Press On part 1

Matthew 13:31-33
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all
through the dough.”
Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Matthew 13:37-39
Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Luke‬ ‭9:23-25‬
“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?”

Isaiah 64:8,
“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

Hebrews 12:1-3
‭‭ ‭Therefore , since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

Our family moved to North Dakota and found out we were expecting our beautiful ninth baby. I was away from everyone I knew and living in an unfamiliar place! We lived far away from the city and my husband worked far-away from home too! God opened the door for us to have a wonderful farm, and we loved our new place. However, I wanted to go back home where everything and everyone was familiar! All my children were born at the same hospital with the same doctor, so I felt insecure of the unknown! Anxiety and fear tried to get a hold of me! We ended up choosing a doctor right away. We chose one in Montana because it was a lot closer. I was uncomfortable and my new doctor wasn’t very nice to me because of his point of view on having children near their forties! My husband worked so far away too, so if I needed him it would take almost an hour and a half to get home. It was hard for me not knowing anyone, and he was gone for fourteen or more hours in a day with his new job!

God led me on an unforgettable journey where we experienced God moving mountains right in front of our eyes! One morning we loaded up the van to take me to my first doctors appointment! When we got there, we quickly filled up the waiting room. They explained that our family needed to wait outside because we were to many people. So I ended up sitting in the waiting room alone. When they called my name, I entered the room and like a flood, almost like a river, of endless peace consumed me, as I walked into office! There was so many nurses in the room! It almost felt like a room full of wolves ready to devour me! I appeared to be alone but I really was Not! When I look back, I can see how God guided me and gave me courage during this hard time! As I defended my reasons to trust God in my pregnancy, he gave me the words to say. I would not be able to say what I said without help! I felt like I was watching myself speak while I listened to the words I was saying! I would love to repeat them, but I can’t! The doctor and nurses were challenged in their belief systems, as I stood firm in mine! God has a plan for every child born! Jesus is the foundation I will not move from! I was in a pursuit for another doctor. But it was easier said then done! We lived so far away!

North Dakota was like a desert challenge as I experienced God’s overflow of his deep love and care for me and my family. 1 Peter 5:6-7, Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” They experienced God’s mighty hand taking care of us right in front of their eyes too! Being in North Dakota was like experiencing a quarantine away from everyone we knew! Our world was upside down and completely out of our comfort zone! The enemy was looking to devour. We seemed alone but we absolutely were Not alone! God revealed to me during this time about where do I put my trust? Psalm 20:6, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” I put my trust in God!

The garden is a familiar place for me and my family! I love to teach, explore and learn with my children. God reveals so much in the garden as we work together for one common goal! As we practice unity when we work together, I prayed deeply for God to show me what his plans are for us today? I prayed for God to search my heart, as I seek His will over my own! (Psalm 139) God would rewrite my lesson plans or added onto my day, as we follow our to do list! We experienced real joy and peace that cannot be taken from us. God’s goodness overflows throughout the day even in the struggles!

I thought about what Jesus often did when he went to pray! We did so many things while living there. We went exploring and fishing! Fishing was a big one for us! The kids chased toads and caught fish by hand. While exploring this new land we experienced struggles in our day. I called these obstacles learning opportunities! These are hands-on life lessons designed to build character through our walk with God! I taught my children that just because you have hard moments in your day, or even if part of your day is one challenge after another, it doesn’t mean the whole day is ruined! The feelings we feel in the moment cause us to think our day is ruined but it’s not true! We need to stop, breathe and pray so God can show us which way to go! If we don’t slow down and listen to the warning sounds our body tells us when we feel mad, sad, or angry, we will look to the left or right! Those are the ways of the world!Proverbs 4:25-27, “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” If we ignore the warning signs and chose not to slow down, we might turn to the left or right which is the world’s way of handling what’s going on! As I talk to God through my feelings through the day, my kids see me working out my struggles with God! They see that I have feelings like them too but it doesn’t have to control you! We keep our eyes on the straight and narrow path looking toward the author and perfector of our faith! (Hebrews 12:2)! We are building endurance and perseverance through our trials and struggles, and to chose to keep going even when you feel like giving up! So, we work through each emotion like fear, anxiety and my hope is my children can recognize the warning signs as they practice good habits. I struggled through each feeling like fear and anxiety that sneaks in regularly on me! I watch a sermon from Real life ministries! I was flooded with comfort! It was a sermon about the Lord prayer! I deeply prayed!

There is always something God is trying to reveal to us during the day, we just need to humble ourselves and chose to slow down, pray and listen! Jesus’ disciples weren’t far away when He prayed! Jesus was only a stone throw away Luke 22:39-41, “Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed,” I’ve been told many times that every mom needs “me time” and thought “why”? I’m not saying it not true, it’s just I see it a little differently! Yes, we need “quiet time” but for me, it’s “Quiet time with Jesus”! But, more often as a mom of 8 with one on the way, quiet time is while I’m at play with my kids or watching them explore! I won’t want to change this because time is so short and they grow so quickly! Jesus said, a stone throw away! When we model this for our kids, they will see us praying no matter where we are! Jesus said, let the little children come and do not hinder them! It models exactly what we are teaching to them and that even adults need to slow down, pray, and listen to God! My kids will get excited when I ask them to pray after they asked me what I was doing! As I work in the garden with my children, or cleaning the house while praying at the same time! God will show you when you seek Him! You will find him because he is always near! As we cultivate our garden, he cultivates my heart while sowing good seeds in me and in my children!

God led me and my family on a spiritual journey. While working in the garden, stories I have read many times before in the Bible came alive right before our eyes! This is why no one can know all of the Bible even if you read it a thousand times, because the Bible is alive and active sharper than a double edged sword! Hebrews 4:12-13, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” We all are growing and need to continually soak in our hearts and minds scripture as he transforms our minds and hearts to be more like him!
‭‭

The weather was so different, but we worked through the temperature ups and downs and even enjoyed a few blizzards and a couple of tornado’s! I never knew you could have dehydrated snow. It literally felt like you would get frostbite within five minutes of being outside. Our dog could not move when he ran off in the middle of a storm! We went on a search and rescue mission, because we knew he wouldn’t make it home! We found him not too long after he ran off, and he was frozen stiff! He could not move an inch! Then the next morning, it was sunny and warm like spring! Here’s a poem I wrote, “Bizarre blanket of beautiful dehydrated snow blowing bountifully in this unusual spring day, my children look forward to sinking there feet in the deep snow! The blizzard confines them but snowsuits, hats, boots, and gloves bind them so they can play! While chasing snowflakes with their tongue!The compactless snow leaves snow balls helpless because it’s packless! Each flake seemed like dust in the wind! With God’s outstretched arms his plan unfolds!” It was a snowy desert!

We were living in a rural area far away from all the convenience we were used to! We couldn’t get Starbucks or go to the store anytime we wanted something. Habits we once hand were gone! We didn’t have the convenience of purchasing soil to start our garden seeds because everything cost a lot of money! The dirt was like clay, and no trees were in sight except one, an awesome climbing tree that someone grafted many trees into one! God put this awesome tree in our yard for my kids to play in! My husband built our kids a treehouse where they spent a lot of their time!

We found some raised beds with workable soil to start our seeds. As we worked the ground with a pick axe and a hand held plow, the kids eagerly picked up each stone that we dug up. We love collecting rocks and most of them were regular rocks! However, we soon found petrified wood! I love rock lessons and this one was new! It was once wood but with time and pressure of life, it became stone! We are being built into a spiritual house, God molds us, we become living stones building up the church in unity together (1 Peter 2:1-2)! In Ezekiel 36:26-28, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.” It was awesome! We eagerly worked in the garden for many weeks looking for treasure! My husband even got them a metal detector. They found so many things. We even found coal at different stages.

After the seeds grew indoors for awhile, and the plants were big enough, we slowly acclimated each plant to the garden! This process took a lot of patience because we had to bring them back inside! During this time, God showed me how our children are vulnerable to the elements (influences of the world), and we need to protect and guide them at different stages in life! Not hiding them or keeping them away from experiencing life, but helping them navigate by making wise choices! Yes, we watch movies and playing video games! They go to friends houses to play! Luke 2:52, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” So, We need to train them up in confidence in their identity in Christ! We need to live out what good spiritual choices looks like and what we allow in our minds can hurt you! Philippians 4:8,”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” They can grow strong, able to handle the elements of the world while enjoying all the blessings! Their strong foundation in Christ will be their launching pad in life! Proverbs 22:6, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Staring off in love is the best way to start! That God loves us all equally my sending his son for them too! John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” I hope they will truly grow knowing and believing God’s deep love for them! I desperately hope they grow not only knowing about God’s love but believing their identity in Christ, and how deeply loved they are! I pray for them as they grow and learn! As we live out our Love for God and each other not only in our families but our church family, they will see something the world cannot give! As they grow up, I pray for discernment over all the influences that seem to be getting louder and louder! I pray for them to have wisdom and understanding that only can come from God! I let them know that even though I’m an adult, I don’t know everything! As a mom, I pray for God to guide me because each beautiful child of mine in unique and different! So we break down the meaning of words written in the Bible and I ask them to ask questions! What does it mean, don’t let anyone look down on you because you’re young, and to set an example!!! 1 Timothy 4:12,Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” What does that look like for kids today? To set an example in speech, conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity? Also, what does it mean to guard you heart above all else? Because everything flows from your heart! It’s hard, and we need to love them through this, as we show them the right way to go! Life for our kids is not what it was like for us, so we need to step in their world without conforming to the patterns set up from the world! Romans 12:2, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” We can’t stand over them looking down, we need to sit down on the floor with them so we can see! Through our journey as a family with our children, we hope they will see that Jesus is the cornerstone and the only sure foundations! That Jesus is the way, John 14:6, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Who never changes like shifting shadows! If you put them out into the world to soon, the world will get a hold of them as it has no solid foundation! It will be harder to recover! They will make their decision one day, as parents we can’t choose for them on which path to take! But, it’s up to us to show them what way they should go! We are to love them by teach truth in love! It’s only God who does the work inside their heart! James 1:16-18, “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”

When the plants were ready, we kept the weeding up pretty good at first! Until one day, I fell and got hurt! I no longer could work in the garden like I did before and in a blink of an eye, the weeds took over! I went to the doctor and he was so hard like a stone and cold! He said you look fine and you know what your doing! I said, I’m here because there is something wrong! I’m doing my part by explaining to my doctor what’s going on, now it your job to find out what’s going on! He said, fine, I’ll check you blood! I really needed to find another doctor, but I didn’t have enough time! I could hardly had any energy and felt weak! I forced myself out and played while my kids as my body screamed No! My kids helped me and I taught them how to cook and more! Then suddenly, I get a call from my brother! He needs us to pick him up from the bus stop tomorrow! Wow! What perfect timing!

