Picturing God

According to my understanding of scripture, seeing God(in the flesh as it were)is impossible. Moses got close and his face shone from its brightness to where the people were afraid of him. For me, I see God in the beauty of the sunset, in the miracle of tiny bugs on the ground, through the smile of a child.

To me, God is all around us and at this time of year it is even more so as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, God’s son. In my beliefs, Jesus is part of the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and each of those parts of God brings up a different image of what we humans think He looks like. Is it important on what he looks like? Maybe, maybe not. We are very visual oriented creatures and rely on our vision for truth…and our visions can fail us if we don’t rely on the right source of truth..

I am reading a wonderful book called Crazy Love by Frances Chan. I am only in the fourth chapter but in it far enough to think about what Frances is trying to tell us. Two things that are popping out the most so far is, picturing life on this earth as a movie. You are an important member of the cast because God created you for a purpose He had in mind but the movie is not about you, the movie is about God. The other thing, the one that struck me the hardest, is when you pray, who do you pray to. Well obvious the answer is God…but what are you visualizing? Or do you just throw your prayers into the air hoping they get where they need to go. Our prayers are specific and need to go specifically to God. For me it helps visualize that I am talking to God in a specific form.

Revelation 4 describes what John saw when we was taken in spirit into heaven…

Rev 4:2-3 …”there before me was a throne on heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby…”

In chapter 19 Jesus is described as the Word of God with blazing eyes, a double edge sword coming from his mouth and a robe dipped in blood. While this is the God I want standing by my side if bullies are after me, it hard for me to visualize praying to the loving comforter, the Lamb of God, if I visualize this form.

Ephesians 5:2…walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. 

Our prayers should reflect this fullness of love for love comes from the heart as our prayers should also come from the heart. Corinthians 13 says it perfectly in how we should treat mankind and prayer for mankind.

Corinthians 13:4 – Love is patient, love is kind…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preservers…Love(God) never fails.

So as you lift your prayers to heaven, visualize that they are being received by a loving, caring, nurturing and kind…warrior who will protect you as much as He loves you. Visualize yourself being God’s child (which we are) that crawls into the loving lap of the loving Father and feel His peace.

And know always His kindness is powerful so share that kindness with others.

Its Only Gonna get Worse

Monday’s I usually send out a post for an encouraging word to help us all have a little brighter smile for the week, knowing we do sincerely care for each other. But tonight I am asking you to remember we are at war. Not a war that you can see with guns, tanks and such, but a war that is even more devastating…spiritual war.

Tonight, I feel we are at war in all of our churches, so I am sending this out to any Christians who understand the true love of Christ.  We know Satan is busy lying and deceiving, trying to take down any followers of Jesus as he can. We see it everyday on the news but I saw something today that broke my heart and it reminded me that we are indeed in the midst of a spiritual war. What I saw is not important, so no need to ask.  It is just a reminder that Christians are being singled out and that it is only going to get worse.

We, as Christians, MUST stand firm TOGETHER, holding each other up, praying fervently for our pastors, our leaders and our churches. We have seen amazing answers to prayer recently in our church, so we know how well prayer works but I ask you tonight to go strongly to the Lord to pray for pastors, our church leaders and our church congregations and against those who seek to destroy them.

Again, we must be vigilant in prayer. A question from the sermon this past Sunday was “what is prayer” – prayer is nothing more than communicating with God. It does not have to be done in a special way but it does have to be done sincerely and it needs to be done often. The more we tune into the Lord, the more power we have to resist the evil schemes even when we don’t realize we are being attacked.

So I ask you tonight, pray for your church leaders, your pastors, your churches. By all of our prayers, they will be strengthened.

And I close with a reminder of the spiritual gift of kindness. Kindness has the ability to turn away meanness.

Always Be Kind

A Little Nighttime Encouragement

With our hectic lives that we live, zooming here to there or staying closed off in our homes, we all need a little encouragement that everything will be okay…eventually. While no one can guarantee that, I can guarantee this…you are truly loved by God and I share this with you as a little encouragement to help keep you going.

To be encouraged is to be filled with courage, to face life as it moves around us. Let’s face it, there are many things we come upon that fill us with fear and discouragement, like… Is this what I need to do, am I good enough to get it done, did I do it right according to whomever, the list is endless…  but Jesus encourages us with His word as He reminds us that all discouragements that have ever made in this world… He has ultimately squashed…

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It is the enemy’s job to undermine out thinking, making us feel fear and uncertainty. While we are now in the middle of scary and uncertain times, I know for certain who really is in charge, God. While we do not understand His ways, we can understand His love. So let us snuggle up to Him as He gently gathers us in His loving arms for the evening. Let us relax in His tender mercies with the hope he grants us for restful sleep and encouragement for facing another day tomorrow.
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Have a blessed evening. And remember to be Kind. It is a true reflection of Love.
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Time for Christians to Pray

Good evening friends and welcome to a new month. My hope and prayer is June will be a more gentle and loving month than May seemed to be. We are jumping from the fire of Covid-19 to the frying pan of chaos right now in this country, a frying pan that has no business being used as its main focus is to divide and destroy. So much chaos, so much anger, so much fear and so much destruction even through the smaller towns. We will be under curfew until this meanness goes away and who knows how long that will take. In Davenport last night there were two deaths and 4 injuries. One death was innocent 21 year old bystander buying groceries for a friend at Walmart, such a waste.

In my devotion this morning from My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald made a profound statement that is so relevant for today’s mindset in the USA.

