Well Played, Dog

Beauregard loves to play Frisbee, he enjoys chasing after and catching it in his mouth. But there’s one problem, while he does retrieve it, it is hard for him to let go of it even though he’s having fun catching it. So I finally got him to drop the frisbee, but the problem has been he won’t leave it. As soon as I reach for it he grabs it back. When I turn my back to stop playing he finally gives up and lets me have it. He absolutely enjoys chasing after it and catching it, so I’m confused as to why he won’t drop it and leave it.

After an early play session, where he repeated the same pattern over and over, I returned to my morning devotion time.
During prayer I felt the Lord saying, “Cast all your cares on Me, My yoke is easy, My burden is light. Can you let go, so I can do what is necessary? Can you let go? Often you “drop” but don’t “leave it.” If you “leave it” then we can enjoy doing life together.

Oh the things I learn by having a dog.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Choose Life

Pro-life and pro-choice camps, they seem mutually exclusive, except if you listen carefully they can be pro-life and pro-choice at the same time.

Pro-life means ‘for life.’ Pro-choice means ‘for choice.’
I know pro-choice people that would rather call pro-life people anti-abortionists, and pro-lifers would say the opposition are pro-death.

Oh what’s in a name? Everything.

I am pro-life; most of my friends are pro-life. I am thankful my mother made a split second decision not to abort me. If only I knew that before I made my own decision. And many of my friends have chosen to adopt and foster those children that could have been aborted. Those same people also feed the poor, accept refugees and believe in education for all. I see that as pro-life.

But if “pro” life means “for” life, why are some pro-lifers out there complaining about wearing masks and closing businesses during COVID season? What I hear is “It steps on my rights.” What they mean is “My choice – my body.” Why are they ok with using violence (whether physically or rhetorically) to install a supposed Pro-Life candidate? See 1Jn 3:15, Mt 5:21-22; 43-45, James 3:9 .

The pro-choice camp it’s famous for saying “My choice – My body.” Yet most of my pro-choice friends are sacrificing their own comfort by wearing masks to help protect those around them as well as themselves. (Yes, I have many pro-choice friends who are Believers.)

As Christians we are called to Life. That should mean womb to tomb. Your rights and comfort don’t matter when you’re trying to save a life. I am thankful Jesus gave up His rights for me. See Phil 2:1-8

Instead of complaining that particular communities are fatherless. Be a father to the fatherless, feed the poor, clothe the naked, free the captives, welcome the stranger, help them on their way, wear a mask/follow COVID guidelines. Who cares what it costs you? This is a trust in ‘God’s Love’ issue. See Deu 10:18 & 27:19, Is 58:6-9, Ja 1:27.

If “Choose Life” were our guiding principle, all lives would be treated as precious, babies in the womb to the elderly, to every race and religious affiliation, to male or female or ?, to the foreigner who wishes to take part of our economy. Why are we still fighting flesh and blood? Remember who the real enemy is.

LOVE conquers a multitude…

You represent his Name for the sake of others, that they would see their Father in heaven loves them to Life. And THEN your Light will shine. See Is 58:9b-10.

Proverbs 3:11-12
My son, do not despise the Lord ’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭17:8. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings
‬ ‭

Puppy Dog Revelations

Everyone loves a well-behaved dog. My dog is not that (yet.) Sometimes he is. He is safer when he’s well-behaved, which creates a wonderful bond between us. But when he is off-leash, he runs. He runs fast and far. I become anxious because of the danger when he runs on his own as he does not understand a car can hit him, or a wild animal in the woods may get him. We are all happier and safer when he is on-leash.

First Chronicles 27 – 28 says, if you seek the Lord, He will be found by you; BUT if you forsake him, He will reject you forever.

The word ‘forsake’ has the connotation of going off-leash, doing my own thing, not consulting Him.

Thankfully, every time I seek Him once more, running back to Him, submitting to Him, I am accepted again. I love that this is not once and done. At some point, I will learn, and even now, am learning, to stay in the place that brings peace between us. Instead of seeing submission to Him as a repressive leash, I can see that I am connected to the Vine. And in that Vine is Life.

Read at Your Own Peril

The Public ‘Prayers’ of the Facebook Faithful, in a nutshell:

Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, but lean on social media and conspiracy theories for your understanding.

Not Your will but mine be done.

If My people, who are called by My name, will humble others through shame, rhetoric and threats, and pray and seek My face and turn others from their wicked liberal ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive the world’s sin and will heal their land.

Vengeance is mine. Period.

