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Posted By Harolene

Matthew 4:1-11 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple, "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you,  and they will lift you up in their hands,  so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'" Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me. "Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.  In this reading the words that stuck out most were "It is written." Jesus was using the Word of God on the devil himself. If the very Son of God used the Holy Word rather than just zapping Satan off the face of the earth, then what example is that for us? If you saw that I had underscored "For it is written", that was the devil trying to screw around with the Word of God for his own purposes! He took some words from Psalm 91 and bent them to fit his need, however you see that Jesus KNEW the Word and answered accordingly saying "It is ALSO written".

In your everyday life you are faced with trials, temptations, people messing with the meaning of the Word and YOU HAVE to know the difference for yourself so that no one can make you believe a lie. The most powerful help you can have is the Holy Spirit! Mark 13:11 “don't worry about what you'll say. When the time comes, say what's on your heart-the Holy Spirit will make his witness in and through you. If you haven't studied, you won't pass the test, if you haven't invited the Holy Spirit to live in you, then He won't be there to help you. Start in Matthew and read all the words of Jesus and when you have learned His words and read His parables you will get a knowledge that no one can take away. Then when the devil comes at you, or sends his little demons, whatever form they take whether it’s your boss, friends, the driver in back of you, the slow cashier, fill in the blanks you know exactly what I mean. You may be having a wonderful day and suddenly the devil has presented something that absolutely blocks out the sunshine of your day. We don't have a weapon except the Word so follow the example of Jesus and USE it! 

2Corinthians 10:4 We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. And that mighty weapon IS the Word.

Posted By Harolene

There are times, probably on a daily basis that I feel overwhelmed, so many things to do and how to fit it all in a 24-hour period. There are things that seem too big for me to do by myself, but I don't give up and I encourage you to never give up and to never be the source of discouragement for anyone who is trying to do his or her best. This week someone, in talking of a young person, said, "they think they have solved the world's problems". This young person is in the process of discovering their spiritual side, along with trying to understand Bible prophecies, and has decided they really do know how "it's all going to end". My thought is that I hope they never realize the truth, I think that's when we start dying, we think we know it all, find out we don't, and lose hope, it happens to us all. I thought of a couple of instances, both positive and negative, things that really may have been determining factors in the way my life has turned out, to this moment. I was trusted with responsibilities beyond my years and I really tried to earn the trust and it worked! I did a good job of taking care of the home while my parents were building a church. I learned how to clean; watch my two younger siblings and (best of all), I learned how to cook! I received all the praise I needed to make me proud and want to continue. I choose not to dwell on the negatives at this writing, but I was dealt a few devastating blows that could have flattened me. What I had in my favor was that my parents have always been there for me to confide in, to listen to me gripe and complain, without putting me down for it. They were willing to share with me all the times they had faced bad things and how they had survived to live, and fight a different battle, one more day. More than anything else though, was the faith that had been built into me from early on, to know that God cared, that He gave me strength and His angels were always there to guard and keep me. 

My "go-to" scripture was always Philippians 4:13 Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I feel that my role in life is to pay it forward by helping others the way I have been helped, to give encouragement to the discouraged, hope to the hopeless, strength to the weak. Can I do that? No, not on my own, it goes back to "I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me", I can and so can you! When you want to criticize a young person or someone young in the faith, remember all the crazy thoughts you had when you were in their shoes. The old song by Joe South "If you could be me and I could be you for just one hour if we could find a way to get inside each other's minds, if you could see you through my eyes instead of your ego I believe that you would be surprised to see that you'd been blind. Walk a mile in my shoes, walk a mile in my shoes, and before you abuse, criticize and accuse, Walk a mile in my shoes."

Posted By Harolene

Does it hurt? Someone facing a small surgery asked me recently knowing it was one I had experienced. No matter how many times I explained that I didn't feel a thing and how very simple it was, until this person went through the experience for himself, he couldn't imagine what it was like. When you talk to someone about a problem you are going through, it makes sense to talk to someone who has already "been there, done that". How does divorce feel? At first you are humiliated, sick at being cheated on and not knowing it. Then you get angry that you have been such a fool, after that you start feeling guilty, because if you had been a better wife/husband, it wouldn't have happened to you. Then there is a recovery period with people treating you like you have had a death in the family, dancing around the subject and your married friends quit inviting you to anything. People ask when you will start dating and your children are afraid that you will! Does that pretty well sum it up for you? Why am I "going there"? Because I can only speak to things I have experienced and if I am able to help anyone, I have to speak from my heart about things I know. Need to know what the filling of a "generation sandwich"is? Sometimes you feel bad that you have just treated your parent like a child, you have spoken too quickly when they didn't understand or they have repeated the same thing more than twice. While you are dealing with that, your children and grandchildren have things they need help with and there you are, stretched to the limit and no energy left for yourself. 

