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Those Boots Are Made For Walking

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20, NLT).

Introduction

imageToday I am honored to introduce my friend, Floyd Samons.

I was unable to write this week and Floyd kindly agreed to write a guest post. He has a great sense of humor and I have giggled through many of his posts even when it was about a serious subject.

Floyd and his family live in Phoenix, Arizona. To visit his blog just click on his picture.

COWBOY BOOTS, THE NIGHT, AND THE BUICK

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why or how I could have been so excited, but I most certainly was. I’m talking about Disneyland type of excited. That’s the beauty of being a kid I guess: little things and first time occasions are unparalleled in life.

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I can’t recall the exact occasion, but it must have been my birthday, which had to be around my sixth or seventh one. As near as I can figure, my over reaching excitement must have had to do with the games we played as kids. We loved playing Army and the terraced lots of the houses on our block made for perfect pretend bunkers, but they also worked well for our all time favorite past time, Cowboys and Indians.

I’m not sure I even knew at the time I had a small percentage of Native American blood coursing through my veins. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, all the kids on our block took turns, but we all wanted to be on the Cowboy side of the pretend battles. It must have been my certainty that my new birthday gift would make me a “shoe in” for the full time position of “Cowboy” that had me so juiced up.

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I was instantly transformed from kid into a real life Cowboy the second I slipped on those brand new tan cowboy boots with the fancy stichin’ over the toes. My parents had to be pretty stoked too, seeing what a hit my first pair of cowboy boots turned out to be. They even let me do what was off limits and forbidden for me at the time; go outside after dark…

I was so excited to show my friend Davy, who lived down the block, I just couldn’t wait for the sun of another day. After pleading with my parents for a time they gave into my unbridled excitement and turned me loose into the night.

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The cool night air felt good against my face as I ran full stride down the street. I still remember thinking how cool my new boots looked as I watched them strike against the pavement while I passed under the street light poles. I could have run forever or until those boots wore out – I was just that giddy.

I continued to marvel at my new footwear as they carried me heroically through the damp California night air toward Davy’s house. It’s funny how we get so enamored with the material things of this world. Even necessities, like shoes, take on a passion or weakness all to themselves. We begin to focus so much on the things of this world that we lose sight of the big picture.

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Taking our focus off the important issues in life always leads to a dead end or disaster. If we’re not watching the paths of our lives and looking out for the dangers and pitfalls, they sneak up on us. Being too smitten by possessions in our world tends to make us watch and consider how we look instead of where we’re going.

Losing sight of the big picture and eventual destination gets folks lost and sometimes hurt. I’ve learned that lesson so often in life it’s downright scary. When we seek the will of our Father, He makes our paths straight and narrow. When we take our eyes off of Him and the path He’s set us on, trouble’s not far down the road.

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Just like that parked 58’ Buick that stopped me dead in my tracks the night I got my first pair of cowboy boots…

Thank you, dear Floyd, for taking the ordinary to remind us to keep our focus on eternity.

Much love and sweet blessings

Mia

Please check out my Tea Time and Link-Ups page for all the friendly places I link  with every week.
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Daily News

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against His Anointed One. “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God. But the One who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoff at them. (Psalm 2:2-4, NLT).

Small Minds

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The world is a publishing house blessed with new mercies and empty sheets at the break of each dawn.

It yearns for small stories of love and beauty written with rays of sunlight and colored with rainbows flickering through frisky dew drops dancing on blades of grass.

imageBut the Tabloids of Life are written with the blood of murders and wars … the pain and sorrow of corruption … the putridness of crime … the infidelity of humanity.

The world’s Gazette is manipulated by a social hierarchy playing a game of chess with the minds of man. A Trinity of Terror splashes the front pages with lies and deception:

Politicians, puffed up with vanity, are leading their puppets, firmly gripping their strings of straw, into a pseudo peace beyond the grasp of any human mind. They are messing in the business of God.

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Economists are promising an emaciated, starving world with beguiling lies, food and drink to feed and fill every empty belly groaning with hunger and thirst, seeking silently for breadcrumbs from the tables of the rich. They are playing God.

Religionists are building beautiful staircases to heaven, leading straight to hell, with tithes stolen from the overburdened naive, without lifting a finger to ease the sorrow of a suffering world. They think they are gods.

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Yet, in the “Small’s” section of every newspaper, our little lives are interviewed daily. We are small advertisements, twinkling with the glory of grace … shining with the beauty of forgiveness … telling the wondrous story of love.

Much love and sweet blessings XX

Mia

Linking-up with Lisa Jo. Please visit my other linky places at my Tea Time and Link-Ups page.

