End of a school year

Schools out for summer was an anthem song in the classic rock era. It’s a song that makes me reflect on the rigors of school, homework, peer relationships and all that entails.

I am humming that song today as I witness a close to the school year in my community and personally. There is more pressure on todays’ youth post-Covid to complete the school year strong. Even the years of past Covid isolation cause many students to struggle in social situations. I have seen the problem of limited skill set for healthy relationship building in communications due to cell phone use. Pressure to keep up homework and with solid results on final exams can seem daunting. Distractions abound.

Have you seen the level of academic expectations for your child? I may be in a bubble however, As I attempted to share my old time academic ability, I was blown away by the college level coursework.

Colossians 1:9-12 MSG
Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul-not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.

Our prayers matter, the Master, God, will give us and our kids endurance and ability. We must rely on God to give us wisdom for encouragement and strength for our children. We must share what we are learning in this postCovid era. We can endure anything with our faith in God.

Proverbs 15:22-23 GNT
Get all the advice you can, and you will succeed; without it you will fail. [23] What a joy it is to find just the right word for the right occasion!

Ecclesiastes 12:11 TLB
The wise man’s words are like goads that spur to action. They nail down important truths. Students are wise who master what their teachers tell them.

We remind them to keep moving, keep taking the steps into Gods’ plan for their future. We remind them they do not walk alone. We are with them and so is their Savior JESUS! Even if you feel your kid doesn’t want to hear about Jesus, God will honor your efforts.

Our walk with the Lion of Judah is being observed by our kids. Do they see you spend time with God? Praying daily with them as you drive to school, or in your room at the close of day.

Do they see you seek wisdom from the Bible for the hard circumstances of life? Or do they see impulsive responses without self control? We are works in progress. (By the way, I have had moments of mistakes, I am grateful for do-overs as I ask my kids to help me to improve my approaches).

Our determination to change generational patterns from unhealthy to Gods’ best plans can turn the tide for future generations. We must be willing to build resilience, be humble to learn from Jesus, and share what we are learning.

A day without learning truth is a wasted day, take time to be in nature with your people, observing nature reminds me the amazing God created each plant and animal for our benefit. His hand is in nature, it brings joy on the journey, enjoy the summer.

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Unseen women

Mother’s Day brings a conundrum of emotions. There are many thoughts swirling in a women depending on your current status as mom or not. We must remember the amazing commitment in love, joy, nurturance, and role mothers play in the lives of their children. We should celebrate their efforts and extended actions for their families. Mother’s Day is an annual celebration however daily we should show gratitude for this amazing toughest job.

However, Mother’s Day can also bring sadness and despair for other women who either struggle to be moms due to infertility, not finding the best guy to share parenting or those who live with regret after abortion.

Another possible challenge to Mother’s Day can include deaths or trauma from families. We can’t always be sensitive to those who lived an unhealthy life with unstable moms who did not represent a Godly character. Trauma, mental health and addiction can destroy healthy bonding of mom and child. The effects of this foundation of parenting can effect generations. We are all broken people who need Jesus and we can break the patterns of unhealthy parenting for future generations.

We must be willing to do the personal work along with other older women who have traveled this road before us. Women who are being guided by the principles found in the Bible, who have servants hearts, learn from past mistakes, seek forgiveness and love Jesus.

Every woman should be celebrated as a child of God with a God given purpose. Some women have children, others shepherd children as a result of work, coaching in sports, being a great aunt who speaks wisdom to her nephews and nieces, or even in kindness to a stranger.

Proverbs 27:23 TPT
A shepherd should pay close attention to the faces of his flock and hold close to his heart the condition of those he cares for.

Women can be available to shepherd other children in their sphere of influence. This is a noble place to be an example of love and care.

God says for us to seek Him, let the shepherd lead you to the best relationship builder, Jesus.

John 10:9-15 NLT
Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. [10] The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. [11] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. [12] A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. [13] The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. [14] “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, [15] just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.

I am grateful for the wisdom I have gained in my life as emergency trauma nurse, center director for a pregnancy medical clinic and as a mom. However, the greatest wisdom in all relationships I have and am gaining from is in my time with God.

I am grateful for those people who have invested time in my life, as surrogate parents, wise kind hearted people who love.

God is love, He is hope, help and wisdom for all women and men. We have a place to be shepherded regardless the family of origin.

So on the day after Mother’s Day, I am encouraging all women ( and men) to show compassion and love to any woman, whether a parent or not!

Just love each other, support each other, share words of encouragement, be a good listener to those who need you. Extend a hand or hug to someone near you today! Sending hugs!

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Life is a test, Speak Life

Just as in high school, you can get test anxiety and fret over the multiple choice answers. Your test prep in the Bible, the wisdom of your favorite teacher and the compassion of wisdom shared can impact your future.

