Sun and Shield

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Psalm 84:11 NLT
For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

Are you feeling unsettled? Are you wondering if there is a God? Are you wondering if He hears your prayers, moments of despair, or your requests? We all have days, maybe weeks or years of questioning? Does He see me?

Sometimes our requests are answered quickly, sometimes it feels like silence and no answers and sometimes it’s “my child, I love you and wait”!

I am learning God can be working behind the scenes and in my hurry to a conclusion I am sooooo impatient. Isn’t self control a fruit of the Spirit? Galatians 5 is a gold mine of instruction.

Galatians 5:22-26 NLT
[22] But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! [24] Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. [25] Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. [26] Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.

If you aren’t feeling God answering your prayers, maybe what you think is for you is not a good thing.

He would never withold His best from you. Maybe His timing is not now or ever. He can be trusted. Remember He knows the number of your days and holds you in the palm of His hand.

Psalm 139:16-18 NLT
[16] You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. [17] How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! [18] I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!

Isaiah 49:15-16 NLT
[15] “Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! [16] See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.

I have been feeling the need for the Word of God intensify. His words are nuggets of gold. They are not just words on a page but wisdom from above. It doesn’t matter if you were born in times past or present.

I used to think the Bible was filled with stories unrelateable but the more I read and meditate on His Word, the more I see our human nature doesn’t change very much over generations. Sadly, we are a mess without our Savior.

The human race tends toward its own sin nature: selfishness, wanting our own way, pride, jealousy, survival of the fittest, and me me me. I see these traits in myself and I cringe.

This mindset causes conflict leading to unrest, leading to fear, anxiety, depression and maybe war.

Look at the state of our world, our state, our community, maybe even our homes at times. We can be the bearer of unrest and conflict or choose,instead, to be a person who speaks life, pauses to bring words of affirmation, sprinkled with discipline in love, forgiveness and prayer over destructive communication.

It always boils down to choice. I choose peace not victimhood. Love in truth over fear and avoidance.

When I have spoken in fear or anger, I am learning to repent and turn back to Gods ways. It isn’t easy to break habits but it must be done. I must cast aside sins to break generational cycles.

Cast all cares upon Him for He cares for you. 1 Peter 4

What about you? Be the voice in the wilderness filtering your speech after mediating on the word of God. His love is unfailing, He is our strength.

Psalm 117: 1 – 2 1 Praise the Lord, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth. 2 For his unfailing love for us is powerful; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the Lord!

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.

Internet Down?

In this day of internet access, ever had a time when your internet dropped and reconnected so many times your head was spinning? Living in the country has its disadvantages. Another spring thunderstorm with pelting rain and thick clouds can block the satellite dishes. Or is it the Covid remote school and work phenomenon of overworked internet access?

We have become so reliant on our computers and the internet connection. Maybe I just overstepped in my assumption…… am I the only person overly reliant on the internet?

Chloe the Chocolate Labrador

The day can be joyful or sullen depending on whether I communicate with family or friends. The past couple weeks, I have started and stopped many phone calls and internet connections. Thanks to a firmware update and our rural internet service, time stood still.

Ok, that was an impulsive comment, forgive me, I sound like my teenager.

Time didn’t really stand still, but disconnection gave me time to ponder other more important things, such as, playing basketball with my teen, walking the dog (yes, the labrador benefitted) and spending quality time with my husband, no interruptions.

I spent time in the Bible in the book of Galatians gaining wisdom from above.

The past month, my husband working remote has been a frustrating experience. As he would attempt to lead meetings, I would hear from his study, “oops, dropped again!?” My husband and I would find ourselves, yelling, “Well, did it work… did your computer connect to the internet?” as we attempted to reconnect by resetting the router, checking the cables, connection points, and rebooting computers. As we frowned at each other daily, “Nope, hear we go again. Got to call the service carrier and wait over the weekend to be given an answer”.

What a life. The ebb and flow of emotions so conjoined with a source outside our body; the internet. It gave me pause, have I gotten so interconnected with the web? Do I need to reboot? Reexamine and Recommit elsewhere?

Is it healthy to let my emotions be effected by the internet? What would the real source of connection: Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Son of God, want for my day? Spending time distracted by outside influence and not the internal is probably a recipe for disaster. Being pelted by hail stones can leave a mark, just as a worldly perspective can block the sun ( or is it, the Son?)

Plug into the Source of Light, Jesus! The source of hope and peace can bring an eternal connection.

Galatians 5:22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

No matter where you have been, what your past choices, or times in your life when wires got crossed. He waits to give you a direct connection. Take the steps to learn more about Jesus. He wants all to seek Him.

Paul reminds us in Galatians that Jesus Christ is available and wants to know us and guide our lives.

Galatians 1: 12
I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.

Jesus doesn’t drop the customer just because the wires get crossed or frayed. He is a trustworthy source were weather such as thunderstorms or hail can’t interrupt the flow. Get to know Him. There are many Bible believing sisters and brothers in Christ who want to be a mentor. It can be life changing. Connection to Him is necessary for survival, peace and joy even if a few thunder clouds may threaten the day. You don’t have to walk alone.

Spring Sunset

Connection with Jesus can help you navigate the weather patterns. It is reliable, it is like a sun shower, warm rain drops mixed with the rays of the Son.

Take the time to reboot and see how your day just may glow.

Weeds

As I bend my knees and pull weeds from my springtime garden, I ponder all the weeds I’ve let grow. The weeds of impatience, frustration, pride, anger, lack of self-control, impulsivity and harsh words. Disappointed circumstance, parents failing health, dysfunctional relationships and that evil word, comparison, can make me unsettled and cranky.

I look at the tall grass stack of weeds waving freely in the breeze. I feel so overwhelmed. Whether it’s the hard dry, cracked soil or the tangled weeds above and beyond the weed barrier, I want to scream, “enough! I am done, I don’t even want to start”.

Weed barrier is supposed to keep out weeds, isn’t it? Would it be possible, the Bible is a weed barrier? The word of God can block the reactions if I will stop, pause, take a moment to look and listen to the wisdom.  I ponder what it would feel like to be free of these weeds.



Matthew 13:23    The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.


I think of my Father’s hand, the Gardener, His hand over mine, as I use my shovels and my rakes. I think of the living water, Jesus, His life poured into the soil softening and causing me to loosen the weeds. Am I letting the worries ruin my peace? Is that the example I want to be? Deep breathe, slow and steady.

I think of friends who help me turn my garden, toiling their own soil, as moms, sisters, brothers, wives, people. Their words of truth from God’s promises give encouragement along with their touch providing hope. One weed at a time, I can pull them out. I must be willing to do the work.

Even our crazy chickens flinging dirt at me as they look for bugs remind me to pause and laugh. Nemo, the cat, slips away calm and composed. Another example from nature draws me to Jesus.

Nourishment from the sun, spending stillness with my Jesus. Being open to the sunshine and the Son brings peace.

 Matthew 13:24       The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”


I must get back to my weed filled garden, muscles achy but it feels good to put forth the effort. One weed at a time!! There just may be a harvest to gather if I don’t quit pulling. Keep going Sisters and Brothers!!!