Let the SPIRIT move you, 29Sept – #276

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I awoke 430am, Why God?… So after looking up the verse of the day, I took the verses adjacent, John 3:6 and 8, those spoke to me…

It’s about letting the SPIRIT move you, about getting yourself out of the way… My writing was done on half an hour, but when God causes me to become immediately sleepy and pause before emailing it out, I know he hasn’t finished the piece…

I slept over it and woke up to a dream where I was in church and the next brand new song was “The Evil of Stades”… Stades? What are stades? I only remember the statement, sitting there in my blue dress, and sitting back into the pew to absorb the song, but that’s when I woke up… “Stades”? NO CLUE… Google says a “stade” is the original footrace of the Olympics, one lap, and is the origin of the word stadium… and so by teaching me this new word in a dream, I think God is trying to warn me and thus I warn us about the evil of stades, the evil of running in circles… don’t run in circles instead run ahead, look forward and not back, plow ahead… keep running God’s race and let the SPIRIT take you… and now I can send my written piece, God finished it:

Let the SPIRIT move you, 29Sept

John 3 (verses before the famous 16) details that this pivotal set up to the famous 3:16-17 is a conversation not with a tried and true disciple, but with an outside Pharisee, Nicodemis, seeking his own truth… Jesus answered: “6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the SPIRIT gives birth to SPIRIT…”  and “8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

So you don’t have to know where you are going… (I don’t know where I am going either, but I am going to enjoy the ride)…
So, if you have been born of the SPIRIT thru Jesus, and thus committed yourself to follow God thru Jesus’ teachings, then you got to this place by a path that the SPIRIT blessed you with and you should not expect to know where the SPIRIT will take you next….
So you have to give up your preconceived notions and you must listen to the wind…. You must listen to the SPIRIT as life is blown your way… You can’t just say “Thanks for the boost God, I see where I am going now, see ya later”… No, you have to say: “Take me SPIRIT, where are WE going now?”

Sondheim lyrics from my favorite “Sunday in the Park with George” musical: Bernadette Peters sings to a troubled and mental roadblocked out-of-ideas George (Mandy Patinkin): “Stop worrying where you’re going – Move on… If you can know where you’re going – You’ve gone…. Just keep moving on…”

My pastor and I discussed many times, early on, about getting one’s self out of the way… About Naaman allowing himself to go with God – to fall completely into the water which cleansed him of his leprosy… His spots are our current day remaining bits of self – those things – those parts of our life that we have not yet let the SPIRIT take a hold of… Those are vestiges of identity in us NOT shown thru the Jesus in our hearts … Whether we have been Christian for 8 months or 800 months, there are still little bits of self that impede our way, get us hung up, snag our steps, and get us in trouble… We have to learn from them… It’s not unexpected, it’s human, we are still journeying, we know to follow the LIGHT, but we must still walk there – one step at a time…

So stop worrying where you are going – get yourself out if the way – and let the SPIRIT take you…. Ask the SPIRIT to blow you, but make sure you funnel the wind thru the sails of Jesus holding you up… Don’t forget that we are going to be standing in front of God as who we are – but we stand there saved only because of Jesus saving us…

Did you ever think God may have better plans for your life than your own plans?

If God gives you skills, then use them for His glory – whether you understand it or not. If God plans for you to reach others then DON’T question who He puts in your path, learn… ALWAYS learn… God put the thorns on the roses to protect the flowers for the world to see their beauty… The thorns are there to warn you… To say “Don’t touch; Don’t mess with this beautiful creation”… God plans are for the rose to have time to bloom without a creature eating it’s delicious delicate bud.

So take a step back to ponder how God beautifies this world, then let’s the thorns protect that beauty from our plans to take the roses for just ourselves… God says let the world see the rose bloom, be patient for God’s plan.

Let the SPIRIT move you. Let God have the control… He has a plan… Go with HIS plan and run God’s race… Look forward… Plow straight.

“8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

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PS

Figures God would laugh at me thinking my piece was done and so I was thinking about round grapes, and being fruitful branches for God and I realized my music was stuck on the song “Roundabout” by YES. The best full circle God has made realize in awhile…. instead of “the evil of stades” (or the “evil of going in circles”) perhaps the song in my dream I was supposed to hear the band play was Roundabout, LOL… Enjoy… Thanks God, Beautiful!

Watch “Yes – Roundabout” on YouTube
https://youtu.be/-Tdu4uKSZ3M

Roundabout, YES
“I’ll be the roundabout
The words will make you out ‘n’ out
I spend the day your way
Call it morning driving thru the sound and in and out the valley…..”

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PPS

Email:

On Sep 29, “H” wrote:

I can’t remember where I was or what I was doing (scary…. especially since it was this past weekend) BUT, I had a discussion with God about the people he has put in my path and what my role is.  Wish I could remember more, but anyway your writing hit home with me.  Thanks,

Reply:

Awesome….. was just listening to a Billy Joel song that says home to “be the Pennsylvania Turnpike” and I believe home is wherever we are when we have God in our hearts and amazing people in our lives….thanks for being one of them!

D

A POPE MEMORY, 29Sept – #275

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A POPE MEMORY, 29Sept

These are great videos on the Vatican youtube channel to play in the background while I work – the music is SO beautiful – and there is NO COMMENTARY like you would have on mass media silly TV – no interruption of commercials etc – it’s just live feed video – so you can fast forward, pause etc…  i always said i would never go back in time…  and I left my Catholic church upbringing for multiple GOOD reasons (no offense intended) – and so I don’t feel nostalgic at all, but the music in these videos IS very comforting and I have a true appreciation now that I never had – appreciation as a child with the TRUE JOY from following God into Jesus’s arms into God’s eternal life brings – and I am so blessed to be touched by the optimistic enthusiasm of all the people who are so excited in these videos….  its kinda like music that you don’t understand in Latin and in Spanish that allows your mind to wander into yourself and into your faith – almost like a Quaker service – where you return to center in yourself….  nice to have that reflection time…. nice to reflect… oh what a joy is to ask God questions while you center your heart, soul and mind together and welcome His spirit to move you….

 

https://youtu.be/Pp6-dQ8RoPQ   this has the beautiful music that touched me today- when they sing each saint’s name it is just SO BEAUTIFUL at the 54 minute mark… and then at the 1 hr mark the spanish song just makes me want to dance….  I was very very moved when I saw the “Day of the Dead” shrines in Merida, Mexico when I visited fifteen years ago….  the faith of the bus drivers too with their plastic Jesus statues and rosaries everywhere was also so moving…

 

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC9tK3J1RlaYEG9DdLtKljIcPvPq1-mQx  is the whole playlist of the Pope’s American visit  – I was touched by the Pope’s JOY and openness when I saw him drive by and speak…

 

smiles

A firm sense of God’s faithfulness, 27Sept – #274

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A firm sense of God’s faithfulness, 27Sept

You know a good messy science experiment always enhances my Sunday school class experience…. Today the older kids made oobleck (cornstarch and water) to bring home the point that a firm rock solid foundation in God is what we need for strength… This is what David had when he went to fight the giant… oobleck may seen strong and firm when you squeeze it, but like us without God, it is weak, it can’t hold its solid form, and therefore it’s not a solid foundation at all…… God is the solid foundation we should rely upon…. God had faithfulness to David… David found and relied on his faithfulness to God – knowing that God valued him and protected him… David acted upon that faithfulness…
David walked with God that day… So can we…
David was chosen for the task at hand… So are we…

 

1 Samuel 17 (NIV)

37 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.”

