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A Bag of Glasses

Bag of Glasses: What lenses do you use to view the world?

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. Psalms 119:18

I popped in on my parents a couple of weeks ago.  We were having a little impromptu Sunday lunch.  I brought the chicken and mom made the sides.  As we waited on the last thing to come out of the oven, my mom handed me a bag. I peeked inside.  It was full of reading glasses. There were all shapes and colors. What driven this interesting gift was unfortunately I had broken my prescription glasses. Worst still with the delays and reduced number of clients that could be seen, I cannot get an appointment for two months. So, my mom always thinking got every reader she had and offered them for me to try.  She even provided a newspaper cutting for me to use to gauge which of the glasses would work best.  Some of the glasses were blurry, others were too weak and even one pair caused immediate nausea. Finally, after trying them all, I chose three pair and gave my mom a thankful peck on the cheek.

              Later, on the drive home, I thought about that bag of glasses. How each lens influenced how I perceived the world around me. It is the lens that determines how we see.

 So, what lenses do you use to view the world around you? Is it the lens of the media? Maybe your favorite Tik Tok? Your friends? Favorite show? Grief? Bitterness? Fear?

We have many options for lenses to choose from, but not all the choices are the best. How we choose to look at the world affects our relationships, not just with others but with ourselves. It affects our moods and can exacerbate depression. Sometimes the wrong lens evokes fear and leaves us feeling hopeless. Reading the Bible is the best lens we can use to view our world. The Bible teaches us to love one another and to leave the judging to the one and only judge. Reading your Bible strengthens your faith, gives you hope and perseverance to face the trials ahead. It places the focus on Jesus and reminds you how important and special you are to God.

Do you need a new perspective a more positive and peaceful view?

Change your lenses.

Typist for Jesus

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Boldness is Contagious

If you get on your knees before God, you can stand before any man.

And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. Philippians 1:14

Today I read a comment from someone on their stance on the vaccine mandate.  Their response was intelligent, compassionate, and aligned pretty much to my thoughts.  After I read it my cursor floated over the “LIKE” button.  It hovered because I was afraid to hit like and tie myself to the statement. Time passed and the statement hung out there like the proverbial “elephant in the room” on the forum.  This person’s idea was contrary to the accepted narrative. However, I believe that more people align to this thought but because we fear backlash, threats, potential job loss and alienation in our communities, we keep it to ourselves.  

              Finally, one brave person hit “LIKE” and then a rapid succession of thumbs up began. The boldness of one person gave the rest of us the courage. I thought about this incident for the rest of the day. We have become conditioned to worry about the consequences of expressing ourselves we have chosen to sit on the sidelines silent. As Christians, we have our own mandate to declare the gospel to all.

              Jesus was not always very popular himself.  Though he taught thousands there were thousands more that refused his message. He was driven out of towns, in fact his hometown. The truth is not always the popular narrative, but truth cannot be silent, and neither can we.  If we cannot have the boldness to hit a button how will we face the coming days? The time is coming when you will have to decide to boldly say you stand with Jesus or with his enemy.  If we cannot speak up for truth now, how will we stand for it later?

              Each of us face times when we struggle and are reluctant to share our faith.  We do not have to muster up courage but rely on the Spirit that is within each of us. Through studying the Word and coming to God in repentance and prayer He will embolden us to proclaim the gospel without fear.

              Boldness is contagious. When we are bold for Christ, it provokes others to do the same.

              Typist for Jesus

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God Keeps His Promises

God Keeps His Promises

For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” Hebrews 10:37

For the past two days my neighbor’s car alarm keeps going off.  I found it extremely annoying the first day, by the second day I was able to just ignore it and today I have just carried on with my life.  My neighbor came over this morning and apologized.  We stood on the porch and chit chatted as we watched the car being loaded on the back of a tow truck.  It was still sounding its alarm as the truck drove away.  After we bade each other goodbye I returned to my work.  As I sat at my desk, I thought about that car alarm.  I thought about how I had come out the first time and the second time it sounded yet, past that I just kind of ignored it.  By the third day, I didn’t hear it anymore.

              For over 2,000 years we have heard the promise that Jesus will return for his own. I have heard it my entire life, my mother and grandmother before.  I think that many of us say it to each other as a means of comfort and hope yet, do we really believe that Jesus will come again? 

