Tag Archives: 1 John

2020 VISION: Short, Sweet #6

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jn 16:33

After I got home from the gym today and walked the choc girls, I was rummaging around trying to find a movie to watch. For whatever reason, I’ve walked away from watching a lot of movies on line. I think it is because the newer movies tend to push some kind of agenda. Needless to say, with all the agendas being pushed these days, I’m just over it.

Anyway – back to the rummaging through my – somewhat – organized DVD’s – I came across a movie I bought last summer. I hadn’t watched it – ever. I bought it, stuck it in the appropriate box and forgot about it. After all, last summer had already been one spent pondering too many things for my aching head/heart, and I wasn’t sure I was up to watching a movie called the “Overcomer” – even if it had a positive message.

So – into the box it went and completely out of my head.

“…everyone born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith. Who then overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 Jn 5:4-5

I’ve learned over many years that all things happen for a reason. Jobs I’ve held. People I’ve met. People I’ve lost. Places I lived. Experiences I thrived in and those I just survived. Nothing is ever wasted. As I watched this movie today, it reminded me of the importance of many things.

Seeking His Face.

Feeling His Presence.

Trusting His WORD.

Prayer.

Repentance.

Forgiveness.

Grace.

Whether it is friends, family, local, state or country, all these things come into play. That is what these 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are meant to do. Help us remember. Help us find the path that Our Father is trying to show us. Use the wisdom that He has already placed within us. Remember His promises that He is always just waiting outside the door. All we need to do is turn the handle and welcome Him inside our hearts so that we can be come the OVERCOMER that He knows we were designed to be.

#theReturn#HeisWorthy#RestoringHope#Sept26

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2017 #1

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”

My eyes are tired tonight. Early mornings. Late nights. Food, food, food. Chocolate and more chocolate. Forcing my eyes to stay open for just a little longer, so I don’t miss a moment of this blessed holyday.

The MI son and family started it all off four days ago. Their escape from the cold and snow of the north. My latching on to each of them for one more hug – one more moment – one more ear full of deeper voices, more grown-up stories, and wishing so much that they – and my son – were still little enough to cuddle close to my heart. Our two days together passed way too fast.

“Every good and perfect gift descends from above, from The Father of lights with whom there is no change nor a shadow of variation.”~Jm 1:17

Second daughter and hubby made their way to NC on Christmas Day. Eating Grandma Mickey’s shrimp and trail bologna. Cookies. Then the more formal food as we sit down to stuff our faces again. Swapping white elephants as we bartered with the Grands, stole from one to another; and finally carrying home a pair of hand-made, Peruvian dinosaurs to hang on our window garlands.

“Grandma, can I have your dinosaur?” Grandson whispers as we leave, and my heart melts a little more.

Yet – more than the gifts, it is the laughter – the smiles in the eyes of those I love – which sings its song in my heart tonight and stifles another yawn. Whether it is the laughter over “Say Anything” or “Timeline” board game; the Grands bouncing as the explain/ show all their new toys; or the grown-up versions of my baby girls and their spouses sharing conversations that flow over my head; the holyday is made more holy by just their presence and I soak it in even if I don’t say much.

“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.”~Is 54:10

In 12 more days, Christmas 2017 will be in the annuals of time. Pictures will be stored on the computer, posted to various social media sites, and “normal” returns to the land of humankind. My grown-up kids will travel to their far-away homes. Grands will return to their various schools – in MI and NC. But my heart – – –

My heart will be full of the blessings we were able to share in each other’s presence for a few days. I cry easily when they appear on my doorstep and when I wave goodbye. It is then I wonder that if I feel such powerful emotions – how much more deeply does My Father feel over all the coming and goings of His children?

It is His blessing in our lives to glimpse just a portion of His love on Christmas. A Father who sent His Son to a far away land. A Father who sent His Son to be raised by others. A Father who loved so much that He sent His Son to remind us of just how much He loves us.

In this the love of God is known to us: for God sent his only Son to the world so that it shall live by him.’~1 Jn 4:9

As I finish up here, I am yawning a few more times. My sentences have been reversing themselves as i type – which happens often when I am exhausted. And as I make my way back towards my comfy bed, I lay my hand on the door, where my “child” is already sleep and whisper a prayer of thanks once again.

Holydays bring their own blessings when we pray. They slow us down. They open our ears and eyes. New songs expand our hearts. The invisible becomes almost opaque. A slender,silver tie to our first family. So as the music begins, I will sing myself to sleep…

“On the first day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me: a partridge in a pear tree….”