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied”

Individual, 26 Sept Travelogue, 27SEPT – #273

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This is a travelogue (and it’s very very long so don’t read it unless you got a good chunk of time), so it’s not an overly profound piece, but a couple people couldn’t wait to hear about my Pope experience… so here it is…

So, the whole day taken as individual pieces rolled into one journey…. this is how I wrote the day… I think the profoundness IN LIFE is that God allows us to experience LIFE…. God allows us a random-feeling mixture of things… Free will with individual blessings – and that we have NO concept of how it all fits together – but it does some how…. God knows, but we are clueless, and that’s just fine…. And sometimes, just sometimes, God gives us a chance to take a step back and ponder it all…

Individual, 26 Sept Travelogue, 27SEPT

The Pope, giggles, sand, decompression with friends, the full moon, and bird poop… I didn’t think I would write about these together… Yes I expected I might have to write about my visit to see the Pope, but the journey was so varied, it was so unique, and it invoked the word of the day: “individual”… And so I will write how all these individual events, the individual people with their individual varied life experiences all came together in a God-blessed day, in a God-blessed way…

Bird poop….
Yup, today there was alot of bird poop, as we staked out our spot under a sap-dripping tree on the fence line waiting three hours for the Pope…. We sat in old bird poop, the birds pooped on my head, on my sunglasses… It’s ok, they were small birds, I survived, I shook it off… “Blessings” people say when a bird poops on you!!! Well, we were TRULY TRULY blessed in the shade in small bird individual doses… It was a great vantage point near the podium and friendly people…”words with strangers” – we had chats with folks from Seattle, Florida, you name it… real people not any different than those in a store checkout line passing the time…it was not overly crowded and actually a shame and a blessing how easy it was to get in and out!!! They did a good job at scaring the people away in my opinion… got into the city and out so rapidly, quickest trip EVER… Best $2 train plus $2.25 parking deal EVER…$6.25 + $2.50 for a Vatican flag = deal! “Trip of a lifetime” people said – under $10, hmmm…. Blessings…

Pope…
Ah, the Pope, a sweet grandfatherly like man, with a heart of gold and a mouth to tell the world to live the way Jesus taught us… to have compassion, to respect individual dignity, and to LOVE… A pope for the ages… His speech was moving and passion touching… He even used a math example for how we should live…. “The religions thus have the right and the duty to make clear that it is possible to build a society where “a healthy pluralism which respects differences and values them as such”… foster a “sense of the dignity of each individual and the ideal of a community united by brotherly love”…
The Pope was awesome… But more awesome were the people who there to be inspired… to hear the roar coming down the street as the Popemobile moved was truly electrifying…  you could sense what was coming and then you saw him come and we were SO close – 20 feet maybe – and he stopped and kissed baby after baby … The feeling was awesome (I saw an accidental selfie photo of my face as he came by- yeah sweet joy).   And awesome were the people at home who lived this trip thru me, so super EXCITED for me… Between family calling me, and the two house parties I went to afterwards, and even the eye glass lady at the store the morning of… Everyone was so excited… My neighbor (who is Jewish) ran over to me to say “let me touch you, you touched the Pope!”… Sweet and no I didn’t actually touch the Pope, but I do know the crowds touched his heart and he touched mine with his compassion and his message… Everyone is inspired by this Pope, he so “gets it”… They appreciate his message of tolerance, individuality, and forgiveness… He brings a reminder of God’s LOVE where he goes…

I feel a little guilty that it was SO easy to get in and out of the city, that it was no hassle, and guess what? I felt the same way for my salvation realization, God made it as convenient as possible for the start of my journey – He put all the right pieces together at the right time for me to be an opportunist and take advantage and take a “God-vantage”… It’s a good feeling that by our individual journeys we bring God’s love by our presence as believers… Sharing HIS love in an open non-judgmental way….

Children…
The BEST interactions I had that day was with children… sweetest little spunky children 5-7yrs old in front of us, good as gold, engaging, loving, cute… A Seattle teen smiled as her mom and I chatted, engaged in conversation with her smile and nodding as she appreciated our discussion about me being known as being wacky and my reputation for tolerance as well as easy-goingness, which is why (plus my open faith) that I was chosen by my friend to accompany her for this free ticket… and which has enabled me to be where I am in life… appreciating life being a blessing. After the Pope trip I had enough time to be at the two other places I was invited to – two parties – and it was the young people who made me feel welcome.  First to a renewal of vows wedding (which I made with only a minute to spare) – at the reception the daughter of the bride gave me a glow in the dark bracelet and said to her friend “this is Miss Debbie, she’s cool”…. And then at my neighbor’s party, my son wanted ME to play, waited patiently for ME to stop talking,  to play “cornhole” bean bag toss with him.. I was paired with a nice young man named Mike, and we won! Sweetest to feel the love from my son, and also from my daughter, who both instructed ME in the morning on how to stay safe in the crowds, drink lots of water, and watch myself. Sweet kids…

Pierre Robert…
I got to hug Pierre Robert, my favorite DJ, a local icon in rock!!…. Both the Pope AND Pierre are Godly gentle-men who love to spread love…. I have loved chatting with him both at other events and on the phone to the radio station, sending texts and hearing a couple of shout outs, he’s real… people love Pierre because he is real. Pierre loved my rainbow and shamrock earrings which I wore for luck… fun… Besides my fun earrings, I also wore my hometown famous t-shirt, I brought my Vacation Bible School snowball, a photo of my kids, and the business card for my late cousin Mike, and I also wore my newest special cross – my Aunt’s Irish Connemara marble Celtic cross…..  I seriously thought about being like Mr .T and wearing every cross I owned…. but that would have probably taken forever in the metal detector line…. So on this trip was thinking of my blessings of ALL my family and friends who truly make me smile…  And I wore a gift of the zipper bracelet from a friend who was touched by my “Zipper Faith” writings… So glad God smoothed out the bumps and I zip all the way now passed those original naggin questions of if Jesus was real – yeah I got it now…)  So blessed!!!

My Grandfather’s birthday…
This day was my grandfather’s birthday, a man who worked so hard… I’m sure he appreciates all that his grandkids have accomplished in life… one of our last photos together was me and my PhD cap and gown  – but with me knowing that he accomplished more on a 8th grade education and 90 years of life then many of us could ever hope to achieve.

Giggles…
Grains of sand together to make something more beautiful…. a marriage union strong and vital…..l actually made it to the wedding vow renewal ceremony that I was destined to miss by going to see the Pope but I made it just in time because they rearranged the day for other reasons… I can’t believe God fit that in… I’ve never seen so many giggles and giddiness at a wedding, a renewal of vows from a spring wedding of a blended family, these giggles were cute and happy… I became a photographer… I knew God place me there for some reason… for cheering, for photography, for bustling my friend’s wedding dress train after, and most definitely for experiencing a reminder of God’s graced timing allows appreciating giggles, blended sand, a full beautiful blue moon, and beautiful fellowship…. and a faithful God…

Decompression…
One more party my immediate neighbor’s house (see, I told you I live a cake walk life)… best parties ever in the best neighborhood when we all can get together and this was exactly what I wanted and needed to decompress this day… Discussing the Pope always brings about faith discussions… this was an awesome way to share faith…. over a rum mojito, we could relax into our conversations, take heart in our blessings, and co-miserate in the “bird poop of life” times… when the day brings the greater ratio of blessings to sorrows then it’s great to thank God. And when God sends the bird poop? well, thank God for that as well…

Home, a moon rainbow…
Yes the full moon in the clouds was so bright that the ring around it was a rainbow pattern hue… stunning…. God is stunning… He is pleased with us loving Him… He touches us as an individual, and He delights in delighting us on our journeys…

God woke me up in the morning – God brought me home…

Thank you Lord, let’s travel again tomorrow, ok?

