It’s a Crewel Crewel Summer, 19JUN – #1188

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I love and need the saying: “When you think things are falling apart they are actually falling into place”… I love and NEED the scripture where Jesus says : “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; …. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”

In driving, the billboards speak, but it is the evil thoughts that twist the words to worries. Wouldn’t it be better if first we saw God’s plan for the day and the year and our lives? The sinister worry will rob our peace, tangle our thoughts. I saw a billboard, no idea what it was advertising, maybe air conditioners, but it used the song lyric “it’s a cruel cruel summer” – and I can’t get that music out of my head!!! And every time I remember worries of what might befall me this year  – this summer – (you know, normal worries like etc etc, you name it) I think of that billboard as a warning – but I shouldn’t. Yes, I should cherish the time with my blessings BUT how dare I PRE-decide that life will collapse – does the Lord tell me to do that? NO.  The Lord gives us such good things!!!! Really, don’t we worry for things we can’t control? And sidetracked on the road Jesus makes for us, we can worry over remembering that we are blessed. And we (I) worry for tomorrow when that day hasn’t even come.  (I mean – we worried all of last year – thru a pandemic which He helped us thru – why would today be any different?!)

It would be the devil himself that wants me to keep singing “it’s a cruel cruel summer”, he wants us tangled up in fear and drifting away. We must remember that it would be Jesus who untwists the fear into faith and ties us to His teachings. Give Jesus the burdens, take on His Hope. and sing a new song: NOT cruel but sing CREWEL. Crewel is an action, a piecing together, a created thick, often wool, woven thread which can be laid down beautifully and carefully. “It’s a Crewel Crewel summer” – YES –  Jesus is asking for us to trust Him, trust the stitching of today. Crewel embroidery has texture, depth, color, character… why wouldn’t the lives we live have the same.  Jesus is the one who wants to pause us and stitch us into his beautiful tapestry. We are His in His net, woven not wasted.

Trust the untangle, BE STILL and don’t twist into knots. Fear into faith, cruel into crewel, stitches into savoring saving. Let today be all about trust, let tomorrow WAIT. Also tomorrow, start the trust all over again..

Life will fall into place – Let’s fall into His arms one day at a time. 

Amen

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Matthew 6:34 in multiple translations 

KJV

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

AKJV

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

LEB

Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow, because tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

TLB

“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.

MSG

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

NIVUK

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

NKJV

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Matthew%206%3A34

Use Your Skills, 18JUN – #1187

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If you have direction from the Lord: TAKE IT, MAKE IT, DO NOT FORSAKE IT.

Amen – and read the story of God’s named craftsmen: Bezalel and Oholiab:

Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent— the table and its articles, the pure gold lampstand and all its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand— and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests, and the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them just as I commanded you. Exodus 31:1-11

Clearly each person has skills, expertise and passion. Passion for one’s work is not against/contrary to passion for God, if He gave you the skills to use, then use them. I always tell people: “If God gave us brains, we should use them.”

To use our brains wisely, we need God to fill us with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills. To use our hearts, our fail-able hearts, we need to protect them.

If God appoints you to a certain work, then He points your education in that direction. “Equips the called not call the equipped”… Even the 4 gospels are written by those whom God educated to share with certain people with pointed persuasions: to those learning and amazed, to those new believers. Written by passionate folk and for sharing wisdom-giving understanding. God able-ly gives ability to skill the skilled workers to make everything He commands. Sometimes it is physical and sometimes it is directional of thought. Always it is for an end purpose – even consider it an intermediate as we are never divinely done.

TAKE IT, MAKE IT, DO NOT FORSAKE IT. 

AMEN 



New Testament:

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. Ephesians 6:3-8 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6%3A5-8&version=KJV

If Only, 18JUN – #1186

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If only people studied God as much as people studied people. 

If only people sought His advice as much as others, even more.

If only they looked to Him for rest, rather than world remedies. 

If only.


If only I understood X, Y, and Z going on in my life, if only.

If only I looked to Him for solutions or simply solace. 

If only I asked Him for His understanding. 

If only. 


If only we looked at situations as His children rather than His reporters.

If only Heaven-focused directions won our attention over earthly tests.

If only people took one day at a time.

If only. 


If only we asked our focus, Him, to focus us.

If only His focus, us, focused us.

If only people had an Only focus. 

If only. 


If only Him, then only Him Lord. 

If only Him, then Him only.

If Only, if Then and Now.

Now only. 


Now only the Lord. 

Then only the Lord, too.

And the Lord, when.


When?

Now.

Only.

Yes Only. 


Amen Lord, our One and Only. 

Let the Word Be Heard, 17JUN – #1185

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I was thinking of all the apologies and such I might be saying to Jesus the day, one day, when standing at the exit from this world to Heaven. I was thinking of the statements that Jesus would make for me to God to explain my sins, to like reverse rattle off a list like Santa might keep track of naughty and nice. But no. NO. Jesus would be standing there as One WITH God, ONE GOD, being whom He already is: the Word. He Himself is the Word. He Himself is the first and last. He Himself is sufficient to take away our sin and we just are forgiven and held. Jesus can hold us as flesh. Jesus can move us as Spirit. And that love is for everyone who looks to love Jesus. 

The thought of being held and loved. Think about it. There’s no distance between us and God. There’s not a slim slice of sin to distance because of Jesus.  There’s only LOVE to fill the gap that is no longer left open. Love is the bridge that was pre-built.

Jesus is the Word who is seen and heard.

Heaven knows the Way of the Word. 

Let the Word Be Heard. 

Amen 

Obedience of the Heart, 16JUN – #1184

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Interesting details of the preparation of Aaron, Moses’s brother, in Exodus 29-30, to be ordained as a priest. I wonder how we ourselves are prepared for worshipping God, for meeting Him, for understanding Him. He has prepared to meet us – we are to be prepared to meet Him daily and forever. Unlike the physical displays of obedience by the Israelites in Moses’s time, ours is an obedience of the heart.

Aaron was readied to be the voice of Moses whose shyness as a stutterer kept him from accepting his full voice for the Lord. Aaron was given an ordination of rituals spoken directly from the Lord to continue serving and leading the people.

I appreciate that we are able to worship in Spirit and Truth directly because of Jesus, a new covenant God made with us, with direct access to Our Father. Our ordination is from Jesus by His sacrifice once and for all. 

Aaron and his sons were washed clean physically then adorned with special robes and items – then ordained to be pleasing to God by sight, by smell, by covering with the blood, by waving a sacrifice in demonstration and fellowship with God. The descendants were called to sacrifice and atone each day. Most importantly, God asked them to prepare a place for meeting Him. To be with Him and for Him to promise always to be their God. 

God wants us to want Him as our God, to know Him, to love Him.

When God looks at us, He sees us acceptable and forgiven of our humanness by being covered by the blood of Jesus. We are seen and known as pleasant in His sight thru the Lamb of God’s sacrifice. We are called to fellowship with God thru Jesus and demonstrate (to Him) our sacrifice and our sharing of a portion with Him from all He gives us. Our sacrifice each day is to accept His atonement for us, pick up our crosses which point us into Heaven. Our atonement is the acceptance of needing and relying on Jesus 100%. And as we will know Jesus by His love, we will also know God’s love by His Spirit. Jesus came to tell us directly about our God, about OUR FATHER’S LOVE and His desire to be with us and to be our God.

Jesus came to dwell WITH US. Jesus is the Holy sacrifice, a Holy incense of pleasing offering which was made for the paramount reason to honor God’s desire to be with us, FOREVER. 

For Moses’s time: Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.

For our time and all time (paraphrasing):

Then I will dwell among YOU and be YOUR God. YOU will know that I am the Lord YOUR God, who brought YOU out of SIN AND DEATH so that I might dwell among YOU. I am the Lord YOUR God.

Our obedience of the heart is to find God meeting us right there.

Amen

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Specific examples from the scriptures:

By sight – washed and dressed: Exodus 29:4-8

.. bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting and wash them with water. Take the garments and dress Aaron with the tunic, the robe of the ephod, the ephod itself and the breastpiece. Fasten the ephod on him by its skillfully woven waistband. Put the turban on his head and attach the sacred emblem to the turban. Take the anointing oil and anoint him by pouring it on his head. Bring his sons and dress them in tunics and fasten caps on them. Then tie sashes on Aaron and his sons. The priesthood is theirs by a lasting ordinance.

By smell – burnt offerings – v18

burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the Lord, a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the Lord.

By blood – v21

And take some blood from the altar and some of the anointing oil and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. Then he and his sons and their garments will be consecrated.

By waving and showing the sacrifices – by fellowship v24-25, 28

Put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons and have them wave them before the Lord as a wave offering. Then take them from their hands and burn them on the altar along with the burnt offering for a pleasing aroma to the Lord, a food offering presented to the Lord.

…This is always to be the perpetual share from the Israelites for Aaron and his sons. It is the contribution the Israelites are to make to the Lord from their fellowship offerings.

By daily sacrifice and atonement v36-37, 

as a sin offering to make atonement. Purify the altar by making atonement for it, and anoint it to consecrate it.  For seven days make atonement for the altar and consecrate it. Then the altar will be most holy, and whatever touches it will be holy.

In order to meet with the people and a promise to be their God, v42-46

…For the generations to come this burnt offering is to be made regularly at the entrance to the tent of meeting, before the Lord. There I will meet you and speak to you; there also I will meet with the Israelites, and the place will be consecrated by my glory.

So I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar and will consecrate Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests. Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God.

Exodus 29 NIV – Consecration of the Priests – “This – Bible Gateway

Incense, atonement money, washing, anointing oil, incense…

Exodus 30 NIV https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2030&version=NIV&interface=amp

Incense v34-38 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha and galbanum—and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred.  Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the Lord. Whoever makes incense like it to enjoy its fragrance must be cut off from their people.”

———–

Jesus is our Lamb sacrifice – the Lamb of God for all who believe

Revelation 5:11-13 Then I [John] looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles, 15JUN – #1183

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We are to be miniature versions of Jesus. (Actually He would want us equal in Spirit-drivenness.)

I bought a big cookie for my son, he then left it in the car and I envied him for the cookie. He did eventually eat some, and it got more and more broken as it was moved around in the car. A big cookie is beautiful and yummy looking. The cookie broken tastes just the same, but we might not want to eat it compared to the whole, unless we were the ones who broke it ourselves.

Jesus was broken in body and yet full of a Spirit to surrender – and in His brokenness He was even MORE powerful over sin and death. A broken bread body, a broken heart, and a LOVE for a broken world. The Power of His Knowledge of God’s plan gives Hope for the children of God. Jesus knew His crumbles counted.
We too should taste the crumbles and know they are sufficient. We should not envy the perception of perfection or those who boast they can solve the world’s problems and bring their own agenda hidden under the guise of peace.

Jesus was broken so that we can see nothing hidden. He allowed Himself to be broken for the sake of love. Jesus opened up the truth and freed us to receive the Spirit. We can taste of His victory even we do it only in part in our earthly state. A crumb of the cookie is just as sweet. Don’t envy the perfect unbroken cookie, taste of the crumbs… Know they are sufficient.

Amen

(PS, I had a broken cookie to photograph but it’s gone… I guess it was good to eat – even the crumbs)

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 23:17-18 NIV Saying 15

O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NLT

It is OK to Be Gentle, 13JUN – #1182

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One thing I do know that the Lord has spoken to me – about speaking about Him to people – is to speak in gentleness. One can stand firm, share truth, but gentle words and demeanor turn away wrath. Quiet words people might strain to listen even more.

So many times in this current inning of life, we are brought in as a players but NOT the Coach, NOT even the Closer. Our pitches are to be IN LOVE by following the Holy Spirit signals from our Catcher. But we are often not even the pitcher, simply part of the team, perhaps our pitches are a gentle loft easy back to the center because the main part of the play is already completed. We are just one of the links of the net to be there and to watch it all come Home. 

In all, I pray that the Lord sends us the Spirit, there is no way He would refuse…

We are all already part of His team – we have nothing to prove to Him – just show up ready to play.

Amen 

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Luke 11:1-13

And it came to pass, that, as Jesus was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

It’s OK to Give IN, 11JUN – #1181

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It’s an interesting fact of life that life ends in death. It’s an interesting fact of death that the Lord has established a new Kingdom for you to enter. When you pass, your body gives out, AND your Spirit gives IN. 

It’s not just that you earthly worry about your loved ones left behind, you spiritually care about them too. Transferring peace in to them. Whether you are young and robust and on this earth years more or failing in health, your Spirit has to GIVE IN to the truth that the Lord will take care of them as much (actually MORE) than even you could. You have to give IN to your trust IN the Lord.  You have to give it to the Lord IN life, so of course,  when the time comes, IN death too.

A dear friend passed a couple years ago after her whole family finally left her side. Those of us who know her, know she would have fought death (which came as result of a diabetic situation at too young an age). She would have fought back against death, for her great desire for taking care of her people. He gave her Spirit the transition time and gave that mental transition time to her loved ones as well during those couple weeks in between. Jesus surely said to her, “I’ve got them”, and she then let go. She gave IN to Jesus. 

To give IN is INTO the Kingdom. To give out is normal and human. Some may say “Peace Out” as a salutation, yet day to day, EVERYDAY, we are to give IN to Jesus as founder and keeper and giver of our peace. 

Peace IN…

Amen 

Jesus said to the disciples AND US: “Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am IN my Father, and you are IN me, and I am IN you.  Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” John 14:19-22

You are Allowed to Wait (on Him), 10JUN – #1180

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You are allowed to wait – actually you are recommended to wait and see what God has in store for you – better yet use up what He has ALREADY blessed you with – within your stockpiles of His LOVE. 

I was in a store this morning and they had only one of this and one of that (bribe snacks for our car ride) and I had to say thank you God for perfect provisions of what He felt was just enough for me at this time. Not too much, but enough. I’m blessed. Whew. 

Honestly? God has SPOILED US BLESSED!!! He takes care of more than we can even imagine! Jesus Himself holds all the world together – every atom – every force – everything – every blessing.

And I have to wait on the Lord for so many things going on in my life which also means I have to wait for what He wants me to do for me and for others and for doing with others. As always I pray that I am to listen to His timing.  It’s not supposed to be a me me me world, it’s sometimes like a they they they situation. It’s more that you you you KNOW that He is meeting you where you are. God is also not intending you to forge ahead without Him to a place where you THINK you have already solved all the world’s problems that affect you. Isn’t it true that the Lord most powerfully comes to us STRONGER than we could go to Him?

It’s not me me me, they they they, you you you, but Him Him Him. 

Does God call us by any other name than “My child”? Does He hold us by our own strength or His? Does God meet us where we are? Sometimes waiting for us, but YES meeting us where we are.

Is it OK to wait? It is OK for us to wait because Jesus is right with us. We won’t lack in ANYTHING if we remain in Him. 

Him Him Him 

Amen

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Jesus said: (John 4-11) 

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete….

Post Rapture Capture! 09JUN – #1179

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My children are good and amazing – yes – but the world in it’s worldliness affects this generation of young people like none other – we see it at home, at work, in media and everywhere – and people’s focus on worldliness over Kingdom-ness is only going to increase. I heard someone say that it’s amazing how many Christians are caught up in worldliness… the drifting colder is drifting away…

I’ve been thinking about RAPTURE, I know it’s not your ordinary day to day reflection, but more and more I think about those folks who are either less knowledgeable about Jesus and HOW one gets to Heaven by acknowledging Him as Lord and Savior, or they just don’t know if Heaven even exists or they don’t want to think ahead. I also think of those who would be like my former self and just assume Heaven awaits for us, without knowing that there is a real commitment to accepting Jesus rather than it being a given. Jesus is a ticket maker yes, but we must be ready to have that ticket punched and ready… This is the day and age where people expect a given, rather than work for it for themselves in sacrifice. 

So, RAPTURE, I am really thinking about those left behind. It’s all fine and good that we get taken up, but HOW will those left behind become part of the greatest awakening ever, as scripture states. How will they learn, who will they believe, and how will a significantly strong faith grow, strong enough to overcome worldliness? I rechecked my thoughts with a pastor scholar who stated that all people in those times would have to be martyred for their beliefs… wow… not simply recaptured like in rapture but martyred… I mean it’s not JUST awakening to faith that heals, like could be accomplished now, but awakening to a faith level that enters them to be in a slaughter of Christianity in unimaginable events and numbers. (Get Jesus now while the getting is GOOD!)

I’ve been writing now thru the bible – Genesis and Exodus, studying and connecting, and realize perhaps it’s not JUST for today’s Christian outreach that is necessary but for FOREVER reach, as we have to share in ANY AND ALL WAYS that will last physically past our lives, past our passing OR our rapture. We must be the stepping stone for those newly finding their foundations in the Word. Call it the post-rapture capture…

My writing I have put online and want to publish at some point, and I also make physical backup copies,  it’s like 4 reams of paper in over 60 chapters!  (I may also stockpile dollar store bibles somewhere just as a blessing to be beholden)…

Long story short, I want to ENCOURAGE all of you about any Kingdom work not JUST for people here and now, but for after RAPTURE, how instrumental it may be for the greatest awakening in people who will have short years to hear. The electronic system glitches these last few days remind us that we need backup plans,  physical copies, stealth sources,  hidden treasure troves of stockpiles, old books, perhaps film copies and a “vintage” DVD platform will get squared away in a bunker for hungry ears to hear. Think Book of Kells preservation for Revelation! Yes, apps etc will hopefully continue to work for a while on downloaded devices in people’s hands too, and perhaps those left behind will find our phones and realize that we are taken by faith… then their faith will take them the rest of the way.

It’s THOSE people left behind who WILL NEED ENDURANCE AND EMBRACING to become the martyrs of the future. God knows…

So thank you all for thinking Kingdomly as well as Great Awakeningly. The people will need to move past earth dwelling and be “filled to the measure of the fullness of God.”

God bless you!!!

AMEN 


Paul to Ephesians 5:10-13

He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe. So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

3:16-21 

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

You ARE Allowed to Work, 09JUN – #1178

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Oh! the details of the instructions of the Lord to the people of Israel following Moses to understand how to live… Oh! the details of our own lives and instructions on how to live the life that we can…  God always has a plan. 

The Ark, for which God gave such detailed instructions to Noah, carried His people. The Ark, for which God gave such detailed instructions to Moses, carried His Commandments and remembrances of how He carried His people thru life. He gave instructions of how to treat it and how to adorn it. Given in Exodus 25 thru 28, these commands to build the structure, altar, containment are so extensive it is mind-boggling. Gold Gold Gold Bronze and that lapis lazuli is not some stone they invented for the game Minecraft. The attention to detail and the use of the finest treasures, God only wants the best. God is so detailed in all. Why? He wants His people to meet Him.

Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you. There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites. Exodus 25 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2025-28&version=NIV

God gives us His best. He wants to meet us. His best, of course, is Jesus given for us, to allow us access back to God directly. And Jesus is not just a remnant of God, but the physical intercession  of God. He gave the best and works the hardest for us. That means work is to be for us to work hard for everything important to Him in life. We are to work as if we work for Him. We also can bring Him and His best to His people. 

Are we today’s Ark? Perhaps consider as we are temples of God in us, therefore we are to take direction and act accordingly to God’s Will. Why? GOD WANTS TO MEET US WHERE WE ARE. 

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord… Colossians3:23

We are allowed and encouraged to raise our families and communities – to be detailed in our details – always of course giving HIM our best each day.

God wants us to have structure and discipline and know the value of things, yet we are not to worship things and not to worship any idol of wealth over God, who is priceless.

I am watching the birds at my feeder today as if they never ate before and they are so very vocal and aware of their surroundings. They must eat to live and work to protect themselves and their flocks. They line their nests with comfort and in secure trees or hidden places in order to rest. They work even though God tells us He provides for them. He provides for us too. They work at life as if they are working for God. THEY ARE.

And look at how detailed a bird is made – in the exacting shapes and certain sizes for certain birds. Look at how colorful and how different each is – hear the multitudes of different voices and songs, and know that there are songs of joy and songs of warning and songs of sorrow. All in one bird. Birds are priceless and yet so numerous. 

And us? How amazing the Lord takes care of the birds and thus us too. We are allowed and encouraged to work as well,  not wallowing but working and waiting to hear Him. While we work, He directs us. He provides us direction. He provides for us, people who need Him. We are the hands, feet for Him. The birds are the songs of His work.

God took the time to devise the most beautiful array of beauty around us. God took the time to make this world even if He Himself sees it as temporary – He made it a place to grow and nurture us – to meet us…  and even as we are still a mist, a moment, His time is a time of instruction. Most of all, we are to learn and teach His Love.

Amen 

—-
Psalm 39:4-7 Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.
Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

And now, Lord, what wait I for? 

MY HOPE IS IN THEE.

Oh My Cup! 08JUN – #1177

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Oh this devotion hit home!!!

The part that struck me (about me) was what he wrote about Paul… I’m not necessarily on a great mission as much as a mission that is GREAT to be on – to share the Word in the way God picked for me. And to share, you have to be willing to be pulled aside by God and be prepared… like Paul… I bet you also feel sometimes that your inadvertent change of plans put you in a place God needed you!

I tell folks that I have been feeding and feeding and feeding, hungry for the Word this past 6 years – especially feeling so much now. The “slowdown” was not slow but savored. It’s God pulling you into not a dry patch of life but a patch ready to absorb living water… yup!!!

Of course I know that the Lord has amazing things planned for each of us, and our children too. Yes!!!!

Here’s what hit me over the head,  this passage below. Oh yeah, Oh My Cup!!!

“It certainly takes a steady hand to hold a full cup. God was planning to give a full cup to the apostle Paul. So He took Paul away and put him into obscurity in the desert of Arabia for a time. And while we are not told what happened to Paul during this time, we can only assume that he drew close to the Lord in fellowship and communion. It was there that Paul refined his theology, as evidenced in the New Testament epistles that God inspired him to write.”

———-

Daily Devotional
The Daily Dose 6/08/2021
Good Morning,
Are you comforting others when they are in trouble and experiencing pain?

2 Corinthians 1:4 “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”

Many times, God is the only one who can bring us any comfort in this world. I speak from experience when I tell you that God is faithful and is good all the time, even when the pain in this world seems like it is just too much to bear. Jesus warned us in the parable of the Rock and the sand that the storms would be coming Matthew 7:27 If you are not currently experiencing a storm in your life, then rejoice and ask God for someone to show His love to who is experiencing this world’s pain. God will use your experience to give you compassion and help you more effectively minister to others who are hurting. He will use our weakness and to make us strong for Him. 2 Corinthians 12:10 , as when we are weak…He is made strong! 2 Corinthians 13:9

It certainly takes a steady hand to hold a full cup. God was planning to give a full cup to the apostle Paul. So He took Paul away and put him into obscurity in the desert of Arabia for a time. And while we are not told what happened to Paul during this time, we can only assume that he drew close to the Lord in fellowship and communion. It was there that Paul refined his theology, as evidenced in the New Testament epistles that God inspired him to write.

This is typical of how God prepared many people  to do great things for Him. When Elijah obediently delivered God’s message to King Ahab and Queen Jezebel in their court, he was led away to the brook Cherith for a few years to wait on God. 1 Kings 17  Moses had 40 years of training that prepared him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. Acts 7:29-31 Even after the young teenager David was anointed king of Israel, it wasn’t until he reached the age of 30 that he actually ascended the throne. 2 Samuel 5  Joseph was used greatly in the house of Potiphar, but was then sent to prison for two long years. Genesis 39:19-21 God was preparing these men for what was ahead, and He was doing the same for Paul. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Is God currently preparing you for a greater ministry assignment?

Lord, please draw us closer to You today. Thank you for Your faithfulness to finish the work that you began in each of us for Your purpose. Philippians 1:6 In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Have another powerful and prosperous day of comforting others in their troubled times as you sacrificially serve them in the workplace and at home!
Bob Bennett
Real Men Ministries
 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” — Philippians 2:3

You ARE Allowed to Sleep, 08JUN – #1176

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I joke that I am eligible for bed, meaning I can give up my day and my many chores and get to bed. It’s a blessing to sleep, a real blessing that my kids are older and even if on different schedules than me, I can sleep without listening for every noise.

Except for the middle of the night, my middle night, wake ups to catch bugs from my daughter’s room at 3am, her going to bed time. Oy! When we will be on same schedules is not on our schedule. I feel that I am allowed to be cranky at 3am, but I usually get up anyway and help…  ughs to bugs…

I’ve been reading this multitude of instructions the Lord gave to the Israelites thru Moses recorded in Exodus 22, 23, so many if/then instructions mostly for setting boundaries for living (death by stoning seems a pretty big deterrent). Hopefully the people made an example of the rules to each other, hoping to not need to punish, and these things didn’t happen. And deep in the rules is a separate instruction and honestly seems to be the allowance for nighttime rules and it is a scripture of an awareness of your required awakenedness and responsibilities in daytime: “If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.”

Hmmm…. you as a homeowner (and a lifeowner) have responsibility to know if it’s day or night, you have a responsibility to act appropriately. 

It’s a pattern of God to give rules and to rest (6 days and then one day). It’s a pattern of God to want us to be aware when awake. He gave detailed instruction for allowing time to worship, pray, work, rest. And God knows all the brokenness of the people and makes provisions for them. (Biggest provision being Jesus forgiving and giving grace to our humanness) Perhaps our rest is both for our bodies that wear out, and also to settle us down enough for God not having to deal with spiders in the middle of the night. The Lord does not sleep, but rest assured He rests when He knows we are OK.

Let’s be OK today for His sake.  Don’t sweat the small stuff. Keep track of day and night – keep working when there is work and keep resting when rest is allowed. Deal with your own bugs, and give Him all the rest. Haha, rest, God’s rest is taking out burdens and letting us rest, then He rests assured we are OK.

Let Us Be Still and still be His.

Amen 

a link to exodus 21-24 – so many instructions… https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+21-24&version=NIV

Honor Your Mother and Father – Live Kingdomly, 06JUN – #1175

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Another little tidbit I had overlooked in scripture – this one smack dab in the middle of the 10 Commandments, Honor your Mother and Father – but why? Did you know that God gave an extra reason? I never knew until now! The extra reason He gave was “SO THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE LAND THE LORD GAVE YOU”.

WOW.

Exodus 20:12
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. AKJV
Honor your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time in the land that God, your God, is giving you. The Message
Honour thy father and thy mother, so that thy days are prolonged on the ground which Jehovah thy God is giving to thee. Young’s Literal Translation

HMMMM…..

Honoring your mother and father seems like a no-brainer commandment – especially from a God who IS our father and from a God who knows and knew the hardships and the heartbreaks that a father and a mother go thru all the time raising children – and especially making difficult decisions and being the parent when it is sometimes too easy to not make decisions. If there is anything that I have learned as a parent – is to act more and more like a parent. It is a continual process. We also learn that God as love never runs out of love even when His heart breaks as a parent. Love is a continual process of application.

So, that extra layer of God’s commandment? Honoring your mother and father with the intention of living long and living well and living ON the land that the Lord has given – that takes on a whole new dimension of “what’s in it for me?” We don’t honor our mothers and fathers just because we should (and we should) but our success depends on it, our gratitude makes all the difference in the world to our Heavenly Father and to our earthly parents. Yes, listening and even enduring hardships to take care of our families begets children who will take care of us. Ah, yes… You honor your parents’ wishes (and your Lord God Father’s wishes) to take care of your flock and His – and they (and He) will take care of you.

And what is God giving? LAND – the one thing that my father always told me was precious – land – because “they aren’t making any more of it” – true! My father’s land (and mother’s land) and our Father’s land is given to us thru inheritance but thru His and their gift. And not JUST this earthly land, God our Father’s land is also the Kingdom which is at hand. And to be long lived in the Kingdom, in the land “that can’t be bought” – is the best place “to land” – in Grace and Love and Long Life.

Matthew 5:5

  • Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. – KJV
  • “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. The Message

Honor your Mother and Father and You honor the Kingdom. God brought you into the world and God WILL give everything, including His Son, to allow you to earn a home in the Kingdom. Live Kingdomly, at your Father’s request.

Amen.

Down to Earth God, 06JUN – #1174

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I have written about Jesus being “down to earth” a couple of years ago – https://debbieupper.blog/2019/12/21/down-to-earth-jesus-23nov-769/

In Moses’s time, in showing majesty and power, God also came “down to earth” to speak to Moses and set laws for His chosen people. God required an earthen altar – not stones – nothing they had to climb lest they be exposed. Interestingly, that Moses did have to climb an earthen mountain to speak to God. God built that mountain. This reverence that the Lord wanted the people to have meant that He did not want other idols – and did not want anyone to stray from realizing and worshiping the ONE GOD, HIM.

God did and does experience many lost souls who worship other “gods” taken for themselves. God knows that only a certain number of folks will make it thru back to Him – many but not all. In the mention of mountains in final times, the mountains are flattened. The people (people of the earth and not those raptured or those martyred for God in the Great Awakening) were exposed naked, and the reverence gone.

God comes down to earth because He made earth and He made the people – He has the power over all and His strength and majesty is even more in that He brings us up to Him. What we are, those who revere Jesus and call Him Lord, is COVERED. Covered by His blood, to be robed and preserved. 

Jesus on the cross said it is finished – in fulfillment of the prophesies and in His Easter Rising, He completed the path for the people to make it back to God. A path we all must walk. God, much later on, at the end of earth, will say “It is done” when the path is no longer available.

Pray that all in the here and now and future FIND the path – find the earthen road that brings them to the Lord. God has come down to earth and brought down the earth. He IS Almighty God.

Amen


—-
Revelation 16:17-The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!”  Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.  Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.  From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.

Exodus 20:18-When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven:  Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold. “‘Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.  If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.  And do not go up to my altar on steps, or your private parts may be exposed.’ https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+16%3A17-&version=NIVhttps://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+20%3A18-&version=NIV

THEIR Oxygen Masks, 05JUN – #1173

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It’s NOW the time to help others with THEIR oxygen masks. You have been wearing yours, right? You have been taking care of yourself, right? You have been staying awake, right? How about looking less and less at worldly things and more and more at the Lord? Remember the adage, “Put on YOUR oxygen mask first!” WHY? So that you will be OK – especially while helping others to get THEIR masks on and all get thru the tough times. Yes, if WE ARE ABLE to think clearly, we can be ready to help. We must stay awake and of sober judgement. Jesus always told His disciples (and us) to be awake and ready.

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 Thessalonians 4:16-18

Speaking of JUDGEMENT, so what will happen after we, believers in Jesus, are “caught up together” – aka raptured? Jesus said “I am coming like a thief.” – and so who will help the others with their oxygen masks then? Hmmmm…

I have been thinking that in addition to us witnessing for those in the here and now, we must do whatever we can for the ones we may or may not know who are going to be in this “great awakening” after the rapture. They will have no one here to guide them except for those who realize “real quick” and are then forced to become martyrs for Jesus. So, like life insurance that helps our immediate families when we are gone, how will we leave oxygen masks and reminders of the blessings from the Lord that help our descendants and people we don’t even know when we are gone.

God will love them, but who will teach them? Hmmmm…

In Moses’s time, God’s commandment states His desire to be worshiped and not have the people practice idolatry. Moses warned the people to not mess with God – don’t try to climb or even touch the mountain where God came down in a cloud of smoke – and God Himself told the Isrealites (thru Moses) of His jealousy and His ability to bless (or punish) His people. “… 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.” Exodus 20:4-6

Jesus is the lifeblood to our lives and our eternal lives. Do we help others here and now – AND do we have the ability to help those after the rapture? I hope so. If a great awakening is coming, how will they hear Jesus’s words for themselves? Can we help keep the generations going in LOVE? If it comes to a point of us being gone – what are we leaving behind as witness and encouragement? Perhaps it is best that we simply do our best today – we KNOW the Lord will LOVE the generations to come – especially if we LOVE HIM.

Jesus is coming like a thief in the night, He will steal believers and we won’t want to miss the trumpet call from our Lord. So let us also leave some life insurance – let us be devoted to God and keep His commandments so that His Love will sustain a thousand generations. And let us remind ourselves that we are not to keep God all to ourselves.

Amen


Exodus 19 and 20 at this link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+19-20&version=NIV

Revelation 16:15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”)

Matthew 24:43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.

1 Thessalonians 5:2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

1 Thessalonians 5:4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

Matthew 24:3-44 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

“If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time.

“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

“Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.  Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The Day and Hour Unknown
“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.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2024&version=NIV

Shepardly, 04JUN – #1172

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Often we think of humility as knocking ourselves down in service, in following, in waiting and reacting – but Jesus was BOLD and KNOWLEDGEABLE about who He was… and Jesus KNEW the job He needed to do. We too are to LISTEN to ACT. Sometimes we think humility is being a sheep but really if we use Jesus as an example, humility is ALSO seeing the shepherd within us… not always acting sheepishly but being more shephardly.

Serve Jesus with all your heart soul strength AND MIND….

Let the Holy Spirit guide and move you for the sake of those around you.

Jesus said: “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses – to the ends of the earth.”

Amen


Peter said (recorded in Acts) to the people amazed at the workings of the Holy Spirit:

“God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.”

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

Humility Over Pride, 03JUN – #1171

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I appreciated reading a devotion and scriptures which reminded me: humility over pride.

And these scriptures that were quoted about humility are the best reminder that we need to pick up crosses each day which means to drop the worldly stuff we carry as a burden in our lives. Pride itself can be a burden because we may miss the leading hand of the Lord by holding up our own agendas.

In discussions about work, being a leader, and living each day as it comes, we all need humility. In raising our children, we need Jesus. Our pride in proud moments should be less than our grateful humbleness for Jesus carrying us thru one more day in grace with guidance. At the end of the day we should ask: ‘what did I trust the Lord for today?’ For Jesus did say don’t worry about tomorrow until tomorrow, just focus on today. That’s also why Jesus said that He will take our burdens. We are to lead our family and our folks who have been looking for leadership, if God places you in leadership, it’s because He trusts you to listen to Him. “The one who leads must follow”.

Our years are short on this earth and those who come after us will likely live longer than us – including our children. How we can not see that much further into their lives must be a driving factor for us to trust God to know what they need in those years where we won’t be around to remind them. God knows to the end, we don’t know the day of the end and we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Therefore we MUST trust in God each day to lead us to focus on what will bring His people out of their darkness into His light.

If I am going to trust any decision about my work, my life, and especially my children – I am going to trust God to bring it all together. The more we listen and obey, the more He can use us. Perhaps that is the best lesson for our children, teach them to listen to the Lord too.

One day at a time, sweet Jesus.

Thanks and Amen. 


Here are the scripture excerpts:

Jesus told us, “God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.” Matthew 5:5
God blesses men and women with a humble and contrite heart.” Isaiah 66:2
 Jesus said “whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12 
The Lord detests the proud; they will surely be punished.” Proverbs 16:5 
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble”. James 4:6 God will always “exalt you in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6 

Grace for Grace Sake – #1170

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The best place to pray for Grace is while saying Grace. At home I always stop to say grace at the meals and that is the perfect time to flow praise and knowledge of truth and worship (and what a blessing to have meals and to stay overnight in my parents’ house post-covid worry). In these really tough times for so many, the timing is the best the Lord could put together for us to stop and say Grace. The world is still a battleground for disease, clean water, and strife. If we can appreciate that the Lord has pulled us thru those things – he pulls us all thru all these things. We say Grace in thankfulness for Grace sake.

