Do You Hear What I Hear? 

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Name above all Names 

The book I love, and bought it as it called out to me when I saw it for $10. This book and certain passages is clearly a way for God to remind me both of His abilities and of His Majesty. It’s a book now that I have purchased many ebay used copies (for only $5) to give to preacher friends. 

This paragraph on page 71 describes me. I heard the Word in human voices and THEN heard the Word in Jesus’s voice. I saw the faith, then I knew the faith. I woke up from a long sleep. I was born again but it took a month – it took the head forceps to get me out of the darkness of my own head. I was born from my mother the first time and they used forceps – I was born by and thru the Sprit and JESUS PULLED!

When Jesus speaks, His SHEEP (US) HEAR HIM.

Amen


The Name Above All Names page 71 text reads: “but one night as he came home, he “happened” to pick up a recording of a sermon we had preached. The young man listened to the sermon every day for a month. On the last day of the month, he came to a living faith in Christ. What happened? He presumably did not realize what was happening to him; Christ was calling him; only slowly did that dawn on him. He heard the same human voice again and again, but then at last he heard the voice of Christ and responded.”

NOT Satisfied, 18JAN – #1365

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I was not satisfied with how I thought about MLK Jr day on Monday, because I didn’t think about it or him at all, just a crazy busy day within a crazy busy season of my life. I revisit today not just for recapturing yesterdays but also by revisiting 1957 and a sermon by Dr King about LOVING YOUR ENEMIES. Thanks to Wikipedia and wonderful websites, we have a transcript and audio of many sermons and speeches. 

What a great excerpt I was led to find – that Jesus says we are to love our enemies because love is redemptive goodwill, because God loves everyone and because you have agape in your soul. As hate only bring hate, the redemptive strength of love means that when you are presented with the opportunity to defeat your enemy, that you DON’T do it. When we love, we see God’s image in each person – in our enemies too.

I’ve included the link to the whole sermon and audio, as well as more links to more sermons. If we remember that God is behind all the drive to love, that God IS Love, we also will remember that love will not, and can never fail.

Especially I like the analogy he gives about dimming the car headlights – that we are all driving where we need to dim the car headlights and be courteous and be the LOVE…  Love has a redemptive power because God is Love. We should all be NOT satisfied with the hate in the world when we are commanded to LOVE.

Amen and Please do read below:

Excerpt of the MLK Jr Sermon NOV 1957

“…within the best of us, there is some evil, and within the worst of us, there is some good. When we come to see this, we take a different attitude toward individuals. The person who hates you most has some good in him; even the nation that hates you most has some good in it; even the race that hates you most has some good in it. And when you come to the point that you look in the face of every man and see deep down within him what religion calls “the image of God,” you begin to love him in spite of. No matter what he does, you see God’s image there. There is an element of goodness that he can never sluff off. Discover the element of good in your enemy. And as you seek to hate him, find the center of goodness and place your attention there and you will take a new attitude.

Another way that you love your enemy is this: When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy, that is the time which you must not do it. There will come a time, in many instances, when the person who hates you most, the person who has misused you most, the person who has gossiped about you most, the person who has spread false rumors about you most, there will come a time when you will have an opportunity to defeat that person. It might be in terms of a recommendation for a job; it might be in terms of helping that person to make some move in life. That’s the time you must not do it. That is the meaning of love. In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to defeat the system.

The Greek language, as I’ve said so often before, is very powerful at this point. It comes to our aid beautifully in giving us the real meaning and depth of the whole philosophy of love. And I think it is quite apropos at this point, for you see the Greek language has three words for love, interestingly enough. It talks about love as eros. That’s one word for love. Eros is a sort of, aesthetic love. Plato talks about it a great deal in his dialogues, a sort of yearning of the soul for the realm of the gods. And it’s come to us to be a sort of romantic love, though it’s a beautiful love. Everybody has experienced eros in all of its beauty when you find some individual that is attractive to you and that you pour out all of your like and your love on that individual. That is eros, you see, and it’s a powerful, beautiful love that is given to us through all of the beauty of literature; we read about it.

Then the Greek language talks about philia, and that’s another type of love that’s also beautiful. It is a sort of intimate affection between personal friends. And this is the type of love that you have for those persons that you’re friendly with, your intimate friends, or people that you call on the telephone and you go by to have dinner with, and your roommate in college and that type of thing. It’s a sort of reciprocal love. On this level, you like a person because that person likes you. You love on this level, because you are loved. You love on this level, because there’s something about the person you love that is likeable to you. This too is a beautiful love. You can communicate with a person; you have certain things in common; you like to do things together. This is philia.

The Greek language comes out with another word for love. It is the word agape. And agape is more than eros; agape is more than philia; agape is something of the understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill for all men. It is a love that seeks nothing in return. It is an overflowing love; it’s what theologians would call the love of God working in the lives of men. And when you rise to love on this level, you begin to love men, not because they are likeable, but because God loves them. You look at every man, and you love him because you know God loves him. And he might be the worst person you’ve ever seen.

And this is what Jesus means, I think, in this very passage when he says, “Love your enemy.” And it’s significant that he does not say, “Like your enemy.” Like is a sentimental something, an affectionate something. There are a lot of people that I find it difficult to like. I don’t like what they do to me. I don’t like what they say about me and other people. I don’t like their attitudes. I don’t like some of the things they’re doing. I don’t like them. But Jesus says love them. And love is greater than like. Love is understanding, redemptive goodwill for all men, so that you love everybody, because God loves them. You refuse to do anything that will defeat an individual, because you have agape in your soul. And here you come to the point that you love the individual who does the evil deed, while hating the deed that the person does. This is what Jesus means when he says, “Love your enemy.” This is the way to do it. When the opportunity presents itself when you can defeat your enemy, you must not do it.

Now for the few moments left, let us move from the practical how to the theoretical why. It’s not only necessary to know how to go about loving your enemies, but also to go down into the question of why we should love our enemies. I think the first reason that we should love our enemies, and I think this was at the very center of Jesus’ thinking, is this: that hate for hate only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. If I hit you and you hit me and I hit you back and you hit me back and go on, you see, that goes on ad infinitum. [tapping on pulpit] It just never ends. Somewhere somebody must have a little sense, and that’s the strong person. The strong person is the person who can cut off the chain of hate, the chain of evil. And that is the tragedy of hate, that it doesn’t cut it off. It only intensifies the existence of hate and evil in the universe. Somebody must have religion enough and morality enough to cut it off and inject within the very structure of the universe that strong and powerful element of love.

I think I mentioned before that sometime ago my brother and I were driving one evening to Chattanooga, Tennessee, from Atlanta. He was driving the car. And for some reason the drivers were very discourteous that night. They didn’t dim their lights; hardly any driver that passed by dimmed his lights. And I remember very vividly, my brother A. D. looked over and in a tone of anger said: “I know what I’m going to do. The next car that comes along here and refuses to dim the lights, I’m going to fail to dim mine and pour them on in all of their power.” And I looked at him right quick and said: “Oh no, don’t do that. There’d be too much light on this highway, and it will end up in mutual destruction for all. Somebody got to have some sense on this highway.”

Somebody must have sense enough to dim the lights, and that is the trouble, isn’t it? That as all of the civilizations of the world move up the highway of history, so many civilizations, having looked at other civilizations that refused to dim the lights, and they decided to refuse to dim theirs. And Toynbee tells that out of the twenty-two civilizations that have risen up, all but about seven have found themselves in the junkheap of destruction. It is because civilizations fail to have sense enough to dim the lights. And if somebody doesn’t have sense enough to turn on the dim and beautiful and powerful lights of love in this world, the whole of our civilization will be plunged into the abyss of destruction. And we will all end up destroyed because nobody had any sense on the highway of history. Somewhere somebody must have some sense. Men must see that force begets force, hate begets hate, toughness begets toughness. And it is all a descending spiral, ultimately ending in destruction for all and everybody. Somebody must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate and the chain of evil in the universe. And you do that by love.

There’s another reason why you should love your enemies, and that is because hate distorts the personality of the hater. We usually think of what hate does for the individual hated or the individuals hated or the groups hated. But it is even more tragic, it is even more ruinous and injurious to the individual who hates. You just begin hating somebody, and you will begin to do irrational things. You can’t see straight when you hate. You can’t walk straight when you hate. You can’t stand upright. Your vision is distorted. There is nothing more tragic than to see an individual whose heart is filled with hate. He comes to the point that he becomes a pathological case. For the person who hates, you can stand up and see a person and that person can be beautiful, and you will call them ugly. For the person who hates, the beautiful becomes ugly and the ugly becomes beautiful. For the person who hates, the good becomes bad and the bad becomes good. For the person who hates, the true becomes false and the false becomes true. That’s what hate does. You can’t see right. The symbol of objectivity is lost. Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater.

Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. That’s why Jesus says, “Love your enemies.” Because if you hate your enemies, you have no way to redeem and to transform your enemies. But if you love your enemies, you will discover that at the very root of love is the power of redemption. You just keep loving people and keep loving them, even though they’re mistreating you. Here’s the person who is a neighbor, and this person is doing something wrong to you and all of that. Just keep being friendly to that person. Keep loving them. Don’t do anything to embarrass them. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with bitterness because they’re mad because you love them like that. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies…”

http://ipoet.com/ARCHIVE/BEYOND/King-Jr/Loving-Your-Enemies.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sermons_and_speeches_of_Martin_Luther_King_Jr.#Sermons

Satisfied?

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Seriously we have a human characteristic to be squabbling like little kids – like who gets the bigger half of the sandwich. Gideon (who led winning wars thanks to God’s intervention and that tumbling loaf of barley bread) later came up against people who grumbled, and who withheld help, and Gideon encountered lots of folks who turned their backs. He reminded and warned those Israelites that God always is the Deliverer, God forbid they withhold what God has given. 

A Godly characteristic is SHARING and a Godly trait is to give of our best. A sacrifice to sacrifice. A sacrifice of praise to realize we are ALREADY blessed

God surely can say: “It’s all mine, why would you have a say in how I distribute it anyway.” This is true of the father to the prodigal son. This is true of the vine dresser to the workers in the vinyard. God could withhold in order to teach, but rather He could give forth in order to reach. If God chooses to bless, who are we to say He can’t spend His Blessings in any way He wants. 

God knows that we are not deserving, but only say the Word, the Word of God, meaning say Jesus into your day, and His Mercy is poured out. His blood spilled on purpose. We have the spoils of the Victory of the War waged in Heavenly realms, AND WE DID NOTHING TO EARN IT. 

Resentment lessons are gleanings (extra good info) from Bible teachings. LOVE and LOYALTY Lessons are the HEART of the Harvest of the Word. Surely if we have the blessings of God’s Hand, we cannot grumble as much about what is (or what is not) in our hands.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

God loves a cheerful giver.

Amen 

Judges 8:1-3 Now the Ephraimites asked Gideon, “Why have you treated us like this? Why didn’t you call us when you went to fight Midian?” And they challenged him vigorously. But he answered them, “What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren’t the gleanings of Ephraim’s grapes better than the full grape harvest of Abiezer? God gave Oreb and Zeeb, the Midianite leaders, into your hands. What was I able to do compared to you?” At this, their resentment against him subsided.

2nd Corinthians 9:6-8

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work

Matthew 6:9-15, 20-21

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Drop Kick Me Jesus

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A football kicker for the Baltimore Ravens mentioned this song on a 60 minutes interview… Dropkick me Jesus…   Too fabulous…   Love the truth in these lyrics:  I’ve got the will, Lord, if you’ve got the toe.

Not only do I love the visual these lyrics bring – it’s the old-tyme country singing style that defined country music when I was a kid.  It’s one of those ballads that says: This is where I am in life. Not the blues, but the TRUES. Jesus comes to meet us where we are. 

The truth is that in life’s game plan, we would best realize to know and have God handling us, the ball. Jesus came to the bottom of the fumble pile and He has recovered us.

A dropkick means that the game still goes on. We have the best player coach in Jesus. Let’s not play life, let’s live it!    And hear all those stadium saints cheer!

Amen 


Dropkick me, Jesus  By Bobby Bare

Dropkick me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life

End over end, neither left, nor the right

Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights

Dropkick me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life

Make me, oh, make me, Lord, more than I am

Make a piece in your master game plan

Free from the earthly tempestion below

I’ve got the will, Lord, if you’ve got the toe

Dropkick me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life

End over end, neither left, nor the right

Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights

Dropkick me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life

Bring on the brothers who’ve gone on before

And all of the sisters who’ve knocked at your door

All the departed, dear loved ones of mine

And stick ’em up front in the offensive line

A lowly benchwarmer I’m contented to be.

Until the time that you have need of me

The flash on the big scoreboard shines from all high

The big super bowl up in the sky

Dropkick me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life

End over end, neither left, nor the right

Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights

Dropkick me, Jesus, through the goalposts of life

End over end, neither left, nor the right

Clogged to Clear, 09JAN – #1361

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Clogged to Clear, Lord.

Give us Reverence, 

Knock out unfounded Fear.


Clogged to Clear, 

Open our Eyes, 

Help us Hear.


Clogged to Clear, 

Hardships, Illnesses, Challenges. 

Handle them, Make them less Severe. 


Clogged to Clear, 

Oppression, Congestion, Obsession. 

Free those Bondages, Draw us Near.


Clogged to Clear, 

Fogs, Smogs, Eyes Filled with Logs. 

Give us Direction, Lord, You Steer.


Following by Faith not by Sight, 

Help us make our Walk with You More Sincere. 

Increase our Faith to Hold You Dear, Daily and in this and every New Year. You, Lord, are the Only One for us to Fear.


In Reverence and Obedience, for All Your Power, You Intend MOST to Make Your Love Clear.

May Your Love Show thru our clogged world view, 

May Your Love Always Appear in the Clear.

Amen


Following the Sun, 04JAN – #1357

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“One day you’ll look

To see I’ve gone

But tomorrow may rain

So I’ll follow the sun.

Some day you’ll know

I was the one

But tomorrow may rain

So I’ll follow the sun”

What an interesting Beatles lyrics I woke up humming, “For tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.” I can’t say they are related to a dream or this next scripture, but I know that they convey the thought: you don’t know what you have… that DOES relate to much of the winding tales in the book of Judges, the Israelites not knowing how to SOLELY worship God, they get distracted and fall off the path.     They just keep breaking their peace.

Gideon was quite the warrior after beating the Midianites, which he did by listening to God (Judges 8). Gideon killed many who did him wrong, he also gathered a following (and had 70 sons by many women), but in all the people had a stretch of peace. He did say the Lord would rule the people, however one snare to his people was when he made an item of gold from people’s earrings, set it up and they worshiped it falsely. They later wandered in their worship of false Baal gods. Off-track… 

The Shechem were very swayed by someone claiming to be worthy of power, but not appointed by God, Gideon’s son Abimelek, who hired scoundrels and killed all but the youngest of his 70 brothers. The youngest Jotham called to the people and chastised them in asking: Have you acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelek king? Jotham uses a great comparison to asking a thornbush to rule over trees but becoming the cause of a consuming fire that destroys. God does just that and the unsettled situation, caused by God to teach a lesson, brings destruction on those Abimelek followers and even Abimelek dies when a rock is dropped on him.

The Israelites go back to knowing God IS Lord Almighty, listening again, following God-appointed rulers, for a time. 

God sets up these conversations again and again, then and now: don’t follow false gods, like the song: 

Some day you’ll know, I was the One…  We want to learn more of who He is and what He stands for, we can teach that too.

Are we willing to remember that people who don’t always listen to God tend to pull us in one direction or another? Or do we just wander into distraction? Can we listen to God and come back? He wants us to hear Him, not follow the sun but the Son.

We are like Jacob and wrestling with God and often fighting against His Plan for us, He touches our hip, puts it out of whack for us to notice we are fighting the ALL-POWERFUL GOD. We must stop and listen enough before it’s too late and the end comes without us being attached to Jesus who continues to reach out for us. We don’t want to miss the boat, nor the opportunity to worship and listen. We don’t want to attach ourselves to the thornbushes and be consumed by our lost way.

God values the basic most important thing: LOVE. We don’t always have to understand the trials, but we need to stick with the Lord. 

Other may forget us, but God doesn’t. 

REMEMBER THE LOVE. 

REMEMBER THE LORD. 

AMEN 

Judges 8-9 excepts

Gideon’s Ephod

22 The Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.” But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.” And he said, “I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.” (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.) They answered, “We’ll be glad to give them.” So they spread out a garment, and each of them threw a ring from his plunder onto it. The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels, not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels’ necks. Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.

Gideon’s Death

Thus Midian was subdued before the Israelites and did not raise its head again. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land had peace forty years.

Jerub-Baal son of Joash [Gideon’s original name] went back home to live. He had seventy sons of his own, for he had many wives. His concubine, who lived in Shechem, also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelek. Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of his father Joash in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god and did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. They also failed to show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) in spite of all the good things he had done for them.

Abimelek son of Jerub-Baal went to his mother’s brothers in Shechem and said to them and to all his mother’s clan, “Ask all the citizens of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you: to have all seventy of Jerub-Baal’s sons rule over you, or just one man?’ Remember, I am your flesh and blood.” When the brothers repeated all this to the citizens of Shechem, they were inclined to follow Abimelek, for they said, “He is related to us.” They gave him seventy shekels of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith, and Abimelek used it to hire reckless scoundrels, who became his followers. He went to his father’s home in Ophrah and on one stone murdered his seventy brothers, the sons of Jerub-Baal. But Jotham, the youngest son of Jerub-Baal, escaped by hiding. Then all the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo gathered beside the great tree at the pillar in Shechem to crown Abimelek king.

When Jotham was told about this, he climbed up on the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted to them, “Listen to me, citizens of Shechem, so that God may listen to you. One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king.’

“But the olive tree answered, ‘Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and humans are honored, to hold sway over the trees?’

“Next, the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be our king.’

“But the fig tree replied, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?’

“Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be our king.’

“But the vine answered, ‘Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and humans, to hold sway over the trees?’

“Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘Come and be our king.’

The thornbush said to the trees, ‘If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!’

Have you acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelek king? Have you been fair to Jerub-Baal [Gideon] and his family? Have you treated him as he deserves? Remember that my father fought for you and risked his life to rescue you from the hand of Midian. But today you have revolted against my father’s family. You have murdered his seventy sons on a single stone and have made Abimelek, the son of his female slave, king over the citizens of Shechem because he is related to you. So have you acted honorably and in good faith toward Jerub-Baal and his family today? If you have, may Abimelek be your joy, and may you be his, too! But if you have not, let fire come out from Abimelek and consume you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and let fire come out from you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and consume Abimelek!”

Then Jotham fled, escaping to Beer, and he lived there because he was afraid of his brother Abimelek.

After Abimelek had governed Israel three years, God stirred up animosity between Abimelek and the citizens of Shechem so that they acted treacherously against Abimelek. God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal’s seventy sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother Abimelek and on the citizens of Shechem, who had helped him murder his brothers. In opposition to him these citizens of Shechem set men on the hilltops to ambush and rob everyone who passed by, and this was reported to Abimelek.

Next Abimelek went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it. Inside the city, however, was a strong tower, to which all the men and women—all the people of the city—had fled. They had locked themselves in and climbed up on the tower roof. Abimelek went to the tower and attacked it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.

Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can’t say, ‘A woman killed him.’” So his servant ran him through, and he died.  When the Israelites saw that Abimelek was dead, they went home. Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelek had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers. God also made the people of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them.

Pardon Me? 03JAN – #1356

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Gideon said: “Pardon me?” to the Angel of God, and actually later realizing he was speaking to the Lord God Himself, yet he did not die from the intensity (as was predicted from Moses’s time).

How many times have we said: ” ‘EXCUSE ME?’, ‘Are you really God?’ and ‘You want me to do what?’ “

Gideon (later chosen as the patron “saint” of the “Gideons” the group which places Bibles in hotels), was picked by God as a hidden gem in God’s growing field. Gideon was a young man thrashing wheat secretly hidden away from scoundrel invaders, but Gideon was chosen to do SOMETHING BIG by God. He reminds us that little people can do BIG things when God is directing. (Just like little but ever present Gideon bibles placed where people look for inspiration, they can find true power and direction).

Midian people invaded the Israelites’ Promised Land and were as numerous and hungry like grasshoppers and ate up the provisions so that the Israelites couldn’t feed their own livestock. It was so bad that the Israelites, who at that time also had been doing evil in the Lord’s eyes, actually called out to the Lord for help. They continually forgot (like we do) that people are not supposed to worship leaders or material things, ONLY God.

The Lord reached out to one man, Gideon, who essentially said: What?! Wait! Me? How do I really know it’s You Lord? Yes, he said all that. God bless us for we are also like Gideon… ‘Little ole me?”… Gideon asked the Lord to demonstrate miracles, well yeah we ask that too. Gideon said “WAIT” to God, and God said He would wait! Does God wait for us to come back to Him? You can be sure of that.

Gideon said: but I am the weakest! How many times do we not realize that God’s going to provide the Power behind His Plea for us to do something. Yes God makes a Way. God told Gideon to prepare a sacrifice of food, bring it to the oak tree where they spoke. God then started the consuming fire. Gideon was amazed, realized he had seen God and lived, and built an altar there called “The Lord is Peace“. 

God’s work for Gideon had just begun, commanding him to destroy the altar of the false God Baal. Joash was Gideon’s Dad and told the truth to the angry people that the false God won’t save them.

Gideon was back at discussions with God. Who would have thought that our REAL God would tolerate and engage in REAL conversations. Well He does, ask Him. Gideon asked for a sign – that a fleece blanket of a sheep to be made sopping wet, God did that. Gideon said “EXCUSE ME LORD, ONE MORE THING”… REALLY.  Gideon asked the fleece to be kept dry when the morning dew covered the land the next morning. Yup, God delivered. Delivered the dew (as He does normally) and delivered the sign of His Power.

Now it really was time for the BIG battle and instead of a HUGE army, Gideon was asked to pare down the numbers, down to ONLY 300 men, so that everyone would realize that God’s Hand was the cause of the victory. The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’… 

God didn’t want them boasting, nor does He want us boasting today. Both because they did not achieve the victory and because others should not surmise that anyone besides God was solely responsible. It’s finesse not fierceness in this situation, just like in our lives. Give credit where credit is due.

The battle was won before it was even started, God had planted a dream into a sleeping soldier in the enemy camp that a whole loaf of barley bread tumbled in and knocked down the tent. Another soldier interpreted the dream as that they were all delivered into the hand of the mighty warrior Gideon. This conversation was overheard by Gideon who realized GOD WAS RIGHT! Gideon worshiped then organized the 300 men into 3 divisions of 100, gave them torches, trumpets, and empty jars. That’s REALLY what God used: a dream of a tumbling loaf of bread, an interpretation of the dream, the noise of empty jars broken, the sound of Trumpets, and the LIGHT of the torches… WOW. (and cool the symbolic use of bread, those dreams, yes trumpets, and LIGHT which all relate to JESUS, who is the Sword of Truth being the Word, dividing based upon the Word, saving because of the Word.)

THE ENEMY RAN AWAY… no swords except for the piercing Sword of Truth planted in the minds of all who would believe that God IS Sovereign

God is really Lord. REALLY Gideon, REALLY. 

God does GREAT things.

KEEP LISTENING FOR THE TRUMPET.

Amen

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel

And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass.

The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.”

Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you.” 

And the Lord said, “I will wait until you return.”

Gideon went inside, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.

The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” And Gideon did so. Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared. When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the Lord, he exclaimed, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!” 

But the Lord said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.” So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.”

So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime.

 So because Gideon broke down Baal’s altar, they gave him the name Jerub-Baal that day, saying, “Let Baal contend with him.”

Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.

Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’ Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. But the Lord said to Gideon, “There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will thin them out for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” Three hundred of them drank from cupped hands, lapping like dogs. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.

The Lord said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the others go home.” So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites home but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others.

Now the camp of Midian lay below him in the valley. During that night the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp.” So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp. The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.

Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.” His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.”

When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down and worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, “Get up! The Lord has given the Midianite camp into your hands.” Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside. “Watch me,” he told them. “Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, ‘For the Lord and for Gideon.’”

Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.

When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. The army fled… 

Judges 6:1-2, 4, 11-27, 32, 36-40

Judges 7:2-22

A New Year’s Song of Deborah, 02JAN – #1355

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We can have a new song, a New Year’s praise of old year’s victories. We can remember how far God has taken us. Safe thus far. Deborah, judge of Israel, told Barak how God had already won and would deliver as long as he “stayed the course”.  We too can praise, for the Lord has gone before us. He has WON our wars (especially over sin and death). Our job is to stay the course with Him, let Him win.

Deborah detailed how tribes of Israel worked together. They became the Hand of God that He could push thru the problem.  Are we willing to be that hand as well? Let the Lord push us into His Plan?


For the Lord has delivered us from:

Health hurts

Pain points

Heart hijacks

Armor attacks 

Safety scares

Family foibles

Dark dangers

Money madness

Friend foes

Jackpots of junk.


We can be the voices reciting the victories of the Lord:

Evil restrained. 

Bills paid.

Situations saved.

Dreams directed.

Journeys completed. 

Questions answered. 

Lost found.

Days done. 

Nights won.

Hope restored. 

I will sing to the Lord

I will praise the Lord


Deborah sang a song of “when the people willingly offer themselves — praise the Lord!” Are we willing to say ‘Here I am Lord”, then sing a song of His deliverance?

We have no idea of the battle in the heavens fighting for us. We don’t see His logistics or how He changes the weather to change our course. We don’t know the fraction of the time He has made for us. The least we can do is PRAISE

So may all your enemies perish, Lord! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.”

Let us rise to be His Light. 

Let us remember in this NEW YEAR that we will ultimately be ALRIGHT!

AMEN 


The Song of Deborah (Judges 5)

On that day [defeat of Jabin king of Canaan after death of Sisera], Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song: “When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves — praise the Lord!

“Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers! I, even I, will sing to the Lord; I will praise the Lord, the God of Israel, in song. 

“When you, Lord, went out from Seir, when you marched from the land of Edom, the earth shook, the heavens poured, the clouds poured down water. The mountains quaked before the Lord, the One of Sinai, before the Lord, the God of Israel. In the days of Shamgar [judge] son of Anath, in the days of Jael [judge], the highways were abandoned; travelers took to winding paths. Villagers in Israel would not fight; they held back until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose, a mother in Israel. God chose new leaders when war came to the city gates, but not a shield or spear was seen among forty thousand in Israel. My heart is with Israel’s princes, with the willing volunteers among the people. Praise the Lord!

“You who ride on white donkeys, sitting on your saddle blankets, and you who walk along the road, consider the voice of the singers at the watering places. They recite the victories of the Lord, the victories of his villagers in Israel.

“Then the people of the Lord went down to the city gates. ‘Wake up, wake up, Deborah! Wake up, wake up, break out in song! Arise, Barak! Take captive your captives, son of Abinoam.’

“The remnant of the nobles came down; the people of the Lord came down to me against the mighty. Some came from Ephraim, whose roots were in Amalek; Benjamin was with the people who followed you. From Makir captains came down, from Zebulun those who bear a commander’s staff. The princes of Issachar were with Deborah; yes, Issachar was with Barak, sent under his command into the valley. In the districts of Reuben there was much searching of heart. Why did you stay among the sheep pens to hear the whistling for the flocks? In the districts of Reuben there was much searching of heart. Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan. And Dan, why did he linger by the ships? Asher remained on the coast and stayed in his coves. The people of Zebulun risked their very lives; so did Naphtali on the terraced fields.

“Kings came, they fought, the kings of Canaan fought. At Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo, they took no plunder of silver. From the heavens the stars fought, from their courses they fought against Sisera. The river Kishon swept them away, the age-old river, the river Kishon. March on, my soul; be strong! Then thundered the horses’ hooves — galloping, galloping go his mighty steeds. ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the Lord. ‘Curse its people bitterly, because they did not come to help the Lord, to help the Lord against the mighty.’

“Most blessed of women be Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, most blessed of tent-dwelling women. He asked for water, and she gave him milk; in a bowl fit for nobles she brought him curdled milk. Her hand reached for the tent peg, her right hand for the workman’s hammer. She struck Sisera, she crushed his head, she shattered and pierced his temple. At her feet he sank, he fell; there he lay. At her feet he sank, he fell; where he sank, there he fell—dead.

“Through the window peered Sisera’s mother; behind the lattice she cried out, ‘Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why is the clatter of his chariots delayed?” The wisest of her ladies answer her; indeed, she keeps saying to herself, ‘Are they not finding and dividing the spoils: a woman or two for each man,

colorful garments as plunder for Sisera, colorful garments embroidered, highly embroidered garments for my neck – all this as plunder?’

So may all your enemies perish, Lord! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.”  Then the land had peace forty years.

Treasured Faith, 11JAN

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I wonder what’s in this Treasure Box, it’s beneath the wreath you see. 

It’s not for show, no one really needs to see. 

For best are those hidden heart treasures, memories known solely to us and to our Holy Thee. 

A secret treasure is knowing that our Father with our Jesus and our Holy Spirit are One in Three.

A protected treasure is knowing that God is alive within me.

Let’s not keep secret that being born in Jesus sets us free.

From dust we come and dust we return. May our life in-between have love, joy, and glee.

Let each of us say: My treasure of FAITH is FOREVER, Cherished and Beholden, treasured between God and me.

Amen 

In Good Company… 30DEC – #1353

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It’s maybe unusual, but for me it is not morbid to check out my own gravesite. I mean I got a great deal on it, $ not so much! Mostly it is about preparing an easier way for your kids to take care of you. This is a beautiful spot overlooking the lake, and even if that side of the hill might roll down eventually in erosion, LOL, at least I am in good company as the stretch has spots for many of my relatives, plus all our grandparents on the other side of the road. Good company. I also like how the spot next to me, not a relative, already placed three benches. Maybe someone will sit and reflect there – and be taken by the view to overcome their sadness. 

That’s just the point. Our view of the next life should overcome our sadnessThere’s good stuff coming…  And we will be in GOOD COMPANY!

My Dad’s grave is in a separate cemetery in the valley of our tiny city, near his parents and many brothers and family, and immediately behind his friends from his service club. Oh my, JOKERS! But hard-working folks, lovers of people, a gregarious group for sure… it’s quite the visual of the lineup… it makes us smile… GOOD COMPANY… I can hear their laughter… You think it’s Rest in Peace? This shows that it is Reminisce in Peace. (Rabblerouse in Peace too)… Fun.

It’s not that we wish this world away, no, this earth is good garden soil for tilling faith. It’s not we should get bent out of shape here either with the situation and stop tilling the faith, Jesus Himself said: “I have told you these things, so that in ME you may have PEACE. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (HE HAS, I read ahead).

Recently I have been watching the Disney plus documentaries about King Tut – my Dad’s favorite from Egypt – he loved the gold and the mystery and we got an opportunity to see some King Tut artifacts when the traveling tour made it to the US.  Apparently he was buried in a rush, perhaps he died young on a battlefield and was buried by the next ruler (not of the blood line) – he was clearly buried to be “forgotten” –  not even his heart was included in the body which was thought to be needed to rise to the afterlife. He was club footed and in pain much of his days. His life was not perfect and although his artifacts don’t detail his family tree, DNA evidence showed generations of inner marrying and genetic gene pool depletion. Turns out that King Tut was buried in a smaller than normal tomb – with borrowed items and he was mostly stricken from the history records. Of course you can’t take it with you – and riches tend to be robbed – but being forgotten, because of the non-traditional burial, the grave robbers probably did not know where to look and overlooked this grave of treasures. King Tut is now the most famous name and face of an Egyptian ruler. Overlooked then becomes good now, forever remembered. 

We are NEVER forgotten by our Father, no matter the size of our grave, the marker, the flowers, or the time. We are never overlooked, not while alive or when we die, as believers we are in Good Company, because Jesus has overcome it all. We may not have the golden life (even if we own all the gold like King Tut) but we have the GOODNESS of God – who is worth more than all the gold.

UNCHANGING GOODNESS. UNCHANGING GOD. HE IS GOOD COMPANY. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

AMEN 

Goodness of God Sustained – #1352

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There are certain songs that stick with you – this is one: Goodness of God, 2019. I remember the first time I listened to it in the car during some tough days of my Dad being in the hospital (pre-covid, stroke scares a couple years ago). On the visit I walked in and my Dad called me by my name after a bad stroke-like non-responsive stretch. Wow – he knew me and could say my name. Later we connected these incidents to infections that mimic stroke like behavior. Wow what joy in even a little normalcy. And when my Dad improved, and got out of the hospital, I continued to sing this song. I actually sang it even with MORE gusto – and this really IS a GUSTO-filled powerful song to sing in the car.

If we remember life, we know there are ups and downs, knowns and unknowns, good days and bad days – and yet one constant: the Goodness of God.

UNCHANGING GOODNESS

UNCHANGING GOD

Amen

Goodness of God, Bethel Music

I love You, Lord
For Your mercy never fails me
All my days, I’ve been held in Your hands
From the moment that I wake up
Until I lay my head
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God


And all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God


I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
In the darkest night
You are close like no other
I’ve known You as a Father
I’ve known You as a Friend


And I have lived in the goodness of God (yeah)
And all my life You have been faithful (oh)
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God (yeah)


‘Cause Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me
Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me


With my life laid down
I’m surrendered now
I give You everything
‘Cause Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me (oh-oh)
‘Cause Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me
Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me


With my life laid down
I’m surrendered now
I give You everything
‘Cause Your goodness is running after
It keeps running after me


And all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I’m gonna sing of the goodness of God

Back to the Desert, Can You Dig a Spring? #1346

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It’s been an interesting journey – learning about people wandering with Moses – fighting enemies and settling down with Joshua into new lands – and now we see some of the broken people being broken again – going back to worshiping the other gods that don’t care and can only ensnare…  It is a prophetic look at today – the distractions lead us astray. BACK TO THE DESERT! Well, not wandering around the dry desert like Moses, but the desert of dryness from not actively looking for God’s watering… 

Not everyone goes whole hog down the wrong path, but WOW when they do, God watches them and gets REAL, He says I won’t remove all the snares if you aren’t going to listen to Me. God gives good things and He can take them away too. We do need to see where we can pull closer, be more careful with our steps. And we need to not lead others astray. We DO need to shine His Light, especially in the darkened places. We have OPPORTUNITY all around. Like a desert spring about to sprout we know Who’s Hope to shout about.

In moving from Joshua to Judges, in Old Testament readings, we see the tribes of Israelites either made it to good lands where they defeated enemies with God’s Hand, or we see some co-living with enemies, or we see some lose their reverence to God as they did not know how He helped bring them originally to the Promised Land. (See Judges 2) 

The lost folks continually turning their backs to Him is where the Lord got angry, but the Lord kept raising up new leaders, now called Judges, to move them forward. When the “Judge” was around there was more peace and praise of the Lord – when the Judge died – war and worse came back…  Chaos…

Judges included Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah (YAY Deborah!), Gideon, Abimelek, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon,  Abdon, Samson, Eli, Samual, Saul and that lead us to the time of King David… Judges were “simply” people appointed by God to lead the people to worship and trust and love God.