You lead Your beautiful way.

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Journeying, 26Sept – #272

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Journeying, 26Sept

I am journeying today, things fell into place for an unexpected trip to see the Pope…. “Ten thousand people maybe more….” – that’s how the Simon and Garfunkel song goes… Well it’s going to be much much more, ten thousand is JUST the number of tickets for this speech about religious freedom (in a city founded on brotherly love, the freedom from tyranny for a country founded by those who journeyed here because they desired religious freedom…)… Yes, there will be many many more than just me journeying to see what they can see, a speck of white in a sea of humanity…. I pray they get what they are coming for…  I am going for the journey… It’s always about the journey… Seeing the humanity because of the speck of white… It’s THEIR journey…

Don’t get me wrong, I will be super excited if I actually see the Pope (with my luck we will see him I am sure) but first I will be super excited if I actually can get through the masses down to the event… just to be on the trip with my faith friend and to have been chosen by my friend to accompany her is a blessing! Yeah, sure she chose me not just because I have felt and told of the overwhelming blessings of my being made alive by God’s hands, but also she choose me because I can journey and yes, because I’m crazy enough to brave the blessings of crowds… But isn’t that what God does too? Chooses your blessings based on YOU?!!!! I get crazy blessings because I appreciate them, I handle them, and I try to find the hope in the crazy life I lead!!!

I feel that when I am actually on the journey in a few hours that I will feel the excitement building immensely, I will feel the excitement of my fellow travelers… I will feel THEIR journey….. I have mostly ignored the hype news of the crowds issue (just no time to watch tv), but I know that I feel for these millions who wish they could be in my shoes, free to travel… I have friends with illnesses that are hoping to be blessed with miracles, I have friends who could care less about the Pope’s visit…. But the fact that I get the chance to journey at all – that’s what makes me feel blessed the most. I picked up my walking stick, grabbed Jesus’ hand and said and continue to say, “Ok God, what’s next?”

Ever, I am blessed and humbled to be in my shoes, for this trip and for my whole life… excited but humbled to have “lucked” into this and ALL of my life’s blessings – but I KNOW it has nothing to do with luck at all (but thanks to God, I do always appreciate my leprechaun status!!!)…Yes, it’s not luck when I am journeying through my faith every day,  Life’s free will… while some others are still questioning where to start, I became blessed to realize what was happening to me and to make a running leap off into the deep end of a God-centered life… And even though I came into this place and PEACE of mind more gently than most, I have a brave appreciation of how long a trip I still have to make… The journey won’t always be smooth sailing, but the wind will be there always to guide me… The road is narrow but it is sure… And I will pray to EVER grab the hand of Jesus to keep me above water.

I journey because God said you are capable, I want you, I have plans for you… You are a child of God…

Thanks God… I will try to be ready in your timing not mine… Let’s go!

Atone anew, 24Sept – #271

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Atone anew, 24Sept
It’s the day after the “Day of Atonement” and yes brand new sins I have accumulated already this year, sigh… just while writing part of this I made my son miss the bus…. I apologized, and I drove him in time and he did have a lot to carry… so I guess it worked out… but still I need to be more mindful not just about this, but about all the accumulating trespasses I make…. I deserved him chastising me because I am on my phone too much…. A sin of writing and thinking about myself too much comes to light even if it was the writing and thinking about myself that brought me to this spiritual awareness of Jesus’ light…I feel like if I can get my writings out and done I can move forward, otherwise it’s processing that would just accumulate like my sewing pile…  but it’s a gamble I take with time…

Love and sin balancing remind us that we live life precariously… Our glory-seeking life goes both ways… When we live life for God’s glory then He is getting us into a path of wholeness, and we are going to know it – we are going to see and feel those blessings… BUT, when we work for our glory, then we are getting in the way of His path for us to achieve wholeness with God, that’s when we sin, and we are blind to those blessings we already have…. And if we are “in tune” with God’s wanting us to be whole, we might feel the hurt that we are inflicting on others with our trespasses… If we are not feeling that pain we cause in others by our own hands, then we are blind sinners…. I feel the pain…. I am sorry, God, sorry for my sins big and small… I am humbled that Jesus came to forgive me, forgive us all…

Yes we are forgiven by Christ existence and resurrection, and that is because we need it…  We ARE sinners, thru and thru… and we ARE human… and it is hard NOT to sin, but we are to remember God’s law and atone for our trespasses… “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”…. And if we do sin, if we fall, if we sink,  then are we to pick ourselves up?… No… We are to ask Jesus to pick us up… we are to draw our strength from HIM and not from us… Refocus on Him to guide us to His LIGHT. Return us to holiness. Heal us. Be our advocate, as in 1John2 NIV “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”

I Praise God for sending HIS Son, our Jesus, to remind us (to remind me) the He felt and feels all our human trespasses so deeply… He took on our pain, He humbled himself into human form in order for us to humble ourselves back into the fold of God’s children… We are created from God by God to return to holiness and wholeness with God…

Thanks God. Thanks Jesus

From HEBREWS, “I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”….. “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. ”

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HEBREWS 10:
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll – I have come to do your will, my God.’”
8 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. 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do Your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 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. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
16 “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.”

17 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

Beautiful Story from one of our Women’s Retreat Cousins-in-Christ, 23SEPT – #270 *

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Beautiful Story from one of our Women’s Retreat Cousins-in-Christ, 23SEPT

So I asked a women’s retreat friend (and she said it was ok) to share her email of a wonderful testimony about God taking care of her after she got lost (and while she didn’t have her guide dog in his harness)…

God was taking care of her using the positions of rocks and trees, so that she could find her way home…  Praising those rocks that call out!

I love her love of God and her love of all of us… it’s so blessed to walk with sisters and brothers in Christ – I would say all of us “Cousins in Christ”!

————–

On Sep 20, 11:57 PM, “L” wrote:

Hi Debbie,
When Pastor asked in church today if anyone had a praise offering, it was silent. Then a few people spoke up. I was thinking about saying I was thankful for being at church since I haven’t been there in awhile and also wanted to thank God for rocks and trees and of course, I thought to myself, people are probably going to think I’m crazy.
So Pastor’s message was about how we do not praise God enough and praise God for the simple things. He went on to say how God created nature and the things in it, to sing his praise i.e. rocks and trees especially since we who were created in his image, don’t realize how important it is to give thanks and praise.

Ok, so this is why I wanted to say praise for rocks and trees and after you hear his message, you’ll understand how it all connected for me. Friday morning after putting my son on the bus, I stupidly decided to go across the street to a very familiar corner to walk my dog without his harness on. I wasn’t feeling that great but I go there often and besides that, I had my trusty I-phone. So he and I walk across the street and then I realize we are not where I wanted to go. I felt around with my foot and was trying to get oriented by listening to the traffic but the more frustrated I got, the more disoriented I became., “Light bulb moment”, use your I-phone to call someone or use GPS. Well, my phone was not working because before the boys went to school they told me to update my phone but they neglected to tell me I need to go through setting up my phone.

I was getting upset with myself since I haven’t grasped this technology and have become so dependent on it. So I stopped and prayed asking God to send me someone or something to get me back home. I was already lost for about a half an hour and was panicking because I left my house open and Mom was going to be coming over but she always calls first to see where I’m at and of course, she wouldn’t be able to get hold of me.

