You are a Warrior!!!

We are living in times that require us to rise up in praise. We may be short, tall, slender, athletic, a little meaty ( that’s me) or any other shape. But we are called to stand side by side and be a Warrior. When we fall down, we are called to get stronger. The only way to get stronger is to hold onto our Creator God.

We are called to use our voice to speak truth, to pray for wisdom from God and to move into action by encouraging others and to lift up our voice in song..

I have loved the music artist, Hannah Kerr, since I saw her at Red Rocks; a beautiful outside red rock staired and seated venue outside of Denver. As the moon shone down upon the red rocks, I saw Hannah take the stage. This was her song, ” Warrior” is so powerful. It is an anthem. Its message reminds us we have the ability to stand even if we feel weak because we are strengthened by God.

If you are feeling tired, overwhelmed, and worn out. Hold onto your faith. Praise is a way to actively speak truth. Even if you don’t feel strong initially, keep raising your voice. Even if you feel you cant sing well, lift up a joyful noise. In time, you will feel empowered to be Him-powered. Sing for Him!!

Enjoy this song, ” Warrior”, by Hannah Kerr. Thank you Hannah for singing out truth.

It Takes Work

Sunrise on the plains by MM

1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Webster’s definition of work: to exert one’s self for a purpose; to put forth effort for the attainment of an object; to labor; to be engagaed in a performance or task.

We cannot be rewarded without working toward a goal. We need to pay bills to eat, pay rent, enjoy life these are gifts of our labor.

Exodus 5:18 Go, therefore now and work for there will be no straw given you.

Another definition of work: to be effective; to have influence. We can be an influencer using our words and actions for good things or in impulse for poor examples.

Romans 8:28 We know all things work together for good to them that love God.

When I think of work, I think of energy spent for a cause. It can be physical; use of muscles, emotional; as when someone does the work of recovery such as in grief, addiction or mental health, or it can be spiritual; as in working through our faith as a child of God, gaining perspective of Jesus.

All types of work require determination, energy drain and a desire for new perspective. We all are born with purpose. Each of us are created uniquely to use our lives for good things in our sphere of influence.

Life may try to chip away our purpose by things done to us, by our own choices, or just plain circumstances beyond our control. We must stand up, push away the garbage of lies, step away from people who block our purpose and believe that the Lord has better connections (if we are patient) on the horizon.

We must work to discover our purpose, however, we can ask Jesus to show us His plan and then together we can carry the load. We must ask Jesus into our lives. We do not have to go it alone.

The Lord has given us a path to take that isn’t about work, it is about accepting the free gift of Jesus. It is our free choice to take the gift of love, grace, mercy, and eternal connection with Him. Jesus died on the cross for all His children to provide a way for our forever connection to God. It is not a forced relationship, it is our choice.

Open your hand, open your heart and let your soul connect to Him ( Jesus) today. Accept the free gift and let Him guide the labor and connections of your life. He wants to help you carry the burdens. All you have to do is ask Him. Jesus said in the book of Matthew to people who were seeking answers:

Matthew 11: 28 – 30 ” Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

I did a eulogy at my Grandmothers funeral and this is the scripture I shared with my Irish family. I said, “Grandma is no longer struggling to breathe or with Dementia confusion, she is dancing through the Pearly Gates to Jesus.” My family needed to be reminded of the free gift, we all need to be reminded. 🙂

Do you want to decrease your burdens and heavy life load? Do you want the free gift? He promises to be with you if you ask. It takes action, a step of faith. It is between you and Jesus, it is a call to a relationship of love. If you are ready to open your heart it is amazing!!

Repeat after me: Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I want a new life with You. Please forgive my sins of __________________________________. I know You created me for a purpose. I repent ( turn away from the sins that blocked me from you). I believe that You are the Son of God and that You died for my sins. I want You to guide my life my life. Thank you for the free gift of love, grace, and mercy. I am a child of God. Amen.

Be in expectancy for a new sunrise; a new day is dawning. If you have prayed this prayer and honestly seek Jesus He is in your heart. Welcome to the family of God, I rejoice with you.

Letting Jesus guide your life is a daily action step. As humans, we can tend to want to take back control. I am grateful for Jesus. He understands our human conditions. Turn to Him and seek His wisdom. He can be trusted.

Next steps: Take time to discover, by opening the Bible, seek the wisdom of your Creator God. It takes forming a habit to make time daily to read and be instructed. Our ( sin patterns) habits can be hard to break but it will be worth the labor.

If you do not have a Bible, you can go online to the Bible gateway website: https://www.biblegateway.com/ or access the Bible through the to take further steps https://youversion.com/the-bible-app/ and access the Word of God.