Deborah was a prophet leader who told Barak, a warrior, to follow God, and that God already has the plan and the war won, Barak really just had to follow the laid out path.. “because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver [Siseria]…  …Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” 

Has not the Lord gone ahead of you? – WOW does that sound familiar?YES… The Lord HAS gone ahead of us too…  Can we be Deborah’s calling out to the world – telling them to just keep on the path?!!! Are we the next crop of leaders He is raising!?!  Has He not already gone ahead of us? We know this – we know He has.

We ARE the mini-deborah judges of this time – leaders of families and friends who need to see His Light. Sometimes we will wait in a desert season, then a new spring will arise. Often that new spring is for us to help dig. I can not help but think not just of Deborah the Judge, who said – it is already won for you – keep moving forward, but also of my favorite spiritual movie, Song of Bernadette, where she dug a spring that the Lord told her thru a vision to dig. She had such faith that thousands then millions came to show their faith too that God was with her and with them. The healing waters of Lourdes may really be the healing springs of hope. Hope springs eternal…

If you have been blessed, especially knowing the Lord Jesus, knowing His Hope, knowing His eternity, please shine His LIGHT.

This Christmas – remember Whom God has sent – willingly entering the world to be our leader – leaving the world to give us the Holy Spirit as our leader – being with us ALL THE TIME. Jesus is the season as well as the reason for the season. He is the spring, the eternal light, and the hope.

Keep digging for Spring.

Amen

Judges 2:8-19

Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of a hundred and ten. And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.

Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands. Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.

Judges 4 about Deborah:https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+4&version=NIV

A Blue Christmas, 28DEC – #1350

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Wanted to wait to write and send this sad Christmas story, but so important for processing grief in a broken world by writing about the One who understands brokenness… 

A Blue Christmas

I took that last trip to the store for gift cards for my teenager’s Christmas stockings, left the store to the sound of sirens. Ah, Santa I thought must be starting early this year in our section riding his fire truck on EVERY road in our neighborhoods. I started to drive back home but didn’t expect police cars whizzing past us on the busiest most dangerous byway of our county. A sight not of Santa’s RED fire trucks but BLUE lights, a road blockade of BLUE volunteer firefighter cars with their lights, redirecting traffic. This was not just a big accident, this horrific accident on Christmas Eve claimed the lives of two teenagers. A truly BLUE Christmas of sadness, an unimaginable pain for these families. Their names Tyler and Matthew. 

The Christmas eve afternoon and Christmas eve night, I heard those sirens again, but this time I knew it really was Santa. Firefighting Santas never disappoint the kids. Santa’s helpers are brave men and women, many volunteers serving in sacrifice to help others, including our loved ones. I sat in church that evening for candlelight services, hearing more fire company parade sirens, thinking God Bless those emergency responders… Oh how hard this day was for them too. How to come upon this car accident scene on Christmas Eve, how to deal with their grief. They are family folks community saints. How tirelessly they serve then STILL find the energy to put on the annual Santa parade, knowing life must go on. 

Sacrifice we know is the practical Way that God Himself on Christmas entered this world as a baby. Sacrifice as a goal, the baby Christ child grew up,  knowing the plan to save the people who would look to God thru Him. Peace not in this world but ETERNAL PEACE promised by His Heaven-sent teachings.

Christmas Day I felt compelled to walk up to the growing memorial, had felt that way all day. I had finished the marathon Christmas crunch of preparations and gift opening, knowing the news coming from social media said that 2 teens had died, not just one. Held my own teens closer in my heart that day knowing they were safe. Praised God more. So I walked to the memorial for prayer and presence. How could we barely imagine the mourning of these parents for these kids.  Oh precious,  the families had raised a memorial of a Christmas tree, sign, flowers, and the young man Tyler’s hat. I hung one of the provided ornaments, a blue one, and I had brought some blue “PEACE” ornaments just because. I saw angel wings on the sign and an angel on the tree. Driving by, I will try to continually pray for these families – and pray for them to know that the angels surely witnessed the Hand of God taking their sons HOME, making them now WHOLE in Him. They rest in peace. 

For all our loved ones whom we miss tearfully this Christmas, let us add a prayer for all to know this deeper meaning of Christmas. May we all be held by Heaven’s Hope and want to be amazed at heavenly hosts of angels and a Savior born in our own hearts for us to cherish. His guiding STAR does SHINE in our hearts to help us find PEACE. 

Amen 

What to take for Insomnia? NOTES! #1351

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This is a thoughtful thought of a Lord who thought FIRST – Who gives us the eyes to see the Kingdom when we open them….

Let’s open our eyes – let’s take NOTES!

What to take for Insomnia? NOTES! 

(I don’t usually have insomnia but sometimes shifted sleep when I fall asleep at 8pm on the couch… oops…)

What to take for insomnia? NOTES!

Take note of what God is teaching you, placing in front of you…

Note down and read up on what God says… this is FOUND time, QUIET time. HIS time.

Strum notes of harmony and thankfulness.

Know that notes from sweet dreams will come in time.

Notations of devotions and dedications of hearts.

Know knowing Him is where to start.

Know the Notes of Knowing.

Know Him better.

Know Him.

Amen

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Moses continues teaching those entering the Promised Land.

Deuteronomy 30:9-15

And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.

For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

Proverbs 24:1-6

Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.  Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Worth the Wait – Epiphany, 06JAN

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Epiphany – worth the wait, no matter what the date. 

Wisemen – they surely wait. Their watch, wonder and worship was worth the wait.

The star shone in WEIGHTED significance. The star shone in WAITED anticipation to be noticed. “Lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was”. The soul felt its worth. 

Joseph was told to bring this baby to Egypt in an escape and Joseph waited to return then find a place to live, to raise the baby now the child Jesus. Safety was worth the wait.

(Herod couldn’t wait and wasted worrying while wisemen went another way. Herod in worry wasted a whole generation of lives in his wrath.

Israel waited, Simeon and Anna waited, the Heavens waited, the world would need this King of kings. Israel waits to be restored. 

Jesus, Lord, waited to be raised, first as a child then as a Savior. He worked the wait. He walked around in His work.

Jesus, Truthfully, now waits to be returned to restore the Kingdom.

We, like He, wait out the wait.

Epiphany still anticipates.

We wait for His return.

Come Lord Jesus, come quickly.

We are WISE to WAIT.

Amen

(PS – I finally got the outdoor nativity scene I was waiting for. I waited since before Christmas in shopping, waited in hearing back from the local seller, waited for connecting and receiving. He waited for me and I took them right out of his yard. I waited thru my own electricity cords and rearranging in the dark of early night. Then I turned on the lights. Our future too is bright. It was worth the wait. Now a whole new season is here within which we anticipate. Amen Amen)

—–

Epiphany – what did they know? The wise men surely studied Micah 5:2-4 in the old scriptures as prophecy written 700 years before Jesus was born: 

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.

The story of the wisemen:

Matthew 2

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

The wait we wonder about now:

Revelation 22:6-14
And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Efficient Sufficient Proficient Magnificent – #1358

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What wisdom can I bring to the understanding of how God IS significant?

His Word is Efficient. 

His Way Proficient. 

His Works Sufficient.

His Wholeness Magnificent. 

He shares succinctly to today. We can’t and won’t know enough for our own questioning but we COULD be satisfied, if just for today, only through our faith.

In faith:

Wise men walked.

Wandering men wondered. 

Willing hearts heard.

Wonder-filled men worshiped. 

Willingly would we?

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9


His Word is Efficient 

“For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the Lord Almighty is his name. I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand — I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’” Isaiah 51:15-16

His Way is Sufficient 

“Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.” Isaiah 50:10

His Works are Proficient 

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. Isaiah 53:10

His Wholeness is Magnificent. 

“To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

“Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.

All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace. Isaiah 54:9-13


Efficient 

Sufficient 

Proficient 

Magnificent 

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6

AMEN 

AMEN 


Restrained – #1348

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My dreams are so vividly detailed that as soon as I am woken up (either naturally or by this 530am cat) I realize that my human brain in awake state can not contain or process what the Lord has been processing in my mind asleep. This makes me wonder IF and HOW the Lord restrains our experiences in a broken world. How elaborate, and how we miss the depth of His inner work and inner world. Perhaps the elaborate dreams I have, often processing for healing at hyperspeeds, are but a glimpse of all the life incidents we WILL have to finish processing in our journey to Heaven. Perhaps these dream storylines of brokenness being repaired will continue in our elderly years and until our deaths and then we are on God’s timeline of processing, surely at hyperseed, for the goal of PEACE. Can you imagine PEACE as we fall into Jesus’s arms in Heaven? Peace in piecemeal for us, for our little individual postage stamp-sized debt paid by Jesus? Do we realize “Be Still and know I am God” also means BE REPAIRABLE and BE STRENGTHENED and BE WHOLE. 

Restrained for God is Him handling our GENTLE healing by knowing Him GRADUALLY more and more on earth whereas He could be unleashing a crush of ultimate knowledge of Him.

Restrained for God is sending Jesus on that Rapture roadtrip to take us to His Heaven, at His APPOINTED time not just a random time which surely allows for just a few more awakenings and a whole world roundup of revival. PRAY FOR REVIVAL!

Restrained for God is also holding back His anger and punishments, especially and ultimately by having ALREADY given Jesus’s life for ours. Jesus covers us and we appear as sinless souls to God.

Restrained for God is also Him restraining the evil in the world, the calming of the calamities of chaos. He is the One who floats us, like Peter, back up to walk on water when the storms rage in our heads. He is the One who walks us thru the valley of darkness to get to the other side. He is the One who tells us He is the Beginning and the End, Alpha and Omega, so that we DON’T sweat the small stuff in between. 

Restrained for God is already knowing His “work around” for believers when the evil worse is yet to come. God knows that the end times will be brutal and He will allow Satan and his power loosened for a time, only to be crushed ultimately by Jesus when Jesus returns. 

Restrained for God is already winning the war but letting the remaining enemy ammunition get burnt up on the battlefield. 

Restrained is God’s ability to let life roll on, evil to continue with distractions of wicked schemes that are only surface level, protecting us ultimately by letting evil burn itself out. (See 2nd Thessalonians and book of Revelation description of times to come: And now you know what is holding him [Satan’s evil antichrist] back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. means God is restraining the ultimate evil until final showdown. Restraining the complete loosening of life’s brokenness until as many sheep as possible are gathered by the Shepherd.)

RESTRAINED

If we pray to know more, God shows us more, but does not overwhelmed us with the details.

RESTRAINED. 

If our dreams reveal roads to God’s healing, then imagine how LIFE will be when He restores His Whole Kingdom?!!!!

RESTRAINED is God’s way for healing. 

UNRESTRAINED IS God’s LOVE.

Be OPEN to His Love as His Love was OPENED for us.

Amen

—-

Paul’s letter to Thessalonians (2nd, ch1:4-10, ch2)

… perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

Family Ties that Bear Witness – #1347

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It is quite the unique way to remember a loved one who has passed, by sewing their neck ties into aprons. This is the project that my friend came to use my sewing machine for this past week before Christmas. She pinned and I sewed. The wide-ness of the tie creates the skirt, the inner thin pieces become the apron strings to wrap around the neck and waist. Love the colors.

It’s a project that creates both a meaningful gift and a talking memory piece of her Dad, from her Dad, who passed away this year. She arranged two color patterns, more red/brown for her sister and more blue/black/purple for her daughter. Oh I love the classic ties of the 70s 80s and flashy 90s styles too.

What I REALLY like thinking about is that THESE NECK TIES witnessed YEARS and YEARS of TEARS and CHEERS. Thet witnessed LIFE. They saw each business day, many weddings and funerals, gala events and all those tie-loosening car rides home in decompression. These neck ties are silent witnesses that saw it all.

Wouldn’t that memory be the same for many of us for our Dads? It would be of mine (except my Dad wore clip-on neck ties, haha, but he always wore a tie as a banker). Our Dads saw a lot. They navigated life. They raised families. They set us, their beloved children, on our trajectories for life today. They are remembered. They are cherished. They are LOVED. Memories are the TIES that bind. 

This is Christmas time: we remember how Jesus came into our earthly world and forged TIES with His loved ones, us. Family and true friends became His disciples and He saw and sees one-body as His bride of Christ, true family from all His followers. AND Jesus bore silent witness to so many detractors who became lost souls. Jesus fulfilled prophecy that said He would be the silent lamb brought to slaughter. He was and is the perfect lamb born for silent sacrifice. 

Aprons must be tied tightly to hold on. Family ties are strong too, no wonder we mention cutting the apron strings when it’s time for a child to venture out. But with Jesus reminding us, we are to LIVE KNOWING what the Father wants for us. Jesus IS the TIE that binds us to our Heavenly Father. He is the New Covenant and Jesus is the apron and apron strings as well. Jesus is that wrap around us in protection. Protection for not our clothes but for cloaking over our sins in His covering GRACE. Jesus is also the sewing stitch of the NET that is capturing us. He is the one threading MERCY into our lives and making us whole.  His life was and IS sewing our brokenness back to wholeness.  He is the thread and needle, stitching love.

If Christmas Day is a memory where LIGHT entered the world, and Easter Day is a day of Majesty realized of Jesus completing the prophecy, then what is today? Surely Today, Today IS the DAY of Salvation. 

Jesus IS the LIGHT who opened our eyes to His Majesty and He gave us a seat at the table to be with Him.

Merry Christmas to all as we are all family in Christ. 

JESUS, YOU ARE OUR CHRISTMAS PRESENT TODAY. 

Amen 

...”This is what the Lord says— the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel— to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings will see you and stand up, princes will see and bow down, because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

…This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ a Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. Isaiah 49

All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. Isaiah 53:6-7 

Isaiah spoke of the coming of Jesus:

...”I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” 

HE WANTS US TO KEEP SEWING HIS LOVE.

The Joy of Spiriting – #1343

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I still think of all my writing as potential spamming to folks who tolerate me clogging their inbox. But it’s not the Joy of Spamming, it’s the Joy of Spiriting. 

I mean why else would I wake up at 530am just to spam my friends’ email. Even the cat has often to wait upon the Lord as I write before entertaining her needs for the day. This morning however I did open the front door for her entertainment of “cat TV” gazing thru the clear storm door. She’s knowing something will happen, creatures moving, she is MESMERIZED.

MESMERIZED – That’s how we should be looking for the Holy Spirit everyday.  Mesmerized and realizing that the Joy of Spiriting is intended to be a part of our daily life. Ask the Lord every day “Why am I here?” Every day will be a different circumstance but essentially the same answer: you exist for MY JOY!!! MY LOVE!!! MY HEART!!!

Living Holy Spirit INTENSE always comes at our EXPENSE – in a good way. Why? Because we are to give all our lives away. REALLY. But that also means we are to give our troubles away to the Lord, and give all the things that will bend our noses out of shape to the Lord, and give all the angst too. It IS a Spirit gush that comes at our expense of time and life because we ARE to pick up our crosses each day to give up our agendas and instead crave for the Lord’s leading to His intended life for us. We do live in His footsteps to the cross but we walk on – past the cross too and past the open tomb and INTO the ABUNDANT LIFE. It is like cheating the system to live in JOY because He already cheated death. We walk wondering not wandering.

Does that mean we live in fear? NO. Does that mean we live in uncertainty? NO. We live UNDER HIS WING. We live out the scripture: ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. (Matthew 25:29) 

We live out the living of life in a broken world but NOT BLINDLY. We are to know when He puts a challenge in front of us to bear or work on or tolerate or investigate. In all these things He challenges us more and more.

SAYETH THE LORD: I WANT ALL TO KNOW MY LOVE. Let us all be sharing His Love. 

Let’s get sensitive to His InTensitive.

Amen

—-

Matthew 13:10-17 

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:


‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’

But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Count Your Blessings NOT Your Change, 26DEC – #1349

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A few scriptures I’m reminded of lately, from Luke and Matthew and Proverbs, having to do with abundance and making the most of what you have. This is a VERY true scripture: to those with much, more will be given. These  ESPECIALLY means INSIGHT INTO HOW GOD WORKS. Wait on Him. Hold your tongue in certain situations and instead you will hear with your eyes better. These scriptures (below) are talking about things of God, and/but you can see how easily they are transferable as sayings about life.

These vacation days after Christmas, I can know and feel that I am blessed. And yet at a time long time ago when I was scraping by, was struggling in certain ways, but even then I ALSO remember counting my blessings and being blessed. We are reminded by God to keep giving from the heart, into being His Light. We are reminded to not worry, and know He will provide. He did. He does.

Count Your Blessings NOT Your Change. Don’t worry about nickels and dimes and you will see when He’s got dollars for you instead. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Rise above the waves. Give of yourself and find Him filling you up more.

We must remember that even some hardships might be blessings in disguise. Hardships are blessings IF you ask to see them under God’s plan. Maybe they will motivate you. Maybe they will make you less covetous of stuff you didn’t really need. Perhaps you will remember people who walk out of car wrecks or destroyed burning buildings and still count their BLESSINGS. 

Life is life. Life is broken but God is Whole, so step away from the sharp edges of your brokenness and other people’s brokenness and step back to see and feel His wholeness. If He wants something to work out, He will make it that way. He knows better, let Him figure it out. If you simply ask Him to lead, He is MORE than happy to.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. The Lord works out everything to its proper end – even the wicked for a day of disaster. Proverbs 16:3-4

Life does not always go as planned but God has made a plan for us to get thru everything. Just keep asking Him to LIGHT each path we take in this broken world. We all have things going on that God knows the purpose of. Trust Him.

Sometimes life is like a Monopoly game (and last night we played a great one with family, 4 HOURS wow). In life you have ebbs and flows, sometimes one person has all the money, sometimes you have just enough for a couple houses and the rolls of the dice are favorable and the game turns around completely. The best plan is to stick it out and play by the rules and see how it all works out. Sometimes you win fairly (or lose big), sometimes you win because others give up, and sometimes you give up. Often deals change the game. Life CAN SEEM like this, but IF you give your dice to the Dealer, our Lord, HE will move your peace to GO (and piece past “Go”). “Collect 200” AND collect your wits about you. HE WOULD RATHER YOU BE POOR BUT STAY IN THE GAME…

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord. Prvb 16:33

STAY IN THE GAME MY FRIENDS. 

See your blessings, play life with God’s plan…

The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper. Proverbs 19:8

AMEN 

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.(Prvb 16:8)

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12 half of 48

Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom, when they are not able to understand it? Prvbs 17:16

Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ Matthew  25:24-30

The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables:“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;  you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. Matthew 13:10-16

HAPPY NEW YEAR – 2022 – GOD AND YOU! 01JAN2022, #1354

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2022, is this the year Jesus comes again, for you?

2022, do you vow to make THIS YEAR the best kind of new?

2022, are you ready to adjust and expand your own view?

2022, God knows not everything will work out – however you can count on Him being with YOU.

2022, sounds like a good year He made especially for you. 

AMEN 


Whatever you did not get done last year, you have a WHOLE NEW YEAR to get more excitement in. Happy “Every Day is a New Day” Year!

(However you still have to do last year’s dishes and laundry. Pay last year’s bills. Sorry.)

In exchange. you get to advance forward the universe one more day. Be sure to take it one day at a time. You get to shake off yesterday’s dust. You get to toss yesterday’s garbage. You MUST drop last year’s grudges and judgements. You get to sing a new song and teach the world to sing this new song for you. Don’t make a new year’s resolution, but resolve to live this year newly.

If you can be anything this year, be yourself. 

Happy New Year!

God knows to remind me – I saw Jesus – #1344

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What a great VBS surprise! at a party of some ole vbs folks yesterday. SURPRISE.  In addition to my VBS-fanatic hosts, was Barbara, the then 3-4 year old who held a snowball in July and held Jesus’s teachings in her heart… Oh how she taught me!!! Almost 10 now, such an AMAZING girl… fantastic family… God is good!!!

It’s really true that God encourages encouragers, and what better a scripture than Peter in the Book of Acts being called to a household (of Cornelius) where the Holy Spirit was about to pour Himself out onto them. Peter was interrupted in his speaking because the Spirit was already seeking. See Acts 10

Peter was called to witness that’s there was/is no stopping the Holy Spirit.  I can say that too. 

Here is Barbara’s story, the Holy Spirit teaching me the teacher… blessed!!!

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Here’s my witness:

I Saw Jesus, 30 July 2015

I have a story about seeing Jesus…. A little 4 year old sweetie – Barbara – I got to witness Jesus in her…

A little 3 year old boy, who truly truly didn’t know any better, yanked her hair so hard it pulled out a big clump. I was there… oh to hear that scream, see the clump pulled out, and see others comfort this little girl. It was so painful,  she cried so much…. And her grandma emailed later to say she cried on and off for the rest of the day… Barbara said she didn’t want to go back to VBS because she didn’t want to get hurt again, but she wanted to be with her friends and it was breaking her heart not to be with them. So her grandma urged her to come back to VBS, and we encouraged her grandma, and I said to please tell her how happy her crew leaders and I would be to see her come back… And yes, Praise God, Barbara came back the next day with the biggest smile on her face. Praise Praise Praise.

For the bible lesson, we taught that God has the power to heal… I pretended to be the Fairy Snow Mother with the power of snow (yes I saved 3/4 of freezer with snowballs from February for July), asked if there was anyone I could make feel better with my snowball, nope, as much as they loved holding it – it did not have the healing power that Jesus has…I reminded them that it’s actually God who has the power to heal… “He heals the broken hearted and bandages their wounds”… and that God has the power to forgive.

I was teaching but actually I was the one who was taught that day about Jesus – I witnessed Jesus in Barbara coming back to be with her friends at VBS despite being hurt by someone.  I was told by Barbara’s crew leaders that the first thing she did when she came back was to sit down next to the boy who pulled her hair and she said directly to him: “DON’T pull my hair” and then she gave him the biggest hug…. if that’s not showing Jesus is LOVE, I don’t know what is… She was being Jesus – at four years old she was shining Jesus love…

Jesus says I LOVE you, I don’t judge you, and “go and sin no more”. This little girl essentially said: “I forgive you” with her smile, “I love you” with her hug, and “go and sin no more” with her words. Will she forget? I don’t know…. But she forgave that day…. Jesus forgave that day. Jesus says: “They don’t know what they do, Father, forgive them… “

And we are all called to be Jesus as well… Not judge… Just Forgive… Always to Love…

Yes I saw Jesus today… And Jesus smiled…

Rocks of Ages, Wreath Across America – #1345

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I went to a National Cemetery for Wreaths across America. Here, 18,000 Wreaths were laid on God’s field of stone markers and healing blessings were laid upon thousands of souls walking, taking photos, reminiscing. The Cemetery was filled with children, boy scouts. ROTC guard, soldiers, congressmen, people. There were soft pretzels and people laughing. There were immense tears and comfort-filled hugging. And the smell of the wreaths was as good as any Christmas tree farm. All were honored. 

Much was there to touch my heart, and lots of land to get a good walk in. Old sneakers for mud in the rain, I imagined that the soldiers faced many non-ideal weather days like this…

Walking back to the maintenance entrance where I left my car, I was taken by the sight of new stones ready for placing in section 29, the wreaths on the bare ground. These stones in the shop were mostly October death dates. Truly I saw the beauty and solemnity of a driveway stone laid upon a new headstone not yet in the ground, this rock was surely placed by a loved one.  See it’s not where we are laid that the Spirit rests, but the memory that lives on – as well as the Rock of ages who takes up our walk home. The marker can be placed, but the race already won. Our pause remembers sacrifice… when better than at Christmas to remember sacrifice and a walk thru this world to a better one…

This was my poem:

18,000 Wreaths is a sight to see.

Freedom is a gift for you and me.

Sacrifice is a commitment paid militarily. 

Hopeful understanding is America’s plea.One country under God, my country ‘Tis of Thee. 

Land Land Land – People People People – Serve the Lord, 15DEC – #1342

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The readings in the second half of the book of Joshua are intense name lists of the people, the towns, and the land given to the Israelites from the Lord. The land was conquered by the Lord and now set aside for resettlement by these chosen children. 

Children sometimes squabble, and these children of God are no exception. There was a misunderstanding about an altar, the one set of tribes built it and the other set thought it was for purposes not honoring God. How often do we get our noses bent out of place for things we think go against us? How often instead should we want to fight against things that go against God? We struggle everyday to put our own hearts right, how will we take up God’s fight too? Well, we DON’T actually take up God’s fight, we take up GOD’S CAUSE.  

Not only did the people want to serve God, the fear was that the whole community would be punished from the disobedience of a few, that’s how historically things came to pass (seems that way today too), and the communities self-policed their people. The Lord instructed thru Joshua that they won’t continue to prevail if they disobey Him and His commands. It’s like a spot that cracks paint and jeopardizes the whole structure because rain and pests can enter and take down the whole house or community. It is that way with us too. We can let our guard down and slip and the small issue becomes big. This is true with everything from temptations to anxious thoughts. This is true when we let our guards down. 

One of the most famous Bible quotes is in these chapters: “CHOOSE TODAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE!” Joshua challenged the Israelites, God challenges us, whom will we serve? Will we stop paying attention to distractions and disruptive forces in our lives or worship God? Will we choose today to move forward and not let the little burdens get big?  If we serve God, we try to drop our distractions and our burdens. We then stop fighting God’s plan and walk with God to live abundantly. 

If we live just for ourselves, we will struggle to even scrape by. If we live for God’s Cause, for which He has already won, we will live an abundant life. Choose today whom you will serve. Please choose to serve Him.  Take His Cause.

Amen

Joshua 21:43-45

the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands.  Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

Joshua 22:29

“Far be it from us to rebel against the Lord and turn away from him today by building an altar for burnt offerings, grain offerings and sacrifices, other than the altar of the Lord our God that stands before his tabernacle.”

Joshua 23:15-16

“But just as all the good things the Lord your God has promised you have come to you, so he will bring on you all the evil things he has threatened, until the Lord your God has destroyed you from this good land he has given you. If you violate the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you.”

Joshua 14-28

Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Then the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods!  It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our parents up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. And the Lord drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God.” Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.”  But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve the Lord.” 

Then Joshua said, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the Lord.”

“Yes, we are witnesses,” they replied.

 “Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey him.” On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem he reaffirmed for them decrees and laws. And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the Lord. “See!” he said to all the people. “This stone will be a witness against us. It has heard all the words the Lord has said to us. It will be a witness against you if you are untrue to your God.” Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to their own inheritance.

Rest From War, 11DEC – #1341

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Joshua 11:23 So Joshua took the entire land, just as the Lord had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.

I was just catching the headlines – more tornados – over 50 dead in one state alone – devastation and wow…  so sad… That is one of those questions I (we) have for the Lord: why? 

There is no answer that will come in a lifetime of wondering – just a wonder of when that type of devastation won’t happen anymore – and yet I know there will be a time when it will get worse, a time when that type of devastation will be rampant across the globe, even more than now…  If you read prophetic scriptures, and many do, you will see that things will get worse before they get better.

What did their spokesman for the state police just now say on TV? When asked how he deals with it, after he and his family emerged from their own hunkering down during the storms, he said: “[We just get to work. You get the call and you just start into your work, to spring into action]”.

Reading Joshua this morning – he spells out a recap of the wars that the God wanted the Israelites to wage. Remember, these wars were ALWAYS for He Lord God Almighty to win. His Ways are above our ways. I have to say this duplicate phrase really stood out: “Then the land had rest from war.”  Joshua took his marching orders from God’s power completing Moses’s path. It was not just one battle but so many… There were many kingdoms defeated and in one section 31 kings are listed as defeated – and that includes all the armies too.  I am not surprise that it was surely different each time in how God waged the war and in how He won it. He’s God – why wouldn’t He personalize the plan.

That must be true of us too – why wouldn’t it be God winning the wars we are fighting – and why wouldn’t God have a personalized attack strategy for each of our problems. And why wouldn’t God have a Plan that we are just to accept and start on. The constant here is: “[we just get to work. You get the call and you just start into your work, to spring into action.]”  YES – 

Like Caleb as an example of a loyal servant in Moses’s and Joshua’s time, God will reward us for our commitment to HIM and to LOVE HIM WHOLEHEARTEDLY and to LOVE HIS PEOPLE.

I believe we will truly see a time when the land [has] rest from war. BUT NOT YET… We still have a battle today… We must keep fighting by listening and follow God’s Ways above ours –  if we are in a moment of rest, then we must absorb that rest for our next steps when we are called into battle again.

I know it is Advent, Christmas-time HOPE LOVE PEACE JOY, and we must think of Whom sprung into action, a battle of His Own to be known and make Our Father be known. Jesus is the ultimate action and result of Love. and yes, as end times on earth prophesies state: Jesus will come again – that is when we will see a phase of “the land will have rest from war.” – then a phase of God’s ultimate victorious war –  and after that? a WHOLE NEW BEGINNING…  

Keep marching into God’s Rest. Follow His Lead.

Amen

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Joshua 11:23 So Joshua took the entire land, just as the Lord had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.

Joshua 12:9-24

these were kings defeated:

the king of Jericho one

the king of Ai (near Bethel) one

the king of Jerusalem one

the king of Hebron one

the king of Jarmuth one

the king of Lachish one

the king of Eglon one

the king of Gezer one

the king of Debir one

the king of Geder one

the king of Hormah one

the king of Arad one

the king of Libnah one

the king of Adullam one

the king of Makkedah one

the king of Bethel one

the king of Tappuah one

the king of Hepher one

the king of Aphek one

the king of Lasharon one

the king of Madon one

the king of Hazor one

the king of Shimron Meron one

the king of Akshaph one

the king of Taanach one

the king of Megiddo one

the king of Kedesh one

the king of Jokneam in Carmel one

the king of Dor (in Naphoth Dor) one

the king of Goyim in Gilgal one

the king of Tirzah one

thirty-one kings

Chapter 14:6-15

Allotment for Caleb

Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’

“Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”

Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.)

Then the land had rest from war.

Oh the Battle IS the Lord’s – Really! #1340

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I heard a great Bible study on david and Goliath – but in that battle, and all our battles if we ask for His help, it’s actually God against Goliath, which is the same as God against anything… 

FOCUS ON GOD and your problems won’t compare… He has us placed in places to realize that we need to rely upon Him – and our dedication to Him starts by loving Him…

IT’S NOT US AGAINST THE WORLD (endless list of Goliaths) BUT GOD USING US FOR HIS VICTORY, testing our hearts… His victory is assured. 

David & Goliath https://subspla.sh/mqghcsj

The battle is the Lord’s… don’t even look at your Goliath. 

(in this bible study, the preacher also speaks about marching around Jericho, the duplicate scriptures of the week!!!)

1 Samuel 17:40, 45-50

Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

Poinsettia Prayer, Planted Again – #1339

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Re-sharing A turning point in my faith, captured by my writing early on in awakening – I went into describing what was happening to me as a teaching tool for others… I guess I am still doing that…

Be open this Christmas to knowing and teaching the true deep down meaning of Christmas…

A Poinsettia Prayer, 23DEC2014

A beautiful showy poinsettia is often misunderstood… botanically-speaking.  Its big flowers a beautiful splash of red. Christmas red with the evergreen brings cheer.

But, those big red flowers or white pink speckled – they are not flowers at all.

No, they are leaves (botanically speaking they are bracts). The flowers are barely noticed – if they are present at all – they are divided into yellow stamens and a nearly invisible pistil deep down below lip-shaped stigma – which is in the shape of a smile.

At the base of the invisible overlooked flower, nestled in the center of showy colorful bracts, is the place where the flower will bear even tinier seeds. The seeds will be enveloped, embraced and provided food to nurture the next generation of baby plants.

Christmas time is full of showy colorful splashes – but its real meaning is often misunderstood – it is really about a tiny baby – a hope for peace not brought on by a giant clashing war to end all wars – but instead by a non-showy tiny sweet baby – who will grow into our hearts and bring peace when enveloped, embraced and provided nourishment.

So look closely this Christmas – not at the showy leaf bracts, but at the tiny flowers – look for the tiny baby – and look for the true meaning of Christmas deep down in the middle of your heart.

Peace.

Revisiting An Epiphany… #1338

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I would ask each of you to look for people this Christmas who are questioning – look for the encouragement you can be by simply showing love at Christmas… Hope for an epiphany that lasts – for the wisdom of the wise – for the wisdom to take the baby home.

I was a questioning soul 7 years ago, wondering on a star, wondering to take Jesus home with me because I knew I was not quite right…  I did not know that I needed Him IN my heart – I always had him OUTSIDE in his stable… I had no idea – I do now…

Be open. Be open to the Lord if you also are questioning. Please know that the Lord IS strengthening your faith by moving the Holy Spirit – not by people knowing where you are – but by ONLY HIM knowing the right stars to shine in your eyes… 

This writing was halfway thru my awakening month – oh how deep the Spirit dips to get each of us… He met me where I was – you can see and I can see my hesitation of heart and mind – my Lord knew to keep pulling and keep lighting the way – He knew I had to know that I CHOSE Him – not an offhanded yes I believe – but I had to know that I knew… one month later I KNEW – I would never be the same. I was His and He is mine…

Yes God says we are worth His time…  give Him your pondering time this Christmas and always…

Amen

An Epiphany, 2015

[editing note] I can see that this writing was strong mental processing when I jotted down ideas then had to write them out. I had written over the course of nearly one month and this was #17 – wow. I never asked to write these – but felt compelled – a new way of therapy for me and my questions..  16 items written – I printed, folded them and dated them and have them in a now special box – I don’t know what to do with them – but I know what they have done for me – so I am grateful… and I am gladly out of this vacuum – I only shared with a few to start thinking someday maybe I will find the right audience – one piece and one person a time.  

An Epiphany, 05JAN

It’s epiphany, the three wise men are coming. It’s AN epiphany and THE epiphany. The three kings – the scholars – the astronomers – they see the star – not just any star – but THE star. History would say it might be a comet, but regardless it was something in the sky that they knew was new, it was different, it was a sign… The wisemen found a star to a new king – finding that king that has been a personal epiphany for many.  But by the time the kings arrived, this baby was perhaps three years old (that’s the trouble with history, we try to force our Hallmark-guided, rigid, mathematical calendars to describe a tremendous amount of unwritten history – that which was passed by word of mouth. We have to remember that if it wasn’t written down then who are we to say what exactly happened and what time it happened…).

I long to be one of the Kings,  well not exactly a king – and not exactly a queen – but I certainly would like to be a wiseman –  a wise woman that is (sometimes I’m even a wiseguy). I try to be very learnered, I try to seek the truth, to understand the science, to get it, to establish why and how. I try to bring the universe into my sphere of understanding.

