Sunday, August 23, 2009

End of Philippians

Hello Everyone!

I fixed this skillet dinner last night for supper and thought as I was eating it...

This would be a great recipe for the blog!!

This recipe was given to me during one of our MOMS Group cooking classes

that we had at our last church.

The recipe was given to us by Tina Dryer.

This dish has such a great flavor and the apples in it are......yummmmm!!

(Shoulda taken a picture of it in the skillet, but oh time! :D)

Sausage Skillet Dinner
Serves 4

12 oz. Smoked Sausage Link
2 Tablespoons Water
1 Medium Onion
2 Small Red Apples
2 Tablespoons Butter, divided
12 oz. Bag of Frozen Potato Wedges
1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
3 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Caraway Seeds
2 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Parsley

Place sausage and water in a large skillet; cover tightly and cook over medium heat 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cut onion into 12 wedges; core and cut apple into 8 wedges. Remove sausage to warm platter. Pour off drippings. Cook and stir onion and apples in 1 Tablespoon of butter in same skillet, 4 minutes or until apples are crisp-tender. Remove to sausage platter.

Heat remaining 1 Tablespoon butter; add potatoes and cook, covered over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown. Stir occasionally. Combine vinegar, sugar and caraway seeds. Reduce heat; return sausage, apple mixture and vinegar mixture to skillet. Cook minute or until heated through, stir gently. Sprinkle with parsley.

  • I used fresh (raw) potatoes instead of the frozen. I used about 4 medium potatoes, cut into each into 8 wedges
  • I put the potatoes in with the apples and the onions
  • I used turkey sausage links
  • I used dried parsley


Now we come to our last posting for Philippians.....

yes, it is true. We started out on this journey July 1, 2008!!!

Over one year ~ Z.O.W.E.E.!!!!

A lot has happened during that time.

Our last post for Philippians will highlight verse 4:13 and verse 4:19:

Verse 13:

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." ~ King James Version

"I can do everything though Him who gives me strength." ~ New International Version

"Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One Who

makes me Who I am." ~ The Message Bible

Kinda reminds me of this:

The following are excerpts from:

Rich Cather
Philippians Sermon Notes
Calvary Chapel, Fullerton, CA
(Frequent Use of Illustrations)

...found ~ where else but ~ ~ My all time favorite

online Commentary!! Whoo Hooo!!

Click here for the entire sermon for Philippians 4:10-23, dated 12.18.02.

Pastor Cather says:

"I can be strong through Christ who endues me with strength.

Jesus’ power in me...

The power to be 'content' in all circumstances comes from Jesus.
I think we sometimes hear this verse being used as some sort of promise of supernatural strength to pick up cars and wrestle evil-doers.
But there is a context here. God doesn’t give us a blank check for strength to do anything.

I’m not sure that God gives us strength to rip apart phone books.

I know that God doesn’t give us strength to commit sin.

I think we need to keep in mind that the 'all things' refers to learning to 'abase' (be humble) and 'abound' and still be 'content'.
God gives us strength to do His will.

(John 15:5 KJV) "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

Jesus can give us the strength to live with less."

Amen, Pastor Cather!!

What I hear him saying is that you have to read the whole chapter

to know what Verse 13 means. He gives us strength to live our lives

when the dream we had of what our life would be....

is not.

He gives us strength to journey through the pot holes of life,

through the twists and turns,

through the almost driving into the left lane,

through almost going off of the road, into the ditch,

through running a red light.....

Thank you, Jesus.

Verse 19:

But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory Christ Jesus."
~ King James Version

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
~ New International Version

"You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, His generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus."
~ The Message Bible

Again from Pastor Cather:

"God takes care of givers.

Keep in mind the context.
This is a church that is giving sacrificially.
I’m not sure that we should be using this verse as an unconditional blank check that God will always provide all that we need.
This is a common verse that people will 'claim'. Any person who has financial problems is encouraged by hearing this verse, as if God is going to always rescue you in the nick of time.
I think that in reality there may be times when God allows us to go through 'tough times' to get our attention.
The promise of this verse is towards those who are learning to give as God would lead them.
Do you pay attention to God’s promptings to give? Are you a person who has a regular habit of giving?
Are you supporting the ministries that God is using in your life and in the lives of others?

The Philippians supported Paul and they supported the poor in


Dr. Helen Roseveare, missionary to Zaire (formerly the Belgian Congo), told the following story: A mother at our mission station died after giving birth to a premature baby. We tried to improvise an incubator to keep the infant alive, but the only hot water bottle we had was beyond repair. So during devotions that morning we asked the children to pray for the baby and for her little sister who was now an orphan. One of the girls responded, 'Dear God, please send a hot water bottle today. Tomorrow will be too late because by then the baby will be dead. And dear Lord, send a doll for the sister so she won't feel so lonely.' That afternoon a large parcel arrived from England. Eagerly the children watched as we opened it. Much to their surprise, under some clothing was a hot water bottle! Immediately the girl who had prayed so earnestly started to delve deeper, exclaiming, 'If God sent that, I'm sure He also send at doll'. And she was right! The Heavenly Father knew in advance of the child's sincere requests, and 5 months before, He had led a ladies group to include both of those specific articles."
Thank you, Pastor Cather, for your sermon and great illustration!!

God WILL supply our needs, not our wants.

Thank you, Lord for being our Provision.

