Action Words

Action Words

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

I am not good at hiding my thoughts, I’m sure that many people have been the known recipient of my glare when they use “unacceptable to a 65 year old women” words, push by another in line, or other rudities … very popular and sadly, more and more acceptable in today’s American societies. For example, we were at a Blue and Gold Banquet Wednesday night – two scouts left their tables and ran (full gate) to the buffet line. Their dad came up a minute or two later and made a comment – not about not running – about their “making it.” He then proceeded to get behind them in line and bring in his whole table! AArrGGhh!

So, there is –adversely- little that makes me happier than seeing or hearing little action words like “please,” “thank you,” excuse me,” or “Ma’am.” As a small girl I learned (from my Mom) a little song, “There are two little magic words, that will open any door with ease, one little word is thanks and the other little word is please. We both sang it to me nieces and nephews, then my grandkids. If I am around, I will be singing it to my great-grandkids! I will also expect them to show respect, especially to the elderly, to hold doors for ladies and to always let others go first. This is COMMON respect and manners.

How much more should we, as Christians, demonstrate love and respect? I would be very surprised to read that Jesus had pushed his way to the front of the line at the wedding in Cana or allowed Himself to be fed before His mother and “the other women.” We see Him offering thanks and telling His disciples to offer the fish and bread to the multitudes, right? I know that a great time to chat with your friends is either before or after the worship service but do you grimace, as I do, when others allow their children, grandchildren, or even allow themselves to run around the church endangering those with walkers or carrying babies? I will abstain about other ways we, as Christians, disrespect others but there are many… Yes, we are busy, I understand but we are also reflections of Christ!

Be like Jesus, this my song,
In the home and in the throng;
Be like Jesus, all day long!
I would be like Jesus.

 

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

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

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It’s My Birthday

It’s My Birthday!

“One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.” Romans 14:5-7

Today is my birthday and although I will not tell you how old I am, I will tell you that I no longer have to wonder whether I am eligible for the senior discount. As a little girl, I always had a birthday party and sometimes, as my birthday is in the winter, my Mom had to entertain a houseful of children. My Mom loved birthdays and would plan our parties for weeks. Yet, we didn’t go roller skating, bowling, swimming, bouncing, dancing or any of the myriad of things do today to celebrate; my Mom baked a cake and served it with ice cream. We played games at our own home; mom hid coins around the house, we scrambled for peanuts, or pinned the tail on the donkey. It was always a special day for us. However, I had many friends who never had birthday parties, either their parents couldn’t afford it, had no time for them, or just didn’t care. I felt bad for those kids when I was young and, strangely, feel worse about it today. I’ve heard it said that “one doesn’t miss what they never had” but I am not sure that applies to birthday parties.

I have read this passage numerous times and, for me, it explains the little denominational or congregational nuances like contemporary, traditional, or blended worship music. Not necessarily “gray” areas, I don’t believe they are even that important in the eyes of God but, unfortunately, Christians can find them tremendously important in their eyes. I find that sad… far too many church splits and church hops happen because of them. Whatever we do – IF IT IS NOT FORBIDDEN or outlined IN THE WORD – can fall under this umbrella; “Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.”

Living our lives “to the Lord” is knowing Him intimately ~

Sensing His approval and His urging.

 “Silently now, I wait for Thee; ready my God, Thy will to see;

Open my heart, Illumine me, Spirit Divine.”

 

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

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

Oops, Not Again

Oops; Not Again!

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17

I’ve gotta admit, as I first read through this verse to begin blogging, I was playing a game my grandson and his female cousins play with their grandpa and I, the game of “exact word usage.” Example, “in a minute” to a 10, 11, and 12 year old means “in 60 seconds.” Another example, “do not leave the room,” to them means “the one of the three being looked at must stay in the room.” Last example, “you don’t need candy” means “ask for other things if you’d like but not candy.” So, I read “in word or deed” and immediately excused myself from “everything ‘I think’ should reflect thanks in the name of Jesus.” However, as soon as my thought was completed, my spirit heard the Lord whisper, “words and deeds are birthed in the mind.”