After bestowing their gifts, the wisemen left the child to return home. An angel came to them, gave advice to return by another route to their homeland, skip King Herod – don’t tell him where the child was –  spare the child’s life. Wise as they were, they probably never saw an angel before… but this angel must have been beyond disbelief. unexplainable by science, divine intervention, the Word of God. Luckily the wise men were wise enough to listen…and traveled home in a new direction.

I wonder… Perhaps I am not wise but just full of factual info – without the wisdom to apply it.  Have I seen the star? maybe… but have I actually followed it? Am I still looking? Perhaps…

Perhaps I have seen the star and perhaps I have followed it.

Perhaps I am just not sure of the way home yet.

Perhaps I am not sure of the direction to take.

Perhaps I am still depending on my learnered state without applying the wisdom and perhaps I want the easy way out and am waiting for an angel to make it clear for me –  to show me the way.

Perhaps I am waiting for an epiphany – a “EUREKA” moment – perhaps I will not get that moment…

Perhaps I am waiting for an angel rather than simply taking in the spirit of Christmas here and now – I know I should not wait for this baby epiphany – but I should take heed of the child before the baby is grown.

Christmas is like an “open enrollment” for Christians – get in while there is a 12 day open window – get in to Christianity while it is easy to love and seek a baby – and there is a big ole star shining your way, you can’t miss it…  Perhaps it is not a problem for many Christians to get “into” Christmas – but perhaps it is harder for them to find their way home afterwards – they are waiting for that angel to tell them their path – when really they need to chart it for themselves.

As much as I want it to happen, it is not going to be an angel who is going to tell me how to act – where to go – or to tell me who to share my new found beliefs with – and who NOT to share them with… just as the wise man had to avoid telling King Herod, who would have done the baby harm, I have to pick and choose who is open to my tale of my spiritual Christmas gift – I have to discern what are the Holy Spirit’s words and what are just leftover words from this Christmas’ flood of emotions…

Yes I/we must discern how we share our faith, those blessings of God’s effects on our lives. We must find the right audience, must find the people who will believe us, who can consider us “genuine” .  We need to find the people who don’t think we’re spouting blasphemy – we need to find the people whom we already have a personal relationship with – and to whom we can connect.  When we are bold enough to speak, we pray the Holy Spirit will gives us the right words for the right audience at the right time.

So – it’s epiphany – its baby Jesus revelation to the world – hoping Christians will stop by, and be wise enough to find their way home with grown up Jesus in their hearts and in their minds. I hope for an epiphany that lasts – for the wisdom of the wise – for the wisdom to take the baby home.

Merry Christmas – Giving a Season For Giving Forgiving, 25DEC – #1337

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Merry Christmas! What a wonderful entrance of Jesus to Earth, leading to Him giving us entrance to Heaven.

I was taken by the wording on this present from my Mom, a plaque showing festive holly and holly berries and mentioning them as symbols for Jesus on the cross. The wording says “tis the season” … “for giving” which I read immediately as one word not just two, I read “for  giving” as “forgiving”… oh… cool…

For giving is true, this is the season for giving gifts, so much holiday cheer, and LOVE! AND how amazing not just in word play that the action of forgiving IS giving the GIFT we have received at Christmas from God. Forgiving IS giving mercy, grace, and love from God passing through us. Jesus gave us forgiveness – He gave us forgiving not just for us but for us for giving to others,  He did. He does. He wants us to pass it on.  Who are we to keep this gift only for ourselves? We can’t – we must forgive if we are to be forgiven. God said so.

The Holly berries plaque came with a saying: “An old legend says that holly grew under the footsteps of Jesus Christ and the thorny leaves and red berries symbolize His suffering on the cross.”

Although we don’t know the truth of this legend of what grew under His feet, we DO know IN TRUTH that with every footstep Jesus took, He took us one step closer to Heaven.

Forgiveness from sin IS a gift this season and forever. A Season Forgiving. Forgiving for Giving. Let us accept this forgiveness and extend forgiveness to others. It is truly a gift this Christmas and always, to walk in Jesus’s footsteps, to be more like Him.

Amen.

Merry Christmas  

Immanuel, God IS with us.

Here is a google-giving garden of forgiving grace-filled verses:

Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Ephesians 1:7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more …”

Isaiah 1: 18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'”

Micah 7:18-19 “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. 19 You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

Jeremiah 31: 34 “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Luke 5: 20 “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.’”

Luke 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Matthew 18: 21-22 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'”

Matthew 6: 14-15 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Already Home for Christmas, 23DEC – #1336

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My neighbor said, you FINALLY decorated one of your cars! She was serious, for people don’t think I’m strange for decorating cars, they wonder what took me so long! This car got the weather-tolerant treatment of wrapping paper and ribbon, plastic ornaments, candy cane and even a bough of floral festive beauty… However this car is not mine, I am storing it, it is to be moved whenever red tape (bright Christmas red) resolves and allows…

Meanwhile, that car has become VERY purposeful as a spare decoy situated in my extra parking spot all year. I was thankful for “the visual” that it looked like someone was home, the house not empty. Instead of “nobody’s home”, somebody was and IS home. In all this, I knew the TRUTH that this car’s driver, like many of our loved ones, had passed away and GONE HOME. Whether a short or long time that our loved ones have gone home, we miss them. We can remember, especially at Christmas that even though they are NOT earthly home, they are ALREADY HOME, Eternally Home. HEAVEN holds them dear

This car belonged to a cherished son of a friend of a friend who tragically passed. My friend (and I) hope for her friends that these photos of the car perhaps bring a smile, knowledge that one of the last objects their loved one touched is cared for. This is a good time, Christmas time, to remember that the last human tangible and touchable thing our loved ones actually DID touch is none other than the Hand of Jesus

For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. 

We remember at Christmas that our Savior Jesus came to earth, came to us DIRECTLY for the business of SAVING US. As the Son of man, fully God and fully human, Jesus IS God with us, Immanuel. He IS the Shepherd who looks for each of us wandering sheep. Surely, He looks for each and every lost soul until they are found. He OPENS the eyes of our hearts so that each knows the Spiritual Sound of his Master’s voice.

Jesus is fully God and takes full control and command over our destiny. Jesus became fully human. May we all allow JESUS to TAKE THE WHEEL. He cut all the red tape of sin and death with the red blood of His sacrifice. We ARE now white as snow, forgiven in Him.

For all our loved ones whom we miss tearfully this Christmas, let us add a prayer for all to know this deeper meaning of Christmas. We are to blessedly know and enthusiastically share that THRU JESUS, God’s PURPOSE has been and is ongoingly FULFILLED. We are held by Heaven’s Hope. 

With HIS guiding STAR that still SHINES in our hearts, we remember all who are already WITH Jesus. 

WITH and IN CHRIST. They are Already Home for CHRISTmas.

Amen 

God Bless you all this Christmas. 

[Please pray for this particular family for closure in dealing with the tangible leftovers, for their paperwork and their PEACE.  Please pray them PEACE in knowing Jesus has their son in HIS loving arms. Thank you.]

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What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perishMatthew 18:12-14

 Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:25-30

Give Christ a Home Base at Christmas – again and again… #1335

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In addition to this new slogan I wrote in 2015, “Give Christ at Christmas”, I now have yet another good slogan: “Give Christ a Home in your Heart this Christmas“… heed in your head and home in your heart… We are to mend the fences of anger in our hearts and be open to being open… Open forgiveness is always in open enrollment.

It is not just that we give Christ a home in our hearts but we also give Him a Home Base – like a Basecamp – to venture HIM out to share with others… To allow Him to guide us out into the new adventures of life.

Give Him a Home- a Home Base – a Home in your Heart – He will bring the warmth and light…

Amen

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There are so many devotions that I re-read now and I say: “wow thanks God, thanks for making me write that..” this is definitely one of them… just in 10 minutes in front of microwave…https://debbieupper.blog/2017/05/19/give-christ-at-christmas-22dec-323/ 

Give Christ at Christmas, 22Dec2015 

Just got back from the dollar store and unlike every other store this clerk actually said “Merry Christmas”…WOW… now I don’t want to get her in trouble, because you know how politically correct these stores are trying to be – they don’t want to say MERRY CHRISTMAS, even though they ARE pushing red and green Christmas merchandise out the wazoo…  But even if the clerks are not supposed to say it, I know plenty of non-Christians who are NOT offended by someone wishing them the BEST of whichever holiday they celebrate… And saying happy holidays is perfectly fine to say as well, in my opinion, because that does not offend me.

So yes, it’s nice to hear Merry Christmas, and this year I REALLY mean it!  and to hear Christmas music in the stores is awesome, nobody faults you for singing along (except your own kids who are embarrassed to be with you regardless if you’re singing or not..)… Christmas music for Christians is a good excuse to celebrate faith without people thinking you’re overly weird or pushy…

You see a lot of signs these days to combat the politically correct push of the holiday season… the signs say “Keep Christ in Christmas”… I don’t know, it kind of sounds a little threatening… a little “bad cop-ish”… Like “Keep Christ in Christmas OR ELSE!”… I know it is for good intentions but remember I’m not the “bad cop”, I’m the “good cop”… so I think I would prefer a sign that instead said: “Give Christ for Christmas” … Yeah, that’s the sentiment I like!

When we GIVE Christ, it means we are giving to others the BEST of us… it means we are not keeping Christ for ourselves for our own salvation but we want to share HIM to help God’s action plan… because God wants to be with ALL of us.

So that sign you could leave up all year round because we should give Christ not JUST at Christmas, but every day. We give Christ by being Christ-like… there’s another sign floating around the internet that says “people can tell your faith not by your religion, but by your actions…” yup, that’s true because the best Christ-like behavior is to LOVE

I bet You, Christ, would have walked around with Your OWN T-shirt that said “Smile, I LOVE you”… We should too… That’s the sign of the times, time to show our inner Jesus, it’s time to give the LOVE…

Give Christ at Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, the happiest of holidays!

Christmas Bug Light – #1334

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A classic from my first writings that I put into my Hallmark card category – seemingly light and it was of LIGHT but not “light” of a flippant nature – my brain was really searching for whether I believed in Jesus – for me. I know exactly how I was questioning and the last sentence here is crucial… I know that within one month time, I tearfully said YES to Jesus. I pray we are seed planters of LIGHT. God will grow our faith at the right time. 

God lights a Christmas Bug Light for us! Come Home bugs!

God bugs us until we listen and learn – be bugged – be HIS.


Christmas Bug, 31Dec2014

I caught a bug this Christmas
But NOT the viral kind
I caught a bug this Christmas
Of a LIGHT that always shines.

I assembled a manger scene,
one in my mind,
Filled with friends that fit the bill, of every shape and kind.

Here is my Joseph, adoptive loving Dad
who took pause, raised a very fine lad.

Here is my Mary, labored a King.
but she will lose Him come 33 spring.

Angels came excitedly from all around,
flutteringly exclaiming: “Go to the baby, He must be found”

Shepherds watched by night
And all day…they saw the LIGHT.

Kings, scholars all brought him gifts
Broken families healed their rifts.

Here came a woman sick with fear
A comfort healing we pray is near.

In my own manger, my friends are near
So many I hold so very dear.

Praying for such pain relief
Praying for superhero eternal peace.

That first manger scene now moves on
Discipled masses soon caught on.

Temple scholars would find pause,
a young Savior tests His cause.

The fish, the loaves, water into wine.
fishing for men time after time.

Healing, teaching, demons quiver,
Sinners schooled – they’ve found favor.

So later came the mobs,
the mobs who tore him down,
Tried to rob him of his holy crown.

“Crucify him” they all would cry
Scoff at him, beat him
And watch him die.

Dark clouds overhead
A worldly dread.

How could they know
His death a GIFT.
A rainbow PROMISE fulfilled,
An Easter people thrilled.

That God gave his only Son,
so our sins would be undone.

Some praise Him, some shun Him, some cast him out
some witnesses still have doubt.

Disappearing sickness and strife, heaven-bound hearts set free…
But still we doubt, we cannot see.

We ask, we pray – we wonder “Is He for me?”

God Sighting Still Here, 14DEC – #1333

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It’s an understatement to say the Lord was batting 1000 and rolling all strikes in my brain readjusting it to an awakened state 7 years ago. There was lots of dust to blow off my spiritual eyes. 

This is my favorite Christmas paper theme forever now, I have small swatches still in special locations.  Yes, doves mean so much in the scriptures: peace doves, doves from Noah’s hope of finding land, doves offered as sacrifice to the Lord for the poorest people, and the Holy Spirit descending like a dove upon Jesus. White doves of peace mean much to us, as we want peace.

I’ve been rereading my old writing at Christmas in 2014, this is a couple days after my pre-awakening-faith-questioning-diatribe. This is so early it predates any blog or sharing, but an email to myself in capturing the moment. 

I still feel the gasp. God is always there, we open up our spiritual eyes to see. I was in a heart head struggle and God was winning. He never gives up on us. The force IS not just strong, He IS the force of God…

Thanks for reminiscing with me.

22DEC2014 God Sighting

Today, with the thought of the Michael Card song “Come to the Cradle, come and find peace” in my head – I walked past my door decoration at work for maybe the five hundredth time (I wrap my door every year…the only decoration I had time to put up this year) …and  I put it up a month ago, thinking it was festive without being too religious in a secular work setting… I saw it new.

Well it hit me  just then that it was a PEACE DOVE as in the Prince of Peace Jesus… I verbally gasped…geez…really God? my inner Darth Vader said “the force is strong with this one”

Wow                         

See Tracks? Think Jesus, 12DEC – #1332

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No doubt I got messed up in my tracks going to a church on Sunday – but the Lord made it worth my while anyway, taking the 40 minute drive south. Totally that I confused reading about the guest musician being there last week, and I thought he was supposed to be there this week too, oops… It’s ok, I have already seen him and I take my missteps in stride, I am super human in a wilderness of worldliness. He reminded me of my needed reliance upon Him to make my time anywhere worthy of any work. He did. I was back on track and still was home by 11am.

It’s not the mega fancy-ness, or the hotel-like drive up entrance of the megachurch, it was the TRAIN TRACKS that told me I was in the right place, walking in the door. I have family history and a love of real trains. These were spectacularly set up toy trains, a HUGE popular display. I appreciated the opportunity to SEE. I appreciated the sign displayed: “Life takes you to unexpected places, Love brings you Home.” Yes, I was unexpectedly looking at trains in a huge mega church and thought:  I wonder what excitement of Christmas will be brought out of these people who seemed lively?  and yet I felt a bit alone in people folk, that happens in a mega church which has that mall-like feeling where no one knows your name, I wonder where/how they connect,  rather than train cars passing by in the night. It becomes dependent on the people, like who is sitting on a passenger train, willing to open up and greet the other people, to hear their stories.

I settled up front, the band started and a woman in front of me danced to the music, which was great, but not the guest appearance I expected, oops. The parents next to me took photos of their cute children singing in the choir, the stage was set so beautiful with fake fireplace that it both looked great and looked WAY OVER THE TOP at the same time,  it was a great facility and I knew it is IMPORTANT to not feel jealous of the resources as jealousy is against God’s law and yet IMPOSSIBLE to avoid. So we should not give any energy to cynical thought, but we do. It became my cynical humanness creeping up over my Spirit willingness to just BE.  Lord help me. It was my COMPLAINING that I knew needed CONTAINING. People are in God’s House, let me be generous with praise. 

And so I prayed: “Lord, why am I REALLY here?  What’s going to catch me into any sort of in-filling of spirit today? In NJ, they pump your gas for you. How in Jersey will the Holy Spirit pump Itself into my soul? Then what trajectory will you set me on to “go tell it on the mountain” like these cute children sang, Jesus Christ Is Born. Yes He is. I knew that I could dig into the scriptures and so grabbed my purse Bible, as I settled down into knowing God was the Only One Who could get me back mentally on a gratitude track with His Word, YES! And of course as soon as I saw the bulletin blurb of Luke, “John the Baptist”, it was not a surprise as a Spirit splash of a triplicate quadruplicate passage of my month. Luke’s gospel of the visit of pregnant Mary to cousin pregnant Elizabeth, John the Baptist in Elizabeth’s womb LEPT in Joy in meeting Jesus in Mary’s womb. In HOLY SPIRIT pre-swaddle, it was a Jump for Joy.

Go tell it on the mountain: So, it’s not just about our filling, but what then about us feeding? About going over the hills and everywhere? Yes we are to be Jumping with Joy tellers of the Good News, like John the Baptist preached “Repent” we can preach “He is Sent!” And so I appreciated the meat of the sermon very much, because it was about the HOLY SPIRIT. 

After the sermon I went back to the tracks. The big kid in front of me at the tracks was how the Holy Spirit hooked me. In a gleeful moment, a gentleman said “HEY” louder than 1000 mega church millings around types whom passed me by and I passed them by like we were in the mall. This gentleman MUST have been working for God!  I heard a Holy Spirit leap, I did. I felt open in our chit chat for explaining my love of trains and that my Dad had passed away just this summer and wouldn’t you know it that driving that day I was held up getting to his bedside by a TRAIN.  As I spoke this story, the gentleman’s wife came and we all talked not just about my Dad’s passing but her Dad’s too. We had similar stories, we both had to make a choice of where to be when our Dads were perilously close to death. I know God lines up these healing moments. You could say it was eerie similar except I KNEW that the Holy Spirit was SOLIDLY IN CONTROL at this meeting. We were in His Wheelhouse, our time stopped, and people faded in the background during our snow globe conversation. Holy Spirit, I WAS APPRECIATIVE. “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” YUP! 

We talked for 10 minutes easily, I shared about my writings, specifically speaking of amazing processing. We both knew at our Dad’s passing that immediately we were to be comforters to our moms and we accepted death instantly as the Spirit met us where we were, healed us, and headed us back out of us to comfort. In train track lingo, it was the quickest ROUNDHOUSE turn. 

The warning key chain I grabbed told us to be weary of walking on real train tracks – be safe! But when you are talking about God tracks, STAY ON TRACK. But we are not walking alone are we? No, if we ask for the Holy Spirit to guide us, He WILL put us on track in HIS CAR. If we drop our worldliness and focus on meeting God to talk, he will find the wilderness of aloneness so we can hear Him better. You know when you hear that long-ways-away train whistle but think it’s close? That’s how the Holy Spirit operates. He wants us to hear Him coming around that mountain. He wants us to see the signal lights and the STEAM. He wants us to realize we can hop on His Train – to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

See Holy Spirit tracks? Think JESUS, because ALL His tracks lead Home

Life takes you unexpected places, LOVE brings you Home. 

Amen 

(PS, later I visited a friend for tea and just now realized that as she works on trains, how classic of God to keep me on track.)

Luke 1:35-45

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.”

I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

The Birth of John the Baptist.

When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.” They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.” Then they made signs to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.” Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.

Zechariah’s Song

His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

Christmas, Fixing Gutters, Preparing for Rain, 12DEC – #1331

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I was cleaning out my gutters yesterday, putting up my Christmas lights. Although I clean the corners, once a year LOL,  I never clean up the middle.  M. U. D.  Mud fully composted and mixed with roof silt. At least I had one glove on. So, I slung mud down with one hand and held lights up with the other. I do want to reconfigure all this eventually and hook up a rain barrel, take advantage of the free water, but that is a job for FUTURE. Right now, it is simply good enough to have them good enough.

When I finished with my lights, I got dinner and settled in for the night. I was happy and my neighbor was thrilled as she says it makes the biggest difference from her view across the street.

When the immense rain (and crashing temperatures) came a few hours later, wow I was glad I got all that done, that I took the warm opportunity (65 degrees) to both finish fall work (I raked 5 cans of wet leaves and mowed over the rest!) AND to get Christmas prep going.

Christmas Flood. God did the same to me and He comes back to check on His Work. He gets the job done in season. He prepares us for Christmas, for Him, if we take advantage of His season for us. Every year we get a gentle baby reminder, a softening of hearts in the Spirit of giving – He wants to prepare all of us for Christmas. He wants to clean out our gutters, but that is NOT required before He flooding-ly comes into our individual hearts.  He wants to arrive and grow. We nurture Him as we gain His wisdom, we see He wants to rake up and stow away old stuff too as He surely wants to make us fresh. It’s not the new paint job He intends, but internal repair. He works to press open the fresh air space to allow His Holy Spirit refill. He then wants to sit on the couch with you and talk about FUTURE repairs set aside for when the weather improves. Jesus wants to hang up the lights of Christmas IN us – yes the neighbors will likely notice that change, that glow, but first will we? I hope so.  Let us pray for less blown fuses. Let us look deep from the inside of our temple, knowing that God turned on our Christmas LIGHT Jesus Himself.  Immanuel, God with us.


This writing below is a reshare of my Christmas Flood pivotal piece (writing # 2) to process what I didn’t know was coming to me in 2014 – a monumental earth-shattering life change in an awakening – and it came… like a FLOOD. a Christmas Flood that took me another month to fully slog thru my mud.

If you are feeling like the mud is clogging your faith this Christmas, even a little, I encourage you to call upon our Lord to make a house call. Actually He’s already here surveying the scene. (He already paid in full, your bill will never show up, only His blood will). He has all the ladders needed. So set up your rain barrels and catch His flow. 

Amen 

Merry Christmas – Let the Lord’s Light Shine.

Christmas Flood, 17DEC2014

Christmas is like a flood of spiritual emotion, not a light or sustained soaking rain that allows the parched ground to slowly open up and absorb the much needed rain. Christmas is like that short downpour deluge of flooding rain, where only some water gets to the plants and the rest runs off into the gutters or low points. Like in modern construction, we (our spiritual souls) need to set aside flood plains, safe drainage areas so that the spiritual seeds that we have planted all year long aren’t washed away … that the parched spiritual soul is not choked by flood waters. So we can nurture, patiently, our delicate growing belief that God works in our lives every day.

We need sustaining rainfall. We pray for rain, yet do we prepare for it? In the movie “Facing the Giants”, the coach of a “bad news bears”-like football team is finding the need for an emotional awakening (as well as improved football skills) both for his team and himself. A colleague relates to him the story of the two farmers in a drought…two farmers looked to God for rain, but only one prepared for it, so which fields receive the much needed rain? The gist of the quote from the movie is:

“I heard a story about two farmers who desperately needed rain. And both of them prayed for rain, but only one of them went out and prepared his fields to receive it. Which one do you think trusted God to send the rain?” Well, the one prepared his fields for it. Which one are you? Mr. Bridges (the older advisor) continued. “God will send the rain when He’s ready. You need to prepare your field to receive it.”

“Which one are you? God will send the rain when He is ready. You need to prepare your field to receive it.”

Christmas finds us year after year flooded with buckets of wasted non-nourishing rain, excessive tinsel-covered giant hailstones and mud mud mud clogging and blocking our spiritual path…. If only we set up rain collection barrels to collect the deluge of Christmas excess rain to save some for watering our souls after the new year, to use all winter until we get to the next soaking rains of Easter, the greens of spring, the rebirth thru resurrection.

How can we prepare for rain? How can we dig trenches for excess while welcoming the much needed spiritual lift that comes with a baby in a manger. How can we? PrayPray for guidance. Pray for peace and clarity in your heart. Pray for the calming presence of God. And prepare. Prepare for the arrival for both spiritual and non-spiritual abundance. While you need to appreciate and delineate between the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season and that of the showy, wing-flapping commotion caused by angels dragging your soul to the cradle…while you need to appreciate and delineate between your heart bursting with Christmas joy (think Dr Seuss’ Grinch’s heart growing “three sizes that day”) and your head saying ‘slowdown, wait, don’t get swept away with emotion’ ….

Either way, you need to prepare your fields for rain.


Fit for a Purpose, 10DEC – #1330

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Honestly, it’s bizarre to read old testament stories of the wars and fighting by the Israelites, of the killings and of the punishments sent by the Lord. Bizarre…

What’s not surprising is that the Lord is in charge. And yet what’s clear then (and now) is that the Lord and His Power are still questioned by our generation to be real, and to be Almighty. Can we see His Almightiness? Can we believe that the God who gives us life will also help us live it? I believe that we have no way to know how everything the Lord does fits into our lives. How would we know, we don’t have the Lord’s Vision – we cannot fathom it all because He is that VAST and ALMIGHTY. (but He still wants us to grasp the edges of understanding and grab the heart and the hope that He has. We are to see His Purpose over ours.

We can see the Sun shine but not how it moves. We see the world break, but not understand how it was formed. Even the Sun is full of fire and the earth full of mud, yet they are used in glorious ways, and fit for the Lord’s purpose. Why wouldn’t enemies be treatable in the same manner? Fit for a purpose. They sharpen our dependence upon God to win our battles. They force us to act and react. But as we know the Lord is unchanging, therefore in every situation we encounter, we best look to the Lord to handle it and make it fit to His Purpose

Joshua asked the Lord to STOP THE SUN FROM MOVING. WOWwow, yes he asked boldly (and out of necessity). And YES, the Lord did just that. The Sun was stopped and the moon stopped for a whole day. The Israelites sent to fight were assured by God that they would win. In one particular battle, more were killed by the hailstones sent by the Lord than by the sword of the invaders. THE LORD MEANS BUSINESS.  The Lord achieved the victory because He sent the enemy into confusion. It should not be surprising that He secured the victory in His own Way. When we wait on the Lord, He works in His Ways, above our ways.

How will we understand that God can do the same now? Have you ever felt like the Lord slowed time down for you? Or sped it up? Threw a curveball snowstorm your way? Interrupted your schedule to fit His. Have you ever prayed for Him to confuse your enemies? Have you asked Him to make your own temptations clearly distasteful and easy to avoid? Have you asked the Lord to put the spark into your step, the spirit into your soul, and the smile on your face just to power thru? Maybe He makes us realize that who we thought were our enemies were and are simply thorns to navigate thru and move forward despite a few thorns left in our side. Humble ourselves and keep moving.

God can stop time at any time, so surely He can and will make time for you. Ask Him to Shine in your life. He will. If God can make life out of fire and mud and sparks and dust, then surely, He can power you too. You are fit for a purpose, HIS!

Amen 

We love him, because he first loved us. 1st John 4:19

Joshua 10:9-15

After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel! Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.

Power Over Pain, Love Over Loss, 07DEC – #1329

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When we hurt, we still have the need and prodding to move forward. Power is greater than pain.

When we lose a loved one we are sad, we had and still have immense love given to them and they for us. Love is greater than loss. Love continues even when we are apart.

Immense love is what we have for 2 lost family members this past year, my Aunt and my Dad, the love grows in memories. The power to move forward comes in time and does not negate the pain but checks in into a place reserved for it. Like a vast cavern of love, there is a shelf you can set your pain and loss on and keep living and exploring love.

Love is a gift that comes from a source higher than us. How cool and blessed to dig thru my grandmother’s pantry in the farmhouse that has been in my family over 120 years. The pantry had a corner – not accessible until now until layers of layers was removed and it had a preservation of some treasures and some trash and you would be surprised…  It is as if one left my grandmother’s stuff as part of a memory shelf. This is one of those pantries where every banana sticker lined the door jams. We pulled out toys and treasures and trash, talked excitedly of playtime and hide and seek. We found some amazing letters to Santa on this day which was and is 12/6 St. Nicholas Day, lists asked for steam engines, kewpie dolls. We found gifts not yet given too, fire king dishes, glasses, supplies. The treasures we unearthed were but a sliver of remembering the love. It’s not about taking an item home, it’s more memories that I hold than my arms or house could hold in stuff. I have memories more organized and vast than the depths of these closets. I don’t need stuff to feel love. It’s like the penny you place in a purse sitting on a shelf or given away, it recognizes the blessings we have enough to give away some.

My mom read a Christmas card from her twin, gone 5 years now, written as young preteens, a beautiful depiction and verse of Christmas peace from the birth of a King. We have a memory and a current love from the Lord, not just on Christmas but everyday. We have a constant in our lives today – LOVE – and we best not leave our faith sitting on a shelf forgotten. CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT A GIFT UNWRAPPED. Christmas is the Lamb of God given to save the world, a baby who lived into the love He already gave. Love over loss. Power over pain. Faith over Forgotten-ness. 

Jesus gave more than just a little penny tucked away in a purse of HOPE. He gave it all. God wrapped His Love up as a gift, the total Love of God the Father, Jesus the Son, God in Holy Spirit. God is LOVE and therefore love is much bigger than loss. And God will come again to take us Home. He knows we are His Treasure.

Amen

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2

Restored in the Lord’s Trust, 06DEC – #1328

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No one likes things stolen let alone lost. It takes both the item and the trust away from the people, sometimes friends, neighbors, co-workers. And the ripple effect is that overall trust is damaged in every person who hears of theft, whether it is high end theft or petty stealing as if a game of getting away with it.  I’ve not experienced recent theft but have in the past, small stuff, like a giant pumpkin on my birthday taken from my house, and once almost lost my purse to a sneaking kid who tried to be an opportunist to my ignorance, pushing an unlocked ajar door open and snatching where I nearly was lighting up my purse with neon lights that said – “this is an easy steal” – oops… I slammed the door – God helped me keep my stuff – but yeah damage done to my psyche – my memory remains. It reinforced the double-checker in me. I have moved on, but not without learning. Most importantly I tell myself that we live in a broken world, that only by Jesus and God’s Love will we all be restored in the Lord’s Trust.

One of the strange sad realities of the human race is that we all experience the whole brokenness of the human race from all who are human. And we ARE all human. Therefore one of the HOPES we have in JESUS will be in the repair of our humanness. When He returns (see Revelation), the earthly brokenness of people will be bound up and tossed away. The restoration of TRUST is going to be SO AMAZING, believable and real. I can barely really imagine, having lived in reality here, to see us be blessed with that level of forgiveness – we are and will be forgiven enough to forgive others and to see restoration of “in God’s PEOPLE we trust”. I have to imagine that the inherent and learned distrust will dissipate like an ice cube on a hot day.

We must live our lives in that repentant way now, practice what God preaches and live open to His examination. Without hindrances to keep moving forward. But as for those sins perpetrated against us, we must let the Lord do the weeding out, He knows all, let Him extract truth and justice. Keep close to Him – and keep walking with Him in the present, away from the past.

Joshua led the Lord’s people to prosperity times by the Lord setting them apart for the Promised Land. God gave compassion during and after their wandering in the desert, but a few bad apples spoil the day again and again, even in their Promised Land… In Joshua chapter 7, we learn that someone kept loot that was not theirs, took it knowingly and had to hide it, they themselves lived in fear of being caught. Joshua was charged with examining those people, one by one. The tribes and families the Lord Himself brought forward, knowing the culprit, He brought the TRUTH to LIGHT. God said: You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them – meaning the stolen devoted things – the plunder – and the lies. God wants to move forward with people who trust Him.

The confession of Achan opened up the truth. This allowed God to once again bless and direct the people to victory. They prospered in war against the village of Ai (see chapter 8) and were blessed in provisions and importantly God’s leading. 

We will move forward in life as well IF we rely upon God to give us His direction and prosperity and He will give it abundantly. We even can give forgiveness to those who do steal from us – even if we don’t know them because we DO KNOW that they are coming from a broken place. Maybe we need to sacrifice a bit right now, including our egos, and not be so attached to plunder of our own, allowing us to live more freely. Yes for our future, we even have to prepare our hearts for battle, wait upon God for directions, and move in when He commands. When Jesus returns (keep looking for that Light), we will be given greater spoils than what we could take for ourselves now. We will gain His life in us. We will be restored as Kingdom people one day. Jesus, come quickly.

It is important to live open lives to the Lord so He knows that we know we are waiting on Him.

Amen 

Chapter 7:10-21

The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. “Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them. “‘In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe the Lord chooses shall come forward clan by clan; the clan the Lord chooses shall come forward family by family; and the family the Lord chooses shall come forward man by man. Whoever is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the Lord and has done an outrageous thing in Israel!’” Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was chosen. 

…   

Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was chosen. Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.” Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

Chapter 8 – The taking of Ai and the renewal of the Covenant

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. 

… 

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Hold out toward Ai the javelin that is in your hand, for into your hand I will deliver the city.” So Joshua held out toward the city the javelin that was in his hand.

Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the Lord burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings. …

Anointest my Eyes with Laughter, 05DEC – #1327

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When my Dad passed away, we proofread all the paperwork, death notices, obituaries and continued this required life-long family job of looking for the accidental placement of an extra N within our last name. It was all fine. Whew. Not that the Lord needs any specific spelling of our name anyway, because He gives us new names in Heaven, but still it’s one of those peculiar human attributes to look at and for the correct spelling of your name. 

So, this extra “N” shows up everywhere, positioned accidentally on purspose, even in my DMV paperwork as I used my maiden name as a middle name. The “N” shows up because our family name rhymes with a famous city that has the N. So we know that it is not the people’s fault either. Grace is good, and bank checks clear no problem, LOL.

Yesterday, sitting with my Holy Spirit gifted friend, an 80 plus year old, sharp as a tack, she shows me a typo that made me laugh. Not an earthly laugh at human error, but a tickled laugh at a “God-wink” – a connection only God and I could make in the split-second processing that was jumping from my heartstrings. There is an extra hidden N in a holy word on my Dad’s prayer card handed out at the funeral. I even have been carrying extra cards in my purse. Psalm 23 with a beautiful cardinal photo, a family favorite bird. These cards all have the extra N. Not in our name but in “annointest” not “anointest” – yes, God anointest my head with oil and He keeps my mind calm with thinking about my Dad. He anoints and appoints realizations of typos with N’s. I laughed so hard I almost fell off the couch. God is the gifter of lightness for our hearts.

It is not me saying that God put the N, no, and it’s not me saying that my Dad is sending a signal, no, it’s that ONLY God and I had that moment together, a laugh only He and I understood at that moment. So, I WILL take it as yet another sign that my Dad is with the Lord, a moment to be grateful. 

This chapter of July writing, chapter 63, starts on the day of my Dad’s death when I was racing to get there, not knowing he had already passed, it’s OK, better for Him and us in Jesus’s arms always. These writings detailed my extraordinary gifted processing of my Dad’s passing (Thanks Holy Spirit) in writing/sharing. 

This proofreading friend did not understand my laugh, I mean it is a real typo on something that shouldn’t be overlooked, and as she’s an editor from way back she claims that typos leap off the page to her. How tiny the print and she knew the prayer enough to skip that section and yet she did not skip it – she read the prayer in the photo of the prayer card, Psalm 23. Now, we have read that thousands of times, but yet we are compelled to reread it when we see it. It IS David’s comfort and convincing that the Lord takes us thru a broken world moment by moment, blessing our lives. 

Psalm 23, my what a verse… MY CUP RUNNETH OVER… Yes thanks Lord for writing on David’s heart and mine and ours, writing a Shepherd’s desire for us, His sheep, to know that He has us all. He has set us aside as HOLY. He an[n]ointest our heads with oil. My Dad’s too… Thank You with a tear and a smile and a chuckle. You an[N]ointest my eyes with laughter. Thank You.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou an[N]ointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23

Amen 

SHOUT, God Calls the Shots, 04DEC – #1326

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The Lord was with Joshua, as He was with Moses. The Lord’s call is TRUE – and He also calls the shots. We can let the Lord handle our difficult times and watch Him lead. The Lord is with us. 

