Casting aside

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Panorama of Lake Bled Photo by Mihael Grmek

Good morning, beloved,

I walked out this morning and saw the stars. I saw the moon. It was beautiful. The earth is filled with His glory. His majesty. It is good to begin a day with praise. It is good to give thanks. To start my day soaked in the Word, to remember that there are no chains on me. No chains on YOU. Why?

I’m here to tell you, your heart can be free. Today, as I face my own flesh, I do not face that battle alone. I can remember that: In Christ, God has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly ·world [realms; places]. (Ephesians 1:3). We bless the Father by blessing His son, Jesus. We cry out to Him knowing everything we need can be found in Him. Do you know that this verse (v.3) repeats some form of blessing three times? We bless Him. He has blessed us. We receive every spiritual blessing.

 …of the place where Christ “sitteth at the right hand of God” (i.e., in a position of Divine authority), Eph 1:20; and of the present position of believers in relationship to Christ, Eph 2:6; where they possess “every spiritual blessing,” Eph 1:3; Greek Lexicon

Christ now sits in the position of Divine Authority. Where do we stand with Jesus? What are some of the spiritual blessings?

  • Chosen, holy people without blame
  • His kids
  • grace
  • set free, forgiven, redeemed
  • there is a plan (in this hectic, crazy world that FEELS as though it is spinning out of control, we can bank on the truth that..there is a plan

I remember as a child, waiting to be picked for a team by the captain. Standing there with the rest of the kids, hoping, I would be next. My breath would be shallow. I would be close to kneeling on the ground begging, not to be last.  Then when I was picked, a quick smile, a deep breath and then to watch the rest of the suffering souls.. Let me just say, that will never happen with Jesus. God the Father has chosen you. No need for worry. No need for shallow breathing. You and I are His kids!

I have written about grace. There is so much more to learn about grace. We have been given so much grace! If we have been given so much grace, how is it that we cannot extend it to others?

We have been wronged by a friend. Or leader. Or spouse. Or child. The pain we feel is extreme and we feel the wrong deeply. Perhaps even now, the person’s face is looming in your mind. It keeps you awake at night. You rehearse how you will behave and talk in the future conversation.

5 But he was wounded for ·the wrong we did [T our transgressions];
he was crushed for ·the evil we did [T our iniquities].
The punishment, which ·made us well [brought us wholeness/peace], was given to him,
and we are healed because of his ·wounds [lacerations;T stripes; 1 Pet. 2:24].
6 We all have ·wandered away [T gone astray] like sheep;
each of us has gone his own way [1 Pet. 2:25]. Isaiah 53 EXB

How strange. Isaiah doesn’t mention our neighbor’s sins. He declares our sin. Jesus was crushed. He was punished. Only through His wounds can we be healed, we have all wandered away. Not just our “sinful” neighbor, us. I bet you could make a list of all the sins and wrongs your neighbor has done. I bet you could rehash every last one. Me too.

7b He was like a lamb being led to be ·killed [slaughtered].
He was quiet, as a sheep is quiet ·while its wool is being cut[L before its shearers; Acts 8:32Matt. 26:63Mark 14:61John 19:91 Pet. 2:23];
he never opened his mouth. Isaiah 53 EXB

Are we quiet when we are sinned against? Maybe we don’t say anything to anyone, maybe we do, but our thoughts betray us.  Jesus’ thoughts NEVER betrayed Him.

