Listen

Listen to Him

Life has many seasons. Seasons of joy, progress and trials. Seasons of unexpected victories, healthy relationships and moments of pure bliss. There are also seasons of desert, dry, weary moments that seem to extend to the horizon, as far as our eyes can see. We can feel parched, dried up and isolated.

I feel as though it is in the dry desert times I am more willing to listen to that still, small yet powerful voice of wisdom, Jesus. Yes, I feel amazed when life is joyful and progresses as I think it should. However, I can consider my participation more valuable than the behind the scenes God appointed moments of joy and peace.

The human condition of self reliance puts our works for our lives ahead of His provisions. When that happens, my ears are too busy seeking the admiration of the world, the likes, the compliments that puff up my chest. It can bring the toddler attitude of “I did this myself, I can do it, leave me alone.”

This is attitude blocked gratitude and is prideful and blocks my ears from hearing the still, small powerful voice of Jesus that says, “ Here is the way to go, hold my hand and let’s travel together.”

Matthew 6 5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Jesus doesn’t have a selfish motive, It is not in Him, He is all the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self control. These fruits are something we must work through in order to be like Jesus. Each trait takes time, and effort. Some days I feel confident in one, then another one challenges me. It’s ok, we are works in progress. Jesus will guide the completion of our journey.

This is a common theme on my blog lately, I need to be transformed to the mind of Christ. Am I listening for his voice? Are you listening? Where are your steps leading you? He wants to bless.

Isaiah 30:18-23 NLT
[18] So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help. [19] O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. [20] Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. [21] Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left. [22] Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them, “Good riddance!” [23] Then the LORD will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock.

Let it rain on you and prepare for a future harvest with the Master Gardener, the Lord. He did create you with two ears and one mouth to listen more.

Wind

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The wind has been blowing at hurricane forces with red flag warnings covering my state for over a week. Wind escalades consuming fires; causes dust storms, and blows the tumbling weed you may have seen in Wild West movies. Those weeds can grow into the size of house doors. I have a friend who shared seeing an entire front of a house covered by them, with a senior citizen needing help.

I have been meditating on the wind, the Hebrew word for wind is Ruach. Strongs Concordance definition: Ruach means breath, wind, spirit with its’ phonetic spelling is (roo’-akh). Johnathan Cahn, a Messianic Jewish author shares his interpretation in his “Book of Mysteries”. The Holy Spirit, the breath of life along the wind are synonymous with the power of the Lord. Have you ever thought of this concept?

The Bible supports this premise, as I did research I found the wind described in Genesis through Revelations. It was an amazing read I will share some scriptures.

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, describes God’s action to blow across the earth and dry land after the flood.

Genesis 8:1    But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede.

The Lord used the wind to bring a holy fear to enemies in war just by its sound in Leviticus, wind cleared locusts and brought quail to the hungry Israelites in Numbers 11.

2 Samuel 22 describes how the Lord heard the cries of David and David saw Him in the storm clouds. What a visual? I choose to believe the same is true today. We may have other noises or busy lists drowning out this revelation.

2 Samuel 22:11
Mounted on a mighty angelic being, he flew,
  soaring on the wings of the wind.

Elijah described being worn out and feeling alone as He continued to serve the Lord even though many peers thought he was crazy and stupid. In 1 Kings 19, we are reminded that despite the noise around us the Lord speaks in whispers. Are we spending time with our Lord? It is hard to hear His whispers when we aren’t listening for them. I am guilty as charged at times.

1 Kings 19: 11-12   11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, there was the sound of a gentle whisper.

At one point, Job was rebuked by the Lord for his rantings. The Lord reminded Job where all things began, with Him. Job 38:24 Where is the path to the source of light? Where is the home of the east wind?

In Psalm 28, the Lord is increasingly frustrated as His children are not walking with Him, the Lord says in verse 26: He released the east wind in the heavens, and guided the south wind by his mighty power.

