Bizarre

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

My season of waiting is over for now. We have successfully moved. Although I am grateful to be done with the wait, as always every experience helps you grow. There were times during the wait that it seemed like it would never be done, times where we were tip-toeing around remodeling people and the landlord to orchestrate this thing. It was one of the most stressful and time-consuming endeavors my husband and I have had to deal with for a while. Which is a little crazy considering some of the things we’ve had to deal with over the years. But live and learn. And, as I kept reminding myself and my husband, that by the 1st, this would all be over. And for the most part, it is.

It was kinda funny, as I woke up this morning and started thinking of what to write this week, I was reminded of another bizarre story of waiting. I’m not completely convinced that I should share it, but I do feel like the Lord reminded me of this particular time, for someone out there reading this. So, here we go.

Years ago, I started getting a lump on my hip during that time of the month. Like a lump the size of an orange. And, then, after about a week, it would disappear. 3 weeks later, here it was again. After 2 months of this, and a coworker asking me about it because they could see it’s gargantuan size through my shirt, I decided to go to the doctor the next time it showed up. This began a series of doctors visits. Ultrasounds, scans, tests, etc. for months. And each month it would disappear, and reappear. Just on the right side, and about the same size, every time. It was terrifying, what was happening? Doctor after doctor, visit after visit, test after test. And no one has an answer. You can visibly see it, but it’s not showing up as anything. No ones knows. I finally go in for this last ditch test before they state that they’re going to have to give me either an MRI or they’re going to do exploratory surgery. I go in and they do the test (I cannot currently recall what kind of test it was), and I wait. And, I wait, and I wait. No one calls me after 3 days with results. Finally on the 4th day, I call the doctor’s office, and they tell me the doctor will call me back today. So, I wait, and when the doctor finally does call me back, she starts talking about all the stuff we’re going to do next, and I’m like, “What about my test results?” And she says, “Oh, we didn’t see anything, and you know, after all these negative tests and nothing showing up….Maybe you’re just imagining it.” I hung up. I’m imagining it? No, sweetheart, I’m not imagining a lump so large that I have purchased different pairs of pants to accommodate it. I’m not imagining something that multiple people have now questioned me about, and even one of the technicians stated, “Oh there’s definitely something there.” while conducting one of my tests. So, at that point, what do you do? Multiple doctors, multiple tests, many months of insane bills and waiting, and waiting, and waiting. To have someone accuse you of imagining it? Well, I’m not sure what you would do, but I stopped going to the doctor. Apparently, this is part of my life now. I just accepted my fate, and essentially laid down. I’m not paying any more doctors to deal with this. Well, a couple months later, I went in for my annual check-up, and my doctor at the time started discussing all this with me, and stated that because of all these issues and being unable to truly diagnose it – that I should be aware that I might have problems having children….

I don’t know about you, but I was never one who thought they would have children. I was more concerned with growing up and being super successful and having a penthouse apartment and being the CEO of a company – not getting a husband, and a child, and settling down. But, as soon as someone tells you, you can’t (or might not) have something, suddenly, that’s the only thing you want. And, after my parents tried for 17 years to have a baby before I came along, I was a little nervous about my family’s track record of being able to have babies. So, I went home, and told my boyfriend of 7 years at that point, that I wanted to have a baby. There was some discussion, and he conceded – we would start trying to have a baby. And, as I tell people whenever I tell this story, little did I think about that I was dating a man from one of the most fertile families I have ever met. We tried for a whopping 30 days, before I found out that I was pregnant.

So, I call the doctor for my first baby appointment. I walk into the office, I talk to the nurse, and then, the doctor comes in and starts getting my history. Have I ever had any problems with my reproductive organs? Well, for the past year, I have had this crazy lump that grows on my hip and then disappears after a week… I did several tests but no one could ever tell me what it was. She asked my 7 more questions about the lump, I answered yes to all of them, and she says,”Oh I bet I know what it was. Humans have mammary glands in all the same places dogs do. Every once in a while, when your hormones get out of whack, one of them will swell up like that, and disappear with your cycle. 95% of women get them in their armpit, but the other 5% show up in the other spots. I bet that’s all it was, and why it didn’t get diagnosed properly. It wouldn’t have shown up on any of those tests – you would’ve needed an MRI. And, now that you’re having a baby, I bet when you’re done, it’ll never happen again, because your baby will reset your hormones.”

