1 John 4:11-21 NLT  Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
The challenges of the COVID years have brought more fear, less love. Fear of the unknown causes some to isolate, to put up not only their mask but in a sense a fence across their lives.
Fear is a tool of the enemy meant to devour peace, joy and love. Fear can cause divisions in families when people conflict in their understanding of truth. The culture further isolates by fear mongering and continuous barrages of emergency notices. It causes overloaded emotions. feelings and emotions are intense, griping and exhausting however they are not truth. Emotions that run wild cause us to devour and destroy our relationships. Having a relationship with Jesus brings truth and faith over fear.
God calls us not to fear. God calls us to love. I love 1 John : 4. Let me share more gold nuggets of faith in verses 15 – 19.
15] All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.  We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.  And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  We love each other because he loved us first.
Love is an anecdote to fear. God is love, He wants you to throw out the fear and choose a perfect love. When you choose God ( Jesus) you choose to listen to Him not feelings.
Do you know Jesus loves you? I mean really Loves you. He wants to know you in a relationship. Do you want to know a love like this? It is a step of faith with Him. It is a life-changing experience. He wants to know You!!
In John 4, there’s a story of a woman who had a hard life, had many lovers, Jesus met her at a well. She was seen as less than, yet Jesus loved her. Jesus wanted her to know He came to save her from her sins of the past and He would be water for her thirst. Unquenchable thirst refreshed by the amazing Jesus, the Water of Life.
John 4: 10 – 15
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
These are not just words, they are life-giving. It does not matter where you have been women or men. Jesus waits for you to call out to Him, He loves you!!!
Love Like this, a beautiful song by Lauren Daigle came onto my playlist yesterday. It has been a while since I heard this song, powerful lyrics bring hope and a reminder that the love of Jesus! He is the living water in a wasteland. Jesus is a warm morning sunrise after a dark, lonely night.
We may not feel we deserve a love like this but Jesus says we are His! Seek to know Him! Let the whisper of His voice fill your mind with hope. Enjoy basking in Him.
We cannot earn a love like Jesus gives, it is a free gift. Isn’t that amazing?
In the Bible, Chapter 14 of John tells us about a conversation between Jesus and doubting Thomas along with the disciples. I share this chapter to show you Jesus understands our human doubt. He loves us anyway!
John 14: 1 – 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. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 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. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.[c] From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”
9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? 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 told his disciples after he briefly returned from death on the cross, He would send an advocate (the Holy Spirit) to guide them.
Matthew 14: 15 – 21 shares what Jesus said to his best friends, the disciples. We are not alone after we accept Jesus as our Savior, we also have an Advocate (the Holy Spirit) along with Jesus who intercedes for us before God the Father.
Jesus said 15 “If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, 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. 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.”
The Living Water of Jesus is for everyone. We are all sinners who fall short of perfection. Yet Jesus died a sinner’s death on the cross. He rose from the dead and shared the news of the Holy Spirit with his disciples. who in turn shared the story in the Bible.
Did you know Bible Gateway ( BibleGateway.com ) has a website that you can access online for the Bible?I use the New Living translation or the Message versions because I feel they are easier to understand.
The Bible is the most read book of all time according to Business insider, and the best selling book of all time according to Guiness Book of World records.Consider a new year as an opportunity to access the Bible for yourselves.
We can start a new year with a new life in Jesus. We can accept this free gift of love. He gives us a beautiful love like this, reach for it today!
John 3:16-17 NLT  “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
We live in a time of challenges, COVID, mandates, isolation for some, human trafficking, addictions, political unrest, etc.
If we fix our minds on the worlds crisis points we can easily be taken over by fear, anxiety, and depression. But the Lord tells us to believe in His plans for good not disaster, for a future of hopeful things.
In our human mind, those goals seem unreachable. But putting our fear behind us and choosing to hold onto faith in our Creator takes guts, a strength beyond ourselves. People may think we are nuts but choosing to live with the Joy of the Lord as our strength is the place to start.
