A Little While

When my youngest child was three to four years old, the family took a road trip of 550+ miles. After being on the road for nearly nine hours, we were about 50 miles from or goal when the youngest said, “I want to go home!” I tried to reason with her that we were nearly to where we were going. “No! I want to to home now! We can come back tomorrow!”

There was no way for her to understand, because she had no concept of time or distance. In her young mind it was perfectly logical to “go home” as start again the following day.

John 16:16-18 16.
A little while, and then you will not see me. And again a little while, and you will see me. For I am going to the Father.” 17. Then some of his disciples said to one another: “What is this, that he is saying to us: ‘A little while, and you will not see me,’ and ‘Again a little while, and you will see me,’ and, ‘For I am going to the Father?’ ” 18. And they said: “What is this, that he is saying, ‘A little while?’ We do not understand what he is saying.”

In our scripture verses Jesus is trying to explain things to his disciples. However, they couldn’t fully understand him because they did not possess the necessary concepts.

When I read the Hebrew prophets, I marvel at some of the images that they employ. How difficult it was for them to translate spiritual images and concepts into something that human minds might understand. Isaiah quoted God as saying, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

It wasn’t until the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples that they began to have an understand of what Jesus was telling them.

Prayer
Lord, as we rely on your wisdom, lead us to an understanding of the purpose you have for us.
Amen.


Also visit my other blogs.Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Liveshttp://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.comMy NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.©2020 Thomas E Williams

Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Liveshttp://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.comMy NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.©2020 Thomas E Williams
  • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
  • http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams
    • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
    http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
    • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
    ©2020 Thomas E Williams
    • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
    http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
    • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
    ©2020 Thomas E WilliamsAlso visit my other blogs.
    • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
    http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
    • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
    ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    We Gather Together

    Hebrews 10:24-25 24.
    Let’s consider how to provoke one another to love and good works, 25. not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.


    Every Wednesday a group of us gather for a card ministry. We send cards to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, and other milestone events. Cards are sent with our sympathies. Get well cards are sent with our prayers. The cards are signed by all in attendance (up to 24 folks). Though this group also has other ministries within and for the community, the cards are what draw us together every week. At the end of each meeting we take a role call. The roll call is when each member updates us on their joys and concerns for the week. The roll call binds us together to celebrate each other’s joys and carry each other’s burdens.
    If there is a similar group near you, I encourage you to join them. If there is no group, make one!

    Prayer
    Lord we are mindful of the apostle’s words , “not forsaking our own assembling together”. Lord, thank you for bringing your followed together for ministry toward the community and within our assembly.
    Amen.

    Also visit my other blogs.

    • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
    http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
    • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
    ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    I Don’t Have Time

    Matthew 17:5
    And while he (Peter) was still speaking, behold, a shining cloud overshadowed them. And behold, there was a voice from the cloud, saying: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”

    Luke 9:35 And a voice came from the cloud, saying: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”

    These two gospel readings record the words of God the Father and what He said about Jesus. “Listen to him.” Does this sound like a suggestion to you? To me it sounds like a command: “Listen to him.”

    Many of us have bibles in which Jesus’s words are in red. Those words in red are the most important words to which we should listen. Read them. There aren’t many. Between Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts there are slightly over 2000 words. However, many of the events are covered in multiple accounts using slightly different words. If you combine those accounts you end with a little over 1000 words. An average reader could read 2000 words in about 7 minutes! A slow reader should be able to read the entirety of Luke (the longest gospel) in around three hours. The average person spends that much time watching TV.

    For the sake of your immortal soul, could you take the time to read the most important words ever spoken?

    Prayer
    Lord, we truly are busy. The things of this world pull us in so many directions. However, we know in our hearts that we always make time for what is important. Forgive us for not making time with your word a high priority.
    Amen.

    Also visit my other blogs.

    • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
    http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
    • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
    ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    Pencil Christian

    Lessons that I’ve learned from a pencil about being a Christian.
    1. A brand new pencil in an attractive wrapper is not working. 

    • Christians all dressed up, but not sharing the good news, are not working.

    2. A pencil has 3 layers: paint, wood, and graphite.

    • People have 3 layers: body, soul (self), and spirit (God part).

    3. It is a number two pencil. 

    • I am not number one.

    4. Before it can be used, a pencil must be sharpened. 

    • Before a Christian can be used they must be sharpened.

    5. sharpening grinds away the paint and wood to expose the graphite. 