$6000 and a year after my lump started, I walked into a doctor’s office that I only could’ve met if pregnant, and she tells me what my lump is – with 7 questions and no tests. And, it’s true, it has never returned. Like I said, a bizarre story of waiting, but so many interesting aspects, and so many good things came from it, of course, the most important, being my son. But, what a bizarre story?! Even as I’m writing it, it just blows my mind. This whole thing took place during a time when I was not close to God, but I did start going to church during this time. Starting opening the door to have God back in my life, but I think, that he was already there just waiting on the sidelines whether I realized it or not.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day and all the days. Thank you for your miraculous blessings. Thank you for being behind the scenes and in front of the scenes, and the omnipresent God that you are. Thank you for all that you have done for us. Thank you for everything that you do for us on a daily basis. Thank you for being there in the wait, and in the success, and in the failure. Thank you for all that you have done for us and all that you will do for us. Thank you for your amazing grace and mercy as we wander through these lives of ours. That you watch over us and guide us, sometimes without us knowing, or always being in the fold. That you always have good plans for us, to prosper us and not to harm us. That you help us maneuver through these lives of ours in, sometimes, only a way that you could. That you watch over us so much and love us so much. That you are the Great, Great Father who lifts us in our troubles and helps us celebrate our success. Thank You for being the AMAZING GOD that you are, and we are so blessed to have you in our lives. Thank You! IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Intermission

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” Isaiah 30:18

Tick… tock… tick… tock… Waiting, waiting, waiting. Funny how you think that you wait well, until you have to. Then, I feel like we all turn into children, watching the clock, waiting for Christmas morning. Where our nerves are so on edge, and the minutes seem to take hours, and it seems like the waiting will never end. I’m going through a short season of waiting right now, as I’m sure I stated last week, and I decided this week, I was going to get a little help and perspective from some of my other bloggers out there. Ones who have waited. Sometimes for years, some for months, and some might be still waiting. It always helps to know you are not alone. That we all take turns waiting for something. So, this week, I’m shining the spotlight on some of the other people out there who have shared their stories of waiting. And I hope they encourage you, that it’s not over, it’s not the end, that His word never returns void, that He always fulfills His promises, and that we can wait, and hopefully continue to learn to wait well.

“Is this what life is like when God is quiet? Grey, foggy, silence . . .

I have several friends waiting on God right now. These friends are waiting on a forever home, a spouse, a baby, a prodigal child to return to God and to hear about a job. Their humanness wants the silence to end right now, showing them their happy ending in this season. Their desire for holiness tells them He is who He says He is as they ask for more patience.

It’s so hard to be in the waiting room as you long to hear from God. The feeling of frustration, anxiety and even fear can be overwhelming. Any answer is better than waiting.

I learned the difficulties of this season when my younger son, Wesley, was about ten weeks old. A group of us had gone to an Amy Grant concert so my sister graciously agreed to come over and watch the boys. There was a whole debacle with lost keys so we were rather late getting home. When I entered the house, Beth rushed over to tell me that Wes’s lips had turned blue when he was sleeping. She woke him up and he seemed fine but she thought I should know.

Silence in the waiting room, Nita Wilkinson, Read the rest of the story here: https://www.inthewhisper.org/post/silence-in-the-waiting-room?fbclid=IwAR3_gV1LxIlrh4n_IyOK7exmbojz8AAQhgbc3gO23DTQnmnR346XEERQUXI

Seasons of waiting are hard. About 10 years ago, we were selling our house to move about an hour away to the bigger city where my husband’s office was. I was also pregnant with our first baby, so we had a bit of a deadline.

First we had our house for sale by owner and sold it. Then the buyer backed out. We decided to list with a realtor. We told the house again. And again the buyer backed out.

We were beyond discouraged. I especially struggled with it because I have anxiety issues and the added pregnancy hormones didn’t help. We even ended up in small claims court a few months later with one of the buyers over earnest money. It was ridiculous.

Surviving a season of waiting, Stacy Shannon, Read the rest of the story here: http://familieswithgrace.com/2018/11/07/surviving-a-season-of-waiting-what-i-learned-in-the-nine-years-it-took-to-sell-my-house/?fbclid=IwAR3_gV1LxIlrh4n_IyOK7exmbojz8AAQhgbc3gO23DTQnmnR346XEERQUXI

Knowing there was something to be learned even in our struggles, we looked for God’s message. And we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

It’s nearly fall 2018, and in many ways, we are still waiting for God’s direction. While we’ve moved to a new season of ministry, there is still the element of waiting lingering and no clear direction on what we are waiting for.

Anticipating God’s Best While You Wait, Robin Alter Gray, Read the rest of the story here: https://inthegrayarea.com/anticipating-gods-best-while-you-wait/?fbclid=IwAR0IQ1vvuss1t4BGoxFK3wb_q2lyHzY9etqSjgt8EmK91O2vvCLOI_pxNzk

Are you waiting for a miracle and growing weary in the meantime? Have you given up hope that God even hears your prayers or cares to answer them? Let’s face it, waiting for a miracle is hard work.

As a child and then an adult, I desperately shouted out to God to heal my step-father. Here was a man who had it all, a lucrative profession, a family who loved him, and status in the community. He was fun, loving, treated me like his own, had a heart of gold, and was full of life before his addictions took over.

