Saturday, December 31, 2016

"He Realigns My Focus" - 12/31/16 - Revelation 20-22




"I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea.        
I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband.        
I heard a voice thunder from the Throne:
 
"Look! Look!
God has moved into the neighborhood,
making His home with men and women!
 
They're His people,
He's their God.     
   
He'll wipe every tear from their eyes.
 
Death is gone for good - tears gone, crying gone, pain gone -
 
all the first order of things gone."(21:1-4)
 
 
 
It at times is hard for me to let go.  It at times is hard for me to comprehend the blessings I have here on earth, are just a mild taste of those to come when in Heaven.  It is at times hard for me not to take onto and focus on the joys I have here, instead of focusing on Eternity.

My "Taste of Heaven" here fills so much of me and those are the times I don't want to let it go.  Why?  Because there are more times often than not,  I am just plain out selfish.  When I am focusing on me and getting my voids filled with my "Taste of Heaven" here, rather than letting go in anticipation of Eternity.  In my trying to hang onto these "Taste of Heaven", I become like a self-centered child.  When the unfairness of life steps in - and it will - anger, bitterness, unforgiveness seeps in as I focus more on what I don't have, instead of all He has blessed me with. 

These past few days my heart is so full.  The gift of having all of us together - at any given time - any place.  I struggle right now in knowing within just a few short days, again parts of our heart will be separated by several hundred miles.  I struggle knowing it may well be a full year before the short time of being together happens again. 
 
In His own special way, ABBA helps me see, my clinging onto "the Taste of Heaven", is a hindrance to not only myself, but to others.  In my clinging, I am putting a burden on others to fill my void.  I am to cherish those moments, not allow them to fill my God-void. 
 
He has helped me see (again) the many ways, be it here in Quincy or Phoenix, He is using each of us where we are planted in leading others to Him.  Others that see no other "Christ".  It is during my selfishness I miss the point of why we are here and where our steps fall is not an accident or coincidence.  All is in His control and for His Glory. 
 
Our living on this earth is to be about Eternity. 
 
He (again) realigns my focus once more as I read His Word: 
 
"He who testifies to all these things says it again: "I'm on my way! I'll be there soon!" Yes! Come, Master Jesus!
       
The grace of The Master Jesus be with all of you. Oh, Yes!"(22:20-21)
 
And we shall hear,
 
"Look! Look!
God has moved into the neighborhood,
making His home with men and women!
 
We are His people,
He's our God.     
   
He'll wipe every tear from our eyes.
 
Death is gone for good - tears gone, crying gone, pain gone -
 
all the first order of things gone."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, December 30, 2016

"Our Savior. Our Groom." - 12/30/16 - Revelation 17-19


 
"And I saw Heaven opened,

and behold, a white horse,

and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True,

and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

His eyes are a flame of fire,
and on His head are many diadems;
and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.

He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood,

and His name is called The Word of God.

And the armies which are in Heaven,
clothed in fine linen,
white and clean,
were following Him on white horses.

From His mouth comes a sharp sword,
so that with it He may strike down the nations,
 and He will rule them with a rod of iron;
and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, The Almighty.

And on His robe
and on His thigh
He has a name written,

KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”  (19:11-16)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

"Aspire To" - 12/29/16 - Revelation 15-18




"They will go to war against The Lamb but The Lamb will defeat them,
proof that He is Lord over all lords, King over all kings,
and those with Him
will be the called, chosen, and faithful.”(17:14)

 
 


I sat in the auditorium with others who had come to pay their respect and support to Ron's family.  I listened to words spoken of this true man of God from His family and friends and wondered when my time came, would such words be spoken of me. For His Glory.  Not mine.

I thought about how before the world began, our ABBA knew whom would be gathered in that room.  Whose lives would be touched by Ron and Carolyn Summers, their family.  I listened to Lance sing words of praise to our ABBA.  Thinking about how our step become intertwined and end up sharing this life.  this journey towards home.  together. 

And all the while as we walk.  He knew from the very beginning.  Whose steps would share the path.

I heard the words from those who knew him best of what a Love He has always had for our ABBA.  How he instilled it in every aspect of his life.  How He was a mighty Warrior, husband, father, grandfather, friend.  How he always looked at life with the glass half full. 

I wondered as I listened to his grandsons speak, will I be leaving such a Godly legacy for the future generations stemming from my blood. 

In this world of darkness, I am so blessed and encouraged when being able to witness a family such as this, who lived as our ABBA planned for family to be.  There are so many persons He has placed in my life, whom I glean and aspire to become more like. 