So, went back out in the garden! Our school projects was growing out there! We planted one hundred potato’s and sweet potatoes! They worked hard to till the ground for each potato! My boys tried to clear as much of the weeds as they could by hand, but as they pulled each one, two or three would pop up in its place! My girls tried to rescue their strawberries! So, we did our best to keep the weeds back! Each year God reaches down deep in my heart in the garden! This was where we experienced weeds in a deeper spiritual understanding! Gophers appeared to be near and little did we know, they never touched the veggie roots! Wow! These pests are worse then deer or rabbit! Jesus taught us many important lessons using the physical things in this world to teach us spiritually! The roots in weeds grow deeper in the ground then vegetables! So the gophers fed of the weed roots instead of our garden! If you want to remove weeds you need to go to the root which is deep! This takes a lot of work and usually big rocks are in the way while you dig! The sad part is, if you leave one piece of root from the weed, it will come back even stronger than before! Our best effort to remove them by pulling them out ourselves is useless because you would accidentally pull up good vegetables too! It might look good on the outside for a while, but in a blink the weeds are out of control! The sneaky little gophers did minimal damage compared to what I experienced with them in the past! The thought was poison, but we would poison ourselves too! If we poisoned them, it would destroy more than the weeds! So, what do we do when the plants are struggling to survive, and were being choked out by the weeds right in front of us? I couldn’t do anything physical so we came up with a plan! My boys were determined to figure it out! I loved watching them problem solve and even argue which idea is better!

My boys took several hoses running them like wires throughout the garden and left them running! I didn’t think about checking the water because my husband got the well up and running! We hoped watering the vegetables really good will help them grow, so we might get a harvest. The next day, we picked up my brother from the bus station! God will send you help in unexpected ways! He knows exactly what you need! It was close to the Fourth of July! My brother has a long time friend of my dad that he worked with for years! He recently move to North Dakota! He called my brother and he decided to come to our house to celebrate the Fourth of July! He bought fireworks that were “Downtown Spokane worthy!”The whole neighborhood was all around our home, as we lite up the sky with one explosion of color after another! What a blessing! I made so much food for everyone as my kids helped me serve and play! God showed up in amazing way, and we are truly surrounded by a cloud of witnesses to help encourage us to keep pressing on! Darkness can’t overcome when we come together as illuminating lights! My kids needed this just as much or maybe even more then we did! As the unplanned big block party ended, everyone cleaned up!

One day, my boys remembered the water running in the garden! They forgot about the water running because of our big surprise! God planned the big party and everyone is invited! All we have to say is yes! So, I got up early in the morning by myself to talk with God! I wanted to see how everything was doing. I slowly walked toward the garden and noticed every step was like stepping on a squishy sponge! My feet got stuck in the orange sticky mud! So, when I saw the snakes swimming in the lake of water, it scared me right out of my shoes! I was running barefoot in the orange mud. It was like clay you would use to sculpt! It reminded me of how we are the clay and God is the potter! Isaiah 64:8, “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” As God molds me, I see how water is so important to flush out all the impurities and make the clay soft and mold able. The roots were able to seep deep down even if the weeds were there trying to entangle them and hinder their growth! Like the gophers in the garden looking for food underground, the enemy looks for someone to devour! We need to put on the full armor of God to withstand the devil tricks and lies of deseption With an overflow of water, the weeds lost their grip and could not take hold of the vegetable plants! The gophers were flooded out of their underground homes! Jesus washed his disciples feet from all the dust in the world, cleaning everything off that hinders them! The enemy slithers around and even tries to go underground only to eat dust! So when you put on the full armor of God and flood yourself with God’s living word, his overflow will flush our fear, anxiety anything that try’s to take hold of you like a weight! Jesus washes us clean with Jesus precious blood! I hungered and thirst for God’s living words and it’s like every step I took, His words unfolded for all of us to see! We realized the water had been running the whole time. Just like God’s love for us never stops flowing! His love will endure forever! Even if I turned off the water, God’s love never stopped! My boys rescued my shoes that were stuck in the mud! This touched my heart as how God cares for us deeply and will send help in unexpected ways. When I let go of control and allow God to work through my children, I had peace! Letting them take responsibility and trusting them to do it! There is freedom in letting go and letting God have the wheel! Even if the water was left on to long, God used it to reach and teach us. It took awhile for the water to completely absorb in the ground, and when it did, we eagerly went out wondering what we might find. We were treasure hunting! Just like how when we open God’s word eagerly searching and expecting for treasure to be found! All of what God says is true, when you seek Him you will find him, if you seek him with all of your heart!

The garden had grown a lot, and you no longer could see the vegetable plants in all the weeds. So, we tried weeding again! To our surprise, the weed roots slipped right off the veggies! The weeds lost their grip! The more we flood God’s living words in our life, sin and all that entangle us loses it’s grip! Then another blessing happened: the tall unusual grass turned out to be dill and garlic grew everywhere! When we wait on God’s perfect time, blessings will overflow! We had a beautiful spring harvest! Paul wrote an awesome illustration about the kingdom of heaven is like mustard seed. “God is preparing a huge mustard seed house for us in heaven and it took Jesus coming to earth to plant the seed.” (Matthew 13:31-33) I’m so thankful for what Jesus did for all of us, so we can go home to him!

God reveals so much to us in the garden! He is the gardener of my life. I just need to continue to allow him to completely search me as I trust his ways for my life! He causes the plants to grow, and if we recklessly removed everything out our way, we would’ve missed out on the blessing of garlic and dill! God’s living water will uproot the deepest roots of the heart that we cannot do ourselves! We may not be aware of the weeds that took root in our heart or the unseen gopher eating away at our life! Sometimes we might even grow to accept the weeds in our life, because we spent so much time working with and around them! We are unaware of what it’s going on inside of us! Some weeds are even beautiful and smell good, even when we know they can be poisonous! The poison twists truth and tells lies! It’s during the uncomfortable, fear and anxiety crept in! But, all I need to do is cast all my cares to God because his yoke is easy! I wasn’t strong enough on my own because I was hurt from the fall in my pregnancy! I surrendered my understanding and my ways and asked God to replace it with His! When I did this, he revealed the condition of my heart! The uncomfortable exposes lies and reveals truth! The lies were flushed away and truth came in like a flood! Through this flood, I saw everything differently! I knew I wasn’t physically doing good and that Jesus was carrying me! The doctor that once spoke unkind words to me, explained if I fall one more time it could be fatal for both of us! The doctors office couldn’t see me anymore because of my condition! There were no blood banks close enough! Instead of focusing on the storm, I kept my eyes on Jesus! Taking each thought captive and making it obedient to him! Even when day got harder, I chose to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness! God’s Will be done in my life and my family! I kept my sight on everything ahead of me, while the less important things dissolved! He will lead me and all my family to safety! Letting go of everything and not looking back! Loving And Truly trusting God with All of my heart and all of my soul and all my mind and of my strength, and love my neighbor as yourself! Choosing to pick up my cross daily as I live out love and teaching my children which is such a blessing! Deuteronomy6:5-9, 5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 and Luke 10:27, and Matthew 22:37-39)

As God picked our family up and moved us, music like Choir, Jars of Clay, David Meece, Twila Paris, Sixpence None the Richer, Choir, Michael W. Smith, Plum, Amy Grant, Petra and more, poured scripture in my mind and heart through song! This revealed how truly important it is to hide God’s word in your heart! These songs that I had listened to so many times were filled with scripture, and God spoke to me as I curled up in a ball, sitting in the passenger seat while my husband drove us back home! We never got to see the fruit of the largest garden we ever grew! Thankfully we have a beautiful spring harvest! But the spiritual fruit can never be taken away from us! God blessed us with our beautiful baby! It was more than enough reason to go back home! There is so much more to share! These unique life stories can go one way or another! I chose to follow Jesus and keep running the race and press on through the struggles! We are living stones! We are to share our stories with each other because we grow! We are God’s workmanship made in Christ Jesus to do good work set up for us in advance! When we really believe this is true, your world changes! We all are a work in progress as God molds! We are not finished until we are home with Jesus! I just need to keep holding on to Jesus and never let go! He carried us through and our beautiful baby was born early, he is healthy strong! We are so thankful for God’s love, mercy and grace! My oldest Son wrote a poem, “

Life on the Fence

Life on a fence

Is not living for God,

Is it living for you?

Is it living for others?

Life on the fence is no way to live,

Even though you can see both sides,

You have never choose to take any side, 

Erynn sits on the fence,

I chose to side with God,

Walk away from the fence.