When You Are Tired of Waiting for a Miracle, Maree Dee, Read the rest of the story here: https://www.embracingtheunexpected.com/tired-waiting-for-a-miracle/?fbclid=IwAR0PEwIzO3qSewG5EHcyWeJ0KAZLY8OkScM5Alt0ByqaEtiwfL6cyl-b6AA
Featured

To be continued…

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! – Psalm 27:14

Busy, busy, busy. As I’ve stated previously, we were house-hunting for our new place to live. Well, now we’re in the home-stretch. We start moving next weekend, and we have to be out of here by the 1st of July. We hope that we’ve planned it so that this move will be considerably less stressful. A good chunk of our house is packed, but still lots of packing to go. We’re hiring movers this time to get all the big stuff and save our backs from days of recovery. And, it’s really starting to feel like, it’s just going to be smoother this time. Which is a far cry from last time, where we literally had to move twice in less than 30 days. Both times were over a weekend, an entire house. Just pure chaos. And, expensive!! We didn’t hire any movers those times. And, oh did I mention, we have an 1800’s stand-up piano? Lots of people volunteer to help you move such things…. 😉 I’m really hopeful that this move is pretty seamless.

We’ve been discussing waiting in our Bible Study, as I have mentioned previously. And as we were discussing 2 weeks ago, someone said this, “Suspense feeds hope.” And that really struck a chord with me. Suspense does feed hope. As you are waiting, and suspense is building, you do start becoming more hopeful about the situation when God is in your life. When you know the Father is on your side. That intense sensation feeds your hope. As you get closer to what you’re waiting for, you become more and more hopeful. I like to think that sometimes God makes us wait so that when we do get what we’re asking for, we’re more appreciative of what we receive. If we always got what we wanted, when we wanted it, we wouldn’t be nearly as grateful. Waiting is a part of life. It’s a cycle that we all have to go through. And, it always says a lot about us, in what we’re doing while we’re waiting.

I feel like my vast experience of waitings has enabled me to grow stronger in my faith with the Lord. He has showed up on several occasions and even when He doesn’t show up how I want Him to, I still understand and appreciate His answers. Because I know that He is the good, good Father, who shows up, who has all the right answers, and that He can see the big picture, and He wants what’s best for me. That I always have to believe in His timing, and His answers. That I have to trust Him. Like, trust-fall, trust Him, every time. I have this Father who wants to step in, and watch over me, and move in my life, and in order to see the wonders and works of His ways, I have to trust Him with every situation. And, He does not disappoint. God is on my side. And on your side.

Do you trust Him that much? To just let go, and let God? I challenge you to really ask yourself that in the coming weeks. When you don’t know what to do next, pray about it, and let the Spirit guide you. And if you don’t feel like you’re being guided: wait, and keep praying until you do.

Reminder

Remember His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded to a thousand generations, – 1 Chronicles 16:15

It felt like a good time to revisit this post. It was laying upon my heart last night as I fell asleep. This was originally posted as “Not about us” on September 20th of last year.

So, one of the other things that was really driven home last week, as I was listening to our guest speaker, Bill Vanderbush, was, this guy gets it. He understands one of the biggest things that has changed my Faith. The way I talk the talk, and walk the walk. He gets one of the biggest things our world today is trying to smother. What the world today cannot afford to let people know.

What if, we loved others-the way God loves us?

This is so incredibly important, let me repeat myself, What if, we loved others-the way God loves us?

Now, in order for us to get this from our heads to our hearts, we have to understand how God loves us. So, let’s take a moment to think about how God loves us. He loves us: when we don’t pray, when we don’t worship him every day with all our hearts, when we don’t say thank you for all the amazing things he does for us -every day, he loves us…. Even we don’t know that he’s there (before we become believers or understand the concept of God.) He loves us, even though we still sin. He loves us when we hurt those around us, intentionally or not. He loves us. He loves us, like you love your child. That swelling deep inside your bones, love.

Now, imagine-loving others that way…. Ok, I love my kid when he’s ungrateful and defiant. I love my spouse, even when they lie, whether it’s a little, white lie or something a little more serious. But, what about someone who’s done me wrong? Ok, I forgive that co-worker who stole my project idea… I forgive that jerk who ran into my car because they were careless and texting and driving…

But what about…. Someone who doesn’t believe the same things I do? What about someone who’s a different social/economic class than I am? What about a criminal? What about an addict? What about a murderer?

What about these people? Are we practicing God’s love here? Have we really reached down to understand the depth of God’s love in these situations? It’s all fine and good, when it’s suits us. But what about when it doesn’t? What about when we’ve been hanging on to our hate and prejudices for so long, we don’t know how to let go? To forgive. To love. Those who have wronged us, wronged those we love? What then?