14 [L Therefore] Since we have a great high priest [2:17–18], Jesus the Son of God, who has ·gone into [ascended to; or passed through]·heaven [or the heavens], let us hold ·on [firmly] to ·the faith we have[L the confession/profession; C of our faith]. 15 ·For our high priest is able[L For we do not have a high priest who is unable] to ·understand[sympathize with] our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin. 16 Let us, then, ·feel very sure that we can come before [L confidently approach] God’s throne ·where there is grace[L of grace; C as opposed to a throne of judgment and condemnation]. There we can receive mercy and ·grace [L find grace] to help us ·when we need it [L at the right time]. Hebrews 4 EXB

He knows. His grace is enough for all. We need Jesus. We need Him, who sits in a position of authority, to intercede on our behalf, to understand our weaknesses. We need Him. We have sinned just as much as our neighbor, if not more. God’s grace and mercy is available to you, first. Let us run our race…

Therefore, since we are surrounded by a great cloud of ·people whose lives tell us what faith means [L witnesses], let us run the race that is before us ·and never give up [with endurance/perseverance]. ·We should [Let us] ·remove from our lives [get rid of; cast aside] anything that ·would get in the way [impedes/hinders us] and the sin that so easily ·holds us back [entangles/clings to us]. 2 Let us ·look only to [keep our eyes on] Jesus, the ·One who began [Pioneer/Founder of; or Leader/Prince of] our faith and who ·makes it perfect [completes it]. He ·suffered death on [L endured] the cross, ·accepting the shame as if it were nothing [L disregarding/despising the shame] because of the joy that ·God put before [lay ahead for] him. And now he is sitting at the right ·side [L hand] of God’s throne [1:313Ps. 110:1]. Hebrews 12 EXB

Cast aside anything that impedes or hinders, the sin that so easily entangles for there is grace. Keep our eyes on Jesus. He has a plan. It is a most excellent plan.

Pray on. Pray on.


Love God?

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View from the observation tower, Brown County State Park, Indiana, USA by Poco a poco

Good morning, beloved,

I come to the garden…does it ever surprise you how amazingly sinful you can be? I’m not talking about murder, or some horrible sin. I’m talking about..and then about…and then about…you know, here’s the deal: we’ve done this before. We’ve looked at how Jesus viewed sin.(Sermon on the Mount) He saw no difference in the thought life and the actual deed of murder, adultery, etc.  We’ve looked at how God the Father sees sin. It’s bloody, it’s messy, He hates it. How many animals lost their little innocent lives because of the sin of Israel? How about the precious blood of Jesus? The last sacrifice, for all mankind, for all time…He was all we all needed.

When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.
More lyrics:

Yet, we look at our sin and put up walls. He couldn’t forgive that. I’ve sinned too many times. And, guess what? We listened to the lies..

Look up! See the risen Son of God!

I forget sometimes how to love. I forget how to be Jesus with skin on to those around me. John has some words for me. Maybe for you?

1 John 4

19 We love because ·God [L he] first loved us. 20 If people say, “I love God,” but hate their brothers or sisters [C fellow believers], they are liars. [L For] Those who do not love their brothers and sisters[C fellow believers], whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have never seen. 21 And ·God gave us this command [L we have this command from him]: Those who love God must also love their brothers and sisters [C fellow believers; John 13:34]. EXB

Friends, I need these words this morning. I believe the Lord is lifting me up. Lifting my head, saying, Daughter, you are better than this. You are more than this.

So, for me, maybe for you, we need to remember we are more than the mud pile Satan invites us to play in (that actually is a tar pit). God has gardens for us to play in. 🙂 His Spirit is here to guide us. Give us ways out of the temptation. His hand extends to you, to me.(See, I have ·written [engraved; inscribed] your name on my ·hand [palms].Isaiah 49:16)  His Word in our hearts showing us the strength that resides in those who call God Father.

Love Him? Love those who surround you whom God has called.

Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare of the Day:

Three Startling Graces of God:

109. He holds His scarred, strong, merciful hand to His daughter, always.

110. His Word, so thankful for His Word.

111. His Spirit, guiding, directing, moving me towards my heavenly home.

We all have people and situations that will be challenging us. Pushing us to new growth, not to wallow in pity or anger that people aren’t perfect like us. I think, wait, I know whom God graces to put in our lives, there is a purpose for us. We can’t wait until the pain is over. We can’t wait until people start acting better, doing better. Then we can check that off our list, right? No, John said it. We love God? Well, then, we love those whom God puts in our lives. All of ’em. Not just the easy ones.


