Epistle to the Philippians


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Rose Island Suspension Bridge Photo by Vaido Otsar

Good morning, beloved,

I followed Ann Voskamp’s 25 Point Manifesto for Sanity yesterday. It flows so very well with my other routines I have begun. One thing that was an amazing  reminder for me was a lit candle. Here’s her response:

Light a candle first thing in the morning.

So you remember: You are the light that is put on a stand so that it gives light to everyone in the house.

Now, I’m sure you don’t have anyone in your house that bends toward the dramatic. I have no idea where one in my household would view this type of personality. Ahem. One of my blessings woke up grumpy and it deteriorated from this point. I kept looking to the light. Remembering who lives in me and in this grumpy gus. I finally was pushed to the brink and I gave in. I went to hide in my room to calm down. and I remembered our verses we are memorizing. “He does not slander with his tongue…” and “Love is not ·rude [disrespectful], is not ·selfish [self-serving], and ·does not get upset with others [is not easily provoked/angered].”

And I walked back down into the chaos. The child came to me and asked for forgiveness. The frustration broke within me, within my blessing. We began anew, focused on the brightness of the flame. Remembering our verses, we started again.

Luke Manor Park by Valeo Otsar

And God’s peace, which ·is so great we cannot understand it [transcends/surpasses all comprehension], will ·keep [guard]your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

[L Finally; In conclusion; or Now then] Brothers and sisters, ·think about [focus your thoughts on; fill your minds with]things that are true and honorable and ·right [just] and pure and ·beautiful [lovely] and ·respected [commendable]. If there is anything that is ·good [morally excellent] and worthy of praise, ·think about [focus your thoughts on; fill your minds with]these things. Do what you learned and received and heard ·from [L in] me, and what you saw ·me do [L in me]. And the God ·who gives [L of] peace will be with you. (Philippians 4 EXB)

God’s peace. So great…surpasses all comprehension…

Rõuge Parish, Võru County, Estonia. by Valeo Ostar

We were watching an episode of Drive Thru History yesterday and my kids were struck by the costume, outfit of the Roman Soldier..

Roman soldier in lorica segmentata

God’s peace protects, guards, keeps your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. My heart. Your heart. My mind. Your mind. Look at the protection given to this soldier. God’s peace is better. His Son’s blood…gift.

When our minds begin to focus on our rights, (how dare he be human? why can’t she be perfect like me?) we have such a battle! We are in the midst of the battle. Fill our minds. Fill…powerful to remember love. Cry out for His peace.

A girl pouring cold water from a plastic bottle with a blue lid.by Clementia

Here’s the list. Fill our minds with:


…· 24become [put on; clothe yourself with] the new ·self [L person; or Man; C become like Christ]. That new person is created ·to be like God [or in God’s image; L according to God]—truly good and holy [or in the righteousness and holiness that comes from truth].

25 So you must stop telling lies. ·Tell each other the truth [L Let each one of you speak truthfully to his neighbor; Zech. 8:16], because we ·all belong to each other in the same body [L are members of one another]. Ephesians 4 EXB


18 Pray for us. We are ·sure [convinced] that we have a clear conscience, ·because [or and] we always want to ·do the right thing [act honorably]. 19 I especially ·beg [urge; exhort] you to pray so that ·God will send me back [L I may be restored] to you soon. Hebrews 13:18 EXB

right [just]:

7 The ·path [way] of life is level for ·those who are right with God [the righteous];
·Lord [or Upright One], you make the way of life ·smooth [straight; level] for those people. Isaiah 26:7


And all who have this hope in ·Christ [L him] keep themselves pure, just as ·Christ [L he] is pure. 1 John 3 EXB

beautiful [lovely]:

1 Corinthians 13

respected [commendable]:

Be wise in the way you ·act with [behave towards] people who are not believers, making the most of every opportunity.When you talk, you should always be ·kind [gracious] and ·pleasant [winsome; engaging; or wholesome; L seasoned with salt] so you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should. Colossians 4 EXB

worthy of praise:

So do not judge before the ·right [appointed] time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light things that are now hidden in darkness, and will make known the secret ·purposes [motives] of people’s hearts. Then God will ·praise[give appropriate commendation to] each one of them. 1 Corinthians 4 EXB

Focus your minds. I think of this picture:

Canal tunnel

Where will your focus be as you travel through the tunnel? Will it be, as you are steering, to look back? To look up? To look to the sides? No way, we need to focus on what is ahead. The light. And as Christians, we place our focus on the Light. Focus on the truth that one day these trials, temptations will be aside and we will be forever in the Light.

My thankfuls:

A gift before dawn, at noon, after dark (Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare):

139. Waking up in the dark, watching the sun rise as I type away at my Bible study..thankful for sun rises.

140. Thankful for kitchen appliances that function and help me feed my blessings. Thankful.

141. Thankful for routines that set us all up to succeed the next day. Thankful for each child’s way of saying goodnight.

Pray on. Focus on Him. Pray on.

