“Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.””
Luke 12:13-21 NIV
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us,
and we are his; we are his people,
the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good
and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues
through all generations.”
Psalms 100:1-5 NIV
Tomorrow is the first day of November and the year 2020 is almost over! For some it a time to tear down while for others a time to build! Each season has a reason for us to grow closer to God as He refines us. I recently learned tearing down and building up can’t be done at the same time! The more you try to do both, the longer it takes because you can’t be in two places at once! Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV “There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. With all the craziness and hard challenges this year, We can choose to focus On God’s goodness and be thankful! We need to remind each other daily! Every gift from God is perfect and I’m so thankful for Jesus and my family! ““Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”James 1:17 NIV
Philippians 4:4-7 NIV “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus. When we put all of this verse into action by practicing what we have learned each day, our minds will be renewed daily! In Romans 12:2 NIV, “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. When we choose to rejoice in the Lord always, even in the good and the bad we are allowing our minds to be renewed. When we are thankful, it’s choosing to live out trusting God completely! We will have peace knowing God has everything in control. We are living out what we believe to be true, that He works out all things for good for those who are called according to His purpose! It’s not easy and we need help! God is with us always and has created us in His image to be in relationship with our sisters and brothers! We need to pray continually and make requests known to God! The more we choose to be thankful, the stronger we will be in the Lord as the peace of God pours into your life! It won’t make sense to the world around you! It doesn’t come easy sometimes because we live in a fallen world and there are a lot of bad things happening all around us! Also, people are going through hard circumstances too! We can easily get overwhelmed with the cares of each day along with unexpected events! We lose track of time and don’t meet our own expectations. Being thankful in all circumstances, especially when we’re having a bad day is living out trusting the Lord with all your hearts! Our mind and hearts will be guarded because we will choose to rejoice in the Lord and be thankful! We need to put into practice by doing what we have learned in scripture! In Philippians 4:9, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
God’s plans for our whole life are good, even when things in life are hard and challenging. We can trust God with all of our heart because His plans will never change! Psalms 33:11 NIV, “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” He keeps all his promises and doesn’t want anyone to be lost! 2 Peter 3:9, “The 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” I’m so thankful for His patience, love and Mercy! God loves everyone and wants every person to be in a relationship with Jesus! I’m so thankful that our heavenly father will never leave us or forsake us!
When we focus on all the goodness, we can see where it comes from! The goodness comes from God! So,we need to put into practice thankfulness by doing the opposite of complaining about what’s bad around us by not letting it consume us, like Covid, or Mask mandates. We need to stay united in the body of Christ and pray continually in every situation! We need to keep in relationship and in the word (scripture)! We need to make a choice daily! Do I focus on what is good or do I focus what is not? It doesn’t mean ignoring what’s going on around me, it just means to choose to be thankful no matter what! Even in the midst of our troubles like a fallen trees, floods, fires, moving during thanksgiving or Christmas and much more! When we focus on a speck of light in the dark, it will only get brighter, but if you focus on all the darkness it will only get darker and consume you! The light is peace given to us from God and nothing can take that a way from you! It’s a gift from God! The moon and stars give us light and we can stand firm in truth given to us in scripture, knowing His love endures forever because God is love! Psalms 136:7-9 NIV “who made the great lights—His love endures forever. the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever. the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever. I’m thankful because His love endures forever and nothing can or will separate you from the love of God for those who believe in Jesus, God’s only son, who saved us from death and gave us life by dying on the cross for our sins! He is raised to life on the third day and is alive at the right hand of God! Jesus is the light of the world who came to save us because He loves us deeply! Fix your eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of your faith! We need to stay in the word of God and read the Bible! 2 Timothy 1:13-14 NIV “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”
*A Grateful heart is a happy heart! Because Jesus has overcome darkness!