So I waited a little longer for a sign but no one or nothing clued me in so I calmed myself down, prayed again and decided to walk towards the sound of traffic in hopes I would figure out which intersection I was at. I told him to go home and he started pulling the leash a little but then stopped and he seemed confused as well then I felt the sun. I started thinking about where I am when I can feel the sun when I go for my regular walks. I decided to turn around and walk the opposite direction and I started getting closer to traffic. Then, a tree branch brushes across the top of my head this branch feels like the one I always bump my head on while passing my neighbor’s house who lives across the street from me. So I keep walking and find a driveway and decide to cross the street and if I’m correct, it will take me to my driveway. Well, it didn’t. So I step up on the curb and decide to still head toward the traffic but use my foot to trail the grass line hoping for a clue. I didn’t have to walk too far before my foot bumps into a pile of rocks which I immediately recognize as the river rocks my husband placed around the sump pump pipe sticking out of our yard. I say out loud, “Thank You God!!!!” and I immediately get the message from God, God is my rock. He is there no matter what I’m going through and as long as I believe and have faith and hope, he will take care of me.
I found my way back to my house and went inside and cried tears of joy. God is awesome!

So when Pastor said about the rocks singing praises and then he mentioned the trees, it just confirmed my belief. I know you will understand what I mean. I shared this with him, others and especially L. H. today after church. L. H.  said to me so what did you learn? my response, “to always trust God and yes, he is my rock and to never leave my house without putting the steering wheel on my dog. We had a good laugh about it.

Hope to talk soon. Love you.


From: debbie

Oh what a beautiful testimony of trusting God… I have tears of joy… The rocks will cry out if you don’t praise them, and river rocks and trees and YOU and God are so awesome….

I have an idea…. Perhaps you can take some river rocks and make a pattern at each of the neighbors, three rocks at this one, five at this one…. As a double check emergency GPS – God Positioning Stones.

I am remembering VBS Kingdom Rock where we used those river rocks…

Jesus is the cornerstone as He and we are building God’s church…

Take care, and can I share this beautiful testimony with the other women’s retreat folks???? It is a great reminder to trust in the Lord and praise!

Love ya!
Debbie
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Hi Debbie,
Yes, I do not mind if you share my testimony.
I am a big nature lover too. I take any chance I can to be out there and experiencing it.
I love your idea of God Positioning Stones. LOL
I’m praising God for Debbie, my beautiful sister in Christ.

Love you

email about Family Stone Cross, 22Sept – # 269

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email about Family Stone Cross, Sept

I appreciate how I really appreciate this stone cross now…and I wanted this photo, vain or not…  I am a combo of my irish Dad’s side plus my Czech mom’s side… and her maiden name means cross. I am blessed to physically cling to this stone cross, a rock of ages, firmly planted in the ground to represent our family tree… and of course I am blessed to emotionally cling to the cross to be a branch on Jesus’s tree of life…

I had a great few days at home… Good to see my brother, my parents were thrilled to have us both home….

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Praying for God’s Ministry Thru You, 22SEPT – #268

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268 email to others and Pastor P – with reply from Pastor P

Praying for God’s Ministry Thru You, 22SEPT

God bless you Pastor P., you are hitting the target with your blogs,  they resonate with me and because I am tapping into so many other people I can usually find where they will fit with their situations…

Yes, God always used me in HIS ways but these expanded ways are so exciting…

We are so blessed

On Sep 22, 7:53 AM, “Pastor P” wrote:

Thanks for sharing, Debbie!  God is going to keep using you!!  Blessings!

On Tue, Sep 22, at 7:36 AM, debbie wrote:

Hi my favorite local Ministry leaders,

I like this blog from Pastor P about growing ministry… I was tasked by the “rally day” little leaf hand out from the stewardship committee to pray for our church leaders…. Well yeah that’s a easy one to pray… I pray for SO many to bear fruit in their ministry to REACH…. I pray for the “abide” that Pastor P speaks of here … (and he had a previous blog about us not being the fruit-maker but about God growing the fruit and we are to bear it by just being the sturdy branch.

So I pray for your ministries (mine too) inside and outside the building: reaching the sheep out there, and reaching the people in feeling their worship and also reaching the people to want to help God as a co-laborer… bearing fruit that God places there, because we are just the branches to abide… To display what God bears thru us.

Thanks my co-laborers – thanks for your leadership and for accepting that even if you are putting the work in, it’s NOT your ministry at all to take credit for, you are purely the branch for God’s ministry THRU you.

God Bless! Luv ya!

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Three Keys to Growing Your Ministry – by Pastor P

“I was journaling with the Lord the other day and asked Him, “What are the keys to growing my ministry?” I felt like the Lord gave me three very clear and simple keys. I want to share them with you with the hope and prayer that your ministry will be expanded as you apply them yourself.

“Prayer

“The first key to seeing an expanded ministry is simply to ask God. The Bible calls us co-laborers with God. (1 Corinthians 3:9) As those working with God on kingdom assignments, we must be in good communications with the commanding officer. (2 Timothy 2:4) Prayer is not just about getting things done, but about intimacy with God, loving Him just for the sake of loving him and enjoying his presence. It is also important as a leader to raise up spiritual lieutenants who will pray for your ministry. [ Pray for this ministry! ]

“Produce Fruit

“Ministry can be defined in many ways. One biblical way to describe ministry is that it is the laboring of workers in the harvest fields. It doesn’t take being in ministry long to realize that working a ministry is a lot of work! The harvest is plentiful as Jesus put it. (Matthew 9:37) The good news is that we do not need to produce this good fruit out of striving, but out of abiding! (John 15:5) This brings us back to point number one, prayer and intimacy with God. As we spend time with God, we will hear his voice and be able to produce good fruit that feeds others’ souls.

“Partnership

“The Gospel was never meant to be a sole-proprietorship, but a partnership. Jesus set the model for ministry by working alongside other men.  Paul spoke of his partnership in the gospel frequently. (2 Corinthians 8:23) If you desire to see the kingdom of God expanded in the world, it is essential to find people you can raise up and train to do ministry.  Secondly, you need to partner with other people who have a common heartbeat, but different ministry that you can support and run alongside.

“I want to leave you with the words of our Lord that touch on all three of the above points as a final encouragement: “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” (Matthew 9:35-38)”

http://mobile.dudamobile.com/site/christiangrowthnetwork?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.christiangrowthnetwork.com%2Fthree-keys-to-grow-your-ministry.html&utm_referrer=#2848

Bonus Day at Home…., 21SEPT – #267

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Bonus Day at Home…., 21SEPT

So I have to question but I have to praise God’s timing, it’s always going to be a praise when you take God’s point of view in your situation.

My brother (who is my ride home) booked his flight for today but then changed it for tomorrow then promptly forgot that… the rest of my relatives are also leaving tomorrow… so early yesterday I was stressing about who do I spend more time with on my last day? out of town relatives? my parents? home with the kids….all that and yeah, I was saying to myself that it WOULD be nice to have more time here at home….

Although not seeing my kids gives me some angst, I am being the kid here in my hometown for my parents, who are thrilled both me and my brother are here…, although for sad circumstances of my cousin’s and aunt’s funerals, it was a placed family reunion to honor them…

Well… I walk in the door my brother says guess what, he messed up the flights… I just started laughing… I said really God? You answer SO quickly…. A bonus day at home?  could we make it work? Would my boss be mad? Hmmm…. Yeah, a bonus day at home was just what I wanted, and what I got…

And so I attach this praise photo… As I walked the gorge leisurely over the course of three hours with my family… Zoom in on the photo, see me praising with my arms up, I am the tiny spec on blue on  the right…. getting wet in the spray…. Wet in cold powerful pounding water as well as the living water of Jesus…. praising the rocks of God,  and the living trees of life, both nature’s leafy green ones and our Dormady family tree, filled with love…

Yeah bonus days…. Thanks God!

