Shamless Audacity

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I’m reading the devotional, “Draw the Circle,” by Mark Betterson. Today’s reading is about prevailing in prayer according to Luke 11:8. As I was reading, I kept asking myself, “Does God’s word really say shameless audacity?” Sure enough, right there in the NIV translation….shameless audacity. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this parable and those words have not stood out to me until today.

The Greek word is ἀναίδεια and literally means shamelessness as it relates to carrying out God’s plan with unembarrassed boldness, in dignity of faith. It is the faith-led believer who isn’t concerned with human fears even when they are being accused of being extreme or excessive. 

I want to live everyday in shameless audacity. So strongly connected to my Lord and Savior Jesus that I am the bold ambassador to His kingdom that he has called me to be. Throwing human fears to the pit because Jesus is my strong shelter and His banner over me and mine is love.

Shameless and dignified because of Jesus. Persistent in prayer and he will surely give you all that you need.

Shalom!

©2018TereseJMBelme

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Inherent Blessing

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From Eugene Peterson’s broad view of family in Psalm 128. “The illustration is, as we would expect, conditioned by Hebrew culture, in which the standard signs of happiness were a wife who had many children and children who gathered and grew around the table: fruitful vine and olive soots. This illustration is just that, an example that we need not reproduce exactly in order to experience blessing. (We, for instance, don’t try to have as many children as possible-or try to get them to stay home for all their lives!) But the meaning is still with us: Blessing has inherent in it the power to increase.”

Blessing being inherent is the character of God, belonging to His nature. And His power is in each blessing, maintaining the ability to increase the blessing and spill into the live of others, whether we have children or not and whether our children are able to live on their own or not.

You are blessed to be a blessing regardless of your earthly family situation.

#beablessing

Shalom!
©2017TereseJMBelme

Reflections

 

Years ago, at the church we were attending, we had an intern Worship leader for the summer. A sweet young gal, whose love for the Lord shines through her and splashed onto the lives of others. (This is true for her entire family!).

One Sunday she introduced us to this song. I wasn’t a huge fan in the beginning, but as time wore on, this song began to take on deeper and deeper meaning for me. Little did I know at the time, the impact this sweet young woman’s family would eventually have on my life and the life of my family.

I haven’t listened to this song in quite awhile. But this morning the Holy Spirit gently led me to listen. And as I let the words fall over my heart, the Holy Spirit, once again, showed my pictures of how He has blessed my life through this song and the people connected to it.

Seasons come and seasons go. Sometimes God moves us from one place and plants us in another and it is all good according to His perfect will. And it is okay to grieve the change while trusting His process.

He is close to the brokenhearted and turns our mourning into dancing.

Shalom!

©2017TereseJMBelme

Standing Still

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This is one of my most favoite verses. It speaks to my warrior heart. I can’t tell you how often I need this reminder, especially when the enemy is ‘barking up the wrong tree’! It helps me to remember that my fight is not with my words or actions, that my power as a warrior AND an ambassador to the kingdom of God is through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit within me. Isn’t it a relief to know that Jesus consumes and devours our foes?

#standstill #shatteringstrongholds

Shalom!

 

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Hey Momma

 

This year of restoration has been an emotional rollercoaster. Some due to the stress of an ongoing struggle, some due to the discovery of a medical condition, (thank you Jesus, my symptoms are finally being recognized and it isn't all in my head!), and some because of transition.

Today my son and I needed to take care of some college prep and living arrangement items and we spent a fair amount of time in the car. My son loves music and he loves to play his music for me. Just when I thought I couldn't bear one more song, my son says, "This next song, someday everything in this song will come true."

Here is a small portion of some of the lyrics.

"Hey mama, I want to scream so loud for you
'Cause I'm so proud of you, let me tell you what I'm about to do (hey mama)"

"And when I'm older, you ain't got to work no more
And I'm a get you that mansion that we couldn't afford (hey mama)
See your unbreakable, unmistakable, highly capable, lady that's making loot
A living legend too, just look at what heaven do, send us an angel, and I thank you" – Kayne West

Do you know how incredibly hard it is to drive, while choking back tears because your son has touched your heart so deeply?

God promised 2017 would be a year of restoration. It has also been a year of blessings.

Shalom!

#blessedmomma #mothersonbond #restored2017

 

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Transformation

 

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photo credit: thttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt3371366/mediaviewer/rm344207616

 

Recently, my husband and I saw Transformers: The Last Knight.™ I don’t care how many times the classic story of good versus evil is reworked when the end product is a Transformer movie!

My favorite scene in the entire movie, and I apologize if you haven’t seen this movie and intend too, is when Optimus Prime is battling his brother turned nemeses Megatron. Their otherworldly transformer swords slashing through the air, each attempting to make the final blow. All the while Megatron in hurling insults at Optimus Prime to no avail, when he decides to appeal to Optimus Primes emotions by saying, “We were brothers once.” Somehow, I don’t envision the two of them playing nicely on the school yard. Then Optimus Prime utters the best line in the entire movie.

