My parents gave me an old timey (even at that time in the 70s) portable 8 track player and a Waylon Jennings and a John Denver’s Greatest Hits 8 track tape, and man, I wore those tapes OUT! Their music spoke to different parts of me, and to be honest the John Denver music was and is still the the biggest part of me, but Wayon and his music was and is still, though a smaller, strong part of me.
I knew from what my parents told me about him that he definitely went his own way, and that really spoke to me. It has gotten me in trouble at times through the years, but it also has saved me through the years, and helped me be open to the Lord in ways that crowd follower type people would completely miss out on.
To this day I distrust trends and group think. I like to know why and how and all that. Teach your kids to be strong, independent thinkers, individuals that don’t need to check with the crowd to see what their opinion is. They are hard to parent in the short run, but they will be so much better equipped for life.
“If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” — John14:14–18, KJV.
All independent thinkers do not necessarily end up following Christ, but I venture to say that all followers of Christ end up being independent thinkers!
Have a blessed week, Y’all, and know that the Lord welcomes your questions! He loves your seeking and curiosity! And He loves you!
Recently we went a few days getaway up in northwest Georgia. The cabin had all the things we needed to enjoy a few quiet days, on the river, feeding the numerous and friendly deer, and fishing!
I, personally, left the fishing to Batman and our youngest son who came with us! All I wanted to do was take a few pictures to try to capture some memories and read my book!
It was very restful and peaceful and refreshing! There were all sort of geese along with the fish here and there. And the deer, well, EVERYWHERE!
The river was the star of the show for me. I couldn’t stop looking at it. It was in the back yard, there was all kinds of seating and it was just beautiful. The whole time of our visit it was consistent in the way it flowed and gurgled and splashed its way over the rocks. Sparkling and inviting in all of its activities!
I spent vacation looking for messages from the Lord in our time of much needed rest and recreation! For me, I came away with two things. The biggest message was the river itself, steady, flowing, lush and sparkling, ever onward without fail or ebbing, just constant. It made me think of the Goodness of God, always in front of us, so much that it’s more than we can grab hold of, more than we can really comprehend, the overflowing, never ending, always available Goodness of God! Always available to us, to jump in and get all we can, be immersed in, splash around, we can’t contain it, but it is always there for us!
He’s taught me about His goodness in a similar fashion years before.
The world is a wild place these days. A hurting and confused place. It needs the Goodness of God. It needs us, each of us, as the Church to be immersed in His goodness so much that we overflow with the love, the peace, the joy, the patience, the provision that He makes available to us, so we leave a trail of His goodness wherever we go.
He made us agents of His grace and mercy, His Kingdom way of living. It doesn’t mean we don’t fail, flail and fall, but it means He is able to work in us to bring His way of living to bear wherever we go.
“For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” — 1 John 3:8b
“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” — 2 Corinthians 5:19-21
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” — John 10:10
Listen to that, Y’all! ‘Have and ENJOY life, and have it in ABUNDANCE, to the full, til it OVERFLOWS!!’, flowing like that river, Y’all! Flowing, flowing, flowing! Steady, steady, steady, over the rocks, around the dips and valleys…matter of fact a low place just means MORE WATER!! (Aka more GRACE!!) Nothing stops it! His goodness is coming to bear in our lives! Destroying the works of the enemy!! Healing our sin problem, delivering us from the curse, sin, death and the grave! Giving us a new heart! Sending us forth as containers of His GOODNESS.
I want to add that as beautiful as His plan is, we spend an inordinate amount of time down on ourselves, down on our many ways we fall short. I’m learning though, that His grace just comes in stronger, filling in that low spot in us, in our relationships, and in our counterproductive little habits and our idiosyncrasies that trip us up. In our weakness, we need to be claiming and expecting His strength to come in, His Grace is made perfect in our weakness.
“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!” — 2 Corinthians 12:9.
He is able to, Y’all! — “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:” —2 Corinthians 9:8
We are imperfect, and that’s no surprise to Him! Just keep floating in that grace River, Y’all! That’s where you will find me!!
Every Sunday and Monday, I start the week thankful for the previous week and blessings and mercies of the Lord in our family, in our lives. It is good for me to remember and look for His hand upon our lives, with gratitude. Then I ask with great expectation for His Spirit to move upon us again, in an Ephesians 3:20 — “Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]”
Let Your River (of your goodness and grace) flow, Lord, flow right over me!! Flow over my family! Let it flow right over every person and their loved ones who read this, Lord! We look to You and your goodness!!
Oh, taste and see, the Lord, He is good!! Psalm 34:8.
