WATCH

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

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

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

Immanuel, Christ IS with us.

Amen

Matthew 24:36-44

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

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

Almighty vs not, 24NOV – #1314

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God IS – but evil isn’t 

Almighty va anemic 

Blesses vs badgers

Convicts vs condemns 

Delights vs disappoints

Encourages vs exacerbates

Establishes vs eats-away

Exists vs expires

Forevers vs fouls 

Frankness vs falseness

Faithful foolishness vs frustrating fakeness

Follow vs fumble

Grows you vs ghosts you

Graceful vs greedy

Glory vs gone

Heals vs hassles

Hope vs horrifies

Heaven vs hell

I AM vs it was

In-filling vs influence 

Image-bearing vs imaginary 

JOY vs jostling 

Jewels vs junk

Knows you vs knocks you

Loves you vs loses you

Made you vs messes with you

Magnificent vs mischievous 

Now vs never 

Orchestrations vs obstacles 

Persuades vs pollutes 

Quiets you vs questions you

Reaches vs rolls back

Riches vs risk

Surprise vs stupefy

Teaches vs trips you up

Universal vs underfoot

Victorious vs vile

Wealth vs waste 

Wows vs wobbles

XOXOXO hugs and love vs xyz excuses 

Yahweh vs yesterday 

Zion vs zilch

Zenith vs zero

Amen just AMEN.

Weather the Weather, 23NOV – #1313

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s weather the weather. 

Amen

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

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

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

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

Deuteronomy 34:4-12

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Timothy wrote about end times, 

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

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

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

Note to Retain 

Gain more Him, and be less me.

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

Free of me means more free to follow Thee.

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

Our time together should not surprise me. 

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

Whom might You lead me to see?

Let me TRUST, let Your Path LEAD me.

My journey is nothing without Thee.

Gain more Him, and be less me.

Blessed are those in Your court we see.

Blessed Blessed are favor and honor from Thee

Amen

Psalm 84

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

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

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

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

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

Note for Gain, 22NOV – #1311

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Gain more Him, get less me, 

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

How is it that He wants me to be?

That’s time that makes me feel free.

It is better than fine to be with Thee.

I’m in life for the gain of thee. 

I’m nothing without Thee.

Progressively Double Blessed, 20NOV – #1310

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

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

DOUBLE blessed – we got to meet more neat people!

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

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


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

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

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

How great to see the SPIRIT pour from THEIR faces.

Progressively Double Blessed!

Amen Amen

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

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

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

DOUBLE – Jesus taught: Go the Second Mile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMEN

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

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Psalm 147:1-11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Me Too…, 20NOV – #1308

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMEN


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

Deuteronomy 29:12-15


The Offer of Life or Death

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

Thankful Giving, 25NOV – #1315

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

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 

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

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

Through wisdom a house is built,

And by understanding it is established;

By knowledge the rooms are filled

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

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

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

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

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

Yes He will.

Time to make pie.

LET IT ALL BE MADE UNTO HIS NAME. 

AMEN

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

We are a moment, You are FOREVER 

Lord of the Ages, God before time. 

We are a vapor, You are eternal

Love everlasting, reigning on high

Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty

Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain

Highest praises, honor and glory

Be unto Your name, be unto Your name

We are the broken, You are the healer

Jesus, Redeemer, Mighty to save

You are the love song we’ll sing forever

Bowing before You, blessing Your name

Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty

Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain

Highest praises, honor and glory

Be unto Your name, be unto Your name

Be unto Your name

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James 4:1-6 excerpts, 13-15

Submit Yourselves to God

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

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

“God opposes the proud

    but shows favor to the humble.”

Boasting About Tomorrow

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

Inside Job, 17NOV – #1307

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

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

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

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

Where you go is not always about you.

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

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

But to BE placed in the MOMENT, even temporarily.

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

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

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

He knows me better than me. 

I best BE where He be placing me!

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

AMEN

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

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

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

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

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

Ain’t Afraid

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

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

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

His Yield from our YIELDING

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

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

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

Amen


Concerning Spiritual Gifts

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


Spiritual battle. The Armor of God.

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


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


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


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

Mercy Me, 16NOV – #1305

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Oh forgive me Lord, Mercy ME!

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

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

My spoken and unspoken judgments of others are really NOISY.

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

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

Oh forgive me Lord, Mercy ME!

Amen

The Feat of the Feet, 15NOV – #1304

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep being His Hands and Feet. 

Keep taking His Rest.

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

Amen

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

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

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Nehemiah remembered: 

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

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

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

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

Surrender Saturday, 13NOV – #1303

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

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

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

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

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

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

Savor Saturday Surrender. 

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

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

Save Saturday for Soulfulness. 

Surrender Saturday and Smile. 

Amen

Firstfruits of Friday, 12NOV – #1302

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We got to Friday. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen

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

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

Think About the Thinking, 11NOV – #1301

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Think about the thinking. 

Bless the blessings.

Amen 

Stay On the Porch, 09NOV – #1300

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Help others.

Be respectful. 

Stay on the Porch.

Amen 

Do the Deuteronomy Duty, 09NOV – #1299

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

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

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

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

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

His Way is the Promised Way. Walk with Him.

Amen 

Don’t Just Stand There, 08NOV – #1298

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God will prod.

Moses knows us. 

Life will see strife.

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

Give us Your Eyes, Lord, Let US see.

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

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

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

Amen

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

Pitch It, 08NOV – #1297

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Live Forever in the Word.

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

Stitch in the Word, Enrich in the Word.

Be in the Word. 

Be.

Amen 


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


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

Using Our Skills For the Lord, 07NOV – #1296

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As I dusted off my sewing machine yesterday, found I have pillowcases to sew and a whole winter’s worth of projects waiting. So, I went back to an online teaching that mentioned SEWING.. Tabitha being raised from the dead…. Acts 9:19-43 https://subspla.sh/5qtvsxn 

In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 

At the 59 minute mark of that link above, in the last 15 minutes of this Bible study, Pastor describes Peter attending to her coming back to life. He calls out how we, like Tabitha, can be blessings for Him for others by using our skills – and at 1hr 5 min, and 1hr 15min marks, specifically talks about a sewing ministry and helping others. It is also a good teaching about praying, and remembering gratefulness to Jesus.

I have been blessed with skills, when I use them, I feel blessed. It’s no accident that He gives us skills. I prayed on my knees this morning and thanked Him for my blessings. I heard Him speak to my soul and He said: “BE BLESSED”.

Be Blessed.

Amen

Don’t Guess, BE BLESSED, 07NOV

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Don’t Guess, ask God.

Ask God for His Blessings  

Ask God for His Direction. 

Don’t Guess, BE BLESSED. 


We are to know He wants the best for us.

Not material matters but blessings of what matters. 

God gives MANY blessings over just a smattering.

Skills He gave us are best skillfully embraced to bless.

Even Jesus worked for 30 years in a trade.

Let us transfer and donate our trades into something Godly made.


Matter yourself less and matter others more.

Ask the Lord to make your matters matter minimally.

Ask the Lord to manage the matters that matter more for you.

Ask the Lord to have His matters matter most, most heartily, most meaningfully. 

I pray to matter more of Him, and less of my mess.


A warm house matters.

Good sleep matters.

Feeding your family matters.

Doing your part matters. 

Knowing Him and Loving Him matters most.

As all good things are from God,

It IS in His Holy Nature to Bless.


Some apples are bad, don’t pick them. 

Some roads are bumpy, smooth them for others as well as yourself. 

Some projects are frustrating, manage them.

Some plunder of good living is good, donate all the rest.

Help others be blessed.


Sunrises are beautiful, enjoy them.

Napping houses are quiet, savor them.

Frosted fields are forewarning, prepare for winter.

Spring fields are for a short while, smell their sweetness. 

Golden years are golden, but it’s up to us to make them SHINE.


Be blessed. 

Don’t Guess. 

BE BLESSED. 

Crumbs of Closeness, 06NOV – #1294

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I love a Bible teaching that gives me even more insight than before. I heard a teaching about the Gentile woman who sought Jesus and His healing for her daughter, who was demon possessed. She followed the Light, the Light was in her sight: Jesus. She had faith in Him, sought Him over the jeers of even the disciples. And His banter back and forth with her showed to others (He already knew) her faith. They talked eye to eye. Importantly, it also showed us as well that complete dependence upon God is where our faith should be. This woman essentially said she (like the young dogs/puppies under the table, in the outskirts of what was perceived as His audience, would take the crumbs of the leftovers from Jesus, Master, and be satisfied. Jesus of course knows He is for all, and it becomes one of those retro teaching lessons for the disciples. No one is excluded from His Love.

I put myself in the spot of this woman when I first came to faith, I loved this story for many reasons especially for the reasoning, the banter, the direct questioning and the individual attention and actions from Jesus. I need all those things. I need crumbs of closeness and yet even with a crumb, I find contact is complete. Even the crumb of Jesus has nooks and crannies as deep as the whole loaf.

Jesus always said it’s our FAITH that prevails when He is healing our purposeful concerns. Just Jesus can heal, just Jesus is enough. Jesus to be not just one man but a Whole Loaf broken so that His crumbs DO FALL. We acknowledge His brokenness to repair us. We are learning our brokenness to see where He can glue us back together and hold it together, like stuffing. 

Why demons? We see stories of demon removal including that the demons know better. Even the demons see Jesus as powerful God. We see stories of how our Holy Healer handles these cases, and we, with our faith and only our faith, can handle them to. 

Why dogs? They are the small ones that are still surrounding their masters. They and we are the ones who live from just crumbs. Why this lady? Because she is us, standing to shine light on the light. To be the persistent pursuer. To trust before the conversation. To be satisfied with the minimal amount of blessings but owning up that she needs His Wholeness. She is the outsider who knows her place INSIDE.

Healing crumbs of faith and crumbs of compassion. Jesus brought the crumbs to the floor on purpose. So all can find Him. So that the crumbs of closeness are the crumbs we live on. We are on His INSIDE track. He hears our calls because He was and is called to hear.

Amen 

—–

(Here is a blog from first time I heard this story: https://debbieupper.blog/2019/03/09/crumbs-of-faith-08feb-637 )

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Matthew 15:21-28 (NIV but I changed dogs to puppies which I understand is the tender meaning Jesus used) The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”  He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the puppies.”
“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the puppies eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Battle Better, 05NOV – #1293

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Whether it’s enemies or stressful uncertainties, let the Lord go WIN you His Victories.

Each day we have to choose how to approach life. We may see either a battle or a victory field, but know that the Lord goes before us. And so we too can battle better. We can look to count our blessings. We can work past seeing only the worldly issues, we can see the Heavenly goals. We can look even further for tomorrow’s victory field after today’s issues and challenges will surely be behind us. (and they will).  And we can choose to TURNOVER TO THE LORD our daily challenges, our fear of consequences or carnage, any hard feelings and stress, and any weaknesses that we confess.  

We walk but He navigates. We check where we are on the map but He is the one who laid it down. And we best never claim a victory for ourselves but know that if we fight, we fight for the Lord to win. 

When we TRUST HIM, we share in HIS Victory.

Amen

Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 20:1-4

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”

Don’t Guess, BE BLESSED, 07NOV – #1295

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Don’t Guess, ask God.

Ask God for His Blessings  

Ask God for His Direction. 

Don’t Guess, BE BLESSED.

 …

We are to know He wants the best for us.

Not material matters but blessings of what matters. 

God gives MANY blessings over just a smattering.

Skills He gave us are best skillfully embraced to bless.

Even Jesus worked for 30 years in a trade.

Let us transfer and donate our trades into something Godly made.

Matter yourself less and matter others more.

Ask the Lord to make your matters matter minimally.

Ask the Lord to manage the matters that matter more for you.

Ask the Lord to have His matters matter most, most heartily, most meaningfully. 

I pray to matter more of Him, and less of my mess.

A warm house matters.

Good sleep matters.

Feeding your family matters.

Doing your part matters. 

Knowing Him and Loving Him matters most.

As all good things are from God,

It IS in His Holy Nature to Bless.

Some apples are bad, don’t pick them. 

Some roads are bumpy, smooth them for others as well as yourself. 

Some projects are frustrating, manage them.

Some plunder of good living is good, donate all the rest.

Help others be blessed.

Sunrises are beautiful, enjoy them.

Napping houses are quiet, savor them.

Frosted fields are forewarning, prepare for winter.

Spring fields are for a short while, smell their sweetness. 

Golden years are golden, but it’s up to us to make them SHINE.

Be blessed. 

Don’t Guess. 

BE BLESSED. 

NEVER, 01NOV – #1292

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NEVER enough time in the day.

NEVER enough daylight.  

NEVER enough time to myself.  

NEVER enough time with the family.

NEVER enough time with the cat. 

NEVER enough hugs.

NEVER enough time to pause.

NEVER enough time to work.

NEVER enough supplies.

NEVER enough people. 

NEVER enough people pleased. 

NEVER enough time to rest.

Rest.

NEVER enough weekend. 

NEVER enough vacation.

NEVER enough summer. 

NEVER enough help.

Help.

NEVER enough moments to pray. 

NEVER enough prayers. 

NEVER a better time to pray. 

NEVER a better time to praise.

NEVER a better time to pause. 

Pause.

NEVER BETTER to give it all to the Lord. 

NEVER BETTER to stop griping. 

NEVER BETTER a time to thank Him.

NEVER BETTER than to watch Him act. 

NEVER BETTER than to feel held.

Be Held.

NEVER a BETTER answer than what He will say.

NEVER a BETTER Plan than His Plan. 

NEVER a BETTER step than on His Path. 

NEVER a BETTER rest than in His arms. 

NEVER something He can’t handle.

NEVER darkness blocks LIGHT. 

See Light.

NEVER hide from His Light.

Never refuse His Helping Hand. 

NEVER say NEVER to God. 

NEVER not say: “Here I am, send me.”

NEVER not go.

Never forget He made you ALWAYS His.

NEVER forget that. 

NEVER forget Him.

NEVER FELT BETTER.

NEVER FELT BETTER

NEVER FELT BETTER.

NEVER better than His.

Amen 

Isaiah said WAIT, 31OCT – #1291

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Was a tremendous opportunity to be at a woman’s seminar with a great mother and daughter speaker team. Basically, any gathering these days in post/mid covid is a blessed opportunity to be with people – and so I took it!   The timing was nice, just 3 sessions plus an opportunity to see a real eagle from the zoo. And this eagle, raised in captivity with one eye is also a mascot (they have many) for the football team.

The scripture could not be more perfect for all of us (and me too). Isaiah 40. He was writing 100 years before Israelite people were returning home. It was a message to Judah to give them the courage to leave a place where they were captives and make a way to a new place.

Although I was familiar with the scripture sound bites, actually listening to the verses as whole, and to hear them spoken, spoke volumes. And I was pleased with the seminar sticking straight to the scripture, with a few heartwarming stories of comfort and love, and the experiences of both the mother and daughter made this scripture of comfort come alive.

Isaiah 40 is a scripture of comfort, it is a scripture to prepare the way for the Lord, it is a scripture that reminds us we are fragile and temporary but He, God and the Word of God is ETERNAL, FOREVER,  TRUSTWORTHY. It is a scripture that says God is HERE and that He has a MIGHTY STRONG HAND. God is coming again, and He gathers us as a Shepherd. As a prophecy, Jesus is all over in and thru this verse.

Isaiah describes how God has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and has measured heaven with a span. He has calculated the dust of the Earth. We cannot know how He does this… God knows all.

Isaiah reminded the people that whenever they put God first and beheld His Ways and looked to Him, everything else would get put in perspective.  We must trust God. No one is like Him. And we and they should not fall back into idolatry. Idolatry is sin and makes us captive to it. Instead we are to obey the Lord and be fruitful, to remember we have many blessings… None of our idols compare to God.  We should not doubt God. We should not put our eyes and our energies into self-care either, we should focus on God.

God-created all these things and God reveals Himself to everyone. He calls the stars by name. He is the Good Shepherd, the Wonderful Counselor. He calls His sheep by name. He knows us, but STILL we MUST LOOK TO HIM.

The take home message, SO IMPORTANT, at the very end verse 31: “but those who WAIT on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles”… 

The key here is WAITING.  Not waiting for a bus, not waiting for an action, but WAITING UPON THE LORD, trusting Him the whole time and not becoming weary in wait. He wants us to FLY, to RUN and it’s His strength that He fills us with. He wants us to have HOPE which is side by side developed during our waiting. HIS strength IS our reward. HE IS WORTH WAITING FOR. 

THOSE WHO HOPE IN THE LORD WILL RENEW THEIR STRENGTH.

AMEN 

Isaiah 40

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. [PS, receiving DOUBLE for sins, actually means debts, like on a paper that is doubled over and folded, are forgiven. Paid in full by the Lord]

A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. [foretelling about John the Baptist]

Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” – “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” 

See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arm: and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?

Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?

Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way?

Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?

Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.

With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him? As for an idol, a metalworker casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it. A person too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot; they look for a skilled worker to set up an idol that will not topple.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?

Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.

He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

Why do you complain, Jacob?  Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall,  but THOSE WHO HOPE IN THE LORD WILL RENEW THEIR STRENGTH. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

The Brain of God, 31OCT – #1290

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Did you ever have such vivid dreams, so intensely interesting? Incredible that they also dissipate so quickly, they easily escape as soon as you return to waking thoughts, like “What day is this?” Folklore said we only us 10% of our brains, but scientists says that’s not true, we use it ALL. 

Dreams so whacked and elaborate, better than any movie you have seen, intense in details and colors and crispness that you thought a human mind would barely be able to hold those thoughts. I comprehend that I cannot comprehend. I know that I don’t know how it all happens.  But why? That I REALLY don’t know. 

Aren’t we made in the likeness of God? What about our brains? Are they like God’s brain? Wait! How could the vastness of God ever fit what we think of having a human brain? He can’t, He is so much more intensely Vast and Uncontainable there is no description deep enough or even a close chance. God IS. God simply and God elaborately IS. So, I can’t wrap my brain around what God’s brain would even be. God IS greater than all, unimaginable and yet I KNOW God has a Face, a Face we will see, our face to His Face one day. Oh, we long for that day we will see Him, oh that glorious day. (No rush Lord, just love that we can be in anticipation.)

How are night dreams lit up? How do we even dream up fractured thoughts? Mine are elaborately jumbled tangles that surely that God is untangling.  Nothing however, not night or our day dreams either, would or could stack up to God’s future for us. We have surely but dust fractions compared to God’s thoughts of us and His elaborate planned place for us in Heaven. His intentions of our place in His Kingdom are not a dream, as He has but a GOAL achievable by our faith in His actions. Our wait is on His Word, not  works with our hands, not even our vision of us scaling into Heaven. No, our future and present is amazingly the Lord’s achievement, reaching down, planting seeds in our growing souls, collecting us in harvest. It is His vision, and we but ask to be but a speck for Him to see and collect. He sees us so much more than a speck, He sees us IN HIS LOVE. He sees IN us, His Love.

God made us in His likeness, therefore how crucial we are to reflect not simply physical attributes but reflect HIS LOVE

What will God gain in us, thru us, that He doesn’t already have? God wants us Home. What does God dream of? Not in sleep, as God doesn’t sleep, but dream of us in expectations and hope? The day that He will see us, reward each of us in glory. What does God want in the meantime? Our hands and feet working His Way – helping others get to His Dream of that Day.

Jesus will bring us to glory. That’s worth waking up for.

Amen 

Reflect His Love. 

Protect His Love. 

Project His Love.

Perfect our love, Lord. 

Pray we reject it not.

Let us love like He Loves.

Always and for Good.

Project His Love.

Protect His Love. 

Reflect His Love. 

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Jesus speaking, recorded in Matthew 16:23-27 first said to Peter, “… you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, [AND US ALL]: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. “

Genesis 1:26-31

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

His Love

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Reflect His Love. 

Protect His Love. 

Project His Love.

Perfect our love, Lord. 

Pray we reject it not.

Let us love like He Loves.

Always and for Good.

Project His Love.

Protect His Love. 

Reflect His Love. 

AMEN

Have Forgiveness, Will Travel, 20-30OCT – #1289

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For the love of God, Moses taught and taught. He really did. Deuteronomy is filled with teaching – including how to handle debts and deal with people and how best to worship. AND HOW TO FORGIVE. We don’t hold to these physical traditions anymore and we certainly don’t cancel debts every 7 years or share the wealth enough. We barely even try to pay off our own debts, allowing the interest to compound and threaten to bury us.

Why is it that we ALSO hold grudges when the Lord says FORGIVE? Why is it that we become possessive enough to get angry when someone wastes our time? (as if we own time anyway, we don’t). If we hold grudges, why are we are compounding the pain like interest and let it bleed over into a new day. It will bury us. We should shed that sorrow each day.

When Jesus says: Follow Me. He intends to feed us and take care of us each day – as in we don’t turn back and we don’t make demands on where we are going or what we take with us. So let us cancel our cross feelings for He cancelled our debt with His Cross Dealings – and let us embrace forgiveness no matter how hard it hurts.

For if given FORGIVENESS, which we have in Jesus, thru Jesus, with Jesus, then we will carry NONE of these burdens and we will travel more easily and with more light. MORE LIGHT! Travel light.

For if God instructed Moses to set servants free, we can realize our freedom by becoming His servant – serving our Lord – walking in a WAY of forgiveness.

Have Forgiveness, Will Travel.

Travel Light.

And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.

Amen

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Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away), then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice. And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own. At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 14:23-15:11

The Year for Canceling Debts

At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you. However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you. If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.  Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.  There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land. Freeing Servants
If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you.  Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today. But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant. Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because their service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.

Tabernacle Me, 30OCT – #1288

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Tabernacle me, Oh Lord, make me a vessel for Worship of Thee.

Clear me of personal thoughts clogging what I SHOULD See.

Bless me beyond just only measuring what’s good for me.

Keep me focused, worshipping and working for Thee.

For You are worthy, healing, You set us Free.

I need not want from this world, beg or flee.

I stand watching the skies in fearful glee.

You Lord, know to come back for me.

Build Your Tabernacle here in me.

Within my heart, I will keep Thee.

To know You, is our best Victory. 

Amen 


Deuteronomy 12:11-15, Moses taught where to set up worship. We Today set up worship of the Lord within His chosen dwelling place, our hearts.

Then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord. And there rejoice before the Lord your God—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns who have no allotment or inheritance of their own. Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please. Offer them only at the place the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you.


Hang Up on the Devil – NOW

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Hang-up on the hang ups.

The devil will make you doubt and trick you into thinking God doesn’t love you enough to save you. 

But remember: God loves us. God loved us before the beginning of the worldGod IS love. The devil can not defeat that. 

The scare tactics by the devil, making one fear about the future, seem legit,  but if you trust in God, you can see some of the devil’s tactics clearly FAKE – like that terrible phone call that your car warranty is up, so obviously a scam. So clearly old news…. do people still get fooled? Yes. Do we have to stay alert? Yes. Are there updated scams? Yes. But listen and hear the holes.

God Loves us and we must stop picking up the devil who calls collect.  Our salvation is justified not by our own power but by His, our Lord’s. He pays all the bills. The Lord’s call is true. That’s the call we take, His… Pick up His Call.

Pray people are drawn to understanding what the relationship is just between them and God. It’s an individual conversation to draw closer to God, to pray in thankfulness, as well as need. When we draw closer, He teaches us more and more. 

The Lord’s Love is true.

The Lord’s call is true.

Amen

—-

FYI – this came out of a conversation of how I know the Lord loves us and takes us to heaven. FYI, the book of Revelation is the future, or some say the ongoing process… John, Jesus’s beloved disciple, was given the vision/insight when he was in his 90s and exiled and told to write it all down. He was actually taken to Heaven. He was the scribe for us – so that we know the future and how heaven will take us and those who have passed away. It describes heaven and earth being restored in later chapters, after the old ones pass after the destruction of the devil once and for all. It’s the hope given of eternal life. It’s the knowledge that God is in charge. 

The section that talks about the dragon (devil) and beast is in Revelation 13, and speaks of the number 666 and the mark of the beast. Whomever doesn’t worship the devil’s dragon and beasts and get the number or the name tattooed on them will be killed. This is AFTER the Rapture, where believers are already with Jesus. We as believers get a front row seat to watch. 

We must help others know that God rings true. We must keep looking to the heavens – preparing for Jesus’s second coming. Amen Amen

Millennium Museum

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Will our time in Heaven be like a museum tour of memories?  “You can’t take it with you” – but can you look at it from above? Good question. 

I have memories now – and some of my kids toys and my old toy box. And photos – pages and pages of photos.  I work really hard in my house cleaning – on occasion – actually clean spaces become like museum areas – “DON’T TOUCH THIS”…  I am rearranging a room that used to be filled with kids things and now is a dumping zone. I used to have lots of stuff here but it is getting quieter and quieter as they age. I don’t mind- that’s actually good – and I am getting busier and busier as I age and thus that is why I clean less and less – that’s my excuse. 

Now instead of just my museum spaces, I also enjoy my workstation workrooms and workshops – like my kitchen or my laundry room. I just tore apart my dryer – and put it back together – I don’t need fancy – I just need what I have to work.

What about Heaven? Have you thought about Heaven and what you will do there? Will it be a museum-like space and memories that are in clouds for online uploaded storage? Will it instead be like workshops for learning about history? Will it be workrooms for hammering out relationships that went awry on Earth? Will there be waiting rooms for your great great great great great great grandparents to come meet you? Will it be filled with more people than you could imagine? Well – maybe ALL these things – maybe that is why there is the advantage of the Millennium’s 1000 years AND THEN Eternity after that – with a new Heaven and New Earth – a NEW CITY prepared for us where we will live with the Lord FOREVER.

Will our time in Heaven be like a museum tour of memories? 

IN heaven will we remember the good things? I’m sure!

Will we remember bad memories, or will they just fade away compared to the glory of the Lord? I bet they fade, how could they not…

When all is finally settled into new Jerusalem, how will our current memories stack up? Perhaps those memories will become building bridges of reconciliation to all those we knew and will get to know.

Either way, I am glad I have my ticket in Jesus. Millennium, Here I come!

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17

Floaters Best Float, 24-25OCT

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One of the joys I truly have teaching children is that their parents and grandparents often listen too. And as a people watcher, I’ve got many memories of watching the Holy Spirit putting people in certain scenarios and certain directions to learn. (Including me!) 

Like last night at a church kid-friendly festival, it’s amazing how the Lord slows down the stream of time so that people who are simply floating can get anchored more and more. (Including me!)

Float – you could say I have floated but will I admit life has been so MUCH better when I became aware that I should follow the Lord’s Current, both the current flow of life AND the being in, participating in, the current place where His flock gathers. I also continually re-connect that our individual skill sets ARE a GIFT. Yes, ME TOO. I know I should use mine for the Lord, and get such joy making the most of blending my people skills and teaching gift and not minding messy plus knowledge and ‘stick-to-it-tiveness’. And at the same time, realize that the ONLY thing, besides gravity, keeping me, in particular, on this planet IS THE LORD. He has a reason for our reasoning. He makes our ‘stick-to-it-tiveness’ stick. We are blessed to “walk before the Lord in the land of the living”.

Last night I set up a science oobleck station for teaching about our Bible hero Moses. First off, arriving an hour early for set up, I got a little helper perfect for the job, about 8yrs old and she scooped and mixed blue oobleck with joy, learned and even taught her parents when they came by to check on her. And I got to hug my friends and share in another branch of my same one family of believers and those who will be. 

So, among the THOUSAND memories in my heart (it’s a blessing to work for the Lord and see the Lord in action), I will tell you one story, of seeing with my own eyes the face of a little boy telling my amazing story-sharer friend and AMAZING co-laborer for Christ, how his Grandma gave him a Bible, but he never got to meet her, she had passed away when he was in mom’s tummy. And he reached back to touch his mom’s tummy. I mean imagine the pure spirit eyes of understanding and sadness of this 5 or 6 year old intensely pouring out this deep sharing story to the caring heart of ears who intensely listened to him. God puts us in position to be HIS EARS. We are to LISTEN to share the burdens of others with a tender heart. This little boy, with mom so close, took time to listen and focus on learning about Moses.  My story-telling friend’s sharing prompted him wanting to share what he knew about the Bible – that He had one! It was a special moment of his understanding and he knew his grandma was special. Here’s a grandma-of-the-moment telling a grandchild-of-the-moment about LOVE, with his mom listening, how very much he was loved, especially if his grandma gave him a Bible. We are BLESSED as Christians to share stories of love, of trusting God, where opportunity opens, especially in knowing darkness can’t overcome the Light. We are blessed as teachers to share and reconnect what a grandma would have told their own grandchildren if they could. I had to chime in that he would see his Grandma someday in Heaven, with mom listening, isn’t that the greatest hope – to be in Heaven with our Lord.

This was just one child, but so many children one by one came to our table, many parents too. AND TIME SLOWED… and the Lord’s tarrying allowed me at the end to get 2 smores and a hot dog and a chat of faith around the open campfire. I DON’T take for granted this gift of opportunity for open sharing and open welcoming and FUN in open air. I felt SO BLESSED.

I believe we as floaters, should follow GOD’S CURRENT.  There are open doors to open air opportunities that we should walk thru.  I read Psalm 116 on the big altar Bible when I stopped into the sanctuary and felt the moment carrying me back outside where others needed to know that if Moses could trust God, we can trust God too. If Moses could work for the Lord, we can too…

I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord. 

Amen (and thank you Lord for this smell of campfire still lingering – like memories sweet and savory, I thank You for Your fire.)

Psalm 116, as King David wrote, speaks of deliverance:

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; 

I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.

I trusted in the Lord when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”; in my alarm I said, “Everyone is a liar.” What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me?

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants. Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.

I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord.

I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord — in your midst, Jerusalem.

PRAISE THE LORD.

Switching Tracks, 23OCT – #1284

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I am BLESSED that I set up a 4-day weekend for myself. I was feeling crispy around the edges, working so much. Not that I minded the work, I loved it, but sometimes you have to pause and RECHARGE. Not that I won’t be busy this fun 4 days, but it’s like SWITCHING TRACKS, taking my frame of mind and placing it on a DIFFERENT “train of thought” track, hopefully a really good track. It’s always the right track when we are getting away from the crashing loose tumbling rocks that make you jump tracks!

The two scriptures MOST ringing thru my head both for work and for life’s day to day play this week are: 1) we are to work hard and humbly at whatever we do as if we were working for the Lord, AND 2) how some wonders will be all gone one day, like the amazing temple that Jesus knew would be destroyed. Yup, we are to build, yes, but ALWAYS be ready to switch tracks. Pick up and keep going. 