 

Life on the Fence
Life on a fence
Is not living for God,
Is it living for you?
Is it living for others?
Life on the fence is no way to live,
Even though you can see both sides,
You have never choose to take any side,
Erynn sits on the fence,
I chose to side with God,
Walk away from the fence.
James 1:2
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Psalm 139:1-24
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Isaiah 44:1-5
But now listen, Jacob, my servant,
Israel, whom I have chosen.
This is what the Lord says—
he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.
Some will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’;
others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
and will take the name Israel.
James 1:22-27
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Psalm 37:1-7
1Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
6He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Here is a poem I wrote,
Bizarre blanket of beautiful dehydrated snow blowing bountifully in this unusual spring day, my children look forward to sinking there feet in the deep snow! The blizzard confines them but snowsuits, hats, boots, and gloves bind them so they can play! While chasing snowflakes with their tongue!The compactless snow leaves snow balls helpless because it’s packless! Each flake seemed like dust in the wind! With God’s outstretched arms his plan unfolds!
Philippians 4:6-8
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

James 1
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Romans 9:21
Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

1 Peter 2:4-7
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
Ephesians 2:19-22
For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Acts 4:30
Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

Psalm 136
1Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.
2Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
3Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
4to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
5who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
6who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever.
7who made the great lights—
His love endures forever.
8the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
9the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.
10to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
11and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
12with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.
13to him who divided the Red Sea asunder
His love endures forever.
14and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
15but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.
16to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.
17to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
18and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever.
19Sihon king of the Amorites
His love endures forever.
20and Og king of Bashan—
His love endures forever.
21and gave their land as an inheritance,
His love endures forever.
22an inheritance to his servant Israel.
His love endures forever.
23He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
24and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
25He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.
26Give thanks to the God of heaven.
His love endures forever.
Matthew 13:31-33
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
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Stop, Breathe, and Pray! 🛑 , 🌬 , 🙏

1 Peter 5:7-8
Cast all your anxiety on him
because he cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

James 1:19,
“My dear brothers and sisters,
take note of this:
Everyone should be quick to listen,
slow to speak and slow to become angry,
because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

 

 

We are getting ready to make new calming jars using water, glitter, and water beads (orbies). You can add hard beads too for another added lesson. I use these to teach my kids about emotions! They will make their own jar to make it personal! The reason I find this idea so fascinating is because our children can learn from the stories they read and relate more to the people in the stories! It helps them learn more about their emotions through play! They can begin to understand more about compassion for other people and how other people feel too!

Philippians 2:1-4
Therefore,if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,
if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

 

 

Let’s get started! It’s time to fill our kiddy pool with water beads for fun! I love bubbles and water beads because it makes learning exciting and fun! The love for learning is so very important! This is an amazing time to have brothers and sisters learn new things in play! I also like blowing Bubbles too! It’s a great regulation tool used to help my kids see a physical example of what’s going on inside them. When they feel frustrated, have them take a deep breath and blow lots of bubbles in the air. Every time they take a deep breath and blow out to make a bubble, helps them calm down. This fun exercise will help them feel better! My daughter likes to do this with gum, because she can’t take bubbles everywhere she goes.

I love using calming jars while reading stories to my children! They will use their calming jar for each character in the story! It’s especially awesome when reading bible stories to my children. It helps them see how each person in the Bible is real and had feelings like you and me! As they watch the glitter slowly settle to the bottom of the jar, have them talk or draw about what happened and why the person in the story felt sad, mad, frustrated, happy or excited! Letting them know asking questions are good! We talk about how in our life it’s better to talk about what’s going on instead of holding on to them!

Then, I brought in water beads in the story! You can touch and hold water beads, and all kids love them because they’re awesome! I love this tangible part of the story because they can see each color bead and touch them too! It’s a visual and physical way to help kids see and feel with their fingers what emotions look like while talking about what they feel like! They can use different colored water beads to name what happened to cause them to feel sad or mad in the story! Then I relate what’s going on to how they might feel in their shoes! When they feel sad, hurt, angry, confused, frustrated and more, they can easily see them by holding the water beads in their bands in hopes to talk about what happened. After shaking the calming jar, I remind them that emotions aren’t bad and getting angry isn’t wrong! It’s the action we choose to do with how we feel that can lead to consequence! When the glitter clouds the water, it’s harder to see (not sober minder or clear). The water beads dancing around in the jar but you can identify what happened yet! It’s because you need to be calm, so you can hear, see, and understand what happened. This is a good time for them to practice what to do when they struggle with their feelings by using their calming jars at home. For example, if your sister lost all your LEGO pieces after it took you a week to build a castle, or your brother took your turn when you waited for an hour to play! Another problem would be you got in trouble for something you didn’t do! What action you choose to do with your feelings can either be good or not! It’s an opportunity to practice good habits when you’re young, stop what you’re doing, breathe, and pray! I love to challenge my kids by blowing bubbles without popping a single bubble! They can’t even blow them away from the floor, which is a hard thing for kids to do. It’s an awesome exercise practicing love, self-control and patience which is a few of the fruit of the spirit! Galatians 5:23-24, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”This exercise is about not putting action to your anger! 1. Stop 2. Breathe 3. Pray, which means 1. Quick to listen 2. Slow to speak 3. Slow be angry! Most of the bubbles pop on their own, because they exercised listening to each other, and slow to speak! James 1:19, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” If they popped the bubbles that means they were quick to be angry or speak, which means they listened last! Anger is not a sin, but what you do with your anger can lead to sin! When we listen, we are being patient with each other! We love God and others by living out what God says! Luke 10:27, “He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

As the glitter settles to the bottom choose to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to be angry! Most situations melt away as we become good listeners, and looking at each other as important as ourselves! Philippians 2:3,”Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” Matthew 7:12,”So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” They can sit there and watch the glitter slowly settle down to the bottom of the jar! It gives them something to manage (holding jar) as they process their emotions. The water beads are a reminder that they need to pray and talk to God, their parents or trusted adults about what is going on to help you through things their struggling with, because we don’t have to do this alone! 1 Peter 5:7-8, If Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” It’s important you don’t ignore what’s going on, it could cause you to be quick to get angry and use words to hurt or hit and even punch! If it builds up over time, then it starts to get buried deep inside! It would become like the hard beads in the calm jar, if you chose to add them in!

It’s important to not ignore your feelings and to practice praying and talking about it! My kids love to draw and write out how they feel too! Ephesians 4:26-27, “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” With my older kids, we talk about how we need to pray when hurtful words or thoughts try to invade the mind! Each water bead would be a thought or word that you line up to what God says about you. I read Psalm 139 and remind them how deeply God loves them! When you’re older it will be harder to work through unexpected things if you practice holding them in or ignore your hurt! It builds up inside of you and clouds your thinking over time! When the jar is cloudy, wait until you are calm to talk things out because it’s hard to see, hear or understand clearly when your feelings are cloudy like the jar! During this time, praying, thinking and talking about everything that happened while the glitter slowly settles to the bottom! This is a hands-on learning example on how our emotions can cause even adults to react either good or bad. Our reaction needs to come from a sound and clear mind when the glitter has settled to the bottom of the jar.


Philippians 4:8
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.

2 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us
does not make us timid,
but gives us power,
love and self-discipline.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight
1 Peter 5:8-9
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world.

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest
if we do not give up.

 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”


Ephesians 4:26-27,
“In your anger do not sin”
Do not let the sun go down
while you are still angry,
and do not give the devil a foothold.”

2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments
and every pretension
that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought
to make it obedient
to Christ.
Proverbs 20:11
Even small children are known by their actions,
so is their conduct really pure and upright?

Mark 10:13-16
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

Psalm 86:15
But You, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Sense/Since of Urgency

Colossians 3:12-17,
Therefore, as God’s chosen people,
holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unit. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Galatians 6:7-10
Do not be deceived:
God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

 

Does anyone feel in the waiting a sense/since of urgency to share what grounds you in your faith? It’s like a fire within that sets you in a constant forward motion! Jeremiah 20:9, “But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” John 2:17,” His disciples remembered that the scripture says, “My devotion to your house, O God, burns in me like a fire.” My heart’s desire is for everyone to know and experience God’s love! We don’t know the time or the hour, so we shouldn’t live like we have enough time! We shouldn’t live like I can tell them tomorrow! We shouldn’t wait because tomorrow might be too late. No one predicted that the whole world would be shut down! God said. He will come like a thief in the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3, “Now brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”

All the different perspectives when Jesus is coming, but truly what does God say? I read in Acts 17:11, “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” The Berean Jews were open and humble to Receiving God’s word and they were eagerly searching in scripture. We need to be like this eagerly open and searching in bible, so we can examine what we see and hear and learn from others and match up with what God’s word says! The more we ask questions and seek in God’s word, the more we grow and have an answer for the faith we have! 1 Peter 3:15, But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” No one will know exactly when Jesus is coming back except God himself. We need to be alert and sober minded and open! In Acts 17:11, The Berean Jews knew and were taught what was written! They were humble! We need to be humble too! 1 Peter 3:8, “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.God teaches us through sisters and brothers because no one knows everything.”

We need to remind our younger generation to hide God’s word in their heart so they might keep away from sin (Psalm 119:11) and to remember what the Bible says, 1 Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” God shows us everything we need to know because he loves us and draws us to him! How we live our lives as Christians says more than we can say! We need to have the same urgently to share the Good News in love, and stay united in him especially with our family and church family! Our loving father is pursuing the lost as we live out what we have been called to do by sharing the gospel!

We are missing five pieces to the puzzle but we are on a search and rescue mission to find each one! God has a mission for us! Luke 18:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” He is moving rapidly because he’s after every single person that he intricately wove together in your mother womb and made in his image! His deep love longs for none to perish! 2 Peter 3:8-10,”But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But, the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”

He will keep urgently pursuing you until the last breath you take! He already loves you before the foundation of the world! Isaiah 55:6, “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” He loved you already before the foundation of the world! Ephesians 1:4, For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love.” How awesome is that? He gives us a choice, because real deep love does not force love! He wants us to love him too! He carefully planted each of us where we are and wants us to be rooted in Him! Every person has divine appointments or meetings set up by God because he surrounds us with people who will love you and tell you the truth, so it will flush out all the lies that creep in, and replace it with your true identity in Christ!

You are His! “Masterpiece” Ephesians 2:10. “ For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Like a puzzle I bought for my kids! I was so excited to put it together! Not only did we have the front of the box picture, but it came with a poster too! Then In a blink of an eye. One of my little ones opened it too soon! The cover is missing and the poster was used for an art project! Several pieces were missing too! The kids said, we can’t do the puzzle now, it’s ruined!” They decided to throw it away! I said, God didn’t throw the world away because of all the people who are lost and in need of Jesus! John 3:16, “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Remember God’s promise, God will Never flood the world again! The rainbow is a reminder of the promise! Genesis 9:12-15,”I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.”

Yes, we can and we will find another way to put the puzzle together. Let’s try! We started organizing the pieces without the cover or poster to follow directions!” They worked together to put the boarder together first! Then we found other piece to a puzzle that didn’t match and seemed like it didn’t belong! It started to get frustrating! We knew we might have missing pieces but still hoped that the lost pieces could be found! Just like in the body of Christ, we work together in unity so everyone can know how much God loves them, God has a unique plan for each of us for a specific purpose only you can fulfil. No one can be your puzzle piece or live your life. God carefully planned your life already and it’s only for you and no one else. We can try to force pieces in place, but it will never work because love does not force it’s way on people like that! We need to love the way God does! (1 Corinthians 13) We can’t see God’s plan or the three dimensional puzzles like the direction on the box or poster! After, working to put the puzzle together without a picture, my husband got another puzzle with directions and said to us, we need God to led us in the right direction through the Bible and in relationships with each other, because on our own we will mix everything up and get off course. God gave us the Bible and the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us! John 14:26, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” We trust God with all of our heart and don’t depend on our own understanding! Every person we come in contact with, we are to love, live out truth, and share the good news. All of us are part of his plan, and he will do all he can to reach you, but it is up to you to open the door and accept free gift. Revelation 3:20,”Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you
and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope
and a future.
Then you will call on me
and come and pray to me,
and I will listen to you.
You will seek me and find me
when you seek me
with all your heart.
Matthew 7:13
Enter through the narrow gate.
For wide is the gate and broad is the road
that leads to destruction,
and many enter through it.
But small is the gate
and narrow the road that leads to life,
and only a few find it.
Revelation 2
“To the angel. of the church in Ephesus write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands.

I know your deeds,
your hard work
and your perseverance.
I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people,
that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not,
and have found them false.
You have persevered
and have endured hardships
for my name,
and have not grown weary.

Yet I hold this against you:
You have forsaken
the love you had at first.

Consider how far you have fallen!
Repent and do the things you did at first.
If you do not repent,

I will come to you and remove your lampstand
from its place.
But you have this in your favor:
You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans,
which I also hate.
Whoever has ears,
let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To the one who is victorious,
I will give the right to eat from the tree of life,
which is in the paradise of God.

 

Isaiah 61:10-11

Isaiah 61:10-11,
I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Isaiah 61:10-11
For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
Isaiah 61:10-11
so the Sovereign Lord
will make righteousness
and praise
spring up before
all nations.

 

Garden in the window!

John 15:1-8
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory,that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Part 1

The quarantine reminded me of a time our family moved to another state, I knew absolutely no one! It was hard for us! We desperately wanted to be a part of a church family again because we left ours behind! The only way we could go to church,as a family, was to watch church online! So many awesome sermons feed our family during this delicate transition in our life! Today, online services have blessed so many people!

We have a little garden in the window that showed us something new to think about. The plants in the window revealed what could happen if you’re stuck inside to long. My children continue to learn new things every year with me as we explore and watch each plant grow! It’s amazing how new things come to light each time we read God’s word! We grew tomatoes, basil and sometimes potatoes. This year we started with about forty tomatoes and only about ten made it! We’ve done so many learning projects as we discover new ways to grow food. In one of our observations, we noticed that something does happen to the plants when you keep them too long in their pot with lowlights in the window! They never grew to their full potential! Yes, you can get artificial lights and bigger pots, but as we dig in God’s word we learned you can’t grow and experience God fully unless you step out and establish relationships with your sisters and brothers in Christ. It’s God’s plan for us and it’s his design from the beginning!

We learn more of what Jesus taught in John 15! As we dig deeper in this story, it comes to light as we experience God’s word together in the garden! By talking about what we read and what we learned! We learn even more when we share our experience with our sisters and brothers! God is the gardener in our life and takes special care of each of us! Jesus is the vine! We need to stay connected to the vine and be rooted in God’s love through faith in Jesus! When we see and experience God’s goodness, like a plant desperately reaching for the sun! It looks like what God says, if you seek me you will find me, when you seek me with all your heart! Once we are rooted in God’s love for us, like healthy soil rich in nutrients for a plant, we are established as we grow deeper stronger roots in God’s love! It’s through faith in Jesus that we are established! So when storms come, we will not be moved! We can rest in Him as he works in us and around us!

During the process of transitioning out of quarantine, We have an opportunity to pray for each other like Paul did in Ephesians1 and 3! He prayed for All believers throughout all generations! That includes us! This is so powerful and deeply needed in the body of Christ! We need prayer and like Paul prayed for all believers to be strengthened through the power of the Holy Spirit! We need to pray for each other as we gradually step out of quarantine! Also, we need to pray for enlightenment in Ephesians 1:18-20, “8 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” Like the plants in the window, we have been waiting as each stepping stone is presented to us! Keep praying! 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” As we pray continually through this, be patient with each other! Some people are jumping back in with both feet, while others are testing the water with their toes! Each step is a process, so we need to be sensitive to each other’s feelings and insecurities because a lot of fear swept over the news and social media! We need to remember in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” We need to make it personal to what is going on in our lives and our sisters and brothers! We need to remember the same power that raised Christ From the dead lives in you too!

Ephesians 3:16-21,”I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!”

The most perfect gift we could give to someone is praying for them! We desperately need to be rooted and established in love, so we can experience God’s fullness that cannot be measured! As my son mesures each room of our house for new flooring, there is a stopping point with an exact measurement! With God, there is no limit, it goes on and on! His deep love for us has no limit! When we walk close with Jesus in our life, we grow closer to each other too! When I was reading this to my children! I asked them to hold out their right hand in front of them, that represents Jesus. Next, I asked them to hold out their left hand, that represents them. Finally, I asked them to clasp their hands together! I asked them, what does this look like to you? They answered, praying! As we spend time in prayer listening and reading God’s word, we grow closer in relationship with him! Colossians 3:1-4, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” They used their right hand for Jesus because he is seated at the right hand of God. We live our new life in Jesus, because he loves us and is our friend! John 15:14-15, “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Alway keep our hearts and mind on things above, then you will overflow with the fruit of the spirit! The Holy Spirit produces fruit and changes our heart as we are led by the spirit! Galatians 5:22-23, But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self control!” Through the power of the Holy Spirit that flows within us will strengthen our inner being! We will experience His deep love for us as we dig into his living word! The deeper we dig the more we discover as our lives reflect what God reveals in the Bible! Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. “ When you are alive in Christ, God’s plan unfolds inside your heart and mind as you step out in faith! When you step away from your old way of doing things by moving away from the window, and step into the light, you will see things differently! You will be rooted and established in God’s love! The power that comes from the Holy Spirit will strengthen you as you come together with your sisters and brothers!

The garden window is in need of constant care because it’s inner well being is weak! Our inner being can grow weak like the plants in the window if we’re not careful. 1 Thessalonians 5:13-14, “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” We need to support each other by being the salt and light during this difficult process. Just like we noticed each vegetable plant needed something extra to keep them growing, because it’s roots were in smaller pots in shallow dirt, and they couldn’t grow any deeper! They were idle and not going anywhere! They were weak because they didn’t have enough sun! They adjusted to the shallow pot and growing weaker instead of stronger! No matter what, they were not able to grow deeper roots in the ground or reaching higher up to the sun! We fed them plants food, and they started to grow taller and green! Then beautiful yellow flowers grew on each branch but right when I thought fruit would grow, the flowers wither and die! They didn’t produce any fruit in the window. They didn’t have enough inner strength to keep going all by themselves. They didn’t have a relationship growing with other plants experiencing life in the sun where honey bees Swarm! Their life was drained! We need each other to pray, encourage and support each other, so no one is left stuck or idle. If we wait for perfection to start, it might not ever happen. Ecclesiastes 11:4-6, “Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the path of the wind or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” Also, we don’t want to get comfortable with the convenience by depending on online! It will be like getting a bigger pot for your plant! The soil is full of everything that is temporary and the nutrients will run out! It’s tempting to turn on the phone or Tv to watch church, however we need real relationships with each other! If we just sit and do nothing, we can’t grow. If we wait for perfect timing or for the conditions to be just right, we will never do anything at all!

