Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"How He So Blesses!!!" - 10/29/17 - Matthew 13-14

"But you have God-blessed eyes - eyes that see! And God-blessed ears - ears that hear!"(13:16)

I love seeing our ABBA everywhere I look. 
Knowing He is here, within, outside, omnipresent. 
I love seeing people, this world, through His eyes.  Seeing the blessings in every single portion of life. 
I love feasting my vision on His everlasting banquet.

I love hearing His Voice.  Knowing without doubt it is our ABBA.  I love hearing Him speak to me through His Word, through His Spirit, through His people. 
I love how He is all knowing, in total control, God.
I love how He is "I AM". 
I love how He designed us to share intimacy in Him and isn't a god who stands afar. 
I so love how He is our ABBA.  Our Daddy. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

"Unforced Rhythms of Grace" - 10/28/17 - Matthew 10-12

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?

Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of Grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (11:28-30)

Close your eyes and imagine yourself walking through this world. 

Are you bent over, carrying the burden of shame, guilt, mantles of sin?  Or are you upright, dressed in His Armor, gliding across the path in His Sonshine, as a dancer on the stage?

"I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you."

His Armor - perfectly fitting.  Unlike the Armor of old which could weigh up to 150 pounds, His armor is light and perfectly tailored.  Perfectly tailored to meet your needs.  For anything and all things you will come up against.  An Armor which is given to you by Him.  Our Christ.  Our Savior, who has gone before us, conquering sin.  Our ABBA.  Our Leader, who goes before us, directing our steps. The Holy Spirit living within and about us.  The same Power that raised our Savior from the grave. His Word equipping us with The Truth.  His Family.  Surrounding us and walking in unity.

"Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly."

Keep company with Him.  Not just sometimes, but all times.  In all ways.  In all places.  Keep company with Him. 

Close your eyes and picture where it is you live. 

Is it in the darkness of sin?  Or is it in His Light?  His all powerful Light which cast out all darkness. 

"Come to Him. Get away with Him and you’ll recover your life.
He will show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with Him and work with Him—watch how He does it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of Grace."


Friday, October 27, 2017

"He Came Down" - 10/27/17 - Matthew 8-9

"Jesus came down the mountain with the cheers of the crowd still ringing in His ears."(8:1)

He could have been, you know, the kind of King who is big-headed. 
Too good for the lowly, those who are beneath Him. 
He could have mingled only with the affluent, living on the mountaintop. 
He has the world at His fingertips.

He has every reason to be.  He is The Son of God.

Instead -           
"Then a leper appeared and went to his knees before Jesus, praying, "Master, if You want to, You can heal my body."  Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, "I want to. Be clean." Then and there, all signs of the leprosy were gone.(Matt 8:2-3)    

He bent down low
and touched the unlovely.  the unwanted.  the outcast.  the untouchable.

His Love for those lost,
surpassed love for the superficial. 
His Love for His Father,
surpassed love for Himself. 

"Jesus said, "Don't talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest, along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done."(Matt 8:4)

Holy Love.  It is all He is about. 
Gut wrenching, crucifying, death defying, Holy Love. 
For each and every one of us.

"The wretched of the earth have God's salvation hospitality extended to them."(Luke 7:22)

This is exactly where we are outside of Him.  Our Savior. We are wretched and of the earth. 

And through His Blood He has given us words to live by.

"Impressive, isn't it? I am forgiven many, many sins, and so I am very, very grateful."(Luke 7:47)

and  to all who are His.

"He spoke to her: "I forgive your sins."(Luke 7:48)
"and said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."(Luke 7:50)

He bent down low to touch each and every one of us. 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

"Be His Climbing Companion" - 10/26/17 - Matthew 5-7

"When Jesus saw His ministry drawing huge crowds, He climbed a hillside.

Those who were apprenticed to Him, the committed, climbed with Him.

Arriving at a quiet place, He sat down and taught His climbing companions.

This is what He said:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope.
With less of you there is more of God and His rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you.
Only then can you be embraced by The One most dear to you.

 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less.
That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God.
He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care.
At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right.
Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight.
That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution.
The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s Kingdom.

 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit Me.

What it means is that The Truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable.

You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do!

And all Heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company.
My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

Let Me tell you why you are here.

You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.
If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? Y
ou’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

 “Here’s another way to put it:
You’re here to be Light,
bringing out the God-colors in the world.
God is not a secret to be kept.