I want to end this study with a little review from Kay Arthur:

Philippians 1 – you can have joy despite imprisonment because Christ is your life
Philippians 2 – you can have joy despite people because Christ is your mind
Philippians 3 – you can have joy despite things because Christ is your goal
Philippians 4 – you can have joy despite circumstances because Christ is your
sufficiency, your strength

Chapter 1's review caught me a little off guard. But I think she is saying

that Paul was in prison when he wrote Philippians. We can be in our

own type of prison, also.

I pray that the book of Philippians is more real to you, now.

I pray that the words that God wanted you to read

and remember will be sealed in your heart until we see Him

on that glorious day ~ Amen!!

Striving to have real joy in my life,

Debbie G.

PS..."stayed tuned" for's next series!! (hint...think of the word "protect")

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Philippians 4:11 ~ Contentment

Hello Everyone!

Our Scripture for this post is Philippians 4:11-12 ~

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." ~ New International Version

"Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally. I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty." ~ The Message Bible

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." ~ King James Version

"Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little." ~ New Living Translation



What a word for today.

What a wonderful word to explore for today's society,

that...includes you and me!

What words pop
into your mind when you read the word "contentment"?


Being Still?



That's what ped into my mind when I think of this word.

Here is what my computer's Thesaurus says:

  • Happiness
  • Satisfaction
  • Fulfillment
  • Pleasure
  • Cheerfulness
  • Ease
  • Comfort
  • Well Being
  • Serenity
  • Tranquility is Paul, the author of Philippians, writing this book while

chained to a Roman guard.

But he has with these feelings of contentment

running through him like a might river!!

Could I do that?

Could you do that?

When I have a frustrating day at work, i.e., lots of interruptions,

office machine malfunctions, a project taking waaaaayyy too long

because of the process I am stuck with, coffee spilling all over my


I want to lean toward losing my peace...

letting my frustration volumize up in me like a rolling stream

of lava from a volcano.

Arenal Volcano eruption September 2003

I must stop that more often and become THANKFUL for my job.

It is a gift from God. A TRUE Gift from God.

Everyone is so nice to me there!


In research for this word at,

I found this sermon dated November 13, 2005 from Pastor Mark Adams

of Redland Baptist Church in Rockville, Maryland.

It is entitled, "Crossing From Covetousness To Contentment".

Pastor Adams states in his sermon that the opposite of contentment,

discontentment, starts with self-centeredness.

An "It's all about me" attitude.

This is not a Biblical way to live.

Jesus' example to us while He was here on earth was servanthood.

This started way back in the Garden of Eden.

Eve's sin was discontentment.

Pastor Adams says:

... in his book, Authentic Faith, Gary Thomas puts it this way. He says,

"Contentment is nothing more than 'soul rest.' It is satisfaction, peace, assurance, and a sense of well-being that is cultivated by pursuing the right things. Instead of more power, more money, more pleasure, and more control, ...we seek an 'abundance' of grace and peace...contentment is the opposite of striving, aching, restlessness, and worry."

As Bill Hybels says, "Contentment has more to do with focus than finances."

W.O.W. ~ leave it to Pastor Hybels to hit the nail on top of the head

In another sermon that Pastor Adams preached, entitled

"It Is Well With My Soul"

he told the story of an elderly woman named Mable.

(Warning....this is looonnngg, but sooooo worth it....)

"In his book, Trying to be Good, Bob Schmidt tells about a friend he made in a state-run convalescent hospital—an elderly woman whose name was Mabel. He writes,

The hospital was not a pleasant place. It is large, understaffed, and overfilled with senile and helpless, lonely people who are basically waiting to die. On the brightest of days it seems dark inside, and smells of sickness and stale urine. I went there once or twice a week for three years, but I never wanted to go there, and I always left with a sense of relief. One Mother’s Day I was walking in a hallway that I had not visited before, looking in vain for a few who were alive enough to receive a flower and a few words of encouragement. This particular hallway seemed to contain some of the worst cases, strapped onto carts of into wheelchairs and looking completely helpless. As I neared the end of this hallway, I saw an old woman strapped up in a wheelchair. Her face was an absolute horror. The empty stare and white pupils of her eyes told me she was blind. The large hearing aid over one ear told me she was almost deaf. One side of her face was being eaten by cancer. There was a discolored and running sore covering part of one cheek, and it had pushed her nose to one side, dropped on eye, and distorted her that what should have been the corner of her mouth was the bottom of her mouth. As a consequence, she drooled constantly.

I was told later that when NEW nurses arrived, the supervisors would send THEM to feed this woman, thinking that if they could stand this sight they could stand anything in the building. I also learned later that this woman was eighty-nine years old and that she had been here, bedridden, blind, nearly deaf, and alone, for twenty-five years. This was Mabel. I don’t know why I spoke to her—she looked less likely to respond than most of the people I saw in that hallway. But I put a flower in her hand and said, ‘Here is a flower for you. Happy Mother’s Day.’ She held the flower up to her face and tried to smell it, and then she spoke. Much to my surprise, her words, although somewhat garbled because of her deformity, were obviously produced by a clear mind. She said, ‘Thank you. It’s lovely. But can I give it to someone else? I can’t see it, you know, I’m blind.’ I said, ‘Of course,’ and pushed her in her chair back down the hallway to a place where I thought I could find some alert patients. I found one, and I stopped the chair. Mabel held out the flower and said, ‘Here, this is from Jesus.’ That was when it began to dawn on me that this was not an ordinary human being.

Later I wheeled her back to her room and learned more about her history. She had grown up on a small farm that she managed with only her mother until her mother died. Then she ran the farm alone until 1950 when her blindness and sickness sent her to the convalescent hospital. For 25 years she got weaker and sicker, with constant headaches, backaches, and stomachaches, and then the cancer came.

