Heart of Stone

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Good morning, beloved,

One of the most difficult things about reading the Bible is understanding context, at least to me. The Gospel writers are telling the stories to their audience, of their day, of their time, knowing who will be receiving the letters. For instance, as I write this blog, there are certain ways, sayings, idioms that we understand, but to someone 2000 years from now, the meaning may be lost to them.

In the following story, so often, we are very hard on Peter. We criticize Peter for rebuking Jesus or for a lack of understanding. Let’s read and then we’ll discuss…or rather, I’ll discuss. I’d love to have your comments!

Mark 8

29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30 And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.

31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life[d] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

So, in verse 29, Jesus bluntly drills Peter. Who am I? Peter knows the answer and without missing a beat…

You are the Christ. 

You are the Messiah. The long expected One, the One my ancestors have been waiting for, we have longed for..I’m staring right at Him. He’s here. And I’m telling Him to. His. FACE. Exit stage left. New scene…

Verse 31. Okay, so this could have happened right after. This could have been a couple of days later. We don’t exactly know. These are memories Mark is writing down, right? So, the next entry begins…

Jesus began to teach…

Verse 32. Peter amazes. You can see why Jesus said upon this rock I will build my church,(Matthew 16:18) right? I mean, it really does take a certain type of strength to pull the Son of Man aside and rebuke Him. Obviously, Jesus saw Peter’s heart. Jesus saw what Peter was doing and it was not after God’s interests, it was man’s. See the rest of these verses.

Peter, in his heart, was not setting his mind and heart on God’s interests, but man’s. Here’s the problem though, and Jesus knew this intimately. He explained this to the disciples before He left them. This was prophesied in Jeremiah. Peter and the rest of the disciples had hearts of stone. They were softening. They needed, well, look with me.

Jeremiah 31

33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

The first covenant that the Lord made with His people Israel was on stone tablets. The Lord was telling Jeremiah there would be a covenant to come, a new covenant and He would put the law in them. Let me remind you of something Jesus said that the Last Supper…

Luke 22:20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

Know the Lord, for they will all know Me…The beauty of the fulfillment of Scripture! Let me show you this! :)

John 14: 

If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more…Jesus, the Lamb of God, would come and take away the sins of the world by dying on that terrible cross. A scene that our beloved Peter, the redemption scene for Peter, for poor Peter, his story is not perfect. He denies Jesus. He falls many times before that church is built on his back. Let me share with you, Peter’s redemption…

John 21:15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus *said to Simon Peter, “Simon,son of John, do you [f]love Me more than these?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I [g]love You.” He *said to him, “Tend My lambs.” 16 He *said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you [h]love Me?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I [i]love You.” He *said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” 17 He *said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you [j]love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you [k]love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I [l]love You.” Jesus *said to him, “Tend My sheep.

That heart of stone that we beheld in the beginning of this blog? Gone. It has been replaced. A beautiful transformation, all because of Jesus.

Pray on. Pray on.

Resembling redemption

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Sunrise on the mountain Ruppberg near Zella-Mehlis (Thuringian Forest, Germany) photo by Rafael Brix

Good morning, beloved,

I think I might change my title picture to this! I cannot stop staring at it. The light cascades over the tree and even the areas not touched by the light are enlightened. Just gets me! Our morning does not look so spectacular this morning. I am reading a series named The Beyonders, well, I’m listening to it. I’ve finally appeased my eldest. I’m not sure why I waited so long but when the last book of the series is being released in March, I can say, um, that’s why! I abhor waiting for sequels to come. Anyway, this main character, Jason, has difficulty trusting a man who betrayed him once. Actually, the entire society distrusts this man and all like him. They are a disparaged, ridiculed, accosted people and they live up to each adjective. Except, maybe, this man might be different. Maybe Jason can trust him. (I’ve not finished the book so I’ve no idea here..)

