Saturday, September 10, 2016

END OF A SEASON! Sept 2008 - Sept 11, 2016

WE ALL HAVE completed many seasons in our lives.     Each grade is an end of a season, in growing up, when we receive our academic certificates.   When we complete our final degrees in higher learning we come to the end of our academic achievements.   Our singleness season comes to an end, when we marry.   Children come and some marriages end; loved ones pass away and new seasons begin.  
JUST LIKE all seasons of life, one ends and another begins.     Which came first?  Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?    Living in California the seasons were not as defined as they are in Oregon.   I loved the climate in California, but in Oregon the definitions are amazing!
WHEN I BEGAN writing Morning Glory, it was a beginning of an exciting season for me!   Growing old was not one of my favorite things to do!   But at 70, my life became fuller and richer in Jesus Christ.   Don’t get me wrong!   I loved the process in becoming who I am today.
I have loved everyone who came into my life from the beginning.   Today I even love the ones I could have done without!   Probably the feelings were mutual!
SOME AVENUES, in the paths I have taken, took me off course.  But Morning Glory gave me purpose thru God, who gave me a desire.   Jim gave me encouragement.  The internet gave me a tool and God’s church gave me a place.   This season started in a person of age, who by the world’s standards, was almost done.   I am not done, but Morning Glory blogging is!
“STUDY TO SHOW thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed but rightly dividing the Word of Truth!”   2 Timothy 2:15 (kjv)     We are to do our best to please God!   Every Christian is to take this passage to heart.    The scriptures tell us that it is God, whom we are to please.    I have carried this verse close to my heart ever since I memorized it in my 4th grade Sunday School Class.    Second to this was; “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and , lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.  Amen”   Matthew 28:19-20 (kjv)  
CHRISTIANS are to share their faith in Jesus!    Ultimately, as we go, we are to share the Gospel, and to make disciples!   As a woman I always hesitated, even though I never was shy in letting others know about my faith.   In Morning Glory I became the teacher and my goal was
to bring Christ’s followers into a closer walk in their everyday life.  I shared by giving milk to those who still needed it, and meat to those who were ready to digest it!
THREE THINGS I want leave you with.   Number one is to study the Word!   Reading it is good, but when you are in it to apply it, things will begin to happen in your life.   Number two is, do not be afraid to tell someone that you believe, “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God!”   What a difference that can make in your own life.   What a difference that can make in another’s life, even though you may never know about it!  
THIRDLY, but by no means last; become obedient to God’s Word and be baptized.   Many want to write baptism off as merely an outward expression of an inward conviction.   But it is far more than that!   We are baptized into the trinity, embodied in Jesus.   Through baptism we receive forgiveness of our past sins, and we can be forgiven for all future sins, when we ask forgiveness!   This, in itself, is important!  But also, upon baptism, we receive the “Gift of the Holy Spirit!”    The Spirit does not just come upon us at will, but comes to dwell within us.   Nowhere else does a believer receive this gift, except thru baptism.   Jesus said to do this; so do it!  It is not our invitation for others to do this, it is God’s invitation!   How can you refuse?
THANK YOU LORD for giving me this special season; “Morning Glory!”   Morning Glory readers; “thank you!”  My life is in a new season, for God is good!   Jane Ann Crenshaw  9/7/16
   

