#Godshowedup

3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 
4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 
5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 
6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 
7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 
8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 
9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 
10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 
11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. – Phillippians 1:3-11

#Godshowedup. He’s showing up all over, isn’t He? I did an exercise with my Ladies’ Bible Study two weeks ago, where we were supposed to keep track of how God provided for us, each day. And each of us, was able to realize and show how #Godshowedup, somehow, some way, in each of our lives, every day. When you focus on the good, it’s easy to see. Now, given, we’re a little more practiced at watching for Him, but if you take some time each day, and keep your eyes open, you’ll see it too. Sometimes, He shows up in big ways, and sometimes they’re small, but if you let Him, he’ll always show up.

Here’s my record of that week:

Wednesday: Prayer for Anxiety & Waymaker showing up next on Pandora (This one was interesting, I had woken up and for some reason was very anxious all morning, I was just really panicked, and as I fought to decide what to do, I reached out to my Bible study group feed and asked for prayer, and then, within a moment people responded with prayer, and as a sense of calm started to wash over me, the WayMaker song started playing on Pandora – which is my favorite worship song, and my anxiety just vanished.) #Godshowedup

Thursday – We had won a free supper that was delivered (This was from events that had unfolded the week before)

Friday – getting to see family, having some fresh air, toilet paper – This was Good Friday, so I had the day off. I started calling to local businesses to see who had toilet paper (as we were getting low), and the very last place I called as a last ditch effort did have some. I jumped in the car, and picked some up immediately. I also took this opportunity to buy some groceries for someone I knew, and got to see them while I was dropping it off (momentarily and observing social distancing while I was there).

Saturday – Masks delivery, being able to help others, and more toilet paper. – I had shipped some masks to a nursing home in a different town. They delivered on Saturday, which made me feel amazing since I knew they were in serious need. And, I had found another thing of toilet paper, by chance at a store that I had to run to since we had run out of some essentials.

Sunday – Easter Sunday – I had read a recipe on Tuesday in my Bible Study that was for communion style bread, the low & behold, this Sunday we were having communion during online Church. This was a great blessing. We also enjoyed Easter, and I got to spend some time video-chatting with some friends.

Tuesday – I didn’t get anything written down for Monday, but Tuesday was getting to spend time with my Bible Study ladies through video chatting. Getting to share in the Word, and hear of their experiences throughout the week with God. Of how He had showed up in their lives.

If you learn to look for it, you’ll start to see God everywhere. He’s always on the move. If you open yourself up to letting Him work through you, you’ll start to see Him using you in miraculous ways. And blessing you. God wants to have a relationship with us. Please believe that knowing God is not a religion, but a personal relationship with your Savior. God sent His son to die for us that we might have a relationship with Him. That we might know Him as our friend, our confidante, our provider, our healer; He is the Great I AM.

God bless all of you. I would like to challenge you this week, to take a moment each day, to look at what God is doing in your life. To know that He is showing up, every day, all the time. To let Him be a part of your life in the every day, not just on Sunday, not just when you think you need Him. But watch for Him. To pull the veil from your eyes, and see Him reaching out to you every day. Because He is.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you. Thank you for showing up. Thank you for watching over us, guiding us, and protecting us. For sending your son, to die for us, that we might have a personal relationship with you. That we may all see the wonder and awe of you showing up in our lives, every day. That we may all appreciate every little thing you do for us. That you watch over us in every step we take, that you may guide our footsteps in the ways that are righteous and holy and observe you Father. That we may have our eyes open in the ways that you reveal yourself Lord, that you are in our lives in more ways than we realize, if we just stopped and reveled in the glory of your love that you shower upon us, each and every day Lord. That we may be the work of your hands, and see the Your work every day Father. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

I found this charity last night that I had never heard of. The Direct Relief fund. They are doing amazing things to help with this pandemic. Their main focus is getting medical supplies to where they need to go. And they’ve been doing it for years!

Take some time to read about what they’re doing to help: https://www.directrelief.org/emergency/coronavirus-outbreak/

Feel free to donate: https://secure.directrelief.org/site/Donation2?df_id=2924&mfc_pref=T&2924.donation=form1

God is Love

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8

Sometimes I like to revisit oldies but goodies. This one was on my heart to revisit today.

