Wait with Expectation and Enthusiasm for God

Haukadalur Geothermal Field, Iceland Photo by Melissa Levi
Haukadalur Geothermal Field, Iceland. Photo by Melissa Levi

But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Romans 8:25-27 NKJV

I stood poised waiting on the next geothermal eruption. My phone in one hand, my GoPro in the other and a camera around my neck. I wasn’t about to miss the moment the earth would belch boiling water into the sky. Of course, I was not the only one. Lined up around the site was roughly 120 people shoulder to shoulder, silent, focused, and expectant. Every time the water rose or fell, a collective gasp traveled through the onlookers. The chilly air was charged with excitement and expectation. As the moments drug on, the spectators did not waver, they had every faith that the geyser would soon erupt and so they waited, patiently. And that patience paid off because the geyser exploded, shooting hot boiling water into the sky and steam engulfed the onlookers.  Laughter replaced the hushed voices as the crowd began to disperse. It was an amazing encounter.

As I stood as close as I dared, I thought about all those people standing on a dirt slope on a cold drizzly day, bundled up against the Icelandic wind, waiting.  Willing to face uncomfortable weather for a moment, literally less than a second to experience the explosion. I also thought how we are taught in the Word to wait expectantly and patiently on the Lord. More interestingly I thought about how few of us would wait in the elements for God. Much less in expectation and with patience.

Why is it that we have so much faith in a water filled hole in the ground and so little in our God? It may seem a bit harsh you think me saying it in such a way, but if we are honest, it’s truth. When we pray to God, we want him to answer immediately. We want the answer to be exactly the way we have envisioned it. Our way, in our time.

God is not a genie. He the author and creator of all things. He does not throw things out there and work on our whims, but rather our lives, those before us and those that will come after us, are meticulously orchestrated to bring glory to God and for the good for those who love him.

“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.

I know that it is hard to wait. I know that in our minds we think we know what is best for us, our children, where we live or work, but ultimately is only God that knows what is needed. He knows what is better for us in our journey of growth and in our walk with Jesus.

Trust God and his timing. Wait with expectation and enthusiasm to see what God has in store for you. God can and often does things you never could have dreamed on your own.

Typist for Jesus


Air Locks, Black Holes and Spontaneous Combustion-

Taking Rogue Thoughts Captive

Photo by Anthony DeRosa on Pexels.com

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:1-6

READ 2 Corinthians 10:1-6  I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— 2 I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

I have been sharing with you my struggle to forgive and release my anger toward situations in my life that have directly affected me physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  As I continue to turn to the Holy Spirit and the Word, I want to continue to share what I learn. We are well armed and fitted with what we need to face the tough seasons in our lives. We will always face difficulties in this life, it is the lot of humankind but knowing and trusting in God to help you navigate through the trials makes the difference between defeat and victory.

The battle begins in our minds.

              Our minds often determine our end.  By not controlling my thoughts, I became more angry, more bitter and blinded. I would run the scenarios or something someone said in a loop in my mind and as I did so I became more agitated. Allowing myself to indulge in this “created” internal argument provided strongholds for my enemy to get his foot into.  Then with that stronghold over me, I fell further into depression and anger.  The scenarios were not real, they were manufactured in my mind to feed my anger and push me further from God.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.

 To some this may seem incredible, however how many times have you allowed something someone said to you fester in your mind? How many times have you allowed what happened at the family dinner to gnaw at you until you are so angry with that family member you aren’t talking to them anymore? And they have no idea why!  What about something said to you against your faith in God and you turned in your mind rather than presented it before God for understanding? We do it everyday on grand and small degrees and we let those imaging run free producing fake emotions, perceived injuries and sparking anger.

..and take every thought captive to obey Christ

Your mind is strong and you, only you, can determine what you allow to play in your mind. When imaginings raise up causing paranoia or doubt, and sinful thoughts take that thought and cast it out.  I literally imagine myself ejecting it from an airlock.  A friend of mine drops her’s in a black hole. It doesn’t matter how you imagine it leaving your mind as long as it does.  Wad it, trash it, sweep it, set fire to it whatever but bring that thought under submission and cast it out. You cannot be in obedience to Christ if you allow these thoughts to occupy your mind unchecked. You leave yourself vulnerable and allow the enemy to seek out strongholds in your mind to use against you.

 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

Typist for Jesus


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


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

Breaking Bread

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:14-25

Recently, my office moved to another location and joined with another department. It has been a difficult transition. The previous tenants had been laid off, leaving only 12 employees in the building. It had been a sad and challenging transition for everyone involved. Now my department and 10 others were coming to take over the building and move into offices that had belonged to co-workers. The building had been closed except for one corner for over three months. Moving in made us feel awkward. The team left behind suddenly was surrounded by new people, a sea of new faces. I can imagine that this was stressful on the team seeing new people in old colleague’s offices and cubicles. There was a palatable discomfort throughout the building.  

