Exposure to the Light and truth can be painful especially when we watch injustice abound. Those who know how to hide their sin can seem to get away with things. I have to be reminded that God sees all things.
Watching someone you love still stand for truth, boldly speaking for the underdog, is an interesting perspective. No one wants to witness conflict but standing on the Rock even when we may be faulted for our imperfect witness as a Christian is a growing opportunity. We can use every misspoken word or action to learn self control, be a better witness and speak truth in the future. We are still works in progress. God sees our heart, our perfection is complete in Him alone.
Philippians 1:6 says and I paraphrase, “He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion”. Aren’t you humbled to think he takes our imperfections and wants to guide us to completion in Him?
Faith grows in the midst of trial. Romans 5:6-9, reminds me hope builds endurance, and He will strengthen us. I want those I love to learn resilience and deepen their tenacity seeking Jesus first, and remembering He loves them, sees their efforts and will continue to mold them into who He knows they can be. So regardless the voices that surround, as a parent, or in life, I must intercessary pray and trust God for their journey.
Proverbs 10:9,12,18-22 NLT People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will be exposed.  Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all offenses.
18] Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool.  Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
20] The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless.  The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.  The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
Don’t be stuck in fear or feel unprepared, spend time meditating on God and His Word, He will equip you for the journey. He is for you not against you.
I love this song, Spirit move, it’s lyrics remind you we can have a life transformed by the goodness of God. Today, submit to His authority, call on Jesus, repent and move with the Holy Spirit!
Your life may have been difficult. Perhaps, your parents struggled to be the best example of love and nurturing qualities. We are all broken people.We are on a journey!
Our life experience can grow our ability to love, be patient, and compassionate, have self-control, and be the best parent. These are some of the key qualities of raising children. However, the most important key is being a parent who puts God first. This parent understands their sinful nature, seeks God for every step, submits to the authority of God, asks forgiveness of God and others when they fall short in words or actions, and shares the wisdom found in scripture with their kids.
Being a parent is not for the faint of heart. You are not given a human guide to follow. However, you are given the most important guide that stands the test of time, this guide is for every stage of life, it is true no matter the generation, its truth never fades.
Where can you find this amazing guide for life and parenting? The Bible is filled with wisdom from the Lord. John 1 talks about the Word coming alive, Hebrews 4:12 shares, the Word is sharper than any two-edged sword, and James 1:21 shares that the Word has the power to save as we use it aloud declaring its wisdom.
I remember being single, then newly married, and watching people with children. I would observe the relationships at stores, in nature, and at restaurants, and I would think, I want to make a difference for a child.
I may have even thought as I saw a strong-willed child sass their parent, Wow I couldn’t let my kid get away with that behavior.
Once I had children I realized how in my own strength, I can be prideful, selfish, and demanding my way. I needed to work on my relationship with my Father God, discover the truth in the Bible, and seek like-minded women who are older and can share with me what they have learned from the joys and challenges of parenting. The best place to gain this wisdom I have found was in women who love Jesus, walk in humility, see their need for Him, and share their lives freely with younger moms.
No matter your stage in life, God is a Father to the Fatherless, if you were abandoned if you were mistreated by your parents, He is true to His promises.
Psalm 27:10 -13 Although my father and my mother have abandoned me, Yet the LORD will take me up [adopt me as His child].  Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me on a level path Because of my enemies [who lie in wait].  Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries, For false witnesses have come against me; They breathe out violence.  I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.
We must not despair and we must not give up learning how to be a better parents. We come with our own baggage of good and misplaced parenting, our own hurts, our abandonment, and our trauma. Hurt people hurt people unless they seek to be healed. We must give all these hurts to our Father and let Him heal and restore our lives.
When we take this step of faith in the unseen yet amazing, trustworthy, Almighty God we can break the chains of past trauma and generational mistakes and start a new path of love, compassion, forgiveness, andrestoration in the God who creates us and wants to give us the world full of promise and purposes.
Helpful scriptures to memorize and post in your home or car: Proverbs 15:1, Galatians 5, Colossians 3:20-21, Matthew 6, Psalm 130
Proverbs 15:1 NLT A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
Galatians 5:14-15 NLT For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
Galatians 5:22-23 NLT But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Colossians 3:20-21 NLT Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord.  Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.
