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Share Boldly

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

                There is always one dish that is only served for the holidays in each family.  Some families maybe more.  In my family we have the Thanksgiving staples but there are also a couple of other recipes that are reserved for the Thanksgiving table.  One recipe is my grandmother’s sweet potato soufflé.  It is a favorite.  This past week, my friend texted me asking for a sweet potato recipe.  I went to the kitchen and pulled out a journal filled with recipes.  Each recipe is dated with the person’s name that I got the recipe from.  I took a snapshot of the recipe and texted it to my friend.  “Here is my grandmother’s recipe” I sent. She responded with “Awe.”  She did so because I was sharing something special and dear.  For the cooks in my audience you understand what I am referring to. 

                Later as I was making the recipe myself, I thought about how happy my grandmother would be to know that her recipe was going to be on another table this year and maybe for many more to come.  I know she would have like that very much. 

We can be a little stingy with our knowledge sometimes.  Not sharing a recipe because we think it makes us special or maybe it is like a having a coveted secret.  We hold back more than just recipes.  We hold on to some snippets of knowledge in order to elevate or maybe in some cases protect ourselves.  Whatever the reason, sharing knowledge is a good thing especially when it comes to the knowledge of Christ and the path to salvation. 

                Sharing the gospel and your personal knowledge of Jesus is a command.  In Matthew 28 verses 19 and 20, Jesus is giving this command to the disciples.  What good is a knowledge when it is hidden away.  What good is your knowledge and experience of salvation if you are unwilling to share it with those in your life? 

My grandmother did not just share her favorite recipes, she shared her love for Jesus not just to me but to many others. Now is the time to boldly share Christ with others.

Typist for Jesus

You can purchase your copy of the Mustard Seeds, Modern Parables on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Mustard-Seeds-Melissa-Levi/dp/1950034712

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No Room for Improvement

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Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  Hebrews 13:8(ESV)

On the kitchen table is candy left over from the holiday.  There are only a few packs of Caramel M & Ms.  They are the only inhabitants of the candy bowl because either no one likes them or no one is brave enough to try them.  I have been passing that bowl for a week however today I decided I was going to give those M & Ms a try.

As I chewed the candy, I had two thoughts.  First, I do not like them and second, why is it we are never happy with something the way it is?  M & Ms whether plain or peanut are wonderful, so why did someone decide it needed to be changed?  

I think it is because as humans we are always trying to improve things.  This is a good trait on the whole, because we are always striving to make things faster, safer and easier. It is in our DNA to strive for improvement and innovation.  However, we cannot seem to accept that some things do not need to be improved or changed.  Some things are perfect and exactly what we need.

From the beginning, man has tried to “improve and reinvent” God. We try to make him what we want him to be. We want God to be silent and us to have all the say.  If we determine what is right and wrong, then we are not sinful. If we discount the creation, the flood and call it fiction then the rest of the Bible is no longer relevant. We teach Science in our schools and churches that strive to explain God’s beautiful purposeful creation into a reaction of chemicals and exploding planets. That you are an extraordinary accident of primordial goo. We take Jesus’s teaching and contort his message of love and call it hate so we are free to hate everything God loves. 

Unfortunately, we accept much of it and soft serve it in churches. Man strives to make God easier, more socially acceptable so that we choose what part of his word to believe, obey and share. Where the Church and the teachings of Jesus once framed society, we now find ourselves conforming to the desires of society. 

Since the beginning, God has remained the same.  No matter what society, science, schools, compromising churches or the media present, claim or teach, the truth remains unchanged.  This should be a comfort.  Life is ever changing, what is true today may not be tomorrow.  Who we are with today, may not be with us tomorrow.  No matter what happens in our lives, in this world, in politics, in science or next door, God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Instead of trying to change God to fit what we want and what makes life easy, we should be looking to improve and change ourselves to be as Jesus. God’s love for us and his creation has not faded. His Word is still relevant today, his message of true love is for all.   He proves his love through the gift of grace, forgiveness and salvation found only in true repentance, and the acceptance of Jesus and the full Word of God.

Typist for Jesus

https://www.amazon.ca/Mustard-Seeds-Melissa-Levi/dp/1950034712

Driven to Your Knees

       

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV

A few weeks ago, there was a fatal accident at the end of my street. Two young men lost 

their lives. A memorial of flowers and two crosses stand in front of a splintered tree. Every time I pass it a sadness comes over me.

Today as I left my neighborhood, I was detained by public works crews. They were painting fluorescent yellow on the concrete culvert and installing signs warning of the upcoming curve. Since living in this area, I had noted that the concrete was faded and chipped, and there were no signs. As I waited for the somewhat bored looking gentleman to twirl his sign to slow, I thought about how it took a tragedy to elicit change.  I also wondered how long this project had been on the schedule previously but never completed.

        Unfortunately, we are no different. Often it takes a problem, a worry, or a tragedy to get us on our knees. We are all guilty of it. Everything in life is fine and the time in prayer and in the Word becomes shortened, sometimes forgotten.

