Category Archives: Devotion and Faith Building

Everything You Need

Do you know that God created you to bring him glory with your life?

He alone is Father God, the Creator of Life, and He wants us to acknowledge him and trust him for everything.

I was reading in Luke chapter 12 today and wanted to share a few of the verses with you.  If you have time, go read the entire chapter.  May it bless you today.

 

“Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.” Luke 12:8-9

 

“And he said unto them, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Luke 12:15

 

“And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
Life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.

Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?

And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;” Luke 12: 22-35

 

May everything you and I do today and everyday bring Father God glory. May we trust him in everything, for everything we need, and seek his face and his heart each day. May we each give him praise for he alone is worthy of our praise.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Be blessed!

 

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You Are The Temple

Why worship God in temples made by human hands?

As I have gotten older, and hopefully wiser, I have come to understand that the scriptures in the Bible point to the human body as the true temple of our Heavenly Father, not the church building or any other building.  We are instructed to care for his temple, our body, and care for others because they are also his temple.

“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

That they (men of all nations in the earth) should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.”  Acts 17: 24 – 25; 28-29

 

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

But he spake of the temple of his body.”   John 2:19-21

Buildings made by human hands might impress people, but they don’t impress God our Creator, our Heavenly Father.  Money donated (or taxed) to build buildings (or anything else) doesn’t impress him either.  He said a poor widow’s penny offered is more impressive than a rich man’s offering.  He also said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

From the scriptures we can clearly see that HE wants an intimate daily walk with us and for us to recognize a special day each week that we acknowledge him, and do good to others in his name, that special day he calls the Sabbath.  The Sabbath means the 7th day when God our Creator rested from his work.  He has asked us to do the same and keep it special for him.

The day of the week the Sabbath is on changes each year and sometimes even during a certain month of the year.  How you find the day is to learn when the barley is ready for harvest in the spring and the correlation with the first sighting of the moon during that season.  This then begins the year, and the Sabbaths of that year are on the seventh day and every seventh day there after.  This pattern of seven days should follow a 28 day rotation, with the full moon falling on the second Sabbath of the month.  Every once in a while it will be on a 29 day rotation with an extra day added at the end if the next sliver of the moon wasn’t seen until the following night.  If the month had 29 days, then the next pattern of “first day” and “seventh day” will shift forward by one day and then continue forward on 28 days again with each month having 4 Sabbaths and then repeating.   Today in our modern society, few people keep the true Sabbath of Father God, but instead they set a certain day such as Sunday or Saturday or Friday as their day of worship when they go to temples made with human hands.

What blesses Father God is pure worship and love for him from our heart and caring for the needs of our fellow humans.

Check out these verses from Isaiah 58 about what pleases God the Father:

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”   Isaiah 58

May we have the desire to draw near to HIM, our Heavenly Father, through faith and forgiveness found in his only begotten son Jesus who has shown us the truth and the way, and seek his face and learn his ways, and obey and be found faithful.

Be blessed!

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Where Are You Going?

Have you ever considered where your spirit will go when your physical life on earth has ended?

There is only one way that leads to eternal life with Father God.  It is through faith in Jesus as the only begotten son of God.  He asks us to repentant of our sins and offenses, and give obedience to him by loving Father God with all our heart, love our neighbor as we love ourselves, meeting the needs of our neighbors and family, and confessing our faith in Jesus before men and forgiving any offense.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  No man comes to Father God unless he has come through faith in Jesus and made him Lord and Savior of his heart.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18

I recently heard this song Wayfaring Stranger recorded by Sounds Like Reign.  The song is about traveling through this life as a stranger, redeemed by Jesus and looking forward to heaven and being with Father God.  It is a beautiful song.

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples,  If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”  Matthew 16: 24-27

Give your life to Jesus today.  Believe Jesus is the son of God who died and paid for your salvation with his own life, and rose again defeating the powers of sin and death.  Accept him as Lord of your life, confess your sins to him now and be saved.  The choice is yours.  Chose this day whom you will serve.  I pray you will chose life in Jesus.

Be blessed!

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Look Up

Thinking about the reunion.
It will be soon.
I hope you will be there.
When we meet the groom.

His dad sent the invitations.
I received mine and accepted.
I proclaimed my reservation to all who were receptive.

