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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.

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

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.

 

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS – A REPOST   Leave a comment

AUTHOR’S NOTE: THIS IS A RE-POST FROM A PREVIOUS DATE.  THIS BEING AN ELECTION YEAR, I THOUGHT IT IMPORTANT TO BRING IT OUT OF THE ARCHIVES.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

                                                                   Romans 13:1

Let me say from the beginning that I am not going to make this a “political” commentary on any political party as I am not schooled in the subject of, in general terms, political science. Nor will I attempt to persuade the reader to follow any political philosophy.  I say it again, I am not going to make this a “political” commentary.  I will, however, try to briefly show that it is our responsibility as Christian-American citizens to honor the offices of the leaders chosen to guide our country.

GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE

Let me give you a brief example.  Suppose someone is sitting on an airplane waiting for departure and through the door walks their archenemy.  Someone for whom they have absolutely no use.  Not only is he boarding the plane, but they notice on his shoulders four gold stripes.  Their archenemy is the pilot of the plane!  What would you think they should do at this point?  Wish him ill and hope he crashes the plane, or pray for him to pilot the plane safely to its destination?  Remember, he is their eternal nemesis.  If they were smart, and a Christian, they would choose the latter.

I once heard of someone who wished that a newly elected president whom they vehemently disliked would fail in office.  Much like the pilot of the plane, the president of the country bears tremendous responsibility.  Therefore it is our responsibility as citizens to not only accept the decisions made in governmental elections, but to pray for those duly elected.  In Romans 13:1-7, the apostle Paul tells us that we should 1.) obey the government for it is God who has put it there, 2.) obey duly appointed/elected officials and 3.) pay taxes because they are used to run the government appointed by God, and pay the officials in charge of running that government.  In other words, be obedient to God who has established the government.

BE DISOBEDIENT?

Does that mean we are to obey laws and officials even though they are corrupt and sinful and require us as citizens to go against God’s laws.  I don’t think so for that would be a sin and God cannot look upon sin, especially if He has ordained the political structure and those entrusted to run it.

Living in a democracy as we do in this country, it is our job to honor the office of elected officials, not necessarily the man/woman elected to that office.  And, we are fortunate enough to live in a country where, if we desire, we can have corrupt officials removed from office via peaceful means whether it be by voting them out of office, or removal from office via due process.  Wishing them “ill will” is not only childish, but it is unChristian.

GO AHEAD, SPEAK YOUR MIND

So the next time you feel that the government should be openly criticized, go ahead and do it.  Our constitution gives you that right.  Someone once said “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”*  I believe that this statement fully expresses the spirit of United States constitution.  However, as Christians, we are called upon to support our elected officials regardless of their party affiliation and I believe that includes praying for them to succeed in the execution of their official duties.  After all, if they fail, the government fails and we as citizens are the losers.

So the next time you go to the polls to vote and your candidate does not win, no matter how popular or able you believe them to be, it is your responsibility to support the winning candidate.  That means praying for them to succeed once sworn in.  In this way you will not only be honoring the political office, but more importantly you will be honoring God who has established that office.

Matt. 22: 20-22

Rom. 13:1-7

1 Tim. 2:1-4

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*Author’s Note: There is some question about who originally made this comment.  Some say the French philosopher Voltaire, others say the English author Evelyn Beatrice Hall writing under the pseudonym S. G. Tallentyre.  SOURCE: www.wikipedia.com

NOTE:  All original written material or original graphics are property of the originator and author of this blog (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.

J. Boudreaux

Vote icon:  www.freefoto.com

INVESTMENT ADVICE   Leave a comment

INVESTMENT ADVICE

You men who are fathers—if your boy asks for bread, do you give him a stone?  If he asks for a fish, do you give him a snake?  If he asks for an egg, do you give him a scorpion?

Luke 11:11-121

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Pick up any literature on financial investments and somewhere in the text, probably in the small print on the back page, it will state “Past performance is not an indication of future returns”.  The investment companies put that in there as a “disclaimer”.  A disclaimer is a safety device used by many companies to protect their interests. In the financial world, it’s a must.  Today’s hot stock or mutual fund can be tomorrow’s big loser.  It doesn’t take much for a stock or a fund to go belly up over night and if disclaimers weren’t added to a prospectus, financial institutions could be liable for the losses of their investors.

That’s in the “world” of financial investing.  Let’s, however, look at it from a Christian point of view.  We as believers know that if we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Master, and we put our trust in him, “Past performance is an indication of future returns”.  Notice that the word “not” has been omitted?  That’s because the bible says that “God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow”.  So if yesterday we relied on God’s mercy, grace and providence for something today, then if we trust in Him today, He will meet our needs tomorrow!

Why?  Because, if we invite Jesus into our lives and live according to His will, He will provide for us.  He’s promised us in Matthew, chapter 7, that if we ask, it shall be given, if we seek, we shall find.  If we’ve trusted Him in the past, and He has met our need, then if we trust Him today, He’ll do it again tomorrow.  Does that mean that we will get everything that we ask for when we want it?  Probably not.  But we can be assured that if what we ask for is in His will, He’ll provide for us according to His timetable.  We may not get what we want when we want, but when God gives us an answer, we can rest assured that it will be a perfect answer!  And, at just the right time! 

How do we know if we are living in His will?  Invest time in His Word.  In the book of James, the very first chapter, we are told that if we want to know what God wants us to do, just ask Him and He’ll tell us.  Where God is concerned, there are no “disclaimers” just promises and you can take that to the bank!

J. Boudreaux

Luke 11: 1-12

1 The living Bible, 1971, p. 817

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NOTE:  All original written material or original graphics are property of the originator and author of this blog (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.

ENEMIES AND VICTORY   Leave a comment

He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. (NIV)

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                                                                 Ps. 91:2

Enemies.  We all have had them, or have them today, in one way or another in our lives.  The mere sound of the word strikes fear in the hearts of many.  An enemy can be either real as in a playground bully or imagined as in an unfounded fear that someone wishes us harm.  Not many of us have real enemies as did king David.  He was hounded and pursued by king Saul because Saul was jealous of David’s abilities and personality.  Saul was afraid that David was after his throne.

Today many of us are hounded by other types of enemies, such as alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual disorders, depression, eating disorders, etc.  These are not new to mankind, just more publicized and talked about openly in society. As  a matter of fact, the Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 that ” we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.    (KJV).”  In other words Satan is our enemy and he uses a myriad of ailments, conditions, destructive habits and substances to destroy us.  The sad part about it is that we are defenseless against these enemies unless we depend on the Savior, Jesus Christ. He is OMNIPOTENT.  He has the power to defeat all methods used by Satan to bring us down.  But we have to trust Him.  And to do that all we need is faith. A belief that God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).  That’s it!  Believe in Jesus Christ.  Believe that He loves us so much that He would do anything to keep us from eternal damnation.  To keep us from failure, self-destruction, disease; you name it.

Who are your enemies today? Want victory over them? Use God’s armor as described in Ephesians 6:10 – 17; armor that is more powerful than any nuclear weapon devised by man.  But more importantly believe it because it was forged by the hand of God and that victory will be yours.

J. Boudreaux 2012

SUGGESTED VERSES:

Ps. 35

Ps. 44:4-7

Ps. 91

Isa. 43:2

John 14:11

2 Thes. 3:3

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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 http://contemporarymusings.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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