Alphabet Challenge 2015

M is for Man

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Continuing the alphabet challenge, I chose Man for my M-word.

The Word Became FleshThe first sin occurred out of Eve’s desire to be like God. Since then, humans have attempted to become gods. The pharaohs of Egypt claimed to be gods. Some religions, to this day, foster the idea their priests are deity or descendants of gods. Even within common households, one or the other spouse insists on god/goddess-like treatment. Everyone around the person on the pedestal must cater to the majesty’s every whim. And the “most-high” never takes the blame for their own misconduct and certainly would never step down from their throne to serve someone else. Self-centeredness defines the ways of the gods.

Nevertheless while many humans try to achieve the position of a god, only one God stepped down from His throne to serve humanity. Jesus Christ, not only humbled Himself by putting on the flesh of man, He took the punishment of all our sins upon Himself. After He died, He rose again—in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16). Jesus fully God … fully Man, sacrificed all He had and was to give us all we could ask for.

How about you? What M-word describes one of God’s attributes to you?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks
 
 
 

L is for Lamb and Lion

Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.” (Revelation 5:5)

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While waiting on his mommy at the doctor’s office, three-year-old Eli walked with me, exploring the halls of the hospital. I picked him up so he could see out the window. He wrapped his arms around my neck and said, “Yes, carry me,” an unusual request from that active little fellow. I relished the opportunity to snuggle him.

At home, the little lamb in Eli often sleeps while he chases the dogs, jumps off the furniture, and otherwise, terrorizes his mother. He’s a healthy, happy boy. We all understand healthy, happy boys run, rip, and roar. Not a problem. But then, the lion in the child shows up. And Eli not only roars, he attempts to add biting, hitting, kicking, and wrestling to the mix. Of course, the little cub finds himself in time out. Meanwhile, I scratch my head, wondering what happened to the little lamb.

We all have “lambs” and “lions” within, waiting for a cue from us as to which we’ll release in any given situation. It seems to be part of human nature.

Even so, can there be two animal natures less alike? A lamb—meek, vulnerable, dependent—relies on a shepherd for his very existence. However, a lion—independent, fierce, murderous—prowls around, seeking those he may devour.

Both characteristics fit most people at one time or another. Even the gentlest people have “lion” moments. Likewise the most ruthless person has a “lamb” moment every now and the. When we consider Jesus’ attributes, we often hear Jesus referenced as the Lamb. And that’s how we prefer to think of Him—meek, loving, and sacrificial. Nevertheless, the Bible also refers to Jesus as the Lion of Judah—a mighty force, a consuming fire, THE CONQUERING KING. When He returns, Jesus will be prepared for war and will destroy all those who oppose Him. If you don’t know Him, the thought should strike fear into your soul like the breath of a lion on your neck.

How about you? What “L” word comes to your mind that describes Jesus?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

K is for Keeper

 The Lord is your keeper … (Psalm 121:5 AMP)

My Wedding Day

My Wedding Day

Continuing the Alphabet Challenge, I chose Keeper for my K word.

I knew Gene was a keeper from the onset of our relationship. That’s why I married him. Turns out instead being my keeper, he became my keeper. He keeps me happy by entertaining my creativity. He keeps food on the table—not only through working, but also by cooking most of our meals. He keeps me healthy, insisting I take my vitamins. He keeps me entertained with his sense of humor. He keeps me secure with his strong arms in a comfortable house. Yep, Gene is definitely a keeper by both definitions of the word.

Jesus Seeks the Rejected

Jesus Seeks the Rejected

Jesus is also a Keeper. For what He has done for me on the cross, I’ll keep Him in my heart forever. He is also my keeper. He keeps me safe and secure in His everlasting love. He keeps working on me to create a Christ-like image in me. He keeps me on the right path so I won’t sin against Him. He keeps forgiving me when I stray off that path. He keeps watch over me at night so I can rest. He keeps the sun, moon, and stars on course so I can enjoy another day. Yep, Jesus is definitely my Keeper.

How about you what K word do you use to describe our Lord?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

J is for Jealous

 Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden.  For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:23-24)

Continuing the Alphabet Challenge, I chose Jealous for my “J” word.

