Bible study

Prayers of Jesus

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Good morning, beloved,

We had gotten very busy. Every night packed with activities, places to take the kids, we were going in a million different directions and the important, the really important was beginning to fall away. It was amazing how what had once been habits in our family became distant memories as the nights became later and family members were tugged in opposite directions.

As all of our activities began to wind down, and we began to breath again, our Danny came into our room very late one night. He confessed that he missed our nightly times of prayer together as a family and wondered why we weren’t doing it anymore. He wasn’t sleeping as well. He missed his family.

Out of the mouths of babes.

So, we have begun again. And so we start as we mean to go on. On our bed last night, sprawled across, four very sleepy children praying with us. It’s not perfect, it’s messy. They don’t all pray. This isn’t a five hour long worship service. But we are together and we are ending the day in prayer. In fact, some complained.

Prayer. What a word. How often it slips from our mouth, right? I’ll pray for you. Can you? In times of national tragedy.. Say your prayers. What is effective prayer? We search for it. What touches the heart of God? How do we pray? Where is the best place? SO many questions.

Jesus walked this earth and in scouring the Gospels I believe we learn a blessed amount about prayer. Join me.

He worshiped His heavenly Father. Always.

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened.. 

He went to be alone to pray. Jesus understood the necessity of time alone with the Father.

Matthew 14:23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone…

Mark 135 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

Luke 5:16 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

Luke 6: 12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.

Luke 9: 18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”

In deep sorrow…

Matthew 26:39 And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me;nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.

Before eating…

Matthew 15: 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.

Matthew 2626 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you,

Pray over others…

Matthew 19:13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray.

How do you categorize this one? :)

Luke 9: 28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white.30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure,b]”>[b] which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.

Teaching us to pray…

Luke 11:Now Jesus[a] was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”And he said to them, “When you pray, say:

“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,b]”>[b]
and forgive us our sins,
    for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”

One prayer I have failed to mention and one of my favorites, is the one found in John 17. This prayer of Jesus’ has most commonly been called the High Priestly Prayer.

John 17

More on this prayer soon.

For now, what has captured me is this: when didn’t Jesus pray? And if the Son of God prayed all the time how much more do I need constant communication with the Father?

Pray on. pray on…

This is My Son

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Baptism-of-JesusGood morning, beloved,

Imagine the day with me. The Bible doesn’t tell us the time of day, but I’d like to think John the Baptist has been hard at work all day, teaching, baptizing and guiding people to the truth. He is exhausted. Yet, he knows his purpose. He knows the plan. He will not give up. He pushes his hair from his eyes and looks up to the horizon and there he sees a man. This was not just any man. I wonder if the Spirit stirred within him as He did when John jumped for joy in the womb upon seeing Mary. He came to the water’s edge.

John 3

13 ·At that time [Then] Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River ·and wanted John to baptize him [L to be baptized by John]. 14 But John tried to ·stop [deter; dissuade; prevent] him, saying, “·Why do [Do] you come to me to be baptized? I need to be baptized by you!”

15 Jesus answered, “Let it ·be this way for [happen] now. ·We should do all things that are God’s will [or In this way we will do what God requires; L For thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness].” So John ·agreed to baptize Jesus [gave in; consented; allowed it].

This was to be no ordinary baptism, no ordinary encounter. Listen to Jesus’ words even here.

Let it be… In a way, Jesus was calming the storms within John. Peace, be still. This is your calling.

Do all things that are God’s will…God has seen fit that John baptize Jesus. In doing so, we learn and see the Trinity.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then ·heaven[the sky/heavens] opened, and he saw God’s Spirit ·coming down [descending and lighting/settling] on him like a dove [C either in the form of a dove, or in bird-like descent]. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my ·Son, whom I love [dearly beloved Son; Ps. 2:7; Gen. 22:2], and I am ·very [well] pleased with him [Is. 42:1].”

Jesus, the Son..as soon as Jesus was baptized..

God’s Spirit…coming down lighting on him like a dove..

