God or gods?

God or gods?


There is a difference between God and gods. There are many false gods. Who are your gods? The devil is the god of this world, as evident of mankind’s worship of all things sin. They choose him, to be blinded.

2 Corinthians 4:4 “in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

While satan* rules this earth, he is not in control unless you give him control. In essence you worship him when you worship a sin and it controls you.

Some worship lying, they will con you out of your last dollar. They will trick you into taking the side of wrong, they will lead you to believe in false data. They mess with your mental focus. The Bible tells us who is the father of deceit, satan*.

Some worship the flesh. Ignoring all other aspects of their being… mental, emotional and spiritual, their focus is all things physical. Instead of spirituality being foremost it is last or nonexistent. The physical controls their mental and emotional to the point of deprivation.

Many worship materialistic gods; houses, cars, boats, sports, money. Their gods control their decisions leaving them in patterns of habitual sin. Not all things are sinful but, prioritizing them to the point of worshipping them is sinful. They confuse wants with needs.

Although many prioritize everything above God, in essence making satan* their god, their priorities and satan* are not God. “The One, I Am” is God. God won the war over sin for all who believe Jesus came, lived, died and rose again as their Savior.

All of us have a void in us that occurred with the fall of man. When God left, the emptiness of life without Him began. Mankind tries to fill their emptiness with all sorts of gods. The only filling of that void comes when The Holy Spirit fills it after we accept Christ as our Savior.

Sadly, many Christians take control of their life and try to replace the Holy Spirit, ignoring the Power He gives, leaving a sense of emptiness again. The Holy Spirit is still there, willing an able to replace your substitute gods.

“The One, I Am” is God. He won for man the war over sin once and for ALL. All who believe Jesus came, lived, died and rose again as their Savior are victors with Christ.

Who are what are your gods today. Is God Lord or, are you and your gods in charge?

*lower case because he is one.

It ain’t over ’til ….


I am constantly amazed at the words that come out of parents’ mouths.  Recently one parent said, “I just wanna get them saved so I can quit worrying about them.”  Really?  First of all, you can lead them, you can pray for them, guide them, instruct them …. you   CANNOT SAVE them.

John 3:16(HCSB)   “For God loved the world in this way:  He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” 

The Gk word houtos, commonly translated in Jn 3:16 as “so” or “so much” occurs over 200 times in the NT. Almost without exception it is an adverb of manner, not degree (for example, see Mt 1:18). It only means “so much” when modifying an adjective (see Gl 3:3; Rv 16:18). Manner seems primarily in view in Jn 3:16, which explains the HCSB‘s rendering. Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

Salvation is the gift of God.  You do not earn it and you cannot give it to someone, least of all your child.   You can share what salvation in your life means and you can pray they come to know God through His son Jesus Christ.  They have to accept the gift, you can not make them take it so they will be safe.

But, once they are saved it is not over.  You must raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  Disciplining them in the ways of our Lord, helping them to grow.  When a baby is born into this world that is not the end.  Just as you care and raise them in the world, a new-born in Christ must also be cared for and raised in the spiritual world.  You would not let your newborn flounder around on their own for sustenance, yet many a parent “gets” their child saved and thinks, “whew, now that’s done.”   As a  parent you see to their physical and mental needs (or you should) and likewise you need to see to their spiritual needs, teaching them in the ways of the Lord.  Getting them to Sunday School, youth group and church is a start.  But, you must also walk the talk you talk.  It is not, “do as I say do while you’re doing as you please”.  Your child becoming a man or woman of God is a growing process.  It does not happen overnight or when they are saved.  It is not over at that point.  It is just starting.

1 Corinthians 13:11 (NASB) When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”

When you bring a child into the world, you must tend to their physical, mental and emotional needs or you are abusive in the world’s eyes.  God’s Word says you are responsible for their spiritual life as well.  How much more accountable should we be to their spiritual needs?  They have all the electronic toys, stylish clothes and treats to eat.  But, have you provided for their spiritual needs?

Proverbs 22:6(KJV)Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Some people cling to Proverbs 2:6 as a promise.  It is not a promise, it is a proverb.  However, if you ignore the proverb you are setting your child up for spiritual failure and being lost and condemned.  It will always be their choice to choose God or reject God.  It was satan’s* choice that got him kicked out of Heaven.  God is not a puppet master and we are not puppets.  If you do all you can do to raise your child up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and they choose to not accept, do not let satan* lie to you and blame you.  Just keep praying for that child.  You planted the seeds, someone else may harvest the crop.  You just keep watering it with your prayers.

It ain’t over … it’s just begun.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) 5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.”

*satan – I know people capitalize the “S” but, I don’t.  I refuse to give him any status of importance.  He’s a snake, so satan, devil, etc. are lower case, as he is one.

“Fair Winds and Following Seas”


A nautical blessing of unknown origin, “Fair Winds and Following Seas” is how many sail through life.  A hope and a prayer for smooth sailing.  Are you sailing through life?  That can be disastrous, especially since your kids are learning how to handle life from the way you handle yours.

Is Your Life Sunk?

