(From a presentation that they wanted us to make a “Note for gain” – but I know our loss and His gain is what I wanted to retain. This is a ‘Not for Gain note to Retain’)
Note to Retain
Gain more Him, and be less me.
Why does He wants me to be free of me? TO SEE.
Free of me means more free to follow Thee.
Lord, it is better by me to be with Thee.
Our time together should not surprise me.
You free me of my agenda, I can plainly see.
Whom might You lead me to see?
Let me TRUST, let Your Path LEAD me.
My journey is nothing without Thee.
Gain more Him, and be less me.
Blessed are those in Your court we see.
Blessed Blessed are favor and honor from Thee
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty; listen to me, God of Jacob. Look on our shield, O God; look with favor on your anointed one.
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.
It was one of those days that simply progressed with blessings. Handing out free meal bags for Thanksgiving Dinners. Like a “Progressive Dinner” starting in one place and moving to the next, I had breakfast with my friend – we then progressed to the church to meet for carpools then progressed to 3 different locations in the area to hand out 500 of the 1500 prepared bags of thanksgiving trimmings – including gift cards and info on one local food pantry. WOW, the people were thankful. We were the ones DOUBLY BLESSED as we asked the Holy Spirit to guide us in asking the people if they would ALSO like prayers – and yes, many of them said “sure” – and asked specific prayers. What a blessing – what tears – what Joy… God is Good – ALL THE TIME! All the time – God is Good! and if the people didn’t stop for a bag – how doubly blessed they must have felt by saying or waving “I am good, thanks anyway”.
DOUBLE blessed – life is always better when you take a friend on an adventure – as we went out I was thinking of the scripture where Jesus sent the disciples out in 2’s – for support and for witnessing each other to back up the stories of Holy Spirit’s Power moving. and YES today the Spirit moved – that felt like double as we were blessed to give and they were blessed to receive. The people who packed the bags also blessed us with their prep and we blessed the prep people by being out on the streets to hand them out on a chilly but gorgeous day. I felt like I was on a stationary float of a parade as I was happily waving at the cars going by.
DOUBLE blessed – we got to meet more neat people!
DOUBLE blessed – this was a community outreached that PARTNERED multiple community groups as well as church groups – energy plus logistics – and personally I had at least double connections with so many of the people – friends from at least a couple scenarios. yes thru church – but also thru my neighbors – yes thru community outreach but also thru friends – yes all from wanting to give back to the community and having the time and resources to give. YES – both SALT AND LIGHT. I got to dance with the sign AND I got to give the bags AND I got to pray with the people – and double blessed as it is and was the PEOPLE’S FAITH and THEIR relationship with the Lord that we were walking together in – us prayers were simply carrying HIS praises and HIS power to the places HE needed it to go. My I was blessed with being able to absorb some of their tears: a man H – asked for prayer for his sister J for God to save her, when i finished praying he was in tears – I said nothing out of the ordinary but the Lord and our dependence upon Him and our faith in Him is the extraordinary.
AND then there were the DOUBLE bagged giftings – and that was OK – and my favorite surprised face of the day was a young gentleman who started to say – “I have a big family” – and my arm automatically placed the second bag into the car – and he said REALLY? so shocked – and he said that everyone was asking in his family – who got the turkey? Well, today? (and everyday) God’s goodness got them the turkey! If we get to share in the smiles of His MEAL then we simply are His Trimmings. If we get to share in the HARVEST, then we are simply and Progressively Doubly Blessed!
“And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.”
The 2 miles that we are to walk with someone is because they asked for only one. Jesus said we are to DOUBLE the giving – DOUBLE the help – DOUBLE the effort – DOUBLE the forgiveness – DOUBLE the blessing. If you feel thankful this thanksgiving and are able to help someone else too – what a DOUBLE good feeling that is!
My last enduring image was OF the kids – the families came to hand out bags together – thus teaching the next generation about service and sharing – the baby Madison I got to poke her cutie cheeks as grandma held her in tears accepting 2 bags and asking for prayers for her husband who broke both his legs. She said she thought God was mad at her – I assured her that it is not in the nature of our forgiving God to be mad at us – He loves Mercy – and that Jesus took the brunt of our sins and we are to be blessed with forgiveness. She was double smiles thru her tears – how great these stories we all get to tell our children of other people’s generosity…
How great to see the SPIRIT pour from THEIR faces.
Progressively Double Blessed!
Here are the double scriptures of progression for the day. and guess what? In addition to our 500 they did Saturday morning the first 500 bags and they are doing this again tomorrow with another 500! 1500 total
DOUBLE – the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Luke 10:1-2
DOUBLE – getting to be Salt AND Light – getting to help but for others to give God the praise. Jesus taught: Believers Are Salt and Light “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13-16
DOUBLE – Jesus taught: Go the Second Mile
“And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.” Matthew 5:41-42
A strange and upsetting dream a few nights ago. I drifted in and out of sleep but the storyline continued in multiple dreams. It was upsetting, but my thought then and now is that I need to share this scene: A newborn baby was found forgotten, sitting up on a table wrapped just as if ready to go into the nursery but forgotten – and apparently a mother who went into a medical crisis I understood in this dream so she was not aware of this baby, her baby, sat unnoticed. I called out to the people in the room but they were clueless to the situation. In multiple cross-over dreams the baby kept getting smaller and smaller with no nourishment. I don’t know why I didn’t have a solution as in an awakened state it is clear to simply pick up the baby and feed it, and yet how I didn’t get solutions from people in the dream let alone make it better myself. I can’t say that I am surprised to this intense processing as I feel dreams are dealing with our brokenness in our broken world, God’s way to sort mixed up jumbles. But this particular dream was VERY upsetting. And yet with each wake up I thought I the Lord is trying to send me a warning or a healing – trying to re-open a wound not properly healed but scarred over, re-open so that He can repair it. Yes, some wounds are not going to heal completely until we get to Heaven – this world can NOT heal, only gloss over some of our deepest pain and regrets – THIS world cannot undo confusion that it alone is responsible for.
