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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.

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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

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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 ❤

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Every step

Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. – Mark 5:19

As I’m coming off this season of busy, I’m thinking about how every step matters. It’s a step in the right direction. How many steps it took to get here. To get there. To get to where I’m going.

You know, looking back on my life, I took a lot of steps. Steps in the wrong direction. Steps down bad roads, and wrong turns, and dead end streets. And many times, I purposefully took that step. I knew, I didn’t care. Took that step and stayed there, took another step further. I went so fast down that way, my own friends and family didn’t recognize me. I had turned into a monster, that frankly scared people. I was so far down that road, I couldn’t see the way back. The forest for the trees. I was pretty content there too. That’s something a lot of addicts don’t talk about. We’re not usually sitting around in self-loathing wondering how we got here. We’re totally happy here. We don’t need saving. We’re good.

And now, today, to think back, I ache. I ache because of the pain I caused my loved ones, but not really for myself. I don’t feel bad for myself, I did that, but thank God for his grace. For his everlasting, loving light. For his reassuring, guiding light back. Always reminds me of how he’s a gentleman. He could’ve done all kinds of stuff to try to snap me out of it, and he did send a couple messengers/nudges over the years, but I had to come back on my own. No one else could do it for me.

And now, I’m so different. So different from before. And what’s super crazy, is I liked both of me. I liked the old me, but I love the new me. I’m so grateful for all the baby steps that got me here. I’m thankful for the incredible grace that allows me to not be defined by my mistakes. I’m not who I used to be. Thank God, he saves you from you.

As I was reading Ephesians today that all kinda flooded into my head. I think that’s part of why I like Paul so much. I can relate. Although I’ve never killed anyone, Paul was one nasty dude. And a lot of times, when I think back on who I used to be, that’s who it reminds me of. This completely different person, totally transformed by the grace of God. Just like my buddy, Paul. Sometimes it’s just really incredible and inspirational to think about the little miracles that God is doing every day. And the really inspirational part to me, is that no one is ever too far gone, for God to bring them back. We can always come home.

I AM AN EXAMPLE OF WHEN #GODSHOWEDUP

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you! Thank you for being the incredible miracle-worker that you are. Thank you for your incredible example of Paul, to show us for thousands of years, that no one is too far gone. We can always come back home. We can always come back to you Father, and live in your over-abundant grace and glory. That we can always believe in you, and trust in you. We can always count on you to be there for us in our times of need, and in our times of plenty. That you are the Good, Good Father that always provides, always heals, always forgives. Thank you for your everlasting love Father. For all that you are and all that you would have us be. For all the days of our lives. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Channel to Brazil – Talk about a mission group that saves people! I first discussed them in God’s Plans. And they were the first mission that I started focusing on when I started Mission’s Circle. “Our work is all about offering a pathway out of poverty for children. With 35 years of experience of working in Brazil, our programs are designed to support families and build stronger communities.”

You can read more about them here.

And donate here.

Encouragement

Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace—because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock. – Isaiah 26:3-4

It’s funny how much we all need encouragement sometimes. I have been struggling with my blog lately. I think particularly because I had never wanted to write a blog in the first place. So, trying to figure out direction is difficult. I had never had a plan. And to try to make one now seemed so daunting. Plus, as I stated before, I had plenty of things going on, so trying to add one more thing just seemed like a lot. It had even crossed my mind that maybe my blog had reached a natural end of sorts and maybe I was just done?

But then, as always,#Godshowedup to reassure me that this was not it. That I could continue to follow the Spirit and God would give me things to write about. Then, sharing my story last week, I had a few readers reach out and tell me how encouraging they found my blog and looked forward up reading it – which of course, only encouraged me more. Then, as I was reading Galatians this morning, even more encouragement poured forth.

The apostle Paul experienced the same struggles. He brought Barnabus and Titus with him to Jerusalem, and then saw him falling into the old ways due to environment and social pressures, and makes this monumental speech, that just rallied me!

Galatians 2

Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain. Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message. On the contrary, they recognized that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised. For God, who was at work in Peter as an apostle to the circumcised, was also at work in me as an apostle to the Gentiles. James, Cephas and John, those esteemed as pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcised. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.

Paul Opposes Cephas

11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

17 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.

19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” –all emphasis my own

Imagine speaking before all those people with such boldness and ferver. To be so in the Word, and encouraged by the Spirit to face adversity and even your own brethren falling into the wayside that you stand your ground and rally the troops!

Here I am, send me! No job too small, no soul left behind.

Thank you, Father!