PS… After the hike and picnic lunch, we went to the overrlook… And ran into great friends, two of our church missionaries, just driving thru!!! Amazing “co-incidence” each of us five hours from home… God-incidence…. Praise God…

PPS… Oh geeze…. I just realized that yesterday the bonus day at home was September 21st which is (in the Czech Republic) my naming day which is kind of like a second birthday…  so cool… JOJOJO

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The Rain WILL Come Again, Go With the FLOW, 20Sept – #266

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The Rain WILL Come Again, Go With the FLOW, 20Sept

It rained, twice…. It rained at our cousin and aunt’s double funerals/interments…. It rained twice in the bible account of God’s seasonal blessings… according to Joel 2:23 NIV “Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.”

We were forced by the warm rain (rare all this dry summer) into a beautiful chapel at the cemetery for the services, which enabled a closeness, a comfort in the way of chairs, a comfort in the way of going with the flow…. A natural comfort that ALWAYS can be found in giving up the angst of the minute details of life and going with the FLOW. God allows us to rest and delight in his good works when we go with the flow…

We reconnected sides of the family at the services, we rekindled, we re-appreciated… We let the SPIRIT move us just as easily as we moved from chapel to grave to grave, we let God flow thru us… we had the rain, the autumn rain to replenish our souls… We laid our family love onto their departed souls, as God has laid HIS LOVE into ours….

It stopped raining, after lunch we took our out of town cousins to a cathedral of God’s creation to a beautiful natural place beyond words .. Then we flowed back to base camp… Dinner, brought all of us together again in the same room by… you guessed it… rain… Family closeness in SPIRIT always, and now new family moments facilitated by God’s rain…

Going with God’s FLOW means listening, means feeling how He can move us gently and with His PEACE, move us into our PEACE. It’s giving up our angst to God… It’s giving God HIS rightful place over our hearts and actions, because we stem from him, we drink the living water of Jesus to nourish and repair our human ways. When we drought, there is only one source of living water replenishment… It brings our salvation… It’s us resting in Jesus’s arms and going with HIS FLOW, please hold HIS hand and you will stay afloat…

The rain WILL come again, whether spring or fall… or even a Christmas Flood… Will you let God flow thru you? Will you flow?

Let go…. Go with GOD’S FLOW…

PEACE

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Funeral day.19Sept…. Remembering Cousins and Connections, Blood and Blood, 17MAR – #265

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Funeral day.19Sept…. Remembering Cousins and Connections, Blood and Blood, 17MAR

So today is funeral day for my cousin Mike, and my Aunt (his Mom’s cremated ashes from many years before) … It’s 6AM and already an emotional day… Some of my cousins have gathered here in my home town, we stayed up last night gazing at the milky way, we are way out of town at a camp, it’s so dark here, and the last bit of the night I talked one on one with one of my wonderful cousins about my spiritual growth and everything… At the end of my yapping, and she sharing her faith too, I saw an amazing shooting star… Good God, God is good…

My 23 first cousins and our spouses are the best and I am the youngest of those 23.. I have so much crazy love from them, stemming from my five uncles and five aunts and my parents… We support each other immensely because that’s how we were taught to live, we were taught to LOVE… I learned a new word from my brother… Avuncular…Kind and friendly towards a younger or less experienced person: reassuring, and trustworthy…. Yes, that’s EXACTLY the word for what I feel, what I have experienced from SO many…

Cousins… My cousin Mike’s passing evoked one of the biggest emotional pieces for me to that date, on St Patrick’s Day… If I call you a cousin it is because you are… If you know me, you know I can skip all the formalities and just “luv ya”.. I just do, it’s a completely Agape LOVE of cousins in Christ…..

Thank you for letting me exude the love that I can’t help but exude, I have way more than my share and am humbled to be God’s instrument to share it….

Here’s that emotional piece… Thank you… LUV YA!!!!

Recap #97 I love this piece !!!!!!!

Cousins and Connections, Blood and Blood, 17MAR

> Yesterday I felt so glad to get some “unfinished” writings out… Because I told myself that I was now going to fill my mind with things that I (with a capital I) wanted to fill it with….that I asked God to empty my mind – and yes He did… and I did get about 3 hours of real work work done in the morning. > > … and then God filled my brain, unexpectedly, in the afternoon with the thoughts HE wanted me to have – and HE filled my mind with actions and connections and LOVE. Not my mind anymore is it? – it’s HIS…. sigh… a new normal i will try to remember this always…I am God’s instrument…tune him in not out… God…sigh…. > > So my beloved cousin Mike died on Saturday, he was mid 50’s… i learned via Facebook (of all places), someone posted on his wall RIP. i said “wait what??”, I messaged that person and was trying to balance my fear with my disbelief – turns out Mike dropped dead instantly in a bank from a nearly 100% blockage from heart disease – with complications from diabetes and not taking care of himself – which very few of us do…. Heart disease and diabetes and stroke are our Irish destinies – our whole family struggles… > > My flood of emotions – sorrow and questions – we hadn’t talked in years – couldn’t get a hold of him – but we loved each other – all my cousins – we love each other even if we don’t connect… we are connected by Grace and by our family tree. > > Well, God filled me with sorrow first but then with so much action. He chose ME to start spreading the news – I have the connections to the whole family – I had to get the word out, as my mother’s generation would have – it is now my generation’s job… I spent the whole afternoon and into the evening on the phone, only to look up at 7:30, when the people locking up work said “it’s time to go”… I spent the whole afternoon on the phone and email and texting with my cousins – there are 23 of us third generation Irish. My cousin Mike was an only child – the first one to pass of our first cousin generation. We stem from 6 brothers and their amazing 6 wives (my father being the youngest) – the number of children are 23 AND then of course the marriages and children and grandchildren of our cousins – we have exploded across the US and are spreading family love and spiritness everywhere. Yes, we are a family of Leprechauns if there ever was!!!. So God filled my mind with memories and the love of my cousins – the best family gift ever! > > If people ask where i draw my strength – that is an easy easy answer – i draw it from my family – and there is an overflow of strength… > > Oh, I just made the biggest epiphany about my church family…not lightbulb in your in your brain epiphany but fireworks going off epiphany… > > My church family, I love them so much in the agape way… but I just realized they are not my brothers and sisters in Christ they are my cousins in Christ!!!! Agape love is so reflected in the love of cousins. Just because I don’t know them all yet, and they come from different backgrounds (and I want to know them all more), doesn’t mean I don’t already love them. Our ancestors would tell us to love them even if we don’t know then. > > Cousins. Some are distant and some are close. Some are lost. Some are found. Some are blind. Some can see. > > Some of our cousins need to have a God connection made… maybe we are their connection… maybe they’ll find their own connection. Maybe we just need to remind them and us that we are all connected. > > My mother’s family cousins in Europe… I am so longing to see them… I will see them next week. I will embrace them. I was the one that made the connection between the Old World and the New World. God gave me the gifts to make this connection. And, I so feel like the connection of my father’s Irish cousins to our recent ancestral homeland. > > God gave me a ministry of connection. A ministry of encouragement someone said… of friendliness…but, NO it is a MINISTRY OF CONNECTIONS. I will make the connections. I will write about connections. I will connect to my words and thoughts and I will connect my people to their God and all that is good. > > Blood relative cousins ….Blood Christ cousins… > > Life is good. > God is good. > God, thanks for my cousins. All of them. > God, thanks for connecting me to you. > I believe in connections. > AMEN!