This is why TODAY I will conjecture how God must have all the babies in Heaven with Him – those who are born but lost and yes those lost before even being born. The aches of friends losing their children ache me, I can’t imagine the parents’ pain. I send love and hope and truth that the Lord HOLDS these babies dear and these parents (and we) will get to meet them again in Heaven’s Glorious Reunion. I add hope to many people’s unknowns, unspokens, unhealed moments. I pray the Lord to remind folks that He will wipe every tear.
Jesus taught both that He was the fulfillment of the scriptures and that He was the door to Heaven. He as Light, He as the Word has opened up Himself for us to enter in. “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” (Matthew 18)
Jesus welcomes our babies and Jesus is trustworthy, as little children trust and love from their natural place in life, we must be like children realizing that we are nourished to trust in truth. God wants us to never cause babies to fall, children to stumble, “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!”
Nor does God want grown-ups to go cold. Whomever returns to childlike trust IN HIM will enter HEAVEN, which is and must be the ultimate PLACE OF LOVE, TRUST, LIGHT, JOY AND PEACE.
And Homecomings – think of the people we will meet…. Perhaps Jesus will carry them directly to us and place them into our arms as we enter HIS.
PS – My alternative otherwise thought about that dream is that every time the baby theme appeared in my dream, and that baby got smaller because I or no one nourished it, the baby represented a spiritual baby of an idea that I was supposed to write about but was slipping away because I did not act. Especially since I remember that the last moment I saw that actual baby in the dream it was as tiny as half the size of my hand and when I went to tap on the baby, it was just an image on my cellphone and the battery went out. YEAH! No one realized the baby or the idea but me and I felt the slip away, It is true, baby ideas slip away when not nourished. Where do they go? I don’t know but BLESSEDLY more come. Keep the faith and the faith will keep you – double Amen.
Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
He Lord doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
The Lord lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.
Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.
He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.
The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
Sometimes we can say the words “ME TOO” in playful participation, but “ME TOO” is often used as a slang term for those in the world who want more stuff or privileges that they see others have, to get these things with minimal work, a generation focused on many worldly desires. It’s like keeping up with the Jones term, but with less work to get there. It’s “I deserve it too” – “ME TOO!!!…”
So here’s one more (better) use of the words: WE ARE LOVED BY GOD, ME TOO, when we stand before God (me too), and when we stand as the future people whom Moses spoke about (me too), and when we become counted by our faith as one of God’s descendants of Abraham’s grains of sand (me too), and when we acknowledge that THE LORD DOES NOT CHANGE, remembering that when He promised to be the God of Israel, to Lord over them in care, He promised to be our God too. WE ARE LOVED BY GOD. ME TOO!!!
ME TOO, CHOSEN. We stand now like the people of old, chosen by God yet failed from His covenant. They broke it then, Adam broke the original, and we were born broken. BUT this does NOT mean God broke His end of the deal. He still stands in agreement, waits in anticipation for repair and reconciliation. Even though the broken people broke promises left and right, before and after entering in the Promised Land, God did not change the rules, instead HE changed the ACCESSIBILITY to the Promised deliverance by sending Jesus, a New Covenant. Yes, JESUS came to be broken instead, absorbing our sins, casting away eternal damnation for those who acknowledge Him as Lord. Jesus came negate the fallenness by His raising of those who believe in Him and His Love – ME TOO.
There should always be less of me and more of THEE in how You, Lord, and I walk in this world.
We shall stand delivered, purchased, and ransomed from our broken deal, to be raised to rule again WITH Him. RAISED to reach, yet it is ONLY BY FAITH that we can enter into His Promise.
God’s agreement with us is to be with us. Let us look to His Mercy and Grace and know His Love. Me too, Lord, WE NEED YOU.
You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant the Lord is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God but also with those who are not here today.
The Offer of Life or Death
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. Deuteronomy 30:11-16
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Col3:2
Thanking God for THANKFUL GIVING as it is Him Whom both makes and takes praise – best it is given where praise is due. We wouldn’t recognize something as praise worthy if HE didn’t give us the ability to recognize it. Some of the things might be earthly things but the praise should be directed to Heaven’s credit.
I have both my kids under my roof, this Thanksgiving morning, both sleeping silent slumber and SAFE. This IS my Thanksgiving. Not food but PRESENCE as my present praise. I THANK GOD for knowing this, appreciating this, having this. And for Him giving the means to hold my earthly life together. I THANK GOD for the memorable but TEMPORARY earthly times and PRAISE HIM for BLESSING us in ways we don’t even know.
Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches. Prvb 24:3-4
And yet it is not about hoarding the moment, or trying to live beyond it. We are but a moment anyway, He is ETERNAL and therefore we should appreciate that we CAN appreciate the little things and not get greedy. I paused a couple of days ago when my youngest told me they were going to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving and were NOT going to eat at home. I could have freaked or cried or got annoyed but I PAUSED. I paused and thought about it in a bigger picture. No nose bent out of shape ever got you anywhere… “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” I mean it is good for my kids to have friends, plans, options, and pause. Yes it is.
I asked (this was all by text message of course) if it was needed to bring anything. A praise for that pause in text messaging, and then me seeing that answer – that result of processing – I received a response of “APPLE PIE”. Yes, I can send my THANKSGIVING ahead, somewhere above and beyond me. I can make two apple pies (or more) and satisfy something in me NOT earthly – namely a desire for sharing, grace, gratefulness.
Dinner is short, pie can be a token of giving, and yet GRATEFULNESS is FOREVER.
Especially Moses saw opportunity in the moment where God blessed the people to prosper, and he cautioned them to not grumble. “The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.” Deut 28:12
Yes He will.
Time to make pie.
LET IT ALL BE MADE UNTO HIS NAME.
The song lyrics: Be Unto Your Name, by Robin Mark
We are a moment, You are FOREVER
Lord of the Ages, God before time.
We are a vapor, You are eternal
Love everlasting, reigning on high
Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain
Highest praises, honor and glory
Be unto Your name, be unto Your name
We are the broken, You are the healer
Jesus, Redeemer, Mighty to save
You are the love song we’ll sing forever
Bowing before You, blessing Your name
Holy, holy, Lord God Almighty
Worthy is the Lamb Who was slain
Highest praises, honor and glory
Be unto Your name, be unto Your name
Be unto Your name
James 4:1-6 excerpts, 13-15
Submit Yourselves to God
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? ….
… don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
Boasting About Tomorrow
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Scriptures keep us looking to the Lord – to help us day by day. We also look so that His help will help us help HIM grow the Kingdom (and do everything else we have going on too). Time management is best directed by the One who is timeless.
I wrote this but left it unfinished in March of 2015 – it is now good to revisit the piece and our eternal desire towards peace in a world that will never know where to look for it until it realizes (one person at a time) that Peace is only thru Jesus and that it won’t be world peace until He takes care of the worldliness of the devilish things dragging us down. I also have been inspired by those who see the devil in plain sight – and still decide to go fight – and I am reminded of these brave people having read an article about inner city ministries to combat the scourge of drug devastation of people. Tthe first step (in everything) is to give them HOPE. HOPE is best known when we know the Lord who will ease our pain and get us thru. Here is the link for the one I just read about recently: https://www.therockphilly.org/
Let us pray for those who put on the armor of God and go work in the world.
Here is the revised writing, edited 6 years later with a touch of more wisdom (which is nothing but a drop in the bucket compared to the lifetime of wisdom we hope to grow into).
I love Joni Mitchell and her clever lyrics. I love her music and am intrigued by her, not just because I have long hair like her. It is no wonder what attracted me to the song: “A Case of You” – “Oh I am a lonely painter. I live in a box of paints. I’m frightened by the devil. And I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid.” I wondered (and wonder) if there are folks not afraid because they just go along with the antics – or as I rethink this lyric – if they are not afraid because they let Christ go first and have HIM battle for them. So many people are gifted with strength and so many are beautifully led by God’s Holy Spirit – they are an inspiration to me. I want to “tune in” to those “that ain’t afraid” – people who don’t fear the devil because they are wearing the armor of GOD.
This song is a way for me to start an awkward yet awakened Christian’s discussion (that we all need to have) about the devil and us. For years I hesitated to even say the name – I am not sure I ever really understood the devil in the biblical way before now. How could I? If I didn’t read the whole story of Jesus and the prophecies and I also didn’t understand the future end of the devil in the Revelation John wrote down for end times for earth, how then could I understand accomplishment and the whole need for Jesus – just Jesus – to heal the broken – to rule over the unruly – to rid the Kingdom of rotten robbers. I thought of the devil as in the eye of the beholder, meaning there is a vast difference in how people relate to him. We just don’t know to watch out for His schemes. We are uneducated in the POWER of Jesus to help us rise against. Jesus Himself said a MAN can stand against the devil’s schemes with the help of the Lord.
At the dollar store’s preparation for Valentine’s Day, I saw too many cartoonized Lucifer sun catchers compared to the cuter cupids… the devil pieces were moving so fast – twice the speed of the cupids – that was so sad to me – and yet I realized these plastic devil pieces were just plastic – only being powered by the sun – so they would not even be allowed to take the credit for their own movements… Yet maybe it is because no one bought the lucifers and only bought the cupids? Yes, we have to not look at them as cute lucifers and let them get a foothold in our lives – we have to turn away from the devil schemes – we have to look for the Source of strength and good growth from cultivating JESUS. There is torment in our lives between FOLLOWING GOD and the hidden and not so hidden temptations of Lucifer. I never really believed in the devil much – but now I do – you can’t pick and choose what you believe out of the Bible – you have to accept the devil exists if you accept Jesus… I always felt that if you can spend more time praising the multitudes of blessings from God, then you have less time to worry about and get distracted from the devil trying to tell you that you don’t have enough of things. Yes the devil can creep up on you, so let us start by knowing how to stand strong against his ways. Let us Look to Jesus for His Way.