Some were willing to hear his message,
But not all appreciated the simple package.

Some laughed and said “about the return of Jesus you must be confused.
There are no miracles today, the prophets died long ago,
and the return of the groom is a long way away.
We would have heard it in our grand churches and in our pews.
Such an invitation would have come from the pastors with mega buildings,
fine words, and also those on TV who speak the news.”

Others hearts were too hard for the seed to penetrate.
Their hearts were filled with pride, bitterness, and hate.
Some laughed and said they’re busy and earning reputations and money
They would rather choose their own path rather than the path of one who willingly hung on a tree for you and me.

Many heard the news but most failed to make room.
Their calendars too full to pencil in the feast with the groom.
His Dad tried again, and again.
To remind them the appointed time of the wedding was soon.

Busy lives and reservations unanswered
But the Father’s love would not be hindered.
So he sent out more.  He even knocked on each door,
Before the end begins, He sent more messengers.
He is still calling and waiting for their answers.

It is just about time.
I am ready to go.  I can’t wait!
Be ready. Keep your lamps full and burning bright.
Look up. To this wedding we won’t be late!

Be Blessed Dear Friends.
Look up!  The time is drawing near for the return of Jesus for his bride.

And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:1- 14 

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New Day

We got up early and before it was light we headed out to the edge.   

We marched forward in the darkness, walking from hard dirt to shifting sand until we could not go any farther.

We had to stop.  We were created with specific strengths and limits and we had to stop and recognize our habitat ends at this line.  Who set this boundary?  Who drew this line in the sand?

In the darkness one might miss the clarity of this line.  But if your ears are open, then it is unmistakable that even in the dark there was a change in our path.  The roar of the water is mighty.  It’s song drowns out the sound of the city and the night.  It deafens the sound of motors and all other man-made creations. Someone incredible put this line here and gave it a mighty sound so even in darkness it was unmistakable.

It clearly defines the boundary below our feet.  There are no more roads, no cars, no buildings, no houses, no people, not even trees, no…this line of roaring waters defines a boundary line.

The sky was beginning to shine forth with light separating the day from the night.  Standing in one place looking to the east we saw the new day and to the west we still saw the night.  We were standing at a boundary line between domains of powerful waters and land, but also between times, between day and night.

The reality of this moment is surreal and amazing!  It is encouraging and we waited patiently for the light.

It climbed slowly and steadily.

The waters kept roaring.  Their pace was rhythmic and never changing.

The rhythm seemed as if it were trying to lure me to sleep, back and forth, back and forth.

But all my senses were awake.  I could smell the energy in the air, I could agree with the rhythm with each breath I took.  I could feel the steady pace of life just like my own heart beating.  I could taste the salty air as it passed my tongue and as it filled my lungs it electrified and recharged my body.

There is life in this rhythm.  It churns up oxygen and minerals that bubbles and froths and is teaming with new life.

Even the birds were excited.  They instinctively know the ebb and flow of the water brings abundance into their life and they find nourishment.

It bears witness to the Creator.

The living God.  There is none like him.  He is the provider.  He is the daily bread of heaven.  He is the water of life.   All those who come to him will be saved and will never thirst for eternity.

We met many others on the journey to the water’s edge.  They come to enjoy the inspiring moments of a new day as it dawns.

The light transforms our view.  It bounces all around before the sun even appears over the horizon.

Everything takes on a new vibrancy. Colors seem to pop! Details previously unseen suddenly overwhelm the senses and there is a new awareness.

The birds are very excited.  The growing light points out the location of their next meal.  They dance in the air above the waves in anticipation, expecting provision.  They do not worry.  Then when there is just enough light, they quickly dive into the water and select their free gifts for the day.

I am dancing too.  On the edge.  On the line.  In the moment I become part of the the rhythm and I dance and wait.

My feet are wet.  My toes tingle.  My nose is full of sweet salty air that energizes my breaths and my beating heart.  My eyes are drawn to the dawning light and I wait.

My spirit is encouraged.

I wait. I know it will be here soon.

My Father in Heaven set this plan in motion.

I can rejoice and dance as carefree as a little child.

I feel alive.  I trust my Father’s plan and provision completely.  He drew this line.  He put this boundary here.  I trust him.