My time hearing the winds, seeing the trees sway, watching the tumbleweeds, not being able to walk a straight line outside, eating dust, and sneezing from the wind, made me consider the Lord made the wind and it holds the majesty of His power.

Matthew 8:26-27 is one of my favorite stories of Jesus calming the storm at sea while his buddies freaked out. Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” The winds were out of control and Jesus rebuked the winds. It was a defining moment because they were in awe that even the winds obeyed Jesus. Sadly, I can be like the disciples! But I don’t have to stay in that place.

Psalm 104 describes the majesty of the Lord and his creation of sky, heavens, clouds, and wind.

Psalm 104: 1- 4   
1 Let all that I am praise the Lord. O Lord my God, how great you are! You are robed 
with honor and majesty. 
2 You are dressed in a robe of light. You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens; 
3  you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds. You make the clouds your 
chariot; you ride upon the wings of the wind. 
4  The winds are your messengers; flames of fire are your servants.

Ah, another windy day, red flag warning in case of fires, the earth is so dry, just a spark of flame will light up the pastures. Isn’t that a metaphor for life, my friends?

Action steps: Meditate on these: Am I walking with the wind, in a sense my Holy Spirit, my Lord? Or am I walking against His instructions with worry, defiance, pride, grumbling, basically, in sin? If I choose the fleshy sin ways, I am dried up, worn out, depressed, anxious and lonely. If I walk with the Lord I allow Him to carry me or at the very least, I let my burdens be directed by His wisdom and the negative mindset to be blown away as I trust Him.

James 1: 5-7       5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

I want to be in control, do you? However, with each passing year, I am learning my need to control is not helpful. I can’t control the future and world events any more than I can control the wind. I am choosing loyalty and a walk with Him.

Walk with the wind not against it! Hold onto your hat, life will be more interesting and less parched.

Happiest place on earth

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I am in a drought. It may sound crazy but my family just returned from Disney World. Originally, two years ago before Covid, we were supposed to travel to Florida then Covid hit and everything was shut down.

We finally went as a family of four last week. My son watched our house and all of our animals. You would think that I would come back feeling refreshed but, instead, honestly, I felt depleted because it was such a world of materialism and really I missed my Jesus time.

Being still with Jesus is what refreshes me. I realize I’m probably more an introvert but can be an extrovert, especially on thrill rides. Filling up my internal reservoir actually comes from the Word of God and my time spent with my Savior Jesus.

Yes, I went on a bunch of rides and screamed with hysteria. Yes, I was one of many in the crowds, yet I am set apart as a daughter of the King. Yes, Disney World is touted as the happiest place on earth.

When I saw sweet families having a blast and sharing memories, it brought back past memories when our kids were young. I had a great time sharing rides and funny moments with our family of four, however, something was lacking.

I saw stressed-out parents, kids asking for more souvenirs, and mega meltdowns. I pondered if perhaps the parents were using their last dime to provide “a happy experience” for the kids and yet looked stressed because of the bills when they get back home.

I realize my eternal joy cannot be filled at Disney World. My peace and the feeling of the presence of the Holy Spirit cannot be completed at Disney World. But the peace and the love of God can be found when I spend time with my Jesus. And that’s what I missed. Oh yes, I did my devotions in the morning and I didn’t check it off the list. Even if it was two in the morning when I couldn’t sleep, I felt the peace of God.

I feel I was given a window into observing people and at times saw frustration and people cutting off people and an unsettledness in that particular place. I felt drawn to act the same way. It is supposed to be the happiest on earth, is it?

I’m not sure if I’m ranting‘s are making any sense. My point, the happiest place on earth is when we spend time with our Jesus who is not superficial but eternal. That’s where joy and a peace that passes all understanding are found.

Ephesians 3:19 NLT
[19] May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Psalm 34:8 NLT
[8] Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!

Psalm 16:9-11 NLT
[9] No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. [10] For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. [11] You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

No matter where you travel, seeking the peace of Jesus is just a step away. Seeking Jesus and focused time with His Word is the happiest place to be. As my teen texted, ” Mom, the happiest place is not a place or earth, it’s with God”, from the mouth of Babes.

