God’s Rainbows Outshine

Standard

God promises the end of the rainbow, yet God does not promise sunshine at every moment of every day.

God promises our rainbow will come out with sunshine, but God does not promise that we won’t have to weather a storm or two before we see it.

God promises our rainbow will come with rain, God does NOT promise we won’t get wet.  

We have to get wet. We have to muster our FAITH to walk into a storm, even one we didn’t create. We must walk WITH Him, not hide under a rock. If we believe in Him, we can have confidence that He will get us thru this storm, that storm, ANY storm. If we don’t believe He walks with us, then we never will see the brightest rainbows, actually we won’t even ever start walking. 

God sets a rainbow in the sky that we can see only based on position, we must look up to see it.

We must go thru the storms of life to see His Rainbow. Better yet, we must be willing to let Him carry our burdens. We must know that we can’t get thru on our own. We need Him. We must have FAITH to visualize that His Promises are fulfilled. If we don’t, He will still put up His Own Rainbow, because He ALREADY knows how the storm turns out. He’s already made the Golden Promise on the other side. He already has Plans to take us there if we TRUST HIM. 

TRUST HIM. 

The brightest rainbows are JUST as the biggest storms are STILL passing by so plan to GET WET. Don’t be foolish but shelter in Him. WATCH FOR GOD. Maybe the darkness of our circumstance doesn’t feel right, on purpose, BECAUSE He asks us to look for His Guidance and Light. We must not hide under trees in lightning storms that fall easily, we should shelter in Him.

God promises His Shine, His Light, His Hope, yet God KNOWS other people have fakeness that will try to outshine His real shine. Wear your God Glasses instead of sunglasses.

His BEAUTY of RAINBOW colors tower over the gray storm. This rainbow was the caboose of His getting us thru that physical storm. Imagine the Light trail in Heaven where He gets us thru all the REST of today’s troubles. Beautiful double rainbows outshine any clouds. Hope in His Majesty outshines fear.

God signs the sky with His Signature, a Rainbow. God promises He keeps His Promises. 

Watch for God.

Amen

Waiting at Home in Love

Standard

One true thing about the Nature of God, God being our Father and we being His children, is shown in the Biblical story of the Father waiting for the son who is prematurely given his inheritance just to spend and lose it all. It is that the Father and the child EACH know the Way Home. That grown child knew home, the familiarity of it, even though he came to beg to be taken back as a servant. This means he knew that his Father had KINDNESS, would be FAIR, would LISTEN. He must have been in situations before where the Father had fair judgement. The Father in His hopes and his knowledge knew which Way his child could turn, should turn, to reach Home. The Father pre-knew rock-bottom and must have given His son coping skills to get back up. The Father ventures out to watch with open ears to hear. He welcomes without asking questions first. He proves to be a Father expressing LOVE that never diminished. And never will.

How are we being as teaching parents and welcoming parents? Do we keep home fires burning? Do we try to equip our children with skills? Will we remember to love more and gloss over snubs and brush offs? Will we remember that love is NOT a bargaining chip, real love just loves.

The returning child here trusts that at LEAST he could SPEAK to the Father, and the TRUTH here is that speaking and listening in LOVE, by the Father and by us, is always better than grudges and shunning and ignoring. 

Sometimes we, like this Father, have to wait years to hold the physical presence of the one we love. Sometimes we were the one to be distant. Eventually we all HOPE to find each other at Home. 

How filled with love is the Father? Filled with God-sized Infinite Love. If God NEVER changes, is incapable of NOT loving, then the LOVE He sets forth and thru us is the SAME whether we are nestled under His roof OR far away and seemingly estranged by our disappearance. Yet remember, each time we stray or a child strays, Lord God our Father, and Lord Jesus our Brother and their Holy Spirit all KNOW where we/they are and desire us/them to COME HOME. 

Who are we to love less if it is God’s Love we share. 

What we CAN do, is work at building Home, even as we wait at home. If not a physical home then a home of the heart.

You know that God, our Father, has prepared a place for us at His Home where He IS. He even placed His Love in our hearts. Now that IS Love.

AMEN 

Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24:3-4

I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had COMPASSION, and RAN, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this MY SON was dead, and is ALIVE again; he was lost, and is FOUND. Luke 15:18-24

When a Tree Falls

Standard
fallen tree and two flanking bushes

Apparently this big tree fell at the park, tore away some sidewalk as it went. I thought what a shame but it falling must have not been a huge surprise for it must have been precariously standing so close to falling into the creek for years, and it finally fell. 

“If a tree falls when no one sees it?” It DOES make a sound! And I might ask: what happens to those poor bushes? Awwww, I looked down at that fallen tree and surprisingly saw flanking bushes still leafing out. Not much soil, don’t know how they will survive but maybe will for now. I think long term it will be a lost cause for the bushes.

In these thoughts, I think of my own children. Children are a gift from God. We are caretakers of HIS children. Oh how wonderful we watch as they are growing, and I have joy for over 20 years to stay on His path best I can. I have been working His nursery raising them.

What would happen if I were to topple over, perish either unknown or known. Like a big tree expectedly or not. (No, I have no plans for perishing, but it’s good to think about preparations) What stability do my kids have if I were gone? What resources?  But of course my kids are not bushes next to me, that’s not even the same species of the tree, and my children are ALREADY their own trees standing TALL and growing UP in a suitable distance from their original parent tree. They would be established in their own patch of soil and far enough away that each gets light and rain, freedom from overbearing and blocks to their absorbed light. (Of course they are not trees, and we live in a village not alone in a forest. Thank the Lord they and we would find support.)

In other words, we have an obligation to let our kids grow up. Yet we try to establish the boundaries. They need space and you need yours. They need development and nourishment, yes, for we are NOT trees or bushes, we are people created in God’s Image thru His Love for His Love. We must teach them to survive (money doesn’t grow on trees you know). And of course we best help nurture the soil for their growth. We contribute to the village too.

We have a broken world. What happens when our trees, and our lives, lean and near fall? We ask to be uprighted. We rely on His Righteousness, not ours. We want to teach our children that thru love not just a life of hard knocks. We want to walk and grow in this broken world, yet Jesus must Right us with Righteousness. We must actively be listening, patiently be praying, still be still. On the flip side, we can not use His stability as our crutch, we must carry our own cross, not drag it.

Of course no tree feels human pain, but creation does grow as strong as it can with biological awareness of environmental cues. Yes, plants under stress will put all their energy into flowering and fruiting, even and especially when stressed. Their offspring…

We will too. Let’s grow ourselves to help our children, our collective offspring within this nursery of the Lord’s garden. Let’s then take a bird’s eye view to watch God work.

Thank you Lord for our children. Thank you Lord for we are Your children too.

Amen


Psalm 127:1-3 A song of ascents. Of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.

Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat

for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.


Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6


All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13

Be Available

Standard

Saturday again, ahhhhh…

So last Saturday morning I was free, that’s what made me BE AVAILABLE to let God plan the day… free to hear stirrings of how I could help and have a good time by going with girl scouts with a friend and 2 of her daughters to a big beautiful botanical garden, giving them a ride because our troop leader’s car was full. It was God’s timing! It was such a relief to our troop leader too, not for this mom to drive in all that rain. My availability but God’s timing, I had nothing to do with this planning!

I went from feeling slightly sorry for myself (but not really, just puzzled to have free time) to being in the car in a flash, then immersed in BEAUTIFUL flowers and relaxed even in the rain.  Ah, freedom of helping, blessing of being available…

Really isn’t that what God wants us to be? BE AVAILABLE!

I took lots of pictures naturally. We even sent the set to Walgreens before driving home, picked them up an hour later at home.  Cool conveniences…

Isn’t it nice to have stuff AVAILABLE? SO, why wouldn’t God want us to be purchased to be available for Him to use too…

I was freed up to be a helper but not an organizer. Youngest child with me, a double liver transplant 4 years ago this week, she was THRILLED to be with her troop, they trotted off.  We had 90 minutes “free time” – oh the smells and warmth and views!!!! 

I saw one orchid, named Angel Candy, well all blooms seemed like that. Gorgeous!

I got home with yummy take out food and a nap. Surely we are taken care of, clothed and fed, like the intricately detailed and beautiful lillies of the field. That’s for food, clothes AND activities. 

Be Available! GOD’S got you on HIS agenda. 

Yay!

There’s a StarMan

Standard

I can not appreciate more that the Lord knows EXACTLY where we are mentally and where we leave stuff and where He wants us to be (mentally and physically). If we remain open to the Holy Spirit AND ask for “what’s next?” AND be willing to pick up the pen or the purpose, then we are ready for a lifetime of His Walk and Work.

Case in point: ME. I had this rare Friday night freetime and no work and no need to do anything – Friday night rest is the best – no guilt for work – no guilt for play – just sit and be OK  – especially as Saturday can be filled with dishes and shopping and errands.  Free moments – and Hmmm… So, what should I do Lord?

My recent memory told me to continue watching the Netflix intriguing show about Spock. My distant past memory told me I was forgetting something – a promise on my “to-do list” was ever so close to the top of my memory. I looked down at the pile of promises and remembered that I promised God – oh about 3 years ago to finish writing up notes I took at the Michael Card conference – a blessed event – a humbling event too with the coughdrop incident (ugh). But the notes? That blue paper WAS in front of me but buried so very deep. Yeah GOD REMEMBERED!  And so I sorted out to the bottom of the pile. BIG LETTERS on my scribbled page 2 said: “GOD SHOWS UP!!!” Yeah – tell me about it!

Back to Spock – I did finish that Netflix special (after a short nap) and yeah it was good. And so was the ending credits final song: a rendition of David Bowie’s Starman…  “There’s a Starman, waiting in the sky – He’d like to come meet us, but He thinks He’d blow our minds. He told us not to blow it, cause He knows its all worthwhile.”

God takes Holy Spirit actions, He can also give us theme music until we do what He wants us to do. I am always amazed that God shows up as He does. In baby’s smiles, in pieces of paper, in HOPE. The paper notes from Michael Card’s lecture says “God doesn’t give answers as much as He gives HIMSELF.” 

I turned the blue paper over (a list of local restaurants) and the notes speak of Psalm 51 and Psalm 25. “Create in me a clean heart” because we don’t want what we deserve in punishment for sin – but we should take confidence in our forgiveness “The Lord says: ‘JUST COME BACK TO ME’” – and oh yeah Psalm 109 – the enemy psalm – David venting outrage but reminding that we are to offer our anger to God so that we can then can LOVE our enemies. This is where I stopped dead (and risen) in my tracks. I was asked to write the opening prayer for next week’s church service and the theme is: LOVING OUR ENEMIES…. Cute God, Cute…  God gave me the cheat sheet of prayers – God gave me the chills of coincidence – God gave me the reminder once again that I too need to put aside any anger, ticked-off-ness, jealousy, rage, revenge. Out the window with the Holy Spirit whoosh…  “Give God’s Love if you can’t give yours” that’s what I wrote.

So – I got my prayer done (written at 4AM because I fell asleep on the couch and couldn’t re-rest) and I kept that song-theme reminder stuck in my head (probably will until I finish writing up these notes in the next couple days) – and I got my reminder: LET GOD PICK YOUR EVENTS… BE ON GOD’S SCHEDULE.

So, this David Bowie song Starman is about a savior-like man who would show up at some point, but this is POP-culture myth and I am sure just a thrill for David to have a great Ziggy Stardust character, a successful record and concert career and a fun story.  However, there is NO MYTH with GOD – and NO distance – and NO doubt He has a plan to come. And NO doubt that He already has done the Work – there is none of: “He told us not to blow it” because we CAN’T – HE did all the Work. HE IS THE WAY.

Jesus is not a starman in that He is sitting waiting out there in the universe to come back – He is integrated here and yet WILL come from Heaven to Earth in return – ON GOD’S SCHEDULE. The StarMan is the Star of it all and He IS a Man who gave it all.

Star Man, come quickly – but whenever God wants… Our Hope Lord is In YOU!

Amen


The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2nd Peter 3:9


Psalm 25:1-11    Of David.

In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.

I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.

Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.

Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.

For the sake of your name, Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.

Did Jesus have Good Hair? 06MAY

Standard

An interesting set of vintage Easter stories on 60 minutes (now online) was an interesting watch – including a discussion of what Jesus would have looked like – hmmm…. 

A friend once showed me this stark drawing/painting, so life-like, dark hair and deep eyes, almost haunting in this image’s ability to pull you in. Intended surely a portrait of a beautiful handsome strong man, with good clothes and GREAT HAIR. I never imagined Jesus like that. Not to dissuade my friend, she wants to believe He looked that way, but this is not how I saw Him, nor from this painting did I really know what kind of “scholars” were referencing. Perhaps this painter just wanted to paint a beautiful portrait in love.

I do see Jesus as a gentle soul, tall enough to be taller than me, with hand outstretched. The real only physical presence I know and feel is of Jesus’s SMILE while waking me up. I see a smile in my heart, not my eyes. But hair? Hair??? Hmmm… 

The 60 minutes story from 1968, is called “What did Christ Look Like?” I recommend watching it. Correspondent Harry Reasoner essentially said that really Jesus is only described as non-descript in the scripture – and “this meant complete contrast with what came out of his mouth – which spoke the whole story He wanted to share.” https://www.cbsnews.com/news/easter-stories-60-minutes-archive-2022-04-17/

“The Book of Isaiah says of Jesus: ‘He was devoid of Beauty and a Sufferer.’ Many of the earliest artists formed their concept of Him from this comment. A historian named Tertullian, who lived in the year 200, said of Him: ‘There was nothing outstanding about Christ’s flesh. And it was just this contrast with His personality which struck everyone. Far from emanating divine radiance, His body had not even simple human beauty. The passion and the humility He suffered left their mark and it was deprived of all charm by His suffering.’ “

Hmmm….

I looked up some of the scriptures, but surely I have not scratched the surface of them all, and no scholars for me have yet been consulted, because for me: HOW He looked then is less important a curiosity compared to everything else He did. Some say we couldn’t have picked Him out of the crowd. He did not walk elevated here on earth. And Jesus in Heaven, He is described as the slain lamb. He is described to be seen IN HIS GLORY. 

Personally, seeing His hair, flowing or not, is not where I expect to be eye to eye with Him. Glory yes, but hair? No. See, my view (eyes of my head) at the moment is just that I’m holding onto that thread of the hem of the bottom on His robe, in a healing touch (by feeling that, seeing that, with the eyes of my heart). Other times, we can see Him on having been on the middle cross next to us, telling us we CAN be with Him. And for sure, I pray that we ALL do see Him in GLORY. 

JESUS surely is holding us up, carrying us.

Speaking to us in His Word, thru His Word, which is Him Himself.  Jesus is our Word of healing GRACE. 

No splitting hairs, Jesus is our Savior, we need Him, He’s got us, that’s all we need to know. 

Amen 

Isaiah 53 KJV 53:1-6

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

—–

Isaiah 42:1-10

Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:  I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. 

Twists of God’s Plan

Standard

Mesmerized by tornado coverage… there’s a famous storm chaser “Reed” whose Subaru has been smashed over and over by gorilla hail… he and a team of chasers capture amazing images and video, dangerous, yes, but sadly the more dangerous experiences it seems are the actual driving and potential hydroplane-ing on the rain. For 3 college kids died in a car accident recently, not from the tornadoes, but the chasing, driving back in bad weather.  We all know of “normal” car accidents… God rest their souls and comfort the families. 

We know how to warn others for these storms now, we also know the only thing to do is shelter if you can’t get out of the way. Plan ahead where you will go. Get safe. The storm chasers, however driven, do help weather predictions be confirmed with data. They give insight. They risk but for a reward: knowledge 

Well, tornadoes, is this is just nature being nature? If they only were in open fields it would be interesting and cool, but houses are now everywhere, the tornadoes are too, rapidly ravenously real. Lightning, hail, weather wicked or not wicked, just powerful. 

Does God have these storms planned or is it just random? If He knows the storehouses of snow, how about these harmful storms? We cannot expect Heaven on earth, YET. It will come, but there’s continuous work still to be done. Scripture does not paint a picture of constant peaceful times (now or in the past) but pockets of peace in harmony did exist, among major pockets of pain-filled times. God can take down storms or let them rage. God can miraculously save, or if He doesn’t then do we ask or assume He is letting things slide? I doubt that. I know enough to know that I DON’T KNOW ENOUGH about God’s plan in minutiae. I do know BIG picture, yet how He twists His paint brushes on the canvas of life are still often a mystery. 

I don’t have enough insight here. But I DO KNOW there were times where God had the punishments recorded for us to learn of people gone astray. God uses even the wicked for the day at hand. . . Aren’t you glad we have forgiveness from Jesus, covering us in His blood as not just shelter but purification thru any storms? We cling to His Good ness.

One story of drifting away from God involves Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, and how the prophets knew the kingdom would mostly be ripped away by adversary Jeroboam, except one “house” structure standing,  of Judah the House of David, the lineage for the Light of the world, Jesus, to enter.

Israel and all creation had to wait out these twists of God’s Plan. Prophecy was given and fulfilled. (Ahijah a prophet took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and give you ten tribes. But for the sake of my servant David and the city of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, he will have one tribe. I will do this because they have forsaken me… 1st Kings 11) 

We are born into a broken world, but called into a wait-ful “system”.  All creation continues to wait thru these days too. We can see the storms, but can we focus above these clouds?

Can we wait out the remaining days of a wicked world? Can we be the storm chasers to help others navigate but also know when and where to shelter?

We can’t know every twist of God’s plan, but we can know He has one. Stay alert.

Amen 


1Kings 12

Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”  So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the Lord, to fulfill the word the Lord had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.

When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king:

“What share do we have in David,    what part in Jesse’s son?

To your tents, Israel!    Look after your own house, David!”

So the Israelites went home. But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them. King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

When all the Israelites heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. Only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David.

When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he mustered all Judah and the tribe of Benjamin—a hundred and eighty thousand able young men—to go to war against Israel and to regain the kingdom for Rehoboam son of Solomon.

But this word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God: “Say to Rehoboam son of Solomon king of Judah, to all Judah and Benjamin, and to the rest of the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not go up to fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’” So they obeyed the word of the Lord and went home again, as the Lord had ordered.

How Conductive are You?

Standard

Conductive of CHARGE.

How are you being asked to assist in the net casting and catching by Jesus, our Fisherman of men? Maybe even repairing nets for others to cast. Have you considered being part of His Net.

I learned something from a TV science documentary: the landing ropes that were dropped from the Hindenburg Zeppelin in the explosive fateful landing in 1937 in New Jersey, have been investigated as a source of the electricity spark that caused near instant devastation. The rain made them late and hasty, added to the danger. The fire engulfed the hydrogen-filled structure in seconds, nearly half the people died, the quick luxurious transatlantic flights were forever grounded.

Conditions were “just right” for the electricity to jump. There were design flaw elements that were maybe safe for most of the trips, but this time, the electricity jumped through conductive elements of rope and charged canopies, especially because they were wet. Ben Franklin would have said “I told you so”. The travelers assumed life had risks, this was one of them.

Wet ropes, ah…. there’s the analogy connection to our Connector for a conductive thought. With Jesus leading us as branches to His Vine, the net we work for catching fellow souls will conduct better when the Living Water soaks our steps and the Holy Spirit can find quick paths within our lives to touch others. We must pray to be fishers of men, pray for our branches to surge with Spirit, expanding our spiritual fruit with nourishing water, and for us be a worker in wonderment. Jesus knows where the fish are, knows how to catch them, sends the Word(s) to touch hearts.

How conductive are we? How also can we not short circuit? How can we be less statically charged in a shocking way and more grounded in listening, and more insulated to not lose electric charges. We want to surge support in a feeding way. Let the transfer go THROUGH US, and not just to us. Conduct.

How? Ask the Lord to make us useful, to find our connections. Ask the Lord which section of the rope net we should work on. Co-labor. Ask the Lord to put you where He needs you to be.

Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught….

Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.

Be on the lookout: I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 

And let the Lord pick out His catch, let Him sort AFTER you work the harvest.

Be Conductive for Him.

Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish.  When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 13:47-50

Amen

Amen


Luke 5:1-10

And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.

And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.


John 4:28-38

Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”  Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.  Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Good Life Advice

Standard

This is such an important passage of scripture, Romans 12. I find it especially important as a correction for myself and my attitude when I feel my nose get bent out of shape, when I  realize that I am not giving mercy or forgiving seemingly unforgivable things, or when I should be asking forgiveness of myself,  but don’t out of pride. Also when I stop counting my blessings and get distracted by worldly glitter or garbage. We must remember that we are just visitors here on earth, FOCUS ON THINGS ABOVE. Take the high road to clear your head.

There is to be no love or joy in you personally heaping COALS on your enemy’s heads. There IS love in God’s plan – God is love and if He commands you to LOVE your enemies then who are we NOT to do this. Yes, our feeding and loving enemies is LOVE’S WIN. Not your win for tolerating but LOVE’S WIN for Light overcomes darkness. Don’t block the Light.

The burning heat of coals on those who get them, who maybe feel pain, sometimes guilt, should NEVER equate to the level of burning LOVE that we have of God- for God. We LOVE because He loves. He aches for lost souls, so should we. 

Let us all LOVE today in a Godly way.

Amen 


Here’s Paul’s letter to the Romans 12:9-21 which also remembers Solomon’s Proverb 25

Love in Action

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. 

Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: It is mine to avenge; I will repay says the Lord. On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

—-

Proverbs 25:15-28

Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.

If you find honey, eat just enough—too much of it, and you will vomit.

Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house— too much of you, and they will hate you.

Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is one who gives false testimony against a neighbor.

Like a broken tooth or a lame foot is reliance on the unfaithful in a time of trouble.

Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on a wound, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.

Like a north wind that brings unexpected rain is a sly tongue—which provokes a horrified look.

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land. Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.

It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep.

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control.


LOVE in a Godly way.

Amen 

All that glitters is not Gold, 02MAY

Standard

Unfortunately for King Solomon he turned the other way, he did not follow God with all his heart, his heart was turned to other gods, especially through his 700 wives 300 concubines…

Even one who has more gold than anyone can get distracted by the glitter. 

Solomon was wise, filled with the Lord’s Wisdom, especially in his proverbs and the rulings we read about.  God spoke with him twice directly.  Solomon was lured by the traps no one cleared before him. The peoples God commanded the Israelites to conquer were left to survive at the fringe. 

If we don’t clear our own traps from the fringes of our lives, they will fester and flourish even more ruthlessly, like a bad cold you can’t shake, like a bad penny that keeps showing up, like a nightmare that returns. Like a bad bug that mutates. Like an unwanted piece of glitter stuck in your eye.

Glitter is good to look at, but sometimes not to touch.

King Solomon had invented trouble for himself. God prewarned and pre-told of his earthly kingdom’s demise, except for One saved line, thru to Jesus. In this case, that Line could never be defeated. This was the Gold line that WAS True. 

There is truth in the Proverbs 16, in the life of Solomon, and us: “The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”

All that glitters is not gold but we know Whose Kingdom IS the Golden One. 

Keep my heart towards You, Lord. 

Your WISDOM is much better than Gold.

Amen 


Proverbs 16:1-16

King James Version

The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.

All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.

Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.

The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.

When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.

A just weight and balance are the Lord’s: all the weights of the bag are his work.

It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.

Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.

The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.

In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.

How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!


1 Kings 11 King James Version

But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites:

Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.

And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.

For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.

For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father.

Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.

And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the Lord commanded.

Wherefore the Lord said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.

Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father’s sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son.

Howbeit I will not rend away all the kingdom; but will give one tribe to thy son for David my servant’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake which I have chosen.

And the Lord stirred up an adversary unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite: he was of the king’s seed in Edom. For it came to pass, when David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom; (For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom:)

That Hadad fled, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him, to go into Egypt; Hadad being yet a little child. And they arose out of Midian, and came to Paran: and they took men with them out of Paran, and they came to Egypt, unto Pharaoh king of Egypt; which gave him an house, and appointed him victuals, and gave him land. And Hadad found great favour in the sight of Pharaoh, so that he gave him to wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen. And the sister of Tahpenes bare him Genubath his son, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house: and Genubath was in Pharaoh’s household among the sons of Pharaoh.

And when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers, and that Joab the captain of the host was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, Let me depart, that I may go to mine own country.

Then Pharaoh said unto him, But what hast thou lacked with me, that, behold, thou seekest to go to thine own country? And he answered, Nothing: howbeit let me go in any wise.

And God stirred him up another adversary, Rezon the son of Eliadah, which fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah: And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them of Zobah: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus. And he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, beside the mischief that Hadad did: and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.

And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon’s servant, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow woman, even he lifted up his hand against the king. And this was the cause that he lifted up his hand against the king: Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breaches of the city of David his father.

And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valour: and Solomon seeing the young man that he was industrious, he made him ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph. And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field: And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee: (But he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel:)

Because that they have forsaken me, and have worshipped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon, and have not walked in my ways, to do that which is right in mine eyes, and to keep my statutes and my judgments, as did David his father.

Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand: but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant’s sake, whom I chose, because he kept my commandments and my statutes: But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.

And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light alway before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.

And I will take thee, and thou shalt reign according to all that thy soul desireth, and shalt be king over Israel. And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, and will give Israel unto thee.

And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not for ever.

Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon. 

And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon? And the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years. And Solomon slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his stead.

More after Easter = FOREVER

Standard
Easter grows into Spring and INTO FOREVER.

April showers bring: May Flowers, Easter blooming flowers bring: FOREVERS

I always am amazed at how fast flowers come when the weather triggers just enough warmth. I place the easter eggs on the bare sticks and boom 3 weeks later, it’s hard to take them off because the redbud flowers and leaves are so prolific. Beautiful and tangled by the wind. Some did fall off, but those that held on are now bound in.

Flowers are often completely formed already folded and compacted inside their buds. Water is needed to unfurl the petals. Unleashing spring, not on our calendar cues but based on the weather, the right light, the warmth. The peonies are quickly up to my knees and the iris form as fast as the tulips fade.

We too blossom with the right Light, the Living Water, the Warmth. We too sing Easter songs and tie our ribbons on His Tree. We try not to fade, but embrace new phases of life.

But is there more? More after Easter? YES. Just like the eggs and flowers, there’s us growing up and out, leafing out, branching out – AND BEARING FRUIT. 

More after Easter? YES.  Jesus in crucifiction said “It is finished” meaning the prophecy fulfilled and the path to Forever opened. Then Jesus walked in Presence for 40 days and then CONTINUES to walk in Spirit with us today. There IS more after Easter, because we are to be in the Spring of Spiritual Growth, even through the Summer heats, Autumn closures, Winter rests.

Winter means we must pre-pare, pre-pare-down our excesses, drop the leaves and baggage that will hinder our walk. But now? SPRING IS NEW. BLOOM!!!

We must BLOOM.

We must BEAR FRUIT. 

We must prosper which later provides for harsher times. 

After Easter, someday we will see Jesus’s return. As we are caught up in the cloud, what is left here? People who missed His Hope. People who have yet to awaken. Potential martyrs. We have got to leave them some fruit too, dried, preserved, set aside. How will some see after? How can we help them now? Leave a few eggs on the tree. Leave some light to overcome their darkness. Drop hints of the Word scriptures in your walk. Drop the excess leaves but leave the tree visible. Hope they hold on to the tree of life and want to grow into it.

Pray for the un-saved. Pray for them reconnecting to the vine. Pray they are righted by His Righteousness. Pray their buds to start to bloom. 

Hold their unfurled HOPE in your prayers. For the sake of Forever. 

Amen 


Psalm 1

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

GOOD HUSTLE! GOOD HUSTLE!

Standard

In the great weather this weekend, I was taking a moment to sit at a ballpark, ahhhhh… to sit…. (especially good to relax after 2 hours driving practice with my son, ahhhh nice, to sit NOT moving)

In the love of Jesus we could be sitting  or be active, but always on the lookout waiting, listening, learning, and being ready to help others, to SERVE.  I was thinking about preparing a brief welcoming for a church service, with a theme is that Jesus reminds us to be the Salt and Light and He teaches us how to live (Sermon on the Mount).  Hoping to live as scripture says: “Be ready for service and keep your lamps burning”… 

At the ballpark, I was NOT paying attention to the game but enjoying my “walking taco” snack, you know that great invention of hot taco meat and cheese placed in a smooshed Doritos chip bag? I even had salsa and sour cream to add. YUMMY. I wasn’t walking with my taco, but I was sitting in the shade, invested in eating enjoyment. Gratefully, someone yelled: “HEADS UP!!!”   Then I and everyone started PAYING ATTENTION! I was under an awning and was fine, but the pop-up ball landed right over me. Smash on the metal roof.   Later there was another “HEADS UP” shout – this time the ball stayed on the field and 3 players responded to the pop-up but foul ball.  Somebody yelled: “GOOD HUSTLE! GOOD HUSTLE!”

Isn’t that what Jesus taught? We should continue to live PAYING ATTENTION, doing the best we can to be salt and light. We need to have an urgency and awareness of serving others and glorifying Him. We need to stay IN the game. 

We are NOT in the game for the praise, but to be in the game for the sake of SHARING, helping, loving like Jesus, for the sake of life. Others can see our actions and give God praise. In the game, we need to encourage others on the field and on the bench in their faith walks. Encourage folks and essentially say “GOOD HUSTLE!”

We also can yell “Heads Up!” – “Pay attention.” whenever someone needs to hear it. 

And we need to be aware of the time when Jesus returns, any cloud now. Be awake. Wouldn’t it be great to hear Jesus say: Well done good and faithful servant, GOOD HUSTLE ! GOOD HUSTLE!

Amen

Matthew 5:13-16 (in the Sermon of the mount, Jesus teaching how to live.)

 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Luke 12:35-36  Watchfulness (speaking of working and watching for Jesus)

Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.  It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.”

Because Jesus

Standard

He lives

Because He IS.


He did and does

Because He loves. 


He listens

Because He obeys.


He teaches 

Because He obeys. 


He saved

Because He obeyed.


He came

Because we need Him.


He helps

Because we ask.


He heals

Because He loves.


He rescues

Because He rose. 


He will come again 

Because.


He is

Because He is.


Because Jesus

We live. 


We live 

Because He did.                             


Amen 

Clothed in His Glory

Standard

I can’t figure out why I dream the way I do. One aspect of dreaming is repairing old scenes that never concluded, fixing weird loose ends, finishing conversations. I get that, and appreciate it. Our memories are editable, which means our future is also editable. There’s not fate as in you can’t fix things or change things, but there CAN be certain challenges that God wants to move you thru. Preparing to prosper you. God wants you to find peace from the past in preparation for His future. Give Him your burdens. 

Oh, the new scenarios in my dreams, the most vivid storylines. Some people are known, some are not. Weird scenes, movie quality editing, but then the cat wakes me up and I realize I have a strange double memory-making system going on while I sleep. If only I got the steps in, for exercise, while walking thru my dreams. I can’t figure out what this dreaming is going to be used for in my life. Sometimes situations I end up saying, “well, that’s a shame.” Or “I can’t do anything about that ” not in frustration as much as acceptance. Wisdom from God makes me appreciate acceptance. 

Maybe God repeats life lessons – yes, fix your memories and move forward. Approach life as: doing what you can, moving past what you can’t, accepting there exists what is unacceptable. But know troubles crop up in a worldly way, so you have to keep moving past them.

Editable living not fatalism.

Acceptance is not approval. 

Maybe our dreaming is for us to know the Lord is capable of entering our thoughts, is able to use multiple folds of our brain that we don’t. Maybe we are being practiced in thinking for Heaven, because if He doesn’t stretch out minds now, He will really blow our minds when we see Heaven. Can you imagine meeting the history of people, understanding the un-understandable, WOW.  Plus, He will heal our wounds, resolve our tears. WE WILL SEE HIS GLORY.

I bet God is stretching our minds, like Jesus is stretching our road for walking and the Holy Spirit is stretching our jar of clay stronger and deeper. (KNOWING HIS GLORY, let us ask for a HOLY SPIRIT FILLING). 

Here’s where scripture, for some reason, details a deep list of unfathomable wealth, supplies and wonder: King Solomon, 1st Kings. Details not of just King Solomon’s bounty AND wisdom, but also a visit from the rich Queen of Sheba and her blessings. (Isn’t that an old phrase?  “more X,Y,Z than the Queen of Sheba.”)

God seems to have allowed this accumulation of wealth and for some reason points out there was no silver as it wasn’t valuable. Gold as valuable as it is, is of course less precious than what God can give us in wisdom. 

Wisdom, that Solomon had, was more than what Sheba had, because that intense level of Wisdom WAS/IS a gift from God.

This is where the Queen said: “But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes.” – AH, MAYBE that’s why God takes our nights for us to dream, so He can show us things to our inside eyes so that we will TRUST HIM, now and in the future. Not faith by sight externally but faith by internal knowledge. Hopefully we will crave His wisdom MORE than worldly Gold, and certainly not see it as worthless silver. Faith is like wisdom to trust. 

What IS clear, is that we are taught this scripture for a reason. The lesson after this is that Solomon turned his thoughts and heart away from God, so sad. He is with nearly 1000 women, builds and worships banned gods, becomes warped in worship. Now wisdom withdrawn, the kingdom blessings wither. EXCEPT for the ONE PROMISE that God made to David, about Jesus. Forever King, Jesus’s birthplace and birth family came from their lineage. 

What’s the take home message here? God desires our devotion and love more than anything, God desires us being with Him enough to sacrifice His own Son, Jesus, for our ransom. God stretches our minds and teaches us patience, asks us to tap into His Wisdom, and not be wooed by the world (good or bad).

Jesus reminds us Our Father gives us what is MORE valuable and forever. We shall be clothed in His Glory. 

A simple flower is more beautifully dressed than Solomon yet fleeting and tossed into the fire (Luke 12), we however have something more valuable, FOREVER LIFE. God’s care.

Surely our wisdom can be used to appreciate HIM. 

Stretch our Faith, Lord. We are to know, we will be Clothed in Your Glory. 

Amen 

—-

1st Kings 10

The Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon

When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the Lord, she came to test Solomon with hard questions. Arriving at Jerusalem with a very great caravan—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold, and precious stones—she came to Solomon and talked with him about all that she had on her mind. Solomon answered all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her. When the queen of Sheba saw all the wisdom of Solomon and the palace he had built, the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cupbearers, and the burnt offerings he made at the temple of the Lord, she was overwhelmed.

She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true.  But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard.  How happy your people must be! How happy your officials, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom! Praise be to the Lord your God, who has delighted in you and placed you on the throne of Israel. Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he has made you king to maintain justice and righteousness.”

And she gave the king 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

(Hiram’s ships brought gold from Ophir; and from there they brought great cargoes of almugwood and precious stones. The king used the almugwood to make supports for the temple of the Lord and for the royal palace, and to make harps and lyres for the musicians. So much almugwood has never been imported or seen since that day.)

King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba all she desired and asked for, besides what he had given her out of his royal bounty. Then she left and returned with her retinue to her own country.

Solomon’s Splendor

The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents, not including the revenues from merchants and traders and from all the Arabian kings and the governors of the territories.

King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; six hundred shekels of gold went into each shield. He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold, with three minas of gold in each shield. The king put them in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.

Then the king made a great throne covered with ivory and overlaid with fine gold.  The throne had six steps, and its back had a rounded top. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them. Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom. All King Solomon’s goblets were gold, and all the household articles in the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Nothing was made of silver, because silver was considered of little value in Solomon’s days. The king had a fleet of trading ships at sea along with the ships of Hiram. Once every three years it returned, carrying gold, silver and ivory, and apes and baboons.

King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth.  The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.

Solomon accumulated chariots and horses; he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he kept in the chariot cities and also with him in Jerusalem. The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills. Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and from Kue—the royal merchants purchased them from Kue at the current price. 

They imported a chariot from Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse for a hundred and fifty. They also exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and of the Arameans.

I Believe in Miracles

Standard

We have to remember the miracles point always to the Word. The miracle is not more miraculous than Jesus. Gratefully Jesus is the MOST Amazing, so miracles can be too. It’s not always that miracles have to be instant. Miracles can be “everyday miracles”… Prayers work. God hears our prayers. Miracles Happen.

MIRACLES POINT TO AND SUPPORT THE TRUTH: GOD IS GOOD. God takes care of the birds, surely we are more valuable. My friend and her family are beautiful souls – and like us are most valuable and loved. She, the mom, has chronic heart failure and is not “getting well” but keeping going best she can. She wants to be considered for a heart transplant. I want and pray the Lord healing on this one heart – that it still will keep beating. 

A miracle here is here daughter, double liver transplant survivor,  and double growth in height it seems every time I see her. Healthy and smiling and more energy than the Sun. She is loving life. I got a HUGE hug. She gets AMAZING care – from doctors and nurses – and ESPECIALLY THE LORD

I remember the day I stood asking for signatures on a card for here (in between transplants) at a church gathering. I made my plea but my tears caught me off guard and unable to figure out how to close my message. My, there in front of me was a triple organ recipient, whom I never had met, who reached with his hands for the card, with his heart with a prayer, and with his voice with care. These are logistical miracles too. MIRACLES of TIME and PLACE, we do live in God’s SPIRIT SPACE. 

God is keeping ALL these sheep on their feet.

There’s an invisible miracle here too, but bursting out visible in their smiles and ours, SALVATION. Jesus is a promised MIRACLE for our eternal lives. We will rise with Him. Let’s never forget the HUGE miracle in Him. Let’s remember God’s Spirit moving us forward in joy. Embrace Jesus and His Love pours in and out.

