What’s in your Blindspot? 15 Jun – #186

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Heard a sermon yesterday about building your house on rock which provided the scriptures to finish what I had draft written about blindspots previously…. The methods of following Jesus are the cure to deal with the madness of blindspot challenges… Glad the Holy Spirit glued that and this together when I woke up this morning…what perfect timing…. that Holy Spirit is so good!

What’s in your Blindspot? 15 Jun

What’s lurking that you are not paying attention too?

What’s Satan got planned to throw at you when you least expect it? Seriously! New or old Christians, when you declare your LOVE for the Lord, that’s what sets the devil scrambling…. Trying to find any which way to trip you up… to pull something out of your blindspot… So get ready, get your own self on solid ground. And get out and flash your “Jesus card” at the Devil’s evil ways.

When I became 100% Christian, I accepted not only that Jesus was real, but that I loved Him… I declared personal allegiance and like those “cross in your pocket poems” suggest, I carry Him always.

And the Devil went scrambling.

Twice, recently, I was driving and a car was in my blindspot, and I blessedly did not crash. I wasn’t watching what I couldn’t see, I didn’t expect it.

Multiple times, after I had declared myself 100% accepting Christ, sinful temptation came from my blindspot, I blessedly did not crash. I wasn’t watching what I couldn’t see, I didn’t expect it.

I won’t air my dirty laundry of sins, but do know that Jesus knows how to do laundry! He washes you clean. Jesus can do delicate as well as heavy duty washes, and if you lean your cross up against His for support, then He will gently hang your cleaned laundry up on your cross to dry in a gentle breeze. He’s the REAL Savior saving here.

If you are prepared, then the sinful temptations can be so obvious… Know that this scrambling Devil regroups… throws dark to soil your clean soul. If you see it – and even if you don’t see it coming – and you feel its effects – you can go to Jesus to do wash again and again.

How do you prepare for what you can not see? Stand on solid ground. That is how we survive those blindspot challenges to our faith – to our core strength… We can get lashed again and again by the same or new challenges – we will survive if we don’t put our faith on unstable ground – we will survive and certainly thrive when we firmly build our lives on rock- on the solid foundation of Jesus – then we have the best chance to survive the devil’s detailed attacks…

Matthew 7:24-27New Living Translation (NLT)
Building on a Solid Foundation

24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

 

They say the AIDS virus, HIV, will retreat to the spinal cord in a fraction of cases when treated with the powerful awesome medicines available these days. These RNA viruses will regroup, and mutate as if to create a new tactic to infect again… Viruses mutate all the time… Yes – that is the same tactic that the Devil will try – he will retreat to your blindspot – come up with something new or re-mutated old – and when your aren’t looking – will splash you with it. Look at the waves coming and reach to Jesus to calm them – just like Peter who lost faith and sank – there will be times that the blindspot challenges will shake you and try to knock you over – but if you prepare and keep Jesus in your boat – in your heart – in your soul – you will be on solid ground – and calm.

Remember Matthew 8:26 “He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”

What Tool am I ?, 13JUN – #185

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Best Duplicate Verse Ever
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46

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Continuing in the autopsy phase of a new Christian …but a good question for all….

What Tool am I ?, 13JUN

I have been made whole in Jesus.

God used some of his sharpest tools in the shed to quickly and efficiently to prune a few sections of my branch, but most importantly to re-graft me properly to the True Vine… And he was obvious about it that… He wanted me to notice… He did that, in my opinion, so that I would notice when He HOLY SPIRIT moves me, in words and deeds.

So God had this amazing plan and He wants me and you to cooperate fully, to be 100% at the ready…. Yeah…that’s the plan… Are you ready to be used by God for His plan not yours?

To cooperate fully in God’s plan means to find the greatest joy, the greatest strength… and when you give up yourself you will find yourself… Trust me…

So, what tool am I supposed to be in God’s toolbox?

How does God want to use me?

As Carbon paper (or a copy machine) – replicate (as exactly as possible) the perfect love that God shares.

As an Amplifier – repeat the good news at a good volume, allow more to notice God’s powerful plans for themselves by seeing what he had done in you and others

As a Multi prong outlet – share your energy with others

As a pick up wagon, then as a bonfire (or a compost) – gather the other people’s dead branch trimming that God has pruned and burn them or compost them. Clear the dead branches to get them out of the way, clean up the mess, say “Move along, nothing to see here”, return the energy to God. Let the improved people move on with their lives with less burdensome baggage which would be dragging them down. And demonstrate to others in a way that they see just the good in them and not their past sins.

