Go for the FLOW, Basic Baseboard Blindness, 01OCT – #944

Standard

Home and Heart Maintenance!  The scriptures remind that we can be blind, especially if we just don’t know.  For me, I feel that I don’t know a lot of things and I’m always trying to learn, which is probably why I NOW know a lot of things.   I knew PRACTICALLY NOTHING about my heating system, but there’s no reason why I should, until it went down, it’s not a sin but a situation, so now I research options and timelines.  I have learned oh so very much!

I’m close to a decision,  many reasons to continue with my oil, spending 2 weeks to cover my bases (and my baseboards). With all my investigation, simple pieces of advice help me immensely. Something that I knew I already knew, but rarely paid attention to, is that I was blocking my own heating systems airflow. I was blind. Yes, I did back vacuum the my baseboards, once a year, but not always below if I could not reach them because of blocked pathways. And of course I remember the airflow is crucial to the heat flow.  Blockages where I actually need heat, or the opposite of open heater coils where I don’t need so much heat… yeah I can only do better… so regardless of money thoughts, an oil/gas conversation discussion, what’s best to do? Improve the air flow. 

I was blind and now I see.  I see the papers that snuck underneath the baseboard in one room. No they have not been there long, just since the summer, but if left, the blockage would be severe. The 1st paper I picked up (classic Holy Spirit fashion) is of a tremendous teaching: Jesus, gives sight to a blind man. 

If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”  How good it is to open my eyes to my blockages, and yet it still took someone else reminding me how heated air flow works, silly me I know… Fittingly my heat air flow is dependent upon water flow (sound familiar?). Jesus living water is best in flow.

Jesus let the man discover his own answers of who gave him sight, God!!! The man did this by reasoning – all good things must come from God… This blind man likely already knew that, and had seen the glory of God within His heart. Given the opportunity, the now sighted man told the truth, even if it got him tossed out of the temple and shunned by his parents. He knew the Way this unknown man performed a miracle could only have been thru God. Then, Jesus confirmed that He indeed was the Son of God. Jesus said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”   “Who is he, sir?” the man asked.  “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

We often need a small reminder, sometimes a big wake up call, or at least a clue… Maybe we just need to take time to think? talk it out? pray on it. When we do know, we are also called upon to witness, give advice, notice things and pray to help others open . Harnessing the Holy Spirit is a flow to know

Mostly, like my baseboards, we are to do maintenance, clear blockages, and think. How else can we harness and be a part of the POWER of God, unless we ask to see and we then believe… Like in a Pharisee, who speaks of God but refuses to believe the signs of Jesus, blindness and blockages come thru pride, unbelieving stubbornness, and fear of losing control. Give up the unknown for the known: Love God, because you can see Him without using your eyes. 

“As long as it is day, we must do the works of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Know the Power of God in your heart. Believe in Jesus, heat up your faith.   

Go for the FLOW!!!

Amen 


John 9

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.”   But he himself insisted, “I am the man.”  10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.  11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” 12 “Where is this man?” they asked him.  “I don’t know,” he said.

The Pharisees Investigate the Healing

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”

16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided. 17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.” 18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?”

20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.” 25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” 26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”

28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he comes from.”

30 The man answered, “Now that is remarkable! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.”

34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.

Spiritual Blindness

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

One Truth, 30SEP – #943

Standard

One truth in the Lord is very understandable to those who understand. One truth is a centering feeling but actually more like a base from which we are to grow, gives us a nourishment to grow, builds in us a spiritual influence that grows, and has a safety net of everything else.

Division exists in all levels of the world’s people. Division in politics, religions, sports, educational perspectives, and of course health concerns. Division exists but division itself, simply 2 sides, does not divide, no. It is strife and evil powers that makes division into separation, fractionation into fractures, whole into lost bits here and there, who are fooled into thinking there’s no common ground.

Jesus knows what pulls people apart, Jesus knows the human struggle with earthly influences, derisive thoughts and being lost in the crowd of crowd mentality. Even the mob mentality that urged crucifixion to Jesus, He saw as a spiraling away from the truth. “Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do.” – well that’s still true: we in humanity get carried away – and He in Jesus still saves.

If we take the truth, instilled in each of us, cultivate our understanding and our dedication to the heavens for focus,  the earthly angsts can fall away. Serious issues abound, so divine love must be shared, applied, graced with care, and applied with ample forgiveness. There is One Truth don’t try to stretch it or split it. One truth does not shift like shadows.  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.

Will we suffer? I see and feel the suffering of watching derision, which is energy-draining and distracting, preventing action taken for the Lord’s sake. We will REALLY suffer surely and be destroyed if we don’t work for Jesus, or at least acknowledge Him. Therefore bringing Jesus and His mission to the world, to help bridge the gap to those suffering for lostness, is the least we can do, yes even if we are suffering for good, it’s GOOD. 

I’ve seen people suffer for much less, projecting hardships on themselves in advance. I’ve seen people sell themselves, and others, short. We are to stand for our truth and Jesus’s Way. We are to humble in His Work. Even be generous to the point of not letting one hand know what the other hand does in generosity. Let each hand, soul, servant SERVE. The servant will be saved, God will see to that.

Keep Living in One Truth. Loving in His Name. Helping in His humility.  Even suffering in His Name. God will bring you thru.

Amen

Within Paul’s letter to the Philippians,  He urged all to live a “Life Worthy of the Gospel”

conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. 

stand firm in the One Spirit.

together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.

Pray for the Lost, 29SEP – #942

Standard

I understand that craving for scripture and especially for Jesus.  If you can’t get enough of the Spirit it’s because you can never get enough!!! I can attest to that!!! What exposure to the scriptures presented has not sunk in, rolls off like you were wearing  a raincoat, beads collected roll off faster. Dry soil. So when you do start to understand, you realize that you didn’t,  but you now do. AND YOU ARE THIRSTY.

Are there other thirsty souls? There must be. Yes there are. Pray for the Lost. Prayers collectively are not just the least we could do but the most important activity we could do. And prayers for and with the lost are not wasted but wanted and warranted

And I don’t know how to explain it “nicely”, but a church needs to reach people, using as many opportunities as it can create, not just leaving it up to the higher ups. We all need to reach people and provide opportunities for spiritual feeding. All activities need a moment of looking for the lost, a scanning of the crowd, pulling aside the parched, in need of a moment to learn about God’s love and purpose for them. To reach one person deeply only comes by looking for them just as deep.

If we realize how we are lost, then Jesus makes more sense to us. If we realize why we are lost, then the shame dissipates. If we don’t know either how or why, Jesus looks for us even deeper. If we know Jesus looked and found us, then when pray for the lost, we are to pray knowing the how of Jesus’s intervention is divine and the why of Jesus’s intervention is because of the deepest of LOVE. No shame or blame, Jesus reaching others is a divine directive for God’s gain. JESUS HAS NEVER FELT SHAME FOR SHARING LOVE, JESUS IS LOVE. 

OUR WITNESS, in our worship, is our witness to being thankful, it is our window to our souls being spiritually seeking. Opportunities abound for people lost and found to see us seeking. We can make open window displays of thankfulness but not pride. For we were lost and pride got in the way.  If we don’t display our open windows of humbleness and seek-ful spirituality, the lost are going to keep walking on by. Even if they are becoming more and more alive and aware in spiritually seeking, they might keep walking to find a more welcoming party to the well, people like them. Sometimes the looking lost will seek those who show their faith MORE THIRST-ILY, those seeking the waters of Jesus to quench their own thirst.

If churches were watering holes, better to be open streams than closed off spas.

If we were lone hikers and had water, and came across a lost and thirsty soul, we would share. Let’s not keep Jesus to ourselves. 

“PRAY for the lost” – that was the best advice I have received in months and months.  It’s a soul-centering call to action. It puts my focus off of me, and gives me, and us, a wide window of opportunity for helping Jesus to help others.  PRAY FOR THE LOST. That’s EXACTLY what Jesus Himself was and still is doing for you.

“Strengthen your brothers” – Pray for the lost – Be an open book of faith.

Amen

Revere the Rain and Reign, 27SEP – #941

Standard

In 1st Peter, we hear about LOVE. In 2nd Peter, we hear about BUILDING on KNOWLEDGE, because we LOVE. 

Peter speaks with such love, deep love, especially because he knows the feeling of forgiveness, having betrayed Jesus most terribly, only to then have been amazingly reconciled so specifically… 

Have you ever been sunk only to be raised? Stuck only to get the free pass? Do you keep that memory or rather share: the Way Forward. 

Jesus rose Peter from sinking, us too, not just physically but emotionally of course, lifted by the Spirit within us. WHY? Jesus choose Peter to lead, to “Feed My Sheep” and Jesus chooses us to live our lives in Him for Him for God’s people, for the sake of the Spirit. Saved to help share the in saving.

