All posts by Sharon Tate

Abundant Gifts from God in Our Daily Routine– If We Just Knew

 

 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink,

you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.”

John 4:10

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I raised the faucet handle and instantly had water, hot to the left and cold to the right. I didn’t reflect about this experience. It was just a normal, daily routine that I repeated throughout the day. Yet, across the pond from me, the owners in that building were without running water for hours due to plumbing repairs. They anticipated the time when the water would be back on, so they could return to their normal, daily routine. . .

STOP and THINK.  THINK and BE THANKFUL.

A “routine” can affect our level of gratitude. It can make us forget to appreciate what is a daily gift that others don’t have as a routine experience. This daily gift of water is from God. It is life-giving and life-sustaining.  It is an abundant blessing bestowed on us from the Father who cares for us always. That is God’s love.

 The “routine” day-to-day experience becomes something else when we look at how God provides:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1)

 2“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior—from violent people you save me. “I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies. (2 Samuel 22:2-4)

 Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

 (38) For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, (39) neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)

 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

If we just knew “the gift of God” –we would receive the living water from Him.

Within our daily routine are unwrapped gifts from God.

Are we aware? Do we see?

STOP and THINK. THINK and BE THANKFUL.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 10/07/18) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word

The Real Thing: Joy in the Lord

It was my grandson’s fourth birthday. I called to do a video chat with him, so I could wish him “Happy Birthday” in real time and in person through technology as we live a distance from each other. At the new age of four, he was a moving target all over the room with the phone. I had to constantly tell him I couldn’t see him on my phone. At one point, he, apparently, hit something on the phone he had and lost me on the screen. Calling out loudly to my son, he yelled: “Dad, I lost the grandma!”

This was, of course, a live call. “The grandma” was not an avatar. But even at the young age of four, my grandson had already become accustomed to seeing representations vs real people. Thus, I was “the grandma” and not Grandma. I was an image or icon to him, not really me.

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How often do we, in our society, substitute an image for the real thing? We want joy in life, so our image to attain “joy” becomes munching cookies, binge-watching a television show, hanging out with a crowd of people at a party, using/abusing drugs or alcohol, or . . . or . . . when all along the real Joy is ever present.

The Real Thing: Joy in the Lord’s Presence

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

 The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing. (Proverbs 10:28)

 8 Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (I Peter 1:8-9)

The Real King: Our Lord

 Jeremiah 10:10:

—But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King. (NIV)

—But God is the real thing—the living God, the eternal King (The Message)                                                                                                                                                                                                                        —But You, Lord, are the true God, You are the living God and the eternal King.  (Good News translation)

The Real Thing: Forever Joy in the Lord

 You will show me the path that leads to life;
Your presence fills me with joy
and brings me pleasure forever.

(Psalm 16:11)

 There can be no image or icon identified as “the god.” There is only God in real time, in live communication, in full Presence—and in Him, we find real joy.

 

  (Sharon G. Tate blog 09/30/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

Praying with Perseverance

1 Thessalonians 5:17 translations:   

Pray continually.                                                         1599 Geneva Bible                           

. . . Continually be prayerful.                                 International Standard Version   

. . . pray constantly. . .                                                Revised Standard Version

 Be unceasing in prayer.                                             Amplified Bible  

(praying perseveringly)  

Pray without ceasing.                                                              American Standard Version

. . . and never stop praying.                                    Contemporary English Version

 . . .pray at all times. . .                                                             Good News Translation

 Pray without ceasing.                                               King James Version

. . .pray all the time . . .                                             The Message

. . . without ceasing pray ye;                                  1382 Wycliffe Bible

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The message across time and translations remains the same:

constant, continual, unceasing prayer.

One version included this addition in brackets: “ praying perseveringly.”  To “persevere” is to:  “persist, continue, carry on, go on, keep on, keep going,      struggle on, hammer away, be persistent, be determined, see/follow something through, keep at it, press on/ahead, be tenacious, stand one’s ground, stand fast/firm, hold on, go the distance, stay the course, plod on, stop at nothing, leave no stone unturned, hang on, plug away, stick it out, hang in there”  (google.com).