There is an amazing old testament reference to Jesus in this book of Joshua:  “At the cost of his firstborn son – he will lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest – he will set up its gates.” Joshua 6:26 

If these great men, Moses and Joshua, could follow the Lord’s leading, knowing only the promise of deliverance, certainly so can we, because Jesus has already fulfilled all that is necessary for our battle won. We can look for His sustenance and victory. We can praise and shout supporting His Victory. (We should not turn away from Him either) Just as manna came to the people to eat, it stopped, after they had “eaten of the corn, the fruit of the land of Canaan, the Promised Land”. God’s perfect provisions. We too can live life day by day because God says we only need to know that He will provide. Got a problem? Let the Lord show you a solution that is not even in our mindset of possibilities.

Here is one – whoda thunk you could conquer a city by simply walking around it. Joshua was instructed by GOD, thru the captain of the Lord of Hosts, whom some say is an angel or Jesus Himself, on how to run the war to take the city of Jericho, and how the Lord will win it. I heard a teaching once that those of the angelic realm seem to speak to earthly people with the assumption that the earthly people know what’s going on in Heaven! That we would know of the heavenly war and how it spills over on earth, and know that God’s Ways are the right and winning way. This angel or Jesus or God directly told Joshua to take off his sandals, he was standing on Holy Ground. Joshua asked a pertinent question that we might ask, and got one of the best heavenly answers in the Bible: “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”

Ain’t that the truth? God’s plans aren’t about which team He is rooting for (sorry sports fans) or how He will tip earthly battles for people’s gain. “Are you for us or for our enemies?” “NEITHER!”… No, instead His presence and Plan focuses on the long-term goal of the Kingdom and how He carries the people there with Him. This Joshua-commander Israelites battle is to take the city of Jericho by fighting with Heavenly power, not earthly. The only weapon that the people needed was DEVOTION after LISTENING. They were instructed to march around the city seven consecutive days, seven times around on the seventh day, then have priests sound trumpets of rams’ horns and “the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” God Calls the Shots, We Get Shouts.

BOLD BEHAVIOR but beholden of God’s power not their own prowess in this earthly battlefield. Why does this matter over and above being just a great story? It’s because they and we have to listen, follow, act in God’s direction and watch Him work. WE HAVE TO SHOW UP FOR BATTLE, but let Him lead us to Victory. We can show dedication and see His Power, see God go fight our battles for us.

God told Joshua, and tells us, that only God can build the next steps of the plan. God also instructed the Isrealites (and us) don’t rebuild Jericho, after Joshua’s people burnt it by command, because any city stronghold and especially THE KINGDOM will be built by God. “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1

So that amazing old testament reference to Jesus in this book of Joshua:  “At the cost of his firstborn son – he will lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest – he will set up its gates.” Joshua 6:26,  YES GOD IS TALKING ABOUT JESUS !  Jesus Himself when He walked the earth (see John 10) speaks of Himself being the Shepherd and that His sheep know Him and know His voice.  “Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.”

So we are to already know that God knows the Plan and we are to let Him Work His Plan thru us – and we are to praise and shout. The shout for encouragement to pick up our crosses each day and encouragement that God will blast the trumpet to move us from this earthly phase to His Kingdom. We shout of our understanding that thru Jesus as gate and Shepherd, we will prevail. 

Let us SHOUT, for our God calls the shots

His war is won, we are just to SHOW UP for battle.

Amen 

“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep” 
John 10:1-11

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See Joshua 5-6: 

Joshua – Dry Ground – The Lord Knows the Way, 03DEC – #1325

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I can remember the sight, the small child named Joshua in my vacation Bible school crew, stepping into the waving blue tablecloth, signifying the Jordan River in flood, studying the people being led by Moses then Joshua to the Promised Land. As soon as he stepped, the water (tablecloths held by hidden volunteers) stopped shaking and separated. DRY GROUND. The whole class, me too, stepped safely into the Promised Land. As soon as they were across, the water flooded behind them. God won the day. (and we got some sweet treat in the Promised Land, yum)

What does this mean for us? Why must we wait on the Lord and have Him figure things out for us? Because He has already made the Way. He made the Way, both the dry land that we are to cross and the waves of the water that block us and make us wait. He knows the steps He sanctions and yet gives us free will to wade in waters sometimes shallow and sometimes too deep. If we wonder what to do – wait if you are in a safe place – if we have to act, then SWIM if you are in waters too deep. In either place, He will be there when we reach for Him. 

I had never heard this story before of Joshua, we leaders must learn too. And these VBS teachers reconstituted this story into living flesh understanding. Rehydration of the Word. It became a picture in my mind, of real things that were already placed as understanding in my spirit soul. That’s why we need to read old testament stories, God knows how to hydrate the Word and connect us back to Him and Show us His Way. 

You can say God has a Way with Words. Jesus is reborn in each of us – if we drink in His Living Water and rehydrate the soul parched, we will know Him even better. Let us read the stories in the bible and allow our mind to visualize the scenes, feel the fear, revere the reverence, and KNOW. Surely when we read scripture, the mind increasingly says – YES, I KNOW THE WAY.

Lead us Lord, Amen!

Please read Joshua 3 and 4, of the people move thru a flooded Jordan, just as miraculous as parting the Red Sea. They take stones from the middle and bring them to a place to show their children and children’s children the power and miraculous ways of their God, our God. 

Joshua 3:14 – Joshua 4

So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day. 

Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over, and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the Lord and the priests came to the other side while the people watched. The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them. About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war.

That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses. Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant law to come up out of the Jordan.” So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.” And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before.

On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”

My Father’s Day of Christmas, 02DEC – #1324

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Fruits of the Spirit

On the first day of Christmas, my Father gave to me: Jesus born in Grace and Mercy. 

On the second day of Christmas, my Father gave to me: Love, His Love we should share for free.

One the third day of Christmas, my Father gave to me: Peace that Jesus wants to see.

One the fourth day of Christmas, my Father gave to me: Joy to the 10th degree. 

On the fifth day of Christmas, my Father gave to me: Patience to be more like Thee.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my Father gave to me: Kindness flowing like a sea.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my Father gave to me: Goodness to give with glee.

On the eighth day of Christmas, my Father gave to me: Faithfulness fulfilled on bended knee.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my Father gave to me: Gentleness we share peacefully 

On the tenth day of Christmas, my Father gave to me: Self Control we need desperately.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my Father gave to me: the HOPE to see Fruits of the Spirit planted on me.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my Father gave to me: a prayer for Jesus’s return quickly. 

On my Father’s Day of Christmas, I say back to Thee: THANK YOU Almighty for Majesty for Sovereignty…

And Jesus Christ Reborn in me.

Amen 

And I met Paul Balouche – Christmas 12/01 – #1323

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What a thrill! And just like an ordinary day for an extraordinary Holy Spirit. 

Here’s my devotion spill of JOY !!!

Paul’s guitar

There is no doubt that the Holy Spirit can line things up… and I was THRILLED to sing next to my singing sister last night, all the Christmas songs, it was good and fitting to kick off my shoes and have our singing blend like old days in my ear. Angels we have Heard on High. The Soul felt its Worth. IT WAS A HOLY NIGHT!

So many of the praise band songs we learned and praised with in our old church were Paul Balouche songs. He shared music this evening from a Christmas CD that blends carols and his songs (all available on the streaming services). He has a new song “Behold” that is so good. When a Facebook pop up advertisement showed a concert 15 minutes from home, for only $20, I clicked for 2 tickets IMMEDIATELY. God IS Good. AND WHEN I WALKED IN AND HE WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME? I KNEW GOD WAS LINING UP THE MOMENT THAT I HAD PRAYED FOR. Thank You Holy Spirit. Paul was looking for a scrap of paper – and I held out my hand and said “that’s why I write on my hand!” He laughed and said I MUST be a mom. I asked for a photo and he had us say Ecclesiastes for “smile” – he said that is a good smiling word. I agree – for in Ecclesiastes the scripture reminds that there is a season for everything. YES, this is a season for PRAISE.

Strengthen your brothers. 

That’s a life verse I take for serious in my day to day life, Strengthen your brothers. I am an “encourager”, even if sometimes my job is simply to smile that I love Jesus. I really feel like Jesus has said that to me DIRECTLY, “Strengthen you brothers” – well He has in His Word. YES, He says it to EACH all of us just like He said it to Peter, both the night before He was betrayed and the day at the sea of Galilee after His Resurrection. He knew Peter would have a hard time there on out and he knew the rest of them would have a hard time in life because their mission was to share the Good News into a lost world. The disciples would face persecution. Many do still today. We, however, even if free to praise still face perception problems and yet the same level of Help comes to us, the unchanging Holy Spirit. The reminder to each of the lost world is that with Jesus, the Soul felt it’s worth.

Not only did Paul Balouche sing but he shared the gospel message, Jesus came to earth to lift us up – take our sins – take us Home. Paul spoke of us being “Jars of Clay” hard pressed by the world but always to be asking for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. As we were singing Paul’s signature song: “Open the Eyes of My Heart – I want to see You”, I knew that I was and am SO blessed to be on God’s team. I know my job – our job – to be Salt and Light to a lost world. 

And just as Paul and his faith and his music strengthened me, a concert where I received much, we as an audience we’re giving back excitement and singing to strengthen them as they are traveling music missionaries to carry the Lord’s message from town to town. These days the performers are their own roadies and they are their own missionaries too. I walked in and spiritually knew the room was filled with my brothers and sisters in Christ. And I knew after 2 years of covid lockdowns and sparse gatherings, just to be IN a live music venue was a gift. (And to be in the 2nd row, close enough to watch faces, interactions and Paul constantly adjusting his guitar capo, LOL, wow, it was so much like ALMOST being up there, bringing me if just a fraction of memory with my band mates,  both bands, whom I miss dearly. This is a different season I am in right now, so I can and I will sing in the car. I will always SING His Praise.)

Why be the LIGHT? Why strengthen the faith side by side? Because as Jesus leads us to gather the flock on our Way back Home to God in Heaven, we are NOT to be frayed lone strings, we are to be part of a WHOLE NET. His Net. Why are we sheep of the Shepherd? So that our wool weaves side by side as we walk where HE LEADS. Our walk with Him is continually to the hard places, but we go together. Even just ourselves we have Jesus with us. Yes, we are looking for the lost fish losing their way. We are to swim together. Keep Swimming.

Keep Swimming, that’s what my singing sister always says!

Let us swim and carry the Net of God’s Love with us. 

Feel God’s fresh filling into our hard-pressed jar of clay and let HIM Flow.

Sing Praise.

Amen 

“I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32

But we have this TREASURE IN JARS OF CLAY, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 2nd Corinthians 4:7-9

Jesus says: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

John 21:15-17

Paper Survives, but He Lasts Forever, 01DEC – #1322

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There are strange things that give us joy… and even you can say we/I am prideful…  but as I am not prideful about writing, I do take some pride even if dumb pride even if wrong pride in the CURATING of my writing chapters.  It’s worth the money to print and there are good coupons at Office Max. Yes, the internet may fade, but paper you have to move it. It will last likely after the trumpet blast. 

Single sided this is probably 2 reams plus of paper for just the 1st 500 writings of 1300.  I printed one set already which I keep at home, and I am printing a second set to keep at work, because I simply want to have 2 sets to give my children. They don’t necessarily want my writing now but I hope someday they will appreciate that I want to leave this as a legacy NOT of me but of the Holy Spirit working and of me appreciating the Holy Spirit…

I’m not saying that my writing has to go anywhere but the Lord knows what the volume of paper means to me… I am always interested and how the Lord uses us…

And this immense processing forced me to share because I cannot take this journey by myself… 

This paper means infinitely more than me printing my PHD thesis.   This paper also means LITTLE compared to the NEW DAY in front of us. EVERYDAY GOD WRITES ON OUR HEARTS! Write on Lord!

God be with us all.

Share Him.

Thanks, Lord, for putting me to work…

Amen

Leaders Must Learn, 01DEC – #1321

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Leaders must LEARN. 

Leaders must TRUST.

Leaders must WAIT.

Leaders must RELY upon others.

Leaders must FOLLOW GOD. 

Leaders must LISTEN. 

Many leaders, earthly leaders, are detailed in the story of Rahab hiding the spies under hay in her roof, in supporting the plan for Israelites to learn the mood of the city of Jericho. There is also a connection to JESUS – to picking up His plan and following God by letting Jesus lead. First, we start with Joshua. After Moses passed away, God passed the torch to Joshua to pick up. Joshua was chosen by God, not elected by the people or having climbed up a corporate ladder. Moses laid his hands upon him at God’s command and commissioned him to lead the people. Joshua was a leader commissioned and committed for FUTURE listening to God. 

We need to be better leaders and like Joshua (and Moses) we need to LISTEN to God, we need to LEARN and follow, to wait, to trust and especially act on what we hear or feel as a gut feeling to His leading. LISTEN. Joshua sent out spies to learn about Jericho, Joshua also needed to WAIT in time and WAIT upon GodWe need to be leaders who WAIT upon God. The King of Jericho was a leader too and he commanded soldiers to go after the spies. The King had to RELY upon others. We need to be leaders who RELY on others. 

The spies and Rahab traded back and forth leading each other. Rahab led the spies to safety hiding under the roof. The spies later led Rahab and her family to safety, by using the signal of a scarlet rope hanging from the window, the same one she helped them scale down the outside of the city to freedom and returning to their troops after 3 days in hiding. Rahab and the soldiers had to TRUST each other and TRUST God’s TIMING. We need to be leaders who TRUST. We will LEARN the best way to lead by LISTENING, but not of earthly noise, distractions, bantering.

Joshua did lead the taking of the city, but by telling the people about FOLLOWING God’s direction: “for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” We need to be leaders who FOLLOW.  FOLLOW GOD, then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.

So interesting that I have heard a preacher leader once say the scarlet color of the rope was like the blood of Jesus leading us, saving us. I agree. As we wait upon God in all things, we are carrying Jesus with us and so He will shine like our flashlight thru our dark times and unknowns, the paths we have never taken before, allowing us to step firmly. We must work at helping others see His plan and His Light in their lives – to demonstrate that we can set out scarlet ropes to the Lord for His Rescue from the Windows of our hearts. We also await the day to be saved by Jesus from the earthly world which will be destroyed and know in the meantime that we have been delivered from the sin that He has overcome. Jesus saves us from the sins of the whole city/world that we didn’t even cause, our human brokenness. 

Our Salvation comes by following the same God as Moses, Joshua, Rahab, followed. Our hearts must LEARN this following, trusting, leading by God. Others must learn this by their own being led by God, the Holy Spirit conviction within themselves. Our job as leaders is to DEMONSTRATE that we are allowing God to LEAD us. Our job as followers is to show the Way in our steps. Let us rely on the Holy Spirit today. 

AMEN !


Joshua 2 Verses 1-7

And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go view the land, even Jericho. And they went, and came into an harlot’s house, named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, Behold, there came men in hither to night of the children of Israel to search out the country. And the king of Jericho sent unto Rahab, saying, Bring forth the men that are come to thee, which are entered into thine house: for they be come to search out all the country. And the woman took the two men, and hid them, and said thus, There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were: And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them. But she had brought them up to the roof of the house, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order upon the roof. And the men pursued after them the way to Jordan unto the fords: and as soon as they which pursued after them were gone out, they shut the gate. 

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Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall. And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way. And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee. And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him. And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.

And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.

Crossing the Jordan – Chapter 3 

Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. 

Kindness In Kind, 29NOV – #1320

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Less us and more of the Lord.

Joshua, in Chapter 2, may be readying an army to take over the Promised Land but God actually had an inside job planned. Rahab was an innkeeper – a prostitute – and a hearer of the scuttlebutt of the day. Rahab, a harlot, became a helper “in kind” to 2 spies. The news reached her of a great God – the Israelite’s God – our God – who had been keeping the Israelites safe while they wandered across the desert. They were not a perfect lot of people – and yet God rescued them, fed them, kept them safe. Rahab heard about this God and then believed in this Almighty powerful God. By her faith she helped spies sent from Joshua, sent out to see the Promised Land and report back to him about the city of Jericho.  She shared valuable information that the people had heard of the Israelites Amazing God and when soldiers came to investigate the break in, she hid the spies. She helped also in order to save her family and her family line. The returned spies said to Joshua, “The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.”

But that didn’t mean they simply WALTZED into Jericho at that moment with no effort. God had to go first, to make a Way. God made the plan: the MESSAGE went first. Some (including Rahab) knew God was helping the Israelites, Rahab got to act upon that information. Then at the appointed time, God went knocking all the walls down – winning the battle. Then the Israelite people walked in triumphantly.  I just described Jericho, but easily I could have been describing Jesus and Heaven’s Home for us. It was and IS an Inside Job. Knowledge from Inside. Faith from Inside. Winning the war from the LORD INSIDE OF US.

Rahab was key in helping – she heard the messages of God’s Almightiness. She in faith helped the Israelites, thru the spies, and they helped each other “IN KIND”. Yes, God helps us have this faith and act upon it – and His Plan is to have us show “in kind” help to the others and help the people get to where God wants them to go. Rahab saved her family by being faithful and courageous – and she also recognized that faith is an “inside job” and acted “in kind”. Our faith must be founded upon His Plan.

Rahab said (ch2:11-16): “for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below. Now then, please swear to me by the Lord that you will show kindness to my family, because I have shown kindness to you. Give me a sure sign that you will spare the lives of my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them—and that you will save us from death.” — “Our lives for your lives!” the men assured her. “If you don’t tell what we are doing, we will treat you kindly and faithfully when the Lord gives us the land.” — So she let them down by a rope through the window, for the house she lived in was part of the city wall. She said to them, “Go to the hills so the pursuers will not find you. Hide yourselves there three days until they return, and then go on your way.” And not only did Joshua remember and save the family of Rahab, because of the oath the soldiers made “in kind”, Rahab’s family line survived. (FYI Jesus is directly descended from Rahab, the mother of Boaz.)

If you ask me, I will say that our Salvation thru Jesus was and is an “IN KIND” – INSIDE JOB. Of course it is… Isn’t that why God has been fighting His War? To WIN!  Yes, let God go first to win your battle too.

Amen 


(chapter 6: 22-25) Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.” So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel. Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house. But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

Be Strong and VERY Courageous, 29NOV – #1319

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I made it to the Promised Land – not wandering but by MARCHING across the READING of the book of Deuteronomy into the book of Joshua in my scripture journey. Moses has now died and Joshua appointed to lead God’s chosen people, the Israelites, into the Promised Land. I see increasingly now that the Bible scriptures are all about LEADING and FOLLOWING, all about WALKING WITH GOD, all about getting to a place to receive His Promise which is our Way of landing back with Him. It IS a journey, every day. I knew there were interesting stories in the Bible in the Old Testament, I just didn’t know that the stories constantly WEAVED the Word Jesus in so many ways – telling of Him – and for the strengthening of us – for leading us – for teaching us – for encouraging us.

BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. God tells Joshua this 3 times on page one.

Why should Joshua (and we) be leaders to lead others thru the wilderness of our wandering? Because we are examples. Our steps will “lead these people”. Our actions may look like folly to some but look followable to others. God’s people are to know to not take our own steps but theirs. Not rely on human hunches but heavenly help.

Our Home, Heavenly Home, is a life journey away, so praying and bringing Heaven onto Earth is a daily challenge to live in prayer and on a path: “Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven…”

No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS…   …BE STRONG AND VERY COURAGEOUS…   …BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

How long will we walk? Until Jesus comes again. 

How long will we lead? Until Jesus comes again. 

How long will we follow? FOREVER. 

We drop our self-agenda off each morning and pick up His Path. One day at a time. One step at a time.

Forever be STRONG AND COURAGEOUS, starting today.

Amen

Joshua Installed as Leader Ch1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.

BE STRONG AND VERY COURAGEOUS. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Millennium Moments, 27NOV – #1318

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I am clearly believing 1000 years of millennium moments of peace will be wonderful. It’s not just my want for time for me to see my bucket list places that I could not see in this lifetime, but importantly, it will be 1000 years of Jesus reigning and righting wrongs (see Revelation 20:1-7). People will have a moment to find the Way without distraction.

Let’s also make no assumptions about that 1000 years, scholars debate it, yes there’s no surprise that no earthly consensus can be made on the 1000 years. (I’m trusting those scholars that believe in a Millennium where we are aware AND believe we will be Saints walking in it).

What if the Rapture happens in our lifetime, we will be watching the Millennium from the balcony cloud? We don’t know (at least I don’t) but I know that Jesus knows the RESULT even if not the timing. Therefore, will know when we will know!!!… Either way, the TRUTH is that there will be 1000 years of NO Satan and there will be 1000 years of Jesus reigning in Peace on Earth, then after this will be a restored Kingdom on Earth then the New Earth and New Jerusalem roll in.  I believe in Eternal Hope so I will teach about the HOPE of mid-millennium reunion moments and then ETERNAL reunion moments of meetings.

I believe in melting hearts of forgiveness and grace.

I believe in Jesus to win us our race.

Amen

John wrote in Revelation 20:1-7

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,…

If Only Jesus, Only If Jesus, 28NOV – #1317

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The woman was desperate to touch Jesus’s garment – just the fringe – wanting to be healed – If Only Jesus.

He knew she was – but stopped to introduce her to Himself. Only If Jesus…

She wanted to stoop low and hide – “If Only I touch His garment”

Jesus wanted to meet her – “If Only I could meet them all – Only If they knew Me.”

She wanted anonymity – If Only.

Jesus wanted them to talk eye to eye. “Only If they would LOOK FOR ME”.

She thought she only needed the fringe of the garment – If Only.

Jesus wanted to show her that she got ALL of Him. Only If we would look nowhere else.

She thought He was in a rush (and He was being rushed to Jarius’s house) – If Only I touch before He disappears.

Jesus wanted to show her that He would stop everything for her. Only If we remembered that He stops all just for us, He gives us Forever.

She knew she would be healed with the smallest touch – If Only Him.

Jesus knew she would be healed by her faith alone – Only If we all had such faith.

She experienced people who shunned – If Only He didn’t know, didn’t see. Jesus would see.

Jesus showed her and us that Only If our complete dependence is upon Him, Jesus as Lamb of God, our lives would be healed of the brokenness today and forever.

If Only, we Go in Peace.

Yes, Only If, we Go with Peace.

Amen

Peace

—–

Matthew 9:20-22 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

Luke 8:47-48  Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Thankful Giving, 25NOV – #1315

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Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Col3:2

Thanking God for THANKFUL GIVING as it is Him Whom both makes and takes praise – best it is given where praise is due. We wouldn’t recognize something as praiseworthy if HE didn’t give us the ability to recognize it. Some of the things might be earthly things but the praise should always be directed to Heaven’s credit.

I had both my kids under my roof, this Thanksgiving morning, both sleeping silent slumber and SAFE. This IS my Thanksgiving. Not food but PRESENCE as my present praise. I THANK GOD for knowing this, appreciating this, having this. And for Him giving the means to hold my earthly life together. I THANK GOD for the memorable but TEMPORARY earthly times and PRAISE HIM for BLESSING us in ways we don’t even know.

Through wisdom a house is built,

And by understanding it is established;

By knowledge the rooms are filled

With all precious and pleasant riches. Prvb 24:3-4

And yet it is not about hoarding the moment, or trying to live beyond it. We are but a moment anyway, He is ETERNAL and therefore we should appreciate that we CAN appreciate the little things and not get greedy. I paused a couple of days ago when my youngest told me they were going to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving and were NOT going to eat at home. I could have freaked or cried or got annoyed but I PAUSED. I paused and thought about it in a bigger picture. No nose bent out of shape ever got you anywhere… “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” I mean it is good for my kids to have friends, plans, options, and pause. Yes it is.

I asked (this was all by text message of course) if it was needed to bring anything. A praise for that pause in text messaging, and then me seeing that answer – that result of processing – I received a response of “APPLE PIE”. Yes, I can send my THANKSGIVING ahead, somewhere above and beyond me. I can make two apple pies (or more) and satisfy something in me NOT earthly – namely a desire for sharing, grace, gratefulness.

Dinner is short, pie can be a token of giving, and yet GRATEFULNESS is FOREVER

Especially Moses saw opportunity in the moment where God blessed the people to prosper, and he cautioned them to not grumble. “The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.” Deut 28:12

Yes He will.

Time to make pie.

LET IT ALL BE MADE UNTO HIS NAME. 

AMEN

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The song lyrics: Be Unto Your Name, by Robin Mark

We are a moment, You are FOREVER 

Lord of the Ages, God before time. 

We are a vapor, You are eternal

Love everlasting, reigning on high

Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty

Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain

Highest praises, honor and glory

Be unto Your name, be unto Your name

We are the broken, You are the healer

Jesus, Redeemer, Mighty to save

You are the love song we’ll sing forever

Bowing before You, blessing Your name

Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty

Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain

Highest praises, honor and glory

Be unto Your name, be unto Your name

Be unto Your name

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James 4:1-6 excerpts, 13-15

Submit Yourselves to God

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? ….

… don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud – but shows favor to the humble.”

Boasting About Tomorrow

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

WATCH

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It’s earlier and earlier that we could WATCH for CHRISTMAS, all those decorations and craft fairs. We can even watch for Christmas deals and goodies in stores before Halloween, let alone Thanksgiving. By the time you read this I surely will have eaten three, um four, packs of gingerbread and pfeffernusse cookies! YUM! (We should WATCH our holiday excesses! YIKES!) Advent is a mini-lent preparing and knowing why we need Jesus. CHRISTMAS, we best remember as being CHRIST-mas, a celebration of His Birth, to share Jesus in the communities He came to serve. Yes, Jesus came into the world to be God with us, Immanuel. And Jesus Christ WILL COME AGAIN.

Why JESUS? He will crush evil once and for all. Why WATCH? We don’t know the day or the hour. The book of Revelation and many scriptures teach us the signs in these increasingly turmoil-stirring worldly-view times. James (Ch5) reminds us to prepare our hearts, the coming of the Lord is near. Matthew (Ch24) recounts Jesus’s own teaching about His UNEXPECTED return, and for us to keep aware, to live in constant preparation.  Jesus said of the signs: “All these are the beginning of birth pains.”

Many years ago, I was blessed with birthing 2 babies, one born 6 weeks premature (a surprise) and one born on his due date but by emergency C-section (also a surprise). Yes, there were signs indicating that the baby was coming, time to get to the hospital. Some however will not be paying attention, like in Noah’s time. Many will be caught off guard. We need to teach AND keep Christ at Christmas and every day. Some won’t even know He is coming. We must be the ones watching the skies, watching the signs of the times, but WORKING not WAITING all the while. Therefore for this second coming of Christ, we best be preparing our hearts, preparing the nativity scenes of sharing our faith, bringing our best to Him, looking at how we can serve and share Christ and His message of reconciliation and LOVE.

Immanuel, Christ IS with us.

Amen

Matthew 24:36-44

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

Almighty vs not, 24NOV – #1314

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God IS – but evil isn’t 

Almighty va anemic 

Blesses vs badgers

Convicts vs condemns 

Delights vs disappoints

Encourages vs exacerbates

Establishes vs eats-away

Exists vs expires

Forevers vs fouls 

Frankness vs falseness

Faithful foolishness vs frustrating fakeness

Follow vs fumble

Grows you vs ghosts you

Graceful vs greedy

Glory vs gone

Heals vs hassles

Hope vs horrifies

Heaven vs hell

I AM vs it was

In-filling vs influence 

Image-bearing vs imaginary 

JOY vs jostling 

Jewels vs junk

Knows you vs knocks you

Loves you vs loses you

Made you vs messes with you

Magnificent vs mischievous 

Now vs never 

Orchestrations vs obstacles 

Persuades vs pollutes 

Quiets you vs questions you

Reaches vs rolls back

Riches vs risk

Surprise vs stupefy

Teaches vs trips you up

Universal vs underfoot

Victorious vs vile

Wealth vs waste 

Wows vs wobbles

XOXOXO hugs and love vs xyz excuses 

Yahweh vs yesterday 

Zion vs zilch

Zenith vs zero

Amen just AMEN.

Weather the Weather, 23NOV – #1313

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One thing we can say about a society, a generalization if only for Americans, is that we don’t weather the weather so well – well not as good as generations before us did with less stuff – we are less resilient – actually we are more reclusive. It’s a “blanket” generalization I know, probably unfair to say that about everyone, but I think you may agree with me. (and for me I am “in blanket” not getting out into that weather either) We who have cushy lives, our attitudes are more and more reflecting that privilege and complacency. I remember once, nearly 20 years ago, the power went out overnight from some harsh thunderstorms and someone (whom I didn’t know), at a nearby yard sale the next day, was railing about the hardship without cable. No not lacking the internet, no not complaining about the A/C or food spoiled even, trouble getting out to anywhere, but complaining about no TV. WOW. Not only did I have no more than rabbit ears at the time, I probably didn’t even have time to watch TV let along worry about no TV. I’m no saint, I get complacent too, but wow we learn about ourselves and our generation by watching others. (and last generation didn’t people kick and scream just to get a loving cabbage patch kid)…

Weather the weather… be stronger, more tolerable, have an action plan, be less needy. we have a long road ahead of us – don’t be stuck in the ditch. 

A couple proverbs of Solomon, chapter 25, that cut to the heart of us doing better ourselves, especially as we observe others: Like a broken tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble. V19

It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory. 

He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. V27-28

Why do I mention these? It’s not just that we live better by being better, it’s showing a better example to others, as every generation after us is going to grow less resilient and see more men searching for their own glory. We are headed towards end times, Revelation predictions start showing up, especially we must deal more and more with people whom God warned us about. AND in ourselves we will be less and less strong unless we put on our Armor of God. We must also resist these tendencies in ourselves to be needy.

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. – Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes. Ch 26:4,5

Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.  Ch 26:20-21

Moses predicted the destruction of the people in advance, even though God blessed them and would keep His Promises. Moses said about that generation and those to come: For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 31:29

What a leader in Moses, there was none like Him, as he tolerated MUCH. We too can take our lead from Moses and keep serving God. We too can weather the weather better, watch the times and our motives too. We can be the light and the salt, or be dark and destroyed. Let’s be LIGHT.

Let’s weather the weather. 

Amen

See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand.” Deuteronomy 32:39

Then the Lord said to Moses, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.” And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over. 

Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.

Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land.  For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.

Deuteronomy 34:4-12

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Timothy wrote about end times, 

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.  2nd Timothy 3:1-5 

Note to Retain, Not for Gain. 22NOV – #1312

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(From a presentation that they wanted us to make a “Note for gain” – but I know our loss and His gain is what I wanted to retain. This is a ‘Not for Gain note to Retain’)

Note to Retain 

Gain more Him, and be less me.

Why does He wants me to be free of me? TO SEE.

Free of me means more free to follow Thee.

Lord, it is better by me to be with Thee.

Our time together should not surprise me. 

You free me of my agenda, I can plainly see.

Whom might You lead me to see?

Let me TRUST, let Your Path LEAD me.

My journey is nothing without Thee.

Gain more Him, and be less me.

Blessed are those in Your court we see.

Blessed Blessed are favor and honor from Thee

Amen

Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar,  Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob.  Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.

Note for Gain, 22NOV – #1311

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Gain more Him, get less me, 

Know He is driving me to whom He wants me to see. 

How is it that He wants me to be?

That’s time that makes me feel free.

It is better than fine to be with Thee.

I’m in life for the gain of thee. 

I’m nothing without Thee.

Progressively Double Blessed, 20NOV – #1310

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It was one of those days that simply progressed with blessings. Handing out free meal bags for Thanksgiving Dinners. Like a “Progressive Dinner” starting in one place and moving to the next, I had breakfast with my friend – we then progressed to the church to meet for carpools then progressed to 3 different locations in the area to hand out 500 of the 1500 prepared bags of thanksgiving trimmings – including gift cards and info on one local food pantry. WOW, the people were thankful. We were the ones DOUBLY BLESSED as we asked the Holy Spirit to guide us in asking the people if they would ALSO like prayers – and yes, many of them said “sure” – and asked specific prayers. What a blessing – what tears – what Joy…  God is Good – ALL THE TIME! All the time – God is Good! and if the people didn’t stop for a bag – how doubly blessed they must have felt by saying or waving “I am good, thanks anyway”.

DOUBLE blessed – life is always better when you take a friend on an adventure – as we went out I was thinking of the scripture where Jesus sent the disciples out in 2’s – for support and for witnessing each other to back up the stories of Holy Spirit’s Power moving. and YES today the Spirit moved – that felt like double as we were blessed to give and they were blessed to receive. The people who packed the bags also blessed us with their prep and we blessed the prep people by being out on the streets to hand them out on a chilly but gorgeous day. I felt like I was on a stationary float of a parade as I was happily waving at the cars going by.

DOUBLE blessed – we got to meet more neat people!

DOUBLE blessed – this was a community outreached that PARTNERED multiple community groups as well as church groups – energy plus logistics – and personally I had at least double connections with so many of the people – friends from at least a couple scenarios. yes thru church – but also thru my neighbors – yes thru community outreach but also thru friends – yes all from wanting to give back to the community and having the time and resources to give.  YES – both SALT AND LIGHT.  I got to dance with the sign AND I got to give the bags AND I got to pray with the people – and double blessed as it is and was the PEOPLE’S FAITH and THEIR relationship with the Lord that we were walking together in – us prayers were simply carrying HIS praises and HIS power to the places HE needed it to go. My I was blessed with being able to absorb some of their tears: a man H – asked for prayer for his sister J for God to save her, when i finished praying he was in tears – I said nothing out of the ordinary but the Lord and our dependence upon Him and our faith in Him is the extraordinary. 

AND then there were the DOUBLE bagged giftings – and that was OK – and my favorite surprised face of the day was a young gentleman who started to say – “I have a big family” – and my arm automatically placed the second bag into the car – and he said REALLY? so shocked – and he said that everyone was asking in his family – who got the turkey? Well, today? (and everyday) God’s goodness got them the turkey! If we get to share in the smiles of His MEAL then we simply are His Trimmings. If we get to share in the HARVEST, then we are simply and Progressively Doubly Blessed!


And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.”

The 2 miles that we are to walk with someone is because they asked for only one. Jesus said we are to DOUBLE the giving – DOUBLE the help – DOUBLE the effort – DOUBLE the forgiveness – DOUBLE the blessing. If you feel thankful this thanksgiving and are able to help someone else too – what a DOUBLE good feeling that is!

My last enduring image was OF the kids – the families came to hand out bags together – thus teaching the next generation about service and sharing – the baby Madison I got to poke her cutie cheeks as grandma held her in tears accepting 2 bags and asking for prayers for her husband who broke both his legs. She said she thought God was mad at her – I assured her that it is not in the nature of our forgiving God to be mad at us – He loves Mercy – and that Jesus took the brunt of our sins and we are to be blessed with forgiveness.  She was double smiles thru her tears – how great these stories we all get to tell our children of other people’s generosity…

How great to see the SPIRIT pour from THEIR faces.