              God always keeps his promises. Always. God is merciful and will offer every opportunity of repentance.  His delay is anything but a delay, rather the Father is waiting to fulfill his promise when all have heard his message of salvation and redemption.  There are many people in our lives that we are in anguish for, our mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, husbands, wives, and dear friends. God too desires their acceptance of his love and wants to extend his grace to all.

              Just because you have heard the alarm over and over do not allow yourselves to become numb.  Continue to share Christ with those in your life with all diligence. Do not become weary but anticipate his glorious return.

              Typist for Jesus

Fridge Magnets

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer saying,

“Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12

Fridge Magnets

“Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12

I had just poured the last of my creamer into my coffee and as I closed the fridge door, my attention was captured by my magnets.  Each of these magnets represents a place that I have been to, and each one evokes memories of those trips and places. I cannot help but smile when I look at my magnets.  Each of the experiences flood my mind and, in that moment, I am reminded of the joy and happiness I felt when I was there.  I love my fridge magnets.

              What do fridge magnets have to do with faith in God?  More than you think.  Though out our lives we face difficulties, pain, suffering, and worry.  With each of these experiences, we reached out to Jesus and asked for his guidance and our deliverance.  Because of the strength that he gave us and his working in the circumstances we have come out of each stronger in faith and courage.  Each of those experiences are the reminder of how he worked in our lives’. 

              In the book of Samuel, (1 Samuel 7) there is a story of how Samuel used a stone he named Ebenezer, (Hebrew for “stone of help”) to remind God’s people that God had delivered them and brought victory.  Sounds a bit strange but to many, like myself, a physical representation evokes memories and a reminder of the event.  Every time the Israelites looked at the stone altar, they were reminded how God had protected them and drove the Philistines out before them.

              Currently, in our communities, our country and indeed globally we are facing previously unimaginable circumstances.  Threats to our freedoms, our livelihoods and futures have materialized seemingly overnight.  Daily we deal with feelings of uncertainty.  Fear and confusion.  

 Cast you mind back to the many times that God has provided, worked through impossible circumstances, and gave strength and comfort.  What we face now we have not seen in our lifetimes, but you can be assured that God is just as much in control now as he has ever been.  As Christians it is our duty to get on our knees and just like the Israelites of 1 Samuel 7, we need to repent for our nation.  Much can be and will be accomplished on our knees before God with a contrite heart.

              Hold up your Ebenezer, be reminded that you are not alone.  Jesus stands with you.  Do not fear but be strengthened by the knowledge that God is with you.  He will be with you through it all.

Hold up those Ebenezers and take to your knees.  The battle is upon us.

Typist for Jesus

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A Sure Thing

Photo by football wife on Pexels.com

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

John 10:10

I have never been a sports fan.  Football, basketball, NASCAR, whatever, I have just never got caught up in it.  I personally have nothing against it.  In fact, most of my friends enjoy one type or another.  However, it has never appealed to me.  One reason, beside my lack of interest, is that I never knew which was a potential winning team.  Because let’s face it, who wants to back a losing team? I know I don’t want to be wearing the jersey of a loser.

            Unfortunately, right now, many of your friends, family and neighbors are backing the wrong team.  They have gotten caught up in the hype.  There has been some convincing arguments from our enemy circulated.  It’s easy to get confused.  How do you know what is truth and what is a lie?

            There is a lot of misinformation going around in the media and in our communities.  The best way to sort through the information that is getting batted around is to look at how the message is presented.  God will never use coercion, bribery, shame, threats or fear in His revelations.  That is a tactical move by the enemy to elicit fear and control.  Look back over history, fear is the most used tactic to force people to comply and “fall in line”.   Fear is one of the biggest motivators to all life whether human or animal. We fear death, injury or the inability to sustain life.  

            As you read articles, listen to the news, converse with employers and medical representatives, pay attention to what is being said, how it is said and what emotions it evokes.   If threats, coercion, shame, bribery and especially fear is being used, be sure it comes from your enemy.  He has one goal and one goal only to steal, kill and destroy. Our enemy will shame you in thinking that your choices are silly and that you lack cognition to make these choices yourself.  The enemy will promise you things to entreat you to comply.  The enemy will threaten your ability to function financially and socially.

            Do you trust God? Do you trust in the Blood of Christ?  It’s time to take your place on the scrimmage line, it’s time to decide what team you are on.