God the Father…a voice from heaven, This is my Son…

Jesus, there’s just about that name. From Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words:

  • Greek: iesous
  • is a transliteration of the Heb. “Joshua,” meaning “Jehovah is salvation,”
  • Thus ‘Christ Jesus’ describes the Exalted One who emptied Himself, Phl 2:5, and testifies to His pre-existence; ‘Jesus Christ’ describes the despised and rejected One Who was afterwards glorified, Phl 2:11, and testifies to His resurrection. ‘Christ Jesus’ suggests His grace, ‘Jesus Christ’ suggests His glory.” *

Spirit of God. From Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words:

  • Greek: pneuma
    1. the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son

      1. sometimes referred to in a way which emphasises his personality and character (the “Holy” Spirit)

      2. sometimes referred to in a way which emphasises his work and power (the Spirit of “Truth”)

      3. never referred to as a depersonalized force

How can I be so sure that we see the Trinity here? I know, the words. This is my Son. I’ve heard the argument, maybe it was an angel. Maybe it was the Holy Spirit speaking on God’s behalf. We can look no further than the Greek itself. Beautiful.

Voice:

“a sound,” is used of the voice

(a) of God, Mat 3:17;

Friends, the voice? The voice was God’s. And, so Matthew has recorded here in his beautiful gospel the Trinity together in one place for us all to behold.

A voice from heaven said, this is my Son with whom I am well pleased.

We can learn so much by study and reflection into the word of God. By learning and loving His word, join me, won’t you?

Pray on. pray on.

John The Baptizer

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I must admit posting a video of Handel’s Messiah on the cusp of June feels a bit like walking into a store in October with Christmas decorations. Bear with me.

When our President comes to town, roads close, traffic comes to a halt. Here’s an example from a recent trip to Chicago:

http://www.nbcchicago.com/portableplayer/?cmsID=253610081&videoID=jir5R8bRn8Fv&origin=nbcchicago.com&sec=blogs&subsec=ward-room&width=600&height=360

The town prepares. I don’t even know what the Secret Service and government does. I’m not going to even try to research that.

When Mark introduces us to the Beautiful, he tells us about His messenger first. And He starts by reminding us about a prophecy in Isaiah.

This passage in Isaiah is a comfort passage. The Messiah is coming, beloved. Your God has not forgotten about you. Your God has not abandoned you. Make the roads ready. In the Old Testament times, when the people knew that their king was coming they would prepare the roads, fill in the holes, make the kingdom ready! They wanted to be ready for their king.

Well, John is the messenger. According to David Guzik,

John the Baptist’s was the one crying in the wilderness, and through his message of repentance, he worked to prepare the way of the LORD. We often fail to appreciate how important the preparing work of the LORD is. Any great work of God begins with great preparation. John wonderfully fulfilled this important ministry. “John was God’s bulldozer to build that highway.” (Steadman)

Who is John the Baptist?

The Prophecies

Malachi Behold, I send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me. And the Lord [the Messiah], Whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; the Messenger or Angel of the covenant, Whom you desire, behold, He shall come, says the Lord of hosts.

But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap;

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the priests, the sons of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord offerings in righteousness.

Parentage

We’ve looked at his parents in my earlier blog. John comes from a priestly heritage on both sides. Zacharias came from the division of Abijah. There were 24 divisions of priesthood according to 1 Chronicles 24. Elizabeth was a daughter of Aaron.

Description

Matthew 3:This same John’s garments were made of camel’s hair, and he wore a leather girdle about his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

Jesus described John best. :)

Matthew 11

Then as these men went their way, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: What did you go out in the wilderness (desert) to see? A reed swayed by the wind?

What did you go out to see then? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in the houses of kings.

But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one [[b]out of the common, more eminent, more remarkable, and] [c]superior to a prophet.

10 This is the one of whom it is written, Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who shall make ready Your way before You.

11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

12 And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize—a [d]share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion].

13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied up until John.

