On Guard

We are in a battle, every day, we are in the fight for our lives. Do we listen and march to public opinion or discern with the Lord’s help from which voice to listen?

We are given our brains for a reason. We have our ability to hear with two ears, see with two eyes, and think with an open mind. The enemy knows we want to have a life of peace and as a result , we may choose to let others guide our truths. This mindset may just destroy our free will, our sense of peace and our own voice.

We may feel fear or anxiety, it’s a normal human emotion especially at these times. But we don’t have to stay in fear or anxiety. Joshua 1:9 is one of my favorite scriptures. “Be strong and courageous, do not fear, for the Lord your God is with you”. There is an alternative emotion, hope in the trial and endurance on the journey. Which emotion will you choose?

The Bible is full of reminders to fix our eyes on Jesus, to be transformed by the renewing of our mind that is connected to our Creator God.

Scripture meditations: Matthew 10:26-33,40-42 MSG
[26-27] “Don’t be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don’t hesitate to go public now. [28] “Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life-body and soul-in his hands. [29-31] “What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail-even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries. [32-33] “Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll cover for you? [40-42] “We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”

We don’t walk this world alone unless we choose to ignore the spiritual stirrings of our soul which started at our conception. I believe that scientist have observed a spark of light as the sperm and egg meet in conception. This must be our Father God and Creator, bringing His light to our beginnings.

Psalm 139:13-16 MSG
[13-16] Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God-you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration-what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.

There is a still voice that brings us wisdom, hope, and instruction, are we allowing our minds to pause and hear our God? Or is the loud opinions of the world, in media, news, music and social media crowing out His voice?

I used to be uncomfortable with silence, quiet times seemed to bring anxiety and unrest. However, the more I make time to listen for my Fathers voice, in the Bible, in solid Godly examples of friends willin to share their brokenness and turning to God. I am in awe, Jesus ( our Father God, the Holy Spirit) speaks.

Stand firm at this current time, be strong in Him, seek His Words in scripture, and be blown away at how it can transform your life.

Persevere

Days can be hard. We have no idea what is going to happen next. The Texas shooting is so surreal, my heart and prayers are with the parents, families, town, and anyone who lost a loved one. Stories will be coming out. I imagine the teachers were heroes as human shields. Texas you are not alone, the entire country is with you. 

I remember the Columbine high school shooting over 22 years ago, I was working at the Level 1 trauma center in Denver at that time. I was speaking at the other Littleton High school in the auditorium. It was the beginning of this mess. Children should feel safe and protected. 

My words are few in this blog post except to say, We need Jesus! We need love, not rage. We need compassion, not destruction. But there is a hope to hold onto when days seem dark.

white petaled flowers on a sunny day
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There will be brighter days, we must hold onto Jesus and believe He has the beginning and the ending figured out. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He is the beginning and the end. We grieve with Texas as I believe the Father in heaven does.

Revelation 1:8  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Matthew 11:28 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 

Here’s a song to encourage you, “Just As Good” by Chris Renzema and Ellie Holcomb. Be blessed and hug your family members a little tighter. 

Do you want healing?

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Who designed the earth, heaven, and stars? Who created each of us? Who is the only One who can heal our hurts, care for our burdens and bring us hope? It is the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Lord.

Do you want to be healed? This was a question to a man who was unable to walk due to paralysis.

In scripture, Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed? It is the same question for us. Do You want to be healed?

John 5: 1- 15

 Afterward, Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”

11 But he replied, “The man who healed me told me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”

12 “Who said such a thing as that?” they demanded.

13 The man didn’t know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.” 15 Then the man went and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had healed him.

There may be those around you that do not want you to heal of physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual brokenness because when you do you will be a force to be reckoned with. We are stronger when our faith will be in Christ alone and not in our own strength.

Greater is the Lord in you than He who is in the world. Jesus will give you strength, peace, and healing. You must believe He is Lord and Savior, repent of sins in the past and take your healing. He is the triune God: Father, Son ( Jesus), and Holy Spirit. When you let Him into your life He will bring good, including hope and a future ( Jeremiah 29:11). Take your brokenness to Him!!

I really loved this song, The Healing, by Blanca and Dante Bowe. We are all broken, some cracks can be seen on the outside, and some inside hurts are not as visible. He can heal you. As you praise and dance to this worship song, step into your healing!!

Father God, You never change. You love Your children and You have plans to bless their lives. Lord, sometimes we feel alone and unworthy of healing due to our sins. Help us to turn to You before it’s too late. Help us to believe in Your unfailing love. We need healing from our brokenness. You are Jehovah Rapha, our Healer. Help whoever reaches out to You feel Your Presence. Draw them to Yourself. In the Name above all names, Jesus!

God so loves

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There was a time in my life when God was not the focus, instead, it was about a checklist. I felt I was a good person, not one to cause conflict, and did the Christmas and Easter church thing.

However, I felt an empty space in my heart. I had a solid career as a mentor emergency trauma nurse and trained paramedics. My husband and I joined the land of mortgages, a solid career I loved, our first dog, with an expectation of a baby.

Screech went the brakes for this standard list of western expectations. Infertility without a cause and I had no control of my barren body which drove me to seek Jesus.

I had my final infertility treatment and took a memorable trip out of state. After a near-death experience on a Colorado rafting trip, I saw life from a different vantage point. I wore a crash helmet and tightly zipped life vest as the guides gave instructions on body position should a tourist end up in the frigid, springtime, mountain river. I was thrown from the raft at a point in the river called Cardiac Corner ( Class 4 – 5 rapids).

