Featured

Bless You

 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” – Acts 15:11

I had to take a little hiatus last week, as I tried to cope with everything that is happening right now. This current crisis is my worst nightmare. I’m not completely sure why, as I’m not a germaphobe. But it is. This pandemic has been at the top of my list for most of my life, as the worst possible thing that can happen to humanity. Maybe because it’s so uncontrollable, maybe because it doesn’t discriminate, maybe because it doesn’t matter where you live or who you are or what your political views or anything. None of it matters. You are at risk every time you step outside, and you can contract it by doing the things that we’ve been taking for granted all our lives, like going to the grocery store or work or school. All of those things are now at risk of infection. The one thing, I keep thanking God for, is that the recovery rate is high. That for most people this will be a little more/less serious than the flu, and then they will be ok. But, that still doesn’t take away from the severity of the current events.

Now, I understand that most people are getting tired of hearing about it, but at the same time. It’s very real and still very prevalent, so therefore, it’s tied to my blog today, but hopefully we can shed some light on the situation and grow closer to God and deeper in our faith here.

I read this last week and it struck a cord with me. That I can sit over here and worry about everything that’s going to happen and all the fallout from this, or I can just do my best to do everything I can to keep myself and my family safe and trust God for the rest. And, I stated in my original post two weeks ago, Knowledge is Power. Although this is my worst fear come to life, I know that God’s got me. That it is my responsibility to do my part (following the CDC guidelines as much as possible), and that God is going to handle the rest. I know some people out there are believing this is God, trying to punish us or whatever. It’s not. We live in a fallen world, and diseases happen. God is not doing this to us. We live under the New Testament God, and this is not part of His plan. He is the good, good Father who wants to bless us, and have us be happy. This is not something He is doing. In fact, it has Satan’s signature all over it. People are afraid, people are blaming God, churches are closed, people cannot get together to encourage and uplift each other, people are dying. He is here to steal, kill, and destroy. Once again, he has fooled the masses into blaming the wrong guy. Seems like pretty typical Satan to me. So, if you want to blame someone, at least know who’s pulling the strings here.

I’m not sure how this is going to help anyone, but I deeply feel compelled to share something that I have realized, just this morning. For almost a year now, I have been struggling with the deep connection I have felt to Jeremiah – the weeping prophet. I have discussed with my Pastor, my Bible study group, and some of my close friends, I have even written about it previously. And, none of us, could understand truly why I would feel such a connection to Jeremiah. Initially, when I would read the Bible, sing worship songs, and sometimes during prayer, I would cry. I was so moved by the Spirit. I felt it so deep in my soul. The simple reading of scripture would make me weep. So, we had all kinda chalked it up to that. But in the last couple weeks, as I watched the coronavirus spread across China, and infect people by the thousands, I felt it. I felt it coming. As we saw our first cases outside of China and in the rest of the world, I knew. I watched it like a wave. I knew. I could see the writing on the wall. As we saw our first cases in the United States, I raised the red flag to people I knew. It’s coming. And many people, brushed me off. We would get it under control. Then, the spikes started coming. Again, I expressed my concerns. “It’ll be fine.” And, I literally had people looking at me like I was wearing sack cloth and standing in Times Square preaching about End Times. I was doing my best not to sound hysterical, but at the same time, I couldn’t not say anything. It’s coming. I have had several moments in the last few weeks, where I have expressed my concern about the next thing that’s going to happen, and people have poo-poo’ed me that day, only to see it as the headlines the next. Ahhh, Jeremiah. Here we are. The one really crazy thing, to me, is that I have been crying over the loss of life during these times. People I have never met, don’t even know their names. But, I weep. I weep for them, and their families, and these times. It’s heartbreaking. And, until this morning, I hadn’t made the connection. My heart and soul pours out for everyone during this time. I ache for everyone experiencing this right now. Words cannot express my sympathies.

But God. God is here for us. God loves us. God wants this to all be over soon. Keep praying, keep revoking Satan, keep your faith. Keep yourself safe. Do everything you can to help yourself and your family, and let God do the rest. We are his children, and He loves us. Let me share with you, something our Pastor shared with us this week.

The Blessing: The Blessing is irrevocable and irreversible, it is a constant. As God’s people, we live under His “Blessing”, no matter what our circumstances, even through this pandemic. God has commanded His Blessing on you and your household. The Blessing doesn’t come and go. God doesn’t change His mind from day to day or hour to hour. He changes not. An Old Testament story tells of someone who wanted this “Blessing” removed from God’s people, but this was impossible. Here’s what was said, “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Listen, I received a command to BLESS; God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it!” So, all day long, we can agree with God and be aware of the BLESSING. Bless everyone you know, frequently. Via Skype or in person, look people in the eyes and release the Blessing. It’s so simple but huge. There are endless benefits to the blessing. We bless you all!