Matthew 6:9-15 NLT Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.  May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us today the food we need,  and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.  And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.  “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Keeping our minds, souls, and spirits fixed on His truth can change the trajectory of our lives and those in our family for generations but we need God’s help to heal and restore.
Psalm 103:6-18 MSG GOD makes everything come out right; He puts victims back on their feet. He showed Moses how he went about his work, opened up his plans to all Israel. GOD is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, He’s rich in love. He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. As parents feel for their children, GOD feels for those who fear him. He knows us inside and out, keeps in mind that we’re made of mud. Men and women don’t live very long; like wildflowers they spring up and blossom, But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly, leaving nothing to show they were here. GOD’s love, though, is ever and always, eternally present to all who fear Him, Making everything right for them and their children as they follow his Covenant ways and remember to do whatever He said.
Our impact with our children sharing life experiences; the mistakes and the successes, have a small window of impact as an intentional parent. We must share an absolute truth: our identity must be in Christ alone.
Before we know it, the eye rolls start, the convenient ignoring of our communication or even the disrespectful, angry outbursts of contempt can replace a cooperative, loving relationship.
Unfortunately, way to soon the world influences and culture will attempt to taint the best emotionally sound perspective that includes wisdom from God.
Our voices will seem drowned out by the media, music, our kids peers, social media and many other forces. What a scary thought! Our time is running out.
“There are 936 weeks of time with your kids until they are independent. What are you doing with each week?”, a podcast quote from Doug Fields regarding “Intentional parenting”.
Mr. Fields also shared 5 Cs of parenting: confidence, character, conviction, Acts of service, and competence.
This begs the question for me and for you, what are you doing with the weeks you are blessed to parent your treasured children?
My second question, how am I responding to my relationship with Jesus, my Father God and being open to an amazing walk with Him?
Brandon Lake shared a song, “Just Like Heaven”, it really touched my soul as I listened intentionally to the lyrics. Here’s a sample: Doesn’t it sound like Heaven When You’re singing over me There’s not a voice more constant Your melodies, they never cease Here I will stand in Your presence In my true identity Doesn’t it sound like, yeah, it sounds like Just like Heaven
What if we treasured our children as much as God treasures us, His kids. To think He sings over us ( Zephaniah 3:17). Our true identity is found in Him.
So don’t waste another day, make the changes necessary for treasuring your kids, there’s only around 936 weeks from their birth to 18 so realize we can make a difference.
Proverbs 22:6 AMP Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Harmony and peace go hand in hand. You can not have one without the other. What is harmony? According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, harmony means agreement, accord, or tranquility. Interestingly, harmony also means the combination of simultaneous musical notes.
I resonate with the musical definition and relate to the peace that I find in music especially when there is no harmony.
We live in a time of disunity, unrest abounds. You don’t have to have personal conflict to feel the world hurts. The continual discussion of World War 3, the cultural divides, the left and the right not even being willing to debate but instead demanding their opinion, can leave us feeling disharmony.
This condition has been a struggle since the beginning of time, man wants his way, period. The costs can be destroyed relationships, destroyed lives, or war.
What does scripture say about peace or harmony?
Psalm 133:1-3 NLT How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!  For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe.  Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the LORD has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.
Proverbs 10:20-22,29 NLT The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless.  The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.  The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.  The way of the LORD is a stronghold to those with integrity, but it destroys the wicked.
Mark 9:49-50 NLT “For everyone will be tested with fire.  Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.”
Sometimes we are called to speak the truth in a circumstance. Sometimes it may feel the conflict that occurs as a result of our willingness to step out bravely for a wrong to another is so overwhelming. Yet, our obedience to be bold will be rewarded by God.
As we step out in faith, He will bring harmony (even if it seems impossible) and we will better reflect His character.
Just as spring flowers sprout through the snowy, frosted ground, we may get opportunities to push through some hard ground. Spring is a great season to feel the harmony of nature in action.New growth can ultimately lead to the building up of others (or ourselves) with more harmony.
Romans 14:17-19 NLT For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too.  So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.
Leanna Crawford’s song, “How can you not” expresses well trusting God in the midst of trials, let the harmony found in Him bring you peace.
John 16:29-33 AMP His disciples said, “Ah, now You are speaking plainly to us and not in figures of speech!  Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; because of this we believe [without any doubt] that you came from God.”  Jesus answered them, “Do you now [at last] believe?  Take careful notice: an hour is coming, and has arrived, when you will all be scattered, each to his own home, leaving Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.  I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]
Peace and harmony are attainable with Christ alone. It does not mean your struggle has no meaning but the purpose can be explained by God. Peace with God is possible. In this world there is trouble, but Jesus has overcome the world!
