Thank You from Dawn and Buddy

Thank you.WP

Thank you for sharing your time with me by reading my Buddy Blog. I know you could be spending your time doing other things and, instead, you spare a few minutes for my thoughts. I really appreciate it. Thank you very much. God bless you.

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Light Of The World, John 8:12

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I’m always a bit sad when Christmas Season is over and the lights start going out in our neighborhood. The holiday lights add so much bright cheer and color to the darkness of winter. I wish that we had a holiday in January called “Sparkle Day” where we’d decorate our houses and shirts with sparkling, glowing snowflakes. The fake kind, not the real kind. Thank goodness we haven’t had any snow in the SE Seattle area yet this winter: Because of our very hilly terrain, it can be very frightening to drive on icy streets.

Jesus said,

“I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of Life.”–John 8:12

Often people think of Jesus as lighting up the world by showing us the proper path to walk, how to live: delivering us from the consequences of sin as we turn our lives about and start living in ways that are beneficial.

But, I also believe and have discovered that…

The Spirit of Jesus Christ, also known as the Holy Spirit, lights up the souls of believers. He lifts the darkness of depression and gloom in our spirits and adds lightness to our souls. God promises to inhabit the praises of His people. When you believe in Christ and feel gloomy or the world gets you down, just start singing praises to God. Or pull out a Bible and start reciting the Psalms back to Him. You will feel an actual lift in your spirit as joy begins to dissipate the soggy wet rag of sadness.

When Apostle Peter stepped out of the boat in the middle of a stormy lake to join Jesus, he was able to walk on the water as long as He kept His eyes on the Lord. When he started looking at the angry, threatening waves, he began to sink.

Where we focus our attention really affects our attitude. Also, I believe that praising God chases away evil, as the devil cannot tolerate hearing God praised, desiring all praise and attention and devotion for himself.

Keep your eyes on Jesus this year and He will help keep you in good spirits, whatever 2019 may bring.

May 2019 bring blessing and and many more good days than bad, health and friendship and love.

Happy New Year!

Love from Dawn and Buddy

PS> I am referring to non-medical depression or melancholy.

***

Without a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is not present to dissipate the darkness in your soul. Please consider accepting Jesus into your heart by faith and letting His Spirit lead and guide your life. It’ll be the best New Year’s gift you could give yourself. The God of the Bible is real and lives and is knocking on the door of your heart, waiting for you to give Him permission to enter in (Revelation 3:20). The atheists are wrong and deceived.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him…”–Jesus

 

Peace On Earth? Where? Matthew 10:34-36

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Buddy wasn’t “Ho Ho Ho-ing” when I pinned the Christmas bow on top of his head. But, out of love for me, he stood still and let me take his picture even though he hates the camera.

Christians joyfully celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, whose virgin birth was prophesied 700 years previously by the prophet Isaiah: “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace.”–Isaiah 9:6-7

“Behind, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel,”–Isaiah 7:14

“Which translated means, ‘God with us.'”–Matthew 1:23

Yet, we look around the world and there is no peace. In fact, Jesus even told His disciples that:

“When you hear of wars and disturbances, do not be terrified…Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake…you will be betrayed by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name.”–Jesus, Luke 21:9-12, 16-17

And,

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.”–Jesus, Matthew 10:34-36

Since Jesus promised that there would be wars and enmity even with a family, what peace are we celebrating on Christmas with the birth of Christ, the Messiah?

We’re celebrating the coming of PEACE WITH GOD HIMSELF.

Jesus came to the earth to die for our sins. Why? Because God’s wrath abides on humankind for our ungodly deeds. God is perfectly holy and must punish evil. But He sent Jesus to take the punishment instead, so that we don’t have to suffer the penalty for God’s anger against our sin.

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the FORGIVENESS of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation…and through Him to RECONCILE all things to Himself, having made PEACE through the blood of His Cross; through Him…And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now RECONCILED you in His fleshly body through death in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach…” Apostle Paul, Colossians 1: 13-15, 20-22 (Emphasis mine in all caps.)

