Saturday, December 28, 2013

"His Winds" - 12/28/13 - Revelation 7:1-10:11

"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)

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 about, 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 His 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 control, even when from our viewpoint -  they run wild. 

Such is our life. 

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

He is in control. 

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

How then.......

                why I doubt, at times.

He is "I AM"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"So Humble" - 12/26/13 - Jude 1:1-25, Revelation 1:1-2:29

 I, Jude, am a slave to Jesus Christ and brother to James, writing to those Loved by God, The Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, Love is on the way! (Jude 1:1-2)


Jude opened his letter with his introduction as "slave" to Jesus Christ.   He could have written, "half brother".  Willingly, he lowered his position to be underneath his half brother.  Earlier in Scripture, there are accounts of Christ's earthly family rejecting His being The Messiah.  I don't know if Jude was one of the brothers who made fun of Him, came with their mother to put Him away, because they felt He had lost His mind, but I do know his introduction paints a picture of a humble man. 

This is yet another example of how I am to be a humble woman in and for my ABBA.  I could easily spout off the many verses stating the fact I am His beloved, His daughter, His, when attacked by the worldly persons.  I struggle at times, less than I used to, to defend myself.  

But lately, how He has transformed my heart. 

I rejoice in the freedom of letting go of expectations and drinking in the moments He has given me.  I stand firm and bask in the blessings from The Fruits of The Spirit, not allowing anything to rob me of them. There is a struggle though, when His Truth comes out, casting Light upon lies, not to stand in self-righteousness, not to scream out, "I told you so". 

He reminds me, but for His grace, I would be where the world is.  If not for His defending me, I am nothing.  It isn't something I have done.  It is all about Him.   He is showing me those who are lost and in such deep need of Him. 

To be a servant for my Master, means being a servant to others.

Even the unlovely.  The ones who need Him most.  The "ones" I used to be as.  The "ones" I sometimes still am like. 

My Master loves me, even in my unloveliness.  His transforming me, is enabling me to love as He loves.  No matter how unlovely. 

                                                      My Master - who became a Servant for me.

Jude could have easily written his letter in a self-righteous manner, but he didn't.  He cast aside his "credentials", so all who read his words would see, he came from the same place they did.  He would be in the same place they were, if He didn't have his Master - Christ Jesus.

He was able to love as Christ loves, because he set aside self and looked at all, all, through the eyes of His Savior.  In doing this, God's Glory shines through, without any hindrance from Jude.

His humbleness is there throughout all his words.

My Master is growing me, transforming me.  It is only "in" Him that I am able to be truly humble.

So His Glory does shine through - with less hindrance from me.

Monday, December 23, 2013

"Gone" - 12/23/13 - I Peter 5:12-14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18

"Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a Holy Life?  Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival." (2 Peter 3:11-13)

Do I live in such a way?  Do I look at everyone I am with and wonder if they are ready?  If not, what do I do about that?  Or am I more concerned about self.  What I want to do, to have, to be in this life. 

Christmas is here once again.  Many years ago, we cut way back on gift giving and never looked back in regret.  How much I enjoy getting, what little shopping we do, done in usually an hour or two.  It has left us with many hours free to spend as we wish.  This morning, we met our "boys" for breakfast and lingered around the table, visiting and catching up for almost two hours.  Last night, we were with loved ones, playing games, eating snacks, just being.  There isn't any stress.  I love how we are allowed to "enjoy" Christmas. 

In growing "in" ABBA, I am now striving to live every day as we do Christmas.  Taking care of the essential things, settling for much less "wants", purging and organizing our home.  Simplifying our lives.  Not only has this eliminated debt for us, but also the burden of taking care of "stuff", spreading ourselves too thin, living pretty much stress free.  There really is a blessing in living each day as our last, focused and eager for our Savior's return.  Knowing this is a temporary place makes it so I don't want to invest a lot of time or money into the material things.  I want to invest the blessings of time, money, talents He has provided us with in other persons. 

I pray you will choose to live Christmas and every day - as though it was your last day.

