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

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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 the years, I had processed this possibility of his passing but as time drew on, I started to say: “Lord, how does this all go down?” in wondering about how he would actually pass and how we would deal with it. Now I do know the answer – but I only know this feeling in part because I will be forever processing – and in our time here on this earth we are still learning how to deal with life, death and all the rest.  

Father Knows Best – and Father knows the REST.

So much advice my Dad gave me these 50 plus years of my life and of course all the life statements that he made still resonate in my head and my heart. My Dad was a good, great, amazing man. My Dad gave me MUCH advice – yes and he WAS right on so much of his counsel to me…  but he also knew that I was strong headed and stubborn – aren’t we all – for when I put my mind to something, you know what I mean. And of course I have always been Daddy’s little girl. Yet our conversation about faith and Heaven was not forged easily and yet my faith both forced me and blessed me to pursue the conversation about Heaven about a month or so before he passed. These were not big philosophical discussions, but I made my point: Heaven is real. I know this as TRUTH. Dad, I know you now know: I was right – not because of my self-righteousness but His Righteousness pushing thru me as Spirit and Truth. I wanted you to know and believe.

Father Knows Best – and Father knows the rest. Our Heavenly Father had allowed beloved apostle John the glimpse into the future – all of our future. John, a follower as a young teen, steadfast believer and witness to Jesus ministry, death, resurrection and restoration was given senior wisdom, insight and vision of the Kingdom-restorative return of Jesus in a Revelation. John sees and records what will “go down” when Jesus returns – so that we also know – so we understand the future Supper of the Lamb that we are invited to. He wants us to know that we are going to taste in His victory and be clothed in His righteousness. This participation comes by us believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior – and not by anything else we could do.

I pray that my Dad believed in Heaven from years of learning, but perhaps also in part because Daddy’s little girl was and is stubborn and spoke in truth. I don’t need to know that I was the seed planter or anything – all I need to know is that Jesus wanted and wants my Dad (and all people) to know Him – that Jesus was born and died to forgive him (and all of us), and that Jesus welcomed my Dad home.

Jesus will welcome us Home if we remember to accept Him as the Key to the Kingdom.
Thank you God, our Father, You do know best for all and You sent your best: Jesus.

Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!

“These are the true words of God.”

Amen


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John recorded in Revelation 19: 

Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!” Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.

A Beautiful Day filled with Love, 09JUL – #1203

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To say that our love is an extension of the Lord’s love is true. And one way to explain how we are to treat people is how we are treated by the Lord: LOVED. If we are to be EXTENSIONS OF HIM – He in us and us in Him – then we are to be filled with love and called to be working for Him which is loving each other enough to explain that LOVE is what fills our souls. If we lack that feeling of filled with the Spirit, then ask for the Holy Spirit to come afresh.

It would be an understatement of how wonderful it was to experience a LOVE-FILLED day when we set aside the day for gathering – a day filled with hugs and stories and LOVE. The clock seems to stop. How does that happen? When God stops and slows time, that’s what happens.

That’s what God does. It’s not minutes on the clock when it is moments of the heart. God gives the time to gather and to just BE. To move IN love like He wants it to be spread. To be His own healing force for each other.  We are to move in healing ways in this world, comforting and remarking at how connected we are. 

Heaven on earth means His love is to be shared here. We are to continue.  Our Heavenly Father and Lord keeps His Spirit here on earth to keep us moving. One day our Heavenly Father is going to move the heavens and earth to dissolve. We know He will regulate that timing, but we don’t have to watch the clock as much as be WITH the people who are in His Love along with us. We have the time to keep doing His work, be with the people for the sake of His Love. Forever we are the recipients of the love made by our God, our Lord. 

How we are to continue to be His Hands and Feet and Love. HE IS LOVE. I am thankful for those who express His love to me, and to all. What a blessing.

Thank you all and Thank you Lord. 

Amen 


God of all comfort, comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort each other with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2nd Corinthians 1:3-5

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8: 16-18


https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Corinthians%201%3A3-5&version=NIV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%208%3A16-18&version=NIV

Our God is a God of Comfort, 09JUL – #1202

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The God of all comfort, comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort each other with the comfort we ourselves receive from God

I thanked the gathered friends and family at my Dad’s memorial for the LOVE all had all shared – so tremendous. Praying is the MOST important “thing” to make a difference. BECAUSE OF everyone’s prayers, I was able to see the Holy Spirit move.  The last words I heard my Dad say were on the day before he passed. I told him that I loved him and that so very many were praying for him, and he said “THANK  YOU”, surely moved by the Spirit he said “THANK YOU”.

A scripture from Romans 8: 16-18

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Surely moved by the Spirit, people prayed and he said “THANK YOU”.

I thank the Lord thru His Spirit for His care for my Dad and for all of us – then, now and forever.

Amen

It Ain’t Serendipity if It’s the Holy Spirit, 03-05JUL – #1201

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I remind myself that the Holy Spirit is real. ACTUALLY REAL.  The Holy Spirit HIMSELF, of course, reminds me that He is real. We are blessed because the Holy Spirit “IS”- as in ‘I AM” – on the MOVE… 

A BLESSING after my Dad’s passing has been spending time in this sweet crush of LOVE’S outpouring of support.

Love IS showing to be real right now. Love IS real. Love IS.

In between raindrops on Saturday morning I went to the packed Farmers Market. Here if you wait long enough the weather changes. The last few days it has flip flopped sun and showers. That is also how we often are with grieving. We have memories and moments back and forth of sorrow and joy – all to be weathered like weather. On this day, this moment, the blue flowers caught my eye, and I had 4 bucks left over clenched in my fist – enough change to splurge after my happy purchase splurges of shelling peas, maple syrup popcorn, and real blackcaps – a side of the road delicacy of a variety with white stems unique to this area, different than those only a few hours south. These fruits from the first to last bites gave me equally sweet memories of my childhood. 

Four bucks cash? Blue flower? Wouldn’t you know that it was 4 bucks. SOLD. I carried it back to the car and looked down at the tag quickly and saw the name was BLUE BIRD. Haha Lord!!! That’s the name of my Dad’s favorite bird. Of course you knew that, Lord. CUTE!  It could have stopped me in my tracks – those God-sightings tend to do that – but this time, this moment, I didn’t stop walking because it is hard to stop and count the number of God sightings that I have had today, yesterday and every day. One could wonder that what we see everyday are “simply serendipity situations” or coincidences or real Holy Spirit movements. I also didn’t stop walking as I would never get anywhere, AND I had to get out of the rain back to the car, but we (especially I – really I) should stop and BE STILL and absorb what the Spirit is showing me (or trying to show me). The Spirit today IS telling me that He Himself IS taking care of my Dad. I believe it. I believe Him. I won’t multiple choose guess about God, I will say IN TRUTH that these good memories are God sightings and they ARE from Him.