We have to get to the end of Us.

It’s not about us.

You have to get over yourself. It’s not about you. It’s about God. And God loves ALL OF US. ALL OF US.

You have to remember, sin is sin, no matter how big or small. Lie is the same as murder, it’s all sin in God’s eyes. You are no better or worse than anyone else. We all put our pants on the same way, and we all go in about the same size hole at the end of this life. Holding onto that hate and hurt is just closing a door that doesn’t allow God’s love in. And, let’s all just take a moment to act like life’s too short for all that hate. Well, because it is.

In order to understand and exercise God’s love, we need to tap into his grace and mercy. And to understand his grace and mercy, let us remember that he tells us to forgive our brother seven times, and seven times seven, and seven times that. Why? Because if we forgive that much, we’ll lose count. That’s the whole point. God does that for us. How can we expect that God will extend that grace to us, but not to Joe-schmoe over there. Nope, he’s just too bad. Not worth saving… Saying it out loud hurts, but it’s true. That’s what you’re doing. You are saying that, that person is not worth saving. And you need to admit that, to yourself and to God, and ask that he forgive you and let you see that person the way he does. Because you can’t experience everything that God has to offer, until you get past the fact that this is not about you.

Followed by an excerpt from Mercy & Grace:

Because in order for God to show us grace, he must first show us mercy. He must first, not give us what we do deserve. If God didn’t first have mercy, He would be so busy punishing us, He wouldn’t have time to show us grace. And, in our ever present struggle to grow in our faith, and become more like Jesus, we have to take hold of this. We have to understand that to move into the realm of over-abundant, unrivaled grace, we first have to understand that we have to understand this mercy. We have to understand this relentless, abundant mercy of not giving people what they do deserve. If we’re so focused on trying to make sure that people know how wrong or bad they are, how are we supposed to extend grace?

God’s mercy is that if we commit sin, and ask for forgiveness, it is forgiven. Not, He’ll think about it, not He has to go deliberate, decide if you’re sin wasn’t too bad, not have you done enough after asking for forgiveness to determine that you receive forgiveness…. It’s just, you are forgiven. Simple. You are forgiven. You just have to ask for it.

But, let’s also look, at the fact that we had fallen away from God. We had broken our covenant in the garden, and were doomed to wander the Earth apart from God. God was separated. We were sinful things, who couldn’t follow 1 rule. #youhadonejob 😉 But, even after we had fallen, and were cast out of the garden. Did God give up? Well, obviously not. He started a series of complicated events to get us to where we needed to be again – back with Him. He began working everything together for His good, to get His son here, to get us back into His proverbial garden, by sending His son. Why? Because He has mercy. Because He created a God-shaped hole in our hearts, and He knew that we will do ANYTHING to fill it, but He knows that He’s the only thing that can fill it. So, in His Mercy, He sent us the answer to the question all of creation was begging for – where is our creator? What is our purpose? And, that answer, came in the form of Jesus Christ. But, think about that mercy, we didn’t even know how to ask for it, and He knew what we needed, and how to get us there. Also, the mercy involved, in not forsaking us and leaving us to perpetually wander without Him. This mercy, that we take for granted today. Because we do not know what’s it’s like not to have this option available to us. David did. David understood how hard it was to get back to the Father. Jesus Christ hadn’t come yet, so he was perpetually battling to get back from his fall. We simply need to ask.

But, yet, as we continue to grow deeper in our Faith, we also need to understand that some people are never going to ask, or maybe they don’t even know how. So, we need to dig deep, and tap into the Father’s mercy to extend that to them, without their asking as well. We need to understand, that we can’t grow deeper in grace, until we stop focusing on how much punishment everyone needs and how they need to get what they do deserve, because they don’t. And, that punishment, is not ours to give anyway. May He without sin, cast the first stone. For we are all sinners, and have fallen short of the glory of God. And, if we want to understand Him better, and grow deeper in our relationship with Him, and shine His light for others. First we need to start trying to tap into His form of mercy, so that we can extend grace.

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Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You. Thank You that you save us from us. That you have made each and every one of us with a God shaped hole in our hearts that we want to fill with you. That you love each and everyone of us beyond comprehension. That you forgive us seven times seven times seven. That you have an abundance of Grace and understanding that we can tap into to move past ourselves. That you can give us that grace that surpasses all understanding, so we can give it to others. I pray today Father that you overwhelm us with that grace, that we may truly understand how much you love us, so we can love others the way you do. So, we can move past ourselves and be more like you. So, we can shine Your Light into the world that others may want to come to You and know You by Your love, shone in our lives. I pray that we all become shining examples of Your love and understanding and tolerance and grace. I pray that we all become more like you, each and every day. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Can’t stress this enough! You ARE A MISSIONARY!!