Friday, December 20, 2013

"Firm Foundation" - 12/20/13 Hebrews 11:1-12:39

"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)

Perhaps, just thinking, the key to Faith and Trust, is actually how we look at the trials and tribulations we are going to go through.  What if, we were to look at them in excitement - knowing ABBA has everything under control.  Knowing 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, we would believe how firm our foundation is.  We would sink our feet in, grip our toes down into the promises He has given us.  We would 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."

Just thinking, we need Him to be our "firm foundation".

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Freedom to LIVE" - 12/19/13 - Hebrews 8:1-10:39

"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."

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 my choice to drink in this freedom He has given me. 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".

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"The Love Letter" - 12/17/13 - 2 Timothy 4:19-22, Hebrews 1:1-4:13

"God means what He says. What He says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what." (Hebrews 4:12-13)

 Resentment or contentment. Two of the choices we have when His Word is presented to us. Do we react like a child having a tantrum during the parts that don't suit our fancy? Or do we rest in the Fruits of The Spirit, knowing His Word "is". It "is" enough. It is The Truth. It is everything this world was built upon.

When I was younger, I hated to "have to read" The Bible. It was boring, didn't apply to my life, the persons written about were more or less "out there". In my heart they weren't real. His Word wasn't real. This marks the 15th year to read through His Word. I knew my heart needed a transformation and He led me to pledging to read through The Bible every year, for as long as I am able. This didn't start out as a daily event, but grew into one. His Word has become as essential to me as oxygen. I don't even consider not "eating and taking it in" every day.

During this time, I have fallen deeply and madly in love with His Words. They are so full of meaning and sustenance to me. And like "a surgeon’s scalpel", it has cut down deep into my heart, removing from me the darkness of sin. I realize this is an ongoing surgery until I die, but how much I love having the cancer of sin removed from me. Looking back at my life, there are so many moments which are nothing but ugly. His Word keeps me from wallowing in the misery, guilt and shows me how His Blood covered all of my sins. All of them.

In falling "in" love with His Word, I now read of persons He has written about, who I now know are part of my lineage. My roots. My Family. They are human, just like me. They slipped and fell, some more than others, still His glory shines through them. As He does with me. His Word has taught me the lies of this world are nothing more than tear downs. satan wants us to believe his lies, to draw us away from our ABBA. Throughout the verses today, it talks about "rest".

I am so thankful "in" His Word - I find complete "rest". His Word has taught me, He is in control. He has given me only two essential "job" instructions. Love Him with all my heart, soul and mind. To go, as I live, making Disciples. His Word is my "how to" guide. He didn't leave us to blunder down the path of life, He has set everything we "need" to know before us in His Word. His Word "laying us open to listen and obey". His Word makes life worth living "in" Him.

My passion is to lead others into His Word - so they may also fall deeply and madly "in" love with our ABBA through His Word.

Your own personal love letter........from Him.

Monday, December 16, 2013

"The Gift" - 12/16/13 - 2 Timothy 2-4:18

 "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)

We decided years ago to cut way back on Christmas gifts. It was easy to work out since there were four of us, so each would receive three gifts, going off the three gifts Christ listed from the Wise Men. Just the number, not the actual gifts - couldn't afford those!! 

 Another thing we did, each of us would pick out a person/persons we didn't spend much time with, bake cookies together, deliver and visit. There were some who thought we were depriving our sons, but I am thankful we did it. Christmas was becoming too much about the world of retail and not the birth of our Savior in our home. Each year, Curt has read the Christmas story from Luke, we then have a prayer circle, tell what we are thankful for the past year and then open our gifts. This was just the way we decided to celebrate His birth and for our family - it worked/works.

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 after the moment of 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 you don't get caught up in the world's way of celebrating, but "concentrate on carrying out orders" - ABBA's orders. Be a deliverer to those who need The True Gift of Christmas. Every day - as you live - not just at Christmas time.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

"Breathless by ABBA" - 12/14/13 - I Timothy 3:1-6:10

"Everything God created is good,
                                                and to be received with thanks." (4:4)


Even the sky
was snow white.

In Awe, I kneel before Him.