Pray on. Pray.



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Coracle boats are round-shaped non-polluting boats that are used for transport in Tungabhadra river. These boats are very stable by nature and can carry 10-15 persons easily. Navigation is not difficult but it requires skills especially when going upstream. It is part of the local lifestyle in Hampi, Karnataka and is a highlight for tourists coming to this part of the world. by Dey.sandip


Good morning, beloved,


My Noah is up with me this morning. We are listening to a Pandora station that includes Lecrae and various similar artists, however, for me, we have added variety in Chris Tomlin. Though in Noah’s eyes, Chris Tomlin has attained a new status by featuring Lecrae. 🙂 You know what’s coming next, right?

Awake my soul, I come alive, I”m alive when you speak to me….

Oh, friends, God is always speaking. Are we quiet to listen? Do we pause?

Hear His Word this morning. Get up. Get dressed. Go find your community of believers. Awake soul. You need them. They need you.

2 Corinthians 5: 18 All this is from God, who through Christ ·made peace between us and [reconciled us to] himself, and gave us the ·work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with him [L ministry/service of reconciliation]. 19 [L For] God was in Christ, ·making peace between the world and [reconciling the world to] himself. In Christ, God did not ·hold the world guilty of its sins [L count their trespasses against them]. And he ·gave [committed/entrusted to] us this message of ·peace [reconciliation].20 So we ·have been sent to speak [L are ambassadors] for Christ. It is as if God is ·calling to [urging; exhorting; encouraging] you through us. We speak for Christ when we ·beg [implore; urge] you to be ·at peace with [reconciled to] God. 21 God made ·Christ [L the one] who ·had no sin [or never sinned;L did not know sin] to become sin for us, so that in ·Christ [L him] we could become ·right with [L the righteousness of] God.

Hear His word. He made peace between us…

Be at peace, be reconciled to God…

We can walk with God because Christ became sin for us…

So, go. Be at peace with Him. Be at peace with yourself. Be at peace with the community of God.

Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare for today:

3 Things about yourself that you are grateful for:

106. I;m thankful God made me to thrive on discipline and routine.

107. I’m thankful for God’s word in me. For the passion to love Him and His Word…

108. I’m thankful for a passion to pray.

How about you? How long did it take you to process what your “three” are today? Sigh.

Pray on. Pray on.

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Zodiacal Light Seen from Paranal. ESO/Y.Beletsky

Good morning, beloved,

Ever have a day with the best of intentions and what you hope and what actually occurs are miles apart? I finished my study in the morning and was refreshed and encouraged and ready to face the day. And the little “sinners“who live in my house began their arguments, declaring their innocence in said arguments, shocked that anyone would insist that they were culpable. Each child had been robbed of their rights and needed me to know of the injustice that was occurring right in my home. First couple of occurrences, my head was level and I was controlled.

I want you to hear I lost it. I sinned. I yelled. I cried. I asserted my rights when my kids were just plain disobedient. I wasn’t asking the Lord to intervene. I had taken the wheel and whoa, my course gave me a chance to see my flesh in a whole new light. It crushed me.

This morning, I talked through the day with my hubby. I confessed my faults, my sins to Joshua and I knew my heart was healing. I was being restored to a spiritual tone of mind and heart. I pray for tremendous power only found in Him.  16 Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. (James 5 AMP)

James had it right. Speak what swirls in your mind to a trusted friend or confidant. Don’t hide your sin. Don’t be ashamed of the fact, yes, fact that you are NOT perfect. We need people in our lives who are willing to be transparent. Asking for prayer for the deep things, the painful things, the things that are not solved with one conversation but with joined years of prayer. Jesus said, 48 You, therefore, must be perfect [growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity], as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5 AMP)  We grow. We mature in godliness. Not in ourselves, but as we are transformed by the perfection of our heavenly Father. The question we should be asking is not what would Jesus do but what is Jesus doing here? (Scotty Smith)

“For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind.  It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world,”        Titus 2:11-12 AMP

My thankfuls today:

88. I’m thankful for the blessing of confession.

89. I’m thankful for music that touches my heart and sings my heart.

90. I’m thankful for friends who love me and my family just they way we are.

Can I just ask one more thing? If you are on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest, and you enjoy my meandering on this blog,  would you consider sharing my blog with your friends? Thank you so much. Pray on. Pray on.

