Remain

“If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.” John 15:8-10

The most laid back resident of my house is our 10 year old Pug, Allie. She rests on the sofa or loveseat or back of the sofa or floor the vast majority of the day; at night she sleeps with my grandson most of the night. She is part companion (barks when a leaf falls outside), part love-bug (runs to the door when she hears a door close in the driveway, and part clown; she is just plain silly. She is content as long as there is water in her fountain, food with dried garlic in her bowl, someone to pet her, and a place to relieve herself. She knows, with no doubt, that she is loved… even when she is running from guest to guest, wearing her adorable pug smile, for affirmation. She will remain with us as long as she is healthy and happy. I love Allie deeply; love came easily when my grandson carried her into my home, just wanting to be rescued over seven years ago.

I’ve been a child of God for a long time; it gives me joy to be His child. I enjoy living a Christian life; as the scriptures say “remaining in Him and cherishing His words that live in my heart.” The definition of to remain is “to continue in the same state or condition;” in old-fashioned christianeze… to abide. The Lord comforts, protects, teaches, and provides for me. God lives as the Holy Spirit within me as a counselor and, I believe, as my conscience. God has NEVER let me down, has ALWAYS been available when I call; consistently and unwaveringly LOVES me; even when I am not very loveable. 

Therefore I will praise You, Lord, among the nations;

I will sing the praises of Your name. Psalm 18:49

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Humility

Humility

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Philippians 12:1-5

Our new pastor is serving his first charge; he is a second career pastor. He spent a career in law enforcement before the Lord called him to the ministry. I am one who enjoys reading along in my Bible and taking notes from the message in the margin. Listening to his messages and knowing the parameters of his theological knowledge, I can tell that his messages are written mostly from his heart but that is brain works hard also. He uses research, scripture, and the Truths of scripture in his messages. Yesterday he quoted a study from The Barna Group that stated that many Christians in the U.S. considered humility to be one of their strongest Christian traits. In the context of his message it was a straightforward survey; it worked. However, it started my wheels turning for, in my mind, the lifestyles and behaviors of Christians in the United States don’t reflect humility. I mean, they may believe they are living in humility but???

Humility is defined as the act of being humble (marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful). It is showing deferential or submissive respect; it is the act or posture of lowering oneself in relation to others, having a clear perspective, and therefore respect, for one’s place in the context of the Christian faith and culture. Humility and the desire for humility of mind SHOULD separate many of the “religious” from true Christianity. But does it?

I think of the very popular doctrine of prosperity, the materialistic culture in which we live, the overwhelming saturation of external beauty, the “me and mine” attitudes of the general population, the absence of family time in deference to personal needs; believe me, I am NOT mentioning these blockades to humility without sitting in front of a mirror. I live in an area of suburbia where new housing is growing faster than the grass, there are as many car dealerships as Bible preaching churches, Sunday is simply the second day of the weekend… a time for kid’s sporting events… the day to shop after “enjoying” Saturday and the attendance at church in our area is higher than some! Where is our humility? Where is the servant hood that Jesus demonstrated? 

I’m pondering these thoughts… that’s all!

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Introductions

“Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as He was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.” John 4:6

I’ve spent the last hour setting up an account for a new internet location for this blog. It seemed that they wanted every type of information that I was willing to share. I do have limits on shared information. I will not post my complete address, the full names of my grandchildren, or the full information for my children. I will post pictures on Facebook; I am very proud of my family and had professional pictures taken for my website and blog sites. Wow, do I look great … it is amazing what pros can do with make-up, angles, and lighting! A new and different request by the Blogger.com site was for an introduction. I wasn’t ready for that one, not at all. I mean, I have a silly little intro I use on my website and another I use on blog posts. There are also many, many different ways I’ve been introduced from childhood to today; let me think… John and Eleanor’s daughter, Gladys, John, Joe, Danny or Mona’s sister, Eleanor Jean Gale, our soprano, Eleanor Gale, Ed’s wife, Mommy, Mom, aunt El, El, or Eleanor Jean. My favorite, of course, is “my Grammie.” So, I wrote one and now have a “new” account; I am praying that the words the Lord lays on my heart will circulate around the world and touch that “one person” who needs to hear them.

