Times of testing continue as each day begins. The pinkish-orange hues of a morning sunrise break forth a beautiful new day.
Each day when new joys and challenges are the norms especially with COVID and WW3 on the horizon, sunrises remind me a new day dawns. The sounds of a rooster crowing, a dog barks, a cat yells to be let outside. Do you need this visual reminder as another day begins?
Being a support to family, friends, and our own children at this time is imperative. However, where do you get your wisdom? Is your wisdom gained from the mindless scrolling of news, social media, or gossip from the smartest person you know?
Or is your truth found when you take time to plug into the source of wisdom, the Bible? It is found in the New Testament, it is the second half of the Christian Bible. It deals with the life and teachings of Jesus along with documented stories and letters from the early Christian church.
James is toward the end of the New Testament. I have loved the book of James because it is so easy to read. It doesn’t matter the generation, it is wise and poignant no matter your station in life. As a single, married, childless, or current mom, friend, or family, or in joy and trial, it is the place to discover wisdom.
James was the biological half-brother of Jesus. He was Mary and Joseph’s son. He hated and misunderstood his big bro, Jesus. He probably was jealous of all the attention Jesus gained until his death on the cross. Then, James had time for introspection and perhaps regret his past relationship with Jesus. He writes to the reader as one who has learned to trust God and put aside his human need to be right.
James 1: 2 - 6 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
Our endurance is being grown by our circumstances. Our loyalty must be with God alone, He never wavers or changes. If you struggle with divided loyalty, such as trying to control things on your own over trusting God. You are not alone so did James.A new sunrise, a new day can bring a new response. make it a good one.
I really appreciate the wisdom I have found from Kari Kampakis. I have two of her books. If you have a preteen, teenager or even young adult kids, you will benefit from her consistent, transparent, God given wisdom.
I am blessed to reblog this post “10 ways to Love a Teenager”. I am sure it will be a great resource. God bless you as a mentor, parent, friend, human. 😉 Mary
I was a teen when MTV was introduced. I love music it brings joy to my day. For this reason, I love to share songs most weeks on my blog that have impacted my life. In our current generation with YouTube, Spotify, Sirius radio, and even the standard FM radio, the access points are endless. I was blessed to see We the Kingdom in concert and they were amazing.
Music can soothe, can pump ya up as you get ready to play a sport, bring you down with lyrics that express despair, or just get your feet tapping. Music can bring flash photographs of the first times you heard a song or a season of your life.Parenting and music go hand in hand. I love to share my love of music with my kids and remind them the best music was in the 80s :). I use instrumental or classical music for homework or stressful times.
Lyrics to songs add intensity and address the human condition. Somehow the singer expresses your inner emotions better than you could. Sometimes their despair is catching especially when you are a teen in angst. Sometimes their joy can fill your heart and mind with peace.
Did you know there are men and women in the Bible that love music? In fact, we are called to sing songs and dance with joy. When we choose this action, we feel calmer, more energetic, more peaceful. Our bodies were made for the beat.
There are many scriptures that reference music and instruments.1 Chronicle 13 shares a time David and all Israel celebrated before God in songs and with musical instruments.
1 Chronicle 13:8 David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, singing songs and playing all kinds of musical instruments—lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals, and trumpets.
David was a man after God’s own heart. He was known for his love of music. The Book of Psalms has many of David’s songs written on many human emotions, he is able to express times of hopelessness, depression, sadness, fear, and joy. Psalms is a great place in the Bible to feel a connection to God regardless of the days’ events. You will feel understood and like David you will see how he processed despair and came to the knowledge of the Lord and their amazing loving relationship as the answer.
Psalm 42:8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.
Psalm 66:4 Everything on earth will worship you; they will sing your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs.
Psalm 98 beautifully expresses singing to a new level. It describes victory and love for God’s people and even describes the earth singing and making music. I was in awe as I read this psalm. Take a moment to ponder its words written by David.
1 Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
2 The Lord has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
3 He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
5 make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the Lord, the King.
7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.
Have you ever wondered why you love music? It started at Creation. It is a God-given gift. Just imagine the sea, the earth, and every living thing praises their Creator.
Visualize the river clapping in glee. Beautiful creation resonates with their own sounds. I see that smile forming on your face. Find joy, dance if you wish, and Praise Him.
Let me know if you found these amazing scriptures as fascinating as I.
1 John 4:11-21 NLT  Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
The challenges of the COVID years have brought more fear, less love. Fear of the unknown causes some to isolate, to put up not only their mask but in a sense a fence across their lives.
Fear is a tool of the enemy meant to devour peace, joy and love. Fear can cause divisions in families when people conflict in their understanding of truth. The culture further isolates by fear mongering and continuous barrages of emergency notices. It causes overloaded emotions. feelings and emotions are intense, griping and exhausting however they are not truth. Emotions that run wild cause us to devour and destroy our relationships. Having a relationship with Jesus brings truth and faith over fear.
God calls us not to fear. God calls us to love. I love 1 John : 4. Let me share more gold nuggets of faith in verses 15 – 19.
15] All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.  We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.  And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  We love each other because he loved us first.