Progressively Double Blessed!

Amen Amen

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Here are the double scriptures of progression for the day. and guess what? In addition to our 500 they did Saturday morning the first 500 bags and they are doing this again tomorrow with another 500! 1500 total

DOUBLE – the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Luke 10:1-2

DOUBLE – getting to be Salt AND Light – getting to help but for others to give God the praise. Jesus taught:  Believers Are Salt and Light
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16

DOUBLE – Jesus taught: Go the Second Mile

And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.” Matthew 5:41-42

Jesus HOLDS The Babies, 14,18NOV – #1309

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A strange and upsetting dream a few nights ago. I drifted in and out of sleep but the storyline continued in multiple dreams. It was upsetting, but my thought then and now is that I need to share this scene: A newborn baby was found forgotten, sitting up on a table wrapped just as if ready to go into the nursery but forgotten – and apparently a mother who went into a medical crisis I understood in this dream so she was not aware of this baby, her baby, sat unnoticed. I called out to the people in the room but they were clueless to the situation. In multiple cross-over dreams the baby kept getting smaller and smaller with no nourishment. I don’t know why I didn’t have a solution as in an awakened state it is clear to simply pick up the baby and feed it, and yet how I didn’t get solutions from people in the dream let alone make it better myself. I can’t say that I am surprised to this intense processing as I feel dreams are dealing with our brokenness in our broken world, God’s way to sort mixed up jumbles. But this particular dream was VERY upsetting. And yet with each wake up I thought I the Lord is trying to send me a warning or a healing – trying to re-open a wound not properly healed but scarred over, re-open so that He can repair it. Yes, some wounds are not going to heal completely until we get to Heaven – this world can NOT heal, only gloss over some of our deepest pain and regrets – THIS world cannot undo confusion that it alone is responsible for.

This is why TODAY I will conjecture how God must have all the babies in Heaven with Him – those who are born but lost and yes those lost before even being born. The aches of friends losing their children ache me, I can’t imagine the parents’ pain. I send love and hope and truth that the Lord HOLDS these babies dear and these parents (and we) will get to meet them again in Heaven’s Glorious Reunion. I add hope to many people’s unknowns, unspokens, unhealed moments. I pray the Lord to remind folks that He will wipe every tear.

Jesus taught both that He was the fulfillment of the scriptures and that He was the door to Heaven. He as Light, He as the Word has opened up Himself for us to enter in. “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”  (Matthew 18)

Jesus welcomes our babies and Jesus is trustworthy, as little children trust and love from their natural place in life, we must be like children realizing that we are nourished to trust in truth. God wants us to never cause babies to fall, children to stumble,  “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!”

Nor does God want grown-ups to go cold. Whomever returns to childlike trust IN HIM will enter HEAVEN, which is and must be the ultimate PLACE OF LOVE, TRUST, LIGHT, JOY AND PEACE.

And Homecomings – think of the people we will meet…. Perhaps Jesus will carry them directly to us and place them into our arms as we enter HIS.

AMEN

PS – My alternative otherwise thought about that dream is that every time the baby theme appeared in my dream, and that baby got smaller because I or no one nourished it, the baby represented a spiritual baby of an idea that I was supposed to write about but was slipping away because I did not act. Especially since I remember that the last moment I saw that actual baby in the dream it was as tiny as half the size of my hand and when I went to tap on the baby, it was just an image on my cellphone and the battery went out. YEAH! No one realized the baby or the idea but me and I felt the slip away, It is true, baby ideas slip away when not nourished. Where do they go? I don’t know but BLESSEDLY more come. Keep the faith and the faith will keep you – double Amen.

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Psalm 147:1-11

Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.

He Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.

Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.

Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:

Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.

He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.

He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.

The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

Me Too…, 20NOV – #1308

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Sometimes we can say the words “ME TOO” in playful participation, but “ME TOO” is often used as a slang term for those in the world who want more stuff or privileges that they see others have, to get these things with minimal work, a generation focused on many worldly desires. It’s like keeping up with the Jones term, but with less work to get there. It’s “I deserve it too” – “ME TOO!!!…”

So here’s one more (better) use of the words: WE ARE LOVED BY GOD, ME TOO, when we stand before God (me too), and when we stand as the future people whom Moses spoke about (me too), and when we become counted by our faith as one of God’s descendants of Abraham’s grains of sand (me too), and when we acknowledge that THE LORD DOES NOT CHANGE, remembering that when He promised to be the God of Israel, to Lord over them in care, He promised to be our God too. WE ARE LOVED BY GOD. ME TOO!!!

ME TOO, CHOSEN. We stand now like the people of old, chosen by God yet failed from His covenant. They broke it then, Adam broke the original, and we were born broken. BUT this does NOT mean God broke His end of the deal. He still stands in agreement, waits in anticipation for repair and reconciliation. Even though the broken people broke promises left and right, before and after entering in the Promised Land, God did not change the rules, instead HE changed the ACCESSIBILITY to the Promised deliverance by sending Jesus, a New Covenant. Yes, JESUS came to be broken instead, absorbing our sins, casting away eternal damnation for those who acknowledge Him as Lord. Jesus came negate the fallenness by His raising of those who believe in Him and His Love – ME TOO

There should always be less of me and more of THEE in how You, Lord, and I walk in this world. 

We shall stand delivered, purchased, and ransomed from our broken deal, to be raised to rule again WITH Him. RAISED to reach, yet it is ONLY BY FAITH that we can enter into His Promise.

God’s agreement with us is to be with us. Let us look to His Mercy and Grace and know His Love. Me too, Lord, WE NEED YOU. 

AMEN


You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant the Lord is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God but also with those who are not here today.

Deuteronomy 29:12-15


The Offer of Life or Death

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. Deuteronomy 30:11-16

Thankful Giving, 25NOV – #1315

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Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Col3:2

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 

Thanking God for THANKFUL GIVING as it is Him Whom both makes and takes praise – best it is given where praise is due. We wouldn’t recognize something as praise worthy if HE didn’t give us the ability to recognize it. Some of the things might be earthly things but the praise should be directed to Heaven’s credit.

I have both my kids under my roof, this Thanksgiving morning, both sleeping silent slumber and SAFE. This IS my Thanksgiving. Not food but PRESENCE as my present praise. I THANK GOD for knowing this, appreciating this, having this. And for Him giving the means to hold my earthly life together. I THANK GOD for the memorable but TEMPORARY earthly times and PRAISE HIM for BLESSING us in ways we don’t even know.

Through wisdom a house is built,

And by understanding it is established;

By knowledge the rooms are filled

With all precious and pleasant riches. Prvb 24:3-4

And yet it is not about hoarding the moment, or trying to live beyond it. We are but a moment anyway, He is ETERNAL and therefore we should appreciate that we CAN appreciate the little things and not get greedy. I paused a couple of days ago when my youngest told me they were going to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving and were NOT going to eat at home. I could have freaked or cried or got annoyed but I PAUSED. I paused and thought about it in a bigger picture. No nose bent out of shape ever got you anywhere… “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” I mean it is good for my kids to have friends, plans, options, and pause. Yes it is.

I asked (this was all by text message of course) if it was needed to bring anything. A praise for that pause in text messaging, and then me seeing that answer – that result of processing – I received a response of “APPLE PIE”. Yes, I can send my THANKSGIVING ahead, somewhere above and beyond me. I can make two apple pies (or more) and satisfy something in me NOT earthly – namely a desire for sharing, grace, gratefulness.

Dinner is short, pie can be a token of giving, and yet GRATEFULNESS is FOREVER

Especially Moses saw opportunity in the moment where God blessed the people to prosper, and he cautioned them to not grumble. “The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.” Deut 28:12

Yes He will.

Time to make pie.

LET IT ALL BE MADE UNTO HIS NAME. 

AMEN

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The song lyrics: Be Unto Your Name, by Robin Mark

We are a moment, You are FOREVER 

Lord of the Ages, God before time. 

We are a vapor, You are eternal

Love everlasting, reigning on high

Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty

Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain

Highest praises, honor and glory

Be unto Your name, be unto Your name

We are the broken, You are the healer

Jesus, Redeemer, Mighty to save

You are the love song we’ll sing forever

Bowing before You, blessing Your name

Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty

Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain

Highest praises, honor and glory

Be unto Your name, be unto Your name

Be unto Your name

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James 4:1-6 excerpts, 13-15

Submit Yourselves to God

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? ….

… don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud

    but shows favor to the humble.”

Boasting About Tomorrow

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

Inside Job, 17NOV – #1307

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I wanted to be outside and instead saw God’s “inside job”, one He did on me.

I decided to go to a place “by myself” and instead I saw that He was waiting for me.

It was God saying “you worry about what people think?

Don’t. I AM the One Who will make you blink.

Where you go is not always about you.

It’s about God’s Plan. Lord, it’s true, I’m Lost without You

Life’s NOT about finding a perfect place to be –

But to BE placed in the MOMENT, even temporarily.

The world can never be perfect – not before Jesus returns whenever when.

So life is about a perfect God, perfecting us – let us be ready until then.

It’s an Inside Job. Freedom that is not free.

He knows me better than me. 

I best BE where He be placing me!

What is BEST for me is to listen to and serve Thee.

AMEN

Ain’t Afraid – His Yield from our YIELDING, 16NOV – #1306

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Scriptures keep us looking to the Lord – to help us day by day. We also look so that His help will help us help HIM grow the Kingdom (and do everything else we have going on too). Time management is best directed by the One who is timeless. 

I wrote this but left it unfinished in March of 2015 – it is now good to revisit the piece and our eternal desire towards peace in a world that will never know where to look for it until it realizes (one person at a time) that Peace is only thru Jesus and that it won’t be world peace until He takes care of the worldliness of the devilish things dragging us down. I also have been inspired by those who see the devil in plain sight – and still decide to go fight – and I am reminded of these brave people having read an article about inner city ministries to combat the scourge of drug devastation of people. Tthe first step (in everything) is to give them HOPE. HOPE is best known when we know the Lord who will ease our pain and get us thru. Here is the link for the one I just read about recently: https://www.therockphilly.org/ 

Let us pray for those who put on the armor of God and go work in the world.

Here is the revised writing, edited 6 years later with a touch of more wisdom (which is nothing but a drop in the bucket compared to the lifetime of wisdom we hope to grow into). 

Ain’t Afraid

I love Joni Mitchell and her clever lyrics. I love her music and am intrigued by her, not just because I have long hair like her. It is no wonder what attracted me to the song: “A Case of You”  – “Oh I am a lonely painter. I live in a box of paints. I’m frightened by the devil. And I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid.”  I wondered (and wonder) if there are folks not afraid because they just go along with the antics – or as I rethink this lyric – if they are not afraid because they let Christ go first and have HIM battle for themSo many people are gifted with strength and so many are beautifully led by God’s Holy Spirit – they are an inspiration to me. I want to “tune in” to those “that ain’t afraid” – people who don’t fear the devil because they are wearing the armor of GOD

This song is a way for me to start an awkward yet awakened Christian’s discussion (that we all need to have) about the devil and us. For years I hesitated to even say the name – I am not sure I ever really understood the devil in the biblical way before now. How could I? If I didn’t read the whole story of Jesus and the prophecies and I also didn’t understand the future end of the devil in the Revelation John wrote down for end times for earth, how then could I understand accomplishment and the whole need for Jesus – just Jesus – to heal the broken – to rule over the unruly – to rid the Kingdom of rotten robbers. I thought of the devil as in the eye of the beholder, meaning there is a vast difference in how people relate to him. We just don’t know to watch out for His schemes. We are uneducated in the POWER of Jesus to help us rise against. Jesus Himself said a MAN can stand against the devil’s schemes with the help of the Lord.

At the dollar store’s preparation for Valentine’s Day, I saw too many cartoonized Lucifer sun catchers compared to the cuter cupids… the devil pieces were moving so fast – twice the speed of the cupids – that was so sad to me – and yet I realized these plastic devil pieces were just plastic – only being powered by the sun – so they would not even be allowed to take the credit for their own movements…  Yet maybe it is because no one bought the lucifers and only bought the cupids? Yes, we have to not look at them as cute lucifers and let them get a foothold in our lives – we have to turn away from the devil schemes – we have to look for the Source of strength and good growth from cultivating JESUS. There is torment in our lives between FOLLOWING GOD and the hidden and not so hidden temptations of Lucifer. I never really believed in the devil much – but now I do – you can’t pick and choose what you believe out of the Bible – you have to accept the devil exists if you accept Jesus… I always felt that if you can spend more time praising the multitudes of blessings from God, then you have less time to worry about and get distracted from the devil trying to tell you that you don’t have enough of things. Yes the devil can creep up on you, so let us start by knowing how to stand strong against his ways. Let us Look to Jesus for His Way.

His Yield from our YIELDING

Mark 4 recounts Jesus’ parable talk of little birds stealing seeds – that might be the devil image of my choosing – that the devil is simply an opportunist – just taking what he can get when you aren’t paying attention – taking and stealing until it is gone. Taking and stealing joy too – instilling confusion – enriching bitterness due to self-absorbed thoughts – diverting attention away from the nourishing water to grow the good seeds of faith….  Perhaps hell on earth is the lack of pruning away the thorns from inside of us. – Let us ask God to sharpen HIS shears… 

MOST IMPORTANTLY LET US REMEMBER THAT: GOD THROWS US MORE SEEDS TO TRY AGAIN IN OUR SOUL’S SOIL. To fight the devil in our own life journey, I feel we need to solidly STOMP, put a foot down, and SAY NO to those little opportunistic birds – see that they scatter and fly away and then we pick up the seeds from the Sower and plant them, hold them, share them, and maybe save a few for another day… Actually – we can look at the yield of good seeds grown in us and give them back by giving them forward – grow and cultivate His Fruit and give to new soul soils.

I was dry soil – God did NOT give up on me – He sent more seeds – He gave more water – He opened my eyes to His Love. He now helps my garden grow to yield more seeds for the Kingdom. His Yield from our yielding. May we all focus on His growth in us.

Amen


Concerning Spiritual Gifts

Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.  1 Corinthians 12:1-3


Spiritual battle. The Armor of God.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.  Ephesians 6:10-20.


2 Corinthians 11:13-15. Satan’s deceptive spiritual nature. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.              


John 4:22-26. God is Spirit“You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”       


Mark 4:1-20  The Parable of the Sower. Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge.  He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ [Isaiah 6:9]” Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.” 

Mercy Me, 16NOV – #1305

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Oh forgive me Lord, Mercy ME!

Mercy me, Lord, as sin entangles us way too EASILY.

My wandering thoughts are muddled and tending to X, Y, Z.

My spoken and unspoken judgments of others are really NOISY.

Even if we don’t speak them, You hear our thoughts SECRETLY.

Please Lord, I pray to walk better with You, and HUMBLY.

Oh forgive me Lord, Mercy ME!

Amen

The Feat of the Feet, 15NOV – #1304

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Why are we glad to be “the Hands and Feet of God”? Because God (and His Hands and Feet) won’t wear out, They are not of flesh but motivation and motility. Acting in Mercy, Forgiveness, Righteous work creates awareness of His Blessings, that NEVER get old.

I feel like I have been walking thru the Word, following this story of Moses for a long time, even as it is recounted in many further scriptures, like Nehemiah. And this IS a real story worth remembering. Moses, after the parting of the Red Sea, taking the Israelites forward, traveling following the Pillar of Cloud and having protection from the Pillar of Fire at night – all this showing God helping, even if it was a long wandering path due to the rebellious sorts keeping them from completing the walk. Moses’s story is not just for the wandering but for the faithfulness of God in a broken world. Moses and the wandering Israelites were fittingly fitted for travel by God, who kept them together – physically. 40 years they wandered in the desert then crossed to the Promised Land and yet their clothes didn’t wear out, their feet did not swell. God-created this feat of feet – He made human form, including our feet, and He can form anything as His Feat. What is made from dust as flesh and bones is AMAZINGLY made. Just look at a newborn baby. Just look at the bones to grow and feet to walk.

It is not a perfect walk today either – just feeling my aching feet after half a day in bad shoes and yet God kept these folks in good feet for forty years. Many did rebel, however, and their next generations also broke the laws which would be the next covenants – and yet God made a new covenant – Who is Jesus walking with us today. God wants to walk us all HOME.

It’s true that we live in a broken world with a LOSS of what Adam once had walking with God – And we have better than just sandals made to walk over the brokenness to better-ness. God can and does make it work out for His mission of showing love, teaching us every step of the way. 

Will it be a long walk for us too? Yes.

Will God be there every step of the Way? Yes.

Keep being His Hands and Feet. 

Keep taking His Rest.

A broken world needs to see that God does not wear out.

Amen

Moses said: “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you. Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.” Deuteronomy 8:2-6 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+8&version=NIV

Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them: Your eyes have seen all that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those signs and great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 29:2-6 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+29&version=NIV

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Nehemiah remembered: 

By day you led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take. “You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good. You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses. In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them. “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Nehemiah 9:12-17

V21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not. 

V28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the land of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;

V31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.

Surrender Saturday, 13NOV – #1303

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Saturday is like an open treasure box, WHAT’S IN IT?

Maybe it’s a new photo box waiting to be filled with memories, trips, get-togethers, fun. Maybe it’s reorganizing old photos, a new collection of treasured memories and mementos that you don’t want to toss but clutter your view, store them and close the box.

Maybe Saturday you will see family, or see yourself scrubbing the house. Maybe you could and should rest up, re-seeing (re-zzz-ing) lost sleep. Take care of the cat at 5AM because they still think it is 6AM. Sip tea, Sit Still or See the Sunrise. Maybe you will do nothing at all but Surrender to Saturday. 

Surrender Saturday to the Lord and He will fill it up. 

First, THANK the Lord for the week gone, the troubles dissipated, the blessings gathered. Sit up with SomeOne, namely Him, One above all, immersed in His Word, Savoring Solutions to problems not yet encountered, situations that He has already Solved.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8

Savor Saturday Surrender. 

So later, back to simply Saturday, maybe be shopping (online in your PJs for more sipping tea for under the Christmas tree or stressful shopping scores from crowded stores). Spend Saturday Sporting or Sorting or Storing or Snoring.

Saturday Surely can be Satisfied Sandwiched between Simply Savoring the Sunrise and Soulfully Surmising the Sunset.

Save Saturday for Soulfulness. 

Surrender Saturday and Smile. 

Amen

Firstfruits of Friday, 12NOV – #1302

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We got to Friday. 

If you are reading this on a Friday, you will understand!!!. If on a Monday, you might renew the hope to the next Friday. 

When I started working and simultaneously raising kids, days were long but the weeks went fast and I am glad to hear that retired folks feel like each day is Saturday. Saturday is a day to get stuff done. Saturday you don’t mind house chores as it’s not manual work that is not “work” – not felt with a Monday to Friday grind. 

Friday? Thank God for Friday. Which also means thank God for MTWTh after which there would not be a Friday and that blessed feeling of Friday. You know we love Saturday, but the feeling I savor each week is Friday night, like you finished and accomplished the week, or maybe you slid by the seat of your pants into Friday. And you allow yourself some rest. The people at work will work in “Friday mode” – which either means they set only certain tasks in front of them and finish them efficiently and get out of there, or they have time to chat. They know how to sort new tasks into “wait until Monday” or “deal with it now so it doesn’t linger”.

Moses wrote about God’s desire for the people crossing into the Promised Land to give back the first Firstfruits of the harvest, to acknowledge that it came from His soil…. that He gave them the sustainability of life. They crossed into promises fulfilled by His Faithfulness not theirs. Our future beholds life due to His Faithfulness.

So Friday, the first Firstfruits of Fridays should be PRAISE – OFFERINGS OF PRAISE. The Lord got us thru the week, one more day due, still good work to pursue. To give your Friday’s Praise Offering means accepting that the Lord provided the working soil and fostered producing the hopes of the whole week into a palatable Joy, motivation, mission,  and pay off. Fridays are Hope-cultivated and progress-produced…. practical pursuits profited.

Know that you have come to the land of Friday promised all week, and praise.

Thanks Lord for Friday. Still work to be done and a path to travel – but we can see the light. LIFE – still a journey – still a path to travel – but You YOURSELF have Lit the Light for our future IN YOU.

Amen

When you have entered the land [like we enter a Friday] the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the Lord your God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name and say to the priest in office at the time, “I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come to the land the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.” The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the Lord your God. 

Moses instructions for entering the Promised Land Deuteronomy 27:1-4

Think About the Thinking, 11NOV – #1301

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A few interesting thoughts in how we treat people explained in the scriptures as Moses was helping the people set up their society – advice on how we are willing to not intrude and how we are to be thoughtful of personal matters that matter to others lives. Here are the Deuteronomy 24 scriptures that remind us (and me) specifically about many situations:

5 “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.”

6 “Do not take a pair of millstones—not even the upper one—as security for a debt, because that would be taking a person’s livelihood as security.”

Yes, BOTH of these examples are how we would like to be treated if we were in the same situations. And perhaps these scriptures can help us set boundaries. We are to think about fairness and blessings we can share. Like giving time to people who take time off work with newborn babies, or even sick kids, those attending funerals, those needing a mental health moment. Like being extra nice to someone on their birthday. Like not intruding in someone’s vacation day or honeymoon. And verse 6 is like giving a hand up not out, to allow each person the ability to earn a living. Don’t take their livelihood away. 

And as for work, that also means letting the people think. Think about their thinking. Give people space to do their own thing. And allow them to grow. Like teenagers wanting to work things out for themselves. Be supportive of survival mode and be an encourager of thrival-mode. Don’t belittle people and don’t expect things if you don’t give them the tools and time to build things.

The other instructive passages, presented by Moses, include not lording over what’s not yours to take or judge. Not making others captives when freedom is what the Lord granted you from situations. Being respectful of those with less. Sharing the excess. Leaving something back for others to have. 

Verses 14-15: “Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.  Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin.”

Verses 17-18 “Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.”

Verses 19-22 “When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.”

Yes… Remember that we were freed and walk in understanding of those still captive. Give respect, as the Lord has respected you. Remember our freedom and free others to live.

Share in the sharing as all these provisions are from the Lord. 

Think about the thinking. 

Bless the blessings.

Amen 

Stay On the Porch, 09NOV – #1300

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“…regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the Lord your God.”

It’s not a coincidence that scripture matching my thoughts (specifically some of  Deuteronomy 24’s various laws), came up today in “non-coincidence” as all scripture is good for teaching and will do it’s work before it returns to God. These verses are speaking of helping people but setting boundaries for yourself which will honor the other people and keep you in check. Keeping yourself in check also prevents you from feeling like you are getting burned, and reminds you to count your blessings and give from what God gave you. These thoughts are something I have been dealing with this week – and fitting for our season of giving and thanksgiving this time of year. 

And so I found these thoughts and scriptures also not coincidental to the MASH episode I just watched, where BJ, the doctor, gets involved with a Korean family in need. Scripture is NEVER coincidental but always purposeful, a teaching moment for any of us who think we can help but may be borderline infringing. 

Sure, enabling could be tops on my resume, and it’s true that not only should we draw the line sometimes, I am thinking about this scripture more on the angle of we should back off and let the person or people keep their dignity.  Stay on the Porch. And we should help in the way that allows them to work things out for themselves. 

Here is that scripture segment, Deuteronomy 24:10-13: When you make a loan of any kind to your neighbor, do not go into their house to get what is offered to you as a pledge. Stay outside and let the neighbor to whom you are making the loan bring the pledge out to you. If the neighbor is poor, do not go to sleep with their pledge in your possession. Return their cloak by sunset so that your neighbor may sleep in it. Then they will thank you, and it will be regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the Lord your God.

Perhaps we best let the Lord draw the line for us, and not be surprised when He is generous – or when He says hold back. We can be gentle travelers in this world, not overwhelming even if temporary house guests. We can help out but especially help in keeping dignity – so when a friend in need is ALSO needing to figure it out for themselves, we best not be the problem solvers, just the sounding board. 

And then there are the times, for me too, where we think a blanket approach is better than a small targeted repair. If a child wants to learn to ride a bike, it’s better to add air to the tires rather than put both the bike and the child into a car and drive up and down the driveway. Be specific in what you do.

And surely the best path we can set people on is to know God’s love and that our love is from God’s love, to know God’s strength and God’s Righteousness. We can demonstrate these without being wordy. We can do what is right in God’s eyes, rather than take credit for helping. We can be the example of our LISTENING, of our listening to God, of taking actions due to duty. How often preserving dignity is a golden opportunity for serving. 

Dignity is very often the most valuable gift for someone, especially in these times of turmoil. 

Help others.

Be respectful. 

Stay on the Porch.

Amen 

Do the Deuteronomy Duty, 09NOV – #1299

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So many soundbite scriptures can be found in the old testament. What I mean is these are repeated and repeated and well used for teaching. Deuteronomy is the chapter where more of the law of Moses is really laid out. This scripture is one for the ages, one to keep close to mind: If you make a PROMISE TO THE LORD that you will do something,  then DO IT!!!

Do the Deuteronomy Duty, Give God what is God’s. Be careful to keep your promises. Don’t make half-hearted statements. Keep your word, because He Keeps His.

Deuteronomy 22:21-23 If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth.

I once promised a physical action to the Lord, when I didn’t perform it, I felt the need to keep up my end of the bargain. And yet we are human… Thank God with the Lord there is not a bargaining of blessings – just a Way, a Truth, and a Life to behold and be beheld in. Sometimes the promise we should make in many situations is that we will try.

The best promise, of course, to the Lord is to LOVE HIM. He can and will take you ALL the rest of the Way.

His Way is the Promised Way. Walk with Him.

Amen 

Don’t Just Stand There, 08NOV – #1298

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God will prod.

Moses knows us. 

Life will see strife.

Let’s work to free, Let’s work for Thee.

Give us Your Eyes, Lord, Let US see.

God knows that we know better – instructing us to help where we can. Not turn a blind eye. These verses in Deuteronomy are short but SMART – they instruct us to watch out for each other and each other’s lots in life.

There is also a KEY phrase for seeing what God needs us to see – the phrase is: “ANYTHING ELSE”. If we see “anything else” that God needs us to see, we are to act upon our sight, our heart, His Light. He is the ILLUMINATOR. 

He paid our DUES, therefore we can try to pick up on His CLUES. 

Amen

If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it. If you see your fellow Israelite’s donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet.  Deuteronomy 22:1-4

Pitch It, 08NOV – #1297

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To walk the Word alive, live ALIVE in the Walk. 

Don’t just fling the Word forward like with a pitchfork covering ground, use the pitchfork to turnover the Word and reveal the deeper meanings.

Don’t pitch It away, but pitch It a WAY.

Don’t just reserve the Word for later reference, but reserve the time to reference It now. 

Don’t just begin to share the Word, but begin to share in the Word. 

Don’t just behold the Word, but be BEHELD by the Word. 

Don’t just research the Word to see how it came to be, but re-search within the Word to come to Be in It.

Don’t live to live forever in the world, but live forever in the Word. 

Don’t remove blocks of the Word from blocking your plans, block out your plans from rearranging and moving the Word into building blocks for your life’s plan. 

Don’t be brought to your knees by the Word, but bring yourself to your knees TO the Word and FOR the Word. 

To find the Word in your life, you need to find your life in the Word.

Live Forever in the Word.

Pitch It, live It. Revive It, give It. 

Stitch in the Word, Enrich in the Word.

Be in the Word. 

Be.

Amen 


But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 1:22-25 KJV


continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2nd Timothy 3:14-17

Using Our Skills For the Lord, 07NOV – #1296

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As I dusted off my sewing machine yesterday, found I have pillowcases to sew and a whole winter’s worth of projects waiting. So, I went back to an online teaching that mentioned SEWING.. Tabitha being raised from the dead…. Acts 9:19-43 https://subspla.sh/5qtvsxn 

In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 

At the 59 minute mark of that link above, in the last 15 minutes of this Bible study, Pastor describes Peter attending to her coming back to life. He calls out how we, like Tabitha, can be blessings for Him for others by using our skills – and at 1hr 5 min, and 1hr 15min marks, specifically talks about a sewing ministry and helping others. It is also a good teaching about praying, and remembering gratefulness to Jesus.

I have been blessed with skills, when I use them, I feel blessed. It’s no accident that He gives us skills. I prayed on my knees this morning and thanked Him for my blessings. I heard Him speak to my soul and He said: “BE BLESSED”.

Be Blessed.

Amen

Don’t Guess, BE BLESSED, 07NOV

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Don’t Guess, ask God.

Ask God for His Blessings  

Ask God for His Direction. 

Don’t Guess, BE BLESSED. 


We are to know He wants the best for us.

Not material matters but blessings of what matters. 

God gives MANY blessings over just a smattering.

Skills He gave us are best skillfully embraced to bless.

Even Jesus worked for 30 years in a trade.

Let us transfer and donate our trades into something Godly made.


Matter yourself less and matter others more.

Ask the Lord to make your matters matter minimally.

Ask the Lord to manage the matters that matter more for you.

Ask the Lord to have His matters matter most, most heartily, most meaningfully. 

I pray to matter more of Him, and less of my mess.


A warm house matters.

Good sleep matters.

Feeding your family matters.

Doing your part matters. 

Knowing Him and Loving Him matters most.

As all good things are from God,

It IS in His Holy Nature to Bless.


Some apples are bad, don’t pick them. 

Some roads are bumpy, smooth them for others as well as yourself. 

Some projects are frustrating, manage them.

Some plunder of good living is good, donate all the rest.

Help others be blessed.


Sunrises are beautiful, enjoy them.

Napping houses are quiet, savor them.

Frosted fields are forewarning, prepare for winter.

Spring fields are for a short while, smell their sweetness. 

Golden years are golden, but it’s up to us to make them SHINE.


Be blessed. 

Don’t Guess. 

BE BLESSED. 

Crumbs of Closeness, 06NOV – #1294

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I love a Bible teaching that gives me even more insight than before. I heard a teaching about the Gentile woman who sought Jesus and His healing for her daughter, who was demon possessed. She followed the Light, the Light was in her sight: Jesus. She had faith in Him, sought Him over the jeers of even the disciples. And His banter back and forth with her showed to others (He already knew) her faith. They talked eye to eye. Importantly, it also showed us as well that complete dependence upon God is where our faith should be. This woman essentially said she (like the young dogs/puppies under the table, in the outskirts of what was perceived as His audience, would take the crumbs of the leftovers from Jesus, Master, and be satisfied. Jesus of course knows He is for all, and it becomes one of those retro teaching lessons for the disciples. No one is excluded from His Love.

I put myself in the spot of this woman when I first came to faith, I loved this story for many reasons especially for the reasoning, the banter, the direct questioning and the individual attention and actions from Jesus. I need all those things. I need crumbs of closeness and yet even with a crumb, I find contact is complete. Even the crumb of Jesus has nooks and crannies as deep as the whole loaf.

Jesus always said it’s our FAITH that prevails when He is healing our purposeful concerns. Just Jesus can heal, just Jesus is enough. Jesus to be not just one man but a Whole Loaf broken so that His crumbs DO FALL. We acknowledge His brokenness to repair us. We are learning our brokenness to see where He can glue us back together and hold it together, like stuffing. 

Why demons? We see stories of demon removal including that the demons know better. Even the demons see Jesus as powerful God. We see stories of how our Holy Healer handles these cases, and we, with our faith and only our faith, can handle them to. 

Why dogs? They are the small ones that are still surrounding their masters. They and we are the ones who live from just crumbs. Why this lady? Because she is us, standing to shine light on the light. To be the persistent pursuer. To trust before the conversation. To be satisfied with the minimal amount of blessings but owning up that she needs His Wholeness. She is the outsider who knows her place INSIDE.

Healing crumbs of faith and crumbs of compassion. Jesus brought the crumbs to the floor on purpose. So all can find Him. So that the crumbs of closeness are the crumbs we live on. We are on His INSIDE track. He hears our calls because He was and is called to hear.

Amen 

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(Here is a blog from first time I heard this story: https://debbieupper.blog/2019/03/09/crumbs-of-faith-08feb-637 )

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Matthew 15:21-28 (NIV but I changed dogs to puppies which I understand is the tender meaning Jesus used) The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”  He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the puppies.”
“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the puppies eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Battle Better, 05NOV – #1293

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Whether it’s enemies or stressful uncertainties, let the Lord go WIN you His Victories.

Each day we have to choose how to approach life. We may see either a battle or a victory field, but know that the Lord goes before us. And so we too can battle better. We can look to count our blessings. We can work past seeing only the worldly issues, we can see the Heavenly goals. We can look even further for tomorrow’s victory field after today’s issues and challenges will surely be behind us. (and they will).  And we can choose to TURNOVER TO THE LORD our daily challenges, our fear of consequences or carnage, any hard feelings and stress, and any weaknesses that we confess.  

We walk but He navigates. We check where we are on the map but He is the one who laid it down. And we best never claim a victory for ourselves but know that if we fight, we fight for the Lord to win. 

When we TRUST HIM, we share in HIS Victory.

Amen

Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 20:1-4

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

Don’t Guess, BE BLESSED, 07NOV – #1295

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Don’t Guess, ask God.

Ask God for His Blessings  

Ask God for His Direction. 

Don’t Guess, BE BLESSED.

 …

We are to know He wants the best for us.

Not material matters but blessings of what matters. 

God gives MANY blessings over just a smattering.

Skills He gave us are best skillfully embraced to bless.

Even Jesus worked for 30 years in a trade.

Let us transfer and donate our trades into something Godly made.

Matter yourself less and matter others more.

Ask the Lord to make your matters matter minimally.

Ask the Lord to manage the matters that matter more for you.

Ask the Lord to have His matters matter most, most heartily, most meaningfully. 

I pray to matter more of Him, and less of my mess.

A warm house matters.

Good sleep matters.

Feeding your family matters.

Doing your part matters. 

Knowing Him and Loving Him matters most.

As all good things are from God,

It IS in His Holy Nature to Bless.

Some apples are bad, don’t pick them. 

Some roads are bumpy, smooth them for others as well as yourself. 

Some projects are frustrating, manage them.

Some plunder of good living is good, donate all the rest.

Help others be blessed.

Sunrises are beautiful, enjoy them.

Napping houses are quiet, savor them.

Frosted fields are forewarning, prepare for winter.

Spring fields are for a short while, smell their sweetness. 

Golden years are golden, but it’s up to us to make them SHINE.

Be blessed. 

Don’t Guess. 

BE BLESSED. 

NEVER, 01NOV – #1292

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NEVER enough time in the day.

NEVER enough daylight.  

NEVER enough time to myself.  

NEVER enough time with the family.

NEVER enough time with the cat. 

NEVER enough hugs.

NEVER enough time to pause.