Slowly, we acclimate each plant outdoors where they grew deeper roots strong enough to hold themselves up! It was rough at first because the plants might look worse than before. Yesterday, We put our tomatoes outside to harden them for the garden, and we accidentally left them out all night! The weather hit them hard and they lost most of their green color and were limp! We quickly brought them indoors and hoped they would slowly come back. When we transitioned our plants carefully outside, we usually add support as they develop strong branches to support fruit. We need to do the same each other as we take each step out of quarantine, we have masks, six feet apart, take temperatures, wear gloves and follow all the protocols to ensure everyone is safe! 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” For us to experience God’s overflow that can’t be measured, we need to be rooted and established in love as we walk in relationship with Jesus! Talking out our struggle and praying for each other along the way! Ephesians 3:18, “may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,” we need to take hold of all God gives us through relationships! We will experience how wide and how long and high and deep through sisters and brothers in the body of Christ! It is more than we can imagine. Just like how we Gradually take each plant outside, and with love and patience, you will begin to see the beauty from within and grow beautiful yellow flowers again that will produce a harvest!

Ephesians 3:16-21,
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!”
1 Thessalonians 5:13-14,
“And we urge you,
brothers and sisters,
warn those who are idle and disruptive,
encourage the disheartened,
help the weak,
be patient with everyone.”
Ephesians 3:18,
“may have power,
together
with all the Lord’s holy people,
to grasp
how wide and long and high
and deep
is the
love of Christ,
Ecclesiastes 11:4-6,
“Whoever watches the wind
will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds
will not reap.
As you do not know the path of the wind
or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things.
Sow your seed in the morning,
and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
whether this or that,
or whether both will do equally well.”
Colossians 3:1-4,
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
John 15:9-17
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.

Ephesians 2:10,
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Galatians 5:22-23,
But the fruit of the spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self control!”

Soggy Potato Chip

Matthew 5:13
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if the salt loses its saltiness,
how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything,
except to be thrown out
and trampled underfoot.”

John 7:37-38,
“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.
Whoever believes in me,
as Scripture has said,
rivers of living water
will flow
from within them.”

My family sat around the coffee table while watching a movie! My husband brought out a huge bag of chips for all of us to share. As we ate our chips I grabbed one, and guess what? The chip was licked clean, and I ate it! Everyone else had their own bowl except for me! I wasn’t paying attention because I was watching the movie. Every chip my daughter took out of the bag, she licked the salt and put it back in the bag! This reminded me of something that I read in Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” We bring God glory when we fellowship with one another! When we come together, our conversations should be Christ-like seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6)! If there is just enough salt, then our conversations will be fruitful and rich bringing light in every circumstance! When we bring the best out of each other, God’s goodness overflows and blesses everyone who is near! We are the salt preserving relationship through Jesus!”

Not only did the chip lose its saltiness, it was soggy! There is nothing I can do to make this taste better! The soggy chip experience, Not only tasted horrible, it made me lose my appetite for chips! As believers who love God and each other, we don’t want to become like a saltless soggy chip who lose their saltiness! Both light and salt is a picture of us and what we are called to be! In 1 Corinthians 3:9, “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building”. We are not only the light but the salt too! When you add just enough salt, it brings out the natural flavors in our food! If you add water, your food is bland and flavorless! Salt is a physical example of what we do for each other by bringing out the best in our relationships with each other!

1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” Salt is a preservative too! We are to preserve the truth by not adding water to God’s word and living out what God says in the Bible! By setting an example on how you live you are being the salt that preserves truth! Ephesians 4:15, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” However, we need balance, too much salt is not sharing God’s word in love and adding water to truth is not loving people the way Jesus loves us! 1 Peter 4:7-10, 7The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

We need to keep in contact with each other in all seasons of life because a lot can happen in a short amount of time! We need to meditate (think about daily) on God’s word, talk about what you’re learning and your experiences and listen too! We are designed by God to be in relationship because we are made in God’s image! We need to pray together, share life experiences and share what we have learned along the way, so we can grow! We grow in relationships with God and others in process by experiencing life together! We will be stronger when storms come! 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” Stand firm, Let nothing move you by not focusing on the storm around you, instead focus on the Jesus who holds everything together! Storms bring rain, fresh air and a rainbow reminding us God keeps All of his promises! Through Jesus you will overflow with living water and you will never thirst! When you give yourself fully to the Work of the Lord, you will be like a flood reaching and helping many more people and it starts from the inside!

When I struggle, I reach out and ask for prayer because we are not meant to do life alone! I’m so thankful to be able to reach out asking for prayer, when storms come! I don’t want my way of handling circumstance or to get off track because my feelings get the best of me, so I reach out to my sisters and brothers in Christ! I don’t want to get off track by getting distracted or caught up in hurt and end up looking to the left or right! I know what could happen when you are all alone and know the enemy wants to devour those who are isolated from relationships! Even when it’s hard, I will continue to reach up and out, even if it “seems like” no hands are there to take mine! I don’t trust what I see, but I trust Jesus the one who sees everything! I know what “seems like” is a lie, but we need to have accountability in deep abiding real relationships with Jesus and others! Proverbs 3:5-6, trust in the Lord with all of our heart don’t depend on our own understanding, in all of our ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight. Love, Faith, Hope and Trust are your solid foundation in Jesus for everything you will ever do in your life! When you trust God with All of your heart, then you trust the relationships he put in your life to help direct your path! In Romans 8:24, “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

Jesus washes his disciples!
John 13:14-17
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher,
have washed your feet,
you also should wash one another’s feet.
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.


1 Corinthians 15:58,
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters,
stand firm.
Let nothing move you.
Always give yourselves
fully to the work of the Lord,
because you know
that your labor in the Lord
is not in vain.

In all the changes most people want to take the time for each other! When we listen like Jesus listens to us, we are being the salt and the light! Some stories are hard to hear but they need to be heard! Love each other deeply, the way Jesus loves You! It is so hard to find time, but when you do, you’re living out loving each other deeply! This is what it looks like to wash the dust or mud off your sister or brothers feet so the enemy cannot devour them! This is hard stuff and life is hard! You may think no one sees you but God does and you are blessing someone by listening to them or just spending time, your doing beautiful things! Spending time takes sacrifice and putting someone above yourself is living out deep love! I love the time God sets aside for me, a playdate with a sister in Christ! It blessed me and my kids! We watched our children play, and I know Jesus was playing with them in the backyard! I had a million words to say but we just watched our kids and spent time with each other! It was like an endless flood of peace! God poured himself out through relationships that day, a priceless gift! We don’t want to lose the saltiness that preserves relationships through Jesus! We need to stay connected to each other so we can be the salt and light and love each other deeply!

All those who believe in Jesus and believe Everything he did for you, will never thirst! We will be the church! Church is not a building, 1 Corinthians 3:9, “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building”. I am more than thankful for my family and church family!

John 7:37-38,

“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice,
“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.
Whoever believes in me,
as Scripture has said,
rivers of living water
will flow
from within them.”

1 Peter 4:7-10,
7The end of all things is near.
Therefore be alert and of sober mind
so that you may pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

Peacemakers!

1 Peter 5:6-11
6 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.
10 And the God of all grace,
who called you to his eternal glory in Christ,
after you have suffered a little while,
will himself restore you
and make you strong,
firm and steadfast.
11 To him be the power
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Romans 12:2-3
Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test
and approve
what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Humble Service in the Body of Christ
3 For by the grace given me
I say to every one of you:
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather
think of yourself with sober judgment,
in accordance with the faith
God has distributed to each of you.

After a long drive, we waited patiently in line for an hour to get into the store! The line was long and everyone there was eagerly waiting to get inside! I love how God teaches me something new in situations like these to help me through waiting patiently! Everyone had the same goal, running the same race in need of something inside! The only difference is everyone had something different to get in the store! As believers we are running the race for the same prize, eternity with Jesus, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5:11). 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”

When everyone has a different goal but going into the same direction, conflict happens! As Christians who follow Jesus, we aren’t exempt from conflicts or struggles! It’s how we handle the pressure of conflict that reflects who God is! We need to go into strict training by staying in the word (bible) and be connected to other believers! We are to be the salt and the light everywhere we go! I sing to my kids, stop, breathe, pray! Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry (James 1:9) stop breathe pray! Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” we would react the way Jesus would by not fighting to get ahead in line! We will choose to do what 1 Peter 5 says, to be humble under God’s mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time. We will choose to Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. We would Be alert and of sober minded(1 Peter 5:6-8)! When we follow Jesus’ example, we see people the way Jesus does, and love others the way He does! We can be peacemakers that God called us to be! Hebrews 12:4, Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. All of us are in need of Jesus to light up the way to go! Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

In tough situations like this, it can be frustrating especially when you drive a long way from home and you’re out of something you need! We need to remember everyone needs something just like you! Not only do we need to love our neighbors as ourselves, but we need to put on the full armor of God so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes (Ephesians 6:10-18)! Sometimes we need to choose to let go of what we think we need and choose peace! We need to make peace with everyone because when we do, it’s like giving them a hug from God! Hebrews 12:14, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” We chose to leave the line to be peaceful! It wasn’t easy but God helped us choose! If we did it alone by forcing our way, we could have stumbled! It is better to wait on God’s perfect timing and not our own! We need to be ready for what is unseen because the enemy is prowling around looking for someone to devour! 1 Peter 5:8, We need to be clear in our mind because sneak attacks do happen when you’re not paying attention, and when you let your guard down! In the race to get what we think we need at the store, we can loose sight on what’s important! We need to be ready for battle! The battle we face daily isn’t against flesh and blood! It’s not a battle with the people standing in line eagerly waiting to get in! Matthew 5:9,”Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Let’s chose to be peacemakers and love other people the way God loves us! Mathew 22:37-40, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 5:9,
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God!

Hebrews 12:-4
Make every effort
to live in peace
with everyone and to be holy;
without holiness
no one will see the Lord.
children of God.”

I’m so Thankful!