Early in our dating years, my husband taught me to sail his catamaran.   I cannot tell you the thrill of controlling the boat using the wind in the sails, the tiller and rudders.  Control is an awesome feeling.  Lose control and you capsize.  Yes, I did.

Our life is like a sailboat.  The rudder decides the direction as guided by the tiller.  Whose hand is on the tiller? Yours?  The current of the world is strong.  The Wind of God’s Word is stronger.   Without His word you cannot sail, the current will push you into the rocks.  Your sails need to be trimmed through prayer and the Holy Spirit’s guidance in your life.  When we navigate through the currents of the world, if  the rudder (our character)  is directed with our hand on the tiller  then we are going to capsize and sink.  If on the other hand, our sailboat has a keel shaped by Jesus Christ through salvation, then the rudder is directed (our path)  by Him and His hand is on the tiller (His will vs. ours).

Life is hard and there are plenty of rough seas.  When you need to put into harbor for safety His promises are your anchor.  You can count on His promises to keep you as you ride out the storms.  Sometimes He calms the seas (Mark 4:35-40), sometimes you have to ride out the storm and sometimes God uses the storm to shape you (Jonah 1).

God needs to be the Captain of the boat, not the co-captain.  His hand needs to be on the tiller of your life setting the rudder so that you sail safely no matter the weather.  From time to time you need to lighten the load and He will direct you to throw your baggage and cargo overboard.  Some of it may be precious cargo, but often it is garbage.  Allowing God to be in control and guide your sailboat will not give you smooth sailing, but it will always give you safe sailing.

Set sail today; let go, sail with Him at the tiller.

Whose hand is on the tiller?

It’s All About The Fishin’


I love a sunrise or sunset walk along the beach; sun creeping up over the horizon or setting in the west.  The lap of the waves, the call of birds, the peace and beauty of God’s creation is all there at the beach.  I stroll, pickin’ up little treasures along the way; thinking, praying, singing.  At the beach my world is peaceful.  People smile and greet me, sometimes wanting to know what I have found.

A fisherman greets me with, “Find anything good?”  I smile, “not yet … just started … and you?  Catch anything yet?”   He smiles, “No, but it’s not about the catchin’, it’s about the fishin’.”   I continue to walk and think.  Raising kids, working, day-to-day living … it’s about the fishin’ not the catchin’.   God places each of us here for His purpose … the fishin’.  Sometimes we cast nets to get bait.  Other times we  re-bait a simple hook.  Fishin’ takes patience and time.  Sometimes you catch nothin’, sometimes you catch a lot.   Some days are beautiful and others stormy.   Life is a lot like fishin’ and we need to remember it is not about the catchin’.

Some days it seems you are always fishin’ and never catchin’.  Sometimes it seems like stormy days will never end.   Days turn into weeks, weeks to months and months to years.  It is so hard to focus on the fishin’ at these times.  It does not matter if it is struggles with raising kids, working at a job you dread, struggling in a marriage or whatever other difficulty you may be facing.  You have to face the day and focus on the fishin’.

When my husband takes our grandchildren fishing, he knows there will be little catching.  Mainly it will be re-hooking and untangling.  He has to focus on the time he has with them and not the results of the catch.  It’s about the fishin’ … being with them.                                                                                        

In our day-to-day life with others we need to focus on the time we are spending with others.  It may be our children, our spouse or other family members.  The phrase ‘quality time’ is over used, however, it is the best way to describe what God sent Jesus to do … 33 short years on earth, yet the quality of His time with those He came in contact with and the effect on their lives resulted in touching all mankind for all eternity.

Today, you are fishin’.  As a parent, spouse, employee, etc., your daily fishing touches others.  Make sure you spend time in the Word and in prayer (proper preparation for fishin’).  My husband takes our grandchildren through the steps of preparing to fish knowing it may be a long while before they are able to fish on their own, and even longer before they may catch anything.  We also must show others around us by the way we “fish” how to prepare for life.  Maintain your fishin’ equipment so that you are ever ready for the day-to-day fishin’ at home, work, school, the mall… everywhere.  Having dull hooks, broken lines, and a messy tackle box will keep you from being ready to fish.

Jesus never said you were to go out and catch.  Leave the catching to Him.  He simply says to prepare yourself.

Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

Doing what’s right. Right?


Parents try to raise their children to do the right thing.  They say things like, “because it’s the right thing to do”, or “we want to make it right” … “we want to do the right thing don’t we?”   And sometimes even, “two wrongs don’t make it right!”.

Right. Right?

The Bible says in Romans 3:10 (ESV) “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;”

Doing the right thing will NOT necessarily make you or your child right in God’s eyes. 

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For by grace are you saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—

9 not from works, so that no one can boast

That does not mean that just because your child and you are saved that you stop doing the right thing.  Salvation is not a license to do as you please and your children need to hear you say that.  You never quit trying to do the right thing just because you’re ‘safe’.   Remind them that God’s word says:

James 2:17

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

There are those that think if they ‘make it right’, either by man’s law or society’s rules, then they are making it right with God.  Make sure your children are taught by you what the Bible says about right and wrong, about making it right with God and others.  Broke a law?  Did the time, paid the fine?  You still have to go to God and make it right and maybe those that were harmed by your actions.  Do not fall into the world’s views and traps of “it’s OK, you tried to do the right thing.”  Doing the ‘right thing’ will not automatically make you right with God.  Paying man’s ‘dues’, fulfilling man’s laws, does not make you right with God.  That is why we read His word and learn what He has to say about every aspect of our lives: Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual.  Do not take the ‘hearsay’ of the world on any issue.  Dig into His word and find out for yourself.