The bluebird is my father’s favorite bird.  I have a bluebird pin that sat on my dresser and that I wore as I was driving up to see him that morning that he passed. The previous visit, 2 weeks ago, I don’t know what possessed me to ask him what his favorite bird was, because I KNOW what his favorite bird is. The grimace on his face of “you’ve got to be kidding, asking me” told me LOTS, reinforced my knowledge that he was very well aware of everything going on. It reminded me that I needed to trust the Lord working out all things for His glory. I need to remember that I DON’T know all the inner workings of the Lord thru the Holy Spirit, but if the Lord takes care of the birds, therefore He was and is taking care of my Dad and His Spirit within my Dad was moving and working this whole time. The conversations that my Dad had with the Lord in my Dad’s final days must have been tremendous. 

Bluebirds require special houses, so how much more does the Lord prepare a room for each of us in His house because of His LOVE. My Dad’s last words that I heard on the phone the day before he passed were “Thank you.” when I told him that I loved him and everyone was praying for him. His answer: “Thank you”. It IS and WAS and WILL BE, YOUR PRAYERS which ARE the Holy Spirit moving. It was because of YOU and the Spirit in you that helped carry my father thru. It is You Lord, where credit is ALL due.

I love the idea of the fun good “coincidental” things that happen in life, like the BLUEBIRD name of the flower. I love the nifty “coincidence” of a neighbor needing a ramp for a visiting relative coinciding with the dismantling of our ramp that my Dad now did not need. We love saying how serendipitous things fall into place, don’t we. For example my father’s assigned cemetery plot number matches my parents’ house number where they have lived for nearly 60 years.  So MANY of those fun things abound. Of course we need to be careful, as what we see every day can be said to be “in the flesh” and not reliable. We must and BEWARE the things of evil to trip us up – BUT I am NOT going to solve that answer of coincidence serendipity and Spirit in a simple blog, how dare I. BUT, I will tell you where I KNOW the Holy Spirit has been working – in my faith of God in helping my Dad with his faith. 

Those flowers, the bluebirds, and even worldly things, ARE worldly things. We must be careful to not read tea leaves when God Himself made and gave us His cup to be known. We also must fear the Lord and read Him. But as human as I am, asking for discernment, I am knowing that the Holy Spirit works all things for the glory of God, I put my confidence not in the flesh but in these connections that the Holy Spirit makes as answers of our prayers. If it brings us closer to God, I best say: It AIN’T serendipity if it really IS the Holy Spirit.  (And honestly I would never ever bet on it, I would just believe.)

I believe in God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth. When we pray and ask specifically in Jesus’s name, He sends the Holy Spirit. I don’t have to tell you all my God-sightings or God winks to convince you that God is paying attention to us. I pray you already know His Holy Spirit is active in your life, and want to know Him more. I do know that His ability to send the Holy Spirit makes me sigh and smile. 

The weather, and our sorrows and joys in life change. If you wait long enough, your view will change and with discernment you MIGHT see what the Holy Spirit was trying to show you all along: HIM. You don’t know how God makes and stores snowflakes, right? So honestly most of the time we have no clue how many times in life the Holy Spirit holds the glue. We have no clue, but the Holy Spirit is TRUE.

AMEN and Lord, I believe in You.

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Jesus said (in John 16:12-15):

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

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1 Corinthians 2:7-16 Paul speaking to the church:

…we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Forget-Me-Not, Take Confidence in the Lord, 02JUL – #1200

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When my Dad passed away, I spent only tiny moments alone. Neighbors came, relatives, wow so much support, blessed…  Even now it’s only tiny moments, but early morning God gets me up to pray, to read, to write. 

I can hear 50plus years of advice already rolling thru my head from my Dad. I always could and can hear IF I LISTEN. Of course most of the time I filled and fill my ears and head with my own thoughts. We all do.

Forget-me-not.
My favorite flower is the forget-me-not, the tiniest collection of blue sweet flowers, a bouquet already made, and plentiful in the fields where they are allowed to grow. I missed them this spring, and most are mowed over now. But I found a patch at the local Botanical Garden last night. They spread their little seeds and yet their roots go deep for such a tiny plant.

Our thoughts of loved ones, when filled with good memories, are like those beautiful expanses of floral fields, yes. Hopefully good memories over take any bad, we are gifted a blessing of healing, a blessing of time, a blessing of memories. Gratefully good memories and healing thoughts have DEEP roots.

Our thoughts, when filled with the Lord, give direction to grow. Roots in the Lord are deep and He, Lord God, our Father, IS the Gardener, and Jesus the Vine. So very often our thoughts when filled with our own heart desires can clog our ears. That’s normal, we are human, therefore we should listen deeper. If we realize how human our hearts are, we realize how magnificent our Lord is, especially by Him searching our hearts deeply to the roots. We should try to remain deeply planted in His Word and know that our confidence is in Him. What is impossible for man, God will and has already done. What is so fluid and fallible in us is not only KNOWN by the Lord, but is made manageable by Him, and ALL IS FORGIVEN IN HIM when we stay in Him. 

We are remembering my Dad’s favorite things these days, flowers and birds, favorite suit coat, favorite places, favorite LOTS of things. These resonate in our memories, but his favorite things were his children, his grandchildren, his wife, his family and his friends – as well as EVERY one whom he knew he could help, whether he knew them or not. His presence was strong, actions powerful and his words so meaningful.

That’s the Lord too, He loves His children immensely. And the whispers of the Holy Spirit can move His love to and thru us.

My dad’s physical self is no longer here but the whisper of his work lingers. So true for me too, as the last physical moment for me, as I kissed his forehead goodbye, was when I went to touch his chin. What does a little girl remember when getting and giving her Dad a kiss every night as he got home from a long day work, or before bedtime? The brush of a poke from his 5 o’clock shadow. How fitting that feeling came back to me at that instant. How my memories flooded me – of him excited to see me after work, of how he cared so much, of how he worked hard in raising me and of how he loved me. Yes, when I touched his chin the poke became a poke of my heartstrings. He loved me. He really did.

My Dad was a hard working man – always – doing everything and anything for helping his family and friends and community. He is done for the day now, 5 o’clock shadow no more… but his memory lingers on. 

Forget-me-not. 
Thanks Dad.

Thanks Lord.
Amen 
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Jeremiah 17: 7-10

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”—Psalm 146Praise the Lord.Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 1
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither — whatever they do prospers.

The Lord’s Train and Timing, 01JUL – #1199

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When my dad passed away, he went so rapidly after a long steady pace of decline. The Lord’s timing is the Lord’s. 

I did talk to my dad twice that morning. When he passed unexpectedly just after lunch. I was over halfway driving there, he knew that I was on my way. I am SO GLAD that I did have 4 days vacation to visit with him, and my family, WITH the kids just 2 weeks prior, a great trip. I told the kids that I needed to see their grandfather watching their grandmother giving them hugs. And THANK GOD for post-covid vaccination timing! Whew.

I had this devotion in my head processing about my trip while driving up (I thought in time), about me being the caboose and getting up there after a steady train, a parade, of friends in a farewell tour of love, but the Lord (once again) showed me that HIS Timing is above my timing, HIS Ways are well above ours always so we should always expect His timing, not ours.

Everyone asked “Did you get there in time?” Well, NO but YES. Not my timing, never was. Not my Dad’s timing either, he probably would have stayed in this world longer but his body gave out. It was and IS clear that when the Lord leaves the station, He pulls out. Can you catch the ride late? YES, Jesus is continually grabbing every hand He can, one soul at a time. And Jesus is EXCELLENT at making the catch. 