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Steal my show…

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A Barn Swallow by sanchezn

Good morning, beloved,

My family has been captured this week by a song. We all crowded around the computer to listen and watch. TobyMac pegged it. I realize as I begin a new year, typing away with this blog, homeschooling, family, friendships, church life..this is my prayer:

Another cold night
Another late flight
It’s almost show time, and Diverse City’s waitin’ on me
We got a packed house, the crowd is callin’ out
They want the beat to drop, but what we really need is You

If You wanna steal my show, I’ll sit back and watch You go
If You got somethin’ to say, go on and take it away
Need You to steal my show, can’t wait to watch You go
So take it away

So now the crowd is hype, that You showed up tonight
Anticipatin’, cravin’ somethin’ more than smoke and lights
So I’ll step out the way, I’ll give You center stage
Give ’em what they came for …


When You arrive, we come to life
Our hearts collide, they’re beating in the same time
You’re comin’ through, all eyes on You
Our hearts collide, they’re beating in the same time, beating in the same time

No matter who we are, no matter what we do
Every day we can choose to say …


My life
My friends
My heart
It’s all Yours, God
Take it away
My dreams
My fears
My family
My career
Take it away
Take it away
It’s all Yours, God
Take it away
Take it away
It’s You I wanna live for AZlyrics

Pray this with me? Pray that He takes center stage in our lives. All of our stuff…all of our dreams. fears. We want to live for God. Not for our stuff…
So this morning, as I begin my day, I opened the Biblegateway website, the verse of the day jumped off the page to me. Oh, Father God, steal my show.
13 because God is working in you ·to help you want to do and be able to do [L both to will/desire and to work] what pleases him.

14 Do everything without ·complaining [grumbling] or arguing. 15 Then you will be ·innocent[blameless] and ·without any wrong [innocent; pure; harmless], God’s children without ·fault[blemish; C as are sacrificial animals]. ·But you are living with people that are crooked and evil [L …in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation; Deut. 32:5], among whom you shine like stars in the ·dark world [or sky; L world]. 16 You ·offer [or hold firmly/fast to] the ·teaching that gives life[message/word of life]. So ·when Christ comes again [L on the day of Christ; C judgment day], I can ·be happy [L be proud; boast] because I ·ran the race and won [L did not run for nothing/in vain]. ·My work was not wasted [L …nor did I labor for nothing/in vain].

17 Your faith makes you offer your lives as a sacrifice in serving God. [L Even] If I ·have to offer my own blood [L am poured out as a drink offering] with your sacrifice, I will be ·happy [rejoicing] and full of joy with all of you. Philippians 2 EXB

God is working. God helping you. He is helping me WANT to what pleases Him. What a tremendous statement..He is helping us want. Want is a funny thing to me. My kids want this toy or that game or that food. I want to have this book, this time, this object. That “want”, God is remodeling my want to be what pleases Him. He is also molding my ability, my work to be shaped into pleasing Him. Notice how much work I’m doing right there. You are doing right there. God is working. God is molding. We need to be willing…

Do everything without complaining or grumbling…THEN:

We can be the innocent, blameless sacrificial animal..stay with me here. He made us. He knew us before we were a twinkle in our parents’ eye. He breathed life into our beings. We were meant to offer our lives back to our Creator. Lifting up ourselves as an offering back to Him. We are to be bright lights shining in a dark, perverse world.

We are to allow our lives to be poured out, our faith is a sacrifice, our lives are to lifted back up…then we will be rejoicing, full of joy.

Sounds strange, when we give Him our hurts, our pain as a sacrifice, this bloody, painful mess, He gives us the ability to use our pain to actually be blessing.  Allow Him to steal our show. Allow Him to be thriving, molding and living in your heart. My heart.

My thankfuls today:

From Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare:

A gift bringing laughter, prayer and quiet:

115. Watching my kids laugh..I mean belly laugh. Thank You.

116. My dear Pastor’s wife, so thankful for her today, praying for her today as she opens her eyes to the one year anniversary of losing her beloved Mama.

117. The gift of early mornings, the quiet, hearing His voice, thank You.

Friends, it is counter intuitive to me to serve, give til it hurts, yet in the end, the blessings are so amazing. Lift up your lives to Him. Give Him willingly what has always been His, anyway.

Pray on. Pray on.




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Good morning, beloved,

Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park, Alberta by Florian Fuchs

I woke to find this prayer on my Kindle today from St. Francis of Assisi. Let’s begin with this:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

Remember the power of your actions, your responses. Can you think past your political views to see the need for prayer?

1 Timothy 2: First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men,

For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way.

For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior…

When we look to outward circumstances as our source for hope, we forget.

Jeremiah 3227 Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for Me?

The Lord Jehovah, the Existing One! Not only does He name Himself as the Jehovah but He also says God..elohiym..the One True God, over all flesh. Is anything too hard? This word, hard, actually means: to be marvelous  be wonderful, be surpassing, be extraordinary, separate by distinguishing action.


Philippians 4:

13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

19 And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Read it again. 😉 Be careful in how you use these verses. Francis Chan comments in this short video:

You have everything you need in Christ. I have everything I need in Christ. Your needs? (Careful you don’t stick in wants.) He’s handling it. His riches? Not as the world sees. Don’t look at these verses with the eyes of our society. God is not our McDonald’s order window. He is God and there is no other.

Pray on. Pray on.