“But WITH THEE WILL I ESTABLISH MY COVENANT; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.” — Genesis 6:18
Do you remember the great financial crisis of 2008? It was a humdinger. There are those who say something even more substantial is approaching. But, that’s not my wheelhouse.
If you recall, a large factor was the housing bubble collapsing. But, it wasn’t that people weren’t buying homes. People were getting mortgages and then a great number couldn’t or wouldn’t pay. So much so, that the banks were short on funds. Investment firms were short on funds. This made a great cascade effect.
Individuals, banks, investment firms, pension funds, cities, businesses — many, many, many could no longer keep their word. Because too many had promised too freely for too long and things went sideways.
As I listened to the news back then (which I often did then, but no longer do), I was reminded that our society no longer understands giving and keeping your word, and have no comprehension whatsoever of covenant at all. It’s not a thing discussed or talked about, or (with great exception) modeled.
It got me started thinking, how can we raise up a people who know they have a covenant making and keeping God, who has made a pledge to them, if they are willing to be in relationship with Him, UNLESS they learn this term, unless their mind becomes aware of the sacred significance of giving your word? And keeping it.
“Now THEREFORE, OUR GOD, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, WHO KEEPEST COVENANT and MERCY, LET NOT ALL THE TROUBLE SEEM LITTLE BEFORE THEE, THAT HATH COME UPON US, on our kings, on our princes, and on our priests, and on our prophets, and on our fathers, and on all thy people, since the time of the kings of Assyria unto this day.
Howbeit THOU ART JUST IN ALL THAT IS BROUGHT UPON US; for THOU HAVE DONE RIGHT, but WE HAVE DONE WICKEDLY:
NEITHER HAVE OUR KINGS, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, KEPT THY LAW, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.
For THEY HAVE NOT SERVED THEE IN THEIR KINGDOM, and IN THY GREAT GOODNESS THAT THOU GAVEST THEM, and IN THE LARGE AND FAT LAND WHICH YOU GAVEST before them, NEITHER TURNED THEY FROM THEIR WICKED WORKS.
BEHOLD, WE ARE SERVANTS THIS DAY and FOR THE LAND that THOU GAVEST UNTO OUR FATHERS to eat the fruit thereof and the good thereof, BEHOLD, WE ARE SERVANTS IN IT:
And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us BECAUSE OF OUR SINS: also THEY HAVE DOMINION OVER OUR BODIES, AND over OUR CATTLE AT THEIR PLEASURE, AND WE ARE IN GREAT DISTRESS.
And BECAUSE OF ALL THIS WE MAKE A SURE COVENANT, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.
Here a remnant of the Jewish people have gathered to rebuild their city, rebuild the wall, come back to the covenant their God had cut with them through Abraham and reiterated through Moses and through David. They judged Him faithful and righteous and pled mercy that they may live in freedom and in righteous covenant with Him as intended, once again.
Covenant: a formal, solemn, and binding agreement: a written agreement or promise under seal, between two or more parties, under seal, especially for the performance of some action. A pledge: to make a covenant by promise.
In the Biblical times a pledge would be marked by blood, or by salt, quite frequently.
The Bible mentions covenant 280 times.
“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart…In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. HE THAT SWEARETH TO HIS OWN HURT, AND CHANGETH NOT….He that doeth these things SHALL NEVER BE MOVED.— Psalm 15:1-2,4,5b
We are made in the image of God. He is a sacred promise/pledge maker and keeper. Jesus taught the wisdom of counting the costs before undertaking an endeavor. Don’t do things lightly. Be aware. Be all in. Trust Him for your weaknesses in order to see it through.
“But THOU SHALT REMEMBER THE LORD THY GOD: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, THAT HE MAY ESTABLISH HIS COVENANT WHICH HE SWARE UNTO THY FATHERS, as it is this day.” — Deuteronomy 8:18
Batman is super affirming of me and those he is close to. Not quick to criticize. It has always been that way for us in our relationship. So, on the rare occasions he speaks a criticism, a correction, it really carries weight and gets my full attention.
In the early days of our marriage he pointed out that I could be quick to speak good things I wanted to do, but maybe not so quick to follow through. Those were not his words, but the essence of it. But, it was about 32 years ago, and I still remember where we were. I, right there in that moment, mentally took stock and KNEW he was speaking the truth. And I also KNEW, that I wanted to permanently do better. From that point on, I have made a focused effort to take stock, make a mental and/or heart assessment before making my commitment.
Yes, if we will be teachable, keep a listening heart, God will speak to us through our loved ones, especially our spouses.
It has served me well, though the failures, the misses hurt, I press on. Thank God for grace and for renewal and for training us, bit, by bit!