I came away with such a sadness for my sister and friend, Carolyn.  She told me she has lost her soul mate and doesn't know how she will go on.  Her loss is only until Heaven for our Savior has conquered death.  But until then, she will mourn and grieve.  She will also smile and take out the treasure of memories she carries in her heart from their many years together. 

I know this without doubt.  For they shared an intimacy with our ABBA.  An intimacy producing what is needed to carry on.  Carry on while our ABBA is holding them in the palm of His Hand.  Knowing they are not alone nor are they carrying this burden alone.

I came away aspiring to become more like Christ with each breath I take.  I aspire because of our Christ I see shining brightly through them.   I look about today and I see "those with Him will be the called, chosen, and faithful.”  All because of our ABBA, through His family.  I aspire. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

"His Warriors Are We" - 12/28/16 - Revelation 12-14


"They will go to war against The Lamb,
 but The Lamb will defeat them,
proof that He is Lord over all lords,
King over all kings,
and those with Him

 will be the called, chosen, and faithful." (17:14)


 Revelation is a hard read for me.  I don't understand most of the writings.  I try to picture the images and come away even more perplexed.  I do know it is in regard to the second coming.  The end times. 

Many speculate what it means, when the account of Revelation becomes.  All I know is when Christ ascended into Heaven, the end days began.

Living a life in Christ isn't easy.  All about us the spiritual warfare is continuing and many times we walk along oblivious to the damage.  Even worse are the times we go about so consumed with "self" we are not realizing we are meant to be a Warrior for our ABBA.

So many souls have yet to give their lives over to our Christ.  So many souls stumble about, lost in the wasteland of sin.  So many souls Christ has left us with orders to harvest.

I haven't any concern over my soul.  It is saved eternally through The Blood of our Savior. 

I do know, each and every person He puts into my path is someone He is wanting to use me for.  It may be for introducing them to Him, encouraging them in their walk in Him, to just offer love as a healing balm from the injuries sustained while on the battlefield. 

I also know, while reading Revelation, to end this time on earth without Him is hell.  To be in a place where there isn't any of Him - will be hell as we have never known.  Total separation from our ABBA. 

I come away from my time spent in His Word realizing, it isn't about my soul.  It is about those that know Him not. 

The end days are upon us. 
Live as though those who do not know Him are dying and you - you - are His Warrior. 

For in reality - that is exactly what our life here is all about. 
Journeying towards Home. 
Growing His Family. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

"In Total Control" - 12/27/16 - Revelation 6-11



"Then he told me, “These are those who come from the great tribulation, and they’ve washed their robes, scrubbed them clean in the blood of the Lamb. That’s why they’re standing before God’s Throne. They serve Him day and night in His Temple. The One on the Throne will pitch His tent there for them: no more hunger, no more thirst, no more scorching heat. The Lamb on The Throne will shepherd them, will lead them to spring waters of Life. And God will wipe every last tear from their eyes.” (7:14-17)




Running through my mind I think about recent news I have learned.  There are those in His family who are going through their battle against a cancer.  Another has lost her husband on CHRISTmas day and will be laying him in a grave this Thursday.  A call from my cousin tells me our grandmother is becoming more and more confused. I listen to the news and so much sorrow.  so much pain.  so much our ABBA did not intend to be, when He created this earth.  Us.  

I think about trials and tribulations, seeing it isn't the same for each person. What one may breeze through, another may not be able to lift ones foot for many days to overcome.  God knows each of our hearts better than we do.  He knows what is a trial and tribulation for each of us.  And He is in control. 

At times when doubts about His being in control seep in, His Word again confirms that He is.

"Immediately I saw Four Angels standing at the four corners of earth, standing steady with a firm grip on the four winds so no wind would blow on earth or sea, not even rustle a tree." (7:1) 

We are able to utilize the wind, create a false wind, thinking we are in control with our abilities. 

But, only He is able to produce and harness it. The wind - an unseen force - yet He has His angels stand steady in the power of it while they hold it back with a firm grip. He knows we need His help to overcome. He wants us to rely on His strength, not our own to prevail - to become stronger in Him. For others to learn from. To lead. To be teachers.  



How I love the wind.  On a hot summer day, its gentle, cooling caress across my face. 

A Kiss from my ABBA. 

Standing in the middle of His open fields, the dark clouds billowing about, circling high above my head.  The winds sweeping down, causing the trees and grasses to bow down low before Him.  Surrounding me within His whirlwind, useless are my hands in trying to hold my hair from my eyes. 












