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Archive for the ‘God and Bible’ Category

One of the definitions of the word “filter” is: “any substance, such as cloth, paper, porous porcelain, or a layer of charcoal or sand, through which liquid or gas is passed to remove suspended impurities or to recover solids.”

In our human bodies, we have several filters; organs, whose main purpose is to filter out impurities in our blood. Here are some vital filters:

The Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine.
Every day, the two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood to produce about 1 to 2 quarts of urine, composed of wastes and extra fluid.
The kidneys are important because they keep the composition, or makeup, of the blood stable, which lets the body function.
Each kidney is made up of about a million filtering units called nephrons. The nephron includes a filter, called the glomerulus, and a tubule.
The nephrons work through a two-step process. The glomerulus lets fluid and waste products pass through it; however, it prevents blood cells and large molecules, mostly proteins, from passing. The filtered fluid then passes through the tubule, which sends needed minerals back to the bloodstream and removes wastes.
The Liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly. Weighing about 3 pounds, the liver is reddish-brown in color and feels rubbery to the touch. Normally you can’t feel the liver, because it’s protected by the rib cage.

The liver’s main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver also detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs. As it does so, the liver secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions.

The Spleen is an organ in the upper far left part of the abdomen, to the left of the stomach. The spleen varies in size and shape between people, but it’s commonly fist-shaped, purple, and about 4 inches long. Because the spleen is protected by the rib cage, you can’t easily feel it unless it’s abnormally enlarged.

The spleen plays multiple supporting roles in the body. It acts as a filter for blood as part of the immune system. Old red blood cells are recycled in the spleen, and platelets and white blood cells are stored there. The spleen also helps fight certain kinds of bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis.

When I read about these organs and their miraculous role in filtering our blood and keeping us in good health, I can truly say, along with the Psalmist, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And [that] my soul knows very well.” Psalms 139:14 (NKJV)

Just as our bodies need filters to protect our blood, organs, and ultimately, our lives, so we need a spiritual filter to sift out the impurities from our souls; impurities that come from the world (1John 2:15), the devil (1 Peter 5:8), and yes, even our own selves. Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it. One of the most vital filters that God has provided to us is His word (The Holy Bible).

Consider the following scriptures:

Psalm 12:6 (KJV) 6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Proverbs 30:5 (KJV)
Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

The word pure in this verse is the Hebrew word Tsaraph, which means:
to smelt, refine, test
(Qal)
to smelt, refine
to test
to test (and prove true)
smelter, refiner, goldsmith (participle)
(Niphal) to be refined
(Piel) to be a refiner
refiner (participle)

If we filter our choices through the word of God, we will prosper. The Lord has provided this navigation for us. “Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105. If we do not filter our decisions through the Word of God, they will chip away at our Christianity. Decisions and choices which may seem trite and harmless can have devastating ramifications if they are not in alignment with God’s will. How imperative it is to guard our hearts and minds with the Word of God. It is the revealed will of God, and a proven tool for filtering out lies and exposing the truth.

Proverbs 4:23 says, ‘Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it [spring] the issues of life.”

Ephesians 5:26-27 (KJV)
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

 

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It was December 22, 1982; early in the evening. I was preparing to make lasagna for some friends who were coming to dinner. Suddenly, the lights and power abruptly ceased! We learned later that 70 MPH winds from a storm had caused this interruption. Power companies estimated that more than two million homes and businesses in California, Nevada and Arizona were without electricity as a result. As I gazed out our window, nothing but blackness met my eyes. The darkness was unsettling. Something I had always taken for granted was now gone. I began to ponder the vital part that light plays in our lives. Photosynthesis, for example; the process by which plants absorb sunlight and turn that energy into food. would not be possible without light. Our existence depends on it.

Just as light is necessary for natural survival, so the light of truth is essential for our spiritual well-being. Looking back, we can see how God placed lights; special people in our lives to guide us along the way. Our parents were the first. They nurtured us and illuminated our lives with good moral values, discipline, deep love and more. We owe them so much. Then there were others. Teachers, friends, ministers and pastors enlightened our paths as we left the nest. One light in particular who ignited our young lives was Lydia Miraflor-Thompson and her family. Lydia became a spiritual Mom to Mike and I. She took me in as an adopted daughter after I moved to California. Lydia taught us how to pray and walk close with God. Her young, twin grandsons showed me the importance of hiding the scriptures in my heart when they recited the 23rd Psalm to me. Because of Lydia, we learned to use wisdom. Her daughter Rachel and son-in-law Tom, were matron of honor and best man, and her daughter Evalani, sang in our wedding. All of her eight children and their families have been a blessing to us.