The waves rise and fall and rise again, washing the shore.  The rhythm is a song in my heart and mind.  It reminds me there is a plan, it is not random.

He sent his only begotten son to redeem me, heal me, and wash me clean. My robe is washed by the lamb, Jesus, my savior.  God sent his son to redeem all those who would believe and call upon him.

It is a new day, a day the Lord God has made.

Sing about his goodness, I will sing about his provision for my needs.  I will tell the world about his love and his mercy.  I will praise his name forever.

In him only will I place my trust.  His plan is perfect.  His plan is in motion.  I will trust him with my life and my eternal home.

I will rejoice and be glad.

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Garden 2017 Aquaponics

Another Garden Project:

While we were building the garden beds for the 2017 garden season, we also got our aquaponics system up and running.   We currently have a small system that consists of one barrel cut into two parts, with a bell siphon, an outlet pipe, an inlet pipe, and a pump.  This simple aquaponics set up is called “barelponics”.

Setting up the barrel-ponics for 2017 growing season. Picture taken before all of the grow bed stone was added.

We have had this system for several years now and it has done a great job of producing salads and greens for us.   This small system can produce quite a bit of lettuce because lettuce is ready to harvest about every three weeks or so. It recirculates water that both nourishes the plants and raises fish.  The plants clean the water for the fish and the fish provide the nutrients for the plants.

Barrel-ponics set up a few years ago when it was new.

It used to looks a lot nicer when it was new. A few years in the sunshine has taken a toll on it.

I wasn’t able to set up the barrel last summer because the pump broke at the end of the growing season the summer before and we did not replace it when we moved.  However I did set it out on my back porch and it filled with rain water and we had the most fun growing tadpoles and watching them mature into frogs last summer.

For my birthday this year, my husband got me a new pump.  So as soon as the weather stayed above freezing during the day,  we got it up and running. We also had some stone leftover from when we gardened with it before to fill the growing bed on top, so the only thing we had to do was install the new pump.  My son built a stand to hold the growing tub above the barrel and this will make accessing the pump much easier than before when we had the growing bed sitting on the barrel.

I loved using this barrel in the past.  It was so easy to grow delicious greens for most of the year.  I had so much lettuce, celery, green onions, and sweet potato greens from this one barrel that it was unbelievable.

Summer 2015

We put fish in the bottom barrel of water and the pump sends the water to the plants in the top.  Then the water returns back down to the fish and the process repeats.  The nutrients feed the plants and the plants help clean the water.

I am excited to have the aquaponics up and running again.  I plan to raise romaine lettuce, sweet potato vines, and other leafy greens as well as fish for the table.

Lettuce growing in my window February 2017

The lettuce in this picture is from my kitchen window in February 2017.  I re-grow lettuce after making a salad by placing the base of the head of lettuce in some water and set it in the window.  Within a week or so, new roots shoot out from the base and new leaves grow and within a couple of weeks they are ready to harvest.  You can repeat this process several times.

I have used different containers to regrow lettuce from leftover lids, leftover water bottles, to basic dishes.  As long as the base of the head has access to water, it will regrow roots and as long as those roots have access to water the plant will provide harvest after harvest of fresh lettuce leaves.  It grows even better in an aquapoinics setup.

But to make a simple system for your window, just cut the top off a used water or soda bottle.  Turn the top upside down in the bottom and fill the bottom with water.  Set you plant in the top with the base of the plant touching the water. Set it in the window or under a grow lamp.  It will soon show signs of new growth and send out new roots and new leaves.

So after harvesting the new leaves off the plants from my window sill, I put the rest of the lettuce heads and the plants I had already grown to the seed stage into the top of the barrel garden bed and will grow them outside now that the weather is warming up. Besides lettuce leaves, I hope to harvest some seeds once they have gone to seed heads too.

First lettuce harvest of the year!  March 2017

The first harvest for 2017 of lettuce from the window sill provided enough greens for 4 delicious fresh salads.  This is a wonderful way to increase nutrition and because you are re-using the lettuce heads you would have otherwise thrown away, it is basically for free.  It is amazing how much additional lettuce it will still grow!  The harvest just keeps going and going!

Do You Love Me?