We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.
If I make you Light-Bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you?

I’m putting you on a Light Stand.

Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a Light Stand—SHINE!

Keep open house; be generous with your lives.
By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this Generous Father in Heaven.(5:1-16)

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

"His Word - Such A Weapon" - 10/25/17 - Matthew 1-4

"Next Jesus was taken into the wild by The Spirit for The Test.
The Devil was ready to give it.
Jesus prepared for The Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left Him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the devil took advantage of in the first test: 'Since You are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.'
Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of Words from God’s Mouth.”(4:1-3)
I feel this is probably the strongest example of how essential it is to utilize God's Word in all of The Bible. 
Christ didn't bring out a sword, or order His army of angels to win over satan.
He simply used God's Word. 
Just as Christ was in the desert, so are we. 
As we proceed in our journey through this wasteland called "the world", continually marching onward to our home in Heaven, we too are often in a state of extreme hunger and exhaustion.  We are made in His image.  He created us to have one on one communication and life with Him. 
I don't know if I would have done exactly what Eve did (probably),  the fact remains the result of her free choice caused His perfect plan to change.  Death and separation came into the world.  And also a void. 
A void in which only He can fill. 
Without Him as the center of our life, we are going through the motions of living while in extreme hunger.  It causes me great sorrow the times I still choose "self" be my god. 
Those times when I decide my words are smarter and end up causing more pain. 
When I feel life isn't fair - which often it is not - and take up my words in revenge.
Three different times in The Scriptures today satan tempted Christ. 
And each time He quoted God's Word. 
Each time. 
Not a sermon - just a verse. 
Just a fact. 
Just The Truth. 
It was all about God. 
Nothing about Himself, His own glory. 
All about His Father - our Father. 
I am finally learning the many times God doesn't make sense to not wonder "why", but to just "do it" His way. 
When we are at our weakest - He is "our" strongest. 
Rely on Him, not self. 

Again, all that Jesus used to fight back with was God's Word. 
How well do we "know" it?  How much of it is tucked into our hearts - at the ready?  How often do we fight back with it?  How often do we feel we don't know enough of His Word?  satan/self like to fool us into believing that when we are at our weakest - we are the most vulnerable and God isn't enough.  At these moments, satan is there, like a lion on the prowl, watching, waiting, knowing we will become weak from hunger of not being fed by God's Word.
he will and does attack.  
Because when you belong to our ABBA, satan never
Never.  Ever.
has you out of his sites. "You" are a  major threat.
 But, neither does our ABBA. 
The One who is in complete control.
All knowing, all powerful. 
Already won. 
That's our ABBA.  Our Daddy. 

The One who sent a personal Love Letter to each one of us called The Bible. 
The Love Letter with the "secret code" to fight battles while in the desert.
The One who sent us The Helper.  The Holy Spirit. 
To ensure we will come out on the winning side. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

"Following His Lead" - 10/24/17 - Romans 14-16

"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". 

Constantly, I am reminded how much I need our Savior.
Continually I strive to be more like our Christ. 
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. 
In those steps where I falter or slip, I am so thankful for His grace, mercy, and forgiveness. 
For those same elements from His family. 

 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. 
Our 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 and self-righteousness 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 the feet of our ABBA.
It is during those times when we are dancing to the beat of our own drum.   
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.

Monday, October 23, 2017

"Continually Striving To LOVE Like Him" - 10/23/17 - Romans 11-13

"So here's what I want you to do,

God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering.

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.

Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Instead, fix your attention on God.
You'll be changed from the inside out.
Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it.
Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.                
I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you.
Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God.
No, God brings it all to you.
The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what  He does for us, not by what we are and what we do for Him.   
In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. 
The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people.
Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of His body.
But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we?
So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't.
If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else;        
if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching;
if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy;
if you're put in charge, don't manipulate;
if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond;
if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them.
Keep a smile on your face.
Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it.
Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.
Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of The Master,        
cheerfully expectant.
Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder.        
Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.        
Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.
Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down.
Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody.        
Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone.
If you've got it in you, get along with everybody.         
Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it."  
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.        
Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good."(Chapter 12) 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

"How Glorious Is Life In Him" - 10/22/17 - Romans 8-10

"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.  I thought I was alone in the small, handmade, wooden craft.  The power to push it through the waters came from the oars held within my hands or the motor mounted on the back.  The ways of the waters determined which power source was used. 

