If Thy Hand Offend Thee

Matthew_5:30  And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

 

I never did post anything about On Course Youth Conference that took place two months ago. Truly, it was a wonderful conference that our young people were blessed to be able to attend. The preaching was powerful and anointed, and it was beautiful to see the response of so many young people during altar service times. Although this conference is geared toward youth, there have been many times where God has talked to my heart through the preaching of the Word.

The message that Brother Paul Bertram preached with the above Scripture as his text is the one that stands out the most in my mind. He shared with us the true story of Aron Ralston, an experienced outdoorsman who through a freak accident had his hand pinned under a boulder, from which he was unable to break free. After being trapped for 5 days in this condition, Aron realized that his hand was rotting under the boulder, and the only way he was going to be able to survive was to cut off  his hand. So, he did. It still makes me cringe when I think about it.

Brother Bertram began to talk about how we can hold onto things that can slowly kill us spiritually. An area he dealt with a lot was cell phones. These devices are so popular in our society, and while they are very useful, they can also cause great harm to us spiritually when we use them inappropriately or devote too much time to them to the neglecting of more important things. God dealt with me during that service about something on my phone. It wasn’t a sin but something that was becoming  a weight, and I knew God was speaking to my heart to delete it, and so I did. I’m so glad that God cares about us enough to show us areas in our lives where we need correction or things in our lives that could become stumbling blocks!

We do need to exercise caution with cell phones and technology. It seems everywhere I go nowadays, I see people staring at screens, whether it be cell phones, laptops or I-pads. I wonder what would happen if we spent as much time in prayer and Bible reading as we do on our devices. I wrote the following while musing on that a couple of weeks ago. While it is a satirical piece, and I don’t really believe getting rid of our cell phones would bring instant revival, limiting the time we spend on them and dedicating more time to seeking God would certainly help.

Cell Phone Phenomenon

We stare at it while we cross the street.

It must accompany us when with friends we meet.

Oh, why can’t we seem to leave it alone;

this technological wonder we call the cell phone?

 

The husband and wife go out to dinner

to have quality time alone;

as they sit across from each other,

both of them on their phone.

 

And what shall we do with our cell phone next?

Should we start a photo stream or send out a text?

Our day is just not complete, it seems

without sending or receiving the latest memes.

 

Of course, there are amusements and games galore

to keep you awake until 3 or 4.

And there’s pressure to upgrade to the latest.

That I-phone 1,000 is just the greatest!

 

The apps to choose from can catch your breath.

There is even one to predict your own death!

Oh, all the wonders the cell phone is giving.

Before its’ time we weren’t really living.

 

It’s a glorious device upon which we spend time,

almost without care, reason or rhyme.

It’s so easy to squander the minutes away

held in the cell phone’s hypnotic  sway.

 

You may think I’m totally under delusion,

but my ponderings have brought me to this conclusion.

If cell phone time was replaced with prayer and reading the Bible

we’d have an earth shaking, devil chasing, Heaven sent revival!

4/20/17

 

Who Is She?

She glides through the village with perfect poise and grace,

a look of steady purpose, determination on her face.

Along the pathway she approaches the first passerby

who rudely cruises on his way with an irritated sigh.

The market place, the destination, where the lady arrives next

to a host of indolent youth that sit around and text.

She tries to catch their eye, begins to lift her voice

but they seemingly ignore her, definitely by choice.

Though what she has to offer, is better than silver and gold,

they won’t hear her instruction. She’s left out in the cold.

She’s been around a long time, before earth’s grand creation;

before so many traded her for pride, self -exaltation.

Yet, it is by her, that some kings and princes reign.

She gives to common men, a life that is not in vain.

All are truly blessed that choose to keep her ways

applying her sound counsel all their earthly days.

Fools that reject her will suffer eternal shame.

“Who is she?” you may ask. Wisdom is her name.

 

5/2/17

Inspired by Proverbs 8

Wrong Number or A God Thing?

I just had the most incredible experience, but before I can explained what happened, I need to backtrack to last night.

As we were wrapping up a wonderful New Year’s Eve service at church and getting ready to go home, I thought I would check my cell phone to see if there were any missed calls, Happy New Year wishes, etc. I had received one text message from a number I didn’t recognize. Whoever left this message was not somebody that I had in my address book.  The text wished me a Happy New Year and urged me to send this on to 15 of my best buds, so that I would have a good new year. It also mentioned if I didn’t do this that I wouldn’t have a good 2011. I just thought to myself, “this has got to be a wrong number”, and I quickly brushed it aside until the next morning. Late this morning, around 10 or 11, I was telling my daughter about this text I got from somebody in Oregon that was probably a wrong number. She suggested that I text the person and ask them who they are. So I just sent a text that said, “I’m not sure I know who you are. Could you please identify yourself?” The person responded back that her name was Terri from Oregon and she mentioned that she was a friend of some guy that I do not know. I texted back and told her that I didn’t know a Terri from Oregon, but Happy New Year anyhow. She then texted back and asked if I knew this guy she mentioned. I texted back and told her no, my name is Carol, and I live in California. She texted me back and named a city in California where she used to live. I told her that I was about 25 miles from that city, and then I felt like the Lord prompted me to ask something. I mentioned a particular church in that city, told her the pastor there was a friend of ours and asked if she knew where it was. She responded that she did and had a sister that lived right down the street from that church. I said “small world, isn’t it?”, and then I asked her if she went to church in Oregon and told of of 2 friends we have up in Oregon and how we had visited their churches. It turns out she lives 10 minutes away from one of the cities I mentioned. I texted her back and asked, “Wrong number or is this a God thing? Anyway, to make a long story a little shorter, we conversed through texting for a good hour. She mentioned that she felt like this was a sign from God, and she may end up visiting the church in McMinnville that I mentioned to her. (Naomi, if you’re reading this, it’s your church!) One of her sons actually lives right down the street from the church, and she passes by it all the time! I started a conversation with this woman as a total stranger and had made a friend by the time we were done. She wants to keep in touch. There is no telling what God is going to do. You just never know!

Scripture Texting

    

Several months ago, my husband had the plan on my phone updated so I would have unlimited texting. I wasn’t really planning on using it much, but didn’t want to have to pay an arm and a leg to be able to use it. A couple of weeks ago, an idea came to my mind.(think I know who put it there)Why not start texting Scripture? Just one simple Bible verse a day. There is plenty of profane, disgusting, vulgar stuff that is sent through texting, so why not send something truly edifying, something eternal? I now look forward to doing this every day.(well Monday through Friday – I take a break on the weekend.) The neat thing about it is some of my friends/family are texting verses back to me too. I love it, because, you can never get too much of God’s Word.  I started coming up with different themes too. The theme for this week was “2B or not 2B”. I shared some Scriptures that talked about attitudes/characteristics we should strive to have and others that we should avoid.  If you like texting and want to send something that is truly worthwhile, I encourage you to encourage someone else with the Holy Bible. It’s the original text, after all! 🙂