Encouragement of “That Day”

Good morning friends. I hope this day is bright and sunny as you look around the beauty of today. I want to share with you the gleaning I received from my morning devotion. After several days of needed rain, it is refreshing to see the bright sunshine and beautiful blue sky.

Scriptures remind us that some days will be stormy, and I am not really speaking of weather. Life is hard sometimes but we can be lifted to the peace and beauty of the heavenly places through the baptism of the Holy Spirit and then Jesus can teach us the truths of God.

Just as Jesus stood unblemished and pure in the presence of His Father, we too by the mighty power and effectiveness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be lifted into that relationship. Oswald Chambers.

All we have to do is ask….

What a great honor to be able to speak, pray and be one with the Father. Being able to come to the Father in this manner proves His love for us and proves our union with Christ is real and absolute.

Once in that wonderful position, having been placed there by Jesus Christ, we can pray to God in Jesus’ name in His nature. Oswald Chambers

So relax and feel the peace of “That Day” – It is not a day in the future but is in fact any day. And remember that not everyone understand this truth. So reflect the Love of Christ as you go about “That Day” and be kind. Kindness is a pure reflection of God’s love.

Helping Out Fellow man

What you do with the gifts God gives you shows others, who are watching, the value of the gifts you have been given.

Today, my church participated in the World Vision Waterwalk for 2021. Our goal was $1500.00 and we met our goal. Knowing what some people in some countries have to go through just to get clean water is scary for those of us who just turn on a tap and there you go. May we never take it for granted as one day it may all may be compromised.

Enclosed are some of the photos I took of our church using our gifts to try to put a drop in the bucket of much needed water across this globe. If this stirs you heart, it is never to late to give.

Have a blessed day and remember that any gift of kindness brings joy to the giver and the receiver.

Always be Kind

The Power of Love

We generally think of love as gentle, nurturing and healing. While it is ALL of those, it is also powerful. In the fruits of the spirit, it is the first fruit listed…without love, none of the rest matter.

Love is so important that an entire chapter of 1 Corinthians is dedicated to it. And the first verse of that chapter reminds us that it is not frivolously created but must ring true.

So show your love with abounding joy, through healing peace, With utmost patience, with rich goodness, with affirming faith, with quiet gentleness, and with firm self control. And yes I left one out, but this one is always my closing statement. Kindness. Even when we are faced with uphill battles we can still show kindness to others.

Kick Moodiness to the Curb

Good morning friends. I wanted to share some encouragement that I got from my devotion this morning. Oswald Chambers reminds us that when we become born again, we have a new way of thinking and a new way of reasoning.

Many of us miss a lot of the joy God has for us because we stay at the door of Christianity instead of walking through embracing His Love. We fail and blame things on the devil when it is really ourselves because we won’t get out of our own way. Think of where we would be if we fully embraced God’s truth. Its hard. We get discouraged and we let our moods run the show. Our moods are rooted in some physical circumstance that is surrounding us. We can pray about it but in reality we just need to stand up to the mood and kick it to the curb. It is a struggle to listen to these moods but we must stand firm against them and not give them the power to rule us.

The Christian life is one of spiritual courage and determination lived out in our flesh. Oswald Chambers

When we feel ourselves being beaten down by our moods, we need to pick ourselves up, shake the mood off and march forward into the peace Christ has for us – even when it seems impossible. Stand Firm!

Sometimes when you are in the midst of a hard struggle and you find that you can still be kind. That is when you have learned to stand firm. Try always to be kind.

Always Be Kind

The Door of the Cross

The importance of daily study of the Bible creates for us light bulb moments. You know what I mean…those moments where you have looked at a passage a hundred times. You think you fully understand what it means and then something happens in your day that when you read that passage for the hundred and first time it gives it an entirely new understanding – a light bulb moment.

Although we don’t fully understand it, we all believe that Jesus was fully God and fully man. Oswald Chambers in his devotion this morning reminded us of the gift God gave us. He deliberately limited His, omnipotence, His omnipresence and His omniscience to be the Son of Man…for us.

During Jesus’ time, the people of God were under the law. Billy Graham reminds us that the law was a mirror reflecting the wayward heart of man. While the law in itself wasn’t bad, man would never be able to follow it, he was condemned by it. But the Cross and Jesus’ ascension into heaven redeemed us from the power and condemnation of the law.