082615_2111_JisforJealo1.jpgHunter loves our grandactives. He gets excited when they visit. He plays with them and allows them to crawl on him and use him for a pillow. Yep, it’s all fun and games until I pay attention to one of the children. At that point, Hunter gets jealous. He demands my undivided attention, especially when other people enter the house or call on the phone.

Although Hunter’s got a good handle on it, he’s not the only one in our house with a jealous streak. The grandactives all do their share of “Bee, hold me.” “Bee, watch this.” “Bee, come here.” “Bee, I want … .” All of their demands stem from their desire to have my undivided attention. They’re jealsous.

Then again, I must confess I, too, have my own “green-eyed monster” to learn to control.

Jealousy is one of those traits we all abhor. We correct our kids. We chastise ourselves. We work pretty hard to overcome the nasty self-centeredness that leads to jealousy—a most intolerable sin.

But wait …

God says He is a jealous God. What’s up with that? He cannot sin. Is there such a thing as righteous jealousy?

Apparently, there is. God becomes jealous when we flirt with other gods and put earthly pleasures before Him. He calls it idol worship. He wants all of our love, affection, and allegiance without exception. He wants us to devote our lives to Him, to worship Him alone, and to seek His face daily. He wants our undivided attention when we come to Him in prayer. He has the right to such demands. He is our Creator, our Sustainer, and our Father.

Since He is my Father, I think I have inherited His jealous streak. But unlike the Lord, I have to check mine and be sure I’m jealous over righteous things—like the time I spend with Him, and the time I spend with my family.

How about you? What “J” word comes to your mind when you think about God? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

I is for Impartial

“Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.” (2 Chronicles 19:7)

Continuing the Alphabet Challenge, I chose Impartial for my “I” word.

081415_0435_IisforImpar1.jpg“Mother always loved you best.” The punchline of Tommy and Dick Smothers always got a laugh from their audience. Maybe because it hit so close to home. Parents are often accused of showing partiality to certain children. In our family, my mother showed favoritism toward my older sisters and my brother. Of course if you asked any of them, they’d tell you she favored me.

The truth, for most families, is the obedient child receives rewards while the rebellious child reaps consequences. Godly parents are impartial. They offer the same rewards and consequences to all their children. Each child choices which course he/she takes, thereby, determines whether he/she receives favors or punishment.

And we’re the same way with our Heavenly Father. We rebel. We turn our backs. We refuse to obey. Then we accuse God of showing partiality. But God offers mercy and grace to all who will come to Him with a repentant heart (2 Peter 3:9).

How about you? What “I” word comes to mind that describes God?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

 H is for Helper

So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)

Pray for HelpIn preparation for the PA Renaissance Faire, I’m making fairy princess wings and dragon wings. And my grandactives volunteer their help without hesitation, pulling out the pins as I instruct them. Acquiring help for certain projects comes easily, especially when you have volunteers.

However other tasks, I stubbornly work on myself, refusing to seek assistance—like the day I decided to strip the paper off my living room walls and replace it with a fresh coat of paint. The endeavor turned out to be almost more than I could handle. I got the project finished by myself. But it took about three times longer than I thought it would. Through the ordeal, I learned a valuable lesson … I can’t do what I did thirty years ago, or at least not so gracefully. Bottom line: there’s no shame in asking for help.

Most of us trudge through life in much the same way too headstrong to seek help. We take on unnecessary struggles, stress, and heartache that way. If the Lord is our helper like the above verse suggests, we should call out to Him for help before we find ourselves “waist deep in tacky strips of steamed-off wallpaper.” Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit as our comforter, guide, and yes, helper (John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26).

I don’t know about you, but I’m learning to ease the stress in everyday life by asking for help early in the morning.

How about you? When was the last time you asked for help?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

G is for Guarantee

 [He has also appropriated and acknowledged us as His by] putting His seal upon us and giving us His [Holy] Spirit in our hearts as the security deposit and guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise]. (2 Corinthians 1:22 AMP)

Dogwood Blossoms

Dogwood Blossoms

Raise your hand if you remember lifetime guarantees. Some of you younger readers look puzzled. But it’s neither myth nor legend. Lifetime guarantees actually existed and accompanied all major appliances and most small items as well. Many years ago—back in nineteen hundred and froze to death—manufacturers took pride in their products. So much pride in fact, they assured the consumers of quality merchandise with lifetime guarantees. Therefore, people received free replacements if their purchase failed to function according to the advertised specifications—no questions asked.