My rights, my body (concerning masks)

The Word of the Lord:

Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool. -Proverbs 10:18

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.- Job 2:10

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to TEST you, as though something strange were happening to you. But REJOICE inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted BECAUSE of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should NOT be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or EVEN as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to BEGIN with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? -1 Peter 4:12‭-‬17

God changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.- Daniel 2:21

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name …and will deceive many. And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the Love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. – Matthew 24:4‭-‬5‭, ‬11‭-‬13

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. – Proverbs 10:12

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. – Revelation 2:4

And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son?
It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son.”
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and EVERYONE undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. – Hebrews 12:5‭-‬8

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the church. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. – Revelation 2:7

By Faith, Birds…

I love my backyard view, so still: bright reflective waters, motionless leafless limbs, clear cerulean sky. But I really love the birds. As I watch them flit, soar and twist through the air I wonder why they make my heart sing. Is it the variety of color? Their cute faces? Their movement? Ah, that’s it!

Something about the way they move through the sky. That dance on the motionless air. Something I can’t see, air. My mind knows it’s there, I understand the science of it, but my eyes never notice it. Until I see wings spread out, pumping, gliding, lifting, and I am reminded that air is matter as tangible as water. A thing that can be moved and used to advantage if you can travel light enough with the wisdom to use it to advantage.

And that’s why I am mesmerized by the dance of my avian friends. They can’t see it and don’t know the science of it, yet they fly through and with it, like they are one with this thing I can’t see, air.

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. – John 3:8

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see…

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible… But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. -Hebrews 11:1, 3, 6

Photo credit: Pam Anderson

You Gotta Know When to Hold ‘Em…

If you’ve ever played poker, there may have been times you’ve had a bad hand and had to fold. I’ll be honest, I’ve felt like folding lately.

If you play often you might know some people who bluff really well.  I’m not one of them. They say everyone has a ‘tell.’ A physical sign that they may be bluffing about a good or bad hand. It could be a twitch, a giggle, nervous hands, but whatever it is, if you can find the pattern you will know when they are lying.

Well these weeks have sort of been like playing poker with the Devil. He’s bluffing about his hand, trying to convince me to fold. But he doesn’t have the winning hand.

How do I know that I have the winning hand? Well there’s the Words of Promise from the Lord, but honestly, I’m not sure which to apply here. Which to discard, which to pick up.  Are the promises I’m standing on the right ones? Does my opponent have a hand I can’t beat?

Well, it turns out I figured out his ‘tell.’ Yes, when he has a losing hand he pushes extreme hopelessness. If I watch him, that’s what I’ll see. But that’s a sure sign he’s trying to get me to quit because he knows I’ve got the upper hand.

If I stay focused on my hand, I’m going to see a Royal Flush: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Me and the Faith card. I’ve got all the Hope cards, he’s got none. So I stay in the game and do what I was called to do before the onslaught.
If I continue in the Faith then I win, raise the stake called the cross and he has to fold.

So if you’re feeling an extreme case of hopelessness it’s a sign that you are on the edge of breakthrough. Don’t fold, keep playing knowing Christ is the hand you’ve been dealt. And He IS the overcoming Right Hand.

But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure. So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.
Romans 8:25‭-‬26 AMP

For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
2 Corinthians 10:3‭-‬5 AMP

Nothing like the smell of compost in the morning

Thinking about how God never wastes a thing in my life…

Nothing But A Mist

The gardener at the Miksh house in Salem keeps a compost pile. He also grows the most beautiful assortment of vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers. In fact, that garden is gorgeous.

I love taking the young students to see the gardens. The gardener enthusiastically shares his knowledge with the children. I also love to show the kiddos the compost pile.

Why? Because it’s cool to show them that there is a safe and natural way to fertilize the soil. Plus, kids love poop. In their world it’s a conversation stimulant.

If I were to dig through that pile – and I won’t- I’m guessing I would find the mess of dead things, past dinners, scraps and scattered feline deposits all stacked on top of each other. Garbage, really – but when all the messy past is piled up and sprinkled with Time it becomes the best fertilizer. And those gardens…

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See You soon…

I stroke your hand, a colorful mountain terrain. Smooth and cool, your tender grip squeezes in return, “I love you Popo.”

Your wide boyish grin, mischievous eye, like star twinkles, I cannot help the laugh that escapes.

“Will it hurt to leave?”, you ask. No, it will be like the blink of your star twinkle eyes.

