Lord, keep pouring

Evil will not win! I know days can be exhausting and weariness can sap your strength. I know trials can feel overwhelming and peace seems unattainable. I know you may feel alone and unseen.

I have been in your position and may be there again today: sad, lonely, lost and overwhelmed, without hope and in conflict. I learned to rebuke thoughts that bring darkness. Shake those thoughts meant to bind you from your mind, feelings are deceptive. Faith in the unseen God are truth. The choice is to stay deceived or reach to new freedom and truth.

Hebrews 12:1-2,5-6 TPT
As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us. [2] We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!

[5] And have you forgotten his encouraging words spoken to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t underestimate the value of the discipline and training of the Lord God, or get depressed when he has to correct you. [6] For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of his faithful love. And when he draws you to himself, it proves you are his delightful child.”

I have learned and learn daily to take my burdens to the Cross of Christ. I literally see myself labeling the heavy rocks and boulders with these words. I see myself dragging these heavy burdens to Jesus!

I ask for His strength to get me to His feet, I may cry out aloud, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Because I don’t know what else to say. His word says, He understands our groaning through the Holy Spirit. That is not a human concept but everything is possible for God. In the supernatural, holding His hand, listening for His voice, I can find hope again.

Psalm 36, the Passion version, described well the struggle of rebellion of sin and also the mercy seat love of God. His love is extravagant but we need to open our hearts to this amazing gift.

Psalm 36:1-12 TPT
A poetic song, by King David, the servant of the Lord The rebellion of sin speaks as an oracle of God, speaking deeply to the conscience of wicked men. Yet they are still eager to sin, for the fear of God is not before their eyes. [2] See how they flatter themselves, unable to detect and detest their sins. They are crooked and conceited, convinced they can get away with anything. [3] Their wicked words are nothing but lies. Wisdom is far from them. Goodness is both forgotten and forsaken. [4] They lie awake at night to hatch their evil plots, always planning their schemes of darkness, and never once do they consider the evil of their ways. [5] But you, O Lord, your mercy-seat love is limitless, reaching higher than the highest heavens. Your great faithfulness is infinite, stretching over the whole earth. [6] Your righteousness is unmovable, just like the mighty mountains. Your judgments are as full of wisdom as the oceans are full of water. Your tender care and kindness leave no one forgotten, not a man nor even a mouse. [7] O God, how extravagant is your cherishing love! All mankind can find a hiding place under the shadow of your wings. [8] All may drink of the anointing from the abundance of your house. All may drink their fill from the delightful springs of Eden. [9] To know you is to experience a flowing fountain, drinking in your life, springing up to satisfy. In the light of your holiness we receive the light of revelation. [10] Lord, keep pouring out your unfailing love on those who are near you. Release more of your blessings to those who are loyal to you. [11] Don’t let these proud boasters trample me down; don’t let them push me around by the sheer strength of their wickedness. [12] There they lie in the dirt, these evil ones, thrown down to the ground, never to arise again!

Lord, keep pouring out Your wisdom, Your Peace and Your Love! Change me from the inside out. Release more of your truth and blessings to those loyal to you. Draw those who feel lost and alone to Your mercy seat of love and grace. In the light of your holiness we receive the light of revelation. Jesus, Holy Spirit we need You, Amen!

Fisherman or Fish

Photo by Sirikul R on Pexels.com

Fishermen have a difficult job, they are at the mercy of nature, chaotic weather patterns, and abundant supply of fish. Fishermen have to trust the wisdom of generations of fishermen and luck. However, when the nets remain empty, they are sunk.

As it is in life, there are times when we don’t know where to plant our steps or drop our nets. We may feel the world is chaos, but the Lord is drawing His people to seek Him. Jesus calls us to listen to His wisdom.

At times, He may instruct us to step back from groups of friends, maybe even family, that are not aligned with His ways. Maybe we need to shake the dust off some of the choices of our past.Or He may encourage our boldness to share our life stories of joy, hardship, and His deliverance.

It is hard for me to live in conflict with anyone. But just as the fisherman, Simon Peter, and Andrew were called by Jesus as the first disciples to drop their nets and become fishers of men, we are also called to do the same, to seek Jesus and follow Him.