As a striker, sparking embers into flames – humbly personally see that intensification of the faith in others, rekindling their “soul on fire” like in the song…. rekindling of embers of seasoned wood.

As a campfire – allow people to come sit relax take stock of their faith, maybe even sing a praise song or two with their fellow weary travelers.

As sandpaper – be refining, BUT choose your grit wisely, human instincts can be rough… be careful not to draw blood… To some people, perhaps you are called to just allow them to fine tune and become smoother.

As a mirror, reflecting the signs of how their lives are blessed when you are grateful for their generosity. And sometimes as a mirror, silently reflecting how destructive behavior sucks the life out of situations.

As the seed-sower – spreading the good news of Jesus and salvation

As the watering can – saving up God to share with someone else. ONLY God can do the watering of the seeds that are planted, but perhaps you can collect some of that God Water, and share it…. See who looks a little dry and sprinkle on over….Help them out, in a God way.

As the washing machine and soap supplier, perhaps you can help other people air and wash their dirty laundry and grievances (even against you) that need to be forgiven. If Jesus is the water that can wash us clean, why not provide the opportunity for forgiveness. If they have sinned against you, even better for you to provide not the “Calgon” of the seventies TV commercials but the reminder of “Calvary”. God loves doing the laundry, He loves it when people come out clean.

You DON’T need to be God’s pruner… He will be the driving force for that. He doesn’t want you to cut the branches in others…. sure sometimes you can’t help but suggest trims with spray paint markings to catch God’s eye faster… But God is more precise and less painful than any cut you could do… He’s got the vision remember? You don’t. He’s the ultimate “big picture guy”.

So time to be ready in His toolbox, with one’s own unique tool set… might as well prepare yourself… hone your skills while waiting… even pack a lunch… and be ready to be called into duty – to be used to craft the GREATER glory that God intends for all of us.

Convictions on Pride, Vanity, Temptations, 10JUN – #184

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I meant to finish this since it spit out of my head last week… it’s half done – time to send it out “as is” – I need to move on with my life – it’s one of the series of convicting myself on the “seven deadly sins” so here it goes – I maybe will revisit someday to fix it up… because another of my sins is rushing – and also thinking that if I finish something (even if half done) that I can move forward and put it behind me and open up my brain to something new to work on – so apparently I am not rushing on fixing my sin of rushing, LOL

Convictions on Pride, Vanity, Temptations, 10JUN
There are two aspects of pride/vanity that I am reminded to be convicted on… Weight and God.

I am so excited and blessed to have lost nearly 30 pounds over the course of 6 months… This time frame is in parallel to the time frame in which I’ve had my most amazing spiritual awakening. God had been working on correcting my lifestyle, not just a few aspects, but ALL aspects, simultaneously. When they say you don’t need a diet, you need a lifestyle change, it’s true and it works… Instead of hungering for food, I have been hungering for God’s word. Instead of going against HIS will, I have been going with it. Go with the flow, when you are in the know…. Know God.

Yes, nearly thirty pounds down, it surprises me still, and I am still losing, I am trying not to be vain/prideful but people mention how much better I look, and I couldn’t help but scope out my new hourglass shape on the window reflections, yeah sweet… but most important are my blood numbers – it’s what’s inside your heart is the most important! So proud of myself? Well, so surprised at myself, never tried to change my eating before – exercise yes, but really so surprised at the power of focusing on God instead of stress eating! It truly works… God is right sizing me.

I try to make the most of my food choices, and guess what? every bit of food bursts with flavor! Those smaller protein-rich meatier courses will satisfy your appetite… calm you down and not make you crave JUNK…

And on the flip side – but certainly related, every bit of SCRIPTURE bursts with flavorful meaning…. Seriously, I sometimes wonder if I am or have been overdosing on God with this voracious appetite… That sounds silly and yet I wonder if I should slow down or take smaller doses to mull them over, really slowly ponder, discuss and act upon for all the extracted flavorful goodness that can be applied to life…. Those smaller praise-rich meatier pieces will satisfy your soul. “Be still and know that I am God” in extracting the meaning and applying it to your own life with intent and not rushing will calm you down and not make you crave (or worry) about JUNK..