Forgiveness is a free gift of love from God, bought with the blood of Jesus. It is why He came: He loves us so much that He doesn’t want to be alienated from any of us. He became flesh and dwelt amongst us (John 1:1, Matthew 1:23) and suffered God’s wrath on the Cross for our sins.

We don’t earn it by being good, because it’s impossible to meet God’s standard of entering Heaven–perfection. (Matthew 5:48)

The only thing a person needs to do to be at peace with God is the most difficult thing for anyone to do: to humble oneself, to admit I am sinful and need God’s guidance and direction in my life–that He is Lord and not myself. Adam and Eve rejected His Lordship, so that their descendants are all born spiritually dead and alienated from God. It is up to us to individually accept Him.

Will you do that today? Give yourself the very best and merriest Christmas gift of all?

A relationship with God?

Peace and Joy in the heart, freedom from shame and guilt? A change in direction from Hell to Heaven?

Merry Christmas and love from Dawn and Buddy

***

If you’re ready, please pray this prayer:

Lord, I realize that I fall short of your perfect standard of holiness. I cannot earn salvation nor a right standing with you. By faith I accept that Jesus died for my sins and ask that the Holy Spirit enter into my life and direct me. I accept that Jesus is God in the Flesh, Immanuel, and ask You to be the Lord of my life. Thank you for hearing my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.

If you prayed this prayer, you are born-again. Please obtain a Bible to learn more about God and His ways, and a Bible-based church where God’s grace is preached.

I personally prefer the New American Standard version (NASB), but there are many good translations.

God bless you. Love, Dawn

 

Lamest Sermon Ever! Jonah 3:1-10

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I can’t say that I’m always eager to take Buddy for a walk when I return home from work. He’s always so excited to see me, however, that I “suck it up” for his sake and we trudge out into the rain and/or cold weather to please him.

Probably everyone knows the spectacular aspect of Jonah’s story, that he was swallowed by a whale. What the average person doesn’t know is why. God told Jonah to travel to Nineveh, which was in ancient Assyria, and preach that they repent of their sins or face God’s judgment. Jonah, however, hated the Ninevites because they were cruel and wicked people: He wanted God to judge and destroy them.

However, it seems that Jonah didn’t know God too well. He takes a ship to Tarshish in the opposite direction of Nineveh, to escape “from the presence of God” (Jonah 1:3). Seems he didn’t know God was omnipresent, i.e. everywhere. God tosses the ship around in a violent storm because of Jonah’s disobedience, so the crewmen reluctantly throw Jonah overboard. Here’s the big irony: The pagans did everything they could to save Jonah’s life as they didn’t want to toss him overboard to his death. When the sea suddenly calmed when Jonah hit the water, the seamen repented and acknowledged God as their savior from the storm. These pagans had more compassion on Jonah, even though he caused them great distress, than Jonah, one of God’s representatives, had on the Ninevites.

A whale swallows Jonah, saving him from drowning. After he finally repents of his disobedience after three days and nights in its belly (this was one stubborn dude), the whale vomits him up onto dry land. God then commands Jonah once again to go preach to the Ninevites to repent of their sin, “120,000 persons (Jonah 4:11).” Jonah obeys, but with a sullen attitude. He walks an entire day through Nineveh, proclaiming this greatest of all sermons:

“Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.”–Jonah 3:3

That’s it. Charles Spurgeon or Martin Luther probably produced greater sermons during their sneezes.

Yet the King orders everyone to fast and put on sackcloth as a sign of repentance–even the animals were clothed with sackcloth:

“When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. He issued a proclamation and it said, ‘In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.’

And when God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.”–Jonah 3:6-10

God loved the Ninevites, despite their wickedness, and didn’t want to destroy them. He wanted to give them a chance to repent.

Jonah was very angry that the city repented, but that’s another point for later. What I want to emphasize now is that Jesus encourages us to pray and promises to answer our prayers. “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive. (Matthew 21:22)” But we often think that we aren’t eloquent or fervent enough to be heard, or that we aren’t important enough to warrant God’s notice or don’t know how to spin out long-winded prayers that convince God to respond. We might read the Psalms of King David and think, “I fall far short. I sound really lame compared to him.”