Could my timing have been better? Of course, but clearly I was being my human self in a human world. However, our Lord is LORD and it is like my processing about being that caboose: God does not need the caboose to run the rail, but oh how blessed that He does want us to ride with Him.

My Dad LOVED railroads. My Grandfather was an engineer, a fireman young then the engineer. My Dad the youngest of many sons. Everything train train train has been awesome in my life.  Except getting stuck behind one. My Subaru even has a railway spike in the pen holder. And the VBS theme this year is Railroad! And I will track alongside with friends.  My Dad’s life embraced trains, he sometimes got railroad passes in the 1950’s and 60’s to ride anywhere. He loved the caboose.  Me too.

I thought while driving up, I was like the caboose of the family, right? I was supposed to get there before He passed. I am the youngest right? The caboose? The end? Nope… I was both human in my timing and held up by getting my ducks in a row, getting my cars on the tracks aligned. I got to the house, but he had passed away like 2 hours before. I processed that with the Lord immediately for me to feel not surprised. They didn’t want to tell me, I was driving 5 hours in the rain, they wanted me safe. I had planned to travel the following day but it was a sudden shift in his health. Got the call, packed, showered, put oil and gas in the car. Called twice while on the road. They told me he heard me, motioned that he did. I walked in the door, then learned he was gone, I hugged mom and her tears so needed, I went to sit with him. Surreal. I then did the math, no, I could NOT have made it “in time” for his final breaths, no, not without me AND my car out of breath. I did the math,  I would have missed his last minutes by 5 minutes if my timing was perfect. Well, my timing is NEVER perfect. Plus it was POURING RAIN, so of course I slowed down as my dad would have me slow. (Yes Dad, I have good tires on my car too). Yes, my Dad 100% would have had me be safe, make sure my kids and work duties were ok and to NOT RUSH. Important work calls I needed/wanted to take on the road, I took them. I settled my kids schedules too, made sure all emergency plans fell into place. My Dad 100% said to take care of my kids. I did. I did.

My Dad AND Our Father God both like us to have our ducks in a row so that HE can clear the path forward. He wants us ready to go. God doesn’t need me loaded onto His train to pull out of the station, but He WANTS me to catch a ride.

I did that math like 3 times, whether I had or should I have had time to cut, but I didn’t with the kids, the work, the rain, the car, me, and especially God – no you CAN’T stop the rain or a train. I was also stopped at the last moment by (you guessed it), a TRAIN.  I was stuck waiting for a TRAIN at the same intersection where my Grandfather’s train ran for years and years. A TRAIN – oh, I SAT… oh, Your Ways Lord, Your Ways... I took a pic, cute Lord cute. You are telling me (again) that this is YOUR TIMING, not mine. You don’t punish Lord, but you certainly do instruct.

You. Your rest, Your mercy Lord, Your Peace. There is none higher. You are the engineer, the engine, the WHOLE track. You are running this line on Your Timetable. I’m not the actual caboose as much as I am simply standing ON the caboose waving at the people, encouraging them to join a ride. I’m NOT driving myself in this life, I am a passenger passing thru this world. And the baggage car? The Lord left it at the station. He only wants us on board.

Most importantly, my Dad is now on Your Train, Lord. You had your sights on him always. You punched His ticket. He’s got not a free ride but one bought by Your blood, and pursued by all those in prayer. What a rally we pray for those running to catch the train, His Train. Those strong grips You provided on the caboose, Lord, are golden. Thank You.

The caboose is cute, but it IS the ENGINE that pulls the load. I am happy to be on Your Line Lord. Power our lives. Let us hear Your whisper whistle. 

Thank You Lord.
All Aboard!

Amen 
WHEW…

The Offering, 01JUL – #1198

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Nothing better than a fresh day, a new day, an unblemished new start.

When offerings and sacrifices were made in Moses’s time, they were unblemished goats, sheep, new and young, or 2 doves for the poor to bring, for sin offering, for guilt offering, for multitudes of reasons to become burnt offerings. But those physical sacrifices are archaic now – but NOT the commands to live properly. Those repentances were to be done in earnest – and so too are we to earnestly seek forgiveness.

The forgiveness comes from Jesus – who took on our sin – known and unknown – committed and inherited – wrought and wronged. Jesus knew it all and knows it all.

So now, what about us? What now can we sacrifice after the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus?  Our day. Sacrifice your day to Him.

Our day. Sacrifice our preconceived notions of the day. Drop the baggage from yesterday and start fresh. Be the Love of the new day in Spirit. Worship in Spirit and Truth to the One who gave you the fresh day. Offer our best unblemished. Be willing to share the burdens and pick up the new day’s travels. Keep going. Be responsible for your own work. Speak up when the truth is not represented. Admit to guilt. Be in willingness to repay debts. Fess up to accidental oaths and faux pas. Sacrifice the thought that you are in control. Control yourself, but let the Lord move the day.

Sacrifice and move forward. The sacrifice of Jesus is sufficient for us, our sins, our deliverance. So instead of sacrificing animals or grain, we ask forgiveness. We have a sacrifice of praise, for Jesus IS WAS WILL BE SUFFICIENT. 

Our sacrifice is to live as Jesus, by LOVING. 

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 1Peter1:22

AMEN!

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1Peter1:17-22

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.

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Leviticus 5:1-7

 “‘If anyone sins because they do not speak up when they hear a public charge to testify regarding something they have seen or learned about, they will be held responsible.

“‘If anyone becomes aware that they are guilty—if they unwittingly touch anything ceremonially unclean (whether the carcass of an unclean animal, wild or domestic, or of any unclean creature that moves along the ground) and they are unaware that they have become unclean, but then they come to realize their guilt; or if they touch human uncleanness (anything that would make them unclean) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt; or if anyone thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil (in any matter one might carelessly swear about) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realize their guilt— when anyone becomes aware that they are guilty in any of these matters, they must confess in what way they have sinned. As a penalty for the sin they have committed, they must bring to the Lord a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering: and the priest shall make atonement for them for their sin.

“‘Anyone who cannot afford a lamb is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to the Lord as a penalty for their sin—one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. 

For Eternity’s Sake, 30JUN – #1197

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A crucial shift in my thinking after pondering our role in being a gentle witness to show others our beliefs in God’s Sacrifice and Forgiveness, Grace and Mercy. It is not JUST crucial for each person that sees and hears what we teach/urge/show/ask about following Jesus for their sake of living in eternity, it’s for ETERNAL Eternity’s Sake too.

Thinking about eternity, it’s one thing to wrap my head around eternity for one person, because I CAN’T. But I CAN imagine the monumental shift one person can have on eternity itself, WOW. ONE PERSON WHO ENTERS ETERNITY CHANGES ETERNITY.

This lit up my brain, speaking to the pastor after the book of Revelation bible study. This puts more perspective into perspective. It is not just important to share the Good News with each person for that person, it is important because eternity itself changes. Yes, each person is changed completely when being born again – when accepting Jesus as Lord, Guiding Savior, Sacrifice to our sins – yet how much more eternity changes for ALL when one more is included. 

