What’m I, Chopped Beef?

There’s an idiom people sometimes use in a lighthearted way to remind their friends they’re there. Years ago, I forgot the correct wording for it and said, “What am I? Chopped beef?”

I tilted my head and added, “Wait a second… That didn’t sound right.”

Then I remembered it’s actually the lesser-appreciated chopped liver in the idiom, and not the largely-beloved beef. (Here’s a bit about its meaning.) I still say it the silly way to this day, but nobody seems to notice. Either that, or they are being kind and don’t want to correct me.

In yesterday’s blog post (here), I mentioned how paranoid I’ve become concerning new friends, alluding to many having let me down. My sister read it, and, via our ensuing conversation, I was reminded that she is one I can trust.

That got me thinking about the handful of other trusted people in my life, so this is a post that acknowledges the fact that I do have friends, and for them I am grateful.

Maybe I myself have inadvertently let friends down. Maybe I could have done more for them. Maybe I still can. Who knows?

I do know, though, that Jesus is the friend of sinners (Luke 7:34), and I’m a sinner, as is everyone but Him.

And I know that Jesus will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5)

My prayer is that all who read these words also know Jesus as their friend who will never leave them nor forsake them.

This World Is Not My Home

Although Gonzo’s got a violin here and not a mandolin, they’re both strung the same way. I feel like I’m strung the same way as this strange character from The Muppets – not of this world.

“Oh, Lord, You know I have no Friend like You.
If heaven’s not my home, then Lord what will I do?”

This world is so not my home.

I used to be too trusting of people. Over time, though, with bad experiences, the more people I met, the more I learned not to trust them.

It got to where I’d ask myself, when getting to know a new friend, “I wonder if this person will turn on me.”

That progressed to, “WHEN will this person turn on me?”

To whom can I turn who will not turn on me?

To whom can I tell the things that trouble me?

Why, to Jesus, of course!

I believe Jesus already knows my troubles, but at the same time, I take comfort in knowing He’s cool with me telling Him the same stories over and over again, as well as the ones that are new to me. He understands my situation of being human and “not all there”.

Without Jesus, I would surely feel alone in this shadowy valley of death through which I walk.

A thing about valleys, though, is that there are higher places around them. And it is to the ultimate higher place that I will one day ascend, far beyond this present darkness, where I will see the Light of God Himself.

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.  (Matthew 5:8)

That makes me ask, “Am I pure in heart?”

And my answer is, “I don’t think so.”

I did a little searching and found someone’s thoughts that help illuminate this situation: “Blessed Are The Pure In Heart” commentary

Well, I know I’m far from pure as a human. But the one in Whom my faith is established – the Lord Jesus Christ, who not only gave His life for me but also returned to life after all that – is pure. Pure and perfect and precious.

And so, with the purity of Christ covering me, I look forward to seeing God.

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

I welcome discussion on this topic, to know your thoughts on what the Lord has shown you in His Word. I surely don’t know it all.

But back to the first lines in this blog post, from the song “This World Is Not My Home”. A few days ago, I looked for it on YouTube. I had mostly only heard it while singing it with friends, back in the days when I used to meet with a local Christian assembly. Lo and behold, there it was being sung by a musician whose music I adore, AND he was also playing my favourite instrument – the mandolin, which I’m currently learning to play.

Here, have a listen to “This World Is Not My Home” as recorded by Ricky Skaggs. Maybe you can relate, too.

PS: A related post that refers back to this: What’m I, Chopped Beef?

 

 

That’s Good News Indeed!

Good News
by Wes King, on the album A Room Full of Stories (1997)

Well, I don’t want to hear
The latest gossip in this town
And I refuse to let the things
I can’t change bring me down
Whatever is lovely, holy and pure
Well, I will think on these things

Give me the sunshine
A blue night
A blanket of shining stars
Tell me the Good News
Now, sing Hallelujah
Christ in me
That’s Good News indeed
Good News indeed

Well, I have had more
Than my share of petty quarrelling
And now I long to join
In peaceful, hopeful harmonies
Whatever is good, honest and true
I will think on these things

Give me the sunshine
A blue night
A blanket of shining stars
Well, tell me the Good News
Now, sing Hallelujah
Christ in me

Give me the sunshine
Now open the curtains
And let me see
Well, tell me the Good News
And I’ll sing Hallelujah
Christ in me
That’s Good News indeed

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8)

PS: Hey, is the commenting option shut off again? It’s awfully quiet on the blog again. If you don’t see a comment box when scrolling down below these words, click onto another of my past blog entries and let me know in another comment box. It’s been doing this to me a lot lately. I can fix it easily on my computer, but as I write this I am a few hours from home, typing on a phone.

For Those With Unsaved Loved Ones Still Alive

The father of one of my dearest friends has a bleak report from his doctor. My friend is saved, but her dad, to my knowledge, is not.

