

 

Way of Holiness

 “And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it.” Isaiah 35:8 

        Rick has a long commute to work; 80 miles each way. Living this far from his job so we could be close to our grandson is a decision we made when we first got married. I am sure he double thinks it some mornings when he leaves before 5 am but he rarely complains. What he is careful to do, however, is to change up his route so boredom doesn’t affect his driving. I thought of him when I read about Isaiah’s “highway” of holiness. 

        A “highway” to Isaiah was much different than our modern turnpikes, thruways and interstate, multi-lane freeways. In Old Testament times, most people traveled on foot and Israel was a difficult place to travel. The “highways” directed travelers to amazingly divergent topography; mountains, rolling hills, deserts, beaches, cities and villages. The Hebrew word for “highway” means a beaten worn out path. Road construction would have been difficult for any skillful engineer because of the topography of the land. Not until the time of the Roman Empire were there crude paved roads. When Jesus journeyed from Jerusalem, around Nazareth, and through the land of Samaria, there were no special roads but large dirt paths with some stone. He was following the same dangerous, dry, dirt tracks the Old Testament heroes walked and wrote about. 

        Isaiah refers to the Way of Holiness, a road that only those following God’s commands will walk. Holiness isn’t a popular word in today’s missional churches as it is deemed “impossible to attain” because only God was perfect. When we think of “holiness” we are transported back in thought to the days of waving white hankies, temperance rallies, blue laws, and scads of legalism’s “do nots.” Yet holiness is defined as “dedicated or devoted to the service of God.” It cannot be unattainable as God said in Leviticus 11:44, “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.” Peter reiterates God’s words in I Peter 1:16, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” What we tend to forget is that WE CAN WALK TOWARD HOLINESS ONLY BECAUSE GOD HAS SANCTIFIED US THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS, certainly not under our own goodness ~ so, as we travel along Isaiah’s Way of Holiness we walk, hand in hand, with the Lord because we trust in His Word, accept His Truths, follow His Commands. and Grow in His love!! 

How many roads did I travel before I walked down one that led me to You?

 How many dream did unravel  before I believed in a hope that was true?

 How long? How far?

 What was meant to fulfill only emptied me still  and all You ever wanted…  

 

Only me on my knees, singing holy, holy

 And somehow all that matters now is You are holy, holy

 

How many deaths did I die  before I was awakened to new life again?

 How many half truths did I bear witness to ‘til the proof was disproved in the end?

 How long? How far?

 What was meant to illuminate shadowed me still and all You ever wanted…

(Lyrics by Nicole Nordeman) 

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone 

 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.

Bubbling

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

         I left my parents’ home over fifty years ago and still haven’t learned how to cut back Mom’s recipes to feed four or five people; instead anything I cook “like Mom’s” will feed an army! Today, for example, I am making chili. It isn’t one of my best dishes but it will work for tonight (and probably tomorrow, Friday, Saturday … you get the picture, right?). I have gone out to the kitchen and wiped up overflowing chili juice three times already and it won’t be dinner time for 3 hours! The crock pot is nearly full but the juice is bubbling out from under the lid…

         I thought about the bubbling when I read the scripture verse above. Most days it is easy for me to pray these words; I’m careful of what I say and what I think about. Rick and I watch very little television other than sports and Dancing with the Stars; we read the Bible, Christian, sports, text books and printed literature that is non-offensive. We are careful with the games our grandkids play when they are in our home and, to their chagrin, we have a password on our cable box.

         But, as I continue to think about the bubbling, I realize that there are times when I am angry or hurt … when I am boiling; are my words and thoughts pleasing to God then? No; even when I am just talking about someone who has hurt me or mine, I sometimes lose control. When I am angry, my words and actions are often not pretty … not at all! It is good that this prayer starts with “may,” even though I try to live every minute of my life in the will of the Lord … I fail sometimes; especially when I am bubbling! 

Please forgive me, Lord

 Soften my heart I pray.

  Let me love You tomorrow

even more than I do today. 

 (Lyrics by Sarah Kelly)

 

 Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

 Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

 

About the Author:  Eleanor Jean Gale-Boone lives in southern New Jersey.  The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (50+ in total; 4 generations / country wide), her husband (Rick), her two children (Ed & Diana), her “in-loves” (Boomer & Alyssa) and her three grandchildren (Mathieu, Emma & Amelia) are her greatest joys in life.  Although she suffers from Post Lyme Disease Syndrome, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength.  Through the power of the Spirit of God, she is learning to live in the calling of God to “be available” for Christian women seeking to find the Joy of the Lord in the midst of life’s circumstances. She is a published writer, an accomplished vocalist, an ordained pastor, a Christian counselor, and maintains an on-line encouragement ministry, “A Sister’s Hugs.” This devotional, ChIPS from El, is distributed through her website and posted to Facebook on the page, A Sister’s Hugs Ministries. At the call of God, she has established Kitchen Table Christian Counseling Services; a counseling service for Christian women struggling with life’s journey. She journey-counsels on-line through Gospel Guidance.com http://www.gospelguidance.com/search?query=gale-boone and face-to-face by appointment out of her home mailto:ejg.boone@yahoo.com. Feel free to visit http://www.asistershugs.org. God willing, she will soon return to seeking her Master’s Degree in Theology and Counseling.