Up River in the Autumn

AUTUMN RIVER - Larisa Koshkina -- PX

Please, won’t you come along with me
Up river in the fall?
We’ll float at leisure, passing woodlands
Burnished, thick, and tall.

We’ll watch thick clouds give way to sun
That breaks horizon’s crest
And choose a course that guarantees
Delightful Autumn Rest.

~~~

 


 

photo courtesy of Larisa Koshkina @ pixabay.com

 


 

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Weely Smile 8/19/19

ARK FLYER FOR AUGUST # 2 - top onlyTo participate in Trent’s Weekly Smile Challenge, click on the link and get the simple instructions.


Well this week, I have two reasons to smile. One was last Thursday, and one was just this morning.

Thursday was another “Meeting Aboard the Ark” meeting that my ministry Radical About Jesus holds at our local civic center. I love these meetings because we have a great time worshiping the Lord and getting into His Word, but I especially love the meetings when people come who need much healing and help from the Lord. We had a meeting like that this time. So  often, the people in need just don’t know that God wants them well and that He wants to provide all their needs. They’ve been taught that God delivers people sometimes, but sometimes He chooses not to, so they’re plagued with doubts and fears, and they’ve suffered for years.

But when they hear the Word of God and how He has poured His heart into promises to come to them and bring them the relief and the help they need — and that He has already paid for it all through Jesus’ finished work — they just open up and blossom like a flower in the sun. It’s the most amazing and joyous thing to see the change come over these people as they soak up God’s Word. Their faces light up, their eyes shine, they sit up straighter in their seats  and even lean forward as if to soak it up better — because they’re learning how much God loves them and wants to help them. And they’re learning how to receive miracles from Him. Then when we come to the time to pray for them, their faith is ready to receive, and God is able to change their lives.

I can’t think of anything I’d rather do with my life than carry that delivering, healing, life-giving Word to people who need it so much. So, naturally, that kind of experience can produce the biggest smiles of all.

But then there are the little things — as Trent mentioned in his own post this week. And I had one of those experiences this morning. I left the house early for a prayer meeting, and just as I was closing my car door, I glanced over at a sort of grassy area close to my azalea bushes. I saw the most amazing sight: There were hundreds of tiny sparkling gems scattered throughout the grass — in varying shades of greens, blues, and reds. I was stunned. I had never seen anything like it before, and as my gaze traveled over the rest of my yard, I saw more. The dew still on the ground was reflecting the sun’s light in those prisms of color, and it looked like my lawn had been seeded with precious sparkling gems of so many colors.

Some of you readers may have experienced that situation before, but I never have, and I was just speechless for a moment. I sat there, motionless, and suddenly my heart just swelled with gratitude that the Lord had given me that special experience. I had been having a troubled time the past couple days, for a couple different reasons — not the least of which was sadness as I come to the week that is the anniversary of losing my husband (17 years ago now) and then losing my very best friend of many years (just two years ago this week.)

So my heart was heavy this morning, and the little light display from the Lord so cheered me and made me realize how much the Lord loves beauty and how much of it He creates. He just reminded me that if He bothered to create so much beauty in little drops of dew, how much more beautiful will Heaven and the rest of eternity be. I was running much later than I should have been for the meeting, but I just had to sit there quietly and soak up that lovely experience — which made me smile a lot — and thank the Lord over and over.  I did finally get to church for the prayer meeting though.  🙂

I hope all of you have had plenty to smile about this week as well.

~~~~~

 


 

Adventure, Here I Come!

MOON & BALOONS -- pIRO4d -- px

I want to step out in adventure,
But each time the first step draws near,
Before I can start to move forward,
I’ve run, face-to-face, into fear.

I long to get out of my humdrum
And into new elements wade,
But just when I find my direction,
I realize I am afraid.

What am I to do with myself then?
I have no solution in mind.
I look at the fear, and I dither,
Which means that I get left behind.

Perhaps, I’m not meant for adventure,
And everyday life it must be.
Oh, that would be such disappointment;
From humdrum I’d never be free.