The above verse comes at the beginning of the well-known “woman at the well” story. Jesus knew something the disciples didn’t know that caused them more than a little consternation. He deliberately set His face toward Jerusalem but was not traveling the straight, shortest route. He was weary as He knew what would transpire when they all finally reached Jerusalem but He was intent that He introduce Himself to a common, sinful woman; I’d guess that she had brought along her children, too. Not only was she common and sinful but she was a Samaritan and He was a Jew; these people didn’t like each other, at all! We don’t know much about her, certainly not all of the information the internet collects when you open an account. Her name wasn’t noted nor her age, address, number of children or her “looks.” The Bible doesn’t note the lineage of her family but I know she was very important to God the Father and to Jesus, His Son. Why? We will never know. We are often told in the scriptures how very important each and every one of us is to the Lord; isn’t that cool? Whether you accepted Jesus as your Savior when you were a child or yesterday; God sent the Holy Spirit directly to YOUR heart to whisper the Truths of the Gospel!!

Oh, what wonderful love, oh, what grace divine,

That Jesus should die for me;

I was lost in sin, for the world I pined,

But now I am set free.

Whosoever surely meaneth me, surely meaneth me

O surely meaneth me!

Whosoever surely meaneth me … WHOSOEVER meaneth me!!

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Advocate

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” I John 2:1

My grandson is one week short of 12 years old. It has been my honor to have been an active part of his life since birth. In the vernacular, Mats is “Grammie’s Boy.” I was in the delivery room and we have remained very close. His young life has not been without tough spots which include his mother’s near death illness October 2011. His grandpa, Dad, Mom, and I were with him in Disneyworld. Diana had insisted that we make the trip; we had been planning for many months, even though she was very weak and frail. Her health continued to fail until she flew home barely lucid. Our son-in-love took her directly from the plane to the emergency room. Just a few months ago Mats brought the memories of that time back into a conversation we were having; it is never far from his young mind. I will admit to protecting him and, often, serving as his advocate, possibly ( J ) more than I should.

The definition of an advocate is “one that argues for a cause; a supporter or defender” and “one that pleads in another’s behalf; an intercessor.” In his first epistle, the disciple John believed it important to write, “But if we walk in the light, as He [the Father] is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in us.” I John 1:7-10. Just as his mother’s illness is always with Mats; sin is always with you and I. If you are like me, your desire is to walk in the will of God – in His light. John emphasizes that our intent does not save us … Jesus does, over and over again!! Jesus is our Advocate, our Defender, our Intercessor!!

In 1922, Rhea Miller wrote:

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;

I’d rather be His than have riches untold;

I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands;

I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand.

Than to be the king of a vast domain or be held in sin’s dread sway;

I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords 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

Names

“May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous.” Psalm 69:28

“I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.” Revelation 3:5

My Mom had an address book for many years. It wasn’t just a simple book but a metal rectangle lined with the letters of the alphabet, vertically, on the side. There was a lever that you slid up and down the cover to open the page you wanted. It was like Mom’s “person library.” Any changes to addresses, phone numbers, or household members were made IN the book. Cross-outs, notations, and arrows were present on every page. Today I have “contacts” in my e-mail, “friends” on Facebook, different “contacts” in my phone, even a few extras on “linked-in.” If I can’t find information I look first at “whitepages.com” before I even ask the “contact.” I even use an “electronic” version of our church directory. When I can’t find the info I am searching for in one of those lists, I may make a call, send a text, or write an e-mail to find out … or ask a friend. J

The Bible makes reference, in both the old and new testaments, to the “book of life.” David refers to it simply and in the New Testament it is called “The Lamb’s Book of Life). David’s Old Testament reference seems to allude that one’s name can be blotted from the book; that would make sense as the Israelites lived under the Law of God. Jesus speaking in Revelations says that NO NAME will be blotted from the book and even promises to acknowledge our names to the angels and to the Father. We, saved by the blood of Jesus, had our names entered when we accepted salvation as a gift from God! Praise the Lord that I was born in the age of Grace! I wouldn’t want so many “notes” written around my name that it was easily overlooked; would you?

