Timeout with Jesus with our children in a world full of distraction and things to do!
My name is Michelle Morgan! I love living my life for Jesus in everything I do! I love teaching, reading, gardening, cooking, running, writing, jump-rope and outdoors! I am so thankful to be a wife and mother of 10 wonderful children! My favorite is doing life together by learning and exploring through everyday life with my husband, children and friends!
“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 https://www.bible.com/111/psa.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 https://www.bible.com/111/rev.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.”
“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 and election. 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 https://www.bible.com/111/2pe.1.3-11.
“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 https://www.bible.com/111/heb.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 https://www.bible.com/111/1th.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 https://www.bible.com/111/rom.12.3,9-11.niv
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 https://www.bible.com/111/mat.22.37-40.niv
When we are rooted in God, we need to take in every word He breathed through scripture! We will see through the Holy Spirit. Our eyes will see the world and people differently as we soak in every word of life! It like a fresh breath of air removing all the junk we breathed in all day! We need to remember every breathe we take in all day, is from God who gave us life and he loves us deeply! The more your thoughts are aligned by God through scripture, you won’t be as affected by the pollution all around you! Your words and actions will reflect God. You will hunger and thirst for more while seeking God everywhere you go! You will keep on the straight and narrow path as you are led by the Spirit through Scripture. God’s words are alive an active and able to transform your life. As you dig deep, you will find yourself rooted and grounded in solid truth. You will not be moved!
When we read God’s word we will see truth everywhere you go. When you hid his words in your heart, you will be equipped to handle what comes your way. We are His hand and feet in our everyday walk with Jesus! Our actions speak sometimes more than our words can say! His overwhelming love will consume you and your compassion will grow as you abide or hold on! Proverbs 3:6 “Seek him in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
When I’m reading through scripture, I really enjoy reading the whole chapter because if you only read one verse out of the chapter, you will miss what God is saying! When we come together to talk about scripture and share and listen to what God shows us, we get to see another part of something beautiful that we wouldn’t of seen on our own! We are created in God’s image to be in relationship! There are four Gospels all sharing the good news about Jesus! Each writer comes from a different back ground! We can’t see all angles or perspectives because we all have different life experiences, only God can the heart! We were designed specifically to be in relationship with each other! Proverbs 27:17 niv “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Let all of us take hold of what God has given us for His glory and remind each other daily. Hebrews 2 explains how we need to pay close attention to what we heard so we don’t drift astray. We need to talk about the things of God daily. The time is short and the days of Noah are getting closer. Matthew 24:37-41 (NIV)”As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left” We have confidence in the unchanging loving Father who doesn’t change like shifting shadows!
So, with all the craziness going on around us with virus, riots, and wildfires, we can stand firm in confidence that God keeps all of his promises and is still in control! We hold on to who never changes by Keeping our sights on Jesus, never giving up even when it’s hard and continue our race! God placed us in unique places to reach every person because he loves all people he created in his image! I thought about Noah and his family! They had some craziness going on all around them! They fixed their hearts on God! Then I thought about how all of us need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling as we trust God completely! Noah trusted God without seeing! Philippians 2:12-13 NIV, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Working out your salvation with fear and trembling doesn’t mean we live in fear because God didn’t give us a spirit of fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV) “7For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” It is both a physical and spiritual lesson in self discipline showing us what it looks like to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. What it looks like to keep going even if we don’t understand or see the big picture. Working out your salvation would be to pick up your daily cross and deny yourself your ways while staying humble! It would be saying No to yourself! It picking up your bible daily, thinking about what you read and talking about scripture as the Holy Spirit teaches you throughout the day. It’s putting off the old self including your old ways of thinking taught by the world! It choosing not to join the customs of the world. It’s turning to God’s ways for your life through scripture instead of the advice given to you based on the world!