    • Becoming a Christian grinds away your thoughts of body and soul (self) to expose the spirit which is the  God part of them.

    6. Even the best pencil needs to be re-sharpened now and again. 

    • Even the best Christian needs to be re-sharpened now and again.

    7. The pencil is not the message. 

    • The Christian is not the message.

    8. The purpose of a pencil is to write messages. 

    • The purpose of a Christian is to reveal God’s message.    

    9. A pencil may write many messages in many ways. 

    • A Christian my share their story about God in many ways.

    10. There are lots of different writing instruments with different uses.

    • There are many kinds of Christians, each with their own type of service

    Prayer
    Lord, thank you for revealing your truths to us even in the simple things out our lives.
    Amen

    Also visit my other blogs.

    • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
    http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
    • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
    ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    Also visit my other blogs.
    • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
    http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
    • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
    ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    An expansion of the Lord’s Prayer:

    An expansion of the Lord’s Prayer: 

    Our Father,,

    (Malachi 2:10)

    Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?

    who art in heaven

    (Psalms 11:4)

    The LORD is in his holy temple. The LORD’s throne is in heaven. 

     hallowed be thy name.

    (Exodus 20:7)

    “Never use the name of the LORD your God carelessly. 

    Thy kingdom come, 

    (Matthew 18:4)

    Whoever becomes like this little child is the greatest in thel kingdom of heaven.  

    thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

    (Luke 22:42-43)

    Jesus prayed, “Father, if it is your will, take this cup of suffering away from me. However, your will must be done, not mine.”  

    Give us this day our daily bread.

    (John 6:35)

    Jesus told them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never become hungry, and whoever believes in me will never become thirsty. 

    And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
    (Colossians 3:13)
    Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 

    For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever
    Malachi 3:6
    “I, the LORD, never change.”

    Amen.
    .

    Also visit my other blogs.

  • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives
  • http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com
  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.
  • ©2020 Thomas E Williams

    Eyes On the Prize

    Mark 8:34-38
    Then Jesus called the crowd to himself along with his disciples. He said to them, “Those who want to follow me must say no to the things they want, pick up their crosses, and follow me. Those who want to save their lives will lose them. But those who lose their lives for me and for the Good News will save them. What good does it do for people to win the whole world yet lose their lives? Or what should a person give in exchange for life? If people are ashamed of me and what I say in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of those people when he comes with the holy angels in his Father’s glory.”


    f you thought being a follower of Christ would be easy, you are delusional. It ain’t easy, my friends, but it’s doable. Even Jesus’s twelve closest friends and first followers suffered greatly. Although the scriptures only tell if the deaths of two of them, early church reports and legends claim that all but one died horrible deaths by crucifixion, stoning, burning, decapitation, and stabbing by knives, swords and spears.

    ou can’t say that they weren’t warned of the cost of following him. He told them, “Go! I’m sending you out like lambs among wolves.” (Luke 10:3) You must be willing to abandon everything and everyone that is important to you for his sake. It is not always required to give up everything but it’s always required that you be willing to do so. Read Luke 9:57-62 for more on the cost of discipleship.

    o we are not promised that life will be easy but it will be easier because he will share our burdens and comfort us. There are rewards in this life and the next. Matthew 25:34 “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, my Father has blessed you! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.”

    Keep you eyes on the prize.

    The 23rd Psalm Revisited

    1.  The Lord is my shepherd. Isaiah 30:21 “and when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way. Walk in it.”

    2.  I shall not want. Philippians 4:19 “And may my God fulfill all your desires, according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

    3.  He makes me to lie down in green pastures. Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

    4.  He leads me beside the still waters. Jeremiah 31:25 “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” 

    5.  He restores my soul. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think over you, says the Lord: thoughts of peace and not of affliction, so that I may give you patience and an end.

    6.  He leads me in the paths of righteousness.
    Psalm 16:11 “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

    7.  for His name’s sake. 1 John 3:2b Most beloved, we are now the sons of God.


    8.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Isaiah 41:10 Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not turn away, for I am your God. I have strengthened you, and I have assisted you, and the right hand of my just one has upheld you.

    9.  for You are with me.

    Matthew 28: 20b “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

    10. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Ephesians 6:10-18 “the full armor of God … belt of Truth … breastplate of righteousness … the gospel of peace … shield of faith … the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
    11.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Romans 8:38 & 39 “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present not the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    12. You anoint my head with oil. 1 John 2:27 “But as for you, let the Anointing that you have received from him abide in you. And so, you have no need of anyone to teach you. For his Anointing teaches you about everything, and it is the truth, and it is not a lie. And just as his Anointing has taught you, abide in him.”