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

He has always been 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 when 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 an adventure of vultures circling around, waiting for death.  It is rebirth.  It is an adventure filled with trust and faith and hope.  Today, when the waters are as they used to be and would bring about fear, I am now able to do all 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."

Saturday, October 21, 2017

"We - In Him - Are Free" - 10/21/17 - Romans 4-7

"Fortunate those whose crimes are carted off, whose sins are wiped clean from the slate.         Fortunate the person against whom The Lord does not keep score."(4:7-8)
As a Christian, we strive to be Christlike to all.  We strive to Love as He loves.  We strive. 
It is only with our ABBA's help are we able to. 
There are times when we will inflict pain upon each other,  knowingly or unknowingly, and we must choose to forgive.  To Love.  To pray.  Or we can choose to not forgive and harbor anger, bitterness, thoughts of revenge against one another.  Elements that will eat into our heart and come in between our relationship with Christ.  And one another. 
Thankfully, ABBA has and is helping us in this area.  The moments of anger, defensiveness, taking things personal will become less than the moments of feeling sorrowful and lifting others up in prayer.  Not only for their hearts to change, but our own as well. 
I pray for The Holy Spirit to knead into our hearts - Him. 
While listening once to a sermon on the gifts of Grace and Mercy, I recognized there is one whom I don't extend the gift of forgiveness to.  One whom I beat up continually, look for flaws, berate for the sins of the past, see as continually falling short in their walk.  One whom I see through my eyes  more often than seeing them through His eyes.  One whom I look and see ugliness rather than being of His beauty. Believing lies instead of His Truths.
That person is me.  myself.  and I.
In hearing how others speak of themselves, I know I am not alone in the way of my thinking.  Why is that?  Why is it we are able to extend all the gifts of Love, Forgiveness, Grace, Mercy to others, yet not as readily to ourselves? 
"We" who are made in His Image.  "We" whom He loved so much He gave His only Begotten Son.  "We" whom He desires to be with as our Bestest Friend.  Our Lord.  
David said it so right: 
"Fortunate those whose crimes are carted off, whose sins are wiped clean from the slate.        
Fortunate the person against whom The Lord does not keep score".
When "in" ABBA - He doesn't keep score.  Our sins are wiped clean from the slate.
So.  Whyever are we not letting Him be God and accept His Forgiveness.  His Mercy.  His Grace.  Why do we continually say His Sacrifice wasn't enough to cover our sins? 
What. a. fool. 
Each moment given to us is the time to start living life as a "fortunate" one of His. 
Standing in Faith and living - knowing without doubt -  His Words are also meant for each one of us.
 Living "in" this state of freedom will draw others to Him. 
Others who will see and desire to live a life living "in" The Freedom of Him.

Friday, October 20, 2017

"Because of Love" - 10/20/17 - Romans 1-3

10/20/17 - Romans 1-3

"Because Of Love"

"Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us,
God did it for us.
Out of sheer generosity He put us in right standing with Himself.
A pure gift.
He got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where He always wanted us to be.
And He did it by means of Jesus Christ.
God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin.
Having faith in Him sets us in the clear.
God decided on this course of action in full view of the public - to set the world in the clear with Himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins He had so patiently endured.
This is not only clear, but it's now - this is current history!
God sets things right.
He also makes it possible for us to live in His rightness."(3:23-26)

Thursday, October 19, 2017

"We - Stronger In Him" - 10/19/17 - 2 Corinthians 10-13

"I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations.

Satan’s angel did his best to get me down;
what he in fact did was push me to my knees.

No danger then of walking around high and mighty!

At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it.

Three times I did that, and then He told me,

"My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness."
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen.
I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift.
It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness.
Now I take limitations in stride,
and with good cheer,
these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks.
I just let Christ take over!
And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become."(12:7-10)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Our Tastes of Heaven" - 10/18/17 - 2 Corinthians 5-9

"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)

I smile as I think about my life.  Even though amongst the great there is some bad. 
But all in all -   my cup runneth over. 

It frequently occurs to me how His Glory prevails over all of the bad.  Throughout all the memories of yesterdays, journeying through trials and tribulations, stumbling about, heartbreaks, illness, the unknown.  Always.  In all Ways.  His Glory has and will continue to prevail over all. 