Holy Spirit Moves

As I started to wonder what I was going to share this week, I decided I wanted share on observing the Holy Spirit moving a little bit too. Maybe I’m “preaching to the choir” here, but it always leaves me in AWE. And to be honest, it’s one of the biggest pieces of evidence that God is real to me. Like, Real in our lives – actively pursuing us – ALIVE – and the only explanation as to how some of this stuff happens. Watching his Kingdom become overwhelmed with his MESSAGE.

Let me explain a little what I mean: I’m reading the Bible – and what I’m reading is quoted in the sermon. 3 days later, I listen to multiple podcasts from churches all over the country and they all have the same theme for weeks at a time. Quoting the same scriptures even. I hear a good word, I feel compelled to tell others, and they tell me it’s exactly what they needed to hear. I mean! Holy Ghost! I LOVE IT! It gives me a child-like wonder – it’s beautiful and incredible to watch and experience. All of these seemingly separate entities – hearing the same word from God. Which to me, just emphasizes that we are all his church. And, obviously, we’re all tapped in, since we’re all hearing the same thing. I hope that if you have not realized that this happens, that I have pulled away the veil for you. That you may now experience this incredible constant miracle – now that you can SEE it happening. I pray that for all of you, right now. That you may all forever see and experience the Holy Spirit moving through you and others, and live in the child-like AWE and WONDER of how beautiful that movement and unity creates in all of our lives. He is ALL things to All people. God Bless It!

God is Love

So – one of the things that I have been seeing, hearing, and experiencing is the Holy Spirit almost shouting at us is: Love!

I have heard several pastors declare that this is the year of Love. We are breaking out in Love all over! And honestly, let’s dig in! GOD IS LOVE! AMEN! *Mic drop* 🙂 I almost feel like that’s all that needs to be said. Here’s this message that I’m just hearing all over, and when I go to write about it this week, the first statement that came out of my pen, was GOD IS LOVE! Even I, had not put it all together until I was trying to tell you about it. But, let’s unpack it a little more though, right?

Faith manifests itself through Love – through God- through loving one another – loving ourselves. The year of Love. The year of forgiving and letting go and letting God. We are told to love each other as we love ourselves. And, in today’s world, that’s a TALL ORDER. But, it’s true, along this journey, we need to figure out how to love ourselves. I’ve been told for most of my life, that I have a big heart, but my “big heart” didn’t always have space for me in there. But, over the years, I have grown to love me, and in turn, I have found that I love others even more. And, one of the things that has grown me, that set me free, was realizing that God loves me like I love my kid. And, if you don’t have kids, let me try to describe it: Imagine having someone in your life – that you love SO MUCH- it hurts. You physically ache with your love when you think about it. It grabs your chest and consumes you! It’s overwhelming! You constantly wonder how they are – you want everything to be the best of everything for them. Like, your whole purpose in life is TO LOVE THEM. <—THAT IS HOW GOD FEELS ABOUT YOU!! We are his children. He tells us that repeatedly. We are the sons and daughters, and we have a Father who loves us SOOOOO MUCH!!! And, he loves us so much, not because we deserve it, but because he created us. Psalm 139:14 says “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (NIV) Every single one of us, and our lives were written in his book before they came to be. I know my own personal capacity for love, and if my God loves me more than that, I am blessed, and so are you because he loves you too. Now, if you didn’t have great parents or any parents or you don’t have kids or anything – GOD IS ALL OF THAT! He IS love! And if you love him to the best of your ability – he will show you what you’ve been missing out on. Because his word does not return void. He IS love, and he loves you and will actively love you if you let him. He wants to have a relationship with you. 1 Corinthians 8:3 “But whoever loves God is known by God.” (NIV) He’s not at church, waiting for you on Sunday or Wednesday, he’s INSIDE of you. Ephesians 3:16 says “…His Spirit in your inner being.”

