Give you that moment… 08OCT – #440

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Give you that moment… 08OCT

At work this morning on fingertip processing for God – I’ve got to get back to preparing for a message I am delivering next week at my church for “Laity Sunday” – to help spread the GOOD NEWS – see God do God’s work in others…. whoda thunk I would get to stand up to say thank you to the congregation for being there for me….And share my joy which is sharing GOD’S WORD! – but right now I have to pause my prep to take a moment in time to absorb some of my reliance on God’s gift of friends who lift me.

This week I was doing my work, and God’s work too, at my work – so were many others – work is certainly a social outlet that people need, it’s a place where we extend our family – and encourage each other –  it’s ALL God’s work… God was doing HIS work on me too… God was reminding me that I am to rely on Him – and “anything is possible”…

A faith friend helped me that day – because life invaded and my tears had uncontrollably spilled over – I stepped out to regain composure – my friend was on the phone but able to give me a quick massive big hug – then it was as if the tears retreated just at that moment – back into my eyes – back into my soul – I regained composure and went back to the task at hand, with a smile to lift me…

God needs our hands and feet for His work – our smiles for HIS work and He uses our arms for hugging – squeezing the tears back into our internal cups after letting enough of them out to do a cleansing rinse…  a temporary release allowance for an accumulated collection of tears to spill out and trickle back in – tears are good – and the remediation of tears by hugs feels even better… as scripture reminds us to ”Carry each other’s burdens”

Later I saw a faith friend who had come in from a funeral, I gave her a big hug…. and I felt this amazing lifting of the heaviness in my own heart as well, with the feeling of a Jesus re-energization zapping back and patching that hole in back of my heart….

There’s a Tom Petty concert video where Tom says “Wouldn’t it be great just for one moment in time – everything was all right?….I want to give you that moment – where everything is bright – where EVERYTHING is going to be all right” – I hear Tom Petty’s assurances but really isn’t that Jesus who is always saying that to us, all the time for everything that pains us?

That’s what I felt in those hugs – that everything was going to be all right – if only the feeling was fleeting and if JUST for that moment in time – it was still worth knowing that “everything is going to be all right”…  and even if not an immediate all right the focus on an eternal “all right” is surely all right with me….

God wants us to know that feeling of Him – wants us to think long term – to know that thru our trust in Him – that eventually He will bring us to that place with Him “where EVERYTHING is all right”… we are human and we need Jesus to squeeze our human existence thru that narrow gate… we need to be shepherded…

BE STILL and KNOW THAT I AM GOD…

When we look to the Lord, He will refill our cup – He will allow us to be still and soak up his replenishing living water – and Jesus will give us a hug-hold to stabilize ourselves to regain our cups upright position… God’s hugs can be a lid on our angst – a cover to keep our cup from splashing/cracking/leaking – if “just for that moment” in time – and GOD WILL “give us that moment”… He will – He really will…

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https://youtu.be/y0IKACUduE4
Mystic eyes, at the 3 minute mark


 

Galatians 6:

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Isaiah 55 – Stay Thirsty, 05OCT – #439

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Isaiah 55 – Stay Thirsty, 05Oct

God never disappoints with an appropriate scripture of the day, emailed to my fingertips, hardwired into my soul…
“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.”

I’ve found great joy in thee Lord!!!
Thank you for your life-giving then life-changing Word…

“You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,”

The best advice ever from my professor:
“Keep going deeper in the Word and the Word will go deeper within you! 🙂 ”

Stay thirsty my friends….
AMEN


Isaiah 55 (NIV)

Invitation to the Thirsty
55 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
that will endure forever.”

Catalyst, 30Sep – #438

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Catalyst, 30Sep

Oh my…
Facebook Timehop today answered my long puzzling question of when I had done my key faith awakening experiment – hydrogen peroxide, dish soap and yeast – which started my brain realizing that Jesus was the catalyst to make the word of God spread faster. I did not know the date and now I do, WOW, September 30th 2012 when that rattle in my brain started… God was unzipping the part of my misaligned Faith zipper…

I can see myself standing there in the class, I can feel the hiccup in my brain, it was 4 years ago today – I was mid sentence – I WAS STILLED – there was a snap…. Yeah, then it took two years of that rumbling in my brain before I started my “faith feeding frenzy” in late 2014… it was no longer a trickle but a flood and I knew it… A Christmas Flood… I knew something was happening, except I thought I was going crazy, in actuality I was just going WITH God.  Two months later, I rested in Jesus’s arms, gave Him the keys… Loved forever but now I actually understand that…

I really thought it was only a few short months earlier, but really there were TWO YEARS between those times… Wow… faithful God was so patient during that two year incubation… Wow… so patient all those 45 years and forever more…

It’s never been a doubt that God’s timing arranged this all…  It’s never been a doubt that God took me on purpose, waiting patiently until He opened my eyes… I have no idea where He’s taking me now, but while on this earth it’s all about the WALK back to the garden, being guided by the spirit… They say when He sees us walking towards Him, He’s running towards us! Maybe He’s driving a Subaru…

… I’m so blessed to know and remember how it all happened, and be forced to document it…, I was there when “His Love Came Down on me”… Like rain from heaven – like rain today, refilling our cups…It’s STILL coming, it’s still raining, God is reigning…

I’m a witness that God’s hand drives us to Jesus, then Jesus takes the wheel to drive us home… It’s a loop… A FaithLoop…

Amen and THANKS GOD for Facebook! And FaithFriends!  Thank you Lord for time to take reflection in Your FaithBook! And be in Your FaithLoop…

Amen
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I’m trying to get back to updating my blog, I’m only 300 postings behind but God is patient with me, so I can be patient with myself… Yup… Faith is the most precious thing I have and I want to share… The internet has cat videos, so it can withstand some God praise added to balance out the mix… That’s my justification for sharing… God made me wake up, to write, to sing…  I didn’t choose to… But GOD chose to light my path before I was born, I had to see it unfold… I had to listen from inside…

It’s NOT fate, it’s Faith.

Proverbs 16, 30SEP – #437

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Proverbs 16, 30SEP

I love the proverbs, especially this set prompted from a pastor friend this morning on Facebook, perfect timing…  “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body…. ” My grandfather’s birthday would have been this week – he would have been well over 100yrs old – he worked so hard his whole life and lived until he was 90….  One of my cherished memories is that he always had a stash of honeycomb to share with his grandkids… Sweet palatable memories…

There’s a theme of the week going on right now – and it is using words wisely… Hammered home again and again this week… So many instances this week – experienced by me and my friends – where words were too harsh – where they were misconstrued – where they fell like lead bricks, sinking the person who said them rather than the one who received…

Yesterday a really testy conversation I witnessed at work – it became the most gut wrenching episode, WHEW!

BUT!!!!   THIS week has had even MORE instances of simply sweet words JUST at the right time… “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body…. ”

… How those sweet simple conversations this week negated the negative…  gave me great health and SPIRIT lifting – even quick ones like a conversation about being irish with a store clerk who beamed at my shamrock earrings…

… and so many words of understanding abounded this week too…

From Proverbs 16 perfect timing – sweet honeycomb to chew on…

3 Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
4 The Lord has made everything for its purpose,

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

9 The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.

16 How much better to get wisdom than gold!    To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud

21 The wise of heart is called discerning,
and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.

23 The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty…

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Proverbs 16 (ESV)

16 The plans of the heart belong to man,
but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the spirit.
3 Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
4 The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
even the wicked for the day of trouble.
5 Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
be assured, he will not go unpunished.
6 By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.
7 When a man’s ways please the Lord,
he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 Better is a little with righteousness
than great revenues with injustice.
9 The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.
10 An oracle is on the lips of a king;
his mouth does not sin in judgment.
11 A just balance and scales are the Lord’s;
all the weights in the bag are his work.
12 It is an abomination to kings to do evil,
for the throne is established by righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of a king,
and he loves him who speaks what is right.
14 A king’s wrath is a messenger of death,
and a wise man will appease it.
15 In the light of a king’s face there is life,
and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.
16 How much better to get wisdom than gold!
To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
17 The highway of the upright turns aside from evil;
whoever guards his way preserves his life.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor
than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20 Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good,
and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.
21 The wise of heart is called discerning,
and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
22 Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
but the instruction of fools is folly.
23 The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
25 There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
26 A worker’s appetite works for him;
his mouth urges him on.
27 A worthless man plots evil,
and his speech is like a scorching fire.
28 A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.
29 A man of violence entices his neighbor
and leads him in a way that is not good.
30 Whoever winks his eyes plans dishonest things;
he who purses his lips brings evil to pass.
31 Gray hair is a crown of glory;
it is gained in a righteous life.
32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the Lord.

Dustpan Savior, 29Sep – #436 **

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This piece been rattling in my head since the pancake piece… Nailed it down early this morning after the scriptures found me! That’s the way God works…
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A few years ago, when the kids were little, I used to clean and then pick up and save the tiniest Polly Pocket or Barbie shoes out of the vacuum cleaner or the dustpan dirt… I still do that for expensive legos… And when I clean in my bedroom, I’m always looking for lost earrings…. so I ALWAYS have to look at the dirt, because there might be gems in there…

Jesus, at the request of God our Father, does the same thing in our souls, especially when we fix our gaze on HIM…

Dustpan Savior, 29Sep

Hebrews 12
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

When we accept Jesus into our hearts and allow Him to grow, we are asking Him to mature us, and save us from our sinful ways. We may resist at times, but it’s best we refocus and restart our faith… Start fresh and ask Jesus for guidance to “create in me a clean heart” as the song lyric goes… ask HIM to clean, hand Jesus the dustpan to help but take the self-action to start sweeping yourself clean…

God Disciplines His Children
Hebrews 5: “… do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his child.”
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?”

Jesus is not JUST there for sweeping, Jesus is there to look into that dustpan and start lifting pieces of you up – to save and savor and BE savior… Imagine each piece of your soul lifted lovingly by His hands and then imagine He blows all the dust off the pieces with a spirited breath to reveal how internally and eternally beautiful you are in God’s eyes.

1Corinthians 1:
26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

You were made by God as a temple to worship Him, therefore he wants to polish you… Jesus knows while holding the dustpan that there’s some good chunks in the accumulated bit of dirt, He knows to not throw away the gems… Jesus looks, recovers, rebuilds, renews, resurrects – you are reborn right in His hand….

1 Corinthians 2
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.”

We must work with Jesus, HE is willing to put in the work cleaning our temple, we also should… Many hands make LIGHT work… Let the LIGHT of Jesus work… He died to be risen – for lighting your path… For lighting my path…

1Corinthians 3:
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”
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1Corinthians 4
“5 He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”

He knows the WAY… He’s been there and He came back for us… “let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith”

Blow off our dust Lord, find YOUR gems… Make us realize we are loved we are eternally beautiful in Your eyes…

Amen

W.I.N., 23Sep – #435 *

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W.I.N., 23Sep

Ah…..God let’s me connect the dots from time to time – which makes me praise HIM even more…

I wasn’t thinking that I could work it all in today – I didn’t think I had time to get to band practice with simultaneous back to school night, but turns out in my son’s schedule there’s a study period at the end of the day called “W.I.N.” Time for the kids to wrap up the day…. I didn’t have to stay for the free period, LOL –  WIN! So I skedaddled out of there because I knew at band we had a brand new song to learn and I LOVE to learn “new to me” songs… and I knew if I could just catch even just 15 minutes of “the groove” of the song, then God would take me the rest of the way learning the song…. Oh yeah, I caught the groove alright! It was the WIN-dow of collective PRAISE I needed to wrap up my day and bounce me home to enjoy the last hour of the day with my kids chatting, cooking a late night snack, and happily being together… WIN!

Entering Thursday band practice is just like being Norm from the TV show Cheers where “everybody knows your name” – everybody knows your story and everybody truly knows my crazy ways of PRAISE… as Joni Mitchell would sing “YOUR words pour out of me from time to time”… Meaning PRAISE has become very personal to me…. And it’s supposed to (1Corinthians 12:3 “no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.”)… I was taught in band that the point of worship time is to make the written praise words for God into your own… To find your pause, to find your prayers, to find your PEACE, to find your PRAISE… TO LISTEN…. TO SPEAK… TO SHARE… TO SING… “Lord I lift Your Name on High – Lord I love to sing Your praises”…

And for me in band practice, I often get to dance…. I also MUST LISTEN – that’s the key…because I surely sing off key without the monitors, therefore I must monitor myself, just as God would want me to listen in all things… Listen…

So, I listened to the new song stepping in, and just started dancing – gogo style – I tone it down for Sunday’s of course, my worse fear is to distract others from praise…. but these guys though tolerate me very well….  usually I blow in from a workout sweaty, rushed and jumpy… But ALWAYS excited to PRAISE – to be there… God made me that way… Paul Simon sings:  “I’m just jittery. It’s just a way of dealing with my joy.” Exactly “no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.”

WIN! I danced on in with just the fifteen minutes I needed left on the clock… I couldn’t see these new words, or even understand the words without the music sheet… I could ONLY hear the music SO loud over the lyrics and therefore I felt it too, felt the reverberations which was AWESOME because I could feel God’s presence, HIS guiding hand which placed me in this blessed band nine months ago, and surely drove me here tonight… and I could see the PRAISE pouring out of my dear friend who wrote this framework of this new song for the band to take and make its own… and I could feel the energy given to all the band members as they surely did take it and make it their own….  later I got the actual lyric sheet and sang it thru – and we all added sweet layered “ooohs” at the end… Nice…wordless groans of pause and prayer and praise… WIN

Turns out the whole new song speaks to how when we know the Lord, WE KNOW… And HIS message comes thru HIS SPIRIT directly to us…. Faith like extreme Wi-Fi spreads far and wide – can’t see it but packed with good signals…

We can have that feeling of God as a gift of messages into and thru our souls when we are awakened to see the majesty and beauty of God’s creations…. And we feel HIM day after day…

PRAISE songs have liner notes of scripture that touch our hearts….