I know, I know,

 My name is there;

I know, I know,

My name is written there.

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Continuing

Continuing

“He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30

I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was nine. Our pastor spoke with us “older kids,” explaining our sin, God’s love, Jesus’ death, and the offer to save us from our sin. I walked forward as we sang Softly and Tenderly, knelt at the altar, and prayed the sinner’s prayer. I’m not certain that I totally understood but I knew I was changed.

As a teen, I was part of a youth group led by a true man of God. He had no degree in theology, hadn’t even graduated from high school but he taught us God’s love with words from the scriptures. He also taught us through wise stories and his life example. One practice he displayed was choosing and living by a “life verse.” Again, I’m not sure I understood but I chose my verse and have made every effort to live to John 3:30.

He who spoke the words, “He must become greater; I must become less” marched to the beat of a different drummer like me. John the Baptist had one purpose in life; to prepare the way (and the minds of humanity) for the birth of the Jewish Messiah, the Savior of the world… Jesus Christ. He stayed true to his calling, baptizing all who desired in the name of Jesus as redemption for their sin and in preparation of living a life for God. John never looked for the spotlight, he knew his place, he was the preparer… he was the crier from the wilderness.

While my wilderness has traversed abuses of all kinds~ some at my own bad choices, others simply as the result of living life, yet I continue to believe that the Lord must become more and more important to my life and to my witness! At my lowest; He has raised me up. At my weakest; He has been my strength. At my loneliest; He has been my Dearest Friend. In my grief; the Lord comforts. In my celebration; the Lord rejoices with me. We dance… He leads and I follow. AND the Lord blesses~ over and over again!

Many years ago I sang a solo that contained these words:

“I left the throne of glory and counted it but loss,

My hands were nailed in anger, Upon a cruel cross,

But now we’ll make the journey with your hand safe in Mine,

So lift your cross and follow close to Me.”

And I CONTINUE

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Testimony

“Yet He has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Acts 14:17

Today is the first official day of Fall 2014. Although I enjoy Autumn, it is an odd season in some ways. The trees go into hibernation for the winter and, although they become quite odd looking, people travel miles to see leaves dying. All the beautiful annual flowers which have given us such joy for months are dying but rather than exhibit beauty as they die, they become useful for their seeds can be saved for next spring. My yard has been active all summer with beautifully colored birds but they will mostly fly south for self-preservation. Spring and Summer bring baseball season to our house; we are Phillies’ fans but they will fly away too, either to their Winter homes or to Winter leagues. We will hope (and pray) that they become more useful during their “off” time. Football season and Fall landscaping brings new colors, new flowers… but they will also be gone in a while. Time stops for no one… for no part of the world… for nothing.

Neither does the Lord; as the verse above states, “He has not left himself without testimony.” I fully understand that there are people who insist that they do not believe in God – our God, the Great I am, the King of kings, the Prince of peace, the Creator of the universe. But how? Don’t they feel the rain? Don’t they see the Sun as it traverses the sky or the limitless stars, planets, and moons at night? Don’t they watch the tides as they rise and recede? Have they never noticed the majesty in the mountains, canyons, caverns, flora, or fauna? Even though science has an explanation for almost everything and, strangely believe themselves, have they ever explained where the “big bang,” first pond, or the absolute origin of ANYTHING??

To me … it is simply much simpler to believe that “He has not left himself without testimony.” Praise the Lord!!