                           
                                                                                                                       
His strength is felt as                                                                                                                   
winds press against me. 







His winds,
growing the waves to heights unimaginable in the vast open seas, carried to rest on the shores,
miles away. 
















His winds, are able to blaze heat across the plains, burning the grasses with the help of His sun. 














And then the season of coldness,
                                       
                                                        turning everything it touches into His sparkling ice.



How all of His Winds, are in His control, even when from our viewpoint they run wild. 

Such is our life.

At all times, He is in total control.  No matter the celebrations, times of rest, circumstances, situations, trials, tribulations. 


He. is. in. total. control. 


Knowing He is able to control the winds, to such a point as to "not even rustle a tree".

How then.......
why then..............
at times do we doubt.
He is "I AM"

Monday, December 26, 2016

"A Winner" - 12/26/15 - Revelation 1-5



 "Look at Me. I stand at the door.
I knock.
If you hear Me call and open the door,
I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you."(3:20)

There was a show I enjoyed as a kid, "Let's Make A Deal".  The remaining contestants at the end of the show were asked to pick Door 1 or 2 or 3.  I would always become nervous because usually, they had to give up some pretty neat prizes won thus far for the chance to choose.  There was never a guarantee that behind the door were better prizes.  More often than not, they weren't  the "winner" and walked away a "loser".

Reading these Scriptures today reminded me of this game show.  I also noticed for the first time, it isn't a blind choice.  Christ is telling us, "Look at Me.  I stand at the door. I knock.  If you hear me call."

He isn't leaving anything to chance.  We not only see Him standing there, He is knocking at which door we are to open and He is calling out to each of us.  Each and every one of us. 

And "if" -
"if" we open the door He is knocking on,
there isn't any hesitation. 
"I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you."

The neatest part of all this, I know He isn't coming as a guest, but as family.  He wants not only to sit down and share supper, He wants to share all of life with us. He wants to walk each step with us on this journey towards Home.

He won't be exiting out that door, unless we show Him out.
He is here to stay.

"HE" is why in Him, we are never a "loser", but forever a "winner".  No games about it. 
 
 
 
 
 

"Most Happy" - 12/25/16 - 2 John, 3 John





"I was most happy when some friends arrived and brought the news that you persist in following the way of Truth. Nothing could make me happier than getting reports that my children continue diligently in the way of Truth!"(3 John 4-5)



There were tears running down my cheeks as I sat and watched the TV screen.  The four of us were around the Christmas tree, unwrapping our gifts.  It was a video from 1991. 

These two sons of ours.  I miss the sweet little voices that came from within them when they were young.  I miss how excited they became over a roll of bubble gum.  I miss them being small enough they fit into my lap and my head would rest upon theirs.  I loved seeing Adam's over the top joy in receiving a Bible and saying he would give his old one to Nichalas.  I watched as he sat and flipped through the pages, reading bits here and there, while his other gifts lay unopened. 

Too fast.  Too soon. 

The years have flown by. 

And although the moments I spend with them as adults.  The moments I spend with our grandchildren.  There are still.  At times.  When my eyes will overflow with tears.  Those times when I remember moments of yesterday and wish with all that I am to go back for just a bit.

But.  Time doesn't work that way.  It either comes to a standstill or presses forward. 

So I strive to drink in and savor each gift of moments.  I strive to keep my eyes focused on the blessings our ABBA rains down upon me, for otherwise depression would be the glass I drink from.

It is in the moments of seeing our Adam and Ashley holding hands across the table, her head bowed as he is praying over their breakfast.  It is hearing our Nichalas discuss with Amber a mission they share a passion for and how they are able to serve.  It is seeing the small hand of our grandson, Charlie, reach for the sky when we ask who would like to pray.  It is seeing the sparkle in the eyes of our granddaughter, Ella, as she whispers the name of Jesus and points to Him in the pages of her coloring book. 

Too often I beat myself up for not being the supermom I expect myself to be. Not seeing myself as our ABBA does.   But while watching the videos He opened my eyes to see a mommy who delighted in her sons.  I saw a mommy who shared in the excitement of living life with her sons.  I saw a mommy who loved.  Who loved deeply these two precious sons our ABBA blessed me with. 

But most of all I see how our ABBA was there in the middle of "us".  And how He still is. 

This Christmas I am again reminded of the greatest gift.  Our Jesus.  And how much He lives within and about our sons and their families. 

"Nothing could make me happier than getting reports that my children continue diligently in the way of Truth!"