Just like “sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy” – as John Denver sang, I feel God’s guidance – Ecclesiastes 2 -“To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness”…. Of course sometimes the direction surprises me – sometimes things in life honestly hurt – and sometimes we are forced to give up things we thought we needed for self-satisfying wants – but Jesus truly wants to clean out the corners of our hearts… and we have to listen and worship… we have to trust and obey no matter what… There’s “A time for every season under heaven”… as the Byrds sang Pete Seager’s song taken from Ecclesiastes 3: “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”….

A dear friend sent me the scripture Jeremiah 29:11 earlier this week (I needed it), it’s a rebound of a scripture that I send to others all the time….
“11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

With praise I share my song and my dance and my smile….  I appreciate not ONLY that the world is SO majestic and beautiful, but that we as humans have that capacity to be so conscious of that…. We can try to understand and comprehend and be aware – God makes us aware – we strive to be unveiled, and see God’s Grace, He gives us forgiveness to be with HIM, we share forgiveness with others… We can’t do this forgiveness thing without God’s help…

Awareness is a GIFT…  The other night God’s sunset was SO gorgeous but so short and fleeting and it made me stop to watch it because I knew it would disappear… I stop often to SMILE at God’s stars. I stop to smile and laugh and cry with God’s children. Pause to find the PRAISE… It’s THRU appreciation that God’s world is much bigger than us that we can be blown away by the sheer magnitude of God’s majesty and yet we still are touched by His personal thoughtfulness of us… And then thru appreciation of the tiniest of particles, elements, and molecules that come together to make it all tink, we can study the minutia down to the math that governs it all and still be touched that we are part of HIS big plan…. YES, we should all be blown away by the elegance of GOD’S PLAN in motion…. Then keep moving with it.

Yeah, awareness of God is a GIFT you feel WAY before you can even begin to understand. And when we are allowed to have open eyes, we can only start to understand – and we can smile back at God who smiles at us.

God is our Father, not our buddy, but our Shepherd, our guiding SPIRIT… God is SPIRIT.

SMILES GOD, SMILES…
Lord, You give us PEACE – YOUR PEACE
You give us WIN time.

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Psalm 28 of David.
6 Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
    and with my song I praise him.
8 The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
9 Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.

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Psalm 95
1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
3 For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
Today, if only you would hear his voice…

Pancakes, 20Sep – #434 **

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A light and fluffy devotion this morning….

Pancakes, 20Sep

God pours us like pancakes when we are born onto the skillet of life on earth… it takes some time for us to cook, but not too long, for we are but brief travelers in this world…

Before we were born, we were already part of the mix, part of God’s batter. He already knew the plans for each of us before we were poured onto this skillet we call earth.

When we pancakes started to cook, we were filled with bubbles rising to the surface, we were and are always called to be maturing and learning. We are not yet complete… we do need a lift for achieving completion… God’s spatula comes to lift us… Sometimes it comes as a gentle slide, sometimes an abrupt push… God slips securely under us to catch, scoop, and then “ahhhh”…. LIFT…. can you feel that awesome lift? Just imagine that feeling of being lifted by the Lord up off the earth, the lightness in your heart, the forgiveness of your sins, the JOY of being chosen by God…

LIFT…

Wait… Guess what? We’re not done…

FLIP…

God flips our worlds upside down… back onto the skillet…
We must return to the heat which started our maturing ways… It’s OK!!! It’s OK because this time we can look up, we can watch God while He works!
This time our SPIRIT-filled bubbles are now inside our undone gooeyness, lifting us up, changing us from the inside… We are cooking, fine-tuning and maturing our ways – as we live out our time on the skillet of earth…  The good works started in us will be brought to completion…

With focus on GOD’S WILL, we need to work on those gooey parts of our lives, taking action to be SPIRIT- filled to doneness, asking God to keep an eye on us as He guides us thru the narrow but sure path…

God ever-watching our progress, He knows when He eventually plans to lift us off the skillet of earth… to take us back with HIM eternally… Our Gooeyness replaced by His Glory. His Glory bringing us home. To the big chorus of Amens.

HOME

We are but short timers here.
We are IN the world but not OF the world.

ENJOY today
ENJOY the lifting SPIRIT
Appreciate the FLIP
Work towards completion

SMILE

We are going HOME

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That’s What We Do, 19 Sept – #433 *

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That’s What We Do, 19 Sept

Well, I had the most wonderful touching day.. so many blessings… So many I can’t tell you about them all… And the day is not done yet…

From sponsoring a friend for her reaffirmation baptism, feeling her witness, with hugs all around – to singing my heart out for God in the praise band for His “Unfailing Love” – where I close my eyes and let my ears be filled with the sounds of God’s explosions like fireworks… and those quiet tones of God’s beauty gently soothing as a river runs from my ears thru my soul… Today also an amazing guest speaker touched by God then called by God to be His hands and feet – and guess what? God called to him in his car!!!! Like me!!! I nearly fell out of my pew – that’s sooooo awesome… My car is still my tabernacle… I am BLESSED… God calls…

My image of the day on auto replay overfills my heart – the sight of one of our littlest 4yr old VBS-ers running full steam for me… I can’t even believe she would remember me from july…. This LIGHT exuded from her face like no other, her glowing LOVE was so strongly overflowing and oh God stretched my heart just that much bigger today… God’s spirit poured into me, oy!!! 
My witness to God’s love is just like one of my dear dear friends said today, it’s everything… God’s love is from God in EVERYTHING… 

My sound bite of the day is from a dear seasoned UMW leader, setting up her afternoon district meeting in my church, I made the coffee, while at my third time at church of a five time visit kind of day… and I paused to let out a big sigh of the wonderful but hectic day… I recounted just a little, she turned and flatly said “That’s what we do…”… Stilled, I was stilled as in “BE STILL”, I was stopped, then moved to keep moving… yes “that’s what we do”… when we are stopped and changed by the SPIRIT we are so blessed… and then we are filled by the SPIRIT and then we are moved by the SPIRIT… and then we just go DO God’s work – because “that’s what we do”…

I got up then and kept moving… my favorite Joni Mitchell song is Woodstock “I feel to be a cog in something turning”… Yes, we are cogs in God’s plan, we move, others move, small or little moves, we are all powered by SPIRIT. We are moving back to the garden…

Now I sit quietly in my tabernacle of a car…oh how I feel I could use a week for retreat, what I have is 1 hour and I’m taking it at the 9/11 Garden of Reflection, the place where I knew I was 100% with Jesus on February 1st 2015… I knew God changed me forever, I knew HE wasn’t taking no for an answer… He drove me to Jesus, took my heart and took off my veil and broke my chains, re-vined me, fed me and grew me for His purposes, not mine… And in doing so He opened my eyes as well as my heart and made me realize I was HIS Forever… I ALWAYS was, HE just needed me to realize it… He needed me to take off those chains and walk towards Him.

OK, I’m going to get out of my car now and go touch that 9/11 steel that means so much and pray on my prayer of LIFE, of  LOVE, of PEACE… Peace that only God can give…  I pray the devil to stand down from meddling in PEACE – in world peace – and in my peace, in my family’s and in friends’ peace – it is all God’s PEACE… I surrender ALL to you, Lord, that’s my prayer… Driven by You to You for You…

Summer bugs, peaceful raindrops, two towers of water…steel… Love…magnified memories…

This Garden is filled with children’s coloring of PEACE doves… I could stay here all night, but doves keep moving, keep moving to spread the PEACE… They remember and then they keep moving… There’s miles to go now…

We move in GOD’S plan… 
“That’s what we do”…

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The Devil’s Smile, 18Sep – #432

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Woke up 230am, that very unusual these days -because for months I’ve had solid sleep…. God’s PEACE… But tis too much oh my mind tonight, these days.. I tried for an hour to fall asleep… Here’s a writing I hope will help… Full moon over my shoulder scripture in my hand…. 52 minutes after the hour… Sigh… Privately I might tell you the reason behind this writing, but I generalize this writing because the need to watch out for the devil is universal…

The Devil’s Smile, 18Sep

Have you ever seen the devil smile? I have. Surely, I tell you that the devil is real. He is as real as the bible tells you he is…. God knows he is the toilet paper which sticks to the bottom of your shoe, he’s playing a wicked game of tennis with God with humbling influence… Except when the score is LOVE, God wins and the devil loses…

The devil loses when we focus on God, and His divine will for us…  yet if our hearts are distracted, then praise God when we can engage our brains, and we KNOW the difference between right and wrong. We must take action to enforce His teachings in our hearts… Blessed are those poor in their own spirits and filled with Christ’s LOVE.

Seriously, how GREAT is our God to be able to put the devil in his place by shining Jesus thru us… This is why we fully need to listen to HIM… we need to pick up our cross daily and rely on Jesus’s precious divining stick to constantly track our hearts, to teach us… to keep us on walking the narrow but sure path. Jesus defeated the Devil – we need to rely on HIM!  “The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil”

Ephesians 6:11-13
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”

It’s that devil’s smile which gives him away in my life right now – sometimes I see him a mile away – sometimes he sneaks up on you – sometime a cheesy teeth-bearing grin clues me in… The brain must be engaged when the heart slips… We know what’s wrong… The actions we take must be weighed against our bible teachings. Our focus must be discipline to learn and relearn God’s WORD.

Jesus-centered focus is key.
Knowing right from wrong comes from deliberate focus – Jesus teaches us what our Father wants… Yes we have an advocate in Jesus, but we best not take liberties, we should strive for HIS righteous ways, not ours.

1 John 3:7-10
“Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.”

Lead us not into temptation… When the devil swoops in, it’s quick! He reads little slippages of our drifting thoughts – and yet if we are God focused, then God can (and will) handle the devil, but we need to turn to God always:
1st Corinthians 10: “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.”

Paul writes: “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2nd Corinthians 11

Scripture showed us that Job had major trials,  we can learn from those relevant bible teachings to help us deal with ours… We surely do get our own trials, always did, always will… Themes will repeat… Yet we have angels watching us and cheering us on when we turn to God without hesitation – in joy and especially because of temptation.

Good God, I have experienced this and I turn myself towards You, our Lord, when I see the devil rear his ugly head… I have witnessed that gospel truth that faithful God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear and provides a way out…   I look for that way out now – I’ve seen that devil smile too much in my face – but I remember that to achieve the score of LOVE is to lose my own selfish ambition, to fill myself with God’s spirit… And pray Jesus makes the devil stand down.

Sometimes it’s the devil working on others and you get caught in the crossfire…
1st John 2:15: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Paul reminds us that we are to help others not fall to the temptations either – “For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.”

Blessed are the merciful, we must work on giving forgiveness if the people are stuck in the devil’s grasp…. We see clearly where the devil is at work in others because our veils are removed…. 2nd Corinthians 3: “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

We must work and worship with discipline to keep ourselves unveiled and free from straying from our narrow but sure path…

THANKS LORD for your teachings, your faith in us, and your Word, mostly thanks for Jesus’s precious guidance, HIS life to give us life eternal….

AMEN


Job 28 ICB

27 Then God looked at wisdom and decided its worth.
He set wisdom up and tested it.
28 Then he said to man,
‘The fear of the Lord is wisdom,
and to stay away from evil is understanding.’


Matthew 7
The Narrow and Wide Gates
13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

True and False Prophets
15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

True and False Disciples
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’


Job 5

International Children’s Bible (ICB)

“But if I were you, I would call on God.
I would bring my problem before him.
God does wonderful things that cannot be understood.
He does so many miracles they cannot be counted.
10 God gives rain to the earth.
He sends water on the fields.
11 God makes the humble person important.
He lifts to places of safety those who are sad.
12 God ruins the plans of those who trick others.
Then they have no success.
13 He catches wise men in their own clever traps.
And the plans of those who try to trick others are swept away.
14 Darkness covers them up in the daytime.
At noon they feel around in the dark.
15 God saves needy people from their lies.
He saves them from the harm done by powerful people.
16 So the poor people have hope.
And those who are unfair are silenced.

17 “The person whom God corrects is happy.
So do not hate being corrected by God All-Powerful.
18 God hurts, but he also bandages up.
He injures, but his hands also heal.
19 He will save you from six troubles.
Even seven troubles will not harm you.
20 God will buy you back from death in times of hunger.
And in battle he will save you from death by the sword.
21 You will be hidden from the tongue that hits like a whip.
You will not need to be afraid when destruction comes.
22 You will laugh at destruction and hunger.
You do not need to fear the wild animals.
23 This is because you will have an agreement with the animals born in the wild.
And the wild animals will be at peace with you.
24 You will know that your tent is safe.
You will check the things you own and find nothing missing.
25 You will know that you will have many children.
Your descendants will be as many as the blades of grass on the earth.
26 You will come to the grave with all your strength.
You will be like bundles of grain gathered at the right time.

27 “We have checked this, and it is true.
So hear it and decide what it means to you.”


(PS, yes, I got back to sleep, finished this piece in the morning, God is GOOD)

Blind Faith, Blessed are the Merciful, UMW study, 14SEP – #431

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Blind Faith, Blessed are the Merciful, UMW study, 14SEP

I love UMW meetings because even if I come in with a rough program of what we might talk about, I let the Holy Spirit handle the rest – both as a time factor and a faith factor…

And the Holy Spirit does not disappoint – tonight we had a tremendous bible study with the Beatitudes…  this month:”Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” Matthew 5:7

Gratefully the UMW program book gave us a huge lesson within a short scripture about how the people treated a blind man, how the blind man had faith and acted in faith, and how Jesus both reacted to the crowd and to the blind man…

Mark 10:46-52 Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight

46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

 

Our UMW ladies were wonderful in teasing apart the deep meanings in the story – of how Jesus asked the blind man, Bartimeaus, what he desired first rather than just heal him on the spot – then how Jesus told the man that it was his faith that healed him…  of how the blind man asked for mercy – as a beggar the others did not show him mercy – but this man faithfully wished for mercy…  he knew Jesus was there and called out to him – he had to call even louder because of the commotion going on – he had to have blind faith that Jesus was the Messiah would hear him and be able to heal him…

This bible lesson shows us where we are called to be the same – we have to realize to put all our faith in God – even when we have gotten to the point of not being able to figure something out for ourselves…  Bartimeaus called out for mercy – in blind faith – we can too – and we then are called to give mercy to others…

Mercy is both something we ask for and just as importantly something WE MUST GIVE others..  the UMW devotion states: “God gives mercy to the lowly in heart – those who recognize their need for God’s forgiveness and healing power. Faith is a gift from God to help us know God personally, understand God’s truth and live in God’s love. For faith to be effective, it must be linked to trust and obedience – an active submission to God”

This website has a tremendous resource for teasing apart the beatitudes – what a wonderful set of teachings that Jesus delivered on the sermon on the mount…

http://www.padfield.com/acrobat/sermons/beatitude.pdf

attached are three photo excerpts from that study

“Mercy is a forgiving spirit towards the sinner” “We forgive others because we have seen them blinded by satan, the god of this age.” “we forgive because we have been forgiven” “we imitate God by showing mercy”…

and here is the link to an awesome song by Blindfaith – the super group 1969 live “In the Presence of the Lord” https://youtu.be/HIcESt9eYRk

“I have finally found a place to live, in the presence of the Lord”

Amen!

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An Old Post – the Gift of Re-reading, 03Sep – #430

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An Old Post – the Gift of Re-reading, 03Sep

I was honestly searching for some peace tonight – there are times that I have a tough time – as we all do – but I know I know that God is with me always and desiring to bring me peace…

I was singing “Called to Know You” as I took my walk “to walk with You, it is my great reward”… and I must know that there is purpose in this time of my life – purpose even when not finding peace- somehow I just know it is time for me to learn how to appreciate me and God together… and appreciate eventual ultimate peace that is graced…

I don’t always get what I want – nobody does… affirmations vs entitlements…  so after my walk I came back home and saw the fireworks from a nearby park – I can just see them from the end of my driveway – then inside for some time with my daughter – as we watched a great movie together – Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail…  what joy it is to spend time together that is so different now that she is so grown up now…

so then I re-read this post as I edited it for my blog page… it is an affirmation of love – to read my own devotion – I am grateful Lord – I am truly grateful for You and Your love – Your affirmation of love…

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Entitlements vs. Affirmations, 21JUN
I was in the mountains helping a friend open her cabin, we worked hard… So we felt entitled to sit by the lake to relax, and later I also sat at the bonfire stirring up coals. It was where I felt such peace…. Of course temporary moment for peace, couldn’t stay all night and get bitten up by the bugs, but I allowed myself to accept freely offered PEACE….felt good…felt God…

Was I entitled to sit there? probably not… I really should be out solving world hunger and working for world peace, shouldn’t I? Shouldn’t we all? That’s another conversation….but I was granted this golden slice of personal peace and I joyfully took it. Gifts are more wonderful when you don’t expect them.

When I look to God, should I look for entitlement? I am pretty sure I should not… I need to respect God and his plan. I already live a golden cake-walk type life, what is my right to ask for entitlements?

Does God give gifts? Oh yeah! Gifts are more wonderful when you don’t expect them.

I have been praying for something for at least two years, so long I don’t even know… honestly the praying became like begging at times. Yes, we should all pray for whatever we need… begging and anguish are all acceptable… we should always go to God in whatever state we are in, for all of our needs, because he already knows them before we can even ask.

Although I did not feel totally feel entitled to what I was begging God for, I have to say that when I finally said “It’s your will, God… do as YOU will, not as I ask”, well wouldn’t you know it? God answered in a big way… God knew I had changed… and I received this gift within 6 hours, I am not making this up and I am not going to tell you what it was…. Just know God provides… God’s gift was an affirmation of His LOVE. I had to admit I was not entitled to it, even though some might say I was. And “honest-to-God” when I humbly decided I was not going to demand it anymore, my heart was truly changed… and when I prayerful lifted it to God, finally in the right heart-set, He in turn gave it to me. A gift. He loves me.

God freely gives Grace. He loves you and knows what you need, just turn to HIM.

But it IS difficult to do this for everything we should, and it is HARD to separate needs and wants, and who knows, perhaps what we are demanding is the best for the situation because often it probably is…. Scripture says “All things are possible if you believe”. God wants to you to look towards Him, God does have your best interest at heart. Have faith in God, and accept grace gifts gracefully…

If we pray for God’s will in all things, no matter how difficult it is to give up control, then all the gifts from God become affirmations of Love. When we shed our human desires for human acceptance, human love, human entitlements, and instead desire to please God and respect HIS plan (a very very long term plan that we are not entitled to know the details of), then everyday everyway we can experience JOY… And the best JOY – an eternal life – only comes from God.

A good friend said JOY stands for Jesus-Others-Yourself… If you ask God to change your heart and put Jesus first – then others – before your own needs, you will find JOY… And it will feel like you are affirmed in an overload of LOVE.

I can truly truly say that, PEACE is offered by a loving God, I pray we all to take and accept that PEACE in Joy…

THANKS God. You make my heart smile eternally for you.

https://debbieupper.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/entitlements-vs-affirmations-21jun-194/

Proof of Love, Paul Simon, 03SEP – #429

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Proof of Love, Paul Simon, 03SEP

I love Paul Simon – I love his lyric: “I trade my tears to ask the Lord for proof of love, if only for the consolation of looking at the stars above” – and I love that because I often ask God questions and in the past I would have ask the Lord for signs like shooting stars when I looked to the sky… to only then (and now) realize that the stars themselves ARE His signs!! Just like the lyric: “Darkness fills with light – Love on Earth is everywhere”… Yes, He made the stars – Knowledge of Him should be sufficient for us – The Lord is sufficient – GRACE IS SUFFICIENT!

The stars existence shows HIS love. He made everything, LIFE EVERLASTING will all fall into place, and He IS in control – that’s proof of LOVE right there!

This is a convergent thought with a Matthew 16 scripture… We look too much for the signs instead of the sign of the times… We can and should look at the beauty of nature, the amazement of how fast children grow, the times we are able to rest, the peaceful morning hearing the summer bugs, the stars in the sky… and that IS God’s showcase of HIS LOVE… Amen!

Matthew 16 (NIV)
The Demand for a Sign
“The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.
He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”


PS –  I wrote a piece about shooting stars and skunks, one of my early pieces, when looking out the stars, sometimes the skunks come instead… a good reminder that God answers in HIS own time…  https://debbieupper.wordpress.com/2016/11/06/its-salvation-not-satisfaction-gods-shooting-stars-and-skunks-11jul-208/


I always appreciate Paul Simon talking about God which he does in many of his songs…
I love the line: “And when at times my words desert me  …  Music is the tongue I speak”

“Paul Simon – Proof of Love”

Begin again
No easy trick
Without a guide or walking stick
Begin before the bells of twilight peal

Downhill town
The road ahead
Spiral, as a serpent’s bed
A teaspoon of desire for my meal

I trade my tears
To ask the Lord
For proof of love
If only for the consolation
Of gazing at the stars above

Amen, amen, amen

The road is steep
The air is thin
I hear a voice inside my skin
Don’t be afraid
Your days won’t end with night
Feel the sun
Drink the rain
Let your body heal its pain
Bathe beneath a waterfall of light

I trade my tears
To ask the Lord
For proof of love
If only for the explanation
That tells me what my dreams are made of

Amen, amen
The valley below
An ocean of debris

I ask the Lord
For proof of love
Love is all I seek
Love is all I seek
And when at times my words desert me
Music is the tongue I speak

I rest my head beside a white oak tree
No deadly nightshade, Belladonna
Dare lay a leaf on me

Silent night
Still as prayer
Darkness fills with light
Love on Earth is everywhere

Not of THIS World, 29 AUG – #428

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Not of THIS World, 29 AUG

545 AM called to write and read scripture for an hour is MUCH appreciated compared to those 2AM wake ups, thanks God!!!

Being not OF this world but IN it…

I so appreciate God’s consideration of both… me being IN THIS world needing sleep and His reminding of me that I am NOT OF this world… He took my brain, I borrow it back to continue my earthly work, but my soul feels lifted and carried and I NEVER want to lose that feeling, NEVER…

Do you feel that? That floating “not of this world” feeling? Chatting with God most all day? Well, it’s heavenly and it’s REALLY an unnerving feeling too. It’s a feeling I mostly had growing up, but began to question as either mental instability OR divine lifting when I was starting to awaken fully to realizing God was pushing me and realized Jesus, the fisher of men, was reeling me in… Ad now, it’s a moral compass I strive to keep in tune with… It’s just like when singing, you have a choice to sing however you want to and often all over the place OR chose to listen to stay in tune… Yes, you have to listen to God to stay in tune…  Certainly I am more grateful to converse with this greater force knowing it’s not from me, rather than just absorb the force and think, then act, like it’s my doing… It’s NOT… Yes Lord, I am tickled to BE me, because I know You made me… Because I know God made us ALL to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13-19), to sing HIS praises, to refuel from the eternsl LIGHT not OF us but from Jesus shining IN and thru us…

So I ask the HOLY SPIRIT to use me now – while I truly realize that I am NOT of this world… To protect me from evil and place me in those situations where I can praise YOUR name and YOUR good works in me. It has become crystal clear in major aspects of my life, You took over and I’m blown away WITH PRAISE for how good You are to me.

That is why I fear a day that I might still slip into complacency, of focusing self-righteously on my earthly sinful desires… I pray Lord to listen and remain close to You and to be lifted as I do Your work in Your world… I appreciate that Your work blends in with using my skills – I ask for Your guidance and discernment ALWAYS. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12)

Like standing in the ocean, anticipating and jumping into the waves head on, I pray to not run away from fear, but be strengthened, courageous and lifted into YOUR service, moving as YOUR plan takes me…

Being not OF this world but IN it…
BE STILL, in it…

ALL IN ALL, Thanks Lord, THANKS…
I was always Yours, but now that I really realize that, I am ever MORE thankful!

AMEN

—————–
PS: Googling brings the scriptures easily, it’s a praise I have, Lord, for YOUR timing of a worldly tool, used for divine purpose… bringing your Word to the fingertips and eyes of those who need it the most…

————–

Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there,  Lord Jesus Christ,

John 15:19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

John 17:14-16 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it

1 Peter 2:11-12 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

1 John 4:4 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.

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1 John 2:15-17 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.


Charcoal Fires and Jail Cells – Accidental Saints book, 26AUG – #427

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Charcoal Fires and Jail Cells – Accidental Saints book, 26AUG

I can’t thank my friend enough for sharing this book, Accidental Saints… I highly recommend it… I’m not a reader, this book is so gripping and often funny but most importantly it is real and thought provoking…

As he suggested, I am reading it slowly, one chapter at a time and really absorbing it… It’s God’s timing… some strong chapters like this one repeat the weekly or daily themes… This chapter strongly speaks of the scenes from the movie “Risen” yesterday, which I just watched with my daughter, where Jesus reconciled Peter after his denials after Easter Sunday…  God is a God of Easter forgiveness…. that is true…

God makes us vessels to collect and share HIS LOVE… Peter was so imperfect like us, but when filled with God’s perfect LOVE Peter was changed, in the movie Peter and later the soldier say “I will never be the same”…. I understand that completely.

God REALLY wants to LOVE us… Just like in Psalm 139 – He’s ALWAYS looking for us…

Immanuel, God with us… Yeah, He is….
We are BLESSED…

I urge you to read this book – here are excerpts from chapter 16 – Charcoal Fires and Jail Cells

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Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

 

Removing Anxiety with Christ, 23Aug – #426

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Removing Anxiety with Christ, 23Aug

Convergent scriptures God placed in my sight, about being anxious – about learning to be content in all circumstances – and letting God lift us to JOY… Accepting that God has a plan for each of us means we have to work that plan WITH God in mind.

God tells us NOT to be anxious, that’s a tough one… Just as tough as God telling us NOT to be jealous, well that’s really tough if not impossible, because we are human…  Yet we are to strive to remove jealousy and anxiousness…

Two sets of scriptures – telling of how our devotion to God relieves anxiety. . .
Paul letter to Philippians 4:5-7:
“The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

God doubled back HIS reminder to me with the Psalm 94:19:17-19 scripture… Praises from David, the shepherd who became king:
“Unless the Lord had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.”

David saw his anxiety lifted not just to PEACE but ultimately to JOY…

God is not JUST saving us away from death and despair – BUT He wants to lift us even higher than that – to JOY.

Paul acknowledges and teaches in his letter to the Philippians (verse 2) that our devotion to Christ is to actually be found within us! Imitating Christ IS the path for us to follow, the LIGHT to find in our LIFE…  We are to emulate Christ’s obedience by taking on the role of the servant. He calls for us to humble ourselves – to do everything without grumbling – to serve – to “continue to work out  salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill HIS good purpose.”

Paul acknowledged that he also was STILL WORKING ON THIS!!!
In Philippians 3:12 – “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”….
In Philippians 4:9 – “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ— the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”

Paul was imprisoned and struggled –  and yet Paul was still able to encourage others with his letters: Philippians 1:29-30 ” For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.”

Paul suffered and acknowledges that we all suffer too, but Paul focuses on Jesus’s GIFT of salvation and urges us to as well. The scriptures give the “How” for moving forward and removing anxiety – IT’S CHRIST WORKING IN US: “13 I can do all this through HIM who gives me strength”.

This is NOT easy, it’s not instant, but it is God’s GIFT to us – We are to look to HIM and draw upon HIS strength within us. HIS strength is not external but internal. We are to focus- looking forward, be moved by the HOLY SPIRIT and look for the JOY that comes from devotion.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

AMEN


Philippians 4 (NIV) – (Paul writing to the Philippians)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Thanks for Their Gifts
10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.


Philippians 3:
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Following Paul’s Example
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.


Philippians 2 (NIV)

Imitating Christ’s Humility
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 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 16 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. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.;


Philippians 1 (NIV)
Life Worthy of the Gospel
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel 28 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. 29 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.


