Hey Lord, I’m Home! #1140

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Hey Lord, I’m Home!

It is interesting how we reach out to the Lord, forgetting that He NEVER forgets where we are, what we did, and what our intentions are. He knows that what He has done makes possible what we wonder is probable…  The Lord KNOWS and yet we remind Him our requests, I’m sure He doesn’t mind. It’s not if we pray loudest or longest, but if we pray expecting Him to act. He has, He will, He does. He IS all powerful, why do we doubt. 

I am sure He heard my parents’ prayers intently. I got back in the house yesterday, I was nervous not nonchalant, I was careful not carefree. (I kept my mask on in the house, will do so until cases drop, I served myself food but ate it on the porch, a warm up – in a month I will attempt to eat inside the house without fear)… They have had both vaccinations, the relief is palatable, the hope immense. My father most appreciative FOR my mom. She got to give me a hug, much more important than me giving her one. “Hey Lord, I’m home” is a year in the making, one day of a lifetime on this planet yet the most important moment in that moment. Appreciation is called for. Prayers answered. I had to remind myself that prayers said in sure expectation that they would be answered and were. (I don’t regret one ounce of precaution. I keep praying for a continued hedge of protection too for them and me and all the people of the world, for “normal” concerns).

For all our preparations, stringency in safety precautions and waiting, making the best of everything is everything.  Oh, how truly we MUST realize that it is our PRAYERS that are heard MOST strongly with greatest impact over our earthly preparation. We must do the prep and presentation and THEN be present for His power. 

The Lord has done it this very day;

Let us rejoice today and be glad. 

Lord, save us!  Lord, grant us success!

For all our planning, we must realize that it is His GUIDANCE that is given MOST strongly. 

The Lord has done it this very day;

Let us rejoice today and be glad.

For all our LOVE of family and for the Lord, we must realize that HE LOVES US EVEN MORE. He IS Love, for love sake. 

Let us rejoice today and be glad.

For as much as I enjoyed hugging my mom, I enjoyed MORE that she got to hug me, I know MOST that she loved hugging me. 

Be glad.

For as much as I am OK even with not knowing if my dad can always hear me, I appreciate MORE that he knows what is going on, and he does. For my thankfulness to be secure as I am, I appreciate likewise with Our Father, that He loves to hear us more than we love to speak. He gives more, He sees us to secure. 

For as much as I can, I appreciate our Lord. For as much as I can understand, I know that He takes care of us. He loves us MORE than we could ever think to love Him. He IS LOVE. 

The Lord has done it this very day;

Let us rejoice today and be glad. 

Lord, save us!  Lord, grant us success!

Amen 


(Psalm 18/118 were the perfect bible study after dinner last night, me driving back to my camp. Rejoice in the Lord. )

Psalm 18:1-3, 25-32

I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies….

… 

To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty. You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.

As for God, his way is perfect:

The Lord’s word is flawless;

he shields all who take refuge in him.

For who is God besides the Lord?

And who is the Rock except our God?

It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure


Psalm 118:1

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

    his love endures forever.

Let Israel say:

    “His love endures forever.”

Let the house of Aaron say:

    “His love endures forever.”

Let those who fear the Lord say:

    “His love endures forever.”

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;

    he brought me into a spacious place.

The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.

    What can mere mortals do to me?

The Lord is with me; he is my helper.

    I look in triumph on my enemies.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord

    than to trust in humans.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord

    than to trust in princes. 

Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things! The Lord’s right hand is lifted high; the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!” I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. The Lord has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. Open for me the gates of the righteous; I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me;  you have become my salvation.

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.

The Lord has done it this very day;

let us rejoice today and be glad.

Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you. The Lord is God, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.

You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God, and I will exalt you.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Watch Your Lines, 23APR – #1139

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I wrote this last night in a break with an hour left to drive. (And funny how after I wrote it, my GPS took me on a backwoods road that I had not intended to go on. It was the shortest way, sure, but down a non-maintained stretch of half a mile, I was not wanting to go around 20 extra minutes for a half mile. There were not bright lines nor flatness but raised ridges to balance my tires on. “I’ve been down this road before”. THANK GOD I have a tall hearty Subaru, love mud, and had “mostly” firm dry road. Whew! Thank God I trusted Him. That’s for everything, not just driving…

Watch Your Lines, 23APR

It would be nice if the road line paintings were brighter for all those stretches of road where you need them? Oh road, where are thou thru the highway construction???… DARK!!!

It just struck me as a suitable “reflection” of how we must re-line re-align re-read and re-mark the lines that define our faith. We don’t redefine the road, only look to follow on it. We know we want to travel the road of faith – we know the road is sure – but wouldn’t it help us if we defined boundaries to know where we can go and where we are not intending to go. Yes, I’m talking about setting yourself barriers and principles. But I’m also talking about looking for the light reflecting off those fluorescent lines. I’m talking about looking for Jesus and His guiding LIGHT when you are not sure if you are in risk of running off the road. (And always be listening for those rumble strips too.)

Those painted edges of the road? They don’t glow but reflect. Are we not to shine His light as bright so as to see where to follow? Are we also to pay attention then to our fellow drivers? Yes. If we go off track, they may too. 

Oh, how our GPS, God Positioning System, doesn’t drive the car, but we need to let Jesus steer while learn the rules of the road, how potholes could come up, how to MORE tightly grip His Hand. 

And what about those runs on non-maintained back-country stretches? No lines, not even cleared of rocks. That’s when we put into use what we have learned in driving AND in TRUSTING. Navigate slow, anticipate progress, use gravity to help, know where to look for firm tire grip and slide over the mud. Afterwards, THANK GOD. Safe thus far. 

It’s TRUTH that Jesus wants everyone to remain on the road. It is SPIRIT to keep us on. 

Amen 

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Jeremiah 31:9  They will come with weeping;   they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble...

Proverbs 4:11-15, 18-19, 25-27   I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evildoers. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way….

the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble….

Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

AMEN AMEN

Bear Fruit, Not Just Flowers, 22APR – #1138

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Bear fruit, not just flowers… 

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” Phillipians2:3

Last night I covered all my plants best I could for the darkness and cold were falling fast. 36 degrees is dangerous but not a surprise, we have to take precautions. I covered tomatoes and kale, strawberries and poinsettias. Trashcans and baskets, blankets and buckets. 

Covered them with prayers too.

I want my garden to bear fruit, not just be showy flowers. I want my life to be that too. Shouldn’t we always cover our steps with prayers and listen before we leap? Shouldn’t we try to shine His Spirit in all dimensions rather than be a flash in the pan with self-serving ambition which becomes dull really fast. Not enough warmth to withstand the freeze of life.

We are taught by the Lord to not be showy or vain, not standout in strife or ambition, but demonstrate humbleness and helpfulness. Be the generous giver which confuses the people who wouldn’t understand. Make the world think from our generosity, not blink from our self-illumination. We are given the opportunity to grow fruit, meaning to cultivate His praises, share His news, sprout Spirit.  God gives us what He wants us to share, including our smiles, our encouragement, our prayers, our exclamations of hope. 

Jesus, You shine glory not gold.

Lord, we are to give up our lives for You.

We ask to bear what You bloom.

Amen 

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Philippians 2:1-16

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.

Follow Suit, 19APR – #1136

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We must continually think about how we and our world will get from point A to point B with navigating the fray, and how we will follow thru with helping others, and especially without doing much harm. I know that the Lord helps us to GO. GO! God connects and God directs.

My old testament reading reminded me that we as humans tend to over complicate, over compensate, over run instead of listening to God. In Genesis 34, the story is about the escalation of many crimes after one crime. Dinah, Jacob’s daughter was defiled by someone who retroactively said he wanted to marry her, then after negotiations of this family line with Jacob’s sons and agreeing to circumcision of all their males in exchange for permission  of intermingling intermarriage in the cultures, Jacob’s sons went and killed all the males and took all the women and plunder. Yeah. Escalation. Trading one crime for hundreds. Spiraling chaos in the name of justice. Taking a village not the villain. A bad crime to start, yes, and it triggers a war. Spiraling explosion of chaos. This reminds me of Adam, of the chaos with banishment from the Garden of Eden. And of David, sinful lust cost more than just one rival’s life but multitudes of war casualties. One man’s sin destroys much more than he could imagine, especially since the sin was begun from selfishness. And the whole suffering spilling out is a continual chaos of calculated evil. Progression of evil – like an unwoven rug fray all tangled – a net knotted and made unusable.

How do we scale that back? Well we don’t, but Jesus did and does. So we must follow suit with His Hand directing us and play into life within His plan. We must not continue to toss cards of chaos into the mix that don’t follow suit. The evil in the world is like tossing the whole deck. scattering it and causing us to run after loose lost cards, flipping over trying to find ourselves. But really we need to look for our best deal in Jesus. Jesus came to pick up all the pieces, all the cards, and us. Jesus, One Man, Son of Man, Son of God, Equal to God but not Self-fulfilment-seeking – Jesus defeated evil by putting death to death. Sin scaled back by Salvation. Life returned by Loyalty. One man yes, but also now in life it is up to us to help reel in the fishes, gather the harvest, reap the ripening faith and work WITH the Lord.

Jacob wrestled with the Lord, in Genesis 32. God kept directing him to move into and from many lands, renaming him Israel and communicating with him. If only we tapped into that resource of recourse rather than take things into our own hands. Jacob and his family had many times taken the path that increased chaos and God had to redirect. Chapter 35 shows God once again redirecting the family establishing the family lines of today. God wanted him and us to accept and embrace the shuffle. God will sort it all out. 

God continually does that for us, redirect and restore, and urge us to follow Him more. We are the sheep our Shepherd is trying to recover. We are the loose ends of His woven world. We are either going to buy into the chaos or work collecting the lost coins. 

If we could only listen and hand our loose ends to Him and help Him weave back the world… A net restored can be employed for more fishing. Fishing of men.

One man, Jesus, fished for us all. We still are needed to pull in all those nets… Let us keep fishing for His flock. Let us not increase the chaos but the Kingdom. 

Keep weaving, sorting, serving, collecting, obeying IN LOVE. 