Matthew 4:18-22 AMP 18 As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He noticed two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 19 And He said to them, “[b]Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk], and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example]. 21 And going on [further] from there He noticed two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, in the boat with their father [c]Zebedee, mending their nets; and He called them [to follow Him as His disciples]. 22 Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example].

It may cause distress, and emotional upheaval but I am learning to follow Jesus instead of other things. You may get crazy looks, or have people say, ” No thanks, I don’t want to hear your thoughts.” Jesus still wants us to make fishers of men, to make disciples in the nations, across the street, or even the world. He will use your life story.

The statement “shake the dust off our feet” means being okay with walking away from people who may not be open to the Word of God, Jesus. We must stand firm in Jesus Christ alone, not be afraid to claim His truth ( He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life ), and share with others our personal testimony of His work in our lives.

We are not superior to any human, we must seek the Lord for His words to others before a word leaves our lips. We must forgive others who are not ready to hear the gospel but pray for them. We must seek Jesus forgiveness for our past poor choices and start over with an evolving testimony to share.

Some people may think we are religious nuts or will not listen to our call by the Holy Spirit to share what we have learned from our walk with Jesus. It can hurt our hearts and make us second guess the call Jesus has on our lives.

But stand firm, there are certain people you are called to intersect and share your story. I have been fearful at times to step out in boldness, however, I am amazed when I have spoken as He prompts, I am humbled and in awe of how Jesus fills my words with His truth.

We are not all-knowing, we are not the Savior, Jesus is. Just as He prepared the first disciples, He will prepare us. We must give people space after we share His transforming work in our life. Sometimes we must give grace, tighten our sandles and walk on.

We must Let go and Let God be the source for their transformation. You may be just a seed sower and they will need more time. Emotionally letting go of family or friends who don’t know Jesus or who have stepped away from His umbrella of protection feels sad and without hope.

However, Jesus can work with your loved ones when you step out of the way. Shaking the dust off your feet can bring more clarity as Jesus speaks through the next person He has directed across their path. Shaking the dust off the poor choices of the past can also bring new life in a new relationship with Jesus.

Sean Curran has a meaningful message of patience in his song, ” Shake the Dust off.” His lyrics remind us to ” Shake off the dust and let fear fall.. let praise arise” and ” Arise, O generation, revivals’ on the run”.

We can trust our God, He will not be silenced, His truth never changes, and soon the whole world will know, there is no King but Jesus.

Be a fisher of men for Jesus! Consider throwing out the net if you know Jesus as Savior, or seek to be caught by Jesus, grab the net if you want to know Him.

2 Thessalonians 3:16

Now may the Lord of peace Himself grant you His peace at all times and in every way [that peace and spiritual well-being that comes to those who walk with Him, regardless of life’s circumstances. The Lord be with you all.

Distraction and Lampstands

Will you be ready when Jesus comes? Some prophets believe we are in the end of times. I choose not to live in fear but instead carefully choose who I listen to, in church leadership or online. I want to follow those whose discussions line up with the Bible. I must spend time reading the Bible myself so I can learn Godly wisdom and discern the truth.

Our world of distraction is set on keeping you unsettled, and being like a dog chasing his tail. If we feel fear, panic, dread or uncertainty, we may be even more susceptible to listening to the wrong voice.

Even worse, apathy may lead us to believe we have plenty of time to get wisdom, read the Bible and seek Jesus. This mindset from the devil may be our undoing. It isn’t about being a good person. It is about seeking a relationship with Jesus and growing in our daily life with words and actions that reflect Him. Not perfection but transformation in our time with our Savior.

What is the distraction that keeps you staying away from Jesus? Consider the distraction of the dog in the movie, Upwards. It is like a dog who hears the word Squirrell and runs into the street instead of staying safe.

Noise, more noise, people, media, the hustle of life, looking at the stock market, trying to make ends meet, what a distraction. It can be the comparison trap whether you are a child, teen, young adult, or any age. We can take the bait. A trap of distraction is just a screenshot away.

But when Jesus comes, will you be ready? Do you think you still have time? Scripture tells us, “Jesus knows the number of our days, but no one knows when Jesus will come”.