The Thoughtfulness of a 4AM God, 15Sept – #264

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The Thoughtfulness of a 4AM God, 15Sept

If you know me, you know I have a good imagination, am silly to a fault, and I love life… But what touches me more and more is the thoughtfulness of God… At every hour of the day… I don’t understand it, I don’t know why I am blessed so much… I feel that the signs God throws my way are truly gifts from HIM… I question and HE answers… I am not making this up, I don’t have as good an imagination as God does… I just don’t…

I know I have to focus on God… I have to stay in HIS plan… He will call me, and I will follow.

Tonight I woke up, not to write, I’m just up… thinking about the day… today my doctor diagnosed some arm numbness issues (I will be fine) – and I was also worried about my shoulders and neck too, but he said my shoulders were strong and then this serious smart doctor made this funny face and arm curl and told me in a great voice that my shoulders were “strong like a bull” – nice, nice affirmation…

4AM….The Pleiades, ah yes, there is Orion the hunter, usually viewed on a winter night. But if you’re up at 4 in the morning you can see it bright in the southern sky. I made a mistake thinking the Pleiades star cluster was in Orion for years but it turns out the Pleiades are in Taurus, being hunted by Orion… I told myself next time I was up at 4 in the morning I would certainly try to find the Pleiades stars, which God uses as a true connection to so much in my life… I searched the sky maps for the right direction to look… They say look for the stars in the left shoulder of Taurus, the bull… Bull…
Bull… Bull Shoulder!
REALLY GOD?
That doctor  told me that my left shoulder is as strong as a bull today, and tonight you show me that’s where the Pleiades are? Bull… I stopped dead in my tracks… Really God???

Bull… You are THAT thoughtful God? Or am I just fooling myself? Maybe I don’t want to know… God you know I am enjoying this, I am enjoying our time together… Maybe just maybe you will let me know only as much as you need to… But please let me praise you God for your thoughtfulness… You make me smile… You give me pause… You give me a chance to praise 4am wake ups, you give me life and you fill it with your beautiful imagination… How blessed am I to see your thoughtfulness…how blessed I am to revere you God

Job 9: 5 “He moves mountains without their knowing it and overturns them in his anger.
6 He shakes the earth from its place
and makes its pillars tremble.
7 He speaks to the sun and it does not shine;
he seals off the light of the stars.
8 He alone stretches out the heavens
and treads on the waves of the sea.
9 He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.

Amos 5:
8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
who turns midnight into dawn
and darkens day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the land—
the Lord is his name.
……
14 Seek good, not evil,
that you may live.
Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is.
15 Hate evil, love good;”

This is why I write, I have to process… I can’t believe my eyes, my ears, my life SO filled with the thoughtfulness of God… Well I can now, because really God is that just that thoughtful… to everyone… Just listen, just look, just pause to praise….
“Hate evil, love good”…
Love God

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And then….one more shoulder surprise reference this morning…  I opened this little devotion calendar a dear old departed friend gave me years ago, it lives in my car, I looked ahead to next week, Sept 21 is my Czech Republic “Naming Day” as big a celebration there as one’s birthday… And it reads:
“There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved. It is the finger of God on a person’s shoulder.”

Such a nice whisper of God’s love….

LOL, I add this earlier blog piece from Rick Lawrence about being Jesus being “a bull in a China shop”  – like Jesus with my burst of awakening……. Matches my piece about the doctor telling me my shoulders were “as strong as a bull” and the Pleiades in the shoulder of Taurus the bull… Nice…

LOL

God is good!

———-

LOL, just the other day I called myself  “A bull in a China shop”…. The rapid awareness of full Christianity, 0-60 in seconds flat…

So I laughed (out loud) when I saw this quote this morning:
“Jesus is the original “bull in a china shop.” Is Jesus nice? Yes, of course, but when He is, He’s scandalously nice. He’s nice to all the wrong people, and He’s offensive to all the wrong people.”  — Rick Lawrence

“Is Jesus nice? Yes, of course…. ”
Yup, He loves being the bull, I can hear the crashes 2000 years later…. Loud and clear! Nice!

Forgiving the Wrong Road, 14Sept – #263

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Love it when random bible verses (these from flipping thru an actual paper not electronic bible) bring my thoughts together…

I praise pausing for thought…. it’s forgiveness that gives you peace…. And it’s forgiveness that God gives us, we have to reciprocate, and forgive others… here’s my devotion/pondering…

Forgiving the Wrong Road, 14Sept

I used to know someone who would start complaining (not unusual) but then I noticed that she was trying to pull you down that road too (I don’t know if it was on purpose, but I think it was)… She would start complaining about specific people, get your opinions, and then go blab what you complained about to others to make herself look better… Yeah that’s bad… Yeah that’s both causing sin in you as well as sinning oneself…. And I think you could imagine other sinful instances where others may have pulled folks or you down the wrong road, or even yourself did this too… And maybe not even on purpose to harm, but just to have someone along for the ride….

Praise God when you see those times coming, praise if you can see them a mile away, praise if you can come to a full stop then just don’t go down that road… That is the gift of discernment…

My random bible perusing came across Mark 9: 42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed….”
So, your hands, feet, eyes  – all these better for you to maim to prevent yourself from sinning against others…   “Have salt among yourselves…. and be at peace with each other…..” Yeah, use discernment of your words and actions like how salt is used for a fire….

And yet suffering is part of our lot in life, so we can’t avoid getting hurt… And suffering helps us to appreciate the comfort thru Christ: 2nd Corinthians “5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ”…. And Psalm 146 says “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save”

FORGIVENESS
I have my own trespassors, whom I have to forgive… I always think about that road rage guy who cut me off and punched at my face in my closed car window (yay strong Subaru)… I forgave him on the spot because I was not hurt and because I saw old pain in his face, I told myself I was fine and because of that I forgave him, and I was able to move on with my life… And I now I try to apply this forgiveness (after some processing) for MY peace of mind… Yes, forgiveness for PEACE….

Perhaps you have had a trespassor who didn’t even know that what they were doing was wrong in the eyes of God, maybe actually thought they were helping… disregarding that they may have chanced you and themselves a walk down the wrong road… And because of that, your angst was 100-fold theirs because you were on the grieving receiving end of that trespass…

And thus it’s a tough spot…. stress at keeping true to Mark 11:22, 25, which says FORGIVENESS is the key to your forgiveness from God (and I will add is key to your PEACE of mind)…   “22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. … 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Forgiveness leads to PEACE… If you still have trouble with that forgiveness of any situation, try to figure out what you were supposed to learn from it and then give that angst to God… That will get you closer to PEACE… God will correct that wrong (in HIS timing not yours). So, LIFT up your hands to grab HIS to pull you out of your anger and tears, and let your heart be lifted…. I did and it works…. Blessed are those… Blessed are us… whose “hope is in the Lord our God”…

Pray to always walk down the right road, walk to the light, and pray for discernment always…

LOVE is the greatest commandment…

LOVE demands FORGIVENESS….

FORGIVENESS is a gift from GOD

GOD is LOVE
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Scriptures:
Psalm 146 NIV
1 Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
2 I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
8     the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,  the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The Lord reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.

————
Mark 12
, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater than these.”

32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

——–
2nd Corinthians
Praise to the God of All Comfort
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,[a] about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

——–

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)

 

Soul on FIRE – Still, 12Sept – #262

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Soul on FIRE – Still, 12Sept

So many duplications of God reminding me HE is in charge this week… Just yesterday I had double scriptures in Ephesians 3 then 4; then I was singing about ‘Better one day in God’s courts, than thousand elsewhere’ at the same time I drove by ‘Ivy court’ Road… Yeah, at the same time as the song.

Last night, I was thinking about something that a friend cautioned me agains,t months ago… warned me, in genuine concern, about me burning out from activity after having such an explosive awakening…

I said then, and still I say now, I could never burn out on God, maybe I will run out of time for everything I want to do (and be a bit weary at times), but my soul right now is still a “Soul on Fire”, like the song, and I pray it always will be, and I have faith that God won’t let me forget that….

