Nothing New Under The Sun

Photo by Danette Childs
Photo by Danette Childs

Just this morning I saw this picture. It is from a post on January 27th from Franklin Graham. Franklin states that he received word from his staff in Niger that militants had burned dozens of churches and the charred Bible is part of the aftermath. Franklin asks this question, “but can you imagine the international outcry if this were the Koran?”

Immediately Holy Spirit began, what I refer to as downloading thoughts, I had to blog quickly so as not to forget them all! Precious Ones, God’s not dead and neither is his word! God is alive and well and knows exactly what is going on all around the world.

While it hurts our hearts to see his word physically charred and desecrated, His word is alive because his word is Jesus Christ who is alive!

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1.

Others destroy Bibles to distract believers and take their focus off of God. That doesn’t change the fact that God’s word lives in our heart; active and ongoing.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

There is no stopping God.

so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

The final thought Holy Spirit gave me is this:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

 Meaning be a part of this world but don’t be in this world. Don’t think like this world because this world is not our home. We are temporary visitors here. Our home is the new heaven and new earth that is yet to come!

I wonder as agents, as ambassadors to the Kingdom of God, while we are busy not being in this world are we also not thinking like this world? We are a part of the kingdom of God. Do our thoughts and actions reflect that? God is supernatural, there I said it, do we think in supernatural ways? Or, do we let ourselves be distracted by pictures and images of fear? Our inheritance is not fear, for we have been given a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. From one sound mind to another, I ask you, “How big is your God?” “How big is your faith?”

You know, there is nothing new under the sun and I encourage you to not be enticed by the age-old tactic of Satan; fear. I exhort you to pray and pray without ceasing to the one True LIVING God. Then and only then will the peace of the Lord that surpasses all understanding be in your heart and mind.

God is alive, his word is alive and He will remain that way for all eternity.

Shalom!

Who Holds All Your Tomorrows?

Over the past several weeks our Pastor has been gently encouraging us to give each day the Lord when we wake up.

Who What Why Keys Show ConfusionYesterday, like most days, was busy and filled with many things to take care of but I remembered to give my day over to God. Things were moving along and I was accomplishing many of the tasks I had planned. Actually, I was multitasking but that is a different blog for a different day! About one in the afternoon our internet went out. I was doing all the normal protocol; unplugging the modem, resetting the modem and finally I called our servicer to remotely reset the modem. Didn’t get that far, the nice lady on the recording promptly told me that service was out in our area and would be restored by 4:30. Now what was I going to do?! Oh, trust me, I had plenty but I was so focused on finishing the task at hand that my brain couldn’t switch over to anything new, so, I painted my nails. Thankfully, our service was finally restored at 7:30 last night.

This morning I again gave my day to the Lord and within seconds of doing so I received a text from one of my dear friends asking if I would like to join her, as she was going to the house of another friend of ours. “Yes”, I said, “I would love to take a break and join you.” When we arrived at our friends house, no sooner than we had stepped into the front door my husband called me. I knew immediately something was up because he calls me on his way home from work and it was too early for that. He called to tell me that our 18 year old son had been in an accident, a fender bender but he and the other driver were okay and yes, it was our son’s fault. After I hung up with my husband I called my son, who had tried three times to call me, but I didn’t hear my phone, poor thing, my heart hurt that I wasn’t able to answer his call and be ‘there’ for him. After I made sure that, yes, in fact he was okay and he didn’t need me to come and get him we hung up. I was struck by the thought that had I not given my day to the Lord I most likely would not have had the peace and calm that I felt at hearing my child was in an accident.

God knew what today and all my days hold for me, I do not. The simple act of asking God to order my day helped remind me that he knew what would/will happen today and that He is at the center of it all. He goes before me and he is my rear guard.

“I may not know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow.” .

My son is home and I am so happy to give him a hug and reassure him that this too shall pass. And, after his explanation of what happened and seeing the after pictures, I know my Papa was right there watching over him. It could have been a much worse situation than it was.