Amen 

1 John 2:1-10  My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. 

Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 

Link to chapter 34 of Genesis about Dinah

Be Yourself, 18APR- #1135

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I so looked forward to a bonfire last night with some of my neighbors (and you know how blessed it is to have great neighbors) and I did enjoy myself so very much. It was outdoors, half the folks vaccinated at least partially and yes so convenient to be close to home that when I crashed tired at 10pm from a whole day of rigorous gardening, I was home in just a 3 minute walk, LOL… nice…

Interesting chatter and characters, me included. So, what’s the best part of hanging out with my neighbors? Just being able to BE MYSELF and for them to be themselves. If there’s anything in life we should be, it should start with BEING OURSELVES… 

I thought about this as a common theme to another day in the past, with the knowledge and closeness of Jesus to the people whom He encountered.  He was just able to be Himself with His disciples and His foes. (Really though, I know Jesus could never have been anyone than Himself)… Other people were surprised that He hung out with people not tops on their lists of companions, but Jesus always knew the people needed Him, saying ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’ Mark 2:5

I have to wonder, am I one of the people whom Jesus would have hung out with too? Well, He has been, He still is. He’s been with each of us from well before we were born. We are His crew. No, I’m not going to answer any question of being good or bad, but say that He wants to hangout with EACH of us (and He does). And the best thing is that when Jesus hangs out, He can JUST BE HIMSELF, because HE IS HIMSELF.  It’s not just us who hangout with friends to be ourselves, the very nature of Jesus wasn’t to attend a place under any false pretenses or airs, Jesus just REALLY wanted and wants to be Himself. His ultimate hangout finished the plan. Now we can eternally hangout with the Father. 

Who is Jesus? A teacher, a leader, a friend, a spiritual friend. Jesus just wants to come to your gathering and Be Himself, to show love, give mercy, explain Our Father, be taken seriously, and be Graceful. To be honest, in truth, Jesus cannot be anything BUT Himself. He can not be dark or hidden, cannot lie or mislead, and can not fail to be God’s Mercy. 

Jesus could make brutally honest observations about each of us. He could probably stop a party in it’s tracks, but instead blesses it with His appearance and with His Blessings. (Of course this means that we have to invite Him in!)

Can we be ourselves at a friend’s house?

Can we be ourselves at home?

Can we be as Jesus would have us? Real? Can we be real? Especially to Him?

Jesus is the best REAL there is.

Let’s BE REAL with Him because He is real with us.

And let us let Him into our hearts. 

The Doctor is within. 

Amen 

Luke 11:5-13

Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. 

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

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Luke 10:5-11, 16, 38-42

Jesus said to His disciples:

When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’

16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

One Word God, 18APR-#1134

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Maybe because I don’t ask long questions or perhaps God knows I can only handle simple replies, so it seems I get one word answers, sometimes, when I ask direct questions. If I pray for an answer, how could He not give one.
ONE.

These words, they come as one word, and float like a BOLD block letter image of the word. Like when I asked what I should do today (Sunday), He answered: “BE”. Like when I asked about my parents He said: “LOVE”. When I asked about a family member, He said: “PRAY “. When I ask about certain people, He answers “WAIT”. When I ask about certain situations, He says “HOPE”.

Those are the actual words this morning.

It is appropriate for us to ask and it is good that God answers.

Thank God He can be a One Word God.

His One Word speaks of Jesus.

God answers thru His Spirit the ONE WORD whom we need, and whom is the Word.
JESUS

Actually quite fitting, for Jesus IS the Word of God. He holds all the words and all the power. Yet even though He does not consider Himself equal to the Father, and always credits the father and asks the Father, He is the Truth of our connection to the Father – OUR FATHER. Jesus IS worthy. He IS Worthy to provide the Answer and BE the Answer. The Holy Spirit provides the understanding for us to know. God provides the Way for us to have open ears and He seeks us ALWAYS as His children.

He answers in ways we wonder. He knows in ways of the Way. I don’t always pray in listening mode, but why wouldn’t He be succinct in Truth. I don’t always pray to listen and then obey, but I should. I don’t always understand His Way, but He wouldn’t BE the Way if He didn’t KNOW the Way.

Love
Listen
Obey
Be

If I ask for an answer, I should PRAY to really LISTEN.
If I get an answer, I should PRAY for the WILL to OBEY.

If I just LOVE in quiet truth, I will BE.
That’s really all I should be for God, BE.

Amen and Thank You Lord, You are One Word, God You Are.

One Word in Love. One Word in Life. One Word in Jesus. A Gift of Hope, Truth, Life, Home. ALL. One in Spirit. One for Forever Peace.

Us in Him and Him in us.

For Me? I will Be.
Amen


John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Every Knee Will Bow, 17APR – #1133

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Well the Lord certainly knows how to make me kneel in humbleness. Originally I had knelt in prayer, in the kitchen just for a moment, immediately after hearing about yet another mass shooting at a workplace, so sad. And I just knelt in the sadness of the broken world of broken people. I knelt in the thought that this brokenness will continue and truly our world’s peoples tribulation time on earth is coming closer day by day. (Prepare your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near, James 1)

Like only 10 minutes later I was roughly in the same spot of the kitchen and it crossed my mind that THIS morning,  after a year of waiting, it was my opportunity this very morning for my covid vaccination – no I had not really processed – still have not processed it. Also  an opportunity to help a friend in need of a vaccination ride and a shot of cheer. So just as I was thinking about my blessed opportunity to get a vaccination in our appointments I scored only hours the night before, I thought I should kneel in thankfulness – but for some reason I DIDN’T – and I just let that thought pass.

VERY SOON AFTER, what a surprise!

I was on my knees – not in thankfulness but trying REALLY HARD to twist the stuck water shut off valve from the hot water pipe, which was spewing up like a hot spring fountain from where the hot water handle USED to be attached to the rest of the sink. Yeah – not good – hot – and stuck solid… Surely on my knees I was whining and eventually got a wrench and all is well at the moment, held up and secure. But YEAH, yeah so cute Lord, cute, grumble grumble ever learning to be humble… I was on my knees for enough time to say “You really DO know how to get me on my knees, Lord, when I realize that I should have been.” A wrenched heart and finally a wrenched valve closed the case. Gratefully the Lord opens our cases for forgiveness.

How will God expect and get every knee to bow to Jesus? Well, just at the sound of His name. When God chooses to close the case on this earth, scripture tells us that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Although we would want EVERYONE to kneel in love and thankfulness, unfortunately we do know, from living in this world, and from reading ahead in reading the Book of Revelation that not all who acknowledge Jesus as Lord, will FOLLOW Jesus as Lord. It’s going to be a weeding out of hearts ready and hearts hardened and there will be those tougher to turn than that water pipe valve.

Don’t let ourselves be without a wrenched heart. Don’t let us be prideful enough to NOT kneel. Don’t be vain and ignore the glory train.

Be humbled in knee and joyful in heart. It is the Lord’s Majesty and Grace that sets Him apart.

Soften your heart and bend your knee.  Accept His GIFTS, HIS PLAN. Worship HIM in LOVE.

Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

THANK YOU LORD.

Amen

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Isaiah 45:18-25

For thus says the Lord,

Who created the heavens,

Who is God,

Who formed the earth and made it,

Who has established it,

Who did not create it in vain,

Who formed it to be inhabited:

“I am the Lord, and there is no other.

I have not spoken in secret,

In a dark place of the earth;

I did not say to the seed of Jacob,

‘Seek Me in vain’;

I, the Lord, speak righteousness,

I declare things that are right.

“Assemble yourselves and come;

Draw near together,

You who have escaped from the nations.

They have no knowledge,

Who carry the wood of their carved image,

And pray to a god that cannot save.

Tell and bring forth your case;

Yes, let them take counsel together.

Who has declared this from ancient time?

Who has told it from that time?

Have not I, the Lord?

And there is no other God besides Me,

A just God and a Savior;

There is none besides Me.

“Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth!

For I am God, and there is no other.I

 I have sworn by Myself;

The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return,

That to Me every knee shall bow,

Every tongue shall take an oath.

He shall say, ‘Surely in the Lord I have righteousness and strength. To Him men shall come, And all shall be ashamed

Who are incensed against Him. In the Lord all the descendants of Israel

Shall be justified, and shall glory.’ ”

Paul to the Philippians 2:5-11

The Humbled and Exalted Christ

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Grow and Grow and Grow, 17APR – #1132

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A Winter may be white as snow.

Too cold for blooms, nothing to grow.

Yet winter skies, often blue and clear, 

Yield finally for Springtime’s colorful cheer. 

Yellows and pinks, purples so bold, 

New growth brings life, we watch it unfold.

Glimpse budding trees and showy flowers.

The rich colorful show after April showers.

Blooms that fruit and greens to grow.

Summertime flavors anticipated so.

Harvests are plentiful and we love Fall,

Savor each season, flavors so different in all.

Springtime surely let us enjoy this year.

Let us ALL bud out, let us look for hearts to cheer.

Let us bloom and grow, cultivate and know. 

Let us tap into life and go with the flow. 

Time gets away. Time spins fast.

Life prunes away anything that won’t last.

Winter comes too soon again. 

Therefore, be in season now, make today a really good win.

Colors may fade, and flowers fall away.

Yet JOY is blessed forever to stay.

Live TODAY in the best way you know.

Bloom with Hope, Live in Joy. Smile with Love.

GROW and GROW and GROW.

Personal Touch, 15APR – #1131

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The world is loving going electronic but paper has not been outlawed yet. Have you ever written a piece of paper like a grocery list and then taken a picture of it so you can carry it with you on your phone? I have. Have you ever signed up for an actual event on physical paper and took a picture of it with your phone as proof to verify it? I have. Do you still keep a calendar that’s written physically? Even if you have all the electronic calendars in the world, does it comfort you to have a physical piece of paper? I do and it does. 

Someone showed a surprised response at my real paper “to-do” list, a “mommy’s minders” printed weekly calendar that I can scribble on. But they admitted that they liked paper too. And my best reason for using the visual paper is that I dump my brain down on it. Record of relief recorded, I can dedicate the extra brain space to something else. 

So when I signed up for my covid vaccination, it felt REAL GOOD to see PHYSICAL PAPER, physical people and the personal touch. Touching the paper, I felt a level of trust demonstrated. Not only were people who are not into technology served, but so were those who were/are trapped by technology! Yes, elderly people who don’t have the means to troll the 3AM postings of new vaccination timeslots were served by this paper, AND those just too busy to troll, trapped by the volume of options, also were served. Many times I didn’t troll fast enough and missed out on nearby appointments many times. I eventually got some appointments, and I likely would be OK waiting more, but appointments on this paper system came thru for me 2 weeks sooner. So I signed up myself AND a friend, a friend busier than me, after connecting electronically with her! And I learned of this from a friend too, electronically in conversation. The Holy Spirit DOES leave a paper trail tracing His blessings.