Smiles, Easter, Christ is Risen. Miracles. 

I believe in miracles. I’ve seen them.  Aren’t we not ALSO living in one today? We are.

Amen 

—-

Deuteronomy 31:7-8  “Be strong and courageous … The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” 

Joshua 1:9  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. 

Isaiah 12:2  Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. 

Isaiah 49:13  Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. 

Jeremiah 1:8  “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. 

Lamentations 3:25  The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 

Temple Oh’s

Standard

It is so quiet and so empty in the old workplace that we are moving out of. Yes, our new place is expansive, well equipped, roomy, but I am truly sentimental for the old place, I probably will be for a time, but I will get over it. (I will always miss the windows!). I will remember 20 years of getting stuff done, having a place to be with friends, and of making the most of it. Maybe that’s what missing in the new building for me, I am missing memories that I have not yet lived, I am missing that feeling of the energy, like “we must make this work with the tools we have” making the most of what limited space we also had. The new areas will come together, I know they will, but wow the old rooms looks bigger empty. End of one chapter – start of another.

Yet, it IS time to move on. Even if there are growing pains in between. I am not super sentimental to a fault, I am not. I’ve had to move on from college, grad school, old favorite cars, old lives.  I’ve done it, sometimes run from it, but mostly appreciated it. Memories are portable. Moving forward is about taking the blessings with you yet leaving the baggage behind. 

The present we must embrace. Otherwise TODAY won’t ever get to be a fond memory too. 

That’s what’s missing in our lives now when we just focus either on the past or on future expectations rather than just live one day at a time. We need to be planning, yes, but be practical and JUST BE WHERE GOD PLACES US. (I just now had to pause for playing with the cat, it’s her request of morning time, and I can edit this anytime). We were made by God for this time and place. We must embrace this space. Make the most of it, even if this phase is ALSO short-lived in all ETERNITY. 

MAKE THE MOST OF TODAY. 


In 1st Kings, the story is SO descriptive of Solomon’s Temple. with the ornate Palace, Courtyard, all surrounding the Temple. So many Oh’s, as in WOW!!!

But really, how I must have been thinking of an Empire State Building sized place. Oh, huge. Oh! NOT!!!! These were ornate but their size was not huge like skyscrapers. These buildings were detailed and carefully made, yes, took years, but not forever. But why was it built? Not for the spectacle (or maybe for that too). Truly this was built FOR THE LORD, WITH THE LORD’S INSTRUCTIONS. For Worship… Oh…. AND A PLACE TO COME FOR FORGIVENESS. 

God wanted and wants attention and worship. God wants us to come to Him for FORGIVENESS. 

The temple that King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high. The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple extended the width of the temple, that is twenty cubits, and projected ten cubits from the front of the temple.

The palace was built ornate, the cedar, the gold… In the Temple, the cherubim were 15 feet tall and wings spread 6 foot on each side. The Ark of the Covenant was placed inside with the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it, because the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.


“More than I imagine” – that’s a song lyric of seeing God’s Love. God sends His Love by dwelling WITH us. When the Lord arrived in a cloud, filling the ornate temple, the glory of the Lord was IN a cloud, and He filled His Temple. Solomon said, “I have indeed built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.” That physical Temple is gone today, some remnants remain of rebuilds but that is it. However, the Lord, who does not change, remains.  The Lord instructs building, He in dwells, but He is not contained by any building. 

Solomon built the temple and knew the promise that were made to his father, King David, and him for their line on the throne to continue. Well, God kept the promise, the Promise was, and IS, and WILL BE, Jesus on the throne forever. 

Jesus now risen. Jesus has asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit to IN-DWELL in us, to carry God, God’s Will, God’s Word, IN us. Jesus was the ultimate rebuilt temple of risen self. We are now to be His temple for filling, as a cloud of Spirit can find all the room within us. We must make room. The room is much bigger when we empty it. Declutter us Lord. 

A temple, for worship and asking forgiveness, that’s in us too. We ask forgiveness as if we have anything to do with receiving it. No, we ask but it comes as a gift, from Jesus, covering us with His blood. Our Temple, His HOUSE, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ 

Hear the prayers of your servants, Lord.

Oh…. may You indwell in us forever.

Amen 

AMEN!


Part of Solomon’s dedication (1KINGS 8:23-30

Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said: “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today.

“Now Lord, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants are careful in all they do to walk before me faithfully as you have done.’  And now, God of Israel, let your word that you promised your servant David my father come true.

But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, FORGIVE.

READ ALL THE BUILDING HERE:

What’s Not to Believe, Do, or Know?

Standard

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Hebrews 11:3


Thru scriptures, we are taught to stop looking and thinking inside the box. 

Thru FAITH, we are to believe God made our path, plan, purpose and positions us for His Glory. 

We are taught God has EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL, even the corruption for the days of evil. Yes, even all that. It is BY FAITH we are to keeping doing what we are doing. Keep working, walking, believing, KNOWING BY FAITH.

We know often that we stop ourselves, we let the concept of the world against us (or a particular person against us) to stop us. Well, DON’T.  It’s an interesting to combine these scriptures: work hard as if for the Lord and run a good race, not letting the concept of ANYTHING, a perceived problem or a real one, get in your way of serving, believing, doing, or knowing. 

In other words, and because of the Word, know that the Lord is perfect and good and working things out. So just do what you would do in good faith, do what is right, do what you would do as if the system wasn’t broken. Do what is right because the earth’s system IS broken.

Just do it. Do life NOT on life’s terms, but in His.

God’s got this.

AMEN 


Paul to the Church at Colossians

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24.

Paul to the Galatians 

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. Galatians 5:7-8

Proverbs 16:1-9

The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established. The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil. When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right. A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps. 

Paul to Timothy 

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:  Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2nd Timothy 4:1-8

Paul to the Galatians 

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through loveGalatians 5:1-5


Paul in Hebrews 11 – BY FAITH 

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Building Praise

Standard

WOW – stepping into 1st Kings scriptures, I feel like I finished (with the Israelites) that 40 years of wandering and then 400 years before some real peace. And Peace IS what Solomon’s time on earth got to enjoy – and wisdom – and building…  The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him.

Building – they spent 20 years building – serious labor building – building not just a temple but a people – not just a people but a PRAISE: “But now the Lord my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent.”

Solomon saw what his father David had hoped. We get to see what our Father has built thru His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit as His Advocate. 

We are many years after Solomon – but let us not forget what the Lord wanted to build in us, and still does: PRAISE. (and THANKFULNESS). The Lord also wanted to – and did – and showed – that he built us into His Priesthood, His Hands and Feet, His Loved Children. We have Jesus with us now – we were built into a Temple ourselves for Him. For Holding and Sharing His Spirit – able now to hold and share His Grace and Goodness and tell others too.

Reading 2 chapters (1 Kings 5-6), the writings have not even gotten to the temple yet, just the preparations. Not since Noah’s ark and the Ark of the Covenant have we seen such detailed instructions for building. WHY? 

AND here is the WHY: (and not JUST because the Ark needed to get placed somewhere) –  Because God is SERIOUS about building up His people to PRAISE, to LOVE, to LIVE, to WORSHIP. to BE HIS. TO LIVE AMONG THEM. 

The word of the Lord came to Solomon:  “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father.  And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.” So Solomon built the temple and completed it.

What now can God build in us and can we dedicate ourselves to giving a firm foundation? HIS PRAISE! We can ever be building PRAISE for what He has built in us, for us, with us, thru us. How can we not see that the Lord wanted to, and still wants to dwell among HIS people. Not only do we roll out our doormats, but we open our hearts. We find that He already dwells within but we needed to open ourselves to give room to allow Him to Breathe Life into us. The most the Lord can do for us is to walk with us, be with us, dwell among us, be there for us. The most we can do for the Lord is also the least we can do – give our lives and PRAISE.

God built for us His Temple in us – even though we are “wasting away” – we are not to let Him get squished out of our Temple. He will LIVE in us and we NEED Him.

Let us Build Praise today. Let us open our hearts and Let God Dwell There – AND THRIVE.

Amen

—–

Read part 1 here (a great read in chapters 5 and 6) knowing part 2 will be just as spectacular!:

And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram was ever a lover of David. And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying, Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the Lord his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent. And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name. Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.

And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the Lord this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people. And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for: and I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir. My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive them: and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household. So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire.

And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year. And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together.  And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men. And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses: a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home: and Adoniram was over the levy.

And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains; Beside the chief of Solomon’s officers which were over the work, three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work. And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.

And Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord.

And the house which king Solomon built for the Lord, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits. And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house. And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about: The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house.And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building. The door for the middle chamber was in the right side of the house: and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third.

So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar. And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar. And the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel. So Solomon built the house, and finished it.

And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the ceiling: and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir. And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place.

And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long. And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen. And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord. And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar.

So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold. And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold. And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high. And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits. And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size.

The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. And he overlaid the cherubims with gold. And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without. And the floors of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without.

And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree: the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall. The two doors also were of olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees. So also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall. And the two doors were of fir tree: the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding. And he carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered them with gold fitted upon the carved work.And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams. In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid, in the month Zif: And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.

Wisdom to Be Thankful

Standard

Do we have the wisdom to simply be THANKFUL? 

I look at small worries in comparison to MIGHTY BLESSINGS.

God You ARE Good.

One example, I’ve had a job in the same place for 20 years. It’s unique in these times, but nothing compared to the 50 plus years my Dad had at his job, or 35 for my mom who balanced working and time at home… she’s even been retired for 20 years… As we need to work, the wisdom of the Lord teaches us to work hard as if for Him. I’m just grateful that I’ve enjoyed my time. 20 is cool, but hey, so is lots of miles on my Subaru. I DON’T need commending, just realize I am THANKFUL. 

Really, do we understand HOW blessed we are for just having the ability to be able and to be working? Do we count our blessings and have WISDOM to be THANKFUL?

We should be THANKFUL. I should be MORE thankful. The phrase “Grin and Bear it” is related surely to scriptures which state to tolerate (1Peter 2). Yes, trials, but wisdom says Grin and Bear it… Scriptures being the Word, being Jesus, is our primary example to tolerate and invigorate, forgive and live.

Solomon prayed for WISDOM. Not praying for wealth. God gave him both. The people were many, they provided 12 months year round for Solomon. Solomon had wisdom pour into and out of Him. It was a time of serving the kingdom and knowing the blessings of the Lord. 

I can only glimpse at blessings that will be immense when we get to the Lord’s kingdom. Let us remember those, especially in war-torn places, who are struggling. Let us not forget to count on the Lord’s WISDOM to light our way. If we use WISDOM (and ask for more of it), we must then be willing to use it, especially in thankfulness. 

Be Thankful.

Be Blessed. 

Be Wise. 

Be His.

Amen 


Lord, I am Thankful…


1 Kings 3:20-34

Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry. And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt: they brought presents, and served Solomon all the days of his life.

And Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and threescore measures of meal, Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallowdeer, and fatted fowl. For he had dominion over all the region on this side the river, from Tiphsah even to Azzah, over all the kings on this side the river: and he had peace on all sides round about him.

And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. And those officers provided victual for king Solomon, and for all that came unto king Solomon’s table, every man in his month: they lacked nothing.

Barley also and straw for the horses and dromedaries brought they unto the place where the officers were, every man according to his charge.

And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.

And Solomon’s wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about.

And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.

And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom.

————————————-


Look! I made the big screen!

I am THANKFUL for a great place to work!

20 years anniversary at CRL Malvern and Wayne.

I am blessed!!! The BEST people, that’s what makes it the best place. Important projects, that’s what makes it important to go to work. A job that fed and housed my family, funds my Subarus, and gives such good flexibility, that’s a Godsend. (And NOW, a job to keep Mom busy while the kids do their own thing, LOL!)

20 is unique in these times, but nothing compared to the 50 plus years my parents did. 20 is cool, but hey, so are lots of miles on my Subarus. I DON’T need commending, just me realizing I am THANKFUL.

HOW blessed for the ability to be working, count blessings and have WISDOM to be THANKFUL.

Lord, I am Thankful…

What Else but Wisdom?

Standard

Returning to my reading, I’ve crossed over from God-loved but flawed King David in 2nd Samuel to God-loved but flawed King Solomon in 1st Kings. (We are all flawed, in humanness, of course, ONLY Jesus is perfect, AND We are ALL loved by God, God IS LOVE)…

Solomon had avenged many situations for the hardships, killings, backhanded promises and grief dealt to his father David, securing the future of his house. After these “loose ends” were tied up, scripture states: The kingdom was now established in Solomon’s hands.

NOW WHAT? Solomon, you’ve just been made king, you’ve got your kingdom, legacy lined up, and not just any kingdom, but Israel’s Kingdom of what God promised would be established at that time, the earthly set up for Jesus to enter our earthly scene. NOW WHAT?

Solomon asked for WISDOM and DISCERNMENT. Not just for himself but for helping his people. The next BIG discernment we read about (1st Kings) is the two mothers who both want the one living baby.

Ah, if only we too would ASK FOR DISCERNING WISDOM (and use it well).

“Understanding to discern judgment”

King Solomon had to get from point A to point B. He had to rule a kingdom and was one of only a few who knew that the future was promised. Oh…. Wait, isn’t that us too? We know the promised future but need to get from here to there. That’s only going to go more smoothly if we ask for WISDOM and DISCERNMENT.

How many times does it seem we don’t have EVERYTHING falling into place the way we want it? Well the best prayer often is for wisdom. And how many times do things ACTUALLY fall into place,  what is ALSO the best “thing”, TO ASK FOR WISDOM.

This is a big issue in life, not just a snappy Alan Parsons song that sings “Where do we go from here?”

The mother of the story, whose baby was alive, came to quick discernment in herself when Solomon offered to divide the baby in half, as if it were not a living creature. That true mother both in grief and in love, lived in love and would rather have given up the baby whole than see devastation. The grieving mother who lost her baby could not see beyond her grief and lost connection to life and to life’s meaning beyond her own situation.  This is not just a story of them, but sadly of us. We must discern our day to day in the living state and not just mechanically go thru the motions. We must be like Solomon and want to be there for the people, to live outside ourselves and our needs or wants. To mother is to love. To love is God’s being. To recognize life is to recognize God’s purpose.

In Easter life, we remember God gave up His Son, like the mother would give up her child to preserve the whole. God gave up one Son for the whole of us.

In sin and death and brokenness, Satan causes chaos to control confusion. He wants people to be dejected in grief and make a rash agreement to slice the baby in half, Satan does not want wholeness. Nor does he want us thinking of the future, of others. He lost the connections and will take down whomever he can.

We know better. We know we are LOVED.

We know better. We must discern day by day our actions to bring hope to wholeness. We must live to love. From point A to point B, our living can be best lived by stitching in love to the net that holds us all. How will we strengthen our walk? by washing away worldliness.

As Solomon loved the Lord, he wanted to love His people. He knew that riches were not always peacekeepers. But God knew how to rule the people. Rulers must rule in love.

We must ask: What else would we want, but WISDOM.

Keep praying discernment. A to B.

Amen

—-

1Kings 2:4-16

And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places. And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.

Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days. And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

And Solomon awoke; and, behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings, and offered peace offerings, and made a feast to all his servants.

A Wise Ruling

Now two harlots came to the king and stood before him. One of them said, “Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.

 “During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him.  So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I, your servant, was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”

The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.” But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.

The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’”

Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king.  He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”

The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”

But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”

Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”

When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

Mundane No More

Standard

Was driving home with my daughter a bit ago and I wondered if this really was the quality time that I would have picked or just normal time for helping. Well sitting in the Starbucks drive thru, I found it interesting timing that the school robo line called strangely on a Sunday, and I listened and my daughter listened… Sadly it was that a teacher’s aide staff member had unexpectedly died, and the vice principal asked us on the recorded message to ask our kids if they knew this person and if they needed support.  Well, my daughter (a graduate few ago) said “WOW”, she did know this teacher and she casually knew his son, her age. I realized that all my fretting about whether “normal” driving around and “chores” days was important became mute.  My concerns went out my mental drive thru window. It DID matter. It DOES matter to do the mundane, because I was IN the car WITH one child, and another at home, whereas this family of the same age had now unexpectedly LOST their dad. It DID matter because if I wasn’t doing the “normal” mundane things, who would? How would they live successfully as they are. And one more realization, that I got to be IN the car and BE THE CAPTIVE AUDIENCE to hear all about her days, her thrills, her ughs too, her mundane and not so mundane daily challenges over the last month when I saw her last, I got to hear them in person and provide her the space and place to share them…

I got to be there – I get to be there – where the mundane is no more mundane. I realize that God gives us this day to drive around in His Way: PRESENT.

Always let God do the driving.

Every “mundane” day as a parent is NOT. Every time I take my son driving, we choose a new road, keeps it fresh. The only same road is the road home. Every time God takes the wheel, He takes us on a road He wants to take us on, and eventually, if we stay in the car long enough, it WILL be our ride Home. So, look out the windows and be aware of the traffic, be present IN the car. Keep making those mundane trips because one day, mundane becomes a memory too. Your presence will be evidence.

Mundane no more.

Amen

Bugging or Blessing?

Standard

One of my funny awkward moments of Easter Day was giving mega-church Pastor an Easter card, just after the 6AM service.  (I’m sure I had more 7AM energy than most, as you would expect!). I made a tiny palm cross and included it inside, because he said something funny about palms the previous week. I also included a copy of my writing of the Alpha and Omega words, which I had written months ago, actually meaning to give to him but didn’t. I think folks don’t want to bug him but have some questions that it would be good to chat about. He is gracious to the flock.

I am sure I could bug him A LOT, but he has 10,000 or more in his flock, and I simply feel for me to be a blessing to encourage him. You could say the same for a media star, just like I wait for a picture with a favorite DJ (which I just did recently). But a pastor? He’s not in it to meet fans or for publicity of himself, he’s there to teach. I am there to LEARN! (And how blessed am I with like a couple dozen pastor friends, I can just be an encourager here. I am SO happy when people pick up their callings. God knows people need to know Him. Jesus came both to save and to TEACH)

Me encouraging, sure, but is it a bit like a fan groupie? Well, is it blessing or bugging? Well, yes. Both. I’m excited about people sharing faith.

So, an Easter card, I think that’s just the right amount of encouragement without bugging. Encouragement for him to say “Hey, busy servant child of God, who is also an amazing pastor shepherd – I am praying for you.” I am sure he also likes it when you laugh at his jokes. As for what makes him surprised, is the POWER of God to rally the faithful. 

Encouragement is to say God Bless you, is simply to say: “Hey, I get you, you are DRIVEN by the Holy Spirit too, I APPRECIATE you allowing God to move you (not that you can stop God, but many don’t allow themselves to serve fully).

If we can remember Jesus IS our PRICE of Peace and Prince of Peace, we can push ourselves out of our comfort zone. There’s important balance between bugging and blessing. There’s an important blend of serving and stepping aside personally and reducing pride. Certainly there is a time and place for our humanness, that’s life. And certainly there’s always time to be respectful and not a burden.  

But the one true blessing that’s NOT bugging? PRAYER. ALWAYS PRAYER. 

Prayer is in private as well as public. Prayer is petitioning for Pursuit of Peace. It is so important for all of us to pray for Pastors. So important to pray for all of God’s servants.

PRAYER. Jesus NEVER runs out of ears, Jesus VALUES listening, so much He even repaired the ear of one in the garden who would then march Him off to capture. 

When I said to Pastor that I was praying for him, he said “thank you, I covet your prayers”. He’s human like all of us, and we know that the Lord is keeping tabs on us but MOST IMPORTANTLY fueling our faith and waking us up everyday. Praying is the one thing that never could be given in excess, if they are sincere, but could be too few. Prayer in private is God’s knowing that you are not in it for the recognition. “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 

Prayers is like keeping track of perseverance. “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered.”

Prayer is KNOWING God intervenes 


The Prayer of Faith

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” John 5:12,13-16

Paul thanked the church for prayers in his letter to the Thessalonians (1st:16-24). He wrote: “JESUS IS FAITHFUL.” That we believe!

We can all be thankful for prayers, we have many and won’t know it, but God does.

GOD DOES HEAR. 

Amen


Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

Easter Salvation, Easy Sticky Notes, and Extra Sleepy Sheep

Standard

Oh – so blessed to see another Easter – even though I had one just last week! I was blessed to visit an orthodox church, Eastern European, for Easter with my friend and her daughter. She was so happy to go – and happy that I would drive – so that she did not have to, because she suffers from chronic heart failure. Yes, the Lord is keeping her alive and walking too, because she is surely doing Heaven’s work on earth, being the best mom and wife she can be for her family. She is an AMAZING Child of God – and so Holy Spirit-filled. A blessing.

The service was traditional orthodox and unusual for me for it to be MIDNIGHT to 4AM, WOW! (Good thing I am a good napper!)

At the peak moments of the service, one of the older altar servers took out a cell phone to take photos for their website or facebook. There were others taking photos on occasion, so I felt OK taking pics of what I used to think was private and secret, I was wrong, it was open and OK. Then after the service we were able to walk around the sanctuary – so very ornate and beautiful. 

Midnight – sleepy sheep – but I had a 3 hour nap – and who am I to complain about late nights for the Lord – and even the night before I got up at 130 am to see a favorite radio DJ at a record store. Life is meant to be lived!  Live it!

We are blessed to experience all this diversity – in the many churches and denominations and “movements” (which are not technically denominations). It’s most important to be in the SPIRIT OF THE SPIRIT.  This night I WAS enchanted by the ornateness – but ALSO interested in the people watching too, both their faith and their ways. I am a student of people and was kinda surprised at some church things so human and modern – like the cell phones – and THE STICKY NOTES! The priest read from the Holy Book, very ornate, but also in his small prayer book, I spied the set of handwritten sticky notes – he took one for that section of the service while we were (outside) and stuck it to the back of the ornate cross which also carried flowers. He was able to proceed with teaching and preaching the liturgy of the stations of Jesus in procession from conviction to cross – by using his sticky note and not have to hold his book too. I thought that was cool, cute, human, real, ingenious. (Jesus did say we would see great miracles, and I think sticky notes are one small ones.) After he finished that section, he simply switched the sticky note. We then went inside after a ritual knocking at the door.

It was a whole singing service – the whole thing – 3 hours – the scriptures and prayers sung – the responses sung – then in both languages the priest chanted “CHRIST IS RISEN”.  

Before the service and throughout, people continued to light their candles from the priest and from each other. My friend said that some people hope for miracles by getting their candlelight directly from the priest during the service but others think it is slightly disruptive – Well, Jesus would understand ALL OF THAT!

Sleepy sheep – there were many families with kids and teens – teens hunched over in sleep on the pews by 2AM. One baby – a crawler – was the picture perfect cherub who only cried maybe once in 4 hours? AMAZING…  Some teens were giggly and that was good relief when one caught her hair on fire – YIKES.  Well, oh the quick action of mom – the smell was real – but the giggles were bigger than it all. whew…  I also ALMOST caught my hair on fire once – but didn’t – whew. I don’t think I have ever run thru a whole candle before – it took 2 hours of burning – and there were so many candles that people would get up for a replacement candle. Even saw people leaving at 4AM still with lit candles headed back to their cars. Light is a serious pursuit. I had a second candle handed to me.  These people were generous – open – friendly – and the service was in both languages.

There was much standing and sitting – singing and solitude but also it felt super normal for a human crowd that was going to be there 3 hours. The occasional cell phone, the occasional reshuffle of seats. I also fixed candles in the windowsill near me that kept getting knocked from a non-observant man who walked back and forth like 10 times. Hmmmn.

The pinnacle moment was to be of communion being shared. And I loved the prayers, the Apostle’s Creed, the known canter. This is also where I felt my old understanding of denomination differences creep back in. See, having been raised Catholic (but then attending other denominations and community churches and church movements), I knew the prayers and knew the liturgy, and knew the motions – yet I also knew this was not an “open table” – this was one of those times of  “only those of this faith denomination who followed the rules get this communion” – and then only if they fasted (if able). Yes – I know that Jesus said “You are Worthy because of me”, but this was NOT a time for me to grandstand for a gram of bread, this was NOT that at all. Never is time for any grandstanding in Christ anyway. I felt sad only for a half-second because instead I felt that humble feeling that communion is a GIFT, like Salvation is a GIFT. Jesus is a gift and so is the ability to worship Him at His feet and to say You are worthy and I am not – but You make me worthy. 

My friend said: “Stay here”, not judging, just factual. I guess I forgot for a second of our differences. It took me only a second to snap out of sadness because I switched importantly to WATCHING – and appreciating people of faith. Some of the ladies covered their heads with scarves – many kissed the portrait of Jesus, then took communion from the cup directly from the priest who used a stick that he placed in their mouths, then they kissed the cup, and kissed the priest’s sleeve. On the side there was a portrait of Mary with a bowl of “extra” bread cubes – not sure why there were there but people took a handful if they wanted and kissed that portrait too. ( I later got a cube of that bread so I considered it my communion this night, but my communion really was remembering Jesus). I watched in grateful joy that there were people of faith who were able to express it by devotion. I was able to walk around the church with the people at the beginning of the midnight service (about 200 to 300), and then I was able to have a seat inside. I was AT the TABLE – no need to be ungrateful – we ARE at the Table with Him – and Jesus says – you don’t need to worry – you are IN because of ME.

Happy – my friend came back and she was HAPPY! She was happy and said “I MADE IT!” – happy – she was able to come and stay 3 hrs for communion at the end – and happy that she was alive to be here – rough in her ailments but strong in her faith – the Lord HAS held her together. Happy – I was happy to hear “I MADE IT” – and we surely will say those EXACT words when we get to Heaven and say to each other; “I MADE IT!!!” Jesus, You Make our Lives Complete in You. Jesus, you will say: “You Made it!”

A cup of communion dessert? Well, at 3AM we finished the 3 hour service and got to go downstairs for fellowship – and after 2 covid years, you could feel the relief of fellowship. They had plastic cups, hundreds, of bread cubes in wine. wow and YUM, and the Priest blessed these all as well as baskets of food that the people brought for sharing with their family members. He spoke a few words of blessing then took the holy water and sprinkled all of us. I crossed myself in catholic fashion and many there crossed themselves over and over in orthodox fashion with hand to head, heart, right then left shoulders. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

A gentleman shared some of his blessed basket of goodies – some chicken and other meats and cheeses – so nice of him. A few ladies of the church brought gifts for my friend’s family, bread and toys. Many came to bless her. She blessed one person in particular on our way leaving at 4am. She stopped to console a father who had recently lost his young son (I am not sure, maybe cancer), he touched his fist to his heart in thanks to her – in praise to the Lord for support – in sadness but acceptance. 

Isn’t that what we must all have – some sadness for we only have a short walk in this world – sadness in brokenness – but acceptance that this IS our walk and we will not be without suffering just as Jesus was not without suffering. We DO have salvation as sheep – as sheep of OUR Shepard – salvation in sweetness of sorrow.

Sheep – we are not all the same sheep and we are also of many flocks but with one ultimate Shepard. We are to embrace the diversity of the world (not conform to it) and to share love with the people. All knees will bow at the Lamb of God one day. It reminds me of the sheep in Ireland, they roamed fairly free, and were marked with color spray paint on one patch of their wool. This meant that if they intermingled with other farmer’s sheep, they could just continue to live and then at the end of the season, the farmers would get together and exchange the sheep back. All sheep – all unique – all loved – all owned. We ARE able to be invited in to other sanctuaries and we should invite others into ours. We ARE those sheep – we are all unique and loved and owned by our Lord God and Father God, and we are all to be collected at the end. (We are to avoid being goats which Jesus will separate one day as non-sheep). We can be unique sheep. I know that the women who went to the front of the church who wore their scarves and sang their songs could easily be my cousins and ancestors in the Eastern European country of my ancestors. The women and men our brothers and sisters in Christ. Just because they have different colors of sheep paint on occasion, we are all sheep. All Sheep. One Shephard.

One last bible lesson, how sometimes we think we have to be dressed a certain way for church – or act a certain way – or fast even if physically not able – well, NO. We talked about the scripture that the thief to the side of Jesus on the cross came to Him at the last minute, came as he was, came a sinner, yet when he asked to be with Jesus, Jesus said TODAY, you will be with me in Paradise. Our SALVATION does NOT rely on us – only on our Shepherd who laid down His life as the Lamb Sacrificed. 

Sheep, Souls, Singing, Scarves, Sticky Notes, Singed hair, Sharing, and Salvation.

May we realize we are all sheep of our Shepard. 

Sleepy Sheep awake, Jesus came for us all. He IS coming again to judge the quick and the dead.

Jesus says: YOU MADE IT!

Amen! CHRIST IS RISEN! HAPPY EASTER!

Give it up for the Sheep

Standard

Mercy, have we prayed enough for mercy for others and not just ourselves? God’s mercy is real. A dear friend always prays the blood of Jesus to cover people, meaning she asks on their behalf for Jesus’s forgiveness – given thru His blood to cover their offenses. May none of us lack this coverage. May we all extend prayers to even the worst offenders.

God’s Mercy is shown throughout the scriptures. God’s STRENGTH is in how He RESTRAINS His punishments, how He restrains the evil as well.  Mercy IS Jesus in saving us, being the Blanket of Forgiveness, a blanket of His own blood not a blanket of wool sheared from His sheep. He requires nothing of us but our following of Him as Shepard. To believe in Him because God sent Him. He is our Shepherd. We are His sheep.

We, the sheep, have wool, warmth, and surely wandering. Jesus the Shepherd has blood forgiveness, a burning LIGHT of HOPE, and TRUTH beckoning us to get back on track. 

Give it up for the sheep. Jesus did. 

David, the KING and once earthly shepherd, was the always returning servant. David realized when he went astray and he returned to petitioning and sacrificing for God. David knew he needed repentance (so do we).

“These are but sheep. What have they done?”

In David’s realization of wrong, he knew to ask to be in the Lord’s courts of trials (once again) because he KNEW the Lord to be MORE merciful than human man. God gave David choices but David left it up to God to inflict punishment with mercy.

David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”

AND the Lord SHOWED mercy and restraint for He could have destroyed more, as His anger burned against Israel, but at one point God stopped the angel who was dosing out the plague. 

When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.”

God, our Lord God, we beseech you to take these current plagues and roll back the forces of destruction. We beg if we have done wrong to become a repented land. We find hope in You Jesus. 

Restraint. God gives us restraining pens of hedges of protection. God puts up blockages for where we should not go. He restrains our free will with a will to be free in Him. God begs us restraint over retaliation by telling us to forgive and turn the other cheek. Restraint on our part will let Him work out long terms of His Grace over our hurried judgment. 

Wouldn’t it be best for us to pray mercy over all? Over those we don’t know and especially our enemies. Drop our grudges and give Him rights for His Judgments. Perhaps our trials are partially our training to pray, pray, pray – to pray mercy for our enemies and not just ourselves. Yes our anger burns, the Lord Himself has anger, but our prayers rise like incense to God’s pleasure even more.

Give it up for the sheep, Jesus did.

(And WE TOO must return to God knowing His mercy. Don’t stay out in the cold if you are drifting or have drifted. Be sure to come back, hear Jesus calling, be still and know His forgiveness and love.) 

Pray mercy. God is great. 

Accept mercy. God is giving it.

Give mercy. God is for all.

Amen


2nd Samuel 24

Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.”

So the king said to Joab and the army commanders with him, “Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and enroll the fighting men, so that I may know how many there are.”

But Joab replied to the king, “May the Lord your God multiply the troops a hundred times over, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it. But why does my lord the king want to do such a thing?”

The king’s word, however, overruled Joab and the army commanders; so they left the presence of the king to enroll the fighting men of Israel.

After crossing the Jordan, they camped near Aroer, south of the town in the gorge, and then went through Gad and on to Jazer. They went to Gilead and the region of Tahtim Hodshi, and on to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon. Then they went toward the fortress of Tyre and all the towns of the Hivites and Canaanites. Finally, they went on to Beersheba in the Negev of Judah.

After they had gone through the entire land, they came back to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days.

Joab reported the number of the fighting men to the king: In Israel there were eight hundred thousand able-bodied men who could handle a sword, and in Judah five hundred thousand.

David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing.”

Before David got up the next morning, the word of the Lord had come to Gad the prophet, David’s seer: “Go and tell David, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.’”

So Gad went to David and said to him, “Shall there come on you three years of famine in your land? Or three months of fleeing from your enemies while they pursue you? Or three days of plague in your land? Now then, think it over and decide how I should answer the one who sent me.”

David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”

So the Lord sent a plague on Israel from that morning until the end of the time designated, and seventy thousand of the people from Dan to Beersheba died. When the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, the Lord relented concerning the disaster and said to the angel who was afflicting the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.

When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, “I have sinned; I, the shepherd, have done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall on me and my family.”

David Builds an Altar

On that day Gad went to David and said to him, “Go up and build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” So David went up, as the Lord had commanded through Gad. When Araunah looked and saw the king and his officials coming toward him, he went out and bowed down before the king with his face to the ground.

Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?”

To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped.”

Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. Your Majesty, Araunah gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.”

But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.

TORN, NOT TORN, 19APR

Standard

Still in Easter mode…

TORN and NOT TORN

Jesus was accepting that His time for the cross, this meant He was torn away physically from those He loved here on earth, but not in His love. They must have felt He was torn away from them. I think back to Simon seeing Jesus, the day Joseph and Mary brought Him for circumcision, Simon knew, warned and blessed Mary for her trials to come. Simon was NOT TORN from that temple even in old age, asking the Lord’s blessing to see the Messiah. 

TORN AND NOT TORN 

The curtain. The curtain TORN and no longer was the Holy Place separated from the worshipers, no longer was life separated by death from us. Jesus was NOT TORN away from His mission. The curtain TORN, the rocks TORN, the graves TORN back open. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

NOT TORN 

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. “Let’s NOT tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled. Scripture has NEVER been TORN.

TORN AND NOT TORN 

Joseph was torn away from his fear but never torn away from his faith.

Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead….there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. 

NOT TORN AND TORN 

Mary, Jesus’smother, many Mary’s and women were not torn away from comforting Him, watching Jesus die nor from comforting each other. They did stay until Jesus was prepared in death for the tomb then placed in the tomb, by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. These women were the last to see His body. Mary of Magdalene was one of the first to see Him risen. These women were eventually torn from the tomb because of the sabbath, and they were not torn away from their duties nor their faith. 

TORN 

Nicodemus, the most famous and respected teacher of the Jews, whom had quietly come to Jesus in the night (John 3) was torn from his hiding, torn from his doubt. Nicodemus brought 100lbs of embalming spices, myrrh and aloes. As the rich man, He allowed Himself to be TORN AWAY from greed and instead gave. 

TORN and NOT TORN 

The stone was rolled away.

Guards watching the tomb were torn away from other duties and trusted to guard it. After they saw the stone rolled, and recovered, they were not torn away from the truth of what they saw happen there. Even if they were bribed to keep quiet, they knew truth. Truth is never torn. Stick with the Truth. 

The World is torn in torment and eventually will be TORN totally:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief… … what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” ButLove is NEVER torn away. 

God’s LOVE lasts forever. 

Amen

John 19:30-42

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

Mark 15:39-47

The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”  Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.

The Burial of Jesus. It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.

Matthew 27:50-61

Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedees children.

When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.

—-

Luke 23:46-56

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.

And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.

And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.

And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

—-

2nd Peter 3:10-18

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.  Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen

Fear Him To Live Free

Standard

Until Jesus comes on a cloud, any near day,

my goal is to read through the whole Bible before delay.

Gaining in knowledge of Him is necessary today,

knowing Him as merciful is a blessing, to learn of His Way.

Reading scripture is hearing what Jesus has to Say,

Living well, thru Jesus’s teachings, helps us not to stray.

Living Holy, in fear of the Lord, is necessary you see,

to learn of His Love, to understand what gives Him Glee.

We know that in His Love we are made alive and free, 

He has gifted all of His Love to stir within you and within me.

Fear Him to live Free.

Lord Jesus, You rescue me.

Amen

Someone to Talk To

Standard

What’s a most appreciative part of our day? Someone to talk to.

Why did God make man and women? So we could find someone to talk to, someone different but the same. Women like to chitchat with each other. Men like to shoot the breeze together. Men and women can bond and talk about togetherness or dreams or nothing at all and just be. Friends can be friends. 

What’s a most appreciative part of Jesus’s day? 

Someone to talk to.

Why did the Lord Jesus walk the earth? 

To find us to talk to us.

Why did Lord Jesus come directly to us? 

To tell us of Our Father

What did Lord Jesus say of Himself? The Son can do nothing by himself – whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father LOVES the Son and shows him all he does. 

What did Lord Jesus say of us? That whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

Why did Lord Jesus become the inSPIRITation of the Word written down? The Bible Himself? So we too would HEAR the voice of LOVE thru the Son of God. That we would know He came to bring Heaven to us.

Those who hear will live.

Why is Lord Jesus willing to talk to us? Because the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. 

Why is Lord Jesus wanting to talk to us? To tell us He LOVES us, to tell us God, Our Father LOVES. 

Why do we NEED to TALK to Jesus to intervene for us with Our Father? Because Jesus said: “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but HIM who sent me.”

What’s a most appreciative part of GOD’S Day? Someone HEARING.

LISTEN, HEAR TALK, LOVE.

Love talks.

