Thought to Ponder

“The world watches, condemns, and though lack of truly serious action…. condones.” SS (His thought in context of our communication was related to the ongoing war in Ukraine)

I love my pen pal friend that reminds me often of profound thoughts. It just seems I’m always sitting like Jonah under a fig leaf for shade when this young man, a traveler, a believer in the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus pens me a thought to ponder. To be truthful it seems like a ‘worm thought’ to attack my shade.

*Jonah 4:5 “Then Jonah left the city and sat down east of it, where he made himself a shelter and sat in its shade to see what would happen to the city. 6) So the LORD God appointed a vine, and it grew up to provide shade over Jonah’s head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was greatly pleased with the plant. 7)When dawn came the next day, God appointed a worm that attacked the plant so that it withered away and leave him exposed to the scorching rays.”

I have read that Jonah’s discomfort was not so much the physical discomfort from the heat, but rather the condition of his mind, the vexation and disappointment under which he was suffering. I think God thought the same. Look what God did! He communicated in truth so Jonah could see.

9 “Then God asked Jonah, “Have you any right to be angry about the plant?”

I do,” he replied. “I am angry enough to die!”

10) But the LORD said, “You cared about the plant, which you neither tended nor made grow. It sprang up in a night and perished in a night. 11) So should I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than 120,000 people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well?”

*if you are not familiar with the Book of Jonah its a great read where good triumphs over evil

15 thoughts on “Thought to Ponder

  1. Read with me the footnotes from the NIV for verse 9 of chapter 4, in the Book of Jonah. “ Jonah was angry at the withering of the vine, but not over what could’ve happened to Nineveh. Most of us have cried at the death of a pet or when an object with sentimental value is broken, but have we cried over the fact that a friend does not know God? How easy is it to be more sensitive to our own interest then to the spiritual needs of people around us.” Woe….now that is something to ponder🥺🙏

    1. Tammy, if those footnotes doesn’t step on our toes we might really need a refuel. These notes give us a watercolor of unbelief. Jonah was /is self-centered in a vivid troublesome way. He almost wrecked a ship. Whose knows how much stress he put on the whale’s belly! When God proved the words from a mighty hymn, A Mighty fortress is our God” old Joe bailed again looking for praise of self! I told you so! When you travel along on Jonah’s sea journey you wonder if Martin Luther had Jonah plus some of us humans in mind when he penned these words;
      🎼. 1 A mighty fortress is our God,
      a bulwark never failing;
      our helper he, amid the flood
      of mortal ills prevailing.
      For still our ancient foe
      does seek to work us woe;
      his craft and power are great,
      and armed with cruel hate,
      on earth is not his equal.“ 🎼

      1. “Tammy, if those footnotes doesn’t step on our toes we might really need a refuel.” Sara, you spoke the truth!

  2. “The world watches, condemns, and though lack of truly serious action…. condones.”

    SS sure has given a “Thought to Ponder”. I think I have read in more than one news headlines regarding this that the US is monitoring the situation; monitor defined as “observe and check the progress “. Not much action here.

    Sara writes,“To be truthful it seems like a ‘worm thought’ to attack my shade.” and*if you are not familiar with the Book of Jonah its a great read where good triumphs over evil.”

    Jonah seemed to have some shade in the boat he was sleeping in in addition to the plant. For those in danger from the fierce storm said to him, ““How can you sleep at a time like this?” he shouted. “Get up and pray to your god! Maybe he will pay attention to us and spare our lives.”” Jonah 1:6

    I read also in Jonah that the King of Ninevah prayed and said, “everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence.”….”When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.”

    Encouraging as Sara wrote, “where good triumphs over evil.

    1. The gospel of Matthew reminds us by the words of Jesus that we know a greater story but my question is what are we doing greater than Jonah with this knowledge and power Christians proclaim…39) He (Jesus) answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40) For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41) The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here.”  Gospel of Matthew, 12:39–41

      We, believers in Christ Jesus as the Messiah have begun our church season to find Christ in our Easter Story. My pen pal friend, SS, resides near Charlotte NC, a believer searching for our headlines of “church” repentance and action by believers. Jonah had a story to share? What is our personal story in This war crises we face today?

  3. Philippians 2:3 guide me: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition…” is my pocket rock for today!

    What encouragement have you tucked in your pocket to encourage you today!

  4. “What encouragement have you tucked in your pocket to encourage you today!”

    This verse was part of my am devotional and I thought good to keep focused on and in remembrance. “Our help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124:8

    1. “What encouragement have you tucked in your pocket to encourage you today?”“Isaiah 41:10-12
      New International Version
      10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
      do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
      I will strengthen you and help you;
      I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.“

      1. Tammy, thanks for sharing your prized rock. So awesome how you and Debi built faith in the readers heart giving a mind blast of hope.