Claim it

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Iveth Luna sings a powerful song, “In You”, about throwing away fear and meditating hope and strength in Him alone. I feel so strongly about this transforming action. I blog about the importance of Faith in Jesus, trusting in Him, believing He is who He says He is, repenting of our stupidity and sin, and claiming a new life with Jesus.

As I heard this song for the first time, my mind gathered its message and I felt for just a little while the peace that only the Lord can give. Peace and Awe at the free gift of Jesus!

Regardless of the world or personal chaos, the enemy has no unsettled claims against us after we give our life to Jesus. However, we must make time for daily reading of scripture, being still with God, turning from our fleshy mindsets and actions. We must actively seek to change the sinful patterns of our life. It is a daily submission to His authority not in restriction but in a relationship with Jesus. We must take every thought captive for Jesus and the Lord will be our fortress.

2 Corinthians 10: 3- 5      We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4 [a]We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
Iveth Luna – In You

Submitting to the authority of Jesus may seem an impossible step. But when we accept and believe He died for our sins and agree to let His Holy Spirit guide our lives we are HIM powered ( not human empowered) by His strength, to break patterns of the past and live in freedom.

John 14:   14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.[a] If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”

5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

Even Jesus’ disciples ( his closest friends) did not fully understand the concept of the Holy Spirit. I am so grateful that scripture tells us about their questions. Further along in John 14, Jesus explains that they will not be left as orphans. The Holy Spirit will guide their lives.

John 14 : 10 - 21      10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
15 “If you love me, obey[d] my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,[e] who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.[f] 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. 19 Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

We can have this same amazing source of wisdom, the Holy Spirit. I am a sinner saved by the free gift of grace from Jesus, I have never regretted the day I bent my knee and have been in awe as He instructs through His Word, His people ever since. He awaits your voice and bended knee. May today be your day of transformation as His Child.

If you have made the decision to follow Jesus, send me a message, I will rejoice with you.

Dementia – Reflections

Dementia is a stealer of the memories and relationships of many. It is watching fine-lined cracks form in the mind of someone you love. It could be a Dad, Mom, a Grandparent, or another significant family member. As a family member, you try to plug the breaks in their mind. You may research possible nutritional supplements. You encourage your loved one to seek medical, emotional, and spiritual help. However, they are adults, and you are limited by their need to be in charge as they are afraid and confused. It is a walk of strength and courage. It is remembering the vision of those we love from decades past.

Love stands solid when we can reflect on the character traits of a relative pre Dementia. We can push away the sadness, the hopeless future relationship, and instead, hold onto the love and compassion we knew. We can share the love through words and actions, share great family memories, spend time with them and pray for wisdom from God.

I think it was a gift from God, as I cleared out my closet, I found the words penned for my Mom. It was a gift that I share with you now, treasure the relationships around you. When we can share love despite the changed mind, and grace to those who invested in our lives, we reflect on Jesus.

Ephesians 6:1 -3    Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord,[a] for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: 3 If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.”

Treasured poem from 30 years past on my Mom:

This is a poem to my mother,

whom I love so much,

Her lightly salted grey hair

the perfect seasoning to her face

with fine lines of life

at her eyes and at her mouth

from many years of life

both happy and sad experiences.

Her stature is just shy of mine.

But she dresses in a style-

a style that exudes Mom.

Her care and concern for me

something I can always trust.

She is talkative and friendly

although sometimes too much-

she means well with others

Family and friends mean a bunch.

She busies herself in so many ways

concern over things she may never change.

She’s a hard worker, the glue in the family, serves all.

She never tries to be, anything

but the Mom I see

There is no falseness in this lady

as she will state to many-

“Take me as I am or not at all.”

You should already know how proud,

How proud of you I am

For being such a gentle mother, and

of whom this poem speaks so grand.