SO, Day one of 4 days off, Saturday, met my friend for lunch in the city, but like we switched plans a lot and switched tracks A LOT. Even went the wrong way once, almost twice. I was OK for time, but often when there is little time, the day can get away. So, we settled for a favorite lunch place and then I went forward with my next adventure and saw the church my great grandparents got married at. Cool!

At the church, which was all boarded up for renovations, I snapped a few pics, then the Spirit track led me to walk across the street to chat with a hotel doorman, Hector is his name, asking him about the church. He started mentioning our world troubles and we chatted both agreeing this is NOT our home, we are awaiting Jesus to come back, and I mentioned that Revelation scripture on my mind plus about Jesus looking at the greatest temple of their time and knowing that it would be destroyed. Oh, Hector was THRILLED to speak about the HOLY SPIRIT. He was grateful for the opportunity to share. How cool…  How Holy Spirit… I enjoyed hearing him witness how the Lord brought him up from the street and saved him. Hector mentioned how much his heart hurt when he sees lost people now, who were lost like him.  He clearly now has a Jesus heart, understanding His pain. We are NOT to be friends with this lost world, work in it yes, but set apart. Yes, it was an intensely natural conversion between fellow children of God.  We agreed that the “church” was no longer church buildings nor in the renovations of the buildings, but WE ARE HIS TEMPLE, EACH OF US, for Him. And now the church as the bride of Christ will be awaiting our wedding feast. We agreed to be all out waiting and working and witnessing until Jesus calls us home. WE WILL BE SALT AND LIGHT. 

SALT. Yum, a SIDETRACK to a great candy store, for chatty conversation and SALT caramels.

LIGHT. I’m on the train tracks towards home now. The people are chatty, the tired people are giddy, giggly, and talking about their days. What interesting side tracks we all have. The people this morning were chatty too. I like that I took these switched up tracks today. I really hope to see these folks again. Hector and I plan to meet up in Heaven, someday, when that Trumpet blows… I think that will sound like a TRAIN WHISTLE… and Jesus says: “ALL ABOARD!” 

Amen

—-

Mark 13:1-2

As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”

Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

Colossians 3:23-24

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

—-

What’s in Your Garden, 18OCT – #1283

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The rainbow text message photos from a local friend called to me to get off my chair and outside into the cool fall air. And WOW, a FULL rainbow, start to finish, and it was a double too. Not much rain but a reign of blessings and promise and hope is always signaled when we remember God’s promises. The previous day there was a rainbow too.

Tomorrow, I don’t know about rainbows in the sky, but will God’s promises still be there? Yes, promises and hope from God are ALWAYS shining thru, it’s up to us to blow away some of our clouds of life and notice the silver-linings and promises fulfilled – then embrace the Lord in thanks. He will help us plant good things in our lives so that He can water them. He sends the rains and rainbows. 

When Moses instructed his people about the new land God gave them, he spoke of the Lord sending the spring and fall rains. These were agricultural folk, dependent upon the land and their livestock. But we are rarely more than simple gardeners, only a few seeds here and there for colorful flair and the joy of working the soil. Oh, the vibrant colors of Fall, the harvest season are feast for the eyes. The cool crisp feeling also gives us a reminder to prepare for the winter (even if it is raking up leaves in shorts). 

Some things seem easy and yet all is not all easy for so many and this life may seem to bring us storms or we feel we have too much rain or not enough. Hopefully all our angst is only seasonal, and prayerfully many do have a storage tank of rain to spare and share. We do have MANY blessings. My onerous task this morning was NOT working my farmstead but opening a can of spaghettios for my son’s lunch. Times have changed. He didn’t venture to the fields for work, but to school in a car with a friend after a trip to the local haunt for a breakfast sandwich. Our milk and honey promised land is flowing in conveniences and blessings. So, that also means we have more time to think about THANKING GOD. And isn’t’ that what our promise pledge should be? THANKING GOD.

And what about planting our fields? Our gardens? Let us now make GARDENS OF FAITH, FIELDS OF FORGIVENESS, and take on the praiseful barnstorming of worship, in our vast landscape of thankfulness. 

We are to till the soil for others now too, soften our hearts and look for seed planting openings. Let’s open opportunities for sharing. When the people ask: “What’s in your garden?” Let’s reply: “I’m cultivating HOPE, FAITH, FORGIVENESS and LOVE.”

Our lives change, our burdens differ, but the Lord is the same. 

God keeps His promises. 

Let us also keep the HOPE. 

Amen 


Moses teaching how to live in a new land, Deuteronomy 11:8-15

Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden.  But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.

So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

Who Squeaked? 15OCT – #1282

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Sometimes loud rumblings incite more action, good or bad, like a pep rally vs a riot. Sometimes (many times) people tune out loud voices. There will always be noise in life. There is best a quiet place where only the Lord knows our business. Attend to that quiet place as much as possible.

Why do squeaky wheels get the grease? If they are real wheels, it’s because they ride better and smoother with grease and the squeak indicates a real issue.  If squeaky wheels are people, then it’s because they are LOUDEST, maybe going off track, maybe right on the right track and everyone else is going off track…  either way you might best attend to squeaky people (especially if it’s someone who might disrupt your smooth ride of a day, annoy you or upset your plans). And OF COURSE, we see the important squeaky wheels of whistle blowers or people who raise valid points. Watch out as squeaky wheels can be what others learn from. Yes, kids learn what gets attention. So, let us show our values and hope and help children of all ages learn. 

What does this have to do with scripture? Sometimes we are not loud enough in giving our voice to situations and sometimes we are seemingly wasting our breath. Moses spoke much and sometimes it must have felt like he wasted his breath. To God, there is NO wasted breath, He wants to hear all our needs (whether He answers us for our sake is another issue) …  Moses however heard lots of griping from wandering desert people. He warned and warned and reminded and taught, leading God’s chosen people and giving them the law. He knew where the people failed God, and he himself failed God enough (by overreacting) to not cross that eventual day into the Promised Land. Moses was eventually OK, God took care of him too. Moses had taken on the call to save people by reminding them it wasn’t their righteous who saved them but God. 

GOD CHOOSES TO SAVE over destroy.

Righteous, we all can fail in understanding God’s Righteousness over ours. We can fail in the law, but God knew that – His point in sending a Savior was SAVING was the ONLY Way back to Him. Not our way but His. We can fail in realizing God’s gift to us is FORGIVENESS despite ourselves. Righteousness comes with God’s RIGHT to SAVE, like the prodigal father who rejoiced when his lost son came home, it’s God’s Righteous Way we MUST adopt to forgive, to accept, and to love. How else can we come home if we drop the anger and forgive others…

God won’t just grease the squeaky wheels, He will dismantle them to the core of what’s wrong and build them fresh. He will build us fresh and new. He sent His Son to fight evil down and crush it, leaving us to be soul-cleaned and clothed in His Light, in His Righteous, in His Desire to Save.

The thing about God’s Way is that He WANTS us in His Kingdom. He WANTS us to realize it’s not just that we are a squeaky wheel to His ears, but a missing piece of His heart that He is reassembling since the fall of man with Adam and Eve’s sin. God, unchanged all this time, wants to walk in the cool of the day with us.

We must get quiet and listen for not His squeaky wheels turning in our souls, but His flowing love. The difference: flowing Love is LOUDER, Love IS the air in the tires AND the road AND the destination AND the journey. Love is the quiet of His tears. We must listen to His Love. God goes ahead of us, like a roaring fire to pave the way for us to walk to Him. Then only within His new walk with us is our rise from the ashes.

Moses prayed earnestly and extraordinarily for God’s people. Jesus gave His Whole Life for God’s people, for God’s fellowship to be restored. Both prayed asking God to OVERLOOK the stubbornness of this generation of people, their wickedness and their sin. Jesus knows that we must still teach and live in His Way – that when people realize He was and IS the Way, their path also will be restored to God. 

God wants US in His Forever. His Promise to Himself is that He will love us and ask us to love Him in return… 

Return to God, God is always listening.

Amen 

what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands...

To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today…

…Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.  For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes…

…Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name.  He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.

Excerpts from Deuteronomy 9 and 10

Not Because of Righteousness

Moses says: Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan… … But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you… . .You have been rebellious against the Lord ever since I have known you. I lay prostrate before the Lord those forty days and forty nights because the Lord had said he would destroy you. I prayed to the Lord and said, “Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin… But they are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.”

If I ever have an empty NEST, 15OCT – #1281

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I won’t have to guess what to do, if ever I have an empty NEST.

Instead, I will simply ask: Hey Lord, what’s NEXT?!

I pray His good deposit made in my abilities have been worth His INVEST.

Parenting is forever but a grown child takes 20 or more years to VEST.

Yes, sometimes it may have felt like a TEST

But my solace was always found in His TEXT

Perhaps at some point, He will even allow me to get a little bit of REST.

So, when that day comes, I will still praise, LEST...

Lest I forgot to THANK Him, as I know He helped me BEST

And I will enjoy life as a new adventure, maybe travel where someone will say: “Be my GUEST“. 

Thanks Lord, you make my life blessed with ZEST.

Surely Lord, I look forward to YOUR Plans as MY NEXT.

I am forever BLESSED

Amen 


Crispy around the Edges, 14OCT – #1280

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I sometimes get the feeling of being “crispy around the edges”, a sign that soon one will get burnt out if one doesn’t pull themselves away from the fire. Yes, self-driven DRIVE as well as work and life demands are DEMANDING. Even if you LOVE what you do, it wears on you. I’ve been going full steam lately – You too likely!!! Don’t wear yourself out so much that you can’t walk. Work on the most meaningful things first and not the fluff. Like a play production, you DON’T have to be in every scene. 

In the Lord’s Production of Life, we are best to be available for scene changes and for roles of service in bit parts, walk-ons, and being an understudy from time to time, as well as accepting our leading role (make that “to be led role”) that we have been equipped for and prepared for by the Lord our whole lives. Don’t get crispy around the edges as those stage lights can burn sometimes, go off stage on occasion – to grab a drink of water and maybe to read ahead for the next scene. 

Our “crispy around the edges” feelings should not bring us to rebel and walk away from life, just take a few vacation days off, take time to CHILL. For me even to work from home once in a while feels like a productive retreat. Focus time. So, no, don’t throw in the towel, use it to wipe your brow and keep moving. Wait on the Lord, ALWAYS, and look for the next stage cue. I bet the backdrop will be changed and the props will rotate. The Production is what the Lord wants us IN rather than always be the staging crew. So, let us take to His Plot-lines and BIG PICTURE, not just our aside scenes.

We don’t know how micromanagement works with the Lord. We DO know micro and mega blessings. He does know everything, we can’t comprehend that widely and yet within His Production He must and does let us have free will. Sometimes things go so smoothly and I say: “that must be the Lord blessing”. Sometimes things screech to a halt and I say: “that must be the Lord’s correction or signal to drive another way”.

Interesting how in all the years they wandered in the desert, the humbled people of Moses walking thru the wilderness, none of their feet hurt from swelling. And there was NO wear and tear on their clothes. A teaching moment of a miracle for sure. When we depend upon the Lord, FOR EVERYTHING, He will sustain us. Manna and Motivation. 

MAJOR moments of teaching came from Moses’s speeches: He said these trials were to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

This EXACT sentiment and wording is quoted by Jesus when the devil tempts Him in the wilderness because of hunger. The devil said: You are God, You can change these stones into loaves of bread. Jesus rebuked to say: a man is sustained by God’s Words, not by bread. It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God

Us too – we are to live Word by Word, listening for His cues. The sustenance of food, work, money, busyness is not our only or ultimate life-giver. Waiting on His Word IS.  In all these things, let us LET the Lord direct us, direct the day, lead us in HIS Way. … in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Amen

Do Not Forget the Lord Deuteronomy 8:1-5

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years.  Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.

Paul to the Romans 12 – and to us – 

A Living Sacrifice

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Humble Service in the Body of Christ: For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

(I have heard many times that Jesus said these scripture words (quoting Himself) to remind us (and the devil) that man himself does not need to be God to turn down the devil – man can still just be man – but we only need to listen to God more… ) Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.  And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:1-4

Lead Me, 13OCT – #1279

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Lead me Lord, to Know. 

Lead me Lord, where to Go.

Lead me Lord, when to say No.

Lead me Lord, to go with the Flow. 

Lead to help me to Grow. 

Lead me Lord, to follow in Your Stride.

Lead me Lord, to avoid traps too Wide.

Lead me Lord, instruct me where to Hide.

Lead me Lord, to give up my Pride.

Lead to help me feel for You, Inside. 

Lead me Lord, to You.

Lead me Lord, to work True. 

Lead me Lord, to hear Your Clue.

Lead me Lord, to give You Your Due. 

Lead to help me know me thru You.

Amen

Love the Love You’re In, 13OCT – #1278

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“Love the One You’re With”, could be a CSN lyric,

yet how better to think: “LOVE, LOVE the LOVE your IN”.

LOVING the God with us, that we ARE with – as He is with us, in us, FOR us.

Love the God you’re in. And He is One. And He is One IN love with us all.

I have some of that sand leftover from my children’s craft projects in jars 10-15 years ago, beautiful those layers of color they placed just so. How narrow the opening was for them to funnel sand in, and try not to spill over. Eventually at the end, you had to knock the container to settle the sand, and the packed nature was to keep all in place. A display for all to see, each grain important. Each grain unique and structuring the next. 

We are to be God’s people, to be His actions and people. He considers us more than just His specks of dust as we are carefully placed grains to cover the earth with His love. Together, God and Jesus poured Heaven into a man on earth, as an impression of God’s image, still fully God but walking being totally of a man. Surely He came to show us that He wants to pour us all back into Him. Think of the mirror flip of Him stepping into a man’s skin – and instead about us stepping into His Skin, filling it like the unique individuals that we are, then HE moves us all together and forward. 

The meaning of life is all about fulfilling God’s Promise, holding to His Principles, and accepting His Love.  Jesus was set into the world to teach God’s love and to CRUSH the evils. Jesus tended to the soil and cultivated the good crops so that God Himself saw only blooms among the weeds, us covered by Jesus’s Light. By His immense LOVE, Jesus could only be the sacrifice He accepted for Himself. It was a uniting force of love to complete the journey that we are walking on. In the ultimate wedding banquet, God wants us at His Table. He wants us in His sand bottle, but not for display. Rather He wants us in His movable Skin to be the Love He Lives. 

Jesus loves to pour Himself into us. Jesus and God and Holy Spirit are ONE in LOVE and unique in LOVE. ONE is not “divide and conquer” but UNITE and SAVE. We are taught how to live and love for others to know Him thru us. Moses wrote and told what God said: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children….. be careful that you do not forget the Lord…. (Deut 6)

Jesus was tested and described the meaning of God’s law in quoting scriptures (He was quoting Himself): The greatest commandments to be loved and to love (See Mark’s gospel below). Jesus poured into His Walk the fortitude to bring God with us. Like a human version of the jar sand sculpture. Let us check with Him daily and have the Holy Spirit conviction to place our sand grains and dust in alignment with Him. Let us pray to hear: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

On His journey, on the mountains and in the valleys, Jesus strengthens and is strengthened. We too must ask for His Hand molding our grains of sand, of love, EVERY DAY. We DO know the plan, and still every day we must ASK to be placed where the Lord wants to pour us. 

Be sand at His Command. 

Love the Love you’re in.

Amen

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one;  you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question. (Mark 12)

… 

The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.  But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him. Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today. (Deuteronomy 7)

IMAGINE that conversation with Moses and Elijah and JESUS on the mountain of His Transfiguration. Imagine Moses had been chatting with God all along as God has been chatting with him. Imagine to have been with God, to know the plan, and yet still take time to chat. They could look at all those offspring of Abraham now as grains of sand… 

The Transfiguration
After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what to say, they were so frightened.) Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Suddenly, when they looked around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant. And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?” Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”

Wisdom Wisdom Wisdom, 12OCT – #1277

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Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31

Wisdom Wisdom Wisdom: Ask God for it. Head it. Apply it. Fear the Lord in reverence for He understands WHY He is giving you wisdom. 

Ah, life in these times… the joys and the challenges and the opportunities. Know that even trying moments become teaching moments. Wisdom is knowing that the stars still shine behind the clouds, the sun still rises in a rainstorm, and the Lord is ALWAYS in control. 

I love the WISDOM teachings of the Proverbs exactly written for us NOW even though they are nearly 3000 years old. They will still be (be still) so good for even generations to come. Proverbs of Solomon given as great advice for all: Reverence for God and Respect of your parents. This parallels the most important commandments to Love God and Love each other. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. God knows what He is doing, trust Him. WISDOM WILL SAVE YOU.

… “if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding— indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.   For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard youWisdom will save you…” Proverbs 2:1-12

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—for understanding proverbs and parables,  the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.... Proverbs 1:1-10

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:25-27

Amen Amen Amen 

You Saw, He Did, You Can, 11OCT – #1276

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Love and Obey, Love and Obey…

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul.” That commandment is in the Bible so many numerous times. SO MANY! It’s not that Moses was repetitively writing for his own sake, but it became the Lord’s reminder for the sake of His children.  It’s not that the disciples were rewriting that commandment again and again for their own sake but for those children of the children of the children – for us and for our children too. 

Moses said there were 70 people at the time Jacob was renamed Israel, and they walked into Egypt due to a famine and their youngest Joseph’s connection to a good Pharaoh. and now they as 12 tribes of a nation counted as numerous as the stars… (Just as promised Abraham)

God delivered. Moses said: You saw, He did, You can – you can stay alive by Keeping God’s law alive.

How about us? Have you seen God move mountains in your life? Have you been blessed with milk and honey, a warm house, a good meal, a place to rest? Again, our children may not understand what we went thru. Maybe we are still living in the valleys of our ancestors climbed hills. Do we remember that our ancestors scraped by healthwise to survive? Had to make sacrifices for their children’s sake? Had to travel and be foreigners? Mine did. How they must have kept the faith on the trip across the sea, survived the famines, wars, diseases. God delivered. My ancestors said You saw, He did, You can – make it. He does provide. 

My life? It’s my children whom I want to see that I rely on God. RELY, OBEY, LOVE. Love God not for a handout but a hand-up and a hand-le on how to handle situations, handle things, handle money, handle time. You saw, He did, You can Hand-it to Him. He helps you not just stay alive but THRIVE. 

So love and obey the Lord, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the DAY that you are crossing… 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength. 

AMEN 

He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.

Love and Obey the Lord

Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the Lord your God: his majesty, his mighty hand, his outstretched arm; the signs he performed and the things he did in the heart of Egypt, both to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his whole country; what he did to the Egyptian army, to its horses and chariots, how he overwhelmed them with the waters of the Red Sea as they were pursuing you, and how the Lord brought lasting ruin on them. It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the wilderness until you arrived at this place, and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth right in the middle of all Israel and swallowed them up with their households, their tents and every living thing that belonged to them. But it was your own eyes that saw all these great things the Lord has done.Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 

Deuteronomy 10:21-22 – 11:1-9

Understand what’s not Understood, 10OCT – #1275

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Do you want to wake and walk from darkness? Follow the Light. 

Worried? Trust the Lord to continue walking with you. Follow the Light.

In the last book of Revelation, the last verses. Jesus says “I am coming soon.” John, the beloved disciple, says “Amen”, and “Lord Jesus come QUICKLY”.  The gospel of John, scholars say, is the next book recorded chronologically as the book of Revelation was written down IMMEDIATELY by 90 year old John (as Jesus and angels dictated) before John had/took the time to write out his “Gospel of Wisdom”, which in itself is but a fraction of the key events of Jesus’s life.

So start at the beginning of John’s words, a gospel account that matches the Bible’s Genesis: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... … And the LIGHT shineth in darkness; and the darkness COMPREHENDED it not.

I AM SHOCKED… Actually ILLUMINATED… The Gospel of John’s passage in verse 5 is NOT the wording I’ve seemingly memorized my whole life as “overcome” – “the darkness has not overcome” but that wording to me shows in but a footnote… I had to pull out and read two Bible versions just then to verify and it’s amazing how the words of the Word in certain translations have deeper meanings that sometimes hit us “just so”. I do understand both meanings here, it IS what I have always understood as truth: That Darkness has NOT OVERCOME the LIGHT – NOR has the Darkness UNDERSTOOD the LIGHT. I mean how could it? Really how could darkness and evil really understand Jesus.

IF DARKNESS UNDERSTOOD, and saw and COMPREHENDED, then it wouldn’t be darkness, would it? Darkness has NOT COMPREHENDED and NOT UNDERSTOOD let alone OVERCOME it.  THE LIGHT IS what we behold, especially as the Light holds us. The Light of Heaven exists always – and in Heaven there is NO night.

Don’t ever let fear overcome you to the point of not looking for the LIGHT.

Don’t ever let any Darkness tell you that you are not worthy of the Light that God shines for you. 

Don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t love the Lord enough to be worthy of His love or forgiveness, because He is the One Who Loved you FIRST. (And there is no worthy that could be to the level of His Immense Worth anyway, He is God, after all). Jesus IS our Heaven-sent HOPE.

Let us trust God’s Word, that the Darkness can’t even understand that. Darkness may mock God’s Word or twist it or try to add or subtract from it, but it CAN’T change it. Light Lives.Lord God Almighty HAS overcome all things dark and deathly thru sin. We ARE made worthy IN HIM, in JESUS, in the LIGHT. 

It’s HIS inner place within YOU that God lights by His Light. It’s YOUR time with Him that He illuminates and preserves. It is not darkness’s time or place to cover any lamp that HE has LIT. 

So, trust that TRUTH that you have a special unbreakable bond with God. Go to the place where God’s Whisper is JUST for you. Others may never understand, but you can receive Him and His Power to become His child of Godjust because you believe in His Name.

YOU COUNT AS A CHILD OF GOD.

God ONLY sees you in the LIGHT.

AMEN


Understand what’s not Understood, 

What darkness never could or would.

That Jesus is forever the Light for Good.

Where darkness has no place, 

Jesus Lights the WAY with His Glory and Grace.

Amen 

—-

John’s wisdom gospel chapter 1:1-14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness COMPREHENDED it not.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John [the Baptist]. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Weaving the Net Deeply, 10OCT – #1274

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What an amazing teaching that Stephen has in The Book of Acts – especially recounting Moses’s deep history – especially teaching those that should be teachers… Stephen was said to appear like an angel in his glow – and the Holy Spirit thru him taught so many before he was killed.

Hearing and re-hearing these stories is also a reminder that:

The Bible weaves Truth as threads of the Fishermen’s Net. 

Truth strengthens generations of the souls of men, then and now, with Spiritual uplifting. The Net to Fish for Men is deep and multi-layererd.

We get to know how the capturing Vine of Jesus fed and feeds those branches of that Net that now also catches us too.

This is a good chunk of Old Testament learning, Abraham to Moses, now being a teaching testament to show where you actually can put your faith – in God’s promises. And it tells of Moses, and of dreamcoat Joseph, and of Jesus not being realized Who they were, SENT by God… Stephen was sent by God to weave the Fishermen’s Net deeper. Read the whole “cliffnotes” style story that Stephen recounts. So very good:

Stephen’s Speech to the Sanhedrin – Acts 7
Then the high priest asked Stephen, “Are these charges true?” To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’

“So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living. He gave him no inheritance here, not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land, even though at that time Abraham had no child. God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.’ Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision. And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth. Later Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.

“Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace. “Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit. On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was, and Pharaoh learned about Joseph’s family. After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family, seventy-five in all. Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died. Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.

“As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased. Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.’ He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.

“At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for by his family. When he was placed outside, Pharaoh’s daughter took him and brought him up as her own son. Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in speech and action.

“When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?’

“But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.

After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.

“Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.’

“This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He led them out of Egypt and performed wonders and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and for forty years in the wilderness.

“This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.’ He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors; and he received living words to pass on to us.

“But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt. They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don’t know what has happened to him!’ That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made. But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets:

“‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel? You have taken up the tabernacle of Molek and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile’ beyond Babylon.

“Our ancestors had the tabernacle of the covenant law with them in the wilderness. It had been made as God directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen. After receiving the tabernacle, our ancestors under Joshua brought it with them when they took the land from the nations God drove out before them. It remained in the land until the time of David, who enjoyed God’s favor and asked that he might provide a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him.

However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: “‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me?
says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?’

“You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him [JESUS] — you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”

The Stoning of Stephen
When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.  But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”  Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Do Not Forget the Lord Quoted Himself, 08OCT – #1273

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Yes we forget to be looking for God in everything. We are remembered even when we forget that we are being held, being handed things, being helped and His. Humanness means we hurt and drift. Humanness means we think we have it under control. Humanness is tempted to go it alone. 

One thing that people say, uninformed people, is that the Bible is old and not relevant today. Well, that is not true!!! Jesus, Himself being the Word, quoted Himself when He told people stories and sayings and reminders. Jesus was/is fulfillment of the scriptures, speaking to and thru Moses, to NOT forget God – and to fear the Lord in reverence, as the Lord can test us and feed us, both are within His love.

Yes, we are tested. Yes we are loved. Yes we are wanted. Yes we are held. 

God knows the nature of humankind to take credit when they achieve things – when they think they did it themselves – we are totally like that. And where does that come from? The bite of the apple of the forbidden tree, a bite inducing STRIFE. Humans gained thinking that we think we know things we don’t. It is “taking for granted” as if our knowledge grants us things instead of “taking things as quoted” – meaning giving credit to God for our gifted grace and goods. Jesus quoted Himself to say: “All Good Things are From God”. God promised to take care of us, and He does.

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

How many times do we bite that apple – get chomping at the bit to pat ourselves on the back, reward ourselves with food or folly for doing something, just get over confident, and forget to say “if it pleases the Lord, we will do this or that”. We get ahead of ourselves and forget to thank the Lord. Thanking God is a good way to remember that Jesus never ends – as Lord God Almighty, He is the beginning and the end and His Words in the old testament are just as valid as His Words in his 3 years of walking and preaching, and are just as valid today.

Stephen in the book of Acts (and the disciples) preached after receiving the Holy Spirit after Jesus’s assentation, Stephen told a tremendous story of prophecy and of Moses and connected his listeners to truth. Paul, after he was awakened from being ruthless Saul, quickly took up the persuasion of those who knew the scriptures but were blind to connect them to Jesus. The old testament prophets spoke of the Savior coming as well and the need to heed. Jesus Himself especially quoted from what was revealed to Moses (recorded in Deuteronomy) in His conversations with the fellow disciples and townsfolk and ruling authorities. Imagine their surprise when Jesus taught openly and connectively about God. 

All scriptures then and now as we read fresh today are True Words of Jesus’s Way, they remind us to not forget God. The criss-cross of scriptures weaves a net of worthy Words. Imagine Simon in the temple studying scriptures his whole life now holding baby Jesus as a living breathing messenger delivered in the Messiah. Simon lived his whole life to behold He, Jesus, Himself who was giving life.

Praise the Lord for everything – He really did provide it. He says so.

Do Not Forget the Lord quoted Himself.

Do Not forget the Lord.

Amen

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Moses says:

Do Not Forget the Lord
Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.

Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.

AMEN AMEN

Road Rage Let Go

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Worth a Repost – Forgiveness – Road Rage – Yes – Let Go – Let Grow

Yes – “The More We Live – Let Go” – music therapy of this song is therapeutic to writing about modeling Jesus, for the forgiving Jesus… Lots of new to me YES songs are very enlightening… Cool…

Let Go

Forgiveness… “Let go”… Jesus says forgive others as we ask (ok beg) God to forgive us… It’s tough, it’s going to take time… But it’s necessary… Maybe we don’t want to forgive others, maybe we just don’t know how… For people we don’t know, it can be easier, walk away and forget… Like the road rage incident I had, I was fine, the car was fine, he was in severe emotional pain which wasn’t my fault. I saw it over his face… pain… anger… frustration… I felt so sorry… Now if he had hurt my beloved blue Subaru window, when he punched at my face behind the window, this might be a completely different essay, one of a forgiveness that would have taken much longer, but it’s not… and I am fine, because the armor of God and armor of Subaru saved my face, and my faith, and I can forgive, I turned the other cheek and drove away… still scared, still aware, still I can see his face, but it was a need for giving forgiveness to him (and to myself for not being extra careful driving)… yeah maybe we more easily forgive IF incidents don’t hurt…

But what if they do? What if they hurt directly or someone we love? Recent or even if it’s twenty plus years ago? What if I would not personally want to, or seem to be able to, forgive them anyway??

It sounds easier said than done to forgive, and actually it might have to be a ripple effect forgiveness we seek… “Forgive me, oh Lord, because I find it hard to forgive this situation, this person… Forgive them Father for they know not what they do… Forgive them Father especially since they know what they did was wrong”… It’s easier to hear Jesus utter those words then for it to come out of our own mouths. Maybe God hears HIS children cry in pain because there is no glee in forgiveness, only tears in forgiveness – Jesus’s tears – Jesus wept – His cleansing tears for washing our souls… Jesus a gift for our salvation because he can walk the walk and talk the talk of asking God to forgive those people – which also means to forgive us, because we are unforgivable to some others too…

This level of forgiveness might work if whom pained you is someone your see daily, weekly… Maybe you can’t forgive them yet, yet you can try. Even if you are not there yet, God’s asks you to try and God has a mediator in place regardless… Jesus is the mediator – this ripple effect forgiveness might be your only hope: “Jesus help me forgive them for sake of my own forgiveness too – please Jesus ask God to forgive me”.

So this YES song, matches these forgiveness thoughts with the phrase: “Wanna change the world?”…    “The more we give, the more we love, the more we grow.”

That is forgiveness in a nutshell… The more we FORGIVE, the more we grow… Likewise, the more we shed light on the dark spots of our hearts, the more we ask forgiveness for, the more we grow… The more we move towards modeling Jesus the more we obtain the harmony God desires…  eternally in God’s house is where HE is calling all of us together, reassembles what was shattered at the biting of THAT apple…

Yes, we share the world, it’s up to us, we carry God’s burden of forgiving the snowball effect of man’s sins from eternity…

And we will help Jesus by forgiving, LET GO….