Typist for Jesus

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Get Up Off Your Samsonite

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 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. John 9:4

I drove past a bus stop yesterday. It was not for a city bus, but rather a travel bus. I noticed as I sat at a red light, that all these people were sitting on their suitcases. They just sat there, playing on their phones, and staring off into their thoughts. As I took in the sight, it made me think of how some Christians are doing the same thing.

Many Christians today seem to be sitting on their luggage and wait ing on the bus to Heaven. We hear so many claiming that ‘Jesus is coming,’ and, ‘Time is near.’ Yet a good deal of us have packed it in and are sitting on our suitcases.

Now is not the time for Christians to be sitting on the Samsonite, it is time to get up and get about our Father’s business sharing the Word. Put your luggage up, you have work to do!  Jesus is not here yet! There are people dying and going to Hell.  They need Jesus and the only way they will hear about Him is if you them. 

This world is in trouble, there is corruption, murder and unspeakable things happening all around us.  However, you as a Christian have a responsibility to this world.

A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

John 13:34-35

Notice in these two verses that “love one another’ is repeated three times. It was repeated so you would understand the importance. We cannot afford to just quit. Now more than ever, we need to be loving the unlovable. Feeding the hungry. Clothing the naked. Bringing warmth to the cold. Sharing Christ. The night has not come and there is plenty to be done.

It is still day so get up off you Samsonite.

Typist for Jesus

Mustard Seeds, Modern Parables

Excerpt from Mustard Seed, Modern Parables© Available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com and Walmart.com

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Sowing Good Seed

Sowing Good Seed

Matthew 13:24-30

The Parable of the Weeds: 

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds[a] among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants[b] of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:24-30

There is a strip of land between my neighbor and me.  Every time it rains, water rushes down, bringing dirt, rocks, and debris into my driveway.  The landlord threw out grass seed many times, but the seeds were washed away or eaten.  One day on a whim, I threw out wildflower seeds and covered it with grass clippings.  In just a few short days, the wildflowers began to grow and quickly filled the slope with lovely yellow, white and an occasional purple bloom.  Grass also began to grow, and the area began to flourish. It was not long before weeds began to pop up between the flowers.  As the weeds multiplied, the flowers decreased, and the lush area began to look a bit scrubby.  I tried to do some weeding, but the roots of the weeds and wildflowers were intertwined.  Pulling the weeds damaged some of the flowers.  So, I left them to grow together.

            In the Parable of the Weeds, (Matt 13:24-30), Jesus clearly tells us that weeds will invade our gardens as evil invaded the original garden.  We must contend with evil in this world.  God allows evil and good to co-exist and will until the end.   This should be an encouragement to believers, and we must not lose heart when our efforts seem hopeless.  We must deal with the reality of opposition and evil and recognize that it does not define the outcome. 

            In verse 30, “Let both grow together until the harvest”, may seem a bit counter productive however unlike God we cannot know another’s heart.  Nor do we know where their lives and choices my take them-or their potential for redemption.  God is merciful and patient. As on my little slope of wildflowers, removing the weeds now would destroy both.  Separation will come at the harvest, in God’s timing. 

Our job in the meantime, is to continue to sow good seed.  

Typist for Jesus

Zoom Out

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passion 2 Timothy 4:3

I got a text the other day.  It read, “little bird taking a dust bath.”  Attached was a video.  I hit play and the sounds of cheerful bird song and passing cars filled the room.  However, I did not see the little bird, in fact I saw nothing but a patch of grass.  Puzzled, I stopped the video and tapped it again and it filled the phone’s screen.  I selected the play icon and again the sound of birds and cars.  Yet, this time in the upper corner, I saw movement.  Zooming out, I saw the little bird in the upper right corner.  He was happily rolling in the dust.  I had to laugh, he looked as if he was having the time of his life. 

If I had not zoomed out, I would have missed the bird completely and thought my friend a little daft.  I cannot help but wonder how much we miss because we do not take time to look at the whole picture?

It is hard to look past what is going on in our little bubble.  We have bills, work, family, and relationships that take up much of our time and keep us distracted.  Unfortunately, allowing ourselves to become distracted and focused on our private bubbles, we miss out on important issues.  Things are changing quickly in the world around us and not all these changes are good.  We as Christians and Americans need to be paying attention.  We need to be voting, educating ourselves about the current issues in the news not just here in America but all around the world.  Most importantly, we need to use our voices and refuse to be silent. 