14 And if you are willing to receive and accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come [before the kingdom].

His work

  • Temporary…Matthew 3 In those days there appeared John the Baptist, preaching in the Wilderness (Desert) of Judea

And saying, Repent ([a]think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

This is he who was mentioned by the prophet Isaiah when he said, The voice of one crying in the wilderness (shouting in the desert), Prepare the road for the Lord, make His highways straight (level, [b]direct).

28 You yourselves are my witnesses [you personally bear me out] that I stated, I am not the Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), but I have [only] been sent before Him [in advance of Him, to be His appointed forerunner, His messenger, His announcer].

29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the groomsman who stands by and listens to him rejoices greatly and heartily on account of the bridegroom’s voice. This then is my pleasure and joy, and it is now complete.

30 He must increase, but I must decrease. [He must grow more prominent; I must grow less so.]

33 You yourselves have sent [an inquiry] to John and he has been a witness to the truth.

34 But I do not receive [a mere] human witness [the evidence which I accept on My behalf is not from man]; but I simply mention all these things in order that you may be saved (made and kept safe and sound).

35 John was the lamp that kept on burning and shining [to show you the way], and you were willing for a while to delight (sun) yourselves in his light.

The fame

Matthew 3

Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the country round about the Jordan went out to him;

And they were baptized in the Jordan by him, confessing their sins.

Jesus heard. Jesus came. And just as quickly as John’s flame burst on to scene? It was swept away…

Luke 3:

19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been [repeatedly] told about his fault and reproved with rebuke [h]producing conviction by [John] for [having] Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the wicked things that Herod had done,

20 Added this to them all—that he shut up John in prison.

John then spends eleven chapters of Matthew in prison and we hear nothing of John the baptizer. Then, we hear. John is having doubts. The man who pointed Jesus out to all of his followers in the beginning? He isn’t sure.

Matthew 11

When Jesus had finished His charge to His twelve disciples, He left there to teach and to preach in their [Galilean] cities.

Now when John in prison heard about the activities of Christ, he sent a message by his disciples

And asked Him, Are You the One Who was to come, or should we keep on expecting a different one?

And then…

Matthew 14

And he said to his attendants, This is John the Baptist; He has been raised from the dead, and that is why the powers [a]of performing miracles are at work in Him.

For Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison [to [b]stow him out of the way] on account and for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,

For John had said to him, It is not lawful or right for you to have her.

Although he wished to have him put to death, he was afraid of the people, for they regarded John as a prophet.

But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced in the midst [before the company] and pleased and fascinated Herod,

And so he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.

And she, being put forward and prompted by her mother, said, Give me the head of John the Baptist right here on a [c]platter.

And the king was distressed and sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests, he ordered it to be given her;

10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison.

11 And his head was brought in on a [d]platter and given [e]to the little maid, and she brought it to her mother.

Whoosh. That was a ton of reading. Hope you learned a little about John. All in one place.

Zacharias’ Monologue

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Good morning, friends,

So the Bible study began two nights ago, it was a beautiful thing to see all the women come out discuss, discover and uncover truths in the word. Those that have done Pam’s studies before, the seasoned look, yep, lots of work. Those who are new have a more “deer in the headlights” look or “what have I gotten myself into” look or “how can I dash outta here and look cool” look.

We did the first week together, discussing the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. Now, this week the ladies on on their own. We read these events so frequently, don’t we? That we forget how shocking they really are to the system. Angels, teenagers with babies, love came to earth and changed it all.

Recently, Noah took a class with our local drama club and studied Shakespeare. Be still my heart, he loved it The woman who taught his class brought Shakespeare alive with many different methods and ideas and techniques. He memorized some brief monologues to recite in class and then perform at the end of season show. What struck me about Shakespeare this time around, because, well, I love Shakespeare, I teach him to my kids, I’ve taught a class in my co-op…I get pretty passionate about igniting a love for him, the beauty of his monologue. Oh, it’s witty, it’s beautiful, it’s gorgeous.

