Score One for the Serpent

photo credit: verchmarco <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/160866001@N07/44863745295″>A red apple with the leave attched on a wooden table – close up</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>  

“The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:8-9 NASB).”  

Adam worked in God’s garden.

“Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it (Genesis 2:15 NASB).”  

Adam and Eve sowed seeds of disobedience.

“The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate (Genesis 3:4-6 NASB).” 

Adam was duped.

“Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;

Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
‘Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return (Genesis 3:17-19 NASB).”

 

 

 

 

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White as Snow

photo credit: mripp <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/56218409@N03/39624591724″>Dog owners are more healthy</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>   

Dreaming of a white Christmas?

Your life can be transformed; you can be white as snow every Christmas.

“Come now, and let us reason together,’
Says the Lord,
Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool (Isaiah 1:18 NASB).”

Dressed in garments white as snow…

“He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels (Revelation 3:5 NASB).”

Children make angels in the snow. The Father makes hardened sinners as white as snow.

 

Thanksgiving Tree

 

photo credit: TERRY KEARNEY <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/24490288@N04/22195790454″>Natures Trail to School</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Outside the Northeast Louisiana home of my mother-in-law, a decorative tree has drawn my attention. The colorful wind rustled leaves are a remarkable sight and I wondered if the tree held a story within. Fallen leaves danced in the road when carried by southern breezes and I pondered how easily we are scattered when apart from Jesus, the Vine.

The tree, so beautiful in the autumn season brought to mind the elderly, who radiate warmth and charm. The wise, in the spring and summer seasons of life, admire and emulate them. Yes, the tree could illustrate that truth.

This morning God opened my eyes of understanding. I gazed with delight and appreciation on the Thanksgiving tree.  People decorate elaborate Christmas trees and I almost missed His gift of the Thanksgiving tree. Around the trunk of the tree, He had spread a blanket of multi colored leaves, perfectly distributed for maximum effect. The symmetrical tree held only a few uneven branches pointing to the Creator above.

The focal message lay in the colors used by the artist: green, red, and orange. Green represents everlasting life, His gift to all who believe in His Son. (John 3:16) Red symbolizes the blood of Christ Jesus, sacrificed to pay for our sins. (Ephesians 1:7) Orange signifies lives aglow with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 7:55) I already anticipate next Thanksgiving Day. The Father will provide Thanksgiving trees as visible reminders of His great love for you and me.

Be Prepared

photo credit: Anna Toss <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/44124391226@N01/13611340833″>Många volontärer på #soppköksthlm #soppkökstockholm #soupkitchen…</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

Plan ahead.

Prepare for the worst.

“Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, ‘Pharaoh’s dreams mean the same thing. God has revealed to Pharaoh what He is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven ripe heads are seven years. The dreams mean the same thing. The seven thin, ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven worthless, scorched heads of grain are seven years of famine.

‘It is just as I told Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.  Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt. After them, seven years of famine will take place, and all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten. The famine will devastate the land.  The abundance in the land will not be remembered because of the famine that follows it, for the famine will be very severe (Genesis 41:25-31 HCSB).”  

Prepare for changes in the economy.

At times America is blessed with a ‘chicken in every pot.’

Yet; in economic downturns and depressions many have taken handouts at soup kitchens.

Trust God.

“I have been young and now I am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned
or his children begging for bread (Psalm 37:25 HCSB).”

 

Doorman

 

 

photo credit: vincentag <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/165551863@N02/42734671594″>Yes, knock in</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.  But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep (John 10:1-2 NASB).”

Jesus is the doorman.

“So Jesus said to them again, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture (John 10:7-9 NASB).”

Jesus, as the door, knocks at your heart’s door.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me (Revelation 3:20 NASB).”

Lipreading

photo credit: nicola.albertini <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/12615522@N02/6317803326″>Let me explain…</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Can you read lips?

God can… and does.

“Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, ‘Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders?  For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.’  And He answered and said to them, ‘Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,’ he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
‘But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men (Matthew 15:1-9 NASB).’”

In His Presence

 

 

 

{Image: crosscards.com}

In His presence…

“The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want.

He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.

He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with  oil; My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.”

Psalm 23 (AMP)