Quick search tells me that Love is mentioned 310 times in the Bible, that’s almost as much as Fear Not. It’s one of the bigger themes of the Bible, because it’s God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 and God is Love!!! A year of Love – the year of God! God showing up! God being there and here, and ALL things to ALL people (1 Corinthians 9:22) And let’s be honest, who doesn’t need more love in their lives? Less of me, and more of you Father. More Love. I’d like to pray for you today:

Dear Father, I pray for everyone reading this, that they accept you. That they embrace you and your love. Bless them in all the work of their hands, in all their lives, and all the lives they touch – today, and all the days of their lives. May they go forth showing your light and your love for all the world to see. That they be consumed by your love, and that they consume others with it. Spread it to all the world. That others may see you through them, and that may see you through me. God bless us all, Good Father. We thank you for all your blessings Father. And may we all walk in your love, walk in you THIS YEAR, and ALL the years of our lives. Thank you for your word. Thank you for your blessings on our lives. Thank you for loving us, and showing us how to love others. Blessed be your name Father, that we may know and love you. Thank you for your Amazing love, and that your Holy Spirit moves in us. That we may shine your light for all to see, that they may know that you are God and that you love them. Thank you for all that you do Father, and all that you are, and all that you would have us be. You are the good, good Father. Please bless all of those who are suffering right now, lift them up and heal their bodies. Bless everyone who is out there working during this time, nurses, doctors, grocery store workers, fast food, everyone, and bless everyone in every step they are taking right now to stay safe. Keep us all safe Father. Watch over us, guide us, and protect us. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Focus on the positive. If you are already doing something, then bless you! Keep on, keeping on!

Ways to reach out, where you’re at:

Make a video of something fun and interesting for those in isolation

Facetime people you know who are in isolation

Are there elderly/older people around you? Save them a trip to the store (next time you go), by picking up their stuff too and delivering it to them

Make masks and donate to local clinics, nursing homes, older people you know (many states have a specific #millionmaskmayday page to find local places that need masks if you’re local clinic isn’t accepting them.)

Participate in #worldofhearts or #we’reallinthistogether by decorating your windows with hearts

Think of something on your own. What can you do to help? Everyone can be a missionary, where they’re at.

Bread

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. – John 6:35

We are about to experience one of the weirdest Easter’s ever. An Easter with no Sunrise Service. No Church services, in person. No Easter Egg hunts for the masses. No rabbit pictures. And yet, I’m not discouraged. It’s going to be strange, for sure. But, Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And missing out on any of the above items is not going to change that. I know millions of people out there are still going to do the best they can with what they’ve got because that’s who we are as humans. And no circumstance can change the fact that He is Risen!

We have recently been studying the Widow of Zarepheth in my Bible Study. Which is a very encouraging story. It takes place in 1 Kings 17. 1st of all, Elijah the prophet had been living by a river bed, being fed by ravens twice a day for 3 1/2 years during a drought. Read that sentence again. Because our God provides. And when God had told Elijah to go live by this river bed, he just picked up and went. No questions about how God was going to provide, just went. So, he had just gotten done hanging out for 3 1/2 years, camping by a river and being fed meat twice a day by ravens, when God suddenly told him, “Arise, go to wZarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” Now, some context here. Sidon is the heart of where Baal worship was happening. And Elijah was not a popular guy amongst the people who worshipped Baal. So – Arise and go deep behind enemy lines, into the heart of the people who hate you and me. And there you will live. Because you know, God never asks us to do easy tasks. Then, please note, that God told Elijah that there was a widow that would feed him. We did discuss in the Bible Study, how did God prepare the widow? How did she know to step out in faith and feed this man when he arrived? The Bible doesn’t say, but it was an interesting point of discussion and food for thought. Because then, Elijah arrives and asks her to bring him water and bread. She explains that she was about to make the last of her bread to feed her son and herself one more time, then they were waiting to die. Elijah explains that if she gives him the first mini-loaf, then there will be plenty for her and her son. And the pot of flour and the pot of oil will never run out until the rain comes. Great setting for #Godshowedup. Cards are down, backs against the wall, time has run out, and there are no hail mary’s left to throw. God’s favorite intro. And low and behold, the widow does it. She steps out in faith, and makes the last morsel of food for the stranger Elijah. And, the miracle of bread happens. The miracle of ever-lasting bread that would feed these three people for an indefinite amount of time, until the drought is lifted. I find it interesting that we do know how long Elijah hangs out by the river and gets fed by birds, but we are not told how long they eat from the bottomless jars of flour and oil.