Let’s Pray

https://vimeo.com/400330986/ae35556eab?fbclid=IwAR2IZWuxMqkVOVCyxRImwyaZuPyu7hB6NcVczxV6PAGgId_u4f0CXepQKnQ

Mission’s Circle

Many clinics are in short supply for masks. We have taken up making masks. Many fabric stores are supplying materials to those who are willing to make masks as well. I encourage you to look in your local communities to see if there is a need near you. Here is a pattern that I particularly like that is being accepted in many places. Do what you can, where you’re at.

Featured

Knowledge is Power

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10

In the midst of all that is happening, always trust in God. With the media blasting coverage over a virus, school shut downs, sports events with no fans, stores being wiped out, and nursing homes going into lockdown, everyone is reading more articles than ever. Knowledge is power. So allow me to empower you through the Word of God.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Matthew 6:25

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13

He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.

Psalm 112:7

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Isaiah 26:3

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

John 14:1

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Colossians 13:12-15

Knowledge is power. A Bible that is falling apart, usually belongs to someone who isn’t. I strongly encourage everyone to take general precautions and use common sense. Stay safe out there.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all that you have done for us. Thank you for being the good, good Father. Please watch over each and everyone of us. Please guide our steps and let us know which way we should go. Please put knowledge and wisdom into those who need it during this time to help find a cure, to help the sick, to guide the masses. Please lay your blessed hands on those who are caring for others and doing your will during this time to give assurance to those in need. Please wipe this from the earth as quickly as it started. Please lay your blessed hands upon all of civilization that we may fear this no more. Give us the peace of the Messiah. Bless our bodies. Heal us. Heal the nations. Watch over us Father. Bless the work of our hands, and the words from our lips. That we may all exalt your Holy Name, for you are the good, good Father. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Again, I’m a big believer that knowledge is power. So, I’m just posting some local links for actual information about the virus and information about where you can get help if needed.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Local clinic’s info: https://www.avera.org/how-to-prepare-for-the-coronavirus-covid-19/

SD updates: https://doh.sd.gov/news/Coronavirus.aspx

Featured

Where we’ve been

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. – Psalm 119:105

Every once in a while, I like to think back on where I’ve been and how I got here. It’s really enlightening sometimes. It’s crazy to think about our lives in retrospect like that. How did we get to where we are today? All the incredible twists and turns and decisions, and miracle moments that led us to this moment. And, one of the ones that frequently pops into my head is this one. You know, any time you’ve had someone confess to you, that you’re the reason they’re here today, it’s nothing to take lightly. And, it will absolutely change your life forever, or at least it should. I personally have had that moment 3 times in my life, but the one that really changed me and how I treat people and my perspective on life, was this one. So, although I’ve shared this before – it’s just too important not to keep sharing as you never know what’s going on in someone else’s life, and it’s important to reach out and let others know that you are there, and so is God.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 “Do not quench the Spirit.”

My mom is constantly reminding me not to quench the Spirit. And it’s true. Don’t quench the Spirit. This means when the Holy Spirit moves you to do something – Do it. That’s what this blog is all about – literally. I’m not a writer – but the Holy Ghost is. So here we are. Here I had thought that I had this next week’s post all figured out, but then as I woke up this morning, the urge to post it now just wouldn’t stop. So, double dose this week. Also, you never know what small gesture is going to change someone’s life, in a small way or in a very big way. Let me share a quick story about something that actually happened to me.