Sunday, September 4, 2016

BANQUETS! Sept 4,2016

IN THE CHURCH I grew up in we held many banquets throughout the year!   We also had potluck’s but our banquets were always grand!  There was a Mother’s and Daughter’s Banquet, the Father’s and Son’s Banquet, the Birthday Banquet and even an annual, Youth Banquet, which was held on Mission’s weekend.  All of these occasions came with a theme, decorations, guest speakers, music and dressing up.  
IN THOSE days we had monthly committees and a chairman that would head up such affairs.   There were plenty of people to help fill in by cooking, setting up, serving and taking down!   With paid reservations and tickets in hand, our meals were served and it was a super night out for all!
THE BIRTHDAY Banquet was well attended!  There would be a table for each month of the year which was decorated by that months committee.  They would provide a special cake for their table and prizes would be given out for the various categories.  This banquet was a potluck, but no one minded because it was always so much fun and special.
THE MOTHER’S and daughters banquet sometimes would be held in the school cafeteria because it was the largest Banquet.  Women love to show up in their very best and to especially show off their daughters.  My Mother often won the prize for the most daughters present!   The Fathers and Son’s was also well attended but always held at the church.
IN MY YOUTH I was involved in many of the Youth Banquets.  It was a well attended affair because we not only had a great youth program, but our youth also had many friends whom they would invite.  Tickets were sold!  I remember once borrowing decorations from Cheney’s Dept store in town.  Our programs were always fun and well encouraged by the whole Church family.  Our speaker would be the visiting missionary.   Our favorite meal served was Swiss steak!  The steak was browned and sauteed in gravy, along with mashed potatoes, green beans, salad and of course dessert.  Our ladies knew how to cook!
EVEN NOW, when I hear there is going to be a banquet my ears perk up and I want to know more.  Jesus liked banquets!  He attended many and just because they knew Jesus was coming it was always well attended!
“LET US REJOICE and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready!”  Revelations 19:7 (rsv)  We, the church are the bride and we are to be clothed in all our finery of righteous deeds.  “And the angel said to me; Write this, blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb!”  Revelations 19:9 (rsv)  The church is held in high esteem because we are the Bride of the Lamb!
THE SCENE now changes!  It is a frightening and repulsive scene that makes an Alfred Hitchcock movie, like the Birds, seem about as tame as Walt Disney’s Donald Duck.  What a contrast!  At the marriage banquet of the Lamb, the saints dine personally with Jesus.  At the ‘great supper’ the sinners are the feast for the vultures.   “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly in mid heaven; “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great!”  Revelations 19:17-18 (rsv)     How perplexing this picture is!
GOD’S TWO BANQUETS; “the marriage supper and the great supper”, show us  
God’s victory over evil, will be final.   The joy of the church, the bride, reigns supreme!   If we refuse the invitation to the marriage supper, we will be attending the great supper!   Our reservation has already been paid for!   What’s it going to be; the marriage supper or the great supper?   What’s it going to be; heaven or hell?    Jane Ann Crenshaw   9/3/16

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A WORLDLY DISEASE! August 28, 2016

WHEN I WAS a child my mother would give instructions on how not to catch things.   We were to wash our hands; never to sit on a public toilet; never use a friends comb; and to never chew someone else’s  gum.   There were probably more than that, but these are the ones I remember.   Catching colds is not as easy when you wash your hands often.   If you don’t use another’s comb you have less chance of getting lice.   It was a good thing when papers were given for toilet seats because I ended up with edema, because I would not use a public toilet.   Public toilets came with worms or a venereal disease.  And chewing someone else’s gum was just plain nasty.
IN THIS WORLD we have many diseases.   Some are curable or can be managed with medicines.   The most dreaded are deadly!   No matter what medicines you take, and even when there is a remission, you know in your heart that you will probably succumb to it.    Medicines vary in cost and many times a patient cannot afford to buy it.   The world vendors of medicine make big bucks on someone’s illness.   These are the ways of the world!   God’s Word says His children are in the world, but not a part of the world.
IN MY OLD age I have come think about worldly disease  in an entirely different way.
I call it ‘worldlyfluenza.’    You all have heard of influenza?   You may have even contracted it!
Usually it is considered an epidemic because, it usually, is passed around.  It is sort of like a cold which affects the throat, results in headaches and muscle aches.   No one wants to have it!
HOWEVER, we all start out with a light case of worldlyfluenza.    When we first learn about God’s creation, we learn about His place in the world; His plan from the beginning, and especially sin.  Our eyes and ears are opened to the causes, symptoms and remedies.   Many listen and watch and make a huge decision to believe in God.   Those who believe, accept and agree, receive a medicine that can cure this worldly disease!   If you refuse then you remain under the health conditions of worldlyfluenza.   How sad is that!
JESUS prayed for His Disciples.   He says that He did not pray for the world, but for those His Father had given Him.   The cure for worldlyfluenza is Jesus Christ!   He is the medicine that is offered by God!    I started taking small doses as a child but took more and more as I grew older.   Today, I can’t get enough of this Godly medicine.   How about You?
“I DO NOT pray only for them, but also for those who believe in me because of their message.  I pray that they may all be one, Father!  May they be in us, just as you are in me, and I am in you.   May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me.” John 17:20-21(gn)  Jesus prayed for us!    Way back when He was here as the God-man!   He prayed for you and me.  He wanted us to not just believe, but to remain in Him!    To be healthy, wealthy and wise!
GOD did not cause the sins of man.   God allowed sin when He allowed man to be free to choose Him or not!    “Ever since God created the world, His invisible qualities, both His eternal power and His divine nature, have been clearly seen.  Men can perceive them in the things that God has made.  So they have no excuse at all!”  Romans 1:20 (gn)
MOST PEOPLE know there is a God, but they do not give Him the honor and glory due Him, because they want to remain in the world as they know it.   They may have chosen God in the beginning, but they have developed another case of the worldlyfluenza.   “The fool says in his heart; “There is no God.”   “They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none that does good.”  Psalms 14:1 (rsv)    God doesn’t keep anyone from making a fool of themselves!
“THE STEADFAST love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is His faithfulness,.  The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.”   Lamentations 3:22-24 (rsv)   Jane Ann Crenshaw 8/27/16

