Monday, October 21, 2013

Jesus Never Intended . . .

Good morning, everybody! You know I be getting these early morning revelations— mostly intended to get me straight—but I thought I’d share this one with you. J
Jesus never intended for us to be saved in accordance with Romans 10:9-10, and then say, “Lord, I’ll take it from here. I'll obey all your rules, and I will live a perfect life.” Oh, no! Jesus always wants us to be in relationship with Him—a 'dependent' relationship—in which we will always need His grace and mercy, and The Balm of Gilead for our cuts & scrapes as we stumble & bumble along this way. Our part in the relationship is to give Him all the praise and adoration due His Great Name!
In fact, I think He sometimes allows life to get plenty tough, causing our human efforts at perfection to fail. At which point, we have two choices. We can either scramble around trying to put the pieces of our perfect lives back together, or we can look up and live. Jesus loves to hear us cry out to Him, “Lord, help me! Lord, I need you!” And when we do, He gently reminds us that we are saved by His grace; we grow by His grace; and we live in His grace. [Acts 17:28; Ephesians 2:8; 2 Timothy 1:9; 2 Peter 3:18] He reminds us that He alone is Lord of all—the wanted & the unwanted. [Acts 2:36; Acts 10:36] He never wants us to forget that we are in an eternal relationship with Him. [John 10:28] The Lord Jesus has finished the work to make us perfect, righteous, and complete in Him. [John 19:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 2:10; Hebrews 10:14] We will always need Him. And we never have to worry, or try to be perfect in our own strength. [Matthew 5:36] We can lean and depend on our Saviour!
On this Christian walk to heaven, Jesus never intended for us to leave Him out. [Luke 24:32] Accept His Blessings!

Look Up & Live (~:jeanetta britt)
Lord, You drove me to my knees
With the thing I treasured most
So I would look up
And live again
So I would look up
And see You again
So I would look up
And love You again
So I would look up
And breathe free
Thank you, Lord!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Healing...isn't that a blessing!

Hi y'all! Hope all is well with you & yours. :) As for me, I went to visit my son lately and had a super time (...he even took me to a pro tennis match...loved it!). So I guess I was trying to give him a taste of his Mama's home cooking, too. But in the process, I burned my hand on the pot of grits and the bacon drippings popped up on my arm. Ouch! Maybe I was trying too hard, huh? Besides my son is kind of a health nut, now, and I don't even know if he still likes grits & bacon...but you know how us mothers do. :) I immediately slapped on the toothpaste (any brand) to prevent blisters, applied anti-bacterial ointment daily, put a smile on my face & carried on with the fun.
Anyway, I've been watching my burns heal, and I'm so amazed. We are indeed "...fearfully and wonderfully made". (Psalm 139:14) And, now, after a few weeks, one of the spots is almost invisible, and the other is returning to a matching shade of fabulous. The Lord made it such that one boo-boo is not the end...not the end of our skin...not the end of our lives. We can heal. We can recover. Isn't that a blessing?
And, thankfully, it's not just a physical phenomena. It's an emotional reality, too. And I think it's one we should focus on as often as we do our physical mishaps 'cause the process is the same. When we have an emotional upheaval--disappointment, upset, heartbreak, injuries of any kind, we have to act immediately to address the situation. Maybe it's not toothpaste we use, but we have to clean the wound by admitting it to ourselves and confessing our feelings to the Lord. (1 Peter 5:7) This keeps our hearts clean and open to receive the love of the Lord, which is the balm for our souls. (Psalm 23; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4) This immediate attention is only the beginning, however. Until the wound is completely healed, we must continue to bathe it in the Word of the Lord so our hearts will stay flesh and not become hard and turn to stone. (2 Corinthians 3:3) The Bible will remind us to forgive, not to let bitterness creep in, and not to play the blame game with others or ourselves. His Word will remind us that His grace and mercy are everlasting and always at our disposal. (Psalm 103:17) After all, everything that comes our way--no matter who delivers it--comes to us through the hands of the Lord, either to teach us by His mercy, or grow us in His grace. And no matter what happens, we can lean on Him. And no matter who does what, Jesus will never leave us or fail us. (Hebrews 13:5) And with time, not only will our hearts heal, but we'll be stronger in faith for the experience. (2 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Peter 4:19) Now... isn't that a blessing! :jb

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Idols...get in the way!