In faith and life, where do you go from here? Peter had to become BOLD and lead.  Peter blessed with Jesus’s forgiveness, from Jesus Himself, gained new memories to layer on memories that he likely could never forget. Peter, on that day of reconciliation on the shore of Galilee, did not stop because he obtained life, on that day he actually STARTED his life ministry

In 2nd Peter (even if some debate direct authorship by Peter), we hear advice from a wise man of many years, advice of how to live and how to not. We hear wisdom that rings true BECAUSE we know there is evil in the world. Better yet, we KNOW Jesus’s goodness and glory. We are called to remember Jesus’s escape from worldly influences and avoid them ourselves.  “… to make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

If we forget that we are cleansed from past sins, if we are not humble enough to see a clean slate and a fresh start each day, we are losing ground, we are sinking again. Perhaps it would be inconceivable for us to forget our monumental saves, but perhaps they fade away from memory. Noah surely could never be forgetful about the Ark saving him from the flood, I bet every future rain drop reminded him of his save. He likely revered the rain, knowing Who is in charge of it. Noah became responsible for teaching about their rescue, but what about generations after him? Stories, did it just become another of the stories… 

Noah needed that boat rescue because of the rain. God needed that rain because He needed to start fresh. God needed Noah to start again. Rain was the plan. A fresh start to reduce the evil was the plan.  And now, as Peter warns, we have false teachers and troubled times, but are they worse than in Jesus’s time? Probably not. But they still are the harsh reality and the reasons for not rain this time to abolish, but for Jesus’s REIGN to save. Jesus was the plan. Jesus IS the plan. Jesus is the WAY. 

2nd Peter speaks further of end times, prophecy, the reasons for us to be ready, to be wholesome and true. Peter reminds us that the Spirit of God desires all to know, to hear, to learn. We are to know we are walking through these times with hope and knowledge of the future, understanding Jesus as the Son of God, as the Chosen One. His work done and yet just begun. Peter shared as the Lord wants us all to be “in the know” so that we can continue to live, make a difference, and stand firm thru faith. 

Next, 2nd Peter speaks of pitfalls… false teachers… blasphemous folk speaking of things they don’t even understand… bold and arrogant… “Springs without water”…   Some even having been saved then turning their backs on salvation by FORGETTING what Jesus did for them, salvation for all who call upon His name. 

Peter and the disciples devoted their lives to remembering and teaching about Jesus and salvation. Saving from sinking.  “If this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.” THE RESCUES!! Peter knows all about the RESCUES. 

Through rain, Noah was CARRIED in rescue. Then on solid ground, was Noah’s job done? No.

Through sinking, then denying Jesus, Peter was CARRIED and reconciled. Then chosen as the rock, was Peter done? No.

If the earth, formed from water, was not going to be refined by a trial by fire, could we, crested from dust,  have been made into a form able to survive? No.

If the fire didn’t refine the dust He had begun in us, could the treasure in us have been uncovered?. Then as spiritual beings, thriving as recovered remolded reborn dust, are we done? No.

But they deliberately forget that long ago, by God’s Word, the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.  By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 2nd Peter 3

If the present heaven and earth do not burn away, could the New Kingdom come? No. We are to be ready, and share for the sake of those unknowing. When God’s plan is done, it’s another time that we are re-begun.

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

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” 2nd Peter 3

TO BE FOUND. We are to be FOUND, just like Noah, just like Peter, just like the folks not yet found. Let us all be FOUND, REFINED, RESCUED and READY.

The Rain and Reign WAS and IS the Plan, let us remember our RESPONSIBILITY and our RESCUES. 

Revere the Reign 

Amen 

Because He Knows, 27SEP – #940

Standard

It’s time for me to dig deeper into the scriptures that talk about the disciples after Jesus’s earthly walk.  PETER LEARNED A LOT in those many years after his years with Jesus. He may have seen so much, heard so much, but it took many years of processing surely for it to sink in…(Haha, that is funny, Peter sinking in)… That would be so true with us too. We need to let our faith sink in. We are to become more wise and more purposeful. And learn… BECAUSE HE KNOWS, we are to LEARN TOLERANCE and FORGIVENESS and LOVE. 

Putting praise and prayer into practice: Salvation is the beginning of life, not just a holding place for the end of earthly lifetime. It’s an opportunity to grow. 


Here are some scripture tidbits from 1st Peter… (I recommend the whole chapter!)

LOVE IN ENCOURAGEMENT:  1Peter4:8-11 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

OUR FAITH IS SUPPOSED TO MATURE:  We are to know and grow. From 1Peter2:  Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,  now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

OUR WITNESS CAN TEACH. And we can learn from the learned. I think simply about learning from older cousins and friends. How about learning from our past mistakes and learning from friends who have navigated pitfalls, our witnessing so that we don’t repeatedly fall. Sometimes I think that we are in a situation because we are to learn how to deal with a worse situation later. Better to learn now and strengthen up…  From 1Peter 5: To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

PETER LEARNED – Learned by the Lord’s leading. Because he learned, so can we. From 1st Peter 1:3  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

SERVE OTHERS WITH YOUR FAITH12 It was revealed to [the prophets] they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

IT IS LOVE THAT WE MUST SHARE. LOVE is all that will ever last… For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.”

THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.

Amen 

Fears are Always Unfounded, 20SEP-on, #939

Standard

Although I’m writing this on the 20th, I don’t plan to release this devotion for a week. Because in pre-writing, I’m pre-praying best outcomes. I wrote a devotion about Jesus in processing the previous morning (All things point to Jesus, 19SEP) because of this crucial reason: a friend said he had a fever and I feared a Covid situation. More than a small ugh. Not something to brush off. Thank God, it turns out all is OK. These incidents are going to be common to us, and most frightening… There is good reasons in FORESIGHT that Jesus said “Don’t worry about tomorrow, only worry about today” – tomorrow has enough to deal with. And Jesus has said that days are evil, to be aware, because of the world influences of evil – which in turn ALSO become the inner influences of FEAR. Here is my deep processing devotion about FEAR after writing the first one. I share this openly a week later to not add extra fear and angst into the situation. When I read this a week from now, I hope I can say that I believed that Jesus would have handled me all week long with finding me, and un-finding my fear… taking on precautions and not paranoia. (AND HE DID! I add this note on 25Sep – Yes He Did! All is well.  I even ended the week with my first non-family member hug in 6 months, details below, after the scriptures)

Fears are Always UnFounded

Instead of saying Fears are unfounded, maybe it’s better to say Fears are PRE-FOUNDED, as “unfounded” fears are before finding, before one’s lostness becomes re-found, before you remember to look at the one who found you and you are to find. I mean fears are unfounded before Jesus gets a hold of the fear to take care of it for you and Jesus gets ahold, especially, of you. Days are evil, therefore hold onto Jesus because He is already holding on to you. 

Being found by Jesus is LIFE CHANGING, therefore until you ALSO put your fears into His Hands as well, your fear can unhinge you. It IS still normal to be afraid, yet you will never be Un-Found by Jesus,  He never loses you. Even if you, with your fears, sometimes get carried away, Jesus is the better Way. Real fear is unfounded when JESUS IS SO MUCH MORE REAL.

I had tremendous fear Friday night, 9/18, a late night just before bed when I woke up from my couch collapse and read an email of a colleague who offhandedly said something about having a fever. There’s nothing that can ever be retro done, removed for hope. What’s done is done and I had been sitting 2 solid hours in a conference room with him only 2 days prior,  2 feet apart. Yes, we were wearing masks, but still fear fear fear. Although other fever-inducing ailments and Covid cases are low right now, and he could have been joking, the word FEVER begets FEAR at FEVER PITCH.  I’m not a germophobe and my fear was so small for me, of my fear of getting sick, but at that very moment having my college daughter home for just that one night struck fear fear fear. Not even much fear for her getting sick, but carrying asymptomatic cases back to campus, to roommates, to roommates’ families especially elderly grandparents.  Fear fear fear. I had already felt like I killed a grandparent and I had only read an email. That’s conviction without trial, that’s what makes days evil. Jesus replies with “I’ve got you.”.

Was my fear Founded or UnFounded?

Real concern is warranted, but fear is unfounded when you find the One who can help you to deal with your fear. If you can give up your fear, you can concentrate on your concern and create a plan. You can rely on Jesus to shine light on plans.

Only learning of this fever (or pure joking) incident AFTER bringing my daughter home, I felt stuck. But thankfully we had ALREADY decided to wear masks all weekend, especially in the car, around each other. Best precautions we managed for moving her into school, this was 3 weeks later for a quick visit home, so best precautions were already in place. Best to get off to sleep. That’s when I had the nightmare of falling, falling into a chasm of nothing to catch me, that got incorporated into an awful dream sequence, oh…. it’s not a good feeling… the falling fear is un-grounded not just un-founded, but it’s SO SCARY.  

Jesus. Jesus is the name to call. He can catch. He can save. He can hold. He reminded me when I woke up that I was NEVER NOT OK. I praised Him for my wakefulness and realizing that I had never fallen or dropped.  Waking up, my Fear Fell but I had NOT. 

Fear fell, but I did not fall, because I reached for Jesus. 

Late morning, finally a plan began falling into place, so I texted my friend at “fevered pitch”: “Are you OK?”, “Are you serious?” “Prayers for you, and no worries either way, but I would like to know more!!! I can sel-isolate if needed. ” Whew. Whew.

