Satiating water

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Are you thirsty? Jesus promises the Holy Spirit (aka comforter) to those who become part of God’s family.

When my husband and I returned from a year of ministry in North Africa, I was actively seeking God’s plan. I was reading the prophet, Isaiah, who spoke about my thirst being quenched and my hunger being satisfied as part of God’s covenant promise that was worthy of my trust. I felt the inner moving of the Holy Spirit remind me that although I thought we were leaving the opportunity of full-time ministry, instead we were returning to an even more dire spiritual need in America (involving “life-time” ministry).

Do you have the resources to buy food and drink that are considered “fine”? If not, God offers the finest food and drink to all of us without cost.

What holds us back then from partaking in Christ’s offer? If it’s not money (resources) or understanding (2 Peter 1:21), then it must be will.

The spiritual battle for the hearts of mankind remains amidst the tremendous offer of eternal life.

Why? This type of faith requires a death to “self”, which means it may not feel comfortable. Enduring what is considered the “cross” (identifying with Christ), means not my will but the Father’s be done.

Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection becomes my perspective and history as well. It’s possible to be fully loved (sated) yet fully involved in God’s purposes around me (not always comfortable). It may not appear as I thought it should “look”.

For example, I can’t judge my worth (i.e. no one sees me) by how I’m viewed in a large church (business-run model vs early house-church model). This is not proof of God’s value system. My seminary professor and ministry mentor, Dr. David Eckman says it like this, “You are worth a Son to God!” This truth may be the most needed message in America today.

Amongst us, people are most valued for their skills or ability to buy the latest and greatest. Our Heavenly Father delighted in us even while we were still sinners, He sent His Son to die for us-giving us the opportunity to be made right, spiritually.

Thank you, Father, for the gift of faith!! …even as small as a mustard seed, I see that you are making it grow and spread exponentially for Your purpose. -Teresa #lovedbeyondallmeasure #trustHim #nowthatissatisfying

John 7: 37-39 (ESV)

37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as[a] the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Isaiah 55: 1-3 NET

The Lord Gives an Invitation
“Hey, all who are thirsty, come to the water!
You who have no money, come!
Buy and eat!
Come! Buy wine and milk
without money and without cost! 2
Why pay money for something that will not nourish you?
Why spend your hard-earned money on something that will not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me and eat what is nourishing!
Enjoy fine food! 3
Pay attention and come to me!
Listen, so you can live!
Then I will make an unconditional covenantal promise to you,
just like the reliable covenantal promises I made to David.

Redeemed

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Ruth 3: 6-13 (ESV)

6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her.7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! 9 He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings[c] over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” 10 And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman. 12 And now it is true that I am a redeemer. Yet there is a redeemer nearer than I. 13 Remain tonight, and in the morning, if he will redeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, as the Lord lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.”

Being covered or protected by an influential man in the community meant the survival and prosperity of this particular tribe of Israel (Judah).

Btw…Judah had been a harsh father- in- law to Tamar but God blessed her with twin boys: Perez and Zerah (Genesis 38). God was actively involved in the preservation of His chosen people.

Likewise, Ruth would eventually be part of the lineage of King David (of the tribe of Judah). The title, Lion of the tribe of Judah, would be passed on to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Great Article about Jesus as the Lion and the Lamb

I can’t help but ponder how this passage inspires us, when we waver spiritually. Will we go back to our biological family (Moab) or will we choose to be “born again“ into a new family. This is a spiritual beginning when we come willingly to the redeemer of our soul.

Every day we have a choice to nurture the needs of the flesh or to walk by faith into what God has planned for us. Don’t assume, just ask and God will see this to completion.

Father, you provide so plentifully, beyond all that we can ask or imagine. – Teresa #richlyloved

Road trip

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Does the thought of going on a road trip make you happy? I remember going on an 8-hour drive, with my niece driving. Her commentary on the way (along with her expressiveness) had me laughing almost the entire time. Sometimes, the mundane or boring events can bring about our best memories.

In this passage, Jesus wanted to be with Cleopas and his fellow traveler. Neither the walk nor the road were as important as the company he was with and the teaching experience it provided.

Jesus wants to be near us when we doubt. He wants to fill our hearts with the passion of His love burning brightly. When was the last time you knew that Jesus wanted to show you something, teach you a new concept from the Bible or to help you believe the Father’s love for you in a way that you never thought possible?

Listen to this song to begin opening your heart to Him as Savior and Lord of your life. https://youtu.be/pKF_nNh4n8c (CeCe Winans- Goodness of God). I had to listen twice- first time in “face down” prayer, confessing all the hurts in my life (that keep me from singing about God’s goodness right now). Second time, with hands raised and knowing His peace that passes all understanding, grateful for His presence and comfort.