Amen

Find Your Key – #1169

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SO – I am TRYING to get back to my original blogs, 1000 blogs ago and re-edit and re-post on my other wordpress blog – this is a momentous blog to me – thinking of Ben Franklin while in the place where supposedly he did the lightning experiment…

I felt like I was struck by lightning but really my faith was approaching the key – really it is not always a tragedy that brings us to faith – it is a faith that brings Jesus to us…

———- –
From: Debbie Upper: Learning to Fly as a Daughter of God


Grow Your Own, 29MAY – #1168

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Discussing gardening, flowers, vegetables, and fruits. Seeds and seed catalogs… it’s a passion for my family. For me, speaking about the Lord and Savior and salvation became a great passion, when I realized His passion for saving us, yet many seeds have yet to be planted. Seeds have to be planted fresh for the season.

You probably know this feeling as a gardener, that growing your own and then enjoying the harvest is the best feeling, best taste too. Even if I don’t get much out of my garden, I hope to get more than the rabbits and groundhog do. It’s not about the money either, more goes in the cost of preparing it than simply buying at the market. But what’s fresh and what becomes a fruit of your labor is so very sweet.

That’s how God gardens for us. His gentle planting, His firm cultivating. His immense LOVE.

He IS the Whole Good Seed Planter and Gardener. His Hands are Harvesting Hands too. And He weeps for the waste, the wasted lives, and those who hear but never bloom. He cares little about the time as He will be the most patient. He cares nothing about the money, as His crop are priceless and delicately made. We are His dust swirled and done in a whisper. Flowers fade but Faith Forevers us.

In my house, we may have a copy of an earthly Whole Seed Catalog, but in His House He catalogs ALL His Seeds and knows each of them. We are all His own, and we are planted to flourish FOR Him. He LOVES each of us to make us for HIMSELF to be WHOLE.

We are mini gardeners for our small families. We must speak of the Lord and His forgiveness and forever-ness, because if we don’t, who will? We are to be keeping Hope and tilling soils of His Souls who are in our sights. Our Children yes, and our Fathers and Mothers, Brothers and Sisters, our toil for Him always is our blessing, as we are to share in His Labor, His Bloom, His WHOLE.

Grow your own. He certainly does.
Amen

King David praised a song for us all in Psalm 103:


Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word. Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will. Praise the Lord, all his works everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Amen

REALLY? MOSES SAID SO, 28MAY – #1167

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Really I hit a funny scripture section – Exodus 17 – Moses ended up holding his arms up allowing his people to fight and win over the Amalekite army, because  when he lowered his arms, they started losing against the Amalekites. Really? God resorted to demonstrating His power to the grumbling and grumbling wandering people by a game of Moses Simon-says? Actually this game which is no game looks like “God says – Moses – says – Moses does” and what is more funny to the point of being comical (but it wasn’t) is that others had to come in and hold up Moses’s arms for him. Really? Is that like adjusting the antenna on the TV’s on the roof or stringing up metal wire and tinfoil to help get in a  distant radio signal? Kinda crazy huh? 

God was and is a God who demonstrates His love and His power. Not only God wanted His people to be blessed, He wanted His people to be taught respect and to know His rule. Really.

Can we be like Moses and listen and act? Can we be a supporter to the mission and do what it takes to help God’s message come thru to the people? Can we at least show that we respect God and listen to His commands? Do we realize that even though we are asked to do something specific, it is God who causes the victory?
God chose His chosen people and He also knew the people who would go against His chosen. Moses received God’s signal and sent it forth – Moses and the law were taught for thousands of years – and still today. Moses had to endure the grumbling of the people (imagine the grumbling that God still endures today). Moses  heard the 10 Commandments directly from God – and Moses knew that the people needed to uphold the law. We all do. People need help to uphold the law. We all do. Moses needed help to hold his arms up too – those men, Aaron and Hur, helped hold up God’s law and they were side by side that battle day to support the mission of Joshua. Could we keep our arms up? Could we be Moses and/or Moses’s helpers? I have seen people do many sweet and long-serving actions for people they love.

We have also seen so much that God has done for us. Would God raise His hands until the battle was won? Ahhhhhhh….  of course He did – He held up until He said “It is Finished.” 

Really.

Really Amen.


————

Exodus 17:8-16

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the name of Amalek from under heaven.” Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner. He said, “Because hands were lifted up against the throne of the Lord, the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.

Tiddlywinking all the Way to God, 27MAY – #1166

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I thought of a favorite game, Othello, where you capture rows and flip the tile colors black or white to indicate that they belong to you. Having a strategy helped, and so did maximizing your moves. My brother’s favorite game as a kid was Tiddlywinks, flipping colorful disks towards the center space for points, your aim had to be good. You had favorite flippers. I just remember that He was better than me for sure because he put time into studying it, like an engineer almost. 

So why is turning to faith more like Tiddlywinks and not Othello? Or neither?

First faith is not a game. Faith is a gain, yes. Faith is rooted in truth not randomness or skill. But Tiddlywinks requires action, calculated or simply direction. And we helping others in their faith journey requires action on our part. This may be as basic as not throwing someone off their game of life. And for sure we are encouragers, building them up.

“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! ” Matthew 18:7

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Seriously, how is Tiddlywinks like being an mini-evangelist or simply a good friend? It’s thinking about how we move people and ourselves closer to God. Our directed actions. Perhaps living by example – prayers and praises show how faith helps us. Our stories mean something, maybe we talk of financial coverage, giving credit to God for pulling us thru tough times, or Him making us smart enough to spend wisely, or giving us some extra for enjoyment. For sure we must talk about His help to us thru this pandemic. We know others who are so comforted in their times of stress by His presence. Can we show others our faith?

How is God NOT like Tiddlywinks? He simply tips the board to His favor and with His Hand slides us all into His circle closest to Him, best yet He hand lifts each of us to Him. He of course brings Jesus to us, no matter where we are on the board or fallen off onto the floor or swept under the rug or jammed in the vacuum cleaner. We KNOW God is looking for us – tell the world and say Praise the Lord.

God and faith is no game, but our gain, and His gain. 
He IS an awesome God. 
Amen 


Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. James 1:17-18
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Psalm 16

Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing. ”I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips. Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

—–

Discussing God’s faithfulness when they beheld the physical Ark of the Covenant – 1 Chronicles 16:7-36

That day David first appointed Asaph and his associates to give praise to the Lord in this manner: Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, you his servants, the descendants of Israel, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob. He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit. ”When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it, they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. He allowed no one to oppress them;  for their sake he rebuked kings: “Do not touch my anointed ones; do my prophets no harm.” Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;  let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;  his love endures forever. Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations; that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”

Bread Water and Perfect Provisions, 26MAY – #1165

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I appreciate the common themes in the old testament and the new testament. specifically Water, Bread, Perfect Provisions, Testing, Listening, a Covenant Promise and a grumbling people – Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus Jesus and the need for Jesus.

Old Testament travails of the Israelites involved a lot of grumbling, yet the Lord provided in just the exact provisions. If they didn’t need it, they weren’t supposed to save it, and they weren’t supposed to go out for stuff they didn’t need. They were supposed to listen and obey. God supplied drinkable water, food, and a day of rest. God did test the people, often they failed, but God prevailed in keeping them safe to get them to the promised land. God physically provided and physically had them save a small portion of manna with the Ten Commandment tablets as a reminder of what He had provided. Do we likewise have a physical remnant of Jesus in us, with us? Yes we do. We are the carriers of His Spirit maintaining us and providing our needs. We must not let that rot. We must consume our daily bread and make use of it and know that tomorrow God will provide again. We are the carriers of His fulfilled promise and His sustenance is not too much or too little.

In the desert, grumbling and refusal to follow directions/rules continued and this frustrated Moses. Not only does this show that the people themselves could not fulfill the promises that God wanted them to hold onto, they tested God when God was testing them. Therefore a New Covenant, that of Jesus sealed the deal to make the redemption of all who would listen as something that could only come from heaven. The grumblings we have today continue, but so do our Perfect Provisions if we only realize. Jesus IS the Daily Bread, the Water of Life, the Perfect Provision. The Lord may seem like He is testing us, but that’s on us because He already provided the best and only answer we need, Jesus. Our need for listening more than grumbling continues these days – and so does our need to obey and believe in the Promise that God keeps. (And so does the rotting of the excesses that we don’t need. They had maggots, we have maggots. All earthly treasures turn back to dust.)

The stories of old are not just stories but written down to understand that the Lord’s Way provides. Jesus did say that it was impossible for a rich man to enter heaven because he did not give his possessions away and trust the Lord’s provision. We too. The Israelites wandered, we have wonder. We must TRUST that our best way is following HIS WAY.

He provided the out (exodus) and now provides the in (the entering INTO the Kingdom thru Jesus).

Bread Water and Perfect Provision

Thank You God!

Amen


Exodus 15:22
Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”
Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink.
There the Lord issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test. He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.

Exodus 16:4-5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”

14-34 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’”

The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”

So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it on the ground today. Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”

Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” So the people rested on the seventh day.

The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’”

So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before the Lord to be kept for the generations to come.” As the Lord commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna with the tablets of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved.


Matthew 19:16- KJV
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

Look His Way – A Pillar of Cloud and Pillar of Fire, 24MAY – #1164

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Again and Again we read about the Lord as fire, light, clouds, presence, strength, and direction… (Think of all those kids not watching “The 10 Commandments” old-time movie – will they know the scene of the people being led thru the parted Red Sea?)

For all of us today – we may not see the sea, but we can look but for the Pillar of Cloud to direct and to cover – block our way if God does not intend us to go there. And we can look for the Pillar of Fire – to give light in the darkness and to give warmth. These were placed by God then and now, directed by His angels, for us to “Look His Way”…

Pharaoh was used by God to make a point for future generations. God used Moses to make a path for His people. God GAVE Jesus to be that Way for us all. We are to “Look His Way” – in seeing the people of the world as Jesus did, in LOVE. “Who is like you – majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? “You stretch out your right hand, and the earth swallows your enemies. In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed.”

Light and Clouds direct our day – can we appreciate when our backs are up against the wall? When we are not seeing a way? Can we LOOK for God? and when we have people, family, children to lead, can let God direct how we move?

See God delivers what He promises He already has – we must just LOOK His Way.

Amen


Exodus 13: 21-22
By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

14:13-31
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.

15: 1-21
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:
“I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.

2 “The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3 The Lord is a warrior;
the Lord is his name.
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his army
he has hurled into the sea.
The best of Pharaoh’s officers
are drowned in the Red Sea.
5 The deep waters have covered them;
they sank to the depths like a stone.
6 Your right hand, Lord,
was majestic in power.
Your right hand, Lord,
shattered the enemy.

7 “In the greatness of your majesty
you threw down those who opposed you.
You unleashed your burning anger;
it consumed them like stubble.
8 By the blast of your nostrils
the waters piled up.
The surging waters stood up like a wall;
the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy boasted,
‘I will pursue, I will overtake them.
I will divide the spoils;
I will gorge myself on them.
I will draw my sword
and my hand will destroy them.’
10 But you blew with your breath,
and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead
in the mighty waters.
11 Who among the gods
is like you, Lord?
Who is like you—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
working wonders?

12 “You stretch out your right hand,
and the earth swallows your enemies.
13 In your unfailing love you will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling.
14 The nations will hear and tremble;
anguish will grip the people of Philistia.
15 The chiefs of Edom will be terrified,
the leaders of Moab will be seized with trembling,
the people of Canaan will melt away;
16 terror and dread will fall on them.
By the power of your arm
they will be as still as a stone—
until your people pass by, Lord,
until the people you bought pass by.
17 You will bring them in and plant them
on the mountain of your inheritance—
the place, Lord, you made for your dwelling,
the sanctuary, Lord, your hands established.

18 “The Lord reigns for ever and ever.”

19 When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground.
20 Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.”

Set Aside, 24MAY – #1163

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It’s easy to reap the benefits of a strawberry patch if they grow well – you set aside the garden location for that crop and only that crop – net it to protect from robber birds – water, harvest and enjoy. 

But what about the benefits of our worship and our witness? Can we set aside time to be fruitful? Yes you must set aside time, you must grow, you must protect your ever growing faith and nourish and display the fruit of the Spirit that God has given you. It feels good to see the blessings of dedication today, and it is LONGVIEW fruitfulness for Heaven God has set us aside for. Even if what we do sometimes seems for the birds, even the birds are God’s creation – He will put our labor to His use.

We must set aside time for God. We must set aside time for prayers. We must set aside time for reading the scriptures. We must set aside time away from earthly distractions AND set aside time for Heavenly Hungering. 

In the RAPTURE, a term for the raising of the faithful into heaven, other people will be left behind. GONE! As those who have declared faith in Jesus are taken up, including those under the age of a level of making decisions, the others may or may not know the reason. Think about the plaque of the first born dying in Exodus 11, except these people (including us who have avowed Jesus as Lord) will just be GONE. How will they understand? The others only have one way to still come to faith in what is called the Greatest Awakening (Revelation 7) and these people will suffer thru the great tribulation. These people will have to become martyrs in unblinking ways of following the Way of Jesus.

How will they know?  Our peddling of the Word is not for profit, or corrupting, as apostle Paul stated in his 2nd Corinthians letter 2:17. Sharing the faith is probably the only thing that we can set aside for the longest most valuable challenge for others to find salvation-securing HOPE. Whether the rapture is today or many days/years/centuries from now, think of those people, those who may be your own grown children and grandchildren. Our role is to witness and leave our witness behind. Figure out what we can do and share to allow them to become aware. We want ourselves and our offspring sealed with redemption – If Moses instructed the Israelites to redeem the firstborn “And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand.” – then we are to encourage others to be redeemed for the Lord’s return. Jesus, the sacrificial lamb, has and will lead us out of this world with His mighty Way.

Myself, I have known some of the small crops of my labor, so what is the long term harvest that God picked for me to participate in? (I’m not talking simply about yummy strawberries – and certainly not about kale since a groundhog or rabbit ate all that out of my garden, boo)… Perhaps I would or should never know, on earth. I know that my writing and sharing is for Him – I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be. I do benefit – I process – I pray – but for Him my writing is not just for today. I believe that He has a Way – and I believe that these writings are for someday not just for today. Specifically I have decided to write my way thru the bible. I am in Exodus and Revelation – fittingly at the same time. This will be a lifelong pursuit and passion of mine – but it is for His glory and His fruitful harvest – IN HIS TIME.

Jesus set aside everything – especially His Life for those whom would believe. Perhaps (YES) He needs us to set aside time for eternal others. NOT just here and now, we are to think about others we know AND think about those left behind whom we won’t know. Perhaps relatives, perhaps others, all needing feeding. Leave physical bibles around – leave stickers of scriptures – leave clues like none other. Leave the legacy of His life in you.

SHARE FOR THE SAKE OF THE FUTURE PEOPLE WHO WILL NEED TO BE UNSHAKABLE IN THEIR FAITH. It is not just about us – it never was. It is about ALL. 

We can LOOK to the Lord for our CLUE – How has He set aside you?

AMEN 

—-

The Great Multitude in White Robes (witnessing and writing by John)
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”

Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.‘ Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ ”

Revelation 7:9-17 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+7%3A9-17&version=NIV

Won but not quite Done, 23MAY – #1162

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We must witness of God’s goodness, our call can never be DONE.
Concluding doesn’t exist anyway, there are so many who need to hear of Jesus, multitudes under the sun.

Truly the winning of souls can not be undone.
Jesus said “It is finished”, the battle over sin and death WON.
But that does not mean our marching is DONE.

God painfully aches for all souls, every single one.
So for Him we MUST share our knowledge of His Son.

In Jesus IT IS FINISHED, now the SAVING has really begun.
We can share and we can pray for all to listen and for their souls won.

We can share the greatest gift under the sun.
God’s love and Jesus’s sacrifice brings GRACE to everyone.

The battle IS won, but our work is not quite done.

Amen

Taking the High Road, 22MAY – #1161

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A HUGE reminder to not be “in the flesh” with situations which won’t last. Don’t get pulled in and trade wisdom for sin… 

I love this truth: I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live in your presence. Psalm 140

Any scene where the “be still” was and is MORE powerful than the “be bothered” or “be put off” means he has better things in how to use our time than us to get involved in sweating the small stuff that could pull us off my game. I’ve seen the Lord rally my trials so often. It is best for us to buckle down His armor a little tighter around our hearts. I remember that life can be like the weather, just wait and it will change. 

When we take the high road, that the Lord takes us on, it’s best we remain the graceful driver that He taught us to be on the Way. And when the roads are blocked, there’s almost always a side diversion that He needed us on. We don’t see it until we see it.

I love this part of Psalm 141, totally appropriate!!!! I call to you, Lord, come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you. May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.

Jesus said “Feed my sheep”. He didn’t say “argue with the other sheep”, that leads to less time for feeding… yup! 

TAKE THE HIGH ROAD!

That Quick, 22MAY – #1160

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We pray about many things, we sometimes forget to believe our prayers work.  God can move mountains and Jesus said we too can move mountains. 

Can prayers help me help my cat? Imagine that… My prep and reading Facebook posts and now 2 vets to navigate the issues, which are mild, are NOTHING compared to praying for help from the Lord. I could take a scientific approach to what triggers a clogged nose, or simply start praying and cleaning… I can do all of these things. And I am grateful for these resources into which I am blessed to use.

Surely, when I started praying to find my hidden cat last night (again), making sure she was ok after a steroid and antibiotic treatment, an angel poked her in the butt to wake her up and she walked under my arms, that quick… THAT QUICK!!! She stood sleepy but present. Good. Same thing happened 2 days prior when I was driving home early from work to take my daughter to the train, and a flood of text messages that they couldn’t find the cat (yes she’s the star of our house). I prayed as I calmly poked in all the crevices, knowing she was simply sleeping. She was and she came out.

The angel returned the favor to her and at 4:30 in the morning and she woke me from my peaceful slumber by administering the classic calculated wake up bite (I’m not lying, I’ve see my engineering-minded cat study the scene and turn her head to administer the bite JUST SO…) UP – yes cat – and she got her wish of the front door opened so she could watch the birds…  (UP – Yes Lord – I got up eventually and got to my devotion writing!)
I told you, the cat is where it’s at. 9 lives? 9000 angels more likely. What about our spiritual armies? Yes we have them too (ASK ELISA!).

You can pray for guidance, but you have to take it. You have to believe that God is already here watching and waiting for you to realize. You can look for a solution, but God’s already made it (ask Jehoshaphat). If you put God first, He will direct the rest of the day and put the rest into your day. If you put the most important things into your schedule first, He will rearrange the rest. If you accept the comfort, command and control of Jesus into your lifeboat for His guidance, not only are your storms calmed, but you get to your destination THAT QUICK (John 6).
Just now I administered the cat a syringe of antibiotics, wrapped and held her like a baby, a gentle firm mom-handling. Well,  if God gets to that point with us, giving us our medicine, it’s good to go with it rather than fight. I held the cat wrapped like a baby, but with a strong armed constricting grip like on a squirmy toddler. No matter when we are stronger, and can hold something like a cat, there are situations beyond our control. Remember God is INFINITELY INTENSELY STRONGER and holds us AND the world in HIS CONTROL. We should believe that and appreciate it. 
That quick,  believing He will take care of us, we arrive at the destination God wants us to be. And that destination IS realizing we are HIS CHILD. Let Him handle the rest.

Amen!


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John 6:16-21

When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and IMMEDIATELY the boat reached the shore where they were heading.


2 Kings 6:15-17

When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”


And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
2 Chronicles 20:14-21Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.

He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”

Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.  Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:
“Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”

Hold Your Peace, 21MAY – #1159

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Have you ever wanted to say A LOT – but know it is not going to get you where you want to go? Sometimes instead of spinning our wheels, we need to get out and walk and leave the mud behind. We know (even if we sometimes can’t help ourselves) that we should hold our tongues and this often brings us peace – or at least less strife or this pushes the battle to another day to maintain your peace TODAY. Therefore can you (can I?) hold onto the thought that when we trust the Lord to keep us, we can “hold our peace”. We are to wear our Armor of God and get more ground by letting water go under the bridge.

If the Lord can part the Red Sea for all of Moses’ people to go thru (see the fabulous scriptures below), surely He can help us hold our own peace, hold back our crush of life, hold back our enemies or at least hold back our desire to grab retribution. Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord… Let us continue to walk in His peace.

In other words, let the Lord pick your battles, AND let the Lord pick up HIS weapons, not us. I have seen more powerful battles won by Him than by me. I have seen more resolution by me staying His course than by me trudging up to use every weapon (including my tongue) which eventually falls short.

If you drop your peace to pick up weapons, you are losing what peace was already yours to own. Hold onto your peace and let the Lord work the battle. Fight the right war – against evil – not against flesh and blood. For the flesh will wither away and the blood of forgiveness is the only blood you need.

Our battles may be short but HIS VICTORY lasts forever.

Amen !!!


Paul to the Ephesians 6:5-18
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

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.
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6%3A5-18&version=NIV

Exodus 14:8-31 Moses and the Israelites leaving Pharaoh’s grip.
And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.

And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.

And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.

But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.

CH15
Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.

Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.

Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble. And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.

Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2014&version=KJV
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+15%3A1-13&version=KJV

Our Daily Peace, 20MAY – #1158

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Lord, give us our daily peace.

On my evening walk, the air was cooling down from a summer day in the off-season, but the peace was perfectly timed and placed. The peace of walking with the Lord, thinking about His walk, guiding my walk, is a moment I treasure, even if I know that He often walked with pain at the known unraveling of people. He kept walking. At first I walked by some sounds of people complaining, and it surely hurt the Lord’s ears as it hurt mine. Then I walked filled with my thoughts of weird times, weird daily moments, weird things that mean nothing in the bigger picture of my life but could be considered wet paint of things I need to avoid. I walked under the streetlight and saw flowing robes of Jesus reflected in my dress and sweater. He is here. HE IS WITH US ALWAYS.  And He walks… 
The Lord shows us daily peace to pass the day, passover the day, pass on the day… Daily peace is for the day, it will be applied again tomorrow, but those troubles belong over there, and so will the peace for that day that will show up again.

Like the Passover lamb, nothing should be left to pass over till tomorrow. No meat, no sun, no sin, no regrets, no worries,  no FOOLING. Jesus absolves all in one pass, each day, every day. One pass. Pass no fear until tomorrow either. 

Exodus 12:10-11 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it.  This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover.

I kept walking through the Lord’s peace until I had applied it completely to the day and my mind. I walked until I heard only the rustling trees, the distant chatter, the distant day faded away. I looked at the lighted moon and the stars appeared as if I had forgotten them all day. Just like the stars don’t disappear in the daytime, don’t think that Jesus’s Daily Peace disappears either.

Don’t let any of today’s worries remain, Jesus gave us His Daily Peace.

Amen

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Matthew 28:20 Jesus said: “… And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


John 14:25-29 Jesus said: These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.  And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

Boldness Baby, 20MAY – #1157

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Boldness in bravado is not always spirit-driven but BOLDNESS in FAITH is what can come from the Spirit pushing us past our fears into feverent functions of faith. It’s like jumping into the deep end without taking a step.  If the Spirit drives it, it’s going to be fine, still scary, but fine…

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” Paul to Timothy (2nd letter) 

Once again, God opened a door and pushed me thru it. Sure I enjoy doors for my choosing, but His choosing? Can be scary. Boldness is a balancing act of fueled faith – not a bursting like a firecracker but explosive energy driven into a mechanical steam train engine. Catch on fire and people will come watch you burn they say – so make use of the power. Firecrackers fizzle but Fire-power moves. 

I got to chat with my CEO yesterday in a video series interviewing employees who signed a pledge about acting upon diversity, equity, and inclusion in light of the racial and other unrest over the past year.  My nervousness was not with the CEO, but was with satisfying the recordings for broadcast. I knew that I had an opportunity to show caring, speak caring, be the encourager that I am, but what soundbites did they want?… It went fine, good, and fast. I could have said much more but perhaps my words succinct were better. I had to put my faith in the Lord that my faith would come out in my words. It was my LATER conversations where the door once again becomes swung open for God to push me thru. In talking about my scientific and other work writing, I can now naturally mention my spiritual blogs and use my new favorite statement: “I am WRITING MYSELF THRU THE  BIBLE”… YUP – there’s a classic pause for people show they are impressed, even if I am not trying to impress but process writing to EXPRESS. 

An interesting commentary I can make and do make about these faith conversations at work – is that FAITH is THAT POWERFUL that it’s still not officially talked about, unlike the other directives and important buzzwords of the day. I mentioned to my new friend that this written and unwritten rule shows us how POWERFUL faith discussions are.

Jesus came into the world as meek as a baby – and as BOLD as a baby – a baby filled with BOLDNESS in His meekness (His angel-overlookers must have been the best ever). In my awakening song, Come to the Cradle by Michael Card, a favorite lyric is “the trusting glance of a child” – Jesus is forever trusting when He looks to His Father wow – Jesus must have had SUCH trust to be a baby – SUCH knowledge – and yet we don’t know all what was going thru His mind. I bet Jesus was a trusting child – a trusting adolescent – a trusting adult. We must become the trusting child of God and be bold with His boldness. We must reduce our adult skepticism and trust like a child. We must know that we will be OK.
It’s a small effort on God’s part to maneuver the little things to Him which are HUGE to us. So when He is moving the mountain that is our fear, we step more and more easily into that trust. We can take baby steps and God will move the baby carriage for us. 

“Until God opens the door, praise Him in the hallway”… YUP…

Keep looking boldly. Keep BOLD faith.

Amen 

The Little Children and Jesus

People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”Luke 18:15-17https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+18%3A15-17&version=NIV

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He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And Jesus said: “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. Matthew 18:2-4https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2018%3A2-4&version=NIV;KJV

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Paul to Corinthians For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13%3A9-12&version=KJV;NIV

Demonstrate Moving Forward, 19MAY – #1156

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If nothing else (and there’s plenty else) reading the scriptures brings you the opportunity to understand the Lord’s heart. He wants to demonstrate His Love for us. He wants to demonstrate His suffering and dedication to the collective healing of not the world but of the people. He wants us to know when we sacrifice, He already made a sacrifice for us. He understands pain, He understands the importance of moving forward past the pain as well.

Jesus with God, have Lorded over all from the beginning and have Lorded by example. Their sufferings on the earth also are “strangely dim” compared to the glory of their Heaven and the ongoing and everything gathering by grace of their beloved flock.

One of the most difficult scriptures to fathom is the death of the firstborn children in the plagues of the Egyptians. God knew that if the previous messages didn’t get thru, this one would. He knew it also demonstrated to His followers then and today that listening to the Lord protects. Acting upon instructions demonstrates listening. Rejoicing after protection demonstrates teaching about His Love.

It’s not that Jesus avoided His pain and imposed it on others, He certainly absorbed pain and separation. It is that God knew there was no other way to convince Pharaoh, who was reticent to listen thru even seemingly the worst plagues before this. God even knew that there would never be such louder wailing in Egypt than this act would cause. But Pharoah was unwilling to follow what clearly had been spoken by the Lord as messages.

God early on decided that His own First Born, Jesus, was a sacrificial Lamb. No wailing could be bigger than His. And no healing could be better than His, to have renewed hope of eternity with all the re-gathered sheep in us, in us who listen and obey. That’s the ultimate “moving forward”. God moved forward with a plan and powered thru His pain. When we have pain, we also need to move forward, that’s not always on our timelines, certainly not on anyone else’s, just only on God’s. God has determined to be with His people and moved Himself to make His people move.

God leads, lives, loves by example and by rule. God is the ultimate power and pursuer. God wants us to understand His heart. God wants our hearts in love. He longs for all His children. Listen to Him today.

Amen


Exodus 11

The Plague on the Firstborn
11: Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” (The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.)

So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the female slave, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again. But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. All these officials of yours will come to me, bowing down before me and saying, ‘Go, you and all the people who follow you!’ After that I will leave.” Then Moses, hot with anger, left Pharaoh.

The Lord had said to Moses, “Pharaoh will refuse to listen to you—so that my wonders may be multiplied in Egypt.” Moses and Aaron performed all these wonders before Pharaoh, but the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he would not let the Israelites go out of his country.


Exodus 12:27-30
And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped. The Israelites did just what the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron.

At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.

By Our Hunger, 17MAY – #1155

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There is a great truth, that people will know we are Christians by our love. How about this statement? They will know we are Christians by OUR HUNGER

We need to learn and we need to be hungry and understand and digest what we can. As we age as people and grow as Christians – we need to develop a more refined palate – less junk and more good…

I thought I would step in to visit one other church that I’ve been watching online… I appreciated so much my vaccinations (even if i was SORE after that second shot, feeling like the tinman and rusty in my movements, it only lasted one day). So with that thought of “freedom” I thought 3 churches is better than just one when you hunger like I do… Like a 3 course meal for a sunday breakfast, and it WAS convenient for their 8AM service finished before my regular church service (catching the 3rd online later). At 8AM these people certainly weren’t there by obligation, they were HUNGRY for the Word. And yes, I LOVED singing at a great volume, two songs I knew,  two I learned. I kept my mask on, I was distanced in the pew and I took in the risk assessment of life, this moment I felt safe enough.

What certainly was SPREADING was the GOSPEL, and much understanding of end times, the book of Revelation, in which this pastor has been a great help to me to explain the times. (even though I read Revelation, there is no one who can wrap their heads around all the intricacies, wow). This pastor feels we are just on the cusp of the beginning of the end. This pastor sees this pandemic as a practice. Because Jesus “is before all things, and in him all things hold together”. This pastor describes the “loose-ing of the forces” as the steps that will happen post rapture and there will be much strife to the earth. We want to be those non-earth people – be the Kingdom people – who are loving the Lord and taken up home well before the end of the earth. Once it’s JESUS JUDGEMENT TIME for all those who COULD HAVE listened and followed and didn’t, it is going to be sad but Jesus justice prevails…  He gave His tears and His life – now He will give His Judgement in due time and the stages of the Tribulation will commence… Revelation 14:16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

ANYWAY, whatever your take on the closeness to the end, we know that our work and worship should be strong. Yes, it’s important to pay attention to the signs, and therefore imperative to pay time into following the Lord. It’s living with awareness, keeping a hunger for His Ways, which will guide us… and no matter the issues of the world, a pre-known to be BROKEN world, we look to the Redeemer of the world, Jesus. We are to argue less about things that are desires of the flesh, money, status, fluff, and put Kingdom things first.

At 9:30 – my second church service these people were ALSO HUNGRY flipping thru their bibles and discovering new understanding to what seemed like normal scripture – but it was not! Flavoring our Hunger is the UNDERSTANDING of how scripture relates to us. This sermon was about WHAT we are to judge – and especially judging right and wrong within ourselves.

And I must draw a parallel to my scripture reading this morning, studying old times, watching/reading Moses warn Pharaoh, but Pharoah not budge, watching/reading Moses direct the Israelites, but the Israelites not believe him. This pandemic has been a current study case of studying people’s willingness to either wallow or work, follow blindly or forge knowingly, follow knowingly or grumble grievously… 

I see it matters less which side of any political or social situation we fall, it’s the knees we are to bow for the Savior of us all.

We will understand Him by our Hunger for His Ways. All things, all power, all people’s destinies are dependent upon the Lord. Our hearts are to be guarded and behind the armor of God driving us forward in service. Don’t get hung up on the hang ups. Snooze the sleeping giant of strife. If the Israelites didn’t understand God and His Power completely, we have no excuse. We know where we are supposed to go. God did get His people and Moses to their place. Us too. We will only get there by our love to be in and to share His love.

We have been promised a supper at His table – Revelation 19:9 – And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” 
Let Him know we are Christians by our HUNGER.Let’s stay HUNGRY!

Amen 


——
Exodus 6:2-9 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+6%3A2-9&version=NIV

God also said to Moses, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself fully known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant. “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the Lord.’”Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.


Colossians 1: The Supremacy of the Son of God https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=colossians+1%3A15-20&version=NIV

15-20  The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Christmas the Crab RENEWED, 15MAY – #1154

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To nice to see Christmas the crab has rejoined us in society! He was molting again,  I thought the worse, but the clue to know if they are still alive is that they don’t stink from rotting… 


That’s us too – 2nd Corinthians 2:14-15 – to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

I’m awake for this day after 2nd vaccination day with aches and pains, OUCH, they are REAL, but they are worth it – slept about 5 hours waking up like 5 times… I just had a cup of tea,  did a yoga stretching and the endorphins from stretching were great.  Thankfully my brain is intact, it’s just my muscles like I gardened all day, which I didn’t… like each stretch is good relief… I heard the crab and remembered that he takes LOTS of downtime to regenerate his body, and he does look better, as if he only did half a molt last time, finished it now. That blue giant claw looks much better. 
I heard him clanking in his aquarium. I brought him a carrot. He was drinking water so that’s a great sign, having thought he was a goner… Now he’s back!!! Yay!

Our short lives reminds me of scriptures that our time is but a blip of time. But our spirit renews. 

Isaiah 40: 6  “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.”

2 Corinthians 4:16. 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. 

2 Corinthians 5:17. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. 

Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

AMEN!!!

The Plague of Darkness, The HOPE of Light, 14MAY – #1153

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A darkness that was felt” – WOW !!! The Lord sent a plague of darkness for 3 days to the Egyptians because of Pharaoh putting conditions upon the way he would let the Israelites slaves worship God. Belief with conditions is not something that should be held when bargaining with God.  Darkness was imposed because of the conditions that Pharaoh placed, was not just darkness from light but distance from hope. I can’t imagine what the Egyptians felt, and this was after flies and frogs and lice and livestock death. God thru Moses was teaching Pharaoh a lesson about His all encompassing power and God was setting the stage for the release of all the slaves from Pharaoh’s grip.

Setting the stage – also done in darkness for musicals and plays – except there are footlights and markers on the floor. So darkness is not really darkness and our eyes adjust to look for the small light cues. The Israilite slaves who did worship and listen to God (mostly) had light for those 3 days. SO do we!

When have you felt darkness – have you felt distance from God? Is it an imposed darkness from Him or from you? Darkness that is to be navigated in life IS a darkness that is felt. Or when you have felt darkness, have you looked for small glimmers of hope and shards of light? Perhaps that is why one of the best scriptures in the bible is: “Walk by Faith, NOT by Sight.”

A friend told me once on a camping trip they were placed in complete darkness and then only given a birthday candle – a small birthday candle. but the LIGHT from that one small flame was SO BRIGHT – unbelievably bright. That is what faith in God brings – HOPE – LIGHT – A WAY – that is what Jesus brings – the WAY.

Don’t disregard God and end up in darkness. Feel your way to faith, listen and look, and you will see the Light.

AMEN!

—–
The Plague of Darkness (Exodus 10:21-29)
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.”  So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days. No one could see anyone else or move about for three days. Yet all the Israelites had light in the places where they lived.

Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and said, “Go, worship the Lord. Even your women and children may go with you; only leave your flocks and herds behind.”