God does not want anyone to perish, wants all to know Him. If there is one thing God wants, it is for nothing to separate us from Him. No sin. No nothing. 

In Moses’s time, a sin offering was brought to the priests to offer a portion to the Lord, burnt up, and the rest was kept by the priest. We however have Jesus as our living sacrifice and priest above priests. Jesus takes our sin, both original and personally forged, and offers Himself instead as our sacrifice, and then He also keeps the rest of us. He claims back His Spirit instilled in us for His Purposes, which bring us to eternity. 

So, it’s not just eternity for our sake, it’s eternity for Jesus’s sake, for Eternity’s sake. God is even more wanting us than we could ever want Him. God knows sacrifice by sacrificing Himself for us, therefore He knows wanting us for Him.  Like the Gift is not just for the recipient but giving the Gift is for the Gifter.

He keeps His fire going to take all to His Eternity.

Be His today. Be His Eternally. 

Amen 

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Leviticus 5:11-13

‘If, however, they cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, they are to bring as an offering for their sin a tenth of an ephah of the finest flour for a sin offering. They must not put olive oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering.  They are to bring it to the priest, who shall take a handful of it as a memorial portion and burn it on the altar on top of the food offerings presented to the Lord. It is a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for them for any of these sins they have committed, and they will be forgiven. The rest of the offering will belong to the priest, as in the case of the grain offering.”

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Leviticus 6:8-18

The Burnt Offering

The Lord said to Moses: “Give Aaron and his sons this command: ‘These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar. The priest shall then put on his linen clothes, with linen undergarments next to his body, and shall remove the ashes of the burnt offering that the fire has consumed on the altar and place them beside the altar. Then he is to take off these clothes and put on others, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a place that is ceremonially clean. The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.

The Grain Offering

“‘These are the regulations for the grain offering: Aaron’s sons are to bring it before the Lord, in front of the altar. The priest is to take a handful of the finest flour and some olive oil, together with all the incense on the grain offering, and burn the memorial portion on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the Lord. Aaron and his sons shall eat the rest of it, but it is to be eaten without yeast in the sanctuary area; they are to eat it in the courtyard of the tent of meeting. It must not be baked with yeast; I have given it as their share of the food offerings presented to me. Like the sin offering and the guilt offering, it is most holy. Any male descendant of Aaron may eat it. For all generations to come it is his perpetual share of the food offerings presented to the Lord. Whatever touches them will become holy.’”

Give Your Best, 29JUN – #1196

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It’s already halfway thru this year, and I’m not sure I can say that I appreciate that the time is flying.  There is only so much summer and I have not tapped into it except marvel that it came without me watching. I need a summer’s worth of time to prep for daily life, not even if I was going to take any time off,  just to absorb the day. I don’t take time, it seems, to take time in, but that’s ok, I will find one day here, one day there. I’m going to force myself to take the time. This weekend I will take a 4 day weekend, I am blessed for that. I think the best time to take is where we can JUST BE. Clear our minds. That’s why a daily offering of peace is best offered to the Lord, for us take time to be, time that we tap into His peace to pursue the rest of the day. Give God the best first. Do not leave God out of your morning, He IS the one who gave it to you. He is the Light before we see it. He is the Rest before we take it. He is the Word before we speak it. He is the Life before we live it.

God wants the best of us from us, not  just because He gives us the best, Himself, but because He knows HE IS the best for us. This is HIS COVENANT always, to give us the best. And where does He give us His best? His Word for thoughtful feasting. He wants us to find Him in the lines, not between them. My offering of time to Him is the best time of my day. My quiet morning I know I won’t have in the evening. I am awake and the house is quiet. He and I can JUST BE. 

Like the grain offerings of Moses’s time (in Leviticus), the best portion is reserved for the Lord. Our best thoughts and prayer times are when we take listening time too. Our life offering back to the Lord is showing how we use the info, and be the salt and light of the day. “Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings…”

All the offerings of Moses’s day took time to prepare or to cook. We need to spend the time, not just buy the time, buy the offering or bypass the whole thing. This is not breadcrumbs so we can return to the Lord at the end of the day – this is the best loaf offering to start the day WITH the Lord. The stickiness of His dough will bind to your day. The aroma will linger and guide. The taste of Him is all we need for sustenance.  Rest is both resting time and the rest of the day of time. He gives both.

Time, resources, and skills are given into our lives for serving Him. Give Him the best and watch what He builds out of the rest.

Amen. 

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Leviticus 2

The Grain Offering

“‘When anyone brings a grain offering to the Lord, their offering is to be of the finest flour. They are to pour olive oil on it, put incense on it and take it to Aaron’s sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the food offerings presented to the Lord.

“‘If you bring a grain offering baked in an oven, it is to consist of the finest flour: either thick loaves made without yeast and with olive oil mixed in or thin loaves made without yeast and brushed with olive oil. If your grain offering is prepared on a griddle, it is to be made of the finest flour mixed with oil, and without yeast. Crumble it and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering. If your grain offering is cooked in a pan, it is to be made of the finest flour and some olive oil. Bring the grain offering made of these things to the Lord; present it to the priest, who shall take it to the altar. He shall take out the memorial portion from the grain offering and burn it on the altar as a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord. The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the food offerings presented to the Lord.

“‘Every grain offering you bring to the Lord must be made without yeast, for you are not to burn any yeast or honey in a food offering presented to the Lord. You may bring them to the Lord as an offering of the firstfruits, but they are not to be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma. Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.

“‘If you bring a grain offering of firstfruits to the Lord, offer crushed heads of new grain roasted in the fire. Put oil and incense on it; it is a grain offering. The priest shall burn the memorial portion of the crushed grain and the oil, together with all the incense, as a food offering presented to the Lord.

It is OK to Stay On Track, 28JUN – #1195

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In the second stop of my “in person” church going yesterday, God showed me an important scripture that brought me solace and peace. A separate personal message to me that you know God revealed how it connected to me when I asked for some gem of the day. It comforts me that I am on the right track by praying and asking, working and wondering, for particular and all people to HEAR HIM, for them to know Him, to taste His forgiveness and to know His lift. 

Yes, it’s the whispers of scripture to our hearts, souls, minds which overtake any other background worldly noise. If you ask and pray, God thru Jesus, the Word of God made flesh being the bible Himself, will answer your prayers before you ask. Before Him, no prayers are wasted. It is OK – and CRUCIAL – to ask God in prayer for people’s ears to hear. People we know and a multitude we don’t. God is telling us to stay on track and trust Him working within each person.

The scripture, an old testament little gem, 2nd Chronicles 30: prayers by the king for people who had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate... But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good Lord pardon every one That prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.

A second gem:

For if ye turn again unto the Lord, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.

The train tracks of earthly life that we are on ARE HIS and return to Him. We have an engineer conductor and a caboose – an Alpha and Omega – JESUS… and for Him to move us, we have a Fireman Holy Spirit in charge of shoveling more coal into the boiler for steam.  The caboose has grips to hold on to and stairs to climb. I climbed the caboose in joy this past weekend – and even sat in the seat with a bird’s eye view.