Her three roommates were all human vegetables who screamed occasionally but never talked. They often soiled their bedclothes, and because the hospital was understaffed—especially on Sundays when I usually visited—the stench was often overpowering. Mabel and I became friends over the next few weeks and I went to see her once or twice a week for the next three years. Her first words to me were usually an offer of hard candy from a tissue box near her bed. Some days I would read to her from the Bible and often when I would pause she would continue reciting the passage from memory, word-for-word. On other days I would take a book of hymns and sing with her, and she would know all the words of the old songs.

For Mabel, these were not merely exercises in memory. She would often stop in mid-hymn and make a brief comment about lyrics she considered particularly relevant to her own situation. I never heard her speak of loneliness or pain except in the stress she placed on certain lines in certain hymns. During one hectic week of final exams I was frustrated because my mind seemed to be pulled in ten directions at once with all of that things that I had to think about.
The question occurred to me, ‘What does Mabel have to think about—hour after hour, day after day, week after week, not even able to know if it’s day or night?’

So I went to her and asked, ‘Mabel, what do you think about when you lie here?’ And she said, ‘I think about my Jesus.’ I sat there, and thought for a moment about the difficulty, for me of thinking about Jesus for even five minutes and I asked, ‘What do you think about Jesus?’ She replied slowly and deliberately: ‘I think about how good He’s been to me. He’s been awfully good to me in my life, you know. I’m one of those kind who’s most satisfied...most CONTENTED...because of His friendship. Lots of folks would think I’m kind of old-fashioned. But I don’t care. I’d rather have Jesus. He’s all the world to me.’ An then Mabel began to sing an old hymn: ‘Jesus is all the world to me, my life, my joy, my all. He is my strength from day to day, Without Him I would fall. When I am sad, to Him I go, No other one can cheer me so. When I am sad, He makes me glad. He’s my friend.’

Mabel was a great student of contentment wasn’t she? She graduated with honors! It didn’t matter how much pain and sorrow—or how unfair life was for her—she had learned to trust and love her Lord. She developed a close relationship with Him—a relationship that satisfied her deepest longing...and that enabled her to be content even in her horrible circumstances—it gave her a peace like a river. It made her soul WELL."

I can think of no other way to end this but to play

"It Is Well With My Soul".

If you would like more information about the history of this

wonderful hymn, beyond what is in the video;

click on the link for Pastor Adams sermon entitled the

same name. Pastor Adams adds details that I had never

heard before.

Allow me to say as Pastor Adams did in his sermon...

"Let me ask—how are YOU doing when it comes to learning this vital lesson? How content are you? Have you become able to trust God no matter what happens?"

Let's work on our thankfulness and serving others,

Debbie G.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Philippians 4:8~Admirable and Moral Excellence

Hello Everyone!

We are talking about the last part of Philippians 4:8 on this post ~

the portion in red below:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." Philippians 4:8 NIV

I have been reading the Holman Christian Standard Bible since the first of the year and I liked the way they translated the last portion of this verse:

"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things."

The phrase ~ "moral excellence" jumped out at me.

So.....this post that is what we are "dwelling on".

Below are just a few of the images I found on Google

when I searched for "moral excellence".

Moral Excellence in the first one is represented by the lantern or yard light,

I think...what do you think?

This one, I am not sure about...
what do you think?

On the last one, please tell me how a "tip truck"
encourages moral excellence?

tip truck

Product ID: A-20

tip truck

"The products are designed with new ideas. They are unique and neoteric. They can promote the youngster and children to develop in moral education, intellectual education, physical culture, moral excellence and physical labor.

A tip truck with candies. This is a toy looks like a truck, and inside it there are some ball candies.They are unique and neoteric."

We Christians are in controversy over moral excellence.

We feel that we have to be politically correct.

We feel as though we are going to be hated if we stand up for Biblical morals.

We feel that we must go along with the majority and keep the peace.

We feel that we must present a cotton candy gospel.

Hopefully, by the end of this post,

we will all be more comfortable with moral excellence

and DWELLING or thinking about things that are morally excellent.




Why should we do this ~ have and think about moral excellence?

Because in verse 9, it says this will bring us PEACE!

Moral excellence is leaving our country as fast as a helium balloon

is released from a child's hand.

It rushes to the sky, never to be seen again, in the original form!

Perfect example was the situation we had in Nashville, this past July 4th.

Steve McNair, former quarterback of the Tennessee Titans,

whom police say was murdered by his mistress.

Here is one quote from an article written by Dan Levy for the Washington Post:

"This quote in The Tennessean, (The Tennessean is Nashville's main newspaper) taken from a fan who drove up from Kentucky to Nashville just to be near the place McNair was gunned down, is something I'm still not able to wrap my head around.

'Anyone can get famous,' said (Kelly) McCracken, who attends five or more Titans games a year. 'But it takes a genuinely moral person to be a leader. He wasn't just a football player, he was a leader.'

That quote is so wrongheaded on so many levels. First, one's morality has nothing to do with his or her ability to lead. Just ask anyone on The Hill about that one and see how long it takes before they stop laughing. Second, if it takes a genuinely moral person to be a leader, and Ms. McCracken is surmising that because of that McNair was in fact a leader, it's fascinating to think this quote came from someone outside the CRIME SCENE OF HIS MURDER WHERE HE WAS FOUND WITH HIS MISTRESS.