Expect there to be interruptions when you try to make new habits seeking God. This isn’t about guilt if you miss a day. It is about restarting again. Jesus does not shame He wants a relationship of love. I have heard it said “habits can take 28 days”. You can be transformed to new beginnings or renewed commitments, new life.

The Book of John, found in the New Testament, of the Bible is a great place to start. As you learn about Jesus and his time with the disciples on earth, you will be moved by his love.

May you feel the love of Jesus today.

Road less traveled

Jeep travels by Mary Mesikapp
Psalm 25: 4 - 10   

4 Show me the right path, 
O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.  

5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God who saves me.
    All day long I put my hope in you.
6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
    which you have shown from long ages past.
7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
    Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
    for you are merciful, O Lord.

8 The Lord is good and does what is right;
    he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
9 He leads the humble in doing right,
    teaching them his way.
10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
    all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

Occasionally, our family travels into the mountains on 4 x 4 Jeep trails. This time in nature reminds me to consider the road less travelled. My husband drives as I navigate with suggestions over the huge boulders, rolling rocks, and tree stumps. Water passages can be tricky especially when you never know how deep they may be. Our youngest hangs on for dear life as the jeep lurches, slides, and is temporarily at an odd angle to the mountain. Our brains are scrambled somewhat by the bumps on the trails yet our brain clears with joy when we reach our destination.

Traveling on Jeep 4 x4 trails takes trust, wisdom and a drive for adventure, much like life’s journey. Trust in the driver and the jeeps solid maintenance is necessity. On jeep trails and in life, there can be opportunities to avoid obstacles.

I can be an avoider, how about you? Yet the more time spent in the Bible teaches me to believe the obstacles may be used by God to deepen my faith.

The Lord is good. He does want to show us the path to follow. We have to let Him provide us with wisdom, which means we must drop our need to control and our pride.

We must be open to redirection, like navigating boulders. We have to take time to read His Word, it is an action step for our benefit.

We must discern who our tribe will be. Who is the leader? Who is the follower? We have to seek accountability from the right people who want us to be examples of integrity and character. There will always be people bent on our destruction. We must choose wisely who we believe.

The Lord is faithful and He is love. He is the Ultimate Best Friend and Wisdom Giver. Let Him be your navigator. He is the Compass directing you to the best things.

Thirsty

Let the Living water of God fill the empty places and bring refreshment. Are you parched in the weary state of the world or in your private life?

Let the Lord quench your thirst. I love this song by Shane and Shane. Living Water flow through Jesus and fill your life.

https://youtu.be/DlnAREAjTfU

Psalm 107:9 NLT
[9] For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

God bless you today.

Bricks must fall

The world says I must be happy or something is wrong with me. A false thought, for sure. I think life shows us continuous happiness as a goal but it is not possible. Life has ups and downs.

Hypocritical Christians may tell us, “if you are going through hardship, conflict, emotional distress, you are not a good Christian. Maybe you aren’t walking with Jesus. Maybe, you are sinful and being punished, you don’t show Christian love.”

I liken these statements to bricks. They are stacks of lies from the enemy meant to keep us from the wisdom of God which can bring joy. They are meant to tarnish our testimony.

These bricks can limit our lives and cause others to question the love of Jesus. They are a barrier to freedom in Christ shared with anyone placed across our path.

John 16:33    Jesus said, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Jesus promised there would be troubles on earth. However, He said, He would be with us in the trials. He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Life has trials and sorrows but we don’t have to stay in a victim mindset. We can drop the bricks.

In my legalistic upbringing, I believed the lies I shared above. However, the more time I read the Bible for myself, the more I feel the Words of God speaking truth and taking down the bricks I stacked as a wall holding me back from freedom. There is freedom in Jesus.

What are your bricks named?

Is it, you are not enough? God does not really want to hear your voice.

I don’t suppose you will test God again and be a risk taker. Do you have a death wish?

You will never be forgiven. You are a lost cause. You are being punished for past consequences.

Slow but sure, the bricks are stacked. One by one, the wall gets higher and higher. On one side of the bricks is the condemner talking lies and discouragement. On the other side of the brick wall is Jesus waiting for you to stop and take down each brick as He guides your hand. The more you hear His sweet peaceful voice the more you see His face emerge. Bricks begin to fall, the space between you and Your Savior becomes cleared like a demolition. It is work to take down the bricks, however, the more we trust in Him the more endurance He gives to keep going.

I used to think the future had to be successful. I would put the work in, determined to achieve goals, career, marriage, have a family, buy a home, and then I would be happy. But life didn’t work the way I planned. I had to have times of no control and learn perfectionism is a brick of sin. My journey from infertility to being a mom blessed by open adoption was filled with fears, grief, love and joy. I was being made new as I leaned into Jesus.

