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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Sometimes, Life Gets in the Way

And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

But Jesus said unto him, follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. Matthew 8:21-22

            I have not written in a couple weeks.  I have been busy at work and life.  There has been overtime, bills, doctor’s appointments, yards needing mowing, flower beds needing weeding, weddings, grocery shopping and well, it is exhausting just listing it all.  Everyday my “To Do” list had, write a Seed, and everyday it was left unfinished with several other items. 

            I was lying in bed thinking of what I should write this week in between all the clutter that kept filling my brain.  It was in the middle of the flurry of disjointed thoughts I remembered the verse, “Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” 

            On initial thought, this verse seems rather callus and uncaring of Jesus.  However, on deeper reflection, it has nothing to do with funerals or family abandonment.  Rather is about making a commitment to Jesus and choosing to follow Him in all circumstances.  Whether the bills are due, or the yard has grown up to obscure the house, seeking the Lord is priority.  Jesus knows these things must be done and are important, but nothing is more important than your relationship with Him.

            Today on my “To Do”, I placed the Mustard Seed at the top.  Time in prayer, Bible reading and touching the lives of those around you are your first concern.  There will be plenty of time for the rest once you have fed your spirit and been filled with His peace. In fact, you will be able to complete more efficiently everything you need to do. 

            Just like this disciple, we find ourselves focused on the things in life that need to be done.  In essence this disciple was saying “Lord let me go home and get everything I need to do done and then I will follow you and do what you want of me.”    There will always been an inexhaustible list of things that need to be addressed but there may not always be the opportunity to answer His call.

Won’t you answer His call today.

Typist for Jesus

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My Dog Has a Chipmunk Problem

Big Bryan

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

My dog is obsessed with the chipmunks living under the deck.  He whines and barks at them through the window as they run and play, stopping to munch on a nut or vegetation right in front of the glass door.  Just two or three feet and a glass pane separate him from his nemesis.  Once I let him out for his relief breaks he runs from burrow to burrow, sometimes forgetting why he was let out.  Then he comes inside and realizes he needs to go out.  All day he paces, whines and cries and nothing I do distracts him from those chipmunks.  He is obsessed and cannot focus on anything else.  

I am going to go out on a limb and say that we too can become obsessed with things.  In fact, like those chipmunks in the window, we are also distracted.  Everywhere you turn there are commercials, radio advertising, billboards, emails, news reports and the topic of every conversation you take part in.   The Covid-19 situation is on the forefront of every communication.  Stirring up fear, worry and questions.  We spend a lot of time pacing and trying to figure out what will happen next.

I have begun limiting my exposure to Covid-19 reports, articles and news.  Some would say this is not prudent.  However, I disagree. I am not sticking my head in the sand, instead I am controlling what I expose myself to.  It is true we need to know what is going on in our communities, governments and the world, but there is a limit.  Instead of subsisting on a continual buffet of Covid reports, information and speculation, we should limit how much time we spend reading and submerging ourselves in the ongoing situation. I know that is not easy, you cannot listen to the radio or watch TV without every commercial being about the Covid 19 virus, but you have the power to choose what and how much you digest.  Do not allow yourself to be distracted to the point of neglecting yourself. This constant exposure can intensify fear, loneliness, depression and aggression.  Enjoy time with family, make time for study and prayer, enjoy a good meal or take a walk.  You have the power to limit your exposure and protect yourself.  

I put curtains up on the door and Bryan is much calmer.  He still knows the chipmunks  are there and checks out the burrows every time we go out, but he is not obsessed anymore because the constant stimuli has been curtailed. 

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

Summer Fruit

 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,  for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 ESV

The lush green moss provided a comfortable bed for me to stretch out.  I bit into the firm white flesh of the pear, juice sweet and sticky escaped, trickling down my chin.  Through the limbs of the walnut tree, I watched whisp of white float on an unseen current across the summer sky.  Only the sound of an occasional car broke the steady hum of the insects busy at work. My grandmother sat on her milking stool, peeling pears, and apples for a pie.  The sun had risen high glaring down on us and chased us out of the garden and into the cool shade of the ancient walnut, who’s limbs grazed the ground, bent by the clusters of nuts.  She spoke as she made long curls of peel that hit the aluminum pan with a thud, telling us stories of her time in California during the Second World War. Tales of the tenants in their boarding house. Stories of lemon and orange trees at the back steps of the house. Nights filled with laughter and dancing as they clung to that moment, never knowing if the next would come.  My eyes grew big as she told us about sitting around the radio and listening to the war reports, the fear, the wonder, will the enemy touch our shores. As the clouds lazily floated past her stories formed on the stage of my mind. 

