Seasons Change

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“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22

I was standing at the sink this morning and a gust of wind sent a shower of golden leaves down.  They were so

beautiful tumbling in the early light.  I love Fall!  Fire pits, pumpkins on doorsteps, comfy sweaters, and hot chocolate.

There is something very reassuring about the changing of the seasons isn’t there? Spring becomes summer, summer

cools into fall and finally the sleep of winter. God’s seasons continue despite all the craziness around us.

There are also seasons in our lives. I have had seasons in my life that I hope to never repeat. I bet you have too. In

fact, some of you may be going through a season right now. I have been for some time now. You may be dealing with a

loss, financial issues, relationship problems or health. Whatever it may be, be certain God is still very much in charge.

The verse for this week is out of Genesis and is part of the covenant God made with Noah after the Flood. Just like the

sign of the rainbow, the cycle of seasons testifies that God will preserve and redeem his creation. Most of us however

probably do not think of the seasons in this way and never in the covenantal symbolism. Until I researched seasons in

the Bible, I did not know either. This promise in Genesis reminds us that though the world maybe in turmoil, God is in

charge and will remain in charge. It is a promise he made to all of us, and he demonstrates it the changing of the

seasons.

Just like the seasons change, this period of your life will change. If you are presently in a difficult period in your

life, please know it is not forever.  These periods in our lives help us grow and mature in ourselves and most

importantly our relationship with God.  Remember the seeds wait patiently under the cover of snow for spring.

Spring is coming,

Typist for Jesus

Wait with Expectation and Enthusiasm for God

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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

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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

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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

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A Good Cup of Coffee

and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Luke 24:47

            About six weeks ago, my coffee maker gave up the ghost.  I have been using a percolator on the stove.  Fine coffee but hard to keep warm like a traditional coffee maker.  I decided that with a gift card I had receive for Christmas I would get a new one.  As I stood in the aisle, I was amazed at all the brands and differing degrees of coffee maker.  On one end a simple coffee maker and on the other an expensive machine that did everything including taking commands from Alexa.  Short of doing your taxes, this machine seemed to be able to do anything.  Yet, I could not help but wonder, is it any good at making coffee? I ended up buying the $9.99 coffee maker, I did not need all the other options.  I just wanted a good cup of coffee.

-What does a coffee maker have to do with Jesus?

            Unfortunately, we are the same when searching for a church or what Christianity can offer.  Our requirements for church, Bible studies and the messages coming out of the pulpit is what that it conforms to what we want to hear. Do we like where the church is located, is it convenient to where I live, is the pastor connected in the community?  Does he know all the right people? Does the message make me feel good about myself?  I want to feel good and have my needs met, I do not want to have to examine myself or acknowledge my failings. 

We focus on how to fill the pews but what we need to focus on is how do we fill heaven.

We want a Christianity and a Jesus that conforms to us and how we want to feel.  Being a Christian and a follower of Jesus is not about how you feel.  In fact, there is no feelings in Christianity. True discipleship is about obedience, sacrifice, charity, and compassion.  We do not need, nor should we look for all the bells and whistles.  What makes a great church or ministry is the courage to focus on what is important and needed.  Truth.  Teaching salvation and repentance. These two things are very unpopular in the secular world.  God, through His son made a way of salvation for ALL humankind. However, without true repentance there is no salvation.  Let us not allow ourselves to be caught up in the easy, comfortable, and non-controversial Christianity that is sweeping the globe.  Let us be courageous and share His truth.

            Typist for Jesus

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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

Chaotic Beauty

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27 ESV

I wasn’t sure what to expect as I passed through the doorway into a darkened room.  The walls were black and blank. In the center was a cylinder, I passed through it as I explored the dimly lit warehouse space.  Large wooden spools were spaced throughout, my daughter and I found one and waited. As we waited more people began to filter through the door, some like us found seats some milled around. Time passed and the room and mezzanine filled with people.  The lights dimmed and darkness crowded around us. Silence hung motionless as we all waited. Then a blast of music gave me a jolt and brilliant light exploded on the walls. Before me, Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpieces were built and tore down to the music.  The music, like Van Gogh’s work was chaos, a collection of different genres, rock to classical meshed with images of his paintings. Oceans morphed to wheat fields and sun flowers bled into the starry night.

Van Gogh has always been my favorite artist.  He is my favorite because he takes chaos of colors and frenzied brushstrokes and creates beauty. 

Many years ago, my life was chaos, a roller coaster of emotions, disappointments and depression.  However, once I stopped fighting it and relinquished it to Jesus, the chaos that made me feel like I was orbiting earth without a tether, slowed.  Jesus reached into the chaos of my life and it made it beautiful. That is what Jesus does once you give him control, he takes the crazy, the depression, the pain, the fear, anxiety, worry, guilt and shame and he makes it beautiful. That chaos is now a tapestry of beauty.

He can make your chaos beautiful.

Typist for Jesus

You Have A Future And a Home

 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Hebrews 13:14

This past week, I have seen several people on a particular corner on a major artery in my city. I have donated to these people a few times over the last few weeks. A couple of times this week, my attention was captured by a sign they had switched out holding. “It read: Jesus was homeless too.”

That sign lodged in my brain. I disagree, Jesus was not homeless, and neither are we.

Jesus, like us, was sent to this world to fulfill a mission. (John 3:17) This world, these problems, sickness, worries, heartaches, riches, and fame are temporal and are never meant to last. However, what you do in your time whether it is 30 or 80 years does last. It last in the people you touch and how your actions inspired them to continue. The Bible tells us that we are “strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.”

1 Chronicles 29:15.

You have a future, and it is not this earth or the things in this world. Your home is in heaven. Jesus tells us, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:3

Sometimes and I am very guilty of it, we focus on this problem, this election, this paycheck, this bill, and so on. These problems are temporary, and life has many ebbs and flows, but heaven is real, waiting, and forever.

You have a home with Jesus

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