Friday, September 26, 2008

Philippians 2:13-15...Whine or Shine!

Hello Everyone!

I am enjoying the title to this post!! It says verse 14 and 15 in a nutshell! zipped up!!

New International Version:

13.) ..."for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. 14.) Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15.) so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.."

Verse 13 follows VERSE 12

which said that we are to

work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

Verse 13 says that it is GOD that works in us

(not ourselves working it out) to bring

out our full potential, our purpose.

How can we fulfill our purpose in life by our

own works, when we did not make us and

we do not know what the original intention for us


Just like when we make a cake...

we KNOW what kind of cake

it is supposed to be...

a birthday cake,

a cake to take to a new neighbor,

a chocolate mayonnaise cake to a chocolate lover,

(See my mom's recipe for chocolate mayonnaise cake at my "P. S." below)

a cake to take to a potluck that everyone is asking for,

(anyone out there read Jan Karon's books and know about

the orange marmalade cake?)

book cover of  At Home in Mitford   (Mitford, book 1) by Jan Karon

a wedding get the picture.

God has an original purpose for our lives.

A plan He had BEFORE we were born!!


(Psalm 139:16)

Sometimes we use our "cake" for other purposes than what it was intended for.

It would be like taking a wedding cake to someone's birthday party.

Or a birthday cake to a funeral dinner!!

How do we prevent that?

Read the recipe from the MAKER of the

recipe! The Bible will guide your footsteps and sitting in God's

Presence and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you,

will allow you to use your

"cake" for the right purpose and in the right place.

Verses 14...Now we come to our 2nd out of 3 life principles from

verses 12-15 that all truly appreciative Christians should embrace:

(The #1 was "work out their ((your)) salvation with fear and trembling".

See last post.)

#2 ~ "Without grumbling or complaining".....

Ouch, double ouch....

Our most vivid example in the Bible are the Israelites

in the Old Testament, who mumbled and grumbled

after God had rescued them from slavery in Egypt.

Numbers 14:28 "So tell them, 'As sure as I live, declares

the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say.'"

In verse 22 of the same chapter, the Lord says that they

had disobeyed Him 10 times!!

This is the part where He banishes them to walk in the

wilderness for 40 years...40 years ~ one year for each

day they explored the Land of Canaan and came back

with a murmuring and grumbling report!! (same chapter, verse 34)

What this says to me is be careful what you complain about!!

God may just say, after His mercy and grace has been depleted,

"Ok...if that is how you feel, then that is what you will get!"


They did not like the new wonderful place God had miraculously

brought them too...welllll Okkkk then...they would not get to enjoy it!!


EXCEPT for the ones that did NOT murmur and grumble ~ Caleb and

Joshua and the people who were under 20 years old.

A quote from Mark Adams' article "Whine or Shine" ~

found on the commentary website at ~

(I have a link for it now on my sidebar.)

"Negativism steals joy...the joy that our world so desperately needs and it also spreads...and grows like a snow ball rolling down a hill."

Ahhhh....there is that word again...JOY...

Check yourself this week and see how many times you catch yourself

murmuring or grumbling.

When you do, and you will, STOP and find something...anything...

to thank the Lord for. Even if it is your next breath.

Disclaimer: You have to, at times, protect yourself and stand up and

tell the truth in love, Ephesians 4:15. The type of complaining in verse 14 is a

constant undertow of murmuring and "harping" about the same thing

ad nauseam. There is a big difference!

We will talk about verse 15 next week!!

Until next week,

Debbie G.

P. S. My Mom's Recipe For "Salad Dressing Cake"
or a.k.a "Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake"...
1 C. Sugar, 4 Tablespoons Cocoa, 2 C. Flour, 1 C. Miracle Whip, 1 C. Warm Water, 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda, 1 Teaspoons vanilla. Sift the sugar, flour, cocoa together. Mix the salad dressing, warm water, in which the soda has been dissolved, together. Combine ingredients, add vanilla. Pour into a greased 8x8 baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. If you are making this into cupcakes, it will make 30-32.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Philippians 2:12

Hello Everyone!!

How has your week been?

Mine has been laden with a stress mine field and...

I stepped on a couple of them this week!
So, let's start off with some laughter,

which God has given us to relieve that volcano-erupting-feeling inside.

I promised some more of my favorite comedian,

Chonda Pierce, so may I present Chonda in "Weird Things Happen to Me"...

(plz excuse the "fuzziness")

No...nothing weird like that has happened to me...what about you? that we have laughed and are stress free, (?)

let's keep digging in our glorious treasure mine of God's Word.

Let's use our "pick" and dig out a precious nugget
this week, that will:

comfort us,

strengthen us

and give us wisdom. Amen.

Philippians 2:12 (New International Version)

(12) "
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling..."