His Yield from our YIELDING
Mark 4 recounts Jesus’ parable talk of little birds stealing seeds – that might be the devil image of my choosing – that the devil is simply an opportunist – just taking what he can get when you aren’t paying attention – taking and stealing until it is gone. Taking and stealing joy too – instilling confusion – enriching bitterness due to self-absorbed thoughts – diverting attention away from the nourishing water to grow the good seeds of faith…. Perhaps hell on earth is the lack of pruning away the thorns from inside of us. – Let us ask God to sharpen HIS shears…
MOST IMPORTANTLY LET US REMEMBER THAT: GOD THROWS US MORE SEEDS TO TRY AGAIN IN OUR SOUL’S SOIL. To fight the devil in our own life journey, I feel we need to solidly STOMP, put a foot down, and SAY NO to those little opportunistic birds – see that they scatter and fly away and then we pick up the seeds from the Sower and plant them, hold them, share them, and maybe save a few for another day… Actually – we can look at the yield of good seeds grown in us and give them back by giving them forward – grow and cultivate His Fruit and give to new soul soils.
I was dry soil – God did NOT give up on me – He sent more seeds – He gave more water – He opened my eyes to His Love. He now helps my garden grow to yield more seeds for the Kingdom. His Yield from our yielding.May we all focus on His growth in us.
Concerning Spiritual Gifts
Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:1-3
Spiritual battle. The Armor of God.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:10-20.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15. Satan’s deceptive spiritual nature. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
John 4:22-26. God is Spirit. “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
Mark 4:1-20 The Parable of the Sower. Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ [Isaiah 6:9]” Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
Why are we glad to be “the Hands and Feet of God”? Because God (and His Hands and Feet) won’t wear out, They are not of flesh but motivation and motility. Acting in Mercy, Forgiveness, Righteous work creates awareness of His Blessings, that NEVER get old.
I feel like I have been walking thru the Word, following this story of Moses for a long time, even as it is recounted in many further scriptures, like Nehemiah. And this IS a real story worth remembering. Moses, after the parting of the Red Sea, taking the Israelites forward, traveling following the Pillar of Cloud and having protection from the Pillar of Fire at night – all this showing God helping, even if it was a long wandering path due to the rebellious sorts keeping them from completing the walk. Moses’s story is not just for the wandering but for the faithfulness of God in a broken world. Moses and the wandering Israelites were fittingly fitted for travel by God, who kept them together – physically. 40 years they wandered in the desert then crossed to the Promised Land and yet their clothes didn’t wear out, their feet did not swell. God-created this feat of feet – He made human form, including our feet, and He can form anything as His Feat. What is made from dust as flesh and bones is AMAZINGLY made. Just look at a newborn baby. Just look at the bones to grow and feet to walk.
It is not a perfect walk today either – just feeling my aching feet after half a day in bad shoes and yet God kept these folks in good feet for forty years. Many did rebel, however, and their next generations also broke the laws which would be the next covenants – and yet God made a new covenant – Who is Jesus walking with us today. God wants to walk us all HOME.
It’s true that we live in a broken world with a LOSS of what Adam once had walking with God – And we have better than just sandals made to walk over the brokenness to better-ness. God can and does make it work out for His mission of showing love, teaching us every step of the way.
Will it be a long walk for us too? Yes.
Will God be there every step of the Way? Yes.
Keep being His Hands and Feet.
Keep taking His Rest.
A broken world needs to see that God does not wear out.
Moses said: “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you. Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him.” Deuteronomy 8:2-6 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+8&version=NIV
Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them: Your eyes have seen all that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those signs and great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. Yet the Lord says, “During the forty years that I led you through the wilderness, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 29:2-6 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+29&version=NIV
By day you led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take. “You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good. You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses. In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them. “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Nehemiah 9:12-17
V21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not.
V28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the land of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;
V31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God.
Saturday is like an open treasure box, WHAT’S IN IT?
Maybe it’s a new photo box waiting to be filled with memories, trips, get-togethers, fun. Maybe it’s reorganizing old photos, a new collection of treasured memories and mementos that you don’t want to toss but clutter your view, store them and close the box.
Maybe Saturday you will see family, or see yourself scrubbing the house. Maybe you could and should rest up, re-seeing (re-zzz-ing) lost sleep. Take care of the cat at 5AM because they still think it is 6AM. Sip tea, Sit Still or See the Sunrise. Maybe you will do nothing at all but Surrender to Saturday.
Surrender Saturday to the Lord and He will fill it up.
First, THANK the Lord for the week gone, the troubles dissipated, the blessings gathered. Sit up with SomeOne, namely Him, One above all, immersed in His Word, Savoring Solutions to problems not yet encountered, situations that He has already Solved.
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8
Savor Saturday Surrender.
So later, back to simply Saturday, maybe be shopping (online in your PJs for more sipping tea for under the Christmas tree or stressful shopping scores from crowded stores). Spend Saturday Sporting or Sorting or Storing or Snoring.