When someone wrongs us, we can have such difficulty trusting them again. They probably don’t have the reputation of this man, but we can either forgive or not. I pondered that verse from 1 Corinthians 13 over and over. Love never fails. It is never reduced to inactivity. Just kept pondering that, and thankfully, I understand first, our Morning Star will never fade in His divine love for us. He will never fail us. Humans may fail, but God will never, ever fail us. Oh, what a promise that is for us!!

Then to have the verses of the day be:

[L For] The law says, “You must not be guilty of adultery. You must not murder anyone. You must not steal. You must not ·want to take your neighbor’s things [covet; Ex. 20:13–1517;

Blue Spruce Tree Snow Spring evergreen by ForestWander

Deut. 5:17–21].” All these commands and all others are really summed up in this one ·rule [command; word]: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself [Lev. 19:18].” 10 Love never ·hurts [does wrong/evil to] a neighbor, so loving is ·obeying all [fulfilling] the law.

11 Do this ·because you know the times in which we live [L knowing the time/season]. It is ·now [oralready the] ·time [hour] for you to wake up from your sleep, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night [C a metaphor for the present evil age] is ·almost finished[advancing], and the day [C the time of final judgment and reward] is ·almost here [near; or at hand]. So we should ·stop doing [put aside; cast off] ·things that belong to [L the deeds/works of] darkness and ·take up the weapons [or put on the armor] ·used for fighting in [or that belong to; L of] the light.13 Let us ·live [walk] ·in a right way [properly; decently], like people who belong to the day.  Romans 13 EXB

This week’s AWANA brought store night. My daughter came home with huge smiles and happiness. Her brothers decided it was Ella night and bought her the most expensive thing at the store..this mega-pack of My Little Pet shop or whatever that name might be.

These boys were so excited to give her this gift. So excited by her response. I wished I had been there to see this gift exchange. They behaved as children of the light. Children of the day…not holding onto to past arguments, or frustrations. Instead they gave.

I can learn a while lot from this, and most honestly, so can my boys. This love they showed their sister, they could show each other. They could give each other grace as they so easily bestow on their sister.

 I come back to this post after another crushing day. When I am hurt, wounded by others, my natural instinct is to attack. I want to wound as I have been wounded. The Spirit of God prevents me from this MOST of the time. Countless numbers of texts, emails and phone calls have never been made/sent as I hash it out, how do I show grace to others? Then to add to my stress, there was more. More worry. I realized something at the end of the day. I have to believe wholeheartedly in what type out on these pages. When fellowship fails, when circumstances threaten my world, I don’t like how far I seem to be from resembling Jesus in me. I cannot see that this is a stitch in the tapestry of my life. I walk around my neighborhood crying out for peace. For more of Him and less of me…

It comes back to remembering, Love never fails.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not ·jealous [envious], it does not brag, and it is not ·proud[arrogant; conceited; puffed up]. Love is not ·rude [disrespectful], is not ·selfish [self-serving], and ·does not get upset with others [is not easily provoked/angered]. Love does not ·count up [keep a record of] wrongs that have been done. Love ·takes no pleasure [does not rejoice] in ·evil[wrongdoing; injustice] but rejoices over the truth. Love ·patiently accepts all things [T bears all things; or always protects], ·always trusts [T believes all things], ·always hopes [T hopes all things], and ·always endures [T endures all things]. 1 Corinthians 13 EXB

I cannot love in my own flesh. I cannot trust in my own flesh but when I remember God asks me to love from His endless acceptance and love for me. I feel as though the Lord asks me the same questions as Jesus asked of Peter. This is redemption at it’s very finest.

15 When they finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” [C “These” probably refers to the other disciples (rather than the fishing gear), and could mean “Do you love me more than you love your friends?” or “Do you love me more than they love me?” The latter is more likely. This whole scene is the restoration of Peter after he had boasted of his loyalty to Jesus and then denied him.]

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “·Take care of [Tend; Shepherd] my sheep.”