I want to make sure that I am transparent in what I am saying. Tragedy, difficulties, and worries do not come in our lives as punishment or as a result of not praying.

 We all experience these circumstances throughout our lives. I am expressing how much more would we be prepared to face these seasons in our lives if we were engaging daily with Jesus in prayer. I believe we would be stronger, focused, and faith-filled. 

Do not wait for tragedy to drive you to your knees but instead live on them.

Typist for Jesus

Turning Away Doesn’t Mean It Goes Away


Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Proverbs 28:13


My granddaughter has spent the last few days with me. She is twenty months old and little tornado, into
everything and quick as lightning. She is learning how to
express herself and let you know what she wants or more
often doesn’t want. She has this thing she does when she
does not want to do something you tell her to do. When my
daughter reaches for her when she’s on my lap, she waves her hand and turns away. She just turns all the way around. The same when she’s done eating, or when you tell her to pick up her toys. She simply waves you off, turns completely around and ignores you. She has no interest in addressing the situation or you. At twenty months, it’s funny but it soon will not be. She will eventually have to face the situation and learn to do what needs to be done.


I think that we do the same when we do not want to acknowledge sin in our lives. We just
ignore it, act like it’s not there. We hope that if we ignore it enough, no one else will notice either.
There is a lot wrong with that plan. Just because you chose to ignore it does not mean that it does not
impact your life and others. As well, unconfessed sins impacts your relationship with Jesus.

You cannot turn away forever.
Typist for Jesus

Caught Short

So the foolish ones went off to buy some oil; and while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived. The five who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was closed. Matthew 25:10 (GNT)

I had out the buttermilk, flour, and chicken on the counter.  I had a taste for fried chicken.  I went to get the oil from the cabinet, but I couldn’t find it.  I thought for a moment.  I wish I could have kicked myself because I deserved it.  I had never picked up the oil.  I had been out a couple of times but had decided I didn’t want to get out of the car.  I just wanted to go home.  There would be another opportunity I had thought.  However, there was not.  The stores were closed, the chicken was floating in buttermilk and my desire for fried chicken would have to be satisfied with oven-fried.  

Procrastination and the idea that you will always have another chance is a dangerous game.  Eventually, your next opportunities will be no more. This includes your salvation.

In Matthew, (25:1-13), Jesus tells a parable.  It is of the 10 Virgins.  Mostly it is taught as a parable to always be ready for the coming of Christ.  However, I think it is more than just a parable of the end time.  I think it is a lesson for every day. Five of the virgins had their lamps lit and carried an extra jar of oil.  The five foolish virgins had very little oil in their lamps and no extra.  They panicked.  Begged for oil from the other virgins, but there was nothing the others could do, time had come.  The bridegroom waited.  Finally, panicked ran out to find an open merchant.  By the time they returned the door to the feast had been closed and they were denied entrance. 

It seems a simple enough parable.  Be prepared daily for you do not know when your days will come to an end.  It is a bit more I believe.  I think the virgins didn’t just suffer from procrastination, they had doubt and were arrogant in believing that the other women would help them or that the door would be opened though they had failed to be prepared and ready.  I think we are the same.  We take for granted that tomorrow will come.  That God’s mercies will extend.  The truth for all of us to consider is that eventually our opportunities and our tomorrows will end.  There is no second chance then. 

Daily we should live as if it is the last.  We should take time to share Christ, do what is right, live as blameless as we can, and tell those in our lives how much we love them. Forgive those that have hurt you, ask for forgiveness, and forgive yourself. 

Keep the oil lit and do not be caught short.

Typist for Jesus   

Faith as Big as an Ark

Let us, then, hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we have a great High Priest who has gone into the very presence of God – Jesus, the Son of God. Hebrews 4:14 (GNT)

I was back on the road again this weekend.  This time I visited the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum in Williamstown, Kentucky.  If you have the opportunity you need to visit.  https://arkencounter.com/noahs-ark/

I felt like a kid as I leaned forward in my seat to see the Ark rising out of the rolling knolls of the Kentucky landscape.  With every revolution of the car’s tires, the Ark grew bigger and so did my excitement.  I doubt you are much different from me with respect to the many questions you have pondered when thinking about Noah’s Ark.  How did Noah keep them from eating each other and what do you do with all that pooh? (yes, I went there.) There are more questions but these are my top two.

The Ark representation has been built to the specifications in Genesis. (see Genesis 6:15) It is massive, rising into the blue sky and wider than my camera can take in.  As you walk down the pathway to enter this behemoth, animal-shaped topiaries are spread out and for a moment it is like you are joining them in the march. The closer you get, the real magnitude of this feat is revealed. It was more than I anticipated. I was excited to search out and study the secrets hidden within.  

As much as I enjoyed the exhibits, amazing animatronics, and geek-out opportunities,  my mind continued to return to thoughts of what this family must have gone through during the preparation.  The Ark took Noah and his sons decades to finish and then there was the collection of animals, stores of food, and water for a vast array of beasts and themselves.  However, there was more they had to face and cope with.  I imagine the ridicule they suffered was relentless and cruel.  Daily they worked toward a goal that was of salvation yet they knew that the world was about to change forever. 