Saturday Surely can be Satisfied Sandwiched between Simply Savoring the Sunrise and Soulfully Surmising the Sunset.
If you are reading this on a Friday, you will understand!!!. If on a Monday, you might renew the hope to the next Friday.
When I started working and simultaneously raising kids, days were long but the weeks went fast and I am glad to hear that retired folks feel like each day is Saturday. Saturday is a day to get stuff done. Saturday you don’t mind house chores as it’s not manual work that is not “work” – not felt with a Monday to Friday grind.
Friday? Thank God for Friday. Which also means thank God for MTWTh after which there would not be a Friday and that blessed feeling of Friday. You know we love Saturday, but the feeling I savor each week is Friday night, like you finished and accomplished the week, or maybe you slid by the seat of your pants into Friday. And you allow yourself some rest. The people at work will work in “Friday mode” – which either means they set only certain tasks in front of them and finish them efficiently and get out of there, or they have time to chat. They know how to sort new tasks into “wait until Monday” or “deal with it now so it doesn’t linger”.
Moses wrote about God’s desire for the people crossing into the Promised Land to give back the first Firstfruits of the harvest, to acknowledge that it came from His soil…. that He gave them the sustainability of life. They crossed into promises fulfilled by His Faithfulness not theirs. Our future beholds life due to His Faithfulness.
So Friday, the first Firstfruits of Fridays should be PRAISE – OFFERINGS OF PRAISE. The Lord got us thru the week, one more day due, still good work to pursue. To give your Friday’s Praise Offering means accepting that the Lord provided the working soil and fostered producing the hopes of the whole week into a palatable Joy, motivation, mission, and pay off. Fridays are Hope-cultivated and progress-produced…. practical pursuits profited.
Know that you have come to the land of Friday promised all week, and praise.
Thanks Lord for Friday. Still work to be done and a path to travel – but we can see the light. LIFE – still a journey – still a path to travel – but You YOURSELF have Lit the Light for our future IN YOU.
When you have entered the land [like we enter a Friday]the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the Lord your God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name and say to the priest in office at the time, “I declare today to the Lord your God that I have come to the land the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.” The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the Lord your God.
Moses instructions for entering the Promised Land Deuteronomy 27:1-4
A few interesting thoughts in how we treat people explained in the scriptures as Moses was helping the people set up their society – advice on how we are willing to not intrude and how we are to be thoughtful of personal matters that matter to others lives. Here are the Deuteronomy 24 scriptures that remind us (and me) specifically about many situations:
5 “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.”
6 “Do not take a pair of millstones—not even the upper one—as security for a debt, because that would be taking a person’s livelihood as security.”
Yes, BOTH of these examples are how we would like to be treated if we were in the same situations. And perhaps these scriptures can help us set boundaries. We are to think about fairness and blessings we can share. Like giving time to people who take time off work with newborn babies, or even sick kids, those attending funerals, those needing a mental health moment. Like being extra nice to someone on their birthday. Like not intruding in someone’s vacation day or honeymoon. And verse 6 is like giving a hand up not out, to allow each person the ability to earn a living. Don’t take their livelihood away.
And as for work, that also means letting the people think. Think about their thinking. Give people space to do their own thing. And allow them to grow. Like teenagers wanting to work things out for themselves. Be supportive of survival mode and be an encourager of thrival-mode. Don’t belittle people and don’t expect things if you don’t give them the tools and time to build things.
The other instructive passages, presented by Moses, include not lording over what’s not yours to take or judge. Not making others captives when freedom is what the Lord granted you from situations. Being respectful of those with less. Sharing the excess. Leaving something back for others to have.
Verses 14-15: “Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin.”
Verses 17-18 “Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.”
Verses 19-22 “When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat the olives from your trees, do not go over the branches a second time. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt. That is why I command you to do this.”
Yes… Remember that we were freed and walk in understanding of those still captive. Give respect, as the Lord has respected you. Remember our freedom and free others to live.
Share in the sharing as all these provisions are from the Lord.
“…regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the Lord your God.”
It’s not a coincidence that scripture matching my thoughts (specifically some of Deuteronomy 24’s various laws), came up today in “non-coincidence” as all scripture is good for teaching and will do it’s work before it returns to God. These verses are speaking of helping people but setting boundaries for yourself which will honor the other people and keep you in check. Keeping yourself in check also prevents you from feeling like you are getting burned, and reminds you to count your blessings and give from what God gave you. These thoughts are something I have been dealing with this week – and fitting for our season of giving and thanksgiving this time of year.
And so I found these thoughts and scriptures also not coincidental to the MASH episode I just watched, where BJ, the doctor, gets involved with a Korean family in need. Scripture is NEVER coincidental but always purposeful, a teaching moment for any of us who think we can help but may be borderline infringing.
Sure, enabling could be tops on my resume, and it’s true that not only should we draw the line sometimes, I am thinking about this scripture more on the angle of we should back off and let the person or people keep their dignity. Stay on the Porch. And we should help in the way that allows them to work things out for themselves.
Here is that scripture segment, Deuteronomy 24:10-13: When you make a loan of any kind to your neighbor, do not go into their house to get what is offered to you as a pledge. Stay outside and let the neighbor to whom you are making the loan bring the pledge out to you. If the neighbor is poor, do not go to sleep with their pledge in your possession. Return their cloak by sunset so that your neighbor may sleep in it. Then they will thank you, and it will be regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the Lord your God.