Life boils down to multiple choices, turn to the left or the right, choose joy or conflict, choose pride or humility, choose to be the one with the last word or listen and consider another’s heartfelt communication.

Today I spent time asking God for wisdom in relationships. I was reminded of a solid truth, I get to make a choice to bring life or death to any person by my words and actions. I get to choose and you get to choose to speak life or death.

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 ESV
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. [16] If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you today, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. [17] But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, [18] I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.

It is a daily sometimes moment to moment process of speaking life or death. The power of the tongue can not be underestimated.

Our excuses of I am tired, hungry, I feel ignored and lonely, or no one cares about me, can be the impetus for our speaking without thinking.

After all, every person has spoken without thinking. I know I have had to learn to restrain my comments and ask the Holy Spirit to help me express the truth without destroying others. Sometimes, I have to receive the truth from someone else and seriously consider if their comment and opinion has merit. Many times, I need to ask forgiveness and humbly work at restoring relationships.

Can you relate to this quick speaking impulse? It is like a Wild West movie with a quick draw from your holster. The weapon of life and death is not the gun but the tongue.

The need to have the last word is a problem in our world and in personal relationships. The best place to gain a healthy insight and solution is working on our relationship with God. When we seek His solutions, obey their content, we will find more of His life giving perspective.

The fruit of living in obedience to God is our character can be molded into more life giving responses. His pouring into our lives by the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to pour out to others more life. Generational habits can be changed, more of God in us and in our relationships leads to chains of oppression, codependency and other dysfunctional patterns broken, by the power of Jesus.

We must choose the One true God, we must turn from any idols that obstruct this relationship to our Creator God.

Asking another student for the exam answers is cheating your own life of the best source. No other person or thing should be worshiped over Him. Idols destroy our connection to God, He alone is worthy to be praised.

Scripture is clear, we get to choose who or what we serve. We can be blessed by our choice for God or cursed for seeking the wrong source.

19] I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, [20] loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

Life and death, blessing or curses are your free will options. Our choice effects generations, so love GOD, the best Teacher, OBEY his voice, hold fast to Him, He is life just as He was to Abraham.

Don’t flunk the Final exam! There is no cheating, we each stand before Him with our lives. Your willingness to get extra guidance from the Great Teacher, Jesus and spend time gaining the best knowledge will be rewarded. This is a promise not only for you but for future generations.

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Be renewed!

Weary in the storm

You may feel pushed down, you may feel unseen, you may feel unknown, the enemy wants you to stop believing in the goodness of God. Praise is the best remedy for a weary soul!

Psalm 112:1-10 NLT Praise the LORD! How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying his commands. [2] Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. [3] They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever. [4] Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. [5] Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. [6] Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. [7] They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. [8] They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. [9] They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor. [10] The wicked will see this and be infuriated. They will grind their teeth in anger; they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.

If we fix our eyes on the world we can feel the oppressive, dark, chaotic presence of evil. The multiple reports of spontaneous fighting, shootings, and strife can make us feel like giving up. Add to this world focused mindset and having children can bring us fear, unrest, worry and more. Our minds can effect our lives for despair or hope. Our kids can learn resilience in Jesus or to get stuck in a mind of death and despair. We have to reflect Jesus!!

Fix your eyes and hearts, minds, and souls on Jesus! There is no other place where we can gain His Presence and His peace for a new day! Something has to break, break the strongholds of depression, addiction, past hurts and renew your mind in Him!

Romans 12:1-2 NLT
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice-the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. [2] Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Let Basking in His Presence become a daily action. I have heard it said doing an action for 20-30 days, makes a habit become a lifestyle change. Consider making a contract with your kids, or accountability buddy (a family member or friend).

For the benefit of your life and those you love, family and friends, take the time to listen to His people praise in storms, Christian worship calms me and resets my mind on Him. Open the great book, the Bible, ask him to open your eyes to new beginnings! Give your worries to Him!

Nothing else+ The Heart of Worship, by Kari Jobe and Worship together, is beautifully reflected of the need to rely on no one else but Jesus!

Make a change today, Renew your mind in Jesus and His plans, be transformed as He fills you with truth, hope and a new perspective. Your kids, family and friends will watch your walk with Your best friend, Jesus! Others can be transformed to the best path with Him! He brings us a new confidence and strength even for the unknown future. Walking with Him is better than walking alone, He will never leave you.

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2 Corinthians 4:1-12,14-18 GNT
God in his mercy has given us this work to do, and so we do not become discouraged.

There is work to be done. What are you being called to do today? Where has the Lord given you a gifting, a passion for serving, a place to nurture others?

[2] We put aside all secret and shameful deeds; we do not act with deceit, nor do we falsify the word of God. In the full light of truth we live in God’s sight and try to commend ourselves to everyone’s good conscience.