Where exactly are the morals in any of this? Can someone tell me, after all that's been reported, has anything fallen into the 'morals' clause of the contract? But this is what we do. Because a man was tough on the football field -- and toughness is something we laud in our gridiron greats -- we salute him for being admirable off the field as well. Clearly, at least in his personal life, that was not the case."

To view the whole article, click here.

Here is a definition of moral excellence from an online dictionary:

Noun: moral excellence

  1. The quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong
    - virtue, virtuousness

Derived forms: moral excellences

Type of: good, goodness

Here is a question and answer from


Do you believe in moral relativism that there are no moral truths and that morality is simply an individual's definition of right and wrong?


Yes of course what individuals believe may have been influenced by society and culture and others are scared into believing stuff (Eg believing in a religion because of the 'risks' mentioned if you dont believe) but i personally believe that right and wrong is a matter of opinion but many choose to live in harmony with others by adopting the same morals as the majority.

Here is what Aristotle

thought about moral excellence:

Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.

Aristotle quotes (Ancient Greek Philosopher, Scientist and Physician, 384 BC-322 BC)

The bad news in that quote is that we humans are fallible ~ we mess up!

No matter how many times we try...we cannot do life by ourselves!

The good news is that we have Help.

We have a Helper with a capital "H"!!

Romans 8

tells us how to have moral excellence by asking God for help

instead of trying to do life by ourselves and our own measly thoughts

and ideas.

Romans 8 tell us how to live life with God's help.

In my Holman Christian Standard Bible, the title for Romans 8 is

"The Life-Giving Spirit".

In my New International Version Bible, the title is

"Life Through the Spirit".

In my Message Bible, the title is

"The Solution Is Life On God's Terms".

This is one of my most favorite chapters in the Bible for many reasons.

One, being verse 11:

"And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who lives in you." NIV

Verses 9-11 Message Bible-

"But God Himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of Him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about. But for you who welcome Him, in whom He dwells-even though you still experience all the limitations of sin-you yourself experience life on God's terms. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He'll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and He does, as surely as He did in Jesus), you are delivered form that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's!"

All righty then...

We have a Helper with a capital "H"!

I like the Message portion of the above verses where it says-

"-even though you still experience all the limitations of sin-".

We will still be tempted when we strive for moral excellence.

We will still fail.

We will still have problems, because we are living in this world.

But we have a Helper Who is there for us and in Whom we

have the same power that raised Christ from the dead!

The same power that ascended Christ to heaven.

We have that power in us from the Heavenly Father!


We may fail, but we have the power in us from God

to dust ourselves off and try again!

Below is the video that I was speaking of earlier.

I am presenting this video in 2 formats.

The first one has all the words included and has more of a nature-type picture background.

The second one has some of the words, but the background graphics are so amazing

to where I found myself asking-"How did they do that"?

Please enjoy both, because I could not chose between the two! :D

Please be encouraged to know who your Helper is.

Ask yourself the question-"Do I know Him"?

If you have not asked the Helper, or God to come into your life

so you do not have to do life alone,

so you do not have to try to have moral excellence alone,

NOW would be a great time to ask Him into your life

to be your Helper. Amen

Striving for moral excellence with my Helper's power,

Debbie G.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Philippians 4:8e ~ Lovely

Hello Everyone!

We are talking about thinking about things that are "LOVELY" with this


But first.....

I HAVE TO share this video with you that I found while researching

the story in 2 Kings 5 regarding Naaman. I have not quite figured out,

yet how these two connect, but I am working on it.

Here is the video that REALLY encouraged me!


Did that encourage you?

It SURE encouraged me to keep doing my little part to:

<>Give someone a smile

<> Pat someone on the back

<> To say "Thank you, I appreciate that"

<> To talk to them about having peace with God

<> To tell them about the ways of God, His miracles and His love

I think I have figured out how this video and the story of Naaman in

2 Kings 5 fit together.

The servant girl that ENCOURAGED Naaman to talk to Elisha,

the prophet, so he could be healed, was a captured servant Israeli girl.

She was one of the lowest classes of people,

yet she spoke up for Jehovah, the One True God!

She did not say much, but what she said

had an impact on her world and

even us in our 2009 world.

Her unashamed boldness to speak out and help someone

had a ripple effect on those around her

just as Mr. Frank Genor did in his world in Sydney, Australia!

At this posting, we are looking at the work "LOVELY" in Chapter 4, verse 8.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." Philippians 4:8 NIV

Lovely means:

  • That Which Excites Love
  • Endears
  • Exquisitely Beautiful
  • Very Pleasant
  • Enjoyable
The enemy of God, a.k.a Satan, want to get control of your mind.

He wants us to think about anything else BUT things that are lovely.

Satan approached Eve in the Garden of Eden,

through her mind. (2 Corinthians 11:3, Genesis 3:1-7)

What goes on in your mind CAN affect your relationships...

I am going to take quite a twist and a spin

on the word "lovely"...

I am going to go the opposite way

and talk about something totally

opposite of "lovely" ~ SIN

When we start to think about the world

and the things of this world....

it can lead to sin.

Sin...which is represented in the story of Naaman by his leprosy.

Sin and leprosy which can leave you unable to function properly,

From:The Healing of Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-19)
By: J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M.

"The pain of leprosy, at least in certain forms, was not acute because it also killed the nerves in the affected area, but it kept the victim restless, miserable, and frustrated as they felt the stigma of the disease. They saw portions of their bodies become numb, muscles atrophy (waste away), tendons contract making the hands like claws, and then the ulceration of the fingers and toes and hands and feet resulting in their loss bit by bit until the whole hand or foot was gone.
(See this link for a reflection of someone whose visited a leper colony in India.)

