Time to move

The Byrds are remembered for a song, “Turn, turn, turn” that includes a message from words found in Ecclesiastes 3 regarding time. Time can not stand still, there is love and hate, war and peace, and a time for forgiveness and grace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8,11,14-15 NLT

[1] For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. [2] A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. [3] A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. [4] A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. [5] A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. [6] A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. [7] A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. [8] A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace. [11] Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end. [14] And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God's purpose is that people should fear him. [15] What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.

Every day can be a time to do our own personal reset in our lives, words, and actions. People in positions of power across the world seem to forget the principle of taking time to move for humanity. Before it is too late.

However, I think these moments in history both in the world and within our own communities can give us time to ponder our own reactions. I am learning that I must not hold onto anything that is not in my control to change. I am learning that Jesus can have it all. But I must say the words out loud ” Jesus Have it all!” and then I must leave my concerns in His hands.

This is not an easy task. In fact, I can find myself turning my gaze behind me reconsidering, and picking up the situation. But when I get in the way of the Lord’s plan, I mess up the future and my faith in the unseen future is wrecked again. Can you relate?

Proverbs 16: 1 - 3
1 We can make our own plans,
 but the Lord gives the right answer.

2 People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives.

3 Commit your actions to the Lord,
 and your plans will succeed.

Jeremy Riddle, a Christian musician, and his amazing band recently released an album. It is so filled with the feeling of the Presence of God. This song is amazing, “Jesus Have It All” is my absolute favorite reminder of giving all my worries, fears, and concerns to the One who has better plans. Thank you to the person who put this song into a lyric video less than 24 hours ago. God bless you.

Time is in the Lord’s Hands! He knows the end to the beginning. He is the Alpha and Omega! Rest in His arms. Listen to the Peace that comes when you hand Him your life, all of it!!!

Beauty for ashes

Beauty for ashes post forest fire by MM

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

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

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

Isaiah 61:1-3 NLT
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. [2] He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. [3] To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.

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

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

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

Commit my Heart?

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

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

Numbers 6:24-26 AMP

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

Deuteronomy 4:29-31 NLT

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

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NLT

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

Matthew 5:5 AMP

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

Matthew 6:19-24 AMP

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

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

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

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

Mountains

Photo by Sagui Andrea on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isaiah 55:3 -13

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

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

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

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

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

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

New day, new sunrise

New Day dawns by MM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Refine me to Gold

Refine me by Your Holy fire to Gold

Pain is an opportunity for growth in God! I shared this concept with a few friends lately.

Pain can draw us to our Savior or fear over pain can cause us to look over our shoulder and run from the Savior. The molding of our character burns and can scar us.

Daniel 3 shares the story of three young men who refused to bow down before a king. They trusted God over any threats by man. God protected them from a fiery furnace and death. As a result, the King and others turned their lives over to God.

Daniel 3:16-18 CEV
The three men replied, “Your Majesty, we don’t need to defend ourselves. [17] The God we worship can save us from you and your flaming furnace. [18] But even if he doesn’t, we still won’t worship your gods and the gold statue you have set up.”

These young men placed their hope in the One True God!! We can choose the same course. Trust God in your pain to be refined as gold into the treasure He already knows you to be.

Psalm 25:1-8 MSG
My head is high, GOD, held high; I’m looking to you, GOD; No hangdog skulking for me. [3] I’ve thrown in my lot with you; You won’t embarrass me, will you? Or let my enemies get the best of me? Don’t embarrass any of us Who went out on a limb for you. It’s the traitors who should be humiliated. [4] Show me how you work, GOD; School me in your ways. [5] Take me by the hand; Lead me down the path of truth. You are my Savior, aren’t you? [6] Mark the milestones of your mercy and love, GOD; Rebuild the ancient landmarks! [7] Forget that I sowed wild oats; Mark me with your sign of love. Plan only the best for me, GOD! [8] GOD is fair and just; He corrects the misdirected, Sends them in the right direction.

The gods of this world: materialism, social status, economic wealth, can’t compare to the peace found in trusting our Creator God with our futures. In this time of uncertainty, world instability, financial chaos, relational strife. There is only one real choice, Jesus.

