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N is for NOW!

 

Now is the time to praise.

Now is the time to praise.

Now is the time to complete that project or start a new one. Now is the time to make amends, fix what’s broken, and change for the better. Now is the time to take that first step toward your dreams.

As the old adage proclaims: Yesterday’s gone. Tomorrow may never come. Now is the time …

But mostly I’m thankful for now because. Jesus accepts us the moment we come to Him. We don’t have to do anything to get ready. We don’t have to fix the past. We just have to seek Him. NOW is the time of salvation.

“Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

How about you what are you thankful for that begins with the letter N?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

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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

 

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)

Creativity on the Loose

Creativity on the Loose

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

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know 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

Sheep on the Battlefield

For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:25)

Sheep on the BattlefieldWhen my husband served in the U. S. Army Reserves, he often came home disgruntled. Many men and women who signed on the dotted line for the pay didn’t want to do the work. Imagine that. They thought their weekend maneuvers and summer camps were meant for relaxation and partying for which they’d get a monthly check.

Some of the women stuffed their duffle bags with mirrors, makeup, hair dryers, and curling irons to spend two weeks in the field (as in simulated combat conditions). Where’d they think they’d plug their electrical appliances in? Trees and rocks don’t come with electrical outlets.

The men showed up wearing leather jackets sporting their gangs’ logos, do-rags, and earrings. They had to be told to change or leave.

These people didn’t take their training seriously. They had no real commitment to their duty as soldiers in the U. S. Army. Because of their self-centeredness, they were vulnerable and would’ve jeopardized the lives of everyone in their unit had they been placed in a combat situation. They were like sheep on the battlefield.

We, Christians, are also like sheep on the battlefield.

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Next week:

We’ll look at repentance. Prepare by studying Luke 7-9.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

The Gift of Rest

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

Rest, Dream, Refresh

Rest, Dream, Refresh

There are mornings I get up, read my Bible, and pray. Then there are mornings I get up, read my Bible, and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. I seem to sleep well enough. But when I read, my eyes become tired and before I know it, I’m snoozing rather than praying. The phenomenon of sleep doesn’t restrict itself to morning devotion time. It overpowers me in mid-afternoon or evening without warning. I’ll be writing on a project or chatting with one of my daughters on Facebook … next thing I’m aware of … an hour later … my daughter’s message: Mom. MOM. Did you fall asleep again?

I remind myself of two of my great-aunts who were talking on the phone until one no longer answered the other. This caused a rift between the sisters. Apparently the one who continued the conversation thought the other one had hung up on her. The problem resolved itself, however, when the talker went to her sister’s home to give her a piece of her mind face-to-face and found her sister fast asleep still clutching the phone. True story. No kidding.

Obviously my ability to fall asleep during inopportune times is inherited. But I’m still perplexed by it, especially when I think about sleeping over one-third of my life away. It seems like such a waste of precious time. And I’ve become more painfully aware of the precious, fleeting minutes of my life the older I get.

Yet, God, in His infinite wisdom, programmed us to need rest.

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Next time, we look at the gift of promise. In preparation, please read and think about 2 Peter chapter 3.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

The Gift of Grace

Advent 2014

Day 15

[youtube http://youtu.be/pzhdo0wz7jE]

Jesus became God’s gift of grace and the gift that keeps on giving.

1.  The Gift of Submission

Although He never sinned, Jesus submitted to John the Baptist to be baptized. In doing so, Jesus identified with sinners and demonstrated complete surrender to the Father.

2.  The Gift of Humility

Although He had much work to do, Jesus welcomed small children.  He said adults must become humble as a child if they want to enter heaven. Children lose themselves in the moment. They act without hesitation. They accept the wonder of the miracles surrounding Jesus’ birth without trying to overthink. They understand with their hearts

3.  The Gift of Compassion

Jesus showed compassion to the multitudes of sick, blind, deaf, and disabled people who constantly flogged Him. He turned no one away. He never rushed past someone in need. He took time to speak to them, to encourage them, and to meet their deepest needs—needs of the spirit as well as the body.

4.  The Gift of Satisfaction

The miracle of the two small fish and five loaves of barley teaches plenty about satisfaction

  1. When we look to God for sustenance with grateful hearts, He supplies more than enough
  2. His provisions come from unexpected sources
  3. Jesus can do great things with small things
  4. Jesus will NOT send anyone away who diligently seeks Him
  5. Jesus supplies an abundance so that we have “leftovers” to share

5.  The Gift of Trust

Trust is one of the most delicate gifts we can give to another person. It breaks easily and must be handled with extreme care. But when we put our trust in Jesus, we need not worry about Him ever breaking it. Here are a few things we learn from Peter’s experience:

  1.  Focus on Jesus, and He’ll enable us to do the impossible
  2. Focus on our circumstances, and they’ll overpower us every time
  3. Prayers don’t have to be lengthy or complex
  4. Even when our faith fails, Jesus is there to help
  5. No matter how severe the storm, Jesus is always in control.

6.  The Gift of His Presence

Jesus’ presence is God’s gift to each of us. Many get caught up in the wrappings—His glorious birth, the miracles, signs, and wonders He performed, the ideal of living a life full of peace, joy, and love. And God’s gift of grace through Jesus is all of that and more. But His presence brings with it His holiness, which cannot tolerate sin. Therefore, we stand convicted. Our guilt pushes the gift away. Instead of immersing ourselves in it, we hide from it unwilling to open the package in its entirety.

Let’s not return the gift unopened this year. Let’s unwrap it and experience the true miracle of Christmas—God’s grace, mercy, and love through Jesus Christ.

How about you? Have you opened God’s gift of grace?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

 

 

 

The Gift of His Presence

Advent 2014

Day 14

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.  They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.  (Mark 2:1-2)

Come into My Presence

Come into My Presence

Several weeks ago, Gene and I stopped in to visit the “grandactives.” I peeked in the door as is my habit before I enter. Two-year-old Eli squealed with excitement at the sight of his Pap’s truck. But when he saw me peeking under the window blind his happy face drooped into a scowl. He turned to his mother and said “Bee” in a very disappointed tone. But the excitement soon returned when Pap entered the room.

Similarly when Jesus entered a village, excitement filled the air. People flocked to the Lord in such large numbers that He often preached on a hillside. Some came seeking …

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Tomorrow, we’ll recap this week’s meditations via an art video.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks