Rainbow Moon, A Promise Forever Kept, 17MAY – #400

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Rainbow Moon, A Promise Forever Kept, 17MAY

I was waiting to see a rainbow this evening, but I didn’t see one… I REALLY wanted one, but that’s ok, clouds are good too, they represent God himself rolling down to earth, like in Solomon’s time, like in the “Look upon the Lord” song… So no rainbow today, it’s OK, I will ALWAYS feel the rainbow connection God placed in my heart… Jesus sustains me to walk by Faith and not by sight…

So, after a solid day at work (and partial day fasting for blood work), an hour drive home, an hour drive to an appointment, an hour session and then the hour drive home…. I was/am exhausted… well, at my most exhausted that’s when I actually saw a gift of a rainbow – around that blessed moon… A rainbow moon was waiting for me – always to comfort me…  rainbow colors emanated from the clouds that surround the moon… A rainbow from the moonlight reflecting thru…  And that moon LIGHT comes from the  sun LIGHT… Rainbows from sun and Son…

Ever since Noah, a rainbow has meant that God promises to take care of us… God’s promises are kept… God sent Jesus as the Promise…

Jesus takes care of me… especially at my most exhausted…

Jesus takes care of us… FOREVER…

My heart – my life – WAS and IS and WILL BE sustained… FOREVER…

A FOREVER PROMISE of LOVE…

THANKS GOD… FOREVER…

“FOREVER WE ARE YOURS… Hallelujah…”

———
“LOOK UPON THE LORD”
https://youtu.be/Uihswh1UlUo

Eyes of a Child – Look Upon the Lord, 13May – #399

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Eyes of a Child – Look Upon the Lord, 13May

Thought I would share the devotion that came out of an email about praise music…

Ah “Close Your Eyes” is a Michael Card song, no wonder I loved the little snippet I heard sung last week… Perfect “eyes of a child” references in this week (or my whole life) of that recurring theme…

I read the lyrics – beautiful and touching… So looking forward to hearing it in service… All the live performances of His music (especially in band and definitely from Michael in person) speak to my heart more than engineered recordings… It’s where the SPIRIT isn’t bottled up and spills out to the listener… Live music for PRAISE spilling out of our mouths is one way we can try to mimic “the cloud” – like when God entered the temple of Solomon… And it’s also the great spilling cloud visual in that “Look to the Lord” video by Paul Baloche and Kari Jobe…”Let the house of the Lord – Be filled with the cloud”…. I have sung that song full volume all week, made a playlist to listen over and over, I am stuck on it right now, but that’s fine…

I have been listening to “Eyes of a Child” by the Moody Blues a few times this week too… What a great gift from God, I PRAISE HIM for that gift in me… Truly I guess I always had that gift, but now when I see things and timings that ONLY God could have made, it’s SO easy to appreciate everything as a gift from God, it’s our job to discern the good – discern the plan – even from pain comes praise… Discern how certain things are used to God’s benefit… My flat tire on Tuesday gave me much to discern, including how it was fixed so rapidly and with joy – within minutes, while friends were reaching out instantly via Facebook with support, while I watched the moon and clouds dance… Then it was replaced so rapidly the next morning by some great Irish guys, plus amazing how my mom had just given me $ that previous day…. for whatever I needed… Easiest flat tire ever… (and it made me clean out my car too)… And of course MOST crucially it served to remind me to watch out for pitfalls in life… And to pay even more attention to my driving especially in the darkest of nights…

Yeah, God has been working me (all of us) into HIS system. He gave me the energy of a child to keep up too, and gave me a voice to tell the world of HIS good works…neither of those I could ever claim came from me… I can’t even claim they came from genetics… They are gifts from God tweaking His system…

I think I heard Michael play this song in concert – he most definitely talked at both concerts about that paradox – “the child is the father of the man” – that this paradox is ON PURPOSE so that we DON’T overthink God, there is NO WAY to understand it all, but just accept and see it like a child would, and appreciate it! and smile!

Thanks God

SMILES


Michael Card, Close Your Eyes So You Can See
“There’s a way that a child can look at the world
see through the eyes of the heart
they see meaning beyond the mystery
hear the silence of the stars

So close your eyes so you can see
the way he meant this world to be
and understand with a child like heart
the place we end is where we start

The child is the father of the man
it’s the paradox of god’s design
so if you would be grown up and mature
let the light of your childhood shine

So close your eyes so you can see
What it must have been like to be
a little girl or boy who knows
and walks with Jesus as they grow”

Tickle, 03MAY – #398

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Despite the title this is probably one of the MOST serious pieces I could write. This is one of my pieces that popped into my head and instantly I knew I had to write it… it’s about serious attacks from the Devil. Leaving out details because actually it’s MORE important to focus on God’s faithfulness and see how His Grace applies to all of us…

Tickle, 03MAY

My son came in to wake me up and he tried to tickle me under my arm, but that is a time when is SO clear to anticipate it and very easy not be tickled… it’s a learned skill to resist tickling. You can’t do that when you’re a kid… For me, having been tickled endlessly as a kid, I can tell you it was pure torture and thankfully I have now learned how to prevent feeling the torture.

So anticipation… not just for silly things like tickling, but for the serious attacks in life as well… that is what we need to do for attacks from the Devil. We need to ANTICIPATE these real and very personal attacks and put our trust in the Lord to keep us from temptation.

I won’t beat around the bush, one of the best pieces of advice a friend/counselor gave me was if you go to fight Satan then get ready to run… Satan is in the world and very destructive to all things…  Surely Satan has been after me before, and especially after, I awakened and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. You surely have seen instances in your life too of the Devil attacking you… Blessedly, God can and will handle these times – but WE have to turn to HIM and admit that WE NEED HIM to help… We have to realize that we are human – and sometimes it takes more than our human strength and will to shake that Devil down… And we have to try to anticipate ongoing, real, and sometimes even seemingly unprovoked attacks with resistance and rebuke… It is best to know your weaknesses, and call upon God to help.

It is easy to detect Satan at work in this world with worldwide terrors of violence and war, the epidemic of drug use, poverty, and greed. Satan surely is testing God’s people to the breaking point on both global and personal levels.

But in OUR lives, can we REALLY spot him at work? Surely we see when God is working in our favor – that’s actually what happens when we work FOR God – and guess what? God is working for our favor even when we don’t reach for God… GOD IS GOOD. But, what about the Devil? Well, the Devil knows our weaknesses, knows our prideful ways and can be very specific and stealth in attacks… So maybe we can ANTICIPATE… We can learn to. We have to teach ourselves to anticipate.

So, when we ANTICIPATE and when we rely on God, we pray that we are able to try to see the Devil coming and say to him “No”… Rebuke is key… we can restate the truth: that Jesus rebuked and defeated the Devil – we are free to go from his grasp because Jesus paid the price…

Satan relies on complacency, God relies on compliancy.

WE can be compliant WITH God. Rebuking the attack requires us to rely on Jesus to do the fighting FOR US… We need to trust GOD’S WILL and help in this fight.

We can ANTICIPATE that Satan might and will attack us. Anticipate it, but KNOW that no one will defeat the SPIRIT that God placed in us… God wins…

Satan will use other people, will trick us, will see our complacency… We need to anticipate… Get ready… And know our GOD does NOT leave us…

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; HE will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, HE will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

I have seen our God at work in me, I truly could give you specific concrete examples and I know you could as well of God working in your lives… Keep the faith my friends, keep diligent, and anticipate the strength God brings to you when you try to stay compliant with a faithful heart… Lean on HIM…

God LOVES YOU… Call on HIM, faithfully He WILL answer… He can and will deliver us from evil. Jesus is always ready to help.

God is for you… GOD LOVES YOU…

AMEN


Matthew 6:9-13 (KJV)
After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.

AMEN.

Broken people (an unfinished draft) 24APR – #397

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I woke up from a vivid dream, solid sleep, God wakes me to write, thanks God for waiting until it being 5AM and not 2AM!

Broken people (an unfinished draft) 24 APR

I dreamt that I was in a perfect, manicured, modern church… Everything was in its place and it was packed. The reverend’s nickname was “Q”, he was energetic. Aside from a scene of collecting the offering, that’s all I remember….

I woke up with the first thoughts of this devotion glued in my head:

The church was perfect, but there was something not perfect in the church, something broken, whether the parishioners knew it or not, it was them… They were broken people, God called them because they were broken; God calls us as we are because WE ARE broken! God says I can fix you, I know what eats at you, and only I can give you peace – even when the world is whipping you.

God wants us to welcome broken people too… God knows the church buildings are to be used as tools not shrines. The people need help, they come to church to cling to the hope that God can help, and we should welcome them.

The money collection scene in my interesting dream was stopped abruptly when I woke up… Sometimes I think God doesn’t want me to go into that next thought, so He wakes me up…. Everyone had donated to the collection plates except one gentleman, the ushers were upset, I have never witnessed this in real life of course, no one really ever makes people donate, so I didn’t understand why they were upset in this dream, this was pure fiction… The ushers grumblings distracted me – and quietly I wondered how I could help. Someone handed me the collection plate, someone else near me also didn’t like the grumbling and went directly to the guy who didn’t donate and held his arm and handed him some change and then turned his hand to dump the gifted change into the collection plate that I was holding… That “good citizen” then instructed me to take it to the usher to prove that everyone had donated, he did it to placate the situation… I walked with the plate and wondered what I would say – how would I describe what had just happened… perhaps I would just say I smiled at him and he donated…. I didn’t get to say anything – That’s when God woke me up from the weird dream….  That’s when God says “don’t complete that thought, I woke you up to remind you to stop thinking” – it’s a broken thought of course but perhaps God doesn’t always need us to placate situations – perhaps He says “Leave that up to me.”…

We know we need more of God saving us from broken things in our awake hours too… God fixes so all we have to do is keep moving forward towards him, so we have to move on…

God fixes broken people – with Jesus as their Savior – and tells them to move on… God is working on our brokenness – God says “Let Me finish it for you”… because you are broken then listen to Me and I will fix you, piece by piece, thought by thought”…

God knows the rest – He completes us – we don’t have to – just hand Him our broken pieces and move on…

Move On…

saying for 397.png

 

Sleep to Sing, 19APR – #396

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Sleep to Sing, 19APR

God gives many gifts, a gift most vital to our health, physically and emotionally, is sleep. Like in computer systems, God gives “soft reboots” in the form of naps and “hard reboots” in the form of solid, peaceful REM sleep…

Another major gift from God is singing…

The birds… The birds are singing this peaceful 4 AM on my quiet road. God must wake them up early to sing HIS praises before it is light enough for them to see… They can’t gather food at this hour, they can’t watch out for predators either, so they simply roost – and sing. They sing the most BEAUTIFUL song of the morning… the rest of the world is quiet, and so they can hear each other. God provides for even the littlest birds because He loves them immensely and wants then to sing HIS praises.

God wakes me up too… I was awakened with music on my brain, the same song that was being expressed by my heart last night as I exhaustedly drifted off to sleep…Morning brought my inner singing back to that song of praise… He bookended my six beautiful hours of deep sleep with song… I have no complaints about only six hours, I get what I get, so I don’t begrudge God anymore for walking me up to sing – or to write  -or to be HIS ears to hear and especially to appreciate the birds and all that He holds in HIS hands.

Anyway… surely if God takes care of the littlest sparrow, He will take care of us, right? Yes, in Matthew 6 Jesus speaks of the birds to teach us about God’s LOVE for us – “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?…  …Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” verse 26-27, 34

“Sacrifice” is the song praising thru in my head since last week, “Praise to You, to YOU Lord!”… It’s a recent addition to my head filled with praise band music, a song that seems to drive me to clapping in praise even though I am NOT a clapper – if anything, I am a praise drummer… I have no idea what to do with my hands when I sing… Often I clench my fists and close my eyes to channel my excessive energy and intense love of God into focus SO I don’t forget and mess up my role – some songs I raise in praise, some praise as a cheer to how GREAT God is, some praise as a surrender to God’s Will…   At least in the car when I sing I have to hold onto the steering wheel with my hands – JUST like I hold onto God and let HIM move my wheels… If I don’t dare let go of the steering wheel, well I certainly shouldn’t dare to let go of God!!!

That’s surrendering as a goal, letting God move my wheels… Giving up my will for HIS…. As the song goes I am asking, “turn my heart towards YOU a thousand times a day”… It’s a marvelous feeling to give it up to God – to desire to be “ALL IN” as our guest sermonist preached last Sunday. It sometimes hurts to sacrifice because I have to drop my life agenda,  but surely it is better for Him to take over, and recently He has made it clear that He saved me even more pain when I began listening to Him.

And that’s a good thing, that’s a God thing, He made this world, He made us to love us, He allows the birds to sing without fear in the predawn, He reminds them to go home when the sun dips. He takes them under His wing. He wants them to have a chance to sing HIS praises. He wants us to sing too…

Jeremiah 8:7
Even the stork in the sky
knows her appointed seasons,
and the dove, the swift and the thrush
observe the time of their migration.

How very often a praise song populates my head when it exudes out of my heart… Always to be blessed by song brings soulful PEACE to sorrowful times, and brings exuberant joy to triumphant times…

The other song in my head is “Let There Be Peace On Earth” the organ postlude at church on Sunday… it’s a song that I sing with one of my nursing home friends Joe..  it means EVERYTHING.. “Let peace begin with me”… that is God’s desire… blessed are the peacekeepers for they shall be called children of God.

The bird’s gift of song is ours to share too, observe their gifted time of PEACE, and then we ourselves can search for God to slide under His wing too. He “brings forth our songs of praise” is another of my favorite song lyrics. God brings stillness and PEACE.

Sleep reboot is just like singing reboot… Singing refreshes our souls… Let your song of love sing out to all you come across… Share God’s LOVE.

Hold onto God and let HIM move your wheels.. don’t dare let go of the steering wheel… DON’T let go of God. 
Add song to reboot your soul. Let God bring you PEACE.

Amen

———

“Sacrifice”, Paul Balouche

Man looks on the outside 
You look on the heart 
That’s where my worship has to start 
Words fall short to tell You 
Yearnings that I feel 
I want to worship You for real 
For real

To truly live for You 
To truly seek Your face 
To turn my heart towards You 
A thousand times a day 
For all eternity 
With every breath I take 
I want my life to be 
A sacrifice of praise 
A sacrifice of praise to You

Life’s work, Ephesians 3, 15APR – #395

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Life’s work, Ephesians 3, 15APR

Just thought this was an amazing scripture from Paul to “stumble across” this morning (when looking up the scriptures for an old sermon from Pastor )… nice…. The “sheer gift and real surprise”…. Ain’t that the truth! Scriptures that surprise and that make you appreciate how alive God’s Word really is!  And it’s that calling to life work we feel, although it may feel daunting at times, it is the best work EVER to have been called to – thorns and all… Oh yes! Thanks Paul for vocalizing our calling…

Ephesians 3 (The Message scripture translation):
7-8 This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.

8-10 And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!

11-13 All this is proceeding along lines planned all along by God and then executed in Christ Jesus. When we trust in him, we’re free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go. So don’t let my present trouble on your behalf get you down. Be proud!

14-19 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

20-21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

Seven of John Wesley’s Practices Can Change Hearts Today – by Roger Ross – 07Apr – #394

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Seven of John Wesley’s Practices Can Change Hearts Today – by Roger Ross – 07Apr

Oh YEAH, I agree with all these tactics that John Wesley used to get the Word of God out… The author of this blog reminds us to use these tactics ourselves!
And of course I chuckled when I read number seven – use mass media…. I wrote a piece way back that I am a “media Christian” meaning God used all forms of media to awaken me… Print material, the internet, recorded sermons, recorded songs, facebook (yeah!), email chats, webpages, signs on the road, and OF COURSE my own forced media writing to process this all… It’s amazing how God works!

… Any media, any avenue like church summer camps, VBS, the music, movies, etc…. Facebook, blogs, you tube, and especially the Bible, it’s the media of all media… Thank God they wrote it all down! Preserved for future generations!

And I understand that constant prayer thing in point #1! Yeah, God is in my head! Distracting but awesome! And also the musical soundtrack of praise songs and hymns purposefully placed there by God… no escaping HIS influence…. Distracting but BLESSED…

Thought you all would enjoy the article….

http://www.churchleadership.com/leadingideas/leaddocs/2016/160330_article.html

Seven of John Wesley’s Practices Can Change Hearts Today
by Roger Ross

“As a priest in the Church of England, John Wesley was distraught by the powerlessness of the church to reach the vast majority of British people. God’s spirit created such a holy discontent in Wesley’s heart that he abandoned conventional modes of ministry and experimented with several innovative approaches. To everyone’s surprise, spiritual revival broke out in England and beyond. If you’re like me, you may wonder, “If God could do that then, why not now?”

Seven practices emerged as characteristic of the early Methodist movement.

  1. Be Devoted to Prayer

Wesley rediscovered what the church of his day had forgotten: prayer releases the power of God. He called prayer “the grand means of drawing near to God” and found believing, persistent prayer to be the necessary first step to see God move. He modeled this conviction by devoting at least two hours a day to personal prayer and made fervent prayer a hallmark of the movement.

  1. Go Where the People Are

When the love of Jesus Christ gripped Wesley’s heart, he knew he couldn’t keep it to himself. There had to be some way to reach the vast masses of people who would never darken a church door. Initially, Wesley was convinced the gospel could only be preached in the stained-glass setting of a church building. But with so few people attending church services, he was forced to consider other options. Reluctantly, Wesley began preaching in the open air. He would find a high spot on the edge of a city and speak to whoever would listen. Crowds of three, five, even ten thousand people would gather. Many of them were touched by the spirit of God and awakened to their spiritual state. A revival in England was born largely because Wesley was willing to take the gospel where the people were.

  1. Speak Plain Truth

In Wesley’s day, the Church of England didn’t connect with the real lives of everyday people. Ironically, the ministry of Jesus was just the opposite. When Jesus spoke, “the common people heard him gladly.” Wesley longed to bridge the gap between real faith and real people. Although he was a highly educated Oxford fellow and deeply steeped in the Christian tradition, he refused to parade his scholarship. He chose to speak plain truth for plain people. He intentionally shaped his language so common people could gladly hear the gospel and respond.

  1. Use the Music of the Culture

Gregorian chants in Latin and heavy German music were standard fare in church services in Wesley’s day. Although the words were meaningful, the music was a complete disconnect with the common people. It didn’t speak their heart language. In his travels, Wesley found that pre-Christian people connected most easily with the gospel when it came through their native culture. He encouraged his brother Charles to put gospel words to the popular tunes of the day, and it caught people’s hearts. Speaking in terms people could understand was part one of cracking the cultural code; music that touched the modern day soul was part two.

  1. Place Everyone in a Small Group for Spiritual Growth

As Wesley began outdoor preaching in various sites around England, he soon noticed a troubling pattern. Without intentional support and encouragement, people who had moving, even ecstatic experiences of God while he was preaching would soon fall away from their newly awakened state. To provide responsible spiritual care, Wesley would only preach in venues where spiritually awakened people could be placed in small groups or “classes.” His goal was not to see people have a single encounter with God but to have them experience real, lasting life change through faith in Christ. Such transformation of heart and life happens best when people do life together with a handful of others who become a spiritual family.

  1. Give the Ministry to the Laity

A team member who rides the bench and a Christian who sits in a pew share an eerie similarity — they both watch other people play. Christianity was never designed to be a spectator sport. As the early Methodist movement grew rapidly, Wesley soon took his mother’s advice and allowed laypersons, both men and women, to oversee classes (small groups) and preach in the society meetings (large groups). When he released the energies of the laity, the ministry multiplied even faster.

  1. Use Mass Communication to Get the Word Out

In Wesley’s day, the mass communication tool was the printing press. Wesley wrote numerous sermons, treatises, tracts, and books that were distributed to a wide audience to fuel the movement. Thousands of people who never heard him speak came to know Christ and grow in Christ through his writings. Of course, today the Internet and social media enable anyone with web access to have a personal platform previously unimaginable.

Why Not Now?

The genius of the Wesleyan revival is found in the ways he engaged coldly indifferent people and turned them into warm-hearted disciples who changed the world. We can do that, too. We can recover the seven methods of the early Methodist movement that reached the unchurched masses of that day. If we will reshape these practices for a twenty-first century context and retool receptive individuals, groups, and churches to use them, a new wave of the spirit will be released.

by Roger Ross

———-

Roger Ross is senior pastor of First United Methodist Church in Springfield, Illinois. The article was adapted from his book Meet the Goodpeople: Wesley’s 7 Ways to Share Faith (Abingdon Press, 2015)

 

Dream Theater – Hymn of a Thousand Voices, 05Apr – #393

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Dream Theater – Hymn of a Thousand Voices, 05Apr

So this song is cool – I was editing my Feb writings and had music going in the background and overheard the lyrics about singing and the savior and connected it to the 911 piece (Loophole) that I was editing at that very moment and yeah – eerie how they fit together – I realized (learned from Wikipedia) that the song is part of a rock opera referring to “The people show up and start singing, giving [character] Gabriel hope. He finds his ability to sing and brings [character] Faythe back to life (“Hymn of a Thousand Voices”). ”

But since I was REALLY thinking about the people on 911 and hopefully I pray that each found the savior as the buildings collapsed… “And as the chorus grew – A thousand hearts beat true – Then like a glowing beacon in the dark – Hope came shining through”

…and of course I read into the song too (sure I over analyze myself and God, but whatever…LOL) and l love the lyrics  – “and choirs sung high – grant her new life – make me a vessel – of conquerous grace -music has shown her the way – she lived today”

cool cool cool – God is good in harmonizing my thoughts and times – and I praise that “I LIVED TODAY”

https://youtu.be/z3MuX0DfeZw

Hymn of A Thousand Voices
Dream Theater

Out of the shadows
One by one they came
To shed their light upon his moment
Of doubt and pain

A thousand voices
Ring out through the night
A symphony of mercy for their savior
Too tired to fight

And as the chorus grew
A thousand hearts beat true
Then like a glowing beacon in the dark
Hope came shining through
Shining through
Shining through

Amazingly
The savior found his voice
And all together they rejoiced

Glorious sound
Guide her tonight
Out of the darkness
Into the light

Merciful song
Set her soul free
Unbind the chains
Of endless sleep

Choirs sung high
Grant her new life

Make me a vessel
Of conquerous grace
Music has shown her the way
She lived today

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: debbie
Date: Fri, Feb 12,
Subject: Loophole, 12Feb

I didn’t get to the big 911 Memorial on February 1st like I want to, but near the Amish market, a local fire company has a beautiful 911 Memorial…
Tonight I decided to stop and there were beautiful snowflake kisses falling from the sky… I held on to the towers and held on to the twisted steel and prayed, I truly felt a surge of energy from those blue lighted towers … In the plaques I noticed the AGES for the fallen firemen, police, and Port Authority officers… nearly all these ages were my age or younger… So many people not even in their prime… Wow this made me the most sad to know these lives were lost so young…  I know they served so bravely and did so much in their short time on earth… God bless their souls…

And I pray that God took all 3000 up into heaven, no questions asked… I KNOW it doesn’t work that way but I prayed anyway that God found a loophole for the non-believers too, convinced them last minute, and let them in… Maybe, just maybe…

Proverbs – Guard your Heart – #392

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Proverbs – Guard your Heart, 05APR

Two proverbs that speak to me this morning and allow me to rise and get going into the world… I need not add any other commentary on them, they are as clear as day…

“5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”

AND

“pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.


Proverbs 3 (NIV)

Wisdom Bestows Well-Being
3 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
13 Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.
19 By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
20 by his knowledge the watery depths were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.
21 My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
preserve sound judgment and discretion;
22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Have no fear of sudden disaster
or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
26 for the Lord will be at your side
and will keep your foot from being snared.
27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
28 Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
29 Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
30 Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
when they have done you no harm.
31 Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.
32 For the Lord detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34 He mocks proud mockers
but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
35 The wise inherit honor,
but fools get only shame.


Proverbs 4 (NIV)

Get Wisdom at Any Cost
4 Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
3 For I too was a son to my father,
still tender, and cherished by my mother.
4 Then he taught me, and he said to me,
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[a] wisdom.
Though it cost all you have,[b] get understanding.
8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.”
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the[c] paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.

Not the Victim, 05APR – #391

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Not the Victim, 05APR

Yesterday I wrote about being red-carded by God and being on God’s naughty list and that’s why he sent Jesus to save us…  and yesterday I went to this wonderful party where the organizer, who runs a support group at another church, spoke about how God is a forgiving God and he does want us to feel empowered and embraced by Jesus’s LOVE…. we are not to feel like victims when we can triumph over death because we believe in Jesus.

I pray that we remember that we are NOT victims. We can raise ourselves up to be the people God has called us to be. If we are Christians and God has saved us we might become martyrs for the cause, but we are NOT victims. We do not have to fall victim to Satan’s attack that tells us we are unworthy of Jesus’s Saving Grace, we also don’t have to fall victim to what we perceive as other people attacking us as Christians… I can tell you from my own personal experience over the course of this last year-and-a-half of awakening that I have never been attacked by my atheist, Muslim or Jewish friends but I have been attacked for my beliefs from some Christian friends –  yeah, really. How can we be Christians and not try to encourage others in the faith? Why tear others down…

We are not victims here if we don’t take this criticism to heart – because we have no cause to complain when God has graced us with salvation… As the Bible teaches, I know that I am to empty myself of my pride and fill myself with Jesus spirit to love – to accept the criticism and to learn – to strive to live better, correct my ways, and most of all to NOT fall victim to my own pride…. because my agenda is NOT what I should be striving for… It’s God’s WILL I should be listening to, and then apply my skills best I can…

There are true victims out there of harsh realities, poverty, drugs, war, and being made into human trafficked slaves… I am not a victim of any of those things…. I am loved and I am well cared for, how dare I not extend that love to others…  I am also forgiven for my transgressions by God, how dare I NOT extend that forgiveness to others.

Jesus is Love…
God is a forgiving God.
This scripture from Ephesians 1 reminds us of how blessed we are.

And for those true victims, I spend some time praying for all people’s hope: “that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. ”


Ephesians 1 (NIV)

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Thanksgiving and Prayer
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Red-Carded by God, 02APR – #390 *

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It always ends up on the day I say “Gee, I haven’t been driven by God to write anything for a while” – that I end up having something special to write – to process… I don’t choose to write for fun but the thoughts haunt me until I write them down…  I put this one off for the majority of this busy day – but it is time to get it down and out and move onto sleep – with another busy day tomorrow….
After I had this in my head I had two or three duplicate events where I read something that mirrored the main point here – God picks YOU because you need HIM!

Red-Carded by God, 02APR

My kids last night were conversing about the inequities in the middle school system of awarding “red cards” which translate into gifts of wrist bands for “Spirit Day” – a motivational rally. It seems (according to my kids and their friends) that the cards are NOT handed out evenly, yes, the cards are given to kids that do good things – BUT usually it is the kids who are MORE TROUBLE makers who tend to get those cards more – those worst to first actions from kids are much much more recognized so they often will get the cards. Normal goodie-two-shoes kids (like mine, yay!) RARELY get them, even though they are doing good things naturally….  Yeah – I have no idea if this is true and I agree that red-carding (seemingly opposite from the soccer term) is a good motivation technique.  (I do praise, of course, that my kids are just naturally good – you betcha that’s a praise, huh? that is a Mom’s best possible news…). I didn’t have to explain the inequities of red cards to them, they already were explaining life to me, wow…

It was JUST THEN that I realized that it’s the perfect description of what happened to me – See, I WAS RED-CARDED BY GOD, HIMSELF…. YEAH! God picked me to awaken – picked me and drove me to Jesus. I was not in crisis that I knew about, but God flagged me for Jesus to grab. God picked me to feel and understand HIS calling because I WAS and I AM trouble… I realize that now… I AM one of those “worst to first” kids…. Although I try to be a goodie-two-shoes – God knows I have – we all have these pockets of sin (OLD AND NEW) that need to be addressed…

God is truly out to get the best out of us – He wants us to follow His Will. So, guess what folks? – we were called by God (like I was) because we had sin that had to get cleaned up…  Yup – we weren’t called because we were sinless – NOPE- nobody is…   He knew/knows we NEED HIM!

I am NOT calling any of you out for your sins –  and truly it’s NOT a competition!  Granted my not believing in Jesus as the Son of God until a year ago was a doozy – but I won’t bore you with the rest of my sins… Perhaps I thought God called me because of my skill set, He probably did… But if I thought I was called by God because I was an EXCELLENT CHILD OF GOD, well that is a pure LIE. I know why He called me – and called us – it’s two-fold – He wants to LOVE and SAVE us, and now HE wants us to work for HIM…. My salvation causes me to say “I am the handmaid of the Lord” Luke 1:38… He is our master, and as our Father, He does take care of HIS children too.

I know God wants us to be object lessons for how HE changes us…

We need to remember to NOT polish our golden crowns of salvation, but to remember and APPRECIATE that Jesus’s thorny crown is what gets us saved. It is by GRACE ALONE that we are saved – we don’t deserve it – if we deserved it then it wouldn’t be GRACE!

There is a Genesis song that says “God always fights on the side of the bad man”… Yes, more and more everyday the other pockets of darkness in our hearts need some cleansing – Jesus likes to “rinse – and repeat” – a continuous cleansing for the rest of your life…So, now I am trying my darnedest to stay in the Law of the Lord… I hope you all are too – and not lose sight of that narrow but sure path – and yeah, PRAY TO NOT LOSE SIGHT OF JESUS’S HAND in case we need to grab it… God certainly made it worth my while to follow Him – truly I delight in the Lord – truly the JOY I feel is worth the hard aspects of being a Christian – because IT IS HARD to lose your own agenda, lose your own self, empty your baggage, and live as you are called – it’s worth it – but it’s tough!

God Red-cards us – YUP – God says “I want you at my Spirit Rally – want to make an object lesson out of you… want you to tell others about Me – and tell how I saved your @$$ by leading you to Jesus to be your advocate and cleanse your sins”…

Jesus said in John 6: “37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day….”

44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.” –

That means God picked YOU to go towards Jesus – so that Jesus will grab you – He will put you on the right track – and of course it would behoove us to stay on that track and continuously work on those sins…  I know mine (and am figuring them out more each day) – you know yours – we know we are NO SAINTS, yet – it’s going to take Jesus to help us – Jesus will advocate for us because we are forever human…

God red-carded you to stack the deck in your favor, red flags Jesus to grab us – God gave us Jesus to teach us and be our savior!

So it is ok – SHOW YOUR RED-CARD – it’s blood red! Jesus’s blood is our ticket to reach the Eternal Spirit Rally!

ALL Things To ALL People…, 28Mar – #389

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I started to write this piece many many months ago, actually a year ago, just after last Easter when I read a part in the Easter sunrise service about being Jarius’ daughter woke from the dead, EXACTLY like I felt and still feel. I wanted to write this discussion piece because a friend had read us scripture about angry Jesus, overturning tables at the temple…  This is truly a processing piece – not a piece that God forced me to write for peace of mind, but a piece I wanted to write – to help me (and maybe others) discuss and figure out WHAT to do as a Christian… thinking about WHAT Christians are to do the day AFTER Easter, during the rest of our days here on Earth… Of what are we supposed to do now?… Awakened in Christ, now what? Just like the song lyric: “It demands my SOUL, my LIFE, my ALL.”

ALL Things To ALL People…, 28Mar

What and how do I – do we – model Jesus everyday? In every life setting? To EVERY person? 
Jesus died and rose for us, but we ARE STILL HERE… We are now directed as Christians not JUST to follow Christ, but to BE Christlike… YEAH – that’s right – you and I have HARD WORK ahead of us… It’s not easy being Christlike, but we have to be!!! We are called to obey GOD’S WILL.

The scripture found me, it’s God who vines answers to us in the scriptures…. Blessedly we don’t have to live in a vacuum, we CAN read and discuss scripture freely.
This scripture vined from a counselor/apostle/friend to help answer that great question of WHAT to do to fulfill Jesus’s directive of HIS Father’s greatest commandment – which is to LOVE…  BUT HOW?… That is my question for discussion… How to achieve modeling Jesus with EVERY person you meet remains the challenge.  This is a challenge we as Christians are required to accept…  This IS what comes after Easter, this IS the natural progression one MUST take after a Christian has awakened, one HAS to learn to LOVE unconditionally, like Jesus… To BE LIKE JESUS…

This is true WORK… First because we ourselves are still growing in Christ while we are being asked to be HIM: 1Peter 2: “rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind” and 2Peter 1: “5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love”

Yes, this is WORK – because we just don’t know where people stand, how they register what we say, (and honestly not all folks are pleasant to deal with), and not all understand our motives and some, actually many, expect things from us…  Plus, trust me, we all rub some folks the wrong way sometimes… This is where we are required to empty ourselves of our own desires, forget our pride, and BE FILLED with the SPIRIT to fulfill God’s greatest commandment… TO LOVE.

Corinthians 2:15-17   “15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?”

So the scripture that tells us WHAT to do is from Paul, “BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE”… 1 Corinthians 9.

HOW? Here is where I long for personal discussions with my fellow awakened Christians… I long to converse with folks about living as Christ IN themselves… I long to study Christians like case studies, of how they have handled the good and the bad coming to them… I will NEVER stop being fascinated by God and HIS children… especially to study how God’s children come to REALIZE that we are ALL SAVED by GRACE and that we are all GOD’S HANDS AND FEET in this world… Some have to learn to accept without understanding, it’s ok, there is NO WAY we CAN understand it all…

When we accept that JESUS lives IN US, then we learn that we are NEW in Christ… It is then we need to learn our new place IN the world but NOT OF the world. (John 17 is an amazing read, showing JESUS’S amazing ability to LOVE.)

Because I long to understand and follow GOD’S WILL, I will ask you and myself this hard question… How are we modeling Jesus? … 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

In 1st Corinthians 9:19-23 (NIV), 
Paul discusses his “Freedom”
“19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible……… I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”

The core of this discussion revolves around multiple ways we can “Be ALL things to ALL people, so that we might SAVE some”… MODELING JESUS… Accepting that our behavior must mirror HIS…. granted we should just FEEL His behavior – we should just FEEL and accept what is the right thing to do, but since  God gave us brains, we also have to think these things out… And because we are free thinkers, with free will, we have to direct and sometimes force ourselves to follow God’s law.

It IS an awesome responsibility to have been awakened into working for God and to “BE HIS hands and feet”, by letting HIM work thru us. And so we want to make sure we get this right – to present the right Jesus facet to the people.

Galatians 5:22-23
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

We all have to realize different situations require different approaches, of channeling Jesus’s LOVE and forgiveness and especially His non-judgmental state… and do this NOT for our own agendas, but for GOD’S.

There are multiple Jesus facets – I will present a few here, please let me know any other ones to add to this list, but here’s a start:

1) the angry/frustrated Jesus, and sometimes the quiet Jesus
2) the teaching/encouraging Jesus
3) the forgiving/non-judging Jesus
4) the servant Jesus
5) the listener Jesus
6) the sorrowful “Jesus wept”… 
All these are rolled up into JESUS IS LOVE…

All are in the written scriptures for OUR education… All demonstrate Jesus’s teachings and LOVE for us (and Lord knows there were endless teachings that couldn’t fit in the bible)… I doubt I will EVER achieve perfect Jesus attributes, but I ask myself can I try? Can anyone help us figure this out? Well God can…

1) ANGER… Jesus did show anger/frustration, this is very telling in how He was-is human. For example: overturning tables in the temple, rallying against the Pharisees, or telling Judas to get the betrayal done and over with… Jesus knew the fate of so many – that they would NOT make it into heaven with Him, and this must have upset Him greatly, especially since he only had 3 years of active ministry, with no multimedia to the masses…  So, how much anger do we demonstrate? Did he and should we cajole the people with the facts that to get to heaven you have to follow Christ commands? Being an encourager works, certainly we are to plant seeds of faith, but how long until we shake the sand off our sandals and move on when people are not open to the Word?

And when is the right time and place to be angry? We should ALL be that angry Jesus at certain times…. find that fire that Jesus had and be honest about it… We all can feel the anger Jesus had for injustices, for stumbling blocks… we all SHOULD evoke some more angry Jesus in us and right the global wrongs – but doing so with LOVE for LOVE’S sake, not ours.