We must not miss the picture God wants us to see from this emphasis in Scripture. Sin is like this. Because of man’s separation from God, because of his spiritually dead condition and the hardness of his soul, he becomes insensitive, callused, restless and never satisfied. He often does not experience severe pain from his sin and waywardness, only insensitivity, restless misery, and futility, ever seeking some means of fulfillment running from one thing to another. Even in apparent prosperity and happiness, not only is there a certain amount of inner peace and true happiness missing, but their ultimate plight is death, loss, and the judgment of separation.

Because of the nature of the disease, the leper was often considered as dead; it was a kind of living death though physically alive. So men without Christ are nothing more than the living dead; though walking about they are spiritual zombies. (Ephesians 2:1)

Regardless of one’s position, honor, power, possessions, or wealth, leprosy, like sin, is no respecter of persons. Naaman was a man of position and prestige, but he was also leprous.

Finally, the leprosy of sin destroys the pleasantness and beauty (or LOVELINESS that) God meant for mankind in His creation. Sin deforms us, but in Christ we are made new creations and can be transformed into His glorious likeness.

Namaan held a high position, but had a very great problem. We need to understand that God often uses the personal failures, sicknesses, and problems of men as a means so bring them to the end of themselves and to a knowledge of the Lord and His salvation. God uses problems in life to force us to face our deeper problem, the problem of sin, and the need of God’s forgiveness and salvation in Jesus Christ. Naaman came to know the true God."

Naaman came around to think on the lovely things.

Naaman came around to think on the One True God.

Naaman came around to KNOW the One True God!

May we know Him.

May we turn our eyes away from the ugly sinful thoughts.

May we turn our eyes to the things that are true, noble, right, pure and lovely.

May we turn our eyes and thoughts to Him.

I want to leave you with this song...

May you look full in His wonderful (lovely) face ~ Amen.

Debbie G.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Philippians 4:8d ~ Pure

Hello Everyone!

Our subject this week is "Pure" from Philippians 4:8.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is PURE, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." Philippians 4:8 NIV

Please enjoy this song by Kari Jobe titled "Pure" ~

Here are the lyrics:

Your love is pure
Your love is precious
Your love is all I need
Your love surrounds me
Your love astounds me
Your love is everything

I run to You
When my heart is weak
I cling to You You’re all I seek
It’s my heart’s desire to be close to You
Here in Your arms I find my strength

Everything I want everything I hope in
Everything my heart cries out for

I am asking myself...

**Is His love all I need?

**Do I run to Him when my heart is weak?

**Do I instantly go to the most "Pure" Source of peace, strength and wisdom?

Or do I "pollute" my way with the world's way of working through my problems?

This reminds me of the thought-provoking words that I have heard

about bottled water...

On their label, these bottled water companies are sure to state that their

water is pure ~ even stating the source of the water

usually from a natural spring.

What if....What if....

this label said ~ "99% of the contents of this water is from a natural spring

AND 1% is raw sewage".....

Would we want to drink that?

Would we want to put that into our bodies?

Why then, do we ever even entertain the idea of going anywhere

else but to the PURE SOURCE of peace and contentment?


"Pure" - "Stainless" - Some thoughts leave a stain, which is difficult to erase.

David Gusik says:

"This, Paul would say, is the fruit and the food of the mind that is guarded by the peace of God; the adage 'garbage in, garbage out' is applicable here.

John MacArthur says:

"Our minds need regular cleansing.

Because we live in a fallen world our renewed minds need ongoing cleansing and refreshment. God's chief agent of purifying our thinking is His Word. (John 15:3; Eph. 5:26). The term 'pure' refers to something morally clean and undefiled. We are to dwell on what is clean, not soiled."

From Our Daily Bread:
Several years ago I read a story about a 92-year-old Christian woman who was legally blind. In spite of her limitation, she was always neatly dressed, with her hair carefully brushed and her makeup tastefully applied. Each morning she would meet the new day with eagerness.

After her husband of 70 years died, it became necessary for her to go to a nursing home where she could receive proper care. On the day of the move, a helpful neighbor drove her there and guided her into the lobby. Her room wasn't ready, so she waited patiently in the lobby for several hours.

When an attendant finally came for her, she smiled sweetly as she maneuvered her walker to the elevator. The staff member described her room to her, including the new curtains that had been hung on the windows. 'I love it,' she declared. 'But Mrs. Jones, you haven't seen your room yet,' the attendant replied. 'That doesn't have anything to do with it,' she said. 'Happiness is something you choose. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how it's arranged. It's how I arrange my mind.'"

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.


Debbie G.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Philippians 4:8c ~ Right

Hello Everyone!

I found a great Strawberry Cake recipe last week and I wanted to share it with you.

Mrs. Dodd's Strawberry Cake

1 Box Strawberry Cake mix
1 Quart fresh strawberries
3/4-1 Cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of the berries)
1 Tub of cream cheese frosting or 1 Tub of Cool Whip

  • Wash and slice strawberries
  • Pour sugar over the strawberries
  • Bake the cake according to directions in desired size of pan
  • Poke holes in the top of the COOLED cake
  • Pour strawberries and juice over the cake
  • Heat cream cheese frosting until it slightly boils
  • Drizzle frosting over the cake
  • Optional ~ Spread Cool Whip over the cake

This cake is soooooooooooo moist,

you can almost wring out the liquid!!!!!!!!!

Depending on your sweet tooth,

you would need to decide which topping you would prefer.