        Debi shared the identity of the one and only that has the power to strengthen and help in times when we so need the Lord to uphold us with his righteous right hand! WOW just WOW!

        I think these pocket stuffers are worthy the space in our pockets and note worthy to share with others don’t you!

  5. I love our little community that gathers here to share with one another and others that often stop by for a refresh.

    I want to share a story that repeats itself in my spiritual life almost daily if not more often in various forms and ways.

    I love little stickers and I have been so happy with many various kinds from various places and many different people. ❤️ Them all.

    This story is about my friend Tammy H, she sends me stickers with words of Biblical words. I often use them just as I hear/feel the Holy Spirit nudge me a bit. And, often many respond with what it meant for their day.

    This week, Monday exact 3/7/22…I was rushing around with errands that seems to overtake my patience. My friend Debi offer to help by dropping a pkg off at PO for me. I asked her would you also drop off at bank since it’s right there. Of course she replied in the positive.

    As I jammed by papers in old envelope for Debi to send up Bank Shute I heard add the little lamb sticker with the cute sheep and words the Lord is my Shephetd that Tammy gave. I thought where are they? I’m in another room and very busy and I might not have enough for Easter mailings.

    Knock knock on my 💚’s door. I did it a little begrudgingly. Gave to Debi to drop off and let it go. The next day Debi which can be short on words but big on doing stopped by and told me just how much the bank teller loved the sticker.

    Shame on you Sara! But, I love God’s mercy and grace in the midst of my selfish shame. I felt much joy to announce the good deeds of Debi and Tammy to Our Heavenly Father and ask for blessings. And, share their story of kindness and goodness with others and hear them say, Oh God bless your friends and Lily community. (That being a nugget I learned from the great poet Maya Angelou.)

    I hope to pause with gentleness and patience to remind myself little is much when God is in it!

    1. “While it is true that most people never see or understand the difference they make, or sometimes only imagine their actions having a tiny effect, every single action a person takes has far-reaching consequences.” – Andy Andrews

  6. All week I have been pondering
    With all that is going on here in the US and with the
    War in the Ukraine. PASTOR at my church SAID, “Many find themselves anxious today.”.
    This was the sermon this past week at my church.. The church scripture focus was PHILLIPPIANS 4: 6 which says “do not be anxious about about ANYTHING, but in EVERYTHING in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be known to GOD. Where was Paul when he wrote this? -in PRISON. Psalms 121 reads : I lift up eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. He will not let your foot be moved. He who watches over you will not slumber.

    Pastor said, Anxiety is imaginings of the threat and fear sees the threat. Anxiety comes with life. But it doesn’t have to dominate your life. In my own life I have been I have played anxiety over and over like riding on a Ferris wheel and the imaginings with each turn grow bigger and bigger. That of course, is wrong and I had to take this to the Lord and repent of stinky thinking – dwelling on the wrong things. In Philippians 4: 8. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about these things.

    When working with the children at BSF. They learned that Jesus came to serve and that we as children of God should serve one another. We also spoke about knowing Jesus and having a relationship with Him. They learned that Jesus would be with them ALL the time. Bad times and Good times and ALL the time. When serving others our spirit is lifted. So serve.

    In my Sunday school in class we talked about asking forgiveness of our sins and repenting of our sins, coming to know JESUS, ACCEPTING HIM AS LORD and SAVIOR. ONE GIRL IN MY CLASS RAISED HER HAND AN ASKED, Ms O I ASKED JESUS into my heart, I know He took on all my sins, was baptized confessing my sins and repenting, but I have a question, “I know that we keep on sinning after baptism, andso what do I do about those sins”. I said remember GOD’s mercies are new every morning. I use part of the verse in LAMENTATIONS 3: 22-23. “ “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

    I said ask for forgiveness, repent of your sin and if you don’t know them ask for forgiveness of all your sins known and unknown. Oh she said. She looked up and said, “ It’s like that white board. We write on it and it’s like the writing our sins are written on the board and when we wipe clean, in the morning God shows us mercy as we ask for foregiveness and repent the board is then made clean and we then in the morning we start another day and we sin and continue this cleansing everyday until we go to heaven.”

    This is what the pastor challenged us to do this week.

    2. Don’t dwell on anxious thoughts
    3. In everything speak of your gratitude (refocusing on God.)
    4. Pray specifically with gratitude and present your request to GOD.

    Think on:
    Psalms 121 reads : I lift up eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. HE watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. YOUR FOOT not SLIP –He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed,

    1. Rena, send this to your Pastor! He might delight in your attentiveness. I know you are a good note taker. It seems as a pastor of a local congregation in Alabama he understood his flock. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

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