Every day I pray over our family that no weapon forged against us shall prosper and we will refute every tongue that accuses us! Thank you Jesus that the weapon of this accident has not prospered!

Shalom!

Through The Storm

About a week ago during worship at church we were singing “Cornerstone” by Hillsong. This is the chorus:

One letter from old brick alphabet set “Christ alone Cornerstone. Weak made strong in the Saviors love. Through the storm He is Lord, Lord of all.”

I was struck by the thought that a storm experienced in a person’s life is usually thought of as a negative thing, but it doesn’t always have to be nor is it always a bad thing. You see, the day before we had taken our oldest love bug back to the airport for her trip back to college. And, although, this was our sixth such trip since she started college in late 2013, this time it was the hardest for me. I also sensed it was a bit harder for her as well.Anemometer

I wondered on this as Holy Spirit was showing me this momentary storm was not a bad thing, it came out of a really good thing! As I stood in worship the tears starting flowing, both sad tears for a season that has passed and tears of gladness at the Lord’s work. He showed me pictures of her youth like a slideshow and he spoke to my heart, “My hand is upon her. I have given her the passion of her heart; the passion for justice. She is on My path.” Oh, the grace of God is unfathomable! He never has to share with us the inner work he is doing, but many times he chooses too. He knew my troubled heart before the storm ever hit and he offered his grace, his comfort and his love.

crown3-111413-734Through the storm He is Lord, Lord of all.

Shalom!

Oh That Robe

I am a part of a group of people on another social network that have committed to reading through the Bible in a year. The group was formed to help encourage each other and to discuss what speaks to us from a given day’s reading.

Every year I try to read through the Bible from a different format or translation. Last year I used a woman’s devotional Bible, which had a daily reading and then a devotional at the end of each reading. This year I am reading through the Bible in chronological order along with the group I’ve joined.

A few days ago my reading was from Genesis 37:1 – 39:23. And goodness there was a lot going on! For some reason Holy Spirit is highlighting things that I simply ‘read’ in years past. I grabbed my journal to write down the insights from Holy Spirit, I felt like I couldn’t write fast enough!

Family puzzle conceptIn Genesis 37:2 we see Joseph tending his father’s flocks with his brothers and he brings a bad report back to his father. Was Joseph a tattletale?! We go on to read that Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age. I think it was more than that. I think Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because he was the son of Rachel, the love of his life. My, is there any wonder Israel’s other son’s were rebellious? And, did this add fuel to the fire between Leah and Rachel, while Rachel was still alive? Leah, always trying to get Israel’s attention to love her and Rachel, most likely, bitter toward her father for giving her sister Leah to Israel (Jacob) in marriage first, when it should have been her and her alone.

I wonder too, was Joseph just a bit spoiled, maybe coddled? After all, Israel made Joseph an ornate robe and nothing for his other sons. The Bible tells us that when Israel’s other sons saw that their father loved Joseph more than them they hated Joseph and could not speak a kind word about him. (Genesis 37:4).

I am the youngest and only girl after four boys in my family. The youngest of my brothers Hope want conceptis seven years older than me. Yes, I was spoiled with attention and my brother and I were close despite the difference in our ages. But, he was the baby of the family for seven years. Growing up he always thought that my mom loved me the most, ironically, I always thought my mom loved him the most. After all, he always got to do whatever he wanted. Silly, when I think back, of course he got to do things I couldn’t he was older than me! But what caused each of us to think the other was more loved? And, what did my other brothers think?

I love my children equally, but each of them have unique qualities that I love the most about them as individuals. As parents our responsibility is to show each of our children how much we love them unconditionally; regardless of their actions, talents, gifts, accomplishments or shortcomings.

Israel favoring Joseph is the same as Rebekah favoring Jacob (Israel) and Isaac favoring Esau over Jacob. Had Isaac, Rebekah and Israel shown unconditional love to all their children would there have been so much sibling strife? Is this generational? Was it a learned behavior for Isaac, Rebekah and Israel? Even Isaac was favored over his half brother Ishmael.