    13.  My cup runs over. 2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make every grace abound in you, so that, always having what you need in all things, you may abound unto every good work,”

    14.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Romans 7:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

    15.  I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” 

    Prayer
    Thank you, Lord, for your presence with us in the past, in the present, for the future, and for life eternal.
    Amen

    Also visit my other blogs.

    • Tom and Ella’s Daily Journal of Our Lives

    http://TomAndEllaJournal.WordPress.com

    • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

    http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

    • All content (except quotations) ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

    40 Hours of Reflection

    The following was not written by me.  It was written by my mother-in-law.  It was recently read at her funeral.  I hope that when my time comes, I’ll have something as profound and meaningful to leave for my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. It will be of help when picturing these events to understand that this woman was about five foot in every direction.

      Tom Williams 

    40 Hours of Reflection

    by Darlene Wilson

    A church service is 2 hours long. The Titanic movie 3 hours long. Watching 40 episodes of the Friends TV program back to back would take 20 hours. 40 hours is a full work week.

    I spent the longest and most challenging 40 hours of my life trapped in a bathtub. I was not trying to set a world record for the longest bath for 77 year old woman, it was an accident. I’m telling you this only to glorify God, because God is my strength.

    My story begins on Tuesday, December 15, 2003, shortly before 10 p.m. I had spent several hours handing out oranges at the food pantry and doing errands and was incredibly tired. I raced through the front door my mobile home without even locking it behind me as I really needed to get to the bathroom! I was so exhausted I fell asleep sitting on the stool. When I finally woke and stood up, my right foot and leg were numb and I lost my balance.

    The stool was near the tub and the shower. The tub had a hard plastic folding shower door with a soft blue cloth shower curtain covering it. I fell against the folding door and into my empty four foot long bathtub with a crumpled shower door underneath me. I faintly remember removing pieces of the shower door, then assessing my situation. I was fully closed, but without my shoes. I was wearing my glasses and watch. The light was on.

    I tried many times to get out of the tub without success. Since my knee replacements, I couldn’t kneel, so that made it difficult. As a diabetic, I needed medicine and food. I began praying for God to be with me and for him to do a miracle. I asked God if I was being punished or had done something wrong. He assured me that I wasn’t being punished; it was an accident. “Forgive me for thinking that. Devil get behind me, I belong to Jesus Christ and you can have none of me.” I bound the devil and kept chanting Jesus, Jesus, and Jesus.

    Eventually my family would come looking for me, however, I have no idea how long I would be confined to the tub. I did know I needed depend on Him for survival tactics. I am week, but he is strong. I needed to keep focused and listen to him.

    There was no one to talk to other than God. I pray and read my bible every morning, but this was closer communion for a longer period of time than I had ever experienced. These were some of the things He told me:

    • He was there for me and would never leave me or forsake me

    • He was not the cause, but the answer to my problem

    • I must move my feet and legs and do ankle pops. I must do some exercises to keep my body moving.

    • I needed to breathe deeply and cough so I wouldn’t get hypostatic pneumonia. I didn’t even know what that was!

    • I needed liquid to survive

    • I needed to sleep, if possible

    I thanked God the bathroom door was open, the heat was a at 70º and I was warm … most of the time.

    I tried to turn on water, but the faucets were high up on the wall. I finally got the cold water on a bit. It dripped on my feet. I cupped my hand to get a few teaspoonfuls of water so I could get a drink. The water dripped on my blouse and chilled me as I brought my hand to my mouth. After drinking a little water, I worked to shut it off. Many times over the coming hours I repeated the steps to keep from dehydrating.

    The muscle spasms were intense starting at my groin and spreading down my legs. I prayed through them. They kept coming and I kept praying. I was uncomfortable in other ways. Let’s just say I know why a baby cries when their pants are wet. God was there for me spiritually, physically and emotionally. His staff ministered to me at all times keeping me from feeling sorry for myself and helping me control my thoughts and emotions.

    I sang hymns and childhood songs, recited the books of the Bible, praised God, prayed in tongues and recited poems I had learned in grade school. Occasionally, I slept. I kept remembering events from my life as I thought about my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I reminisced about my husband, Darrell, and good times we had in our life together and about my parents, four brothers and four sisters.