 I loved those afternoons under the walnut tree, barefoot, wearing tank tops and shorts.  The cool of the moss, the sweet fruit, and the smell of clean air. That hour or two that we escaped the heat and hid in the hazy shadows.

Life is fleeting, busy, stressful, meaningful, and at times seems meaningless, and we have a way of getting caught in that spiral.  We all have schedules and deadlines; however, do not forget to take pleasure in what God has given you. As Solomon tells us, we were created to enjoy food, drink, each other and our jobs.  God has provided many things for us to enjoy, do not allow yourself to get caught up in the spiral of deadlines, schedules, and worries. Take the time to enjoy the summer fruit.

Typist for Jesus

Finding the Right Path

in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6 NIV

Though still morning, the humidity swaddled us in damp that clung to my body and salty beads of sweat stung my eyes. The breeze I had enjoyed earlier had ceased, and the air hung stagnant.  Sunlight filtered through the trees, making a kaleidoscope of green and yellow.  The pine needle littered path absorbed the sound of our footfalls and the cicadas buzzed in the trees filling our ears with their drone. My fellow travelers and I had fallen silent, the three of us seemingly lost in our thoughts plodded in single file through the woods.  I pulled my tube from my camel pack and drank deeply of the cooling water that I carried on my back.  A cacophony of bird song seemed to precede us, no doubt warning the wood’s inhabitants of our presence.  Ahead the trail divided, we stopped to consult the map. It was a divide that came back together further down the trail.  One side was for bikes the other hikers, we took a right, continuing our trek.  However, in the back of my mind, the thought lingered.  Did we read the map correctly?  Will this trail merge again on the path back to the parking lot?   

Life is often the same when we come to a crossroad.  How do we know we have made the right decision or chosen the correct path? Throughout life, we face choices.  Some are life-altering, not just to us but those in our lives.  Other decisions transcend this physical world and extends into the next.  Each of us has a path to follow, and along this pathway, we have decisions and choices that influence the journey.  This path refers to how we choose to live and what we do with our limited time. The Bible has several scriptures that address pathways, decisions, and crossroads.  My personal favorite is Proverbs 3:6.  If we are obedient, and involve God on our choices, consult him on decisions, he has promised to lead us onto straight paths.  The path will not always be easy.  There will be hills, rocks, and dangers, but you will not travel alone.

Typist for Jesus

Fearing What They Think

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25

Hurrying down the hallway, the girl pushed her way into the lunchroom. She found her friends and with a smile as wide and as bright as dawn, she blurted out, “Someone asked me to the dance!”
The table erupted with giggles and chatter and of course the question burning on everyone’s mind. “Well, who is it?”
She leaned back grinning, allowing the tension to build, and when she could no longer contain herself, she whispered his name. Her friends looked from one another and then laughed.
“What?” she asked, her furrowed brow burned with embarrassed heat.
“You mean, you don’t know? He used to eat paste.”
“So all little kids do.” Her voice raised above the din of the midday diners.
“No, I mean like in the sixth and seventh grade. It was weird.”
All the girls begin to laugh. The excitement that just moments ago brimmed drained away replaced by hot tears. She wanted to run back down the hallway and hide. How could she go to the dance with him now? What would all her friends think?

We all care about what people think. We worry about fitting in with people, being accepted. We want everyone to like us, but at what cost?
Not everyone will like you. Not everyone will approve of you, and that is OK. If Jesus had cared about fitting in or making everyone like him, he indeed would have never chosen to die on the cross with common criminals so that you could have eternal life. He would have hung around the Pharisees, but instead, he chose the tax collectors, fishers, prostitutes, a crowd of women, a doctor and a guy that ran around in camel skins and ate bugs (Matt. 3:4).

Proverbs 29:25 reads, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” What does that verse mean? It has nothing to do with being afraid in the sense that we think of the word “fear,” but rather, it means “to fear the disapproval of man.” This verse deals with our insecurities. Worrying about what others think is a snare. The word snare refers to the traps a hunter sets to catch small animals and birds. Allowing ourselves to worry what people think entraps us in fear, doubt, and gags us. Do not focus on what people think. Instead, put your trust in the Lord.

Typist for Jesus

Set yourself free from fear of what they think.