We need scripture to filter out the ways of the world taught in various ways like movies, social media, games, and more! God called us to renew our minds and the only way to do this is to cleanse ourselves with the living words of God daily! The influence and distraction of this world can lead you astray. Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV) “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. “ All scripture is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) cleansing the old ways of thinking and replacing it with new. In John 1:1-5 (NIV) “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Scripture reveals how the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed!When we put God first, we are setting up new patterns of thinking! We are rewiring our brain to be God centered instead of self centered! Scripture is the light shining so bright because it’s alive and active leading us to the right way to go in the darkening world.
I’m sure Noah and his family lived their life separated from the ways and customs of the world as he built the Ark. Noah and his family chose not to be “of the world”, even though they lived in it. I’m sure he couldn’t even imagine what was going to happen to the entire world all at once, but He trusted God completely and did everything exactly as God instructed. Noah and his family experienced a beautiful 🌈! God promised he would never flood the entire world again! (Genesis 9:8-17) We need to run the race like we will get the prize! Keep your eyes on the prize! When we put God first, we are setting up new patterns of thinking! We are rewiring our brain to be God centered instead of self centered. You will be seeking God’s will for your life as he shows you which path to take. We need to keep our eyes on the ball in a game, but in life we need to fix our eyes on Jesus, Hebrews 12:2 (NIV) “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.” The cares of the world will pull us another direction if we take our eyes off of Jesus. The spiritual race we are called to run is individual, but has the same destination for those who believe in Jesus! You will never hunger or thirst as you abide in Jesus. Our home is in heaven with our Heavenly Father! Making it to the finish line will be awesome! I imagine Jesus with his arms open wide giving me a hug! Our eternal prize lasts forever and it can’t be taken from us! Galatians 3:28,“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Large rocks never really get in the 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!
When we read scripture, pray, and discuss what we learn. We will grow as we are lead by the Holy Spirit. 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! When we listen to what Jesus says by slowing down, so we can actually hear His small still voice God will lead us and show us through relationships what is going on inside our own hearts. We need to be humble to receive by choosing to stop and listen. 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 or friend in need, we are to be the light in all circumstance! When we are the light, we are the salt too because we are living our love for each other. Jesus says, If you love me, you will follow my commands. We are the salt when we love the way Jesus loves us!
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 God with All my circumstances, in every relationship. If we keep listening and abiding in Jesus, he will show us more! If We start to go our own way, God will slow you down in interesting ways, to slow you and show you which path to take! If we’re not humble and are to busy you might miss it! God will keep pursuing us and will keep putting things in our path to keep you on the straight and narrow! God knows each step you will take so He already has everything worked out for your good for those who love him who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
We need scripture and each other 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, to slow you down! To remind you that we need to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness! (Matthew 6:33) 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 for God’s glory!
I often think about the fig tree parable as this tomato plant never seems to produce any fruit Luke 13:6-9, “Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ Luke 13:6-9 NIV God loves us so much that he is patient with everyone not wanting anyone to perish! The fig tree can’t produce any fruit on its own! Just like we cannot produce fruit without God! He is the gardener who prepares our hearts to receive him, but we need to make a choice to accept Jesus’ free gift of salvation! It’s when you become God’s child that you become rooted in Him! Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 8They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” After much time and care, this little tomato plants grew more fruit then it can hold! I wonder if this shows us how our fruit is meant for God and others and not for ourselves. The amazing endless flow of love changes us from the inside! It’s constant care over us is special and unique for each person as he purposely brings us together at just the right time. We need nourishment through scripture, God’s living word, and be in relationship with are sisters and brothers in Christ so fruit will grow for God Glory! When we are rooted in God it’s like a water hose forever turned on always flowing living water in us! This will draw all kinds of beautiful relationships to flourish together like honey bees and butterflies in the garden.
