My Jesus Hug

It was your typical day in mid December. Barry usually gets the mail and opens the Christmas cards, but on this day, he handed one Christmas card to me. My name only was written on the outside of the envelope. Upon opening the envelope, my eyes fastened to a beautiful glistening Christmas card.

My day quickly transformed into an untypical day when I opened the gorgeous Christmas card to discover the “sender.” Written inside were these words: “Love, Jesus.”  Tucked within the card was a Jesus Hug.

My heart flipped and I ran to show my husband, saying, “Jesus loves me!”  Of course, I already knew that Jesus loved me, but it was still precious to get a huge Jesus hug.

With part of the money, I decided to put Scripture decor in my home, so I would remember the special day I received my Jesus Hug.

Over my living room/breakfast area doorway is a Scripture that brings me hope, “With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Whenever problems, pain, the swirling events and circumstances in my ever-changing world seem to swoop upon me, I can choose to hope in God’s Holy Word, His Love Letter to me.

Jonathan Edward’s 70 Daily Life Resolutions:

Do you make New Year Resolutions?  I do!

May your New Year be a wonderful year! On each day of 2014, may you and I be in child-like awe as we LOOK for the blessings from our Heavenly Father that He sends directly to us, His children! He loves you and me with an everlasting love! That fact makes me smile!

I thought I would post Jonathan Edward’s Daily Life Resolutions, because this hero of faith is an encouragement to me.

Jonathan Edward’s 70 Daily Life Resolutions:

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’ s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.
2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.
9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.
10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.
12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.
13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.
14. Resolved, never to do any thing out of revenge.
15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.
16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
18. Resolved, to live so, at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.
19. Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.
21. Resolved, never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.
22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.
23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God’ s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.
24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.
25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.
27. Resolved, never willfully to omit any thing, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.
28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.
30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
31. Resolved, never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.
32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that, in Proverbs 20:6,‹A faithful man who can find? may not be partly fulfilled in me.
33. Resolved, to do always, what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving peace, when it can be done without overbalancing detriment in other respects.
34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak any thing but the pure and simple verity.
35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved.
36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it.
37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent,- what sin I have committed,-and wherein I have denied myself;-also at the end of every week, month and year.
38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord’ s day.
39. Resolved, never to do any thing of which I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not; unless I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.
40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking.
41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.
42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church.
43. Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God’ s; agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12, 1723.
44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it.
45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion.
46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it with respect to any of our family.
47. Resolved, to endeavor, to my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even, patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so.
48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or not; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of.
49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.
50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world.
51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned.
52. I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.
53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer.
54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it.
55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments.
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and resolve to do it, and let the event be just as providence orders it. I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty, and my sin.
58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity.
59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times.
60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination.
61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc.
62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty, and then according to Ephesians 6:6-8, to do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man: knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.
63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time.
64. Resolved, when I find those groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those breakings of soul for the longing it hath, of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be weary of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness.
65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, that is to say, with the greatest openness, of which I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every
66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.
67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, and what I might have got by them.
68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help.
69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.
70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.

I am resolved

I was Cursed Going In and Blessed Coming Out

Years ago, my teen daughters and I went grocery shopping.

Upon entering the store, grocery carts were lined up by the greeter to make it easier for the shoppers. I have the hardest time getting grocery carts unstuck from one another, so I am appreciative of this gesture.

I took the first grocery cart in line. Then, my daughters and I went several feet ahead to plan our grocery shopping strategy. The plan was to divide the list three ways and spread out to get the needed items. The “divide and conquer” strategy is very effective and saves so much time, well, on normal days, this plan saves time.

“Kristen, you get these groceries, Melinda you get these, and I will pick up these and meet you at the front….”

Melinda was concerned, “Mom, people are staring at us.”

Kristen explained further, “That man over there is yelling at you, Mom.”

I thought, “Why is someone yelling at me,” as I shifted my attention from my “divide and conquer” plan.

Grocery CartA red faced furious man was yelling and pointing his finger at me, “You stole my grocery cart!”

I looked at the empty grocery cart I had, and thought, “What? Why would someone get so furious over an empty grocery cart? Plus, he could reach out and touch the next grocery cart in line where he was standing.”

The store offered free coffee, and this man just happened to park his grocery cart first in line, while he got coffee. Wouldn’t you know? The minute he turned his back to pour himself free coffee, in comes the sneaky grocery cart bandit, who runs off with his empty grocery cart.

Well, I brought the empty grocery cart back to the angry man and kindly said, “I am sorry. I had no idea this was your grocery cart.  I thought I was getting the first one in line. Is it alright for me to take this other grocery cart?”