Prayer changes lives, events, attitudes, history.  What could be different if we each prayed with unceasing perseverance? How would our lives be changed? In what ways would the world be altered? How could the Father of Lies ever      confront, intercept, or halt such a barrage of unceasing prayer?

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have   received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)

 This means WE are responsible. Our personal prayer lives matter. Our church family prayers matter. Our belief is crucial.  The world we live in desperately needs our intervention. The means to do this is through “praying perseveringly” to God who can—and will—respond.  “And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” (1 John 5:15)

We must pray without ceasing! Amen and Amen!

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/23/18) teacherforjesus.com   Meditations on God’s Word

 

“Word(s) Fitly Spoken” with Grace and Wisdom from God

 

 

“Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given.”  (New International Version of Proverbs 25:11)

The language of the citizenry in a country is, often, a mirror of the culture and civilization of that society.  What words are said publicly and regularly now that were not accepted just a few years ago? Language changes with time and cultural acceptance.  Do our words today give us this beautiful image as depicted in   Proverbs 25:11?

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” (Revised Standard Version of Proverbs 25:11)

When we think of the word choices used in our society today and what may be regarded as “fit” for the occasion, what “word” do we visualize in our minds or “hear” in our thoughts? Does it come from a television character, a news moderator, a commercial, a celebrity, our next-door neighbor, a colleague, a spouse, our best friend, a politician? Does the word fit the image described in Proverbs 25:11?

“The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of  jewelry…”(The Message translation for Proverbs 25:11)

Custom-made.  Just for you. Just for me.  We can go online and find words to copy and paste that might seem like the right words for the occasion. But they are not custom-made just for you and just for me. Only God can give us THE right word at THE right moment, custom-made.

1) Luke 21:15 “For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.” 

2) Psalm 141:3 “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

3) 2 Timothy 2:14-15 “ 14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. “

4) I Peter 4: 10-11 “10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. “

5) Colossians 4:6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Our words speak much about us–as a people, as a society, as a culture. Our words speak much about us-as individuals. Our words speak much about us- to our    children and our grandchildren. Our words speak much about us-to all those with whom we engage in conversation, discussion, or debate. Where do we turn to find the words we should speak? Only God can give us “a word fitly spoken” that evokes an image of “apples of gold in a setting of silver.”

Let us turn to the Creator of everything to know what to say and how to say it with thought, with grace, with wisdom, and as “one who speaks the very words of God.”

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/16/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

PREPARING TO MEET OUR GOD  

 

 

 

1To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 

A time to be born, and a time to die . . . (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)

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Green leaves tinged red and yellow,

The air crisp in the evening walk,

This season of life before us;

Entering fall with expectancy,

A brilliance of color waiting

To explode in vibrancy around us;

And we, in the autumn of our lives,

 Hold onto that season before leaves fall.

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Fall back. Spring forward. The clocks are changed to manipulate time.

But seasons change as ordained by God. And the leaves will fall.

When the winter of our life comes upon us, will we have prepared to meet our Lord through the seasons of spring, summer, and fall? We cannot maneuver,  engineer, or mastermind the time we have left. We can’t “fall back” and try to stop the leaves from falling or the snow from coming.

A time to be born — a time to die. But there is that important dash, the life space of seasons in-between. These seasons of time are gifts from God. It is up to us if we grow, experience, change, and mature through them.

What will we do with this time allotted to us?

35 “ ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me.’  37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me.’”  (Matthew 25:35-45)

 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.                     (2 Corinthians 5:10)

 What will I have done before this appointed time?

 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. . . (Hebrews 9:27)

Have I prepared, through the seasons of my life, to meet my God?

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 09/09/18)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

 

Catastrophic Damage–WITHOUT GOD as our Refuge

 (Genesis 6:7-8) 7So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”  8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.)                                                                                                                 

(Genesis 7:17-24) 17 For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits. 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. 24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.

(Genesis 8:2) Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.