See the pharmacy, a small local one, was overwhelmed by the online response and turned to paper, because it best served their direct customers and in the purpose of making appointments, it was keeping the peace.  Relief is experienced in receiving a personal touch effort from your doctor, your pharmacist, your mailman, your family, your boss, your friends and all throughout your life. A PERSONAL TOUCH FROM THE LORD IS TRULY PERSONAL. 

Don’t put down paper. Sure, there are endless advantages to a paperless system, I have paperless banking, bills, concert tickets, and you know we all live thru Facebook, instant messaging, emails, and even the buzzer notifications that our table is ready at the popular restaurant. And yet to get our name on the paper for seating YOUR table of 2 or 6 or 3, you trust them to call your name in the right order…  And if you were not able to stand waiting for days and days for something, a paper lottery system might help. A raincheck paper will get you a sale price, a warranty paper will rest your worries, and a physical Will and Testimony can become the most important document to your life and to your death, for you AND the ones that you have left behind.

My paper trail includes writing on my hand some important “to-do” lists. Paper envelopes on my desk are stamped confidential and there is trust in not opening them. My home paper piles include books that you might place a bookmark in so that you note to yourself where to begin, even if you don’t read much. My Will and Testimony are paper copies registered too…

And His personal touch is in my registering of God paperwork onto blog pages, my Testimony of His Faithfulness, yet these writings I will see to that they will also be printed and placed. Physical movement of this paper is one thing – but the physical movement of HIS WORD is everything.  In my 60 plus chapters of writing, almost all my Bible references are electronically captured, but they are Heavenly sourced since His Word is sacred. And even Heaven has a scroll with seven seals not to be opened up by anyone because ONLY the Lamb, the slain and resurrected Lamb, the WORD of God, Jesus the Christ, Alpha and Omega is worthy of opening the scroll. Jesus IS. 

I could tell you that our faith needs no paper, because it is God’s Word written on our hearts that matters. Either way it is how we read the signs, letters, words, numbers, notions of our faith that becomes the personal touch back in touching God’s plan. Touch His Hand and you touch His Plan. Touch His plan and you can reach out to His people. Make time for all people and MAKE TIME FOR GOD.

His personal touch is holding you. Be personal to God, and with God. Be personal in your journey. Reach personally to His people also. He has all our names in His Book of Life, let us reach whom God is readying, reading and rooting for. 

Read the Sign of His Times. 

Amen. 

Paul to the Philippians 2:2-4

Unity Through Humility

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,  fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Love Wins More than My $40 Loses… 14APR – #1130

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After yesterday’s post, about losing $40, I thought for 2 minutes more I will look near the other building where I might have lost that $40 and even I knew it was fruitless and yet I said sincerely “is there anything you can show me Lord?” both in questioning and in needing the motivation to move on from this futile search. Guess what instantly I saw – my rock that I painted and placed one year ago and is STILL there…  Yes, that’s a message once again: LOVE WINS!! Focus on LOVE… and isn’t that a better use of our time…

I just know that I am not making up crazy thoughts of God – as the scriptures do say “God knows every hair on our heads” – He does…  Two scriptures I re-heard today fit this – that God hears everything – God hears all our prayers – even ones we don’t think are worth saying to Him…

1John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

Revelation 7:14, 17; 8:1-5
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. … … For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’  ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”   When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

PS. just now I remember seeing a terrible accident on the turnpike this morning and the people seemed OK but the car was flipped and crushed and wow…  I teared up thinking that is love and that is God’s mercy… I don’t know how they survived that crash but they did… LOVE WINS!!!

The Ask IS the Answer, 13APR – #1129

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I lost $40, bummed but what can I do! I don’t know where it went, lost from my pocket of loose jeans, somewhere between my office in the first building, my car, the 2nd building, and walking around a corporate center across the street… yeah, slim chance I’ll find it. 

I did TRY tracing my steps this one day later but I also know the other corporate center is 80% ghost town thanks to covid, and if the money was found there, it would have gone into their building lost and found, not ours…  no luck… I looked anyway but nada.

You could say it was futile to even look for it for the 40 minutes I did (but hey I got a blog out of it, haha, just kidding)… I even wondered if it’s pointless to ask the Lord for help find the money, but that was horrible of me to doubt worthiness or doubt He would help, horrible wasn’t it. how dare I think of Him not hearing or helping, and if I said He didn’t know would be a lie… He wants our conversation ALWAYS and He can decide what He answers… He already knows what your ask is. His answer is ASK. ALWAYS ASK HIM!

In one of my loops walking around the second building I stopped and prayed for a second and said I wonder if it’s worth praying?  What do you know? I looked down and I saw money !!!… Not amazingly a miracle of my $40 but an amazing answer regardless for my pennywise foolish question of if it were worth asking. Well I got, with angels snickering no doubt, not $40 but a token “flash card” worth of an answer, a crumpled $1 bill… funny Lord… yeah I snickered at my angels making fun of me… Whom am I to doubt the Lord.

So I must say that WE best believe it IS worth praying to God, for anything, and worth praying SINCERELY, not flippantly like I did. God’s grace of a dollar came seconds after my 2 bit prayer effort, oh think what He could do if I believed right away that He would help…  I will repent in knowing that I DO know it is worth praying and LISTENING is the only way to get directions…

The ASK is the answer…

Ask and you shall receive, or maybe you get just a peaceful moment to ask, but ask anyway…

The Lord does and will answer prayers…

The Lord did, does and will know everything…

The Lord does want to help and helps…

The Lord also knows a better use of the $40 than $40 worth of my whining… (even 39)…

And Lord knows it might be of greater good to pray for the $40 to be Holy Spirited blown over to a better recipient than brought back to me, a 2 bit believer…

So besides giving up looking for lost money perhaps I and we should give up doubt.

Besides giving up my complaints perhaps I should try praise. A praise that I got to walk both days. A praise for the BEAUTIFUL flower petals I picked and tossed joyfully into the air yesterday as if they were a cache of found cash from the sky.  A praise for the sky, the sounds, the Spirit. 

Next time, instead of giving up a giving-up prayer, I should try a praise prayer of a faith millionaire. giving credit where credit is due too.

God never delights in the lost. He won’t delight in punishment either. He will give us glory in our obedience. Let us behave knowing that He answers prayers. Let us live “the ask”. Let us BELIEVE the answer. 

He is the answer, let’s keep asking. 

Amen

James 1: 9-11, 13-20

Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

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

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 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.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Live in His Truth, 13APR – #1128

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Oh how I can appreciate a continuous joyful heart…

People think I am strange because I live in joy, but I think I’m just accepting of the joy that comes from the Lord, and that is knowing He made me into me – asking me to live in His Truth – and that is connection of my Spirit knowing how to simply live in His Spirit… 

Spirit and Truth. It’s good to kneel in appreciation for knowing even just a little revelation of His Love, AND THEN LIVE IT.

His Spirit is not without battles against the evils from the dark into this world, but His Spirit reminds us He already knows victory. He is the Light. Keep faith, Jesus has overcome the world… 

The extra understanding of KEEPING JOY is to know that there will be trouble in this world, broken people, evil abounding, and simply folks who are living sleepishly and too easily swayed by the news of the day. It is best to live sheepishly rather than sleepishly, sheep to our Shephard, and challenged to be cultivating continuous ways for shining the light… 

Shine His Light and know His Truth. Keep JOY in faith and acknowledge the truth that the future is secured, don’t let your cheerful heart be hidden by your embarrassment like Adam and Eve who covered what they thought was shameful… and like Adam and Eve with fig leaves, God will provide the comforts of His coverings to still allow us to walk thru this world. We know that we must keep walking. Fig leaves are nothing compared to a new armor of God as a new layer of protection, and we also get to carry a sword/source of His Word. His Spirit within us comes with us acknowledging Him as the source. The armor helps us get thru the day. The Word is the Way. 

Joyful hearts may look like ignorance or wrongful bliss but perhaps we are NOT to look at ourselves and our sinful humanness which will distract us, but look deeper and thru into seeing Him in Truth.

When we worship IN SPIRIT and IN TRUTH, it means that our SPIRIT wants to walk and be like original Adam spirit, before the fall, before banishment, WALKING WITH GOD. When our Spirit shines through and goes beyond earthly knowledge, we connect directly into the shine of our Lord, we SEEK SPIRIT AND TRUTH.

Jesus told us of this future, and told us of the desire for heaven on earth. The grafting of our branch to His Vine is and will be a SPIRIT connection. God will water. God’s fruit will form. Don’t let the world freeze out the blooms. Shine Spirit from within and melt the world…

Know Spirit and be Truth of Worship.

Know Truth and be Spirit in Worship.

Be His Joy. 

Amen 

Proverbs 15:15 “All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart has a continual feast.”

The “B-side”, 11APR – #1127

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The “B-side”

Oops – wow – a story I didn’t read until now – there is a “B-side” second half of the story after the fabulous story of Naaman being healed of his leprosy. The prophet proposed the way to healing, the people around Naaman urged him to go all the way to fully accept the Lord’s healing. It reminds us to not whine and God’s movements are not always instant and on OUR schedule (which I also appreciate as a theme in my journey with the Lord). The “B-side” is the story of Gehazi. The story of asking for too much. The story of not whining… the story of coverup by lying…  the story of letting something go…

In 2nd Kings, chapter 5, Gehazi saw the advice his master, the prophet Elisha, had given Naaman, and Naaman (after a little while) took the advice and got the healing of leprosy from God. Naaman wanted to give a gift to Elisha but Elisha refused. His gift was seeing God’s healing and Elisha probably knew that He was simply giving the advice that God gave. Gehazi the servant to Elisha took it upon himself to ask for more from Naaman even beyond what was agreed upon. Gehazi whined that he thought it was not enough and he took it upon himself to avenge what was not necessary – and he hunted down Naaman to ask for more.  Well, what did he come away with? not only the money etc, but he got more – not from Naaman but from his own greed HE GOT his own LEPROSY…  oops… (That is the B-side of the story that we rarely flip over like a record to listen to – but a gem of advice! easy to hear and hard always to take – for me too!). if the prophet was fine with accepting forgiveness – the servant should be fine accepting that forgiveness is given – even to those who he deems does not deserve it – wow that IS a story of Jesus and God’s mercy too – of prodigal sons jealousy and of our lack of giving forgiveness.