One team member from the new tenants called a little meeting and invited the team that we had moved in on. Her proposal, a potluck for the entire building. It was well-received. 

On an ordinary Tuesday, the entire building came together to break bread. The front office was filled with voices and laughter. A cornucopia of food lined the tables along the wall filling the office building with a mouthwatering aroma.  

It was amazing to see how sitting down to a meal, and talking to one another removed the fog of tension. That one person that stepped forward and made the gesture to pull everyone together at a table has made a difference to not just one or two but a whole community. An office is a community, each department bringing their expertise, knowledge, ideas, and thoughts to achieve a common goal. 

Throughout the Bible, we see examples where food and the dinner table have been the center of forming relationships, enjoyment, and communication. In the biblical book of Luke, there are ten references to Jesus and meals. I am going to look at three of those meals.

Jesus dined with enemies. No one was considered an enemy more than the tax collectors, yet Jesus ate with them and invited one to join with him and the disciples. (Luke 5:27-32) That would be like you or me having lunch with a local loan shark.

Jesus welcomed the unwelcomed (Luke 7:36-50) While in a “business meeting” with Simon the Pharisee, an uninvited guest showed up. (enter stage left the “sinful woman” 7:37) Jesus stopped the conversation to receive the woman. He knew her heart, she was seeking forgiveness. Simon was aghast. However, Jesus always stopped and ministered to those he encountered. Schedules and etiquette did not stand in his way.

Jesus used the simple meal to put the disciples and the men from Emmaus at ease. When the men that Jesus met on the road to Emmaus got back to the disciples to tell them that they had seen a ghost, Jesus appeared. (That was a room filled with confusion and fear) They had seen Jesus die on the cross, yet here he stood. What better way to prove he was real and not a ghost than to sit down and eat. But it was much more than just proof, he set them at ease by doing something they had done together for years, share meals. (Luke 24:36-43)

Though these stories have specific lessons to be learned, Jesus shared his meals chiefly to enjoy the fellowship. By spending time at the table, relationships were formed, walls were broken down, and communication was opened. 

Typist for Jesus

New Wineskin, New Wine

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins” (Luke 5:37-38).

I made some decisions this week about some things that I want to accomplish in the next few years.  These are not new goals.  Instead, they are old goals that I have yet to realize.  For years these items have been on my list but I have allowed circumstances and situations to derail me.  Just as I made up my mind to follow through on the first of this list, a situation popped up.  I began to allow myself to get distracted and in just a few minutes I had begun to talk myself out of following through.  In just a short time, I had already retracted my plans and was convinced that this new situation would not allow me to finish this goal.   I sat alone, disappointed. 

As I was talking with the Lord, later on, I realized that I was just following my Modus operandi.  For my entire life, my MO had been to allow circumstance and situation to hinder my progress.  It is now or never to make a commitment to following through.   I realized I was trying to put new wine in old wineskins.  So, I read up on that particular parable, looking for wisdom.

The parable of the new wine in old wine skin is recorded in three of the gospels.  Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:18-22 and Luke 5:33-39.  Because it is mentioned three times by three separate writers, I think there is definitely a lesson just waiting to be learned.  

The parable was spoken by Jesus to rebuke the accusations of the Pharisees, that he and his disciples were not as pious as the Pharisees.  Jesus was anything but conventional.  He ate with tax collectors and sinners.  Spoke to women and lepers and according to these Pharisees, he was not fasting enough. Unfortunately, these men that had devoted their lives to being scholars and experts on scripture and God, just could not get past what they thought was Jesus’ flagrant disregard for the laws.  The legalistic approach was all they knew.  If the Pharisees were going to be able to embrace Jesus as Savior they would have to let go of the legalistic way they viewed their relationship with God.  They were so inundated by rules and laws they had lost the relationship.  Jesus was offering freedom from the legalism and a relationship of grace and love.  Unfortunately, they were unable to relinquish their old ways of thinking.  Jesus never broke the laws, he just followed them as they were intended.  Not with only legalistic focus but with love.

I cannot continue to use my old way of thinking to accomplish my plans.  Obviously, my old mindset has not worked.  If I am going to do something new, I need to renew my thinking.  I do not want to miss out on realizing these goals because I am unable to change my MO.   I got my new “wineskin” and I followed through on the first step to completing my goal. 

Do not allow yourself to miss out on God’s gift of love and redemption because of old ways of thinking.  Do not be denied realizing a desire or a dream.  If they are not working out or coming to fruition, then examine your MO. 