Was Joseph just a bit naive when it came to his brothers? And the brothers, they remind me of Cain. So much jealousy that they plotted to kill Joseph. As Providence would have it, they do not kill Joseph but instead sell him to some Ishmaelites who were on their way to Egypt to sell their goods. Well, doesn’t this just come full circle?! The Ishmaelites were descendants of Joseph’s great uncle Ishmael, the least favored son, that we know of, from Abraham. The division in this family spans generations!

Judah is Joseph’s brother who suggests they sell Joseph to the Israelites, saying, “Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him: after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” (Genesis 37:27). After all?!! Oh Judah, always looking out for your own gain, where did you learn such deceit?

As you can read, I’ve come up with more questions that answers! There is One who loves us unconditionally, despite where we’ve been or what we’ve done. Jesus Written In Plastic Kids LettersHis Name is above all Names. His Name is Jesus.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6.

Shalom!

My Word Is Sabbath

24 hours delivery sign.I often think back to life during the 70’s and 80’s, before this crazy 24/7/365 world we have created. A time when if you needed gas for your car you had better make it to the gas station before 6:00pm the latest or you would be out of time and most likely out of gas. And, if it was a year of oil rations you would probably find yourself in a bind. Back to a time when “what is Black Friday and Cyber Monday?” would be valid questions. Back to a time when most business establishments were closed on Sundays, yes, even the grocery stores.

As a side note, I do not look fondly on the 70’s.  Though I was a young girl and teen during this time, I was not a fan of the hippie free love movement. My oldest brother was a hippie and drug addict during this era and my family and I experienced first hand some of the worst of this movement. As Providence would have it, my oldest brother was also the first sapphire-encrusted-peace-sign-in-vector-format_GJ1dEEjuto come to know Jesus in the 80’s and soon became the family evangelist. A visit could not be had with him without hearing the gospel message in some fashion. We didn’t have caller i.d. back then and so we took our chances when answering the phone because if it was my brother you were going to hear about Jesus one way or another. I miss that about him, heck I just miss hearing his voice. Sadly, he passed before knowing that some in our family have also chosen Christ as their Lord and Savior and have the hope of seeing him again one day in Paradise. He died in Paradise, really, in Paradise, CA. Isn’t that just like God?!

Back to sabbath. Sabbath is a way in which our living pattern imitates God’s. In that work is followed by rest. Sabbath was what God did after he finished creating earth and everything in it.

By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Genesis 2:2.

Keeping the Sabbath is the fourth command of the Ten Commandments. It is part of the Mosaic Law; the Law of Moses. As believers in Christ we are no longer covered by the Law, we now live by the power of the Spirit. The Law is still pertinent and active today and shows those who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior, their need for Him. For those who already believe it is the power of Holy Spirit and his conviction in us to live a life of righteousness according to his will. (2 Corinthians 3:7-11).

Some of my friends have been posting on another social media website a single word they believe God has given them to meditate and live by for this new year. As I pondered this, I realized my word is Sabbath. Holy Spirit actually began speaking to me about a Sabbath day last year and my desire to practice this has grown in intensity. So, while I’m not one to make New Year resolutions, my goal is to practice having a weekly sabbath. To work hard six days a week and rest on the seventh day, just like God did. What better way to model my life than after the One who gives life?!

Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee taken by my cousin B. Passentino.

Whatever this new year holds for you, I wish for you the deepest Shalom in Christ Jesus.

Shalom!

 

It’s A Party!

Party poppers on whiteIn 1982 actor Laurence Tureaud coined the phrase, “I pity the fool!”, with his role as boxer Clubber Lang in the movie “Rocky III”. We know him more readily as Mr. T., well you will most likely know who I am talking about if you are as old or older than me!

Pity is the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortunes of others.

A pity party is an instance of feeling sorry for oneself and/or seeking pity from other people.