Consider writing the Jeremiah 29:11 scripture on a post it note or index card. Tape it to your mirror or place it on your car visor. As you feel the worries of the world attempt to steal your joy or purpose take a look at the scripture, read it aloud again and remember the truth.
Mindset changes do not happen over night. So start today, it is a new year, choose new hope. It may be contagious as the COVID virus. You may not feel complete confidence in the Lord at first, but He can be trusted.
Let me know if your posting the scripture was helpful. I know this technique has been helpful to me.
Leave your response on my blog. Answer this question: What worry do I have to give to the Lord? Why do I resist handing the worry to Him? Let us grow together in the knowledge of God.
His story and life has been shared for over 2000 years, make a change in where you place your hope today.
Psalm 25:9 NLT He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way.
If there is one thing I have learned about my home state, Colorado it is resilience. The climate is desert like in the foothills especially this past year. The prairie grasses were crispy dry, yellow and trees were increasingly parched. We needed water, rain, snow and precipitation.
Last week, the rest of the country saw what can happen when our hurricane winds mix with a spark of fire. The remnants of burned out or destroyed to the ground homes / businesses along with thick smoke and ash hung in the air. We may not be California but we have forest fires and prairie fires.
I know friends who lost everything. Please continue to pray for the victims of the Colorado fires, pray for the towns of Superior and Louisville, there are many families in need.
Grateful to live in a community that is resilient, compassionate and will love their neighbor by serving those in crisis.
The power of nature is amazing, destructive and will bring new life. In the meantime, I leave you with a snapshot from my area. The beautiful morning on a Colorado farm, peace in the vision of a palomino horse. Purple,pink skies and purple mountains majesty are the reward for those who reside in our state. We are a place of beauty from the ashes.
Isaiah 61:3 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.
We will rebuild. We will be renewed. We are Colorado strong, our state motto is “Nothing without Providence”. May there truly be beauty for ashes. Appreciate your lifting up prayer.
Over 2000 years in the making, an amazing story of love, forgiveness, grace, mercy and joy is the hallmark of Christmas. We can share this gift of the Savior as God’s children, you and me, who breathe in the breath of life and can experience His Light.
It is beyond our human comprehension. What a love Jesus has for each of us. Glory Hallelujah!
John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Bring your gifts, bring your weary lives, bring your selves to the Light of the World. I love this message of hope and new beginnings “ The Light of the World”, sung by Lauren Daigle.
Be humble before the King Jesus. Start a new life in 2022 with the King as your guide. He is the Light of the World. Gratitude for His coming to save us all.
Where are you fixing your eyes? Is it in anticipation of the Bright Morning Star and the remembrance of Jesus at Christmas? Scripture tells us Jesus is the Bright Morning Star.
My fascination with astronomy, NOT astrology has been increased this year. I have been blessed to hear a few sermons on astronomy from our pastor. He has opened my mind to the word of God and the many places scripture supports the specific placement of stars in the sky. However, we are not to worship the stars but the One who made them.
19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon, and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.
When I ponder on the true meaning of Christmas, I am amazed to think that God placed the stars in the sky and He named each one of them They worship Him. My small human mind can’t compute this truth. This is another opportunity to dig into the Bible and ask Him to show me and you.
Genesis 14: 14 – 19 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
Psalm 147: 4 He (God) determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.
Psalm 19: 1 – 8
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. 5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The angel spoke to John, the apostle, and showed him things to come. This is a prophecy of Jesus coming to earth.
Revelation 22:16 Jesus said, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give youthis testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
When we consider baby Jesus coming to the world as a baby in a manager, we always remember the Star of Bethlehem that shined. It was a revelation of lighting the way for Jesus coming and drew shepherds, wise men, townspeople, and even Kings to see what was revealed in the darkness.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the Light. He is the Bright Morning Star!
His statutes are trustworthy, right and give joy to the heart. Joy to the World.
