Far as the curse is found…

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Lake Sils, in Graubünden, Swizerland. by Hansueli Krapf

Good morning, dear friends,

I celebrate this morning. I had a good day yesterday. I was able to make Christmas cookies with my kiddos, I was able to make dinner, I was able to help clean up. It was huge. I kept stepping back and wondering who is this here? I am grateful. My parents came yesterday and we were together. It was a good, good day.  My children gave me gifts yesterday. Long hugs. Speaking on my behalf, understanding how the medical issues for me work, finding a Christmas box that had special items, standing around in the kitchen and just looking at them, covered in flour..wanting this moment to last.

In the midst of all the beauty and chaos, I worry. How? Why? When dizzy spells come or jolts of pain, I sit and wonder. I realize my focus is not where God has asked me to be. I worry about finances. I worry about my kids. I worry. God’s presence is the greatest present. My battlefield is my mind. Can you relate? When you are focused on you, you become the focus. When you take your eyes off yourself, remember Bible verses that are special to you, that God has given to you as gifts or begin to pray silently for the one who is in front of you in the grocery aisle, or for your family, or whatever God has in front of you..the newspaper, the emails, the Facebook messages.

Self portrait of Tracy Caldwell Dyson in the Cupola module of the International Space Station observing the Earth below during Expedition 24. by NASA/Tracy Caldwell Dyson

Or just ponder the wonder of Him. Look out your window. Praise Him. Sing praises. And what happens to me when I do this? My mind shifts. I can enter back into the beauty and chaos of my life knowing He is with me. Emmanuel. God with us. He is with me, now, in the stillness of this morning, with a little dog by me. I sip my coffee and I have peace.

There is a song we all know well, Joy to the World.  My favorite verse usually is skipped..everyone knows the first verse, right?


No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found. 

(Christmas carols)

I asked my kids what that meant. We sing it, but what does it mean? Where is the curse not found on this earth?

No more let sins and sorrows grow…My worry, your worry, my sin, your sin…we are free. Jesus came to set us free. Free! Do you hear me? I have a chance today to throw my hands up in the air in praise and worship to the One who has set me free.

I found a quote from Abraham Lincoln...

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

Thorns are yucky. Yet I think our 16th president was on to something. Instead of pondering our thorny lives, we can pause and give thanks for all the roses.

My thankfuls today: (won’t you join me? I am not stopping until…)

42. I’m really thankful for yummy cookies sitting on my shelves.

43. I’m thankful for good health..even when i don’t feel good..I know.

44. I’m thankful for a clean puppy who groans in her sleep and always looks like she is smiling.

Psalm 98: Oh sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things!
His right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.

Salvation, deliverance! What glorious words. He has remember HIS steadfast love to the ends of the earth have seen the salvation. So our focus cannot be on worry and fear, look for His salvation, His deliverance as far as the curse is found, Jesus’ blood has set us free from that curse. Sing a new song for He has done marvelous things! What has our God done? Start your own list of thankfuls.

” Years ago, Isaac Watts wrote “Joy to the World,” the well-loved hymn often sung during this busy Christmas season. Ironically, Watts never intended his hymn for Christmas use. Instead, he simply intended to paraphrase the words of Psalm 98: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth . . . for he comes. . .” (vs. 4, 9).

Amidst his poetry about Christ’s second coming, however, Watts also provides fitting words for our Christmas frenzy: “Joy to the world! the Lord is come . . . Let every heart prepare him room.” Prepare him room-significant words for any time of year. Yet perhaps we need to hear them the most at Christmastime, when so many things can distract us from our faith.” (Center for Church Music)

I love this quote. The Lord is coming again. He has come. Prepare Him room.

Psalm 98: Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!
Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together
before the Lord, for he comes
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.

Watch the world around you. See how creation cries praise! Marvelous. Joy. Dear friends, please don’t allow the whispers of our enemy to rob you of the joy of knowing His peace. Especially now. Right now.

Pray on. Pray on.


THIS is the day?

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Sellin Pier by Thomas Wolf

Good morning, beloved,

My boy has had a hard couple of days which in turn has made a hard couple of days for me. I listen to him talk to me, telling me how he is feeling and what hurts him. He is rising up in frustration, words pour forth from his mouth and I sit there amazed. He is so young to be buying into the lies of the evil one. So we take these lies and place them next to the light of truth. I realize something this morning. He spends more time frustrated then joyful. Happy. Kid-like. His joy is stolen when he focuses on lies. This verse popped into my head this morning when I was praying for him.  I want to include more than just the verse. Context!

