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.”
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!
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)
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).
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!
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.”
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).
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!
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 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 as yourself and that means, All people! In Romans 13:10 NIV, “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!
This morning, I’m thankfully sitting on the couch with all my kids! I hear about the panic everywhere on the news! As,I start to narrow in on the troubles going on around me in news. I’m reminded of who I place my Hope in and where my Confidence comes from! Jesus!! Before the concerns of what goes on around me consumes my mind, I take it captive and Aline my thoughts with his! I choose His ways by giving Him all my thought and believing He has everything under control, even when it doesn’t look like it! I’ve seen God move mountains and my confidence in Him stands firm!! During all this time with God in the quiet, I sit here while my children rest, I continually experience an overwhelming feeling of peace! There is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:8-9). We only need to trust in his timing!
We already would have been on a mission with getting everyone ready for school, driving each one to their appointments and where they need to go! The high demands of the day never let up! I pray continually for strength and desire to just be home with them instead of always being on the go! God orders each one of my steps and continually gives me peace and joy in everything! However, I would be on the go and it wouldn’t stop until I went to bed! God gives constantly all seasons, and all of his gifts are good (James 1:17). Each day is a gift even with all the things to do! So, We might not be aware that we are Receiving a gift right at this very moment! Time is a gift we often over look because we think about what the future holds more than what we have in the present Now. We can choose to use out time to be stuck in what we are going through, or seek out ways to connect with each other and reach other people by making sure no one is left without or alone! We can choose not to hide in fear and seek those who need to be found! When we focus on the light, it will only get brighter! If we focus on darkness, it will only get darker! Oil and water don’t mix, just like darkness and light cannot share the same space!
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above,coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Do you remember when you were a kid when it seemed like your birthday would never come or how Christmas seemed so far away! Days lasted longer because time didn’t matter! I used to think the moon followed me and asked my brother to go to the opposite end of the road! As we rode our bike toward each other we would ask, is the moon following you? When we were kids, We were carefree with no worries! In the same way as we hike in the woods climbing trees, my kids have the same carefree attitude I love so much. My kids see this time away from the regular day of going here and go there differently than we do. Children need rest just as we do and sometimes I wonder if they need more rest including download time away busyness!
1Thessalonians 5:16-17 pray continually, be thankful in all circumstances and rejoice always!So everyday we have a choice. Do we look for all the blessings in each day or not! Do we seek first the kingdom of God by: talking with him first, by praying about everything, reading the living words of the Bible and putting Him first? Do we search to found out what God means when He says, “and His righteousness” Asking questions deepens your faith in Jesus who is the cornerstone! Your question in the light where darkness cannot be! “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:5). Do we trust in the Lord with all of our heart and not depend on our own understanding of all the things happening all around us? The virus is unknown and invisible with our eye! We know the harm it can do! “The Lord is my refuge” (Psalm 91:9-12). We have a Heavenly Father who knows and cares about what is happening! God is infinite in Power Omnipotent, He is everywhere at the same time Omnipresent, and he knows everything Omniscient! He loves are cares for each of us!
All the amazing stories in the Bible show one beautiful picture of God’s plan for all of us! God’s power is made known throughout history and the pages of the Bible are literally at work right now! In all of us! We are exhausted but don’t even know it! How can we hear each other if we are not only exhausted but consumed with heavy demands and now fear of the unknown! We need to take the time God has given us to reconnect to our family! We need to focus on strengthening the closest relationships! Our children are watching and learning from us!
Our children need us and we need to slow down so we can listen! We need to take the time God has given us to reconnect to our family! We need to focus on strengthening the closest relationships! Our children are watching and learning from us and the devil is prowling around looking for someone to devour! We need to be awake and alert and keeping our lamps full! Jesus said, let those who have ears let them hear (Matthew 11:15), (Revelations 2:29). However, We can’t hear God’s small still voice in the loud and busyness! Our world isn’t designed to slow down! So, in this confusion what can we do differently! Before our feet hit the ground when we wake up, we pray to start the day!
Exodus 14:13-14 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid.Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lordwill bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.
We need a spiritual Grounding!