1 Corinthians 12:12-14
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”

I’m so thankful for my sister and brothers in Christ. The little things you do for someone are more often the most important! Just like the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds, but grows so large and it provides shelter for birds! This is a physical example of how powerful something so small can become! The power of prayer is the best thing you can ever do because your trusting in the Only one who knows best in hard situations! To encourage each other is like a big hug and it’s huge when your feeling helpless! The mustard seed is a spiritual example of what a faith in Jesus can do in your life (Matthew 17:20)! Knowing he has you and your family safe in his hands! I’m comforted knowing we can count on sisters and brothers to pray for me in hard times! I will continue seeking God through relationships because there is power in prayer! My daughter is getting ready for surgery and knowing God is in control gives me peace and comfort! We have many sisters and brothers all over the world, but we are All one body, led by the same spirit! God’s illuminating light is shining through us for His divine purpose through various gifts and talents (Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:12-14). We are His hands and feet and so many wonderful blessings have been pouring out through many brothers and sisters reaching people in so many different ways! We are Family!

God knows you and sees everything you’re doing! He is right there with you and is walking right by your side! Jesus completely understands what you’re going through (Psalm 33:13-15)! He has compassion for us and collects all our tears not one falls to the ground (Psalm 56:8) Each one of us is running a race, but our life course looks different then someone else’s. Another physical example of a runner running a race, 1 Corinthians 9:24 says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize” spiritually we need to keep going even when life is hard and situations don’t make since! Don’t give up! I’m comforted God makes the way even in impossible times because nothing is impossible with God (Psalm 56). His mighty ways are bigger than we can understand! He will guard us and keep us out of harm and guide us through troubled waters into safety!

I’m continually looking for the light in all things even through my tears! All of us have a unique situation and God cares for each of us equally and we are called to do the same for each other! Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” God is doing some miraculous change inside of us that would have never happened unless quarantine happened! I’m in a hospital right now trusting God will keep us safe while we wait in the Emergency room (Psalm 91)! Sometimes we don’t know what we need until we are forced to stop! No matter the circumstance (obstacles) we need to run our race and encourage each other to do the same! We need struggles in life for spiritual growth but it is so hard! We need each other! We need to saturate ourselves with God’s living word and put on the full armor of God so we can withstand the evil screams that sneak in! (Hebrew 4:12 and Ephesians 6:10-13)! Unexpected things do happen! Like a sudden dog bit! As, I wait here for the doctor to come, I remember, God has already won! (Revelation 12:7-12)

We can have confidence in things that don’t make since like all the different rules and regulations (obstacles) but God is in charge overall. He is always working in us and around us! He is working on me as I type this out while I wait! Reach out to the sisters and brothers who God has placed in my life! It can be hard to let go or surrender our own understanding of why something is happening, but trusting God with All of our heart, will set you free! (Proverbs 3:5-6) God makes all things New and through his Son we can transform in His likeness, we just need to let go of our ways and Trust God! I’m Thankful! God bless all of you and your families!


2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Psalm 91
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord,
“He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings
you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord,
“I will rescue him;
I will protect him,
for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me,
and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

God’s pursuit for Us!

Psalm 24

The earth is the Lord’s,
and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;

(Psalm 2:8)(Matthew 28:18-20)
for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.

(Genesis 1 and 2)(John 1:1-5)
(Colossians 1:16-17)(Revelation 4:11)
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.

(1 Peter 1:15-19)
(Romans 3:21-26)

They will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God their Savior.

(John 3:3-7) ( Romans 1:16, 3:23)
(Acts 16:31) (Colossians 1:13)
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.

(John 14:6).

(Proverbs 7:15)
Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?

(Matthew 25:31)

(Revelation 5:3-10)
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty
he is the King of glory.

(2 Thessalonians 1:5-12)
(Revelation 19)
God’s pursuit for us has never changed! Since the beginning, God has been on a search and rescue mission, because He is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14)! He loves us so much (John 3:16) God breathed life into us Genesis 2:7! He knew us before the foundation of the world was made (Ephesians 1:4). He wove us together in our mother’s womb and knows us completely! He knows the numbers of hairs on our head and his thoughts for us outnumber the sand in all the world (Psalm 139). In James 4:5, “Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously” God is the same yesterday today and forever not wanting anyone to perish!
Psalm 95
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.

The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
For he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
Psalm 8
LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory in the heavens.

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.

LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Light seekers in the storm!

Matthew 7:24-28
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Proverbs 10:25
When the storm has swept by,
the wicked are gone,
but the righteous
stand firm forever.

Lamentations 3:22-26
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation

of the Lord.

Spring is a reminder that God’s mercy is renewed every morning (Lamentations 3:22-26). We need to be humble and seek God continually in all things! (1 Peter 5:5 and 2 Chronicles 7:14) You will find Him everywhere! We need to teach our children what it looks like to seek him during times like these because we are called to be the light! We are light seekers in the darkening world (Ephesians 5:13-15). To choose to look for the rainbow light in every storm! Living out hope as though it is real and not a fairy tale movie with make believe visions! It is choosing to start a garden even if we have to leave it behind! Being real in your emotions so your children see how you walk and talk things out with God and each other instead of bottling your emotions inside! To live out what we believe is true (Jesus)! We need to stand firm building our lives on Jesus the Cornerstone in every decision and choice (Matthew 7:24-28). We need to be careful by praying for discernment and staying connected! (Proverbs 10:25 and 1 John 4:1-6) To keep in the word to remind us where we have been, and what God has done for us! His compassion and mercy for us is everlasting!

James 5 also says, “Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. We need to be patient with each other and focus on our love for God and each other! We are in the same storm but each of us circumstance is different! To chose to have compassion and love for each other during this season (Romans 12:3-16). The Judge is standing at the door! We are not alone in this storm and God knows everyone’s situation! We need to continue to Love God and love others (1 John 4:7-10). We are in the same storm but Jesus is in the boat with us! We need to remember Jesus walks on water and if we keep our eyes on him, we will not sink! (Matthew 14:25-31) Just like the day I fell into the deep end of the pool! I looked up reaching for someone while hoping I would be rescued! I was confident I would be saved! I could feel the bottom of the pool with my feet! I used all my strength to keep pushing myself up to the surface! I kept looking up, reaching and hoping! It was bright and silent underwater! Suddenly, my dad came out of nowhere and pulled me right out of the water! Jesus will not let you sink! Jesus will search, reach and rescue you no matter where you are and carry you back to safety!

Deuteronomy 29:12-15 says, “You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the Lord your God, a covenant the Lord is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, 13 to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 14 I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you 15 who are standing here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God but also with those who are not here today” This is so important because it reminds us God keeps All of his promises! This is not only talking about them but us too!

During this time, We need to be doing what we are supposed to do, “Right now” as Jim Putman said in one of his podcasts! We need to be caught doing what God has called us to do because tomorrow isn’t here only today (James 4:14-16). We are warned in Exodus 20:23, not to make any Gods out of silver and gold, (money, entertainment,ect.) Also, James 5 says, how worthless it will be! James 5:8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Money may not buy you what you need! So, we only should stand firm on the one who provides everything we need! I rather trust what God knows I need, than what I think I need! Hebrews 1:2, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. We are All in His hand! There is nothing to Fear!

Matthew 14:25-31
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage!
It is I.
Don’t be afraid.”
Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Revelation 21:22-27
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Revelation 22:5
There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.

And they will reign for ever and ever.
Hebrews 1:1-4
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.

Ephesians 5:13-15
But everything exposed by the light
becomes visible and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Be very careful, then, how you live
not as unwise but as wise,

Spring is here!

1 Corinthians 3:5
What, after all,
is Apollos? (Is it you?)
And what is Paul? (Is that me?)
Only servants,
through whom you came to believe
as the Lord has assigned to each his task. (Us
!)

There no competition in the body of Christ.

Spring is here and the garden is a special quiet place for me and my children! I find rest even with all the physical labor! Something about tilling up the soil, reminds me how we need God to rotor till our hearts to receive his word (seed) and remove the deep rooted weeds (rocks). It always surprises me how rocks appear out of nowhere in the garden. Like physical rocks appear through working through life with God, spiritually removing strongholds we never knew were there! God continues to reach and teach us more! Every time we work life in relationship with Jesus, sometimes new springs up out of the Living word of God. Today, 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, stopped me in my tracks as I watered my garden in the window! I was wondering if this verse was talking about Christians competing with Christians. With all the media options out there, we all need to remember we are sisters and brothers in Christ! 1 Corinthians 1:10, “ I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. God has no favorites! (Romans 2:11).

1 Corinthians 3:6
I planted the seed,
Apollos watered it,
but God has been making it grow.

(God is the gardener! John 15)
1 Corinthians 3:7
So neither the one who plants
nor the one who waters is anything,
but only God,
who makes things grow.

(
God is the one who does the work in us!)
(Philippians 1:6)
1 Corinthians 3:8
The one who plants
and the one who waters
have one purpose,



(Love God and Love others)
Matthew 22:36-40,
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 28:18-20
Love is!!
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

1 Corinthians 3:5-9
and they will each be rewarded
according to their own labor.
For we are co-workers in God’s service;
you are God’s field,
God’s building.

(Ephesians 4)

Revelation 22:12
“Look, I am coming soon!
My reward is with me,
and I will give to each person
according to what they have done.
I am the Alpha and the Omega,
the First and the Last,
the Beginning and the End.
(John 1)

Troubled Waters

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2 Corinthians 4:17-18
,
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


1 Peter 5:6-11
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 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.
And the God of all grace,

who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong,firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever.
Amen.