Saturday, December 24, 2016

"The Greatest Gift of All" - 12/24/16 - 1 John 1-5




 "But you belong. The Holy One anointed you, and you all know it."(2:20)
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, December 23, 2016

"Greetings!" - 12/23/16 - 2 Peter 1-3; Jude



"I write this to you whose experience with God is as life-changing as ours,
all due to our God's straight dealing and the intervention of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
 
Grace and peace to you
many times over
as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master.
 
Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God
has been miraculously given to us
by getting to know, personally and intimately,
The One who invited us to God.
 
The best invitation we ever received!" (2 Peter 2:1-3)
 
 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

"Caught Up In Him" - 12/22/16 - 2 Timothy 1-4

 
 
 
 "When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did.
A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace.
He concentrates on carrying out orders." (2:2)
 
I love these verses - particularly the part about not getting "caught up in making deals at the marketplace".
 
 The marketplace - it hasn't a care about Christ birth, how much debt you will be accumulating, how empty you'll feel the moment after all the  unwrapping has passed. 
 

 
 
 
  There is only one gift which is able to cause you to feel like celebrating every moment - no matter the circumstances -
for the rest of your life. 
 
 It is the gift of our Savior. 
 It is a gift paid in full. 
 
 How many are on your Christmas gift list to give the True Gift of Life? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I am praying we don't get caught up in the world's way of celebrating.
I am praying we will "concentrate on carrying out orders" - ABBA's orders. 
 
May we all be a deliverer to those who need The True Gift of Christmas.
JESUS. 
 
Each and every day - as we live - not just at Christmas time.
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

"What If" - 12/21/16 - Hebrews 11-13



"The fundamental fact of existence is that this Trust in God,
this Faith,
is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.
It’s our handle on what we can’t see." (11:1-2)
 
 
 

 
A few years ago while visiting Nichalas and Amber in Arizona, we went to the famous Chapel of The Holy Cross in Sedona.  I remember standing and looking at the beauty of the building and how much work went into putting in a strong enough foundation for it to sit securely on the mountain top.  How it is able to withstand the forces of nature. 
 
I began to think about my foundation and how much sacrifice from my Savior went into our foundation.  As then, I still smile knowing we are not standing alone on a mountain top.  Our ABBA and His family are always together.  
 
Upon reading these verses I was reminded of that day at the Chapel and realized it is due to our strong foundation "in" Him our outlook towards the trials and tribulations we are going through is completely opposite of those "in" the world. Part of our foundation is built of The Trust and The Faith "in" Him. 
 
I began to think about our attitude when set deep into His foundation of Trust and Faith. 
 
What if - we were to look at all trials and tribulations in excitement?
Knowing, without doubt, ABBA has everything under control. 
Knowing, without doubt, when we get through the experience, He has something even better waiting for us. 
 
What if - we were to be thankful in and for all things? 
What if - we were to not take our focus off of Him?  
What if - we were to carry His Word within our hearts?  
Stand firm in it and live by it? 
What if -  He were our "firm foundation"?

Perhaps then we would believe how firm and indestructible our foundation truly is. 
 
We would then sink our feet in, grip our toes down into the promises He has given us. 
We would then stand, bend, kneel, as He directs, no matter the elements that come our way. 
But, we wouldn't break. 
 
We would follow our Leader's directions. 
Without hesitation.  Without doubt.  Without fear. 
We would know He is "our handle on what we can’t see."
How very much we need Him to be our "firm foundation".
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"Live All Out for God" - 12/20/16 - Hebrews 7-10




"The Blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out.
Through The Spirit,
Christ offered Himself as an unblemished sacrifice,
freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable,
 
so that we can live all out for God."
(9:14-15)
 
 
 
 


 Sunshine and melting snow. Small rivers running over the earth towards the low spots in our valley.
 
I stood watching the many squirrels bounding about in the trees, thinking how nice their energy and agility would be! Their gracefulness and ease in which they leap from branch to branch. There never seems to be a fear about them. When they do fall, they are up and about very quickly.





The verses today brought to mind how our precious Savior has freed me - totally! And even though my body is aged and unable, as if I ever did have the gift of grace, my heart, soul, and spirit are now able to bound about as the squirrels - celebrating LIFE!
 
 
 
 
 It is our choice to drink in this freedom He has given each of us.
 To go through this life, on our journey to Heaven, to thoroughly enjoy The Fruits of The Spirit!!!



What a kiss of life He has given us "so that we can live all out for God".
 
