We are in Deep in the Trenches…SOCS

It’s Saturday right? Its hard to keep up with the day, not because we are so busy because we are so unbusy. We are a creature of habit and routine and when those get flustered, we seem to get lost.

lost

Linda Hill has challenged us with posting something for Stream of Consciousness Saturday reflecting the word deep.

Well, I have deep thoughts for you today – some of you will agree with it, some you won’t, and that’s okay.  Do I believe this global pandemic was caused by God – No way. Do I believe God is using this global pandemic to his advantage – you betcha. People who have long forgotten to pray because they have been to busy…well, now they are not so busy. And look at all the people who are praying in parking lots, lifting each other up on the internet, facebook and other social platforms.

They are praying in parking lots, praying on tops of medical buildings, lifting each other up across skyscrapers – the media is full of all of us coming together as one – in caring concern and prayer.

This issue is a wake-up call to remind us we don’t need all the stuff we think we need. We don’t need to be busy doing all the busy things that keep us occupied. We need to realize we need each other regardless of country as we are all in this together as one world, one consuming crisis. And to get through it together, we need to be in prayer. Prayer, if coming from your heart, can be the most powerful tool you could have.

Prayer mark_11-24 2

2-chronicles-7-vs-14

Again, this verse looks condemning like this happened because of our behaviors. Again, No. If you believe in God, then you understand we are all sinners and are all in need of healing – not just from this pandemic but from just being who we are. But right now, the entire globe needs healing from this virus and if we all dig down deep in our hearts and lift prayers above, He will hear them and Lord willing he will heal our lands.

And if you are not a praying person, then you can still help this situation by being kind. This is a scary time and we need a lot of kindness spread all around. Kindness at a distance is still kind. Be safe and be blessed.

kindness 19

 

Reflections of Love

Hello everyone, I hope you are all safe and well.  I copied this from my daily devotion to my church family. I though it would be a good reminders while we are stuck on our homes to remember God is still holding us in love.

Today is a day of pranksters and tom foolery but I challenge us to make it a day of love with smiles. 1 John to me is a nuts and bolts of God. First off – God is Light – 1:5: –God is light: in him there is not darkness at all.  Second – God is Love – Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Third – God is Life – 5:11-12 – God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the son has life. Lastly,  but not in 1 John – He is King – Rev 19-16 – On his robe and across his thigh he has his name written KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

If he is my King, which he is, and I am his child, which I am, then that makes me a princess. I can  live with that and even though my crown is seldom straight and sometimes not even showing, he will loving turn me around and fix it  then remind me of who I am and what I am supposed to be doing.
image.png
For those who know me, know that I am a major lover of animals and believe nature can sometimes teach us the very nature of God, for God created them as well and God is love. So I leave you with some pictures of other things God creates and how they in turn reflect his very nature of love.
image.png
image.png
image.png
image.png
image.png
Always remember the PROFOUND love he has for you and let it encourage your heart today.  And as always remember to be kind. It is the very essence of God.
kind Eph

Encouragement and Hope in the Storm

kindstorm

In a world surrounded by the same pandemic attacking countries with no reason of sanity with over 720 thousand cases across more than 150 countries, we are scared. We are all in this together praying for the same cure. In our state today we lost an infant. An infant who had not had enough time to grow any type of immune system. A virus that shows no apathy to the young, the old, the sick or the weak and carried by loved ones who mean no harm.

But I believe in our God. A God that loves every single person on this planet regardless of their religion because he did not create a religion for us to follow. He created us to follow him. He wants a true relationship with you and you with him. He loves you.

Musicians are wonderful tools God uses to remind us that he is always there for us to come to. They write songs of courage, remembrance of his love, remembrance of our love for him and we lean on those songs in hard times.

Casting Crowns wrote a song that I think fits well with the situation this world is finding itself in and how we just need to lean on him and Praise Him in the Storm.  And while  God sometimes can calm a storm, sometimes he allows the storm to rage while calming us with reassurance that he is in control. Allow your heart to praise God in this current storm and feel his calmness reassurance for you.

Sometime when the storms seem out of control, kindness can come in forms to help settle your heart. Be that calmness for others who so desperately need it.

kind storm

Lent, Is it For You? Is it Biblical?

lent

The practice of lent goes back to the 4th century, 325 actually, so no, it is not mentioned in the bible…but…(don’t you just love(sarcastically) a but when someone seems to agree with you and then turns a corner)…the practices spoken of with lent are scriptural, just not called lent. Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter. Why 40 days? It symbolizes Jesus fasting in the desert to prepare him for saving us. So now people associate lent with fasting from food.

From what I can surmise, in 325, Emperor Constantine and the Nicaea Church held the first Church council and created the Nicene Christian Traditions which is based on Christian ideology. And Lent was part of those traditions. In the 5th century the church ideology split, then it split again in the 11th century with the catholic church, then again in the 16th century with the Protestant reformation. I say all that historical gibberish to show how different we all do God, Jesus and church. It doesn’t make us right or wrong in how we do it as long as we truly follow scripture. To me you can boil down religion into two questions – Who Is God & Jesus to you and what are you going to do with that belief and information. The way you prioritize that information is the reflection of your heart.