Jesus sometimes demonstrated his anger stone silently… Unbending to Herod and Pilate while on trial…
How long did Jesus endure the pain? HE was stone silent often to those who persecuted HIM… He knew this day would come, He was prepared to follow HIS Father’s command. Instead of complaining, many of HIS words were used to rebuke, to teach, and to REACH those who could continue spreading God’s Word…

So, how my fellow Christians do we model angry Jesus? How do we do this as part of being loving Jesus?

 2) TEACH/ENCOURAGE… Jesus wanted to teach because people need to know what to do to make the choice to follow Him to God AND people have to live the way Jesus taught them to live, for world peace, for eternal rest…  Jesus is needed to re-cleanse our souls continuously!… We need to plant seeds sharing HIS teachings but doing so with LOVE for LOVE’S sake, not ours.

So, how my fellow Christians do we model teaching Jesus? How do we do this as part of being loving Jesus?

3) FORGIVE/NON-JUDGEMENTAL… Jesus forgave… Forgave publicly in order to teach us how to forgive and taught WHY we are to forgive – so that we will be forgiven.
Matthew 6:15 “But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
And Jesus forgave by assessing the situation and handling each person on a case by case basis… By looking at their heart… We have to FORGIVE, we have to do it for the greater WILL of God, not for our profit… doing so with LOVE for LOVE’S sake, not ours. We are very blessed and down right lucky that Jesus came to advocate for us! John 3: “16 For God so loved the world that HE gave HIS one and only Son, that whoever believes in HIM shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send HIS Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through HIM.”

So, how my fellow Christians do we model forgiving and non-judging Jesus? How do we do this as part of being loving Jesus?

4) SERVE….Jesus the servant takes on our burdens, removes our sins, again and again… Jesus the servant helped His mother with the miracle of changing water into wine. Jesus the servant washes our feet. Jesus was the ultimate servant to God, our father and submitted to the cross… How can we be the servant? We have to do it for the greater will of God, not for our profit… doing so with LOVE for LOVE’S sake, not ours.

So, how my fellow Christians do we model servant Jesus? How do we do this as part of being loving Jesus?

5) LISTEN… Jesus said “let the little children come to me” Matthew 19:14… Jesus listens to us, wants to hear us, longs to hear every word, even if we are not presenting our best attitude. We also need to listen to others… It doesn’t mean we are to do everything, or agree with everything… but, we should listen, listen to God’s children… 
Ask them questions, sometimes we are at a loss for words, so listen instead, so that may overhear Jesus speaking to them from inside their hearts.
Of course we should listen and OBEY God ALWAYS – because we should, and because we remember others are watching us to model Christ!

So, how my fellow Christians do we model listening Jesus? How do we do this as part of being loving Jesus?

6) WEEP…
“Jesus wept”… shortest sentence in the Bible… John 11:35. Jesus was sad about Lazarus, sad about Mary and Martha’s doubting, sad about losing a friend…. All these, plus He already knew us before we were born… He was sad that we doubt God’s faithfulness and most barely know Him, God’s intent for sending Jesus was to be the advocate for us… God reconfigured all HIS plans because of Adam and Eve eating that apple, because we are blind, because we actively ignore wrongs and cause more of them ourselves… Jesus humanized God’s very difficult and sorrowful task to restore order to HIS world… Jesus wept God’s frustration at the lost souls thru no fault of their own – “forgive them for they know NOT what they do”… Jesus cried because HE was allowed ONLY the shortest earthly window of opportunity to be here on earth…Jesus wept…  but it is what it is… no one said being a Christian was easy, quick or convenient!

Face it, we have limited time here too… And we would like to plant as many seeds as possible to move as many people as possible to accept Christ, and to bring World Peace, but NOT everyone is going to make it to that joyous surrender… That saddens us, especially when some close to us simply don’t get it… We try, we plant the seeds, but God is the only one who does the watering.

So, how my fellow Christians do we model weeping Jesus? We don’t model HIM… We JUST WEEP! It is OK to WEEP the tears of Jesus…

How, my fellow Christians, do we combine ALL those tasks in order to be LOVING JESUS?

WE JUST DO…

WE JUST LOVE!

Philippians 1:27-29 “…you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him”

It’s not easy folks, Christianity is tough and it is WORK… But it brings JOY… ETERNAL JOY… PEACE for keeping the PEACE here on earth. So keep the faith, keep choosing to clean out our own hearts, removing the logs from in our eyes, keep learning and modeling Jesus for God’s sake. Keep observing others and walking with them… Meet them where they are… Just like Jesus did… Ask them questions… Just like Jesus did….

JUST LOVE, BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE…

Freedom in Christ is to “have become all things to all people, so that by all possible means I might save some”

In closing, remember to stay strong my friends – we have the BEST job in heaven and earth – continue to do good – we are LIVING and LOVING FOR GOD!!!

Amen

———
1Peter 4
“Living for God
4 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Suffering for Being a Christian
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”

 

Easter… Welcome with NO Judgment, 26Mar – #388

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Easter… Welcome with NO Judgment, 26Mar

So, Lord knows it’s a fun day on Easter to greet those we don’t see for a long time…. I went to a seminar that spoke to the EXACT conversation I just had… When people don’t go to church and then show up, they feel judged… Yup… Sad to hear/say “If those people call themselves Christians then they shouldn’t make people feel bad”… Sigh…

Honestly, if you do feel judged, then please pray for those who are judging you, they need prayers… If you feel out of place (probably alot of folks do) just stay – just walk in anyway, God already knows the plan, just walk in and let Jesus take the heat. Even if you don’t know where to go, walk in anyway, and let Jesus take the heat.

I beg you and ask as a Christian that you and I try really hard NOT to judge folks on Easter or anyday – inside and outside church (or at least we should bite our tongues!)… and just think what would Jesus do…. It’s that classic question… Jesus would smile when He sees HIS brothers and sisters and Jesus would be so busy asking HOW they were doing that he wouldn’t when have time to say “hey, I’m surprised to see you!” Or “hey stranger”…

Wouldn’t it be better to say: “it’s good to catch up with you”, “I am glad we ran into each other”, “HAPPY EASTER!”, “GOD BLESS”….

Yeah… As a MOM of a teen, and a former teen myself, I know it’s tough to get them to church because it’s the only sleep-in time they get, and on top of that, they might feel judged (What they wear, how they look, that they have to be with their parents, ugh)… When my kids were small toddlers, people used to say “your kids don’t have shoes on”… Perhaps they could have said :”it’s great to see your kids, but aren’t their feet cold?”… Well, I always replied: “shoes? You are lucky they have clothes on!” That usually hushed the folks….

But I am also a sinner in my judgment of people? On this soapbox, well YEAH I am a big big sinner! I can’t write this piece without judging those people who judge! NONE of us could throw the first stone, NONE of us is without sin, none of us keeps from judging… But we have to try! … Lord knows I am willing to take some heat for reminding you folks to walk in non-judgmental Jesus’s shoes… and this is how we yield to God’s Will, we try REALLY HARD to get it right for God…

Jesus came to save, Jesus came to take the heat for those feeling judged, so please don’t judge, it just makes God’s job even tougher… Jesus is walking thru the door, inside each person, maybe even carrying in a few people, so please simply welcome them, welcome Jesus…

…and maybe, just maybe, someone will also simply welcome us with open arms and not judge US…

Welcome Jesus this Easter Sunday, and everyday – because everyday IS EASTER! And everyone is a Child of God!

HAPPY EASTER!
THANKS BE TO GOD!

GOD’S WILL, 25MAR – #387

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GOD’S WILL, 25MAR

Good Friday, Jesus yielded to GOD’S WILL…

It’s GOD’S WILL that WE also hope to align with… life is NOT a predestined plan… It’s NOT fate…

It’s the WILL and desire of God that makes life a process, not a destination….

I will EVER be sending prayers for discerning of God’s WILL over my wants…

I will EVER be praying to quiet my head, to help me feel Jesus in my heart, and be listening for God…  and heed to HIS WILL.

Amen

Maundy Thursday – What would Mary say? missed then got the last pages – WOW, 20- 21Mar – #386

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Maundy Thursday – What would Mary say? missed then got the last pages – WOW, 20- 21Mar

Email to Pastor and Professor:

Hi Pastor – thank you for the opportunity of the Holy Thursday skit… I read over the skit – it is very moving – moving me to close to tears for the angst of Mary for hearing about Jesus being captured… I am super honored to be entrusted to this reflective and sorrowful storyline  —

BUT –  I have a question about the last page 9 where the skit just simply ends with Mary having lost hope…  is there another page after page 9?  is there a summary wrap up narration that then rends the listener some HOPE for Easter Sunday and not just left with this devastation that Mary is upset with??? does the listener leave only with this thought that Mary has no hope?  hmmm….

So Pastor and Professor – what DO we know about Mary after Jesus died?  I know Michael Card always talks about the scripture of Luke with all the good details of Jesus’s birth – since Mary told him long after they all left after Jesus’s death and resurrection….

Professor, the reason I ask is that Pastor asked me to read for Holy Thursday service and it reads/invents into what Mary and Peter would have chatted about on late Thursday night after Jesus was arrested…   but I think that the end of the skit leaves it hanging too much – it ends with Mary wondering about the silence of God and whether it was worse to curse God and die then to take this awful silence of God for leaving them in this bad situation – whew – I honestly can see others saying this but fear projecting this onto Mary- I worry about that being too much of a stretch…  I understand completely what the skit author’s point is, but it seems stretching the bible to where it’s not written… I will go back to the bible entries – but really I wonder…

for the rest of the skit it is very pensive of course…   and I can understand that there are so many people who are angry with God and think God is not listening – and I can understand this terrible position of life they are in even if I myself never felt this separation from God – I really will have to stretch to that anger position in the skit – I can do it – with God’s help – portray the best I can – but I wonder again if there is another page to wrap up the story – of if you are going right into a sermon from there…

thanks!!! and just curious – I will read it either way – I just want Mary to not get the short stick for people thinking she wasn’t strong enough to trust in God..


The missing pages showed up a day later… hmmm…. timing…


Oh Pastor, my, what a beautiful pages 9 and 10 for the ending to that skit…. I’m sure God must us purposefully made me wait on those missing pages to really think about my thoughts about this Holy week… the ending of this skit is so hopeful – just like we are to be so hopeful indeed of Jesus’s GIFT of salvation paid by HIS LIFE…. in the course of a day I kinda felt Holy Week condensed. The ending is oh so hopeful…. I pray that I can be God’s hands and feet always, but especially with this, and give it the justice it deserves…

THANK YOU!

Yesterday, 18 MAR – #385

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Oh I  THANK my friend for sharing this saying…
“What if you woke up today ONLY with what you thanked God for during yesterday”

I just reread this saying in the proper way… I get it now, had to reread it in today’s context.
if you got ONLY the things that you thanked God for yesterday, it certainly would make you THANK GOD MORE during today!…

I’m so blessed that yesterday I DID thank God for so many things… And I thank him again today. And yeah, I really did thank HIM for all these things yesterday and more…. I reflect and am AMAZED at this list….   yes, thanking God is key to our happiness and hope.

Yesterday, 18 MARCH

I thanked HIM for sleep, short but good, and waking refreshed at 4:30 am, hitting the store before sunrise and having a great conversation with a homeless man.
I thanked HIM for the beautiful weather.
I thanked HIM for the moon and stars at night that tickle my eyes.
I thanked HIM for the sunrise.
I thanked HIM that I got to hug my kids goodbye for the day.

I thanked HIM that my workplace was awesome and that my lab experiments worked, when I had not done that type in 5 years.
I thanked HIM for my crazy work family, and that they need and cherish me.
I thanked HIM for St Patrick’s Day.
I thanked HIM for the delicious and healthy food I was eating.
I thanked HIM for my children.
I thanked HIM for my hugs from my children, snuggling up at night because I hadn’t seen then all day.
I thanked HIM that my car is running
I thanked HIM that my nose is healing from when that dog bit me two weeks ago.
I thanked HIM for the small scar on my nose (that only I can see) that will ever remind me to LISTEN to God, and not be flippant about my self confidence that I am the one in control of my life, because I am NOT, HE is.
I thanked HIM for my parents, for them being awesome, and in good health, and that they are coming for Easter.
I thanked HIM that they are going to hear me sing.
I thanked HIM for being able to sing HIS praises.
I thanked HIM for this awesome band family of Christians at Thursday night practices.
I thanked HIM for my Thursday exercise class.
I thanked HIM for the de- stressing health walk I took with my work brother.
I thanked HIM for my health, and screamed my excitement during dance exercising.
I thanked HIM that I didn’t take myself TOO seriously.
I thanked HIM for my sewing abilities and for the new pretty dresses I get to make and enjoy wearing.
I thanked HIM for a future getaway planned with friends.
I thanked HIM for me NOT burning the house down with chicken cooking on the stove at 10pm when I fell asleep in my son’s room, oops, only to have my daughter wake me in time. I thanked HIM it was the smell of speedie sauce that reminded me about the cooking chicken. I thanked HIM also that I didn’t have to throw that meat out, it was still ok.

I thanked HIM for good scriptural advice on how to try to keep the peace in all aspects of life.
I thanked HIM for enabling me to conform to structured situations and for self-discipline in unstructured situations.
I thanked HIM for the scriptures to guide me.
I thanked HIM for humbling me, gently.
I thanked HIM that HE gives me motivation to try harder to LISTEN and OBEY.

I thanked HIM – again – for my friends and my family.
I thanked HIM for my pastor, and SO MANY pastors and counselors and faithful faith-filled friends, who help me navigate this new world of living in Christ.
I thanked HIM for the non-faith-filled people I meet and that God enables me to share some good news, if ONLY simply a smile.

I thanked HIM for allowing me to feel fulfilled for the day, hitting the pillow at 11pm (a long 18.5hr day) and the warm, heated cherry-pit pillow to heat my feet, and for listening to myself singing the praise song “the old rugged cross” which I recorded in order to practice for Easter Sunday, replaying the song while I was falling asleep….

I was out in five minutes, lastly I thanked HIM for making me excited for tomorrow! Which is TODAY!

I thank HIM thank HIM thank HIM for HIM

I THANK GOD that there IS a GOD.

I THANK HIM that HE SMILES ON US.

I THANK GOD for SALVATIONS ETERNAL LOVE.

I THANK GOD FOR TODAY. ALL OF TODAY!

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Craving Pure Spiritual Milk, 18 MAR – #384

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Thanks for allowing me this virtual release of spiritual overflow… I pray that sharing scripture that speaks to me will also lift your sails…God’s Word gives us living HOPE.

There are topics for conversation that I want to have with so many folks – about this long and forever process of emptying themselves of self and filling themselves with God’s spirit…. I long to study Christians, like case studies, of how they have handled the good and the bad coming to them… of how they are Jars of Clay and SURVIVE, because they are filled with God’s SPIRIT. Because they give us all inspiration to keep moving… A Christian mentor of mine said: “[Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we just went right to heaven after we were saved? but that’s not God’s plan, we are here to further purify ourselves (and this is hardwork) and we are to help get others on the track of God’s plan.]”

I will never stop being fascinated by God and His children… I wanted to be a psychologist growing up (meteorologist and interior decorator too) I am BLESSED to especially now live to study God’s children… I am SAVED by GRACE and I AM a child of God.. You are ALL children too who crave spiritual milk…..

Craving Pure Spiritual Milk, 18 MAR

My spirit longs to discuss Jesus and ponder God…. I could think about God all day… Honestly I wondered one year ago when I awakened if I OD’ed (overdosed) on God!!! If I was going crazy, if I am too distracted by following HIS plan… this I ask myself daily still – and still I come back to this peaceful feeling of ” it’s okay” God would not have chosen ME if HE didn’t want me 100%… YES, IT’S OK to hunger for God!!!
1st Peter 2 affirms this…
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

NO, we are no longer our own. God takes us… He certainly took me – swiftly, forcibly and forever…  BLESSED to now be focusing on HIS undying LOVE and feeling the warmth from HIS arms (and OH YEAH! I have tasted that the Lord is GOOD, unbelievably GOOD)… He’s got me good.

God wants US all forever to stay close, to never want to stray… I pray you have this feeling too, I pray you taste spiritual milk and long for more… It’s overwhelming, it’s glorious, it’s God’s doing, not ours… I never chose this, didn’t think I needed this… But now I NEVER want to lose this… I accept and long for God… I was chosen… YOU ARE CHOSEN TOO!

YOU are chosen, YES!… You can accept this challenge to walk daily with God! You can let God take you and change you… Trust God…. His plan is SO much better than ours…

We are “God’s elect, exiles scattered” throughout the world.

1st Peter 2:9
“9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of HIM who called you out of darkness into his wonderful LIGHT.”

Isn’t that awesome, it’s awesome, but guess what? Salvation is ONLY a start!!! For if you have realized that you have been saved, you are now a member of this priesthood, YOU MATTER TO GOD!!! You mattered before and you continue to matter, and you have an awesome responsibility to work for God – to rid yourself of SELF and allow God to fill your jar of clay with HIS LIGHT.

Please take time whether you are a newly awakened soul, like me, or an old soul, to re-live your calling, only a few realize that they are chosen… that seems crazy… God knows HE wants YOU, that’s not crazy at all… We are BLESSED to be chosen, as detailed in the chapters of 1st Peter… Let God take control… Live in HIS loving living HOPE…

BLESSED to have living HOPE…


1 Peter 1 (NIV)

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

Praise to God for a Living Hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

Be Holy
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a]

17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.] 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,

“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25     but the word of the Lord endures forever.”[c]
And this is the word that was preached to you.

1 Peter 2New International Version (NIV)

2 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

The Living Stone and a Chosen People
4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”
7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,

“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
8 and,

“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

God Listens, We Should Too, 14MAR – #383

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wanted to write this yesterday but when i saw a billboard this morning that said “Are you listening?”  –  knew that was a God sign to get this down… and to remember to listen! It builds on the message a great sermonist and friend wrote… About staying close to God and opening up to HIM.

God Listens, We Should Too, 14MAR

Always the weekends I yearn to hang out with my kids, we run crazy busy all week and weekend… I love being in the car with them as teens – sitting in the front seat and ready to talk – that is where we have alone time…  and where I as a parent can’t do anything but drive and listen, no cell phone or others around. My son said to me last night – “Your a good mom – but you have to listen to me” – yeah – listen – just listen…  my daughter says the same – don’t we all??? don’t we all want someone to listen?

I had this whole devotion flood into me about the appreciation of God’s listening skills and comforting skills…  It flooded in after my son got hurt this weekend – he was hit and scraped by the door of our car in a parking lot – he’s OK now – but it REALLY hurt at the time and he got a bad scrape. As I held him close while he winced in pain it was like he was very little again and I also felt that pain he was in, but I couldn’t fix it…. I could just hold him – and I know ALL you parents understand that… and wow did it ever feel good to just hold him.

I thought about how the immense love that parents have for their children is so amplified in the love God has for us… And I thought many folks also sometimes wait until they are REALLY in pain before they reach out to God… It’s sad because God wants us to reach to Him always – in joy and pain, to keep close to Him, in good and bad.

I know when my son is really in pain because he stifles the crying, he turns SO quiet… He internalizes… But I could hear it and he needed comforting just as much as I needed to comfort him as his mom.

When we ache we sometimes stifle it too, and have to re-open that ache to acknowledge to God that we just want to be held close by Him… God already knows that and God is ready – we have to realize that we need God as much as He needs us – and yeah He really really needs and wants us! God is waiting in aching pain for us to acknowledge Him – they say God is RUNNING towards us when we start walking towards Him…

God is accustomed to having us (collectively the whole world) turn our backs on Him – to ignore Him and His blessings  – and to complain about life and even about our perception of Him!  I have had too many conversations where the folks thought God was punishing them…  well…  hmm… I don’t know – but I do know that God is waiting and waiting and waiting to hold them close again – to hear their issues – to comfort their tears – to take them back after they stray.  I know that God is fair and forgiving – and awaiting for us to tune Him in.

I am so blessed that God waited so very patiently for me to realize the way – and for me to acknowledge that He has everything in His control – and I should trust that.. He waited for me to start listening for decades and now it is my time to listen to Him… and to TRUST Him… and to best ACT in accordance as His image and with intent.

God loves His children so much – and He longs to just hold us – He longs to wipe those tears and He longs for you to understand His sadness too – He needs to comfort you just as much – if not more – than you need to be comforted – God is waiting to hear you and to see your smiling face once again!

Don’t Freak the People Out, 10Mar – #382

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Don’t Freak the People Out, 10Mar

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

Ah yes, the verse of the day –  I love this scripture because Jesus’s message was “tell everybody the reason for your hope” which means tell them about ME but “do it with gentleness and respect” which means – DON’T freak them out!!!.

I know in my intensity and my drive I am so excited to tell everybody about this amazing Christ our savior who saved us! He saved me then changed me for HIS will. And God certainly has made it hard NOT to tell of his good works when I look at this year’s journey that he placed me on.

I get so excited!!! And I was already so excited in life… but I don’t need to do God a disservice by freaking the people out…

How can God shine so brightly and not be a blinding light? We should choose to be focusing that light He put in us – we need to focus so our efforts are less diffuse and more glorifying… that’s the least we can do for God after how much he’s done for us. The LIGHT is not intended to burn people… instead this great LIGHT will warm people… this great LIGHT will show the way… this LIGHT will shine on the truth that Christ is our hope.


From: “Bible Gateway” <BibleGateway@e.biblegateway.com>

1 Peter 3:15 – “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”


Scripture for thought –

1 John 4 (NIV)

On Denying the Incarnation

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

God’s Love and Ours

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 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.

 

Jars of Clay, What Would Han Solo Do?, 10-11 MAR – #381

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Jars of Clay, What Would Han Solo Do?, 10-11 MAR

I grew up in the Seventies, they were trying to prove Jesus existed by miracle potato chips that looked like HIM, finding the linens marked with HIS body from the tomb, HIS face imprinted after wiping a cloth while on the road with the cross…. Proof, those proofs are tough things to produce….  perhaps they are fake –  perhaps they exist and are secreted away (or lost like from the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, places in a government warehouse somewhere)… But honestly, does the existence of those items help others in their faith journeys? I don’t know… It’s really simply FAITH that is really needed NOT the items…

WELL, the proof that Jesus exists is right here in MY HEART… My heart grew so many sizes those crucial days while I was accepting Jesus (kinda like Dr. Seuss’ Grinch “whose heart grew three sizes that day”). That’s the ONLY proof I needed for Jesus’s existence… How my heart grew is a FACT I don’t have to prove to anyone, but now I do forever LIVE to tell about how JESUS IS ALIVE!

Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker – Star Wars…. Remember when they were caught in that trash compactor? Remember that creature from the depth that tried to eat them for dinner? Yup, PERFECT example of Jesus in action inside us… I will elaborate…

In 2nd Corinthians 4, Paul writes about his love of the Lord – “7 …we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”

Paul’s details of his persecuted life reiterated the notion that we are jars of clay. We are clay that has been hard pressed due to the STRESS in our lives… But, if we keep the center cavity of our souls open then we are able to be BLESSED by being filled by the Spirit. Our heart grows by Jesus living in it. Jesus works to clean us out and to open us up that we may be filled with the SPIRIT.

The Beatitudes message: “BLESSED are the Poor in Spirit, for they shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven” – it does NOT mean poor in the pocketbook, it’s NOT EVEN downtrodden people with lost hope (my original assumption)… Instead it refers to people who empty themselves of SELF, and are filled with the SPIRIT… Blessed are the Poor in their own Spirit, for they shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

In Star Wars, Han Solo had the muscles and Princess Leia had the brains (and muscles) to keep that trash compactor from crushing in… They put sticks across the inside to hold the walls at bay. They fought the evil monster which was trying to eat Luke Skywalker. Luke was their hope for the whole resistance movement against the Dark Side, they had to save him… Save HOPE… Eventually they connected with the droids who stopped the machine’s compression, they were at their wits end and called out and finally were heard.

BEAUTIFUL… Jesus is beautifully placed in your heart to do the same thing. Jesus’s whole resurrected self is there to be the prevention of that movement of the external pressures of life from crushing your heart. Jesus KNOWS your stress, He was given TO earth as a ransom for mankind, HE was given to witness and experience all the sacrifices and pain that you also experience, and then some… Jesus lived and lives eternally to prop your heart open. The death-rendering then life-giving cross is wedged in your heart like Han Solo’s sticks to prevent the world from closing in.   The death of human spirit becomes the life beginning for everlasting HOPE…

The jar of clay THAT IS YOU is being pressed and flattened by the stress of the outside world, but Jesus is there to keep you alive, working even harder to keep your inside soul open and filled. Jesus is also simultaneously fighting the crap cluttering your heart, making more room, and also Jesus trying to fight the monster that is Satan who is trying to steal and eat away (your Luke Skywalker) – to eat away YOUR HOPE.

Jesus gives DIRECTION. Jesus gives HOPE.

The proof of Jesus is in your heart, look for Him there…. Have resistance against the darkness… Save the HOPE… Compression of your jar of clay makes it a stronger vessel for holding life-giving hope THAT IS JESUS!

————

2 Timothy 1:9 – He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,

——
PS – A BEAUTIFUL Celtic band, Iona, has a song co-incidentally (which means God placed it there) that came up in my YouTube feed while writing this piece…. it speaks to the EXACT same – asking Jesus to “Fill this empty heart of stone”  – “Make your home inside my heart” –  “Let me dance in the brightness of your throne”

“Inside My Heart (Ff)” – IONA YouTube
https://youtu.be/o79CDbN_L_A

Quietly You arrived
Never forcing me to choose
Bringing Your perfect light
Into this sunless room of mine

So make Your home inside my heart
Fill this empty house of stone
Make Your home inside my heart
Let me dance in the brightness of Your throne
Of Your throne

Looking through stained windows
I see a rose on the wall
Thorns that draw blood from Your face
I hear the agony of Your call to me

So make Your home inside my heart
Fill this empty house of stone
Make Your home inside my heart
Let me dance in the brightness of Your throne

In the stillness of moonlight
I am awakened by Your grace
And the love that glistens
In the tears on Your face for me

So make Your home inside my heart
Fill this empty house of stone
Make Your home inside my heart
Let me dance in the brightness
Let me dance in the brightness of Your throne
Of Your throne..

Follow up: no points Batman…. 07MAR, 08 Mar – # 380

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Follow up to “No Points, Batman”… 07MAR, 08MAR

My son saw the title of the email blog I just wrote about yesterday (#379) and asked me about the Batman reference… I didn’t tell him the full story but I told him about the little boy whom I got to entertain and discuss Batman with, while his parents were having a serious conversation. Later when my son got dressed he came downstairs in a Batman t-shirt…. YEAH, oh that moved me immensely… There is no greater job I have as a mom and as a Christian to encourage others “to be Batman” –  meaning for them use the spiritual tools that God has graced them with – to do God’s work – and especially to comfort others….

There is a great Facebook meme photo that says: “You can be anyone you want to be, unless you’re Batman, then BE BATMAN”…. Thanks God for Facebook…

Perfect email verse of the day also matches today – and it was also the VBS scripture on that bible buddy tag I most hoped that little boys family would read… I LOVE God’s duplications… the bible message was that we are comforted by God SO that WE CAN comfort others…. that is the point…. and everything points to God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4:  Praise to the God of All Comfort

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

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No Points, Batman…. 07MAR – #379

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No Points, Batman…. 07MAR

I had my court date for my traffic ticket of turning right on a yellow (I swear to you it was yellow, not red)…  anyway, the officer (who was there on her day off) apparently had a system and called each of the five of us out separately to talk real quick and offered me a deal… She said she would give me no points but I still pay the fine – so nothing on my insurance… I said ok… Sure, I would have loved to argue the whole $130 thing down, but you know it didn’t seem worth it at that moment….. No points is really what I was aiming for anyway…. So in five minutes we talked to the judge – it was easy and done.

On the more brighter side (I always look for those), just prior to meeting the judge I was in the waiting room and I got to entertain a little 4-year old boy while his dad and older brother were in serious discussion – they seemed to be in a quandary about whether to plead guilty or not in a situation involving alcohol. my right on yellow seemed so minor a problem. His whole family was there and they were having a really intense discussion, so I was more than happy to have a small friend to entertain while waiting… This relaxed me and reduced my stress… This little 4yr old boy and I talked about Batman and the videogame Minecraft…. He did not know who Big Bird was but he certainly was telling me who Batman was….. I showed him a couple of Batman videos on my phone and I showed them a picture of me and the real Batmobile from the TV show which impressed his grandpa too. After my court time, I came back to the waiting room and I had a set of VBS Bible buddies left over from last year, and I thought I would be bold and give them to the little boy and told his mom that there’s an app that you can make those Bible buddies come alive on the phone…..

I thought if anything perhaps those little scripture sayings on the back would comfort his brother and father (and mom and grandpa)… I don’t know… if nothing else I just looked like a nice church lady/mom and that’s perfectly fine with me… That’s a label I appreciate…. It’s planting the seeds… Easy and done.

Batman had tools to make him a superhero, he did not inherently have powers like Superman or Spiderman… he was a regular guy… He had supernatural tools… So do we… we have our smiles, we have our gentle words, and most of all we have a goal to make things better…. yeah crazy church people are not superheroes, they don’t have to be!!! …but when the opportunity is there to be nice and share a little love, well that’s the point… Plant the seeds, bring extra seeds, let God water…

Share the LOVE….

That’s the GOOD NEWS of the day…
That’s the GOOD NEWS of tomorrow as well… Same Bat Time… Same Bat Station…

Flippant, 06 Mar – #378

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Flippant, 06 Mar

I ALWAYS seem to get something to write JUST after I mention to someone or to myself that God hasn’t made me write in a while… So this I HAD to write tonight because I have to apologize to God.

I have to remember to fear and respect God, NOT treat him like a best friend or a lucky charm, but truly to treat him as my Father, my Creator, and my Master. He loves me so very much, so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to die for my sins, which are plenty!!! God loves you so very much too!!! God wants you to know that. Yes. God sent Jesus for all…

So, today I got bit in the face by a dog… I was being really stupid and put my face right in his and he jumped at me and his teeth pierced my nose. I AM FINE, it could have been much much worse….  I couldn’t have been MORE stupid and now I have the small cut on my nose to remind myself to NOT be so flippant. It was an accident, but I thought I was being cute as if I had my face in a baby’s face, and I did completely ignored the warnings of the dog’s owner.  In hindsight, it probably looked like I was challenging this giant dog… I didn’t even know the dog, I’m not even a big fan of dogs, but I thought this year I’m trying to learn to love them. Well, I’ll stick with cats, at least when they scratch you it’s not your fault it’s just the car being a cat… Yup…

So this WAS my fault and I see it completely connects to prevailing thoughts in my head the last couple days about fearing God, giving him His due respect, about going to Jesus as my middleman to petition for me, and to NOT be so flippant for all the blessings He has given me… I have to remember these blessings are for HIM to use me, not for me to use for myself… I am just a tool for God…. sure I get salvation too, but my ticket to admission to heaven was paid by Jesus’ death, so it’s better I try NOT to stray from that narrow path and NOT forget to climb back on the path when I fall.

Have you done something stupid in a flippant righteous way like I did tonight? This was nothing compared to some of my other doozys, of when I became arrogant and self-righteous… This was not necessarily God biting me in the butt as much as it was God saying “I told you so”…. He has infinite forgiveness as He picks me up, and you up, from failing and falling once again, it’s called humbling. They say it’s better to humble yourself before God humbles you, yup humbled on the tip of my nose….

But don’t worry and obsess about your failures, and think God can’t forgive them, because HE can and does.

A friend told me tonight that God will let you stray but HE longs for you, just like the prodigal son’s father longed for his son to return. And God really really longs for you. God really really loves you and forgives you and wants you to turn to Him.

When you are ready to turn back to God, God will swoop right down and scoop you up and He will forgive you and He will never disown you and He will make you feel home once again. And HE can make you feel home because HE already lives inside of you, by putting Jesus in our hearts and giving us the Holy spirit to guide us…

Like a new coloring page, we are unfinished masterpieces, God’s changing us from caterpillars to a butterflies. God is working on us everyday making us more and more beautiful. So, don’t think you HAVE to be finished to walk the road to God, if anything, walking means you did at least find the road… And once you start walking, there is no turning back, no turning back….

So I am so sorry, God, for the times I felt and feel so righteous and didn’t rely on YOU, but on my own pride accomplishing great things. I know YOU are the founder of my feast and the solid rock under my feet. You are the Rock of Ages.

The only reason YOU GOD made these good changes in me was NOT because I was just lucky, but it is because YOU, my master, choose to make me an object lesson. And also when I look foolish, I am still your object lesson…

So when we look towards and feel your free and open AMAZING GRACE, that’s when we remember what YOU did for us Lord, what you did for me, Lord…  WE ARE SAVED. Jesus is our advocate, each of us walk the narrow path to You, Lord, with the LIGHT Jesus shines on out feet and uses to illuminate our dark places…

Let us respect and obey you Lord, because YOU made us your own. You made us each a NEW creation in YOU.

“If anyone is IN Christ, he is a new creation. the old has passed away, behold the new has come.” 2nd Corinthians 5:17

 

 

Overflow, 28FEB – #377

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Overflow, 28FEB

You know sometimes it really does overwhelm me how blessed I am!

For my troubles or even how I trouble my own life, God gives me strength…

At this restful moment, I sit in my Subaru after a long and blessed day –  a retreat in between tasks, I know I should keep moving and yet I have just the urge to sit, it’s decompression I never get enough of, that I never needed before like I need now… Honestly I could also use a nap right here in the car too… But sitting to ponder will suffice, playing praise music “Ode 15”… singing the “Alleluias”… SO AWESOME…

As my favorite praise song “ALL in ALL” lyric states: “When I am dry YOU fill my cup…” – Yup, and I just can’t contain my cup, I just feel so soaked in God’s LOVE and Jesus’s LIGHT, that the line in “PRAISE HIM” that says: “PRAISE HIM with every breath and every tear…” Yeah… It’s overwhelming…

I KNOW it’s STILL JUST the beginning for me… God’s plan for my life is going to keep rolling and maybe I will get accustomed, maybe not… I pray God to use me best, I thank God for such great release in letting me PRAISE HIM…. I pray that I never fall into a complacent way… I never ever want to be even a little far from HIM, EVER…

Sigh, just needed to pause and share… Tears of JOY…

Thanks everyone!!!

Thanks Lord!!!

SMILES

Voice for God – Evangelism, 27FEB – #376

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Voice for God, 27FEB

Do the best you can with the tools you are given….

God brought Jesus to earth and HE died and rose again, He died in front of people who then saw him rise and yet some still doubted…

Jesus was more than just a voice for God, He WAS God…

So on a smaller scale, we are voices for God (but it’s His Word) and yet SO many people don’t believe us either…. Well if they didn’t even believe Jesus, it’s not surprising they don’t believe us (2 Corinthians 4:3)… When God opens their hearts to the possibility that life is bigger than them AND when they open their mind to the possibility that life is bigger than them, well THAT is when Jesus has a chance to get a foothold. And trust me Jesus is really good at getting a foothold…. And a handhold… And a hearthold… So in the meantime evangelism or making yourself a voice for spreading God’s Word really means that we are being “at the ready” for God to use us –  loving and living each day in God’s Way…..

Evangelism isn’t supposed to be bible thumping – but bible seeping, the GOOD NEWS not sensationalized but simplified – as simple as just showing God’s LOVE thru us… So when God leads the COMMON PEOPLE to an UNCOMMON GOOD, that’s when others notice… Others may notice if sometimes your life reminds them that God IS alive. It’s not always by your voice but by your actions that SHOW how you yourself follow God, and how you listen and you repent according to His teachings… It’s ONLY that the people maybe, just maybe, will want to look for God in their lives on their own… Maybe, just maybe, they will see… Maybe, just maybe, they will hear… Maybe, just maybe, they will believe…

So continue your evangelism, my friends, by living and loving in ALL of God’s ways, because God wants you to, and God needs you to…, God needs YOU to be the eyes, the ears, the hands, the feet, the voice, and the song of God’s Word… So, for the people you can help, God wants you to be a witness to HIS power…

BE the watchmen… Blow the trumpet… but BE CLEAR that you are fighting WITH people NOT against them… God is for HIS people. We should BE too.


Ezekiel 33 (NIV)

Renewal of Ezekiel’s Call as Watchman

The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’

7 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘You wicked person, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 9 But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved.

10 “Son of man, say to the Israelites, ‘This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down, and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?”’ 11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’

12 “Therefore, son of man, say to your people, ‘If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’ 13 If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done. 14 And if I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right— 15 if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die. 16 None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.

17 “Yet your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But it is their way that is not just. 18 If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, they will die for it. 19 And if a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so. 20 Yet you Israelites say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you according to your own ways.”

2 Corinthians 4, DO NOT Despair, 26FEB – #375

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2 Corinthians 4, DO NOT Despair, 26FEB

This scripture gives hope… I pray if there us anything else to change in me then Lord, please do it – because I don’t want to become complacent or forget that my fortunes are from God… I don’t want to think I have nothing to still work thru, I know I do and I know I will only improve with God’s help…

We see many folks who go thru much harder things then us, and come out more thankful and stronger…. It’s because our trials mold us like jars of clay, we are hard pressed on every side, but we are not crushed… and the beautiful LIGHT that we shine is FROM GOD, no one can dispute that, and it’s clearly not from us…

This scripture has the perfect analogy… The scripture stands alone and not much explanation is needed by me except the take home message is: DON’T despair, God has us… We have God… Jesus IS the LIGHT, HE is our treasure!!! Do not lose heart, our eternal glory outweighs all our troubles…. 🙂 thanks God!!


2 Corinthians 4 (NIV) Present Weakness and Resurrection Life

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.

11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Release, 26Feb – #374

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Release, 26Feb

Jesus wants us to forgive to be FREE to live WITH God, always… Let that resentment go… It’s very freeing to just let it go…. Jesus let go of the resentment to those who crucified him, and ignored his teachings (and still ignore them)… And His Hands went FREE – forever FREE to live again and LOVE always…

We need to step back from our anger and know that we are in this world, but not of this world, and be FREE to accept God’s forgiveness by forgiving others… It’s not easy, but Jesus will do it for you… And you will be released even from that yoke.. It’s NOT forget the wrongs, DON’T get fooled again, and yes you need to illuminate the wrongs, but let God handle the rest…

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Remember the story of the two monks – here is a version from the web: “[Two monks were making a pilgrimage. During the course of their journey, they came to a river where they met a beautiful young woman — an apparently worldly creature, dressed in expensive finery and with her hair done up in the latest fashion. She was afraid of the current and afraid of ruining her lovely clothing, so asked the brothers if they might carry her across the river.

The younger and more exacting of the brothers was offended at the very idea and turned away with an attitude of disgust. The older brother didn’t hesitate, and quickly picked the woman up on his shoulders, carried her across the river, and set her down on the other side. She thanked him and went on her way, and the brother waded back through the waters.

The monks resumed their walk, the older one in perfect equanimity and enjoying the beautiful countryside, while the younger one grew more and more brooding and distracted, so much so that he could keep his silence no longer and suddenly burst out, “Brother, we are taught to avoid contact with women, and there you were, not just touching a woman, but carrying her on your shoulders!” The older monk looked at the younger with a loving, pitiful smile and said, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river; you are still carrying her.”] “

Remember Matthew 18:
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

1 Corinthians 10… Musings, 25 FEB – #373

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1 Corinthians 10… Musings, 25 FEB

Yeah, good scripture for this week’s sermon and always…  I like pre-reading the scripture before our Pastor’s sermon, just like I like pre-practicing before band practice… Yeah, it’s so convenient that the Bible is written down, isn’t it!?!?! It’s sad those folks in Moses’ time couldn’t carry the whole bible in an app on their phones!!! God’s Word on the go!.. no curtain can hide Jesus – as Jesus is conveniently heart-localized – that is so awesome…

1st Corinthians 10 serves both to remind us humility (just like that white bead on my everest/dead sea bracelet), and also to be on our best behavior because “compliance makes a difference”, which is a saying on a bracelet I wear on my other arm… “12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

And the 1st Corinthians verses also match the sentiment of Ephesians 5:29-30 “After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.” When I asked (and still ask) God to reduce my temptations He has answered me… HE did not have to always take the object away but reduce my urge towards it – yes, HE has answered me, BIG TIME… Proof to me yet again that God hears us when we call, and that my “compliance makes a difference”… This is clearly been a blessed whole past year of health focus, and where out of left field I have seen challenges left and right… God providing that way out from temptations has been AMAZING…. putting out fires when I ask, and removing that “it’s all about me” feeling… This can seem like a conflict because God has been building me up, that feeling of “I want you to be fulfilled” but actually God is really saying: I want you to look to ME, Your Master, to fill you and look for my fulfilling ways, do not feast from earthly ways… Yup…

We see so much these days of “I have the right to do anything” attitude…. But folks DON’T remember 1 Corinthians verse 23-24 – not everything is beneficial – not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. “not everything is constructive.”

In the world these days, we hear so many say: “what’s in it for me” when they should say “how can I give of myself and make a difference?”… But the biggest idol we see is SELF… Self importance…. It’s saying “God BE good to me, I AM worth it” rather than “God IS good, even though I am NOT worthy”… Oh, if only folks would remember it’s God’s plan, not ours….Just be grateful God wants you in HIS plan…

Verse 13 means your problems are nothing new, and temptations are common and you can’t repeatedly blame the devil in your failings like “the devil made me do it” … Since these are “ONLY” mankind’s failings, God can help – easy for God but hard for you – because YOU have to WANT to change…

Hey we all mess up… We are human… But we can can overcome temptations WITH God’s help….

Remember: Luke 1:37 (NKJV) “For WITH GOD nothing will be impossible.”

Matthew 19:26 (NIV)  “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but WITH GOD all things are possible.””

Cool…. It’s great to have HIS help… Thanks God!


1 Corinthians 10 (NKJV) Old Testament Examples

Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

“That’s How God Works!”, Michael Card’s concert, 23 Feb – #372

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“That’s How God Works!”, Michael Card’s concert, 23 Feb

BLESSED… Singer and writer Michael Card is awesome!!!!…. I got to say “Hi” before his concert… I gave him my two journaling writings about his last concert… I was SO excited to see him, the ride of the day!!! I went with such great faith family!! SO BLESSED!!!

I actually gave him two months total of my writing, and the link to the others… I said he didn’t have to read them, but maybe for the plane or the bus, he said he would show his wife to show her that he was still popular, LOL… He eagerly fanned thru the pages… Who knows, maybe he will read, maybe not, I just wanted to share them to again say how much I appreciated his gifts and his giving… And at the end to give him a hug like a old friend, to say thanks and “God bless you”!

The concert was amazing! Laid back, just him and a Steinway and a Martin guitar, which he re-tuned constantly… If he missed a note he blamed it on age.. He did look a little skinnier than last time, I do worry about him and his jet-hopping schedule. We sang all together as he taught the audience a few times. I only recognized a couple songs, and his newest songs were wonderful… He spoke of his writing and fascination of the differences in the 4 gospels – Luke was a doctor like his dad, an old-fashioned doctor who worked constantly and they only saw him at dinner… As the youngest, Michael would have to go retrieve his dad from his study for dinner, and he would wiggle his fingers under the door… which his therapist told him he was still doing – wiggling his fingers for attention… Everyone gushed with love and compassion for him… He said God takes our brokenness to use us for His will… The more broken we are the more he calls us… He also spoke of his book about slavery, how much writing in the bible was about how we are slaves of God, not servants but slaves… How even Mary said “behold I am a slave to the Master” when she was told by the angels that she was chosen.

Many wonderful stories, wonderful atmosphere, praises in song.

But what was a classic God-intervention of the whole evening was HIS obvious timing of when I got there, where I sat and with whom….positioning is everything with God… It’s when you realize God’s been working His HOLY SPIRIT assets-off to move HIS children around so that they run into each other and inspire each other… So when I entered the beautiful small 300-seat chapel, I zoomed right up front because I saw Michael Card sitting with someone in the front row. We arrived about thirty minutes before concert… We needed four seats, PERFECT spot front row (with room for my friend’s wheelchair)… And I zoomed into the seat next to Michael to say “Hey-remember me?”… He probably didn’t but after Michael and I shared for five minutes, and I handed him my writing. He got up to finish mingling and these two ladies sat down… The one next to me turned and said they saw him in center city two months ago at the tiny 200-person concert, and I said “me too!”… And she recognized me, (yeah really!) and she could tell I had lost weight (!!crazy!!)… I said I was supposed to give a ride to a new friend I had met at that concert – but he got another ride… well they go to church with him!!!… Actually they got the concert info from him because I had sent the info to him!!!… Yeah crazy!.. wow – they thanked me… She said “That’s how God works!” …

Yup! That’s how God works!!!!

Our conversation SO natural, our PRAISE in our singing and our nodding along with the music… After we exchanged contact info, I told her my story and she said she used to be a writer and God has been nudging her to write again, write her story, and she resists and doesn’t take the time… I said God forced me to write, I did not choose to write! except if I didn’t dunp it down, God would NOT release my brain… God made my writing convenient at quiet times, woke me up for the processing, now I write for both processing and praise, and to convince others that God is alive!!!!!

She said she is going to get herself writing, I hope she does… She said her story is like Daniel’s scriptures of the friends in the furnace fire who stood with Jesus and came out unscathed… Yes, aren’t we all like Daniel’s friends who are going to come out unscathed when we eventually hit eternal life because this life will just drop away and we will be with God forever??? yeah that’s why God’s working his assets off…

… and that’s why I think Michael Card is working his assets off to… he said he could sit at home and watch TV but he would miss the people too much… I’m so glad Michael Card loves the people…

I’m so eternally glad God loves HIS people.

B-52s, 23FEB – #371

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B-52s, 23FEB

Really God? Really? The B-52’s – I never put it together that number 52 was in their name until YOU just put this song on my radio to wrap up my driving time in my blessed borrowed little Subaru… I know You Lord control the radio when You want to help me out… YOU just now took me from a very sad and down place to intensely smiling… Thanks God everyday for smiling my way… No one can lift me like YOU do…

“Roam if you want to, roam around the world – Roam if you want to, without wings without wheels – Roam if you want to, roam around the world – Roam if you want to, without anything but the LOVE we feel”

Then the very last song after these 1065 miles was from Elvis… “Can’t help falling in love with you”…

I can’t help but LOVE you more and more everyday Lord…

Oh I feel the LOVE, the Subaru LOVE…

I KNOW the LOVE, GOD LOVE… nothing compares to the LOVE of GOD…

Amen

Ephesians 5:2, 22Feb – #370

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Ephesians 5:2, 22Feb

You know how I’m stuck on the 52 numbers? and think God is in charge of 52 numbers showing up absolutely everywhere?… I still get the number 52 showing up five to ten times a day, this is my new normal… I notice everywhere things that have 52 – especially license plates – and oh yeah a big mack truck that almost hit me when i was taking a chance walking across the street – it had big 52 on it’s mudflaps – God said PAY ATTENTION!…. There were very unusual 52s this past weekend…. BUT this was a very important 52 that showed up today… Ephesians 5:2 – a photo from my notes at a prayer breakfast last May, where the wonderful speaker spoke about the aroma of Christ and how her mother always said “Don’t dare leave this house until you are smelling good” and how when her mother died her body smelled of roses, a miracle… Well I wrote that verse down for a reason, back in May, and certainly never connected the 52 with it… SO I’ve been carrying it in my Praise Pumpkin ever since with my other praise memorabilia – (like my Vacation Bible School snowball, that small devotions book, and the completed sets of praise band music that I am so blessed to sing) – it’s ok i am sentimental especially towards God…

Ephesians 5:2 speaks of the aroma of Christ…. Yeah all Ephesians 5 is tremendous advice…. 5:14 “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” is my witness to everything that is good that has happened to me since accepting Jesus’ wake up call!

I don’t doubt that God has many plans for me and throwing 52s in my way always makes me think..  yes, I appreciate the clarity of the scriptures which are just trying to make us better – and heal our wounds of the sins that drag us down….

Ephesians 5  (NIV)

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness,righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Pseudo-Yoga, Sharing the REAL LIGHT, 22FEB – #369

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Pseudo-Yoga, Sharing the REAL LIGHT, 22FEB

So in this mixed bag of a crazy weekend, I had two particular moments that I want to share – where i am pretty sure Jesus was smiling and embracing the “two or three –  people who meet in MY name”… I had many many others incidents of encompassing love this weekend (of course) but these stand-out for the discussion of yoga and worshiping false idols… And for the smiling appreciative reinforcement that Jesus is truly in OUR hearts… And both conversations involved girl scout cookies and health and weightloss…

Here’s the vent part: Yoga is being bashed in sound-bite form by some folk as false idol worship – JUST bashing…

Yoga – OF COURSE it’s origins are from a different spiritual path, but it is a generic term these days for a type of exercise, but they didn’t change the name… It’s years ago when they took the yogi out of yoga to see how it could be used in the fitness realm… (I bet the yogis might say that fitness folks did was the equivalent of “taking Christ out of Christmas”)… Nowadays “fitness yoga” (maybe use the term “pseudo-yoga”) is low impact, heart-rate-increasing stretching for the body, it’s attention to breathing, it’s finding PEACE, acceptance of self, but with a goal of feeling better… That’s the same message person to person, but HOW each person’s mind is stretched truly IS different person to person…

Here’s my praising -> My mind says Jesus is stretching WITH me when I do my yoga. Jesus is meeting me here at a crossover of cultures, helping me use the best from others to better myself in the vast universe – to LIVE better to enable me to spread HIS LOVE… JESUS-enabled GOD LOVE and PEACE…

In “fitness yoga”, you don’t have to worship the Sun or false idols in order to raise your heartrate to do the plank position… Besides, holding the yoga plank position for a LONG time just might make you call out to God for help! Face down to the ground – you better believe there’s praying!

My two particular faith discussions involving yoga (as well as eating more protein and greens, less carbs, and less processed foods for weight and health improvement) resulted in the BEST Jesus sharing, where both of us stood mutually agreeing that Jesus was in OUR hearts, that Jesus IS shared out from OUR hearts, and that Jesus IS the LIGHT… That’s what God wants us to share – share that ALL this “strength” and “dedication” for any task is ALL FROM GOD… isn’t that AWESOME? Isn’t that the point? God is WITH us regardless of our mindsets, we are supposed to realize that and listen deep into our hearts using our God-is-love mindsets to develop our Jesus lives IN ME “heartsets”… It’s amazing when we realize OUR God is working HIS ASSETS OFF to wake us up – to work HIS plan – and return US to HIM. Cool…

It’s important to stretch your mind to find out what’s actually in your mind…

In the yoga routine, the end catch phrase is “The LIGHT in me salutes the LIGHT in you”…. That’s the most Christian statement I have EVER heard!!!JESUS IS the LIGHT… Share the LIGHT!!!

Amen


PS… It’s convenient that my paths cross with a wide variety of people and faith systems… It’s convenient to have the gifted family-trait mindset of “I have an hour in between scheduled tasks, what five things can I get done?” Because that’s where God can use us for others when we are already in motion… I know God must have caused this focus in my brain for health sharing and for sharing faith, because even I don’t understand why I was chosen for this task except that when I accepted Jesus, I also said “God use me for whatever you need”… “correct my ways for your purpose” … it rings true: Luke 1:38 “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”


PPS… Likewise “fitness kickboxing” doesn’t mean you want to kill people LOL, it’s a exercise focusing routine… And when I kick and punch it’s the best feeling – because sometimes I am visualizing pummeling the devil… I know it’s God who is best to fight the devil, but I like to help God the best I can, if I at least stand up to the devil, Jesus can kick for me… Jesus is LIGHT on His feet for sure!!!

BINGO, 21Feb – #368

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This is another “processing therapy piece” for my old Catholic upbringing… I sat and prayed just ten minutes in a new huge expensive Catholic church on Thursday with new ornate stained glass, and such beautiful Mary images… But it’s my old churching that floods memories to me for processing… My memories and two completely independent “random” discussions with former Catholics last Thursday night… a triple play of memories… Then BINGO at son’s school Friday night…. Noisy and fun BINGO, not so serious as those Friday night memories as a child working Catholic school BINGO… Memories of ALL those old Catholic RITUALS flood to me….

BINGO, 21Feb

It’s fun to play BINGO, i was raised Catholic and it was part of the fabric of the community I was in. Yet I know that John Wesley forgo all games of chance in the Methodist tradition, and I do understand his reasoning… God picks you for HIS own, just like He saved John Wesley from that horrific fire as a babe, God is planning a life for YOU, if you accept it… God is NOT blessing you by chance, but God is gracing and gifting purposefully…. God gives HOPE…. LIFE by GRACE – NOT by chance, so in the Methodist tradition there are no raffles, no games of chance, no BINGO….

I was raised Catholic, I was raised on BINGO… The smoke-filled gym at my Catholic school… My parents forced working the high stakes event (seemingly because there was a’lot of money raised) BINGO, top prize $200 at the end of the night… We as kids worked the concession stand, sold candy on a cart down the aisles… those real glass soda bottles, candy and more candy… And cleaned up after under the guidance of tired tireless workerbee custodian Mrs C… And the people, those regulars Friday nights… Yelling “shake’m up, shake’m up” when they were displeased with the numbers (OR the caller)… And the rituals, number 66 (I think) made the faithful ring bells, I can hear the cow bell, the lady actually brought a cow bell to BINGO… Other numbers other rituals… The clink of the magnetic chips… The claps of them flipping the pressed wood-like “lap boards” over… I hear them, I smell the smoke, I know the rituals…

Mary’s statue was discolored by smoke at Bingo… We Catholics (former and current) revere Mary as you were taught to revere the old people at church… They had lived thru a lot of pain… a war and great depression… Children of poor hungry immigrants ripped from their homeland to find freedom in America… They wanted the best for their children… They were the ones who sacrificed for your successful life in America… Likewise, Mother Mary was the one who sacrificed her “normal-life” to birth and raise God… and then only to see the brutal death of her son AND her God…. PS – You don’t have to worship Mary as a Catholic, but it’s good that you respect her, you must remember your pain was probably nothing compared to hers losing her Son… Her choosing by God means you are chosen by God too… Let her remind you to rely on God too… perhaps the role model as told in Luke 1:38 will help you – “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”

Many of those people at BINGO probably thought they were getting their little dose of church in, just like folks today… Sometimes even a pancake breakfast with prayers of Grace suffices for some… Likely the feel of a warm community was what drew the people to BINGO on Friday nights, as opposed to other gambling meccas (and you know how pervasive games of chance are ingrained into our society)… Here they raised money for the Catholic school… for the children… For teaching God’s children… The people were praying for BINGO, but their donations were for me, my education, my future, my future walk with God… Where two meet in God’s name…

Catholic rituals, can’t shake them, and yes many of us “recovering Catholics” miss them… I paid attention to stay awake in Catholic masses as a child… But I memorized the rituals… The kneeling, the hand motions, the bells, the reverence…. Sure it was quiet time for prayer (or not)…. But you had to respect the reverence… No Latin masses for me, but those old people – they remembered… They revered and knew their rituals cold… It was cold in that huge church… It was warmer in BINGO…

The Passion of Christ – that I paid attention to at Lenten Masses… The priests (who normally were stick-figured randomness to me as a child) all of a sudden spoke reverently and feverishly during HOLY Week… Strong and passionate about the Easter story… They ALL came to that service, they read the play by play of Jesus at the last supper, of Jesus being betrayed by Judas – I could hear the clink of the silver pieces…. Yes, the stories of the garden, the slice off of that ear, the rooster crowing, Peter denials were my denials too… The long dragging of Jesus and HIS Cross thru the streets, up the hill… the blood, the sweat, the onlookers pulled in to help… The cries of the mothers…. The stations of the cross made real…. The crucifixion… The nails… You could see and feel the nails and the pain in the actual wood painted figure hanging there… Jesus’s face not dead on that cross, but writhing in pain, sad for his lost children.. Powerful passionate purposeful portrayal… Pain…. Mockery, gambling for HIS clothes, a crown of thorns, the dark death… The thundering skys scorned… The tomb…. Gone… Jesus was plain gone… … Jesus simply gone from his devoted and now terrified and confused disciples… How could God work like this? How could God leave all of them hanging…. Yes Jesus told them he would go away but surely they must have felt LOST…. It wasn’t just Jesus who died, but probably the faith of many who believed but were then lost… This was God’s plan… Why?…

Why stir the souls so passionately with this death story?… Perhaps to awaken them to the LIFE story… To awaken our souls to NEW LIFE… Forever LIFE…. Jesus died to give LIFE… Jesus was passionately living to die… To LIVE again… GOD’S PLAN IS FOR US TO LIVE FOREVER WITH HIM.

RITUALS… Real… reawakening…

The kneeling, the stations of the cross, the clap of wooden lap boards as they flipped them over at BINGO…. The life of the people going thru the rituals… The clinging to each other for support in joy and troublesome times…The clinging to HOPE for a BINGO win is nothing compared to the clinging to the CROSS for ETERNAL HOPE…

JESUS bore HIS cross, to bear you LIFE… Be reborn in Christ to feel HIS pain to FEEL that released freedom of LIFE in heaven… when HIS arms went free so did yours… Your sins forgiven… Free pass to heaven for you and me…

Free salvation… FREE LIFE… FREE LOVE…

But you have to believe that… You have to KNOW you were freed…

The passion of God IS for YOU… It’s YOU, God wants…. It’s ALWAYS been about YOU…

Follow the passionate life, death and life of Jesus… Help take Jesus down off HIS cross this Easter, to believe that in three days you can RISE with HIM… He knows the way home. Home is for all those who believe they need Jesus as a Savior.

Whether you ritualize your memories OR make them all new… God is alive so your faith can be too… God wants YOU forever…

Thanks God for your passionate LOVE for US… FOR ME…

The passion of God IS FOR YOU…

BINGO YOU WON!

Proverbs 17 (NIV) – #367

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WOW this proverb speaks to me volumes, but it is like a deep puzzle…

This was from the scripture of the day and I want to tease it apart all the situations in my life that pertain, but I think it will take a while… Suffice for now that I call on God to make all things clear in HIS time…. Dry toast, peace….

Proverbs 17 (NIV)

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
    than a house full of feasting, with strife.

A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son
    and will share the inheritance as one of the family.

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
    but the Lord tests the heart.

A wicked person listens to deceitful lips;
    a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.

Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker;
    whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.

Children’s children are a crown to the aged,
    and parents are the pride of their children.

Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool—
    how much worse lying lips to a ruler!

A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it;
    they think success will come at every turn.

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense,
    but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.

10 A rebuke impresses a discerning person
    more than a hundred lashes a fool.

11 Evildoers foster rebellion against God;
    the messenger of death will be sent against them.

12 Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs
    than a fool bent on folly.

13 Evil will never leave the house
    of one who pays back evil for good.

14 Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam;
    so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.

15 Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent—
    the Lord detests them both.

16 Why should fools have money in hand to buy wisdom,
    when they are not able to understand it?

17 A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

18 One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge
    and puts up security for a neighbor.

19 Whoever loves a quarrel loves sin;
    whoever builds a high gate invites destruction.

20 One whose heart is corrupt does not prosper;
    one whose tongue is perverse falls into trouble.

21 To have a fool for a child brings grief;
    there is no joy for the parent of a godless fool.

22 A cheerful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

23 The wicked accept bribes in secret
    to pervert the course of justice.

24 A discerning person keeps wisdom in view,
    but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son brings grief to his father
    and bitterness to the mother who bore him.

26 If imposing a fine on the innocent is not good,
    surely to flog honest officials is not right.

27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,
    and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
    and discerning if they hold their tongues.

The Trash Too, 20FEB – #366

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The Trash Too, 20FEB

Up at 545am to feed my daughter in preparation for a 30hr fast event to raise awareness and funds for world hunger relief… I pray for the youth famine weekend and that the messages are heard and understood by the kids(and parents)…. “Those who have ears, let them hear”

There was a skit from last year called “The Trash” where Jesus was trying to help someone remove their baggage and sin in the form of trash – and it was AMAZINGLY true to me… but little did I know that over the course of this one year that I would truly witness this happen to me in big ways… I incrementally gave up SO MUCH trash to Jesus this past year and I don’t even miss it… Namely my faulty beliefs, my emotional eating ways and ignorance of my holy temple, my ignorance of feeding myself the Word of God, and that stress about things that God can handle MUCH better than me… Oh yeah especially giving up that stress… The trashman taketh away…

And YEAH – that dancing feeling? YEAH, totally…. I’m dancing and singing HIS praises everyday…

There’s still more trash to give up, there is ALWAYS going to be big and little pockets of trash WE hide in our hearts, that WE cling to, and that WE take back… And I think that devil delivers extra too… But blessedly this trash man comes on a routine basis….

Once you see the benefits of giving up the trash, you WILL want to be purged and polished by God!!!

SO BLESSED… THANKS JESUS…. REALLY YOU ARE ALIVE in those who cling to YOU. Amen and THANKS youth!!!!

THANKS all current and former youth leaders for bringing Jesus in living form to our children and to us.

LISTEN, LIGHT, LOVE, 19FEB – #365 *

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A friend asked me to start some more evangelical pieces, meeting people where they are… It’s true that I long to hear about others’ faith and how they found the LIGHT, and how they are still looking.. Some folks slowly peak thru the window-of-your-soul blinds, some open them fully… It takes time to adjust to the LIGHT…

LISTEN, LIGHT, LOVE, 19FEB

What’s your perception of God?

Is He close or near? Does He call out to you? Do you call out to Him?

At night, the moon calls me out… When it is setting, like this really early morning, and as it approaches the horizon, it is HUGE! It’s a trick if the eye? Is it parallax as my physics teacher might say? No, it’s a trick from the light in the curve of the earth… Light that bends, bends your perception, changes what you understand.

Whatever your perspective is, the moon is the same size. Whatever the light brings to your eye there is no different amount of cheese, no half eaten crescent from mice that finally made a rocket ship to reach the moon. And the light from the moon? That is not even made on the moon, it’s from the Sun.

What’s your perception of God? What’s your take on Jesus? I ask because I want to know… I don’t expect answered emails, and I don’t expect you to have God all figured out either, I sure don’t! I just ask that you think about your perspective on God – because when I previously thought about mine I was totally confused… Blessedly, God cleared it up for me as only God could… I understand more deep truths now, not shadows of truths, I saw the LIGHT and want you tell you the LIGHT is looking for you too. The LIGHT wants YOU to understand God. God loves you FOR YOU! And loves you for YOUR benefit, He wants to be WITH you.

Reflections of LIGHT… The light affects your perception of the moon… But you must believe that the moon doesn’t really change… even though every night it looks that way.

Reflections of LIGHT… The LIGHT affects your perception of God, and God changes how you see the LIGHT… But please believe that God doesn’t change HIS LOVE for YOU… It’s YOUR perception that affects how you relate to God.

God is waiting on you, calling to you, wanting you to notice.

Is God a blinding LIGHT? Maybe? or does He reveal just enough light for what He thinks you can handle? God has just the right and perfect LIGHT to help you walk on YOUR path in the dark times. Think about His Grace and the blessings you have been granted IN the light – think about those times when you knew He was with you, and therefore I ask you to know that He IS with you as well in the dark times… He wants you to be less distracted by the false light and see only the true LIGHT from Him.

Please know God GIVES the LIGHT. And you can take it stepwise, gradually unshielding your heart to feel a gradient effect of more and more LIGHT.

So look inside yourself, that is where God placed His guiding LIGHT, just waiting for you to fuel it. He created you in HIS image, God is IN YOU, REALLY!!!…. Make Him feel at home, welcome HIM. With God, you are never alone, and you are always walking and welcomed home. You are anchored and no longer adrift.

God gives the LIGHT that bends but does not break, He can bends your perception, change what you understand, if you let HIM.

What’s your perception of God? Do you call out to Him? You may have to change how you perceive God’s LIGHT. It’s alright, God WILL help!

Call out to Him, He’s there…

He’s ALWAYS been there.

He’s ALWAYS shining the LIGHT.

He’s ALWAYS calling YOU.

He’s ALWAYS listening.

LISTEN, LIGHT, LOVE…

LOVE GOD because GOD LOVES YOU!

LOVE GOD because you once were LOST, but now are FOUND. LOVE GOD because you once were BLIND, but NOW can SEE.

LISTEN, LIGHT, LOVE…

GOD is LOVE

GOD LOVES YOU!

Woven Nets, 15FEB – #364

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Woven Nets, 15FEB

When I was caught then secured into God’s net by Jesus, it was multilayered… Thick, strong, and yet allows for water to wash on thru, cleansing me continually…

I was caught – then – I was woven into the net myself.

Love layers… Layers of LOVE…

One layer was/is worship music that permeates and resonates and initially made me rest against the net to feel the vibrations before the net wove into my soul thru my ears. I didn’t know I was getting caught in the net but I was…

One layer was/is worshipful people that bless and encourage me and initially enabled me to rest against the net to rest in the LOVE, before that net wove into my soul thru my heart. I didn’t know I was getting caught in the net but I was…

One layer was/is the spoken word and personal testimonies that made my head spin and initially enabled me to rest against the net to STILL my own mind before the net wove into my soul thru my consciousness. I didn’t know I was getting caught in the net but I was…

The layer of the bible stories stopped the static noise of what we are manipulated to focus on. The written word quiets the mind, focuses the thoughts, stirs the heart… gives the net elasticity and bounce… the written word flows and has room for interpretation and integration into your own storyline of life.

The Word of God IS the true net we should weave into all the other nets, we should get caught up in the Word of God, and live thru it.

It’s the layers of all these nets that we need to live and need to grow… And they are ALL backed by the last layer, that foundation layer in the LOVE OF GOD…

When you are woven into the net you are FREE. You are caught but stabilized to flow with the life that God will lead you on.

When your soul is attached it to the net, it can be cleansed by the water and not get lost…

When you are secured by the net, your hands are FREE to do God’s work, your mouth is FREE to sing and preach God’s Word, your eyes are FREE to see all that was good and all that IS good emanates from God.

God WILL take you, make you, and love you ALWAYS…

God will make you WHOLE.

BE the net. LIVE the net. LOVE the net.

Amen

Rapture, 11-12-13 FEB – #361, 362, 363

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Apparently this week’s theme was “rapture week”, this theme of “The Rapture” and God sending Jesus back to earth had permeated the WHOLE week… Kinda takes your mind off your other troubles, huh?…

This is a long set of rambling writings composed over a week, but I think God is saying to me, to ALL of us as Christians to STAY AWAKE, just like HIS disciples in the garden… STAY AWARE, stay on your “A” game… keep working to show others Jesus’s love, and show yourselves to be faithful followers and teach, preach, but most importantly REACH!!!

Whether it’s thru music or reading or people, or so many God-sightings, God continually reminds me and us He’s the ONLY one who knows ALL….

God practically says after one’s salvation realization that “[You’ve come a long way, Baby” – now you need to delve into the harder stuff – you have EVEN MORE work to do…. I called you to REACH… Don’t brush over the painful truths!!!]”

Life can be hard, confusing, I know this and this week alone I discussed with multiple people their job losses, their pain, their anguish over dying family members, and even brutal attacks and killings…. I know life isn’t always a piece of cake…

BUT God wants folks to come to Jesus to find PEACE, to KNOW ETERNAL LIFE. Being a Christian means stirring up the hunger in others for God’s word – and then staying AT the table WITH THEM, if they can’t feed themselves. Here’s the writings…

Rapture, 10-11-12-13 FEB

l’m not making this stuff up… These awesome God-coincidences, these “duplicating themes of the week”… I’m reading an awesome book, one small chapter talks about the “Rapture”, I read it Tuesday, then while talking about my sacred Salvation Subaru car repair, I challenged a man nicknamed Satan (!) and later I talked to an undertaker (!)… Then Ash Wednesday my pastor’s sermon delivered more from the book of Joel… “For the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.” …and then Thursday, on the Supernatural Radio (a Tom Petty song) in my loaner Subaru, Blondie sings “Rapture”… Rapture is the theme of the week apparently… Thurs night at praise band practice I had to reach out about this repetition to my pastor (conveniently our keyboard player too) and four of us discussed the time when Jesus will be sent back to Earth to wrap it all up… I learned how history tells us how awful things were (50,000 people killed every day) at the time when Jesus came 2000 years ago – wow (FYI $2000 is the repeating theme of the financial week too, my car will cost $2000 to fix , it says “I’m not dead yet” like in the Monty Python skit, but I digress…) …

… and then Friday I had at least three instances of random mentioning of the Rapture – including a paragraph in a scientific philosophy manuscript my friend is writing… PLUS endless music about death and life… So conversations abounded because of this repetition and I listen intently to it all – as I have so much to learn – yeah it’s rapturous!

God knows when to turn on the heat… Just give Matthew 24 (and 23, and 25) a read, you will see…

SO, in this awesome book I’m reading, called “Accidental Saints” by Nadia Bolz-Weber, I appreciate the section about “The Rapture”, quoting Matthew 24… And about how the pastor has to discuss the apocalyptic text in the Bible which she knows scares so many people! It’s not easy to convince non-believers to follow a God who is coming back for such a seemingly brutal end of the world scenario where Jesus becomes a thief, stealing people… Her sermon was really offered as an opportunity to be aware and to get ready, about Jesus coming to be a HOLY good thief NOW who wants to take the crap from us NOW beforehand, take out our sinful baggage to get us ready sooner than later, well before the second coming…

I agree, Jesus did come and IS here in spirit and is physically coming again to do the clean up work for God… Let us be AWARE, know what sins YOU can shed before HE comes and the more YOU do now (and YES, GOD WILL HELP) will lighten HIS load of cleaning up YOUR mess… You can do it, God WILL help.

All this I have been thinking about on my commute Wed morning, in my little borrowed Subaru, when even more rapturous themes flooded in … I was thinking about what next tune might come up on the Eighties station on Sirius radio… (you know I want to fill this little car with prayers and pause and praise for good music and for a good life to whomever drives it after me) … So, what comes on the radio? Blondie “Rapture” !!!!! I’m not making this stuff up!!! She sings about rapturous eating of Subarus… “go out at night, eatin’ cars / You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too – Mercurys and SUBARUS !”

God must control the radio…

When I got the brand new borrowed car last Monday I heard the first song “Whip It” -Devo – whip it into shape, yup I know what God means… After Blondie I put it back to the 60s station (I’m trying to balance out ALL the music for a good car upbringing since I’m the first driver of this car, 300 miles so far). Yes my friends, God controls the radio for me – OR I can just connect everything I hear and see to God – either way God is awesome… I’ve got 60s and 70s, classic Vinyl… After “Rapture” played Creedence Clearwater Revival – everybody wants a revival right??? Then the Eagles singing about “turning water into wine”.. then Billy Joel singing about red and white wine… then some Grateful Dead… then Electric LIGHT Orchestra “Living Thing”…

So many songs right in a row about living and about death!!!… I like to listen to praise music too, and I like Christmas music as classic Christ-centering and I LOVE my church praise band music the best because it speaks TO ME and i speak it right back out – and because I know all the Sinners-turning-into-Saints who are synergistic in their PRAISE together… I find ALL music has some sort of praise in it – because those people singing them are ALL God’s children too (whether they know it or not… but I’m pretty sure they know it when they are thinking and singing about God and life and death).

The only CD I remembered to bring with me in my backpack contains, of course, “Come to the Cradle” which is my awakening song and contains a gem of a new song from my friend called “The Gift”, about how if we are to fully accept this gift of Jesus we must gift our whole hearts to HIM… I LOVE listening to the first song about coming to find PEACE, then singing about gifting myself to God by following Jesus…

The other random CD I found in the bottom of my backpack was Warren Zevon’s last album before he died way too early – the best song is “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” a fitting remake – and aren’t we ALL knocking on heaven’s door?! When the rapture comes I think Heaven will scoop down to see what it can recover from Earth – best to start knocking now and get our acts together sooner than later..

So, to wrap up this soulful Rapturous week:

I pray that hopefully Christians will stay on their “A games”… Awake, Aware, Appreciative, Alive, remembering God as “All in All”…. So when the Rapture comes it won’t be a surprise catch up to clean up our acts… perhaps if it happens in our lifetimes we will get to do what the “Accidental Saints” author speculated – rise up like Mary Poppins people and get taken up by God – I don’t know!!!!… BUT I AM glad that Jesus is on my side and looking out for me for eternity!!! We are the chosen ones if we choose God …

But the trick for everyday, not JUST for rapture, is that we MUST be ready to go when He calls! We must not fall asleep… The mission is not be complacent in our own salvation but keep working the system, keep shining the LIGHT, KEEP the Faith by SHOWING the Faith…

Keep listening, keep singing praises, keep reaching to God’s children… Keep Jesus in your heart as tightly as He keeps you in HIS… Then spread that Jesus heart… Cast HIS net… He’s got you!!! Be brave… Go help Jesus get some more fish…

Meanwhile, keep watch, because “you do not know the day or the hour” !!!


Joel (NIV)

The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? Rend Your Heart 12 “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” 13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”


Matthew 24 (NIV)

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2 “Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” 3 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. 9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time. 26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. 29 “Immediately after the distress of those days “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ 30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. 32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. The Day and Hour Unknown 36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. 45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Footnotes: Matthew 24:15 Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11 Matthew 24:29 Isaiah 13:10; 34:4 Matthew 24:30 Or the tribes of the land Matthew 24:30 See Daniel 7:13-14. Matthew 24:33 Or he Matthew 24:36 Some manuscripts do not have nor the Son.


Matthew 25:

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Loophole, 12Feb – #360

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Loophole, 12Feb

I didn’t get to the big 911 Memorial on February 1st like I want to, but near the Amish market, a local fire company has a beautiful 911 Memorial… Tonight I decided to stop and there were beautiful snowflake kisses falling from the sky… I held on to the recreated lighted towers and also held onto a piece of a tower’s twisted steel and I prayed, I truly felt a surge of energy from those blue lighted towers…

In the plaques I noticed the AGES for the fallen firemen, police, and Port Authority officers… nearly all these ages were my age or younger… So many people not even made it to their prime… Wow this made me the most sad to know these lives were lost so young… I know they served so bravely and did so much in their short time on earth…

God bless their souls…

And I pray that God took all 3000 up into heaven, no questions asked… I KNOW it doesn’t work that way but I prayed anyway that God found a loophole for the non-believers too, convinced them last minute, and let them in…

Maybe, just maybe…

Loophole please Lord…

God Knows, 10FEB – #359

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God Knows, 10FEB

God knows me, knows the things I need, knows the ideas to put in my head, knows the songs to fill my ears, knows the people to put in my path, knows when to use me for others.

God knows when I have to sleep, knows the madness I go thru, knows how to make me rise…

God knows me…. God knows you too…

God knows the images to make me see, knows when to repeat them over and over again, God knows when to make me notice it WAS God who created this very moment JUST for me, God knows every hair on my head. God knows yours too…

God knows when to make me smile, God knows when to change my day, even if it means the day becomes ruined for my human desires…

God knows how to fix it all…

God knows HIS plan for me…

God knows HIS plan for you too.

God knows my heart… God knows when I have to cry, knows when I have to sing, God knows when I need a hug, knows when I need cheers, knows when I need quiet.

God knows when I need to hold a baby, knows when I need snow kisses, knows when I need sunshine power, knows when to place the stars and the moon in my eyes, God knows to turn me the direction that He is taking me…

God knows where HE wants you too.

God knows I need to tell you about God.

God knows…

God knows what I need, I need God.

God knows what you need, you need God too.

Because God needs YOU!

The Who – Love Reign O’er Me, 09Feb – #358

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The Who – Love Reign O’er Me, 09Feb

Freaky really…. Whenever I wonder why God hadn’t put anything in my head over the last few days to write about, then God inevitably puts something very quick in my head within a couple hours. This is no exception – I turned on the radio to my favorite DJ and the song he put on by the WHO. This song is exactly fitting to my awakening experience of God sending rain for Christmas Flood. The lyric “the dry and dusty road. The nights we spend apart alone… I need to get back home to cool, cool rain”… That’s me as the dry soil (Luke 8) not able to absorb Jesus as a real entity in me… I need JESUS to get me back home to God, eternally… We all do… So many just don’t realize that they need God in ALL HIS forms… “Oh God, I need a drink of cool cool rain…”

I had this Christmas Flood and wrote that piece independent of all other rain connections, I swear it was from original thought of what was happening to me… But how it has duplications over and over in so many songs and scriptures overwhelms me… Every hair on our heads, YES God knows what we need… We are blessed from His rain – and Reign…


“Love, Reign O’er Me” – The WHO

Only love can make it rain

The way the beach is kissed by the sea

Only love can make it rain

Like the sweat of lovers layin’ in the fields

Love, reign o’er me Love, reign o’er me

Rain on me, rain on me

Only love can bring the rain

That makes you yearn to the sky

Only love can bring the rain

That falls like tears from on high

Love, reign o’er me

Rain on me, rain on me

Love, reign o’er me

Rain on me, rain on me

On the dry and dusty road

The nights we spend apart alone

I need to get back home to cool, cool rain

I can’t sleep, and I lay, and I think

The night is hot and black as ink

Oh God, I need a drink of cool, cool rain

Love, reign o’er me

Reign o’er me, o’er me, o’er me

Love, reign o’er me, o’er me Love

 

God’s Candy Store, 07 FEB – #357

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I feel blessed to have had an amazing weekend with my girl scout family – and that continued into cookie booths this afternoon – and honestly I knew I was tasked by God for many missions this weekend (I won’t detail it all – but know that I really did feel blessed to be God’s worker bee) and also there were many others who were tasked by God to affect each other – actually we are all working for God whether we know it or not… but like I write in the devotion below, a favorite author of mine reminds us that “You are NOT the blessing, but the sharing IS the blessing”… 

One of the sweetest moments was this cute little girl, about 11 or 12, who was very direct and cheerful and said while walking in the woods – “you have lost a lot of weight haven’t you? you look amazing!” this from just a little girl with no motives – so sweet – so made me smile – I said thank you and we had a lovely little conversation between the five of us who lagged behind the others near the end of our two hour walk… All thru the walk we had a wonderful time looking at amazing natural wonders with the eyes of children… Then this morning I was cleaning in the kitchen and the same little girl comes up and says “I had a really nice time walking with you yesterday!” – yeah – how awesome does that feel?? – – how awesome when someone appreciates you and shares that with you – yeah it feels awesome – thanks God for the boost…

After a solid seven hrs deep sleep at camp (seriously unheard of) I awoke in the early morning to write this devotion piece about being in God’s Candy store – about how we are to be open to be the worker for God – it’s not actually us who are the blessing – it’s the act of sharing love which is the blessing… This concept is not novel, but it is true… After I wrote this, I went out to see the sunrise (2 mornings in a row) – in addition I saw the sunsets – it was a nature-filled weekend… it was a blessed weekend… It was God’s weekend at His candy store…

God’s Candy Store, 07 FEB

This sharing of Jesus’s LIGHT, of HIS LOVE, this openness of giving…  this is the CHOICE we have… God says it’s HIS WILL that we share LOVE….. This AMAZING GIFT of Jesus is meant to be shared… And God will use us like crazy to share HIS love. God already used me like crazy my whole life, so now God is having a field day!!!! He’s like a “kid in a candy store” except God owns the store too… They say God is Jealous God and wants your respect… Well, I also say God is an opportunist God… He says “I can, so I WILL!!!”

There’s an amazing book that I am reading called “Accidental Saints”… One chapter has this unique child of God is being baffled by God, she is being called by God to minister to someone whom she would have thought had it all perfectly together and wouldn’t need ministering to, but this person, a bishop, had a wife with terminal cancer and he was in great need of a strong person to lean on. God was the opportunist in paring them up. And this author writes how she realizes that we “are NOT the blessing” … meaning don’t take the credit for the work God wants YOU to do, DON’T get a big head, realize it’s the sharing of Jesus’s love you are working with… It’s God’s plan, don’t take the credit… It means YOU are NOT the blessing, but the sharing IS the blessing…

“M18:20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” You are happily chosen to work for HIS glory…

God is an opportunist God… He says “I can, so I WILL!!!”

The book was lent to me by one of my amazing friend/mentors whom God marched in front of me in one of those opportunist moments. God still picks and has picked hundred and hundreds of mentoring people for blessing me thru my whole life… And since I am open to the advice (and take it MOST of the time), God knows whom to bless me with and when… God REALLY cranks up the Holy Spirit “Brownian motion” (a science term to mean all objects are moving at various energies), and puts us together… I am BLESSED to be awake, to be aware of a living God, and along for the ride…

Just like God put me in situations where I get great nourishment of my soul, God ALSO knows whom to put into MY path for working HIS plan… And God puts people in YOUR path too… It’s HIS opportunistic plan, it’s HIS candy store… we are just the candy combinations that He likes to test out in His mouth… to chew on us for a while… It’s either “YUM!” or try another combination… Pray to be made as a premium quality candy or pray to just be good enough for the moment, either way it’s all good… When you realize you are in a yummy situation, hold on tight, let God chew, it’s a sweet yet sometimes sticky ride… But you know sometimes gunk gets stuck to the gooeyness, and YES, sometimes ants come marching in for stealing a free feeding… And even salt is sometimes added to the mix… Salt that enhances the sweet or ruins it… Crazy God, just crazy…

REMEMBER, IT’S GOD’S CANDY STORE, NOT ours… He picks the combinations, we are there for the chewing… You know who God lets us be in that moment IF/WHEN
we take the responsibility to work for HIM… Let us be glad when we are being used by God… It’s much better than for us to be washed away, discarded, because we didn’t see HIS LOVE sharing opportunity placed right in front of us…

I feel this humbleness but specialness when I remember that God chose me, to work FOR HIM….

SMILES to God for His great plan…

So, what kind of candy are you for God to chew?


Matthew 18 – The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

….

” 10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

….

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Ride the Waves, 05 FEB – #356

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I am uber “go with the flow” these days with the many many places and activities God wants to take me…  I have to be, because God is certainly taking me down quite interesting paths…. God loves me and I appreciate His support always, but I do feel sorry for those uber devout atheists out there…

Here’s my devotion about how I am blessed with going WITH GOD, ride the waves WITH HIM…

Ride the Waves, 05 FEB

In the storms of life we have to reach out for the loving arms of God to keep us afloat… We need to seek HIM to be calm in the eye of a hurricane. There’s lots of rooms in God’s house, but somehow some folks miss the boat of God… some folks put up a fight and don’t want to go with the flow, don’t want to be pulled into the vortex… but if they were inside they would realize how peaceful it was deep deep inside God’s LOVE… Pray for those who are skipping the boat, those who are swimming the opposite way. For without hopping on God’s boat, there is NO way they might ALSO want to put on the life jacket of Jesus… But you and I all know that it’s not too late for anyone – and we urge them: “hop on, hop on”…

God never promised us smooth waves in life, even when we get in the boat WITH HIM… but HE sent Jesus to SAVE us from sinking… and sent Him for us to find our peace… We are all sinners and often might take for granted these God-supplied travel provisions… God will take us back home, but we will have to accept the free ticket.

It’s a long way home, the seas are rough, so put on your life jacket and know that it is Jesus making the path to God FOR you.

Please, put on your LIFE jacket of Jesus and ride the waves…

PEACE…

Psalm 25 – Trust, 04FEB – #355

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Psalm 25 – Trust, 04FEB

Instead of writing this morning at that crazy wake up time of 430 am, I read from the Psalms…

It’s morning, so after running thru all those many stresses in my brain, I know I have to TRUST in the Lord to see me thru… And HE WILL… His Grace has kept me “safe thus far”… It’s a shocking and amazing calmness that God can give you, there is no other feeling like it. BLESSED…

TRUST is my theme for this year, TRUST is what we need in God because we have to TRUST that He can sustain us even with our issues, our failings, our angst… TRUST in God was also in a recent strong sermon that our pastor gave. and at the beginning of this year “TRUST” is the word I picked for one of those silly Facebook challenges… to strive for more TRUST in God in my daily life this year.

So this morning, i started by electronically reading Psalm 18,  which was the emailed “verse of the day”, then i read forward…  By Psalm 25, gratefully I felt  sleepy again and got two more hours therapeutic sleep… It was Psalm 25 that spoke to me the most, because it’s all about TRUST…

Before I had these repeating 52 numbers, I had 25 numbers repeat for my whole life… 25 of October is my birthday… The number 25 is one I always loved for it’s the date of Christmas too… And every time I see that a clock says 10:25, it’s cool, my birthday minute…

Psalm 25 is perfect, there is nothing I need to write to process, Psalm 25 says it all!!! TRUST in the Lord, He will see you thru!!! TRUST and ask forgiveness, TRUST and seek refuge… Our Lord God shares all this because we are forever in His love, and He will triumph over all… Amen…

Psalm 25 (NIV) Of David.

1 In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.

2 I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.

3 No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.

4 Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.

5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.

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

8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.

9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

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

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

12 Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.

13 They will spend their days in prosperity, and their descendants will inherit the land.

14 The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.

15 My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

17 Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish.

18 Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.

19 See how numerous are my enemies and how fiercely they hate me!

20 Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.

21 May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, Lord, is in you.

22 Deliver Israel, O God, from all their troubles!

Email with a friend, Psalm 5, 03FEB – #354

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Email with a friend, Psalm 5, 03FEB

“This might be for you today”, a friend wrote,

“Verse of the Day: But let all who take refuge in you celebrate. Let them sing out loud forever! Protect them so that all who love your name can rejoice in you. Because you, LORD, bless the righteous. Psalms 5:11-12 CEB

Totally  – that verse is fitting for me today and all this year!!!! I used to feel guilty singing out HIS praise SO much, and listening to too much praise band music, but God took care of that worry and decided to put me IN the band – crazy – so now I praise and practice, talk about a convenient life turn of events with God at the helm!!!

And Lord knows I am floored when I look at a new photo I took of my weight loss… I praise God everytime I see my smile, God made me ALWAYS smile, I am so floored…. I fall down on the ground in gratitude then get picked up to show my gratitude with my smile…

Shadow? 02Feb – #353

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Shadow? 02Feb

You see your shadow today? I saw mine, there was a great LIGHT shining…

I don’t know if tomorrow will repeat (ala the movie Groundhog Day) any of today, but the LIGHT that God put in my 11yr old son is surely bright and BRILLIANT!!! When I was kneeling putting him to bed l told him that kids in the old days prayed at the edge of their beds, kneeling in humbling themselves to God… And he said he knew how to make the wolf submission position, and he laid still and said he had prayed the Lord’s Prayer… Or at least what he could remember… So I asked if we could pray it together… And yes he remembered it well…

Then he told me that his sleeping bag was God covering him, and his two jumbo stuffed animals were Jesus and the HOLY SPIRIT surrounding him, keeping him safe… Then he told me about his dream that he might turn into a dinosaur and was worried that I would experiment on his DNA… I said I would only take some spit to experiment on his DNA) and we talked about how God must have had this amazing plan envisioning the mechanisms of DNA, RNA, and protein to make the world work so well for so long…

I prayed kneeling for us and prayed again while writing this to have Jesus shine this great LIGHT on us tomorrow once again and make us a shadow of HIM. I know HE will, that I faithfully know… When we live thru our storms with HIS beautiful calming presence we know we are blessed to live in His shadow…

I opened the VBS package and read the bible stories for this upcoming year, Tuesday is Jesus and Peter walking on water, of course… perfect… Perfect calm in the storms of life… Perfect LIGHT to find our way, with our shadows at our back we face the LIGHT…

Sweet… Beautiful… BRILLIANT…

Two ones, 01Feb – #352

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A last thought about today, Feb 1st, when one year ago I stood in the Sept 11th memorial garden and I KNEW I was 100% with Jesus…

Two ones, 01Feb

Two ones, me with Jesus stand together on Feb 1st, 2-1, HIM first then me, fallen and picked up. Both of us fallen and raised… Him by God, me by HIM… Me raised to be His CHILD of God.

Sept 11, two ones…

Two 1’s are 11, twin towers together that look like two 1’s or 11. They fell, and all those people raised to Heaven and sadly some fallen into Hell… Two 1 beams, two beams that I held on 2-1 with Jesus inside me, causing me to raise praise for Jesus raised up in me. We 2 became 1 heart that day.

Sept 11, a preemie baby screaming kept me together, I have been raising her ever since, tonight HER hugs raised ME up, made ME smile. Tonight I kneel at her bedside and pray for her. Tonight I kneel at my son’s bedside too and pray for him. Two ones… Two children of God I raise for Him to raise even higher… Two 1’s to whom I say “Goodnight you 2, I LOVE YOU, JESUS LOVES you two too” …

Goodnight to YOU, Jesus my Lord,

THANK YOU GOD… THANK YOU…

PEACE

Humbled Christianity, Proceed with Caution, 31JAN -01Feb – #351

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Well after yesterday’s boastful post, it’s fitting for God to have humbled me (gently)… Pulled me back to Psalm 51 instead of the tail end of PSALM 52…

On this FEB 1st day anniversary day of 100%, it’s clear God wants me to BE humble and have a clean heart…

Humbled Christianity, Proceed with Caution, 31JAN -01Feb

Grumble grumble… I got a traffic ticket tonight… sigh… I WAS having such a wonderful day too, RATS! But I feel SO humbled by God right now… I really have to find the praise in this for being humbled, because being humbled really sucks…

I know, I know, I am over critical of myself, this is NOT the end of the world, people are dying in this world and this is JUST a traffic ticket for making a right on red when the light was clearly yellow in an intersection I drive multiple times a day… Of ALL the offenses I’ve could have, this is probably the safest, annoying as it is minor, but it IS a big deal if it signals that I am not paying attention in life – if I am NOT being as aware and present in my driving as I should be… even if some say the officers are trying to meet ticket quotas on the last day of the month, like perhaps they were today, and even if the officer herself encouraged me to go to court to see if I could fight the points, it still means I need to be MORE safe and humble in my driving. STILL, talk about a downer… Boo…. A hundred twenty-eight bucks I doubt I can spare and points… not something I had envisioned today. Not even envisioned it when she stopped me, thought it is had to be JUST a warning for a tail light bulb or something… I WAS too overconfident, NOT humble, even with those lights flashing, really i was trying to assure my scared daughter in the back seat… Who is still upset… Sigh…

Of course, this humbling has to do with me and my Subaru…And no, I am not overstating Subaru life lessons… and OF COURSE there’s other things going on in my head about my car and my driving and my life right now, that’s why it’s not shallow, that is why it ALL comes together in this piece… It’s ALL related to my thoughts about: What’s in store for me next Lord? I recently boastfully talked about Your gift of salvation too, Lord… I beg your mercy for that!!!… My path this next year Lord is probably going to have to accept humility, isn’t it…. I thought so… I project too much with where I feel I want to go in my next year of wholeness with Jesus. I project that I can make things happen. I know but I forget, too often, that it’s YOU Lord who makes things happen and should direct our steps… It’s YOUR plan not mine!

I was bold to speak to thank the church congregation for their support as I wrapped up this year, I praised God for so many blessings… Yeah well, I better start this next awakened year by praising God for being humbled by God in a relatively safe and light fashion. Because truly, God’s humbling could be much much more harsh… So I praise God’s gentle touch on me when I am being too harsh on myself or too prideful of my own angst?

I do need God’s hand in my life because the day before I made a MUCH worse traffic faux pas, I turned as soon as the light turned green neglecting that they were cars coming my direction… THANK GOD the angels were with us that moment and especially since I was driving a friend in HER car. WE were fine, the other car stopped. I was so stupid to drive being distracted by the GPS and ignoring regular traffic… I was SO embarrassed and SO blessed to have escaped that one, because honestly I think that’s probably the worst thing I’ve ever done in a car. My friend said “you almost were NOT singing with the praise band, but with the angels”… Yup! It’s this traffic ticket today that reminded me of escaping that worse ticket and especially worse consequences yesterday… of being over righteous, overconfident, not paying attention… and worse I remember yesterday that I was NOT embarrassed enough and I was NOT humbled enough by the incident, I put it past me TOO quickly…

God says you missed the boat, I will gently humble you again…

Yeah there are life warnings like car warnings sounds and a flashing light that I’m thinking about but ignoring… yeah I can’t ignore them I have to address these too… I can’t just turn up the radio like I usually do…

So what have I learned about Christianity here? A LOT… No I’m not going to stop being bold about JESUS as SAVIOR, about my faith in Christ to save me, about my LOVE of Jesus and about the blessings He has given me and my friends… and I’m not going to shy away from pushing a little bit of what I think is God’s agenda… BUT – I have to learn more humility and how to proceed with caution… Again I have not been seriously taken down for my overzealous ways but I certainly have seen borderline cases this year where I was misinterpreted or just plain over righteous, not humble, boastful, and hurtful. Times when I was setting up my Christian agenda and not reading God’s… And remember to try to not read a year ahead, but stick with today…

I’ll figure this out WITH YOU God, because I rely on you more and more, even more than before… Last year at this time I thought I was going to save the world because if God did this to me and made me aware of my salvation in such an amazing way – well then everybody’s going to believe me and everybody’s going to turn towards God!!!!! Everyone!!! But it was a fleeting righteous thought because in my heart I knew, humbly, that I wasn’t going to do all that by myself – not just because i was saying “why me?”, but because I knew if God was going to save the WHOLE world by one person, well then He would have done it by now!!! and He could have done it with HIS OWN SON in some explosive, spectacular, miraculously global-reaching amazing fashion – a one shot deal… But NO, God instead put Jesus into the individual personal conversion business… God designed and desired that individually each ONE person would turn their lives over to HIM on their own time, and keep their lives in HIS hands.

God chooses God’s time, not mine, not Jesus’s time frame either – but HIS… God made the plan, we are to try both to not screw up God’s plan, and then to also work within God’s plan, not ours…

God wants to use knowledge in Him – and God will find a way to save whomever HE wants to save… It’s not supposed to be my agenda (i do have my lists though, LOL, yeah)… BUT IT’S NOT UP TO ME… But up to God…. This is what it means to humbly being blessed to work FOR GOD…

This is why we are to be “at the ready” for His service… To be blessed is to put ourselves completely into HIS hands, to encourage and shine HIS light by being the best reflection of Jesus’s LIGHT… It’s not for me to put the best filter on my LIGHT, it’s not my LIGHT but Jesus’s that I am borrowing while on my short life here on earth… It’s Your Grace shown on me that I should want people to notice, Your Grace to me being able to loss this weight, to sing, to even to smile… Those are ALL from you…

It’s not my gifts to give but Yours to use… It’s NOT my words in my writing (or my choice to write) but YOUR words wrote thru my heart… It’s YOUR words that I should want to change the world, it’s YOU not me… You have taught me Lord by using me. You made me your servant Lord to spend my time humbly sharing. I may want to achieve and feel like PSALM 52: “8 But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God;”… But I NEED to be Psalm 51: “10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me”… Psalm 51 repeated twice yesterday in scripture song too, repeating as we all need to surrender to God’s Will first, be cleaned and then STAY as humbly clean as we can, instead of wiggling out of being surrendered…

I need to ask for more cleaning… Psalm 51 message of wanting to be cleaned of my righteous ways… that humbles me because I even if I thought I already achieved so much in just over a year growing Jesus (I mean God has achieved thru me) there is still deep down hidden soil in my soul that God needs me to work on WITH HIM… Yes I need a more humble heart for the gifts God has bestowed on me… We all do…

I really really know that my whole blessed life is from others praying for me before I was born, and from God planning to use me before I was born, and from God telling me to BE humble… and from God wanting me to ask him to humble me (gently) and Be Still, and KNOW that He is God….

God, YOUR plan is so much more incredibly amazing than mine… Shine on God thru my cracks and flaws, make me humble to do YOUR work Lord not mine…

Save me Lord for YOUR purposes… Create in me a clean heart… Shine on thru…

Amen

Feb 1, 100% with Jesus, one WHOLE year… #350.5

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Feb 1, 100% with Jesus, one WHOLE year…

Thanks again to all for your unfailing support of God exploding in my head… Thanks for helping me sort out the pieces… SMILES… GOD BLESS YOU, always…

PSALM 52: 8 But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
for ever and ever.
9 For what YOU have done I will always praise YOU
in the presence of YOUR faithful people.
And I will hope in YOUR name,
for your name is good.

THUNDEROUS GOD… One WHOLE year awakened.. 31Jan for 01Feb – #350

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THUNDEROUS GOD… One WHOLE year awakened.. 31Jan for 01Feb

Thank you all for this wonderful one WHOLE year anniversary of BEING WHOLE!

God saw that I was lost and He sent Jesus to find me.

God saw I was a sinner and washed me clean.

God detoxified my mind from ignorance.

God worked my @$$ off, literally…

God knocked me down so that Jesus could pick me up, then HOLD me UP for all to see me become BEAUTIFUL as a CHILD of GOD.

God took my voice and replaced it with His Holy Spirit to sing His Praises.

God chose me to tell you that YOU TOO are a CHILD of GOD.

God wants YOU.

God will find you.

Look for God.

I will never ever be able to thank Jesus enough for running after me. I will never ever be able to pay Him back for my new life. I will never ever stop speak the gospel truth, or singing His Praises or reaching out for His hand to steady me. I MUST tell of HIS good works and of HIS forgiveness, and of HIS LOVE…

This year you all know the AMAZING journey God has taken me on because HE moved you to be present and as a blessing to me and my family… SO BLESSED… THANKS ALL for being a part of my awakening. Thanks for understanding my growing pains… THANKS especially for tolerating my exuberant “Child of God” ways…

One year awakened, I have been thru the most amazing reverberations of God’s thunder, of rolling thunder because God rolls me from one AMAZING event to another… I call this year THUNDEROUS…. I felt the LIGHTNING and became WHOLE with Jesus.

I encourage everyone who hasn’t committed to be there, who hasn’t given their WHOLE lives over to God by knowing JESUS as SAVIOR, to do so,… the reverberations of God’s blessings are powerful and well worth it!!!! Let go… Let God…

So Sunday Jan 31st, I wanted to write and say all this (forgive the length).. Say how Jesus MUST be holding me up because IF this were just me there is no way I could have done this, there is NO way I would still be standing…

There is a fitting scripture from Timothy for reflecting on this year of realized salvation… “that I am the worst of sinners and therefore I have been shown the most mercy…” There is also a Genesis song lyric that matches this: “God always fights on the side of the bad man” … Both these statements are true for me and for many of those of us who were SO distant from Jesus… We are the ones God worked the hardest to catch and because of His efforts, He has shown us so much mercy… We cannot claim “plausible deniability” that our salvation and our situations have been blessed by God because WE KNOW the distance we have come from and we know the blessings poured upon us are totally NOT of our own doing, they are SO amazing they could ONLY have come from God.

A dear friend is letting me borrow a wonderful book called “Accidental Saints” and in it, the very unique pastor says: “those most qualified to speak the gospel are those who truly KNOW how unqualified they are to speak the gospel. Never once did Jesus scan the room for the best example of holy living and send that person out to tell others about Him, He always sents stumblers and sinners. I find that comforting.” Yes I am one of those stumblers, yes I am one of those sinners now sent by God to teach about God.

I am STILL Blown Away by Seeking the LIGHT, I had to choose to leave my darkness and enter into living with JESUS as He lifted me… and after touching the LIGHTNING, as it was striking all around me, I had the energy of realization of Jesus strike my heart… My life fell and i felt the continued THUNDEROUS reverberations of God… blowing thru the dark spaces of my heart, purifying and shining my soul from the soil of my many sins… I rose again as Jesus lifted me… God provides Jesus’s strength to hold me up in this STILL continuous process…. I am still a sinner… In this aftermath, I see my God-polished glorious blessings… WOW WOW WOW.

So one year ago today, Feb 1st, was when I knew I was 100% in my belief of Jesus as the Son of God, and as the SAVIOR to bring us ALL back to God for eternity… One year ago I stood at the 911 Garden of Reflection in the SNOW, held the twisted steel, and picked up a coin placed as a tribute to the fallen, the coin had the scripture of John 3:16 engraved…. God so loved the world HE gave HIS one and only SON for ALL of our ETERNAL lives… and I confirmed in my soul: “YES, I REALLY DO believe this now!! I DO believe that Jesus was REAL and Jesus IS REAL and I knew Jesus really grew and lives inside my heart…” It WAS and IS an intense and amazing feeling to know and to LOVE JESUS… and to allow Jesus to shine me where HE sees fit. I am NOT afraid to be an open book because it’s easier for people to read the tale God has written on my heart…

John 3:21 “whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

Feb 1st last year came after an amazing two months of intense but brilliantly orchestrated events… of God opening up my mind to accepting Jesus full force, of flooding me with Christmas and a baby beckoning me to “Come and find PEACE”, of me opening my ears AND opening my closed mind of ignorance… God writes on disciples’ hearts to tell the glory of Jesus. He has written on MY heart as He re-grafted my soul to Jesus on the vine. Feb 1st I was finally awake from Jesus reaching FOR ME and saying “she’s not dead, only sleeping…” like Jarius’ daughter… It’s been a year making me NOT hungry for food BUT hungry for the Word, and especially hungry to understand how God calls each of us, independently and uniquely, until we listen and obey. God called me and DROVE me home into Jesus’s loving arms. God knew I needed Jesus for holding me up.

Nearly two months prior to Feb 1st I felt I had to slowly share because I didn’t know what was happening to me… to that time point, I only shared with God… I had to let it out and started sharing with only trusted souls whom I begged not to judge me and help me pray for discernment, and I was steadied… for this helped me feel God’s precise clean re-grafting of me to Jesus, the vine. I didn’t know I was awakening… then I slowly I was able to share with a few trusted and faithful children of God, then a dozen… now openly hundreds… I WAS embarrassed, but NOT now… now I understand… And I understand that I (and you) CAN’T keep Jesus bottled up, you MUST openly discuss your faith. And that’s what God intends.

So, every God action since a year ago has continued to reverberate like rolling thunder… So loud!!! God continues to blow me away… A sculpture photograph I saw is fittingly called: “You Blew Me Away” – it’s a bronze sculpture by Penny Hardy of a woman tall and flowing. It’s a fitting image of me because the woman is STILL standing, and standing STILL… As in BE STILL and KNOW that GOD sent JESUS to hold you up… Jesus is holding me up and the HOLY SPIRIT blows me under God’s directive. Jesus pulled me up out of his cleansing water, He let me sink and cleanse in His LOVE and then HE raised me to new life. Jesus says face the hurricane because I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS!!

It’s that AMAZING GRACE I have been blessed to understand this year… I am still here, STILL standing, and standing STILLED by most importantly God’s GIFT of our ETERNAL LIFE… Plus this gifted strength for survival of these trials past and future… And then the 300 plus writing blogs of processing this amazing journey… And then my travels and being touched by many souls… And then the 55 plus pound weight loss, and burst of energy… and then this NEW GIFT of singing IN the same PRAISE Band that had a MAJOR part of my awakening… (I wasn’t even a singer – crazy huh??!!)!… And when I was asked to sing, I literally fell on my knees bowing to the Lord in disbelief… Only Jesus himself must be holding me up now!! Oh my strength to be able to stand is only from Jesus! And Jesus knows I feel so alive now that I have to dance in HIS LOVE…

God knows, the amplification of salvation that we collectively feel is translated into very strong and loud praise because every reverberation of the THUNDEROUS music is a tremendous way to mimic that explosive feeling of God in my head this past year. And every quiet note whispers of GOD’S love. Those loud continuous explosion feelings, well I know ALL my fellow travelers to the garden have felt them too. I wish everyone could you feel comfortable to dance it out with childlike exuberance like I do. There is a very fitting praise song: “LOVE CAME DOWN” – “Everybody’s got a story… Everybody’s got a song…” “You can say that I am a witness… I was there when His love came down…”…”His LOVE came down – Like rain from Heaven”…

And how amazing was/is the support system God set up inside this church and out… How amazing the people who made up God’s net have been to catch me… How Heavenly… How earthly… Just like Jesus’s LOVE – human and heavenly.

This whole year I have been STILLED by God to sing HIS praises… the WHOLE year God said: “You work FOR ME, I will lead you… and along the way I will bless you as well… Try letting my amazing SON Jesus lead for a change… You won’t be disappointed!!!”

Jesus took me and not only has He held me above the water, He takes some time to dance over the water with me too in delight… God says “I WILL BE WITH YOU”… And HE has, BIG TIME…

I will never ever be able to thank Jesus enough for running after me. I will never ever be able to pay Him back for my new life. I will never ever stop speak the gospel truth, or singing His Praises or reaching out for His hand to steady me.

I MUST tell of HIS good works and of HIS forgiveness, and of HIS LOVE…

I love HIM. And I need JESUS, ALWAYS…

THANK YOU GOD for ALL in ALL.


1Timothy 1:14

The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.


“LOVE CAME DOWN” LENNY LEBLANC, LINDELL COOLEY

Everybody’s got a story everybody’s got a song

Everyone’s a little different but we all went wrong

Then a Savior came and He took the blame Changed everything

Then a Savior came and He took the blame Changed everything

I could sing about His forgiveness I could praise Him till the sun goes down

I could say that I am a witness

I was there when His love came down

Love came down on me

Love came down on me

Love broke through my darkness now I can finally see

He paid the price for my freedom no more chains on me

Since the Savior came and He took the blame

Changed everything

Since the Savior came and He took the blame

Changed everything

I could sing about His forgiveness

I could praise Him till the sun goes down

I could say that’s I am a witness

I was there when His love came down

His love (His love) came down

Like rain from Heaven

How Great Thou Art… to have given me my church family, 30JAN – #349

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I had this already written but I waited to finish, because I knew that I had more church family activities for the day that I knew would bless me and I would have even more to write about… but at intermission at this AMAZING event, “Dare to Be”, that my church family brought me to, I knew it’s time to send this! The Q&A touched EXACTLY on my journey this year… Their mission is to raise awareness of human trafficking in addition to raising the praise and increase the kingdom of God… When they opened the main event with a most powerful version of “HOW GREAT THOU ART”, which we also sang at today’s funeral, and which I wrote about earlier, well you KNOW God is in control with that kind of duplication… Here is my devotion, there are likely more things to write, but it’s time to send and get back to daring to BE…

How Great Thou Art… to have given me my church family, 30JAN

… I was late to the Saturday funeral of a dear man at church, but that’s not surprising because I will likely be late to my own funeral… but actually I found out the funeral started so early so I would have been late either way, even if I was “on-time”…

SO I know there was and IS a blessing to be had in EVERY minute of EVERY hour of EVERY day, therefore I look for those blessings… I know God has blessings for me to share and when I look to work for HIM he always had a surprise in store for me… I know God wants me where I am, when I am ready, and no matter how my state of mind is… I am supposed to be mindful and totally present in HIS work… Even “down time” is the best time to check back in with God…

Blessings… connectedness with my church family, that’s a blessing today and always… My church family gives such amazing blessings to me which come from their attentiveness, their LOVE, and their thoughtfulness… They have provided me support endlessly for years, not just emotional support but they have provided support in everything…. when they say it takes a village to raise a child I think it’s more important to say “it takes a church to raise my family”… and my church family certainly raises me to praise God even more…

Late to church today… It’s okay because here was my first blessing – I got to meet up with someone who had stepped out of the service, someone I had meant to send Easter photos to –  from 10 months ago – yeah well, I JUST found them again in my Christmas card pile (which are also a month late) but that’s the way I roll these days… It WAS a blessing to listen to him… to listen and silently pray for his situation, his angst and just BE present… I was already late, so I wasn’t worried about hanging out in the parking lot, because I realized that I knew God wanted me to be there in that conversation!!!… Then in the funeral service, I enjoyed the beautiful sharing of this gentleman’s life, he was truly someone changed by God… really somebody who’s touched the lives of so many…. As pastor put it, he was humbled by God and turned his life over to serve Him. And this, of course, touched so many other people’s lives… This I also know personally to be true because he and I had a shared a wonderful Subaru car conversation on the way to a conference last April. I felt comfortable to share the story of my brand new faith awakening, and he openly shared his… such a relief for me to open without fear. Such a blessing to hear how God completely changed him, to know God creates us children as kindred spirits, to experience his encouragement in my writing and continued openness… He blessed me simply by being able to be present to do the Lord’s work, which often is to listen… And to share…

After the service I caught up with maybe 30 dearest friends, ever so briefly, some just with waves, but all with deep love and concern in our hearts for each other… one friend seemed to need more help today and having a church family to rally around you is amazing… We celebrate together, we mourn together, we are present together…

God places us together for good reason – alone we are fine – alone with God because He is always WITH US… BUT together, we can amplify HIS mission, we can live in praise for togetherness… Together we can live and love, and appreciate those who fill our cups because they want to share from what God gifted them… This is heaven on earth, this is cross-table feeding, this is where you pay it forward because you were the recipient of sharing too… This is where your vast church family shines the LIGHT of Jesus… This is the WILL of God – to raise each other in praise to have us then go back out of those doors of church and raise praise in others… To tell of GOD’S good works, to tell of GOD’S promise for eternal heaven..

HOW GREAT THOU ART, GOD, HOW GREAT THOU ART!!!

HOW BLESSED I AM TO HAVE MY CHURCH FAMILY…

THANKS FAMILY…

THANKS BE TO GOD…

Mountains???, 29 JAN – #348

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I also wrote a similar piece back around Memorial DAY, about knowing and NOT knowing my own powers of prayer… thanks folks for letting me release my thoughts again… I pray for our individual and collective power of prayers, I truly pray to God that I may pray and I may act with His best interest at mind, and be a blessing…

Mountains???, 29 JAN

I would LOVE to have the behind the scenes tour where all is revealed when I reach heaven (I should say IF I reach heaven of course, because I would hate to mess that all up now by being so boastful! Forgive me Lord)…

For me personally, I know exactly where doubt has been placed in my head – likely by the devil – during this last year and it made me NOT trust that God had ALL my issues under control, or that God was working on them as rapidly as I thought He should…  Now I see better – whom am I to doubt God like that??? God DOES answer us and HE DID and DOES take the time to make my quandaries so very obvious to me…. They had huge red flags – prime examples of where I was being a doubter in HIS power. He totally threw me some softballs this year to see if I could catch them, and thankfully I did, mostly… There are many new times I will have to step up to the plate this year, and I pray I remember to trust God always – if I don’t? – then God ALWAYS reminds me that HE is in control…

This Mark 9: scripture passage reminds us to pray in Jesus’s name: “Everything is possible for one who believes.”… And it does show us that people HAVE to believe that prayer works: “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?”…

We must believe… Jesus chastised this child’s father as an “angry/disappointed Jesus”, admonished him for not believing… I also now ask Jesus to forgive me of any doubt I have in YOUR power… “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

I do know that God has the power to move mountains and sometimes it’s like this unknown quote: “Faith can certainly move mountains, but don’t be surprised if the good Lord hands you a shovel.”

Prayers for obedience and believing in the power of prayer… and to pick up my active role in prayer!


Mark 9: Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit

14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Safe Thus Far, 26JAN – #347

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Safe Thus Far, 26JAN

Way before these silly repeat “52” numbers there was a MAJOR repeat that I am sure God wanted me to notice – and notice again this year… last year, the song Amazing Grace was playing when a truck started swerving at a particular stretch of highway on my commute… three particular but different God sightings i have had on that stretch of road – and this one today reminded me once again that God answers prayers… God knows us and knows our specific requests and even knows our groans… “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26

God just knows, because He is God….

Specifically – back on the 23rd of Feb last year I was repeating one version of Amazing Grace from a Feb service – a beautiful rendition by our amazing praise band… I was repeating this song over and over and found myself in a situation where I was called to act to try to wake up a swerving gas tanker truck driver – I can’t say that I knew God wanted me to act – but I would have acted anyway because I had to try something to wake up the driver!!!… and I honked and honked to the tune of Amazing Grace for about three to four miles and then finally – FINALLY – he pulled over to the side of the road – finally he woke up from his erratic way…

I had to sit and digest this for an hour before getting out of my car that day, praising and thanking God… But what really sealed the deal for me – in knowing it WAS God Himself in this intervention – was because on the NEXT day I was driving on that EXACT same stretch of highway and “by chance” the same Amazing Grace song randomly came up on the shuffle of the CD – I smiled because I knew – I knew this was God giving me a glimpse of how He works – of how He uses me (and all of us) as His tool … and how He comforts me in a whisper to know that He was the one keeping me safe… Yes, to know God is to be thankful of His thoughts of us and us being thankful for the Grace He gives…

So – today – I KNOW God IS in control and I trust in the Lord… Another God sighting – I “randomly” put in the same CD when I left the house an hour prior – and when I hit that same stretch of highway and that same version of Amazing Grace came on – well, yeah the memory flooded back into me!!! I gave smiles to God for such sweet a sound… Today, this God sighting had no swerving trucks or crisis – but I was praying a prayer of discernment at that very moment – I was running thru potential scenarios with God for a particular convoluted and sticky problem – I was talking to God by praising and praying, thanking and singing – just focusing on the blessings He has given me so far.

I believe that it’s God and God alone who can just answer our sticky questions – and even if I can’t even vocalize my issues well enough, God knows that sometimes we ONLY have wordless groans (Romans 8:26) and understands anyway… So while I was singing Amazing Grace on that stretch of road, I thought “what are my options here God” – and God answered – from LEFT FIELD – His answer came by pulling a random thought to try to address my problem – wow wow wow – out of the blue? Out of the Grace of God. Even if this answer won’t fix everything – at least He answered because I asked. He showed me support to say “I’ve got this”.

Even though my asking was convoluted and not concrete, He knew I needed an answer and a direction and the assurance that He DOES answer. He gave me an option – He was just opening my mind and He found that random tidbit of info and put it into the forefront of my thinking… Brilliant!!! Brilliant God!!!… You made me smile – You essentially knew I needed You to light my path… You found me in that special highway spot with that special song. So I smiled and said – “Oh – there has to be a “52” around here” – and YUP – it was 9:52 on the clock – YUP…

Thanks Lord for bringing me “safe thus far”…

“Through many dangers, toils and snares… I have already come. Tis Grace has brought me safe thus far… and Grace will lead us home.”

Thanks God – THANKS for the support – THANKS for the Grace

Sadness and JOY, 25JAN – #345

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Sadness and JOY, 25JAN

Wonderful sitting with my teen daughter watching the movie “Inside Out”… on a Sunday afternoon of a “snowed in” weekend… How sweet she is… to want ME to watch it WITH her because she loves the message of this movie, and she REALLY wanted to show ME how it really explains human emotions well… She told me I would cry, and she was waiting for me to cry, and she was ready to comfort me… Of course I cried during the touching scene of the teen girl remembering her childhood and the devotion and LOVE of her parents… And crying because my little girl is growing up fast before my eyes to be a beautiful young woman, and to know she is STILL sitting BESIDE me, STILL pausing to be WITH me (and also chastising me whenever I picked up my phone to see who texted me…)… Yeah, cherish these moments of sadness and JOY… Sadness for the eventual empty-nest feeling, but JOY for the LOVE we share and appreciate in the here and now… And for the beautiful memories we are making.

The movie seriously and comically addresses the mix of emotions – and how these emotion-tinged events become core memories… Without giving the movie plot away too much (I hope), the fix to the issue at hand is when the sadness (blue) and JOY (golden yellow/green) characters team up together…. The colors of the two emotions are mixed and swirled together in the core memory sphere created, and the family is brought together in LOVE…

Sweet movie, made even sweeter watching with my daughter. At the end we look up to see the brilliant sunset over the mounds of glistening white snow… She points out the sunset colors are EXACTLY the same as the mixed sadness and JOY memory… EXACTLY… WOW…

Sweet memories are often tinged with both sadness and JOY phases… The memory of a couple sweet folks at church, who suddenly passed away recently, brings us both sadness and memories of joyful conversations, and of course JOY in their eternal rest, away from pain, in the house of the Lord, of their tremendous devotion to Jesus… They had JOY in the Lord… Sadness AND JOY are combined in Jesus’s existence for eternal life…

Sadness too is key in our deaths, sadness is palatable for the brutal death of Jesus, God’s ONLY son… Who died for OUR eternal JOY… Who died a human death to bear OUR sins to accomplish the most important task – to unite us with our Father in Heaven – sadness and JOY…  Sadness too that God had to give His Son to get us back…

How profound, how unreal, how amazing it is for us to have God Himself reaching out for us… by asking us to focus on Him, telling us to set down our earthly desires and follow HIS SON… And allowing us to blend in HIS sadness and JOY which miraculously He combined for OUR eternal salvation… ! ! ! ! ! !

How blessed we are to serve HIM… How blessed we are to share in HIS pain, to weep with His tears… How joyous to acknowledge and participate in His desires… for HIM to bring us home for HIS LOVE… To share in the JOY…

Yes, God’s LOVE given thru sadness brings JOY…

That is the miracle of LIFE.

That is Jesus, Immanuel, God with us….

That is eternal JOY.

THAT IS GOD.

Amen

Old Posts – New Life – God Moves Me, 22JAN – #344

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Old Posts – New Life – God Moves Me, 22JAN

It was really really good to get a nap this evening – with energy recovered, I got to get the kids to bed in our blessed routine – a time to chat – a time to remember that they won’t be under my roof forever – to cherish the time – the routine… Even when I am exhausted, God gives me a focus to be able to put my kids to bed and keeps me from completely falling over in exhaustion…. so now I am up early and going to post a few of my old posts up on my WordPress site – it is good to re-read and edit – so good to know God really really did all this – – some of these make me chuckle and some really blow my mind as to how God really really did all this to me and orchestrated all of you and everyone… REALLY still blows me away… I think these old posts PROVE to me the major BIG movements of God thru my awakening… I am looking forward to this predicted snowed-in weekend to get more of these posts edited and up…

Today I had a wonderful lunch at a fancy restaurant with my co-workers – and sitting next to us I couldn’t help but overhear the table sit down and say Grace before they ate… I quietly paused my eating to secretly listen and pray… some of my co-workers know my faith ways but I am quiet and respectful of the work situation… but it comforts me and gives me joy to speak openly – to connect –  so with these people at the table next to me is where I saw an opportunity to say “hey” – so I hopped up to the buffet room and spoke openly to two of the four folks – turns out they were attending the hotel to pre-plan a retreat for some of their 5000 member church from center city – yeah I said 5000!!! – and we chatted about singing praise music and also how God enabled me to lose a tremendous amount of weight – and one of the women eagerly listened to my tips… It was sweet – it was me being able to gush about God for a short moment… and when I went back to the table the older leader of the group spoke openly to me and caught my eye as he said “Praise God” as I walked by – so I also said “I agree, Praise God!” – and excused myself to my co-workers to speak to them for a minute…

See – this new life perks my ears to both opportunities to witness faith and opportunities to just pause in faith conversations with the faithful… it’s awesome and I love praising conversations… and they can be short and sweet affirmations of the faithful collected together without having to rehash my whole story – just kindred spirits passing in the day…

Praise God for a new life!

Praise God for a new day to praise!

Praise God for moving me to where I am the encourager as much as being encouraged…

Praise God for God…


Here are just a few of my favorite posts from tonight’s editings… sweet – thanks God for choosing me for YOU! there are not many hits on my blogs but that is perfectly fine – they are either quietly sitting there for me – or when God decides others should read them He will find the right doors to use them in… whatever God wants – I just am open to tell my praises whenever God deems OK…

https://debbieupper.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/my-condensed-story-for-umw-presentation-my-conversation-from-soda-bread-to-yeast-leavened-10mar/

https://debbieupper.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/god-therapy-tears-and-re-confirmation-soubirous-subaru-style-10mar-91/

https://debbieupper.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/peas-seeds-snow-as-rain-sustained-04mar-85/

God in Our Heads, 22 JAN – #343

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For me, I bargain with God for control of my time… it’s totally time discernment I pray for… because there are SO MANY tasks I think God is pleased with, BUT how much time do I spend on each?…

Why do I write? I think I write not only for me to process God exploding in my head, but to tell others that GOD wants us to listen for Him – watch for Him – and work FOR HIM and that we will be blessed by it…

Why do write quickly and so much and so often? I am hoping to dump my brain and move forward… I am NOT hoping to shake people awake, but tap then gently to let them know God is calling for them too… To do HIS work.

I question what I see and hear all the time – like why do I see silly repeat 52 numbers? A little girl at the museum this week said to her Mom “What’s number 52?”, as I came upon the exhibit, that STILLS me, God STILLS me about 10 times a day (really) showing me that number… He STILLS me in little doses to keep me awake to the fact that He is in control, lest I forget and fall asleep.

I am thankful for the blog audience out there in the ethernet for letting me share my thoughts of God (or my head would explode)… Always it’s beneficial to talk about God with others because we can compare notes as for what God is doing to us and with us… We are HIS minions, BUT, because we are discerning thinkers, we question God ALL the time!!! I STILL don’t think He minds, as long as you and I actually listen and watch for HIS answers… I appreciate that freedom of discussion, I know that I am NOT alone in being called by God. And we KNOW God calls us to think good thoughts of Him to tolerate the less bad thoughts of the world, AND to keep us moving…

Here’s my devotion:

God in Our Heads, 22 JAN

Why is God in my head? Why does it seem HE meddles? And how do I really know it’s God? I have written about this before, but that puzzles me STILL, but I think I know that answer… God calls us to keep busy for HIS WILL…

God occupies our brains with thoughts of Him and how WE can serve HIM… He is a jealous God, the Bible says. The Bible also tells us “BE STILL” – where we are to STILL our minds of human things… so that HE can FILL IT… Or at least we pray for HIM to fill it…

This scripture reminds us to ask God for help… I think the most important thing we can ask for is guidance and discernment… Matthew 7:7-8 NIV [ Ask, Seek, Knock ] “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

My brain is distracted by God, God often keeps me from doing MY planned work – especially taking away a couple hours of sleep I apparently didn’t need to write about Him. All year, I bargained with God, AND when I put a curb on my desires, He gave me more work for HIM… Sure, He lets me bargain, He let’s me squeak by in my day to day tasks. I am selfish and I want to work to feed my family and I want to keep a roof over their heads, as well as use my God-given skill set… so God has allowed me to keep working for money (Thank You Lord!) AND because there IS God work to be done at my workplace (science AND situation)… See, He lets us discover ourselves thru our work, then He uses our work for HIS work… That is 100% apparent to me. God let’s us play, but it’s His sandbox.

SO I urge you to keep working folks, but keep listening to God. He has this plan, He fills our minds to distract us from upsetting things. He shows us His miracles of the world… He is distracting us for a reason, AND listening to Him WILL delight us, even if it means some hard choices initially… But He will see us thru those dark places as we seek the LIGHT and clean out our souls making room for more Spirit.

BE STILL, KNOWING THAT GOD IS IN CONTROL… Then be busy, BUSY FOR GOD…

God is IN our heads, He wants us to work FOR HIM!

Lifting my Sails to Praise, 21Jan – #342

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Lifting my Sails to Praise, 21Jan

It’s one of those things, I NEVER EVER imagined… from me being bold once to ask to sing one praise song privately, that I would land here, singing praises WITH the band for three Sundays so far as a substitute (and it’s so much spirit fun-filling in our Thursday practices too)… I guess be careful what you ask for, because God is an opportunist!!!

The scripture this week is sweet… It’s true, the HOLY SPIRIT IS the reason for us raising our praises, just like we can NOT take credit for any of our own skills and blessings, we can NOT even take credit for praising… because it’s the Holy Spirit within us that sends those messages out of our mouths. “and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.” 1Corinthians12

Jesus had to come but just as importantly Jesus had to leave His physical body behind so that the HOLY SPIRIT could enter our bodies… God gave me a voice but it’s up to my FREE WILL to decide to use it or NOT… and it’s up to me to learn when to chime in, how loud to sing, and most importantly how to blend in with the group, AND when to be silent… Pray I don’t mess that up, and I learn and listen to the cues…

In ALL ways God intends HIS children to live in HIS harmony… I pray to be “a Spirit of all trades”… Letting Jesus the Lord lead me where-ever the wind blows…

So HAPPY to follow the universe’s Big Band director!!! Lifting my sails for the HOLY SPIRIT directives. Waiting for the direction from God himself.


Gladly I praise: “One King held the frankincense, one king held the muir, one king held the purest gold – ONE KING held the HOPE of the world”


1 Corinthians 12 (NIV)  Concerning Spiritual Gifts

Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.


John 14

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.

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

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Singing to Sing, 20Jan – #341

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Singing to Sing, 20Jan

Sitting on the train to the city this morning, I had the MOST amazing conversation!!! God sends angels everywhere and wow does it make you shine and smile when you realize God directly sent someone to tell you something!!

A well dressed young gentleman started our conversation, asking me where I was going, said he forgot his phone and was actually grateful because he could just ride and absorb the sights and sounds of the commute that day.  As an industrial artist, a vice president of technology, he loves his job, loves interacting with people… He loves my hometown, which he has visited… Loved that I was taking the day off to go visit my friends, no plans made but a trip to just ENJOY… Loved how I love my job and talked about how what we bring to work, those extra skills of ourselves we can share, they change us and we discover who we truly are… (And sometimes when things don’t work it’s time to move on)…

Then he told me how freeing it was to be an artist without worrying about it… And used the example of when he was in my hometown… They were walking the trails and four women randomly asked him and his mom if they could sing a song for them… so they sang an Irish acapella song… it was beautiful… And then his mom sang something back for them… He told me that if I sing then I must be a singer…. Yeah, I smiled – there was NO WAY he knew about my recent new temp gig as a singer – and wow my heart felt so warm, oh I shined as he spoke from his heart about how one should just enjoy and live without worrying, sing to sing… He spoke that art is truly for art, for us to discover ourselves… Yeah…. I then had to tell him about what has recently happened to me – about how I was NOT a singer, but that I am now singing!!! …and am truly floored that I am – that I am not sure how I got here, but that God placed me and moved me and grew me this year… and I had the EXACT same conversation over and over to “just go with it, don’t question, just let it happen…”

Yeah, God is SO in control, so knowing what I need to hear when I need to hear it – even on a train…

God knows… Thanks God for your angels, for your pep talks…

Thanks God for thinking of me… For using ME in YOUR plan!

SMILES God SMILES

Moving the Mountain that is ME! 19JAN – #340

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Moving the Mountain that is ME! 19JAN

I started a fitness encouragement page, Facebook is so easy, snap a photo, share a recipe… Encourage!

And I have lots of tools and tidbits to share (and of course will make clear that I am NOT a health professional)…. It is tough to not appear boastful, but I have studied the pages others have, and I want to educate and encourage… Honestly it’s accountability too, encouraging each other keeps us on our toes… Don’t fall asleep in your health, (DON’T fall asleep in your faith either…)

Wake up and move your mountains, God will be there with the tools… (The old adage… God helps those who help themselves… Well, God helps everyone, it’s up to us to accept the help).

When God moves a mountain, sometimes that mountain is YOU!!! That was ME!!!!!! I WAS the mountain – asleep in my health – and totally asleep in my faith!!! God awoke me, I am HIS child and excited to play on HIS team…

The key to life is discernment… Knowing what you can change and what you can’t… My first outreach for prayer (and constant prayer) is for discernment… I honestly didn’t know I could change my health, I thought I was trapped in my grandmother’s body. I didn’t even start out last year to lose weight, I started fitness workouts to gain energy to play basketball with my son, and hockey… and then changed my eating and it all fell into place… And I am NOT perfect, I put in the effort and I was and I am forgiving of myself… I had NO goals, just FAITH in that this was the right thing to do… looking back now I can see the tool set I was gifted with and I simply wasn’t using the basic knowledge we all know, calories in… calories out… it’s ALL math… God loves math… and Lord knows I do too… (FYI, you know the silly “52” numbers God throws my way? 5-10 times a day still… Well on the 25th of October, my birthday, I had lost 52 pounds… Yeah, God makes my head spin, He tells me to BE STILL, so that HE can be in charge of spinning it, LOL)…

I like to make the best with what life has handed me… not everyone gets the same tools that I did, but it’s up to us to pick ours up anyways – and start working… my neighbor and her workouts and her health advice REALLY was the HOLY SPIRIT placed right next to me… the church fitness club started a few months later an amazing “coincidence”… my awakening most definitely was involved and there a very poignant early conversation that made me realize my faith and health were connected –  that this was a gift of God’s correction bringing it all together… this was ALL because of God moving me to get my act together… THIS was happening because HE wished me to be the best I could be for HIS purpose… See NOT just for me… If it is the “field of dreams” movie – and that catch phrase: “ease HIS pain”… Well God fixed-fixes me for Himself, to work HIS plan… I just now understand that Jesus was the ticket to ride along… Thanks God!

The tools… Again, I didn’t ask God to move the mountain of my health, I realized the mountain was in front of me already, instead HE moved tools into place and wanted me to climb, HE moved ME… When they say God moves mountains, sometimes you, yourself, ARE the mountain!

Yes, your mountain can be your mindset… You can have misery or joy in the same circumstances depending on your mindset…

I do feel like I had cheated, because I was awakening at the exact same time I started my fitness-eating regime… Salvation is the best free ticket for focus…

So, it’s NOT going to be the same for everyone, but either way I have tools and tricks of the trade to share thru e-mail and Facebook… May God bless this venture, there is nothing to sell, it’s all for God’s glory in seeing HIS people moving their mountains.

SO, I want to encourage and educate people on my tricks of the trade… Food, exercise, and for me spiritual growth… Your body is a temple!!! A temple for worshiping GOD!

It wasn’t overnight to lose the weight, because it didn’t take me overnight to have gained that weight in the first place… Simple changes pay off over time…

God moved the mountain, that mountain WAS ME!!!

Verse of the Day, 18JAN – #339

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Verse of the Day, 18JAN

OH – this is an excellent scripture – never heard it!!!! God will provide you a way out so that you can bear it!!!! No wonder I LOVE pen chewing – LOL – and yeah all those other temptations God helps me with too – yeah God IS Good!!!!

There are SO MANY instances that I was about to say something and then something falls or distracts from saying them – those have to be God helping to draw my attention – they are warnings – and still when I am stress talking I still get this terrible jaw clenching – it goes away when I stop my complaining – it is a sign – it’s all a sign – a warning sign sometimes and a helpful corrective sign sometimes……

I am so appreciative of the faithfulness of God – it is up to me to learn the signs of the times… just like I have to learn to adjust my singing to the monitors at band practice – I have to learn how to read God’s road signs – and I have to learn to adjust my actions and thoughts to what I hear from God – God’s monitor is conveniently located in my head and my heart and it’s important for us all to keep our batteries charged to pick up on Him…

Here is the verse and then the whole scripture: 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.


1 Corinthians 10 (NIV)

Warnings From Israel’s History

For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. Idol Feasts and the Lord’s Supper

14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

The Believer’s Freedom

23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience,26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” 27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 29 I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?

31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

Dishes, 17Jan – #338

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Awake not to write but I will anyway…. “Journaling”… Up because of this stupid meatloaf upsetting my tummy… But my family likes this one I get from the market, ready to go, she easy for me since I am busy… I don’t make it myself – because I am busy… Chores…. But regardless, wakefulness in early morning ALWAYS is calling me to read scripture and to write… Busyness is a privilege not a chore… Writing is therapy, never a chore… God is ALWAYS a blessing, not a chore…

Chores, no grumbling… BUT there are ONLY so many hours in the day… But that doesn’t mean you can’t use your chores time as time to think and BE STILL and ponder the great works of God…

Here’s my devotion:

Dishes, 17Jan

This is the perfect verse for the dishes… Philippians “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”

I don’t mind doing the dishes, it’s just when there are a week’s worth waiting for me, I think of all the other things I could be doing… And thinking…. And Yeah….

So, actually, I don’t mind doing the dishes at all… I actually don’t mind doing chores, I don’t mind hard work, I am blessed and relieved to have lots of skills and be efficient with my time…. Even God wakes me up to write and God is VERY efficient at using my time and my sleep… and I don’t mind… I don’t mind at all, GOD… You have fulfilled more in my life and for after my death then in my WILDEST DREAMS… I don’t mind, put me to work God, YOUR work…

But dishes? Are they and the laundry and the cooking and paying bills and… are they more then just chores? I think so… I KNOW so… I think they are there to prove that I have a LIFE… That I am BLESSED to own a house, to have beautiful children… To have mouths to feed… I think so much of what we grumble about – we are actually blessed with… I think those dishes are both there to remind me that I need to get back to buying paper plates AND to appreciate there WAS food in the house to make the mess… (And also to give me the opportunity to thank and pray for my earthly handy house carpenter who replaced the old dishwasher in the spring, blessing me with installing an expensive kicka$$ dishwasher on a damage sale for a fraction of the cost… Who also is the only reason this house hasn’t crumbled… Yeah, praising God for HIS blessings of both earthly and heavenly carpentry…)

Of course dishes are chores, but also mean I have an opportunity to be in my house and not “on the go”… I of course multitask – cooking healthy food AND practicing my praise singing while I do dishes… And it’s time to think… Time to ponder the greatness of God…

All my chores yesterday were for others, which turns out were/are for me too…. Working for others who bless me…. Labors of LOVE: cookie booth work, six different stores for groceries and essentials, and I barely remember what… I do remember that it was peppered with blessed people interactions and that it was all done efficiently and rapidly and ONLY on six hours sleep…

Today, Sunday, will be the same… BLESSED to be busy… these are all activities for me because they ARE for God’s greater purpose – to show HIM working IN me to keep me upright and smiling… In the meantime, Sunday’s a great way to restart the week: family time, church, band practice and praise time, church family time, lunch with the girls, more kid family time, cookie booth set up with crazy girl scout moms… Blessed to be WAY too busy to be stressed…

No grumbling… Chores… Just ride the waves of today’s tasks… Soon I will take some vacation days, take care of myself… Take time for me – and time to ponder the greatness of God…

No grumbling, God provides life, just go live it…

LIVE it, LOVE it, for God.

Philippians 2:14-16 NIV

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.

We Can Change the World, 16JAN – #337

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We Can Change the World, 16JAN

“Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances. You are a child of God. Stand up straight.” Maya Angelou.

John 3:21 “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

We are empowered by God!!!! All we have achieved individually and collectively – ALL our earthly blessings are ours ONLY because we have received these as gifts from God… Plus we are blessed with the greatest GIFT of them all, JESUS, OUR SAVIOR! We should count our blessings here on earth and those we will see in heaven!!! YES, raise collective praise because together, we are in it to win it!!!!…

Jesus is “OUR ticket to ride”… We ride the HOLY SPIRIT because GOD wants to move us into the LIGHT!!! It’s a WILD ride, so YES, “Hold On…hold on.. Maybe the answer is looking for you!!!”

And that’s the truth… If we LIVE by the truth and LOVE by the truth we will vine into the LIGHT… God sent Immanuel, “God with us”… It’s up to us now to accept this GIFT of Jesus, the greatest GIFT of all! And then we are to share this GIFT…

With this GIFT, we can realize our status as children of God – first we can change ourselves and then we can change the world for others… We can help God reach the others who need HIM… for the cups we set up in others are for God to fill with HIS SPIRIT- these are the cups of our brothers and sisters – God’s beloved children…

And YES! We Can Change the World! YES sings it out: “You and I can change the world” – – – “The more we live, the more we learn, the more we know. From this moment on we share the world. The more we give, the more we love, the more we grow. The spirit of imagination can lead us through the dark; The more we see, the more we try, the more we show.”…. “As we walk into tomorrow (Turning away from the path we know) Holding the future with our hands (We carry the weight of the world we go) It’s up to you and I — We hold the key; we hold the answers” (YES)

So, YES, let’s change the world… We can live out the lyrics: “Happy and I’m smiling, Walking miles to drink your water. You know I’d love to love you, And above you there’s no other. (Jethro Tull)…

Fear not, God binds us together, God holds us children in HIS right hand!!!

Realize who you are!!!!!!!!


“Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances. You are a child of God. Stand up straight.” Maya Angelou.


“Yes “The More We Live – Let Go””  https://youtu.be/6ajxABx3Zn8

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


John 3

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 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.”

9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

KEEP MOVING, 15JAN – #336

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KEEP MOVING, 15JAN

It’s fitting that I was always a person in motion, then I was stilled here and there by God to realize my salvation… So now, a year later – when I ponder and ask what’s next – God says “KEEP MOVING”…. YUP – keep moving and growing your faith…

A priceless piece of advice a good friend said was: “never stop learning the stories in the Bible.”

Yes, there is a whole Bible full of wisdom on how to live… Once we attain realization of Christ, once we are “Living as those made ALIVE in Christ” (Colossians 3), now it’s time to accept that we have been changed and go with it, and “put your money where your mouth is” by doing the Lord’s work great commission-style not just speaking the word but be a do-er of the word… AND (just like this road sign instructs us) KEEP MOVING… even if you change lanes…

As one studies the advice of how to be a Christian in Colossians, one will notice there is a BIG “IF”!!! One is: “holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation IF we continue in our faith, established and firm, and “do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.”

We are not saved and done and good to go back to our old lives – BUT we should live to continue in our faith… Yes, after saving grace there is still work to be done! You and I “must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” – yeah those little sinful ways that are dark spaces in our hearts have to be lighted by the new you… painful but it’s necessary to address them… And this is a life long task because “to err is human”… To accepts a divine savior means we are to accept our human failings.

Scripture says we are to “clothe ‘ourselves’ with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another” – and this is not just forgiveness for the past but a daily forgiveness we should ask for our transgressions. Scripture says we are to “teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” – wow, yeah I certainly can sing the praises of Amazing Grace – yeah sing it out – sing it loud – sing it clear!

We “do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” And we are to “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” Yes thankfulness and wisdom and opportunist living is key… It is NOT a salvation for selfish living but salvation for servant living!!! And the tasks set before us are to be performed with glad hearts.

To KEEP MOVING still means we are to stay mindful… to keep checking our actions and words with how we are to follow the laws set by the Lord. It’s also a mission to support each other in LOVE, to keep a servant heart and remember that others are still moving too, pray God to make their journeys as fruitful as yours has been!


Colossians 1

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”


Colossians 3 (NIV) Living as Those Made Alive in Christ

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


Colossians 4

Further Instructions: “2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Jesus is Our CUP Holder, 13-14Jan – #335

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Blessed am I that I HAVE to rely on the HOLY SPIRIT fumes sometimes, because I KNOW it’s not running on fuel from my own tank…

Jesus is Our CUP Holder, 13-14Jan

Friends, friends bring us hugs… Friends lift us up, friends steady our cups. We need pray for God to fill our cups, and when we ache and when we feel empty, we have to rely often on others and we have to accept their grace, accept their help, AND accept their functioning arms as hugs from Jesus…and when we are full or have even just a little, we are best to share that with them too. When our cups were/are filled from God, then we know that source and we can share and then go back for more.

Friends will steady our cups, friends will help us find our lost cups, but it is US who need to tip them UP-right if they are sideways, or have a leak. Our cups won’t catch the holy flow from God IF we don’t actually hold them UP and take the lids off. And we need to drink.

The best place to safely put our cups is in the permanent cup holder of Jesus’s ARMS… Think about it, think about that shape, Jesus’s arms outstretched for giving a hug are the shape of the perfect cup holder… Slide your cup right into Jesus’s arms… Slide Jesus’s arms right into your heart. Steady your cup with your friends who are hugging you to health… Each hug a little hot glue to keep it stable, a little cement for the side, a cushion to absorb the shocks of life. Accept the help of those who truly support you.

When you physically feel a hug, where are those arms squeezing? Right around your heart… When you ache, the hug can let you take the pressure off your frame and rest your heart… Jesus hugs, Jesus wants you to rest your whole body in HIS arms and especially let Jesus support your heart from within in HIS hands.

When you cup is empty, or when it is full, tip your cup UP…. Take off the lid, don’t block the flow, don’t forget to drink. Hold onto it so that your cup is UP and not up-set. And you don’t own that cup, and you don’t get to choose the flavor it’s filled with (DON’T chug or spit it out)… the truth is that really GOD OWNS YOUR CUP and HE wants to fill it, and wants us to drink it, because HE wants to BE WITH US.

Immanuel, God with us – God gave us His ONLY begotten cup holder, so that we may live an eternal life with Him…

Drink up, God’s pouring!

 

SHINE, 11Jan – #334

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I can’t help but praise this morning, please don’t take this as a boast, but after rough last week I feel shined by God’s power buffer… Working out my rough spots can be painful…And we have to TRUST in God’s plan… Thanks God for the sunshine and Son-shine. Thanks for the fountain of PEACE.

SHINE, 11Jan

I am not supposed to draw attention to myself, but God seems to be doing that by sending hundreds of HIS children of God to support me… In return, God uses me to show what happens when you try to endlessly praise God… In return, God uses me to pour my overfilled cup back out and splash it about.

So much overflow of LOVE I feel… I can’t help but to SHINE because God is making me feel tremendous, to be an example of what happens in just one year of awakened life when you set your empty cup upright… and when you accept help of friends and strangers to help stabilize your cup… It’s the counseling and support of your earthly family that packs the solid support around your cup, once stabilized, you can finally catch what God has ALWAYS been doing, never ceasing, HE was ALWAYS flooding His LOVE to you… Now it’s up to YOU to catch it, and drink it in.

ALWAYS praise God… Because God sent Jesus to find your cup when it was lost, and sends others who want to share their cups with you. Soak up the LOVE.

In one awakening God had changed me and woke me to work for HIM.

I was NOT a writer and yet God has made me one this year to write HIS praises.

I was NOT a singer and yet God has made me one this year to sing HIS praises.

Oh, and I was NOT and I AM NOT a fashion model, but God is making me try to stay healthy and to feel beautiful…. Because HE wants to show how HE has HIS power over my life…

God forces me to use my gifted energy to PRAISE HIM and He polished me to SHINE… I shine His sparkle, not mine, in order to PRAISE HIM and ONLY HIM for ALL in ALL….

I am a child of God – and God is raising me because I’m drinking out of God’s Cup in me. I am just a vessel for HIS LOVE.

LORD, I pray to fulfill YOUR WILL… I pray to full-fill YOUR HOLY cup back up in return, oh MY LORD…

I Praise YOUR Name, Lord.

LORD I praise how You make me feel.

Jesus, I praise how You hold me up and fill my cup…

You SHINE!

A Dress Inward, A Dress Outward, Address God, Dec28, JAN 09 – #333

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(LOL – that 333 is half a devil of a number and this is a devil of a piece with me being boastful of fitting into my wedding dress after so much weight lost – LOL – God forgive me!)

This writing was fluff-ish (balancing pagan therapy and God therapy) but God made me feel like it was unfinished for a few days and today triple sent the scripture to finish it and bring real meaning to the thought “don’t worry”… From Matthew 6… “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” and today a friend in church stated EXACTLY what that scripture speaks to – this essay and that Matthew 6 scripture meaning quadruplicated in showing up.. plus the “do not worry” scripture #34 has quadruplicated too – with the pastor’s sermon today and a lunch conversation with the girls making it the theme of the week – cool God, cool!

So here is the “fluff” piece that addresses what I should address – that I need to address my issues with God – and listen… And TRUST!!! and I really really need to thank God for I feel I have been given all these wonderful things this year because I am the recipient of verse #33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

A Dress Inward, A Dress Outward, Address God, Dec28, JAN 09

So I posted a photo on Facebook of me re-fitting into my wedding dress to say how blessed I am – to have God focus me and reduce my weight burden over a course of one year, from a size 22 down to a 12… I had wanted to try on my wedding dress ever since I started losing weight, and yes it fit – 23 years later! I love the freedom of new things I could never do before – like run – like sprint to catch something – like climb a mountain if I wanted – gaining a life doesn’t hold me back attitude because I left my old arthritic knees behind with the old me! Health-wise I feel better than I did as a teenager and i certainly appreciate it more!

SO blessed… So much to PRAISE God for – a new life inside and out!!! God truly makes me feel beautiful inward and now beautiful outward too…

And then I put the dress away… that was nice but it was human fluff concern and not really what God was making me change my ways for – yes it was fun to dress – but as Matthew 6 states… “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”

So I rolled the crinkly dress and veil and 15 foot train back up and put it back in the acid free box… Only God knows what I should do with this dress because it is strange to keep a dress in a box 23yrs or more, very few daughters want to wear their mother’s dresses – I paid more for dry cleaning it then I did for the material for the dress itself, as I sewed it with my two aunts help for less than $100… the “going away dress” material I also re-used for my daughter’s baptismal dress… functional and sweet…

Out of my vanity I aggravated my mom (which I should not have done) by making her delete all but one photo, I truly shouldn’t have done that, she wouldn’t have posted them – but still – I wanted control of what’s out there with my vain concern of how I look in this dress… Which is silly, why am I now MORE concerned at size 12 in how I look then when I was at size 22! Why do I act more like a teenager now then when I was a teenager with this new life?…. it’s strange that I let my inside inner thoughts fly free on the internet, but try to control my outer image…which is the least important part of what makes me me… it is something I need to address with God – and I do ask every time I catch myself looking in the mirror and marveling about this God-gifted weightloss – I pray I don’t become like the Greek God Narcissus – I can see the people who do fall into the trap of outer appearance obsessions… Gee, in the old days I just used to be happy if I matched my socks – silly – but perhaps I will get used to this new me…Same issue with wearing a new pair of fancy boots – I love the fact that I can dress up now… they were inexpensive and a gift but still pride in self is half praise and half waste – and yet God I think lets me have a little fun…

Yeah – that is the big concern – when I realized I was too boastful in my salvation I thought maybe I should become a nun – well that is not going to happen!!! but at least I need to worry less about dress – because to worry about “a dress” and how to dress is so less important then to “address” inward thoughts about how am I stand up to God’s law – and to ask forgiveness… To show a boast of pride that I fit in the dress (even though I feel it was God who changed me) is just as sinful as any other sin… And yet, one has to try to conform to community standards of expectations to give the appearance that you care enough about yourself – because they say if you don’t care about yourself then how will you care about my concerns… So, it’s good and fun to present yourself well… And I am in a re-balance of pride vs God’s wish that I show humility… God knows that I do want to praise all of HIS blessings gifted to me – just like ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

I also do not want to show pride that it was God-himself who showered me with all this affection and show pride that it was God-himself who caused my salvation. I wish to demonstrate His wide-spread power to focus on and change my heart and my body – while He also (at the same time) handles the WHOLE world of people. He has so much scope because He is GOD!!!

