WHY ME LORD?   2 comments

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

LUKE 2:10

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Every year at Thanksgiving at my brother’s home, everyone at the table is required to give an explanation of what they are thankful for before we start eating. This year when it was my turn, I gave a list of all of my medical problems over the last eleven years.  I did this not to elicit sympathy from the rest of the family, but to mention all of the trials and triumphs that I experienced.  When I was finished, I ended by reciting the words from the first stanza of Kris Kristerofferson’s song “Why Me Lord? What have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I’ve known?”

Later as I listened to the words of the song, I pondered what would His answer be.  Almost immediately without missing a beat He answered: “Nothing. You see I did it all for you because I love you.”

As we celebrate His birthday this year, let’s all remember that we didn’t have to do a thing.  All we have to do is believe.  Believe that He is the Son of the Living God. Believe that He came to earth for the sole purpose of going to the cross to pay for our sins.  Believe that He is coming back to complete the task which was started when we confessed our sins and made Him Lord of our lives.  Believe that we have the gift of eternal life. That’s all.  Believe.

So this year, while all of the gifts are being passed out, remember the greatest gift of all.  His gift of love.  Jesus wants us to spread it around like the cream cheese icing on Grandma’s Red Velvet cake.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours from me and mine.

Jay.

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SUGGESTED READING: Luke 2:1-20

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NOTE: All original written material or original graphics are my property (unless otherwise noted), can only be used or reproduced with my written permission and must contain a link or reference to https://quietstreams.wordpress.com when use is permitted. ALL LINKS REFERENCED ON Quiet Streams ARE UNSOLICITED AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG IS NOT COMPENSATED IN ANY FORM, MONETARILY OR OTHERWISE.  SOME ADS APPEAR AS A CONDITION OF USE OF WORDPRESS.COM’S SOFTWARE AND SERVER SPACE AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG IS IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR APPEARANCE AND HAS ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL OVER THEIR APPEARANCE IN QUIET STREAMS.

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THANKSGIVING FOOD FOR THOUGHT – (a Repost from 2012)   Leave a comment

Roasted Turkey

THANKSGIVING EVERYDAY

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

Ps. 63:5 (KJV)

 America, Canada and South Korea are the only countries in the modern world that I know of that set aside one day a year as a day of  “thanksgiving”.  We all know the story of how America’s thanksgiving celebration originated.  My question is “Why only one day, what about the other 364”?

If we stop and think about it, every breath we take to every blink of an eye, is a gift from God.  Nothing in our lives is of our own doing, because we are dependant upon His grace and mercy for life’s every function.

In 1 Thessalonians, 5:18, the apostle Paul tells his readers that they are to be thankful in all things. Did he mean just the good stuff that happens to us?  How about only the things that fill us with joy?  No, in all things.  “Well”, you might say, “I have a terrible situation brought on through no fault of my own.  It just happened!  I’m supposed to be thankful for the discomfort, expense, sorrow, etc. that I’m experiencing”?  No, that’s not what he is saying.  What you should be thankful for is that God, in His infinite mercy, knows that you are suffering and gives you His Holy Spirit to act as your Comforter.  Jesus Himself told his followers that when He left, He would send His Comforter (John 16:7).

The world sometimes does not treat us fairly and no one promised us that it would.  And sometimes it’s hard to be thankful.  But if we remember that God is in control and trust in His unconditional love, unmerited favor and undeserved forgiveness, the world doesn’t have to treat us fairly. As Christians we don’t belong to the world, we are children of a loving Father that meets all of our needs according to His riches in glory (Phil. 4:19)!  When we trust in Jesus, we have everything that we need.  That in itself ought to be cause for every day to be thanksgiving day.  May you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving Day 2013.

Thank you Father for sending your only Son to die a criminal’s death in order that we might be reconciled to You.  Thank You also for Your Holy Spirit’s victory, guidance, peace, strength and wisdom to help us through each day.

Jay Boudreaux

SUGGESTED READING

Ps. 100

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PHOTO CREDIT:   WWW.FREEFOTO.COM

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NOTE: All original written material or original graphics are my property (unless otherwise noted), can only be used or reproduced with my written permission and must contain a link or reference to https://quietstreams.wordpress.com when use is permitted. ALL LINKS REFERENCED ON Quiet Streams ARE UNSOLICITED AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG IS NOT COMPENSATED IN ANY FORM, MONETARILY OR OTHERWISE.  SOME ADS APPEAR AS A CONDITION OF USE OF WORDPRESS.COM’S SOFTWARE AND SERVER SPACE AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG IS IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR APPEARANCE AND HAS ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL OVER THEIR APPEARANCE IN QUIET STREAMS.

