Gracefully praying for the rains

42 So Ahab went off to eat and drink, but Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.
43 “Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked.
“There is nothing there,” he said.
Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.”
44 The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.”
So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’”
45 Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel. 46 The power of the Lord came on Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.

1 Kings 18:42-46 NIV

Elijah – one of my all-time favorite people in the Bible. When I get to heaven, I want to look him up. I have questions for him – want to have a conversation with him.  He is an Old Testament Prophet.  It is amazing that every time I read about his life it seems to apply to my life and there is always something in it for me.  I hope there is something in it for you as well.

Let me give you a little backstory leading up to the verses above. God told Elijah to inform Ahab that the drought they were experiencing was about to end. It was going to rain.

Has God ever told you something? I don’t think I have ever been told anything as big as any of the things Elijah had been told.  But I have definitely been told things by God. The last thing is a future promise – God said “Hey, this drought in your life – these areas that have dried up – these things I have promised – the rains are coming.” And I was all, “ok!”.

Elijah says to Ahab, get outta my face and go eat or something ‘cause it’s about to rain and pour around here.  Yet the sky were clear, not a cloud in site.  So Elijah climbed the mountain to pray.
I’ve been there, so recently. I have what seems like an impossible prayer to pray without a single sign to confirm, areas of drought and promises of rain… and I just pushed everyone away and climbed that mountain and prayed. God told Elijah it would rain – God told me it will figuratively rain – we both climb the mountain and pray.

Literally 2 verses before this passage, is a passage about Elijah praying fire down from heaven. Elijah prayed a pray that was 2 verses long and BOOM! Fire from heaven! OH GLORY!!!  So why doesn’t Elijah just pray down the rain with a simple verse? He must persevere, pray and pray it through again and again. God told him – but yet he still had to do the work.
I pray about the promised rains in my life – I pray and pray and persist in prayer.  

It’s an interesting thing, we do not get to heaven by works – but sometimes we have a lot of work to do in order to get our promises from God.  And by work, I do not me charity and volunteering –  I mean growing in faith, working out our salvation, drawing closer to God, learning obedience and humility and forgiveness – and learning love.

Let’s say your drought is health related and your promise is healing. I am using this as an example because this next Bible passage makes a good point. So, have you ever prayed for healing and instead was told you had to work at it? Let me show you something:

So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.

2 Kings 5:9-15 NIV

Naaman was promised healing – but he did not want to go to the yucky river and wash. Couldn’t he have a diagnoses that would get him some sort of magical drug? Can’t you prescribe a pill that will work? Something that did not require obedience? Once he did it, he discovered that a. the treatment wasn’t that bad and b. the healing was there for him!

Sometime we have to pray it through 7 times on a mountain like Elijah or as Elisha said: Go jump in a river 7 times – but sometimes we have lessons to learn through the process as well as God taking that time to set everything up for the rains (or healing) to come.  Meanwhile (back to 1 Kings 18:42) we must also persist in prayer.  

Oh, but then there is the 7th time!! Whoo-Hoo!!  (By the way, this doesn’t actually mean the 7th time you pray. I have been praying for over a year for somethings. It is always God’s time, not ours. But when it is time God will do it quickly! Amen!)

Verse 44 – Elijah’s servant, on the 7th time checking the sky for clouds, sees a man’s hand sized cloud. I wonder if I was there, would I ask: That tiny little cloud will bring this big promised rain?!  In my own life – at every tiny glimmer of hope of my promised rains I get encouraged, thank God and I know the rains will be coming soon, so I hope I would not have looked at that tiny cloud and doubted. 
I can see how one might doubt. I can’t say I haven’t been tempted to doubt in my promises – especially with friends who mean well and do not want me to get my hopes up and then crushed. I understand they mean well, but get behind me satan while I encourage myself in the Lord and believe this tiny cloud can relieve a great drought.

Elijah, hearing of this tiny cloud, knows the Lord well and tells everyone to get home safely and fast. Unwavering belief that this tiny cloud is the start of a God given miraculous blessing! Sometimes it seems to take more time than we would like, but the Lord says when he does it, he will do it quickly! And Elijah knows this and doesn’t even wait for them to hitch the horses – oh no, Elijah takes off like the Flash and runs back to town!
“I will accomplish it quickly in its time.” Isaiah 60:22

I am somewhere between the tiny cloud of hope and the rains.  The hope encouraged me – but… did anyone think this through? Rains like this cause floods and can damage. Was there a moment when Elijah feared the rains – if so, was it the moment he sprinted back to town?? Was he actually afraid of the promise? Did this fear come early enough that it caused slight doubt, is that why he had to pray seven times?