Breathless by the display of His Power

                                                                              and Beauty.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"Off of the Train" - 12/11/13 - James 1:1-3:18

"Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. (3:17-18)


For a moment, her steps hesitated as she came into the Great Hall.  She looked even smaller than the last time we met, a few more lines etched into her face, her eyes not as bright.  The results of worry and sadness could be seen, not only in her face, but the way her body had begun to bend even further from the weight of the burdens she carried.  I stepped towards her, and for a moment I saw the glimmer of the younger woman I had grown up with, the woman whose sky blue eyes would twinkle as diamonds reflecting the sunshine.  Her smile was touched with her heart, as I could tell she missed me.  But, before we came together, the shadows of her burdens brought up the walls of defensiveness and protection.  There wasn't a hug or touching, just a yearning to. 

We left the Great Hall and ventured out into His City.  Even though His Sonshine was basking down upon us, she never removed the coat she wore, swallowing up her tiny frame, clutching it tightly around her, afraid to let it open up and expose herself to the elements.  She was silent and in deep thought, as we walked over the bridge, looking at the clear waters far below.  Passing by the display of the windows of life, she would forget and let out a gasp of pleasure.  I could see the farther we came away from the Great Hall, she was also leaving behind the train she had just gotten off  and was drinking in the delights He had set before her.  Every once in awhile, her hand would find mine as we stepped off the curb into the street.  There was fear and distrust as the bustle and noise surrounded her.  Even though it was completely safe, I knew the fear and distrust came because she was so out of her element.  Out of her comfort zone.  She was out of the false sense of security she found while on the train.  Time and time again, I could feel her eyes upon my face.  And when I would look back at her, I could see the thoughts of wonder, pride, hesitation, sorrow. 

It took us most of the morning to reach the far side of the city.  There were times when we had to rest, the walk exhausting her.  The evidence of life wearing her down and out, can no longer be hidden.   I could tell there were moments she wanted to turn back, fear and distrust bringing out another element, that of anger, causing her to desire to be back on the train.  Through much of our time together,  I was silent, only speaking the words ABBA had given me to say.  He gave me the realization this walk, this time together was for her.   I was being used as His vessel.

The city behind us, the waters reached out with no shoreline as far as our eyes could see.  The waves came in continually, the spray from the cool water touched upon our faces.  She grinned in delight.  I watched as her steps in the sand began to leave footprints of a dance.  Lifting her hands up high, her voice singing praises to our ABBA, she was shedding the burdens from her soul.  Casting them into the waters of life.  

The sky began to darken.  Before we left the waters edge, she ran back and began to pick up her burdens the waves had washed back upon the sand.  Her hurried steps brushing the footsteps of her dance into a memory, as she rushed about gathering them up before the fingers of the waves could take them into deeper waters.  We started our journey back through His City on our way to The Great Hall, her coat tightly clutched around her.  She took my hand.  I could see how torn she was about going back to the train or staying with me in His City.  "Come, join us on the train", had slipped from her lips throughout the day, except for the time we stood at the waters edge.  I had to say no.  

ABBA has shown me through His Word of Truth, His Wisdom, I had to get off the train she rode on with the others.  He has led me through the Great Hall to His City of Life.  To live a Holy Life and be His Vessel to whomever He has decided I need to walk with.  Others who have gotten off their train, who have been off and grown wise from their journey, to teach me, so I may teach. And also, those who only get off for a little while.  To walk with them through the City, praying they will choose to stay. 

There were tears in her eyes as we parted.  My heart ached and for a moment, I was torn.  satan wants me to believe when getting on the train that will bring about joy and comfort, but it won't last.  ABBA has led me to realize they are riding on the train of insanity.   Expecting different results while traveling on their train going in circles on the same track.  He is showing me, there will be moments, days, she will come to the City and ABBA is using me to be her guide, her companion. 

And in my prayer for Him to use me as His Vessel, filling my heart with His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and most of all love, perhaps that is what is needed for not only her, but the others, to get off the train and come live "in" His city.   

"a healthy, robust community that lives right with God."

Thursday, December 05, 2013

"Anchored In Him" - 12/05/13 - Acts 27:1-44

"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. 