Vanity…. Yes for both losing weight and for gaining God…. Vanity is the Temptation that I need/needed a touch of conviction on… because temptation does not come from God… so I ask forgiveness for those times I fill with vanity…

Yeah – as healthy it is to lose the weight – and healthy to feel better about your look – it is also where you need to catch yourself before you are tempted into looking at yourself in vain ways… you need to catch yourself before you FORGET to praise God for HIS efforts in how far you have come – instead of starting to be self-critical in that you aren’t perfect yet – or instead of becoming overconfident (overconfidence is truly a temptation to be reckless in many aspects of life)… You don’t want to begin rushing it and overdo it in an unhealthy way… What’s important is to find a new healthy balance – one that you can sustain…

Yeah – as healthy and spiritually sound it is to gain God in a big way – and Joyous beyond belief – it is also where you need to catch yourself when you are not humbled by it….catch yourself before you are rushing it and you are tempted to feel like you have a righteous license of entitlement… Being a Christian is NOT to be flashy for your sake but for God’s sake…. God might use you as a flashlight to shine into someone else’s darkness if you are lucky and blessed (and you are) – so pray for God to use you and your skills to HIS glory not yours…. What’s important is to find a new healthy balance – one that you can sustain…

“Stir up a hunger in my heart” is not just a great song lyric but it truly is a reflection of how we want to maintain the hunger for God at a very high intensity… that intensity is sometimes scary – sometimes makes me wonder if I will burn out – but again – finding the new balance is the key…

This past week, I again was experimenting with fasting… Good Friday easy, the next time easy again, and this time? easy too… I don’t understand why… it’s the strangest thing… I don’t want to vainly point that out but I just want to acknowledge and Thank God that I have not felt sugar swings or felt light headed from not eating. In my previous life I would feel ANGRY from not eating – nope not anymore… instead of “shaken not stirred” my hunger is stirred – my life settling into a new balance…

This is God’s correction on my whole mind, body and soul… a correction facilitated and supported by God HE continually feeds me with HIS good word HIS great love and HIS comforting presence… I don’t need to do anything but eat up the God parts, listen and put it to good use… and skip the JUNK

(and stop rushing it…)

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James 1:
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

Listening and Doing
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.’

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Well I WAS going to include a part about pride and overconfidence in driving in this essay, but didn’t get to add it…. But now I will…. Instead of almost driving in front of that road rage guy in the rain, today I must have had some angels, saints and God himself make the actual “save” when I changed lanes on the road right in front of a car in my blind spot…ugh…. Yes, again the car was apparently riding in my blind spot for quite a while, but this time it was sunny, a red car, and 75mph…. Whew, thanks God for saving the stupidest move I have made in a while…. It’s that blind spot that I can’t be over confident about…. This time no accident, I don’t know how, whew… And the red car lady (her license plate said something with”mom”) shrugged it off as she subsequently safely changed lanes out of my way…. and I so humble myself praying for forgiveness from God… Ugh, I’ve got to move away from that blind spot…. It’s going to get me one of these days… It’s also the blind spots of life that I/we have to look more carefully at, that’s where we least expect the trouble from…. But that’s EXACTLY where the trouble is…

The ONLY ONE I can credit for saving me (and the red car mom) today is God… Was none of my doing…

The ONLY ONE I can credit for saving me eternally is God…so many I do praise for their roles, but “All glory and honor are HIS” as the song says… Was God’s doing, not theirs and certainly not my doing…

Thanks GOD! Thanks for my physical life and for my eternal life!

Joy with humility and thanks…

Caring for Creation, 10JUN – #183

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Caring for Creation, 10JUN

kinda nice to be cleaning up old emails and reflecting that God is in the little things – which I really understand to be true… 
its one of the nice affirmations that even though I wonder if I am “overdosing” or “obsessing” on God that I am still just re-balancing my life – and eventually I will find the right balance… I just am feeling a bit overwhelmed this week – for good reason – whew!

I so look forward to going up home for a day on friday – and maybe before I return I am just going to sit on a rock alone and look and listen to one of the beloved waterfalls for an hour…

From Bernard of Clairvaux,
“Believe one who knows: You will find something greater in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.” Creation teaches us the knowledge of caring for all. Caring for creation and one another is a series of small choices that seem, in and of themselves, almost incidental, or shall we say, throwaway.”