17 A third time he said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter ·was hurt [grieved] because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” Peter said, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!”

He said to him, “Feed my sheep. [C In verses 15 and 16 Jesus uses a different word for “love” (agapaō) than Peter uses (phileō); but then in v. 17 Jesus uses Peter’s word (phileō). The two terms can be synonymous, and the difference is probably stylistic. The passage is not contrasting two kinds of love; rather, Peter’s three affirmations counterbalance his three denials; see 18:15–1825–2718 ·I tell you the truth [L Truly, truly I say to you], when you were younger, you ·tied your own belt [dressed yourself] and went where you wanted. But when you are old, you will put out your hands and someone else will ·tie [dress] you and take you where you don’t want to go.” 19 (Jesus said this to ·show[indicate; signify] how Peter would die to ·give glory to [glorify] God.) Then Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me!”

God calls me to love Him first, then to follow in His steps to His calling on my life.

Pray for your pastor today:

Pray for spiritual unity in the church staff and among the spiritual leadership of the church (elders, deacons, etc.). Pray that the enemy will not be allowed to create divisions, strife, or misunderstanding among the church leaders. (Rom. 14:191 Cor. 12:25)

Pray for your pastor’s wife:

Pray for spiritual unity between the pastor’s wife and others in the church—especially other staff members’ wives. Pray that the enemy will
not be allowed to create divisions, strife, or misunderstanding in any way. (Rom. 14:191 Cor. 12:25) (Quotes from Revive Our Hearts)

My thankfuls:

Gifts of tin, wood, glass (Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare):

190. My mind draws a blank with tin,LOL, So I’m thankful for my sun room that has some sort of metal surrounding us and allows beautiful sunshine to stream through.

191. A cross we, as a family, made after Joshua’s unemployment. A tangible reminder of God’s precious faithfulness to provide..

192. Thank for my coffee maker. Ha!

Pray on. Pray on.


Where would I be?

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Aqueduct of Segovia photo by David Corral Gadea

Good morning, beloved,

I wake up now in complete darkness. Joshua and I are on week three of changing routines for our whole family. One of them for us is devotions and time with the Lord early. Routines are, for me, never easy to begin. Now looking back, I’m grateful we began. Last night I called Danny ready to remind him and he came trotting in saying, Mom, I know what you are going to say. I’ve already laid out my clothes and I know I need my meds. Thanks. Mom.

Open. Close Mouth.

Complete darkness in the morning? Here I come. I know daylight is coming.

We long for light. Our bodies cannot function, well, without the light. We stumble, we get depressed, we stub our toes, we’s not pretty. I have to share this with you.

Light therapy might be as simple as getting up early and walking outside on a bright winter morning, Rosenthal tells WebMD. “You can also increase light in your home,” he says “Make one room a sun room.”

A technique called “dawn simulation” — in which a light is programmed to turn on early in the morning in your bedroom — can also help, Rosenthal says.

Light boxes are widely sold over the Internet and exposure to them can help. When buying one, get advice from your doctor and choose bigger ones — one that is at least 1 foot by 1.5 feet, Rosenthal says. These larger boxes have more supporting research, he says.

Patients sit in front of the light boxes daily for a specified amount of time. “Using light in the morning for a half hour to an hour is very effective,” says Stephen Josephson, PhD, a psychologist in New York City and associate professor at Cornell University Medical School and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York. (Fending off Depression Symptoms in Winter, Kathleen Doheny, WebMd)

Light therapy. Our bodies crave light.

Dawn simulation. One of my favorite, favorite names of Jesus is the Bright and Morning Star.