Psalm 94 (NIV) from David

1 The Lord is a God who avenges.
O God who avenges, shine forth.
2 Rise up, Judge of the earth;
pay back to the proud what they deserve.
3 How long, Lord, will the wicked,
how long will the wicked be jubilant?
4 They pour out arrogant words;
all the evildoers are full of boasting.
5 They crush your people, Lord;
they oppress your inheritance.
6 They slay the widow and the foreigner;
they murder the fatherless.
7 They say, “The Lord does not see;
the God of Jacob takes no notice.”
8 Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
you fools, when will you become wise?
9 Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
11 The Lord knows all human plans;
he knows that they are futile.
12 Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord,
the one you teach from your law;
13 you grant them relief from days of trouble,
till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not reject his people;
he will never forsake his inheritance.
15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.
16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the Lord had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.
20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
a throne that brings on misery by its decrees?
21 The wicked band together against the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord has become my fortress,
and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins
and destroy them for their wickedness;
the Lord our God will destroy them.

Re-tackling My Writings, 22Aug – #425

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Re-tackling My Writings, 22Aug

So I asked God if I could tackle my editing of my writings after VBS was done (or nearly done – I’m still cleaning, LOL)

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

It does not surprise me God did not give me time to edit, He had me tasked with so many new things this year -I would be the first to tell you that I didn’t have time or an urge to write, but felt so forced to do so and HE woke me up early and created more time in my day, and I wrote – discussions with the Lord are the best done in the mind and for me thru the fingers… I’ll also be the first to tell you I didn’t have time to exercise or eat healthy but God found that time too!  All good things are from God, so He surely was the one who woke me up early, and gave me extreme intense focus for my health, and still does. He still focuses me… And I will also be the first to tell you I couldn’t sing, but felt addicted to the praise music and God said “OH YEAH? Sing anyway, sing MY praises and I will help you thru… sing MY praises and I will give you a support group that you could hardly ever imagine.”

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

I can’t acclaim I had anything to do with all these things… but I am actively asking God to give me a chance to edit my blogs…

So, I have a whole 14 months to edit – over 150 “newer” writings much more mature then my initial ones – I’m going to do it slowly-  I want to get them in my WordPress blog so that they are organized… I am NOT advertising but they are “on tap” for whenever I need to reread them, just like today, or if I want to share a particular one – but mostly for whenever God wants to use one anonymously in the Ethernet… It’s up to HIM…

I came across this one from June 2015 which stuck with me the whole past year – and translated into us making a net with our arms at the VBS morning meeting on day 2 – when we talked about Jesus and Peter on the water…

I love being in my church family – it is something I will always cherish – I know that we are “not of this world but in this world” and the fact is that while we are here we are tasked to create a family net that can grow the kingdom… it’s an awesome task… It’s so many layers of faith family I have – VBS, women’s retreat, band, UMW, visitations, committees, youth group activities, and that’s just scratching the surface of nets inside and outside the church too… so many layers… so much love… all LOVE is from the Lord – we get to share it by being vined with HIM.

Today I heard of a few tragic circumstances in other people’s lives and I am inspired by the LIGHT and LOVE of Jesus that was still shown thru each of those folks… I am grateful for each day and for being in the world in a wonderful time with such wonderful people.

Here is the old post that stuck with me – our faith families have been joined to us by God:

192 from June 2015
https://debbieupper.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/church-family-cousins-20jun-192/

Right now it is dawn in the mountains, camping with a great friend from church, helped her open her cabin for the season… It’s her and her kids tackling the big tasks and building new family memories…

Truly this is a prime example of church folks becoming my extended family (family away from family) and in turn I became extended family to them… Giving back as much love and time as I can, being part of a reciprocal family network… She needed the help, I love to work hard, I needed the retreat (no phone or data service), I needed to sit on a rock and unwind… after a great night’s sleep – this devotion came:

Church Family Cousins, 20Jun

Remembering how blessed I am for my blood family AND my blood family. My blood family extends deep and wide biologically, established in my parents generous LOVE, making every effort travel and to share with me a great multiplicity of extended love… cousins… “let’s go meet your cousins”… and I did… I have absorbed their love… I have given back love…

Most of the travel adventures I had as a child were on the way to see aunts, uncles, and cousins… Twice a year up and down the east coast – hitting all the big and little tourist and history hot spots and taking time to interact with the locals along the way.

Blood cousins, we are far apart now in a too busy lifestyle, society demands busyness, vacation for us now is less frequently cousin-hopping, and certainly less interacting with locals along the way…

Same in church… Blood relatives are there too, united in Christ’s blood. I came to church when I had a small baby, I came to establish roots, I had moved away from my family, I came to church to gain more family, I knew I needed them – but I needed them more than even I knew… yes I found family anew. They then became my cousins in Christ.

My Roots, His Net…

In a new church I worked hard establishing deep roots, that fed me first in society love, but that grew into family love, that I was able to extend back to them… Love so deep that I don’t want to dig it up and transplant… And love so strong that I had to extend out extra roots into new space, into extra non-congregational lands to support my ever growing faith…

Faith family became blood family when, I accepted Jesus, took in the fact that His Flesh and Blood were given for me AND acknowledged a Christ-centered path that I must travel. “The path is narrow, but it is sure”… I don’t have a map for this path – A compass, yes in the bible! and a firm sense of my skill set, and enough supplies to last a lifetime… Yes and I have direction – Jesus gives us direction – “He will show you the path to take” Proverbs 3:6… Yes it’s travelling time.

Life feeds you love best when you reciprocate… When you are as much the giver of love as the recipient… When you provide the soil for your blood cousins to put down their own roots.

When you look to your congregational family for support, it’s good to ask yourself if you have done the same for them… Feed them so much – and don’t worry if you get it directly back, hopefully we all realize that we are being fed cross-network and not back and forth…. Set up this network for others as you have enjoyed for yourself… Trust me, you will be fed… Just change the type of diet you long for…. Feed on JESUS’ LOVE and not individual human love and you will never go hungry. Look for the love of Jesus under stones, in the dark spaces, and plain as day in the open…

At first I went to church for the people. I needed and always will need people, that’s who I am, that will never change. Once in my church family, I followed God’s LOVE in a unique path that I didn’t realize I was taking. God drew me near and I found Jesus along the way. In a long term plan, God was reeling me in… slow but sure… slow enough that my wriggling didn’t unhook me, God used a gentle hook, patiently waited, and the net was grown from extension of love by my church family, a network woven tight, built strong… A network that is GOD’S fishing net, the tighter the weave, the smaller the fish you can catch, the wider the net, the wider the range of fish you can catch, the stronger the safety net behind the first net, the more fish you won’t lose when things break apart…

See Jesus is a Fisher of men… Humans are the fish caught in the nets, but they must then become the nets themselves… They can be the builders of new nets, repairers of old nets, designers of new net styles, and then embed themselves into that net.

Anytime you network in Christ means you produce more nets for His work, for Him to draw upon…

See, after I accepted Jesus, I accepted being part of HIS net. I know my tool set, sometimes I build, sometimes I repair, sometimes I design, but all the time I network from within, by being part of that net… I am and we are called to work, as well as exist… we must be networked to work within and not outside God’s workshop.

I used to go to church – for the people…. Jesus caught me in His net… So, I now hunger NOT for people love but JESUS LOVE… And so I now go to be the church – for the people – same reason – new love –  JESUS LOVE… I am here for Jesus. I am blessed to be a member and a builder of His Net.

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WAIT, It’s God’s Timing… 15AUG – #424

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WAIT, It’s God’s Timing… 15AUG

Yesterday a friend who patiently visits nursing home folks said she tells the residents that: “God answers prayers with either yes, no, or WAIT”… Yup, I said “sometimes God yells – ‘WAIT, can’t you see I AM working here?’ Yup…”

Yet sometimes I do say “what are we waiting for God?”  God doesn’t answer that one with a yes or no – He once again says “WAIT” –  “WAIT, and maybe you will see – but maybe you won’t… Pay attention to see why I made you WAIT” – Yup – “Watch for God” is what our VBS folks say…

WAIT – it’s not our timing is it? – NOPE, it’s not…  It’s HIS!

This morning a tractor trailer cut in front of me – not the first time this happened – I drive a lot – and I accidentally did it to someone last year too – probably this was not even that particular truck’s fault – he likely had to get out of that lane fast so he didn’t hit the slower truck in front of him… and he probably said: “i have just enough space to get in that other lane”… whew!  – I don’t know, never will – I just know that since I WAS paying attention this time this morning (like God says to do always) there was JUST enough time for me to have that split second reaction – I slowed down in time – accident avoided – Subaru salvation once again – saved by God – HIS timing… Thanks God… WHEW…

After I started breathing again, I muttered “SAVED” under my breath and then boldly sang out “We are saved, we are saved, we are saved, we are saved” – and I smiled in relief…  that lyric is from a new campfire praise band song I learned yesterday – God’s timing was percolating it in my head – it was already praising at the tip of my tongue because it stuck with me all day – yeah – God made the save (of me) today for whatever reason – sure, I can shrug it off as good timing, sure, because every day there are crazy road events and especially in that exact stretch of road – but in my heart I know I was saved for something – this time… I know we are ALL saved for God’s timing – not ours!!!…  one more day, one more drive that God needs me to be somewhere – not my timing, HIS – not my slowdown, HIS – not my saving Grace, HIS…

He made me WAIT off and on – maybe it was the keys that got caught on the door this morning while I tried to rush – maybe it was the junk on the floor I tripped on that made me 2 seconds later – maybe it was delayed laundry sorting I didn’t need to finish but did anyway – maybe it was nothing – maybe it’s because I am ALWAYS late – I don’t know – but today and all days I do give thanks for God’s timing – thanks for making me 2 seconds delayed and giving me those 2 extra seconds to react and hit my brakes…

Likely I was able to hit my Subaru brakes because earlier in the day God hit the brakes on me – I am not making myself to be so important that God micro-manipulates my moves – but something tells me that God has angels tweaking the system all the time… I don’t know what I don’t know – but I DO know what I DO KNOW… And yeah, I know that I want to be one of THOSE move-maker angels when I grow up – YEAH!!!… God’s probably got lots of plans for us in heaven too, not just here – granted I’m in no rush to know – God will let me know that too… In His time…

So, thanks God for keeping me in the plan here on earth one more day – I got things to do and people to see and who knows what else – thanks for one more day to sing your praises…

For God is planning for all of us, we just need to pay attention… I know God had His timing for Jesus too… I’m remembering a sermon scripture – and I bet Jesus wasn’t always excited about His Father’s timing either, was He? – Luke 12: 49-50 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!” Yeah – it’s not just us – Jesus was in a quandary about timing too… Yeah, don’t we all want it all done now and then move to the next project ? Jesus said something about being busy too: Luke 12: 48 “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

God keeps me busy – God has His reasons – whom am I to be questioning when God has tasked me with much – but also whom am I to be angry or upset when I am delayed – God has tasked me with following in HIS timing – HIS plan – not mine…

Thanks God – I will keep moving now…  Be Still = Be, and still know that I am God… Wait and watch for God…

God will either say Yes, No – or WAIT!

God’s brakes – we can be eternally waiting and watching for God…

Polishing HIS Pearl, 09Aug – #423 *

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Polishing HIS Pearl, 09Aug

Matthew 6:21 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.”

Putting on my pearl necklace this morning, dressed up for the big boss coming to work today, I looked in the mirror and I smile at how God has changed me – first and most crucially inside – by growing Jesus in my heart and focusing my gaze inward to growing Him and shining Him, then later changed me outwardly by my weight loss and increased fitness… God plucked up the pearl inside me and started polishing.

I love to sing the praise band lyric based on Psalm 105:  “Make known among the nation’s, what the Lord has done! Sing to HIM! Sing praises to HIM… Tell all HIS wonderful acts!”…

I know it’s God’s timing but sometimes I wonder to marvel why Jesus was cultivated in me for SO long until God cracked open my oyster. I wondered why it wasn’t until the age of 45 that I awakened to the knowledge that God had claimed me for HIS own, drove me directly into Jesus’s arms to wake me up. I know HE waited until I was ready to open my eyes.  I marvel at the intensity of my love for Him and how rapid it developed… I know and appreciate it was HIS timed window of opportunity – not too early, not too late… And I know He STILL has work to do in me and now I must help Him help me – by asking Jesus to shine on dark areas of my ever human sinfulness.

Because of HIM and HIS LOVE. I was caught in the net where I previously had struggled with being caught. When I stopped struggling (and stopped scratching God’s polish on His pearl) and I became STILL, that’s when I let Jesus scoop me up WHOLE HEARTEDLY. He knew I needed HIM before I was even born. He knew I need Him ever more now and forever…

Jesus’s net is cast from the inside. His shining pearl is lovingly kept inside of us for all to see. When we open our eyes and our pearly smile we shine HIM thru us. The “key” – like attached to my “I love Jesus” keychain – is that Jesus cracks us open from the INSIDE. Jesus is the pearl in our oyster. God waits until it is harvest time – then God polishes. We become the beneficiaries of HIS shining… His Grace… His LOVE…

John 6: (NIV)
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.
… 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me.”

