Wednesday, June 29, 2011
A very busy weekend left me with no time for blogging. (My other blog explains what was happening and has photos to boot!)
But since I find it difficult to completely ignore my blogs...I shall leave you with a beautiful song that my darling daughter posted on her facebook yesterday.
Hope you enjoy it too.
It's called Starry Night, by Chris August. The pictures are awesome too.
Have a blessed week!
Posted by Sharon Ricklin at 11:43 PM
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
"An atheist's most embarrassing moment is when he feels profoundly thankful for something, but can't think of anybody to thank for it." ~Mary Ann Vincent ~
One of the things I strive for in my life is to be the type of person who is non-judgmental. I try to be accepting of all people regardless of where they are on their spiritual journey. I certainly don’t agree with every religion - even though there is usually a bit of truth to be found in each one. I try to accept people no matter what their religious background is or what church they go to, or even if they choose not to go at all. Personally, I don’t believe you have to be a member of any church if that is your preference. And for those who choose to call themselves atheists (and I know a few) I will not cram my beliefs down their throats, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be praying for them. (I was not a believer until the age of 25, and my conversion was directly related to a dear friend who prayed earnestly for me for three years.) She did not force the issue, but she never gave up on me either. Jesus has a way of softening even the hardest of hearts. And regardless of the name of your religion, Jesus will always be the ONLY way for true salvation. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14: 6
I also believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. All truth can be found within its text. Many people insist that the Bible contradicts itself, and some try to interpret it on their own - making for a lot of confusion. However, I believe if you ask the Lord to help you understand the Bible, the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth. Period. “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” 2Timothy 3:15-17
There are those people who think that we shouldn't talk about politics or religion – ever, but I don’t mind getting into a heated debate with people if the time is right and they choose to have the discussion. Sometimes it is downright entertaining! Besides that, it’s a great way to get to really know someone: how they think, where their heart is, what they believe in.
All that being said, I have many friends on Facebook who probably don’t see eye to eye with all of my beliefs, and some, in fact, may be unbelievers. I usually look into a prospective new friend’s info section to see what their background and their outlook on life is all about. Some are very secretive, and some are very blatant. I had met a person recently on one of my writer’s groups, and I even noticed that they listed their religious views as atheist. I saw that, and I accepted the friend request anyway. As I stated earlier, I try not to judge. That is the Lord’s job. And for all I knew, the Lord had a plan to use me as an instrument to change another heart.
Yesterday, I had to "unfriend" this person. It’s one thing to be accepting and non-judgmental, but it’s quite another thing to see disparaging pictures of Jesus, (along with nasty comments) in my news feed. I freely admit to posting (on occasion) religious quotes or pithy sayings that have to do with God, (especially during holidays) but I have never posted anti-atheist sayings, calling them stupid or unintelligent. Right now I can’t even remember all that I saw streaming by, but I was appalled by the pictures and derogatory comments that were posted. The negative comments were aimed not only at the Lord, but also at anyone who believes in Him. There was name calling and there was belittling, and many references to the “fact” that anyone who believes in God has to be brain damaged, retarded, uneducated, or at the very least, a fool.
I could have retaliated. But I didn’t. I could have posted this photo:
But I didn't. I didn't call names. I scrolled down the person's wall and realized that almost everyone on there was posting the same types of things. I simply clicked "unfriend".
I didn't need to stoop to their level...I didn't need to tell them they were wrong. And I don't think I have to put up with seeing that garbage on my news feed, so I don't feel like I made the wrong choice.
The Bible says it quite well: The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt. Their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. Psalm 14:1
Note: The Hebrew words rendered fool in Psalms denote one who is morally deficient.
What would your reaction be if the same thing had happened to you?
Please feel free to comment.
Posted by Sharon Ricklin at 12:47 AM
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
|This is a little piece that I put together a few years ago...I always thought it was so cool how these verses fit together like that...the first letters spelling out ASK. So often we forget how easy it can be to come to the Lord with our requests. If we don't ask, we don't receive...if we don't seek, we won't find...and if we don't knock, the doors will remain closed.|
* * * * * * *
A City in the news
Jerusalem is the most important city in Israel. In Bible times Jerusalem was the capital and also the place where the temple of God was. Jerusalem is sometimes called Zion, City of David, or City of God.
Our president is saying things about the city of Jerusalem that don't make sense for someone who professes to be a Christian. By calling for a return to the pre 1967 borders, he has directly undermined her. I guess he never read Psalm 122:6... "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure."
As it stands now, the Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu has said he not only opposes a return to the 67 borders, but Obama calling for such a move is indefensible.
I wonder...do the people throughout the world see America in a new light now?
Do they see complicity of duplicity?
How about the capacity of mendacity?
Or maybe the incapacity of veracity?
More importantly, how does Israel sees us now? Are we beginning to look like all her other enemies? Has the audacity of hope morphed into the audacity of pugnacity?
I think we need to seriously pray for Israel, and for our president... After all, if those who love Jerusalem will be "secure" where does that leave those who oppose the City of God?
* * * * * * *
A City On Our Knees
♫ ♪ ♫I have a Toby Mac song stuck on my mind. You guessed it, it has to do with a City. The speakers on my computer don't do it much justice...but this song rocks in my jeep! I wish you could all hear it with the base turned up! Enjoy!
Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem!
Posted by Sharon Ricklin at 7:20 PM
Monday, June 6, 2011
And after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then, with
Buckled around your waist,
and your feet fitted with the
In addition to this, take up
with which you can extinguish all the
You may ask, "How do I put on the Armor of God?" It's actually quite easy, once you understand it.
The "belt" is foundational for battle, as it holds all the weapons that allow a soldier to fight. The belt is a reminder that Jesus is the foundation for spiritual battle: Jesus is the Truth, the Way, and the Life.
The "breastplate" covers all of our vital organs, especially the heart. The enemy attacks our heart with condemnation and lies. If we start to believe that our own righteousness and/or good works makes us worthy of God's protection, that will only benefit the enemy because our own righteousness is worthless in battle. Jesus is our righteousness...we must keep our eyes on the provision of the cross and the righteousness that comes with a right relationship with Him.
Having our "feet ready with the gospel of peace" means we are to spread the good news of the gospel where ever we go: The good news of Jesus's life, His death, and resurrection, and that the work of Jesus here on earth brought us peace with God. Jesus is our preparation and peace.
The "shield of faith" signifies that Jesus is the focus of our faith; we trust Jesus alone as our shield. We should not rely only on our own abilities for this battle. In other words, our faith in Christ will shield us from the flaming arrows of the evil one.
The "helmet of salvation" means that we have been "saved" from our sins...that we believe that Jesus came and died on the cross. We can be delivered from every situation: spiritual, emotional and physical, but we cannot deliver ourselves. He has to become our guide, our source, our way out. Jesus is our righteousness.
The "sword of the spirit" is the word of God. When Satan temps you, it is beneficial to know the Word. Hebrews 4:12 says, "The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing of soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." And taking that a step further, John 1:1 says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
John 1:14 says: The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." Jesus is the Word of God!
So, I close with these simple words:
Romans 12:14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. (New International Version)
Although the NIV is usually my Bible of choice the New Living Translation says it quite well too:
Romans 12:14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don't let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.
~Have a great week~
Posted by Sharon Ricklin at 10:05 PM