Our prayers may be puny or weak–or maybe just two heartfelt words, “Help, Jesus!” What we just need to do is only this: pray to the One True and Living God.

“…whatever you ask of the FATHER in MY NAME HE may give to you (John10:16b)”. Because “All authority has been given to ME (Jesus) in heaven and on earth (Mark 28:18)”. (CAPS mine for emphasis.)

The Ninevites repented because God’s power was already at work in their hearts; it was His desire to see them repent or He wouldn’t have bothered to send Jonah. He could’ve just zapped them all with fire and brimstone, like Sodom and Gomorrah, and gotten it over with.

I truly believe that Jesus was not able to do “many miracles there (Nazareth) because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58)” as the people in His hometown of Nazareth didn’t believe that He was the Lord God in the flesh, Immanuel, having lived with him since his childhood, so they didn’t ask. They didn’t realize that He was the Incarnation that the prophet Isaiah prophesied about, even though Jesus had declared Himself to be the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecies regarding the coming Messiah in the synagogue of Nazareth (Luke 4:17-21) at the beginning of His ministry.

About 700 years before Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, Isaiah prophesied that God would become flesh and dwell amongst us (Matthew 1:23):

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace…”–Isaiah 9:6

So the point I’m trying to make is: Pray and trust God to work. The power is not in how eloquent or long or interesting your prayers are; the power flows from The Lord Of Hosts (Lord of Angel Armies) Who answers your prayers. And proclaim Christ as Lord, trusting not in your power and effort but in God’s power that works in the hearts of people.

“God rules over the nations.”–Psalm 47:8

“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains; The world, and those who dwell in it.”–Psalm 24:1

“The Lord is King forever and ever; Nations have perished from His land. O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear…” Psalm 10:16-17

Pray your feeble prayers and trust an all powerful, loving God to answer.

***

It’s my prayer that this blog blesses you. If I was relying upon my eloquence and not the hope that God is using my words, I’d despair because I often feel like I’m falling short. God wants us to honor Him, not honor ourselves. Not because He’s arrogant but because Dawn cannot save your soul; only He can redeem you. If your prayers aren’t being answered, are you sure that you’re praying to the true and living God as depicted in the Bible? Many people deny the Deity of Christ, but He clearly instructs us to pray to the Father in His name. Would you please consider who your faith is in: yourself or Jesus, the loving Savior? The One Who died for your sins so that you don’t have to pay for them yourself on Judgment Day. Your efforts, your works–or His work?

God bless you. Dawn and Buddy

 

The Way of The World, Psalm 2:1-4,10-12

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I was going to blog about cowardice, but changed my mind due to recent current events.

I will be deeply grieved if Buddy were ever to leave me. Why? Because I love and know him.

This world, however, does not know Jesus: His might, His kindness, His mercy, His grace, His patience, His love, nor His authority. I’m sure those who know our Great Shepherd can come up with many other attributes to add to the above. As a result of not knowing Jesus, the world mocks and rejects the God of the Universe and His church. Our American society, led by the mainstream media, is progressively hostile in its attitude toward Christians and anyone who believes in the Bible.

This Psalm was written over three thousand years ago, yet accurately reflects our world today:

Why are the nations in an uproar? And the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Messiah (Jesus), saying,

“Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!”

He Who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them…

Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth.

Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled.–NASB version, Psalm 2:1-4, 10-12

Increasingly we see the Ten Commandments, Crosses, and other symbols of Christianity being removed in our society, or people making attempts at removing them. In Europe, hostile groups are tearing down Christmas trees or causing Christians and Jews to flee or deny them sanctuary. Recently, a group attempted to prevent Franklin Graham from entering the UK to preach the gospel. A Syrian Christian returned to Syria after immigrating to Austria, because he “felt safer” in his home country.

Although Jesus promises us freedom–freedom from sin, defeat, the devil, eternal punishment, self-destruction, negativity–the world sees Jesus and His commandments as enslavement, a “fetter” that must be “cast off” so that they can have the freedom to do whatever they want, to define their morality as they see fit, often in the disguise of a religious belief.