What I am learning with every new day is God’s level of success is not in the stuff, it is in the obeying Him. He will direct my path to the best and He can be trusted.

There are times when no matter what I do or say to lives around me they can not be molded by me. I must give their lives to God. I must not pray for success, but instead for the trials and joys to draw others in my sphere of influence to obedience to God. The bricks will fall when I change my thoughts and pray in this way.

There are times when we do not see the fruits of our attempts to love like Jesus. We can not see into the future. It is in those times of uncertainty I found Ezekiel 3: 4 – 12 very insightful.

Ezekiel 3:4-12 NLT[4] Then he said, "Son of man, go to the people of Israel and give them my messages. [5] I am not sending you to a foreign people whose language you cannot understand. [6] No, I am not sending you to people with strange and difficult speech. If I did, they would listen! [7] But the people of Israel won't listen to you any more than they listen to me! For the whole lot of them are hard-hearted and stubborn. [8] But look, I have made you as obstinate and hard-hearted as they are. [9] I have made your forehead as hard as the hardest rock! So don't be afraid of them or fear their angry looks, even though they are rebels." [10] Then he added, "Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. [11] Then go to your people in exile and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says!' Do this whether they listen to you or not." [12] Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard a loud rumbling sound behind me. (May the glory of the LORD be praised in his place!)

Lord, help your people, parents, family and friends to loose the people who are in conflict.

Reread the Ezekiel scripture again. Place your family / conflicted persons name where you find the name Israel. Then leave your petition at the foot of the cross.

We can pray but only God can move mountains and open ears, hearts, minds, and eyes. In the end, sometimes the call is not success but to obey God.

Garden Gate

When I look at this photograph from a family trip to Victoria, B.C., I recall a heavenly Butchart botanic gardens with amazing beauty. Heaven will make this look simple.

Isaiah 32:18 NIV

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes,
in undisturbed places of rest.

Our home is not here, it is in heaven. Someday, I will see it for myself and be in the Presence of Jesus. I hope to meet you there.

Healing

Photo by Hernan Pauccara on Pexels.com

Families are formed in many ways; single parents, grandparents, stepparents, moms and dads, and birth families, along with parents blessed through adoption. I fall into the last family group although it is not the last option. The heart beats of mothers who yearn for a child encompasses each of these family groups.

After praying a decade to have a child, God truly gave the gift of love through adoption to my husband and I almost twenty five years ago. We chose to have letters and in person contact (open adoption) with our childrens’ birth parents and family.

On this journey, I was humbled to develop close relationships with the birth families of our children. The media and many in community do not understand the love and sacrifice that it takes for a birthmother (and birthfather) to place their child out of love into the home of another Mom and Dad.

In addition, I have been blessed by contact with other birthparents/birth families. I have cried, grieved, prayed and rejoiced over the birth-families who shared their stories with me. Their willingness to allow my personal questions has allowed me to bring an open window to their hard but loving decision. It is with their input that I was called by God to write an E-book, “Healing Through Sacrifice”.

I decided to release ” Healing through Sacrifice: Bible Study for Birth mothers and Families” as a free E-book on my blog. The wisdom comes from a combination of personal and community experience.

Thank you to Temi from Christian Mommas for helping me with illustrations and providing your wisdom with formatting in WordPress. What a gift you are to me!

Please, consider visiting my free resources page to download a copy for someone who may need this resource. God bless you!

Numbers 6:24-26
 ‘May the Lord bless you and protect you.
 May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
 May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’

We are called not to dis—-

The enemy wants us disconnected, distracted, disrupted, discontent, and in disunity. No guilt or shame tossed from this fellow sinner. Are you dis………ing?

We are called to humility and seek wisdom from above and be an example of Jesus. The battle isn’t with family, friends, strangers, coworkers, any person. The battle is against the dark enemy, not flesh and blood. Scripture tells us to be strong in the Lord and stand our ground putting on the Armor of God.

Ephesians 6: 10-18 (NLT)
10 Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 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.[e] 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[f] 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.

When your mind feels confused or swirling like a tornado, consider the prodding of the enemy. If he can keep you off balance, you are not likely to speak for the Lord. If he can keep you in conflicts and division with others made in the Image of God, your witness to those whose paths you cross is tarnished.

When you know who the real enemy is, you can keep your connection in the right place. Stand with the truth, the Lord will not disappoint. He will give you the responses you need. Pause and Trust Him.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Stop dis——- ing, put on the Armor of God and live in Christ!!