Get a new wineskin and get ready to make new wine.

Typist for Jesus

Clear Boundaries Make Cheerful Givers

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

I enjoyed lunch with some co-workers at one of my absolute favorite restaurants.  We had taken advantage of the weather and walked to the restaurant. Belly full and spirit renewed from time with friends I suggested we take the longer route back to the office. Though it was hot, a cool breeze made it bearable, and my dining companions agreed.  This route passed through a neighborhood to the foot of the mountain. Beginning up the gentle incline, I heard the barking of dogs but paid little attention. Moments later, the barking became louder, and two dogs came rushing toward us from a house on the hill above.  I realized there was not a fence around the yard and became alarmed. I considered what to do if they came after us and started looking around for a stick or rock. Fortunately, to my relief, the dogs stopped short of the road and stood barking incessantly. That is when I noticed they had on invisible fence collars.  The dogs had stopped three or more feet from the ditch; they knew where their boundary lay.

If only we were as good as they about accepting and enforcing the boundaries in our lives.  In my youth and admittedly, even now, I have often tested, pushed, and crashed through some fences.  I think that many of us look at boundaries as restrictions meant to deny us. Many boundaries are for our protection.  Boundaries are healthy, needed, and biblical, and we as humans have been crossing them since the beginning. Adam and Eve crossed the only boundary when they disobeyed and ate the only fruit they were commanded not to.  A garden full of wonders, a perfect life, the pinnacle of creation, and they couldn’t resist breaking the only rule. However, boundaries aren’t just rules they are boundaries in our lives that we should also erect to protect ourselves and make sure that we are fulfilling our purpose in God’s plan.  

Boundary setting has become something that I have recently begun to explore.  As a southern lady, I find saying “no” feels rude and “not nice.” However, to best serve the Lord and the people that come to me, setting boundaries and saying “no” is the best thing I can do for myself and those in my life. 

As I was preparing to write this Seed, I spent time reading up on the biblical principles of boundaries.  I found that Jesus was very deliberate in his establishment of boundaries. When I think of Jesus, I think of his boundless love for me.  His sacrifice was so selfless that the idea of limitations does not come to mind. However, Jesus set boundaries with the people that he ministered to, the disciples, and to protect his soul and physical health.  Though Jesus is the Son of God and fully God himself, he was also in the body of a human. He submitted to the limitation of this physical shell.  

Points that I realized while studying you may find helpful.  These are just a handful of examples of how Jesus set boundaries and stuck to them.   

  • Jesus made sure he met his physical needs.  He ate healthy foods, took naps, and did a lot of walking. 
  • Jesus enjoyed his time with friends. He often took time to enjoy friendship, meals, boat rides, and hiking with the disciples. 
  • Jesus made sure that he dedicated time in prayer and meditation with the Father.  Jesus understood the need for precious time with Abba (Papa). Jesus separated himself from the crowds and disciples to have quiet time alone.
  • Jesus never seemed to be in a hurry.  He enjoyed the people, the places and he went with the flow.  The only time we see Jesus expressing urgency was when he was traveling to Jerusalem to fulfill his mission. 
  • This final one gave me a bit of a shake.  Jesus left the outcome to God. In Mark 14:32-42, Jesus is in the garden, and Jesus knowing what he was about to face, asked God to “Take this cup from me. Not what I will, but what you will.”  He submitted to God’s Will. He did not try to change the outcome or the plan.  Jesus submitted, obeyed and trusted God.

Jesus set boundaries in his earthly life so that he could minister to the people and lead them to God.  For us to emulate Christ and be as effective as we can be, we need to set boundaries and stick to them. You cannot help anyone or be a “cheerful giver” if you are exhausted, frustrated, and drained.  

Typist for Jesus

You Hold the Key

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19 ESV

I stopped by my friend’s place of business one afternoon to drop off a package.  I went into the lobby and met her. We talked and giggled as is our usual custom.  I got the car keys from her and headed to the parking lot. I pressed the fob to open her car and pulled at the door.  However, the car door remained locked. I pressed the fob again and tried the door. Still, it was unyielding. Over and over I pressed the fob and pulled on the door.  The front door opened and my friend yelled out, “Fob doesn’t work, you’ll have to use the key.”

Boy, was my face red.  I was standing in the gray and misting rain pressing a button.  It never occurred to me to use the key.

We are not much different when it comes to our spiritual lives.  We carry around the spiritual keys, yet we fail to use them.

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Throughout the Bible,  keys refer to power and authority.  To be given keys is to be given authority and power to open and close.  Jesus gave His disciples and in following all Christians spiritual authority.  

