Prayer Challenge

I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said to me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You, God, are Holy. Your word is the truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Led to Cleanse - Where Do I Start?

I know Jesus works in my life. It isn't a glowing angel type of working. He gives me the tool, or tools that I need to grow spiritually. Today, I am sharing a little bit of how Jesus works in my life to help me develop a deeper relationship with Him.
Led to Cleanse
For quite awhile I have been feeling led to cleanse spiritually. In 12 step recovery I learned this as taking an inventory of my behavior and ask for forgiveness. However, what I am feeling led to do is deeper and more encompassing, but biblically I didn't know where to start.
I was at a thrift store and picked up a book because it had a Missouri Baptist gift label on the front cover.
The title? Returning to Holiness, A Personal and Churchwide Journey to Revival BUT the description title on this book says - A Biblical Guide to Daily Cleansing and Churchwide Solemn Assemblies. I started reading it last night and the 5th verse was the Submerged VBS verse Psalm 139:23-24. "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"
I taught this scripture daily during VBS.
I continued reading and here is what the book said:"Serious cleansing requires regularly getting alone with God for a through examination of your life. In the coming pages, you will discover a practical way any believer can experience deep daily cleansing." Okay, Lord now I know where to start.
The Author
The author of the book I picked up is by Dr. Gregory R. Frizzell. Dr. Frizzell has served in the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma and the North American Mission Board.
Note: I apologize for the spacing, but my Blogger editing tools are not working for me today. SalleeB

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Strength Prayer Using Isaiah 43:2 and Deuteronomy 31:6

Praying for Another Person
Dear Lord Jesus, 
let                                        know that you are with them as they walk through the waters of life and that you will not let life overflow them. I know that you are with them because you redeemed them, you have called them by name, and they are Yours!
Let                                      know that they can walk through the fire and not be scorched, they can walk through the flame and not be burned because you are with them. 
Let                                      be strong and courageous because you will not fail or forsake them. I ask this in your name Jesus. Amen.

Praying for Yourself
Dear Lord Jesus,
let me know that you are with me as I walk through the waters of life and that you will not let life overflow me. I know that you are with me because you redeemed me, you have called me by name, and I am Yours!
Let me know that I can walk through the fire and not be scorched, that I can walk through the flame and not be burned because you are with me. 
Let me be strong and courageous because you will not fail or forsake me. I ask this in your name Jesus. Amen.

Isaiah 43:2 AKJV
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle on you.

Deuteronomy 31:6 AKJV
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD your God, he it is that does go with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Verse of the Week - Romans 6:22 - July 25, 2016

 Christ purchased it, prepared it, prepares us for it, preserves us to it; he is the All in all in our salvation.

Though the way is up-hill, though it is narrow, thorny, and beset, yet everlasting life at the end of it is sure. 

The gift of God is eternal life. And this gift is through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The above text is from Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary and edited by faith blogger Sallee Bonham.

Psalm of the Week - 94:15 - July 25, 2016

Photo and photo editing  by Sallee Bonham
But although the world is now full of unrighteous judgments, and even God himself seems not to judge and administer things justly, because he suffers his people to be oppressed, and the wicked to triumph over them, yet the state of things shall be otherwise ordered, God will declare himself to be a righteous Judge, and will advance and establish justice in the earth, and especially among his people.                                                         Matthew Poole  1624-1679

Can you believe that Matthew Poole wrote the above quote in the 17th Century? 

To my way of thinking, mankind hasn't changed at all. What Matthew Poole wrote could have been written today, in the 21st century, because it is as applicable to the world today as it was when he originally wrote it. Do you agree?

In my opinion, the study of the Bible is timeless. I am still amazed at how much insight I gain from bible commentaries that were written over three centuries ago.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The 2016 Sturgis Kentucky Bike Rally

Our 700 mile round trip was rain-free, which was an answered prayer.
We arrived at the Union County Fairgrounds, home of the Sturgis Kentucky Bike Rally, at 3:00 P.M. on July 13. July 13 is the Early Bird day to arrive at the rally and if you want a shady camping spot, this is the day to get there. The day was still sunny and fairly clear when we arrived.
Storm clouds over the Sturgis Kentucky Bike Rally at the Union County Fairgrounds on July 13, 2016. 
However,  a pop-up thunderstorm appeared an hour after we arrived. 
Thankfully, Bill and I had our instant tent up and most of our gear inside the tent when strong gusts of cool air announced the storm's arrival. The gusty wind and rain was fairly brief, maybe twenty minutes long. The already saturated ground formed water puddles after a minute or two of rainfall. 