Jesus held me and fear fell. My friend said that the doctor said NOT Covid. I decided to be watchful anyway. I’ll hope and pray. Not sure really what was up but for that very moment my fear WASN’T. Fear fell.

My normal routine of masks and distance brought me comfort in my plan, as we went shopping and back to campus. I changed my mask 5 times that day but I never changed my mind on the real truth in Jesus to comfort, catch, find me where I was. 

Jesus is the founder of us being found. Without Him, we have no other ground. 

My heart and my burden are in His Hands. My hopes and dreams are in living in Him as He lives in me. My best Thanksgiving is nothing compared to His Giving. In Jesus is Found Living.

Found. 

Found. 

FOUND. 

Amen 


Such important scriptures:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 

Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you. 1st Peter 5:7-11

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1st Peter 5:7-11

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1st Peter 1:3-9

The LORD is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of what shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)


FYI – Monday I questioned “do I work from home or not?” well, apparently I did not even have to think about that, with the new circumstances of a heater repair putting me firmly at home waiting for the service technician. The boiler is needing to be replaced so the next day put me firmly at home again too – funny how the Lord often provides in a sideways fashion to achieve something (sideways to us but always in direct understanding to the Lord). And hmmm, the money to pay – I don’t know the amount yet, but the Lord will provide a plan I am sure of that – I just have to worry about today not tomorrow…

Tuesday I cannot even remember, except for the sticker shock of the oil burner boiler replacement estimate at $7600. Um, yeah. Tuesday. Then Wednesday I worked so much it was crazy but good, really good that I felt well. Wednesday, feeling healthy, I allowed myself to go to work for mostly outside things, online meetings, a walk, a flu shot inside the building for the briefest moments, picking up a fruit share of apples and wow hearing of a spot bonus of $100 for being on the activities committee,  wow crazy.  I also delivered chocolate (another thank you gift from work) to a pregnant coworker friend, working at home, tending to her older son. I left the chocolate at the door. Her place so CONVENIENTLY near a retreat camp, where I took a wifi field trip, sat outside their main building on a wooden chair, gladly my computer already knows their wifi password. Got work done plus got in some needed prayers. I weeded a prayer garden brick path because I could.  I then sat on the bench and I HEARD GOD SPEAK. Focusing away from the fray of life, to set busyness to the side, I prayed and listened. In firm bold letter phrasing “TAKE CARE OF MY SON”.

OK 

More about Wednesday, this year’s flu shot arm pain was not to be denied! Ouch but important. And home afterword, I had a total couch collapse,  but not from the shot, just from the day. Yes, that spot bonus was nice, so at a farm stand I bought myself lunch then an ornamental pepper plant.

Thursday – that’s today and this morning I am wrestling with ear pain, oh must be allergies, oh rats… arm pain ibuprofen helps yes, and a cup of tea soothes my 5AM cat wake up call. 

Friday- no ear pain – no worries – no need to fear – still time to work and still time to enjoy – Friday is fabulous to those M-F workers knowing Saturday is a day off – Friday is Friday – woohoo!  And I did an important moving forward step by visiting a little shop on my way to work, which became less about why I was there and more about being blessed to be there, with the most marvelous conversations with the owners and workers. And I continued to be the social one, when I went to work, as I had hands on work to do in the building. And wow I talked to 50 people as I often do. AND I also got a hug tonight, with masks on, with a cherished coworker who is leaving for a new job. Every decision we make is a gamble for human life and death, and that hug felt so worth that gamble at that moment, actually we took 3 hugs before I left. It was the first hug other than my kids that I shared in 6 months. Wow. Yes it is a gamble and I have to trust in the Lord. From the scary beginning of this week to now the Spirited end, God never left me and I say that it was a great week. Jesus always shined, the Spirit always showed up to work with me. As I close this Friday, I keep in prayer those sad situations of illness for friends and family, new deaths, and new cases of Covid in friends of friends that I just heard about. New concerns on top of old concerns for the world. I will not worry today but pray, and let tomorrow worry about itself

And remember that in EVERY moment that we can live IN THE SPIRIT with no gamble at all, every moment of being alive in the Spirit is NO gamble – it is only life…

Tonight, I pray thankfulness for the week,  thank You Lord, for the trials and the joys. I pray that all become one with the Spirit and live each day for unity. 

Saturday? That whole day is a NEW BEGINNING. Let’s make it FOR THE LORD.

Amen Amen Amen 

Pie, 25SEP – #938

Standard

I’m thinking this morning of a church declining, not one here where I currently live, but long ago, in another state. A place many years ago, where I went to help a friend serve pie. Yes, pie and dealing with pie on that day became a symptom and symbolism of the beginning/ongoing decline of a church building to me, because there were so many unwritten rules and expectations about pie at their chicken barbecue. Pie. The chicken cooking probably had far fewer hang-ups than the pie.

I came into the kitchen with my pies (I used to bake so many, had quite the excitement about my pies from work folks) but my pies and their quality are NOT important here, it was about attitudes in an established church – and here I came as a stranger. I stepped in with my smile, my willingness to help, to step into a kitchen of people that I did not know, it was about my fearless method to cut the pies, and probably my generous portions. I shook the kitchen establishment of pie ladies, and their rules, just by being me. God forbid that day if I crossed the social lines out to the men cooking the chicken, invading their turf, LOL. I remember there were some grateful women in the kitchen as I was a breath of fresh air to chat with and did not get stressed over pie. And I really don’t remember any flack, I was told there might be, but I don’t remember any to my face, I don’t even thing there was any behind the scenes, I remember only nice people, gratitude that I came to help them that day. I really only remember standing cutting pies, the mission of pie.

Pharisees were shook up by Jesus stirring up the church of His earthly times.  Jesus shook up the people by being so smart and teacher-like but He had come from humble beginnings, how could this be? The rulers were shook up. And others were interested in Jesus not even knowing what the rulers were saying. Jesus stepped outside the box. Jesus even talked to women, crossed the lines of social norms, and oh wow, He touched unclean people.  Jesus came for a mission. People were shocked when the One person that scripture had told them was coming had actually come. Learned, established folk could not shake or share their establishments to comprehend what was happening.  “You can read the weather, but can you not read the signs of the times.?”

I’ll put it in plain ole English: “When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is. And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time?”

All of Luke 12 gives volumes of wisdom. How earth-shattering it was that CHANGE had to be understood by the people. Even though Jesus performed miracles, people doubted. Even though Jesus rose from the dead, people doubted. We are a human race of humans. Stuck in our method of pie. Obviously the pie story is just a small incident, not deep scripture teaching, but it is a common tale of people being people. I even will say that no flack came my way that pie cutting day, but the PERCEPTION was that I was going to upset the kitchen, tip the carts, be too bold just by bee-ing me. People sometimes can not wrap their heads around changing things that others, who are now long gone, cared about. Imagine if I had brought a cake to the pie kitchen! Oh dear. Would I have been tossed out? No. Of course not. They were wonderful people. But the breath of fresh air to some ladies was such a great thing that day. Can you feel their sighs of relief? I only visited that church a couple times. Is this church thriving today? 30 years later? No. I don’t think it’s any different than many churches fading in their reach to others. Less people means less workers and less outreach. Imagine if that church or any church could become a place again that thrived. Where pie did not even have to be a fundraiser, but where FREE PIE was given out instead. Where slices were generous and marvelous but better than fluff – where the food was fulfilling and good. Imagine a place where resources like daycares and counseling services were open and easily available. IMAGINE THE FREE SHARING OF JESUS.  Imagine a place where the lost could be found. The workers are few and the harvest is many. Don’t be afraid to change the way of the pie, don’t be afraid to make new plans in the devotion to make new disciples. Be like Jesus and cross boundary lines to meet the people where they are. Be open to change, especially since the Change has come to the world, born a child of a virgin, suffered died buried and rose again. Don’t doubt that the dead can rise again. Don’t doubt that faith is not fuel-able. Don’t be afraid to seek feeding in order to feed. Just look to the times and learn how to read the Spirit that still exists, never changing, ever present.

Change the pie and change the feeling of the moment. Change the moment and bring it back to mission. The mission is to share Jesus. 

Bring Jesus into every situation. Choose to serve Jesus and change the world. Harvest the crops, but first help plant, help nurture seeds that are sprouting, and tend to young plants maturing. And bring it out of the kitchen, out into the world. 

One more scripture, from Paul to the Corinthians, about building up churches, people, and fanning into the flames of faith: “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.  The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

Paul continues, reminding the church folks: “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

Pie, it’s not about the pie. It’s not about earthly things. It’s about Jesus. Pie won’t last, people won’t even remember the barbecue, the flames will burn the things that are not going to last. But Jesus lasts… JESUS IS GOD, AND GOD WANTS US TO SHARE. 

Amen

Who Will Pray? GOD Asks You! 23SEP – #937

Standard

I want to help out the Kingdom here as it is in Heaven: I want to Pray.

Who Will Pray? How Do I Pray? GOD Says Just Do! GOD Asks You!