YUP, Forgiveness, 10JUN – #181

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yup, perfect little book…

so – this is the perfect preface to my half-done essay on Pride and Vanity and Temptations.. which may be next…

YUP, Forgiveness, 10JUN
I love this little “Windows to God” book – just flip open the book and within a couple pages from the opening find the right passage for the day! Yeah, this passage “When Right goes Wrong” pertains to much in my life and other’s lives… and I can also reflect when appreciated the relief that came in the circumstances where I forgave others or situations… (many come to mind but most recently that road rage incident – I still think about that punch and pray for him). we are going to do a craft at VBS that involves braiding fabric strips on ropes – and forgiving – the three strands stand for me, them and God – it’s good to forgive – just like God forgives us…

Even when we don’t feel we are in the wrong – it does feel better to ask for forgiveness… it doesn’t condone that other persons actions, but whatever bothers YOU about the situation, its a good opportunity to ask God: “what is the lesson I am supposed to learn here?” I ask that in many of my painful situations and yes, I have learned important lessons about my feelings towards the situation – one of the biggest lessons I learned from a painful situation was when I asked “how does this conflict relate to MY story”… Perhaps I was feeling too righteous about how I had gotten “right” with God, so when I realized that the conflict had nothing to do with “MY” story – I realized it was “GOD’S” story – well then it made sense and it clicked in my head that I was inflicting the pain on myself… So when I learned what I was suppose to learn and then guess what? the pain dissipated – yes the situation still needed to be re-mediated and it was – but not until I let go of the pain…

So – it is clear to me that I wasn’t the one who should be righteously thinking that “I got Right with God” – instead I should be humbled that it was God who changed me to put me into HIS plan, not mine… He was obviously planning this years and years – even before I was born… I had nothing to do with it but I did have to realize what was happening to me…

yeah – forgive to be forgiven… again and again….

 

182 yup book

Shiggaion Panegyric, 08JUN – #181

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181 Shiggaion Panegyric, 08JUN
Shiggaion, there’s my new word of the day to add to yesterday’s… panegyric – provided by a dear lawyer friend.

Add those two words together –  you know that my writing is sometimes shiggaion panegyric…. Emotional (sometimes frenzied) elaborate praise!!!!

Shiggaion
(sshihg gay’ ahn) Transliteration of a Hebrew technical term used in psalm titles (Psalm 7:1; Habakkuk 3:1 ). Suggested translations include, “frenzied” or “emotional.” Some think the basic meaning is “to wander” in reference to a wandering style of thought or melody or to the unconnected expressions of a lament.

Habakkuk’s Prayer
( For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.)
3 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.
2 Lord, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.
3 God came from Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran.
His glory covered the heavens
and his praise filled the earth.
4 His splendor was like the sunrise;
rays flashed from his hand,
where his power was hidden.
5 Plague went before him;
pestilence followed his steps.
6 He stood, and shook the earth;
he looked, and made the nations tremble.
The ancient mountains crumbled
and the age-old hills collapsed—
but he marches on forever.
7 I saw the tents of Cushan in distress,
the dwellings of Midian in anguish.
8 Were you angry with the rivers, Lord?
Was your wrath against the streams?
Did you rage against the sea
when you rode your horses
and your chariots to victory?
9 You uncovered your bow,
you called for many arrows.
You split the earth with rivers;
10 the mountains saw you and writhed.
Torrents of water swept by;
the deep roared
and lifted its waves on high.
11 Sun and moon stood still in the heavens
at the glint of your flying arrows,
at the lightning of your flashing spear.
12 In wrath you strode through the earth
and in anger you threshed the nations.
13 You came out to deliver your people,
to save your anointed one.
You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness,
you stripped him from head to foot.
14 With his own spear you pierced his head
when his warriors stormed out to scatter us,
gloating as though about to devour
the wretched who were in hiding.
15 You trampled the sea with your horses,
churning the great waters.
16 I heard and my heart pounded,
my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity
to come on the nation invading us.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.