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.

Strength

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12

The strength of the Lord. I believe this is one of the most under-utilized gifts from God. The strength he offers us. I’m a strong believer in using the Lord’s strength. I find it interesting that this is one of the virtues I have received so many compliments on since I started my walk again. And, I tell people, “It’s not my strength, but the Lord’s.” The Lord gives me His strength, and I just utilize it.

It’s funny how sometimes 1 little comment can change your life. I have had so many moments, where it was just one little comment that changed my life. More often than not, it’s the little things that can change your course. A few years ago, I used to hate cooking. Like, loathe cooking. Bane of my existence. Then, one night, I’m flipping through Pinterest, and I see a quote that says, “What you eat is a form of self-respect.” – Boom! Mic drop! I like to think that I respect myself a lot, maybe I should care a little more about what I eat… hence, maybe I should take more time to enjoy cooking because it’s by-product is a form of self-respect. Now, I can’t say, that I love cooking. But I definitely enjoy it much more than I used to, and I do look forward to making certain things at times because I know I’m going to enjoy eating them. – See that? One little comment, flipped the script.

Similar thing happened concerning God’s strength. I had heard for years that “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” But, as I’ve stated previously, that’s not true- and it’s not the whole verse. “God doesn’t tempt you more than you can bear, and not without a way out.” Is really how that goes. But, part of what got me interested in getting to the truth of this statement, was another statement I read. “If God never gave us more than we could bear, why would we ever kneel?” — Ooooh…. I investigated this during my Year of Great Loss. I’m not going to recap that here, but it was a lot of stuff. Very difficult year. And, please believe, more than I could bear. Also, not all from God. Don’t forget, we live in a fallen world. But, I couldn’t have made it through that year without God. It wasn’t my strength that got me up every day. It wasn’t my strength that helped me move forward, and wind through the ridiculous and insane decisions that had to be made to help us get through the next crisis. It was God’s strength. I figured out how to tap into Him. I found my strength, in memorizing verses. Verses that helped center me and give me focus and strength. I also prayed every morning until I was almost falling asleep again. And at night, and in the middle of the afternoon, and whenever it was time to kneel and get a refill on the strength. (*Please note, that up until a certain point, I was blaming God for everything that was happening, until one prayer when I was begging and pleading with Him to make it stop, He whispered back, “It’s not me.” – So that opened my eyes a lot, and flipped the script on how the rest of the year played out.) But the point is, I know that I am not enough to make it through everything that happens to me. That’s why God is here. That’s part of why He sent His son to die on the cross – to have a personal connection with me. So, we can be friends, family. So we can discuss what’s going on in my life. So I can lean on Him when I am not big enough to do this by myself. And, whenever this is happening, I also remind myself, that my God, created the Heavens and the Earth, and raised people from the dead! My God can do anything, and with Him, I can do all things. My God is bigger than all my problems. And, He’s bigger than all your problems. And He’s bigger than all of our problems combined. We don’t need to worry about how we’re going to survive whatever situation we’re facing today, because we’ve got God, and He’s bigger than that. He’s stronger than that. And, we don’t have to use our strength, because we’ve got someone else’s. We’ve got the biggest body-builder, ump-teen time world champion in our corner. We have the Almighty. He’s got our back, every time, every single day of the week.

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

But those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31
I recited this one every day, multiple times a day, while I was working two jobs, trying to make ends meet when I got garnished 2 years ago – leading up to Christmas

My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength of my heart

and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:26

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 2:10

I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,

my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:1-2

But I will sing of your strength,

in the morning I will sing of your love;

for you are my fortress,

my refuge in times of trouble.

Psalm 59:16

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13

Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

Jeremiah 32:17

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

Stand firm, and you will win life.

Luke 21:19
I just love this one.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you!! Thank you for your STRENGTH! For your everlasting love and endearing nature toward us. Thank you for sending your son to die, that we might have a relationship with you and lean on you in times of trouble. That you might bless us Father, with all your gifts. That we may all learn to press on toward the goal, but know that we are never alone and that you are always with us and willing to give us whatever we need to get there. Thank you for your amazing patience and your grace. That you always bless us and guide us Father. That you have given us Your Holy Spirit that we may learn and grow to be more like You and Your Son every day. That we may understand that this battle is not our own, but Yours Father. That we are on the side of the Victor, and that we will win, we just need to submit to You and give all our cares to You, and that You will handle the rest. That You are the good, good Father, who wishes to bless us and help us win at life. That we may all rest in Your glory and rely on Your strength to get us through each and every situation Father. You are the Almighty. And we thank you that we do not need to go through this alone or rely on ourselves. Thank you Father for all that You do. Please bless the words from our mouths, and the work of our hands. Each and every day Father, that we may bring glory and honor to You. IN JESUS’ NAME!!! AMEN!!!