Matthew 25:1-13 NLT
“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. [2] Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. [3] The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, [4] but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. [5] When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. [6] “At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’ [7] “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. [8] Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ [9] “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’ [10] “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. [11] Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’ [12] “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’ [13] “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.

Have you ever heard of the 10 Bridesmaids? Will you be one of the five with ready lamps or not? This story in scripture may bring a feeling of conviction. I know it did for me. Conviction isn’t bad, because it can prompt you to change to a better future, even more, an eternal future with Jesus. I need a poke on occasion, how about you?

Merriam Webster definition of conviction : the act of convincing a person of error or of compelling the admission of a truth. Conviction can lead to transformation, condemnation comes from the devil.

So on those days when your distraction, “squirrel”, seems to chitter loudly, reconsider your position. Seek first Jesus, spend time reading His Word, the Bible, accept Jesus as Savior, believe He is Lord, let Him be the Lord of your life. James or Matthew are great places to start, and be ready with your oil and lamp.

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 MSG
May God our Father himself and our Master Jesus clear the road to you! And may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our Master Jesus arrives with all his followers.

You can’t get away

Reach out for Him

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed it lately but my blog post has a similar theme. I want you to understand how much Jesus loves you! I have a passion deep in my heart to let you know how much Jesus loves you!

He gives us free will to reach out to him, so call out to him today, say Jesus I’m a sinner I want a relationship with you. Jesus, please forgive me for the choices in my past. Jesus, I want you in my life.

He will not force Himself on you. He wants you to choose. He knew you from the moment of your conception. He created you in His Image. He wants a relationship with you!! Yes, You!!!

But we must choose that relationship.! Choose that relationship today before time goes by before the day ends! Because you can’t get away from His unconditional love. Accept His Love today!

The song. “I Can’t get away”, by Melissa Helser, feat. Naomi Raine is just so cool, so deep, so amazing, it just feels like it reaches down into my soul. I hope it affects you in the same way.

I can’t get away!!!

Matthew 7:7-8 NLT
[7] “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. [8] For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Jesus wants to be your protective shade. Let Him. The time is now!!

Psalm 121:5 NLT
[5] The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.

His Infinite Names

I don’t know anyone who’s known by hundreds maybe even thousands of names other than our Lord: Faithful Father, Lamb of God, Creator, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, Lord of Lords. The list is endless.

Something to meditate on: this is the same person; Jesus, Father, Holy Spirit, and Creator God who wants to know you.

I heard the song by Sean Curran “1000 names”, it’s so powerful to hear and take. Because it reminds me that within those thousand names I can find the right name I may need for today, tomorrow, or my future.

If I’m in a happy content place, I might find the name King of Kings or Lord of Lords to be cool! If I’m in a time of confusion, Wonderful Counselor may be the correct name to impact my mind and life. If I’m needing relief through conflict, Prince of Peace may mean something to me. If you are struggling with mental or physical health, He is the Healer ( Jehovah Rapha)!

We need to share His infinite Names with those we love; friends, family, children, teens, young adults, and even strangers. It may be the beginning of their walk with the unchanging God of the universe.

I hope you enjoy the song as much as I did. The same God who has multiple names wants to know yours. Even though he has various names, there is only one King Jesus!

1000 Names Sean Curran

Amazing to think, God is immutable but His Names are multiple in the description of His reach. He will finish what He starts! He will not give up on You! Sing to Him who is worthy of praise.

Living Water

Do you feel dehydrated? The summer through fall heat can surely parch us physically. However, the emotions and spiritual needs of our body need the help of our Creator God. The world culture and political climate alone can feel overwhelmingly toxic and heated with conflict. Are you seeking the only place for Peace, Jesus?
He wants to guide our path with Living Water to replenish our lives
.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT
[7] “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. [8] They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.

The story of the Samaritan woman stands the test of time. She went to the well to draw water in the height of midday, the sun was intense, the heat of the desert was exhausting. She went to draw water at hottest time.

Why would the Samaritan woman choose to avoid people In her town? Jews and Samaritans did not talk, it was forbidden. She did not feel worthy of their communication. She felt judged by all since she had more than one husband, she was known as an adulterer. Women judged and some men took advantage of her poverty.