Why do we whine (me too) and why do we expect more than is necessary and why do we want what we want NOW!!!???  If this is not a lesson for today’s times, then I don’t know what would be. See – we have gotten much in blessings – we have gotten forgiveness – and we have gotten a path forward – YET we want more – or we want to avenge the past.  Don’t go there. Don’t worry about avenging what someone already said they didn’t need in reparations. Let bygones be bygone and go on…

Read about Gehazi in verses 20-27 and just appreciate today – appreciate there IS a calling upon your life to listen to what God is saying – and especially as we see blessing after blessing of guidance thru and out of a pandemic, we must not whine. Appreciate trials and tribulations – appreciate the rain or the sun, the work or rest. Know the world brokenness will make us be jealous and distracted and yet please know our oblivious bliss and our hedges of protection…. In all, just be happy with what you have. Don’t begrudge what is not ours to have in the first place.

Live humbly appreciative.

AMEN

2nd Kings

Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!”  So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”

The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.

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“Go in peace,” Elisha said.

After Naaman had traveled some distance, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”

So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked.

“Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.’”

“By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left.

When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?”

“Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered.

But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.

Remember Me, 09APR – #1126

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I enjoy meeting people from every Earth corner who shine His love, family in our family of God, neighbors close and far. I am amazed at the connection between Christians. Diversity of people will always show Oneness in Spirit because soul-source LOVE is Sole-Sourced. 

I am thrilled to have met my friend Helen while sharing Holy Communion couple years ago. I heard the pastor speak her name when he gave her the communion bread, so I actually excitedly said “Helen is my mom’s name!” while holding the cup for her to dip her bread, then of course said “The blood of Jesus, shed for you”. 

We remember Jesus at communion when breaking bread. Jesus told us to remember Him and also taught us about God the Father, showed Himself to be the Christ – the Alpha and Omega, and promised to ask for us to receive the Holy Spirit. We are to remember Who is, was, and will be our dynamic Living God forever. Heavenly-given Love plus earthly-received Love Shines as One LOVE. It is IN God and THRU God we remember LOVE. 

I partook in communion on Easter Sunday, twice. Being in double church community was a blessing and still is. First it was a sunrise service and I remember looking over at my dear friend Helen on her bench from my personal socially distanced bench and wondering if she didn’t get a communion cup.  But I saw the big bag of cups be carried up front just prior and I am sure she could have grabbed one. Instead I saw her sitting in peace of communion WITH the Spirit, her peace showed me a beaming Spirit, just appreciative to be there. Later she told me (without me asking) that she was waiting for the later Easter service to take communion with her husband, also a very dear friend. Sweet. That’s a devotion of love for sure. I appreciate love modeled by long-loving couples. Having both vaccinations this Easter felt so sweet for her and for many folks who are able to return to seeing people with less fear and witness more faith, telling of how the Lord had sustained them just within the last year, let alone forever. 

We love to remember Jesus in communion sharing and breaking of bread – and He remembers and loves us both in our crumbs and our completeness, especially since He shows up everywhere and everytime 2 or 3 meet in His name. Easter sunrise was full (I grabbed one of the last benches) and later Easter normal time was full (I also was in one of the last socially distanced pews with a fellow favorite Easter chick). Easter can continue everyday as the Spirit empowers life and forever empties death’s tomb. In other words, thanks to Jesus, the Holy Spirit has us coming and going in GRACE. 

But as Jesus is sharing His Spirit, He is WAITING to once again physically break bread and drink of the cup WITH US. He told His disciples that He would not drink from the cup from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” We will relieve Heaven’s wait when we see Heaven’s gate. In the meantime, it is our Living Spirit that makes us praise in the present as well as remember the past and appreciate salvation for our future. We are not worthy but Jesus works His Glory for our inclusion into Our Father’s Fellowship. He gave it all so All could be given. 

Love creates more love. Our cups when emptied are refilled and Jesus always gives us more than our portion of love.

Although I didn’t communion with my friend Helen over the past year I certainly “COMMUNITY-ED” with her – thru email and occasional meetings in convenient parking lots to exchange mask elastic, sewing ministry dresses, and laughter.  I think the Holy Spirit made good use of this past year in folks ready to share labors of love. Why wouldn’t He? God does not change, but He does exchange much: hope over heartache, mission over misery, life over loss. His Spirit gives life trajectory over trouble. 

Even though there were many empty inside church pews over the last year, the Spirit was very busy filling hearts, and many of those hearts are now ready to spill out extra love…  In communion and community, nothing fills us more than the Holy Spirit making common connections in an uncommon way.

For His Way IS the Way and IS above all understanding. Remember Jesus in all. and IN ALL, remember Jesus. 

Until we meet again, Jesus, we will remember You. When we meet our heavenly friends here on Earth, we will remember You too.

Amen 

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Matthew 26:26-29

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

Philippians 4:4-8

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. 

Colossians 3:14-160

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly… 

Jesus Word Work Walk and Rest, 05APR – #1125

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Made it to Easter Monday! After “Good-Grief Friday”, “Holy Moly What Happened Saturday”, Resurrection Sunday…

I appreciated my Easter power nap after not a sugar rush but 2 church services (Easter sunrise an hour drive away and later that morning closer to home) and before I had to pick up my daughter from the train station for Easter dinner. I needed that nap. And I had prepped the day before for achieving efficient work for our dinnertime Easter, so I had the window of opportunity to nap, be still and be quiet. I had pre-processed the blessings of my day, the execution to pull it off too. (3 days work for 20 minutes of a meal? Yup Jesus understands that).

I needed the nap, but my conflicted thoughts kept me on the edge of napping, saying both I need to rest but could not command myself to sleep on cue. Well eventually I did sleep 30 minutes, I think, and it WAS sufficient. JUST before the alarm sounded, I got up, I continued, ham into oven, mental clock checked, God’s timing gifted. Great dinner and oh how I love to be with my grown children. Cat was happy too.

I wonder, in our conjectures of WHY Jesus spent the time he did in the tomb, or at least out of public view, of what did Jesus do? This is a relevant question and also NOT so relevant of a question when you think about how God made time and thus time holds no meaning and lots of meaning at the same time. In truth, Jesus likely gave that downtime for us. (Of course, why wouldn’t He? GOD MADE TIME TO LOVE HIS CHILDREN AND FOR HIS CHILDREN TO LOVE HIM). Jesus honored not just his followers with mental processing time but his foes as well, on that “Good-Grief” Friday night and “Holy Moly what happened Saturday” – which they all needed. AND Jesus and God’s timing also came with a time of rest. Jesus not rising (or at least not showing His Risen self) until Sunday, gave all the gathered followers (or foes) to have at least one night rest or one collapsed rest… Think about where the people were gathered, feast or fear-held, think about honoring the Sabbath rest too. Jesus “rested” on the Sabbath as example of God’s rest on the 7th day during creation and the people rested. However, Jesus always still “worked” on the Sabbath doing “God’s work” raising the dead and healing the flock because why wouldn’t He?… It was not “work” but “works” of extending LOVE.  LOVE allowed Him, God’s son and One with God, to heal.  And by giving the middle whole “Sleep-needed Saturday” of rest, Jesus’s disciples spoke together of what happened and this formulated in their words and worlds understanding which later would be major teachings for them to others, carrying out the fulfillment of Jesus’s walk. They lived the Word that was both heard and walked.  Jesus DID live on that in-between day because He was spoken of and His life was discussed and explained. He never did NOT live as God, and therefore His gift of processing and rest (power naps or otherwise), ensured the work of the disciples to continue. 

In other words, Jesus worked the Word in rest too.

Did I need that power nap on Easter? Maybe I would have functioned ok without it, but there would come a time when I would collapse with exhaustion without it. And I wanted the afternoon joy. So, I commanded my rest time, in order to go on more joyfully for the rest of my day, with my children. That’s a gift, Jesus rest and Jesus walk and Jesus joy to see God’s children come together and speak of Him.

Jesus is alive in the Word and Walk. And Jesus wants to be shared because He gives life. He gives us of Our Father’s time to keep living, and we are able to find joy.

Happy Easter Monday, after more rest, let us Keep Walking the Word. 

Keep resting so that you can keep walking. 

Amen 

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Jesus said: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27-28

Matthew 12:1-21

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?  How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

God’s Chosen Servant

Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. He warned them not to tell others about him. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight;

I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out; till he has brought justice through to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope.”

I KNOW A MAN IN CHRIST

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(About a new friend, now forever in Christ.)

I KNOW A MAN IN CHRIST.
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Actually I don’t know that man, that’s a man described in a biblical letter to the church at Corinth. But I REALLY DO KNOW A MAN IN CHRIST, particularly a friend, a fairly new friend, who said, and I quote: “The joke in my family is “Heaven doesn’t want me and hell is afraid I’ll take over.” You see, this man in Christ has had 108 major surgeries and 112 other procedures since he was twelve years old. Yeah! That many! And this man continually praised the Lord. He ALWAYS praised the Lord.
A man in Christ. I will boast about a man like that.

I know a man in Christ who said: “It’s in Christ that we know that even though we may not always see or talk to each other, we know that we can count on one another… We are fortunate that we can communicate because not everyone has that ability, which I find can be a blessing especially, in times of crisis, or grief… His spirit lifts us all.”

I will boast about a man like that.

I know a man in Christ who said: “My faith NEVER weakens because I know I shouldn’t be here but for any other reason than his love and grace.”
I will boast about a man like that.

I know a man in Christ who said: “A lot of people don’t realize that ‘Trial by fire’ can apply to everyday life, and to everyday people. If they did, they would take the heat much more easily and realize that God is testing them, and also strengthening them at the same time. There is an old saying that God will not give you anymore than you can handle. Although there are times that I wish he wouldn’t trust me with so much, I somehow know that in the end I’ll have made it through until the next time, and the one time that I don’t will be because he took me home. Either way I’m alright!”

I will boast about a man like that.

I know a man in Christ who said: “I believe that not all miracles are things that everyone can see, but some are things that nobody else notices but that small circle of people in your world. This is the proof that God’s works are not flashy or boastful, just there. I will follow him all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
I will boast about a man like that.

I know a man in Christ, who is now WITH Christ. I know a man in Christ who is NOW dwelling in the House of the Lord FOREVER. 
This man may have said “Heaven doesn’t want me” (yet) – but in my opinion knowing God in truth, I think Heaven wanted him witnessing here on earth for a long time thru those trials and thorns… God wanted us to know him, for us to hear this man witness, and for us to see the power and grace of the Lord and to be strengthened. God wants us to know that we too can endure the pain of this world and that the weaknesses in us are only built stronger by Christ. 

This dear man in Christ, our dear man in Christ, LOVED the Lord and PRAISED the Lord all the more with his 108 plus 112 thorns in his side. Our dear man in Christ, who is now WITH Christ, is whom I will boast about, and all the more of whom I will say that his witness showed me God strength and Christ Humility
I know a man in Christ whom Christ called Heavenly Home, on Christ’s Holy Thursday, on ‘Remembrance of Me’ Day, on ‘Fools for Christ Sake Day’, on his ‘Now Forever With Christ Day’, 04/01 I will boast about a man like that. 

