The past week marked the 47th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Roe Vs. Wade making abortion legal in the United States. The issue of abortion is often in the headlines during election time. And it is always difficult to understand the number of Christians who vote for candidates who support abortion. The response most often given when asked how one can support a candidate who supports abortion is “I don’t support abortion but abortion isn’t the only issue.” If you support a candidate who supports abortion, then you are supporting abortion. Food for Thought isn’t going to debate the evils of abortion because the scriptures do a fine job of that. But a person must decide for him/herself what he or she believes, what and whom he or she supports and what he or she is willing to compromise on. As we are well aware, election time is upon us. It is up to each of us to find out how candidates feel about critical issues dealing with the sanctity of life whether these issues are in the headlines or not. How candidates feel about these issues gets to the core of their character. As a Christian, the Bible is your standard. Find out if a candidate’s stance on an issue violates the Word of God. Do your due diligence and vote prayerfully and vote scripturally. It’s between you and God.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)
13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. Hebrews 4:13 (NLT)
My grandchildren recently began ice skating lessons. I had purchased new skates for them. The children in the class are all small, most about 4 and 5 years old, and of course at the first lesson they were all falling a lot. At the second lesson, we notice that most of the children were improving, but my grandchildren continued to fall. The coach mentioned it and said it could be the skates. So we checked the reviews on their skates and found the same thing over and over – the kids were all falling due to the blades. So we looked at the blades and saw that they were unusually proportioned to the boot of the skate and very curved at the back and could see why they were always falling. I returned those skates and we purchased new ones. We went for a practice skate with the kids and the improvement was instant and remarkable. If I had checked the reviews first, I could have avoided the whole situation. It is so much nicer to learn from others’ bad experiences than to have to learn the hard way. If you find yourself falling a lot in your journey with Christ, go back and read the Book! There are plenty of people, like Peter and Paul, or David who have fallen plenty of times and wrote about it so we could steer clear of the same mistakes. We can avoid so many spills and falls if we’d just read the Book first!
9 Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. Proverbs 9:9 (NLT)
10 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever! Psalm 111:10 (NLT)
13 “But true wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are his. Job 12:13 (NLT)
28 For you are God, O Sovereign LORD. Your words are truth, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 2 Samuel 7:28 (NLT)
160 The very essence of your words is truth; all your just regulations will stand forever. Psalm 119:160 (NLT)
21 “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully. Luke 20:21 (NLT)
One mistake that people often make is falling into the trap of believing that God is in control of everything so whatever happens must be His will. But just look around the world – the unrest, the evil done by one person toward another or one country toward another, the devastation by severe weather, earthquakes and hurricanes, and other horrible tragedies and illnesses that take or destroy the lives of young and old alike. Is it really possible that all of these horrible events are God’s will? The truth is God is not in control of this world. Scripture tells us that there is a god of this world – and that god is Satan. Scriptures tells us that the world around us is under Satan’s control and we know that his main goal is to steal, kill and destroy. BUT…we are children of God and His Son Jesus has a secure hold on us and the evil one cannot touch us! Satan has no authority to work in the lives of Christians UNLESS we yield to him. In the wilderness (Luke 4-1-13), Satan wanted so badly for Jesus to yield to him just once. But He would not! He resisted! Resist him and he MUST flee – and keep resisting for our foe is persistent. Satan is not the horrifying, controlling, all-powerful, creature that Hollywood portrays him to be for then you would recognize him. So don’t be fooled if he comes around as an angel of light. Jesus gave us authority over the enemy, so let’s walk it!
4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. 2 Corinthians 4:4 (NLT)
19 We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. 1 John 5:19 (NLT)
5 Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. Luke 4:5-6 (NLT)
18 We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. I John 5:18 (NLT)
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10 (NLT)
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7 (NLT)
14 But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14 (NLT)
19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. Luke 10:19 (NLT)
The new year and a new decade is here! A new year is a great time to make a fresh start. Be careful not to bring regrets with you into your new year. Looking back at things can stifle your growth and delay the plans God has for your life. Lot’s wife is a great example of the consequences of looking back. The Hebrew word in this portion of scripture (Genesis 19:26) is Nabat. This word doesn’t just mean a brief looking back, but it means to look intently at, to behold, to consider. Yesterday is history and cannot be retrieved so don’t dwell on it. You can’t change your yesterdays, but you can use them to determine the course of your tomorrows. Don’t allow your past to paralyze you and keep you from moving forward. Determine to have a fresh start and a new beginning right now. Remember, God’s mercy to you is new and fresh every single morning. Don’t allow yesterday’s failures and disappointments to hold you back this year!
