Savoring Light On Sunday

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I really love that God gives us the command to take a Sabbath. [we just have to fight to keep it]

My week wasn’t labor intensive in the sense of having a ton of tasks, but was intense in the sense of bearing burdens and continuing to bring them to the Lord. Some things get me up in the night . . . It always starts in the form of worry, but I’ve learned to turn them to prayers.

Turning worry to prayer is how to stand on the head of the devil. Worry to Prayer

I often thank God for my worries and fears, because they are indication that I care. That I am awake and watchful. And as long as I turn them to prayer, they have value.

It’s funny to me that the first thing I think of telling you was of the burdens. Human nature maybe. Or that the burdens became more intense toward the end of the week. Because, truly-despite the seemingly endless rainy days, this has been a good, good week!

On Tuesday at Bible study, we heard a wild story of God intervening in a crisis. I wish I could tell it to you, and maybe I will be able to some day. I just know that as the story was being told, we could see God’s hand providing people in key places and orchestrating circumstances, and bringing good into what could have been a tragic situation — because we prayed!

And on Tuesday and Thursday I had friends visit me.

It does a heart good to have someone go out of their way to spend time with you. Friendship is a sweet gift. 

And I am thankful for you dear reader, and your encouragement. Every time I get a comment from you or see you have liked a post, I am encouraged to press on. So, thank you!

Here are the rays of light I savored Love Obey Kathy Schwanke  online this week.

They will bless, encourage and fire you up!

Why Attending Church Is So Important  ~ by my friend Matt Brown

The King Is Enthralled With Your Beauty ~ This is a spoken drama of a favorite passage of scripture. Psalm 45:10-11, 13

Culture Clash: Freedom Or Constraint ~ A 38 minute message by Pr. Bob from Eagle Brook Church

And of course, a song: To Live Is Christ by the Sidewalk Prophets

Happy Sabbath Friends! May you keep your eyes on Jesus who redeems, restores, rebuilds and resurrects! And may you stand on the promises of God who never fails!

Discerning The Spirit Of The Words

Photo Credit: [my girl] Kayla Nelson
How good and pleasant it is when we walk together in unity. Photo Credit: Kayla Nelson

Debaters.

Opinion-ators.

Proclaimers . . .

We are humans-made-from-humus . . . our origins of dust.

Some days, being online is not sweet. Not that I expect it to be all sweet . . . that is unrealistic. But the balance seems to be tipping towards stinky.

I have learned some lessons about life online the hard way.  If you ask those who received some of my forwarded emails back in 2007, when I sought to sway their opinions . . . they may have thought them stinky. So,  I’m more cautious of taking action as rapidly as I once did.

Please allow me to share a bit of hard-won wisdom with you . . . and to pray,

Dear Jesus, please help us slow down this fast-moving train-of-thoughts, brain-numbing, “my-words-need-to-be-out-there” blaring-megaphone of human-opinion. 

To boycott or not to boycott –  it has been the blaring declaration-of-the-week on my Facebook feed. Not only are there strong opinions that come across, but with them, an insinuation of “shame-on-others” who do not agree with me. [that is the stinky part]

It looks a lot like human pride on display.

Where is humility?

Pride, we can recognize it because it’s never far from each one of us. We know it; we know the way it starts it’s sentences. We are familiar with the method it uses to  proclaim its pomp – it looks like this:

“I”

I WILL shop at Target.
I WILL NOT be shopping at Target.

You can hear the tone.

Pride starts the proclamation of it’s contempt like this,

“They”

They are fundamentalists.
They are liberals.
They are legalists.
They are judgemental.
They are bigots.

I > They = superiority

And does anyone even know what a Bigot is??? I looked it up: A person who is intolerant of others holding differing opinions. 

Dear person who called another person a bigot . . . please see definition of bigot.

“If you cannot make yourself what you wish to be, how can you bend others to your will? We want them to be perfect, yet we do not correct our own faults. We wish them to be severely corrected, yet we will not correct ourselves. Their great liberty displeases us, yet we would not be denied what we ask. . . . hence it is clear how seldom we think of others as we do of ourselves.” Thomas A Kempis

Shame and blame and even fame. They are Satan’s tools.