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GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #4

After a day of starting the transition into Christmas season, giving “thanks” comes much easier than when one was a youngster. One is thankful when one can climb the step-stool ladder and not fall. Thankful that when the knee pops, it still manages to stand strong enough to not let one fall off said ladder. Thankful that the inversion board can remind the spinal cord what shape it should be retaining these days. Thankful for a walk-in tub to spend a relaxing hour – – – well almost an hour. Thankful for note from a former student that makes one cry happy tears. Thankful that God is in His heaven and all is well with one’s world.

“And do not imitate this world, but be transformed by the renovation of your minds, and you shall distinguish what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.”~Rm 12:2

Except for devotions, I’ve taken a couple weeks off from “renovating” my mind with “educational, inspirational, motivational” challenging materials. Instead, I’ve been just reading for fun. Reading magazines. Reading fluff books. Reading newspapers. Working a couple puzzles here and there. Reading the back of the Oreo cookie package. (Yes, to all my students and teacher friends who are wondering – I still eat the occasional Oreo…..or two…or three…sigh)

I’ve never figured out why I go in spurts like this. It is as if there is some inner “messenger”, that pings me that it is time to: “READ SERIOUS” “READ FLUFF” “READ-THE-STUPID-BOOKS-THAT-CRITICS-RAVE-OVER” “READ NOTHING” (Well – I am thankful that last one hasn’t happened for a long time, but it has happened periodically in my life.)

But as I was typing that last sentence, I realized that “thankfulness” is ultimate renovation of the mind. Every morning when I wake up, I take a few minutes to stretch (trying not to let the critters know that I am awake because they are very distracting when they are bouncing on me) and express my awe at seeing this world anew all over again. That simple act changes the lens of the eye, making everything brighter – clearer – almost unblemished. Not an easy thing in this world these days.

Thus, while I am thankful for many things tonight, I am especially thankful for the “renovation” of my mind. It is part of the reason, I call this series the “Gratitude Attitude”. Gratitude is an attitude – – – IF we let it be. Thankful for the long line ahead of us for it gives us time to pray for those in front of us. Thankful for the lack of money because it helps us notice the pennies in our pocket. Thankful for the challenges that seem way too hard to accomplish because it makes us question, focus and hopefully – pray.

“You are from God, children, and you have conquered them [challenges/worldly spirits], because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”~1 Jn 4:4 Aramaic in Plain English 

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ROOTS 2017

Tonight –

I am tired –

Tired of the hate memes –

Tired of the raised fists –

Tired of distorted ‘truths’ –

Tired of the political nonsense –

Tired of rampant disrespect –

Tired of the anger side-winding close to those I love –

Tired of disease decimating my friends, family, community –

Tired –
Tired –
Tired –
and then –
I went searching into the WORD. It is what I do when the twisting snake of this world raises its head once again in my tent, and my tears refuse to stop.

“But if a man will say, “I love God”, and he hates his brother, he is lying; for he who does not love his brother who is visible, how is it possible for him to love God who is invisible? And we have received this commandment from him: “Everyone who loves God shall love his brother also”.~1 Jn 4:20-21

Those two trees that stood in a perfect garden so long ago, still stand within the garden tent of myself tonight. I stand under their lofty limbs, looking up, shaking my head, wondering: ‘How do I ever choose?”

Like the “reality” game shows, do I listen to the snake of the clamoring crowd – cheering me forward to their choices? I swivel my head back and forth – back and forth – back and forth. Do I trust the loudest voice to guide me? Do I pick the fruit based on the color, the taste, the aroma that is perceived to be perfect in this world full of knowledge, training and acceptance?

Or – – –
Tired as I am – – –
Do I fall on my knees, scrape through the hard, rocky surface of my tent, fingers torn and bruised, as I struggle to loosen the surface enough to uncover and bury my nose in the roots of He who Loves and creates all tents? Tents all over the world – in all worlds. Tents that He wants to enter to bless and enhance the essence that resides there.

Roots.
Deep.
Strong.
Nurturing.
Grounded.
Roots.

My eyes are still heavy tonight. My tent buffeted and torn from the winds of this world. I sit upon the roots a little longer. Letting my fingers trace their woody paths. Soaking in their fortitude and nourishing ridges. Limbs curling around me to dry my tears. Unbidden, the prayers begin to circle: “Dear God, do whatever is best for this world, whatever is best for this world.”

Over and over. Over and over. Over and over.

“Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”~1 Cor 16:13-14  

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RATIONS 100 DAYS! #84

Good days. Bad days. Spectacular days. Suffering days. Not always fun. Not always miserable. Successive strings of days where Terra turned beneath the feet. Days and Nights. A world full of lives lived.
I make it a point never to read ahead in this little Rations booklet. Everyday, I want to be blessed by the treasure that is recorded on each page. Yesterday, the Ration talked about Truth, and it’s importance in our lives, our countries and our world. It is of little wonder that today’s Ration speaks of Love. Love and truth always seem to go hand-in-hand. They give us a vision of where we should strive to be in this chaotic life.
 
“Where there is no vision, the people perish . . .”~Prov 29:18 (KJV)
I love picking up the Grands from their schools.I rarely ask them how their day went – instead – I might ask, “What was a question you asked today?” One time, my Grandson answered, “I asked to go to the bathroom and it was a good question because I really had to go.” My Granddaughter on the other hand, asked me why she should ask questions. teachers ask questions. I laughed. Yet – those answers led us to discussions that gave me a deeper insight into their thoughts and lives at school.
I love asking questions in my life, so I guess the Grands pegged me on that one. However, curiosity doesn’t always kill that cat. Sometimes it leads to long discussions. Other times it leads to deeper thoughts on both sides. And sometimes, it leads to dreams and visions of what potential life holds in store for us in our pursuit of truth and love. Our good days. Our bad days. Our questioning days. Our days of wondering. Our days when we ‘love one another…’
1942 Daily Rations: Read: 1 John 4:7-21
” ‘Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. . .God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him. . .There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.’
” ‘Perfect love casteth out fear!’ Would we not have said, ‘Courage casts out fear’?
“Neither the Old nor the New Testament treats courage as a self-supporting virtue; they both treat it as a quality derived from something deeper. To try to generate courage just within oneself by goading oneself to meet danger is not the method offered in the Bible. The Old Testament shows how fear is overcome by reaching outward to God in trust. The New Testament carries us still farther, and couples with this trust a fear dispelling love that draws us out toward both God and man.
“We can feel sure, for example, that no fear was left in the spirit of that American, suffering with the Chinese in Peiping, who led himself to this: ‘I will not allow myself to hate. I will not allow myself to become callous. I will not blame God for what is happening. I will not abandon my vision of the Kingdom of God.’
“Prayer:O love that casts out fear,
O love that casts out sin,
tarry no more without,
but come and dwell within.”~Horatius Bonar c. 1800’s

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #81

It’s 11 days to the election. Early voting has started in most states that allow it. Words are ugly and getting uglier: nasty, criminal, deplorable, irredeemable
“Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.” — Ecclesiastes 11:10 (ESV)
My prayers for this country and its leaders continues every night at 6 P.M. during the 1942 American Prayer minute, and if I don’t quite make it at 6, I know that there is a place where time doesn’t matter. It is the same place where every person that is covered in any kind of sin IS redeemable.
It is time to start using wise words that express the beauty, the wonder, the awe of each individual instead of the ugly, dark words. According to ancient rabbinic tradition, Solomon knew this when he wrote, “Remove vexation from your heart…” Vexation in the original Hebrew should actually be translated “anger”.
Remove the anger. Clean the dark glass. Find the blessings in each of the next 11 days.
Grace and Salvation are always found in the Light and may we come together again as a nation.
1942 Daily Rations: “Jehovah is my light and my salvation: Whom shall I fear?~Ps 27:1
“Dense forests creep up to the very edge of the deep-blue waters of Lake Tahoe in the high Sierras. All about the sore are hundreds of campers, but during the day a person may paddle for hours in his canoe with a feeling that he is alone. Only when night does does the glow of many campfires make him aware of comradeship- – -the presence of life.
“So often in the bright daylight of our lives various interests and activities claim our attention so fully that the presence of the living Christ becomes obscured. Then comes darkness. A loved one is taken away. Storms of conflicting emotions arise. But in the darkness we see a strange light, the brightness of God’s glory- – -Jesus Christ the Light of the world- – -and our hearts burn within us. Darkness comes that we may see the light.
“The two men on the way to Emmaus had reached the darkest depths of despair when Jesus appeared and there was light. Paul on the way to Damascus had reached the deepest abyss of his life when suddenly the light of Jesus appeared.
“Read: Luke 4:18,19; John 8:12; 1 John 1:5-7
Prayer: O Lord, let us not fear, for thou art our light and our salvation. Though we walk through the valley of the shadow thou art with us. Amen.”