I acknowledge God as our greatest blessing, I hope all my excessive outward overflows of appreciation “a-dress-es” all my outward outflows of how beautiful God has made me feel…


Matthew 6: 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

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Putting my Heart in Heaven, Matthew 6, 09Jan – #332

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Matthew 6 scriptures were duplicate (triplicate) comforting scripture for me this week… And they match this new writing and also an old one I didn’t finish, but will now and send later…

This one set of scripture; it’s my God therapy this week… It covers the doubts and stresses of life both real and ones that I cause… And certainly reminds me “If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of LIGHT”… We NEED God to see ourselves thru the day. I certainly do… It takes retreat into the heart at times, but that’s where you can hear God with less distractions…

Putting my Heart in Heaven, 09Jan

Putting my heart in Heaven is NOT a longing for death, instead it’s a living for life. Putting my heart into Jesus’s hands means Jesus being welcomed into my heart, and feeling HIM protecting my heart… Treasuring heaven is appreciating Jesus as a slice of heaven – to help focus me. And once inside my heart, Jesus makes good company inside our armor of God.

So, look to Matthew 6… Look to the promised future… if you have worry about this world – then looking how to get to heaven is the answer to protecting your heart… So to live a good life “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

If you long for joy, and peace, it’s the same answer: put your heart in heaven!!! Treasures… the only jewels of the crown are the thorns Jesus bore in order to bear your burdens… And because YOU are in God’s company, shine your LIGHT… So that others know who gave you leave of your worries (even if you just compartmentalized them while God is working on them)…

Smile, and try to shine the peace…

Jesus, God with us, likes to shine like heaven on earth…


Matthew 6 NIV [ Treasures in Heaven ]

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

Phases, 07JAN – #331

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Phases, 07JAN

Phases – life has phases…

Faces – life has faces too, just like the moon… Our faces…

The moon’s phases change but the moon’s face never does. The moon’s phases are dependent on the Sunlight… and so is our visualization of the moon’s face… The light from the Sun tracks the moon and allows US to see its beauty and ponder its meaning…

Our life phases and faces change… And we ever shine like the Sun when we become dependent on THE SON. We too are raised in the sky… this gifted LIGHT from the Son tracks us and allows our faces to shine in beauty. We pass thru our life phases while we ponder our meaning, but we need ONLY to look at the LIGHT to future guide our way… The LIGHT saves us from eternal darkness.

The moon’s orbit is 5 degrees offset different than the earth… It is never still and neither are we. It reminds us to move steady. Like the revolving earth and moon, we must move. Life phases move slowly but surely we are always moving and as long as we continue to move TOWARDS the LIGHT, then our lives will be bright and illuminated for all to see. With Jesus’s LIGHT in us and in us, others see our beauty and ponder life’s meaning… They will know we are blessed from the LIGHT. Perhaps they will catch on and gain the LIGHT too.

Yes, we ARE blessed, for we HAVE seen the LIGHT. And we FEEL the LIGHT… And we long to SHINE YOUR LIGHT, OH LORD…

Thanks, God for the Jesus LIGHT… Your beautiful Bright, Right, LIGHT…

Thank you God for choosing us – thank you for choosing me – to feel your LIGHT.

Amen

 

Get Back to God’s Work, 06JAN – #330

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Get Back to God’s Work, 06JAN

A silly God note, today those repeat “52” numbers repeated like fifteen times or more (it has slacked off to ONLY half dozen a day)… I think God flashes them like snowflakes to remind me to stop worrying and to instead “KNOW I AM GOD”… And to remind me to get back to doing God’s work rather than do God’s worrying…

Mark 6:25-34 says “seek first His Kingdom” – meaning ASK God first (just like duplicated theme in Psalm 4) and then actually listen to what He puts on your heart, and take His answer as the right plan of your action.

So, it wasn’t just silly repeat numbers but serious repeating stuff today… I missed a turn while driving today because I was worrying, and so instead pulled thru the mall… The same mall parking lot where I then realized was where I witnessed a God-incident with an old man nearly getting hit crossing the street, and saved just in the nick of time just five days ago… It’s again God’s duplicate reminder to me to stop stressing – stop wasting awareness time on something not worth worrying about – and “KNOW I AM GOD”… Stay AWAKE and AWARE for God. Get back to doing God’s work rather than do God’s worrying.

Just now I reheard two separate sermons and both preachers cautioned to watch out for false idols, people, promises and things where actions don’t jive with the actual bible teachings… in other words Stay AWAKE and AWARE for God to spot these false prophets…. And always check them against the Bible.

God is concerned with our relationship to HIM… One sermonist (our Pastor) talked about the sin of omission, reminding us: “don’t sin to avoid thinking of God….” Yeah – think about God – Ponder Him! So for me: Get back to doing God’s work rather than do God’s worrying!

One more duplicated scripture: John 1:1-10… Jesus is the gatekeeper and HE provides the SAFETY… With God we have direction, provisions and safety… Which brings joy…

God’s duplications for me are never expected but numerous and always appreciated… Comforting and blessing, giving understanding and knowledge of the direction in life to take when we ponder His Word…

God answers, He really does…. because you ask… sometimes in silly numbers, sometimes in snowflakes, and ALL the TIME in scriptures – and on our hearts…

So THANKS ALL of you who ponder and DO God’s work rather than do God’s worrying.

There is JOY and SAFETY in the LORD… And He WILL remind you of that, again and again…


Psalm 4 (NIV) For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.

1 Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? 3 Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. 4 Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. 5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord. 6 Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us. 7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.


Mark 6:25 Do Not Worry 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Awake and Aware, 01Jan – #329

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Awake and Aware, 01Jan

It’s the first day of the new year, I said just tonight that I wonder what God will make me write next?… because I haven’t written in a while and I don’t write to write… IT’S MUCH BETTER when He makes me write…

I’ve been busy so much, too much to write, especially at this busy Christmas time of year… my mind filled must as much as my hands, from Christmas, to an enjoyed trip up home but with my aunts sad passing, to a FULL week I’d hard work, too today…. today, NEW YEAR, I was first working as Cinderella, scrubbing… I spent a solid seven hours cleaning and cooking for a party tomorrow, only breaking to play some kitchen hockey with my son, to do an exercise workout and yeah to shower… it’s not ALL good on this day, but my workout lifted my spirits, and had escape time this afternoon as I went to see Star Wars with my daughter… and that was EPIC!!!

But it’s NOT Star Wars I’m writing about, although one certainly could write volumes about LIGHT and dark, good and evil, in the Star Wars films… It WAS an EPIC movie and the best movie since 1977, when I saw it as a seven year old… That WAS EPIC to see only my second real movie… See those words scroll and hear the roar of the crowd in that velvet-lined classic theatre, packed with kids for a free police benevolent society sponsored matinee – WOW… So to see those words scroll again and hear that music in this episode seven tonight (gee that’s allot of sevens), well, yeah, I got goosebumps…

BUT, that’s NOT what I want to write about… Indeed, I was so taken by watching this strong movie “the FORCE Awakens” with my daughter (who is double 7 at age 14 and saw the movie twice this week) because the female lead character is SO strong, such such a great role model… and I had to dilly-dally Facebook that praise while I was listening to the score during the end credits and quietly saying THANKS for an awesome escape time that was also cherished time with my first born… awesome… Awake… Aware….

Timing…  that is what i want to write about… Yes perfect time to dilly-dally by sitting and enjoying the music, epic classic Star Wars music…

We were freezing coming out of the theater – hopped into our car while watching an old feeble man crossing the parking lot… just saying to myself “What a curious man” and saying to myself: “I wonder why I noticed such a man, and where was he going?” just something that hit me… So we hop in the car, he starts crossing the sidewalk to the other side of the mall…. a lady in a truck barreling down the road…TOO FAST!!! I look left – The old man, I look right – she’s going WAY TOO FAST!!!! Horn – HORN – HORN….. my brain can’t catch up with my eyes, I just lay on the horn… God made her stop… God was the true FORCE in that moment… in that “Cary Grant catching the baby carriage in the Bishop’s wife movie” moment… I swear it was a miracle… MAYBE it was just a stupid careless lady waking up JUST in time… Maybe… SO CLOSE!!!! WHEW!!!

Why God? Why God is your timing SO exact? Was this coincidental? Was my dilly dallying timed to help the man? or just to watch YOU to save him? to watch you help the lady stop just in the nick of time? Yes YOUR timing also allows me to see it all play out and witness YOUR hand on the situation… I’m NOT a miracle worker, I am just an awake and aware lady, with a horn – there is no reason to believe I helped at all – but I am glad I laid on the horn anyway… A Subaru horn that I have used A LOT this year… Oh thank you God for making me need to write about your good GOD timing… I shuttered!!!! It was too fast to process anything but horn blowing, I said to my daughter: “WOW, we just saw the REAL FORCE awaken…” the FORCE of God… GOD IS all good, ALL the time… Thank you God for making me Awake and Aware… THANK YOU GOD for being the FORCE… THANK YOU for focusing your LIGHT on our world!

THANK YOU GOD for allowing me to process your goodness by looking straight up just now and quickly finding the Pleiades to pull my eyes to PRAISE… to write of how You are IN CONTROL, oh how that thought sustains me and causes me to BE STILL…

MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU, GOD!

Awake and Aware… That’s the God worth writing about!!!

That’s the PRAISE… BE STILL and know GOD’S IN CONTROL!

Putting Jesus’ Words into Action, 31DEC – #328

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Putting Jesus’ Words into Action, 31DEC

Best advice for this new years? For us – it is to put Jesus’s words into action! But how? – But wow! – These commands are pretty tough! Love your enemy! & don’t judge others! & don’t be a hypocrite!

It’s not enough to simply JUST accept Jesus – but now we have to strive to be like HIM – yeah how EASY it is to be Angry Jesus overturning the money changing tables – but how TOUGH it is to be the forgiving non-judgmental Jesus – that IS going to be a lifetime of work!

Whew! – tall order for anyone to adhere to these commandments ALL the time! Perhaps as sinners we can try to ask for forgiveness AFTER we disobeyed one of these orders – perhaps we can ONLY do all preventative work pre-sinning IF we rely on the One and Only One who can help – Jesus… I will never be a perfect person and I will always be a sinner – so the BEST I CAN do is TRY – TRY to Love, TRY to be non-judgmental, and TRY to fix myself first before I try to fix everyone else… TRY TO TRY…

Building a firm foundation on God’s Word is the best precaution to live a solid life – it is spiritual preventative maintenance – just as LUKE 6 reminds us – and building building building our faith is what we are called to do this New Year – and every New DAY! We need to be scrapping the old work that keeps us sinning and we need to continually become NEW in Christ – that’s better than hodge-podge fixer-upper work! Start fresh – start fresh each day and not just because it is New Year’s Resolution time… Start each day fresh to TRY to do your BEST – strive actually to do God’s Best…

Blessed are those who TRY!

I will try – I feel blessed to be able to try – my work is cut out for me! Luckily I know the best Carpenter to be my role model!

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Luke 6 Love for Enemies

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

A Tree and Its Fruit

43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

The Wise and Foolish Builders

46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

Psalm 23 – Found Peace, 28DEC – #326

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Psalm 23 – Found Peace, 28DEC

I had penned this during my early wake up this morning, but waited to send to a friend… Got few more hours rest then heard about my Aunt passing away… I am glad my Aunt knew Jesus and was strong in her faith… She was chipper and she had Christmas… Last days at Christmas…  Well… GOD’S timing… sorrowful… But peaceful now for her… Sigh…

Not surprising that God wakes me up to shepherd me to songs (at times in the middle of the night) because I need them before I realize I need them… Before hearing about my Aunt’s passing I had been thinking about Psalm 23 and how nice it would be to have a song so that I could use to remember the words – then I just stumbled across this psalm 23 version by Michael Card… (I also came up with a little music of my own – but haven’t pursued my music writing – so many many things to do!!!)

I never listened to Michael Card’s music before this year (or hardly any more contemporary praise music) but I hear and feel his gentleness and his persuading personal praise when he sings just with a piano or guitar –  I hear it personally for real because I understand the praise and also that I connected directly with him… Faith is a gift that keeps on giving!

And one of my most peaceful feelings this Christmas, and there have been many,  was after being shepherded into his Christmas concert, as I sat for a little, maybe twenty minutes texting friends and said to myself: “that really did happen, this really is happening!”…. I utterly was in a state of not wanting – was so satisfied at that moment – the multitude of blessings on top of everything else – wow I got SO MUCH PEACE in return…

I figured out what the “stop your pondering, fall on your knees” song was, it’s called “To the Mystery”… But he played unplugged at the concert which I liked MUCH better than this album version… I am sure with Michael Card, I would love his LIVE performance any day so much better than any album version because I can see the praise in his face when he sings.

Here are both:
Watch “Michael Card – 05 To the Mystery – The Life – 1988 (lyrics)” on YouTube
https://youtu.be/wDi4tMU3Ss8

Watch “My Shepherd -Michael Card” on YouTube
https://youtu.be/kCdSYls5riU

Wildest Dreams, 24DEC – #325

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I was a little busy past couple of days, yeah – but I did have this draft written but not sent – so here’s my christmas eve devotion – another end of the year recap – I hope I am not repetitive but I have to praise praise praise as I sit here in the glow of this Christmas tree – I have so much re-pondering for the blessings of the year – so much AWE of God – I mean from God HIMSELF calling me to accept Jesus – to Holy Spiriting all the people, situations and tools into place – “knowing every hair on my head (Luke 12)” kind of guidance – to the adventures in travel, and of course of music… most importantly blessings of friends  – plus this forced writing of over 300 devotions/blogs forcing me to share the good news of Jesus for my own sanity of processing, which I never saw coming, and OH YEAH, lest I forget, this 55.5 lb weight-loss and a bursting feeling of health – yeah UNREAL – WILD…  If you asked me last year at this time what my wildest dreams were, they could not have been wild enough for this journey God has taken me on… thank you all for being part of the journey!

Now PLEASE I am trying NOT to boast but to praise – because I didn’t cause any of this, I just became an opportunist of blessings and God handled the rest… and trust me that I have had my share of heartaches this year too – we all do – I just don’t write about them in detail – but please know that the big and little devil attacks (sometimes massive ones) are being truly combated by God on my behalf, making many really obvious, and equipping me with Jesus to withstand and allowing me to learn life lessons… and oh yeah, that feeling of Jesus picking me up? WHEW, I cannot overstate the need for everyone to really seriously rely on Jesus – oh yeah the most powerful pick me up EVER – if you go back to read devotion # 254 Back in the Boat, 02SEP – whew – that was a rough chapter… Trust me that Jesus truly does save everyday – not just at the end of your life… and as I re-read #259 Settling Your Heart into Jesus’s Hands, 07Sept – yeah God KNEW I needed Jesus this whole year – we all need Jesus – and how fortunate I was to have the loving support of so many friends – which is sent from God too!

Tomorrow I go up home, will be a trip filled with joy and also stress as a family member is not doing well… either way it’s time to go home… either way it’s time to rely on Jesus for strength and serenity…

Here is my Christmas Eve devotion… THANK YOU ALL again for both supporting me and humoring me this year too:

Wildest Dreams, 24DEC

Christmas Eve – today is filled with peace and pondering (and a little last minute shopping and the anticipated blessings of being with my family and church family tonight). Yes, it’s CHRISTMAS EVE, so today is an extraordinary day for us, BUT an ordinary day for God – because like every other day THIS day really “IS the DAY that the LORD has made” and I am REALLY REALLY GLAD – and I AM REALLY REALLY GLAD TO REJOICE IN IT!!!

Every day this year was filled with pondering and praise – every morning was Christmas to me this year – I truly feel next year will be just as wild and wonderful…  I reread a piece where I spoke of entering the corporate open enrollment of Christianity at Christmas last year… how convenient for us to have Christmas EVERY year to reinforce this open enrollment! This year was SO filled with opportunities and gifts – every evening a multitude of treasured memories I held in my heart – what an amazing year – what an amazing gift of JOY everyday when I ponder the wondrous works of God… All from accepting Jesus only one year ago – seems like forever and seems like just yesterday… You know I used to double check myself those first months of “do I truly believe?”  yeah – I always checked out OK!  “I have decided to follow Jesus – no turning back” that is one of the new VBS songs for next summer – yup awesome year behind me, and ahead too!!!

At the Michael Card concert last week, he told us that many of the songs that come out of the bible come out of LUKE – and that likely Luke lived near or with John who was tasked by Jesus to become His mother Mary’s son at the crucifixion. So Luke got to speak to Mary and his writings detailed her recount of her life with Jesus… Michael Card sang and spoke of Mary being in AWE – “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” – And he spoke about how we have to STOP our pondering we approach the cradle and WE should fall on our knees – yeah – accept and BE STILL and know that God is God…

It is not lost on me that I have musical bookends on my faith journey this treasured year with a whole library of music new and old to fill my head (and it is certainly nice to NOT have to close any chapters)… This treasured music journey was as intense if not more so then my writing – because where I couldn’t write ALL the time, I could still sing praise ALL the time!!!!  I sing waking up and I sing going to sleep… God wrote lyrically in my heart.. When I am stressed, I start singing to cover any thorns poking my ears – when I am happy, I start singing – and whistling is a gift…  This Christmas to Christmas year, started with “Come to the Cradle – come and find PEACE” – music plus sermons and scripture and more music (old and new, from Genesis to the Grateful dead and all types in between)… so to be able to speak to Michael Card HIMSELF one year later – truly I have to question: how does God make that happen? Do you ever wonder if God has it out for you too????  I KNOW GOD had it in for me and chased me down when I wasn’t looking – and not only filled my cup but gave me an overflowing “Flood” feeling which caused the need to step outside my normal faith circles and set up rain buckets to catch my overflowing faith.

The Michael Card song line to describe this year would be “For a thousand years the dreamers dreamt, and hoped to see His love, The Promise showed their wildest dreams Had simply not been wild enough.”

Mary accepted being “the handmaid of the Lord” Luke 1:38… She pondered the future, I do too…   I know Jesus came to us and so importantly He made the path so that the Holy Spirit can enter into us ALL… I am God’s handmaid… You are too…”I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

It’s Christmas – let us let the HOLY SPIRIT move us all together as we celebrate God’s ultimate gift to us… The best way to appreciate God is to appreciate sharing God with each other, because Jesus is “GOD WITH US” Immanuel… And to have us with God is God’s WILDEST DREAM!!!  That’s why waking up every day is like Christmas!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, thank you all for being my biggest blessing amplifiers this year!!! Thank you for sharing Jesus with me – and for letting the Spirit move you – it’s been a wild year – blessed blessed blessed…

Happy New Year!
Wild!

Thank you faith friends on this journey with me, 24DEC – #324

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Thank you faith friends on this journey with me, 24DEC

I wish for you all to have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and I have to thank you for your support this year…. Just now I saw that I had lost my baby Jesus foam figure that was hot-glue-gunned to my car… That figures, because I have lost about half a dozen decoration baby Jesus’s these last couple of years… But it’s ok, because I have back up foam Jesus babies that I made myself out of scraps… And THAT is Jesus in a nut shell, you have to bring him out and make the most of what you have to bring Him alive…

Most importantly I have to thank you all for the many blessings in knowing all YOU because YOU are the ones who have shined Jesus thru YOUR hearts to me and my family..

So today I am happy, but pensive and pondering all that this gift of Jesus means… I have to ponder the gift of a GOD’S sacrifice JUST to get to know me better and the gift that GOD wants to have us for eternity… Wow

I’m wondering like Mary during that first year with Jesus…  I have to wonder where this baby Jesus plans to go next… Just like the foam decoration that flew off to adventures unknown, how could I even predict where the real one in my heart will go in the future!!!… But with you all there I know we will be blessed!!

I am at AWE at where God has taken me this year alone… I praise and wonder and ponder but I don’t NEED to do anything BUT fall in my knees in AWE today…

MERRY CHRISTMAS GOD, your gift is us and we you…

MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!!! God bless you ALL!!! Thanks for shining Jesus to me!

Give Christ at Christmas, 22Dec – #323

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There are so many devotions that I re-read now as I am uploading them more rapidly to my wordpress blog and I say: “wow thanks God, thanks for making me write that..” this is definitely one of them… just in 10 minutes in front of microwave…

Give Christ at Christmas, 22Dec

Just got back from the dollar store and unlike every other store this clerk actually said “Merry Christmas”…WOW… now I don’t want to get her in trouble, because you know how politically correct these stores are trying to be – they don’t want to say MERRY CHRISTMAS, even though they ARE pushing red and green Christmas merchandise out the wazoo…  But even if the clerks are not supposed to say it, I know plenty of non-Christians who are NOT offended by someone wishing then the BEST of whichever holiday they celebrate… And saying happy holidays is perfectly fine to say as well, in my opinion, because that does not offend me.

So yes, it’s nice to hear Merry Christmas, and this year I REALLY mean it!  and to hear Christmas music in the stores is awesome, nobody faults you for singing along (except your own kids who are embarrassed to be with you regardless if you’re singing or not..)… Christmas music for Christians is a good excuse to celebrate faith without people thinking you’re overly weird or pushy…

You see a lot of signs these days to combat the politically correct push of the holiday season… the signs say “Keep Christ in Christmas”… I don’t know, it kind of sounds a little threatening… a little “bad cop-ish”… Like “Keep Christ in Christmas OR ELSE!”… I know it is for good intentions but remember I’m not the “bad cop”, I’m the “good cop”… so I think I would prefer a sign that instead said: “Give Christ for Christmas” … Yeah, that’s the sentiment I like!

When we GIVE Christ, it means we are giving to others the BEST of us… it means we are not keeping Christ for ourselves for our own salvation but we want to share HIM to help God’s action plan… because God wants to be with ALL of us.

So that sign you could leave up all year round because we should give Christ not JUST at Christmas, but every day. We give Christ by being Christ-like… there’s another sign floating around the internet that says “people can tell your faith not by your religion, but by your actions…” yup, that’s true because the best Christ-like behavior is to LOVE…

I bet you Christ would have walked around with his own t-shirt that said “Smile, I LOVE you”… We should too… That’s the sign of the times, time to show our inner Jesus, it’s time to give the LOVE…

Give Christ at Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, the happiest of holidays!

The Old Peace, 21DEC – #322

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The Old Peace, 21DEC
“maybe I must may be lost, right where I need to be…”

One of the best feelings in the world is when I realize that I am in a place right where I need to be – because I KNOW the Holy Spirit moved me there… moved me to do something that is not my privilege to know why – but the Holy Spirit works to enable God’s amazing plan for all of us – for us to have some impact on someone else EVERY DAY – to achieve the ultimate realization that God’s desire is to BE WITH US.

It’s OK if we don’t always know what that plan is – but recently when I saw that God’s plan also benefited me, I just had to accept and smile and feel warm… and at PEACE…

At Michael Card’s concert on Friday night it was just that – all the swirling of the many places I could have been – I was here taking my chances on passing a letter to Michael Card to thank him for the impact he has had on my life – I was not intending to wiggle my way into his concert – I hoped I could get a ticket and got there 2.5 hrs early for that chance – but I left it up to the Holy Spirit at that point – either way it was worth the try… to know I had tried – either way I had “prepared for rain” as in the Facing the Giants scene (The scene that I discuss in my pivotal awakening piece “Christmas Flood Dec17”)… either way I would just see what would happen and adjust my plans accordingly and adjust my peace of mind based on that… so to sit in the worshipful concert after actually walking in the door, chatting with Michael Card for fifteen minutes, you know I was at complete PEACE…. the “Old Peace” that comes once in a while – not a forced peace by pushing an agenda to get someplace like vacation planning – but a peace that comes when you could have easily had a heartache too IF you had put your hopes on results and not on the execution of a plan…

The song that replays in my head and out of my mouth from the concert is “El Shaddai” – even though I don’t really know the words… And the two images stuck in my mind are Michael and I chatting like old friends and also him lifting his hands while letting the Holy Spirit take him to where he was supposed to be – purposefully there to be lifting us – to sweetly sing Christmas carols with him (only 200 of us there as a full house in a tiny tiny church) is a caroling event that I will never forget – we were praising God by uplifting each other.

So the other song I have been listening to right now (over and over for about a week) for processing this swirl of life (both for praises and angst-dealing) is not a Michael Card song – but one penned by a 26yr old cancer-stricken man, Alec Wildey, and set to music and sung by an amazing pair of artists Mariusz Duda and Steve Wilson – “The Old Peace”…. I love lyrics that are interpretable to whichever situation you are in…

“maybe I must may be lost, right where I need to be…”
“But nothing is more perfect than the smell of harmony”

Because that PEACE feeling in the midst of chaos is what we are God-willed to look for… and how do we bring that about? It is up to us focusing on God – and it is not always knowing the right move at the right time – but trusting Him to put us where we are supposed to be… He will be the most efficient decider of our time… “maybe I must may be lost, right where I need to be…”

After Friday’s concert I was home and everyone was asleep – I felt guilty not being with them that evening and would try to make up the time – but I was pretty sure God wanted me at that concert – if not for me personally even though I got a lot out of it, then for some other purpose – but for me it was a chance to say thanks you for his “Come to the Cradle” song that was key to my awakening – and to witness to the organizing folks and other guests, and those I recounted my adventure to… Full witness to this year of amazing blessings that God has bestowed on me after I accepted this powerful salvation by accepting Jesus as my Savior.  It’s not JUST that I accepted Jesus as a savior for later, when I eventually die, but ACCEPT JESUS as a savior for RIGHT NOW – by taking HIM into my heart so that I carry God with me – because the peace bestowed by following Jesus every day is what God intends us to have!!!

Michael Card eloquently sang “Immanuel” – God with us – and he spoke about this being the pinnacle purpose of God – to “Be with us”.  Michael spoke about how God chased down Adam and Eve after they hid from him in the garden – and how God had to give the most sacrifice ever – to give his one and only Son Jesus to be GOD WITH US… not God when we are dead – but God with us everyday – to live the God way… to love the peace and strive for it always.

This acceptance of Jesus-driven peace means Jesus pulls me into the eye of the hurricane of life every time I turn to Him and tune HIM IN – daily – hourly – sometimes minute by minute – and He holds me up – and I keep moving forward for those I need to do God’s work for…

A friend also just now emailed me while I was writing about being at peace and happy.  She is being stretched thin and has limited time (5 kids, work, life, you name it) but with the best attitude… I couldn’t ask for a more perfect phrase cementing this feeling in my writing this morning – she says:
“I would like to do a lot more with them but there is no time. So I cherish the time we do get and I am happy with that.”

THAT is true on so many levels…
of being at peace, being where we think we need to be to work God’s plan, or be with who we need to be with…  peace will come when we consult God for our action plan…
and we can find PEACE when we cherish the time, and proportion it appropriately, for doing the best we can in the limited time we have…

I often say that when God gives a snow day you get to be where you are supposed to be and there is a peace – a world peace that is only caused by complete shut down of your little world and encourages nestling in for that feeling of peace… God-caused peace…

And God peace is just that – nestling into your mission and calling of working for God – nestling into letting Jesus lift you and letting the Holy Spirit move you – “maybe I must may be lost, right where I need to be…”

This is a daily – hourly- minute by minute achievement of PEACE.

I urge you all to try the Holy Spirit flow, which keeps JESUS alive in you so that God can work His plan – it brings such Old Peace…

God with us.

Amen.

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Immanuel, Michael Card Lyrics

A sign shall be given a virgin will conceive
A human baby bearing undiminished deity
The glory of the nations a light for all to see
That hope for all who will embrace His warm reality

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

For all those who live in the shadow of death
A glorious light has dawned
For all those who stumble in the darkness
Behold your light has come

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

So what will be Your answer? Will You hear the call?
Of Him who did not spare His son but gave Him for us all
On earth there is no power there is no depth or height
That could ever separate us from the love of God in Christ

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

Immanuel our God is with us
And if God is with us who could stand against us
Our God is with us
Immanuel

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The Old Peace
Mariusz Duda/Steve Wilson
poem by Alec Wildey,
https://youtu.be/AsghYYv0EKI

You could be wise
Spend in a lifetime
Under your tree
watchin’ apples fall from above
You could be lost
Still you see your hometown
Nothing in that moment matters more
Than the book in your hand
And I see impressions
and I see fingerprints footsteps
Tears in the rain
But nothing is more perfect than the smell of harmony
You got your solitude
And I got my peace
And nothing in that moment matters more
If only in just this one fragment together it grows
This tree… maybe I must may be lost
Right where I need to be…
And I see impressions
and I see fingerprints footsteps
Tears in the rain
But nothing is more perfect than the smell of harmony

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Postscript: dec25 – Well – imagine that!  Michael Card is coming BACK in February HERE! – earlier in that month he will in Asia then back over here – that’s a crazy trip… Cool Cool Cool!!! can’t wait to go!


Job 38 (NIV)

The Lord Speaks

38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:

“Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?

“Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt’?

12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
and their upraised arm is broken.

16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.

19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!

22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
for days of war and battle?

24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen?

31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?
Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons
or lead out the Bear[d] with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?

34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom
or gives the rooster understanding?
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
and the clods of earth stick together?

39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?

 

God Tennis Anyone? 19DEC – #321

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I was thanking one of the early folks that I was able to reach out to in faith discussion and this email blog came out, a conversation about God becomes thanking God for the LOVE………

God Tennis Anyone? 19DEC

This explosion of God in my head – one year ago this month…  had to get it out – and I was the one regulating my sharing… I let it come out piece by piece to a trickle of people whom I trusted – until I felt like I wasn’t going to be ridiculed for my thoughts – or thought of as weird ( I mean extra weird because I am already weird) – but honestly I really thought I was losing my mind – I think that is the real reason I had to step outside of my normal circle of friends and consult an outside voice (one who seemed so sure in his faith) to help me pray for discernment because I just didn’t know where these writings and thoughts were coming from – that was one year ago this month  – and to a confidant/pastor friend who became a one woman pep band for my early faith building…

Now I know that there are SO MANY people who are in the place mentally where I was and that is not always their fault – it just isn’t their time yet – but I do pray that more people can learn to open up – and I pray that we never ridicule them, that we encourage them…

 

Sharing faith whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro is best really when it is like a tennis match… God says release and wait to hear the other person and then speak again and make it a conversation of God and not just a telling of God – my best interactions are were when others share their faith with me too – and the blessings of being in a church congregation is that you get a zone of friends where you can openly discuss and hash out your faith – I love that – I needed that – and now I am ready to be out in my zone of friends and beyond where others can come chat about their faith… and WOW God has given me some awesome opportunities to hear about other’s faith walks…  It’s exciting to work for God!!!

 

Although I know I am not supposed to worry about the future I sometimes think about that time, 25 yrs ago, when I was working the college alumnI donation calls – they give you a set of people who donated previously to get you “warmed up” and get your confidence established before they gave you the people who never donated to try to convince…  I see God doing that too – giving me (and us) easy low hanging fruit Christians who are “almost” there – these are the people who DO come to church and are just still searching for 100% whether they know it or not – and these are the ones who seek you for your advice – and then there are also those die hard non-believers – those folks you only hope to plant seeds of faith into before they fruit – and it’s not us who judges but God who does a hard sell to them – it’s supposed to be a planting of seeds in love from us so that God can come and do the watering – or in my case a Christmas Flood…  see it’s a tennis match between each person and God – God puts a miracle in your face – you have to say “oh that’s from God” – then God answers – and you lob a faithful hit back to God by accepting and attributing HIS miracles to HIM – and so forth – but the best thing about God is that He is an endless automatic tennis ball machine – He lobs endlessly – never ceasing to refill – He will lob at you FOREVER even if you don’t pick up the racket – it is YOUR CHOICE to pick up the racket – hit them back to God and you can have wordless grunts and screams if that helps you serve God – to get those faith thoughts back over the net – back so God can play your blessings back to you… even if you don’t win a point – even if you don’t get the point from God – your score is still LOVE…

 

Thanks for the LOVE God.

Endless LOVE

 

Amen

Mind Blown… Michael Card… Mind Blown…, 18-19DEC – #320

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Mind Blown… Michael Card… Mind Blown…, 18-19DEC

God blows my mind, constantly, but leaves just enough intact for me to write…

Mind Blown, Michael Card concert…

Michael Card coming at Christmas for a concert?… you know God has placed him on my radar screen this year… Hey, if your name is Mike or Michael, you were/are probably on God’s radar for me this year too… But I digress…

I didn’t have a ticket, no one from that church ever called me back after several tries, so I said WHY NOT just go down?!… And off I skedaddled from work because everyone was taking off early from the holiday party anyway, perfect timing…
1 hour trip from work, not too bad traffic, found a parking spot close… small church, giant tour bus parked in front.. I wasn’t worried that I didn’t have a ticket I figured the Holy Spirit was in charge now…take care of it or not  for me but I thought at  minimum  that perhaps I could slip a letter to him… I wrote and emailed Michael Card in March of this year… Never heard back… But here I could slip it physically into somebody’s hand who would get it in his hand…  BUT the rest I couldn’t have imagined, but God certainly has a great imagination…

Two hours early for the concert I thought maybe I could get a ticket or hear him practice so I walked up the steps, opened the door and he was immediately five feet in front of me!!!… they had just finished practice, so I waited patiently to chat because I KNEW at this moment that the Holy Spirit wanted me here!