 

Communion and Community, 08JUN – #180

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So much blessing to talk about from a Sunday from 8am to 8pm… spent in and with church – absorbing much from being afforded the time to watch how others were moving Jesus out into the community… I won’t and can’t write it all – and luckily I was able to process so much (blessings and heartaches) in taking in community with others – that I don’t feel obligated to process it all by writing – but I want to touch on two aspects of the day – especially since a 4:30 am wake up call is affording me this occasion to sit and reflect:

Communion and Community, 08JUN
Breaking Bread – not just about the bread – but who you break it with… the aspect of community with communion is of paramount importance… I went to a nursing home for monthly communion and scripture service – I come in late (of course) and attach myself to a lovely woman in a lovely flower capped hat. Her smile and beautiful red lipstick and sunglasses made her smile bounce – she said she had no idea what the gathering was and I said – “oh, it’s for communion” – she was pleased to be in communion and community…. she was next to a woman with a permanent smile affixed to her face – yes, permanently smiling – a nice state to be in…

I didn’t have to do anything for the service so I was allowed to float (as a child I visited my Grandma in the nursing home every other day for ten years – I know the situation – I know the pain and hardships- even if the surroundings are nicer – the situation is the same – and as a child you are there to bring life backing into the often grim existence) – so next I moved back to a couple of others who were just happy to see us – and I especially kept pointing out my cute but shy kids up front who were responsible for helping their Dad and counting and setting up the communion elements… and then I settled down next to a woman with the prettiest blue eyes and smile… she grabbed my hand and shook it in love and excitement – her dementia was bad but she kept calling out to her husband “Tony, Tony” – across the table – she shook my arm in excitement every few minutes – told him I was doing a good job – and although I was a bit sore staying on my knees, I didn’t leave – this was communion and community – I helped her with the elements – pleased to be placed in this moment of time to be the helper – to me these folks were the good elderly Italian fellow parishioners at my parochial school as a child – this woman was like one of those hard working ladies at the school carnival calling you to get “Pizza Fritta – get ’em while their hot!”… a touch of the best memories of growing up in my blend of Irish/Polish/Italian community. “Tony, Tony” was very pleased at our attendance and told me about his Italian mother,m named Isabelle, same as his niece – they used to call his mom “sa belle” – for beautiful – yup – beautiful girl – beautiful communion – beautiful community…

This monthly communion service pulled from devotional scriptures – spoke of hymns that speak to us and are we really singing them truthfully? – believing in the words – or are we just running thru the words?… well, yeah – lyrics are my muse for writing often – and now for listening to God, always…to listen to how the words touch your heart – the tunes you carry with you – the words you live…. Although not all could read all the devotions in the bulletin, the whole room reverberated with the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. See, that prayer seemed to be not JUST rote running thru the words for these people – that is etched on their hearts – it may become rote in some peoples lives – even taking of communion may be rote to some – but in that place and time, with those people, it was in community and that’s what mattered – that’s what amplified the walk with Jesus – to be sitting at His feet whether words were exchanged or just smiles… To be in communion with God is to be in community – to kneel at the feet of the weak and soak up and amplify their joys – it was real in that time and place. It takes such little effort to just “be there” – it takes time, yes – especially when your heart tugs at you for wanting to spend more time with them – when you are supposed to be in ten other places – but it gives back ten-fold of blessings to them from a slice of your time… you may just get to blow in out of your whirlwind life for a short time – and certainly it is VERY difficult for many to visit nursing homes – but to sit and absorb and smile and be in community for the briefest time – well, the smiles that come back to you are ten-fold…. community with communion – “sa – belle” – so beautiful….

Later I sat in community at a pool party with beautiful young vibrant Christians – being in community – and breaking not the actual communion elements – but a whole host of common party foods…. the community was there – the breaking bread was there – the relaxing and processing of life’s twists and turns was there – Jesus was there for sure – appreciating, sitting and relaxing – absorbing the Spirit – reflecting on a good day – community with common purpose – communion – “sa belle” – so beautiful…

 

Facing the Giants – Prepare for Rain Scene, 07JUN – #179

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07JUN

Facing the Giants – Prepare for Rain Scene
https://youtu.be/WAxwS8KyMQQ

I don’t care if the story about preparing the fields is just a story…. It still has a good message….. Those who have ears may them hear… It’s in my first released writing, Christmas Flood, Dec17, for a good reason…. It’s something I truly believe…. Prepare your fields… Once I prepared my fields, the rain came in droves, and I made rain barrels to save the rain for a whole year of Christmas… and to share with those in their own droughts…. And if I get low on rain, I know where to get more….

And that quoted scripture is not just for one city, but multiple like Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love… And for everyone….

Sorry, I don’t know if God likes that movie quote or not …. either way I am putting it out there… Either way I listened… The door no one could shut was opened and when I realized it was time then I walked (I mean Subaru-ed) though it!