Sitting here, not knowing how much longer, but soon – I see the little cloud.  The drought in the different areas of my life are about to end. And I am, curiously enough, a bit afraid.  I find myself wondering if maybe I don’t want it – I have survived the drought, I am comfortable – why change? The raven have provided for me. I drank from the muddy dried up creek. Yet I survived.

Oh I talk myself out of those types of moment – I am sure it is only human to be a little anxious about change and the unknown. God understands and gives us 365 verses reminding us not to fear.  And while struggling with this humanity, this flesh, I wonder why God fights so hard for me and why he loves me so much.  But He made me and had a plan for me – so of course he is trying diligently to work it out. I may not see these rains coming yet – but I thank God for the cute little man’s hand sized cloud. If not for grace, but I will make it through. Maybe I should make room for all this rain that is coming!

Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91

Seek Wisdom with Grace

1 My son, if you accept my words
    and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
    and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds success in store for the upright,
    he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Then you will understand what is right and just
    and fair—every good path.
10 For wisdom will enter your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Discretion will protect you,
    and understanding will guard you.

Proverbs 2:1-11 NIV

Seeking wisdom… when grace is the vehicle moving you along wisdom is the steering wheel.  Wisdom comes from God and through studying the Bible and spending valuable time in prayer. The more you read and pray the better you understand God and it is God who imparts wisdom.  Wisdom is a gift.

Sometimes no matter how much I read and pray I still find myself doing and saying foolish things.  God must just look at me and shake his head sometimes.  We are living in grace until Christ’s return and through grace we are learning and striving to be righteous.  At lease we ought to be.  And to be righteous we must do our best to obey the Word of the Lord and when/if we fall, ask for forgiveness and help to not do it again. Get back up! Do not wallow in condemnation but bask in mercy and grace and get back into the Word!

“for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” Proverbs 24:16 NIV

I always figured righteous people didn’t fall. Even my mom says older Christians do not struggle and they grow out of it.  And even though I learned this verse as a child – I developed the stinking thinking that at some point the struggle is gone.  And when it wasn’t, I felt that I could never get this right and give up.  (By the way, we of our own accord cannot do this and get it right on our own – only through the grace from God through Christ Jesus can we even begin to do this.)
This struggle does not end as long as you are striving to grow in Christ – He will always reveal new areas to grow in.  This is the wisdom of God – you will fall so get back up. This is the blameless walk, this is faithfulness to God and through this we are righteous and able to claim the blessings of the righteous in the Bible.  Not of my own doing but through grace.
I on my own am evil and make poor decisions. This is the wisdom of God to take sinners like me and you and make us righteous through our own weakness and failures by God’s strength and mercy!  His wisdom is not the wisdom of man. 

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” 1 Corinthians 1:27 KVJ
In this verse he isn’t referring to the people who are wise in Christ, but here when he says ‘the wise’ he means the ones who the world sees as wise; the wisdom of man.

Let’s read this again, but read the passage, in the amplified Bible for a little more depth into the wisdom of God:

27 But God has selected [for His purpose] the foolish things of the world to shame the wise [revealing their ignorance], and God has selected [for His purpose] the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong [revealing their frailty]. 28 God has selected [for His purpose] the insignificant (base) things of the world, and the things that are despised and treated with contempt, [even] the things that are nothing, so that He might reduce to nothing the things that are, 29 so that no one may [be able to] boast in the presence of God.

1 Corinthians 1:27-29

You see, Godly wisdom is not our normal understanding. God often does things we do not understand because we do not fully understand His wisdom and His ways.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 KJV

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 NIV

God’s wisdom flows as generously as His grace and mercy. All we need to do is ask. (Of course reading the word and praying are always helpful in getting wisdom, as well, but it isn’t something obtained by us, but given from God.)  It’s is something God works in us…
“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

If we could obtain this Godly wisdom on our own through just our own study of the word of God, then we could boast of our selves – this is why it is given as a gift, so no  man can boast but God can be glorified through it. (1 Corinthians 1:29)

Pray for wisdom today as the world struggles to find the wisest path to follow during this pandemic – pray for wisdom as you grow in the Lord and he is preparing your path – pray for wisdom as trials and temptations come your way so that you may find the right path through – pray for wisdom and be the foolish thing that confounds the wise of this world.

Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation ~ pray Psalm 91

Grace sufficient to prepare

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

God’s grace is so powerful. I pray you learn it with your heart – it is the gospel in one word, it is the love and mercy and forgiveness, it is the assistance to get through hard times, it is the vehicle we ride in fueled my God’s power to that takes us on the road we must travel to complete the plan he has for us.