Psalm 118:

21 I will confess, praise, and give thanks to You, for You have heard and answered me; and You have become my Salvation and Deliverer.

22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

23 This is from the Lord and is His doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day which the Lord has brought about; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, we beseech You, O Lord; send now prosperity, O Lord, we beseech You, and give to us success!

This day, we’ve all heard this verse, haven’t we? It is a verse planted on plaques, written to encourage, to help us with the day we are facing. Be glad in this day! Um, nice,

night view of Sellin pier by Jean-Luc 2005

but not exactly. These verses are actually a prophecy of the day of the Lord, when He returns as our Salvation and Deliverer. The hint is verse 22. the chief cornerstone is Jesus. The Lord is bringing the Messiah.

However people mean this verse to encourage us to bear through our day, these verses can DO that. He is coming again. We can rejoice because our Salvation and Deliverance has come and will come again. Save now! Come now! We can celebrate. We can have joy even in the midst of pain because we know this is not the end. To my son, to me, to you the lies that Satan feeds us are just that: lies. Let’s not eat those anymore. Let us join together and rejoice.

This pier is located in Germany. I love these pictures. I am reminded that our way, however dark it may seem, is lit by the Word of God. We know that we have a great promise awaits us. Heaven. We need to keep following His voice.

Psalm 119:

103 How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

My thankfuls today:

33. I’m thankful for a clean kitchen.

34. I’m thankful for clean water.

35. I’m thankful for nerve blocks. 🙂

Pray on. Pray on.

Salvation thanksgiving

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south west end of Lake Louise by Florian Fuchs

Good morning, beloved,

We are in the week of Thanksgiving. How did we get here? As I roam around Facebook, watch the news, read the news, I realize that the greatest thing I have to be thankful for this year and all the years in the past and the years to come is salvation.

When Satan comes prowling, I believe the lies I am most willing to accept are lies about my salvation. Stay with me here. 😉 We know we have been saved by Jesus’ blood. Yet when we are in the midst of life, our problem is two-fold.

1. We gloss over the sin. Try to forget the sin. Hope God forgot too and shove it under the carpet. Somehow, we have convinced ourselves that certain sins are not really sin. We lie to ourselves, to others and we call it white lies. We judge so often we forget that is what God calls it. How we look at people, judge their character, discern things that we have no business meddling in. We want revenge, think it is just to think this way.  In essence, we ask God to move out of His spot in our lives and take over. Do we consciously do this? no.

2. We forgot the power of salvation and all that it includes. I’m going to include a chart from Precepts Ministries International that has been rocking my world. I’m thinking of tattooing it on my arm.

The Three Tenses of Salvation

(@ 2003 Precept Ministries International)
Tense Free From Sin’s When Doctrine of
Past I have been saved Penalty-by His death

Romans 3: 21-24

Dominion-by my death

Romans 6:3-7
When I receive Christ Justification
Present I am being saved Power-by indwelling Holy Spirit

Romans 8:2-14
As I walk in the Spirit Sanctification
Future I shall be saved Presence-by redemption of my body

  Romans 8;22-25
When I get a new body Glorification
What God begins, God finishes Romans 8:29-30

There is so much GIFT in this table. I love it! I’ve been staring at it for two days now, reveling. Let’s take it apart. 🙂

Tense   Free From Sin’s When Doctrine of
Past I have been saved Penalty-by His death

Romans 3: 21-24

Dominion-by my death

Romans 6:3-7

When I receive Christ Justification

In the past, you and I were saved from the penalty of sin by one death. One life.

Romans 3:

21 But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets,

22 Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction,

23 Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives.

24 [All] are justified andmade upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,

God’s righteousness was your gift the moment you said. I believe. I trust. I am going to confidently rely on Him. We all fall short.

YET, here’s the beauty we are all made upright. We all are in right standing with God. Not because of anything we did but by His unmerited favor and mercy..thru  redemption ( a releasing effected by payment of ransom. ) Jesus payed our ransom. We are redeemed!

