Monday, June 29, 2015

BLIND SPOTS -- Obscuring our view of the Cross

Beautiful picture taken and graciously provided by Aaron Barton

Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? Mark 8: 17b – 18a (RSV)

I glanced in the rear view mirrors and began moving over into the left lane when suddenly a horn blared causing me to jerk the car back into my lane.  None too soon. Disaster diverted.  I totally did not see that car although it was right beside me. Blame it on the “blind spot.”  Do you have a blind spot in your car?

This incident started me thinking about the blind spots we Christians have.  Do you think you might have a blind spot, or two?  I think I do.  Sometimes maybe that blind spot obscures sight due to immaturity or flat-out ignorance.  More often I suspect it’s due to arrogance.  We can become obsessed with our preferred style or methods and lose sight of the Cross.

Cautious is advised when sentimental pious self-consciousness turns our eyes on self and away from Christ.

The Pharisees had a blind spot. They couldn’t see Jesus. God Incarnate walked among them yet that haughty crowd saw Him not.
 
His humble disciples saw Him.

Then he saith to them: But whom do you say that I am?  And Peter answering says to him, “Thou are the Christ.” Mark 8:29 (Douay-Rheims)

John the Baptist saw Him.

The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him, and says, Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29

Now I suppose one could say the Pharisees had all the trappings of having it all together.  The crowd Jesus hung with didn’t appear to have much going for them but their devotion to Jesus. When the Pharisees looked upon Jesus, they saw “a man gluttonous, and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” (See Matthew 11:19)

Not only did they not see, they didn’t want to see. Seeing Jesus for who He was would have totally shook up the world as they knew it, like it did for Saul.

Saul had a blind spot.  He was a Pharisee, a very religious man, who hated Jesus and persecuted Christians.  God, in His mercy, cured Saul’s blind spot by striking him down by His light, blinding him completely.  Only then did Saul see the Lord and understand the Truth. His revelation of Christ totally changed him into a devoted servant of the Lord Jesus Christ who spent the rest of his life as the apostle Paul, a missionary and teacher of the gospel.

Christians suffer from blind spots which we think of as benign until they cause us to behave in anti-Christian ways toward one another.

Might it be possible that our own individuality and temperament is obscuring our vision? Do we have obstinate attitudes that have formed and hardened – possibly based on past hurts, habits, or prejudices – and we don’t even want to examine them in the light of God’s Truth? 

When I first wrote this, I listed examples from my own experience, then deleted them, because I didn’t want to inadvertently step on toes. It’s better to examine ourselves in the light of God’s Word.

A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another. John 13:34-35 (KJV)

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves; for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 (KJV)


Hopeland Gardens, Aiken, S.C.

Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to stop by Write Moments with God.  Feel free to share your thoughts and comments.  I appreciate hearing from you.  Be blessed.


Note to Readers: This meditation has nothing whatsoever to do with recent events in the media.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Uniquely Personal Temptations


My chocolate cake made with Southern Living's Fudge Pecan Ripple Layer Cake recipe.

Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41 KJV

You’ve heard statements like these.

"I have a weakness for chocolate."
"I love warm bread and butter."
"I can't resist ice cream."

Indeed, we hear confessions like these all the time. It would seem that we all know the weaknesses of our appetites. But do we know our spiritual weaknesses as well as that? Have you ever considered that Satan knows your weaknesses?

As personal as our taste in food, what tempts each of us to sin is uniquely personal. It seems to me that temptations are finely presented by Satan to work on our personal spiritual weaknesses. He knows just what it takes to tempt us to sin. I had this "ah-hah" moment, viz., revelation, the other day after I had lunch with a friend.

I looked forward to this lunch date with an old friend I seldom see.  In advance of our meeting, I reconfirmed to myself the intention to avoid speaking about certain "subjects" which I suspected might come up--subjects, such as, a particular broken relationship. 

I knew that even a little nibble would serve up old history that could lead to tale bearing, gossip, gloating, and other unsavory stuff.

Yet, no sooner had she spoken the words, "And what do you hear of so-and-so?", my response came laced with lots of gossip. Indigestion quickly followed in the form of self-condemnation and guilt.