Mission’s Circle

Can’t stress this enough! You ARE A MISSIONARY!!

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

Waiting

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, – Romans 3:5-6

It’s funny, we’ve been reading a book on waiting in our Ladies’ Bible Study, and here we are, going through a season of waiting. When we started the book, no one was going through a waiting season, but as time progressed, the Coronavirus happened, and we’re all going through a season of waiting. And, now, I’m going through another season of waiting on top of it. Waiting for an answer to move into a house. Just another rental, but still. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting for an answer, waiting for things to open up, waiting to return to a semblance of normal. Waiting. Nobody likes waiting, but it’s definitely a part of our lives. So, what do we do while we wait?

We trust in the Lord.

We believe in His timing.

And, when we finally get our answer, we accept it. Whatever that may be.

This, reminds me of a story. Years ago, I was working for a different company, in a different town. I was having to commute every day to get to work, and here in South Dakota, that can be a challenge. The snow and the winter definitely make commutes more dangerous, even when they’re only 20 minutes. I thought my job was going really well, and I was loving it. So, my husband and I had decided that we would start looking to relocate to the small town, to eliminate my commute. We just-so-happened to know someone in that town, and she owned a house that she didn’t live in. Because she liked us so much, she was willing to sell us the house as a contract-to-deed. We started the process. My husband and I put together a down-payment. We started making arrangements and packing. We were going to get together with her 2 Fridays from now, and have lawyers go over the paperwork, sign, and give her the down payment. Small, exciting season of waiting. This was all decided on a Wednesday. That Friday (exactly 1 week before the lawyer meeting), I was pulled into the CEO’s office with a fellow employee, and we were both ripped from stem to stern. I had never experienced this before, and was rendered speechless. After the meeting, the other employee and I could only figure out that maybe they were trying to get him to quit because he was so expensive for insurance, but why I was there, we could not figure out. To this day, I cannot fathom what I did that so egregiously offended them as everything they discussed didn’t seem to be anything worthy of termination, let alone the eating-alive that I had received. Over the weekend, I decided I would leave the company. I proceeded to work there for 1 more week, until Friday – the day that we were supposed to meet with the lawyers and put a down-payment on a house, when our truck suffered a catastrophic failure. I was done. Apparently to me, I had my answer. This is not my road. And, within 2 weeks, I started working for the company I’m at now. And, I have shared with all of you, the winding journey to where I’ve gotten today. But, without that small season of waiting, I wouldn’t be here. Without giving God that time, who knows where I would be today. And, although, this is just one story of waiting, of course, I’ve had many, as I’m sure you have. But, it doesn’t seem to make waiting any easier.

But, that story, has made me more accepting of God’s answers while I wait. And, more aware, that you never know what’s going to happen while you’re waiting. Sometimes the waits are more important than the final answer. What you’re doing while your waiting can completely change the outcome of the situation. And, you never know, what God is doing behind the scenes. The story of Ester is a great example, and also the one we just read about in our Bible Study. While Ester was waiting for the second feast, that was the night that Xerxes couldn’t sleep and decided to read the chronicles of his kingdom and decided to honor Mordecai for saving his life. And Ester used that situation to her advantage in the plea for the lives of her people. But, if she hadn’t waited that one extra day… would the outcome have been the same? I mean, thank God, she did as it gave her people a fighting chance, but here everything was right at the edge of her grasp, and she decided to wait… just a little bit longer. To trust God, that now was not the moment. And, He used that time to give her the edge she needed to ensure her victory. (Ester 5:5- 7:10)

So, take heart and do not be discouraged in your season of waiting, for the Lord is good and wants to give you good things.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Psalm 27:13-14

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

Isaiah 30:18

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

Romans 5:3-4

Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Psalm 33:20-22

But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

Micah 7:7

Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

James 5:11

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank You! Thank you for always taking the time to direct my path. To direct the paths of others. To work your blessings into my life. That in all our seasons of waiting, you are working. You never stop working your blessings into our lives. Thank you God for patience, perseverance, character, and hope. Thank you that you are watching over us Father. That you know how the pieces fit. That you bless us. That you guide our paths in the way we should go, that we may honor you. We just pray Father that we always see the glory in the wait. That we understand the blessings you may have for us, at the end or in the in-between of our waiting. That we are faithful servants to you Father, and that You may always give us the answers we need when we are waiting. Bless us Father, guide us in your ways, and thank you for also making us wait sometimes. As we grow stronger in You. Bless the words of our mouths, and the work of our hands, all day, every day. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Marathon

3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. – Romans 5:3-4

This week has been interesting. I moved back into work-with mixed results and feelings, a local company laid off 100 employees, I’ve been house-hunting, I received a sales pitch to be part of a growing business, and we finally got my dad’s memorial stone/bench. Sometimes, I find it interesting to think of how many things can happen in 7 days. Sometimes, it only takes 1 second to change your life. I think anyone who has lost someone close to them can relate. You’ll never forget that day, that moment. What you were doing when you heard the words. And, then, there are whole other gaps in time where seemingly nothing happens.