“If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.” —
Hebrews 8 (especially verses 6-12) is a chapter that I strongly urge you to read, as it explains how the first covenant was for a time and season, but was always intended to be replaced by a new and even better covenant. That’s how the Lord works, everything improves, ‘(the path of the just is as the shining sun, shining more and more unto the perfect day.’ Proverbs 4.)
An excerpt from Hebrews 8: “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.” Hebrews 8:6-7
He’s a covenant keeping God! He’s our Father and He has made us for a purpose and has good plans for us. He has indeed counted the cost. He’s all in, in His good plans and purposes for us. We are made in His image, and I just stopped by to say we will not be as fulfilled as we long to be until we discover the joy of functioning as made. To be people of our word, who are careful to swear to our own hurt. Be all in. Pray. Seek (ask Him) daily for His wisdom. Then go fulfill those words. He grows us in our vision, our patience, our faith, our endurance, our generosity, our persistence, our heart…He does a work in us as we partner with Him to be a people of our word, because He is a God of His word. He is trustworthy, we are His children, His sons and daughters, and He helps us fulfill our word.
If we want our society, or even our own lives to be better, we must do the work, BY FAITH, THROUGH GRACE, to be and do better.
I think being a people of our word is a great place to start.
“NOW THE GOD OF PEACE, THAT BROUGHT AGAIN FROM THE DEAD OUR LORD JESUS, THAT GREAT SHEPHERD OF THE SHEEP, THROUGH THE BLOOD OF EVERLASTING COVENANT, MAKE YOU PERFECT (complete) IN EVERY GOOD WORK TO DO HIS WILL, WORKING IN YOU THAT WHICH IS WELLPLEASING IN HIS SIGHT, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” — Hebrews 13:20-21
Thank you so much for coming along in this ramble of ponderings with me! Sometimes we just need to talk it out to process, right?
Good Morning, E’rybody!! It’s chilly, and sunny, and God is still, ever and ALWAYS on His throne! Jesus has made a way for us to be ADOPTED into His family!! We are NEVER ALONE!
He gives us some family and friends to do life with and be a HELP and ENCOURAGEMENT to each other! To speak LIFE and TRUTH to each other, in LOVE! Not in manipulation, fear, bitterness or envy, but in LOVE!!
He gives us His Holy Spirit to make us ABLE to walk this life out, and just to be clear, this life is FAITH. ‘For the just shall live by FAITH’.
Just some brief thoughts this morning after hearing this GEM of a song which I JUST discovered! I hope it blesses, refreshes, and inspires you like it does me! It’s not new, just new to me!
I’m working on a deeper post, it’s just taking me awhile, and wanted to jump on and say ‘Hello’!
I hope you have caught Batman’s new series (2 chapters) of his new project called ‘The Bevan’. I am loving it and can’t wait to read MORE!
“And that thou mayesttell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am theLord.” — Exodus 10:2.
Hey, Everybody! How’sthings goin’?
It’s goin’ good here!
I think I mentioned our youngest is getting married and they have a precious baby on the way! We couldn’t be more excited for them! 🤗
Our oldest and his wife are now also expecting. We just can’t wait to meet the new baby! 🥰
I’ve noticed something, I’ve turned into that parent who is telling stories to the younger generation that explain some things we went through and illustrate the faithfulness of God. I have never minded my parents doing it, nor when I was a youngun’ did I ever mind hearing my Granddad’s stories either.
But, it has not been my nature to tell those stories, put us in the spotlight so to speak.
But, all of a sudden I have realized it’s a blessing to them to know the things we overcame and God brought us through, in spite of ourselves, it can give them both a point of reference and encouragement that they too can make it. And further, since the Father helped us two when we were young and dumb, He’s ‘no respecter of persons’ and what He did for us, He’ll do for them!
Every get together I find myself working old stories, nobody’s ever heard, right into the conversation. Unashamedly. I keep it light and lively, but it’s good things I want them to know. It’s part of their roots and heritage and where they come from, too!
It will also help them recognize their stories as they’re happening so they can tell their children, too!
When we are young, life is such a mystery in so many ways, and we are sort of wobbling along, doing the best we can. Over the years are a lot of missteps and mistakes. I truly think the things I learned from my parents allllll of my life about their life, was helpful to me to keep my equilibrium!
I am hopeful to do the same for ours, though maybe I wish I had started sooner. I will have to trust in the Lord that He has gone before us and ordered our steps.
The picture above is a FANTASTIC potato salad recipe, that I got from my best friend, (without whom I probably would not have gotten saved). And she got it from a dear lady who she not only grew up with and grew up in church with, but was her mother in law for many years, and still family! Because family never ends! It may change but it never ends.