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May this reflection draw you to encourage the parent, guardian, grandparent, or significant person in your life. I have been blessed with elder women who have encouraged me as I process my Mom and Dementia.

If you didn’t have a Godly example of Mom or Dad or supportive person, I pray that God will lead you to one of His chosen people. God bless you, You are loved!!

 1 Timothy 5:4     But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.

Horse bits and Sparks

Relationship by MM

Is it me or do you feel as if there’s more grumbling and complaining lately than people speaking life and joy to each other? Scripture tells us the grumbling and complaining are not from the Lord and the more we grumble the more discontented and unhappy that we feel.

It could be in our community, it could be in the schools, in politics, and within the church, the attempt of dividing people who are created in the image of God is increasing. Can you relate? It is our own selfish nature that wants to be heard, or have the last word. We can speak without thinking and cause a forest fire.

James 3:2   Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.

Yes, another blog post on self-control, do we speak life or do we speak death? The tongue is to be used to speak life. In the Book of James, we are reminded the tongue has the potential to speak wonderful blessings or even curses.

James 3:7 - 10   People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8 but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10 And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. 

The tongue is defined, in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as, “a fleshy movable muscular process of the floor of the mouths..the human speech organ”, or “manner or quality of utterance with respect to tone or sound, the sense of what is expressed, or the intention of the speaker”. What is our intention when we speak?

In the Bible, James chapter 3 is full of wisdom regarding the tongue and learning self-control. It describes the rudder of a ship and the bit within a horse’s mouth. We have horses, most want to please their owner, however, they also have a stubborn streak and are powerful, majestic animals. The horse can be ridden in a halter when there is a great relationship between horse and rider. When the rider needs to ensure more control of the horse, be it a mountain trail, a cattle drive, or a new rider without a relationship, a bit provides pressure inside the horse’s mouth. Some bits are harsh and cruel while other bits are gentle in pressure.

Horse bits are connected to the reins, the reins provide guidance to the horse for the rider. As our kids were learning to ride, I likened the reins and bit to holding the hand of the horse through its mouth. Our horses wanted to please the rider, my daughter could ride bareback in a halter at times in the fields and at 4 H events because of their healthy relationship.

James 3:3 We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4 And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5 In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6 And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.
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The tongue is one of the smallest muscles in the whole entire body but it can pack a punch or a flame. Why is the tongue a powerful body part? It can hurt or I can heal. It can set your life up for good or create a forest fire, as James shared.

What is your tongue doing today is it providing hope, encouragement, love, teaching, or providing hurt, shame, and guilt? I am checking my own attitude. I want to douse the ashes of conflict and instead pour blessings and life into those I meet. How about you?

A wise elder, your parent or grandparents’ wisdom may have taught deep breathes and counting to ten as a calming technique. It is not just to see if you are smart in math! The pause allows you to reconsider future actions and words you might speak.

James 3: 13 - 18    If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.


17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.


Being a peacemaker is possible if we stop the pride and selfish attitude (sin) and instead seek wisdom from God. It does not mean we let people step on us. We all need a little grace. I open my mouth and insert my foot often.

Wise tips: Listen well. Try to reframe the persons statements back to them. Clarify that you understand what they’re trying to say. Validate their feelings. And then answer softly and slowly. Be mindful of your words, this way you can douse the potential of a flame.

We the Messengers is an awesome Christian music artist because his lyrics give wisdom, he speaks disciplined in love, and this song is awesome!! It just reminds us to keep our eyes focused in the right space. “Come What May” is his most recent song. I saw him in concert, the artist is as humble and gifted as he sounds.

Enjoy your day and join me to stamp out a few fires by watching your words. 🙂

Guard

Fall sunset by Mary Mesikapp

Have you started your day stretching in bed and saying,” this is the day the Lord has made, I will make it a great day.” You flip on your favorite music, do you dance as you get dressed? Next, you grab your favorite beverage, jump in the car, and witness a beautiful sunrise or sunset? I used to work a lot of night shifts. Sunsets and sunrises would send me to work and bring me home with a smile.