And this soul-on-fire thought, in my constant conversation with God, was what was running thru my head while I was walking out of the Subaru and into the grocery store last night. Exactly at that thought of “FIRE” I walked right on top of the word “FIRE” on the ground…. “FIRE”… I smiled, said ‘REALLY God?’… I had to turn around to look again, I took a photo and smiled… THANKS GOD….. Thanks God for FIRE, for kindling and re-kindling my fire for YOU every day…. Praise God, you have me swept away in your love already and yet you remind me EVERYDAY to praise, every day to know your joy.

Oh how blessed am I to realize that!! … I know God, that YOU are ever-faithful to everyone, I’m so grateful that YOU take care of us all.

Thanks Lord for the FIRE, again.

 

 

9-11- Lost Then Found in the Garden, 10SEP – #261

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9-11- Lost Then Found in the Garden, 10SEP

Tomorrow is Friday Sept 11th – I am enclosing a photo of mangled steel from the twin towers in a reflection garden, those which i held on Feb 1st – the first day I knew I was 100% with Jesus…

It was after a swirling blessed church morning and blessed lunch with church family, that I got LOST driving to my friend’s house and then I FOUND I had driven to the 9-11 reflection garden, having never visited there before… Holding those pillars I knew God was totally in control of my life – and knew it was Him who took me there… He drove me to realize my salvation – drove me NOT out of distress and crisis but drove me at a time in my life when I had peace and love.  Feb 1st, I was able to finally say “Yes, I am sure. Yes, I 100% believe that Jesus was real, is real, is the son of God” 😉  

I will always remember standing there – in the crisp winter air – it was as peaceful a moment as you could ever have standing in a sea of sad memories, feeling angst for those 3000 people…  Forever ago it seems, but 14 years ago on Sept 11, 2001 I was holding my brand new 6-week old preemie baby (whose original due date was the day before Sept 10th) – I was holding my baby trying to make sense of it all – not knowing what to do while watching the towers burn – seeing the second crash – but knowing I had to keep moving for the sake of this little miracle who was still demanding 100% of my focus… she was crying for my attention – I had to keep moving…

Feb 1st – God was moving me and I let HIM – I was holding those twisted rusty pillars – praying – picked up a coin from the pile with John 3:16 written on it (it was also Superbowl Sunday) and I smiled to myself that YES I actually believed it… I really did believe that God gave His ONLY Son for our salvation – I really did believe it 100%.

I get so choked up thinking about that day in the 9-11 garden – I will remember my prayer wishing that all who died made it to the realization of salvation in Jesus in the nick of time ….even the perpetrators… I prayed that they ALL found peace and salvation…

I got lost into that garden because I was getting found…That moment in time was a culmination of a head spinning awakening, but I was still standing… I was stilled in praise… and I was ready to walk… Walk with the Lord the rest of my days… in SPIRIT and in TRUTH… 

Thanks God, once again for walking me/driving me/guiding me into the right Holy Spirit-led people who got Jesus awake in me – then got me into Jesus’s arms in order to get WHOLE with You Lord.  God, thank you always for the garden – and for letting me find this path with Your gentle whispering Holy Spirit’s guidance. Thanks Jesus for holding my hand, my heart and my soul as you keep me moving – eternally blessed – ever walking with You to the eternal garden…  

Amen

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Email with my Professor about Go and Tell- turning the world right side up, 09SEP – #260

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Email with my Professor about Go and Tell- turning the world right side up,  09SEP

Awesome, yes thanks,  I like how you said “right side up”, as I was thinking both in my “perfection” writing yesterday about turning the pieces(people) right side up for God to grab, and as also way back I my penny piece, about flipping (or kicking) pennies and sometimes people right side up so that that could reach a hands up… you duplicated that with your email about Jesus wanting to turn the world  “right side up”… God wants to bring us back to whole with Him – to not lose anyone – to make the world realize that only thru Jesus will they get back to eternal life…

On Sep 7, 9:07 PM, Professor wrote:

Not only that, but if you read the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) carefully, he actually tells people (and demons occasionally) NOT to tell everyone about healings and exorcisms he does. It’s like he doesn’t want to blow his cover or something.

All that changes however AFTER the cross- after the resurrection, when he tells his followers, GO, and TELL. Go invite, go make disciples. Now that the work had been accomplished, he sends them to turn the world upside-down. Or, rather, right-side up again, since the world was so broken and he had come to heal it and make all things new.

Settling Your Heart into Jesus’s Hands, 07Sept – #259

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Settling Your Heart into Jesus’s Hands, 07Sept

I have experienced Jesus awakening me, grabbing my hand to wake me.

I have also experienced Jesus raising my whole body from when I lost focus like Peter and started sinking into the water… Jesus not JUST grabbing my hand, but truly by picking me up BY MY HEART, by scooping HIS hands under it… Lifting me up with LOVE.

I was in the water by choice, so Jesus let the water rinse my heart and then when I rose my hand in surrender, Jesus picked it and me up to drain from being waterlogged and heavy. The water poured in and out, with a cleansing rinse…

I need ALWAYS to be the one to let go completely and release my heart into HIS hands, let it sink low into protective custody… To hide my heart in Christ (following poet Maya Angelou’s advice).

Yes, the trapped air pockets are what Jesus and I are now working on… The big bubbles and the little ones… all these will have to be bubbled out, sometimes painfully… But out they must go, one bubble at a time until there are none left preventing completeness.

Here is my devotion:

Rest your heart, you’ve traveled so far, it’s ok to be weary… Rest your tired soul, settle in…

Jesus came to raise us up to God’s eternal home. To hold us up so we could hone in on the focus we need to make it thru life. Jesus came not to judge the world, but to save it (John 3:17).

Let your heart nestle down into Jesus’s hands… Wholly and solidly you surrender your body into HIS supporting arms, let your body sigh and let your soul rest down into love. Let your heart nestle in, surrender into the protective shield, wear Jesus on your heart as your armor of God. Feel your whole heart in contact with his gentle yet strong hands.

We need to make it thru life, but we will find salvation wearing the bloodshed from Christ, and only then we find ourselves living the life of the good news, in life everlasting.

Please Lord, when we are sinking, let the cleansing living water of Jesus rinse thru our hearts.  Please Lord, pick us up to drain us from our waterlogged and heavy lives. Please Lord, scoop us up, lifting our hearts with Your hands. Lifting us into salvation…

Lifting us with LOVE.

Perfection, 07Sept – #258

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Perfection, 07Sept

Ok, so you’ve accepted Jesus, accepted you were loved enough by GOD to be saved thru the bloodshed of Jesus, and yes, you have even been treasured so much that you still have to question: “This was all for us? For me???”

Ok, now what??

Yeah, you aren’t on your death bed, YOU actually pray that you have energy to live out God’s plan picked for you….

Perhaps you feel that you need to accept God’s command to go make disciples?…
Yet perhaps you feel more work needs to be done to clean out every corner of your heart first?…
Perhaps God says DON’T wait….

Yes, God says sing your praises and share His Grace and HE will see you thru each storm as you arrive at it… But God ALSO asks you to work the soil in the lives of the people around you, as well as within your own life….at the same time…

God wants wholeness from society, not piecemeal pockets of salvation…. He wants perfection and HIS game is no game at all, He wants a time where we ALL accept our salvation at His appointed time.