All of us, sisters and brothers who live for Jesus with the Kingdom mindset, will be the light and salt of the world, no matter where you are in the day. It might be standing in line while wearing your mask, or standing six feet behind someone because you did bring one. We need to treat each other the way Jesus did, continually love people where they are in life. When we do, we are loving God. If we don’t we are nothing! 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NIV) “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” The heart is deceitful from the start and we need Jesus to guide us through the Holy Spirit. If we are guided by our own heart, we can’t love at all! Only God knows the hearts of all people because he made us and knows are coming and going along with every thought and attitude, if it’s pure or right. I pray for God to search me and reveal my heart! Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV) “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.” When we choose to do the opposite of what the world does, it will seem harder but God will pour into your life in a way that grows you to be more like him by loving other people the way He does. We will be putting into practice what we have learned by not conforming to the patterns of the world and allowing God to transform our mind for Him in how we love each other and react! We live in this beautiful world God made and are called to reflect Jesus who lives in us. We need to focus on the light and not the shadows. The only way we can do this is by staying in Scripture while staying in relationship with each other! Romans 12:1-3 (niv) “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 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.”
In a competitive world, it’s hard to have balance because competition is fun. It brings the best and worst out of everyone and has so many learning opportunities for physical and spiritual growth. However, competition doesn’t belong in the body of Christ. Our spiritual gifts are not meant for our personal gain but to be given away, for God’s glory, the church. If we have a kingdom mindset, we will do everything in love for God and each other. When we come together in unity with the same mindset for God, our actions will lead us much further than our words can ever say. We are Jesus hand and feet, sharing the good news in love to everyone including our brothers and sisters in Christ.
In the middle of the night, I sometimes wake up feeling extremely thirsty or something is heavy on my heart! 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! I sit here praising God for all the wonderful things he has done and continues to do! ❤️
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.”
“Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart. May the foot of the proud not come against me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away. See how the evildoers lie fallen— thrown down, not able to rise!” Psalms 36:5-12 NIV https://www.bible.com/111/psa.36.5-12.niv
“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 https://www.bible.com/111/jas.1.17.niv
God wants all of us because he created us in his image for a unique and special purpose! We were bought and paid for with Jesus precious blood. The world defines value the complete opposite of what God values. When we know our value and identity is attached to Jesus (who is the vine) nothing can move you. God has a purpose and a future! It’s not grounded in this world that changes like shifting shadows! You’re grounded in God who is the same yesterday, today and forever. When we read the Psalms, we can see how David knew his true identity. His deep relationship he had with God pours out in every Psalm he wrote. These intimate prayers reflect his love for God. He struggled and kept his first love!
God looks at the heart and says David will do everything I ask him to do. Acts13:22 “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” God knows everything about us. David loved God and prayed through his struggles. When we love God with all of our heart, all of our souls, all of our mind, and all of our strength, we will be available, willing, faithful, teachable, humble, obedient, compassionate, loving and more! We will put into practice everything we are taught and choose to be thankful for all circumstances while seeking God in everything. We are God’s children, living in unity as sisters and brothers in Christ, who are children after God’s own heart. We are Consumed by His radiant light of Love ready to make every step count with the Kingdom mindset goal of loving others as much as He called us to do. When you focus on that speck of light, it will grow!
Romans 12:10: Love one another deeply. Honor others more than yourselves.
Jesus answered,“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.If you really know me, you will knowmy Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 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.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 NIV https://www.bible.com/111/1co.13.4-13.niv
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14 NIV https://www.bible.com/111/psa.139.14.niv
“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30 NIV https://www.bible.com/111/mat.10.30.niv
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-3 NIV https://www.bible.com/111/jhn.14.1-3.niv
“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:5-7 NIV https://www.bible.com/111/jhn.14.5-7.niv
Pruning is necessary for tomato plants to produce the most fruit. We searched for the best way in the flood of information out there in the world about gardening! Some people have everything down to perfection but there is still always something new to learn. Our world is full of information right at our fingertips! So we picked a few and read about why it’s important to prune! Our plant looked great to me! I thought, “why would I want to cut away all the green!” It was lushly green with yellow flowers everywhere! I was sure it would produce a tone of tomatoes. I didn’t want to ruin it! In life, it usually seems good to be involved in so many good things, but becoming too busy can lead to a bunch of half-done jobs not done to your fullest abilities. Multitasking can become like sucker branches in our life. It’s doing more than God wants us to do each day by putting our energy in many different things. Then you will end up not give your attention to what God’s purpose is for you to do first. We need God who is the gardener of our life to prune us of things that we are unaware of that will lead us astray. These things cause us not to produce good fruit for His Kingdom!
Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches! We need to stay connected to Jesus! Pruning a tomato can reveal so much Spiritually. It is a very uncomfortable process because a lot of times we want to hold on to what God wants to take away from us. It’s interesting during our time of COVID, how much energy and time we took chasing what we used to do! Change can be difficult and letting go is hard. Especially, when you don’t want to let go of what He wants you to let go of! Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV) “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” However, what God has for you is not only better but good and it was planned long ago. It not about being busy doing a lot of good things. It about abiding in Jesus and trusting God! God is the gardener of my life who cares and loves not only me but all of you too! He loves every person so very much! His plans are good even when everything is a mess! God is the gardener! He is the one who cuts away and prunes our life so we produce more fruit for His Kingdom!
It’s amazing when you read something a hundred times and the Holy Spirit reveals something new to you! It might not be exactly when you read it? It might be when you’re pulling weeds, at work or doing something with your kids when something suddenly made sense about what you read earlier! As we prune our tomato plants, God reveals to me how important it is to allow Him to prune my life. All of us can easily get caught up doing everything that is put in our path. It’s like chasing shadows throughout the day! That is why God’s words are alive and active. Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV) “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. 13 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 need to be grounded in truth by reading scripture and hiding His word in our heart so we don’t sway doing this and that! 1 John 5:19 (NIV) “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” I pray Father God, Is this from you? is this your will for me and my family today? I am your! I pray this right in the mist of unexpected events that show up in my day! When you trust in God, you can hold onto His understanding knowing that He works All things out for good for those who are called according to His purpose. This is why I pray for His will in unexpected opportunities because some are from him and some are not! I wholeheartedly search for His ways for my life, and the more I abide in him the more I see opportunities differently! God who knows All and is in all does not change like shadows! We need to stay connected to Jesus because He is the Vine and we are the branches. You are rooted in truth! We can’t do anything apart from him on our own. If we remain in Him he will remain in us. As we abide in truth that only comes from Jesus who is the way the truth and the life! (John 14:6) We glorify God when we do a few of the things to our fullest ability rather than many things half done. When we depend on God, we look for his ways and not our own!
The sucker branches on the tomato plant would be like things that hinder you in your day or Added activities or opportunities that keep you from God and family. They are beautiful, green and full of flowers but they produce no fruit! It took nutrients from the branches that did produce fruit. I found it interesting that the energy went into growing these sucker branches, instead of producing more fruit. But God never asked us to be busy! The kind of busy that sucks the life out of you and your family. Before you knew it, you had done so many good things but your family grew up! However, busy with responsibilities is different from added activities that keep you from God and your family. I learned when my older children were younger that becoming too busy can lead to a lot of half-done jobs not completely done to the fullest of your abilities! It’s like the flowers start to bud, but wither and die because all the energy is going into another beautiful green sucker branch! This didn’t produce fruit or bring God glory! You’re tired and miss the most important part of what God has in front of you, your family!
When I see this lush green tomato plant full of branches, I can see why it’s not producing fruit. I can see the energy being drained from the plant causing it not to grow to its fullest potential. Each sucker branch took valuable nutrients from the main part of the plant and fed the sucker branches first! In life, it might be that the least important tasks are done first, sucking the energy right out of you before the most important things are done. What are the sucker branches in your life that keep you from God and family? When you by putting God first and then your family. We will be filled with joy and peace as we depend on God to unfold our day. Unexpected this will come but we will have the strength from God to do it to our fullest ability. God says let your Yes be Yes and your No be No anything else comes from the evil one! It’s ok to say No! Matthew 5:37 (NIV) “All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” His ways are above our ways and his thoughts are above ours! I pray Father God, Is this from you? is this your will for me and my family today? I am your! In Jesus name Amen! 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NIV) “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”