Perhaps we best let the Lord draw the line for us, and not be surprised when He is generous – or when He says hold back. We can be gentle travelers in this world, not overwhelming even if temporary house guests. We can help out but especially help in keeping dignity – so when a friend in need is ALSO needing to figure it out for themselves, we best not be the problem solvers, just the sounding board.
And then there are the times, for me too, where we think a blanket approach is better than a small targeted repair. If a child wants to learn to ride a bike, it’s better to add air to the tires rather than put both the bike and the child into a car and drive up and down the driveway. Be specific in what you do.
And surely the best path we can set people on is to know God’s love and that our love is from God’s love, to know God’s strength and God’s Righteousness. We can demonstrate these without being wordy. We can do what is right in God’s eyes, rather than take credit for helping. We can be the example of our LISTENING, of our listening to God, of taking actions due to duty. How often preserving dignity is a golden opportunity for serving.
Dignity is very often the most valuable gift for someone, especially in these times of turmoil.
So many soundbite scriptures can be found in the old testament. What I mean is these are repeated and repeated and well used for teaching. Deuteronomy is the chapter where more of the law of Moses is really laid out. This scripture is one for the ages, one to keep close to mind: If you make a PROMISE TO THE LORD that you will do something, then DO IT!!!
Do the Deuteronomy Duty, Give God what is God’s. Be careful to keep your promises. Don’t make half-hearted statements. Keep your word, because He Keeps His.
Deuteronomy 22:21-23 If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the Lord your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth.
I once promised a physical action to the Lord, when I didn’t perform it, I felt the need to keep up my end of the bargain. And yet we are human… Thank God with the Lord there is not a bargaining of blessings – just a Way, a Truth, and a Life to behold and be beheld in. Sometimes the promise we should make in many situations is that we will try.
The best promise, of course, to the Lord is to LOVE HIM. He can and will take you ALL the rest of the Way.
God knows that we know better – instructing us to help where we can. Not turn a blind eye. These verses in Deuteronomy are short but SMART – they instruct us to watch out for each other and each other’s lots in life.
There is also a KEY phrase for seeing what God needs us to see – the phrase is: “ANYTHING ELSE”. If we see “anything else” that God needs us to see, we are to act upon our sight, our heart, His Light. He is the ILLUMINATOR.
He paid our DUES, therefore we can try to pick up on His CLUES.
If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it. If you see your fellow Israelite’s donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet. Deuteronomy 22:1-4
Don’t just fling the Word forward like with a pitchfork covering ground, use the pitchfork to turnover the Word and reveal the deeper meanings.
Don’t pitch It away, but pitch It a WAY.
Don’t just reserve the Word for later reference, but reserve the time to reference It now.
Don’t just begin to share the Word, but begin to share in the Word.
Don’t just behold the Word, but be BEHELD by the Word.
Don’t just research the Word to see how it came to be, but re-search within the Word to come to Be in It.
Don’t live to live forever in the world, but live forever in the Word.
Don’t remove blocks of the Word from blocking your plans, block out your plans from rearranging and moving the Word into building blocks for your life’s plan.
Don’t be brought to your knees by the Word, but bring yourself to your knees TO the Word and FOR the Word.
To find the Word in your life, you need to find your life in the Word.
Live Forever in the Word.
Pitch It, live It. Revive It, give It.
Stitch in the Word, Enrich in the Word.
Be in the Word.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 1:22-25 KJV
…continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2nd Timothy 3:14-17
As I dusted off my sewing machine yesterday, found I have pillowcases to sew and a whole winter’s worth of projects waiting. So, I went back to an online teaching that mentioned SEWING.. Tabitha being raised from the dead…. Acts 9:19-43 https://subspla.sh/5qtvsxn
In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.
At the 59 minute mark of that link above, in the last 15 minutes of this Bible study, Pastor describes Peter attending to her coming back to life. He calls out how we, like Tabitha, can be blessings for Him for others by using our skills – and at 1hr 5 min, and 1hr 15min marks, specifically talks about a sewing ministry and helping others. It is also a good teaching about praying, and remembering gratefulness to Jesus.
I have been blessed with skills, when I use them, I feel blessed. It’s no accident that He gives us skills. I prayed on my knees this morning and thanked Him for my blessings. I heard Him speak to my soul and He said: “BE BLESSED”.
I love a Bible teaching that gives me even more insight than before. I heard a teaching about the Gentile woman who sought Jesus and His healing for her daughter, who was demon possessed. She followed the Light, the Light was in her sight: Jesus. She had faith in Him, sought Him over the jeers of even the disciples. And His banter back and forth with her showed to others (He already knew) her faith. They talked eye to eye. Importantly, it also showed us as well that complete dependence upon God is where our faith should be. This woman essentially said she (like the young dogs/puppies under the table, in the outskirts of what was perceived as His audience, would take the crumbs of the leftovers from Jesus, Master, and be satisfied. Jesus of course knows He is for all, and it becomes one of those retro teaching lessons for the disciples. No one is excluded from His Love.