Amen


John 5:17, 19-29

 “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 

……………………

Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. 

Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 

Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 

Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

And Yet Mercy…

Standard

David sang to the Lord:

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me.

David had much to sing about to the Lord. He had praises as well as petitions for/from perilous moments. Us too. We have sticky situations and dangers… but we do have praises, above all.

We must praise and sometimes petition, especially when no one else understands us. We have to humbly cheer: “I’m glad the Lord understands me.” – We have to tearfully kneel: “I’m glad He has Mercy for me in His Majesty.”

There’s often surprise at how other people seem to be (including us) – the world wacky or wild, people are often good, bad, indifferent or scheming, ignorant or naive. Or people are just people living in a fallen world. It’s not just simply in modern soap operas (portrayed for our entertainment), nor in real deal modern war conflicts (of which power plays are prominent), this struggle of humankind to get the upper hand is DOMINANT in the pages of scripture.

One situation is especially deeply detailed as dangerous living in 2nd Samuel, where we find King David even more scattered away from his home by the hands of his son Absalom, similar to when he was chased by his father-like King Saul. David had mercy for his son as well. David walked often in those valleys of the shadow of death. 

David did much good but David also did many wrongs… And yet there is Mercy. God’s Mercy brought and brings reconciliation. God’s Mercy brought David, the shepherd and King back to being a sheep. God’s mercy brings us reconciliation. For David and for us too, reconciliation comes by a Redeemer in Jesus. David’s redeeming was both of his self and within his legacy. Jesus came as a descendant of the House of David to rule as King forever.

David showed his failings, his worldliness, in how he dealt with Bathsheba’s husband Uriah. His lust of her, and a cover up became a scheme to kill Uriah. Then things went spiraling out of control for David. David lost, he lost children, yes, and nearly except the legacy God laid out for him. David called out to God and God forgave David but warned him of this hard life path. Yet, David NEVER lost the LOVE of God – and God NEVER stopped LOVING David. 

God NEVER stops loving us.

The jealousy David had must have torn him away from appreciating what he already had. His mourning was real. The Mercy was even MORE real. God expressing MERCY is His message, here and forever. Tough love is but truth in love. Protection by discipline. 

We see conflict thru these chapters of David’s life, we see fights back and forth on the pages, terrible betrayals of brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, with disregard for the foundation and provisions given to them by God Himself. There is no war to end all wars here. There is no peace when these people want pieces of worldly pursuits. 

David became in danger and he unraveled. Yet, the strung-out unraveled life remained tethered to the Core of who he was, a child of God. 

It’s not like the immediate danger of a lion or a bear that stood in front of now King David, not even a Goliath, but it was the circling of conspiracies and swaying of innocent people one way or the other to make a mess of life. David had much trouble from his son, Absalom, but in the end he asked for mercy for his child. He was heartbroken by Absalom’s death.

You could say that our modern conflicts do the same, there is sway over people to one side or the other, whereas God watches and waits for all and each one of us to return to our senses. God weeps thru Jesus tears for “they know not what they do.” God waits and knows the brokenness in us, knowing that the people on the pages will just keep fighting until He blows the trumpet. At some point He will pick up the pages of time and blow it all away, keeping just those who He brought to Jesus, and Jesus netted up. Jesus never loses anyone. 

We who love Him will have a new song to sing.

God knows that we are so very human. Can we survive this world, this society? We must live above it. We must cling to the hope, the foundation, be glued to the pages on which the Word works. We must view beyond the conspiracies and calamities. We must tremendously remember God’s MERCY and spread that ourselves. 

People are in old conflicts, but God in all His Mercy does not change, and waits for His children’s return. 

We too must light a lamp of HOPE. Jesus gives us the opportunity to forgive and forge ahead.

We should not want to walk anywhere without JESUS. 

AMEN 

—-

Reading thru much of these trials, we realize we are in new conflicts are but in old evils, just with modern people.  David’s response to the Lord delivering him was real praise.  

—-

One of the songs of David:

2 Samuel 22

King James Version

And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul:

And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.

I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. When the waves of death compassed me, the floods of ungodly men made me afraid; The sorrows of hell compassed me about; the snares of death prevented me; In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.

Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind. And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies.

Through the brightness before him were coals of fire kindled. The Lord thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice. And he sent out arrows, and scattered them; lightning, and discomfited them. And the channels of the sea appeared, the foundations of the world were discovered, at the rebuking of the Lord, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils. He sent from above, he took me; he drew me out of many waters; He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay.

He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them. I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.

Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight. With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, and with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright. With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury.

And the afflicted people thou wilt save: but thine eyes are upon the haughty, that thou mayest bring them down.

For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

For who is God, save the Lord? and who is a rock, save our God?

God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet: and setteth me upon my high places. He teacheth my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great.

Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip. I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them.And I have consumed them, and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me. They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the Lord, but he answered them not. Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad. Thou also hast delivered me from the strivings of my people, thou hast kept me to be head of the heathen: a people which I knew not shall serve me. Strangers shall submit themselves unto me: as soon as they hear, they shall be obedient unto me. Strangers shall fade away, and they shall be afraid out of their close places.

The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and exalted be the God of the rock of my salvation. It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me. And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name. He is the tower of salvation for his king: and sheweth mercy to his anointed, unto David, and to his seed for evermore.

Passionately, Jesus Speaks, Jesus Predicts

Standard

This took me a couple days to write and get back to during Holy Week, I appreciate time to still study Jesus’s walk and work of those days and warnings and descriptions of the future… There is IMPORTANT focus on knowing what is yet to come for us and others, not just hints but direct teaching. Direct references to plans fulfilled, plans continuing and plans in end times. We need to get on board and start tossing life vests into the water for helping others.

It seems Jesus, in His Way to the Cross, ALSO tells us to appreciate what we do have, that things could always be worse. (Maybe the current times are showing this too). It’s important to teach what Jesus taught. It’s always important to know the “reason for the season” – we celebrate Christmas, Easter, but do we know there are also reasons for what will be experienced in the NEXT seasons of tribulations, millennium and forever…


Read Passionately

Written Passionately, Jesus Speaks.

Walking Passionately, Jesus Demonstrates. 

Living Passionately, Jesus Saves.

Taught Passionately, Jesus Predicts.

The Bible is to be read PASSIONATELY, because JESUS IS SPEAKING, speaking with purpose, and we can listen on His walk WITH the cross to complete the plan OF the cross. Jesus ALSO PREDICTS our and the world’s FUTURE.


PART 1: THE PLAN FULFILLED:

Jesus, after the last supper, spoke in the garden to our Father. Jesus made clear what He knew: He came for all, and He lost none of those given to Him, led to Him by our Father, including His disciples. Jesus then let them scatter free that night, knowing all but Judas would be found by Him again. Plan complete for them. Plan also set in place for His Mother, and just by His thoughtfulness and strength, acceptance and teaching proved with presence and signs that He was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. 

Jesus in being forsaken, sacrificed, and pre-provided as The Lamb to be slain, Jesus took on His Father’s Will for Him for us. When He died, HE ALREADY KNEW HOW FAR HE HAD GONE. Far enough to save us all. Jesus finished it before He said “It is Finished.” But He said it anyway. 

Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost noneJohn 18:8-9 fulfilling John 6:38-40: “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 19:25-30 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.  Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.


PART 2: THE PLAN PRESENTLY:

Jesus took time to speak about what future believers would need to know and do. Hope and purpose.

We do want others to hear of His Hope and our home with Him in Heaven FOREVER…  We must carry HIS Light as a torch and also help those still willing to find His WAY within their walk. And He brings a powerful message for us to share of Him being sent to save. Presently we must also agree and show our beliefs. We teach because He taught. We love because He loves. We believe because He believes in us.

John 17:18-26 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”


PART 3: THE PLAN PREDICTED:

We do know that Jesus knew when “it’s my time”, because He knew when “it’s not yet my time”. That Last Supper, He knew the time drew near and would begin the crucial night into day walk to take – to complete God’s plan for His earthly walk. Then it went dark then light. And now, we will see dark cone again in the future BUT KNOW THAT THERE IS GOING TO BE FOREVER LIGHT

Jesus KNEW and even in His battered state, walking with the cross, He took time to speak of TIMES TO COME. He was speaking of how awful end times will be for those who do not follow God’s plan and how terrible the devastation will be. For He and we will be removed from this place and DRYNESS of Life will be the next season.  The lack of His Hope,  shunning the Spirit will cause even more anguish: “For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”

We are in the green season but our world and the world’s people show times are closer and closer to drying up…  Jesus does not change and God does not change, the LIGHT is still burning bright, but the season WILL change, our earth and our fellow men will continue down the path towards Rapture and post-Rapture days, many tribulations where there will be attempts to pull all back into darkness. But so many won’t know to look at the times. Jesus prays so all would know Him and BE WITH HIM. There are many who will miss the message.  For others, LIFE will be chosen, but by being martyrs is those times. The ones experiencing wrath, predictions of the Book of Revelation, will beg to have the mountains fall on them to be put out of their misery. Jesus spoke of these people even while moments from His death. 

Luke 23:26-29, 34 : And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus. And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.

Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.

For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?

—-

Revelation 6:7-17 (shown to John): When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. 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?”


When Jesus said: “Forgive them Father, for they do not know what they do”, at least the people there in Jerusalem and surrounding areas knew His name (or would shortly) – but what about the people in the future?

Jesus chose to educate, so should we.

Let us now CHOOSE JESUS, CHOOSE FOLLOWING, CHOOSE LIFE. 

Know the Plan, fulfilled, present and PROMISED. Keep sharing the Good News AND WHY we have HOPE. 

AMEN


Taste Easter AND Salvation

Standard

To prepare our palettes for Easter goodies, it’s good to clean out the fridge, ESPECIALLY if you’re getting Amish market faire for all your side dishes and dessert. (I’m only cooking a ham, haha! awesome)

To prepare OURSELVES for Easter, it’s good to clear out our hearts and heads too and make them ready (and only fill them with LOVE not fluff). 

Shopping at the Amish market, means NO WORK to prepare the meal. Yes, it does cost some,  but minimal, and seriously it is NO WORK. 

Salvation gifted from Jesus cost A LOT, but we didn’t pay, He did.  WE DID NO WORK. This gift is ALL from His Sacrifice, from Him paying the price, seriously a ransom for us at the highest cost was still worth it to Him. We could NOT do anything for eternal life except accept it, KNOWING that we NEED Jesus to cleanse our sins. We DO need to believe in Him, JESUS, as the One God sent to hear our repent. 

So this Easter my prayer is for everyone to open up their hearts and their heads (and their refrigerators) and ACCEPT the BEST BLESSING OF ALL! JESUS JOY!!!!  Endless Easter in Eternal Life!!!  

God Bless You All and Happy Easter!

AMEN 

Enough for Today

Standard

I do wish often to think of what Jesus was thinking this Holy Week, on the way, in His Way, to the cross.

But then I just realized, what if Jesus took His Own advice. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”   “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”

Yes! Jesus, who relied upon God to give Him direction and instructions, also would have been thinking and living in the present. He knew the future, thus saying and knowing: “each day has enough trouble of its own.”. 

Jesus knew the past, the future, IS Alpha and Omega, and yet Jesus took one step at a time, took time for those He needed to be with that day. He absorbed the day for itself and said each day was enough for each day.

Focus

I have been helping my son practicing driving. A BIG important skill is to pay attention to your depth perception. YES, Jesus had/has the ultimate depth perception of seeing thru time, thru people, thru His Journey.  He spoke to Our Father every step of the way. (I trust in God in this new day of driving, it’s the best way to walk with the Lord thru the day)

So, be like Jesus today, be WITH your family and friends, co-workers and those God needs you to be around, and those He wants around you. Be like Jesus and take time away to pray. Be like Jesus and perceive and know ahead, but keep your mind and emotions in today. How else could Jesus sit down to eat and to pray unless that WAS what he needed to do that moment of that day. 

Good Friday is the day Jesus picked up His Cross, but Holy Thursday is the day He picked up His Feet and kept walking for His Mission. Each day and Today IS a day for us to live thru the Word while walking in the World. Know next week is coming, but stay on task today. 

Be in the moment. Jesus is. 

Amen

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 NIV

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. Matthew 6:34 KJV

A Good Friday to Remember – Stationing Ourselves Because of the Cross

Standard

I must say that walking the Stations of the Cross was one place as a child in the Catholic church where I felt walking IN faith, to feel my faith, to feel the drama, to witness the strength and determination of Jesus. To see. 

Now I walk NOT to see but TO KNOW. 

The Good Friday’s of my youth were with my catholic school taking a short walk up to church. One of the very vivid memories was the reading of the Passion scriptures – and that ALL the priests showed up to participate in the service at the same time – that really spoke volumes to me of the importance of the day – and the importance of remembering the day – remembering the walk of Jesus.

It was a Good Friday to remember. For Jesus to remember and save us is good. For us to remember Jesus is good, to appreciate the Passion of Christ – not that we could ever grasp the enormity of His Sacrifice.

Jesus made a commitment to us before we were even born. This also means He walks with us today. To walk while pondering Jesus allows the Holy Spirit to place us, and as believers, we can and should walk TO our stations, FOR the sake of cross, ALLOWING ourselves to be stationed not stationary. STATIONING ourselves in readiness and witness. 

The Stations of the Cross presented WITH the scriptures let us know that He wanted us to know His journey. He still does…

Turns out that some of the stations are imagined “traditional thought” (Jesus falling and the woman wiping his face) but most stations of the cross are scripture derived. I was pondering this during this Holy Week, really wanting to keep and know truth over tradition, when today I “found” a noontime outdoor “Stations of the Cross” service near my work. WOW, I “picked it” from google maps and websites but I am SURE the Holy Spirit knew all along where to send me to walk, because I LEARNED a NEW WAY to walk the Stations of the Cross. This church service walked a “new” 1990’s version of the Stations, based on Pope John Paul II’s “Biblical Stations”. I was FASCINATED – and appreciative – and IMPRESSED that the Holy Spirit KNEW my pondering – and we (about 50 to 75) walked in the beautiful sunshine among outdoor stations, set up as an eagle scout project. 

Before I left, I went to marvel at the stained glass windows – the color and symbolism – the beauty. The Lamb with a sword – that was the window that spoke to me – the Lamb of God whose Sacrifice took away the Sins of the world.

What a Good Friday to remember that He Has! “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:9-10

I appreciate the old time Stations, but what I really am excited about is when we will be STATIONED in witness around His Throne in Heaven. In the meantime, everyone take your stations today for witness!

Amen 


Biblical Way of the Cross – stations:

  1. Jesus prays in the garden
  2. Jesus is betrayed and arrested
  3. Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin
  4. Peter denies knowing Jesus
  5. Jesus is condemned by Pilate
  6. Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns
  7. Jesus takes up his cross
  8. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus
  9. Jesus meets the weeping women
  10. Jesus is crucified
  11. Jesus promises paradise to the crucified thief
  12. Jesus cares for his mother
  13. Jesus dies
  14. Jesus is buried

The Stinky Feet of Sleepy Sheep

Standard

Ah, I was SUPER trepid, 

But the water was goodly tepid. 


The pastor offered to wash my feet, 

me the tired, scared, sleepy sheep. 


Stinky work feet certainly YES, 

she said it’s OK, this meant only to bless.


To symbolize, Jesus washed the feet. 

To save, Jesus won us back from sin’s defeat.


The choosing and saving of us was not thru our ability, 

that’s why my tears fell in humility. 


The water’s warmth says thru Him we are worthy, 

The Living Water’s cleanse comes because He is Holy. 


I was maybe embarrassed and silly afraid, 

but Oh that feeling, that warmth, Oh so blessed to be saved.


I want that warm loving feeling Forever.

Jesus, Your Embrace, I will always treasure. 


Now I too must wash other’s feet. 

That’s how we make Your Love COMPLETE.


Amen 


What a blessing, and a remarkable experience… oh how Jesus humbled Himself, not just for washing feet but for Saving those – both who already loved Him, but also those who would scatter. He also washed for the ability of those who never knew Him to sit with Him and feel His cleanse. He did this so we would remember Him as servant, and to be like Him. He loved and served us first. Amen Amen. 


John 13:3-15 KJV

Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.  Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

Mules and Thrones

Standard

It’s interesting to note who’s one’s KING by where He sits. A mule. A throne. OUR HEARTS? Who is our King? An Easter Week reflection of two parades of an earthly king and our heart and Heaven King, in Jesus. 

Mules and Thrones 

Solomon was made king by David his father, but really by the Lord God’s appointment. David has Solomon ride his own mule to show the transition, which was needed because someone else was trying to steal the throne while David was weak and dying.

The Lord, our Lord, Jesus came likewise into Jerusalem on a mule, because He was to fulfill a prophecy, many prophecies, but specifically this prophecy. Yet He knew that the people mistook Him as an earthly King. Jesus wept over those people as He entered. He rode the mule, He had left the throne of Heaven to come here, for entering earth as a baby, walking in the world. Yet He really wanted, still wants, to occupy a throne sitting inside our hearts. My heart. Your heart. He becomes our King when we acknowledge Him as King Lord, fulfilling God’s Plan. A Servant Savior, Jesus. Can we, you and I, make Way for Him as our King? Will we, you and I, cheer and worship Him as He works through our hearts? Can we bow in submission yet feel risen in life?

When King David (also once a shepherd) made clear the succession of Solomon as King, he said:  ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has allowed my eyes to see a successor on my throne today.’” David was blessed for the Lord kept him safe all thru the years, many trials, now followed up on the promise of Solomon hus son to become King. When we bow down to worship God, we need to acknowledge that Jesus IS the Promise fulfilled.  We ourselves acknowledge and ask to see Jesus take His throne over us, within us, and hope to see this Kingship over the world. We have not seen all this yet, and there are going to be more struggles until the prophecy in the book of Revelation is fulfilled in Jesus’s return. It will get earthly worse before it gets better. But as we WILL see this New Jerusalem Kingdom roll in, we also now get to say: Praise be to the Lord, the God of ME, who has allowed my eyes to see a successor IN MY HEART, on my PERSONAL throne today.’”

Let us let Jesus be our King. For Easter week is a triumphant end to a week of trials. Let us remember our King will forever reign. 

Let us find the mule that Jesus has set up within our lives and let Him ride in to be our heartly King – let us appreciate we have seen Him take His throne over us as Lord, Shepherd, King, Savior. 

Let us cheer on our Savior, today. 

Amen


John 12:12-15

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.

They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

“Hosanna!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the king of Israel!”

Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”

——-

1st Kings 15-53

King David and King Solomon 

Bathsheba went to see the aged king in his room, where Abishag the Shunammite was attending him.  Bathsheba bowed down, prostrating herself before the king.

“What is it you want?” 

My lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to learn from you who will sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. Otherwise, as soon as my lord the king is laid to rest with his ancestors, I and my son Solomon will be treated as criminals.”

While she was still speaking with the king, Nathan the prophet arrived. And the king was told, “Nathan the prophet is here.” So he went before the king and bowed with his face to the ground.

Nathan said, “Have you, my lord the king, declared that Adonijah shall be king after you, and that he will sit on your throne? Today he has gone down and sacrificed great numbers of cattle, fattened calves, and sheep. He has invited all the king’s sons, the commanders of the army and Abiathar the priest. Right now they are eating and drinking with him and saying, ‘Long live King Adonijah!’ But me your servant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and your servant Solomon he did not invite. Is this something my lord the king has done without letting his servants know who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him?”

David Makes Solomon King

Then King David said, “Call in Bathsheba.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him.

The king then took an oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble, I will surely carry out this very day what I swore to you by the Lord, the God of Israel: Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne in my place.”

Then Bathsheba bowed down with her face to the ground, prostrating herself before the king, and said, “May my lord King David live forever!”

King David said, “Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, he said to them: “Take your lord’s servants with you and have Solomon my son mount my own mule and take him down to Gihon. There have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ Then you are to go up with him, and he is to come and sit on my throne and reign in my place. I have appointed him ruler over Israel and Judah.”

Benaiah son of Jehoiada answered the king, “Amen! May the Lord, the God of my lord the king, so declare it. As the Lord was with my lord the king, so may he be with Solomon to make his throne even greater than the throne of my lord King David!”

So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon mount King David’s mule, and they escorted him to Gihon. Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!”

And all the people went up after him, playing pipes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound.

Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they were finishing their feast. On hearing the sound of the trumpet, Joab asked, “What’s the meaning of all the noise in the city?”

Even as he was speaking, Jonathan son of Abiathar the priest arrived. Adonijah said, “Come in. A worthy man like you must be bringing good news.”

“Not at all!” Jonathan answered. “Our lord King David has made Solomon king. The king has sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites, and they have put him on the king’s mule, and Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king at Gihon. From there they have gone up cheering, and the city resounds with it. That’s the noise you hear. Moreover, Solomon has taken his seat on the royal throne. Also, the royal officials have come to congratulate our lord King David, saying, ‘May your God make Solomon’s name more famous than yours and his throne greater than yours!’ And the king bowed in worship on his bed and said, ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has allowed my eyes to see a successor on my throne today.’”

At this, all Adonijah’s guests rose in alarm and dispersed. But Adonijah, in fear of Solomon, went and took hold of the horns of the altar. Then Solomon was told, “Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar. He says, ‘Let King Solomon swear to me today that he will not put his servant to death with the sword.’”

Solomon replied, “If he shows himself to be worthy, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground; but if evil is found in him, he will die.” Then King Solomon sent men, and they brought him down from the altar. And Adonijah came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon said, “Go to your home.”

WDJK? WDJT? WDJD?

Standard

It’s Holy Week, What Did Jesus Know? Think? Do? WDJK WDJT WDJD?

He KNEW it was time to start His journey towards the cross.

He KNEW the people did not understand why He was on earth.

He KNEW too many would never hear of Our Father. 

He KNEW too many would hate Him and hate the Father. 

He KNEW that love was stronger than hate, but hate came from the brokenness of this world.

He KNEW that He was mobbed with crowds but they could not understand He was not simply an earthly king to provide and heal sick, restore the earthly thrones and restore Israel and “just that”.

He KNEW He was working for God, Who was and IS more than “just that”.

He KNEW that to get to each person on earth physically and spiritually, God had a plan that included the Holy Spirit and us.

He KNEW God’s Plan to take His life in order to grant LIFE to us all.

He KNEW those who would beg for Him.

He knew those who would betray Him.

He KNEW those who would LOVE and Follow Him.

Jesus KNEW He had to leave Earth so that the Holy Spirit could come as the Comforter.

He KNEW He could and would come back.

WDJK?

What Did Jesus Know?

WDJT?

What Did Jesus Think?

We ask that question because we think over just knowing. 

We ask that question because we fear death. 

We ask that question because we value life.

We ask that question because we can not wrap our heads around Someone Who would and did give up His Life for us.

We ask that question because we can not imagine enough what the afterlife with the Lord will feel like.

We don’t always know even if we should. We don’t always think like Jesus, but He did. He KNEW and THOUGHT. WAS AND IS AND WILL BE.

Jesus was there at the beginning of time. The Word With the Father Wrote the Walk for the Father, Working the Way for the World. 

What Did Jesus Do? WDJD?

All the Father’s Requests.

Jesus WAS, IS, WILL BE.

Jesus IS COMING BACK too. 

It’s Palm Sunday, 

What Did Jesus Know?

What Did Jesus Think?

What Did Jesus Do?

“TIME TO GO TO WORK”. 

And He DID.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Amen

—-

John 15:12-27, 16:1-12

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friendsYe are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

Continue here:

The Anger of It All

Standard

Anger, fits of rage, non-comprehensible pain… ANGER. 

It’s not easy or healthy to suppress anger. It’s not productive or good to let anger get out of control. It IS good to let God deal with our anger, He can control it, as HUGE as it is.

Anger is a real response, I long for the time anger will no longer show up in Heaven. After all the wrath poured out is complete. I fear for the unrepentant. I humbly tear up in His awakeness in me.

Anger. Anger comes naturally from brokenness, disbelief, unfortunate incidents and unfairness. 

Anger. I realize that one person’s anger mirrors what anger Jesus must have had, what God must rage. From the beginning, Jesus’s suffering was long and His endurance of His acceptance of God’s anger upon Himself REMARKABLE. 

Us? We now can SEE and KNOW the ANGER of iniquities of the world, of all the brokenness of people, of all God’s losses, were laid upon one man, JESUS. THIS Holy Week is when the Wholly Wreck of a broken world IS laid, controllably NOT uncontrollably upon One Man, Jesus. Our Easter is His message of forgiveness. Our Easter is His “Welcome Home “. 

Our ANGER is still in us to rage, but His ANGER was, is, will be vented in a controlled stage.

Controlled, calculated, calm, consistent, complete. Anger. All of it laid.

All of it.

The Lamb of God slain.

The pain of God rendered into sacrifice. 

The sadness of God to be appreciated. 

The Lamb of God slain, even for those who will never understand or know Him.

All in All.

Jesus came and WILL COME AGAIN. It was and IS finished with Jesus dead and buried. It was our walking path laid down and our coverage by His blood, but we ALL await God’s CLOSURE for the whole of the world still walking or wandering. We await the final Wrath of God poured out precisely (Revelation 16) but then CLOSED,  disappated. God will retreat from His anger and sadness and be done with His wrath. Jesus will complete their prophecy and we will be His bride. 

Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. (Isaiah 49:26, old testament prophecy).

Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.” Revelation 16:7

Walk don’t wander. 

The anger needs release and closure. The old will pass away. The Lord must come again to bring us Home. The Home of Heaven and of earth will be rolled away to make way for a New City, eternal, filled with the garden of life, filled with God’s love because it will be filled with us. The great banquet. The feast of forever. 

Don’t stay outside in God’s anger, come inside with Jesus within His Love. Jesus took all the iniquities of the world upon His own flesh and renewed our lives away from the flesh forever. 

Away from the anger, oh what a feeling that will be…

Amen Jesus, thank God for You rescue us to be free.

Thank You for an Easter, now, for us, for me, and thank you for a Revelation of what is yet to be.

Jesus, yes, Thank You for setting us free.

Amen 


John 19:28-30 

Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Revelation 19:10-16

the angel guiding John in this revelation of our FUTURE said: “…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.

John wrote: I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.”He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

—-

Restoration awaiting IN OUR FUTURE:

Revelation 22:1-5

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.


This morning I awoke in anger, rare for me but real out of my dreams, real. My anger, I hated the feeling! It made me realize the anger of God multiplied, additive and yet He controlled it, He made the One in Jesus bear it, and Jesus took it. Jesus Was Is Will Be strong enough to take it because HE IS GOD.  God strength… thanks Lord for my processing of praise and pondering of Your Power. Double Amen!

Living in the Word yet Entrenched in the World, 06APR – #1445

Standard

I’ve noticed those folks (including us often, me all the time) living in the world and not apart from it, who may value worldly things over those spiritual satisfactions of living in the Word. The Word being Jesus, the Word-living being us emulating Jesus in forgiveness of others, emulating Jesus in teaching/preaching/reaching, shining Jesus thru our spirit, in living a surrendered life that God wants us to live.  

When we live in the Word apart yet entrenched in the world, we can let go of worldly things. We can “not sweat the small stuff” as well as bear up to the beatings of cruelty. In war, and in small skirmishes, how much more does the Lord reward those who tolerate rather than retaliate.

I’ve noticed some people without money become very jealous of it – and some people with money live greedily for more of it. I myself often retract in penny pinching after God has given the dollars to dole out freely.  If we lived spiritually in the Word yet entrenched in the world, we would best see money as a tool. There’s a classic phrase: “money is a cruel master.” But we are all to know, “money is not everything.”

I’ve noticed some people without (or with) titles at work or seeming social rankings, who value them over simply just getting the best job done. I’ve seen climbers who have invented mountains. They don’t stay on anything that starts to crumble but are seen to jump ship,or supporting themselves with the stuff they ignored now piled underneath. I’ve noticed people looking for earthly glory, caught myself doing the same.

I’ve grown to appreciate instead, the people who walk the real ground under their feet. Don’t take time to self-preserve by separation. Who know all that previous earthly glory has crumbled. Theri attitude makes it easier for us to look at others with compassion and awareness. 

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.

Let us follow Jesus’s example and do good, do Our Father’s Will and Love. Jesus looked at Peter LOVINGLY. Loved Peter who walked WITH Jesus even while he was often fumbling with his faltering faith. 

Peter grew up from these early days, he grew spiritually to live in outreach to the Gentiles and to us. He could teach: “rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”, because Peter Himself grew upto taste the Lord’s goodness.

Peter and we can learn the ancient scripture: For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” Let us try to walk more with the Word, even if in the World but not of it. Let us walk alongside Jesus and see the people He needs us to see. Let our suffering be set apart as something we endure for HIS SAKE. 

AMEN

—–

1st Peter 2:10-21

Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.  For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.  For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.  But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

—-

1Peter 1:13-25

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

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. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.  For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Our Potter and His Clay, His Light Way… 05APR, #1444

Standard

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us

Like a Potter, God is Master of the clay, His Clay. God is IN charge of the wetness of the slip. God shapes the vessels of us over and over again with His Hands. God makes us strong yet just from dust.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 

We do hit bumps in the road and our imperfections show. We are, however, OK, because God makes the clay smooth again when we let Him take charge of us, clean out our rough spots and loose clay outcastings. Then, when we rest in His Will, stop moving so fast, we can dry and lighten our load.

Persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 

We are to know that the fire only strengthens us, makes us suitable for service. A kiln for ceramic pottery and our spiritual life clay both require constant stoking of the Fire, requiring us to remain in the heat for as long as it takes. Bake for His sake.

We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

We do know these trying times indicate evil abounds, but restrained evil, restrained by the Hand of God. We pray Lord Jesus come quickly back to earth and yet right now we must appreciate this time in our lives, to show Jesus being alive to others, THRU US. Reveal Yourself, Lord Jesus, in our every spin of the wheel, the circle game of life. 

made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. 

We know Christ SHINES, how dare we NOT ask for a fresh filling of His Spirit. We KNOW that LIGHT leads. We must allow it to SHINE bright. Our vessels, our jars of clay must be held together in order to hold water too, the Living Water poured into us. When we hold HIS Water, we can feed the flowers of our faith. May our faith flowers ever be in full bloom.

“Let light shine out of darkness”

Amen

—-

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 2nd Corinthians 4:6-10

Ukrainian Prayer Service

Standard
from Psalm 59 in Ukrainian and English

I never felt more close to the Ukrainian people than when I was at the prayer service where they organized and brought together dozens of Ukrainian churches. Thousand people nearly, maybe more? PACKED. Well dressed and somber spoken. Prayerful and passionate. Loving and Longing for peace.

There is no weapon more powerful than prayer, both the local Ukrainian leader and the many pastors stated.

It was a packed house. I slipped into a seemingly empty row, middle back, but then realized and slid to the middle of the pew, because the first band who came off stage was to sit there. Cool, I was “with the band”. Holy Spirit cool too as I bumped into the same band leaving, with too much to carry and grabbed gear to help bring to their car. We can’t all be in the band but we can all be “roadies” of real support.

I was blessed to sing with these thousand folks all, as they put up lyrics in both languages and WOW the singing gave me chills, especially when the 50 choir members took the stage, their music so beautiful, harmonious and strong, CHILLS… We were all blessed to be knowing that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and how many churches come together and strengthen their brothers and sisters. And for me an opportunity to put aside my small life concerns to pray for other whole life situations.

Prayers were collective and they asked for small group prayers as we naturally divided into groups of five, without moving seats. That was something so powerful to witness and participate in. It was a spirit-moving event AND our lips and hearts moving too, plus the second prayer time, they asked you to gather with a new five people. Then each person spoke in English or Ukrainian in prayers in the circle. I prayed for the blood of Jesus to cover us all. 

The amazing power of collective prayer is experiencing how it is said prayers rise to God as incense rises (from the book of Revelation, as my band seat mate spoke of). The collective power of prayer this night prayed for God to bring us peace from bloodshed, for strength for medics firefighters soldiers, for the Ukrainian president and also for repentance of the Russian aggressors. 

We all prayed with passion. So I don’t think my ears have ever heard something like that few hundred circles of whispered prayers – like standing in a forest fire of incense rising. It was so cool and so inspiring and warm. There was one circle of older folks still standing that when we sat they continued prayers for a couple minutes and I watched a shaking teary older woman and the support next to her and in the room. What I also watched was how young people were watching their elders and each other in prayer. That’s something we rarely see these days, a packed house of prayer of all generations. 

About 40 to 50 pastors were in attendance and some did come read scriptures throughout, with translations posted. Then at the closing prayer about five gave prayerful pleas.

During the service, we had a live video link to a Ukrainian pastor in an Ukrainian “safe spot” where he was continuing to help those people including his adopted church kids and family members. (We had amazing translators throughout – translating the speeches but not the prayers). He described funerals and people telling him of the bodies found. His prayers were so tearful and his strength so holy-inspired.  The unfairness of it all resonates greatly, yet the prayerfulness of the Ukrainians shows the strength, resilience, resistance to evil, and power of “DON’T EVEN THINK DARKNESS COULD OVERCOME LIGHT” 

Next to me on my left was a soft-spoken man who just brought in his nephew from Ukraine yesterday. Behind me the gentleman was bringing his sister from Ukraine thru Mexico. The band member on my right, who works in a similar industry to mine (small world), he may take time to fly to be a translator for refugees. I honestly don’t know how many refugees are coming, but I know it will mirror with incredible hope and separation sorrow like my great grandparents trip to America from Eastern Europe. Likewise I know these communities are opening loving homes, wallets, and HOPE. 

As we left, they shared Ukrainian chocolates in the cafe. A display of floral headband, intricate embroidery, delicate Ukrainian easter egg. The chocolate amazing, yet the greatest sweetness for me was seeing the families together. The sweetness was knowing Jesus in all of them gathered and feeling their spirits. The sweetness of chocolate reminds us of the after-death sweetness of eternal life. 

I felt that in closing the Ukraninan-spoken prayers of one pastor were so passionate to be tear-bringing, but when the crowd stood to sing a Ukrainian prayer love unity song, I could see the SPIRIT rise stronger than the tears.

Sweeter than anything is knowing God is saying: LET LIGHT SHINE. 

God bless Ukraine’s LIGHT. 

Amen Amen 

—-

Psalm 59 – English Standard Version

Deliver Me from My Enemies

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Miktam of David, when Saul sent men to watch his house in order to kill him.

Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;  protect me from those who rise up against me; deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men. For behold, they lie in wait for my life; fierce men stir up strife against me. For no transgression or sin of mine, O Lord, for no fault of mine, they run and make ready. Awake, come to meet me, and see! You, Lord God of hosts, are God of Israel. Rouse yourself to punish all the nations; spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah

Ukranian Ribbons, Egg, Chocolate

In SPIRIT In TRUTH In GOD

Standard

In SPIRIT, we look for TRUTH. In TRUTH, we look for SPIRIT.

IN looking, we find HOLY SPIRIT looking for us.

Let us Know, Witness and Worship God – in Spirit and in Truth.

The Spirit moving in us will bring us to Witness and Worship. The Spirit can put our desires just to live in the flesh to death and give us LIFE. LIFE comes from Jesus covering us with His Blood.

Jesus is in us in Truth. Jesus is True in us because He is unchanging Truth. Jesus is Spirit in us because He is God. We grow because faith is more and more revealed in us if we ask Him to increase Him and reduce us. Jesus brings us the clean bill of health to get closer to God, our Father.

Our Father is God. God is looking for us. Loving us. We love because He loves.

In SPIRIT In TRUTH In GOD

IN ALL

Amen

Jesus said to his disciples (and us):“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:15-17

Paul taught: But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:10-18

Be Satisfied, Be Hungry, Be Foolish, 01APR

Standard

It’s not an April Fools (April 1st) day joke, but instead knowledge that Jesus wants us to both BE SATISFIED and BE HUNGRY. Both.

Not knowledge just from experience but from His existence. Yes, foolishness by believing in Him, in His Holy Way, was never a joke.  Foolishness in us, sometimes said by others, is for us to NOT being interested in appearance but in ADHERENCE…. Really, how smart it is in letting those worries go. The having of internal knowledge of God is not from our achievement in learning but from our allowing of filling, in letting the Spirit lead and interpret our HOPE. Be satisfied.

Be Satisfied and fueled up with Holy Spirit. 

Does the Spirit make us hungry? Yes. 

I had a partial dream this morning and a conversation of faith came up in the corner of the scen. It was a conversation with someone, but I don’t know with whom, perhaps just and wonderfully it was with the Holy Spirit Himself who told me: “Be satisfied”. He and I leaned into knowing that God is in control and we have life parts to fulfill.  It was not BE SATISFIED then stop moving, but just keep knowing to work IN UNDERSTANDING, in believing and to be SATISFIED with His instructions, purpose, plan. BE.

How many times we learn by the hard way to internalize our motives, moments, and more. To hide our hearts, first from the desire to not appear foolish then hide our hearts because we would be taunted by our peers or ourselves for not serving ourselves more. How much more in these times do we find the ONLY ONE who understands us is the ONE who created us. If we deny ourselves and open to His Will, we Will find the Way.

How can we survive, yet be cross-foolish? Because our survival is not dependent upon us. Let us hunger for more of Him, His Ways, His understanding of what’s important and BE SATISFIED. 