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Revelation 3:7
To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Faith release, 07 JUN – #178

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178
07JUN

Never used to find this such relief, but now…Yeah…. Faith release…. Just like yesterday my neighbor was so happy to see my cross around my neck, the special one my special cousin made for me as a Christmas gift and I first wore on Easter… She was happy and I asked her about her cross necklace – she was happy to tell me that her mom brought it for her from their homeland… And then I showed her a photo of the one my family in Europe gave me… We both have “Joy in the Lord!”

A little while later I saw this sign at the house where my son went for a sleepover… I pointed it out that I liked it, liked the scripture, and said she didn’t realize it had a scripture on the bottom of it. Hmmm… Interesting… bet she will now…hmmmm….

Here’s the piece I wrote…

Faith release, 07 JUN
I LOVE IT when I walk onto a house and I see a wall hanging like this… and it frees you up to speak more deeply about your faith…. it’s not that you can’t do that with everyone you come across, but it’s like a relief valve to bubble over that the “JOY in the Lord is my strength ” conversation with a fellow open faith sharer… Sometimes you show your faith in your acts, sometimes you show your faith in your words, and sometimes you get to dissect and tease apart your faith with those whom you are blessed to know are right alongside – next to you, – walking too….

family rules 178 part 1family rules 178 part 2

Bernadette….What’s the future?, 31MAY – #177

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Yeah, I am trying to finish up another one of the four pieces that flooded me last Sunday, was 80% done… I am not sure this one is 100% done now, but it’s about the future, so it will have follow up verses, obviously, someday…. anyway none of us are done in our journeys… Keep moving, keep Vine-ing

When I googled the moody blues line “darker days draw near”  from the song “Forever Autumn”… I came up instead with a poetry book by Hilda Doolittle, a poem where two pages earlier on page 60 it talks about the Pleiades, yeah, the Vine is fine, keeping me aligned…. Sigh…. Here is the “finished” essay…

Bernadette….What’s the future?, 31MAY

It’s so true that everyone is different, everyone is on their own journey, we should not look to those like us for our future, we need to ask God for HIS guidance… He will light the path, so keep looking for the light…. If it’s dark, reach for the Vine and hold on…. You can feel for Jesus’s guidance even when it’s dark.

My confirmation namesake, Bernadette, has a vision in the grotto in Lourdes. She accepts her path, her uncertain future, she says “I don’t need a little corner to hide in”… But accepting her fate at that time was still so dependent on what others expected of her in that day and age (1800s). At least in the movie version (Song of Bernadette) this meant the acceptance of giving up her normal home life, her possibly normal future and potential husband… She enters a convent, where she eventually is diagnosed and suffers and then dies early from a terrible disease…. “the lady said ‘I cannot promise you happiness in this world, only the next’ “… Well, she bore the burden and pain of it all so bravely

So, I am not Bernadette Soubirous (although I do drive a Suburu), but I have truly felt the HOLY SPIRIT blowing me and others, yeah that is most definite. But I am no miracle-worker, I have not seen an actual miracle physical vision of God or Jesus or “the immaculate conception” or caused a healing grotto spring to miraculously appear like Bernadette…. In contrast, I get to see God in everyday life….

And this is why I am less scared to give up my mind and life to the will of God… Because I DON’T believe God wants to take away our normal lives. I don’t have to enter a convent, don’t have to stifle and be quiet about the pain in my life. These “times are a changing”, as Bob Dylan would sing. Giving it up to God means you get a “new normal”…. Sure, if you are like me, you will find God wills you to change to move in directions you didn’t intend… Always for his greater good… Making me more fruitful… But what’s normally good in life – if it already glorifies God – well you’re probably going be able to keep doing it …. “Everything good in moderation” became “Everything God in everything”… That’s a new normal you can probably accept..

I am accepting that and I have been blessed greatly, and please realize that I know I am not alone… Yes what I’ve seen so far in this new Christ-Vined-God-Centered life of mine is amazing!!! …. but guess what? It’s so NOT out if the ordinary… I am not special above others because we are ALL special… We all get to share in this joy if we learn to tap into the true source.

The everyday miracles – they are thoughtful gestures that God sends, everything from smiles to favorite memories that pop into your head out of the blue… On and on I could tell you about mine, but just know that when you prepare yourself to receive these blessings, God will not disappoint!