“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

The angry man was so embarrassed, as he sheepishly tried to explain why he was so angry at me. While stammering, he said, “I brought that grocery cart in here, all the way from the parking lot.”

I kindly replied, “I am so sorry. I didn’t know that. I thought it was the first one in line.”

The man, now backing away from me in shame, realized how foolish he had acted. He knew he had no excuse to behave in such an angry manner.  Anger is just one letter away from danger. Who wants to get shot over an empty grocery cart? I have heard of things like that happening.

After that incident, instead of the “divide and conquer” way of shopping, I decided my daughters and I had better stick together to do our shopping, just for that day.

Upon leaving the store, I met the nicest Christian cashier, who saw the whole episode. All of a sudden, the cashier started singing in the most beautiful soprano voice, a song blessed coming outjust for me. The song was about how much God loves me and how much God cares for me.

When I told my grocery cart story to my pastor, he said, “You were cursed going in the store and blessed coming out of the store.”

I wonder how this story would have ended if I had not used a soft answer to turn away wrath. I doubt it would have ended with a blessing. God’s Word is powerful. In this world, we are going to encounter angry people.  Unkind people are a fabric of life.

How we respond to an angry person is a choice. We can respond in one of two ways; we can either respond in the flesh or God’s way. People watch us to see how we respond.  In this case, my children were watching me, as well as many people in the store.

Do you have a story of when you used a soft answer to turn away wrath? I love hearing from you.

Are You a Flip-Flop or Nike, a Loafer or Ruby Slipper?

1 John 5:4,5. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Pastor Davey explained that the Greek word for both the words, “victory” and “overcome” is Nike. Nike is really the word for a Christian. Christians have victory and overcome the world, because they have the God-implanted life.

flip-flopsA person who is not saved, flip-flops through life. That was what I did for 20 years. My life would have been a complete flop, if I had not repented of my sins and trusted Jesus and in His shed blood to save me from my sins.

Are you a flip-flop or a Nike? All believers are Nike; victorious and overcomers. The born again believer is a winner at this present moment, because Jesus is winning this present moment. Everyone belonging to God wins.

What are you trusting in to get to heaven? There is only one way to heaven. Trusting in your good works to outweigh your bad works will send you straight to hell. If you are not 100% sure you are going to heaven, please see my post “How to Be 100 % Sure You’re Going To Heaven.”

If you trusted Jesus to save you, then you have Victory (Nike) because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.

I love to sing the hymn, “Victory in Jesus” by Eugene Monroe Bartlett, Sr.

O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him,
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

Nike Christian wife, are you a loafer or a ruby slipper? Are you slothful about what you are doing with your life, or do you sparkle in your home and outside your home for Jesus? When it comes to spending time with Jesus, are you a squeezer or a pleaser? Do you barely squeeze Him into your schedule, or do you seek to please Jesus by making Him first priority of the day?

Ruby Slipper photo~KwestStudio8
Ruby Slipper photo~KwestStudio8

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10

  • The virtuous woman, like a ruby is rare, valuable and radiates inner beauty.
  • Her value to the family is far above many priceless rubies.
  • Everything and everyone the virtuous woman touches becomes more beautiful. She uses the opportunity to influence the world and lives around her by bringing beauty to those around her.
  • The virtuous wife knows she must put on her walking shoes to walk with Jesus. As she walks with Jesus, He equips her for the day. She does not depend on her own thoughts, strength and power, but trusts the Lord to lead.
  • The virtuous wife is dedicated to giving her best and doing her best for her household. She joyfully loves and serves her family.
  • The virtuous wife lights a fire within her children’s hearts, so that they desire to have Jesus as Lord of their lives.
There's No Place Like Home.
There’s No Place Like Home.

What is your favorite word? I think my favorite word is “family” and a second runner-up is “home.”

Because the virtuous Nike wife is worth far more than many ruby slippers, her family knows, “There’s no place like home.”

Have You Traced Your Spiritual Heritage?

What is your Spiritual Heritage?

If you were saved when hearing Billy Graham preach, you can trace your Spiritual heritage back to the man who is considered the greatest evangelist of the nineteenth century.

Billy Graham; how far back can he trace his Spiritual heritage? In 1854, there was a seventeen year old boy who worked as a shoe salesman in Detroit.

Edward Kimball, a Sunday School teacher, stopped by the shoe store where that boy worked, and led him to the Lord. That boy was D.L. Moody. What would have happened if this Sunday School teacher had not been concerned for the soul of that 17 year old?

D.L. Moody led J. Wilbur Chapman to the Lord during one of his evangelistic meetings. 

Billy Sunday was converted at a J. Wilbur Chapman evangelistic meeting.