If we are Christians, we no longer look at people from a worldly point of view.
2 Corinthians 5:16 NLT

Pride sees with earthly eyes and condemns it’s antagonist.
Humility sees with redemption’s eyes and loves it’s antagonist.

 

Fellow Workers,

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:5-6

There is a way to say what is true without slinging mud or stones at someone who doesn’t think like us.

There is a proper and wise context in which we should work out our angst and our fear and our “how-to’s” in this day of rapid change, and it is likely not the internet.

I wonder if we realize that we actually add fuel to the fire of hostility that seems to be raging against Christians all around us when we are not cautions with our words.

Where we say them.
How we say them.
Who we say them to.

And most importantly how we are using our words to build and to bless our brothers and sisters in the faith.

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:10 [emphasis mine]

You may have read this online: “We need your words! We need you to add your voice to the conversation”  regarding any number of the debatable issues of our day. And sometimes things get worn-out and over-used and even abused.

Conversations are best in person. Where we can see faces. And smiles.

Sometimes, it’s better to let our words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:1-3NIV

The following passage is about eating and drinking and not offending or causing anxiety in your brother or sister who’s faith doesn’t allow it. I think the same principle might apply to being considerate of others in any context.

It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. Romans 14:21-23

Sometimes it’s better to keep our convictions between us and God if it is going to be a point of dissension in the Body of Christ. Especially publicly.

Dear Lord, please help us be wise. Guard our hearts and our lips . . .  Generations will reap what I sow. That is a sobering reality. May it help me pause long before shouting from the rooftops what I will do. May I instead magnify your goodness by trusting you and your Word. And bless the land that you planted me on by praying and obeying You. 

God may tell you to send out an email . . .or write a post about a boycott or why-not-to-boycott. You have complete liberty, and you should obey Him if you feel conviction – if you know it is God calling you to do so.

But if your blood pressure is a bit too high, don’t publish until you have a few people read it first, to discern the tone and get a perspective on if it, to cross-check it and see if it would be beneficial to the hearers and to the greater good of the people who will be hear you.

In the abundance of counselors is wisdom. Proverbs 15:22

Dear Jesus, help us to seek wisdom and the greater good of others. Help us to be humble and help us to discern the best way that leads to peace and mutual edification. Help us not to be bullied by the words of people, but to rest in the truth that you have given us in Your Word~Amen

All The Good Good Good From Jesus AND We Can Fight The Good Fight Of Faith

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One of the ladies in my early Tuesday morning Bible study texted me during the week seeking to summarize each piece of the armor of God ~ Ephesians 6:10-19 ~ in a way that she could remember them with their characteristics. As I’ve been pouring over this study with three separate groups of women, and especially as I spent time studying the Helmet of Salvation, it became more and more clear that each piece IS the Lord JESUS!!!

He is the Truth.
He is our Righteousness.
He is our Peace.
He is Faithful.
He is our Salvation.
And . . . He is the Living Word.

And that reminded me of this verse:

“Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Romans 13:14

And that summarizes for us the way to “be strong in the Lord, putting on the whole armor of God.”  Ephesians 6:10  And how to “Walk in the Spirit” and not fulfill the desires of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

 

The final piece of the Armor of God listed in the book of Ephesians is the Sword of the Spirit.

The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.
The sword is the only offensive weapon.
And. It can cut off the enemy’s head! [AMEN?]

But thanks be to God, who ALWAYS leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.
2 Corinthians 2:14 [emphasis mine]

What is the difference between being a soldier on the defense vs being a soldier on the offense?

I am a Green Bay Packer fan, and though I know little about football, I do know enough to enjoy the game. And I understand that the “offense” is the team holding the ball and running toward the goal for the prize.

And though we are often on the defensive against the enemy – because he catches us off guard and wreaks havoc in our lives as he prowls around looking for someone to devour 1 Peter 5:8, so we often find ourselves fighting to get our ground back . . . God wants us to be a lot more on the offensive, resisting the devil so he will flee.

God has given us the ball and wants us to hold on to it!!!