Like I said in yesterday’s post. I do not know the specifics of God’s plan for me.  He hasn’t given me a vision or greater understanding.  I am obediently in the Grace vehicle doing as he tells me one day at a time.  I know if and when he wants more from me, after being faithful in little things, he will give me more.  (Luke 16:10)

I read a devotional saying to ask for Vision for God’s plan and a whole lesson on what that is, how and why we should ask. Good stuff! Yes ‘GOOD’ as in God given kind of good!  And it keeps going down the same line I am currently studying and sharing here.  

As we are going through such a time as this – it is important, all the more important, to draw close to God and be a willing servant.  He has a plan for us during this time.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

So we should seek him – truly seek him.
Every day while going through the social distancing I work on my friendships by calling, texting and reaching out to different friends and checking on them, just making small talk, and sending them things that make me think of them (and it isn’t easy for me, surprisingly).  God want more of a relationship than we have with our friend – he wants to be closer than your spouse and children. He wants us deep in his word to learn his plan and his ways. Get in there and learn how to pray and how to have a better relationship with him.

”But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 KJV
Do not seek him for the “added unto you part” – seek him because he first loved us (1 John 4:19) and seek him for the guidance and wisdom.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5-6

Although these blessings are bountiful and overflowing – be careful not to be hanging around our King for just the benefits – selfishness and greediness will not get you the rest of the way. 

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:1-2 KJV

The vehicle I earlier called grace will break down if we have these priorities askew.
“As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 NIV

Do not let grace abound – do not accept the grace in vain. 

11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

Romans 13:11-14 KJV

Sitting home, social distancing – no one can see if you are on course or taking advantage of the time when no one is looking.  But God is there with you and me – he sees, even our thoughts (as discussed in earlier posts).  What is his vision for me, for you – the fullness I do not know but RIGHT NOW, he wants us to repent of sin, and use this powerful grace to further his kingdom. RIGHT NOW he wants us to take this time to draw closer – to fall in love with him – to be blanketed in grace and love and grow strong.

Today’s pandemic is not yet the battle – that is on its way. Today’s pandemic is our peaceful time of growth and redemption.  Build on him, he is a firm foundation (Matthew 7:24). Vision will come. The battle cry will come.  Will your prayer life be strong enough? Will your faith be at least mustard seed size to cast out demons and heal the sick? Will you know how to walk in the spirit?  That time is a breath away – be ready.

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Matthew 25:1-13 NIV

Make sure you have grown your LOVE for God so much that you desire Him like a bride for her husband – Make him the desire of your heart.  The urgency I feel in this is real. His vision will come and you need to be ready. The time is now.  Are you ready to say: “here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

I pray for you: “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Psalm 20:4
And  that your heart’s desire is more of God.

Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation and healthcare supplies ~ pray Psalm 91

Created with a plan

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

‘Such a time as this.’ Did you read my last post?  I am still pondering the depths of it. God put me where I would have the best odds of fulfilling his plan for my life.

God made me the way that would help me fulfill the plans he has for my life.  And he does have a plan. I do not want to engage in a theological debate about “predestination vs free-will” but I will say that one does not negate the other. Both are true. In my personal experience God’s calling, this predestination, is more powerful than my free will. Also in my experience this predestination is love, mercy and grace – I would be foolish to not submit to it. Especially since I was created for this very thing! In my last post I showed you a few verses about us being made, with purpose for a plan God has; now below pay careful attention to verse 4, 5, 9, 11, and all of them!

Ephesians 1 KJV
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

God is good! I don’t know what His plan for me is specifically. I just try to live day to day and be obedient (especially during this strange pandemic time).  It is not easy to sit home, minimize social contact – or worse if you are essential, it isn’t easy running headlong out into the risk.

During these times I cling to:
“5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Right now, while we are going through this world crisis, we don’t have plans, yet God still has a plan for us and we are purposed to be here, now, going through this.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NIV
First, knowing you are a child of God and made for such a time as this, we should be praying boldly with confidence (His grace will cover if we err). Second, know that we have enough mercy and grace from God himself to get through this time of need.

Spend some time considering how important you are to God – that he would make a plan for you:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NIV

He created you and all he wants is a relationship with you and to help you live your best life. Trust in him. He has you!