This mindset may not make sense to our human mind however, as I talked with a dear Sister in Christ yesterday, Jesus is the only Peace to be found. He has never changed from the time of Daniel.

Let the supernatural peace of God take hold of your heart and mind. Micah 4:11-13 the Message version, practically jumped off the page. Hold onto the promises of God.

Holy Spirit fuel our steps!!!🔥💜

Micah 4:11-13 MSG
But for right now, they’re ganged up against you, many godless peoples, saying, “Kick her when she’s down! Violate her! We want to see Zion grovel in the dirt.” These blasphemers have no idea what GOD is thinking and doing in this. They don’t know that this is the making of GOD’s people, that they are wheat being threshed, gold being refined. [13] On your feet, Daughter of Zion! Be threshed of chaff, be refined of dross. I’m remaking you into a people invincible, into God’s juggernaut to crush the godless peoples. You’ll bring their plunder as holy offerings to GOD, their wealth to the Master of the earth.

Gerbil, Get off the wheel

Gerbil, get off the wheel!!

Boy, our feelings can feel so intense overwhelming and so permanent, can’t they? Yet feelings are fleeting. They pop into our minds and take on a life of there own, if they are condemning they are from the devil. Feelings could actually be lies from the Father of lies, Satan. Lies related to past traumas, lies related to expectations of others, lies related to judgments of others, are not helpful. They are meant to destroy us and tarnish our mind from Gods’ truth.

Ephesians 6:10-11 AMP
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. [11] Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

The truth is that God has a plan for your life. God wants you to choose His Promises over feelings. The enemy wants you to be stuck in feelings. The truth is that God has never left you. Perhaps in your past choices, shame or trauma led to your steps away from your relationship with Him.

Have you ever thought of it that way? Who stepped away? There may have been a time we felt God would never forgive us for the things we’ve done or the things we’ve said. Go to Jesus, He is a forgiving, grace giving, a merciful God. He wants to be in our lives sharing His wisdom. But if we step away from the umbrella protection of his wisdom, we can’t really be surprised that we don’t hear His voice?

God is a God of love, God of peace, God is a teacher through conviction not condemnation. He is a God of hope and returning to His Presence is amazing. God is a God of wisdom. Jesus speaks to us through the Holy Spirit.

He for us not against us. We must reach out to Him and say aloud, “Jesus, I need You! I want You to direct my life. I am ready for a New Life with You!”

There are ways for us to drop the fake feelings and instead hold onto Gods’ promises. I love imagery to explain my point, please bear with me!

Consider a gerbil in a wheel running so fast, faster and faster, trying to figure out how to get somewhere. Your feelings etched as words on that gerbil wheel: anxiety, depression, regret, fear, bitterness, holding grudges, unworthiness. We are the gerbil seeming to loose our energy and our mind. We could never get to peace and joy fast enough unless we make changes in our life. Mindless running into an unknown future can set up traps from others and the world culture.

However, if we look and fix our eyes on the image of Jesus before us and picture His compassionate face and extended hand we will feel purpose and strength will increase. Let Him fill empty spaces and be your fuel to reach the goal. Perhaps we could start the steps to forgiving ourselves, and accept His love.

Jeremiah 33:2-3 MSG
“This is GOD’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’

Greater Still by Brandon Lake

Brandon Lake, one of my favorite music artists, expresses beautifully “Greater Still” the love of our Savior Jesus. Be blessed as the lyrics fill your mind with hope and love over feelings.

Our belief and trust in God over feelings could transform us and then our belief in His promises will overwhelm the negative mindset.

So don’t be a gerbil on the wheel, hop off that stupid circular device. And seek the Son of God. He is the light, Jesus! Let Him fuel the Journey!

Lord, keep pouring

Evil will not win! I know days can be exhausting and weariness can sap your strength. I know trials can feel overwhelming and peace seems unattainable. I know you may feel alone and unseen.

I have been in your position and may be there again today: sad, lonely, lost and overwhelmed, without hope and in conflict. I learned to rebuke thoughts that bring darkness. Shake those thoughts meant to bind you from your mind, feelings are deceptive. Faith in the unseen God are truth. The choice is to stay deceived or reach to new freedom and truth.