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. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

"Bubbles over = Little of Heaven" - 11/29/13 - 2 Corinthians 2:5-6:13

"The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less." (5:5)

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving, what is your "Little of Heaven"? 

This morning as I was getting ready to head out with Curt and Adam, I kept smiling reflecting back on yesterday.  My cup runneth over.  Even though Nichalas and Amber weren't here with us, I still had "little of Heaven" throughout my day.  As I do every day.

It occurred to me, how His Glory prevails over all.  In giving up anger and bitterness, forgiving as He has, I am able to focus and be who He created me to be.  I am able to see those He has put into my path through His eyes.  To see the opportunity to be His Vessel, where He has me planted.   To be thankful for all things.

His love is able to bubble out of me! 

No holding it back. 

Instead of a feeling sorry for myself or being defensive, from being in a situation where I do not feel safe, He has eliminated, for the time being,  trying to use us as His Vessel in an unhealthy atmosphere.  We have presented truth more than once, and it has been rejected.  ABBA is having us continue to pray and love these persons from a distance. 

Yesterday, He filled the moments we would have spent with them, with so many others!  Making new memories, talking,  laughing, receiving hugs, kisses, being treasured,, cherished, encouraged. - being safe!  I marvel at knowing, before time began, He knew who it would be that I would be spending my Thanksgiving with.

Whom He needed me to be with - for Him.

Reflecting not only on my yesterday, but all the days behind, I love how He uses me.   How He encourages me. in so many moments, with more than  a "little of Heaven".   

Monday, November 25, 2013

"Waters" - 11/25/13 - Romans 5:1-8:17

"So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life.  God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with Him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with Him! (8:12-17)

Everywhere you looked, there was only water.  No land was visible as far as the eye could see.  We were in a small, handmade, wooden craft.  The power to push it through the waters came from the oars held within our hands or the motor mounted on the back.  The ways of the waters determined which power source was used. 

This adventure we set out upon, began from the moment of my birth.  It took me a number of years to recognize He was with me..... 

With me during the dark nights.  When the waves towered above the craft, as I huddled in the corner, shivering from the cold.  The days when my soul lay parched, dried up,  yearning for the fresh, cool water - anything other than the bitter, brackish drops that fell between my lips from the spray of the sea.  The days when all I desired was shelter from the penetrating,  all consuming rays of the sun, as it beat down upon my weary body.  Yearning for someone else to steer the craft, knowing I was only going about in circles, slowly winding my way downward to the bottom of the sea.   Sitting, with my fist upraised, clenched in anger, as yet another storm came.  Not content to lay back and let the rains trickle over my face, drinking in the pure sweet water, not only with my mouth, but the pores of my entire being. 

And finally.

At my lowest point.  I had given up control, laid down in the bottom of the boat, just waiting for death.  My face turned upward.  Salty tears coursed slowly down the sides of my face, into my hair, mixing in the with waters of the sea.  My eyes were searching into the vast, ink dark sky, looking beyond the farthest star.....

I found Him. 

I found Him beyond the farthest point.  I found Him in the roughest seas.  I found Him there in the boat with me.  Knowing somehow, He had always been there.  There and everywhere, in the sea of life. 

I found Him when I died to self. 

And now.  He is the one who controls the rudder of our craft.  At times I become selfish.  And He in His grace steps aside.  He allows me to take our craft - where it again goes in circles.  Yet, He is always there to take over the relinquished control I willingly give Him. 

No longer is this adventure, as the vultures circling around, waiting for death.  It is rebirth.  It is one filled with trust and faith and hope.  Today, when the waters are as they used to be and would bring about fear, I am able to do anything He commands.  Even if it means, getting out to walk upon the waters.  No longer do I sit huddled in fear during the storms.  I sit beside Him, facing forward, delighting as the waves take us on a heart thrilling ride.  No longer does the darkness of night bring me fear, His never ending presence is my night light - my security - my thankfulness.  No longer does the sun beat down upon me, His Son shields me in His protective light.  No longer do I sit with an upraised clinched fist, I now raise open hands in praise, in an embrace, in a welcome.

No longer are my days drifting on and on - for now I see the land - the land of Home. 

And each day? 

Each day  "It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa."