I will remember Christ in him and remember Christ thru his witness. I will remember Christ’s Grace is sufficient for all of us. Christ is sufficient for me. I will thank the Lord for introducing this man in Christ to me. I met him once maybe twice but surely thru Christ I will know him forever. Amen and see you one day again in Heaven, my brother in Christ. Until then, I will continue YOUR BOAST, which was and is forever about God’s Grace and Mercy, a boast about Jesus, a Man who was God as well as a God who became a man. Jesus did this just to bring us Home. 

Amen 

—-
FYI This memory writing is about a friend Paul, whom suddenly went home to the Lord. Well, Paul now IS with Jesus. I had last chatted with him by text only 2 days prior to his sudden passing. And I really only met him once maybe twice, and he really did say all those spiritually super things over text messages to me, witnessing to me the course of the last month. He saw my local newspaper magazine article [about my Aunt Mary] and he wrote me to tell me how he loved the article. I am forever grateful and blessed… He said: Your article [about Aunt Mary] made me smile as I thought back to when they [his aunts] were still here. As I reminisced I felt a smile on my face. Thank you for brightening my day. It was like a ray of sunshine on a dreary day.  Hope I can do the same for you someday.”

That day he DID brighten my day, and every time I remember Paul I know Holy Spirit WILL brighten my day with the ray of sunshine of knowing Jesus better. He lived in faith, I will boast about a man like that. He showed me Jesus strength. I will boast about a man like that. I will praise Easter morning Glory and Holy Thursday remembrance.  I will boast about OUR SAVIOR, FOREVER.

Amen Amen

—-

Totally fitting scripture: 2nd Corinthians 12:2-10 a letter from Apostle Paul:

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know — God knows.  And I know that this man — whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows — was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.  I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.  Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Amen Amen Amen 

—–

(my friend Paul said that he lived this Psalm)

Psalm 30

A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David.

I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit.

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

When I felt secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.”  Lord, when you favored me, you made my royal mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit?

Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.” You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.  

Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Ask Me How I Know He Lives, 03APR – #1123

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“Ask me how I know He lives, He lives inside my heart.”…. with Easter hymns in my head, not always my ears this year, my heart still LEAPS knowing Jesus.

And that’s the crux of Easter for us, the movement of the stone reveals Easter in us. He lives inside our hearts. We are born feeling a childlike faith but sadly our aging often hardens us into not knowing this. We become stone not soil. Easter is not something we achieve without an angel push, Easter has to become something spiritual that we realize. We must be reborn in realization that Jesus IS and wants to be known, KNOWN INSIDE US, known to us. ALIVE and known THRU us.

Many get focused on Easter logistics 2000 years ago, the trappings of a man killed, but Easter morning shows a God revealed. Easter itself can NOT contain the God who lives. Let us focus on Him TODAY and feel God move within us. Feel our tombs of cold stone hearts to crumble – revealing fertile soil to grow our faith. Us knowing Jesus more and more will make the insides of our hearts grow.  We are not awakening Jesus, because He never changes, we are awakening our hearts to see that He Lives there. We are awakening so we know He is ready to heal our hurts, help our hopes, and direct our lives, to be forever walking with Him.

“Ask me how I know He lives”… that’s the Easter mystery for us to reveal – knowing Jesus and Holy Spirit move within us and not as historical figures – feeling Jesus and Holy Spirit revealed when we ask God to “open the eyes of our hearts” to see Him – see Him inside. When we know He lives inside our hearts, we can’t help but make room. The unfolding of our heart souls swelling in us can be like an intricately folded flower waiting for water to unfurl it, like a collapsed hot air balloon waiting for warm air to fill it to fly.

Ask ME how I know? I know because it’s happened to me, and God’s rumble moved my junk in my internal soul space, and I started getting the rocks of my head out of the way to see His Way and His Light… I found myself filling my eyes with seeing Him fill my heart just with His Love. He opened up the Kingdom of Light inside my eyes to see Him, feel Him, know Him… I will never be the same. And I will forever want to grow more in maturing my faith to fruitfulness.

This Easter, MOVE to open your heart too, move in knowing. This Easter make more room for the Spirit of Resurrected Jesus, not with external force but by internal LIGHT illuminating areas to grow. Be NOT building manmade modular additions to your heart, but instead open up your heart into invading new spaces and living thru your hands, feet, mouth and eyes. Live in Resurrection so that He both lives INside your heart and THRIVES throughOUT when you live Him OUT, reach Him OUT, and speak Him OUT.

“Hear me when I know He LIVES, He THRIVES throughout my heart.”

Roll the Stone away for He already rose, there’s no need to hide it in us anymore.

Be Easter people. Know and Show His Hope.

Amen Amen Amen

—-

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered His words. Luke 24:5-8

Jesus said: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13

Paul to Ephesians 1:3-23

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

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

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

For Those Left Behind, 31MAR – #1118

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So many knickknacks let alone houses, we leave so much behind when we pass. Many family estates are neither a volume of riches or junk but a lot of both – depending upon whose needing it or not… Mine too. Pieces of platinum or plastic – even a little scrap of paper might mean a lot or a little. It is all in the eyes of the beholder, and what they see. Oh, what will burden or bless others who sort thru your stuff?

What about our legacy of FAITH?

Think long term and we must reduce the burden of our children, think long term and we must leave behind the best of our legacy: an encouragement for them and others to know Jesus and keep the faith. If they don’t know, leave them a reminder to expand their faith, seeing how much you loved the Lord. Live your life as knowing AND showing His LOVE. Leave behind a “bread of life crumb trail”, a pathway detailed, a simple urge for others to FIND THE LORD.

Do NOT quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.

May we pray that all FIND THE LORD, ESPECIALLY SINCE HE IS already LOOKING for each one. Look Him up in the book. Not the phone book. Not the bank book. Find Jesus where He lives, in the Good Book, which IS the roadmap of Him written in your heart. Keep Him, share Him, know Him. First you must find Him. Turn the page.

In end times, those who know Him as Lord and Savior, whose eyes of their hearts opened up to be found, will be taken up into Heaven because of His path opening the Way. Those left behind will need extra road maps, they will need the bibles and scriptures. Certainly we should leave the faith equivalent of big neon signs of encouragement for them to “look this Way”… We need to lay down treasures and instead leave trails. We need to reduce our own piles of anything cluttering our own path, and instead forge a legacy of love to pull others away from the distracting piles of the world. Junk, I love good junk, especially when I have not paid for it. But how deeper wider do I LOVE the SALVATION of the Lord, which I don’t deserve, AND I COULDN’T PAY FOR IT IF I TRIED! 

If you get stuff, give it away. If you get LOVE, give it away – Love is for freeing souls. 

The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. DON’T BLOCK YOUR OWN PATH BY YOUR OWN JUNK. DON’T DISTRACT THEIR PATH BY JUNK EITHER.

It is a simple fact, we can’t take anything with us and we won’t be able to help others when we are taken up into Heaven unless we leave a little bit of Jesus here for them to find. The Holy Spirit is for sharing. Leave His Road Maps and Wind Trails.  In Revelation 6, the lost will hide. Surely, we instead want our loved ones and everyone to know to look FOR the Lord for saving, not hide in shame. Let us leave open lives of the roadmaps of our hearts showing highlighted routes by which He found us and bridged us. Let the Word pass THRU us, not just to us.

Leave Your Love maps out in plain view.

Live to show that you acknowledge that He is Worthy of all praise:  “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” Revelation 5

Live to glorify!

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. 1 Thessalonians 4:1

Live to Look UP!

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Pray for those who don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior 

Revelation 6:15-17 – (AFTER the seals opened and previous opportunities given to be saved)   Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

LIVE TO SHINE LIGHT!!!

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.  You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.  So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.  Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-24, 28

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Amen

His Pain for Our Gain, 29MAR – #1117

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A friend had her 2nd covid vaccination injection – she was tired and achy for one day then got better… We are in Easter week and I wrote back in joy and encouragement.  For spiritual reasons these thoughts give me great tears, but this is not wrong as Easter Spirit must involve and include the knowledge of Good Friday pain, carried by Jesus, of people being lost. The Holy Spirit that permeates us urges us to know…

I said: Like the pain from your vaccination which will eventually turn into a gain in your immunity and in your protection – Easter week is also like that… it’s the worst imaginable pain for Jesus: loss, sacrifice, betrayal, even seeing His chosen simply falling asleep in the garden when asked to keep watch… and yet the promise of Easter and finishing “the Plan” is what Jesus KNEW was worth it, TOTALLY worth it… And was GOD’S COMMAND. Jesus followed Our Father’s plan – we should too…

I’ve always avowed that the pain in seeing people lost (mentally many of the world’s people as well as those at the scene), plus the betrayal of those who should have known better from studying the scriptures and signs of the times, and especially witnessing the pain in people misunderstanding Him as a worldly king – including by the Jerusalem crowd hailing Hosanna one day and Crucify Him the next – must have been MORE profoundly painful than any death by cross.

So perhaps the best part of the Easter message is that we are reminded that we are to know HOPE. Even in darkness, a sliver of hope is illuminated in our hearts by the Spirit. We are to have understanding of darkness to know that we are NOT in darkness anymore – are we? We know that Jesus said it is finished BEFORE He died and we too know and taste of His Light on Earth before our eyes will see Him in Glory. We know Him because of Faith, He is revealed in Love. Jesus took the pain to gather us for Our Father – His Love is our gain.

A poem:

Jesus ROSE and flipped over Satan’s lame game.

Jesus negated sin’s blame.

His pain and His Glory for our gain.

Every day we are called to carry His Flame.

BE Hopeful hearts under Heaven’s Reign.

Easter Spirit SHOW US WON AS GOD’S LOVE CLAIM.

Amen

A Clear Conscience and a Clear Conversation, 28MAR – #1116

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With God, we often say “It’s a relationship not – a religion.” – TRUE, all true.

God hears our laughter, tears, conversations, confusions, and the clarity or cloudiness of our conscious days in conscience ways. God speaks clearly if we listen. God rescues. We pray for a softened heart to hear Him. He gives direction (and often God gives pause) and God gives mercy and grace… God finds favor for those who favor His counsel. I heard a preacher once say: “God wouldn’t have given the life of His Son to only turn His back on you now.” True – God wants to hear you and wants you to listen. God wants conversation.