Michael Card is in the category of one of my “cousins in Christ”, we talked like we had known each other for years… of course it’s not hard for me, I have an easy time stepping into a conversation, that’s a family trait…  and it wasn’t hard for him either,  as he patiently listened to my condensed  awakening story helped by  the lyrics of his “Come to the Cradle” song,  We chatted music, weight loss (he just doesn’t have a appetite and lost about ten pounds thus year), about blogs, and awakenings of course… you name it – we chatted bible – how the surprise in the Old Testament was how KIND God was and the surprise in the new Testament was how much a servant Jesus was/is… we chatted how I used to be ashamed  but I am NOT ashamed now of where I was in my faith… Michael quoted scripture “don’t put your lamp under a basket” Michael saw my before and after 55.5lb weight loss photos, and he said I glowed… And he said that will really resonate with people….  Holy Spirit activated this flood of Jesus spilling in and out…

We took a photo, he said grab a seat and I said “I don’t have a ticket I need to buy one” and he said “no you’re with me as a guest”…  no charge… I found out later it WAS a sold out show anyway so it’s a good thing – no it’s a GOD thing – that I didn’t have a ticket because I may have gotten deterred and not come if I had known it was sold out… Later I tried to pay the $20, but the pastor said no, that I was a guest. Sweet…

Well I was aghast with how God likes to blow my mind then allow me to sit and absorb all the delights that HE gives me… I was there 2 hours before the concert started which gave me time to integrate into the family of these wonderful believers. This church congregation has a few sites and three services – 1 English, 1 Latino and 1 Indonesian, the pastor says he has to go back to school  to learn the other languages to help facilitate their worship… Yeah, that’s dedication…

For 2 hours, Michael Card just mingled! He hopped around from person to person – and there were many excited kids running around… I chatted with “D”, with the former pastor and his wife, with “A”, her special needs brother “N” and their mom, with “J”, an awesome girl who has that wonderful extra chromosome which facilitates extra LOVE just like in my cousin, and with “L” sitting behind me, who lives in my hometown too and after the concert I chatted with so many others… it’s a family trait we just love people… I just don’t know anything other than making conversation… that’s what Michael Card did too he was so gracious before and after the performance…

So there are new lyrics for his Christmas version of “Come to the Cradle”… He told them to me in our 15 minute conversation, SO when I ran into him again as he was be-bopping around the room for 2 hours before the concert, I asked him “what were the lyrics again?” So he hopped up to the music stand and found me an extra copy and marked them up… I asked him to sign the paper for my friend “A”, who introduced me to Michael Card’s music including a presentation of “The Promise” — because that’s where I heard the first time the music speak to my heart… That’s how I REALLY heard the lyrics for REAL, Subaru-style… from the praise band on last year’s Christmas Festival CD that I copied, as gifts from the United Methodist women to out homebound… Must have listened to it a thousand times now, Subaru style… “Come to the cradle, come and find peace, alone in the cradle, simplicity sleeps”…I sang the song in my awakening as I was finding peace – but I did not realize then that I was “chosen” by God. God was trying to bring the Prince of Peace to me – and so I reached out for prayer to my generous guiding friends – and asked for prayers for discernment… fitting to the lyric: “So you were chosen, and called out for prayer”… YES, being called means God exploded in my head!!!!! Yes, I was called and I gladly thank God for the call…

The concert was amazing … it was so worshipful… it was precious because he was having trouble tuning brand new strings and said ‘ it’s okay to make mistakes, Christians are more apt to like you because you make mistakes.’
I knew it was going to be the most intimate Holy Spirit moving concert but when he started talking about song lyrics he wrote that says ‘give up your pondering… fall down on your knees…’ it brought tears to my eyes because  pondering is one of the major themes and words for this year. Oh how my pastor and I ponder… Pondering IS awesome but when you approach Jesus in the cradle and have to realize that Mary  gave birth  to the God who formed her – gave birth to her – well, you can’t figure that out – so just stop pondering!!! JUST accept God is God and there’s no way for us to understand it all…

He also sang a song written by Michael McDonald whom he sees in the grocery store on occasion in the Nashville area. He talked about how faith in the Old Testament means waiting and faith in the New Testament means following. And he so eloquently stated that “God with us” IS God’s ultimate goal… he recounted the Bible stories that essentially say God wants to walk with us… That is the ultimate goal of God, to be with us.

So the audience loved singing “El Shaddai”… then we finished by singing Christmas carols together as a congregation – it was the most worshipful …

On my way out the door I got my goodbye hug in and Michael told me he loves people, he could easily be a recluse instead and just sit in front of the TV flipping channels, but he loves people…

BLESSED…

Why does God like to explode my mind ??? God wants ALL of me… God wants all of you… God wants to “walk with us”!!!

BLESSED to have my mind blown, with no other explanation that God is God… No pondering needed…

My Soul My Soul Must Sing, 17Dec – #319

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My Soul My Soul Must Sing, 17Dec

Worship is such a personal thing, worship with song is even more personal… Only God knows how HIS love touches our souls.

In all worship, Holy Spirit movings are taking place, but it’s how the receiver person tunes that in that changes. And not everyone is on the same wavelength…

Gregorian chanting probably was best understood by those chanting it, but who knows… So what did the probable peasant workers, helping the monks, think about it when they heard it?… Did they understand it? Did they get to talk to the monks who wrote it, and hear the monks salvation stories? probably not..  When they were hearing it, perhaps some found the pulsating repetitive incantations enchanting and moving but some likely did not… Like I said, worship is a personal thing based on what you’re thinking about… God calls us individually in His Own Special Way…

JUST as I stood on Easter Sunday, portraying the resurrected Jarius’ daughter, not many in the crowd knew my story was EXACTLY that story… Jesus took my hand and said “she is simply sleeping, arise!” and I awoke in salvation grace, I felt the hand of Jesus then and I still grab it today, I am ready to be a child of God forever…

This Christmas I will get to read Mary’s part, how awesome is that!!! I pray the HOLY SPIRIT to use me in worship there and everywhere to witness new life IN Christ… and everyday I worship everywhere… I have to, I have SO MUCH of God’s work to do, so I make sure I spiritually feed myself purposefully while praising my realization of His promised Son.

ONLY God knows our hearts and ONLY God can wake us up, we worship to payback the favor, we worship to witness, we worship to rest in Jesus’s arms while we recharge our strength, and we worship to lift others… God’s primary goal is to get us to increase HIS kingdom.

“My Soul My Soul Must Sing”, the lyrics of “Beautiful One” strikes my chord… The intense strumming of the praise band? I understand that deep in my soul, I know the loudness is not for everyone, but I feel it as worship because my soul my soul MUST sing. The lyrics call to me and the band’s intensity matches the explosion of God in my head this year…

Last night after our fitness workout at church, I snuck over to absorb the worship at the praise band’s practice night – this was a treat for me to pause in praise, even if stealthily, with a fellowship of believers. A quick mid-week recharge, time I barely have to spare but time I allow myself respite as an offering of thanks before I am again scooting off to life’s many duties… A moment of praise not in an actual worship service but just as powerful, because I am outside and able to sing really loudly and bee-bop dance without a congregation watching… My car praise is the same way, LOUD… Like I said, God explosions in my head come with music to match…. and I understand the worship from those in the band, is it a different kind of Gregorian Chant and I am a peasant worker appreciating it – I am appreciating that worship is amplified by the collective spirit… If a drummer boy’s humble offerings were amplified by his desire to please a baby Jesus, so are mine. His soul sung with rhythm, he felt every beat – so do I.

“My Soul My Soul Must Sing…”  Worship to me is NOT JUST corporate worship… But everyday thanking Jesus for my second chance to live now and my knowing that living forever is forever being able to witness… “It’s not a great hardship”, as an imagined Easter play would have Jarius’ daughter say, “worship is a way of life”…

“I must give my life to the one who had given it back to me. I have to surrender my desires and follow his teachings instead. It’s not been a terrible sacrifice. After all, if not for Him, I would have no life to give.” 

Thanks God, that I get to help others count their blessings… I feel that facilitating worship in others is God’s plan for me… It is not a great hardship… 

Merry Christmas God, and Happy Easter too!

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Stay Hopeful, Feed your Inner Jesus, 15/18Dec – #318

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Thus was stuck in my drafts, I got the gift of an email last night with the right words to wrap this email up… to wrap my thoughts in swaddling clothes… Smiles….

Our choir director asked me to read the part for Mary in the Christmas eve service… WOW, and he has NO idea of what happened this year to me… I didn’t tell him yet… but I certainly will now… Actually he asked my son to read the child’s role too, my son is “thinking about it”…  I didn’t have to think AT ALL, I figure the HOLY SPIRIT had some hand in this, how could I say no??!!!! I am honored being belief … to “represent” for women who acknowledge Jesus born in them, wow…. Oh how I hope to help the HOLY SPIRIT wherever the wind takes me (just like the Genesis lyric, “Whose seen the wind not you or I, But when the ship moves she’s passing by. Between you and me, I really don’t think she knows where she’s going at all.”…  which mirrors conversations in the spring time about really not knowing where God is taking me on this journey… One year later with Jesus holding me up (no wonder God wanted to lighten Jesus’s load by my 55.5 lbs weight loss LOL), I am still enjoying the ride… Even with the rough spots this year, the light outweighs the dark, always…. I am EVER blessed…

I KNOW it will be the most hectic weekend for ALL of us, so let me take the quiet moment now to wish you ALL and your families a very MERRY CHRISTMAS, or as a friend put it, “a pensive reflection of the true meaning of advent”… Luckily for me Christmas will continue ALL year again next year, I just have that feeling…

Stay Hopeful, Feed your Inner Jesus, 15/18Dec

My bracelet has a black bead with Dead Sea mud in it to remind me to stay hopeful in life’s low points… I recently got to cradle a precious little ten week baby, he took ALL my blues away instantly…. so precious, so BLESSED to be entrusted with a child…
While I was holding him, I could feel him breathing, stretching, and I could feel all his tiny gut gurgles too!!!!  Even though he eventually cried and I didn’t know exactly what was wrong, I could understand that his cry was for attention.

Babies, they remind us that we ALWAYS should “stay hopeful” for their whole lives are in front of them… And we should stay hopeful because our MOST precious Christmas baby is born IN US. We are to know Jesus first as a baby, LOVE HIM, then know Him as a grown man to lead us to eternal life. Jesus is at full ready – to comfort us whenever we ask – but IF we are to take full advantage of knowing and understanding Him in order to be feeling comfort from HIM, well then FIRST WE NEED TO RAISE HIM!!!

If we are just guessing why baby Jesus is crying, then we need to ask Jesus directly and our heavenly Father to help us understand…  Christmas baby Jesus is just like every other baby, and HE will cry…. even though we don’t always know exactly what’s wrong, baby Jesus cries for our attention…

Baby Jesus is hungry for our LOVE and TRUST…

Good God knows I have been blessed with raising a son and a daughter in real life, and now this Christ child growing “in me” actually grew me because I grew HIM.

I was asked to read the part of Mary in our church’s Christmas eve service…. How blessed to portray the woman entrusted with birthing God… How blessed to have God entrust MY salvation to Jesus. How blessed to feed myself on HIS word to nourish my inner Jesus AND the outer Child of God that I am.

While we ourselves become more childlike in appreciation of God, we must devote time to understand how God works in us for God’s greater glory, not ours. We should remember to be thankful we are along for the ride, Jesus is driving…

Jesus is born in us, let us feed HIM forever…. Precious, BLESSED to be entrusted with Jesus…

Mary – Christ – Mother and Child – MERRY CHRISTMAS to us ALL.
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Scripture Lesson (Reader – A Mother)
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” – Luke 1:26-3
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Second Lesson – MY child will read:
– Poetry by Sara Moores Campbell

Give us the spirit of the child.

Give us the child who lives within – the child who trusts, the child who imagines, the child who sings, the child who receives without reservation, the child who gives without judgement.

Give us a child’s eyes, that we may receive the beauty and freshness of this day like a sunrise.

Give us a child’s ears, that we may hear the music of mythical times.

Give us a child’s heart, that we may be filled with wonder and delight.

Give us a child’s faith, that we may be cured of our cynicism.

Give us the spirit of the child, who is not afraid to need, who is not afraid to love. Amen.

– Poetry by Sara Moores Campbell

MERRY CHRISTMAS LORD, 15DEC – #316

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MERRY CHRISTMAS LORD, 15DEC

Merry Christmas Lord,
Thanks only to YOU.
Merry Christmas Lord,
My best gift was YOU.
Merry Christmas Lord,
You will never leave me,
nor I YOU.
Jesus is OUR glue.
Merry Christmas Lord,
Like the full moon,
You and I will shine on thru.
MERRY CHRISTMAS LORD,
From ME to YOU.

A Very MERRY Subaru CHRISTMAS, 14DEC – #315

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A Very MERRY Subaru CHRISTMAS, 14DEC

I’m so pleased that as a result of being too cheap to get my windshield gasket replaced that I have created a great platform for my craftiness… I am NOT an artist but I’m definitely a hot glue gun crafter… so I thought of this decoration instantly for Christmas… A foam nativity plus three dollar store wreaths of leaves and flowers that I cut up…  a Subaru nativity scene…

I cannot be more pleased as I am this year to display baby Jesus on the outside of my car – because He came to me on the inside of my car!!! He took the driver’s seat and drove me to salvation. My car remains an important tabernacle to me, but it’s just a tool, it’s just a car, but I love it….

I kept losing the baby Jesus’s from multiple foam craft nativity scenes over the years…. they would just disappear then just show up in random places… one even stuck to my arm while I was sleeping… and so I even had to craft new babies to make those sets complete…  and of course, because I am a thinkerer, I contemplate “WHY?” why that happened… Yes, I see where my faith WAS and where it is NOW…  those little baby Jesus’s kept trying to sneak in to my heart but I had my brain firmly against it… it’s not lost on me that others are like that too, all year round they lose that little baby Jesus’s meaning… So, when my brain opened and my Christmas Flood (dec17writing) occurred,  no hot glue gun was needed to make Jesus stick… And he remains there because Jesus is the glue that keeps me whole….

Eternally stronger then the hot glued foam baby on my car racing down the highway at 73.5 miles an hour (I mean 65) this real divine baby Jesus will stick with me – in my heart – forever. I will keep him in my heart and have Christmas everyday…. Last year I wanted to be Mary, now this Christmas I AM – I’m here – stronger than ever – more at peace then ever – and ever more ready to face the world’s new challenges in the new year with now grown-up Jesus holding me up by my heart and by my hand.

One last decoration for my car will be to string the lights on the roof, yup, I borrowed a special converter box for the car lighter – not only for the glue gun, but for these lights…. It takes a special converter for displaying God’s LOVE too….that converter is called Jesus – Emmanuel – God with us…  Yes, God sent the biggest and brightest star of all when HE gave us Jesus…and HE IS FREE!!!  But WE need to choose to PLUG HIM IN… Unplug the security barriers, and insead plug Jesus into our hearts, only then will HIS LIGHT shine most brightly thru us.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to and from God’s Subaru… Subaru means “to unite”…

Praying that JESUS ALWAYS shines HIS LIGHT through our hearts, our words, our eyes and our smiles!

Amen

GOD WITH US, 11DEC2015 – #314

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GOD WITH US, 11DEC2015
I awoke from a car nap (usually I am driving but I needed a break)… A ten minute nap, Subaru-style… I awoke to see 3 faint stars, I focused on the most faint… Wow, I realized instantly it was the Pleiades… Wow, how does that happen??? That’s my Subaru logo, It’s a special constellation I write about all the time… It’s visible only as six stars (although there are hundreds)… I sometimes feel to be the seventh of the mythical seven sisters that the stars are associated with…. Yeah God? So how DOES that happen that I wake up and YOU logistically have me perfectly zero-ed in on the faint tiniest but BEST set of stars??

It’s God with us… Yup… It’s us attributing life’s little gifts that make us smile to God because all good things come from God…

God’s best gift? Emmanuel…. JESUS!!!

I was singing “Emmanuel” in a Christmas song yesterday and thinking, “Umm, I don’t remember the right translation for Emmanuel….oops!! God knows I am not perfect… I googled it, of course…  OH YEAH, Emmanuel means “GOD WITH US”…  We know God sent Jesus to us because He loves us – but why? God sent Jesus to be human while still being God – to live, die, and rise – to forgive our sins – and give us eternal life with God… Plus, Jesus had to leave to let the Holy Spirit come as “Another” part of God… It’s logistically amazing how Jesus got here… to be with ALL of us… We are made by the stardust materials made by God, so it makes sense that it is Jesus holding us together when we feel content or upset… God with us… God with us gives a more content feeling than the content feeling of sipping a cup of tea with a friend like I had today, more content than the peace that I had sitting and absorbing praise band music last night, more content than waking up from a Subaru- nap… Jesus IN us, Jesus WITH us….. Yes, ETERNAL contentment…

I wondered, while watching the Pleiades, about Jesus coming to forgive our sins… I ask forgiveness for mine, but I wondered how do we atone (how do I atone) for sins that we DON’T EVEN KNOW we committed or when were just sinfully complacent??? God often answers me with a shooting star (dozens this year)… so yeah, a nice short steak I saw just now was certainly appreciated, God…. It’s God with us… I know we can’t atone what we don’t remember, but who can? JESUS… That’s why God IS with us, that’s Emmanuel, that’s Jesus coming, living, dying on a star-shaped cross, then rising to atone us ALL, It’s God’s logistics… Amazing huh? But perfectly logical for God… God knows our sins and forgives even what we can’t forgive in ourselves.

The fire of a shooting star burns out, but it’s really the fire of God we want to look for… to sustain us… THAT fire burns eternal because of where we keep it, where we stoke it…. THAT FIRE IS IN OUR HEARTS…

My son recently noticed the stars too, when we were outside the city lights – they were intensely bright and numerous. I told him about that shooting star, and he asked if I made a wish… I didn’t, but I will now – AND I will tell my wish to you… I wish for you and everyone to follow their God-given star to find Jesus for forgiveness, for contentment, for eternal life. But may I suggest to all that they DON’T just look up to the skies for that one star, like the Wiseman did, because it’s not there… THAT star you won’t see by looking up, but instead you will see the star when you LOOK IN… God’s logistics put those bright stars INSIDE our hearts… Look for Jesus there, internally, you will find HIM, you can feed him, you will feel HIM grow, and you will want to share HIM – always!

If you can’t see or feel the fire yet, or if it needs re-stoking in your heart, then my wish is for you to walk by faith not just by star-sight… Read of God’s wishes in scripture,… I wish for you to seek others who shine their Jesus lights openly…. Open your hearts and “release your guilt and breathe”…  Sharing Jesus with others lets oxygen into your own fire…

Jesus is the promised Emmanuel…..
God IS with us….

IT’S CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY IN OUR HEARTS!

MERRY CHRISTMAS

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Transformation, 08 DEC and Tom Petty, 08DEC – #313

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Transformation, 08 DEC and Tom Petty, 08DEC
Most of the time I am struck with a thought that I can’t get out of my head until I write it… sometimes I acknowledge it and say “Not now God”, but that haunts me…. sometimes I want to write… and sometimes I HAVE to write, no choice.  Not to begrudge the moment, but I say “OK God, I will write this quickly and then I have to get up, get moving and onto my earthly duties”, of which we all have plenty…  sometimes I get lost in my writing and go off on a tangent  that I didn’t want and have to reel it in.  Often I feel the need to split jumbled thoughts to write but the truth is that God layers them in to work in concert…I appreciate the encouragements of my co-workers for God who want to help people find saving grace, and I too want to be one – forever to serve… With a music therapy flood of Tom Petty Songs at the same time as flooded thoughts I wrote separate pieces – but I send them out together… and these ones were not quick – olus I sometimes get trapped in editing ugh…

When I feel God forces me to write, it sometimes interferes with earthly life – it’s just the time factor is a problem – not the thoughts themselves – it is God who knows best how I struggle to process this explosion of God in my head – and  I can’t get them all out and down – I just have to move on sometimes… God knows that – and like today instead He simply sends music to just accompany my thoughts – so I DON’T have to write it out – I can just sing along with that child of God who is singing on my wavelength of understanding God, like today it is Tom Petty…

OK God, for this writing I definitely appreciate your guidance… I WILL be STILLED enough to get these pieces out  – I will be still and pause and praise You when you force me to write and I appreciate the time you penciled in so that I get to work on my thoughts, YOU are guiding me to “something good coming” just like Tom Petty sings…

Devotion #1

Transformation, 08DEC

This is an encouragement to my fellow faith workers – please keep working – keep planting those seeds of faith…. Don’t lose hope when some people don’t get it…  It especially hurts if they can’t even see the transformation in you as something that comes from God… Some people are blind or simply doubt…  Yes folks, real spiritual and physical attributes truly change people when they give their lives over to Jesus. Not everyone can understand that…  or they simply don’t believe it happens…  Some folks DON’T want to acknowledge that changes might happen to them as well – and don’t realize that they need to use their OWN FREE WILL to make those changes – oh yeah, they are scared – they don’t want to give up their limited understanding of their lives – they are just hold on grasping their earthy desires and sinful ways.

God’s plan might scare some, but I know many many people who DO take the final plunge into Naaman’s river – they accept Jesus fully and have been completely transformed…  and those who don’t? well… yeah, it’s a shame – and honestly I have to say that I think that it is NOT always their fault that they don’t understand transformations.

Jesus encourages faith workers, He said if you are not welcomed into a house then shake the sand off your shoes and move (Luke 9:5) and in Revelation it is stated that not everyone will be saved by the time of Jesus at the second coming…. So I send this note today to my fellow worker bees of Christ, to encourage them – they are doing a great job so far – and let’s keep working – and don’t get upset that everyone is not yet where we are…  we do what work we can – we try to be efficient to work God’s plan.  We are trying to wake up as many people as possible to the saving grace of Jesus, but we have to start at square one with some folks – square two might be to at least get them to acknowledge adherence to the Ten Commandments – or maybe because we too sin so much just over the ten commandments we too have to let folks know God is a forgiving God. We DO have a lot of God’s work to do as His hands and feet while we are here on Earth, don’t we??? So, put your sandals on my faith co-workers, let’s keep moving…)

Although many may have seen our changes they don’t want to acknowledge that it was God that changed us. Is it because they are afraid they would get pulled that way too?. .. Are they just are blind or not tuned in?… Are they are standing on a different wavelength??? Maybe…   Eventually we hope that God shakes their wave, increases the frequency of His faith guiding strikes and He knocks then down to another wavelength, until they find that salvation transformation… Sometimes that will never happen because they grip too tight to their current lives… God has many rooms in HIS house, therefore He has many waves of salvation…. we can only pray some people catch a wave at some point.

I have a sweet friends and they might NEVER understand what happened to me in the way I think they could … They won’t comprehend the way Jesus-mediated transformations occur. And even though I try to explain, they can’t get it, BUT that’s OK… Yes we will remind folks, but He our Lord is the only One who will convince folks to take up Jesus and grow Him in their heart. Accepting Jesus causes spillways of goodness into the rest of our lives… Some see it, some don’t… So my faith friends – keep working…  At the bare minimum, God has ALWAYS has given us our smiles… even those who DON’T know smiles are from God can still smile back…

So yes, there are many waves of God’s works – individually tuned to each person – these tunes sound so sweet when you are part of God’s almighty band… With a Salvation acknowledgement comes a wondrous transformation… It’s a Jesus “pick me up” for sure.

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Devotion #2

Music Therapy – Tom Petty – Something Good Coming – Somewhere Under Heaven – Saving Grace

So – yeah – God put that thought of understanding Jesus transformation in my head – that other people are on different wavelengths of Jesus’s light, and I wanted to encourage the workers out there…  So, while writing I listened to all these Tom Petty songs – because music is an awesome way to focus me – and so I am pleased to hear them as embellishments to God’s scriptures – they are interpretations of God’s children that speak to me….  “I am just a singer in God’s Rock of Ages band” to modify that great Moody Blues line…

So – for music therapy here is my “the director’s cut” description of my Transformations devotion – three songs: Something Good Coming – Somewhere Under Heaven – Saving Grace…  I acknowledge them as God-focusing songs to me, but I didn’t want to clutter the writing above, so in post script let me explain them on my wavelength, which may be so different in wavelength then most people’s…

With a Salvation acknowledgement comes a wondrous transformation… It’s a Jesus “pick me up” for sure…

“Something Good Coming” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – yep, “somethin’ good comin’ ” is SALVATION in God’s house  – I know how it feels and I know I need to stay in this “God state of mind” (Thanks Billy Joel) which enables me to continually appreciate that all things are from God – yes, and I will “ride the river” and I will stay focused on God even though honestly there ARE distracting pulls (I know you must have them too because I certainly do) — but Jesus wants me to “HOLD ON”  and I will!!!!  I KNOW  “Somethin’ good comin’ ” Tom sings “I know it will –  And I’m in for the long run – Wherever it goes – Ridin’ the river – Wherever it goes” –  – – I truly wish everyone understood that holding onto their faith is the best part of saving grace… I LOVE riding this river. I am just happy there is a river!!!

“Somewhere Under Heaven” – Tom Petty – This is so easy for me to see that Tom is singing about me, after I DID give my whole life over… Jesus pulled me into the eye of a hurricane of life; there I find rest in HIS arms!!! There is another “Eye of the Hurricane” Paul Simon song too, that I have written about as well… Tom sings about people like me, because I hit an understanding that when Jesus holds me (and I trust in Jesus’ arms) then sometimes He just lets me DANCE in delight (another song is “I will delight in the Love of the Lord…”), I don’t just get lost in his loving arms, I get to dance in the rain…  Tom sings “In the eye of a hurricane, Little Jenny would dance in the rain”…. Yeah, it’s me… “smell the earth and sky – and off her mind would go….” Yeah – that’s me…It’s not hard for me to feel that lyric.. and this one too, where God says “Hold on to what LOVE you find. You’re gonna need all you can get”… THAT, my friends, is what we ALL have to do – that is the LOVE of Jesus…. Don’t let go… Another song pertains here too, Genesis “You’re Own Special Way”… Yes, I have written about that being me too, many times Jesus has been pulling me up, out of the water, when I grab and hold on to HIS hand… “Don’t let go”

“Saving Grace” Tom Petty – The lyric is about running to find the saving Grace and knowing that “there’s a corner of the floor – They’re telling you is yours – You’re confident but not really sure – And it’s hard to say who you are these days – but you run on anyway – don’t you baby? You keep running for another place – to find that saving grace”…  Yes, it was clear that I stopped running and found Jesus by virtue of God’s saving grace – and I wish others would find and accept that too – all us working with Christ…. but it’s in God’s timing for them to acknowledge that they HAVE saving grace. They are on their own wavelengths and we can only shake those waves and pray they wake up to hold onto their faith – God says only a few get thru – when we see those that are on the tipping point of acknowledging their saving grace it is exciting to see their transformations – but we are not responsible for that – we are just seed planters – and God will do the rest…  but yeah – I want to help God out and tell of HIS Good Works…

Smiles God, thanks for the songs, thanks Jesus for the lift – thanks for the Jesus pick me up and thanks for the dance – I will dance in this Christmas Flood everyday if I can – I will dance “somewhere under heaven”

 

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“Something Good Coming” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

https://youtu.be/rSvlJe1mwlw

I’m watching the water

Watching the coast

Suddenly I know

What I want the most

And I want to tell you

Still I hold back

I need some time

Get my life on track

I know that look on your face

But there’s somethin’ lucky about this place

And there’s somethin’ good comin’

For you and me

Somethin’ good comin’

There has to be

And I’m thinking ’bout mama

And about the kids

And the way we lived

And the things we did

How she never had a chance

Never caught a break

And how we pay for our big mistakes

I know so well the look on your face

And there’s somethin’ lucky about this place

There’s somethin’ good comin’

Just over the hill

Somethin’ good comin’

I know it will

And I’m in for the long run

Wherever it goes

Ridin’ the river

Wherever it goes

And I’m an honest man

Work’s all I know

You take that away

Don’t know where to go

And I know that look that’s on your face

There’s somethin’ lucky about this place

There’s somethin’ good comin’

For you and me

Somethin’ good comin’

There has to be

————–

“Somewhere Under Heaven” Tom Petty

https://youtu.be/hqp6euOfd6E

Jenny’s father was a working man
He worked hard to be his best
In the middle of the afternoon
He would give little Jenny a kiss

Somewhere under Heaven
In the eye of a hurricane
Little Jenny would dance in the rain

In the afternoon thunderstorms
The Sun’s shadow’s movin’ slow
She could smell the earth and sky
And off her mind would go

Somewhere under Heaven
In a field of sugarcane
Little Jenny would dance in the rain

One day you’re gonna fall in love
One day you’re gonna pay the rent
Hold on to what love you find
You’re gonna need all you can get

Somewhere under Heaven
In the eye of a hurricane
Little Jenny would dance in the rain

Somewhere under Heaven
Somewhere under Heaven

——————
“Saving Grace” Tom Petty

https://youtu.be/vPYFWnzjIy0

I’m passing sleeping cities
Fading by degrees
Not believing all I see to be so

I’m flyin’ over backyards
Country homes and ranches
Watching life between the branches below

And it’s hard to say
Who you are these days
But you run on anyway
Don’t you baby?

You keep running for another place
To find that saving grace

I’m moving on alone over ground that no one owns
Past statues that atone for my sins
There’s a guard on every door
And a drink on every floor
Overflowing with a thousand amens

And it’s hard to say
Who you are these days
But you run on anyway
Don’t you baby?

You keep running for another place
To find that saving grace
Don’t you baby?

You’re rolling up the carpet
Of your father’s two-room mansion
No headroom for expansion no more
And there’s a corner of the floor
They’re telling you is yours
You’re confident but not really sure

And it’s hard to say
Who you are these days
But you run on anyway
Don’t you baby?

You keep running for another place
To find that saving grace

Don’t you baby?

You keep running for another place
To find that saving grace

Don’t you baby?

 

It’s Christmas time to “Come and Find Peace” 06DEC – #312B

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It’s Christmas time to “Come and Find Peace” 06DEC
……
It’s an annual anniversary this evening of me hearing a song that moved me beyond belief just ONLY one year ago… “Come to the Cradle”…”come and find peace”… I should say that it moved me INTO belief!

I found my PEACE with Jesus by acquiring him into my brain and grew Him in my heart. He WAS already seeded there, an immaculate birth only God could have made in me. God KNEW, Jesus grew. It was my time, so Jesus shined.

This Christmas gift of Jesus coming to me as a baby, I have surely treasured,  I have shared, and I have grown…. I have grown Jesus ALL year, and now my gift this year is FROM ME to HIM, a gift of my LIFE.

It’s true, I did keep my mystical musical merry-go-round of Christmas ALL year… And I had JOY to the Lord… On top of “Come to the Cradle”, I now have layered many new songs all year… Including “All in All” because truly God is EVERYTHING to me. And there is nothing like hearing old songs that are like new to my reborn ears…. And now, a newest song lyric, Holy Spirited to a friend who has the God-gift to write it all down and layer it with mystical music…. “Oh Jesus we give you OUR lives” … I have sang it a hundred times this week in TRUTH!!! I hear it strike a chord for all of us who have come to Christ, with a reminder of “humble hearts”, especially at Christmas…

Being proud of Jesus in us is NOT the message here… Being humbled – that WE NEED JESUS – IS THE MESSAGE…
5 “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. ”

In due time I will be lifted by God’s hand from my sinful ways… EVERYDAY my Father asks me to recommit myself to Jesus, ever day he sends signs, guiding me by FAITH and LIGHT. God knows how to emotionally remind me that I am nothing without Him, I am everything for HIM.

I get to teach Sunday school today about how God humbled a mighty king, by taking his mind away, made him an animal, then restored him (Daniel 4, KING NEBUCHADNEZZAR ). He was lifted when he recommitted to God.

In due time we can all be lifted by God’s hand… EVERYDAY our Father asks us to recommit to Jesus, everyday He sends signs, guiding by FAITH and LIGHT.

Be humble, be filled with Christ, BE STILL. Come and find PEACE.

I begin this new gifted day today, praising…
My devotion today to my Lord, fittingly is with Psalm “52”:
“But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
for ever and ever.
9 For what you have done I will always praise you
in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name,
for your name is good.”

Amen… I truly believe…

 

“52”, 06DEC – #312A

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“52”, 06DEC

“52, why God?”

I have written about God and silly numbers before, but the last few days have been ridiculous… I have stumbled upon or caught the eye of that number “52” probably TEN TIMES everyday for the last few days…whew…. The time shines at the 52 minute mark about five times a day, the temperature shows 52, a video stops at the 52 mark, the mileage on my car stops with a 52, my phone battery hits 52% just as look up, obviously my house number is 52, my late cousin’s age 52, Santa’s autograph book yesterday had a random giant 52 written by a child above his name… Lest you think I am going crazy, can YOU EVEN imagine how I feel??? I am staggered by God overwhelming me…. My analytical mind coupled with my melted heart explodes this Christmas…. And the reason???  I think God is trying to distract ME from ME. And he does this in fun ways (oh the joys of the last week!!!), I am distracted from anxiety-riddled ways and therefore fortified in clear, sober and necessary discussions… And yes, with the number 52, He is trying to humble me, reminding me that ALL my joy flows from HIM!

But honestly I don’t know…

God requests that we gently humble ourselves… Trust me, minor humbling is better than major humbling…  It’s better that I just trip in my new shoes, both in my faith shoes and on my feet, then to fall hard… God says “pay attention!!!”… “Stay on task”. God is conditioning and commissioning me…

I know God is reminding me all this thru my trials, my thorns…. He says: “I got this…. Remember?” Psalm 46 reminds me to be like a river….  “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day”.

Yes, like HE reminds me,  And I plead to you all: let God remind YOU TOO who is in charge: “7 Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”  1st Peter 5.

“Be still and KNOW I AM GOD.”…. Psalm 46…. God STILL knows how to STILL me, to emotionally and physically remind me that I am nothing without Him, I need to be everything for HIM.

This week He sends “52” to me, next week it will be something new, God likes to mix it up… God repeats himself until I get the message. The message is “I woke you (like Jarius’ daughter) now DON’T fall asleep!!!”… God says you are young now but you are rapidly growing into an elder not because you must but because you ARE willing (1Peter 5)… Elders must take their roles seriously, “NOT lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock”.
——
Scriptures:

1 Peter 5New International Version (NIV)

To the Elders and the Flock
5 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

5 In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud    but shows favor to the humble.”
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings
12 With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.

13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

—–
Psalm 46
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the Lord has done,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease
to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

——-
Psalm 52
For the director of music

1 Why do you boast of evil, you mighty hero?
Why do you boast all day long,
you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?
2 You who practice deceit,
your tongue plots destruction;
it is like a sharpened razor.
3 You love evil rather than good,
falsehood rather than speaking the truth.[c]
4 You love every harmful word,
you deceitful tongue!
5 Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:
He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living.
6 The righteous will see and fear;
they will laugh at you, saying,
7 “Here now is the man
who did not make God his stronghold
but trusted in his great wealth
and grew strong by destroying others!”
8 But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
for ever and ever.
9 For what you have done I will always praise you
in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name,
for your name is good.

52 312A

Tiny Tim, 05DEC – #311

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Tiny Tim, 05DEC

Surely we worry – even though Philippians 4:6 states that we should “Not worry but pray”… “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Surely I DO trust in the Lord – surely I DO pray and I DO listen and I DO petition and I DO accept and I DO give great thanksgiving to God everyday… I say “I DO” like a bride of the church to Jesus…  And I DO know that I have been saved for eternity by His death and resurrection and keep Him alive in and thru my heart.

And yet…  Anxious…  Worry… Yeah how can we be expected to not be anxious?  That is a tough one – we are anxious – and often that does motivate us… It’s human nature and that is one sin I cannot yet shake…  but I am working on it… God knows, I truly am.

God wants us to praise Him – He is the founder of our feast – our maker -our Father – and we are such lucky children that we were gifted Jesus in our own flesh – and we get to carry Him always and we get to  understand that HE LOVES US!

Psalm 91 is recited in the 1951 Scrooge/ A Christmas Carol by the family of Tiny Tim – who had such hope and petition – and yet mourned his death – surely they also thought the Lord would rescue Tiny Tim – I think that Tiny Tim never doubted his salvation and he was to be delivered to a better place – rescued into Heaven – “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

So,  I know the prayer of Psalm 91 DOESN’T mean that I will NEVER enter a state of harm here on Earth – because we are all frail humans and at the mercy of humans. We are at the whim of our earth…  I have seen so many many good souls who are struck down here on Earth – but I know that God’s purpose and plan is NOT ours to understand.  Wasn’t even Jesus struck down in his prime? Yes, He was… And Tiny Tim reminds us with his sweet demeanor that God rescued him from tormenting himself about his situation – God gave him a cheery disposition – and Tiny Tim had acknowledgement of HIS purpose –  to remind us – he stated that perhaps he was the way he was so “everyone could KNOW THE ONE that made the lame walk and the blind see.” Tim used himself to teach about God…

We can NOT use our troubles and trials as an excuse to be angry with God – or think that He is not listening… we have to GIVE God thanks because He DOES listen and we DO have life with purpose to live here on Earth – and someday He will bring us the best everlasting life… We are to keep Christmas EVERYDAY here on Earth – and remember to stay in Christ always and keep working the Spirit of Christ within us and SHINE HIS LIGHT thru us – no matter how we feel  – no matter what – God purposes us to rise above ourselves and be with Him.

SURELY God will certainly keep us forever… We will feast in Christ – “Christ – mas” means Christ feast – and he will grow in us always and give us Peace.

God Bless Us – Everyone

 ————————–

Psalm 91 NIV

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

God is Beautiful, 04Dec – #310

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God is Beautiful, 04Dec
I can see photosynthesis working in a Christmas way.

I can see Christmas working God’s WAY.

I can set myself right into the plants thylakoid stacks and dance around with the protons and electrons… I am happy blessed to have glimpsed the natural beauty of life by scientific exploration…. How elegant it all works in miniature, harvesting light into energy….

I can appreciate it all without understanding all the complexity.

I can appreciate God’s plan complexity without understanding all the details.

I can follow God’s LIGHT…

A glittery cross scatters light like music to my eyes…
The promises of life everlasting swirl…

Light intensifies…
Light internalizes energy…

How elegant the world works in silent concert for wholeness…
How beautiful it is displayed for us to appreciate….