But Moses said, “You must allow us to have sacrifices and burnt offerings to present to the Lord our God. Our livestock too must go with us; not a hoof is to be left behind. We have to use some of them in worshiping the Lord our God, and until we get there we will not know what we are to use to worship the Lord.”

But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.”

“Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.”

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+10%3A21-&version=NIV

Stay Smart, Not Marked, 12MAY – #1152

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Waking up with shoulder pain is not new to me, nor is waking up in the middle of the night.  Ibuprofen might help the shoulder, but what about the wandering mind? Prayer, study, being still. I woke up with the song lyrics “You go before I know that you’ve even gone to win my war…” so true, God goes ahead of us, even to the end. Jesus is the beginning and the end. I have a hard time understanding processing but that’s ok, He only wants our faith.  I have faith because He has carried me so far. (I went back to sleep, no worries)

Well I appreciate that He goes ahead of us and me, I need that, we MUST trust in the Lord. We must stay smart and remember it is not our battle with the powers that drag us down, it’s the Lord’s battle and He will carry us inside His armor. Pain brings us awareness, like my shoulder, and then we have to do something about it. Pain, fear, strife bring us awareness of God, and then we have to let Him do something about it. 

Instead of listening to those worries, I brought myself back to reading thru the bible,  I am in Exodus, where Pharaoh’s heart is getting harder and harder, by God’s power to allow him to go down that road, by Pharaoh not respecting God. Moses (and Aaron) have  to convince first the people then Pharaoh that God, THE GOD, THEIR GOD, is talking to them thru Moses (and Aaron). The israelite slaves just see it getting worse, and back and forth they all see it get tough before it gets better. And then the dividing of the punishments, before the dividing of the red sea. Initially, Pharaoh doesn’t believe and sees his magician folks do similar tricks to initial signs by Moses and Aaron.  But then his people see real and rough plagues, sent by God, believed by the magicians. All these take their toll on the Egyptians as the plagues get weirder and weirder. The outcome is eventually that Pharaoh lets the israelite slaves leave. But only after Pharaoh had to BOTH believe AND fear God.

Since the gnats were on people and animals everywhere, the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hard and he would not listen, just as the Lord had said. Exodus 8:18-19

How about dragons? Thinking separately about the Book of Revelation, it ALSO gets WEIRDER and WEIRDER.   I’m not sure how many more years, months, days we have before rapture and tribulation, so I recommend a bible study to step you thru the weirdness of those prophecies.  MOST IMPORTANTLY, I remind myself and us to put on the armor of God to approach life today. Tomorrow too. God knows each day… simply let us be faithful to God, let us take on the day and ONLY this day.

So in yesterday’s recorded message of a bible study of Revelation, I heard something key: “tell your unsaved friends and family to NOT get the mark of the beast, because you won’t be here to tell them not to…

Hmmm… we won’t be here. Rapture takes the believers up like a surprise, and the people left will be left wondering. They heard but did not believe, like Pharaoh. Too many people are making that mistake today. In tribulation times, 7 years after the Rapture, “the mark” and “the number” will mean something for those left behind in the broken world. But what symbol is not yet fully known now because we are not there yet, it is out of context reading it. 

We need faith and discernment now, but then the people will need discernment to realize… They will have to LISTEN AND BELIEVE. The key scriptures state that there will be a GREAT AWAKENING in those left. But not all. Therefore the only thing I suggest we worry about today, for tomorrow, is what the memory of today will be. Will others, especially non-believers, know how we are faithful and depend on faith today?

Oh, we have to remember to not get upset about the world in a way that detracts from our Way, but work for the Word. The world is going to keep going downhill, but the Word never changes, therefore we must prepare ourselves for spiritual battle every day. We must wake to work and see what God has already won and done, and we build upon that. 

We must know AND believe. Jesus, we put our trust in You.

Today is known to God. Jesus, Lord, please walk us thru today WITH YOU. 

Amen 

You ARE Good Enough – #1151

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Have you ever struggled with not knowing if you are good enough? 
Well you are.

You are good enough for God’s plan, good enough for His mission for you. You are good enough for making good. God will see to that.  God will give you tools, words, signs, and comfort that He is in charge. If you wonder, just ask God – there is no more authoritative answer about you than from Him.

Do we doubt? Oh yeah. God will use that too. God chose and gave Moses signs to back up the claim that God was speaking to His people thru Moses (a staff that turned into a snake and back, a transformation of his hand to leprous and back, water from the Nile river to pour out like blood). The signs were not tricks and all involved living components of which God only could give life to. Moses spoke to God and God spoke of His power and direction. God told this to Moses for showing compassion for His people oppressed by Pharaoh in Egypt. God saw what had happened and knew what would happen.  God knows what will happen now too, in our lives. Despite all these, Moses said I’m not good enough to speak. Moses was chosen anyway and God made a way for His Way to be known, using his brother Aaron to help. 

Are we bold enough to speak up for ourselves (let alone speak up for what we have seen God do)???. Are we taking the time to pray and listen, as we ought to? How can we speak from His Word if we don’t listen first. And if we don’t speak, our silence speaks too. And how often does God show His power despite our timidness? All the time. God will NOT be stopped.

We are good enough, because God is with us. Who is good enough? God says He is – He is the “I AM”. God says Go! Go. God says Know! Know.

God will be the “I AM” with you today. Believe Him, not me. or believe me because of Him. GO and KNOW.
Amen 

—–
Reading in Exodus 4:https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%204&version=NIV;KJV

10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”13 But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform the signs with it.”—-Previous scripture from exodus 3https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+3&version=NIV;KJV

And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation…….”

The Wait, 09MAY – #1150

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I appreciated yesterday that a person (a preacher none the less) stopped in his tracks to tell me and my friend something that they really appreciated reading just at that moment – that Billy Graham likened learning about faith from learning to play golf – that it was a game of waiting and humbleness… it was a tidbit that I agreed with (even if I don’t think of golf) – it was a tidbit to say – remember waiting is not without thinking.

and it is true –  with us faith is waiting… and God is waiting, counting on our faith too.

I get that – I got that – I will have to keep getting that…

The day ahead I knew was going to have waiting – at least it was sunday and I planned to be flexible. So, I timed my Mother’s day lunch just so – stopping at 3 places to bring the right hot food home to be timed when BOTH kids were ready to eat – and I was so hungry just thinking that I was hungry. AND GUESS WHAT? I WAITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but I worked HARD this time to not grumble. I waited…  that is like faith – wait it out – wait and see and not over react…
If I grumbled TOO HIGHLY then I would have upset my own perfect image of a nice lunch. If I grumbled to myself, I still grumbled. Of course I did feel blessed and remembered that I felt blessed. and I waited – but I did stress eat my salad, standing up, waiting and hid the rest into the fridge so it didn’t show my frustration of waiting. (trust me, it was worth eating as substitution this time – I thought this is the best substitute I could get as a human for processing when I would not JUST process by praying. and trust me praying is enough and faith is enough and God is enough. (but if you are going to stress eat anything, choose a salad to get your thru what you have to get thru and this salad was good and only $3 as a big side salad? wow!) I digress…

Why do we have to wait – why don’t we like to wait – why are we made to wait?UMMMM…. I think God knows A LOT about waiting. I think, actually I know, that God is neither sulking in a corner waiting nor storming up and destroying everything He created just to prove a point. God waits. 

God waits. Does God grow cold like my food? No.God waits. Does God give up on us? No. God waits. Does God ALREADY know His wait is worth it? YES.Is God Gracious? well, how could He not be. but does God want what He wants? You betcha!

When we sat down, we had a great meal, I didn’t have to cook, I didn’t have much to clean, I enjoyed sitting and I was forced to sit! I don’t usually sit – I was both blessed to sit and forced to sit in my own kitchen and that was weird because my kids carried on conversations and lingered. I was kinda ready to get up from the table but it was like they were ready to finally sit. weird. cool. blessed. it WAS worth the wait.

I prayed in thankfulness as I know many who can’t gather with their kids – and I prayed hopeful in recognition that I will always count my blessings and not grumble. I did remember that when we grumble, God gives us time to realize to be humble.

God is waiting for us at the table. He has set the table. He has the daily bread for us. Will we come? He is ready to hear about our day and soothe us. He is ready to strengthen us and comfort us because He understands our day. He also knows WHY we are eating – to strengthen for the next challenge. He knows that He is the best sustenance above all because HE gives LIFE. 

We have an opportunity to be with God and feel blessed. God wants us to feel love. In all, He makes us warm with love, and there is not any wait on that…I thought the other day about people who are angry with God and perhaps God wears a hot mitt until they cool down to realize He has always been holding them and taking care of them. As I sat at the table and turned to look out the window – the birds were grabbing bread I tossed in the compost pile. God gives them daily bread seeds and all. He does for us too. When we think about God, we should think about how He takes care of us. He does.

Thank You Lord for my day and my dinner and my hope and my help. Yesterday was Your day, let me make today the day I recognize YOUR WAY too.

Amen

—————-

God will be Gracios
Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you;
And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed are all those who wait for Him.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+30%3A18&version=NKJV

A Day that is Fresh, 09MAY – #1149

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and our mothering women AND men. Even Jesus had the urge to gather us all like a hen gathers her chicks (Luke 13). 

If there’s one PEACE that I appreciate on Mother’s Day (and every day), it’s the quiet time of early morning when the kids are sleeping. The cat may protest, but I will sit in the quiet of a day. It is not the freshness OF the new day that is as important that the new day IS fresh. It’s as peaceful as possible in a place that is supposed to be filled with peace. HOME. 

It has been my pleasure to be a mom and work my butt off to re-obtain peace each morning, or at least appreciate the peace the Lord has brought me, even if the evenings are sometimes filled with fret and sleep is the default of collapse from the day.  Now, in the morning we have put all that to rest even if temporary. No, not all sleep is peace or all peace is sleeping because Peace is an ongoing pursue-able cause. But sleep is sleep and a gift of a reset. Sleeping mornings is simply a “whew” for a moment… an acknowledgement of safe thus far… a chance to thank the Lord for HIS faithfulness. 

The Lord has woken me up earlier to acknowledge that He is the one who has given me peace most assuredly.
Being a mom means following the Lord’s example in work, sacrifice, and teaching. Being a mom means relying on the Father for strength and direction and patience. Being a mom means that you will take the heat for doing the unpopular things, appearing uncaring because you ARE caring, and that’s just from your own crew. God understands that completely.  

At the END of the day, there is only one good reason for why and how He raises us as His children and how we raise ours… LOVE. 

At the BEGINNING of the day, there is only one good reason for savoring a moment of peace… LOVE.

Jesus said: “I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day…” – So, LET US ALSO PRESS ON, not in strife or pride, but in peace, in gathering the chicks who won’t gather easily, in being OK with being OK…

Thank You Lord for YOUR encouragement. You have brought us “safe thus far”…

Amen 

———–
Luke 13: 31-35

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ”

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+13%3A31-&version=NIV

In as troubled as David the King found himself at times, he appreciated the Lord bringing him back to Him any time and all the time, especially when straying off the path.  

1 Chronicles 17:16-27

David’s Prayer
Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said: Who am I, Lord God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?  And as if this were not enough in your sight, my God, you have spoken about the future of the house of your servant. You, Lord God, have looked on me as though I were the most exalted of men. “What more can David say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant, Lord. For the sake of your servant and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made known all these great promises.

“There is no one like you, Lord, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth whose God went out to redeem a people for himself, and to make a name for yourself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? You made your people Israel your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.

“And now, Lord, let the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house be established forever. Do as you promised, so that it will be established and that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty, the God over Israel, is Israel’s God!’ And the house of your servant David will be established before you. “You, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. So your servant has found courage to pray to you. You, Lord, are God! You have promised these good things to your servant. Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Lord, have blessed it, and it will be blessed forever.”

Intercede, 08MAY – #1148

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I listened to a Bible study about our prayer life, and it was SO good that I listened to it twice, once on my commute to work and again on the commute home. I loved a discussion about how God is SURPRISED that we ourselves don’t intercede on His behalf. Yeah, we know but we wait for God to work. Meanwhile God told us, urged us and equipped us to act. The bible story in Exodus that I read this morning matches this, about Moses doing a small but important thing, he helped the daughters of a Midian to water their flocks. Simple but Moses was in the right place at the right time with the right skills. Moses, in chapter 3, will be charged then with a BIG mission of God with His saying: “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”  WOW! 

Often we are in a place and position to help, to INTERCEDE. God DOES expect it, and probably God is surprised that we don’t trust Him enough to carry out the work, even if it gets tough. We should intercede.

Some acts seem like a no-brainer, some we wonder if we should step up to the plate, some acts are thrust upon us. Each time, it is our humble duty to serve.

So what about us today? Are we on a mission? EVERYDAY. It may be a mission of a smile, and encouraging word, or a wrong that needs to be righted. It may be as vast as sharing God’s love and as deeply personal as understanding within us that God’s intense love IS for us. Let us start here – that we are the ones God hears.

God is always saying that He loves us so much that He takes care of us. I am sure He is surprised that we don’t always believe it. We should believe it. He burns in our hearts and fuels our faith. We are to listen in the moment to the moment. Moses helped with his strength to chase away those preventing the woman from watering their livestock. God helped Moses deliver the Israelites slaves out of Egypt. Both are done from God’s burning desire to set things right, from compassion.

We are to intercede. And the real power is in God, for us to realize in prayer, for us to know Him as “I AM”.  God intercedes for us. He hears us. He WANTS to hear us and handle things with our help and realization. 
We act for His glory and we must believe in the follow thru. Trust God, He is trusting you for His follow thru.

Amen


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Exodus 2:15-25 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%202&version=NIV

….Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well.  Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock. Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock. When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?” They answered, “An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock.” – “And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.” Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.” During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

——

Exodus 3 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%203&version=NIV

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”
And Moses said, “Here I am.”
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.
The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”
But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
And God said, “I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.”
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’
“This is my name forever,    the name you shall call me    from generation to generation.
“Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.’
“The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, ‘The Lord, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God.’ But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.
“And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians.”

Wonder, Wrestle Wander Write, Wake, Walk With Worth, Wonder, 06MAY – #1147

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Wonder into Wonder…It is better to read the bible than wonder what says. And truly these stories teach and these stories comfort. God loves to comfort and connect with us. And we remember that HE REMEMBERS. We forget and we go from wonder to wrestle to wander. He would rather have our wonder.

I always wondered how to remember which story was before the others. We can fill in gaps in our memories by reading the truths of history. That brings us to realizing his realness. In my wonder about God, I have wrestled with remembering and I have wandered from the truth. In other words, I am certainly one of God’s people because so many do wonder, wrestle and wander. this leads me to walking.

For memory sake, it is helpful to be alphabetical of the main names we hear about: Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, eventually Moses….  Moses, floating in his basket, drawn out of the water, comes after Jacob who comes after Abraham.  We all know that they come after Noah – no one could survive the water except those carried thru it – like in the ark, like in Moses’s basket, like us in Jesus’s Living Water arms.

Jacob did not wrestle with tricking his father Issac, who was nearly sacrificed by Abraham, but Jacob certainly wrestled with God who blessed him by touching his hip for just enough injury to be memorable – and then Jacob was renamed Israel, meaning all his descendants (12 sons becoming 12 tribes) were a descendant of Israel. Joseph the youngest, and a great story in Genesis, brought them all to Egypt and they were fruitful and multiplied, fulfilling the promise God made to Abraham, in Genesis 17. 

It is from the journey of Joseph (the fancy coated youngest son of Jacob), sold into Egypt that creates the group of people who become Pharaoh’s slaves (cue Yul Brynner from the movie 10 Commandments). Jacob thru Joseph, by way of a good Pharaoh, brought all the Jacobites Israelites into Egypt. Joseph was the one who saved the Egyptians and Israelites by being smart with the resources and feeding the people. Moses, later would save those then oppressed people by walking them out – thru the parting of the Red Sea – and back towards the promised land. They wandered in the dessert by not wondering enough. They didn’t wrestle with God, they simply walked over and over and argued and argued. 

That is our memory device: many wonderings, many wrestlings, and many wanderings. Us too, we have all wandered to this day – we need to get back to the wonder. It is OK for us to wrestle with God, as long as we look for His blessing. We all need to walk with Him.

Knowing that my other writings brought me to Jesus who is worthy, and Jesus rescues me and all the wanderers in the world who wake up. It is my wonder, wrestle, wander, writing, wakefulness, walk and worth which bring me back to the wonder.

We give up our lives to follow Him – we are floated on the water too. Forever. Moses’s mom said: Let me give up my son so that he could live. She then was able to “borrow” him back to nurture him, raise him and give him over to Pharaoh’s daughter. God too – He was able to give His Son to save us all – He gave him up after 33 years so that we all could live – now that IS a WONDER…

Wonder, Wrestle Wander Write, Wake, Walk With Worth, Wonder

Lord, bring us back to Wonder.  

Amen


Exodus 1

These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; 4 Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. 5 The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.

6 Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, 7 but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.

8 Then a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt. 9 “Look,” he said to his people, “the Israelites have become far too numerous for us. 10 Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country.”

11 So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. 12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites 13 and worked them ruthlessly. 14 They made their lives bitter with harsh labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their harsh labor the Egyptians worked them ruthlessly.

15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.” 17 The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. 18 Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live?”

19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.” 20 So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. 21 And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own. 22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”

The Birth of Moses
2 Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?” 8 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

May the Wisdom Be With You, 04MAY – #1146

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It’s not “may the fourth/force be with you” as much as we ought to say “may you be with the Lord’s plans.” Ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’  and

May the Wisdom Be With You.

When the alarm rang last night, I was already in my pjs, I then remembered the bible study I forgot,  I had to drop my random nonsense plans for the evening and open up my sensible chapter to read, about gaining WISDOM from the book of James. Excellent and the scripture is timeless and timely. I had 30 minutes to refocus on the Lord, thank God it is a zoom at home to the other coasts, those working mom folks are hungry with kids clamoring at 6pm, me on the other coast I’m tired at 9pm, I’m the cranky kid clamoring instead. Face it, I would have fallen asleep on the couch anyway. That’s why I don’t partake in this bible study zoom on the couch but in the kitchen on the hard uncomfy chairs. And yes, I did once fall asleep, got too comfy, and the host graciously turned my camera off, I woke up 20 minutes later, ugh, I had to laugh it off but God’s grace is no laughing matter, turn your joy to mumble to humble. Get wisdom at any cost. 

Grace, we get grace because others have the wisdom to extend it no matter how much they don’t understand us or if we upset them. We need to do the same for everyone. We are recipients of Grace more often than we ourselves extend it.

The bible study once again was perfect, James 4, we are a moment, He is eternal. “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. “How many times have I read that bible verse, sung it as a song, yet how fast I forget and build my life myself. Too much. We should not boast about our plans nor plan our lives without God. SO TRUE. We don’t know tomorrow, BUT HE DOES. He knows and He has already gone there – and gone ahead of us – He will flash the follow me signs if we look. And so the Lord also knows the level of Grace to apply for our future steps as well. That’s why sometimes when I pray direction, and try to listen, I get simple ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and ‘wait’ for His answers. Other than that He would have preferred I get wisdom from His Word. If I hear little, it’s perhaps that I have asked about something too far ahead. Step back to the moment. Prepare for the Kingdom future, not mine, not ours, but be careful to step to His path. Life or anything won’t proceed without God building it. God gives grace to us sliding down the embankment away from the path. He sends help, or puts big trees on the side to catch us. We rest and realize.

Let us repeat this mantra today: MAY THE WISDOM BE WITH YOU!

May we listen too.
AMEN 

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James 4:14-17 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.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

from Psalm 127 (from Solomon) Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves…

Proverbs 4 (from Solomon)

Get Wisdom at Any Cost
4 Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
    pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
    so do not forsake my teaching.
3 For I too was a son to my father,
    still tender, and cherished by my mother.
4 Then he taught me, and he said to me,
    “Take hold of my words with all your heart;
    keep my commands, and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
    do not forget my words or turn away from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
    love her, and she will watch over you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
    Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
    embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will give you a garland to grace your head
    and present you with a glorious crown.”

10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
    they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.

18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know what makes them stumble.

20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
    keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
    and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.

27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.

Gathering His People, 03MAY – #1145

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It is wonderful for me to be in a bible study on the book of Revelation at the same time that I am reading Genesis.

Really – the bible is not as flat a timeline as it is a woven matrix of God’s people and God’s love. The connection of course is that Jesus IS the Word – the spoken and the comprehended – and all the bible from Genesis to Revelation is discussion, teaching, and living. All is about God loving us and making us for His pleasure. Reflecting upon these words in Genesis of Jacob (also renamed Israel), as he was about to pass from the earth, brings home the message that God wants us to know what will await us upon death:  “I am about to be gathered to my people.” Is that not what the book of Revelation also shows us? God gathering His people. We are promised His eternal home when we acknowledge Him on the throne. We are the sheep He wants to keep.

Jesus promises return – to take His disciples and us who call Him “Lord” to our healing place in Heaven.  He also promises help in our day to day living, with the gift of the Holy Spirit. The place now on earth is holding onto the stitch in His net that He made for us – our place is found in Him creating and weaving the net to hold us – and after appreciating the stitch, we hitch a ride with Jesus in salvation and find His “Promise” in Jesus. This is a theme and a truth mirrored as in Genesis as spoken by Joseph: “God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  Old Covenant to New Covenant – the direction and the promise is “Gathering to His People”.

We all await Heavenly Home, with Jesus we are never alone. Are there trials in between Genesis and Revelation? Oh yeah. Is God up to the task to deliver us? He already did. Now we hold on to the One holding us: Jesus. The Alpha and Omega. From the beginning to the next new beginning.

Gathered and Loved.
Amen

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Genesis Chapter 49

The Death of Jacob
29 Then he gave them these instructions: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.”

33 When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.

Chapter 50

Joseph threw himself on his father and wept over him and kissed him. 2 Then Joseph directed the physicians in his service to embalm his father Israel. So the physicians embalmed him, 3 taking a full forty days, for that was the time required for embalming. And the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.

4 When the days of mourning had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s court, “If I have found favor in your eyes, speak to Pharaoh for me. Tell him, 5 ‘My father made me swear an oath and said, “I am about to die; bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.” Now let me go up and bury my father; then I will return.’”

6 Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.”
7 So Joseph went up to bury his father. All Pharaoh’s officials accompanied him—the dignitaries of his court and all the dignitaries of Egypt— 8 besides all the members of Joseph’s household and his brothers and those belonging to his father’s household. Only their children and their flocks and herds were left in Goshen. 9 Chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very large company.

10 When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan, they lamented loudly and bitterly; and there Joseph observed a seven-day period of mourning for his father. 11 When the Canaanites who lived there saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “The Egyptians are holding a solemn ceremony of mourning.” That is why that place near the Jordan is called Abel Mizraim.

12 So Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them: 13 They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre, which Abraham had bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. 14 After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all the others who had gone with him to bury his father.

Joseph Reassures His Brothers
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, “Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

The Death of Joseph
22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years 23 and saw the third generation of Ephraim’s children. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees.[c]

24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 25 And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”

26 So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

Serving Again for His Gain, APR/MAY – #1144

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Again and Again …because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel…

Again and again we biblically see service as valued over situation, and we see GRACE enter as the saving force. In Genesis, we see the younger being served by the elder, a turn of the tables in 3 generations: Jacob and Esau; Joseph and the 11 other brothers; and with Joseph’s two sons. We see the theme of service by force and servitude by choice.

Again and again we also can make the choice to follow our Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. He is our Savior whose Servitude IS by choice.

Jacob, was to be called Israel, with his descendants in the 12 tribes of his 12 sons forever to be called Israelites. Jacob was the younger son who went ahead of Esau. This was also through trickery to Issac the father. Esau, not blameless in his destiny, sold out to his younger brother and Jacob was too eager to take it.  Jacob wrestled with God, and so often God spoke to Jacob and Jacob spoke to God. Jacob was blessed many fold by God’s Grace and guidance. Both Jacob and Esau went on to have trials in life yet they re-connected in forgiveness and grace…

Joseph (with the fancy coat), the youngest son of Jacob, went on to lead the 11 other brothers, many years after they sold him, betrayed him, purposefully lost him. Fast forward many years, Joseph was the one with higher material blessings in Egypt but from his father too, not just in a fancy coat or an extra ridge of land, but with a father’s favorite love. Joseph also sought God’s heart and deepened in his understanding of God’s revealed plan for his service. All the brothers were eventually blessed in the world. Joseph however served like a servant in understanding his blessings and Joseph’s remarkable success was only because God allowed it and caused it… Jacob reminded Joseph that it was God Almighty who made him a prince above his brothers.

We too must remember, again and again, God is the One who causes our successes and prevents our failures. Jesus shepherds us into safety again and again – for His gain. 

We see late in the story that Joseph’s sons’ blessings were switched by their grandfather Jacob who knowingly switched his hands laid on their heads. Ephraim, the second born, was blessed ahead of Manasseh, the first. Both were blessed, Jacob clearly said he knew from the Lord that thru Abraham their line was guaranteed Godly offspring whom would continue into many nations.

Jacob, called Israel by God, said:  “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.  With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,  because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the skies above,  blessings of the deep springs below,  blessings of the breast and womb. Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers.” Genesis 49:22-24

There are more stories and understandings in the writings of Genesis – including a new level I just understood from reading about Judah , who originally was awful to Joseph but then later swore to protect Benjamin, the new favorite of father Jacob. (I found some last minute insight into this at this website: https://www.citieschurch.com/sermons/why-is-jesus-the-lion-of-judah).

This pledge and change of heart from self-serving to serving others, protecting others, is a change of heart of Judah and now the bloodline that continues from Judah to Jesus is established in serving. So forgiveness from Joseph the younger to grace from God the creator, we know all are forgiven in the blood of the Savior.

So no matter who is older, it is always Jesus modelling servanthood – obedience by death on the cross to save the world – ALL His brothers and sisters.

Amen

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Genesis Chapter 48

Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. 2 When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.3 Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me 4 and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’5 “Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6 Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers. 7 As I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).8 When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”9 “They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father. Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”12 Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.15 Then he blessed Joseph and said, “May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm—may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth.”17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” 20 He blessed them that day and said, “In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing: ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and take you back to the land of your fathers. 22 And to you I give one more ridge of land than to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

Chapter 49 Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come. 2 “Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel. 3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power.4 Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it. 5 “Simeon and Levi are brothers—    their swords are weapons of violence.6 Let me not enter their council,    let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger    and hamstrung oxen as they pleased. 7 Cursed be their anger, so fierce,    and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob    and disperse them in Israel.

8 “Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. 9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? 10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his. 11 He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.

13 “Zebulun will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships;  his border will extend toward Sidon.14 “Issachar is a rawboned donkey lying down among the sheep pens. 15 When he sees how good is his resting place  and how pleasant is his land, he will bend his shoulder to the burden and submit to forced labor.16 “Dan will provide justice for his people as one of the tribes of Israel.17 Dan will be a snake by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider tumbles backward.18 “I look for your deliverance, Lord. 19 “Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders, but he will attack them at their heels.20 “Asher’s food will be rich; he will provide delicacies fit for a king.21 “Naphtali is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns.

22 “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. 23 With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. 24 But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, 25 because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the skies above,  blessings of the deep springs below,  blessings of the breast and womb. 26 Your father’s blessings are greater  than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers. 27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he divides the plunder.”28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.


… and yet another story back in Genesis 38 is of offspring switching positions is those of Judah by Tamar disguising herself to become pregnant. Her 2 sons started out of the womb and the first hand that came out had a ribbon tied on it but it went back in and the 2nd son was born first.

Lazy for All to See, APR/MAY – #1143

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Trust me, even though I write a lot, I love this slowdown opportunity year to be “lazy”, my version of lazy which also could be considered busy in just doing the things I want to do… Does this sound familiar to you? Then again I know I am not lazy but focused on worldly things too often, but who isn’t?!!! Let us try to regroup for the next season in our lives – a busy lazy summer season.

I took a break away from my laziness to be very up and active for Easter – for that was a HUGE blessing in time – for I was really enjoying church services safely outside and safely in. It was good to wake up from our winter slumber. It was good to take a break from my laziness and remember that if Christ arose from being dead, I could at least arise from being lazy.

I will add to the term “lazy”, the term “feeling sorry for myself” – that is a disease in our world like no other pandemic. We often do succumb to feeling sorry for ourselves when we should remember that God has saved us. Do we really need to whine about worldly things? I also whine with the best of us. And we expect certain things to be “just so”, and we forget our blessings, and we get stuck, and we forget that we must put in a little elbow grease for the good of all…

The last part of laziness is forgetting to keep … … (this is where I stopped writing a month ago and I don’t know what I was going to say… oops… LOL…)…  Let me start again, now that it is May – let me start fresh.
The worst part of laziness is forgetting to keep REMEMBERING.  I forget yesterday so fast – that could be bad or good – so it is no wonder we forget to count our blessings and bless our counting.

There is not a great message here after these ramblings except this: WE FORGET but JESUS DOESN’T – and Jesus on the cross could have easily said: “Forgive them Father, for they don’t know that they are saved.”

Our names are not forgotten by the Lord, let us not forget that we are saved when we ask to be saved, when we know we need saving, when we reach to the one Savior – Jesus the Christ.

When we remember we are saved, we are to remember that we are to go out into the world blessed by God and share revelations and remembrances, resurrection and direction.

Let us not forget to REMEMBER.

Send us out, Lord, to do YOUR WORK for it pleases YOU!

AMEN!

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, 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.

——-

Luke 10:1-7, 16-24

After this 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. 2 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. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

5 “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ 6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
….
16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, 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. 22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

23 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Witness Not War, Embrace Grace, 24APR – #1142

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A thought came to mind in how our workplaces, mine too, are lately embracing awareness. It is good and an attempt to stop bias. All peoples are of value and all topics/cultures/lifestyles are of interest and speakable… oh, except religion, hushhhhh…  I appreciate that we are being careful to not discriminate, for I have seen how talk of religion makes fear resonate… so we tread NOT officially but PERSONALLY… BE THE WHISPER in the wind, not the shout of showy din.

All religions… all HUSH… Is that OK? Kinda tells you how powerful faith is.

Well, let us be thoughtful in exploring the ADVANTAGES OF THE HUSH:

. For it is not a war of words we wage but a witness with words in with which we engage.

. It is not throwing down the law, it’s living up to the call

. We don’t jam religion down people’s throats, we speak softly sweetly and surely because salvation is not for gloats. 

. There is no need to wage war when what is needed is to WITNESS more.

. Speak quietly but speak sure, for under the HUSH, people may LISTEN MORE.

. BE THE WHISPER in the wind, not the shout of showy din.

. Trade less personal celebration for a demonstration of our dedication.

. Live in witness, the Word is the MOST powerful even and especially when gently heard.

Live the Word in the workplace, EMBRACE GRACE

Amen 

Follow the Story, 23APR – #1141

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Nothing better in the story of Joseph (who had the special coat, in Genesis), or IN OUR LIVES, than the truth of: GOD BEING WITH US! It may involve dreaming for Joseph to understand a revelation interpretation of the Lord’s plans, but for us, it is not about dreams but reality and IT IS AN AWAKENING…

And wow, if there’s a BIG takeaway from this Joseph story that struck me this morning, after days of reading, it is that the Joseph story is in a microcosm about God sending Jesus to save – and that microcosm includes Joseph (as the favorite son of Jacob) taken away to foreign lands by his brother’s sins against him. Regardless, Joseph was able to recognize (after years of hardship) that God Himself had a job for him to do, meaning to save the people, make life and death decisions, and both teach his brothers a lesson but show HUGE GRACE in forgiveness and family restoration by forgiveness… (SOUND FAMILIAR?) Joseph even gave back the silver with the food – gave them what they needed and more than what they deserved (sound familiar?)

I got that lightbulb moment after a long set of scriptures that became a fast read… I first thought it was going to take FOREVER to get thru the old testament, but these fast reading parts are very engaging. The stories reflecting life lessons and mini capsules of God’s power and plan, when read thru the eyes of learning about God’s Grace, are captivating and eye-opening. 

Joseph had compassion looking back upon his brothers and father, Jesus does too – however Jesus has compassion looking forward in the knowledge of the plan from the beginning. Joseph had to come to the point of success and Jesus is still suffering for God’s ultimate success. Jesus will ALSO rejoice in the rejoining of His (Our) family, He is trying to catch all our brothers and sisters in saving grace.

Joseph’s brothers had to recognize their sin, yet how can anyone atone for something they can not undo, ONLY thru forgiveness of the son and the father… the brothers could live without retribution from the son and father, even if they didn’t deserve the forgiveness. We too can live by Jesus and God’s love showing us mercy, forgiveness for forever togetherness… WHOLENESS… (and for showing witnesses too)…

Joseph’s brothers were instructed how to answer everyone about what their occupation, we too … Jesus instructs us how to live and shepherd… how to answer people too.

Joseph provided for his brothers and father and Jesus provides for us. We too must listen and look forward in preparation, prepare and be a resource for those who run into trouble, be fruitful and share, knowing that what was provided for us was and is to be a resource for others. Be a good steward as well to set aside what others will need. Think like Jesus then act.

Joseph figured out how to feed the people and gave them seeds to grow and prosper. Jesus does the same for us. He gives us seeds for the Kingdom… Joseph was taken to foreign lands, Jesus came down to earth – not by force but by finding a Way to us.

I’m sure it’s not a scholar who gets interpretations like this from the bible,  it is a follower… it’s following the story of God and Jesus weaved thru the history of His story… it’s recognizing life in details, not a dream, but a realness in love… it’s setting aside trouble to listen and obey, keep going and lead on… a leader must follow. 

One BIG contrast between Joseph and Jesus, is whereas Joseph traded food in a famine for the people’s money then land, creating essentially slaves, we are already slaves – actually we are loved servants – to God Our Father and bought by Jesus’s blood thru His obedience. We live to God’s pleasure – which is fellowship with us. Jesus is different to Joseph in that Jesus does not require monetary trades for sustaining us, Jesus frees us from the weight of sin with GRACE to share God’s MERCY, and shares it freely. Jesus is similar to Joseph’s request of the people of the land in that the ultimate price for life is surrendering all. The people in Joseph’s day did not know about the many year famine. We should know to store our treasures in Heaven not earth and know the future will be rough for non-believers and believers (and many will fall away forgetting their blessings when real trouble comes).

Let us know now our blessing in Jesus. Jesus holds the remaining keys to our life – if we only let Him unlock it for us. He knows what we need – HIM. 

Jesus knows the What. Jesus knows the Why. Jesus knows the Way.

Follow Jesus, He IS the Way.

Follow the Story and the Story is HIS-STORY

Amen

Please read just this small passage and understand the lightbulb moment of understanding the microcosm of Joseph and Jesus, specifically Joseph not laying blame, quizzing his brothers but not assigning blame. Joseph forgiving the brothers and Jesus forgiving those who “know not what they do”, and forgiving those who should know better when they repent. Here’s a snippet, the scriptures tell a long story, but a fast read (included below)… Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. Ch45:3-8

PS, I first called this “Dream on” for Joseph was great with dream interpretation,  but a better title is Follow the Story,  because Joseph had to follow to lead… his story is our story… follow Jesus and be God’s… 

Amen Amen. 