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The Song, the Sentiment, the Praise, 06Aug – #422

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The Song, the Sentiment, the Praise, 06Aug

Call me sentimental, sure… the other night I had time to empty out the bulging blue praise pumpkin and put my band music sets in sheet protectors in a folder… Over thirty sets now, eight months, can’t believe it… pumpkin couldn’t hold the volume anymore with my other memorabilia…. up front I had placed the first songs – “One King” and “What Child is This?” And the advice reminders from my dear band leader, who’s encouraging ways were NEVER over the top but simply always simply allowing me to just find my own way (not intervening – but allowing the spirit to work)… I feel that my nurtured singing was/is like nurtured faith, it has to come from developing your own understanding, no one else’s, and it comes from the SPIRIT already in one’s heart.  It is completely true, the path is narrow but it is sure, and it’s yours alone to start walking on…

Being with the band is a huge praise that I never saw coming, it shocks me more than losing all this weight… I’m still learning, always will be… To sing you must listen – that’s probably my biggest lesson here… And while praise singing fills and lifts my heart, my time hanging with the band is what makes my heart extra happy, hearty and smile… And instead of just my mouth overflowing in thunderous praise on Sundays, I pray that my heart overflows… I pray for God-blessed AMAZING GRACED-notes…

SO BLESSED…

Earlier tonight we went to see praise singer (and writer of “Come to the Cradle”) Michael Card’s concert in NJ… my third time seeing him in the exact time frame as my own singing developed, AMAZING TIMIMG…

I sat there knowing God wanted me to be there… tonight the electricity went out when a giant storm came in just after the opening praise band and just before Michael Card was to perform –  and the people just spontaneously started singing “and the Rolling Thunder” from “How Great Thou Art”.  Oooohhhh, it sent chills up my spine!!! And then Michael started his performance anyway –  he sang with no electricity – just guitar – for about five songs before the electricity came on – unbelievably beautiful and generous of him…. Intimate praise shared in rolling thunder…

Yes the concert was awesome and I also had wonderful conversations with the other people there… truly God allows us to build each other up so that we can recharge and go out and build the rest of the church… Truly God makes me sing in my heart and out thru my mouth – oh the praise…..

Oh I LOVE God’s hand guiding in my life – or better to say that I LOVE my life inside His Hand!

Thank you Lord for the song – the sentiment – the thunderous praise…

Lukewarm, 01AUG – #421 *

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I told myself during VBS week that if i was forced to write by God, I would wait to release until after the week was all done  – so here is the one writing that “popped” in my head, while picking thru seeds, wrote it in the car after day 3 of VBS… Took me another week to get back to editing it, I am blessed always to ponder….

Lukewarm, 01AUG

Seeds – popcorn and sunflower… I’m too cheap to throw away stuff that is still good – so after day 3 of VBS, Wednesday, I looked at this leftover mixed bag of sunflower seeds and popcorn and tons of unpopped popcorn kernels… hmmm… I could throw the whole thing to the birds – but that seemed wasteful – even if I know the birds would enjoy the seeds…  Well, I decided to save it so I could just pick out the unpopped popcorn at my leisure in the car and eat the sunflower seeds… It’s NOT surprising that scripture came to me at that very moment – God placed it on my heart and compelled me to push it out thru my fingers…

Revelation 3:
“These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”

Those unpopped popcorn kernels…. if you chewed them, ouch… I ate a couple… They hurt…

There are so many unpopped kernels, some slightly cracked, from many batches of popcorn –  mixed in with the picked over popped popcorn and yummy sunflower seeds.

Well those unpopped and half cracked kernels to me sadly connect as cold and “lukewarm” Christians. “Lukewarm” is not “ALL in or ALL out” as God would prefer… and as the Revelation chapter warns: God will spit them out of His mouth.

It’s not my place to judge, but I do find that it is very sad, that so many people who are nowhere near or just part way to where God wants them – cracked a little bit at the seams but not totally filled with the spirit to be fully popped … perhaps they have not felt the fire… perhaps their seed coverings are too thick to let the heat in… perhaps they just didn’t get enough time in the fire, perhaps they felt it and stepped away in fear of changing.. They are not “all in” as a pastor friend of mine sermonized recently.

Perhaps we ALL need to get a little closer to the heat… We all need to pop more with the SPIRIT…

But, how would they/we know?????? Truly, how would people know unless they are introduced to and start to take Jesus’s teachings into their own hearts. When God cracks open the seeds planted in our hearts, it’s up to us individually to let the SPIRIT in….. God’s faithful servant Son, Jesus, came to teach us… to achieve maximum fullness we need to let Him reign in us… (FYI – it’s a great praise band song: “Jesus have Your way, King of glory reign in me”)…

Matthew 5, 6, 7 were the VBS scriptures of the day, the Beatitudes and Sermon on the Mount… Here Jesus gives instructions for living, for walking a closer walk with God, even instructions on how to pray.

Surrendering to God’s Will… we need Jesus’s guidance… God knows WE NEED HELP and therefore provides Jesus’s healing preaching, presence and power.

The scriptures speak for themselves, I need not say any more… I am GRATEFUL God pushed them in and thru my head as peacefully. Oh that warmth of Jesus, JOY of the Lord, dutifully I pray the SPIRIT to always to rein me in and reign in me…

Thank you Lord for your Son, Salvation and DIRECTION…

Amen


Matthew 5 (NIV)
Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount

5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

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

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The Fulfillment of the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Murder

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister[b][c] will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

Adultery

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

Divorce

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Eye for Eye

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 6 (NIV)
Giving to the Needy

6 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Prayer

5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

9 “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Fasting

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

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. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 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!

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

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.
Matthew 7 (NIV)
Judging Others

7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3 “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? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Ask, Seek, Knock

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

True and False Prophets

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

The Wise and Foolish Builders

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

God’s Recycling, 28JUL – #420

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God’s Recycling, 28JULY

I was rereading an email for a VBS collaboration that we did not do, financially not feasible…  and I know the final take home cost of our sanctuary decorations this year was zero…. Not even the tape cost us, all was donated and trash picked… Even the materials original costs would have been well under $500… Actually everything pretty much this year was donated (even the food) or reused or trash picked… Enabling us to keep under the total from the $25 donations we collect per family, keeping us below $2000 for 150 folks everyday, WOW…

Yeah, God provides…

I especially like to use trash picked stuff because I remember God takes us, picks us up, removes our trash baggage of sin with Jesus death and resurrection, and reuses us, washes us clean, and reminds us we are loved… And gives us eternal life….

Dust to dust we are all made from God’s reuse and recycling…

Thanks God for picking me up, dusting me off, and focusing my eyes on you!

Amen


All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Ecclesiastes 3:20

For then the dust will return to the earth, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.  Ecclesiastes 12:17

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Genesis 3:19 NIV

 

God’s Children, 27Jul – #419

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God’s Children, 27JUL

So I have to tell you how God lets me witness touching moments… I see so many; God tickles me with opening my eyes to see him in live action… Yesterday a little boy, maybe four years, comes out with his grandma after Bible School… He says “mom-mom, mom-mom” and pulls her over to the sign that I made with each of the Bible scripture lessons and Bible Buddies and placed in the back garden so that perhaps parent or grandparent would glean the Bible messages while waiting in line to check in. Originally I was going to put the sign somewhere else but that doesn’t matter now, God must have had other plans for that sign, I realize over and over again life is NOT my plan but His plan…

“Mom-mom, mom-mom”, this cute little boy continues… “This is Sal and this is Radar, and….”… He tells her all about the VBS Bible Buddies which help our children understand the scripture messages. He was trying so hard to make sure his mom-mom was focusing on the pictures, understanding what he wanted to teach his mom-mom all about.

See, we are not JUST teaching our children the Bible messages, they are teaching US!!! Children are a living Bible…. God has empowered these sponges to soak up Bible teachings and spread the WORD. How sweet and touching to listen to those innocent words of a child? The grandmas and grandpas LOVE to listen… the children LOVE to share the LOVE… perhaps they don’t yet know this love comes directly from God, but surely we know by now that God has instilled His Spirit into every child… Jesus in their hearts – He gets to play as a child, and He would grow with us if we feed HIM…

I pray, that we all remember our own “Child of God” beginnings and haven’t lost the appreciation of those touching small and large God-sighting moments. God is using us to reach others, using our lives to teach… Wants us out there sharing the love…  He loves us, we are HIS children, forever…

Thank you Lord for letting me be witness to You in action… Thank you for your children.

Jesus and Peter, Boxing Day, Servants Shining HIS LIGHT, 26JULY – #418

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Jesus and Peter, Boxing Day, Servants Shining HIS LIGHT, 26JULY

A VBS thank you email

Thank you ALL for being servants of the Lord, for sharing this amazing LOVE, which is also instilled in us to nurture us…. We are truly BLESSED to see the LIGHT, walk by faith, share the LOVE…

Tuesday’s VBS story of Jesus and Peter walking on water…. VBS day 2 on 26 JULY… That’s “Boxing day” in July, after Christmas in July…

Boxing Day is a holiday in England  where bosses and workers exchange places to appreciate  each other’s roles. Of course I know it from the MASH TV episode… and I connect it to Jesus’s teachings that He wants us to hear and obey –  Mark 9:35 Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Paul said in 1Corinthians :
18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.”

Boxing Day, I could become the servant, I should be… every day we are called to be the servants… Paul also wrote: “19 though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.”

Jesus is God, took a form of a human to serve us. Traded HIS life for our sins, took our death away so that we have eternal life… took and takes the burdens from us so that we can feel LIGHT, no heavy load… Takes our dark and selfish ways out of us, so that we can shine HIS LIGHT! We are God’s servants, and called to do HIS work…  when we do, we become LIGHT and are lifted from the water.

Like Peter, who took his sights off the Lord, there are times I can be sinking too, badly, I reached up and heavenly Jesus’s hand was there, refocused my eyes on HIM and He saved me from my fear… Gave me courage to face my fear, and raised my heart up to JOY in the Lord! 

Yeah Jesus is REAL – we are blessed to witness and share this amazing Godly LOVE in real life situations!!! And we get to teach that!!!! …. Jesus gives COURAGE! Follow Him!

GOD BLESS YOU for your ministry to our collective children of all ages!

Thank you for being the servant!
Thank you for being the LIGHT!

—–
Paul, 1Corinthians …” wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to LIGHT what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”

AMEN
——-

VBS Tuesday 7/26 – Jesus Gives Us COURAGE! Follow Him!

Matthew 14 
Jesus Walks on the Water 
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of 
him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed 
them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.Later that night, he 
was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, 
buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.26 When 
the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a 
ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: 
“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 
29 “Come,” he said. 
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward 
Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, 
cried out, “Lord, save me!” 
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little 
faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who 
were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” 
34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the 
men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding 
country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick 
just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

Prayer for LIGHT, 21Jul – #417

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Prayer for LIGHT, 21Jul

This is a photo of a beautiful prayer about Jesus being the LIGHT, I “randomly” came across it today in this wonderful book, Accidental Saints, that my friend lent me… as my bookmark was placed here, at a prayer for LIGHT, the theme for VBS, yeah it’s not random….
We are the servants, the bees, making the wax to grow the candle, to let the LIGHT shine brighter, longer, cleaner, sweeter, and for all to see….

LIGHT, that’s what it is all about… Shine the LIGHT of Jesus thru you…. Clean out the corners of your heart, come clean…shine…

Jesus came into the world not to condemn it but to save it… to save me… to save you… We are to ask God to forgive our transgressions from today and from forever. No temptation is more powerful compared to the great power of God to help you resist it… God won’t allow us to be tempted more than we can bear… I know this, but still I ask God to go light on me… and I realize he already did… go LIGHT on me… WOW, God already went to Jesus to be our Savior, our saving grace, our LIGHT! . God sent Jesus to advocate for us and to heal us. He’s the one who’s going to remove our stumbling transgressions…. He will LIGHT-en our load, LIGHT our path…
Jesus is the way the truth and the life… John 14:6

JESUS

PEACE
LIGHT
LIFE
LOVE
SHINE

AMEN

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Diamonds and Bismuth, 18JUL – #416

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Diamonds and Bismuth, 18JUL

Hit my head on the car last night, but apparently my mini goose egg flooded me with VBS ideas… And so I woke up to have to write them out… just like we wrapped cardboard tubes with paper, we could use leftover tablecloths to wrap cardboard boxes – or shiny  black plastic bags – to make blocks of coal… And label them, with this classic line: 
“Feeling pressured? You ALSO are being made into a diamond by God!” …

yup that’s what Pre-VBS week is going to be like!!

And bismuth, it’s one if my favorite crystal structures since I was a kid… It’s SO intricate and cool and has that mystifying set of the colors of a rainbow….. 
Bismuth is naturally tantalizing, the rainbow colors together are like VBS in its intricacies coming together… Beauty as seen when one looks at visible light that is split – rainbow colors! – and we know that the promise of the rainbow – that God takes care of us – this PROMISE was fulfilled in the LIGHT of the world – born as a BABY on Christmas day… A Prince of PEACE… Jesus is the promise – Jesus saves us for eternal living with our Lord…

We are like mini rainbows inside, missing a few wavelengths sometimes, blocked by life and our circumstances, but we reach out to the pure LIGHT of Jesus to complete us and shine in us and make us WHOLE… We long to shine HIM thru us!

With child-like wonder at VBS time we reach out together as rainbows of color coming together to SHARE THE LIGHT!!!

Rain buckets, 17July – #415

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Rain buckets, 17July

It’s rare that I wake up to write these days, after VBS I will try to reopen old editing on my “to do list”…. But during VBS it’s NOT seemingly on God’s “to do list” – because He seems to like fresh thoughts of old blessings…. It’s like re-playing bible stories for the little kids at VBS and all of a sudden the stories touch your heart in a fresh way too!!! And it’s quite STILL STILLING for me to be touched by the Word of God. I think when we aren’t moved enough to become stilled by HIS Word, we best to listen more…. Better to quiet one’s own self to hear those whispers…

At VBS we scatter seeds of God’s LOVE – both deliberate planting of big seeds and as many haphazardly thrown tiny seeds of faith… Mustard seeds – remember the tiniest seeds can grow the mightiest faith! Matthew (13:31–32), Mark (4:30–32), and Luke (13:18–19)

At VBS we have bible messages scattered about in every which way, with joyous splashes of unashamed faithful fluorescent colors placed for whenever God needs to catch someone’s eye with scripture, and grow those God-given words planted into people’s hearts.   Awakening to the notions of HOPE COURAGE DIRECTION LOVE AND POWER, all brought to you by JESUS living inside of HIS CHILDREN, yes, inside of YOU….