I got to thinking about some of the “monologues” that greet us in the first few chapters of the New Testaments, especially the one ignited by the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at that one together. By the way, you heard me right, ignited by the Holy Spirit. First part of the New Testament, not in Acts, not part of the sweeping, powerful movement of Pentecost, this was Zacharias. Check it out.

Luke 1

67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,
69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of David His servant—
70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old—
71 aq]”>[aq]Salvation from our enemies,
And from the hand of all who hate us;
72 To show mercy toward our fathers,
And to remember His holy covenant,
73 The oath which He swore to Abraham our father,
74 To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.
76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways;
77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
ar]”>[ar]By the forgiveness of their sins,
78 Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
79 To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Remember Zacharias, right? He was serving in the temple, visited by the angel Gabriel and told that his wife would bear a son who turn the hearts back to the Lord and make way for the Messiah. Oh, yeah? How can I be certain? (FACE PALM) Well, easy for me to say, as I’m sitting here comfortably in my pjs, with my cup of coffee, dog at my heels, typing away at my laptop making judgments and NOT in a temple with the angel Gabriel.

Anyway, go back up to verse 67, and let’s pull this text apart together. His name, Zacharias, means God remembers. So, even as Z was entering this world God was blessing the world by reminding us all that He remembers. He doesn’t forget His promises. He won’t let go. Elizabeth was old! And yet, God had a plan, a beautiful plan for this couple that included a baby.

was filled with the Holy Spirit. Before Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was bestowed for certain times, on certain people. On Saul, who can forget when the Holy Spirit was removed? On David, when the Spirit entered…See 1 Samuel 16 for further study.

And so the song, the monologue begins. John’s name means grace of God and so this song, we shall see, shows us the loving grace of God.

accomplished redemption. Deliverance, release, purchase from slavery for His people.

raised up a horn of salvation. picture of horns of a most powerful beast, symbol of power, strength, used in battle and where is this coming from? The house of David, lineage of the tribe of Judah, Mary and Joseph are both from the line of David.

salvation, deliverance. All prophesied ahead of time, friends, now coming true in the Messiah. It’s all happening, in their time.

mercy, remember what John’s name meant? Grace. And remember what Zacharias’ name meant? God remembers. His holy covenant. He was bringing all together. Oh, and Elizabeth’s name means oath of God.

oath which He swore. 

grant us rescue. Deliverance from danger! Salvation! Serve Him.

Now imagine this next part, Z holding his precious child, after nine months of being mute, able to bless this child and see the promise come true. The promise he scoffed. Yet, here was the gift. Oh, how gracious is our God.

John…this is who you will be.

  • prophet of the Most High
  • go on before Him
  • prepare His ways
  • to give His people the knowledge of salvation (words of life, hope)
  • he grew, he became strong in spirit, lived in the deserts until his appearance in Israel

Jesus…what does Zacharias say about Jesus.

  • He is the redemption
  • He is the horn of salvation
  • He is the fulfillment spoken by the prophets of old
  • He is the salvation from the enemies and from the hand of all the enemies who hate us
  • He is mercy
  • He is the fulfillment of the covenant
  • He is our rescue, the oath
  • The Lord, the forgiveness of our sins
  • The Sunrise…the anatole, the dawn from on high who will visit us..oh, that’s lovely…
  • To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death
  • A guide for our feet into the way of peace…

That is quite a list. Over the night I had a dear one request prayer. It was not specified. It was not quantified. That’s okay. God knows. I love this list to pray over someone in dark times, to remember the truth in dark times. Darkness will not win, my dear one. I wasn’t going to include this image but I am…John Piper in a message on this passage describes the horn of salvation this way: (This is written in my Bible from 5 years ago so please allow for some error…)

This symbol of power can be best summed up as a wild ox seven feet tall. The crown of his head is nine feet tall. Both sides of his horn curving up and out, six feet long, twelve inches thick at the base. He stands at the top of the hill, sunlight shooting out all around him, his massive neck slightly cocked. And impaled at the end of his right horn hangs a lion, dead. A conqueror. Imagine the power.