Goodbye, I love you. I’ll see you soon. “Okay and thank you for coming”, you respond as you drift off.

One last kiss on your forested cheek. I miss you, have fun creating with Father. I’ll see you soon.

Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:51-54‬ ‭

Let There Be Light..,

Worried the world is getting darker? There’s an answer for that…

In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without order, and empty; and DARKNESS was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be LIGHT!” And there was LIGHT… 1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the LIFE was the LIGHT OF MEN. And the LIGHT shines in the DARKNESS, and the darkness apprehended it not.

That Word was the TRUE LIGHT, which lightens every man that comes into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become sons of God, even to them that believe on his name, who are not born of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.”2

Then Jesus spoke again unto them, saying, “I AM the LIGHT of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in DARKNESS but shall have the LIGHT OF LIFE.”3

“As long as I am in the world, I AM the LIGHT OF THE WORLD.”4

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”5

“YOU are the LIGHT OF THE WORLD. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives LIGHT to everyone in the house. In the same way, let YOUR LIGHT shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”6

The people walking in DARKNESS have seen a great LIGHT; on those living in the land of deep DARKNESS a LIGHT has dawned.7

Arise, shine, for YOUR LIGHT has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, DARKNESS covers the earth and thick DARKNESS is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to YOUR LIGHT, and kings to the brightness of YOUR DAWN.”8

(But) Anyone who claims to be in the LIGHT but HATES a brother or sister is still in the DARKNESS. Anyone who LOVES their brother and sister lives in the LIGHT, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who HATES a brother or sister is in the DARKNESS and walks around in the DARKNESS. They do not know where they are going, because the DARKNESS has BLINDED them.9

For God, who said, “Let LIGHT shine out of DARKNESS,” made his LIGHT shine in our hearts to give us the LIGHT of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.10

STOP HIDING YOUR LIGHT IN LIT PLACES! GO INTO DARK PLACES AND SHINE!

1. Genesis 1:1-3

2. John 1:1-5, 9-14

3. John 8:12

4. John 9:5

5. John 14:12

6. Matthew 5:14

7. Isaiah 9:2

8. Isaiah 60:1-3

9. 1 John 2:9-11

10. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7

Shred Day

I am so thankful that according to 1 Co 13, God keeps no record of wrongs. And when the accuser comes to the bar with blame, Jesus, my advocate, stands before God presenting an empty evidence file folder.

So, why am I still accepting blame as part of my identity? And why is my identity still defined by those who hurt me in the past?

Where exactly is the enemy getting these accusations from?

If I have repented, God can’t remember them. And if I have truly forgiven those in my past I shouldn’t be recalling them to bring my own accusation, right? Does the enemy keep a record of the wrongs done to and by everyone on earth? He’s not omniscient, or omnipresent. How does he know everything I’ve done wrong?

I’m wondering if the only records of blame the enemy can use are coming from the files in my own soul. I know what I’ve done and have felt the sting of shame many times over them. I’ve gone to the Lord to forgive me for the same past mistake over and over. And I’ve had the Lord say to me, “I thought we settled this why do you bring it back up?” I seem dredge up more stuff from that sea of forgetfulness than bluegill from the local stocked pond.

I can blame the enemy for bringing it back up, but I don’t think he has books titled “Everything Pj has Done Wrong” or “Everything That has been Done to PJ.”

Nope, I do believe there’s actually a filing cabinet in my mind and heart. I have indeed kept chronological records of my own wrongs as well as those against me. So when the enemy comes to accuse, he just goes to that filing cabinet, pulls out a fully stuffed file folder and recites the contents to me and the Lord in accusation before God.

The word FORGIVE means to let go. Let go of offense I have with others and myself.

If I need to take every thought captive, that means thoughts of shame and blame too. If I bring my thoughts in alignment with the knowledge of Christ, I know that he cannot blame me if I have repented and accepted His sacrifice. And I am a new creature in Christ, so how can the old damage done to me define this new person?

So the minute I feel shame or blame, I need to get that file out and have a ‘shred day,’ so the accuser has nothing more to indict me with.

The scriptures below say it better than I can:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight… (Ephesians‬ ‭1:3-4‬)

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and HE will do it.‭‭ (1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:23-24‬ )

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 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 ‭4:16-18‬)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.‭ (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-7‬)

… Because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭7:24-25‬)‬‬

…as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.‭‭(Psalm‬ ‭103:12‬)

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. (Is 43:16)

And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Rev 21:5)

We shred arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ‭ (2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:5‬ )

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:37)