The cream cheese frosting is much sweeter, of course,

than the Cool Whip. You have to heat up the frosting

because it is nearly impossible to spread it over the

strawberries. You must drizzle...(hehehehe!!!)

Now, on to our Bible Study this week about "Right"........

We are talking about the battlefield of our minds.

Clearly, the Apostles Paul's thought life

was at the heart of the contentment, peace and joy

that he had learned in every situation.

(Philippians 4:10-12)

At commentary,

I find wonderful comments on this Scripture.

Here are some things to "think about" for the general theme of

our thought life before we


into the word ~ "Right".

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is RIGHT, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things." Philippians 4:8 NIV

Dwight Pentecost offers a practical thought regarding this verse noting that...

"The greatest area of sin in the believer’s life is not the area of actions but the area of thought. There is a whole classification of sins that we would have to call sins of the mind. What was the first sin of Lucifer? It was pride. What is that? A sin of the mind. What is lust? A sin of the mind. What is covetousness? A sin of the mind. Greed? A sin of the mind. Suspicion? A sin of the mind. Discouragement? A sin of the mind. We could go on and on. Those sins are more real to the child of God than such sins as adultery and murder and theft. That is a testimony to the fact that there is a warfare going on. Satan is attacking the mind. Therefore this word of the Apostle Paul concerning the use we make of our minds is so relevant to us today: meditate, ruminate, dwell on these things." (Pentecost, J. D. The Joy of Living: A study of Philippians. Kregel Publications)

Pastor Steven Cole introduces Philippians 4:8 with the following comments...

"Mark Twain wrote,

What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. All day long, the mill of his brain is grinding, and his thoughts, not those other things, are his history. (Reader’s Digest [1/93], p. 155).

I would modify Twain by saying that our thought life forms the basis for and is largely revealed in our actions and words. But Twain’s comments correctly affirm that our thought life composes a major part of who we really are."

Right (1342) (dikaios) refers to that which conforms to the perfect standard of God's righteousness. We know from Romans that the "good works" that God requires (they are "right") do not come from our good intentions, but originate out of faith that obeys. Dikaios describes whatever is in perfect harmony with God’s eternal, unchanging standards, as revealed in Scripture.

Zoweee....that last paragraph seems very unattainable for us...

That we should always think on "whatever is in perfect harmony with

God's eternal, unchanging standards".....

I REALLY don't think that that will happen until we reach heaven,

But I liked the phrase that was used...(the) "good works that God requires do not come from our good intentions, but originate out of faith that obeys."

We should, through faith in the strength that God will give us,

try to obey more and more by controlling our thought life

and think on "right" things, positive things

rather than "wrong" things, negative things

that do not line up with the Word of God.

You may do I know if what I am focusing on and

dwelling on in my thought life is "right" or "wrong"

when I do not know much of what the Bible says....

I am here to tell you that if you ask God to show you

in His Word whether what you are doing is "right"

or "wrong"....

He WILL BE faithful to show you.

You just have to be faithful to take time away from your

busy world and read His Word and ask Him!

In his message:

"Taking Control of Our Thinking"

Philippians 4:8,9

SERIES: Blueprint for Joyful Living: Philippians

©April 22, 2001 by Rev. Bruce Goettsche

Rev. Bruce Goettsche says this:
"Have you ever stopped to listen to yourself? How much time do you spend spotlighting the weaknesses of others compared to talking about their strengths? I'd bet you spend more time on the negative than you'd care to admit. Why is that? Why do we feel superior when we are tearing someone else apart? How are we better off for ridiculing the weaknesses or quirks of another?

Paul tells us we should celebrate and spotlight people's progress rather than their weakness. We should try to catch people doing things right rather than harping about the things they do wrong. We all have rough edges, we all let people down, but beating each other up over these things doesn't help anything. When we focus on the negative several things happen,

  • we develop a critical spirit rather than a positive spirit
  • we push people away rather than draw them closer
  • we hinder unity in the body of Christ by forcing people to choose sides rather than work together
  • we are a poor witness for the gospel
  • we reveal that we lack love
  • we make others tentative (timid) rather than willing to risk because they are afraid of failure and the ridicule that will follow
  • and we are inviting others to be critical of us

What is the "up side" to a negative spirit? There is no up-side. But when we are positive toward others,

  • we spur people on we give them courage and strength
  • we build a spirit of appreciation and oneness in the body of Christ
  • we find that people begin to open up to us and we discover some incredible treasure in the people around us
  • we find that people speak well of us
  • people try harder and dream bigger
  • conflict, churning, anxiety gives way to laughter, joy and peace
  • and best of all: God smiles
(Practical Application to Our Daily Lives:)
  • Are you living in God's peace or are you constantly churning?
  • Where do your thoughts go when you have some idle moments? Do you wallow in godlessness or are you feeding on the truth?
  • Are you a negative person or a positive person? Do you build people up or tear them down?
  • Are you evaluating the messages the world is subtly sending your way?
  • Are you intentional about filling your mind with the good, pure, and valuable truth of God?

I can't imagine that there isn't a single one of us who doesn't need a little improvement here. Ask God to help you and to help us. And maybe we can help each other. We'll hate it at first, but what if when we saw the negative and destructive thinking creeping up in our mind we said things like this,

  • Did you make a conscious choice to be grumpy today?
  • Would you call that a positive or a negative comment?
  • How do you think God would view this situation?
  • Do you think you may be jumping to conclusions ahead of the facts?