 When Jesus ascended into heaven, He returned to His Father in glory not only as the Son of God but also as the Son of Man. And as He did this, He left the door wide open for anyone to have access through that door of the Cross to the Throne of Heaven. And now, Jesus, as the Son of God and the Son of Man, has all the power at the Throne of God. So take a deep breath knowing as hard as it can be sometimes, God always has our back.

And knowing that God has your back, remember to be kind. Someone next to you may not know that.

Always Be Kind

Too Busy

Too many times I have heard it said that “If you are too busy to spend time with God, then you are just plain too busy. Slow down.

God reminds us through His Word that He just wants to walk by you side being close. He wants an intimate relationship with each of us.

In today’s devotion of Quiet Times with God, we are reminded of the intimacy we should have with God. Normally when we think of intimacy, we think of the husband and wife bedroom scene, but intimacy is so much more than that. You can be intimate with someone from across the room. Webster define intimacy as something of a personal or private nature. I think it is knowing someone so well that you can speak volumes with them without saying a single word or making a single sound.

“Each of us can be as close to God as we want to be; it all depends on how much time we are willing to put into developing our relationship with Him.” Quiet Times With God, Joyce Meyer

Developing any type of relationship with a person or animal requires time. You are not allowed to be too busy or it just wont work. If we think our relationship with Jesus is not that important, we would be the losers of the equation, for…

Spending time with Jesus is probably the single most important relationship you could ever have. That makes it personal then it fills us with the assurance of His love.

So I remind you of God’s individual love for each of us. It is always available if we just SLOW down enough to enjoy its benefits. And as you do, remember one of the attributes of this love is kindness. Kindness is something that can be shared with man or beast and has the potential to send out roots of kindness out to others in distant places.

Always Be Kind

His Reach, Our Perseverance

I wanted to share the words of my devotional this morning from “My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. We sometime have life forces pounding on us that seem more than we can stand. We are moaning “enough”. But Oswald reminds us…

Perseverance means more than endurance, more than simply holding on until the end. Oswald Chambers

Revelations is a book of hope reminding us that we can survive this life if we just hold o and trust Him.

“A person’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something we can not see, but our Lord continues stretching until His purpose is in sight, then he lets the arrow fly.” Oswald Chambers

Even though we feel we can take no more, if we continue to maintain an intimate relationship with Christ our faith in Him will help us persevere.

“Faith is not some weak and pitiful emotion. It is a strong and vigorous confidence built on God’s love for us.” Oswald Chambers

“The real meaning of eternal life is a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering.” Oswald Chambers

So as you face the trials of this life, raise and uplifted hand above and I promise He has a hand reaching down to you to help you survive. He never puts more on us than we can tolerate.

And in closing I remind us all of the power of kindness. Kindness has a power of strength that can not be measured and it can sometimes be the one thing that helps us survive, whether we give it or receive it.

Reach out to be kind.

Basic Needs

The advertisers across the globe will argue with you and confuse you as to the difference between want and need. That brand new sparkly shinny thing you just have to have is a want and it is their job to explain to you why you NEED it.

According to some reports I have read, there are five basic needs for all living creatures – air, water, food, shelter & safety. Every living thing including plants need these things. But I find it interesting that even with these things met, a basic need not mentioned, that if never met, will result in death. So what is the most valued basic need? Love.

Galatians reminds us of the fruits of the spirit and at the top of the list is Love, because without love, the rest won’t work. You can’t have Joy without love, you cant have peace without love, you cant have patience without love…and so on and so on…

I remember a horrible song we sang as kids that we laughed about but as an adult, I wonder how many kids felt like this song : Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I’m gonna go eat worms. Gross. But it is true. All living creatures need love and affection. We see pictures on Facebook all the time about animals cuddling up to another animal of a different specie just to get some love. They get it.

Biblical scriptures remind us over and over about the importance of love…then Jesus demonstrated a love we could not fully comprehend but are so thankful for. The 15th chapter of John has so many wonderful ways of telling us about this profound love that is available to all living being.

And by abiding in him does not mean Him being over us but beside us…as friends. He wants the type of close relationship with us that you would have with a best friend. One where we feel comfortable to go to him when life is fun, when life is sad, or when life is scary.

And look again at all the attributes of that Love : Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faith, Gentleness and Self Control.