Lord, I don’t always take time to pray? What can I do?

Start Today, take time to pray. Every day, you can start anew.

What if I don’t know what to pray about? Well, here is how I will simply start, I will pray to YOU!

What if I don’t know all the details of the issues? Well, You do, I will pray to acknowledge YOU!

What if I go to bed forgetting to pray? Get lost in my day? Well, You won’t forget, and each day You will see me thru. At the end of the day, my prayer is that I listened to You.

And I do Lord, need to hear and want to hear YOU.

I went to pray in a prayer garden – it is peaceful and that is because PEACE COMES FROM YOU.

Walking in, I noticed bricks with names – Oh, these are Your children, Lord, they Love YOU.

Bricks in memory and honor – but the weeds blocked the names – yet You can read them, actually You are why they were all made NEW.

I weeded the weeds silently, enjoying dirt under my nails and seeing names come back to my eyes, these names made prayers in my heart. I don’t know them – but YOU DO!

Sitting now to write these words, I know really it is YOUR SPIRIT that chimes thru.

So, I now do pray God: “What can I hear from YOU?”

You then clearly said: “TAKE CARE OF MY SON.” I heard You, clear as clear can be. Yes God, I heard YOU.

My son is Your son, my children son and daughter are Your children. You already take care of them with me, for me. You do. Thank You.

You said “MY SON” – well Your Son is Jesus, the LIVING WORD, He is whom I truly live thru. Take care of Him in Me, because Jesus LIVES and the Holy Spirit advocates for You.

Because He lives in me, I find His Life want to break thru mine, His Words want to burst thru mine, His Love is ALIVE. His Life is True.

God – even in my wordless groans, Your Spirit in me means that I am able to pray to YOU.

I heard: “TAKE CARE OF MY SON.” YES, GOD – I GET YOU!

Make me aware for any time I can share – that Jesus is YOUR SON, OUR SAVIOR in Spirit and Truth.

Lord Jesus, shine thru me – less me, more You!

Amen Lord, and THANK YOU!

Our Father Overlaps Us in Forgiveness, 23SEP – #936

Standard

Overlapped, the Lord has us overlapped and carefully carried to bridge us thru this world. We are not to fret or fight, but to look to how He takes care of us. The biggest mental overlap to bridge us from us here on earth to Eternity is that He has already and ALWAYS wanted us in His Kingdom. We go from here to there. The best possible overlap is our salvation, in our Savior Jesus, thru our Vine, our forgiveness and our hope. The emotional intensely feeling of deliverance, overlap between ourselves and our Father can be shared in a gifted prayer, given for any moment that we don’t know what else to say or pray, Jesus gave us these words: Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. 

Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Any and all unknowns, we have a bridging prayer. We have both a requesting prayer as well as a requirement prayer: Give us this day, our Daily Bread. (That’s Jesus!!! That’s not simply our meals but our whole sustenance that we need daily)…  And forgive us our trespasses (that’s a request, that requires us to follow Jesus) As we forgive those who trespass against us. (That’s a requirement)

If we have yet to forgive others, it’s an action plan. If we have yet to forgive ourselves, it’s a command. If you look at different versions of the bible, there are differences in tense. Past tense: “as we have forgiven” vs present tense “as we forgive” vs future tense “keep us forgiving“… I never noticed the difference before, in these differences in translation, and yet all are true as there is one Christ Jesus and one forgiveness and one hope. Past, Present,  Future,  all forgiveness requires Jesus. 

NIV: And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

NKJV: And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.

MSG:  Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.

And Lead us NOT into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Ah, we are human beings, so human, and the blessings we have that we forget, the yearnings we have that cloud our hearts and minds, the omissions we make that clutter our sight… human human human. What are we to do? Believe in the One God sent. Trust in Jesus to see our Spirits out of our fray.

To add the extra verse is to know these given truths of our lives IN Jesus, that EVEN JESUS would attest that God is all in all. Jesus even being one with the father gave ALL credit to Our Father:

For THINE is the KINGDOM, and the POWER, and the GLORY, FOREVER. 

AMEN 

Yes Amen, and yes forever ago and forever forward into forever. As far as east is from the west we forgiven and are wanted. As fallen we might feel from our view of Him at times, His love takes a never ending view of us. HIS LOVE never ends, He always has us in His sight. Jesus has us in His Care. The Spirit advocates for our inclusion. 

We are OVERLAPPED by Grace. Forgiven by Grace. Included as Children of God.

Praise the Lord. 

Praise the Lord, oh my soul.

Amen 

———-

Psalm 103 (NIV)

Praise the Lord, my soul;  all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,

who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

The life of mortals is like grass,  they flourish like a flower of the field;  the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children — with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.

Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,  you his servants who do his will.

Praise the Lord, all his works

    everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Make a Jesus Point, 19SEP – #935

Standard

I rewrote the thought of “In all things, point to Jesus.” – to be: Living Jesus in our lives IS the point. We want Jesus to Make a Point. We want to make a Jesus Point.

Scary things? Give comfort and take comfort and let Jesus make a point of showing you where and who comfort comes from. Weirdly enough times? Give comfort and take comfort and let Jesus make a point.  Exciting news times? Give thanks and make a Jesus point. 

Ever have a moment when you start to worry about tomorrow, next week, anything and everything that HASN’T happened yet but yet you are consumed with fear? Today has it’s own real troubles so don’t go beyond those to newly imagined troubles tomorrow. Jesus said that. Jesus was making a point about not worrying: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34 …That’s a good point, thanks Jesus.

I have found that keeping sight of today and today alone is the best way to stop letting my worst fears get away with me. Sight of today is best done the Jesus way, just keep sight of Him in the day, live the Jesus way.

I’ve had many night scares throughout my life, replaying where I am in danger of falling. I know these are random things, my past fears being processed in ways that I don’t understand but with our dream method of healing us, our fears are processed and dealt with. When I have woken up, I realize it was a dream not reality. I had not fallen, I’m not at that place, I realize I would have surely either caught something or hit rock bottom, but I wake up before that happens. I wake while I am not yet finished falling…  Um… I am pretty sure that is true of our lives in Jesus too, we have not yet finished – not just falling but rising and being held. We are not yet ever too far gone. When we wake up, we realize we are OK. We WON’T hit rock bottom of death, because Jesus rocked out death first to instill life.  We WON’T forever fall, because Jesus CATCHES. If you want to understand PEACE, peace WITHOUT understanding, just reach to JESUS. Just Jesus.  Isn’t that the point? Jesus is the point.

If you are scared, reach for Jesus. He is already reaching. 

If you are lost, look for Jesus. He’s the Light and already looking for you.

If you are peaceful and protected, thank Jesus for you have felt His net.

I worry, we all do. We all die eventually, but not today. Don’t worry about dying today, only living today. 

We worry about our family and friends, we all do. Don’t worry about their demise today, celebrate their living. Celebrate their hopes and dreams. Be their comfort and love. Be their Jesus net. Point to Jesus for the source of their strength and joy. Make a point to point out your hope and joy in Jesus, thru Jesus and Jesus thru you.

Looking at the King James Version in such poetic verse:  “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

It is not you who would worry about tomorrow anyway – but Jesus’s point is that TOMORROW WILL WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW. It is not you who should worry about today anyway – today will take care of itself. So just today, Just you, Just Jesus, Just sharing Jesus to comfort others. That’s today’s mission. 

Jesus Just Jesus. Spread the news.

Amen 

—–

Philippians 4:4-9 ESV

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

LOVE is Never Wasted, 15SEP – #934

Standard

LOVE is Never Wasted 

Especially LOVE given to you.

All Love comes from the Lord, do we have to worry if it sometimes feels wasted? No… the Lord has shared endless LOVE, so can we. LOVE is Never Wasted. 

If we give you LOVE to a level that seems foolish, will we be a fool for LOVE? Yes. Yes, yes, I am a fool for LOVE because it is a spillover from being a fool for the Lord… Jesus said we will look foolish to the world… We now know why He did LOVE us foolishly and still does… So, is it foolish of Jesus to LOVE us so deeply? Not to Him. Therefore it shouldn’t be to us. Because Jesus IS LOVE. He gave it all because He was All,  He is All.

LOVE is foolish to the people who see a fool. LOVE is gifted to the people who see a gift. LOVE is LOVE to the LOVED.

LOVE is not a given but a gift. It never disappears or is wasted. LOVE is simply passed along. 

LOVE looks for LOVE’S return, but it’s not a back and forth as much as it is a spiral LOVING reaching forward. 

LOVE grows deeper to those who have opened up their heart to receive it. More LOVE is refilled and restored to those who share it … LOVE is not to be shut off but often to be redirected … LOVE never comes up empty. 

LOVE forms, flows, follows, forevers, forgives, forgets, fills, finds, fuels, finds, focuses, flames…. LOVE is lovely…

If my LOVE is too over the top, let me try opening my heart deeper, wider, fuller… how else could we contain LOVE? We cannot. We should not. LOVE is not containable when LOVE passing thru me is intended to be splashed on you. 