—-

The middle part of the REST of the story …. there are chapters before and after this… Genesis Ch39,  starting a bit into the story… 

But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

Ch40

The Cupbearer and the Baker

40 Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them.

After they had been in custody for some time, 5 each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.

6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?”

8 “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.”

Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”

9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”

12 “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15 I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”

16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread. 17 In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”

18 “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale your body on a pole. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”

20 Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand— 22 but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.

23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.

Ch41

Pharaoh’s Dreams

When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2 when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4 And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up. 5 He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. 7 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream. 8 In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.

9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10 Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12 Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13 And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.”

14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.

15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”

16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”

17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18 when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. 19 After them, seven other cows came up—scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. 20 The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. 21 But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up. 22 “In my dream I saw seven heads of grain, full and good, growing on a single stalk. 23 After them, seven other heads sprouted—withered and thin and scorched by the east wind. 24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told this to the magicians, but none of them could explain it to me.”

25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. 27 The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine.

28 “It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.

33 “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36 This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”

37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God[a]?”

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”

Joseph in Charge of Egypt

41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command,[b] and people shouted before him, “Make way[c]!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.

44 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” 45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,[d] to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.

46 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. 48 Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. 49 Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.

50 Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh[e] and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 The second son he named Ephraim[f] and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

53 The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55 When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”

56 When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57 And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.

Ch42

Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt

42 When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” 2 He continued, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”

3 Then ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him. 5 So Israel’s sons were among those who went to buy grain, for there was famine in the land of Canaan also.

6 Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. 7 As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked.

“From the land of Canaan,” they replied, “to buy food.”

8 Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him. 9 Then he remembered his dreams about them and said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”

10 “No, my lord,” they answered. “Your servants have come to buy food. 11 We are all the sons of one man. Your servants are honest men, not spies.”

12 “No!” he said to them. “You have come to see where our land is unprotected.”

13 But they replied, “Your servants were twelve brothers, the sons of one man, who lives in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more.”

14 Joseph said to them, “It is just as I told you: You are spies! 15 And this is how you will be tested: As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 16 Send one of your number to get your brother; the rest of you will be kept in prison, so that your words may be tested to see if you are telling the truth. If you are not, then as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 17 And he put them all in custody for three days.

18 On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison, while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households. 20 But you must bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” This they proceeded to do.

21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”

22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” 23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.

24 He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.

25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.

27 At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack. 28 “My silver has been returned,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”

Their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”

29 When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said, 30 “The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to us and treated us as though we were spying on the land. 31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. 32 We were twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.’

33 “Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade[a] in the land.’”

35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his pouch of silver! When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened. 36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!”

37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may put both of my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my care, and I will bring him back.”

38 But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow.”

Ch43

The Second Journey to Egypt

43 Now the famine was still severe in the land. 2 So when they had eaten all the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go back and buy us a little more food.”

3 But Judah said to him, “The man warned us solemnly, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’ 4 If you will send our brother along with us, we will go down and buy food for you. 5 But if you will not send him, we will not go down, because the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face again unless your brother is with you.’”

6 Israel asked, “Why did you bring this trouble on me by telling the man you had another brother?”

7 They replied, “The man questioned us closely about ourselves and our family. ‘Is your father still living?’ he asked us. ‘Do you have another brother?’ We simply answered his questions. How were we to know he would say, ‘Bring your brother down here’?”

8 Then Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy along with me and we will go at once, so that we and you and our children may live and not die. 9 I myself will guarantee his safety; you can hold me personally responsible for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. 10 As it is, if we had not delayed, we could have gone and returned twice.”

11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be, then do this: Put some of the best products of the land in your bags and take them down to the man as a gift—a little balm and a little honey, some spices and myrrh, some pistachio nuts and almonds. 12 Take double the amount of silver with you, for you must return the silver that was put back into the mouths of your sacks. Perhaps it was a mistake. 13 Take your brother also and go back to the man at once. 14 And may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man so that he will let your other brother and Benjamin come back with you. As for me, if I am bereaved, I am bereaved.”

15 So the men took the gifts and double the amount of silver, and Benjamin also. They hurried down to Egypt and presented themselves to Joseph. 16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Take these men to my house, slaughter an animal and prepare a meal; they are to eat with me at noon.”

17 The man did as Joseph told him and took the men to Joseph’s house. 18 Now the men were frightened when they were taken to his house. They thought, “We were brought here because of the silver that was put back into our sacks the first time. He wants to attack us and overpower us and seize us as slaves and take our donkeys.”

19 So they went up to Joseph’s steward and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 20 “We beg your pardon, our lord,” they said, “we came down here the first time to buy food. 21 But at the place where we stopped for the night we opened our sacks and each of us found his silver—the exact weight—in the mouth of his sack. So we have brought it back with us. 22 We have also brought additional silver with us to buy food. We don’t know who put our silver in our sacks.”

23 “It’s all right,” he said. “Don’t be afraid. Your God, the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks; I received your silver.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.

24 The steward took the men into Joseph’s house, gave them water to wash their feet and provided fodder for their donkeys. 25 They prepared their gifts for Joseph’s arrival at noon, because they had heard that they were to eat there.

26 When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground. 27 He asked them how they were, and then he said, “How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still living?”

28 They replied, “Your servant our father is still alive and well.” And they bowed down, prostrating themselves before him.

29 As he looked about and saw his brother Benjamin, his own mother’s son, he asked, “Is this your youngest brother, the one you told me about?” And he said, “God be gracious to you, my son.” 30 Deeply moved at the sight of his brother, Joseph hurried out and looked for a place to weep. He went into his private room and wept there.

31 After he had washed his face, he came out and, controlling himself, said, “Serve the food.”

32 They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians. 33 The men had been seated before him in the order of their ages, from the firstborn to the youngest; and they looked at each other in astonishment. 34 When portions were served to them from Joseph’s table, Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as anyone else’s. So they feasted and drank freely with him.

 Ch44

A Silver Cup in a Sack

44 Now Joseph gave these instructions to the steward of his house: “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man’s silver in the mouth of his sack. 2 Then put my cup, the silver one, in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the silver for his grain.” And he did as Joseph said.

3 As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4 They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to his steward, “Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? 5 Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination? This is a wicked thing you have done.’”

6 When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them. 7 But they said to him, “Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do anything like that! 8 We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan the silver we found inside the mouths of our sacks. So why would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 9 If any of your servants is found to have it, he will die; and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves.”

10 “Very well, then,” he said, “let it be as you say. Whoever is found to have it will become my slave; the rest of you will be free from blame.”

11 Each of them quickly lowered his sack to the ground and opened it. 12 Then the steward proceeded to search, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack. 13 At this, they tore their clothes. Then they all loaded their donkeys and returned to the city.

14 Joseph was still in the house when Judah and his brothers came in, and they threw themselves to the ground before him. 15 Joseph said to them, “What is this you have done? Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?”

16 “What can we say to my lord?” Judah replied. “What can we say? How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants’ guilt. We are now my lord’s slaves—we ourselves and the one who was found to have the cup.”

17 But Joseph said, “Far be it from me to do such a thing! Only the man who was found to have the cup will become my slave. The rest of you, go back to your father in peace.”

18 Then Judah went up to him and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, let me speak a word to my lord. Do not be angry with your servant, though you are equal to Pharaoh himself. 19 My lord asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 20 And we answered, ‘We have an aged father, and there is a young son born to him in his old age. His brother is dead, and he is the only one of his mother’s sons left, and his father loves him.’

21 “Then you said to your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so I can see him for myself.’ 22 And we said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father; if he leaves him, his father will die.’ 23 But you told your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you will not see my face again.’ 24 When we went back to your servant my father, we told him what my lord had said.

25 “Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy a little more food.’ 26 But we said, ‘We cannot go down. Only if our youngest brother is with us will we go. We cannot see the man’s face unless our youngest brother is with us.’

27 “Your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife bore me two sons. 28 One of them went away from me, and I said, “He has surely been torn to pieces.” And I have not seen him since. 29 If you take this one from me too and harm comes to him, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in misery.’

30 “So now, if the boy is not with us when I go back to your servant my father, and if my father, whose life is closely bound up with the boy’s life, 31 sees that the boy isn’t there, he will die. Your servants will bring the gray head of our father down to the grave in sorrow. 32 Your servant guaranteed the boy’s safety to my father. I said, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, I will bear the blame before you, my father, all my life!’

33 “Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. 34 How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come on my father.”

Ch 35

Joseph Makes Himself Known

45 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.

3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

8 “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. 10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’

12 “You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. 13 Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”

14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.

16 When the news reached Pharaoh’s palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, 18 and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’

19 “You are also directed to tell them, ‘Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come. 20 Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’”

21 So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey. 22 To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five sets of clothes. 23 And this is what he sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Don’t quarrel on the way!”

25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.” Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them. 27 But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 And Israel said, “I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”

Ch46

Jacob Goes to Egypt

46 So Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.

2 And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

3 “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”

5 Then Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel’s sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. 6 So Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt, taking with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan. 7 Jacob brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons and his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring.

8 These are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt: Reuben the firstborn of Jacob.

9 The sons of Reuben: Hanok, Pallu, Hezron and Karmi.

10 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.

11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.

12 The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan).

The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul.

13 The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron.

14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon and Jahleel.

15 These were the sons Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram, besides his daughter Dinah. These sons and daughters of his were thirty-three in all.

16 The sons of Gad: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi and Areli.

17 The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah.

Their sister was Serah.

The sons of Beriah: Heber and Malkiel.

18 These were the children born to Jacob by Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah—sixteen in all.

19 The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 

20 In Egypt, Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.

21 The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim and Ard.

22 These were the sons of Rachel who were born to Jacob—fourteen in all.

23 The son of Dan: Hushim.

24 The sons of Naphtali: Jahziel, Guni, Jezer and Shillem.

25 These were the sons born to Jacob by Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel—seven in all.

26 All those who went to Egypt with Jacob—those who were his direct descendants, not counting his sons’ wives—numbered sixty-six persons. 27 With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob’s family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.

28 Now Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen. When they arrived in the region of Goshen, 29 Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time.

30 Israel said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.”

31 Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and speak to Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were living in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32 The men are shepherds; they tend livestock, and they have brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ 33 When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34 you should answer, ‘Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.”

47 Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.” 2 He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.

3 Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”

“Your servants are shepherds,” they replied to Pharaoh, “just as our fathers were.” 4 They also said to him, “We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants’ flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen.”

5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, 6 and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.”

7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 8 Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?”

9 And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” 10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence.

11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed. 12 Joseph also provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their children.

Joseph and the Famine

13 There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. 14 Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace. 15 When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.”

16 “Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.

18 When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”

20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.

23 Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24 But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.”

25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”

26 So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt—still in force today—that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh’s.

27 Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.

28 Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29 When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.”

“I will do as you say,” he said.

31 “Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

Hey Lord, I’m Home! #1140

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Hey Lord, I’m Home!

It is interesting how we reach out to the Lord, forgetting that He NEVER forgets where we are, what we did, and what our intentions are. He knows that what He has done makes possible what we wonder is probable…  The Lord KNOWS and yet we remind Him our requests, I’m sure He doesn’t mind. It’s not if we pray loudest or longest, but if we pray expecting Him to act. He has, He will, He does. He IS all powerful, why do we doubt. 

I am sure He heard my parents’ prayers intently. I got back in the house yesterday, I was nervous not nonchalant, I was careful not carefree. (I kept my mask on in the house, will do so until cases drop, I served myself food but ate it on the porch, a warm up – in a month I will attempt to eat inside the house without fear)… They have had both vaccinations, the relief is palatable, the hope immense. My father most appreciative FOR my mom. She got to give me a hug, much more important than me giving her one. “Hey Lord, I’m home” is a year in the making, one day of a lifetime on this planet yet the most important moment in that moment. Appreciation is called for. Prayers answered. I had to remind myself that prayers said in sure expectation that they would be answered and were. (I don’t regret one ounce of precaution. I keep praying for a continued hedge of protection too for them and me and all the people of the world, for “normal” concerns).

For all our preparations, stringency in safety precautions and waiting, making the best of everything is everything.  Oh, how truly we MUST realize that it is our PRAYERS that are heard MOST strongly with greatest impact over our earthly preparation. We must do the prep and presentation and THEN be present for His power. 

The Lord has done it this very day;

Let us rejoice today and be glad. 

Lord, save us!  Lord, grant us success!

For all our planning, we must realize that it is His GUIDANCE that is given MOST strongly. 

The Lord has done it this very day;

Let us rejoice today and be glad.

For all our LOVE of family and for the Lord, we must realize that HE LOVES US EVEN MORE. He IS Love, for love sake. 

Let us rejoice today and be glad.

For as much as I enjoyed hugging my mom, I enjoyed MORE that she got to hug me, I know MOST that she loved hugging me. 

Be glad.

For as much as I am OK even with not knowing if my dad can always hear me, I appreciate MORE that he knows what is going on, and he does. For my thankfulness to be secure as I am, I appreciate likewise with Our Father, that He loves to hear us more than we love to speak. He gives more, He sees us to secure. 

For as much as I can, I appreciate our Lord. For as much as I can understand, I know that He takes care of us. He loves us MORE than we could ever think to love Him. He IS LOVE. 

The Lord has done it this very day;

Let us rejoice today and be glad. 

Lord, save us!  Lord, grant us success!

Amen 


(Psalm 18/118 were the perfect bible study after dinner last night, me driving back to my camp. Rejoice in the Lord. )

Psalm 18:1-3, 25-32

I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies….

… 

To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.

As for God, his way is perfect:

The Lord’s word is flawless;

he shields all who take refuge in him.

For who is God besides the Lord?

And who is the Rock except our God?

It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure


Psalm 118:1

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

    his love endures forever.

Let Israel say:

    “His love endures forever.”

Let the house of Aaron say:

    “His love endures forever.”

Let those who fear the Lord say:

    “His love endures forever.”

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;

    he brought me into a spacious place.

The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.

    What can mere mortals do to me?

The Lord is with me; he is my helper.

    I look in triumph on my enemies.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord

    than to trust in humans.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord

    than to trust in princes. 

Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things! The Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!” I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me;  you have become my salvation.

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

The Lord has done it this very day;

let us rejoice today and be glad.

Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you. The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God, and I will exalt you.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Watch Your Lines, 23APR – #1139

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I wrote this last night in a break with an hour left to drive. (And funny how after I wrote it, my GPS took me on a backwoods road that I had not intended to go on. It was the shortest way, sure, but down a non-maintained stretch of half a mile, I was not wanting to go around 20 extra minutes for a half mile. There were not bright lines nor flatness but raised ridges to balance my tires on. “I’ve been down this road before”. THANK GOD I have a tall hearty Subaru, love mud, and had “mostly” firm dry road. Whew! Thank God I trusted Him. That’s for everything, not just driving…

Watch Your Lines, 23APR

It would be nice if the road line paintings were brighter for all those stretches of road where you need them? Oh road, where are thou thru the highway construction???… DARK!!!

It just struck me as a suitable “reflection” of how we must re-line re-align re-read and re-mark the lines that define our faith. We don’t redefine the road, only look to follow on it. We know we want to travel the road of faith – we know the road is sure – but wouldn’t it help us if we defined boundaries to know where we can go and where we are not intending to go. Yes, I’m talking about setting yourself barriers and principles. But I’m also talking about looking for the light reflecting off those fluorescent lines. I’m talking about looking for Jesus and His guiding LIGHT when you are not sure if you are in risk of running off the road. (And always be listening for those rumble strips too.)

Those painted edges of the road? They don’t glow but reflect. Are we not to shine His light as bright so as to see where to follow? Are we also to pay attention then to our fellow drivers? Yes. If we go off track, they may too. 

Oh, how our GPS, God Positioning System, doesn’t drive the car, but we need to let Jesus steer while learn the rules of the road, how potholes could come up, how to MORE tightly grip His Hand. 

And what about those runs on non-maintained back-country stretches? No lines, not even cleared of rocks. That’s when we put into use what we have learned in driving AND in TRUSTING. Navigate slow, anticipate progress, use gravity to help, know where to look for firm tire grip and slide over the mud. Afterwards, THANK GOD. Safe thus far. 

It’s TRUTH that Jesus wants everyone to remain on the road. It is SPIRIT to keep us on. 

Amen 

—-

Jeremiah 31:9  They will come with weeping;   they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble...

Proverbs 4:11-15, 18-19, 25-27   I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way….

the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble….

Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

AMEN AMEN

Bear Fruit, Not Just Flowers, 22APR – #1138

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Bear fruit, not just flowers… 

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” Phillipians2:3

Last night I covered all my plants best I could for the darkness and cold were falling fast. 36 degrees is dangerous but not a surprise, we have to take precautions. I covered tomatoes and kale, strawberries and poinsettias. Trashcans and baskets, blankets and buckets. 

Covered them with prayers too.

I want my garden to bear fruit, not just be showy flowers. I want my life to be that too. Shouldn’t we always cover our steps with prayers and listen before we leap? Shouldn’t we try to shine His Spirit in all dimensions rather than be a flash in the pan with self-serving ambition which becomes dull really fast. Not enough warmth to withstand the freeze of life.

We are taught by the Lord to not be showy or vain, not standout in strife or ambition, but demonstrate humbleness and helpfulness. Be the generous giver which confuses the people who wouldn’t understand. Make the world think from our generosity, not blink from our self-illumination. We are given the opportunity to grow fruit, meaning to cultivate His praises, share His news, sprout Spirit.  God gives us what He wants us to share, including our smiles, our encouragement, our prayers, our exclamations of hope. 

Jesus, You shine glory not gold.

Lord, we are to give up our lives for You.

We ask to bear what You bloom.

Amen 

—-

Philippians 2:1-16

Imitating Christ’s Humility

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Do Everything Without Grumbling

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,  for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing,  so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.

Follow Suit, 19APR – #1136

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We must continually think about how we and our world will get from point A to point B with navigating the fray, and how we will follow thru with helping others, and especially without doing much harm. I know that the Lord helps us to GO. GO! God connects and God directs.

My old testament reading reminded me that we as humans tend to over complicate, over compensate, over run instead of listening to God. In Genesis 34, the story is about the escalation of many crimes after one crime. Dinah, Jacob’s daughter was defiled by someone who retroactively said he wanted to marry her, then after negotiations of this family line with Jacob’s sons and agreeing to circumcision of all their males in exchange for permission  of intermingling intermarriage in the cultures, Jacob’s sons went and killed all the males and took all the women and plunder. Yeah. Escalation. Trading one crime for hundreds. Spiraling chaos in the name of justice. Taking a village not the villain. A bad crime to start, yes, and it triggers a war. Spiraling explosion of chaos. This reminds me of Adam, of the chaos with banishment from the Garden of Eden. And of David, sinful lust cost more than just one rival’s life but multitudes of war casualties. One man’s sin destroys much more than he could imagine, especially since the sin was begun from selfishness. And the whole suffering spilling out is a continual chaos of calculated evil. Progression of evil – like an unwoven rug fray all tangled – a net knotted and made unusable.

How do we scale that back? Well we don’t, but Jesus did and does. So we must follow suit with His Hand directing us and play into life within His plan. We must not continue to toss cards of chaos into the mix that don’t follow suit. The evil in the world is like tossing the whole deck. scattering it and causing us to run after loose lost cards, flipping over trying to find ourselves. But really we need to look for our best deal in Jesus. Jesus came to pick up all the pieces, all the cards, and us. Jesus, One Man, Son of Man, Son of God, Equal to God but not Self-fulfilment-seeking – Jesus defeated evil by putting death to death. Sin scaled back by Salvation. Life returned by Loyalty. One man yes, but also now in life it is up to us to help reel in the fishes, gather the harvest, reap the ripening faith and work WITH the Lord.

Jacob wrestled with the Lord, in Genesis 32. God kept directing him to move into and from many lands, renaming him Israel and communicating with him. If only we tapped into that resource of recourse rather than take things into our own hands. Jacob and his family had many times taken the path that increased chaos and God had to redirect. Chapter 35 shows God once again redirecting the family establishing the family lines of today. God wanted him and us to accept and embrace the shuffle. God will sort it all out. 

God continually does that for us, redirect and restore, and urge us to follow Him more. We are the sheep our Shepherd is trying to recover. We are the loose ends of His woven world. We are either going to buy into the chaos or work collecting the lost coins. 

If we could only listen and hand our loose ends to Him and help Him weave back the world… A net restored can be employed for more fishing. Fishing of men.

One man, Jesus, fished for us all. We still are needed to pull in all those nets… Let us keep fishing for His flock. Let us not increase the chaos but the Kingdom. 

Keep weaving, sorting, serving, collecting, obeying IN LOVE. 

Amen 

1 John 2:1-10  My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 

Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 

Link to chapter 34 of Genesis about Dinah

Be Yourself, 18APR- #1135

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I so looked forward to a bonfire last night with some of my neighbors (and you know how blessed it is to have great neighbors) and I did enjoy myself so very much. It was outdoors, half the folks vaccinated at least partially and yes so convenient to be close to home that when I crashed tired at 10pm from a whole day of rigorous gardening, I was home in just a 3 minute walk, LOL… nice…

Interesting chatter and characters, me included. So, what’s the best part of hanging out with my neighbors? Just being able to BE MYSELF and for them to be themselves. If there’s anything in life we should be, it should start with BEING OURSELVES… 

I thought about this as a common theme to another day in the past, with the knowledge and closeness of Jesus to the people whom He encountered.  He was just able to be Himself with His disciples and His foes. (Really though, I know Jesus could never have been anyone than Himself)… Other people were surprised that He hung out with people not tops on their lists of companions, but Jesus always knew the people needed Him, saying ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ Mark 2:5

I have to wonder, am I one of the people whom Jesus would have hung out with too? Well, He has been, He still is. He’s been with each of us from well before we were born. We are His crew. No, I’m not going to answer any question of being good or bad, but say that He wants to hangout with EACH of us (and He does). And the best thing is that when Jesus hangs out, He can JUST BE HIMSELF, because HE IS HIMSELF.  It’s not just us who hangout with friends to be ourselves, the very nature of Jesus wasn’t to attend a place under any false pretenses or airs, Jesus just REALLY wanted and wants to be Himself. His ultimate hangout finished the plan. Now we can eternally hangout with the Father. 

Who is Jesus? A teacher, a leader, a friend, a spiritual friend. Jesus just wants to come to your gathering and Be Himself, to show love, give mercy, explain Our Father, be taken seriously, and be Graceful. To be honest, in truth, Jesus cannot be anything BUT Himself. He can not be dark or hidden, cannot lie or mislead, and can not fail to be God’s Mercy. 

Jesus could make brutally honest observations about each of us. He could probably stop a party in it’s tracks, but instead blesses it with His appearance and with His Blessings. (Of course this means that we have to invite Him in!)

Can we be ourselves at a friend’s house?

Can we be ourselves at home?

Can we be as Jesus would have us? Real? Can we be real? Especially to Him?

Jesus is the best REAL there is.

Let’s BE REAL with Him because He is real with us.

And let us let Him into our hearts. 

The Doctor is within. 

Amen 

Luke 11:5-13

Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. 

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Luke 10:5-11, 16, 38-42

Jesus said to His disciples:

When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’

16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

One Word God, 18APR-#1134

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Maybe because I don’t ask long questions or perhaps God knows I can only handle simple replies, so it seems I get one word answers, sometimes, when I ask direct questions. If I pray for an answer, how could He not give one.
ONE.

These words, they come as one word, and float like a BOLD block letter image of the word. Like when I asked what I should do today (Sunday), He answered: “BE”. Like when I asked about my parents He said: “LOVE”. When I asked about a family member, He said: “PRAY “. When I ask about certain people, He answers “WAIT”. When I ask about certain situations, He says “HOPE”.

Those are the actual words this morning.

It is appropriate for us to ask and it is good that God answers.

Thank God He can be a One Word God.

His One Word speaks of Jesus.

God answers thru His Spirit the ONE WORD whom we need, and whom is the Word.
JESUS

Actually quite fitting, for Jesus IS the Word of God. He holds all the words and all the power. Yet even though He does not consider Himself equal to the Father, and always credits the father and asks the Father, He is the Truth of our connection to the Father – OUR FATHER. Jesus IS worthy. He IS Worthy to provide the Answer and BE the Answer. The Holy Spirit provides the understanding for us to know. God provides the Way for us to have open ears and He seeks us ALWAYS as His children.

He answers in ways we wonder. He knows in ways of the Way. I don’t always pray in listening mode, but why wouldn’t He be succinct in Truth. I don’t always pray to listen and then obey, but I should. I don’t always understand His Way, but He wouldn’t BE the Way if He didn’t KNOW the Way.

Love
Listen
Obey
Be

If I ask for an answer, I should PRAY to really LISTEN.
If I get an answer, I should PRAY for the WILL to OBEY.

If I just LOVE in quiet truth, I will BE.
That’s really all I should be for God, BE.

Amen and Thank You Lord, You are One Word, God You Are.

One Word in Love. One Word in Life. One Word in Jesus. A Gift of Hope, Truth, Life, Home. ALL. One in Spirit. One for Forever Peace.

Us in Him and Him in us.

For Me? I will Be.
Amen


John 1:1-5
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.

Every Knee Will Bow, 17APR – #1133

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Well the Lord certainly knows how to make me kneel in humbleness. Originally I had knelt in prayer, in the kitchen just for a moment, immediately after hearing about yet another mass shooting at a workplace, so sad. And I just knelt in the sadness of the broken world of broken people. I knelt in the thought that this brokenness will continue and truly our world’s peoples tribulation time on earth is coming closer day by day. (Prepare your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near, James 1)

Like only 10 minutes later I was roughly in the same spot of the kitchen and it crossed my mind that THIS morning,  after a year of waiting, it was my opportunity this very morning for my covid vaccination – no I had not really processed – still have not processed it. Also  an opportunity to help a friend in need of a vaccination ride and a shot of cheer. So just as I was thinking about my blessed opportunity to get a vaccination in our appointments I scored only hours the night before, I thought I should kneel in thankfulness – but for some reason I DIDN’T – and I just let that thought pass.

VERY SOON AFTER, what a surprise!

I was on my knees – not in thankfulness but trying REALLY HARD to twist the stuck water shut off valve from the hot water pipe, which was spewing up like a hot spring fountain from where the hot water handle USED to be attached to the rest of the sink. Yeah – not good – hot – and stuck solid… Surely on my knees I was whining and eventually got a wrench and all is well at the moment, held up and secure. But YEAH, yeah so cute Lord, cute, grumble grumble ever learning to be humble… I was on my knees for enough time to say “You really DO know how to get me on my knees, Lord, when I realize that I should have been.” A wrenched heart and finally a wrenched valve closed the case. Gratefully the Lord opens our cases for forgiveness.

How will God expect and get every knee to bow to Jesus? Well, just at the sound of His name. When God chooses to close the case on this earth, scripture tells us that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Although we would want EVERYONE to kneel in love and thankfulness, unfortunately we do know, from living in this world, and from reading ahead in reading the Book of Revelation that not all who acknowledge Jesus as Lord, will FOLLOW Jesus as Lord. It’s going to be a weeding out of hearts ready and hearts hardened and there will be those tougher to turn than that water pipe valve.

Don’t let ourselves be without a wrenched heart. Don’t let us be prideful enough to NOT kneel. Don’t be vain and ignore the glory train.

Be humbled in knee and joyful in heart. It is the Lord’s Majesty and Grace that sets Him apart.

Soften your heart and bend your knee.  Accept His GIFTS, HIS PLAN. Worship HIM in LOVE.

Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

THANK YOU LORD.

Amen

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Isaiah 45:18-25

For thus says the Lord,

Who created the heavens,

Who is God,

Who formed the earth and made it,

Who has established it,

Who did not create it in vain,

Who formed it to be inhabited:

“I am the Lord, and there is no other.

I have not spoken in secret,

In a dark place of the earth;

I did not say to the seed of Jacob,

‘Seek Me in vain’;

I, the Lord, speak righteousness,

I declare things that are right.

“Assemble yourselves and come;

Draw near together,

You who have escaped from the nations.

They have no knowledge,

Who carry the wood of their carved image,

And pray to a god that cannot save.

Tell and bring forth your case;

Yes, let them take counsel together.

Who has declared this from ancient time?

Who has told it from that time?

Have not I, the Lord?

And there is no other God besides Me,

A just God and a Savior;

There is none besides Me.

“Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth!

For I am God, and there is no other.I

 I have sworn by Myself;

The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return,

That to Me every knee shall bow,

Every tongue shall take an oath.

He shall say, ‘Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength. To Him men shall come, And all shall be ashamed

Who are incensed against Him. In the Lord all the descendants of Israel

Shall be justified, and shall glory.’ ”

Paul to the Philippians 2:5-11

The Humbled and Exalted Christ

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Grow and Grow and Grow, 17APR – #1132

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A Winter may be white as snow.

Too cold for blooms, nothing to grow.

Yet winter skies, often blue and clear, 

Yield finally for Springtime’s colorful cheer. 

Yellows and pinks, purples so bold, 

New growth brings life, we watch it unfold.

Glimpse budding trees and showy flowers.

The rich colorful show after April showers.

Blooms that fruit and greens to grow.

Summertime flavors anticipated so.

Harvests are plentiful and we love Fall,

Savor each season, flavors so different in all.

Springtime surely let us enjoy this year.

Let us ALL bud out, let us look for hearts to cheer.

Let us bloom and grow, cultivate and know. 

Let us tap into life and go with the flow. 

Time gets away. Time spins fast.

Life prunes away anything that won’t last.

Winter comes too soon again. 

Therefore, be in season now, make today a really good win.

Colors may fade, and flowers fall away.

Yet JOY is blessed forever to stay.

Live TODAY in the best way you know.

Bloom with Hope, Live in Joy. Smile with Love.

GROW and GROW and GROW.

Personal Touch, 15APR – #1131

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The world is loving going electronic but paper has not been outlawed yet. Have you ever written a piece of paper like a grocery list and then taken a picture of it so you can carry it with you on your phone? I have. Have you ever signed up for an actual event on physical paper and took a picture of it with your phone as proof to verify it? I have. Do you still keep a calendar that’s written physically? Even if you have all the electronic calendars in the world, does it comfort you to have a physical piece of paper? I do and it does. 

Someone showed a surprised response at my real paper “to-do” list, a “mommy’s minders” printed weekly calendar that I can scribble on. But they admitted that they liked paper too. And my best reason for using the visual paper is that I dump my brain down on it. Record of relief recorded, I can dedicate the extra brain space to something else. 

So when I signed up for my covid vaccination, it felt REAL GOOD to see PHYSICAL PAPER, physical people and the personal touch. Touching the paper, I felt a level of trust demonstrated. Not only were people who are not into technology served, but so were those who were/are trapped by technology! Yes, elderly people who don’t have the means to troll the 3AM postings of new vaccination timeslots were served by this paper, AND those just too busy to troll, trapped by the volume of options, also were served. Many times I didn’t troll fast enough and missed out on nearby appointments many times. I eventually got some appointments, and I likely would be OK waiting more, but appointments on this paper system came thru for me 2 weeks sooner. So I signed up myself AND a friend, a friend busier than me, after connecting electronically with her! And I learned of this from a friend too, electronically in conversation. The Holy Spirit DOES leave a paper trail tracing His blessings.

See the pharmacy, a small local one, was overwhelmed by the online response and turned to paper, because it best served their direct customers and in the purpose of making appointments, it was keeping the peace.  Relief is experienced in receiving a personal touch effort from your doctor, your pharmacist, your mailman, your family, your boss, your friends and all throughout your life. A PERSONAL TOUCH FROM THE LORD IS TRULY PERSONAL. 

Don’t put down paper. Sure, there are endless advantages to a paperless system, I have paperless banking, bills, concert tickets, and you know we all live thru Facebook, instant messaging, emails, and even the buzzer notifications that our table is ready at the popular restaurant. And yet to get our name on the paper for seating YOUR table of 2 or 6 or 3, you trust them to call your name in the right order…  And if you were not able to stand waiting for days and days for something, a paper lottery system might help. A raincheck paper will get you a sale price, a warranty paper will rest your worries, and a physical Will and Testimony can become the most important document to your life and to your death, for you AND the ones that you have left behind.

My paper trail includes writing on my hand some important “to-do” lists. Paper envelopes on my desk are stamped confidential and there is trust in not opening them. My home paper piles include books that you might place a bookmark in so that you note to yourself where to begin, even if you don’t read much. My Will and Testimony are paper copies registered too…

And His personal touch is in my registering of God paperwork onto blog pages, my Testimony of His Faithfulness, yet these writings I will see to that they will also be printed and placed. Physical movement of this paper is one thing – but the physical movement of HIS WORD is everything.  In my 60 plus chapters of writing, almost all my Bible references are electronically captured, but they are Heavenly sourced since His Word is sacred. And even Heaven has a scroll with seven seals not to be opened up by anyone because ONLY the Lamb, the slain and resurrected Lamb, the WORD of God, Jesus the Christ, Alpha and Omega is worthy of opening the scroll. Jesus IS. 

I could tell you that our faith needs no paper, because it is God’s Word written on our hearts that matters. Either way it is how we read the signs, letters, words, numbers, notions of our faith that becomes the personal touch back in touching God’s plan. Touch His Hand and you touch His Plan. Touch His plan and you can reach out to His people. Make time for all people and MAKE TIME FOR GOD.

His personal touch is holding you. Be personal to God, and with God. Be personal in your journey. Reach personally to His people also. He has all our names in His Book of Life, let us reach whom God is readying, reading and rooting for. 

Read the Sign of His Times. 

Amen. 

Paul to the Philippians 2:2-4

Unity Through Humility

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,  fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Love Wins More than My $40 Loses… 14APR – #1130

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After yesterday’s post, about losing $40, I thought for 2 minutes more I will look near the other building where I might have lost that $40 and even I knew it was fruitless and yet I said sincerely “is there anything you can show me Lord?” both in questioning and in needing the motivation to move on from this futile search. Guess what instantly I saw – my rock that I painted and placed one year ago and is STILL there…  Yes, that’s a message once again: LOVE WINS!! Focus on LOVE… and isn’t that a better use of our time…

I just know that I am not making up crazy thoughts of God – as the scriptures do say “God knows every hair on our heads” – He does…  Two scriptures I re-heard today fit this – that God hears everything – God hears all our prayers – even ones we don’t think are worth saying to Him…

1John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

Revelation 7:14, 17; 8:1-5
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. … … For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’  ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”   When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

PS. just now I remember seeing a terrible accident on the turnpike this morning and the people seemed OK but the car was flipped and crushed and wow…  I teared up thinking that is love and that is God’s mercy… I don’t know how they survived that crash but they did… LOVE WINS!!!

The Ask IS the Answer, 13APR – #1129

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I lost $40, bummed but what can I do! I don’t know where it went, lost from my pocket of loose jeans, somewhere between my office in the first building, my car, the 2nd building, and walking around a corporate center across the street… yeah, slim chance I’ll find it. 

