Saturday, April 15, 2017

Beech Croft Tales has moved

Thank you for visiting Beech Croft Tales.
Now you can find me at the following link:
http://www.beechcrofttales.com/

I'm no longer posting on Blogspot.
I look forward to continuing to share God's goodness with you on my new website and via Facebook.

Blessings,
Mary

Saturday, April 1, 2017

SPRING SURPRISES

     Just now in this corner of Colorado we are experiencing another spring snow and blow. At this time of year a weather system pays a visit, snow falls, the sun reappears and the ground dries again. Those born and raised here are not surprised.

     A few days ago a friend was thrilled to discover this wee clump of flowers where he was hiking. By afternoon snow may be covering them up... probably not a welcome surprise for the tiny survivor.

     At times life for us may feel as though we have sprouted in a hard place. Tough circumstances can surround us like the rocks around those alpine blooms. Their roots have to go deep to draw moisture and nutrients.

     Our roots need to be established and deep as well. The psalmist said the upright won't fear bad news. Their hearts are fixed and confident in their Father even when unexpected trials crop up. (Psalm 112:7)

     And the One in whom we trust will never tease. We know there will be no practical jokes on April 1st or any other day. In His love He shares true joy. He cannot lie. He delights that we trust in His goodness. We can cast anything that troubles us on Him and know that He will take care of it. (I Peter 5:7)

     When a spring storm takes us by surprise after flowers have begun to bloom, we deal with it and it passes. The enemy may confront God's children with difficulties we can't anticipate. With faith settled in the truth of God's Word, we take whatever Satan tries to shed on us to our Father and the challenge will not shake us. Our God keeps our hearts and minds untroubled and at peace in spite of unwelcome surprises.

     

     

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

TOGETHER TIME

 
     What comes to mind when you hear the word "communion"? For many it's the Christian sacrament of taking bread and wine in remembrance of the death of Jesus. We forget about the exchanging of thoughts and feelings, the essence of communing.

     The members of the Media class I'm enrolled in at Charis Bible College have a common interest in learning how to use the technology available to let people know how precious they are to Father God. We're in class every day, but kibitzing over a meal out of school is completely different than the hours we spend together focusing on what is being taught. As we begin to develop friendships and understanding of one another, we are able to work together more effectively.

     Traditionally the focus in celebrating "the Lord's supper" is that Jesus' death secured forgiveness for sin. I was excited to learn that the Hebrew, "chanukah" translated "stripe" and "wound" also means "fellowship". (Isaiah 53:5) The Greek "koinonia" translated "communion" in I Corinthians 10:16, again referring to the sacrament, also means "fellowship" and "close association".

     When believers celebrate the Lord's supper we remember what Christ accomplished for us, total deliverance for our entire being - our well-being in every sense. Our communion is with God and with one another. Even concerning the heart of the Christian faith, it is relationship that matters most to Father God, relationship with Him and with one another.

     We are a family. Parents are delighted when their children love and enjoy one another. Divisions among relatives make everything difficult. In a natural family and in the family of God, when we come together in unity, appreciating each other's company, it's a pleasure and we can accomplish what is important to the members. Let's treasure time together, communion, in every sense of the word.
 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

HOPE

     The vision of my friend, Linda, a second year student at Charis Bible College, is improving steadily. Born prematurely, too much oxygen in the incubator robbed her of sight. Until the age of twelve she was not well enough to attend school. By age fifteen, with the help of a tutor, she had achieved grade level and has continued to succeed academically. An inspiration to everyone around her, Linda begins each new day expecting victory.

     The Apostle Paul described faith as substance and evidence of whatever we hope for. (Hebrews 11:1) Our faith is the key that opens the way to experiencing the reality of our quest. The Word of God is alive and powerful. Combined with the faith of the Son of God it cannot fail to produce excellent fruit. Whether the current battle concerns a relationship, a financial or physical or any other need, in Christ we will triumph. (2 Corinthians 2:14)

     Desire and hope come first. Paul encouraged the Philippians to ignore the negative and focus on the positive, on truth. (Philippians 4:8) The Word of God is true. If man voices an opinion that does not line up with His truth, one is not accurate. I choose God.

     Believers can abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. To abound is over-the-top expecting results. The prayer in Romans 15:13 calls for each one to be filled with joy and peace as we anticipate victory.  As long as there is breath in our bodies, we need hope.