The Lord LOVES lavishly, how can we not? When we realize that we are LOVED so intensely,  we might be overwhelmed… to be OVERWHELMED, to be so saturated with His LOVE that there’s no more place to store it, that is so we must splash it back out…

God knows how to LOVE us…

We hope too,  splash but not spill, inspire but not inundate.

Because God does LOVE you. God LOVES you for you. 

OUR Lord LOVES thru you. LOVE shared serves even more. 

To serve the Lord with His LOVE, is a LOVING thing to do…

LOVE is God in, to, and thru. 

Amen 

YEAH! – 13SEP – #933

Standard

My summer reading, I’ve never had one before but this summer is different and has me extra blessed to have time to focus on faith. I’ve REALLY enjoyed reading this Michael Card book “A Fragile Stone” and I’ve gotten to the chapter about Jesus forgiving Peter for his 3 denials the night Jesus was being arrested. Yeah, reconciliation on the beach shore, Jesus asks 3 times “Do you love me?”… I’ve read this chapter piecemeal at a few different shore locations within 2 weeks… I’ve read it again and again for it resonates with me – feed My sheep – and it is a pivotal beginning to Peter, to his relationship with Jesus AND the others, pivotal to the beginnings of the spread of the news of Jesus, pivotal to Jesus Himself finally getting thru to Peter for good….  and to me – especially to the Peter-tendencies in me…

WOW – so strong a message… souls so incredibly broken, feeling the deepest repair…

Love qualifies Peter to be whom Jesus needs Him to be… LOVE so divine to reconcile and recruit… 

And oh how Peter must have felt he was refined in the fire, to become the complete follower of Jesus and called to be Jesus’s chosen leader of the others… Jesus says: “Follow Me”

It is one thing to know how blessed you are, but a totally deeper thing to know how forgiven you are. Don’t recount your deepest flaws but know they are forgiven. You have been recovered and rescued from the depths.

Oh, to feel that immense deep love from Jesus – Yeah – wow… Peter, and me, and us… oh yes, he was THAT broken, then he was repaired THAT much…

YEAH… if you know repair and love, you know…  if you know, you follow… if you follow, you lead… if you lead, you follow…

Even if sin is all equal, our distance from Jesus can feel varied. Our brokenness and our denials of His plan for us are overcome with the deepest widest of catches. Yes Jesus reaches and looks and He will scrape the bottom of the depths of everywhere to find you – to recover just one soul… to get me, to get you…  YEAH… if you know, you know…  if you know, you follow… if you follow, you lead… if you lead, you follow…

Then, the second part of follow is to do our part, embracing the role the Lord has for us. Just like Jesus knew of Peter’s purpose, He knows our potential purpose. We must embrace our purpose. It’s great to be a believer but to believe to move where Jesus leads? YEAH…

A Savior’s calling needs a listener… a listener needs processing… processing needs a process… a process needs a Savior. A Savior needs His saved ones and His saved ones need to head their Savior’s calling. 

This is not a circle but a growing spiral… natural patterns are full of spiral shapes, following mathematical and personal rules like the golden ratio and the golden rule. A spiral goes places… so we are to go, with faith, places too.

Yeah… YEAH… if you know, you know…  if you know, you follow… if you follow, you lead… if you lead, you follow…

YEAH, you GROW…

Angel Armies, 13SEP – #932

Standard

The one thing I know about The Bible is that I don’t know enough about The Bible. Lately I have been intrigued by scriptures of the ANGEL ARMIES. Two recent sermons RE-rekindled my intrigue. About Elisha and Daniel. I know in my heart that Angels exist. Once on a camping trip to a revolutionary war fort, 3 scouts didn’t want to do the evening ghost tour,  I volunteered to sit it out with them. I said in comfort to them that I don’t believe in ghosts, but I DO BELIEVE IN ANGELS. 

Oh I can picture them. Can you? Angels cushioning car accident damage, shielding children, calming moments, stirring up Spirit flows… sitting with dying friends… lifting up the hurt, the scared, the hopeful, the believers, the maybe-ers, the lost.

I saw this little girl, maybe 3, reticent to get on the beach from the boardwalk, her sweet family cajoled her, with trinkets and reassurance. We as strangers walking by (and 2 moms ourselves) started working together in the goal of helping. What a live action mini-moment that must be played out by angel armies constantly, daily, again and again helping motivate, people-move, and prevent meltdowns. 

A sweet boy I know, my former pastor’s grandson, and his classmates were sleeping in a daycare building when a car ran into the room. How could there not have been ARMIES OF ANGELS taking the brunt of the force. They are all fine now. Wow. 

WOW.

I can imagine. I want to believe. I ask to know and see, but I am OK with just believing. 

Prophet Elisha SAW God’s Chariots of Fire, His Angel Armies. Oh what a movie moment, wow, can you even picture the scene? In 2 Kings, Elisha prophesies led to actual visualizations of the ever-present surrounding angels, a spirit realm ready to go all out for God’s Kingdom purposes. (Scripture below). And because Elisha understood the immense protection he had by these warrior angels, he could step out in faith, he was able to not only remain calm, prevent his own death and those of his servant but also stop the impending battle, save those Israelites AND send the invading Arameans army home without killing them. 

Another battle time, it was the SOUND of ANGELS ARMIES: “the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!”  So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.”

The attacking army left because they heard what God needed them to hear. The faithful servant and prophet saw what God needed them to see to have peace. I believe that. Can we also ask today proactively step out in faith? Can we trust in His protection, process our blessings, and put them to use for God’s purposes?

Perhaps. Maybe. Yes! 

In my looking at the angel face of the little boy, who was in the daycare, how could I not believe in an angel save, a save when no one knew in advance to ask. Prayers that are prevenient always help and Angels are readied for just these times. Therefore going into our futures, can we also ask, in advance, for guidance and protection? How much more peace we would have if we ALREADY knew we were walking into places where Angels set up shop.

Like Prophet Daniel in the Old Testament, we must wait for intervention because our war is in the spiritual realm. We must trust and let the angels focus on fighting the right battles. Daniel’s saving angel was rescued by angel Michael. Oh the battles for us, our souls and His plan, are just as intense. 

Let’s step out in faith knowing that these battles however fierce are not ours to bear, step out in faith to know and to show the war that the battle is already won.

Angel Armies are our Amen. 

Amen Amen 

Amen

—–

Scriptures:

Elisha Traps Blinded Arameans 2 Kings 6

8 Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”

9 The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” 10 So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

11 This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

12 “None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

13 “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” 14 Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.

16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.

19 Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria.

20 After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.

21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?”

22 “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.” 23 So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.

—-

From 2 Kings7

Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? 4 If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”

5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” 7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

Love the One You’re With, 12SEP – #931

Standard

I can’t help mentally sing the song: “Love the one you’re with!” thinking about our Covid era. Yes…

Some families can’t see their families now, but they can see their neighbors. Some can’t wait to get home from work to see family and now some can’t wait to get back to work to see work folks.  Some really want to be at work to feel normalcy and some want to be at work to make sure they are not forgotten…

Are we forgotten? Not by God. Never is He not thinking of us with love. Are we forgetful? He is always looking for us to remember Him.

Do we love? We are commanded by our Lord to “love the ones we’re with”… AGAPE love… AND love strangers AND love neighbors AND love enemies. “And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” Matthew 5:47

If a widow offers her last coins to the church (Mark 12), surely we can offer our LOVE, which comes in excess to us. God is love, and love keeps giving.

If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:41-42

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1 John 4:7

Can we go the extra mile today?

Can we love the one we’re with?

God does, He is love. And love will prevail.

God’s LOVE loves all.

Amen


Love the One Your With song versions:

1971 Stephen Stills

1971 Isley Brothers

1971 Aretha Franklin

Spirit Smiles, 12SEP – #930

Standard

There’s no doubt in my heart that our ingrained spirits LOVE to smile. Baby oh baby, I live and love to smile too… I smiled with a giggly baby today, 9 months old, in the store, oh cuteness… Mom says the baby KNOWS when people are smiling no matter if they have their masks on or not.  Let me say that again: even with a hidden smile, this baby knows when you are smiling! Oh baby!

The Smiling Spirit Shares Sweet Spirit Smiles!!!

Oh Spirit!

I do smile with my eyes, but oh so much more uplifting is when we can smile through our spirits… and who are we to stop the Spirit from Smiling? Are we to stop the Spirit from moving? Are we to stop Sweet Shining? 

Isn’t it so amazing… isn’t it SO Holy Spirit… isn’t it so sweet…

Smile baby Smile…

Spirit Flow Spirit...

Smiles 

Because of Brokenness, 10SEP – #929

Standard

Because I know that Jesus heals, and am a witness to many healings physically and emotionally, I must praise His healing to our brokenness. Spiritual brokenness is real and only bridged by the bridge builder Jesus. We are to continually look towards Him to heal the scattered parts of our soul. I know He wants us WHOLE.

It is because of Brokenness that we need Jesus, and as God’s love always overcomes brokenness, Jesus’s repair stitches us INTO His Net. His love heals our broken connection. Love gives and IS a net gain of infinite strength. Jesus repairs despair. 