WHO ARE YOUR ENEMIES?   2 comments

WHO ARE YOUR ENEMIES?

 Lord, I trust in you only. Don’t let my enemies overcome me.

 Ps. 31:1

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Who are your enemies?  Everybody has enemies for one reason or another.  We may have made them ourselves through thoughtless or selfish acts, or they may have come about due to circumstances beyond our control.  Maybe we intentionally hurt someone at work, or perhaps a neighbor, who has just moved next door, is just plain mean, ornery or disrespectful.  The reasons are endless.

But enemies can also be other things. Emotions, attitudes, physiological, medical conditions or physical or mental addictions could be considered enemies.  Not being a religious scholar, I am going to go out on a limb here and say anything that diverts our attention away from our relationship with God could be considered our enemy.

Both Psalm 31 and 35 describe situations where King David, the man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), implores God to both defend him against and defeat his enemies.  Now, we know from the Bible, that David was both a godly man and hunted man.  One of his biggest enemies was King Saul who was so jealous of his popularity, that he vowed to hunt him down and destroy him.

We also know that another of his biggest enemies was lust as evidenced by his desire and ultimate illicit sexual affair with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba (2 Samuel:11).  One enemy, Saul, happened not because of what David did to him personally, but because of Saul’s own jealousy.  The other, the adulterous affair, was because of David’s lustful desire. (It should be noted here that Saul suffered from a condition described in the Bible as “a distressing spirit from the Lord” or as we might call it today, depression.  In addition to jealousy, this was another enemy with which Saul was cursed. 1 Samuel 16:14.)

So, you see, enemies don’t necessarily have to be people.  If you are suffering from  fear, a physical or mental addiction, a medical condition, an emotional disorder, these can also be enemies.  Don’t let them “overcome” you.  Psalm 91 says that you don’t have to when it states that “you don’t have to fear the dangers of the day or the plagues of the night or the tragedies of the morning (Ps. 91:5-8.)” You can live within the shadow of the Almighty and enjoy His protection, His healing and His security.  Just trust in Him alone.

 Jay Boudreaux

2013

Suggested reading:

Ps.31,

Ps.35

Ps.91

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NOTE: All original written material or original graphics are my property (unless otherwise noted), can only be used or reproduced with my written permission and must contain a link or reference to https://quietstreams.wordpress.com when use is permitted. ALL LINKS REFERENCED ON Quiet Streams ARE UNSOLICITED AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG IS NOT COMPENSATED IN ANY FORM, MONETARILY OR OTHERWISE.  SOME ADS APPEAR AS A CONDITION OF USE OF WORDPRESS.COM’S SOFTWARE AND SERVER SPACE AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG IS IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR APPEARANCE AND HAS ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL OVER THEIR APPEARANCE IN QUIET STREAMS.

LIFE ON THE RIVER   Leave a comment

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.

(Proverbs 3:5)1

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Let’s take a trip back to yesteryear.  I want you to picture yourself on a 19th century riverboat, a paddle wheeler or a sternwheeler.  You are not a passenger, but a member of the crew and this riverboat is plodding its way down a winding narrow river.  Your job, as the crew member, is to stoke the boiler by shoveling coal or throwing logs into the firebox.  Your workplace is a dark hole, lit only by the light of the flames from the fire.

Above you, let’s say fifty feet or so, is a pilot who knows the river like the back of his hand.  He’s had years of experience navigating the turns, fighting the currents and dodging the shoals that are characteristic of this river.  How smart do you think it would be for you to periodically shout instructions up to the pilothouse on how to steer the boat?  Remember, you are fifty feet below the pilothouse, probably six feet below the water level and in a dimly lit cramped and hot room.  And, you probably have no experience navigating this, or any other river.

Trying to navigate through life by yourself, without the help of the Holy Spirit, is very similar to the picture described above.  The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon  as  a practical guide to living and Proverbs 3 goes on to say  “Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight” (3:6)1. He will make your paths, not path, but paths straight.  How much more practical can you get?

Left to our own human way of trying to make decisions, we’d make a mess of things.  Simply because we don’t possess the wisdom or the ability needed to look at life from all sides and make the right choices.  Sure, once in a while we may get lucky and make a good choice.  But in the things that really matter, do we know up from down, right from left?

As in the pilot’s position described above, God is much higher than we are and has a better view of our river.  After all, He made the river.  He is the wisdom that we need to avoid the sandbars and dangerous currents in our lives.  Our job is to “stoke” the boiler, not try to “navigate” the river.  Our job is to put our faith in the Pilot high above us and let Him do His job.

