What are you Talking About?

Teresa Poucher

Amazing how fast we can slip into our old ways. Genesis 8: Noah and his family make it out of the ark. He builds an altar and sacrifices to God. Chapter 9: God blesses them and gives man a covenant, signified by the rainbow. Noah gets drunk,and Ham looks upon him. Chapter 10 speaks of the descendants of Shem, Ham,and Japheth.

 

  Boom! In the 11th chapter, things go down the tubes.  We are talking about building the Tower of Babel that will reach into the heavens so they wouldn’t flood.  At that time, the earth was of one language and unified.

 

Oh, the power of unity. Unfortunately, it can work for good or evil. And the Lord said, “Behold, the people are one and they have all one language, and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be withheld from them which they have imagined doing. (Genesis 11:6)

 

  God had an easy fix — just confound their language.  It worked; they separated and spread forth as God intended.  The building stopped.  Where is all the power and unity now? It seems we still have a difficult time communicating today.  Many disagreements are just miscommunication.  

 

  If we want that power and unity back, we need to speak the same language.  Not English or Spanish per se but God’s language, His Word!  When you were born again of the water and the spirit, you spoke with a new tongue or new language you did not learn.  

 

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues…” (Mark 16:16-17)

 

  I’m afraid we don’t speak God’s Word enough or pray in that heavenly language as frequently as we should.  Have we lost our unity, power, and tongue like our ancient ancestors? 

So, what are you talking about?

More Than You Bargained For

Teresa Poucher

 

 

  Don’t you love it when you get more than you bargained for?  It seems we are often looking to buy something, and it ends up costing more.  You buy a car — you mean it doesn’t have floor mats?  I like it when they fill it up with gas and give you free oil changes.  Maybe you went on a cruise, and they upgraded your room – sweet.

 

When we go to Acts 3:2, “And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple…”

 

He was expecting something alright. He was looking for money, perhaps some food. Well, Peter and John didn’t have any silver or gold, but they had a relationship with Jesus. They knew Him as a healer, savior, and friend. They knew a name above every name. “…In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” (Acts 3:6-8)

 

Here, this man was outside the temple, asking of those who were going in. We know one couldn’t do priestly service in the temple if he were lame or blind. However, we read in Matthew 21:14, “And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.

 

  Why wasn’t he in the temple?  Didn’t have an offering? Or maybe he thought his clothes weren’t good enough. Come on, what kind of excuses do we hear today?  “I don’t have time,” “I have to work,” or “They are hypocrites; they just want my money.”

 

  The lame man had time; he couldn’t work, and he didn’t have money.  As far as hypocrites are concerned, Jesus’ handpicked his disciples — one betrayed him; another denied him.  

 

  The lame man went near expecting to receive, and he did.  He got more than what he bargained for.  What will happen if we go to give an offering with praise, worship, and singing. Shouldn’t we also expect to receive?  Yes, let’s go. Give and receive more than what we bargained for. 

 

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Ephesians 3:20)

What’ Your Verdict?

Teresa Poucher

  “There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it behooves us all not to talk about the rest of us.”  Robert Louis Stevenson.

 

  I had a dear friend whose mom used to quote this to her quite often.  My friend very rarely said anything negative about people.  She had been hurt and done wrong many times, even by those she loved. However, she was the most tender-hearted forgiving person I’ve ever known.  She seemed to love everybody and have something good to say about everyone.

 

  Then I have known some people whowere fault finders. ‘Seems like they couldfind a fault in anyone.  In looking for faults in others, we lose sight of the good around us.  It serves to blind us to our wrongdoing. It’s a vicious cycle destroying people, relationships, and our well-being; physically, mentally, and spiritually.  

 

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)

 

  You may feel good about yourself for a moment, but you will become unhappy afterward.  Keep it up, and you’ll become bitter, like an autoimmune disease attacking its own body.  

 

  If I ask God to show me the errors of my ways, I don’t see nearly as many faults in others.  If I do, I am less likely to bring attention to them.  

 

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalms 139:23-24)

 

At Jesus’ trial, the High Priest asked, “What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.” (Matthew 26:66)

 

After questioning Jesus, Pilate declared, “I find no fault in him,” yet the crowd still called for his crucifixion. (John 19:4)

                         

I find no fault in Him either, and I’m not looking for it elsewhere.

Are You in the House or the Field?

Teresa Poucher

We moved to Livingston parish in 2004. We built a new house, and I wanted to plant some saplings. I got the shovel out to start digging and jumped on that shovel for about 5 minutes but didn’t move more than a half-inch of dirt. I needed a pickaxe. The ground was nothing but clay; it seemed hard as a rock.