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Winds blast gusts at 90mph;

Trees bend and branches crack;

Lightning flashes across the night sky;

 Thunder rumbles and grumbles behind;

Clocks flash. Time stops. Darkness comes.

Our power grid has failed us.

Where is the refuge we need?

Is there an ark? Is there a Noah?

We experience storms in life that seem catastrophic when we are in the epicenter—in the midst of the figurative lightning, thunder, winds, and darkness. Time seems to STOP right there, and we are stuck in the storm. Where do we turn? Our little ray, like a penlight, barely pierces the blackness. We fumble and stumble around, looking for a refuge or an escape. But there is no man-made ark. Noah is not here. And we are not there.

What we may have regarded as catastrophic disasters in our life at the time may be seen in retrospect, through much thought and prayer, as times when we did not turn to the ever-present Refuge. There is no need for the ark ever again. God is our refuge, our Light to find our way out of the darkness and storms we face. With His comfort, guidance, and peace, these seasons of life are not catastrophic. He is the power grid that never fails us.

12 “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”                       (Philippians 4:12-13)

We don’t need to find a “Noah.” We should be the person who “found favor in the eyes of the Lord” as we realize we must turn to Him and trust Him. It doesn’t mean we won’t endure the storm. It doesn’t mean we won’t be tossed about and drenched. It doesn’t mean we won’t be struck or hear the rumbles against us. It doesn’t mean we won’t bend—but it does mean we won’t crack and remain broken. Our darkness will be dispelled by His Light.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.                             (2 Corinthians 4:6-9)

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

(Psalm 46:1-3)

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 09/02/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

 

 

 

 

 

The City Illumined by God’s Glory

 22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. (Revelation 21:22-25)

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The sun shone brightly ahead with a fierce intensity. It was impossible to look directly at it. Because the lowered car visor was insufficient, I raised my hand to try and deflect the rays to continue driving. This temporary, and mostly ineffective, shield did not allow me to look at the sun, but I did view a sight I had never witnessed before. The power lines all along the road ahead of me were ablaze with light, a golden brilliance that seemed to sweep upward toward the sky. Literally aglow from the sun’s radiance reflected onto the lines, the sight brought to my mind’s eye the path to the City we each strive with hope and faith to reach one day at the end of our life journey.

This City is described in Revelations in the context of many precious gems that we regard as valuable in this mortal world: jasper, ruby, pure gold, sapphire, emerald, topaz, turquoise, jacinth, amethyst, pearls, onyx, chrysolite, and more.

DESIRABLE. BEAUTIFUL. PRECIOUS.

The depiction is one that gives us some understanding and context as we attempt to grasp what this place is like that awaits us when we follow His Light. As we travel in this world on a dusty, bumpy, pot-holed road with weed growth in the cracks that is not paved with gold, the Light beckons–and we continue onward in anticipation of our arrival at the gates of this beautiful City of God’s Light.

The power lines that late afternoon were a reminder of the Power of the One Who IS Light—our Lord and Savior. The golden glow emanating from them seemed like a path paved with gold, directing my focus upward. How many times do we miss these sights provided just for us. Everywhere we look, we see God’s glory. Do we fail to witness and stare in awe?

That day, that moment in time, a golden glow of His Light from the sun was cast onto a row of power lines. I was a witness to this beautiful sight. I could not stare directly into the sun, for it was/it is a power beyond my ability to meet eye-to-Eye. Yet, the reflection was one I could behold, a gift that afternoon and a reminder that God is here. We just have to look and witness.

(Sharon  G. Tate blog 08/26/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

God’s Wondrous Creation-Through our Children’s Eyes

My granddaughter had the biggest smile on her face, as did my grandson who was standing next to her in the picture that arrived on my phone. I couldn’t make out what she was holding, but it looked alive. This mystery was solved when a magnification clearly showed several worms in her hands. My grandchildren had dug up these worms in their backyard to give to a Momma Robin to feed her little ones who weren’t yet born. The nest was in a tree branch at the rear of the house. They were excited to be helping this new Momma and her babies, keeping a daily watch until the real excitement came as the eggs hatched and little mouths opened, wanting to be fed!