I’ve always referred to my friend’s dad as “Skip”, since I first met him in the early 1980s, as he reminded me of a TV show host named Skip Stephenson. I can’t remember anything about the show, but the name has stuck for my friend’s dad all these years.

How scary for my friend, for her sister, for their mother, and for Skip himself, knowing his medical condition is not likely to improve and death is imminent.

Of course, death is imminent for everyone. Any of us could take our last breath before finishing reading this page, for any number of unexpected reasons.

The important thing is that we be prepared for what lies beyond our final earthly breath, whenever that may be.

If the Bible is true, and I believe it is because all that has been written about Jesus even many hundreds of years before He came to earth in the form of a man came to pass with accuracy impossible to force, then what is written in it on how to obtain eternal life in a new body, in a perfect place, free from pain and decay, is the way I choose to follow.

And that way is simply through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as restitiutionary payment in full for my own state of separation from God. No ritual. Nothing to do. Nothing to buy. Everything good to gain.

The linked article below says it better than I can. May the reader find hope through checking it out, may Skip be saved and his entire family, and may somehow there be peace in this troubling time for them and for all who struggle through in these imperfect bodies.

For The Unsaved: About Christ

PS: I just discovered that this post had the “allow comments” button disabled in my settings. I have now corrected that and the commenting should work.

Surprise Me!

Maybe the joy I get from secular music such as this will be exponentially increased in the new heavenly songs in our mouths as we all praise Jesus together, free from our earthly desires that are the norm here.  In heaven, what would we need to desire, for all will be full and perfect! I look forward to finding out what God has prepared for us who love Him.

In the 1980s, during my teen years, while I was getting ready for school, I’d usually play vinyl records on the turntable. I didn’t want to be the only one picking the music, though, and so sometimes I’d ask my sister to choose one.

She’d say, “I don’t know what to put on. What do you want to hear?”

Huh? What’s the joy in that? If I told her what I wanted to hear, that’d be the same as me picking the record myself.

I told her, “Surprise me!”

I liked all of the music in my and her record collection. Even if what my sister chose wasn’t one of my top favourites, I enjoyed it because my beloved sister was the one who set it up.

I was just thinking about that memory and comparing it to how it will be in heaven. Of course, my analogy is shallow and doesn’t fully grasp the enormity of what heaven is. The similarity lies in that I don’t know what to expect, but I know it will be good and I will enjoy it because the One who set it up is my Beloved.

I have a few ideas as to what heaven will entail, made familiar to me by the words of Scripture, but God does say that it will be beyond what I can envision. My imagination is pretty wild, and so I have faith heaven will be absolutely out of this world – literally – largely because sin and its destructive consequences will be gone forever.

So much is in God’s Word, but this one little piece is jumping out at me right now, in Ephesians 3:20…

“…Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us…”

I looked up more info on the Greek word for “think”, and here’s what I found:

Info on the word “think” in Strong’s Concordance

It’s something to ponder, eh? (See what I did there? But really!)

Anyway, all this to say that I look forward to the surprise that God has in store, the details of which I cannot comprehend yet. I trust that it will be good, for all that I know of Him, from reading the Scriptures, has proven good.

Maranatha!

For The Overwhelmed

To the overwhelmed:

I understand.

There’s so much we all must bear, and sometimes it is more than seems reasonable. I’ve been there all too often and will likely return.

As for me, my comfort is in knowing that this world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through.

Yes, I’m talking about being headed for heaven through the One who saved me.

I hope you know what I mean – salvation through faith in Christ alone, that He was, and is, and is to come again. If you don’t know, fire me a note and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

May you know this Peace that is beyond understanding.

Maranatha!

1 Corinthians 15

Slowly rereading the words of this chapter comforted me tonight.

It is not the here and now that gives me hope. Other than the Word of God, more often than not the things I see bring discouragement.

1

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5
And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6
After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7
After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8
And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

If I Die…

For my loved ones – warm pie, a family favorite

Someday, maybe after I die, my kids might read through my blog and see this. I want to say here that I love all seven of you more than words can describe, and although I tell and show my love for you all the time, if there is any doubt, here it is in writing.

I also want to say that all the photos I have taken, videos I have made, and writing I have done in journals over the years is no indication of any favoritism. I would hate for any of my kids to feel I didn’t love them equally because there wasn’t as much record of them in one form or the other. Each one of you are tied for first place in my heart.

I am writing this on Friday, August 2, 2019. I will schedule this blog entry to be automatically posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2019.

I set it at 11:11 a.m. That is a special “TIME” of any day, of course, for us.