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RATIONS 100 DAYS! #79

It is hard for the first fire on the new patio to compete with the excitement of the Indians in the World Series and the Cavaliers playing the NY Knicks in Stumpman world.
The fire lost.
Worked out well for me. One of my Grands was working on her essay for college, and I was having too much fun figuring out Google docs editing tools and reading the essay to care much either in Teacher world.
The fire lost again.
“I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12, RSV
However, when I look at the pictures that I took tonight. I have to smile. Hubby worked hard to get the patio to this point and although there is still much we want to do, there is a light in the darkness at Eli Covenant. Even the swollen toe doesn’t mind going out at night when there is a light to keep me from stumbling into anything that will make it yell “Oweeee” up at my brain.
Rabbi Yeshua was good at being a light to those around Him. His light became even stronger when He walked through the darkness of our sins to return to his disciples. I can only imagine how bright His light will be when He returns again. After all, He has spent all this time with His father waiting for us to open the door – open the door just a crack – so that He can come again.
Lighting the fire. Stewarding His earth. Opening the door. Can barely wait and wishing the door wasn’t quite so heavy and hard to open.
1942 Daily Rations: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”~1 John 5:4
Read: Hebrews 11:1-6
“In front of thee chapel of the Charlotte Air Base is a large floral ‘V’ made of red, white, and blue flowers. It stands for VICTORY. It is the first thing you see. The ‘V’ of victory might easily be considered a symbol of our day to stand for the victorious Christian life.
“The Church has always stood for the victorious life. Christ gave his disciples the power to overcome evil. Today we need to exercise that power to live the victorious life. This is the victory when we overcome the tyranny of the present for that which is eternal- – -the tyranny of fear for the divine protection- – -the tyranny of this sensual for the larger life- – -the tyranny of the visible for the invisible.
“The victorious life is made possible through faith- – -a faith in God that can endure hardship and comfort, a faith that practices good in the presence of evil.

“Prayer: Father, as thy child, help me to live a godly life, a life that turns stumbling blocks into steppingstones, that sees past the cross and knows there will be a resurrection, a life that has the courage to live its convictions. In Christ’s name we ask this. Amen.” [google image]

RATIONS 100 DAY! #46

Been writing more or less every night for 46 days, but today Writer’s Block stood leering between me and the computer. It had been a busy day – errands to run, dogs to walk, devotions to read. So many things on my heart.
A family who watched their earthly father cross the eternal bridge as he did everything in life – with love, dignity and confidence.
A young girl fighting her body to get to work everyday before another seizure hits.
Cancer crusades on several friend fronts attacking not only the body but the family and pocketbooks.
Violence between brothers, against children, amid families.
Politics raging across the screens of my mind.
The birth of a new child into this world.
Amazing what a difference one rose can make in your day. As I read today’s Ration, I thought about the lump of clay in one hand and the roses in another. Both important. There are many of Our Father’s lessons wrapped within clay’s physical textures – after all it is the essence of our world. But then there are roses – a gift of beauty planted within the heart – a reminder of the sweet aroma and joy of what awaits us beyond the clay that we call Terra.
Again- Hashem, Hashem – I bow my head and thank You for teaching and reminding me that there is wisdom in all things – clay – and roses – – and even roses made of clay – – – and, of courses,1942 Rations. Get behind me, Writer’s Block! God’s got this!!!!!!!
1942 Daily Ration: “I want only a lump of clay until someone planted roses in me.”~Persian Proverb
“It is no accident that the age of the dictators was immediately preceded by the age of the debunkers. Before men are willing to hand their destinies over to others, they must first lose faith in themselves. Writers who had for a decade been trying to persuade common men and women that they were nothing but dolts contributed much to the mood that caused humanity to lose faith in its ability to maintain its free institutions. Freedom is born of such thoughts as spring from the soul of John: Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God…Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be.’
“If men are to realize their highest possibilities, someone must plant roses in them. Much of Jesus’ power grows out of the fact that he enables us to have some hope for ourselves and to undertake such adventures as men dare not attempt without the aid of the Divine.
” ‘And He said unto me, Son of man, stand upon they feet, and I will speak with thee.’~Ezekiel 2:1
Read: Genesis 1:22-28; 1 John 3:1-12
Prayer: Forbid, O God, that we deny thee by failing to serve and believe in our fellow men. May we find some way today to bring new faith and hope into every life we touch. We ask through Christ. Amen.”

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