Large pickup trucks pulling enormous RVs kept arriving after the rain stopped.
Bill and I watched one driver in a four-wheel drive truck spin all four truck tires in an effort to move his RV, but it didn't help. All evening we watched this same scenario play out over and over. A tractor, or a tow truck, would appear and carefully pull the stuck rigs out of  the mud so they could continue to look for a drier, less muddy, parking spot.
Wednesday - See the enormous RV pulling a motorcycle trailer on top of  the hill? A smart choice!
Being a Christian biker at an adult only bike rally can be tough. 
Bill and I wear T-shirts that have a large Christian Motorcyclists Association patch on the back and a small one on the front. This way, passersby are aware of who we are when they see us on our way to the hospitality tent, or vendor area.

We are not supporting the rally by attending, we are practicing lifestyle evangelism in the midst of a biker rally. 
Jesus called us to this ministry because of our past lives, the before Jesus lives. Both of us lived the biker-party hard lifestyle before we made our decision to live our lives for Jesus Christ and follow the teachings of the Bible. Our past lives have uniquely equipped us for motorcycle ministry to bikers. We know what it feels like to live like this.
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen                                                                                                              Hebrews 13:21 AKJV
The Hospitality Tent
The goal is to be of service and witness to rally goers while providing coffee, free water, and free Gatorade. Bill and I work at the hospitality tent, help bless bikes, pray for people, and try to show a little bit of Jesus' love to those around us.

Additionally, free travel-size toiletries,toothbrushes, bug spray, sunblock, and other helpful articles are usually available. A variety of faith-based, biker pamphlets and New Testament bibles formatted for bikers assist with the witnessing.

On one of the tables, prayer request forms and a prayer box are provided for people who don't want to talk about prayer needs, but still want prayer. The prayer request form includes spaces for contact information, too. However, most prayer requests are anonymous, but Jesus knows who filled it out.
9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith.                                                Galatians 6:9-10 AKJV
Thursday morning, we walked to the hospitality tent and assisted with making coffee, filling the water cooler, and making Gatorade.  We were able to witness to several people throughout the day. Bill gave away two New Testament bibles, Hope For The Highway, and helped bless motorcycles.

We also witnessed to a young man who sought us out while we were eating supper. In fact, he pulled his bike up in front of the hospitality tent, parked it, and approached us. He talked to us for almost half an hour and then he asked to have his motorcycle blessed.

After a long hot day, we went to our tent about 6:30 PM. Our usual evening routine is to talk to our camping neighbors for a short while before retiring to our tent for the night before the evening parade of motorcycles begins to move through the camping area.
Bill at the end of a long, hot day. 
The parking lot by adjacent to the vendor area.
Friday morning we worked at the re-entry gate, or the CMA gate, from 8:00 AM to noon. 
At the end of our gate shift, Bill and I rode our bikes to the vendor area. We walked through the vendors looking at all of the biker themed equipment, motorcycle clothing, and food.

During the walk through the rows of vendor booths and tents, we talked to the vendors that were not busy with customers, told them we hoped they sold everything, and witnessed as much as possible.

Happily, I spotted a small seat that we both thought would attach to the rear fender of my bike, between the solo seat and the luggage rack during our walk through!

The First Baptist Church of Sturgis and F.A.I.T.H. Riders had a small tent set up in the vendor area and they were giving away faith-based pamphlets and cold bottles of water. Bill and I talked with our brothers-in-faith and happily accepted bottles of cold water to help combat the humid heat.

Afterward, we went back to the hospitality tent and sat in the wind of the large fan that kept the air moving in the shaded area under the tent canopy until 4:00.

At our tent, we talked to the neighbors while we prepared to ride into town for supper. Unfortunately, another pop-up thunderstorm appeared and kept us tent bound until 7:00 PM. We decided to stay at the tent because it was so late. Supper was chocolate chunk granola bars that I had brought with us.
Tent bound during the Friday evening thunderstorm. Yes, the sun continued to shine during the downpour.   
Friday - The down pour stopped, but it continued to sprinkle rain intermittently all evening. 
Sometime in the early morning, blaring, emergency vehicle sirens woke me up as they drew closer.
Looking out the back tent window through the trees, I saw the flashing lights of an ambulance and police car as they passed by on  the highway. Listening, the sirens seemed to remain in the same spot and I decided they had to be at the front entrance of the rally. Sleepily, I prayed briefly for the safety of the emergency responders and whoever was injured before I went back to sleep.

Saturday, we were free until noon.
After we woke up and dressed, we rode out of the rally to take a shower at the First Baptist Church of Sturgis. The church had arranged for a disaster relief shower trailer to be on their parking lot.  Plus, the church ladies were serving coffee and breakfast in the community auditorium.

