Walking

“For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.” Acts 17:23 

         Often we overlook seeing objects or behaviors that are “right before our very eyes.” Before my mobility problems one of my favorite past times was to slowly walk my environment. I’d pick up trash, stop and smell the roses, note the changes made in the small cottages around mine. Sometimes changes had been made that were against association rules but, most times, the changes added beauty or personalization to the yards of the homes.

         Paul took a walk one day and saw something that caught his attention; mine too. Alongside his path he saw an altar, I wonder if it was like the handmade crosses we see along the highways to memorialize a friend or family member. But, what it said ~ TO AN UNKNOWN GOD ~ made me really think. Do we truly take our “gods” so lightly. A line I remember from a recent message; “Think about this, “A man cuts a tree down; he burns the limbs and roots, he cuts a section and carves an idol from it, then he burns the remainder; Seriously, how “holy” can this monument be? We worship many gods: sports teams, wide screen televisions, expensive vacations & timeshares, cars, travel trailers, this list could move on for a long, long time. If our lives revolve around “gods” so trivial and trite; how seriously are we worshiping the ONE TRUE GOD? 

I worship You, Almighty God,there is none like You.

I worship You, O Prince of Peace that is what I want to do.

I give You praise for You are my righteousness

I worship You, Almighty God,There is none like You.

Don Moen 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

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No Hiding!

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:14 

“This little light of mine… I’m gonna let it shine! This little light of mine… I’m gonna let it shine! Let it shine; let is shine, let it shine!” This is probably one of the most widely sung children’s song but how many Christian adults live the words out? Hmmm… I’m wondering about myself; I don’t avoid living my faith but do I proudly live as a light in this dark world?

I’ve seen remarks in others’ blogs or on their Facebook pages telling the world that they don’t care what other people think of them as long as they like themselves but I’m not sure I completely buy the words. Isn’t it human nature to care about what others think of you? I realize that one can not please the world but God doesn’t call us to “turtle” away from the world either, right? So, is there a measure of light we need to shine? Do we deliberately avoid sensitive spiritual subjects or give ambiguous answers in an effort to “fit in” with the world?

My answers? Not as I should; yes; right; all of it; and no. I believe these few words from the song People Need the Lord say it all:

“We are called to take His light

To a world where wrong seems right;

What could be too great a cost

For sharing life with one who’s lost?” 

Jesus IS Light; Jesus IS truth… WE MUST SHINE FOR HIM!

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Forever

“If you love Me, keep My commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:15-17

          One of the most precious things my husband does is made even more precious because my Dad did it for my Mom after he retired; Rick usually makes and “fixes” my first cup of coffee. He always uses one of my larger mugs; this morning it was one given me by a friend many years ago. It says “Friends like us are friends forever” and I believed it when she gave it to me. Sadly, it didn’t happen; I pray for her always but we are no longer friends. To explain “why” isn’t necessary but reading the words this morning made me think about how easily we use the word “forever.” I wonder, should we, as humans, use the word at all; should the word be restricted for use only by God or as a descriptive adjective OF God?
           Of course, my last is a rhetorical question; the word will never be restricted but forever isn’t ours is it? I believe the love I have for my husband, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings and their families is forever but won’t one decision that they must make for themselves determine that? Each of us holds our forever in our own hands. Wow; what a thought!

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.”
Psalm 136

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society
Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone
Ministry website: http://www.asistershugs.org

Why?

“For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, as you have understood in part, you will come to understand fully…” II Corinthians 1:13, 14a 

         Yesterday afternoon Rick and I spent a few hours with a dear friend of mine, her husband, children & grandchildren. She was the “pastor’s wife” at my home church over 35 years ago. I enjoyed sharing memories so much; it was fun to hear her children tell stories and watch them laugh like they did as children. It is more fun for me to be with “older” friends than “newer” friends because the stories include my kids as children. There are so many happy memories of those years; vastly overshadowing the not do good ones. The post-divorce years when they were pre-teens through college, weddings, and births were (due to my own poor choices and self-inserted distance between the Lord and I) tough. How I praise God that his gift of “Grandpa” is coloring my grandchildren memories!

         Reflecting, the times of laughter would weigh down any balance scale against the tough times. If we were all honest with ourselves, I believe the vast majority of our lives would weigh out the same. I’m blessed, as you are, to have been adopted by God into His family and to be called to His service but as the world looks through the window of my life, I am no one special. I’m a stay-at- home wife (due to disability) who offers pastoral counseling to Christian women in my kitchen. I was born into a blue collar family whose uniqueness is only because our Mom found Jesus as a young mother!