We need to be grounded on truth by abiding in him with our spouses and our children! So we can be the hands and feet. He wants to change us from the inside out! But, because we live spinning on a merry-go-round of the same busyness day by day! We need God to do a spiritual regulation, so we know what it is like to focus on God, family and others! It takes time to get used to something different! But, our spiritual lens will be clearer because you are sober in mind! Yes, problems and things in life will or may not change, but how you see it and react to it will change. Your relationship will be strengthened because God is in the center! He is your spiritual regulator telling you to let your Yes be Yes and No be No (Matthew 5:37).
When we dig deeper in God’s word we will grow. Then our views of the world and everything and everyone around us will change because God’s word will be hidden in our hearts. Then our actions will change in our words, reactions will be for God’s purpose and not our own! We are His message in our everyday walk with Him and 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 to Him and his promises!
Proverbs 3:6 Seek him in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
God has an interesting way to slow us down! And using circumstances like this to reveal what we truly need! COVID-19 virus has people desperately grabbing and reaching for all they need! The shelves are empty and toilet paper scarce! So many people doing their best to prepare for the unknown, so they can take care of their families! However, The stores weren’t prepared for toilet paper sells to double or triple each day!When we Hope in Jesus, we trust Him in everything including our future because He’s our sovereign Lord who holds the world and everything in it together! He loves us all and knows everything we need to get through this! Nothing takes God by surprise because He is All knowing! The ways taught in this world is to get what you can while you can!! God says don’t worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34)! Jesus says, don’t be worried about perishable things like food (John 6:27). This reminds me back in the Old Testament how God told the Israelites to only gather the amount of manna you need for the day today because if you store over night it will go bad (Exodus 16). Consider this, God cares for all the sparrows, so how much more is he going to care for you? (Matthew 6:26)! Worry doesn’t add a single day to your life! We need to know what’s going on around us, but don’t let it consume us! In Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you are flows from it” when we guard our minds, we are sober minded, we can see more than just ourselves in a crisis! When fear of the unknown sneaks in, take each thought captive and line it up with what God says (2 Corinthians 10:5). The media has taken a lot of people captive in their minds! We can see scared people who aren’t trying to hurt anyone! So, what is the greatest commandment? Love the Lord your God with All your heart, All your soul, All your mind, All your strength! And the second is this, LOVE your Neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40) We will treat others the way we want to be treated because we love God first! We will be Unified In Jesus by coming together the way we are called to do! We need to be united in what God says love is to get through this! (1 Corinthians 13)!
The fear of no toilet paper, along with many things like diapers, formula, wipes, soap, Medicine, food and other things have people traveling to other states to get supplies they need! It is causing so much craziness in many stores like empty shelves! Not even during a server storm have we ever seen this! My brother told me that a 24 hour grocery store had to close because they ran out of stuff to sell! Today, we were shopping at our local grocery store where they told everyone that you were allowed one package of toilet paper per customer! This reminds me of how God says don’t worry about tomorrow. While everyone was shopping because of the fear of the unknown, most people seemed focused on what they needed while others are buying things that they never would of bought before. The unknown has caused people to do what they wouldn’t normally do! Because most have never experienced something like! We are to love people through this hard time, and truly love everyone even people we don’t know! So when we depend on what the world can do in hard times, we are consumed by fears like the virus and the unknown! The world changes like shifting shadows but God never changes! God didn’t give us a spirit of fear but a sound mind! To be Sober minded is not trusting that the Toilet paper ect. will always be in supply, but trusting the one (Jesus) who provides all we need!
Our hope is in Jesus who holds All things together! Who loves us no matter what we have done! God wants us Now!! Just as we are to do a purpose designed to create something new in you which will change us from the inside and out! His mighty fingers, just like in the womb, are intricately weaving your mind and heart to be more like Him. When you eagerly seek Him first in all things and His will, the world and life will look different! You will begin to see how so many things get tangled up in a day robbing precious time God gave you with your family! In the busyness, to get prepared for a disaster or virus, we need to Stop and pray for Him to dissolve the things that don’t belong to Him in the day!Sometimes I say, is this how it’s supposed to be today? I literally have seen God rewrite my day in front of me, not that He changed His plans, because it’s already been written. It’s that God rewrites my day! Jesus is the regulator in us, keeping balance! This is where we have endless hope, Joy, peace! When you seek him first everything like a domino effect will fall into place according to His plan. Even the hard stuff (running out of supplies) will be worked out for good that we can’t see yet! Sometimes we may never see how it will turn out, but we do get to see all Gods promises unfold in the Bible! This is a gift from God that He unfolds for us everyday as we abide at His feet listening to his every living word! I pray continually God orders everyone’s steps for His will and not their own! I pray they take the time for each other because God uses interesting ways to slow us down! I’m confident God gives the desires of your heart if it according to His will! It’s His righteousness on us! Jesus paid the debt in full! The gift is free and not for one or two kinds of people but For ALL! Salvation is for for everyone because he loves us and want no one to be lost! He loves you before you were born and knew you before you took your first breath! He wove you in your mothers womb and knows All the days of your life! The thoughts He has for you are as numerous as the sand, (Psalm 139).