I did TRY tracing my steps this one day later but I also know the other corporate center is 80% ghost town thanks to covid, and if the money was found there, it would have gone into their building lost and found, not ours…  no luck… I looked anyway but nada.

You could say it was futile to even look for it for the 40 minutes I did (but hey I got a blog out of it, haha, just kidding)… I even wondered if it’s pointless to ask the Lord for help find the money, but that was horrible of me to doubt worthiness or doubt He would help, horrible wasn’t it. how dare I think of Him not hearing or helping, and if I said He didn’t know would be a lie… He wants our conversation ALWAYS and He can decide what He answers… He already knows what your ask is. His answer is ASK. ALWAYS ASK HIM!

In one of my loops walking around the second building I stopped and prayed for a second and said I wonder if it’s worth praying?  What do you know? I looked down and I saw money !!!… Not amazingly a miracle of my $40 but an amazing answer regardless for my pennywise foolish question of if it were worth asking. Well I got, with angels snickering no doubt, not $40 but a token “flash card” worth of an answer, a crumpled $1 bill… funny Lord… yeah I snickered at my angels making fun of me… Whom am I to doubt the Lord.

So I must say that WE best believe it IS worth praying to God, for anything, and worth praying SINCERELY, not flippantly like I did. God’s grace of a dollar came seconds after my 2 bit prayer effort, oh think what He could do if I believed right away that He would help…  I will repent in knowing that I DO know it is worth praying and LISTENING is the only way to get directions…

The ASK is the answer…

Ask and you shall receive, or maybe you get just a peaceful moment to ask, but ask anyway…

The Lord does and will answer prayers…

The Lord did, does and will know everything…

The Lord does want to help and helps…

The Lord also knows a better use of the $40 than $40 worth of my whining… (even 39)…

And Lord knows it might be of greater good to pray for the $40 to be Holy Spirited blown over to a better recipient than brought back to me, a 2 bit believer…

So besides giving up looking for lost money perhaps I and we should give up doubt.

Besides giving up my complaints perhaps I should try praise. A praise that I got to walk both days. A praise for the BEAUTIFUL flower petals I picked and tossed joyfully into the air yesterday as if they were a cache of found cash from the sky.  A praise for the sky, the sounds, the Spirit. 

Next time, instead of giving up a giving-up prayer, I should try a praise prayer of a faith millionaire. giving credit where credit is due too.

God never delights in the lost. He won’t delight in punishment either. He will give us glory in our obedience. Let us behave knowing that He answers prayers. Let us live “the ask”. Let us BELIEVE the answer. 

He is the answer, let’s keep asking. 

Amen

James 1: 9-11, 13-20

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;  but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Live in His Truth, 13APR – #1128

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Oh how I can appreciate a continuous joyful heart…

People think I am strange because I live in joy, but I think I’m just accepting of the joy that comes from the Lord, and that is knowing He made me into me – asking me to live in His Truth – and that is connection of my Spirit knowing how to simply live in His Spirit… 

Spirit and Truth. It’s good to kneel in appreciation for knowing even just a little revelation of His Love, AND THEN LIVE IT.

His Spirit is not without battles against the evils from the dark into this world, but His Spirit reminds us He already knows victory. He is the Light. Keep faith, Jesus has overcome the world… 

The extra understanding of KEEPING JOY is to know that there will be trouble in this world, broken people, evil abounding, and simply folks who are living sleepishly and too easily swayed by the news of the day. It is best to live sheepishly rather than sleepishly, sheep to our Shephard, and challenged to be cultivating continuous ways for shining the light… 

Shine His Light and know His Truth. Keep JOY in faith and acknowledge the truth that the future is secured, don’t let your cheerful heart be hidden by your embarrassment like Adam and Eve who covered what they thought was shameful… and like Adam and Eve with fig leaves, God will provide the comforts of His coverings to still allow us to walk thru this world. We know that we must keep walking. Fig leaves are nothing compared to a new armor of God as a new layer of protection, and we also get to carry a sword/source of His Word. His Spirit within us comes with us acknowledging Him as the source. The armor helps us get thru the day. The Word is the Way. 

Joyful hearts may look like ignorance or wrongful bliss but perhaps we are NOT to look at ourselves and our sinful humanness which will distract us, but look deeper and thru into seeing Him in Truth.

When we worship IN SPIRIT and IN TRUTH, it means that our SPIRIT wants to walk and be like original Adam spirit, before the fall, before banishment, WALKING WITH GOD. When our Spirit shines through and goes beyond earthly knowledge, we connect directly into the shine of our Lord, we SEEK SPIRIT AND TRUTH.

Jesus told us of this future, and told us of the desire for heaven on earth. The grafting of our branch to His Vine is and will be a SPIRIT connection. God will water. God’s fruit will form. Don’t let the world freeze out the blooms. Shine Spirit from within and melt the world…

Know Spirit and be Truth of Worship.

Know Truth and be Spirit in Worship.

Be His Joy. 

Amen 

Proverbs 15:15 “All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart has a continual feast.”

The “B-side”, 11APR – #1127

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The “B-side”

Oops – wow – a story I didn’t read until now – there is a “B-side” second half of the story after the fabulous story of Naaman being healed of his leprosy. The prophet proposed the way to healing, the people around Naaman urged him to go all the way to fully accept the Lord’s healing. It reminds us to not whine and God’s movements are not always instant and on OUR schedule (which I also appreciate as a theme in my journey with the Lord). The “B-side” is the story of Gehazi. The story of asking for too much. The story of not whining… the story of coverup by lying…  the story of letting something go…

In 2nd Kings, chapter 5, Gehazi saw the advice his master, the prophet Elisha, had given Naaman, and Naaman (after a little while) took the advice and got the healing of leprosy from God. Naaman wanted to give a gift to Elisha but Elisha refused. His gift was seeing God’s healing and Elisha probably knew that He was simply giving the advice that God gave. Gehazi the servant to Elisha took it upon himself to ask for more from Naaman even beyond what was agreed upon. Gehazi whined that he thought it was not enough and he took it upon himself to avenge what was not necessary – and he hunted down Naaman to ask for more.  Well, what did he come away with? not only the money etc, but he got more – not from Naaman but from his own greed HE GOT his own LEPROSY…  oops… (That is the B-side of the story that we rarely flip over like a record to listen to – but a gem of advice! easy to hear and hard always to take – for me too!). if the prophet was fine with accepting forgiveness – the servant should be fine accepting that forgiveness is given – even to those who he deems does not deserve it – wow that IS a story of Jesus and God’s mercy too – of prodigal sons jealousy and of our lack of giving forgiveness.

Why do we whine (me too) and why do we expect more than is necessary and why do we want what we want NOW!!!???  If this is not a lesson for today’s times, then I don’t know what would be. See – we have gotten much in blessings – we have gotten forgiveness – and we have gotten a path forward – YET we want more – or we want to avenge the past.  Don’t go there. Don’t worry about avenging what someone already said they didn’t need in reparations. Let bygones be bygone and go on…

Read about Gehazi in verses 20-27 and just appreciate today – appreciate there IS a calling upon your life to listen to what God is saying – and especially as we see blessing after blessing of guidance thru and out of a pandemic, we must not whine. Appreciate trials and tribulations – appreciate the rain or the sun, the work or rest. Know the world brokenness will make us be jealous and distracted and yet please know our oblivious bliss and our hedges of protection…. In all, just be happy with what you have. Don’t begrudge what is not ours to have in the first place.

Live humbly appreciative.

AMEN

2nd Kings

Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!”  So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”

The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.

—-

“Go in peace,” Elisha said.

After Naaman had traveled some distance, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”

So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked.

“Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.’”

“By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left.

When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?”

“Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered.

But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.

Remember Me, 09APR – #1126

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I enjoy meeting people from every Earth corner who shine His love, family in our family of God, neighbors close and far. I am amazed at the connection between Christians. Diversity of people will always show Oneness in Spirit because soul-source LOVE is Sole-Sourced. 

I am thrilled to have met my friend Helen while sharing Holy Communion couple years ago. I heard the pastor speak her name when he gave her the communion bread, so I actually excitedly said “Helen is my mom’s name!” while holding the cup for her to dip her bread, then of course said “The blood of Jesus, shed for you”. 

We remember Jesus at communion when breaking bread. Jesus told us to remember Him and also taught us about God the Father, showed Himself to be the Christ – the Alpha and Omega, and promised to ask for us to receive the Holy Spirit. We are to remember Who is, was, and will be our dynamic Living God forever. Heavenly-given Love plus earthly-received Love Shines as One LOVE. It is IN God and THRU God we remember LOVE. 

I partook in communion on Easter Sunday, twice. Being in double church community was a blessing and still is. First it was a sunrise service and I remember looking over at my dear friend Helen on her bench from my personal socially distanced bench and wondering if she didn’t get a communion cup.  But I saw the big bag of cups be carried up front just prior and I am sure she could have grabbed one. Instead I saw her sitting in peace of communion WITH the Spirit, her peace showed me a beaming Spirit, just appreciative to be there. Later she told me (without me asking) that she was waiting for the later Easter service to take communion with her husband, also a very dear friend. Sweet. That’s a devotion of love for sure. I appreciate love modeled by long-loving couples. Having both vaccinations this Easter felt so sweet for her and for many folks who are able to return to seeing people with less fear and witness more faith, telling of how the Lord had sustained them just within the last year, let alone forever. 

We love to remember Jesus in communion sharing and breaking of bread – and He remembers and loves us both in our crumbs and our completeness, especially since He shows up everywhere and everytime 2 or 3 meet in His name. Easter sunrise was full (I grabbed one of the last benches) and later Easter normal time was full (I also was in one of the last socially distanced pews with a fellow favorite Easter chick). Easter can continue everyday as the Spirit empowers life and forever empties death’s tomb. In other words, thanks to Jesus, the Holy Spirit has us coming and going in GRACE. 

But as Jesus is sharing His Spirit, He is WAITING to once again physically break bread and drink of the cup WITH US. He told His disciples that He would not drink from the cup from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” We will relieve Heaven’s wait when we see Heaven’s gate. In the meantime, it is our Living Spirit that makes us praise in the present as well as remember the past and appreciate salvation for our future. We are not worthy but Jesus works His Glory for our inclusion into Our Father’s Fellowship. He gave it all so All could be given. 

Love creates more love. Our cups when emptied are refilled and Jesus always gives us more than our portion of love.

Although I didn’t communion with my friend Helen over the past year I certainly “COMMUNITY-ED” with her – thru email and occasional meetings in convenient parking lots to exchange mask elastic, sewing ministry dresses, and laughter.  I think the Holy Spirit made good use of this past year in folks ready to share labors of love. Why wouldn’t He? God does not change, but He does exchange much: hope over heartache, mission over misery, life over loss. His Spirit gives life trajectory over trouble. 

Even though there were many empty inside church pews over the last year, the Spirit was very busy filling hearts, and many of those hearts are now ready to spill out extra love…  In communion and community, nothing fills us more than the Holy Spirit making common connections in an uncommon way.

For His Way IS the Way and IS above all understanding. Remember Jesus in all. and IN ALL, remember Jesus. 

Until we meet again, Jesus, we will remember You. When we meet our heavenly friends here on Earth, we will remember You too.

Amen 

—-

Matthew 26:26-29

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Philippians 4:4-8

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. 

Colossians 3:14-160

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… 

Jesus Word Work Walk and Rest, 05APR – #1125

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Made it to Easter Monday! After “Good-Grief Friday”, “Holy Moly What Happened Saturday”, Resurrection Sunday…

I appreciated my Easter power nap after not a sugar rush but 2 church services (Easter sunrise an hour drive away and later that morning closer to home) and before I had to pick up my daughter from the train station for Easter dinner. I needed that nap. And I had prepped the day before for achieving efficient work for our dinnertime Easter, so I had the window of opportunity to nap, be still and be quiet. I had pre-processed the blessings of my day, the execution to pull it off too. (3 days work for 20 minutes of a meal? Yup Jesus understands that).

I needed the nap, but my conflicted thoughts kept me on the edge of napping, saying both I need to rest but could not command myself to sleep on cue. Well eventually I did sleep 30 minutes, I think, and it WAS sufficient. JUST before the alarm sounded, I got up, I continued, ham into oven, mental clock checked, God’s timing gifted. Great dinner and oh how I love to be with my grown children. Cat was happy too.

I wonder, in our conjectures of WHY Jesus spent the time he did in the tomb, or at least out of public view, of what did Jesus do? This is a relevant question and also NOT so relevant of a question when you think about how God made time and thus time holds no meaning and lots of meaning at the same time. In truth, Jesus likely gave that downtime for us. (Of course, why wouldn’t He? GOD MADE TIME TO LOVE HIS CHILDREN AND FOR HIS CHILDREN TO LOVE HIM). Jesus honored not just his followers with mental processing time but his foes as well, on that “Good-Grief” Friday night and “Holy Moly what happened Saturday” – which they all needed. AND Jesus and God’s timing also came with a time of rest. Jesus not rising (or at least not showing His Risen self) until Sunday, gave all the gathered followers (or foes) to have at least one night rest or one collapsed rest… Think about where the people were gathered, feast or fear-held, think about honoring the Sabbath rest too. Jesus “rested” on the Sabbath as example of God’s rest on the 7th day during creation and the people rested. However, Jesus always still “worked” on the Sabbath doing “God’s work” raising the dead and healing the flock because why wouldn’t He?… It was not “work” but “works” of extending LOVE.  LOVE allowed Him, God’s son and One with God, to heal.  And by giving the middle whole “Sleep-needed Saturday” of rest, Jesus’s disciples spoke together of what happened and this formulated in their words and worlds understanding which later would be major teachings for them to others, carrying out the fulfillment of Jesus’s walk. They lived the Word that was both heard and walked.  Jesus DID live on that in-between day because He was spoken of and His life was discussed and explained. He never did NOT live as God, and therefore His gift of processing and rest (power naps or otherwise), ensured the work of the disciples to continue. 

In other words, Jesus worked the Word in rest too.

Did I need that power nap on Easter? Maybe I would have functioned ok without it, but there would come a time when I would collapse with exhaustion without it. And I wanted the afternoon joy. So, I commanded my rest time, in order to go on more joyfully for the rest of my day, with my children. That’s a gift, Jesus rest and Jesus walk and Jesus joy to see God’s children come together and speak of Him.

Jesus is alive in the Word and Walk. And Jesus wants to be shared because He gives life. He gives us of Our Father’s time to keep living, and we are able to find joy.

Happy Easter Monday, after more rest, let us Keep Walking the Word. 

Keep resting so that you can keep walking. 

Amen 

—-

Jesus said: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27-28

Matthew 12:1-21

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?  How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

God’s Chosen Servant

Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. He warned them not to tell others about him. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight;

I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out; till he has brought justice through to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope.”

I KNOW A MAN IN CHRIST

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(About a new friend, now forever in Christ.)

I KNOW A MAN IN CHRIST.
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Actually I don’t know that man, that’s a man described in a biblical letter to the church at Corinth. But I REALLY DO KNOW A MAN IN CHRIST, particularly a friend, a fairly new friend, who said, and I quote: “The joke in my family is “Heaven doesn’t want me and hell is afraid I’ll take over.” You see, this man in Christ has had 108 major surgeries and 112 other procedures since he was twelve years old. Yeah! That many! And this man continually praised the Lord. He ALWAYS praised the Lord.
A man in Christ. I will boast about a man like that.

I know a man in Christ who said: “It’s in Christ that we know that even though we may not always see or talk to each other, we know that we can count on one another… We are fortunate that we can communicate because not everyone has that ability, which I find can be a blessing especially, in times of crisis, or grief… His spirit lifts us all.”

I will boast about a man like that.

I know a man in Christ who said: “My faith NEVER weakens because I know I shouldn’t be here but for any other reason than his love and grace.”
I will boast about a man like that.

I know a man in Christ who said: “A lot of people don’t realize that ‘Trial by fire’ can apply to everyday life, and to everyday people. If they did, they would take the heat much more easily and realize that God is testing them, and also strengthening them at the same time. There is an old saying that God will not give you anymore than you can handle. Although there are times that I wish he wouldn’t trust me with so much, I somehow know that in the end I’ll have made it through until the next time, and the one time that I don’t will be because he took me home. Either way I’m alright!”

I will boast about a man like that.

I know a man in Christ who said: “I believe that not all miracles are things that everyone can see, but some are things that nobody else notices but that small circle of people in your world. This is the proof that God’s works are not flashy or boastful, just there. I will follow him all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
I will boast about a man like that.

I know a man in Christ, who is now WITH Christ. I know a man in Christ who is NOW dwelling in the House of the Lord FOREVER. 
This man may have said “Heaven doesn’t want me” (yet) – but in my opinion knowing God in truth, I think Heaven wanted him witnessing here on earth for a long time thru those trials and thorns… God wanted us to know him, for us to hear this man witness, and for us to see the power and grace of the Lord and to be strengthened. God wants us to know that we too can endure the pain of this world and that the weaknesses in us are only built stronger by Christ. 

This dear man in Christ, our dear man in Christ, LOVED the Lord and PRAISED the Lord all the more with his 108 plus 112 thorns in his side. Our dear man in Christ, who is now WITH Christ, is whom I will boast about, and all the more of whom I will say that his witness showed me God strength and Christ Humility
I know a man in Christ whom Christ called Heavenly Home, on Christ’s Holy Thursday, on ‘Remembrance of Me’ Day, on ‘Fools for Christ Sake Day’, on his ‘Now Forever With Christ Day’, 04/01 I will boast about a man like that. 

I will remember Christ in him and remember Christ thru his witness. I will remember Christ’s Grace is sufficient for all of us. Christ is sufficient for me. I will thank the Lord for introducing this man in Christ to me. I met him once maybe twice but surely thru Christ I will know him forever. Amen and see you one day again in Heaven, my brother in Christ. Until then, I will continue YOUR BOAST, which was and is forever about God’s Grace and Mercy, a boast about Jesus, a Man who was God as well as a God who became a man. Jesus did this just to bring us Home. 

Amen 

—-
FYI This memory writing is about a friend Paul, whom suddenly went home to the Lord. Well, Paul now IS with Jesus. I had last chatted with him by text only 2 days prior to his sudden passing. And I really only met him once maybe twice, and he really did say all those spiritually super things over text messages to me, witnessing to me the course of the last month. He saw my local newspaper magazine article [about my Aunt Mary] and he wrote me to tell me how he loved the article. I am forever grateful and blessed… He said: Your article [about Aunt Mary] made me smile as I thought back to when they [his aunts] were still here. As I reminisced I felt a smile on my face. Thank you for brightening my day. It was like a ray of sunshine on a dreary day.  Hope I can do the same for you someday.”

That day he DID brighten my day, and every time I remember Paul I know Holy Spirit WILL brighten my day with the ray of sunshine of knowing Jesus better. He lived in faith, I will boast about a man like that. He showed me Jesus strength. I will boast about a man like that. I will praise Easter morning Glory and Holy Thursday remembrance.  I will boast about OUR SAVIOR, FOREVER.

Amen Amen

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Totally fitting scripture: 2nd Corinthians 12:2-10 a letter from Apostle Paul:

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know — God knows.  And I know that this man — whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows — was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.  I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.  Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Amen Amen Amen 

—–

(my friend Paul said that he lived this Psalm)

Psalm 30

A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David.

I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit.

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.”  Lord, when you favored me, you made my royal mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit?

Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.  

Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Ask Me How I Know He Lives, 03APR – #1123

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“Ask me how I know He lives, He lives inside my heart.”…. with Easter hymns in my head, not always my ears this year, my heart still LEAPS knowing Jesus.

And that’s the crux of Easter for us, the movement of the stone reveals Easter in us. He lives inside our hearts. We are born feeling a childlike faith but sadly our aging often hardens us into not knowing this. We become stone not soil. Easter is not something we achieve without an angel push, Easter has to become something spiritual that we realize. We must be reborn in realization that Jesus IS and wants to be known, KNOWN INSIDE US, known to us. ALIVE and known THRU us.

Many get focused on Easter logistics 2000 years ago, the trappings of a man killed, but Easter morning shows a God revealed. Easter itself can NOT contain the God who lives. Let us focus on Him TODAY and feel God move within us. Feel our tombs of cold stone hearts to crumble – revealing fertile soil to grow our faith. Us knowing Jesus more and more will make the insides of our hearts grow.  We are not awakening Jesus, because He never changes, we are awakening our hearts to see that He Lives there. We are awakening so we know He is ready to heal our hurts, help our hopes, and direct our lives, to be forever walking with Him.

“Ask me how I know He lives”… that’s the Easter mystery for us to reveal – knowing Jesus and Holy Spirit move within us and not as historical figures – feeling Jesus and Holy Spirit revealed when we ask God to “open the eyes of our hearts” to see Him – see Him inside. When we know He lives inside our hearts, we can’t help but make room. The unfolding of our heart souls swelling in us can be like an intricately folded flower waiting for water to unfurl it, like a collapsed hot air balloon waiting for warm air to fill it to fly.

Ask ME how I know? I know because it’s happened to me, and God’s rumble moved my junk in my internal soul space, and I started getting the rocks of my head out of the way to see His Way and His Light… I found myself filling my eyes with seeing Him fill my heart just with His Love. He opened up the Kingdom of Light inside my eyes to see Him, feel Him, know Him… I will never be the same. And I will forever want to grow more in maturing my faith to fruitfulness.

This Easter, MOVE to open your heart too, move in knowing. This Easter make more room for the Spirit of Resurrected Jesus, not with external force but by internal LIGHT illuminating areas to grow. Be NOT building manmade modular additions to your heart, but instead open up your heart into invading new spaces and living thru your hands, feet, mouth and eyes. Live in Resurrection so that He both lives INside your heart and THRIVES throughOUT when you live Him OUT, reach Him OUT, and speak Him OUT.

“Hear me when I know He LIVES, He THRIVES throughout my heart.”

Roll the Stone away for He already rose, there’s no need to hide it in us anymore.

Be Easter people. Know and Show His Hope.

Amen Amen Amen

—-

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered His words. Luke 24:5-8

Jesus said: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13

Paul to Ephesians 1:3-23

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

For Those Left Behind, 31MAR – #1118

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So many knickknacks let alone houses, we leave so much behind when we pass. Many family estates are neither a volume of riches or junk but a lot of both – depending upon whose needing it or not… Mine too. Pieces of platinum or plastic – even a little scrap of paper might mean a lot or a little. It is all in the eyes of the beholder, and what they see. Oh, what will burden or bless others who sort thru your stuff?

What about our legacy of FAITH?

Think long term and we must reduce the burden of our children, think long term and we must leave behind the best of our legacy: an encouragement for them and others to know Jesus and keep the faith. If they don’t know, leave them a reminder to expand their faith, seeing how much you loved the Lord. Live your life as knowing AND showing His LOVE. Leave behind a “bread of life crumb trail”, a pathway detailed, a simple urge for others to FIND THE LORD.

Do NOT quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.

May we pray that all FIND THE LORD, ESPECIALLY SINCE HE IS already LOOKING for each one. Look Him up in the book. Not the phone book. Not the bank book. Find Jesus where He lives, in the Good Book, which IS the roadmap of Him written in your heart. Keep Him, share Him, know Him. First you must find Him. Turn the page.

In end times, those who know Him as Lord and Savior, whose eyes of their hearts opened up to be found, will be taken up into Heaven because of His path opening the Way. Those left behind will need extra road maps, they will need the bibles and scriptures. Certainly we should leave the faith equivalent of big neon signs of encouragement for them to “look this Way”… We need to lay down treasures and instead leave trails. We need to reduce our own piles of anything cluttering our own path, and instead forge a legacy of love to pull others away from the distracting piles of the world. Junk, I love good junk, especially when I have not paid for it. But how deeper wider do I LOVE the SALVATION of the Lord, which I don’t deserve, AND I COULDN’T PAY FOR IT IF I TRIED! 

If you get stuff, give it away. If you get LOVE, give it away – Love is for freeing souls. 

The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. DON’T BLOCK YOUR OWN PATH BY YOUR OWN JUNK. DON’T DISTRACT THEIR PATH BY JUNK EITHER.

It is a simple fact, we can’t take anything with us and we won’t be able to help others when we are taken up into Heaven unless we leave a little bit of Jesus here for them to find. The Holy Spirit is for sharing. Leave His Road Maps and Wind Trails.  In Revelation 6, the lost will hide. Surely, we instead want our loved ones and everyone to know to look FOR the Lord for saving, not hide in shame. Let us leave open lives of the roadmaps of our hearts showing highlighted routes by which He found us and bridged us. Let the Word pass THRU us, not just to us.

Leave Your Love maps out in plain view.

Live to show that you acknowledge that He is Worthy of all praise:  “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” Revelation 5

Live to glorify!

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 1 Thessalonians 4:1

Live to Look UP!

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 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Pray for those who don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior 

Revelation 6:15-17 – (AFTER the seals opened and previous opportunities given to be saved)   Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

LIVE TO SHINE LIGHT!!!

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.  You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.  So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-24, 28

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Amen

His Pain for Our Gain, 29MAR – #1117

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A friend had her 2nd covid vaccination injection – she was tired and achy for one day then got better… We are in Easter week and I wrote back in joy and encouragement.  For spiritual reasons these thoughts give me great tears, but this is not wrong as Easter Spirit must involve and include the knowledge of Good Friday pain, carried by Jesus, of people being lost. The Holy Spirit that permeates us urges us to know…

I said: Like the pain from your vaccination which will eventually turn into a gain in your immunity and in your protection – Easter week is also like that… it’s the worst imaginable pain for Jesus: loss, sacrifice, betrayal, even seeing His chosen simply falling asleep in the garden when asked to keep watch… and yet the promise of Easter and finishing “the Plan” is what Jesus KNEW was worth it, TOTALLY worth it… And was GOD’S COMMAND. Jesus followed Our Father’s plan – we should too…

I’ve always avowed that the pain in seeing people lost (mentally many of the world’s people as well as those at the scene), plus the betrayal of those who should have known better from studying the scriptures and signs of the times, and especially witnessing the pain in people misunderstanding Him as a worldly king – including by the Jerusalem crowd hailing Hosanna one day and Crucify Him the next – must have been MORE profoundly painful than any death by cross.

So perhaps the best part of the Easter message is that we are reminded that we are to know HOPE. Even in darkness, a sliver of hope is illuminated in our hearts by the Spirit. We are to have understanding of darkness to know that we are NOT in darkness anymore – are we? We know that Jesus said it is finished BEFORE He died and we too know and taste of His Light on Earth before our eyes will see Him in Glory. We know Him because of Faith, He is revealed in Love. Jesus took the pain to gather us for Our Father – His Love is our gain.

A poem:

Jesus ROSE and flipped over Satan’s lame game.

Jesus negated sin’s blame.

His pain and His Glory for our gain.

Every day we are called to carry His Flame.

BE Hopeful hearts under Heaven’s Reign.

Easter Spirit SHOW US WON AS GOD’S LOVE CLAIM.

Amen

A Clear Conscience and a Clear Conversation, 28MAR – #1116

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With God, we often say “It’s a relationship not – a religion.” – TRUE, all true.

God hears our laughter, tears, conversations, confusions, and the clarity or cloudiness of our conscious days in conscience ways. God speaks clearly if we listen. God rescues. We pray for a softened heart to hear Him. He gives direction (and often God gives pause) and God gives mercy and grace… God finds favor for those who favor His counsel. I heard a preacher once say: “God wouldn’t have given the life of His Son to only turn His back on you now.” True – God wants to hear you and wants you to listen. God wants conversation.

1) God heard Sarah, Abraham’s wife, LAUGH IN DISBELIEF that she would bear a child as an old woman. She then tried to HIDE her disbelief, but God heard that too.

2) God and Abraham spoke often within a safety zone of back and forth conversation. God did not bargain as much as be PATIENT with all the requests. We also might try to bargain but in truth, God is sovereign, He always gets the final Word (especially since He had the first and ALL), but at least He listens and we can know that He is patient with us.

3) God warned the king of the foreign land, Abimelek, to not touch/court Sarah, whom he did not know was Abraham’s wife. Sarah and Abraham, when they ventured into Abimelek’s region did not disclose the marriage relationship in a hope to not get killed. God came to Abimelek in a dream, they conversed. Acknowledging Abimelek’s clear conscience since he simply did not know and was not given the whole of the information, God gave Abimelek a clear and stern warning. Once Sarah was released, God corrected His imposed punishment of infertility of Abimelek’s household. God knows our relationships, our innocence and our deeds, and He knows our motives. God knows what is best for us too. God knows when to put His foot down and say NO.

4) GOD HEARD THE CRYING of the boy Ishmael, and opened the eyes of Hagar, a distressed and sobbing mom, so she would discover a well of water to save her son. God hears us. God knows all. We can call out. Even our tears are known by God and collected by His Love. When we think we have nothing less to give, God gives us PROVISIONS for living, God gives us gifts for living and excess for caring for others. God promises great things for our future because He is the One Who SECURES it. 

God knows our hearts. True. God loves each of us, me and you. Surely showing us how much He loves us is the conversation God wants to have with us. If God has gone to the depths of giving His beloved Son to show us love, and our Jesus has given His own life freely to us for eternal life, by His lowering Himself  to Earth in order to raise us up, He really does love us!!!

God Jesus and Holy Spirit are always near.

TRUE. and Lord, I Love You Too.

Amen 

‐—

GENESIS 18:13-15

Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.” 

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Genesis 20

Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelek king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.

3 But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”

4 Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.”

6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all who belong to you will die.”

8 Early the next morning Abimelek summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid. 9 Then Abimelek called Abraham in and said, “What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.” 10 And Abimelek asked Abraham, “What was your reason for doing this?”

11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”

14 Then Abimelek brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelek said, “My land is before you; live wherever you like.”

16 To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”

17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again, 18 for the Lord had kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.

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Genesis 21

The Birth of Isaac

21 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. 9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”

11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.

17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

20 God was with the boy as he grew up. 

Learn and Lean on God, 27MAR – #1115

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Lean on God, not the porch columns. How much the wind was rustling EVERYTHING, and seeing the trees sway is one thing, but as I sat on the porch, on a swing, I saw the porch posts MOVING. WHAT? 

The Lord comes in a whisper, so you must find your quiet in a storm. 

And it took me half an hour before I noticed, I was so focused on my writing and my deep thought that it took me that much quiet time to get quiet. I had just finished my writing about biting my tongue to let God speak His plans. I just laughed at the columns and myself. No wonder it took a quiet moment to notice the slight sway. It the same with the Lord, we have to be quiet to hear His whisper. If I had been swinging on the porch swing, I would have missed it completely. But I was still. I was still and I saw.

Maybe this old section is sinking in the middle even though it was OK for years OR more likely the new addition raised the roof on the opposite side, either way it was WEIRD to see the middle columns dangle from the porch roof. The roof still holds, no worries, but don’t lean against these dangling posts! A reminder: Learn and Lean on God, not your own understanding or depend on earthly things. Depend on God. 

We are supported by the Lord, made and remade. Jesus renews. The wind whipping yesterday in a weather front unfolding was awesome in strength, but I did not feel afraid but in awe. Yes to know that I was OK in the storm was clear as day. The storms of life? God’s got those too. Support from above. 

The Lord IS strong enough to support us in whatever plans He decides we will take. He Holy Spirit moves us and He gives forgiveness as we venture back to Him as our shield against the storm. He holds us in His plans, we should not worry and are told to not be distracted by earthly folly or jolly. Focus on things above. The porch columns are attached above, so can we be.

Lean not on our own understanding. Yes, the Lord will plan our future – IF we let Him. He will correct our future- IF we listen. He has plans and He has promise for us and He has the power to make it all happen. Otherwise we are to remember the meaningless stuff in this world is meaningless (remember Ecclesiastes) and there is a time and season for everything. Our weather seasons change- He doesn’t. 

He makes me sit down on great porches, watch the wind, and take stock. Just like that porch, watch out for the dangling supports that won’t support you, and instead lean on the Lord…

The Lord comes in a whisper, so you must find your quiet in a storm. 

Amen

——-

1Kings 19: 11-13

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

—-

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:2-5

—-

Proverbs 3: do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops…

Biggest Blessings, 26MAR – #1114

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I wonder sometimes why I am sheltered in life and sometimes able to sit quiet. I do think we (me included) have ignorance of going out to see and work on the world’s worse problems. We put up fences and defenses from seeing the gory details of those struggling with real life. We are cushioned to enjoy looking at the rocks but not hurt by the rocks. We hesitate to leave our comfort zones. Very likely I de-stress in avoiding distress. And many fail to realize that their own distancing, thinking it is for safety, leads them vulnerable to attack mentally, including selfishness, self-righteousness and self-pity. (I include myself in this too)…  I honestly believe that seeing others circumstances is not for us to gloat in our good fortune but (while we help) for us to realize where to count our blessings. And when we actively count blessings, everyday, the sheer hugeness of our portion of blessings becomes clear, they are from the active shielding from harm by God. 100% YES. 

I’ve tried much to read His Word, so when I sit and ponder (especially in this past year of pandemic) and compare our lot to that of the ages, we are blessed in wealth and provisions but even more so it is God’s shield that stands out to me. Especially as our mental health shield and warrior. 

Do not be afraid, Abram.   I am your SHIELD,    your very great REWARD.” 

The Lord speaking to Abram/Abraham in Genesis 15

YES. If anything this covid year, or any year, I pray we give credit where credit is due for God pulling us thru. Mentally, Spiritually. We will never regret to always make an active acknowledgement of God’s Hand in our lives. It is good that we have what we have, all good things are from God, so if we complain about anything this past year, perhaps it is that we didn’t trust God enough. (Me included). We should remember the provisions and we should remember the comfort.  Many prayers did we pray and they were answered.  The sheer fact that we have time and peace to sit and read is a blessing in itself.

The Lord made a covenant with Abram/Abraham we should remember if we read backwards. But read even further forwards, especially in Easter week, read to acknowledge our good fortune for the Word itself saves us. The Word makes a rescue of us. The Word is Jesus. We do have the Lord, we should not forget. He did suffer and still does for the lost. How much joy He has when we realize that we are found. Our job is to remind people to look. Look to be found. 

Sometimes we need to ponder what to believe about our relationship with God. Time and time again we read not about of the permissiveness of God, He has no blind spot for us to hide, but we read about and see and experience the Mercy and Forgiveness of God. Too many people are told God doesn’t love you the way you are. Don’t believe that untruth. Don’t let the devil put up false barriers that Jesus already defeated. Love is God and God loves. God loves you. God loves you. TRUTH

I believe in Jesus. However I sometimes wonder if the gate which is narrow will be too narrow for us to pass. And yet the narrowness we try to envision which may be allowing only One person in width WILL be SUFFICIENT because our Gatekeeper Jesus is already there ready to ask and accept our devotion. If we believe in Him, and FOLLOW, He will pull us thru. All we need is HIM – and all He wants is YOU.

We do have the Lord, we should not forget. Don’t wander away thinking you are not worthy, because no one is born worth, Jesus is who makes us worthy. Jesus is the Only Way to Worthy. Follow the Way. 