I hope you get the idea. It would be annoying at first (and maybe a little dangerous) but I know I would appreciate the accountability. I don't want to be a negative thinker, I want to be a Godly thinker. I don't want to suck the life out of a situation, I want to infuse life into the people and circumstances around me. I want to stand for that which is pure and not cave in to that which is not. I want to choose the good, enjoy the beautiful, pursue the noble, and I want to walk in the sweetness of God's peace. So, I hope you will encourage me to think better thoughts. I may grumble at the time . . .but I will be grateful . . . eventually. And I hope the same can be said of you."

Amen, Bro. Bruce...Amen.

Until next week,

Debbie G.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Philippians 4:8b ~ Noble

Hello Everyone!

I have 3, yes 3 videos for you to watch before we start our Bible Study.

Bob and I mailed our Red Envelope this week.

Please ask God if that is something that HE would want you to do.

Please go to and click on

"FAQ about the Red Envelope Project" ~

for more information on the details of sending the envelope.

Click on "My Bio" to find out how all of this started.

The next video is for a laugh!!

May I present Chonda Pierce, once again!

This lady of many giftings and talents from God can really SING, too! Here are the lyrics to this next video/song. They were written by Geron and Becky Davis:

Verse 1
In and out of situations
That tug-a-war at me
All day long I struggle
For answers that I need
Then I come into His presence
All my questions become clear
And for a sacred moment
No doubt can interfere

In the presence of Jehovah
God Almighty Prince of Peace
Troubles vanish hearts are mended
In the presence of the King

Verse 2
Through His love the Lord provided
A place for us to rest
A place to find the answers
In hours of distress
There is never any reason
To give up in despair
Just slip away and breathe His name
He will come and meet you there

1983, 1985 Meadowgreen Music Company

Please enjoy God's Presence as you listen!!

Since we are talking this week about thinking about what is

"Honorable, Honest, Noble or That Which Inspires Reverence or Awe....",

Philippians 4:8b

"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is NOBLE, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

(New International Version)

"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is HONORABLE, whatever is just,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable -
if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise - dwell on these things."

(Holman Christian Standard Bible)

I thought what better Subject to talk about in referring to

Honorable, Honest, Noble and Reverence....

than the Presence of God...

You may ask "How to I come into His Presence?"

It seems like such a high and mighty thing for me to even think about doing...

That is the beauty of having a personal relationship with God....

It is simple!!

We make it too hard.

All you have to do is to quiet yourself before God...

Plan to meet Him like you would plan a doctor's appointment

or a salon or beauty shop appointment...

Set aside some time....

Erase all distractions...

Turn off all of the electronic devices that come into our home....

into the gate of our homes through the airways...

Say that you need this for YOU, for YOU to be a better person,

husband, wife, mother, daughter, son, etc...

(Disclaimer ~ I am not saying that this is the ONLY way

you can talk to God. I believe that you can breathe the

name of Jesus and feel His strength and guidance.

What I am describing is A way to seek God,

especially if you are burdened down with cares.)

Say to God in that secret place, that You need more of Him,

that you need to be led and guided by Him,

because how you are doing your life is not working....

"God will surely meet you right there"....


Don't do all the talking.....

"God Almighty, Prince of Peace"

will fill you with a deep settled peace.

You will find yourself breathing deeper,

letting out a big sigh....

letting out the toxic stress and worry

that have been plaguing your mind.

You will come away, not knowing ~ possibly ~

how your situation will work out

or how it will end,

but you KNOW that you KNOW, that you KNOW

that you are not doing life alone...

that you are being supported by the Creator of this world.

The same One that made the stars,

The same One that made the mountains,

The same One that made YOU and me,

He is there for you and me.

He will never leave you or me alone or forsaken.

He is a friend that sticketh (King James Version) closer than a brother!!!

Praise God!!

"Dwell" ~ to take up residence ~ on these things this week.

Occupy, Remain, Live, Abide there this week.

In His service,

Debbie G.

PS For more information on praying in the Secret Place, read Bob Sorge's book, "Secret of the Secret Place".

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Philippians 4:8a ~ True

Hello Everyone!

I wanted to start off with some jokes I read at Readers Digest online .

With our Scripture for this week talking about thinking on things that are

good, I thought a few good clean jokes were in order.

My criteria for these is that they make me laugh out loud. Free Smileys

The first one, I had heard something similar, but I appreciated how they

expanded it!

Also...this joke reverberated, much to my horror,

of my morning today at 5:00 a.m....

We had been seeing "evidences" of something underneath our sink and

in our pantry...Free Smileys

My sweet husband set two traps late yesterday afternoon ~ out of sight, of course...

I go traipsing (don't you just love that word?) down our stairs this morning

to our kitchen....

I rounded the corner in the semi-dark and I heard a squeaking!!!!

I saw for a split second the trap on the OUTSIDE of our pantry....

It was NOT placed on the outside....

it was placed on the inside....

The pantry door was closed tightly.....

I yelled and screamed at the top of my lungs and

took the stairs two at a time, I think,

while waking my said sweet husband....

I think he thought someone was attacking me!!!!

I curled up in our bed in the fetal position and covered myself up with the

covers and said ~ "You kill it!" ~ UGH UGH UGH!!!

My hero did and I was able to stop breathing hard and my heart returned back

to its normal pitter pat after the "deed was done".....

Then...I had to RETURN to the kitchen....stepping very carefully and sweeping

the kitchen floor with my eyes at an accelerated pace....


Now on with the jokes....
Squirrels had overrun three churches in town. After much prayer, the elders of the first church determined that the animals were predestined to be there. Who were they to interfere with God's will, they reasoned. Soon, the squirrels multiplied.