We remind the children and the adults that “YOU ARE GOD’S CHILD”, that we are all growing in this  – but maturing for the next. For surely my and your eyes need to catch those catch phrases now and then too… And we need to ask for the Lord to replenish the nourishing LIVING water in our hearts too. “Here’s my cup Lord, fill it up”

Seeds, floods, rain barrels… God floods us with HIS desire that we follow HIM… and we have to remember to stock up on sustaining water for growth – do we need to save it (???) well actually we need to SHARE IT…. because hiding and hording LIVING water is not the plan – stagnant water is no longer LIVING… Sharing LIVING water also nourishes us because when we know the original source, we can reach out to God to fill us up more… We have been flooded with blessings – we can tap into a flood of God’s WORD – and we can store our blessings up in rain barrels of faith to serve.

BE STILL… Remember to still your soul, and remember to drink in your faith, shine the light that was shined to and thru you and grow that seed of Jesus so lovingly planted in your heart by God, netting even more seeds once your matured faith blossoms – and brings forth a new crop of seeds too share – some seeds for planting deliberately and some for planting seemingly haphazardly, like mustard seeds….

Give back to God by meeting HIS children where they are, and spreading HIS seeds of faith in the hearts of ALL God’s children….

GOD BLESS VBS volunteers and all of you for sharing your LIVING SPIRIT.

PEACE

Peacemakers, 13Jul – #414 *

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God is good and he cheers me endlessly. I do not take that for granted… I know I am so blessed and that puts all my trials in perspective they are nothing compared to many others.

This is a devotion thanking God for firmly being in control and a prayer that I still MY own heart to hear HIS word – and to carry out HIS actions … after I finished writing this, I listened to our praise band song “Loved by You”, it’s one of my newest favorites to sing. When first I heard the line “Healing Flood, God of Peace, Speak Your Word, and Quiet Me” it’s so fitting that God uses a song to remind me of my Christmas flood – of Him still firmly holding me under his wing… God is good!!!

Peacemakers, 13Jul

Nothing like God sending a signal in the middle of the hardest conversations…. my vision is cloudy and yet my head knows I need to do the right thing by God…. I need to BE honest, BE me, BE STILL… And ALWAYS just BE.

The patch “Peace Maker” caught my eye in a sea of distracting colors on the sewing table this morning… Why it caught my eye just then was NOT due to me, but God did that – I know God truly did that, forced it into my view with clarity like a lens that focuses… That’s a powerful God sighting, He knows better than I… He made me this peacemaker, and reminds me ALWAYS, for me sure, for others definitely, but primarily FOR HIM… I listen and pray for discernment…

Matthew 5:9 BLESSED are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God….

It’s not easy being a peacemaker, God calls me to that role even if it causes me trials, sigh…. God’s trials are HIS way of calling us in as children (Hebrews 12)

And this link (below) has a good understanding of the Sermon on the Mount Beatitude about being a peacemaker.  http://www.gotquestions.org/blessed-are-the-peacemakers.html

And Hebrews 12 tells of God’s discipline for HIS children…. A friend posted that today….”Because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as his child.”

Yes, to be a peacemaker and child of God means to BE STILL, to listen and to lean NOT on your own understanding…. there’s no way I can understand all the things God needs me to do, there’s no way I can understand the sacrifice that He made in Jesus’s blood for me. But, I CAN understand that HE truly loves me – even if I never comprehend how deep how long and how wide how high HIS LOVE is for us… and to be a peacemaker means to tell others where your peace comes from… and why they should strive for peace…

Thanks God, all my love…

—–
Got Questions.org
Question: “What does ‘blessed are the peacemakers’ mean?”
Answer: Matthew 5:9 is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in which He says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” The Greek word translated “peacemaker” is used in only one other place in the New Testament, in a slightly different form. Colossians 1:20 says, “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”
Jesus laid down His life to make peace between God and sinners, and when we can carry that message of peace to others, we are peacemakers. God delights in those who reconcile others to Himself—those who bring the gospel are “beautiful” (Isaiah 52:7). God “reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). Those who bring reconciliation to broken relationships are carrying on the work of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Those who give of themselves as Jesus did in order that others may know God are called “blessed.” There is no real peace apart from a relationship with God (Romans 5:1). What may masquerade as worldly peace is merely a temporary lull in chaos (John 14:27). True peace is found only in a restored relationship with God. “‘There is no peace,’ says the LORD, ‘for the wicked’” (Isaiah 48:22).
Only children of God can bring the peace of knowing God to others. A person must have a real relationship with God before he or she can help someone else know God. Those who witness for Christ, share their faith with their friends, and serve others in the name of Christ are the ambassadors for peace this verse identifies (see also Matthew 10:41-42). Those who bring the wonderful message of God’s peace to the world are “peacemakers,” and Jesus calls them the “children of God.”
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From Hebrews 12
5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as children? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,”

6 “Because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his child.”

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?

Take Heart, 08Jul – #413

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Take Heart, 08Jul

I enjoy pondering the scripture before the sermon…. I read ahead before the verses and I read further, past the verses….  and this last verse was already running thru my head for a while… And Jesus/scripture repeats it often:

From John 16
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

There is nothing Jesus didn’t face himself, trials and tribulations, it was both for us to know that HE listened and obeyed our Father’s command – for our sake AND to know that we know we can do the same – FOR His sake.  Our goal is to know God better… We can and will survive our trials and tribulations… We WILL face persecution for adhering to GOD’S WILL. Jesus said “take heart”… Yes, be fortified in peace as Jesus is holding your heart gently lovingly in HIS hands…

Earlier in John 16, the verse “7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” I have pondered, talked and written about the HOLY SPIRIT often, as Jesus was saying: HE HAD TO LEAVE, it was part of the plan!!!! AS much as we are angry at this world for the injustices (and even so upset at how Jesus himself was brutally crucified), God Himself didn’t simply provide a quick fix for our salvation in Jesus – He also gave us instructions of how to live – and love – and move the kingdom forward…  we are Holy Spirit guided to help spread the Good News…

God seems to have ALWAYS intended US – yes US – doing the work of Jesus – after Jesus came and left – He intended for us to do work WITH the help of the HOLY SPIRIT to move and guide us… We are NOT to rest on our laurels and simply contemplate our salvation, but the Great Commission keeps us moving… SPIRIT-LED… IN GOD’S HANDS

It’s discernment we have always a need to pray for.

It’s questions of:  Where do you need me Lord? Where do I fit in the mix? How can I BE your hands and feet today? How can I BE STILL to allow YOU to move me with Your WILL instead of my will? How can I still BE me and Yours too, knowing you are God?

It’s answers of: I AM in You and You are in Me.  If I stay in YOUR WILL, You will have the best plans for me – whether I understand them or not…

Socrates said “all I know is that I don’t know anything”.   Yes, we have trials but eventually, one day that eternal freedom in Heaven will give us eternal peace. God sent Jesus to tell us to take heart and hold on for and work for that day of freedom – knowing that we are held and guided in LOVE.

Paying attention to Faith will faithfully put us where we can witness God’s intentions for our lives. We ask where to make a difference – NOT because good works get you into Heaven, that’s not the case at all – but we ask where we can make a difference by listening to that still small voice that comes in a whisper… And “take heart” because Jesus endured much worse trials and tribulations than us and didn’t become bitter or hardened, instead HE became softer and gentler, and more focused – He was working for God His Father too – and “HE overcame the world” for all of us…

Take Heart.
HIS PEACE, OUR PEACE, ALWAYS IN GOD’S HANDS

AMEN


All of Ephesians is an encouraging read, and I suggest it….. It’s short and you can read all six chapters quickly, Paul (from prison) encouraging and praising the faith given to us…
“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.”

A Concert Thank You, Devotion, Verse of the Day – 27JUN – #412

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A Concert Thank You, Devotion, Verse of the Day –  27JUN

I have to share this thank you which turned into a devotion…
My friend treated me last night to the Sting and Peter Gabriel concert!!! she wanted to go and her hubby couldn’t and kids wouldn’t, she thought “who loves Sting?” and my name popped into her head instantly – cool huh?!

It was AWESOME… Lawn seats, perfect weather, Mars staring over my shoulder and lots of DANCING…. I am SO BLESSED and God reminds me of that everyday…

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: “debbie
To: “ “

Thanks again, I can’t thank you enough for the concert!
I understand this scripture of the day relates:   Matthew 16:25 “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” – the joy we share in is the joy of the Lord….

You are totally right when you said last night that I am in a good place, I am where God’s has placed me, He gives me a new level of JOY that I never knew…. and I know the trials in this life are purposeful, keeping me humble and keeping me looking to the Lord….God takes care of His own they say, I never want to fall out from being under HIS wing. That is my constant prayer, for God to hold me close…

I can’t thank you enough for the concert and MOST importantly your friendship, Lord knows I don’t understand how BLESSED I got, but scripture tells me SO….. WOW, when I wrote that it automatically capitalized and I instantly connected it to Peter Gabriel’s “SO” album – “THIS IS THE NEW STUFF, I GO DANCING IN….” ain’t that the truth of an awakened life?…. I didn’t connect that but now I do! WOW

WOW, see… even when I don’t try to write about God, well God finds a way to turn my head to Him and remind me that HE “knows EVERY hair on my head”…. It makes me shiver in fearful awe and delight of HIM… I ALWAYS seem to find a devotion to write within hours of stating “God hasn’t forced me to stop and write about Him lately”… Yup… Now He just did!

Genesis and Peter Gabriel and Sting are all in God’s plan for me, and in your life too!!! One finds God’s hand everywhere, cool huh? I have SO many spiritual connections to their songs that I have been able to write about… Cool…..

Being at the concert was like being at an unusual type of church, that “sea of humanity” IS the church of people God wants to connect with… But even as they enjoyed the music they don’t always understand the words (or listen, because they are too busy yapping and being distracted) – that’s just like the Word of God too – those people don’t ALL get it, God picks a few, and picks them to lead others to HIS life changing words too… It’s an intercession plan that works organically one by one, a trickle effect – it’s interesting to watch how God works!

…. This IS the new stuff, I GO DANCING in….

THANKS!!!
SMILES!!!

———-
> From: “Bible Gateway”
> Subject: Verse of the Day – June 27
> > Matthew 16:25
For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

Filled Faith Bubbles, 19Jun – #411 **

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Filled Faith Bubbles, 19Jun

God put this notion into my head.. that bubbles which get filled with faith are the shape of grapes!!! And that if we worry about our bubbles bursting – we best make our bubbles into cups and let the Lord fill them up!

Many folks tell me how they enjoy my bubbly nature (most people already tolerate my bubbly-ness, but new people sometimes get caught off guard)… Bubbling is the freaky default position I live in… I usually say “it’s not my fault, I was born this way”, and now I add: “How could I NOT be so overjoyed with what the Lord has done… God fills my cup to overflowing”… I wouldn’t trade anything that God gave me, fixed me, corrected me, God made me into me…. I pray: “God, please change me into Your worker bee, a tool in Your shed, and SPIRIT me according to YOUR will…”

Bubbles… I have previously worried about my faith bubble bursting – I don’t worry about that now because I had decided, early on, that my faith is better envisioned as a cup, if bubbles get too big they could pop, BUT if I ripped open my own bubble and held it open, it becomes a cup… “Here’s my cup Lord, fill me up”  … “when I am dry, you fill my cup; you are my ALL in ALL”.

My bubble ways – some might suggest it is shallowness – but I seriously know it’s not – I know God knows how to cheer me, show me that I am blessed… He fills my cup… energizes my faith… God makes me smile to know it is ALL HIM… I watch for God, He does not disappoint… My Joy is in the Lord and From the Lord.

See, bubbles filled with FAITH are no longer air-filled, or pop-able… they are dense, filled, FULL, and take on the shape of a beautiful fruit of the Vine – GRAPES… Yeah, grapes… Who is the Vine? Our Lord Jesus is the Vine…. Our Lord Father is the Vine dresser… I am entwined with the Vine, and that’s amazingly fine…. Grapes vine in clusters, we are best serving God when two or three meet in HIS name… Our faith tells us that God hangs fruit on us, I believe this, I know this, I love this, it’s real!!!!

“Jesus fruit” is the term my pastor preached last Sunday, that fruit is such a gift when we turn from our sinful ways and God hangs good fruit on us… God wants us holy and WHOLE… I know this, I don’t just accept what I have read, I KNEW this from the inside out, Jesus grew inside of me, I felt it, I feel it… Jesus’s kingdom is our hearts growing together, vines of hearts are clusters…

Jesus is in YOU TOO, pushing you open, filling you with HIS blood and healing your body with HIS SPIRIT. There are going to have to be sacrifices on your earthly part, there has to be, Jesus knows what’s dragging you down, devoting yourself to HIS WILL is the only way…. Jesus will fill your earthen jar of clay, fill your dried grape skin with His own blood, hold your heart in HIS hands… and most amazingly Jesus had died your death for you – so you can eternally be with Our Father, the Vinedresser….

Fill me up Lord….

Bubbles are grapes, filled with the SPIRIT, clusters of faith… WHOLE HOLY… human and Godly… Jesus brings the SPIRIT inside directly to YOU… He will never let go…. John 6:37 “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”

When I am down, the Lord reminds me of my salvation and His mercy – then everything else falls into perspective. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t deny the painful corrections. Don’t fail to give Joy it’s due – JOY is from the Lord.

This God is our maker, our SPIRIT, our LIFE is from HIS LOVE which He shared to make our way to Heaven on Earth… We are part of His heavenly plan… I accept HIS blood in mine, attached to the grapevine… Intertwined…

Here’s my cup Lord, Fill me up….

Amen

411 grapes b.PNG

FYI – I wrote this after a great day,  I am camping with extended family… I can’t sleep yet, so I took the time to wrote out the notion that God put in my head while driving up here.. that bubbles filled with faith are the shape of grapes!!!  Connects a Father’s day sermon about “Jesus being the vine” (which cracked open my ears while awakening to know Jesus was/is real, John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”)  AND a new Father’s day sermon I just heard about “Jesus fruit”… (GALATIANS 5: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.). Both sermons are from dear pastoral friends of mine whom God gifted into my life with HIS-timing, and whose spirit-led paths have helped me with tools to open my ears to understand even more – it is in HIS timing – making connections in the spirit of God… the Vine-dresser…

Thanks God for my cluster of fellow Jesus-fruit grapes intertwined into Your net… Thanks God for vining me…. Thanks God for Jesus.