Risen Jesus, on the shore of Galilee, called to the boat of fishing disciples in the sea, fishing for fish like the old days but in new times: “Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.”

The NET was NOT torn, oh how true that Jesus and God’s love is an UNBROKEN NET. Once we have been caught by Jesus, we may fall out of the boat on occasion and we certainly ARE big fish that thrash about, but we will NOT fall out of the unbroken net, for Jesus and God thru the Holy Spirit LOVES to rescue us, pull us in. Their love holds us in. The Savior saves the day. A strong net that will never tear. Their net is always stronger than how evil may fish for you.

After their meal of fish, fish newly caught from the boat as well as some already cooked by Jesus, our flawed friend Peter was specifically called out and reconciled by the Lord. Around the fire, these memories of Peter’s three denials just a few days earlier must have been so strong, those denials to curious crowds that Peter was Jesus’s confidant. 3 denials, 3 crows of the rooster. We now see Peter being readied by Jesus’s mercy to be returned to ministry, to be given a clear and all-encompassing mission as leader to his fellow disciples and all… Peter will even learn about his own future death at old age, but most importantly Peter will learn that despite His shortcomings, He is STILL loved and needed

Oh, the GIFT of forgiveness. The knowledge of acceptance. Jesus knows Peter needs this. Peter knows He needs this too.

Do you love me?” 

“Do you love me?”

Do you love me?”  

Jesus questions Peter three times with the same question, Peter pleads his love three times, then Jesus answers three times with an all-encompassing meaning, ALL based on ONE command: “FEED MY SHEEP”.

Peter is now us, we are now Peter. All repurposed to original purpose. Restored to be repaired and keep being repaired. All called to strengthen our brothers. If we are surprised by God desiring our repair, we shouldn’t be because it is because of each person’s unique brokenness that God COULD repair each person uniquely. And then the witness of our healing as a sign to all that God heals. As Romans 8:28-29 (a repeated scripture for me this week) avows: “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

In my brokenness, I saw the light of the Lord looking for me.

Brokenness is NOT broken nets, the Lord’s net will hold you. Brokenness of human righteousness allows for Jesus to break curses that stop you, break chains that bind you. Jesus is remembered in broken bread – which is only shareable when broken. Broken souls are for healing.

Brokenness is NOT broken love, God is Love. Brokenness IS breaking blockades, breaking blinders, breaking cycles of sins, breaking pride. Broken souls are for healing. 

Because we have denied Jesus in the past, His LOVE given for reconciling us has been Affirmed. And Reaffirmed. 

Because of weakness in us, we have become restorable using His Strength.

Because we were lost, we have been Found

Because we have hungered, we have been Fed.

Because of Jesus, we are One with Him.

Because of brokenness, we are made WHOLE

Because Jesus reinstates us, like Peter, we are wholly His.

Amen 

——-

Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish (John 21)

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.  “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus Reinstates Peter:  When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”     Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”   Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

Fuel our Faith, 10SEP – #928

Standard

I was sitting in gridlock this morning at a Dunkin Donuts and how  amazing that we all can be stuck in the midst of extravagant excess. This is not a line at a gas crisis but for coffee and egg sandwiches we actually could make at home for pennies on the dollar. No coffee for me but for my son, I always get his favorite egg wraps. We do get stuck in our routines, our plan, our excess. Sometimes stripping all fluff away, removing our burdens of busyness,  we could actually see the road laid down for us to traverse and find our way, if only we would choose to see… When we are disconnected, if only we at least know WHOM to ask. We need to Connect thru Christ. We need to try to connect Him to the disconnected in our lives. We could wait for our Faith Fuel but we don’t have to, He has no line and no waiting!!!

Sometimes we are so worried about ourselves that we forget we are part of a whole ONE body in Christ… We are on this journey together and yet some people have forgotten to pack their maps, some people were left at home, and some people think we’re done and already at our destination… 

The truth is we still have others to reach, fill their emotional tanks with fuel, draw out new versions of maps to a God who is unchanging. We can point in the way of the WAY. Jesus has already laid out the map but we need our GPS “God Positioning System” to Jesus… Paper-based maps work – electronic maps work – people whispering down the lane works.  A trail not of breadcrumbs but planted seeds works. And combined with the internal navigation thru Jesus and the Spirit, we hope to read the signs of the times…

Jesus asked our Heavenly Father, God Almighty, to designate an Advocate. He back-filled the position, to entrust our journeys to the Holy Spirit. He also left detailed maps in the Word, and inspired blessed mapmaker scribes. We continue to be living scribes, witnesses of Him saving our lives.

So what about this trust, this unknown found in disconnected folks and often us? Can we ask for directions? Often we are not knowing where to look, or even where to start, so let’s simply hop right into the journey, start now to walk more closely knowing the Light of the World IS Jesus. Just ask Him to turn on the Light even BRIGHTER for you to see. 

Jesus laid down His life, surely He can lay out a path. It doesn’t matter where we start as long as we know Jesus already finished. In our time on earth, we just have to finish our jobs to spread out these maps of the Way to all corners of the globe… that’s sharing the good news… CONNECT with Jesus for Jesus.  Connect with all – for all. 

Jesus, please strip away our clouded views and self-righteous empowerment and our fuzziness of focus. Remove our disconnect from YOU and each other… Connect us, so we shine YOU thru us…

Help us keep journeying. Fill in our map gaps. Fuel our faith… Shine on…

Amen 

I, I AM, 06SEP – #927

Standard

I just looked at this set of beach sunrise photos now and OH WOW that IS a BIG “I” the Lord has!!!… not “eye” as in eyeball but “I” as in the Lord saying: “I AM”.

The Sun and my cellphone camera may have made an optical illusion of sunshine so bright on the horizon, a perfectly framed glowing eyeball shape, but there is no denying that God is so much bigger than THAT. Not external from us but integral – Him in us and us in Him. God is bigger than our thoughts of Him, God is watching everything, but NOT from afar, because God’s I is not an eye to see but an I to BE, a LOVE to KNOW, and a LOVE in us to GROW. 

God had a promise to keep and give, by giving forgiveness thru Jesus to us. With Jesus asking Our Father for the Holy Spirit to lift us and move us.

John spoke of the Lord saying: HE is the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1,22). Jesus took human form then He then spoke of Himself being appointed by the Father, although not equal to the Father, still One with the Father (John 10)… 

Prophesized and Planned, Jesus Was and most importantly Jesus IS.

Jesus said “I AM”

We also can say: “I AM”:

I AM HEALING

I AM HIS

I AM A CHILD OF GOD

I AM FOREVER YOURS

I AM A SINNER

I AM A SALVATION SEEKER

I AM A SOUL

I AM SAVED

I AM SATISFIED IN CHRIST

YOU LORD, ARE THE “I AM” THAT WE SEEK.

AMEN

——-

The seven I AM statements of Jesus (gathered on google)

1) I Am the Bread of Life.
2) I Am the Light of the World.
3) I Am the door or gate

4) I Am the Good Shepherd.
5) I Am the Resurrection, and the Life.
6) I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
7) I Am the True Vine.

——

Ninety “I AM” statements in scripture that we can speak at: http://www.risenking.org/Resources/90_Statements.pdf

——-

Romans 8:

10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.


14  For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

—–

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Captivate, 04SEP – #925

Standard

The sunset was pink, one of the most beautiful – but by the time I got outside it had changed to golden, and I missed my photo of the picture perfect provision of pink. Golden was my consolation prize. That’s pretty good too, huh? Captivated. 

Isn’t that life? We have paths of consolation by looking for the light. We have hope in consolidated lives, all found in the Lord. 

Life is short, yes, we miss things, we miss a lot – but if we keep looking for the LIGHT, at least we will have direction. I don’t think anybody’s life is perfect. I don’t think anybody could say they wouldn’t change something. In my heart I know there’s a consolation prize for us always looking into His direction. We don’t always see it immediately, but surely it is there.There’s a captured feeling that captivates me. In Him, there’s always possibilities to open, there’s always answers to questions (if we ask the right questions), and there’s always more questions to ask. Better yet, there’s more than just pat answers for us, there is soaking in His presence for all. 

A fellow walker just now smiled while walking by and said “enjoy your night”. Yes, I am. See, it’s STILL summer, there are STILL summer bugs so loud, I’m still ALIVE… and I have direction… And a ladybug just now landed on me. I have been found. 

Found and I am captivated but it is because I am CAPTURED, really, and I now work for the Lord. What about you? I work for the One who never overlooks us, who looked for me forever, who found me knowing I would look for Him at this very moment, every moment. For in God, each MOMENT can feel like FOREVER and each FOREVER a MOMENT. Today, right now? He gave me THIS moment…

And golden sunsets… 

No, the Lord won’t always have to put pink or gold in our eyes, He won’t ever need flashing lights or fuzzy glows to captivate us. He won’t need light in our eyes but He will LIGHT our souls to shine us towards Him. He simply lights up life with love. Securely, He gives us longing and belonging…  

So, direction for me is going to be different than direction for you, but the rescue in His reach is always universal. The unifying force of love is love. The mystery is the mystery, but He never wants us guessing, only listening. Only listening to Him. Looking for Him. 

