Posted in cornucopia, encouragement, horn of plenty

Thanksgiving Cornucopia: Jesus is the horn of plenty

Romans 8:14-17:

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

The Westminster Larger Catechism succinctly explains the verse’s benefits of this adoption as sons of God-

What is adoption?
“A. Adoption is an act of the free grace of God, in and for his only Son Jesus Christ, whereby all those that are justified are received into the number of his children, have his name put upon them, the Spirit of his Son given to them, are under his fatherly care and dispensations, admitted to all the liberties and privileges of the sons of God, made heirs of all the promises, and fellow-heirs with Christ in glory.”

Think of that for a moment…how great and bountiful this gift is.

At Thanksgiving we often see the American symbol of the ‘horn of plenty’ also known as the Cornucopia. The horn is filled to overflowing with harvest items from this time of year, such as this depiction :

Adoption is an act of the free grace of God, in and for his only Son Jesus Christ, whereby all those that are justified are given gifts from HIS harvest of plenty. Picture the overflowing cornucopia of plenty from Jesus with His harvest treasures:

–the number of his children,
–have his Spirit sealed within them,
–are under his fatherly care,
–admitted to all the liberties and privileges of the sons of God,
–made heirs of all the promises, and
–fellow-heirs with Christ in glory.

All Christians have these and so much more to be thankful for. I know I am grateful for the opportunity to be grateful to Jesus forever.

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Kay Cude Poetry: The Light of Our Salvation

Artist’s statement:

For me, the lone tree speaks of God’s wonderful handiwork, not only representing His gift of nature, but brings to mind that His redeemed are not alone, but safely tucked within His Might eternally. And as the brilliance of the sun pierces boldly through the dark-ending of the storm, one thought leads me to another — remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection. Then speaks to His beloved redeemed: the “things” of this world are now more clearly seen through the light of His Salvation! We must daily pause to remember…

REMEMBRANCE
Posted in encouragement, theology

The Inner Life of the Cell

By Elizabeth Prata*

Harvard’s “Inner Life of the Cell” is a success story in unexpected viral interest. Originally developed for classroom education, it went viral on the internet after a showing in 2006 at the Siggraph Electronic Theater. The video below is the shortened version and contains the beautiful musical soundtrack.

Watching this with the Creator in mind as the One who planned us down to the cell and beyond, brings tears to my eyes. Evolutionists believe the cell activity evident in the animation was developed by accident over time. Yet how can such a bustle of activity in each cell be happenstance? It cannot.

This version is the full 8 minutes with music AND narration:

This link gives a longer an explanation of the series, its genesis and intent, along with information about the animation. Go here. The synopsis is below:

Inner Life of the Cell” was originally intended for undergraduate life sciences students at Harvard. However, the animation went viral after being shown in the Siggraph Electronic Theater in 2006. The mix of publicity, criticism and acclaim proved that there was an unmet demand for compelling scientific visuals that educate as well as inspire. “It’s quite clear that we understand the world primarily through sight,” says Dr. Robert Lue Ph.D., Director of Life Sciences Education at Harvard and a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. “Somehow we don’t use that in teaching science as we really should.” (Source)

While watching the video, I feel moved beyond description, and it is because I am seeing my insignificance compared to His wonderful Glory.

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalms 8:3-4)

That though this is an animation I trust that it accurately depicts the life of the smallest parts of our body, and I know: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

I praise Him! “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)

The Bible is replete with statements attesting to His power, creativity, and glory in creating all there is, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” (Isaiah 45:12)

Please take encouragement from this video, which illustrates His power and in so doing, remember, though we are insignificant compared to Him, He created us to have a relationship with Him. I pray yours deepens today, and if you do not know Him, begin a relationship today by asking Him to forgive your wrongs and to take you unto Himself as saved sinner, and His friend.

*First appeared on The End Time in Oct 2010

Posted in encouragement, theology

Strength, courage, perseverance

By Elizabeth Prata

We are in a war. We forget, but we are under constant attack. We know that since the beginning, we have been attacked on any and all fronts by Satan. It’s more apparent now, especially in America, than when I started his blog 11 years ago.

Worse, our enemy, satan, has over a 6000 year head start on us here in the end of the end times. Paul spoke of our warfare in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4; “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses,

It is a good warfare.

This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightiest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:” (1 Timothy 1:18-19)

It is constant warfare: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (1 Peter 5:8)

Jesus in us is greater than anything. We do not fight with bombs nor with planes or with sword. We fight with prayer, appealing to Him Who is above all things to intercede. We fight with knowledge of His word. We fight with faith. It IS a time when satan will be doing his utmost to interrupt or break any Christian’s faith and to prevent any faithless person from becoming a believer. It is a dangerous time, in the physical and in the supernatural. The principalities and powers may gather for their final fight (Ephesians 6:12) because satan knows his time is short (Revelation 12:12), but we stand in Jesus’ victory.

So be sober, be vigilant!

Any day any one of us may suffer a spiritual attack. I see them occurring in my own circle of friends. Little to big things; physical infirmities to character attacks to arguments and division at otherwise healthy churches. We can look at it as an opportunity to stand on Jesus’ strength. It is an opportunity to pray in advance. It is an opportunity to follow Peter’s command to be sober and vigilant. And following a biblical command is always good, no matter the circumstance surrounding the need for it.