NEVER enough time to work.

NEVER enough supplies.

NEVER enough people. 

NEVER enough people pleased. 

NEVER enough time to rest.

Rest.

NEVER enough weekend. 

NEVER enough vacation.

NEVER enough summer. 

NEVER enough help.

Help.

NEVER enough moments to pray. 

NEVER enough prayers. 

NEVER a better time to pray. 

NEVER a better time to praise.

NEVER a better time to pause. 

Pause.

NEVER BETTER to give it all to the Lord. 

NEVER BETTER to stop griping. 

NEVER BETTER a time to thank Him.

NEVER BETTER than to watch Him act. 

NEVER BETTER than to feel held.

Be Held.

NEVER a BETTER answer than what He will say.

NEVER a BETTER Plan than His Plan. 

NEVER a BETTER step than on His Path. 

NEVER a BETTER rest than in His arms. 

NEVER something He can’t handle.

NEVER darkness blocks LIGHT. 

See Light.

NEVER hide from His Light.

Never refuse His Helping Hand. 

NEVER say NEVER to God. 

NEVER not say: “Here I am, send me.”

NEVER not go.

Never forget He made you ALWAYS His.

NEVER forget that. 

NEVER forget Him.

NEVER FELT BETTER.

NEVER FELT BETTER

NEVER FELT BETTER.

NEVER better than His.

Amen 

Isaiah said WAIT, 31OCT – #1291

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Was a tremendous opportunity to be at a woman’s seminar with a great mother and daughter speaker team. Basically, any gathering these days in post/mid covid is a blessed opportunity to be with people – and so I took it!   The timing was nice, just 3 sessions plus an opportunity to see a real eagle from the zoo. And this eagle, raised in captivity with one eye is also a mascot (they have many) for the football team.

The scripture could not be more perfect for all of us (and me too). Isaiah 40. He was writing 100 years before Israelite people were returning home. It was a message to Judah to give them the courage to leave a place where they were captives and make a way to a new place.

Although I was familiar with the scripture sound bites, actually listening to the verses as whole, and to hear them spoken, spoke volumes. And I was pleased with the seminar sticking straight to the scripture, with a few heartwarming stories of comfort and love, and the experiences of both the mother and daughter made this scripture of comfort come alive.

Isaiah 40 is a scripture of comfort, it is a scripture to prepare the way for the Lord, it is a scripture that reminds us we are fragile and temporary but He, God and the Word of God is ETERNAL, FOREVER,  TRUSTWORTHY. It is a scripture that says God is HERE and that He has a MIGHTY STRONG HAND. God is coming again, and He gathers us as a Shepherd. As a prophecy, Jesus is all over in and thru this verse.

Isaiah describes how God has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and has measured heaven with a span. He has calculated the dust of the Earth. We cannot know how He does this… God knows all.

Isaiah reminded the people that whenever they put God first and beheld His Ways and looked to Him, everything else would get put in perspective.  We must trust God. No one is like Him. And we and they should not fall back into idolatry. Idolatry is sin and makes us captive to it. Instead we are to obey the Lord and be fruitful, to remember we have many blessings… None of our idols compare to God.  We should not doubt God. We should not put our eyes and our energies into self-care either, we should focus on God.

God-created all these things and God reveals Himself to everyone. He calls the stars by name. He is the Good Shepherd, the Wonderful Counselor. He calls His sheep by name. He knows us, but STILL we MUST LOOK TO HIM.

The take home message, SO IMPORTANT, at the very end verse 31: “but those who WAIT on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles”… 

The key here is WAITING.  Not waiting for a bus, not waiting for an action, but WAITING UPON THE LORD, trusting Him the whole time and not becoming weary in wait. He wants us to FLY, to RUN and it’s His strength that He fills us with. He wants us to have HOPE which is side by side developed during our waiting. HIS strength IS our reward. HE IS WORTH WAITING FOR. 

THOSE WHO HOPE IN THE LORD WILL RENEW THEIR STRENGTH.

AMEN 

Isaiah 40

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. [PS, receiving DOUBLE for sins, actually means debts, like on a paper that is doubled over and folded, are forgiven. Paid in full by the Lord]

A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. [foretelling about John the Baptist]

Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” – “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” 

See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arm: and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?

Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?

Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way?

Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?

Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.

With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him? As for an idol, a metalworker casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it. A person too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot; they look for a skilled worker to set up an idol that will not topple.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?

Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.

He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Why do you complain, Jacob?  Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall,  but THOSE WHO HOPE IN THE LORD WILL RENEW THEIR STRENGTH. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

The Brain of God, 31OCT – #1290

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Did you ever have such vivid dreams, so intensely interesting? Incredible that they also dissipate so quickly, they easily escape as soon as you return to waking thoughts, like “What day is this?” Folklore said we only us 10% of our brains, but scientists says that’s not true, we use it ALL. 

Dreams so whacked and elaborate, better than any movie you have seen, intense in details and colors and crispness that you thought a human mind would barely be able to hold those thoughts. I comprehend that I cannot comprehend. I know that I don’t know how it all happens.  But why? That I REALLY don’t know. 

Aren’t we made in the likeness of God? What about our brains? Are they like God’s brain? Wait! How could the vastness of God ever fit what we think of having a human brain? He can’t, He is so much more intensely Vast and Uncontainable there is no description deep enough or even a close chance. God IS. God simply and God elaborately IS. So, I can’t wrap my brain around what God’s brain would even be. God IS greater than all, unimaginable and yet I KNOW God has a Face, a Face we will see, our face to His Face one day. Oh, we long for that day we will see Him, oh that glorious day. (No rush Lord, just love that we can be in anticipation.)

How are night dreams lit up? How do we even dream up fractured thoughts? Mine are elaborately jumbled tangles that surely that God is untangling.  Nothing however, not night or our day dreams either, would or could stack up to God’s future for us. We have surely but dust fractions compared to God’s thoughts of us and His elaborate planned place for us in Heaven. His intentions of our place in His Kingdom are not a dream, as He has but a GOAL achievable by our faith in His actions. Our wait is on His Word, not  works with our hands, not even our vision of us scaling into Heaven. No, our future and present is amazingly the Lord’s achievement, reaching down, planting seeds in our growing souls, collecting us in harvest. It is His vision, and we but ask to be but a speck for Him to see and collect. He sees us so much more than a speck, He sees us IN HIS LOVE. He sees IN us, His Love.

God made us in His likeness, therefore how crucial we are to reflect not simply physical attributes but reflect HIS LOVE

What will God gain in us, thru us, that He doesn’t already have? God wants us Home. What does God dream of? Not in sleep, as God doesn’t sleep, but dream of us in expectations and hope? The day that He will see us, reward each of us in glory. What does God want in the meantime? Our hands and feet working His Way – helping others get to His Dream of that Day.

Jesus will bring us to glory. That’s worth waking up for.

Amen 

Reflect His Love. 

Protect His Love. 

Project His Love.

Perfect our love, Lord. 

Pray we reject it not.

Let us love like He Loves.

Always and for Good.

Project His Love.

Protect His Love. 

Reflect His Love. 

—-

Jesus speaking, recorded in Matthew 16:23-27 first said to Peter, “… you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, [AND US ALL]: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. “

Genesis 1:26-31

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

His Love

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Reflect His Love. 

Protect His Love. 

Project His Love.

Perfect our love, Lord. 

Pray we reject it not.

Let us love like He Loves.

Always and for Good.

Project His Love.

Protect His Love. 

Reflect His Love. 

AMEN

Have Forgiveness, Will Travel, 20-30OCT – #1289

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For the love of God, Moses taught and taught. He really did. Deuteronomy is filled with teaching – including how to handle debts and deal with people and how best to worship. AND HOW TO FORGIVE. We don’t hold to these physical traditions anymore and we certainly don’t cancel debts every 7 years or share the wealth enough. We barely even try to pay off our own debts, allowing the interest to compound and threaten to bury us.

Why is it that we ALSO hold grudges when the Lord says FORGIVE? Why is it that we become possessive enough to get angry when someone wastes our time? (as if we own time anyway, we don’t). If we hold grudges, why are we are compounding the pain like interest and let it bleed over into a new day. It will bury us. We should shed that sorrow each day.

When Jesus says: Follow Me. He intends to feed us and take care of us each day – as in we don’t turn back and we don’t make demands on where we are going or what we take with us. So let us cancel our cross feelings for He cancelled our debt with His Cross Dealings – and let us embrace forgiveness no matter how hard it hurts.

For if given FORGIVENESS, which we have in Jesus, thru Jesus, with Jesus, then we will carry NONE of these burdens and we will travel more easily and with more light. MORE LIGHT! Travel light.

For if God instructed Moses to set servants free, we can realize our freedom by becoming His servant – serving our Lord – walking in a WAY of forgiveness.

Have Forgiveness, Will Travel.

Travel Light.

And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.

Amen

—-

Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away), then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice. And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own. At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 14:23-15:11

The Year for Canceling Debts

At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you. However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you. If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.  Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.  There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land. Freeing Servants
If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you.  Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today. But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant. Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because their service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.

Tabernacle Me, 30OCT – #1288

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Tabernacle me, Oh Lord, make me a vessel for Worship of Thee.

Clear me of personal thoughts clogging what I SHOULD See.

Bless me beyond just only measuring what’s good for me.

Keep me focused, worshipping and working for Thee.

For You are worthy, healing, You set us Free.

I need not want from this world, beg or flee.

I stand watching the skies in fearful glee.

You Lord, know to come back for me.

Build Your Tabernacle here in me.

Within my heart, I will keep Thee.

To know You, is our best Victory. 

Amen 


Deuteronomy 12:11-15, Moses taught where to set up worship. We Today set up worship of the Lord within His chosen dwelling place, our hearts.

Then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord. And there rejoice before the Lord your God—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns who have no allotment or inheritance of their own. Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please. Offer them only at the place the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you.


Hang Up on the Devil – NOW

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Hang-up on the hang ups.

The devil will make you doubt and trick you into thinking God doesn’t love you enough to save you. 

But remember: God loves us. God loved us before the beginning of the worldGod IS love. The devil can not defeat that. 

The scare tactics by the devil, making one fear about the future, seem legit,  but if you trust in God, you can see some of the devil’s tactics clearly FAKE – like that terrible phone call that your car warranty is up, so obviously a scam. So clearly old news…. do people still get fooled? Yes. Do we have to stay alert? Yes. Are there updated scams? Yes. But listen and hear the holes.

God Loves us and we must stop picking up the devil who calls collect.  Our salvation is justified not by our own power but by His, our Lord’s. He pays all the bills. The Lord’s call is true. That’s the call we take, His… Pick up His Call.

Pray people are drawn to understanding what the relationship is just between them and God. It’s an individual conversation to draw closer to God, to pray in thankfulness, as well as need. When we draw closer, He teaches us more and more. 

The Lord’s Love is true.

The Lord’s call is true.

Amen

—-

FYI – this came out of a conversation of how I know the Lord loves us and takes us to heaven. FYI, the book of Revelation is the future, or some say the ongoing process… John, Jesus’s beloved disciple, was given the vision/insight when he was in his 90s and exiled and told to write it all down. He was actually taken to Heaven. He was the scribe for us – so that we know the future and how heaven will take us and those who have passed away. It describes heaven and earth being restored in later chapters, after the old ones pass after the destruction of the devil once and for all. It’s the hope given of eternal life. It’s the knowledge that God is in charge. 

The section that talks about the dragon (devil) and beast is in Revelation 13, and speaks of the number 666 and the mark of the beast. Whomever doesn’t worship the devil’s dragon and beasts and get the number or the name tattooed on them will be killed. This is AFTER the Rapture, where believers are already with Jesus. We as believers get a front row seat to watch. 

We must help others know that God rings true. We must keep looking to the heavens – preparing for Jesus’s second coming. Amen Amen

Millennium Museum

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Will our time in Heaven be like a museum tour of memories?  “You can’t take it with you” – but can you look at it from above? Good question. 

I have memories now – and some of my kids toys and my old toy box. And photos – pages and pages of photos.  I work really hard in my house cleaning – on occasion – actually clean spaces become like museum areas – “DON’T TOUCH THIS”…  I am rearranging a room that used to be filled with kids things and now is a dumping zone. I used to have lots of stuff here but it is getting quieter and quieter as they age. I don’t mind- that’s actually good – and I am getting busier and busier as I age and thus that is why I clean less and less – that’s my excuse. 

Now instead of just my museum spaces, I also enjoy my workstation workrooms and workshops – like my kitchen or my laundry room. I just tore apart my dryer – and put it back together – I don’t need fancy – I just need what I have to work.

What about Heaven? Have you thought about Heaven and what you will do there? Will it be a museum-like space and memories that are in clouds for online uploaded storage? Will it instead be like workshops for learning about history? Will it be workrooms for hammering out relationships that went awry on Earth? Will there be waiting rooms for your great great great great great great grandparents to come meet you? Will it be filled with more people than you could imagine? Well – maybe ALL these things – maybe that is why there is the advantage of the Millennium’s 1000 years AND THEN Eternity after that – with a new Heaven and New Earth – a NEW CITY prepared for us where we will live with the Lord FOREVER.

Will our time in Heaven be like a museum tour of memories? 

IN heaven will we remember the good things? I’m sure!

Will we remember bad memories, or will they just fade away compared to the glory of the Lord? I bet they fade, how could they not…

When all is finally settled into new Jerusalem, how will our current memories stack up? Perhaps those memories will become building bridges of reconciliation to all those we knew and will get to know.

Either way, I am glad I have my ticket in Jesus. Millennium, Here I come!

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17

Floaters Best Float, 24-25OCT

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One of the joys I truly have teaching children is that their parents and grandparents often listen too. And as a people watcher, I’ve got many memories of watching the Holy Spirit putting people in certain scenarios and certain directions to learn. (Including me!) 

Like last night at a church kid-friendly festival, it’s amazing how the Lord slows down the stream of time so that people who are simply floating can get anchored more and more. (Including me!)

Float – you could say I have floated but will I admit life has been so MUCH better when I became aware that I should follow the Lord’s Current, both the current flow of life AND the being in, participating in, the current place where His flock gathers. I also continually re-connect that our individual skill sets ARE a GIFT. Yes, ME TOO. I know I should use mine for the Lord, and get such joy making the most of blending my people skills and teaching gift and not minding messy plus knowledge and ‘stick-to-it-tiveness’. And at the same time, realize that the ONLY thing, besides gravity, keeping me, in particular, on this planet IS THE LORD. He has a reason for our reasoning. He makes our ‘stick-to-it-tiveness’ stick. We are blessed to “walk before the Lord in the land of the living”.

Last night I set up a science oobleck station for teaching about our Bible hero Moses. First off, arriving an hour early for set up, I got a little helper perfect for the job, about 8yrs old and she scooped and mixed blue oobleck with joy, learned and even taught her parents when they came by to check on her. And I got to hug my friends and share in another branch of my same one family of believers and those who will be. 

So, among the THOUSAND memories in my heart (it’s a blessing to work for the Lord and see the Lord in action), I will tell you one story, of seeing with my own eyes the face of a little boy telling my amazing story-sharer friend and AMAZING co-laborer for Christ, how his Grandma gave him a Bible, but he never got to meet her, she had passed away when he was in mom’s tummy. And he reached back to touch his mom’s tummy. I mean imagine the pure spirit eyes of understanding and sadness of this 5 or 6 year old intensely pouring out this deep sharing story to the caring heart of ears who intensely listened to him. God puts us in position to be HIS EARS. We are to LISTEN to share the burdens of others with a tender heart. This little boy, with mom so close, took time to listen and focus on learning about Moses.  My story-telling friend’s sharing prompted him wanting to share what he knew about the Bible – that He had one! It was a special moment of his understanding and he knew his grandma was special. Here’s a grandma-of-the-moment telling a grandchild-of-the-moment about LOVE, with his mom listening, how very much he was loved, especially if his grandma gave him a Bible. We are BLESSED as Christians to share stories of love, of trusting God, where opportunity opens, especially in knowing darkness can’t overcome the Light. We are blessed as teachers to share and reconnect what a grandma would have told their own grandchildren if they could. I had to chime in that he would see his Grandma someday in Heaven, with mom listening, isn’t that the greatest hope – to be in Heaven with our Lord.

This was just one child, but so many children one by one came to our table, many parents too. AND TIME SLOWED… and the Lord’s tarrying allowed me at the end to get 2 smores and a hot dog and a chat of faith around the open campfire. I DON’T take for granted this gift of opportunity for open sharing and open welcoming and FUN in open air. I felt SO BLESSED.

I believe we as floaters, should follow GOD’S CURRENT.  There are open doors to open air opportunities that we should walk thru.  I read Psalm 116 on the big altar Bible when I stopped into the sanctuary and felt the moment carrying me back outside where others needed to know that if Moses could trust God, we can trust God too. If Moses could work for the Lord, we can too…

I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord. 

Amen (and thank you Lord for this smell of campfire still lingering – like memories sweet and savory, I thank You for Your fire.)

Psalm 116, as King David wrote, speaks of deliverance:

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; 

I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

I trusted in the Lord when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”; in my alarm I said, “Everyone is a liar.” What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me?

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants. Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.

I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord.

I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord — in your midst, Jerusalem.

PRAISE THE LORD.

Switching Tracks, 23OCT – #1284

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I am BLESSED that I set up a 4-day weekend for myself. I was feeling crispy around the edges, working so much. Not that I minded the work, I loved it, but sometimes you have to pause and RECHARGE. Not that I won’t be busy this fun 4 days, but it’s like SWITCHING TRACKS, taking my frame of mind and placing it on a DIFFERENT “train of thought” track, hopefully a really good track. It’s always the right track when we are getting away from the crashing loose tumbling rocks that make you jump tracks!

The two scriptures MOST ringing thru my head both for work and for life’s day to day play this week are: 1) we are to work hard and humbly at whatever we do as if we were working for the Lord, AND 2) how some wonders will be all gone one day, like the amazing temple that Jesus knew would be destroyed. Yup, we are to build, yes, but ALWAYS be ready to switch tracks. Pick up and keep going. 

SO, Day one of 4 days off, Saturday, met my friend for lunch in the city, but like we switched plans a lot and switched tracks A LOT. Even went the wrong way once, almost twice. I was OK for time, but often when there is little time, the day can get away. So, we settled for a favorite lunch place and then I went forward with my next adventure and saw the church my great grandparents got married at. Cool!

At the church, which was all boarded up for renovations, I snapped a few pics, then the Spirit track led me to walk across the street to chat with a hotel doorman, Hector is his name, asking him about the church. He started mentioning our world troubles and we chatted both agreeing this is NOT our home, we are awaiting Jesus to come back, and I mentioned that Revelation scripture on my mind plus about Jesus looking at the greatest temple of their time and knowing that it would be destroyed. Oh, Hector was THRILLED to speak about the HOLY SPIRIT. He was grateful for the opportunity to share. How cool…  How Holy Spirit… I enjoyed hearing him witness how the Lord brought him up from the street and saved him. Hector mentioned how much his heart hurt when he sees lost people now, who were lost like him.  He clearly now has a Jesus heart, understanding His pain. We are NOT to be friends with this lost world, work in it yes, but set apart. Yes, it was an intensely natural conversion between fellow children of God.  We agreed that the “church” was no longer church buildings nor in the renovations of the buildings, but WE ARE HIS TEMPLE, EACH OF US, for Him. And now the church as the bride of Christ will be awaiting our wedding feast. We agreed to be all out waiting and working and witnessing until Jesus calls us home. WE WILL BE SALT AND LIGHT. 

SALT. Yum, a SIDETRACK to a great candy store, for chatty conversation and SALT caramels.

LIGHT. I’m on the train tracks towards home now. The people are chatty, the tired people are giddy, giggly, and talking about their days. What interesting side tracks we all have. The people this morning were chatty too. I like that I took these switched up tracks today. I really hope to see these folks again. Hector and I plan to meet up in Heaven, someday, when that Trumpet blows… I think that will sound like a TRAIN WHISTLE… and Jesus says: “ALL ABOARD!” 

Amen

—-

Mark 13:1-2

As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”

Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

Colossians 3:23-24

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

—-

What’s in Your Garden, 18OCT – #1283

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The rainbow text message photos from a local friend called to me to get off my chair and outside into the cool fall air. And WOW, a FULL rainbow, start to finish, and it was a double too. Not much rain but a reign of blessings and promise and hope is always signaled when we remember God’s promises. The previous day there was a rainbow too.

Tomorrow, I don’t know about rainbows in the sky, but will God’s promises still be there? Yes, promises and hope from God are ALWAYS shining thru, it’s up to us to blow away some of our clouds of life and notice the silver-linings and promises fulfilled – then embrace the Lord in thanks. He will help us plant good things in our lives so that He can water them. He sends the rains and rainbows. 

When Moses instructed his people about the new land God gave them, he spoke of the Lord sending the spring and fall rains. These were agricultural folk, dependent upon the land and their livestock. But we are rarely more than simple gardeners, only a few seeds here and there for colorful flair and the joy of working the soil. Oh, the vibrant colors of Fall, the harvest season are feast for the eyes. The cool crisp feeling also gives us a reminder to prepare for the winter (even if it is raking up leaves in shorts). 

Some things seem easy and yet all is not all easy for so many and this life may seem to bring us storms or we feel we have too much rain or not enough. Hopefully all our angst is only seasonal, and prayerfully many do have a storage tank of rain to spare and share. We do have MANY blessings. My onerous task this morning was NOT working my farmstead but opening a can of spaghettios for my son’s lunch. Times have changed. He didn’t venture to the fields for work, but to school in a car with a friend after a trip to the local haunt for a breakfast sandwich. Our milk and honey promised land is flowing in conveniences and blessings. So, that also means we have more time to think about THANKING GOD. And isn’t’ that what our promise pledge should be? THANKING GOD.

And what about planting our fields? Our gardens? Let us now make GARDENS OF FAITH, FIELDS OF FORGIVENESS, and take on the praiseful barnstorming of worship, in our vast landscape of thankfulness. 

We are to till the soil for others now too, soften our hearts and look for seed planting openings. Let’s open opportunities for sharing. When the people ask: “What’s in your garden?” Let’s reply: “I’m cultivating HOPE, FAITH, FORGIVENESS and LOVE.”

Our lives change, our burdens differ, but the Lord is the same. 

God keeps His promises. 

Let us also keep the HOPE. 

Amen 


Moses teaching how to live in a new land, Deuteronomy 11:8-15

Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden.  But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.

So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

Who Squeaked? 15OCT – #1282

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Sometimes loud rumblings incite more action, good or bad, like a pep rally vs a riot. Sometimes (many times) people tune out loud voices. There will always be noise in life. There is best a quiet place where only the Lord knows our business. Attend to that quiet place as much as possible.

Why do squeaky wheels get the grease? If they are real wheels, it’s because they ride better and smoother with grease and the squeak indicates a real issue.  If squeaky wheels are people, then it’s because they are LOUDEST, maybe going off track, maybe right on the right track and everyone else is going off track…  either way you might best attend to squeaky people (especially if it’s someone who might disrupt your smooth ride of a day, annoy you or upset your plans). And OF COURSE, we see the important squeaky wheels of whistle blowers or people who raise valid points. Watch out as squeaky wheels can be what others learn from. Yes, kids learn what gets attention. So, let us show our values and hope and help children of all ages learn. 

What does this have to do with scripture? Sometimes we are not loud enough in giving our voice to situations and sometimes we are seemingly wasting our breath. Moses spoke much and sometimes it must have felt like he wasted his breath. To God, there is NO wasted breath, He wants to hear all our needs (whether He answers us for our sake is another issue) …  Moses however heard lots of griping from wandering desert people. He warned and warned and reminded and taught, leading God’s chosen people and giving them the law. He knew where the people failed God, and he himself failed God enough (by overreacting) to not cross that eventual day into the Promised Land. Moses was eventually OK, God took care of him too. Moses had taken on the call to save people by reminding them it wasn’t their righteous who saved them but God. 

GOD CHOOSES TO SAVE over destroy.

Righteous, we all can fail in understanding God’s Righteousness over ours. We can fail in the law, but God knew that – His point in sending a Savior was SAVING was the ONLY Way back to Him. Not our way but His. We can fail in realizing God’s gift to us is FORGIVENESS despite ourselves. Righteousness comes with God’s RIGHT to SAVE, like the prodigal father who rejoiced when his lost son came home, it’s God’s Righteous Way we MUST adopt to forgive, to accept, and to love. How else can we come home if we drop the anger and forgive others…

God won’t just grease the squeaky wheels, He will dismantle them to the core of what’s wrong and build them fresh. He will build us fresh and new. He sent His Son to fight evil down and crush it, leaving us to be soul-cleaned and clothed in His Light, in His Righteous, in His Desire to Save.

The thing about God’s Way is that He WANTS us in His Kingdom. He WANTS us to realize it’s not just that we are a squeaky wheel to His ears, but a missing piece of His heart that He is reassembling since the fall of man with Adam and Eve’s sin. God, unchanged all this time, wants to walk in the cool of the day with us.

We must get quiet and listen for not His squeaky wheels turning in our souls, but His flowing love. The difference: flowing Love is LOUDER, Love IS the air in the tires AND the road AND the destination AND the journey. Love is the quiet of His tears. We must listen to His Love. God goes ahead of us, like a roaring fire to pave the way for us to walk to Him. Then only within His new walk with us is our rise from the ashes.

Moses prayed earnestly and extraordinarily for God’s people. Jesus gave His Whole Life for God’s people, for God’s fellowship to be restored. Both prayed asking God to OVERLOOK the stubbornness of this generation of people, their wickedness and their sin. Jesus knows that we must still teach and live in His Way – that when people realize He was and IS the Way, their path also will be restored to God. 

God wants US in His Forever. His Promise to Himself is that He will love us and ask us to love Him in return… 

Return to God, God is always listening.

Amen 

what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands...

To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today…

…Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.  For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes…

…Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name.  He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.

Excerpts from Deuteronomy 9 and 10

Not Because of Righteousness

Moses says: Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan… … But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you… . .You have been rebellious against the Lord ever since I have known you. I lay prostrate before the Lord those forty days and forty nights because the Lord had said he would destroy you. I prayed to the Lord and said, “Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin… But they are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.”

If I ever have an empty NEST, 15OCT – #1281

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I won’t have to guess what to do, if ever I have an empty NEST.

Instead, I will simply ask: Hey Lord, what’s NEXT?!

I pray His good deposit made in my abilities have been worth His INVEST.

Parenting is forever but a grown child takes 20 or more years to VEST.

Yes, sometimes it may have felt like a TEST

But my solace was always found in His TEXT

Perhaps at some point, He will even allow me to get a little bit of REST.

So, when that day comes, I will still praise, LEST...

Lest I forgot to THANK Him, as I know He helped me BEST

And I will enjoy life as a new adventure, maybe travel where someone will say: “Be my GUEST“. 

Thanks Lord, you make my life blessed with ZEST.

Surely Lord, I look forward to YOUR Plans as MY NEXT.

I am forever BLESSED

Amen 


Crispy around the Edges, 14OCT – #1280

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I sometimes get the feeling of being “crispy around the edges”, a sign that soon one will get burnt out if one doesn’t pull themselves away from the fire. Yes, self-driven DRIVE as well as work and life demands are DEMANDING. Even if you LOVE what you do, it wears on you. I’ve been going full steam lately – You too likely!!! Don’t wear yourself out so much that you can’t walk. Work on the most meaningful things first and not the fluff. Like a play production, you DON’T have to be in every scene. 

In the Lord’s Production of Life, we are best to be available for scene changes and for roles of service in bit parts, walk-ons, and being an understudy from time to time, as well as accepting our leading role (make that “to be led role”) that we have been equipped for and prepared for by the Lord our whole lives. Don’t get crispy around the edges as those stage lights can burn sometimes, go off stage on occasion – to grab a drink of water and maybe to read ahead for the next scene. 

Our “crispy around the edges” feelings should not bring us to rebel and walk away from life, just take a few vacation days off, take time to CHILL. For me even to work from home once in a while feels like a productive retreat. Focus time. So, no, don’t throw in the towel, use it to wipe your brow and keep moving. Wait on the Lord, ALWAYS, and look for the next stage cue. I bet the backdrop will be changed and the props will rotate. The Production is what the Lord wants us IN rather than always be the staging crew. So, let us take to His Plot-lines and BIG PICTURE, not just our aside scenes.

We don’t know how micromanagement works with the Lord. We DO know micro and mega blessings. He does know everything, we can’t comprehend that widely and yet within His Production He must and does let us have free will. Sometimes things go so smoothly and I say: “that must be the Lord blessing”. Sometimes things screech to a halt and I say: “that must be the Lord’s correction or signal to drive another way”.

Interesting how in all the years they wandered in the desert, the humbled people of Moses walking thru the wilderness, none of their feet hurt from swelling. And there was NO wear and tear on their clothes. A teaching moment of a miracle for sure. When we depend upon the Lord, FOR EVERYTHING, He will sustain us. Manna and Motivation. 

MAJOR moments of teaching came from Moses’s speeches: He said these trials were to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

This EXACT sentiment and wording is quoted by Jesus when the devil tempts Him in the wilderness because of hunger. The devil said: You are God, You can change these stones into loaves of bread. Jesus rebuked to say: a man is sustained by God’s Words, not by bread. It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God

Us too – we are to live Word by Word, listening for His cues. The sustenance of food, work, money, busyness is not our only or ultimate life-giver. Waiting on His Word IS.  In all these things, let us LET the Lord direct us, direct the day, lead us in HIS Way. … in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Amen

Do Not Forget the Lord Deuteronomy 8:1-5

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.  Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.

Paul to the Romans 12 – and to us – 

A Living Sacrifice

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Humble Service in the Body of Christ: For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

(I have heard many times that Jesus said these scripture words (quoting Himself) to remind us (and the devil) that man himself does not need to be God to turn down the devil – man can still just be man – but we only need to listen to God more… ) Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:1-4

Lead Me, 13OCT – #1279

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Lead me Lord, to Know. 

Lead me Lord, where to Go.

Lead me Lord, when to say No.

Lead me Lord, to go with the Flow. 

Lead to help me to Grow. 

Lead me Lord, to follow in Your Stride.

Lead me Lord, to avoid traps too Wide.

Lead me Lord, instruct me where to Hide.

Lead me Lord, to give up my Pride.

Lead to help me feel for You, Inside. 

Lead me Lord, to You.

Lead me Lord, to work True. 

Lead me Lord, to hear Your Clue.

Lead me Lord, to give You Your Due. 

Lead to help me know me thru You.

Amen

Love the Love You’re In, 13OCT – #1278

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“Love the One You’re With”, could be a CSN lyric,

yet how better to think: “LOVE, LOVE the LOVE your IN”.

LOVING the God with us, that we ARE with – as He is with us, in us, FOR us.

Love the God you’re in. And He is One. And He is One IN love with us all.

I have some of that sand leftover from my children’s craft projects in jars 10-15 years ago, beautiful those layers of color they placed just so. How narrow the opening was for them to funnel sand in, and try not to spill over. Eventually at the end, you had to knock the container to settle the sand, and the packed nature was to keep all in place. A display for all to see, each grain important. Each grain unique and structuring the next. 

We are to be God’s people, to be His actions and people. He considers us more than just His specks of dust as we are carefully placed grains to cover the earth with His love. Together, God and Jesus poured Heaven into a man on earth, as an impression of God’s image, still fully God but walking being totally of a man. Surely He came to show us that He wants to pour us all back into Him. Think of the mirror flip of Him stepping into a man’s skin – and instead about us stepping into His Skin, filling it like the unique individuals that we are, then HE moves us all together and forward. 

The meaning of life is all about fulfilling God’s Promise, holding to His Principles, and accepting His Love.  Jesus was set into the world to teach God’s love and to CRUSH the evils. Jesus tended to the soil and cultivated the good crops so that God Himself saw only blooms among the weeds, us covered by Jesus’s Light. By His immense LOVE, Jesus could only be the sacrifice He accepted for Himself. It was a uniting force of love to complete the journey that we are walking on. In the ultimate wedding banquet, God wants us at His Table. He wants us in His sand bottle, but not for display. Rather He wants us in His movable Skin to be the Love He Lives. 

Jesus loves to pour Himself into us. Jesus and God and Holy Spirit are ONE in LOVE and unique in LOVE. ONE is not “divide and conquer” but UNITE and SAVE. We are taught how to live and love for others to know Him thru us. Moses wrote and told what God said: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children….. be careful that you do not forget the Lord…. (Deut 6)

Jesus was tested and described the meaning of God’s law in quoting scriptures (He was quoting Himself): The greatest commandments to be loved and to love (See Mark’s gospel below). Jesus poured into His Walk the fortitude to bring God with us. Like a human version of the jar sand sculpture. Let us check with Him daily and have the Holy Spirit conviction to place our sand grains and dust in alignment with Him. Let us pray to hear: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

On His journey, on the mountains and in the valleys, Jesus strengthens and is strengthened. We too must ask for His Hand molding our grains of sand, of love, EVERY DAY. We DO know the plan, and still every day we must ASK to be placed where the Lord wants to pour us. 

Be sand at His Command. 

Love the Love you’re in.

Amen

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one;  you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question. (Mark 12)

… 

The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.  But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him. Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today. (Deuteronomy 7)

IMAGINE that conversation with Moses and Elijah and JESUS on the mountain of His Transfiguration. Imagine Moses had been chatting with God all along as God has been chatting with him. Imagine to have been with God, to know the plan, and yet still take time to chat. They could look at all those offspring of Abraham now as grains of sand… 

The Transfiguration
After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant. And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”

Wisdom Wisdom Wisdom, 12OCT – #1277

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Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31

Wisdom Wisdom Wisdom: Ask God for it. Head it. Apply it. Fear the Lord in reverence for He understands WHY He is giving you wisdom. 

Ah, life in these times… the joys and the challenges and the opportunities. Know that even trying moments become teaching moments. Wisdom is knowing that the stars still shine behind the clouds, the sun still rises in a rainstorm, and the Lord is ALWAYS in control. 

I love the WISDOM teachings of the Proverbs exactly written for us NOW even though they are nearly 3000 years old. They will still be (be still) so good for even generations to come. Proverbs of Solomon given as great advice for all: Reverence for God and Respect of your parents. This parallels the most important commandments to Love God and Love each other. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. God knows what He is doing, trust Him. WISDOM WILL SAVE YOU.

… “if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.   For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard youWisdom will save you…” Proverbs 2:1-12

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—for understanding proverbs and parables,  the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.... Proverbs 1:1-10

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:25-27

Amen Amen Amen 

You Saw, He Did, You Can, 11OCT – #1276

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Love and Obey, Love and Obey…

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul.” That commandment is in the Bible so many numerous times. SO MANY! It’s not that Moses was repetitively writing for his own sake, but it became the Lord’s reminder for the sake of His children.  It’s not that the disciples were rewriting that commandment again and again for their own sake but for those children of the children of the children – for us and for our children too. 