26 But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26 (NLT)22
The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)
The year 2019 has flown by very quickly and if you are like most people, there are probably still things on your to-do list for 2019 that are not yet crossed off. And there could be many reasons why, some very good reasons. Sometimes, there are more important things that come up than what is on the to-do list. Yesterday, I spent most of the day doing my Christmas baking – cookies and candy for the family. While I was done with the baking and beginning my clean up (I can’t stand to leave a dirty kitchen), my little grandson was calling me – “Grama, come sit with me!”. My first response was “In a couple of minutes. Grama’s almost done!”. Then several minutes later I heard again – “Grama come sit with me!”. I realized at that moment that, though I hate a dirty kitchen, there were more pressing issues at that moment – a little boy that needed his grama to sit with him! These moments are precious and don’t last forever and if you delay for even just a few minutes, you might lose an opportunity that may not return. For 2020, go ahead and make your to-do lists. And hopefully you’ll get a few checked off. But when little interruptions arise that mess with your list, don’t pass them by or you might regret it. Keep your eyes on what’s really important. These little interruptions might just be golden opportunities!
41 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. 42 One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” Luke 10:41-42 (MSG)
34 It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. Luke 12:34 (MSG)
2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. Hebrews 12:2 (MSG)
Here’s our annual reminder to remember the Reason for the season!
‘Tis the week before Christmas, and all through my mind
whirl thoughts about presents I still need to find!
There’s a checklist for groceries and one for the gifts
And just to make sure, a checklist for my list!
Decorations and stockings were hung just in time
The last minute cleaning is the next thing in line.
Did I purchase the cranberries, the cider, and nog?
A fire is a nice touch, must purchase a log!
Everything must be perfect, my plans all in sync.
Must have all the items for food and for drink.
But nagging inside me, way back in my mind
it seems there’s still something that I’ve left behind.
What detail escapes me, what’s missing I plea?
My head is just throbbing, what in heaven could it be?
Wait a minute! In heaven… in heaven indeed.
How could I forget the one thing that I need!
With the flurry of planning and shopping galore
I’ve omitted that gift I should never ignore.
The gift that was born on one cold starry night.
to a world lost in darkness and filled it with light!
The gift that costs nothing, yet is priceless for sure.
The gift that was given to all of the world.
Oh, thank you Dear Jesus, for leaving your throne.
And coming to earth to make heaven my home.
Oh God, please forgive me for losing my way
and help me put Christ back into Christmas day!
Have a very Blessed Christmas
Most parents, for the long-term benefit of their children and for their own sanity, train up their children to be obedient. It takes a lot of work at first because it is human nature to rebel. Starting from young children, humans want to do their own thing their own way usually resisting commands and demands. A child who does not follow commands can be very unpleasant to be around. And children who can’t follow commands usually (and unfortunately) turn into teens and adults who can’t follow commands, which then becomes very unpleasant for teachers and employers. A tactic for parents to encourage obedience often becomes “benefits” such as extra privileges or rewards. But do we really want our children to obey out of a motive to earn something from us? Or do we want their obedience to be simply in response to our love for them? For the Christian, most of us are familiar with the Ten Commandments and probably do a decent job of attempting to obey them. But why? Why do we obey God’s commands? Is it to earn something from God, possibly even to earn His love? Yes, there are many benefits in the Word of God to those who obey His commandments. But those benefits shouldn’t be the reason we obey. The reason we should obey is just simply because He loves us!
