Archive | June 2019

Is This Preventing Your Blessing? Luke 16:10

Stripes of Shadows.wp

Buddy is a little dog–about 19 pounds–but he has a big personality and casts a big shadow in a room. You definitely know when he is around.

Jesus talked about the importance of the little things that we do.

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is also unrighteous also in much.”–Luke 16:10

God doesn’t just notice the big brave acts or mighty deeds of so-called important Christians: He is omniscient and omnipresent, meaning He sees everything we say, do and think. He is called El Roi–“The God Who Sees’–by Hagar, Abraham’s concubine, after God hears her pleas for help in the desert wilderness after she fled from his wife Sarah’s wrath. (Her son was mocking Isaac, the son born to Sarah and Abraham when they were elderly.) See Genesis 16:13

God cannot trust someone with big responsibilities if they cannot be faithful in the little things, when the stakes to act with integrity are much lower.

I think most people pretty much agree with the Eighth Commandment that God handed down to Moses as a basic guideline to the Jewish nation on how to live godly:

“Thou shall not steal.”–Exodus 20:15

Would you agree that God would not want to bless theft? And, therefore, He might withhold prospering someone financially to get their attention in an area where they might be stealing from another person and not be aware of it? He jealously guards His reputation and wants His people to act with integrity, so that nonbelievers will not slander His church.

Nowadays, these following forms of theft occur far too frequently: Downloading copyrighted music or copying music CDs that should be paid for and aren’t; copying photos or drawings and reselling them in some form, say a book cover or article, without permission to use them or haven’t purchased the rights; copying software loaned from a friend instead of purchasing the original software–this is theft of someone’s copyright.

Creatives depend upon the honesty and integrity of others for their financial support. Sometimes it can mean the difference between making a living or getting discouraged and giving up.

Just because the Internet makes theft easier, doesn’t make it right.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s a large corporation selling the material or an individual creative. Stealing isn’t right, regardless of who is being ripped off. Today I just read an article in the Seattle Times about how thieves are copying people’s books and reselling them online. It’s eating into smaller companies’ and self-publishers’ profits. (See the article by David Streitfeld sourced from The New York Times titled, “Sellers in Amazon’s bookstore feel beaten up by counterfeit Wild West” for the details.)

For example:

Let’s say, Joe obtains a CD from the library. He really enjoyed it, so he copies it to his computer.

That’s theft. Joe should purchase a copy of it.

Alice finds a great cartoon drawing online. She downloads a copy, prints off T-shirts with her own caption and logo, and sells them.

That’s theft. Don’t assume that, just because something is on Google Images or anywhere else on the Internet, that it’s fair game to copy and use it however you’d like.

So if you’re one of the persons who is wondering why you’re tithing and being financially responsible to the best of your ability, working hard and are not lazy, are not coveting or trying to sabotage someone else’s success, encourage and help others to succeed, yet God is not answering your prayers for prosperity, maybe it’s because you’re being unfaithful in a very little thing: stealing someone’s copyrighted material.

And some creative believer might be praying to God to protect their copyrighted material–and praying against you.

Because your little act(s) of theft are having a big consequence on their bottom line.

***

Sorry, but tonight I thought I’d share my pet peeve. I always strive to honor other people’s copyrights because I want my copyrighted material to be respected by others ie, The Golden Rule. It was actually a coincidence that I read the article in the Seattle Times today (6/24/19) at dinnertime as I had already decided to blog on this topic when driving home from work. I think that multiple coincidences in a short period of time can sometimes confirm it’s an issue God wants to highlight. However, please don’t put too much stock in coincidences because, sometimes, that’s just what they are: coincidences and not divine signposts.

And if I hit a sore spot tonight, please remember that if you confess your sin and repent, you’re forgiven. Christians live under an umbrella of forgiveness, bought by the blood of Christ. All our sins are covered by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. We cannot earn God’s forgiveness. It’s an important distinction: It’s not that God won’t forgive or that He’s mean, but He cannot bless what breaks His rules and, thereby, encourage wrong behavior. He wants us to “walk in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).

Trust God to provide your desires in a manner that glorifies Him and protects your reputation for integrity.

 

Happy As a Dog, Isaiah 36:3

Buddy.Mariners.Posing..WP

Buddy always greets me with joyous rapture when I return home. And he is always excited to take a “walkie” although we frequently walk the same route once or twice a day. Unless something frightens him, his normal state is to be either contented or happy.

The prophet Isaiah wrote:

“The steadfast in mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.”–Isaiah 36:3

I believe that dogs are happy because they aren’t fussing or ruminating on the past or worrying about the future. They live in the present.