Temptation is like Satan or one of his minions saying, Let's see what it takes to get this soul to disregard God and His teachingThe devil is subtle and tempts us unaware; we must spot him at the point of his attack.  

Then, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

Jesus was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Thanks to the Atonement, with the help of the Holy Spirit of God in us, we too can overcome temptation. 

Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 RSV

Iced tea and cheese cake with whipped cream ~ Google image

Thank you so much for visiting Write Moments with God.  Many of you have noted that I am not posting on this blog as often as I once did.  Thanks for your concern and for bearing with me.  A new job and other projects are requiring much of my time and focus.  But I intend to continue writing as often as I can for Write Moments with God.  Your prayers are always welcome, as I continue to pray for those who are touched by these posts. Please feel free to leave your comments.  I appreciate you.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hope and Confidence in the face of life's puzzles

An intriguing picture of baby Charlie "reading" the newspaper 


I’ve always loved putting together jigsaw puzzles, not only as a child, but as an adult. Whenever I hold a new puzzle in my hands, I shake the box, then I'm ready to master its 1,000 easy pieces. The designs and variegated hues and shadows intrigue me. As the pieces are fitted together, satisfying glimpses of the big picture come into view. I am master of its tiny universe.

Sometimes an elusive piece will send me searching high and low on the table and under it, examining every remaining piece until I find the elusive one. I enjoy the moment when I have put the final one into place to complete the picture perfect. 

Life simplified into 1,000 pieces in a box.  Thus, the perennial charm of puzzles, I guess. 

But, life isn’t 1,000 easy pieces. 

There are many puzzles in life and even in the Bible we read passages that puzzle us. We all find ourselves from time to time in muddles seemingly beyond our comprehension and control. Through persistence and prayer, we keep on working. By God’s mercy and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we can understand.  But when we don’t, it's enough to know we can trust God.

We may want the big picture completed neatly now so we can see the results of all God plans to do in and through our lives. But, in reality, we can't know. God knows the beginning and the ending. Maybe God has given us a vision for who he wants us to be and we’re doing our best to work it out. We will see and understands parts of His plan for our lives, but some things we can't know and understand this side of eternity. 

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

We’ve just celebrated holy week and I’m still rejoicing over the Cross of Christ, which has bridged the gap between God and man and made it possible for us to be brought back into relationship with God where the whole human race was designed to be in perfect communion with God from the beginning.  And it’s with Him my hope and confidence lies for the future.


Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

My grandson Charlie with birthday balloons
Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  Always, I appreciate you. 
I hope you enjoy the grand-Mimi pictures (even if they have little relevance to the meditation). I hope they make you s m i l e.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Consider Him Who Can Save to the Uttermost

One of my dogwoods
For consider him [Jesus] that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Hebrews 12:3 KJV

Besides busy-ness getting in the way of my writing to you the last few weeks, the feeling of not being able to write anything worthy of this holy season prevented me. I have several incomplete devotions I started for this blog. But, that being said, I've watched the earth coming alive all around me with new birth. It’s the wonderful season of Easter when I am ever mindful of Jesus’ journey to the cross. I wanted to write a few words today to encourage you on your journey of faith.

This past month I studied the book of Job. I hope I will be sharing some meditations on that in the future. In some ways, Job foreshadows the life of Christ.

Job suffered the misunderstanding, anger, and scorn of even his friends who accused him of hypocrisy and sin. He suffered humiliation and blame. His wife advised him to curse God and die. His children were destroyed and Job lost all his earthly comforts and possessions. No man could help him. Besides that anguish, he suffered greatly in his body as Satan piled on to prove his point that man only serves God for the blessings. Job didn’t know the backstory, didn’t know that Satan and God had made a battleground of his soul – yet still, he trusted in the integrity of God.

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. Job 13:15a

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold…. Job 19:25-27a

Hope for Job was totally based on God.

Job longed for a mediator to plead his case before God. Job had no advocate: we do.

Praise God for the Cross of Jesus Christ.  

Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25


I took these today in my backyard -- if only I knew how.  3/28/2015

Thank you so much for visiting Write Moments with God. I appreciate you. Sending prayers for a wonderful week.