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Five burrowing Owls by travelwayoflife

God has put these verses on my heart..He has used them mightily in times past, He brings it up again. I do not think it an accident that Habakkuk heard…many of you have been asking for a better understanding of what is going on. God, in His great mercy, gave me these two YouTube videos. Time and time again, He shows me, His eye is on the sparrow.  Allow me to share these two videos. If you listen carefully, you will hear the name of my surgeon. How amazing is that? We have the same surgeon.

I had my family listen to this, I want them to understand. This next video is after the surgery. You can find it on her little youtube site. 🙂

Do I think that Habakkuk meant my disorder? No way. He was given prophecy from the Lord and he was awaiting the judgement on Israel, his people. They would not listen, they turned their backs on the Lord. He alone had to endure the waiting.

Now, that’s the amazing part of my story. I am not alone. Jesus took my judgement, my sins upon His shoulders and all people as well. He became sin who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God. I have Jesus interceding on my behalf on the right hand side of God in heaven..always. You as well, nothing special about me…it is all to the glory of Him.

He has dear friends call to check up on me. He has my dear husband by my side. He has my Mom coming today to help. Friends, if we only look at the sadness, then we will never see how much we can exult in God. Remembering to keep our eyes on Him. So how can I do this? I am memorizing these verses.


Habakkuk 3

16 I heard and my [whole inner self] trembled; my lips quivered at the sound. Rottenness enters into my bones and under me [down to my feet]; I tremble. I will wait quietly for the day of trouble and distress when there shall come up against [my] people him who is about to invade and oppress them.

17 Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls,

18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation!

19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

Habakkuk rejoiced! He remembered His God. Our God! So times are tough, people are telling you how hard your life is..and your chin goes up just a little. And you think, you know what my life is hard. Yes, this one understands! This is not fair. Why is God allowing this? What have I done? Friends, I am hear to tell you whether you are the one listening to this or giving it as advice…stop. Listen to Habakkuk! Pray, rejoice in the Lord, your personal bravery! What friends on the battle line need to know is you are praying. Interceding on their behalf, He alone can carry their burden, your burden. Run to the Lord,  He will make your feet like deer’s feet.

You are “at your best advice” when you are guiding them to the Lord. Not to focus on how hard their trial is, but how great our God always is. It is subtle, because you, as a friend, want to sympathize and say the right thing. Yet, the perfect thing when someone shares their trial? Pray. Pull the person aside and pray..God is the best sympathizer.

Pray on. Pray on.



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Matanuska River Valley; by Walter Siegmund

Good morning!

Let the games begin! Well, still haven’t figured out how I’m watching the games..but it sure is fun when I can. The spirit of the games inspires our whole family, the dreams begin and the confident comments begin. I could do that. I would like to be on the swim team. I could run like that. And so forth. Can’t get in the way of the dreams to be scientists, basketball stars, dressmaker (Ella!)…but we could certainly add that in.

Dreams are a beautiful thing. Aren’t they? As adults, do we dream like we did as children? I can’t say I spend a ton of time hoping to be a Olympian, it’s a shame, because God has such great plans for me. For you. Praying in His will, abiding in His will and riding the waves of life with God as your pilot can bring your imagination and dreams to the surface once again.

So, to review, we have researched the first half of the Lord’s prayer. Now we are  moving to forgiveness, cleansing..before the Lord.

Burney Falls, California by Agreene12

Matthew 6: 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven ([e]left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have [f]given up resentment against) our debtors.