He has shown me through the act of giving up in my heart the anger and bitterness, forgiving as He has, we are then able to focus and be whom He has created us to be.  Only then are we able to see all those He puts into our path through His eyes.  To see the endless opportunities to be His Vessel, where He has each one of us planted.   

To be thankful and content in all things.
It is then His love is able to bubble out of us. 
We become unable to hold it back.
Striving to take each moment living this life Loving as He Loves.

Each day, prevailing over the things of this world, He gives us the gift of filling our lives with the making of  new cherished moments becoming treasured memories of talking, laughing, receiving hugs, kisses, being loved and encouraged. - being safe "in" Him.  I marvel at knowing, before time began, He knew whom it would be that we would be spending our moments with as His Divine Appointments.

Whom He needed us to be with - for Him.  For them.  For us.
Whom it would be to give us "a little of Heaven in our hearts".

 Reflecting on the days behind, seeing how He was there and His Glory prevailed.  I love how our ABBA encourages each of us, in each of our moments, with more than  a "little of Heaven". 
Looking forward to His "tastes" ahead.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"We - Rescued and Part of His Rescue Operation" - 10/17/17 - 2 Corinthians 1-4

"And He did it, rescued us from certain doom.
And He'll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing.       
You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation -
I don't want you in the dark about that either.
I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God's deliverance of us,
a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part."(1:10-11)

 Thinking back, the times I usually think my prayers aren't being heard is when ABBA answers them His way instead of my way.  The times I feel my life has no meaning, I have no meaning, thinking life is so unfair - those are the times I am focused on "self" and not focusing on Him. 
Those are the times I am not praying.


I am so in love with our ABBA. 
He could have made it so 'we' weren't needed. 
Done everything on His own. 

But - He created us with the need to be 'needed' and utilizes that 'need' all of the time. 

He is the only one who can fill the 'Need Void' within us. 
Nothing or no one else is able to do so. 

So, the next time you are feeling 'you' aren't someone special.  'You' aren't someone He needs. 
Think about what Paul wrote - "You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation".


How amazing is that. 
The Creator of all, utilizes 'us' - each and every one of 'us' - as part of His rescue operation for those who are lost.  Not for our glory, but His Glory.
"You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation".  
'You' - who are "fearfully and wonderfully made". 
Throughout Scripture we are able to read prayers given over 'us' by the saints of old. 
By our Christ. 
We too must keep on praying on.  For someone, somewhere has and is praying for 'you'.

Monday, October 16, 2017

"May We Be" - 10/16/17 - 1 Corinthians 15-16

Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you've got, be resolute, and Love without stopping.(16:13,14)
May our eyes always be wide open and we live a life based on and in Christ.  May the standards we live by be from His Word. May we take heed from The Holy Spirit and follow His lead. 
As we go, may we not be merely skimming through this brief life.  May we live giving it all we have for our ABBA and His Glory.
As we take this short walk toward Home, may nothing nor anyone, cause us to lose focus on our Savior. 
And most of all, as we live this life where He has placed us, may we be loving Him and others without stopping.
May we always have faith that In Him - Heaven isn't a destination - it is our future address. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

"When We Pray Outloud" - 10/15/17 - I Corinthians 12-14

"Then each speaker gets a chance to say something special from God, and you all learn from each other." (14:31)

It is such a heartsmile for me whenever it comes to praying time with His family.  As is the situation in most gathered groups, the talking immediately stops when someone says, "would anyone want to pray". 

All of us are on a different level in our walk with ABBA.  Unfortunately, we fall into the trap of "comparing", and believe our outloud prayers will sound stupid, silly, lame.  I find this so sad. 

To be able to hear words spoken from a persons heart to our ABBA is nothing but a treasure. 

These are the moments when my ears pick up on messages He is sending.  Their words may bring about an awareness of blessings I take for granted.   It may be that someone is hurting and needs comfort.  One may be inspired to share in a way that promotes growth in my life.  Accountability.  Encouragement.  More often than not though, it is drawing me into an intimacy with ABBA.  Through the words of others I am being shown - an open heart is what our ABBA desires.

I so love hearing others pray out loud.  Their words let me know, I am not the only one who is thinking the way I am.  All the emotions.  All the thoughts.  All the words.  We are all created in His image. 