Maybe we wonder if the narrow gate is hard to find? Wide is the path to destruction, so how can we best follow Jesus in this world? Perhaps the tipping and wobbling of the world over and over will allow Jesus to shift and sift us until we reach into and thru to His gate. Maybe He is the equivalent of visually folding a flat gate into a V shape as a funnel and shaking us all up in it until we hit the walls enough times to reach the bottom to come to Him. His pull will always be stronger than gravity, Jesus unclogs the gate by pulling us thru, one lost sheep at a time. We should look forward to seeing Him so we know Whose Arm to grab.

Yesterday I wanted to walk thru the waterfall gorge, but the path was still blocked by old ice and new warning signs. I didn’t go because I am not ignorant of the dangers and because I was OK knowing that I had a previous memory mental picture of the scene and sounds. It was OK. That is what Jesus wants us to know. To feel and see and know Him in our darkness, when danger abounds, when we feel blocked, and when we do have to travel into danger. We can remember Him ALWAYS, because He IS with us. 

God established a covenant with Abram/Abraham and a NEW COVENANT for us,… JESUS is the NEW COVENANT. We are to rely on HIM for Salvation.

We are called to be not ignorant of our blessings because we do see His peace and plan. Our work IS to share the knowledge of His path. With work in the world we can counter act the ignorance in the world and be the fruitful descendants God promised Abraham. 

Let us ponder and not be ignorant of all these promises kept by God. Let us work fruitfully. God promised to be our God.  Jesus promised God that He would save us.  Let us BE HIS. Let us count Him as our Biggest Blessing. 

Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.  I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. Genesis 15:3-7

AMEN 

We Shall Not Want, 25MAR – #1113

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The Lord is our Shepherd. We shall not want. 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want – for things to do, projects to serve Him and wisdom to keep my mind off of earthly follies. 

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures – for I need rest to keep traveling with Him at Holy Spirit pace.

He leadeth me beside the still waters – for He wants me to drink, not drown. 

He restoreth my soul – because He made it.

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake – for HIS name not mine, since He has a new name for me up in Heaven, I won’t need my name or reputation or track record, only Him, only His Path for me.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because He IS good and He is our shield and Savior. 

For thou art with me – always and forever.

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me – correcting us from worse danger, and shepherding us to Glory. 

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies – I know the taste of joy and love from You, whom I trust. I know the dangers You reveal to me so that I may steer clear of them and return to You. 

Thou anointest my head with oil – You have chosen each of us as Your own.

My cup runneth over – You are our fountain of strength and direction. I will never tire of Your help, never lack for love nor the vessel to sharingly pour it back out from.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life – I am safest with You. No matter how I am stressed, You make me see how I am blessed. 

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever – And I WILL DWELL in YOUR house, as You have filled my house, my heart, my mind, my soul, my life, my everything.

Forever I shall not want, 

You are my Shepherd, 

You are our Lord.

You are Forever. 

Amen 

The WHOLE Kit and Caboodle, 24MAR – #1112

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I am a trash picker, from way back. In my car right now are hockey sticks, floor mats, a shoe rack, just only a few things that will go to somewhere not to be trashed (yet). I like giving stuff away especially easily when it’s USEFUL STUFF I never paid for. Like Robin Hood, I give to places but I don’t have to steal, it’s stuff given freely. If I were to think of me and my Subaru in a right hand left hand ministry, I would be busy FOREVER. Filling and emptying this Subaru is a way of life. But you can’t take it all, you have to drive away sometimes. Yet his pastime for me and others is NOTHING that saves the world’s people, it’s NOTHING like Jesus, the Way, giving away the Whole Kit and Caboodle of Himself for all our eternal lives.  Not any human measurable items, not riches nor fame, a Gift from not just hands, but heart and whole, Jesus gave it all. Jesus never drives away.

Hands down. Jesus gave it ALL. 

Likethe Father waiting watching for His prodigal sons (and daughters) to return, after venturing out into the world, God waits for us to return. Likewise, God gave away His richest most valuable treasure, gave away His Son’s Life for all to be redeemed, freely redeemed our sins for welcoming home all whose names are in the book of life to stay alive forever in GLORY. Oh, His Joy for when He sees us turn the bend for home. And who is in the Book of Life? All of us who believe in the redemption of Jesus for our sins. All who realize where our treasure really is. All who call Jesus Lord and Follow. We have to be Willing to Lose our Lives for Him.

We are already called to be in God’s SUV “Savior’s Ultimate Victory” biggest car wagon of Life with Jesus in the driver’s seat driving us home away from our junk. His Venture to Victory now in the finish lap parade to collect His Treasures: US!!! Jesus removes our burdens, His Yoke is Light, because He has ultimate horsepower under the hood, and each of us gets a saving faith trip. Anything we think we need to carry – baggage of treasures or trash – is placed on the roof and Jesus hits the gas and it flies away – we don’t need it – we are in the car and on our way. Freed for forever. (Just buckle your seatbelt so you don’t lean out the window looking back at your old life left behind. Let the dead fall under road tread.

NO GRUMBLING ALLOWED FROM THE WHEEL WELL SEATS!

And the unbelievable part? It’s a free ride, already paid, a toll was paid by the Driver. We slide thru the scanner and all is removed from your history bank account, all is credited on account of your faith.

Our hands feet and hearts are freed to work in acts of faith as from our calling and what we are driven to say, act, be is to benefit all weary travelers, all those who need to hear “Dump your junk” – “Ride with the King” – “Lamb Lyft” – “Saved by Grace” – “Riding on the fumes of faith” – “Not Worthy Wanderers Welcome”- “Low Rider’s Dip Trip” – “Was, Is, Is To Come Taxi” – “Shining Stars Shuttle” – “Almost Home”… 

The ultimate bumper sticker: “GOT JESUS?”

Gotta go, “My Ride is Here”.

Amen 

—-

Philippians 2:1-15

Imitating Christ’s Humility

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death —  even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Do Everything Without Grumbling

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.

God Puts His Foot Down, 23MAR – #1111

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I have so many strange dreams it seems and impossible to remember them (which is probably a good thing), but I had to keep reminding myself I wanted to remember this particular dream last night.

God put his foot down on me to keep me safe.

I don’t remember the beginning of the dream sequence, I think it was my house but a different format,  I don’t know the circumstances,  I can’t remember the people… but I was sleeping or just awoken by a storm even in daylight and there was no time to jump out of bed and a tornado funnel was going alongside my long window, not a huge one but I could not deny the severity of the situation and yet only had time to pray. I don’t know why in this dream we weren’t taking cover prior, and I don’t know why I was sleeping in the daytime, I just remember it being daylight and waking up to the storm and watching the tornado go by and saying: “God help me”. HE DID.

I did not see a physical foot come down from the sky, like you would in a Monty Python sketch, but I had the feeling of a foot or a big weight come down and hold me down over my midsection because I could feel the pull of the vortex but I stayed put. Soon after I went to the other room to tell everybody (not sure who was there) what had happened and how I felt. That’s all I remember from the dream.

Held. Not away from danger but held.

Whether it’s a physical danger like a tornado or something else, maybe sickness or injury or people or …. ???, how could I not witness that God puts his foot down and protects us. 

Maybe it’s a storm that we watch from the side and realize it’s not for us to fight or flee, because God keeps us an arms-length away and then the danger is gone. He doesn’t even move us to the other room – we see the storm. Maybe it’s about the holding and rescue and not even the storm. Maybe it’s a passover of sorts where others are challenged and specifically when we listen or we ask for help, we will be saved.  Maybe God just wants us to know that He cares. He does. Maybe God says you can’t avoid all rough situations, but I CAN help you thru them. Surely it is all of these and more.

God cares enough to listen, can’t help but love, we should care enough to pray, we should love the love hold. 

We should not think God isn’t listening, because He is.

Thanks God.

Thanks for the hold.

Amen 

Diversity, 22MAR – #1110

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How weird to imagine that Noah’s descendants lived hundreds of years, many up to 500 years. Can you imagine living that long and being able to apply your 50 year old or 100 year old wisdom to your life for a few more hundred years? Can you imagine how much MORE wisdom you would obtain! (I pray they also had healthy enough bodies at 500yrs old). As the scriptures detail, they were bearing children later in life too. The loneliness of long life must have been replaced by the DIVERSITY of many ages living together. How amazing the world was then and continually became. How interesting that the Lord then mixed it up even more by the scattering of peoples and creation of new languages. (See Genesis 11)… 

That’s a level of DIVERSITY, isn’t it?!!!. 

‘The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”   So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth,…

Wait, what? The Lord CREATED a DIVERSITY scene. And He created dependence upon Him. Different languages, scattered lands, different Fruits of the Spirit, many peoples unto Himself and all with FREE WILL with a hope that we ALL will hear and see, with opened hearts, which only He can inspire. NOW THAT’S DIVERSITY!!! 

The Lord IS also interestingly DIVERSE in the number of facets of Himself, yet forever NEVER changing and simply complex, did you notice in this passage that the Lord said: “Let us“… Who is us? One of All.

Diversity in thought and regardless of language and homeland, all peoples are created in God’s Image. How crucial they, like us, need to understand the advantage of applying wisdom over the ages. How that wisdom was in the flesh with multitudes of Noah’s descendants living hundreds of years up until the post-120 year life limits were imposed by God. How crucial that we must now impose that wisdom upon ourselves. We are to know and ask for His Wisdom, His Discernment..

How then do we tap into 120 year or even 900 year wisdom? Depend on God and read His Word.  Can we lean on scripture and depend on God like Babel-ittes who no longer understood each other, let alone see each other because of their imposed scattering? We can remember the fundamental LOVE of God from God for God keeping us on this earth one day more, let alone all our years. Crucial to KNOW God, to LISTEN to God, to FOLLOW GOD – and so forth because of the MOST important commandments JESUS came to reinforce in teaching: to LOVE GOD and LOVE His people… 

The diversity of people is not only overscene by the diversity of an UNCHANGING LOVE but also underlaid with LOVE and clothed with LOVE by Jesus reaching down to bring us all up.

Song lyrics ring true: we want to “See Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, follow Thee more nearly… Day by day…”

We are NOT to overcome diversity but EMBRACE IT. Love is the best embrace of all. 

Love.

Amen 

—-

Listening to the account of family lines in Genesis 10 thru 11, you get from Noah to Abram (later renamed Abraham)

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/suchet/nivuk/Gen.10

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Reading Genesis 11:1-9

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel – because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Ask Me How I Know He Lives, Easter 2021

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Ask me how I know He lives, He lives inside my heart.”…. with Easter hymns in my head, not always my ears, my heart still LEAPS knowing Jesus.

And that’s the crux of Easter for us, the movement of the stone reveals Easter in us. He lives inside our hearts. We are born feeling a childlike faith but age often hardens us into not knowing this. We become stone not soil. Easter is not something we achieve, Easter is something spiritual we realize. We must be re-earthed and reborn in realization that Jesus IS and wants to be known, KNOWN INSIDE US, known to us. ALIVE and known THRU us. 

Many get focused on Easter logistics 2000 years ago, the trappings of a man killed,  but Easter morning shows instead a God revealed. And a story continued. Easter itself can NOT contain the God who lives. Let us focus on Him TODAY and feel God move in us. Feel our tombs of cold stone hearts to crumble revealing fertile soil to grow our faith. Us knowing Jesus more and more will make the insides of our hearts grow.  We are not awakening Jesus, because He never changes, we are awakening our hearts to see that He Lives there. We are awakening so we know He is ready to heal our hurts, help our hopes, and direct our lives, to be forever walking with Him. 

Ask me how I know He lives“… that’s the Easter mystery for us to reveal – knowing Jesus and Holy Spirit move within us and not as historical figures – feeling Jesus and Holy Spirit revealed when we ask God to “open the eyes of our hearts” to see Him – see Him inside. When we know He lives inside our hearts, we can’t help but make room. The unfolding of our heart souls swelling in us like an intricately folded flower waiting for water to unfurl it, like a collapsed hot air balloon waiting for warm air to fill it to fly. 

Ask ME how I know? I know because it’s happened to me, and God’s rumble moved my junk in my internal soul space, and I started getting the rocks of my head out of the way to see His Way and His Light… I found myself filling my eyes with seeing Him fill my heart just with His Love. He opened up the Kingdom of Light inside my eyes to see Him, feel Him, know Him… I will never be the same. And I will forever want to grow more in maturing my faith to fruitfulness. 
This Easter, MOVE to open your heart too, move in knowing. This Easter make more room for the Spirit of Resurrected Jesus, not with external force but by internal LIGHT illuminating areas to grow. Be NOT building manmade modular additions to your heart, but instead open up your heart into invading new spaces and living thru your hands, feet, mouth and eyes. Live in Resurrection so that He both lives INside your heart and THRIVES throughOUT when you live Him OUT, reach Him OUT, and speak Him OUT.

“Hear me when I know He lives, He thrives throughout my heart.”
Roll the Stone away for He already rose, there’s no need to hide it in us anymore.
Be Easter people. Know and Show His Hope. 

Amen Amen Amen 
—-
 “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered His words. Luke 24:5-8

Jesus said: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13

Paul to Ephesians 1:3-23 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people,  I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Pull Thru, 02APR – #1122

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This has been a strange year, both we have worked differently and processed differently… and time slowed down and also seems to have passed quickly. 

God doesn’t change, but time flies.

So, I was listening to a Good Friday service online just now. The description of the arrest of Jesus jogged my memory of a sermon that my old pastor gave on a Holy Thursday few years back… He spoke of the uneasy feeling that Jesus’s disciples had to endure from late Thursday night to Sunday morning. That time must have been so disconcerting, an unknown of not knowing if Jesus would be freed, and then later when He was killed,  having that unknown feeling to not know where to go or how to avoid capture and death too. Many still had devotion and some had doubt,  but all could not understood or envision Jesus rising again.   They had no idea about Easter… they were stuck.

We are NOT stuck even if we do sometimes feel that way. We know Easter. We know Jesus rose and rises up. Our uneasiness draws us closer to Him too.  But oh yes, how this year especially made us ALL think in discouraged ways sometimes.  We don’t always see clear that everything is going to be OK. But it will eventually. Painful?  Yes. Weird? Yes. But eternally we will be OK.

Our doubts bring His truth clearer.

Our doubts make Jesus come close enough to us so we can touch or see into His wounds.  And our blessings are seeing out the other side of His wounds. We can not avoid pain, Jesus couldn’t avoid pain, but we ALL now look see thru the pain to look at Glory to come. 

Later when the disciples learned that Jesus lived (Hallelujah!), that still meant all their devotion would STILL bring many TROUBLES with authorities or trouble with their families and friends… and yet, they knew nothing but devotion to Jesus. They kept looking forward. 

What a gift we have knowing how it ends, but what an uneasy place to be, peering at the world thru the wounds of Jesus…

We do know this arrival of Easter, and Spring, and warmer days gifts us the chance to get moving, and time to thaw… I pray us all continued pulling thru all the challenges. 

Happy Easter, knowing that it comes soon after our Good Friday…

JOY soon… 

Time flies!!!

Amen 

Nails

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Instead of endless nails on a telephone pole for job offers, lost dogs, and house sales, this Easter week remember it only took 3 nails to show the world one best offering:

Giving the captives freedom,

Finding the lost,

And to give the Kingdom away for free.

Phone Home, Jesus will answer!

And He accepts all collect calls.

Amen!

And I Fell Asleep On My Buddy, Jesus, 02APR – #1121

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I did not have a busy day but certainly it started early and felt long and I was so exhausted…  enough that while watching a 7pm Holy Thursday “Service of Shadows” from church thru Facebook into my living room, I was asleep by 745 on the couch. Out. With the crick in my neck I’m now going to bed proper at 10pm. But I remember falling asleep, not really fighting it. I should have fought it and have less pain.

That’s fitting for Holy Thursday, isn’t it? Falling asleep on the Lord, then oh the pain, like the disciples in the garden. We like they fall asleep when the Lord was/is depending upon us to keep watch. especially watch over ourselves but mostly watch over our relationship with the Lord. Scattered, they and we are scattered as a flock, too tired to keep it together. Flesh willing but weak.

One place I remember NOT falling asleep was the church services of Good Friday as a child, multiple priests read the passion story. Other times we would walk the stations of the cross during lent. Those memories are strong, and such witness in my mind now of my soul paying attention. I was a hungry soul. We should want to be hungry souls and stay awake to learn. Walking with my catholic school class we must have been a sight traversing the few blocks from school to church, paired up with buddies to keep us safer and ACCOUNTABLE to staying in line, easier for paying attention to have to watch out. How fitting for us to not fall asleep then in church because we were watched by strict nuns. How fitting for our safety that we were watched for, and watched out for, our buddies – whom were assigned to us, not that we picked.

But Jesus? He picked us. He warns us but does not prevent us from falling asleep or stepping out of line. How fitting for us to now be grown up, to have to know better and keep ourselves awake, and ACCOUNTABLE and find our own buddies to stay awake. This time we should look for Jesus as our Buddy.

Was it a good night for all Holy Thursday, into Good Friday buddies? Well for sure it was a long night for Jesus and a long haul to the cross. Let us get our rest, because we really need to learn and walk and pay attention to what Jesus has in store for us each day. Even in the weakness of a tired body, we truly need to remember to be hungry souls.

From here on out, Jesus in Spirit is the One Who wants to be our Buddy. We can learn from He Who goes before us. We will try to stay awake, but even if we sleep, He will remember to wake us.

Amen in desire to rest then especially to RISE.

Keep Watch.

Gethsemane Matthew 26

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Be the Fool, Shhhhhush…, #1109

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Shhhhh Right Hand!!!! Shhhhhush Hush!!! Don’t tell the Left Hand what you donate, gift, move, do…

Just keep working, God knows what you secretly do… Matthew 6:1-4

Shhhhh Steps!!! Don’t pray for public shows.  Our most secret quiet prayers are the ones our Father KNOWS, for from Him, thru us, His Spirit who FLOWS… Matthew 6:5-6

Shhhhh Tongue, stop babbling on and on, our Father hears us before any word from our lips has gone… Matthew 6:7-15

Shhhhh Face, show only Grace, hide your gloom… in Him there’s no looming doom… for our Spirit in Christ does BLOOM… Matthew 6:16-18

Shhhhh Heart, hide your treasures only in HOLY measures… Heaven’s HOLD is endlessly worth more than ALL the world’s gold. Matthew 6:19-21

Shhhhh Eyes, hide your darkness, be reflecting His healthy heartness. Jesus did overcome with His Light, just shine His Glory, clear and bright. Matthew 6:22-23

Shhhhh Tithes, LOVE God not money, I’m not being funny. Give Him all He is due, which happens to be ALL of You. Matthew 6:24

Shhhhh Worry, watch the birds, the fields of flowers show blessings in a flurry. Days are gifts to heal life’s rifts, we are to feel His Godly lifts. Matthew 6:25-34

Shhhhh Trouble, your yesterday’s rubble. Today is a new day for walking in HIS WAY, tomorrow’s troubles pray stay at bay.

Shhhhh wisdom and eloquence, my fool shows His Rule.

Shhhhh earthly boast, YOU ARE TOAST!

Shhhhh worldly wise, seldom do those thoughts surmise that God’s love timing and His totalness is our PRIZE. 

Shhhhh put your achievements lower than low, for it is in humbleness that we GROW. 

Shhhhh, boast always and ONLY in the Lord, for we succeed only if we are on board.  Our foolishness that OTHERS spy, is that God’s Work is ALIVE, let us not be shy.

Shhhhh, Shhhhhush, Hush, Be the Fool, and GO, 

HIS GLORY is our GREATEST GLOW. 

Amen 

—-

Matthew 6

JESUS said:

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.


Prayer (5-15)
 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘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.


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Fasting
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

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Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!


24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

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Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

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Paul writing: 1Corinthians 1:17 -31

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

Thank God, No Fooling, 01APR – #1120

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Thank God I went to work yesterday. 

Thank God I had work to do. 

Thank God I got to go into the lab and use my skills. 

Thank God I still have skills, which shock and delight those half my age.

Thank God I was busy yesterday. 

Thank God I was alive yesterday. 

Thank God I interacted with great people.

Thank God for Your people, Lord. 

Thank God my people work is walking into Your work first and my work work second and all at the same time.

Thank God I was too busy to worry about a pandemic. 

Thank God for laughter and joy from the heart of Your people who shine Your heart.

Thank God for Your hedge of protection even in close quarters in a pandemic. 

Thank God for Your guidance of us being proactively safe in a pandemic but still working too.

Thank God for safety strivings, safety goggles, safety lab coats, safety gloves, safety hoods which actually protect the work samples from us more than protecting us from them.

Thank God for tolerance in us of an immune system surrounded by a skin barrier of protection.

Thank God for Your Spirit flowing in us to change consciousness into conscience-derived confidence in You.

Thank God for our protective God reliance on You. 

Thank God for a protected drive home in nasty weather yesterday, much more physically dangerous in the moment to me personally than a pandemic.

Thank God for no crashes but good God those crazy splashes. 

Thank God for my good tires and I got home.

Thank God for my good tired when I got home.

Thank God for me being here for serving my family too.

Thank God too for yesterday some preventative maintenance car work was at minimal expense and allowing work connectivity on the road too.

Thank God for my car and the unknown oil issue which brought me to see a friend who thanks God too for his health maintenance in a known chronic illness fight.

Thank God You give him the strength to fight.

Thank God for not just one but 3 friends yesterday who reached out to share the Lord’s Joy with me despite their own chronic illness fights.

Thank God Joy is always stronger than pain.

Thank God fight is stronger than flight.

Thank God for JOY.

Thank God for those who fight the battles already knowing that God has won the war, our war, His War, His Victory. 

Our AWE.

Thank God for our AWE.

Thank God when we can encourage with a never ending job.

Thank God for fruits of the Spirit without rot.

Thank God for making us quieter in foolish talk and boastful only in You, praising You. 

Thank God we can never run out of praise. 

Thank God we are Yours.

THANK GOD FOR YOU DESERVE ALL PONDEROUS PRAISE. 

Thank God we can be FOOLS FOR THE FAMILY BUSINESS. 

Thank God Fools for God are not foolish are they? NO FOOLING. 

Thank God we can be YOUR FOOLS even that the world sees us seemingly foolish for simple-ness of devotion.

Thank God for developing devotion. 

Thank God all we need is You.

Thank God for You.

AMEN 

—-

Psalm 20

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

May the Lord grant all your requests.

Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. Lord, give victory to the king!

Answer us when we call!

—-

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Be Bold, even if you are Cold… 20MAR – #1108

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See those daffodils, they foolishly come early, how BOLD, but extended COLD does NOT hurt, because God’s LOVE will carry and flurry. We will see new growth from old.

They WILL bloom and so will we, 

Our secret source of LIGHT is inside, you see.

God promises Future Glory for all see.

Jesus You were cold in the tomb, now You bloom. Easter is for you and me.

It is to God’s glory that You, Jesus, set us Free.

Because of Easter, we are freed to live with Thee.

When we see these daffodils bloom, will we remember today’s cold gloom?

NO, our eyes will be open and worry consumed.

So too with Jesus, forget today’s cold troubles, HIS LOVE FOREVER BLOOMS

Like daffodils, our eyes will open and love will pour, having knowledge of how He crushed His and our worldly tomb.

Easter is upon us. Witness Jesus BOLD as He sees you: Loved and in HIS FOLD.

Amen 

—-

Jesus said: “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. Luke 24: 44-48

Noise REST, 20MAR – #1107

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It’s noisy in the sky – light pollution. 

It’s noisy in the air – so many sounds of motors and noisy noise of people. 

It’s noisy in our heads – our thoughts, our experiences, other’s emotions projecting, there’s just mud and crud…

The Lord is the filler and filter (the maker and the shaker) to push out the rest, to give REST, to BE the REST. Now you know “the REST of the story“, not Paul Harvey’s tagline but the simple REST of the Word lived into your life.  Therefore, take the Word in and it can SORT yourself out.  Sorting importance over fluff, the Word can straighten the frayed ends, or simply cut them off. The Word can put to REST the worldly arguments keeping you up at night. The Word can quiet the arguments between your left and right hands when the right hand gives without the left hand knowing. The Word can Work when you are stopped idle or dumbfounded from exclusion and roadblocks, the Word still Works. The Word goes ahead. The Word already read ahead and wrote ahead. The Word finishes the REST of the EVERYTHING in you and that you wanted to do. The Word WILL WAIT you out and the Word will work things out in Ways that you could never have imagined, let alone heard in the noise fray until you put quiet your day.

The Word, The Way. His Way for your day.

Can you not hear the excess noise when you read the Word? It is quieted by the filler and filter. The Word rests your thoughts into give His direction. “And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.” The lyric from “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” can be rewritten: “And the noise of Earth will grow strangely din, in the REST of His Glory and Grace.”

A musical REST of the Word quieting our noise.

Rest – IN THRU BY WITH FROM BECAUSE OF – THE WORD.

THE WORD RESTS ITS CASE!

Amen

Paul writes of God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit (excerpts from 1Corinthians 1):  “We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age… No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began

It is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” —the things God has prepared for those who love him — these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.  The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.”

Perfect Timing – Wait and Wonder, Don’t Wander, 17MAR – #1106

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It’s the little things and big things too – and this timely reminder (a blog below that I got in email) hit home to me – it is a big reminder that the little things of God IS a big thing! God sends reminders and ways out when we are tempted – and if we check with Him, He will tell us especially that He is in charge and that we are to respect Him over any human desire or plan… Yup… 

You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight“. Luke 16:15

This hit home to me this morning when there were and are human temptations abounding! And I decided to wait on the Lord. We should all decide to wait and weigh questions of the day on the Lord, because He knows where He needs us: waiting on Him!!!! Not waiting ignorantly but intelligently and with purpose. This is not being idle but having the temptation cause us to THINK. Then making a decision with Him in mind rather than people in mind.

1Corintians 10:11-13 These things happened to them [wandering Israelites] as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Thank You Lord for reminding us to watch out for little sins and big… You send messages where evil sends confusion. Don’t wander but wait in the wonder of God and KNOW His Totality and Majesty.   He will ALWAYS be Sovereign.

Amen Amen Amen

Thanks Lord !!!

——

This is the emailed Daily Devotional – Detestable to the Lord! 3/17/2021 from “The Daily Dose”

Good Morning, Are you surprised in this verse by the fact that our loving God expresses seven things that He finds detestable?

Proverbs 6:16-19 “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”

We often speak of what the Lord loves and His never–ending mercy. But we rarely, if ever, hear or talk about the things God/Jesus hates and detests. Here are some more scriptures that convey to us God’s heart, which is the “same Yesterday, Today and forever!” Hebrews 13:8 “do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares the Lord.” Zechariah 8:17 “The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence”. Psalm 11:5  “And you shall not set up a pillar, which the Lord your God hates” Deuteronomy 16:22

It is important that we study the full character of God, which to me, makes his mercy so much more awesome! It is also important to study the full character of our loving God, so we will not be deceived, and begin to think that He does not mind it when we sin. We need to very mindful that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7

We need to ask the Holy Spirit to show us daily any evil in our hearts, as the Lord said that thinking these things are just as bad as actually doing them. And the Jesus always always knows what is in our hearts. “Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? Luke 5:22 “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight. Luke 16:15

In summary, God hates sin. He loves us, which is why He gave us His Son, Jesus Christ as redemption for our sins. But may we never begin to think for a moment, that God does not hate sin. It is through the blood of Christ, and only through the blood of Christ, that we are forgiven. But we have free will and the choice is ours each day. We must first humble ourselves, turn to God, admit our sin and ask for forgiveness in Jesus name. When we sincerely do this, then our sin is forgotten forever and is as far as the east is from the west in God’s eyes. But even with God’s amazing grace, I reiterate that it is important that we are always mindful that God hates sin and that sin has its painful consequences.

Lord, please forgive us for ever taking Your amazing grace for granted. Thank You for Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for us! Please keep us from evil and give us the desire to be more like You each day. In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Have another powerful and prosperous day of detesting sin and expressing God’s love as you serve others in the workplace and at home!

Bob Bennett

Real Men Ministries

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“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” — Philippians 2:3

Copyright © 2021 Real Men Ministries. All rights reserved.

Security of Spirit! #1105

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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

God’s got a plan… and a light… and a saltshaker… God opens windows and doors for His entry. A trial becomes an opportunity for God to move – and when we take the time to put on our armor of God right before the conversations, we are not caught off guard. When we put on our armor of God, we can stay outside in the fray longer and make our way from His Way.

Sometimes, when we put on our armor of God, we can actually hear the clinks of the world bearing down on the armor, taking swipes and not penetrating, but feel and know SECURITY OF SPIRIT.  After the battle quiets, then we may speak with softened hearts. 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

Think Outside the Tomb, 28MAR – #1104

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This Easter season, let us not forget that it IS EASTER. Jesus doesn’t change, why should out attitude change? It’s not about the convenience of gathering in church as much as taking the time to gather the flock. It’s not about displaying flowers as much as getting out to reap what others, even us, have sown, appreciate what seeds have sprouted and plant some more. Hand to the plow and look forward, plow forward. Much work, few workers. It is the time for gathering what God has ripened.

Because the first Easter opened the tomb, this year and always we need to think outside the tomb. That is where Jesus is anyway…

Keeping Time With Jesus, 14MAR – #1103

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I never figured out what the TV shows switched at Fall behind or Spring ahead 2AMs, I never stayed up on purpose, just studied the TV guide grid in the paper. Would a show get shortchanged and skipped? What was extra? Like they really needed an extra infomercial. Did anyone buy the Romco egg beater for inside the shell?… I know kids these days don’t even read newspapers nor TV schedules on them, I barely even use the TV… And time? Figuring time out, well that went out the window too. I mean who even has time to contemplate time?!!!

Time flies, TRUE. 

Time heals.

Time steals.

Time is a gift.

Time gets away.

Time is endless.

Time is short. Don’t waste time. 

Time is not enough time, never.

Now is the best time of our lives.

Now is better than never.

Never has there been a better time.

The last statement means that now IS good. Now IS the best time. Live in the present. 

It’s good to live in the present AND wait for God. Don’t just wait for time to pass but wait for God to act. God does not pass the time like we do, He makes the time.

What time is Jesus’s 2nd coming? I wouldn’t be surprised if it were at 2AM when we can’t plan His arrival based on the TV grid times, nor the times tables, only the sign of the times… then we will know,  so for now be ready, even ready on the go.

Maybe we don’t want us to think about “the End is near” as a doomsday message, rather that “the time is dear”. Time to heal. Time to understand. Time to pray. Time to play. Time to sow. Time to reap…

Time of the harvest, the fields are white. Yes, that’s true ALL THE TIME – no harvest can take place unless you put the time in to the fields. God makes the time, we must take the time. 

Therefore, this Easter season, let’s not forget that it’s EASTER. Jesus doesn’t change, why should out attitude change? It’s not about the convenience of gathering in church as much as taking the time to gather the flock. It’s not about displaying flowers as much as getting out to reap what others, even us, have sown, what seeds have sprouted. It is the time for gathering what God has ripened. Much work, few workers.  

So this Easter, let’s think outside of time, think outside the box, and best yet, think outside the tomb.

Let’s not cancel Easter Messages or dismiss Easter Spirit because it is HARD to think about Easter Joy. For Jesus LIVES We, like Jesus, must walk out of the tomb to meet the people where they are.

There’s no better time spent that walking with Jesus, including walking to bring Jesus to others…

Keep time with Jesus. 

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” 

John writing about seeing Jesus in Glory, sees and knows: His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, “Fear not; I am the first and the last:  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelation 1:8, 16-19 

Keep time with Jesus!

AMEN!!!

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FYI – my phone clock changed automatically this 2AM to 3AM to match the time, we should too… Jesus doesn’t change, we must adapt. Glory awaits the workers that He calls, listen ahead, no time tables are revealed, and no time grid is needed, He simply WAS, IS, and IS TO COME. 

God does not make the time for convenience; He makes the time for all to hear.

Amen Amen

Hear up Gear up, 13MAR – #1102

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Woke up from a dream about racing, and a motto in neon scroll: “Don’t grind the cross crossing”… hmmm… I awoke after a stage in my dream where I had learned a special needs person passed away from covid. This person/child was known to be pure of heart. I awoke. I don’t know this person in real life or anyone else in that dream, but I appreciate thinking about that phrase – “don’t grind the gears” thinking to instead say “don’t grind the cross crossing” – and that I interpret as: crossing into heaven.

Don’t grind your gears means don’t cause your life to be in the edge of sin as you run out of steam. Don’t use the forgiveness of the cross as an excuse to live sinfully. Don’t use the cross as a stick-shift to drive an agenda – and don’t drive so hard switching gears on the go and ruining the engine.  Nope. Be humble in accepting Jesus and your need of Him. He’s already pulling you towards the finish line, finish well – and finish fair.

This might be related to the Revelation sermons that I am listening to, and this long series has me in October or November 2020 when the sermonist mentioned the need to be demonstrating being a Christian and that means that you don’t attack or gossip about your fellow Christians in person or on Facebook. The sermonist was nearly in tears urging this, especially because he really does think we are close to the beginning of the end of times with earthquakes, pestilence and all. We are to holdfast to Jesus. And even in the tribulation years, these slowly staged segments will allow 1/3 of peoples affected to have an opportunity to get on board with Jesus, will have one more chance to say YES to FORGIVENESS by acknowledging that Jesus is Lord. Every knee will bow, either in humbling ourselves or in defeat. Let us be witnesses in appreciation to the way the Lord has saved us.

Back to my dream, don’t grind the gears and don’t be rough on life… also, now that I note thinking about a car analogy, here is one more: don’t seize up the engine by running dry. Stay awake and fill your oil lamps awaiting the bridegroom. Stay hydrated by Living Water. Stay salty and not lose your flavor, be the one who doesn’t freeze the Living Water into ice, keep yourselves fluid in faith.

My car burns oil like crazy, I was first told this is normal for this model. But this month seems it is worse as I consult my records of top offs… So can the Lord, He can recall our records of trials and refills. Blessedly God in Heaven will see us only pure clothed in Jesus-glory, the pureness of peace and forgiveness. But let’s not grind the gears, let’s not overdue our oil usage for that humility knee bend time is around the bend, it is for us to gear up and to gear into.

Hear up and gear up.

Heaven is near.

Lord, reverently You we fear.

Pure of heart we can restart. 

It’s our sin You spin.

Let’s Cross into Heaven as Your Win.

Amen 

—-

Paul’s letter to the Romans ch 13:11-14

The Day Is Near

And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Meaningless, 12MAR – #1101

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God’s love gives you love in excess.

Everything else is meaningless.

If the cat wants to play, play. 

Because God shows love through your cat.

Everything else is meaningless.

If the college kid wants to come home for the weekend, pick her up. Video calls, answer. 

Because God shows love through you to her. And her to you.

Everything else is meaningless.

If the hermit kit wants to go out for water ice, go. (And partake, for tomorrow you can return to low sugar.)

Because God shows His love through you to him. And him to you.

Everything else is meaningless. (And gummy bears on water ice seem meaningless, but they are not)

If it’s time to work, work. 

Because God gives time to work. Work honestly and fair.

Everything else is meaningless.

If the lonely need words, speak.

If the hungry need food, feed.