And we will help God by picking ourselves up, and moving forward… LET’S GO…

LET GO of the past, LET’S GROW because that’s what God desires…

LET GOD work us over

LET GO

——–
YES
The More We Live – Let Go

“You and I can change the world;
The more we live, the more we learn, the more we know.
From this moment on we share the world;
The more we give, the more we love, the more we grow.
The spirit of imagination can lead us through the dark;
The more we see, the more we try, the more we show.
The evidence of our confusion, life has left its mark;
The more we fear, the more we lie, the more we hide.
As we walk into tomorrow
(Turning away from the path we know)
Holding the future with our hands
(We carry the weight of the world we go)
It’s up to you and I — We hold the key; we hold the answers
All our thoughts of doubt and fear are leaving one by one
The more we live, the more we learn, the more we know.
For each of us the road is clear and life has just begun;
The more we give, the more we love, the more we grow.
It’s time to reach the goals we’ve set for ourselves;
The more we fear, the more we lie, the more we hide.
All we need is just to believe in ourselves;
We face the truth, we see it clear, with no disguise.
Cast away our doubt and sorrow
(Turning away from the past we know)
The Universe at our command
(Conserving the fate of the world we grow)
Together you and I, we hold the key to all the answers
Let go
Let go
Let go
Let go
Let go”

——
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant – Matthew 18:21-35
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Walk With Him, 07OCT -#1272

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He still walks for the unwoken. Walk with Him.

Hold our tongues and our griping, for instead He needs us showing our devotion. Walk with Him. 

Christian of my Christ, a Saint of my Savior, a child of my Father. Walk with Him.

A realization I am still realizing, a journeyer who is STILL journeying. Walk with Him

Each day pray to realize Jesus holds me in His WAY. Walk with Him

He IS the Way, my Road Map to go Home. Walk with Him.

Transverses of verses become footholds for steadying. When I need Him, I should read Him. 

Walk with Him

Ask His Word directions, highlight, earmark, circle for comfort.

All we need to know is IN Him. Walk with Him

Amen 

More Fearful Following Less Folly, 07OCT – #1271

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When I became Christian, like Abraham:

I started thinking about my portable tent, not a permanent place. 

I started thinking about my altar building and not my riches gathering. 

I started thinking about my Worship not my Wallowing. 

I started thinking about my sacrifices, not my success.

I started thinking about God’s Gate, not my Goals.


When I Became Christian, like Moses:

I found that talking to God was good but listening to God was better.

I found the pillar of fire would watch me in the dark and the cloud of coverage would embrace me in the day. 

I found out that I WAS lost, even though I didn’t know it. 

I found out that I became Saved only after I found out that I was lost.

I found out that I am Saved into a place I thought I was guaranteed but didn’t know it was not my right to be there.


When I Became Christian, like Jacob:

I found that I wrestled with God, a lot, and still do.

I found the pit of my Darkness was no match for the Light of my Lord.

I found the ladder of peeking at Heaven was always within my reach.

I started saying: “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”


When I became Christian, like Jarius’s daughter:

I found the Source of my Joy. 

I tapped into the prayers of generations prayed for me. 

I realized where I was sleeping and dead in my faith.

I realized Jesus WAS always knocking.

I realized that Jesus woke me, healed me, met me where I was.

I realized His gentle Hand. 

I found the Born Again nature of my soul. 


When I became Christian, like the Sinner I am:

I realized Heaven comes from a Savior’s Sacrifice and not my “scraping by”.

I realized not everyone knows this, but for some reason I was chosen to understand. 

I realized that Jesus was, is, and will be Lord God Almighty, not just a scapegoat of the day.

I realized that Jesus was, is, and will be the Promise realized.

I realized Jesus as the Lord and not just the Son sent temporarily here. 

I realized He Was, Is, and Always has been here and there.


When I become more Christian, like the Christian I want to be:

I realize that I can be really deceived by my own blindness. 

I realize the realness of the devil and the rampage of his influence, everyday. 

I realize that Jesus doesn’t give up even if the devil doesn’t go down without a fight. 

I realized that I need the shield of the Almighty and the gentleness of the Lamb.

I realized that Jesus chose this path and walks it still every day.

…and so should I.


And so should I.

More Fearful Following, Less Folly. 

Revelation 23 – You Are Thinking of Me, 03OCT – #1270

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Revelation 23, it is written by Thee. 

But it’s not yet in my Bible’s pages, I see.

No, it’s a chapter not yet lived, GEE!

SOMEDAY LORD, we will write it TOGETHER, You and Me.

Revelation 24, it’s not taped up to my door.

It’s not a chapter fallen upon Your floor.

It’s not history that anyone chose to ignore. 

But our future FOREVER life, that You amazingly hold in store.

Revelation 25, Oh what JOY to be ALIVE. 

Oh, we will see Your Tree of Life THRIVE. 

Oh, we drink of Your River of Life to REVIVE.

Oh thru Your Redemption, we Bride of Christ, We DO SURVIVE.

GOD, YOU ARE ALWAYS WAS AND IS.

LIFE is what JESUS, ALPHA and OMEGA, GIVES.

OUR shortcomings He FORGIVES.

FELLOWSHIP we now have with HE WHO LIVES.

AMEN in You Lord, Your Commandments we drink undeservedly in You, FREE.

You Living Water, Bright Morning Star, we thirst for, serve, and Worship THEE.

Jesus, Lord God Almighty, let us turn this page as if it were to be chapter 23.

Lord, write my NEW life for me.

Bring us to Thee.

Amen


Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in ME“. John 14:1

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:16-17

Leaves from a Tree

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Inspired – but written for all of us who have lost a loved one.

Leaves from a Tree

People pass away like leaves fall from a tree.

Some are too young, beautiful green and ripped off in a breeze.

.

Many we know are just entering their prime.

Yet some have aged, not crumbled, and we say: “they put in their time”.

.

Others fall brilliantly in layers of color.

Death early but expected, leaves and lives filled with strength and valor. 

.

Let us keep good memories alive, let them rustle around. 

Savor them like fall leaves as they cover the ground.

.

Variegated lives leave memories, they DAZZLE.

Souls up to in Heaven, let us follow the narrow road they travel.

.

We don’t always know the time or the place. 

But blessedly we pray each knows God’s Grace.

.

It is forgiveness we too must embrace. 

Don’t hold bad memories, not even a trace.

.

They led unique lives in all the beautiful splendor. 

Know their work was purposeful, and their hearts were so tender. 

.

All generations seem short lived as they pass thru the grave. 

Fallen friends are like leaves, let us all kiss them goodbye and wave.

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Loved ones leave, but their LOVE we still embrace.

Remember them Lord, THEY RAN A GOOD RACE.


Let’s Talk Ten, Ten Commandments, 03OCT – #1268

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If nothing else, I bet the 10 Commandments can be a great reminder that: 

God WANTS us to TRY to keep FELLOWSHIP with HIM

Yes, the 10 Commandments were how God set the law, detailed by Moses and shared for all, and these are reflective of God’s go-to list of beliefs and behaviors. But that last TOUGH commandment is one that we and even Jesus’s CLOSEST followers shalt break: Thou shalt not covet. Jealousy is a great problem – Thank God Jesus’s redemption is far stronger!

God’s outstretched arm to save the Israelites is the same arm that holds us safe. We are to honor the Lord by doing likewise on the sabbath (and each day) by outstretching our attitudes and keeping them and our minds HOLY. But Jealousy sometimes sees us stretch our minds further into wants further than our arms should ever reach. Jealousy leads to theft. Jealousy leads to gossip. Jealousy leads to twisting the truth. Jealousy leads to anger. Jealousy leads to ludicrous thoughts of things for which we have NO CONTROL OVER.  Jealousy even leads to strange frustrations where the devil makes us think we are far from God because of our sin and the sin of others, even cursing against what Adam and Eve did.

Why should we maintain jealousy or stay mad at God for a life we think we SHOULD HAVE HAD. We end up wasting time waggling our tongues rather than praising God. Being jealous BLINDS us to our blessings.

What do we do? Count BLESSINGS. Be less bold for our wants. Be a giver of other’s needs. Take less. Give more. Realize Righteously. Forgive forever-ly. 

Here are 10 reminders:

Look for and count 10 BLESSINGS for every curse or almost curse.

Praise people 10 times for every put-down.

GIVE 10-fold away for every item taken.

THANK 10 times for every thankless moment.

Sing PRAISE10 times as loud as any grumble.

Shine LIGHT 10 times brighter into any darkened hope.

LISTEN 10 times for each one thing we speak.

Read 10 things for each thing you write. 

Be Still 10 times more than we react.

Trust 10 times in God’s faithfulness over each doubt.

God wants fellowship not forgetfulness or flight. God wants servants not slide-by-the-seat-of-my-pants living. God wants to call us Home, not drag us. Jesus wants to walk WITH us, not race after us.

How about we take 1 step, then we take 10 steps WITH the Lord, and then let Him take all the rest!

Amen 

The people were afraid of God but learned that God DOES talk with them and they live. “And ye said, Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth.”

—-

The Ten Commandments Deuteronomy 5:1-24 NIV

Moses summoned all Israel and said:

Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them. The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. It was not with our ancestors that the Lord made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today. The Lord spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. (At that time I stood between the Lord and you to declare to you the word of the Lord, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) 

And he said: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

These are the commandments the Lord proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.

When you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, all the leaders of your tribes and your elders came to me. And you said, “The Lord our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that a person can live even if God speaks with them…”

Praise Ye the Lord!!!! 02OCT – #1267

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It’s both peaceful quiet and peaceful LOUD here at Camp Meeting grounds near the shore.

Peaceful QUIET of the worries, dangers, annoyances of life. Peaceful LOUD as this camp teamed to life Saturday morning even without more than a handful of late-season campers. First the crows, summer bugs, endless buckeyes and acorns hitting the roofs. Random smacks like thunder!  And now the ROWDY ROOFERS, actually paint scrappers rowdy on the roof on an auditorium in this revival camp that has raised the praise for nearly 160 years now. Raising voices, Raising hearts, Raising Eyes, Raising Souls. Oh the Sound of Soulness… NOT a sound of silence… 

How many lives saved because of this place and these people? How many rustling trees stirred the workers to witness, teach, sing. How many families modeled moderation, motivation and momentum.

How AWESOME Lord, to see Your outdoor house in a tabernacle of Life. How inside each person is your tabernacle. 

Yes Lord, how blessed for here we know You moved in so many hearts. 

You moved a Sound of Salvation!

Sweet Amen!

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17

Heavenly in Order, 02OCT – #1266

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So neat as a pin and organized to a T, this adorable camp house is perfect to remind me of everything in its place and a place for everything. It’s a playhouse that’s real. A tea party with real tea. A house made into a real home by the love that poured into it and the love that emanates from those withing. A weekend retreat for me and some of the girls, I am so blessed to have even gotten here. Mental break of putting life issues on a mental shelf for later. Not forgotten but stored. A place for everything and everything in place. Life is best realized when you realize your blessings. Set aside strife. Count your blessings and never run out of things to count! Most of all, COUNT ON GOD. 

How heavenly to know that our needs are realized at camp and to reduce the number of wants with a weekend away. A dry roof over our heads, sturdy structures away from the wind, these keep wildlife at bay while you sleep, and yet camping as the walls are thin enough to hear the summer bug’s last serenade. And thank God it is quiet enough to hear the quiet. This is camp enough to feel the balance of nature. We are but travelers in this world. And yet we are connected enough to be in 5G networks. We are safe enough to know safety. Love the image of the rafters exposed and solid, so you KNOW exactly the structure keeping the structure is solidly in place. We are to know blessings enough to count blessings. 

Heaven, I am told and I can imagine, surely is like this, we will KNOW Who is keeping us all solidly secure.  Heaven holds all our needs conveniently close, like including a WAWA store on every convenient corner. More importantly, life in Heaven HAS less needs, if any, probably none – just wonder and love. Only our need is to be THANKFUL and share our JOY in WORSHIP of GOD. All life-strife driven as far away as to be non-existent. Heaven follows God’s Order and Plan and leaves nothing to chance. We think of Heaven as something for us and our loved ones, but it’s truly created for God’s fellowship with us, so that He can know our company – and us His. Heaven holds where we finally know and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. No wonder He made us from dust and knows every hair on our heads. Everything in His place and a place (His place) for everything. 

Not everything in life is so neat. My house I am constantly trying to put in order: the structure, the stuff, the sentiment, the souls. My life blessed but many folk’s lives are so very broken and complicated. No, not everything is complete or “neat on earth”. We are in a broken creation of broken creatures. Many don’t know the Lord or even to look. We are also often insulated in our blessings from knowing others who have it way worse. Our house walls too thick and our eyes short-sightedness. The strife, the unknown, the fear, the folly of the unwise, the waste of the unwanted, the worst uses of time. The creation is groaning for the restoration that will come around the corner. Like a camp that DOESN’T go quiet in the off-season, there was and is NO RENEWAL. Life grinds and wears thin. 

HEAVEN WEARS STRONG. Hope in His Healing. Heaven is where the heart and heads hold-together and humans are healed of humanness. The eventual quiet of the camp out of season, when no people remain, stands a testament to the TRUTH that GOD NEVER CHANGES. The stars still shine. The air still breathes, the peepers still peep. Heaven on earth IS a big part of the Lord’s prayer – and that’s BOTH our prayer to the Lord and the Lord’s prayer for us. To bring Heaven on earth and be realizing and ready when Heaven renews our world, Heaven renews itself. His Will becomes His Way “on earth as it is in Heaven”. A place for everything and everything in its place. 

At camp, we keep the homefires burning. God keeps His Fire burning our hearts and burning in our sights. God crackles thru the worst of times and shows us hope.

God says be always thinking of Home. “… and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other.” Like Moses leading to an earthly Promised Land, God leads us HOME. Everything in its place and a place for everything. 

TAKE A CAMP MOMENT TODAY and BREATHE CLEAR – PRAY in GOD’S WAY – for PEACE to come on earth, as it is IN HEAVEN. 

Amen

For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Believers Who Have Died: Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessolonians 4:7-8, 13-18

What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?  Deuteronomy 4:7

The Lord Is God (Moses instructs the Israelites)

Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him there is no other. From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.

Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time. Deuteronomy 4:18-40

Why are you here? 01OCT – #1265

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Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Moses’s instructions (recorded in Deuteronomy) to teach God’s people, before they entered the Promised Land.  They were blessed with seeing God provide – food, safety, victory in battle, direction, laws. Moses taught them to honor God and keep to his law, to remember and to be thankful… Do we remember that too?


I LOVED going to my LAST back to school night. My son said that I didn’t have to go, but I wouldn’t have missed it in the world. 20 years I have had my kids in school settings both for their education AND their well-being while I myself went to work. 20 years from babies at 9 weeks for my son and 9 months for my daughter I have had them in daycare – making art projects, seeing the turtles and fish, going on field trips, learning potty training and how to read and write. 20 years later I am GRATEFUL they both learn and like to learn – and have real deal career aspirations… We HAVE come a long way, baby. I have put much value in their education just like my family instilled that in me. AND I went to back to school night because I just love to see stuff at the school, and in life, like the woodshop and computer shops, and wished the bakery was open even if I rarely eat those sweets. I realized this likely would be the LAST TIME I would be allowed to roam these halls too. SO much I have seen and so much to be grateful for. Plus having no in-person visit last year, it was REFRESHING to see the people! We all wore masks in compliance, other than that we were back to normal and crowded hallways teamed with life. (it is refreshing to be at work too where it teams with life like normal and that is our gratefulness that was do that normal thing).
Life is a normal thing. Lest we forget to TRY to find normal in every day.

EXCEPT – who expects normal when God is in charge! Life is an EXTRAORDINARY thing. God is too vast to wrap our heads around and that is normal! Because God being God IS AMAZINGLY AWESOME.


God is not just in CONTROL but in CHARGE. And I also KNEW to match my excitement this last back to school evening with my SERVICE to Him. I’m a hired hand, paid in mercy, redeemed in grace. He’s got jobs for all of us to cooperate with and personally I am made to be His encourager (which is easy as I like people too!)… So, the bare minimum that I could do was say thank you to the AMAZING teachers. THANK YOU for raising my kids with JOY.


I say thanks be to God for this school, that the Lord gifted my kids to give them the best hands-on education ever, is where they both blossomed… A firm foundation in education IS the STEM of the flower – and the highschool years are the bloom – and the college years or career years are the floral arrangement of life – put together beautifully.  And this school is a place that the Lord gifted me so conveniently close too, within walking distance so they could get themselves home when I was at work…. So off I went… no schedule as it’s too confusing to navigate the electronic software for a schedule, (my son didn’t screenshot it either or tell me much when i saw him at the yearbook table), so I DID MY OWN THING. Visited economics for his favorite academic subject this year. Totally talking money and how to invest, so much good advice. Then my daughter’s ole haunt, what JOY the shop teacher gets every year I stop back in and I tell him how awesome his education prepared her for college. showed him her photo getting an architecture award. And he also mentioned that my son, who is the school’s IT intern, had set up all the monitors that I saw in his room. A mutual joy.


Off to the computer shop, I saw the neighbor who helped me with my dryer. Saw cool things I didn’t understand, flashing lights not for show but real things with real dangerous electricity. Saw 3D printers like work toys to this generation akin to the first electric sewing machines that helped a previous generation or the first telephones or record machines.  


And THEN I saw the lady in the sling, oh that familiar sling and cushion that I long cast off. Rotator cuff surgery (actually 2) so far behind me that I couldn’t even tell you what year that was. 76 PT visits and I threw them a pizza party when I was finally done. And so this night?  I got to be the encourager… how many people I can still see giving me advice when I had my sling – including the lady at the garage sale demonstrating exercises. Yup, the room faded away as I talked to her, shared my advice for sleeping, medicines, exercise and driving with the FABULOUS one-handed steering wheel knob (which is NOT illegal and IS still in my car years later). She was one week out from surgery,  and doing the best she could. One week out and she got to back to school night? To learn about her kid’s classes? WOW! Good for her! She is looking forward to going back to work to provide a distraction from her pain? Good for her!
That’s all of us – we are to rise above the non-normal, the wacky and the wicked things of life these days. Put the pain in perspective. We are to set our eyes on the things above and ask the Lord: “WHY AM I HERE?” – AND EXPECT AN ANSWER! and be willing to do what He needs!


That’s all of us, we are to get out there and see the people God wants us to run into – whether at work or play. Not a people person? That’s OK, because God made you you, there’s other God-directed and God-gifted situations that you are intended to be in. Your life can be His pearl that He is creating bit by bit, layer by layer.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Let the Lord polish your soul. So BE the Be in “Be Still” – listening, watching, reading, hoping, praying and BEing. Nest to have God’s rest.
For it is:

So cool to know God’s rule. 

So blessed to be God’s guest.

So imperative to hear God’s narrative. 

So berserk to resist God’s work. 

So thankful to drive with God’s tank full.

So good to go with the flow.

So neat to go “Meet and Greet”. 

So today, stay humble and enter life’s fray.

Pray and pray.

So be ready to thank God for a good great day.


Amen
—-

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. AND BE THANKFUL. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, GIVING THANKS to God the Father through him. Letter from Paul to the Colossians 3:12-17  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+3%3A12-17&version=NIV

What’s in Your Wallet? 30SEP – #1264

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Interesting times we live in… I read that Los Angeles might vote on requirements for you showing your vaccination card to enter regular stores. In NYC that happens. I do remember that at the beginning of mask wearing, a lovely lady was at my grocery store instructing the people that soon it would be required to wear a mask. A gentle reminder probably did more that day than nasty stares. As for requirements of showing vaccination cards? It is kinda a lot to EXPECT every business to enforce that. Some will. Schools do. Some workplaces do. I carry mine with me and yet I wonder, at my upcoming live music concerts where the ticket lists the vaccination card as a requirement, whether someone really will check, whether they will say: “What’s in your wallet?”…

As for employment, that can be enforceable. I do expect that many might choose a religious exemption to vaccination. Actually I REALLY hope, that the people claiming religious exemptions are REALLY studying and clinging to their faith and have dug down deeply into what they really believe. They say when you walk towards God,  He is RUNNING for you. 

God doesn’t ask what’s in your wallet but checks FAITH and asks: “What’s in your heart?” Ain’t nobody really checking but you and God. 

So more likely than not, no one is really sending nasty stares if you don’t know the Lord, not like people in airplanes in the seats near you and your screaming baby. What a relief when you encounter more compassion. God is full of compassion but also enforcement. 
Moses brought the law to the Israelites – 10 commandments and greatest commandments too – see Deuteronomy 5 and 6 – “Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!”


In end times, an angel will fly around the world and speak the gospel in every language as to catch all last souls ready to rise above the earthly fray and be saved. God doesn’t want anyone left out. 

So what’s in your heart? God IS the one who constantly asks. He already knows, so best we be honest with Him – and have our secret meetings with Him – just BE with Him. Do you rely on Him? Will you turn to fear or faith when the going gets rough? We too must show our faith by being OK when times get tough. 

God has compassion but the door will be closing at some point and Jesus returns. If you’ve heard but held off, NOW IS THE TIME to grab the Lord’s compassionate Hand.

Yes, we are blessed by people who demonstrate care, and we learn from strangers as well as friends and family who teach us, by example, where they get their hope.  We are ALSO called to show that “we are Christians by our LOVE”.

Let us be the ones who hold tight not to our cards and earthly things – but to our God who gives us breath and life. Let us trust Him to hold us in the palm of His Hand.

It’s not “What’s in our wallet” but “What’s in our FAITH?”

Lord, help me TODAY to love You – with ALL MY HEART, ALL MY SOUL, AND ALL MY MIND. And help me to love everyone – as they are ALL your children.

Amen


—-
Matthew 22:37-39 KJV

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Matthew 9:35-37The Workers Are FewJesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”—Revelation 14:6-7And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Deuteronomy 6: 1-7T

hese are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 

All the 10 commandments:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+5-6&version=NIV

Be Less Thankless, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, 29SEP – #1263

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Be Less Thankless, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, 29SEP

Moses must have felt like the parent of teenagers, reminding his hundreds of thousands of people to COUNT THEIR BLESSINGS. Remember these people weren’t his necessarily his followers simply because they chose to stick with him, they kinda had to. Imagine their travels. They may have traveled out of Egypt to escape Pharaoh, passing thru the parting of the Red Sea, but in the desert, they were stuck with RELYING ON GOD. And when the time was right for God to give the next instructions, Moses spoke directly to God and gave the people His commands (thousands not just 10). They were being granted the ability to live day by day and given the law to live by for forever – and they needed to keep their faith. Too many who lost faith lost their way and lost their chance to continue. And yes, like today, there were rebellious types too. Moses surely kept telling them “COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS” instead of griping. 

Yeah, count me in on reminding us all to COUNT OUR BLESSINGS. Let us NOT gripe our way into desert wanderings. Be humble enough to take what you get. Make the most of it – and rely on God to know how to use it.

Moses wasn’t “wasting his breath” on telling the people (those generations that made it to the moment, now ready for entering the Promised Land) that God DID provide sustenance and direction all those nearly 40 years of desert travel, his purpose was to lead and teach – he was gifted from God, appointed by God. Moses was singled out by God to tell us too. Moses wrote down how it all went down. The free food, the clothes that never wore out, the land of milk and honey promised and the wins over enemies. God NEEDED them (and needs us) to know that He IS in charge. THAT HE PROVIDES. That ALL GOOD THINGS COME FROM HIM.

Sometimes we are like those tribes (Deuteronomy 3) who didn’t want to cross the Jordan but stay in territory familiar to them – where eventually God said OK, you can settle there AFTER you do My Will. Go out and fight for Me and your brethren Israelites, then you can return to set up camp. We too must pick up our marching orders, go do our work for the kingdom and our families. Then we are gifted the rest. Moses preached CONTENTMENT not contempt. He reminded that God made people WAIT those 40 years to sort out the bad seeds from the good. He said “the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.” We too can wait for good things.

Yes, count your blessings. I will too. The nights you sit on a cushy couch and count blessings after a LONG day. The moments you can relax as you know where your kids are and that they are safe and  count blessings. How many days that I have had a FULL day of work then still had time to be with my children. Mom tired but content. Many days we can double count blessings. The days of letting the Lord step us thru our steps. He knew and knows what is important to us – but more importantly He knows what is important for all, and sometimes we get clued in. He makes us put first things first. Let us give Him time to set things right. He makes us put time helping out in the world, then allows us to return back. Yes, safety and sanity, and getting stuff done.  

Over and over again God Himself gave the people their victory (or forced defeat as He decided). It was NOT the people from their own strength. And He reminded them of that. We should not think that our God who made EVERYTHING isn’t responsible for our everything and anything. We must remember to credit God for the very breath we have, let alone ALL our victories in life.

Moses also was instructed to lead the people gently thru areas that weren’t theirs, namely those of their relatives, the offspring of Esau. They were to take nothing without paying and just be gentle travelers passing thru. Don’t provoke war, pay for what you take, don’t covet what’s not yours. When God is not giving you even a foot’s worth of land there, KEEP MOVING. “…but be very careful. Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on.”

KEEP MOVING. That’s us too, God ALREADY told us about our promised land in heaven, let’s not attempt to stake out more than our share, here on earth or anywhere. Don’t squabble, use your money wisely and willingly for He give that as a tool. Pay your dues. Be fair. KEEP MOVING. 

Let us count our blessings and THANK THE LORD. So PERFECTLY matched is the song that was singing in my head when I woke up: “So Thank the Lord”, from Godspell. It is a song that my children sang in a church choir and it sticks with me. It’s about realizing God gives us our lives and all good things, let us THANK THE LORD for all His love. 

Contentment not contempt. 

Cooperation not complacency.

Worship not wandering.

AMEN!!!


Wanderings in the Wilderness

Moses reminded them of their history:

Then we turned back and set out toward the wilderness along the route to the Red Sea, as the Lord had directed me. For a long time we made our way around the hill country of Seir. Then the Lord said to me, “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north. Give the people these orders: ‘You are about to pass through the territory of your relatives the descendants of Esau, who live in Seir. They will be afraid of you, but be very careful. Do not provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land, not even enough to put your foot on. I have given Esau the hill country of Seir as his own. You are to pay them in silver for the food you eat and the water you drink.’”

The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, AND YOU HAVE NOT LACKED ANYTHING. Deuteronomy 2:1-7  Deuteronomy 1-2 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%201-2&version=NIV;KJV

commanded you at that time: “The Lord your God has given you this land to take possession of it. But all your able-bodied men, armed for battle, must cross over ahead of the other Israelites. However, your wives, your children and your livestock (I know you have much livestock) may stay in the towns I have given you, until the Lord gives rest to your fellow Israelites as he has to you, and they too have taken over the land that the Lord your God is giving them across the Jordan. After that, each of you may go back to the possession I have given you.” Deuteronomy 3:18-20
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+3%3A1-20&version=NIV;KJV


Lyrics from Godspell “So Thank the Lord”

We plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land..

But it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand..

He sends us snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain…

The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain…

All good gifts around us. Are sent from Heaven above. Then thank the Lord, thank the Lord for all his love

We thank thee then, O Father, for all things bright and good,

The seedtime and the harvest, our life our health our food,

No gifts have we to offer for all thy love imparts

But that which thou desirest, our humble thankful hearts!

All good gifts around us. Are sent from Heaven above.

Then thank the Lord, thank the Lord for all his lov


It’s Time to Go When God Says So, 28SEP – #1262

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When God says “go”, GO!!!

Jesus knows that all too well. We’ve been able to hear His story thru the disciples: He had to go both to the cross and to His Ascension, both on God’s Time, and longing for the time that He will eventually get to be with His disciples and us again. He knew where He was going, and in the future He will also. So do we, we can read ahead to Heaven’s Glorious place.

Moses, he too knew where his people the Israelites were to go. He saw the land from afar, he knew of the land, and sent agents ahead to report back. Jesus also sent agents ahead not to spy but to tell, He sent prophets and His beloved disciple John, who wrote the book of Revelation down to share it.

Israelites, 40 years they wandered until a whole generation who rebelled against God had passed away. Deuteronomy is the chapter where we see Moses getting the green light to have his people stop wandering and actually cross into that Promised Land. Look how Moses, knowingly prevented from going, still had a job to do, to instruct them how to get thru. He did this EVEN THOUGH HE WAS NOT GOING WITH THEM. Moses became known as “the Law”. The instructions for living were detailed and real. Keeping everyone on track. Moses was picked by God to be their leader, and he too had to be a follower – of the Lord. Both Moses and we have to work for getting our sheep to the “other side” – to strengthen them, help them not sweat the small stuff. Not look behind. Jesus too had to follow – to fight the temptations to rebel – to persevere – to see the plan through. Jesus also is the track laid down for us to follow. 

God tells us it’s time to go – and to grow through painful moments. And sometimes we grumble – sometimes we have to leave things undone. How fitting also that the Lord understands this. Wishes for all His children, whom He loves, but will come to a point where all will either cross or not to His New Beginning. He tells John in Revelation to keep teaching but sometimes you do have to walk away. 

Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.” 

Yes, each should continue to continue, it’s worth working for the hope on the other side. Don’t worry, walk.

Bless all who cross your path. Show them we are followers of Christ by our love.

Amen

Jesus said:

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

Link to Deuteronomy 1-2

Link to Revelation 22

WHOLE LOAF LESSONS, 26SEP – #1261

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A tremendous blessing to learn from Revelation 22 – our future is in the yet NEW Heaven… I appreciate learning scripture NOT as breadcrumbs but as WHOLE loaves.

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

I appreciate all SCRIPTURE as a whole for teaching because when God’s wandering sheep come across God’s “Lost and Found Box”, only He knows which of HIS pieces of SCRIPTURE specifically could click into our heads, illuminate our walk, be the clues to our puzzling, and be a specific piece to complete a gap, link into a whole novel section of life’s puzzle to build upon.

“And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”

We are also NOT to lock up “God’s found scripture box” in the closet either, trying to protect it and then eventually forgetting about it. God wants His box of scripture open as someone may come looking soon… If they dig deep, they might find the corners but even better find Cornerstone Jesus speaking to them. Jesus says Let them Come.

God sees that the picture on the cover of His puzzle box because He created it.

God puts the puzzle back together into a whole picture.

God picks up all His crumbs and makes us whole again with His broken bread Son.

He knows where we fit.

Holy Moses! God is Really Making a Way! 26SEP – #1260

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Holy Moses!  You know how I love outside and God just makes these beautiful fall days!!! sunny warm breezy and HIS.

I was happy to have an invitation to an outdoor church service today with a friend, they have been meeting outside most all of covid season, and it IS beautiful weather!!!  And I knew God was prodding me to go when I saw that their scripture today was about Moses parting the RED SEA and God making a WAY when there is no way… That’s not just a favorite scripture it is both that I reading about Moses in my daily devotions and have learned from Moses many times in vacation bible school situations – BUT ALSO that (uncoincidentally) I also am planning to be teaching a science experiment about parting the Red Sea just two weeks from now at my other other church, south of the city…, WOW GOD!

