Communication in this Age

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
[12] Letting the world know of your power for good, the lavish splendor of your kingdom. [13] 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. [14] GOD gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit. [15] All eyes are on you, expectant; you give them their meals on time. [16] Generous to a fault, you lavish your favor on all creatures. [17] 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.

Wind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Help me be more

We are so capable of transformation in our walk with Jesus! Did you know He wants to move in your life? We have to submit to His authority not as a judge snd jury but as the One who wants to use us in a mighty way.

Zach William’s lyrics, Less of Me, were so right on for me lately. I want to be more full of grace, mercy, kindness, and less like me.

We all have failures, warts, so to speak in our lives. But we can be healed of the past and be used for the Kingdom of God.

We don’t have to settle for less than God’s best plan. Today’s the day, be willing to be more like Jesus and less of you. First, you must submit to His authority, bend your knee to Him, believe He can transform, say it aloud as Romans 10:8 – 15 reminds.

Romans 10:8-15 NLT
[8] In fact, it says, "The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart." And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: 
[9] If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
 [10] For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 
[11] As the Scriptures tell us, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced." 
[12] Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. [13] For "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved." 
[14] But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? [15] And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, "How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!"

May you feel the love of Jesus direct your life. It is amazing;)! If you have made this declaration of faith, let me know, I rejoice with you as does the family of Jesus!

Love Like This

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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. 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? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”

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

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

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

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
[16] “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. [17] God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Footprints and Music

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Our footprints are a metaphor for a step of faith, life, and grief as we journey. We are born for a purpose. As the new year comes, step into the footprints of a God who is merciful and kind. It will transform your life.

Grief and loss can bring our steps in line with our Creator.

Ephesians 2: 4-10    4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2: 8 – 10 tells us we are God’s workmanship, created to do amazing things.

We are called to share what we learn as we walk on this planet. Jesus believes in our impact as we walk the path He leads.

You may have lost someone this year: a sudden death, a prolonged illness, a trauma, whatever the cause. We have all lost at least one person we loved. We may have had grief as a result of lost dreams for ourselves or family. Grief is tough, every journey is different, but we can’t sit too long.

We have to be “The Commission”, as the band Cain shares in this song. We must tell others about the hope of eternity found in Jesus. Death, the goodbye is not the end.

May this song, “The Commission” and the coming 2022, be a journey of stepping into faith with Jesus or renewing your walk. You are a Masterpiece.

As you grieve, Jesus grieves with you. Did you know the shortest scripture, John 11:35, in the Bible is, Jesus wept? He grieved for a friend lost too soon. He came to this world to gain knowledge of being human. He knows all our emotions.

Your life story has a purpose and can help others. Go tell someone about Him.

Bright Morning Star

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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.

Deuteronomy 4:19 

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.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
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.
    It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
    like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
    and makes its circuit to the other;
    nothing is deprived of its warmth.

The law of the Lord is perfect,
    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
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 you this 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!

bethlehemstar.com

Under construction

Become a Tent of Light

Men and women, you are under construction. The architect of your existence made you to be a solid example of the character of Jesus. But, it takes effort and a carpenters tools to break through the character defects. Hammers, nails, drills, whatever is needed.

My hammer occurred this morning as I read Proverbs 14, the words of truth practically bounced off the page. I was given a personal lesson in the life of a women. It is hard work in the building up of faith and tearing down of my character flaws.

The choices I make can bring foolish or rewarding results.
The impulse of my heart ( by the way the heart can be deceitful) can lean to the fool at times especially when hangry, insomniac, or misunderstood. Brain fog, stomach grumbling I can take the bait in communication and bark sometimes. Can you relate?

Words and impulsive reactions matter to God and they should matter to me. Foolish responses effect all relationships. It starts at home in our inner circle of influence. It can be your friend, coworker, family group, or even the places where you find joy such as the gym, with music or sipping coffee with a friend.

Proverbs 14:1
1. The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
2
Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly,
but those who despise him are devious in their ways.
3
A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,
but the lips of the wise protect them.
4
Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.
5
An honest witness does not deceive,
but a false witness pours out lies.
6
The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,
but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.
7
Stay away from a fool,
for you will not find knowledge on their lips.
8
The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,
but the folly of fools is deception.
9
Fools mock at making amends for sin,
but goodwill is found among the upright.
10
Each heart knows its own bitterness,
and no one else can share its joy.
11
The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.

Reading this chapter in Proverbs, I pondered the scriptures as if I was looking at the face of Jesus, His image reflecting love and a need for some hammer and nails with a little mortar for my cracks.