So, why have I shared devotionals/blogs for almost ten years? Because God continues to tell me to write as He leads me! I parrot Paul’s words, “I pray that I never write words that my sisters and brothers in Christ cannot read or understand. May my words reflect the Spirit of God while helping you along your path to understand the love of God fully!” 

Could we with ink the ocean fill and were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade,

To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry

Nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky.

Anonymous

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Not Always

“I will hasten and not delay to obey Your commands.” Psalm 119:60 

        Often, when I sit down to write, the Bible Gateway “verse of the day” speaks to me immediately. A message to me jumps off the page and I share it in the hope that the Lord will share His words with you. When the words are written by David, I wonder whether he, like me, could shout the words from the mountaintop one day and then feel guilt upon reading the same words the next.

        There are times when God speaks to me and I obey, right away! Even today, there are things I need to do in order to be in the sweet spot of God’s will yet I procrastinate, words I am not comfortable speaking, a contact I don’t want to make, an action I don’t want to take. It’s so obvious that my procrastination isn’t about the Lord but about me…isn’t it? In the vernacular, I need to “pull up my big girl panties and move on.” 

God asks for so little when He has given us the keys to the kingdom… 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Believe

“Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” Acts 16:31 

         As I’ve matured in life and in Christ, this verse has always caused a little angst, consternation and confusion for me. It is certainly straightforward and, on face value, quite simple but it also lacks a necessity for anything more than a surface belief. There are many, many people in our world who intellectually believe there is a God, that Jesus is His Son who was born on Christmas Eve, died on a Roman cross on Good Friday, and rose from death on Easter Sunday. Intellectually they believe but their life doesn’t reflect any Christian love or behaviors that mimic the life of Christ. In fact, this is one of the scripture verses that makes me very glad that I am not God and do not keep the records in the Book of Life.

         It took the words of a self-avowed “mad scientist” to encourage me to dig a little deeper into the Greek word, Pisteuson (Πίστευσον), which is translated throughout the New Testament as “believe.” I am not a scholar of the Greek language by any means but learned how to go below the surface of scripture during Bible college. The word Pisteuson in this passage is V-AMA-2S; a second person action verb used in the indicative mood (are you impressed yet?) which simplified means that the speaker intends to influence the listener’s behavior (action) without indicating the action’s completion or continuation. In plain English, this is not merely an intellectual belief but making the choice to actively believe and display a changed behavior due to said belief. Pretty cool what one can find when choosing to dig a little deeper, right? 

God’s grace is free but it certainly is not cheap!

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Self

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 

         We were surrounded by children (through teenaged) on our vacation; we took four of our own. Adorable babies, cute toddlers, active elementaries, and teens; some attractive in their behavior, others not so much. I love being a grandmother but, I have to admit, I don’t enjoy being a “past” mom. Two “kid” experiences ring loudly in my mind from the week and they are rather confusing to me as I don’t understand “parenting” – even from the outside – in our current day.

         First incident, two young men (late teens) came zipping into the dining hall “bike area” almost knocking over other bikes and laughing about it. Since one of the bikes that “fell” belonged to my granddaughter I told them that any damage to others’ bikes would be their responsibility. A gentlemen, walking past us and not part of the entire event, took ME to task telling me to “ease up… they didn’t hurt anything, there was no damage.” Of course, they walked by me; laughing and slapping five… I was amazed that any adult would behave in that manner; it was the “grown-up” that offended me the most. The host Pastor’s response was to tell the YOUNG MEN only to stay away from us… no sense of accountability, no respect expected, no apologies given.

         Second incident, small high-spirited boy riding a bike while blowing a whistle and announcing that he “was the police.” When he “stopped me” on my scooter, I bought into his play, asking what I had done wrong… then I went on my way. Later that evening, I was speaking with his grandmother and told her how cute my encounter with him was! As she told me the story of the whistle; some adults staying in the units with them had knocked on her door and told her to “take the whistle away as it was giving them headaches.” She took it out of her pocket and said, “I guess I need to throw it away.” A toy that had given such pleasure became a culprit.

         The stories may seem unrelated but really aren’t; they both chronicle the behavior of adults, from the same church; assumedly (we were at a Bible conference and retreat center) Christian adults. How can adults defend the inappropriate behavior of teens while not allowing a child to play because it interfered with their “comfort?” My point isn’t which behavior is right or wrong but, even more, that we, as Christian adults, truly need to prayerfully monitor our responsive behaviors carefully. WWJD might have been a “catchy” phrase but it is also a great way to lead our lives in HIS reflection! 