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your encouragement! Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to live inside us and those around us that they may be in tune to our needs. Thank you for sending the Word that we may always have a Word of Encouragement. Thank you for blessing our lives with your overwhelming, overabundant love and grace Father. Thank you for all that you do for us, and all that you are. Bless the work of our hands and the words from our lips each and every day. That we may see the needs of those around us and be so in tune with your Spirit that we do your work when those around us need it. Thank you Father for all that you have done and all that you would have us do. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!

Mission’s Circle

Channel to Brazil – These guys popped up in my head today as I was thinking about which mission to support. I first discussed them in God’s Plans. And they were the first mission that I started focusing on when I started Mission’s Circle. “Our work is all about offering a pathway out of poverty for children. With 35 years of experience of working in Brazil, our programs are designed to support families and build stronger communities.”

You can read more about them here.

And donate here.

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#Godshowedup

Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:25

Sometimes you just move in the Spirit. Sometimes things just work out and it all comes together. I was once again feeling guilty that I had missed my Saturday morning deadline, but as I’ve stated last week, still coming off of burning it on both ends. So, this morning I go to church. And, as I’m sitting listening to our Pastor’s report from India missions, I started thinking about how grateful I was to have such a wonderful church family. That maybe I should stop and talk to one of the Pastors afterward to see what I might be able to do to help keep this blog rolling. I’m just having a hard time getting into a rhythm again. To know what it is I’m supposed to be talking about here.

And, as I was kinda packing up my stuff and looking around, here came an usher, that I see every Sunday, but don’t think I’ve ever really talked to before. And, he starts sharing with me about this really motivational speaker he listens to, and she gives daily blessings that he shares with a list of people every day. That he encourages all these people every day. And, I shared with him that I have a blog and a ladies’ Bible Study. And, you know #Godshowedup. As he always does. He sent me a messenger. An encourager. Another set of resources to reach into. To find these people that encourage others every day. And, I appreciate it so deeply. I love that the Spirit moves and that those who allow him to move through them, will never be disappointed.

I’m so grateful to have a personal relationship with Jesus and to see the Spirit move in miraculous ways, every day. I am so grateful for everything that I have, and everything that I’ve been through to have such a wonderful testimony that God urges me to share with others, that they might also be encouraged in their walk. That they might have the veil lifted to watch for the ways God moves all the time. To continually remind me that #Godshowedup.

And, I did have a moment with the Pastor to encourage her and share how inspirational she is and how much I appreciate everything they do for the Lord and for others. To remind us, that the most important thing is to share the GOOD NEWS! To bring others to Christ. To encourage one another. To be here and to let the Spirit move through us to bring people to the Light and to build each other up.

Here is what I wrote during the service today, before my messenger showed up:

“Living in the Word has sustained me. Believing in Jesus Christ has made it so I can live. And I am winning at life. That I may be so grateful and blessed. This was emphasized again today as I sat in church. That I find it so uplifting and it makes me full. That I may not be lukewarm. Part of why it’s so important to have a church family and fellowship with one another. That you may be uplifted and encouraged, that you may grow in your faith. That may be in tune with the Spirit and be a channel for God to show up. That you may be in tune and understand when God shows up.”

And then, He did. Every time.

Image result for hebrews 13:1-2

God bless you all.

I can do all things

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

Sometimes, I catch myself burning it at both ends. Hence, part of why I missed last week. It’s definitely a struggle when you start running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Things slip through the cracks, and things have to be put down because you literally have too much on your plate. But, I have learned the warning signs of too much at once, and early burnout. I’m one of those people that when I start burning out, I get really sick too. So, I have to slow down and put a few things down, for the sake of me. You can’t fill up other people’s gas tanks, if yours isn’t full to give.

But, this last week, I noticed one thing. I had read a story about a dad telling his son how big God is, all depends on your closeness to God. He used the analogy of seeing an airplane. From far away, God seems really small, but as they approached the airport – the plane became huge. God, in your life, is only as big as how close you are to him. And this really stuck a chord with me. It’s true. And later that evening, I was laying down, and I had the overwhelming sensation that I was laying underneath a plane. That I couldn’t see anything for all the plane there was. It was really incredible, and I really enjoyed it, and it gave me an overwhelming sense of peace.

That’s been the other part of this too. I haven’t felt nearly as stressed in this season of burning at both ends, like I’m busy and doing all the things, but I haven’t been panicky because of it. Because I have the overwhelming peace of God. Which brings me to another thought I’ve been having this past week. I’ve been thinking of the prayer that our church says before every sermon.

