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.

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National Packrat Day, May 17th

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Revealing to my followers another side of myself: cartooning. I was thrilled last year when I discovered there was a National Packrat Day so that I finally had a use for this cartoon I drew years ago.

I learned that my identify does not rest in my talent. I am not a cartoonist. I am a Christian who does cartooning. First and foremost I am a child of God. But I’m thankful for this talent He has given me as it has provided me with endless hours of amusement and some cheer to others.

Have a ratty day!

Are You Starving Yourself? Ten Reasons Not To. (Part 2) Matthew 4:4

 

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Buddy is the only dog I’ve ever owned who loves bread. In fact, I’m not sure if he would choose a piece of steak over a piece of bread. I might test him someone soon to see which he would prefer.

God commands us to eat bread, spiritual bread that nourishes our souls:

And Jesus said to Satan, “‘It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'”–Matthew 4:4

Last week I listed five reasons why we should read the Bible, God’s Word. To shorten the posts, I split the list into two blog postings. Below are the remaining five points:

  1. To know right from wrong, we have to study God’s Word. It’s a big book and there is a lot of wisdom in it. If we say we’re Christians but just go about living life based upon what the culture says is right and wrong, and not sifting our decisions and thoughts against what the Bible says, then we’re acting like Adam and Eve, denying what God commands and deciding for ourselves what is right and wrong. We avoid unnecessary harm by obeying God. “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers (Psalm 1:1-3, King David).”
  2. The Scriptures are good for you, mentally and physically. “”Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones (Proverbs 3:7-8, King Solomon).” And, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 11:28-19, Jesus).” “Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, for blessed are they who keep my ways…Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates,…all who hate me love death (Proverbs 8:36).” “How blessed are all who take refuge in Him (Psalm 2:12).” “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him (Proverbs 30:5).”
  3. So that you can pray with confidence. God promises to answer our prayers if it’s according to His will. How can you know that you’re praying in accordance with God’s will? Know the Scriptures! “Let my cry come before You, O Lord; give me understanding according to Your word. Let my supplication come before You; deliver me according to your word (Psalm 119:169-170).” And, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him (1 John 5:14, Apostle John).”
  4. Knowing the Bible will protect you from false prophets, false teaching and falsehood. “I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints (Jude 3).” “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; (1 Thessalonians 5:21).”
  5. Lastly, because it’s God speaking to us. We should listen to our Lord and Savior. “But know this first of all that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (2 Peter 1:20).” If you love someone, you want to get to know them better. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37, Jesus quoting Deuteronomy 6:4).”

I hope you are now convinced of the necessity of daily reading God’s Word. May I suggest starting with reading one book of Proverbs for each day of the month? In other words, Proverbs 1 for the first day of the month, Proverbs 2 for the second day of the month, etc. Read Proverbs 31 on a thirty day month either on day thirty with Proverbs 30 or on the first day of the month with Proverbs 1.

If you miss a day or several, just continue with the program. You will find that these proverbs will begin to sink into your heart and when you face a certain situation, the Holy Spirit will bring the proverb to your mind to guide you. He’s done that for me many times.

God bless you richly as you grow in the knowledge of Him and His Word.

Dawn and Buddy

 

Are You Starving Yourself? Ten Reasons Not to. (Part 1) Matthew 4:4

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Buddy’s most favorite place in the whole world (besides being at my side, or so I delude myself) is the local pet food store, Mud Bay in Maple Valley. He goes wild in the car when he realizes we’re near the shop. The regular employees know Buddy and give him treat samples, but his favorite is Brianna. He loves checking out the bags of dog food, bags of snacks, bins of dog bones and treats. For Buddy, it’s a doggie play palace.

I ask, “Are you starving yourself?” because many people are like Buddy: They enjoy a good, tasty meal of food but are starving themselves spiritually. Their bodies are fit but their souls are hungry.

When Satan tried to tempt Jesus in the desert wilderness after He had fasted for 40 days, Jesus counteracted every temptation with the Word Of God.

In response to the first temptation, Jesus told Satan, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the south of God.'”–Matthew 4:4

Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3.

The first five of ten points:

  1. Jesus emphasized that knowing God’s Word is vitally important. Just like food, we should be reading the Bible every day and praying for God to guide us. We cannot go six days ignoring the Bible and think that just a few hours on Sunday morning is good enough. You wouldn’t starve yourself all week and expect one meal on Sunday morning would get you through the week. (Above quotes.)
  2. Jesus used the Bible to counteract all three of Satan’s temptations. The more of God’s you have memorized, the longer your Sword of the Spirit will be to vanquish your spiritual enemies and temptation. The Word of God is the only offensive weapon listed by Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:17. The other pieces of armor listed are defensive.
  3. Although we live under the New Covenant (New Testament), we still need the lessons of the entire Word of God. Firstly, Jesus and the apostles quoted from the Old Testament. And, secondly, both apostles Paul and Peter instructed Christians to read the Old Testament writings. “…they were written for our instruction (1 Corinthians 10:11, Apostle Paul).” And “…you should remember the words spoken by the holy prophets… (2 Peter 3:2).” Also, “ALL SCRIPTURE (emphasis mine) is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; … (2 Timothy 3:16, Apostle Paul).”
  4. God’s Word helps us to become better people, to be progressively sanctified. We are declared righteous in God’s sight by faith, but in order to be light in the World, we need God’s Word to help us become better people. “…like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation (1 Peter 2:2).” Babies frequently yearn for milk, they don’t have it occasionally. It’s their daily diet.
  5. To obey God, we should read God’s Word. Multiple times we’re commanded to know God’s Word and teach it to the next generation. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:6-9, Joshua).”

The past six months or so God has revealed to me that I have a lot of contentious thoughts. I debate issues with imaginary people in my mind where I can always win the argument. I’m improving in cutting the thoughts off in mid-stride, but this verse came to me this past week and it’s helped a lot to meditate on it:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9, Jesus, Sermon on the Mount).”

When this verse comes to mind, it really helps me break free of my argumentative ruminations. I want to be a peacemaker. The verse speaks to one of my core desires: to encourage and uplift people. I feel happier and have more energy, because I’m not wasting my mental energy on contentious or useless thinking. I can now redirect my thoughts toward more creative and productive thoughts. However, the Holy Spirit would not be bringing this verse to my mind if I didn’t know it from reading or hearing it many times till it sank into my subconscious mind.

I had originally planned only 3 points but came up with 10. I’ll post the other 5 next week so that this post isn’t too long.

May God bless you as you read His Holy Word. Please remember that it is a supernatural book and pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance before you start reading.

Thanks for reading my blog. I appreciate your time. Have a great day or evening.

Love from Dawn and Buddy

Happy Easter! John 20:26-31

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“After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here with your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.’

Thomas answered and said to Him, ‘My Lord and My God!’

Jesus said to him, ‘Because you have seen Me, have your believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.’

…these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you maybe have life in His name.”

May you experience His divine life today as we celebrate worldwide the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave proving, after His crucifixion, that He is fully man and fully God.

Happy Easter from Dawn and Buddy

God bless you.

***

Bible quotes are from the New American Standard Bible, NASB, on this blog, unless otherwise noted.

 

Where Does A Big Gorilla Sit? Psalm 24:1

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When I pick Buddy up I sometimes say, “It sucks being little, doesn’t it?” Because it doesn’t matter what he is doing, because I’m much larger than he is, I get to pick him up whenever I want to and there’s not much he can do about it. But because I love him, I don’t usually pick him up without a valid reason nor is my motive to do him harm.

My first Christian pastor was a big cowboy sporting a ten gallon hat and a red beard. I would attend church Sunday mornings before my job at the local racetrack. The pastor would preach to the employees on the backstretch, then give a second sermon to the front side employees. There was usually only about 6 to 8 of us, so I really appreciated that he would take the time and effort to speak to such a small congregation. (He later moved to Texas and the services ended. I think his name was John.)

The first time I attended, the pastor asked us, “Where does an 800 pound gorilla sit?”

We all sat there silent and wide-eyed, likely all thinking, “Why is he talking about gorillas?”

With a broad smile he answered, “Anywhere he wants to.”

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 24:1:

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

This truth was stated earlier by Moses in Exodus 9:29: “…the earth is the Lord’s.”