Monday, November 18, 2013

"ABBA or Self" - 11/18/13 - Acts 18:24-19:20, I Corinthians 1:1-3:23

"The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,
I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation." (1 Corinthians 1:18-21)
In our Sunday School class, some were discussing the new mega atheist churches springing up around the world. So I googled it, being more than a little confused as to why persons who profess to not believe in God, are assembling in a God like atmosphere. This is from one of the articles I read, "During the service, attendees stomped their feet, clapped their hands and cheered as Jones and Evans led the group through rousing renditions of "Lean on Me," ''Here Comes the Sun" and other hits that took the place of gospel songs. Congregants dissolved into laughter at a get-to-know-you game that involved clapping and slapping the hands of the person next to them and applauded as members of the audience spoke about community service projects they had started in LA.
At the end, volunteers passed cardboard boxes for donations as attendees mingled over coffee and pastries and children played on the floor." (

Incredibly sad that they don't have a clue they are worshiping a god - the god of self. I did find it more than ironic, for all the complaining I have heard of "the church just wanting your money", they collect a donation. In my prayers, I'm not praying these "churches" will fail. I already know through Scripture, they will tear themselves down without any help from God. "Self" wants all adoration, praise, glory, honor, for "self", and there are too many "selfs" involved. "Self" is unable to provide The Fruits of The Spirit. "Too many cooks in the kitchen" keeps coming to mind.

What I am praying for in these "churches" is an awareness. An awareness for the person sitting there, to recognize he/she is there because "something" is missing. An awareness that they have come to a place which is about worship, praise, community, family, and continue to search until they find the "church" which is our ABBA's church.

Some may see these churches as a loss, I am seeing them as future gain for Him. All things are for His Glory - we are promised this. All of us are made in His image. All of us have within us a God void only He can fill - not the gods of the world, satan, or self. I pray for the "children who played on the floor", that they will be deaf and blind to the lies they are being brought up in and search for "our" Savior. "Our" Savior who we are commanded to go and make Disciples for. So He may become "their" Savior.

When I hear about these churches, I wonder how His churches are really doing. How are we doing at "going as we live, making Disciples". How even though we attend a church that recognizes ABBA, are we really that much different than those attending the mega atheist church?

Who are we worshiping, self or ABBA.....

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"A Part Of...." - 11/13/13 - Acts 14:21-28, Galatians 1:1-3:23

"After proclaiming the Message in Derbe and establishing a strong core of disciples, they retraced their steps to Lystra, then Iconium, and then Antioch, putting muscle and sinew in the lives of the disciples, urging them to stick with what they had begun to believe and not quit, making it clear to them that it wouldn’t be easy: “Anyone signing up for the kingdom of God has to go through plenty of hard times.” (Acts 14:21-22)

"Then they settled down for a long, leisurely visit with the disciples." (Acts 14:28)

There are some who claim they haven't a need to attend church regularly as they worship God where they are.  They believe while in nature, at a sports event, home in their living room watching a TV evangelist, away from the Body of Christ, aka The Church, they are able to worship Him. 

I agree with them, that we are able to worship Christ in every step we take, if we choose to.  Unfortunately, there are so many distractions satan presents to us, taking our focus off of Him.  Even while in church, our minds will wander away from Him. We are to be on constant guard against all things which will try to tear our focus off of our ABBA. 

His Family, Prayer, Scripture, Singing Praises,  Teachings, all of these are tools He has given us to fight with.  I love all of these, but one of my favorites are His Disciples. 

My "brothers and sisters"

We are blessed with a Bible based church, revolving totally around our Abba.  There aren't many Sundays we are not in attendance for both Sunday School and Worship.  We don't attend to earn the "attendance medal" (no, they don't hand those out), but because it is a place where we are learning more and more about being ABBA's follower.  His Disciple. 

Over the years, there are many members who have become more than just casual acquaintances.  Even though we are all "family" through Him, these are ones who have become immediate family.   This didn't happen because of the internet, not attending church, not involving ourselves with community events.  It happened because ABBA placed persons in our lives and we gave of ourselves to build a relationship.  Some of these persons have been for a season or seasons, and some have been in our lives throughout the years. 