Perfection, one of my favorite games growing up… Fit all the pieces in the spring-loaded puzzle board before that timer is up and POP!… The whole board pops out throwing all the pieces everywhere… Finish the board and the timer is stopped… Perfection for eternity…

Each piece must be fit individually into the unique spaces. Each piece is different from all the rest, some are tricky, they all must be studied (or shape memorized) for uniqueness… and they ALL must get into the board before time is up…

Each SOUL must fit individually into HIS plan. Each soul is different from all the rest, some are tricky, they all must be studied (or shape memorized) for uniqueness… and they ALL must get into the space marked by God’s plan before time is up…

And whenever that is, when time is up, are you going to have your skull and soul “safe” nestled into a space? Done and just pray the board will get finished before time is up? Or perhaps you might consider to be out ON the board, finding space for all the other pieces? Since you know your space is marked out, saved for you, and you know how to hop into it at the last minute… Well perhaps it would behoove you to work on the other pieces, to help God… Especially since time could be short or time could be long…  Be busy and help God work on their souls by sharing your unique tool set to support them. Help set as many of these pieces of God’s plan upright so it’s easier for all of us to prepare for eternity… It is God who will grab them to fit them all in before time is up… Before we all pray…

Shareholders, we are ALL shareholders in HIS plan, we all have a stake… We can work for the company or wait gathering dust while we slowly turn into dust. We can find use for our lives by being out there, working to increase the return on the investment of God’s capital… We can’t finish the job unless we are working in the job…

Who wants to help God?
I DO…
DO YOU?

It’s the plan for us ALL to be in God’s plan.
I want to work the plan…
DO YOU?

Trickle Effect, 05SEP – #257

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from an email discussion with my professor

Trickle Effect, 05SEP

It interests me how Jesus truly didn’t want to be considered a sideshow attraction… He wanted people to dig deep within themselves, He wanted individual conversions…. And obviously He had a few miracles that also worked to convince folks, but He was likely simply showing mercy – simply kindness to deserving believers who were in bad straights…. He could have done grandeur-flamboyant miracles, but He didn’t…

This calls into question our avenues of teaching and trying to spread the Gospel to the masses, what is the best way to reach people? God could have waited and sent Jesus now, in our day and age, when mass media would have spread (or squashed) His message like wildfire…

But God choose a trickle effect…

Some mega churches try a big scale approach… Kinda like the debate people had with free education when it started, questioning if it is better to water down education for all to understand?, or keep education at high level for a few?… I think with faith, God wants the trickle effect – Yes, even at mega churches there is the trickle effect – it might be the person sitting next to you, with whom you can discuss the message’s meaning, where conversations about Jesus occur… It’s the way of the personal trickle down/bleed over effect – where God becomes REAL to you…

Hmmmm…. I wonder where God will take all these pockets of faith next….. Hmmm…. God sure is interesting in His approach….

The trickle effect is watching and seeing the Holy Spirit in action…

God wants us to come one by one – on our own realization that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life!


Oooh!!!! GOD duplicated this verse for me – about healing the mute man from the book of Mark today at church here in our getaway city…. Crazy!!!!   God loves that crazy duplication….. Fun

Jesus Heals a Deaf and Mute Man
31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.

33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”


 

Oh!!! This trickle effect is not just believing but also doing (which we knew)… Verse 12… I always thought it was “you will see greater things;, but actually it’s “you will DO greater things”

John 14 (NIV)

Jesus Comforts His Disciples
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Jesus the Way to the Father
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
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And later in the scripture I love how we think of us going to the father, but Jesus says how they will come and make their home with us….
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23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 

Staying Humble, Staying Hopeful…. 05Sep – #256

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Staying Humble, Staying Hopeful…. 05Sep

Cleaning my purse…. Love this little book buried in it, today I read about Paul in it…
Paul, as amazing as his momentous transformation, remembers he always will be human, as wonderful a writer, preacher, leader he always remembers he is human, especially with that thorn in his side… And he uses a eraser…. it’s good to stay humble….
Just like the reminder from this bracelet I still wear (a Christmas in July gift at VBS Everest from my pastor) the white bead (with SNOW from Mount Everest in it) means when you are at your highest highs, remember to stay humble! I slide that white bead up and try to remember that … I try but fail at that often 😉  thanks folks – thanks Lord – for tolerating my follies…

And (gratefully only a few times) I have held onto that black bead (containing mud from the dead sea) to remember that when you are at your lowest to remember to stay hopeful! Thanks all, especially over these past couple weeks, for all your support!!!

Grateful always for the Jesus hand-ups, God heart-guarding, as well as those humbling thorns….

256-white-bead

Whole God, 28AUG – #255

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Found this in my drafts…. Probably a bit rambling, or full circle, depends on how you look at it 😉

my thoughts were  thinking about those who do not value themselves enough, that if they focus to do HIS work that they might find purpose… And also about finding others find their purpose and not neglect them… or discard them as worthless…

And sadly there are those folks going too far in the other way… Deluding themselves into thinking they are helping for God but absorbing the praise meant for GOD along the way… hmmm….

Whole God, 28 Aug
Believe in one’s self…. believe in one’s self worth… God sent Jesus to save the world, not condemn it (John 3:17)…. So shouldn’t we do the same thing? We are made of God because God is the ALL in ALL, everything, dust to dust…. we should not condemn the world but find our place in it.

John 6:29 NIV
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Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

So we are to believe in Jesus because God sent a servant savior, to save us, because our WHOLE GOD didn’t want to lose any of us, we are pieces in HIS puzzle, we are ALL worth saving, we are ALL worth the effort…

So we are to believe in ourselves too…

Jesus was sent because HE was the living example of God, this is how you are meant to live, love, forgive, reach…. You don’t have to forget or shy away from pain, try to embrace that you have the strength to face life because that strength is from God… God gave you a direction to work forward towards: Jesus. You are made from God, you are made to go to God… You were dust and will return to dust. It’s all connected…. We are all connected… We ALL matter to God, therefore we should all matter to each other too… and although we should 100% love ourselves and take care of ourselves – it’s not always about us!…  it’s about WE… It’s about GOD…

Growth, God wants us to grow – God wants to use us as a resource – if you think of a plant where the leaves, shoots, roots all have roles then it makes sense that we are all in this together – that certain people have certain roles, certain gifts, and we all work together – to survive – the goal of a plant (of all organisms) is to survive and to prosper just enough to have offspring – to pass on their genetic material for the good of the whole community – to enrich the gene-pool – to help the community thrive in the diversity – that is a God-sanctioned event – God wants us to survive and prosper and feed back to the WHOLE community – to the WHOLE God – we are not to be islands of our own…  Have you have been in a situation and said – “wow i was here at the right time and the right place?” – realized because YOU were used as a saving grace for someone else? Yeah, you have been there – I have been there – you were there because God wanted you there (not that you had a choice anyway)…

Sure this is work!  It’s work to navigate life on the go and not take a few detours… Yes, it takes needed retreats at times to recover and refocus on how to move forward – retreating is a chance to reflect on your role in society in life – it’s a recovery to reenter, to re-engage to re-invigorate to re-vine for the will of God.

Aristotle said “the whole is mightier than the sum of its parts” – so that’s God in a nutshell – God is the synergy of everything WHOLE – and the WHOLE thing is GOD – He sees the parts and he puts them together – but they are supposed to work as a WHOLE – and unless we connect ourselves and live our lives to connect us all, then we are not holding up our end of the bargain.  If God makes US whole – then why should we not do the same for God – help to make HIM WHOLE?  Yes, believe in yourself and your role in life – make a difference – because God has a plan and he is working His plan – so why not make it easier on God and make your life purpose to work for HIM – (or at least stop working against Him)…

Believe in yourself and your role.  You are here on this planet for the SYNERGY – the summation of the parts – you are here for a WHOLE GOD ….