    I thought about my extremely hard of hearing grandmother, Hattie Teter, and what a strong influence she had on my life. She was the spiritual leader of our family reading the Bible to us, taking us to church every Sunday and setting a good example. She reflected the love of God.

    One thing she taught me was not to worry. She said worry with a lack of faith in God. If you had faith in God, you gave your problems to him and it was up to him to solve them.

    I laughed at some memories I realize I had never even told my children. We attended a small country church with a potbellied stove. There was no water, no inside toilet, just a path out behind, but God was there and so was I. At age 10, sermons could be rather dull. Sitting next to the minister’s daughter, I played a game during the sermon. She opened the song book and explained that to every song title we added the words “under the bed.”

    Jesus loves me… under the bed. Amazing grace … under the bed. Joy to the world … under the bed. What a friend we have in … Jesus under the bed. We began giggling uncontrollably. Her mother came over and took the song look away from us. We knew better than to try that again, at least not in church!

    I remember how happy we were when our first daughter, Becky, was born. We were married 5 years and 1 day when she arrived. I can still see the little pink toes and fingers as I cuddled her cheek. The memory was a happy one, yet brought tears to my eyes. This was the first time we experienced God’s miracle of birth. We felt this joy three more times when Linda, Shelley and Janet were born.

    I had a flashback to Becky’s kindergarten days. Our wedding anniversary with February 27th and her birthday was February 28th. She came home from school on her birthday telling me she had announced to the teacher that her parents were married one day and she was born the next. I quickly ask if you had explained we had been married 5 years and 1 day before she was born. “No,” was her response, “she didn’t ask!”

    God kept my mind busy and I didn’t dwell on my situation. Even in the bathtub I had peace and joy. He reminded me of the times He had already saved my life. At 5 I took my 4 year old brother, Gene and our dog to the creek. The dog kept me from drowning that day. To avoid a severe seat warming, I never told my parents.

    At 12 I had measles with an extremely high fever and was delirious for three days. During the depression you didn’t have a doctor come in for search minor ailments. I survived, although my hair began to grey from that day forward.

    At age 64 I was in a car accident that left me pinned in my vehicle while it was turned on its side with the engine still running. The emergency squad broke my back window, turned off the ignition, and cut my seatbelt so they could free me with the jaws of life. I walked away with only bruises. God protected me, once again.

    I thought about other times God was with me. He told me this time was no different. His tremendous love provided divine protection many times throughout my life. Praise God for such a wonderful Savior who cares and protects us.

    Outside the bathtub, the world was continuing on as usual. I felt like it was passing me by. I could hear the daily routine to the neighbors and my phone ringing. Was someone looking for me? I could tell daylight from dark and, of course, the time. Although I felt detached from the world, I felt a constant connection with God.

    A few minutes before 2 p.m. on Wednesday, December 17, I heard a noise at my front door as someone came in. I always lock the door, but realize I forgot in my haste to get to the bathroom.

    As I screamed for help a voice said, “I’m here, Grandma, it’s Alyssa.”

    When I saw her white winter hat as she rushed into the bathroom, I told her she looked just like an angel. “Thank you Lord, thank you Lord, praise His name!”

    Alyssa gave me a glass of water and called 911. When the police arrived they ask me some stupid questions to see if my time in the tub had affected me mentally. I told him I wasn’t any worse of mentally than I usually was! More police, and an emergency squad and an ambulance arrived to extract me form my plastic prison. I was shaking smelly and ready to be released. At the hospital I was told my sugar level was a little high, my muscles were weak, but all other tests were normal. Once again, God had his hand on my life.

    I came out of this ordeal with the greater appreciation for life and God. I cherish many things that I once took for granted. I can use my arms and legs, see, hear, eat and enjoy my grandchildren. I can get a drink of water, drive my car and sleep in a comfortable bed between sheets. He said, “I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” My life was more abundant because of my 40 hour confinement.

    Don’t give up because God doesn’t answer your prayers in your time frame. God’s timing is not ours. He is neither ahead or behind: he is always on time. Although I waited 40 hours, I wasn’t mad at God. I knew God was the solution, not the problem! If anyone is wondering if God is real, have no doubt.

    Did I mention my insurance policy? It covered me even when I was in the bathtub. My insurance agent is Jesus Christ. I have full coverage and it cost me nothing. He paid the premium in full over 2000 years ago when He died on the cross. If you don’t have this type of insurance policy, please consider talking to my insurance agent. His phone number is 1 800 P-R-A-Y-E-R.