There was no computer screen nearby, no television, no Netflix, no I-pad. Just the nature that God created. And it was exciting to them!

How many are Your works, Lord!
In wisdom You made them all;
the earth is full of Your creatures.

(Psalm 104:24)

 What WONDER to hold God’s creation in our hands and what WONDER to behold the birth of life. But we might not truly appreciate this if not for the smile, excitement, and awe of a child.

 But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In His hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.

(Job 12:7-10)

Ask the children, and they will teach you.

1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  He called a little child to Him, and placed the child among them. And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in My name welcomes Me.” (Matthew 8:1-5)

 Our children are our teachers while we become the students who need the tutorial of how to appreciate the smallest creatures that we, otherwise, might overlook as common and unworthy of wonder.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  (Matthew 19:14)

Watch our children,

Wonder of Creation

In their eyes;

Behold the reflection

Cast into our own;

Watch our children,

To see God’s Wonders

All around us.

(Sharon  G. Tate blog 08/19/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

PRAYER VOICES TO GOD

Voices… praise, penitent, present, patient.

Voices…cries, complaints, compromise, consent.

Voices…soft, sincere, solemn, submissive.

Voices…articulate, academic, artificial, announcer.

 Voices…inaudible, innermost, introspective, intentional.

 Voices…rote, rigid, repetitious, recitation.

Voices…joyful, jubilant, joyous, joy.

Voices…thanksgiving, transparency, trust, truth.

Voices…unspoken, underneath, unconscious, unresolved.

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What prayer voices do we offer to God? Our tone, attitude, purpose, approach, language in prayer all indicate something about our relationship with God. We know that He can listen even when we don’t physically utter words, because He is omniscient and all-knowing. I AM—in present tense—is always present when we use our public voices, our inner voices, and even our unconscious voices for prayer. Yet, as David’s prayers indicate, God will not listen and hear if sin is “cherished” in our hearts.

Psalm 66:17-20                                                                                                                                                              17 I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!

 Psalm 116I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy.
Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.

What voice should we present before God–that He will listen to and hear the prayers we bring to Him? What heart must we have that He will listen to what has been uttered and hear what is really being said?

Like any father, God desires communication with His children. We owe Him a respectful voice; we owe Him our utmost presence; we owe Him our praise, our submission, our gratitude; we owe Him joy for all He has done for us. We owe Him a voice and a heart that demonstrates our love for Him, our Father.

Hallowed is His Name and hallowed is our time with Him. Our prayer voices must be appropriate for this special time spent with our God.

(Sharon G. Tate blog -8/12/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

 

We Are His Creation, Wonderfully Made!

 The spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4) ***********************************************

How often do we think about and reflect upon–

**breathing–unless there is a health concern that affects that life necessity?

**walking–unless something happens which impairs or prevents our ability to move?

**seeing–unless our vision is reduced, diminished significantly, or gone?

**hearing–unless communication becomes challenging or lost through this sense?

We, often, take much for granted in this life—until something is missing, changed, or gone.

Maybe by taking the essentials of our creation for granted,

we are taking God, our Creator, for granted.

 So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14)

Yet You, Lord, are Our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?  (I Corinthians 3:16)

 We should daily think about and reflect upon God’s gifts of–

**breathing —taking in every breath gratefully as it is given from God.

**walking —moving forward in the moment and experiencing joy in the ability to do so.

**seeing—beholding the creation around us, including family, friends, and family in the Lord.

**hearing—listening to the sounds of God’s nature, the voices of loved ones, the praises to God.

His gifts to us, just in the creation of our own being, are beyond what we can comprehend. Even when impairments occur within our mortal forms, there is so much wonder in how we have been “knit together” by God that we should always be in awe. We can–and must–daily appreciate, in wonder and gratitude, our created existence in all its complexity and simplicity from our Father, our God, our Creator.

Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His;
we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. (Psalm 100:3)

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/05/18) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word