Often we feel that we are without authority in this life but that is what the enemy wants you to believe.  Jesus left you the keys. He left you with power and authority. You have been given a great privilege. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, he gained access to God for us through his blood. Therefore there are no more barriers between us and God, we have the keys to open every spiritual door. 

Remember, you have the key, all you have to do is use it. 

Typist for Jesus

Is Your Heart a Clanging Cymbal to God?

 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  1 Corinthians 13:1

Scene: Walmart Super Center Saturday early afternoon.

Internal monologue: “Oh my gosh!  This woman is the human equivalent of a sloth!  What in the world is her issue? Just scan the stupid thing, how hard is that?  Just pass it over the stupid scanner! That scanner laser hit her in the eye one too many times!  For saint’s sake! No! I do not care that you think the other brand is better and that your aunt swears by it! OH if she doesn’t get her butt in gear I’m coming across this counter and give her ring up 101!  I could scream and if that woman on the next counter doesn’t stick a passie in that brat’s mouth! I’m gonna put my fist in hers! UGH! I’ve got too much to do than to put up with this! Just ring up the …..”

     On the outside, I was smiling, nodding and behaving in a civilized and proper fashion.  However, on the inside, I was in a full-blown tirade and it continued to escalate into an insult, parentage questioning harangue.  You may be saying, “well good for you for not exploding on the woman”.  “Good for you for keeping it together” but, God was not as impressed. 

 Recently, for a previous class, I read the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5)  and in my current class I am reading the book by John Stott, “Basic Christianity.”  These two resources brought an awareness to me that somehow I had allowed to remain unexplored.  

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,  anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.  (Matthew 5:21-22)

I was just as guilty as if I had begun shouting and berating this woman out loud when I allowed my thoughts to run on and on with angry insults internally.  We judge each other and ourselves by what we observe on the outside, but God judges the heart. Let me tell you, that Saturday morning, my heart was black as coal.  Throughout the Bible we are taught to be in control and that control extends to your thoughts. Was I irritated and should that lady had attended to her child? Yes, I think so.  However, for me to allow those thoughts to take off was nothing more than fodder for my anger that extended throughout the day. Being angry was not my sin it was how I allowed myself to lose control and wallow in my aggravation. 

We as Christians are to not just be in control of our actions and words but our thoughts.  Yes, you will have thoughts and maybe an internal groan, but when you allow those thoughts to take over, you have lost control.  Or in my case, just gave over control.

God is looking and listening to your heart.  Does He like what He sees and hears? Christian behavior extends beyond what you let people see and it is more than outward action.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:1:

  If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

Do not be a clanging cymbal. Instead, do not just temper your external words and actions but you internal as well.  Exercise as much restraint on the inside that you do on the outside.  

Typist for Jesus

Where do I find My Confirmation Number?

And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:11-13

The blue circle spun…..endlessly on my screen.  I checked my watch, and I needed to go. I waited another moment and reluctantly, I shut the laptop, grabbed my purse, and headed to work. As I drove, my mind continued to return to the spinning blue circle.  Had the payment gone through? Was my car insurance paid for the month? My mind, like the circle, spun out hypothetical scenarios.  

What if the payment didn’t go through and I get canceled?

What if I have an accident or get pulled over?  

What if there wasn’t enough in the account to cover the amount?

My phone dinged it was a new email.  When I got to work and parked, I sifted through my purse to find my phone.  Opening my email, I sighed with relief. My payment was processed, and I had a confirmation number.  I moved the email to my 2019 bill folder. Now I had proof, of payment if any questions arose, I could refer to my email.

Wouldn’t it be nice if when you came up out of the baptismal water your phone dinged, and you got an email with confirmation?  After you repented and accepted Christ into your heart that a registered letter with a certificate of salvation came to your house?  Sure would make it easier. Make you feel more secure. However, that’s not how it works. Salvation is about faith, trust, and belief.  There is no confirmation number or certificate; there is only faith.

One of the most common fears and doubts for a Christian, new or seasoned, is “am I saved?”  I’ve heard it many times, and honestly, I have asked the same myself. Our enemy wants nothing more than to fill you with doubt, fear and anxiety and what better way than to make you doubt the truth and your salvation.

Salvation is not a feeling; it is not an emotion; it is the belief, trust, and faith in Christ Jesus. And these things are decisions, willful, and deliberate choices on your part.  If you are waiting for emotion or feeling to give you confirmation of salvation, then you will always be waiting on that blue circle to stop spinning. There is no certificate or email for salvation because if there were, your faith and belief would be in that tangible proof and not in Jesus.  Place your faith and trust in Him, the one who sacrificed all for you. 

Typist for Jesus