I put myself in the spot of this woman when I first came to faith, I loved this story for many reasons especially for the reasoning, the banter, the direct questioning and the individual attention and actions from Jesus. I need all those things. I need crumbs of closeness and yet even with a crumb, I find contact is complete. Even the crumb of Jesus has nooks and crannies as deep as the whole loaf.
Jesus always said it’s our FAITH that prevails when He is healing our purposeful concerns. Just Jesus can heal, just Jesus is enough. Jesus to be not just one man but a Whole Loaf broken so that His crumbs DO FALL. We acknowledge His brokenness to repair us. We are learning our brokenness to see where He can glue us back together and hold it together, like stuffing.
Why demons? We see stories of demon removal including that the demons know better. Even the demons see Jesus as powerful God. We see stories of how our Holy Healer handles these cases, and we, with our faith and only our faith, can handle them to.
Why dogs? They are the small ones that are still surrounding their masters. They and we are the ones who live from just crumbs. Why this lady? Because she is us, standing to shine light on the light. To be the persistent pursuer. To trust before the conversation. To be satisfied with the minimal amount of blessings but owning up that she needs His Wholeness. She is the outsider who knows her place INSIDE.
Healing crumbs of faith and crumbs of compassion. Jesus brought the crumbs to the floor on purpose. So all can find Him. So that the crumbs of closeness are the crumbs we live on. We are on His INSIDE track. He hears our calls because He was and is called to hear.
Matthew 15:21-28 (NIV but I changed dogs to puppies which I understand is the tender meaning Jesus used) The Faith of a Canaanite Woman
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the puppies.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the puppies eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
Whether it’s enemies or stressful uncertainties, let the Lord go WIN you His Victories.
Each day we have to choose how to approach life. We may see either a battle or a victory field, but know that the Lord goes before us. And so we too can battle better. We can look to count our blessings. We can work past seeing only the worldly issues, we can see the Heavenly goals. We can look even further for tomorrow’s victory field after today’s issues and challenges will surely be behind us. (and they will). And we can choose to TURNOVER TO THE LORD our daily challenges, our fear of consequences or carnage, any hard feelings and stress, and any weaknesses that we confess.
We walk but He navigates. We check where we are on the map but He is the one who laid it down. And we best never claim a victory for ourselves but know that if we fight, we fight for the Lord to win.
When we TRUST HIM, we share in HIS Victory.
Moses wrote in Deuteronomy 20:1-4
When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
Was a tremendous opportunity to be at a woman’s seminar with a great mother and daughter speaker team. Basically, any gathering these days in post/mid covid is a blessed opportunity to be with people – and so I took it! The timing was nice, just 3 sessions plus an opportunity to see a real eagle from the zoo. And this eagle, raised in captivity with one eye is also a mascot (they have many) for the football team.
The scripture could not be more perfect for all of us (and me too). Isaiah 40. He was writing 100 years before Israelite people were returning home. It was a message to Judah to give them the courage to leave a place where they were captives and make a way to a new place.
Although I was familiar with the scripture sound bites, actually listening to the verses as whole, and to hear them spoken, spoke volumes. And I was pleased with the seminar sticking straight to the scripture, with a few heartwarming stories of comfort and love, and the experiences of both the mother and daughter made this scripture of comfort come alive.
Isaiah 40 is a scripture of comfort, it is a scripture to prepare the way for the Lord, it is a scripture that reminds us we are fragile and temporary but He, God and the Word of God is ETERNAL, FOREVER, TRUSTWORTHY. It is a scripture that says God is HERE and that He has a MIGHTY STRONG HAND. God is coming again, and He gathers us as a Shepherd. As a prophecy, Jesus is all over in and thru this verse.
Isaiah describes how God has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and has measured heaven with a span. He has calculated the dust of the Earth. We cannot know how He does this… God knows all.
Isaiah reminded the people that whenever they put God first and beheld His Ways and looked to Him, everything else would get put in perspective. We must trust God. No one is like Him. And we and they should not fall back into idolatry. Idolatry is sin and makes us captive to it. Instead we are to obey the Lord and be fruitful, to remember we have many blessings… None of our idols compare to God. We should not doubt God. We should not put our eyes and our energies into self-care either, we should focus on God.
God-created all these things and God reveals Himself to everyone. He calls the stars by name. He is the Good Shepherd, the Wonderful Counselor. He calls His sheep by name. He knows us, but STILL we MUST LOOK TO HIM.
The take home message, SO IMPORTANT, at the very end verse 31: “but those who WAIT on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles”…
The key here is WAITING. Not waiting for a bus, not waiting for an action, but WAITING UPON THE LORD, trusting Him the whole time and not becoming weary in wait. He wants us to FLY, to RUN and it’s His strength that He fills us with. He wants us to have HOPE which is side by side developed during our waiting. HIS strength IS our reward. HE IS WORTH WAITING FOR.
THOSE WHO HOPE IN THE LORD WILL RENEW THEIR STRENGTH.
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. [PS, receiving DOUBLE for sins, actually means debts, like on a paper that is doubled over and folded, are forgiven. Paid in full by the Lord]
A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. [foretelling about John the Baptist]
Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” – “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”
See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arm: and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way?
Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding?
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.
With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him? As for an idol, a metalworker casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it. A person too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot; they look for a skilled worker to set up an idol that will not topple.
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.