If God’s love finds a need for you to fill, fill it.

Love God.

Everything else is meaningless.  

If it’s time for praying, PRAY. 

Love listening to God.

Be quiet enough to hear.

Brave enough to fear.

Empty enough to be filled.

Willing to love and be loved.

Everything else REALLY is meaningless.

If it’s time to encourage, encourage in God’s love and your faith.

If it’s time to serve, serve in love and faith. 

If it’s time for prophesying, speak in love and faith. 

If it is time for giving, then give generously in love and faith. 

If it is time to lead, lead diligently in love and faith. 

If it is time to show mercy, do it cheerfully in God’s love and your faith. 

Do in faith, don’t overdo the meaningless, just LOVE wisdom and LOVE listening…

Focus on GOD’S LOVE AND YOUR FAITH, Everything else is meaningless. 

Amen 

Listen to  Ecclesiastes 1- 3 and so forth for a great understanding in the spoken Word…

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/suchet/nivuk/Eccl.1

Excerpts:

Everything Is Meaningless

The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:

2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”  says the Teacher.

“Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless.”

Wisdom Is Meaningless

 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.15 What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I said to myself, “Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

Chapter 2

Pleasures Are Meaningless

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.

4 I undertook great projects…

10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.

My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil.  Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, EVERYTHING WAS MEANINGLESS, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.

Wisdom and Folly Are Meaningless

12 Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom,..   I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.

15 I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both……. What then do I gain by being wise?  “This too is meaningless.”

Toil Is Meaningless

22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.

24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?  To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Chapter 3

A Time for Everything

3 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. 15 Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.

Everything is meaningless. 

20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 

22 So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after them?

Chapter 4

6 Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.

Chapter 5

Fulfill Your Vow to God

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.

God is in heaven and you are on earth,  so let your words be few.

4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.

Fear God. 

Riches Are Meaningless

10 Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income…. the ability to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God… 

God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

Chapter 6:

12 For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow? Who can tell them what will happen under the sun after they are gone?

Chapter 7

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.

11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun.

14 When times are good, be happy;

18 Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.

Chapter 8

15 So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

Chapter 9

2 All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not.

Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do. 8 Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil.  Enjoy life with [all yours], whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

12 Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come…

16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” 

17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.

Chapter 11

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

Remember Your Creator While Young

Everything to come is meaningless.

9 You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.

Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.

Chapter 12:6

Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, and the golden bowl is broken;

before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, and the wheel broken at the well,

and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

8 “Everything is meaningless!”

The Conclusion of the Matter

13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.

14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

In the Book! 10MAR – #1099

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I love this teaching in Revelation, I love this teaching time, one hour for my commute home. With God, we are ALWAYS learning on the go…

In the Book of Revelation, chapter 3, Jesus is dictating to John for writing to the church of Sardis explaining the importance of watching for Jesus to come in end times, and the people being surprised like having a thief in the night. Reminding us as saved that unless we are blotted out, our names are to be in the book of life, and we are to become clothed in white light when we are in heaven… Most importantly we are reminded that we are to be strengthening those in the remnants of the church, reminding all to be holdfast to Jesus, and we are especially to BE ON FIRE with the childlike faith we first had when we were reborn awakened saved, and we are to keep gathering in Christ. We are called to be out witnessing. The second coming should not surprise us. WE WATCH, WITNESS, WORK, WALK.

And the end sentence by Pastor Joe really brought it home, as I think that the devil digs so terribly at us. Pastor Joe said: “when the devil reminds you of your past, you can say: “stop”, and remind him of his future”… yup, Revelation reveals the end of the devil, reveals the fullness of Christ, the forever-more of our lives with God Jesus and in the Spirit.  Jesus is the gatekeeper yes, the teacher, the Savior, the LIGHT…

This teaching is for all! LET US HEAR!

Watch, strengthen, learn, live, TRUST. PRAY…

JESUS WILL BE CALLING, BE AWAKE!

Amen

—-

Revelation 3:1-6 CC Philly video bible study: https://subspla.sh/74b6nvc

John writing Jesus dictating: “To the angel of the church in Sardis write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

4 Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 6 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Simply Spoke, 10MAR – #1098

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Words divinely sourced, simply spoke, gratefully heard:

Wait

Rest

Be

Hold

Breathe

Peace

Go

Do

Read

Listen

Wait

Move

Love

Amen to the Lord for speaking:

Simply to lead.

Soulfully to save.

Certainly to love.

Completely to heal.

Forever to hold.

Amen

Keep It With God, 09MAR – #1097

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Now is NOT a time, especially today, for self-righteousness, but it is time to listen deeply and talk directly with God… There’s so much going on with each person in their lives, and with the world, and with life – the best thing we can do is talk to God and not cause other people to stumble… I know Paul in one part of his letter to the Romans was talking about judging people based on what they eat because of the concern between Jews and Gentiles both in the faith. I know that the best sentence here, which pertains to everything:    

So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. 

Not judging people in faith is different than not judging people in life, but it is also NOT different. Judgement that separates you from helping people goes against God’s commands. Making sure we do not cause someone to stumble in faith and life are both commands that we need to heed. Helping, loving others is equal to loving God, because He made them like He made you, HIS. Don’t separate yourself from God by being your own self, be of His-self, love, forgive, keep between you and God.

We are not worthy but we have His grace. Others also have grace.  Don’t let yourself be against God’s Grace…

If you’ve got something to say, say it to God.          

If you’ve something to judge, give it to God.

If you’ve got something to forgive, let God forgive for you, as He would forgive you. And follow HIS lead.

Give it all to God and go in peace.    

Share His Peace and Grace. LOVE MERCY. Now that’s Sharing Faith. FAITH IS FOR YOU AND GOD TO BE TOGETHER.

Amen


Romans 14:13-19

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.  Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,  because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

20-21 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

22-23 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.  But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

God’s Fullness of LOVE, 08MAR – #1096

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Found the biggest seashell I think I’ve ever found while walking the beach yesterday. I also found a green rock and a cool square brown rock that looks like toast, TOAST!   So many perfect specimens of seashells that I could be surprised people had not already picked them up – except this IS winter and just brave souls were taking walks (not brave but blessed because it was beautiful weather)… The ocean sparkled blue, bluer than the sky… The ocean is still here even if we don’t visit, the seashells and birds don’t know why people come in summer but not winter. After real winter, it was a reprieve for us to know the ocean was still there.

My friend and I discussed that when we remember to be praying more often, looking for God’s reply, He DOES answer with guidance and direction.  YES, in EVERY season, God IS still there. God is still HERE. God is still listening, always listening, and loves to hear from us. God is not going ANYWHERE. God is NOT STILL either, as His Spirit works mightily and fiercely and gently and quietly. Like the roar of the ocean – in crashing overcoming waves or the simple ripples of water creeping in when you don’t expect it – He is there.  We can look and find the biggest Holy Spirit presence to do the same, come ashore for our guidance and more. Returning to Heaven, but always in our hearts, Jesus prayed Holy Spirit help for us all. And the Holy Spirit is ready to move us anywhere. 

How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:17-18

God comes with love.  Biggest Love.  All Love.  Love and patience for all. How vast are His thought?!!!

The seashells were not over picked based on my view, and God’s Love will never run dry. He is not just the dealer of love, He is the Deal, the Big Deal, He is Love.

If you look for the ocean you will find it, it’s vast, it might take a little drive, but it’s there. If you look for God, He will find you, He is more than vast, your drive, your rest stop, is only a prayer, because He is not just there, He is everywhere.

If we want to see God everywhere, we should love. If we want to bring God everywhere, we should love. Love is stronger than the ocean, wider than the world, bigger than anything measurable like a seashell, and bold.

We can live bold because we have love.

We are a moment, let us enter into life everyday in LOVE  and JOY because we know that we will only be here a moment… Let us make a JOYFUL noise, God is listening.

Be still, God is moving.  

Be love, God IS LOVE. 

Amen 


Psalm 98:4-9

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.

—-

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

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Romans 12:9-12

Love in Action

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Fire Up the Kiln, 07MAR – #1095

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Romans 9: 20-21

“But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? ‘Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?”’ Does not the potter have the RIGHT to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath – prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory –  even us, whom he also called,”

If you got saved or are in the process of being saved, you must get ready for the kiln. The clay the Lord uses (and is His RIGHT to use) must be put into the fire before it becomes useful. We are not necessarily super special, I am not, but we ARE made for a special purpose.  The MOST SPECIFIC SPECIAL purpose we have is to love our Maker, LOVE GOD, then love all He has made, common or special. All clay from Him is His. 

The Romans 9 scripture pertains to us all – that we are ALL formed for special purposes. And our skills give us leverage FOR the Lord to take us into fields and meet the people whom God needs to touch.

He knows best and He knows how we can survive the fire, that we must actually be placed into the kiln to become strong and melt-proof. Some are decorated after firing and some are not. Remember that our earthen clay pots hold God’s purposes. He fills, we hold still and strong as He fills.

We might always get flack for doing God’s work… but we are made strong by Him… 

Alas, there are others, sadly many, who fail to see the wrath that awaits if they neglect their roles and their eyes and ears are shut. Clearly in these times, we can see a mix of people and privileges. We might get jealous, but Paul is instructing in the book of Romans (to them and to us) that God has the right to show love and patience for the people whom won’t make it, whom become the goats. We should pray to be more sheepish!!!. And we must be grateful that He gives us patience and guidance. And we MUST stay true to His call, to withstand the work, stop complaining, and understand the riches we enjoy.  An eternal life is priceless compared to treasures on earth, we must burn off what hinders (remember THE KILN IS HOT), be upright and be true, and be His. We can do special things in common ways and quietly in God’s whisper before our one hand knows what the other is doing… 

Just give God the time He already created for you. Yes, it’s surprising to me that just being generous with time is a surprise to people… and they spend time fretting whereas others have time to simply work… Well, it’s God’s grace that works, He decides what activities He gives Grace to. He decides what to make out of His clay. He makes us special for His purposes, not just our play. 

We feel in trial by fire sometimes. But purposefully we have to appreciate the kiln! Remember you are NOT alone in the fire… You are in company with the King of kings, Jesus. 

Amen 

—-

Daniel chapter 3: 15-29 wrote: 

King Nebuchadnezzar said: Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.  The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”

He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”

In His Love, Jesus IS the Script of Scripture 06MAR – #1094

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I’ve been blessed with the slowdown and have sped up my bible reading (and listening with my commutes an hour each way in the Way). Plus a cat AND the Lord who wake me up 2 hours early, before I ever start thinking about preparing for the day. (Even on a Saturday)

It’s purposeful studying the bible with the understanding that Jesus is the script of scripture,  He is speaking, He IS. We are to listen to the backstories like BONUS MATERIAL.  He can say “In My Day…” because it IS His Day, every day.  … In His Day in a Good Way … we are not asking Him into our day as much as we ARE entering into His Day.

Filling up for the day in a scriptural way. There’s no better way to start than with a filing of Jesus in our cup. For some of us, simply this slowdown can be us being “in between rounds”… retooling for renewed vigor KNOWING that we are learning, yearning, doing, moving. Fill up faith and feed a feverish soul, old testament new testament, because we all have a reNEWed testament role. We all have gifts to share.

If we’ve been listening to the wires, then we will know He’s planning on us kindling new soul fires. 

If we find if it’s quiet enough to read the bible, then it’s quiet enough for hearing whispers. God speaks in whispers of wisdom. Wait on the Lord. Read ahead and be fed. Let us always be HUNGRY enough but satisfied in supply. Take not a scattered approach to bible study, but a BLENDED approach. Remember Jesus knew all this to live it, to walk it, and He lives in His Word. We can too.

Because I do believe that I personally need to know more bible stories, to connect the plots and the dots more, I am blessed to be in multiple online offerings, and reading myself (I’m in the book of Romans). For example: simultaneous learnings of Samuel and the Psalms, oh how the psalms make more sense when you learn the backstory of David, Solomon, etc. I couldn’t more highly recommend the online resources to fill in gaps. Gaps you didn’t even know that you have. I’m also blessed to be with ladies from California and Texas zoom-ing the book of James, a great book teaching us to “Be Mature”. In addition to my favorite churches’ pastors’ sermons, I’m listening to current Revelation sermons and Matthew sermons, on the edge of my seat, about end times, the tribulation. I find it is easier to walk forward towards the end of time when I am seeing the LIGHT leading, and knowing that we will navigate NOT the easy road but the steady path continuing with an urge to do right, to have compassion, and skip the complaining of the craziness, because really it is foretold for the world to get much worse than better… REALLY… 

Keep walking… keep sharing… there are pockets of people ready to hear… keep trusting the Lord to bring you to them… the fields are white, ready for harvest… this does not mean you need to work harder but work smarter... actually work SIMPLER… just LISTEN and OBEY. there’s no better way. 

In His Day

Listen and Obey 

Don’t tarry away.

Lest you would sway. 

Focus on Him today. 

Tomorrow’s worry causes delay.

Holy Spirit pray to stay.

Let us walk in His Way.

Still waters, green pastures lay.

Jesus knows the Way.

Watch what you say.

Be patient and pray.

Be ALIVE in Him, yay!

Jesus is the Way. 

Listen and obey. 

Be in His Day.

Amen 

—-

Paul’s letter to the Romans 12 NIV

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.

Love in Action

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

In His Day, 06MAR – #1093

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In His Day

Listen and Obey 

Don’t tarry away.

Lest you would sway. 

Focus on Him today. 

Tomorrow’s worries cause delay.

Holy Spirit we pray you stay.

Jesus knows the Way.

Let us walk in His Way.

Still waters, green pastures lay.

Watch what you say.

Be patient and pray.

Be ALIVE in Him, yay!

Jesus is the Way. 

Listen and obey. 

Be in His Day.

In His Day.

Know, Go, Preach, Teach, Reach, 05MAR – #1092

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Know.

Go.

Preach, you heard the call.

Teach, His Word to the hungry, big and small.

Reach, His call is collect, Jesus accepts the charges for all.

Hear, the call is strong for a select few.

Believe, the call is specifically ringing for you.

Rejoice, declare, extend the call,

Reach first God’s chosen people, THEN CALL ALL.

Go, go with the Good News.

Be Beautiful, Be Bold, Be Light on your feet.

Speak of Salvation, ever so sweet.

Reconcile the world, chosen by Grace, ears to hear.

Bring LIFE to the dead, have no shame, nor any fear.

The Message in your mouth and heart is from Jesus, held dear.

He is always near, the Message is forever sincere.

Jesus IS the Saving Word.

The Word yearning to be heard.

Preach Teach Reach.

Know.

Go!

Amen


Selections from Paul to the Romans:

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

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“The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,”

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

——

Whole scriptures: Paul’s letters to the Romans, chapters 10-11:

Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:

“Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”

And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”

But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

Chapter 11:1-15

The Remnant of Israel

 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel:  “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”?  And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”  So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear,

to this very day.” And David says: “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.”

Ingrafted Branches

Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

Witness While We Wait, 04MAR – #1091

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Since we don’t know who knows the Lord or not, we must treat all with respect and compassion. Let others witness our waiting. I waited patiently yesterday at the store – I think the person in front of me was trying something sketchy but not really making a scene but maybe was making a distraction to steal something – or maybe not – I could be totally wrong… He could have been one of those folks just easily frustrated, he hung up both self-checkouts and then bumped the regular line. I could have complained what was rolling thru my head but waited where I thought I should.   Waited and prayed instead of fretting… Waiting and praying was my best course of action since didn’t want to make a scene either. I felt bad either way at his anxiety, maybe he was fine, but it was weird. I am no saint, Jesus knows. We wait as a judge all while ignoring our own judgement. No salvation comes by us to us, only from Him. Me knowing Jesus doesn’t justify my judgement of others, only strengthens my need of Jesus. We need to need Him. We wait upon Him now and in His return.

We wait.

I’m blessed to be waiting for my vaccination turn. I’m grateful that I am still well, well enough to work, well enough to wait. It is something I look forward to getting. We will see the double whammy of reduced cases soon. Our spring will be sprung. We will see the sun. I am also looking forward to Easter coming up, with new life, new hope, a renewed sense of peace. We will see the Son, we will feel hope, we will see the Risen Lord.

When we know the Lord, we can see how He gives us such peace so we can wait and await all these things – simple as that. So, let’s witness while I wait. (I will whistle while I wait too: Safe thus far!) … If we have already accepted Jesus – we should not worry. Yes that is easy to say and hard to do, but okay we must be with knowing He has our hope.

But we are NOT okay, as a whole population, knowing total renewed life, now and/or life after death, all reaching salvation, because there are so many people who don’t know the Lord. (Or sadly who’s rotting branch is now fallingdown ready to crack.) So let us offer a prayer of hope the Lord will find them in time during their time here on Earth… Let us say to them “Don’t wait. The Lord is great”. Our witness may help them not wait. Demonstrating FAITH in a fire is a stronger FORCE in us than fear. We should remind ourselves and others that if you focus on the Lord, everything else fades away. Wait not in anxiety but in wonder. 

We are NOT to wallow in our existence or tribulations. We are to tremble in the powerful presence of God and feel blessed with the gain of the Holy Spirit directing our lives. We are to actively walk with Jesus. How is your walk? I was grafted into understanding the importance of rooting myself in the Lord, knowing my graft to the Vine Jesus, my anchor held behind the veil, my dependence on His Spirit. How about you? Do you feel like you spiritually grew when you hear Jesus say: “Hey, I know you.” I still need His daily Vining – my daily cross carrying – our daily bread.

Paul’s instructions to the Romans AND us: “… you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.”

This morning I was at the convenience store to get my son a breakfast sandwich before school. It’s close to my house, so I just wear my PJ’s, I’m ok with that and a big coat to cover me. The couple in front of me found the leftover coins in the change dispenser, placed them in the donation bucket. She told the cashier that she does that often, or she gives her change to someone if they look like they need it.  No, they didn’t give it to me, I apparently didn’t look THAT disheveled, especially with my fabulous polka dot mask on… So as I thought about their sweet intentional gesture to see the people in need, that this also relates to how we should relate to the world.  We need to give hope. We should think about people in the need of prayer and we should think about blessing people who don’t know the Lord. Pray for them. Share with all. We should live as saved people and be grateful. Share Jesus, friendliness, patience, goodness, and hope (and more than a few coins of compassion) with those who don’t know the Lord. In action and verbally we can support the root of our hope, the Lord whose Goodness allows us to bear His fruit.

Greater is the Lord we know than the tribulations in the world, if all the world could know that. We can be well enough to WAIT and well enough to WITNESS. Let us not harden our hearts but be soft in speaking and solid in understanding.

Let others WITNESS US WHILE WE WAIT.

AMEN


Romans 11: 13-27

I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

All Israel Will Be Saved

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

Salt and Light, 03MAR – #1090

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Finally got to scrubbing the dishes so many back-logged chores… I have been very busy… Work is taking seemingly extra time, life is taking time, and the Lord?  Well since He made time, He’s the One that gives time and it is up to us to determine how best to use it… Yup. He asks me (and I feel He makes me) to give back Time to Him for Him. How better than to keep going in life under His tutelage. There’s no time to lose.

I have been listening to a great Bible teaching on the book of Revelation and if you want to get your head straight and not worry about the small stuff and really understand our roles as Christians, it’s actually REALLY GOOD to think of the end times and how we are to help others know Jesus before we all get there. 

Salt and light.

Being the SALT in conversation means to spice it up, to engage in conversation to make it more lively and to help everybody think, including ourselves…

Being the LIGHT in conversation means to give HOPE. It means to remind people and teach people that the world is in HIS HANDS. To teach about JESUS… To share His PEACE with others. 

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

So that’s a renewed purpose for us all: to CONTINUE SHINING and to SPICE UP LIFE. Always look for opportunities to be the Light.   You don’t put a burning lamp under a basket, you continue to shine it. You will never regret the time to shine His shine. 

I finish scrubbing my sink and my stove top, it has a nice but will always have a slightly dull shine.  I then noticed that fallen between the two is a big empty container of salt…  Not sure why it didn’t get thrown away, except I remember that there was a little bit of salt left and I did not want to waste it. That’s us as well, we all have at least a little bit of salt left in us to share – actually we have a ton of salt available, because we know that One who minds the salt and mines the salt. We all have a LOT of SHINE left in us to share. Actually the smallest amount of salt and shine can be HUGE in the situations that need them the most. 

Go be the SALT today.  Go be the LIGHT today.  You have nothing to lose, only the Lord’s work to gain. Love His children. Love His Ways. Keep Running the Good Race. 

Amen 


13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5



21  And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For there is nothing hid, except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. 23 If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Take heed what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you. 25 For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Mark 4


The Beatitudes
He said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you
. Matthew 5

Mirror Mirror, God is Awe – 02MAR – #1089

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Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven. Can his forces be numbered? On whom does his light not rise? How then can a mortal be righteous before God?” Job 25

Job learned to respect the Lord and so should we.

We should respect AND reflect You Lord, share LOVE from Thee.

Jesus points out where to clean up His Reflection mirrored in us, you see.

He wants to model the person we ought to be. 

Then in God’s eyes, from His hand of judgment, we will stand free.

Jesus, I pray, Shine Your Life THRU me.

Humility is a human’s best trait before God. Before man, one best trait is showing respect to God. Old Testament Job learned this. He listened to advice like this above and realized his own AWE of God. Job did not have experience of living with knowledge of Jesus, but we do. We see Him as a humble human and have His merciful mannerisms to model in our lives, to reflect Him going forward, to refuse to look back. Job could look forward to the time the Lord would give him rest. We have a mirror of Jesus into which we are to be viewed. Then God will then choose to not see our sins because they are covered by the Lord’s blood and He will know our bodies are broken but that His Holy Spirit permeates our souls, if only we make room for Him to work. God loves us so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, to save us, make us worthy and although our sins were and are weighty, He lifted up freedom from eternal death by banishing sin’s death and He restored life. Jesus Saves.

We can say:

Mirror Mirror: God is Awe.

Who IS the Savior of us all.

Jesus, Jesus You came to Save.

Lifted up, walked beyond the grave.

Let us worship Him all our day.

His forgiveness we do crave. 

Daily Bread is Eternity’s SAVE.

Amen

—–

Job saw the weighting of sin, and the wait for redemption.  But knew God would provide: Ch23:2-17 Then Job replied:

“Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.

If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say to me.

Would he vigorously oppose me? NO, HE WOULD NOT PRESS CHARGES AGAINST ME. There the upright can establish their innocence before him, and there I would be delivered forever from my judge.

“But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.

“But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever he pleases. He carries out his decree against me, and many such plans he still has in store. That is why I am terrified before him; when I think of all this, I fear him.

God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me. Yet I am not silenced by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face.

—- 

This is sound advice given to Job preceding: ch22

Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored: If you remove wickedness far from your tent and assign your nuggets to the dust, your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines, then the Almighty will be your gold, the choicest silver for you. Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty and will lift up your face to God. You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows. What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways. When people are brought low and you say, ‘Lift them up!’ then he will save the downcast.  He will deliver even one who is not innocent, who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”

Jump Out of Our Sin Skin, 28FEB – #1088

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God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. Romans 8


It’s HOT WATER, not innocence, that we are all in.

We are in judgement when Jesus comes again to convict the world of sin.

His first visit was an ultimate sacrifice, burnt for us, so now He will SOON come again.

His Forgiveness will feel like we also jumped out of our skin.

Grace is ours IF only we accept Jesus as our kin.

But first we must give our sinful ways over to HIM.

Living by the Spirit involves not thinking of flesh desires which haunt us.

By the Spirit is NOT justifying sinful things in our past lives behind us.

By the Spirit is NOT letting us long for sinful things in our lives not yet before us.

Living by the Spirit means praying for a peace of mind mindset set in a place above us.

If we focus on HIM, choosing life and peace, He reduces the sinful desires of our natural sway.

Jesus gave up living in His skin as HIS sacrifice for all for God on that first Easter Day.

The earth shook that crucifixion gray day, the veil torn, the stone was rolled away.

His body gone, even the linens were left in the tomb that day.

Let us repent and have remorse, pick up our cross and be Reborn everyday.

Now our record of earthly sin can be moved out of the way.

May we ONLY be seen by God’s Mercy to have chosen JESUS as OUR WAY.

AMEN! and HOORAY!


Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Romans 8:1-11, Paul’s letter to us all.

Double Double, 26FEB – #1087

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I had quite a few trials this week, but I trusted the Lord and then watched the Lord give me back blessings twice over… it’s too complicated to explain, but who can explain how the Lord works…

A poem of praise.

Double Double:

The Lord gives double, this I know,

because scripture truthfully tells me so.

Double trouble, no.

Double blessings YO!

If I gave something away,

I saw it come back in double pay,

There’s only one thing that I can say,

The Lord is blessedly behind this ALL THE WAY.

Then there’s projects going astray.

Let the Lord handle it, that IS what I say.

He will figure it out, in a specific way,

Plus teach you a lesson in how to pray.

Doubling our joy.

It’s no secret ploy.

He’s clearly working from above.

He gives us double all because of His Love.

A double portion we may ask.

But splitting in two what is One is the Lord’s task.

He is already One, nothing can be more.

Yet He still gives us a feeling of double portion because it is we He does adore.

Keep walking, You say.

Keep in You, forever we may.

Amen to You Lord, All the Way.

Your LIGHT we always pray.

Amen and Hooray

——

And THANK YOU Lord for my trials this week and always – and THANK YOU for helping me quietly accept them.  I understand Long Suffering a little more deeply now… But thru these trials I did get to see you work them into blessings, DOUBLE TIME. I realize trials are not about me surviving, but about You providing.

DOUBLE DOUBLE, You are both walking with us and walking us closer to be with You.

Watching You is a gift from Thee to me. It both the trial of learning my blessings as well as seeing them delivered thru the trial, even if it takes a week, even if it takes forever. EVERY day it is the walk WITH YOU that means the most. You teach all the while that You stay with us. Even if we are to walk towards the end of time, we are walking the arrow with You, and our walk is more straight and narrow because of You…

We will walk towards the end of time, so that our time with You will NEVER end.

That IS a double portion.

Amen Amen

—–

2nd Kings 2   Elijah taken up to Heaven

When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.’

But Elisha said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel.

The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, ‘Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?’

‘Yes, I know,’ Elisha replied, ‘so be quiet.’

Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.’

And he replied, ‘As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.’ So they went to Jericho.

The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, ‘Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?’

‘Yes, I know,’ he replied, ‘so be quiet.’

Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.’

And he replied, ‘As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.’ So the two of them walked on.

Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?’

‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,’ Elisha replied.

‘You have asked a difficult thing,’ Elijah said, ‘yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours – otherwise, it will not.’

As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, ‘My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!’ And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.

Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. ‘Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?’ he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.

Unwrap Jesus Rap Wrap Rap, 24FEB – #1086

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Hear and believe – Jesus raps on my door.

Revelation 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Hear and live – Jesus raps in my ears.

John 10:27-28 

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

Witness and see – Jesus wraps Himself in Light 

Psalm 104: 1-2 

Praise the Lord, my soul. Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent…

Witness and Live – Unwrap the Word

Proverbs 4:22-23 TPT 

Then, as you unwrap my words,
they will impart true life and radiant health
into the very core of your being.
So above all, guard the affections of your heart,
for they affect all that you are.
Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being,
for from there flows the wellspring of life.

Believe and know – Jesus wraps up our hearts

Paul to Colossians 2:2-3 TPT 

“… that your hearts will be wrapped in the comfort of heaven and woven together into love’s fabric. This will give you access to all the riches of God as you experience the revelation of God’s great mystery: Christ. For our spiritual wealth is in him, like hidden treasure waiting to be discovered—heaven’s wisdom and endless riches of revelation knowledge.”

Be His – Jesus wraps creation together

Proverbs 30:4

Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down?
    Who holds the wind in his fists?
Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak?
    Who has created the whole wide world?
What is his name—and his son’s name?
    Tell me if you know!

See and believe – Jesus’s wraps are left behind for us to see.

John 20: 6-9 

Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 

Be wrapped – Jesus wraps in righteousness
Isaiah 61:10

I greatly rejoice in the Lord, I exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation and wrapped me in a robe of righteousness, as a groom wears a turban and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Be Saved – Jesus wraps up our lives

John 3:16-17

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

Be raptured and encouraged – Jesus raptures into forever

1Thesoloians 4:16-18 

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.

Resist, and He will Flee! I Agree! 24FEB – #1085

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Ah…. such a needed reminder that I gleaned from an emailed devotion: Trust in God, wait on Him, and listen to what He will have come from your own mouth in times of trouble, fed from your heart… Don’t let the devil get a foot in your mouth or your heart. Let the Lord flow…

The song that just popped in my head, after I was thinking about something stressful was not a praise song but a true song: Talking heads: “Stop Making Sense”…  Meaning FOCUS ABOVE and not trying to make sense of this world, situations in this world, and people in this world…

Stop making sense and instead taking advice FROM the Lord. To quote below:  “By submitting ourselves humbly to God each day, and realizing that He is our Deliverer from evil, we are humbly admitting that we cannot oppose the enemy in our own strength. We are proclaiming that we ONLY have the ability to resist the devil in and through the power of Christ.”

YUP!!!

——-

The Daily Dose – Resist, and he will Flee! 2/24/2021

Good Morning, How are you doing with resisting the devil?

James 4:7-10  “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

It is not coincidental that in James 4:6 that he first begins the guidance on resisting with talking about God opposing the proud and being humble instead. By submitting ourselves humbly to God each day, and realizing that He is our Deliverer from evil, we are humbly admitting that we can not oppose the enemy in our own strength. We are proclaiming that we only have the ability to resist the devil in and through the power of Christ. 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded”. James 4:6-8

Jesus is telling us not to worry in Luke and stand firm in our faith. In other words, we should be resting in His faithfulness to us and He will supply us with all we need to defeat our adversaries.14 “But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 All men will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By standing firm you will gain life.” Luke 21:14-16

Lord, please pull us into a deeper and more intimate walk with You. Please do not allow us to become proud and deliver us from evil. In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Have another powerful and prosperous day of resisting the devil as you serve others in the workplace and at home!

Bob Bennett  Real Men Ministries

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” — Philippians 2:3

Wait on the Lord, part two, 23FEB – #1084

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The last few minutes in this podcast bible study from the book of Samuel, about David, Nabal, and Abigail, are teachings about patience, about responding to correction, about turning the other cheek. This advice is so perfect for explaining how to act when you get something that you don’t expect.  It’s ok, and the Lord fights our battles so that we don’t fall off our horse! Oh, so much waiting on the Lord… And He willingly will wait on us, and we are blessed to have correction as well…

Just wait on the Lord. Trust me, it’s better to wait than anything.

Abigail went to mend the rift with David, and became a servant for the cause – sparing her family and nation. We are to wait on God to determine what HE needs us to do.  We are to wait on the Lord…

David was convinced by Abigail that avenging the situation would have been futile and bloodshed on his hands rather than a direction from the Lord… She both saved the lives of her nation but also woke David up from his stupor in selfishness. He returned to listening to the Lord. David wandered often but returned to the Lord most strongly.

David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.”

Amen

—–

https://subspla.sh/y43ndx5  Based on 1st Samuel 25…

Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah. Then David moved down into the Desert of Paran.

A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel. His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.

While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name. Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!

“‘Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing. Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.’”

When David’s men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David’s name. Then they waited.

Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?”

David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word. 13 David said to his men, “Each of you strap on your sword!” So they did, and David strapped his on as well. About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.

One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing. Night and day they were a wall around us the whole time we were herding our sheep near them. Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.”

Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs[b] of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.

As she came riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, there were David and his men descending toward her, and she met them. David had just said, “It’s been useless—all my watching over this fellow’s property in the wilderness so that nothing of his was missing. He has paid me back evil for good. May God deal with David, be it ever so severely, if by morning I leave alive one male of all who belong to him!”

When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. She fell at his feet and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent. And now, my lord, as surely as the Lord your God lives and as you live, since the Lord has kept you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal. And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my lord, be given to the men who follow you.

“Please forgive your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live. Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling. When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant.”

David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.”

Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.”

When Abigail went to Nabal, he was in the house holding a banquet like that of a king. He was in high spirits and very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until daybreak. Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became like a stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died.

When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise be to the Lord, who has upheld my cause against Nabal for treating me with contempt. He has kept his servant from doing wrong and has brought Nabal’s wrongdoing down on his own head.”

Then David sent word to Abigail, asking her to become his wife. His servants went to Carmel and said to Abigail, “David has sent us to you to take you to become his wife.”

She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, “I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” Abigail quickly got on a donkey and, attended by her five female servants, went with David’s messengers and became his wife. David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both were his wives. But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Paltiel son of Laish, who was from Gallim.

Wait on God, 23FEB – #1083

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Wait on God.

Wait out the situation. 

Wait for Him to give direction. 

Wait for you to actually hear.

Wait until He gives you the all clear.

Listen and follow, go not stuck but sure.

Listen to His uncommon sense make your common sense become crystal clear. 

And I’m just talking about waiting out a SNOWSTORM, but this is truth for ALL SEASONS:  Psalm 27:14 – “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” 

YES! WAIT FOR THE LORD.  In ALL things. All activities. All scarythings and good things alike. All strife. All life. In things that are unpalatable, stop eating – in stuff that doesn’t make sense, stop doing – in stuff falling from the sky, put up an umbrella – in stuff falling around you, put on the armor of God.

If it is scary to drive in snow, don’t. If it’s better to wait for the plow, then wait! If you have to venture out, make sure to pray it out. If you can wait it out, wait. And wait. Listen. If you know how to go then go.

If it is a wonder whether, then wait for God to answer. If you feel lost, wait for direction. If you have to venture out, make sure to pray it out. If you can wait it out, wait. And wait. Listen. Then GO. Go with God.

Waiting doesn’t mean doing nothing. 

Yesterday, was supposed to be rain, and it was wet snow.  (SO PRETTY). I am not afraid of snowstorms but respect the situation and either wait or venture carefully. Yesterday 9am snow, 3 quick inches in a few hours. Was I worried? No, I was BOTH super busy already at work so barely had time to worry even if the window showed the best snow show AND I knew the conditions would improve with a plow blazing the way and salt to melt the way and temperatures to rise. I knew to proceed with careful driving when it actually was time to go. It was good and fine leaving normal time, not wasting time worrying.

That’s waiting on the Lord: Good and fine. Be busy in your work in the meantime. Don’t sweat the small distractions stuff, keep working. FOLLOW JESUS – FOLLOW THE WAY.  Let Jesus blaze your trail, make your paths straight. Let SALT stay tasty and liven up the path, let salt in conversations melt the scene. And be careful when the Lord says LET’S GO. Proceed with Christ. He is NOT slow to answer. 

Wait and then go with grace. That’s better than going in haste.

God gives good things, therefore why wouldn’t He give you of His Time. 

Pray in the meantime. Pray all the time, the Talking Time is on God’s Dime.

Amen 


(PS – this year there are many activities which slowed to a halt and many which didn’t happen. I think it is a great time to hone our listening and decide upon what path God will provide.)


Here are more great scriptures for waiting on the Lord, which I pulled off the web:

Psalm 27:14

Wait for the Lord;

Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.

Psalm 130:5

I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.