Lord, help us to “recognize” you as we rejoice always, pray without ceasing and in everything give you thanks. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18) #Hiswill #ourmatureresponse #gratitude

-Teresa #joyisbetterthanhappy

Luke 21:13-33 (ESV)

On the Road to Emmaus

13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened.22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning,23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” 25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther,29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

Inheritance

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My father was a good man, he left an inheritance of faith and responsibility to his children’s children (through his kids). He worked faithfully to care for all his needs and the needs of his family.

As a yearling, a young buck may feel that he doesn’t have much to give. Not my father, even in his younger years, he was handling the responsibility of his father’s land, property and the needs of his mother. (Since my grandfather died at a young age).

This type of faithful work, which some may consider boring or not very “Spirit-led”, is actually a difficult task. If we are faithful in these difficult things, God blesses us with more. The little things include how to manage money well and the application turns into having enough left over to share in community with others (i.e. not putting it on credit).

The heart to share with others comes through the impact of the good news of the gospel. As God changes us from the inside out, we are transformed to see His gifts as a blessing.

I’m not talking about robbing from Peter to pay Paul or being a “Robin Hood” (stealing from the rich to give to the poor). I’m talking about doing the hard work over many years even when it’s boring. God honors this when it is done through faith.

There will always be a few trying to scam others, or hoping to get something for nothing. In the end, God metes out justice…as the writer of Proverbs says, “The sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous”.

There are times when injustice prevails in our world, we are called to help during those times as Christ’s church. Lord, please open our eyes to the needs you see around us. Please give us your faith to reach out and touch them for your sake. – Teresa #responsibility #faith

Proverbs 13:20-23English Standard Version

20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
21 Disaster[a] pursues sinners,
but the righteous are rewarded with good.
22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
23 The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food,
but it is swept away through injustice.

What died?

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Although the kingdom of God was not recognized by the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, it was in their midst. He became a “gate”way for the sheep to enter in. (John 10:7)

In much the same way, when this current period of time known as the “church age” (that we live in now) is over, “the way into God’s kingdom” will not be found again. The gate will be shut and sealed. Think of the time when Noah shut the door of the ark and God sealed it.

That same time is when the revelation of the Son of Man will be Mighty and Awesome! That day will be astoundingly apparent (as much as the kingdom of God was hidden in Jesus’ day).

Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Are you part of God’s kingdom? It may not be outwardly evident to others in relation to the world’s standards of success. The good news is that God sees the heart. He knows those who are His.

Where will the revelation of the Son of Man happen? It will be known by the gathering of vultures.

You may ask, “what died in order for all these vultures to be gathered”? It may be that the fleshly man has been put to death in order to be joined to His life-giving spirit. #resurrection

-Teresa

#whoeverseekstoperservehislifewilloseit #whoeverloseshislifewillkeepit

Luke 17: 20-37 (ESV)

The Coming of the Kingdom

20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”[c]

22 And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. 24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.[d] 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— 30 so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. 32 Remember Lot’s wife.33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. 34 I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. 35 There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.”[e]37 And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse[f] is, there the vultures[g] will gather.”

A grain of mustard seed

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How can I have God’s kingdom influence my life? Although it may seem small or insignificant, I can exercise my faith (aka trust) in God’s word.

As small as a mustard seed is, I am amazed at how pervasive it is. We drove to Morro Bay a while back and there was a mudslide that blocked the 2-lane highway ahead. Our 2-hour trip turned into 5 hours. I had way too much time to study the mustard in the fields, beautiful and bright. We also listened to a Louis L’Amour book on tape . The story describing the early American landscape only served to accent the beauty out the car window.

When I start feeling insecure about the kingdom of this world, I think of the mustard field. Just remember that the more seeds of faith that are planted in our lives, the more established God’s kingdom becomes.

– Teresa # beautifulandbright

Luke 13:18-21 (ESV)

The Mustard Seed and the Leaven

18 He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”

20 And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”

Redeemed and bought back

http://pexels.com …so sweet!!

Although it’s my birthday this week, I am reminded of a very sweet gift given to me when I was around 5 years old.

My mom prayed with me to receive Jesus as the Savior of my life. You may ask what does a child need to be saved from? They are usually pretty amazing and cute!!

So I’m told that I was an easy baby and loved to watch my older brother and sister. But on Easter Sunday, I was caught crawling across the room in order to uncover their hidden chocolate bunnies, and proceeded to devour them!! I was probably about one-year old.

Truly, I still love to eat sweets and if I wish to take something from another, may try to do it “under cover” or at least in my mind make up a good reason it should be mine. (Not outright stealing, only a good amount of rationalizing, especially re: left-over dessert)

Nevertheless, one thing I do know is that we are all born with a sin nature (thanks to Adam). Nobody is perfect!

The sweetest part of the Bible’s message is that God knows us. The curse of the law reminds us that we have a sin nature and no one can keep the law perfectly. (Romans 3:23)

God sent His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord, to take the penalty of the law’s death sentence for sin. (Romans 6:23) He also reminded us that this is a gift that must be received. (John 1:12)

Yes, being made right with God is beyond our human condition. But humbling ourselves to receive His gift is well within our ability. (Mark 10:15)

Happy spiritual Birthday to anyone who took a moment to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior today. You are now redeemed or bought back for God’s purpose.