 

And if you don’t have any grass on that clay and a Louisiana rain comes along, you have a slippery mess. It sticks to your shoes, and you can hardly pick up your feet either because of the weight or because they are stuck. I don’t like clay; I do like pottery. I find pottery and wood accents make a home comfortable and welcoming, like a fireplace in the winter.

 

God told Jeremiah to go to the potter’s house. I’m not sure where it was. “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.” (Jeremiah 18:2)

 

  If we want to hear His Word, it will behoove us to humble ourselves.  As the potter made his vessel, it was marred, so he made it again.  I don’t know if the clay had hard spots, perhaps rocks or trash.  These things would have to be worked out of the clay to be a vessel pleasing to the potter. 

 

  Do you feel like you are going round in circles on the potter’s wheel?  Could there possibly be some debris in your life?  Perhaps there are a few rough spots to be smoothed out.    

 

“…cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand…” (Jeremiah 3:6)

 

  If the potter couldn’t work with the clay, it was cast into the potter’s field.  Judas sold out the Lord for 30 pieces of silver.  When he saw Jesus was condemned, he no longer desired the silver (fame, glory, power, influence) and tried to give it back. 

 

And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.” (Matthew 27:6-8)

 

I’m concerned; I want to go to the potter house. Put me on the wheel, apply the pressure, and put me out to dry, close to the fire, until I am cured. Just please don’t throw me in the potter’s field.

Multitudes, Multitudes

Teresa Poucher


  Immigrants are coming into the United States by the millions.  My mother was an immigrant; she came from Germany.  She was born in 1935, so she has memories that could give us nightmares.  Yes, she remembers Hitler, and she overheard Nazis telling Jews to go to the train stations where they would take them to a better place.

 

  I’m thankful for the United States; however, we are not so united.  I still think it’s the greatest place to live on this earth.  

AMERICA is a land of opportunity, hopes, dreams, and prosperity.  For hundreds of years, people have come here for freedom, which came with a high price, and many have fought and died for it.     

  

  Even though I love this land, it’s not my home.  I’m longing for the New Jerusalem.  To get there will only be by the blood of the Lamb of God, a very high price!  God was manifested in the flesh (I Timothy 3:16), laid down His life to be crucified by His creation, rose from the dead, and 50 days later, poured out His Spirit on the day of Pentecost. 

 

  One may be an illegal immigrant here in the United States, but heaven will have no “spiritually-illegal” immigrants. 

 

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:5-7)

 

 

 

“But [we are different, because] our citizenship is in heaven. And from there we eagerly await [the coming of] the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 3:20 Amplified)

 

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. (Joel 3:14).

 

Your citizenship papers, so to speak, will be checked. Are you born again of the water and the spirit? I want to be a heavenly citizen, don’t you?

Hope for the Hopeless

Teresa Poucher


  If one has been in church for even a year, you will hear “faith, hope, and charity.”  You’ve heard it preached many times: God is love!  There are many what we call faith preachers.  When was the last time you heard someone preach on hope?  

 

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (I Corinthians 13:13)

 

  I don’t know if I have ever seen more hopeless people.  If you have never felt hopelessness, it is one of the worst emotions.  It goes beyond depression and isolation.  One loses all power or expectation that anything will ever changefor the better.  

 

  This feeling can be triggered by financial concerns, acute illness or disease, relationship issues, or maybe feeling like you don’t belong.  We can all agree that the day we live in makes hopelessness a little too common.

 

  I want to tell you there is hope.   

 

“… lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil…”(Hebrews 6:18-19)

 

There is a change coming. Look up; your redemption draweth nigh.

 

“…but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (I Corinthians 15:51-52)

 

  There will be no depression, tears, fear, or sickness.

 

 

“…looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ…” (Titus 2:13)

Go ahead and Invest

Teresa Poucher

  I have arrived; I am officially a senior.  Like most people at this age, I’ve begun taking inventory of my life.  What have I accomplished?  It doesn’t bother me that I’ve never had a high-paying job, maybe because I didn’t have a higher education.  Sometimes, what the world calls success is vanity.  King Solomon speaks of this in the first chapter of Ecclesiastes.

 

I’m thinking about a familiar passage in Luke 16. You know it — the rich man and Lazarus, a poor beggar. The story is quite sad. Lazarus died, and angels carried him unto Abraham. The rich man dies as well, but he is tormented in hell. If that’s not bad enough, the once well-off rich man pleads for just a drop of water. Now it’s too late, but he prays. Send someone to my brothers so they don’t end up here.

