Beauty for ashes

Beauty for ashes post forest fire by MM

Pain can be overwhelming, and emotions can heighten our belief that we can’t conquer the beast. No matter what life brings we have to turn our eyes to Jesus. Fix our minds on what Jesus says about us.

I just want to let you know there’s only love at the cross of Christ! So no matter what you’re going through Jesus waits to love you.

Shame is the devil’s tool to keep you from God‘s purpose in your life. It is a huge wall that the enemy tries to put between you and your Savior Jesus!

Isaiah 61:1-3 NLT
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. [2] He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. [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.

There’s only love in the heart of Jesus! Sometimes circumstances beyond our control, our own personal choices, can lead to experiences that try to destroy us. But God wants to break through all of that. And He wants you to come to the Father!

A friend shared this song by Zach Williams, the “Heart of God”. Someone I love is struggling right now, however, the message of God‘s promises in the song is true. So go to the arms of God!

Isaiah 61:8-9 NLT
“For I, the LORD, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering and make an everlasting covenant with them. [9] Their descendants will be recognized and honored among the nations. Everyone will realize that they are a people the LORD has blessed.”

Our Children

I feel drawn to share this October 2021 blog post today, we live in a crazy time and Our Children need our love, the Word of God, and hope. I hope you read this post and find it as timely as I did today.
Thanksgiving can be a day of wonderful family memories or hard, depressed lonely times. We can act in love regardless by praying for the Lord to illuminate our purpose and give us the ability to pray for God’s children (whether we have one or not). Sharing hope and love, our job is to get to work and pray for His people. You are not alone the Lord sees you and loves you. Peace, Mary

Inspiring Light Through the Cracks

Amy Carmichael was a 19th century missionary from Ireland. Amy opened an orphanage at the age of 28. At this time, women were not on the mission field alone. She loved children and sacrificed her life by serving India’s children. She felt the call of God and left her home of comfort to make a difference.

God delights to meet the faith of one who looks up to Him and says, “Lord, You know that I cannot do this–but I believe that you can!” -Amy Carmichael

Modern day parenting is a challenge, however, Amy was a single woman and God used her in a mighty way. Her quote showed what can happen when you trust God, we are called to speak truth and share our faith in Jesus with our own children. We are called to trust God with the unknown. God calls parents to teach their children His ways…

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I got plans!

Life is a puzzle

I’m not sure about you, however, I have plans for my life, my kids lives and ideas for a world of peace. The problem is in my zest for being in control I can shut down the better plans. Over the years, I have heard, “you are not in charge, you may not have the right solution.”

When I get in the way of my Creator God and His plans things can become a tornado and swirl to effect not only me but those I love. I have had to step back and let God/ Jesus/ Holy Spirit be the teacher. I need instruction and direction or I wander like a lost sheep. Can you relate?

Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT
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. [12] In those days when you pray, I will listen. [13] If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

Pausing from my want of control makes me take a step back and breathe. Take a breath right now! Ponder that circumstance or person that you want to control. Take another breath, deeper this time. Blow out the hurried anxious mindset, breathe in the Breathe of life that comes from the One who created you.

Now consider this scripture verse set and push a reset in your mind:

Psalm 20:1-6 MSG
GOD answer you on the day you crash, The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm’s reach, Send reinforcements from Holy Hill, Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies, Exclaim over your offerings, Celebrate your sacrifices, Give you what your heart desires, Accomplish your plans. [5] When you win, we plan to raise the roof and lead the parade with our banners. May all your wishes come true! [6] That clinches it-help’s coming, an answer’s on the way, everything’s going to work out.

Did you slow down that busy brain of yours? I know I had to reread this scripture from the Message version, it’s more similar to contemporary speech. So if you have time, reread Psalm 20. It will be worth it.

This morning, I was amazed to hear a song by Rend Collective, “Plans”. The words were a great reminder that our God has plans for us. He can be trusted. Our problem is our need to control. Enjoy the pause as you listen.

Here’s the reality, in our fast paced world, we have gotten used to an immediate solution. God doesn’t work that way, He sees our lives and those we love as a finished masterpiece. Visualize a puzzle that needs to be completed. The multiple shades of color bright and dark require intricate position of the pieces. It takes time for the Masterpiece to be completed.

Sometimes our response from God can be immediate, or perhaps soon or the harder response to wait. But our God is working on each of our life stories, He needs our cooperation and submission to His plan. So let Him lead your day and be in His control it’s a more peaceful place to rest.

This thanksgiving week, choose thankfulness for the little things and gratitude to our God, the Puzzler Master, who made you. He will finish the work He starts if you allow Him.

Philippians 1:6 NLT
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Commit my Heart?

What our heart treasures shows where we are committed. Today, I felt drawn to the heart and commitment. Just yesterday, I was sharing with my teen the difference between feelings and faith in God. The raw hormones of a teen guy or gal can feel like truth. But when we step back and breathe we can learn the heart is an impulsive organ.

Scripture shares multiple examples of this process. Mediate on what God says about the heart. It may provide a new instruction and it will be truth.

Numbers 6:24-26 AMP

The LORD bless you, and keep you [protect you, sustain you, and guard you]; [25] The LORD make His face shine upon you [with favor], And be gracious to you [surrounding you with lovingkindness]; [26] The LORD lift up His countenance (face) upon you [with divine approval], And give you peace [a tranquil heart and life].’

Deuteronomy 4:29-31 NLT

But from there you will search again for the LORD your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him. [30] “In the distant future, when you are suffering all these things, you will finally return to the LORD your God and listen to what he tells you. [31] For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NLT

“Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. [5] And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. [6] And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. [7] Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. [8] Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. [9] Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Matthew 5:5 AMP

“Blessed [inwardly peaceful, spiritually secure, worthy of respect] are the gentle [the kind-hearted, the sweet-spirited, the self-controlled], for they will inherit the earth.

Matthew 6:19-24 AMP

“Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. [20] But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; [21] for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also. [22] “The eye is the lamp of the body; so if your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. [23] But if your eye is bad [spiritually blind], your whole body will be full of darkness [devoid of God’s precepts]. So if the [very] light inside you [your inner self, your heart, your conscience] is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness!

There is great wisdom in each of these scriptures. Wisdom to share with family and friends. Take a deep breath and gain a new heart rhythm set on Jesus!

Matthew 6:24. No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord].

Search for The Lord with all your heart, body, mind and soul and be renewed. Set a new trajectory of purpose for your life and your family,maybe generational curses can be broken. Set your heart and commit to know the wisdom of the Heart of God. You can’t serve two Masters! You can be changed as your heart beats with the Father.

Mountains

Photo by Sagui Andrea on Pexels.com

Majestic mountains stand across the planet. Their massive rock foundations can reach for the sky, and the highest mountain is Mount Everest, at 29,032 feet, its located in the Himalayas. Everest is thought to be 50 to 60 million years old. Multiple Millions of years old, it has gone through transformation by weather patterns and erosion. Erosion has left grooves and cracks as winds, ice, and glaciers with water flow to further etch this massive mountain.

Our own individual mountain of self is formed by those in our life; family, friends, etc. If we consider our lives as a mountain, we may ponder the life experiences that can bring us a sense of purpose, our mind is a powerful foundation for our future. Words of affirmation from some parents can build up the inside voices of optimism. These words can be just what we need to remember on days when the world outside our home chips away like a rocky erosion at our sense of worth.

Sadly, not everyone has been raised with encouraging words. Even on the best days, parents can speak without thinking and hurl hurtful words. I have had to seek my kids’ and families’ forgiveness for careless speech. By asking forgiveness, I give my child an opportunity to see grace and mercy in action too.

For those raised in a verbally abusive environment, their minds can be filled with words of cruelty, such as”you are so stupid, you will never succeed, I am so disappointed in you, why try?” We are a product of our upbringing. Some words improve our inner dialog, giving us a sense of purpose and setting foundation. While other words are set to destroy our optimistic inner dialogue and negative support can cause our actions to self sabotage our futures.

Negative words etch and chip away at our belief we can achieve success. This negativity of mind can drain us from a life of hope. Words can come from family, friends, employers, coworkers, or even teachers. It could be as a high schooler struggling in Algebra, English perhaps any subject. Encouraging teachers can increase our confidence. Teachers with impatience or an inability to share concepts from viewpoints other than their usual learning process; kinesthetic, auditory, visuals, or words, can stunt a students growth. Parents, teachers, or any human can miss the opportunity to guide a child to success and a Godly inner dialogue.