Someday I would love to have a bigger aquaponics set up and grow more food to give away.  For a small investment, you can grow hundreds to even thousands of pounds of food including fish in your aquaponics gardens and recoup your initial investment the first growing season.    Churches, coops, clubs, etc could set these up too, and if easily accessible to the public like at food pantries, parks, libraries and other places around town,  simple food gardens, food forests, and aquaponics would be great way to increase nutrition for the homeless, the needy, and an entire community of people too.

When we stand before the Lord on judgement day, he is going to look at a couple of things.  He doesn’t care about your house, car, job, education, income, vacations, clothes, etc.   But there is something he deeply cares about.

The first question that will be answered is do we love Jesus as our savior and believe he is the son of God who died for us and his blood cleanses us from our sins.  If we are his, then he will separate us who love him (his sheep) from those who are not his  and did not believe (the goats).

The second question he has for us is “did we obey him and give him food when he was  hungry?”.  This may sound confusing, but he is in the midst of us and he said what we do for others we do for him.  So he will ask us: “Did you feed me when I was hungry?  Did you give me drink when I was thirsty? Did you visit me when I was lonely?  etc.”

“ When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.”  

“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”

“ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:31-40

What will be your answer to his question?  What will be my answer?

Will he find us faithful stewards who fed him when he was hungry?

I hope each person reading this note today will someday soon hear him say “Well done good and faithful servant, enter in to the joy of the Lord”.

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Nuggets of Wisdom

The word of God written in the bible is full of FREE nuggets of wisdom. These nuggets are worth more than silver or gold!  Yet they are FREE!

In my bible study today, I was reading in Ecclesiastes and came across some nuggets of wisdom that are not the usual advice about how to live life that you might expect to see.  However, if you take a close look you just might find your life in contrast, especially if you live in a wealthy modern society. I think these passages represent a profound truth usually missed by most people.

Increase Wealth

This book in the bible was written by the man who is said to have had the most wisdom and riches of any man who ever lived.  He is also a man who made many many mistakes.  He wrote this book during a time of deep self examination.

I summarized from Ecclesiastes 1-5  especially 5: 9-20.

If we try to increase our abundance of things, we will never be satisfied.  Our “pursuit of abundance” will result in vanity.

When increase comes to us, we should use what we need to live with joy and share the rest with family and friends.  When increase from the earth comes, it is for all those who labor as well as for the king.  All are to enjoy the fruit (increase) of the labor.  When blessings come, they are for everyone to enjoy, not for one person or a few persons, to hoard.

The only blessing in this life that we have on earth that is of any lasting value is to have joy while we eat and drink and enjoy our family, and be happy with the work of our labor.  Everything else, every pursuit of anything else in life is vanity and will perish.

Everything else including trying to increase your possessions will vex (curse) your spirit and cause illness and cause you to loose sleep at night.  Nothing we can build will bring us lasting happiness and we will die naked the same way we were born with nothing in our hands.

This nugget of truth is the opposite of what we are taught to pursue in our modern culture.  If we could grasp this nugget, and apply it, we could be FREE of so much bondage.

Bondage

Is achieving the “American Dream” the pursuit of true wealth?  Will you come to the end of your life and realize you were mislead? Will you realize you spent your life in bondage and were never truly free?

What does vanity mean?

van·i·ty
1. lack of real value; hollowness; worthlessness
2. something worthless, trivial, or pointless.
3. excessive pride in one’s appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain; conceit:
4. an instance or display of this quality or feeling.
5. something about which one is vain or excessively proud

(quote from online dictionary)

So vanity is WORTHLESSNESS and Shelfishness and Pride.  Vanity is pride in one’s acheivements that actually result in a bound hollow pointless life.  It is worth less than what it boasts and pretends because it is an exaggeration of value. Vanity is the opposite pursuit of true wealth.

According the wisest and richest man who ever lived, wealth is not equivalent to things.   He said pursuit of things is bondage of spirit, like putting a curse upon one’s life, and is a vain pursuit that will result in nothing.

A person only needs what he can carry in his own hands to help him eat, drink, and enjoy his family and have joy in his work. All else is vanity in this world.

“Increase in wealth” should not also mean “increase in things”.  You can truly be wealthy and happy without stuff!