We do need to open our eyes to our REAL needs, versus what we thought we needed. We also retrospectively should know we are forgiven for our previous forever worldly following, we are forgiven. And the foolishness of forgiveness is believing God tells us: BE SMART today, for the new day.

This can be a deep philosophical introspection, or we can take this pondering in a light hearted look at our lives. We best live in the present moment. God who does not change, and the answer will ALWAYS be: Be still and know that I am God. Be still and let Me do what REALLY needs to be done. Be still.  BE. BE YOU, MY CHILD. 

Be

Be Satisfied. 

Keep going…

Amen 

1st Corinthians 18-21

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Man of God Movie

Standard

This was a tremendous movie of a tremendous servant Nektarios: “Man of God”.  This was a special showing. Theater was mostly full, likely mostly greek orthodox folks, like my friend who invited me (please pray for a miracle healing of her heart in chronic heart failure, thanks.)

Nektarios was first a preacher, then also a healer. We hear of someone like Bernadette and her faith at Lourdes, healing pools of water, but this movie focused on the man himself not the miracles, until the last scene with Mickey Rourke’s character experiencing a powerful healing for paralysis, tears in his belief and repentance, quite moving. 

Nektarios walked the walk and talked the talk, including not talking, taking punishment for himself instead of inflicting others…. and we heard his conversations with the Lord for he was persecuted unfairly. His writing was powerful and moving, in the 1910’s and 1920’s, he had quite the following and even helped a group of women establish a convent monastery. They were pestered by accusations, but all cleared of any wrong… 

He was at minimum always repenting for being a sinner, even though we would call him super good. He always prayed for forgiveness. I was just reading about king David and inflicting pain and death unto Uriah, being reprimanded by Nathan (2 Samuel 12), and how opposite this Nektarios was, living simply and taking on punishment for others. 

This movie was special and riveting, set in Greece, and even miraculous happenings for its filming. 

I especially enjoyed the constant reminder of not the miracles but that they represented true faith. He kept saying: my faith is not up to me. That’s a central truth we also must realize. Our faith is God expressing His Truth thru us. We preach, He reaches…

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt6060964/?ref_=ext_shr_lnk

“Exiled unjustly, convicted without trial, slandered without cause. Man of God depicts the trials and tribulations of Saint Nektarios of Aegina, as he bears the unjust hatred of his enemies while preaching the Word of God.”

In SPIRIT, we look for TRUTH.

Standard

In SPIRIT, we look for TRUTH. In TRUTH, we look for SPIRIT.

IN looking, we find HOLY SPIRIT looking for us.


Let us Know, Witness and Worship God – in Spirit and in Truth.

The Spirit moving in us will bring us to Witness and Worship. The Spirit can put our desires just to live in the flesh to death and give us LIFE. LIFE comes from Jesus covering us with His Blood.

Jesus is in us in Truth. Jesus is True in us because He is unchanging Truth. We grow because He is more and more revealed in us if we ask Him to increase. Jesus brings us the clean bill of health to get closer to God, our Father.

Our Father is God. God is looking for us. Loving us. We love because He loves.


Amen


Jesus said to his disciples (and us): If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” John 14:15-17


Paul taught: But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.  The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:10-18

Price of Peace is the Prince of Peace

Standard

I realized the typo in the previous post – ALPHA AND OMEGA – which is fitting and wonder-ful…

I wrote: Price of Peace instead of Prince of Peace.

So cool how our mistakes are even in His message – just like He always covers us.

He covers our mistakes because His life is the Price of Peace… as He is the Prince of Peace…

Cool, Lord, cool…

Thank You Lord, Thank You!


ALPHA AND OMEGA

Lord

Prince of Peace

Holy One

Almighty


Overcomer

Messiah

Emmanuel

God

ALPHA AND OMEGA


Bluebirds for the Word

Standard

Placing flowers on my Dad’s grave for what would have been my Dad’s birthday, I enjoyed watching the birds and hearing God’s comfort. We remembered many blessings of my Dad. Here’s my devotion of remembrance: reprinted and condensed from last summer:

Bluebirds for the Word

It is said that miracles serve to bring us back to the Word.

While walking in the cemetery this morning, supporting my mom in placing flowers on my Dad’s grave for what would have been his birthday, I couldn’t help but hear the birds singing loudly. The Holy Spirit reminds us that God is active in our lives, the Holy Spirit “IS” MOVING in our midst… 

This reminded me of the BLESSINGS, after my Dad’s passing last summer, of spending time with family, in LOVE’S outpouring of support. Two days after he passed, we took a respite visit to the Farmers Market. The blue flowers caught my eye, I had 4 bucks left. SOLD. Carried it back to the car then I quickly looked at the tag and saw the name was BLUE BIRD. Haha Lord!!! The name of my Dad’s favorite bird: BLUEBIRD.

I don’t have to tell you all my many God-sightings (God winks) to convince you that God is paying attention, I know that you also have seen these Holy Spirit movements. One could wonder what is simply serendipity coincidence, but I knew at that very moment, this WAS the Spirit saying that He Himself IS taking care of my Dad. And Jesus taught us that if our Father takes care of the birds, how much more He takes care of us. 

Bluebirds are special and so was my Dad, this miracle points me back to the Word because if bluebirds require special houses, high off the ground, how much more does the Lord love us and prepare a room for each of us in His House, His Kingdom.

We pray in Jesus’s name, He sends the Holy Spirit. I prayed for His Spirit to help carry my father. God gave me Hope. I know not just because a little birdie told me, but because Jesus did.

Amen

—-

1 Corinthians 2:7, 10-12:  …we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery…. 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. 

Seasons of Life

Standard

A friend is a few weeks away from knee surgery, so this season finds her sitting on the bench today, but her new knee new season will be SO MUCH better soon… she will await the next season with anticipation. she has been reminded, like us, to number our days.

Like the old advice says, you CAN do everything, have everything, in life, but NOT necessarily all at once.

This also means to appreciate the season of your life now. Don’t let the coldness of the past keep you from enjoying today.

Sometimes seasons switch from spring-sprung to barely peeping. Snowdrops then the tulip trees as well as forsythia and daffodils. Next slice of the season will be flowering quinces – and this year they will be BEAUTIFUL because I didn’t overtrim the bushes at the wrong time last year. Yes, we need to know how to prepare for the next season. If the flowering quinces know when to bloom, when to fruit, and when to leaf-out, so can we. They have a cycle, they have seasons. Us too, like Joni Mitchell sings. A Carousel of Time, in The Circle Game… we can grab what seems to be a fast up and down horse or the stationary seat while on the ride of life, but the carousel will turn and move us at the same speed each time. It’s our time perception that changes. We realize at the end of the ride that we wish it were longer, or we spend the whole ride trying to win a brass ring for another ride that we forget to enjoy the ride we are on.

Our job is to realize which season we are in now and bloom OR spread our leaves, OR harden down for winter, or plant for summer… No one said you can’t do things off season, but it’s best to be IN SEASON with where you are now. Pick up on cues and clues….

Especially realizing earthly life’s being just a small slice of forever life hopefully makes us appreciate the beauty of the moment AND the OPPORTUNITY of the moment.

Opportunity, that is what the religious leaders of the time squandered in Jesus’s time. They were too busy to realize they were out of season and certainly were not watching for the next season. Simeon at the temple knew Jesus as Messiah as the baby approached, but all of Israel did not. They were stuck in their dry season. Jesus cursed a fig tree for not being in bloom, the symbolism is of Israel not being fruitful when they could have known the Messiah was on His Way.  We are also to know that Jesus is on His Way to us any cloud now. We are to be in current season ready, to bear fruit or use our harvest, and to prepare for the next season. Our preparation now will let fruits of this season benefit those in the next.

What can we know about today? That we are to make the most of it. Jesus also taught that if we ask in His name, we can move mountains.

Jesus also said: when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Like the old advice says, you CAN do everything, have everything, in life, but not necessarily all at once. Let us appreciate our life now. Let us not get stuck in last season but spring into life, one blossom at a time. Let us forgive to be forgiven. Forgiveness is the soil softening and soul softening we need all in one. All in One, due to One, our Lord.

Let us bear fruit in faithfulness and trust God to not only bring us thru this season, but prepare us for the next.

Amen


Mark 11:12-21, 22-25 Jesus Curses a Fig Tree and Clears the Temple Courts

The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.

On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’”

The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”


A Circle Game, Joni Mitchell

Yesterday a child came out to wander

Caught a dragonfly inside a jar

Fearful when the sky was full of thunder

And tearful at the falling of a star

And the seasons, they go round and round

And the painted ponies go up and down

We’re captive on the carousel of time

We can’t return, we can only look

Behind, from where we came

And go round and round and round, in the circle game

Then the child moved ten times round the seasons

Skated over ten clear frozen streams

Words like, “When you’re older” must appease him

And promises of someday make his dreams

And the seasons, they go round and round

And the painted ponies go up and down

We’re captive on the carousel of time

We can’t return, we can only look

Behind, from where we came

And go round and round and round, in the circle game

16 springs and 16 summers gone now

Cartwheels turn to car wheels through the town

And they tell him, “Take your time, it won’t be long now

‘Til you drag your feet to slow the circles down”

And the seasons, they go round and round

And the painted ponies go up and down

We’re captive on the carousel of time

We can’t return, we can only look

Behind, from where we came

And go round and round and round, in the circle game

So the years spin by and now the boy is 20

Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true

There’ll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty

Before the last revolving year is through

And the seasons, they go round and round

And the painted ponies go up and down

We’re captive on the carousel of time

We can’t return, we can only look

Behind, from where we came

And go round and round and round, in the circle game

And go round and round and round, in the circle game

King Solomon’s Mine

Standard

My Dad loved the movie “King Solomon’s Mine” and longed to see it again, the 30’s version or 50’s I don’t remember, but back in the 80’s I remember him talking about it… Movies glamorized the storylines of intrigue, romance, power and wealth…. (the movie makers were interested in the wealth too)… The myth makers are still interested in the wealth of forgotten mines and captivating story lines… and yet what does the Bible say about King David and his son future King Solomon?  That even God is not interested in the palaces and the gold and the drippings of earthly wealth. God, in HIS LOVE, IS INTERESTED ABOVE ALL IN OUR LOVE!

God told David to NOT build a house for the ark of the covenant, which was carried for years, and dwelled under a tent. David thought of the reverence required for this precious cargo but God did not have David build anything more than what He already had. (God can take whatever we are too and provide our future). God promised David that He would LOVE his/His son Solomon, the one whom He would direct to build a temple, God would direct this and keep him safe and always love him even when he turned away. Love is a beautiful temple that never crumbles. Even Solomon’s temple was temporary and eventually crumbled. 

God was and is already on the go, not just cargo in an ark. Obviously God is everywhere and the ark that God maintained became a reminder keeper for Manna and the tablets etc. God’s presence was felt and He did show favor in those times when He was consulted. He DID want the people to know Him and especially to KNOW how He rescued them. He still wants us to know that.

What was and IS the Lord’s treasure IS still the Lord’s – US. And the Lord would continue to build the house of David which means the bloodline for Jesus coming as a baby into the world. Jesus being King brought His Kingdom here. Jesus ruling the Kingdom of Heaven came not simply as a king of Earth, as some thought He would direct in earthly power, Jesus came to secure our sin sacrifice for our souls.

Jesus mines SOULS.

Jesus also knew He would become broken and rise up. Jesus is the ultimate LOVE we are under. He came and already existed. 

King Solomon’s Mines are nothing like Jesus saying: Your Mine, Your Mine, Your Mine.  Jesus mines SOULS

Make mine Yours, Lord. 

Amen 


God’s Promise to David

2nd Samuel 7:1-17

After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”

Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.” But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying: “Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’

“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning  and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.

“‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you:  When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.  I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands.  But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.  Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’”

Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation.

—-

Here’s a discussion of the mining myth:

https://www. penn.museum/sites/expedition/solomon-the-copper-king/

Awakening before Reckoning

Standard

I was reading a blog that covers the book of Revelation and the great awakening that will come before the reckoning and last days… I find that so many people have not ventured into these pages of Revelation – I feel it is like the goldmine of knowledge – like what IS behind that giant locked door on the Price is Right game show – well – Jesus gave us the combination to open it – so don’t delay in turning the wheel and driving into the book…

The book of Revelation reminds me of how it pains me to say to people, when the conversation goes there, that things are only going to get worse before they get better. Yeah – that is a realist who is an optimist too. Optimist for the Great Awakening and doing what I can to help make that happen – and Realist for what I see and experience and because I do watch the news and I also watch the ignoring of news too…  How easily we forget of tragedies not in our daily views. We have the greatest expanse into media but we have no time to watch it anyway – nor do we know what to see and filter. 

The Bible is the ONE place that tells it as it is. AND we can go there because it IS in front of us.

We need Awakening before Reckoning – and they both are close around the corner.

We need to be a part of that Great Awakening… both by believing ourselves, showing our faith, and teaching about the Jesus we know and how others could dig into their own faith and see if they can talk with Jesus…  How will anyone know their faith unless they think about their faith… Now is not the time to reach to just those we already know who have faith but to reach to others to strengthen their faith and learn of faith…

If we don’t show reverence then we won’t ever show relevance to our situations. We got to show the world’s people that we know where to find support when times get tough. Like sheltering in the strongest part of the house when a tornado comes by. How best to speak of faith than show it!

This blog (link below) that I read speaks of the judgements and trials as described in Revelation and we have 2 responses from them – to draw closer to God OR to rebel…  Trust me, in these times, I think there is no time like the present to be present with listening to and for God. Draw closer.

Jesus speaking to the church at Sardis: which was not perfect: “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee”. Revelation 3:2-3

This is the quote that sums up that blog: “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Romans 13:11

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!


This link was the blog I was reading (it is 10 years old but still relevant because it is based on the bible and that never changes) – i know nothing about this preacher or church or background or anything – but the blog is a good read of reaching into the book of Revelation and learning about the Lord’s plans: https:// ministry127.com/christian-living/the-last-great-awakening

PERSONALITY

Standard

People 

Earnestly 

Realizing 

Self-Awareness

Opportunities 

Naturally. 

Always 

Live 

Increasingly 

True-to

Yourself 


If there’s one thing so unique to each of us, it’s PERSONALITY! Yes, my cat has a level of personality too, and LOTS of attitude, but it is NOT like humans, not classifiable as humors, aptitudes, energies, drives. I can say I have a smart kitty, but there is no drive like that of a person to “just be me!”

We each have God-given personality, and our world is more interesting and blessed because of it. How boring it would be otherwise! Personality is gifted as freedom within boundaries. That’s what God does for us: let us create us, with our free will. But when we realize He wants us to leave room in our tanks for Him to fill us, we will flow thru life much more powered by Him. Let us GROW in our GRATITUDE of ATTITUDE.

Amen 

“Don’t Copy Me!”

Standard

It is with JOY that I joined into a new OLD church as a NEW member. It’s not simply that I like to go there (and I really do), but because I gave careful consideration that I felt the Lord Himself has placed me there, to worship, work, wait, wonder. “There are no coincidences in life”, my friend always says… This is the same friend who had invited me to visit outdoor worship one fall day in the Firefighters park, where I walked in, knew 6 people, including the pastor from our deep connection 20 years prior raising and nursing our baby girls those crucial early months, and walking in that day I felt it was a SET-UP by God Himself, I have no doubt!. New season, sprinkled by God into my scene. (I then bought a new old chair for the park to watch the Lord walk me into this!).

So yesterday (IN the church now for winter), the little boy next to me, joining officially with his parents, was as CUTE as he could be, as CUTE as he is rambunctious, always enlivening our congregation in his presence. He settled next to me at the altar and playfully participated in answering the Pastor’s questions. I did feel he spoke with real power from his soul in saying: “I DO” to the pastor’s questions of joining and confessing our need for Christ. I know we are to learn FAITH from the little children UNHINDERED. 

Sure, it was “whirlwind witness”, the quick ceremony, but we DID get the questions ahead of time to ponder. I PONDERED. I double checked myself, did I believe? Yes! (questions are posted below)… Yes, Lord I am a sinner even if I hate to admit it. I realize sin in retrospect and rescuing in flashbacks. I sin forward in commission and omission. Lord, I know I am working on my walking. Thanks for carrying me.

By the third question this little boy had increased his powerful “I DO” answers that made me CHUCKLE. The third or fourth time I answered a little late and he blurted out to me “DON’T COPY ME!!!” I smiled at my conviction just as much as his cuteness, because he IS right (my small friend) and He IS Right (the big H of Him Almighty “I AM”). We are NOT to be copycats or crowd followers, EVERYONE should answer on their own. EVERYONE must answer for themselves. (Not just answer the pastor but also answer the Lord’s Call on their lives.) Each person, according to His Will, powered by the Holy Spirit within us, should answer Truthfully of the Truth of worship while in worship, answer Spiritually while within the Spirit of worship. Witness your walk (and those days He has carried you too).

The Holy Spirit moves us, sometimes more rapidly than we could imagine, for multitudes of purposes we really can’t wrap out heads around. The Holy Spirit can CHANGE THE SEASON, that we are in, just as commonly fast as obtaining 70 degrees 2 days after snow. 

I do feel blessed that I could serve at this church. I do feel blessed that it can be a home base to bounce into the week. And yet it is MOST important in the binding of me onto their membership roles that we live with a SPIRITUAL STICK-TO-IT-NESS, especially and really say “I DO” to the Holy Spirit. Isn’t this like our whole life IS a build up wedding, the Bride of Christ (us) to our Bridegroom (Jesus) when He returns. (Got oil in your lamp? Fire in your heart?)

Let’s say I DO now in HOPE to His banquet feast, eternal peace, unity in knowing Him as Lord and Savior. 

These are the questions I pondered and will ponder. I underlined words enforcing of my need for Him and my LOVE of His Word:

Do you acknowledge yourself to be a SINNER in God’s sight, justly deserving His displeasure, and without HOPE, except through His sovereign MERCY? (“I do”)

Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of sinners, and do you receive and depend upon Him alone for SALVATION? (“I do”)

Do you now resolve and promise, in humble reliance upon the GRACE of the Holy Spirit, to endeavor to LIVE as becomes a follower of Christ? (“I do”)

To the best of your ability, do you promise to serve Christ in His Church through it worship and work? (“I do”)

Do you submit to the government and discipline of the Church, and do you promise to further its unity and peace?  (“I do”)

I know it is important to NOT flippantly answer these questions, but speak with Spirit and Truth of the need for Jesus. PEACE and UNITY come IN HIS NAME and POWER. 

Worshiping thru the Holy Spirit allows and MOVES ME AND EACH OF US to become FOLLOWERS. This is why we HUNGER for SCRIPTURE, HUNGER for HOPE, kneel in His Mercy, BE HIS.

I DO. (But “DON’T COPY ME”, LOL)

Prayers for all to say: “I DO”…

Amen 

Amen 

Does my Temple have a Moat? 19MAR

Standard

I’ve let my Temple stretch a little, Christmas carbs, January junk, February foodies, March madness and of course a total lack of exercise. Not too bad but can’t fit my fancy pants, need to reduce a layer of winter insulation. Spring means springing out into the world. Yes, our bodies are our Temples, actually our bodies are to be Temples for God, made by God for WORSHIP. Temples however that MOVE. I need to get moving. 

Temples in us should MOVE in motion. Moses moved the Tabernacle (many times), it was portable and contained no less interactions with God than Solomon’s Temple, built solid in the ground. Solomon was allowed to build this amazing temple for God, David,  before son Solomon, was not called to build it, and before them the wandering Israelites were not called to build a building that stayed “stationary”. Yes, the Israelites even had to pick up and CARRY the tabernacle. What they did build to STAY on the ground were mementos of items to remind them of God’s rescue (like stones from the middle of the Jordan River). That way they remembered everytime they walked by. (Do we remember times God sustained us when we had none? Money woes? Illness?  How about rescue from injuries? God helps us.)

Our Temples of our bodies should MOVE. Our Temples of our bodies should walk by these memories of God’s rescue.  Our Temples of sharing should open. Our worship of God should be our praise.

Yes, our worship of God should be our praise, and our faith and sanity should not simply rely upon a drawbridge to raise. If I wonder of my walk of faith, should I build my personal Temple into a fortified castle?  with a moat? Is my Temple all about defense? Block out the world? (Try not to gloat at the size of our protective moats.) Or is it best to bring our Temple out into the wilderness in a tent, camping away from everyone? Or should our Temple, trusting the process of putting on God’s Armor, be out in the open and walking among God’s people.  Probably a bit of each of these things. Mainly our Temple should be made like a clay pot, by God’s Hand, tough walls but open for Holy Spirit filling. And if it falls down? It can roll with the punches. 

Let us take a moment to spruce up the Temple grounds and place ourselves in a nourishing area of encouraging folks. Let us embrace this new springtime, warmer weather, flowers blooming, let us make best use of our Temples. 

Remember, our Temples ARE like Solomon’s Temple in one way, they will eventually CRUMBLE. So, try not to grumble at the crumble. 

Consecrate our Temples Lord for WORSHIP, let us pick it up and follow You!

Pick up the pace and finish this race!

Amen 

CHRIST IN – WHEW – Saint Patrick’s Prayer

Standard

Stop being afraid, for I AM with you. 

They called upon me to go to the audit today – not just any audit but the BIG audit – BIGGEST one in 3 years of course and one that has the whole building all abuzz…  whew…  I knew it was a possibility to go speak, even kinda wanted the opportunity. 

I didn’t have to prep, we’ve been preparing for weeks, years. I had 30 minutes warning, I knew the ins and outs and loose ends and such, did not know however what they wanted but I really COULD talk for hours on the subject at hand, but the best advice for me and everyone was/is: just answer what they ask. SHORT, SWEET and SAIL OUT of there.

I felt the nerves but not the fear. I KNEW I KNEW WHAT I KNEW. Funny I felt the urge to brush my teeth! YEAH, and be calm and presentable and joyous and smiling, decked out in St Pattie’s green, and of course be SMART, the SME, Subject Matter Expert. 

The St Patrick’s prayer populated my palm, it really did land in my hand, in the form of a sticker. Yes in handing out a pack of stickers with shamrocks and secular St Pats sayings, whoda thunk there WAS one for me. God did, you see. A sticker to stick to me. I needed that prayer JUST THEN… Let’s say there’s no luck like blesses luck when the Holy Spirit hits like a mack truck.

Jesus says No Fear, Only Faith. 

You don’t get to know stuff so well unless you have lived it, walked it, which I have, for my time with this project was started so years ago!!! I’m old schooled…

Jesus walking with us? From the beginning of time? He’s old school schooled in handling US.

I had a sticker that I got that day – it was the prayer to calm and HUMBLE me, a St Patrick’s Prayer. I walked toward the audit, read it over again and my step slowed as it calmed me. I walked out of my ego, while reading it, the first lines, the middle lines, the last 2 lines are what really humbled me, a chance to be whatever God needed me to be at that moment. Sometimes we ARE placed for OK moments, shining times, just assurances for others. It was NOT me to praise, this is God’s walk that allows me to NOT trip up when I take a trip WITH Him..

The sticker:

Christ with me, 

Christ before me, 

Christ behind me,

Christ in me, 

Christ beneath me, 

Christ above me,

Christ on my right, 

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down, 

Christ when I sit down,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in the eye that sees me,

Christ in the ear that hears me.

I walked in humbly jumbled prayer of excitement and knowing what to do, namely not let people down. I wanted to show well for the group, not for me. Obviously this sounds like a boast, but well, there’s no better time to hide under His Wing to show anything than Christ Himself, by walking in to SERVE. It’s better to NOT stand out as unknowing then be a standout for knowing. 

I walked out pumped up, short and sweet, answers answered in 15 minutes max, wee bit of St Patrick’s jocularity broke the ice first then the questions were laid out…  done.

I walked out and reread THIS GIFT. It’s now a sticker stuck on my lanyard and now in my heart. 

God saved me today in the God way. By taking my way out of His way. Let Him BE the Way. Christ KNOWS the Way. 

Yay.

Amen


Amen and here’s the whole prayer:

St Patrick’s Prayer,  5th century 

I arise today

Through a mighty strength, 

the invocation of the Trinity,

Through a belief in the Threeness,

Through confession of the Oneness

Of the Creator of creation.


I arise today

Through the strength of Christ’s birth and His baptism,

Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,

Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,

Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.


I arise today

Through the strength of the love of cherubim,

In obedience of angels,

In service of archangels,

In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,

In the prayers of patriarchs,

In preachings of the apostles,

In faiths of confessors,

In innocence of virgins,

In deeds of righteous men.


I arise today

Through the strength of heaven;

Light of the sun,

Splendor of fire,

Speed of lightning,

Swiftness of the wind,

Depth of the sea,

Stability of the earth,

Firmness of the rock.


I arise today

Through God’s strength to pilot me;

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to speak for me,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s hosts to save me

From snares of the devil,

From temptations of vices,

From every one who desires me ill,

Afar and anear,

Alone or in a multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and evil,

Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul,

Against incantations of false prophets,

Against black laws of pagandom,

Against false laws of heretics,

Against craft of idolatry,

Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,

Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ shield me today

Against poison, against burning,

Against drowning, against wounding,

So that reward may come to me in abundance.


Christ with me, 

Christ before me, 

Christ behind me,

Christ in me, 

Christ beneath me, 

Christ above me,

Christ on my right, 

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down, 

Christ when I sit down,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,

Christ in the eye that sees me,

Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,

Through a belief in the Threeness,

Through a confession of the Oneness Of the Creator of creation


Bloom Well

Standard

When the Lord says: “Wait until Heaven to even the score”, He means it. He means both: ‘Wait!’ and ‘LET ME DO IT, not you.’ 

Know that evil has always existed in the world and just live the best you can anyway.

Jesus tells many parables about the Kingdom of Heaven, including how we must WAIT until God’s judgement and know that evil will be taken care of.  Therefore, even if bereft by evil, taken down by evil, devoted people will be taken care of. Jesus SPECIFICALLY says “At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn”.

If Heaven waits, then surely we can also wait for the harvest. Jesus HIMSELF will sort it all out. Jesus HIMSELF will divide the goats and sheep. 

It is always good advice to DO THE BEST YOU CAN, even in trying times. You can still BEAR FRUIT even if weeds and wackiness wrestle with you for water. 

Bloom well.

Amen 

Jesus told them a parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ – “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. – “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” 
Matthew 13:24-30

(And KNOWthe harvest of heaven might be soon, right around the corner!)

Amen

Polishing His Pearl – REPRISE

Standard

Worth a re-post – a reminder that outside we are always wasting away while the Lord works on the inside of us most – leaving the outside up to us to show His Polish in our attitude and our lives and our love.

Worth remembering that we have a lot of sand in our midst – it could feel like polishing sand, or irritating sand like in our bathing suit or cars after a beach trip, or could be “good” but corrective sand on sandpaper to smooth things over on us – and it IS worth remembering that in the WHOLENESS of time in God’s Hand, we ARE sitting in HIS Oyster – if we get more polishing on His pearl it is because He is molding us into His Image, helping us become better….

Polishing HIS Pearl, REPRISE writing:

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of LIGHT.” Matthew 6:21

Putting on my pearl necklace this morning, dressed up for the big boss coming to work today, I looked in the mirror and I smile at how God has changed me – first and most crucially inside – by growing Jesus in my heart and focusing my gaze inward to growing Him and shining Him, then later changed me outwardly by my weight loss and increased fitness… God plucked up the pearl inside me and started polishing.

I love to sing the praise band lyric based on Psalm 105:  “Make known among the nation’s, what the Lord has done! Sing to HIM! Sing praises to HIM… Tell all HIS wonderful acts!”…

I know it’s God’s timing but sometimes I wonder to marvel why Jesus was cultivated in me for SO long until God cracked open my oyster. I wondered why it wasn’t until the age of 45 that I awakened to the knowledge that God had claimed me for HIS own, drove me directly into Jesus’s arms to wake me up. I know HE waited until I was ready to open my eyes.  I marvel at the intensity of my love for Him and how rapid it developed… I know and appreciate it was HIS specific timed window of opportunity – not too early, not too late… And I know He STILL has work to do in me and now I must help Him help me – by asking Jesus to shine on dark areas of my ever human sinfulness.

Because of HIM and HIS LOVE. I was caught in the net where I previously had struggled with being caught. When I stopped struggling (and stopped scratching God’s polish on His pearl) and I became STILL, that’s when I let Jesus scoop me up WHOLE HEARTEDLY. He knew I needed HIM before I was even born. He knew I needed Him ever more, now and forever…

Jesus’s net is cast from the inside. His shining pearl is lovingly kept inside of us for all to see. When we open our eyes and our pearly smile we shine HIM thru us. The “key” – like those attached to my “I love Jesus” keychain – is that Jesus cracks us open from the INSIDE. Jesus is the pearl in our oyster. God waits until it is harvest time – then God polishes. We become the beneficiaries of HIS shining… His Grace… His LOVE…

Amen

John 6:37-39, 45 (NIV)
All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
… It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.”

Stretch Lord Stretch

Standard

Awkward my dreams can seem at first, mixed and jumbled, yet they must have a purpose for me to process. After the strange shopping/cleaning dreams, there was one in which I was putting together a wire storage unit, not unusual as I love IKEA. The top of the unit had to stretch and that pulled the loose wobbly pillars of legs together and voila it was strong, workable, together, in use. I said mentally “the top had to be stretched to strengthen” – SNAP,  I woke up and said THAT’S WHAT GOD IS DOING. 

STRETCH Lord, STRETCH

I realized that this loose wobbling world was like this furniture – undone – it needs the STRETCH of the Lord over it. God does not change, but He can reach into areas like stretching a big net – strong enough that it can support walking across. Like a rope being pulled, it becomes tight. Yes Lord, like You reaching by our reaching, we can (with You) make the stretch strong. 

We all have to stretch don’t we?? There are times we need to stretch the budget to pay the bills. There’s ALWAYS times to stretch our time to get everything done.  We stretch until we latch onto the next rock ledge when climbing. We stretch to reach what’s dropped on the floor. Because we reach and God reaches, we are restored to peace. 

It is because of brokenness we share life stories, it is because of His repair that we rise from them.

I thought of the war between Russia and Ukraine and what’s been cut off from communication and fuel and food. BUT, there, especially there (and everywhere) GOD STILL STRETCHES into and thru those regions. God grows the faith of those who seek Him more. They are strengthened and His Reach STRETCHES. He can NOT break. He CAN connect. Our Lord IS working a revival, one strand, one person at a time. Just because the phones stop working doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit stops. The thousands of years of life have had God-sustained, fiber-optic-faith, meaning the Fibers of His Net are optically seen in the heart, more and more. Faith reaches, not by sight but felt. Walk by Faith always. 

Pray for revival. Lord God, You are stretching out. Let us pray for the people, all people, to reach back to Him. Their stretch, like those wobbly furniture spokes, is a moment for them to get under God’s Plan, to find Him, to BE HELD CLOSE.

Under His Wing or out walking across and in His supporting stretch, WE PRAY REVIVAL. Our stretch is out from our comfort zones to REACH His people. He’s got us positioned to produce a powerful PRAISE. We must be part of the REVVING UP for Reaching Revival

God’s got this, LIFE in this broken world IS fraught with pain and unknown, but KNOW the KNOWN- that God’s Stretch is our saving capture. 

STRETCH LORD, STRETCH. 

Amen

AMEN!!!

Excerpts from prophet Zechariah about the Lord coming and coming again (I don’t know how it all will connect here, but I know it does because God Almighty, Lord of All, has been and WILL connect with His people. STRETCH LORD STRETCH!)

“…the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo: “The Lord was very angry with your ancestors. Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty. Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord. Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever? But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors?

“Then they repented and said, ‘The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.’”

When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, “Go throughout the earth!” So they went throughout the earth.

Do not be afraid. These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,” declares the Lord.

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! 

Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken.

He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

 …

Amen

Restore us Lord with Your STRETCH. 

Awakening before Reckoning

Standard

I was re-reading a blog that covers the book of Revelation and the great awakening that will come before the reckoning and last days… I find that so many people have not ventured into these pages of Revelation – I feel it is like the goldmine of knowledge – like what IS behind that giant locked door on the Price is Right game show – well – Jesus gave us the combination to open it – so don’t delay in turning the wheel and driving into the book…

The book of Revelation reminds me of how it pains me to say to people, when the conversation goes there, that things are only going to get worse before they get better. Yeah – that is a realist who is an optimist too. Optimist for the Great Awakening and doing what I can to help make that happen – and Realist for what I see and experience and because I do watch the news and I also watch the ignoring of news too…  How easily we forget of tragedies not in our daily views. We have the greatest expanse into media but we have no time to watch it anyway – nor do we know what to see and filter. 

The bible is the ONE place that tells it as it is. AND we can go there because it IS in front of us.

We need Awakening before Reckoning – and they both are close around the corner.

We need to be a part of that Great Awakening… both by believing ourselves, showing our faith, and teaching about the Jesus we know and how others could dig into their own faith and see if they can talk with Jesus…  How will anyone know their faith unless they think about their faith… Now is not the time to reach to just those we already know who have faith but to reach to others to strengthen their faith and learn of faith… One of my favorite things about Easter is the families that do come back together for the services and grandkids can see what their grandparents are devoted to – and understand the relevance of faith. If we don’t show reverence then we wont ever show relevance to our situations. We got to show the world’s people that we know where to find support when times get tough. Like sheltering in the strongest part of the house when a tornado comes by.

This blog I read speaks of the judgements and trials as described in Revelation and we have 2 responses from them – to draw closer to God OR to rebel…  Trust me, in these times, I think there is no time like the present to be present with listening to and for God. Draw closer.

Jesus speaking to the church at Sardis: which was not perfect: “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee”. Revelation 3:2-3

This is the quote that sums up that blog: “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Romans 13:11

This link was the blog I was reading (it is 10 years old but still relevant because it is based on the bible and that never changes) – i know nothing about this preacher or church or background or anything – but the blog is a good read of reaching into our readings in the book of Revelation and learning about the Lord:

https  ://ministry127.com/christian-living/the-last-great-awakening

Morning Star, a Fortress for the Broken Heart, 10MAR

Standard

“Morning Star, Keep my heart.”   I sing that every morning when I see the star…

It’s a blessing to be up to see the “morning star”, planet Venus, shining brighter than all. It’s like someone poked a hole in the sky of black. The dark helps us see the LIGHT. The Morning Star of the Word is JESUS, He lights the day and our Way.

Now, at 5 am, it is not pure enjoyable to have been woken by the cat to start the day so early, nevertheless it does remind me of the blessings of quiet time, to have a quiet home, a sanctuary of living. HOPE. In life and strife, we are blessed to taste of His Hope, sing of it. Especially when we know from the news that so many are displaced right now, we must not complain about quiet mornings. Always we need to count our blessings because there are many previously ALREADY displaced, hassled, homeless, living in danger, most whom we don’t ever hear about. Some afraid to leave home, some afraid to stay home. Sad…

The blessings we have include that we find Peace in our pursuit of Peace. Searching for our faith is faith in itself. The GIFT of HOPE in the Lord is the GIFT itself. 

Morning also does bring me back to my reading of the Old Testament, that’s where the Lord wants my heart right now, in LEARNING… He wants all our hearts in learning more about Him, in learning the stories that dwell within His Heart. I pray that we are all in appreciation for His Broken Heart spills from these stories.

The broken heart stories of the Lord become fortress stones around our faith, they remind us of His LONG journey – and especially knowing that Alpha to Omega, He never ends, it means He always knew this pain. Yes, within this fortress of learning, Jesus pours out His brokenhearted memories of wars, famines, evil fights,  hearts turned away… He knew them before they started. Oh, Jesus, Morning Star, Keep my Heart – I want to share it with You for helping You piece together Yours… I want to keep faith as cement to Your desired Stronghold in me. I want to help build a Fortress around the collective broken heart of Your people.  I pray HOPE.

If you look to the news today, AND if you look to even the smallest of sections of the Old Testament, as I have been reading in 2nd Samuel about Saul’s death and David’s troubles, there is such unbelievable bloodshed, war, strife, innocents in trouble, souls searching, pain, and yet small palatable victories. Oh for us to understand that God IS in control, but He’s planning and using the good AND the bad for His Victory.  Even the wicked… The Lord works out everything to its proper end— even the wicked for a day of disaster.

It is for us to remember that the Lord rules, restores, remembers the hearts of good and of the wicked. We are to despise evil, but know that the Lord IS keeping score on what people do from brokenness and from their proudness. We should not turn wicked in response to wickedness. The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

David, the Lord’s anointed, is a story of returning to the Lord again and again, even after mistakes. He does become King over Israel, and establishes the House and City of David and grows in strength of being King. Remember that in his early days he only needed a sling and a few stones as a token to hurl God’s Strength. But now he must be in a retreat of a fortress. We build bigger and bigger war machines, strongholds, existences, fortresses, buffer zones, don’t we?. . But where will we find the Lord most close? To our broken hearts. If we quiet down to listen to past the war sounds, we should also try to hear and remember the Lord’s Word that was working inside the people who pulled thru or died in perseverance. His fortress is building blocks of our faith. 

Our faith builds when looking Light in darkness. Build a fortress around God’s Word inside your heart, protect your heart. Truly keep moving in learning and looking for the light. See the Morning Star and know Jesus, He starts you on your day. 

Today, Lord Almighty, be with those aching in war. Today, Lord Almighty, be also with us. Give us all HOPE. 

