Blessed To Be A Blessing

It was the summer of 2008 and I was one of the adult leaders at our yearly Jr. High summer camp. Camp was nestled in the majestic redwoods of Northern California just off Bohemian Highway. The location isn’t important but I like the word Bohemian and as the word implies, camp was a bit unconventional that year. In the least, it wasn’t what I had expected or experienced in the past. Perhaps, the only expectation I should have had was that God would be present, which He was, in more ways than one.

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Pics from Wisconsin

The pic of my husband and me was taken when it was 1 degree out! The trains run right through town. I was close enough to see the Engineer and we exchanged waves. My husband ‘skating’ at the snow covered skate park. One of the many dams along Fox River. The trees covered in bright, white snow after an all nighter snow storm. Our fresh footprints in the new fallen snow. Enjoy!

What a Wonderful Life

He takes it all in. All the different colors…red, blue, purple, green and yellow, as I stand holding his tiny body close to mine and he stares at this new wonder called a Christmas tree, with all its lights and decorations. I speak softly in his ear and point to all the different colors by name. Colors that one day he will know on his own. And I think to myself…

I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. King Solomon

1 Kings 3:7c

King Solomon was an adult when he said these words in 1 Kings 3:7 but he knew he could not be a successful leader without God. He set aside his will and any agendas or idiosyncrasies that were a part of his life. He chose and allowed himself to become teachable like a child.

As we grow and mature in our faith our goal is to set aside spiritual milk and feast on the spiritual food of God’s word. Choosing and allowing Holy Spirit to drop into our hearts his truth. At the same time we ought to also remain like a child. Teachable.

Many times our actions and attitudes can take away the simplicity of our relationship with Jesus. We have the opportunity to choose Him everyday over all that our day may contain.

As I think about our precious grandson I pray that he will always be in wonder of who God is to him. That he will always have a teachable heart. I pray that for you and for me.

Because regardless of life’s challenges and struggles, a life in Jesus is

…a wonderful life.

Opulence

Sitting at my desk looking out the second story window of my home office to the tree lined street I am struck by the plethora of color. Bright orange, deep maroon and rusty red. I am praising God for Who He Is and the word opulent comes to mind.

Opulent, such a beautiful word. I imagine light hitting a chandelier and producing fragments of multicolored sparkles on all that it touches.

I’m led to explore the definition of opulent; not satisfied I look up opulence. From one online source the definition is abundance, an opulence of fruit. Still not completely satisfied I search for the Biblical definition which is riches.

In this moment I sense the Spirit’s abundance as He richly shares His fruit with me to be shared with others.

As you journey with Him may He lavish you in His opulence as you touch those around you and your sphere of influence.

The Good Part

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Wherever you find yourself today I encourage you to choose the better part. Choose Jesus and He promises any time spent with Him will not be taken from you. He invites you in to lay all your cares and burdens at His feet.

So many times we are quick to quote John 3:16 and many times we forget to add the verse that holds its hand. John 3:17 tells us Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, He came to save the world through His actions on the Cross.

I understand that many of you believe the Bible is only a group of stories written over two thousand years ago by men not God. I get it. Before I became a believer I couldn’t get past the first sentence on the first page. I understand that some of you who are believers struggle to understand this Book as well. All of this is okay. God knows, He sees and He understands. Most importantly He loves you and I pray He blesses you with the faith to believe in Him and understand these words written over centuries ago.

Shalom!

The Broom Tree

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Have you ever experienced a mountaintop high and suddenly out of nowhere you are crashing to the valley floor and you ARE done?

That was the prophet Elijah’s experience (you can read his story in 1 Kings). Elijah experienced a victory at Mt. Carmel and then he finds himself running for his life from the queen of Israel who has vowed to kill him.

All along the way God provided for Elijah. He gave him food, water, supernatural strength for a forty day journey. He even provided a broom tree which is actually a desert shrub for Elijah to sleep under.

Elijah comes to the end of himself. He is experiencing deep sorrow over his fellow countrymen, who have turned away from God when God does something spectacular. He gives Elijah even more of Himself. He reveals Himself to Elijah in a gentle whisper. On the mountaintop.

Elijah was physically on the mountaintop but it is possible to walk along the ‘valley floor’ and experience mountaintop highs. Perhaps that is why we sometimes miss those mountaintop highs because we are so focused on walking the valley floor but the goodness of God and His provision can be found wherever we roam.

Are you listening for a loud, booming voice, or, are your ears tuned for that gentle whisper?

Shalom!

Your Hearts Desire?

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A friend recently shared the exciting news that one of her family members was water baptized. Yay Jesus! She explained that she had been praying a really long time and that she asked one of her prayer groups to pray with her. And then she told me that her prayer group told her not to get her hopes up.

I stopped her mid-sentence and asked her, “They told you not to get your hopes up? Why would they say that to you?”

Stop right here and think about some of your responses in conversations that you have. What are some of the things you say that are rote, off the cuff, or an automatic response? If we believe one way (in hope and expectancy that God is going to answer our prayers), why would we answer another way?

When we delight in the Lord by staying tethered to Him consistently (daily), offering up praise and worship simply for Who He is He gives us the desires of our heart. Why? Because He begins to lay His heart over our heart and His desires become our desires.

If Jesus Himself set the example and was water baptized why wouldn’t He answer our prayers concerning those we are praying to take the step of water baptism? I can guarantee you He will answer this prayer every time because it is the desire of His heart!

Precious One, choose your words wisely. Words are so very powerful. Our responsibility to one another is to speak truth and encouragement no breathe doubt. I don’t think my friend’s prayer group intentional or purposely told her not to get her hopes up but I do believe they didn’t think before they spoke.

Know God’s word, know His truth, know His promises.

Shalom!

#thereisalwayshope

©teresejmbelme2018