Hey y'all! Hope you're planning a Happy's raining down here :) But rainy days are a great chance to read. Now, I've read 1 John lots of times, 'cause I enjoy the book. The writer soothes us with the knowledge and the eye witness account that God loves us (for real!), and He wants us to have joyful fellowship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. We are encouraged to keep the channels of communication open between us and the Lord by confessing our sins, which He will freely forgive, and then give us that added bonus of grace--cleansing from all unrighteousness. (Chapter 1) And if that doesn't leave you shouting, he goes on to tell us in Chapter 2 that we don't have to do it the world's way, especially since the world is passing away anyhow. When we live in Christ, we know the truth, we're taught the truth, for He is The Truth. We need but to abide in Him. Then Chapter 3 drives home how much we're loved by the Father that He would send such love into the world in the Person of His Son to show us how to love others. And then it gets even better than that. Chapter 4:16 says, "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him." And verse 17b goes on to say, " He is, so are we in this world." WOW! When we believe in Jesus, we live in God and God lives in us, and we are as He is in this world! The key, however, is when we 'believe'. Because Chapter 5:4 declares, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
So having read these chapters again on this quiet, somber, rainy day, something dawned on me that has puzzled me for some time. After all this Good News, why does the writer end the Book of 1 John with a verse that seemingly pops up out of nowhere: "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen." (5:21) What? Why on earth are you saying this now. How does this tie into all the previous promises and sweet caresses of truth? It's like drinking a dose of vinegar after a slice of sweet potato pie. What? Well, today I got why John saved this warning until the end--for impact. Because he knew it is so-o important that we do not put anything or anybody between us and the Lord--no idols--not our children, or our spouses, not even our most cherished desire. Idols fail. And when they fail, it will short circuit our 'belief' that God loves us completely. (...'cause how could He let this happen?) And if our faith slips, we will cease to abide in His love, and when that happens our love will cease to be "...made perfect that we may have boldness...." (4:17a) For the very next verse (4:18) tells us, this lack of uninterrupted faith in God's love will cause us to have fear and bring on torment. (Makes you think of Adam & Eve, huh?) God wants His love relationship with us, through our Lord Jesus Christ, to be perfectly sealed and airtight. Idols...weaken the bond. Idols...get in the way. Get it? I finally did. Be Blessed!! :jb