However, my mood may change when I turn on the radio and am singing along with a song about broken relationships, depression, anxiety, and other topics that bring me down. Or have you walked into a room with a friend or coworker arguing? The next thing you know, you are feeling less joy. It’s like osmosis, the negative mindset is drawing away your joy.

Guard your heart! There are many voices and visions vying for your attention. It is a constant poke and prod from the enemy to distract. It can be culture, the newest app on your phone, a new entertainment app such as a tv or cable series, and even a new song.

Songs can have a steady, catchy beat, a melody, or percussion that lulls you into a cadence. Before you know it, you are memorizing lyrics and in the groove. Every time the song plays on your favorite radio or music venue you sing along.

You feel connected to the song it doesn’t seem to matter what is the message and thus you are a part of the community, you are trendy. Sometimes you pause to consider lyrics but then the beat picks up again and “who cares, no big deal, it’s just a song….”

Here’s the thing, I have a question, “if Jesus was sitting beside you as you traveled down the road, or danced away in your home, would you still sing the song?”

I find myself more diligent at considering lyrics lately after I heard words from current music. I was blown away at the top hits on multiple music genres. I don’t want to sound like an old curmudgeon, “the music of today, is bad.” Parents of generations past would complain about Elvis, the Beatles, and other classic rock bands were seen as evil. Parents wanted and tried to ban music.

However, Each generation has a need to express themselves. I get it! We have to think for ourselves. We have been given a sound mind. We must use it and not just follow the crowd.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

I think it’s important to teach my kids to learn to discern what comes from their lips in words or songs. I am working through the same needed character development. Yes, I say it again, I am a work in progress.

We must be self-controlled by the Holy Spirit with a sound mind.

Are my words bringing hope or hurt? Am I pausing before I speak? Am I considering the words in songs of my favorite music artists? Those lyrics can affect my emotions and my projection to others. They can speak affirmation or grumble. I believe you can tell by some of my posts, I love music and the messages that they can send to the listener.

Proverbs 4:23 NLT
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

I don’t want to deny my kids music but, instead, I want to come alongside them, teach discernment so they can consider what they see and hear, and does it bring life or death? Is it supportive of honoring men and women or is it describing destruction, abuse, and addiction potential?

It is too easy to become desensitized by the beat of a song. When we dismiss the importance of what we say or in this case sing, we become less bothered by the content.

Does the song edify or honor humans created in the Image of God or demean and insult? It is a choice to make. We can change the radio station or choose different songs on our music app. In our present day, we have options to make our own playlists.

Bad character corrupts even in a song. If we sing about the abuse of women or the joy in alcohol and hooking up, we demean and dishonor the purpose of our fellow humans. God wants each of His children to be loved and respected.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.

Music, movies, and yes, even, the news can suck the life out of you. You can choose what fills your mind, your ears, your eyes. Guard your heart! Let your words and songs be filled with life.

Psalm 141:3 NLT
Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips.

Interchangeable

The triune: The Father God, God’s Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are three in One. He is the Rock, the God of the Mountains: El Shaddai. He is Omnipresent. ( Jeremiah 23:23-24) No one can hide from Him. Amazing!!

The Names of God are an amazing reflection of His characters . Years ago, I was exposed to this list in a Bible study. My mind has been deeply pondering culture, world news and staying firm in faith with God.

He has shown himself in the joys and trials of life, our God is massive and His Names have specific meaning depending on my circumstances.

I felt called to share this wisdom today. May one of these Names of God bring hope to you and maybe draw you deeper into a relationship with Him.