“This is my Bible, I Am what it says I am. I can do what it says I can do. Today I’ll be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess, I’m about to receive, the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living seed of the Word of God. I’ll never be the same, never, ever, ever, In Jesus Name, Amen. ”

The pastor leads us in that prayer before we receive the Word. And he doesn’t just say it, he stops and we repeat as he goes. I later came to find out that some of this is Joel Osteen too, but he’s added his own stuff too. The first couple times we prayed this, and I really thought about these words, I cried.

“I am what it says I am, I can do what it says I can do.” The Bible says, all things are possible with God. I am his workmanship. I am beautifully and wonderfully made. I serve the same God who created the universe and raised Christ from the dead. The God who gave barren women children, who healed lepers, who made the blind see, and the lame walk. The God who defeated the devil in sending his son to save us and reconnect us with the Almighty. That’s the God we serve. “And I will never be the same. Never, ever, ever. In Jesus name.”

It’s an incredibly powerful prayer, and to say it every week, reminding yourself what God says about you, and what you are declaring about your God-you will never be the same. Declaring these things over your life is critical. You have to speak life to yourself, and declare your life to God, and he’ll never leave where you’re at, He saves you from you. And I thank God for that.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all that you do for us. Thank you for all that you are. That you save us from ourselves. Thank you for sending your word, that we may grow in you Father. That you reassure us who we are, and inform us what we can do with you Father. That we are blessed because of you, and you continue to bless us, each and every day. Thank you Father God-for everything. IN JESUS’ NAME! AMEN!

Mission’s Circle

Lately, I have had these guys on my heart, Diamond Willow Ministries. Here’s their mission statement: The mission of Diamond Willow Ministries as a Christ centered organization is to empower and develop healthy Christian youth, families, and leaders by meeting current spiritual, emotional, and physical needs within the Native American community.

I’m not sure what all they need right now, but pray for them. Reach out to them. Thank God for their ministry and pray that He lays his hands upon it right now.

And as always, you can donate: here

Part of the Family

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

While our Pastors have been over in India, we have had a chance to listen to our newer Pastor speak. He has had a message for the past couple weeks about being a part of God’s family and what all that means. One of the parts that he has touched on, is that we are adopted into the family. This particularly has spoken to me because I am part of an adoptive family myself. Let me share what this has meant to me.

Growing up, I knew that I had a brother and sister. They are quite a bit older than I am, and they had pretty much already grown up and moved out by the time I really started living life and remembering things. So, for the most part I grew up as an only child, but I knew they were out there, living life. My sister would call and visit sometimes, and my brother would write letters, but I also understood that they were adults and they had their own lives. But, I was actually a bit older before I ever figured out that they were adopted.

I remember being really surprised. I had no idea, they were just my brother and sister to me. My parents explained that they had these whole other lives and families before they came to be a part of ours, but that it didn’t change anything between us, they were our family. So, as I was growing up there were several times where people would ask if I had siblings, and I would say yes, a brother and sister. And I would leave it at that, I didn’t tell people they were adopted. Because it didn’t matter, they were our family now. And, that particular thought has really struck home while listening to the Pastor’s messages these past couple weeks. That’s how God feels about us being a part of His family. Doesn’t matter that we had before lives, or other stuff, we’re a part of the family now. I actually had a moment not too long ago, where my son found out that my siblings were adopted and as he was trying to sort through that concept, he kept referring to them as my “adopted brother” or “adopted sister”, and one time he said it, and I cut him off and said, “Please stop referring to them like that, they’re just brother and sister. The adopted part doesn’t matter, they’re my family just like if my parents had them themselves. I don’t like you saying it like that, they’re not different just because they’re adopted, they’re my family.” Now, I don’t think my son was trying to mean it any kind of way, he was just trying to understand the concept, but it did really hurt my feelings. They are my family, I understand that they came into my family differently – but it doesn’t mean they are any less my family.

I’m really appreciative of being able to grow up like this and understand this concept of family different than most, I feel, because it has really affected how I treat people and what I understand a family to be. I have welcomed the concept of being a family to a lot of people over the years, it’s not hard to be a part of my family. And, I believe, a lot of people need that. I wish more people were more accepting of the concept, because it really shouldn’t be that difficult to feel a connection like that. And, if you think about it, it’s not hard to be a part of God’s family either. He doesn’t lay down a lot of rules, you don’t have to jump through a million hoops. You want to be a part of the family? Sure! Come on in! There’s plenty of room and love here.