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Riding the Tithing Train

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The early church had no tithing system … But as the Church expanded and its material needs grew more numerous and complex, it became necessary to adopt a definite rule to which people could be held either by moral obligation or by precept of positive law.

The tithing of the old law provided an obvious model, and it began to be taught… The Council of Macon in 585 ordered payment of tithes and threatened excommunication to those who refused to pay (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol.XIV, pp. 174-175).

Blessings for Sale

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As a child, I often had the privilege of riding on a steam train. How I enjoyed the sound of the locomotive picking up speed.

When it was well on its way, the whistle would tell the whole world of its pride and glory.

I remember how we and all our luggage used to be covered with a thin layer of soot. It even found a place to hide behind your ears or between your teeth and toes! Today, the steam train is just a fond memory.

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Nowadays, there is another train; the one driving on the railroad tracks of the monstrous, cruel religious teaching of tithing.

This train is driving through a thick, dark and scary forest of deceit, straight to the Kingdom of darkness.

This train’s thick layers of soot has crippled many of our Pappa’s children; not just financially, but also spiritually and emotionally.

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When the Catholic Church started this teaching in the year 585 AD, they, at least, refrained from violating the famous verse on tithing in Malachi 3:8.

Their trump card, which was already an abomination in itself, was excommunication.

Looking at the origins of tithing in the Old Testament, we find Israel being under a Theocracy. Their president or prime minister was none other than our Heavenly Father Himself.

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He instituted the tithing as His income tax system for the upkeep of the nation. The people had to “pay” three tithes.

The first tithe was brought to the Levites in the seventh month of the year. The Levites and the priests were the cabinet responsible for the upkeep of the nation.

The Levites had to give a tenth of this tithe to the priests who attended the altar (Numbers 18:25-32).

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The second tithe was brought to the temple for the feast that took place in the seventh month.

Sort of their public holiday to honor their monarch where they all feasted and had a good time together.

The third tithe was only paid every three years and this one was given to the strangers, the widows and the orphans.

All in all it amounted up to 27,9% of their income, spread over a period of three years. This is as far as my mathematical abilities go!

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Today another trump card is being played by the drivers of the tithing train. They play on the insecurities and greed of the human race and promise wealth and prosperity to those who fill their coffers with their hard-earned money.

I wonder if they are the descendants of the Judaizers pestering the first Galatian believers and the priests at the time of Malachi?

Actually, our Pappa was chiding the Levites and the priests who cheated on their income tax and even the widows and orphans of their daily bread. They were also an adulterous bunch, divorcing their wives left, right and centre.

I will never forget how an old black gentleman told me once the reason why he COULD NOT go to church: a lack of money.

After giving a tithe to their church he didn’t have much left for even just a decent meal. We all know what our Lord Jesus did to those who turned His Pappa’s House into a den of thieves.

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Another wagon that has been hitched onto the tithing train, comes from the Beatitudes, “Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom (Luke 6:38,NKJV)”.

Could it perhaps be that our Lord Jesus was speaking of forgiveness like He did in verse 37?

This wagon also sport the Seed-Faith compartment.

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I remember the time when I met my own set of “Judaizers”, telling me that I can line my own pockets through giving as much as possible, waiting for my sevenfold return.

I recall an incident when I was given a choice of receiving a nett or gross return on my salary, all depending whether I tithed on my gross or nett income!

They reckon the more you give, and that to them of course, the bigger your return will be!

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This deceptive teaching is based on Galatians 6:7 where Paul chided the Galatians for lending out their ears to the Judaizers who added onto the simple Gospel of Jesus, which was no Gospel at all!

I am so grateful for Pappa’s protection against this tithing madness that has been the spiritual ruin of many.

Whenever I needed discernment on this matter, He abundantly supplied all the wisdom I needed.

In my own life I have found that as I allowed our Lord Jesus to become my life,  I started to give more and more and more!!! Giving and sharing just seem so natural. It gives me so much joy for our Pappa has written the law of love on the tablets of my heart!

I cannot do otherwise and truly understand now why the first Christians were commended by all because of their love for one another.

It does not really matter what percentage I give, whether it is 10% or the widow’s mite. The truth is that one actually wants to give way above one’s means for the sole reason of love!!!

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Dear Ones, let us listen and heed our Lord’s advice and not allow our left hand to know what our right hand is doing and be surprised one day when we are invited into the eternal Kingdom for clothing, feeding and visiting with our Lord Jesus.

Much love XX

Mia

Linking-up with

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A God Who Waits

Be still

God’s Thoughts to Me

Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it. You said,”No, we will get our help from Egypt.”…. So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. (Isaiah 30:15-18, NLT)

Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10, NLT)

A Still, Quiet Christmas

During 2011 South Africa had a census. The country was bustling with activity and expectation, hoping for better services and living conditions as a result.

