Nothing New Under The Sun

Photo by Danette Childs

Photo by Danette Childs

Just this morning I saw this picture. It is from a post on January 27th from Franklin Graham. Franklin states that he received word from his staff in Niger that militants had burned dozens of churches and the charred Bible is part of the aftermath. Franklin asks this question, “but can you imagine the international outcry if this were the Koran?”

Immediately Holy Spirit began, what I refer to as downloading thoughts, I had to blog quickly so as not to forget them all! Precious Ones, God’s not dead and neither is his word! God is alive and well and knows exactly what is going on all around the world.

While it hurts our hearts to see his word physically charred and desecrated, His word is alive because his word is Jesus Christ who is alive!

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1.

Others destroy Bibles to distract believers and take their focus off of God. That doesn’t change the fact that God’s word lives in our heart; active and ongoing.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

There is no stopping God.

so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

The final thought Holy Spirit gave me is this:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

 Meaning be a part of this world but don’t be in this world. Don’t think like this world because this world is not our home. We are temporary visitors here. Our home is the new heaven and new earth that is yet to come!

I wonder as agents, as ambassadors to the Kingdom of God, while we are busy not being in this world are we also not thinking like this world? We are a part of the kingdom of God. Do our thoughts and actions reflect that? God is supernatural, there I said it, do we think in supernatural ways? Or, do we let ourselves be distracted by pictures and images of fear? Our inheritance is not fear, for we have been given a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. From one sound mind to another, I ask you, “How big is your God?” “How big is your faith?”

You know, there is nothing new under the sun and I encourage you to not be enticed by the age-old tactic of Satan; fear. I exhort you to pray and pray without ceasing to the one True LIVING God. Then and only then will the peace of the Lord that surpasses all understanding be in your heart and mind.

God is alive, his word is alive and He will remain that way for all eternity.

Shalom!

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Who Holds All Your Tomorrows?

Over the past several weeks our Pastor has been gently encouraging us to give each day the Lord when we wake up.

Who What Why Keys Show ConfusionYesterday, like most days, was busy and filled with many things to take care of but I remembered to give my day over to God. Things were moving along and I was accomplishing many of the tasks I had planned. Actually, I was multitasking but that is a different blog for a different day! About one in the afternoon our internet went out. I was doing all the normal protocol; unplugging the modem, resetting the modem and finally I called our servicer to remotely reset the modem. Didn’t get that far, the nice lady on the recording promptly told me that service was out in our area and would be restored by 4:30. Now what was I going to do?! Oh, trust me, I had plenty but I was so focused on finishing the task at hand that my brain couldn’t switch over to anything new, so, I painted my nails. Thankfully, our service was finally restored at 7:30 last night.

This morning I again gave my day to the Lord and within seconds of doing so I received a text from one of my dear friends asking if I would like to join her, as she was going to the house of another friend of ours. “Yes”, I said, “I would love to take a break and join you.” When we arrived at our friends house, no sooner than we had stepped into the front door my husband called me. I knew immediately something was up because he calls me on his way home from work and it was too early for that. He called to tell me that our 18 year old son had been in an accident, a fender bender but he and the other driver were okay and yes, it was our son’s fault. After I hung up with my husband I called my son, who had tried three times to call me, but I didn’t hear my phone, poor thing, my heart hurt that I wasn’t able to answer his call and be ‘there’ for him. After I made sure that, yes, in fact he was okay and he didn’t need me to come and get him we hung up. I was struck by the thought that had I not given my day to the Lord I most likely would not have had the peace and calm that I felt at hearing my child was in an accident.

God knew what today and all my days hold for me, I do not. The simple act of asking God to order my day helped remind me that he knew what would/will happen today and that He is at the center of it all. He goes before me and he is my rear guard.

“I may not know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow.” .

My son is home and I am so happy to give him a hug and reassure him that this too shall pass. And, after his explanation of what happened and seeing the after pictures, I know my Papa was right there watching over him. It could have been a much worse situation than it was.

Every day I pray over our family that no weapon forged against us shall prosper and we will refute every tongue that accuses us! Thank you Jesus that the weapon of this accident has not prospered!

Shalom!

Through The Storm

About a week ago during worship at church we were singing “Cornerstone” by Hillsong. This is the chorus:

One letter from old brick alphabet set “Christ alone Cornerstone. Weak made strong in the Saviors love. Through the storm He is Lord, Lord of all.”