Praise Song – Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, 16Jun – #410

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Praise Song – Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, 16Jun

The PRAISE band song that’s been rolling thru my head the last couple days is “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”…
“when you dull from all that glitters, and your status is status quo….. all you need to know is where you belong…”

I appreciate that song, I KNEW I would need that song once in a while, and I do… There is also that great new Mudcrutch song “Hope” which I heard in concert last week, and at the end Tom Petty sings: “you give me hope, and I need it, oh I need it”…. Yeah “turn your eyes” hits the spiritual spot too… Both talk about this great HOPE… “I know I got a friend, when I’m lost in the wind” – yup our hope is from Jesus… all we need to know is where we belong…

Highs and lows exist in life, daily, it’s always been that way…. Roses have thorns; life is a mixture of roses and thorns, that’s LIFE…. Jesus certainly had His highs and lows of things to deal with, and He even had to retreat at times… I have a sparkly beautiful cross from my cousin dangling in my car and can I hold it whenever I sing the Turn Your Eyes Upon
Jesus song…. “and the things of Earth will grow strangely dim, in the LIGHT of HIS glory and grace” and we are to turn to Jesus not JUST for earthly stresses, but ALSO when we look TOO MUCH to the human sources of joy… “These things will grow strangely dim…” They will… Only God’s love endures forever. Only God truthfully glimmers and shines our way – all good things are from God – we take too much credit here on Earth…

Yesterday, I had just finished a stressed diatribe via email with a friend about the many pressures I was feeling, and the time crunches for not having time to do things I want to do… BUT, before I sent the email I ran into our pastor and he told me about a long time young member who passed away… That puts life into perspective huh?, and was a humble teaching lesson for me AND my kids… I could remind them and myself that this young person couldn’t never even run or speak…. I could see when he smiled though – especially at the Christmas band concert and during praise band music…  Later that same day a friend was telling me how his grave illness has been getting worse…. It was another time to count my blessings…. Yeah….

Earlier this week, I gave our UMW dinner speaker an empty pottery vase made in my college’s home town. I felt that the SPIRIT led me to say that the vase was empty, because God wants us to be empty so He can fill us up with HIS SPIRIT… I prayed and hoped that our speaker and all of us will ALWAYS be Spirit-filled as we are led on God’s missions… to go out to the world to give HOPE.

We all pray to be led on God’s missions – Oh how blessed we are to sing HIS PRAISE! “He gives us HOPE”  -“in the LIGHT of HIS glory and GRACE!”

Personality types – Rose Breakfast, 05Jun

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Personality types – Rose Breakfast, 05Jun

This is kinda like a conference report from a great event on Saturday… I tried to summarize and not steal her wonderful presentation; I just wanted to share her amazing message… It’s not new, but eye opening to remember that we are to minister according to each person’s uniqueness, which God Himself instilled in them. This presentation talk was how people relate to God with their own personality: Hippocrates theory that suggests that there are four fundamental personality types: sanguine (enthusiastic, active, and social), choleric (short-tempered, fast, or irritable), melancholic (analytical, wise, and quiet), and phlegmatic (relaxed and peaceful)….

The scripture of the day also fits her message as well –  that all of us together, with our combined personalities, make up the fullness of God… “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3

To bring us together, it is true that God does know EVERY hair on our heads (Matthew 10:30).

I loved my table at the Rose Breakfast, with women having the same first names as four of my closest female relatives -WOW – and with two younger women (mother and daughter of the hostess) with whom I delighted in conversation, a fun family feel!

The breakfast and presentation were of course timely for my faith walk, a wonderfully witty and uplifting presenter, Rosa Marie… Her talk broke down the four types of personalities (based on Hypocrites) and she drove home that we all relate to God based on how we interpret HIM, and she urged that we should minister to folks based on their own personalities as well, because God relates to them with their diversity in mind… There are roadblocks for each person for turning their hearts completely over to God based on their personalities. That’s how life is…

In order to minister better, for God’s sake, we are to accept people the way they are… God created us differently… but WITH Jesus, God BLENDS all four of these personalities. He shows true love and mercy to us all “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…. and to know this love that surpasses knowledge [so] you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Hypocrites’ “temperament” categories are four fundamental personality types:  sanguine (optimistic and social), choleric (powerful, short-tempered), melancholic (analytical and quiet), and phlegmatic (relaxed and peaceful). Most people tend to be mixtures of the four types.

Christians in each personality totally identify God as having the same traits that they also have!

1) Sanguine – popular… fun, love to talk, life of the party, is 11% of the population. They are spontaneous, touchy feely… They like to FEEL the presence of God!
To them, God is a God of JOY.
The possible roadblock of these personalities from truly giving their heart to God is because they are truly worried about God being too rigid, not spontaneous.
Christians who are this personality totally identify God as having the same traits that they also have.

2) Choleric – like to be powerful… These people like to have control… They like to direct things. Only 4% of the population…
These are your CEOs, they tell folks what to do, and they want it now…
They relate to God where they see God doing things, working.
The possible roadblock of people with this personality from truly giving their heart completely to God is because they are truly worried about giving up control!

3) Melancholy – perfection… They are serious…17% of population, don’t like attention, very schedule oriented, analytical, lists – they needs to make lists – the engineers…
Their faith description: they just want to know God… to know God is righteous and holy.
The possible roadblock of this personality from truly giving their heart completely to God is because they are truly worried they will never be perfect enough to please God.

4) Phlegmatic – peaceful… slow laid back…they want PEACE… 69% of population… WOW, this is most number of folks in the world…
Their weaknesses are they don’t like to make decisions, hard to get motivated, they could become lazy… (her words not mine) This is MOST of the population!!! WOW
Their faith is having a simple child like faith. God is a God of peace.
The possible roadblock of this personality from truly giving their heart completely to God is because they are truly worried they have to change themselves to be Christian.

Combos abound – we are all a little of each but usually have a major temperament.
SC, PM, CM, SP, etc

As Christians, we are instructed to walk in our strengths, and then ask the HOLY SPIRIT to help us in our weaknesses.

We as different people experience God differently!!! We describe HIM differently too! People tend to describe God with their own personality traits…

People should not expect anyone, except Jesus, to be perfect! And JESUS IS PERFECT, a perfect blend of all these temperaments, a blending of us… HIM in us and we in HIM!

We all have our traits, AND weaknesses… she drove home an especially important point that folks should NOT expect their pastors to fit all four characteristics!!! We need to remember this and pitch in and help out…

So it was clear right away what category I was in (and thankfully for the rest of the world there are ONLY 11% of us, LOL)!  I am sure I actually blend S with a little C… Yea a bit of the others too, we are all to ask the HOLY SPIRIT to develop and push thru the other types within us to complete us…  I do see God relating to me as a God of JOY, He knows how I tick… I see God all the ways too and feel Jesus tugging my heart to learn and lean in all ways to minister to others in their uniqueness…  but as Sanguine primarily, I do certainly FEEL GOD immensely… That’s who I am, that is how God made me, and surely I pray for holy spirit action to make up for my mighty weaknesses!

I do FEEL the presence of GOD from the hugs and hands hold, the warming of my heart, it’s physical… It’s JOY… The time I awakened I felt like Jesus made my heart grow and grow bigger like the Grinch’s heart… I still feel God when I see HIM in people smiles and hear HIM in laughter…. Just yesterday a cutie pie six year old grandson of a friend reached for me thinking I was his grandma, but since he is blind, he didn’t know… Wow, I felt God right then and there in the SPIRIT, God’s natural love embedded in the stardust that makes up all HIS children, it was a physical sensation of holy proportions… Like when Jesus felt His Spirit transfer out when the woman secretly touched His robe for healing, well sometimes I feel some spirit zap in! that woman knew she was healed when she touched just the edgings of Jesus’s garment – can you imagine how healing it feels to feel His whole presence? ….

Yesterday holding the hand of my new friend Joe in the nursing home while we sang Amazing Grace and “Let There Be Peace on Earth” – well that’s like feeling God to me…. Singing out HIS praises, dancing them out, exercising them out… Yeah all HIS LOVE poured into me that I can pour back out… JOY!

We all have yearnings, so we ALSO ache those emptiness aches – that hole in your heart feeling at times… but when we realize the gift of Jesus physically taking up our heart – that lifts us into peace… I have raised my right hand to feel that “Jesus lift” out of the water, like Peter did… Yeah, it’s a “touchy-feely” God I love to cling to… Jesus’s fingers are weaved together when Hold my heart – His hands are a safety net for all of our hearts…

I didn’t get complete descriptions of every personality types from the presentation – and I am sure others could and would add their interpretations of God…. But studying this makes me extra appreciate how God pushed me out of my comfort zone, working on all those other attributes of my life – God is IN me FOR HIM… God is in all of us and we in Him…

Yes we are collectively together and it will take all of us to bring the world together – in peace – for God’s sake… I am blessed and happy to be part of the plan.

AMEN!


Ephesians 3 (NIV)

God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles
3 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

A Prayer for the Ephesians
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.

Fruit with Seeds – Share, 02Jun – #408 *

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Fruit with Seeds – Share, 02Jun

Fruit… God gives us the ability to bear fruit, meaning we are BLESSED with skills, joys, gifts, and peace… God hangs fruit to bless those who follow Him. We are to REMAIN IN HIM and LOVE HIM and HONOR HIM and He will give you JOY that is complete. Eternal LIFE and LOVE – both are never ending…

Fruit… God wants us to bear fruit… be beautiful and be fruitful…

Seeds… The great commission tells us to spread the GOOD NEWS OF SALVATION. Planting seeds of faith in others so that God can water and grow these seeds. Where do seeds come from? Fruit… Yeah, fruit… no seeds will be made unless fruit is allowed to grow, mature and be harvested…

If God Himself blesses you with a bountiful crop, with a full life, with a small or mighty harvest of JOY, that’s fruit – Fruit that can be shared -Fruit that should be shared or else it will rot… Fruit that matures will enable the seeds the best viability, therefore develop and share your talents for the sake of God’s kingdom.

Spreading seeds of faith from your soul to theirs – this means sharing how God has been faithful to you and your family, how God had granted you peace, how God has enriched and watered your soil enabling you to grow even more fruit…

If you share the fruits of life, you are sharing Jesus from your heart… You help plant the kingdom, one seed at time…


Matthew 13 37 Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom.


John 15 (NIV)

The Vine and the Branches
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Job, Cover Your Mouth, 26MAY – #407

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After I thought this piece thru (it’s been building for a while), I saw a visual repetition and I do appreciate God’s repetitive messages (I get then a lot!)… This repeat surely makes me acknowledge something I already knew… dealing with painful trials requires God’s guidance. We do all have trials of many levels… thorns in our sides… we realize they MUST be dealt with – WITH God’s help…  I thought of JOB, I discussed JOB, I prayed about GOD’S WILL and how to apply Job’s lessons…. This morning I saw the packet of “Jobes fertilizer sticks” and wrote this out… I don’t have to go into detail, we all have trials… It’s a comfort to have biblical examples that remind us to LISTEN to GOD’S WILL… And follow…

Job, Cover Your Mouth, 26MAY

I had a great chat with a pastor-counselor-friend, who reinforced Jesus’s teachings that God wants us to LOVE one another… When Jesus had trials, HE did not retaliate in harsh words, instead often HE was quiet…. God wants us to figure out how to LOVE even our worst enemies… Hmmm… that phrase: “the patience of Job”…

From James 5:10–11: “Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

Job reminds us we are NOT God, and we should not try to direct GOD’S WILL, our job is only to follow it… being “Job”, as in the person, means we had to learn to listen! “9 Do you have an arm like God’s,   and can your voice thunder like HIS?”

When JOB realized he was speaking against God, and that he didn’t understand all the attributes of God’s plan, Job put his hand over his mouth in realization that there was nothing he could say…

In other words, we should FEAR and respect the Lord, NOT second guess HIM. We should NOT try to do God’s work FOR Him, but understand that God IS working, all the time…. Remember, don’t judge the people you are around, just do your job which is to LOVE!  We are to not to look to the things and distractions of this earth… we are to keep our focus on using Jesus’s strength IN US and the Holy Spirit’s directions to lead us to Heaven’s eternal life…

“7 Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.
8 “But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him.
9 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.”

If life and other earthly pulls are seemingly going against you, you still have been directed to LOVE… You don’t have to agree with this world, but YOU STILL HAVE TO LOVE in it, “to weep with HIS tears” for those who just aren’t listening to Jesus… “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.”  To model Jesus means we must study HIS ways. A song lyric that pertains is: “Keep my heart – eager to hear YOUR WORD and obey”…

Sometimes we have to close our mouths, because we don’t know HOW God wants to use us in that particular situation…

Job 40:2-5 The Lord said to Job: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” Then Job answered the Lord: “I am unworthy — how can I reply to you?  I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer — twice, but I will say no more.”

It’s not easy, but it’s our calling to model Christ… We are to empty ourselves of our own desires and plans and pick up our cross for HIS WILL… “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” We are human, but we can always try to model God’s ideal…

A great and fitting song, “Soften my heart” autoplays in my head  – “to feel YOUR compassion to weep with YOUR tears, soften MY heart, OH Lord, soften my heart”…

We need to rely on Jesus for a lot, well, for everything…. God has placed us where we are…. we have to figure it out – or maybe we will NOT figure it out, but because even if we DON’T understand, we will have to GO with it… We need to BE STILL, listen for God’s direction, and follow HIS WILL.

We have to pick up our own crosses, daily, because in all our ways we need to follow God’s will.

We need to take solace and also JOY the fact that we DO have the greatest help… God has sent Jesus to do what we cannot… Jesus will carry us, HE will lead – IF WE LET HIM… Jesus sent the Holy Spirit – “Another” to move us in God’s plan…

PICK UP YOUR CROSSES, my friends… Keep the faith, keep moving, the path is narrow, but it is sure….LISTEN for that small STILL voice inside the storm of the world…

God bless your paths… God’s with us, FEEL HIM…. Have HOPE in the wisdom of our Lord.

