I feel drawn to share this October 2021 blog post today, we live in a crazy time and Our Children need our love, the Word of God, and hope. I hope you read this post and find it as timely as I did today.
Thanksgiving can be a day of wonderful family memories or hard, depressed lonely times. We can act in love regardless by praying for the Lord to illuminate our purpose and give us the ability to pray for God’s children (whether we have one or not). Sharing hope and love, our job is to get to work and pray for His people. You are not alone the Lord sees you and loves you. Peace, Mary
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…
Could it really be as simple as knocking on the door? I used to think being perfect was a prerequisite to being a follower of Jesus. I could never measure up to the standard. But I am learning to seek His truth for myself. No barriers, no false teaching from others. It starts with a knock on the best door.
I love this conversation from Jesus to His best friends, the disciples as He shared this parable.
Luke 11:5-13 NLT. Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him,  ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’  And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’  But I tell you this-though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.  “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.  “You fathers-if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead?  Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not!  So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
Initially it may seem as though Jesus words to the disciples were a rebuke. He shares our need for persistent relationship building in seeking Him for the answers.
Please reread the scripture, Luke 11, consider the text again it is metaphorical. People can understand it’s parable message in different ways.
He shares with the disciples His provision however, whoever knocks on the door needing help must ask for His protection. His love is free. His promises can be received only when we actively pursue Him. His gift of love, mercy and forgiveness are available for taking.
Jesus does not force His relationship on any human. He wants to pour blessings on His children. We have to push aside any worldly idol that we may think can fill the God shaped hole in every human heart. No material or human thing can fill this hole. Only Jesus!
Leeland sings “Waymaker”, such powerful lyrics. Trust the Waymaker!! I have been singing this song in the way to school, our kids can hear the words reminding us to hold onto Jesus! We can be an example in action of our faith in God! Words and worship aloud can connect to the angels in heaven. We all can make a joyful sound to the King.
Lord, we want to listen as You speak. Thank you that you are patient. My heart overflowed with love for our God as I listened to this song, “I’m Listening” by Chris McClarney and Hollyn. ” When you speak confusion fades,just a Word and suddenly I am not afraid,” amazing lyrics. Listen as He speaks to you.
 LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.  The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!  I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.  I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
How are you using your words, blessing or cursing? It matters to God how we treat those He places along our path. No one is perfect not one of us!
My current self reflection is: are my words encouraging, speaking truth in love or in frustration, snarky, unthinking babble?
What is my main purpose when speaking is to be right or to cause more destruction to someone who is struggling? Have you ever thought about how your words impact people in your sphere?
Matthew 12:34-37 NLT  You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.  A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.  And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.  The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
Do you want to acquit or condemn another person who is created by God? Gossip or slander tears down, it does not build up, even in asking prayer for someone. Go to God with concerns, He knows the details of His children. There are times you feel prompted to share your struggles, the Lord will guide you to safe, Loving, Godly brothers and sisters in Christ.
Titus 3:1-2 NLT  Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.  They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.
Do you want to be known as the quarrelsome, judgmental Christian or a gentle, humble servant of Jesus? If you are a parent, our kids watch how we use our tongues. Troubles come when we speak without thinking. I am guilty of this character flaw. It’s as if my tongue has a mind of its own. James is a solid book of the Bible, here are a few pearls of wisdom I turn to often.
James 1:2-12,26 NLT  Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.  If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.  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.  Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.  Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them.  And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field.  The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.  God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.
Reread James 1:26: If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and our religion is worthless. Wow, that hurts, it is a conviction in your heart meant to bring a pause, and lead you to repent, ask forgiveness from Jesus and for help to break this flaw, in the Name of Jesus. We can’t do this on our own, our flesh gets the credit for impulse control issues. We need to grow in self control, a fruit of the spirit!!
Galatians 5:22-25 NLT  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.  Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
Those who parent, mentor, or feel the call to share wisdom with others are called to a higher standard. Their loyalty must be in God alone. We live in a world with trial and daily we get the opportunity to hone our faith in Jesus. We must be humble and seek the Lord for all things, too.
James 3:1-10,13,17-18 NLT  Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.  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.  We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth.  And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong.  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.  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.  People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish,  but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.  Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.  And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!  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.  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.  And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
The tongue can bless or curse. Do you want to start a forest fire? Our tongue and words can be restless and evil, especially when you are Hangry. I remind myself to evaluate for H.A.L.T.: Hungry, Angry,Lonely,Tired. Even still, there is no excuse for lack of self control.
On my own, I may not be gentle, peace loving, or willing to yield to another. But with accountability of fellow believers in Christ, time in stillness speaking with my best friend, Jesus and asking Him to help me change character flaws, I am hopeful of healthy communications. Grateful to those who speak truth over my circumstances so I can grow in Christ and in community of His people.
I want to be known as a peacemaker and an example of a fruit bearing Christian, how about you? It is a new day, start to tame your tongue and may the words we speak be pleasing to God and encourage others.