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The greatest Light of all, Jesus, came into the world and gave Himself so that whosoever would believe on Him should not abide in darkness (John 12:46). This light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehends it not (John 1:4-5). His light cannot be overcome by darkness. Whoever follows Him shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life. He is the Light of the World. The wonder of Christmas is its simplicity. This story holds no pomp and circumstance. Just the simplicity of the Divine. It is humbling to recognize that our human reasoning is often inaccurate, in that which matters. But it’s a good revelation to have. Because then we face the truth that God created us with limited perception, needing His direction, needing His Star in the darkness of night, to guide us. This Christmas, may the light of His life illuminate your heart to become a light to others.

Just one little flame in the darkness,
just one little flicker of light;
Just one small glimmer of brightness,
dispelling the darkness of night.
But, oh, what God did to the darkness
with one little flicker of light;
Oh, what God did with its brightness
When it touched just one other life;
Then two lights reached out with new brightness,
And soon there were four, and then more–
So quickly His light conquered darkness
as new lights flared up by the score.
No longer just one light in the darkness,
no longer just one tiny flame,
Now the world’s aglow with His brightness,
Since the Light of the world, Jesus came.
JESUS, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD – by L. Wolfe

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In Loving Memory

It is with deep sadness that I write of the sudden passing of my brother Tom in October of this year. Tommy, as we affectionately called him, was the first son and the 2nd child of six children born to our Italian parents. Tom and I were about 14 months apart.
A flood of memories assail me as I recall growing up with my brother. Tom was pleasant, and always giving and generous. I remember when Mom came home from the hospital after giving birth to Johnny, 8-year old Tommy gave his last dollar to Mom as a mother’s day gift. He was always kind and easy to get along with. I never heard him speak a harsh word to anyone.

Tommy was so smart that he skipped a grade. And from 4th grade on, he and I were in the same class together all the way through high school. What fun we had learning French together and doing skits in class. When Tom was 18, he, came to California for our wedding. And while out here, he repented, gave his heart to God, was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Ghost. His life was forever changed. From that moment on, he had a deep love for God and would read the bible and pray regularly as he grew in his newfound faith.

He graduated with honors and a Th.B. in theology from Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota. Tom was regularly involved in his church as a Sunday school teacher, song leader, bible instructor, and a friend to many. Our son Jeremy always loved when Uncle Tom came to visit. Tom lived with us for a few years, and he would often take Jeremy rollerblading and do other fun things with him. He always made us laugh with his antics. In later years, I saw Tom’s faith and service to God deepen. I recall many times at church, hearing Tom let out a loud shout of praise and thanksgiving, with his hands raised high in the air. Yes, we laughed, but Tom had good reason to praise the Lord. For he had drunk deeply from the well of God’s forgiveness and mercy. The Bible says he who is forgiven much loves much. And Tommy surely showed his love for God.

While going through his belongings, I found copies of letters he had sent to family, and friends; telling them about God’s plan of salvation. I also found a 14-page prayer list he had typed. It listed all our family, relatives, friends and church members in detailed order. It even had names of different people he had met at the store or at a restaurant. I’ve seen Tom weep for lost souls. He had a genuine love for people. It showed in all he did. Tom believed that we must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainty of the world to come. Tommy, thank you for being a big part of our lives. While we miss you, we know that you are with the Lord. We look forward to the day when we will see you again on that great triumphant morning when Jesus calls us home.

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Through the busy-ness of the Christmas holiday, I neglected to mention that our eleven-month old grandson Malachi (Kai), played baby Jesus in the Sunday school play at children’s church last month. Dressed in his little white homespun robe, he looked like a sweet, baby angel.

He was in the scene where the wise men came from afar and presented Jesus with their gifts (Matthew 2:1-12). I was mildly concerned how Malachi would do in his role since he sometimes cries when placed in unfamiliar surroundings. However, I should not have worried. Without any practice whatsoever, Kai did great! As he sat by Mary and Joseph (played by Angel and Joey Ladd), the wise men entered the dwelling and placed their gifts in front of Malachi. He looked at them and gave a big smile, his blue eyes just beamed with joy. My heart soared! I was so proud of him.