This morning I came across this:

Yet I curse the day I was born! May the day of my birth not be blessed. I curse the messenger who told my father, “Good news-you have a son!”  Let him be destroyed without mercy. Terrify him all day long with battle shouts, for he did not kill me at birth. Oh, that I had died in my mother’s womb, that her body had been my grave! Why was I ever born: My entire life has been filled with trouble, sorrow, and shame. Jeremiah 20: 14-18.

Goodness, that is a whole lot of pity partying going on! Jeremiah was upset at the job God have given him to do. Jeremiah spent most of his ministry speaking pending doom over Israel and Judah. He was unpopular among his peers and contemporaries and his prophecies were unwelcomed messages. The Israelites were in a perpetual cycle of rebelling against God, then turning back to God and then rebelling again. In essence they loved living in their sin more than they loved God and the desire to obey Him. Jeremiah was sent to give them message after message of their consequences if they chose to continue down a path of sin. They would hear none of it and even plotted to kill Jeremiah.

By the time we get to Jeremiah 20: 14-18, we read that Jeremiah had enough. He was having a pity party and complaining to God. He cursed the day he was born and the messenger that told his father of his birth, saying, “my entire life has been filled with trouble, sorrow and shame.”

Have you ever been there? Smack dab in the middle of a pity party or have someone in your life who always seems to look at the cup half empty? Pity parties and I use to be quite good friends, until one day Holy Spirit began showing me that attending a pity party put the focus on me and took the focus off of God.

Pity parties are about pride and pride is sin. So, while Jeremiah was prophesying against the Israelites and their continued sin, he himself was sinning by having a pity party! Do you see God’s love here? God was gently showing Jeremiah the sin in his own life by allowing Jeremiah to have a pity party, while at the same time sending him to give messages to the Israelites about their own sin. I have found that God works in my life to show me sin and the area’s that ought to change by allowing me to teach what I most need to learn.

Pity parties and I are no longer friends and when I feel them trying to get a foot hold into my life again, I call upon Holy Spirit for his help because that is the only way for me to avoid falling deep into a party that I have no business attending.

Believe it or not, Mr. T.’s “I pity the fool!”, is actually a form of tough love and a technique he uses to motivate others to make positive change(s) in their life.

Precious One, it isn’t about you, it is, has always been and will always be about serving the One true God, however that looks like in your life. And, you can be sure that He loves you beyond your imagination. Many times God’s love is tough because of his great love for you. Don’t be a fool and play into the hand of pity. Know that God will never leave you nor forsake you.

Shalom!

 

Eviction Served!

Does anyone else feel Fall allergies are exceptionally wretched this year?! Unfortunately, I have been afflicted with year round allergies and allergy induced asthma for many years. I never asked for allergies/asthma, who would or does?!!! And, I don’t refer to them as my allergies or my asthma because I don’t own them. In fact, they have overstayed their welcome and I hereby declare an eviction notice to them! That is my new prayer battle cry, “eviction served!”

I believe God chooses different ways to heal us. Maybe its a miraculous healing, well any healing is miraculous, I’m thinking of Divine touch here; He has given us doctors and treatments and natural remedies and the ultimate healing is when we are Home with Him! While we are still here on earth it is our responsibility to follow his lead in whatever that looks like.

Those of you who know me, know that I don’t like, despise actually, taking prescription medication. Hold on, don’t get your feathers ruffled. There are many prescription medications that work wonders for those who must take them, myself included and especially during times like Fall allergies. However, I continue to research natural and homeopathic remedies that I supplement with in addition too and until I can completely come off prescription medication. Yes, I am holding out for my miraculous healing from the afflictions of allergies and asthma here on earth as it already is in heaven. In the meantime I found some natural remedies that I thought I would share with you. As with all things medicinal please check with your doctor first before taking.

Read about the benefits of Grapefruit seed extract here.

Xylitol is a sweet crystalline carbohydrate that occurs naturally in virtually all fruits and vegetables. Our bodies even produce small amounts of it each day. Xylitol’s powerful oral and upper respiratory health benefits come from its unique five-carbon structure.