I can visualize a preschooler’s hands tightly pressed across their ears, yelling, ” Lala La” so he can drown out the Peanuts’ parent voice. ” Wa Wa Wa Wa.” Maybe there is something to this childish action. What do you think, is it socially acceptable as an adult to plug your ears?

The world will do its best to increase our insecurity and negative mindset. We have to actively seek a Godly perspective for ourselves and share with it with our kids.

We need to open our ears and minds to THE Rock, the voice of God. and plug our ears from those humans that are not helpful. It takes practice to drown out the world and realize we can really open our ears to the Rock. It says in scripture our Creator God delights in the praises of His creation. Can you visualize the mountains bursting in song? I would love to hear that sound.

Isaiah 55:3 -13

3 “Come to me with your ears wide open.
    Listen, and you will find life.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you.
    I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.
4 See how I used him to display my power among the peoples.
    I made him a leader among the nations.
5 You also will command nations you do not know,
    and peoples unknown to you will come running to obey,
because I, the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”

6 Seek the Lord while you can find him.
    Call on him now while he is near.
7 Let the wicked change their ways
    and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
    Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.

8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways
    and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens
    and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
    producing seed for the farmer
    and bread for the hungry.
11 It is the same with my word.
    I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
    and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
12 You will live in joy and peace.
    The mountains and hills will burst into song,
    and the trees of the field will clap their hands!
13 Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow.
    Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up.
These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name;
    they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”

God is unfailing in love. His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are His ways our ways. His Word can fill our minds with optimism that can prompt our steps, and His hope that can drown out the babbling of an unhealthy voice. Our God is bigger than Mount Everest. Our mindset needs to be set on Him. “Speak to the Mountain”, is an awesome song by Chris McClarney. I play and sing it loud!!

Powerful Lyrics remind us God is Faithful. His Promises are True. Speak to The Mountain, He is Greater than our feelings and He already knows our needs. There is no mountain too high for His plans to succeed. Speak to Him. He is greater, Stronger than even Everest!

New day, new sunrise

New Day dawns by MM

The Hebrew translation of sunrise ( zrikha) includes shining, glowing, luminosity. Merriam-Websters’ Definition of sunrise: dawn, daybreak, morning.

A new day is dawning. A new light is coming, Morning is breaking. Jesus is the Light, He is the Bright Morning Star, He is new beginnings. Step into the Light.

Yesterday was an interesting day, it may have deflated some people and caused celebration in others. I felt the importance of remembering that with each new day comes a sunrise. We can count on the rising sun and the sunset at the end of our day. It is a God given nature phenomenon from the beginning of time.

We can count on a sunrise and sunset. Even more important, we can count on God’s word to be true. Meditate on these scriptures on sunrises. Stop the busy day and it’s continuous distractions. Our family watches how we handle life circumstance. It’s awesome to share with friends, family and our kids the awesome creations of God. Take the time to get up early in the morning and view His majestic sky.

Psalm 19:6 MSG
That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset, Melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith.

Psalm 59:16 TPT
But as for me, your strength shall be my song of joy. At each and every sunrise, my lyrics of your love will fill the air! For you have been my glory-fortress, a stronghold in my day of distress.

Psalm 90:14 TPT
Let the sunrise of your love end our dark night. Break through our clouded dawn again! Only you can satisfy our hearts, filling us with songs of joy to the end of our days.

Psalm 112:1-10 MSG
Hallelujah! Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear GOD, Who cherish and relish his commandments, Their children robust on the earth, And the homes of the upright-how blessed! Their houses brim with wealth And a generosity that never runs dry. Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people- God’s grace and mercy and justice! The good person is generous and lends lavishly; No shuffling or stumbling around for this one, But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation. Unfazed by rumor and gossip, Heart ready, trusting in GOD, Spirit firm, unperturbed, Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies, They lavish gifts on the poor- A generosity that goes on, and on, and on. An honored life! A beautiful life! Someone wicked takes one look and rages, Blusters away but ends up speechless. There’s nothing to the dreams of the wicked. Nothing.

Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people – God’s grace and mercy and justice! Awesome visuals in these promises. I don’t know the future and I have to trust the One True God that started sunrises and night times. Hold onto His promises. Hope in the storms of life. He knows the plans.

Knock on the door

Knock and see

Could it really be as simple as knocking on the door? I used to think being perfect was a prerequisite to being a follower of Jesus. I could never measure up to the standard. But I am learning to seek His truth for myself. No barriers, no false teaching from others. It starts with a knock on the best door.