 
 

 

Monday, December 19, 2016

"His Promised Hope" - 12/19/16 - Hebrews 1-6


  

"We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek."   (6:18-20)




"Never let go". 

Yet, how many of us end up doing so? 
Or hang on with one hand while holding onto the world with the other? 
How often do we decide to put our own mix into God's plan and totally mess it up? 
How often do we chose to hold on to something that is "breakable" rather than the "unbreakable" He provides? 
How often do we serve self rather than Him? 

Each and every time I decide to do things "my" way rather than His.

And then there I am again, "running for my very life to God".  
How thankful I am that my ABBA knows me. 
For the times my choices will become consequences that create storms, my Savior has "run on ahead of me" to be my "unbreakable spiritual lifeline". 

How His grace and mercy rain down upon me, turning the icy, cold storms of life into a gentle, warm spring rain.  A rain that I can stand in, my face uplifted, my dry, parched soul drinking in His nourishment. The Holy Spirit living within me helping me to hang on tightly. What comfort there is in knowing that even though I do "let go with both hands", He knows  in my heart of hearts I so desire to please Him, love Him - to not let go. 

Yet I do.

Why?  Bottom line is that I have made the choice to serve self. 
I have decided that I am more important than Him. 
That I know what is best. 
That the temptations of the world are what I want rather than Him. 

Yet another reason I am so thankful for His Word.  It is His plan He has given me for the storms of life.  For the times I serve me rather than Him.  It is my road map to getting back "holding onto my lifeline with both hands".   It is my own personal love letter from Him that ensures no matter what, He will never - never - stop loving me. 

He will never - never - yank away His lifeline. 

For I know, it isn't my ABBA prying away my hands on that lifeline.
It's "me" letting go. 

And always, He is there to catch me when I fall.  The God of unconditional Love.  Teaching me again, "to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go".

Sunday, December 18, 2016

"A Clean Heart" - 12/18/16 - I Peter 1-5



"This is The Word that conceived the new life in you.

So clean house!
Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk.
You’ve had a taste of God.
Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness.

Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God." (I Peter 1:25-2:3)

 
It isn't a coincidence as I have been cleaning, organizing, getting rid of stuff in our physical home, He has also been helping me clean my spiritual home - me - my heart. 

Our bodies are The Temple He lives in when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.  His Word has/is helping me see how I have neglected His Temple over the years.  I have added to it stuff which only served the purpose of junking things up and collecting dust. 

It took away from the beauty of His Temple. 

Some of the "stuff" I had housed in The Temple were malice, pretense, envy and hurtful talk.  I had to be willing to throw it out - God won't come in and force His way - He wants our hearts to be willing to live His way.  He will show us things we need to be rid of, but it has to be our free choice to do so. 

Otherwise, we will look past Him, out the door to the stuff in the dumpster, clinging to it and wanting to bring it back into The Temple - our hearts. 

Our hearts have to want to be free of the stuff.

As I walk through this world, there will be many times I have the choice to respond with a Christlike attitude or lower myself and respond as the world would.  He keeps a quote from a book I recently read running through my brain, and changing my heart, "regardless of the type of actions toward Christ, He always - always - responded in kindness". 

This has become my guide to the trials and tribulations I will walk through.  I also stand on His promise that The Truth will prevail.  When I am living my whole life "in" His Truth, when it does finally prevail - I will not have moved.  I no longer have to worry about defending my actions, my thoughts, my way of living.  He is in control. 

His Word is also helping me to see that each of us "cleaning house" is on our own time schedule.  Just because I am getting my "Temple" in order, doesn't mean everyone else is. If I go in and "make" someone get their "Temple" in order, they will only hide the things they aren't ready to throw out.  And eventually everything we have hidden in our hearts, our Temple, come out into the open.  It is seen in our faces, our fruits, our responses. 

In preparation for the coming week when our family is under one roof I am letting go.  The home may not be decorated top to bottom.  Spotless and organized.  Food may not turn out perfect.  But I am resolved to the fact, "What will be - will be".  It isn't about celebrating as the world, but in and around our Savior.   

Because I am throwing out the "stuff", His beautiful furnishings are able to shine.  How my heart does sing! Because I am not having to dig through all the stuff to find them, I am able to totally delight in The Fruits of The Spirit. 

"But The Fruit of The Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by The Spirit, let us also walk by The Spirit." (Galatians 22-25)




Saturday, December 17, 2016

"Your Gift" - 12/17/16 - Titus 1-3



"It wasn't so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back.
       