Mrs ‘P”s Potato Salad has won people and their taste buds over for years and years, through many special occasions! She will live on and stories of her family’s goodness to us, (and that includes my best friend) will be told in my family for years to come, Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!
“Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord [the only Lord].
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might.
And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be [first] in your [own] mindsand hearts; [then]
You shall whetandsharpen them so as to make them penetrate,andteachand impress them diligently upon the [minds and] hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.” — Deuteronomy 6:4-7
“In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength:“ — portion of Isaiah 30:15.
It’s been a long, hot summer, Y’all.
We took a few days off at the end of May, and it was nice. We enjoyed getting a few odds and ends done around the house. Hanging out. Whatnot. Resting up.
The world also blew up with regards to policing and race issues and social media became extremely non fun and toxic, the very same weekend.
We don’t watch the news. As in ever. Anything we want to know, we can find out on our phones without talking heads telling us what to think about it.
Of the two of us, Batman has the smarts to stay out of social media. And I’m SO grateful.
I’m good and hooked. 🙄 I have rules for boundaries though and stick to them! It helps a lot!
Social media is how I found out about all the bad stuff, weirdly in an account that I purposely keep only for inspiration, photography, family, praise and worship ministries, biblical teaching. (told ya social media became non fun!)
I’m not going to try to rehash the bad things that happened this summer. Just laying out a little corner of the world and how it impacted us.
I could see the storm coming to our country, our society, and there was no avoiding the wind, the rain, the lightening and the thunder.
It would impact us all, and if you are a law enforcement family, a lot.
There’s layers to it. It’s clear. And it’s jagged. All at the same time.
I was so distraught that weekend at what I was seeing. I worried how it would impact Batman and our little city. I remember I didn’t want him burdened with the knowledge of what I was seeing.
And so much more. My blood pressure was definitely up!
“And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea,Peace,bestill. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” — Mark 4:39.
The resulting unrest across the country had another side effect of causing people to realize they needed a certain kind of training which we (Batman) provide.
Being so busy all summer was good medicine for my mind’s tendency to be over wrought with troubles and their potential implications.
Potential. Oh, the trouble we can weave in our minds and hearts, that never comes to pass. But, our bodies bear the brunt of the stress dumping hormones for sure!
So grateful for so many good people we have gotten to meet and help. Like I tell Batman, I love to watch him work! 😍 getting out of the routine to do this, was super good for me. Gave me distance from the perceived problems of our society, and the opportunity to do what I think I do best. Help. That’s my favorite! Help my husband, help our clients, help our family.
With the added layer of the virus and the various ways citizens and government have complicated it, I have had oodles of opinions!! Gracious!! Nobody needs more opinions though. So every time I was tempted to ‘put my foot down’ on social media about it, I always felt this check in my spirit. To be still. To know that He is God. The famous verse from Psalm 46, He had firmly planted it in my heart at the end of last year, and impressed upon me to take it with me into the coming year, 2020.
The check in my spirit, restraining me, from spouting off opinions no one needed to hear from me about the virus, was “I don’t know yet what is really going on. I know the devil is at work. And so is our Father. I don’t want to speak about things I don’t understand yet. Wait and see. Trust God. Be gracious. Be prudent. Believe the best. God will work good out of all this, if we make room for Him.”
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” — Psalm 46:10.
You know, that verse above we often quote the first half, and rightly so. We need, we crave, that stillness of our hearts and minds and lives. And it comes with KNOWING He (alone) is God!
But, let’s not forget the one, two punch of the second half of the verse! He WILL BE exalted among the heathen, He WILL BE exalted in the earth!
That. That restores order to my mind, hope to my heart, peace to my life.
I still keep an eye on the news online. I see it. But, I don’t soak in it. I also take care to not aim to be right, score points, or any of the things that social media is designed to do, but rather to know facts, stand for truth, encourage the best, keep it to a minimum, where possible, build tiny bridges.
Batman and I have also learned the joy and wisdom of taking a week each month off from our side gig, to catch up on life and rest and just enjoy!!
This year is teaching me over and over the beauty of ‘resting’ in the care and Grace of our Lord. In so many ways, trust in Him. Make room for Him. Expect good from Him. It’s not really about the storm clouds, the wind or the lightening, it’s about Jesus, being the center of our focus!
“Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment andrecreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.“ — Matthew 11:29. The Amplified Bible.
Thanks for listening Y’all!! I’m praying we get all the ‘goody’ out of this crazy year, that He has for us all!