“So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”–Jesus, John 8:36

Out of love for us, God sent Jesus to suffer the punishment for our sin. Jesus is our mediator, the bridge between a perfectly holy, sinless God and imperfect humanity.

“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”–Apostle Peter, 2 Peter 3:9

But as some point, His patience is going to run out.

Because the world does not know Him, we must tell them, out of love for their welfare, even if they don’t want to listen.

Before “His wrath is kindled…”

***

My dear reader, Jesus loves you far more than I could even possibly love my beloved Buddy. He created you and sustains you every day. He wants to be in a loving relationship with you and not be estranged from you. Could you please consider giving your heart to Him today? He wants to be your Father–and your best friend.

Wagging Tail, 1 Thessalonians 5:16

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I intended to write on another topic tonight, but when I was in the bathroom this morning, Buddy joyously greeted me with a wagging tail because I had returned from attending church. He was happy just to see me and be in my company. And it made me feel good because my dog cares about me and wants me around.

It got me thinking, “Am I happy just be in God’s company? Am I rejoicing because I’m  a child of God and know that, through my relationship with Jesus Christ, I will be “rescued from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10)? Am I enjoying God for Who He is and not just what He can give me and those I pray for? Or do in this world?

Jude says that one day I will stand before Him in the Afterlife, “blameless with great joy. (Jude 1:24).” Apostle Paul also echoes this in Colossians 1:22, “He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”

Because Jesus died for my sin, I don’t have to fear approaching God. He now sees me clothed in the “righteousness of Christ” and “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us (Psalm 103: 12).” Jesus encouraged prayer and making requests of God. To see Him as our Father, our encourager and our comforter. King David often poured his heart out to God to find comfort and strength in his suffering and travails, as written down in the Psalms. Apostle John frequently emphasized in his letters that God is love and loves us: “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God (1 John 3:1).”

Apostle Peter also encouraged us to open our hearts in prayer to God, “casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).”

After the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt, the Jewish people wept because of their nation’s sin which had caused God to allow the destruction of their city by the Babylonians in 586 BC. But God admonished them, telling them to rejoice instead. “Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”–Nehemiah 8:10

I know Psalm 100 by heart. But it’s time that I try harder to apply, with God’s guidance, this great Psalm’s encouragement to enjoy God:

“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing…Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.”

Because God is good and loves me, I can enjoy His presence: through prayer and giving thanks, rejoicing in my blessings, in this beautiful world and family and friends and living in a wonderful country. Instead of focusing on the hurt and trouble and evil in the world.

Or as the shorter version of the Westminster Catechism teaches:

“Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”

Have a blessed week.

***

God loves you and sent Jesus to die for your sins. You can become a child of God and enjoy His presence by admitting you are a sinner. Why must you do that? Because, when Adam and Eve ate the apple, they were telling God that they didn’t need His advice on how to live, they were going to decide it for themselves. As a result of rejecting Him, God’s Holy Spirit left the human race and so every generation has been born separated from God since. When you ask God to forgive your sin, you’re admitting to Him that you don’t have all the answers and want His guidance and presence in your life, that you want Him to be your great Shepherd and leader. Please ask Him to forgive your sins and ask Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit, to guide your through His Word, the Bible, on how to live this life. He’s waiting for your invitation to let Him enter into your life and heart.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to Him, and will dine with him, and he with Me.”–Revelation 3:20

Please open your heart to Him for “God is love” (1 John 4:16).

 

 

 

The Danger of Pursuing Evil, Proverbs 11:27b

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It doesn’t help to have the most uncooperative dog to feature in a blog. Buddy hates getting his picture taken and refuses to look at me when I am holding the camera. I have to trick him into looking at me and, as you can see above, he didn’t take the bait.

Since it is October a friend and I watched a DVD of “The Wolfman” featuring Benicio Del Toro. Apparently it bombed at the box office when it came out in the theaters in 2010, but it’s one of my favorite horror movies. It has no sex and swearing, although there is some gore. I enjoy a good monster movie if it isn’t overly scary, because I don’t believe in vampires, werewolves or other monsters. But I generally avoid movies about ghosts, demons and witches because I believe there are real forces of evil in this world that should not be taken lightly.