Monday, March 9, 2015

I am Crucified with Christ

Quebec City, Quebec

Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. John 4:11a

Jesus raised the curiosity of the Samarian woman at the well. She had practical matters to attend to, but this Jewish man speaking to her raised questions in her mind. (See John 4:7-30)

…thou hast nothing to draw with…

She might as well have added, “as a matter of fact.” She made statements based on what she saw according to her natural reasoning, which was totally blind to God’s ways.

I wonder how often we put limitations on God. We presume to understand the situations and circumstances we find ourselves in better than God.

After all, we reason…

How will I ever overcome this weakness?
This debt is too much. How can I pay it?
How can I help this troubled relationship?

We put limitations on God by trying to figure it all out ourselves. With our preconceived notions, even religious prejudices, we deny the power of God.

…the well is deep…


Don’t we insult God by our unbelief every time we worry and, in effect, question Him by our doubts and fears?

Instead we need to identify ourselves with Christ and confess like Paul did:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. Galatians 2:20a RSV

We, who call Jesus our Lord and Savior, need to realize the resurrection power of God that lives in us. It’s not practical or common sense; it’s the Spirit of the living God. The life hid with Christ in God—our Source of living water. We need to identify so completely with His life, that we bring it into our daily living, walk and conversation. The power of the crucified Christ (in us as Spirit-filled believers) is meant to be brought to real, definite, practical experiences in our lives.

He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38



New Zealand waterfall taken by my daughter

Thank you so much for visiting. I appreciate you. Feel free to add your comments below.

I want to thank all of you on behalf of Jennifer Brommet and myself for visiting last week. Lou Ann Keiser will be receiving a copy of Jennifer’s book True Identify. Lou Ann, I know you’ll be blessed. Thank you again Jennifer for being my guest on Write Moments with God.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Meet the Author -- Jennifer Brommet -- Plus Weekly Book Give-Away






Today’s guest is Jennifer Brommet.  I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer last year in association with the Georgia Author of the Year Awards.  I was blessed to spend time with her in November at a TIM Retreat.  She’s a special lady that I’m pleased to introduce to you.

Jennifer is the founder and director of True Identity Ministries, Inc.; a ministry passionate about helping people embrace, and be set free, in their true identity in Christ. She has a background in design (former Art Director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association), administrative work, and ministry. She is a recent missionary in taking the True Identity message and training to Kenya several times. She and her husband Remco live in Cumming, GA and have two daughters. One pursuing a master’s degree in London and the other a sophomore at Berry College.

Enjoy the interview.  Please leave a comment at the end of this post for an opportunity to win a copy of Jennifer’s book, True Identity.

Jennifer, tell us a little about yourself and your writing.

I have enjoyed journaling since I was a teen. I also enjoyed writing short stories in high school and took writing classes in college. As a more introverted personality type, I found comfort in putting thoughts and feelings on paper, even if no one else ever read the words. I eventually pursued creative expression more through the visual arts, and until recently, did not consider myself a “writer.”

Would you say writing is now more of a passion or a calling for you, or both?

It is only in the past few years that God has developed a more intentional desire and passion for writing. I feel it was a calling to write the True Identity book and blog. 

What inspired you on your writing journey?

I was inspired by the many books I read that greatly encouraged me and my faith walk, as well as talking with others who were on a similar writing journey. Also, through my quiet listening prayer times with God as He began to stir a calling, passion, and confidence in me to write.

Is there one piece of writing advice you wish you’d had from the outset?

Yes. Don’t feel like it has to be perfect the first go around and don’t edit as you write. Just get the thoughts and words down on paper and go back and edit later. Share from your heart. As a perfectionist, the blank page was often daunting and kept me from getting started. I was thankful I had the years of journals to refer back to, later realizing I had really been writing most of my life!

Jennifer, what is the most meaning truth you hope your readers glean from you writing?

That you are precious and loved dearly by God and He wants you to see yourself as HE sees you, not as the world does. I share some of my own struggles, for readers to be encouraged and helped through their own. That they will find freedom, victory, and joy in their relationship with God. I feel the calling God has placed on me and my writing is to help “set the captives free.”

Is the Lord teaching you as well through the discipline of writing?

The Lord has been teaching me to continue to come to Him and pray and ask Him to give me His thoughts and words every time I write. I have been on a grand adventure of “writing with God” these past few years. It has encouraged my faith and trust in Him and I have seen Him mature me in my writing ability and expression. HE has made me a “writer.”