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Hi y'all! I laughed all the way home yesterday. :) I had gone to Tuskegee, about 50 miles up the road, to participate in their Juneteenth Celebration and to sell some books. Well, the day started out somewhat overcast, but everyone seemed to be semi-satisfied with that 'cause it kept the temperatures down and the sun from beating down on our heads. There was a tentative feeling about the weather all day, however, and I heard a number of people murmuring they had prayed to hold back the rain. Now, who they were praying to was at issue in my mind because, whereas it was Jesus who delivered us slaves out of bondage, it seemed homage was being paid to everyone but Jesus on this high-Afrique occasion. My musings aside, however, a beautifully diverse program had been planned and a good time was being had by all, including the folk at the 'fish & grits' stand (not to mention the stand with the sausages on the grill to die for :) So along about 4 o'clock, when all the activities were simmering at a steady beat, the wind picks up--only slightly at first, enough to knock over my umbrella. Then it swirled a little harder--enough to get the attention of the musicians on the bandstand, who shut down for fear of impending lightning. Then the wind became even more demanding, and us vendors started to pack up--casually at first--while our host got on the mike to apologize that the event might have to end sooner than planned. About that time, all rain broke loose. We were deluged in a matter of seconds, not to mention the wind that was whipping at a mild tornado pace. I was soaked from head to toe, down to my skivvies in less than a heartbeat. It had seemed like we'd have a few minutes to pack up before the rain came, but it turned into a mini-flood on the Square in micro seconds. Children were squealing and water was standing wade-high in the streets in a twinkling of an eye. When I was able to toss all of my rain-soaked paraphernalia into my truck and squish my rain-soaked body into the driver's seat, I started to smile. And when I'd driven less than a mile to find that it was dry just down the road, I started to laugh. "Lord, You're too much!!"
I was reminded of the words I love most in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John), referring to Jesus' life and ministry in the New Testament--'suddenly'; 'immediately'. Isn't that how Jesus operated in His earthly ministry? There is nothing too hard for God, and Jesus proved that every time He was around the throngs that came to witness His miracles. It started when the angels got in on Jesus' birth. (Luke 2:13) Remember the crippled man at the Bethesda pool who had been there 38 long years? When Jesus took up his case, the Bible says 'immediately' the man took up his bed and walked. (John 5:9) Or the woman with the issue of blood? She touched the hem of Jesus' garment and immediately her blood was cut off. (Luke 8:44) How about Lazarus, laying in a tomb for four long days? "Lord, by this time he stinketh," Martha said. But when Jesus said, "Lazarus, come forth." Guess what? He did--immediately. (John 11:44) And if you do a quick search of the word, 'immediately', you'll find it got it's start in the New Testament, and it's usually referring to Jesus touching the lives of people who believed He had the power, authority and willingness to help them. (Matthew 8:3; Matthew 20:34; Mark 1:31; Mark 1:42; Mark 10:52; Luke 4:39)
That rain reminded me that Jesus does not take a long time to do anything. When we're in His presence and He takes up our case, things change--immediately, suddenly. And until then, we are to pray, watch, trust, believe and find enormous comfort in knowing that Jesus will take up our case (because His word says so: John 14:14). And when He does, we will be deluged with an answer, just like I was with the rain. What seems like dry ground only moments before will be soaked with His marvelous provision. We don't have to worry. It won't take long. Our God reigns!! Love you. :jb

Monday, June 3, 2013

Just & The Justifier!!

Hi, everybody! God is so wise…so good…so merciful…that in one act of love He became both--Just & The Justifier--of the whole world, for all time. God decreed in the beginning that if Adam & Eve sinned against Him--ate from that tree which He forbade them eat--"thou shall surely die”. (Genesis 2:17) And the rest is history. Adam & Eve sinned and mankind (all of their progeny) has been sinning & dying ever since. But God, in his infinite wisdom and love, had conceived a plan before the foundation of the world to redeem us, restore us, and bring us back to a right relationship Himself. (John 3:16; 1 Peter 1:20)
God handed down The Law through Moses, with full knowledge that no human being on the face of the earth would ever be able to fulfill it, because The Law is perfect--the essence of God--and we are not. So over 2,000 years ago, God drew a line in the sand of time & said, ‘STOP!’ (my paraphrase :) ‘It should be clear y'all by now that you—Jew & Gentile alike--cannot accomplish The Law; it is perfect and you are not.’  God summed up the sins of all mankind, past, present & future (for our sakes ‘cause all things are past tense to God), and declared, on the basis of The Law, “that they are all under sin”; “that there is none righteous, no not one”; ”for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. (Romans 3:9-23)
And in this sweeping condemnation, a miraculous thing happened!! God sent His only begotten Son to earth as a baby to become the Law (John 1:14); to fulfill The Law (Matthew 5:17), to finish The Law (John 19:30), and to remove The Law (Romans 10:4; Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 8:13). When Jesus Christ died on the cross, in one fell swoop, two marvelous things happened for all of us: God became Just—since He has declared everyone under sin, Jesus could die once for all the sins that stemmed from Adam. The blood of Jesus paid the price for the sins of the whole world, for all time. (Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Galatians 2:16; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 10:12; I John 2:2) And God became The Justifier—because, now, anyone who believes in the finished work of Jesus Christ is saved & justified by faith in His blood and God’s power to raise Him from the dead! (Romans 3:26; Romans 4:5; Romans 10:9). As The Justifier, God is making a New Nation—a family of believers in Jesus Christ from every tribe & every nation, whose righteousness is not that of trying to keep The Law, but who God declares righteous on the basis of our faith in Jesus Christ our Lord! (1 Peter 2:9) Faithful Abraham being our example. (Romans 4:3) Only God could conceive such a glorious, grace-filled plan that gives every man, woman, boy & girl on the face of the earth an equal opportunity to enter into God’s Faith Nation. So when you get thru shoutin'… Go tell somebody ‘bout Jesus!! Much love, :jb

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lean on Jesus!