God always encourages us to be thankful (contented) and to live in the present.

Not to ruminate on the past, to let it go:

“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.”–Isaiah 43:19 ¬†Why?

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered nor come to mind.”–Isaiah 65:17

Because one day we will not remember our current earthly lives. You’re not only going to leave everything in the past behind–but not even remember this present life. So why keep holding onto that old baggage that’s distressing you? Drop it now. You’re not taking it to heaven (or the new earth) with you.

And, what is worry? Fretting about possible negative events in the future.

Does a dog ever sit around and think, “Good heavens! My owner may die tomorrow and I won’t get treats and walkies and belly rubs anymore? I may get chucked out of the house and have to lick spoiled tomato sauce out of old, rusty tin cans in the garbage dump to survive.” Heck no! He’s focused on what you have hidden in that napkin in your coat pocket after you returned from eating out.

Jesus says, because we can trust in God’s love for us: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him…For everyone who asks receives…how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him.”–Matthew 6:8, 7:8, 7:11 from the Sermon On The Mount

In summary, you can trust God for your present and your future. Forget the past and move on because you have a wonderful future ahead of you.

“But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create, For behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing And her people for gladness.?–Isaiah 65:18

God created you to be happy as a dog.

***

Ironically, while working on this post, something popped up that distressed me greatly. God brought it around for my good (Romans 8:28). Thinking about what I am blogging about helped to calm me down and deal with the situation much more rationally. God is good. What timing!

Never claimed I was perfect, just blogging about what I am thinking about or dealing with at the time.

Much love from Dawn and Buddy.

Trusting In God’s Protection, Isaiah 41:10

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There’s been several times when Buddy has fought me while I’ve been trying to hold him to ensure that he lands safely: whether placing him in this washtub in the laundry room to check that he doesn’t have an injury to his back paw and wash it clean or when I try to place him on the ground in the garage after a drive in my car. He spreadeagled himself across the laundry tub tonight and he often fights me to leap out of my arms onto the carport, instead of trusting me to hold him tightly and guarantee he has a safe landing on the concrete.

This verse is one of my favorites and has sustained me emotionally in many an unstable or frightening situation:

“Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”–Isaiah 41:10

And “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand. Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.'”–Isaiah 41:13

God makes these statements after reminding His people through the prophet Isaiah that He is omnipotent, omniscient and cannot be conquered.

That:

He loves us and carries us close to His heart as our great Shepherd. Isaiah 40:11

He needs no counsel. Isaiah 40:13

The nations are as nothing compared to His power. Isaiah 40:15

No judge or ruler can defeat Him. Isaiah 40:25

He is so powerful that He created the stars, sustains them and calls these many myriad celestial bodies by name. Isaiah 40:26

He has no equal. Isaiah 40:25

He never becomes tired. Isaiah 40:28

He gives strength to the weary. Isaiah 40:29

He gives power to those who lack it. Isaiah 40:29

He is impossible to understand (in other words, He cannot be tricked). Isaiah 40:28

If you are born-again, you can be assured that, regardless of whatever situation you are currently finding yourself in, God is with you and can guarantee a safe landing–if you don’t try to wrestle out of the safety of His might arms.

Please don’t reject His ways and try to solve your problem apart from His godly wisdom. It may not seem like it at first, but eventually you’ll be glad you followed Biblical wisdom and counsel, instead of doing what felt right emotionally or succumbed to what the culture said was right. I can verify this statement from personal experience–positive and negative.

Another favorite verse of mine:

“Before I was afflicted, I went astray. But now I keep your word.”–Psalm 119:67

A wrong reaction can make a bad situation, worse.

God bless you. From Dawn and Buddy

***

I lost five good friends and one relative during the period November 23, 2018 through April 9th, 2019. The last death was a bit of a shock and I felt rather depressed, mourning my elderly friend’s death. Several times I got to share the gospel with him before he passed on–the last time was several hours before a massive stroke incapacitated him and led to his death two days later. Between the efforts of his cousin and I, I think he made it to Heaven by God’s grace, giving him the extra months to come to salvation. I’m looking forward to seeing my friend again one day.

Do you have the hope of reuniting with your loved ones in Heaven? Please consider Jesus, Who died to pay the penalty for your sins, a penalty demanded by a Holy God, and was raised to life to give us eternal life by the power of the Holy Spirit, the seal of our promise of eternity (Ephesians 4:30). Why not invite Him to reveal to you how much He loves you right now?

I hope to be more regular with my blog posting throughout the summer. Thanks for reading.