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.

Bread

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is Holy Life Tabernacle’s Wednesday Night Service:

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

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

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 c. water

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

Let’s Pray

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

Mission’s Circle

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

Ways to reach out, where you’re at:

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

Facetime people you know who are in isolation

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

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

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

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

Good work!

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

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

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

Landlords are waiving rent fees for their tenants.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Truckers are getting free meals for offering an essential service.

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

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

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

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

Let’s Pray

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

Mission’s Circle

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

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

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

Facetime people you know who are in isolation

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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 ❤

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.