Mordecai Ham was saved at a Billy Sunday meeting.

Billy Graham~Billy Graham was saved at a Mordecai Ham meeting.

I got curious about my Spiritual heritage and decided to trace it today. Wow, was I ever encouraged about a mother, grandmother and great grandmother who touched their child’s life with the love of Christ and by having a Godly home. Because of them, my life was forever changed centuries later.

At age twenty, I was saved at college when a young lady (named Susan Wang), in Campus Crusade for Christ, shared the Four Spiritual Laws with me.

Have you heard of Bill Bright? He was the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ and wrote the Four Spiritual Laws tract. 

I wonder where I would be today if not for Bill Bright, Campus

Bill Bright
Bill Bright

Crusade for Christ and The Four Spiritual Laws tract.

Over the years, I have heard some Christian leaders criticize Billy Graham and Bill Bright. I have concluded that this type of criticism makes God sad. I have even heard Christian leaders criticize the Four Spiritual Laws tract, but all I know was, “Once I was spiritually blind before I read that tract and after reading it, I could see!” Amen, I COULD SEE!  April 6, 1975, I was born again! Oh, and our son was gloriously saved as a child while watching the Jesus Film, which is another very effective evangelical tool produced by Bill Bright.

Bill Bright led thousands of souls worldwide to the Lord, including myself. I wanted to know who influenced Bill Bright. So, I started digging.

Henrietta Mears
Henrietta Mears

Bill Bright; where did his Christian heritage begin?  As a young man, Bill Bright was converted by the colorful hat lady, Christian youth leader, Henrietta Mears. Every time Henrietta taught the Bible, she gave an invitation to trust Jesus as Saviour. Henrietta Mear’s Sunday School class grew from 450 to more than 6000 in 1933. Under her influence, Bill Bright wrote a signed contract to God, “I am your slave.” Henrietta Mears led thousands to the Lord and gave young people the vision to be actively involved with the Great Commission. Henrietta influenced Bill Bright to have this goal: “Win the campus to Christ today, win the world to Christ tomorrow.”

Who influenced Henrietta Mears?

I was so encouraged to learn that Henrietta’s mother, Margaret Everts Mears was her driving force behind her early devotion to the Lord. Henrietta was saved at age seven. Her home life provided rich spiritual nourishment for her. The days in her home began with prayer, Bible reading and hymn singing. Isn’t this the way every Christian home should start their day?

Mothers and Grandmothers, be encouraged! Henrietta’s mother mentored Henrietta just as Henrietta’s grandmother mentored her mother.

Her grandfather on her mother’s side was Dr. W. W. Everts (1814-1890), Pastor of First Baptist Church of Chicago. While growing up, Henrietta heard preaching from G. Morgan Campbell and R. A. Torry. Henrietta could trace her spiritual heritage back to five generations on her mother’s side. It is written about Henrietta’s great grandmother, “She walked with the Lord and her voice was lifted continually to give praise to God.” Wouldn’t I love to have these same words said of me!

Dr. W.W. Everts, Henrietta’s grandfather said of his mother, Phoebe, “My mother, more than any other human being, determined my character and destiny.” After reading this quote, I asked myself, “What difference am I making for Jesus Christ?”

Billy Graham credited Henrietta Mears, “I doubt if any other woman outside my wife and mother has had such a marked influence on my life. She is certainly one of the greatest Christians I have ever known!”

When Bill Bright passed away, Billy Graham said, “”He has carried a burden on his heart as few men that I’ve ever known – a burden for the evangelization of the world. He is a man whose sincerity and integrity and devotion to our Lord have been an inspiration and a blessing to me ever since the early days of my ministry.”

I am grateful to Henrietta’s godly mother, grandmother and great grandmother for investing spiritually in their child. Henrietta, in turn invested

LSU~Right before I was saved, I walked across this parade ground in the front praying, "God, how can I know for sure I will go to heaven?" I am thankful for Susie Wang sharing the Four Spiritual Laws with me!
LSU~At age 20, right before I was saved, I walked across this parade ground (in the forefront of the photo) praying, “God, how can I know for sure I will go to heaven?” I am thankful for Susie Wang sharing the Four Spiritual Laws with me! I am thankful to God for my Spiritual heritage. One touched life touched another, and another…and then touched mine!

spiritually in the life of Bill Bright. Bill Bright, through Campus Crusade for Christ and the Four Spiritual Laws led me to the Lord. Even though they are all in heaven, they touched my life, and I will never be the same.

Have you taken the time to look up your Spiritual ancestors? I learned so much about Henrietta Mears today. She is such an encouragement. Would you like to share your Spiritual heritage?