Not what you think I am willing to bet, unless you are in tune with the way my mind works and honestly, not many are (including me sometimes).
Sitting in a restaurant, when suddenly you get the “feeling” someone is watching you, walking down a street, there it is again. Late at night at home, you get the impression that something isn’t quite right, what is really going on? Wander along with me while we explore the possibilities of what these things could mean, and how we can handle them, be it a figment of the imagination, or something else…
First and foremost, I am not nor have I ever clamed to be an “expert” or doctor of ANY kind, the best I can do is Army first aid, and first responder first aid training, never been a fan or believer in “head doctors” Psychiatrists or the likes, that’s just me. I was brought up to believe in God, and I have NEVER waivered from that belief, anyways, wanted to point out that the ramblings here are from a person not trained in mental anything.
So back to those “feelings”, the ones that make us feel uncomfortable, or unsafe, what are they really? For this old boy, they are indicators of something dangerous, something unsafe or amiss. See, I am from the school that believes that the human body and mind can sense things, like danger prior to actually seeing it, can “feel” a dangerous person in the room or area. This can also be animals or areas, that for some reason the mind knows are dangerous even though there are no outward signs. I haven’t fallen off the deep end, I do not believe in the ability to read minds, or the like. But I do believe that some of us have learned not to suppress the abilities that God gave us to sense danger or harmful events, people, or animals. While eating out with your friends or family, I honestly believe everyone at one time or another has been effected by the sudden “feeling” something was wrong or someone was staring at them , I know I have on several occasions. Why is this? What is occurring that causes this “feeling” and why do some people get it more than others? Bigger question is, why do more people NOT react, instead they put it down to anything else, and continue with whatever they were doing.
As a hunter, and I have hunted wild animals, and men (still do as a Police Officer) I have been “hunted” as a Soldier and as a Police Officer, and it is, to put in plain speak, scary to know someone is “hunting” you with the intent to harm you, until you have been there, its a “feeling” you cannot understand. As a relatively normal person (shush Peach) I like to enjoy my time out with Peach and with family and friends. But because of being hyper-vigilant most of my adult life, I have developed the “feeling” for danger, and it helps keep me on my toes. Chances are that you will go through your entire life and never be confronted with a dangerous situation or person. This does not mean it won’t happen, but the chances are pretty good it won’t, and to my dismay, this is why people ignore or suppress the “feeling” that comes over them at times. This “feeling” is suppressed so often by the average person that it does not even get recognized anymore. This is a shame, and may lead to unnecessary events that could be avoided if they would only pay attention to what they “feel”.
Gong back to the previous post about Human Trafficking, and using your eyes and ears for danger, if you allow your sense of “feeling” danger develop and do not block it out or ignore it, it would be one more tool to use. Animals all have this sense, and all use it all the time. Granted the oblivious armadillo, or opossum, or raccoon wander into the roadways and get taken out on an hourly basis, but observe them in the wild and you will see a side of them that is pretty interesting. Here, let me give you a personal example; I was in a ground blind last year, hunting deer with a bow. It was a slow morning and the woods were still, birds were all over singing and flying around and there were a couple of squirrels playing around 15 yards or so away. I suddenly “knew” a predator was around, I hadn’t heard anything, or seen anything but I knew without a doubt that I was not the only hunter in that immediate area at that time. The hairs on the back of my neck felt like they were standing straight out on my arms to, and I became hyper-alert. The squirrels and birds were still feeding and playing and then everything stopped. It was as if someone threw a switch, birds melted into oblivion, the squirrels froze in place and it was apparent they could “sense” the danger I felt seconds prior. I looked down at something in my blind and when I did I heard a thump out in front of me, as I looked up a bobcat (seen a lot of bobcats in my time this one was HUGE) was coming down from the tree he had jumped into chasing one of the squirrels. Flabbergasted is the only way I can describe my thoughts, there was less that 2 seconds before NOTHING around for 40-50′ in a pretty wide open area, and “poof” there was the largest bobcat I have ever seen coming down from an unsuccessful “pounce” after a squirrel. I “felt” his presence 20-30 seconds before his beaming down from wherever (how else he got there without me seeing his approach I cannot explain), the animals also picked this “feeling” up and acted upon it. Over my years as an outdoorsman and hunter, I have had this “feeling” numerous times, I sometimes suppress it if I am with others so as not to frighten them, but I remain on alert.
What does all this mean, why the ramble and why all the fuss about a “feeling” that most people will deny they ever get? Because I feel in todays time and atmosphere that people need to be extra careful of danger. People need to trust their instincts about people or situations, their senses should play a part and not be ignored. God gave us the ability to think, reason, prepare and defend, we should use ALL His gifts to help us do so.