But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in,
 
He saved us from all that.
 
It was all His doing; we had nothing to do with it.
 
He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by The Holy Spirit.
 
Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously.
 
God's gift has restored our relationship with Him and given us back our lives.
And there's more life to come - an eternity of life!
 
You can count on this."(3:3-8)
 
How easily we can get distracted from what Christmas is really all about.  How easily we become caught up in the commercialism, the busyness, the "keeping up with the Jones". 
 
Years ago, when the boys were little, we decided to cut back on the gifts from the world and focus on the gift of Christ.  Each of us received three gifts, using the number of gifts Christ received from the Wise Men.  As far as I can tell, the boys survived this practice we embraced long ago and continue to carry on, without any life threatening scars. Our Christmas morning's begin in a prayer circle and then listening to Curt read the account of our Savior's birth from Scripture. 
 
We began the traditions of centering our lives on and around Him.  These are traditions I pray will continue in the homes of our future generations each of their mornings. 
 
How thankful I am He has transformed my heart from trying to celebrate, or rather endure, the way the world wants us to spend this season.  How blessed I am in the "not having everything perfect" from robbing me of the joy in having all of our family home, together, celebrating Him. 
 
 I love how He is keeping me focused on the most important gift. 
 
The Gift of our Savior. 
 
"God's gift has restored our relationship with Him and given us back our lives.
And there's more life to come - an eternity of life!
 
You can count on this."
 

Friday, December 16, 2016

"The Rich Simplicity" -12/16/16 - 1 Timothy 1-6





" but it's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God."(6:6)


 I really can't think of anything more exhausting than pretending to be someone you are not. 
 
In so many ways it leads to self-destruction. 
How often are we guilty of trying to impress someone with things, status, lifestyle. 
All at the cost of whom we really are. 
How often do we believe just being "ourselves" isn't enough. 
How often do we doubt who ABBA made "us" to be is sorely lacking and won't be enough to be accepted by Him and other persons.

Right up there with the blessing of the gifts in knowing our Salvation is paid for by Christ, in knowing in Christ, we are covered with His Grace, Mercy, Forgiveness, there also needs to be knowing, without any doubt, all moments spent with our ABBA -  He wants us to only to be "ourselves".

We need to fully comprehend He knows our hearts through and through.  Any mask we put on, He sees "us" behind it. No longer do we have to hide away parts of ourselves we think are totally unacceptable, He already knows and through Christ has accepted us. No longer do we think our words are ones He doesn't want to be bothered with, but instead He desires to hear each and every one.  No longer do we have to have a "stiff upper lip", He cries with us and captures each tear in a bottle.  No longer do we believe we are out in this world alone, He has each of us in the palm of His Hand, totally controlling all of life. He lives within and outside of us, totally surrounding us with His family. 

Simply being "ourselves". 
With Him.
Sharing all of living this life as the person He created each of us to be.
 
This is what He desires.

 Such a gift has been given to each one of "us". Knowing our ABBA wants nothing more, nothing less, than "us".

"the rich simplicity"...............
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

"Deep, Deep Within" - 12/15/16 - Philippians 1-4



 


"Don't fret or worry.
Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
        
Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.
 
It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
        
Summing it all up, friends,
I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious -
 
the best, not the worst;
the beautiful, not the ugly;
things to praise, not things to curse.
        
Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized.
 
Do that,
and God,
who makes everything work together,
will work you into His most excellent harmonies.(4:6-9)
 
 
 
 Receive and experience the amazing grace of The Master, Jesus Christ,
 
deep, deep within yourselves.(4:23)
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

"Unconditionally. Eternally." - 12/14/16 - Ephesians 1-6




"Mostly what God does is love you.

Keep company with Him and learn a life of love.
Observe how Christ loved us.
His love was not cautious but extravagant.
He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us.

Love like that. "(5;2)

Words from God's Hand (Paul) to your hearts.............
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

"Divine Appointments" - 12/13/16 - Colossians 1-4; Philemon


"I, Paul, have been sent on special assignment by Christ as part of God's Master Plan."
 (Colossians 1:1)


 Isn't it exciting to know, as soon as your foot hits the floor each morning, our ABBA has  "Divine Appointments" set up for you in the day ahead!
  
Divine Appointments He has prepared you for, in the exact place, at the exact time, with the exact persons - before the world was made. 

Nothing about life is a coincidence.

All is in His control. 

But why is it, when throwing back the covers and climbing out of bed, we then reach over and put on the "robe of doubt"?  The ratty, old, beat up covering which serves no other purpose than to keep us in our comfort zone. 
 
Wouldn't it be a wonderful way of starting our day to instead put on the "Robe of His Truth"?
 


 To instead be excited as we go through our day.  Our eyes searching out eagerly for a glimpse of Him.  Our ears tuned into His frequency, so we know without doubt, it is His Voice we are hearing.  To drink in and taste what it is He has prepared for us at the "table of life".  To wrap our arms around and draw into our hearts, souls, minds, sharing The Love He is giving us through those He puts into our path.  To smell His fragrance in the sweet aroma of persons sacrificing self in order that He may be God in their lives.

To live each day with all senses overflowing with Him. 

Unfortunately, more often than not, we choose to continue wearing the "robe of doubt".  Making our way throughout the day enveloped in the fog of dread, anxiety, fear, anger, bitterness.  Crawling back under the covers at the end of the day, weary and overcome, by the weight of the world upon us. 

Why not live each day for Him.  Laying down at night,  going back over your day, falling asleep with a smile on your face, knowing He is using you for His "Divine Appointments".  Falling asleep in anticipation for the next morning, eager to begin yet another day discovering more of His "Divine Appointments". 

Monday, December 12, 2016

"Our Anchor" - 12/12/16 - Acts 27 -28


"But rocky shoals prevented us from getting close. We only managed to avoid them by throwing out drift anchors." (27:17)

The first, and probably most well known use, of the drift anchor is to aid vessels in heavy weather. A boat that is not kept bow- or stern-on to heavy seas can easily be rolled by the action of breaking waves. By attaching the drift anchor to a bridle running from bow to stern, the boat can be held at any angle relative to the wind. This is useful in sailboats in conditions too windy to use the sails to maintain a heading, and in motor vessels that are unable to make sufficient headway to maintain steerage.

One Season of The Battles is upon us. 

Christmas. 

For some, this season runs year long - shopping for next year beginning at the after Christmas sales.  Others, just before Thanksgiving - strategically planning their Black Friday attack.  And then there are those who scramble - Christmas Eve shopping, hoping to find something that doesn't resemble last minute shopping gifts. 

Christmas is just one of the seasons in which it is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwinds of living on this world.  The seas of life are deep and often times, overbearing.  There are times the waters look calm, beautiful in the sunset or sunrise, but underneath the surface, life is teeming about.  And then, there are times when the storms are producing waves that will break apart the ship you are in.  As they did the ship Paul was on, in these verses. 

I had never really thought about the importance of a "drift anchor", until ABBA brought this verse out to me this morning.  It's job isn't as a regular anchor, to hold the vessel stationary, but more as a brake.  It is also to keep the vessel from overturning, being swamped by the waters. 

How often is life such as this?  Where there are times ABBA has us stationary, resting, filling up, a preparing place, and then He pulls up anchor and away we sail.  From the verses read, Paul comes across with one important fact - there was much fear on the boat.  Fear of not doing.  Fear of death.  Fear of stepping out in faith, following a plan that seemed totally absurd.  ABBA instructed them to sit and wait.  On His time, His way and they would all be saved.  Not one life would be lost.

How often do we, in the storms, believe our way is the best?  When our faith isn't in the shipbuilder, but the ship itself?  ABBA provided for each of the men - non swimmers and swimmers both.  Those that were unable to swim, the planks from the ship were used to float to the beach.  How Awesome is that?  He knows we need to ride through the storms which will be a part of our lives, but He knows we need to do it His Way.  Not ours.  And He has provided a way for us to be safe "in" Him - our Savior. 

He knows we need to have the "drift anchors" attached to our lives.  The anchors which act as a brake when the seasons of the world whirl their way across us.  How easily it is to get caught up in keeping up with the standards of the world and forget His standards are the ones which matter.  The ones which last, are solid, are a foundation of Truth to stand on.  Our "drift anchors" are found in His Word, through the indwelling of The Holy Spirit within us, by accepting our Savior, by falling head over heels in love with our ABBA. 

Only then, the "rocky shoals" of the world, trying to prevent us from getting close to Him, become
nothing but an obstacle He is bigger than.  One He swims or floats with us around to the beach. 

 "At daybreak, no one recognized the land—but then they did notice a bay with a nice beach." (27:39)

In Him - there is always, always Daybreak after the storms.  Promise. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

"Our Days" - 12/11/16 - Acts 24-26


"But now, up on your feet - I have a job for you.
I've handpicked you to be a servant and witness to what's happened today, and to what I am going to show you.     