Psalm 19:14 NLT  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
When I was a teen, I helped decorate the high school gym for a homecoming dance. I was so new to that experience, totally insecure, as a high school freshman, and yet I wanted to learn how to decorate for Homecoming. The homecoming committee leaders were able to visualize the finished product before even seeing it. I don’t process life this way.
The potential of a central light with a small little globe that had mirrors hoisted up in the center of the gym seemed insurmountable. A part of preparation was using a horrendous amount of heavy duty string and making what appeared to be a spiderweb on the ground.
Yes, the volunteer high school students and I were going round and round attaching strings by knots from one string to the next in the fashion of a spider as if we’re making a Web. The next step, was attaching a little tiny mirror to each piece of string and strategically placing them all over this huge spiderweb.
When we completed this process, the spiderweb of string and mirrors was lifted up and attached to ceiling beams high above the teens heads.
As a newbie at this decorating thing, I just couldn’t picture it and the upper class men with more wisdom under their belt were excited to see the amazing creation come into view.
We taped huge black butcher block paper to all the walls in the gym. I questioned, “why would you do that?” They looked at me like you’re such a stupid freshman but when they explained the walls will be dark and the mirrors would reflect from the light in the center, I understood. Stars would magically shine all over the room.I was beyond awe.
Isn’t this a wonderful description of preparation as a believer in Jesus? Life is a tangle of string and knots with the occasional shiny mirror reflection of kindness and character traits of Jesus.
We have work to do in order to see the finished product. However, it is not our human actions but Jesus supernatural power that makes the Light shine in a dark world.
Ah yes, pick up your scissors cut off the mistakes, tie knots to join the places of new beginnings and add a mirror tile straight from the hand of Jesus. It is a visual reminder of repenting turning back to Him asking forgiveness and Letting His Light shine.
Pick up the spider web of your life, let Him craft you into an amazing reflection of His character.
Psalm 27:1 MSG  Light, space, zest- that’s GOD! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.
Matthew 5:14-16 MSG [14-16] “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand-shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
Did you know that God is not done yet? That He wants to be your refuge and He is your provider if you will let him? The more I seek to know Him the more amazed I am and how He is providing.
He’s not done yet. Just as he’s not done with me, He is not done with you! Isn’t that an amazing thought you have time to be transformed into the image of Jesus! Let God transform you and be amazed!
Psalm 16:1-11 NLT  Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge.  I said to the LORD, “You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you.”  The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them!  Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods. I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood or even speak the names of their gods.  LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.  The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!  I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.  I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.  No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety.  For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.  You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
I was blessed to hear the song on the radio today and it really spoke to me. Not done yet by Vertical Worship, what a great reminder.
Be blessed today as you let Jesus finish the work He starts.
Philippians 1:6 NLT  And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
It came to my attention recently as I was watching the integration of our chicks and hens the similarity of these chickens with my observation of society.
You see, we had six, white adult hens and a menagerie of 7 colorful chicks integrating themselves together into one coop. As I watched the survival of the fittest I was amazed to see how each one of these colorful groups managed to stay pretty much within their social constructs.
Even as the younger ones are getting older and becoming more prominent than the white, the adult hens allowed them food and a community. Of course, one hen would ruffle her feathers and poke away, pulling feathers from the small ones and making sure that everyone in the group knew she was the lead hen.
The lead hen is Stumpy because she lost a toe when she was a chick. Perhaps her attitude was a result of being bullied when she was young. Regardless, the other five hens do not allow her to be mean to the colorful group. Instead, they show teamwork enabling everybody to get along.
It would be nice if our world and country reflected community more. Kindness, compassion, and loving each other more. We are one as a human race created in a kaleidoscope of colors, beautiful and unique.
As I watched other backyard or farming chicken coop owners on Youtube, I learned how to integrate the small chicks with the hens without causing a bloodbath of pecking. I’m grateful for their wisdom. Yes, there are some good things about Youtube. God’s Word, the Bible is even better as a resource because it never fails me.
This morning as I walked into the coop I saw two of our Black Rock Chickens standing next to our big white adult hens. Every day I see the combination of all these colors mixed together. Today, the Clucky ladies were one, no pecking, just united. It reminds me God calls us to be united and He calls us to love one another.
1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 7 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13 is known as the love chapter, check it out. It’s not easy to be patient with people nor is it easy to put down a grudge and forgive people. It’s not easy to love even if we’re hurt. But those are the things God calls us to do because one of the greatest commandments says to love God and love his people.
John 13: 34 – 35So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
I’m so grateful for these ridiculous chicks who make me laugh and give me work to do. Because they remind me of the importance of God‘s creation and I learn from them how to be in my own world.
Today’s reflection reminded me of a song from my youth, We are One in the Spirit. This message of unity was awesome by Jars of Clay. Do you reflect Christian love? If you need a reboot, today may be the day. Be blessed! We are one human race!!
Isaiah 30:18-23 NLT  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.  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.  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.  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.  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!”  Then the LORD will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock.
Maverick City has become one of my favorite worship bands. They talk about real life, praise in joyful times, remind me to trust God as I praise and remind me that there are a million different miracles, as the song, Million Little Miracles shares.