I pray for you: “May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Psalm 20:4

Grace be with you ~Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation and healthcare supplies ~ pray Psalm 91

For Such a Time as This

“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

Have I? Have we come for such a time as this?
First of all, I think the times in which we live can absolutely be called “such a time as this”. (Maybe I’ll do a post about that sometime – but today I need a more immediate and basic lesson.)
Second, are we called for this time – placed here on Earth under our individual circumstances as well as our shared ones for a reason – for this time?

I can say will all confidence: yes! And during these difficult days here in the world, it is all the more important that we realize we are made for this. We can get through, survive and thrive, because: 1. We are made and designed for it, and 2. God will help us with strength, power and grace.
Let the Holy Spirit work in you as we dig through the answer – hold onto your grace we are about to expose some very vulnerable parts of ourselves and shine light into those ugly places we don’t want anyone to see. I challenge you to stay with me on this, it is important.

Psalm 139:1-18
O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

We do not even have to ask him to search us – he already knows us as David proves as he goes on.

You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

Although we cannot fully understand it, God already know everything about us. He knows us better than we know ourselves. And even knowing our thoughts and everything we say – he still loves us, protects us and has us in His hands! Read this and understand his tenderness to us and his love to us. Do not let condemnation in to make you try to hide from God. If you feel convicted by realizing how exposed you are (I certainly have) then just confess your sin, ask for forgiveness and help not to do it again. But don’t try to hide it – it is too late, he already knows… and you cannot hide…

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there

There is no hiding from him. He knows the deep dark secrets. He knows of the “immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Galatians 5:19-21 NIV).
He knows all your past and your present sins be them extreme or just what people refer to as “not so bad” ones, including the ones we think we have hidden.

Ok, that was hard, Time to take a moment and clear the air with God so we can move on. His mercy and grace will get us to the tender truth he is trying to share. Before he could he needed us to begin to understand and clear the air with him. Now back to Psalms 139…

Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

Because no matter where we go and what we do – He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). He knew these times where coming and He is prepared to be the light around us, guiding our way.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.

He formed us. He took certain DNA from one of our parents and then the rest from the other. We were not tossed together all willy-nilly. It is by specific design that every molecule and atom in you is and will be.  And, before you begin to think about the things you do not like – you better shut down that mind of yours fast. I do not want you to wander off into insulting or testing The Most High. Yes, He is Abba Father – but never forget the fear of the Lord – He is Above All. He thinks you are perfect, and just because you bought a lie from society and or the devil himself doesn’t give you any right to criticize The All Mighty God. Each one of us is His masterpiece and He does not make mistakes. (Eph. 2:10)
You are designed carefully and with purpose.

14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

In secret, in the lowest parts of earth – God wandered around on the night you were to be conceived and found the perfect pairs of DNA to form you. He knew exactly what He needed you to be as He saw your substance before it was formed. And the days fashioned for you! You were created for such a time as this!  A lot more here to ponder, but this is a long post so let’s move on and feel free to stop and ponder or come back to it.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

You and I are created as sinners here on earth, saved by grace and mercy, known and loved before you existed and chased down by the Lord to be a child, redeemed; and never left nor forsaken. You are called for such a time as this. Mount up on wings of eagles because this story is getting better every day – cry to the Lord, “here I am, use me” because you are made for this.  This world pandemic – You were designed for. You are here for it for a reason! God hold you in his right hand. Fear not. You are safe in God.

If you are not yet a child of God but want to be, it is simple – just confess your sins to Jesus Christ as the son of God, start having a personal relationship with him (reading the Bible and praying). I will encourage you to find a church and speak with the pastor or assistant pastor for continued assistance.

Psalm 139:23-24
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our world and our nation ~ Pray for healthcare and supplies ~ pray Psalm 91

Thanksgiving in March

“6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

With giving thanks:
~There is power in gratitude.
~There is healing with gratitude.
~There is grace in gratitude.
Today I feel the strong urge to amp up the thankfulness.  God is worthy of it even if he never did another good thing for us. But he is a Good God and he will continue to answer our prayers, draw us closer and bless us.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34
After that study on “GOOD” aren’t you so glad he is good! And all good things come from Him. If it is good, thank Him for it! It just makes me want to sing!

Ever notice that? Being thankful make ya want to sing praises and worship him? And the words of those song just makes you all the more thankful?!

“19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-20
Speaking to one another with songs??? How interesting.
The Bible says to put on the “garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3)
Do you know the song? Cause I want to speak it to you…

Surrounded (Fight my Battles) By Elyssa Smith

That’s how we fight our battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
(Praise and worship)
This is how I fight my battles

This is what we doing tonight

It may look like I’m surrounded
But I’m surrounded by You
It may look like I’m surrounded
But I’m surrounded by You
It may look like I’m surrounded
But I’m surrounded by You
It may look like I’m surrounded
But I’m surrounded by You

This is how I fight my battles…

Praise, worship, and thanksgiving are great ways to renew in Christ, grow in God, fight the spirit of heaviness, overcome, etc.