I figured out the lesson plan (going to make blue oobleck) just this morning before either church service!!! God has the best ideas. So here’s the icing on the cake: not only did I know 5 people at the outside service (non-coincidentally again), their new Pastor happens to be a friend of mine from 20 years ago! Haven’t seen her in 10 years or more, we raised our daughters early on together in a new mom’s breastfeeding group 20 years ago then continued with early playdates with a crew of 6 or so ladies that first year… WOW!!! … Loved her sermon that God was providing a great escape and it is God who makes a way – and GOD reminds that it was His power, we are just His vessels to do His work. I BELIEVE THAT!

This is an unbelievable day that God put in our sights today – a knock your socks off walking on my path day today!

He makes the Way!!! 

Let us each EMBRACE HIS DAY!!!

Amen! 

———-

Exodus 14:10-31

As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.

But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

God Can Wait (but will He?), 25SEP – #1259

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God can wait, He waits on us all.  Does He want to wait? Not at all.

God can count His people, but knows He can not always count on His people. 

God can count the days, but knows His people don’t always want to count their own. God can do math. God made math. God made order. He knows the best way. He already finished His Way – now we have to be led on it. Know that Revelation is written, it is the Way to the New Beginning, but God’s waiting on His people to get on His Plan.

God hopes His people Hope in the best.

God can hope. God made hope. We also should learn where to place our hope. Not in the world, not even in the people. We are to HOPE in the Lord’s vision, action, deliverance. 

God has reminded us, in His Word, that He will set things right. He has righteous plans for forever. He can help you sort thru immediate plans for today. He can even tell you to pull back and wait. He can prod you to keep going. 

God will wait.

Can we? 

God will move.

Can we?

Moses dealt with those who did not want to wait and were forced to wander longer. Actually it was when they wanted to decide everything their own way, so instead they had to wander so much longer. Moses also dealt with those who said: we’ve gone far enough, we will take second best here. You go ahead without us. That’s when Moses said: “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here?” See, what they thought was “good enough” for them meant they were taking the easy way out. Their stopping would have made the rest go ahead without their help – the others would have had to work more. Moses reminded them to continue as “we are all in this together.”

Us too, we really ARE all in this together but individually called. If some start thinking too narrowly then what will remind them to rejoin the battle for the community.  It’s not always just about us, actually it’s rarely just about us. That’s why we SERVE God. We serve Him so that others may KNOW HIM.

If God has other plans for any of us – for you for me, then His plans are the best plans. Complacency is a sin. Acceptance of His Plan is a virtue. 

Satan teases us into trying to make the best (for ourselves) here on earth. That’s his short-sighted vision trying to distract us into destruction. The best surface-level items of wealth and perceived stability may not last. But the Lord wants us to look LONGTERM, look forever, make the best PLAN for Heaven, best for us and best for others.

God is waiting for us to see Him as BEST. God is awaiting the rest of His flock to pay attention. God can wait until His appointed time. But there will be an end. See Revelation. That end is a new beginning for those who believe. 

God will wait before ending our Earth time because there are more souls to save. But He won’t wait forever. God has knowledge that He will lose many children who don’t cross into His Promised Land. He has areas of refuge for those awaiting His judgments. He wants us all to keep moving forward. He wants us all to depend on Him.

Amen 

Numbers 32:1-17

The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon— the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.”

Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here? Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the Lord has given them? This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land. After they went up to the Valley of Eshkol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the Lord had given them. The Lord’s anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath: ‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob— not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.’ The Lord’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone.

“And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the Lord even more angry with Israel. If you turn away from following him, he will again leave all this people in the wilderness, and you will be the cause of their destruction.”

Then they came up to him and said, “We would like to build pens here for our livestock and cities for our women and children. But we will arm ourselves for battle and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place.

36:13 These are the commands and regulations the Lord gave through Moses to the Israelites on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.

Link to both chapters: 33 and 34

Link to both chapters 35 and 36

God Can Wait (but will He?), 25SEP – #1259

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God can wait, He waits on us all.  Does He want to wait? Not at all.

God can count His people, but He knows He cannot always count on His people. He knows the brokenness of ways and days. He sent Jesus to make our sins NOT count at all against us.

God can count the days, but knows His people don’t always want to count their own. God can do math. God made math. God made order. He knows the best way. He already finished His Way – now we have to want to be led on it. Know that end times as described in Revelation is written, it IS the Way to the New Beginning, but God’s still waiting for most people on His people to get on His Plan.

God hopes His people Hope in the best, HIM.

God can hope. God made hope. We also should learn where to place our hope. Not in the world, not even in the people. We are to HOPE in the Lord’s vision, action, deliverance. 

God has reminded us, in His Word, that He will set things right. He has righteous plans for forever. He can help you sort thru immediate plans for today. He can even tell you to pull back and wait. He certainly can prod you to keep going. He can part the red sea of your troubles. He can close the doors behind you and keep you safe.

God will wait.

Can we? 

God will move.

Can we?

Moses dealt with those who did not want to wait and were forced to wander longer. Actually, it was when they wanted to decide how to do everything their own way, so instead they had to wander in the desert so much longer. Moses also dealt with those who said: “[we’ve gone far enough, we will take second best here. You go ahead without us.]” That’s when Moses said: “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here?”… See, what they thought was “good enough” for them meant they were taking the easy way out and not supporting the WHOLE plan. Their stopping would have forced the rest go ahead WITHOUT their help – the others would have had to work more. Moses reminded them to continue as “we are all in this together.”

Us too, we really ARE all in this together but individually called. If some start thinking too narrowly then what will remind them to rejoin the battle for the community – for God’s Will not the community’s.  It’s not always just about us, actually it’s rarely just about us. That’s why we SERVE God. We serve Him so that others may KNOW HIM.

If God has other plans for any of us – for you for me, then His plans are the best plans. Complacency is a sin. Acceptance of His Plan is a virtue. Satan teases us into trying to make the best (for ourselves) here on earth. That’s his short-sighted vision trying to distract us into destruction. To go down in flames because that is where he knows where he is going. The surface-level items of wealth and perceived stability will not last. But the Lord wants us to look LONGTERM, look forever, make the best PLAN for Heaven, best for us and best for others.

God is waiting for us to see Him as BEST. God is awaiting the rest of His flock to pay attention. God can wait until His appointed time. But there will be an end. See and read John’s recording of Jesus’s Revelation. That end is a new beginning for those who believe. 

God will wait before ending our Earth time because there are more souls to save. But He won’t wait forever. God has knowledge that He will lose many children who don’t cross into His Promised Land. He has areas of refuge for those awaiting His judgments. He wants us all to keep moving forward. He wants us all to depend on Him.

Amen 

Numbers 32:1-17

The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock. So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said, “Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, Nebo and Beon— the land the Lord subdued before the people of Israel—are suitable for livestock, and your servants have livestock. If we have found favor in your eyes,” they said, “let this land be given to your servants as our possession. Do not make us cross the Jordan.”

Moses said to the Gadites and Reubenites, “Should your fellow Israelites go to war while you sit here? Why do you discourage the Israelites from crossing over into the land the Lord has given them? This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to look over the land. After they went up to the Valley of Eshkol and viewed the land, they discouraged the Israelites from entering the land the Lord had given them. The Lord’s anger was aroused that day and he swore this oath: ‘Because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of those who were twenty years old or more when they came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob— not one except Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun, for they followed the Lord wholeheartedly.’ The Lord’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sight was gone.

“And here you are, a brood of sinners, standing in the place of your fathers and making the Lord even more angry with Israel. If you turn away from following him, he will again leave all this people in the wilderness, and you will be the cause of their destruction.”

Then they came up to him and said, “We would like to build pens here for our livestock and cities for our women and children. But we will arm ourselves for battle and go ahead of the Israelites until we have brought them to their place.

36:13 These are the commands and regulations the Lord gave through Moses to the Israelites on the plains of Moab by the Jordan across from Jericho.

Link to both chapters: 33 and 34

Will It Matter? 24SEP – #1258

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The Rapture. 

Will it matter our past chitter chatter?

Will it matter the day after?

After Rapture?

After Capture?

After Earth’s later disaster?

I bet it won’t matter, not even a splitter splatter. 

It won’t matter the talk, the squawk or their faint pitter patter.

After Rapture. 

So let’s forgive now, forgive all that’s before us AND the latter.

Normal stuff, bitterness, strife? 

Little stuff certainly won’t matter. 

Don’t even be the tittle-tattler.

Don’t linger in anyone’s sin or our cruel laughter. 

So let’s NOW set aside others’ failures faster.

Will we even understand on that day or even the day after?

Will we cry for those left behind after Rapture?

Will we withstand seeing earthly disaster after our blessed heavenly capture?

Can we urge all to NOW work humbly, worship Jesus, bow down and don’t miss the Rapture Capture. 

We WILL rejoice in our own Heavenly Master.

Only serving our Savior will ultimately matter.

Oh that we would choose Him now, not the day after.

The Rapture.


Girls Just Wanna Have Fun-damental Rights, 23SEP – #1257

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I appreciate nuggets of God’s Wisdom and teachings in the Old Testament. And however cultural situations placed/place women in rights of expression or privilege, God did not and does not short-change women. Example given in Numbers 27 is of daughters of a fallen father, who deserved an inheritance of land. They talked to Moses, Moses talked to God, and the daughters got their father’s slice of the Promised Land. They did get it. They asked and received. God did direct His Will. We should ALL remember that ALL good things are from God, not innate rights. All living is a privilege and all of LIFE IS A GIFT. 

What a great reminder that we are to ASK for the privilege to live forever. Not earned by basic rights, not earned by works, only GIVEN as a GIFT of God thru the sacrifice of His Lamb. “He Who Overcometh”. We do have to ask for Jesus’s guidance, not as an inheritance but as a forgiveness of things not done and done. The Gift will open up itself. 

There are people who are oppressed from fundamental human rights, and there are people, not just women, who are prevented from worship, in public, of the God who gives them life. Darkness is rampant. But Light will expose these evils. Pray for the people to see the Light. Be the Light where you can.

When we live in Light, we should both not neglect this privilege nor abuse it. Don’t hide it under a basket. Shed Light. Our right to express should be used where it is helpful and healing. Our right to live is from God’s Hand only, therefore let us LIVE RIGHT.

Right to Live?

So Live Right.

Right to Read?

So Read to Live.

Right to Write?

Live to Write?

So Write to Live.

Live Right.

The scriptures are God’s Word.

Share them.

Write them.

LIVE THEM.

Live them Right.

Shed Light.

AMEN 

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Zelophehad’s Daughters 

(Numbers 27:1-11)

The daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah. They came forward and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting and said, “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.”

So Moses brought their case before the Lord, and the Lord said to him, “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them.

“Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter. If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to have the force of law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”

Revelation 21:4-8 In Heaven with Jesus

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is a thirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Moses, NOT by the Numbers, 18SEP – #1255

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Wow, so much info and instructions that God gave Moses – LIFE KNOW HOW!

Moses got not just the 10 Commandments but instructions for daily life, planning all the festivals, the sacrifices, doling out punishment, fighting wars, taking plunder, counting people, giving lots of land and redeeming life, and especially planning for Promised Land placement (see the scriptures Book of Numbers). We too have a Promised Land to think about. AND YET Moses (and we) are to live life NOT by the Numbers but by the Word of God. Take each day as they come, not as the whole lot at once! And keep working as the days grow shorter for each of us. We are all to LIVE by LOVING the Lord our God. 

Moses even knew he was going to die and not be able to continue to lead his/His people into the Promised Land, but he still lived by the Word of God and he still led His people. 

Moses was told way back in Numbers 20 that it was his anger that cost him that chance to complete the journey all the way to the Promised Land. He could see it but not enter. He was to be “gathered to his people”.  But did Moses or God stop living or drop their plans? NO. They kept on keeping on. God for a long time gave Moses even more teachings for the people, it would have been pages and pages if you think of scripture recorded on paper, all the way from early in Numbers to Numbers chapter 36. Volumes of teachings continued if you think how the book of Numbers leads into the book of Deuteronomy. These must have been frequent even daily conversations between Moses and God. 

We too need to speak to the Lord every day. No wonder the Lord writes on our hearts, that would be too many stone tablets for us to carry around like Moses carried!!! Even Moses could only hold two tablets. Instead, God gave us not tablets but one big ROCK OF AGES on which the eternity of our lives are founded upon. God gave us the opportunity to learn and to live one day at a time – to listen for His whisper into our lives.

(Jesus Himself also carried out VOLUMES of teachings – speaking new and retelling the Old Testament Word, especially the scriptures from Deuteronomy.  Jesus is the original “smart tablet” of the Word to be heard!)

Did Moses have a job to do even though he got bad news from the Lord of his impending death? YES!

Do we have a job to do even if we might not see it to the end? YES. 

Are we instructed to live each day fully and in love rather than worry about tomorrow? YES.

And thru it all? Thru trials and trouble? Thru triumphs and treats? WE ARE TO LIVE.

Yes, keep keeping on, listening, loving and living NOT by the numbers but the Word of God. LOVE.

Let us get moses-ing down the road.

Amen !!!

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home…

Amen !  Amen !

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Numbers 20:6-13

Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.” So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2020%3A6-13&version=NIV

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Numbers 27:12-23
One day the Lord said to Moses, “Climb one of the mountains east of the river, and look out over the land I have given the people of Israel. After you have seen it, you will die like your brother, Aaron, for you both rebelled against my instructions in the wilderness of Zin. When the people of Israel rebelled, you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them at the waters.” (These are the waters of Meribah at Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.)

Then Moses said to the Lord, “O Lord, you are the God who gives breath to all creatures. Please appoint a new man as leader for the community. Give them someone who will guide them wherever they go and will lead them into battle, so the community of the Lord will not be like sheep without a shepherd.” The Lord replied, “Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him. Present him to Eleazar the priest before the whole community, and publicly commission him to lead the people. Transfer some of your authority to him so the whole community of Israel will obey him. When direction from the Lord is needed, Joshua will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will use the Urim—one of the sacred lots cast before the Lord—to determine his will. This is how Joshua and the rest of the community of Israel will determine everything they should do.” So Moses did as the Lord commanded. He presented Joshua to Eleazar the priest and the whole community. Moses laid his hands on him and commissioned him to lead the people, just as the Lord had commanded through Moses.


https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2027%3A12-23&version=NLT



Love the Lord Your God – Deuteronomy 6:1-18

These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.  Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. Be sure to keep the commands of the Lord your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors,…


https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+6%3A1-18&version=NIV;KJV

Cherish Heaven’s Hope, 22SEP – #1254

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I am not ready to give up summer and yet fall is upon us… Such beauty in annual plants that will not last the winter and yet a new spring will come next year. So we cherish the summer memories. The pumpkin is a harvest that I grew from last year’s seeds.

The Celtic Cross I placed here is in memory of my Dad and for blessed seed planting. Crosses remind us of sacrifice and loss but also a gain, as faith comes from last year’s planting of spiritual seeds… Cherished memories will be kept like us overwintering seeds for a hope of a new beginning. Yes, a gain of eternal life, better than spring, will be for us and our loved ones in Heaven’s NEW garden.

Cherish Heaven’s Hope.

Amen 


The Tree of Life in the new Eden (Revelation 22:1-2)

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.


Silver Linings Get God Fillings, 22SEP – #1253

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An interesting and blessed activity is to look for silver linings. It lightens stress, it gives refocus and it’s cool to find treasured outcomes even among the rubble of life.  A silver lining is often in the eye of the beholder, but if it causes one to look for God’s hand in healing and helping, then that’s a GOLDEN core to live life. Silver linings, when filled with gold are God Fillings. 

WHAT IS THE SILVER LINING for people trying to find where the bible helps them with their cause? The people actually have to dig thru scriptures and hearts and reasoning and how they interpret what God says. THEY HAVE TO FIND FAITH TO FOLLOW.

In silver linings, MOST IMPORTANTLY, it is God doing the Gold Filling that will lead each person to a firm foundation. Like a gold filling in a tooth, one gets structural support to chew on the sustenance of life, finding His Word to be the Truth. Like a gold rush, miners for Truth will mentally pan out between the silt and the nuggets,  this takes time. (And beware the devil has populated our roads with fool’s gold in every way.)… So, in all, don’t follow the yellow brick road, choose the Gold one.

So, for personal rights people have much debate about all that, always did. So hard-line decisions and directives increasingly are clogged with so much static that people will HAVE to mine the Truth. And that’s what I pray people do, look deep at their convictions WITH God’s Help. There are no faith loopholes because Faith is a Net, woven for working and catching you, wrapping you tight to understand.  If your faith is incomplete and unwoven, look for the Lord who built the best net. Faith exemptions require Faith Following, that’s what I pray is the God Gold Filling here. Trust builds our Faith-based Trust Fund.

I can see the future time, reading ahead in the book of Revelation, that people are going to be forced to choose God over the anti-Christ. If we don’t follow Him now, we are going to be put into a position where it will cost us our physical life to choose Him. So, it is best to follow now – surrender to His Will for you. Stand Strong for your convictions.

In following the crown vs following your heart vs following your head, in ALL things it is best to FOLLOW THE LORD. Don’t follow the crowd but HIS Crown – and as His thorns dug deep in mockery for a king, look for the Golden Crown of Jesus as Lord to illuminate the Way, our way to Him. He will reward us one day in Heaven with Golden Crowns, let us not preserve our Gold but PERSEVERE our fireY-trials to purify His Gold within us. And everything in us that is impure, Lord, please wash us thru the purification of Jesus’s Living Water. 

Let us pray for those plowing thru religious reasonings (in all matters). Let us pray that their own plowing plants their own seeds of Faith and sprouts Spiritual Surrender to the Lord. 

We all need to surrender and BE.

Amen and Amazing Lord, Lead us all to You.

Amen Amen 


Revelation 3:10-13 

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith…”


DON’T BE LUKEWARM

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16


KEEP YOUR PROMISES 

And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded. If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. NUMBERS 30:1-2


PURIFICATION 

Only the gold, and the silver, the brass, the iron, the tin, and the lead, Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean: nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation: and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water. Numbers 31:22-23


TRUST 

So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Proverbs 3:3-8


And what ARE they looking for? 20SEP – #1252

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Because so many people are lost, and don’t know that, they don’t know to even look. Like when they put out a lost and found table at back to school night for young elementary kids, parents usually can spot items like sweatshirts specifically for their kids, but likely the kids don’t look. And parents of teenagers have less clue, due to more distance from their stuff. And so, WHEN IT COMES TO FAITH, how in the world are we going to find the right stuff that we – and they – don’t even know people need.  How in the world? NOPE – not from this world but FROM GOD. He has HIS deep pockets and HIS “found boxes” for HIS pieces of life-changing SCRIPTURE. Jesus IS illuminated and illuminating in His Word. 

I’ve been so encouraged by learning in this scriptural deep dive that I am into both the Old Testament and into the Book of Revelation… but it’s NOT for nerdyness, it is for finding the clues to other people’s puzzles. Like setting out pieces of lost and found items, we know for many that some big pieces are missing but just don’t know what the little and limiting missing pieces are holding some folks back – and they don’t either. We say they need Jesus, yes, and yet they, like us, we certainly can imagine there is a specific small piece to complete their gap or link them into a whole novel section of life’s puzzle to work on and built up. We don’t know who goes with what missing piece… That’s why the Bible says DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING – perhaps seekers don’t know what to seek and they walk right by the saving grace “lost wanting to be found” box.

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

And DON’T lock up the lost and found scripture box in the closet either, forgetting about it – someone may come soon looking… “And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.”

God knows His Spirit is trying to connect the great and the small chasms of lostness. Let us DIVE DEEP into understanding and presenting scriptures. Let’s dig thru the box for corners and our Cornerstone. Let’s open up and shed light on every piece. Let’s find the lost bits of scripture for a new audience.  

I found an old puzzle piece from my children, so valuable then for saving but I don’t know what puzzle it went to. Don’t know if I gave up on the puzzle 10 years ago and tossed it all.

Does God give up? NO!!! His puzzle box remains OPEN, looking for His lost pieces, His lost sheep. His lost sheep are sitting on a shelf, sitting in the wilderness, wandering without a shepherd. God Save the People. Jesus said let them come. The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

Amen

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Read Revelation 22, the last chapter recorded, for now we will enter unwritten chapters as His Word is written on our hearts. The link to the WHOLE Revelation 22 for you:

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Know that when Balaam went to the wilderness, that’s when he was gifted the Spirit. (Numbers 24) 

And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him.

New Bible, Same God, 19SEP – #1251

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I splurged on myself, well not really, $7.50 was 50% off for a new King James Bible with larger print. Yeah I own a couple dollar store King James editions to float around in my car, but this feels at least 7 dollars better in paper quality, 15 even, LOL… I’ve appreciated my pocket King James bible that fits in my purse, only $4.50 at the thrift book store, and actually 99% of the time I read scriptures the Bible Gateway website so I can cut and paste, yet a new Bible reflects a new slice of life, a new chapter. New book, updated font, but SAME God.

I’m rolling over from Revelation to Genesis soon – that is why I bought a new bible so that I can take notes in the sides of the pages. I am feasting in faith, learning so much because I need to know the right stuff to teach it, and I personally am appreciative of the opportunity to sing loudly (especially in the car), pray deeply, and learn. For I am a now early riser – we 8am folks are sitting on the edge of our seats to these scriptures. Listen once, Listen twice (as the teachings are always on the app), and Learn Forever. SO much good teaching online, in person (thank God for vaccinations), or whether on the drive to/from work – or even while doing the dishes. I need to hear it. We need to hear it. I need to live it. We need to live it. And we all need to READ AHEAD. (I even wrote an encouragement poem for the pastor because he asks everyone to read ahead. I mean if the Lord makes me available to encourage him just a tiny bit, why wouldn’t I? He’s a shepherd to nearly 10,000 sheep plus radio internet sheep!!! I’m not too embarrassed to slip him a tiny slip of paper note. Even if he uses it to spit his gum into, it MIGHT be useful. God knows.) New teachings, SAME GOD. (and gum gets old but God doesn’t).

You know, I never really knew 90% of what was in the Bible.  I importantly knew of Jesus (and now know of life IN Jesus), but I knew so little background of prophecy. So, for example, I never knew there were phases of the heavens and earth, never knew about the millennium, never knew about the New City of gemstones unimaginably beautiful with gates and walls labeled for the 12 apostles and 12 disciples. I heard about a new garden foretold in that God Himself lived there. I’ve scratched maybe, if that, the surface of understanding. I’ve been wrong too, but I’ve learned. And I’ve learned, importantly, to KEEP LEARNING. New info, SAME God.

As for those 12 tribes of Israel, the term Israel is the new name God gave Jacob. Jacob, one of the sons of Isaac, who cheated his brother Esau out of his rightful inheritance. Jacob who wrestled against God. Jacob who loved his youngest son Joseph so much. The 12 tribes of Israel named for the the 12 sons of Jacob (named either descending from the son or grandson). The twelve tribes are: Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Ephraim and Manasseh. Son Joseph  (think technicolor Dream Coat think Donny Osmond) was the youngest and brought them all to Egypt for their benefit. Eventual Pharaoh-rulers changed from good to bad and turned them later into slaves – and Moses got them out. Think plagues. Moses rescued Israel. New rescues still today, SAME God.

Moses kept count of the people (multiple censuses for hundreds of thousands of men, women and children). God kept them in line. (He tried but so many rebelled). The people kept wandering. The 12 tribes made it to the Promised Land (Moses didn’t) and the 12 tribes people only barely survived as a few with intact Jewish descendants. Later, Jesus was the promise they had heard about. Jesus’s Mary and Joseph came from the tribe of Judah. Then and now Jesus counted upon the descendants of Israel to remember those scriptures which foretold of Him coming.  Jesus traveled. Jesus came home. The disciples traveled.  The Holy Spirit gave them the gusto. God expanded Grace and Holy Spirit to the Gentiles. Knowledge of Christ and Christianity grew measurably and immeasurably. God kept count and Jesus keeps counting on us. The disciples all were martyred except John who went on to teach wisdom until his 90’s. John was the beloved youngest and oldest disciple. John took down the whole book of Revelation as he was carried away by the Spirit to see and witness and record. We now know our beginning and our middle and our new beginning. In Christ we won’t end. Jesus won’t end either. New beginning, SAME God.

A new beginning AD, a new map today compared to the map of 12 tribes in the Promised Land, but still the place to watch – and increasingly now our future is mapped out on earth with only limited days. “Teach us Lord to number our days.” New days, SAME GOD.

Why should we read The Bible and who wrote it anyway? Who translated it. Who saved it. Who believes in it. That’s why we study it. Scholars? actually it was written by Moses (the Law), the Prophets, the apostles, and the disciples who came after. So many translations exist and yet the King James Version from the 1600s still makes an impact today. The Geneva Bible was before KJV. And now the NIV and ESV are modern translations. New translations, SAME God. Jesus read the Bible in Hebrew and Greek, Jesus spoke Aramaic a dialect of the Galilee area, having his childhood in Nazareth (much north of Bethlehem). Jesus IS the Bible, the Scriptures He tells of Himself and His journey (pilgrimage) from Dark to Light, Son to Servant. Servant to Slain. Slain to Savior. Savior to Salvation. Jesus is the Word made flesh. We like Easter-morning believers will see Him renewed again. Us too. New flesh, SAME God. 

THE BIBLE IS A MAP TO FOLLOW YOUR LIFE IN HIM TO HOME BACK WITH GOD. FOLLOW JESUS, JESUS KNOWS THE WAY! A NEW WAY, SAME GOD.

Scriptures are the sounds in the wilderness of our lives to resonate and ring true. Out of darkness came light, light overcoming dark, light overcoming death. Light forever. “And there shall be no night there; and they need no lamp, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” New LIGHT, SAME God.

Thank God.

Amen

Maps from my new bible.

Read and LIVE Ahead, 19SEP – #1250

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I’m SO EXCITED about this section of scripture in Revelation 22, because we are going there – we are going to see in this NEW HEAVEN AND NEW EARTH a majestic place – a NEW City of Gemstones (see Revelation 21) and a CRYSTAL RIVERa pure river of water of LIFE, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the TREE OF LIFE…

In Heaven, we are going to be WITH our Lord, because of our dependence and belief in Jesus. We are and you are and I am going to see the great I AM! God Himself! Face to face. 

Not only did, does and will God go ahead, He tells us NOT TO WORRY and He shows us our future with Him by taking John spiritually to the ultimate Holy Place so that we know where we are going. John’s recordings of our future with God and Jesus shows us being brought HOME. Jesus, the Lamb sacrificially offered to go first and take all the pain for us under His Own Will.

The end? NO!!!!!!!  Heaven is THE NEW BEGINNING!!!

IF GOD ALWAYS EXISTED THEN HE DOES NOW AND WILL NEVER END.

The Bible pages don’t continue BUT WE DO! It’s not recorded what we will do in this NEW Heaven, NEW City of Jerusalem BECAUSE WE HAVE YET TO LIVE IN IT! And we can make new moments not yet recorded. The Future is God’s reward.

All Light will come from The Lord God Jesus and God. The NEW BEGINNING and moment forward is when Jesus Himself can just BE.. Now on the throne WITH God –  And God Jesus Holy Spirit as One will be, is, and can be the “I AM” – They WERE, They ARE, and They WILL BE.

I Read Ahead, using my head.

For in our foreheads, His Name to be read. 

Death we dare not dread. 

For it is LIFE in Him that we are to be led. 

He Promised, He said. The Lamb was Bled.

Read that He will hold stead.

In Him, our lives continue, I know this, I read ahead.

Read and LIVE Ahead.

AMEN 

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and please do read ahead:

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them.

Revelation 22:1-8

Moving In, Moving On, Moving Forward, 17SEP – #1247

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My what volumes of work we sometimes do, for example at work we are building a new set of labs, beautiful… The preparation is by many so only a few may enter and do the work. We must think of our work for the greater good that extends beyond us. We build on the shoulders of giants, so we of course should be in firm foundation for others to build upon us.

Likewise, I know that my backyard is long and wide compared to others in my section, perfect for football or soccer games by little kids, of whom I have none. My kids have not been out in the backyard for years, it has little excitement for them. It’s OK, they are AMAZING and growing up and moving on. I know someday (not now, no plans) that this house (which is not stellar but good and not falling apart) and yard will pass to hopefully a family ready with little kids to run, play, enjoy the day in it. Not yet Lord, not yet… I will enjoy my lot for now, literally. 

My house, my kids, my work, my lot, my legacy? Not without MY LORD. I never would have gotten here without Him. And I know this is a net I am building of life experiences not a string-along from one day to the next. We build now for the future for ALL. We accept that we can’t take anything with us either.

Moses, a great leader, went to see the Promised Land but did not enter. Still he had to prepare the people for entering and taking in those gifted lots, dispersed by tribe. God had him take a census, to help divide the land. AND God chose to pick someone ELSE to take over. The Lord told him to choose Joshua. Moses was told that he did not honor the Lord in front of rebellious people, struck a water-giving rock instead of just speaking. Moses made a fuss, yes sometimes we do that too. Will the Lord lord over us if we make a fuss? You betcha…

It reminds me to work hard in everything as if I were working for the Lord.  It reminds me of sharing all the info I can at work preparing for new labs, new experiments in case I get hit by a bus… don’t make a fuss if you are hit by a bus. Plan for your peoples to succeed to move forward… 

Moses was tasked to instruct them about the sacrifices and festivals that the Lord wanted in this new land. Moses as an example, hopefully, helped them to keep honoring and respectfully fearing the Lord. (See all the sacrifices in the Numbers scriptures) And the Lord was fair, and the Lord even allowed daughters, not just sons, to inherit the lands. And the Lord kept His promises, both in who was allowed to continue and who was left out. The Levites were Left-outs. God had chosen them for his own, as His sacrifice. Moses and Aaron and Miriam were Levites – all 23000 in number to that point. All were to NOT make it out of the desert except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun… YET, THEY (Moses, Aaron, all) WERE CRUCIAL TO HELP THE OTHERS ENTER. Some were moving in, Moses was moving on, and Joshua plus Israel’s 12 tribes (the descendants of Jacob) were moving forward. 

Where are we? We are wherever the Lord places us. And we may only be in one spot, this spot, for a season, a piece of time where we build, or teardown, or laugh or cry, like the Ecclesiastes scriptures remind us.

Wherever we go, let’s go with the Lord.  Move in, move on, move forward. 

Amen

Numbers 26:51-55

The total number of the men of Israel was 601,730. The Lord said to Moses, “The land is to be allotted to them as an inheritance based on the number of names. To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one; each is to receive its inheritance according to the number of those listed. Be sure that the land is distributed by lot. What each group inherits will be according to the names for its ancestral tribe. 