I realize that some of the fires we are working tirelessly to put out are serious, and that the rubble around some of us might feel daunting. But I’m so delighted to be able to refresh us with this reminder that WE have the POWER of the Living God around us and within us!!!

The Lord is pleased when we come together with other believers [in this place “in the air”, and in all of our places on the ground] to fight this invisible war.

LORD, It seems bad out there! IMG_0206
The ancient Foe that seeks to work us woe KNOWS that the healthy family is the solid foundation of a healthy society.

And I probably don’t need to tell you this, but the way I size things up today, his strategy to chip away at the foundation of our society in order for the walls would fall – has come to a pinnacle. The proverbial snowball rolling down the hill for so long, gaining momentum has landed. There’s been an implosion of drug-abuse, hopelessness, sexual abuse and immorality, division, anger, suicide, etc. [and even among professing believers –which makes our need to be alert to the schemes of the enemy imminent!]

And that is why I believe that this study that Priscilla wrote after the movie War Room came out is a gift for the Body of Christ right now! He is reminding us, refreshing us in the truth of WHO we are in Him. What He has given us in Him. [EVERYTHING!!!] And how to take the ground back from the enemy [defensive] in our sphere of authority, but also how to “HOLD ON TO THE BALL” and push Satan back!!!

We are MORE than Conquerors through Him who loves us. In the darkness WE can celebrate the Light of Jesus! That is good, good, good news!

 

I Do. And Everything Is Mine In Him

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When I married my husband, everything that was his became mine. Whether it was good or bad.

I instantly became a recipient of his skill and ability to service our vehicles.
I became a beneficiary of his carpentry skills.
We’ve done many remodeling projects together.
Everything he set out to do became mine too.

When he built his business, I was building it too.
When he made money, it was mine too.
When he lost money, I lost too.
When his deal went south, I went with him.
When he brings money home, I . . . spend it.
But for the record, he spends too. 🙂

The reverse is also true. He has been a recipient of my ‘stuff’.

When he builds, I design and paint. When he rototills, I plant. When he takes apart my windows, I clean them . . . [this is a current project that is rather humorous between us; he keeps taking apart and bringing windows to me, and after I get done cleaning them, he brings me more!]

Over the course of these 32 years, I’ve jested that from the time we were married, he knocked me over the head and has been dragging me by the hair ever since. Because he is a risk-taker and I never used to be. Where he would run, I would dig in my heels. When he wanted to move, I’d say, “Let’s stay.”

But being married to him has helped this cautious one to see things more clearly. I’ve see that risks are worth taking and that you survive, even thrive from the fallout from any failure you encounter.

And we’ve seen that my cautious nature has a very good balancing value to his risk-taking nature.

I’ve been on wild adventures because of him. Adventures that I fear I’d never have experienced without being being wed to Mr. adventurous spirit. I’ve become extremely fond of adventure.

It took awhile for both of us to see the value of his risk-taking and my caution. The Lord has used D’s dominant nature to refine my compliant nature. I’ve sturdied up . . . and he has softened a bit.

Marriage is surely made in heaven, but not the way we might wish. IMG_5418

It’s true that the reason God created marriage is to display His relationship to His Bride, the Church. He is the Husband and we are the Bride. You can read about it in Ephesians 5:22-33

So, here’s some really good news. When we obtain salvation through our faith in Jesus, then we are in covenant with Jesus. Similar to my marriage, except for one signifiant detail. One side of the equation is Divine Perfection.

And everything we inherit as His Bride is GOOD! Good. Good. Good. Isn’t that good news?!

Well, if you are like me, it doesn’t come easy, seeing the good, good, good. And as it goes in marriage, it takes some time to really get to know each other and trust the whole covenant thing.

For far too long in my relationship with Jesus, I thought so much more depended on me. I strained and struggled to obtain what I thought it was to be a “good Christian” [compliant nature, remember?] Until I fell flat on my face in my weakness, unable to pick myself up or deliver myself.

The Lord forced me to rely on Him. Psalm 40:2

And it was the best thing that ever happened to me. To learn to trust. To learn of His unfailing love. To learn of His power to save. To be set free from slavery to the idol of self-sufficiency.