16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to ·tell you [testify/witness to] these things for the churches. I am the ·descendant from the family of David [root and descendant/offspring of David; C a messianic title applied to Jesus; 5:4Is. 11:10], and I am the bright morning star [2:28Num. 24:17C a messianic title].” Revelation 22 EXB

Have to share with you Numbers 24:17:

I see someone ·who will come someday [L but not now],
·someone who will come, but not soon [L I see him, but not near].
A star will come from Jacob;
a ·ruler [L scepter] will rise from Israel [C Saul, then David and his descendants, including the Messiah].
He will crush the heads of the Moabites
and smash the skulls of the sons of Sheth [C identity uncertain].

I’m suggesting to you…in addition to sitting in front of a light box, getting fresh sunlight, how about adding a regime of kneeling in front of the Light of the universe?

Where would I be without the Bright and Morning Star?

Oh friends, I don’t even want to dwell on that one. Look at Peter’s response to Jesus…

66 After Jesus said this, many of his ·followers [disciples] ·left him [L turned back to previous things] and ·stopped following[L no longer walked with] him.

67 Jesus asked ·the twelve followers [the Twelve], “Do you want to leave, too?”

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord [or Master], who would we go to? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One from God.” John 6 EXB

I ache with these words. How often have I turned my back? How many times have I worked on building my own kingdoms (only to realize they are sandcastles..)? Barf. Gag.

Peter! Peter! He’s got it. Where would we go? It’s wild. It’s encouraging. It’s heartening.

Friends, Peter did go. Peter did deny Him. You remember that. When you turn your back, you start building your own kingdoms, you remember Peter.

Peter didn’t go anywhere Jesus couldn’t find him. Rescue him. Jesus rescues. That’s His business. Next time you see the light brimming over the dashboard. Rising over the houses. Setting over the soccer fields. You remember: He’s the light.

And He’s in the business of rescuing YOU.

My thankfuls:

A gift wrinkled, smoothed, unfolded (Ann Voskamp, Joy Dare):

130. My family three years ago, newly moved in here.

131. My family, the past year…smoothing…

132. My family…today. Thankful.

Pray on. Pray on.



Set the captives free

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parapet walk at Festung Hohensalzburg by Florian Fuchs

Good morning, friends,

Last night was not a good night of sleep for me. I spent much of the night wandering in and out of different prayer requests and listening to Music Through the Night. I am beginning to love having the music and Mike Kellogg’s voice.  A song that resonated with me through the night was..

I am reveling to two separate stories about Jesus that have captured my attention. I love when, as I study, the Lord gives me a nugget that requires me to search and study. So I present the verses to you:

1 Peter 3: 

18 For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once [f]for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit,

19 In which He went and preached to the spirits in prison,

20 [The souls of those] who long before in the days of Noah had been disobedient, when God’s patience waited during the building of the ark in which a few [people], actually eight in number, were saved through water.

I am amazed at the lies we believe about sin. We forgot that the blood of Christ was needed once. We push ourselves away from the blood because we have guilt, remorse over our sins. We believe that God couldn’t forgive this or other such lies. Peter plainly says,

Christ, Messiah, Righteous, Just, Innocent died ONCE for all. Why? Why did He do it? To bring us to God!

When the suffering in our lives brings us to a point of huddling in a corner, blaming God for the circumstances, asking the why question with no answer, we forgot that, “When we are at the end of our rope, God’s office is right there.” Tillian Tchividjian I love that! Not only that but   “God’s ability to clean things up is infinitely greater than our ability to mess things up.”Tullian Tchividjian 

We are alive in the Spirit. Alive!

This next verse just shouted to me..19 In which He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 

This 199 foot cross stands on the hill at Central Assembly of God overlooking the cities of Bossier City and Shreveport. by Dustin Johnston

At first I thought, there is no mention of Jesus going into the prisons. I pondered this and pondered this until I found the following verses.

Isaiah 42: To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and those who sit in darkness from the prison.

Isaiah 49: Saying to those who are bound, Come forth, and to those who are in [spiritual] darkness, Show yourselves [come into the light of the Sun of righteousness]. They shall feed in all the ways [in which they go], and their pastures shall be [not in deserts, but] on all the bare [grass-covered] hills.