No, I must be stern with my psyche
When my knees start to tremble and sway.
Courage is not being fearless.
It’s taking the plunge anyway.

~~~~~

 


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Hurry! We’re Almost Gone

SMILEY - YEL,ORANGEJust a reminder to some of my followers here:

Not everyone who follows me on this site follows my ministry site “Hangin’ Out With God.”  But a whole lot of you do. For that reason, I’m posting a reminder here as well as there, so that you won’t forget to switch to our brand new site with us.

“Hangin’ Out With God” has been spreading the love of Jesus for over 8 years, and we have moved that work to our brand new site — “Radical About Jesus Ministries.” This week will be the last week “Hangin” Out” is available for public viewing. Unfortunately, I’m not sure everyone has actually realized that unless they hop over to the new website and hit the “Follow” button, they will lose all connection with that work.

I know it sounds strange to say that the readers don’t understand that point. But you know how it is:  we are creatures of habit, and if we’ve been going to the same site for over 8 years, we just keep doing it and thinking, “Oh, yeah, I need to check out the new site.”  Then the next time we visit the old website, we think that again — and again — and, well, you get the point.

Anyway, since we have hundreds of followers on “Hangin’ Out” and only about 5 of them have moved with us to the new site, I thought a little reminder here for those who follow both sites might be helpful. Of course, if most of those hundreds of people don’t want to follow us any longer, that’s okay, but I don’t really think that’s the case with most of them.

So, please, if you want to stay connected with the “Hangin’ Out With God” ministry, be sure to visit “Radical About Jesus Ministries” and hit “Follow” before next Monday. We really don’t want to lose you!

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Inspirational Romance Goes To School

When there’s no textbook on love, romance can be a little tricky. But God, who’s the original Author of romance, has all the answers in His own book. And Professor Ephraim Kent is about to get an education with a higher degree than he’s ever earned before.
Purchase your own copy in paperback or digital:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1980587361

 

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Winning the Lost the Jesus Way

CROSS WITH QUESTION MARKSJesus never asked anyone to believe in Him or accept Him as the Son of God, the Messiah, on the basis of His willingness to die for their sins and give them access to Heaven at the end of their earthly lives. That concept was not the Gospel He preached. Instead, He asked them and expected them to believe in Him and accept Him on the basis of His ability and willingness to heal their bodies, deliver them from demonic torment, raise their dead, provide food and sustenance, and make their current earthly lives better.

It was only when He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, delivered from demons, and raised the dead that He proclaimed to people that the Kingdom of God had come to them. He gave the same instructions to the teams of disciples He sent out to spread the Gospel. He told them to heal and deliver the people in every towns where they went, and while healing and delivering them, they were to announce that those acts brought the Kingdom of God into their midst. (Matthew 10:1-8; Luke 10:1-9; Luke 11:20).

Even to His own chosen twelve apostles, he said “If its hard for you to believe I’m who I say I am, then believe because of the miracles I do.” (John 14:11 paraphrased).

So why on earth do so many Christian ministers and so many church denominations keep trying to win people to the Lord without healing their sick, cleansing their lepers, delivering those in bondages and addictions, and providing for their physical needs? We have whole church denominations that claim they’re preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, yet they deny that the baptism of the Holy Spirit and His nine supernatural ministry gifts are for today. They teach – both in their seminaries and their pulpits – that the Lord does not heal today the way He did when Jesus walked the earth. The teach that there is no such thing as demonic possession or oppression unless its just in some far off heathen land.

These ministry leaders scorn and point their fingers at believers who pray for the dead to be raised. And they send their member and prospective members to human doctors, human mental health counselors, and government welfare systems instead of giving them the miraculous help Jesus instructed all true believers to offer the world. It’s Jesus who made it clear that people needed to be touched in their earthly bodies and helped in their earthly lives if they were going to be able to recognize the goodness of God and the deity of His Son. (Let me add here that I’m not implying that it’s a sin for someone to go to a human doctor or to currently be on government welfare. If there is no faith in the church they attend to get them well or to meed their material needs, they have no other choice. What I’m saying is that it is definitely a sin for our churches and church leaders to fail to be in a position to offer the miraculous in place of the costly, imperfect, and often harmful human ways of dealing with the problems of this life.)

Let’s wake up, church, and let’s stop deceiving ourselves. It’s time – past time – we got totally honest with ourselves and each other. If we really want to win the world to Jesus Christ, we’re going to have to get back to doing it the way Jesus Himself did it. Let’s get into His Word and onto our knees in prayer until we come to a real believing faith that can and will obey Jesus’ commission. We need to be daily healing the sick, delivering the demonicly oppressed, and meeting people’s needs – and then announcing to them that we have done so because the God who created them loves them so much He wants to meet all those needs for them. Then we can explain how all that power is found only in the name of Jesus Christ because He’s the one who paid the price for our sin, opening the channel for the Lord to be able to give us these blessings freely.

Let’s get ourselves to a level of faith where we won’t have to send hurting people to the world’s systems – which are imperfect at best and dangerous at their worst. We must bring people the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – including His healing, delivering power and His material provision. Then they won’t want to cling so tightly to the things of this world. They will want to cling to the God who delivers and blesses them. It’s the kindness and goodness of the Lord that leads people to repentance. (Romans 2:4).

If we ever get back to truly believing and obeying Jesus – preaching the same Gospel He preached — we will win thousands more to the Lord than we are winning now. And what a glorious harvest we will have for the Kingdom of God.

 

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The Truly Consecrated Christian

HANDS IN CIRCLE

True consecration and oneness with Jesus is not earmarked by some mystical — other-worldly — experience where the believer ceases to have active participation in the life of the earth. It’s best understood as a believer continuing to have his feet firmly planted on this earth and actively participating in the life being lived on this planet, but whose heart is totally captured by Jesus. He’s so in love with Jesus that the love they share dictates and controls how the believer lives out that life on a day-by-day basis.

The wholly consecrated believer does not hide himself away from the world. He actively involves Jesus in the every-day aspects of his earthly life and his relationships with people — thus bringing the Kingdom of God into the earth.

 