In this world there will be a lot of care! Sometimes the cares of the world can be camo or hidden! In the picture above, it appears we are driving around on the lake without a care in the world! However, we are being towed by another boat because we are sinking! We suddenly started taking in a lot of water and knew it was a matter of time before it would be dark! We waved and tried to get anyones attention, but nothing! It seemed as though we were being watched from a distance! Things in life may not be as it seems from a distance!

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Storms in life can hit you like a sudden leak in your boat! It could happen in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight! No one is exempt! What does it look like during the night while your consumed in circumstance to cast your care to the one who cares the most? 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”There is freedom in surrendering your nets in the deep blue sea! I chose to hand over all my cares, trusting his ways over mine! But still, I cling to the boat? Luke 9:24, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. In troubled water, life can seem hopeless because you might feel sick! As the salty water crashes all around you stinging your eyes! The salt water mixed with tears make it hard to see clearly! 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. In life circumstance, the boat will violently rocks back and forth or it could sink! Who Can you trust in a camo world? It seems like everyone is just watching! The view shifts in the wind, who’s voice do I listen to? Is it mine or yours? I chose to cast my cares to Jesus who hears me! He stills my heart and fills me with peace! His love is everlasting! Only God can calm the loud storm so truth will sing!

In the trouble waters, where do I place my confidence? Is it in the boat that keeps me afloat or the one who is in it with me? If the wind and the waves suddenly cause me to lose my grip and it tips me over! If I’m blinded by the wind, I will swim! Is all hope Gone if I sink and go overboard? No! Hope lives in me! Hope will never leave me or forsake me! The boat is not my hope! What I see and feel is not my hope! I trust in you Only God, my Father!! Romans 8:24-25, “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” God will not let his children be snatched from his hands (John 10:28-30)! God wants no one to perish because he loves everyone (2 Peter 3:9). My life completely is His! Suddenly, In the cold dark water, I feel warm! There is freedom in surrender! The one who speaks to the wind and calms the waves, (Mark 4:39-41)! Jesus your right there with me!! My hope and confidence is in You! Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” No matter if I’m in the boat or in the water, I’m confident Jesus will be right there with me!

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Isaiah 43:2,

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” No matter if I’m in the boat or in the water, I’m confident Jesus will be in the water with me!


Philippians 3:13-14,
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.


Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, since we have been

justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Philippians 3:13-14, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

I Thirst for You!

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He is Risen!


John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.


John 14:6
Jesus answered,
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

In the middle of the night, sometimes I will wake up with extreme thirst! At this moment I pray, “I thirst for you!” I take my physical condition of being thirsty and I turned it into a prayer, I thirst for you Jesus!

Psalm 63:1-4, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.”

In his last moments before Jesus death, Matthew 27:45-46, “From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” God turned away from his own son because Jesus carried all the past, present and future sins of the world! With every last breath he breathed, he thought of everyone! Jesus fulfilled everything with his last breath! He knew his time was near and Jesus said “I Am thirsty” (John 19:28). The Roman soldiers had sour wine vinegar in a jar and then soaked a hyssop plant (sponge) and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. This Hyssop was used in the first Passover’s where they covered the door frames with lamb blood (Exodus 12:22) Hyssop plant was apart of the purification and sacrifices in the tabernacle (Leviticus 14:4 and Leviticus 14:6), (Numbers 19:6 and Numbers 19:18). In Jesus’ last breath the Psalm David wrote in psalm 69:21,”They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst. As Jesus received the drink from the soaked sponge, Jesus said “It is finished”

When Jesus said, “I am thirsty“ (John 19:30) He drank from the sponge lifted up to him! His mouth and throat must have felt like he had inhaled all the dust (sin) of the whole world as he carried the cross! His mouth would have been so dry, it must have felt like fire! It must have taken all he had to say, I am thirsty! After he received the drink, Jesus said, “It is Finished.” he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:30). There is nothing in this world that will satisfy a spiritual thirst in your soul! Without Jesus, it will be like the physical suffering Jesus went through without any relief. The only relief that anyone can ever get, is the water Jesus gives us! Nothing can take that away from you! John 4:13-14, Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Jesus was using water as a physical example for a spiritual condition! So, every time you feel thirsty, remember water satisfies the body, a relationship with Jesus satisfies the soul.

Romans 8:14-18, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

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John 19:
28-30
Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled,Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegarwas there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished
John 4:13-14
Jesus answered, “
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Everlasting love!

Psalm 25:5-6,
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Remember, O LORD, Your compassion and loving devotion, for they are from age to age.

With God’s great power, and his outstretched arms God made the heavens and the earth (Jeremiah 27:5)! I’m comforted in knowing without doubt that nothing can or will separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). He knows you completely! My heart rejoices every morning with my children running and jumping making music in their play. I delight in observing my children learn new things knowing that each moment is a precious gift! Experiencing God unfold the day brings me joy and peace! The sun breaking through the dark clouds reminded me in the midst of everything going on around me, God pours out his endless compassion, and his everlasting love for everyone (Psalm 25:6). He draws us through his creation so there is no excuse (Romans 1:20). His eternal power and divine nature are evident! He makes Himself Known His beaming light draws out every little hidden creature as each flower springs to life! His mercy is renewed every morning! God doesn’t want anyone to perish!

Psalm 36:5-10
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
6Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
7How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
9For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
10Continue your love to those who know you,

Romans 1:20
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

Jeremiah 27:5
With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please.

Healthy and Unhealthy choices!

Spiritual filter!

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. 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.

Hebrews 12:1 -3
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.

During this unexpected time, we need to chose healthy choices for entertainment, so we don’t get spiritually sick! Our decisions can affect the condition of the heart and mind! Is our choice good and pleasing to God? God loves his children having fun together because it brings him glory! However, we need the abiding relationship with Jesus to discern what is good entertainment and what is not! As Christians who love God and each other, we want to fix our eyes on Jesus! In our choices, we do not join in the patterns of the world (Hebrews 12:2-3). We need to throw off anything that hinds or gets in the way of our relationship with Jesus (Hebrews 12:1). Because what we watch or listen to affects our minds and hearts. They’re so many multimedia choices to choose from and there just one click away! It could easily consume your whole day! This will cause us not to be sober minded in our decisions (1 Peter 5:8). We need God to help us to discern what is healthy and unhealthy. When we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and ask him to order our steps, it will help narrow our choices down leading us to healthier decisions! The more we allow God to transform our minds by soaking his living word each day, we will be stronger! When we stay in relationship with other people especially during trials, we will support each other to keep going on the right path and spur each other on (Hebrews 10:24). It’s in the uncomfortable times in our life that can either bring us closer together or separate us! We need to be the salt and light in All parts of our lives even in our choices in entertainment (Matthew 5:13-16).

We need to be on guard with all the free resources offered to us, be careful what we allow in our homes. Our children have the world and all its influences right at their fingertips! My goal is to challenge every choice offered for entertainment by aligning it to God’s word! To help my children develop good habits by learning how to ask questions, keep watch and to be on guard (1 Peter 5:8). To have hands-on lessons about what guarding your heart with everything means and how our choices affect our decisions in our future (Proverbs 4:23)! When you put too much junk food into your minds, junk will come out of your actions with what you say and do! Good habits when you are young grow you into a stronger adult! It’s like riding a bike, you won’t forget!

I’m challenging my children to pay attention to what’s going on in the movies or games. Just because everyone is laughing in the movie, doesn’t mean it’s funny! How can we stay spiritually healthy in a world full of entertainment? It starts like this, ask questions with your children while watching or playing a movie or game! By creating this habit, it will grow with them in the future for everything! Philippians 4:8-9 is my spiritual filter! “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. 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. (Philippians 4:8-9)

2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

The easy things in your day might be a red flag! I’m saying this because of the challenges I face each day! It’s easy to just put on a show or let your kids play computer games! The quiet isn’t always a good thing! We need trials to challenge us and children, so we can teach discernment! These life experiences prepare them for when they grow up! “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). This is a way for us to grow with our children in a way only God knows (Romans 5:1-5).

God loves all of us so much that he has set in place everything we need to stay spiritually healthy during difficult times! I’m thankful for all the challenges because in the challenge we grow too! He made a way for us to stay connected, but we still have a choice to make each day! Fixing our eyes on Jesus and trusting all of God’s promises. To seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything will be added onto you (Matthew 6:33), “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalms 37:4). We have an online campus, life groups, and all age online ministries and more to stay spiritually healthy and connected to each other. We need accountability in relationships to stay connected because iron sharpens iron,and we need to spur each other on (Proverbs 27:17), (Hebrews 10:24). So, with all the different varieties of entertainment to choose from, God says to be careful how you live (Ephesians 5:15). God’s word also says in Ephesians 5:16-20, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have to remember to guard our hearts because everything flows from it (Proverbs 4:23). We need to root ourselves in Him! (Colossians 2:6-7).

Colossians 2:6-7
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Jesus said, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Luke 19:40

Today is Palm Sunday, and even though the church buildings are empty, and we are at home, we are far from being quiet! We will always remember this Palm Sunday for years to come! We are in waiting while actively connecting to one another, singing songs and hymns (Ephesians 5:16-20)! Let us Rejoice in the Lord singing praises louder than ever before (Philippians 4:4-7)! Although we are physically separated from our church family, we are still connected! Ephesians 2:17-18, “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. So we can be confident that Nothing is impossible with God, and with his mighty hand prepared in advance a way for All of our sisters and brothers to gather together through various media ways! Where two or more are gathered in my name I am there (Matthew 18:20). It may seem like we are so far away but it’s only a click away, and we are unified through Jesus! Like radio telescopes when you connect more together you reach greater distance and have better vision, so we are to all linked together in a giant array pointing towards God with our focus on Jesus. Each of us a radiant light reaching everyone in sight!