Websites for Astronomy and Biblical wisdom: Click the links below. The Home button will get you to Bethlehemstar.com and the second link is to The Gospel in the Stars message by Pastor Matthew. Be amazed at our amazing Creator!
Jesus came for all of us in the most humble way, as a baby in the manger. A gift from God to restore our relationship with our Creator.
We are all worthy of saving broken pieces and all.
Christmas can bring nostalgic feelings of joy or pain, family connections perhaps this time of year brings the opposite isolation with depression. It depends on past experiences. Not all people have been blessed into the traditions depicted in the Hallmark movie reels; continuous smiles, finding love, and family commitment.
For some people poverty, addiction, mental health, and dysfunctional family have brought increased stress and PTSD as the season unfolds. There can be a struggle of comparison traps and (FOMO) Fear of Missing Out leading to more depression, anxiety, isolation with increased substance abuse.
According to the Merriam-Webster definition paradox means something (such as a situation) that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible. Christmas is relatable to a paradox. We may come from two opposite life experiences and yet what is true and possible is we can find transformation to future generations. We can discover Jesus loves all of His children.
Being an Emergency Department / Trauma Nurse for multiple decades, our patient loads would show the diverse Christmas experiences. It was a challenging time to be a nurse, yet, I tried to treat each patient with compassion, mercy with grace.
Even if patients were in crisis, swearing at me, swinging their fists, suicidal, I had to still believe in Jesus and my ability to care for my patients with Jesus’ love. There were untimely deaths, traumatic accidents with innocent victims, gunshot/stabbing patients, family disturbances. Increased domestic violence occurred, I would love on the patients including kids while they were in my care.
The potential for a tarnished view of life was strong at times, however, I had to dig deep into my relationship with Jesus and lay down, in prayer, my thoughts for the moment. I prayed for patients and families alike. I hoped I reflected Jesus to those who needed Him.
This song by Anne Wilson was released recently, I Still Believe in Christmas really brings a great message of hope and the amazing gift of Jesus. In our lives, we must hold onto hope and grow our faith in the One true King Jesus.
Isaiah 9 :6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
No matter what your past experience has been regarding Christmas, there is a wonderful message from Jesus’ birth that can change your life. This baby came to save you from your sin and bring new life. Maybe this year it is time to discover Him.
The more time passes as a parent, the more I realize how little I truly understand about parenting. Even if you are not a parent, this post is to encourage you. We need each other to walk on this earth and raise our children.
Children are a masterpiece of God. We are the caretakers, coaches, encouragers, the listening ears, the cheerleaders, the disciplinarians, the peace-giving, the conflict resolution teachers, and provide comfort with kissed boo-boos and emotional support. Most importantly, we are the example of authority as Jesus walking on this earth.
Because we are all created in unique, beautiful ways, our DNA is intricate. There are physical, psychological, and spiritual elements to our parenting process. We want to do it right. We want to be the most perfect mom or dad to our children. But it is not possible without allowing God to direct our steps.
Genesis 18: 18- 19 The Lord said, "Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.[c] 19 For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
Genesis is the first book of the Bible and Abraham was chosen by the Lord to be an example of being a father to all nations on earth. Abraham had some good and bad choices but he kept seeking the Lord and allowing the Lord to complete the work He started. We are descendants of Abraham, we have the same promises available to us.
Just like Abraham, we come into the parenting relationship with our own baggage that needs to be purged by the Lord. We are sinners, our children are sinners, and it all started in the Garden of Eden. Because of the first original sin, we are marked by the same fleshy thorn.
We can’t get mad at Eve and Adam. They were human and as are we. They were given free will to make choices. Their flesh nature, our children’s flesh, and our fleshy nature get in the way of being the best parent. Of course, the snake in the garden, the devil, loved to detour the plan of human and God’s personal relationship from the beginning of time.
The snake still works hard today, attempting to devour our potential and our children’s potential. Scripture tells us he runs around like a roaring lion seeking to kill, steal and destroy. He hates the Children of God.