The other part of all of this, is that my brother and sister have all the same benefits I do, when they’re hurt or struggling, they have parents to call on. They come to family holidays (well, the one doesn’t but only because they live so far away – not because they’re not welcome.) They get gifts and phone calls and cards. Their children aren’t treated any differently. They are family. Just like us being a part of God’s family. We get all the blessings and benefits of being a part of His family. He is our good, good Father, and together we are all a part of the family of God.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you! Thank you for the opportunity and the ability to be a part of Your family. Thank you, that you love us so much. Thank you for your blessings and your love. Thank you that we can all come into your family and feel loved and connected to one another and to you. I am just so appreciative of my experience, of the earthly family you have given me that I can better understand your love and what it means to be a part of Your family. Thank you for all that you do Father, that everyone may feel the love and connection that I feel, being one of your children. That you may bless me and bless those reading this all the days of our lives. Bless the works of our hands and the words from our mouths that they may bring glory and honor to you Father. Thank you for all that you’ve done for us, and all you will continue to do. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Surprise, surprise. This week I’m choosing an adoption mission. This group has the mission statement: “A Family for Every Child is dedicated to finding loving, permanent families for every waiting foster child.” Did you know, there are 430,000 children in foster care in the United States? That’s a lot of children waiting to experience the love of a family… If that doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what would. Take some time to read about this mission here. Pray for these children, they need and deserve love and a forever home.

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Featured

Here I am

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” – Isaiah 6:8

61 sThe Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

because the Lord has tanointed me

to bring good news to the poor;1

he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and uthe opening of the prison to those who are bound;2

  vto proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

wand the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn;

  to grant to those who mourn in Zion—

xto give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,

ythe oil of gladness instead of mourning,

the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;

zthat they may be called oaks of righteousness,

the planting of the Lord, athat he may be glorified.3

  bThey shall build up the ancient ruins;

they shall raise up the former devastations;

they shall repair the ruined cities,

the devastations of many generations.

  cStrangers shall stand and tend your flocks;

foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;

  dbut you shall be called the priests of the Lord;

they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;

eyou shall eat the wealth of the nations,

and in their glory you shall boast.

  fInstead of your shame there shall be a double portion;

instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;

therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;

they shall have everlasting joy.

I have been enjoying just digging into scripture lately, and especially sharing some of my favorites with you. I heard this one for the first time a little over a year ago, on a podcast. The preacher informed us that we could borrow it, but that it was his. LOL. He was just kidding of course. But, this was also during a time where I was praying a lot of scripture in my prayers. And let me tell you, that when you start praying scripture in your prayers, you better be ready for what happens next.

I believe that this scripture is for everyone who follows Christ. We are to help everyone we can, and help be the hand that rains blessings on others, and bind up the broken-hearted. To recite this prayer on a regular basis and remind yourself what it is you are striving for, will most assuredly change your attitude, and your life.

I find it interesting, when I was growing up, we were broke. This is what my mom always told me, “we’re not poor, we’re broke.” We have enough money to pay the bills and put food on the table, but not a lot past that. So, as most kids living in that situation, I had great dreams and aspirations of growing up to get a job that was going to fix that issue. I was not going to be broke when I grow up. And, as we all know, easier said than done. But, I did, I set my heart to that goal. I have fought and struggled every step of the way, to try to not have that lifestyle. And, it’s finally starting to pay off – you know 14 years into being an adult, I’m finally getting there.

But what’s really incredible, what really blows my mind, is that every since I’ve renewed myself to Christ, and really started to walk in the faith. To take these goals, and smash them, and start taking leaps and jumps into where I’ve wanted to be. My mind has only turned to how can I use what I have, to help others. I find myself wanting to go do missions, to donate my time and my resources, to be about my Father’s business. I found myself compelled to write a blog even. <– It doesn’t always have to be money.

The point is, my Spirit has changed. It has aligned itself with the truly important things of this world, and the next. I always felt that once I reached my goals, I would feel this sense of satisfaction and completion, but now that I am here, quite literally living my dream, I only find myself wanting to do more. Not to have more money, or more things, or whatever, but to do more for God. This wanting, urging feeling that I need to go. How can I use all that I have, to do more for Him?

I’m sharing all of that, to tell you this. I believe that if you are not already praying scripture, that you should. You should find a scripture that speaks to you, and start praying it. Write it down on an index card, and start praying it. Once a week, every day, whatever you want, but just start aligning yourself with the Spirit of Christ. Another favorite scripture of mine to pray, is this one. Talk about “be ready” for what the scripture will unlock for you. This one is POWERFUL. Paul’s prayer for spiritual wisdom for the Ephesians.

15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere,[e] 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom[f] and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.