Zoom out and look at the bigger picture.  Our freedoms are in jeopardy and there are those that are actively working against us.  We must stand up, use our voices, and our votes. Most importantly, now more than ever in our lifetimes, we must be bold and fearlessly share Jesus.  Christian values and teachings are under attack.  Many of our Christians and churches are buckling to society’s demand of a softer, tolerant, and an inclusive approach. Now is not the time to be diluting the Word and Promises of God.

Typist for Jesus    

Edward Finds His Voice: Lessons from the Coop

Edward Finds His Voice:

Lessons from the Coop

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Mark 16:15 (ESV)

 My chicken herding friend has shared another story of her little flock.  I enjoy her stories and often I see that animals whether domestic, farm or wild, can teach us something if we are willing to humble ourselves to recognize it.

              This week is a story about a little chick named Edward.  What a distinguished name for a little fuzzy chick but I have no doubt he will grow into it. 

When you first purchase chicks you do not know if they are male or female. They are just fuzzy loud peeping tiny birds.  As they grow their individual characteristics begin to emerge.  Fuzz becomes feathers and their colors begin to change.  Recently, Edward has begun to form a comb on his head.  In addition to his emerging comb, Edward has been loosening up his voice in preparation for his barn yard crow. The first couple of vocalizations were, well I guess you could say it was a bit weak.  However, after each little raspy cough, Edward would strut about proud of himself.  Every day, Edward practiced his crow, and every day this little guy made progress.  A couple of mornings ago, Edward hopped up on top of the water dispenser, thrust out is chest, opened his beak, and let out a perfect albeit small crow. 

Edward has found his voice!!

              Little Edward at only a few weeks old is aware of his role in the coop.  He soon will be the protector of the flock and his voice will be heard in the yard and beyond. You also have a role and a voice in the world.  Often, we feel that as Christians we should be quiet and wait for someone to ask us to speak.  We worry we will offend someone.  Some of us may be afraid to speak because we fear the backlash and ridicule that we may receive if we share Christ. If you wait for this world to invite you to share your voice, you will be waiting for a long time.  If you wait for someone to ask about Jesus’ love, you may never share it.  Like Edward, you need to confidently use your voice.  Accept the role that you have been born to fulfill.  Without your voice, many in your sphere of influence may never hear that Jesus loves them and seeks to have a relationship with them. I understand your fear and I grapple with it each time I publish a Seed.  However, I fear the cost of silence more.

           

 Assume your role as a voice for Christ.  

Edward Finds His Voice: Lessons from the Coop Mustard Seeds, Modern Parables

If a little chicken named Edward can be bold and unafraid, so can we.
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You Need to Grow a Little More

never be afraid to grow

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, Philippians 1:9 (ESV)

 What is a beach side vacation without a visit to the local ice cream shop?  Well, certainly not as much fun.  So, one evening on my recent vacay, my fellow travelers and I decided to take a trip down the road for some creamy cold goodness.  We were not the only seaside guest that thought ice cream was a perfect way to end the day.  The line snaked back on itself inside the small shop.  It was evident when we entered that the four young men manning the counter were well acquainted with serving so many.  They kept that line moving and before I knew it, I had ice cream in one hand and my debit card in the other.  I paid and moved to the sidewalk to find a table.  Moments later my friend emerged, laughing.  Once everyone had sat down, she related her story.  She had gotten her ice cream and prepared to pay but was unable to see the little screen on the card reader even on tip toes.  The young man on the register held it down for her. With a playful tone and Jamaican accent, he said, “You need to grow a little bit more, miss.” 

We got a giggle out of it.  Later that evening I thought about that statement.  Though my friend is unable to grow taller we are all capable of growing and maturing spiritually.  That is one of the wonderful things about humans.  We continue to grow, mature, and learn throughout our lives. It is the same in our relationship with Jesus.  Whether you are a new Christian or have been for many years, there is plenty of growth ahead of you.  The mysteries of his love and the intricacies of life affords years of learning and understanding.  Never stop searching the Word, never stop asking the Spirit to give you understanding and never be afraid to grow.

Typist for Jesus