I had been working somewhere a while back. And I had a desk job that didn’t really have me interacting with a lot of people. A lot of leg work and paperwork. But there was another gentleman that worked in a different dept across the way, who also had a desk job, and not a lot of interaction with others. We occassionally would see each other, he seemed friendly enough. Anyway, time went by, life was happening. And one day, I saw him in passing, and he just looked off. Just kind of not the same. And, although I didn’t realize it at the time, the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let me shake it. My day was going by, and I just couldn’t stop thinking about him. Something was off. And so, a little before lunch that day, I went over to his desk, and said, “Hey man, I know I don’t know you that well, but you look like you need a hug.” And with a surprised look on his face, he says, “Yeah, I do.” So, we hugged, and I asked if he wouldn’t mind if I came and sat with him for lunch. “Sure.” We started chatting, and he starts telling me about some stuff happening in his life, nothing seemingly huge to me, life stuff. We continued to have lunch, became fast friends. Just chatting. Then, a couple months go by, and I come over to sit with him at lunch, and he says, “I have something to tell you.” And, he informs me that a few months ago, he was going to kill himself. He had it all planned out, his wife was going to be gone that weekend. He picked up his favorite meal that he was going to prepare, his favorite drink, and he was going to end his life that weekend. And, he says, “And you know what happened?” My mind is reeling! I’m trying to take it all in. And, I’m like, “Omg, what?” and he looks me dead in the eye, and says, “You. You happened. You came over here, and gave me a hug.” And we started crying, and hugged again. I couldn’t believe it. I can’t imagine him not being here. Now, we no longer work at the same company, but we’re still friends, and I get to hear about his kids, and his grandkid(!) and see the joy in his life. And the joy that I have because of that, the encouragement and reinforcement to reach out to people. To me, it was just a hug, but to him it was literally a life line. It was just reaching out, where I was at, and taking a chance. He could’ve just as easily shut me down, and I could’ve just as easily not reached out. But, I’m so grateful that I didn’t. He is one of the best people I’ve ever met, that I’ve ever had the privelage to get to know. I wouldn’t take it back for the world.

Some people are called to go. Some people are called to go-where they’re at. You never know what people are going through. You never know what one small thing is going to change someone’s life. This one was in a big way, but maybe someone just needs a friend, to know someone cares. We are called to be the light of the world. That we live so that others might see Christ through us. No man left behind. God doesn’t throw anyone away. Maybe he’s calling you. To make the gesture. Calling you to Show UP!

Isaiah 61:1-3 says:
The Lord God has put his Spirit in me,
    because the Lord has appointed me to tell the good news to the poor.
    He has sent me to comfort those whose hearts are broken,
to tell the captives they are free,
    and to tell the prisoners they are released.
He has sent me to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness
    and the time when our God will punish evil people.
He has sent me to comfort all those who are sad
and to help the sorrowing people of Jerusalem.
I will give them a crown to replace their ashes,
    and the oil of gladness to replace their sorrow,
    and clothes of praise to replace their spirit of sadness.
Then they will be called Trees of Goodness,
    trees planted by the Lord to show his greatness. (NCV)

The Lord has filled you with his Spirit, to comfort the broken hearted. You know, one of my favorite songs says, “Waymaker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness – that is who you are.” Because he lives within us, that is who we are. If He is all these things, so are we. He is the breaker of chains. He sets us Free! He keeps ALL of his promises. He works miracles! He IS THE WAY! And the LIGHT OF THE WORLD in Darkness. A whole world of Darkness, we need to shine HIS LIGHT! To comfort those who are broken. To reach out. Thank God he saves you from you! Get tucked into his glory! Be his light for others, in a world so dark, share his light. Galations 5:6 “… the ONLY thing that counts is faith expressing itself through LOVE.” The world needs more love, and God’s got it in overflow, to flow through you.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you! Thank you for this day, for your words, for your Spirit. For living within us, that we may shine your light for others. That we may bless others the way that you have blessed us, that you may shine your light through us. May we show others your light in overflow. Bless the work of our hands, and the words from our lips. May we be soldiers and ambassadors and lights and comforters and everything we need to be to show others your great love. May your Kingdom come down through us and show others the light and the way and the love that you have, O God. May we never quench your Spirit. May we always have the strength and the courage to do your will. Thank you Father for all that you have done, and all that you would have us do. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

I’m taking a moment to encourage a mission that isn’t near my home, but it’s focus is near and dear to my heart. PTSD, mental illness, and addictions are serious, and real. They affect millions of people every year, and they’re so deceptive because they typically are dressed in normal clothes, and look like regular people. But, as my entire life has shown me, these people struggle the most. How hard is it to explain that your brain is your own worst enemy? How impossible is it to explain, that there is no tangible reason that you can’t function like everyone else, because you simply can’t. These are the battles that millions of people face. An underlying disease and crisis that sits just below the surface and doesn’t get nearly the attention it should, considering how many people are struggling with it. Feel free to check these guys out, I did find one that has a focus on helping people find Christ while they endure this journey, but really, take a moment and reach out wherever you can. Even if you don’t understand, sometimes the biggest impact you can make is just being there for someone who needs it.

A Place of Hope

Pray for those who need it, and for those who help, and for everyone fighting a battle today ❤