“Did you forget who I am?”

Sometimes, many times, our sojourn of faith can be like Megatron’s memory. We forget who God is. We attempt this life by doing things in our own power. We forget or maybe we simply don’t believe the truth of how much God loves us and how much he wants to be a part of our life. We forget he has an answer and solution for every situation we find ourselves. We forget what it means to wait on the Lord and be patient for his answer. We forget about His perfect timing and that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.

Choose to stay in His word everyday, because, lets face reality, our hearts aren’t simply prone to wander, they DO wander! Choosing Him daily and consistently builds our memory of Who he Is and His faithfulness, His love, and His grace toward us.

The next time you step on to the battlefield, don’t forget Who he Is and always ask him how you ought to fight!

Shalom!

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Adventures in D.C.

Yesterday I took a day off from writing and did a lot of observing. It was quite the adventurous day! I started by making the hour walk from where I am staying to the Newseum and by day’s end I had walked 10 miles and burned over 1200 calories, but who is counting?!

Along the way I stopped for a bottle of water because a gal gets thirsty when the temperature is 97 degrees and the humidity is 100% at 10am. That is a bit of an exaggeration, at least it felt 100%. At the counter I handed the cashier my money and looked down for a few moments. Aretha Franklin was playing on the radio…RESPECT, (enjoy singing that all day, you are welcome.), and I was bee bopping. When I looked up to retrieve my change the cashier was sitting there, holding my money with the biggest smile on her face. I returned her smile and simply said, “I love Motown.” I made no excuses. Let me tell you, for the rest of my walk and even on the way home that song stuck with me. At every stoplight I had to wait I was dancing to the music in my head. It’s okay, I’m in D.C., and even if I wasn’t I would still dance to the music in my head!

My next stop was at Bolt Burger. If you are ever in the area I highly recommend stopping for a bite to eat! I had a delicious burger with bacon, tomato and red onion slices, and chunks of blue cheese over a bed of spring mix that was delicately tossed with olive oil and vinegar and blue cheese dressing on the side. D.C. has this protein style down! While at Bolt Burger I sat outside next to three young professionals and listened to their conversation, yes, I was eavesdropping. It saddened me to hear them complaining about their bosses’ who had sent them, instead of asking them, to attend a conference that would help them in their career.

After my bite to eat I continued on to the Newseum and was thankful to arrive and enter into some air conditioning for a little while. I’ll give you some of the highlights I enjoyed as there are six floors to cover. I enjoyed the FBI section with exhibits from fugitives, to foreign and homeland terrorism and artifacts from 9/11. There are sections of the Berlin Wall that were a gift from Germany along with one of the death towers that lined the Wall keeping watch for escapees before the wall fell. On one of the upper floors there is what once was the tallest communications tower that sat on top of one of the World Trade Towers. On this floor there is also an artifact from UAL flight 93, but you will have to wait until my blog on September 11, to hear about the significance of this to me and my family.

Having absorbed all I could from the Newseum, I decided to head back to where I am staying. Along the way I decided to stop at Starbucks and get an iced coffee. As I was waiting for my drink, the gal called my name and a man standing near me said to his companions, “There you go, Terese, that is a good name.” I looked at him and said, “Yes, with and ‘e’ not an ‘a’.” He proceeded to tell me he was an author and that my name would be a good elf name in his next novel. I told him I was an author as well and that I expected to see my name in his next book!

Continuing on, I entered my destination into the maps app on my phone and started walking. Still singing with Aretha in my head, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” as I approached a group of older men, sitting on a low concrete wall, and talking. I smiled at them and one of the men returned my smile with a huge smile of his own and said to me, “You look like you are having a good day.” I replied, “I have the joy of the Lord in my heart!” He smiled even more, pointed his finger upward and encouraged me to enjoy the rest of my day.

I kept walking when the strangest thing happened. The map app guided me to the left when I really could have continued straight ahead. Following the app, because GPS is never wrong, I turned left and began walking in an area that is currently under construction and some parts could be considered undesirable according to the world’s standard. I kept thinking to myself, “Why did the app send me this way?” Then I saw her. She was standing on the corner, crutches under her arms and a shoe boot on her foot and she looked like she was wearing and carrying everything she owned. I could tell she needed to get across the street but was hesitant about stepping off the curb. As I rounded the corner and was making my way up the street,  I heard an inner voice say, “Go help her across the street.” At first I ignored this thought and continued walking. Again I heard, “Go help her across the street.” So I turned around and asked her if she needed help across the street. She indicated that she did. I put my arm around her waist and told her to put her weight on me as I made sure the approaching cars stopped. She was very appreciative and kept calling me mommy, which may be a term of respect or endearment from another culture. I say this because she had an accent. We said our goodbyes and as I was walking off she called out, “Thank you mommy!”

Finally, I was back at the place I am staying, tired, but thankful that gold and silver I have not but I have Jesus and He is a free for all who will receive Him.

Then I took a nap!

Shalom!