I was struck by the thought that a storm experienced in a person’s life is usually thought of as a negative thing, but it doesn’t always have to be nor is it always a bad thing. You see, the day before we had taken our oldest love bug back to the airport for her trip back to college. And, although, this was our sixth such trip since she started college in late 2013, this time it was the hardest for me. I also sensed it was a bit harder for her as well.Anemometer

I wondered on this as Holy Spirit was showing me this momentary storm was not a bad thing, it came out of a really good thing! As I stood in worship the tears starting flowing, both sad tears for a season that has passed and tears of gladness at the Lord’s work. He showed me pictures of her youth like a slideshow and he spoke to my heart, “My hand is upon her. I have given her the passion of her heart; the passion for justice. She is on My path.” Oh, the grace of God is unfathomable! He never has to share with us the inner work he is doing, but many times he chooses too. He knew my troubled heart before the storm ever hit and he offered his grace, his comfort and his love.

crown3-111413-734Through the storm He is Lord, Lord of all.

Shalom!

Full Circle

Last week I took my youngest love bug to have some blood work done. It was late in the afternoon and we were the only ones in the waiting area, when a very nicely dressed man, around my age, okay, that would be middle-aged, came in with his father, who was walking with the help of a walking stick, not a typical cane.

mothers-day-background_z1eLooOOI sat there discreetly listening, yes, I eavesdrop and I love to learn about others and their story, I never know when Holy Spirit will ask me to give a word of encouragement! As they checked in it was evident that they were there for the father. I also surmised that the son had taken time off work to help his father in this manner, hence the son still wearing his suit.

As we waited to be called, I prayed for the father asking Jesus for peace and thanking God fathers-day_1100013316-1013intfor the love this son showed his father in taking care of him. I was struck by the contrast that I was there; a mother taking care of her daughter and they were there; a son taking care of his father, when  Holy Spirit reminded me of this verse.

Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged; parents are the pride of their children. Proverbs 17:6.

heart-in-circle-stroke-icon_fJlmH88_Full circle just as God intended it to be.

Shalom!

The Scepter, The Staff And Hope For Today

“Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. Genesis 49:8.

The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his. Genesis 49:10.

Screenshot_2014-09-09-07-00-21-1Before Jacob dies and is gathered to his people, he blesses each of his sons, including Joseph’s sons whom Jacob has called his own. I love the prophecy of each of these blessings and the one that stands out most to me is the blessing upon Judah.

Yes, Judah; the former schemer and deceiver. (see Genesis 38). Before giving a blessing to each of his sons as they gathered around his bed, Jacob gave a private blessing to Ephraim and Manasseh and one more piece of land to Joseph than his brothers. Perhaps making one think that Joseph was still the favored son even upon his father’s death-bed.

But, the most prominent blessing went to Judah. Jacob said to Judah, “your fathers sons will bow down to you.” At the beginning of Joseph’s story we read that he had a dream where his brothers would bow down to him. Perhaps the blessing was being passed onto NX_lion_sword_pointingJudah? We read at the end of Joseph’s story that he dies seemingly before his brothers, who make up the twelve tribes of Israel and who were all older than him with the exception of Benjamin.

From the tribe of Judah the scepter and ruler’s staff will not leave. In short kings and rulers would come from the tribe of Judah, including the King of Kings, Jesus. Jacob’s blessing to Judah included the prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ. Look at this a little closer, “and the obedience of the nations shall be his.” Does this also give prophecy to the second coming of Christ? The obedience of the nations already belongs to Jesus he conquered that by his death on the cross, but we do not yet see that here on earth. Precious One does this not give you hope?! One day all the nations will be obedient to Christ!

Time For Hope Message Shows Wishing And PrayingNow faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 prior to 1984, emphasis added.

Have faith, have hope, trust Jesus.

Shalom!

Oh That Robe

I am a part of a group of people on another social network that have committed to reading through the Bible in a year. The group was formed to help encourage each other and to discuss what speaks to us from a given day’s reading.

Every year I try to read through the Bible from a different format or translation. Last year I used a woman’s devotional Bible, which had a daily reading and then a devotional at the end of each reading. This year I am reading through the Bible in chronological order along with the group I’ve joined.

A few days ago my reading was from Genesis 37:1 – 39:23. And goodness there was a lot going on! For some reason Holy Spirit is highlighting things that I simply ‘read’ in years past. I grabbed my journal to write down the insights from Holy Spirit, I felt like I couldn’t write fast enough!

Family puzzle conceptIn Genesis 37:2 we see Joseph tending his father’s flocks with his brothers and he brings a bad report back to his father. Was Joseph a tattletale?! We go on to read that Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age. I think it was more than that. I think Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons because he was the son of Rachel, the love of his life. My, is there any wonder Israel’s other son’s were rebellious? And, did this add fuel to the fire between Leah and Rachel, while Rachel was still alive? Leah, always trying to get Israel’s attention to love her and Rachel, most likely, bitter toward her father for giving her sister Leah to Israel (Jacob) in marriage first, when it should have been her and her alone.