Love is an anecdote to fear. God is love, He wants you to throw out the fear and choose a perfect love. When you choose God ( Jesus) you choose to listen to Him not feelings.
Do you know Jesus loves you? I mean really Loves you. He wants to know you in a relationship. Do you want to know a love like this? It is a step of faith with Him. It is a life-changing experience. He wants to know You!!
In John 4, there’s a story of a woman who had a hard life, had many lovers, Jesus met her at a well. She was seen as less than, yet Jesus loved her. Jesus wanted her to know He came to save her from her sins of the past and He would be water for her thirst. Unquenchable thirst refreshed by the amazing Jesus, the Water of Life.
John 4: 10 – 15
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
These are not just words, they are life-giving. It does not matter where you have been women or men. Jesus waits for you to call out to Him, He loves you!!!
Love Like this, a beautiful song by Lauren Daigle came onto my playlist yesterday. It has been a while since I heard this song, powerful lyrics bring hope and a reminder that the love of Jesus! He is the living water in a wasteland. Jesus is a warm morning sunrise after a dark, lonely night.
We may not feel we deserve a love like this but Jesus says we are His! Seek to know Him! Let the whisper of His voice fill your mind with hope. Enjoy basking in Him.
We cannot earn a love like Jesus gives, it is a free gift. Isn’t that amazing?
In the Bible, Chapter 14 of John tells us about a conversation between Jesus and doubting Thomas along with the disciples. I share this chapter to show you Jesus understands our human doubt. He loves us anyway!
John 14: 1 – 14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.[c] From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.
12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
Jesus told his disciples after he briefly returned from death on the cross, He would send an advocate (the Holy Spirit) to guide them.
Matthew 14: 15 – 21 shares what Jesus said to his best friends, the disciples. We are not alone after we accept Jesus as our Savior, we also have an Advocate (the Holy Spirit) along with Jesus who intercedes for us before God the Father.
Jesus said 15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
The Living Water of Jesus is for everyone. We are all sinners who fall short of perfection. Yet Jesus died a sinner’s death on the cross. He rose from the dead and shared the news of the Holy Spirit with his disciples. who in turn shared the story in the Bible.
Did you know Bible Gateway ( BibleGateway.com ) has a website that you can access online for the Bible?I use the New Living translation or the Message versions because I feel they are easier to understand.
The Bible is the most read book of all time according to Business insider, and the best selling book of all time according to Guiness Book of World records.Consider a new year as an opportunity to access the Bible for yourselves.
We can start a new year with a new life in Jesus. We can accept this free gift of love. He gives us a beautiful love like this, reach for it today!
John 3:16-17 NLT  “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
We live in a time of challenges, COVID, mandates, isolation for some, human trafficking, addictions, political unrest, etc.
If we fix our minds on the worlds crisis points we can easily be taken over by fear, anxiety, and depression. But the Lord tells us to believe in His plans for good not disaster, for a future of hopeful things.
In our human mind, those goals seem unreachable. But putting our fear behind us and choosing to hold onto faith in our Creator takes guts, a strength beyond ourselves. People may think we are nuts but choosing to live with the Joy of the Lord as our strength is the place to start.
Consider writing the Jeremiah 29:11 scripture on a post it note or index card. Tape it to your mirror or place it on your car visor. As you feel the worries of the world attempt to steal your joy or purpose take a look at the scripture, read it aloud again and remember the truth.
Mindset changes do not happen over night. So start today, it is a new year, choose new hope. It may be contagious as the COVID virus. You may not feel complete confidence in the Lord at first, but He can be trusted.
Let me know if your posting the scripture was helpful. I know this technique has been helpful to me.
Leave your response on my blog. Answer this question: What worry do I have to give to the Lord? Why do I resist handing the worry to Him? Let us grow together in the knowledge of God.
His story and life has been shared for over 2000 years, make a change in where you place your hope today.
Psalm 25:9 NLT He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way.
If there is one thing I have learned about my home state, Colorado it is resilience. The climate is desert like in the foothills especially this past year. The prairie grasses were crispy dry, yellow and trees were increasingly parched. We needed water, rain, snow and precipitation.
Last week, the rest of the country saw what can happen when our hurricane winds mix with a spark of fire. The remnants of burned out or destroyed to the ground homes / businesses along with thick smoke and ash hung in the air. We may not be California but we have forest fires and prairie fires.
I know friends who lost everything. Please continue to pray for the victims of the Colorado fires, pray for the towns of Superior and Louisville, there are many families in need.
Grateful to live in a community that is resilient, compassionate and will love their neighbor by serving those in crisis.
The power of nature is amazing, destructive and will bring new life. In the meantime, I leave you with a snapshot from my area. The beautiful morning on a Colorado farm, peace in the vision of a palomino horse. Purple,pink skies and purple mountains majesty are the reward for those who reside in our state. We are a place of beauty from the ashes.
Isaiah 61:3 To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
We will rebuild. We will be renewed. We are Colorado strong, our state motto is “Nothing without Providence”. May there truly be beauty for ashes. Appreciate your lifting up prayer.