Pay attention to your surroundings, pay attention to people, places and things. Lock your doors and windows when you are home and in your car, “listen” to that nagging voice, or feeling, listen to a trusted friend when they warn you of something. Who would warn you against a potential danger, except someone who has your interest in mind.
As a lifelong hunter of the evil most say “does not exist” my hope is none of you ever come face to face with it, as its ugly and violent and has only evil in mind. Take care of yourselves, take care of your family and friends, watch out when you have that “feeling”, it really is there to help. Myself and other “hunters of evil” will always do our best to keep you and yours safe, but do not think evil can’t find you even still.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” Ephesians 6:11
“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Paul to the Corinthian Church. — 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Batman and I were/are both so blessed in this regard. It’s a gift that keeps giving every day, through the years. You remember little and big things they were an example of, they told you, you did together! So many ways!
To any Dads feeling not enough, somehow inadequate, or Mommas making it without the Dad, I would like to share with you something the Lord put on my heart on a Saturday night before Mother’s Day, about 17 (or there about) years ago.
I couldn’t sleep. And was realizing I was so flawed as a person, much less as a momma. And the Lord just started putting this very clear message of His Grace being what comes in, and always had, and fills in the gaps of my weak spots, my failures, my inabilities, and my ‘I don’t even know how-isms’. He comes in with His goodness, His all knowing, His Holy Spirit, and just adds His muchness, His more than enoughness, and makes everything work, makes it better, makes it work a purpose, that’s better than it would ever be in our aloneness and self sufficiency!
You are right. I am right. We are NOT enough, not by ourselves!! We are never meant to do it alone! He put everything in us that we need,HE BRINGS THE REST!! All we must do is bring Him in!
Pray, believe, and ENJOY the beautiful life, and lives (of your children, little and raised) He has given you!! —
“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9. HE IS ENOUGH!! Happy Father’s Day to you!!
P. S. I would like to ESPECIALLY thank our Batman for being a kind, generous hearted, courageous, hard working, determined, always learning, always teaching, man of integrity, faith and heart, and making us laugh all the time!! He always, always shows up, figures it out, and never holds your past or even your present against you!! Happy Father’s Day to the Best Daddy I could EVER IN A MILLION YEARS have chosen!!
One of the most important skills we learn in life, takes us through learning to walk, until the day we leave this earth. Our youngest grandson is 10 months and learning how to pull himself up on anything and everything. Then, he will drop and crawl to his next desired spot and do it again. He is learning strength and a bit of balance, and a lot of stamina and determination. He wants to be UP.
This lesson continues in various forms through childhood and into teen years, young adulthood. Children learn to ride bikes, which involves a few falls (or in my case many) (true story, the neighborhood kids and teens helped me learn and the oldest joked we needed to post a sign that said ‘Peach’s Ditch‘).
Teens try new styles, new relationships, new academic, or even professional goals. They try various sports, various positions in sports, music, the arts. They tackle driving. They succeed, they fail, they flourish, they fall.
Young adults decide once or twice or even thrice what schooling will help them get to their ‘next’. They decide to pursue military, sports, travel, or get married!
Young adults get married, try to navigate the merging and making of one life from two, where to have family holidays, when to start a family, how to handle debt and expenses, where to live, rent or buy.
It continues on. We all fall down. But, we ALL must GET BACK UP. We may not always feel like it. Sometimes in life, our ‘Giddy-Up-and-Go’ ‘Got-Up-and-Went’. How rude! 😉
When we learn to walk, we learn all about falling down, and maneuvering ourselves back-up again, over and over and over. Our grandson, like most all young toddlers, is so happily persistent in his endeavors to rise up
As we get older, it’s harder, sometimes, to be happily persistent in our rising up! Especially, because we might be tired of making the same mistake (think of yo-yo dieting, repeat pattern relationship issues, debt cycles, etc). We might also get pushed down by people or health, or just life in general.
Many people today are prayerfully hoping the ‘Rona doesn’t leave them pushed down, hoping for a mere wobble and then quick recovery, or, who knows? Maybe even a miraculous take off, soaring above the circumstances, through a series of grace-filled events that don’t always line up so perfectly, but once in while, they DO!
Sometimes heartaches, sometimes work or career related issues, maybe legal issues, the falling can come in a variety of ways. Sometimes we do it, or a stranger, or a loved one might, or the simply unexpected, life dressed as a pandemic.
Nonetheless, we were made for the upright position, to rise up, dust ourselves off, look up, move forward! Everything in the Bible tells us that the majority of our faith walk will be forward and upward.