I am under construction, we all are under construction. He wants to build in us a solid foundation. The rocks and bricks need to be in His wisdom and we must let Him put the pieces together. Yes, there may be cracks in the dry places but He wants me/us to trust He will patch the breaks and provide living water when we get parched in this dry weary land. Progress not perfection my fellow women and men!

Consider these questions for yourself ( women and men):
Do I build my house with wisdom or tear down those in my home?
Do I understand fear of the Lord is reverence to His instruction and refusal to live otherwise?
Do I lash out in pride using my words without thinking?
Am I an honest example even if it is hard, or do I find ways to speak little white lies to keep peace?
Do I think carefully before I speak or assume everyone must hear my opinion?
Do I make amends when I sin or hurt others ask forgiveness?

We all can think bitter, nasty thoughts, pessimistic attitudes pollute our minds and cause our joy to be snuffed out like the Light of our witness.

Matthew 5: 14 – 16
14
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

We want to have a tent of Light, His Light, filled to abundance. We want to help others to see daily life is hard but not impossible when We choose to walk with wisdom. When I seek to choose the better path, the life of those whose paths We cross can be effected for the Kingdom in more hope, love, mercy and grace.

Christmas Paradox

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.

I still believe in Christmas! May you find Him.

Eagles

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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.

The 3 R’s

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Reflect, Repent, Refresh: the 3 Rs keep flowing through my mind. There is always a work to be done daily. We are works in progress. The Refiner of our lives is burning off the dross.

When I was in high school, I was so glad to go to a technical trade school. Along with my core classes, I was required to take drafting, architectural drafting, electric, wood, machine shop and foundry. These classes shaped me in more ways than I realized.

Foundry was fascinating. We were able to design projects of the school mascot or logos. As we tapped away at the oiled sand to tighten the molds, we worked out more than the standard teen energy and hormones. We were creating something unique. Our teacher was an eccentric type, who occasionally wore roller skates in the school not the shop. It was a huge school the size of a city college. Crazy, huh?

One day, I was chosen to help stoke the fires to melt the silver colored metal. The heat was intense, the flames danced as we added more metal. The next step was to help pour the now, molten metal into the students molds. The kiln was super heavy giving off intense heat.

As the melted metal poured, the steam rose, the room became heated, and all students were quiet. The silver metal glistened and floating along the surface was a darkened substance, this is the dross.

Life is like the process of melting metal. We are tapped into a mold of some sort, our genetics and environment play key roles. The daily walk can bring up the heat, as if a stoked fire. The elements can be dynamics of our family of origin, our life experience, our joys and our trials, things in our control and not. A challenge causes some days to be superheated.

We can let the steam of anger and disappointment flow off our minds as we mediate on the knowledge that God is with us and seek His wisdom moment to moment. Or we can let the steam build to a volcano of impulsive fury and damage relationships.

When we learn to use our voice to express needs, find healthy relationships, believe we are deserving of a blessed life and look to the future with purpose not dread, we are allowing the best in our lives to be used in the mold. We dump the dross of hurts, trust God and seek like minded people, so we can grow into a glistening Light for the world. A reflection of Jesus is in each of us!!

When we don’t learn the healthier coping techniques, we feel stuck and immovable like a chunk of dross blocking the metals flow. Some people become codependent, concern for others opinion over the Lord. Yes, I have chosen poorly at times!!

Sometimes the trials can refine our lives. It allows us to reflect on choices; good and poor, and turn back to allow God, the Refiner to remove our imperfections.

According to Merrimam Webster’s Dictionary, repent means to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to amend one’s life, to regret, change one’s mind.

Romans 12: 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

We can reflect, ask the Lord to help us reframe, repent and renew our mind. When we align with His wisdom, we are allowing His renewal of our mind. It takes work, but remember we are works in progress.

Ephesians 2 :10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Reflect on this: He wants to guide, bless your life. We must drop the wheel as Carrie Underwood sang about in her song, “Jesus, take the wheel”. We have to stop pride, and wanting control and let Him guide. Will you?

What does it mean to refresh? The Merrimam Webster dictionary defines refresh as to restore strength, to revive, to repair. It’s okay to bend our knee to the Savior.

Matthew 11 :28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Are you ready for refreshment? Are you open to repair? It’s a scary proposition. But do you want to see a different future? Then take a risk. The Savior, Jesus extends His hand. Choose to have a life of righteousness.

Matthew 7 :7 - 8   Jesus said, “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. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

May you glisten in the Light of the Savior, repent, reflect, refreshed and made new.

I just had to add this awesome song by Crowder, “In the House”, get up and praise or keep the beat. Amen!!!