~~~

 

 


 

Friday Fictioneers – 6/17/19

Friday Fictioneers this week is based on the picture prompt below by Valerie J. Barrett.

My story is below the picture.

vintage-kitchen-tools-valerie-barrett

 

SEEDS FOR A NEW BEGINNING

The old stove looked as if Granny would be scurrying back into the kitchen any minute. I could almost hear the teakettle hum. The house should have felt empty, but instead, it was rich with welcoming sights and scents.

I had come to sort and process the remnants of Granny’s life. But as I stood in her kitchen, where life still seemed so warm and real – and where cyberspace seemed like science fiction – I realized those remnants were treasures that could give my wayward life some meaning. So I decided to light up the stove, fill the teakettle, and stay a few years.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Weekly Smile: 6/4/19

I’m finally getting back to participating in “Weekly Smile” this week. I really like this subject, but some weeks there are just too many irons in the fire already to be able to do another post for it. However, this week, I’m determined. And I’m SO determined that I’m going to do one better than Trent. He had two things to smile about this week, but I have three. 🙂

Exif JPEGMy first smile is my recent purchase of a couple African Marigold plants. Let me say up front that I am not a gardener. The pretty flowers in my yard at present are the ones that came to me with the house, and I’ve had to struggle to keep them moderately cared for. I’ve not had any marigolds in a garden for at least 20 years or more, but they have a special place in my heart. My mother used to absolutely love gardening, and she created such beautiful garden spots in almost every house we ever lived in. In two of our homes, she created a huge rock garden — with rocks and shells from around the country — and some of the most gorgeous flowers anywhere around.

But one summer, her mother became quite ill and had to move in and live with my parents. My mother had pretty much the full care of Granny, but I helped when and where I could. It was actually spring when Granny first moved in, and it was the time of year my mom would have started her loving labors on her yard and her gardens. But that kind of work took hours and hours of attention and consumed so much time and energy that she didn’t feel she could care for her mother properly if she gave her garden proper attention.

One day as she sat looking out the window, she talked about how much she wished she could plant something. She didn’t begrudge caring for her mom at all, but there was a real sadness in not being able to plant something new and see it grow.

Suddenly, she said, “I think if you’ll drive me to the nursery, I can at least pick up some marigolds. It won’t take long to purchase them if I know exactly what I want, and it will be easy and quick to set them in. They’re hardy and won’t take a lot of care, and I can at least watch them grow this summer and feel like I’ve got something with new life in the yard.”

So I drove her to the nursery, she picked up several trays of marigolds, and she was almost like a kid with a bag full of candy when she went out to plant them in the back yard while I watched Granny. I have never forgotten how important those marigolds were to her that year.  I had never been particularly impressed with them before that time, but since then they’ve held a special place in my heart because of that little event that we shared.

Exif JPEG
This year, I unexpectedly came across these beautiful African Marigolds, and as soon as I saw them, I thought of my mom. I still miss her terribly, even though she’s been gone over 30 years, and those marigold plants — and the memories they evoked — were a balm to my heart. So I bought two of them to put on my front porch in honor of her. They each had 5 very large blooms and multiple others just waiting to come forth. So that’s one of my big smiles this week.


 

WATERMELON CARD FRONT W. FRAMESmile number two is a new set of greeting cards that I created this week with one of my original watercolor paintings on the front. It’s super simple: just slices of watermelon and a summery slogan. But I love it, and I do love the little cards. Sets of them will make great gifts to some friends who like to send cards. I’ve included a picture of the front of the card with the watercolor.

`

 

 


 

BIBLICAL PATHWAYS LOGO

And smile number three is the fact that it’s time for the summer term to begin at the college where I teach. This term I’m teaching “Biblical Pathways to Health & Wholeness” and “Writing Memoir and Personal Narrative.”  I’m really looking forward to starting these classes this coming week. I hope we have a full house for each one.

 


If you’d like to participate in Trent’s Weekly Smile, click on the link and get the details.

Until next week — I hope you all keep smiling.

 

 

~~~