  1. Adonai – My Great Lord, He is the Majestic Lord, our authority. (Psalm 8:1)
  2. Elohim – The All-Powerful One, He is the Creator of the Heavens and earth. He is everywhere. (Psalm 68)
  3. El Roi – The God who sees me, God knows who we are and what we are going through. (Genesis 16:11-14)
  4. El Shaddai – The God of the Mountains, He is all-powerful and the source of all blessings. (Psalm 139:7-12)
  5. Immanuel – God with us, the Great I Am, Jesus came as a baby, He is in our midst. (Isaiah 8:8-10,Matthew 1:23)
  6. Jehovah – “I AM”, He is the God who never changes. He is faithful, even when we are not. (Psalm 102)
  7. Jehovah-Jireh – The Lord will provide. He will meet all our needs, Jesus, His Son was sacrificed for us. (Psalm 23)
  8. Jehovah-Nissi – The Lord is My Banner, God gives victory, Our battle is against the dark, evil, He is Light.(Ephesians 6:10-18)
  9. Jehovah-Shalom – God of Peace, Jesus is our Prince of Peace, He defeats our enemy when we seek Him. (Hebrews 13:20)
  10. Yahweh – ” I AM”, His promises never fail. He is faithful and never changes. (Malachi 3:6, Psalm 46:1)

We must hold onto the hope found in the unchanging God, who may have many interchangeable names but is the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end.

“No one but you”, a song from Hillsong United, brings the breath of life to me as I hear the words of promise. There is No one like our God. May this song encourage you today!!

Our Children

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. They must love God with all their heart, soul, and strength. They must see these actions in you. Our actions speak louder than words.

Deuteronomy 6: 5 -7 
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.

We are called to share the Word of God, found in the Bible, it is wisdom for life. It is our most important responsibility to our child as their parent. I love Proverbs 4, the entire chapter is filled with instructions for parents. We must teach our children to guard their hearts, it is the wellspring of their life. It is the place where purpose flows.

Proverbs 4 :20 -23 
My child, pay attention to what I say.
 Listen carefully to my words.
21 Don’t lose sight of them.
 Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22 for they bring life to those who find them,
 and healing to their whole body.

23 Guard your heart above all else,
 for it determines the course of your life.

For over 10 years, I felt called to speak about injury prevention, alcohol, drugs, preventable occurrences as a trauma nurse. I cared for many traumatic injuries that were preventable from motor vehicle crashes, motorcycle crashes, alcohol and drug overdoses, etc. I became a public speaker on behalf of other emergency department and trauma nurses. I shared real stories with other people’s children from middle school through high school. My key focus was to tell them that their lives are filled with purpose and God has plans!

God gives each one of us, created in the Image of God, a specific purpose. It is our job, as we live on this planet, to seek to understand who our Creator God called us to be. Our gifts can be hidden as we move day to day, or our gifts can be something that shined since we were young. Either way, there is a great calling on our life. Our choices can detour the end result, but life is not a straight path.

We can have pauses and starts, challenges can give us the opportunity to turn back to God if we have left the path with Jesus. Challenges can give us an opportunity to humble ourselves return to Jesus and choose a better course in the future. We have a God (Jesus, His Son) who walked this planet. He understands our human condition of emotions, impulses and pain. Matthew 4 describes Jesus being tempted by the devil in the desert multiple times. Jesus stood firm with the Word of God. Consider checking on this amazing chapter of scripture.

Jesus took on all our sins, because He loves us that much. If we did not have a loving father on earth it can be hard to believe this truth. Jesus died a sinners death by taking on all the sins of the world for love. He gives us mercy and grace, and cheers us on as we do over our life connected to Him.

John 3:16   “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

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I heard this beautiful song today at a meeting, “For Our Children, words by Amy Carmichael and Charlotte Ryerson. God calls parents to pray and praise Him. Use this song as a love note for your children to Jesus, I share the lyrics here:

For Our Children (Words by Amy Carmichael and Charlotte Ryerson, music by Charlotte Ryerson)

Father, hear us, we are praying,
Hear the words our hearts are saying,
We are praying for our children.

Keep them from the powers of evil,
From the secret, hidden peril,
Father, hear us for our children.

From the whirlpool that would suck them,
From the treacherous quicksand, pluck them.
Father, hear us for our children.

From the worldling’s hollow gladness,
From the sting of faithless sadness,
Holy Father, save our children.

