Words of Blessing and Wholeness

“Hey!,” was the text I sent to my best friend recently. She responded, “Hey, how are you? Do you have a few minutes to chat?” And this started an actual verbal conversation about life and catching up with each other.

Since my best friend and I are, well, best friends, we use a casual form of greeting one another. But, how would you feel if you knew that the way others greet you or you them carried more than simply the words of the greeting?

Paul was in the habit of greeting others with, “The grace of the Lord be with you, or the grace and peace of God be with you.” Whenever I read Paul’s greeting there is a certain amount of joy found in his words. I often wonder did all ancient Israelites greet one another this way? Was it a cultural thing at the time? Or, was this something Paul and a few others practiced?

Paul spoke the truth of God’s word and actually delivered the gift of a blessing through his greeting. The Greek word for grace is Charis and it is God’s favor and kindness brought to us through Jesus. It is God extending Himself and bestowing a blessing on His creation by the nearness of His presence.

Peace is God’s gift of wholeness when all essential parts are joined together. This reminds me of our wholeness in mind, body and spirit joined together in harmony with Holy Spirit as we continue to seek Him, read Him, learn about and from Him.

Could it be God’s gift of wholeness through His peace contains healing? That these two words that are not oft spoken in greeting in our current culture could be the beginning of healing?

What would our world, our spheres of influence, our communities look like if we chose to greet others in peace and grace? Would colors seem a bit brighter? Would traffic seem a bit lighter? Would our days seem a bit less laden because we speak the truth of God’s favor, kindness, blessing and wholeness to each other.

Today I say to you grace and peace in the name of Jesus. May you experience His wholeness in all that you are and all that you do. May the blessing of the nearness of His presence cause you to want to be even closer to Him.

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Doing Right or Living Righteously?

Several years ago I heard a well known Christian influencer say every word of God should be taken literally. While I presume to understand the sentiment behind this statement to be that if we believe the word of God is the inerrant truth we would then apply all of God’s word to our life.

Through the years I have reflected upon this statement and often wondered how this would look with many of God’s commands in the Old Testament. Certainly, we don’t have to offer daily sacrifices because Jesus death and shed blood took the place of this daily requirement. And not many of us have free open range where we raise sheep, rams and bulls for the sacrifices required by the ancient Israelites. Nor do we hold fast to the many festivals they were to celebrate.

So how is it we are to take the word of God, the entire word of God literally and apply it to our life practically? It is an issue of our heart. When we are staying connected to Jesus, especially through reading and studying His word, we are engaging with Him in dialogue. His word, which is literally Jesus Himself, is alive and active and if we allow Him the space He will transform us by the power of His Spirit. He begins to show us that the sacrifice is no longer what His shed blood has already covered [the sacrifices of the Old Testament] rather our sacrifice is offering our will to Him like the sweet fragrance of the perfume offered by Mary as she washed his feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

Do you practice righteousness? Do you know how to practice righteousness? Has anyone ever walked alongside you and modeled righteousness to you?

The words of 1 John 3:10 above can seem harsh at first glance but when we dig deeper and learn the original translation we find that anyone not practicing righteousness is not a child of God. Do you practice righteousness? Do you know how to practice righteousness? Has anyone ever walked alongside you and modeled righteousness to you? This is why choosing to be discipled and then discipling others is so important. One aspect of discipleship teaches us how to approach God’s word and begin to understand the marvelous things He wants to show us and how to apply them to our life for righteous living rather than taking His word out of context.

As a believer in Christ you are to be like Jesus [your character matching His]. The only way to be like Jesus is to spend time with Him and as you do your will becomes His will and you learn to love not only your brothers and sisters in Christ but a world population with an inherent desire to simply be known and loved.

Show His love to the world—stay connected to Him.

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Re-born to Walk in Victory

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Have you ever gotten into your car turned the key and nothing? No click, no sound, only silence. You realize you most likely have a dead battery. The solution is a new battery. In the meantime a jump start may bring the dead battery back to life.

Over the last several months my time with Jesus has not been the vibrant, exciting, can’t wait to meet with Him time it has been in seasons past. I have known for quite some time that I needed a jump start, something to propel me into new territory with Him.