Often, I am like an immature pre-teen; always looking for a way out, a way around the truth of His Word, a way to find balance between a holy life and a worldly life, a way to allow my thoughts of bitterness and retaliation as “fair.” Yet, as a mature Christian, I know that I must stand firm on the Word of God and His desires for my life that is to be set apart for His glory! He loves me – not for anything I do or have done but because He wants to be in relationship with me; it is that simple! God is good; I –on the other hand- not so much!

Lord, I love Your still, small voice; I cherish the words You whisper

But, feel free to YELL when I am being selfish, self-centered,

self-focused, and self-concerned…

Bring me back to the realization that Your ways are right and good!!

I love you, Lord and give you permission to slap me up

the side of the head when I need it.

 

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

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

Without Excuse

Without Excuse

“For since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For, although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.” Romans 1:20-22

I rarely watch awards shows but last night we were at our neighborhood diner and the “red carpet” was on. It was raining; there were tarps and umbrellas everywhere. The invited celebrities in their millions of dollars’ worth of borrowed designer attire and jewels certainly couldn’t get the least bit wet. They had paid make-up artists and hair dressers to create a perfected persona while hundreds of TV, internet, and print reporters, many celebrities in their own right, waited for their orchestrated seconds of time to ask the questions to which the world “needed” the answers. However, only one person stood out to me; a young, attractive widow dressed in a rather plain, kelly green gown. In one hand she carried a small unpretentious evening bag, in the other, her husband’s dog tags. This morning, the news was filled to the brim with sounds bites, photos, those seconds’ long interviews, the winners and the losers. Yet, I heard little about the widow who was the biggest “loser” in the crowd.

I can’t (or won’t) judge any one individual by discussing clothes, comments, causes or lifestyles. As a child of God, I don’t concern myself with political correctness but, with conviction, I believe that most of the crowd is “without excuse.” With confidence, we can testify that they have all seen and known “God’s invisible qualities.” Their outsides may have been perfect in the eyes of our distorted world but, as with the vast majority of the population of the United States, their thinking [has] become futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. So very, very sad!!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

 

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

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

Even Jesus

Even Jesus

“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke them. Then He gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people.” Luke 9:16

“After taking the cup, He gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you.’ And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me’.” Luke 22:17, 19

My strange day really began last night at approximately 11 o’clock. We had just gone to sleep when both Rick’s and my phone began ringing at the same moment. From the oddly strange tone set on my phone and the voice announcement on Rick’s, we knew immediately that it was a notification call from Mathieu’s school. I answered mine as Rick’s kept telling us that it was Vineland Public Charter School and the automated voice told us “due to inclement weather, VPCS will open two hours late. At approximately 5:30 the calls repeated … I was awake! (No matter what time school started!) The strangeness just kept coming from when I left the house with Mathieu at 8:35 until I pulled into the driveway again at 1 p.m., little things, nothing vital but I have rarely been so happy to walk up my front steps!

If there is one lesson I’ve been taught by the Word of God since beginning to blog about gratitude, it is that every day I learn a new reason to give thanks to God! Taking just a couple verses from Luke, even Jesus – the Son of God – demonstrated for us a need to give thanks!! Today, Lord, I am super grateful for my beautiful home… it may be smaller than some but it is my refuge from the world’s wackiness!

Bless this house, bless this house.

Keep us strong and grateful;

Keep us safe and loving You.

Cover this entire family,

From my grandchildren to my Rick.