Moses said there were 70 people at the time Jacob was renamed Israel, and they walked into Egypt due to a famine and their youngest Joseph’s connection to a good Pharaoh. and now they as 12 tribes of a nation counted as numerous as the stars… (Just as promised Abraham)

God delivered. Moses said: You saw, He did, You can – you can stay alive by Keeping God’s law alive.

How about us? Have you seen God move mountains in your life? Have you been blessed with milk and honey, a warm house, a good meal, a place to rest? Again, our children may not understand what we went thru. Maybe we are still living in the valleys of our ancestors climbed hills. Do we remember that our ancestors scraped by healthwise to survive? Had to make sacrifices for their children’s sake? Had to travel and be foreigners? Mine did. How they must have kept the faith on the trip across the sea, survived the famines, wars, diseases. God delivered. My ancestors said You saw, He did, You can – make it. He does provide. 

My life? It’s my children whom I want to see that I rely on God. RELY, OBEY, LOVE. Love God not for a handout but a hand-up and a hand-le on how to handle situations, handle things, handle money, handle time. You saw, He did, You can Hand-it to Him. He helps you not just stay alive but THRIVE. 

So love and obey the Lord, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the DAY that you are crossing… 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength. 

AMEN 

He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.

Love and Obey the Lord

Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the Lord your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm; the signs he performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country; what he did to the Egyptian army, to its horses and chariots, how he overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you, and how the Lord brought lasting ruin on them. It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the wilderness until you arrived at this place, and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth right in the middle of all Israel and swallowed them up with their households, their tents and every living thing that belonged to them. But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the Lord has done.Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 

Deuteronomy 10:21-22 – 11:1-9

Understand what’s not Understood, 10OCT – #1275

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Do you want to wake and walk from darkness? Follow the Light. 

Worried? Trust the Lord to continue walking with you. Follow the Light.

In the last book of Revelation, the last verses. Jesus says “I am coming soon.” John, the beloved disciple, says “Amen”, and “Lord Jesus come QUICKLY”.  The gospel of John, scholars say, is the next book recorded chronologically as the book of Revelation was written down IMMEDIATELY by 90 year old John (as Jesus and angels dictated) before John had/took the time to write out his “Gospel of Wisdom”, which in itself is but a fraction of the key events of Jesus’s life.

So start at the beginning of John’s words, a gospel account that matches the Bible’s Genesis: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... … And the LIGHT shineth in darkness; and the darkness COMPREHENDED it not.

I AM SHOCKED… Actually ILLUMINATED… The Gospel of John’s passage in verse 5 is NOT the wording I’ve seemingly memorized my whole life as “overcome” – “the darkness has not overcome” but that wording to me shows in but a footnote… I had to pull out and read two Bible versions just then to verify and it’s amazing how the words of the Word in certain translations have deeper meanings that sometimes hit us “just so”. I do understand both meanings here, it IS what I have always understood as truth: That Darkness has NOT OVERCOME the LIGHT – NOR has the Darkness UNDERSTOOD the LIGHT. I mean how could it? Really how could darkness and evil really understand Jesus.

IF DARKNESS UNDERSTOOD, and saw and COMPREHENDED, then it wouldn’t be darkness, would it? Darkness has NOT COMPREHENDED and NOT UNDERSTOOD let alone OVERCOME it.  THE LIGHT IS what we behold, especially as the Light holds us. The Light of Heaven exists always – and in Heaven there is NO night.

Don’t ever let fear overcome you to the point of not looking for the LIGHT.

Don’t ever let any Darkness tell you that you are not worthy of the Light that God shines for you. 

Don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t love the Lord enough to be worthy of His love or forgiveness, because He is the One Who Loved you FIRST. (And there is no worthy that could be to the level of His Immense Worth anyway, He is God, after all). Jesus IS our Heaven-sent HOPE.

Let us trust God’s Word, that the Darkness can’t even understand that. Darkness may mock God’s Word or twist it or try to add or subtract from it, but it CAN’T change it. Light Lives.Lord God Almighty HAS overcome all things dark and deathly thru sin. We ARE made worthy IN HIM, in JESUS, in the LIGHT. 

It’s HIS inner place within YOU that God lights by His Light. It’s YOUR time with Him that He illuminates and preserves. It is not darkness’s time or place to cover any lamp that HE has LIT. 

So, trust that TRUTH that you have a special unbreakable bond with God. Go to the place where God’s Whisper is JUST for you. Others may never understand, but you can receive Him and His Power to become His child of Godjust because you believe in His Name.

YOU COUNT AS A CHILD OF GOD.

God ONLY sees you in the LIGHT.

AMEN


Understand what’s not Understood, 

What darkness never could or would.

That Jesus is forever the Light for Good.

Where darkness has no place, 

Jesus Lights the WAY with His Glory and Grace.

Amen 

—-

John’s wisdom gospel chapter 1:1-14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness COMPREHENDED it not.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John [the Baptist]. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Weaving the Net Deeply, 10OCT – #1274

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What an amazing teaching that Stephen has in The Book of Acts – especially recounting Moses’s deep history – especially teaching those that should be teachers… Stephen was said to appear like an angel in his glow – and the Holy Spirit thru him taught so many before he was killed.

Hearing and re-hearing these stories is also a reminder that:

The Bible weaves Truth as threads of the Fishermen’s Net. 

Truth strengthens generations of the souls of men, then and now, with Spiritual uplifting. The Net to Fish for Men is deep and multi-layererd.

We get to know how the capturing Vine of Jesus fed and feeds those branches of that Net that now also catches us too.

This is a good chunk of Old Testament learning, Abraham to Moses, now being a teaching testament to show where you actually can put your faith – in God’s promises. And it tells of Moses, and of dreamcoat Joseph, and of Jesus not being realized Who they were, SENT by God… Stephen was sent by God to weave the Fishermen’s Net deeper. Read the whole “cliffnotes” style story that Stephen recounts. So very good:

Stephen’s Speech to the Sanhedrin – Acts 7
Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?” To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’

“So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child. God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’ Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.

“Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace. “Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died. Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.

“As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’ He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.

“At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family. When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.

“When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’

“But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.

After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.

“Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’

“This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He led them out of Egypt and performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness.

“This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’ He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living words to pass on to us.

“But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’ That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made. But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets:

“‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel? You have taken up the tabernacle of Molek and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile’ beyond Babylon.

“Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law with them in the wilderness. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. After receiving the tabernacle, our ancestors under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David, who enjoyed God’s favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him.

However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me?
says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’

“You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him [JESUS] — you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”

The Stoning of Stephen
When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.  But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”  Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Do Not Forget the Lord Quoted Himself, 08OCT – #1273

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Yes we forget to be looking for God in everything. We are remembered even when we forget that we are being held, being handed things, being helped and His. Humanness means we hurt and drift. Humanness means we think we have it under control. Humanness is tempted to go it alone. 

One thing that people say, uninformed people, is that the Bible is old and not relevant today. Well, that is not true!!! Jesus, Himself being the Word, quoted Himself when He told people stories and sayings and reminders. Jesus was/is fulfillment of the scriptures, speaking to and thru Moses, to NOT forget God – and to fear the Lord in reverence, as the Lord can test us and feed us, both are within His love.

Yes, we are tested. Yes we are loved. Yes we are wanted. Yes we are held. 

God knows the nature of humankind to take credit when they achieve things – when they think they did it themselves – we are totally like that. And where does that come from? The bite of the apple of the forbidden tree, a bite inducing STRIFE. Humans gained thinking that we think we know things we don’t. It is “taking for granted” as if our knowledge grants us things instead of “taking things as quoted” – meaning giving credit to God for our gifted grace and goods. Jesus quoted Himself to say: “All Good Things are From God”. God promised to take care of us, and He does.

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

How many times do we bite that apple – get chomping at the bit to pat ourselves on the back, reward ourselves with food or folly for doing something, just get over confident, and forget to say “if it pleases the Lord, we will do this or that”. We get ahead of ourselves and forget to thank the Lord. Thanking God is a good way to remember that Jesus never ends – as Lord God Almighty, He is the beginning and the end and His Words in the old testament are just as valid as His Words in his 3 years of walking and preaching, and are just as valid today.

Stephen in the book of Acts (and the disciples) preached after receiving the Holy Spirit after Jesus’s assentation, Stephen told a tremendous story of prophecy and of Moses and connected his listeners to truth. Paul, after he was awakened from being ruthless Saul, quickly took up the persuasion of those who knew the scriptures but were blind to connect them to Jesus. The old testament prophets spoke of the Savior coming as well and the need to heed. Jesus Himself especially quoted from what was revealed to Moses (recorded in Deuteronomy) in His conversations with the fellow disciples and townsfolk and ruling authorities. Imagine their surprise when Jesus taught openly and connectively about God. 

All scriptures then and now as we read fresh today are True Words of Jesus’s Way, they remind us to not forget God. The criss-cross of scriptures weaves a net of worthy Words. Imagine Simon in the temple studying scriptures his whole life now holding baby Jesus as a living breathing messenger delivered in the Messiah. Simon lived his whole life to behold He, Jesus, Himself who was giving life.

Praise the Lord for everything – He really did provide it. He says so.

Do Not Forget the Lord quoted Himself.

Do Not forget the Lord.

Amen

—-

Moses says:

Do Not Forget the Lord
Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.

Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.

AMEN AMEN

Road Rage Let Go

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Worth a Repost – Forgiveness – Road Rage – Yes – Let Go – Let Grow

Yes – “The More We Live – Let Go” – music therapy of this song is therapeutic to writing about modeling Jesus, for the forgiving Jesus… Lots of new to me YES songs are very enlightening… Cool…

Let Go

Forgiveness… “Let go”… Jesus says forgive others as we ask (ok beg) God to forgive us… It’s tough, it’s going to take time… But it’s necessary… Maybe we don’t want to forgive others, maybe we just don’t know how… For people we don’t know, it can be easier, walk away and forget… Like the road rage incident I had, I was fine, the car was fine, he was in severe emotional pain which wasn’t my fault. I saw it over his face… pain… anger… frustration… I felt so sorry… Now if he had hurt my beloved blue Subaru window, when he punched at my face behind the window, this might be a completely different essay, one of a forgiveness that would have taken much longer, but it’s not… and I am fine, because the armor of God and armor of Subaru saved my face, and my faith, and I can forgive, I turned the other cheek and drove away… still scared, still aware, still I can see his face, but it was a need for giving forgiveness to him (and to myself for not being extra careful driving)… yeah maybe we more easily forgive IF incidents don’t hurt…

But what if they do? What if they hurt directly or someone we love? Recent or even if it’s twenty plus years ago? What if I would not personally want to, or seem to be able to, forgive them anyway??

It sounds easier said than done to forgive, and actually it might have to be a ripple effect forgiveness we seek… “Forgive me, oh Lord, because I find it hard to forgive this situation, this person… Forgive them Father for they know not what they do… Forgive them Father especially since they know what they did was wrong”… It’s easier to hear Jesus utter those words then for it to come out of our own mouths. Maybe God hears HIS children cry in pain because there is no glee in forgiveness, only tears in forgiveness – Jesus’s tears – Jesus wept – His cleansing tears for washing our souls… Jesus a gift for our salvation because he can walk the walk and talk the talk of asking God to forgive those people – which also means to forgive us, because we are unforgivable to some others too…

This level of forgiveness might work if whom pained you is someone your see daily, weekly… Maybe you can’t forgive them yet, yet you can try. Even if you are not there yet, God’s asks you to try and God has a mediator in place regardless… Jesus is the mediator – this ripple effect forgiveness might be your only hope: “Jesus help me forgive them for sake of my own forgiveness too – please Jesus ask God to forgive me”.

So this YES song, matches these forgiveness thoughts with the phrase: “Wanna change the world?”…    “The more we give, the more we love, the more we grow.”

That is forgiveness in a nutshell… The more we FORGIVE, the more we grow… Likewise, the more we shed light on the dark spots of our hearts, the more we ask forgiveness for, the more we grow… The more we move towards modeling Jesus the more we obtain the harmony God desires…  eternally in God’s house is where HE is calling all of us together, reassembles what was shattered at the biting of THAT apple…

Yes, we share the world, it’s up to us, we carry God’s burden of forgiving the snowball effect of man’s sins from eternity…

And we will help Jesus by forgiving, LET GO….

And we will help God by picking ourselves up, and moving forward… LET’S GO…

LET GO of the past, LET’S GROW because that’s what God desires…

LET GOD work us over

LET GO

——–
YES
The More We Live – Let Go

“You and I can change the world;
The more we live, the more we learn, the more we know.
From this moment on we share the world;
The more we give, the more we love, the more we grow.
The spirit of imagination can lead us through the dark;
The more we see, the more we try, the more we show.
The evidence of our confusion, life has left its mark;
The more we fear, the more we lie, the more we hide.
As we walk into tomorrow
(Turning away from the path we know)
Holding the future with our hands
(We carry the weight of the world we go)
It’s up to you and I — We hold the key; we hold the answers
All our thoughts of doubt and fear are leaving one by one
The more we live, the more we learn, the more we know.
For each of us the road is clear and life has just begun;
The more we give, the more we love, the more we grow.
It’s time to reach the goals we’ve set for ourselves;
The more we fear, the more we lie, the more we hide.
All we need is just to believe in ourselves;
We face the truth, we see it clear, with no disguise.
Cast away our doubt and sorrow
(Turning away from the past we know)
The Universe at our command
(Conserving the fate of the world we grow)
Together you and I, we hold the key to all the answers
Let go
Let go
Let go
Let go
Let go”

——
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant – Matthew 18:21-35
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Walk With Him, 07OCT -#1272

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He still walks for the unwoken. Walk with Him.

Hold our tongues and our griping, for instead He needs us showing our devotion. Walk with Him. 

Christian of my Christ, a Saint of my Savior, a child of my Father. Walk with Him.

A realization I am still realizing, a journeyer who is STILL journeying. Walk with Him

Each day pray to realize Jesus holds me in His WAY. Walk with Him

He IS the Way, my Road Map to go Home. Walk with Him.

Transverses of verses become footholds for steadying. When I need Him, I should read Him. 

Walk with Him

Ask His Word directions, highlight, earmark, circle for comfort.

All we need to know is IN Him. Walk with Him

Amen 

More Fearful Following Less Folly, 07OCT – #1271

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When I became Christian, like Abraham:

I started thinking about my portable tent, not a permanent place. 

I started thinking about my altar building and not my riches gathering. 

I started thinking about my Worship not my Wallowing. 

I started thinking about my sacrifices, not my success.

I started thinking about God’s Gate, not my Goals.


When I Became Christian, like Moses:

I found that talking to God was good but listening to God was better.

I found the pillar of fire would watch me in the dark and the cloud of coverage would embrace me in the day. 

I found out that I WAS lost, even though I didn’t know it. 

I found out that I became Saved only after I found out that I was lost.

I found out that I am Saved into a place I thought I was guaranteed but didn’t know it was not my right to be there.


When I Became Christian, like Jacob:

I found that I wrestled with God, a lot, and still do.

I found the pit of my Darkness was no match for the Light of my Lord.

I found the ladder of peeking at Heaven was always within my reach.

I started saying: “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”


When I became Christian, like Jarius’s daughter:

I found the Source of my Joy. 

I tapped into the prayers of generations prayed for me. 

I realized where I was sleeping and dead in my faith.

I realized Jesus WAS always knocking.

I realized that Jesus woke me, healed me, met me where I was.

I realized His gentle Hand. 

I found the Born Again nature of my soul. 


When I became Christian, like the Sinner I am:

I realized Heaven comes from a Savior’s Sacrifice and not my “scraping by”.

I realized not everyone knows this, but for some reason I was chosen to understand. 

I realized that Jesus was, is, and will be Lord God Almighty, not just a scapegoat of the day.

I realized that Jesus was, is, and will be the Promise realized.

I realized Jesus as the Lord and not just the Son sent temporarily here. 

I realized He Was, Is, and Always has been here and there.


When I become more Christian, like the Christian I want to be:

I realize that I can be really deceived by my own blindness. 

I realize the realness of the devil and the rampage of his influence, everyday. 

I realize that Jesus doesn’t give up even if the devil doesn’t go down without a fight. 

I realized that I need the shield of the Almighty and the gentleness of the Lamb.

I realized that Jesus chose this path and walks it still every day.

…and so should I.


And so should I.

More Fearful Following, Less Folly. 

Revelation 23 – You Are Thinking of Me, 03OCT – #1270

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Revelation 23, it is written by Thee. 

But it’s not yet in my Bible’s pages, I see.

No, it’s a chapter not yet lived, GEE!

SOMEDAY LORD, we will write it TOGETHER, You and Me.

Revelation 24, it’s not taped up to my door.

It’s not a chapter fallen upon Your floor.

It’s not history that anyone chose to ignore. 

But our future FOREVER life, that You amazingly hold in store.

Revelation 25, Oh what JOY to be ALIVE. 

Oh, we will see Your Tree of Life THRIVE. 

Oh, we drink of Your River of Life to REVIVE.

Oh thru Your Redemption, we Bride of Christ, We DO SURVIVE.

GOD, YOU ARE ALWAYS WAS AND IS.

LIFE is what JESUS, ALPHA and OMEGA, GIVES.

OUR shortcomings He FORGIVES.

FELLOWSHIP we now have with HE WHO LIVES.

AMEN in You Lord, Your Commandments we drink undeservedly in You, FREE.

You Living Water, Bright Morning Star, we thirst for, serve, and Worship THEE.

Jesus, Lord God Almighty, let us turn this page as if it were to be chapter 23.

Lord, write my NEW life for me.

Bring us to Thee.

Amen


Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in ME“. John 14:1

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:16-17

Leaves from a Tree

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Inspired – but written for all of us who have lost a loved one.

Leaves from a Tree

People pass away like leaves fall from a tree.

Some are too young, beautiful green and ripped off in a breeze.

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Many we know are just entering their prime.

Yet some have aged, not crumbled, and we say: “they put in their time”.

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Others fall brilliantly in layers of color.

Death early but expected, leaves and lives filled with strength and valor. 

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Let us keep good memories alive, let them rustle around. 

Savor them like fall leaves as they cover the ground.

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Variegated lives leave memories, they DAZZLE.

Souls up to in Heaven, let us follow the narrow road they travel.

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We don’t always know the time or the place. 

But blessedly we pray each knows God’s Grace.

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It is forgiveness we too must embrace. 

Don’t hold bad memories, not even a trace.

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They led unique lives in all the beautiful splendor. 

Know their work was purposeful, and their hearts were so tender. 

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All generations seem short lived as they pass thru the grave. 

Fallen friends are like leaves, let us all kiss them goodbye and wave.

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Loved ones leave, but their LOVE we still embrace.

Remember them Lord, THEY RAN A GOOD RACE.


Let’s Talk Ten, Ten Commandments, 03OCT – #1268

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If nothing else, I bet the 10 Commandments can be a great reminder that: 

God WANTS us to TRY to keep FELLOWSHIP with HIM

Yes, the 10 Commandments were how God set the law, detailed by Moses and shared for all, and these are reflective of God’s go-to list of beliefs and behaviors. But that last TOUGH commandment is one that we and even Jesus’s CLOSEST followers shalt break: Thou shalt not covet. Jealousy is a great problem – Thank God Jesus’s redemption is far stronger!

God’s outstretched arm to save the Israelites is the same arm that holds us safe. We are to honor the Lord by doing likewise on the sabbath (and each day) by outstretching our attitudes and keeping them and our minds HOLY. But Jealousy sometimes sees us stretch our minds further into wants further than our arms should ever reach. Jealousy leads to theft. Jealousy leads to gossip. Jealousy leads to twisting the truth. Jealousy leads to anger. Jealousy leads to ludicrous thoughts of things for which we have NO CONTROL OVER.  Jealousy even leads to strange frustrations where the devil makes us think we are far from God because of our sin and the sin of others, even cursing against what Adam and Eve did.

Why should we maintain jealousy or stay mad at God for a life we think we SHOULD HAVE HAD. We end up wasting time waggling our tongues rather than praising God. Being jealous BLINDS us to our blessings.

What do we do? Count BLESSINGS. Be less bold for our wants. Be a giver of other’s needs. Take less. Give more. Realize Righteously. Forgive forever-ly. 

Here are 10 reminders:

Look for and count 10 BLESSINGS for every curse or almost curse.

Praise people 10 times for every put-down.

GIVE 10-fold away for every item taken.

THANK 10 times for every thankless moment.

Sing PRAISE10 times as loud as any grumble.

Shine LIGHT 10 times brighter into any darkened hope.

LISTEN 10 times for each one thing we speak.

Read 10 things for each thing you write. 

Be Still 10 times more than we react.

Trust 10 times in God’s faithfulness over each doubt.

God wants fellowship not forgetfulness or flight. God wants servants not slide-by-the-seat-of-my-pants living. God wants to call us Home, not drag us. Jesus wants to walk WITH us, not race after us.

How about we take 1 step, then we take 10 steps WITH the Lord, and then let Him take all the rest!

Amen 

The people were afraid of God but learned that God DOES talk with them and they live. “And ye said, Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.”

—-

The Ten Commandments Deuteronomy 5:1-24 NIV

Moses summoned all Israel and said:

Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them. The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. It was not with our ancestors that the Lord made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today. The Lord spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. (At that time I stood between the Lord and you to declare to you the word of the Lord, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) 

And he said: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

These are the commandments the Lord proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.

When you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, all the leaders of your tribes and your elders came to me. And you said, “The Lord our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that a person can live even if God speaks with them…”

Praise Ye the Lord!!!! 02OCT – #1267

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It’s both peaceful quiet and peaceful LOUD here at Camp Meeting grounds near the shore.

Peaceful QUIET of the worries, dangers, annoyances of life. Peaceful LOUD as this camp teamed to life Saturday morning even without more than a handful of late-season campers. First the crows, summer bugs, endless buckeyes and acorns hitting the roofs. Random smacks like thunder!  And now the ROWDY ROOFERS, actually paint scrappers rowdy on the roof on an auditorium in this revival camp that has raised the praise for nearly 160 years now. Raising voices, Raising hearts, Raising Eyes, Raising Souls. Oh the Sound of Soulness… NOT a sound of silence… 

How many lives saved because of this place and these people? How many rustling trees stirred the workers to witness, teach, sing. How many families modeled moderation, motivation and momentum.

How AWESOME Lord, to see Your outdoor house in a tabernacle of Life. How inside each person is your tabernacle. 

Yes Lord, how blessed for here we know You moved in so many hearts. 

You moved a Sound of Salvation!

Sweet Amen!

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17

Heavenly in Order, 02OCT – #1266

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So neat as a pin and organized to a T, this adorable camp house is perfect to remind me of everything in its place and a place for everything. It’s a playhouse that’s real. A tea party with real tea. A house made into a real home by the love that poured into it and the love that emanates from those withing. A weekend retreat for me and some of the girls, I am so blessed to have even gotten here. Mental break of putting life issues on a mental shelf for later. Not forgotten but stored. A place for everything and everything in place. Life is best realized when you realize your blessings. Set aside strife. Count your blessings and never run out of things to count! Most of all, COUNT ON GOD. 

How heavenly to know that our needs are realized at camp and to reduce the number of wants with a weekend away. A dry roof over our heads, sturdy structures away from the wind, these keep wildlife at bay while you sleep, and yet camping as the walls are thin enough to hear the summer bug’s last serenade. And thank God it is quiet enough to hear the quiet. This is camp enough to feel the balance of nature. We are but travelers in this world. And yet we are connected enough to be in 5G networks. We are safe enough to know safety. Love the image of the rafters exposed and solid, so you KNOW exactly the structure keeping the structure is solidly in place. We are to know blessings enough to count blessings. 

Heaven, I am told and I can imagine, surely is like this, we will KNOW Who is keeping us all solidly secure.  Heaven holds all our needs conveniently close, like including a WAWA store on every convenient corner. More importantly, life in Heaven HAS less needs, if any, probably none – just wonder and love. Only our need is to be THANKFUL and share our JOY in WORSHIP of GOD. All life-strife driven as far away as to be non-existent. Heaven follows God’s Order and Plan and leaves nothing to chance. We think of Heaven as something for us and our loved ones, but it’s truly created for God’s fellowship with us, so that He can know our company – and us His. Heaven holds where we finally know and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. No wonder He made us from dust and knows every hair on our heads. Everything in His place and a place (His place) for everything. 

Not everything in life is so neat. My house I am constantly trying to put in order: the structure, the stuff, the sentiment, the souls. My life blessed but many folk’s lives are so very broken and complicated. No, not everything is complete or “neat on earth”. We are in a broken creation of broken creatures. Many don’t know the Lord or even to look. We are also often insulated in our blessings from knowing others who have it way worse. Our house walls too thick and our eyes short-sightedness. The strife, the unknown, the fear, the folly of the unwise, the waste of the unwanted, the worst uses of time. The creation is groaning for the restoration that will come around the corner. Like a camp that DOESN’T go quiet in the off-season, there was and is NO RENEWAL. Life grinds and wears thin. 

HEAVEN WEARS STRONG. Hope in His Healing. Heaven is where the heart and heads hold-together and humans are healed of humanness. The eventual quiet of the camp out of season, when no people remain, stands a testament to the TRUTH that GOD NEVER CHANGES. The stars still shine. The air still breathes, the peepers still peep. Heaven on earth IS a big part of the Lord’s prayer – and that’s BOTH our prayer to the Lord and the Lord’s prayer for us. To bring Heaven on earth and be realizing and ready when Heaven renews our world, Heaven renews itself. His Will becomes His Way “on earth as it is in Heaven”. A place for everything and everything in its place. 

At camp, we keep the homefires burning. God keeps His Fire burning our hearts and burning in our sights. God crackles thru the worst of times and shows us hope.

God says be always thinking of Home. “… and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.” Like Moses leading to an earthly Promised Land, God leads us HOME. Everything in its place and a place for everything. 

TAKE A CAMP MOMENT TODAY and BREATHE CLEAR – PRAY in GOD’S WAY – for PEACE to come on earth, as it is IN HEAVEN. 

Amen

For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Believers Who Have Died: Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessolonians 4:7-8, 13-18

What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?  Deuteronomy 4:7

The Lord Is God (Moses instructs the Israelites)

Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other. From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time. Deuteronomy 4:18-40

Why are you here? 01OCT – #1265

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Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Moses’s instructions (recorded in Deuteronomy) to teach God’s people, before they entered the Promised Land.  They were blessed with seeing God provide – food, safety, victory in battle, direction, laws. Moses taught them to honor God and keep to his law, to remember and to be thankful… Do we remember that too?


I LOVED going to my LAST back to school night. My son said that I didn’t have to go, but I wouldn’t have missed it in the world. 20 years I have had my kids in school settings both for their education AND their well-being while I myself went to work. 20 years from babies at 9 weeks for my son and 9 months for my daughter I have had them in daycare – making art projects, seeing the turtles and fish, going on field trips, learning potty training and how to read and write. 20 years later I am GRATEFUL they both learn and like to learn – and have real deal career aspirations… We HAVE come a long way, baby. I have put much value in their education just like my family instilled that in me. AND I went to back to school night because I just love to see stuff at the school, and in life, like the woodshop and computer shops, and wished the bakery was open even if I rarely eat those sweets. I realized this likely would be the LAST TIME I would be allowed to roam these halls too. SO much I have seen and so much to be grateful for. Plus having no in-person visit last year, it was REFRESHING to see the people! We all wore masks in compliance, other than that we were back to normal and crowded hallways teamed with life. (it is refreshing to be at work too where it teams with life like normal and that is our gratefulness that was do that normal thing).
Life is a normal thing. Lest we forget to TRY to find normal in every day.

EXCEPT – who expects normal when God is in charge! Life is an EXTRAORDINARY thing. God is too vast to wrap our heads around and that is normal! Because God being God IS AMAZINGLY AWESOME.


God is not just in CONTROL but in CHARGE. And I also KNEW to match my excitement this last back to school evening with my SERVICE to Him. I’m a hired hand, paid in mercy, redeemed in grace. He’s got jobs for all of us to cooperate with and personally I am made to be His encourager (which is easy as I like people too!)… So, the bare minimum that I could do was say thank you to the AMAZING teachers. THANK YOU for raising my kids with JOY.


I say thanks be to God for this school, that the Lord gifted my kids to give them the best hands-on education ever, is where they both blossomed… A firm foundation in education IS the STEM of the flower – and the highschool years are the bloom – and the college years or career years are the floral arrangement of life – put together beautifully.  And this school is a place that the Lord gifted me so conveniently close too, within walking distance so they could get themselves home when I was at work…. So off I went… no schedule as it’s too confusing to navigate the electronic software for a schedule, (my son didn’t screenshot it either or tell me much when i saw him at the yearbook table), so I DID MY OWN THING. Visited economics for his favorite academic subject this year. Totally talking money and how to invest, so much good advice. Then my daughter’s ole haunt, what JOY the shop teacher gets every year I stop back in and I tell him how awesome his education prepared her for college. showed him her photo getting an architecture award. And he also mentioned that my son, who is the school’s IT intern, had set up all the monitors that I saw in his room. A mutual joy.


Off to the computer shop, I saw the neighbor who helped me with my dryer. Saw cool things I didn’t understand, flashing lights not for show but real things with real dangerous electricity. Saw 3D printers like work toys to this generation akin to the first electric sewing machines that helped a previous generation or the first telephones or record machines.  


And THEN I saw the lady in the sling, oh that familiar sling and cushion that I long cast off. Rotator cuff surgery (actually 2) so far behind me that I couldn’t even tell you what year that was. 76 PT visits and I threw them a pizza party when I was finally done. And so this night?  I got to be the encourager… how many people I can still see giving me advice when I had my sling – including the lady at the garage sale demonstrating exercises. Yup, the room faded away as I talked to her, shared my advice for sleeping, medicines, exercise and driving with the FABULOUS one-handed steering wheel knob (which is NOT illegal and IS still in my car years later). She was one week out from surgery,  and doing the best she could. One week out and she got to back to school night? To learn about her kid’s classes? WOW! Good for her! She is looking forward to going back to work to provide a distraction from her pain? Good for her!
That’s all of us – we are to rise above the non-normal, the wacky and the wicked things of life these days. Put the pain in perspective. We are to set our eyes on the things above and ask the Lord: “WHY AM I HERE?” – AND EXPECT AN ANSWER! and be willing to do what He needs!


That’s all of us, we are to get out there and see the people God wants us to run into – whether at work or play. Not a people person? That’s OK, because God made you you, there’s other God-directed and God-gifted situations that you are intended to be in. Your life can be His pearl that He is creating bit by bit, layer by layer.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Let the Lord polish your soul. So BE the Be in “Be Still” – listening, watching, reading, hoping, praying and BEing. Nest to have God’s rest.
For it is:

So cool to know God’s rule. 

So blessed to be God’s guest.

So imperative to hear God’s narrative. 

So berserk to resist God’s work. 

So thankful to drive with God’s tank full.

So good to go with the flow.

So neat to go “Meet and Greet”. 

So today, stay humble and enter life’s fray.

Pray and pray.

So be ready to thank God for a good great day.


Amen
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Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. AND BE THANKFUL. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, GIVING THANKS to God the Father through him. Letter from Paul to the Colossians 3:12-17  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+3%3A12-17&version=NIV

What’s in Your Wallet? 30SEP – #1264

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Interesting times we live in… I read that Los Angeles might vote on requirements for you showing your vaccination card to enter regular stores. In NYC that happens. I do remember that at the beginning of mask wearing, a lovely lady was at my grocery store instructing the people that soon it would be required to wear a mask. A gentle reminder probably did more that day than nasty stares. As for requirements of showing vaccination cards? It is kinda a lot to EXPECT every business to enforce that. Some will. Schools do. Some workplaces do. I carry mine with me and yet I wonder, at my upcoming live music concerts where the ticket lists the vaccination card as a requirement, whether someone really will check, whether they will say: “What’s in your wallet?”…

As for employment, that can be enforceable. I do expect that many might choose a religious exemption to vaccination. Actually I REALLY hope, that the people claiming religious exemptions are REALLY studying and clinging to their faith and have dug down deeply into what they really believe. They say when you walk towards God,  He is RUNNING for you. 

God doesn’t ask what’s in your wallet but checks FAITH and asks: “What’s in your heart?” Ain’t nobody really checking but you and God. 

So more likely than not, no one is really sending nasty stares if you don’t know the Lord, not like people in airplanes in the seats near you and your screaming baby. What a relief when you encounter more compassion. God is full of compassion but also enforcement. 
Moses brought the law to the Israelites – 10 commandments and greatest commandments too – see Deuteronomy 5 and 6 – “Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!”


In end times, an angel will fly around the world and speak the gospel in every language as to catch all last souls ready to rise above the earthly fray and be saved. God doesn’t want anyone left out. 

So what’s in your heart? God IS the one who constantly asks. He already knows, so best we be honest with Him – and have our secret meetings with Him – just BE with Him. Do you rely on Him? Will you turn to fear or faith when the going gets rough? We too must show our faith by being OK when times get tough. 

God has compassion but the door will be closing at some point and Jesus returns. If you’ve heard but held off, NOW IS THE TIME to grab the Lord’s compassionate Hand.

Yes, we are blessed by people who demonstrate care, and we learn from strangers as well as friends and family who teach us, by example, where they get their hope.  We are ALSO called to show that “we are Christians by our LOVE”.

Let us be the ones who hold tight not to our cards and earthly things – but to our God who gives us breath and life. Let us trust Him to hold us in the palm of His Hand.

It’s not “What’s in our wallet” but “What’s in our FAITH?”

Lord, help me TODAY to love You – with ALL MY HEART, ALL MY SOUL, AND ALL MY MIND. And help me to love everyone – as they are ALL your children.

Amen


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Matthew 22:37-39 KJV

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Matthew 9:35-37The Workers Are FewJesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”—Revelation 14:6-7And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Deuteronomy 6: 1-7T

hese are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 

All the 10 commandments:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+5-6&version=NIV

Be Less Thankless, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, 29SEP – #1263

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Be Less Thankless, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, 29SEP

Moses must have felt like the parent of teenagers, reminding his hundreds of thousands of people to COUNT THEIR BLESSINGS. Remember these people weren’t his necessarily his followers simply because they chose to stick with him, they kinda had to. Imagine their travels. They may have traveled out of Egypt to escape Pharaoh, passing thru the parting of the Red Sea, but in the desert, they were stuck with RELYING ON GOD. And when the time was right for God to give the next instructions, Moses spoke directly to God and gave the people His commands (thousands not just 10). They were being granted the ability to live day by day and given the law to live by for forever – and they needed to keep their faith. Too many who lost faith lost their way and lost their chance to continue. And yes, like today, there were rebellious types too. Moses surely kept telling them “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS” instead of griping. 