 

I don’t plan on dying anytime soon; only God knows. Yet I have decided, it doesn’t matter what I have; it’s what I’ve done with what I have. I have time, time to invest. What am I going to invest in, you ask? In prayer, for souls. That I would hear the cry of the hungry, that God would anoint my eyes with the eyesalve spoken of in Revelation 3:18. The only thing that matters is that my relationship with Jesus will make a difference in someone else’s life.

 

Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” (Psalms 71:18)

 

Our prayers and the Word of God will not fade. I’m going to invest my time in prayer and the Word of God. It’s a sure thing.

Neglect

Teresa Poucher

I love dogs. Very close to us, there are 15 or more on a property where no one lives. These dogs have excellent care. They are free to go inside an air-conditioned shed any time they please. They are well-fed with good dog food. They are up to date with vaccines and their heartworm and flea prevention medications. Their shed and the outside area are sectioned off to keep the dogs from fighting. They are kept for breeding purposes. However, these 15 dogs only see their owners for maybe 10 minutes a day. Is this neglect?

 

  A day doesn’t go by that I don’t give my dogs attention.  I talk to them throughout the day. They get praised, petted, and played with.  They are valuable to me.

 

  I go to church every Sunday and Tuesday, giving tithes and offerings.  I pray, but is it all about me?  Who have I encouragedor prayed for, or helped? If I read the Bible, was it out of obligation? When was the last time I reached out to anyone?  That’s not neglect, is it?

 

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him…” (Hebrews 2:3)

The Power of the Seed

Teresa Poucher

 The average person doesn’t think much of seeds.  Nonetheless, they are vital to our existence.  Bill Gates is the largest farmland owner in the United States, possessing 269,000 acres.  Think about it…  We need our farmers.  Our lives are dependent on them.

 

  Now that we are thinking about the necessity of seeds, what about the spiritual application?  The word “seed” is mentioned 47 times in the book of Genesis alone.  Even though many of those times, it is referring to children, not just seeds from plants.  However, looking into Strong’s Concordance, the definition is the same.*  

 

In Luke chapter 8, we read of the parable of the sower and the seed. The seed was sown, just thrown out there, so to speak, not planted. The first was trampled, and the birds ate them. Others fell on rocks and thorns, and finally, some fell on good ground. Most of the seeds were crushed, eaten, dried up, or choked, but the seed that fell on good ground sprang forth. There is nothing wrong with the seed; it brought forth life. Everything the seed needs is self-contained. Just add water, the right temperature, air, and light. How amazing is that?

 

Further down in verse 10, we see, “the seed is the word of God.” If we can’t survive without the natural seed, how can we survive without the word of God? Maybe you are surviving, but are you flourishing?

 

  GMO vs heirloom seeds:  Well, that all depends.  GMO seeds have been genetically modified.  They are more disease tolerant.  They are more resistant to insects and of course, they grow larger.  However, unlike an heirloom seed, I cannot take a seed from the over-ripened fruit and grow another plant with the same results.  I once threw a cantaloupe plant onto my compostpile.  Don’t you know, it took root and produced a fruit that looked like a squash-cantaloupe?  

 

  I don’t want my cantaloupe modified, and neither do I want the word of God modified.  I want to protect the seed and be fruitful; after all, the seed is vital for food and reproduction.

*Stong’s Concordance:  from H2233; seed; figuratively, fruit, plant, sowing-time, posterity, et al

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Safety Zone

Teresa Poucher

  I grew up as an army brat.  Some of my earliest memories were in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  I was four years old, and I would go to a motorpool* with my two older brothers when it wasn’t in use.  For some reason, we called it the “Safety Zone.”  It was there we danced around, cooling off on those hot summer days.  I loved to turn on the water to those skinny hoses and watch them flying through the air.    Life was simple then.  Parents let their kids play outside without fear of predators, drugs, or other hazards.  Yes, there has always been evil, but it was not common.

 

Today is different. Never leave little children unattended, and we wouldn’t dare leave our houses or cars unlocked. My goodness, we even need spyware on our electronic devices. Are there any safety zones anywhere?

 

The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee… Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency….” (Deuteronomy 33:27-29 excerpts)

 

  There is a place of safety and peace.  Have you ever wondered why God told us to become like little children?  They aren’t worried; Daddy will protect and provide for them.  

 

  We need our God.  We need our churches to be Safety Zones.

 

The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.” (II Samuel 22:3)

*motorpool – a standby fleet of motor vehicles, shared on a short-term basis by personnel on a military installation

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