Saint Peter


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Reserve Dzhanhulskyy shear Coast by Balkhovitin

Good morning, beloved,

I began, in earnest, to organize school and co-op activities.  For our co-op, I co-teach a history/craft combo class and the time had come to finish my work on the class. One time period that I studied yesterday was the early 1800s, when many were flooding the banks of the eastern United States. I shudder to think how this girl would do with the circumstances of the character.  Three weeks on a tiny freight ship…moldy food, not much fresh air…or even better, the clothing worn, petticoats, skirts…I like my jeans. I like my sweatshirts and thick socks (it’s cold this morning). I like my fans that cool our house. I like refrigerators that cool our food and stoves that cook. Blender that crushes and smoothies. As I sat, reading through the character’s trials and joys, I was delighted to look up and see children reading books. Turning on lights to find their way, switching over laundry, loading the dishwasher…

Do you ever stop and thank God for what you have that you almost take for granted? When something breaks down in my house (which happens often), I realize all over again how grateful I am. This morning as I peer out through the trees listening to cars and trains, I am grateful. As I watch my hubby and early riser boy make themselves breakfast, all the while chatting, I am grateful. I am grateful for a puppy who just fits with our family. God has given me much.

Pause. Breathe. Look around you. Look at the lights that guide your way. Toilets that flush (sorry, but the character we were studying just had outhouses).

Outhouses in student’s tourist tent base in Jawornik, Beskid Niski, Poland Photo by Tomasz Kuran aka Meteor2017

🙂 (Couldn’t help myself)

All of these blessings…I bet you could add more.

What if it was all stripped away? What if…

all you had was Jesus? Would He be enough? How did Peter answer this question?

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.”

Christians around the world are following Him no matter the cost.

Pastor Saeed Abedini is a good example. Or take a peek at the website for Voice of the Martyrs…our brothers, our sisters suffering for their love and devotion our Jesus. Our Lord.

So as you begin your day. As you gaze around breathing in and giving thanks, never forget the Amazing Grace you have been given.

There is this scene in The Bible (recently aired on the History Channel) where John is on the island. All alone. And we see Jesus coming for him. John’s eyes fill with tears. His years of sacrifice, trials and such are over. Jesus reaches out for him and John runs into His embrace. It was all worth it. It was all for His glory.

We need an eternal perspective on our lives. Our trials, our afflictions are momentary in the light of eternity.

All of this, these blessings are nothing if we just take, take, take and never give back, back, back. So today, may I urge you to give God the glory for the blessings in your life? May I urge you to ask the Lord today, how can I give back? How can I bless someone who comes in my path today? Let the Name of Jesus be lifted higher in your life today. We know we serve the God who is stronger, mightier, more wonderful that we can ever imagine. He will give us all we need for this day.

Join me in praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters. Don’t turn your back. Don’t allow busyness to distract you.

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.


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A silhouetted air-to-air view of an AC-130 Hercules from the 16th Special Operations Squadron by jamesdale10

Good morning, beloved of Jesus,

Our last morning…I cannot believe it. I say goodbye to our little people today. Yesterday, my heart hurt for I began to ask about what happens next with each of them. Where do they go to church? Where do they hear about Jesus outside of VBS? I go here! (2 kids) We are too busy! (2 kids) We don’t go anywhere. (2 kids) And I began to say to each of them, this is a good church. Would you like to sing and learn more about Jesus each week? And they began to think…so will you join me in praying for each of them? Especially the two little beloveds who gave their sweet hearts to Him this week?

My heart aches for Colorado today. I’m sure you know people or of people who are in CO with the wildfires. We cry out, Lord!

“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, endure forever—forsake not the works of Your own hands.” Psalm 138:8AMP

Jim Daly‘s post:

Now, as we look to the verses that finish out our week at VBS. Peter closes out our week and then we are back in the Sermon. 🙂

2 Peter 1

May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is [a]perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and[b]freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, [c]precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [[d]full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).

By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.

I cannot miss the blessing here in these verses today. Lord, speak to us!

Look at verse 2, have you ever thought about these words in this way before? Think about it beloved!

Grace…God’s favor, His kindness, His regard

Peace…]perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, freedom from fears, passions, moral conflicts

How does these blessings come? …through a knowledge of Him…who called us (in our sin and yuck and blech and rescued us!)

Don’t miss the divine power“divine” (from theos, “God”), is used of the power of God, 2Pe 1:3, and of His nature, ver. 4, in each place, as that which proceeds from Himself. Peter knew this power firsthand, didn’t he? He saw the power of the resurrection, the miracles, the healings, the divine encounter with mankind…yet, maybe, the encounter was most precious in the transformation in Peter. 😉

granted“hath granted,” (AV, “gave;” it signifies more than “to give”); then, “to give freely, bestow,” rendered “to grant”

And finally in verse 4, what great promises? We may escape the world’s corruption and become sharers in the divine nature!

We have much to gaze upon that can depress us. The Supreme Court’s rulings, the wildfires, the lack of rain by us in Illinois, the deluge of rain in Florida, etc, let us remember what God has granted us in the Beloved. What is most precious in life? Do you think that when the people are rushing through their home on an evacuation order they are grabbing the Wii, computers? Or are they grabbing the most precious? Take pause today. Selah. Breath. Most of what is filling my house…nothing. I would grab my hubby, kids, dog, Bibles, important documents (shocking I know where they are…), pictures on my mantle…flee..I should ask my kids what they would grab….hmm…interesting.

Pray on, beloved. Pray on.