For those traveling with the Lord, you can stand and wave, for those who leave the sleeper car, the fresh air feels great and refreshing, and for those who ALMOST missed the train, there’s always a hand up for helping everyone. 

We are the hands and feet of God – securing, pulling, hauling, holding ourselves AND anyone who we can come alongside with. Invite all to see what it is like riding with the Lord.

For those who know and don’t know Him, our prayers ARE heard. God’s spirit is telling us which side of the train to lean out – to watch and wave – to ask and pray – to reach out and save. God has been tracking all of the people and reaches for each one by name.

HE KNOWS where His train is going – to find and bring all HOME. His tracks are laid down in LOVE from His One heart. For out of Judah, the Word was commanded to come, Jesus came to Earth to bring us all along. Let us continue to pray for particular and all people to HEAR HIM, for them to know Him, to taste His forgiveness and to know His lift.  

Ears and Eyes OPEN!

“All Aboard!”

AMEN 

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2nd Chronicles 30:1-27

And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel. For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the congregation in Jerusalem, to keep the passover in the second month. For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves sufficiently, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.

And the thing pleased the king and all the congregation. So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the passover unto the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem: for they had not done it of a long time in such sort as it was written. So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. And be not ye like your fathers, and like your brethren, which trespassed against the Lord God of their fathers, who therefore gave them up to desolation, as ye see.

Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of his wrath may turn away from you.

For if ye turn again unto the Lord, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.

So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.

Also in Judah the hand of God was to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and of the princes, by the word of the Lord.

And there assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great congregation. And they arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron. Then they killed the passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought in the burnt offerings into the house of the Lord. And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.

For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the Lord.

For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good Lord pardon every one

That prepareth his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.

And the Lord hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.

And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the Lord.

And Hezekiah spake comfortably unto all the Levites that taught the good knowledge of the Lord: and they did eat throughout the feast seven days, offering peace offerings, and making confession to the Lord God of their fathers.

And the whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days: and they kept other seven days with gladness. For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the congregation a thousand bullocks and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the congregation a thousand bullocks and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.

And all the congregation of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the congregation that came out of Israel, and the strangers that came out of the land of Israel, and that dwelt in Judah, rejoiced. So there was great joy in Jerusalem: for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem. Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy dwelling place, even unto heaven. 

The Great Omission, 27JUN – #1194

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I am SO EXCITED each Sunday morning to dig into the next section of the book of Revelation with today getting to a chapter (19) that has Victory over Babylon! The chapter of Alleluias! The SUPPER OF THE LAMB!

I am ever so thinking, HOWEVER, that the reason we have NOT YET “RAPTURED” – is that we (collectively as Christians) are doing the “GREAT OMISSION” – a term I just made up – OMISSION –  we are forgetting what WE can do, yes you and I, to set in place anything that will provide witness and teaching, comfort and conviction to those left behind by the RAPTURE.  Write them just as John wrote to all of us, His Bride: “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

The GREAT COMMISSION is where Jesus directs all of us with what we are REALLY supposed to be doing as Christians – sharing the faith – but I am speaking of a theoretical and practical GREAT OMISSION: we have to leave something to help those left behind. Physical digital, whatever means, but they are not going to have us. So how are the people post-rapture going to become believers (and thus martyrs) for the Lord????. That’s right, martyrs because no one gets a “re-rapture” recapture part 2 or part 3, like film sequels. All post-rapture folks (including our friends and family) who don’t already believe and know Jesus as Lord will wonder what happened and have to come to such a STRONG faith conviction that they will be martyred (read Revelation – it is brutal).

SO HOW CAN YOU HELP? I know that if the Holy Spirit moves you to share your faith every day and in every way, therefore He can inspire you now to leave a witness of your faith in this place. He can inspire you to do something to help.

Perhaps today, write a short encouraging letter of faith and slide it into the back of your bible, use it as a bookmark for Revelation or your favorite verse, and leave it for those who find your bible after you are gone. A letter which could explain in your own words on paper what may have happened to you if you pass away (or if you were raptured). A letter to encourage – to expand on how you want these folks to find you in heaven – encourage to believe – encourage to LISTEN to the Spirit and stand firm against the schemes of the beast. Perhaps I will start my own letter as: “If you ever find my bible but not me, know that I am with THEE, the Spirit brings this to you – a letter to get you thru…” and continue with a faith focus FORWARD. If you think this world is rough today – theirs will be MUCH worse. Pray them forward and WRITE.

To be “raptured” means to be taken up to heaven as believers when the trumpet sounds and those who call Jesus as Lord and Savior are taken up – like a thief in the night will the rapture come and we must be ready or else we will be left. And MANY will be left. The scriptures say the GREATEST AWAKENING will occur near/before/after the rapture.  LET US DO WHAT WE CAN TO HELP OTHERS at that time and now. Help people you don’t know but Jesus does. Imagine HIS tears and pain when He comes again and AGAIN leaves SO MANY behind at “Trumpet Time”… imagine His Pain, and take a moment to write and plan. Help bring more Home.

Be His Hands, Feet, and helpers for those whose blood WILL fill up the earth. Be His Hands and Feet to help Jesus bring them home. Be His Hands and Feet so after rapture, our family will be strong and not alone.

All Alleluias will be even better when they are there to shout it too. The “voice of many waters” needs every last drop. Chime in today – drop a note in your faith voice to those left behind.

Alleluia
Amen

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Revelation 19:1-16 KJV

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A1-16&version=KJV
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The Great Commission – Matthew 28:16-20
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2028%3A16-20&version=NIV

It’s OK to Turn to Return, 25JUN – #1193

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I once wrote: “We need God to come to the world – to cleanse the world  – to make peace – world peace…” – back then I did not think about what was wrong in that statement – did not think what that meant in terms of God coming and going or being here or having been there. Knowing God already IS in the world yet not of the world – I was wrong in saying Jesus needs to come back for peace as if He had not yet. Well HE DID. He came. He brought PEACE as a PATH. Not in part or parting but in full in fulfilling. But we need to keep bringing peace to reveal it wider to those who do not see. Many miss the path and point all together. 

Was it OK that I was wrong in my writing? Well I am human, and it IS better that it is OK that I made a turn to return, to re-understand what I was blind to. Now I saw it glaring. God cleaned my glasses AND my soul.

Grasping God having made the world, imprinted Himself into Jesus to come to the world and planning for Jesus coming back to the world ARE simply difficult truths to wrap our heads around as we are world dwellers.  No notions or hopes, even as noble as we have, can wrap around a God Who IS bigger than all of our thoughts about Him. Bigger than any description. God is not just big, God IS. God is not just here there everywhere, God IS. God is not just anything, God IS. If God refers to Himself as I AM, then you know no human reasoning can envelop Him. He envelopes LOVE therefore He envelopes our thoughts lives and individual world views. Oh, He is bigger than the universe too. He IS WAS there BEFORE and never NOT there.

Jesus was is and will be God to our earthly existence as He came to be God on earth, came to us to go to Him. God thought ahead, behind, around, God just IS. God thought of you thru all of “it” too.

