Away in the Utensil Drawer

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

I love decorating for the holidays. All the glitter and shiny lights. I think I have lights attached to anything that stands still long enough. My granddaughter also loves the decorations, however at 22 months, she just wants to tear everything down, sit on it, step on it and sometimes just yell at it. I have one area that I let her do with as she pleases. It is an old incomplete nativity scene. The animals and shelter are long gone. Only two wise men, Jesus, Mary and Joseph remain. The baby Jesus is her favorite piece. The same size of her hand, she carries him close. She carries him all through the house, cuddling, cooing and kissing him.

I have found baby Jesus in the sink, dog food, dog’s water bowl, bath tub, drawers and multiple times in the floor. He has even appeared waiting in line to see Santa in my Christmas Village. She loves baby Jesus, until something else grabs her attention. Which can be anything from a toy, hunger, sleepiness and of course something she should not be messing with. (like the dog’s water bowl) Unfortunately, we are guilty of the same spiritually. Jesus is great until something more interesting or distracting comes along and then we just leave him to pursue what has grabbed our attention.

As we enter into the new year, let’s not leave Jesus behind packed up with the Christmas decorations. Instead, let’s carry him into the new year and firmly in our hearts. This past year has been challenging on so many levels not the least spiritually. I anticipate this new year will continue to test us. We cannot face these new challenges without Jesus.

Hold to Jesus. Do not allow the distractions of politics, media and personal trials to loosen your grip.

Typist for Jesus

Revive Your Heart’s Fire

Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive. Serve the Lord. When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. Romans 12:11-12 NIV

The sun had begun her descent, casting long shadows across the field. The aroma of smoked beef and chicken hung in the air enticing my stomach to growl.  As the last of the shoppers made their way to the parking lot we began to pull down the tent and repack our boxes.  It had been a long day but nonetheless fun, we had met several people and made a little cash.  Finally everything was done, coolers topped off with ice, cars carefully packed and the smoker strapped to the back of the trailer, it was finally time to go. Tired, sunburned and hungry, I pulled behind my friend, forming our convoy.  The trailer she towed bounced and shook as we began the mountain climb. 

Gaining speed, I noticed that the smoker had begun to cough up little puffs of smoke.  By the time we started down the mountain, those little coughs had become a steady billow of black smoke.  I blew my horn and flashed the lights.  We took another deep curve, gathering speed and that is when it happened.  I flashed my lights, then blew the horn and crossed over the middle line to get her attention.  The whole time I was yelling at my Bluetooth to call.  Finally I had a signal, relieved I shouted my command again as I blew the horn and flashed my lights. This was becoming serious, the smoker was engulfed in dancing orange flames. Hot debris flew out, causing sparks as they hit the pavement bouncing down the country road.

The ringing stopped and I yelled, “you are on fire”!  She pulled to the side of the road and together we doused the flames and checked the ropes eager to insure our safety as we continued the trip. Once the flames had been reduced to sizzling smoking ash, we laughed a bit.  Doubled checked the trailer, and headed back to the cabin. It had been an exciting few minutes. After hours of the smoker not being used and cool to touch, it was obvious that at least one ember had held enough heat to be revived.

You may be feeling like the fire has gone out in your spiritual life.  Especially during this year and even now in the holiday season.  In many ways it does not feel much like Christmas and I am sad to not be able to spend it with my family.  Although the world may not feel much like Christmas, we should carry it with us year round. Christmas is not a date, or simply a holiday.  It is a time to reflect and give praise to God for providing a way of salvation through His son.  I think that this week’s verse in the book of Romans is good advice in the face of adversity, uncertainty and an overwhelming sadness.  Paul understood hardship.  He knew loss, hunger, pain, rejection and I am sure at some times defeat and sadness.  At that time in history all those that were subject to Roman rule also understood these things well. Because Paul understood he wrote these words to the Romans and us.  “Never let the fire in your heart go out. Keep it alive.”

You and I may feel like the fire has died down, but as long as there is even an ember, the fire can be revived.  Do not allow anything to extinguish the fire in your heart for Jesus.  Continue to serve the Lord and in hope find your joy.  Though many of us are facing suffering, be patient and pray faithfully. 

Fan those embers.  Revive your fire for Jesus!

The best is yet to come!

Typist for Jesus

Mustard Seeds, Modern Parables on Sale!

Hello all! 
Looking for a unique and encouraging Christmas gift for friends or family?

Mustard Seeds, Modern Parables is on sale for $16.57 on Amazon.  I don’t know how long they will keep it at this price so don’t miss out on your chance!!

See link below
Typist for Jesus


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Tossed and Driven by Wind and Wave

But, let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:16 ESV

                A friend of mine was dropping off an item that I had ordered.  I was at the market that day.  It was crowded, people milled about up and down the vendor aisle looking for unique and interesting items.  I saw them entering from the far side.  They scanned the area and stepped further into the pavilion.  I waved my hand above my head; still they did not see me. I stepped out from behind my table and waved.  I walked out into the aisle, waved both hands. 

                By the end, I was standing in the middle of the pavilion waving both hands wildly in the air and all but screaming their name above the din of customer conversation.  I am sure I looked ridiculous jumping about while yelling.  

 Do you ever feel like that when you are praying?

                I have a confession, that is how I have been feeling for the last month or maybe longer.  Like I am wildly waving and yelling………into thin air. For some reason, I cannot seem to get God’s attention.  These feelings have really wrecked my nerves, my sleep and I spend a good portion of time in doubt and worry.  I was expressing these feelings to a friend.

                “I am obedient and praying and still God does nothing.”  I whined into the phone.

                “You cannot say that God is not doing anything.  You do not know what he is doing behind the scenes for you. Where is your faith?” They responded sternly.

                They were right.  How do I know what God is or is not doing?  How many times have I been witness to and recipient of His Hand at work in my and other lives?  

                God works in His time at His pace and in His perfect wisdom and will.  James 1:16 instructs us to ask in faith, not doubt.  We must ask in faith and then stand firm in belief as we wait.  And hanging on to faith, especially now, seems a feat beyond man.  However, without faith, we are lost.  Tossed and driven by wind and wave.

                Do not allow doubt to loosen your grip.  We are in a storm in this period of history. We are all being tested in one way or another.  All of us face storms that cannot be survived without a firm grip on faith. Every day seems as froth with problems and worries as the day before. It can at times test your strength to just get out of bed.  I understand your feelings. You are not alone in your struggle to maintain.  I am growing weary myself.  However, feelings are not real but a response to situations. Relying on our feelings give swell to panic, doubt, dread, and fear. We simply cannot lose our grip and allow ourselves to be tossed about by wind and wave.

                Hold firm to faith. 

                Typist for Jesus

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

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No Room for Improvement

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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

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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