Amen 

—-

I’m often singing these lyrics by Paul Balouche: “Keep my heart tender before you, Lord.  Able to hear your voice and follow. Keep my heart yearning to know you more. Eager to hear your word and obey. Keep my heart, flowing in your direction Lord.  Keep my heart, holy light, so innocent and undefiled. King of love, Lord most high, so beautiful and bright.  Morning star, keep my heart.”

Proverbs 16:1-5

To humans belong the plans of the heart but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. The Lord works out everything to its proper end— even the wicked for a day of disaster. The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

2nd Samuel 5:7, 9-10

David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David…. David then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David. He built up the area around it, from the terraces inward. And he became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him. 

Best Father Mulcahy Sermon on Mash

Standard

At the 3 minute mark of this video clip, after Father Mulcahy stayed up all night with a patient who just learned he had leukemia, made him late in an opportunity to impress the visiting cardinal, which of course is NOT what the Lord needs us to do… This IS the best MASH sermon… God got on TV…  Father Mulcahy said: “…God put us here so He could be here Himself, so He could exist in the lives of those He created in His image.” (really a great episode to watch in it’s entirety).

Yes God put us here to love us and to be here WITH US, to show sacrifice, love over loss, devotion to the depth of death…

Yes He did… I saw it on TV, but my tears knew it as truth… He IS here to be with us.

“…so He could exist in the lives of those He created…”

Amen 

Plundering, Persevering, Relying on God

Standard

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

That’s the question Jesus asks to those looking to living in this worldly life. Why?

There are no big small stories in the Bible that we can’t learn from. Our souls need sole-sourced sustaining. We are taught when to fight, when to fold, when to walk away. Plundering and perseverance teach us to Forever Rely On God (FROG as my dear friend says).

The last chapters of 1 Samuel finds David hiding out in enemy territory to escape a former friend now enemy, his previous boss in King Saul.  They spar on occasion and yet David seemingly respects Saul being appointed and anointed as special to the Lord. And from early on, David also loved him and acted as a servant. But now (and repeatedly), David was in danger for Saul had gone mad and stopped looking to the Lord. Saul went to kill David many times. David had opportunity at least twice to kill Saul but instead showed his superior skill as a soldier all while sparing Saul’s life. David even infiltrated the camp and stole Saul’s dagger and water jug while that encampment slept. But he did not kill him. Later, David taunted Abner, the warrior who was supposed to be protecting Saul. David showed that he spared Saul because HE COULD. David COULD take the high road, even in war. Perseverance. They made “peace” in pausing their pursuit, but more likely they went their own ways. Did David already sense the Lord will reward each person according to what they have done or not done? Here is where David (and we) have to admit,  What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

David then went into the real enemy territory to get away completely, but actually he had to join up with the real enemy, Philistines. He had battled in a manner that destroyed everything and everyone, a sport of sparing, it was a plundering party… trouble for all… and even later the enemy Philistines, who had heard of David’s strengths, and perhaps heard about the power of David’s God, our God, turned back against him fighting alongside,  they could not trust their enemy in their midst, they asked him to leave. 

David’s whole army went back to base camp, but found it was taken, all was gone, carried off as plunder. He inquired of the Lord, a familiar retreat for David, and God said go fight for rescung your people. Only some of his men could go fight, what an exhausting battle to wage for men who lost their families and hope… “David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep”.

Perseverance comes thru God’s power.

Strengthened by the Lord, and given a messenger of information in an Egyptian slave left for dead, but revived by David, the fighters won all the families back and took plunder plus. There are many big little stories here, including the saving of one man who in return helped them all, this sounds familiar – feed the One who gives you the source of information to win (sounds like Jesus), and the story of the men who followed David and won the day and got the unbelievable experience to regain their loved ones (sounds like us following Jesus), and the story of the plundering winners who did not want to share the winning plunder with those who stopped exhausted on the journey. However David commanded them to share. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? (Yes, sounds like Jesus sacraficing to share).

We too encounter people who are exhausted on their journey and in desperate times. May we have mercy on them as God has mercy on us.

Plunder is the taking of war trophies triumphs tokens in TOTAL. To destroy your enemies and then take their stuff too. There were opportunities to take much in the battles that David fought, back and forth war spoils went, but war is often waged at the cost of losing everything. How we fight is every much as important as who we are fighting. We too will encounter madmen like Saul, best to take the high road and even step away so one is not pulled into evil.

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

War to rescue everyone, even those not of your seemingly immediate family, is the war we witness between evil and the power in God, gifted in Jesus’s commitment to save us over the separating powers of sin and death. Jesus came for all who would believe, Gentiles and Jews, all peoples who have opening ears to hear Him as Lord. The battles continue. Help where you can.

Our war is won, but we can not plunder what was not ours, what God gave as spoils WILL spoil if not shared. Don’t stumble. If we could keep listening to the Lord and divide our knowledge of Him to others, we will share of His Goodness to combat madness of the world. 

We also need to remember not to get pulled into the madness of madness, especially seeing Saul at the end of his life suffer because he lost his way. (He even got a medium to conjure up Samuel as a spirit, Samuel was not pleased.) We must draw the line and not partake in getting mired in what has already gone overboard. 

Be content. 

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

Help where you can, but under the Lord’s direction only. Sometimes step away. If only for one day. Take another look at the situation, as if you were taking a step back from a painting and can see an image, like seeing a frog blending into the scene, but ready to jump out of the mud. So should we be ready. Take a look at the world from God’s perspective and rise above.

Walk in the Light.

Jump in the joy.

Persevere always.

Amen


1 Samuel 26-30 NIV;KJV – David, Saul, Plundering…
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Samuel%2026-30&version=NIV;KJV

Matthew 16:23-27

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

When Do I Hit the Gas?

Standard

I wonder what the next phase of my (your, our) life will be in serving the Lord.

I know that the Lord has many plans for us (for me) and I humbly accept what I can handle, when I can handle it.  There’s always a learning curve to navigate, and seems in life, that is everyday. 

I took a first hour out with my son doing practice driving. We stayed only on the brake and did not apply the gas, and we just stayed in a parking lot. We have to build confidence and live safely with common sense. He did very well. Maybe next time, in a big open field, I will let him hit the gas, maybe.

We all have to learn how to let the Lord direct our way. We apply knowledge before we apply power. There are times when we DO need to let off the brake, but we do NOT need to put in any gas power into our path. The Lord knows EXACTLY how and when He wants to move us. Other times we do know the plan and are commanded to run with it – and making His clarity our reality, we then apply the gas and GO.

I know enough about the Lord that He has already planned what’s around the bend. I know enough about myself that whether I am on the brake or the gas, I best let Him drive me there. I also know that the Lord made the road itself over any terrain we will encounter together. And you know life will have many roads to take. Hands on the wheel, foot on the brake, eyes on the road. Thanks to the God who puts gas in our tanks.

Amen

My Lucky Charm or Our Savior’s Arm?, 17MAR

Standard

My Lucky Charms are tasty, green and sugary. 

It’s artificial color, but real sugar makes us real jittery.

Limited edition means they will disappear from shelves. 

But you know the regular box, made by those leprechaun elves.


So are we lucky on St Patrick’s Day, or blessed every day?

Lucky to be blessed or blessed to be lucky, which is it today?

Will you count on today’s temporary charms?

Or continually be fighting too many life alarms?


Don’t let the seeming magic luck fool you.

The REAL TRUTH is what REALLY should school you.

Is my Life held safe by my Lucky Charm? 

Nope, HOPE is in us holding onto our Savior’s Arm.


We were blessed the days on earth He gave His best.

We are blessed today because in Him we rest.

We will be blessed tomorrow for starting fresh.

We are blessed in FOREVER LIFE now caught in His Mesh.


Amen (and Happy St Patrick’s Day!)

INVIGORATE

Standard

Lord we pray,

 Invigorate

    Investigate 

       Identify

          Intensify 

            Illuminate

   Impact 

      Inform

        Impart

          Idealize

            In-dwell

Invigorate


Majesty not Mystery

Standard

Many times we forget that God does not want us to view Him as a mystery.

His power IS mysterious and miraculous, yes, and because we cannot wrap our heads around how great He is, on how He does everything, we shy away from asking more about Him.

We fail to ask for help to follow His path.

And yet, He wants to be clear to us.

He does not always reveal everything to us all at once, He knows that we could not absorb all that information anyway.

Day by day, moment by moment, we are to live on His Word.

Let us not get lost in the mystery that we don’t know that HIS Majesty is our ALL in ALL.

Divided by War – The Torn Curtain Opened for All

Standard

It is painful and unbelievable the tragedies of the Ukrainian people, including those displaced from their homes and those who are dividing their families to get them to safety in Poland or elsewhere. Families divided by war – we watch it firsthand on the internet, thru TV. This is a traditional war that maybe we never thought we would see – with hand to hand combat – inch by inch. My 80 year old aunt remembers WW2, the Korean War, how eerie that we have not advanced in our diplomacy since then, and that war is seen as the means to the ends that never ends.

These families are divided by war and the ones left on the other side become family to each other. We heard of a ministry program that would have left town in the Ukraine but they instead picked up 7 orphaned children and now all huddle together while the bombs are loud and close. 

War can be a curtain that divides – it is a block. There were many physical walls that went up in a blockade war – dividing families in Germany – in Korea. This separation by choice is unbearable necessity in families.

Now, imagine how God feels. We have been separated from Him by a war of evil. Imagine Him fighting His war ever since Adam. His tactic took many years to bring to fruition, His whole plan of living on this planet involved the tearing of the biggest curtain between us and Him. He brought Jesus to earth to CROSS the barrier. Lord, teach us to worship in Spirit and in Truth, and now thru this torn curtain we must venture within. We ARE His children and He is calling us back by walking us forward. He does not blockade the opening – no, the enemy does that. He does not close the curtain – no, we tend to do that. God OPENED the curtain so we can approach HIM. See HIM rise even thru the battle smoke. If there is terrible smoke in your life, keep looking for the light, crawl on the floor if you must – but know that the door is OPEN.

Many times we forget that God does not want us to view Him as a mystery.  His power IS mysterious and miraculous, yes, and because we cannot wrap our heads around how great He is, on how He does everything, we shy away from asking more about Him. And yet He wants to be clear to us. He does not always reveal everything all at once – He knows that we could not absorb all that info anyway. Day by Day, moment by moment, we live on His Word.

He is the One Who tore the curtain. He DOES want us to share in his Goodness and Majesty. God places all the mysteries of the universe in our heart. We can not fathom if we do not look. 

How will this Ukrainian war resolve? We don’t know. We do know that if one aggressive power takes power, it won’t stop there. We must know that the world in unravelling, that is predicted and dare I say predictable. We ask world peace yet know we live in worldliness. Pray awakening, pulling close to God, knowing Jeses

How will this war of the separation of God and us resolve? We know. He has set eternity in our hearts. We must know that we walk in this world but belong to HIM in HIS. He will come again. Jesus WILL come again and take us up with Him. This will be the second coming that we SHOULD see coming. 

God will not stay away from His people. He tore the curtain once – and He is again coming for us all.

Amen

——–

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. Matthew 27:50-53

And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. Mark 15:37

…because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. Luke 23:45
——–

Worship in the Earthly Tabernacle Hebrews 9 :1-15, 23-28 (NIV)

Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.

The Blood of Christ
But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant….

It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Polishing His Pearl – Being in His Oyster

Standard

Worth a re-post – but it is a reminder that outside we are always wasting away while the Lord works on the inside of us most – leaving the outside up to us to show His Polish in our attitude and our lives and our love.

It is worth remembering that even though we have a lot of sand in our midst – like sometimes irritating sand in your bathing suit – that in the WHOLENESS of time in God’s Hand, we ARE sitting in HIS Oyster – just need more polishing on His pearl….

Polishing HIS Pearl, AUG2016

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of LIGHT.” Matthew 6:21

Putting on my pearl necklace this morning, dressed up for the big boss coming to work today, I looked in the mirror and I smile at how God has changed me – first and most crucially inside – by growing Jesus in my heart and focusing my gaze inward to growing Him and shining Him, then later changed me outwardly… God plucked up the pearl inside me and started polishing.

I love to sing the praise band lyric based on Psalm 105:  “Make known among the nation’s, what the Lord has done! Sing to HIM! Sing praises to HIM… Tell all HIS wonderful acts!”…

I know it’s God’s timing but sometimes I wonder to marvel why Jesus was cultivated in me for SO long until God cracked open my oyster. I wondered why it wasn’t until the age of 45 that I awakened to the knowledge that God had claimed me for HIS own, drove me directly into Jesus’s arms to wake me up. I know HE waited until I was ready to open my eyes.  I marvel at the intensity of my love for Him and how rapid it developed… I know and appreciate it was HIS specific timed window of opportunity – not too early, not too late… And I know He STILL has work to do in me and now I must help Him help me – by asking Jesus to shine on dark areas of my ever human sinfulness.

Because of HIM and HIS LOVE. I was caught in the net where I previously had struggled with being caught. When I stopped struggling (and stopped scratching God’s polish on His pearl) and I became STILL, that’s when I let Jesus scoop me up WHOLE HEARTEDLY. He knew I needed HIM before I was even born. He knew I needed Him ever more, now and forever…

Jesus’s net is cast from the inside. His shining pearl is lovingly kept inside of us for all to see. When we open our eyes and our pearly smile we shine HIM thru us. The “key” – like those attached to my “I love Jesus” keychain – is that Jesus cracks us open from the INSIDE. Jesus is the pearl in our oyster. God waits until it is harvest time – then God polishes. We become the beneficiaries of HIS shining… His Grace… His LOVE…

Amen


John 6:37-39, 45 (NIV)
All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
… It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.”


Graham Nash! Teach Your Children Well, 05MAR

Standard

This Graham Nash concert became OUR HOUSE for the evening. I bought these tickets last year and finally we were able to sit and relax and enjoy amazing live music

I knew I was blessed when I combed my Joni Mitchell hair, grabbed my singing sister concert fanatic like me, and off we went… I KNEW this was a BLESSING of being able to actually go to a concert, a blessing anytime and especially in an easing pandemic/endemic “return to normal”,  which you know life was and never is “normal”… don’t be fooled, and don’t be complacent: Jesus IS coming any cloud now!!!

Also knowing while there is war, we sat in peace, we are blessed and need to remember this. Immigration Man was a great song, as well as Cathedral, Bus Stop (a Hollies song), wow so many more, even covered Beatles songs for fun in the encore….

We did have one “thorn in the side” reminder of regular old issues: the tall guy in front of one of our seats was a chatterbox and constantly sliding his chair. We traded seats so each of us had one set in “peace”… I did kindly shush him just before the last great songs. It was all good… there will always be at least one thorn in life to keep us humble…

I only went with ONE song hope expectation – to hear “Our House”, the love song Graham wrote for Joni Mitchell… oh blessed to see a legend, now at 80 years old and hear him sing his love songs.

I sang in my heart and just lip-synced and didn’t sing out loud in many songs, because it was worth LISTENING to his harmonies with incredible guitar player Shane Fontayne (Michael Barakin) and their keyboard/organ player. Graham was so appreciative of the people singing along, especially to the last song: “Teach Your Children Well”…

We are always best in life to teach our children well. This scripture of Moses: “Love the Lord, talk about God’s commandments to your children” showed up this morning on Biblegateway. Of course it did. To NOT forget the Lord who brings you out of slavery, who brings you good things, that you did nothing to deserve. 

Yes…

Teach your children well, especially that you count your blessings. Teach your parents well: that you LOVE them, and appreciate all they have gone thru.

God wants us to remember Love and teachings… Remember to teach as well.

God wants us to know His Love. 

Amen 

—–

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

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

Deuteronomy 6:5-7, 10-12 

—-

Teach Your Children – written by Graham Nash

You who are on the road

Must have a code- that you can live by.
And so become yourself,
Because the past is just a good-bye.

Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh,
And know they love you.

And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by.
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.

Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by.
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh, and know they love you.

Lent, Godly Prayers of Repent

Standard

Ah, Lent… 

Pause in days of Lent.

Let us collectively call out in REPENT.

Let prayers be our symbolic rent,

For worshiping in God’s personal tent…

Ah Lent…

Spring thaw will be Heaven sent!

Winter blues have been spent,

Let us venture out with new intent.

God plans our lives, let us be content.

Ah Lent…

Peace is not something we can invent.

A painful SAVE given thru our Savior’s Greatest Life Event.

Recapturing Easter Hope is by our REPENT. 

Yes, we MUST repent.

Ah Lent…

Strengthen Strengthen Strengthen

Standard

But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

It was 3 to 4 months of Physical Therapy, after rotator cuff shoulder surgery, that my frozen shoulder continued to be frozen. All efforts dealt with every aspect around it, but I had no external rotation. I was stuck. I don’t mind now, that was long ago and I am better. The next couple months of PT (before the actual second surgery) became my strengthening time. If I had to go back into surgery, I was going to be as strong as possible, PT made sure of that. My doctor knew I had worked so hard and that PT worked me too, three times each week. Then, after all was done as best as it could have benn,  I jumped on that operating table for the second surgery. I was ready to be released from the stuck-ness. I was ready to do the operation and recovery ins and outs. I was knowledgeable and I knew the drill. I was already planning my recovery. (I was late in traffic too, but I gripped the wheel and delivered myself to my next moment)

My surgery and my PT was mechanical and emotional healing in so many ways.  And I had to work at it. Therapy of thousand-fold thoughts. I felt blessed to have had that 6 months solid of 76 PT visits, June to December, I even threw them a pizza party on my last day. I barely remember my issues now, but I know they were great to overcome. It was no cake walk, especially as I walked around carrying a kettlebell high in the air as long as I could stand it. I did the spider crawl with my fingers. I used the pully and helped myself get better. I encountered encouragers along the journey. I was reminded to be an encourager too. God had me there not JUST for me. God even sent a theme song, Eye of the Tiger, the day I was giving up. He would not fail me, why should I fail myself. 

Today I know that every paper that clutters the floor is a blazing landmine. I clear my house. I clear supermarket floors. I try to prevent the traps I lay for myself. That’s how we should pray to live thru life. There ARE issues, there ARE roadblocks, there are dead ends. We need to declutter what will take us down. And know there IS always a Way to wiggle through. And sometimes even take a clean surgical slice to separate the situation from itself. The shoulder did not need cutting off, only the bands of scar tissue holding it back.

I feel that way in life, we let the scar tissue hold us back. We need the saving slice. We need others to help slice it. We, like my surgeon, need take a stand that we WILL get better and keep reminding. My surgeon said not being 100% was NOT an option. The Lord says not being 100% is NOT an option. 

So, if you are struggling, hitting brick walls, roadblocks, unknown paths, you need to do what you can in the meantime: STRENGTHEN, STRENGTHEN, STRENGTHEN. You can strengthen what you can, keep working all while praying resolution.

Don’t get drawn offsides, like Abigail reminding David it would be foolish to go after a fool (in 1 Samuel 25), that there were bigger fish to fry, bigger future successes to partake in. Don’t let the little stuff catch you up into slicing off your whole future. Do what you can and let God do the rest. 

God knew and knows the plan. He has precise cuts in store. He will take care of the score. Don’t let the evil in the world hold you back, He takes care of all in His time. He will render the end in His Way.

Meanwhile, STRENGTHEN, STRENGTHEN, STRENGTHEN.

Amen 

—-

Psalm 73

Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.

For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.

Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.

Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.

When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.

Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.

Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

No Foolin’. 28FEB

Standard

So many themes and symbols recurring in scripture: bread, stars, donkeys, blood, water, sheep, and FOOLS. Yes, fools… Bread I understand, Jesus is the Bread of Life, Jesus as Bread was broken and shared, Bethlehem as a city called the House of Bread, bread at the last supper, that dreamy rolling loaf of bread that allowed a victory for Gideon, and bread that Abigail shared to make peace… bread bread bread…

But FOOLS? No Foolin’… Fools show up everywhere. Being a fool for Christ, foolishness in serving others, foolishness in believing and following the understanding of the cross, these are appearances of being a fool in the word’s eyes, the view of devotion to others vs one’s self. The world does not “get” Jesus, only fools tread the road with Him and yet it is the fools who “get” Jesus meaning both they understand as they “get” Him AND He is a gift they “get”. We get Jesus if we accept His gift. He’s the gift of giving oneself. 

A fool play by David, trying to avoid an enemy, was a ploy, a tactic. He was escaping Saul but also all of his enemies. He wondered what God had planned next. In Gath, he did not like the ruler Achish, so David acted the fool, acted insane and escaped because he was NOT ready for measuring up to the rumors of his greatness. Isn’t that like us, not wanting to trust how God made us, not wanting to venture out as us, but rather pull back.

Do we need to act the fool? Our escape from our enemies is and was calculated by God BEFORE we were born. So we DON’T need to act the fool, but we do need to be TRUE to the ONE WHO SAVES. And we need to trust if He brought us this far, He will keep guiding us too.

Surely He has a plan for today, each step He will lead. We may look like a fool to those who don’t understand our commitments, our walk, our drive, but we are to know that we ARE delivered from evil. We do have worldliness in our human ways, but our save is from His Save, we are being delivered into His Hands. Keep walking there. Keep sharing the love He brought into the world for His purpose. 

No Foolin’.

Amen

David at Gath (1Samuel 21:10-22:5)

That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: “‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?”

David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.  

Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?”

David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.

From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, “Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?” So he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was in the stronghold.

But the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.

Caught in the Act of Presumptive Predisposition – Saving You from Yourself

Standard

It takes a fool to fall for a fool’s folly… 

It’s like falling into a trap that you know that you should NOT fall into, but because of your anger blinding you, YOU FALL.

It is AMAZING when God intervenes to save you from yourself – not amazing for God but entering a moment that would make your heart skip a beat! What an example we have in the future King David (a man after God’s Heart), picked by God to keep marching for Him. David encountered a fool, the guy’s name even stood for “FOOL” !!! He was Nabal and his wife was smart AND beautiful, her name was Abigail. 

David asked for favor but the fool’s ignoramus was irritated and David became indignant and irate! He grabbed the swords! And David went now in peeved pursuit rather than peace. (Interesting that David needed only the Lord and some small stones against bears, lions, and Goliath – but now God had to STOP him from this fight).

Offsides – that’s like when in football you are in an illegal position and it causes a whole play to be drawn astray. Offsides sometimes happens when some players try to cause you to falter, they cause trouble, TRICK YOU… You must NOT fall for it. You must keep focused.  The evil one also tries to pull you offsides in life. Just try not to go there.

David was very lucky – yes BLESSED – because God sent an intervention, a hero in Abigail, a smart and beautiful woman. She ran interference for God AND FOR DAVID’S SAKE, not just for her folly-faltering fool of a husband. SHE DID THIS SIMPLY BY BEING GOD’S SERVANT. She first brought more than a gift, she called out David to do the right thing, TO TAKE THE HIGH ROAD, to not get pulled offsides to his bigger mission in life. 

Abigail brought a peace offering, a MIGHTY BIG gift, and delivered it herself (don’t the best servant gifts arrive on a donkey? Yes). Remember, SMART and beautiful. It WAS food, lots of it but also FOOD FOR THOUGHT. Abigail told him what he could see was true, his swords were too ready for a fool. She praised God for getting him back on the road to KINGSHIP instead of grinding gears in disgruntledness. 

As for the fool, God took care of him too. Nabal pretty much died from shock. David did not fumble that day, on THAT fool’s folly, thanks to God’s intervention. Abigail prevented him from going offsides. 

Don’t we all need to take the “s” off our fighting sWords and bring it back to trusting God’s Word? Cool our hot heads and warm our hearts instead?

my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself.”

Let us serve like Abigail and slow down like David. 

No fool is worth us faltering. None.

Amen 

—–

1 Samuel 26

A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel. His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.

While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name. Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!

“‘Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing. Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.’”

When David’s men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David’s name. Then they waited. Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?”

David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word. David said to his men, “Each of you strap on your sword!” So they did, and David strapped his on as well. About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.

One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing. Night and day they were a wall around us the whole time we were herding our sheep near them. Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.”

Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.

As she came riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, there were David and his men descending toward her, and she met them. David had just said, “It’s been useless—all my watching over this fellow’s property in the wilderness so that nothing of his was missing. He has paid me back evil for good. May God deal with David, be it ever so severely, if by morning I leave alive one male of all who belong to him!”

When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. She fell at his feet and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent.  And now, my lord, as surely as the Lord your God lives and as you live, since the Lord has kept you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal. And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my lord, be given to the men who follow you.

“Please forgive your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live. Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling.

When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant.”

David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.”

Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.”

When Abigail went to Nabal, he was in the house holding a banquet like that of a king. He was in high spirits and very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until daybreak. Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became like a stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died.

When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise be to the Lord, who has upheld my cause against Nabal for treating me with contempt. He has kept his servant from doing wrong and has brought Nabal’s wrongdoing down on his own head.”

Jesus is Coming, 25FEB

Standard

There are wars, what does it mean?

JESUS IS COMING. 

There are rumors of wars, what does it mean?

Jesus is coming. 

There are earthquakes and storms, what does it mean?

Jesus is coming. 

There are people of false pride, leaders with ego pursuing power, followers chosing blinders. What does it mean? 

Jesus is coming. 

There are haters, betrayers, deceivers. What does it mean?

Jesus is coming.

There is ignorance, incineration, intensification. What does it mean?

Jesus is coming. 

There are shortened days, people elect, pre-warnings. What does it mean?

Jesus is coming. 

There are normal days, ordinary moments, people pursuing life.  What does it mean?

Jesus is coming. 

There are good times, seasonal praises, new births. What does it mean?

Jesus is coming. 

There are gospel preachers, great teachers, hungry listeners. What does it mean? 

Jesus is coming. 

There are pockets of peace, people coming and going, normal stuff. What does it mean?

Jesus is coming. 

There are never-endings, Words, Hope. What does it mean?

Jesus is coming. 

Jesus IS coming 

JESUS is coming 

Jesus is COMING. 

Is Jesus coming? 

He never wasn’t coming. He’s just been waiting. Just like us.

JESUS IS WAITING.

WAIT LIKE JESUS. 

JESUS IS PREPARING. 

PREPARE LIKE JESUS. 

JESUS IS INVESTING. 

INVEST LIKE JESUS. 

JESUS IS WORKING. 

WORK LIKE JESUS. 

Amen

—–

From Matthew 24

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. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 

Lots of Urim and Thummim and Honey

Standard

Honey. The Promised Land was flowing with milk and honey. Lots of Honey. Honey is such a powerful sweetener, made naturally by bees from the countless hours and seasons of work collecting from flowers. Wax too. Wax for candles to give light and sweet honey to nourish and delight. What a perfect gift of God: LIGHT and sweetness. Nourishment provided by His worker bees. Honey from flowers that live temporarily and wilt, even though they are dressed far more beautifully than kings… God provides. All life on earth is temporary, may it be sweet.

I saw a license plate cover that said: “Eat Local Honey”. True, local honey is good, and you KNOW where it came from. (Don’t buy unknown tainted honey). Light and goodness from God, you know where it came from. (Don’t look for tainted love or false hope). God’s LOVE is sweeter than sweet. 

Honey makes many appearances in scripture, a gift from God but got Jonathan into a sticky situation. Jonathan was King Saul’s son, and all were at battle against the Philistines. At a certain battle moment, God’s Hand confused the Philistines, allowing the Israelites to win over the Philistines. Later Jonathan (who started this latest battle) and his army walked thru the woods which flowed with honey, but there was an edict by his father King Saul not to eat anything during the day. Jonathan did not know this and yum, he scooped up some honey. He later learned of that forbidding edict during the day of battle.

Isn’t that one of those warning messages that Samuel (prophet and judge) gave the people who begged for a king, that a king could make crazy rules over them. God said – they have Me but they rejected me. Kings will take over and rule unjustly if they themselves don’t listen to God. It’s like the good gift of food was withheld by King Saul, even if for his own good reason. The honey gift from God was now trying to be withheld from the people whom were promised the honey in the first place. But earthly kings, especially Saul, were and are fallible. So are we.

There are very good health reasons why I shouldn’t and can’t eat the WHOLE jar of honey in my cabinet but really only a little is needed to sweeten my tea or plain yogurt. And adding honey myself, I can regulate the sugar. Unlike a sleeve of cookies, of empty calories, it seems I only need a little honey to satisfy. God’s gift to us is DISCERNMENT of proper things and if we pray, we ask for answers,  hopefully He gives us common sense and will power. Honey lasts like forever, almost like wisdom. 

Wisdom and discernment of God’s will, they never go bad… However there was a stretch of time that the Israelites used “drawing of lots” for determining what God’s answers were. If He didn’t speak advice, they “rolled the dice” assuming that He would answer. Urim and Thummim. Black and white rocks. Arrows up and down. Saul had to figure out WHY God was NOT answering his basic question, whether to go to battle or not, so he conjectured that someone had sinned or drawn them into more sin. They drew lots of Urim and Thummim. It was his son Jonathan. OH THAT HONEY. 

Then Saul prayed to the Lord, the God of Israel, “Why have you not answered your servant today? If the fault is in me or my son Jonathan, respond with Urim, but if the men of Israel are at fault, respond with Thummim.” Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot, and the men were cleared.  Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken.

A sticky situation. Saul even said: may God deal with you harshly… no forgiveness… But the army men knew that Jonathan was a good warrior and they rescued him, protected him from his own father’s edict. Protected him from his own failings. Who protects us from our own failings? Ah, the sweet Lord.

The Israelites continued in war, Saul had bitter days the rest of his life. God passed the Kingship to David who was a man after God’s heart. May we be like that too. May we look to our sweet Lord.

What’s the moral of this short long story?? The same lesson we’ve always known: listen to God, to the SWEET voice of God, the nourishing advice… the sweetness of Salvation comes from God keeping His Promise. Light comes from the glory of God, from the work of Jesus obeying his Father. We have been rescued. He WANTS us to taste HIS Promise.

Production of honey is not provided without cost or hard work, neither is Salvation. Yet God has flowed it to us for OUR PROMISED KINGDOM,  HIS!!!

Amen 

Listening:

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/suchet/nivuk/1Sam.14

1st Samuel 14:20-52

Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking each other with their swords.  Those Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines and had gone up with them to their camp went over to the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.  When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit.  So on that day the Lord saved Israel, and the battle moved on beyond Beth Aven.

Jonathan Eats Honey

Now the Israelites were in distress that day, because Saul had bound the people under an oath, saying, “Cursed be anyone who eats food before evening comes, before I have avenged myself on my enemies!” So none of the troops tasted food.

The entire army entered the woods, and there was honey on the ground. When they went into the woods, they saw the honey oozing out; yet no one put his hand to his mouth, because they feared the oath. But Jonathan had not heard that his father had bound the people with the oath, so he reached out the end of the staff that was in his hand and dipped it into the honeycomb. He raised his hand to his mouth, and his eyes brightened. Then one of the soldiers told him, “Your father bound the army under a strict oath, saying, ‘Cursed be anyone who eats food today!’ That is why the men are faint.”

Jonathan said, “My father has made trouble for the country. See how my eyes brightened when I tasted a little of this honey.  How much better it would have been if the men had eaten today some of the plunder they took from their enemies. Would not the slaughter of the Philistines have been even greater?”

That day, after the Israelites had struck down the Philistines from Mikmash to Aijalon, they were exhausted. They pounced on the plunder and, taking sheep, cattle and calves, they butchered them on the ground and ate them, together with the blood. Then someone said to Saul, “Look, the men are sinning against the Lord by eating meat that has blood in it.”

“You have broken faith,” he said. “Roll a large stone over here at once.” Then he said, “Go out among the men and tell them, ‘Each of you bring me your cattle and sheep, and slaughter them here and eat them. Do not sin against the Lord by eating meat with blood still in it.’” So everyone brought his ox that night and slaughtered it there. Then Saul built an altar to the Lord; it was the first time he had done this.

Saul said, “Let us go down and pursue the Philistines by night and plunder them till dawn, and let us not leave one of them alive.”

“Do whatever seems best to you,” they replied.

But the priest said, “Let us inquire of God here.”

So Saul asked God, “Shall I go down and pursue the Philistines? Will you give them into Israel’s hand?” But God did not answer him that day. Saul therefore said, “Come here, all you who are leaders of the army, and let us find out what sin has been committed today. As surely as the Lord who rescues Israel lives, even if the guilt lies with my son Jonathan, he must die.” But not one of them said a word.

Saul then said to all the Israelites, “You stand over there; I and Jonathan my son will stand over here.”

“Do what seems best to you,” they replied.

Then Saul prayed to the Lord, the God of Israel, “Why have you not answered your servant today? If the fault is in me or my son Jonathan, respond with Urim, but if the men of Israel are at fault, respond with Thummim.” Jonathan and Saul were taken by lot, and the men were cleared.  Saul said, “Cast the lot between me and Jonathan my son.” And Jonathan was taken.

Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you have done.” So Jonathan told him, “I tasted a little honey with the end of my staff. And now I must die!”

Saul said, “May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if you do not die, Jonathan.”

But the men said to Saul, “Should Jonathan die—he who has brought about this great deliverance in Israel? Never! As surely as the Lord lives, not a hair of his head will fall to the ground, for he did this today with God’s help.” So the men rescued Jonathan, and he was not put to death.

Then Saul stopped pursuing the Philistines, and they withdrew to their own land. After Saul had assumed rule over Israel, he fought against their enemies on every side: Moab, the Ammonites, Edom, the kings of Zobah, and the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment on them. He fought valiantly and defeated the Amalekites, delivering Israel from the hands of those who had plundered them.

Saul’s Family

Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi and Malki-Shua. The name of his older daughter was Merab, and that of the younger was Michal. His wife’s name was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the commander of Saul’s army was Abner son of Ner, and Ner was Saul’s uncle. Saul’s father Kish and Abner’s father Ner were sons of Abiel.

All the days of Saul there was bitter war with the Philistines, and whenever Saul saw a mighty or brave man, he took him into his service.

Not a Soap Opera, 23FEB

Standard

I hit the TV buttons by accident, I could not get back to the buttons in time and I was on a conference call for work from home. Ugh, but it was the news, ok.

But then later, the dreadful sound, ugh, the hourglass of time was pouring dreadful (to my ears). Oh that music and that distinctive sound of drama, too much drama. I knew from childhood that I had tipped past the noon hour – no more Price is Right or Card Sharks, now is the time the TV got switched off. TV drama that never changes but seems the room furniture is updated, the actors switched out, but the storyline seems to be the same… OLD… DRAMA. My apologies to those viewers who might be reading this, but I just have no time for extra drama.  I fnd my life has it’s own enough drama…  and you can’t switch it off at noon.

I found a different dramatic storyline, compelling to me, but this one IS biblical, it is my ongoing study of David, in the book of Samuel. There’s much to view of jealousy in Saul’s distrusting of David, yes, but also what makes it compelling and sad because David loved Saul (and God loved Saul too). 

There is also a great understanding of a companionship LOVE between Jonathan, Saul’s son, and David. Brothers in arms, brothers in the Lord. The compelling storyline is of a bond of KINDNESS and sacrifice between Jonathan and David, that’s the kind of LOVE that wins hearts but doesn’t sell movies, doesn’t run out like the sands of time… This is LOVE that remains the same today tomorrow and everyday. The DIFFERENCE here is this is not soap opera selling of soap or any product by keeping you glued to a guilty pleasure TV watch, this IS riveting and filled with human folly but also of LISTENING TO GOD. David returns again and again to listening to truth, seeking truth. The resolution always comes from seeking God.

Jonathan and David have to come to discuss a difficult subject, Saul, a father and father-figure, trying to kill David. He disobeyed the Lord and now drawn into paranoia, he is angry and jealous at someone who should be loved as a son. 

We sometimes find ourselves in DRAMA, yet can WE take a step backstage and pray for the people in the scene. Can WE take a step outside the theater and get some fresh air. Can WE take a look at the script and see that we don’t have to be in that scene. David a few times had to restrain himself, take his pride out of the scene, as Saul was delivered into his hands – once in a cave and totally vulnerable, but David saw that the plan (felt that the plan by God’s conviction) that Saul was NOT to be easily killed, but to be loved and even prayerfully rekindled to God’s love. David ws understanding that his own life was spared, selected and spared. David had the sense to sense the Lord’s desires.

Here also, we see the love was so deep between David and Johnathan, they encouraged each other in worshiping God, following God.  Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. “Don’t be afraid,”…. The two of them made a covenant before the Lord.

Perhaps we can cut thru our drama in life by finding that our worship of God helps us find strength, peace, forgiveness. And our actions are not from animosity, not from bitter jealousy, but to show mercy (sometimes pity) and to act upon our knowledge of God’s command to LOVE – even love until it hurts… 

The plan of God includes the use of our human hearts, however fallible, to accomplish His Will. If you find your humanness made you a softie, apply His Wisdom. If you find your humanness made you a rule follower, apply His Golden Rule first. Jesus said: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

David understood God’s power and provisions and protection. He witnessed His Love. David was not a perfect man, but He did return again and again to the One whose love was perfect.  God. Our love is made perfect in HIM.

“Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth! We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped! Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.”

Amen (and please read about Jonathan and David). 

—-

Ch 18

After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.

-‐-

Ch 19

Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David and warned him, “My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there. I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.”

Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, “Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?”

Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death.” So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.

Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him. But an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.

—-

Ch 20

Then David fled from Naioth at Ramah and went to Jonathan and asked, “What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?”