The one thing that kept resounding through this week though. Life is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. It’s cross-country running. Now, I personally have never been a runner, but I can imagine that there’s a lot of training involved. Training your breathing. Training to pace yourself. Training to have the endurance to complete such a task. I really like the analogy of it being cross-country running since their “courses” have ups and downs, turns and obstacles, definitely more like life. I’ve been thinking about this a lot because it keeps seeming like people keep expecting us to just snap out of this pandemic. Like, next Tuesday, we’re all just going to wake up, and be able to not wear masks, and leave our houses whenever we want, and life is going to just be “normal” again. And, that is just not the case. Just like when you lose someone close to you, you have to find a new way to be. Life is different now.

And, I don’t really feel like this is a bad thing. Humans are some of the most adaptive creatures. We’re really incredible. I think the biggest issue is getting people to realize that this is the case, to accept that things are going to be different now, for a while. This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. But, we have hope. We have God. He will see us through this. He’s our coach and He’s given us everything we need to succeed. We just have to change our attitude about the situation and realize that this is just part of our marathon.

I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding.

Psalm 119:32

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

Hebrews 12:1

31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31

12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Mark 24:13

3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Romans 5:3-4

I really like this last one from Romans, because it has definitely changed my perception of experiencing trials and hardships. That with every trial, whether from God or the world, I become better. I am a better me because of it. I now have that experience to draw from, to compare to, to remind myself that I survived that, and I will survive what’s in front of me. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that it is not true what they say, “God will not give you more than you can handle.” This is actually from this verse, “God will not tempt you more than you can bear.” (1 Corinthians 10:13) This is not the same thing. This is spoken in relation to idolatry and some other sins, that you will not be tempted to commit sin beyond what you have the capability to say no to and that he will give you a way out. But when it comes to trials and tribulations, you will absolutely encounter things that are overwhelming and seem like “too much”. If we never encountered things in our life that were too much to bear, why would we need to cast our cares upon Him? Why would we need God at all? If we could do this whole life thing on our own… why does God even care? When life becomes too much to stand, kneel. God does care, and He knows that life is overwhelming. He’s here to be our Coach. We tell Him our problems, and He helps us handle them. Our lives are marathons, not sprints. We are currently on an uphill climb, some steeper than others, but we just have to pace ourselves. Don’t give up, give in, or give out. Keep fighting the good fight, and keep the faith. We’ll get there, for we have already won.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being with us today, and every day. Thank you for being our coach. For helping us in this great time of need. For running with us, this day and every day. For giving us your Holy Spirit to guide us through this time and all the times to come. That you may guide our steps Father. Light our path. Help us to show the enemy, we are not afraid. We are on the winning team. Thank you for the peace and encouragement in these uncertain times. Thank you for the patience and understanding to give us the will and the perseverance to endure. To make us, long distance, endurance runners. This is just a part of our marathon, and you have been here since the beginning and You will be here through the end. Thank you Father for all that you have done for us, and all that you will do for us. Thank you for being everything we need right now. That we may all have the wisdom and understanding to turn to you and let you show us the way. Thank you for all that you are, and all that you would have us be. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

This week, I’m going to focus on local. Your local, my local. It is my understanding, that each United Way foundation out there has created a special COVID-19 Relief fund for their community. Now, if you don’t know much about United Way, they are a non-profit that works with all (or almost all) your local non-profits to help keep them running. They’ve got their finger on the heartbeat of your community, and they allocate funds to these local non-profits accordingly to help keep their “doors open” and helping whomever their target “audience” is. It’s a great organization to give to, because they’re giving a lot all over the place. If your local food pantry needs some extra support right now, they’re stepping up and helping out. If your local abuse shelter is experiencing an overflow of people right now, they’re doing their part. During this time, where we don’t know who, what, where, how to help, you can donate to your local United Way, and they’ll help get money to where it’s most needed to help your community get through this. I encourage you to find a way to help others right now. We are all in the same storm, but the boats can look staggeringly different right now.

Here’s the big homepage, you can find your local chapter from here: https://www.unitedway.org/

God’s timing is perfect

This week has been an incredible reminder that God’s timing is perfect.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

James 1:17

Sometimes it feels like He is late, or has been sidetracked, or forgotten all about what we think we’re waiting for. But, He is never late. His timing is always perfect. If anything about my life has shown me it’s that God’s timing is always perfect. This past week, I had a couple instances of God’s perfect timing in particular.