We are told as Christ followers, walking through the world will bring about trials and tribulations.   It will be a very hard journey at times.  But, one of the best promises about this, we will not be alone.  Not only did ABBA send us a Helper, The Holy Spirit, He provides us with each other.  There will be times we will build each other up, stand beside and love, and even fail each other.  Being mere humans, expect the worst at times.  Thankfully, He is bigger, in control, and His Glory will prevail through all things! 

For the past six years, there aren't many Wednesday nights that are missed in getting together with our Bible Study group.  Even though we aren't the "original" group that started, it multiplied into two, we are still a strong family unit.  Each of us have come to "need" this night to "fill up", encourage, be in a safe place, to be "settled down for a long, leisurely visit with the disciples." 

On your journey "in" Him, I am praying you have found yourself a place "in" His Family.  How He puts things in perspective through others.  There is nothing new under the sun, what we struggle with, have fought through, going through, others have too.  I have found the ones He puts into my life are hand chosen by Him.  He knows our hearts, better than we do, and will provide exactly who we need.  Those that are "in" Him are His vessels, not only to lead the lost to Him, but also to be our "strong core of disciples, putting muscle and sinew in the lives of each other, urging them to stick with what they had begun to believe and not quit."

It takes investment of time, commitment, growing of trust, to become more than casual with each other. 

Don't miss out on one of His best promises - the blessings of being an involved part of His Family.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"FLASH" - 11/12/13 - Acts 12:6-14:20

" There was a man in Lystra who couldn’t walk. He sat there, crippled since the day of his birth. He heard Paul talking, and Paul, looking him in the eye, saw that he was ripe for God’s work, ready to believe. So he said, loud enough for everyone to hear, “Up on your feet!” The man was up in a flash—jumped up and walked around as if he’d been walking all his life."(13:8-10)

As you are reading this, I pray you don't miss the biggest part of the miracle.  It isn't only he walked, but how.

"up in a flash"

                    "jumped up"

                                          "walked around"

There are persons, who have lost their ability to walk, that have shared with me what an intense procedure they had to endure to gain that ability back.  Their brain had to reprogram the muscles and nerves to do as instructed.  They had to go through hours and hours of therapy, trying to bring "memory" back to those muscles, strength building for the muscles to hold them up, pain as the nerve endings came "alive" again.  The persons who shared this with me, had once walked.

The man from Lystra, he had never taken a step.

There are so many miracles ABBA shows us throughout our days, our lives, and oft times we just cruise along completely missing them.  The times we do see "one" miracle, is actually numerous ones flowing out through His Love for us.  For me, the biggest miracle is the creation and birth of man and animals.  To think they start out as a sperm and an egg.  The sperm swimming to and penetrating itself into the egg and then the fertilized egg attaches itself to the womb wall. From those tiny separate vessels, growing into one miracle.  A woman's body, able to nurture, stretch, hold, carry, a separate life within her.  Her body preparing to bring forth a blessing - through the birth canal,  several times smaller, which then shrinks back.  Life sustaining milk being signaled to begin production.  And then the infant or baby animal, growing and learning.  What they know how to do, without being shown.   Their brains - just by intake - knowing language, body functions, control, emotions. 

Such a miracle worker is He.

This also brings to mind how He made me "new" through His Son, my Savior.  

He instructs me to, "Get up and walk", going forth and making new Disciples.

How often am I "up in a flash" or hesitate using the lamest excuses.  How often am I drawn back into the cripple I once was, laying there feeling sorry for myself and not "walking" with Him on this journey. 

How often do I take for granted the miracle of His death and resurrection, for my sins, and not respond instantly nor react to the urgency of finding the lost? 

The "key" to be a part of this and all other miracles, "Paul, looking him in the eye, saw that he was ripe for God’s work, ready to believe".

Ready to "become what he believed".

A person is able to go through all the therapy procedures, but without the right mindset and will-power, will not walk again.   A person is able to learn all the instructions of making Disciples, but without falling "in" love with our ABBA,  "leaping up" and walking with Him, they will fail. 