You can find Xclear Nasal Spray with xylitol and grapefruit seed extract here.

Check out the benefits of Garden of Life Immune Balance Sinus for sinus and upper respiratory health here.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Shalom!

 

On Being A Mom

Being a mom is the greatest blessing and job in the entire universe! I wouldn’t trade the trials, challenges and struggles we’ve faced in raising our lovebugs so far, though daunting at the time, because they have helped us grow as individuals, bond as a family and grow our faith and trust in God, knowing we can depend on Him for all things.

Screenshot_2014-08-29-13-47-29-1Our older two are one year two weeks, and according to our oldest, 1 day apart. They were 4 and 3 and a half when our littlest lovebug was born. I remember fondly the days when the middle seat, of our now retired Suburban, had one booster seat and two car seats lined up. In those days, a full night’s sleep seemed like a distant dream, these days horror mones are the cause of sleepless nights, but perhaps that is a story best left untold. Like clockwork, every night, one of them would wake up and make their way into our room and lay on the floor on my side of the bed, where I kept pillows and blankets, you know, just in case. Soon and as if the other two knew it was their turn, they too would end up next to their sibling and sleep the rest of the night snuggled up to one another. Just recently, I remembered those nights and wondered, “when did this season end?” The change happened so subtly it was as if it had always been that way. But my momma heart still holds onto those precious memories.Garrett, Hannah playoff 2013

20140212_135910These days I look into the faces of you younger moms and I see the tiredness in your eyes or hear the cries of your little lovebugs and without you knowing it, I am silently cheering you on and praying for you! You can do this!  The message you send your children with your perseverance is that you love them and you think they are worth all the tears, the crying, the struggles, the smiles, the accidents, the homework you don’t understand, and all the other challenges you may face by being called to the most important job ever. 20140506_213503

One day your children will remember how you poured all your heart and then some into them and they will call you blessed.

Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31: 28-29

Shalom!

 

I Had A Dream

earthLast night I had a dream. In this dream I was in a classroom with other much younger students, I couldn’t see them but I knew they were there. The teacher was telling us her zero tolerance policy on doing any other work in her classroom other than what she had given us to do. I look over and see another women about my age, and who looks exactly like the teacher, balancing her checkbook. I could sense the astonishment of the other students that this woman would be disregarding what the teacher had just told us AND the teacher wasn’t doing anything about. Well, if you know me, when it comes to a battle, especially a spiritual one, I usually jump in, take names and ask questions later, yeah, I’m working on this one. Any way, I am standing next to the woman who is balancing her checkbook and I say to the teacher, “everyone needs to follow this rule except her?” The lady balancing her checkbook takes my hands and tries to bind them at my wrists. In my dream I am thinking this is a total spiritual attack. I was so angry at this woman that I woke both myself and my husband up by yelling out loud, “Let Go!”

Lady Blindfolded Holding Scales Justice SwordI couldn’t go back to sleep and I laid there with goose bumps all over and my heart pounding. I asked the Holy Spirit what the meaning of this dream was. In my mind He took me back into the dream and I am standing in between these two women, who look-alike, and I heard the word, “Justice.” Then the Holy Spirit told me, “I want you to be a voice for those who don’t have one.” After that, I fell back to sleep.

This morning as I was reading my Bible I came across these three verses:

nx_man_pavement_sadSeek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Fight for the rights of widows. Isaiah 1:17b.

The LORD destroys the house of the proud, but he protects the property of widows. Proverbs 15:25.

O LORD, hear my pleas for justice. Listen to my cry for help. Psalm 17:1.

A coincidence? Perhaps, however, over the past several months the Holy Spirit has been talking to me about fasting and human trafficking. Not long ago, I came across true fasting in Isaiah 58. Part of a true fast is to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke. To share our food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter and when we see the naked to clothe them. And, not to forget our own flesh and blood. (Isaiah 58:6-7).

I am excited to see where this leads as the Holy Spirit continues to unravel his plan in my life with regards to being his voice piece, along with others, for those who have none.

Shalom!