Saturday, August 20, 2016

WHICH WAY TO TURN? August 21, 2016

WHEN YOU reach a fork in the road do you have a plan already in place?    When the hour is late and you are tired of driving do you have any idea what the plan is now?   Many times I have found myself in those kinds of spots.   If you are on familiar turf, no problem!   But if you are not, which way would you turn?   Do your, short quick, decisions pan out?    Sometimes, but not always!  
ON A RETURN trip home from Southern California, it was late and we were all tired and no hotel vacancies available in Sacramento.   Jim and I had a card that we had used on occasion.  We just had to call, give our number, and they would locate a hotel room for us in the vicinity.  We gave them one instruction “off I-5!    Following the GPS on Dan & Faye’s phone we ended up off of old 99, in a hotel that left much to be desired!   Not one of us was happy!  
WE FOUND ourselves up a creek without a paddle!   We spent the night, ever watchful of our surroundings and location.   I would say that was one of the worse traveling experiences and hotel, I had ever encountered.   The only thing that sustained me was God and the company I was in!
ONE OF the things I found interesting was the use of the GPS; global positioning satellite.    Years ago we would look at a map for locations and a map of towns for location of an address.    Phone books with maps, gave us pin pointed instructions for addresses.   The computer was able to give us direct instructions from our home to wherever we wanted to go.  Today there is GPS via phone!   It tells when to turn, to go forward and to stop!   Amazing huh!
WE HAVE yet to use the GPS system available thru satellite,  but we have learned to use the GP system that keeps us out of trouble and from straying off the beaten path of life.    When a decision has to be made to which way we are to turn, we turn to the GP system and our direction is redirected.  We are on track.   We are safe again!    Now to us, that is amazing!
GOD POSITIONING system!    GPS!    How cool is that?   Paul used it many times during his missionary travels.   He used it when he was in trouble and when he was in prison.  Paul was stopped by GPS on the road to Damascus and was given instructions on how to use it for a period of three years.   Remember his sojourn in Arabia?    What do you think he was doing there all that time.   He was learning God’s positioning system!
IN BIBLE STUDY this week I was reminded of God’s faithfulness to those who are His children.   “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearable crushed that we despaired of life itself.  Why, we felt that we had received the sentence of death; but that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead; He delivered us from so deadly a peril, and He will (continue to) deliver us; on Him we have set your hope that He will deliver us again.  You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us in answer to many prayers.” 2nd Corinthians 1:8-11 (rsv)    
PAUL does not give details about what had happened but we are familiar with Paul and his travels.   We know the dangers he faced and how he overcame.   Paul does not exaggerate his difficulties, he just tells it as it was.   The point is; God was there all the time.   He delivered him at appointed times and Paul recognized God’s presence in those times.   Do we?   Do we recognize God’s answers to prayer?   Do we recognize God’s saving us at the appointed time?
WHEN we pray for one another, God’s comforts us and those we pray for!   When we share in our abundance, God blesses us and those we have blessed.   Think once more about who He is.   God sent His Son, Jesus!    Jesus came and died giving those who believe and accept Him, the Holy Spirit!    This is the direction to turn to!     Jane Ann Crenshaw   8/20/16