1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be restrained; where there is knowledge, it will be dismissed. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial passes away.
The Son is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn over all creation.
For in him all things were created:
things in heaven and on earth,
visible and invisible,
whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;
all things have been created through him and for him.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body,
he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead,
so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven,
by making peace through his blood,
shed on the cross.
John 6:35-40 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But, you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”
Last year about this time, my younger son eagerly woke up and said, “I want to have a relaxing breakfast at school!” He had everything ready!He had his snacks and shoes all in a backpack! He quickly got in the van and waited patiently for all of us! In the meantime, my other children had their own agenda! My daughter took her time choosing her clothes! As she went outside to load up in the van, she decided ,last minute, that she wanted matching bracelets! As I’m heading out the door, my daughter ran back into the house! I looked to see what she was doing and saw my older son sitting at the kitchen table! He decided not to eat at school and poured himself a bowl of cereal! In frustration, my younger son left the van door open, came running back into the house checking to see why everyone was taking so long! During that time, Blackbeard snuck in the van and tried to get his snack from inside the backpack! When we finally loaded up, he noticed his backpack wasn’t on the seat where he left it! God pushed the reset button! We went on a rescue mission and after a few minutes of searching, we couldn’t find it! So off to school we went! On the way home there was Blackbeard limping, and falling on his face! He was in obvious trouble! My older son’s helped me chase him down to rescue him from his burden! Somehow he managed to put the backpack over his head and around his body! Once he was free, he started leaping and kicking with joy! My son’s brand new backpack smelled so bad! There was nothing I could do to get the goat smell out of his backpack!
Everyday is a gift full of interesting adventures! God shows himself to us in amazing ways! When our day is uniquely filled with colorful webs of things to do! When I seek Him first, God untangles my day! He says my yoke is easy. I literally experience peace while my day unfolds, even in all the noise! God who orders each step has Divine appointments set up in advance! He helps me up when I’m tangled like a Billy Goat Blackbeard”, and brings sisters and brothers in Christ to help me along my journey! However, there was a time where I couldn’t reach sisters and brothers in Christ! In the fallen moments crawling in the Valleys, where it seemed like everyone was just watching from a distance! I was never alone, those thoughts during that time were only mirages “lies” to keep me stuck just like Blackbeard! His friend was nearby but he didn’t notice because he was lost in his circumstance! 1 Peter 5:8-9 says, we need to be sober minded choosing to seek God in everything! When we continually pray about everything and are thankful no matter what, even when our situation doesn’t change, you will have a peace that can not be taken from you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ). It’s not that you’re unaware or ignoring what’s going on around you, it’s that you see who is bigger than what is going on around you! God will never leave you or ever forsake you (Hebrew 13:5). We are surrounded by a cloud of witness, and I’m so thankful for everyone God brought into my life (Hebrews 12).
The blessings unfold in the adventure! If I didn’t slow down long enough to listen and be still! I would never have seen the beautiful valley! In the valley we can meet amazing people! I saw so many busy people wanting to connect but not enough time! It’s not because they don’t care, it’s just that they are unable to see (Mark 4:1-9). Just like how my kids were busy getting ready for school, they were unaware of how their choices affected each other’s morning. Most people don’t get up one morning and decide they want to hurt someone! Through the cares of the world and struggles in life, circumstances and misunderstandings cause stumbling blocks in our day! God doesn’t want anyone to be lost and is patient with us! I’m thankful for God’s great love, grace and mercy for me and everyone! There was nothing I did to earn this love because He loved me before I was born (Psalm 139). We are His workmanship made in Christ Jesus. I’m thankful for Everything and will wait for his perfect timing! I trust His ways and will hold on tight to His guidance through the Holy Spirit! I will cling to His truth and will not conform to the patterns of this world but continually be transformed for the work he planned for me in advance! I will not give up and I will not add water to the word of God (Matthew 5:13-16). I’m 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!