Hi all! When I get some insight I try to share it, just in case it might help someone else. But this morning I'm in a quandary as to whether to share this as prose . . . or poetry. So here are the words . . . you choose :)

I was trying to hold the broken pieces
Of my heart
With my own hands
Thinking I was being noble
Since I had prayed for what broke my heart
I thought I was being a good soldier
Courageous and strong
I know, now, I was being foolish, and faithless
Prideful and wrong
Jesus waited
Until the broken pieces
Got too heavy for me
And I was forced to entrust them to Him
Jesus smiled at the brokenness
And, then, He did something
He gave me a new heart
And a new mind
(He can do that, you know)
And He sent me here to remind
You, too
There is nothing
In earth or heaven
He can't do
Give everything to Jesus
In prayer
For He is able
Our pain to bear
There is no load
He will not share
There is no way
We can carry
Every care
Jesus says,
"Lean On Me!"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pearls in Your Pocket...

I was taught as a child to put the needs and feelings of others before my own. Not because I was weak, but because others needed me to be strong. If I went to someone’s house for dinner, for instance, I was expected to accept whatever was put before me with a smile and a thank you. And I was expected to eat it (at least some of it), even if it was chicken feet stew, or chitterlings, or some other concoction I didn’t recognize or like. (... and there was so much food back then I didn’t like, but all of it tastes real good to me, now. :-) I was expected to eat it and compliment the cook—to make her feel good; to take her feelings into account above my own. And, in fact, the Bible teaches this in Philippians 2:3 when it says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” And I guess this principle is what my parents were trying to teach me.
I also tried to pass this legacy of self-sacrifice and giving to my children, but they were having none of it. The harder I tried to teach my daughter to be a ‘ponytail girl’ and my son to be an Edwardian prince, the harder they bucked. Don’t get me wrong; they're fairly nice people, then and now. But both of them have a very firm grip on their own likes and dislikes--their own needs. And as I look at it, in retrospect, that’s a very good thing.
You see, Philippians 2:3 works well when you’re dealing with God-fearing, Bible-believing people. In a setting like that, everyone is trying to outdo the other with regard to showing each other deference, and love, and kindness, and esteem. Everyone is being blessed by the other; the circle of love is Spirited and complete. That’s why Christ gave us the church. But when you’re dealing with unbelievers, not so! And maybe that’s what my children knew that I did not. My mother even said to me one day, “Leave those children alone; you don’t know what or who they have to deal with in the course of the day.” Now, I thought that was quite odd coming from her, since it was she who  had badgered me incessantly as a child to put the needs of others before my own—to be a ‘ponytail girl’, in fact. (Thank God my dad taught me a few other things! :-)
But more to the point, Jesus, with His sweet self, has let us off the hook as it relates to dealing with the unbelievers among us (those who’ve not yet come to Christ and are not committed to following His ways).  In the one breath, Jesus says, “Judge not ....” (Matthew 7:1) In other words, He does not want us going around having the audacity to try to condemn others in their current state of unbelief; something that only He has the right and authority to do--in the fullness of time. But in the very next breath, Jesus says, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6)
Wow! There it is. If you are among believers, putting yourself last and deferring your own needs for others makes very good sense, because it will be eagerly reciprocated. But when you’re not, it might just be better to keep your pearls in your pocket. Unbelievers have a tendency to take kindness for weakness, instead of strength. The more you give, the more they’re apt to take, without seeking to give anything in return. That’s why it’s important to study the ‘whole Word’, because Jesus did not intend for us to be victims in this world. Love everyone—for sure! But putting your pearls out there—your feelings, your needs, your desires, yourself—to be trampled on is quite another matter. Know your people. And when wisdom dictates, know that it’s okay to keep your pearls in your pocket.   ~Much love! :jb

Friday, March 15, 2013

Jesus is Our Soul Mate...