I had not realized how much the rally had been wearing on me until I sat down to eat breakfast with Bill at the church.  It was a welcome relief from the adult rally.

 At 11:00 AM,  we returned to our tent at the rally. Our neighbors were friendly and we talked with them quite a bit before we left for our gate shift. 

As we began our shift, one of our Christian Motorcyclists Association members told us that a man had died early in the morning. 

Instantly. I thought back to the sirens that had disturbed my sleep that morning. This was why the emergency vehicles had come to the rally. 

We were told that the man had lost control of his motorcycle, hit two other motorcycles, and ended up with the motorcycles on top of him. Sadness crept into my heart, but we all are responsible for the choices we make. It was too late to change what had happened. However, I could pray for the dead man's family and friends.

What a long, hot afternoon!
Several bikes came up to the re-entry gate without a rally pass. We directed them back to the highway and the main entrance. By now, we recognized many of the bikes and riders that were going into town and coming back from town. We waved them through the gate and I called, "Thank-you" to the ones that held up their left arm so we could see the rally band around their wrist.

At 4:00 PM, we left the gate and returned to camp.
We talked to the neighbors beside our tent. On our left, the neighbor was a guy who was camping by himself. Bill was able to witness to him for about 20 minutes because he was curious about why we were there. Our other neighbors on the right were a group of three couples. However, we mainly talked with one couple about bikes and life in general. Hopefully, we planted a seed or two just by being ourselves.

About 5:30, we rode our bikes through the CMA gate ourselves to eat supper at the Roadside Diner, a local diner that had good online reviews.

Upon our return at 6:30 PM
The evening parade of bikes through the camping area had started early. A half dozen spectators had set up chairs in front of our tent, but they apologized and moved so that we could park our bikes. Bill parked his RoadGlide, but I stayed on my Softail Custom waiting for him to move the motorcycle trailer and attach it to the trailer hitch on my bike. After the trailer was attached, Bill was ready to cover up his bike and I was ready to retreat to our tent for the night.

While Bill finished putting the cover on his bike, I  was in the tent praying for Jesus to let the walls of Satan's stronghold fall like the walls of Jericho.

Spiritually, this prayer was a flicker of light amid the darkness around me.
However, I knew our home church prayer warriors were adding their prayers to mine. Happily, the crowd around our tent seemed to disappear in a remarkably short amount of time. Answered prayer? I believe so.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.                                                                                                          Hebrews 11:20 NKJV
We zipped our front tent windows halfway up to help block the outside noise, before we started repacking our bags in preparation for leaving in the morning.

After talking for about an hour, we went to bed. As I lay there listening to roaring motorcycle engines and blaring country, rap, and rock music intermingled into a chaotic noise without harmony,  I prayed for the safety of everyone at the rally and repeated my prayer to let the walls of Satan's stronghold to fall like the walls of Jericho.
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 3 With praying also for us, that God would open to us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.                                                                                                                                        Colossians 4:2-4 AKJV
Sunday in Kentucky
Bill and I woke at 5:30 AM to silence. We hadn't heard stillness in three days and we savored the early morning quietness.

I got up about thirty minutes later to dress and finish packing my clothing bag. As Bill started his morning routine, I unzipped the tent and emerged into a calm and cool Kentucky morning. Silently, I thanked Jesus for the cool morning. Working together, Bill and I had everything packed in about an hour.

The morning was no longer silent as other early risers finished packing and began leaving the rally.
Bill and I held hands, bowed our heads, and prayed aloud for our safe travel before we started up our bikes.  My bike and Bill's bike rumbled as we rode up the hill to the CMA gate at about 7:00 AM to begin our ride home.
The Rally Was Over 
Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God's grace.                                                                                                                                             2 Corinthians 1:12 NIV

Monday, July 18, 2016

Verse of the Week - Hebrews 12:14 - July 18, 2016

Photo of Ha Ha Tonka Castle, Lake of the Ozarks, MO by Cassandra Buchmiller 
Follow Peace With All Men
The writer is referring to the trials which those whom he addressed were experiencing. Those trials seem to have arisen mainly from persecution, and he exhorts them to manifest a spirit of kindness toward all - even though they were engaged in persecuting them.

We are to make war with sin, but not with people

And Holiness - The Great Purpose of Life
  • Instead of yielding to contending passions and to a spirit of war
  • instead of seeking revenge on your persecutors and foes
  • make it rather your aim to be holy. 
  • Let that be the object of your pursuit; the great purpose of your life.

Without Which No Man Shall See the Lord
All will see the Lord in the day of judgment. In this verse, "shall see"  is used in the sense of:
  • being with the Lord
  • dwelling with the Lord
  • enjoying the Lord
Reformatted and Edited Text by Sallee Bonham 
Original Text is from Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Psalm of the Week - 34:14 - July 18, 2016

Seeking peace and pursuing it has been tough for me. 
My relationship role model was set by my parents. Their relationship(s) during my childhood were stormy.