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Numbers 27: 8-23

“Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter. If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to have the force of law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”

Joshua to Succeed Moses

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountain in the Abarim Range and see the land I have given the Israelites. After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people, as your brother Aaron was, for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes.” (These were the waters of Meribah Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.)

Moses said to the Lord, “May the Lord, the God who gives breath to all living things, appoint someone over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”

So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand on him. Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission him in their presence. Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him. He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by inquiring of the Urim before the Lord. At his command he and the entire community of the Israelites will go out, and at his command they will come in.”

Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly. Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, as the Lord instructed through Moses.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

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I Hope My Dad Sees These GEMS, 15SEP – #1246

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Oh, how my Dad appreciated gemstone, gold and silver. He had a fair amount of silver in the 70’s and when the price got elevated, almost artificially because the price eventually crashed, he sold the silver for money to buy airplane tickets to Ireland. 1979, I was 9 years old, oh what an amazing trip.

My Dad organized many great trips for us. We even got into a special lounge at the Franklin Mint, I can see and taste the can of Sprite as a special treat, feeling privileged to sit on fancy chairs. So many special memories of traveling and things my Dad did for so many people, including us. 

My Dad set jewelry as a hobby, took us to the Smithsonian many times to see gemstones, was fascinated with King Tut’s discovery and all that gold… and as part of his last years working in the bank’s coin vault, he worked next to million dollars worth of gemstones being curated and photographed in the vault next to his. His helpfulness to them, naturally keeping an eye out for security and helping them with their jobs, earned him an honorable mention in their publication. He got special privilege to visit the museum too.

But now I have heard of an even big bigger BIGGEST gem presentation that I pray he sees – in our future – we as believers in the Lamb slain for our sins – in Heaven’s NEW CITY. A City that will be 1500 miles by 1500 miles by 1500 miles – the Holy of Holy’s perfect cube. Yes, current earth and heaven will pass away, roll away, and NEW Heaven and earth will come and this city will hold God, Jesus, the Tree of Life and all of us. John saw this and was instructed to write it down for us to know. Holy HOPE – FILLED with LIGHT. 

What am I MORE excited about than seeing this? Having my DAD see MILES AND MILES OF GEMS, yes – AND even that fades compared to seeing and knowing Jesus – maker of light. Life of us.

Oh how we love to see our loved ones loving life, don’t we. This trip to Heaven will be like no other. Oh Lord, give them joy. Our hope is both seeing them again in Heaven (and our ancestors and future generations too!) but even MORE SO is that THEY see You, Lord, in Heaven. We want them to understand the blessings of being with God. Jesus, You take away our tears and theirs. You are our HOPE and Savior. You are our Love and Life.

Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal… the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

Not only will the sorrows on earth pass away, the JOYS and LIGHT and HOPE in our new LIFE will be immeasurably more intense and ILLUMINATED. The New City of the Lord will be our FOREVER HOME!!!

Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

OUR TEARS WILL PASS, OUR HOPE IS IN ALL THINGS NEW!

Let us share the hope of Jesus… walk in the light of HIM

AMEN !!!

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I was blessed to hear this new city described in a sermon thus week – oh how I wish others would preach from this Book of Revelation! We all await the newly made city in the new heaven where there will be gemstones as walls and floors of gold – what a sight – but even more precious will be is INSIDE – the people we hold dear as GOD’S SOULS.


John writing what he sees and is told to write: Revelation 21 – We are His Bride…

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

God is God, 16SEP – #1249

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God is God.

In the BEGINNING, God created the Heaven and the Earth. In the end was a new beginning. In the new beginning was the GRACE of our Lord Jesus Christ with us. With us was Jesus, in us Jesus and will be with us Jesus. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, first and last. At last there is a new beginning. In the beginning God was God and God is God. In the end God was God and God is God. There was a “It is finished” but that was no end that was a NEW BEGINNING. God never ends. God only begins.

God is God.

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Revelation 22 – King James Version

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

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Genesis 1-2

King James Version

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

CHAPTER 2

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,

5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

Don’t Get Rolled, 12SEP – #1245

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Have you ever been hit with a wave in the ocean you didn’t expect and it smacked you, threw you for a loop, and physically rolled you? Like you stopped paying attention for a moment or were distracted by your comfortability. If you catch your breath after getting rolled it’s at best a relief and also it’s HOPEFULLY at worst an embarrassing moment, plus the lifeguards doubt you are paying attention AND you get all this annoying sand inside your swimsuit. Don’t get rolled. 

My friend taught me to go further out into the ocean, past where the waves break, to be where you can barely touch but enjoy and go with the flow of the waves, that’s more fun out there. And I have become more comfortable there, especially going with a friend. However taking a flotation device might lure you to not paying attention and you get naturally carried farther, put out to sea. Don’t panic, just wake up and swim in. Listen for lifeguards before you go too far. Come back. Catch a wave if you dare. But don’t get rolled. 

Now I am both talking about the shore, how to enjoy the ocean, AND HOW TO STEP OUT IN LIFE, how to navigate and keep yourself upright when life crashes into you or waves come that are over your head. Don’t get rolled. But if you do, just stand back up. It’s less important whose watching you fall than whose supporting you getting up and whose wanting you to survive. And better yet teach you to navigate and help you next time, that’s how you THRIVE. 

Again, I’m really talking about life. And going into the fray of life to remember to stay above the worldliness of life. It is better to keep your wits together and trust in the Lord and His guidance than to attempt to go it alone. It’s not just the comfortability of going further out to the sea of unknown, it’s both trusting in Him and relying less on your own bravado. Taking His Hand because He’s already offering it. And don’t just sit on the beach and watch others, Life is for Living and venturing outside your comfort zone. The Lord will take you and keep you within HIS. Be in His Zone. The Lord will always have His comfort available. He will always take you farther and further. 

Are we going to brave the big waves in life? Best if we pay attention, but yes we need to be out there. Is it going to be scary? Only if we don’t take our eyes off Him. Best also we travel in pairs. Best we have both someone watching your back and you theirs. Often you can see how they navigate life and even DIVE into the big waves. We are not to be taken off guard, know the challenges and deal with those we don’t know in smart ways. We are best to learn.

Sometimes, you get rolled from a big wave and are done for the day, sit and rest and regroup. Sometimes you go back in right away. So, if you hesitate, KNOW that there is going to be a FRESH DAY, a NEXT day, and a GOOD day to GO BACK into the water. Go with the Lord to where He needs to to be. In life, trust Him, keep swimming and even trust Him enough to rise above the waves of life. Ask Peter if he saw any waves while he was walking on water to Jesus. I bet they were still there and rough. FOCUS on JESUS. Rise above the waves. Let the waves crash themselves. Stay safe with Jesus. 

And if you sink? Start swimming. And if you look back up at Jesus – His Hand is already there for you to grab. Start again. 

Better yet, ask Jesus into your boat and float. He knows the Way. 

Amen

—-

Jesus got up and spoke sharp words to the wind and the high waves. The wind stopped blowing and there were no more waves. He said to them, “Where is your faith?” The followers were surprised and afraid. They said to each other, “What kind of a man is He? He speaks to the wind and the waves and they obey Him.” Luke 8:24-25

 Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:27-33

Read Once, LISTEN Twice, 08SEP – #1242

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If you remember the “do it yourself” construction advice: MEASURE TWICE CUT ONCE, you know that it is important to “prepare before you dare”. Understand what you are doing. How fitting also to say this about life and scripture. So, if we read even just once, let us LISTEN twice… Don’t “Do it yourself” but OBEY always, live in step with God.  (and read it more than twice)

Actually read and reread scripture as your spirit and human ears and heart need so that when we are listening once again with our ears, we treasure and store those instructions – and then let us be listening again in the situation for what is saved in our soul. REMEMBER what you had heard and put it into practice. LISTEN through the situation to put a scripture lesson into practice as it filters thru your mind, heart, soul. God wants to be read and understood.

Now here’s a story about someone who DIDN’T listen, kept asking again and again, as if God would change. MANY examples in the scriptures, but only one involving a DONKEY who TALKED! Yeah, wow. 

God spoke directly to Balaam and Balaam didn’t listen to the original instructions (even twice), so God spoke to him again (and again). Balaam was asked to go with an army of folks and to curse the Israelites, they offered him a “house full of silver and gold“, but Balaam did say he “cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.” God told him the Israelites were a blessed people. The armies asked again and Balaam offered to listen to God again for them. God seemed to let Balaam go with the armies of Balak but not without anger. God knows when we step out on our own without His help.

So the donkey that Balaam rode was instead looking at and was directed by an ANGEL of the Lord – yes, the animal could see him but Balaam could not – yes how AMAZING to see an angel army that exists but we are unaware (no wonder my cat wakes me up to read and write about scripture, not maybe the cat but maybe the angel, maybe). The donkey’s directional movements were caused by the angel, and he went this way and that and not where the path was blocked. In doing so, he crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall and later dropped out from under him. Balaam was not amused. 

Balaam chastised the donkey – and yelled even when the donkey spoke (now that’s being too close to your anger and your situation that you don’t realize that you are arguing against a TALKING donkey!). Not only did Balaam come to his senses, he fell face down in front of the angel who revealed himself to Balaam. What a sight! 

The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?” “No,” he said. Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. ….. “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.”

God not only told Balaam MANY TIMES that Jacob’s people, Israelites, led by Moses, were blessed, He told him many times that they would thrive… Balaam directly set up altars for conversation with God, even the army boss set up sacrifices, but it was Balaam turning into the wilderness (the quiet) where the Spirit came over him and he heard and understood his role, and God reiterated that the blessings over the Israelites was from HIM, GOD – and God meant it!!! This made the army folks mad, they wanted curses not blessings. But Balaam answered that He was to be speaking only what was from God. God was in control.

And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.

Balaam at that moment “listened twice“, he went out and re-listened to what he was already told from the Word of God. He was in the quiet and away from the fray. We should go there too. Maybe we don’t see the angel of the Lord directly directing us and our path, but we are told that they ARE there. And we have the Word WITH us, treasured in our hearts where they are to be protected and understood.

And Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me…

How much MORE God speaks to us to DIRECT our way rather than resort to blocking our way and forcing us to listen. He can do BOTH, so best we LISTEN and OBEY…

God does not change. Sometimes we are too close to a situation and need to take a moment to turn towards the wilderness (the quiet) where we are less distracted and more in tune with the Lord’s plans. Pause, Pray, Prepare, Pursue HIM. God wants us to be blessing others, to bless His blessed people whom are all His children in need of hearing how they are loved BY HIM. 

How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the Lord hath not defied?

Read, Listen, LOVE

Amen

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Numbers 22-24 (see web links for both NIV and KJV)

And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho. And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time.

He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor, which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me: Come now therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me: peradventure I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land: for I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed.

And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak. And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the Lord shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam.

And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee? And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying, Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out.

And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.

And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for the Lord refuseth to give me leave to go with you. And the princes of Moab rose up, and they went unto Balak, and said, Balaam refuseth to come with us. And Balak sent yet again princes, more, and more honourable than they. And they came to Balaam, and said to him, Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor, Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.

And Balaam answered and said unto the servants of Balak, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.  Now therefore, I pray you, tarry ye also here this night, that I may know what the Lord will say unto me more.

And God came unto Balaam at night, and said unto him, If the men come to call thee, rise up, and go with them; but yet the word which I shall say unto thee, that shalt thou do. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab.

And God’s anger was kindled because he went: and the angel of the Lord stood in the way for an adversary against him. Now he was riding upon his donkey, and his two servants were with him.

And the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and the donkey turned aside out of the way, and went into the field: and Balaam smote the donkey, to turn her into the way.

But the angel of the Lord stood in a path of the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she thrust herself unto the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall: and he smote her again.

And the angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. And when the DONKEY saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the donkey with a staff.

And the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

And Balaam said unto the donkey, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee. And the donkey said unto Balaam, Am not I thine donkey, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.

Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, and his sword drawn in his hand: and he bowed down his head, and fell flat on his face. And the angel of the Lord said unto him, Wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? behold, I went out to withstand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the donkey saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.

And Balaam said unto the angel of the Lord, I have sinned; for I knew not that thou stoodest in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease thee, I will get me back again.

And the angel of the Lord said unto Balaam, Go with the men: but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

And when Balak heard that Balaam was come, he went out to meet him unto a city of Moab, which is in the border of Arnon, which is in the utmost coast. And Balak said unto Balaam, Did I not earnestly send unto thee to call thee? wherefore camest thou not unto me? am I not able indeed to promote thee to honour?  And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak. And Balaam went with Balak, and they came unto Kirjathhuzoth. And Balak offered oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes that were with him. And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people.  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2022&version=NIV;KJV

And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams. And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bullock and a ram. And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the Lord will come to meet me: and whatsoever he sheweth me I will tell thee. And he went to an high place. And God met Balaam: and he said unto him, I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock and a ram. And the Lord put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak. And he returned unto him, and, lo, he stood by his burnt sacrifice, he, and all the princes of Moab.  And he took up his parable, and said, Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram, out of the mountains of the east, saying, Come, curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel. How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the Lord hath not defied? For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!

And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether. And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which the Lord hath put in my mouth? And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest see them: thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence. And he brought him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar. And he said unto Balak, Stand here by thy burnt offering, while I meet the Lord yonder.

And the Lord met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Go again unto Balak, and say thus. And when he came to him, behold, he stood by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath the Lord spoken? And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor: God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it. He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them. God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought! Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain. And Balak said unto Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all. But Balaam answered and said unto Balak, Told not I thee, saying, All that the Lord speaketh, that I must do? And Balak said unto Balaam, Come, I pray thee, I will bring thee unto another place; peradventure it will please God that thou mayest curse me them from thence. And Balak brought Balaam unto the top of Peor, that looketh toward jeshimon. And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams. And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.

And when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness. And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters. He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted. God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.

And Balak’s anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together: and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times. Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the Lord hath kept thee back from honour. And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers which thou sentest unto me, saying, If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; but what the Lord saith, that will I speak? And now, behold, I go unto my people: come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.

And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: He hath said, which heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge of the most High, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city. And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever. And he looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwelling place, and thou puttest thy nest in a rock. Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.

And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this! And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever. And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place: and Balak also went his way. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers+24&version=NIV;KJV

Reconcile THIS, 15SEP – #1248

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It is Yom Kippur, the day of reinvention, AND becoming better.  …he that is holy, let him be holy still.

We hopefully know, as Christian followers of Christ, that we are ALWAYS to be watching for Jesus’s Return. “He’s coming on a cloud, Kings and Kingdoms will bow down.” 

I like the thought of reinvention, as a Jewish Rabbi wrote about in a Jerusalem Post article online, but I am MORE than EXCITED about RECONCILIATION where we make amends and make reconnections when Jesus reigns.

I know how important it is to become humble before God everyday, especially remembered on Yom Kippur, and when Jesus brings us to Heaven, we have much to be in AWE of. We will be placed in a thousand year Millennium at first then our Forever in the New Jerusalem (rolled out as detailed in the Book of Revelation 21 and 22). The pilgrimage today may be to the Holy Land for some, but the marathon migration will be RECONCILIATION in HEAVEN. The best journey we can take is one that Jesus leads us on – He IS the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, taking our sins away from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103, Bless the Lord, oh my soul)

Oh, what RECONCILIATIONS that I dream of !!! RECONCILIATIONS Both personal and with the world. Things of people who have wandered or been pulled apart – I dream of REPAIR of the simple shifts of life and the sorrowful losses to have sweet REUNIONS.

What’s on my Reconciliation agenda? My family – whom I have never met and those whom I have lost and who will lose me when I myself will pass one day. My friends waiting by one of the heavenly gates to see me and me them: neighbor Granny will say “what took you so long” and Miss Bonnie will glitter and Linda will have cards for Michigan Rummy already dealt out. Music mashups too: maybe after I sing again with my original praise band and second band, I’ll be headed over to Keith Green’s concert. Many heroes never running out of time to greet their fans: Maya Angelo, Martin Luther, Jan Hus, Mother Teresa, Harriet Tubman, George Washington, MOSES, Abraham, Joseph, Mary and Martha, Mary mother of God… imagine… who can you imagine will be there????

AND Man oh Man, Man of God and Man of Man: JESUS, HIMSELF, THE LAMB… and we shall see His face.

And ALL those people who want to meet us. Our great great great ancestors yes – and we will have RECONCILIATION WITH GOD… FACE TO FACE… We Will See the FACE of God, and LIVE !!!

there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face…

Amen 

Amen 

Amen


Revelation 21:22-27 and Revelation 22 – the last chapter the bible – and when we ourselves are the writing of His name on our heads from His Heart for Healing

I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: WORSHIP GOD. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Living IN Cheer, 06SEP – #1241

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Life IS for living. Living in CHEER.

I don’t wear a mask MOST of the time because I am vaccinated.

I got a vaccination for common sense, NOT FEAR. 

I consider vaccinations a BLESSING.

I want to keep others safe, to breathe CLEAR.

I don’t wear a mask outside, but at work yes, on the train yes.

I wear a mask for compliance NOT FEAR. 

I ride the train for ease, not fear of driving.

I wear a seatbelt for safety, I check my car brakes and try to steer CLEAR.

There is but one RESPECTFUL FEAR. I FEAR the LORD, for He keeps me SAFE, He keeps me in GEAR.

I am Psalm-139-tracked down and held, so the Lord I hold DEAR. 

BLESSEDNESS over Fear.

Live in CHEER.

Amen

Double Vision, 06SEP – #1240

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I am blessed to be reading/listening to teachings about Revelation 21 scripture where the NEW CITY Jerusalem will roll in from the new Heaven, faceted with so many gemstones and looking as if the clearest crystal, a diamond like no other – and how big? 1400 by 1400 by 1400 miles – YES that big!…  John’s preview from his own eyes: “Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;”  Ah, to see this all. We WILL if we believe. We could never see this distance with earthy eyes but live in our faith to see us that far ahead. 

My eyes are still good for distance and the doctor told me of my eventual need for transition lenses instead of reader glasses. The drops he gives in the exam room give me fuzzy vision, I can’t see the close things. Luckily I can drive. But rest of the day, no headache-inducing computer or phone and because my eyes are “special” with acute angles, it takes hours for me to see normal again as they don’t flush out the medication quickly. Worse than double vision, but temporary. 

I now think about FRACTURES in the church and among believers – DOUBLE VISION – not seeing eye to eye and not being able to have movement without coordinated sight. Two eyeballs looking their own way. Double Vision. 

Many examples abound for a church body’s double vision: politics, personal choices, games of chance, marriages, divorces, even whether people can dance. Medical procedures as well. Vaccinations (of course) are in the news today. More than one church I connect with has sent out pleas to not let the vaccination discussions or even mask discussions divide the congregation into feudal wars. 

We are to be one WITH Christ, one IN Christ, one OF Christ. We are to NOT let the distractions divide and prevent us from LOOKING FORWARD. Let us admonish against this Double Vision that will make us stumble, if one is able to walk at all. One eye vision will not give you depth perception or perspective either. The body can’t walk in two directions for the path forward. 

Distractions and arguments take away from study and drive, take away from missions and movement. 

Jesus warned about getting lost in blinding hypocrisy (Matthew 23) and warned that those who don’t call Jesus their Lord and Savior will find themselves NOT in Heaven (the path that looks good is too wide leading into destruction). But these modern threats of double vision often come out of from good eyes, people of faith who simply disagree on how to apply the scriptures to the challenges of the day. Spirit and Truth is how we are to worship, trust and obey. Be true to the Word, don’t bend it and prevent water from flowing. God does not change anyway. 

Jesus gave sight to certain blind people to glorify God in demonstration of His Power, but Jesus already knew these faithful servants SAW GLORY ahead of them, and they believed in the scriptures of their Savior coming. They were always “watching”. Unlike the seeing unbelievers, the unseeing believers in Jesus KNEW. 

We too must be WATCHING. Our Savior will come back and we need to be looking for Him.

And will these double vision challenges in the church and society get deeper? YES. Challenges shake the earth which is temporary anyway. There is only One who can pull us OUT OF THE RUBBLE OF LIFE, away from the earthquakes beneath our feet, arguments in our ears, and the collapse of the world, and especially from the distractions of our hearts: JESUS. Follow Him. Let Jesus be the sole fixture of our gaze, our hearts, minds, souls. 

Let’s not divide ourselves but reach out to those drifting. Let us fit not transition lenses on ourselves but simply set our sights on things above. Set aside double vision and walk by faith, not by sight.

Let us all look around the bend and know Jesus comes back sooner than later. Let us be ready to be shown as in His Bride.

Amen

Water and His Word, 05SEP – #1239

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WATER WATER EVERYWHERE BUT NOT A DROP TO SPARE

I said “Lord I want to go camping!!!” – well, I didn’t mean in my own house, LOL. We are using bottled water because the hurricane rains brought overflow and contamination to our river water source – yes I could boil water but I bought water for convenience (and for only the cost of one less Starbucks drink, now that my daughter is away at college), I got enough for 3 households for this duration of a water emergency, probably 2 more days. $6 each, yeah I will take it. We had TOO MUCH water in near 10 inches of rain – and now we don’t have enough clean water from the spigots. I am glad the Lord is not like that – He gives us enough and really good water in HIM from HIM.  He is up, down and all around the source of our life. Jesus is the Living Water – He wants us to “lap Him up” – and never thirst for another source.

Jesus said: “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!  Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) John 4:37-39

He may have come to us in a flood of overwhelming proportions, but He never gives watered down advice. The bible is written down so that it can not be watered down, that’s important, for God wants us to pay attention, learn, know. DO what He says and not more or less. He wants to get it across in VERBAL fashion. He wants to hear scripture (which is Himself) read, sent out and returned up to Himself.

His Word is ENOUGH – but we sometimes forget that – we crave action – we force action. Yes, action FROM His calling is important (think Prophet Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.)

Moses, our friend Moses, is walking his/His people towards the Promised Land, but they are by nature complainers (us too) and had nothing to drink. Moses inquired and got a visit from God and an opportunity to help his/HIS people by going to an appointed rock and SPEAKING so that life-giving water would flow out of the rock. His WORD (God’s Word give to Moses to speak) to the rock was enough – but what did Moses do? Moses HIT the rock – He went TOO FAR – He applied an action to the Lord’s Words that did not need to be added. AND WORSE, Moses added the actions in anger not in thankfulness… ***The Lord told Moses and Aaron that they would NOT enter the Promised Land because of that ANGER.*** WOW !!! – Miriam had already passed and Aaron then passed away before going into the Promised Land.

Moses could not cross into the Promised Land (but he was taken care of fine as the Lord’s faithful servant) …  So, Let us LISTEN to the Lord and do ONLY what He says and not apply extra force or anger to His Word. Be WALKING HUMBLY (a very important section of Micah 6:8).

I am THANKFUL for these challenges (which are really not bad and nothing to make out worse than they are). I am THANKFUL to rock my water supply from HIM, our ROCK. I am THANKFUL for the house as others clean up their tornado and flood damage.

Let us WALK HUMBLY and also be THANKFUL to listen to the flow – whether a trickle whisper or flood – LISTEN to His Word.

Amen

Water From the Rock – Numbers 20:1-13
In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!”

Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”

So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them.

Best of the Best, Give Your Brain Rest, 04SEP – #1238

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You must present as the Lord’s portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you.’

I appreciate this long weekend for so many reasons – mostly that I am giving my brain a rest. I went to the beach less than an hour away with a friend, to see the sunrise, to swim and to sit, ahhh… 

I left all my worries at home for another day. At home I even napped. So in my short beach pause for scripture reading (don’t you just love smart phones?!), as I continue my methodical reading/writing thru the old testament, the passage that stood out was: the Lord wants an offering of the best of the best – to put your best forward from all that is given to youIt is written about the Israelites that they were to give Aaron the priest a fraction of the best of their grain and then Aaron was to give a fraction of the best of that best.  This BEST OF THE BEST honors the Lord BEST.

SO in today’s world, how do we honor the Lord? We can give Him our BEST thoughts – our BEST attention – our BEST practices – our BEST memory of His teachings – and our BEST attempt to be more like HIM.  What is better than grain? OUR BRAIN. Give the Lord our BEST THOUGHTS! Give up worry and be at PEACE that HE has things under His Control. Jesus said: “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Imagine the BEST in life and then live that way – it is NOT pretending when we remember that the TRUTH of Jesus bringing us to Heaven, our life is WITH HIM forever. Imagine vs. KNOW. Figure out the challenges for today and leave tomorrow for itself, tomorrow will be dealt with tomorrow not today – today has enough – and Jesus is enough to deal with each of them. Just live in the present. 

The BEST OFFERING that I can give the Lord today? TO LOOK for HIM FIRST…  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  To KNOW and TRUST that He is in CONTROL. To do my best and help with the rest. It is not my grain that I give back to the Lord but my BRAIN. 

And surely our Best of the Best is to share with others that WE WILL BE ALRIGHT! To share that Jesus knows the WAY because He IS the rest in our weary day. Jesus is our Way. “Day by Day – Day by Day – Oh Dear Lord, three things I pray: See Thee More Clearly, Love Thee More Dearly, Follow Thee More Nearly… Day by Day”.

Just keep swimming!

Amen

—-

Numbers 18:25-32

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the Lord’s offering. Your offering will be reckoned to you as grain from the threshing floor or juice from the winepress. In this way you also will present an offering to the Lord from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the Lord’s portion to Aaron the priest.  You must present as the Lord’s portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you.’

“Say to the Levites: ‘When you present the best part, it will be reckoned to you as the product of the threshing floor or the winepress. You and your households may eat the rest of it anywhere, for it is your wages for your work at the tent of meeting. By presenting the best part of it you will not be guilty in this matter; then you will not defile the holy offerings of the Israelites, and you will not die.’”

—–

Matthew 6:25-34

Do Not Worry
JESUS SAID:  “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? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 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?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Our 9-11 Prayer: God Save the People

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Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise. Jeremiah 17:14

Being today as the 20th anniversary of 9-11, I have been thinking about the prayer request that I have ALWAYS had: for God to have saved all those people, long-believing or not, may they have ALL found the Hand of Jesus, the Light of Him, the Morning Star. May His Star have risen in their hearts, even if they had known Him only by one Word, His Name, Jesus, more powerful than all. If they sprouted with faith of just the size of a tiny seed. If only they heard and spoke: Jesus, hear our prayer. 

I pray the families to have true peace and love and and comfort and healing. To hear the stories is heartbreaking. To see the families and children 20 years later is HOPE. To know there is a Lord who gives comfort, peace, hope in an afterlife for reuniting and reconciliation – I take comfort in that blessing. May all know that true healing comes from the Lord. 

Just now I woke up from a very healing dream of my very own, I’m still VERY surprised at it, and thank the Lord for finding me where I am. In my dream I saw my Dad, 2 months gone now, standing, healthy, about middle age, and wearing one of his favorite very thin white undershirt tshirts. His presence showed me that he was alright and gave me a hug, one of those deep hugs that lifts you like a child off the ground for the briefest moment. Wow. A dream not out of nowhere, but a dream out of somewhere, yes from a place, my place, that the Morning Star just found and illuminated within my heart. Peace in knowing God saves. God saves the People. God knows my earthly prayers. God gives of His Peace for me to keep moving. How endless I must praise for this Almighty God who rights my days. Thank You Lord. 

I’ve been singing the song God Save the People from the 1970’s Godspell Musical, the song adapted from an 1800’s hymn. It rings thru my head from my continuous internal playlist. It asks: when will God save the people. Many prophets asked that, but at least they knew it as truth, the future truth. As early as written Word, Genesis, recorded by Moses, speaks of a ruler of obedient nations. Balaam, in Numbers, has to speak only the Words God gives him, and speaks of a star rising from Jacob/Israel. 

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.Genesis 49:10

 Balaam prophesying the star rising from Jacob/Israel:

“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near.

A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. Numbers 24:15-17

Peter spoke of us taking heed in knowing Jesus: unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

The “Save the People” music asks and so do I:

Flow’rs of thy heart, o God, are they; Let them not pass, like weeds, away,…

God Save the People…  And songs be heard instead of sighs.

I pray you all peace and remembrance this 9-11 day – and HOPE.

HOPE IN JESUS everyday.

Amen

—–

Save the People, lyrics from Godspell

When wilt thou save the people?

Oh God of mercy, when?

Not kings and lords, but nations,

Not thrones and crowns, but men!

Flow’rs of thy heart, o God, are they;

Let them not pass, like weeds, away,

Their heritage a sunless day.

God save the people.

Shall crime bring crime forever,

Strength aiding still the strong?

Is it thy will, o Father,

That men shall toil for wrong?

“No”, say thy mountains;

“No”, say thy skies;

Man’s clouded sun shall brightly rise,

And songs be heard instead of sighs.

God save the people.

When wilt thou save the people?

Oh God of mercy when?

The people, Lord, the people,

Not thrones and crowns, but men!

God save the people, for thine they are,

Thy children as thy angels fair.

God save the people from despair.

God save the people.

Oh God save the people!

God save the people!

Oh God save the people!

—-

The original hymn:

When wilt thou save the people?

Author: Ebenezer Elliott (1850)

When wilt thou save the people?

O God of mercy when?

The people, Lord, the people,

Not thrones and crowns, but men!

God save the people, save us,

For thine they are, for thine they are.

Thy children as thy angels fair:

O, God save the people,

Save the people,

God save the people,

From despair.

God save the people!

God save the people,

O, God save the people,

God save the people,

O, God save the people,

God save the people,

God save the people,

God save the people. Last

When will you save the people? 

O God of mercy, when?

Not states and corporations!

But children, women, men!

Flowers of your heart, O God, are they;

Let them not pass, like weeds, away,

Their heritage a sunless day;

God, save the people!

Shall crime breed crime forever,

Strength aiding still the strong?

Is it your will, Creator,

That we shall toil for wrong?

“No,” say your mountains; “no,” your skies;

The clouded sun shall brighty rise,

And song be heard instead of sighs;

God, save the people! 

When will you save the people?

O God of mercy, when?

The people, Lord, the people,

But children, women, men!