Today I had the amazing opportunity to attend a small intimate gathering of women and learn some new and valuable ways to enter into some very sweet time with Him. I experienced Jesus on a new glory plane. As is His nature, he went above and beyond anything I can ever ask or imagine. He showed me wounds from my childhood that I didn’t realize were within me. He walked me through healing and reminded me of my identity and authority in Him.

He increased my freedom!

My prayer for you is that you would ask Jesus to meet you in new and unexpected ways and teach you to simply sit in His presence, listen for His voice and draw you ever closer through His word.

Shalom!

©2018TereseJMBelme

Every Life

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When I was in elementary school I had a great group of friends, even still, I was teased. Today we would call it bullying.

God and I have completely worked through this but I wonder how many years of image shame could have been avoided had I been seen as created in the image of God? True, elementary aged children most likely don’t understand this concept. But you see, it starts with us. With the Body of Christ.

How many of us in the Body blatantly or inadvertently shame others simply because they don’t yet believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Raising my hand here because I am a former legalistic queen, that is, until God opened my eyes to His unending grace. What would it look like if believers around the world joined together as one and viewed every single human being as created in His image? The lies of piousness and holier than thou would fade away and be replaced with who God is––Love.

Tether yourself daily to Jesus and He will tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3). Tuck these truths into your heart, write them on 3×5 cards and beautiful scraps of paper, placing them around your house and carry them with you wherever you go, but most importantly, teach them to your children, your children’s children and to every generation you are blessed to be alive for.

Teach them that all humankind is made in the image of God, therefore God loves His entire creation and so ought we.

Shalom!

©2018TereseJMBelme

 

Never Forget And Always Remember

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Photo Credit Dr. Dick Foth

Have you ever seen this on the back of a fire engine and wondered what it meant? Certainly KEEP BACK is a warning but what about 343 FEET?

Last month I was in D.C. visiting our oldest lovebug and I had the opportunity to attend Theater Church. If I had a bucket list, visiting Theater Church would be on my list. I learned about Theater Church about four years ago after reading Mark Batterson’s book on prayer titled “Circle Maker.” Mark is the lead Pastor and there are eight locations and almost all meet in an actual theater.

Four years ago my daughter was just starting her Freshman year at American University in D.C. and after reading “Circle Maker” I began praying that God would lead her to one of the Theater Church locations. Fast forward to late last year, my husband and I were having our weekly phone date with our lovebug and she tells us that she and some of her friends had gone to a church that she liked and began telling us about this church. When she had finished I said, “That sounds like one of the churches Mark Batterson planted, he is the author of “Circle Maker.” She responded, “Oh yeah, they had his book in the lobby.”  Thank you Jesus.

The Sunday I attended they were just starting a 13 week series titled, “Long Story Short” and I have been following along each week. Because they have a preaching team each Sunday a different Pastor gives the message. The Sunday I was there Mark Batterson gave the message. Two items checked off a bucket list I don’t have! Thank you Jesus.

The message from Sunday March 26, 2017 was given by Dr. Dick Foth and was about warnings. The theme of his message is the one who warns you is the one who loves you. In preparation for his message Dr. Foth took pictures of warning signs. When he saw the above picture on the back of the fire engine he went to the fire house and asked if he could take a picture. He also asked why 343 feet was added to stay back. He was told that on September 11, 2001 343 firefighters lost their lives that day and we will always remember.

Precious One, NEVER forget and always remain connected to The Vine.

Shalom.

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Theater Church

 

But God

 

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It didn’t take me long to embrace this season of restoration. In fact, I jumped and was caught in a bed of springtime flowers. “Here I am Lord, restore me!” Reality check. Restoration is a process.

The saying “Let go and let God” comes to mind. Hmm, letting go. Sometimes I think we hold on so tightly to the way we think things ought to be we actually lose sight of Who God is and what HE is doing! The current conversation I am having with God; “But God, I’m such a good helper!” “My child, I don’t require your help.” “But God” “My daughter there are not ‘buts’, just be.”

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am.

Be still and know.

Be still.

Be.

Shalom!

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