I love this conversation from Jesus to His best friends, the disciples as He shared this parable.

Luke 11:5-13 NLT. Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, [6] ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ [7] And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ [8] But I tell you this-though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence. [9] “And so I tell you, 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. [10] For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. [11] “You fathers-if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? [12] Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! [13] So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Initially it may seem as though Jesus words to the disciples were a rebuke. He shares our need for persistent relationship building in seeking Him for the answers.

Please reread the scripture, Luke 11, consider the text again it is metaphorical. People can understand it’s parable message in different ways.

He shares with the disciples His provision however, whoever knocks on the door needing help must ask for His protection. His love is free. His promises can be received only when we actively pursue Him. His gift of love, mercy and forgiveness are available for taking.

Jesus does not force His relationship on any human. He wants to pour blessings on His children. We have to push aside any worldly idol that we may think can fill the God shaped hole in every human heart. No material or human thing can fill this hole. Only Jesus!

Leeland sings “Waymaker”, such powerful lyrics. Trust the Waymaker!! I have been singing this song in the way to school, our kids can hear the words reminding us to hold onto Jesus! We can be an example in action of our faith in God! Words and worship aloud can connect to the angels in heaven. We all can make a joyful sound to the King.

Mercy and Love



Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Mercy defined ( Merriam Webster)
1. Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
2. Blessing, that is an act of divine favor or compassion

Synonym: compassion, grace, kindness, sympathy,
Antonym: cruelty

God shows mercy by showing His unfailing love, being slow to get angry, and offering eternal life and His salvation no matter how we sin. If we had a father who was insensitive in words or actions, we may not believe our Father God could possibly care about us in love, and patience and bring us eternal life.

Do you want to gain a greater understanding of the love of God and the patient endurance of Jesus? Our human mind can’t grasp mercy and find favor beyond our mistakes. Once we become a believer in Christ, He opens our human understanding with His wisdom, it is a great reward.

2 Thessalonians 2-5

Pray, too, that we will be rescued from wicked and evil people, for not everyone is a believer. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.

God can use anyone for His Kingdom purpose, He used a guy named Saul to deliver the gospel message to Gentiles ( beyond the chosen Jewish people).

Before Paul, became a Christian he persecuted Jesus followers. He was brought up with the book knowledge of the Bible but did not open his heart to Jesus. Paul was named Saul from birth. He had a life transforming experience when he lost his sight, Jesus spoke to Saul, who repented of his past and Jesus renamed him, Paul. From that moment on Paul served His Savior, Jesus. We can be the same stubborn, ignorant human, Jesus can have mercy on us. We are made new when we turn from past choices to Him. When we allow Jesus to direct our steps He shows us mercy and His plan unfolds. Paul wrote this scripture (letter to a new Christian, Timothy).


1 Timothy 1:12 – 14

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, 13 even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. 14 Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.

Paul mentored this young man, Timothy, with the knowledge Jesus shared. Paul encouraged Timothy to grow in his faith over fear. Paul shared in his letters to Timothy, these words:


2 Timothy 1: 10 -13 So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.

11 This is a trustworthy saying:

If we die with him,
    we will also live with him.
12 If we endure hardship,
    we will reign with him.
If we deny him,
    he will deny us.
13 If we are unfaithful,
    he remains faithful,
    for he cannot deny who he is.

Those words are still true today. We must choose for ourselves who we will serve: the world or Jesus. It really is that simple. His mercy can be trusted but we must take the steps to receive it.

Paul wrote letters to many peoples including the Ephesians. He shared the love and mercy of Christ and many lives were transformed by Jesus for His Kingdom purposes and for generations. Just as Paul demonstrated, When we love God we want to follow His commands not as hard restrictions but as showing love of God and His people.

Ephesians 2 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.


I have been foolish, I may have been raised with a legalistic religion, I did the actions required until I became an adult. However, I wanted more, I wanted a relationship with Jesus. This occurred as I went through trials which led me to seek Him, trials can drive us to our knees and to reach for Jesus. I was 32. You are never too old to choose a new life with Jesus. Grateful for His mercy and grace freely given.

A dear Sister in Christ sent me this song by Jason Crabb, “Good Morning Mercy”. A beautiful reminder of the Mercy we can walk in every morning. He wants to do a new thing, let Him. I hope this song blesses your day, make it a good one.