John 12:12-15
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
The next day the great crowd
that had come for the festival
heard that Jesus was on his way
to Jerusalem.
They took palm branches
and went out to meet him, shouting,

“Hosanna!
“Blessed is he who comes

in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
Jesus found a young donkey
and sat on it, as it is written:
“Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey’s colt.”


Zechariah 9:9
Old Testament
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Psalm 111
Praise the Lord.
I will extol the Lord with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.


Mini resurrection garden!
Shallow potting dish. (The Garden)
We used clay targets!
This is picture after we closed tomb!

▪ Small red dixie cup. (The Tomb)
▪ One small rock you will need to find for the tomb opening
▪ Potting Soil

▪ Small pebbles (you collect from around your house)
▪ 3 crosses
▪ Grass seed or any seeds

▪ Optional: Moss, small rocks, and anything else you’d like to decorate your garden.
▪ Spray Bottle little mist

How to make your mini resurrection garden

Start Garden on Palm Sunday and Gather all supplies for garden. It ok to start tomorrow!

Place tomb(red dixie cup) on the plate or tray
and add dirt around tomb for your garden.

John 19:41 (At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new
tomb, in which no one had ever been laid.)
Add pebbles in front of the tomb to hold dirt.
Add the large rock next to the tomb opening, off to one side to show your empty tomb.
Spray the dirt with water bottle mist and Sprinkle grass seed all over the dirt area. Then
spray little again.
3 crosses.
Add the 3 crosses to your garden behind the tomb opening.
Add moss, decorative rocks, and anything else you like to your garden.
Spray soil lightly every day with water bottle
Water by misting soil keeping seeds moist, and watch and wait for the grass to grow!
Jesus was buried in the garden. It’s a beautiful reminder that He is Risen!
April 5 Cover tomb with the Stone to represent Jesus died on the cross. April 10
(John 19:41-43)
April 12He is risen! (John 20:1-18)

Little Pebbles in Life

Matthew 7:13-16
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But, small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work


Hebrew 4:12-13
For the word of God is alive and active.
Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates
even to dividing soul and spirit,
joints and marrow;
it judges
the thoughts and attitudes
of the heart.
Nothing
in all creation
is hidden from God’s sight.
Everything is uncovered
and laid bare before the eyes
of him to whom we
must give account.

John 10:28-30
I give them eternal life,
and they shall never perish;
no one will snatch them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me,
is greater than all ;
no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
I and the Father are one.”

Ephesians 5:13-14,
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible And everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you
.”

Large rocks never really get in my way because they are obvious! However, it’s the little pebbles that you can’t see that get stuck in the rubber part of your shoe! You don’t notice until you hear the clicking sound when you’re back on the sidewalk! If you stop, you might lose too much time, but every step you take, you hear click, click! You try scraping your shoe with each stride but nothing! You decide to ignore the sound and keep going because nothing is going to stop you! You want what you want and nothing is going to get in your way! So, you try to keep moving! Because you have a schedule to keep! But, the click, click sound turned into knock, knock! So, do you hear God’s small still voice? The only way to remove the pebble, is to slow down and stop so you can take it out! We need the abiding relationship with Jesus (John 15:5) to keep us from spiritual blindness, so we can hear His voice! The pebble is just a physical example of what happens spiritually! Now that we are home, the world is trying to sneak through our tv and electronic devices opening us up to a world full of things to do. However, we need to be awake, alert and sober minded (1 Peter 5:8-9), because this multimedia world can become a stumbling block! If we’re not careful, we might do social distancing inside our home with our own family. If we’re not standing firm on Jesus the cornerstone, we will be stuck like sinking sand! We need to read the Bible, pray, and have discussions about what we learn and experience in our everyday life! Matthew 7:4, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?

What will happen if I take my eyes off the road and slow down to examine the pebble in my shoe, or condition of my heart! It is through talking to God and asking Him to search me and know me and to actively listen to the truth! Not only do I listen to what Jesus says by slowing down, but actually humbling myself to a stop and listen, this is when I am doing what I say I believe! It might be stopping to hear my child share his heart or listen to my brother! It might be setting aside what You want to do for your spouse, we are to be the light in all circumstance! It is through these conversations I have with God that I’m reminded by the Holy Spirit like a flood that completely consumes me of what God says in the Bible! To continually trust God who knows my heart, and I ask him to search me (Psalm 139). To have confidence He will show me in his word what I need to do for his glory. Also, to trust God in relationships with others! Living in confidence that God won’t allow his children to be snatched out of his hands (John 10:28-29). So, the click, knock is an opportunity to trust Him with all of my life and not just a part of it! I will take the time to sit at His feet to listen and trust him with All my circumstances, in every relationship, and if I’m listening and abiding he will show me more! If I start to go my own way, God will slow me to show me a way out of temptation, of doing my way, to keep me on the straight and narrow, God’s way!

God knows each step already and works everything for our good for those who love him who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). We need to keep on the right course and keep watch (Matthew 24:36-42). It is through talking to God and asking Him if I should stop or keep going.The little things that slow down the progress of your day are like “pebbles” stuck in your shoe! They are not always bad! They can be losing your keys or phone! God can use that to get your attention! It could be a sudden snow storm in summer! It can be annoying but meant for our own good! It might even cause you to get off course because you were heading in the wrong direction! The only way to know why something like “pebbles” comes into your day, is to pray and talk to sisters and brothers about what going on in your day! This brings everything into the light!

Proverbs 4:26-27,
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

When you seek God in everything you do, you will find him! (Matthew 6:6-7)! When we trust every little thing that happens for our good, you will have unshakable peace and joy! Even social distancing has a purpose! It’s trusting God has everything worked out in advance! So the question is, Should You ignore the clicking sound of the pebble stuck on the bottom of your shoes, or should You humble yourself and get down on your knees and pray! We need to take the time while we have it and get to know Jesus! Isaiah 55:6-7, “seek the Lord while He can be found; call on him while he is still near” He loves us so very much! Even if we have an earthquake and a sudden power outage, we can trust God! We will stand on the Rock, His firm foundation and we will not be shaken! We are in need of a spiritual grounding, so we can hear his small still voice! All he wants is you because he loves you and knows you completely (Psalm 139). Revelation 3:20, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”


Matthew 24:42
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

Revelation 3:20,
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

2 Corinthians 2:9-11
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions,in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord
and in his mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God,
so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers,
against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world
and against the spiritual forces of evil
in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God,
so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything,
to stand.
Stand firm then,
with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness
that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this,
take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish
all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions
with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind,
be alert
and always keep on praying
for all the Lord’s people.

Darkest before Dawn


Revelation 21:5
He who was seated on the throne
said, “I am making everything new!”
Then he said, “Write this down,
for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Lamentations 3:22-23
Because of the Lord’s great love
we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

I woke up this morning with a fresh blanket of snow! The fresh snow reminds me how all of us are given a fresh start, a blank slate with no mistakes in it! His mercy is renewed every morning! God loves us all equally and the thoughts he has for outnumber the sand (Psalm139:17-18) God has no favoritism (Romans 2:8-11). If your day didn’t go the way you hoped, continue to place your Hope in God because his hope is eternal never ending (Psalm 119:114). We are set free when we stand in confidence on All God’s promises (Ephesians 3:12). As we live and breathe, we see the unfolding day reveal his everlasting love through each giggle and smile! Let the tablet of my heart meditate on you day and night (proverbs 3:3).

Deuteronomy 11:18
You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

Proverbs 3:3
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;bind them around neck
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Psalm 103:2-5
Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Jeremiah 32:17
Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

Romans2:8-11
But for those who are self-seeking
and who reject the truth
and follow evil,
there will be wrath and anger.
There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.

Unexpected things do happen!


Isaiah 26:20
Go, my people, enter your rooms
and shut the doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
until his wrath has passed by.

2 Corinthians 4:17-18
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Isaiah 55:6
seek the Lord while he may be found;call on him while he is near

Yesterday, our state issued a stay at home order! No one expected something like this to happen in our lifetime! It’s scary! About four years ago, there was a time when our family had to stay at home! We really wanted to get out and do things together and one of them was to go to church! We depended on someone to get us everywhere we needed to go! So, with no transportation, we were stuck at home! During that time, we found so many ways to have fun close to home! It was a blessing that we could watch services online! We watched all three services! I looked for a way to have a children’s church with my kids at home too! The most wonderful opportunity happened, our church opened another campus close to us! We jumped in with both feet with our kids! It was close enough for us to take two trips to get everyone to church! They were just as excited as we were to finally go! We always said, we are not going to miss a day because no one knows the future or when we might not be able to go again! We thought it might be transportation but not a virus! We can make our plans and think of all that we want to do. But time doesn’t stand still for us! (James 4:13-14). Time is short and we didn’t want to lose any more time!

Matthew 24:36-37

But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

James 4:13-14
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes

All through history God has shown us how he has everything under control, and as I search in the bible, Isaiah 26 says a lot concerning us today! We have nothing to fear! It’s going to be rough for awhile, but In Isaiah 26 all we need to do is stay inside for awhile! We are in his hands of protection and he won’t let his children be snatched away (John 10:28). When you love God, you also love your neighbor and that means All people! In Romans 13:10, “love does no harm to your neighbor! The virus has a cloaking device spreading around from people who appear healthy! So, even though we miss doing life together in person and long to do what we did before the virus snuck in, God wants us to love others by staying home! This is a way we can prepare and strengthen our relationships with our family! We need to Keep our lamps full by fixing our eyes on Jesus. To continue on even when it’s hard with an unwavering foundation standing firm on Jesus, and we will not be moved during this storm! Our love for God and other will draw people into knowing Jesus!

Revelation 3:20,
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

1 John 4:7-12
Dear, friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.