One morning on our way to church, we found this at the end of the driveway! Through all the distractions and business, we could have just ran over this Awesome surprise! God has interesting ways to slow us down!
The pressure was on, this morning, because I slept in! I had 15 minutes to wake everyone up from a deep sleep without coffee! This was a big stumbling block for me because I woke up tired because I didn’t sleep well! My kids shoes went missing! Then suddenly the hair brush went missing too! Quickly fifteen minutes turned into five minutes for all of us to get out the door. The little things piled up and became a mountain with just a snap with my fingers! I realized at this point I needed to choose which direction to go! Peace or war? Peace always works the best, so we turned on the music for inspiration trying to make peace with sleepy kids. All These things are unique opportunities to live out how life happens quickly and so does frustration! Even if we make mistakes, we still have an opportunity to teach how to listen to each other and how to be humble! If we chose to be as hard as a spaghetti noodle when the pressure is on, we could snap. We need God’s help! His living water will help us be flexible in life! God already knows these challenges you face each day and will set up opportunities to teach us and our children. Keep your sights on things above because even when the day gets messy and the beginning and end come together in one big pile, remember there is something beautiful! We just can’t see it yet (Hebrew 12:1-2)!
-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: Philippians 2:1-5
This is so powerful! When I soak in what God has called us to do as sisters and brothers. I see so many wonderful people using their unique gifts and talents for Gods glory (1 Peter 4:10-11).When one of my younger sons drew me a beautiful picture! I would stop and take the time to look at their hard work! I love all my kids pictures and drawings. When we do this when their young, it teaches them how we are to treat each other by putting them Above ourselves! It teaches them what value and tenderness mean. It teaches them what common sharing feel like and what it looks like because it’s done with love and compassion. I told my son, you did such a good job! I love all your beautiful colors and asked questions about their work! Then I hung up their picture! Guess what happens next? More of my kids started working together to draw all kinds of pictures. My children teach me so much about what God’s word teaches in the Bible! We need to live this out as we are raising them to be children after God own heart! As we take the time to listen to our children in all the business, we are planting good seeds! This is how Our Father listens to us! When we listen and share with our sisters and brother in Christ, we are encouraging them to keep in the word (Hebrew 3:13). We challenge each other to grow spiritually by spurring each other on to do the purpose God called them to do (Hebrew 10:24). Jesus loves the little children and talks about how we need to be like them (Matthew 18:1-5).
God wants us to be in relationship because he designed us to be that way from the beginning! When we build each other up and encourage each other to keep going, even though you had a hard day, or draw a picture to inspire someone to do the something God gave them to do. We are loving God! We not only love with encouraging words but what we do. Words all by themselves can be empty without action, but truly loving God with All our heart! We need each other to do this because we can’t do this alone! We bring God glory when we are united in Him through His word by using what He’s given us for others! When my kids saw how awesome it was to make a wall full of pictures, it taught them our gifts bless others and their not for our own glory!
In all our relationships, Our children are watching listening more than we think! They are our future leaders! When they see Unity in us then their foundation grows on Truth! The world’s examples are about competition, who is better than who, or what can I get if I do that! When we love God, we chose not do what the world does. The world examples are what they watch on tv or games they play! But, we need show them through Jesus example, how to stand firm on the rock (Jesus) and not the sand (world) Matthew 7:24-27. Being a mom after Gods own heart and wanting to do my best, I need relationship because Life is hard and even harder for our kids! They need their foundation built solid on Jesus the cornerstone!
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). We will use our talents and ability for God’s glory! (1 Peter 4:10-11). Our children will begin to use their gifts and talents together for Gods purpose (1 Corinthians 4:4-5). God doesn’t favors one person over another meaning there are many members all equally important! There is no competition (Romans 12:4-6). Jesus teaches two are better than one they can help each other in everything we do and Better yet 3 (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). The world teaches something so different, three people is a crowd! God will never leave you or forsake you (Matthew 28:20). He will never stop pursuing you! God is intentional and will surround and draw people out of the darkness. Just like how the lights on the Christmas tree light up a dark room! When we cluster together in Unity in Jesus, we become illuminating light many members but one body! Darkness can’t even be there (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).