Monday, November 21, 2016

HAPPY THANKSGIVING



HELLO FRENDS,


FALL IS IN THE AIR, Thanksgiving Day is in a couple of days, and I pause to thank God that life is good and my days filled with so many blessings!  My spiritual blessings are immeasurable, and my material blessings too many to count.

















THIS YEAR the constant awareness of His Presence, Power, and Peace - the consciousness of His love and involvement in the daily affairs of my life - the promise that He cares for me and hears my every prayer - and the presence of my family and so many special people alongside me on my journey - are riches beyond description.

HIS WORD continues to reach into the very center of my days, touching my life with wisdom and guidance for every problem and challenge I encounter.

IT BECOMES my Map when I feel lost - my Light when darkness surrounds me - my Hope when doubt and fear cloud my vision.  

WHEN I FEEL myself becoming entangled in the Temporary -  trivial things that would consume my days and acclimate my mind to worldly thinking - it is there to point out my failures and to get me back on track to the Eternal.   

A CHILD-LIKE FAITH and HEART KNOWLEDGE of the SCRIPTURES keep my relationship with JESUS fresh and growing - and every new day an exciting Adventure of Faith.  

THE TIMELESS BIBLICAL TRUTHS and SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES that have anchored me for so many years - continue to hold and enable me to know Life At Its Best!















SOMEWHERE IN MY EARLY YEARS at FBC in McRae, I memorized Psalm 100.  I’m so glad the words still come to mind:

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Serve the Lord with gladness:  Come before His presence with singing.  Know ye that the Lord, He is God.  It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise:  Be thankful unto Him, and bless His name, for the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His Truth endureth to all generations.”

WHEN I THINK OF His love and forgiveness and salvation and all of the grace and mercy He has poured into my life, I feel something of what Andrea Crouch must have felt when he wrote his beautiful song, My Tribute:

“How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me - Things so undeserved, and yet You give to prove your love for me - The voices of a million angels cannot express my gratitude - All that I am and ever hope to be - I owe it all to Thee -  To God be the glory - To God be the glory - To God be the glory for the things He has done - With His blood, He has saved me - With His power, He has raised me - To God be the glory for the things He has done!”

WHAT A WONDERFUL time of year!  In our excitement and anticipation of the Christmas season, let us not skip hurriedly over Thanksgiving.  It is such a special time for being with family and counting our blessings!

I PAUSE NOW to thank Him for YOU, my HEART to HEART friends!  Young and old, old and new, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.”

MAY OUR HEARTS be filled with so much of His love and such a spirit of joy and gratitude that it will spill out into the lives of those around us to bless and pass along to them a spirit of thanksgiving!

GOD BLESS!  MUCH LOVE!  CHERYL



Wednesday, September 28, 2016

THE TWENTY-THIRD PSALM - A PATTERN OF THINKING




1 The Lord is my shepherd;  I shall not want.

2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.

3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness 
For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through 
the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;  For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;  
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 
all the days of my life; 
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.


The Twenty-third Psalm is one of the most loved passages in all the Word of God.  When our hearts are heaviest, it brings peace and comfort.  

A wise old preacher once wrote that the The Twenty-third Psalm is a pattern of thinking, and that when our minds become saturated with it, a new way of thinking and a new life are the result.  He went on to say that its power is not in memorizing the words, but in thinking the thoughts, which represent a positive, hopeful approach to life.

Chuck Swindoll points out that David writes the psalm from the view point of a sheep.  He helps us observe some of the analogies between helpless sheep and ourselves as God’s frail children:  

(1) Sheep lack a sense of direction and tend to get lost easily.  So it is with us.  

(2)  Sheep are defenseless against the enemy and depend on the shepherd to defend them.  Like sheep, we find protection in our Shepherd. 

(3) Sheep are easily frightened and find comfort only in their shepherd’s presence, and it is to our Shepherd we run when we are afraid and need comfort.  

(4)  Sheep cannot find food or water without the shepherd’s help; As children of God, we depend on Him to satisfy our spiritual hunger and thirst.  

(5)  The sheep’s wool doesn’t belong to the sheep; the shepherd owns their wool.  Likewise, all the spiritual fruit we bear is produced by the Holy Spirit in us and belong to the Lord.  And so in every way, we are, as Psalm 100:3 puts it “His people and the sheep of His pasture.”

The theme that runs throughout this psalm is that because the Lord is our Shepherd, we shall not want for anything - He has taken care of all our needs.  

I love the way Swindoll helps us see how that theme is played out in all six verses:

v 1   I shall not lack for anything - why?
He has provided for all of my needs.

v 2  I shall not lack rest or provision - why?
He makes me to lie down in green pastures.

v 2  I shall not lack peace - why?
He leads me beside the still waters.

v 3  I shall not lack restoration or encouragement when I fail or fall - why?
He restores my soul.

v 3  I shall not lack guidance or fellowship - why? 
He leads me in the paths of righteousness.

v 4  I shall not lack courage when my way is dark - why?
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

v 4  I shall not lack companionship - why?
For You are with me.

v 4  I shall not lack constant comfort - why?
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

v 5  I shall not lack protection or honor - why?
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.

v 5  I shall not lack power - why?
You anoint my head with oil.

v 5  I shall not lack abundance - why?
My cup runs over.

v 6  I shall not lack God’s perpetual presence - why?
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

v 6  I shall not lack security - why?
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


These thoughts have a way of changing our perspective from “the shepherd” to “my shepherd” and in so doing, bringing His peace to replace our fear and worry!