"'I'm sending you off      

to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light,
and choose light,
 
see the difference between Satan and God,
and choose God.
 
I'm sending you off to present My offer of sins forgiven,
and a place in the family,
inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in Me.' (26:16-18)
 




I pray I utilize this day, and all future ones, for His Glory.  I pray I will be a witness for Him in all I encounter.  Even those I am unaware of watching.  I pray when I am thought of - it is Him that comes into their mind quickly. 

I pray this life He has given each one of us is bringing another closer to our ABBA.

Wherever He is sending us off to, I pray we may be His servant.
This day He has blessed us with!
 
 
 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

"Go" - 12/10/16 - Acts 20:4-34:35




"He came and put his arm on my shoulder.
 'Look up,' he said.
I looked, and found myself looking right into his eyes - I could see again!(22:13)


What courage Ananias had to follow the instructions of God and go to Paul. 
Paul who was there to kill the Christians. 

By the way, Ananias was a Christian.

It was on the road to Damascus that Paul came face to face with our Christ. 

It was in that moment he was completely transformed from killing as many Christians as he could,  to introducing many to Christ.  Up to that moment though, Ananias only had The Word of God to go on that Paul was a changed man. 

It takes courage to go into the world and tell others of Christ.  To live a life for Christ is living outside of the world.  I sometimes wonder how is our courage.

Do we see the lost and set aside "self" to introduce them to our Savior?  Do we see the ones the world has considered a misfit and go in to do life with them?  How often do we see someone who is stumbling about blind and go to them, putting our arm on their shoulder and leading them to The One who will remove all blindness from them.  To lead them into living a life looking right into the eyes of our Christ. 

How can we not?  After all, it is Christ who did that for each one of us.  Often times it was through the arms of others who put aside "self" and saved us from an eternity of death. 

We all have the responsibility to obey The Great Commission, to be one to lead others out of blindness. 






Friday, December 09, 2016

"Filling Our Hearts With Hope" - 12/09/16 - Romans 15-16






"Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy,
fill you up with peace,
so that your believing lives,
filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit,

will brim over with hope!(15:13)

I love how His Word becomes a prayer for those in my heart, on my mind.  Those whom I know are going through struggles.  Who have a hard time during this season especially.  Who feel alone.  Those who beat themselves up because they have fallen into the game of comparison. 

I love how His Word encourages us.  Helps us refocus on Him.  Reminds us, over and over, this life is so temporary.  All we say, do, think, are - is just a blip on our way to eternity.  
May His Words continually lift you up.

Take a few moments and watch - Francis Chan - "What are you living for". 
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86dsfBbZfWs
 
 
 
 

Thursday, December 08, 2016

"When We Dance" - 12/8/16 - Romans 11-14



"If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong."(14:23)


 If asked do I believe, I will reply from the depths of my heart,  "Yes, I believe in The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit, and His Word".   
 
Yet, do I 100% of the time "walk His talk"?

Unfortunately, "No". 

 Continually I strive to be more like our Christ. 
In those steps where I falter or slip, I am so thankful for His grace, mercy, and forgivness.  
For those times when I am focusing on my leading, rather than His. 
For those times when I get in the way or step on His toes. 

Each and every day I pray for Him to use me. 
And each and every day He does. 
 
Even when I trip - He uses all for His glory. 
 
This dance isn't about my wanting to be lifted up for all to see. Through His changing of me from the inside out I am wanting more and more for my life to be for His glory - not mine.  I find I do not want any moments of  not dancing with Him, because of how "in" love with Him I have become. I want Him to be in the spotlight.

Each and every day I pray He will convict me when I am not "dancing His talk". 
When I feel the need to seek revenge, stand up in defensiveness when wronged, to feel sorry for myself and attend the "mepityparty".  During the times I am acting on the feelings of dancing my way.  Regardless of whose feet I trample upon. 

Even when they are ABBA's feet.

During the times we are  dancing "our" way.   
 
There is much slipping, falling, stumbling, sliding around.  It is totally uncontrolled - no matter how tightly we hang onto "self".  No matter how hard "self" tries. There is never a graceful rhythm about our steps.  There is only destruction.  Much like a new snowfall with the marks of an animal fight - their steps and blood have destroyed its' purity, its' beauty.



It is only when we "dance His talk" the new snowfall of life holds the pattern of His graceful dance.

It is only then the untouched snow surrounding our steps reflect His light - sparkling as diamonds in the sun. 

His Son.