Nowadays, few products come with a limited-lifetime warranty. Limited being the key word, giving the manufacture a huge loop-hole of escape. And guarantees? Purchase necessary. Most offer up to three years, in which case you’ve paid one-third again the price of the item. Even major, expensive purchases such as refrigerators, stoves, clothes washers, and clothes dryers require extra guarantees, which are available up to three years. Why? Manufacturers use cheaper materials to cut costs. Knowing cheaper materials equals inferior merchandise, the manufacturers can no longer afford to offer guarantees.

Although free, lifetime guarantees vanished from our stores, one lifetime guarantee remains as stable as the day it came into effect over 2000 years ago. The guarantee God has placed on us at the moment we committed our lives to Jesus Christ shall never fail or expire. He has marked us with His seal, which can never wear off or become invalid. He has deposited His Holy Spirit within our hearts—His personal guarantee that we are His and will remain His for eternity.

I trust God’s word and guarantee on my life. I hope you do as well.

How about you? What “G” word comes to your mind when you think about the attributes of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? I’d enjoy reading your thoughts in the comments below.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

 

F is for Fire

For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:29)

Consuming FireCampfires mesmerize me. I can sit and stare at the flames for hours. I enjoy the crackling sounds of the burning logs, the sparkles swirling and spiraling upward, and the warmth emitted. The glow of the flames illuminates the faces of those sitting around the pit, giving everyone an angelic radiance. Campfires calm and exhilarate me at the same time.

Nevertheless, it’s a commodity that we can never take for granted. It demands our respect. Its power can easily get out of control. Uncontrolled fire puts all living matter in danger. It wipes out homes, forests, and life. It consumes and devastates.

The author of Hebrews compares God with a consuming fire. Not a pleasant analogy when we consider the possibilities of destruction. Even Jesus said to fear no man, but fear God who can destroy both body and soul.

But God doesn’t want to destroy us. He controls His power. He uses it to refine believers like fine gold. And yes, He will use it to consume the wick and rebellious. But again, that is not His desire or His purpose. God wants everyone to enter His kingdom. So if He must employ His consuming fire, it is not His choice, but those who choose to deny His sovereignty.

How about you? What word beginning with F reminds you of our Lord? I’m looking forward to your thoughts in the comments below.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

 

E is for Everlasting

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Continuing with the Alphabet Challenge, I chose Everlasting for my “E” word.

He Loves Me 1

                    He Loves Me 

As a child, I loved my father with all my heart. And I knew he loved me. But he couldn’t be with me always. He had to work. He had interests, like golfing, fishing, and hunting, that didn’t involve me. And I felt sad and lonely when he wasn’t home.

Then I grew up, and although Daddy’s love never ended, I found I needed a different kind of love—a love that extended beyond a father/daughter relationship.

So, God sent Gene into my life. He loves and adores me. He treats me like a princess—forty-one-years’ worth. His life verse: Thou shalt spoil thy wife rotten (Ephesians 5:25-30). Okay, that’s a condensed interpretation by my beloved, but it works for me. Even as loved as Gene makes me feel, he cannot be with me always. Like my father, Gene works. He has interests that don’t necessarily involve me. And I feel sad and lonely when he’s not home.

Nevertheless, God has used my father and Gene to show me the significance of having an Everlasting Father. Their gentleness, provisions, and concern for my happiness closely resembles that of our heavenly Father. There is one major difference, however. He never leaves me alone.

Jesus promised He would never leave us as orphans but would send the Comforter to dwell in us, to teach us God’s will, and to help us through all of our difficulties (John 14:15-18, 26).

How about you? What “E” word comes to mind that describes one of God’s attributes?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

D is for Defender

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

Hunter on Hunting ShowsSince he entered our lives, Hunter has pushed our buttons—sometimes all of them at once. He has been a fur ball full of energy and never seems to know exactly how to release that energy without getting on either Gene’s or my last nerve—sometimes both at the same time.