“Never!” Jonathan replied. “You are not going to die! Look, my father doesn’t do anything, great or small, without letting me know. Why would he hide this from me? It isn’t so!” But David took an oath and said, “Your father knows very well that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathan must not know this or he will be grieved.’ Yet as surely as the Lord lives and as you live, there is only a step between me and death.”

Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.” So David said, “Look, tomorrow is the New Moon feast, and I am supposed to dine with the king; but let me go and hide in the field until the evening of the day after tomorrow. If your father misses me at all, tell him, ‘David earnestly asked my permission to hurry to Bethlehem, his hometown, because an annual sacrifice is being made there for his whole clan.’ If he says, ‘Very well,’ then your servant is safe. But if he loses his temper, you can be sure that he is determined to harm me. As for you, show kindness to your servant, for you have brought him into a covenant with you before the Lord. If I am guilty, then kill me yourself! Why hand me over to your father?”

“Never!” Jonathan said. “If I had the least inkling that my father was determined to harm you, wouldn’t I tell you?” David asked, “Who will tell me if your father answers you harshly?”

“Come,” Jonathan said, “let’s go out into the field.” So they went there together. Then Jonathan said to David, “I swear by the Lord, the God of Israel, that I will surely sound out my father by this time the day after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you, will I not send you word and let you know? But if my father intends to harm you, may the Lord deal with Jonathan, be it ever so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away in peace. May the Lord be with you as he has been with my father. But show me unfailing kindness like the Lord’s kindness as long as I live, so that I may not be killed, and do not ever cut off your kindness from my family—not even when the Lord has cut off every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.” So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the Lord call David’s enemies to account.” And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.

Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon feast. You will be missed, because your seat will be empty. The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel. I will shoot three arrows to the side of it, as though I were shooting at a target. Then I will send a boy and say, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I say to him, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; bring them here,’ then come, because, as surely as the Lord lives, you are safe; there is no danger. But if I say to the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then you must go, because the Lord has sent you away. And about the matter you and I discussed—remember, the Lord is witness between you and me forever.”

So David hid in the field, and when the New Moon feast came, the king sat down to eat. He sat in his customary place by the wall, opposite Jonathan, and Abner sat next to Saul, but David’s place was empty. 

Saul said nothing that day, for he thought, “Something must have happened to David to make him ceremonially unclean—surely he is unclean.” But the next day, the second day of the month, David’s place was empty again. Then Saul said to his son Jonathan, “Why hasn’t the son of Jesse come to the meal, either yesterday or today?”

Jonathan answered, “David earnestly asked me for permission to go to Bethlehem. He said, ‘Let me go, because our family is observing a sacrifice in the town and my brother has ordered me to be there. If I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away to see my brothers.’ That is why he has not come to the king’s table.”

Saul’s anger flared up at Jonathan and he said to him, “You son of a perverse and rebellious woman! Don’t I know that you have sided with the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of the mother who bore you? As long as the son of Jesse lives on this earth, neither you nor your kingdom will be established. Now send someone to bring him to me, for he must die!”

“Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” Jonathan asked his father. But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.

Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger; on that second day of the feast he did not eat, because he was grieved at his father’s shameful treatment of David. In the morning Jonathan went out to the field for his meeting with David. He had a small boy with him, and he said to the boy, “Run and find the arrows I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. When the boy came to the place where Jonathan’s arrow had fallen, Jonathan called out after him, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?” Then he shouted, “Hurry! Go quickly! Don’t stop!” The boy picked up the arrow and returned to his master. (The boy knew nothing about all this; only Jonathan and David knew.) Then Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy and said, “Go, carry them back to town.”

After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most.

Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town.

Ch23

While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.

Ch 31

Now the Philistines fought against Israel; the Israelites fled before them, and many fell dead on Mount Gilboa.  The Philistines were in hot pursuit of Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua.  The fighting grew fierce around Saul, and when the archers overtook him, they wounded him critically. Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and run me through and abuse me.” But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it.

2 Sam Ch 1

After the death of Saul, David returned from striking down the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag two days. On the third day a man arrived from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him honor.

“Where have you come from?” David asked him. He answered, “I have escaped from the Israelite camp.” –  “What happened?” David asked. “Tell me.” – “The men fled from the battle,” he replied. “Many of them fell and died. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”

They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

David took up this lament concerning Saul and his son Jonathan, and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this lament of the bow (it is written in the Book of Jashar): “A gazelle lies slain on your heights, Israel. How the mighty have fallen! Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon, lest the daughters of the Philistines be glad, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised rejoice. “Mountains of Gilboa, may you have neither dew nor rain, may no showers fall on your terraced fields. For there the shield of the mighty was despised, the shield of Saul—no longer rubbed with oil. From the blood of the slain, from the flesh of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, the sword of Saul did not return unsatisfied. Saul and Jonathan— in life they were loved and admired, and in death they were not parted. They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. Daughters of Israel, weep for Saul, who clothed you in scarlet and finery, who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.

“How the mighty have fallen in battle!  Jonathan lies slain on your heights. I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women. How the mighty have fallen! The weapons of war have perished!”

Salt Support – Unjam Your JOY

Standard

Payday with a shared bonus at work, JOY JOY!!! God rescues my wayward ways, credit card creepingness, my backroom of bills, oops-es of overspending. This one is for recovery, the taxes will be for repairs, but a small slice of this is for sillyness and sweetening my step.

Blessed are we to earn wages. I am blessed to work, to get to feel productive, and especially get in to see people socially. And although work is daily drudgery to some, it is all in your attitude. This past 2 pandemic years will eventually become yet another of the shortest memories from the longest trudgery years of stress, safety, and especially unknown. And yet our WORK was a known. Our work AT HOME also the HUGEST of hills to climb.  I grabbed onto it all and dug in.  Work as escape-ness as well as productive busy busi-ness.  I’m seeing lights at the ends of tunneling thru projects, but don’t stop digging now. I’m praising for when I actually get time to work and like today, I’m PRAISING WHEN I GET TIME OFF (it’s POLAR PLUNGING DAY). God granting opportunity to BREATHE, be BEAUTIFUL BEAMING JOY, but we need to take our JOY seriously. Witnessing is worthy work too.

A bonus… Please don’t take this as a boast… just want to remember that I am BLESSED… so, now, what amount for me to praise financially back to God? A certain % as tithe? Special ear-marked anything? nothing? something? I had already loaded my IKEA cart. I had already booked my Amazon boat. I have backlogged bills ready to unjam. I awoke early and excitedly clicked into banking app and IT WASN’T THERE… ahh… hmmm… One bank had the normal deposit, good to pay the mortgage, but the second bank must have been held up… waiting for SOMETHING to release. A log jam of the logs in my eyes likely… So true of God to make me WAIT until I RE-focused. FOCUSED on HIS PLAN for my pay. Focused on HIS PLAN for my day. Yeah, God, I get it. I will tithe in tilling the soil. How I want to help Your Garden Grow. 

It’s easy to lose our salt. Put it in the wrong piles. Over season the soup. Kill the plants by overdoing it. Look at a rainstorm that washes road salt away.  Look at us getting flooded with busyness and failing to find, let alone share, the SPARK of SALTINESS. We have to reapply. However look at how just a little salt makes a BIG impact. Salt made all the difference yesterday, the trees were iced but the roads fine. The salt melts ice IF the temperature is right.

Salt is pretty much FREE, and deposited under our lakes.  Salt is plentiful FREE in the ocean. It recrystalizes readily. However it takes time and money and commitment to harvest it, to bring it forth to where it is usable. Same with our commitment to use it. A pile inside does nothing to help the path. You have to go out to spread it.

Salt living for the Lord is witnessing to His Goodness. And He IS Good. I looked up from my bank app,  with no bonus, and the first two words I saw were “SALT” “SUPPORT”. Yes Lord, YES. I am to live, spend WISELY, be the supportive spender that will help You. (MONEY IS A TOOL, a favorite saying is: money is a good servant  but a cruel master)…. Being SALT SUPPORT means that our tithe fraction AND the whole kit and caboodle of our spending CAN HAVE REAL IMPACT on the roads of rescuing, resuscitation, reworking, restoration and recovery. REALLY. Go out and spread it.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

I readjusted my attitude and clicked again, this time I just waited until AFTER banking hours opened, someone physically probably had to click a button. And, there was the bonus. Whew. My head adjusted. THANK YOU. God gives good things, especially PAUSE. I needed God to sprinkle Holy Spirit on me. SALT SUPPORT means helping others spread the Word as well as spreading it yourself. Don’t let your bucket go dry. Be the spark to a ministry, a meal to a missionary, a Hand to Helping. 

We are called to be SALT and LIGHT. We are to SHINE hope and spice up life. God knows that the world needs us to be God’s Givers of Hope. Spreaders of Joy. Jumping Joybeans for Jesus. Just make a salt-water SPLASH. 

As a cat sits with you while you rest, your salt supports stack up while you work,  waiting for you, and then you can use them for the Lord’s work. As you know, the salt on food preserves it and makes it palatable. We are to be THAT salt. “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.” Leviticus 2:13

My salting today will be where the Lord says: “Sprinkle some salt here!”…

We are SALT SERVANTS. 

We are SALT SUPPORT. 

We are SALT SPREADERS. 

Unjam your JOY. 

Amen 

Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

BLESSED IS THE ONE THAT TRUSTETH IN THE LORD, AND WHOSE HOPE THE LORD IS. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah14

Giving Up our Pride – Taking Job’s Aside

Standard

How much we think of ourselves, how much we have pride. I do. We do need to put that pride aside. The proudness of thinking about ourselves, that’s the cross we bear for conviction of having too much self-preservation of self-pride. Pick up the crucifying, walk in His abiding. 

I have been thinking of Lent. I did plan to go to church, but had not yet put on that attitude of giving up anything. The Lenten focus of what God gave up, in His Son ransomed for the rest of us, how we are to remember this was on Jesus’s mind every day in time. Sacrifice.

Job (ch 23) was tested, prayed to follow deeper and treasure more. He had a speech as if it was an aside between Him and God: “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.”

I also need to treasure more. I thought what about the “giving up” of tangible  things in lent, it seemed silly for me to do one of the traditional food things, but maybe…  I was not focused on anything for lent, I know I need focus. What if it was giving up cookies or sugar, yet that would be for health reasons and pride of weightloss, that’s earthly pride of how I look, whereas I should focus on healthy walking. Exercise what I have. Maybe I should give up cookies, so I had a couple cookies to think about it, cookies, and LOTS of cookies at church itself. Nah… not cookies, sugar would seep in otherways. Well, maybe I should give up cookies. 

So, what if there was one of those VERY DEEP LENTEN MESSAGES for me to tap into, etc… Then I thought EASILY of one thing that would be HARD, this Lent how about I make it time to GIVE UP MY PRIDE, my fear of being awkward, give up ourselfish self-consciousness for promoting HIS plan. This is not a noble cause but a humble pause.

I thought, holding a spiritual sticker that said Christ’s name in its scripture,  was I willing to at least stick that on my water bottle? Prayer stickers yes, but WHAT IF I GAVE UP BEING SCARED TO DISPLAY THE NAME OF JESUS PUBLICLY. What if I tried saying His name more, using it out loud in conversation, and just swallowing my prideful tendency to hide. 

What if we became less fearful of offending and be more abiding in sharing HOPE.

Who gives us the HOPE? Jesus.  If Jesus was walking, He would want to introduce Himself to others. We should be willing to do that too. 

I’m not saying this is going to be easy, but I know that the Holy Spirit is here to help. Jesus’s command always was and is for us to WAIT FOR and ACCEPT the Holy Spirit gift of the Father to be the wind in our sails.

If we drop our pride, we can be in for the best Spirit Ride. Not going to be easy, but worth it. Follow Job’s prayerful aside: treasure His Words more than our daily bread… (or cookies).  

Amen

HOPE IN A SPIRIT’S RIDE

Standard

He knows our pride.

We need to put that aside.

We are under His Wings to be loved and yes to hide.

Yet let us now venture out to follow in His Stride.

His Words are the Wings on which we will Spirit ride.

He knows to feed us, guide us, let us try to abide. 

Let us swallow our fear along with our pride.

For Jesus’s sake, let us put that all aside.

For others hope, let us put pride aside.

Yell it, tell it, “Follow Him and into Heaven you can glide”.

Their HOPE is more crucial than my self-pride.

Amen 

Ash Wednesday – Christ Everyday – Roll His Way

Standard
ROLL HIS WAY

Today is Ash Wednesday – we are blessed to know that Christ is with us Everyday. And we look to THAT DAY when Jesus will return again. That Day begins the end of the earth and heavens – making them roll away (blow away like ashes) – and the New Heavens ROLL in. Let us Roll His Way.

When the author of Hebrews (likely Paul) speaks of sacrifices, he reminds us of the ultimate sacrifice in Jesus. That Jesus came from Heaven and knew of the sacrifice before coming to earth. The sacrifices that the old testament priests made came about by human hands, made in their sanctuary by human hands. In Jesus, God provided the sacrifice once and for all.

Our Ash Wednesday reminds us of us being made of dust and to dust we return – and it could also remind us of those burnt sacrifices to bring forgiveness. How better for us to have eternal life than to be delivered by the One Sacrifice in Jesus. This is NOT made by human hands – this is a Sacrifice for Salvation that was and IS known – IS of the Lord Himself, the Perfect Lamb. Now we offer not a sacrifice of items but a sacrifice of our hearts to His service.

The ashes are but a shadow of the Good things yet to come – and we MUST be made back to ashes to lose ourselves and take on Christ-selves. We must return to ashes to accept the full glory of forever – and since we have Jesus, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Yes, He IS faithful – and as we are in our “in between ashes” stages, we must also be willing to go where He rolls us – may we always be willing to roll with Him.

Roll His Way.

AMEN


from Hebrews 9-10
For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. ……. Christ has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am – it is written about me in the scroll – I have come to do your will, my God.’”

First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law. Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

What’s Your Goliath?

Standard

David had God-confidence in fighting the giant Goliath, because he had previously battled bears and lions to regain stolen sheep. He KNEW that the Lord had saved him those times. David also could not endure the taunting of the Philistines against the Israelites. He took on his whole tribes and God’s people’s cause with a couple stones. David, as small as he was, chose a path of GREAT BATTLE. IN ALL, David KNEW that THE LORD WAS WITH HIM.

What is your Goliath? And will you approach the fight? Do you sit entrenched against the enemy in a long winter? Are you weary or worn down from the taunting without even getting onto the battlefield? Apparently, Goliath showed up every day. SO, David had a chance to gather his weapons and his plan. His 5 smooth stones, his sling, his wits, HIS LORD… OUR LORD. There’s nothing more important to this battle or your battle that the Lord battling for you, with you, THRU YOU. David came WITH God, came ready for a WIN, not just ready for a fight.

That’s how we should approach our Goliaths, ready WITH the Lord, ready for a win. We should NEVER assume defeat before our feet approach the field. We SHOULD gather our 5 stones, smooth and worked on by God’s forces to be perfect for the job, handpicked with prayer, and extra stones for extra measure. Actually, our best stone is holding on to our ROCK, our Lord. 

Then we can walk onto our battlefield. 

Most important of the story of David attacking the lion and the bear is to remind us that the LORD HIMSELF has come gathered us, RESCUED as sheep out of the jaws of the battles in our lives. He has won us the win over sin, let’s trust Him with our life-goliath’s too. Very importantly, let’s be a part of the battle by gathering our stones and tools. Trust in the armies of the living God. 

He IS the POSSIBLE in our impossible. 

He IS.

Amen

—-

“Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Read all the 1 Samuel 17 story here: 

Never a Question

Standard

There is fear, but there is dependence upon the Lord.

The Lord is dependable, NEVER a question.


There is unknown, but there exists the Lord.

The Lord is KNOWN, never a question.


There is hate, but the Lord is Love.

The Lord is LOVE, never a question.


There is strife, but the Lord is determined.

The Lord means business, NEVER a question.


There is loneliness, but the Lord is present.

The Lord COMFORTS, never a question.


There is hopelessness, but the Lord is HOPE.

The Lord gives HOPE, never a question.


There is loss, but the Lord is GAIN.

The Lord GIVES, never a question.


The Lord lives.

The Lord gives.

The Lord IS.


Never a question.

But ALWAYS an ANSWER.


AMEN

Hearts for Harps, 20FEB

Standard

Continuing my “writing thru the old testament”… I was surprised when I opened a physical Bible and was an inch in!! Wow!!! If I don’t wake to read, the cat wakes me, angels must be goading her. God implores each of us to read His Word. He does call me to READ!!! If I am tired, I LISTEN to the Word, David Suchet’s voice speaks to me and phrases JUMP into my ears to start writing: what Samuel says to Saul: to obey first (and fresh) is better than to sacrifice a burnt offering later. Here’s the audio: https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/suchet/nivuk/1Sam.15

Here is my devotion from the super lesson from the book of 1st Samuel:

SERVE THE LORD. And have a heart for Him. If we learn anything from Saul decreasing and David increasing, it is that God has certain jobs for certain people, not everyone is to do everything or should do everything.

Not everything we or anyone appears as indicates our devotion, because “the Lord looketh on the heart.”

Samuel devoted his life to listening to God and Samuel became so sad when instructions were NOT followed.  Samuel became heartbroken because Saul had turned away from God, not carried out His instructions but overrode them, modified them, made himself king of decision making not just of people. We should never become king of decision making, we always need to LISTEN TO GOD’S WORD, no matter if we are king or shepherd. God makes the kings. God makes the moves that matter. God gives us work WORTHY of the KINGDOM in all circumstances. (Remember that storied drummer boy GIFT of giving baby Jesus what he DID have). We have the most important GIFT we could have, DEVOTION, and God has need for our devotion. God has desires for our hearts to DESIRE HIM. DEVOTION. 

David came from Bethlehem. God loves telling stories about the greatest coming from the least. David shows us the importance in HAVING A HEART FOR GOD. David’s life shows us that even when we go off the rails, do wrong, God does not leave us. Especially God listens if we keep looking for Him. David sang praises, prayers and laments over the many years of His life. David started with devotion. He shepherded the favor of the Lord. Clearly the Lord is partial to harps, the Lord is partial to ears that hear. The evil spirits don’t have a heart for harps, nor anything that shows returned devotion to God. God has a heart for harps of loveharps of healingharps of harkening unto the Lord’s Word.

The LOVE poured out overtook the days of evil. There is time for mourning bad situations and people who go astray, like Samuel mourned Saul, and then there always will be a time to MOVE ON, see where God is leading, see how God will resolve the situation. 

This is still true.

TUNE OUR EAR STRINGS AND HEART STRINGS, LORD. 

We know that evil exists and that God already saved us eternally. So keep being devoted. God IS in control. When we grow stronger in our God-listening, let us TUNE our harps of praises and lamenting to catch His attention, He will show us resolution. He will show us love. He will take care of our enemies and has already planned the ultimate ambush.

Let us read between the lines of the news of the times and see how it aligns with end times. Keep marching and keep your harp as tightly as God keeps your heart. 

He will be OUR King. He IS our King. 

Follow Him.

Amen 

—-

1 Samuel 15:16-23, 27-29

Enough!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”

“Tell me,” Saul replied.

Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; wage war against them until you have wiped them out.’  Why did you not obey the Lord? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the Lord?”

“But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”

But Samuel replied:

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king. “

As Samuel turned to leave, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to one of your neighbors—to one better than you.  He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”

1 Samuel 16

And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.

And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord. And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.

And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?

And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.

And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him. But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these.

And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.

And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.

Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well. And Saul said unto his servants, Provide me now a man that can play well, and bring him to me. 

Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, that is cunning in playing, and a mighty valiant man, and a man of war, and prudent in matters, and a comely person, and the Lord is with him.

Wherefore Saul sent messengers unto Jesse, and said, Send me David thy son, which is with the sheep. And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul. And David came to Saul, and stood before him: and he loved him greatly; and he became his armourbearer. And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight. 

And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

Creature Comforts, 17FEB

Standard

So blessed to have gotten home for my Mom’s birthday, a joy to see her joy… I’m back now and was glad to see our kitty when I came home. I thank the Lord for this kitty who enriches our lives. My daughter comes home occasionally special to see the kitty (and have creature comforts of being home (WAITING FOR ME TO FEED HER and yes free laundry)).

My Mom also got a great kitty, after my dad passed, perfect match, and wow they are so blessed for his companionship and he theirs. Creatures who comfort are bigger than creature comfort to us, they bring out the natural LOVE that balances the world. The bonding is real. The paying attention to each other is real. My Aunt, whom we visited, is filled with memories and stories, from milking cows to building houses, doing paperwork and raising farm animals. She loves horses. She has realized this is the first time she has lived without a cat. She told me that the horse, from her youth, always had a cat!!!. Yes, the horse had a cat companion! She said they were best companion animals, horses need to have a companion and be a companion. They naturally do.

Creatures comfort. Creatures comforting by mutual presence is not just a creature comfort, it’s Real Love. It’s both stewardship and companionship. Having a cat on your lap or even knowing that the cat is jostling you to get up and move, it’s a moment to know that you are BLESSED. Even if you are alone, and a different scale, the comfort of the Lord is REAL. You can talk to Him ALL DAY. 

One old testament lesson I glean is that the people went off the rails many times and neglected worshiping the Lord. It was a group effort to live Godly lives. In contrary to group efforts, individuals ALSO stood out as devoted. like Samuel, tapped into understanding of how to live: DEVOTED. Samuel reminded it is better to obey first then have to do sacrifices after not listening…

Now, in our next stage, new covenant living, we can be devoted too, we can take a moment and be at peace with taking a path narrow but sure. Our companion is the Lord who calls us as His children, not just His creatures. HIS CHILDREN. He wants us to take a moment and rest, lay our heads and burdens upon Him. Be able to sit in peace. Be ready for Him to come again. Be waiting like the cat for the opportunity to hear Him come to us. Run like never before when He comes thru the door.

We have the comfort of the Lord and the knowledge that there are angel warriors all around us. Perhaps these cats are being directed by the angels for when to sit with us, when to jostle us, when to come running. I believe there are spiritual forces to buffer out existence, hold our cars in their lanes driving down the highway and put invisible butter on our faces for creatures to kiss. Resting kitties on our laps, the angel knows helping.  Be presence. Be the comfort of our needs. Remind us to be still. Still in midwinter rest. Still in counting our blessings. 

Amen 

PS, I took a puzzle moment too, had time to sit. I was grateful for the opportunity. I was not worried but took a rapid test anyway to have that comfort, I assembled it’s puzzle-like instructions, I did NOT puzzle that the Lord had brought us back together with appreciation of togetherness. He gave us wisdom and waiting skills, He carried us all throughout this time. He comforted us. He still does. (And the puzzle? It was a cat sleeping in books named for cats… “Holy Cats!” Was my favorite title.) YES, blessed…

Weaving Worsted Weight, 16FEB – #1403

Standard

There’s heaviness to the speech Samuel makes to the Israelites. He speaks of God’s gifts and gains that they had forgotten about. He weaves back the stories of His faithfulness and their wandering and forever wanting. Worst of all to this point in time, they asked for a king, and that essentially told God that they don’t trust Him to deliver.

We need to trust that God has and will take care of us and don’t start looking for our own kings, our quick fixes, our idols of worry. Be true. 

God lets them feel the weight of that decision, but reminds them He was ALWAYS faithful for when they called out to Him “. and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around you, so that you lived in safety.”

The fiercest of warnings was then issued and Samuel showed them that even when the Lord has power in punishment, He is never going to turn away from loving them. Samuel says: “yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.”

Samuel reminds: “For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own.”

Samuel would always pray, as we should, for the Lord’s people: “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”

Samuel weaves history into lessons. The wool of sheep is warm and can be woven for others to wear. We can see and take the warmth of the love of God and weave it back into His flock to SHARE THIS GODLY LOVE. Feel the weight of the wool as thick enough, strong enough, real enough to carry the people in life. KNOW the texture to apply to the situation. We can be weavers of lessons yes, but mostly we should share this weight of LOVE. Love is heavy, not always easy, but love anyway and have the burden be carried by the Lord. He was pleased to make us His own. He will clothe us in love. He will bring us home. 

Let’s weave GOD’S LOVE today.

Amen 

—-

Samuel’s Farewell Speech (Chapter 12)

Samuel said to all Israel, “I have listened to everything you said to me and have set a king over you. Now you have a king as your leader. As for me, I am old and gray, and my sons are here with you. I have been your leader from my youth until this day. Here I stand. Testify against me in the presence of the Lord and his anointed. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Whom have I cheated? Whom have I oppressed? From whose hand have I accepted a bribe to make me shut my eyes? If I have done any of these things, I will make it right.”

“You have not cheated or oppressed us,” they replied. “You have not taken anything from anyone’s hand.” Samuel said to them, “The Lord is witness against you, and also his anointed is witness this day, that you have not found anything in my hand.”

“He is witness,” they said. Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your ancestors up out of Egypt. Now then, stand here, because I am going to confront you with evidence before the Lord as to all the righteous acts performed by the Lord for you and your ancestors.  “After Jacob entered Egypt, they cried to the Lord for help, and the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them in this place. 

“But they forgot the Lord their God; so he sold them into the hand of Sisera, the commander of the army of Hazor, and into the hands of the Philistines and the king of Moab, who fought against them. They cried out to the Lord and said, ‘We have sinned; we have forsaken the Lord and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths. But now deliver us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve you.’  Then the Lord sent Jerub-Baal, Barak, Jephthah and Samuel, and he delivered you from the hands of your enemies all around you, so that you lived in safety.

“But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites was moving against you, you said to me, ‘No, we want a king to rule over us’—even though the Lord your God was your king. Now here is the king you have chosen, the one you asked for; see, the Lord has set a king over you.  If you fear the Lord and serve and obey him and do not rebel against his commands, and if both you and the king who reigns over you follow the Lord your God—good!  But if you do not obey the Lord, and if you rebel against his commands, his hand will be against you, as it was against your ancestors.

“Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes! Is it not wheat harvest now? I will call on the Lord to send thunder and rain. And you will realize what an evil thing you did in the eyes of the Lord when you asked for a king.”

Then Samuel called on the Lord, and that same day the Lord sent thunder and rain. So all the people stood in awe of the Lord and of Samuel. The people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”

“Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.  For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own.  As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.”

Get Ready and Wait, 15FEB – #1402

Standard

Driving up home it was 22 degrees and sunny, but this morning it has taken quite the dip! It is not windchill, it’s really MINUS SEVEN DEGREES (Fahrenheit)… but it will warm up again today to 22 if we wait. It’s OK to go out at minus seven if you get ready for cold… We had a whole winter like this once.

I couldn’t wait to get here but had to WAIT. Wait to organize my responsibilities, line up my commitments and tackle my tasks. I had to really work to get the opportunities to be here for some time off.

The snow, now turned to ice, is now solid on the sides of the roads. It HAS to wait for spring thaw. It’s the weather we weather in February. It’s not just run in and out, it’s wrap up in layers, it means take time to WAIT and warm up the car, have provisions ready, or stay in and WAIT,  but you can’t wait until June for warm weather, you have to be ready for whatever in whatever whenever weather.  

Likewise, I can say of times in life, God says Go, but WAIT, DON’T go until I make you ready… other times He says WAIT for a LONG time… 

In the continuing story of Sampson and Saul, Saul was told to WAIT for instructions, and he was told that He would be changed… “The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.”

What did Saul have to do? WAIT for God’s instructions and get ready to serve.  I find myself in that position too. Why would we be any different. When the Spirit of the Lord needs us to serve, we serve. He gives you ALL you need. When you need to go out, you prepare and praise.  When you are sheltered in, you praise. Put on the armor of God and keep the home fires burning too. Wait for the season to change or you to change. 

Saul, for these times, was chosen by God for many tasks, including teaching Israel a lesson. Future challenges await, but for now the challenge is for Saul to accept the change he did not ask for.  And wait for serving… 

There is no better way to serve than the wait for the cook to cook it up first. We can wait on God too. Prepare to serve… then serve…

Don’t be left out in the cold, prepare your hearts for the Lord’s instructions. When it’s time,  we can wrap up and move… Let’s be warmed by His Love. 

Amen 

—-

They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together.  As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you ruler over his inheritance? When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel’s tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, ‘The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, “What shall I do about my son?”’

“Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to worship God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine. They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them. “After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, timbrels, pipes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

The Stories that Got Away, 14FEB – #1401

Standard

When is the last time you lost your father’s donkeys and ended up becoming King?

Yeah, like every time you get a strange sideways SAVE from the Lord, or a result or rescue from a reason unknown… How did God do that?!!! Yeah, it’s more than “right place, right timing”, because God’s blessings often come seemingly out of left field, and yet they AREN’T…  His Blessings from His Timing are simply and historically the Truth.  

Take me losing my keys a few years back, I just told a friend this yesterday, the loss of keys that I never lose… REALLY, gone, dropped, not found until 2 hours later even though they WERE laying obvious enough to dozens of people who may have spied them in the grass and yet not until eventually collected by a very important connection person I had already wanted to meet – well I am sure that connection was made by God to do something crucial and of unknown ripples into unknown peoples’ lives including mine…

Then there’s the $tory about the half inch damage to my wood floor that paid off my whole $ewer replacement. And the story when my dryer broke…. and my shoulder injury… and… and… and…

There’s another couple (extra-long) stories as bonus stories to those moments that the Lord knows were HUGE discernment revelations for me. God knows how to line things up… 

Surely there are many other stories that got away… We are not seeing fully, only understanding in part…

Just last week another story about when I was totally late in the car – went the wrong direction on top of that – and ended up with an extra hour free time. HUH? A super late-making event made me an hour extra free time? Because my lateness and the traffic tie ups (a gaper delay not even an accident in our lane), it forced another person’s mind to start clicking and their plans all adjusted for the better and that helped someone else get extra time too – that was just a couple weeks ago – SO bizarre and surely ONLY the Lord could have orchestrated that all!!! It came about after I was praying for saving grace, He delivered. He involved a whole truckful of stuff spilled on the road for the gaper delay so I am not saying it was ALL good for everyone – but for me, it was just a little piece in the puzzle of HIS timing.

I am not talking about magic tricks. There are many mirages seen in olden times – like when God gave Moses the direction to toss his staff and it became a snake, that also was repeated by the flip side of dark powers. Not every snake fake and not every mirage miracle is for us. Be certain in knowing the orchestration of goodness over convenient band aid quick fixes… In all, look for God’s Hand.

In the old testament, there is a cool story of God using donkeys (again) to travel Saul from place to place and eventually to Samuel, whom God had told was coming.  Samuel got not just a revelation from God but a clear path dictation of who would become King. Samuel could tell Saul exactly about what was going to happen, not as a fortune teller but a teller of God’s fortune plans. Saul got not just his meal (and knowledge of his found donkeys) but the opportunity to be King. WOW!!!

OF COURSE, like Saul, we DON’T ALWAYS make the BEST USE of the GIFTS that God gives us (especially time) and Saul certainly will have issues in later chapters not following God’s instructions… So a reminder reverberates here: make the most of our gifts and LISTEN to God in how to use them…

And think of our own place in the Lord’s kingdom. The Lord says to us what Samuel says to Saul: “[‘Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set aside for you for this occasion from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.’]”

Imagine all the praise God could hear if we could all SEE the series of saves every day… Imagine, GOD KNOWS ALL THE STORIES THAT GOT AWAY… WOW…

Thanks Lord for one more day doing life YOUR WAY. 

AMEN

—–

PLEASE READ ABOUT SAUL:

Samuel Anoints Saul (Chapter 9)

There was a Benjamite [Israelite of the Benjamin tribe], a man of standing, whose name was Kish son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bekorath, the son of Aphiah of Benjamin. Kish had a son named Saul, as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.

Now the donkeys belonging to Saul’s father Kish were lost, and Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the servants with you and go and look for the donkeys.”  So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and through the area around Shalisha, but they did not find them. They went on into the district of Shaalim, but the donkeys were not there. Then he passed through the territory of Benjamin, but they did not find them. When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”

But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true. Let’s go there now. Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.” Saul said to his servant, “If we go, what can we give the man? The food in our sacks is gone. We have no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?” The servant answered him again. “Look,” he said, “I have a quarter of a shekel of silver. I will give it to the man of God so that he will tell us what way to take.”  (Formerly in Israel, if someone went to inquire of God, they would say, “Come, let us go to the seer,” because the prophet of today used to be called a seer.)

“Good,” Saul said to his servant. “Come, let’s go.” So they set out for the town where the man of God was. As they were going up the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water, and they asked them, “Is the seer here?”

“He is,” they answered. “He’s ahead of you. Hurry now; he has just come to our town today, for the people have a sacrifice at the high place. As soon as you enter the town, you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat. The people will not begin eating until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward, those who are invited will eat. Go up now; you should find him about this time.” They went up to the town, and as they were entering it, there was Samuel, coming toward them on his way up to the high place.

Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel: “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel; he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked on my people, for their cry has reached me.”

When Samuel caught sight of Saul, the Lord said to him, “This is the man I spoke to you about; he will govern my people.” Saul approached Samuel in the gateway and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”  “I am the seer,” Samuel replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will send you on your way and will tell you all that is in your heart. As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and your whole family line?”

Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?”  Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and seated them at the head of those who were invited—about thirty in number. Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside.”

So the cook took up the thigh with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set aside for you for this occasion from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.’” And Saul dined with Samuel that day.

After they came down from the high place to the town, Samuel talked with Saul on the roof of his house. They rose about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get ready, and I will send you on your way.” When Saul got ready, he and Samuel went outside together. As they were going down to the edge of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here for a while, so that I may give you a message from God.”

Do You Know What You’re Asking For?, 13FEB

Standard

We (the world) tend to be short sighted and yet we have the gift of knowing long history. I’m going to speak about Samuel and the Israelites waiting a king, but I will start with the example of present day SNOW. We just got a couple inches of snow. I saw it in the forecast, but this was not hyped like they did for every flake at the beginning of the winter… Plus after 2 days of 60 degrees in February, the snow is a surprise but we must remember that it IS February… We shouldn’t be surprised. (and isn’t it weird to get emergency alerts to your phone when a snow squall is arriving? It IS February – we are SUPPOSED to get these storms).

The Olympics this year, in contrast, is on fake snow, but the other day they got 3 inches of real snow as a surprise? Only a surprise to those not paying attention. And they did get the shovels out for the ski and snowboard courses, they kept grooming so that the paths would not become snowed over. 

We need to know knowledge. We need to burn fires of keeping attention and then watch snow melt! 

Samuel was paying attention. Paying attention to the Lord. Actually, there was direct conversation between the Lord and Samuel. You would have thought the others would comprehend that what Samuel said FROM THE LORD was IMPORTANT to listen to.  After all those years, the memories faded quickly… Time and time again, throughout their history, Israel fell into their evil ways. One would think that they would remember the times of peace and try to keep the peace, but they were pulled back again and again. The people WERE astute enough to figure out that the sons of Samuel were not good and could not lead self-lessly. However instead of asking God to answer and guide, the people directly asked for more than a ruler or judge, they asked for a king. They coveted what they saw of their neighbors. Did they not know that kings often become selfish? Samuel repeated the Lord said: “Do you know what you are asking for?”

The Lord spelled out all the downfalls of getting a king, serving and surrendering under a king. The times just following the law, offering sacrifice, and waiting for the “next Samuel” were not good enough any more. The Lord provided and protected, yet there was worldly viewing of the people. Same as today. 

Why did they want a king and why did they think they needed protection and why were there adversaries?  Because way back in the time of Joshua they did not deal with the people who would give them trouble in the future. They did not eliminate the risks but assimilated the stumbling blocks.

Was Samuel upset? Have you ever been upset because nobody was listening to you? God knows all about this!!! And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but THEY HAVE REJECTED ME as their king.”

And He told Samuel to warn the Israelites about setting up their own king: there would be  unfortunate assignments of jobs, ruthless dealings, and essentially they would become slaves. They would get stuck… (We probably know that the Lord won’t ALWAYS unstick you so quickly from quicksand that you laid down yourself.)

AND WITH A KING, YOU FORSAKE YOUR RIGHTS. God again and again asks for us to discern His Will. I hope that we realize reliance upon our TRUE HEAVENLY KING has given us good things. Earthly kings will never compare. It is good to rely upon GOD. He has accomplished final victory and will bring us out of our desert. The Israelites had the Promised Land, ability to live, and a sacrificial system of atonement. God already knew how life would be. He also knew the crowd scene, just like when the mob mentality took over and many years later the people took Barabus over Jesus for release. God knew and knows those ways in us that get caught up in the moment and take on a worldly view of “what have you done for me lately?”…

Snowed over… when you don’t see the pitfalls coming, you might become snowed over in life.  When you don’t keep up with clearing obstructions from the Way He HAS set out for you, you can quickly realize you have been snowed over…

Snow NOW, So NOW we need to realize there is nothing the Lord can NOT handle. When we look to HIM we don’t always have to always have to wait until the snow melts. He can light our way. He can handle us a shovel. (He can hand us a cross to bear too – we must decrease, and He must increase, as John the Baptist taught). He knows the Way and He who made the day can save our day. Let’s just let Him do it His Way.  We also know that in Him, we don’t have to follow “new and improved systems of rule”, be wary of the latest quick fix, stick with the One Who Knows… He is fighting our battles. Hope in the Lord.

Amen 

Remember Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 

God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Come and see what the Lord has done, 

the desolations he has brought on the earth.