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Then

“I will tear off your veils and save My people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the Lord. Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies, when I had brought them no grief, and because you encouraged the wicked not to turn from their evil ways and so save their lives, therefore you will no longer see false visions or practice divination. I will save My people from your hands. And then you will know that I am the Lord.” Ezekial 13:21-23

Often we ask God with our hearts and our mouths, “When, Lord?” Also, “Why, Lord” but the first is on my mind today. I read the headlines… I forget to change the channel and hear… the news tells me… and I say, “When, Lord? How long are you going to allow the world to get more and more evil?” I’m not sure about you but it seems like I’ve heard Christians talking about how soon the Rapture of the Church will happen. Then the clock starts until all evil is wiped from the earth. We, of course, can rejoice as the Bible gives us the end of the story but does anyone really know? The Bible clearly tells us “No!” Mark 32:13 says, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Until then, however, how do we live here among so much evil?

We (in the language of the old gospel chorus) stand on the promises of God; there is no other way! We pray, leaving our fears and worries at the foot of God’s throne. Christine Wyrtzen, facilitator of Daughters of Promise, writes “For every evil committed, there is a redemption. For every devastation, there is a promise. The reason so many are angry with God is because they haven’t yet seen the redemption He offers. When He reveals Himself to the brokenhearted believer and begins to personalize a redemptive story to match their tragedy, His power and glory are blinding.” Don’t get stuck in the rut of this evil world; instead stand firm on His Word!

Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God, my Savior.

Standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Clean

“I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.” Psalm 38:18

Yesterday I noticed the same post by two friends. The post was issued by the Cumberland County Board of Health; warning anyone who picked up tomatoes or potatoes along a denoted route number that the vegetables were bad. They were the load in a truck which had overturned, spilling not only its contents but also gas and oil. Everything was contaminated. One questioned lingered for me; why didn’t anyone employed by either the state or the trucking company clean it up??? Instead they allowed it to sit on the side of the road, contaminated, where unknowing people could pick it up and feed it to their families.

Any committed sin that remains unforgiven, if against us, or open ended, if our own, is sort of like those contaminated vegetables sitting by the side of the road. It can fester inside of us causing spiritual, even physical, illness. Even though the sin is forgiven and God remembers it no more, bitter feelings toward or between Christian brothers and sisters can grow into much more. I’ve personally seen it split a church in two. One caution; if the offender has physically threated, damaged, or emotionally injured you – forgiveness doesn’t always include reconciliation. Yet, as the old adage said, “Forgiveness is good for the soul.” With God’s help, clean up any garbage you’ve left along the way!

“Don’t let the devil use your mind as a garbage dump.”

Joyce Meyer

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Rescue

“I will exalt You, Lord, for You lifted me out of the depths (…) You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing Your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise You forever.” Psalm 30: 1, 11-12

The local news was on TV a couple of days ago and I watched as a helicopter lifted a man out of a sink hole. Of course, the episode had drawn a crowd and I was drawn to the looks on the faces of the people. Upset turned to hope which turned into concern and, finally, joy. The helicopter crew was meticulous with the rescue and the crowd exuberantly cheered!

Thinking back about three years, I remember another rescue which was quite different. My father (who had no reason to be outside by himself) had taken a walk and fell into an almost dried up drainage ditch. It had been hand dug and wasn’t deep but the fear, pain, and moisture made for a terrifying few hours. His stubbornness had kept him from wearing a notification button and he was alone. Only by the urging of God, my sister stopped to check on him and heard a weak cry. Her husband and a grandson came quickly and using a “hillbilly stretcher” (a wheelbarrow) rescued him.

Being physically rescued is incredible, I’m sure. We’re probably all aware of an accident that someone walked away from, only by a miraculous intervention of God. However, David’s words in Psalm 30 describe times of spiritual and emotional pits; been there, done that! Often, when the clouds darken the sky and I feel like the world is closing in on me, I forget that only God is able to lift me out of the depths! Only He can turn my sackcloth into joy and my wailing into dancing! Then, before I know it, I dig deeper into the depression or dysfunction … aaaarrrrggghhh!

God has NEVER left me alone, NEVER disappointed me, NEVER been unavailable when I called on Him; why do I struggle alone? Sometimes I can be really dumb!

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org