Hi Everybody! I don't have the time or space to tell you the 'whole story', but the Lord gave me this understanding through some very deep and troubled waters, so take it from me... it's real & true... at least enough for you to consider. :)
I came upon this Scripture some time ago that I didn't really understand. And I kept coming back to it, praying for insight ('cause I sho-nuff needed it). "For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands. Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well and are not afraid with any amazement." (1 Peter 3:5-6) Now, don't get me wrong. I was r-e-a-l stubborn in my youth, but by the time I came upon this Scripture I had no problem with the subjection part, 'cause the Lord had rubbed my head enough to convince me that 'submission is power'. He doesn't tell us to subject ourselves to others--husbands, 'masters', etc to cause us harm. On the contrary, the quicker we submit to the authority that God has placed us under, the quicker we find peace. I tell the children that I come in contact with through the community gardens, schools or churches this all the time. 'The Lord gave you parents for your protection from the larger society until such time as you're old enough, wise enough, and financially able to fend for yourselves. Submitting to loving parents is far less painful than being hit over the head with a billy club by a prison guard who could care less'. Since God gave us this hierarchy of relationships--this chain of authority--I figure, it's good & very good: Jesus, man, woman, children (1 Corinthians 11:3). When we are where God wants us to be, we've landed in the 'power seat'... the 'way of blessing' (or at least that's what I call it). So the need for submission was not an issue by the time I came upon this Scripture. No, it was that little phrase "who trusted in God" that had me stumped. Because if we're calling our husband "lord", aren't we trusting God when we turn the reins of our lives over to our husbands? By submitting to our husbands, aren't we trusting God that our husbands are our soul mates?
When we are saved--trust in God--the Lord promises to be our Comforter (John 14:16); our Guide (Psalm 23; Psalm 119:105); our Protector (Hebrews 13:6); our Provider (Philippians 4:19).... In short, the Lord promises to take hold of the reins of our lives and look out for us in this dark, dangerous world. And when He brings a husband to us--as He did when He sent Isaac looking for his Rebecca--we are happy, joyful and willing to go with this man... anywhere. In fact, in our delight, we're willing to put the reins of our lives into the hands of this man--this husband sent from God. Because, after all, we're supposed to submit to our husbands and call him lord, right? Right! But we're also supposed to "trust in God". In other words, all that the Lord promises to be to us can never change. We must never stop looking to the Lord to be our Comforter, Guide, Protector, Provider.... We call our husbands "lord" because the Lord tells us to, because He knows (for reasons we know not) that our man needs this. But our focus, our expectation, our trust cannot be transferred from the Lord to our husbands, or our wives, or our jobs, or our money, or our children, or any such thing. We cannot put the reins of our lives into the hands of another. Our trust has to remain in the Solid Rock--Jesus (...believe me on this--'All' other ground is sinking sand).
Surely, the Scripture tells husbands to " your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it." (Ephesians 5:25) But this is a learning experience for any man, just like submission is a learning experience for any woman. So can we entrust the reins of our lives into the hands of someone who's wearing training wheels? Companionship, yes! Trustworthiness, no! Especially in this day-and-time when few parents or churches are teaching young men to be husbands ...or even real men, for that matter.
Reverence and submission are due our husbands for this is right in the sight of the Lord. (Ephesians 5:33) But asking a husband--any person--to do what only God can do is asking too much. It is in our Great God we put our trust for our life--our soul. This cannot change. Jesus... and Jesus alone... is our soul mate.  ~Much love! :jb

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chugging The New Wine!