-Teresa #kingdomofGod #Romans5:8 #newcreation

Deuteronomy 21: 22,23 (ESV)

A Man Hanged on a Tree Is Cursed

22 “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.

Galations 3:13 (KJV)

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14

Mark 10:15 (NIV)

15 “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Enter in

Staying true

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Our baptism is a witness to the One who is Lord of our hearts. Another witness is the passing of faith to our children and children’s children. Each child must make a personal decision but blessed are those who see/hear their parents and grandparents live out their faith.

Our promised land may look different than what the children of Israel experienced, but it is no less miraculous! #newheartoflesh #oldheartofstone

What makes the difference in our lives? Why are shy people willing to take a stand for Jesus Christ the LORD and feel a bit uncomfortable? #baptism

What is it that you cannot stop talking about? That is where your heart is! For out of the heart, our mouth speaks. The passionate heart wants others to know how wonderful “HE” is. #love #witness

By staying true to God Almighty, we acknowledge Jesus, His Son, who was sent to deliver us from the curse of sin. I cannot tell you how beautiful it is to know that when others speak anger, God speaks the language of love. #valueandworth

When we are passionately in love, we are jealous for that relationship. That is how much God loves you. – Teresa #staytrue #Heisjealousforyou

Deutoronomy 6: 4-9 (ESV)

4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[g] 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to 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. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build,11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. 14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— 15 for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

Matthew 15: 3-20 (NIV)

3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

  but their hearts are far from me.

8 ” ‘These people honor me with their lips,

9 They worship me in vain;

their teachings are merely human rules.'”

10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”

13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”

16 “Are you still so dull?”Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts-murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

Lighter than a breath

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As we look for solid ground to stand on: remember not to look to a “living” person or thing (everything that has breath).

And definitely don’t look to a delusion of grandeur: everything that can change on a whim.

Instead, look to that which is steady and unchanging. When God weighs our worth, He reminds us that we are valuable. His glory and image is within each and every human creation. It is up to us to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ the LORD and to receive Him onto the throne of our lives.

Did we somehow forget who it is that makes us stand on solid ground? Is it easier to care more about what “people” say or what others portray as images of a high estate? #throwingawaymyheart

Steadfast love is a gift not easily replicated. It must be substantiated to be authentic. We can easily see through those who speak a bunch of BS, but God’s gift speaks louder than mere words. #Love

His supreme action was giving His Son for the sin of the world (John 3:16). This truth is greater than any other evidence of our worth.

If I haven’t floated away on a breeze of anonymity, then I am securely weighted with the valuable truth of God’s love for me. -Teresa

#maranatha #eternityinourhearts #asolidfortress #myheartChristshome

Psalm 81:9 (ESV)

9 Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.

Getting relief from the load

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Imagine all the worries of your daily life as boulders piled into a dump truck. When you dump it and drive away there is a significant savings in fuel costs aka brain space, not to mention wear and tear on the suspension and tires aka health/wellness.

Last fall, my husband and I did a “clean- up” of our backyard. This involved shoveling the fallow soil from our old planter boxes into a U-haul trailer rental. We worked hard and our reward was to get the lower price (4-hour rate vs. 8-hour rate).

When we released the lever at the DUMP, we felt so much relief. Going back to weigh the vehicles, we were given a price for disposal and realized the extreme weight of our load- 3.6 TONS!

In this Psalm, King David is speaking about a very low time in His life. He experienced the betrayal of one of his closest advisers and friends (Ahithophel)- read 2 Samuel 15-17. This was weighty!!

I encountered this Psalm shortly after the untimely death of my younger brother. My question to God was: “Why, Lord, did my brother take his own life”?

Verse 22 jumped off the page as I realized that we are all at risk of being overburdened and failing to cast on God what is not ours to bear (i.e. it could be a spouse’s infidelity or other relationship, it could be financial troubles or pressures that may cause a downcast soul). The answer is to “cast our cares upon the LORD”. If He is able to sustain His creation daily in this galaxy- where everything is spinning delicately in space, then He is able to sustain us- who are part of His creation.

Our job is to keep casting every crushing burden onto His capable shoulders. Casting does not mean just thinking it through but applying an energetic, purposeful explosion of spiritual muscle contractions (faith). In other words, this burden does not belong here so let me exercise my faith in the Almighty. He is telling the truth about us through His Word so we are not doomed to be held captive by another’s lies.

I burned so many calories the day we shoveled 3.6 tons of dirt in 4 hours. We were intentional in our job and God provided the strength. Of course,physical activity is much better than stewing in emotional duress. Let this remind us to exercise our faith, not just ponder it.

Sometimes we need to trust God for an extra oomph of strength to take our next step of faith. He promises to sustain us! -Teresa #turningtoGodnotdealersofalsesolutions #trustintheONEwhokeepsmefromfalling

Psalm 55:22 (ESV)

22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.