Psalm 37:34

Wait for the Lord and keep His way,

And He will exalt you to inherit the land;

When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

Psalm 37:7

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

Psalm 39:7

And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.

Lamentations 3:25

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.

Psalm 40:1

I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.

Micah 7:7

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.

Psalm 62:5

My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him.

Psalm 31:24

Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord.

Psalm 33:20

Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.

Psalm 38:15

For I hope in You, O Lord; You will answer, O Lord my God.

Isaiah 40:31

Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

Jeremiah 42:7

Now at the end of ten days the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah.

Lamentations 3:26

It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord.

Psalm 130:6

My soul waits for the Lord

More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.

Isaiah 30:18

Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.

Psalm 5:3

In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

2 Thessalonians 3:5

May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.

Psalm 25:5

Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.

Psalm 106:13

They quickly forgot His works; They did not wait for His counsel,

Psalm 104:27

They all wait for You To give them their food in due season.

Psalm 25:3

Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

Romans 8:25

But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Psalm 59:3

For behold, they have set an ambush for my life;

Fierce men launch an attack against me,

Not for my transgression nor for my sin, O Lord,

James 5:7

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.

1 Corinthians 11:33

So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.

Hebrews 6:15

And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.

Galatians 5:5

For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.

Isaiah 33:2

O Lord, be gracious to us; we have waited for You. Be their strength every morning, Our salvation also in the time of distress.

James 5:8

You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

Psalm 37:9

For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.

Hebrews 10:36

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

Jude 1:21

Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

Numbers 9:8

Moses therefore said to them, “Wait, and I will listen to what the Lord will command concerning you.”

Psalm 69:3

I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; My eyes fail while I wait for my God.

Isaiah 8:17

And I will wait for the Lord who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob; I will even look eagerly for Him.

Proverbs 8:34

“Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts.

(Scripture Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Waiting-On-The-Lord )

God Raise Our Souls, 22FEB – #1082

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Here is a blessing – that if we fall asleep, others will look out for us – as we should look out for others as well… Their falling asleep may be from weariness on the road they travel. We can pray them well. Our roads are never going to be without trouble, but our roads will firmly be there. Keep walking… there were churches even in the apostles time which came and went. But we can always keep walking…

Luke’s account of Paul’s travels and teaching in Acts 20: 7-12
On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.”  And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. And they took the youth away alive, and were greatly comforted.

I would be greatly comforted if I saw someone raised from the dead whom I wished was not dead. And I would be comforted if people I knew/know who do not believe in God, would be raised from the dead because of something Jesus said and it resonated JUST at the right time. I wish that we could just walk by the open windows and see who fell out and help them up.

I’ve been thinking about an old advisor of mine who professed his form of atheism and even railed against the belief system.  It wasn’t just ignoring faith, it seemed to be a personal vendetta against it – as if it was against any other system we could believe in as fact. I don’t know how he came to be that way, or why he was so adamant against God and so against how people believe in God. We have seen strife inflicted due to abuse of power and you have a recipe for ruin. Some people can’t see past the hypocrisy and find the truth of Jesus when their anger, not just their blindness gets in the way. It is sad in so many situations.

God Raise His Soul

Sometimes people are so really angry against God, but at least they believe in God. I really loved this sweet but “sullen-ed by the situation” gentleman. Both as a recruited listener to him and with a daughter-like set of ears from time to time, I was familiar with his situation. He would vent to me about the strains of work life and work politics, and I felt sorry for him. I also feel sorry for anyone who strains to be more upset than I think is warranted, who finds fraud and fault in a system that they think would be perfect, but never could be.  Truly I am not them and not living in their shoes, I can’t judge their justification. Yes, justice should prevail, and we all need to rail against big gaps in our smooth trail, but don’t lose your peace through it. Our peace is the only thing that should not fail. Perhaps we will help others by picking up life’s pothole-filling detail.

We could say “God Rest His Soul” – but if someone doesn’t believe in God, a better statement and prayer is: “God Raise His Soul” – Lord please raise them because they are Yours. Yours to raise in so many Ways. RAISE as in nurture and RAISE as in resurrect. God Raise Our Souls. God Praise Your Whole.

Surely, there will be so many goats when the flock is separated (Matthew 25:31-on). Can we pray for all the departed to not be discarded? Our message is for Your Mercy Lord. Retroactive remorse as a matter of course? When raising of the dead, whose regret will You forgive? It is only in You that we will live. I will pray, for those hearing and not.  God Raise Our Souls, because there are a lot!  

Amen

Fleet of Love, 21FEB – #1081

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Be His Fleet of Love 

Life takes its toll on everyone. We are living in a world that is not our home, yet we must travel thru. Many will experience road weariness as well as delight in seeing the sites. Many will make the best of everything and lighten our lives. We love their love. 

We have often seen how fast a bad pothole in the road of life can knock us off our travels. This is true for slower progressing illnesses and immediate deaths. Some potholes of life cause irrevocable damage. Some we can shrug off. And some make us call out for repair.  I’m talking about life travels, not simply vehicles. We are in fleeting times, hold on tight. 

Drive on.

We are all at different speeds. Sometimes see some others pass us fast, some slow. We are this too when compared to other’s points of view.  In life and in death, we see our friends and family simply run out of gas. We too will someday. Meanwhile we are all navigating the way.

Follow The Way.

We must respect death and respect life. We must respect that others are on their side excursions, we are all sometimes seemingly wandering off the path, as we are human. Perhaps we only stop a moment to see the view. Some are adjusting their mirrors to see behind better. Some are cleaning their windshields to see ahead. We must respect all traffic especially because we too stray from time to time. We must be gentle and genuine in our bumper cars and not knock out someone else off the road. We must sometimes help grab a tow truck to deliver aid. We must often refill our gas tanks and carry extra for those on the road. We must watch out for bad weather, not get distracted.  We must put our seat belts on and SLOWDOWN. We must have our affairs in order and be prepared to stop at any moment. 

No road map thru life or thru death exists from human power, only written heavenly.  We are already knowing that life travels on this broken beat up road. There only is certainty in that there’s MUCH NAVIGATING to do. We must actually read the map, put air in our tires and carry a spare. We must read the signs, use the tools placed before us. We must follow the narrow path home. 

Acknowledging our lives are not our own, we are simply are RENTING these cars of us on earth. We are but a RENTAL fleet of His Love.

Love and respect all – that is our Dispatcher’s Call. Turn on His Light and Drive Right. Take the Fare, be ready to Drive Anywhere. 

Life is Fleeting and so are we. Let us be the Fleet of Love – for Thee.

Amen 

—-

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1Corinthians 6:16-20

Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure – not in your anger, or you will reduce me to nothing. Jeremiah 10:23-24

“‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19

‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 

Matthew 22, Mark 12, Luke 10

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13

BE DUST, 17FEB – #1080

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I was chomping at the bit to write as soon as our guest pastor, of the neighboring AME church, started her powerful preaching on Ash Wednesday. I LOVED the Lord’s Strength bolting out of her. I loved that she spoke of her time in New Orleans, and all the while I was wearing a Mardi Gras mask under my other mask.   (and please no worries, I was appropriately social distanced at the service… I was actually seated behind the ZOOM iPAD and I loved seeing smiles from the home folks.)

A BLESSING to be in the house of the Lord everyday – and especially Ash Wednesday.

Here’s my devotion:

BE DUST, 17FEB

What a blessing to receive ashes tonight from a pastor who felt like she was so DUST, so worn out by covid and related challenges, that only the Holy Spirit could have taken her from ashes to showing her BRILLIANT LIGHT of Spirit and splashes and flashes of faith. A POWERFUL sermon indeed, urging us to find strength, pray in humbleness and praise in sacrifice. To represent to the world what the ashes really stand for. She felt like she was dust, as in how much more can she and we take? “You have a sense of humor, God?” She battles being a covid survivor “Longhauler”, battled for keeping her church open, tackled the zoom gatherings, and even the vaccination side effects knocked her down…  But I could see that she had not just risen from the ashes as much as it WAS and IS the Holy Spirit that keeps RISING her to KEEP GOING!!!! 

We should all be such DUST, that only the Holy Spirit is left to move in us. We should be the hard pressed clay, filled with the immeasurably magnificent Lord to make His strength known. 

Her tremendous message (her first in a church building in 8 months) spoke of giving and seeing the Lord providing back everything and MORE. She urged us to humble ourselves. Pray. Sacrifice. Go further. Be healed…  Our awareness in these times of turning our sacrifice into a sacrifice of praise can pivot on this scripture: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2nd Chronicles 7:14

Let us all BE DUST and put to rest our human self.  Let us all turn our assets into HIS ASHES and let us rely on HIS POWER. We are BLESSED to be called by HIS NAME. 

We need to choose to kick up a STORM OF FAITH IN HIM. We are HIS DUST.

BE DUST. 

AMEN



2nd Chronicles 7:12-14

12 And the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice.

13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.


2nd Corinthians 4:7-11

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.

Divine Dream Dump, 16FEB – #1079

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Funny how there was something SO very important – so seemingly DIVINE – in my dreams when the cat woke me up at 430am. Do I remember it? No. Was it divinely earth-shattering? Yes. But me and we have all pushed the “snooze button” on God too many times. boo…. 

We are blessed with the Lord waking us up EVERY DAY not just when He has something to say… So did I “interrupt” the divine telephone line? Was the cat in cahoots with the Lord? or did I just stumble into something we don’t usually tap into? There’s plenty of time to sleep, but never going to be enough time to listen to God…

I do feel this dream thought chain was important enough to say that these thoughts were NOT my thoughts: “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

How often what gets planted in our brains (all of us, not just me) are CRUCIAL tidbits to expanding our faith – from being re-wired, re-vined while God has us in downtime… You know what? none of it is FROM us anyway – the Spirit speaks from the Spirit. We are the filters to catch big chunks and small little whispers and the more time we take listening, the more refined the connections. Now, I’m NOT saying that this revelation in my dream would change or save the world because the truth is there is only ONE savior for the world’s people and He already did just that – if only people could and would hear… I wish I had more to say of what the Lord says – but the truth is: He already said it all when He gave it all.

Oh, what does the Lord say?

Maybe tomorrow it will replay.

We are to assemble the Word in a Worshipful Way.

And Savor working His Work for one more day.

Listen and Pray.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday

as He is today.

Amen

Delight, 14FEB – #1078

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Jesus, I DELIGHT in what You Say. 

Lord, Please Don’t Let My:

Heart Sway

Soul Decay

Mind Stray

Strength be at Bay

Heart Play

Soul slip Away 

Mind Nay

Strength Fray

Lord in You, Please Bless My:

Heart to Pray 

Soul to Stay

Mind make Hay

Strength to Splay

Lord for You, My:

Heart Delights Today 

Soul Leaps Today 

Mind Worships Today

Strength Works Today 

Because You Give Light to the Day, 

I want to Love in Your Way. 

I shall DELIGHT in what You Say. 

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Deuteronomy 6:4-7 NIV

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.


Luke 10:28-37 NIV-UK

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’

The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “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 mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no commandment greater than these.’

‘Well said, teacher,’ the man replied. ‘You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.’

When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

Whose son is the Messiah?

While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, ‘Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David?  David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared:

‘“The Lord said to my Lord:

    ‘Sit at my right hand

until I put your enemies

    under your feet.’”

David himself calls him “Lord”. How then can he be his son?’  THE LARGE CROWD LISTENED TO HIM WITH DELIGHT.


Matthew 22:37-40

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”


Mark 12: 30-31

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.  And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”


Leviticus 19:16-19

“‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.

“‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.

“‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.

“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

“‘Keep my decrees.”

32 “‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.

Baby BE MINE, 14FEB – #1077

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It’s the sweetest thing to behold a baby, but what a huge obligation of protection, nurturing, safety, precaution and love to see them thru life…. it’s both that we still worry when they are older and we are thankful they are older as they navigate life OK on their own without us…. wow, the stress and bless lifestyle of a parent… They do carry our guidance and love, we pray they will always remember our love. 

What does the Lord do with us? Raise us until we are on our own then jet off to His own doings? NOPE. We are still blessed with both Fatherly oversights and older brother Jesus’s guidances for sure AND also benefit from the Holy Spirit moving, a hedging protection for us, making things happen, stopping us in our tracks when we forget guidance… IF WE WOULD ONLY LISTEN!!! WOW, baby, we have never been so blessed and coddled… God says: “Baby, BE MINE!!!” (Let us be HIS Valentine)

Let us not baby our faith as much as the Lord babies us. Because the maturity of faith is in the following BY faith. The Lord is herding cats when He probably would rather have sheep. But He knows how we are,  He knows the decision is ours to accept His guidance or not, and He does ask us to walk with Him, not crawl uninformed. He knows there are worldly perils and wants us to walk above the fray. We know our rebellious choices or just sneaky moves might sway us and distract us from seeing His shepherding. He doesn’t overlord us as much as Lord over.

He doesn’t want us to run ahead of Him like a cat criss-crossing our walking legs, thinking they know where you are going. But urge us to follow behind, to follow in order to pause and love. Stop and smell the roses sure, but it’s more like stop and plant the roses, cultivate the roses, hand out the roses. Be the rose for Him that He cultivates on the Vine.

See, we are but babies in a forever Kingdom, we are getting old in tooth but not old in spirit. We are just getting our feet, we have much to learn from the Lord.  If we are sensitive to listening, He is merciful to us in many ways.

The Lord wants us to learn how to live to SHARE LOVE. Wants us to walk in LOVE. Wants us to BE THE LOVE. BE HIS LOVE in the world. 

I’d rather be a baby in the Kingdom and toddling along to learn how to love, sharing love FOR Him, than to crawl in darkness looking for love for me. I’d rather stop to learn the love lessons, than zoom so fast ahead and run until I realize there’s no road map because there’s no road. Remember, Jesus is the Way, He knows the Way, He made a Way where there is no way. 

I appreciate that Jesus walks WITH  us, so let’s walk WITH Him.  LET’S LIVE TO LAVISH LOVE, ALL ALONG THE WAY. 

AMEN 


2nd John 5-9, writing a letter:

“I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ASK THAT WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. “

Jesus Wick, 13FEB – #1076

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A soaking thought when I went to bed was still in my sponge soul when I woke up, that I had to write asking that we pray for all people: for a softening of hearts thru hydration for the soul – to become a sponge spiritually soaking up Living Water.

Tears soften our hearts to our plight and to the plight of loved ones and those who simply touch our hearts. Love, which comes totally from God, softens the soul. Jesus taught that the thirst for Life was only quenched by Living Water, worshipping In Spirit and Truth (John 4). Our sponge wants to soak Him up.

In John 4, Jesus is said to be baptizing people, however it was (and still is) His disciples baptizing – but we all know now that Jesus at that time provided the atmosphere of Living Water in which people were drawing nearer to Him. (He still does)

Isn’t it interesting that instead of us drawing water from a well like the Samaritan woman, this Living Water of Jesus draws us to Him, we seek the Well because His Water is good. He wants to refill the sponge of our souls. And not be stale water holders, but fluid active conduits. We are to be not just Jesus sponges but Jesus wicks. Jesus Himself as human needed to drink well water on a hot day. We too run dry and need to rehydrate in water wellness and Living Water Well-ness. If we soak Him in, we become filled with not stagnant water but “a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

I’m remembering to refill my humidifier each day (wish that had an endless source).  The fan draws electricity and waves of moisture from the wick draws even more water from the tank. The moisture spreads throughout the air, helping us all to breathe easier.  The ultimate moisture droplets we pray to fill the whole atmosphere are from Living Water, and we need to soak it in, to plug ourselves in, to draw it up like a wick, and then SPREAD HIM as Healing Hydration to the world from the springs in us. The closeness of His Well allows the Waves of His Love to waft thru.

Let us pray: Word of Jesus, water our sponge-soaking souls, please warm our hearts, fan our wicks, and make us a wave of Your Living Water to spread knowledge of You where want Your Love us to go.

Let us worship in spirit and in truth. Wick our Way.

Amen

—-

John 4:1-26 NKJV

Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John  (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples),  He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.  But He needed to go through Samaria.

So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour [noon].

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”

The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”

Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”

The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

Forgive me Father for I Have Sinned, 12FEB – #1075

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The Super Bowl commercial which had me roaring in laughter was so funny to a level that my son, sitting next to me, did not understand. People handing M&Ms bags to others, specifically the scene in the Catholic church, visualize a great old wooden confessional box and a man re-opening the door at the end and handing a bag of M&Ms inside, saying: “I wish you didn’t have to hear all that.”

I laughed from a deep spot of surprise and understanding. It was too long a discussion to explain to my son. I just laughed. I’m still laughing.

Lately, I’ve been watching MASH reruns, and it’s one of the rare TV shows which included discussions of God including a tremendous portrayal by William Christopher as Father Mulcahy. Real discussions as well as jocularity. Intense moments of comfort and prayers shown plus reflection for many characters made possible just by the presence of a man of God. (Sometimes our faith helps others just by seeing our steps). We also see Father Mulchahy’s own wrestling of his faith in war. What any military minister experiences in war must be a challenge. This 1981 episode “Identity Crisis” has an injured soldier in a grave sin. Literally, as he switched dog tags with his dead friend who had orders for discharge, with intentions to to fake his way back to the states as a dead man rather than risk his own skin again. Grave sin in a dead man’s skin. Because of the info on the stolen dog tags, they gave him the wrong blood type; his friend’s dog tags which also had him notated as Jewish. The doctor noticed the symptoms of switching blood; the priest noticed the symptoms of confusion over him saying “yeah I’m orthodox” but not knowing much of Judaism. But when he did finally confess up, in confessional, there was no confusion about the steps to absolution of his sin. Father Mulcahy, in the middle of the private moment said so plainly: I can’t grant absolution when there’s no repentance. How can I?… He needed this young man to level up on his own. He presented encouragement to own up, reading him letters from the dead man’s own blood relatives. 

Confess UP. Level UP. It’s both to give UP the truth and acknowledge that the Truth is UP.

Confessional forgiveness only comes from acknowledging your own sinful skin needs saving… and Christ forgiveness comes from Him, and we need to acknowledge that our own sin needs repentance. It is not just worldly sin we make, it’s our broken inheritance of original sin, our default of being lost, blind, and in the mud. We climb UP from the mud, but we need to seek the washing clean up from Jesus. We need to empty our sin and our skin of our ways and fill up with Him. Jesus took our skin and our sin and replaced it because He is our Kin.

Forgiveness only comes from UP, meaning from our Heavenly Father UP above our world, by allowing Jesus who gave UP His worldly skin for our worldly sins. Jesus put His Godliness into a tight space of one human form, but His Power over death was and is uncontainable. His death was ripping open the direct path to God. Our death is just part of passing through His ripped body as our confessional. No M&Ms needed, not even the wrapper of your earthly body enters thru, UP into His glory. 

Jesus hearing our confessional AND knowing repentance won’t need M&Ms to sooth His ears. He already knows your rap better than the crinkling of your wrapper. 

Asking somebody like a fellow person for forgiveness might seem like you are putting them through a rough spot, but asking Jesus? He helps us feel that JOY in spirit now – He already went thru the roughest of death – we need to confess we can never understand how rough it was for Him. Jesus takes us UP away from sin – ours and everyone’s who sheds their skin to Him. Let that sink into your skin.

Praise Him. Raise Him. Confess UP to Him. 

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great JOY — to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen” Jude 1:24-25.

AMEN 

Forever Love, 11FEB – #1074

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The icicles have been growing, every day I can watch them lengthen in my window. If there wasn’t plastic sealing on this window, I would have already grabbed one for fun. This is a real winter for a change, with real snow and real treasures. Isn’t that one of those great childhood joys of winter? Playing in the snow, giant icicles, hitting them with snowballs and sticks. And how long could they grow? Feet long at my parent’s house. How fun to hold one that long without breaking it. My Aunt told me that on the back porch of the farmhouse she has some many feet in length from gutter to ground – I can see them in my mind.

Endless memories of fun formed by the sun. Cycles of heat, sun, cold, making the melting into more.

Isn’t that like thinking about God’s Endless love.  Watching it grow longer and stronger and more than more. It’s forevermore. We can realize His Endless Love is Love in the present, not just the past or future. Love has not ever been anything but Timeless. 

How does God look at us with adoring Love? Adoring Love is unfailing Love even when we are not ourselves unfailing.

Because His Love is from Him, it is Endless and Unbroken like Him. His Love does not depend on us. And because His Love existed for us always, not as love for the world, but love for the workers in the world, it is adoring Love because it is as specific as it is wide. The length of His days are as long as they are short. It is God doing the looking at us in Love so wide, so forever, so deeply from the depths of His Heart. He has memories of our spirit before we are even born. He remembers our youth like yesterday. He longs for us to be home with Him forever. He watches us with love and longing. He is a generous God as much as He is a jealous God. He is God loving not in cycles but forever.

We can watch and reflect on the progress of our life, but God watches the progress of our LOVE. 

Amen Lord, You are Endless Love, Faithful Love, Forever Love.

You are Love.

—-

Song: You Are My Strength  – a favorite we sang in praise band

https://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/you-are-my-strength-hillsong-worship/

You are my strength

Strength like no other

Strength like no other

Reaches to me

You are my hope

Hope like no other

Hope like no other

Reaches to me

In the fullness of Your grace 

In the power of Your Name

You lift me up

You lift me up

Unfailing love

Stronger than mountains

Deeper than oceans

Reaches to me

Your love O Lord

Reaches to the heavens

Your faithfulness

 Reaches to the sky

Data, 09FEB – #1073

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I don’t take much downtime – but this slowdown and these really cold winter nights plus semi-isolation time and the fact that my one child is off at college, well I take more downtime… The weekends have never been more open. Work is busy but downtime is not – you can only clean this house so many times before you realize it will never get in order.   Instead, a movie was in order – Netflix and the sleeping cat next to me – imagine that…  The story in the movie “Fatima” (actually I googled most of the plot as I watched) is a classic, always watched the old film at Easter time and this version was well done.  Deep complex characters, hitting the same the classic themes: faith needs no data and unbelief can NOT be bridged by anything but faith… Unbelief builds upon itself just as much as faith builds upon itself… Also seemingly hypocrisy feeds itself and unbelief sometimes pushes the thought that belief is only looking for obvious miracles as well as should bring miracles to that person – as if there is a magic of perfect living, of instant answers, and of “plain as day” revelations. But we know that life with faith doesn’t depend upon perfection, our timing or on our sight. We as people should not pigeonhole God and His Godly Ways to fit our boxes. Life with FAITH depends on HOPE, TRUTH, KNOWING, LISTENING, BEING, and of course LOVE. Faith is ours to grab, hold onto, and appreciate. Blindness is not boldness.

Probably the best movie moments (fictitious or not) in this movie rendition are the conversations back and forth of the unbeliever journalist and older Sister Lucia (who lived until her 90’s). He had tough questions that she answered in a stare down of truth. If she didn’t pick at his shell of unbelief, she wouldn’t find or know of his soft spots. We don’t know from the movie if she made any progress on him, but we should all be poking at the artificial shields and praying for unbelievers so that God can make some good soft spots in their hearts towards Him. Work the soil of the non-believers and perhaps something will grow.

There’s interesting intrigue in this story too, yes, SECRETS, things that even the lady didn’t want revealed until the proper time… Predictions of deaths and hell, assassination and war. It’s been said by later interpretations of Lucia’s own words that nothing predicted was unexpected and Lucia only was giving her testimony as plainly as she experienced… As for apocalyptic visions, regardless of timing or placement, if you have read the book of Revelation, you know that it’s NOT gonna be pretty. Enough said.

I have read so little about this story but these people in 1917 knew wartime AND a flu epidemic. They knew suffering. The visions that Lucia recounted didn’t promise a lack of suffering. A favorite movie line is sadly true: people will still not believe even if they look at the face of God. Yet so many faithful do HOPE, they and we believe in hope, however bad a circumstance is. Hope is stronger than any storm. We who suffer little in comparison to those who suffer(ed) much still must believe that faith is the foundation for everything that brings HOPE. Faith keeps us moving, not faith in our own faith, as we are so fallible, but our faith in God’s ability. God still moves regardless of our faith. He doesn’t need our approval or attention, does He? Let’s give it anyway, in faith.

I have faith that all will be revealed at the proper hour. Jesus said, speaking first to his disciples: “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” Luke 12:1-3

Therefore, I have no intent to discuss validity or not of any of the Fatima predictions (but I would love to travel there in Portugal as well as Lourdes in France) – I present these theories of the testimonies because they are interesting, with a link to the description of “the secrets”, but really I include the below link and text because I appreciated at least three (and more) statements by Pope Benedict (who stepped down but is actually still alive) describing Fatima’s Lucia: 1) you have to check EVERYTHING against scripture – YES; 2) he spoke of “data” – God coming to man naturally produces the data which allows man to come to God – YES! God knew I needed data for my brain so that my brain then would both stop getting in the way AND participate in the Way. Jesus sees the heart flares rising and comes a calling! and 3) Jesus as God Himself ‘took on a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word.’

We worship best by placing love first, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30).  Let us let God have the Last Word, because He certainly had the First.

Amen  

—-

from https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html

2 excerpts:

“It is called a Revelation because in it God gradually made himself known to men, to the point of becoming man himself, in order to draw to himself the whole world and unite it with himself through his Incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. It is not a matter therefore of intellectual communication, but of a life-giving process in which God comes to meet man. At the same time this process naturally produces data pertaining to the mind and to the understanding of the mystery of God. It is a process which involves man in his entirety and therefore reason as well, but not reason alone. Because God is one, history, which he shares with humanity, is also one.”

—-

“The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world (Jn 16:33). The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise.”

Jesus – our Hero

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Took an older post, very early post, and made it into a rhyme…posted on my other blog site where I am revamping the earliest posts from 6 years ago – I promised the Lord and myself that I would do this – finally starting again!

https://learningtoflyasadaugtherofgod.wordpress.com/2021/02/24/jesus-our-hero/

JESUS – OUR HERO

Snow, real and deep, is not a show.

Sound-dampening air-pocket filled piles of big beautiful fluffy flakes covering the muddy-ucky ground – preventing hustle and bustle – World Peace mimicked just from SNOW.

Snow = no driving, no school, no work, no fuss, the world takes a rest, you know.

World peace is a wish. Perhaps you might hear God say “Be Still and Know”.

Perhaps you might remember that God makes the SNOW.

Accepting Jesus – He is always wanting us to GROW.

But like waiting for snow, you have to wait until God tells you so.

I thought I would wait years but instead God said “Come-on, GO!”

Naaman not only dipped himself into the river – he had to get out of his own way – he had to 100% completely LET GO.

Allowing God to baptize him – and us – we have to BELIEVE 100% – to become purer than Ivory SNOW.

We have to share our stories – it is incremental – sometimes it feels fast and sometimes deliberately SLOW.

I had a dream of Jesus – asking me to drink from His cup – oh those many years AGO.

And now – I just so appreciate that He is in me and I just want Him to FLOW.

Christianity is a journey – ongoing – forever a trek – no promises for easy walks – sometimes high and sometimes LOW.

Follow Jesus – He is the Way – He is the ultimate in promises fulfilled – He IS our RAINBOW.

Jesus, You ARE our rescue HERO.

Criss-Cross Your Bible Branches – #1072

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YEAH, I am going to enjoy this new Zoom Bible study – there are 4 of us ladies, 3 from the west coast and me on the east… it is nice to be just a few of us so we don’t talk over each other, LOL…

The book “Be Mature” is about the scriptures in James and how James (Jesus’ brother) is teaching spiritual maturity. We are doing one chapter per week – pre-reading and then sharing the reading during the session. But how did I connect with another church a coast away? I got on a mailing list, well they invited anyone to a zoom bible study for the book of James and I happened to have been reading the book of James when that email came thru…. God does not make mistakes, and God can cross the country, why not??!!!…

The moderator explained that she too attends/is affiliated with multiple churches and wanted to put that out there in case people were confused or taken aback. I chuckled as I feel SO BLESSED to be “attending” 2, and catching up with a couple more services later in the week… yeah, God is Criss-Crossing us all in a stronger support network… Let the Lord strengthen and enrich the network of His net! Spiritual maturity means we eat solid foods rather than just spiritual milk, therefore why wouldn’t the church become a hardy strong intertwine of strong branches, and not just sapling trees all competing for the light… the weaving of a basket, enriching the net, vining the garden to bear fruit, making a stronger ONE church…    Cool…

What is Your Quest? SPIRITUAL MATURITY, 08FEB – #1071

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(from the great Monty Python movie, with a few “adaptations” https://youtu.be/-ea_y8zpzqU )

There it is, the Bridge of Death. Oh, great. Look, there’s the old man from scene 24, What is he doing here? He is the keeper of the Bridge of Death. He asks each traveler five questions. Three questions. Three questions may cross in safety. What if you get a question wrong? Then you are cast into the Gorge of Eternal Peril…    “…just answer the five questions. Three questions. Three questions as best you can and we shall watch and pray… I understand, my liege. Good luck, brave Sir…., God be with you.

“Stop, who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ‘ere the other side he see.   Ask me the questions bridge keeper, I’m not afraid.

What is your name?

My name is ….

What is your quest?

To seek Spiritual Maturity

What is your favorite color?

Blue.

Right, off you go.

Oh, thank you, thank you very much.

That’s easy.

Stop, what is your name?

It is Arthur, King of the Britons

What is your quest?

To seek Spiritual Maturity

What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

What do you mean? An African or European swallow?

What? I, I don’t know that!

Aaaaaaaaaa.

“How do know so much about swallows?  Well, you have to know these things when you’re a king, you know”….

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (plus some, LOL)   https://youtu.be/-ea_y8zpzqU

…….

What REALLY is our quest?

Saved and accepting Jesus or traversing and being pulled towards that free “grace space”? In all, we are to desire SPIRITUAL MATURITY, moving forward from spiritual milk to solid food to our Daily Bread.

How easy or tough is it to be on a quest for SPIRITUAL MATURITY? Is it really as easy as answering a question about your favorite color and moving on? Perhaps it is just taking life, one question at a time, and answering with truth and NOT be wishy washy (“blue? no yellow! aaaaarrrgggghhh” like in the movie the traveler is tossed into the chasm). Spiritual maturity is just something your Spirit has been wanting your whole life. It means continued daily walking with the Lord and emulating Jesus. Accepting, then doing, living, and maturing.

Is it first necessary that you WANT spiritual maturity? Well sometimes it is thrust upon you like a school of hard knocks, learning to trust the Lord when you especially DIDN’T.  Tis much better to walk along your quest. Tis much better to follow the Leader, Jesus, and answer the questions (“FIVE, no THREE“), just be like He… And actually it’s best to let Jesus answer any question FOR THEE.

How do know so much about swallows? Well, you have to know these things when you’re a king, you know.” Yes, Jesus knows all the answers better than King Arthur or any earthly king (make believe or not). God knows the swallows and the birds – and God cares for them. Jesus tells us how much MORE we ae cared for.

How do we approach growing? Read? Write? Walk? GROW. We should live to grow. Keep asking “now what?” Better to read ahead in our bibles and walk our faith, ask for direction before we have to ask because we are lost.

My mother recently said simply, when I mentioned my writing was not forced but I just had to do it: “Well, if you can make pies, you make pies. If you write, you write.” She really said that. Yeah. She’s really is a great apple pie maker… How to make a good crust, well that’s from lots of practice and not overworking the dough. She’s an excellent bread maker too. Over work the dough, or underbake it, switch to inferior ingredients, these things will all make a pie crust or bread worse. I guess I have a different task than pie making, and my quest is not necessarily the writing, is BETTER WALKING – it is actually better reading scripture and reading life in the light of scripture… Incorporating and walking WITH the Lord, not anything else. Learn from the Smart Kid. Walk in His path, like sure steps in deep snow.

How similar to the making of pies, to the meat of it. For the writing or reading scriptures, and being walked further into spiritual maturity, is the same: overwork it, under think it, switch to inferior thoughts, these will all make a less desirable impact in you.

Spiritual Maturity? Why do we want it? I think that Life would be overworked, overwrought and have you overstepping your daily bread to overstressing your life into toast. Don’t become toast. Life would be underbaked, raw and less palatable without continued LEARNING and WALKING WITH THE LORD. Don’t stop short of God’s plan for you.  Life would be inferior and made from scraps or fluff or something other than what the Lord feeds us on, HIS WORD. Don’t get distracted by false prophets or worldly things or sugary pie fillings. Life would not be Life to the level of Life without Life IN the Lord… We should all want to work the Word and have the Word work thru us. Jesus IS the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.

To keep maturing and wanting spiritual maturity – that IS our quest.

What about our daily bread? Isn’t that much more sustenance than food? Bread of life IN the Lord, of the Lord, brings a daily direction and sustenance to our steps: don’t overthink it, under prep it, or look elsewhere. Daily bread is only enough for today, new manna for each man every day, not too much or too little. Don’t save daily bread for tomorrow as it will grow stale, moldy, and NOT a treasure on earth to keep.  Daily bread for TODAY and not for tomorrow’s worries. Tomorrow will take care of itself. As the Lord WILL take your burdens today for today, let Him lead, and then tomorrow He will be there too.

Keep QUESTING the Spiritual Way, not questioning.

Keep the faith not falling behind in our walk.

Keep the Walk WITH Jesus, because HE KNOWS THE WAY.

Cross the bridges of everything in life by KNOWING the Lord.

Knowing the Lord growing IN us, IS OUR QUEST.

AMEN

—-

Proverbs 11

The Lord detests dishonest scales,

    but accurate weights find favor with him.

2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,

    but with humility comes wisdom.

3 The integrity of the upright guides them,

    but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

4 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,

    but righteousness delivers from death.

5 The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,

    but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.

6 The righteousness of the upright delivers them,

    but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.

7 Hopes placed in mortals die with them;

    all the promise of their power comes to nothing.

8 The righteous person is rescued from trouble,

    and it falls on the wicked instead.

9 With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors,

    but through knowledge the righteous escape.

10 When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;

    when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.

11 Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,

    but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.

12 Whoever derides their neighbor has no sense,

    but the one who has understanding holds their tongue.

13 A gossip betrays a confidence,

    but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.

14 For lack of guidance a nation falls,

    but victory is won through many advisers.

15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer,

    but whoever refuses to shake hands in pledge is safe.

16 A kindhearted woman gains honor,

    but ruthless men gain only wealth.

17 Those who are kind benefit themselves,

    but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

18 A wicked person earns deceptive wages,

    but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

19 Truly the righteous attain life,

    but whoever pursues evil finds death.

20 The Lord detests those whose hearts are perverse,

    but he delights in those whose ways are blameless.

21 Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished,

    but those who are righteous will go free.

22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout

    is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good,

    but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.

24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more;

    another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

25 A generous person will prosper;

    whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

26 People curse the one who hoards grain,

    but they pray God’s blessing on the one who is willing to sell.

27 Whoever seeks good finds favor,

    but evil comes to one who searches for it.

28 Those who trust in their riches will fall,

    but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind,

    and the fool will be servant to the wise.

30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,

    and the one who is wise saves lives.

31 If the righteous receive their due on earth,

    how much more the ungodly and the sinner!