Wow! It's a great morning! I was having this weird dream about planting some living trees among the artificial ones that, for some reason, were stationed on my dining room table. LOL! It wasn't working; the dead trees and the living trees needed a different level of care. The dream was so disconcerting it stirred me from my sleep, and then the light bulb came on. Thank you, Lord! My understanding was enlightened . . .
Ephesians 2:1 tells us that we were all "... dead in trespasses and sins." That's all of us! We were all like those artificial trees on my dining room table--dead. And if we're a living tree today, Ephesians 2:8 clearly tells us why, "For by grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." And if we have been 'quickened', today, 1 Peter 2:9 tells us it's because we were "... called out of darkness into His marvellous light." And if we are alive today, Titus 3:5 says it's, "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us ...." And just so we don't get cute with this thing and start criticizing others when we observe the deeds of the trees yet dead--the lost, 1 Corinthians 6:11 quickly reminds us, "And such were some of you, but ye are washed... sanctified... justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."  You with me?
And then the parable that Jesus gave us about putting new wine into old bottles jumped out at me. The bottles were not just old, they were dead--just like the lost. And Jesus said the new wine would burst the old bottles, and the bottles would perish because they were not able to receive it (Luke 5:37). When we are quickened and called to life by His Spirit, we desire the new wine that Jesus gives. We're excited--able to receive it. We love the Lord for what He has done for us. We want to practice His New Testament doctrines and grow in His Spirit. We want it all! And then we get so excited and zealous, we want to share this new wine with everybody. And if they don't appear to want it, or if they can't receive it, we get a little miffed. We want to force it down their throats. Why don't you do the right thing? Swallow this! It's good for you! But 1 Corinthians 2:14 gives us some sobering news. Listen: "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
In other words, we can't force the new wine down the throats of dead people. It won't work. They'll gag on it and be broken--injured--for our trouble. It's like the trees in my dream--lost people need a different level of care.  Our role is to share the Gospel--the Good News of Jesus Christ our Lord--in love--believing that the same Word that saved us can save the trees yet dead. For "... faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17) The Apostle Paul also reminds us that some plant and some water the Gospel, but only God can give the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:6)
So let us who are saved share 'the dining room table' with the lost--remembering that we were once trees yet dead, too. Surely, we can enjoy chugging the new wine with fellow believers. But we must share the Gospel, in love, with the lost--trusting the God of Life to call to life all those who are His (2 Timothy 2:19).  Blessings! :jb

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Blessing for Stressing-or-Ain't the Lord Good!!

Hey everybody, hope you're enjoying this beautiful day! As usual, I'm laughing at myself this morning. I had planned a trip recently and had to go solo--drive myself 200 miles to the airport, slug two, 50 lb bags to the check-in counter, park somewhere cheap--the works. So I was stressing, visualizing all sorts of wild scenarios about the troubles I would encounter. I'd pray, then I'd go back to stressing the logistics of this long awaited and much anticipated trip. I will say this in my favor. I didn't stop moving forward. No matter the imagined obstacles, I kept pressing on in faith.
Now, this is what really happened. First, when my computer wouldn't work, I called the airline and got a $206 ticket (what a blessing!). I struggled, but successfully got my two, huge bags into the trunk of my car (leverage is a blessing!) without hurting my back. My drive to the airport was delightfully broken-up when I learned some dear friends from Dallas were visiting in a nearby town on the way. Talking about taking the pressure off the drive! Wow... it was a wonderful visit--hugs all around! Now, my smart son suggested that I check in at curbside with my trunk up, and THEN go park my car. (Okay, that could work, but there are always lo-o-n-g lines at curbside, and how can I possibly leave my car unattended while I check in without the police getting annoyed :)?
So, now, I'm at the airport...trying not to expect the worse. When I pull up curbside, there are not only no lines, but there are three male attendants just sitting around doing nothing! One of them, a true brother, came to my car and plopped those heavy bags out of the trunk and checked me in. Hallelujah! Thank you, Lord! Then, nearby, I was able to find a slot in 'economy parking' waiting just for me. But I'm not through yet. No!
I get in the security line, and the young man tries to chat me up, until I focused his attention on the birth date on my ID card...po' baby, guess all this gray hair didn't register with him :) Anyhow, standing there in line, a security agent taps on a side door and motions for me to come through with absolutely no wait. I get to my gate, only to learn it had been changed to another concourse. No problem. Get to the new gate (with a big smile & my Delta Centennial shirt on) and chat with the gate attendant to be sure I was in the right place. When it's time to board, there were only a few passengers, and one of the attendants was offering to give us our own row in the rear of the plane. I went forward, not to request my own row, but just to be sure I was in an aisle seat. The gate attendant that I'd chatted with earlier said to his co-worker, 'Hey, man, seat her in First Class.' I'm thinking: 'What? Me?' And then it hit me! The Lord had been showing me throughout this experience that He heard me and my prayers were answered with the 'Big Bonus' of His love, mercy and grace. Ain't the Lord good! In spite of my stressing (which is sin, you know), He blessed remind me I'm never alone; He is always with me...and it is His good pleasure to bless His quit stressing! I love Him! I love Him! (Luke 12:32; Romans 8:32; I Timothy 6:17) :jb