Why schedule it? Because I am planning to go on a two-night road trip tomorrow (which would be Saturday at the time of this writing) with my oldest daughter as she has an appointment and also wants to buy some things in the city that she can’t find up here. I don’t like to post on the internet about when I will be away, so by the time this publishes, I should already be back home…

Unless the Lord takes me to my forever home.

If I don’t return from my trip, may my remaining children know how dearly I love them. May they seek assurance through studying God’s word to know that faith in Jesus Christ alone is the only way to heaven. I want them to be with me there.

I want everyone who reads this to be there, too. I share the desire of God’s heart, which is that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Sincerely, with love,
Mom/Steeny Lou

Matthew Henry Rocks!

Photo that has nothing to do with the post: One of my cats chilling in a mess.

In case you aren’t familiar with Matthew Henry, he was a noncomformist Christian who wrote a Bible commentary of great detail and depth but which is easy to read, at least for me. The flow is good and he doesn’t bog me down with words I don’t know, even though he was born in 1662.

“Noncomformist” is a bonus word that I like in general, though its meaning is broad. I shy away from writers who have a specific affiliation with one denomination or another.

Here is a sample of Matthew Henry’s commentary, this one being on Hebrews 12:1-11, the first two verses of which say: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

12:1-11 The persevering obedience of faith in Christ, was the race set before the Hebrews, wherein they must either win the crown of glory, or have everlasting misery for their portion; and it is set before us. By the sin that does so easily beset us, understand that sin to which we are most prone, or to which we are most exposed, from habit, age, or circumstances. This is a most important exhortation; for while a man’s darling sin, be it what it will, remains unsubdued, it will hinder him from running the Christian race, as it takes from him every motive for running, and gives power to every discouragement. When weary and faint in their minds, let them recollect that the holy Jesus suffered, to save them from eternal misery. By stedfastly looking to Jesus, their thoughts would strengthen holy affections, and keep under their carnal desires. Let us then frequently consider him. What are our little trials to his agonies, or even to our deserts? What are they to the sufferings of many others? There is a proneness in believers to grow weary, and to faint under trials and afflictions; this is from the imperfection of grace and the remains of corruption. Christians should not faint under their trials. Though their enemies and persecutors may be instruments to inflict sufferings, yet they are Divine chastisements; their heavenly Father has his hand in all, and his wise end to answer by all. They must not make light of afflictions, and be without feeling under them, for they are the hand and rod of God, and are his rebukes for sin. They must not despond and sink under trials, nor fret and repine, but bear up with faith and patience. God may let others alone in their sins, but he will correct sin in his own children. In this he acts as becomes a father. Our earthly parents sometimes may chasten us, to gratify their passion, rather than to reform our manners. But the Father of our souls never willingly grieves nor afflicts his children. It is always for our profit. Our whole life here is a state of childhood, and imperfect as to spiritual things; therefore we must submit to the discipline of such a state. When we come to a perfect state, we shall be fully reconciled to all God’s chastisement of us now. God’s correction is not condemnation; the chastening may be borne with patience, and greatly promote holiness. Let us then learn to consider the afflictions brought on us by the malice of men, as corrections sent by our wise and gracious Father, for our spiritual good.

In case you’d like to read more of Matthew Henry’s commentary, one place I highly recommend to find it is on Bible Hub, a free site for some helpful Bible study tools. In a search engine, type in whatever passage of Scripture you are wanting, add the words “Bible Hub” to it, and “commentary”, and you’ll find the pertinent sections from his studies there.

Alternatively, you could buy the books, but I’ve become fond of internet tools myself, and my bookshelves all but bleedeth from the weight of many bound pages of thought, so I have to curb my purchases in that regard.

Of course, Mr. Henry is not God, and his writing is not Scripture. His words are merely assists in helping me understand the Bible from the vantage point of one man who has studied it. No man, nor any organization of humans, has all the answers, but I do believe the Word of God to have all I need to know for where I need to go.

As 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says:

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Maranatha!

 

 

Sharp pain in right temple

All day, off and on, a sharp pain has stabbed my right temple. It lasts only a second at a time and happens sporadically, several times an hour.

I am so stressed and grieved, the instigating last straw being the loss of my writing in a WordPress draft last night, that I do not feel like myself. It is not like my usual state of depression when things overwhelm me. It is deeply physical this time, very much like grief over loss of a loved one.

I wanted to say this in case I die tonight and the reason is otherwise unknown. A friend or family member might see this and know I had a strange pain in my head, not like the usual pain attacks I get every few weeks.

I took an Aspirin pill within the past hour. I haven’t tried Aspirin in years.

If I die and am therefore unable to say further words directly, I leave this here: please, my family and friends, please, I beg you, read the Bible and seek to know the truth. Please accept Jesus and thereby embark on the same eternal destiny as me. I want to see you there. I love you and do not want you to perish.

Just a flower I saw yesterday