I love the excitement that starts first thing in the morning when everyone comes in like a floods for breakfast! My kids love helping and it can get pretty messy, with who wants to pour this, who wants to stir, or how many eggs can we crack all at once! My daughter decided to use the sifter to remove egg shells from the egg mixture this morning! My beautiful daughter says in her sweet voice as she cracked egg number one, “I want patty cakes (pancakes)!” My son says, “No, I want waffles!” All at once everyone started talking about all their delicious breakfast ideas, the list of ideas grew. Then we started talking about breakfast foods that would be awesome with already cracked eggs in a bowel! You can’t help but to think of all the menu items that you would like to eat, like bacon or a veggie omelettes and more! Everyone had their own ideas and it seemed like we couldn’t agree on one. So we didn’t have pancakes or waffles, instead we had oatmeal with blueberries with almonds and scramble eggs. Still so delicious especially when everyone worked to make it! Sometimes you just need to let go of your ways, your like, or your desires and turn toward what best for everyone! What was best for everyone was simple, but it’s not easy to let go of your own ideas and wants! No one got what they wanted for breakfast, but we had what was best for all of us, a peaceful and healthy breakfast that we ate together!
It reminded me of Exodus 16:1-35! The Israelites complained against Moses and Arron even after God freed them from slavery! They complained constantly even after witnessing and experiencing awesome and amazing and miraculous events right in front of their eyes! Exodus 16:3-4 (NIV) “In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. 3 The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” They even rather go back into slavery and die thinking it was better because of the food they ate. They forgot what God had done for them. Being content is choosing to focus on the good and be thankful for what you have in all circumstances while praying continually and seeking God’s will. This can be hard if you think about everything you want to eat, or what you want done before the season changes and focus on what you don’t have like bacon or ham for breakfast or the things you didn’t get done before the first snow. We make our plans but God is the one who establishes them according to His good and perfect will!
I thought about how hard it is for our kids today because they have so many choices. I think that being content is one of those things that you have to learn because it doesn’t come naturally. Even though breakfast is a small example of being content, it could manifest into something bigger. Like not being happy with your birthday present because your brother got something better! Later, as an adult, it could be much bigger!
God can help us be content with what we have and in every situation be thankful even when our to do list doesn’t get done on time! There is a reason for every delay! Slowing down and sitting at Jesus feet! We learn in scripture from Paul in Philippians 4:11 (NIV) “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” He knew he could trust God and would be ok no matter what circumstance he was in because he trusted God with all his heart. In Luke 12:15 (NIV) “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” God says we need to watch out and be on guard. Something like breakfast can be a simple reminder for everyone to be content with what we have at home. We need to be thankful for what we have been given even if we rather have a different kind of breakfast. Even if we didn’t get what we had planned completed by winter! God’s loving kindness and overwhelming peace flows as He carries all of us! I’m beyond Thankful for everyone God has placed in our life and praying continually!! 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 (NIV) “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV) “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. When things got hard Paul talked about the secret to being content. He trusted God with all of his heart knowing God will provide everything he needs including the strength to handle circumstances that were unbearable. We can talk to God about situations in life and our sisters and brothers in Christ. It helps to talk about what’s going on in your life like moving and having to pack everything up in a boxes. When we focus on all the goodness God pours out even in the middle of the struggles, we can rejoice because He has everything work out in advance. Even when you think you know a better way, trust God has already made a way! It can be hard to be content in everything when everything is in a box, especially when we can’t see what is ahead. We can be confident and trust God has already worked it out perfectly in advance.
“Then he called the crowd to him
along with his disciples and said:
“Whoever wants to be my disciple
must deny themselves
and take up their cross and follow me.
For whoever wants to save their life
will lose it,
but whoever loses their life for me
and for the gospel
will save it.
What good is it for someone
to gain the whole world,
yet forfeit their soul?
Or what can anyone give in exchange
for their soul?
If anyone is ashamed of me and my words
in this adulterous and sinful generation,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of them
when he comes in his Father’s glory
with the holy angels.””
Mark 8:34-38 NIV
“And now, dear lady,
I am not writing you a new command
but one we have had from the beginning.
I ask that we love one another.
And this is love:
that we walk in obedience to his commands.
As you have heard from the beginning,
his command is that you walk in love.
I say this because many deceivers,
who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ
as coming in the flesh,
have gone out into the world.
Any such person is the deceiver
and the antichrist.
Watch out that you do not lose
what we have worked for,
but that you may be rewarded fully.
Anyone who runs ahead
and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God;
whoever continues in the teaching
has both the Father and the Son.
If anyone comes to you
and does not bring this teaching,
do not take them into your house
or welcome them.
Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.”
2 John 1:5-11 NIV
““If you love me, keep my commands.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another advocate
to help you and be with you forever—
the Spirit of truth.