If you look at lent’s true purpose, it is an inward reflection of your Christian ways. What am I doing that has become 1st in my life instead of Christ being 1st in my life. The second chapter of Joel explains how desperate the Israelites were. They had turned from God (which is a repeat pattern even with us today) and God allowed them to suffer to try to get their attention. A plague of locust has destroyed everything and they were literally starving. Vs. 12-13 says Even now, declare the LORD, return to me with all of your heart…Rend your hearts and return to the Lord your God.

Lent is a 40 day true inward reflection with fasting to get you back on track with God and Jesus. It does not have to be a food fast. It can be anything that you do a lot and when you reach for that food, item of entertainment or whatever you chose to fast from and it is temporarily gone, your focus can then turn to God and why you chose that item to fast from for 40 days. And hard inward reflection. Me, I am choosing emotional fasting from the list below. I have tried food fasting but with health issues, its just not practical – I am watching the clock too much and missing the whole point of why I am fasting.

The biggest thing I need to turn from with inward reflection comes from my mouth. I found a list online from a pastor and I revised it to better fit me and what I want my goals to be so that I can be a better reflection of Christ.

Lent

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. Its official name is ‘Day of Ashes’ so called because of the practice of rubbing ashes on one’s forehead in the form of a cross.

Jesus prepared for his mission of saving us by spending 40 days of fasting in the desert. Let us honor Him by fasting for 40 days in preparation for Easter by giving up all forms of negativity and turn our hearts toward the love of Christ by reflecting His positive beauty of hope.

  • Fast from hurtful words and strive to always be Kind
  • Fast from sadness and be filled Gratitude and Joy
  • Fast from anger and be filled with Patience and Gentleness
  • Fast from pessimism and be filled with Optimism and Hope
  • Fast from worries and trust in God
  • Fast from speaking and focus on Listening
  • Fast from stress and be filled with Prayer
  • Fast from selfishness and be filled with Generosity

So even though my church does not practice lent, that does not mean I can not have an inward look at how I am showing my Christian beliefs and see if I need some fine tuning. We should always look for ways of improving our spiritual selves. The practice of ashes on the forehead in the form of a cross reflects of the bible speaking of from dust we are made and to dust we will return. That is a message of truth for our bodies…BUT..our hearts, our mind and our souls – that’s what we have to rento God because that is what lives forever to those who love God.

And the first item on the list is Be Kind…

kind Eph

 

Remembering Yester-Year, Friday Flashback

Fandango Friday Flashback gives you the opportunity to see what you were doing a year ago, you get to share it with new friends and you get to remind old friends of the post. A hats off to Irene of Heavens Sunshine as she was the one who brought this poem to life for me. I hope you enjoy it for the first time or again if you remember from a year ago. It was probably one of my favorite poems. See post below:

TO THE TOP from THE BOTTOM

One of the most enjoyable things about blogging is the amazing photographers, professional and non-professional that share their photographs for all to enjoy. A lot of the photographs that are shared are due to various challenges as the one I will be sharing with you today,  well technically it’s night (2:30 am)but I couldn’t sleep so I am writing.

Irene from Heaven’s Sunshine was following the challenge for stairs from Pic And A Word  by Patrick Jennings. Her picture was so inspiring to me, I told her I was going to write about it, so I did. I hope you enjoy it and do stop by Irene’s blog for some wonderful pictures.

Steps to the Cross
Bailly Cemetery – Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

   THE CLIMB

I see and maintain it still is not fair,

I have nothing to lay at the top of the stair.

It’s not my fault, I did nothing wrong,

Well, maybe I did, it’s just been so long.

How long has it been since I climbed to the top,

I remember it’s relief, Why did I stop?

How can a symbol of such astounding grief,

Be given to us to bring so much relief?

With love so amazing, to the cross did He die,

To flood us with gratitude that still makes us cry.

The burdens we carry don’t always seem fair,

Always we can lay them at the top of the stair.

The first step looks brittle, can it carry my weight?

This burden is heavy and may seal my dire fate.

As I touch each step and climb ever higher,

Is this what I should do, is this really my desire?

As I clear the last step, the cross is before me,

I question my worth, did He also die for me?

As my knees get bent, I am smothered by His grace,

And I lay all my burdens at the accepting cross base.

                       – Anita Neal –

 

Always remember there is a burden carrier and it isn’t you. Scripture tells us repeatedly that He is there to carry our burdens for us, we just have to be willing to give them to Him.

crossburden

And as always, I remind everyone the much loaded value of kindness. Carry it with you where ever you go and share it as much as possible.

kindness3

A Sacrifice of Time

 

stillness

Good morning. Thought I would share the peace I received this morning as I was reminded of God holding our hand like a child and us trusting his direction of a God-breathed life. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young reminds us of the value of our time and how sacrificing our time in the quiet stillness of the morning with Him can accomplish far more than we realize by surrounding us in His peace.

“Bring me the sacrifice of your time, and watch to see how abundantly I bless you and your loved ones.”

May you all feel his peace this morning and have a truly blessed day. And as always, remember to be kind.

kind Eph

Morning Thoughts

As I rush out the door to work I bring you a morning thought. May we all come to the throw as a child and let God surround you with his gracious peace.

Pray3.

And remember the value of kindness. Not only does the person receiving kindness benefit but you will be bathed in peace when you share it.

Flower kind4