Through life’s troubled waters steer them,
Through life’s bitter battle cheer them,
Father, Father, be thou near them.

Read the language of our longing,
Read the wordless pleadings thronging.
Holy Father for our children,
And where’er they may abide,
Lead them home at eventide.

We come boldly to Thy Throne,
all our hope in Thee alone
Let them see Thy cross and come,
let them glorify Thy Son
in Jesus’name amen 

©Charlotte Ryerson 2014
Amy Carmichael’s 19th century prayer for the children of the Dohnavur Fellowship in India.

In this time of crazy cultural strife, we need to lift up our children to the throne room of God. We can praise the Lord as we lay our children in His strong, scar-filled hands. He loves them even more than we do, after all He created them.

He has a purpose for their lives. If we, as parents or adult family, can release our grip on their hands, then maybe they will be able to reach for the hand of Jesus.

Jesus has transforming power. He can bring hope in a storm. He can heal all the wounds whether spiritual, psychological and even physical. He is the Ultimate Healer.

Let go and let God! Father God, help our children to achieve the purposes that you call them to become.

And for those who do not have children in a biological or adopted way just yet, I totally understand. I was infertile for ten years before I was blessed through adoption.

God calls you to pray for His children. His children are in your community, at the grocery store, the coffee shop and as you walk down a street.

Get to work and pray for His people. May God richly bless your day!!

Fall has come

There is something about the fall season. The change of weather from super hot, sticky days, as a fan does not provide relief from the dripping perspiration, heat comes even into the night.

The need for cool, brisk evenings comes to its zenith when the calendar lands on October. Ah, the winds begin to blow more urgently.

It is fall. The days may start off warm, however as the sun begins to drop into its place of rest, the evening temperatures cool bringing comfortable sleep.

The windows are now open for breezy times, the trees rustle as the sound of leaves begin their change of color. Summertime green leaves transform into burgundy, red, orange, yellow and an amazing dark purple. As you crest a hill driving down a country road from the top of the mountain to the valley, the multiple colors can be seen from a distance. It is a breathtaking color palette of leaves from an artists’ brush, the Creator God.

I love fall. Nature cycles from energized green trees, productions of flowers, vegetables and even sunflowers and grain harvests. Farmers combine multiple crops such as wheat, barley, crushing corn stalks for livestock silage and a final crop sugar beets. As temperatures drop, they prepare the land for next years crops.

Apples have been a bumper crop in our area. The sweet, satisfying apples release a juicy taste quenching your thirst and reminding you to add caramel. Yummy! It is fall!

When the winds pick up, blowing in gusts, I see a tumble weed blow across the fields, it picking up another torn dry portion and expand ever larger as it hops along.

Yes, the seasons ( or times) they are a changing, like Bob Dylan sang. It is a time of introspection. A time of considering change in our own life, or maybe holding onto the amazing good things. I am learning not to take anything for granted.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 
1    There is a time for everything,
 and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2     a time to be born and a time to die,
 a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3     a time to kill and a time to heal,
 a time to tear down and a time to build,
4     a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain   from embracing,
6     a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7     a time to tear and a time to mend,
 a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8     a time to love and a time to hate,
 a time for war and a time for peace.

As the leaves shrivel further they begin to drop from the trees. Piles form and swirl as the gusty winds begin again, it is a restless example of things never staying still for long. Time brings change.

Life is as constant and moving as the leaves. The four seasons remind me to be grateful for transitions: winter, spring, summer and fall. Each season has a purpose just like life.

Leaves remind me as they fall to the ground, drop the old ways. Shriveling leaves, can represent limiting life because choices have caused me to step away from the source of life. There is still time to be made new and alive again.

There is another season to navigate. Get ready because winter can be a time of rest.

Daniel 2: 20 - 25   
Daniel said: 
20 “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his.
21 He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.
     He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
22 He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness,
    and light dwells with him

Fall into the arms of the Creator God. He is wise.