It is truly a road of bumps, valleys, mountains, and sunsets, I hope this song brings you a blessed reminder, Jesus is in the little things.
Amazing, when we pause to consider how Jesus is moving behind the scenes of our life. The question is, are we listening for His encouragement or believing His plans will unfold? It’s a miracle you are here, count all the miracles in your life.
It can be hard to have faith when troubles seem to chase us. But we must believe what scripture tells us.Here is are few to ponder:
Luke 17:6 MSG  But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.
Matthew 9:20-22 MSG [20-22] Just then a woman who had hemorrhaged for twelve years slipped in from behind and lightly touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can just put a finger on his robe, I’ll get well.” Jesus turned-caught her at it. Then he reassured her: “Courage, daughter. You took a risk of faith, and now you’re well.” The woman was well from then on.
Have the courage to trust the source of all things, our Creator God? What have you got to lose, there is nothing greater than our God!!!
As I sit at the coffee shop, I see a class of teens being treated to an end of the year coffee / fruit drink. This teacher apparently comes every year and treats the students for a job well done. Now that’s a teacher who knows how to reach their students. She is being a reflection of love and God is love.
The whole class is polite, respectful and shows gratitude. This is the next generation of leaders. They are shown compassion and direction by this amazing teacher. It is refreshing, we can all reflect hope and love like this relationship.
Yes, they take out their cellphones for a bit of additional communication, however, they are in person carrying on conversation. There is laughter, smiles, and companionship.
There is hope!
They are valuing the most important thing, relationships in respect, love, common interests and they will likely succeed in the future as a result. This is the future!
Psalm 145:12-17 MSG  Letting the world know of your power for good, the lavish splendor of your kingdom.  Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal; you never get voted out of office. GOD always does what he says, and is gracious in everything he does.  GOD gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.  All eyes are on you, expectant; you give them their meals on time.  Generous to a fault, you lavish your favor on all creatures.  Everything GOD does is right- the trademark on all his works is love.
Where is your sphere of influence? Make a difference to encourage and love others it’s a trademark of God who loves and can impact generations.
Psalm 145:3-4 MSG  GOD is magnificent; he can never be praised enough. There are no boundaries to his greatness.  Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells stories of your mighty acts.
As a women of infertility, I understand the challenges of observing Mother’s Day. I have learned that God’s family is formed in many ways. Before I became a mom of adoption, He allowed me to feed into the lives of thousands of kids to teens as a nurse and public speaker for injury prevention. He also, gave me places to mentor foster kids as a big sister. There are other places the Lord can use your love and care beyond a biological child. You can make a difference to generations.
Mother’s Day is a day of multiple emotions; joy, peace, love, grief, loss, and regret. As a mom blessed through adoption, I think of the sacrifice of our birth families along with my love for our children. I think of their loss and willingness to place ( not abandon) their children to my husband and my arms. I know they each ponder, as Mary did in the Bible regarding Jesus, the life of their biological child. Yet their love for their child, according to their own hearts expressed to me and my husband, even in grief and loss, lead them to choose their forever parents. I have a tender heart that grieves with them even in my blessing every year at Mother’s Day.
I extend greetings on Mother’s Day and I receivecommunication that affirms, a mom never forgets their child and they have communicated appreciation for our loving care. We are the family of extended adoption. We are blessed. It is not easy. It can be emotionally hard for all in the adoption triad (child, birth and adoptive parents). However, spiritually we all must lean on Jesus for closing the holes in our hearts that only He can fill. I share with our children the same message, no mom or dad can fill the space in our hearts meant for Jesus!
It takes trust in God above all (even though in our human emotion it seems impossible). It is hope for our children’s future holding the hand of Jesus for wisdom. It is unfailing love for our children who are created in the image of God.
Psalm 145:8-21 MSG  GOD is all mercy and grace- not quick to anger, is rich in love.  GOD is good to one and all; everything he does is suffused with grace. [10-11] Creation and creatures applaud you, GOD; your holy people bless you. They talk about the glories of your rule, they exclaim over your splendor,  Letting the world know of your power for good, the lavish splendor of your kingdom.  Your kingdom is a kingdom eternal; you never get voted out of office. GOD always does what he says, and is gracious in everything he does.  GOD gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.  All eyes are on you, expectant; you give them their meals on time.  Generous to a fault, you lavish your favor on all creatures.  Everything GOD does is right- the trademark on all his works is love.  GOD’s there, listening for all who pray, for all who pray and mean it.  He does what’s best for those who fear him- hears them call out, and saves them.  GOD sticks by all who love him, but it’s all over for those who don’t.  My mouth is filled with GOD’s praise. Let everything living bless him, bless his holy name from now to eternity!
I love this Message version of scripture, Psalm 145. No matter who you are, a single person, a single mom or dad, married, divorced, God sticks by all who love Him, those who fear Him in respect, seek Him, repent from sins and believe He is Lord. Call to Him and feel His love extend to all, moms or not!