Jesus knew who the Samaritan woman was, He planned to meet her at the well and share His unconditional love, she would have her testimony of grace, mercy and unconditional love. Jesus loved her and spoke truth into her life. He accepted she was a sinner. But He wanted to provide a new life. He even let her know “ you have had many husbands.” He gave her a chance to repent and receive His Living Water.

The story has not changed. Even today, humans can seek Jesus. He is not available for one people but for all. If our sins were revealed, not one of us could stand before Jesus.

Read the Samaritan story for yourself. It is a story of God’s grace and mercy on display. It is amazing.

John 4:1-15,23-24,26 NLT
[1] Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John [2] (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them-his disciples did). [3] So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. [4] He had to go through Samaria on the way. [5] Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. [6] Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. [7] Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” [8] He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. [9] The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” [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.” [23] But the time is coming-indeed it’s here now-when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. [24] For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” [26] Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!”

Today, could be the day you accept the free gift of Jesus your Savior. He wants to restore broken places, bring refreshment in Living Water, and guide you to a new life with Him. Get ready for a new beginning.

Be filled with the Holy Spirit! Refreshment is just a step away. He will restore and guide. Be like a well watered garden, be fruitful.

Isaiah 58:11 NLT
[11] The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.

The Lord will give Living water, you will thirst no more. Say aloud: Jesus, I am a sinner, I need You Lord. I believe You are my Savior, I want You to change my life from the inside out. Please forgive my sins. Make me whole in You alone.

John 3:3-21 NLT
[3] Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” [4] “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” [5] Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. [6] Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. [7] So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ [8] The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” [9] “How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked. [10] Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? [11] I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. [12] But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? [13] No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. [14] And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, [15] so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. [16] “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. [17] God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. [18] “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. [19] And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. [20] All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. [21] But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

If you have made this declaration aloud, I rejoice with you.

Praise You Lord for the new journey, it takes the first step, hold onto Jesus, turn your life over to Him daily. He will restore you.

I love you Jesus, You are the Living Water. There is no better place for refreshment.

Rivers flow

Photo by Chris Larson on Pexels.com

What fills your mind when you think of white water rafting? It’s a risky sport; amazement as you hear the crashing waves against the boulders and trees, large branches float alongside, it’s a pretty fantastic experience.

Just watching the power of nature and feeling so small when you listen adds to the excitement. From the roadside, it may seem a beautiful peace but experiencing it while being on a raft is something entirely different.

Preparation, before you get on the raft, reminds you of the importance of the river guide. His expertise in river safety teaches you the proper fitting for a crash helmet or the proper fit to snug your vest so tight that you could barely breathe.

As the expert guides, you learn the paddle strokes: forward, back, or how to work as a team on the left or the right of the raft, how to back up a raft, and how to turn a raft. I see the river guides’ purpose: fun, memorable stories, love of nature, and safely bringing you back with an amazing experience.

The guide is your safety net and your compass while on the river. His purpose is to help you avoid the pitfalls or the obstacles that may stop you from having a safe track down the river. Obstacles such as huge boulders, swirling cesspools that are under the water, or trapping trees in different parts of the river might entangle.

Working as a team is huge when you’re on a raft which is why listening to the voice of the guide is so important. You have to be able to hear him above the crashing waves.

It is a metaphor for life to be able to listen to the guide above the voices or the noises in the crashing waves in our lives. To be able to listen to our Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, is priceless.

Revelation 22:1,17 NLT
[1] Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

In 1995, I had a rafting experience that changed the trajectory of my life. I still reflect on what I learned daily. Because I almost lost my life on that white water rafting trip on the Cache de Poudre River.

I was hyper-vigilant listening to the guides’ instructions because I wanted to have a great trip and was scared to go on class 4-5 rapids. I needed to trust the guide to give me the right directions. The crash position is looked as if you were a baby with your arms wrapped around your knees bobbing in the water. I figured it was important to listen to these things. I hoped I would not be thrown out of the raft.


Photo by Walter Rock on Pexels.com

Unfortunately, I realized my need for the crash position when all eight of us were sucked out of the raft in a bend called Cardiac Corner. We were trying to help the raft ahead of us to propel out of the suction in a cesspool, Cardiac corner is a class 4-5 rapid, risky because of spring runoff. I felt the flaying legs of the people who were in the raft above me as I was in a cesspool trying to figure out where the sky was.