God, save the people; yours we are,

Your children, as your angels fair,

From vice, oppression, and despair;

God, save the people!

https://hymnary.org/text/when_wilt_thou_save_the_people

———-

2nd Peter 1:16-21 speaking of the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, them being eyewitnesses of his majesty: For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

2nd Peter 1:5-8

giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Blog #1244

Pilgrimage to Ground Zero – Growing On 20 Years Later

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I went on a pilgrimage earlier this week, the timing was right, I’ve thought about it for years. I took the train to Ground Zero, New York’s Water fountain memorial for the victims of September 11th attacks. The towers fell, the souls rose, that was and IS sacred ground. Life stopped. But life has moved on 20 years now. Yes 20…. I am sure same could be and has been written about Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg, Oklahoma City, and thousands of other mass graves of death and quick rises to next. Terrorism or war or genocide or “just the way it is” it’s still death decided by others. How HORRIBLE.
I will tell this story for the rest of my life, I know where I was and what I was doing on 911. I turned on the TV after the first plane hit, before the second. I remember that I would have first thought accident then thought terrorism… I was glued to the TV but my daughter was screaming to be fed, 6 week old preemie waiting for my routine to stop and nursing to begin. She by being my focus forced me to keep going. I nursed her but I can say that being a mom in the moment nursed me back to reality and that we can’t stop what is needed, life moves forward. 9-11 is a horrible day – but there was another day after it and another, life is forever. Let us keep moving.

With Saturday 9/11/21 just a week away, I appreciated the easy only hour and a half train ride to travel there – I had to go – to see the place – to feel the setting – to see how they have moved forward and where they (and we) will NEVER FORGET. My goal always was to be there with my daughter too. She took a train from campus and met me there, we got to see the 9-11 memorial, the Oculus train station, and of course the new beautiful tall Freedom Tower. My daughter is the competent traveler – preemie no more – 20 year old BOLD.  To say life moves on and moves fast is an understatement.

Growing up from Ground Zero was LIFE – vibrant life – you would not have known the area was piled with debris only 20 years ago. The Oculus train station is most GORGEOUS and BRIGHT, the structure like a bird in flight. The tunnel walls are white and clean – the mall atmosphere was quiet with the lack of tourists this covid year (which actually makes it really easy to get around NYC).

Sept 2021 Ground Zero Grown 20 years

Now as I was SURPRISED at how much LIFE that I felt at the 9-11 memorial, life instead of death, it was not from coldness or forget. I have teared up a few times watching a Netflix documentary but not at all in the actual place. Why? Life went on, as the victims would have wanted. All in All, I felt no death. Yes, I had the pause of remembrance, especially when I saw the close-by Fire Station 10, but my scan of emotions did not include any dread of my pilgrimage – I would go again in a heartbeat. It was a needed pilgrimage to honor the memories- a must see for so many – so many compelled to be there – and the memorial was truly powerful and healing. The water flowed and the names surrounded the two artistic pools. Touching the names was touching for my soul. The weather beautiful and the people sweet and real. The photos – the endless photos – so compelling to take – I even volunteered to take a few group photos of other families – that was and is one of my favorite things to do in life. I love seeing people loving life.

The death was not there – but yes the sight of the fire company tugged at my heart strings – the commitment they showed and the dedication and camaraderie were all felt there. Perhaps I did not feel death because I was in the midst of this renewing life moment – one of my own life moments too with my daughter with me.
I can say we are not “moving on” or “moving away” from 9-11 but instead GROWING on – GROWING UPON – 9-11  – building upon our memories and vowing to make better ones. 

The water sound was life-giving. There is a beautiful display of a “Survivor tree” that survived and was removed to be given a chance for life – and now that it is returned, it THRIVES.  The new building towers beautifully and the renovated other WTC buildings shine – with one more still in renovations. There is even a colorful beer garden with that modern recycled CHIC. I took so many pictures and I had to write about the LIFE I saw loved and lived in.


I was delighted in the shadow of the tower with seeing a class of kids – all geared up and doing skateboard jumps down the railings and stairs – cool – not vagabond teens but like an actual class with helmets and kneepads – and this was the joy of the jump! They were middle schoolers at most – the colorful background could only barely touch their excitement – I loved it. 

As life was blooming all around me, I started with walking to St Paul’s chapel just across from the modern buildings was this contrast in a classic old graveyard and stone church – its history from much before any Wall Street or WTC envisioned. It sat silent and locked up tight but a testament to a strong presence of history of people of faith

—–

Walking to find the water, I cut thru the Winter Garden building just south of the tower as its arching glass structure intrigued me – I found more life with palm trees and people – the Upper Bay docks – and the boats were IMPRESSIVE and of course so was the Lady of Liberty sitting ready in the water to guide and inspire. Ellis Island and the Brooklyn Bridge were way in the distance but I really noted that I saw the New Jersey Railroad building which I had visited on the Jersey City side last spring. This is where the people who were processed out of Ellis Island started their real new journeys out into America – on the train – the Central Jersey Line – 7 of 8 of my great grandparents came thru Ellis Island and would have seen the same Lady giving them HOPE.  I found a shady spot of a closed restaurant and a power outlet – 20 minutes I people watched and wrote on my hand and gathered camera juice to keep going. I loved being content without a time schedule for myself – waiting for my phone and eating my apple and peanut butter from home stowed in my pocket – for I found the ONLY electricity plug accessible in all of lower Manhattan, 20 minutes and 20% battery later I was good to go. Yes, loving being outside – loving being alive – and thriving. I took my camera back to retrace my steps and gather the photos of my head. And yes, more of that beautiful tower and the Oculus. I scaled the side walkway towards the Koenig Sphere – I knew I had seen it before – and I had as they took it from WTC to Battery Park for years while they were rebuilding the area – it was 20 tons of art – battered but intact – it’s battle scars showed but were not showcased as the view was still beautiful. There is a photo online of how the sphere stands tall among the rubble – really remarkable it was not crushed.

That is a good way to sum up this day and this memorial and these people and this life  – we are perplexed but not crushed – fittingly scripture to say that our faith and our power is not from us but from an internal source too powerful to crush. The HOPE in this garden was real. The love was real. The memorial was real. But most importantly the power of LIFE was real…

I can not say that people have moved on or moved forward and left this place to the history books – but that we – all of us – in LIFE – WE GROW FORWARD. Let us BUILD upon these memories and times as we continue to see not the destination but the JOURNEY.

GROW AHEAD

God Bless our Heros of the day – God bless and keep those innocent victims in your Hand, Lord – Lord, please let us not see this destruction again. Please let us share LOVE to overtake all hate. Please Lord.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9

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. 


BLOG #1243

Our Grounded Meal, 03SEP – #1237

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Well, the morning is always the best time for me to give the Lord a portion of my day – the mind is fresh – the praise is real – the morning has broken. We are best grounded from the night before and calm. 

A good night sleep is better than most anything else – I would say a good night sleep is better even than a good cry. A “Good morning Lord” is fresher than a tired “good night Lord”. Both are appreciated and blessed.

Moses was told to give a portion – the first portion of the new land’s offerings and every first preparation – as an offering to the Lord. He told Moses this as a task for handling grain and bread – but this extends to modern times as well. As what goes with processing? Time. Processing time. The time to prepare, grind, process, produce is time to think and time to give to the Lord. This is sage advice for us as well. Give the first processing, praising and pieces of peace to the Lord. Say “THANK YOU”.

Reading the Word, processing it, staying grounded in it, this is a great morning routine. This is the same as what Moses did – but on a real human level for this day and age. So, we Read the Word, Which IS Jesus, Who IS Our Daily Bread – we acknowledge Him and He blesses our time with Him and His Guidance. We learn, we are nourished, we are to partake of His whole grain ground, grounded (coming to earth from Heaven) and shared.

Our threshing floor is the base to start our day WITH HIM. Pick a chapter of the Lord and apply it to a chapter of your life. Savor a morsel of His grain. Start from Him for Him. Give Him the first loaf and His next meal given back to you is well worth waiting for.

Amen

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land to which I am taking you and you eat the food of the land, present a portion as an offering to the Lord. Present a loaf from the first of your ground meal and present it as an offering from the threshing floor. Throughout the generations to come you are to give this offering to the Lord from the first of your ground meal.’ ” Numbers 15:17-21

Amen

Our Heaven after the Storm, 02SEP – #1236

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We just got through a major storm last night but it was so SUNNY out today that I barely remembered it… Not even much in my memory banks of the long drive home! And it was long! Today all is well, the strife falls away in memory. It was a temporary situation for me – *not for everyone so pray for them, but I myself was fine. Most importantly that I knew my kids were safe and my mom knew that we were safe.

Even more than the calm before the storm – there was MUCH more calm AFTER the storm – especially when cooler temperatures replaced oppressing heat. The front pulled out and no storm remained. Even after a blizzard often there is bright sunshine. The relief was and is real.

Will Heaven be like that? Will Heaven be our calm after the storm? I bet it will be our calm!!! I bet it will be relief and rest! I even don’t have to bet, I KNOW (for the Bible tells me so) that our Heaven after the Storm will have order, brightness, beauty, and blessings. Our Heaven will also have a view of reckoning of the Broken Lamb for the things and people that broke Him, that He chose to be broken for. We will see the Storms of past pass away. We will see the Heaven renewed.

Will we be chatting with others up in Heaven, like after a storm? – “Did you see how my earth life had torrential times and now I am saved?” – “Did you see the roadblocks I had?” – “Whoa, do you see that person’s plight was way worse than we ever had.” – “Do you remember when God opened a door that I thought was closed?” – “Do you remember that final time we didn’t know Jesus was coming for us?” – “Wow it’s so beautiful here in Heaven, I barely remember Earth!” – “Wow, we’ve been in Eternity for how long now? Earth seems so many light years behind us!”

Will we forget about our lives in earth? Or maybe we will forget about the darkness that we sometimes were in? I bet we will once we have seen the GLORY of the Lord in front of us, illuminating all… Knowing this, can we NOW look beyond any feelings of a current fractured existence and darkness and embrace what we already know will be GLORIOUS and WHOLE? Can we SEE FORWARD, past the current and future storms?

The angel beckoned John:  “Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”  Revelation 21:10-11, 22-23


We WILL remember God’s children and greet those beloved in Heaven. WE WILL SEE GOD’S GLORY… Our time in Heaven AFTER the Storm… Oh how BLESSED… 

Our storms, soothed.

Our darkness, done.

Our fear, fled.

Our hearts, held.

Our losses, gained. 

Our tears, counted AND accounted. 

Our Heaven, HOME 

OH BLESS THE LORD OH MY SOUL, HEAVEN WILL BE OUR HOME!

Amen Amen Amen 

Know Before You Go. 01SEP – #1235

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When my father passed away, he had already known that he didn’t have much time, and I tried to assure him that Heaven was and IS real. That he can believe. I pray that all people reach into their memories of teachings and reach forward for the Spirit and remember and know Jesus is the path to Heaven thru the forgiveness that He Himself secured. I pray for all to “Know Before You Go”. And remember if you are hesitant to leave folks behind without your help that if the Spirit allows us to go – know that He the Spirit will flow to those whom don’t want us to go.

Jesus as a Lamb, slain for our sins, Was IS and Will always be a Living Sacrifice for purification. GRACE thru GOD. Jesus came to earth as the man-image of God, Son of Man, stepping into human flesh and all the difficulties of walking thru this world. Jesus was/had/is the ultimate “Know Before You Go”. Jesus KNEW that He stepped down from Heaven to bring us up to Him.

How do we “know before we go?”… We know to check things before we go on a trip: the stove, the window locks, the pets and their food supplies, the weather, the traffic, our gas tank, our cash, our heads. Do we check our hearts and move sentimental thoughts away so that we actually get clear heads? What filters thru our minds? Do we check in with the Lord? It’s a local example of an eternal question of “are we ready to go?” or “are we ready to leave?”. Are we ready to leave some stuff behind, especially stuff we don’t need, baggage of sin. Know that it is our Lord who purifies our journey home.

The Old Testament offerings in Moses’s time were used to purify sin and included the ashes of sacrifice. Something given to God as atonement, offered thru the priests and only ashes would remain. Even those ashes were useful. “… gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They are to be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin.” Numbers 19:9

As a mom, this reminds me of the unused box of activated charcoal that I never used for potential poisoning scares with my kids. And I am blessed to have never had to use it. It is probably burnt charcoal to make activated carbon, burnt like the burnt animal offerings used in water purification systems of old. Carbon surfaces are porous and ready to absorb impurities. Jesus is our activated Savior, ready to absorb our sin, purify us thru a living water flow. He was/is activated by becoming the slain Lamb, taking on human flesh, rising from the dead. He became the porous absorption of the wrath of God’s anger so that we won’t have to sacrifice in worship again. Praise replaces punishment. Resurrection is God’s and our Restoration.

If we live in this world, and we become closer to passing from this world, let us remember our purification is not a checklist or relying upon sacrificial ashes, not a sentimental heart but by having an engaged mindset and a heart like a child in belief. Our entrance into Heaven, cleansed and called, is by Jesus and Jesus alone. His reach for our heads and he holds us in Heaven. 

And Jesus said: “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:38-40

Jesus does not lose anyone. Know before you go that He has gone first. We will reach for Him as He reaches for us. Grab on to Him ahead of time and you will be in the know.

Amen

Wait on the Lord, NOT Wait and See, 31AUG – #1234

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Many years we hear of devastating earthquakes and floods, they are not new, yet each one brings newness of crisis for each affected person. We are so sorry for their struggles. We also get glued to our TVs and now phones because can even pick up the local hurricane TV stations and severe weather chasers with the click of a button on our couches. It’s RIVETING but are we learning anything by just watching it? Hmmmm… I felt like I was goofing off watching, but I did anyway… And how is it that we pay SO much attention to the damage affecting our own countrymen but there is no news on the TV of the simultaneous situation even worse just one country over from ours (Hurricanes Grace and Nora in Mexico vs Ida here in the US). Hmmmmm…. How local we have become!!! How mesmerized when other times we are oblivious… I know it will also become old news very quickly. (and yes it did – by weeks end unless you drove by those areas you would not know of any issues)

Hurricane warning – Tornado watches – Would we evacuate? Would we stay put? Honestly where would we go if we did have the money? Every accommodation seemed full. What would we do especially if we DIDN’T have the money? That is probably why most people don’t go anywhere. And some just choose to ride it out – like life – and I understand that, I don’t leave my house in a blizzard, I just prepare, so they don’t leave in a hurricane. How can a whole 3 states worth of people wander somewhere else anyway when there’s no gas stations to power their trip anyway? How long can people live without electricity and can they prepare enough food and water to live a week or a month. How so advanced in society we have become but can’t live basically on the basics, without creature comforts. And how many people see the services of conveniences and riches as our God-given rights to have.  THAT IS DANGEROUS, to think of God-given rights over God-given gifts. We all do on occasion, but it’s dangerous to think that way.

Moses’s people (and there were lots of them) had God providing for them in the present but also knowledge of a life in the past, and were promised a life in the future, but did they appreciate the time in between? Some did not. Do we? Our earth, no matter how cushy or harsh, is desert wilderness if you don’t prepare for life in it, our desert is now like our “in between life” after Eden and before restored life of a restored Eden comes. Our desert, even if we are camping in it, now does come often with luxurious life privileges too (as I sit here writing while wasting gas and A/C, idling in my car) – and yes life comes with challenges, many people have many challenges. But we must rise above and keep going. Helping others along the way. 

Moses had MANY challenges and challengers, even WITH God present. Moses had to witness and warn, teach and lead, beg for his people’s forgiveness all the while they didn’t forgive him for making the tough calls of where to go and how to live. What happened to the sections of Israelite people in the desert going against God? They got swallowed up!!! The earth opened, the plagues came, they who rebelled were LOST as a group, even their kids. GONE. (But not forgotten, as teaching moments are written in the Bible like scars on Jesus’s brow). A plague rolled thru as well until Aaron stepped in between to offer forgiveness sacrifices. 

What will happen to us and our generations if we challenge God, challenge God’s Ways, if we turn against Him? Swallowed up. Gone. And probably forgotten, like old news, except God Himself has written these stories in His Heart and in the Word. They are not victory stories but sorrow statements. Scripture also tells us ahead of our time (in Revelation 6) of God completing His wrath, finishing sorting the goats from the sheep, and of all earth rolling away. Read ahead, He tells us our future. 

How are we SAVED from this wrath? By learning and WAITING ON THE LORD, not waiting and seeing what’s next. God is a loving God, but we must fear Him in respect. He has given us an advocate with Him, to absorb His anger – His Son Jesus. Like the moment Moses’s brother Aaron stepped in between the plague and the people, and the plague stopped – JESUS STEPS IN THE WAY OF OUR DEATH TO GIVE ETERNAL LIFE. We have the ability to step away from the chaos, just like we stop watching the news, and instead go live as we believe in the Good News of life everlasting. But how? Thru God and God alone. We are sheep but not wanderers, we are WONDERERS. We have a choice. God desires us at His Wedding Supper with Him in Heaven, let that be our life direction over lostness…

We have the history and the future known to us. We just have to WAIT ON HIM, grumble less, praise more. 

Be Grateful… God gives gifts, not rights.  God gives His Life to be with us.

Amen

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Deborah of Judges 4:14 said “[…Go! This is the day the Lord has given…. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?…]

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Read Moses’s story in Numbers 16

Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites—Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth—became insolent and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council. They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”

When Moses heard this, he fell facedown. Then he said to Korah and all his followers: “In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will have that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him. You, Korah, and all your followers are to do this: Take censers and tomorrow put burning coals and incense in them before the Lord. The man the Lord chooses will be the one who is holy. You Levites have gone too far!”

Moses also said to Korah, “Now listen, you Levites! Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the Lord’s tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too. It is against the Lord that you and all your followers have banded together. Who is Aaron that you should grumble against him?”

Then Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab. But they said, “We will not come! Isn’t it enough that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? And now you also want to lord it over us! Moreover, you haven’t brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey or given us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Do you want to treat these men like slaves? No, we will not come!”

Then Moses became very angry and said to the Lord, “Do not accept their offering. I have not taken so much as a donkey from them, nor have I wronged any of them.”

Moses said to Korah, “You and all your followers are to appear before the Lord tomorrow—you and they and Aaron. Each man is to take his censer and put incense in it—250 censers in all—and present it before the Lord. You and Aaron are to present your censers also.” So each of them took his censer, put burning coals and incense in it, and stood with Moses and Aaron at the entrance to the tent of meeting. When Korah had gathered all his followers in opposition to them at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the glory of the Lord appeared to the entire assembly. The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Separate yourselves from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.”

But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and cried out, “O God, the God who gives breath to all living things, will you be angry with the entire assembly when only one man sins?”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the assembly, ‘Move away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’”

Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. He warned the assembly, “Move back from the tents of these wicked men! Do not touch anything belonging to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins.” So they moved away from the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Dathan and Abiram had come out and were standing with their wives, children and little ones at the entrances to their tents.

Then Moses said, “This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea: If these men die a natural death and suffer the fate of all mankind, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the realm of the dead, then you will know that these men have treated the Lord with contempt.”

As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, “The earth is going to swallow us too!”

And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense.

The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, to remove the censers from the charred remains and scatter the coals some distance away, for the censers are holy— the censers of the men who sinned at the cost of their lives. Hammer the censers into sheets to overlay the altar, for they were presented before the Lord and have become holy. Let them be a sign to the Israelites.”

So Eleazar the priest collected the bronze censers brought by those who had been burned to death, and he had them hammered out to overlay the altar, as the Lord directed him through Moses. This was to remind the Israelites that no one except a descendant of Aaron should come to burn incense before the Lord, or he would become like Korah and his followers.

The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. “You have killed the Lord’s people,” they said. But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the tent of meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared.  Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the tent of meeting, and the Lord said to Moses, “Get away from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.” And they fell facedown.

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put incense in it, along with burning coals from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the Lord; the plague has started.” So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah. 50 Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance to the tent of meeting, for the plague had stopped.

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Read the future (after followers of Jesus are raptured away)

Revelation 6:12-17

There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

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?”

God’s Grasshoppers, 30AUG – #1233

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Did you ever feel against a giant project or a giant problem or just not enough resources or wanted to return back to something not so good or you just didn’t know which way to go?… Remember: The Lord is with us. Do not be afraid.

The story in Numbers (Moses leading His people) shows how God’s people felt like grasshoppers compared to giants in the path to the Promised Land, but God gave them a “way around”, a different route, and promised suitable provisions and protection.  To the “wayward” or those who wanted a “way out”, they suffered consequences and even generations after suffered… Lesson to be learned: cooperation and commitment to God is MUCH better than suffering consequences. Stay on track. 

God thru Moses tried to lead folks to the Promised Land, but Moses and Aaron and Joshua were in a tough position to convince them to keep them IN position. They saw some fruits of the Promised Land, they heard stories, and they HAD God’s promise. But some people rebelled. They wanted out, they complained, or they went ahead when they should have waited for direction. 

We should wait for direction and directions. We know His Promises, so we should just be patient and wait for direction and don’t not take the opposite direction. We should realize God has our best interests at heart. We should know that God will SHOW UP in our lives too.

The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?

We of all people should count our blessings. We should demonstrate our understanding that we can walk in His Strength. If we have a challenge, we are to ask God to champion it, conquer it and confound our foes. If we are as small as grasshoppers, know that God can give us open fields of opportunities to work in, jump in, thrive… Don’t be against God, go with Him. He is very forgiving and ready to have you walk with Him again. Remember: ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion…’

God might get you travelling in a way that goes around something or some enemy in your path, but He is still going to get you where you are going. 

Go WITH God. And if you are one of God’s Grasshoppers, JUMP with God!

 …because my servant [put your name in here] has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it…

Go With GOD !!!

Amen 

Please read the story in Numbers 13:23-33, 14:1-45 below – God sent His chosen followers on a different path… Amen Amen 

When they reached the Valley of Eshkol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. That place was called the Valley of Eshkol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.

Report on the Exploration

They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”

Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”  But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.  We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

The People Rebel

That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites.  The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”

Moses said to the Lord, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. And they will tell the inhabitants of this land about it. They have already heard that you, Lord, are with these people and that you, Lord, have been seen face to face, that your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’

Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’  In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”

The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. Since the Amalekites and the Canaanites are living in the valleys, turn back tomorrow and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.”

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “How long will this wicked community grumble against me? I have heard the complaints of these grumbling Israelites. So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me. Not one of you will enter the land I swore with uplifted hand to make your home, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. As for your children that you said would be taken as plunder, I will bring them in to enjoy the land you have rejected. But as for you, your bodies will fall in this wilderness. Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the wilderness. For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die.”

So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it— these men who were responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the Lord. Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.

When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. Early the next morning they set out for the highest point in the hill country, saying, “Now we are ready to go up to the land the Lord promised. Surely we have sinned!”

But Moses said, “Why are you disobeying the Lord’s command? This will not succeed! Do not go up, because the Lord is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, for the Amalekites and the Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the Lord, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword.”

Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the highest point in the hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the Lord’s covenant moved from the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.

My Millennium Mindset, 29AUG – #1232

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Ever since I learned about the millennium I’ve been thinking about those 1000 years (not that I can wrap my head around 1000 years but certainly then, in those thousand years, I will have more time to think about it!)… Yes, we think of life as SO SHORT now and HEAVEN AS FOREVER (not that I can wrap my head around forever either). Yet I’ve been more and more intrigued that there will be 1000 years in between our rapture/raising and before “forever” re-starts for us (Hey isn’t it already forever in Jesus’s timeline?)… So, reading Revelation, we will have a stage in our heavenly lives where we are going to be able to see Earth under Jesus’s Reign for 1000 years, and NO DEVIL, the devil sequestered for 1000 years, WE WILL SEE PEACE.  So, scriptures say, however “short” they are on the topic, that we will see life on earth be at PEACE… something really good like that… 

At that time, we will have MORE time then to understand what PEACE really is like, and how PEACE comes from our PRINCE of PEACE Jesus, and how the absence of evil really means PEACE is the default condition of us and of life. LIFE WITH JESUS IS PEACE. I do know that a thousand years is a long time in comparison to my lifetime so far because that’s 20 of my lifetimes (WOW!!!)… So, that means we are going to be able to see a lot of things, visit all those amazing earth features like the Grand Canyon and Mount Everest and the Amazon. Hey maybe I will get a lot of things done in a thousand years, but most importantly we will meet everybody in heaven, re-connect with loved ones and meet family we never knew, and know everyone as family. Most blessedly, JESUS WILL RULE in those thousand years and we will know Him even more.

Let me say that again: in Heaven we will have the chance to MEET EVERYBODY that made it to HEAVEN – INCLUDING JESUS… WOW WOW, WOW –  a THOUSAND years “Meet and Greet”?  YEAH, I can NOT wrap my head around that but I CAN imagine we are going to need that much time!!!

So I am half a century old, 1/20 a millennium. I have no more than 40-50 years (probably less) that I expect to still live on earth. Previously I would have said that I want to do more of everything while I am alive. Now I realize that I can say I will probably have MORE TIME for this or that LATER!!! and it will be BETTER!! So now I will do what I can, and worry less about what I can’t… (And let tomorrow take care of itself!!!)

These are the things I still want to do: like camping, sitting at a beach, going zip lining, and being in a healthier body and mindset… and will I ever finish my chores? Get all the dishes done? NO… So, these are SOME of the things that I SHOULD do with my time left on earth:


Maintain a Millenium Mindset

Love everyone. 

Show Jesus’s love.

Teach that LOVE is from God Himself.

See my kids know Jesus more. 


Don’t sweat the small stuff. 

Don’t let the devil get the upper hand. 

Don’t forget to invite peace into every day in every way. 

Model Jesus. 

Trust Jesus.


Smile

Live

Pause

Love

Be


Be led by the Lord

Be forgiving 

Be focused 

Be ready

Be able 


Kiss my kids 

Hug my family 

Love my self

Be open to the Holy Spirit

Roll with the punches


Rely on Jesus 

Rest in Jesus 

Remember Jesus 

Reveal Revelations

Remember to just BE


BE


(And dishes? mmm…  Maybe… At least Jesus will see that we start with a clean plate and clean slate for the Millennium…) 

My Millennium Mindset most of all is to Make the Most of My Time Today.

Amen 

Revelation 20:1-6

The Thousand Years

And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

Don’t Be Put Out by Favoritism, 27 AUG – #1231

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There’s so much to appreciate the Lord for, His forgiveness and His favor, His protection and His prodding for us to listen. We are all EACH His favorite children one by one. Let us not be a pest to Him but a blessing of listening and obeying!  We are to listen for danger and be humble to accept direction. 

Just now I heard a mosquito by my right ear. This summer I have heard quite a few, and realized I haven’t heard that sound in a while. It tells me that I am in a place of quiet, that my hearing is not as bad as the kids say it is, and there’s a mosquito in the house (yikes!). Listening can bless you and get you out of a jam, yet there’s a flip side to listening that can be dangerous when you are paying more attention to what others are doing vs yourself. We are all at risk of getting this jealousy of others who get opportunities that you think you might like. One might be angling for position (like this mosquito), but not everyone gets to pick where they want to be. We all have to take a moment and appreciate where we actually are, where we are blessed, and not think everything is for everyone. If we have forgiveness and one in Christ, then we have all that we will ever need. The world being one body, some are the foot sometimes, some are the eyes sometimes (I just SAW the mosquito), and some are just NOT SURE what they are, but lest we get jealous with our part because others seem to get to be a better part, even if that itself is temporary. Oh, if only we could work together, like one body, and not tear ourselves apart. Don’t get “put out” when God already has a separate specific plan for your alignment with Him.

This reminds me of the story I just read about Moses’s brother Aaron and sister Miriam. They were blessed but JEALOUS and felt like picking on someone. They picked on Moses because of his wife. We know that Moses was truly special, and God made that clear. Aaron and Miriam ALSO had amazing jobs for God, they were saved (like Moses) for they ALSO escaped Pharaoh, Miriam sang a song of saving, Aaron was the priest to allow others to come with saving sacrifices. But they were jealous, and this caused one conversation with God to come from His anger not their humility. (I would rather hear direction than correction from God, wouldn’t you? ESPECIALLY when God Himself is in charge). 

I would rather be humble enough to hear and feel God’s direction than be too proud and put out. If you read Miriam’s punishment in Numbers 12, she was put outActually put out of camp! (Imagine the mosquitos outside camp!) I bet this angered God and all that people’s complaining pestered Him (like the sound of mosquitos in His ear.) He would not have put Moses in charge if He didn’t intend it.

God said of Moses to the complainers: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord.”

So, can we be face to face with the Lord when we quiet ourselves now? Quiet enough to hear the Lord, not in riddles but in our own hearts? Quiet enough to feel the Lord, not in anger, but in accepting our humble lives? We have an opportunity to face a new chapter and a new page EACH DAY. We are to realize that we have been born to continue walking, not be in aimless in wandering (like the Israelites) but in taking timeless steps WITH JESUS. Jesus personally made Himself into the sacrifice that Aaron’s priests could not offer up “simply” by the blood of animals. God’s Son facing God’s anger FOR us, His blood covering us, His arms holding us up. Him saying “It is finished.”…  Yes, how humble we should be in order to stand inside His cloud? How humble we should be to hear His Voice? 

We should not anger God and be put out by our jealousy. Apostle Paul realized that jealousy is everyone’s affliction that goes against the commandments of God, our jealousy is a sin – we need the forgiveness of Jesus, realize our place and His plan and keep moving. Jesus covers us.

We are not to be put out. We are to walk free within His plan.   

Amen 

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Please read Numbers 12

Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses

Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this. (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, he said, “Listen to my words: “When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord.

Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”

The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them. When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous—it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Please, God, heal her!” The Lord replied to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.” So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back. After that, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Desert of Paran.

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James 3:9-18

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

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Amen Amen

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PS – I saw the mosquito follow me – and then move on to the other room – that IS the pest that I need to put out of my camp!

Gutter People, 25AUG – #1230

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It’s a joy to be in the book of Revelation as a Bible study and to know that God has a plan. There is nothing better to help get through this world than to know the next one is waiting, planned, forever. And He wants us in it.

Driving down the highway gives lots of time to think. The book of Revelation Bible study teacher preacher on my radio was saying the perfect passage, a beauty of Spirit teaching and John’s wisdom building thru understanding: To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.

It was a truck that passed me on my left that caught my eye, advertising their business being “The Gutter People” – YUP… Where else to hold all the water for the spring of life but in the GUTTER. Where else to collect the water and keep it flowing. Who else than us ourselves be those people who recognize our need for the water from the spring of life to hydrate us and also wash out the clogs in us…. Oh yes, to be gutter people, Jesus’s Gutter People. Jesus is where we go for thirst and where we know we will be satisfied. That’s overcoming (victorious we will be). That was the teacher preacher’s next point, those who BELIEVE are the children of God, they/we overcome the disbelief in the world, and they/we overcome death. We claim knowledge of His victory ONLY because He won the battle. We overcome because God overcame. He overcame because He wants us to return to Him – to complete His flow. If He is Alpha and Omega, beginning and end, never changing, then He is continuous as a continuous flow of spring water, His Word flows and recirculates, returning His Love to Himself thru us. Jesus LOVES His Gutter People. Jesus finds His Love within His people who are ready to be collected by Him. 