In modern society we are falsely shown that wealth equals owning a big house(s) or nice appartment in an expensive neighborhood, expensive cars, fancy trips and vacations, expensive clothes, college degree (s),  high ranking jobs that pay big incomes, expensive jewelry, eating at expensive restaurants, going to expensive sporting events and performances, etc.  It is all about having “things that represent riches”.

But will having a resume with a college degree, and work history of high paying incomes, owning a house in a nice neighborhood with two cars in the attached garage, a green manicured lawn, and money in the bank equal to a life of true wealth?  Is the abundance of things and money equal to real wealth?  Is riches the same as wealth?

This truth is free and will set you free!

Wealth is freedom from debt and bondage.

Wealth is freedom from competition.

Wealth is the ability to be happy and joyful and sleep without worry.

Wealth is freedom from people pleasing.

True wealth is being happy simply by being content with eating and drinking with family and friends and with the work you do, while you live in a place of the size that provides just what you need to live a simple life and the ability to share the abundance of the increase with others.

As I thought about these truths, I realized this nugget of truth that wealth is being FREE from vain pursuits, I felt as though I had discovered an amazing treasure.  

Reducing possessions to a level that is “just what is needed” to happily work (not struggle or be discourage to earn a living) and eat (nutritious food) and drink (pure clean water) and sleep well (at peace) while you enjoy the company of family and friends in your community is real wisdom!  This should be the American dream and the pursuit of all of humanity.

The truth in the bible is free for everyone.  It shows us how to avoid living a vain worthless life.  Salvation is free for everyone too.  Jesus came to save everyone who calls on his name and accepts him as their savior and obeys him.  He told us to love God with all our heart and love our neighbor as we love our own self and share our abundance and meet their needs.  The bible also says that the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom and that true wisdom is worth more than silver or gold.

There are nuggets of truth in the bible worth more than silver and gold and if you apply them you will live a life that is wealthy, blessed, and wise!

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Pursuits?

What are you “chasing” after?

“Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14

“He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.”  Proverbs 21:21

“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”  Matthew 19:29 

“Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.”  Mark 10:21

“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.”   Revelation 3:8 

It seems to me that God has made it very clear that he doesn’t want us to chase after cars and trucks, houses, careers, college degrees, sports, hobbies, land, animals, plants, possessions, food, unrighteousness, sins, addictions, time, money, families, vanity and body image, popularity, planets and outer space, science and technology, medical, or anything else.

God wants to be the rhythm and passion of our life.  He alone is the reason for every breath we take, and every day we walk this earth.  He wants us to turn to him for every plan we make and every need or desire that we have. He wants us to be content with his answers to our requests. He wants to talk to our heart and fellowship with us every day. He wants us to sing about his goodness and tell our children, friends, and neighbors about him.

He want’s us to PURSUE HIM.

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Love Is Patient

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Loving others isn’t always easy.  It is hard to love when you are offended.  It is hard to love when you are angry.

I have been praying about how to help my kids solve their disagreements with their siblings in a loving way. Lately a couple of them seem to get on each other’s nerves a lot more.  I have six kids, the older two are heading out of puberty and seldom get into big arguments, and two are younger, but the middle two are heading into puberty and lately argue with each other a lot. After having gone through the “preteen years with the older two already, and now with the next two repeating the pattern, it seems preteen puberty has an affect on tolerance and attitude.

Though we have been teaching them about love, forgiveness, and getting along since the beginning of their lives, I feels sometimes like I am starting over in some way, like they forgot what they knew.  Before puberty, they used to be more patient and kind and generous and gracious in their attitude.  But currently they are easily offended. Right now, one day they are best friends and the next day words spoken by the other person feels like a verbal jab or a put down even when it wasn’t intended that way. So I am in the process of teaching them about loving the other person all over again.

So where do I begin?

Like I said, this is something I have been praying and asking the Lord to point me in the right direction.   This is a temporary phase kids go through as they head into puberty, so I have to give them some simple steps they can take to help them work through their feelings and chose to react to the other person with understanding and giving them the benefit of the doubt and not assuming the other wants to offend them.

Today I am focusing on solving an argument with “Love“.   Love is an action. Loving someone else you don’t want to love, or someone who has offended you requires something from you.   When you love,  it results in growth in your character as you make room to overlook the offense, overlook differences, overlook your own wants and put the other persons wants and needs in front of yours.   Choosing to argue is an option and choosing not to argue is another option.