The world cannot accept him,
because it neither sees him nor knows him.
But you know him,
for he lives with you and will be in you.
I will not leave you as orphans;
I will come to you.
Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.
Because I live,
you also will live.
On that day you will realize
that I am in my Father,
and you are in me,
and I am in you.
Whoever has my commands
and keeps them is the one who loves me.
The one who loves me
will be loved by my Father,
and I too will love them
and show myself to them.””
John 14:15-21 NIV
“Who is the liar?
It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—
denying the Father and the Son.
No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son
has the Father also.
As for you, see that what you have heard
from the beginning remains in you.
If it does, you also will remain in the Son
and in the Father.
And this is what he promised us—
1 John 2:22-25 NIV
“The Lord is my shepherd,
I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love
will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalms 23:1-6 NIV
“For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear
from their eyes.’ ””
Revelation 7:17 NIV
I love digging deep into God’s word and fellowship with sisters and brothers in Christ. When I was young, my parents took us to the lake, and all I could think about was to play in the sand and collect rocks. Even as an adult, I have the same eagerness to find hidden treasure in the sand! God speaks all day through prayer, sisters and brothers in Christ and Scripture! As I look deeper and think about Psalm 139:17-18, (NIV), How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand when I awake, I am still with you.” Digging deep reveals hidden things inside of you as he floods His goodness. You can see through His glorious creation as we experience God move revealing and removing deep embedded likes deep down inside you! As I reach deep inside a pit of sand on the beach, I can find pockets of cold thick clay! As we removed the sharp rocks by squeezing the clay, it reminded me of how we are the clay, and God is the potter, molding me in who I’m meant to be for His glory! He squeezes the junk and replaces it with His overflowing goodness! How comforting it is to know His thoughts for us are more than the grains of sand! Knowing His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. I’m knee deep in this mud pit digging all the way down to my elbows pulling out fist full of clay. I decided to escape the heat and went to the river to rinse off! As I try to remove the sand from my feet, it seems no matter how hard I try, the sand stuck to everything! I could not escape the gritty sand! I walked to the water to rinse the sand off again but no matter what I do, the sand is still with me. Every step you take is a reminder that no matter what happens in your life, God is right there with you. God says, when I awake, I am still with you.” As I put my sandy shoes, I rejoice in Him who made the heavens and earth! You will find treasures that will transform your life as God removes the old ways of thinking and replaces it with the New through the Holy Spirit!
Physical training (discipline) is hard, Especially when you can’t see the outcome right at the moment. I recently started a new job that requires physical strength. It was hard to breathe the thick smoky air as I climbed miles of stairs that seemed like it went on forever! My sweat burned my eyes as I prayed for God to light the path for me to know which path to take as I learn my way in a maze of stairs! Sometimes in physical training, You feel the burn and ache as you push yourself to keep going! You feel like you can’t go on anymore! But you push yourself more as you take each step forward, after some time, you find yourself not aching anymore. Spiritual strength is similarly! When struggles come and conflict arises, you might feel like throwing in the towel and walking away! You might feel like you can’t do this. However, God clearly says in Galatians 6:8-9 NIV, “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.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.” We have to keep going even when life is hard! The wilderness in our lives prepare us spiritually for what God has next. It’s important that you cling to every word of God by seeking him in every circumstance. You will reap a harvest if you don’t give up! Giving up is the easy way, however there is a consequence, if you sow in the flesh, you will reap a harvest of destruction. We need to sow to please the spirit and you will reap eternal life! God surrounds us with a cloud of witnesses! Hebrews 12:1-3 niv, 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. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
We are blessed to have scripture to read as we meditate on every word! We can see the living stories in the Bible come alive as we see people go through hard situations not knowing what would happen next. We can see what happens in scripture when they don’t trust God versus trusting God with All their heart. We can see in scripture how God works everything out for good for those who are called according to His purpose. However, we can’t see our future or how everything will work out! We can see how God works everything out perfectly as we read His living words. God will never leave you or forsake you! He has everything worked out ahead of time before you were born! In Daniel 1, we can read how Daniel trusted God completely when he was taken from his home! His whole life was built on a solid foundation of God and he followed God completely! He was in prison with his three friends and even under pressure, continued to seek first God and his righteousness by not eating the king’s food! Even when everyone around them ate the king’s food that was offered to idols, Daniel and his friends didn’t. With self discipline, they ate vegetables in front of everyone! This amazes me because He didn’t conform to the patterns of the world. Even when the king changed their names, to honor their gods. Daniel 1:6-7 NIV “Among those who were chosen were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego.” Daniel and his friends honored and served only their God! Daniel and his friends would not defile themselves and were content with vegetables. Daniel 1:17-20 NIV “To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. At the end of the time set by the king to bring them into his service, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. Not only was Daniel stronger and wiser but his three friends who made the same wise choice were too. Because they honored God in every part of their lives, God blesses them ten times more!