Then, after an indefinite amount of time, the son of the widow falls ill and dies. And, the widow of course is distraught and upset and accuses Elijah and God that this is their fault. So, Elijah brings the boy into another room and prays over him. And God breathes life back into him. And, the widow’s response, “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth.”

This whole story spans 24 verses. And yet, there is so much in it. And, we never learn the widow’s name, or the son’s name, or what happened to them after all of this took place. I like to think that she and her son converted and started following the Lord. That they shared their testimony with others. But, Elijah just goes on with his missions. It was anywhere from 3 1/2 to 5 years of his life (maybe more), and it was just a blip in this story. And yet, one of the most inspirational and comforting stories I have read. Here there is hardship in the land, but those who believe (and even those who don’t initially) are being cared for by the Lord. He is providing. He cares and has his hand upon the situation. He asks these people to step out in faith, and when they do, #Godshowsup.

Because He is the Bread of Life. Which was interesting because as we were studying this, here it is, coming on Easter Sunday. And in our study book, there was a recipe for Bread. Which if you know anything about baking, this recipe, is unleven bread. *Bread without yeast…. Which is typically used for communion. And when do millions of people suddenly turn up at Church when they might not go any other Sunday? On Easter and Christmas. And what do you typically have during these services? Communion.

Then, as I’m watching my church’s online service for Wednesday night, here they are, once again talking about how God is bread. I love when this happens. God has a message for his people. And for all who are listening, they all join together and start sharing the same message. And, during this time of hardship and overwhelming uncertainty, God is trying to tell us, not to worry – He will provide. Focus on Him, cast your worries upon Him, and He will care for you. He has seen famine, He has seen plague, He has seen despair and worry and uncertainty, and He was there. And He provided. And He carried His people through. He shows up. This time, is no different. We just have to trust Him. We may have never experienced this before, but God has, and He knows just what to do, and we just have to trust Him – that He is doing it.

Here is Holy Life Tabernacle’s Wednesday Night Service:

And here is a recipe for some bread if you would like to have communion on Sunday, or just share in the experience of the widow of Zarepheth and Elijah. *Also, on the Holy Life Youtube channel Sunday morning – we will be having communion if you would like to share in that.

1 c. whole wheat flour (or white flour – whatever you have)

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 c. water

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine ingredients. Knead dough on floured surface for 5 minutes. Roll out dough to about 1/8″ thick. Place on a cookie sheet that is well oiled or lined with baker’s parchment. Bake for 20 minutes. – Recipe courtesy of Waiting A Bible Study of Patience, Hope, and Trust by Sharla Fritz.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your provisions. Thank you for your message this week. That you are the Bread of Life. That we shall partake daily. That we shall rest in your word and feast upon your provisions. That You are the God of more than enough. A God who loves his children. That you will bless us and care for us. That we may rest assured that even though we have never experienced anything like what is happening right now, You have. That You know just what to do and You will be the Shepard. You will ensure our jars never run dry. You will lay your hands upon the land and bless us Father. That you will remove this plague from the land and we will rise up and grow ever stronger in You Father. That You are the Great, The Almighty, the Beginning and the End, Everything to Everyone Father. That You will bless our lands, and our homes, and our bodies. That you will keep us and never forsake us. That You are the God who is always there, and we can count on that every day of the week. Thank You Father for all You have done, and all You will continue to do. Bless Your Holy Name. In JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Focus on the positive. If you are already doing something, then bless you! Keep on, keeping on!

Ways to reach out, where you’re at:

Make a video of something fun and interesting for those in isolation

Facetime people you know who are in isolation

Are there elderly/older people around you? Save them a trip to the store (next time you go), by picking up their stuff too and delivering it to them

Make masks and donate to local clinics, nursing homes, older people you know (many states have a specific #millionmaskmayday page to find local places that need masks if you’re local clinic isn’t accepting them.)

Participate in #worldofhearts or #we’reallinthistogether by decorating your windows with hearts

Think of something on your own. What can you do to help? Everyone can be a missionary, where they’re at.

Featured

Good work!