Tell us about your ministry, which I know firsthand is truly a blessing.

True Identity Ministries’ passion and mission is to help men and women of all ages and backgrounds understand and embrace their True Identity in Christ so they can be set free to be all God designed and desires for them to be. We do this through retreats, conferences, seminars, written materials, and online resources. God is expanding our ministry throughout the U.S. and abroad.    

Your story is deeply personal and powerful.  Tell our readers about your book.

True Identity is the story of my journey from severe rejection and depression, caused by a birth defect, to freedom and joy in embracing my TRUE identity in Christ. My story is woven throughout the book as I share the core True Identity message.  There are questions at the end of each chapter to help the reader or groups apply the message to their own life. Photos and message diagrams included.

For many years others have encouraged me to write my story in book form. I was hesitant for almost 20 years as I had a great fear of more rejection if I told my story. Finally at age 48, the Lord enabled me to share my story with groups of women, and out of that the True Identity message was formed. As I shared the TI message with many women and men the next 8 years, I was encouraged to write my story and the TI message in book form. When God told me that “a book will be able to go places you will never be able to go,” and the desire for this message to get to as many as possible, I overcame my fears and began writing the book.



Here’s the blurb from the back cover:

Do you know WHO and WHOSE you really are? Are you searching for a sense of purpose? Do you feel you are struggling to be yourself; fighting what the media and the world says you should be?
Learn how God uniquely “knit you together.” Learn to break from the lies that keep you in bondage. Be transformed to be all God designed and desires for you to be. Be set free in your TRUE Identity in Christ!
Once you have embraced your TRUE identity, learn practical steps to help you walk daily in your TRUE identity and fulfill your God-given purpose.
Jennifer shares her own difficult journey from severe rejection and depression to freedom and joy in embracing her TRUE identity in Christ.

Jennifer, what is your favorite Scripture?

Romans 8:28 ALL things work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes

This was my life verse that helped me through the darkest of days. It always offered hope that there is a rainbow at the end of every storm. I have experienced this truth in miraculous ways over and over again throughout my life. God is faithful!

Thank you so much Jennifer for being my guest today.  And there’s one more thing I want to let everyone know.  The next True Identity Women’s Retreat is coming up April 17-19, 2015, at a beautiful retreat center just outside Clarkesville, GA. I attended a retreat in November and it was truly life-changing.  Please visit the website:
www.TrueIdentityMinistries.org for more information and to register.


READERS, all you need to do to be included in this week’s drawing for a free book is leave a comment below and include your email address so we can contact you if you win.  Of course, Jennifer and I would like for you to tell your friends about this blog post.  Thanks for visiting Write Moments with God.  I appreciate you.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Allure of Other Things

Old Rugged Cross Wreath found on Pinterest

 But the cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. Mark 4:19 (RSV)

So, these are the things that choke out God’s Word, rob us of contentment, and render us unfruitful. Cares and delights and desires threaten to monopolize our thoughts, consume our attention, and turn our minds and affections away from God. Such is the propensity of man who lives in this fallen world. 

But Jesus did not intend for us to be taken out of the world, or shut ourselves away so we might never be tempted.  He wanted us to go about doing good as He did.  He wanted us to be His ambassadors. (See Matthew 28:19-20)

Now we have entered the season of Lent when many Christians give up something as a way to honor God and prepare their hearts to receive the risen Lord.

Lent is the forty day period which precedes the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.  It reflects the forty days Jesus spent in the desert in prayer and fasting in preparation for ministry.  After those forty days, he began preaching in Galilee. (See Matthew 4:1-11)

May this season be especially precious to us--a time of intentional personal reflection, committed to prayer and quiet times with God.  While we think about Jesus and His life and ministry, we can focus our hearts and minds on Him and away from those other things that choke out God’s truth.

We will be refreshed and strengthened and more able to manifest the kingdom of God hidden in our hearts.

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; ... to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. Isaiah 61:1a,3 (RSV)



Daffodil opening in the rain from www.mybeautifulthings.wordpress.com

Thank you for visiting Write Moments with God.  I hope you will enjoy the season of Lent.  I appreciate you.