Proverbs 11:27b warns: “he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.”

In my opinion, the movie “The Wolfman” is a cautionary tale against seeking out evil. And the conquering power of love over evil. (Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen the movie and want to, you might want to stop reading.)

Sir John Talbot is on a hunting expedition with his friends in India when the natives tell him about a “strange creature” that lives in the mountains. He spends several days hunting down this legendary creature until he comes upon a feral boy in a cave, stricken with the disease of lycanthropy. After being bitten by the “creature”, Sir John believes he’s the “butt of a joke” until, after returning to England, he transforms into a werewolf and murders his wife.

Sir John considered suicide to escape his monstrous existence, but life was “too glorious, especially to the curse and the damned”. Not once is forgiveness and deliverance in Jesus Christ considered; instead, he ultimately embraces his wickedness. Because Sir John didn’t take evil seriously, many other people are killed, including both his sons, ending his hereditary lineage. “But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; The posterity of the wicked will be cut off.”–Psalm 37:38

Sir John attacks his son, Lawrence, infecting him with lycanthropy, also. Although earlier in the movie, Lawrence states that a person can get used to any lifestyle, including his debauched stage actor life, he never embraces the evil lifestyle of a werewolf with its great sense of power and strength. He escapes his fate by being shot with a silver bullet by Gwen Conliffe, a woman who loves him. As he dies, Lawrence thanks Gwen for having the courage to rescue him. Only love delivers him from his wretched Satanic curse.

The best horror movies are cautionary tales about good and evil. And it’s my humble opinion that the best movies are ones which demonstrate the triumph of good over evil. I really dislike movies in which a person’s good deed is rewarded by being murdered by the monster (“Jeepers Creepers”, for instance).

God warns us in Deuteronomy 18:10-11 to stay away from the occult:

“There shall not be found among you anyone…who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.”

Far too many people ignore these warnings and get involved in tarot card reading, horoscopes, Ouija boards, palm reading, seances, drug use, and the like. God warns us not to get involved with such things, not because He doesn’t want us to have fun, but because it can invite Satanic powers into our lives. And He doesn’t want us to be in bondage to evil. Sir John Talbot thought hunting down the creature in the mountains was just a lark; he didn’t take evil seriously, even after he was bitten. As a result, his and many other lives were destroyed.

Some authors, I believe, are morally confused because they don’t know Jesus Christ.

The problem is: Only the word of God can help us to discern good from evil. When Adam and Eve rejected God’s authority in their lives by disobeying Him, their offspring, divorced from the indwelling presence of their Creator, lost the ability to truly know good from evil. When ancient Israel, living in the Promised Land, rejected the God of the Bible, they turned to human sacrifice and other abominations, shedding innocent blood. (Psalm 106:35-38)

Humanity became cursed and under the dominion of Satan, by rejecting the Creator. But God brought humanity back into a relationship with Himself by sending Christ to take the punishment for our sin, conquering Satan and the fear of death on the Cross.

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom have have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God..And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach…”

This Halloween, please claim the victory that Jesus Christ and His love gives us over the power of evil–evil within ourselves and the evil in the world.

God bless you from Dawn and Buddy

***

If you want to know Jesus Christ, please pray: Dear Father, I acknowledge that I cannot earn my way to Heaven because no one is good enough to meet your perfect standard. I’ll never be good enough. Only Jesus lived the perfect life; He alone was sufficient to take the penalty for my sin. I ask that you forgive my sin. I believe that Jesus is Immanuel, God in the flesh, and took the punishment for my sin. Please grant me the gift of the Holy Spirit; help me to discern good from evil. Be my Good Shepherd; guide me into all righteousness. In Jesus’ holy name, amen.

If you prayed this prayer, please find a Bible-based church to grow in the knowledge of Jesus and to find fellowship with other Christians. Also, please get a Bible and start reading. I suggest starting in the New Testament with Matthew and reading your way through to the end. Then try the Psalms and then Proverbs. Then start back at the beginning with Genesis. There are some boring passages in the Old Testament, so I don’t recommend starting your Christian life at the beginning of the Bible.