97 Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long. Psalm 119:97 (NLT)
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15:9-11 (NLT)
15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. John 14:15 (NLT)
Christmas is a time when you hear greetings of peace. But do most people really experience true peace. There, of course, is world peace where we find the absence of war throughout the world. And world peace would be a wonderful thing. But there is an even more wonderful kind of peace to be experienced. And that is an inner peace that one experiences within his/her own life. It’s a calmness a person can experience even through turmoil and upheaval all around. Outside circumstances have no affect on this kind of peace. This peace has only one origin – Jesus. Jesus tells us that His peace is clearly different from the peace in the world. And the peace from Jesus is able to guard our hearts and our minds. Philippians 4:7 (NLT) tells us – “7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard our hearts and minds as we live in Christ Jesus.” Our hearts and minds can easily be wounded. So protection of them is vital. But the verse promising us this incomprehensible peace begins with “then”. So there must be some context we need to see. And the context is found in the previous verse – “6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” When adverse situations come our way, we just give them to God in prayer and thank Him for everything He has done for us. Through a relationship of complete trust in and thanksgiving to God, we can experience a peace beyond our understanding. We pray you experience this peace, not just through the upcoming Christmas season, but always!
27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 (NLT)
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
are entering into a wonderful season.
The upcoming holidays are all about giving – most importantly God giving
us His Son! But when it comes to
receiving gifts, especially from God Himself, people often feel unworthy. They feel they don’t deserve anything from
God. But guess what? No one deserves anything from God. even the absolute biggest saint you can think
of. So don’t burden yourself with guilt
and condemnation thinking you are not deserving of all the wonderful things God
has for you. God’s love and good gifts
are not earned or deserved. They are
made possible to us by what Jesus did, not what you’ve done or could ever do. God
made it easy for us. We just have to
believe and receive!
32 He who did not spare his own Son,
but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously
give us all things? Romans 8:32 (NIV)
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will
be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to
you. 10 For everyone who asks
receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Luke 11:9-10 (NIV)
11 If you, then, though you are evil, know
how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in
heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11 (NIV)
of us, when getting ready in the mornings, have similar routines. Part of that routine might involve drying our
hair. Most of us don’t give much thought
each time we reach for the hair dryer.
We just plug it in, turn it on, and expect it to work. And most of us are very happy using our hair
dryers without the need to know how they work.
We don’t need or desire to possess the knowledge of the mechanics of the
hair dryer or the principles of electricity which run it. We just need to know how to use it. Actually, if we turned it on and it didn’t
work, we would be disappointed. The
first thing we would probably do is to make sure it is plugged in all the
way. Most of us at the very least know
that if the plug is not connected properly, it can’t work. If that doesn’t do the trick, then we might
know to push that little red reset button on the outlet because somehow the
flow of power may have been interrupted and the switch was tripped. Beyond that, we’d either pull out a spare
hair dryer, or leave the house with a wet head.
The utilization of our faith is very similar to the hair dryer. How?
Glad you asked! The hair dryer
represents us, or better put, it represents our needs or what we are believing
for. The electrical outlet is the source
of power, or God. The cord is our
connector to the source, our faith. As
long as the cord (our faith) remains securely connected to the source (God), we
have a steady flow of power to supply our every need. But life has a way of pulling the cord loose
and interrupts our faith from connecting
to God our source. Sometimes we allow
our reason to override our faith. In
other words, if we can’t figure it out or see how it can possibly work, we
can’t believe for it. This trips or
interrupts the flow of power from our source to our need. If you get tripped up by over thinking things
or trying to reason it out, then reset!
If you can reason out a thing, it doesn’t require faith. Faith is for those things that are beyond reason,
for that which can’t be figured out. Faith
doesn’t need to know how it works – it just needs to know that it does!
9 Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations…. Deuteronomy 7:9 (NLT)
6 Yet for us there is [only] one God, the Father, Who is the Source of all things and for Whom we [have life], and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through and by Whom are all things and through and by Whom we [ourselves exist]. 1 Corinthians 8:6 (AMP)
19 And this same God who takes care of me
will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to
us in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
2 My help comes from the LORD, who made
heaven and earth! Psalm 121:2 (NLT)