As an adult in 12 step recovery,
I came to realize that I could not use my parents relationship(s) as my relationship model anymore. It had not been successful for them and it surely had not been successful for me.

One of my biggest revelations after I quit drinking was - You can be angry and not raise your voice.
Seriously, I did not know this at age 33. In my family, if someone was angry, they yelled, hollered, and said bad things. This was my normal.

Another revelation was the following information from page 66 in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:
But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. And with us, to drink is to die. If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us.
Obviously, my relationship role model was going to have to be based on my spiritual relationship with Jesus.
Jesus is the sunlight in my life. I do not want to block his sunlight with a black cloud of anger.

I apply Psalm 34 in my life like this:
  1. Depart evil - My evil was alcoholism/drugs and the lifestyle that goes with it. 
  2.  Do good - Sober living and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ ensures that I always seek to do good.
  3. Seek peace and pursue it - I actively seek and pursue peace, one day at a time. 


Monday, July 11, 2016

Psalm of the Week - 38:20 - July 11, 2016

Excerpt from Matthew Poole's Bible Commentary

  •  They render evil for good; they hate and persecute me, not only without any injury or provocation on my part, but as it were in requital, or in return*, for the good which I have done to them. 
  • Because I follow the thing that good is; because I love and diligently practice justice and godliness, which they hate, and which they take to be a reproach to them, and which I did exercise, as I had opportunity, in the punishment of such as they are. 
  • Compare John 15:19  and 1 John 3:12.
*added by me to make the meaning clearer

Verse of the Week - 1 Peter 2:16 - July 11, 2016

Christians must endeavor, in all relations, to behave rightly, that they do not make their liberty a cloak or covering for any wickedness, or for the neglect of duty; but they must remember that they are servants of God.                           Matthew Henry

Italics were added by Sallee Bonham

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Family Feast and Fireworks to Celebrate Freedom

Isn't a family celebration a blessing?
On July 4th, my children and their families either attend a public fireworks display, or stay at home. However, we do have a family celebration.

Yesterday I was able to attend the family feast at my daughter Ashley's home.
Her fellow Scott and his son Izaya cooked the meal. Scott proved himself to be a good home cook. His menu consisted of deviled eggs, potato salad, grilled steaks, burgers, hot dogs, and baked beans. My contribution was jello fruit salad and chocolate Yoohoo drinks for the grand kids. My girls, Cassie and Ashley filled plates for their children and then seated the children around the kitchen table. Once the children were taken care of, the grownups went through the buffet-style line and sat in the living room, talking, laughing, and eating.

Fireworks were our evening entertainment.
Before dark, the older children shot off bottle rockets and fire crackers. The three and four year old grand kids had a variety of poppers, smoke bombs, and black pellets that turned into snake-like coils of hardened ash.
The Family Circle
The noisy kid sounds filled the air and made me smile as I remembered shooting off my own fireworks as a child. Family is like a circle isn't it? Each generation repeating the activities of their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents.

Silently I thanked Jesus for all of my healthy, happy children and grandchildren. Plus, I thanked Him for allowing all of us to gather together for a feast with fireworks.

After dark the adult kids took their turn at shooting off  Roman candles, multi-colored fountains, and large, booming rockets. High overhead the exploding patterns were followed by ooh's and ah's.
My grandson Ashton, sat by me and clapped his little hands while  imitating his Grammy's ooh's and ah's.
He made me smile by saying, "Look Gram! Fire! Me want do that!" He finally got his wish when the sparklers were brought out for all of the little ones who swirled sparklers in circles and zig-zag patterns in the dark night. Each child traced brief, colorful patterns in the air and then ran to get another one.
I feel so blessed by God to live in the United States and to have the freedom of continuing my family's 4th of July celebration with a feast and fireworks.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Psalm of the Week -133:1 AKJV - July 4, 2016

For us, who are brethren, not only by nature and blood, but also the profession of the same religion...Unity among brethren, whether civil or religious, is productive both of profit and pleasure. Of profit, because therein consists the welfare and security of every society; of pleasure, because mutual love is the source of delight, and the happiness of one becomes, in that case, the happiness of all.               excerpt from the Benson Bible Commentary

Verse of the Week -John 8:36 - July 4, 2016

Christ in the gospel offers us freedom, he has power to do this, and those whom Christ makes free are really so. But often we see persons disputing about liberty of every kind, while they are slaves to some sinful lust.                                                                                       Matthew Henry's Concise Bible Commentary