May 6, 2021

Are We Judges Who Can’t Be Trusted? ...The Book of James Bible Series


I really had intentions of writing other posts this year... (in addition to this Series, that is!) However, so far anyway... I'm only managing to sit in this chair to write about every two weeks!  Today, we're back for another installment in our Book of James Bible Series and we are kicking off Chapter Two!

We jump in to Chapter Two today beginning with JAMES 2:1-4! 

As usual, let's begin with The Passion Translation Bible:

"My dear brothers and sisters, fellow believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ—how could we say that we have faith in him and yet we favor one group of people above another? Suppose an influential man comes into your worship meeting wearing gold rings and expensive clothing, and also a homeless man in shabby clothes comes in. If you show special attention to the rich man in expensive clothes and say, “Here’s a seat of honor for you right up front!” but you turn and say to the poor beggar dressed in rags, “You can stand over here,” or “Sit over there on the floor in the back,” then you’ve demonstrated gross prejudice among yourselves and used evil standards of judgment!" (The Passion Translation)

I know!? You can't really say I didn't warn you ahead of time! James calls it like he sees it --or maybe, more like how HE sees it! Jesus and James, man... they're not gonna let us slide, guys! They are FOR us and they want the best for us... they want the best to flow to us and through us and -oh my goodness- how favoritism just gets in the way! 

And here's the deal: We are all guilty of it.  We all do it. 

You may be shaking your head and disagreeing with me passionately because -- ugh.... rich people!  You see... one way or another... one 'class' or --dare I even say it?-- race or gender or belief... ends up being treated as better or favored or more important than another with us humans! 

And here's the other deal: We all know it's wrong! 
Thankfully, we can also know that even though WE may do it... 
HE never does!

April 22, 2021

Real Religion... The Book of James Bible Series


Hello again, Friends!

We are back for another installment in our Book of James Bible Series and we're wrapping up James Chapter One today! Our verses are James 1:23-27!

We wrap up Chapter One today by going over JAMES 1:23-27! 

We're starting off using The Passion Translation Bible:

"If you listen to the Word and don’t live out the message you hear, you become like the person who looks in the mirror of the Word to discover the reflection of his face in the beginning.You perceive how God sees you in the mirror of the Word, but then you go out and forget your divine origin. But those who set their gaze deeply into the perfecting law of liberty are fascinated by and respond to the truth they hear and are strengthened by it—they experience God’s blessing in all that they do!

If someone believes they have a relationship with God but fails to guard his words then his heart is drifting away and his religion is shallow and empty.

True spirituality that is pure in the eyes of our Father God is to make a difference in the lives of the orphans, and widows in their troubles, and to refuse to be corrupted by the world’s values." (The Passion Translation)

I think we are familiar with this portion of Scripture and often we sort of laugh at the thought of forgetting what we look like.  This made me think of a new 'filter' on TikTok that flips your image rather than mirroring it.  So basically it lets you see yourself the way others see you. (--only in a purely physical way, though, of course! lol!)

April 8, 2021

Poetry, Written & Fulfilled by Your Life... Continuing with our James Bible Series


Happy Spring, Sweet Readers!

I hope you had a great Easter weekend and Spring is waking up all around and within you! We are continuing our study of the Book of James today! If you somehow stumbled your way over to this little corner of the interwebs and are 'new' here, and you'd like to read our earlier posts in this series, you can catch up by reading them HERE! (--scroll through to the bottom of that post to find the List of Linked Posts in this Series!)

We are focusing on James 1:19-22 today and this is where it starts to get hard!

Our verses today are JAMES 1:19-22! 

We're starting off using The Passion Translation Bible:

"My dearest brothers and sisters, take this to heart: Be quick to listen, but slow to speak. And be slow to become angry, for human anger is never a legitimate tool to promote God’s righteous purpose. So this is why we abandon everything morally impure and all forms of wicked conduct. Instead, with a sensitive spirit we absorb God’s Word, which has been implanted within our nature, for the Word of Life has power to continually deliver us. Don’t just listen to the Word of Truth and not respond to it, for that is the essence of self-deception. So always let his Word become like poetry written and fulfilled by your life!" (The Passion Translation)

You know how I keep saying that there are some hard truth verses comin' at us in James? Yeah - well, here they come.

How much better off would we be --would our culture be-- if we would just put this verse into action? 'Be quick to listen, but slow to speak.'

I mean... Right? 

And then he goes and follows that up with, 'And be slow to become angry.' --it's like he knew some things! It's like he knew that our humanness would stir us up and in the flesh we could convince ourselves that our rage was righteous.  It is not. Man, how I wish it was sometimes. However, James explains that human anger is never going to accomplish the justice and righteousness that we (think we) want!  

It's important to note here that James is, by no means, saying to do nothing... 

What he is saying is Do the Word! 

Or, as this translation puts it:

"...let His Word become like poetry written and fulfilled by your life."

March 25, 2021

Every Good and Perfect Gift... The Book of James Bible Series


Welcome back, friends!

We are continuing our study, digging into the Book of James, verse by verse! As always, if you are 'new' here, and you'd like to read our earlier posts in this series, you can catch up by reading them HERE! (--scroll through to the bottom of that post to find the List of Linked Posts in this Series!)