He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; 

I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

—-

Israel Asks for a King

Chapter 8

When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”

Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”

When Samuel heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the Lord. The Lord answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”

Then Samuel said to the Israelites, “Everyone go back to your own town.”

Cheering to the Finish, 12FEB – #1399

Standard

There is an amazing picture in a picture video of the Olympic mixed doubles snowboarders – in the winning race. The first team member gave the second team member an edge by finishing well and the second team member gave it her all to get across the finish line. It is a video of the cheering and overjoyed exuberance of two near 40 year old competitors that were16 plus years into Olympic journey and wow, you just have to watch it for being inside their joy and for their joy of leaning into the race… He said to his teammate about the gold: Your bringing something HOME. 

https://www.nbcolympics.com/videos/picture-picture-emotional-baumgartner-cheers-jacobellis

I KNOW Who is EXACTLY like this – CHEERING US IN HIS JOY – Jesus is CHEERING US ON – Jesus is watching us moving and growing and getting closer and closer to the finish line. He ALREADY knows that He won the race. We can hold hope to finish our journey well. WE WILL WANT TO GIVE IT OUR ALL TOO. It is not about our achievement or skill but we will be presented blameless and polished pure to Our Father if we hold on to our partner Jesus! That is our thrill to finish the race. Tears shed in JOY and shed tears for the blood that Jesus did spill, the Lord knows them all.

In Jesus’s days, He took on the pain of the race for sure – He gave it His all – He took the marathon to the darkness of abandonment where sin was destroyed and He moved sin’s consequences as far away from us as the East is from the West. AND THEN HE RETURNED TO CHEER US TO THE FINISH LINE…

Bring it HOME. 

And is the finish line the end? NO. So at the end there is a new start – it is not a medal ceremony but a NEW BEGINNING – with ALL of US CHEERING VICTORY. We will watch the NEW JERUSALEM coming in… (read Revelation for peeking around the corner and down the slope.)

Put that “picture inside the picture” video knowledge of Him INSIDE your heart and feel HIS Cheer… Lean into the RACE, because He says: “Way to Ride, BEAUTIFUL! I’m bringing you HOME.”

Lord Jesus, come near. 

We want to hear You Cheer!

Amen

Samuel Sacrifices… 12FEB – #1398

Standard

He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him, Samuel sacrificed and stood as interceder.

Often we cry out for ourselves, but how often do we cry out for others? That’s a sacrifice of standing down, moving ourselves out of the way and putting another person’s prayers first EVEN IF they are not praying them themselves. 

Samuel was chosen for leading the people and especially for interceding for them in front of the Lord. The Lord chooses not a middle man but a mediator, just like Himself. All the leaders in the book of Judges interceded, for they were instructing the people. Their type of judging was judging you worthy after your sacrifice. Moses, Joshua, Caleb were all chosen as leaders. Samuel was saved from birth for his dedication. We too are to lead by example and by simply being the children of God He created us to be. Show our Love.

Who among us would be able to willingly dedicate our lives to His tasks. God Himself already knows why He calls us. He knows the skillsets He cultivates. He puts us out sometimes to lead nations, foster familyness, or at least keep the home fires burning. 

For us, we have a merciful Lord who lives to lead us, set an example for us, forgive our folly and whom lives to love us. Fear of the Lord becomes respect when cultivated and our hungering becomes hopefulness. 

We all have our own “Philistines” of attackers, just like in Samuel’s time. A pesky or a gnawing problem.  Samuel interceded for others. We must see the Philistine challenges in other people’s lives so that we too, in God’s guidance, can come from behind and counterattack – routing the enemies. We ESPECIALLY can surround others in prayer, even those whom we don’t know. An intertwined brier path of pain in this broken world, we need to put on our Armor of the Lord in infinite teflon toughness. Guard our hearts and hear our calling.

Let us find some Samuel in us today and guide others in His Way. Let us full-circuit travel and check in on others. Let us be dedicated to be His Hands and Feet and let us always be His Breath of Forgiveness. 

Amen

—-

1 Samuel 7

Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord. So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only.

Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the Lord for you.” When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.

When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. When the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.”

Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and sacrificed it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on Israel’s behalf, and the Lord answered him.

While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites.  The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Kar.

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

So the Philistines were subdued and they stopped invading Israel’s territory. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines. The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored to Israel, and Israel delivered the neighboring territory from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

Samuel continued as Israel’s leader all the days of his life. From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places. But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also held court for Israel. And he built an altar there to the Lord.

Connect, 12FEB – #1397

Standard

Exhale exhaustion. Breathe in blessings.

Currently I have a complete complement of children and creatures collected in calmness. A sleeping scene, so shhhh. A full fort of family.

Today totally the tasks of togetherness are in tow. A juggernaut of just juggling my jurisdiction of jobs.

Because I’m believing in being blessed beyond belief is better than bubbles of burdensome bothers of busy.

Attitude adjustment IS achievable.

Knowing IS key.

Combats craziness.

Calm culls control.

Hope hopefully. Grin gleefully. Sing sincerely. 

Take on total thankfulness.

Breathe in belief.

Collect collectiveness.

Connect.

Connect. 

Not Yet Revealed, 10FEB – #1396

Standard

The morning star, Venus, stands alone BRIGHTLY in my 6AM kitchen window. And it just rises and grabs everyone’s attention. I remember it being so very INTENSE and COMFORTING on those days that we had no power for 4 days after a hurricane, Sandy I think, many Octobers ago. The hurricane blew out the power, but the power to comfort came from the Lord. 

Those days we went to bed SO EARLY because it was SO DARK. Woke up early too and one morning, before dawn, the moon helped me outside (I was picking up toys or sticks) to see natural things I would not have seen. The moon and planet Venus, have deflected light from the Sun, none of it is from themselves. It is all shared second hand but lit forward to catch attention, to light and to warm… Isn’t it interesting that we have a beautiful solar system but we can not see it in truth because the light pollution is so awful… we also have to block intense sunlight for it’s too hot. It is out of balance at times for us. Creation groans…

For some reason this reminded me of my intrigue of how the Old Testament sheds LIGHT towards the New Testament. We often think of only dual-folds of time, old and new, with end points – but ACTUALLY there’s infinity BEFORE and infinity AFTER these testament pages. Time infinity.  Does infinity, the symbol, twist in the middle? Yes. Does infinity, the LIFE, meet the Middle with the Alpha and Omega? YES IT DOES… Some twists are unknown to us, yet to come in life, but don’t fear, know that the complete infinite LOVE is always connected to us with no beginning and no end. 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

We don’t fall off the pages of the end of the book. There are unwritten pages ahead of us in life. Remember God knows the Way. The Old Testament LIGHTS the path to the arrival of the Promise, the New Testament makes a New Covenant SHINE the path to the NEW KINGDOM. Light lives. These days for us are gifted but not yet revealed, not yet unwrapped even if they ARE known. 

The DARKNESS of this world is going to get DARKER. Don’t be surprised. Be prayerful and look to the Proper Power, the LEAD LIGHT. UNPLUG from synthetic set ups. Travel as a transient Truth-seekers. Look past external light pollution and focus on inner LIGHT LEADING. Steadily LOOK up to see Him pick us up

We need to get outside to appreciate the beauty of the world. We need ALSO to OPEN OUR HEARTS to absorb and reflect the ILLUMINATION. Keep walking the pages of the Word. JESUS shines His Light in them. Jesus powers us to His save. 

JESUS, LORD, LIGHT of our LIVES, LIFT US FROM WHAT IS LEFT. LEAD US LOVINGLY. We are blessed to reflect You. 

Amen

Out of a Jam, Thank You God! 09FEB – #1395

Standard

I was thinking again of the MANY times the Lord has saved my skin (in the car and otherwise) and saved my projects and saved my life and everything… (and of course I am praying for His guidance once again for the project I am working on now!)  I know of SO MANY TIMES that the Lord has gotten me out of a jam, including the eternal one. 

When I do seem to struggle with a task (or allow myself to be distracted), I think it is because I need to REMEMBER to depend upon Him – and He reminds me of that! I may still struggle, but I know that means that when I don’t struggle, He must be fast tracking me.  When I am slowed down, I know it must be for reasons unknown, which are known to Him. When I am just me, He wants me to know Him better.

He is reminding me that my flow is a “no-go” without HIM.  

He is the Water to my flow, 

the Light to my glow, 

the Nourishment to my GROW.

Joshua also knew and taught this because God said so DIRECTLY!  ‘So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant. Joshua said: “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness.

Yes, we are to know that God is our Fortress and our Army. He is our Farmer and power of our Sunshine, our Carpenter and Provider, our Healer and our Healing, He IS our All in All.

Amen !

—-

Joshua said to all the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Long ago your ancestors, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River and worshiped other gods. But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants. I gave him Isaac, and to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. I assigned the hill country of Seir to Esau, but Jacob and his family went down to Egypt.

“‘Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I afflicted the Egyptians by what I did there, and I brought you out. When I brought your people out of Egypt, you came to the sea, and the Egyptians pursued them with chariots and horsemen as far as the Red Sea. But they cried to the Lord for help, and he put darkness between you and the Egyptians; he brought the sea over them and covered them. You saw with your own eyes what I did to the Egyptians. Then you lived in the wilderness for a long time.

“‘I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived east of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I gave them into your hands. I destroyed them from before you, and you took possession of their land. When Balak son of Zippor, the king of Moab, prepared to fight against Israel, he sent for Balaam son of Beor to put a curse on you. But I would not listen to Balaam, so he blessed you again and again, and I delivered you out of his hand.

“‘Then you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The citizens of Jericho fought against you, as did also the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites, but I gave them into your hands. I sent the hornet ahead of you, which drove them out before you—also the two Amorite kings. You did not do it with your own sword and bow. So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.’

[Joshua then said: ] “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness.
 Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

The Tiny BIG Things, 09FEB

Standard

Yesterday I walked around work saying: “God, You’ve got to help me get through these tasks.”… “What to work on first, how to manage my responsibilities, manage ME, just make life clear. HELP.” I walked around knowing that if He can start everything, can create everything, can move everything, surely SURELY He can help me, and yes He did and does, He helps us with our work. He’s already gone before us. And so we can ask for fine tuning to know if we are in sync.

I hit the end of the day and even though I feel so BACK LOGGED on my work, this probably means the LOGS in my eyes are preventing me from seeing things His Way, I did know that I got stuff done. I also knew the piles in front of me but prayed GRATEFULLY that at least I COULD work, am ABLE to work. And I am grateful that I see a pause possibility, and I can take a few days off to visit home. 

Just then an older friend texted me that she broke her arm walking the dog and I know this is devastating to her because it means she’s out of work, yes she gets paid but she’s out of the building meaning she cannot physically be in to see the people that she wants to see day to day. Please pray for her.  She is light and salt to me, I pray her better. Lord give her hope, give her joy in life, bring her to new ways to be light and salt. Lord You ARE the great physician. 

Light and salt, keep us going. I must keep myself going knowing that I can go.

Immediately after, exhausted and heading to bed, the word of encouragement I needed came in this tiny 1950’s devotion book (Windows Towards God, Charles Schmitz) that was among my first “fall from the sky” God placements that I noticed in my faith journey that first awakened month. These are short stories from the 1950s, a thin book that I now keep by my bedside. I don’t read many devotions since I write them, but this little book was a gift in a hidden box of church closet clutter 7 years ago. How God drops gems into our clutter ALL THE TIME. Just the morsels we need.

The answer I knew, and yet this passage held the reminder I needed. “Who is He? The Man among men. The King of kings. The Savior of saviors.  Educators save others but He saves the educators.  Scientists save others but He saves the scientists. He is the Physician of physicians. He is the savior of saviors.”

I immediately texted it to my friend in the need of the Great Physician. 

Scientists need Jesus too. Me too. Managers need Jesus too. People who do ANYTHING need Jesus. Me too. We all need His help. People who do anything need the WISDOM from the Lord. (And memory to follow it).

Double down He does – over and over again – so this morning here are more reminders of God’s messages with the prayer of Solomon showing up in another occasional devotion I read on email… ASK FOR WISDOM AND DISCERNMENT. 

Oh yeah, not only does God want to give it to us, He wants us to know how to ask…  Don’t ask for riches, don’t ask for long lives, don’t ask for things (even though He can give them) BEFORE YOU ASK FOR WISDOM ON HOW TO USE THEM. 

Ask how to live through the life you’re already living. Ask how to just get through the day today. 

And of course, God will answer on ALL of the issues of your life… God has you in the Palm of His Hand, so that He can bring you closer to Himself. “We kneel in streams of mercy”, as Paul Balouche sings.

Lord, we need to know Your Ways are above our ways. Be with us, shine the LIGHT moment by moment. 

Be our restoration and guide. 

Be our best advice as we drop our pride.

Be our straight path maker for our stride.

Be loud, cover our noise like an ocean tide.

Be our Life Physician, our Healer, our guide. 

Amen 

1st Kings 3:3-15

Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places. The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.

Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.  And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”  Then Solomon awoke—and he realized it had been a dream.

Fulfillment Fulfilled, 08FEB – #1393

Standard

Jesus speaks, recorded in Matthew’s chapter 5, of how He, God, Son of God and Son of Man, bring fulfillment to the law: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the law until everything is accomplished.”

The stroke of a pen, or a feather, or ? I looked up what Moses might have written with because MOSES WROTE DOWN THE LAW. And what did Moses write on? likely leather – likely skin. The internet is full of pharisees and heresies, fake say, hearsay, who knows say… Can we believe Jesus KNEW what was written down? Yes. Because Jesus was that Word and He took it Walking. Jesus in the skin of the Savior walked with us and His Word was His Willingness.

Look at all the media writing methods that go obsolete, floppy disks, the bricks of old phones, the typewriter, the telegraph. Does Jesus go obsolete? No.

How did Jesus fulfill the law? He RESTORES the lost connections of love. Jesus restored the respect from commandments one to ten. Love is God. God is Love. Jesus restored the power of LOVE to save. Jesus restored the respect we can repay Our Father – we can obey. Jesus restored the fulfillment of not the flesh but the Forever. No one need be jealous anymore or steal. From Him flows life, good things all unmeasurable. 

Fulfilled. 

Fulfillment fulfilled. 

Forever Forward. 

The most important life-giving, promise- fulfilled, battle won GIFT we have is to follow the One who walks with us. JESUS. Teaching all the Way. If we question and find media lacking, pen strokes slipping, telephone game dropped calls, we simply and steadily can and need to walk up to the One who wrote it, devoted it, gave it. Jesus fulfilled His purpose of God’s Power to Save the condemned people. 

JESUS SAVES.

Amen

—-

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

Sweet Potato Fries, 7 years Awake, 07FEB – #1392

Standard

It’s hard to imagine a year going so fast, let alone 7. But 7 years ago, February 1st, is when I realized that I had awakened. After a month of blooming – eyes opening – I KNEW at that time that I truly believed Jesus was not a made up Savior based on stories BUT REAL. And there was no turning back. This was not a short time ago to me – this was 7 years LONG ago – 7 years plus 7 days – but I can still taste the sweet potato fries that I ate that day. I can still feel holding the beams of the steel at the 911 memorial flipping over a coin that Superbowl Sunday, reading it: John 3:16 God GAVE His Son, and realizing that I REALLY believed it, REALLY realized that I had CHANGED, over the course of weeks of God sightings and Spirit sliding tiles into my steps. And 30 plus writings to start were a lifeline of my lifetime. I was AWAKENED, even though I didn’t know that was “a thing” before that. I remember that I had REALLY taken Jesus as my Lord and Savior, even though before that I did not really know that I really had to… I held up my double check sense to my heart AND head on Feb 1st, no going back – nope, no going back. Never could. Never would. Never knew that He had been with me the WHOLE time, I just never learned of Him in me, only learned of Him in History. I didn’t really know Him until I let Him in.

But this year?  I completely forgot February 1st, the date. Forgot. 

Forgot. 

Forgiven. 

I can still taste the sweet potato fries sitting with “the girls”, knowing my mind was mobile and morphing and moved, I can hear my Christ-connected confidant say: “Hey, what’s going on with you?” Sensing but never interfering. I can remember listening and yet knowing that ONLY God knew what was going on in my head. I remember lunch, a baldheaded eagle perched in a tree, I can remember wandering driving in the car lost but landing over to the 911 memorial and knowing that I was FOUND. I can feel the hot cocoa couch collapse at my friend’s house after. I can remember people seeing a strange sense of something in my soul. I walked different. I thought different. I knew different. I can taste the fries from that day, but I will never know, can NOT know how God orchestrated my awakening in His Time. 

I can still feel Jesus holding me, never stronger, He never left. My salvation tied to Him remembering me. My forever tied to a decision NOT a date in time. Time to be dedicated, not be dedicated to time.

My forever tied to His faithfulness not mine. All I had to do was not stop God from opening up my eyes and ears. Haha, stop God? NEVER. 

God KNOWS the date.

If you are to be awakened, then wake.

If you are to become alive, then live.

If you need to ponder, get sweet potato fries. 

If you need to be saved, fall on your knees and pray. 

If you need to know God’s heart, say Hello to Jesus today.

Today. HE’S ALWAYS ON TIME. 

Amen 

Catch and Release, 07FEB

Standard

I enjoy reading thru the parts of the Bible I have never read because I know that the Lord wants to reveal something fresh to me that HE thought of, to create a memory pathway into my brain. Not an idea having to be novel to the world, but fresh to you. Importantly, for someone who also wants others to know Him too, I believe that we are to take our encouragement jobs and skill sets to places where we are DESCRIBING THE ACTION, HIS Action, exploring the Source. To reconnect the telephone lines of heart and head we must WORK THE LINES. Telegraph telephone tele-us-Lord. Lord, help us help You set up new nets, to repair and restore lost connections. Work the Lines, fishing lines, communication lines, lifelines..

We are to be looking at scripture visually, scrumptiously, and as BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLIES, capturing the colors for a moment in our net to ponder and wonder but then releasing them for the world to keep discovering. CATCH AND RELEASE. 

We could listen to the Lord this way with the hope to share. The Lord’s Word is in the pages. The Spirit’s singing is in our synapses. God is guiding our growth. God wants us to walk in His Way.

See the caterpillars crawling on the pages and not know what colors they will be? Just know they will become developing scripture scenes during some NEW time while re-reading, re-feeding. Feed them while you “leaf” thru the pages. Read scripture like you are setting storehouses of supplies to feed your soul. Setting up Jordan River stone piles of memories (like Joshua), and walk by them frequently, flipping back and forth in the pages. Feed the caterpillars. Behold the butterflies. Build the memories. Build up your brothers and sisters.

Show us Your butterflies, Lord. 


We are to ponder and guard 

We are to wonder and watch.

We are to marvel and move.

We are to witness and walk. 

Catch and release.


We are to stop flopping in the net and FALL ON OUR KNEES. 

A treasure not to steal but the be shared in. Be ready with the net, network, internet, connective word set. Know. See. Share. Catch and release. 

SHARE…

Amen 


(Sometimes a thought comes to me to write, then I miss it. I only had a glimpse, just a moment, but I lost view, it flew away. Gone from me, but God will find the other worker with willing acceptance of the challenge. Sometimes a thought is gifted and an angel stands in Spirit silent sentinel until I pick up the scent of scriptural something, the Spirit squishing about my soul, an Ah Ha Moment of keys clicking and a hidden treasure revealed.)

Let Him

Standard

And Eli said, It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good. 1 Samuel 3:18

IT is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good.

It IS the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good.

It is THE LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.

It is the Lord: LET him do what seemeth him good.

It is the Lord: let HIM do what seemeth him good.

It is the Lord: let him DO WHAT seemeth him good.

It is the Lord: let him do what SEEMETH him good.

It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth HIM good.

It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him GOOD.

AMEN

AMEN

AMEN

AMEN

Deployed Decoyed Destroyed, 06FEB – #1389

Standard

Listening to the Word (1 Samuel 3 on) gives new insight, especially to eyes that are tired but ears who want to hear. Listen with this link to hear animated David Suchet speak or read below and you will see how it’s BAD NEWS when you “take the Ark to go” – thinking you can take God’s protection and powers for your will not His… Thinking God’s in a box… Well, He’s not.

It was an Ark of the Covenant. It was a command of God to create a box of items that helped the future generations realize His Promise, a sacred weight to carry and law to hold. Yet who carries this weight for us now? Jesus. He carries our burdens and sins, our broken covenants and broken existence. Delivered.

God wants to be known as Deliverer, rather than be deployed as if He had a decoy

Drifting into Displeasure, Ark Deployed, Decoyed, Deity Disregarded. 

Don’t Mess with God.

Oh the Ark!

Deployed – the Israelites took the Ark to protect themselves in battle against the Philistines, but that was not God’s plan that day, and they were being punished for priest Eli’s, his scoundrel sons, and their own evil ways drifting from Him, for relying upon past glory instead of being faithful to God. Even Eli knew God was displeased, because of what God told Samuel was going to happen. 

Oh the Ark!

Decoyed – Well it may have seemed that the Ark itself would provide protection to those Israelites, but it WAS/IS God Almighty Himself Who sends the strength for weathering of storms, the strength to fight the battle, and the already done defeat of the devil (eternally done but locally there still are battles to wage). At that time the Israelites were in and out of battles moving into their delivered promised land, they needed to be DEDICATED to God, they could not win without His Planin place. The Israelites did not think this Ark move could fail, but they themselves failed. The Philistines defeated the Israelites and ALSO captured the Ark. But we know God’s power is not contained solely in the box. The box became a decoy of their distracted focus, they took their eyes off Whom delivered them and disregarded the duty of protecting the sacred elements inside the Ark: the golden pot that had manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.

Oh the Ark!

Destroyed – The loss of the Ark destroyed Eli, who fell down and died with a broken neck. The mistreatment of the Law handed down by the Lord to the people was exacerbated by the two scoundrel sons who were supposed to be in the line of Eli as holy priests. Their derelict of duties and denial of Him caused them both to be destroyed.

Oh the Ark!

Displayed – The Philistines who first thought they would be DOOMED because of the Ark, then displayed the captured Ark in their temple of Dagon, but his false deity was broken, DISMEMBERED. No one then dared to cross the threshold because of fear of being destroyed.

Oh the Ark!

Departed – The daughter-in-law of Eli, distraught over death of her husband, died DEJECTED delivering Ichabod. She said “The Glory of the Lord has Departed.”

Oh the Ark!

Devastation – the Philistine people, worshipers of false god Dagon were afflicted with tumors and devastation. They moved the Ark as they feared wrath but they saw devastation wherever it traveled. 

Oh the Ark!

Delivered – The Philistines returned the Ark to Israel. They offered a guilt offering of atonement, models of gold tumors and gold rats. They put the Ark on a cart with oxen and saw that it travelled itself up the hill. The Covenant on the Cart KNEW it’s DESTINATION. A Promise placed not pulled. And the Philistine rulers KNEW this meant that the Lord was the cause of the destruction by tumors and rats.

Oh the Ark!

Discovery – There was DELIGHT for the Ark was returning – but there were also some Israelites who dared take a peak inside the Ark and they died. The Israelites (and Philistines) discovered that the Lord Himself means business! Don’t mess with DESIGNATED Holy items. Don’t mess with God

DETAIL on Delivery

Oh the Side Detail – as the Ark was Delivered, so should we remember that God’s Promise is DELIVERED.  Jesus is the Promise of Deliverance – He KNEW He as the Promise would drive delivery of those who would take Him as Lord.

Docket – What is on the docket for our lives? To find our dedication to the Lord. Be deployed as His children whom He DELIGHTS in. DO know that the Lord has taught lessons of law but we DO live in His Love and we have done nothing to deserve this. What is impossible with men is POSSIBLE by God. 

Death is now Destroyed for those who are Delivered.

Live outside the box, it is God who lives among us now. Be His. 

Amen

—-

Listen here:

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/suchet/nivuk/1Sam.4

1 Samuel 4, 5, 6

The Philistines Capture the Ark

Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.” So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. And Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. 

When the ark of the Lord’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook. Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?” When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp, the Philistines were afraid. “A god has come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians plagues in the wilderness. Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!” So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

Death of Eli

That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry. Eli heard the outcry and asked, “What is the meaning of this uproar?” The man hurried over to Eli, who was ninety-eight years old and whose eyes had failed so that he could not see. He told Eli, “I have just come from the battle line; I fled from it this very day.” 

Eli asked, “What happened, my son?” The man who brought the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.” When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led Israel forty years.

His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains. As she was dying, the women attending her said, “Don’t despair; you have given birth to a son.” But she did not respond or pay any attention. She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The Glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”

 After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.

The Lord’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation on them and afflicted them with tumors. When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god.” So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and asked them, “What shall we do with the ark of the god of Israel?”

They answered, “Have the ark of the god of Israel moved to Gath.” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel. But after they had moved it, the Lord’s hand was against that city, throwing it into a great panic. He afflicted the people of the city, both young and old, with an outbreak of tumors. So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. As the ark of God was entering Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “They have brought the ark of the god of Israel around to us to kill us and our people.” So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy on it. Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.

When the ark of the Lord had been in Philistine territory seven months, the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we should send it back to its place.” They answered, “If you return the ark of the god of Israel, do not send it back to him without a gift; by all means send a guilt offering to him. Then you will be healed, and you will know why his hand has not been lifted from you.” The Philistines asked, “What guilt offering should we send to him?” They replied, “Five gold tumors and five gold rats, according to the number of the Philistine rulers, because the same plague has struck both you and your rulers. Make models of the tumors and of the rats that are destroying the country, and give glory to Israel’s god. Perhaps he will lift his hand from you and your gods and your land. Why do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh did? When Israel’s god dealt harshly with them, did they not send the Israelites out so they could go on their way?

“Now then, get a new cart ready, with two cows that have calved and have never been yoked. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up. Take the ark of the Lord and put it on the cart, and in a chest beside it put the gold objects you are sending back to him as a guilt offering. Send it on its way, but keep watching it. If it goes up to its own territory, toward Beth Shemesh, then the Lord has brought this great disaster on us. But if it does not, then we will know that it was not his hand that struck us but that it happened to us by chance.”

So they did this. They took two such cows and hitched them to the cart and penned up their calves. They placed the ark of the Lord on the cart and along with it the chest containing the gold rats and the models of the tumorsThen the cows went straight up toward Beth Shemesh, keeping on the road and lowing all the way; they did not turn to the right or to the left. The rulers of the Philistines followed them as far as the border of Beth Shemesh.

These are the gold tumors the Philistines sent as a guilt offering to the Lord—one each for Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron.  And the number of the gold rats was according to the number of Philistine towns belonging to the five rulers—the fortified towns with their country villages. The large rock on which the Levites set the ark of the Lord is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh.

But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy[a] of them to death because they looked into the ark of the Lord. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the Lord had dealt them. And the people of Beth Shemesh asked, “Who can stand in the presence of the Lord, this holy God? To whom will the ark go up from here?” Then they sent messengers to the people of Kiriath Jearim, saying, “The Philistines have returned the ark of the Lord. Come down and take it up to your town.”

No Word Falls to the Ground, 05FEB – #1388

Standard

You like a good story? This is REMARKABLE. Samuel being called by the Lord. 

When the scriptures talk about ears tingling, it’s remarkable. The Word of God tingles ears like the dust particles making your ears get up to dance. Remember that the Word of the Lord is imprinted into local lingo as Jesus Himself speaking. Jesus fully God is God’s Word, achieving all the Work of the Lord in Word. All Love is Lingering as the Lord Let’s it Live. 

Samuel is called before he even knows the Lord is speaking. He is young and a fresh voice to the nation of Israel but yes even Samuel must be taught Who the Lord is – even if he hears Him. He who hears must also understand. Imagine the pure Spirit of a little boy devoted to the Lord because he is the gift from the Lord for that purpose. Imagine Jesus said: have the children come to me, because He IS the one who knows them best, created them, loves them. KNOW Jesus ALSO calls us His children. He takes our dust like mud to joyfully create into life. He then names and calls us. Imagine the conversations the Lord had with him – KNOW the conversations the Lord wants to have with us.

Samuel was chosen by God for God, chosen to talk to His people. A prophet. The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.

What falls to the ground? Dust. What doesn’t fall to the ground without returning to God? God’s Word. God creates and captivates us by tingling our ears. They are not ears on our heads as decoration or to be chopped off to fall to the ground. God needs to tingle them AND our hearts. The Lord Himself must reveal Himself. The dust must muster motion, make more sense as speech and be HEARD. 

In us, you and me, we can be realizing that “the Lord came and STOOD THERE”, just as He stood there for Samuel. We can realize Jesus was present in Spirit ALWAYS so Jesus God Spirit Himself STOOD by Samuel. Jesus God Spirit, Spirit Jesus God, God Jesus Spirit, every iteration ALL stood there TOGETHER. Infinitely Wise. All in All. We know in part, God is ALL. 

What a great story of Samuel hearing then knowing. This means we have opportunity to hear God too. We don’t have to finish the race before we hear the cheering. The voice of the Word wants to be heard.

Listen today.

Amen 

The Lord Calls Samuel

The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.

One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was.  Then the Lord called Samuel.

Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.

Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.

A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”

Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy.  So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

The Lord came AND STOOD THERE, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”

Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision,  but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.” Samuel answered, “Here I am.”

“What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.”  So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”

The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a PROPHET OF THE LORD. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there HE REVEALED HIMSELF TO SAMUEL THROUGH HIS WORD.

And Samuel’s word came to all Israel.

A Perfect Score, No Explanation Needed, 04FEB – #1387

Standard

It’s review season at work. Busy writing writing writing, if you choose to. It’s ratings numbers and text writing, descriptive self-evaluations and management reviews. So, one crux of evaluation lies upon what goals have been set, the volume of work accomplished or how philosophical priorities prevailed. A mixture of met expectations or lost momentum. Maybe morsels make meaningful moments or make mediocre mush.

The meat of musings by managers must be mentioned. The meat of a review will either nourish and be tasty morsels to savor OR the meat of the review will be undone, rot, and need to be tossed away, a waste of time and money. 

Eli, the priest and caretaker of Samuel, son of Hannah, got a Manager of all Manager’s review from the Lord directly, based upon expectations of his tribe of Israel, his ancestors, his family history of being chosen as priests and whether they or he was holding up the Lord’s command. His family line started to fail the review.

Eli knew his scoundrel sons were slipping off the path. “No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the Lord’s people is not good.” The Lord said I REALLY MEAN BUSINESS, you and your line, your rotted promises shown by you eating the choicest meat, you must decrease and my Plan must increase. I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind” Eli’s sons did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death. And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people.

Yes, so God started FRESH. Look I am doing a New Thing. Same God, new revealing of plan. God’s messenger spoke the prophecy and the plan to Eli, that a new manager of mercy would be revealed to have the rule and those who lost their way would have to petition to even eat. The Lord God knew His expectations were not met and knew, before time, of who would walk with Him and who would not. No explanation needed, God IS Sovereign and ALL KNOWING. 

Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me forever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

So, a review of all reviews showed God knew He needed to set up a “Clean Agreement” from before time – establishing a FAITHFUL HOUSE, a Savior in His Son to come from Heaven thru a restored earthly line, in the House of David, a Lion and Lamb from Judah,  the Perfect Sacrifice. Meeting with us “where we are”. Making us unable to make admission without 

Him. With man, impossible, with God, ALL POSSIBLE. Just Believe in Him.

Scrapping sinful sliding scales and establishing executive big picture review, God made Mercy the mediation. Don’t give the job of SALVATION to the middleman, make it heavenly happen from the TOP. 

Jesus, God with us. JESUS COVERS US WITH MERCY AND GRACE. 

JESUS HAS A PERFECT SCORE.    

AMEN 

(and please read this historic section of God’s shift in reliance on dependable deputies in favor of a faithful CHOSEN LINE, His priest of Same Heart and Mind.)

Prophecy Against the House of Eli

Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Did I not clearly reveal myself to your ancestor’s family when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh? I chose your ancestor out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your ancestor’s family all the food offerings presented by the Israelites. Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’

“Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.’ But now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age, and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, no one in your family line will ever reach old age. Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life. 

“‘And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day. I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mindI will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one alwaysThen everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and plead, “Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat.”’”

1st Samuel 2:27-36

Be God Givers, 03FEB

Standard

Hannah was so overjoyed the Lord granted her a son, Samuel, removing her agony from being barren. God heard her prayers and praises. She praised the Lord and after giving birth, she dedicated the boy to ministry under tutelage of Eli the priest, whom she had seen at the temple while praying. She weaned the boy and gave him up to be dedicated. She visited him each year and brought him special clothes. Samuel was chosen to serve the Lord by the Lord. God wanted all the priests and their servants and offspring to serve, but Eli’s sons were scoundrels… Terribly they took the privilege of serving at the Lord’s Will, and purposefully warped it. God saw all this. Dedication or disruption. Promise or poison. Salvation souls or scoundrel-ed spoils.

Eli’s scoundrel sons did not serve the Lord. As children chosen on a priestly line, they squandered and served only themselves. One of the descriptions of how they took advantage of their privilege was by forcibly taking food that was not even cooked as required and prescribed, was not ready for them, not their portion. This food they would have received as a privilege was now taken as piracy. We see this today as well. We may forget to give praise back to the Lord, we may want to force our way or can’t wait until the meat of the matter is cooked. The sins of piracy of privilege and entitlement. We see this with those blinded to their own blessings that they even try to take life by force. We should all wait until our portion is prepared and portioned. (That old saying: Yes, you can have everything in life, but that does not mean you have to have it all at the same time.)

Hannah knew her child was a gift from God. She did not then hoard him, keep him away, or disregard her promise to dedicate him to the Lord. The blessing did come from God, she gave her first son back, into service. Then Eli prayed for her to have more children to replace the feeling of loss, and Hannah DID have more, five more children. God gave her more to love. Of course, there is only one Samuel, but she her portion became overflowing with love in children. 

How interesting this parallel, God gave His only Son, clothed Him in earthly-ness, dedicated Him to Service. And the Son, Jesus, agreed to serve. God Himself sacrificed to give life, took it by freely giving it, not taking life by force. The proper timing is important as well, not taking portions of earthly life spoil before the preparation was/is done.

Like Hannah, the Lord has MANY more children, namely you and me, and although we are not Jesus the firstborn, yet we ARE brothers and sisters loved and created to love and be loved and serve. From before time, we were loved. God gave Himself more to LOVE. God gave Himself us. 

Of course, there is only one Jesus created One with God. Only One LOVE divided and portioned to never disappear but return to Him with our warming up to it. We must cook His Love up in our hearts and portioned it back to Him by sharing it forward to others. The portion we give is what He already gave us. Don’t be like Eli’s scoundrel sons, instead be God’s Givers. Give until it helps. 

Amen 

Jesus gave until it hurt.

Jesus gives until it heals.

—-

Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord. Now it was the practice of the priests that, whenever any of the people offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being boiled and would plunge the fork into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. But even before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the person who was sacrificing, “Give the priest some meat to roast; he won’t accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.” If the person said to him, “Let the fat be burned first, and then take whatever you want,” the servant would answer, “No, hand it over now; if you don’t, I’ll take it by force.”

This sin of the young men was very great in the Lord’s sight, for they were treating the Lord’s offering with contempt.

But Samuel was ministering before the Lord—a boy wearing a linen ephod.  Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, “May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord.” Then they would go home. And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord

1st Samuel 3:12-21

There is No Rock Like Our God, 02FEB – #1385

Standard

I saw a friend who is so sweetly savoring his baby boy, BABY DINOSAUR they nicknamed him, SO PRECIOUS. Also saw another friend’s twins’ photo on their first birthday, such SWEETNESS!!!

AMAZING gifts from God, MIRACLES. AMAZING also as these babies were all medical MIRACLES mediated by the ALMIGHTY.  The moms and dads to be petitioned the Lord, many years they tried, oh now to be blessed with babies. These parents (and we who know them) thank the Lord so much.

With open hearts, we remember that the Lord DOES deliver, both babies and HOPE, knowledge and strength. Strength to endure, strength to bear them, strength to raise them. All good miracles come from God. 

The miracle of God’s intervention was also a tremendous blessing for Hannah, mother of Samuel in the Old Testament, after having been barren then to conceive. And she kept her promise to dedicate her child to the Lord. Samuel is a tremendous servant and a key to opening awareness of the Lord for others. 

Hannah also was mocked by her rival and disheartened before the time she conceived, upset enough she did not eat… and she petitioned the Lord in prayer, poured out her soul. He heard. He answered. Hannah then prayed a new song of thankfulness and knowledge. There is No Rock Like Our God.

Hannah knew the Lord delivered. How often do we remember this in our lives and those of friends. How we need to remember that we have miracles of moments every moment. 

The Lord satisfies and delivers… salvation and sweet baby souls in cute children. Direction, knowledge and strength. The Lord IS our Rock.

Amen

(Please do listen to these first parts of her story, using the links and read her prayer below.)

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/suchet/nivuk/1Sam.1

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/suchet/nivuk/1Sam.2

“And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.

“The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he hath set the world upon them.“He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.”   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+1-2&version=NIV;KJV

Jesus Collects and Saves Us, 31JAN

Standard

I was sad to hear of the passing of a longtime member from the community church where I have recently been attending. Sweet determined woman the one time I met her.  I remember her NOT wanting to use the elevator but climb the stairs herself. She did! Thank you for prayers for her family. 