AMEN
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Here are selected scriptures from JOB
Job 5
2 Resentment kills a fool,
and envy slays the simple.
3 I myself have seen a fool taking root,
but suddenly his house was cursed.
4 His children are far from safety,
crushed in court without a defender.
5 The hungry consume his harvest,
taking it even from among thorns,
and the thirsty pant after his wealth.
6 For hardship does not spring from the soil,
nor does trouble sprout from the ground.
7 Yet man is born to trouble
as surely as sparks fly upward.
8 “But if I were you, I would appeal to God;
I would lay my cause before him.
9 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.
10 He provides rain for the earth;
he sends water on the countryside.
11 The lowly he sets on high,
and those who mourn are lifted to safety.
12 He thwarts the plans of the crafty,
so that their hands achieve no success.
13 He catches the wise in their craftiness,
and the schemes of the wily are swept away.
14 Darkness comes upon them in the daytime;
at noon they grope as in the night.
15 He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth;
he saves them from the clutches of the powerful.
16 So the poor have hope,
and injustice shuts its mouth.
17 “Blessed is the one whom God corrects;
so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
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“Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
8 They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do?
They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know?
9 Their measure is longer than the earth
and wider than the sea.
10 “If he comes along and confines you in prison
and convenes a court, who can oppose him?
11 Surely he recognizes deceivers;
and when he sees evil, does he not take note?
12 But the witless can no more become wise
than a wild donkey’s colt can be born human.[a]
13 “Yet if you devote your heart to him
and stretch out your hands to him,
14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand
and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face;
you will stand firm and without fear.
16 You will surely forget your trouble,
recalling it only as waters gone by.
17 Life will be brighter than noonday,
and darkness will become like morning.
18 You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
19 You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid,
and many will court your favor.”
——-

Here is a great synopsis of Job’s trials…
http://www.gotquestions.org/patience-of-Job.html

Fireworks – FIRE Works!, 26May – #406

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Fireworks – FIRE Works!, 26May

Yes Lord, YES LORD, I will listen to your repetition! Oh Lord, sometimes they just make me simply laugh in delight with the JOY of knowing YOU!

The repeat words of the week have been hope and wisdom but the repeat word of today is fireworks and FIRE Works…

I’m zipping down the turnpike, singing my praise songs… praise in song truly warms my heart… I was singing Third Day’s “Soul on FIRE”, a song I’ve written about before, where people repeatedly sent it to me within a 20-minute period on the day it was released… those folks called me a “soul on fire” that day, so now my brain was thinking of these words – that FIRE works …. FIRE really works miracles… God lighting us ON FIRE truly changes us, FIRE works for HIS glory. It REALLY works!

I was thinking how God’s FIRE truly works because simply God lit me on FIRE… God sets us on FIRE so that we shine Jesus’s LIGHT… not our own LIGHT, but Jesus’s… That’s God’s working His FIRE…

While singing the word “FIRE” in the car this billboard comes up – and all I can see is the word FIRE… I laughed and gasped, the billboard was for “Sky King’s Fireworks”…  Yeah God IS the “Sky King” – haha that’s cute Lord, YOU surely are my beloved Sky King, and yes, our Sky King’s FIRE DOES work! 

I sat with this thought, all day, knowing eventually I’m was going to have to write it out… but what truly got me was while driving out of church this evening – I noticed the sermon title for this Sunday – it’s “Fireworks”…. I burst out laughing with great JOY!!! Lordy Lord… Oh God, YOU make me SMILE…

FIRE works, it truly does… the FIRE in your soul will light you to Eternity. The FIRE God lights under your “you know what” will wake you up. And the FIRE in your eyes will help others see what drives you. God starts the FIRE, don’t let us quench it. Let it burn…

BE the FIRE that God wants you to BE.

THANKS GOD, I will be watching for YOUR fireworks and I will know it’s YOU.

AMEN

Connectedness, Our Lady of Guadalupe, 24May – #405

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Connectedness, Our Lady of Guadalupe, 24May

I had a rare extra 10 minutes before an appointment, so I hopped into this beautiful new church across the street, Our Lady of Guadalupe…   That image of Mary is one that has become my favorite, ever since I visited a church of the same name in San Francisco about 10 years ago.
I have no other connection to this image but I just connect, I just do…  the same painting is in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City  and also in a tiny Mexican restaurant near my work , I carry a card of her in my wallet.
I’m not surprised anymore at the duplications but I take notice, so five minutes after leaving the Church I get to my appointment and sit down in the waiting room and there’s a National Geographic magazine article about Mary with an extensive write up about Our Lady of Guadalupe including photos. Those types of duplications happen to me all the time now, I take notice, and I stopped wondering why. We are just majestically spiritually connected… All of are connected… So, this image of Mary and me, it’s cool, it’s neat, it’s connected… I appreciate connectedness, you know, in all things…

So leaving the church, I was the only one there; I started singing “soften my heart” which has been my song prayer for awhile…. I entered the vestibule and the echo was unbelievable and the song and sound that came back to my ears sounded so astounding – dare I say beautiful – not because of my voice but because of the praise… It’s the praise that makes it beautiful… Wow… God, You REALLY DID change my voice this last year.. You changed my blood… You changed my weight… You changed my strength, You changed my focus, you changed my praise, YOU changed my connectedness, You changed my LIFE…
THANK YOU LORD… THANK YOU that I “can sing YOUR PRAISE unending, 10,000 years and forevermore”

BLESSED

 

Wildest Dreams, 23May – #404

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Wildest Dreams, 23May

Well – the numbers are in – and the triglycerides dropped into the acceptable range – all the numbers seem to be in the right range- I will chat with the doctor on Thursday to make sure….   but wow… the triglycerides were 168 last year – with 149 the upper cut off so they were still a little high but the doctor was so pleased and with then a 26lbs weight loss – because they had been much higher previously…  and now? they dropped to 60 – that’s right – from 168 to  60!

I can’t even imagine how excited he will be when he sees how much weight I have lost now – I actually haven’t weighed myself since October when I leveled off – so I am very curious too –

“Bless the Lord, Oh my soul, oh my soul! Worship His holy name!”

How can I not worship the Lord even more with the faithful transformation that he has done on me – I mean really – I take little to no credit – but applying common sense with an extraordinary focus – WOW – thanks God – I owe ya!  for eternity!

There is a line in a song by Michael Card, which says when the shepherds or wise men saw baby Jesus, that their wildest dreams of God’s promise had simply not been wild enough!

That is EXACTLY how I feel…

Someone said you must have been praying so hard for this weight loss, and I said no, I didn’t even connect it with my awakening until after I had lost like 10 pounds after changing eating and working out for about three months, and my friend said “of course, now that God has focused your head, the rest of you is falling in line…” That’s when I started a more sure focus on eating well, and I PRAISE God for that focus… I feel guilty telling folks how easy it was to lose the weight, and it was purely God who said “you are doing this”… And I listened…

I wish everyone would realize they too can do this…. It’s both they can listen to God and accept Jesus, and they can decide to listen to their God-instilled common sense and lose the weight….

Meaty Scripture, 23MAY – #403

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Meaty Scripture, 23MAY

It’s cool to zoom around the back of the bible chapters – it’s like getting to the good stuff at the end of a mystery… Except it’s not a mystery because we already know the ending! That’s salvation!  Yes, it’s still seems mysterious but the CURTAIN IS TORN, that’s so cool…

The book of Romans is very meaty… The last two chapters are so definitely written by classic Paul, his “bravado” (if that is the right term) is in his energy as he REALLY feels the need to spread the Word of God… His exuberance REALLY spills out of his writing… He REALLY REALLY wants everyone to hear the good news, and I can’t fault him at that!  And even in prison he yearns to teach and to spread the good news… His thorn in his side is placated by his JOY in the LORD… I can see him finding delight in his HOPE that the churches are starting to form from the disciples reaching out… And yes, it must have been heartbreaking for Paul to see many church units fail… it’s equally painful for us too to see so many of our friends and family (and the world as a whole) not know the JOY and the conviction from knowing Jesus as Savior – or tasting it and then falling away. As the praise song lyric goes: “one day every knee will bow, but the greatest treasure remains for those who gladly choose YOU now!” So there IS HOPE for the church even if we can’t fathom how it will all come together… God’s timing is not on our timetable… Of course, this is not easy waiting! God is so busy doing everything … and yet HE takes the time to love us all so much, we must be patient with the Lord – as He is patient with us.

So reading backwards from the verse of the day I found some really good verses: “Each of us should  please our neighbors for their good to build them up” as Paul writes in Romans 15:2 is good, and chapter 14 is seriously meaty… Yeah, don’t judge, but more importantly, don’t cause your neighbor to fall… Don’t grumble, and if you can’t help yourself, keep it between yourself and God… And don’t use the excuse “everyone else is doing it, I can too…” nope that doesn’t fly with following God’s Will…

I could write volumes, but I won’t… “Lead us not into temptation” also means, as written here in Romans, that we are not to enable temptation in others, or cause them to fall, and it doesn’t JUST mean in our eating or complaining, nope, it’s in everything… And it ALSO means that you, yourself, shouldn’t allow your eyes to go astray…  there are others who see our actions – and they may take it as enabling theirs…

God needs us working on HIS side… Our joy IS walking with the Lord…. I love that concept that when we walk to HIM, HE is running towards us!

We do have to turn towards HIM daily, I am easily led into temptation like everyone else, but tasting the JOY of walking with God is more powerful then the temptations… And “MY HOPE is in the LORD” allows us to know God is working on all the world, bringing us closer to one.

It’s no wonder Paul had to write out his soul singing with these joyous feelings of God’s overcoming despair! That’s the GOD OF HOPE… “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in HIM, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”


Romans 14:
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

Romans 15 (NIV)

15 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”[a] 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews[b] on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed 9 and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles;   I will sing the praises of your name.”

10 Again, it says, “Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.” 11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles;    let all the peoples extol him.” 12 And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up,    one who will arise to rule over the nations;  in him the Gentiles will hope.” 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Love Beeing the Bee, 22MAY – #402

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Love Beeing the Bee, 22MAY

I LOVE this book “Accidental Saints”… The author is honest and real… I especially love that my friend lent me the book because it reminded him of my writing… Of my story of “OH!!! so God is telling me that THIS is what I am doing now…”

Whatever your spiritual calling (if you know it or not), I hope you can appreciate that keeping your ears open to what moves you is how best to learn about yourself and your path in life. I ALWAYS knew we were put on earth to make things better… I am blessed to work to that end – or at least try to.

The whole book is moving, but this passage made me smile in agreement… “But sometimes Jesus just hunts your ass down and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

And of course I appreciate  the section about the bees… see my name Deborah in Hebrew means “bee” and you all know I am as busy as a bee…. Bees, are bee-ing God’s servants – making the wax for the candles that shed the LIGHT – oh that made me smile – I never thought about that… What a privilege it is to be a bee… to bee God’s servant and shed the LIGHT… (and fun too, especially since Vacation Bible School theme this year is Following the LIGHT of Jesus)…

Thanks for letting me share… 
LOVE to your all…
PEACE

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Holding the Tongue, 19 May – #401

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Holding the Tongue, 19 May

I love the emailed verse of the day, because it brings you snippets that could lead you to read whole chapters… James is a little book filled with wisdom… James is my father’s name…

The book of James scripture this morning reminded me of a conversation with my pre-teen son about swearing…

We discussed how often people swear in those YouTube videos that my son watches and also the words shared amongst his classmates – that people are swearing just to swear – just to think they’re cool – and I reminded him that it doesn’t mean it’s cool to swear and we even shouldn’t try to be cool anyway. We discussed that it’s not necessarily the words but the attitude when people are disgruntled, upset and want to lash out… Yes, we all all have times – I sure do – we can’t help but swear, be bitter, be upset, and release that outloud…. and he understands that…  my prime example was when I left out 2 gallons of milk overnight on my brand new wooden bench. I hurled out a great swear word which gave me such relief!… I try so hard not to swear in front of my kids and only swear when I “need to”… oh this was a definite “need to” feeling… new bench was fine, but 2 gallons of milk wasted, $$$$…. Ugh… and he now uses this example as well, to understand when swearing is for stress relief not for hurting others. Holding one’s tongue takes practicing and patience…

This conversation came up again after I had a phone call from the assistant principal who said that somebody in school wrote really nasty words on one of the other classmate’s iPads. My son was being interviewed because he sat near this other child… Thankfully, the assistant principal was certain it was not my son, but he was doing his due diligence by interviewing everyone. Naturally, I was sure my son could not have been the culprit and the principal agreed…. so of course this led to another conversation with my son that evening about swearing, and about being mean to others…

All this ties to scripture as the conversations led to me having a blessed conversation with him about how Jesus tells us to live… admonishing each other with scripture and praising with song but holding our tongues from hate… Hate creates hate…. And scripture tells us about how we are to forgive those who wrong us – just like Jesus petitions the Father on our behalf to forgive us… We are to serve others like Jesus served, not to hate… We are to keep focused on God’s teachings and therefore help others see the beauty of God within us…

I try to teach and also to live by example to be a PEACEKEEPER…. to foster the skills of a peacemaker by reminding others to do the same… The end goal, as James points out, of taming the tongue means both knowing when not to use it AND when to use it…. for “the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

Being bold for God is instilled as a gift, to be grown and guarded… Boldness in the Lord comes best from a pure heart.

Praying always to keep my heart pure…
————

James 1 NIV
Listening and Doing
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

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

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
—————-
James 3 (NIV)

Taming the Tongue
3 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Two Kinds of Wisdom
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

—–
PS… I love it when I get a song that matches what I’ve already written and I can just add it as God’s reinforcement on the message of the day. So a new to me song, beautifully sung, shows boldness in bright colors of flowers in this video to match the boldness of God’s greatness…
“Keep My Heart”
https://youtu.be/GzK8JWxJu1o