Revelation 21:6-7 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious [WHO OVERCOMETH] will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 

My gutter overflows from the love of Jesus. I met the Savior and He was doing His Wash steps of ME. He knows the low spots where we get stuck. He loves us so much He came back from death. He is here and He will come again. SOSTAND UP from the gutter all ye Gutter People, stand ready to catch His flow. Be His Wash.

Amen, we are children of God. 

Amen.

Manna, the Lord’s Arm is NOT SHORT, 23AUG – #1229

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Ah, I picked the right Godly person to complain to yesterday morning, because they said ONE THING that made me realize to COUNT MY BLESSINGS INSTEAD. Yes, for the events of that day I should humbly put my fuming anger back into fueling my faith, to take the long view of forgiveness and grace. TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME. We should do that more. Oh, I need to do that more and more… one day at a time… And 2 days later, the events now fade away and I remember that “in life” we should take ALL things in stride. Keep walking…

Reading Old Testament accounts about Moses’s stress and the people’s complaining to him about ONLY having manna to cook into bread (and only enough for that day or 2 days near the sabbath), I count my blessings that I can run to the store or the WAWA. The people complained TOO MUCH and some started asking for meat. This story reminds of the importance of NOT complaining too much (seeking justice yes, but whining NO). Those people who whined about food angered God that He sent quail to eat but SO MUCH it was TOO MUCH. *Seriously read the scriptures below, eww, quail out their nostrils*. Then, He punished the people for whining by sending a plague. He demonstrated His POWER.

Moses doubted/worried/just was badgered by the people too, but the reason the Lord delivered in overabundance was to both prove His Point that He can provide AND that demonstrate that He is all powerful. SO… NO, it is NOT good for us to complain about our daily bread, BETTER to put the manna in my mouth and be grateful than have nothing. BETTER to learn from the situation than sit and stew. (Think Proverb 17:1 Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.) 

How we often think we deserve better, that attitude can bottle up and fume. Better to work thru the anger and use our own arms and elbow grease than do more whining. We are to remember the Lord’s Long Arm, not short. He can rescue us, give us food AND food for thought in working things out. He can also have us WATCH Him work things out. 

Taking life in stride in walking every day as the Lord commands – as we must think about WHY we have gifts and challenges in life. THEY CAN MAKE US STRONGER AND DEPEND ON HIM.

My food for thought became a mental digest when complaining to a friend about my situation. It was her saying: “We all hope for a better year than last year or the year before.” – oh yeah, I forgot about people dealing with loss and those who went without, we often DO forget that we have CHALLENGES to adjust to but much more in gifted opportunities in life… Put my manna BACK into my mouth, block me from complaining, I AM GRATEFUL… Our real dependence on the Lord is best clicked into gear FIRST before our mouth get in gear.

God can give us manna and all gifts – bread from heaven is a gift – life is a gift – time is a gift – Jesus as our daily bread is a gift. Jesus, He is our Daily Bread – every day we need His forgiveness, grace, love, and everyday we need to hunger FOR Him.  Each day our gifts are enough for that day. Each day we are to look for His Long Arm – He provides and rescues us EACH day. He also gives us people with whom to share the burdens, just like Moses. He gives us knowledge and direction. 

And what’s the GREATEST GIFT? God’s anger is rested upon, dealt with, and SATISFIED WITH the SACRIFICE of JESUS, in place of OUR sins and the world’s brokenness before us affecting us. The Long Arm of the Lord becomes our shield and saving grace. (and we need it.)

Our daily bread today is Jesus, let’s rise each day and keep walking…

(Man-na I will look for challenges to bless me in my day, Man-na I’m going to appreciate today.)

Thank You Lord for Your Long Arm.

Amen

“Day by Day – to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly – day by day.”

PLEASE READ:

Numbers 11:4-35

Quail From the Lord

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!

The manna was like coriander seed and looked like resin. The people went around gathering it, and then ground it in a hand mill or crushed it in a mortar. They cooked it in a pot or made it into loaves. And it tasted like something made with olive oil. When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.

Moses heard the people of every family wailing at the entrance to their tents. The Lord became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled. He asked the Lord, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”

The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone.

“Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it.  You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?”

The Lord answered Moses, “IS THE LORD’S ARM TOO SHORT? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again.

However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!”

But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.

Now a wind went out from the Lord and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to two cubits deep all around the camp, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. All that day and night and all the next day the people went out and gathered quail. No one gathered less than ten homers. Then they spread them out all around the camp. But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the Lord burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. Therefore the place was named Kibroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had craved other food.

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Remember that we should crave Jesus as our daily bread, His HOPE, LOVE, FORGIVENESS – appreciate all – Amen

It’s Just God, 20AUG

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It’s Just God

It’s the Cure, not the cause.

It’s the Destination, not the danger.

It’s the Known, not the unknown. 

It’s the Journey, not the junk left behind. 

It’s Pulling Close, not pushing away.

It’s Following, not failing nor falling. 

It’s being WITH God, not wandering without. 

It’s Salvation in a Promised Land, not substitution or phony loopholes.

It’s a Place God’s Already Promised, not anything we earn.

It’s His Follow through, not our faults. 

It’s God Leading, not leaving. 

It’s us Watching, not wasting time.

It’s Remembering, not regretting.

It’s the Wonderment, not the wilderness.

It’s Blasting Trumpets, not being thankless.

It’s His Faithfulness, not our forgetfulness. 

It’s THANKING GOD, nothing else. 

It’s THANKING GOD, no one else.

It’s God, just God.

It’s Just God

AMEN 


Please read of Moses moving on God’s command:

It’s Three Days for the first journey to Find a Place for Them to Rest, 3 days just like Jesus’s 3 days, God goes ahead of us. Amen Amen 


Moses recorded God’s instructions for the journey to the Promised Land: 

Numbers 10:9-13

“When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies. Also at your times of rejoicing—your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts—you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the Lord your God.”

The Israelites Leave Sinai. On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the covenant law. Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran. They set out, this first time, at the Lord’s command through Moses.

Numbers 10:29-36

Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are setting out for the place about which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, for the Lord has promised good things to Israel.” He answered, “No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people.” But Moses said, “Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes. If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the Lord gives us.”

So they set out from the mountain of the Lord and traveled for three days. The ark of the covenant of the Lord went before them during those three days to find them a place to rest. The cloud of the Lord was over them by day when they set out from the camp.

Whenever the ark set out, Moses said, Rise up, Lord! May your enemies be scattered; may your foes flee before you.”

Whenever it came to rest, he said, “Return, Lord, to the countless thousands of Israel.”

And the Pastor was VBS Sweeping, 19AUG – #1227

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Of course the VBS Spirit spreads in overdrive and overglitter and overflows… and the pastor was sweeping YES after the evening – which is why I wrote a poem for appreciation of all the hard working Pastors and church leaders out there doing the Lord’s Work! God bless you all!

I wrote this specifically for my pastor friends at a worship center in the city who embraced me as an excited VBS-er a few years ago, and know I am always looking for the Holy Spirit jumping about. We connected couple times independently due to the Holy Spirit knowing Facebook algorithms MUCH better than Facebook does… connections on sharing vbs decorations – independently twice!…. cool…

To say I enjoy VBS is an understatement, but I was ALSO WATCHING the pastors’ brains working, and the balancing of so many things that I couldn’t even imagine… a former VBS director does the glance across the room and notices the teachers while the teachers are regrouping themselves… I was also watching the Holy Spirit fuel their energy tanks for His purposes, lifting up the excitement for the children, and sustaining the world in the ways only He can by energizing EACH person in His Own Way…

(Loved VBS dancing and I LOVED the walking tacos they served for dinner! yum!!! and THANK GOD I got my vaccination so that I felt fine standing there with such good kids doing a “Jesus gives us Power to be Bold” experiment of Holy Spirit Hydrogen Peroxide, Dishsoap and Yeast)

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The Pastors were Tired but Powered by God. 

The Pastor was tired, but he turned on the lights, sound equipment and his energy before VBS. 

The Pastor was tired, but she took care of work business, home business then she rallied her kids to the church and saw to it they joined them on a lifetime of service to the Lord. 

The Pastors were EMPOWERED, because God brought VBS kids to the church. 

The Pastors were excited, because the Holy Spirit decided to overflow JOY into jumping kids.

The Pastors were BUSY because the volunteers were BUSY BEES serving the Lord. 

The Pastors were BOLD because JESUS gives us the POWER to be BOLD.  

The Pastor was tired, but he swept up the floor before leaving. 

The Pastor was tired, but she rallied her kids to the car and drove home in a rainstorm.

The Pastors were BLESSED because “God gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless”. Isaiah 40:29

Jesus, You keep them on-track. THANK YOU LORD!

AMEN!!!

Bold Boasts Build, 17-18AUG – #1226

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Nothing can be built that will last unless the Lord builds it (Psalm 127). That’s why we ARE best as His Hands and Feet, and NOT His Brain or Brawn. LET HOLY SPIRIT build THE STEAM of HIS POWER into YOU. A Mighty Engine can pull a huge trainload, God is our engine and our steam. Know that you may be His hands for dexterity, but He has made the muscles to make it all work together. Know that you have the movement of feet, but He decides which way for you to turn. Don’t fight and thus twist a knee out of joint! Stay on track with Jesus.

Be BOLD in your Boasting of His Power, but Be His, BE IN ALIGNMENT. 

I am looking forward to sharing my hydrogen peroxide, dish soap and yeast experiment again with a friend’s VBS this week.  A perfect match to present the experiment to explain the boldness gained by Peter after Pentecost that brought to him, and the disciples, the Holy Spirit for the power of teaching, healing, and most importantly explaining and sharing who Jesus was and what Jesus taught. Peter’s boldness both allowed the Lord to use him in healing a crippled man as a demonstration of Jesus’s power AND set the stage for religious leaders to either believe or be left behind. Peter’s boldness by Jesus’s Power thru the Holy Spirit started conversations and conversions, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE… BOLD… Jesus’s Power makes us BOLD. 

It’s a privilege to work for the Lord, and SO IMPORTANT to obey His commands and direction.  As much as Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, could be BOLD in sharing the Word of the Lord, teaching about the Power of Salvation over sin and death, Peter could not do it by himself. Peter needed the HOLY SPIRIT, which Jesus asked the Father to send (that came on Pentecost 10 days after Jesus ascended). We can not be bold by ourselves nor would Jesus want us to be – He would WANT us to have HOLY SPIRIT POWER! Peter, you would think, would have been already “all steamed up” as he lived WITH Jesus for 3 years, even witnessed Moses and Elijah revealed on a mountaintop trip of Jesus’s Transfiguration. Peter WALKED ON WATER with Jesus, yet Peter would DENY even knowing Jesus, deny this 3 times. Peter would take his eyes off Jesus and Peter sunk. So only when the Holy Spirit moved into Peter’s and the disciples’ lives, building their BOLDNESS, did they gain this power. 

We are to ask for the Holy Spirit too. We ask to keep our eyes on Jesus. 

Paul, the BOLD writer in the early church years, witnessed the power of Jesus through both his own conversion from being Saul (a ruthless murderer of early Christ followers) and witnessed strong faith by the disciples. Paul took what he learned and began writing writing writing people in churches that were going astray, early churches that he himself helped to start. They went this way or that way (ouch, that must have been some sore muscles keeping the other parts of the body intact and keeping the body of Christ from becoming disjointed). Paul’s boldness was sometimes written out in correction (2nd Corinthians 10), sometimes written in praise, and his boldness was always in teaching… Our work as well is to be “in the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us” – and not out to serve ourselves. 

We are to be careful to have the Lord decide what path we take and how to build our life. Take a reminder from prophet Jeremiah 9:23-24 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.”

Paul repeats the instructions in his letters: Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord. For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.”

Like a car out of alignment, the steering is tough. Yet aligned WITH THE LORD, our path, our sphere, our journey will be sure. Life is not always an easy path, but He gives life to His beloved sheep who are us!

Jesus Bold boasts builds steam as His Spirit puts fire into the engine boiler of living water. If we don’t refill with Living Water, Jesus, our boiler will run dry.

The Lord delights in us when we stay on track.

Amen 

Jesus’s Power makes us BOLD. 

Amen Amen

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Psalm 127:1-2

Unless the Lord Builds the House

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he GIVES to his beloved sleep.


If you didn’t already know, Jesus is the Way to go – #1225

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If you didn’t already know, Jesus is the Way to go.

If you fall into a pit of woe, Jesus is the UP Way to know. Plant your hope in Him, He will help you grow. 

Speaking to Heaven is all very fine, but if you call there, know it is on Jesus’s dime.

Our souls are called to be on the ready, for worthy is the Spirit of Glory.

If Joy helps all to grow, Then surely let His Love flow.

Singing of Glory brings plenty of joy, music is the language of LOVE, not just a ploy.

Amen

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Here’s some great music about Glory from the Hee Haw Gospel Quartet “No Tears from Heaven” 


John recording what he saw and heard in Heaven: Revelation 21:3-6

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Earth Renewed, NOT Recycled, 15AUG – #1224

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I am sitting in the shade of a sweet summer Sunday day – life is good and I will take this moment to rest – rest assured and be aware of life. Life is buzzing all around me – bees and flies – butterflies and birds – a monarch just now flew by. I grow multitudes of milkweed for the chance of just one each year. Just helping one is worth it. 

Inside the cat is napping after watching the world thru the window. She wishes she could be outside – but I am sorry that our world is out of balance enough that we decided to keep her inside – then again she was raised as an indoor cat and that is the way it is… Is it cruel or protection? You could ask that about the world we live in – about our kids – our parents- and about us and how we approach all the things that we are either protectionist about or free about. Yeah, even now as I wrap my legs for protection from mosquitoes, I think about the future – about next week when my college kid goes back to “reality” of protected college in a big unprotected city. It’s a balance. I wrap her with love, and that is the best I can do.

This world, balanced beautiful in its natural states, is also as messed up as we have trashed it not just in pollution but we have come to it broken whereas Adam and Eve used to walk with God in the cool of the day. We still walk with God as Jesus walks with us, but the brokenness of us all is apparent.  And yet it IS amazing that creation adapts best it can. The praying mantis are still praying. Lest society prey on us, we should pray for it.

I am intrigued that some day, God will roll this earth all away… yes, gone… so enjoy it now! Should we be sad? Maybe, but also GLAD – because it means we are closer to the new Heaven and new earth rolled in. All things will be NEW and we will have NO MORE TEARS. God will wipe them all away.

We will have this earth for just a time and then there will be a millennium of time that others will enjoy the earth while harmony reigns within Jesus’s reign, and then earth will be rolled away, folded up, taken out the back door, not emptied but just gone. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

One of the realities of this world now is that we are very human in how we live in it…  All the information and disinformation on many topics makes us realize that no matter what side you are on for topic X,Y, or Z, there’s going to be opposing views and such – we will see the world have less and less harmony (as a spotted lanterfly just buzzed by me)… And I am not just talking about the pendulum shifting for the discussions of the day either, or any of social or political discussions, and not just about not letting the cat outside – I am talking about EVERYTHING!  Today for example, I just saw a story on a topic that I feared was happening – recycling getting put into the landfill – that sounds awful – that is awful – and the story tells us that the buy-back market is just not there for recyclables other than #1 and #2 plastics – so you guessed it, the other ones are actually POSSIBLY being tossed rather than recycled… Sad… The story also claims that the recycling movement was an advertisement scheme of the plastic companies to get you to feel less guilty on using plastics… But this might not be true everywhere- SIGH!!!  Who can you believe anymore?!!!

Well, GOD – you can believe God – God will do what He says He will do – and He already wrote it all down so He won’t deviate. We just we don’t know His timing, but in a sermon I once heard: Creation is bending it’s neck around the corner to listen and wait upon God’s next move. And even though we don’t know His timing, we DO KNOW His motive – which is LOVE – He wants all His children home with Him – God wants us all to not have sin and death separate us from Him. He waits on those who will turn back to Him. He is Faithful and Freeing. Listen to Him. Follow Him. Surrender to Him. 

The Israelites in Moses’s time had to listen for trumpeted instructions for when to gather. And guess what? The timeline towards a new Heaven and new earth also involves a TRUMPET blowing and Jesus returning. So just like creation listens, assembles, we too must LISTEN FOR THE TRUMPET, acknowledge Him as leader and be ready to go.

One last joyful memory as I sit on this end of summer day. I witnessed the sound of clapping at the end of the church service. We were singing a favorite song, “I Surrender”, my eyes closed and clapping opened them as a gentleman attending with a friend came forward for the altar call to give his life to Jesus, the first one I have seen in this 8am service in my summer attendance, and the people clapped in joy. And we kept singing. And I prayed in tears for many reasons, tears that I couldn’t sing anymore with my mouth but still with my head, joy and witness that God moves and that this man accepted Jesus (even more) at this moment. His soul will be caught up in the clouds rising in the air to meet Jesus. How blessed to witness a new life just there and then. He’s just one – and we are each just one – but each of us is EVERYTHING to Jesus. Jesus has been waiting on him – JESUS waiting on each of us. Jesus, like me smiling seeing the one monarch butterfly today, Jesus surely is knowing one more soul is WORTH THE WAIT…

Don’t wait – be with Jesus as He is with us.

Amen. 

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Here is an amazing sermon about the new Heaven:

Heaven: Part 1  https://subspla.sh/86bqvqv

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Here is that recycling story – take it or leave it for perhaps it is not uniform across the country…

https://www.cnn.com/videos/opinions/2021/08/13/how-much-recycling-gets-recycled-sutter-me-orig.cnn

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Here is the scripture about the new Heaven and new earth:

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Revelation 20:11, 21:1-5

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Here is the Old Testament about trumpet sounding (Numbers 10:1-10)

The Lord said to Moses:  “Make two trumpets of hammered silver, and use them for calling the community together and for having the camps set out. When both are sounded, the whole community is to assemble before you at the entrance to the tent of meeting. If only one is sounded, the leaders—the heads of the clans of Israel—are to assemble before you. When a trumpet blast is sounded, the tribes camping on the east are to set out. At the sounding of a second blast, the camps on the south are to set out. The blast will be the signal for setting out. To gather the assembly, blow the trumpets, but not with the signal for setting out.

“The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come. When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the Lord your God and rescued from your enemies. Also at your times of rejoicing—your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts—you are to sound the trumpets over your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, and they will be a memorial for you before your God. I am the Lord your God.”

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Here is the New Testament account of the trumpet sounding  – LISTEN and be working for the Lord! 1 Thessalonians 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.

Don’t Wander, WATCH FOR GOD, 14AUG – #1223

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I am a firm believer that we should WATCH FOR GOD – it is not a just a Vacation Bible School reminder but a daily life reminder – WATCH FOR GOD – Pray if you can’t see the path, wait, listen, talk with God. Talk it out with His people too, but always let God have the LAST WORD (and the FIRST too)…  Take the TIME to THINK: How is GOD directing ME in THIS situation.

Numbers make me think – and numbers help us use our brain over our hearts – numbers click our brain waves up into mental logic and rational thought locations (rather than whims of fear or fantasy or flight). Thinking will help us to THINK, BE STILL, WATCH FOR GOD…  Numbers right now should give us information about statistics over hype. Numbers give us information of risk factors for illnesses, surgery outcomes, and real-world things.  Numbers help us with weather too – 100 degrees 80 degrees 30 degrees – what weather gear will we wear… are we prepared?

One of the major things I remember about my Dad’s last years is that he would always look at the clock and know what was going on – he kept a schedule – his words were few but he always kept track – he checked with me when I would be driving thru the mountains on my trip home – would it be icy or dark – or would I be too tired by the end and risk falling asleep. My Dad could still grasp the math and time just like he grasped the TV remote and knew how the football teams were doing. His stroke did not rob him of understanding numbers or time or LOVE… He probably learned a lot about time just in his time waiting… we should too…

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Over and over again in recent bible teachings, I have heard the reminder that the heart will make a convert of the brain, taking us down the wrong path – that is why we are told to GUARD OUR HEARTS. God knows our hearts – and knows our leaning towards sin and He knows us just being silly when we are getting away with ourselves. We are not to “follow our hearts”, especially if we are easily pulled in this direction or that – which we are. We are instructed to FOLLOW GOD… And God will have us WAIT ON HIM – and HE will have us think, yes, but also simply have us FOLLOW. I appreciate that in the time of Moses, God Himself gave command of when He wanted the Israelites to move and when to stay. He had this GIANT CLOUD over the TENT of the COVENANT LAW that stayed when it was time to stay or this cloud lifted when it was time to travel. Can you imagine a cloud God made? At night, the cloud looked like FIRE.

Why should we wait on God? Why should we travel when He lifts the cloud? Because He has us going places for His benefit and ours. His covenant law tent was for those times, but now you and I travel with Jesus leading. We too must listen before acting, flying off the deep end or giving up hope. Don’t sweat the small stuff. 

Stop worry, and watch. Stop fear of life and embrace it. 

Ask the Lord, especially in these times, this season, to help us number our days, so that we make the most of our time.

If you have time for God, you will learn the He HAS set aside time for you, now and forever. He can stop time, make it seem to fly by, He is timeless too. He knows the time and the hour of when Jesus will return. 

Be mindful because He’s minding His Plan. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN. 

WATCH FOR GOD!

AMEN!!!

The Cloud Above the Tabernacle (Numbers 9:15-23)
On the day the tabernacle, the tent of the covenant law, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire. Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped.  At the Lord’s command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s order and did not set out.  Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the Lord’s command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out. They obeyed the Lord’s order, in accordance with his command through Moses.

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Psalm 90 – A prayer of Moses the man of God.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.” A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death – they are like the new grass of the morning: In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered.

We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Relent, Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.

Written Down, 13AUG – #1222

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I am so busy these days – work – and home – and life – and and and…

I have to make “to-do lists” – I have to write it down – I even have to write on my hand when I need to…

I have so much to keep track of…  I have to write it down to dump my brain and see it all on paper… Know that written down will make room in my head to think, just to be. Whew!

Oh Lord, Can You Understand? OH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!  YOU DO!!!!!!!!!!

You DO understand because YOU WROTE DOWN YOUR PLANS TOO!!!

You ARE the writing that was written!!!!!! 

You, You Yourself Wrote YOURSELF Down!!!!!

Except it is not a “to-do list” mission to finish, “IT” is already finished.

YOU are on a “TO BE KNOWN” mission.

You were You, the Word, before we had letters. 

You are You, the Word, that we can now see in our lives and rely upon. 

You will be You, the Word, always and forever that we will need to follow. 

You are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Ready to Lead as well as Always have Led.

We remember You when we worship You. You will never blot out our names from the book of life, You will acknowledge our name before Our Father and His angels. (Revelation 3:5)

You will NOT forget us. Lord, You have inscribed us on the palms of Your hands. (Isaiah 49:16)

Thank You Lord.

For You to have had, now have, and will have me on Your “To be Saved” List is all I really ever needed, need or will need.

Thank You!

Amen

Deep Down OK, 13AUG – #1221

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It’s a DEEP DOWN OK, 

Lord, You make us OK.

It’s listening and knowing Your Way.

I hear what You have to say,

You say we will be OK.


My worries may make my heart stray.

My mind tells me to STAY.

Your Hope is the ONLY Way.

Your Life in us, for us, is more than OK.

Deep down we will be OK.


Stress, unknowns, things, they may change up life, spin it seemingly away.

But Real Life, in You, is not really going astray, even earth is temporary anyway. 

Keep the faith, we all must say.

Keep our steps, Lord, towards You and WITH You today.

Life IS short Lord, but You Lord, make even that OK.


DEEP DOWN, am I OK? Today?

With Your Comfort, Life, and Love? I am OK. 

With Your Guidance, and Peace pausing Patience, You are enough for each day. I am OK. 

OK to rest, OK to keep moving, take action, and OK to live in Your Way.

You LOVE us Lord, that’s all we really need to say.


We have You, we are OK.

We know You, we are OK.

You love us, we are OK.

Without You, we would go astray, but we have You.

Lord, with You, we are OK.


Amen 

5 Reams of Writing and Up-righting, 12AUG – #1220

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I took a photo of my Spiritual Writings, written on 3 phones for 6 years now.

They have become 65 chapters, roughly one or two months each chapter, they are 1200 plus devotions. I started with 10 in a box that I hid in my car. I thought I was losing my mind, it was just that God was sorting thru my head and straightening it out. Jesus does have gentle hands and God has given Him authority to deliver dumpsters and clean us up. He rights our minds upright. I am told from scripture and preachers that Heaven is orderly, no wonder God is working on us too – He knows where we fit – “on earth as is in Heaven”.

These writings are NOT a life’s work but a WITNESS of the workings of LIFE, of Holy Spirit movements, of a catalog of GRACE, and of His momentum in me to comfort me as well as encourage you, and whomever I can. I must say and tell the world that YES INDEED, GOD IS ALIVE and LOVES us all.

I print these thru the Office Max (almost 5 reams of paper so far) as well as email and post them online, and who knows what God needs me to do with these someday – but for now these boxes and His ordered words should be displayed NOT as my legacy but as HIS…

Blessed to comply best I can…

Blessed to BELIEVE!

Thank you always for letting me share.

A PS from Proverbs, 12AUG – #1219

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The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.

I heard a bible teaching on Proverbs and of course it related to the devotion notion about Numbers that I wrote yesterday (but only sent out this morning because I fell asleep! (Of course a great wisdom is this: GET SLEEP!) 

So, as a PS to Numbers Numbers Numbers, we are to remember: 1) God is counting us and 2) God is counting ON us, for us to LISTEN and GET WISDOM.

Solomon’s written proverbs are speaking advice to his children, and he is likely giving advice that his father David passed along to him as his son – God has it recorded because it is advice that pertains to us today as well. GET WISDOM. 

So where, you may ask, do we GET wisdom? WE ARE TO FIND WISDOM IN THE WAY OF JESUS – we are to have the blessing of wisdom – for which is actually the Lord Himself. Imagine if we were tapping into Jesus’s wisdom? He does not hold it back. Jesus IS the Word. This makes sense “By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place” – the Alpha and Omega – beginning and the end – that is Jesus.

Jesus was there to see the water divide “he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew” – Jesus IS the water that saves – and Jesus will also be there at the end to divide those trust Him and those who don’t. We don’t have to look into the scriptures that long before we find Him. We do need, however, to thirst for Him, His Knowledge, and His Wisdom.

Remember The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.

Amen

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Proverbs 3

My son, 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;
then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.

By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.

My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—when you already have it with you. Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you. Do not accuse anyone for no reason—when they have done you no harm. Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways. For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence. The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed. The wise inherit honor, but fools get only shame.

Proverbs 4

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. 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. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.


Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”

Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. 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. For they cannot rest until they do evil; they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble. They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.

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

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. 

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

Numbers Numbers Numbers, 11AUG – #1218

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What strikes me in the Old Testament is the theme found NUMEROUS times in the scriptures: that God counts (and knows) His people AND God counts ON His people. 

Numbers Numbers, why does God love Numbers so much? Perhaps He stays up counting His children like sheep. Oh that’s right, God doesn’t sleep, He counts His sheep because He cares that much about His sheep. HE DOES!

I LOVE numbers too, just for fun, and often we use numbers to describe things – knowing the numbers in our bank accounts help us to decide about purchases – knowing the numbers as odds helps us look at risks of medical procedures or predicting if it is going to rain. Numbers describe things but the numbers themselves are not the actual things we care about. God does not see us as a number but a soul. We may want to number our days and make the most of each of them but in the end, what DOES matter is that TO God, WE matter!

In the book of Numbers, God instructs Moses to have a census taken, it describes hierarchies of families, gathers and then counts individuals and clans. God’s people were to gather as units in certain locations and be counted – they always were to be known as His people. 

The Lord spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said:  “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army. One man from each tribe, each of them the head of his family, is to help you.” 

And God pre-knew and KNOWS His people TODAY – YES YOU AND ME. God knows us so much that He knows and counts EVERY HAIR ON OUR HEADS, on each and everyone’s heads – ALL PEOPLE.  That concept completely blows my mind. I cannot wrap my head around knowing every person let alone every hair. And the hairs are counted and numbered? Wow. And how about we lose a few strands of hair all the time, every day that we don’t mind – BUT how INTENSELY the Lord minds about us, how He works to track and hold onto His children. 

Jesus taught: “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7

I love and track both my grown children, from when they were in the womb to now (mostly) grown up, but I still can’t rest until I rest assured that I know (roughly) where they are – at school or work or anywhere – and yes how restful it is for me when I know they are home safe. Ahhh, the peace of them being asleep in the quiet of my mornings. Ahhh, the quiet in the mornings for all of us when there is peace (or the pursuit of peace) for this is when the Lord can find you to talk. God knows ALL His children like that, WOW! God wants to talk. God, in charge of numbers, however really does NOT want us to run our lives by the numbers, but walk by the book, His Book, Him.

God wants us to number our days and God also counts ON His children to know they are His and part of His team. Jesus stated: “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Luke 12:8-10

So what is God counting and taking account of? Counting you among the saved and therefore asking you to help plant seeds for more to be counted among the saved. See, God knows the number of people now and then, of course, but He had the census by Moses taken anyway, prepared His people for organization. Perhaps we must think in these terms again today – to guage who is Saved and not saved and if we know/knew how MANY souls there were to be paid attention to, that we would work with Him. Yes He is counting on us.

One last accounting of note….  In the Numbers census, God had Moses identify the first-born – not surprising as God has a First-Born Himself, a Son, Jesus, upon whom all Judgement against us will be counted as forgiven grace because of His act of sacrifice. Jesus made the numbers count…  He made the path in thru and away from the desert of death so that we would stop wandering on this earth and follow Him to the ULTIMATE Promised Land. And Yes, read ahead in Revelations 21 of how the old order passes away.

Let us follow Him, Life everlasting is promised, YOU CAN COUNT ON THAT!

Amen!

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Revelation 21:1- – where we learn how it is all accounted for, John writing as witness for our life everlasting:

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. “He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

Hope on the Hope, 10AUG – #1217

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I am in the book of Numbers, where the Lord is starting a census counting of His people.

Well, are we also to do that in our own lives? YES !!!!  We are not just think about our own salvation but take a count or account of the people that we know and if they are believers or not – well, sad to say that so many are not….  Sometimes I would pass the big NFL stadium and sometimes it would be full – and I thought “what percentage of those people know the Lord?” – hmmm…. or I would walk into Panera bread after church and it was packed…  and I saw some cute kids yesterday at the ballfield near work and internally prayed for them to know the Lord – to not lose the knowledge of His Spirit that they were born with.