I hope what I am feeling is getting conveyed here. Now more than ever we need to thank God and stay focused on Him!  He has given us love and provided for us through this time. 

“8 Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalms 107:8-9

If He is the same yesterday, today and forever – and we have been praying according to His will and Biblical promises – we can thank him that those prayers are answered even if the time for them to be fulfilled is not yet!  Whoo-hoo!!! Praise and thanksgiving can even build your faith!

Once it is bubbling up it will overflow. All of the Good from our Good father comes in abundance because we are supposed to share it in order to further the Kingdom of Heaven and let God have the Glory.

“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Psalms 9:1

Why are you still sitting there? Wake up and start praising, thanking and worshiping! This is the day the lord as made……. Wait, what? It’s been hard?
Yes it has. This spirit of fear isn’t on me but it still makes it difficult and the spirit of heaviness is all around us.  Press in… turn on some worship music and make yourself sing along. At first it may be a sacrifice, but I promise that as you press in it will be easier.

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” Hebrews 13:15

God has been testing and growing many of us through this pandemic and I want to get an A in Thanksgiving class!! Let me encourage you – even if you do not see that God is moving, He is and deserves your thanksgiving and worship!

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. It is prudent that we continue to watch and pray. We know the signs of the time. Also, remember that here we are told to devote ourselves to these things – being thankful is one of them!

Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ Pray for our nation and healthcare supplies ~ pray Psalms 91

Consider: God Provides

“24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 
25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 

Luke 12:24-32

OK, Let’s consider the ravens.

The first Raven we see in the Bible, Noah sent out to see if the land was dry yet. The bird did not return.  I have heard many schools of thought about this, from it was sent in error to the raven being disobedient to God. Neither of them seem correct to me.
Noah, an obedient man, would send the wrong bird? An obedient bird would disobey and fly around, exhausting itself?
“And sent forth a raven. It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth.” Genesis 8:7 ESV
This bird has a mission, was sent to find land. This raven did not eat or sleep; it did nothing else but fly in search of it until he found the dry land. Did this raven worry about food, health, exhaustion, or anything? It does not seem so – it seems this raven believed he was in the hand of God and just did as he was told. 

Consider the raven – as we consider, maybe we should consider how complex we as humans make things. The bird obeys and God provides. We obey and God provides.

“He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28 NIV

Consider the raven – Speaking of God’s providence, He used the raven, the same bird he later told us to consider to provide for Elijah during the drought:

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”
So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”

1 Kings 17:2-6

What a wonderful example of God’s protecting love, provisions, and goodness! Whoo-hoo! There is that ‘GOOD’ word again.  In the first verse I shared above, Jesus is trying to show us that God takes care of the ravens, but here we see he also can use the ravens to take care of us, because they are obedient to His direction.
This is unfolding into a simple example of the relationship God wants with us. The bird obeys and God provides for the bird and uses the bird to provide for others. We obey and God provides for us and uses us to provide for others.

And now why are we considering the raven?
A local hospitals announced they have run out of tests for the Covid-19 pandemic.  Others announced they are running out of Personal Protective Equipment (gloves, masks, etc.) Stores are running out of food and toilet paper.  I am trying hard to redirect everyone to focus on what God IS doing, however, occasionally we need to look at threat and fear dead in the face and remind it that it is a lie from the devil – because my God shall supply!!!  He is the King above all kings, Lord above all lords, and Supply Chain Manager above all other supply chain managers!

Job was experiencing quite the Storm (and this pandemic seems to be quite a storm) and out of the Storm, God spoke – Read and pray to understand:

Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
“Who is this that obscures my plans
    with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?
“Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?
12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
    or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
    and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
    its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
    and their upraised arm is broken.
16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
    Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know all this.
19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
    And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
    Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
    You have lived so many years!
22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
    or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
    for days of war and battle?
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
    or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
    and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
    an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
    and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
    Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
    Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
    when the surface of the deep is frozen?
31 “Can you bind the chains[b] of the Pleiades?
    Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons[c]
    or lead out the Bear[d] with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
    Can you set up God’s[e] dominion over the earth?
34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
    and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
    Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom[f]
    or gives the rooster understanding?[g]
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
    Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
    and the clods of earth stick together?
39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
    and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
    or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
    when its young cry out to God
    and wander about for lack of food?