Sunday, August 14, 2016

SOMETHING FOR NOTHING! 8/14/16

MOST are looking for a bargain.   When it happens, we go with it as though we made it happen.   Short of a month ago we bought ink for our printer.   After a few weeks, our printer quit!   Jim had already replaced the color and so put the black cartridge in.  It wouldn’t print.  The clerk at Staples said it looked like we needed to replace the photo print cartridge in order for the black to work.   Didn’t work!
WE ENDED up buying a printer, that was already sold out, except for the display.  We bought the display and they gave us credit for the ink we purchased last month.   With the sale price being low and a new box of cartridges, along with the credit for the old ink, we got a good deal.  We felt we were getting something for almost, nothing.
HOWEVER the printer didn’t work; period.   So we took it back and had it checked out.   We were encouraged to buy a different one.  This one  was priced higher but they gave it to us
for the same price as the sale item.   So along with the credit for cartridges and the price of the new set of cartridges the cost of our new printer was even less then the first transaction.   We are not wheeler and dealers.   Staples wasn’t required to credit us the cartridges, but they did!   Staples wasn’t required to give us the same price for the purchased printer, but they did!
HAVE YOU ever received a phone call saying; “you have been selected to win a free, all expenses paid, vacation to the Bahama’s!”   I used to listen to see exactly what it would cost us but I now just hang up.   Those vacation via the phone calls are not for nothing!   They make it sound like its, too good to be true, adventure.   And usually you pay too much for it!
DO YOU KNOW that before the law, there was lawlessness in the land.  Death had already come into the world which came thru sin.  Death continued when God gave Moses the law.   Under the old dispensation; the law brought order as the world began to understand right from wrong.   But they still died!   We live under the new dispensation of the cross.   Christ came so that we may have life!   He came to give us a closer look at His Father; God!
WE LIKE TO talk about God’s Grace.   We like to talk about being saved by grace thru Jesus Christ, and how we can live without condemnation.   We like to discuss how we are set free from the law of sin and death; because God could take us, where the law could not.    We like to talk about God’s free gift of eternal salvation, how it is ours and we don’t have to do anything to earn it, nor to receive it.  
“GOD SO loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life!”   John 3:16    One of the most memorized verses in all of scripture.   But do you understand what it is saying?   God’s grace is love!   He loved everyone in the world and, wants everyone in the world to believe in His son Jesus;  whom He sent to save us!    His message is so simple.   Yet we want to discuss, dissect, chew and regurgitate it instead of letting it consume us and be filled with thanksgiving, and excitement, because we belong in His kingdom.
GOD DIDN’T have to that!   But He did!    GOD could have continued as He was; but He didn’t!   Instead He paid the price thru His Son and His Son paid the price on the cross.   It looks like we received something for nothing!  Instead we received eternal life instead of eternal death in hell, however, we have to do something!     So what are you going to do about it?              
        YOU HAVE to accept the gift!    You have to give up your life living in bondage to the world and become His child who is free.   “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.”  Romans 8:2   Don’t keep saying you can’t earn it.  Or you don’t have to do anything to receive it!  Instead, accept the gift, and let it change you by being happy in the service of the King!  Love one another!   Jane Ann Crenshaw 8/11/16

Sunday, August 7, 2016

HOW IS YOUR WALK? August 7, 2016

FOR SOME years I have had a problem with my right leg.   Before the problem with my leg I had some problems with my feet which overshadowed the problem with my leg.   Neuropathy is the condition with my feet and not much can be done.   I can live with that for now!    However, my right knee would buckle and I would lose feeling which made the bottom of my foot feel like it was sliding.   It didn’t happen all the time but when it did, I found myself leaning towards mini-strokes.
I DEVELOPED a slight limp!   About four months ago it happened again so we went to the on call Doctor, and was told it was not mini strokes but possibly a nerve problem.   X rays, Chiropractor; MRI, consultations and diagnoses later; I had a steroid shot in my lower back to relax the nerves that were bunched up, causing me to lose the feeling in my right leg.   Medicines can only do so much!   And it is true that practice is what happens when the Doctor is trying to fix you.   Medicines come with side affects and may or may not work.  
TODAY I am back at square one!    At first the meds seem to work,  and after about 4 or 5 days the feel good, hallelujah spirit subsided and the limp returned, and the loss of feeling gave me pause in my stride.   I have a back brace which helps the discomfort in my back.   I have a cane that will enable me to stand when it happens.   Tylenol see’s me thru daily, and of course with Jim encouraging and lifting me up; and more importantly, thru Christ I can do all things!  
ALWAYS I am reminded that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.   When I look at my physical walk and my spiritual walk I become conflicted!   Paul says what I do, I don’t want to do.    In Ephesians 4:30,  Paul encourages us to not grieve the Holy Spirit!   I don’t want to do that but I know that on occasion, I do!   Immorality, impurity or covetousness must not be your MO.   “Let there be no filthiness, nor silly talk, nor levity, which are not fitting; but instead let there be thanksgiving.”  Ephesians 5:4  
NO CHRISTIAN wants to go against the Holy Spirit!   The things that we should not do are made known to us thru God’s Word.  But sometimes the fine print is overlooked.   We engage in things that we rationalize in our minds as ‘reaching out’; after all, we can do all things thru Christ!    “Therefore do not associate with them (hang out with the disobedient) for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.”  Ephesians 5:7-10
I KNOW MANY of my brothers and sisters in Christ do things that I feel they should not be doing.    If I condemn them I am interrupting my fellowship with God.   I am grieving the Holy Spirit.    I am not ordained to do the job of the Holy Spirit.   My job is to be in fellowship with Christ.    If I can encourage a fellow traveler to get back on the right path; that can be a good thing!    All good things come from God!
“LOOK CAREFULLY then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.   And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.”  Ephesians 5:15-19     I have come to understand that all who believe, are sealed with the Holy Spirit, but not all are true believers, and remain as they were; which leads to a life without Christ.
SORT OF like my leg when the feeling is lost.   It buckles and is useless.  I have to grab hold before I fall.    My goal as a Christian is to always be aware of the Spirit within me!.   Yes, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak!   I will continue to get my leg fixed and will continue to strive to become all that God has created me to be!     Jane Ann Crenshaw 8/6/16