Yeah, count me in on reminding us all to COUNT OUR BLESSINGS. Let us NOT gripe our way into desert wanderings. Be humble enough to take what you get. Make the most of it – and rely on God to know how to use it.

Moses wasn’t “wasting his breath” on telling the people (those generations that made it to the moment, now ready for entering the Promised Land) that God DID provide sustenance and direction all those nearly 40 years of desert travel, his purpose was to lead and teach – he was gifted from God, appointed by God. Moses was singled out by God to tell us too. Moses wrote down how it all went down. The free food, the clothes that never wore out, the land of milk and honey promised and the wins over enemies. God NEEDED them (and needs us) to know that He IS in charge. THAT HE PROVIDES. That ALL GOOD THINGS COME FROM HIM.

Sometimes we are like those tribes (Deuteronomy 3) who didn’t want to cross the Jordan but stay in territory familiar to them – where eventually God said OK, you can settle there AFTER you do My Will. Go out and fight for Me and your brethren Israelites, then you can return to set up camp. We too must pick up our marching orders, go do our work for the kingdom and our families. Then we are gifted the rest. Moses preached CONTENTMENT not contempt. He reminded that God made people WAIT those 40 years to sort out the bad seeds from the good. He said “the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.” We too can wait for good things.

Yes, count your blessings. I will too. The nights you sit on a cushy couch and count blessings after a LONG day. The moments you can relax as you know where your kids are and that they are safe and  count blessings. How many days that I have had a FULL day of work then still had time to be with my children. Mom tired but content. Many days we can double count blessings. The days of letting the Lord step us thru our steps. He knew and knows what is important to us – but more importantly He knows what is important for all, and sometimes we get clued in. He makes us put first things first. Let us give Him time to set things right. He makes us put time helping out in the world, then allows us to return back. Yes, safety and sanity, and getting stuff done.  

Over and over again God Himself gave the people their victory (or forced defeat as He decided). It was NOT the people from their own strength. And He reminded them of that. We should not think that our God who made EVERYTHING isn’t responsible for our everything and anything. We must remember to credit God for the very breath we have, let alone ALL our victories in life.

Moses also was instructed to lead the people gently thru areas that weren’t theirs, namely those of their relatives, the offspring of Esau. They were to take nothing without paying and just be gentle travelers passing thru. Don’t provoke war, pay for what you take, don’t covet what’s not yours. When God is not giving you even a foot’s worth of land there, KEEP MOVING. “…but be very careful. Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on.”

KEEP MOVING. That’s us too, God ALREADY told us about our promised land in heaven, let’s not attempt to stake out more than our share, here on earth or anywhere. Don’t squabble, use your money wisely and willingly for He give that as a tool. Pay your dues. Be fair. KEEP MOVING. 

Let us count our blessings and THANK THE LORD. So PERFECTLY matched is the song that was singing in my head when I woke up: “So Thank the Lord”, from Godspell. It is a song that my children sang in a church choir and it sticks with me. It’s about realizing God gives us our lives and all good things, let us THANK THE LORD for all His love. 

Contentment not contempt. 

Cooperation not complacency.

Worship not wandering.

AMEN!!!


Wanderings in the Wilderness

Moses reminded them of their history:

Then we turned back and set out toward the wilderness along the route to the Red Sea, as the Lord had directed me. For a long time we made our way around the hill country of Seir. Then the Lord said to me, “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north. Give the people these orders: ‘You are about to pass through the territory of your relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. They will be afraid of you, but be very careful. Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on. I have given Esau the hill country of Seir as his own. You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.’”

The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, AND YOU HAVE NOT LACKED ANYTHING. Deuteronomy 2:1-7  Deuteronomy 1-2 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%201-2&version=NIV;KJV

commanded you at that time: “The Lord your God has given you this land to take possession of it. But all your able-bodied men, armed for battle, must cross over ahead of the other Israelites. However, your wives, your children and your livestock (I know you have much livestock) may stay in the towns I have given you, until the Lord gives rest to your fellow Israelites as he has to you, and they too have taken over the land that the Lord your God is giving them across the Jordan. After that, each of you may go back to the possession I have given you.” Deuteronomy 3:18-20
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+3%3A1-20&version=NIV;KJV


Lyrics from Godspell “So Thank the Lord”

We plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land..

But it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand..

He sends us snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain…

The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain…

All good gifts around us. Are sent from Heaven above. Then thank the Lord, thank the Lord for all his love

We thank thee then, O Father, for all things bright and good,

The seedtime and the harvest, our life our health our food,

No gifts have we to offer for all thy love imparts

But that which thou desirest, our humble thankful hearts!

All good gifts around us. Are sent from Heaven above.

Then thank the Lord, thank the Lord for all his lov


It’s Time to Go When God Says So, 28SEP – #1262

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When God says “go”, GO!!!

Jesus knows that all too well. We’ve been able to hear His story thru the disciples: He had to go both to the cross and to His Ascension, both on God’s Time, and longing for the time that He will eventually get to be with His disciples and us again. He knew where He was going, and in the future He will also. So do we, we can read ahead to Heaven’s Glorious place.

Moses, he too knew where his people the Israelites were to go. He saw the land from afar, he knew of the land, and sent agents ahead to report back. Jesus also sent agents ahead not to spy but to tell, He sent prophets and His beloved disciple John, who wrote the book of Revelation down to share it.

Israelites, 40 years they wandered until a whole generation who rebelled against God had passed away. Deuteronomy is the chapter where we see Moses getting the green light to have his people stop wandering and actually cross into that Promised Land. Look how Moses, knowingly prevented from going, still had a job to do, to instruct them how to get thru. He did this EVEN THOUGH HE WAS NOT GOING WITH THEM. Moses became known as “the Law”. The instructions for living were detailed and real. Keeping everyone on track. Moses was picked by God to be their leader, and he too had to be a follower – of the Lord. Both Moses and we have to work for getting our sheep to the “other side” – to strengthen them, help them not sweat the small stuff. Not look behind. Jesus too had to follow – to fight the temptations to rebel – to persevere – to see the plan through. Jesus also is the track laid down for us to follow. 

God tells us it’s time to go – and to grow through painful moments. And sometimes we grumble – sometimes we have to leave things undone. How fitting also that the Lord understands this. Wishes for all His children, whom He loves, but will come to a point where all will either cross or not to His New Beginning. He tells John in Revelation to keep teaching but sometimes you do have to walk away. 

Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.” 

Yes, each should continue to continue, it’s worth working for the hope on the other side. Don’t worry, walk.

Bless all who cross your path. Show them we are followers of Christ by our love.

Amen

Jesus said:

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

Link to Deuteronomy 1-2

Link to Revelation 22

WHOLE LOAF LESSONS, 26SEP – #1261

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A tremendous blessing to learn from Revelation 22 – our future is in the yet NEW Heaven… I appreciate learning scripture NOT as breadcrumbs but as WHOLE loaves.

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

I appreciate all SCRIPTURE as a whole for teaching because when God’s wandering sheep come across God’s “Lost and Found Box”, only He knows which of HIS pieces of SCRIPTURE specifically could click into our heads, illuminate our walk, be the clues to our puzzling, and be a specific piece to complete a gap, link into a whole novel section of life’s puzzle to build upon.

“And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”

We are also NOT to lock up “God’s found scripture box” in the closet either, trying to protect it and then eventually forgetting about it. God wants His box of scripture open as someone may come looking soon… If they dig deep, they might find the corners but even better find Cornerstone Jesus speaking to them. Jesus says Let them Come.

God sees that the picture on the cover of His puzzle box because He created it.

God puts the puzzle back together into a whole picture.

God picks up all His crumbs and makes us whole again with His broken bread Son.

He knows where we fit.

Holy Moses! God is Really Making a Way! 26SEP – #1260

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Holy Moses!  You know how I love outside and God just makes these beautiful fall days!!! sunny warm breezy and HIS.

I was happy to have an invitation to an outdoor church service today with a friend, they have been meeting outside most all of covid season, and it IS beautiful weather!!!  And I knew God was prodding me to go when I saw that their scripture today was about Moses parting the RED SEA and God making a WAY when there is no way… That’s not just a favorite scripture it is both that I reading about Moses in my daily devotions and have learned from Moses many times in vacation bible school situations – BUT ALSO that (uncoincidentally) I also am planning to be teaching a science experiment about parting the Red Sea just two weeks from now at my other other church, south of the city…, WOW GOD!

I figured out the lesson plan (going to make blue oobleck) just this morning before either church service!!! God has the best ideas. So here’s the icing on the cake: not only did I know 5 people at the outside service (non-coincidentally again), their new Pastor happens to be a friend of mine from 20 years ago! Haven’t seen her in 10 years or more, we raised our daughters early on together in a new mom’s breastfeeding group 20 years ago then continued with early playdates with a crew of 6 or so ladies that first year… WOW!!! … Loved her sermon that God was providing a great escape and it is God who makes a way – and GOD reminds that it was His power, we are just His vessels to do His work. I BELIEVE THAT!

This is an unbelievable day that God put in our sights today – a knock your socks off walking on my path day today!

He makes the Way!!! 

Let us each EMBRACE HIS DAY!!!

Amen! 

———-

Exodus 14:10-31

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.

But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

God Can Wait (but will He?), 25SEP – #1259

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God can wait, He waits on us all.  Does He want to wait? Not at all.

God can count His people, but knows He can not always count on His people. 

God can count the days, but knows His people don’t always want to count their own. God can do math. God made math. God made order. He knows the best way. He already finished His Way – now we have to be led on it. Know that Revelation is written, it is the Way to the New Beginning, but God’s waiting on His people to get on His Plan.

God hopes His people Hope in the best.

God can hope. God made hope. We also should learn where to place our hope. Not in the world, not even in the people. We are to HOPE in the Lord’s vision, action, deliverance. 

God has reminded us, in His Word, that He will set things right. He has righteous plans for forever. He can help you sort thru immediate plans for today. He can even tell you to pull back and wait. He can prod you to keep going. 

God will wait.

Can we? 

God will move.

Can we?

Moses dealt with those who did not want to wait and were forced to wander longer. Actually it was when they wanted to decide everything their own way, so instead they had to wander so much longer. Moses also dealt with those who said: we’ve gone far enough, we will take second best here. You go ahead without us. That’s when Moses said: “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here?” See, what they thought was “good enough” for them meant they were taking the easy way out. Their stopping would have made the rest go ahead without their help – the others would have had to work more. Moses reminded them to continue as “we are all in this together.”

Us too, we really ARE all in this together but individually called. If some start thinking too narrowly then what will remind them to rejoin the battle for the community.  It’s not always just about us, actually it’s rarely just about us. That’s why we SERVE God. We serve Him so that others may KNOW HIM.

If God has other plans for any of us – for you for me, then His plans are the best plans. Complacency is a sin. Acceptance of His Plan is a virtue. 

Satan teases us into trying to make the best (for ourselves) here on earth. That’s his short-sighted vision trying to distract us into destruction. The best surface-level items of wealth and perceived stability may not last. But the Lord wants us to look LONGTERM, look forever, make the best PLAN for Heaven, best for us and best for others.

God is waiting for us to see Him as BEST. God is awaiting the rest of His flock to pay attention. God can wait until His appointed time. But there will be an end. See Revelation. That end is a new beginning for those who believe. 

God will wait before ending our Earth time because there are more souls to save. But He won’t wait forever. God has knowledge that He will lose many children who don’t cross into His Promised Land. He has areas of refuge for those awaiting His judgments. He wants us all to keep moving forward. He wants us all to depend on Him.

Amen 

Numbers 32:1-17

The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon— the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.”

Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here? Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the Lord has given them? This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land. After they went up to the Valley of Eshkol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the Lord had given them. The Lord’s anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath: ‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob— not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.’ The Lord’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone.

“And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the Lord even more angry with Israel. If you turn away from following him, he will again leave all this people in the wilderness, and you will be the cause of their destruction.”

Then they came up to him and said, “We would like to build pens here for our livestock and cities for our women and children. But we will arm ourselves for battle and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place.

36:13 These are the commands and regulations the Lord gave through Moses to the Israelites on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.

Link to both chapters: 33 and 34

Link to both chapters 35 and 36

God Can Wait (but will He?), 25SEP – #1259

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God can wait, He waits on us all.  Does He want to wait? Not at all.

God can count His people, but He knows He cannot always count on His people. He knows the brokenness of ways and days. He sent Jesus to make our sins NOT count at all against us.

God can count the days, but knows His people don’t always want to count their own. God can do math. God made math. God made order. He knows the best way. He already finished His Way – now we have to want to be led on it. Know that end times as described in Revelation is written, it IS the Way to the New Beginning, but God’s still waiting for most people on His people to get on His Plan.

God hopes His people Hope in the best, HIM.

God can hope. God made hope. We also should learn where to place our hope. Not in the world, not even in the people. We are to HOPE in the Lord’s vision, action, deliverance. 

God has reminded us, in His Word, that He will set things right. He has righteous plans for forever. He can help you sort thru immediate plans for today. He can even tell you to pull back and wait. He certainly can prod you to keep going. He can part the red sea of your troubles. He can close the doors behind you and keep you safe.

God will wait.

Can we? 

God will move.

Can we?

Moses dealt with those who did not want to wait and were forced to wander longer. Actually, it was when they wanted to decide how to do everything their own way, so instead they had to wander in the desert so much longer. Moses also dealt with those who said: “[we’ve gone far enough, we will take second best here. You go ahead without us.]” That’s when Moses said: “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here?”… See, what they thought was “good enough” for them meant they were taking the easy way out and not supporting the WHOLE plan. Their stopping would have forced the rest go ahead WITHOUT their help – the others would have had to work more. Moses reminded them to continue as “we are all in this together.”

Us too, we really ARE all in this together but individually called. If some start thinking too narrowly then what will remind them to rejoin the battle for the community – for God’s Will not the community’s.  It’s not always just about us, actually it’s rarely just about us. That’s why we SERVE God. We serve Him so that others may KNOW HIM.

If God has other plans for any of us – for you for me, then His plans are the best plans. Complacency is a sin. Acceptance of His Plan is a virtue. Satan teases us into trying to make the best (for ourselves) here on earth. That’s his short-sighted vision trying to distract us into destruction. To go down in flames because that is where he knows where he is going. The surface-level items of wealth and perceived stability will not last. But the Lord wants us to look LONGTERM, look forever, make the best PLAN for Heaven, best for us and best for others.

God is waiting for us to see Him as BEST. God is awaiting the rest of His flock to pay attention. God can wait until His appointed time. But there will be an end. See and read John’s recording of Jesus’s Revelation. That end is a new beginning for those who believe. 

God will wait before ending our Earth time because there are more souls to save. But He won’t wait forever. God has knowledge that He will lose many children who don’t cross into His Promised Land. He has areas of refuge for those awaiting His judgments. He wants us all to keep moving forward. He wants us all to depend on Him.

Amen 

Numbers 32:1-17

The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon— the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.”

Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here? Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the Lord has given them? This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land. After they went up to the Valley of Eshkol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the Lord had given them. The Lord’s anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath: ‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob— not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.’ The Lord’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone.

“And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the Lord even more angry with Israel. If you turn away from following him, he will again leave all this people in the wilderness, and you will be the cause of their destruction.”

Then they came up to him and said, “We would like to build pens here for our livestock and cities for our women and children. But we will arm ourselves for battle and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place.

36:13 These are the commands and regulations the Lord gave through Moses to the Israelites on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.

Link to both chapters: 33 and 34

Will It Matter? 24SEP – #1258

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The Rapture. 

Will it matter our past chitter chatter?

Will it matter the day after?

After Rapture?

After Capture?

After Earth’s later disaster?

I bet it won’t matter, not even a splitter splatter. 

It won’t matter the talk, the squawk or their faint pitter patter.

After Rapture. 

So let’s forgive now, forgive all that’s before us AND the latter.

Normal stuff, bitterness, strife? 

Little stuff certainly won’t matter. 

Don’t even be the tittle-tattler.

Don’t linger in anyone’s sin or our cruel laughter. 

So let’s NOW set aside others’ failures faster.

Will we even understand on that day or even the day after?

Will we cry for those left behind after Rapture?

Will we withstand seeing earthly disaster after our blessed heavenly capture?

Can we urge all to NOW work humbly, worship Jesus, bow down and don’t miss the Rapture Capture. 

We WILL rejoice in our own Heavenly Master.

Only serving our Savior will ultimately matter.

Oh that we would choose Him now, not the day after.

The Rapture.


Girls Just Wanna Have Fun-damental Rights, 23SEP – #1257

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I appreciate nuggets of God’s Wisdom and teachings in the Old Testament. And however cultural situations placed/place women in rights of expression or privilege, God did not and does not short-change women. Example given in Numbers 27 is of daughters of a fallen father, who deserved an inheritance of land. They talked to Moses, Moses talked to God, and the daughters got their father’s slice of the Promised Land. They did get it. They asked and received. God did direct His Will. We should ALL remember that ALL good things are from God, not innate rights. All living is a privilege and all of LIFE IS A GIFT. 

What a great reminder that we are to ASK for the privilege to live forever. Not earned by basic rights, not earned by works, only GIVEN as a GIFT of God thru the sacrifice of His Lamb. “He Who Overcometh”. We do have to ask for Jesus’s guidance, not as an inheritance but as a forgiveness of things not done and done. The Gift will open up itself. 

There are people who are oppressed from fundamental human rights, and there are people, not just women, who are prevented from worship, in public, of the God who gives them life. Darkness is rampant. But Light will expose these evils. Pray for the people to see the Light. Be the Light where you can.

When we live in Light, we should both not neglect this privilege nor abuse it. Don’t hide it under a basket. Shed Light. Our right to express should be used where it is helpful and healing. Our right to live is from God’s Hand only, therefore let us LIVE RIGHT.

Right to Live?

So Live Right.

Right to Read?

So Read to Live.

Right to Write?

Live to Write?

So Write to Live.

Live Right.

The scriptures are God’s Word.

Share them.

Write them.

LIVE THEM.

Live them Right.

Shed Light.

AMEN 

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Zelophehad’s Daughters 

(Numbers 27:1-11)

The daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah. They came forward and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting and said, “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.”

So Moses brought their case before the Lord, and the Lord said to him, “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them.

“Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter. If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to have the force of law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”

Revelation 21:4-8 In Heaven with Jesus

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is a thirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Moses, NOT by the Numbers, 18SEP – #1255

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Wow, so much info and instructions that God gave Moses – LIFE KNOW HOW!

Moses got not just the 10 Commandments but instructions for daily life, planning all the festivals, the sacrifices, doling out punishment, fighting wars, taking plunder, counting people, giving lots of land and redeeming life, and especially planning for Promised Land placement (see the scriptures Book of Numbers). We too have a Promised Land to think about. AND YET Moses (and we) are to live life NOT by the Numbers but by the Word of God. Take each day as they come, not as the whole lot at once! And keep working as the days grow shorter for each of us. We are all to LIVE by LOVING the Lord our God. 

Moses even knew he was going to die and not be able to continue to lead his/His people into the Promised Land, but he still lived by the Word of God and he still led His people. 

Moses was told way back in Numbers 20 that it was his anger that cost him that chance to complete the journey all the way to the Promised Land. He could see it but not enter. He was to be “gathered to his people”.  But did Moses or God stop living or drop their plans? NO. They kept on keeping on. God for a long time gave Moses even more teachings for the people, it would have been pages and pages if you think of scripture recorded on paper, all the way from early in Numbers to Numbers chapter 36. Volumes of teachings continued if you think how the book of Numbers leads into the book of Deuteronomy. These must have been frequent even daily conversations between Moses and God. 

We too need to speak to the Lord every day. No wonder the Lord writes on our hearts, that would be too many stone tablets for us to carry around like Moses carried!!! Even Moses could only hold two tablets. Instead, God gave us not tablets but one big ROCK OF AGES on which the eternity of our lives are founded upon. God gave us the opportunity to learn and to live one day at a time – to listen for His whisper into our lives.

(Jesus Himself also carried out VOLUMES of teachings – speaking new and retelling the Old Testament Word, especially the scriptures from Deuteronomy.  Jesus is the original “smart tablet” of the Word to be heard!)

Did Moses have a job to do even though he got bad news from the Lord of his impending death? YES!

Do we have a job to do even if we might not see it to the end? YES. 

Are we instructed to live each day fully and in love rather than worry about tomorrow? YES.

And thru it all? Thru trials and trouble? Thru triumphs and treats? WE ARE TO LIVE.

Yes, keep keeping on, listening, loving and living NOT by the numbers but the Word of God. LOVE.

Let us get moses-ing down the road.

Amen !!!

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home…

Amen !  Amen !

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Numbers 20:6-13

Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2020%3A6-13&version=NIV

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Numbers 27:12-23
One day the Lord said to Moses, “Climb one of the mountains east of the river, and look out over the land I have given the people of Israel. After you have seen it, you will die like your brother, Aaron, for you both rebelled against my instructions in the wilderness of Zin. When the people of Israel rebelled, you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them at the waters.” (These are the waters of Meribah at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.)

Then Moses said to the Lord, “O Lord, you are the God who gives breath to all creatures. Please appoint a new man as leader for the community. Give them someone who will guide them wherever they go and will lead them into battle, so the community of the Lord will not be like sheep without a shepherd.” The Lord replied, “Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him. Present him to Eleazar the priest before the whole community, and publicly commission him to lead the people. Transfer some of your authority to him so the whole community of Israel will obey him. When direction from the Lord is needed, Joshua will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will use the Urim—one of the sacred lots cast before the Lord—to determine his will. This is how Joshua and the rest of the community of Israel will determine everything they should do.” So Moses did as the Lord commanded. He presented Joshua to Eleazar the priest and the whole community. Moses laid his hands on him and commissioned him to lead the people, just as the Lord had commanded through Moses.


https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2027%3A12-23&version=NLT



Love the Lord Your God – Deuteronomy 6:1-18

These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.  Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors,…


https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+6%3A1-18&version=NIV;KJV

Cherish Heaven’s Hope, 22SEP – #1254

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I am not ready to give up summer and yet fall is upon us… Such beauty in annual plants that will not last the winter and yet a new spring will come next year. So we cherish the summer memories. The pumpkin is a harvest that I grew from last year’s seeds.

The Celtic Cross I placed here is in memory of my Dad and for blessed seed planting. Crosses remind us of sacrifice and loss but also a gain, as faith comes from last year’s planting of spiritual seeds… Cherished memories will be kept like us overwintering seeds for a hope of a new beginning. Yes, a gain of eternal life, better than spring, will be for us and our loved ones in Heaven’s NEW garden.

Cherish Heaven’s Hope.

Amen 


The Tree of Life in the new Eden (Revelation 22:1-2)

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.


Silver Linings Get God Fillings, 22SEP – #1253

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An interesting and blessed activity is to look for silver linings. It lightens stress, it gives refocus and it’s cool to find treasured outcomes even among the rubble of life.  A silver lining is often in the eye of the beholder, but if it causes one to look for God’s hand in healing and helping, then that’s a GOLDEN core to live life. Silver linings, when filled with gold are God Fillings. 

WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING for people trying to find where the bible helps them with their cause? The people actually have to dig thru scriptures and hearts and reasoning and how they interpret what God says. THEY HAVE TO FIND FAITH TO FOLLOW.

In silver linings, MOST IMPORTANTLY, it is God doing the Gold Filling that will lead each person to a firm foundation. Like a gold filling in a tooth, one gets structural support to chew on the sustenance of life, finding His Word to be the Truth. Like a gold rush, miners for Truth will mentally pan out between the silt and the nuggets,  this takes time. (And beware the devil has populated our roads with fool’s gold in every way.)… So, in all, don’t follow the yellow brick road, choose the Gold one.

So, for personal rights people have much debate about all that, always did. So hard-line decisions and directives increasingly are clogged with so much static that people will HAVE to mine the Truth. And that’s what I pray people do, look deep at their convictions WITH God’s Help. There are no faith loopholes because Faith is a Net, woven for working and catching you, wrapping you tight to understand.  If your faith is incomplete and unwoven, look for the Lord who built the best net. Faith exemptions require Faith Following, that’s what I pray is the God Gold Filling here. Trust builds our Faith-based Trust Fund.

I can see the future time, reading ahead in the book of Revelation, that people are going to be forced to choose God over the anti-Christ. If we don’t follow Him now, we are going to be put into a position where it will cost us our physical life to choose Him. So, it is best to follow now – surrender to His Will for you. Stand Strong for your convictions.

In following the crown vs following your heart vs following your head, in ALL things it is best to FOLLOW THE LORD. Don’t follow the crowd but HIS Crown – and as His thorns dug deep in mockery for a king, look for the Golden Crown of Jesus as Lord to illuminate the Way, our way to Him. He will reward us one day in Heaven with Golden Crowns, let us not preserve our Gold but PERSEVERE our fireY-trials to purify His Gold within us. And everything in us that is impure, Lord, please wash us thru the purification of Jesus’s Living Water. 

Let us pray for those plowing thru religious reasonings (in all matters). Let us pray that their own plowing plants their own seeds of Faith and sprouts Spiritual Surrender to the Lord. 

We all need to surrender and BE.

Amen and Amazing Lord, Lead us all to You.

Amen Amen 


Revelation 3:10-13 

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith…”


DON’T BE LUKEWARM

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16


KEEP YOUR PROMISES 

And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded. If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. NUMBERS 30:1-2


PURIFICATION 

Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead, Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water. Numbers 31:22-23


TRUST 

So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3:3-8


And what ARE they looking for? 20SEP – #1252

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Because so many people are lost, and don’t know that, they don’t know to even look. Like when they put out a lost and found table at back to school night for young elementary kids, parents usually can spot items like sweatshirts specifically for their kids, but likely the kids don’t look. And parents of teenagers have less clue, due to more distance from their stuff. And so, WHEN IT COMES TO FAITH, how in the world are we going to find the right stuff that we – and they – don’t even know people need.  How in the world? NOPE – not from this world but FROM GOD. He has HIS deep pockets and HIS “found boxes” for HIS pieces of life-changing SCRIPTURE. Jesus IS illuminated and illuminating in His Word. 

I’ve been so encouraged by learning in this scriptural deep dive that I am into both the Old Testament and into the Book of Revelation… but it’s NOT for nerdyness, it is for finding the clues to other people’s puzzles. Like setting out pieces of lost and found items, we know for many that some big pieces are missing but just don’t know what the little and limiting missing pieces are holding some folks back – and they don’t either. We say they need Jesus, yes, and yet they, like us, we certainly can imagine there is a specific small piece to complete their gap or link them into a whole novel section of life’s puzzle to work on and built up. We don’t know who goes with what missing piece… That’s why the Bible says DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING – perhaps seekers don’t know what to seek and they walk right by the saving grace “lost wanting to be found” box.

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

And DON’T lock up the lost and found scripture box in the closet either, forgetting about it – someone may come soon looking… “And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”

God knows His Spirit is trying to connect the great and the small chasms of lostness. Let us DIVE DEEP into understanding and presenting scriptures. Let’s dig thru the box for corners and our Cornerstone. Let’s open up and shed light on every piece. Let’s find the lost bits of scripture for a new audience.  

I found an old puzzle piece from my children, so valuable then for saving but I don’t know what puzzle it went to. Don’t know if I gave up on the puzzle 10 years ago and tossed it all.

Does God give up? NO!!! His puzzle box remains OPEN, looking for His lost pieces, His lost sheep. His lost sheep are sitting on a shelf, sitting in the wilderness, wandering without a shepherd. God Save the People. Jesus said let them come. The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

Amen

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Read Revelation 22, the last chapter recorded, for now we will enter unwritten chapters as His Word is written on our hearts. The link to the WHOLE Revelation 22 for you:

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Know that when Balaam went to the wilderness, that’s when he was gifted the Spirit. (Numbers 24) 

And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him.

New Bible, Same God, 19SEP – #1251

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I splurged on myself, well not really, $7.50 was 50% off for a new King James Bible with larger print. Yeah I own a couple dollar store King James editions to float around in my car, but this feels at least 7 dollars better in paper quality, 15 even, LOL… I’ve appreciated my pocket King James bible that fits in my purse, only $4.50 at the thrift book store, and actually 99% of the time I read scriptures the Bible Gateway website so I can cut and paste, yet a new Bible reflects a new slice of life, a new chapter. New book, updated font, but SAME God.

I’m rolling over from Revelation to Genesis soon – that is why I bought a new bible so that I can take notes in the sides of the pages. I am feasting in faith, learning so much because I need to know the right stuff to teach it, and I personally am appreciative of the opportunity to sing loudly (especially in the car), pray deeply, and learn. For I am a now early riser – we 8am folks are sitting on the edge of our seats to these scriptures. Listen once, Listen twice (as the teachings are always on the app), and Learn Forever. SO much good teaching online, in person (thank God for vaccinations), or whether on the drive to/from work – or even while doing the dishes. I need to hear it. We need to hear it. I need to live it. We need to live it. And we all need to READ AHEAD. (I even wrote an encouragement poem for the pastor because he asks everyone to read ahead. I mean if the Lord makes me available to encourage him just a tiny bit, why wouldn’t I? He’s a shepherd to nearly 10,000 sheep plus radio internet sheep!!! I’m not too embarrassed to slip him a tiny slip of paper note. Even if he uses it to spit his gum into, it MIGHT be useful. God knows.) New teachings, SAME GOD. (and gum gets old but God doesn’t).

You know, I never really knew 90% of what was in the Bible.  I importantly knew of Jesus (and now know of life IN Jesus), but I knew so little background of prophecy. So, for example, I never knew there were phases of the heavens and earth, never knew about the millennium, never knew about the New City of gemstones unimaginably beautiful with gates and walls labeled for the 12 apostles and 12 disciples. I heard about a new garden foretold in that God Himself lived there. I’ve scratched maybe, if that, the surface of understanding. I’ve been wrong too, but I’ve learned. And I’ve learned, importantly, to KEEP LEARNING. New info, SAME God.

As for those 12 tribes of Israel, the term Israel is the new name God gave Jacob. Jacob, one of the sons of Isaac, who cheated his brother Esau out of his rightful inheritance. Jacob who wrestled against God. Jacob who loved his youngest son Joseph so much. The 12 tribes of Israel named for the the 12 sons of Jacob (named either descending from the son or grandson). The twelve tribes are: Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Ephraim and Manasseh. Son Joseph  (think technicolor Dream Coat think Donny Osmond) was the youngest and brought them all to Egypt for their benefit. Eventual Pharaoh-rulers changed from good to bad and turned them later into slaves – and Moses got them out. Think plagues. Moses rescued Israel. New rescues still today, SAME God.

Moses kept count of the people (multiple censuses for hundreds of thousands of men, women and children). God kept them in line. (He tried but so many rebelled). The people kept wandering. The 12 tribes made it to the Promised Land (Moses didn’t) and the 12 tribes people only barely survived as a few with intact Jewish descendants. Later, Jesus was the promise they had heard about. Jesus’s Mary and Joseph came from the tribe of Judah. Then and now Jesus counted upon the descendants of Israel to remember those scriptures which foretold of Him coming.  Jesus traveled. Jesus came home. The disciples traveled.  The Holy Spirit gave them the gusto. God expanded Grace and Holy Spirit to the Gentiles. Knowledge of Christ and Christianity grew measurably and immeasurably. God kept count and Jesus keeps counting on us. The disciples all were martyred except John who went on to teach wisdom until his 90’s. John was the beloved youngest and oldest disciple. John took down the whole book of Revelation as he was carried away by the Spirit to see and witness and record. We now know our beginning and our middle and our new beginning. In Christ we won’t end. Jesus won’t end either. New beginning, SAME God.

A new beginning AD, a new map today compared to the map of 12 tribes in the Promised Land, but still the place to watch – and increasingly now our future is mapped out on earth with only limited days. “Teach us Lord to number our days.” New days, SAME GOD.

Why should we read The Bible and who wrote it anyway? Who translated it. Who saved it. Who believes in it. That’s why we study it. Scholars? actually it was written by Moses (the Law), the Prophets, the apostles, and the disciples who came after. So many translations exist and yet the King James Version from the 1600s still makes an impact today. The Geneva Bible was before KJV. And now the NIV and ESV are modern translations. New translations, SAME God. Jesus read the Bible in Hebrew and Greek, Jesus spoke Aramaic a dialect of the Galilee area, having his childhood in Nazareth (much north of Bethlehem). Jesus IS the Bible, the Scriptures He tells of Himself and His journey (pilgrimage) from Dark to Light, Son to Servant. Servant to Slain. Slain to Savior. Savior to Salvation. Jesus is the Word made flesh. We like Easter-morning believers will see Him renewed again. Us too. New flesh, SAME God. 

THE BIBLE IS A MAP TO FOLLOW YOUR LIFE IN HIM TO HOME BACK WITH GOD. FOLLOW JESUS, JESUS KNOWS THE WAY! A NEW WAY, SAME GOD.

Scriptures are the sounds in the wilderness of our lives to resonate and ring true. Out of darkness came light, light overcoming dark, light overcoming death. Light forever. “And there shall be no night there; and they need no lamp, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” New LIGHT, SAME God.

Thank God.

Amen

Maps from my new bible.

Read and LIVE Ahead, 19SEP – #1250

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I’m SO EXCITED about this section of scripture in Revelation 22, because we are going there – we are going to see in this NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH a majestic place – a NEW City of Gemstones (see Revelation 21) and a CRYSTAL RIVERa pure river of water of LIFE, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the TREE OF LIFE…

In Heaven, we are going to be WITH our Lord, because of our dependence and belief in Jesus. We are and you are and I am going to see the great I AM! God Himself! Face to face. 

Not only did, does and will God go ahead, He tells us NOT TO WORRY and He shows us our future with Him by taking John spiritually to the ultimate Holy Place so that we know where we are going. John’s recordings of our future with God and Jesus shows us being brought HOME. Jesus, the Lamb sacrificially offered to go first and take all the pain for us under His Own Will.

The end? NO!!!!!!!  Heaven is THE NEW BEGINNING!!!

IF GOD ALWAYS EXISTED THEN HE DOES NOW AND WILL NEVER END.

The Bible pages don’t continue BUT WE DO! It’s not recorded what we will do in this NEW Heaven, NEW City of Jerusalem BECAUSE WE HAVE YET TO LIVE IN IT! And we can make new moments not yet recorded. The Future is God’s reward.

All Light will come from The Lord God Jesus and God. The NEW BEGINNING and moment forward is when Jesus Himself can just BE.. Now on the throne WITH God –  And God Jesus Holy Spirit as One will be, is, and can be the “I AM” – They WERE, They ARE, and They WILL BE.

I Read Ahead, using my head.

For in our foreheads, His Name to be read. 

Death we dare not dread. 

For it is LIFE in Him that we are to be led. 

He Promised, He said. The Lamb was Bled.

Read that He will hold stead.

In Him, our lives continue, I know this, I read ahead.

Read and LIVE Ahead.

AMEN 

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and please do read ahead:

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them.

Revelation 22:1-8