Job 38 NIV

Consider the raven, because we are loved by God so much more. We obey and God provides for us and uses us to provide for others. He provides physically, spiritually and emotionally. He provides ALL our needs. 

To God be the glory through all of this! All Good things come from Him!!

Thank you for reading ~ be healthy and blessed ~ God created the heavens and earth and has it all under control. Have peace and draw close to him. ~ Pray for our nation and healthcare supplies ~ pray Psalms 91


When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalms 56:3

I don’t know about you, but recently I have found myself referring to so many verses on ‘fear not’ and do not worry and don’t be anxious and….
The well of them, does not seem to run dry.  I do have quite a bit of the bible memorized, but I am surprised to learn I do not yet have as many of these type of verses memorized.  As I need them, as my friends and relatives share their fears, I am unable to just quote them.  I am disappointed with myself.
I think back – I have never developed a good sense of fear. I had a Boss once years ago who admired my fearlessness – but its not that I am courageous. You see, I know low functioning people who have the same developmental disabilities I have been diagnosed with, and they do not develop an understanding of fear and…. You will have to forgive me but the best way to describe this is very insensitive and politically incorrect….. but neuro-typical people look at those neuro-atypical (and lower functioning) and think that they are just too dumb to be afraid.
I am high functioning. I understand fear in an academic way, yet I have always said my fearlessness isn’t courage – I am just too dumb to be afraid.  Fear like that is completely outside of my wheelhouse. And where I am weak, God is manifest so that he gets the glory, here is strength.
When raising my son I used cautionary logic and “if-then” consequences to teach him fear – the kind of fear that is reverent, like fear of the stove and fire, fear of running into a street with cars coming, etc. And I have said all that to explain – these verses on fear are not referring to the reverent fears.  For example we fear fire in the sense that we respect fire. Or we fear the Lord meaning we respect Him.

I am not completely without fear experience – I can feel this thick atmosphere moving in and I feel the anxiousness. On a less guarded day, I found myself lining up all the things on a co-workers desk as I talked with her. Oops. I feel it is increasingly difficult to read and pray. So I do have some understanding and I try to use it to relate. 

But lately the neuro-typicals all seem to be having “behaviors” that are more common in the developmentally delayed community – individuals who cannot understand and do not have the coping skills and therefore flap arm, act out, panic, etc. I can understand and relate to fear this way and I want to help.

CALM DOWN! But in all the history of calming down who has ever calmed down by being told to calm down?!?! Yet, Jesus said:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.” John 14:1

So maybe we should address it like a Behavior Support Plan (BSP). Yes, because so many of y’all are having some pretty extreme behaviors.

The first thing a BSP does is identify the behaviors:
*Panic – acting irrationally and when the government tells you to stay home you find reasons to do the opposite, eating all the food (you do not need to eat: All. The. Food.) compulsively trying to control anything you can control, etc.
*Anxiety – symptoms such as Feelings of apprehension or dread, Watching for signs of danger, Anticipating the worst, Trouble concentrating, Feeling tense and jumpy, Irritability, Feeling like your mind’s gone blank, Pounding heart, Sweating, Headaches, Stomach upset, Dizziness, Frequent urination or diarrhea, Shortness of breath, Muscle tension or twitches, Shaking or trembling, Insomnia, Surge of overwhelming panic, Feeling of losing control or going crazy, Heart palpitations or chest pain, Feeling like you’re going to pass out, Trouble breathing or choking sensation, Hyperventilation, Hot flashes or chills, Trembling or shaking, Nausea or stomach cramps, and/or Feeling detached or unreal.

Now plan to address the behaviors:

At the first sign of symptoms – attempt redirection, redirecting yourself to an unrelated task or activity.

If anxiety continues, change the environment. Go to a new space, another room, outside, or just separate yourself from where you were. Then, engage coping techniques like redirection or…… prayer….

Ok, this is where I leave the conventional wisdom of a BSP because my God is bigger than conventional wisdom.  We will not try conventional redirection or coping skills, we will redirect our focus onto our Lord:
“6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
We see here, God already made a plan for addressing this. We just need to be like King David was and redirect ourselves to God: 
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalm 94:19

Remember my post on how to overcome fear? (the answer is with power, love and a sound mind – go back and read or reread it if you need to) And then lets add to that thought:
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
Oh sweet readers – did you catch that?!?! “Fear has to do with punishment” and our loving heavenly Father is NOT punishing us!!! He is protecting us with his love.