1 Peter 5: 6 - 9 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
I am learning that God must be my authority. God speaks in His Word in the Bible, through some amazing sisters and brothers in Christ, and when I am willing to be still He prompts me to remember the instructions in His Word.
When I drop the fleshy, no it all, I am in control, anxious, restless selfish actions and words, I can better reflect Him in my parenting or even in any relationship.
However, it really does take a village to keep me on the trail to improved parenting. My village is full of wise women and men who are not afraid to speak His truth and go against the current trends, our world views. The wisdom of the Body of Christ is the answer in all relationships whether you are a parent, friend, have family members, or coworkers.
Philippians 4: 8 - 9 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
We all need a village of compassionate, loving, wise people. The village spends time in the Word of God and shares what they are learning. They are willing to be transparent at times of their own sins and mistakes. This way others can be blessed to be a blessing to others.
If you are not a parent yet, not sure you want to parent, or struggle with infertility I can relate. I have been where you are. As the Lord wills, this post is for all of God’s people.
This scripture encouraged me to seek the Lord for who I was to impact for His Kingdom prior to my becoming a mom. May it encourage you to make a difference in those children or young adults that walk across your path. You can be an influencer for Jesus wherever you walk.
Psalm 113:9 He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord.
Eagles are majestic, powerful, grace-filled examples of the Creator God. I have always been fascinated by these birds. I live in the Rocky Mountain region and am occasionally blessed to see eagles soar.
There are scriptures that describe their attributes as protector, safety under her wings, and as an example of renewed youth and energy.
Deuteronomy 32:11 Like an eagle that rouses’ her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions.
Exodus 19: 1- 6 19 On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on that very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. 2 After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain. 3 Then Moses went up to God, andp the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
Psalm 103: 5 He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagles.
Interesting facts from all about birds.org the Cornell lab:
Immature Bald Eagles spend the first four years of their lives in nomadic exploration of vast territories and can fly hundreds of miles per day. Some young birds from Florida have wandered north as far as Michigan, and birds from California have reached Alaska.
Had Benjamin Franklin prevailed, the U.S. emblem might have been Wild Turkey. In 1784, Franklin disparaged the national bird’s thieving tendencies and its vulnerability to harassment by small birds. “For my own part,” he wrote, “I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. … Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District.”
Lamentations 4:19 describes the enemies as swift and wise to find the Lord’s people or to cover over God’s people in a negative way.
Habakkuk 1:8 described the enemies of God as eagles that swoop down to devour their prey. Powerful !
Even though Ben Franklin describes the Eagle as a bird of bad moral character since it can be an opportunist when it comes to food, a eagle is powerful. It soars to amazing heights; 10,000 feet, and dives at a speed of 100 miles per hour. They are loyal; they mate for life, are providers for their eaglets, and tenacious. I’m relieved our nations symbol was not a wild Turkey, aren’t you?
According to Kristin Stanton of UniGuide.com, an Eagle symbolizes Loyalty, devotion, freedom, independence, truth, honor,the Divine, and Hope.
The Eagle reminds me that with God I can soar to amazing heights, I can live in the Power of truth and I can live in freedom with my Savior.
Isaiah 40:31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength, they will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Today, we celebrate Veterans Day. As a first generation American, I ponder the sacrifice of the men and women of the United States of America during world war 1 and 2, Korean War, Vietnam war,Persian Gulf War, Operation Desert storm, Iraq war.
It is because of the sacrifice of men and women who believe in freedom that my parents became citizens of the United States of America.
My father is Hungarian and believed in freedom and democracy and was willing to make a difference during the Hungarian up rising of 1956. He saw the US soldiers as an example of standing firm for freedom. At 18, he and friends had to leave country they love after the uprising which included taking over the radio station, and find a new life in the USA.
My mom and her family immigrated from Ireland around a similar time seekingIndependence and prosperity.
Thank you to any veteran who served in our military. Thank you for your sacrifice and the fields of war and in your life. Thank you to your families who also sacrificed for the freedom of others. From a grateful first generation American Me!