All eight of us scrambled to swim to the shore. I was below everyone, I was the last rafter rescued, crashing and entangling trees, smashing into boulders, twirling upside down, in the crash position, even as the raft went over my head.

I prayed for a calm mind and had an amazing conversation with my God. I felt as if I was sitting in the hand of the Lord once I humbled myself and said “Lord if I’m supposed to survive this and help me to be calm and not get too badly injured”. It was a transforming experience in my life. I ended up with many bruises head to toe, but no head injury. I determined to follow the Lord’s plan for my life not Mary’s plan. My husband, who was on the raft, could not believe my peacefulness. We relocated to Colorado and my journey with my God has never been the same.

Life has many twists and turns, however, God is immutable, never changing! I still go back to those key transforming lessons. I hope this reflection might be a help to you as you navigate the waters and the raging rapids life can bring.

Reflections to meditate on:

  1. We can’t do this life alone. There’s something bigger than us, our Creator God who made all things.
  2. Expect the unexpected but don’t be afraid. Behind the scenes the Lord is orchestrating great things, don’t be afraid of the bends of your river journey.
  3. The crashing waves may feel overwhelming at times but reach out to Jesus who walks on water and wants to be your guide.
  4. Every bump and bruise will have a purpose you may not see initially. But you will grow through the challenges of life, especially when you ask Jesus to guide you.
  5. His plan is to bring you abundant life, so reach out for God‘s goodness.
  6. It takes faith and something bigger than ourselves the Father, His son: Jesus, and the Holy Spirit can be our compass and our guide. He really does want the best for us!
  7. There may be those around you that live in fear and want to keep you back from God’s best. Don’t allow someone else’s journey to stop you from yours.
  8. And trust Jesus in all things, He is the healer of mind, body, and soul and through his Holy Spirit, You will be blown away at how far He takes you in this river of life.

[17] The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.

Listen as He speaks

Lord, we want to listen as You speak. Thank you that you are patient. My heart overflowed with love for our God as I listened to this song, “I’m Listening” by Chris McClarney and Hollyn. ” When you speak confusion fades,just a Word and suddenly I am not afraid,” amazing lyrics. Listen as He speaks to you.


https://youtu.be/nT8iKdwbKdU

[5] LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. [6] The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! [7] I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. [8] I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

Listen for the Lords’ wisdom above the noise.

Break the cycle, Armor Up!

Has anyone else witnessed increased rage behavior? Lately, I have been feeling more oppression, conflicts, unrest, and lack of understanding in community and personally, it is not just politically. Yes, it feels like spiritual warfare is ramping up.

The enemy of our soul wants us to live in fear and take our eyes off the Creator of the universe and everything good in it. The pressure cooker of relationship challenges or watching from the sidelines conflicts between children to young adults can exhaust. The devil is the leader of destruction, he wants to steal, kill and destroy each person created in the Image of God. If he can cause us to hate each other because of rejection, he brings on darkness.

I can almost hear the gnashing of teeth and furious temper tantrum of a two year old that didn’t get its’ toy. The raging person may be child, teen, young adult or seasoned one. This mindset of control comes from the enemy. No one should demand a relationship and rule in fear. This is unhealthy and those patterns must be broken. It can be the beginning of emotional abuse leading to domestic violence. Using force or coercion encourages the predator to get more controlling.

It is at these times when I feel this upside down world of war, I must stand firm in my faith in Jesus! Our youth, teens and young adults have had a marred few years in Covid lockdown. It hasn’t only been isolation for supposed community health sake but a mental health nightmare. We have all been effected in someway, even the most stable in our peer groups.

I believe our children need our input even more today. When we show healthy responses in disappointment, we are reminded we don’t do life alone but have each other to lift up the power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to fight with His mighty army against the enemies schemes.

Psalm 103:19-22 NLT [19] The LORD has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything. [20] Praise the LORD, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands. [21] Yes, praise the LORD, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will! [22] Praise the LORD, everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom. Let all that I am praise the LORD.