We want to be in control of our lives. This has been an impulse and self control issue since Adam and Eve. We think we know best, best answers to questions, best opinions for everyone, best future plans. However, it has been proven those who think and act without seeking wise council end up missing key opportunities.
Proverbs 16:1-3 NLT We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer.  People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives.  Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.
Just as a toddler may get near a hot stove ( gas or electric powered). The glowing light of heat from the energy source may be visible as in a gas stove or glowing on the electric range top and at times heat seems invisible. The heat is still there under the surface of the burner. After the electric source has been turned off, the danger to get burned remains for a while.
My daughter at three years old learned the hard way, that getting close to the stove and touching the burner when it is hot can get you burned. Just like most of us, she made mistakes. Just as many adult children learned, her parents were smarter than she thought as a teen. Listening to a wise mom brings safety ;). I am not sure the impulse issues change that much as we grow older, it can still be a trap.
Listening to the wise Father God brings the best safety. At times, I have heard it said, “it’s no fun to follow rules of religion, it’s boring, girls just wanna have fun”! What we consider fun today can have consequences that last a life time. Ponder for yourself the traps that enticed you to temptation.
We each live and hopefully learn from our mistakes. When I have avoided pitfalls of impulsive choices, I have been rewarded.
“Good things do come to those who wait”. Self control is one of the hardest Christ like character traits. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self control, are fruits of the Holy Spirit ( Galatians 5). I believe self control is the most important to ensure a successful God led life. Without it, we are wandering sheep with no shepherd.
When I look back on my life, I consider the distractions that I chose to bypass. I love Jesus and because I love Him, I want to walk in His plans.
I have not missed any fun things, I have been rewarded with great friends, likeminded encouragers who love Jesus too. I have seen and shared His harvest with others. So take a hike with God. In the end, it’s not about chasing the unknown it’s about flowing in His Ruach ( Strong’s concordance: Ruach means – Hebrew word for wind, breath, spirit) and being blown where He sees fit.
Psalm 18:30-36 NLT God’s way is perfect. All the LORD’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.  For who is God except the LORD? Who but our God is a solid rock?  God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect.  He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights.  He trains my hands for battle; he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.  You have given me your shield of victory. Your right hand supports me; your help has made me great.  You have made a wide path for my feet to keep them from slipping.
On the night before Easter, I meditate on the love of Jesus. I owe it all to You, Jesus. He is the Savior of the World. Praise Him for this love that can not be denied. He loves you!!!!!
“At the Cross”, is a song by Chris Tomlin, and has been a favorite praise and worship song since 2014. He took on all our sins, bore our inequities, and loved us that much. I hope it fills your mind, heart, and soul with the Presence of God.
Matthew 28:16-20 16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[b] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
As I reflect on the importance of understanding holy week, I considered specifically, Jesus taking on all of our sins in the world; your sins, my sins. Jesus was willing to die for us. What kind of pain and love intertwined! His own disciples didn’t support him in the garden, they slept. Jesus cried out to God!
Matthew 26:36-42 NIrV Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. He said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him. He began to be sad and troubled.  Then he said to them, “My soul is very sad. I feel close to death. Stay here. Keep watch with me.”  He went a little farther. Then he fell with his face to the ground. He prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering away from me. But let what you want be done, not what I want.”  Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.  “Watch and pray. Then you won’t fall into sin when you are tempted. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”  Jesus went away a second time. He prayed, “My Father, is it possible for this cup to be taken away? But if I must drink it, may what you want be done.”
Jesus was scorned, and beaten, He took on all punishment by His own people. Our human minds can not fathom this level of pressure, with every lash of a whip, with the crown of thorns placed on His head, with the mocking crowd as He walked to His death on the cross. Mocked by the Roman guards, in and out of consciousness, He hung by His hands and feet. He forgave all who persecuted him, Jesus even said “Father forgive them, they know not what they do!”
Matthew 27:44-53 NIrV – Jesus Dies 45 From noon until three o’clock, the whole land was covered with darkness. 46 About three o’clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice. He said, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” This means “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?” (Psalm 22:1) 47 Some of those standing there heard Jesus cry out. They said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” 48 Right away one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar and put it on a stick. He offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 After Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, he died. 51 At that moment the temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook. The rocks split. 52 Tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs. After Jesus was raised from the dead, they went into the holy city. There they appeared to many people.