Hunter’s a dog. Dogs think and act like dogs. They bark at strangers, horses and buggies, and the wind. They run in circles like crazed squirrels. Then they bark at squirrels they don’t see. Dogs toss their toys at you and beg you to play at inconvenient times then let their toys lay at inconvenient places. They want 100% of your attention, especially when other people enter the house or you’re on the phone. And sometimes, Hunter, at least, needs a defender to stand up for him, to protect him from our wrath, and to remind us that he’s only acting like the dog he is.

Here’s the thing:

Like Hunter, I get into mischief. I procrastinate when I should be productive. I get angry when I should stay calm. I flap my gums when I should purse my lips. Let’s face it. I’m human. I think and act like a human. Therefore, I often fall short of a saintly, perfect, and righteous lifestyle. Yet, I know Jesus, my advocate … my defender, stands in the throne room before Almighty God, pleading my case.

How about you? What are some God references that come to mind using the letter D? Add yours in the comments below.
See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

C is for Creative

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

Continuing with the Alphabet Challenge, I chose Creative for my C word.

Creativity on the Loose

Creativity on the Loose

I enjoy being creative—painting, drawing, writing, sewing, crocheting. If it has to do with using my hands to make something, I’ll give it a try.

Creativity fascinates me most because it’s our inheritance from our Father. Almighty God created us in His own image. Our ability to create proves it.

Yeah I know, other animals create stuff. Take the beaver for example. He builds damns. Pretty ingenious for a critter. But that’s the extent of the beaver’s creative abilities. He cannot design a bridge. Likewise, a spider can spin a web, but she can’t spin yarn to crochet an afghan. Birds construct nests of various shapes and sizes depending on their needs. But they’re limited to the “blueprint” of their species and lack the knowledge to change the pattern, let alone erect a skyscraper.

Humans are the only living creatures with the intelligence to create, design, build, erect, and weave new patterns from our imaginations. It’s quite an honor, don’t you think?

And don’t you dare think for one minute you don’t have a creative mind. Because you do. You may not be an artist, musician, writer, or performer. But you do creative things every day. Cooking, cleaning, gardening, arranging furniture, setting the table all take creative skills. Helping others resolve problems requires creativity. See what I mean? There’s not much the human mind determines to do that doesn’t take creative thinking to perform.

Creativity is a wonder gift from our Creator.

How about you? What word beginning with the letter C comes to your mind when you think of God?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

B is for Baby

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Continuing the Alphabet Challenge, I’m using words that describe God. I decided on the word Baby for B this time.

B is for Baby

B is for Baby

We rarely associate God with the word Baby with the exception of the Christmas season. Even then, I have difficulty wrapping my mind around the Sovereign, Almighty, Creator reducing Himself to the microscopic form of an embryo, growing in His mother’s womb, and being born as a tiny Baby.

Yet, He did that to give us an example of true humbleness of heart. As He gave up all He was and is to be born in human form, we must give up all we are to be born again into His kingdom. All our power, our perception of who we are, and our knowledge of the universe has to be laid aside so that we may become like Him.

In doing so, we grow and mature into useful beings to dwell in a home far superior to anything we currently know and understand. We develop a clearer understand of who we are and a truer knowledge of our surroundings.

How about you? What are some God references that come to mind using the letter B? Add yours in the comments below.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

A is for Almighty

But there is [a vital force] a spirit [of intelligence] in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives men understanding. (Job 32:8 Amp)

Some of my writer friends are doing an alphabet challenge. I thought it would be interesting to join them with an alphabet names/references to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 Almighty God is He!

Almighty God is He!

Almighty God…the above verse says it all. Without the breath of the Almighty humans would be just like all other life forms without intelligence, understanding, or wisdom. Think about our power to reason and to create. Our understanding of morals and justice outranks all other animals. Our sense of decency has to come from a higher power—from Almighty God. He created us in His image and breathed the breath of life into us after He created all other life forms that were living and breathing. So the breath of life must mean something beyond inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon monoxide, right?

Almighty God granted humans the breath of life as a gift for eternity, and we became living souls without end. Souls with the ability to pick and choose our futures.

Almighty God’s love endures forever and He desires our allegiance, our love, and our fellowship.

How about you? What are some God references that come to mind using the letter A? Add yours in the comments below.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

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