Hebrews 12:1-2,5-6 TPT
As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us. [2] We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!

[5] And have you forgotten his encouraging words spoken to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t underestimate the value of the discipline and training of the Lord God, or get depressed when he has to correct you. [6] For the Lord’s training of your life is the evidence of his faithful love. And when he draws you to himself, it proves you are his delightful child.”

I have learned and learn daily to take my burdens to the Cross of Christ. I literally see myself labeling the heavy rocks and boulders with these words. I see myself dragging these heavy burdens to Jesus!

I ask for His strength to get me to His feet, I may cry out aloud, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Because I don’t know what else to say. His word says, He understands our groaning through the Holy Spirit. That is not a human concept but everything is possible for God. In the supernatural, holding His hand, listening for His voice, I can find hope again.

Psalm 36, the Passion version, described well the struggle of rebellion of sin and also the mercy seat love of God. His love is extravagant but we need to open our hearts to this amazing gift.

Psalm 36:1-12 TPT
A poetic song, by King David, the servant of the Lord The rebellion of sin speaks as an oracle of God, speaking deeply to the conscience of wicked men. Yet they are still eager to sin, for the fear of God is not before their eyes. [2] See how they flatter themselves, unable to detect and detest their sins. They are crooked and conceited, convinced they can get away with anything. [3] Their wicked words are nothing but lies. Wisdom is far from them. Goodness is both forgotten and forsaken. [4] They lie awake at night to hatch their evil plots, always planning their schemes of darkness, and never once do they consider the evil of their ways. [5] But you, O Lord, your mercy-seat love is limitless, reaching higher than the highest heavens. Your great faithfulness is infinite, stretching over the whole earth. [6] Your righteousness is unmovable, just like the mighty mountains. Your judgments are as full of wisdom as the oceans are full of water. Your tender care and kindness leave no one forgotten, not a man nor even a mouse. [7] O God, how extravagant is your cherishing love! All mankind can find a hiding place under the shadow of your wings. [8] All may drink of the anointing from the abundance of your house. All may drink their fill from the delightful springs of Eden. [9] To know you is to experience a flowing fountain, drinking in your life, springing up to satisfy. In the light of your holiness we receive the light of revelation. [10] Lord, keep pouring out your unfailing love on those who are near you. Release more of your blessings to those who are loyal to you. [11] Don’t let these proud boasters trample me down; don’t let them push me around by the sheer strength of their wickedness. [12] There they lie in the dirt, these evil ones, thrown down to the ground, never to arise again!

Lord, keep pouring out Your wisdom, Your Peace and Your Love! Change me from the inside out. Release more of your truth and blessings to those loyal to you. Draw those who feel lost and alone to Your mercy seat of love and grace. In the light of your holiness we receive the light of revelation. Jesus, Holy Spirit we need You, Amen!

Distraction and Lampstands

Will you be ready when Jesus comes? Some prophets believe we are in the end of times. I choose not to live in fear but instead carefully choose who I listen to, in church leadership or online. I want to follow those whose discussions line up with the Bible. I must spend time reading the Bible myself so I can learn Godly wisdom and discern the truth.

Our world of distraction is set on keeping you unsettled, and being like a dog chasing his tail. If we feel fear, panic, dread or uncertainty, we may be even more susceptible to listening to the wrong voice.

Even worse, apathy may lead us to believe we have plenty of time to get wisdom, read the Bible and seek Jesus. This mindset from the devil may be our undoing. It isn’t about being a good person. It is about seeking a relationship with Jesus and growing in our daily life with words and actions that reflect Him. Not perfection but transformation in our time with our Savior.

What is the distraction that keeps you staying away from Jesus? Consider the distraction of the dog in the movie, Upwards. It is like a dog who hears the word Squirrell and runs into the street instead of staying safe.

Noise, more noise, people, media, the hustle of life, looking at the stock market, trying to make ends meet, what a distraction. It can be the comparison trap whether you are a child, teen, young adult, or any age. We can take the bait. A trap of distraction is just a screenshot away.

But when Jesus comes, will you be ready? Do you think you still have time? Scripture tells us, “Jesus knows the number of our days, but no one knows when Jesus will come”.