     Anything that tries to come against us has zero ability to succeed.(Isaiah 54:17) The icicles that bar my window will melt in the Colorado sunshine. The attacks of Satan are equally futile. Father God tells us the battle is His. With God fighting for His children we can rest in the strong hope that is ours.

     

     

     

     

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

BEAUTY

     Grasses, fences, trees clothed in crystal, glistened in the early morning sunlight as we drove to school. Still air overnight had allowed hoarfrost, a sheer coating of water vapour, to freeze over everything. 

     The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that God created everything beautiful in its time. (Eccl. 3:11 AMP) We need beauty. It lifts our spirits. It cheers and brightens and delights us. The hoarfrost transformed dry, brown grasses into a charming scene along the roadside.

     We may be quicker to notice outward beauty. Father God treasures the inward beauty of a meek and quiet spirit. (I Peter 3:4) He promises to "beautify the meek with salvation." (Psalm 149:4 KJV) So often even that change is visible. 

     Someone who has just accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour can't hide the transformation. The new life the individual has received radiates through them. Like a bride on her wedding day, God's love causes the newly born-again to shine.

     Father God delights in turning ashes, anything Satan plans to destroy, into beauty. (Isaiah 61:3) The ugly cross on which the Lord Jesus died is displayed throughout the world as a symbol of triumph over sin and death.

    The aspen and spruce trees on our campus lost their sparkle before midday. The glory of God's love is forever. We enjoy the beauty of His creation now. One day every believer will behold the beauty of the Lord.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IT"S OURS!

     My home church in Ontario, Canada has just completed a First Fruits Fast. Separated by 1600 miles, attending the special prayer gatherings was not an option, but I did participate in 21 days of skipping meats and sweets and other things. It's a precious time of focusing on God's goodness, and, after all the holiday feasting, our bodies say, "Thank you!".

     The first weeks of the new year also find many determined to follow a fitness routine. Some invest in expensive equipment designed to strengthen muscles and trim fat. It can be tough to maintain the enthusiasm that inspires folks at first. 

     A mini trampoline and a couple of one pound weights has been enough for me for many years. I have found a simple program of 12 exercises done 12 times each morning is great. The routine only takes about ten minutes. I just have to step on and bounce away. Whether my modest gizmo or elaborate computerized contraptions, we don't benefit unless we use them.

     If we struggle to make use of what we have in the natural world, the battle is often greater in the spiritual. In the latter, most are not aware of what is theirs. Every blessing promised in Deuteronomy 28 belongs to God's children. They are true whether visible or not. 

     Promised prosperity is a fact. If the bank statement differs we can agree with God and His word and expect a turn around. Health is a fact. We can know that lying symptoms must disappear because by Jesus' stripes we are healed. Father does not require us to do anything He won't help us to do, so we can love those who don't love us as His love flows through His people to others.

     Just as human parents want their little ones to enjoy what they've provided, Father God longs to see His children experience all He has for them. In Isaiah 30:18 (Amplified) the prophet says the Lord waits and longs to be gracious to us. He wants us to receive what we are seeking even more than we do ourselves.

     Like a table that is spread with sumptuous delights, our Father has every good thing we could desire laid out ready for the taking. It is ours. All are welcome. Dig in. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

NIGHT AND DAY

     We have some interesting (to us) discussions around the breakfast table at Christ Haven. Sleep patterns became the topic the other morning. Several mentioned they sleep a few hours, then waken and study. They may catch another hour or two of sleep before breakfast. Not me. He gives His beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:2) I'm His beloved and I receive this promise.

     Night and day, darkness and light, to Father God they are the same. (Psalm 139:12) Those who are spending time with Him in the middle of the night are definitely loved and blessed, but we need light. Natural and spiritual light are both essential.

     Everyone has tried to do something in a tight corner without enough light. Until we discover a way to shine light on that work space the job can't be done. In dim light we can see something. With proper light details show up. This also happens when understanding of information comes. The light comes on.

     Just now, for me. the light is focused on the precious truth that what I do or don't do is not what gives me favour with God. It's what the Lord Jesus did for me that has me nestled in Father's love. (Ephesians 1:6) 

     Each sunrise can be a reminder that God's children are called out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9) We are completely delivered from any power darkness holds. (Colossians 1:13) The word of God is a light giving direction to our lives. (Psalm 119:12)

     I'm thankful for refreshing sleep in the night and for health and strength for every day. At the same time the Apostle John's revelation is exciting. He saw eternity with no sorrow, pain or death and no night. The Lord God will give us light. (Revelation 21:4 and 22:5)