1John 1:9If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

Admit, confess freely we have sinned. Yet, what is spectacular about this verse is what God is doing here!

  • He is faithful, true to His own nature and promises
  • Will forgive…
  • Continuously cleanse us from all that does not conform to His will

Proverbs 28: 13 He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sins will obtain mercy.

We are back to freely confessing, not hiding! God knows it anyway, but the freedom comes with honesty and a frank appraisal of our life. God will give mercy. love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, have compassion.

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive people their trespasses [their [g]reckless and willful sins, [h]leaving them, letting them go, and [i]giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their[j]reckless and willful sins, [k]leaving them, letting them go, and [l]giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.

Freedom from sin, confessing, praying continually, letting people up resentment. All about freedom for us, isn’t it? When we hold to anger, hold to bitterness..we lose.

Biblegateway‘s verse of the day: “I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.” Philippians 3:14 AMP

We can’t press on towards the goal with bags of bitterness and anger on our back. Holding  sacks of rage from crimes committed against us…the outfits these Olympic athletes wear do not allow for packs. The swimmers shave their bodies of all hair to create a more fluid movement in the water. There’s a lot of spandex going on and not a lot of bags. Same for us, we have to get rid of all that encumbers us.

That we can move and live and have our being in Him, we are free to press on. Forgiveness sets the bags down. Forgiveness removes chains.

Well, I’m going to get back into the Olympics. Pray on, beloved. Pray on.



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The Rhine and the embankment in Cologne-Mülheim. View from the Mülheimer A.Savin

Good morning, beloved of God,

Well, a new week begins, a week of fun for my kids to enjoy Vacation Bible School and Soccer camp…and I have planned a fun week of organizing bookshelves and ridding myself of unnecessary books and donating what I don’t need. Now I have no problem donating clothes, kitchen items, in fact, every item but books…kind of silly, isn’t it? I just consider them my friends. Yet some are not needed and could most certainly bless another home. I need God’s help to do this job. To let go and let God, shall we say..

And to prepare a curriculum for my children for next year I need to set it up with books, and if they are in disarray, well, I cannot work very well. Most of you haven’t been to my house, but I have 10 bookshelves of books..ahem. And I visit the library every week…I guess you would call me a book lover. Hence, the book fetish..ahem.  Of course, out of this love of books, my husband has become a reader WOOHOO!. My children are almost all huge readers..I say that because one is still learning to read. :0) They all love to listen to books. We listen to books. I’m not sure why I’m sharing this..this isn’t going to make it easier to separate myself from books. 😉

God has brought many books in my life that I pick up again..not to read necessarily but to remember. I can touch a book and be brought to time, a memory…

🙂 Well, in today’s study we are going to look at the next beatitude…Let’s first look at mourn in Greek.

Mourn, Mourning:to mourn for, lament,” is used, (a) of mourning in general, Mat 5:4 so this is a general type of mourning. Remember what we talked about yesterday? The humble, those who realize their sinfulness, acknowledging their need for a Savior.

I think that Psalm 32 truly repeats the cry of this “mourning”:

When I kept silence [before I confessed], my bones wasted away through my groaning all the day long.

For day and night Your hand [of displeasure] was heavy upon me; my moisture was turned into the drought of summer. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told]—then You [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

For this [forgiveness] let everyone who is godly pray—pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely when the great waters [of trial] overflow, they shall not reach [the spirit in] him.

You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

Do you see the progression that Jesus is talking about? We humble ourselves, we see our need for Savior and confess. We mourn and God pours out. He is found, He is our hiding place. He is our preserving place. He surrounds us! Or consider the mourning in Psalm 40:

I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.

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.

And He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many shall see and fear (revere and worship) and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord.

True comfort can only be found in Him, beloved. Only in Him. As we trust, confidence and reliance in Him, He will then use our story to show others His faithfulness and our story will not be a void, useless waste but a glorious crown. Allow Him to be your comfort.

God bless you today, beloved. May His face shine upon you. Pray on. Pray on.