Ephesians 1:15-23

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you! Thank you, that you do not leave us where we’re at. That you bring us into your fold, and make us more like you. That you bless the work of our hands, and that you give us the need and desire to do your will. That you make ours lives forever more blessed and abundant through your Word. I pray today Father, that you renew in me a heart for you. That I will always rest-assured in you, and abide in your will. I strive to be more like you, and less like me. That you may bless the work of my hands, and the lives that I touch in such abundance that all will know your name, and know that you are the good, good Father who provides, who heals, who binds up and looses all things Father. I pray that I be a shining light for you and your will. That more may come to know you, through me. That I am the good, good servant who is about their Father’s business. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Our church supports a lot of missionaries and missions. Including our Pastors – Dave and Jeanne Kaufman! They are in India this next week to support the Pastors and Preachers there. They have held 21 Pastor’s Conferences all over India in the last 2 weeks! They have been pouring out blessings upon the people there, and have witnessed miracles and miraculous healings! Feel free to support this worthy cause and encourage them on their trip, and remember you can always pray for them! – Just choose “missions” in the drop down. 🙂

https://my.simplegive.com/App/Giving/holy241165

God answers prayer

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

You know, when I started this blog over a year ago, my life was crazy. Not to say it isn’t now, but it was hard crazy. I was doing a lot of hard things. Working two jobs to try to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. I was still recovering from the loss of my dad. I was dealing with a lot. And, yet here was this still small voice telling me about how I should write a blog. And, to be honest, never a dream of mine. Always thought writing was cool, but I would much rather read somebody else’s writing. I always thought my life would make a cool movie, but not a book? But here, in the midst of chaos, I’m reading about bloggers, reading blogs, etc. and I could just hear this voice urging me to write. And, as I tell in my story, finally one day I did. And here we are, over a year later, still finding things to tell you about every week. Sharing the Good News, and explaining how you should be digging deeper, and telling everyone about when #Godshowedup.

Today and this week, I have been constantly reminded of how God answers prayer. Prayer is the most powerful thing we can do as believers. I think, as believers, we lose sight of all the prayers that He answers sometimes. That’s part of why I started my Prayer Box. A way to keep track of answered prayers. That’s why when I received a free prayer journal, I dedicated it to my Ladies’ Bible Study, so we can keep track of prayer requests – and so we can see all the answered prayers – many times-within the week! I think this truly conscious awareness of how much God answers prayer has really strengthened my faith, confirmed my beliefs, and encourages me daily. I know, that He doesn’t always answer every prayer, nor how you think He would answer them. But answers are answers, nonetheless.

This week, our candle business had a new growth opportunity, we entered into a consignment shop! I have also dedicated myself to trying to go to a Vendor Fair once a month, to continue assured income for my husband – who is making 95% of these candles. But here, a little over a year ago, I was praying to God. Give us answers, help us. And, I thought my new job was the answer, but that didn’t answer for my husband. Now, with the candle business, even more prayers have been answered. Then, of course, you pray that the business is successful, and in the 2 short months we’ve been open, we’ve made more than our first year. Are you kidding me?! God provides. God answers.

On Tuesday night, we prayed for our country. Prayed for discernment, understanding, and knowledge for the people in charge to help find resolution. We understand that it is not over, but it appears to be going in the right direction. We prayed for healing, and there was. We prayed for families, loved-ones, and relationships, and God is stirring in their hearts to fix things.

This year, I’ve prayed for so many things that I could keep you here for hours with my answered prayers. I encourage you to count your blessings, to track your answered prayers, because #Godshowedup in my life on a daily basis sometimes, and definitely in the lives of others I know. Answered my prayers and my prayers for others. God always wants to move, but you have to give Him an in, you have to bring His will down into your life. And you have to be ready to move, to open the door, to close another one, you have to be ready for the answer you get. Pray daily, pray when you least feel like it but need it most. That’s your direct channel to the one who can do something when you feel like you can’t do anything.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you! Thank you for being the God who provides. The God who is there, the Alpha & Omega, the Great I AM. I just appreciate each day so much Father. Each and every day is so rich in life and love, that we may all be so blessed. That you are the God who answers prayer. Thank you for sending your son so that we may have that direct channel with you. That we no longer need all the old ways to have to talk to you every day, and that you wanted and loved us so much that you sent Jesus to be our connection to you. That we can live and bask in the glorious light and love that you give. I am just so grateful, words cannot express. Thank you for all that you do for us, each and every day. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

With Australia being a big focus on the news, I decided to look for an Australian mission. Because, Australia needs prayers right now. Prayers for their fires, for the thousands of animals and people that are being displaced, but also for them in general. Australia has seen a sharp decline in church attendance in the past several years, and this group is focused on church planting and missions outreach. Take some time to read about: Operation Mobilization – an Australian based Mission Group that is reaching out to locals.

https://www.omusa.org/stories

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