There are 2 or 3 ladies who are similarly named, all seasoned seniors, and many church folks have to double check which person we are speaking of. Me too. So, God got a WHOLE conviction writing out of me before I had the sense to double check. So, what I wrote below, yesterday morning, is pure emotion and Jesus giving pure GRACE and second chances. I wrote out a conviction thinking this passing was of a woman who I once met as the bell-ringer, but it was not her. But I won’t change the writing except to just call the bell-ringer “Bell”. The conviction of me is paired with relief of guilt, thanks Lord, GRACE is not issuing condemnation – that IS the WAY of the Lord. Jesus, thank You for both!

Here is the premature writing as this as “Bell” did not pass, but I thought she did. The conviction is still the same. The GRACE is never different. God gives grace and reminders.

“Bell” always appears to be a sweet woman and I only met her maybe three times maybe only twice. I knew and know EVERYONE loves her. 

It really was an excitement of re-opening the warm church after a summer of services outside in the park, it was a very good place to be worshiping the Lord, together. The first time I got to meet Bell, she rode the elevator and then was being escorted by Greeter D to go ring the church bell – PROMPTLY at 10:03am. What a perfect way to ring out that the church was OPEN and the HOLY SPIRIT inside was ALIVE wanting to be shared OUTSIDE. Isn’t hearing the bell awesome? Isn’t that the great commission in mini-miniature? GO TELL – GO ring out praises – for the Lord is GOOD and His LOVE endures forever. Ring out the truth for if they can hear the bell, they know something is going on. If they can hear the Word, they have an opportunity to hear from the Lord directly, to hear Jesus Himself say: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” If Jesus told Nicodemus that, the Great teacher to another, we need to tell it too, one saved sinner to another. 

The church bell – Greeter D explained to me that Bell was an expert and she certainly was strong enough, for sure. Bell rang the bell PERFECTLY. I mean really perfectly and made it look SO EASY. I watched in EAGER anticipation because I was slated to be the church Greeter the following week and WOW I pretty much bubbled over in excitement all week. I kept checking in with the Lord because I KNEW that I should not be SO excited over earthly things and SO greedy to want to ring it. Yes I KNEW this of myself and yet I just couldn’t wait! I also knew in the Word of the advice of Jesus written down by James: we need to ask if it’s the Lord’s Will not ours. We church servants need to check our will at the door and humbly pick up His Service as easily or as hard as picking up the rope to ring the bell. Yes, as servants IN a church service- in any church job – we are to serve humbly for HIM rather than us.

Well, the church bell, I DID get to ring it EXCITEDLY and I did TERRIBLY TERRIBLE. Yes I had the enthusiasm but I lacked and still lack technique. I tried again another week and I was TERRIBLE again.  And I lost count too. The neighbors in earshot surely were trying to count 10 double rings but got like 17 and a half.  But truly I rang it excitedly in JOY and I had a little child helper too, to match my child exuberance. We were both excited. Lord, forgive me for my form, but MORE IMPORTANTLY, please forgive me for my greedy sinful pride in wanting so much to be ringing the bell that first time when I KNEW Bell was in the pews. I KNEW I should have asked her but I didn’t. Bell please forgive me.

It is in tears now that I know Bell, as a true follower of Jesus, would have forgiven me on the spot. CRAZY bell ringing or not, I feel and I pray she in her Spirit would have understood the excitement in my Spirit. I simply wanted and want those people OUT THERE, outside the church walls, to know God LOVES them. To know that if a church bell rings, it tugs at their hearts because God tugs at their hearts to soften them if just a little. God rings in our hearts until we HEAR Him 

I can say now, that I should and would apologize to Bell, but I did not have the opportunity that day, nor did I see her the next week. I can only ask the Lord for the forgiveness request to be spirited up to Heaven. [REMEMBER THIS IS BEFORE I REALIZED I HAD THEM MIXED UP] Surely, I can hear the Lord’s Comfort to me in what I imagine Bell would say back to me now: ‘Don’t worry about my hands not holding the bell rope because what I am NOW holding in my hands are the actual HANDS OF JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF!!! And what is ringing in my ears now is the comfort of His Voice. What is ringing in my freed soul is His Love. What’s in front of me is ETERNAL LOVE. There are no tears in Heaven. NONE.’ 

TRUE. And thank you Bell for walking the walk with Jesus. There is no condemnation of us in Jesus. We who walk in the flesh, like me, will try harder to walk in the Spirit. Jesus says, just walk WITH me.

We shed our tears now for many reasons.  Remember God collects and saves all our tears. Jesus had tears on earth too. Jesus now has a Home for us in Heaven by His Sacrifice – He came to collect and save us too.

Bell has Jesus. And Jesus has Bell. What more could any of us ask for.  JESUS HAS EACH OF US FOREVER, when we call Him Lord, look to Him as our Shephard. 

I will pray, Lord willing, to become MORE humble and faithful. And so, until we meet again Bell, I will ring out how faithful Jesus has rescued and redeemed you. Thank you for the tutorial. 

Amen and from such tears yesterday, to joy that I pray I may get to watch this Bell once again ring the bell. I can be a student of life, both bell-ringing, and humble walking. Maybe that’s why we slow down with aches and pains as we age, so others can watch us APPRECIATE each step as Jesus walks with us, tells us where to travel, even if slow. Let others catch a glimpse of your Jesus walk…

Let the outside hear the Jesus Bell ring out of us.

Amen

Amen again and prayers of peace for the family of the stairs walker servant who did pass away after winding down, slowing her walk, the good faithful servant she was. Thank You Jesus for collecting and saving her.

Amen. 

Meet Me at the Threshing Floor, 28-30JAN

Standard

It’s a great read of the second half to the story of Ruth. She doesn’t beg favor but gains it from the generosity of Boaz who let her gather gleanings of grain off of the field.  She does not trick him but listens to her mother-in-law Naomi in how to find the quiet secluded time to talk to him, she meets him quietly at the Threshing room floor. Ruth helps Naomi by bringing food and she honors her self-appointed obligation to take care of her with grain-filled gifts. She is a helper to restore Naomi’s life change. Naomi’s life changes, Ruth’s life changes, Boaz’s life changes, history changes. 

Boaz goes thru all the right “legal” channels and clears the way for Ruth to marry him, not for fancy but for the fulfillment of a promise and dedication to take care of the past. Ruth marries Boaz, conceives a baby boy, conceives specifically because the Lord takes favor on her, makes her fertile and sets up His human History plan. She gives birth to Obed who became the father of Jesse, the father of David. Yes David of David and Goliath fame, yes King David fame (and folly), yes David of shepherd David’s Psalm 23 ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ that gifter of song and praise.

Yes, that David. LIFE CHANGED each time he re-approached the Lord. The Lord said he was a man after His Own Heart. He raised up unto them [the Israelites] David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. Acts 13:22

Ruth’s change in life comes from OBEDIENCE and the gift of Boaz into her life (whom a friend reminds me is a symbolic Jesus representation). Ruth’s change in life comes from hard work and righting hardships of widow life, of being a foreigner. Burdens to blessings. Unknowns to knowns. Boaz takes her in. Jesus takes us in.

“Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” Boaz says – and gives her grain. God gives us both the goods from His Hands into ours and gives us the Savior to save. God gives us the best even though we did not work for it. 

Yes, Boaz’s gift of taking care of Ruth is Jesus-like giving from what he has – is Jesus-like of taking care of us. So is the place where Ruth approached Boaz, at the Threshing Floor, appropriate for how we meet Jesus. Jesus, so generous in gifts, generous in working His mission of separating the wheat from the chaff. He is continually working His Harvest, gathering and preparing good grain. The flip side is that Jesus takes out the chaff and burns it. The non-fruit chaff separated and discarded. Listen to John the Baptist describe Jesus: He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12

We too come to Jesus with our hopes and our obedient hearts and He fills us with HOPE. We can try to present ourselves to Him, but the truth is that He is happy to meet us where we are – and in our lives He comes to us. We can be obedient each time we call upon HIm and wait. He also grinds away the chaff in our lives. He separates us from our sin. He throws away all that impedes us from thriving with Him. Others who don’t seek Him, don’t ask Him, don’t hold Him as Lord and actively work against Him will be hit with that unquenchable fire. We ask Him to be LORD and SAVIOR so that we don’t just have Him as “fire insurance” as a pastor preacher continuously says but so that we are OBEDIENT to Him.

Please do read this great story of Ruth, Naomi, Boaz and of HOPE. It is sweet in it’s gifts, it is firm in it’s attention to detail and is about doing the right thing by going thru channels, it is a reminder to meet Jesus at the Threshing Floor. It is a LIFE CHANGE for all these people. And for us, it is a LIFE CHANGE to meet Jesus and call Him Lord. 

“Your Father in Heaven gives good gifts to those who ask Him!”

Amen

————–

Ruth 3-4

Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for.  Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”

“I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.

When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!

“Who are you?” he asked.

“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.”

“The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I.  Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.”  So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.”

He also said, “Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he went back to town. 

When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?” Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”

Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”

Boaz Marries Ruth

Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat down there just as the guardian-redeemer he had mentioned came along. Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he went over and sat down.

Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so. Then he said to the guardian-redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our relative Elimelek. I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.”

“I will redeem it,” he said.

Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.”

At this, the guardian-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.” (Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)

So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he removed his sandal.

Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!”

Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

Naomi Gains a Son

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

Then Naomi Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

This, then, is the family line of Perez: Perez was the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed, Obed the father of Jesse,

and Jesse the father of David.

God is IN CONTROL, 29JAN

Standard

Compare how God sees a snowstorm and how we see it or don’t. While we are either freaking out or loving it or oblivious to the large scale of it (remember no generation before ours could see satellite images of snowstorms), God is IN CONTROL. 

When we are looking at the 0 to 60 inch uncertainty or the dead-on prediction of inches and form granular or puff-powder, GOD is IN CONTROL. God has set up the whole intricate geometry for each and every unique snowflake with no two the same. God holds the snow in His Warehouse of Wonder. He can give them individual attention AND bulk directions to fall on the just and the unjust. Snow is fancy ice and snow is water reimagined. Snow is pure as white and yet formed from using a speck of dust to begin crystallization. Snow is white even though the ice is clear. Snowflakes have symmetry, order, purposes unknown.  

If Snowflakes so beautiful are formed AROUND the dust particles, imagine what God can do WITH the dust particles, namely us. We are formed from His Dust. Whether you look from outer space or look at snow from an intricate place, God is IN CONTROL.  Whether you get excited at the first flake or irate at the foot of them, God is IN CONTROL. Whether the flakes are held in Warehouses of Wonder or whisked out in wallops of white, God is IN CONTROL. 

The MIRACLE of moments like these is they are GOD MOMENTS with attention to detail so exquisite and personal to the snowflake, but anonymous to the uninformed. Every moment you can ask God to reveal some detail, He may show you or melt it away. If you can’t see God in control, at least try to feel it. Know by faith, Snow by sight.

IN CONTROL, that’s what we need to remember. Go with the SNOW FLOW. 

GOD is GOD. 

His Purpose is Greater than our purpose, that’s what we need to remember.

GOD IS IN CONTROL!

AMEN

——-

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:8-11

Watch for the Savior not the Storm, 28JAN – #1381

Standard

OH! There is a snow squall this morning – a storm before the storm coming tonight – not even yet formed which will be a Blizzard for some and ho-hum for others. Wherever that line is drawn it will either be too much snow or not enough. People are focused on a day from now and forgot about the here and now, whoops!

Right now there is not much but fine snow – yet that still could make things slippery…  Well, that is what happens when the HYPE overweighs the watching. The shovels might be filled with foolin. Only God knows who gets the snows. Only God knows WHY.

OH THE HYPE!!!! The storm that hasn’t even come yet but it overshadows the snow now…  This is probably like a fine snowflake version of the real freeze out – when the people who don’t know Jesus as Savior will miss their opportunity to watch for His return – and the anti-christ will bring the hype of all hype…  OH THE HYPE! “Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.”

Watch for the Savior not the Storm.

HEAR by listening and not following the HYPE.

The snowflakes are so detailed – just like every living creature – every beautiful flower and leaf – every snail and salamander. Detailed and yet so easily melted and ignored. The water does not disappear however – and neither does the Lord’s Plan. He has the power to make things beautiful and to make things noticeable – even if they are there for such a short time… A second warning is for us to not start IGNORING the signs when we are being blinded by fake light – or drowned out by the noise – or become ho-hum to a deafening constant hype. Jesus said the love of many will grow cold. Don’t be cold – keep warming yourself with the Love of God and watch for His intricate moves. Stand firm to the end to see the result that LOVE wins over anything else. God has already delivered us – we are just waiting for the final cloud to unpack it’s GLORY.

In the meantime – Watch the beauty in the quiet – hear the Word in the Light – be the wise in His Wisdom. WATCH. WAIT. WORSHIP. 

Watch for the Savior – not the storm – Don’t grow cold – keep warm… 

Keep watch for the REAL re-arrival of Jesus!!! No foolin…

Amen

—-

Jesus spoke a warning as an answer to the question: “‘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.

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.”

Matthew 24:3-14, 21-30

The Lots of Life, 27JAN – #1380

Standard

I love the Proverbs, the Psalms are AMAZING (most shared by King David), YET the Proverbs are so much like “I TOLD YOU SO!” It is like writer King Solomon (temple builder, King David’s son) knew we were going to need something to nod our heads about. He learned a lot in the lots of life thrown to him… Surely we also need to know that the Lord is IN CHARGE and gives us ways to act. Someone said: it doesn’t matter what cards you have but HOW YOU PLAY YOUR HAND.

The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.

Yes, as a bingo player from way back in Catholic school and a card player not enough (wow I miss camping), I trust that the Lord is better at making the numbers and cards work for HIMSELF over anything He would put us through… The Lord can flip the tables and the coins… Count your money when the dealing is done.  Play 52 pickup. Take life one day at a time – sometimes one moment at a time.

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps. I have seen some things come out of left field. I really have. I bet you have too – the Lord will accomplish things HIS Way. I mean who would use the tactic of death for life but the Lord. Who else would make the most frail flowers pretty and the smallest detail so meaningful. Pray for something but DON’T expect the delivery to come thru the front door. Prepare for something but expect it to arrive in the LORD’S TIMING not yours.

How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! Amen to this!!  Wisdom is watching half the people panic for 6 inches of snow when you have enough milk and bread and food to last 6 weeks let alone 6 hours not getting to the store. It’s 0 to 60 inches as unknown compared to things which are INFINITELY known by God. Wisdom is waiting on the Lord for answers. Wisdom is knowing the Lord has a plan, JUST KEEP PRAYING. (And get your shovel ready too)

The hoary (grey-haired) head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. This means it is good to be old and wise IF you have found Whom to get your wisdom from, where to pull your strength from, and especially to not fly off the handle at every little thing. I have never thought of myself as old – but it is the youth who make you realize you have seen a whole slice of life they have yet to experience. It is also with age comes wisdom to make you spend more time on the important things. 

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.  Amen Amen Amen!!!

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty. How many times did we expect a fight or angry words or something and said “wow that was easy” – “wow I thought he would be more mad.” It was the humble heart which positioned us for a blessing over a fight. Can we put our madness where our mouth ISN’T and be slow to anger? I know there are many aspects of God to emulate – but this has got to be one of the best of them – BE SLOW TO ANGER. Give Grace, Let God have the Last Word – because He had the First.

There are moments in life where you say: “I am surprised and glad to be where I am now and not where I was”. There are moments when you are happy to have plans change and you get to stay home – happy to nestle in (with those 6 weeks of provisions) for a few days of just pretend to be snowed in like “Little House on the Prairie” moments.  

OH, IF WE ALL COULD JUST BE CONTENT.

Just TRUST that the Lord, who dispenses the Lots of Life, will hold you in the Palm of His Hand, ALWAYS.

Amen

Proverbs 16

The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits.
Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.
The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.
When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.
A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.

A just weight and balance are the Lord’s: all the weights of the bag are his work.
It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.
Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.
The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.
In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.
How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.
The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.
Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.
The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.
Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.
An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.
A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.
A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.
He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.
The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.
He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.

From Gleanings to Grace, 26JAN – #1379

Standard

Well, I never read the book of Ruth, but it’s got much Truth to GLEAN. 

Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me, a foreigner?”

I’ve been reading only the beginning because we basically only get soundbite scriptures and I want to appreciate the Sound Engineer who mixes the mix of people and places. Naomi is from Bethlehem – wow – the little detail that means a lot. Not some random town but Bethlehem. There’s a story before we even get to Ruth and Boaz. And you know there is a story after this!!!  Bethlehem is the “house of bread” I learned once – a great phrase for the Lord being the bread of life.

Please read the first part of the story of Ruth and Naomi below, I had never read it. Naomi, widowed, having lost most everything, returns to Bethlehem empty, it’s a poor place and yet enough to feed them. Ruth, her widowed daughter-in-law, gleaned the droppings from the field. The Lord ALWAYS commanded people to leave the gleanings to the poor people so they could eat. Ruth finds favor and is allowed to keep working even as a foreigner for food.

“’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. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.’” Levitticus 23:22

I love the Word “gleaning“. This is where I stopped and thought of Jesus – and all those outside the Jewish faith who came gleaning – came to Him and found favor – of those people later in the book of Acts, the distant people, the Gentiles, being gleaning people of learnings but actually being allowed to partake in ALL His Grace. Yes, Gentiles too, Peter and Paul would have to realize, were God’s children too.

Empty poor Bethlehem brought forth the fulfillment of Bread. Jesus came into the world with nothing but the efforts of Mary and Joseph gleaning a place to stay overnight for the birth. Why Bethlehem? To be counted. 

Who is counted in the harvest? Those who come back to Jesus and realize they have NOTHING. And in Jesus, they have EVERYTHING. 

We do leave our comfort zone. We do have to trust the Lord to take care of us. And thank Him when He does. He leaves us gleanings to find. And in return we are going to have supper at His table.

May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.

The gleanings of the field and the hem-touch of His garment. Jesus finds those seeking Him. Jesus leaves out the breadcrumb trail of hope. From gleanings to Grace.

Jesus WAS the appearance of a foreigner residing in Bethlehem and in this world because no one recognized Him, no one expected Him except a few. Naomi called out in distance from God. Jesus called out for the forsaken moment God abandoned Him in death. Jesus left His Heaven to be the foreigner on earth. Jesus kept walking…. Ruth kept walking and stayed the course with Naomi.  Ruth was noticed as a foreigner and blessed for what she did, brought into their fold to work in the field. Let us recognize Jesus and let Him in too – bring Him on – let Him enter our hearts. He knows He belongs there. There He can be the bread. Let us go spread breadcrumb and watch the Harvest. Jesus wants to return to us and see us gathered in Him as the Whole Loaf.

Amen (please read part 1 Ruth scripture below)

Book of Ruth 1-2:13

Naomi Loses Her Husband and Sons

In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.

Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem

When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.

Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”

Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud 1and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”

But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands?  Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!”

At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.

“Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”

Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”

So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.

Ruth Meets Boaz in the Grain Field

Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz.

And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.”

Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.

Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The Lord be with you!”

“The Lord bless you!” they answered.

Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?” The overseer replied, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”

So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”

At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?” Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

“May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.”

JESUS IS the Book that Gives us Life. 24JAN – #1378

Standard

JESUS is God’s COMPLETENESS.

JESUS is the PROMISE KEPT.

Jesus HIMSELF IS the KING – When He returns, we will see the restoration of the Kingdom.

JESUS is LOVE.

Walk the Way of reading in the New Testament and know that each page and each story of Jesus is tied to the stories, the predictions and the pages of the Old Testament – REALLY !!!

Yes there are gems of stories – and remember that the Old Testament points to Jesus – these are not just stories but pages of the Word, Jesus Himself.

The front of the book, the New Testament, would not exist if the pages were not attached to the back of the book – unfold the book and see they are whole pieces of paper – just sewn in the middle to give it that fold.

Old and New go together – pages that can NOT exist without each other.

Jesus didn’t just close the book on death – He opened the Book to Life.

We are part of Jesus’s fold – His People.

Jesus covers us in His cover of blood.

The pages are Jesus – the Word is Jesus – the seam in the middle has sewn Jesus into our hearts – into our souls.

The cover of the Book is the Blood of Jesus – that opening of the Book is the pure white pages of forgiveness – justified sanctified saints because of what is written and what is read. We are IN Jesus’s Book – let us walk in the Way of Him.

Read HIS Bible – HIS Word – Read His Love into Your Life.

Check out His Book and don’t put it back into the book return – Hold onto HIM until HE returns. 

Amen

It WON’T Do That, 24JAN – #1377

Standard

Sampson should have listened to Meat Loaf “I would do anything for love, but I WON’T do that.”

It bugged me that Sampson was tricked by Delilah seemingly TOO easily, telling Delilah about the secret of His strength being his hair – that his hair was not cut from birth, because he was set aside, was dedicated to God. God of course, not the actual hair, was giving Sampson strength because He had a plan for Sampson and because He wanted and wants people to know that dedication to God means something. So, the hair could be called a token of dedication, important but a substitution of focus, and yet hair is a visible outward image of what is covering our heads – like God covers us all – IN LOVE. Love however is not removable like hair. Love IS.

I bet Sampson felt tricked to have lost his strength, but really what felt painfully worse immediately to Sampson was that he lost his sight too, the capturers gouged his eyes out. Hair regrows, but eyes do not. Sampson however DID re-find his faith. He returned to asking God for strength. He accomplished much by God’s unique Way, known only to God. Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more…” God may have removed the strength with the hair – but God’s hearing and love and forgiveness was only less than a hair’s width away from Sampson.

We too are to walk by faith and not by sight. 

What did Meat Loaf actually mean – “I won’t do that” ? He was talking about forgetting something he loved about that person (I looked it up).   WELL, we need to remember that “I won’t do that” to us should be: “I WON’T FORGET THAT YOU LOVE ME, LORD!”

Are you part of the ‘Overthinkers Club’? ME TOO! Yet, I know EXTRA paranoid people too, so I am not so bad, right? We all have a little bit of worry in us, founded and unfounded. We ask: “Are we being tricked?” What if we start down that path being tricked by the devil: “Do I really have to do THAT for love?” – “Have I drifted away from God and lost my strength AND His Love?” DON’T OVERTHINK! BE STILL!

Number One lesson: You DON’T lose God’s Love. God IS Love. God does NOT change. Love is not fickle and love is forgive-ful, meaning His love will forgive your sins and draw closer to overlay you with mercy thanks to Jesus. 

Overthinkers could be tricked into the simple trap of paranoia by the devil. We develop elaborate scenarios of trickery and how evil works and we over think over-orchestrated plots to sabotage us, yet the REAL basic trick of the devil is to make you question your love and His love. It’s like those thieves that watch your eyes to betray where your valuables are hidden, to betray your secrets. Don’t hide God under your basket – wear His Love on your sleeve – because HE wears HIS LOVE EVERYWHERE.

We are to remember that God’s LOVE is NOT hidden, not a secret or something increased by earning it, not out-of-touch or unachievable. God’s LOVE is POURED OUT AND OVER YOU. Complete. LOVE like Jesus’s Blood poured over you. LOVE like freshly fallen snow adhering to every tree branch as if blankets of thick purification. Love keeps no records of wrongdoing.  Therefore the evil rehashing of old sins can be rebuked too. Don’t go there overthinkers,  God’s LOVE is complete. Completeness comes and ALL who love the Lord will be whole again. 

When the world comes asking questions, stand strong, not from your own strength but humbly in His Love. Don’t worry about showing the world your human secrets but display the parts of God’s Love that you DO know, that you can put on HIS Armor to protect and teach – and that you can be covered in God’s Love enough to share His Love too (even with your enemy). His LOVE is more powerful than anything under the sun. Walk knowing that His LOVE will NEVER fail.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveresLOVE NEVER FAILS. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when COMPLETENESS comes, what is in part disappears. 1 Corinthians 13:4-10

AMEN!!!

Love NEVER FAILS – It WON’T do that.

No King, but ALWAYS God, 22JAN – #1376

Standard

Judges 17:6   In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

Judges 18:1   In those days Israel had no king.

Judges 19:1   In those days Israel had no king.

Judges 21:25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.

I PUZZLE at the deep and intricate stories of the Old Testament that I don’t YET understand. It is OK that I don’t yet understand (YET) because I know I WILL understand some day – and all these popcorn kernels in my head that have not YET popped open, WILL pop. I long to sit down with God’s newsreels of wars and warriors. Someday, we will understand it all – and maybe as we will pick up cliffnotes commentaries we will learn on the go, SO for now let us just glean the truth as we can get. It is BETTER to read it first and let the Lord fill in the blanks because He has the best heat to expand our brain spaces like Jiffy Pop. Don’t eat the old popcorn off the floor of the movie theater either – get a NEW bucket and free refills for yourself and start digesting the scripture scenes for you own clean nourishment. Eventually with HIS Heating Elements, you will pop the unpopped kernels of information – gratefully add the Spirit sprinkle of Salt and Light – and surely there will be Endless refills because God already paid.

Because I have read the book of Revelation, I know that the coming together and tearing apart of Israel is key to study throughout all time and especially now. What I can glean from the stories of Judges 17 thru 21 is that without a king, Israel did what they could. As the scripture repeats in chapters 17, 18, 19, and 21: everyone did as they saw fit. The Lord was still in charge – and was consulted often – the ark was still revered and remembered – yet there was war between even the Israelite tribes. There were MANY lost soldiers, women, children, and animals – destroyed towns – so much bloodshed that it was like Israel was bleeding and eating at itself. Eventually the Benjamin tribe was especially ambushed at war and decimated but for a few left. The whole house of Israel was divided against itself. The house of Israel, formed from Jacob who fought his own brother from the time of being in their mother’s womb, continued to sometimes mentally wander even when IN the Promised Land. 

War started at home – war kept going – war without a peacemaker turns inward. Even the strange tale of the concubine killed and divided by her master who sent parts to each of the tribes is a disturbing story of blame – of calling out – an analogy of discord for the kingdom to be reunited with the need of a King. NO WONDER the disciples of Jesus asked Jesus if He was going to restore the Kingdom of Israel (Acts 1:6 after He arose and before He ascended).

Judges 17 starts the story of Micah and his mom – silver was stolen and returned – but the interesting solution to problems is when Micah hired his own priest. If we think about Israel as a whole – from one man Jacob to 12 sons – and the infighting and plotting they had against each other back then – especially of Joseph (the youngest with that dreamcoat) and Benjamin the second youngest – we can see the back and forth trouble beginning between jealous brothers and then between eventual tribes. Imagine that large scale now with the 12 tribes. Imagine the heartache Moses and Jacob had trying to manage the unmanageable. Imagine the remorse later for the brothers to have lost Joseph – imagine the remorse for the tribes in Judges to have lost most of the Benjamites. This was a family trait – to lose and then long for each other. 

There are many more stories of Israel for us to read next and for us to live next when Israel once again becomes center stage as the book of Revelation predicts. When does this end? When a King is risen up from Israel and when the King, namely Jesus, returns to put all to rest. We live in a flip-flopped life. No king for Israelites in the book of Judges but always a God to look to. Now a King in Jesus, but not always Jesus being looked to. Jesus turned the world upside down with his humble birth and rise as not a King for their earthly reign, but for a Kingdom to restore. 

No, the popcorn has not yet popped in the brains of all men to know Him and follow Him. Jesus is the King to return peace but not without war – not without battle – not without strife – not without division.

I am sure that there are educated scholars to tell us the answers to the puzzling story but there is ONLY ONE KING to have already known the solution to the problem. Restore the Kingdom. Be the King of the Kingdom – RETURN.

Come Lord Jesus, on a cloud that looks like popcorn. I am saving the seat next to mine for your commentary of all.

Amen (and forgive the unpopped kernels of knowledge that I need salt and light for popping.)

Keep Marching INTO Battle, 22JAN – #1375

Standard

Many times I go to work for me – to find the “normalcy” in a non-normal place, for a paycheck sure, but especially for working on important medications and ESPECIALLY for being available to many people. The people there are the best – and even though we can debate and negotiate – we realize we have to work together. 

I love people and at work I am blessed to go in. Covid-era or not, each day we march into work, into life, INTO the battle because WE SHOULD, because He, the Lord, NEEDS US THERE, and because “THERE IS NO DISCHARGE FROM THE WAR“. That’s God truth from Ecclesiastes 8, part of the ‘everything is meaningless on earth’ chapters – we are to keep in line with the Lord who knows all.  This was double felt in my heart and mentioned in my ears from a sermon about Joshua going to fight the Lord’s fight. Joshua did what Moses commanded. Moses did what God commanded. We all need to follow OUR LEADER.

Keep marching INTO battle. That’s been my theme of the week, you may have other plans, but only God knows the future. If you think life on the planet is going to change and become perfect, it’s a fallacy because we are in a fallible world and we are fallible people. ME TOO. Why do we keep going? To be the SALT and the LIGHT. Who do we follow? The One Who went before. 

LIGHT lights the WAY and gives HOPE. Over one shoulder is the beautiful moon, out the other window is the Morning Star, which is the planet Venus. Both bright but both shining NOT of their own light, they are reflecting the Sun, a bright star so far away and yet lined up with objects we see. The Sun also so perfectly positioned to give us warmth, light, and direction – not to mention the days at the beach, the warmth of the garden – and, as a sermonist recently said in my radio, the Sun has the ability to dry bricks and to soften wax. AMAZING. 

We don’t shine our own light. We are to stay ALIGNED with the Source. We reflect the LIGHT and are not to deflect it. (Our Morning Star rises in our hearts) Light brightens our face, consoles our heart, marks the path to follow. We are to follow the One who went before, follow the commands of the King. 

As we live in our lives, let us become MORE WISE in WHY we are placed in life. We serve at the command of our King, our Lord. He says keep going with wisdom. Doing evil or turning your back on good won’t accomplish anything, won’t discharge you from the war. “…I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him.  Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.” Ec 8:12-13

WISDOM, wisdom will allow you to LIVE, to BRIGHTEN your face… 

Soften your heart for the Lord. Do what He says. He knows. Follow His Command and enjoy the days. Put on His Armor and keep marching.

Keep the faith, watch your days lengthen like a shadow from the Sun.

Keep SMILING. You ALWAYS have time to smile.

Amen 

Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? A person’s wisdom brightens their face and changes its hard appearance.

Obey the king’s command, I say, because you took an oath before God. Do not be in a hurry to leave the king’s presence. Do not stand up for a bad cause, for he will do whatever he pleases. Since a king’s word is supreme, who can say to him, “What are you doing?”

Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter,  though a person may be weighed down by misery.

Since no one knows the future, who can tell someone else what is to come? As no one has power over the wind to contain it, no one has power over the time of their death.

AS NO ONE IS DISCHARGED IN TIME OF WAR, so wickedness will not release those who practice it.

Ecclesiastes 8:1-8, (thought to be written by Solomon)

—-

As the Lord commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses.

Joshua 11:15

—-

ATTACHED IS A PHOTO OF MY OLD CLOCK – THE CLOCK THAT HUNG IN MY OFFICE SO MANY YEARS AND WHEN I LEFT THE BUILDING (to go to the new building) THEY TOOK IT FOR THE “CLOCK WALL” – MY FRIEND HAD ME SIGN IT – I SIGNED IT WITH MY CATCH PHRASE “YOU ALWAYS HAVE TIME TO SMILE”

2 CENTS

Standard

My 2 cents

My 2 cents – on a check it is not worth that – for 2 cents it costs dollars to send, cash, reconcile, and laugh about.

My 2 cents – in speech – can stop a conversation – can draw a line – can cut to the chase.

My 2 cents – in opinion – doesn’t cost much to give. Can be taken or forgotten.

My 2 cents – in mail – as in a 2 cent stamp – is paid for by me – at my expense no one else’s.

His 2 cents

His 2 cents is His – not mine.

His 2 cents is at His expense – His ransom for our souls.

His 2 cents – not laughable but joy-giving – should NEVER be forgotten.

His 2 cents – is sent DIRECTLY to you – not for anyone else – He is reaching for YOU.

I asked the Lord today – “For whom am I writing?” He said soundly boldly quickly without hesitation: “YOU“.

YOU = me = You. I write Lord, for You, because You ask me to write. I write Lord for You because to You all praise is due. I write Lord for me because I need to express what love seeps out of my seams. I write Lord for me because You give me the Spirit to say: I LOVE YOU.

LORD, I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When the Lord’s 2 cents is Immediate, Direct and Advice only for YOU, know that He, the Lord, paid it all ahead of time – JUST to say I LOVE YOU.

Whew.

Amen.

Lord, Love IS You.

Whew.

Enforcer-er Reinforcer-er, 19JAN – #1373

Standard

I was awakened and asked God for a Word, He boldly said BE STILL. 

I am His over-thinker-er, He is STILL our Enforcer-er and Reinforcer-er. 

I said Alexa, what time is it? She said no internet. I asked God what time is it. God said NOW.

I am His over-planner-er, He is our Present-time-er.

I arose to morning stirring, asking me to join in, my child, cat, dishes and laundry. I am His and my house-keeper-er. He is our Provider-er.

I sat to write, re-shut the lights off. I am His thinker-er, harvester-er. He is our Peace-giver-er. He is our Vine-dresser-er.

I stood to see, lights not created by me. A SUNRISE SO SPECTACULAR, A MUST TO SEE. It’s like He wanted to share just this 5 minutes with me – so just some of us would STOP to SEE. He IS the Creator-er of all Good. What He gives comes at His cost but to us FREE.

This NEW DAY. His Open Page Writer-er RAVES.

Beginner-er. Completer-er. 

Alpha and Omega.

Enforcer-er and Reinforcer-er

Amen Forever-er

I HEAR and I SEE.

You, Thee, We.

Sampson, Don’t Hide Your Faith, 18JAN – #1371

Standard

When I wake, I thank the Lord for getting me where I am, and not where I am not. I wake up and even if I forget the many issues that have gone away, I try to not forget to praise. I thank the Lord for rescue – the very distinct dangers He had and has pulled me thru. Praise be to God from me is always overdue – I am thankful for His Grace and His Mercy too.

Sometimes I say YAY, another day to accomplish X,Y,Z tasks. I praise God for my health too. No, I am not just a Pollyanna, I have much to fret about too, but today, I will praise God that He is in control above all else. 

What an interesting story of Sampson. l wonder much in reading it not about him having his strength which came from the Lord, but wonder if He awoke and thanked God for the gift of Strength. I wonder if he wondered why God gave it to him. In reading his story (part 2), I wonder how amazing his devotion to the Lord was. I think he must have walked around with his conversation with God like a known, like “this is who I am, a Nazarite, devoted to God”.  I wonder how we can realize that too – we are to be dedicated to God. To accept God is with us and keep walking.

I secondly wonder about his initial fake answers and then later very straightforward answer to Delilah about what makes him strong and what makes him weak – why to tell her the secrets to subduing him? Why, especially since she first tried all the fake ways. Sampson, I wonder why He told Delilah about his hair.

I wonder also why my memory fails me, the story here does not say Delilah deceives him – must have been a movie fallacy and that I never read this for real – because this story (below in Judges 16) says Sampson (eventually) was straightforward and told her. NO TRICKERY – maybe for her love he told her – and definitely for his tiredness of her nagging – but not because he was really forced to… Hmmm…  Maybe he simply trusted her or was just so worn down and tired that he told his God-secret out in the open. Would we tell our secrets if we were asked? In this world, perhaps we don’t have to tell people our secret conversations with God – we don’t have to tell our God-secrets – but we CAN tell others where our strength comes from. From God. We can tell them that we will look to God.

Sampson may have known she was aligned with the Philistines – maybe not – perhaps he did not care as everyone was known to live in a sticky situation – all the Israelites seemingly co-existed in enemy’s reach before and after the 20 years of peace. Perhaps Sampson was just straightforward because he knew God had a plan either way. Perhaps he and God talked in those early mornings – especially the one where he got up before his attackers did – and had the upper hand on them (as well as ripping their city gate up open and carrying it up to the hill). If Sampson knew he was best to trust God that day, he hopefully did all his days. Sampson knew when his strength left and when his strength returned, and he credited God and he conversed with God. And so can we. If we know to trust God on one particular day, in one particular incident, see He delivered us then – well then we certainly can trust to trust in Him EVERYDAY. If God is a God who moves mountains, then certainly he can be trusted with our little molehill problems too.

The hero aspect of this story is when Sampson is at the very end, after his capture (subdued by the loss of strength) and his eyes gouged out – wow ouch – and his hidden secret that both his hair grew back and his strength grew too. God came back with him as he devoted himself to one last heroic act – God came back to Sampson when Sampson asked. Sampson found the kingpin of the arena and what would take it down – even as blind, he knew the sightline of the answer. Even as out in the open, he knew his hidden strength. Even as a captive, he knew his freedom was with God and in God. And so Sampson moved to the columns holding up the arena – and with the great prayer that we all can pray: “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more,”  He pushed the columns over and the whole arena collapsed killing the Philistines and Sampson himself. He killed more Philistines that day than in the rest of his life. 

Boom – trust in the Lord until the end. Trust in His Strength to move mountains. Keep your God-secrets between God and yourself – but tell of your God – our God – to others as He is in control! If you are shackled and chained, find the last great weakness in the enemy – that he does not know God like you do. TRUST GOD.

Amen

(and below please read the REAL story, part 2, of Sampson)

Judges 16

One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.” But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron.

Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.” So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered. Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.” He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads.

Delilah then said to Samson, “All this time you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.” He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric and tightened it with the pin. Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric. Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it.

So he told her everything. “No r