He needs us to think: Knowing He’s there. Knowing He’s here.

He needs us to love: Knowing He’s there. Knowing He’s here.

He gives us life to live:  Knowing He’s there. Knowing He’s here.

There is no Godly golden sunset picture tonight, because He can not be captured, only we can be captivated and captured, captured by Him. 

Capture. Captivate. Don’t let go. 

Captivate us all Lord. 

Amen

Labor For Love, 05SEP – #926

Standard

I decided to return the favor. I had a moment at the local 911 memorial, sitting on the bench and I left a note painted on a blue rock. “For He Gave His Son. John 3:16”. Oh Lord, you gave a Labor FOR Love. A Labor for Mary to birth Jesus. A Labor of the Lord Jesus to birth a plan with You the Father to birth the church. A Labor of Love to toil and work in being a human as God for 3 years on earth. A Labor of Love to bring us all to You. We Labor too, because of Your Favor.

That the Holy Spirit gave us such favor, it is a partial favor that I returned today, placing this painted rock on a bench, because on the day, Sunday 01FEB2015, when I knew I had awakened 100% to Jesus in me, I was at a 911 memorial garden and I flipped over a coin to read John 3:16. What amazing confirmation and reconfirmation of the Holy Spirit moving me to accept Jesus, of believing in Him, thru Him, with Him 100%. I knew that day that I knew that as Truth. For He gave His Son for us all. Really God did. And Jesus labored to tell us all about God and about Himself, how He is given us by God’s direction and how now the Spirit is His advocate. For Jesus, this is a Labor for Love. That day, after months of God making me reborn, I learned and I understood. Not everyone does, actually many are lost or stuck in their own pre-born-again cold labor. For Jesus, this is a Labor For Love.

Fittingly this is Labor Day weekend, I have the rarest of rarities, I have time to think… time to read… time to be… Tomorrow I will plan to get to the beach. Today I tidied up my chores, picking goodies in my garden, cooked, ran loads of dishes and laundry. Now I can sit, but instead I am floating. I’m blessed to be on a dock, a boat launch, down the road from wildlife preserves. No one seems to mind me being here with no boat. I am reading and I am writing. I am floating in LOVE. My blessing of a calling is these writings then cataloging, posting and printing of 900 plus blogs. I don’t need a following but Jesus does. I need to Labor for Love for Jesus said so, and I know so. It’s a calling,  but getting Jesus to everyone is more than I could ever share, it is team effort. Jesus has to be born within each person. Each follower becomes reborn in Christ. If you don’t know what that means, it means Jesus’s Labor for Love is for you too. You don’t have to go thru another physical labor to be born of the Spirit, but you have to acknowledge Christ’s Labor for Love. You must be born again – and you won’t know how that feels until you are.

Next, my mini labor for the day, after visiting the 911 memorial, I placed one of my blog business cards out in public. I placed a purple “LOVE” rock with a card at a takeout place. I also placed one at the grocery story today, that is not easy for me even secretly to be bold. It’s time for me to get over my shyness of sharing more openly. I pray the Holy Spirit to brush off my dust and for me to embrace His Ways.  That’s part of my Labor for Him – my Labor, His Love…

I’m returning the favor, Labor FOR Love.

Amen 

Before YOU Lord, Psalm 90, 01SEP – #924

Standard

You have set our iniquities – in the LIGHT of Your presence” – from Psalm 90. WOW, can you even imagine the immense presence of God?  Can you imagine how intensely stunning and powerful God is? NOTHING could compare to “the favor of the Lord our God on us”.

Oh, it struck me so strongly tonight, listening to Psalm 90 read outloud, that NOTHING we have EVER  DONE or NOT EVEN DONE could even think to compare to the PRESENCE, the POWER, the PEACE of God. Nothing we have done or not done can negate the place of us NEXT to God. We forget, but He has us. We think that we are lost, but NOTHING is impossible with God. No one in Jesus is lost. Before You Lord, we are washed clean. 

Moses prayed this prayer in Psalm 90 and he was one who actually spoke to God. God allowed Moses to see Him pass by and hear Him. God Himself took care of Moses. God takes care of us all. He is our dwelling place. 

God Himself planned for us to have Jesus as our forgiveness in Grace. NOTHING can change the immense love of Jesus who will stand with us in front of God. NOTHING can separate us from Jesus. Our iniquities are gone. Our iniquities are forgiven. Our iniquitiesand when we are thinking we fall short, are not even a small disturbance in the dust compared to the GLORY of God. 

The time we have on earth, or time we don’t, is a blink of time in comparison to the infinite time we have in God. The glory of God has gathered us, His GRACE is given, not to be taken or earned, but given because of God’s EXTRAVAGANT nature. 

And because our time is His, we pray that He “establish the work of our hands for us” – yes, establish the work of our hands. Pray for the Lord to make your days purposeful and strengthened and SATISFIED. How could we not look to Him, His Amazing Grace, for He is above all. He knows where we all truly belong: DWELLING WITH HIM.

Our iniquities compared to Him not judging us are gone. Everlasting to everlasting, our forever life is in You Lord, because You won’t let anything separate us from You. 

Amen 

—-

Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses the man of God.

Lord, you have been our dwelling place  throughout all generations.

2 Before the mountains were born  or you brought forth the whole world,

    from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

3 You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”

4 A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.

5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death — they are like the new grass of the morning: 6 In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered.

7 We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation.

You have set our iniquities before YOU, our secret sins in the light of YOUR presence.

9 All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan.

10 Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures;

yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

11 If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.

12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?  Have compassion on your servants.

14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.

16 May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children.

17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.

‐—-

Music of Psalm 90

“When the sun comes up, satisfy us with Your Love.”

PSALM 90 | Shane & Shane” on YouTube

Jonah, more and more lessons, 31AUG – #923

Standard

Great video, to watch Jonah and about the extravagant love of God: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLIabZc0O4c 

That same theme – God decides that His people are worth it….   I really liked the Jonah Sight and Sound version as well, which I recently watched on video…

On YouTube, the Bible Project, is neat. It’s like a story book drawn from the scripture but spoken for a lot of info to be presented at the same time…

I just happened to see it while searching for info about Jonah. The kids books are not as in depth as this video… God’s message always comes with a lifetime of learning. 

The take home message (there are many) is Jonah, as a prophet, was told to go to a certain place, Nineveh, but he DIDN’T want to go… then he ran away on a ship towards a different place but there was a giant storm and he ended up making the sailors toss him overboard, he realized that running away from God was making God chase after him... in the sea, he got swallowed by a whale, he lives 3 days in the belly! When Jonah told God “OK I will do whatever you tell me to do”,  the whale spit him out onto the land of the place where the Lord want him to go originally, Nineveh…

In this place,  Nineveh, Jonah thought he could just tell them the Lord’s message, that they would be overturned in 40 days and just be done with it, then he travelled outside of town to camp and watch the destruction (popcorn anyone?)… but it turns out the people started to repent, the wicked people LISTENED wow, turned away from evil and listened to God, so God decided to spare them. Jonah was mad again! He wanted God to destroy the wicked people and here God showed them forgiveness, isn’t that fitting for God to be GRACE-giving. God is an extravagant generous forgiving loving God…. He is… Jesus tried to tell the world this… 

In the desert, Jonah got a small dose of relief from the sun’s heat by God growing a tree,  just for Jonah, that grew rapidly to give him shade, and then God sent a worm to destroy the tree. Jonah was upset, he loved the shade of the tree. Then God essentially said: “look, if you loved the tree so much, then why can’t I love and forgive all the sinners and spare their lives, and the lives of their cattle too???!!!. I’m God and I can choose to LOVE and FORGIVE.”

It’s a double lesson that even though we may have enemies, God loves them. We can’t wish evil on them, we are to leave them in God’s hands. We are to love our enemies and even tell them that they are loved by God. 

And of course the lesson that God has a mission for us, whether we like it or not, we are to go where God needs us.  He will even use storms in our lives to bring us there. And He will send us love and forgive us for our actions and thoughts, extravagantly. He loves us and first asks for our love in return. God loves all, we are all important to Him.

 That’s my take on Jonah and the whale, in a nutshell…

God in a God-shell is:

LOVE FORGIVENESS MERCY HOPE FREEDOM OF LIFE, AMD MORE….

GOD DOES NOT FIT IN A NUTSHELL!!!

Jonah, more and more lessons about not running away from God, 31AUG – #923

Standard

God decides that His people are worth it…   That same theme occurs over and over with God, and between God and us.