We are meant to be in relationship with each other and help point each other to God by spurring each other on. To help encouraging each other to keep persevering in hard times. To support each other when you are struggling and when influences of world get loud and try to take you off course, help each other to keep your fixing your eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of your faith. God blessed them for seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything was added onto all four of them! Even though they were prisoners who were taken from everyone they knew and loved and lived under authority of a king Nebuchadnezzar who didn’t serve God, they didn’t conform to the customs or world. The King knew that Daniel and his friends honored God. Their whole life was built on a solid foundation of truth and now they put into action everything believed! They were the light and the salt in a dark place. They set an example by living their lives for God in front of everyone. Imagine what all those people thought eating the king’s rich in meat and every delicious food you could think of thought about Daniel and his friend being 10 times stronger and wiser than any magician or enchanter. We can choose to encourage each other to live out what we believe and be the light and salt! We can trust in God’s perfect timing in our life, especially when He says “No” or “wait” as each step is revealed. Because like my dad always said, “if you force it, you will break it” I trust His ways over mine! We have a living Father who has only good for you and me all the days of our life! So I chose his goodness!
Peace that God gives us cannot be taken away! Through the storms in life, we can experience the peace of God! We can live in confidence that He keeps All His promises and we don’t need to be afraid! We can be confident that God will never leave us or forsake us! We know there will be storms in life and trials for every person. However, when you choose Jesus to be the driver in your life, by wanting His Will for your life and not your will, you can experience the peace of God! We experience Peace through relationships in the body of Christ as we pray, encourage and support each other! The Holy Spirit within you will produces the fruit of peace the transcends all understanding! The world cannot understand it! When you are in a storm and experience the peace that comes from God, it doesn’t make sense to the world. On the outside it looks impossible and a big mess! But, in the mess God is doing something beautiful inside you and all around you at the same time! There is beauty but we have to choose to look at the good! God’s peace make it possible to see the goodness all around even in the storms!
God loves Every person in the whole world! He created everyone in His image! You have a purpose and can have peace knowing He loves you unconditionally! Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” We can have peace knowing God is in control and can experience the peace of God through the storms in life! God’s thoughts for us outnumber the grains of sand in the whole world! He loves us all so much and is patient wanting no one to be lost!! Psalm 139:17-18 NIV “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.” We need to remember He loves all of us very much! And pray for each other! John 3:16 NIV “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.”
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except
John 14:6 NIV
“His divine power
has given us everything we need for a godly life
through our knowledge of him
who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Through these he has given us
his very great and precious promises, so that
through them you may participate
in the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason,
make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
and to knowledge, self-control;
and to self-control, perseverance;
and to perseverance, godliness;
and to godliness, mutual affection;
and to mutual affection, love.
For if you possess these qualities
in increasing measure,
they will keep you from being ineffective
and unproductive in your knowledge
of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But whoever does not have them
is nearsighted and blind,
forgetting that they have been cleansed
from their past sins.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
make every effort to confirm your calling
For if you do these things,
you will never stumble,
and you will receive a rich welcome
into the eternal kingdom
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 1:3-11 NIV
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”
Hebrews 10:36-39 NIV
“Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase
and overflow for each other
and for everyone else,
just as ours does for you.
May he strengthen your hearts
so that you will be blameless
and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes
with all his holy ones.”
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 NIV
“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.
Love must be sincere.
Hate what is evil;
cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in love.
Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal,
but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
Romans 12:3, 9-11 NIV
Summer can shine in winter!
“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.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
“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 22:37-40 NIV
““If you love me, keep my commands.”
John 14:15 NIV
“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God,
and all are justified freely by his grace
through the redemption
that came by Christ Jesus.”
Romans 3:22-24 NIV