1) God heard Sarah, Abraham’s wife, LAUGH IN DISBELIEF that she would bear a child as an old woman. She then tried to HIDE her disbelief, but God heard that too.

2) God and Abraham spoke often within a safety zone of back and forth conversation. God did not bargain as much as be PATIENT with all the requests. We also might try to bargain but in truth, God is sovereign, He always gets the final Word (especially since He had the first and ALL), but at least He listens and we can know that He is patient with us.

3) God warned the king of the foreign land, Abimelek, to not touch/court Sarah, whom he did not know was Abraham’s wife. Sarah and Abraham, when they ventured into Abimelek’s region did not disclose the marriage relationship in a hope to not get killed. God came to Abimelek in a dream, they conversed. Acknowledging Abimelek’s clear conscience since he simply did not know and was not given the whole of the information, God gave Abimelek a clear and stern warning. Once Sarah was released, God corrected His imposed punishment of infertility of Abimelek’s household. God knows our relationships, our innocence and our deeds, and He knows our motives. God knows what is best for us too. God knows when to put His foot down and say NO.

4) GOD HEARD THE CRYING of the boy Ishmael, and opened the eyes of Hagar, a distressed and sobbing mom, so she would discover a well of water to save her son. God hears us. God knows all. We can call out. Even our tears are known by God and collected by His Love. When we think we have nothing less to give, God gives us PROVISIONS for living, God gives us gifts for living and excess for caring for others. God promises great things for our future because He is the One Who SECURES it. 

God knows our hearts. True. God loves each of us, me and you. Surely showing us how much He loves us is the conversation God wants to have with us. If God has gone to the depths of giving His beloved Son to show us love, and our Jesus has given His own life freely to us for eternal life, by His lowering Himself  to Earth in order to raise us up, He really does love us!!!

God Jesus and Holy Spirit are always near.

TRUE. and Lord, I Love You Too.

Amen 

‐—

GENESIS 18:13-15

Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.” 

—–

Genesis 20

Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelek king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.

3 But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”

4 Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.”

6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all who belong to you will die.”

8 Early the next morning Abimelek summoned all his officials, and when he told them all that had happened, they were very much afraid. 9 Then Abimelek called Abraham in and said, “What have you done to us? How have I wronged you that you have brought such great guilt upon me and my kingdom? You have done things to me that should never be done.” 10 And Abimelek asked Abraham, “What was your reason for doing this?”

11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”’”

14 Then Abimelek brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelek said, “My land is before you; live wherever you like.”

16 To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.”

17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again, 18 for the Lord had kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.

—–

Genesis 21

The Birth of Isaac

21 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away

8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. 9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”

11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”

14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.

17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

20 God was with the boy as he grew up. 

Learn and Lean on God, 27MAR – #1115

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Lean on God, not the porch columns. How much the wind was rustling EVERYTHING, and seeing the trees sway is one thing, but as I sat on the porch, on a swing, I saw the porch posts MOVING. WHAT? 

The Lord comes in a whisper, so you must find your quiet in a storm. 

And it took me half an hour before I noticed, I was so focused on my writing and my deep thought that it took me that much quiet time to get quiet. I had just finished my writing about biting my tongue to let God speak His plans. I just laughed at the columns and myself. No wonder it took a quiet moment to notice the slight sway. It the same with the Lord, we have to be quiet to hear His whisper. If I had been swinging on the porch swing, I would have missed it completely. But I was still. I was still and I saw.

Maybe this old section is sinking in the middle even though it was OK for years OR more likely the new addition raised the roof on the opposite side, either way it was WEIRD to see the middle columns dangle from the porch roof. The roof still holds, no worries, but don’t lean against these dangling posts! A reminder: Learn and Lean on God, not your own understanding or depend on earthly things. Depend on God. 

We are supported by the Lord, made and remade. Jesus renews. The wind whipping yesterday in a weather front unfolding was awesome in strength, but I did not feel afraid but in awe. Yes to know that I was OK in the storm was clear as day. The storms of life? God’s got those too. Support from above. 

The Lord IS strong enough to support us in whatever plans He decides we will take. He Holy Spirit moves us and He gives forgiveness as we venture back to Him as our shield against the storm. He holds us in His plans, we should not worry and are told to not be distracted by earthly folly or jolly. Focus on things above. The porch columns are attached above, so can we be.

Lean not on our own understanding. Yes, the Lord will plan our future – IF we let Him. He will correct our future- IF we listen. He has plans and He has promise for us and He has the power to make it all happen. Otherwise we are to remember the meaningless stuff in this world is meaningless (remember Ecclesiastes) and there is a time and season for everything. Our weather seasons change- He doesn’t. 

He makes me sit down on great porches, watch the wind, and take stock. Just like that porch, watch out for the dangling supports that won’t support you, and instead lean on the Lord…

The Lord comes in a whisper, so you must find your quiet in a storm. 

Amen

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1Kings 19: 11-13

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

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Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:2-5

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Proverbs 3: do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

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

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops…

Biggest Blessings, 26MAR – #1114

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I wonder sometimes why I am sheltered in life and sometimes able to sit quiet. I do think we (me included) have ignorance of going out to see and work on the world’s worse problems. We put up fences and defenses from seeing the gory details of those struggling with real life. We are cushioned to enjoy looking at the rocks but not hurt by the rocks. We hesitate to leave our comfort zones. Very likely I de-stress in avoiding distress. And many fail to realize that their own distancing, thinking it is for safety, leads them vulnerable to attack mentally, including selfishness, self-righteousness and self-pity. (I include myself in this too)…  I honestly believe that seeing others circumstances is not for us to gloat in our good fortune but (while we help) for us to realize where to count our blessings. And when we actively count blessings, everyday, the sheer hugeness of our portion of blessings becomes clear, they are from the active shielding from harm by God. 100% YES. 

I’ve tried much to read His Word, so when I sit and ponder (especially in this past year of pandemic) and compare our lot to that of the ages, we are blessed in wealth and provisions but even more so it is God’s shield that stands out to me. Especially as our mental health shield and warrior. 

Do not be afraid, Abram.   I am your SHIELD,    your very great REWARD.” 

The Lord speaking to Abram/Abraham in Genesis 15

YES. If anything this covid year, or any year, I pray we give credit where credit is due for God pulling us thru. Mentally, Spiritually. We will never regret to always make an active acknowledgement of God’s Hand in our lives. It is good that we have what we have, all good things are from God, so if we complain about anything this past year, perhaps it is that we didn’t trust God enough. (Me included). We should remember the provisions and we should remember the comfort.  Many prayers did we pray and they were answered.  The sheer fact that we have time and peace to sit and read is a blessing in itself.

The Lord made a covenant with Abram/Abraham we should remember if we read backwards. But read even further forwards, especially in Easter week, read to acknowledge our good fortune for the Word itself saves us. The Word makes a rescue of us. The Word is Jesus. We do have the Lord, we should not forget. He did suffer and still does for the lost. How much joy He has when we realize that we are found. Our job is to remind people to look. Look to be found. 

Sometimes we need to ponder what to believe about our relationship with God. Time and time again we read not about of the permissiveness of God, He has no blind spot for us to hide, but we read about and see and experience the Mercy and Forgiveness of God. Too many people are told God doesn’t love you the way you are. Don’t believe that untruth. Don’t let the devil put up false barriers that Jesus already defeated. Love is God and God loves. God loves you. God loves you. TRUTH

I believe in Jesus. However I sometimes wonder if the gate which is narrow will be too narrow for us to pass. And yet the narrowness we try to envision which may be allowing only One person in width WILL be SUFFICIENT because our Gatekeeper Jesus is already there ready to ask and accept our devotion. If we believe in Him, and FOLLOW, He will pull us thru. All we need is HIM – and all He wants is YOU.

We do have the Lord, we should not forget. Don’t wander away thinking you are not worthy, because no one is born worth, Jesus is who makes us worthy. Jesus is the Only Way to Worthy. Follow the Way. 

Maybe we wonder if the narrow gate is hard to find? Wide is the path to destruction, so how can we best follow Jesus in this world? Perhaps the tipping and wobbling of the world over and over will allow Jesus to shift and sift us until we reach into and thru to His gate. Maybe He is the equivalent of visually folding a flat gate into a V shape as a funnel and shaking us all up in it until we hit the walls enough times to reach the bottom to come to Him. His pull will always be stronger than gravity, Jesus unclogs the gate by pulling us thru, one lost sheep at a time. We should look forward to seeing Him so we know Whose Arm to grab.

Yesterday I wanted to walk thru the waterfall gorge, but the path was still blocked by old ice and new warning signs. I didn’t go because I am not ignorant of the dangers and because I was OK knowing that I had a previous memory mental picture of the scene and sounds. It was OK. That is what Jesus wants us to know. To feel and see and know Him in our darkness, when danger abounds, when we feel blocked, and when we do have to travel into danger. We can remember Him ALWAYS, because He IS with us. 

God established a covenant with Abram/Abraham and a NEW COVENANT for us,… JESUS is the NEW COVENANT. We are to rely on HIM for Salvation.

We are called to be not ignorant of our blessings because we do see His peace and plan. Our work IS to share the knowledge of His path. With work in the world we can counter act the ignorance in the world and be the fruitful descendants God promised Abraham. 

Let us ponder and not be ignorant of all these promises kept by God. Let us work fruitfully. God promised to be our God.  Jesus promised God that He would save us.  Let us BE HIS. Let us count Him as our Biggest Blessing. 

Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.  I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. Genesis 15:3-7

AMEN 

We Shall Not Want, 25MAR – #1113

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The Lord is our Shepherd. We shall not want. 

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want – for things to do, projects to serve Him and wisdom to keep my mind off of earthly follies. 

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures – for I need rest to keep traveling with Him at Holy Spirit pace.

He leadeth me beside the still waters – for He wants me to drink, not drown. 

He restoreth my soul – because He made it.

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake – for HIS name not mine, since He has a new name for me up in Heaven, I won’t need my name or reputation or track record, only Him, only His Path for me.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because He IS good and He is our shield and Savior. 

For thou art with me – always and forever.

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me – correcting us from worse danger, and shepherding us to Glory. 

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies – I know the taste of joy and love from You, whom I trust. I know the dangers You reveal to me so that I may steer clear of them and return to You. 

Thou anointest my head with oil – You have chosen each of us as Your own.

My cup runneth over – You are our fountain of strength and direction. I will never tire of Your help, never lack for love nor the vessel to sharingly pour it back out from.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life – I am safest with You. No matter how I am stressed, You make me see how I am blessed. 