And so, Kai’s grandpa jokingly stated that his acting career was launched and ended in one day. After all, he played the best person in history. What else is left for him to do? After the play ended, all the kids swarmed around Malachi, trying to touch his head and hold his hand. Without trying, he had won their hearts.

It was a special day that we will always remember.

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He Has Come!



The face of innocence

Originally uploaded by Kiki Karia.

It seems like 2010 has flown by in the blink of an eye. I remember last December at this time, the excitement was mounting in our lives because our first grandchild was soon to be born. After nine long months of waiting in eager anticipation, our first grandchild finally arrived! Malachi (Kai) James Mester entered this world on January 11, 2010, weighing in at 9-½ LBS and 21 inches long. At long last, he has come. A new era begins in our lives, one that has transformed us forever!

This blond-haired, blue-eyed baby boy has brought so much joy to our lives this year. He coos, he laughs, he claps, and he squeals with delight! Seeing life through the eyes of Malachi brings us a fresh sense of wonder and awe, because his eyes reflect sweet innocence and love. And everything is brand new to him. Mike and I have held Kai and wept tears of joy and thankfulness to God for his young life. We’re so grateful to be a part of him. Malachi’s name means “My Messenger”. And we hope that one day he will proclaim the message of salvation and hope to longing hearts.

Angelic messengers announced the birth of a very special baby boy two millennia ago. His nativity was the most pivotal event in human history. Jesus, this child of new beginnings had come. Just as a new era had begun for us with Kai’s birth, an era that transcends all others began with the birth of Jesus. Born a child and yet a king, a lowly manger embraced God’s almighty heart.

Scriptures claim His origin had been from old; from everlasting. The Timeless One had stepped into time; for a purpose. He came into a world filled with utter darkness to give us light, and redeem us from the curse of sin and the ensuing darkness that had reigned in our hearts since the fall of the first man, Adam.
God in His magnificent wisdom, robed Himself in flesh, walked among us, and through His sacrifice on the cross, He reconciled mankind back to Himself. This priceless gift of salvation is now available to whosoever will follow His call, a call that began with a baby’s cry; who knocked on the world’s heart and gently asked to come in.

Is it any wonder that Jesus said except we be converted and become as little children we would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven? (Matt.18:3) What is it about a small child that appeals to us? Is it their innocence, simple trust and wide-eyed wonder? Or perhaps it’s their total dependence on us for their care? Could it be that through the eyes of a child, we catch a glimpse of heaven? Jesus said, “For of such is the Kingdom of God”.
Let Jesus change your heart today. He is real. Turn from the old life. Let Him make you new. Be filled with His wonder. Be touched by His peace. Believe in the miracle. He Has Come!

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Recently Mike and I returned from a 10-day road trip to the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains and Yosemite. Every year when we do this trip, we try to visit new places. This time, we stayed in the town of Lone Pine, which lies in the shadow of Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. In this area are many mountains over 12,000 feet in elevation, and the scenery is often breathtaking in beauty. There was a meadow that Mike wanted to explore near Lone Pine called “Horseshoe Meadow”. The road leading to this meadow could be seen from way down below in the valley as a double Z of switchback roads zig zagging their way up the side of a mountain. The long drive up the eastern escarpment of the southern Sierra via the paved Horseshoe Meadow Road is an adventure in itself. The road rises from 4,000 feet in the arid Owens Valley to the timberline forests at Horseshoe Meadow at 10,000 feet. As we began the drive up this road, I realized that there were hardly any guardrails, and only a couple of feet of pavement were between us and gravity’s grasp. In all honesty, by the time we were near the top, I was terrified. The dramatic view from that height threw me into survival mode, and it was all I could do not to panic. And yet at the same time, the view was riveting and beautiful. It was hard to fathom that we were 6,000 feet above the valley floor. I could not comprehend such height. It was too much for me. I am reminded of a scripture in the bible that says,..”that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what [is] the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God (Ephesians 3:17-19). The breadth, length, depth and HEIGHT of God’s love is even greater than the dizzying heights that I experienced. And this altitude encounter once more reminded me of His great love which is higher than any earthly heights.

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