Retrospect (by :jeanetta britt/Under the Influence/

The Lord is so smooth
Sometimes your blessings sneak up on you
And you have to realize them
In retrospect

The desires of your heart
Hidden in the recesses of your mind
One day break forth in the reality of your living
And then it dawns on you

That was God
Winking at you
Letting you know He heard
Even the unspoken

And preserved it in love you
Until by faith
The time unfolds
In which it is due

It is knee-bending
To realize
Your retrospect
Is the foreknowledge of God

Friday, January 4, 2013

Crazy Bird . . .

Hi, y'all. Hope you're enjoying this fresh New Year like me! I got a good laugh this morning though. You see, I have this stained-glass window that I like a lot. It has a gorgeous butterfly with vibrant red flowers surrounding it. And there's this stupid bird that keeps coming back to peck at my window, trying to get to those flowers. It's impossible, of course. There's no life in those flowers--no nectar, no nutrients--but that stupid bird just keeps coming back day after day. Its beak should be good and sore by now. And this morning when I flew into the room to shoo that bird away--once again--I prayed this prayer for you and me: 'Lord, don't let us keep doing the same ole thing, our same ole way, expecting to get a different result . . . like this stupid bird. Amen.' 
May the Lord God bless you r-e-a-l good! (Proverbs 3:6) :jb

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Can't He See...??

...have you ever said these words? 'Can't he or she see that? It's as plain as the nose on their face?' Well, I have, and I got convicted of them royally while reading Romans 9 on this first day of the New Year. Happy 2013!! (Hope I don't lose my train of thought...getting lots of 'happy' calls--yeah!) But these companion scriptures hit me like a one-two-three punch of revelation, and it went something like this . . .
Punch One: "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand." (Romans 14:4) So, then, it's none of my business to question another's ability or willingness to understand anything--particularly the Word of God--'cause I don't know who's God's servant and who's not (and it's not my business to know). "Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" (Romans 2:4) OUCH! If the Lord is willing to suffer long with people to allow them to understand and be saved (just like He did me), who am I to want to cut His work short by insisting that they see. . . now!?
Punch Two: "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (I Corinthians 2:14) So, then, maybe he or she can't see because they don't have the Spirit of Christ (even if they're in the church), but there is no way for me to know, nor is it any of my business to know. My role is to trust Jesus to know and to show forth His love to all--knowing that His will, will come to pass!(2 Timothy 2:19)
Punch Three: "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit." (I Corinthians 12:4) Which is followed by verses 5-12 that go on to list the diverse gifts that are given by the Spirit to the Body of Christ. So, then, maybe he or she can't see what we see in the Spirit because their gift in the body is not the same as ours. !AHA! Maybe they are not meant to see it the way we see it so that we will need each other in the Body of Christ to share our differing gifts with each other to make one new man. Which means each of us has to trust the Spirit and be willing to share and receive, speak and listen, give and take from the good gift that has been given to each of us who name the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.The Truth does indeed set us free to live an abundant life . . .
Abundant life = living, knowing that God is in charge of His creation . . . and I am not! WHEW!  That'll take the load off . . . from 2013 to heaven's gate!! 
"This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes." (Psalm 118:23) :jb