“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but THOSE WHO HOPE IN THE LORD WILL RENEW THEIR STRENGTH. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Did you ever have such vivid dreams, so intensely interesting? Incredible that they also dissipate so quickly, they easily escape as soon as you return to waking thoughts, like “What day is this?” Folklore said we only us 10% of our brains, but scientists says that’s not true, we use it ALL.
Dreams so whacked and elaborate, better than any movie you have seen, intense in details and colors and crispness that you thought a human mind would barely be able to hold those thoughts. I comprehend that I cannot comprehend. I know that I don’t know how it all happens. But why? That I REALLY don’t know.
Aren’t we made in the likeness of God? What about our brains? Are they like God’s brain? Wait! How could the vastness of God ever fit what we think of having a human brain? He can’t, He is so much more intensely Vast and Uncontainable there is no description deep enough or even a close chance. God IS. God simply and God elaborately IS. So, I can’t wrap my brain around what God’s brain would even be. God IS greater than all, unimaginable and yet I KNOW God has a Face, a Face we will see, our face to His Face one day. Oh, we long for that day we will see Him, oh that glorious day. (No rush Lord, just love that we can be in anticipation.)
How are night dreams lit up? How do we even dream up fractured thoughts? Mine are elaborately jumbled tangles that surely that God is untangling. Nothing however, not night or our day dreams either, would or could stack up to God’s future for us. We have surely but dust fractions compared to God’s thoughts of us and His elaborate planned place for us in Heaven. His intentions of our place in His Kingdom are not a dream, as He has but a GOAL achievable by our faith in His actions. Our wait is on His Word, not works with our hands, not even our vision of us scaling into Heaven. No, our future and present is amazingly the Lord’s achievement, reaching down, planting seeds in our growing souls, collecting us in harvest. It is His vision, and we but ask to be but a speck for Him to see and collect. He sees us so much more than a speck, He sees us IN HIS LOVE. He sees IN us, His Love.
God made us in His likeness, therefore how crucial we are to reflect not simply physical attributes but reflect HIS LOVE.
What will God gain in us, thru us, that He doesn’t already have? God wants us Home. What does God dream of? Not in sleep, as God doesn’t sleep, but dream of us in expectations and hope? The day that He will see us, reward each of us in glory. What does God want in the meantime? Our hands and feet working His Way – helping others get to His Dream of that Day.
Jesus will bring us to glory. That’s worth waking up for.
Reflect His Love.
Protect His Love.
Project His Love.
Perfect our love, Lord.
Pray we reject it not.
Let us love like He Loves.
Always and for Good.
Project His Love.
Protect His Love.
Reflect His Love.
Jesus speaking, recorded in Matthew 16:23-27 first said to Peter, “… you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, [AND US ALL]: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. “
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
For the love of God, Moses taught and taught. He really did. Deuteronomy is filled with teaching – including how to handle debts and deal with people and how best to worship. AND HOW TO FORGIVE. We don’t hold to these physical traditions anymore and we certainly don’t cancel debts every 7 years or share the wealth enough. We barely even try to pay off our own debts, allowing the interest to compound and threaten to bury us.
Why is it that we ALSO hold grudges when the Lord says FORGIVE? Why is it that we become possessive enough to get angry when someone wastes our time? (as if we own time anyway, we don’t). If we hold grudges, why are we are compounding the pain like interest and let it bleed over into a new day. It will bury us. We should shed that sorrow each day.
When Jesus says: Follow Me. He intends to feed us and take care of us each day – as in we don’t turn back and we don’t make demands on where we are going or what we take with us. So let us cancel our cross feelings for He cancelled our debt with His Cross Dealings – and let us embrace forgiveness no matter how hard it hurts.
For if given FORGIVENESS, which we have in Jesus, thru Jesus, with Jesus, then we will carry NONE of these burdens and we will travel more easily and with more light. MORE LIGHT! Travel light.
For if God instructed Moses to set servants free, we can realize our freedom by becoming His servant – serving our Lord – walking in a WAY of forgiveness.
Have Forgiveness, Will Travel.
And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.
Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the Lord your God always. But if that place is too distant and you have been blessed by the Lord your God and cannot carry your tithe (because the place where the Lord will choose to put his Name is so far away), then exchange your tithe for silver, and take the silver with you and go to the place the Lord your God will choose. Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice. And do not neglect the Levites living in your towns, for they have no allotment or inheritance of their own. At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. Deuteronomy 14:23-15:11
The Year for Canceling Debts
At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you. However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you. If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land. Freeing Servants If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today. But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant. Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because their service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.
Tabernacle me, Oh Lord, make me a vessel for Worship of Thee.
Clear me of personal thoughts clogging what I SHOULD See.
Bless me beyond just only measuring what’s good for me.
Keep me focused, worshipping and working for Thee.
For You are worthy, healing, You set us Free.
I need not want from this world, beg or flee.
I stand watching the skies in fearful glee.
You Lord, know to come back for me.
Build Your Tabernacle here in me.
Within my heart, I will keep Thee.
To know You, is our best Victory.
Deuteronomy 12:11-15, Moses taught where to set up worship. We Today set up worship of the Lord within His chosen dwelling place, our hearts.
Then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord. And there rejoice before the Lord your God—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites from your towns who have no allotment or inheritance of their own. Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please. Offer them only at the place the Lord will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you.