The Lord wants us to know Him – He knows us. He knows EVERY hair on our heads – and EVERY action and words we speak… Although the Lord knows, He does want us to help Him take stock and to take a serious look at His flock. Can we help? We must help. Not condemnation but we must be seed-spreaders. We must show that we have HOPE so that others will know where HOPE comes from.

Numbers 1:1-4 The Lord spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. You and Aaron are to count according to their divisions all the men in Israel who are twenty years old or more and able to serve in the army. One man from each tribe, each of them the head of his family, is to help you. 

Lately in my life I remember the advice from Jesus: TAKE ONE DAY AT A TIME – and HOLD ONTO HOPE – and DON’T DOUBT THE LORD – and don’t look to the world for affirmation!!!

Our HOPE as well as affirmation is in Jesus and not in anything else – and the back and forth of society and whims of the world are nothing we should set sail with – instead we should anchor our HOPE with Jesus and let the Holy Spirit both buffer our lives and move us to where HE needs us…  and remember that our journeys are not just for us – they are to interact with the people who need to know that we act due to the love of Jesus – it is not just for this timeframe, it is for ETERNITY…

The Holy Spirit has brought me many examples and scriptures lately of “NOT PLEASING PEOPLE” – but pleasing the Lord by listening and obeying… and not compromising – and not getting tossed back and forth by the waves or risking getting spit out of God’s mouth – OUCH!  The scriptures I have been studying in Revelation remind us to evangelize and our teaching and loving DOES make a difference – and the only way out of an eternal torment is the easy and ONLY WAY – of letting Jesus be the Way in our lives. He IS the Way – so don’t stand in the way of your own ability to let Him lead you…  the Son of Man already knows what He is doing because He knows what IS done – and your salvation and every individual person’s salvation depends ONLY on one’s personal relationship with Him… not deeds but His Deed…  not our worth but His Worthiness…

I am appreciative that the Lord reminds us that He is in charge!!!

HOPE on that HOPE!  Remember He chose us! Don’t fade away from His save.

Pray for the Lord to reveal Himself and His Way to those drifting and losing their way….  Pray for His strength to overtake their folly. Pray for Him to hold onto them until they wake… We as believers will be raptured by the power of Jesus – but those who do not bend their knee to Him as Lord will face eternal hell – sorry to be a straight talker on a caution against Hell but wow, the bible does not lie… The Judgment of the Dead – Revelation 20:11-15  Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

I place my HOPE in Jesus – and in nothing less!!!

Amen!

Let there be LIGHT and Everything Else, 07AUG – #1216

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Let there be REST!

My time here on a blessed 4-day weekend for my college 30th reunion has been filled with both activities and time to sit. What a luxury to rest. You have no idea how novel it is to sit and rest, not sit and drive, but sit and rest.

In so many ways, our lives and lifestyles require us to take some time away from our normal hustle and bustle. He, our Lord, provided me this opportunity to be busy and to be at rest. Yes He did!  I am blessed. Some blessings I worked for, much I didn’t. With all things in life, it’s how we look at them which determines our attitude. When we ask to shed light on situations, we are likely looking for silver linings. We want to be encouraged. When we say “Let there be LIGHT”, we are asking for light to understand the situation better, light in the darkness. Sometimes we have no idea what or how a trial fits into how He is blessing us. It is fitting that He, the Lord, is our LIGHT in everything. 

I am writing from inside the bell tower. I did not know it was going to rain. It IS a good venue to feel blessed even in a storm. The music is sure amazing. Strong clangs of the bells rung in the right order give music that carries thru this valley. Coordinating all notes, it becomes beautiful music. Likewise, He giving and coordinating knowledge and direction for us, is setting His plans and commands in the right order. His Light, His EVERYTHING is what we should take to heart. We should reflect Him. 

The Lord speaking to Moses, which when recorded continues to live today as the book of Leviticus, gave Moses’s people knowledge and direction. The Lord gave them provisions. These great reminders and teachings fit Moses’s time and fit today’s people too. Examples of these teachings are: Put in work to yield a harvest. Take time to appreciate all the Lord has blessed you with. Rest assured that He provides and will provide. Do what He asks. Harvest when and what He says is appropriate. Let Him direct your resources. Save enough but not too much. Share. Thank Him. Be.

I appreciate that even in down times, our fields are resting on purpose. We can follow the light and see just a fraction of everything He provides. He blesses us when we work and when we don’t do anything to deserve the blessings.

He wants us to look to Him, rely upon Him. We have an opportunity EVERY day and in EVERYTHING to ask the Lord to shine the LIGHT.

LET THERE BE LIGHT!

Amen Amen 

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Just before the rainstorm, I recorded AMAZING GRACE on video. Grace is the Lord’s gift even though we don’t deserve it. But wow the Lord is desiring to give it to us.

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Leviticus 25:1-7, 18-22

The Lord said to Moses at Mount Sinai, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten.

18 “‘Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety. You may ask, “What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?” I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in.

You Always Knew, 06AUG – #1215

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I’m sitting now Lord, to FIND You, LISTEN to You, BE with You. You have found me here before, You always knew that I needed You. 

I’m at my peaceful stream spot, sitting on a rock where I’ve talked to You before. Well, years and years I’ve talked, but I don’t think I always credited You for listening to me. You did and You do. I didn’t always realize You were always here, being true. Now I do. I need You Lord, this I know You knew. 

Oh Lord, I’m listening now, and I realize now that You were always trying to reach me. Your soothing air. Your shade trees. Your power in the existence of this place. Your mercy in the moment given to me to think. Your creation actively being Yours. Your peace was and IS in my pursuit. Turns out You ARE the peace. I would and will find it when I realize I needed simply to be with You. You knew.

Now Lord, Your Word Lord, is ultimately where I did and can find You. Oh, Jesus, You speak in and thru. I never knew that You knew as much as You do. Now I do. I NEVER KNEW THAT LOVE IN THE BIBLE PAGES WERE YOU. Now I do.

You knew me Lord.

You know me.

You do.

You know EVERYTHING Lord.

You ALWAYS knew. 

I’m here to hear You.

Lord, I Love You.

Amen

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Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. Proverbs 9:9-11

No Need to Worry, God is doing His Work and Wash, 04AUG – #1214

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My washer is under 10 years old but these occasional floods from an electrical issue are getting frustrating…  So now that I started thinking down the path of replacing it, I realized that a fresh start makes more sense. So, I started thinking also about removing the water heater as well because we don’t need that anymore due to our new oil heater boiler being plenty efficient, there is plenty of hot water without the extra tank.  And that ALSO means I could replace the cracked vinyl floor too. And oh yeah, I’ve had this major situation with my ceiling cracked and exposed where the rain gets in, flood rain and plaster drips over the washer! And And….

Yes, I need to tackle the WHOLE room…

So I pulled up some vinyl floor to let the corner of the room dry from the second flood in 2 days, ugh, and I saw a hidden VBS sticker that I made for crafting, years ago. Give ALL your worries to God because God cares for you… yup… 1st Peter 5:7… GIVE YOUR CARES AND WORRIES!

FITTINGLY, that sticker scripture is the verse after what happens to be a scripture duplicated for me yesterday. Peter speaking from the Psalms 3:34: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” that Psalm is the bible study I heard in the morning. So, actually today had a scripture triple play…

It’s good to acknowledge triple plays of scripture, especially when God is talking about clothes and you are trying to do laundry!  “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 

God IS the ultimate fix-it God, providing cleaning and sorting and clear direction. God likes cleaning up things and people, like us. Grace washes us in Jesus’s blood for forgiveness. GRACE.

We see grace in our challenges, even in floods and leaks, because they COULD be worse, but they are not. We have grace in His guidance, comfort, compassion and direction.  And we have grace eternal to live and reign with Him. We could be lost, but we are found. 

AND I have the added reinforcement, at the end of the day… MY 20YR OLD DRYER NOW IS ON THE FRITZ AND SOUNDS AWFUL! HAHA!!!  LOL…

As I am at the laundromat right now, I am grateful for a nice clean quiet place, and enough change in my purse to get my laundry started, and enough time to do it before work…. I am grateful for direction and a reminder to humble yourself, and grateful to NOT WORRY…. Did you know it actually is prideful to worry, but it is tough to not worry. We are human, we worry all the time! So remember:  Give your cares to the Lord…  He cares for you, He will guide you… 

Trade your worries and washing machine, trade your old self in for a fresh heart start. It’s not your laundry but His. He wants you clean. Humility goes a long way. He likes the fresh scent of forgiveness to those who humbly ask, Christ covering all…

Amen

Fed Sheep – Feeling Full, JUL – #1213

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My Writings about My Dad,

So, as you know, I have been writing for over 6 years now, which I believe is because the Lord has set me on this path of both processing and encouragement. “Strengthen your brothers” – “Feed My sheep” – these are commands of Jesus that I take seriously. I also know that He needs me to listen and learn.

Therefore, it was and is a major healing for me to write for processing during those first days of my Dad’s passing last month and to edit and post. A writing gift for my processing sure, and perhaps a comfort to others. Fittingly, for the writing that very morning, before I knew the severe downturn of my Dad’s health, I had written a piece about giving one’s time over to the Lord, sacrificing one’s own agenda and being ready for His. Well, YES…

So now I have edited and assembled these writings to post on my blog page. Thank you for letting me share. 

Here are the links to each writing: click the plus symbol,  upper left corner: https://debbieupper.blog/

Oldest to newest by dates – I retro posted these near the dates but not until this week… it was good to edit them and reflect.

No Gleaning, No Kidding, 02AUG – #1212

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I’m back to my biblical bookmark, in Leviticus 19:9-10 – WOW I love to get back to scripture – it is an interesting post that God made of His various laws in the times of Moses for the wandering and wondering Israelites: “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest.  Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.”

Love this scripture too: “Food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel. Proverbs 20:17

There’s a level of responsibility and respect that we are to hold for people who NEED resources that we have but they can not acquire them like we do. Sometimes these folks actually work double hard for half the benefits that we often see. The Lord cautions us against being greedy, requesting and requiring the people in Moses’s time to let others get something. We are NOT to GLEAN, which is make a second pass over our fields. We are to be satisfied with what we do harvest and we do have, and that should give us enough of those blessings that we had hoped for. Often times we ARE harvesting blessings which are countable and sufficient. The Lord DOES GIVE in sufficient ways. Not only leave the little stuff behind for others, as the scripture instructs, but move forward with what we did harvest and get gping to use that. To receive and appreciate the first pass as ENOUGH. Next, we could also take what we did harvest or recieve and make the MOST of it, not waste it.  We could say this about the example of vineyard grapes, or about anything in our resources – or about our TIME. Yes we hold things, store some, but hoarding has sometimes become a dangerous folly. 

Like money,  food, time, don’t waste anything and then gripe about not having enough. Wow, that’s an appropriate description of our use of resources and time and when we hoard grapes from vineyards we should have shared, often we are left with sour grapes. 

Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare. Proverbs 20:13

I often think about the times where I have hosted a party and then I’m still in preparation mode when the first guests arrive. I am not ready to sit and enjoy their company or offer mine because I am still focused on gleanings, on doing what I think should be the rest of my preparations. Sometimes I get around this by leaving some easy “guests friendly” tasks in the kitchen to the beginning on the party. It is also wise to do the pre-party things early, like deep cleaning the table, make space to share the party food, to make the time later to enjoy the guests. I want to make space and time in my party where I get to sit!!! Also how important to invite the people to the party before doing anything else. It’s no party if you forget to invite the guests. Organize and prioritize, leave yourself time, give yourself time. Use Wisdom and leave Folly off the menu. 

The Wisdom says the Lord has provided goods, friends, freedom, prosperity to you. Wisdom from the Lord says God has provided you to provide His people their windfall too. Don’t be greedy, glean not. Leave something for someone else. 

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:15-17

Amen

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Wisdom vs. Folly 

Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars. She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city, “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.”

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.

Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!”  But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.

Psalm 9:1-6, 10-18

Trusting Your Gut and NOT Your Heart, 01AUG – #1211

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Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23

We are told time and time again to protect our hearts and not be subject to their folly. Don’t trust your heart, it’s too whimsical and easily distracted and trapped, carried away and smashed. Our hearts are fallible, our hearts race and drop. Our hearts can lead us astray. Jesus knew and knows this.

What about your gut? Your gut feeling tells you a lot, your gut may know more than your heart, listen internally and evaluate externally. Your gut knows how to sort things out – really – it has to decide upon the nutrients to absorb, the indigestible and intolerable to expel. It has to run at just the right pace. The gut has to live in harmony with other creatures who help digestion. The gut has to trash anything that will upset your system. Your gut is also taking a villi by villi approach to individual spaces and instances. If you don’t want you life (or gut) to be queasy then don’t fill it with stuff too cheesy. 

And how can the gut best discern all these things of note? We can put on our armor of God and fortify our scripture stockpiles.Let us use our brains and the Word of God to balance the tide. Let us ask questions: “does this activity/situation jive with Jesus’s Word and Will for me? Can I wait and listen? Should I put myself in the mix or step back and let the world handle this one? Can I make sure my heart is not hurt? 

Let us be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 

Let the Lord dictate our pulse.

Amen

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James 1:19-25
Let us be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

James 1:12-18

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. 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.

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(PS – after I had this in my head to put down in print, I had a marvelous bible teaching that taught me both that the Lord wanted to fortify this concept of trusting Him – AND that the Lord knows that we are going to be swayable by our hearts. The bible teaching spoke of the millenium and after 1000 years of wonderful living, with no strife, the devil would be loosed and deceive the nations and those on the earth again. therefore even a thousand years of harmony, one wrong note can tip our hearts and sour the symphony. therefore we must be aware that even and especially now, we are able to be led astray – therefore let us keep on with Jesus – let us not dig up harm – let us be paying attention to the righteousness of God – let Him lead the way. double Amen.)

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23

Whose My Scapegoat? 29JUL – #1210

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Old testament scriptures give accounts of how Aaron, the brother of Moses, and his sons were to act as priests, cleansing themselves and offering sacrifices. This included the release of a SCAPEGOAT. It was said that all sins were laid upon the scapegoat instead of you. You were assumed guilty if you came. Your sacrifice meant you knew you could be forgiven.

Then he is to take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat. Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the Lord and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat.” Leviticus 16:7-10

I doubt that the casting of lots was for pure luck, God chose how the luck turned for that goat. If anything, God can turn the “luck” of casting lots or anything gambling or He can let it play out. We are to remember that it not a gamble when God is in control. God chose the sacrifice offering goat and God chose the SCAPEGOAT. He is that way with us too. He allows us to escape our second death by offering Jesus’s death instead. I would not call that lucky, I would humbly call that blessed. My Scapegoat? My Savior. My sacrifice? My life. Jesus’s sacrifice means He KNOWS we can be forgiven. We should accept His eternal forgiveness, not entering instead into eternal death.

If we think we are in charge of our own destiny and we turn away from God, seemingly going down a path of our own agenda, His narrow gateway is still at the end of our life. He still decides our “fate”. It is not fate if there IS a GATE… He controls both and we must choose which path. No lukewarm faith or walk. If we walk with Him, then He takes us on HIS path. If we put our faith in HIS Power. He escapes us from certain life traps and especially the lost-ness of the wilderness. Jesus went to wilderness so we don’t have to.  Yet we can get to our own wilderness and He will be the only One there to rescue us. I don’t think of Jesus as a get out of jail free card as much as a boat to get us over the rocky moments of life, a living water source in our life drought. 

Life is life, humanly lived and humanly flawed. Life is not perfect, yet Perfect is the One who created it.

God does not casting lot to see who lives and dies. God is holding the whole earth, wanting everyone to turn one way or the other. God will work to turn you towards Him. He will bring you not to into wilderness for becoming lost but for you to find wonderment. We may wander into wilderness of our own accord, but He would rather go there instead of us. It’s Jesus who takes your sins out to the wilderness. Jesus lives to love you, loves to serve our God Father, serves to let you live. Our sacrifice? Ro follow Him.

Cast not lots, but cast your eyes upon Him today. Be remembering Him as our Scapegoat. He is our Savior. 

Let us be His and LIVE.

Amen

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Matthew 7:13-14

The Narrow and Wide Gates

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

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Leviticus 16:20-22 

When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat’s head. He shall send the goat away into the wilderness in the care of someone appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a remote place; and the man shall release it in the wilderness.

Light Our Life, 27JUL – #1209

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Psalm 23, on my prayer cards, in our readings, in our Word of comfort from the Lord… The Lord IS my Shepherd. 

The Lord to Shepherd us. To Light our Life. To Overcome the Shadows of Fear, Sorrow, Pain and Loneliness. To Light our Path and fuel our Forgiveness. Light to see us as He wants to see us, HIS CHILDREN, pure and loved.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

The valley of the shadow of death could be a void of light, be facing danger in the present, maybe times we have escaped in the past, be real danger in the future or just be a thought of a shadow, not a real object, something that blocks our path and shadows the light TEMPORARILY. Shadows are cast from objects real and imagined. Yet, shadows are only shadows because there IS Light. Fear is overcomable. Pain is taken away. Death is temporary for those who love Jesus. There is only the first death, but not a second. Death on earth but NOT eternally. Death is but a step behind a cloud. The shadow of death nor anything could ever block the Light of the Lord. Darkness can not overcome Light. 

If death itself can be overcome, therefore troubles in this world can be overcome. Just keep walking. It may seem dark in the shadows, but keep walking. We also walk because our loved ones are not resting in Heaven but living in Heaven. We too must live on earth – KEEP LIVING.

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power,” Revelation 20:6

If you watch shadows of clouds, the shadows move, the clouds move, but the Light does not. The Light is steady. The earth itself will move, rotating and night and day come and go, but this is moving in God’s control and His plan. The Sun lights us and warms us, the moon reflects a sliver of the Sun shining on it. But remember the Sun is not even a sliver to the Light of the Lord. HE IS LIGHT. The Lord is always and truthfully the Light we should seek. His comfort, His guidance, and His Light will not change. HE IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER. 

One day the earth, sun, moon and stars will all pass away. Then and now He WILL BE the only true Light. Our loved ones’ death is but a phase. Our own death will be just a phase. Our life will continue with Him. Fear no evil. Fear not death. Walk in Light.

Lord, we pray for you to Light our Life. You do – we pray to see You and not the shadow. But because of the shadow Lord, we know that You are the Light we seek.

Amen

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

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John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Fragrance of Death and Life, 25JUL – #1208

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It’s been a process in processing after my Dad passed away.  Everyone is doing very well and it was a JOY traveling up home for the weekend. Cleaning and sorting some of Dad’s stuff, I helped by taking multiple bags of his clothes to donate.  It is a process to processing that is as therapeutic as it is necessary. A process as therapeutic as it is sad and yet we are VERY grateful for remembering all the good times.  Sadness fades. Treasured memories remain. 

It’s been a process in processing after my Dad passed away just 3 weeks ago.  Everyone is doing very well and it was a JOY traveling up home. Picking Blueberries, Thai food, walks, talks and a new cat. Trinkets of my 40 year old toys found in a hidden closet while emptying the attic. Weebles wobble but they STILL don’t fall down. An unexpected “treasure” were the black walnuts in the attic, crazy, just plain nuts! A hundred or more walnuts stowed into chewed empty cardboard boxes. Squirrels try to store up treasures too. A funny new memory for us.  

My mom is amazing and a champion of cheer and she has been working VERY hard cleaning, sorting and donating some of Dad’s stuff. I helped by taking multiple bags of his clothes to donate.  It is a process that is as therapeutic as it is necessary. A process as therapeutic as it is sad and yet we are VERY grateful for remembering all the good times.  Sadness fades. Treasured memories remain. 

As I moved items, on top was my father’s blue sweater that he seemed always dressed in, especially the last few years. My mom paused in tearful processing when she saw it. I paused to hug her. It is important that life and love does move us to move forward. My Dad doesn’t need that sweater anymore. We don’t either. We know to not store up treasures or sweaters which won’t last, the bible reminds us of this too (Matthew 6). 

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

So someone else can use that sweater. We shall keep the memories of course. Blessed memories…

The lingered smell in the sweater surely reminded me of him. Cool little memory triggers seem to come like every day. I smelled it once again before I put it in the washing machine, his suit coat too. A smell in your memory bank can be priceless but not a treasure to save anywhere except within your smile and within your heart. A smell on a shirt can comfort your baby or puppy, so why not you too. A smell can bring memories unique to you. 

I thought of this sweater today, sitting in church, when I was reading ahead, in the story of Mary, Martha’s sister, who took a tremendously valuable bottle of perfumed oil “nard” to pour onto Jesus’s feet and head. A WHOLE bottle worth a year’s wages. WOW expensive and WOW a strong smell too. The house was FILLED with the scent. The money-focused folks gasped, but the teacher in Jesus consoled her and appreciated the gesture and used her as an example of LOVE. She was and is valuably mentioned by us forever to represent His teaching moment to know real treasure: spending time with Him.  Jesus explained to others that Mary was pre-anointing Him for death, and He knew His death was soon to come, within a week’s time. Although He taught and told of His death and deliverance, it is unknown how many people really processed what they heard Him say. We don’t know what we will do today or tomorrow but Jesus knew His time was near. So, with the strong scented oil now poured on Jesus’s feet, Mary used her hair to wipe them. I bet the WHOLE house smelled of the treasured nard oil. Everyone who came close to Jesus that night must have smelled the strong scent. Everyone who came close to Mary must have also smelled her perfumed hair. And no doubt that strong smell lingered for some time in the house. I think it is fitting of this sweet scent as the presence of God in Jesus FILLING the house. Like the scripture states, the smell of Christ is life to those being saved. That’s what reminded me of my Dad’s smell from his sweater. 

Just a week or so after Mary poured that oil on Jesus, just outside of Jerusalem in Bethany, we now know what Jesus knew: Jesus was on His Way to death then resurrected LIFE. The scriptures don’t tell us what Mary and Martha did after His death, but can you imagine that the house may have still smelled of the perfume for some time – even past Jesus’s passing (well it was only a week later!!)… Perhaps Mary’s hair did too, the smell and the memory lingered in her hair or her clothes. Did it trigger thoughts of sorrowful loss or joyful memories for her? A smell of death or a smell of LIFE? Probably both. How about after Jesus arose? Did Mary once again catch the scent in the house and think back to that night in pain – or did it trigger JOY?  It’s not my place to add anything to scripture, but my thought of their thoughts makes me sure that Mary held many a memory of Jesus treasured in her heart. 

Jesus did rise after His death. He did crush the evils of death as foretold in Genesis (chapter 3). Mary became remembered as treasured by the Lord, her story specifically savored in His Word as well as in our retelling. Mary did put her treasure where her heart was, with Jesus. We can too. The smell of Christ is salvation. So, I put the smell of my Dad’s sweater in the category of reminding me that He is in Heaven with Jesus. The best JOY that Jesus gives us life eternally.

We each can remember many unique treasured thoughts of our loved ones. We can all make new unique memories now too, these become future memories that will give life and joy – then and now. When Jesus is remembered, there is JOY. When Jesus is remembered, their is sorrow for the pain He had to bear. When Jesus is remembered, His LOVE is remembered too. No doubt, Jesus treasured us all. He treasures me and He treasures you.

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

Live LIFE as TREASURED as a loved child of God. Live in the moment (as Mary did). Treasure Jesus (as Mary Did). 

Love Life and love all (as Jesus does too).

Amen 

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John 12: 1-8

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Mark 14:3-9

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Matthew 6:19-22

Treasures in Heaven

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

Leviticus to Jesus, it is about Cleanliness, 23JUL – #1207

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WOW – if there needs to be any other additional thank you to say to God, it is for having Jesus as our deliverer, it would be from reading the issues brought up in Leviticus, in Moses’ time, and being grateful that we don’t have to atone with blood and flesh of animals. Jesus was and is our Savior by His sacrifice. Leviticus scriptures call for AWARENESS, ATONEMENT and CLEANSING. So, it is not the same but what an amazing advancement we have in this day and age with physical cleaning using bleach, antibacterial treatments, soap and CLEAN water… And was are grateful the ceremonial atonements and sacrifices – appropriate in those times – do not pertain now in comparison to the cleansing of us of our sin by the blood of Jesus.  

The One and Only Jesus.

And there is more – not like old testament Aaron and his line of priests who were required to be there to accept our sin and fellowship offerings, we are to directly go to Jesus without a middle man. He is the great physician – the great healer – the Mr. Cleaner – our quicker picker upper…  Jesus is our Lord and our Savior. He was and is and will be God’s sacrifice for our sins, and our saving. Human Brother to us, God calls us all His sons and daughters

Yes, in Leviticus, the priests are calling the people “clean” or “unclean”. SO how BLESSED WE ARE –  washed in the blood of Jesus – that JESUS simply and sacrifice-ily calls us: “BROTHER” or “SISTER”.

AMEN !!!

Read Leviticus 13-15 here: lots of clean and unclean, sores and boils and leprosy and all that !

Read Hebrews 2-3 for a reminder of Jesus as our sent Savior:

biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+2-3&version=NIV;KJV

Jesus Made Fully Human
It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him? You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned them with glory and honor and put everything under their feet.”

In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.”

And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.” 

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Jesus Greater Than Moses
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

The Lord’s Book and Bookmark, 13JUL – #1206

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I have not been reading methodically as I have been meaning too, but I knew where I (and the Lord) placed a virtual BOOKMARK in His BOOK, the Bible’s Leviticus 6.

Like the Lord knows His placement of us, He knows where and when we stopped reading His Word and God-forbid LISTENING to His Word. He never changes and so what He was about to say into our situation will wait and work and wonder when we will return to Him. 

Leviticus 6, although we are not held to the law of Moses for realizing His forgiveness and His Mercy, it still has good advice: tell the truth, make restitution if needed, and be humble enough to admit wrong.

A few weeks ago I had done something both I felt OK about as well as wondered if I could or should have said something first. The details not important here, but mentally set like a divot that then stuck in for my brain until I rebuilt the relationship enough to mention the action. The scripture came right after the event. Uncanny. The Lord put a bookmark in His Book until I returned to the situation to either admit in truth or admit with restitution available. (No worries,  I did come clean and all was accepted and all is good. It was nothing awful, I could have made restitution if needed, but all is good). I knew where I left my bookmark, He knew where to leave my sins: BEHIND. 

No, He didn’t throw the book at me, or rip me from His Book as the deceiving devil would want us to believe, but He did bookmark the book in my walk with Him. He mentioned the moment and He gave me His instructions on how to live: don’t deceive the Lord or the person, always come clean and He is the clean we are in Him. His Book is His Word, His Promise, that if we remain in Him, He remains in us.

We had the Savior to become clean before we had sin or guilt. We can be His and He is our Hope. We don’t have the law of Moses, but to the Lord we are to be a living sacrifice (Romans 2). We are to follow Him. No animal sacrifice, just Jesus.

No guessing, just Jesus.

No worries, just Worth. Jesus says we are Worthy of His Saving Grace. 

Saved.

Amen. 


—-

Leviticus 6(1-7)
The Lord said to Moses: “If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the Lord by deceiving a neighbor about something entrusted to them or left in their care or about something stolen, or if they cheat their neighbor, or if they find lost property and lie about it, or if they swear falsely about any such sin that people may commit— when they sin in any of these ways and realize their guilt, they must return what they have stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to them, or the lost property they found, or whatever it was they swore falsely about. They must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day they present their guilt offering. And as a penalty they must bring to the priest, that is, to the Lord, their guilt offering, a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value. In this way the priest will make atonement for them before the Lord, and they will be forgiven for any of the things they did that made them guilty.”

Move the Car, 14JUL – #1205

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Looking back, I love that one of the last things that my Dad said to my Mom, including “I love you” was: “Move the car.”

My Dad was always looking out for me, and my kids. He knew what was going on up until the end. I was driving home that last day, he knew that and wanted my mom to move her car from blocking my car from reaching my recent normal parking spot, at the top of their second driveway. “MOVE THE CAR.” It is a new parking spot for me and I like it. Being able to get home, no matter that it is a long distance, has been important for me – and I am grateful I did and I can.

MOVE THE CAR.

What does that really mean? It meant my Dad wanted it easier for me, wanted me in a safe landing spot, that I was welcomed and he wanted to know that I would be alright. He also wanted me to be done driving and safe. I could say the same about him. I wanted him to land in heaven safe, sound, whole, helped. I could say to many people: move your car and get up to see your loved ones and help them and you find closure, or move the car and stop blocking someone else to get a place where they find peace. 

My Dad wanted me to be able to get home. I did.

Move the car, and get to where you need to go. Get to the doctors, dermatologists, specialists, diagnostic experts, cardiologists, you name it, and get treatments if needed for longer life. 

Move the car and get to church to hear the healing Word and learn about your own way inside God’s Way. Talk to the people, fellowship, and find your peace. 

Move the car and free up the connections for others to make their peace with you. Your forgiveness of them and theirs of you are paramount to everyone’s peace.

Move the car and serve.

All in all you will find that God already “moved the car” and has no blockage for you from reaching home. Jesus serves, we land in safety with Him. Welcome home. 

I was glad my Dad was home on earth in his house and in his comfort even thru his suffering. I wanted my Dad to get Home, Heavenly Home, where Jesus had prepared a place for him, he did. Jesus prepares a place for each of us – not JUST for our comfort, but for His, and for His and our Father who wants us Home in Love.

Our Father wants us Home in due time, not a rush, He wants us to move and inspire the people who need Him and help others who don’t know Him. We are to share His Peace and Love with them so that they know He has secured their way and parking spot. His vehicle to Home is catching a ride with Jesus, He knows the Way, He IS the Way.

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Jesus showing John what His Love will do for us in His Revelation, in the eventual rolling out of the new Home for us with Him. 

Welcome Home. 

Jesus said: Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Jesus the Way to the Father

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:1-7


Amen

Father Knows Best – the Key to the Kingdom, 11JUL – #1204

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One of the comforts we receive when a loved one passes is watching and listening and feeling the Holy Spirit. The filling of Spirit comes because only He can fill our cups, no earthly substitution suffices. He gives us comfort. Time heals for processing of grief.

When my Dad passed away, I knew these things were key to me feeling embraced by the Spirit: It helps to be in scripture every day – it is paramount that we read ahead to know what happens when we die – and it is crucial that we believe it as TRUTH. 

I believe in Heaven. I believe that we are all within Jesus’s reach. I believe that I will see my Dad again. I believe that the Lord is working His Holy Spirit always. I believe that Jesus never lets anyone be alone without comfort. I believe in Jesus as Almighty and in His Presence. I believe that there is nothing impossible with God.

With a gradual decline in health over