“The man replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.’ They also say, ‘Love your neighbors as much as you love yourself.” Luke 10:27

Choosing to forgive and love the other person is what God desires from us. God is love.  He wants us to be gracious, to extend grace to each other and offer each other a helping hand.  He wants us to show pure love towards each other.  When we love others and forgive them we show that we belong to God, that he is our Heavenly Father.

Love is is a choice.  Love is patient and endures.

Be blessed!

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Sunset At The Beach

Have you ever watched the setting of the sun at the beach?

It is such a beautiful site.

We spent a November evening on a North Carolina beach watching the sun go down.

The Fall air was cool and crisp, but we didn’t let that hinder our joy.

There is something very special and exciting about being at the water’s edge.

The colors in the sky were beautiful!

The smell of the ocean and the sensation of breathing in the salty air is a completely different experience than our day to day experience.  If feels energizing, like it is renewing something inside the body and the mind.

I could watch the ocean and sky for hours and never get tired of the view.

The sand feels amazing and was cool to the touch.  We collected some seashells along the beach.

We saw a flock of pelicans flying above us.

Even though it was chilly, we decided to get our feet wet.

We tried to catch the waves coming into the shore.

The waves and the pull of the under tow current were quite powerful and knocked us off our feet several times.

One fella didn’t want to get wet.  He said it was too cold.

But the rest of the group was eager to get wet from head to toe even though we only agreed to get our “feet” wet.

Even though the water was cold and the current was strong, I enjoyed getting my feet in the water too.  The waves kept a constant rhythm with perfect timing.

It felt so peaceful.

We enjoyed an evening walk on the beach and walked to a fishing peer not far from where we played.

The sun set was stunning behind the peer.

It gave the appearance of a glowing fire off in the distance.

The fishing peer went out so far and then was blocked at the end.  It seemed as if the peer would have gone further, but perhaps had been lost in a storm.

Even though a major hurricane, Hurricane Matthew, had come through days earlier,  the rest of the peer was still in good standing and many folks were using it for fishing and enjoying the evening.

I loved the contrast of the peer and the evening sky and ocean waves.

You could sense the determination of this peer to withstand whatever the elements of nature could beat it with.

The structure seemed to rebel against the constant waves, the salty air, and the gusts of wind.

The setting sun was gorgeous!  It peered through the dark clouds sandwiched between the sky and the water.

This experience reminds us of what it might of been like at the beginning. The bible talks about the beginning.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.”

Genesis 1:1-10

Looking away from the sun, in the opposite direction, the sky and the water seemed to be a reflection of each other, a matching blue that seemed to go on forever.

But looking towards the sunset, the colors were vibrant and seemed layered like a rainbow that had been deconstructed.


Sitting above the waves, felts as if we were sitting on them.   Resting on the benches of the peer was a special experience. 

The peer puts you out on the water, away from the shore.

Though you are sitting still, everything around you is in motion and has a rhythm of it’s own.  Everything is moving with a beat, the water, the sky, the salty air on your face, and the sound it all makes has a nourishing rhythm that feeds the soul.

All your senses are enhanced and focused on the beat, the soothing sound of the moving water and the amazing colors of the sky.


After we watched the sun set, we walked up the beach a little bit further for some food.  Later we came back outside to watch the beach in the darkness.

We sat on the steps of a small gazebo looking out over the water.  It was so peaceful.

A long way out, there was a small twinkle of light from ships on the water. 

We could also see the lights of the fishing peer reflect on the water.

But otherwise, we could no longer depend on our eyes to understand our environment.  We could not see the sky, and we could not see the water, we could only sense they were still there in the darkness.

Instead of using our eyes, we tuned our ears to the sounds of the night.  All we could hear was the familiar sound of the waves hitting the beach in a soothing rhythm.  It was peaceful.

The older kids and I wanted to stay outside all night, but the younger kids and daddy were getting sleepy, so it was time to head inside.  Bedtime seemed to come too quickly, yet we welcomed the end of this day feeling relaxed and renewed.

We definitely want to experience the sun setting on the beach again soon.

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