The elders of the second church, deciding they could not harm any of God's creatures, humanely trapped the squirrels and set them free outside of town. Three days later, the squirrels were back.

It was only the third church that succeeded in keeping the pests away. The elders baptized the squirrels and registered them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas and Easter.
Some neighbors of my grandparents' gave them a pumpkin pie as a holiday gift. As lovely as the gesture was, it was clear from the first bite that the pie tasted bad. It was so inedible that my grandmother had to throw it away. Ever gracious and tactful, she still felt obliged to send the neighbors a note. It read "Thank you very much for the pumpkin pie. Something like that doesn't last very long in our house."
Nancy was Catholic, but her fiancé, Chris, was not. Since my friends were planning to be married in the Catholic Church, Chris made sure to listen carefully throughout their prenuptial sessions. At one meeting the priest turned to Chris and told him, "Since you are not Catholic, we shall have the ceremony without Eucharist."

Later that day, Chris was noticeably upset, so Nancy asked what was wrong. "I don't understand," he said. "How can we have the ceremony without me?"

Did anyone notice that I added a little "a" after our Scripture verse?

hmmmmm.....I wonder what that could mean?

After praying about our next verse,

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things."

I want to take each focus of thought, separately.

This week, we are going to talk about "whatever is true".

But first I want to start with talking about our thought life.

The following is from,

the online Bible Commentary I use ALOT!!

(Their link is also found on my left sidebar under "links" ~ "Online Commentary".)


READ: Philippians 4:4-9

Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, . . . meditate on these things. —Philippians 4:8
In some ways humans are inferior to animals. I have seen some incredibly strong men, but never one 'as strong as an ox'. Men can run 100 meters in under 10 seconds, but that doesn't begin to compare with the speed of a cheetah. There are people who have an uncanny sense of direction, but even they can't explain how migrating swallows can return unerringly to the same place year after year.

Yes, some animals are intelligent, but none of them can think as we can. No animal could ever have developed today's amazing society with all its medical and technological advances.

A human's unique ability to think enables him to have thoughts about God and eternity. The famous American poet Walt Whitman found this to be troubling. He said that he often envied the cattle that graze contentedly in a meadow, because they never worry or dwell on troublesome thoughts.

As Christians, we know that the ability to think is a God-given gift. But sad to say, we can misuse it by entertaining thoughts that are vulgar, foul, and mean. Paul told us to meditate on whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, praiseworthy, and of good report (Philippians 4:8).

Lord, help us to discipline our thoughts. —Herbert Vander Lugt

Of all God's creatures only man
Can worship, meditate, and plan;
The gift of thought sets him apart
To love the Lord with all his heart. —D. De Haan

Godly character is shaped by Godly thoughts."

**The Gift of Thought**

WOW ~ have you ever "thought" about that before?

It is a wonderful gift that God has given us.

To be able to be intelligent ~ the most intelligent creature that God made.

How do we use that gift?

What do we focus our thoughts on during the day?

I have been involved in a couple of weight-loss programs. (cough, cough ~ ahemmmmm)

One in particular, asks you to write down every thing you put in your mouth during the day.

What would our page in our journal look like if we carried it around for a day a jotted down

a one word description of what we are thinking about at that given time?

We may need more than one page in a journal or even more than one journal!!!

But, what would those one-word descriptions show us?

Our last 4 verses have been teaching us how to have peace,

how to have joy,

how to have contentment.

Another way to look at these 4 verses, is to say that it teaches you how to do

spiritual warfare

in times of trial and temptation.

  • Rejoice
  • Be Gentle
  • Don't Worry About Anything
  • Pray About Everything
  • Be Thankful
  • Think On True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely, Admirable, Excellent And Praiseworthy Things
Then you will have the peace of God which will guard your hearts and minds.

  • No Tormenting Thoughts
  • No Discontentment
  • No Nervousness
  • No Jitteryness
  • No Queasy Uneasyness

As Paul draws to the conclusion of his letter, in this verse he deals with the

greatest conflict that every believer encounters -

the battle for the control of our minds.

Proverbs 23:7

Solomon wrote that "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he."

–(King James Version)

Do you want to know what a man or woman actually is?

Solomon has given us the "test". It is not what he or she says,

but what he or she thinks about!

Paul is not preaching the "Power of Positive Thinking",

but rather that the Christian's thought life should be focused on the

great truths of the Bible.

"Many things in this world are deceptive and illusory, promising what they can never perform, offering a specious (misleadingly attractive) peace and happiness which they can never supply. A man should always set his thoughts on the things which will not let him down." ~ Barclay

"Since as fallen creatures we are prone to Satan’s lies and deception, the only way we can know the truth and walk in it is to steep ourselves in God’s Word. We should know the Word so well that we automatically run everything we encounter through the grid of God’s Word. We live in a day that is geared toward emotions and strongly influenced by the supposed “virtue” of tolerance. Our culture assumes that love means being tolerant and accepting of everyone and everything, even if God’s Word plainly declares that something is an abomination. If you go with the flow, you will be carried far from God’s absolute standard of moral truth as revealed in His Word." ~ Steven Cole

Steep ~ "to soak food or tea in water so as to extract its flavor or to soften it."

We need to steep ourselves in God's Word.

In the final analysis whatever God says on any given subject is true! The unchanging God and His unchanging holy Word is the final test for truth!"

Sow a thought, reap an action.
Sow an action, reap a habit.
Sow a habit, reap a character.
Sow a character, reap a destiny!

Until next week,

Debbie G.

Resource ~