We must live a life that even behind closed doors, or when no one is looking, represents the light of truth and following the Character of Jesus.

3] For if the gospel we preach is hidden, it is hidden only from those who are being lost. [4] They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes from the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

We can not hold the wisdom of God for ourselves. “This Little Light of Mine”, is a children’s song. Yet the lyrics are relevant no matter the age. We must share Jesus not hide our testimony under a basket.

[5] For it is not ourselves that we preach; we preach Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. [6] The God who said, “Out of darkness the light shall shine!” is the same God who made his light shine in our hearts, to bring us the knowledge of God’s glory shining in the face of Christ.

We must remember it is not our words that save us or others from death, our words are human communication. It is the power of Jesus and His Words of life that save. We must seek Him first to guide our conversations. We are human but He is our Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all knowing, Almighty God!

7] Yet we who have this spiritual treasure are like common clay pots, in order to show that the supreme power belongs to God, not to us. [8] We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; [9] there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.

Our growing relationship with Jesus is a benefit to our eternal connection and to those we intersect. We must keep our hope in Him even as our lives may feel overwhelming.

10] At all times we carry in our mortal bodies the death of Jesus, so that his life also may be seen in our bodies. [11] Throughout our lives we are always in danger of death for Jesus’ sake, in order that his life may be seen in this mortal body of ours. [12] This means that death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Our human brain can not comprehend love and the infinite presence of Jesus. It is faith without seeing Him physically.We will make mistakes however, we can be made new and have a life that uses our mistakes for better responses by His grace. Repent ( turn away from sin) and start anew.

14] We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus to life, will also raise us up with Jesus and take us, together with you, into his presence. [15] All this is for your sake; and as God’s grace reaches more and more people, they will offer to the glory of God more prayers of thanksgiving.

Do not be discouraged! Our spiritual being is renewed as we cling to Him, believe He is all truth, and trust Him for even our breath.

16] For this reason we never become discouraged. Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day.

Sometimes I can allow troubles to explode into a mountain of distress instead of a mole hill. Go to the Rock, the great wisdom of God. ( Isaiah 2:2) Teens and even adulting can seem overwhelming and impossible. I must remind myself to fix my eyes, heart, mind on Jesus. Reading scripture on the topic of my distress and listening to praise music calms me. The trouble may still exist but my soul within me seems more at peace. He is with me!

17] And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. 18] For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.

We must fix our attention, not on what is before our eyes, but the comfort and wisdom from our connection of Jesus within.

If you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior. Today could be the turning point of your life. Call out to Jesus today, say Jesus I need you, I believe You are my Savior, I want You to guide my life, words and actions. I give my life to you, I repent and want Your help to turn from past sins, make me new by Your sacrifice on the cross. Show me more of You. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Colossians 2:18-19 MSG
Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.

Reason I sing, is a perfect song, Phil Wickham expresses well the importance of praise. Be blessed today, Jesus, is the reason I sing.

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Boast in yourself, it is the way of the world. Tell everyone all the wonderful things you do and how you matter. One person speaks over the other, always itching to have the last word.

Boast Loud and clear

2 Corinthians 3:1-6,8-9,12,14,16-18 NLT
Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! [2] The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. [3] Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

Each day we must choose to be more like Jesus, to show patience, compassion and relate with open eyes and Hearts. Actually, open ears to hear would be a key sense to include.

Two ears, one mouth is for a purpose. More listening, less eagerness to tear down another person created in the Image of God.

The world would say truth of God is irrelevant because we all have our opinions, idols, and no one should step on another.

Here’s the problem, there is only One King who has stood the test of time, He is Jesus the lover of your soul, He loves you, He died for you a sinners death on the cross for you. He believes in your ability to love like He does. But you must get to know who He is and then He will transform your attitude. Boast in Him and let Him direct your words.

[4] We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ. [5] It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. [6] He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.

So let’s stop boasting in ourselves, let’s bring our lives, our faults, our joys to Him and let Him write on the tablet of our hearts, you are treasured, known, His delight and Let the Spirit of God do amazing things in your relationships.

Your scripture reminds us the Holy Spirit gives life, we want to trust Your plan. Help us with our unbelief. We want to put to death the false teachings of the world.

8] Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? [9] If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God!

This new way of life, brings confidence, and boldness as you walk with Him.

[12] Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold. [14] But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ.

Whenever someone turns to the Lord, their eyes are opened, the obstacles to wisdom and truth are no longer a block to life over death.

16] But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. [17] For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. [18] So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord-who is the Spirit-makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

Lord, Holy Spirit, make us more like You, help to a remove the veil that blocks our face; our eyes need to see You, our ears need to tune into Your voice, change our lives for Your glory.

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