To truly find His REST. Isaiah 30:15 IMG_8674-2

Do you trust Him?

Do you believe the good, good, good of your Savior?

I’ll be talking more about it in the coming days:

The goodness of Jesus.

 

Savoring Light on Sunday

IMG_8422 Spring has sprung and life is unfurling all around.  Flowers pop, leaves bud.

My mom came early Wednesday and we met my cousin for coffee. There were two patio tables outside Caribou, and we sat under the warm rays praying before our goodbye hugs.

Returning home,  mom and I sat out front where I had dusted off the pair of adirondack chairs and we chatted before walking down the hill to a little cafe for lunch.

It rained the next day and the grass POPPED in, the color more brilliant than I remembered! It’s like I have to wipe winter’s dust back from my eyes too!

That day we sat looking over  a rugged, shaggy lawn, and like when the sun pops over the horizon, the next day, lush grass. We don’t quite have a mower ready though. D has been working on that in the garage for weeks – waiting for parts, running for parts, and tweaking the parts.

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I don’t get to see the sunset from home. This has been a hard reality after having watched the sun set over the lake for over a year. I never took that view for granted. I praised God every sunset, every sunrise. And so last night when D told me he was out of his coffee creamer and I volunteered to run out and get him some, it was like a kiss from God to drive toward that glory in the top of the photo above.

I had little Oliver all day Friday, the one carrying the heavy jar of chocolate chips that he successfully grabbed off the counter, and bringing them to me said, “More? More?” – Because in the absence of candy in the house, both his daddy and I enjoyed a small handful with our coffee occasionally-before he left home for college.

It was a bit chillier on our walk than I anticipated and I had a pair of $2. gloves tucked in my pocket. Oliver actually wore them all the way home!

I didn’t get to see my other three grand boys this week, but thank you SnapChat! I can still “see” them and screenshot them all on the slide, stair-step fashion. 🙂

They call me Gramma Kathy [Kaffey] and their other grandma is “Gramma Jo” . . .  last night I got this text from my daughter who had her friend Lindsey over:

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And now, here’s more light for your Sunday:

If you are bringing in flowers, view this post for keeping them alive longer.

My friend’s daughter Molly is in college and [wise beyond her years I think] wrote a Letter For When You Forget Your Worth

My daughter-in-law wrote. When Stress Reigns: A Note From This Messy Heart

This little boy’s ballet, and this mom [me] was moved to tears. Seriously.

And finally, this song Greater: [I think the video is as beautiful as the song!]

Happy Sabbath Friends!

Savoring Light On Sunday

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We had an 80 degree day yesterday and these three hung out here.
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I started my day here on Friday . . . journal . . . coffee . . .  IMG_8481
Last year, instead of my regular read-through of the Bible in a year,  I read along with my friend Denise’s free Bible reading plan from Deeper Waters.

My first One Year Bible was an NIV version, a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law, Ellen. Since then, I’ve purchased a KJV and an NLT and alternated those through the years.

This year I wanted to read through the ESV, but didn’t want to purchase one, so I looked online and am now reading on the She Reads Truth Bible App. You can also find She Reads Truth online.

IMG_8495 You may have noticed I really like photographs and therefore I really like Instagram. So I will, of course enjoy sharing the amazing photography I encounter along the way with you!

For today you might savor these Instagram Feeds:
NASA
earthpix
lukestarbuck
natgeotravel
And this might be my favorite:
discoverearth

And what would a Sunday afternoon be without a song? I sent this one to a friend who was fighting to keep standing this weekend. Maybe you need it too? God My rock

Happy Sabbath Friends!

Life Is Found On The Other Side Of Awkward

img_8462 It had started with unemployment for her fiancé two weeks before the wedding. Her dad and I were the ones with “wet feet” then. “What are we doing?” I’d asked my husband. They were both only 20 years old.

After a lovely outdoor wedding in early September, the months accumulated, her working full time, he at home, discouraged by the dead-end job search.

He finally landed a job at a grocery store, and shortly after, signed up for the Air Force Reserves. This meant six weeks away at bootcamp when their firstborn was four months old.