Isaiah 61: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,

Oh friends, Peter meant Jesus freed us. He came to reach down and bring forth those in spiritual darkness. God the Father qualified His beautiful Son to preach the soul-saving Gospel of good tidings. He reaches forth and heals, binds up our broken hearts. He proclaims freedom! Freedom for the captives! He opens our eyes to show us our bondage.

We have a gift that is so precious in Jesus that when we truly accept His freedom we can’t help but share that with others. Allow His healing in your life to then pour out to others. This fountain is a good picture in my mind of how His love should cascade originally from Him, pour into us and the overflow pours to those around us.

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago by Adrian104

The last verse in this set from 1 Peter 3 ends with Noah’s family being saved through water, but that is for another day.

God bless you today. Smile at the cashier who helps you. Wave to the little children in their carts being pushed around at the grocery store. Pray for the elderly gentleman whom you pass today whose gait has been humbled with age and experience. Allow His living water to overflow to be a blessing for life.

Pray on. Pray on.


A time..

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Panorama from the summit 2.416m in north on Karhorn. by Böhringer Friedrich

Good morning, beloved,

We are a week away from Thanksgiving. I am three wake-ups away from my appointment with the surgeon. Yet, what I can’t get off my mind now is a book I started yesterday and finished. I could not put the book down. Fearless by Eric Blehm gave me  an appreciation for our military.

This man, Adam Brown, suffered from a great many ailments, yet that was not the focus of this book. He just kept coming back to serve and protect our country. He was fearless. His hope was built on the solid rock of Christ and he lived it out. He was not perfect and this story is also about this man facing his demons and conquering them in the Spirit of God.

He had a wife who steadfastly remained by his side through it all. Never did she leave him. The sacrifice that they both made on behalf of their country compels to stop taking moments for granted.

As my kids are not with me, as I stay at my parents’ house, I believe the Lord is asking me to live in this moment. When Adam Brown was home from deployment, he was home. He was present with his family. One story that stays very strongly in my mind is when he was home, and he went to take a bath. An intruder started to break in, and Adam flew out of the tub to face the burglar..the burglar did not touch the foyer, he turned tail and ran. As quickly as he responded to the threat, he calmed his wife and kept her safe with comforting words and gesture.

He kept boundaries on work as a Navy Seal and home.

How about you? How about me? Are we present in this moment with the blessings that we have now? Do we complain about that which we cannot change or control? If the opportunity arises to be with your kids, your husband, your friends, are you also using your smart phone or computer to keep you up to date on your Facebook?

I admit I take for granted my moments. I want to get to the next moment.

Ecclesiastes 3:

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:

A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,

A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up,

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away,

A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak,

A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Each moment we have is a gift from God. I know I’ve written about this before. Will you take a moment to thank God for our military? Thank God for the service, the protection, the sacrifice they make for the freedoms we enjoy. They are true heroes. They should be on the sides of cereal boxes. They should get the commercial endorsements.

However, I don’t think they would ever want that. Pray for these men and women. Pray for their families.

Pray on. Pray on.

1 Peter 2:

14 Or to governors as sent by him to bring vengeance (punishment, justice) to those who do wrong and to encourage those who do good service.

15 For it is God’s will and intention that by doing right [your good and honest lives] should silence (muzzle, gag) the ignorant charges and ill-informed criticisms of foolish persons.

16 [Live] as free people, [yet] without employing your freedom as a pretext for wickedness; but [live at all times] as servants of God.

17 Show respect for all men [treat them honorably]. Love the brotherhood (the Christian fraternity of which Christ is the Head). Reverence God. Honor the emperor.