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Fortunately we were all visited at our homes by the census officials and had no need to travel to our places of birth like Joseph and Mary had to do when the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed a census throughout the Roman Empire at the time of Jesus’ birth.

I can only imagine the commotion in Bethlehem when they arrived; with all the travellers returning to register for the census. No wonder there was no accommodation available for this unimportant carpenter and his highly preganant wife, who was already in labour.

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The world, as usual, was too busy with its worldly things to pay to much attention to their greatest need. I don’t think they were even aware of their need …. the need to be saved from itself and all the futile ways of trying to find worth and meaning …. the need for forgiveness, love, grace and compassion ….. the need to come to our Pappa to freely receive His Gift of Redemption, our Lord Jesus, and to live in Him.

Looking at the frantic hustling and bustling around me, as the world is again preparing for the Christmas celebrations, it makes me sad and I wonder how much, if anything, has changed!

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I can sense our Pappa still waiting, longing for His children to just be still and quiet …. to just return to Him and listen to His heartbeat of love …. to allow Him to show them His love and compassion ….. to allow Him to hold them securely in the palm of His hand.

It breaks my heart to think of all the times I was just like the stubborn Israelites who “would have none of it”. For much too long I had been looking to Egypt. For much too long had I been wining and dining the ways of the world, especially its religious ways, frantically trying to find my acceptance and worth in the false security it offers.

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But still my Pappa had been waiting for me, patiently allowing me to come to the end of myself and my ways, knowing that the time would come when I had no one and nothing to look up to, but Him. When that time arrived, how graciously did He shower me with all His love, grace, goodness and compassion!!! The love, peace and joy I experience in His Loving Embrace is way above the busy, futile ways of the world.

Come dear Ones, let us all return to Him, rest in Him, confident of His goodness, drawing our strength from His presence. Let us become still and KNOW that He is God.

Much love XX

Mia

It is again time to link-up with Barbie at The Fresh Brewed Sunday community. We are all invited to share a verse from Scripture that has special meaning to us. Come and join us at http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com

Thank you, Barbie!!

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A Stable for a King

God’s Thoughts to Me

That night there were shepherds, staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. (Luke 2:8-9, NLT)

She wrapped Him snugly in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. (Luke 2:7, NLT)

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart. (Psalm 51:17, NLT)

Expectant Hearts

The world is expectantly doing what it does best; rushing frantically…this time to prepare for Christmas. The atmosphere is filled with a busy buzzing, somewhat superficial, trying to envelope and misguide many into the commercial worldy version of Christmas.

Merchants have filled every nook and cranny of their shop windows with unnecessary goods wrapped in Christmas garb….all begging to be bought for non-existent needs, oblivious to the fact that the greatest need of mankind had been provided for, 2000 years ago. Bethlehem, the basket of bread, had been fiiled with the Bread of Life when our Pappa wrapped His love in human flesh, a tiny baby…small fingers, small toes and all.

My heart pondered a silent question, ” Where did it all go wrong…? When did Christmas become another money-making opportunity for so many of our Pappa’s children. Where is the wonder and awe of our God who is holy and magnificent beyond description?”

But, then I remembered the humble, dirty stable, the only accommodation available to receive the King of Kings. I could almost hear the angels singing a new song of joy, when I realized His birth was announced to the lowest of people, the shepherds.

The occupation of shepherding was considered by the Jews at the time of Jesus’ birth as quite low on the importance scale. His people were earnestly looking for and expecting an earthly king like King David to free them from the Roman oppression. Yet, gentiles from the east recognized and understood the majesty and importance of this birth and travelled far to pay Him honor and bring Him costly gifts.

I realized that no heart is too dirty for the new Life of our Lord Jesus to be birthed in….no person too unimportant to be the audience for His song of Joy….no culture, country or its people unable to come to Him with gifts of gold, incense and myrrh.

Lord, take my dirty stable heart
make it still and humble
sing to me Your glory song
in the quiet of the dark

Transform my faith
into the finest gold,
my wordless prayer
a costly gift of incense
my love a spicy gift,
myrrh for the King

I realize that true expectancy to receive our King can only be birthed if our Heavenly Father has done a mighty work of grace in a life. When a heart has been humbled, when a spirit is contrite, when spiritual sight has been restored, can tiny seeds of desire be planted in fertile soil…seeds that will grow into great expectancy…into passionate desire to receive and host our King of Kings.

Much love XXX
Mia

Thank you, dear Barbie, for the privilege of your linky place where we can prepare our hearts to receive our King this Christmas. You can join us at http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/

I am grateful to be linking up with Tanya Marlow from Thorns and Gold as well. You can join us there at http://tanyamarlow.com/. Thank you, Tanya.

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