We are focusing on James 1:16-18 today and this is a very familiar portion of Scripture! So, just like last time, I invite you to say a quick prayer and ask God to highlight exactly what good and perfect gift He has to give you in today's reading! (Ya see what I did there?)

Our verses today are JAMES 1:16-18! 

We're starting off using The Passion Translation Bible:

"So my friends, don’t be fooled by your own desires! Every gift God freely gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of lights, who shines from the heavens with no hidden shadow or darkness and is never subject to change. God was delighted to give us birth by the truth of his infallible Word so that we would fulfill his chosen destiny for us and become the favorite ones out of all his creation!" (The Passion Translation)

Our portion of Scripture starts off with "So..." so... we should recap what was said just before this, right?  In short, in the verses before this, James told us to NOT lay blame on God whenever we are tempted or fall into sin! He explained what happens when we give in to temptation and how it turns into sin which over time leads to death! Then he goes on, "So, my friends, don't be fooled by your own desires!"

Like I said last time, It's us, guys! 
It's US, not Him! 

What IS Him... what we can accredit to Him are all the good and perfect gifts!  The actual translation of the word 'gift' can mean Legacy (--and Oh, what a legacy we have been grafted into!) and the word 'perfect' is an Aramaic word that means, “complete, wholesome, abundant, sufficient, enough, and perfect.”  

So anything --any gift-- that can fall into those categories... those come from Him!

March 11, 2021

Experience the Untold Blessings of God... The Book of James Bible Series


Hello, Sweet Readers!

Today we continue on with our Study through the Book of James! If you'd like to read our earlier posts, you can catch up by reading them HERE! (--scroll through to the bottom of that post to find the List of Linked Posts in this Series!)

I realize this is slow going! We are simply taking a verse or two at a time, and reading it in several translations, and asking God to highlight something to each of us through the reading of this Living Word! Trust me... there are some very intense verses ahead of us --so we will be thankful to only be tackling a few lines at a time!  Today - we dig into James 1:12-15!

Maybe let's say a quick prayer on our own and ask the Father to open our eyes and our hearts and our understanding so that we can not just gain knowledge or wisdom or insight --but SO THAT we can live our faith out loud!

Let's go!

Our verses today are JAMES 1:12-15! Let's read together!

Let's dig in first, reading these verses in The Passion Translation Bible:

"If your faith remains strong, even while surrounded by life’s difficulties, you will continue to experience the untold blessings of God! True happiness comes as you pass the test with faith, and receive the victorious crown of life promised to every lover of God! When you are tempted don’t ever say, “God is tempting me,” for God is incapable of being tempted by evil and he is never the source of temptation. Instead it is each person’s own desires and thoughts that drag them into evil and lure them away into darkness. Evil desires give birth to evil actions. And when sin is fully mature it can murder you!" (The Passion Translation)

IF... IF...

"IF your faith remains strong..."

March 7, 2021

Spring is Coming... A Five Minute Friday post.


I'm just going to jump right in... This is a Five Minute Friday post... which simply means I set a timer and free-write for five minutes flat. I then add graphics and format a bit, but the actual writing stops (or at least is given an asterisk!) when my timer goes off! 
Today, our one-word prompt is: GREEN



I see the prompt and immediately my mind is all over the place! It's March - so of course I think St. Patrick's Day. I just wrote our March Newsletter and talked of Luck and Blessing and that is fresh on my heart... and then Spring! Oh, Glorious Spring! It's flirting with us here in my little corner of the world -but I have to admit I am hesitant to fully believe that Winter is gone and Spring is upon us! (I hope... of course! I am ever hopeful for all that Spring brings with it!)

I calm my thoughts and take a deep breath. I remember that in this space, more than my own words --I desire to share His words... to share whatever it is that HE is wanting to say to you. So I pray... just for a few seconds (because this is Five Minute Friday, after all!) and I feel Peace wash over me and I sense His direction!

February 25, 2021

The "Prosperous Life" fades away... The Book of James Bible Series


Hey There, Friends!

Welcome Back to our Study through the Book of James! If you've missed our first few posts, you can catch up by reading them HERE! (--scroll through to the bottom of that post to find the List of Linked Posts in this Series!)

I hope you are enjoying going through James with me ever so slowly... verse by verse! 

Let's dig into the Word and help build each other up!

Our verses today are JAMES 1:9-11! Let's read together!

Let's dig in first, reading these verses in The Passion Translation Bible:

"The believer who is poor still has reasons to boast, for he has been placed on high. But those who are rich should boast in how God has brought them low and humbled them, for all their earthly glory will one day fade away like a wildflower in the meadow. For as the scorching heat of the sun causes the petals of the wildflower to fall off and lose its appearance of beauty, so the rich in the midst of their pursuit of wealth will wither away." (The Passion Translation)

Now, this is counter-culture for SURE, right? I mean - most of the leanest times in my life where the paycheck was non-existent or just wouldn't stretch as far as we needed it to, I can promise you --I didn't feel like boasting because we had been 'placed on high.' 

Of course not! 

HOWEVER, it helps to remember this verse is talking more about how - AS BELIEVERS, we have a heavenly inheritance that we can look forward to and count on!

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