My statement “We need God to come to the world – to cleanse the world  – to make peace – world peace…” was innocently ignorantly mis-stated, yet I meant back then the same truth we still have today: WE NEED JESUS FOR PEACE.  

Let me rephrase: We need to think of Jesus as founder of peace, act like Jesus as an educator of what will bring personal and larger peace, and rely on Jesus to execute His Our Father’s plan for peace – all the while rely on the Truth that God IS in CONTROL. God IS.

Also back then I did not think about what I now know – that every knee will bow to Jesus – but not all in devotion but all in acknowledgement of Him as mighty and powerful and Lord – both those who followed Him as Lord and those who DID NOT! 

So in the thick of life’s ups and downs, the one consistent down we should strive for is a knee down for Jesus. If He IS the Name above All Names. Then He IS.

So it’s OK to be wrong grammatically when Jesus is still RIGHT. But we need to be RIGHT with Jesus to cover our wrong. We need to TURN, RETURN, be RIGHTED. 

It is sad, yes, but the truth is there will never be “world peace” – even if we strive to find and make peace in the world (which we should). It is more important than ever to share peace with people in the world as an extension of His peace to us. Be right with Jesus over right with the world. Jesus came to the World yet the world did not know Him. Many hear about Him, but don’t hear IN Him. He and we are NOT of the world but IN Him IN the world, therefore we ARE for the people in the world to know Him thru HIS love. We love Him into the world and love never fails. 
Let us bring Jesus’s LOVE TO each other.

GOD IS LOVE.

God IS.

Amen 

Unity Through Humility

Philippians 2:1-16

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

The Humbled and Exalted Christ

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

Light Bearers

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;  for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, …”

Don’t Be a People Pleaser, 24JUN – #1192

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Look within, be in service and of service, help people see God, and put your heart into worship of God.

VS.

Look at the world, expect services and thank yous, set your heart on expectations from people, and have preconceived expectations from God. 

There’s a BIG difference between those statements. What is better of an attitude? What will bring you closer to peace? Peace is a place best known between you and the Lord. Peace is a quiet spot to hash out the harshness and cultivate hope.

What can we do to not fall into people pleasing?  Even if we love people, which I do, people pleasing can be false peace, leave us unsatisfied, and leave us seeing the flipflop nature of earthly hearts. Even if we love people, and we do help them as servants for the sake of God, some people unknowingly (or knowingly) want a piece of us not knowing what to grab for. Wouldn’t it be better to offer them a slice of His Peace? It would and in doing so we can keep focused. 

People in Moses’s time wandered and continually forgot both the fear of God and the focus on God. They certainly could not see long term. False worship of idols happened then and now. Moses went up the mountain for the instructions of God. Aaron was left with people derailed by their impatience. Aaron made a golden calf from the riches of gold,  because they wanted to follow something but a false idol was not and is not infallible or indestructible. An idol is not a LIVING God.

Moses, being able to talk to God one on One, convinced God to hold off burning up His Anger in destroying the disobedient people (Moses had not yet seen them with the calf idol). It ANGERED God to not have His people’s attention. And once Moses saw it, and saw the people’s misdirection of focus, he burned it, made it into dust, and even forced the people to eat it.

Moses continued His devotion and his communication with the Lord for the sake of His people, His infallible people. Burning anger of God is but a fraction of the burning love God had for them and for us. Old testament worshipers burnt up repentant offerings, symbolizing  the perfect offering to come. After Christ was sacrificed once and for all, no more sacrifice for sake of atonement was required.  But the devotion to the Lord always continues as requirement and the source of peace. 

Now, the burning becomes burning desire to know Him better. Moses’s face was radiant from speaking with the Lord. He covered the radiance with a veil to protect the people. We too can burn bright for the Lord. As we extend our lives into work, wait and worship, we best not wobble or waiver. Let us approach the Lord as our Guide and Protector, not wondering if we got away with whatever.

Our sacrifice of time and excesses are coupled with our sacrifice of pleasing people – don’t please people over pleasing the Lord. He must be where we direct our attention first, He has the best Ways planned out. The Israelite people only got day to day instructions, day to day provisions, and had to watch for God’s cloud and fire to move. They dared not step unless God sanctioned it. We have much freedom of choice, yet we also best step where God needs us to go.
Go with God. Be His first and the rest will follow.

Amen 


The Glory of the Lord

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels. Exodus 40:34-38

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The story of the golden calf:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2032&version=NIV
When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the Lord.” So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, because your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’ “I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” But Moses sought the favor of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. When Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting, he said to Moses, “There is the sound of war in the camp.” Moses replied: “It is not the sound of victory, it is not the sound of defeat; it is the sound of singing that I hear.” When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then he ground it to powder, scattered it on the water and made the Israelites drink it. He said to Aaron, “What did these people do to you, that you led them into such great sin?”

“Do not be angry, my lord,” Aaron answered. “You know how prone these people are to evil. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”

Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him. Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”

The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold.  But now, please forgive their sin—but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.” The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.” And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.

Shielded, 22JUN – #1191

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Shielded, God writes His law on our hearts, inside, protected and reachable. The Psalms tell us to lift our eyes and know His protection: Psalm 121 – I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Shielded

In reading Revelation 18, about the quick destruction of the people who turned away from the Lord, one can hear about the full brunt of the destruction that the Lord will bring. And in reading Exodus, about those drifting people who couldn’t even wait for Moses but turned back to idol making, we can hear about how God could have brought on complete isolation and destruction, but didn’t.  Moses advocated for his people wandering in the desert, having a tough time obeying.  After seeing their disobedience, Moses was so upset and the first tablets of the Ten Commandments were thrown down to the ground and broken. Moses was angry at the lack of trust in the Lord, who had saved them from so much. After seeing the people who turned away, worshipping an idol of a golden calf they made themselves, Moses destroyed it then spent much time trying to reconnect with God for sake of the Israelites. A second set of tablets was made, yet the law was truly tough to keep, especially “thou shall not covet”. The people of the old testament had not kept these commands and neither can we keep them perfectly. But God, who did not and does not change in who He is, could bring forth a new covenant, Jesus Himself, as the imprint of God.

Jesus is our shield. 

Jesus is was and will manifest a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.  The law in Moses’s time was written by the Lord’s finger onto tablets, knowing a new covenant would be needed that was not breakable because it was dependent upon God’s faithfulness, bot mans. Jesus is was and is the law and Word written on our hearts. God with us and within us. At end times, the evils in Babylon will take the blows of anger retribution, and people are urged to flee that destructive force. Now, then, and forever, Jesus did and will take our sins upon Himself if we leave our focus on earthly idols. Shielded is when we are looking for His protection and His ability to give us God’s forgiveness.
God covered Moses with His Hand, Jesus covers us with His blood. Grace. Moses saw but a fraction of God’s power. All we see is the Love of Jesus. And nothing is held back from the outpouring of His Love. Moses saw God’s pain with stiff-necked people. We are taught that God made us for His Pleasure and wants to be with us. Jesus sticks out not His neck but His Life to save us all. God will see Jesus when He looks for us. That’s glorious coverage. 