There’s times we can only stand. And having done all to stand. (Ephesians 6.) We stand until it’s time, once again, to take those steps forward, as the Holy Spirit shows us it’s time. And like the Israelites at the flood stage Jordan river, first we step and THEN the waters part.
Paul said, “I don’t depend upon my own strength to accomplish this; however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead.” — Philippians 3:13, The Passion Translation. I LOVE how he continues on, on his letter to the Body of Christ in Philippi, “I PRESS toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” KJV. And The Passion Translation says it this way:“I run straight for the divine invitation for reaching the Heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus.”
I think there are times it’s harder than others to rise up. But, the reward seems to be proportionally sweeter as we heave our selves upward.
King David was betrayed by family and then friends. He had a son who was determined and crafty, and shameless. He played the whisper game. The game of politics. He worked to bring division to the Kingdom and to bring people to his side. He was determined to steal the Kingdom from his father because of an old wound unhealed. (Bitterness is a powerful poison in our lives, that we should always work diligently to uproot. Apply the weed killer of forgiveness, humility and then bitterness can’t stick around!)
King David was hurt, humiliated and tired. When I say humiliated, I mean before the whole Nation. He had to flee. Someone followed and threw rocks at one point. His son made a big show of sleeping with his concubines pretty much making a public display, (which couldn’t have happened if he didn’t have CONCUBINES! Just a thought).
He eventually won back his Kingdom, through the help of loyal family, soldiers, and citizens. In the process he lost his son.
He grieved so hard, for his wayward son, that his general had to tell him, that if he didn’t get up and show gratitude to the people who kicked out the enemy, and won back the Kingdom, that all would be lost, as in that very night! The people NEEDED to see that he was happier and more appreciative of all they risked and accomplished for him, than he was sad at the loss of his son, who had taken a very wicked turn, which caused much hurt to a lot of people.
King David rose up. He rose to the occasion. Once more. After a lifetime of rising and running to the battle. His heart was broken. YET. He showed regal leadership, (though I doubt he felt like it), and he made glad the hearts of his people, and did the necessary diplomacy, to unite the country once again. (2 Samuel 19).
Eventually, this would result in him having a thriving, prosperous Kingdom to turn over, in the right way, at the right time, for his son Solomon. Reward.
Nothing good ever came from staying down, rolling around in the broken pieces of life. We simply are not made for it.
I know it can be so tiresome, but, it does begin to feel good again, once we get a little momentum, once we can see the horizon a bit. And who knows what beautiful things the Lord has in store for us!
1 Corinthians 2:9.
I’ve had my own fall down this week. And though it has caused a good amount of heartache, I’m here to say, it’s ok! God is SO faithful! We are not left without His love, and in my case that comes in my Batman and our sons and their ladies, and our dear, dear grandkids! And there’s more family we are blessed with besides! So much joy! 🤗 I can choose to trust the Lord to work out whatever way He seems best, in what I have no control over, and I can choose to be fully present and appreciative of the family I have. I get to choose that. And with the grace of the Lord I DO! Not in my own wisdom or strength, but I can do ALL things through Christ Who gives me strength.
I only share this to let you know, in case you have fallen, in case your head and your heart are perhaps hurting, also, you CAN do this! Put your hand in His, tell Him how you feel, and what you fear, and go forward!! He has plans for you, but you can’t see them while you are down!
He heals you in the journey forward.
Don’t be fooled into waiting to heal and then thinking you will move forward.
“And that, knowing the time, that now IT IS HIGH TIME TO WAKE OUT OF SLEEP: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.” — Romans 13:11-12
Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t share that Batman uses a great saying about this topic, which I love! I am hoping he will tell us about his thoughts on it soon!
Rise and shine, Y’all, rise and shine!
Thank you so much for the visit!! Drop us a note so we know you were here!!
May your week be filled with good surprises, straight from Heaven!
“They heard his voice come faintly: “Good-bye! Be good, take care of yourselves–and DON’T LEAVE THE PATH!” — Gandalf to Thorin and Company in The Hobbit, by J.R. Tolkien.
In October of 1983, I discovered two wonderful things, that were meant for the rest of my life! J.R.Tolkien, beginning with The Hobbit, (thanks to my Mama) and Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies! I found the recipe in our local newspaper that month, when I first began The Hobbit! I learned to make the cookies while reading the book. The two are intertwined in my mind along with the fall season. The memories of that fall are good! Both of these would be shared and dearly loved, year after year, with my Batman and our sons!
We both read the books every year. We always get something new from them. Last year, something stayed with me. It just has not gone away. It seemed so very much analogous to life, and most especially life in Christ.