So the next time you are faced with a critical decision, don’t try to steer your riverboat by yourself.  Look up to Jesus Christ who is high above you and ask Him to give you direction.  He’s been down the river many times and from His vantage point, He has a much better view.

J. Boudreaux

Psalms 32: 8-11

NOTE: All original written material or original graphics are my property (unless otherwise noted), can only be used or reproduced with my written permission and must contain a link or reference to https://quietstreams.wordpress.com when use is permitted. ALL LINKS REFERENCED ON Quiet Streams ARE UNSOLICITED AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG IS NOT COMPENSATED IN ANY FORM, MONETARILY OR OTHERWISE.  SOME ADS APPEAR AS A CONDITION OF USE OF WORDPRESS.COM’S SOFTWARE AND SERVER SPACE AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG IS IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR APPEARANCE AND HAS ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL OVER THEIR APPEARANCE IN QUIET STREAMS.

1http://www.bible.org/netbible/pro3.htm

PIE IN THE SKY?   Leave a comment

Pie in the Sky?

. . . To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you . . . 1 Peter 1:4 KJV

                                                                                                    

I have to admit that years ago I had problems wrapping my head, and heart, around what I deemed was the “Pie in the Sky”philosophy of Christianity.  That is until I became a Christian.

For years I dealt with a lot of personal issues that I didn’t understand. I wondered “How can I subscribe to this notion of heaven, when I am going through these trials right now that for the most part, I hadn’t brought on myself?”  I heard ministers of the Gospel telling us that heaven was a place of glory and we were going to have no problems, with new incorruptible bodies, free of sickness and worry.

Fast forward to today.  I’ve come to realize over the past twenty years or so that I could look forward to a future as described by the Gospel. I still have many of the problems of the past and have even developed new health issues.  I’ve had neurological issues, cardio-vascular problems and I am now dealing with cancer.   But as I look back over my time as a bible believing Christian, I see God’s miraculous hand in my life, guiding, forgiving, providing, defending, healing and much more.  Not to forget that I also have the promise of eternal life (what I used to call the pie in the sky.)  Now, it’s real to me because I see what God can do in a person’s life.  He’ll take a sinner and make a believer out them.  Trust me, I am a believer.

You too can have that same promise.  All you need to do is make a firm decision to follow Jesus and that is not at all hard to do.  Just pray this simple prayer: 

Lord Jesus, I freely confess that I am a sinner.  I believe that You died a sinner’s

death and rose from the dead as a show of Your love for me and for the forgiveness

of my sins. I know that I have fallen short of Your Glory and ask you into my life to

by my Lord and Master.  I believe in Your forgiveness of my sins and I want to follow you

and trust You with my very being.  I want to commit my life to serving You. Thank

You Lord Jesus for Your grace and mercy.  This I pray in Your Holy Name, amen.

If you truly prayed that prayer, the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ now resides in your heart, never to leave you or forsake you. He will never let you down and you will spend eternity with Him in Heaven.  Get ready for some delicious pie!

J. Boudreaux

Suggested reading:

Isa. 26:1-21, Rom. 3:23-26, 1 Peter 1:3-9

2013

NOTE: All original written material or original graphics are my property (unless otherwise noted), can only be used or reproduced with my written permission and must contain a link or reference to https://quietstreams.wordpress.com when use is permitted. ALL LINKS REFERENCED ON Quiet Streams ARE UNSOLICITED AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG IS NOT COMPENSATED IN ANY FORM, MONETARILY OR OTHERWISE.  SOME ADS APPEAR AS A CONDITION OF USE OF WORDPRESS.COM’S SOFTWARE AND SERVER SPACE AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG IS IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR APPEARANCE AND HAS ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL OVER THEIR APPEARANCE IN QUIET STREAMS.

SOMETHING GOOD   Leave a comment

SOMETHING GOOD

How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every blessing in heaven because we belong to Christ.1

Eph. 1:3

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I once heard someone say “Man, I wish something good would happen to me today!”.  Unfortunately I was not in a position to comment on the individual’s statement.  But if I were, I probably would have said something to the effect “When you woke up this morning, were you connected to tubes and monitors in a hospital? Was your obituary in the newspaper?”  I guess it is a classic case of the glass being half empty or half full.  If something bad didn’t happen to you, then that’s good!  Right?

In the book of Malachi, chapter three, the Lord promises us that if we are obedient in tithing, that He will pour out so many blessings that we won’t have a place big enough to put them (v. 10).  Don’t you think that too many times when we hear the word “blessing”, that we automatically associate it with material possessions?  Blessings can come in many forms.  Good health is a blessing.  A faithful spouse is a blessing.  A godly minister or preacher is a blessing.