Kindness is an attribute. I push for in all I do and I add it to every post to remind us all of its value. Sharing a little kindness is sharing a little love.

So, Always be kind!

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter. Maundy is derived from the Latin word for “command,” and refers to Jesus’ commandment to the disciples to “Love one another as I have loved you.” He showed his disciples his servant love by washing their feet and having one last meal together known as the last supper. This is the time that Jesus told the disciples of his death, and that one of them would betray him. They still at this point did not see the big picture or the purpose of Jesus’ mission. I have always wondered if the angels understood what was happening. They are messengers and do the tasks needed as directed by God. But do they see the big picture. We know they were joyous at his birth but did they understand the purpose of his death? I have written a fictional short story to give ideas of what I think may have gone on. Please do not be offended by my imagination, it is not meant to prove any point of truth but only to spark a question of wonder what they were going through.

A Celestial Perspective

Over in the corners you could hear all of their hushed and frantic whispers. “Did you hear what they said He was going to do?”

“Yes. This makes no sense. Why is He doing this? He knows that all He has to do is call us and we would be there in an instant,” one angel said. “Legions of us.”

“I am going to disrupt this nonsense right now,” said a large, impressive angel with brilliant white wings and flowing robes.

“No. Stay your thoughts,” said the Father quietly as he raised a loving hand.  “While your motives may be admirable, they do not serve my purpose.”

“How can His dying serve a purpose?” the angel tried to lovingly argue as some other angels crumbled weakly on the floor. “These creatures are killing Him because of their ridiculous lies.”

“And you and He are…well, Father and Son. Don’t they understand who He is?” said another angel as he wrestled with the unfathomable actions they were all witnessing.

“You…He…are Elohim,” a different angel pleaded, “majestic ruler of all creation.”

“He is their Lord and Master as well. He is Yahweh. Don’t they see that?” pleaded yet another angel as he ran back and forth between watching and pleading at the throne.

“He is Adonai, creator of everything, the heavens, the earth, us…even them. He is in charge of all of creation. Don’t they get that? How dare they do this horrendous deed!” anguished another angel in tears.

“Are you seeing what they are doing?” they asked the Father as they huddled together, fearfully watching the events unfold.

“I cannot,” said the Father as he slowly and sadly turned His back.

“Then why?” they pleaded in total disbelief of what they were witnessing trying desperately to understand how this could ever serve a good purpose.

“It’s all part of the plan. It’s how it has to be,” the Father said quietly. “It’s the only way…for I love them. I must save them from themselves.”

The panicked murmurs stopped as they stood helplessly staring first at each other, then turning their attention down at the horror below. They moaned quietly, for over three hours, as they paced back and forth. Mentally they were not able to watch the entire event. With each passing minute of agony on the cross, they watched with fear and trembling as their beloved suffered, with an unattainable ability to understanding why.

Finally, just before Jesus took His last breath, they watched in anguish as he looked up to heaven and spoke one last time. “It is finished.” As His last words left his mouth, the air with them flew to the heavens and rushed past them. They could feel His love and warmth as the air flew by them and then circle around the throne.

“What was that?” an angel asked quietly as he looked toward the throne.

“His spirit,” said the Father with a deep sense of loss.

Shocked gasps went through the crowd of angels that were standing watching the earth below. Then in amazement, they watched as total chaos broke out with the earth splitting apar. Some of the buildings were crumbling and falling. And deep in the temple, the curtain that separated the sanctuary from Holy of Holies was ripped in two. This was a place of ultimate honor only used for the presence of God, and now it was destroyed.

The angels were scared, shocked and lost in knowing what to do as they slowly gather near the throne. “Now what?” one angel dared to quietly mutter.

“We wait,” was all the Father said as he quietly stood and left the throne room.

The angels looked at each other as the Father left the room. “Wait for what?” they bewilderedly asked each other.

So, the vigil of watching and waiting began of a cold tomb sealed with a large boulder. Each hour a different set of angels came to watch and wonder what was to happen. As day 1 slipped by in time, the angels quietly looked down in wonder of what possibly could happen. His spirit had returned. They felt it as it flew by them on its way to the throne. What were they waiting for? Their hearts were broken and sad at this tragic loss. And what did this mean for the Father. They thought they understood the Trinity. But now a part of it was no more. What did all of this mean?