Matthew 25:1-13 NLT
“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. [2] Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. [3] The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, [4] but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. [5] When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. [6] “At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’ [7] “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. [8] Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ [9] “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’ [10] “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. [11] Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’ [12] “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’ [13] “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.

Have you ever heard of the 10 Bridesmaids? Will you be one of the five with ready lamps or not? This story in scripture may bring a feeling of conviction. I know it did for me. Conviction isn’t bad, because it can prompt you to change to a better future, even more, an eternal future with Jesus. I need a poke on occasion, how about you?

Merriam Webster definition of conviction : the act of convincing a person of error or of compelling the admission of a truth. Conviction can lead to transformation, condemnation comes from the devil.

So on those days when your distraction, “squirrel”, seems to chitter loudly, reconsider your position. Seek first Jesus, spend time reading His Word, the Bible, accept Jesus as Savior, believe He is Lord, let Him be the Lord of your life. James or Matthew are great places to start, and be ready with your oil and lamp.

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 MSG
May God our Father himself and our Master Jesus clear the road to you! And may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you. May you be infused with strength and purity, filled with confidence in the presence of God our Father when our Master Jesus arrives with all his followers.

Break the cycle, Armor Up!

Has anyone else witnessed increased rage behavior? Lately, I have been feeling more oppression, conflicts, unrest, and lack of understanding in community and personally, it is not just politically. Yes, it feels like spiritual warfare is ramping up.

The enemy of our soul wants us to live in fear and take our eyes off the Creator of the universe and everything good in it. The pressure cooker of relationship challenges or watching from the sidelines conflicts between children to young adults can exhaust. The devil is the leader of destruction, he wants to steal, kill and destroy each person created in the Image of God. If he can cause us to hate each other because of rejection, he brings on darkness.

I can almost hear the gnashing of teeth and furious temper tantrum of a two year old that didn’t get its’ toy. The raging person may be child, teen, young adult or seasoned one. This mindset of control comes from the enemy. No one should demand a relationship and rule in fear. This is unhealthy and those patterns must be broken. It can be the beginning of emotional abuse leading to domestic violence. Using force or coercion encourages the predator to get more controlling.

It is at these times when I feel this upside down world of war, I must stand firm in my faith in Jesus! Our youth, teens and young adults have had a marred few years in Covid lockdown. It hasn’t only been isolation for supposed community health sake but a mental health nightmare. We have all been effected in someway, even the most stable in our peer groups.

I believe our children need our input even more today. When we show healthy responses in disappointment, we are reminded we don’t do life alone but have each other to lift up the power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to fight with His mighty army against the enemies schemes.

Psalm 103:19-22 NLT [19] The LORD has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything. [20] Praise the LORD, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands. [21] Yes, praise the LORD, you armies of angels who serve him and do his will! [22] Praise the LORD, everything he has created, everything in all his kingdom. Let all that I am praise the LORD.

Teaching our children to stand firm in their faith, listen without talking, asking questions to clarify if they want help can be a great start. We want our kids to feel comfortable seeking parents or friends for help. Our kids need to know we are a safe place. We have to reflect self control like Jesus. Together, We can bring our concerns before God and He will provide His army along with wisdom. Silence allows violence. Sharing challenges can break the isolation predators use to trap another person and the unhealthy patterns can be broken in community.

I have on my battle armor. It comes from the Lord. This battle gear must be put on daily and at times I must speak aloud each part. Ephesians 6 describes the Armor of God, every morning I pray this over my family. There have been days I prayed this scripture over my kids at night as they slept or holding their hands while the battle raged. You can place your child’s name wherever appropriate in the scripture below.

Ephesians 6:11-18 NLT
[11] Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. [12] For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. [13] Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. [14] Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. [15] For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. [16] In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. [17] Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. [18] Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Jesus is the only hope for each of us. Get on the Armor of God. Just like in an airplane, put on your armor first, then show your kids how to put on theirs. Take a deep breath that comes from God. Our continued prayers and communication with the Holy Spirit are power beyond our human understanding. There is a battle going on in the supernatural but in the end Jesus wins.

Romans 5:3-5 NLT [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.