On part of the tour, there is a massive door that had been used to load rations and animals.  It towered above me.  As I posed for a quick snap in front of it, I thought about the day that this door closed and Noah and his family waited inside for seven days.  Outside life carried on.  Day after day past and the sky was as blue and clear as the day I visited.  Years of preparation and work for this moment and nothing was happening. Not one drop. Then on the seventh day, rain began to fall and the earth was swallowed by water.

Faith is hard work,  It is a daily struggle sometimes.  We see so much going on around us.  We pray and do the right thing and yet nothing happens.  To say you have faith is not enough.  You have to walk it out, live it and chose it.  Faith like so many other things, it is a choice.  A choice that you stand with and persevere through. Noah and his family chose to have faith in God.  A faith as big as an Ark.

Typist for Jesus

Stagnant Existence

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV

It was terrific to get out of the house this weekend.  Since the pandemic, like most, I have stayed close to home.  However, this weekend, I took a half-day trip just an hour and a half away to a popular landmark.  I have never been, but almost everyone I know has, so I thought I would take a friend and check it out. 

The Lost Sea was discovered in 1905 by a thirteen-year-old boy.  Though the caverns themselves were well known to the Native Americans in the area, the water body was unknown until a drought exposed a small opening. Filled with curiosity, the young boy pushed his way into the opening.  A chamber filled with blackness stretched out before him. Tossing a rock into the dark, he heard the plunk of the rock hitting the water’s surface.

Extensive exploration has proved the caverns are void of life.  Today only a few bats visit the chambers that are not part of the tour. Rainbow trout, introduced in the late 1960s, is the only life that live 14 stories below the surface.  The trout were stocked in the cavern to see if the fish could find a way out to a lake or stream.  The experiment was a failure and the trout never found a way out of the cavern.

The trout live a stagnant existence.  Because there is no other life in the water, they do not hunt but depend on the tourist boats to come by with handfuls of liver pellets.  The underground lake is more like a reservoir.  It does not have a current and a smooth bottom.  Without moving water or craggy formations, the trout cannot reproduce.  They live in darkness except for a few artificial lamps.  The lights only penetrate the inky black a couple of feet. The silence of the cavern is almost deafening.  Nothing stirs.  There is no breeze or varying temperature.  It is 58 degrees year-round.   Living without sunlight, the trout have lost 25% of their eyesight and 75% of their pigmentation.  They hang suspended in 58-degree water, the vibrant rainbow skin they are named for is a ghostly gray.  They are not living but instead existing in darkness without hope of anything more. 

Life without the light of Jesus is the same.  Dark, cold,  and without hope.  Unlike these fish, you have the freedom to make choices to escape the cold darkness.  It begins with recognizing you need Christ’s love, light, and forgiveness.  He can bring you into the warm sunlight and restore you to who and what you were created to be. Do not ignore the Holy Spirit’s call but come out of the darkness.  He is waiting to remove you from a stagnant existence.

Typist for Jesus

Schwartz on Duty

Schwartz on Duty

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

My friend sent me a picture of her beloved lab mix Schwartz.  In the photo, he was sitting in a chair on her back porch.  She explained to me that he sits in it daily and casts his eyes over the backyard and the neighborhood.  He surveys everything around acutely aware of any changes.  Vigilant and ready for whatever may dare to step foot in the yard or wander uninvited onto the street.  Schwartz does not allow anything to distract him from his duty because he knows that his family’s safety is in his vigilance.  In his vigilance, he can see and deal with issues before they become more.

We should be as vigilant in our spiritual lives. There are so many distractions being hurled at us every day.  The constant news feeds of death, crime, politics, and tragedy.  It is very easy to get caught up in it.  I find myself getting depressed and, honestly, frightened by what I read and see in the news and the people’s changes throughout our society. Do not allow these things to fill you with fear and doubt. Instead, focus on his Word and be vigilant in what you feed your mind.  Be mindful of the media that you interact with.  Do not allow yourself drawn into arguments that entice you to anger—the same with politics and news reports.  Protect your heart and mind from the constant flow of negativity.  

I am not suggesting that you stick your head in the sand and ignore what is going on in our communities. Instead, I am encouraging you not to lose yourself to it.  Be always vigilant in what you are exposed to, whether it is social media, television, or merely those around you. Do not lose hope or be consumed with fear. 

Be vigilant.

Typist for Jesus

Mustard Seeds, Modern Parables

Don’t miss the opportunity to order your copy of Mustard Seeds, Modern Parables. During this time of uncertainty, we should be encouraging one another. If the Mustard Seed has been an encouragement to you, please order a copy for yourself and a friend.

You can follow this link to order your copy from Amazon. It qualifies for Prime so you can look forward to free shipping as well!

https://www.amazon.com/Mustard-Seeds-Melissa-Levi/dp/1950034712