≈≈Therefore≈≈in other words,
  • because Jesus gave His life for us
  • because He humbled Himself
  • because He became a Servant
  • because He became obedient to death (previous posts ~ verses 5-11)...

here is how you should live...

With Integrity...!

"Integrity in the faith is something that is revealed in the hidden times more than in the public times. Bill Hybels had a great title for one of his books, "Who You Are When No One's Looking".

It is the reminder that who we are when no one is looking is who we really are. We can all maintain a certain image when we are in church. But the real test of faith is when we are outside of the church. The goal of the Christian is to live consistently. Will Rogers perhaps summed it up well, "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip." (Bruce Goettsche)

I have been in situations before and thank the good Lord

that I had the presence of mind to ask myself...

"How would you act if you knew a camera was recording

your every move and spoken word ~

and could be REPLAYED back to the person you were talking about? "

Not always...

but more and more the Holy Spirit is prompting me

with this thought.

A good description of "integrity" is:

"The state of being whole and undivided."

Paul goes on to describe exactly what he means,

by listing 3 life principles that all truly appreciative Christians should embrace,

starting with verses 12-18.

For today's post, we will discuss the first principle:

"...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling..."


Many have misinterpreted this Scripture to mean that you have to work FOR

your salvation. Paul was talking to Christians here in Philippians...

(Chapters 1:1 & 3:20)

Martyn Lloyd Jones writes that

"Working out what God has worked the practical exhortation of the New Testament gospel to us today. I must now perfect this thing which has been given to me. The seed has been planted; I have been given it in embryo. My business is to allow and to encourage this gift to grow and develop, until it comes to its final perfection and full maturity. I have got the gift: I need not be worried lest God is not present and not with me. God is working in me and I must develop it all I can."

J. Vernon McGee writes:

"Salvation needs to be worked in before it can be worked out.

After you are saved, God will talk to you about works."

Let's look at the exact meaning of the words, "work out"

and you'll see what Paul is getting at.

This little word is translated from the Greek word "katergazesthe"...

and it was the same word the Roman historian STRABO,

The Greek geographer Strabo in a 16th century engraving.
The Greek historian and geographer Strabo in a 16th century engraving.

used when he gave an account of the once-famous silver mines of Spain.

Strabo wrote of WORKING OUT these mines,

meaning that the owners were to operate the mines

in a manner that would gather the utmost value from them.

Understand-the mine's owners already had the mines in their possession.

But now they were to derive the full benefit of their ownership by WORKING OUT

all the ore from the various shafts and tunnels.

(Seems like we are talking a lot about mines this time!)

Question: How are practical ways we "work out" our salvation today?

"Fear and trembling..."

The fear of the Lord is ~ reverential trust.

Trembling here expresses profound reverence and respect.

Do you worship God for His attributes?

Don't know them?...look in the back of your Bible

and see if you have a "Subject Index" or "Subject by Topics".

Or you may own a Topical Bible ~ same thing.

(This is not a Concordance which is an alphabetical list of words in the Bible.)

Search for "God" and look under the sub-title of "attributes".

Don't have one? Email me and I will be happy to help you.

Do you trust God with your life, or have reverential trust, no matter what?...

No matter what the doctor says,

No matter what your parents may have said or not said about you,

No matter what your spouse says or doesn't say about you,

No matter that you are having trouble with your children or grandchildren,

No matter that your life has not been the "dream" you thought it would be,

No matter that you are worried about your finances,

No matter that you are worried about your future,

...Do you trust God with your life, no matter what???

Until next week,

Go with God and He will go with you,

Debbie G.

(Resources used:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Philippians 2:8-11

Hello Everyone!

Here is a great reminder about the Fireproof movie coming up
Friday, September 26!
Click on "Watch Videos" and you will be amazed. I think that the PG rating must come from some of the intense scenes with the firemen's traumatic rescue scenes. There is ABSOLUTELY no bad language or intimate scenes that your children should not see. It is about marriage and "Never Leaving Your Partner Behind". How do I know? Read my left sidebar about the movie for more details. I know Bob and I are going to go that Friday night or Saturday matinee or evening. Anyone here in the Franklin area want to go with us and get lunch or dinner before or after the movie...? Or make this a date with your will never regret it!!

Now we are continuing with Philippians 2:8-11,

where we are discussing how we are to imitate

Christ's humility.

Or as I said last week, "Rejoicing in Christ as the Pattern of Our Life".

I noticed in my New International Version Bible

that the verses from 6 through 11 were indented

and were typed with more space between the lines

with no reference that would indicate that these

verses were found in another section of the Bible.

Did anyone else notice that?

After dutifully reading in the front of my Bible

in the Preface, (read boring) I saw where these

verses are in a poetic form.

This "poem" is beautiful!!

Speaking of poems...

in my research on these verses,

I was blessed to come across "poems" by

Ruth Harms Calkin.