As my body and head were crashing into boulders and trees skirting the river and I was stuck in the swells and sucking water, I cried out to the Lord. I felt as if I would drown, but almost as soon as I called out Jesus, help me! I felt a warmth surround my body, even though my hands especially my fingers were bluish and numb, I felt no pain. I felt the river was a metaphor for life. Would I trust God with the details and take a ride in the rapids or crash and die?

I chose to trust God, rest in what felt like the huge, warm hand of God, and lived. My husband and I relocated to Colorado within six months. My first Colorado friend took me to my first Bible Study. The book of Romans 5 showed me a new beginning and I learned after dedicating my life to Jesus that I will let Him drive my future plans.

One of my favorite scripture Romans 5: 1- 8 was an epiphany.

Romans 5:1-11 NLT
[1] Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. [2] Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

[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. [6] When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. [7] Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. [8] But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

I no longer saw my infertility as a failure instead I saw the need to trust God with everything. After infertility procedures, giving myself shots, waiting on God while caring for children at work in illness and trauma, relocating, and subsequently, the unknown of adoption. I realized I wanted to be a mom and trust the Lord to orchestrate the details.

After a decade of marriage, our first child came to her forever home through adoption six weeks after I accepted Jesus. All three of our children are amazing gifts from God who know more about Jesus as children than I did.

“God so loves”, a song by We the Kingdom brings a vision of joy, and diversity of many beautiful children created in the Image of God. I hope you enjoy it as I did when I saw the band play it live.

I hope you are inspired to realize God so loves. That is the first step of faith in an unknown God. I had to flip out of a white water raft to come to this amazing realization. What will it take for you?

Are you weary? He will strengthen you. You may feel unworthy of His love, He knows but loves you anyway. Bring all your failures. He will direct your life journey. God so loves.

Completely

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Our faith has a chance to grow when we get opportunities to have trials. It reminds us we can’t do this life alone. It reminds us we need Jesus. It reminds us that he’s the holder of our heads. He’s been the One from the beginning. He will be the One that will see us through whatever the trial may be. His Holy Spirit wants to bring life, and new hope and when we connect to the Holy Spirit we’re in awe.

John15: 1- 9  1. “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.  

Our faith gets a chance to be strengthened when it is strengthened by the One who has all power and wisdom, our Father! He is the Gardener and we are the growing vine that needs His pruning. Pruning may feel harsh, discipline can feel like judgment, but when received in an honest. open way, the pruning can take off the deadly sin, and our impulsive choices, and provide recovery and growth. Initially, the pruning feels painful but the growth is a new life.

When we sin, we grieve the Holy Spirit, but He wants to help grow a harvest of good. Our impulsive fleshy choices block our minds from hearing the gentle whisper of God.

It’s not about breaking the rules so much is breaking the heart of our Savior who loves us and wants us to let Him guide our lives.

Jen Ledger, a solo musician and also bandmember, singer, and drummer for Skillet shared in her solo song, Completely, the faith and love of God. He loves us completely and I love to sing loudly this anthem.

Completely by Ledger

I would be surprised if you didn’t feel the love of God with this awesome song. He takes our chaos and creates a symphony. We are His and He loves us. Anticipate growing in the Father and becoming a beautiful harvest for Him. Rest in that, my friends.

Walking through Fires

What a time to be alive? So much going on in the lives of Christian friends and those who haven’t found Jesus yet. We can face anything with Jesus.

He tells us to trust Him. In my own human mind, it seems like weakness to need anyone, let alone Jesus, who I can’t see. Yet, faith comes without seeing, it is believing in Jesus even when we do not know the future. Current times make us feel fear yet Jesus calls us to faith in Him.

Faith comes when we choose to trust Jesus over fear. Thomas was the disciple who expressed doubt to Jesus; when Jesus appeared to his disciples after he died on the cross. Jesus reminded Thomas that he knew Jesus before and after His resurrection. Jesus understood Thomas’ doubt as natural for a human. Amazing, He understands our doubt too!!!

I do not know what fires are erupting in your life personally. Globally, we can see increased hopelessness and depravity along with more mental health issues. It breaks my heart to hear of the depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts at epidemic levels in young adults and teens.

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John 20: 26-31 is a beautiful reminder of the heart of Jesus. Jesus understood the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of his friends; the disciples. He didn’t judge, He loved them and spoke peace to them.

John 20: 26 - 31
 26 Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas 
was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, 
and said, “Peace to you.”
27 Then he focused his attention on Thomas. “Take your finger and examine my 
hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don’t be unbelieving. Believe.”
28 Thomas said, “My Master! My God!”
29 Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even 
better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”
30-31 Jesus provided far more God-revealing signs than are written down 
in this book. These are written down so you will believe that Jesus is the 
Messiah, the Son of God, and in the act of believing, have real and eternal
 life in the way he personally revealed it.


Jordan St. Cyr, sings a meaningful song about ” Fires”, Jesus wants to walk us through fires and be renewed to His grace, mercy, and love. There is no other place to go, no idol, no addiction no other person can provide. This video reminds me that our instruction to our family, children, even our friends shares timeless wisdom to endure. He wants to walk with you.

Broken?

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Are you hurting? Are you broken by the trials of life? I know who can change your life, transform your mind, and love you beyond all human understanding. He calls you by name. His name is Jesus.

Psalm 139:1 - 6
1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

Let your heart believe again or for the first time, He wants to pour out His Love. He is your Savior, He knew you before you were born. He sees the whole painting of your life, not just the broken pieces. He can be the gold thread that ties all things together. Trust Him, Believe He is who He says He is.

I am broken, we are all broken and need a Savior, Jesus. This song by Stars Go Dim is so amazing, “Yes He does”. He can turn all things for good. Let Him heal all the broken places.

Ephesians 2: 8 - 10  
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 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.

Yes, He loves you. Yes, He has plans. Yes, He wants to change the hard places into amazing purposes. He uses everything. Let Him!!