I wonder too, was Joseph just a bit spoiled, maybe coddled? After all, Israel made Joseph an ornate robe and nothing for his other sons. The Bible tells us that when Israel’s other sons saw that their father loved Joseph more than them they hated Joseph and could not speak a kind word about him. (Genesis 37:4).

I am the youngest and only girl after four boys in my family. The youngest of my brothers Hope want conceptis seven years older than me. Yes, I was spoiled with attention and my brother and I were close despite the difference in our ages. But, he was the baby of the family for seven years. Growing up he always thought that my mom loved me the most, ironically, I always thought my mom loved him the most. After all, he always got to do whatever he wanted. Silly, when I think back, of course he got to do things I couldn’t he was older than me! But what caused each of us to think the other was more loved? And, what did my other brothers think?

I love my children equally, but each of them have unique qualities that I love the most about them as individuals. As parents our responsibility is to show each of our children how much we love them unconditionally; regardless of their actions, talents, gifts, accomplishments or shortcomings.

Israel favoring Joseph is the same as Rebekah favoring Jacob (Israel) and Isaac favoring Esau over Jacob. Had Isaac, Rebekah and Israel shown unconditional love to all their children would there have been so much sibling strife? Is this generational? Was it a learned behavior for Isaac, Rebekah and Israel? Even Isaac was favored over his half brother Ishmael.

Was Joseph just a bit naive when it came to his brothers? And the brothers, they remind me of Cain. So much jealousy that they plotted to kill Joseph. As Providence would have it, they do not kill Joseph but instead sell him to some Ishmaelites who were on their way to Egypt to sell their goods. Well, doesn’t this just come full circle?! The Ishmaelites were descendants of Joseph’s great uncle Ishmael, the least favored son, that we know of, from Abraham. The division in this family spans generations!

Judah is Joseph’s brother who suggests they sell Joseph to the Israelites, saying, “Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him: after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” (Genesis 37:27). After all?!! Oh Judah, always looking out for your own gain, where did you learn such deceit?

As you can read, I’ve come up with more questions that answers! There is One who loves us unconditionally, despite where we’ve been or what we’ve done. Jesus Written In Plastic Kids LettersHis Name is above all Names. His Name is Jesus.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6.

Shalom!

My Word Is Sabbath

24 hours delivery sign.I often think back to life during the 70’s and 80’s, before this crazy 24/7/365 world we have created. A time when if you needed gas for your car you had better make it to the gas station before 6:00pm the latest or you would be out of time and most likely out of gas. And, if it was a year of oil rations you would probably find yourself in a bind. Back to a time when “what is Black Friday and Cyber Monday?” would be valid questions. Back to a time when most business establishments were closed on Sundays, yes, even the grocery stores.

As a side note, I do not look fondly on the 70’s.  Though I was a young girl and teen during this time, I was not a fan of the hippie free love movement. My oldest brother was a hippie and drug addict during this era and my family and I experienced first hand some of the worst of this movement. As Providence would have it, my oldest brother was also the first sapphire-encrusted-peace-sign-in-vector-format_GJ1dEEjuto come to know Jesus in the 80’s and soon became the family evangelist. A visit could not be had with him without hearing the gospel message in some fashion. We didn’t have caller i.d. back then and so we took our chances when answering the phone because if it was my brother you were going to hear about Jesus one way or another. I miss that about him, heck I just miss hearing his voice. Sadly, he passed before knowing that some in our family have also chosen Christ as their Lord and Savior and have the hope of seeing him again one day in Paradise. He died in Paradise, really, in Paradise, CA. Isn’t that just like God?!

Back to sabbath. Sabbath is a way in which our living pattern imitates God’s. In that work is followed by rest. Sabbath was what God did after he finished creating earth and everything in it.

By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Genesis 2:2.

Keeping the Sabbath is the fourth command of the Ten Commandments. It is part of the Mosaic Law; the Law of Moses. As believers in Christ we are no longer covered by the Law, we now live by the power of the Spirit. The Law is still pertinent and active today and shows those who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior, their need for Him. For those who already believe it is the power of Holy Spirit and his conviction in us to live a life of righteousness according to his will. (2 Corinthians 3:7-11).

Some of my friends have been posting on another social media website a single word they believe God has given them to meditate and live by for this new year. As I pondered this, I realized my word is Sabbath. Holy Spirit actually began speaking to me about a Sabbath day last year and my desire to practice this has grown in intensity. So, while I’m not one to make New Year resolutions, my goal is to practice having a weekly sabbath. To work hard six days a week and rest on the seventh day, just like God did. What better way to model my life than after the One who gives life?!

Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee taken by my cousin B. Passentino.

Whatever this new year holds for you, I wish for you the deepest Shalom in Christ Jesus.

Shalom!