Saturday, July 30, 2016

THE BEGINNING OF HOPE! July 31, 2016

IN OUR faithful walk with Jesus we forget just how weak we are.   Remember the last time you sinned?   Can you see just how weak you were?  I know we all experience the weakness of our flesh. We want so badly to stay faithful and strong and yet our weakness seems to win out.    We are sinful people!   God knew that, and that is why His forgiveness was the first promise He gives us upon our acceptance and obedience, thru baptism.   Without His forgiveness we would have no hope!
IN MY study this morning I was reading Matthew and Luke regarding Peter and his denial of Christ.   My heart always aches for him; when he did that!   That was the farthest thing from his mind, even though Jesus warned him it would happen!     “Satan has received permission to test all of you, as a farmer separates the wheat from the chaff.   But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith will not fail.   And when you turn back to me, you must strengthen your brothers.”   Luke 22:31-32
IN MY school days my biggest obstacle were tests.   If we were doing verbal questions and answers I did fine!    If we were to do a practical experience like ‘show and tell’, I was okay.   But if I was given a paper and we were to answer the questions; yes or no; thought problems; etc, I always received the lowest grade in the class.   I always felt confident but when the time came, I failed!     Peter was so confident in following Jesus!   So sure of who He was in his new faith!   But when the time came, he didn’t pass the test.  He had faith but was standing on shaky ground!
DO YOU think we are tested by Satan like Peter and the other disciples?   If so, how many times have you been tested and have failed?    I can only speak for myself; many times over!    Man’s hope can only be found in Jesus Christ!   When Jesus came into the lives of the three fishermen, and the other men He called to follow Him, that was the beginning of hope for them.    When I walked into the doors of a little church, at the age of 9, it was the beginning of hope for me!  Where were you when you received the beginning of hope?
WE HOPE for things that we cannot see.   Hope is something we long for!    It is not a person, place or thing.    I hoped I would graduate from high school.    I hoped to be married one day.   I hoped to have children.   I now hope for great grandchildren before I die.   We are simple people with little imagination.    The beginning of hope in Jesus Christ is to know the Savior.   It is to realize that eternity is forever and when you die, your soul needs a home.
“LET US hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep His promise.  Let us be concerned with one another, to help one another to show love and to do good.  Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing.  Instead, let us encourage one another.”  Hebrews 11:23-25b   When we went down in the clean, refreshing water of baptism, we professed our faith in Christ as our Savior.   Christians are under a new standard.  We are not to quarrel and fight with each other.   We are to lift each other up in love!   This new life gives up old habits for new ones.  We meet together to worship!   We are called to feel each others pain and joys within the kingdom.   When one hurts we all hurt!   When one celebrates we celebrate with them!
“YOU need to be patient, in order to do the will of God and receive what He promises.  For, as the scripture says; Just a little while longer, and He who is coming, will come; He will not delay.  My righteous people, however, will believe and live; but if any of them turns back, I will not be pleased with him.  We are not people who turn back and are lost.  Instead, we have faith and are saved.”  Hebrews 11: 36-39    Paul is talking to the Jewish Christian here.   But it also applies to each of us.   We live by faith and are saved!    Yes, we are tested when we are tempted.   Christ is our hope; He is our champion!  Jesus saves!   Jane Ann Crenshaw 7/26/16