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever – And I WILL DWELL in YOUR house, as You have filled my house, my heart, my mind, my soul, my life, my everything.

Forever I shall not want, 

You are my Shepherd, 

You are our Lord.

You are Forever. 

Amen 

The WHOLE Kit and Caboodle, 24MAR – #1112

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I am a trash picker, from way back. In my car right now are hockey sticks, floor mats, a shoe rack, just only a few things that will go to somewhere not to be trashed (yet). I like giving stuff away especially easily when it’s USEFUL STUFF I never paid for. Like Robin Hood, I give to places but I don’t have to steal, it’s stuff given freely. If I were to think of me and my Subaru in a right hand left hand ministry, I would be busy FOREVER. Filling and emptying this Subaru is a way of life. But you can’t take it all, you have to drive away sometimes. Yet his pastime for me and others is NOTHING that saves the world’s people, it’s NOTHING like Jesus, the Way, giving away the Whole Kit and Caboodle of Himself for all our eternal lives.  Not any human measurable items, not riches nor fame, a Gift from not just hands, but heart and whole, Jesus gave it all. Jesus never drives away.

Hands down. Jesus gave it ALL. 

Likethe Father waiting watching for His prodigal sons (and daughters) to return, after venturing out into the world, God waits for us to return. Likewise, God gave away His richest most valuable treasure, gave away His Son’s Life for all to be redeemed, freely redeemed our sins for welcoming home all whose names are in the book of life to stay alive forever in GLORY. Oh, His Joy for when He sees us turn the bend for home. And who is in the Book of Life? All of us who believe in the redemption of Jesus for our sins. All who realize where our treasure really is. All who call Jesus Lord and Follow. We have to be Willing to Lose our Lives for Him.

We are already called to be in God’s SUV “Savior’s Ultimate Victory” biggest car wagon of Life with Jesus in the driver’s seat driving us home away from our junk. His Venture to Victory now in the finish lap parade to collect His Treasures: US!!! Jesus removes our burdens, His Yoke is Light, because He has ultimate horsepower under the hood, and each of us gets a saving faith trip. Anything we think we need to carry – baggage of treasures or trash – is placed on the roof and Jesus hits the gas and it flies away – we don’t need it – we are in the car and on our way. Freed for forever. (Just buckle your seatbelt so you don’t lean out the window looking back at your old life left behind. Let the dead fall under road tread.

NO GRUMBLING ALLOWED FROM THE WHEEL WELL SEATS!

And the unbelievable part? It’s a free ride, already paid, a toll was paid by the Driver. We slide thru the scanner and all is removed from your history bank account, all is credited on account of your faith.

Our hands feet and hearts are freed to work in acts of faith as from our calling and what we are driven to say, act, be is to benefit all weary travelers, all those who need to hear “Dump your junk” – “Ride with the King” – “Lamb Lyft” – “Saved by Grace” – “Riding on the fumes of faith” – “Not Worthy Wanderers Welcome”- “Low Rider’s Dip Trip” – “Was, Is, Is To Come Taxi” – “Shining Stars Shuttle” – “Almost Home”… 

The ultimate bumper sticker: “GOT JESUS?”

Gotta go, “My Ride is Here”.

Amen 

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Philippians 2:1-15

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.

God Puts His Foot Down, 23MAR – #1111

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I have so many strange dreams it seems and impossible to remember them (which is probably a good thing), but I had to keep reminding myself I wanted to remember this particular dream last night.

God put his foot down on me to keep me safe.

I don’t remember the beginning of the dream sequence, I think it was my house but a different format,  I don’t know the circumstances,  I can’t remember the people… but I was sleeping or just awoken by a storm even in daylight and there was no time to jump out of bed and a tornado funnel was going alongside my long window, not a huge one but I could not deny the severity of the situation and yet only had time to pray. I don’t know why in this dream we weren’t taking cover prior, and I don’t know why I was sleeping in the daytime, I just remember it being daylight and waking up to the storm and watching the tornado go by and saying: “God help me”. HE DID.

I did not see a physical foot come down from the sky, like you would in a Monty Python sketch, but I had the feeling of a foot or a big weight come down and hold me down over my midsection because I could feel the pull of the vortex but I stayed put. Soon after I went to the other room to tell everybody (not sure who was there) what had happened and how I felt. That’s all I remember from the dream.

Held. Not away from danger but held.

Whether it’s a physical danger like a tornado or something else, maybe sickness or injury or people or …. ???, how could I not witness that God puts his foot down and protects us. 

Maybe it’s a storm that we watch from the side and realize it’s not for us to fight or flee, because God keeps us an arms-length away and then the danger is gone. He doesn’t even move us to the other room – we see the storm. Maybe it’s about the holding and rescue and not even the storm. Maybe it’s a passover of sorts where others are challenged and specifically when we listen or we ask for help, we will be saved.  Maybe God just wants us to know that He cares. He does. Maybe God says you can’t avoid all rough situations, but I CAN help you thru them. Surely it is all of these and more.

God cares enough to listen, can’t help but love, we should care enough to pray, we should love the love hold. 

We should not think God isn’t listening, because He is.

Thanks God.

Thanks for the hold.

Amen 

Diversity, 22MAR – #1110

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How weird to imagine that Noah’s descendants lived hundreds of years, many up to 500 years. Can you imagine living that long and being able to apply your 50 year old or 100 year old wisdom to your life for a few more hundred years? Can you imagine how much MORE wisdom you would obtain! (I pray they also had healthy enough bodies at 500yrs old). As the scriptures detail, they were bearing children later in life too. The loneliness of long life must have been replaced by the DIVERSITY of many ages living together. How amazing the world was then and continually became. How interesting that the Lord then mixed it up even more by the scattering of peoples and creation of new languages. (See Genesis 11)… 

That’s a level of DIVERSITY, isn’t it?!!!. 

‘The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”   So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth,…

Wait, what? The Lord CREATED a DIVERSITY scene. And He created dependence upon Him. Different languages, scattered lands, different Fruits of the Spirit, many peoples unto Himself and all with FREE WILL with a hope that we ALL will hear and see, with opened hearts, which only He can inspire. NOW THAT’S DIVERSITY!!! 

The Lord IS also interestingly DIVERSE in the number of facets of Himself, yet forever NEVER changing and simply complex, did you notice in this passage that the Lord said: “Let us“… Who is us? One of All.

Diversity in thought and regardless of language and homeland, all peoples are created in God’s Image. How crucial they, like us, need to understand the advantage of applying wisdom over the ages. How that wisdom was in the flesh with multitudes of Noah’s descendants living hundreds of years up until the post-120 year life limits were imposed by God. How crucial that we must now impose that wisdom upon ourselves. We are to know and ask for His Wisdom, His Discernment..

How then do we tap into 120 year or even 900 year wisdom? Depend on God and read His Word.  Can we lean on scripture and depend on God like Babel-ittes who no longer understood each other, let alone see each other because of their imposed scattering? We can remember the fundamental LOVE of God from God for God keeping us on this earth one day more, let alone all our years. Crucial to KNOW God, to LISTEN to God, to FOLLOW GOD – and so forth because of the MOST important commandments JESUS came to reinforce in teaching: to LOVE GOD and LOVE His people… 

The diversity of people is not only overscene by the diversity of an UNCHANGING LOVE but also underlaid with LOVE and clothed with LOVE by Jesus reaching down to bring us all up.

Song lyrics ring true: we want to “See Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, follow Thee more nearly… Day by day…”

We are NOT to overcome diversity but EMBRACE IT. Love is the best embrace of all. 

Love.

Amen 

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Listening to the account of family lines in Genesis 10 thru 11, you get from Noah to Abram (later renamed Abraham)

https://www.biblegateway.com/audio/suchet/nivuk/Gen.10

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Reading Genesis 11:1-9

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel – because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Ask Me How I Know He Lives, Easter 2021

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Ask me how I know He lives, He lives inside my heart.”…. with Easter hymns in my head, not always my ears, my heart still LEAPS knowing Jesus.

And that’s the crux of Easter for us, the movement of the stone reveals Easter in us. He lives inside our hearts. We are born feeling a childlike faith but age often hardens us into not knowing this. We become stone not soil. Easter is not something we achieve, Easter is something spiritual we realize. We must be re-earthed and reborn in realization that Jesus IS and wants to be known, KNOWN INSIDE US, known to us. ALIVE and known THRU us. 

Many get focused on Easter logistics 2000 years ago, the trappings of a man killed,  but Easter morning shows instead a God revealed. And a story continued. Easter itself can NOT contain the God who lives. Let us focus on Him TODAY and feel God move in us. Feel our tombs of cold stone hearts to crumble revealing fertile soil to grow our faith. Us knowing Jesus more and more will make the insides of our hearts grow.  We are not awakening Jesus, because He never changes, we are awakening our hearts to see that He Lives there. We are awakening so we know He is ready to heal our hurts, help our hopes, and direct our lives, to be forever walking with Him. 

Ask me how I know He lives“… that’s the Easter mystery for us to reveal – knowing Jesus and Holy Spirit move within us and not as historical figures – feeling Jesus and Holy Spirit revealed when we ask God to “open the eyes of our hearts” to see Him – see Him inside. When we know He lives inside our hearts, we can’t help but make room. The unfolding of our heart souls swelling in us like an intricately folded flower waiting for water to unfurl it, like a collapsed hot air balloon waiting for warm air to fill it to fly. 

Ask ME how I know? I know because it’s happened to me, and God’s rumble moved my junk in my internal soul space, and I started getting the rocks of my head out of the way to see His Way and His Light… I found myself filling my eyes with seeing Him fill my heart just with His Love. He opened up the Kingdom of Light inside my eyes to see Him, feel Him, know Him… I will never be the same. And I will forever want to grow more in maturing my faith to fruitfulness. 
This Easter, MOVE to open your heart too, move in knowing. This Easter make more room for the Spirit of Resurrected Jesus, not with external force but by internal LIGHT illuminating areas to grow. Be NOT building manmade modular additions to your heart, but instead open up your heart into invading new spaces and living thru your hands, feet, mouth and eyes. Live in Resurrection so that He both lives INside your heart and THRIVES throughOUT when you live Him OUT, reach Him OUT, and speak Him OUT.

“Hear me when I know He lives, He thrives throughout my heart.”
Roll the Stone away for He already rose, there’s no need to hide it in us anymore.
Be Easter people. Know and Show His Hope. 

Amen Amen Amen 
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 “Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered His words. Luke 24:5-8

Jesus said: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13

Paul to Ephesians 1:3-23 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people,  I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Pull Thru, 02APR – #1122

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This has been a strange year, both we have worked differently and processed differently… and time slowed down and also seems to have passed quickly. 