Light scatters and dances…
Light spills into and out of our souls…
Light splits into rainbow promises…
We can feel the rainbow…

The LIGHT energizes and makes us WHOLE…
The LIGHT internalizes and makes us smile…

God is beautiful…

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Revelations in Music Therapy – Patchwork Quilt Bible, 03DEC – #309

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Revelation in Music Therapy – Patchwork Quilt Bible, 03DEC

Ah – my Music therapy became a great bible lesson today – the whole book of Revelation in song!

I have never read the whole Revelation chapter – but it sounds fabulously complex as a song – it’s Genesis – 1970’s – “Supper’s Ready” – I really really love how the music changes over the course of  – and I really really love the image of being in the bride of Christ – my blue eyes are ready for HIS…

Of course reading the scripture is key – and there is so much to understand in it… it will take me a while to tease it all out of the song – but yeah – end times is going to be some crazy unreal set of events – whenever it happens!  (and actually I hear that Revelation events might be ongoing, hmmm…).

I am not embarrassed to say that I have not read everything in the Bible – and certainly God has brought me to a place where He will feed scripture to me – even in song – so I wrote this statement for God – thanking Him for making me His patchwork quilt:

I am a patchwork quilt of Bible understanding – God makes a warm blanket out of me even though my bible knowledge looks to be a patchwork quilt made of a multitude of bible scraps… God’s WORD is sewn delicately and strongly together into my heart by God’s gentle hands…

——————————–

Here’s the whole book of Revelation – so complex – I love that at the end Jesus will come for his Bride, the church:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+1&version=NIV

12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

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

——————————-

 

Here is part of the Genesis song:

https://youtu.be/szJq1lwnkNw

Supper’s Ready – Genesis

[I. Lovers’ Leap]

Walking across the sitting-room, I turn the television off.

Sitting beside you, I look into your eyes.

As the sound of motor cars fades in the night time,

I swear I saw your face change… it didn’t seem quite right.

…And it’s “hello babe, with your guardian eyes so blue.

Hey my baby – don’t you know our love is true.”

 

Coming closer with our eyes, a distance falls around our bodies.

Out in the garden, the moon seems very bright,

Six saintly shrouded men move across the lawn slowly.

The seventh walks in front… with a cross held high in hand.

…And it’s “hey babe, your Supper’s waiting for you.

Hey my baby, don’t you know our love is true.”

 

I’ve been so far from here,

Far from your warm arms.

It’s good to feel you again,

It’s been a long long time. Hasn’t it?

LOVE COURAGEOUSLY, 03Dec – #308

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LOVE COURAGEOUSLY, 03Dec
It’s clear that being a child of God not only gives you the youthfulness to see God as a wonderment, but it also gives you the strength to use God as YOUR guide and NOT rely on YOUR own understanding of the world….

With these mass shootings in the last few days, and even small sins and everything in between, we know forever in history that some of the world’s people are and have been convoluted and imperfect… Sadly, this is NOT new but better publicized and certainly more immediate in our minds… today we see more weapons of mass destruction as opposed to simply pouring boiling oil over the castle walls… poisoning ones neighbor, or even sending atomic bombs to kill innocent lives…

God is a courage builder… It’s up to us to progress… to progress into practicing PEACE… to commit to a path to move our anger into teaching, reaching and love, just like Jesus did. Jesus came into a tumultuous world and it remained that way when he ascended… It’s up to us now. It really is…

The recent mass shootings… Oh the anger is all around us and sometimes even worse is the complacency of ignorance… Evil begets more evil… when anger becomes retaliation it is used as an excuse by many to produce more anger… It’s a never ending cycle. The world does not owe anyone a place in it. The world does not owe anyone peace. The world going against you does not mean or give you the right to go against it. You must accept and improve your lot in life, but not at the expense of other lives… Oh how we sinfully forget that as a society.

But how do we not become complacent Lord and how do we not perpetuate that sin of hate?

LOVE, Jesus said LOVE courageously… How? How to love your enemies? How to love yourself? No matter what  – the advice has to be put into practice. Love comes from God – all love.

The bible says the way to love is to forgive… You can’t find forgiveness from God without forgiving others. And yes, it’s hard to forgive or understand mass shootings, it’s hard to live in a weird world where brother kills brother… But God never promised you a garden here on earth, rose or otherwise… God promised us an eternal life if you can find your way, narrow but sure…

Jesus was angry too!!! Was it because so many sinners were complacent?, perhaps not angry THAT they sinned, but angry because they had NO remorse and didn’t want to change?…. Status quo?… Jesus did not hate them but He did petition His Father’s forgiveness for ALL of them.

The world has too many pockets of status quo, of ignorance and want, of complacency…. People sometimes say that other people’s problems are not theirs to worry about – but honestly they are, because other people’s problems are God’s problems…  and God’s problems are our problems too….

The world doesn’t function as one whole being and therefore it’s not surprising that the world does not want to change… But YOU can change, you can buck the trend of hate, you can LOVE.

Love courageously, LOVE to live up to God’s challenge…

If God gave up HIS son for US, we could help God by not killing the rest of his children… Learning to live with all of God’s children…

And we could take on some of God’s problems by taking on some of the world’s problems and making a difference in it. We can make a difference, rely not on your own understanding  but ask God where to put you to work.

How to love your enemy? God ONLY knows….
Help them Oh Lord, help them, help us stop the violence…
But more immediately Lord, help us learn how to not be complacent with the people’s problems in the world, and please teach us how to Live to Forgive just like your son…
….and please guide us children, oh Father, as we learn how to LOVE courageously… walking by faith not by sight… We are courageous for YOU because we have YOU in us. We love because you love.

Amen

Yes, My Elf on the Shelf, There is a Real Jesus, 30 NOV – #307

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Yes, My Elf on the Shelf, There is a Real Jesus, 30 NOV

It’s quite often that I bump into a conversation about God and Jesus – and tonight I have to pause to tell you that I got to share the REAL meaning of Christmas with one of the most important people in my life – my son. My son IS my elf on the shelf – my director of activities, my wisdom-speaking genius – the most thoughtful kid ever known to man. He is my baby – he and my daughter are my joys – they are why I work, why I have life insurance, why I lost weight, why I am up out of bed before anyone and why I go to bed well after everyone – they are my purpose, they make me a mom blessed to raise them.

And tonight, over a conversation about an elf on the shelf, I witnessed a miracle and told of a miracle…

SO – elf – my elf is adorable, 11 years old, a thinker – a gentle and sensitive soul… he can explain a bible lesson to me better than anyone after hearing it just once – he takes it to his heart – he truly believes in Jesus and God. But as any eleven year old – he still needs training – he still needs guidance – he is still a product of our society – robbing children of their child-like wonder and making them grow up too fast. Blessedly my elf wanted to clean (yeah unheard of) the living room area so that we could start our Christ-mas village and especially cute is how he set up the nativity scene because he wanted his robotic dinosaur to be looking at the baby Jesus. He patiently waited for me to get off the phone – and sure, it was a very important phone call, but he was waiting and he is much more important than anything else swirling in my life right now. So yes, I shut my phone off and refocused all my attention to him – I only have my little ones for a few more years – and I need to focus on them – my plans are secondary…. God will put me where HE wants me, and not where he doesn’t, and I am not sad at lost opportunities because God’s plans are MUCH better than mine.

So, my adorable elf paused after setting the baby Jesus into the manger scene and then he asked the age old question – “Mom, people say Santa is your parents – and people say your parents move the elf on the shelf” – pause – pregnant poignant pause – what is mom going to say?  I replied “Well… what do YOU think?”  He answers that “I think Santa is God and Jesus and the presents drop from heaven” – pregnant pause – but I of course feel blessedly empowered to explain this: “Well, that is a great thought, but why did God send Jesus to us? – it wasn’t for toys and presents – so why is Jesus God’s present to us? ” – my son says “to give us forgiveness for our sins” – “Yes, but why did Jesus have to forgive us” – “Ummm…” – it is now that I know my mission everyday is to teach why – “Jesus was a gift from God to us – to forgive us from our sins so that …., why?” – “Ummm…” – “Jesus wants us to have ETERNAL —-” – “LIFE!” … Yes! – I knew that bible lesson was in that 11 year old head somewhere – and I hope and pray it stays in his heart and grows there – “Jesus came to save US by forgiveness to give US ETERNAL LIFE with God in Heaven” – silence – pause – thinking – processing… And absorbing ones faith takes time – takes repetition – takes teaching but most importantly reaching and nourishing conversations….

“So Mom – what about the elf on the shelf? – can you tell me if parents move him?”… Ok – time to come clean – I know that it is important to tell the truth and I say “Yes – your parents move your elf” – silence – pause – thinking – processing..… our elf on the shelf was not intended to be that – he is a GREEN elf – an ornament from the 40’s? 50’s? well before this myth started and I was not too pleased to hear the hoopla about it (sorry folks who have fun – but it’s quite a feat to generate even more work for yourself due to a successful movie) – yeah I wasn’t going to buy into it… but my then 9 year old wide-eyed and precious boy discovers this ornament in the box and declares that we have an elf on the shelf – and thank you God he didn’t know that the elf was supposed to be moved every day because neither did I – whew! and then the following year, after he was safely whisked away to Santa’s land at the end of the season, my then ten year old waited patiently for his return… Ummm… where did he go?… Ummm – where is “Hider”? – lost – hmmm… now what?  Yikes, oh dear – and I looked and I looked – and “Hider” was in such the safest spot – that he was so safe that I forgot where he was… rats… crushed hopes for a patient young soul… So my son writes “Hider” a note – about how he is the best hider in the world and how much he loves him – sigh… mom has failed – mom, who never wanted this myth perpetrated, is now caught in the middle of a sad boy longing for his elf… sigh… So tonight – tonight I came clean – I answered truthfully a natural progression of an eleven year old’s questioning… Probably the most important conversation about God that I have had this year – reinforcing that God sent Jesus to be real – to be real for each and every one of us – he wants Jesus in our own hearts to grow us to God – to remind us that we are HIS children… So next question – my son went to go ask his Father the tough next question – “Do you really have Santa’s phone number?” – I paused – I was in peace that I came clean about the elf and that I also shared the Good News!!! – AND THEN I SAW THIS RANDOM TIN CAN – and I don’t know why I picked it up –  I felt something draw me to that can – and poof – there he was!!! “Hider” – our elf – over two years LOST – LOST I tell you – and poof – within three minutes of sharing Jesus – of knocking that elf myth down a notch – there he was – hidden in that can for two years… my son hugs “Hider” and says “I am going to put him in the nativity – he is going to watch baby Jesus for us” – yeah – oh my tears – “YES MY Elf on the Shelf, there is a REAL Jesus.” There is no better blessing than to witness Jesus being born every day in people – especially your own children…

See, I think knowing Jesus is often born in us in stages – we get only enough understanding each time so that each individual can process at that very moment… And so yeah – Jesus is this miracle gift – I understand this in JOY and tonight in tears, when I was stilled by God… I thank you Lord for YOUR hand on my life and in my thoughts – on my family – guiding me every day is a miracle because God IS REAL – Jesus is REAL – the Holy Spirit alive and well – trust me – I know this – I just do – I really really do…

Jesus came to save YOU – to save us – in order to reach us into God’s eternal life – in order for US to reach the others… We want to be REACHING the others – near and far – we have more work to do – and our Father wants us to work at it – and He will reward us with a God-sighting WOW moment when we see His hand at work – it’s not silly- it’s just God watching me and knowing – thanks God… See, I talked about Jesus’s purpose – we all are Jesus’s purpose.

Thank you God for reaching me today – I long to work for YOU always…

Your loving child,

Me

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I Surrender, 29NOV – #306

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I Surrender, 29NOV

Well, I have a lot that happened this long thanksgiving weekend that would normally spin my brain ten-fold! That coupled with a lot already going on in my life, it would have normally led to therapy writing, but I actually DON’T have to write about ANY of it to process it now, and I don’t need to process over a cup of tea, or anything else… BECAUSE in ONE moment it was processed ALL INSTANTLY. INSTANTLY by surrendering it ALL to God.

Yes, when I sang the praise song “I Surrender”, EVERYTHING was lifted, released, and processed…poof…. Truthfully nothing was solved, nothing disappeared, I still have to take the actions to solve the issues, but EVERY stressful angst dissipated and I felt God’s LOVE as I sang that song. I swayed in the music with eyes closed… I felt satisfied in God’s grace.

Jesus grew in my heart as a baby.

Jesus crossed me into eternal life.

Jesus crossed me into PEACE.

I surrendered ALL at that moment to YOU my Lord, the big YOU.

Thank You God, You gave me PEACE!

I wouldn’t tell you ALL of the details of my angst anyway – not only because it would take too many pages, but because my myriad of joys and angst are unique to me and yours are unique to you. But I KNOW, ALL in ALL, God wanted to take care of those issues for me in one swoop. And God wants to take care of them ALL for YOU too. And not JUST my past, not just your past, but ALL of our future too! Dreams and stresses, bliss and blisters…

Yes, God does and will send Jesus into your heart to absorb all your worries, joys, questions, pondering thoughts, and tears…

Surrender it all.

Praise His gift of BLESSED PEACE.

Praise Jesus for changing you, growing in you, as you lay down your own rights… Jesus lays down His own life for yours…

Praise and pause to surrender…. trust me on this… you will admire God’s gifted PEACE. You will want to surrender more and more!

Thanks God for your gift of our Prince of PEACE

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Surrender, Lincoln Brewster:

“I’m giving You my heart, all that is within
I lay it all down, for the sake of You my King

I’m giving You my dreams, laying down my rights

I’m giving up my pride, for the promise of new life

And I surrender all to You, all to You

And I surrender all to You, all to You

“I’m singing You this song, I’m waiting at the cross

And all the world holds dear, I count it all as loss

“For the sake of knowing You,

for the glory of Your name

To know the lasting joy, even sharing in Your pain

And I surrender it all to you, all to You…”

Honesty, 28NOV – #305

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Honesty, 28NOV

Honestly I want to be clear that my intentions are JUST to praise what God has done and spread HIS GOOD NEWS… I have nothing to prove to people, that’s not why I want to tell them about my spiritual growth… I was raised to be thankful and honestly I bubble, I can’t help it….. And I try to be humble, but honestly I have to find that balance of humility and just EXPLODING with excitement.

I pray I don’t come off as boastful… People say it’s ok how I am, but I just don’t want to be like the Genesis song “mad man moon” and fly too high with wings of my own from excitement and lose focus… That’s not what God wants. He wants focus… He wants me tethered, because I can’t reach others unless I am seen as down to earth, as one of the fellow travelers to the garden. So sure, l have felt more dancing on the water with Jesus than sinking without Him this year, especially after recovering after a surprising set of devilish trials (doubt, doubt, and doubt) but maybe it’s weird but it’s just me…. Yes, i have heard previously awakened folks tell me I would encounter many trials and I did, and I do, and I pause to praise God for His “own special way of holding my hand” (another Genesis song) thru them… I think God has allowed me this feeling of dancing in my heart to sustain me, to constantly remind me that my smile (our smiles) come ALWAYS from HIM shining thru… And to NEVER want to let go of HIS hand. And since I can still look at my life from an outsider point of view, I know I have such tremendous trials ahead of me…

And before those rough times come my way, I can see how God found this window of opportunity to wake me up into HIS service…. He is continually cementing me strongly into wanting to share share share….

So, I thought I really want to tell my Facebook and friends world about my spiritual writing in the more public forum of blogging. – I am going to share at the 1 year anniversary of my first diatribe writing in mid December.

See I think I became bold (in this still safe blogging manner) for processing AND for teaching… Because those are not mutually exclusive… You don’t have to understand and have processed everything before you can speak about you and your relationship with God… I mean if I hadn’t spoken, questioned and processed out loud, I surely never would be where I am now… and I know God does position me in my friend groups because my friends ARE protecting me from being too loud – too questioning – too processing… I know that God is working THRU them… and yet I know when it is right for me to stretch my wings a bit wider – I don’t think God minds (yet) – because I am trying to stretch ONLY with Jesus holding me up – Jesus will make my heart light and fly – I know – it’s the truth…

God will remind me to stay humble if I don’t…

The Bishop’s Daughter, 25NOV – #304

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The Bishop’s Daughter, 25NOV

It’s one month to Christmas day… Wow… It’s just about two weeks until I boldly release a new blog at my one year anniversary with one year of chronologically-posted awakening writings… With my amazement of how Jesus was born in me and still grows, I hope you can understand my self-reflective writings… I try also to write reach-out writings, but there are more reach-in writings that I have to still get out, there’s more marveling at the angels that surround me, those “perfecting saints”, as my pastor would say, who touch my life and bless it….

I have written about many of my favorite movies (Miracle on 34th Street, all the Christmas Carol versions, the Song of Bernadette) and this Christmas movie about becoming mindful, “The Bishop’s Wife”. Cary Grant is an angel called to help a misguided Bishop (David Niven), and as an angel he steps into all the roles that the Bishop should have been doing if he was being mindful of his God-sanctioned roles in life. These including guiding a widow over how she spends her money for a wasteful cathedral, guiding a lost professor, and of course the main segment of the storyline, he stepped into the role of making the bishop’s wife feel happy, adventurous, worthy of gifts, worthy of love. How the Bishop eventually wakes up and deals with this is a key lesson. How the angel deals with his jealousy of a mortal man’s richness is a key lesson. How the wife and daughter accept the generous benefits of this angel (not knowing he is an angel) and accept it with grace is a true lesson for me. I have so much from so many.

The Bishop’s daughter is also named Debbie – hmmm…. Angel Cary Grant is teaching her confidence (snowball fighting… Debbie’s love SNOW) as well as sound biblical stories… His fatherly role enables him to teach and help her process the immense blessings of God, and I need that too, we all need that… Any chance to process God’s great gifts, especially with other faithful souls is a blessing…

The biblical story that our angel recounts is that of David fighting the goliath…. GOD gave him the strength that he didn’t know he had, and David thanked God by writing Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd”… The bishop also overheard this story, he also needed to know that he has SO MUCH because of God…. “I shall not want”

When am I the daughter? All the time… “HE restoreth my soul”… A friend made me breakfast and snacks for work yesterday after a girls night-out sleepover at her house. Another friend is allowing my adventurous spirit to come out in safe, mind clearing and so satisfying motorcycle rides. Another friend shined my shoes, another friend shined my car and is helping me look for Christmas deals.

And scripturally I am the Bishop’s daughter – I have been feeding on spiritual milk… Just today hearing two pastors of mine recounting two stories of gaining strength FROM God, which fortified my heart. First the story in Daniel where three strong souls withstood an actual furnace fire, and the son of God stood strong with them and they not only survived but were witnessed by a king who learned who the real God was. Pastor’s message was that our challenges are testing God… He can overcome even the worst of Satan’s pulls… God will stand with us thru the fires of our lives… We just need to grab for His hand… We CAN reach and we CAN teach that God is the one keeping us alive and at PEACE… Hold on…

A second sermon by my other pastor fortified my heart with the armor of GOD by recounting the story of Mary having been chosen by God. I too am a great child of God chosen for HIS purpose. Mary had to be accepting of the challenge of growing Christ in her, and raising him as God’s son…. God needed her and she accepted God’s challenge, we all SHOULD… we all should accept those challenges in us because we know our strength is from God trying to grow us. I know where God is trying to grow ME right now, I know God will fortify me, and restoreth my soul. It is clear for me that as a daughter, as a child of God, I can play the snowball fights of life… my angels will take care of me! And I can be filled and not want – over and over again – because the Lord restoreth my soul… Surely my angels will take care of me! And I can reach for God in the fires of life and I will NOT perish… my angels will take care of me! And I can accept challenges, I can be bold especially when I accept God’s help and His values to fortify me. While I am graced to be the Bishop’s daughter always (and sometimes the Bishop’s wife, and the Bishop too), I REALLY realize now that I am ALSO tasked by God to become the Angel too… and I have many many children to teach, many professors and bishops to help…. God needs my help… I accept the challenge, boldly… God is with me. And so are HIS angels.

Thank you Lord, You are my shepherd.

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Psalm 23 King James Version (KJV)

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Potluck Angels, 24NOV – #303

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Potluck Angels, 24NOV

It never ceases to amaze me how small efforts on my part are amplified by God to make amazing things happen…

I didn’t think we would have a ton of people for our work thanksgiving potluck, which I organize each year, but I always say it’s just that, luck, and whoever comes comes, even if it is just two of us eating pie… So ten minutes before the event I rush in late from parent teacher conference and here’s five items plus two great dear friends (who appreciate all I try to do for our 120 work family) and they brought sandwich fixings, cold cuts, awesome, it so made my day… Even if it was a small gathering we would appreciate our work thanksgiving together…

AND THEN…. it was the scene from “The Bishop’s Wife” movie… It was synergy… It made my heart go from a smile to a gush… Cary Grant, movie angel, makes things happen… ANGELS create blessings, make miracles, bring perfection of God’s love together… SYNERGY… In the movie scene, the choir boys are supposed to be gathering for practice, a special rehearsal for the bishop (David Niven) and his wife (Loretta Young), and there are just two boys and the priest is sad to disappoint his special guests… And the angel (Cary Grant) says, “well we don’t have to be disappointed”, he promptly chats with the two boys and gets them to start singing… And as these two pure tones lift, more individual boys start filtering in… One by one adding their voices, the room fills with angelic harmonies, purest of graceful singing, and the Bishop’s wife beams in delight….

That was me, beaming today…. that’s what happened at lunch, to lunch, within ten minutes of those first few generous souls, the room amplified with more and more people and dishes to pass, thirty maybe forty maybe fifty… All these sharing souls filtered in to amplify lunch, amplify laughter, amplify thanksgiving… And there was even extra goodies for those who had not brought anything… They were welcomed in to share the excess… Amplified excess – luck – lunch – LOVE.

Faith in good things and in good people amplifies faith… Faith in accepting and appreciating the bountiful harvest amplifies the meaning of thanksgiving… And we can pour it out to others…

I feel to be the Bishop’s wife SO MUCH because the angels have been coming non-stop to me this year and always… I have been blessed down to the nooks and crannies of my soul… satisfied by saintly angels, my cup overflows, and they fill it up instantly… The bottle of God fills my cup and satisfies… It’s just like in another scene of the Bishop’s Wife, where angel Cary Grant enables the Professor’s wine bottle to always stay full no matter how much the professor (Monty Woolley) pours out into his cup… Our movie angel also helps the professor discover amazing abilities he always had but didn’t realize… That’s our angels too… That’s my angels daily… They luck me up, they fill my pot of gold so I can redistribute blessings to so many more, they make me realize the abilities I have and make me want to share them.

Yes I can amplify God’s gifts – you can amplify God’s gifts – you will want to share, and that will make you smile!

I have Faith in all, especially these “Potluck angels”, because they are no luck at all… They are amplified in thanksgiving… They are amplified in LOVE. And they make me SMILE!!!

Grounded Grace, 23NOV – #302

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Grounded Grace, 23NOV

Being a child of God – so many of my prayerful, peaceful times and mystical feelings come from living the words of such soul-searching praise songs…

I LOVE this particular song: “I will delight in the law of the Lord, I will meditate day and night, and like a tree firmly planted I’ll be – grounded in the Word…” (words are based on Psalm 1). Just the other night I sang it to myself during my yoga workout because I forgot my mat and grabbed VBS material which happened to be a patchwork quilt tree trunk i had sowed (haha an appropriate autocorrect for sewed)  – So, I sang the song while stretching on the tree and also while standing in yoga tree pose…

Soul-searching songs and soul-shining songs… that song is both because it reminds us to “delight in the law of the Lord” and search in our souls for where we don’t follow God’s law (yet)… AND it reminds all of us to delight because these blessings flow so very abundantly from God. HE fills our cups and makes our souls shine with the LIGHT of JESUS – especially when we decide to pour from our cup into others …

Yesterday was a prime example of recognizing blessings – an outpouring of gifts to me – all filling my cup… First, I was sitting with many many friends in the first church service, holding hands with a soul sister “L” while we were coming up to the pew. Later, a church member donated $25 towards pizza for our new children’s living nativity party… then a Subaru-friend researched and bought me new windshield wiper blades… So many blessings the Lord poured out… and on top of all that  my neighbor cut down a giant tree for me in my yard encroaching the wires (this same neighbor previously raked and bagged my leaves out of neighborly friendliness). Just like the wayward tree, God’s does gentle pruning in us too – and He urges our souls to be grateful with His blessings, to be satisfied with Him… and to focus on bringing this satisfaction to other by sharing His Ways.

SO many faith friends, to whom I reached out, also had reached back to comfort me… yes I am blessed. I am grateful. I am satisfied with grounded GRACE. “And like a tree firmly planted I’ll be, grounded in your Word”.

I REALLY REALLY appreciated the blessing of being able to sit thru THREE services yesterday… a diverse richness – traditional with a “bell choir” – contemporary with an “electrified choir” – and the special needs service with the “unfiltered choir”… nice – all three were blessed… Of course my great Sunday School kids are always ready to teach ME lessons too – bouncing 5-8 year olds… We started with using the train engines toys as a perfect segue into our story – a scripture from Daniel – These three God-strengthened and obedient men were thrown into a fire so hot (just like the train engine’s furnace) BUT they did not perish and when the King (who had built a giant gold false idol statue) saw them and also saw the Son of God standing in the fire WITH them – WOW – the King knew that their God was the real God and God had saved them!!! The faith of these men was so strong that they were willing to go into the fire because they knew that God was a faithful God – and that I know is the truth! Our Pastor also preached the same themed story this week, so eloquently he shared that when we are IN THE FIRE – it is ALSO a test for God and this is EXACTLY when we will see and feel Jesus the most, and where others will witness how God was the most faithful to us. Yes – I can attest to that – I can feel HIM the most when I burn for HIM and have Him in my heart – Jesus will be there for our fires! Jesus is here with me right now in mine and I grip his hand so tightly, with a warming joy.

During my singing of a beautiful song at the second service, I clasped my own hands and wow I felt like there was a extra strong hand inside my grip… you know when you someone else hold your hand it feels different than when you hold your own hand?… Yeah, I truly have to say, humbly, that it was like Jesus’s muscles holding my hand tight. Wow… Jesus ALWAYS finds a way to me in the fires of my life.

And I was so blessed to stay for the third service (a hat trick) – I so ENJOY singing with these delightful special needs and brain-injured folks!!! I get a chance every couple of months to sit thru their wonderful service – that just makes my day. The woman on my right wanted me to sit with her and she loves to check the colors of all my jewelry and clothes and shoes – and the woman on my left moved up to sit with me – she wanted me to hold her coat and then put her coat on later because she was cold – she HELD my hand and gave hugs and hugs… it reminds me that even though I am away from home and my extended family in their tough times, that we ARE family for these folks because their family is very distant.. these folks are my substitute aunts and uncles who need hand holding – they are my cousins in Christ….these are ALL of our children of God… musically mystical songs came from the woman to my left – who sang the songs before they came – Christmas songs too – that was a true and sweet witness of God taking care of everyone filling their cups with songs of spirit and blessed spilling of excess spirit out into our cups – songs as spontaneous excitement for her and she knew the right words too – more than just memory filler, those songs came, most importantly, directly from her HEART… Oh I was so blessed to share with those children of God…. They lifted my SPIRIT…

I will delight in being a Child of God too…

Grounded in the Word…

Grounded in Grace…

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Psalm 1 NIV

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

Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.


Jeremiah 17

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

10 “I the Lord search the heart
    and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.”


Psalm 119 NIV

Aleph

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless,
    who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are those who keep his statutes
    and seek him with all their heart—
they do no wrong
    but follow his ways.
You have laid down precepts
    that are to be fully obeyed.
Oh, that my ways were steadfast
    in obeying your decrees!
Then I would not be put to shame
    when I consider all your commands.
I will praise you with an upright heart
    as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees;
    do not utterly forsake me.

Beth

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
    By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
    do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;
    teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
    all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
    as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
    and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
    I will not neglect your word.


I Will Delight (In the Law of the Lord)

Words and Music by Walt Hurrah and John A. Schreiner

I will delight in the law of the Lord

I will meditate day and night

Then, like a tree firmly planted, I’ll be rounded in Your Word

Blessed is the one Who follows the way of the Lord

Blessed is the one

Satisfied Oh, so satisfied

Satisfied

Mountain Climbing by Faith, 21NOV – #301

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Mountain Climbing by Faith, 21NOV

So God has moved mountains for me this year, and in actuality moved them for my whole life…. he has dissolved so many that I didn’t even know a mountain was ever in front of me, because He was making them into flat plains (Zechariah 4)… He did this BECAUSE I was determined to climb them… and I certainly appreciate that God!… Because I always wondered why You Lord made SO many things easy for me in my life.. Did I really have it that easy? Or is it that you made me equal to my challenges? Or that so far you made my challenges equal to me? So God, I never ever doubt that You made me, I never doubt God that You gave me my skill set. Even a dear atheist friend calls me a force of nature… Yup, I have to agree with him, I am a force of nature, because we ALL are forces of nature, because we are ALL made FROM GOD – we are made from the dust and HE called to work the soil that we are made from. Yes we are made from the dust but we are so complex – we have been made in the most unique and God-caring way… God knows every hair on our heads… He molds us like the gentle potter He is. “O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8

God knows He wants to use ME for HIS WILL – He is a potter and i am clay – He will smooth out my imperfections or He will break me and use my dust again for His purpose (Jeremiah 18).

God knows me and my mountains…

This awakening year God moved me. In addition to the continuous easy to climb plains, God also brought at least three mountains directly TO ME this year… He moved me, awoke me and made my vision clear to see the mountains were already standing there, waiting, and I wasn’t climbing… God can’t make my mountains into plains if I don’t even acknowledge their existence. And now I acknowledge… Acknowledge I did and started my climb…

First my FAITH – I acknowledged it was not right and I started to climb… First I was allowed to take my car and drive partially up the mountain, second I was able to climb by foot and by sight AND by sound, and then for the final summit I had to climb by FAITH…. FAITH and FAITH alone. I was not blindfolded but blinded by the glorious LIGHT OF JESUS. I had to take the final leap of faith by FAITH.

Second, a mountain of physical health… I didn’t realize I had the power in me all along. I just didn’t know I was capable of this, God made this migration to healthy eating an easy climb, a mountain into a plain because I started climbing with His willpower. I started climbing and have reduced 25% of my body weight… 25, a blessed number…

Third, a mountain I am choosing to climb NOW, because it won’t move… I will tell you later what it is, after I see where I am going… But know it’s a mountain that impacts my happiness which impacts everything else. I am surprised but ready to climb along a completely different route that I didn’t expect. First…. it’s time to FIRST crawl out of the cave below; just to get up to the base of the mountain. This cave I didn’t know I was in, and how to get out? BUT Jesus lit my way and there is that mountain, standing in my way, plain as day, right in front of me.

I now stand at the base of this next mountain, and I question: “God, is this REALLY the mountain I scale next?” “Yes my child. It’s time to scale” – “Yes my child, first drive, then start out on foot and climb. Climb first by sight then by faith… look and listen to ME, I will call YOU. I AM here and when you are blinded by the dark AND blinded in the LIGHT. You won’t know where you are going until you get there, but that’s ok because I AM there. My child, walk by faith and this mountain will crumble too. I will bring you thru safe because I LOVE YOU. This mountain will crumble under your feet but you will be safe. I have you safely IN MY ARMS.”

I have to believe that Jesus will catch me for my new leaps of faith because He already caught me on my biggest jump. He is in me, He will carry me, I have to HOLD ON, life’s a bumpy ride.

Thanks Jesus for lighting my way. I cling to your cross to climb. I have your hand in mine now. Dip me into the water when I fail, lift me up when I reach.

It’s time I climb.

I will be fine.
God’s LIGHT will shine.

Jesus’s LIGHT is forever mine.

Thanksgiving Grace, 19NOV – #300

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Thanksgiving Grace, 19NOV

I missed seeing my homeless friend Mike, he went somewhere else for a couple weeks but I guess it didn’t work out and so he is back at his original spot. I was pleased that perhaps he found a good spot for the winter to stay warm but I also missed him, of course you also would enjoy rolling down your window to hear “Good morning, Gorgeous, how’s things?”

Well I was happy to see him yesterday… talked to him for a second until the red light changed… “Good morning gorgeous” he said and asked how I was doing and how my family was doing and I said please pray for my family and he made the sign of a cross… I did too… it was a instant way to share in caring prayer, a silent prayer that was oh so meaningful… there’s a Bible story about the Widow’s Mite and giving everything she could to help… Mike didn’t have much but he shares the most important thing… a fun personality, a love of life, encouragement, and a smile… and today a shared prayer – his purpose is to uplift the world just be being himself. Those attributes are worth more than any gold or diamonds….

WE think of the homeless population far off and tucked away…. Mike’s stuff is semi-hidden, tucked away.. I saw the edge of a tarp from my car when I went to dump my paper recycling at a church next door, so I slipped over for a photo just cuz he wasn’t there… but I thought I’d like to share with you how the other half lives.

Sunny disposition was graced on him… he appreciates what he does have not what he doesn’t. And oh how the people have been donating and donating all this stuff that you see. I appreciate that he has a suit hung up in a tree. he knows how to take care of his stuff it’s just a little bit unorganized but then again so is my car!!! You would totally believe that I lived in my car!!!

So it is a travesty in America that we have not figured out how to help ALL the homeless… granted many of them DON’T want to go into the system, they don’t want to be constrained, they want their freedom… and honestly, in this area, they can live day today out in the open because we DO have good weather here. They can experience freedom even if they don’t know where their food will come from.

So, this Thanksgiving week I’m thinking about all those who are out in the open… and perhaps their purpose is to keep reminding US of our graced lives. This year the hoopla has been on not taking in refugees and about red cups without the right symbols… Wake up people, life us but about people fighting over these topics, but about honestly just getting down to business, taking care of what needs to be taken care of, and giving thanks…

Think globally, act locally… reach out and figure out what we can do… if nothing else, people like Mike remind others to stay thankful, to smile. It’s important to keep important issues out in the open, in the light.

So I give thanks this thanksgiving week for Mike. I give thanks for the true treasures of life – the priceless time I have, and the abundance of grace that we ALL have received.mike 300

Rainbow Cup, 19NOV – #299

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Rainbow Cup, 19NOV

Just saw a beautiful subtle rainbow, it’s not raining just misty, not really sunny… So delicate but so real… It came as I was talking to God – wondering…. I have pondered and pondered…. “Lord”, I said, “I know prayer is the best first and last option… I know you move mountains but I don’t know always which mountain to pray to you to move for me, and when to move it… but  i know that YOU know, Lord, you will take care of me….” And then i caught glimpse of the rainbow…

And the next praise song i heard was “Just to be with you… Here’s my cup Lord fill it up…. I’m face to the ground… I’ve come to the end of me – you made a way for me…” yes, God gave this timely rainbow, a path to follow…

God gives the Sun thru rain, Son thru pain, smiles thru tears…

He gives us ALL a promise that He will take care of us in the most important way…. “nothing compares to knowing you Lord”…. Yeah, even through tough times God still finds how to make smiles thru tears.

God puts rain in my cup, today the rain was in the form of a rainbow… His promise eternally refilled…

Thanks for listening God… Thanks for being God…

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Daniel, 16NOV – #298

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Daniel, 16NOV

Currently, this sermon and Sunday school series on the book of Daniel has been really \ good for me, bible education with “new to me” scriptures that I get to learn and teach…( it’s not lost on me that Daniel decided to be purposeful with his eating vegetables instead of the kings food and was much more fit… as my last year has blessed me with fitness).

Daniel reminds us, reminds me to keep praying to God for answers…. Daniel interpreted the king’s dream and God can help me interpret my own… Even and especially when my dream is filled with fears….

I know I rush God sometimes and ask HIM for things out of frustration instead of praise, and yet HE knows my prayers of “wordless groans” he knows my dreams…. Even in my joys I worry that I have escapism into God’s loving arms, sometimes my praises masking my fears. And yet I know as jumbled as my mind can be – God is solid, understanding, and forgiving. And in God I find PEACE.

BE STILL AND KNOW I AM GOD… We need to “still” ourselves and LISTEN… And that will always be where we gain strength…

God twinkling in heartaches

inside dreams means He is ALIVE and working on our way to light.

Open my eyes Lord…

Your Grace IS sufficient… Lord guide us, guide me, I trust YOU.

Thanks for listening God…