When I pray, it’s comforting to know that God is sovereign: Nothing happens on our planet that He is not aware of, nor can anyone act without His divine permission. I know that “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26b) and that He can answer any prayer request or meet any need that I have.

But there’s another truth that most people don’t want to admit: God through Jesus Christ is the boss. He is in control of human history and ultimately, our own destinies (Psalm 139:16). Most people, including myself, want what we want, when we want it and how we want it. We want God to rescue us now, fix it now, give it now, and change the world and people NOW.

But God sees the future, we don’t. He didn’t ask for our permission to create humanity, the world and all its creatures. When rebuking Job for demanding answers, God reminded Job that He didn’t need anyone’s permission to act nor require anyone’s advice. All of His gifts and help are an act of grace by an all powerful deity Who is working all things according to His will.

As the mightiest ancient ruler proclaimed, Nebuchadnezzar, after being humbled by God for pride and hubris:

“For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand, or say to Him, “What have you done?””–Daniel 4:34-35

Years ago I stopped at the Bozeman Museum on a road trip through Montana and viewed the Hubble Telescope IMAX exhibit. The scope and beauty of the universe is awesome and very humbling. It’s vastness is truly unimaginable.

Our Great God’s power, imagination and intelligence is far beyond the ability of our finite minds to conceive. Pastor John was comparing God to a gorilla that Sunday morning: He does what He wants, when He wants and how He wants to do it. It was His idea to create and design the earth, humankind, animal and plant life and the universe. He didn’t require our permission or input. And He has a plan that He is working to bring human history to a close, as detailed in Revelation, Daniel, Isaiah and scattered throughout other books in the Bible.

So next time you’re tempted to grumble and complain about God’s timing, His will, His actions or His plan for your life, remember that:

He’s the big Gorilla–and you’re the little dog.

***

When Adam and Eve rebelled against His rule and authority, He could’ve wiped out humanity and just let the animals roam the earth. But He created humans in His image to be His friends.

So, instead of destroying us, He devised a plan to send Jesus to die for our sins to bring us back into relationship with Him. You see, a holy God cannot tolerate unholy people. Sin must be punished. He made this plan to redeem us before the first generation of humans was born:

God said to Satan, who tempted Adam and Eve to reject God’s authority:

“Because you have done this…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He (Jesus) shall bruise you (Satan) on the head, and you shall bruise him in the heel.”–Genesis 3:14-15

God took the initiative at the beginning of human history to bring us back into fellowship with Him through faith in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived the perfect life no human could live. Being both perfect man and God, He was able to bear the punishment for the sins of all humanity so that God’s anger at sin could be appeased. Problem is, you have to accept His forgiveness. God wants us to love Him willingly and won’t force His friendship on us. He doesn’t want to be friends with robots. Please ask Him to forgive your sins and make Him the Lord of your life. He loves you and wants to be your best friend.

Getting Wet, Matthew 23:27-28

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When I walked Buddy tonight, I tried to reign him in on his leash to keep him close to me. Not to restrict his movement, but to try to shelter him under my umbrella so that he wouldn’t get wet from the intermittent rain. Being the usual headstrong terrier, he kept resisting me and pulling out from under the protection of the umbrella, with the predictable result.

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem,…” Jesus lamented in Matthew 23:27-28. “How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!”

God calls to each of us to run to shelter under His protecting umbrella, yet people think God is trying to crimp their lifestyle with His rules of behavior, so they willfully resist Him and go their own way. As a result, they get wet with the eventual unhappiness and consequences of their behavior. Sometimes they even curse God for their circumstances, when all along He was warning them to turn back.

But God is merciful and loving. When you repent of your willful disobedience, He opens His arms wide and pulls you into His loving embrace. He doesn’t reject anyone who comes to Him.

“And the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”–Jesus, John 6:37b

Why not give your heart to Jesus now?

Dear Father, I thank you that Jesus, God In the Flesh, took the punishment for ALL my sin on the Cross. And was resurrected bodily to give me eternal life. Please forgive my sin. I invite the Holy Spirit to live His life through me and to guide me. Thank you for loving me.

Please attend a church service this Easter where Christians love and worship the King as described in the Bible. And let them know that you just recently gave your heart to the Lord so that they can assist you in your new life’s journey.

God bless.

Dawn and Buddy