And I just have to go back to it…
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7
Power over fear, power to get through this with grace (always grace – always grace)! Love enough for ourselves, to love our neighbors who are afraid and to implement a BSP for them (jk) to help them learn the love of God and not fear! Oh and the hard part – self-discipline: yes folks – be disciplined enough not to go out! Be disciplined enough to keep yourself from fear and anxiety. Self-disciplined enough to be renewed in the lord:
“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

So, take a collective deep breath – walk through your social distancing chambers (I mean your house). And pray for that peace (Philippians 4:6-7) and renewal (Isaiah 40:31) for you and everyone in that space. Then memorize a few of the encouraging verses about God handling it and humanity doesn’t need to fear – so you can help support and encourage your friends, neighbors and anyone who may need it.

Have power in the confidence that God is not a man that he should lie – and he is the same yesterday, today and forever – meaning he has this.

“7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

Finally – remember we battle not against flesh and blood or even pathogens – this is a spiritual battle.  Put on the full armor of God and get serious about prayer. We are called for such a time as this. (Yes we can still laugh and have fun and the joy of the Lord) But it is time to take your walk with the lord seriously. Today is the day – the time is now.

“6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:6-8

Humble ourselves – be willing to let God use you
Give up anxiety – because he cares,
because we are told to and we must obey, and
because we have a job to do; quite frankly, we do not have the luxury of such distractions
AND be alert and of sober mind – the enemy is trying to consume us, and our loved ones with fear, lies, hopelessness, and death.  No man left behind! soldiers of Christ! Watch! Don’t let our brothers and sisters in Christ go down.  Watch! Hang onto even our unsaved loved ones, friends and neighbors – don’t leave them behind. Give to them the hope, peace, love….

Do not take the peace of God in and not share it – this whole thing about being a Christian is about sharing – give it away!!!

“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” Matthew 10:8

Be healthy and blessed ~ pray Psalms 91 ~ Let’s do this!

Good, Good Father

“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God;” 1 John 3:1a NAS

Sorry about not having a post yesterday.  The governor said 50% of non-essential employees had to go home. I work in support department to a health care facility. Specifically legal/regulatory support. Although we are essential and busy making sure everyone is following all these new rules as they change, I can do my job from a home office and I requested to be moved home. They sent home all who can work from home. I’m doing my part to socially distance. Again, I apologize for the disruption.

I was able to read my daily morning verse, and my midday devotional book. I just didn’t have time to sit down and dig into the word like this. Let me say, I feel it missing when I don’t do it. It feels like being less prepared to handle the day. (Especial a day like today when the Governor said 100% of non-essential employees must not return to work and the President tightens international travel and evokes the Stafford Act.) I also had some minor technology issues – like my playlist somehow got stuck repeating a song about God being a good, good father, which was removed from my streaming service (not my playlist) for a while (it must have come back today).
And wow did I need that song to get in me today. Been thinking about it and now, let’s study it: God is both Good and our Father.

“And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor. 6:18 NAS

And as a child we are blessed with all the love and goodness he has to offer us.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11 NAS

So much to ask for in this time of world crisis. And our prayer lists are already full before all this. Can we ask to be spared from this virus? Saved from the hardships this crisis has threatened us with?
“This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.” Psalm 34:6

Can we ask to be blessed through this instead of cursed? I know I will do my best to spare my son and help him during this time although my resources are limited – God has no limits. It is all his. How much greater will his help be?
And what about all those other needs we have and souls we are praying for? He is still a mighty God, with a tender heart who can handle a world pandemic and he is still working on all those other things.
“In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” John 5:17 NIV

God is so Good.
“And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” Mark 10:18 NAS
Someday I should look up the differences between Jesus and God – they are pretty much one and the same. But here Jesus says – only God is good. That is how GOOD, good is. It is so Good that Jesus does not dare even be called it!

God is Good and overflows Good!
“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” James 1:17 NAS
Everything good comes from him.
It was good that my employer sent support departments home, even critical ones – praise the Lord, he is Good. Not my employer, it’s from God.
When birds got into my dryer this week, it was Good that my friends came over and were able to help me – praise the Lord, he is Good. Not my friends, they are a perfect gift from God.
My tenant clogged a pipe. The handyman cannot fix it. But praise the Lord, he is Good. Somewhere is a plumber who can fix it and the money to pay him and the blessing from the lord, it is a good gift from God.

“Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.” 2 cor. 12:14 NAS
Our church is doing a building fund – ironically while we cannot meet in a building because – social distancing and world pandemic. I want to be able to contribute to it because we will need it in the future. And even during this time people are dropping off food for the poor and needy – we need a building to use as a center base for our ministries in the community.
My funds are still in crisis, social distancing themselves from me. YET, our very Good Father does not need us the children to save up for him – it is he who saves up for us, his children! Think about it for a minute.
In my house, when my son was little, my son and I shared resources, money. He needed something I would get it. He wanted something I would have him earn money from me for it. How much more is God like that? 
And once he started earning his own money he gave money back to me, or bought stuff for the house, or bought stuff I would otherwise buy, and money began to flow both ways – ah ha! Maybe this is what God wants. It is after all His. Everything is His. He gives it to us – He provides for my needs not my employer. He lends us the money to be wise with and use for his glory. So, even though I need to spend some of my money on my house’s repair which may mean I am giving less to the Lord’s house – it’s all God’s money and my house is God’s and he lent it to me. See where I am heading?
And it is all because he is SO GOOD!

While the chaos and storms rage emotionally, while we experience more trials and more comes up against us.  Remember it is God’s – even the battle belongs to him! He can and will turn it for Good!

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” Genesis 50:20

Our good, good father is working it for the good! Amen!

Be healthy and blessed ~ pray Psalms 91 ~ have peace in the midst of this storm

Seek and love him

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” 

Matthew 22:36-39

Every time we settle into a new normal with this pandemic – a new law or regulation is enacted. I may be more aware of them as I work with regulations on a daily bases.  Education of the masses seems to leave much room for improvement, but at this point I think everyone has heard that social distancing is the key solving this issue with our earthly tools. The entire globe is participating, except the United States, who are struggling to for some reason. (This is why the world makes fun of the United States).

We have already proven we are selfish (since someone bought all the toilet paper – wasn’t me so can someone spare a roll?)  I already thought through the self-preservation that caused that. But today, I was thinking about how much deeper it is.
Self-preservation seems to be caused by a lack of love. (yes, that was the point the last time I discussed it) But more importantly, and not previously pondered in my studies is specifically a lack of Godly love.  If you are like me with a broken heart and a broken love how do you love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind?

First, with our Heart –  Do we have an obedient heart? Because obedience is the very best way to Love God.
“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.’” John 14:23 NIV
As you practice obedience you see God’s goodness and providence played out in your actions and circumstances and it will surely help you fall in love with God. He also says to obey the government – are you obeying in social distancing? Hey, its a valid question.

Second, with our Soul – Look at the Psalms and how much David loved the lord! So many are just him singing about how good God is and how much he is thankful for.  Are we seeing God in nature? In our lives? In everything? And Are we focused on thanking him and being grateful for all the little things??
My employer is trying diligently not to furlough any staff during this crisis. Unfortunately we had to furlough a small group but more than 97% of our employees are getting creative and still working (as of today). Who soften the hearts of our leadership? Who put the idea in their heads? Who gets the glory for around 700 staff still employed in the midst of this crisis with less than 10 furloughed? GOD! That is who!! We have cut so many services, our revenue has been hit hard, yet we have made a commitment to find a way to take care of our employees as well as the people in our care. That is a work of God! It is no small thing.  
Who has spared West Virginia? Why is that entire state not panic shopping and voluntarily complying with social distancing? Why are there no cases?  GOD!
We serve a God who is still mighty and amazing! Seeing and recognizing it will help us fall in love with him!
While surrounded by so much unknown – lets worship and thank Him for all he has done and will do! Our souls need that kind of relief in this crisis.

Third, with our mind – I have already discussed getting control over your thoughts in God (see my post titled: Grace for the battle over your mind). So let’s discuss reason and logic.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 KJV
All what things? What is the promise here? Oh wow – read all of Matthew 6! Direction on how to give and how to pray and how to Love God!!! But also Jesus speaks of all the little things God does and how he can and will do it for us too and all we have to do is seek him. “All these things” – I do not want you to miss the word ALL!! God wants to bless us. All!  If that isn’t a reason to love Him with our mind, I don’t know what is!!!

God is saying, today, all across the land – that he is a mighty and capable God. He is still relevant and still good.
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 KJV
He hasn’t changed. He can and will show his power in your life, in your struggles, and in your needs – all you need to do is let yourself fall in love with him.

Get into the bible daily. Pray daily. Walk in the spirit. (even when it is tough to) Just keep seeking him.
We are getting through this crisis – by his grace and we will continue to get through, by his grace. Praise him for it.
We need a mighty God, so let’s seek him.

 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22 NIV

Thank you for reading – be healthy and blessed – Pray Psalms 91