For Tuesday night Bible Study, we have been reading a book. A book that we started in late December/early January. Now, when we started this book, we had a couple more people in attendance, who were really excited to do it. And the topic of the book, is Waiting. This one is particularly women who are waiting in the Bible. When we started the book, I was a little hesitant, because I’m not waiting for anything, why should I be learning about waiting? But – then all of this happened. And here our lives are on hold, and EVERYBODY’S WAITING. And this week, in particular, as we are starting the next chapter, it felt like the writer was talking to all of us. Everyone had the same creepy sensation, that this chapter, was meant for this moment. It even had the sentence,”Have you ever felt like your life has been put on hold?” “UM, YEAH?!?” It was an incredible sensation. And, it was the story of Esther, Esther 4:14 says that “Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.” <— If that doesn’t send chills down your spine and leave you in awestruck wonder. One thing we all noticed about the story of Esther, did you realize that she waited an entire year to meet the King? A whole year of primping and polishing, of bathing in oils, and sitting around and waiting… makes this seem not so bad. I mean, she was being waited on hand and foot, but it was a whole year… just to meet him. This is before the rest of the story even took place. Talk about patience. We should all strive to be more like Esther.

Then, another thing happened this week. On Monday, I’m watching our Superintendent’s weekly update video about the school’s district’s happenings. And he tells us that they are starting to put together a plan to delay the beginning of school year in the fall. Possibly more remote learning, maybe won’t start until September, etc. I was blown away. This is not going to last that long. We don’t need to do all this. But, at the same time, a little part of me is saying, “what if”. Then, literally the next day, on Tuesday. Our Governor announces the “getting back to normal” plan. We’re going to start opening things back up. Talk about mixed messages, but I’m going with the Governor on this one. The worst of it is over for us, most likely, and we should start getting back to life before-ish. Although, I’m sure we can all understand, that life will never quite be the same. But then again, it shouldn’t. You should never go through something like this, and not take away from it, and definitely not take things for granted.

With the above in mind, I had also decided to start slowing down my mask-making. I was going to make 30 more because I had already cut all the liners out for 30. Then, I wasn’t even sure who I was going to donate them to. I had decided all of this on Wednesday. On Thursday, I got a phone call. Our business is opening up next week, could you make us 30 masks? HA!! hahahahaha! Yep, you got it! God’s timing is perfect.

I have many more examples. But these are all just in one week. It is important to understand that HIS timing is perfect. No matter how we feel about it, He is never late. He can see the big picture, and we’re all just a small part. He understands that each intricate cog has to go exactly so, in order for other things to fall into line. He is managing 7 Billion people, and you have just the one – you. He is working it all together for his good. <– The good things, together for His good. So, if you are currently waiting for something, or you feel like your life has been put on hold…. just rest assured that God has perfect timing.

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. – Habakkuk 2:3

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1

For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him. – Ecclesiastes 8:6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. – Acts 1:7

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. – Lamentations 23:25-26

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Thank you for this time together. Thank you that your timing is perfect. That you always know exactly what to do, and when to do it. That if we just put our faith in you Father, and are patient, you will lay your hands upon the situations in front of us. That if we wait and put our hope in you Father, you will reveal yourself in the situation. If we trust the Holy Ghost, and move in the way you direct us Father, you will always guide our steps. I pray today that everyone reading this put their trust in You. That they allow you to be a part of each and every situation, that they know today, and every day, that you will guide their steps, if they just allow it. That not all things are possible through man, but ALL things are POSSIBLE WITH YOU!! That if anyone out there is in a season of waiting, that you give them the everlasting, supernatural peace that surpasses all understanding. That this peace alight on them like a dove, and take over their restless souls. That the peace of the Messiah overwhelm them Father, and give them the strength to wait. For we wait upon the Lord, and we should not falter. Bless us Father, with your overabundance of blessings, on each and every house, and in all their lives, for all their days to come. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

This week, I’m going to focus on local. Your local, my local. It is my understanding, that each United Way foundation out there has created a special COVID-19 Relief fund for their community. Now, if you don’t know much about United Way, they are a non-profit that works with all (or almost all) your local non-profits to help keep them running. They’ve got their finger on the heartbeat of your community, and they allocate funds to these local non-profits accordingly to help keep their “doors open” and helping whomever their target “audience” is. It’s a great organization to give to, because they’re giving a lot all over the place. If your local food pantry needs some extra support right now, they’re stepping up and helping out. If your local abuse shelter is experiencing an overflow of people right now, they’re doing their part. During this time, where we don’t know who, what, where, how to help, you can donate to your local United Way, and they’ll help get money to where it’s most needed to help your community get through this. I encourage you to find a way to help others right now. We are all in the same storm, but the boats can look staggeringly different right now.

Here’s the big homepage, you can find your local chapter from here: https://www.unitedway.org/

#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.