I say "poems" because

they are more like "prayer poems" ~ w.o.w.

They are powerful, thought provoking, showing her

transparent feelings and "being real" feelings.

Our topic this week::::::::::Servanthood::::::::::!!!

Get ready...fasten your seat is Miss Ruth's "poem" on servanthood:

“You know Lord, how I like to serve You with great emotional fervor in the limelight. You know how eagerly I speak for You at Women’s Clubs. You know how I effervesce when I promote a fellowship group. You know my genuine enthusiasm at Bible study....
... But, how would I react, I wonder, if You pointed at a basin of water?
And asked me to wash the calloused feet of a bent and wrinkled old woman?
  • Day after day
  • Month after month
  • In a room where nobody saw and nobody knew.”
----Ruth Harms Calkin (Added bullets for emphasis, are mine.) my daughter says on her blog...Yelp....

Here is a link to a short autobiography about Miss Ruth:

Here is a link to more of Miss Ruth's "prayer poems":

My mom enjoyed reading Helen Steiner Rice poems and I

"kinda" liked them. But Miss Ruth's "poems" really touch my soul

Are there any other of you precious readers out there in blog world

that have read and enjoyed Miss Ruth's work before now?

Please comment and tell us what you think of Miss Ruth's "poems". let's get to the Word of God!!

Verses 8-11:
(8) "And being found in appearance as
a man,
He humbled Himself
and became obedient to
even death on a cross!
(9) Therefore God exalted Him to
the highest place
and gave Him the name that is
above every name,
(10) that at the name of Jesus every
knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and
under the earth,
(11) and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."

(Some capitalizations are mine)

Did you notice that from verse 5 (last week's post) to 11,

there is a building of honor and emotion?

It reminds me of one of my most favorite

chapters in the Bible ~ Romans 8 ~

I appreciate how there is a cresendo of praise

at the end in both passages.

Now...let's see (again)...who wrote Romans 8? ~

oh yeah...Paul (again!)

Verse 8 ~ "He became obedient to death" ~

a servant.

The best leader has a servant's heart.

As Christians, we have the best Leader ever,

because He was the best Servant for us.


I pray that I never move out of the sphere of teachability.

May we have submissive acceptance of the will of God

as it comes in the hour's event of each day.

Not one of us knows if we will be alive in the next minute.

We have this present moment.

(Hmmmmm....sounds like someone who is chained

to a Roman guard and not 100% sure he will make it

out of that jail.)

Verse 9 ~ "God exalted Him to the highest place." ~

On earth, Jesus was crowned with thorns. (Matthew 27:29)

In heaven He is crowned with glory and honor. (Revelation 5:12-14)

In heaven, He is given a Name that is above every name! (Revelation 19:16)

The first time He came to earth, He came as a humble, innocent and may I say

"vulnerable" baby.

The second time He comes to earth,

He will come as our Warrior King,

sitting upon a white horse. (Revelation 19:11)

Here is a link to look up Scriptures not printed out.

Here is a link below for a hymn that celebrates these verses:

(No fancy music at cyberhymnal, but maybe you will recognize the song.

Friendly reminder: you will have to turn off my Playlist to listen.) smileys

Verse 10 ~ " the name of Jesus every knee should bow..."

Verse 11 ~ "...every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord..."

Every tongue shall profess openly that Christ is Lord.

In a manner of speaking, the tongue confesses that to which the knee bows.

(This passage does not teach that ultimately all the lost will be saved,

as taught by some "groups".)

"Again we see the vindication of servanthood. Christ was willing to make others more important than Himself and now God has made Christ eternally more important than anyone else."
(Dwight Edwards)

It is interesting to note that when a ruling dignitary approaches his subjects, they all rise in respect. One day as a British king entered a room and everyone stood, he said,

“Please take your seats, gentlemen. I’m not the Lord, you know.”

“No, Your Highness,” replied one of the group. “If you were, we would have dropped to our knees.”

"And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, 'To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever'. And the four living creatures kept saying, 'Amen'. And the elders fell down and worshiped." (Rev 5:13-14)


Practical Application:

If you are a family with children or teenagers "under your wing", plan to talk to them around the dinner table about this subject of servanthood with Jesus as our Example. Make a tradition to have each family member say who they served that day. Give examples. Talk about this being the antidote for being self-centered ~ w.o.w.

If you are single or empty nesters, ask God to bring someone your way each day to serve. Ask for Divine appointments. Write them down in a journal. Or when you lay your head on your pillow each night, make a habit of reviewing your day and remembering who you served that day or share with your spouse.

Until next week, go with God and worship Him every day and see who you can serve today!

Debbie G.

(Resources used:

Friday, September 5, 2008

Philippians 2:1-7

Hello Everyone!

We are starting the 2
nd Chapter of Philippians!!