“God’s Spirit continually reveals to His children what human nature is like apart from His grace.” Oswald Chambers  
Read that again and understand its meaning. Without God’s control, the devil runs amuck.
 

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The chaos is so far out of control from the original reason of the anger and has swelled to an ideal by those whose purpose is to divide and destroy. It has turned into a chaotic dragon and in my opinion the church on its knees is the only hope of this dragon being lassoed so that God will come back in and control that dragon. And by church I don’t mean the Catholic church or the Baptist church or the Methodist church…I mean God’s church. Those who loved the Lord, His word and follow His teachings.
2 Chronicles 7:14 says if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
It is a fearful time but our faith in God proves who is ultimately in control.

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But we must do our part, we must remain strong. We are God’s church, His masterpiece of all things good.

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We can help spread God’s light to those who live in the darkness and those who do not understand the power of the darkness as it engulfs them into evil ways.

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So during this time of chaos, be strong in prayer and allow your light of Christ to shine brightly from you.

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And even in the midst of chaos, be kind when you can.
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The Value and Power of Prayer

Good morning friends. I hope you had a good holiday yesterday. I was glad the rain held off here as I was able to play outside.

My Pastor has been doing a daily devotion on line where he is going over the Lord’s prayer slowly to help us understand the intricate details of its meaning. I want to piggy-back on that slightly as today’s devotion in My Utmost for His Highest was “Thinking of Prayer as Jesus Taught”.
“Our thinking about prayer, whether right or wrong, is based on our own mental conception of it. The correct concept is to think of prayer as the breath in our lungs and the blood from our hearts. Our blood flows and our breathing continues “without ceasing”; ”  Oswald Chambers
 
Therefore…
pray without ceasing 1 thessalonians 5 17

 

Prayer is not an exercise, it’s a valuable privileged. A privilege we do not use enough, at least I don’t. We need to be aware of the distractions that get in our way of praying and be fully aware of prayer’s power when released. I think we forget with the business of life, just how much power is in prayer.
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There may seem like times when God didn’t answer our prayer but scripture never says anything about unanswered prayer. God answers all prayer, we just may not understand His answer but we must believe in its truth. God sees what is best for us and His love is even stronger than anything we know; He only wants what is best for us.
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So feel encouraged today knowing that He listens to every prayer. Even those prayers  you can not mutter for the pain you may be feeling. He knows them before we say them. He just wants us to have the courage to ask for His help.

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May you have a blessed day and as always, be kind.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Our Amazing Mind, #SoCS-Blue

Our minds are an amazing gift from God that in some instances is phenomenal and in others its…Whaat??!?? I have heard it said that as long as you have the first and last letters correct and a general understanding of what is being said, your brain will make it right. On one hand that is great but on the other hand, its why writers had editors. It struck close to home when we purchased T-shirts for an community outreach program at church. We ordered shirts to let anyone know that we would pray for them right then, whatever was on their heart. What a great concept. The shirts came in, we loved them, several of us took one. I even posted one to show how excited we were about this.  The next day we excitedly showed the pastor and he said “What? Did anyone proof read that before ordering?” “Well yea, we said…whats the problem…oh crap.” Three of us missed it.

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Okay I said. I can fix this so we can at least wear them, plus it will be another conversation starter. “Whatever” he said …”order new ones.”

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It just shows how our brains work for us when we don’t seem to be able to do it correctly ourselves. But it emphasizes how we all really need to care for each other and find unique ways to show we care…as in praying for each other. Those of us in the Christian religion like to say we are all brothers and sisters in Christ but it really goes deeper than that. We are all brothers and sisters period. We are all descendants of Adam and Eve…if you believe the bible is true.

I know for me, the idea of me coming from a one cell organism and developing into an ape and then into a human….yea, no. If that were true we would still be seeing that today. Now I will clarify that as there are some people who periodically act like apes and would probably get smack around by an ape if the ape saw that behavior. They don’t tolerate nonsense either.

The new shirts came in today so now we won’t embarrass the church. Funny how many people took one of those shirts with a “4” painted on it…hmmm.

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That being said, if ever I can pray for you about a specific situation or just an unspoken request just reply on any given post P4me and I will do just that.

Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday by Linda Hill is blue and these shirts are blue although the coloring from house lights really change the color. Come join in and have fun and remember to always be kind. Let the ripples of kindness flow from you to the world.

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Reckless Love

Are you in need of encouragement tonight. Let me tell you about my morning and be encouraged. Today I awoke with a start at 7:50 a.m. with a strong feeling to pray for my daughter. Don’t usually get up until 8:15. While I always keep my children prayed up as it were, this was a strong urge. I obeyed then went ahead and got ready for work since I was up and going. About 20 minutes later my daughter called me and said I needed to come pick her up. She had a massive blow out of her rear passenger side tire on the interstate on her way to work. Fortunately at that moment no one was around her as she did swerve but was able to maintain control. People stopped to make sure she was OK and to see if they could help but because of the idiotness of today’s auto-manufacturing, they don’t put spare tires or even donuts in cars anymore. Cost savings. Safety hazard in my book. So with my morning of protection and love I want to remind everyone that God is always there, you may not feel Him or like His answer but he does usually answer, even if its “wait”.

The song below is a marvelous song of how much God does love all of us. He throws all caution to the wind for us, He is reckless with love for us. Listen to the song and be encouraged that God does love all of you.

And as you go through your day, remember always His love will shine through us when we allow it. So shine on, reflecting His love and kindness.

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