Moses wanted to see God’s glory. We get to experience His Glory by His LOVE. Love brought by sacrifice, let us follow Jesus, He will shield us with entry into His eternal kingdom. 

Lift our eyes up to the Lord Jesus who will meet us, catch our eyes, and shield us, for the sake of God’s Love, FOREVER.

AMEN 

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And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.” Exodus 33:17-23

Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped. “Lord,” he said, “if I have found favor in your eyes, then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance.” Exodus 34:5-9

Late but not Lost, 20JUN – #1190

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SO many good memories this weekend – so many – and I was tickled pink to be used by the Lord – even and especially for when I was LATE – again – to church – like I am to so many other places.


Late – but NOT lost.

Late but not losing out.

Late but still a GREAT opportunity for the Lord to use me.

I arrived late (yet listened to the online feed) and was singing along – from my heart – to “Lion and the Lamb” – hop out of the car and start singing as I booked my way to the door in. A gentleman was similarly timed – had just parked and a pleasant exchange on the way in – he noticed my enthusiasm – my overflowing cup – which is not my fault – I just bounce the beat of His Joy. We parted to separate sides of the sanctuary – I like to be close to see the expressions on the pastor’s face.  Didn’t miss any of the sermon – just on time for that – and a great sermon for a serious Revelation 18 message about Babylon’s fall in 1 hour – yes ONE HOUR (post Rapture, post all the bowls of plagues and just before the Kingdom is RESTORED. But in that ONE HOUR all the wealth, commerce, kings – GONE.  “All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’  And God’s wrath on Babylon’s iniquity spares it from landing on His beloved people – the ones who had to withstand this tribulation – and be martyred for their faith. The chapter 18 also reminds us to hold to our teachings – not buy into the cheapness of life and material things – to stay strong with the Lord. Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins…” 


Leaving the service – here I was singing again and the timing again was just that – the Lord’s – and who was 3 steps ahead of me and heard my singing – turned and said: “I thought that was you”. HA! I said “Good Sermon!” and well, after chit chat of my job, I asked what he did – and he said “I make people happy” – HA! And just then I noticed we were at his car and he said: “I’m in the swimming pool business. I make people happy it seems.” – YES – I could NOT wait to roll my instant memory off my tongue – a thought of ONLY yesterday seeing a young boy’s JOY in a video of a swimming pool moment – son of a friend of a friend  – he had to have a good portion of his leg amputated – and his mom posts his progress on facebook. I HAD to exclaim that I have recently learned that this child, battling the amputation and chemo, LOVES swimming and this was the biggest joy he has had after these recent surgeries and ongoing chemo treatments… YEAH! I immediately said to “well THANK YOU” – for this swimming JOY (even if he wasn’t the one who helped that family directly) – yeah was that warmest fuzzy not fuzzy moment for me – he smiled and hopped into his car.  Leave it up to the Lord to know my lateness and lay down a link anyway. Leave it up to the Lord to put you in a good spot – late but not lost – late but not losing.

An opportunity to encourage is my job no matter how or when. No matter how late we come to the table or the truth, we are to pick up the LINK that the Lord lays down for us – and let Him lead. Don’t think that you are supposed to be the recipient of the Holy Spirit offerings, as many times you are the offering of the Holy Spirit!

LISTEN – LEARN – LEAN on Him – and LOVE. Share the Love (and Smiles Lord).

AMEN

Cups Not Bubbles

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When I first awakened to know of Jesus’s LOVE, I was concerned about my bubble bursting – and concerned that my enthusiasm would carry me away. I prayed for discernment for what was Holy Spirit-led and I still do today…  A friend of mine said that the word enthusiasm meant “God from within”, which I thought was awesome of course…  and I realized that I might be best to deflate my bubble a little to make it stronger and less pop-able… But that is NOT what an enthusiastic person does…

So – yes – after prayerful meditation, I DO have a replacement for a “bubble” condition (for me and for you as well). It dawned on me to cut the bubble open and stretch it up – and make that bubble into a cup!

Oh my cup overflows – filled with the love of God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. A new enthusiastic take on Jesus lifts us higher than ever thought possible – to laugh more deeply – to feel more strongly – to sing more loudly – and to speak more boldly.

No – it is NOT bubbles that we are to inflate – because our bubbles come from OUR own excessive enthusiasm….  it is CUPS that we need to ask to be filled with GOD’S enthusiastic LOVE…

The cup metaphor is everywhere in our history of spirituality, lovingly filled by God. So – when you feel your bubble bursting – know that JOY is sustained by HIM. You can take your inflating or deflating bubble and rip or cut it open and then stretch it wide – side to side – into a cup. Use your own hands to hold it up to the flooding rains of God – you will fill with HIS glory. Ask in prayer and stretch out your hands. HE will fill your cup.

Bubbles to Cups – Filled from God.

AMEN

Three songs and psalms in my heart to sing these praises:

From the song “Ripples” by the Grateful Dead: “Reach out your hand if your cup be empty. If your cup is full may it be again. Let it be known there is a fountain that was not made by the hands of men. ”

From the song “All in All”: “When I am dry You fill my cup.  You are my all in all”

and of course, from the most beloved: Psalm 23:1-6

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 forever.

Sing Me a Savior, 20JUN – #1189

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To say I enjoy singing would be an understatement, but a few weeks back it was the song running thru my head as soon as the music stopped and I walked up to the exit that made me SO curious. I mentally noted that the lyric I had NOT heard, but was memory triggered, it was “Name above all Names”, and my head was strongly singing it from my beloved praise band days.  Curious I thought, until I stepped up to the book selling pop-up station (leftovers from a pastors conference) and my eyes IMMEDIATELY fixated to a book directly in front of me: “Name Above All Names” – OOOH… Coincidental? I think NOT!!!!

Spiritual feeding is like listening to where Jesus says to drop your nets. You will catch more fish if you LISTEN. You will catch the tune of the Holy Spirit harp strings if you go to the concert. You can be in concert with a collective who want to be called. Just Listen.

Ten bucks, oh a bargain, and I had ONLY 10 on me. Perfect.  So with patient care I waited for my turn to PAY.  A good book for summer beach reading, my time to PLAY.  Yet for always listening to the Lord thru the Spirit in my head, I will PRAY. 

And what does the book start with? An urge to HEAR Jesus. (no surprise there for the Spirit theme of this). The writers want pastors to bring Jesus to the people who want to hear His voice. The writers want us to LISTEN over LOOK. The preface says, urging biblical foundational sharing:  “Standing in various pulpits in our native land of Scotland we have often seen words visible to the preacher but hidden from the congregation: “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” – this refers to what the crowd says in John 12:21

This book is about seeing and believing by LISTENING. I can tell already from the first chapter, about God and Adam and Eve, that it’s going to be a good read and great LISTEN. The book starts (AND I ONLY READ ONE PAGE SO FAR) with God segregating one tree in the Garden not because that fruitful tree was all that different, but it was the command of God for Adam and Eve to LISTEN and OBEY. The serpent tricked them for what they were seeing about the tree, but God needs us all to be LISTENING to Him – holding onto His Word – and obeying Him to judge what we are seeing. Use ALL your senses to make sense of God’s Will over our own.