As a reminder, here is the Book of Philippians outline presented in the 3rd post ~

titled "Let's Get Started!"

I. Rejoicing in Christ as the Principle of Life (Chapter 1:1-11)

II. Rejoicing in Christ as the Pattern of Life (Chapter 2:1-30)

III. Rejoicing in Christ as the Prize of Life (Chapter 3:1-21)

IV. Rejoicing in Christ as the Power of Life (Chapter 4:1-23 )

Soooo..we are starting on "Rejoicing in Christ as the Pattern of Life".

The main topic this week will be tadummmm....."Humility".

But before we talk about humility, let's start with Chapter 2:

Verses 1-2:

"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose." (New International Version, some capitalizations are mine.)

  • If you have encouragement from Christ
  • If you have any comfort from His love
  • If you have any fellowship with the Holy Spirit
    • (Do you allow the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide you?)
  • If you have any, (not all, I think) of these graces present in your life,
then, the result will be peace, joy,


and tender mercies.

Don't you just love the sound of those two words ~

"tender mercies"? Beeeeeeautiful!

Unity will prevail, differences will be dissolved, bickering will cease

and estrangements will be completely healed. Easier said than done ~ right?

Paul said that his joy would be complete ~ filled up to the full ~

full and running over when he would see this unity of heart, soul and mind!

We parents know how we feel when our children,

from the babes to the adult ones,

get along and show love to each other.

This is what Paul was saying; when he sees this...

his heart is full of joy...

full and running over.

Now this UNITY would require some humility on our part.

Verses 3-4:

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."

If we would do this, would we have unity or at least more unity?

What do you think?

But you say..."That is not possible all the time, 24/7."

It can be a process...what can our model be?


Verses 5-7

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness."

Some humility is good.

Some humility is bad.

Some pride is good.

Some pride is bad.

This week, we are going to spotlight the bad humility.

This bad humility is:

**when we think too little of ourselves,

**when we are afraid to be human...

**when we are harder on ourselves and one another than God is...

**when we refuse to accept that God has lavished the grace of Christ upon us...

**when we fail to accept our calling...

**when we refuse to celebrate our unique gifts and abilities.

The root word for “humility” and “humble” is humus,

meaning “rich earth,” or dirt—

the material out of which humans are made
in Genesis.

But that doesn’t mean we have to grovel.

Indeed, when the Spirit breathes life into humanity we are,

to use one theologian’s phrase, “inspired mud pies,”

God-breathed, and created in God’s image—

and that’s something we can be proud of!!

Please allow me to "preach" to me and you for a few lines...

Our example is Jesus, as stated in verses 5-7.

Do you think Jesus...

**Thought too little of Himself?

**Was afraid to be human?

**Put Himself down over and over in His thought life?

**Refused to accept that the love of the Father was lavished on Him?

**Failed to accept His calling?

**Refused to celebrate His unique gifts and abilities?

Ouch...Double Ouch!!

Quotes on humility from the article I used for a resource.

(I also used portions of the article for some of this blog.)

"Humility is thinking of ourselves less, not thinking less of ourselves."

"I know people who have a low self esteem and are very proud and others with a high self esteem and very humble. Humility is acknowledging God as your everything while appreciating the gifts, talents and uniqueness he has given you."

"True humility would EMBRACE

the gifts that Christ bestowed through His grace, recognizing the origin of and purpose behind those gifts - to glorify God and help to raise up a generation behind us that would do the same." (Amen!)

"A good friend once told me, 'Humility is the courage to be who you really are...'"

"Humility...could be a cure for shame. I can testify that in the humility of living life before God as if He were indeed God and I was not, and growing in the knowledge that He dearly loves me and all His grace is there for me in Jesus, there is a wonderful freedom to blossom
into all that He has made me to be. There is no fear, no shame or crippling self-consciousness; simply a joy of moving and being in His presence no matter what I'm doing. There is a total freedom to learn from Him, run to Him when I mess up or see the darkness that sometimes is in my heart--- and rejoice when He calls me to move in whatever He's doing at the moment. Biblically, grace and genuine humility go hand in hand, and it is a sweet gift that sets free."

"Ah! Yes! A struggle not unknown to me...daily evidence is my constant apologizing for things...such as the quality of the meal I have provided for my family. So the trick is to love ourselves and lift our heads...yet not become arrogant or hold others in contempt..after all, if HE loves us..."

Yep, that is where I am coming from ~ that last quote.

I don't think I hold others in contempt...

I hope not.

So they do not do things the way I do them...

who says my way is the right way?

For sure I do not do things the right way....

I would love to hear your thoughts about the "wrong side of humility".

God bless your week,

Debbie G.


After Bible Study Chit-Chat...

Here is a video link to a favorite easy dessert ~ Jello Cake or a.k.a Poke Cake!

Please click on the words "Jello Cake..." and it will appear!!