A year later with many lonely weekends behind her, he was away again for a two month training.  I had picked her up for the five hour trip to visit a friend who had a new baby. A friend who had things my daughter was missing. A husband at home, home decor that all fit together in a comfortable environment, and a body that returned more rapidly to pre-baby weight.

We were getting back into the car to go home. Her eyes released the tension as she closed the car door. Her face, a portrait of  pain. A  dark cloud of despair filled the car, it’s weight pressing my chest.

Fearful of saying the wrong thing,  I prayed silently – for an entire hour.

Suddenly I heard God’s voice, “Pray out loud.” — immediately I resisted the notion  — I tried to brush past His voice. But it kept coming. And suddenly another thought made it’s way in, “This is ridiculous! We prayed in the car together all her teenage years on the way to school!”

Thankful then for having had that foundation, but still with a residue of resistance, my mama-heart acted in faith.  Love won over awkward, and with words of fire, I launched into bold prayers, praying the word of God, the will of God over my daughter, her husband, their marriage and their family. I prayed that they would flourish and prosper in their marriage [3 John 1:2,] that they would be full of love for one another [Romans 12:10] and that their lives would reflect His love and power [Ephesians 5:32-33.] I praised God that He was going to prosper and not harm them [Jeremiah 29:11], He was going to give them hope and a future. That He would restore anything that the enemy had stolen from them. [Zephaniah 3:20]

I’m only telling a small part of their story, but enough for you to know that when we arrived home that day, darkness had given way to light.

Because of prayer and the spoken Word of God, the atmosphere had shifted from hopelessness, discouragement and despair to one of hope, anticipation and faith to move forward.

That was four years ago and true to His promises, God has been faithful in all of the trials of their young marriage. He has continued to provide and prosper them in their journey with Him. From the weekends and months apart, to the loss of their first home, through several trials, moves and job changes, and three darling little boys, they have prospered in their journey.

 

It’s experiences like this that have me full of hope and anticipation for what God is doing in and through His people who are moving into their prayer closets and coming TOGETHER to pray.

If we ever needed a SHIFT in the atmosphere, it is NOW!

And friends, I see Him doing it!! Are you in?

We have one more spot for a girlfriend in our hotel room in DC on 7-16-16.
Message me if you are interested. IMG_8391

 

Savoring Light on Sunday

IMG_8422 When I was a little girl, most shops and businesses were closed on Sunday. Can you imagine what restoring that practice might look like for our society?  For your life?

If America restored Sabbath, most everyone would have the same day off.

When I opened my gift shop, at first I had considered opening on Sundays, but my over-70 year old mentor strongly suggested I didn’t. I took her advice and was so grateful over the years that I had that time with my family. [That time that passed so quickly…]

It’s true that we are shallow, who have little time to ponder and dream. Wonders are born in the imagination.

The Possible’s slow fuse is lit
By the Imagination.
~Emily Dickinson

The inward eye requires solitude to see. IMG_8353

Our society seems to thrive on living life in the fast lane. 
And I think many of us might need to fast from that lane. 

My Facebook friend Kris, recently posted that The Sabbath was made for man. She refers to our mutual friend, Shelly Miller who recently moved to London with her husband who is a pastor. You should check out her beautiful  IG feed. And soon her book will be out “Rhythms of Rest” if you want to consider further the idea of restoring Sabbath to your life.

My friend Susie hosts an awesome radio show which I never catch live, but often listen to while running on the Elliptical. Her interview, Carrying Greatness in the Land In Between -I guarantee will stoke your fire and make you stand up taller, taking bold steps of faith.

[If you don’t do elliptical, grab a mug of coffee, a pen and a journal and doodle while you listen. Did you know Doodling Improves Thinking?

You might hear directly from the Lord about some exciting step He wants you to take with your life. 🙂

And so I don’t overwhelm your Sabbath, just one more link. I discovered this new album because the artists A&LA liked a couple of my photos on Instagram [a not only talented, but smart couple ;)] Here is their song, Walking on Waves. ENJOY!

Happy Sunday Friends!