So, what’s the future, what’s my future?
Even vined, with a future that God holds in His hands, I am still scared… Well, I am confident God will give me the tools, the people, and the resources… for the unknown… possible a future travesty, perhaps not a travesty but heartache for sure… God is not taking away our normal lives, so life will still happen…

‘I cannot promise you happiness in this world, only the next’ “… Well, yes, prayerfully I will bear future burdens and pain with hope, face them bravely and Vinely… That’s why I will take the time now, while the light is shining, to joyfully strengthen my connection to the Vine, shore it up, and then keep it close, so I can find it by feel when “darker days draw near”…

“I don’t need a little corner to hide in”…That’s where Bernadette and I are the same… I should be and will be happy to show my Vine connection while there is LIGHT…and it shows as “plain as day”… new normal…

bern

Affirmations, 05JUN – #176

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Affirmations, 05JUN


Sweet… my best friend just called me out of the blue, to say how much he loves me…. He has been the best of one of my best friends for nearly 25 years – we talk about EVERYTHING

speaking from the heart, he thought that of all the people he sees and hears that I was always (for the whole time we have known each other) the person who epitomizes God the most… because of my friendliness, good nature, helpfulness…. sigh – this brought tears to my eyes...

love the love… love the affirmations…. Sweet…

Box of Secrets NO MORE! 05JUN – #175

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Box of Secrets NO MORE! 05JUN

Came across my box of secret letters, the first twenty emails/writings crucial to the start of my awakening… Thoughts dumped to free up room for new thoughts… Random access memory (RAM) processed A LOT in those first twenty pieces….hidden in my car… but they are hidden NO more…. I am NOT embarrassed anymore, as to where I was… But I am instead appreciative of the HOLY SPIRIT blowing the flame my way, and lighting the birthday candle on Jesus’s birth within me.

The first twenty writings… The first one is gone from the box, still on my computer, but shredded from the box, given up and away… It was five pages of diatribe, where I was… No use for it now, it doesn’t apply except for a gawk-type look… Not negated, not disproved thoughts, but just not needed in the box!the box 175

Continue, 05JUN – #174

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Continue, 05JUN
Yeah – well – of course I came across a fitting poem and fitting peanuts pix… just after a text conversation this morning with Pastor about humbly falling at His feet for guidance in being able to know ourselves, so that we can help others…

The poem titled “Continue” came via my favorite poet Maya Angelo’s Facebook page – “Continue To dare to love deeply And risk everything For the good thing”

Yeah- so true –

When I Googled for the whole poem, I found this Christmas advent devotional writing from this church pastor: http://www.stpaulsfay.org/id437.html Yeah – it’s Christmas all year this year for me – and i was even listening to some christmas music from Sting this morning –

It all fits together – God blesses me so much with guidance… yeah… yeah… yeah…

Here is the whole poem

“Continue”
Maya Angelo

My wish for you
Is that you continue

Continue

To be who and how you are
To astonish a mean world
With your acts of kindness

Continue

To allow humor to lighten the burden
Of your tender heart

Continue

In a society dark with cruelty
To let the people hear the grandeur
Of God in the peals of your laughter

Continue

To let your eloquence
Elevate the people to heights
They had only imagined

Continue

To remind the people that
Each is as good as the other
And the no one is beneath
Nor above you

Continue

To remember your own young years
And look with favor upon the lost
And the least and the lonely

Continue

To put the mantel of your protection
Around the bodies of
The young and defenseless

Continue

To take the hand of the despised
And diseased and walk proudly with them
In the high street
Some might see you and
Be encouraged to do likewise

Continue

To plant a public kiss of concern
On the cheek of the sick
And the aged and infirm
And count that as a
Natural action to be expected

Continue

To let gratitude be the pillow
Upon which you kneel to
Say your nightly prayer
And let faith be the bridge
You build to overcome evil
And welcome good

Continue

To ignore no vision
Which comes to enlarge your range
And increase your spirit

Continue

To dare to love deeply
And risk everything
For the good thing

Continue

To float
Happily in the sea of infinite substance
Which set aside riches for you
Before you had a name

Continue

And by doing so
You and your work
Will be able to continue
Eternally

peanuts for #174 continue

Love your Brothers and Sisters, 04JUN – #173

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Love your Brothers and Sisters, 04JUN
The rarest of Subaru Forester colors today – five of them – from egg shell off white – to mauve – to the coolest light brown color… I have never seen these 5 colors before on Foresters. I know it sounds silly to be watching Subaru Forester colors, but it reminds me that God is everywhere, but that God IS responsible for us to be able to see everything with our own eyes and feel with our own outlook on life…That’s the God within! When our own minds are focused and our own hearts are open to the amazing world we feel God’s touch everywhere! That’s the God within!