Come down from heaven, Lord…

With Your almighty power, Lord…

Shower us with Your favor, Lord…

And bless, bless, bless, oh bless,

Lord, bless, please bless this house.

lyrics – kurt-carr – amended by me

 

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

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

The Lord Delivers

The Lord Delivers

“He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us again. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” II Corinthians 1:10-11

One of those “strange but true” things happened when I read this verse today. I truly feel blessed when I am able to pray for people. The person needing prayer can be someone I have known my whole life or a total stranger; it doesn’t matter to me. Yet, someone recently asked me a question that I’ve been pondering; why do we need to pray when God already knows what we need and the result of whatever we are praying for. I told them the obvious; God wants relationship with us but those words, and our ensuing conversation didn’t satisfy them. So, I was stymied.

Then today I read these verses … thanks, Lord! Certainly if the Apostle Paul needed the prayer of others, so do we! Whether the verses satisfy my curious friends’ question, I won’t know until we talk again but I am always SO happy when I get such sweet kisses from God and His Word!

The B-I-B-L-E;

Yes, that’s the book for me!

I stand alone on the Word of God;

The B-I-B-L-E!

 

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

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

No Separation

No Separation

“Who [or what] shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:35, 37

Two days ago my husband and I attended the homegoing of a friends’ daughter; she was 35 years old. We didn’t know her, we didn’t know any of her 8 sisters and brothers but we knew her parents. We felt like we needed to undergird them with our prayers and our presence in their time of grief and separation. Services like that, so unexpected, always make me think about the uncertainty of life. Our years on earth are fragile yet this life is all we know about; it is all we can relate to.

I’ve always been amazed by those who stand up in testimonial services and talk about how “ready” they are, how they anticipate, how they long to go to Heaven. I believe they express their desire sincerely but I have never felt that way. Possibly it is something lacking in my faith; maybe I haven’t totally surrendered myself to the Lord but I am grateful to be married to a wonderful man, mother to two awesome kids, and the Grammie of three precious kids! I love the Lord and trust in Jesus’ words that we will live forever in the home His Father has prepared for all of us but I feel no separation for Him, His Father, or the Spirit here on earth. I’m certain there will come a time when I know passing into Heaven is imminent. I remember vividly the pain my Mom suffered but I don’t believe for one moment that leaving her earthly family and friends was something she looked forward to. Her love for us, just as my love for my earthly family was too deep. But today I am grateful for the abiding presence of God here on earth; as Paul wrote to the church in Rome, “Nothing” can separate us from the love or the presence of God! 

I’m satisfied with just a cottage below, a little silver and a little gold;

But in that city where the ransomed will shine,

I want a gold one that’s silver-lined.

I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop in that bright land

where we’ll never grow old;

And someday yonder we will never more wander but walk the streets

that are purest gold.

(lyrics by Ira Stanphill)

 

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

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

Thanks for the Finallys

Thanks for the Finallys

“Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Luke 2:38

I remember reading the “fortune” once from a fortune cookies and wondering if it would ever come true. It read, “When time permits, your life will be exciting.” I thought about all the things the world sees as “exciting,” money, travel, beautiful clothes, fancy cars, love and power. Some of them: clothes, cars, power ~ I could really care less about but travel and money, just to be comfortable, they both sound really “exciting.”

Another time I was reading a survey that a dear friend, who has been married multiple times, filled out. One of the questions was, “If you could have anything you wanted, what would it be?” In the blank, she wrote, “a happy marriage.” At the time I was a single lady myself and her answer broke my heart; I could relate to longing for something so deeply.” At that time, I had given up on marital love; it had been too elusive, too much anticipation dashed to bits. On my goodness, Lord… little did I know…

Today’s scripture is about Anna. She had held tight to the promise of God that she would see the Messiah. She had lived for many, many years in the outer rooms of the Temple, serving God and waiting… waiting for that “exciting” moment of promise. In this verse, at this moment, it had finally come. She was holding the Messiah, the Child of Promise. Can you see her in your mind? Can you imagine the look of joy on her face; the excitement in her voice?

Lord, When I think back and remember the many blessings You’ve given me, far too many to repeat or even try to write down, I praise you for them! There have been many “finallys” in my life ~ help me to appreciate each one and recognize them as gifts from You! I am so grateful for Your goodness! Amen

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

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

From Them

From Them

“From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing.