Teaching our children to stand firm in their faith, listen without talking, asking questions to clarify if they want help can be a great start. We want our kids to feel comfortable seeking parents or friends for help. Our kids need to know we are a safe place. We have to reflect self control like Jesus. Together, We can bring our concerns before God and He will provide His army along with wisdom. Silence allows violence. Sharing challenges can break the isolation predators use to trap another person and the unhealthy patterns can be broken in community.

I have on my battle armor. It comes from the Lord. This battle gear must be put on daily and at times I must speak aloud each part. Ephesians 6 describes the Armor of God, every morning I pray this over my family. There have been days I prayed this scripture over my kids at night as they slept or holding their hands while the battle raged. You can place your child’s name wherever appropriate in the scripture below.

Ephesians 6:11-18 NLT
[11] Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. [12] For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. [14] Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. [15] For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. [16] In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. [17] Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. [18] Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Jesus is the only hope for each of us. Get on the Armor of God. Just like in an airplane, put on your armor first, then show your kids how to put on theirs. Take a deep breath that comes from God. Our continued prayers and communication with the Holy Spirit are power beyond our human understanding. There is a battle going on in the supernatural but in the end Jesus wins.

Romans 5:3-5 NLT [3] We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. [4] And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. [5] And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Words Matter: Do you want to start a forest fire ?

Forest fires start with words

How are you using your words, blessing or cursing? It matters to God how we treat those He places along our path. No one is perfect not one of us!

My current self reflection is: are my words encouraging, speaking truth in love or in frustration, snarky, unthinking babble?

What is my main purpose when speaking is to be right or to cause more destruction to someone who is struggling? Have you ever thought about how your words impact people in your sphere?

Matthew 12:34-37 NLT
[34] You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. [35] A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. [36] And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. [37] The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”

Do you want to acquit or condemn another person who is created by God? Gossip or slander tears down, it does not build up, even in asking prayer for someone. Go to God with concerns, He knows the details of His children. There are times you feel prompted to share your struggles, the Lord will guide you to safe, Loving, Godly brothers and sisters in Christ.

Titus 3:1-2 NLT
[1] Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. [2] They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.

Do you want to be known as the quarrelsome, judgmental Christian or a gentle, humble servant of Jesus? If you are a parent, our kids watch how we use our tongues. Troubles come when we speak without thinking. I am guilty of this character flaw. It’s as if my tongue has a mind of its own. James is a solid book of the Bible, here are a few pearls of wisdom I turn to often.

James 1:2-12,26 NLT
[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. [7] Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. [8] Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. [9] Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. [10] And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. [11] The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. [12] God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. [26] If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.

Reread James 1:26: If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and our religion is worthless. Wow, that hurts, it is a conviction in your heart meant to bring a pause, and lead you to repent, ask forgiveness from Jesus and for help to break this flaw, in the Name of Jesus. We can’t do this on our own, our flesh gets the credit for impulse control issues. We need to grow in self control, a fruit of the spirit!!

Galatians 5:22-25 NLT
[22] But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! [24] Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. [25] Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.

Those who parent, mentor, or feel the call to share wisdom with others are called to a higher standard. Their loyalty must be in God alone. We live in a world with trial and daily we get the opportunity to hone our faith in Jesus. We must be humble and seek the Lord for all things, too.

James 3:1-10,13,17-18 NLT
[1] Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. [2] Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. [3] We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. [4] And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. [5] In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. [6] And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. [7] People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, [8] but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. [9] Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. [10] And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! [13] If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. [17] But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. [18] And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

The tongue can bless or curse. Do you want to start a forest fire? Our tongue and words can be restless and evil, especially when you are Hangry. I remind myself to evaluate for H.A.L.T.: Hungry, Angry,Lonely,Tired. Even still, there is no excuse for lack of self control.

On my own, I may not be gentle, peace loving, or willing to yield to another. But with accountability of fellow believers in Christ, time in stillness speaking with my best friend, Jesus and asking Him to help me change character flaws, I am hopeful of healthy communications. Grateful to those who speak truth over my circumstances so I can grow in Christ and in community of His people.

I want to be known as a peacemaker and an example of a fruit bearing Christian, how about you? It is a new day, start to tame your tongue and may the words we speak be pleasing to God and encourage others.

Psalm 19:14 NLT
[14] May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Sky’s the limit!!