Selfish, Self-consumed, Self-centered, or Selfless … WWJD? 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Wondrous

Who is like you, Lord — majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?” Exodus 15:11 

        My husband, son, daughter-in-love, and 4 grandkids (3 + 1 “adopted”) recently returned from a week at Pinebrook Bible Conference in the beautiful Pocono Mountains. The shared time, of course, is the highlights of the week but the evening speaker was also a tremendously enriching experience for me, I say “experience” because the services were much more than words; they were amazing! The “speaker” for the week was Dr. Dean Ortner, aka the Million Volt Man.” Dr. Dean holds a double doctorate, is the son of two “rocket scientists,” and a devoted Christian. He can spout off sentence long scientific formulas and then explain them to “not so smart” laypersons like me; conducting mind-blowing experiments with ease.

        He talked a lot about the universe, its near-endless boundaries, and the marvel of the miniscule cells that make up the human frame. For someone like me who has believed in God being the Creator of this universe and all its contents for as long as I can remember, it was both an amazing reminder and his knowledge reinforced just how BIG the Lord is. Yet, he also spoke about personal meetings between the Lord and His people, like Eddie Rickenbacker, the soldiers approaching Iwo Jima, and others. I don’t pretend to understand … a God who is “majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, perpetually working wonders” can’t be understood. Often, those we believe they can categorize or explain Him have a far too small respect, fear, or awe of Him … don’t you think? 

“Every day I will praise You, Lord and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised… His greatness is unsearchable.” Psalm 145:2, 3 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

JOY

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.” Psalm 95:1 

It’s bubbling,

It’s bubbling,

It’s bubbling in my soul!

 

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy                        If you’re happy & you know it

Down in my heart                                                    Clap your hands

  Down in my heart                                  If you’re happy & you know it

Down in my heart                                                    Clap your hands

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy                        If you’re happy & you know it

  Down in my heart                                      Then your face will show it

    Down in my heart today                              If you’re happy & you know it

                                                                                     Clap your hands!

 Why do we seem to limit these songs to our child or grandchildren? When I hear them, so many happy memories rush through my mind. The smile on the faces of the little ones as they learn to “bubble;” just the word bubbling brings laughter to their lips.The shouted where? so familiar when we hear the melody; verses so plentiful that the song could go on forever. The endless clapping, stomping, shouting and any other movement added by each unique group; when did you sing these songs last?

 In a verse prior to this, David asks the Lord to restore the joy of His salvation; so often the cares and burdens of everyday life do their best to rob us of the Lord’s joy! It has been a busy, stressful week for me and, I have to admit, looking at my “to do” list today didn’t leave much time for joy so I am going to fight for it with prayer… and sing for joy to the Lord! Maybe I will even make up my own verse …

I’ve got a lot to do today but I’ll keep joy in my heart

Joy in my heart       Joy in my heart

I’ve got a lot to do today but I’ll keep joy in my heart

Joy in my heart today!

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Perpetuation

“I will perpetuate Your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise You for ever and ever.” Psalm 45:17 

        Memories… light the corners of my mind; misty, watercolor memories of …! You can fill in the blank if you’d like. I have been packing for a week-long “vacation” at a Bible retreat in the Pocono Mountains. I first attended in 1966, just a few years ago, and have made the journey most years since. There have been many positive events at PBC and a few which began as negatives but were turned around by the power of God. For the fourth year, Rick and I will be taking all four of our grandkids who are currently in grades 4 through 7. I’m not sure I’d call it a vacation but Rick and the kids count the days.

        The beauty of the site hasn’t changed over the years; the buildings and the pool have been upgraded but the view of the sparkling lake and the green, rolling mountains remains the same. The Bible Fellowship Church who owns and maintains the grounds works and gives tirelessly to support the retreat center, originally established by Percy Crawford in the 1950s, as a place where Christians come to rest, relax, regroup, and go forward in the love and service of God. Living in a world where Christians often feel like they are salmon swimming against a current of political and cultural disapproval, it is wonderful to be with Christian brothers and sisters who love the Lord and each other. It is amazing how the family of God can continue friendships from year to year always rejoicing in the good and empathizing with the sad occurrences which have happened while they were “out of touch.”

        We are told to perpetuate the name of God throughout the generations; Bible conferences are just one way! There are many ways but we need to conscientiously keep the name of God on our lips and those we love for HE IS WORTHY! 

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org