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Meadow flowers in a recreation area of the village Sigord Kokošovce. Prešov. by Ing. Mgr. Jozef Kotulič

Good morning beloved,

Can you hold tight in the midst of suffering? Can you see that there are blue skies beyond the gray clouds? A transforming experience in my life occurred on an airplane! Why? When we left O’Hare airport, it was raining. As I peered out my little window, all I could see was gray, overcast, yucky and depressing.  Then the airplane climbed over the blanket of clouds and the beautiful sun shone brightly with blue skies. Underneath us a gray blanket…yet all around the sun blazed with clear radiance.  If I had been standing on the ground, I never would have seen the treasure that lay beyond. Yet, it is there, my friends. Even though I don’t see it, the radiance of the sun is there.

Hebrews 1:

[But] in [a]the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of a] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order].

He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the [b]out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himselfaccomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,

1 Peter 4:

12 Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you.

13 But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory [full of radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph [exultantly].

14 If you are censured and suffer abuse [because you bear] the name of Christ, blessed [are you—happy, fortunate, [a]to be envied, [b]with life-joy, and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition], because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

Revelation 21:

22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Omnipotent [Himself] and the Lamb [Himself] are its temple.

23 And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon to give light to it, for the splendor and radiance (glory) of God illuminate it, and the Lamb is its lamp.

24 The nations shall walk by its light and the rulers and leaders of the earth shall bring into it their glory.

Beloved, we hold on because we know that this suffering is not the end. Pain, hard times remember the blessing. The Spirit of glory is resting upon you. Friends, think of it, in your suffering, He is glorified.

Ask Him to show His glory in your life. Ask Him to show you how you can live in the midst of your pain. When you lie awake at night, don’t keep the focus on yourself. Ask the Lord to show you who needs prayer. Who needs to be lifted up. He will bring to your mind those who need your prayer.

Pray on, beloved. Pray on.


Peter’s letter

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Sunset condensation trail in the sky by Hakr0003

Good morning beloved!

A new day, a new week, a new chance to glorify God in all we do…My Mom just called and shared that she slept last night and is breathing again. So thank you so much for praying for her. :)

As we enter our final week of summer, I want to smash in all I can to say goodbye to a very lovely season. So many blessings have come our way! Our garden we started is giving us many good foods. Our children are thriving at our church. We are getting established in the church and people are praying for us. We have community. Ella is walking beautifully without any brace or walker. She is running.

Clematis ternifolia by Challiyan

Noah is still struggling with his leg and so we do need to carry on with the leg brace/boot. He slipped a couple of times this weekend and twisted it. Yet, he is so excited because today his youth group pastor and wife are taking him out to lunch. :)

I was hoping for a park day but rain is hedging those plans. We’ll have to see. I give thanks. I give honor to the One who brought us to this place.

Now, today we are to read all of 1 Peter. Remember, we closed Sermon on the Mount on Saturday and now to our new study! I listened to the letter by using…so here is the link:

Of course, we know that Peter, the apostle wrote this letter to:  “To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout PontusGalatiaCappadocia, Asia, andBithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.” 1 Peter 1:1-2

This letter is an exhortation to faith in the Beloved Trinity.

This book has so much to say to us. So much encouragement for the faithful, for those who need a lifting of their heads…God be praised for the gift of this letter.

 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercyhas caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith fora salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that theproof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1

I could keeping going on…hmmm..

“9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10  for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you hadnot received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2

Prenj mountains, BiH by Martin Brož

“23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himselfbore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.” 1 Peter 2

“12  Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. ” 1 Peter 4

Oh, friends, it’s going to be a rich study. I could keep going on! Join me, won’t you? And if you live in the Lake County area and don’t have a home church, please join us at Gages Lake Bible Church, my pastor is going through this book on Sunday mornings at 10:45. (Ok, shameless plug over..LOL)

Now, if there is any way that I can pray for you, won’t you share with me? Share the sufferings and be encouraged that you are never, ever alone. Ever. How ever long God wills for the blog to continue may these writings be to the glory of Him who made me. I pray for you as you read this. Know this. Know you are loved.

Pray on, beloved in Christ. Pray on!