You want to be RIGHT with God, not ‘right’ in the eyes of the world.

Soul Safe … “It is WELL with My Soul!”


Grieving over the recent death of their four-year old son to Scarlet Fever, the family was further devastated by the Chicago fire of 1871 that destroyed much of  their holdings.  The father decided to get away with his  wife and four daughters on a ship back to England where they were to join up with Moody in his evangelistic meetings.  At the last-minute the father had a business complication and sent the wife and daughters on ahead.   Their ship collided with a French ship killing 226 on board.  Nine days later Horatio G. Spafford received a telegram from his wife that read, “soul survivor”.   He booked passage  to join his grieving wife and while passing over the spot where the ship had gone down with his daughters, he penned the following hymn that we sing.

Soul Safe

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well,
with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
Refrain
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
Refrain
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
Refrain:
But, Lord ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!
Refrain
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
Refrain

There is nothing new under the sun … nothing has changed since Job’s time in the Bible … day in and day out good people suffer.  Our children should be raised to know that no matter WHAT happens, once we are Christ’s, “it is well with our soul”.  NOTHING can take that away from them … from us .. EVER.  And that is all that matters.

This was true for Job, it is truth on which we can stand.  The Psalmist penned:

Psalm 46: 1-3  ” 1 God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found  in times of trouble. 2 Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple  into the depths of the seas, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah”

What happens when you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel?  When the end is not in sight?  When it DOESN’T get better.  How fair-weather is our faith?  Is our faith dependent on our circumstances? 

Twice yesterday I heard “It Is Well With My Soul” played on the radio.   And then at church we sang, ” Great Is Thy Faithfulness” .  The Chorus of this great hymn is also a truth on which we can stand.

Chorus
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

Our needs are provided … the problem we have is that we let our wants get in the way.  Acceptance of Christ =  SOUL SAFE.  That alone is all anyone needs. God, however, provides our needs.  When you look at your life, and when you teach your child to look at their life, each of you realize that you have your needs met and provided for … Know Christ = it is well with YOUR soul.

G.R.I.T.S.


My sister-in-law from Chicago taught my niece and nephews to call me “Aunt Scarlett”.  Being raised in Atlanta, you were considered a Georgia Peach, a Southern Belle … and the fact my last name was “Belle Isle” added to the stereotype.  I enjoy being Southern … the gentile way of life, the courteous speech, the hospitality and the way the men treat the ladies.  It is a sign of respect to be called “ma’am” and “sir”, to open doors for ladies and the elderly, to remove your hat in a woman’s presence or stand when she enters the room.  I think in today’s hustle and bustle, we have lost so much and I believe the lack of respect for others stems from our lack of respect for ourselves, which is simply disrespect of God, the creator.  It is funny to me that the ‘spell check’ wants me to change my word ‘ladies’ to ‘women’.  Even the computer wants to do away with gentile-ness.

As Christian parents we need to raise our children in the gentleness of the Lord; teaching them respect for others and themselves.  We have to teach them to respect God first though.  To do this we need to understand all that He gives us.  We need to get down to the basics, the nitty-GRITS-y.  With that in mind I would like to submit for your consideration another meaning for the acronym G.R.I.T.S:

Grace – God’s grace is sufficient.  Teach a child that and they have security for a lifetime.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

Righteousness – God’s righteousness is infallible; you cannot hedge on righteousness.  Things are righteous, or they are not.  There is light or there is darkness.  There is right and there is wrong.   Teach a child that and they have integrity and wisdom to take them through their life.

Romans 3:9b-12
“There is no one righteous, not even one;  11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”

Intercessor  = God gave us the Holy Spirit as a guide and Jesus as our High Priest.  You need nothing else.  Once you teach them this truth, they can face life’s circumstances in His Power, not their own.

Hebrews 4:14
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let hold fast our confession.”
1 Timothy 2:5
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus…”

Talents – EVERYthing they have is from God.  Just as they are God’s gift to you, your children need to be taught they all their talents, spiritual gifts, material processions …. EVERY thing they have in this life, IS FROM GOD.  We are stewards, raise them to be stewards.  When they learn this truth they will allow GOD to be in control of their life with no strings attached.  Take care of what He gives you and give back your first fruits.

Psalm 24:1
“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”
Deuteronomy 26:1-15
First Fruits; tithe.

Salvation – God sent His son … a gift of salvation given freely.  When you lead your children in the ways of the Lord and teach them about Jesus, you have not only given them a lifetime of truth and guidance, you have given them eternal life.

John 3:15-21
“15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

I am a G.R.I.T.S. girl and proud of it and I pray that God uses me in my husband, children, grandchildren’s lives, as well as all those I come across, as an example of God’s G.R.I.T.S. of spiritual living.