Share the Love – Share the God within!

And for some reason I felt that this is related to the duplicate scripture I heard today: 1st John chapter four verse 20-21, about loving your brother and sister… that if you don’t love your brother and sister then you don’t love God… This doesn’t mean you have to condone/agree with everything else in the world and all the things that some of your brothers and sisters do, but you STILL have to love them… That’s what AGAPE LOVE is all about, right? Jesus hung out with all the sinners – and still LOVED them.

1st John 4: “20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”

So this is a duplicate occurrence of scripture within the whole chapter, which I read early today and then showed up in a discussion about Christians shunning certain groups of people… That we shouldn’t judge/shun our brothers and sisters… same…

Earlier in that 1st John chapter: 4: “12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.”

So, when we look to love God, we have to look everywhere, in the open, hidden under rocks, hidden inside people, places some may not want to look… Places some couldn’t even imagine could have God…. But He’s there… He’s everywhere… We have to abide in His LOVE to feel His LOVE.. We feel His LOVE, by sharing OUR love… By loving OUR brothers and sisters…And remember, they are also looking to share the love to us too… to you! Subaru – “Share the Love” – So show them the best in you! Show them all the colors of your life – show them God.

Share the Love!  Share the God within!

A Gentle Answer, 03Jun – #172

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A Gentle Answer, 03Jun

Proverbs 15:1    “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Yep I think this scripture is 100% true and witness to that too because of an incident of terrible road rage…. I had someone in my blindspot driving and although I didn’t cause an accident, I incited some fierce road rage from a man who followed me, cut me off – screamed at me and even took a punch at me through my window….
People at work said I should have pulled out my phone take a picture of him take a picture of the license plate, others said I should have been packing heat to protect myself…. but all I said in the moment was “I’m sorry I’m so sorry” … it was all I could say too – I felt no need to incite more rage – and there was also a gun-owners club bumper sticker on his car – yeah – I locked the door and prayed…

So gentle words probably did turn away the wrath… Gentle words, God and a strong Subaru window… 🙂

Turn the other cheek – or in my case – the other Subaru window…

Forgive My Words, 01JUN – # 171

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Forgive My Words, 01JUN

Twice this weekend I think I hurt the feelings of some people with my use of the term “Recovering Catholic”. It’s a good term, but only in the right context… it truly means that I have had to shed my shackling thoughts that were shoved down my throat as a child about Catholic being “the only way”… I have to regroup… and to start again as Christ-centered, not religion-centered…. I am what I am because of the good in the world and what I have seen corrupt in the world, but regardless, I need to be better. I need to strive for what God wants me to be and how HE wants me to encourage, always…

We discuss all the time that religions and churches need to teach how to mirror Christ’s LOVE – to VINE towards that LOVE… I do have hope that God is pushing the church in the right direction of being ONE with God… It may take a while… But the JOY we share is in the HOPE.

So with my use of the term “Recovering Catholic” to actual Catholics this past weekend, I realized it came off as a “put down”, which is terrible!!! I didn’t mean it that way… I will pray to choose my words better in the right context. One person was one of my neighbors while we were at Dunkin Donuts and one man I was joking with at a yard sale… He faked funny tears and said “it’s not my fault, I was raised that way” I laughed, he laughed, but hmmm….. he is right-on… being Catholic is tough these days. The people in all religions, whom we should encourage in their spirituality, are bearing the brunt of the negativity. Not only is the world down on religion but the world is down on Catholicism more and more recently because of past grievances, cover-ups, and abuse of power. And especially us Christians have to remember that although we are right to challenge the injustices we see, we must only criticize the organizations and NOT the spirit of other folks working on their Christianity too.

One global united church is needed, is what Christ wanted, but how we get there is not nitpicking and tearing down the people in the religions, but instead lifting then up higher above their religions….and spread understanding to others and especially to ourselves that there are many rooms in God’s house, we need to HELP everyone find the Jesus key that fits their life…lift up their branches and vine towards God (John 14 and 15)

I ask forgiveness for my words, to think thru my thoughts, and to encourage always…prayer for pardon 171

John 17:  Jesus Prays for All Believers

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one,Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

24 “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.

25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you[e]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.”