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. – Ephesians 2:10

The out-pouring of love I have seen in the recent weeks has been very moving. The resilience and ability to overcome and to reach out and to still find ways to help one another has been incredible to watch and experience. God is on the move. I have heard several people in the last weeks say that there will be a great revival. I believe it is already in motion. I believe that people are already experiencing it. Currently as the numbers climb and the stress and lack of foresight increases, it is important to focus on the positive things. To focus on what you can do within your circle and be encouraged by what others are doing.

Millions of people are sewing handmade masks at home and donating to their local hospitals and nursing homes to help protect those in need. And fabric stores are donating material to mask-makers.

Landlords are waiving rent fees for their tenants.

Schools are offering food to needy families to help with school closures.

A famous football team donated their jet to be used to go to China to acquire 1.2 million masks to go to New Jersey and New York for people in need.

Companies from other parts of the world that are not as affected are acquiring and shipping masks to companies they do business with that are affected.

Teachers have stepped up and figured out how to help make online school possible for thousands of students so they don’t have to try to make up this time later.

People are finding innovative ways to help keep connections with those in isolation by reading books on TV, doing facetime videos, and praying and socializing on messenger.

Movements like #we’reallinthistogether and #worldofhearts have been started as outward displays of solidarity during this time.

People are doing grocery shopping and stores have started special hours for the older people to help minimize their risk.

Restaurants have shifted gears to offer free and contact-less delivery to help make sure people can still go to work and eat and utilize food resources.

Truckers are getting free meals for offering an essential service.

Companies are changing their work to help protect their employees and sometimes modifying what they manufacture to utilize their resources to help make items that are in short supply.

Stores are shutting down and disinfecting every night to help minimize risk to their customers. And essential workers are still going to work and risking their lives to help keep these places open.

#Godshowedup! You know last night, we were watching a movie together and toward the end, I turned to my son and said, “Humans can do incredible things, and what’s funny is they don’t even realize it until it’s happening, until it seems like the only thing that can be done.” We step up. When the cards are down, and our backs are against the wall, we step up. And when you look back at human history, we’ve been doing it forever. There are millions of stories throughout the ages of the incredible things that humans can accomplish.

And, I like to think, it’s because we’re tapping into that part of us that God sent his son to die for. God knows that we’re amazing. God knows his creation. God loves us so much that he sent the one to die for the many. He made the ultimate sacrifice to save our souls, that we may live in Him and feel that connection to Him. Remember in this time, to focus on the positive and remember your Creator. He is incredible, and He made us – no less incredible.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you! Thank you for sending your son to die for us, that we may live in You. That we may honor you with our lips and our lifestyles. That others may see you through us. That you may bless the work of our hands and the words from our mouths Father. We also pray for everyone. For everyone on the front lines helping those in need, for the physicians, the nurses, the hospital staff, for the fast food workers, the grocery store clerks, for the truckers, for the manufacturers, and for everyone who is doing their part in every way. We pray that you heal the nations and wash over us in Your Great Glory. We pray today and every day that you keep people safe, that you continue to work miracles, that you work miracles through us. That you heal the sick and bless their bodies. That you watch over the well, and keep us safe. We pray from deep within our souls Father that you bless us. That you pour out your blessing on each and every one of us, that we may know that You are God. Thank you for all that you’ve done for us, and all that you will do. In the blessed name of JESUS CHRIST!! AMEN!!!

Mission’s Circle

This week I’m encouraging you to find a way to help out. Focus on the positive. If you are already doing something, then bless you! Keep on, keeping on!

But if you haven’t, then show the world your love, and God’s love for them by finding a way to help here:

Make a video of something fun and interesting for those in isolation

Facetime people you know who are in isolation

Are there elderly/older people around you? Save them a trip to the store (next time you go), by picking up their stuff too and delivering it to them

Make masks and donate to local clinics, nursing homes, older people you know (many states have a specific #millionmaskmayday page to find local places that need masks if you’re local clinic isn’t accepting them.) (see last week’s post for links to patterns and instructions)

Participate in #worldofhearts or #we’reallinthistogether by decorating your windows with hearts

Think of something on your own. What can you do to help? Everyone can be a missionary, where they’re at.