Our God is strength. Our God is power. No matter what our circumstances may seem right now, He is over them and He loves you. Cling to Him.

Pray on. Pray.

Everything

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Panoramic image looking south from the upper deck of the ‘Top of the Rock’ observation deck on Rockefeller Center. Lower deck is visible on the right edge of the frame. Photo by Daniel Schwen

Good morning beloved,

A friend opened her house to anyone in our co-op to come over yesterday and view History Channel‘s The Bible. I sat and watched scenes that until this moment have just been pictured in my imagination. It would be easy for me to criticize or wish for pieces to be shown differently. However, I cannot. Why? Abraham.

The impact of watching the scene play out from Genesis 22 hit me hard as I drove home. You see, you know what is unfolding, but to watch Abraham pick up his beloved son, lay him on the altar they both designed and pick up his knife. We wait for God‘s messenger to deliver. As Abraham begins to drive the knife into his son, he covers Isaac‘s eyes and the angel cries out. Abraham’s hand plunges into the wood rather than his beloved. They turn and they see a beautiful, spotless, white lamb.

It hurts my heart. I see that lamb as Jesus. A foreshadowing of what is to come. God will not hold His own hand.

Does it ever just hurt your heart to think of God’s Son was not held back? Do you ever ponder the wonder of a love so great?

13 Then Abraham ·looked up [L lifted his eyes] and saw ·a [or another] ·male sheep [ram] caught in a ·bush [thicket] by its horns. So Abraham went and took the sheep offering it as a whole burnt offering to God, ·and his son was saved [L  … in the place of his son]. 14 So Abraham named that place The Lord ·Provides [or Sees; C Hebrew: Yahweh Yireh]. Even today people say, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be ·provided [or seen].”

15 The ·angel [messenger] of the Lord [16:7] called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “The Lord says, ‘Because you did not ·keep back [withhold] your son, your ·only [precious] son, from me, I ·make you this promise by my own name [L swear by myself]: 17 I will surely bless you and ·give you many descendants [L multiply your seed]. They will be as many as the stars in the ·sky[heavens] and the sand on the seashore, and they will ·capture [L possess] the ·cities [L gates] of their enemies. 18 Through your ·descendants [L seed] all the nations on the earth will be blessed, because you ·obeyed [listened to] me [12:1–3].’ ” Genesis 22

Hard video, friends, I have trouble even watching, but the song, the lyrics speak exactly to what I am trying to write.

Just to be with you, I (God) would give anything. He gave everything.

Here I am. Thankful.

My thankfuls:

214. For Precepts Bible studies where I truly understood the word covenant.

215. Your hand, Lord, Your hand not holding Your Son back.

216. I am thankful that this series is being shown on the History Channel.

Praying for your pastor and his wife today:

Pray that God will build a hedge of protection around your pastor’s marriage, and that he and his wife will be aware of the potential for any improper relationships. Pray that their family time will be protected. (Ezek. 22:30a; 2 Cor. 10:4-5; Matt. 19:6)  (Revive Our Hearts)

Pray on. Pray on.

 

Trust issues?

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Crepuscular rays in the steam from a hot spring. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming (USA).

Good morning, beloved,

The quiet of the early morning, this morning there are no birds around to break the quiet.  However there are always cars, and trains and motorcycles and trucks to shake up. This morning I strained to understand what God was showing me in His Word. The Bible study was not igniting a passion to study. A passion to connect with the questions asked of me. I closed the book not understanding and not connecting with where the author was taking me.

You see, I prefer to dig into the Word and nose around. Glean, connect other passages..fun stuff for little ol’ me. Yet, if I am real here, I think the questions hit very close to home. I connected WAY too much with what the author was asking.

To delve into places in my heart that I prefer to keep shut, to open the floodgates..the Spirit is alive and active this morning. It is uncomfortable. And most likely, I need to truly hear where He is guiding me to look with eyes to see.