Please share the inspiring things!
xo

Dear Narrow-Way Follower: Remember, Light > Darkness

I hear it when I wake up; rain drops echo in the bathroom fan of our single-level home. I welcome the sound like birdsong, morning voices proclaiming spring. But as the rainy day continues on into the next, the grey drizzle dampens my outlook.

It dawns on me how days like this require inner sunshine, an exercise of intentionality. I must move toward joy from what I know to be true in order to waylay a dreary countenance.

As a lover of light [and by that I mean both spiritual and earthly light, both the light of the glory of God as revealed in His word and in His creation . . . ] I would prefer to ignore the darkness. Especially as a writer, I’d prefer to only write of light things.

But what is true of light is that it illuminates that which is hidden in darkness.
In light we see.

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There is much to learn from meditating on that fact.

Psalm 139 tells us that even the darkness is not dark to God. We cannot flee from His presence. The Light of the World sees all.

When I see things in this world that I’d rather not see, what comforts me is knowing that He sees it too. And He is almighty. He is greater than the darkness.

God’s omniscience is Holy Comfort for the soul that sees.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:13-14  The way is broad that leads to destruction and many are there. And that the way to heaven is narrow, and few find it.

And I don’t want to be on the broad way. I want to be His. Matthew 7:23-24

That is why for twenty seven years  I have spent hours between the alpha and omega of the Logos and heard the Rhema.  John 10:27

Seeing Light in the shadow of Easter:

On Palm Sunday the broad way band of men honored Jesus as King crying “Hosanna! Hosanna!” thinking that this miracle-worker was going to reign in their land and save them from the oppression of the current government, but then on Friday, when things weren’t going the way they’d hoped,  the band shifted and in unified hatred they cried, “Crucify! Crucify! Crucify!”

His few narrow-way followers hid in the shadows, not yet understanding what was happening. They knew the Truth and entrusted themselves to God.

This morning I read of Korah, Dathan and Abiram who “took men” and rose up before Moses, with a number of people of Israel, 250 chiefs of the congregation, chosen from the assembly, well-known men. They assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron . . . and in unified hatred . . .

This broad-way band of men, jealous and rebellious, rose up against the men that God had anointed and appointed. And, long story short, it didn’t end up well for them. The three men who led the rebellion and their families were swallowed by the earth, and the rest of the men were consumed by holy fire. [You can read the entire edge-of-your-seat story in Numbers 16]

When Moses and Aaron were confronted by the rebels, the narrow-way followers fell on their faces before the Lord and allowed Him to be their defender, hidden under the shadow of His wing. They knew the Truth and entrusted themselves to God.

Today, we who see things in His light, as we view the internet and all it’s volatile commentators, through the lens of scripture can see the broad-way band of men. They chant one thing and then another. We can see the shifts of opinion, the band gaining momentum, the spread of opinions gaining power. A unified hatred against God growing.  Here & Here & Here are just a few of the more blatant ways we recently see things shifting [notice the first two took place at night.]

And we who are the narrow way followers, we too must humbly cry out to God, trusting that we are tucked in the shadow of His wings. We must know the Truth and entrust ourselves to God. 

Seeing in the light of the hope of Ninevah:
Even though we can see the broad-way band of men gaining momentum, I have great HOPE that I want to encourage you with.

Let’s consider the great mercy of God for our day, how He sent Jesus to save ALL who come to Him in faith. Let’s remember that his mercy triumphs over judgement and how merciful He continues to be to this beautiful land we call home.

Hello running water, flushing toilet, hot shower! Good day reliable car, gasoline and paved roads! How can it be internet, cell phone and Starbucks?!

We, you and I, are born for such a time as this! We can individually and TOGETHER petition our God to bring His light to bear on our land in this day and He who turns things around might relent in allowing darkness to descend and instead bring truth to light.

2 Chronicles 7:14-15 If My people will humbly pray, seek my face and turn away from all their wicked ways [of pride and unbelief, of self-focus and self-promotion, of spiritual laziness and worldliness] THEN I will hear their prayers, forgive their sin and heal their land.