I suggest a great video, to watch the story of Jonah and about the extravagant love of God:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLIabZc0O4c  “The Bible Project”, is really a neat way to present the Bible. The kid’s books about Jonah are not as in depth as this video… God’s message always comes with a lifetime of learning when studied at all ages. This video is like a story book drawn from the scripture but spoken, a lot of info presented at the same time. (I really liked the Jonah Sight and Sound live musical play version as well…)

The Jonah story take home message (and there are many) is that Jonah, as a prophet, was told to go to a certain place to deliver a message from God, Nineveh, but he DIDN’T want to go… so he ran away on a ship headed towards a different place. There was a giant storm and he ended up making the sailors toss him overboard to save their ship (the soldiers quickly believed in God’s power). Jonah realized  that running away from God was making God chase after him... in the sea, he got swallowed by a whale, he lived 3 days in the belly! When Jonah had that time to think it over, he then told God “OK I will do whatever you tell me to do”, so the whale spit him out onto the land of the one place where the Lord want him to go originally, Nineveh…

In this place,  Nineveh, Jonah thought he could just tell them the Lord’s message, that they would be overturned in 40 days and just be done with it, then went outside of town to watch destruction… but it turns out the people started to repent, the wicked people LISTENED wow, turned away from evil and listened to God, so God decided to spare them. Jonah was mad again! He wanted God to destroy the wicked people and here God showed them forgiveness, isn’t that fitting for God to be GRACE-giving. God is an extravagant generous forgiving loving God…. He is… Jesus tried to tell the world this… Jesus, thru death and resurrection, became the solution to God’s desire to bring all His children back into His Grace.

In the desert, Jonah got a small dose of relief from the hot sun by God growing a tree, just for Jonah, that grew rapidly to give him shade, and then God sent a worm to destroy the tree. Jonah was upset, he loved the shade of the tree. Then God essentially said: “look, if you loved the tree so much, then why can’t I love and forgive all the sinners and spare their lives, and the lives of their cattle too???!!!. I’m God and I can choose to LOVE and FORGIVE.”

It’s a double lesson: even if we have enemies, God loves all. We can’t wish evil on them, we are to leave them in God’s hands. We are to love our enemies and even tell them that they are loved by God. 

And of course the lesson that God has a mission for us, whether we like it or not, we are to go where God needs us.  He will even use storms in our lives to bring us there. And He will send us love and forgive us for our actions and thoughts, extravagantly. He loves us and first asks for our love in return. God loves all, we are all important to Him.

That’s my take on Jonah and the whale, in a nutshell…

God in a God-shell is LOVE FORGIVENESS MERCY HOPE FREEDOM OF LIFE, AND MORE…. GOD DOES NOT FIT IN A NUTSHELL!!!

Promise, 30AUG – #922

Standard

We wonder how to serve the Lord. The Lord says “Let me figure that out for you!”

Our purpose in life is to LOVE God, and LOVE all His people.

Our promise in life can be to do our best to serve God, which helps Him Save His people. Our how? Use the gifts He gave us. Simple. Sacred. Spirit-driven.

Do you know that you DO HELP, just by praying? You do. Do you know that you do help by using your gifts? You do. …  because God does.

I made a promise to serve many years ago as a Girl Scout. Whether I understood that or not at the time, I always knew that God was in charge and that people needed help. I have continually converged those thoughts and continually wondered how I can help. 

Many promise to do their best to serve God, which helps Him Save His people.

A promise I made to God, which I was reminded of this morning looking at my 40-year old girl scout wood plaque, is a re-promise today in a pledge:

“Oh my honor I will try: To serve God, my country and mankind, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.”

Yes, to serve, to do our best, to let Him pick our plan.

SO…..  this is the message for this musing (to myself and to all):

Be inspired and be inspiring.

Be purposeful for God and be purposed by God.

Be promise-keeping and be aware of any opportunity to share His Promise of Salvation made to mankind.

Be at His calling and call unto Him.

Be useful to God and acknowledge the gifts He gave you.

Be sure to simply do you best.

Simple. Sacred. Spirit-driven.  

 Amen

Enough, 29AUG – #921

Standard

Sometimes I feel I never do enough. Sometimes too much. Maybe we all just aren’t perfect, are we?… I’m not. Who is?

Only Jesus. 

Need to choose focus?   Jesus.   Perfect!

Want to go to Heaven?   Jesus.   Perfect!

Need guidance?   Jesus.   Perfect!

Want to live with no fear?   Jesus.   Perfect!

Need comfort?   Jesus.   Perfect!

Want to lighten your burdens?   Jesus.   Perfect!

Want to know God?

Want to know yourself?

Want to understand life?

Jesus   Jesus   Jesus 

Whose been frustrated like us?   Jesus 

Whose been sad like us?   Jesus 

Whose been betrayed?   Jesus 

Whose been misunderstood?   Jesus 

Whose understands our JOY?   Jesus 

Who knows our HOPES?   Jesus 

Who sorts out good and bad in life?   Jesus 

Who forgives you before you do?   Jesus 

Perfect provisions for saving. 

Perfect plan for purpose. 

Perfect man, lamb, servant, Spirit, God.

Perfect.

Jesus. 

Jesus is Enough. 

Amen 

Love Shines, 28AUG – #920

Standard

It’s Truth, that our love for Jesus comes from knowing Him as Truth, comes from one mind within the Spirit.

If only we did not bicker about everything else. It’s so painful to watch derision. Bickering from our mouths prevents praises which should be coming out instead. Complaining prevents compliments. Curses prevent blessings. Worldly opinions prevent Heavenly truths from being shared. We are to teach and reach. Tell all that even if we live so humanly in the world, we are to look for LOVE and be a part of the LOVE to share. Life tarnishes but Love shines. No wonder the Lord keeps wanting us to look for Him, then we would be focused, glow love, and just imagine what would fade away. 

We believe in Jesus because that is Spiritual Truth, not because that is an opinion. We don’t have to crack knees to teach that, every knee will bow to Jesus as Lord because God Himself has raised Jesus to be praised. We do need to share and shine the same LOVE regardless of our affiliation with anything earthly. We must keep spreading the Good News of Jesus, because LOVE comes from God.

Love is the Way, because Jesus is the Way. Love is our rainbow in the storm when we look to the Light, Love is our rainbow to shine from within. 

There’s something about seeing a rainbow when there is no rain. When I looked, only enough rain from one cloud was present to make one intense rainbow in the distance, while I drove through sunshine yesterday. Remember that dark days are always followed by light. I think that rainbow must have been placed by angels for someone who just came out of a storm. I pray all will see the glory of the Lord. I pray that those recipients of the storms also stayed faithful enough during it to keep looking towards the Light, the Lord, the Future.  To see any rainbow, you still need to choose to look outside, look forward with the sun to your back, and look with forgiveness to the past, yours and others… 

Love is our rainbow in the storm when we look to the Light, Love is our rainbow to shine from within. 

In life, Jesus became like us to become a servant. If we are to be Jesus like, we are to serve one another, not some, not ourselves, but all. We are to have and share the same love. If we are to LIVE life, and LOVE in Spirit and in Truth, then we must become servant-minded. If we are to share Jesus and be Jesus-like, acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord, then our service will be to the glory of God the Father. Servants shine because Love shines.

Love Shines. 

Share Love. 

Amen


Paul to the Phillipians 2

Imitating Christ’s Humility

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, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,  he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Do Everything Without Grumbling

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

Spirit Perspective, 26AUG – #919

Standard

I appreciate that this year we have been put in a new navigation thru life, it is tough to some, no different to others, should be opportunity for many. Every day is an opportunity. Just change your perspective.  It may shock us at times, by what is happening, but actually and probably that’s because many of us have ALREADY been living such a blessed life. That’s truth for anyone who counts their blessings. 

I imagine those old time cartoons of the city mouse moving to the country and the country mouse or cat or person moving to the city. Gives them a new view. Everyone has their own perspective. Everyone looks for familiarity. Everyone is shocked at how the others in the world live. Imagine someone else from perhaps a third world coming to live your life, would they feel privileged? Ready to seize the opportunity? Amazed? I always say a bad day here is still probably better than a good day in impoverished places.

In those new drone videos you can look at the landscapes and life from a new perspective, the air, but isn’t it amazing that we tend to look for the familiar landmarks. Ride a hot air balloon and you look for people and places. In all, life too, we look for what we know.

How fitting for new life in the Spirit that we do that too. But now we ALSO are not to worry about unknowns. Look for the familiar, yes, and then, with a new life in the Lord, look thru His perspective when you think to stop looking thru your own. Look to be amazed. Look to be challenged. Look thru Spirit Perspective and Spirit Focus.

Imagine how you could and would change perspective. Would you feel privileged to now know you are living thru the Word? Would you feel driven? You bet. Would you feel compassion or comfortable? Not comfortable. Ready to seize the opportunity or rest? Not rest. Except resting assured. 

Would you feel ready? The Spirit in you has always been ready, willing, able… just waiting for you to catch up, to gain a good perspective. A Spirit Perspective from above, the whole world looks whole only when the Spirit fills in the gaps. A Spirit Perspective from inside, where you are crucial to the wholeness of not the world but the Way. You are Spirit Flow the world needs to know.  The Spirit desires to help the children of God achieve where the world needs to go.

Would you feel amazed? Be AMAZED.

Go with your Spirit Flow.

Amen 

—-

Jesus said: “But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well…..

Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.” Matthew 6:33-34

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

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16