Each time He gives us growth through the words of others. Prayer is yet another way He gives us unity.  In Him and each other.   So much of His Power comes through His Words from within our hearts.

How beautiful to the ears is hearing another opening up to Him, baring all. 
Being whom He made us to be. 

No frills.  no secret agenda.  Just words from the heart.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

"We - Whom He raises us to what He is" - 10/14/17 - 1 Corinthians 9-11

"Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness - Christ doesn't become fragmented in us.
Rather, we become unified in Him.
We don't reduce Christ to what we are; He raises us to what He is."(10:17)


There is such an honor in being one to serve communion to His family.  To stand at the end of the aisle and pass the bread and juice to outstretched hands.  To pray over those my eyes take in until my heart feels as though it will burst.  To see His family, my family sitting, with heads bowed.  To see little ones watching, wondering, requesting.  To see smiles.  To see tears.  To see peace. 

To see His radiance shining through the faces as they are in communion with Him.

There is such blessing in knowing, without doubt, when the trays are emptied and put back into their places, the unity of my family remains.

There is such treasure tucked away into my heart.  Mind pictures of those I see Him shining through their eyes.  Their smiles.  Their tears.  Their hugs. 

How He fills my heart with those I am unified with.  Those I share communion with.  Those whom He has raised up to where He is.  Transformed them into the beauty I see. 

There is peace knowing because of the brokenness of Christ, we may live life unbroken together. 
His blood covers and unifies us. 
Our family in Him. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

"We - Are Watched" - 10/13/17 - 1 Corinthians 5-8

"Isn't there great danger if someone still struggling over this issue, someone who looks up to you as knowledgeable and mature, sees you go into that banquet? The danger is that he will become terribly confused - maybe even to the point of getting mixed up himself in what his conscience tells him is wrong.
Christ gave up His life for that person.
Wouldn't you at least be willing to give up going to dinner for him - because, as you say, it doesn't really make any difference? But it does make a difference if you hurt your friend terribly, risking his eternal ruin!
When you hurt your friend, you hurt Christ.
A free meal here and there isn't worth it at the cost of even one of these "weak ones." (8:10-12)

 I read and wonder what it is I am selfish in giving up in order to help another in their walk.  Is it time?  money?  stuff?  food?  What is it I am loving more than loving His people.

As a believer, many are watching to see us in action.  When in Christ, there is something "different" about us, and it does/should draw attention.  It is being in Christ that makes us stand out from the world.

Do we ever hold on to the things of the world to satisfy our "self", even if it means hindering another ones walk?  I know of one who didn't feel the need to give up drinking in front of an alcoholic, believing it was up to the person to not submit to drink.  It wasn't part of their job to help them overcome. We are all on a different level in our walks, different strengths and weaknesses.  Different because we need each other. 

As we grow in Christ, we need to see it is our job to come along side of each other and help the growth.  When helping each other, we are really helping the whole family.  We are living a life that is pleasing to Him.

 What is it we are holding onto, satisfying "self", which is hindering the walk of a brother or sister?  Is it really worth it? 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"We Are All Needed For The Kingdom Come" - 10/12/17 - 1 Corinthians 1-4

"I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow.

It's not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow.

Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages.
What makes them worth doing is the God we are serving.
You happen to be God's field in which we are working.

Using the gift God gave me as a good architect, I designed blueprints; Apollos is putting up the walls. Let each carpenter who comes on the job take care to build on the foundation!

Remember, there is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ." (3:6-11)

When I was quite young, one of my chores was to make sure the watering trough for the pigs was full. It was old, made of cement, with wide edges containing the water. Edges wide enough I could stand on them and as the water poured in from the well I would spend my time waiting by "preaching" to the pigs. I can't remember the words I said to them. I can vaguely remember my arms and hands moving about with passion. Looking back now, I smile, thinking I probably was quite the spectacle. 

I can't remember how many years I had this desire to preach. I do know I didn't have any converts or baptisms in the watering trough from my "congregation".

The silly things we do as children. 

Sadly there were years His fire, deep inside of me, died down to an ember within my heart. At times it almost went out completely, but thankfully our ABBA breathed into my soul and His fire has been back for the past 32 years.
Raging within me. Consuming me. It has taken me years of letting go of "my" way and following His, before I am now confident what my role is in The Kingdom Come. Content in where and how He is using me through the season of this life as His seed planter.  As His encourager.