Okay, so maybe your rich uncle Harry didn’t leave you a nickel in his will (something that a thief can steal).  Or maybe you didn’t get that promotion you thought was a sure thing (something to keep you away from your family).  Are those bad things?

But if you stop and think about it, something good did happen to you that no one can steal from you or won’t estrange you from your family.  The greatest thing in the world happened to you when you made Jesus Lord of your life.  Pretty BIG blessing I’d say!  When you have Jesus, everything else pales in comparison.  You have the Lord of the universe as your personal, 1.) Saviour,  2.) Provider, 3.) Guide through life, 4.) Comforter, 5.) ___________________(fill in the blank).  Yes, the God who created the universe and everything in it has time for you.  Wow, what a thought!  What a blessing . . . what a good thing!

“Well”, you might say, “What if I’m not a Christian?  Will good things happen to me?  Or will they all be bad?” I don’t know.  What do you consider “good things”?  I can say this, if you are not a Christian you don’t have the very best that life has to offer.  That goes for this life and the next.

Not getting anything from rich uncle Harry can be disappointing.  There’s no doubt about it.  But remember that rich uncle Harry was, after all, human.  And as humans, we have a tendency to sometimes disappoint other humans.  Not so with Jesus.  He’ll never disappoint you.  And that’s a good thing.

J. Boudreaux

 SUGGESTED READINGS:

Ps. 84

Malachi 3

1 The Living Bible, 1971, p. 946

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NOTE: All original written material or original graphics are my property (unless otherwise noted), can only be used or reproduced with my written permission and must contain a link or reference to https://quietstreams.wordpress.com when use is permitted. ALL LINKS REFERENCED ON Quiet Streams ARE UNSOLICITED AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG IS NOT COMPENSATED IN ANY FORM, MONETARILY OR OTHERWISE.

PRAYER   Leave a comment

PRAYER

And all these things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

                                              Matthew 21:22 KJV

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I am sure that if you ask ten people for a definition of prayer that you would get ten different definitions, probably all revolving around the same thing . . . talking to and listening to God.  Basically that is just what it is. Maybe it is asking God to provide something for us or our family. Possibly it could be just praising God for His goodness and mercy. And then again, maybe it is venting our frustrations to Him. Whatever the situation, honest prayer is nothing more than a conversation with God.  Most of the time we talk and He listens. However, very often He talks and we listen.  Many times, though, we ignore Him, fall asleep, are too busy to pay attention, etc.

The interesting thing about prayer is that you don’t need to have any special training, or tools, or special rooms or “fellow prayers”.  Just yourself and a willing heart.  You can pray while you are driving or mowing the lawn.  You can be cooking or on a beach and pray.   Sitting at your desk is a good place to pray.  The possibilities are endless.

A prayer may be as simple as “Lord, give me a safe trip to the office/shopping”, or “Lord, thank you for another day”.  It could be lengthier, such as when we are praying for the resolution of a particular problem.  It doesn’t matter how short or long it is, but rather how we approach it.  That is, lifting our prayer to the Lord and believing that what we ask for will be given to us.  Jesus tells us in John chapter 16, verses 23 and 24 that if we ask anything of the Father in His name, He will give it to us.  And He will give it to us that our joy may be full. Persistence is another factor to take into consideration.  In Luke chapters 11 and 18 Jesus tells us that if we are persistent, our prayers will be answered.

Prayer is also an excellent way  to praise  our heavenly Father.   As the song says  “Our God is an awesome God . . .” and we need to tell that we believe that.  The Psalms are full of praises to our Lord and many of them can be used communicate our feelings to the Father rather than compose our own.

Whether you are a new Christian or a long time believer, the process is the same; believe and be persistent.  And of course, never stop praising God for his mercy and grace.  If you don’t have a regular prayer routine, start one today and resolve to continue it on a regular basis.  You’ll be surprised at how easy it is and you’ll wonder why you’ve waited so long.

J. Boudreaux

SUGGESTED READINGS

Matthew 7: 7, 8

1 John 5: 14, 15

Jeremiah 29: 12

John 14: 13, 14

Matthew 6: 6 – 8

Psalm 91: 14-16

Psalm 100

Psalm 101

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NOTE: All original written material or original graphics are my property (unless otherwise noted), can only be used or reproduced with my written permission and must contain a link or reference to https://quietstreams.wordpress.com when use is permitted. ALL LINKS REFERENCED ON Quiet Streams ARE UNSOLICITED AND THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG IS NOT COMPENSATED IN ANY FORM, MONETARILY OR OTHERWISE.

 

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