In the book, there’s a point in the characters’ journey, that takes them, (Thorin and Company) necessarily through a very daunting, disagreeable, sort of mysterious and fraught with many unknowns, path through a very dark wood.
No question about it, what they needed was on the other side. There really were no better or more safe alternatives. It must be done. Further, their safety blanket (as I think of him, in this instance) Gandalf, has to part company with them at the entrance to the forest, as his mission is taking him on elsewhere for a time. They hope to rejoin in the future, if all goes well, which is by no means altogether certain.
The dwarves and Bilbo are warned by two strong figures, authority figures I’d say, that for NO reason should they stray from the path. That the path, though taking them right through a dark, dangerous and mysterious forest, filled with disagreeable things, the path would lead them THROUGH and OUT, if, they can just stay on course.
They are warned by Gandalf, (after quite an impressive warning by Beor), “Don’t stray off track!–If you do, it is a thousand to one you will never find it again and never get out of Mirkwood, and then I don’t suppose I, or anyone else, will ever see you again.” — Gandalf just before saying his good-byes to Thorin and Company outside Mirkwood Forest, The Hobbit, by J.R. Tolkien.
I find this so similar to life. Our actual journey through a fallen world. Where, though we do have the Word, The Holy Spirit, and even Jesus…on the INSIDE (which is far more than Bilbo and Thorin and Company had), there is no visible presence of Jesus every day as we trudge through our own personal Mirkwood.
We would love to have Him where we can SEE Him, side by side as we make our way through the dark and wild path through the trying world, heading to our Promised Land, One Fine Day.
The path in their Mirkwood has a darkly flowing stream. Filled with enchanted water that is said to cause them to lose their senses. So, in other words, tempting, but forbidden, and potentially deadly. Surrounding them on both sides are creatures that are darkly oppressive and unknown to them, initially. Gandalf would surely be greatly missed.
In our lives, we have all we need to stay the course, yet even still, our human frailties make us wobbly on the course! The dangers at times, encroach on our journey, and seemingly, they know just the right times to try to trip us up.
Regardless of the darkness of the world, or our personal Mirkwood, we have advantages that Bilbo did not. The Word is powerful and living, and stronger than any two-edged sword! And we have it! We have it in spades! Greater is He that is IN us, than he that is in this fallen world!
In Ephesians 6, we are reminded to ‘Put on the WHOLE ARMOR of God…’, going on to name many pertinent pieces of armor, for we traveling pilgrims of Christ.
Two in particular weigh strongly on the way through our Mirkwood!–The Shield of Faith, by which we are able to EXTINGUISH ALL THE FIERY DARTS of the enemy, AND the Sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD of God!
Psalm 119:105 states ‘Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.’ He IS our way through our Mirkwood seasons!
The best thing about our times of darkness and trial? We are never truly alone. We are never unequipped. We do not camp in Mirkwood. We travel THROUGH Mirkwood. We are promised that He always causes us to triumph. Hold on!
Yes, there are dangers. If we get off course of what we know is true and good, we risk falling in the dark waters of forgetfulness and losing our way altogether!
But, we have our Shepherd, who is much more worthy than even awesome Gandalf! Gandalf would be the first to admit it!
Our Shepherd will leave the 99, so to speak, in order to go find the one lost sheep, and bring him back to the fold and on the path! With rejoicing!
We have the inner compass, GPS guidance system, of the Holy Spirit, to bring to remembrance the Word of God, to caution, to illuminate, to encourage and comfort us. The Bible calls the Holy Spirit, the ‘earnest‘ and also the ‘seal‘ of our salvation. The earnest being like the deposit you pay to hold something until it’s redeemed (when Jesus comes for us) and the seal being a preservation device keeping us intact until final delivery! So powerful!
We have the tools. We have His Promise. We have His Presence. Mirkwood is not for keeps! It’s temporary, we are only passing through.
Proverbs 4 has a wealth of verses that speak to the necessity to stay focused on the path ahead, but, the BEST part is the conclusion of the thoughts, with this promise: “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” — Proverbs 4:18! That’s us! You and me! If you are in Christ, you have all that you need, and full assurance of getting to your Promised Land, He won’t fail you!
As I close, I want to share a few verses from Proverbs 4 to think about this, and urge you to read The Hobbit! It’s a good time to read, Y’all!!
“I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. When you goest, your steps shall not be straightened; and when you runnest, thou shall not stumble. Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” — Proverbs 4:11-15
Thank you for sharing this with me! Hit us up in the comments! Batman and I really enjoy connecting with you!!