He is the bridge between humanity and our Father God. Without Jesus willingness to take on our sins and die for each of us, we would forever be dead. He gives us hope and eternal life, undeserved yet freely given when we accept His free gift.
God provided a way out from our sins from death because of our sins to new eternal life, a new birth, because of Jesus death.
Would any of us sacrifice our own child in this way? Would any of us be willing to lay down our lives for everyone in this world?
I will say it again, Jesus is the bridge between God and humanity! Believe He is the Savior of the World, He died for you! Repent from past sins, choose Him to guide your future.
There is no greater love than Jesus who died for you and me! He wants to know you, you have the option to choose Him, He awaits!
Jeremy Riddle, has become one of my favorite humble yet powerful worship artists, his song “Known and Make Known”, is so well written. This song fits the message of Easter! Choose who you will follow, choose Jesus!
Jesus was raised from the dead, a woman, Mary Magdalene, was the first person to see Him. What awe, what amazing supernatural vision of Savior Jesus! Then the disciples were amazed to see the resurrected Jesus and they believed He is the Messiah!
Matthew 28:1-7 NLT Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.  Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it.  His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.  The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.  Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.  And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
We are called to share the Great Commission, tell others about Jesus, He is risen! This is the truth that will never be denied!
Matthew 28:18-20 NLT Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Jesus is the Rock on which we all must stand, just as the earth quaked at His death, He is the foundation of all things, the mountains will not be shaken!
Psalm 46:1-5 NRSV God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;  though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.  God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.
We live in a dog eat dog world, look at the banking system, the materialism, the constant striving for keeping up with others, is our car status representative of our success? The survival of the fittest is another example, it’s great to be healthy and use our body temple for purpose. Or are we feeling constant comparison to others’ and cursing the body and face created in the image of God?
My reading of 2 Corinthians 10 this morning was so impactful. It made me ponder the world, my community, personal interactions, and even my own walk with Jesus. Paul, shared a message of God, was transformed from persecuting Jesus and His followers to an amazing apostle who led the Gentiles and even fellow Jews to Jesus. Because Paul allowed Jesus to use his life for amazing things, Paul was bold and Holy Spirit filled in his preaching.
2 Corinthians 10:3-8 MSG The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way-never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.
7-8] You stare and stare at the obvious, but you can’t see the forest for the trees. If you’re looking for a clear example of someone on Christ’s side, why do you so quickly cut me out? Believe me, I am quite sure of my standing with Christ. You may think I overstate the authority he gave me, but I’m not backing off. Every bit of my commitment is for the purpose of building you up, after all, not tearing you down.
In the Life Application Study Bible, we are given a narrative background for the times of Paul and the Corinthian culture. Just as in our times, peoples feathers get ruffled when another human speaks boldly and they are not in agreement with the same philosophy. The truth found in the Word can ruffle feathers.
Here is the notes for the Life Application Bible found in 2 Corinthians 10: Verses 1-2 Paul’s opponents were questioning his authority. From verses 7:8-16 we know that the majority of Corinthian believers were siding with Paul; however, a minority continued to slander him, saying that he was bold in his letters but had no authority in person. Second Corinthians 10 through verse 13 is Paul’s response to this charge. Paul used Jesus as a model for being gentle and kind rather than demanding respect.”
Does this description from Paul’s journey feel strangely familiar? I don’t know about you, however, I want to reflect Jesus character with gentleness and kindness over demanding respect. In love, I want to share what the Lord is showing me regarding how to live with Him as my authority.
In love, I want those I love friends, family, even perfect strangers, to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus! But I can’t do it for anyone. If I love like Jesus, speak His truth in love when I feel His prompting, seek forgiveness if I have overstepped in discussion, then maybe others will want to seek Him too!
Love Them Like Jesus also means speaking the truth found in the Bible about complicated issues and being willing to speak the truth even if it’s hard!
Where do you get strong? Is it in the gym or in time spent being built up by the Lord? This workout with God lasts longer than the next time you crave your favorite sweet. Time spent with gaining His wisdom is muscle building for mind, body and soul. As a surfer needs, core strength, focus and tenacity, when we ask the Living Water, God will provide these necessary traits with even more ability to stand in balance no matter what we face.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”