There is a quiet place, in my mind, where I can go. Psalm 23 "God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows; you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I'm not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd's crook makes me feel secure. You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing. Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life." While I am in this quiet place the Shepherd has prepared for me, I remember Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! We can talk to the one who knows exactly what we are going through! Hebrews 4:14-16 Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let's not let it slip through our fingers. We don't have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He's been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

Give all your hurts to Jesus, He cares for you!

Posted By Harolene

The lyrics to an old song kept running in my mind, so I looked it up and found it kind of fit my life! Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you, And I'm wondering what it is I should do, It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face, Losing control, yeah, I'm all over the place, Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right, Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

Joel 3: 14-17 "Mass confusion, mob uproar—in Decision Valley! God's Judgment Day has arrived in Decision Valley.” The sky turns black, sun and moon go dark, and stars burn out. God roars from Zion, shouts from Jerusalem. Earth and sky quake in terror. But God is a safe hiding place, a granite safe house for the (God's children) children of Israel. Then you'll know for sure that I'm your God. That verse shows us that no matter what our circumstances are, God has us in His hand! He has the whole world in His hand! Please don't come back with "if God was so good what about all the wars and starving children).  There have been so many tragedies with the floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, so many dead and sometimes it seems that the ones who died were the blessed ones, not to have to try to survive one more day under such terrible conditions. So much controversy from our local communities to the world-wide stage and it affects us, every one.

1 Kings 18:21 Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. Seems the people way back then were trying to decide if God was God, and still today. When I find myself in the valley of decision at times, I pray the prayer David prayed, Psalm 61:2 God, listen to me shout, bend an ear to my prayer. When I'm far from anywhere, down to my last gasp, I call out,” Guide me up High Rock Mountain!"  

Psalm 34:6 When I was desperate, I called out, and GOD got me out of a tight spot. Has He gotten you out of any tight spots lately? What's got you stuck in the middle?

I can't decide when to do the repairs that need to be done on my house, I have to decide certain things with my finances, or whether I would ever commit to marry again, but one thing I don't have to decide on is my love for God. I also know “the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, He makes me to lie down in green pastures and leads me beside clear water, He restores my soul, He leads me in paths of righteousness, even when I walk in death valley I am not afraid!”  Ps. 23 I also know this, God doesn't like for you to be stuck in the middle, or indecisive! James 1:6-8 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. In other words, a person that is “stuck in the middle”.

Posted By Harolene

My mother has been in heaven for over three years now, but I have a consolation in that death has visited but it has no power over the eternal spirit. The Bible tells us in the book of Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; 

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray to God my soul to take. If I should live for other days, I pray the Lord to guide my ways.

I hit “sleep” on my search engine and a wonderful explanation came up, who would think I would need an explanation for something as common as sleep? This is what I found: Sleep is a naturally recurring state characterized by reduced or absent consciousness, relatively suspended sensory activity, and inactivity of nearly all voluntary muscles. It is distinguished from quiet wakefulness by a decreased ability to react to stimuli, and is more easily reversible than being in hibernation or a coma. Sleep is a heightened anabolic state, accentuating the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems. It is observed in all mammals, all birds, and many reptiles, amphibians, and fish.  We have sleep to renew our body; we have to sleep for our body to heal properly. (Reference Wikipedia)Then I looked in the Bible for a verse I have heard often, Psalm 127: 2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.When a person dies their body goes to sleep and they walk out of that envelope of flesh into eternity, it isn’t a bad thing it’s an adventure into your eternal life. I have had visitations from loved ones that have gone into eternity and I’m here to tell you that they are alive and well. There was a lady who walked into the light leaving two young adults behind to fend for them after having been lovingly cared for their whole life. The first Mother’s Day after she left I was up getting ready for church, making up my face. As I sat there she spoke to me, I heard her clearly in my left ear, she told me to call her children and tell them they had better NOT wear white flowers to church because she was not dead and that she would be very displeased if they did that.  It was a hard call to make as I didn’t want to be thought of as a “crazy lady” or a Medium, I am neither, but I did call and related that message as clearly as I could. I spoke with her son who told me that someone had sent them red flowers “by mistake” and they didn’t know what to do about it, their mother had seen their distress and their problem was solved, red flowers it was! When you lay your head down tonight say the little prayer and when you get to the part “if I should die before I wake I pray the Lord my soul to take”, know that you are in the hand of the Almighty God and that means every thing will be all right!Happy Mother’s Day to you!