You see, I want to trust God. I cry out and ask for help to trust God. However, I am resembling a two-year old that shares her toy but then wants it back two seconds later. I give God my stuff, but when the bills keep coming, the car is breaking down, the health of the body is shaky..I run to find answers. Who can help us? When is that check coming? Should we take a loan? I begin my planning. Why? At the heart of it all, I believe this is all our fault and God is up watching me and shaking His head in disbelief.

Good mercies! Where can I find that truth in the Bible? Um, nowhere. There is no verse in the Bible that says God helps those who help themselves. Have I sinned? Have I done things to get me to this place? I suppose yes..my sin blackens. Yet, the sin that captures my heart now? I have trust issues.

Why? I look back. I see what our family has walked through and I think..I pray for this, it didn’t happen. I pray for this, nothing happened. Those are the thoughts in my head. I confess that. I dive into the mire and muck around, throwing sludge all over me. My fault, God won’t help this, shame, whatever the terms…I rub the sludge all over me. And I forget. I can’t see…until..

Psalm 40: 2 He drew me up out of a horrible pit [a pit of tumult and of destruction], out of the miry clay (froth and slime), and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings.

The Lord comes in, right now, and says:

2 Corinthians 6:2  For He says, In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!

The “Rosenmühle” with mist and fog in the evening. The “Rosenmühle” on the river “Haller” is a former water mill in Adensen, Nordstemmen, Lower Saxony, Germany. by Michael Gäbler

I am welcomed. Now. I am assured a welcome like no other. God listens when we call. God is always responding. God is always speaking. We need to be listening. I need to clothe myself with truth. For God is the one who has kept us warm. God is the one who keeps the lights on. God is the one who feeds us. God is the rock. God is the steadying grip on my shoulders.

Isaiah 2:22 Cease to trust in [weak, frail, and dying] man, whose breath is in his nostrils [for so short a time]; in what sense can he be counted as having intrinsic worth?

God has provided over, and over, and over again. So Satan, enough of your stupid lies. I know the truth and that sets me free. I am free indeed. For I have the God of Angel Armies and He is always, always, always by my side.

Pray on. Pray on.

Coping or thriving?

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Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.” John 14:23 AMP

Glass beach, Fort Bragg, CA by Jef Poskanzer

Good morning, beloved,

How do we get through the hard times? When the stress bubbles in our lives and threatens to boil over, how can we walk?

My son has been struggling with bursts of anger.  I realized I tell people all the time, like a broken record, put verses on note cards, memorize and speak His Word as you feel yourself slipping.  Yesterday, Joshua and I began to map that out for him. What are your favorite verses? Do you have them memorized? Can you recall them? Our son broke down and began to get very angry and we called out to him to begin saying the verses he chose. And then he did and there was a physical transformation in his body. I watched God‘s Spirit fill him as he began to speak the Word. Is that how it looks in me? I marveled at the power of the Word and he didn’t get angry again last night. We talked about it later. Lights went on in his brain and he connected.

Hebrews 4: 12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the [a]breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

We are to be like Jesus. Jesus quote Scripture all the time. When the Accuser (Satan) was attacking Him in the desert, what was His response? The Word. The Word. ( In my Bible study yesterday, the woman who gave the message gave us verse upon verse encouraging us to read, to study and to hear the Word. I want to share some of the verses with you. )

1 John 3:Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [[b]as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him [c]just as He [really] is.

Revelation 1Blessed (happy, [c]to be envied) is the man who reads aloud [in the assemblies] the word of this prophecy; and blessed (happy, [d]to be envied) are those who hear [it read] and who keep themselves true to the things which are written in it [heeding them and laying them to heart], for the time [for them to be fulfilled] is near.

To those who are God’s children, we shall resemble Him. We are blessed when we read aloud, who hear, and who keep themselves true.

Oh, beloved, we cannot stay faithful in our own strength. Remember my son, if that helps, for the power of the Word filled him. The power.

Pray on, pray on.