As Paul writes, there are many jobs in the building of His Kingdom, and our ABBA is The Contractor. The One who calls the shots. Our Savior is whom we build upon. Our solid foundation. 

The Holy Spirit guides us to know what tools He has given us to be used for Him. His Word equips us with The Wisdom to put these tools to work - planting, harvesting, building. 
How much I love looking about and seeing how He uses each of us within His Family.  For Himself and each other.
Each and every one of us has been given a purpose. gifts. talents.

Each and every one of us.
Does it ever take your breath away that The Creator of all is utilizing "us". 
What a blessing and honor.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

"We Are Prayed For" - 10/11/17- 2 Thessalonians

"Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be.

 "You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure;
it’s a must.

We have to do it.

Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully.

Why, it’s only right that we give thanks.

We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you.

All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for The Kingdom.

You’re suffering now, but justice is on the way.

When The Master Jesus appears out of heaven in a blaze of fire with His strong angels, He’ll even up the score by settling accounts with those who gave you such a bad time.

His coming will be the break we’ve been waiting for.

Those who refuse to know God and refuse to obey The Message will pay for what they’ve done.

Eternal exile from The Presence of The Master and His splendid power is their sentence.

But on that very same day when He comes, He will be exalted by His followers and celebrated by all who believe—and all because you believed what we told you.

Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—

pray that our God will make you fit for what He’s called you to be,
pray that He’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with His own energy
so that it all amounts to something.

If your life honors The Name of Jesus,
He will honor you.

Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving Himself freely,
The Master, Jesus Christ, giving Himself freely."1:2-10)

Throughout the all of His Word, we read accounts of how many have prayed for us.  
May we also continue to do the same. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"In Him - We Are One Family" - 10/10/17 - 1 Thessalonians

"Grace and peace to you.

I always thank God for all of you
and continually mention you in our prayers.

I remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith,
your labor prompted by love,
and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

For I know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that He has chosen you,

because our Gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power,
with The Holy Spirit and deep conviction.

You became imitators of The Lord, for you welcomed The Message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by The Holy Spirit.

And so you became a model to all the believers.

The Lord’s message rang out from you - your faith in God has become known everywhere.
You turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath."(1:1-10)

Monday, October 09, 2017

"YES!!!" - 10/09/17 - Galatians 4-6

"May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely,

be deeply and personally yours, my friends.

Oh, yes!"(6:18)


Sunday, October 08, 2017

He Is - The High Priest - 10/08/17 - Galatians 1-3

"If I was "trying to be good," I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a charlatan.      

What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work.

So I quit being a "law man" so that I could be God's man.
Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with Him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ.
My ego is no longer central.
It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God.
Christ lives in me.
The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  
I am not going to go back on that.
Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God's grace.
If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily."
I was watching a show one night and one man was explaining to another the role of the priest in the church.  He said when we go to confession we walk away leaving our sins on him.  He is our intercessor to God. 
Upon hearing this description I realized if this were true, then The Sacrifice of our Christ on The Cross wasn't enough. 
Jesus Christ.  He is our High Priest. 
His taking upon Himself all of our sins, past, present, future, made the way for us to be with our ABBA.  His death upon The Cross tore the curtain in two, both literally and figuratively. 
I love knowing we are free to come before our ABBA at any time.  any place.  any way.  I love knowing we are able to climb up into His lap and He holds us close.  No longer separated by sin.
Because of our High Priest.  Jesus Christ. 

Saturday, October 07, 2017

"Something Powerful" - 10/07/17 - James 1-5

"Make this your common practice:
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other
so that you can live together whole and healed.
The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.(5:16)

It takes a village. 

A village filled with His family. 

His family to share and live life with.  To grow.  To nourish.  To hold accountable.

To LOVE and pray for each other. 

I know first hand what it is like to struggle outside and what it is like to live within His Family.  I know first hand without them I would not be where or who I am today. 

I know I shall never again choose living without them.  They are parts of my heart living outside of my body.  How blessed am I with so many siblings. 

"Living together whole and healed."

 "The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with."
How blessed I am in knowing, because of our prayers, our living by His standards, we are continually being molded into what and whom He designed us to be.  Through each other He is helping us to remove the garments that aren't His; garments which we have put upon ourselves.

 I stand amazed at how praying works.  At how it touches everyone, not just one.
 How prayer is oxygen that binds us together.