As we read scripture and everything, we listen to how it touches us. An article in a newspaper may go in and out, but a Bible message is all about going in and out and in again. It’s not the physical paper, it’s the Spirit connection and the calling for us to pick up the phone.  Jesus knew that when God spoke to glorify His Name (John 12), He did so for the sake of those listening. We too must listen. The Spirit desires to be heard INSIDE of us, so feed the field of dots God wants to connect in us.

Jesus IS THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES. Oh that we would hear Him TODAY!

AMEN 

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John 12:20-32 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen

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Matthew 6:34 in multiple translations 

KJV

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

AKJV

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

LEB

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

TLB

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

MSG

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

NIVUK

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

NKJV

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

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

Use Your Skills, 18JUN – #1187

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

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

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

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

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

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

TAKE IT, MAKE IT, DO NOT FORSAKE IT. 

AMEN 



New Testament:

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

If Only, 18JUN – #1186

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

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

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

If only.


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

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

If only I asked Him for His understanding. 

If only. 


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

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

If only people took one day at a time.

If only. 


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

If only His focus, us, focused us.

If only people had an Only focus. 

If only. 


If only Him, then only Him Lord. 

If only Him, then Him only.

If Only, if Then and Now.

Now only. 


Now only the Lord. 

Then only the Lord, too.

And the Lord, when.


When?

Now.

Only.

Yes Only. 


Amen Lord, our One and Only. 

Let the Word Be Heard, 17JUN – #1185

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

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

Jesus is the Word who is seen and heard.

Heaven knows the Way of the Word. 

Let the Word Be Heard. 

Amen 

Obedience of the Heart, 16JUN – #1184

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For our time and all time (paraphrasing):

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

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

Amen

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Specific examples from the scriptures:

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

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

By smell – burnt offerings – v18

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

By blood – v21

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

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

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

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

By daily sacrifice and atonement v36-37, 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

———–

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen

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

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

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

It is OK to Be Gentle, 13JUN – #1182

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

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

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

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

Amen 

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Luke 11:1-13

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

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

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

It’s OK to Give IN, 11JUN – #1181

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

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

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

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

Peace IN…

Amen 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Him Him Him 

Amen

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Jesus said: (John 4-11) 

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

Post Rapture Capture! 09JUN – #1179

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless you!!!

AMEN 


Paul to Ephesians 5:10-13

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

3:16-21 

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

You ARE Allowed to Work, 09JUN – #1178

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen 

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

And now, Lord, what wait I for? 

MY HOPE IS IN THEE.

Oh My Cup! 08JUN – #1177

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Oh this devotion hit home!!!

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

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

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

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

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

———-

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

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

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

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

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

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

You ARE Allowed to Sleep, 08JUN – #1176

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let Us Be Still and still be His.

Amen 

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

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

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

WOW.

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

HMMMM…..

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

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

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

Matthew 5:5

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

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

Amen.

Down to Earth God, 06JUN – #1174

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen


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

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

THEIR Oxygen Masks, 05JUN – #1173

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

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

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

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

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

In Moses’s time, God’s commandment states His desire to be worshiped and not have the people practice idolatry. Moses warned the people to not mess with God – don’t try to climb or even touch the mountain where God came down in a cloud of smoke – and God Himself told the Isrealites (thru Moses) of His jealousy and His ability to bless (or punish) His people. “… for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6

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

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

Amen


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shephardly, 04JUN – #1172

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

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

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

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

Amen


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

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

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

Humility Over Pride, 03JUN – #1171

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

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

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

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

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

One day at a time, sweet Jesus.

Thanks and Amen. 


Here are the scripture excerpts:

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

Grace for Grace Sake – #1170

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

Amen

Find Your Key – #1169

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

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

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


Grow Your Own, 29MAY – #1168

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grow your own. He certainly does.
Amen

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Amen

REALLY? MOSES SAID SO, 28MAY – #1167

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

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

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

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

Really.

Really Amen.


————

Exodus 17:8-16

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

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

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

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

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

“Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! ” Matthew 18:7

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

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

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

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


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

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

—–

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

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

Bread Water and Perfect Provisions, 26MAY – #1165

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

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

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

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

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

Bread Water and Perfect Provision

Thank You God!

Amen


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen


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

14:13-31
Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them, coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea. During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion. He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the Lord saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

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

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

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

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

18 “The Lord reigns for ever and ever.”

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

Set Aside, 24MAY – #1163

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMEN 

—-

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

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

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

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

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

Won but not quite Done, 23MAY – #1162

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen

Taking the High Road, 22MAY – #1161

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

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

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

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

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

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

TAKE THE HIGH ROAD!

That Quick, 22MAY – #1160

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

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

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

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

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

Amen!


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John 6:16-21

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


2 Kings 6:15-17

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

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


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

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

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

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

Hold Your Peace, 21MAY – #1159

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

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

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

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

Our battles may be short but HIS VICTORY lasts forever.

Amen !!!


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

The Armor of God
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6%3A5-18&version=NIV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Daily Peace, 20MAY – #1158

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Lord, give us our daily peace.

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

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

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

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

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

Amen

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


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

Boldness Baby, 20MAY – #1157

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep looking boldly. Keep BOLD faith.

Amen 

The Little Children and Jesus

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

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He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2-4https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2018%3A2-4&version=NIV;KJV

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

Demonstrate Moving Forward, 19MAY – #1156

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen


Exodus 11

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

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

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


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

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

By Our Hunger, 17MAY – #1155

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen 


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

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


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

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

Christmas the Crab RENEWED, 15MAY – #1154

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


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

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

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

Isaiah 40: 6  “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

2 Corinthians 4:16. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 

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

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

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

AMEN!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

AMEN!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Smart, Not Marked, 12MAY – #1152

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen 

You ARE Good Enough – #1151

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wait, 09MAY – #1150

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen

—————-

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

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

A Day that is Fresh, 09MAY – #1149

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen 

———–
Luke 13: 31-35

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

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

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

1 Chronicles 17:16-27

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

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

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

Intercede, 08MAY – #1148

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen


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

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

——

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lord, bring us back to Wonder.  

Amen


Exodus 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May the Wisdom Be With You.

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

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

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

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

May we listen too.
AMEN 

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James 4:14-17 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. WHAT IS YOUR LIFE? YOU ARE A MIST that  appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

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

Proverbs 4 (from Solomon)

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

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

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

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

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

Gathering His People, 03MAY – #1145

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

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

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

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

Gathered and Loved.
Amen

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Genesis Chapter 49

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

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

Chapter 50

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen

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Genesis Chapter 48

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

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

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

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

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


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

Lazy for All to See, APR/MAY – #1143

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let us not forget to REMEMBER.

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

AMEN!

At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

——-

Luke 10:1-7, 16-24

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. 2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. 3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. 4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

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

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

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

21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. 22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Live the Word in the workplace, EMBRACE GRACE

Amen 

Follow the Story, 23APR – #1141

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow Jesus, He IS the Way.

Follow the Story and the Story is HIS-STORY

Amen

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

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

Amen Amen. 

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

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

Ch40

The Cupbearer and the Baker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ch41

Pharaoh’s Dreams

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

9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcom