Old and New

Old or New

 “All the Levites who were musicians — Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun and their sons and relatives—stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen and playing cymbals, harps and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: ‘He is good; His love endures forever.’ Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.” II Chronicles 5:12-14 

Wow! I wish I had been at this celebration; sounds like an awesome day! I love REAL worship services. I enjoy singing both contemporary and classic worship music; two of my favorites are Michael W. Smith’s Above ALL:

Above all powers, above all kings, above all nature & all created things

Above all wisdom and all the ways of man, You were here before the world began

Above all kingdoms, above all thrones, above all wonders the world has ever known

Above all wealth & treasures of the earth, there’s no way to measure what You’re worth

Crucified, laid behind a stone, you lived to die, rejected and alone:

Like a rose, trampled on the ground; You took the fall & thought of me, Above all!

And Eugene Monroe Bartlett, Sr’s Victory in Jesus:

I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory,

How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me;

I heard about His groaning, of His precious blood’s atoning,

 Then I repented of my sins and won the victory.

O victory in Jesus, my Savior, forever.

He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood;

He loved me ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him,

He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood. 

Old or new; the song’s the same! Thank you Jesus! Praise Your name!

 

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 “For”

Not “For”

“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:18 

I’m breaking a rule I set for myself in my blog entry today; just thought I’d let you know. Back when I was in prayer about returning to blogging, I was guided to the concept of gratitude. Remember, I told you about the changes Rick and I decided to make in our “grandchild gifting.” Well, I decided to write about gratitude (thanks) using scriptural references, in order, from Genesis to Revelation.

But today, the Apostle Paul’s words jumped off the page and, as I read it, I noticed one small word that I hadn’t realized the significance of before. This is an oft-quoted verse; the third word in this verse is “in” not “for.” I wonder how many times I’ve heard messages using Paul’s words; I’ve gone away from the services amazed by testimonies of longsuffering saints of God who had endured arrows of life, over and over, yet was able to give thanks for ever circumstance. They had been able to find a light at the end of every tunnel, a God taught reason for every situation.

You know, I can’t give thanks that my Mom died of cancer but I realize now that I can praise the Lord that she is out of pain. I can’t give thanks that my Dad, at 86 is in assisted living while missing her with every breath, but I can praise Him that he is cared for 24-7. I can’t give thanks for Rick and my unspoken difficulties right now, we are struggling and it is NOT fun, but I can praise God as our divine Matchmaker and thank Him for an everyday life of marital love!

Lord, thanks for showing me the huge difference between “in” and “for” 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

In Control

In Control

“Now, our God, we give You thanks and praise Your glorious name.” I Chronicles 29:13

The news casters were broadcasting about it, the weather personalities were talking about it, and the meteorologists were measuring and monitoring it ~ it was to be a possible historic snowfall. I looked at the map, realizing that my home was within five miles of the line between 6-12 inches and 12-18 inches of snow. I wondered which way the wind would blow, for that would be the source of the dividing line (all of the experts were saying) between blizzard and snowstorm. Lastly, but certainly not “leastly”, I was very unhappy when my husband decided to drive home instead of staying at the hotel where he works. We even had “words” about it, something rare in our relationship.

During my “wake up to use the bathroom” times, I looked out of the windows. No snow yet! Hmmm… the forecasters seemed to be moving the start time back; schools had already announced closure and the governor had called for a snow emergency period beginning at midnight. No need to hurry out of bed (and still a little angry with my husband), I was certain that I’d wake up to a significant snow event. But it was not to be! The pundits explained that the “front” didn’t develop early enough and we were sideswiped by the storm that DID drop feet of snow in New England.

After my initial shock, I smiled in my soul and whispered to God, “What a dramatic example that you are still in control…” I’m sure the weather worriers have their excuses but I thank you, Lord! While I know the snow didn’t skirt our part of the country so that Rick didn’t have to drive back to Philly in the snow, I felt it was a personal gift; Lord God, you are SO awesome!!

Job asked, “Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes His lightning flash?” I say, “Nope!” 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

It is a BIG Deal

This is a Big Deal

“Then King David gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each Israelite man and woman. (…) David left Zadok the priest and his fellow priests before the tabernacle of the Lord at the high place in Gibeon to present burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of burnt offering regularly, morning and evening, in accordance with everything written in the Law of the Lord, which He had given Israel. With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and designated by name to give thanks to the Lord, ‘for His love endures forever.’  Heman and Jeduthun were responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song.” I Chronicles 16:3, 39-42

Parties, celebrations like King David’s, weddings, and today’s Nor’Easter are big deals. In the first couple mentioned, much thanks and praise is given to God. Throughout today’s big deal, I will be giving thanks to the Lord. I am grateful that my grandson is safely at his home with his parents, that I made a minor, safe trip out of my home between the two snow events, that my husband is safe at work, and that our VA family (even though it looks like they are only going to be skirted by the snow), will soon be safely in their homes. We joke about always having enough milk, bread, and eggs but, I do, and plenty of other provisions too! We are warm, there is chili in the crock pot, and all seems well with me and our little pug Allie. And, praise you for this too Lord, my husband works in the hotel industry ~ although he does not like to stay away from home, there is a warm, safe room pre-reserved for him if he needs to stay in Philadelphia.

I smiled when I read that part of David’s celebration was supplying special foods, dates, raisins and sweet breads, was part of his big deal! Don’t all of our churches joke about how God’s people like to eat together? David even made sure there was music and fellowship for his people! We do prepare when we know that a big deal is on the horizon!         But, I know that I am not always as grateful as I should be to God when all things are just routinely going by, especially when all is going well; how about you?

Lord, teach me to remember what the apostle Paul wrote:

In everything give thanks!

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Crying Out

Crying Out

Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to Your holy name, and glory in Your praise.” 1 Chronicles 16:35

Today is another deadline from ISIS; they are holding two Japanese reporters for a 200 million ransom. Japan has refused to pay the ransom to this horrible terrorist group. The reporters’ families, of course, are crying out for amnesty; I am praying that the men will be released but the record of these terrorists is bad. I have not watched the beheadings that have occurred before, why would anyone???

In a totally opposite news story, the New England Patriots football team is making headlines, not because they are one of the Super Bowl contenders this year but because they have been caught cheating, again. Yet, sports personalities are taking the fact that someone from the team deflated the footballs AFTER they had been inspected by NFL officials. To me, it is one more example of the lighthearted way that sinful (yes, I said “sinful” – cheating is sin) behavior is accepted in this day.

We live in a sinful world that looks upon behavior that God CANNOT look upon and calls it acceptable. As Michael Jackson glorified “Bad” many years ago, the world looks on many types of sin as “ok.” The scripture outlines sinful behavior and says nowhere that God will change His mind simply because the world changes theirs. I WANT to live as a child of God and I will teach my grandchildren that the WORD OF GOD IS TRUTH!

Today I give thanks to the Lord for being the same: yesterday, today, and forever!

Though the world should change

He remains unfaltering, immortal and ever true,

Faithful to His Word and He never fails to fulfill His promises

And brings to fruition the vision that He places

Within the hearts of men

(As recorded by Eartha)

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

A “never thought” Thought

A “Never Thought” Thought 

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”I Chronicles 16:34

          As I think about being grateful, my mind goes places I never thought it would go; sorry, it is simply who I am! Today is one of those days! I look at the verse above, one I’ve read so many times: on plaques, in pictures, in devotionals or children’s Sunday school papers. It is a well-used verse, short but filled with such truth! Among the many other things we should give thanks for – thank the Lord for His character, His faithfulness, His omnipotence and constancy!

I have two major chores to do, neither of which I care to do today. The first is to put away Christmas; the second is to clean the closet in my grandson’s room. Because I heard a “how to clear out your stuff” segment of Good Morning America today, I am headed to the closet. Before I do, I want to thank the Lord that I am a “stay at home woman.” However, to do that, I must accept and be grateful for my limitations. Can I be grateful for chronic pain and the necessity to watch my “sugar” intake? Probably not; but, I can thank the Lord for His strength. I can thank Him for an awesome husband who “understands” and loves me anyway! And I can thank him for a twelve year old who says, “Are you ok, Grammie?” Along with David, who sang these words of praise at the housing of the Ark of the Covenant, I can sing, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” 

Give thanks with a grateful heart,

Give thanks to the Holy One,

Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.

And now let the weak say, “I am strong,”

Let the poor say, “I am rich,”

Because of what the Lord has done for us. Give thanks!

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Reflectory Gratitude

Reflectory Gratitude

“I thank and praise You, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, You have made known to me what we asked of You, You have made known to us the dream of the king.” Daniel 2:23

Have you ever heard one who has been a Christian their entire life practically apologize for their testimony? They haven’t become addicted to any of the world’s vices, they have been infected with disease or wracked with bad memories or broken hearts from multiple sex partners, they haven’t chosen wrong forks in the road; testimonies with little “excitement.” I’ve heard a couple; I sat in my seat wanting to jump up and explain that they should be praising God, thanking those who trekked the road ahead of them, or doing somersaults of joy across the pulpit or in the pews where they are sitting! Daniel, the one from the lion’s den, knew what a blessing a life walking with God in the shadow of faithful ancestors was. He knew the God of miracles, protection, and love!

Both of my sisters could give testimonies similar to the one I mentioned above. Not that either of them is without fault, without shortcomings, without imperfections or struggles but they have lived a faithful life in the radiant shadow of my Mom. Me? Not so much. Yet today, when I am walking in intimacy with the Lover of My Soul, I am overwhelmed with thanks and an unspeakable gratitude. God never got angry with me or walked away; fed up, from my many, many bad choices ~ neither did my Mom. She never stopped praying and the Lord was standing in the middle of one of my messes with arms wide open, just waiting for me to run back to Him.

While I don’t think that we will be asked to walk into a fiery furnace or locked up overnight with hungry lions, the same faithfulness displayed by Daniel and the three friends we read about in the Old Testament is required of us who have been blessed with salvation and adoption into the family of God. May each of us, in our day, stand as Daniel did for truth and righteousness.

Dare to be a Daniel,

Dare to stand alone,

Dare to have a purpose true,

Dare to make it known.

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Engaging My Mind

Engaging My Mind

“The meat of their fellowship offering of thanksgiving must be eaten on the day it is offered; they must leave none of it till morning.” Leviticus 7:15 

Living in thanks or gratefulness, that’s my plan. Seeking God in prayer to teach me just how blessed I am, that’s my goal. As Paul wrote in Philippians, in exchange for the grumbling and bitterness that is left over from the hurts, I desire to become blameless and pure ~ a light for God in a warped and crooked world! I want to learn to accept that the world belongs to the evil one and that I can only bind together with other members of the Family of God in living a life for the Lord! My “blessing of the day” is the dishwasher; what a lesson I learned from it today!

I remember when Rick and I were looking for the “perfect” home. His requirements were: two bathrooms, a double sink in the kitchen, and a dishwasher. Having lived for almost 60 years without a dishwasher, I really didn’t care but he insisted; he “set down the law.” Very relatively, that is what the Lord did with His Old Testament people. The fellowship (or peace) offering (referred to above) was made for many reasons; the law prescribed the plan, the way in which every offering was to be made. Before men could follow the plan, they had to determine the purpose, that is they had to decide which offering they were about to make, and why. Thus there was a built-in safeguard against mindless ritual, in which one went through the motions of making an offering without really thinking about what he was doing or why. The Israelite’s worship was to involve his whole heart, soul, mind, and strength. The precise regulations encouraged the Israelite worshipper to engage his mind in his worship.

So, back to our dishwasher; last night it didn’t drain. Today I determined to find the filter and clean it. Yu-u-u-ck! I removed it and it was disgustingly yucky. I couldn’t tell from the outside; kind of like the bitterness I’ve been harboring in my heart. No one could see it from the outside and even I could ignore it… for a while but it was there, just like the clog in my dishwasher. However, it wasn’t going to go away, just like the laws for the offerings. God had to engage my mind to search for the “yuck” and allow Him to scrub it away! Thanks for the lesson today, Lord!

“Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow;

Lord, wash me & I shall be whiter than snow!

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

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

A Year of Thanks

A Year of Thanks 

“Along with their fellowship (peace) offering of thanksgiving, they are to present an offering with thick loaves of bread made with yeast.” Leviticus 7:13 

        The Old Testament rules for offerings are amazingly strict but they are rules given by God and were not questioned. If someone attempted to alter them or skip around the details, often the result was ostracizement or death. As we can’t understand the mind of God, even in this age of grace, I don’t question the rules or regulations. Maybe I am being over simplistic but that is who I am. Thanks, Lord, that I am allowed to be simple minded!

        I haven’t blogged for a while; call it writer’s block or lack of desire, I’m not sure. I struggled with the Christmas season, the commercialism, the “over the top” commemorations, and the voices shouting for the lack of Jesus during the celebration of HIS birth. Yet, the simple words of a medical tech helped me put my struggle into perspective. He said, “We Christians just need to hold Christmas as the celebration of Jesus’ birth in our hearts, in our little circles and let the world celebrate the winter holiday as they desire. It is going to get worse, not better.” Thanks, Lord, for Thomas’ simple words.

        In my prayers, I’ve been asking the Lord how to move forward in 2015. I long to learn to live in peace, to celebrate the many blessings I’ve been given, to reach out to a Christian family where women are living in confusion, struggle, or emotional upheaval. As the Old Testament people of God made many offerings in obedience, For those of us living under grace, all the blessings of God are realized by one offering, made once for all, the death of Christ at Calvary. Thanks, Lord, for grace and the blessings of living as Your child.

        And so I move on into 2015, longing to serve the Lord, just as His Old Testament people did, surrounded by the love and faithfulness of a loving God! I long to be the woman He called me to be, not as a pastoral counselor, not as a wife, not as a Mom or a friend or even as a Grammie but ~ the priority is to reflect the love of Jesus to the world in thanks!!! You’re welcome to come along!!

“Give thanks with a grateful heart,

Give thanks to the Holy One

Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”

Let the poor say, “I am rich

Because of what the Lord has done for us”

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Any Ideas?

Any Ideas?

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”  Galatians 5:16

The apostle Paul wrote in one of his epistles that he usually ended up doing what he didn’t want to do because of the nature of man. I understand his intent in that passage but I really like this verse much better! I KNOW that God can change the nature of man (or woman); I’ve seen changes in my own life and in the lives of others!

Speaking only for myself, however, there are issues in my past that, pray and try as I do, seem to come back to haunt me, time and time again. Simply the thought of these hurts trigger my mind and I find myself reacting inappropriately to the current event. I find myself being bitter over a miniscule current event because of the hurt I suffered 50ish, 11, 6, 4, even 2 ½ years ago. I’ve forgiven the transgressor; I’ve sought and found forgiveness from the Lord but the “haunting” continues.

I’m aware of the source of the “haunting” and he is the enemy of our soul! I refute him, I order him to leave me alone and plead the blood of the Savior but…  I’m sure some of you: my friends, my family, my readers have experienced a similar battle. How have you overcome? I cherish your suggestions or your stories; feel free to write me at ejg.boone@yahoo.com.

It took a miracle to put the stars in place;

It took a miracle to hang the world in space.

But when He saved my soul,

Cleansed and made me whole,

It took a miracle of love and grace!

(John W. Peterson)

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org