Twice God was going to judge all of Israel, but twice Moses interceded and God relented in judging the whole nation. [See Exodus 32:30-35 and Numbers 14:11-20]

IMG_8231-2 Dear narrow-way follower, we are the light of the world! We have been given spiritual authority through Christ to fulfill His great commission and He promises He is with us. Matthew 28:18-20

Yes it’s cloudy, yes we get weary of the drip, drip, drip of the rain, but we can be encouraged that life comes out of darkness and look for the Life to pop up all around us as we are about His business.

It dawns on me how days like this require inner sunshine, an exercise of intentionality. I must move toward joy from what I know to be true in order to waylay a dreary countenance.

It’s true, that revival has come most often through God’s people uniting in His presence, with the reading of His word, worship and prayer. You might consider crossing off Thursday, May 5th on your calendar. If you are in the Minneapolis area, you could plan to come to UNITE NDOP.

If you are not nearby, click here and find something near you, start something at your church, or invite people to your house.

Let US TOGETHER, UNITE and  PRAY!!! [email reader, click here for a song]

 

A Firm Stand

Have you thought long on the fact that what is on your feet is in direct correlation to your heart’s peace?
Me either . . . until recently.

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 . . . and as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15

As the wife of a woodworker / construction guy, I have always been more confident and comfortable working with him [and much more productive . . . imagine!] if my shoe has a heavy sole. Because . . . of potential consequences of nails sticking up, or boards being dropped.

Or, if you are a “shoe-sister” . . . with a closet full, you may be thinking of your own story of wearing “those heels” to that event . . . and how uncomfortable it was, or how you stood [literally] four inches tall while wearing them.  🙂

As we look at the armor of a soldier through the apostle Paul’s eyes [Ephesians 6:10-21] in relation to our spiritual armor:

The boots a soldier wore had spikes on the bottoms similar to football cleats but more gripping. This would have enabled the soldier to not only stand firm in tumultuous soil, but also to advance in the goal to conquer.

Our level of peace directly correlates with our securing victory over the enemy! If the devil can steal our peace, he can overtake and overpower us! [ie: trip us up]

So, how firm and secure are your feet today? How would you rate your heart-peace on a level of 1-10?

In her study “The Armor of God,” Priscilla Shirer uses a play on words as a sub-heading: “Prints of Peace”

Following, she talks about the enemy’s priority-pursuit to steal, kill and destroy our peace.  John 10:10

“He intentionally stirs up discord, division, disruption, and disturbance, both within you and around you. He is the lord of chaos and confusion, using every opportunity to upset your sense of well-being and stability. He wants you uneasy, unbalanced, filled with anxiety, worry, and turmoil.” ~Priscilla Shirer [#TheArmorofGodStudy

Notice the prefixes of the words “dis” and “un” . . . Stealing. Subtracting. Taking away our peace if our feet aren’t sturdied IN the gospel of peace.

I recall a picture in “The Four Spiritual Laws” tract [are you familiar with it?] where there is a circle [representing your heart] with a chair inside. And that chair is occupied with self until we receive salvation.  At salvation, Jesus is given the seat on the chair [throne] and we are at his feet.

I think it’s the times when we de-throne Him [try to take control, and live according to our own power] that we lose our peace. My anxiety always comes when I place the burden of a trial on my own performance instead of praying and claiming the promises of God for my well-being or the well-being of my family.

I love Colossians 3:15 “Let the PEACE of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And BE THANKFUL.” . . . or we might say:

“Let the Prince of Peace rule in your heart”

And you might know a popular passage, Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God. And the PEACE of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I’ve been talking with my Bible Study groups  about how we go about shifting the atmosphere when there is a cloud of doom lingering … and today’s message gives us a powerful strategy.

Giving thanks transforms our anxiety and fear into peace, thus steadying our stand and equipping us to be offensively taking the victory that is rightfully ours in Christ.

In what areas or relationships are you regularly targeted with anxiety or fear that you might employ a holy thanksgiving party to shut up the enemy?

Is there a situation that you would like prayer in order for you to secure peace? Because often we need other soldiers to be in the battle line with us or we are much like a “sitting duck!”

Or are you as a ‘seasoned warrior’ standing firm as a storm rages around you?