Tense   Free From Sin’s When Doctrine of
Present I am being saved Power-by indwelling Holy Spirit     Romans 8:2-14 As I walk in the Spirit Sanctification

Now, today, right now, breathing, we are being saved. Constantly, without fail, because of the gift of the Holy Spirit. His indwelling Spirit in our lives, as we walk in the Spirit, we are being saved.

Romans 8:

For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.

For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [[a]the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [[b]subdued, overcame, [c]deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],

So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].

For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and[d]pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and [e]seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.

Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that [f]comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].

[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.

So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.

But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God].

10 But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you].

11 And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.

12 So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh.

13 For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Receive that truth, friends. Thank You, Lord for this beautiful gift of the Spirit!

Tense   Free From Sin’s When Doctrine of
Future I shall be saved Presence-by redemption of my body   Romans 8;22-25 When I get a new body Glorification

What hope we have, no matter what our present circumstances, we also can look forward to the day when…

Romans 8:

22 We know that the whole creation [of irrational creatures] has been moaning together in the pains of labor until now.

23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves too, who have and enjoy the firstfruits of the [Holy] Spirit [a foretaste of the blissful things to come] groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies [from sensuality and the grave, which will reveal] our adoption (our manifestation as God’s sons).

24 For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees?

25 But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure.

Paul knew, this wasn’t the end of the story. Suffering, hard times, persecution..this wasn’t the end. No matter how bleak your circumstances appear, this is not the end of the story. We place our hope, our faith in what is to come.


Romans 8:

28 We are assured and know that [[j]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

29 For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was [k]aware and[l]loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.

30 And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].

31 What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]

Let your faith arise. Let your hope swell. Lift up your hands and praise God, for He is faithful God. Always.

Pray on. Pray on.


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Sheep grazing by the Eskdale railway by Nigel Chadwick

Good morning, beloved of God,

You know it, right? You know you are loved? Yesterday, my Mom and I worked all day in our garden plot. We planted, tended, mulched, babied, pulled, (I ate radishes and fresh onions..) and watered. We watched people come and go with their gardens. Our garden is, um eclectic. We have tripods to have beans, cucumbers, and other climbing plants to grow up…and one of the tripods is a recycled mop. Hey, we use what we have…yet, there, for me, was great joy and great exhaustion in working with my hands. I’ve never done this, really before…

In talking with people, I learn so much about my walk of faith. A woman asks us what to do about her beans…she’s already asked a master gardener…her car is running, her kids are running through her garden..cute as buttons…she fills up her watering can a couple of times and they are off.  A couple of plants boxes in their huge plot and only uses half of their plot. Another plot seems to be a community plot a moms and their kids..disorganized chaos! LOL…

What does this teach me about faith? I can go around looking to different sources for help, read many different self-help books (yes..that’s good, I’ll try that…), not spend time on opening up with my God..keeping my motor on idle so I can zoom off to my next activity. Or I have these gifts God has given me to share with the body of Christ and I only share it partly. I only give a little. Ouch. Or  I can make my faith so noisy that I never am quiet. I am never silent and listening before my God and Savior….Ouch again.

Sigh…but wait…remember! Remember!!

The life of the blessed is not easy..He never said it would be…Yet, I think some further definitions of the blessed is critical for our study as we surge forward.

First, let’s get Matthew 5 out here…

5 Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and when He was seated, His disciples came to Him.

Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

Blessed and enviably happy [with a happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!

Blessed (happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the meek (the mild, patient, long-suffering), for they shall inherit the earth!

Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!

Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!

Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous—possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!

Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers andmaintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God!

10 Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

11 Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.

12 Be glad and supremely joyful, for your reward in heaven is great (strong and intense), for in this same way people persecuted the prophets who were before you.



Let’s review who are blessed:

  1. Poor in spirit
  2. Meek
  3. Hunger and Thirst for righteousness
  4. Merciful
  5. Pure in heart
  6. Makers and maintainers of peace
  7. Persecuted for righteousness’ sake

Review the definitions of blessed:

  1. happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions
  2. with a happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace
  3. in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions

Jesus was speaking to the crowds and these blessings were to encourage those who were enjoying God‘s salvation, favor, grace and finds satisfaction in matter His outward conditions. The Sermon is all Christians. All Christians…

Well, my morning begins…tomorrow..the poor in spirit…pray on. pray on!