Day two was more of the same as that of day 1. Quiet groups of angels changed places as they were watching and waiting. The quietness of heaven could be felt, as a coldness seemed to engulf them. And nothing was being heard, no sound at all. Total quiet stretched all through the mass existence of the heaven. The beauty and brightness were now dull and lifeless.

Before the light of dawn broke for the third day, they were all quickly and quietly summoned to the throne. They stood with bated breath as the Father began to speak. There was light back in His eyes. There seemed to be joy back in His voice. He spoke of renewal, of new life, a new beginning. The Son was not gone but was very much still alive. He would come out from the tomb before the dawn broke. The warmth of heaven began to be felt again and joyous melodies were again being heard throughout all of heaven.  The Father spoke of important tasks for his angels, as key messengers would be needed. He would need two to three angels to roll away the stone for the Son to emerge out from the tomb. Then He would need one or two angels to remain behind to meet the women that at that moment were on their way to the tomb. The proper burial rights were not made per their customs and the women knew it was a must to perform this duty.  And they were chosen to be the first to know the great news. They were the first to witness and to inform the others that a new way of life had begun.

The brightness and love of heaven was again making its presence known as some of it reflected its way down to earth in the brightness of a new day. But earth itself had no clue what was about to happen. The people had no clue of the beauty that was about to be witnessed on earth. They had no clue of the tasks that were now ahead of these men and women, these followers of Jesus. They had no clue of how God’s love would now always be there for them. They had no clue of their importance of spreading the good news of a joyous way of life. They all had no clue of the love and joy that was about to surround the earth, and always be available to anyone just for the asking. They just had no clue.

Each angel had hoped that they would be one of those chosen for these magnificent tasks. Their joys and duties of heaven were now fully back in place. Light was flashing all through heaven and the sounds of rejoicing echoed everywhere. But the angels still wondered…who would be that extra special angel that would get to announce…     “He is not here. He has risen.”  Matthew 28:6

Today the earth is still unsure of the beauty and majesty that happened on that third day when the announcement was made, and the time of newness had begun.  All of mankind would now be able to feel the love of God when they allow Him to dwell within their hearts.  From that day onward they would also be able to share in the beauty and rejoicing of heaven.

People, even back then, did not understand that this new beginning is also the beginning of the end. The beginning of the end when Jesus again would, one day, come back to earth to start His reign. People today, still do not understand this phenomenon of love that one day will come. This day will be a time of separation of hearts, a time when astounding love will fill the earth as it does in heaven for all of those willing to accept it. This love was God’s initial plan.

Remember the importance of today as it starts a chain of heart breaking events that ends in a glory we could never fully comprehend. Have a safe and blessed Easter and remember as always to show the kindness as Christ did in giving us salvation when we did not deserve it.

Evening Encouragement, Focus

Good evening friends. This week is Holy Week and all of us are all looking forward to Easter.  Since we have been locked down since Easter last year, we are looking all the more readily at Easter this year as a renewal; a new start. But we must make sure our new start is safe. Carelessness got us as a world in a mess so we must remain focused on safety precautions. Today’s devotion in Quiet Times with God, asks the question – “Where is our focus?”  

I have been watching the series on The Chosen  on Up TV and every time someone portrays Peter, we see Peter’s impetuousness, not in a violent way but a passionate way. Peter flys by the seat of his heart. I think that is what Jesus knew about Peter. Jesus knew if He could ever get Peter to understand and follow through by focusing on His mission, there would be no stopping him.  And that pretty much was how it was, even though he lost his focus multiple times. The impetuous act that helps me the most with my focus is Peter trying to walk to Jesus on the water.  Matthew 14:28-30.

He believed! He knew….but he could not  maintain his focus on Christ.  I think we identify well with Peter because we see ourselves in him. We have a big advantage that Peter didn’t have, we have the Bible. But if we don’t stay focused on its teachings, we too will be easily distracted. Tonight’s words of encouragement in Jesus Calling Evening addition reminds us that circumstances of life can be scary, hard and seem dark beyond our capabilities to withstand.  But regardless of how it all may seem, God assures us it will be glorious and to be patient, have faith and trust God to do the  driving. 

Relax in His wonderful love and have a safe and peaceful evening.  As you breathe in his love and feel His peace come around you, remember to show kindness as God has shown us kindness.

And remember…God’s got this.