It is my heart prayer I will be "up in a flash", doing as He desires of me.   To be part of His miracle network, saving those who are crippled and helping them to walk.

To walk "in" Him. 


Saturday, November 09, 2013

"Beauty Within" - 11/09/13 - Acts 6:1-8:1


In just such a time Moses was born, a most beautiful baby." (7:20)

It always makes me stop and ponder, why ABBA brought out Moses, "was a most beautiful baby". 

"The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. (Ex 2:2)  and then again, here in Acts. 

What was it about his beauty that God felt important enough to breath this information into Scripture?  Did his beauty capture the heart of Pharaoh's daughter, causing her to want him for her own, upon finding him amongst the reeds in the river? 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  The rating system for beautiful by the world is ever changing.  Centuries ago, voluptuous women were a sign of beauty.  Today a woman is considered beautiful if she is looking skeletal.  But God's never changing rating system isn't based on our outside looks, which fade. 

So I am wondering, does ABBA bring out that Moses was "a most beautiful baby", because we all have this beauty..........

                                     The everlasting type of beauty. 

                                                                   The beauty which is His image being reflected through us.  

When I picture little babies, little children, I see this same type of beauty.  Each of us are made in His image.  These little ones, are fresh from our Creator's Canvas, the world or self hasn't come in to mar His Image, in which they are made.

There are so many of all ages, who come to my mind as being "beautiful" and each one of them lives for Christ.  Each one of them has The Holy Spirit living within them.  Each one of them takes my breath away with their inside/out beauty - men and women. 

I realize they, in becoming "childlike" in the wonderment and acceptance of Him, He has made each of them new.

 A Most Beautiful babe in Christ.



Wednesday, November 06, 2013

"???'s - Who Has The Answers" - 11/06/13 - Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:12-18, Luke 24:13-49, John 20:19-21:25


 “Don’t be upset,
                 and don’t let all these doubting questions take over."  (Luke 24:37)

We were sitting at tables, in a semi-circle, listening to information regarding the new health care laws.  I was saddened in how Medicare is cutting back on certain things, making it so the clients would have to pay for what they need. 

How all signs are pointing to even more cutbacks in the future.  I was saddened in how the events of our country (and world) are making lives only valuable by what they are able to contribute in ways of the almighty dollar.  How even more lives are becoming expendable. 

Most of the persons in the group were amputees. 

Not one of them voluntarily put themselves up to become this way, but all of them offer up their best with what they are living with. 

During the course of the meeting, there wasn't one who I considered "unworthy" to a better quality of life.  But, it isn't up to me, or any other human, to be the judge of that. 

                                                                   Although many do.

It maddens me at what one person has deemed unnecessary to pay for, trickles down to make so many lives that much harder.  A shower seat for someone unable to stand or sit without the use of a cane, crutches, or artificial limb.  New crutches every two years, for someone who uses them every walking moment during their days.  And last time I knew, 365 days make up one year - that is more steps than can be counted - each step causing wear and tear because they are putting the majority of their body weight on them.  Why?  Because they are replacing a limb they once had, which enabled them to be mobile without the aid of the crutches. 

During the course of the evening, the ripple effect of the health care expenses was discussed.  I saw first hand the example of youth believing it was a "hypothetical"  situation and could tell he didn't believe it would become a reality.   He was the youngest, surrounded by the older, and I wondered how many of them thought that way during the past years of economic recessions.   But then, how many of all ages still believe there isn't going to be an end to life as we know it and aren't preparing for it? 

As questions came out, so did fear.

 ABBA spoke to me, during our devotion time today, “Don’t be upset, and don’t let all these doubting questions take over."

And I smiled.

Again, He reminded me, there isn't anything new under the sun.  He is in complete control, all I have to do is remain strong in my faith and trust.  He will take care of the rest. 

Picking up fear, will allow doubt to seep in. 

All I do know about the future, is all I need to know,

He is "I AM" and that covers everything


Christ said to His disciples, "So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said?", in reference to His rising from the grave, in being The Messiah. 

How often am I also as they? 

When I allow doubt to seep in, bringing all the questions. 

When I become so focused on the questions, I am blind to the answer