It may be hard, but we don’t have a spirit of fear, but we walk in His strength.

be strong verse

Posted in encouragement, theology

So now, I’m boasting

We finally went back to work on Monday! Yay! I work in a public elementary school, so that means I’m looking forward to seeing the kids. They will be arriving in a few days.

We are taking this time to learn new procedures and guidelines for keeping the kids and staff safe during this COVID epidemic. The guidelines are in alignment with CDC and are just tremendous for the best safety.

Many different people face different kinds of challenges amid this epidemic. Here’s mine. As Harvard Medical School explains, Continue reading “So now, I’m boasting”

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

I live a small life in obscurity. Can I really make a difference for God?

By Elizabeth  Prata

We see so many stories of people launching ministries, or selling everything to move into an inner-city, or striking off to a mission-receiving nation. They are doing Big Things for Jesus.

Sometimes I receive a comment where a Christian woman feels ineffective and insignificant for Jesus. She is either a stay-at-home mom, or works in a job in which she is not a decision-maker, a person droning away in a cubicle somewhere. She feels like she would like to make a bigger impact for His kingdom but is not in any kind of powerful position to do so. How can we make a Gospel-impact for Jesus where we are?

I’d first like to celebrate the fact that there are women who yearn and strive to obey her King and to make a difference in souls. Like David, there are many women who adhere to this verse from Psalm 119:59

I hastened and did not delay To keep Your commandments.

And yet, many wonder since their sphere is so small, how they can minister effectively? Are they making any difference at all? Could we do more?

By Genesis 39, Joseph has been sold into slavery by his duplicitous brothers. He is working in the house of Potiphar the Captain of the Guard, as a slave. He is a slave, remember. Bought with money as property to do a master’s bidding. Joseph had no say, no power, no sphere in which he wielded decision making capabilities. He was just chattel, slaving obscurely away in a palace of a captain of Egypt.

Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. (Genesis 39:1)

The Hebrew word sar is sometimes rendered chief (Genesis 40:2)

The “captain of the guard” or “captain of the body-guard,” both titles meaning the same thing, was responsible for the security of the king’s prisoners and for executing their sentences upon them. He was also the official guardian of the person, or body, of the king—the chief of the king’s bodyguard. Source: Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible.

From that Commentary we know that Potiphar was no low person on the totem pole. When Joseph arrived at “Potiphar’s house”, it wasn’t a bungalow. Perhaps Potiphar did not even see Joseph much at the beginning, or if he did, it was in passing.

The Bible is silent on Joseph’s exact circumstances, but much has been written about slavery in many different eras, especially Roman times. In the Roman era, as many as 10,000 slaves per day were auctioned off. The Master or the Master’s representative would buy them off the block, usually in bunches. Initially, the Master would not know what each slave was capable of. Their skills were a mystery. They were just faceless laborers, an unknown quantity. At first, they would usually be put to menial work and as the Master or his representative got to know the slaves better he would re-distribute them around the property or give them tasks according to their strengths. This is what happened with Joseph.

The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. 3His master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD caused all that he did to succeed in his hands. 4So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him, and he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had. (Genesis 39:2-4)

Joseph slaved away, and yet the LORD was with him. He was apart from his family, alone…but the LORD was with him.

Matthew Henry says of this situation in his complete Commentary,
His master preferred him, by degrees made him steward of his household, v. 4. Note, (1.) Industry and honesty are the surest and safest way both of rising and thriving: Seest thou a man prudent, and faithful, and diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings at length, and not always before mean men. (2.) It is the wisdom of those that are in any sort of authority to countenance and employ those with whom it appears that the presence of God is, Ps. 101:6.  Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible

And we know how the event ended. God used Joseph in a mighty way for His purposes. (Genesis 50:20).

If Joseph, a slave, persevered in Godly character enough to influence an entire household and then an entire nation, what can God do with us? Anything, no matter where we are or no matter how small our own sphere seems. Use your vocation for Godly influence, doing all as to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Even then, we don’t have to save an entire nation. The biggest things on the planet are influencing people with the Gospel, the true words of Christ. Even one soul impacted for the Kingdom is the highest work one can accomplish. In Zechariah 4:10 we read,

For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. “These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range through the whole earth.”

What does that verse mean? John MacArthur comments,

In that case, the re-building of a temple smaller than the one smaller than Solomon’s may have been discouraging to some, (cf Ezra 3:12, Haggai 2:3), The Lord announced that His pleasure was upon this work, and that His omniscient care was watching over and taking pleasure in its completion. He said in effect, don’t despise what God is pleased with.”

If you’re a person with no influence, a small sphere, or seeming insignificance for the Kingdom, you’re not. Don’t despise the small things. It is the Lord’s work and He is pleased with it. To Him, it is big things, especially when He fills them to perfection on His Day of glorification when ALL things come to completion. Use your vocation for Him in any way, large or small, that you can. His eyes range through the whole earth, and He sees you, and loves you and is with you.

This light isn’t a mighty lighthouse guiding thousands to port safe from the storm, but its light sure means a lot to the one family trying to get home.

Posted in ecclesiastes, encouragement, Kay Cude

Kay Cude Poetry: Everything according to its season

By Elizabeth Prata

We worship an orderly God, whose prophecies, whose seasons, whose mankind progresses according to His will. What a blessing it is to know we submit to a God who is perfect, whose mighty hand is outstretched to make Himself known and His works are a wonder.

Below is a poem-photo. Poetry by Kay Cude. Used with permission of the author.

Swan landing on a lake
Swan landing on a lake