I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased;

I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.” Jeremiah 30:19

What am I grateful for, as I continue my blogs of gratitude, this Valentine’s Day “season;” this season when the love between humans is glorified? I’m grateful for a Godly heritage. I’m grateful for my Mom who got between 3 and 6 kids out of bed, cleaned up, dressed, fed and off to church almost every Sunday of our lives. I’m grateful for every Sunday school teacher, every lay person, every youth group leader, every pastor, every parent and every Christian friend who has touched my life in some way along life’s road. I am grateful to every person who ever made the special effort to attend a talent show, worship service, retreat, or women’s’ program to hear me, the Starlighters, the choir of HUMC, the choir and players of VFCN. I am grateful to every church has allowed me to serve the Lord within their Christian family. I am grateful for a family in MA who loved my daughter and me and opened their hearts and home to us when we desperately needed them. (I miss you so, Annie). I am grateful to every woman/man who allows me to serve through A Sisters’ Hugs Ministries. I am grateful to be the firstborn of my parents, (for those at Spring Oak assisted living who are currently watching over my Dad), for my siblings, my children, my nieces and nephews, my grandchildren, those who have married into our family, and the surprising yet wonderful gift of my husband. I am grateful for every friend, cyber or face-to face. I am grateful for lifetime friends and my education in Millville, NJ. I am grateful to all at Cumberland County College, Nazarene Bible College (WHAT A TRUE BLESSING THOSE WHO ENDURED WITH ME FOR THREE YEARS THERE ARE STILL TO ME) and Liberty University. I’m grateful for the lessons learned and dear friends from my many years at ARC Int’l and at Malaga Camp. I am grateful to anyone who reads my blogs and appreciates my heart for the Lord. I am grateful to my current church family and pastor. Although I am certain I’ve missed someone, somewhere but all this, a very long-winded way to say… I am grateful for love.

I’ve seen and heard this phrase about snail mail, TV or online contests … “many will enter, only __ will win,” haven’t you? Praise God; in life’s game of love ~ I’m a winner! How about you; what love are you grateful for?

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

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

Repetition for a Reason

Repetition for a Reason

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind. Psalm 107

83 years ago today, a girl was born in Millville, NJ. That girl is my Mom who celebrates her birthday in Heaven now. As I am blogging about gratitude, I must take a moment to say that my Mom, even today, is my best friend, my inspiration, and was the perfect Mom for me. In my opinion, she was the best Mom ever but I will admit to being very biased! The Lord knows my heart and knows that not a day goes by that I am not grateful for being her first born.

Today’s scripture is part of Psalm 107, a psalm of David. This particular verse is used repetitively throughout the psalm. Certainly, it is a verse of praise but when a write uses the same phrase over and over again it is the bring attention to the concept of the words! King David wanted his people to give thanks to the Lord for His love and His deeds. But, I love the adjectives he uses, it is His UNFAILING love! David had experienced the love of God and knew that it was LOVE THAT WOULD NEVER FAIL!! As a divorced woman, I know what it is like to experience failing love; it comes with unexplainable pain, bitterness, guilt and regret. But, as a woman of God, I have never known God’s love to fail, NEVER!

The shepherd turned king also uses an adjective to describe God’s deeds … they are WONDERFUL! Have you ever spoken with someone who doesn’t believe in God but tries to describe the unimaginable beauty of nature, or childbirth or the universe? They stumble over the words because those three things (and a multitude of others) can not be described fully without acknowledging their Creator. They try, but all of creation is a source of wonder, Webster’s online dictionary can’t even do it … look at the definition – of a sort that causes or arouses wonder; amazing; astonishing! And, as the Psalm says, God did it for us, for mankind! I am grateful for Your awesomeness and as Chris Tomlin writes:

God of wonders beyond our galaxy,

You are holy, holy.

The universe declares Your Majesty, “You are holy, holy.”

 

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

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