God doesn’t change, but time flies.

So, I was listening to a Good Friday service online just now. The description of the arrest of Jesus jogged my memory of a sermon that my old pastor gave on a Holy Thursday few years back… He spoke of the uneasy feeling that Jesus’s disciples had to endure from late Thursday night to Sunday morning. That time must have been so disconcerting, an unknown of not knowing if Jesus would be freed, and then later when He was killed,  having that unknown feeling to not know where to go or how to avoid capture and death too. Many still had devotion and some had doubt,  but all could not understood or envision Jesus rising again.   They had no idea about Easter… they were stuck.

We are NOT stuck even if we do sometimes feel that way. We know Easter. We know Jesus rose and rises up. Our uneasiness draws us closer to Him too.  But oh yes, how this year especially made us ALL think in discouraged ways sometimes.  We don’t always see clear that everything is going to be OK. But it will eventually. Painful?  Yes. Weird? Yes. But eternally we will be OK.

Our doubts bring His truth clearer.

Our doubts make Jesus come close enough to us so we can touch or see into His wounds.  And our blessings are seeing out the other side of His wounds. We can not avoid pain, Jesus couldn’t avoid pain, but we ALL now look see thru the pain to look at Glory to come. 

Later when the disciples learned that Jesus lived (Hallelujah!), that still meant all their devotion would STILL bring many TROUBLES with authorities or trouble with their families and friends… and yet, they knew nothing but devotion to Jesus. They kept looking forward. 

What a gift we have knowing how it ends, but what an uneasy place to be, peering at the world thru the wounds of Jesus…

We do know this arrival of Easter, and Spring, and warmer days gifts us the chance to get moving, and time to thaw… I pray us all continued pulling thru all the challenges. 

Happy Easter, knowing that it comes soon after our Good Friday…

JOY soon… 

Time flies!!!

Amen 

Nails

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Instead of endless nails on a telephone pole for job offers, lost dogs, and house sales, this Easter week remember it only took 3 nails to show the world one best offering:

Giving the captives freedom,

Finding the lost,

And to give the Kingdom away for free.

Phone Home, Jesus will answer!

And He accepts all collect calls.

Amen!

And I Fell Asleep On My Buddy, Jesus, 02APR – #1121

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I did not have a busy day but certainly it started early and felt long and I was so exhausted…  enough that while watching a 7pm Holy Thursday “Service of Shadows” from church thru Facebook into my living room, I was asleep by 745 on the couch. Out. With the crick in my neck I’m now going to bed proper at 10pm. But I remember falling asleep, not really fighting it. I should have fought it and have less pain.

That’s fitting for Holy Thursday, isn’t it? Falling asleep on the Lord, then oh the pain, like the disciples in the garden. We like they fall asleep when the Lord was/is depending upon us to keep watch. especially watch over ourselves but mostly watch over our relationship with the Lord. Scattered, they and we are scattered as a flock, too tired to keep it together. Flesh willing but weak.

One place I remember NOT falling asleep was the church services of Good Friday as a child, multiple priests read the passion story. Other times we would walk the stations of the cross during lent. Those memories are strong, and such witness in my mind now of my soul paying attention. I was a hungry soul. We should want to be hungry souls and stay awake to learn. Walking with my catholic school class we must have been a sight traversing the few blocks from school to church, paired up with buddies to keep us safer and ACCOUNTABLE to staying in line, easier for paying attention to have to watch out. How fitting for us to not fall asleep then in church because we were watched by strict nuns. How fitting for our safety that we were watched for, and watched out for, our buddies – whom were assigned to us, not that we picked.

But Jesus? He picked us. He warns us but does not prevent us from falling asleep or stepping out of line. How fitting for us to now be grown up, to have to know better and keep ourselves awake, and ACCOUNTABLE and find our own buddies to stay awake. This time we should look for Jesus as our Buddy.

Was it a good night for all Holy Thursday, into Good Friday buddies? Well for sure it was a long night for Jesus and a long haul to the cross. Let us get our rest, because we really need to learn and walk and pay attention to what Jesus has in store for us each day. Even in the weakness of a tired body, we truly need to remember to be hungry souls.

From here on out, Jesus in Spirit is the One Who wants to be our Buddy. We can learn from He Who goes before us. We will try to stay awake, but even if we sleep, He will remember to wake us.

Amen in desire to rest then especially to RISE.

Keep Watch.

Gethsemane Matthew 26

36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Be the Fool, Shhhhhush…, #1109

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Shhhhh Right Hand!!!! Shhhhhush Hush!!! Don’t tell the Left Hand what you donate, gift, move, do…

Just keep working, God knows what you secretly do… Matthew 6:1-4

Shhhhh Steps!!! Don’t pray for public shows.  Our most secret quiet prayers are the ones our Father KNOWS, for from Him, thru us, His Spirit who FLOWS… Matthew 6:5-6

Shhhhh Tongue, stop babbling on and on, our Father hears us before any word from our lips has gone… Matthew 6:7-15

Shhhhh Face, show only Grace, hide your gloom… in Him there’s no looming doom… for our Spirit in Christ does BLOOM… Matthew 6:16-18

Shhhhh Heart, hide your treasures only in HOLY measures… Heaven’s HOLD is endlessly worth more than ALL the world’s gold. Matthew 6:19-21

Shhhhh Eyes, hide your darkness, be reflecting His healthy heartness. Jesus did overcome with His Light, just shine His Glory, clear and bright. Matthew 6:22-23

Shhhhh Tithes, LOVE God not money, I’m not being funny. Give Him all He is due, which happens to be ALL of You. Matthew 6:24

Shhhhh Worry, watch the birds, the fields of flowers show blessings in a flurry. Days are gifts to heal life’s rifts, we are to feel His Godly lifts. Matthew 6:25-34

Shhhhh Trouble, your yesterday’s rubble. Today is a new day for walking in HIS WAY, tomorrow’s troubles pray stay at bay.

Shhhhh wisdom and eloquence, my fool shows His Rule.

Shhhhh earthly boast, YOU ARE TOAST!

Shhhhh worldly wise, seldom do those thoughts surmise that God’s love timing and His totalness is our PRIZE. 

Shhhhh put your achievements lower than low, for it is in humbleness that we GROW. 

Shhhhh, boast always and ONLY in the Lord, for we succeed only if we are on board.  Our foolishness that OTHERS spy, is that God’s Work is ALIVE, let us not be shy.

Shhhhh, Shhhhhush, Hush, Be the Fool, and GO, 

HIS GLORY is our GREATEST GLOW. 

Amen 

—-

Matthew 6

JESUS said:

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

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


Prayer (5-15)
 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.


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

—-
Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!


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

—-
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

—–

Paul writing: 1Corinthians 1:17 -31

For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Christ Crucified Is God’s Power and Wisdom

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

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

Thank God, No Fooling, 01APR – #1120

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Thank God I went to work yesterday. 

Thank God I had work to do. 

Thank God I got to go into the lab and use my skills. 

Thank God I still have skills, which shock and delight those half my age.

Thank God I was busy yesterday. 

Thank God I was alive yesterday. 

Thank God I interacted with great people.

Thank God for Your people, Lord. 

Thank God my people work is walking into Your work first and my work work second and all at the same time.

Thank God I was too busy to worry about a pandemic. 

Thank God for laughter and joy from the heart of Your people who shine Your heart.

Thank God for Your hedge of protection even in close quarters in a pandemic. 

Thank God for Your guidance of us being proactively safe in a pandemic but still working too.

Thank God for safety strivings, safety goggles, safety lab coats, safety gloves, safety hoods which actually protect the work samples from us more than protecting us from them.

Thank God for tolerance in us of an immune system surrounded by a skin barrier of protection.

Thank God for Your Spirit flowing in us to change consciousness into conscience-derived confidence in You.

Thank God for our protective God reliance on You. 

Thank God for a protected drive home in nasty weather yesterday, much more physically dangerous in the moment to me personally than a pandemic.

Thank God for no crashes but good God those crazy splashes. 

Thank God for my good tires and I got home.

Thank God for my good tired when I got home.

Thank God for me being here for serving my family too.

Thank God too for yesterday some preventative maintenance car work was at minimal expense and allowing work connectivity on the road too.

Thank God for my car and the unknown oil issue which brought me to see a friend who thanks God too for his health maintenance in a known chronic illness fight.

Thank God You give him the strength to fight.

Thank God for not just one but 3 friends yesterday who reached out to share the Lord’s Joy with me despite their own chronic illness fights.

Thank God Joy is always stronger than pain.

Thank God fight is stronger than flight.

Thank God for JOY.

Thank God for those who fight the battles already knowing that God has won the war, our war, His War, His Victory. 

Our AWE.

Thank God for our AWE.

Thank God when we can encourage with a never ending job.

Thank God for fruits of the Spirit without rot.

Thank God for making us quieter in foolish talk and boastful only in You, praising You. 

Thank God we can never run out of praise. 

Thank God we are Yours.

THANK GOD FOR YOU DESERVE ALL PONDEROUS PRAISE. 

Thank God we can be FOOLS FOR THE FAMILY BUSINESS. 

Thank God Fools for God are not foolish are they? NO FOOLING. 

Thank God we can be YOUR FOOLS even that the world sees us seemingly foolish for simple-ness of devotion.

Thank God for developing devotion. 

Thank God all we need is You.

Thank God for You.

AMEN 

—-

Psalm 20

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

May the Lord grant all your requests.

Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. Lord, give victory to the king!

Answer us when we call!

—-

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Be Bold, even if you are Cold… 20MAR – #1108

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See those daffodils, they foolishly come early, how BOLD, but extended COLD does NOT hurt, because God’s LOVE will carry and flurry. We will see new growth from old.

They WILL bloom and so will we, 

Our secret source of LIGHT is inside, you see.

God promises Future Glory for all see.

Jesus You were cold in the tomb, now You bloom. Easter is for you and me.

It is to God’s glory that You, Jesus, set us Free.

Because of Easter, we are freed to live with Thee.

When we see these daffodils bloom, will we remember today’s cold gloom?

NO, our eyes will be open and worry consumed.

So too with Jesus, forget today’s cold troubles, HIS LOVE FOREVER BLOOMS

Like daffodils, our eyes will open and love will pour, having knowledge of how He crushed His and our worldly tomb.

Easter is upon us. Witness Jesus BOLD as He sees you: Loved and in HIS FOLD.

Amen 

—-

Jesus said: “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. Luke 24: 44-48