Who determines our path?

Morning light

Nebuchadnezzar was certain that he was top dog, the alpha! That was until he encountered the true Alpha who was also known as Omega, the beginning and the end. The Most High loved this pride-filled man enough to teach him an extreme lesson. By the end of the experience, Nebuchadnezzar was giving PRAISE to someone other than himself! #miracle #transformation

When the Most High is acknowledged we become part of an eternal plan. His everlasting dominion endures throughout generations! If anyone tries to stop God’s hand, asking “what have you done?”…they are not acknowledged, so puny are their voices (should they dare to lift them).

Am I acknowledging those with puny voices? (my own insecurities)

Or, do I trust God’s work as right and his ways as just? Most importantly, have I humbled myself before the Most High? – Teresa #thanks #giving

Daniel 4:34-36 (ESV)

34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,

for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?”

36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Planning vs. Doing

Proactivity avoids reactivity

There are two ways to approach the topic of overthinking. One is to say this is not good because we can get stuck in the planning or hypothetical stage of our lives. Another is to say we are being proactive vs. reactive, since every activity starts with a well-thought-out plan.

Personally, I like to endorse a proactive approach to life. “Keep a few irons in the fire” is a good mantra for me so that if one fizzles out, I will have the others to fall back on. But then again, my greatest fear is being bored!

For the analytic social style, they may go deep into one subject or activity in order to become an expert or virtuoso. On the other hand, they must fight against “paralysis by overanalysis”.

If we are so busy with planning our future, then we may fail to do what is most necessary for those around us now. Being faithful in the little things will help us finish well and see an eternal glory (2 Cor 4:17).

Keeping our eyes focused on the Lord, not our future, will keep us grounded for doing the right thing and being present in the moment. -Teresa #mystery #seeingsupernatural #mayBEcommon

James 4:14-17 (ESV)

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

Image: http://pexels.com

Christ’s reproach is wealth?

Identify with Him #JesusChristtheLord

When Moses chose to identify with the Hebrew slaves vs. Egyptian royalty, he understood that his reward was not of this earth. #enduredreproach

He led millions of people out of Egypt in a tremendous display of faith in God. #supernaturalfeat

He was faithful in God’s house to care for God’s people (those who also lived by faith). This led to tremendous wealth. Not only did they plunder the Egyptians but God kept their provisions like new.

When God is on my side I let go of worry and find joy in His provision daily.- Teresa #lookingtoHisjoyfulreward #livinginHispresence #nextgenerationwealth #theystandonourshoulders #character

Hebrews 10:23-31 (ESV) bold added

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

Image: pexels.com

Tea Time

Tea and Cardamom Rolls with mom

Sometimes just taking time to sit down for a cup of tea with friends is enough to feel better about the day.

Human contact and taking time to bake for others provides oil/perfume, it makes us glad!

Earnest counsel may not always be expected but certainly makes people feel good when we let them expresss who they are (not who we think they should be).

Controlling others is certainly not friendship but loving them is friendship by allowing them to be free to express who they are. We can smile and feel blessed that they allowed us to have a sneak peak into their authentic soul.

– Teresa #gratefulfortruefriends #gratefulforthehumantouch #outofmycomfortzone

Proverbs 27:9

Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.[a]

A generation yet to come

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When I lie awake in the wasteland of my thoughts, I feel like the desert owl. Then, the LORD looks down to lift me up to this beautiful place called Zion.

He rescues all those who look to the Savior there. He remembers the promise fulfilled on Mount Moriah of a better sacrifice for the sin of the people.

We are on this earth for such a short time- our life is but a vapor compared to eternity (Ps.91).

Generations to come have yet to hear the good news. Because God is faithful, they will!

-Teresa #wisdomwithtears #lonelinessforapurpose #drawneartoHim

Psalm 102:1-22 (ESV)

102 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
let my cry come to you!
2 Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my distress!
Incline your ear to me;
answer me speedily in the day when I call!

3 For my days pass away like smoke,
and my bones burn like a furnace.
4 My heart is struck down like grass and has withered;
I forget to eat my bread.
5 Because of my loud groaning
my bones cling to my flesh.
6 I am like a desert owl of the wilderness,
like an owl[a] of the waste places;

7 I lie awake;
I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.
8 All the day my enemies taunt me;
those who deride me use my name for a curse.
9 For I eat ashes like bread
and mingle tears with my drink,
10 because of your indignation and anger;
for you have taken me up and thrown me down.
11 My days are like an evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.

12 But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
you are remembered throughout all generations.
13 You will arise and have pity on Zion;
it is the time to favor her;
the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants hold her stones dear
and have pity on her dust.
15 Nations will fear the name of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory.
16 For the Lord builds up Zion;
he appears in his glory;
17 he regards the prayer of the destitute
and does not despise their prayer.

18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord:
19 that he looked down from his holy height;
from heaven the Lordlooked at the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners,
to set free those who were doomed to die,
21 that they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,
and in Jerusalem his praise,
22 when peoples gather together,
and kingdoms, to worship the Lord
.

Jeremiah, the weeping prophet

http://pexels.com We have a good Dad watching us!

Have you ever talked with a two year old? You may have noticed the excessive use of the word “no”. As much as you reason, they are geared to assert their independence. Of course, this is healthy to a certain degree.

Jeremiah, God’s prophet, was asked by the people to inquire of God where they should go. When he revealed God’s answer, immediately the people said “no”!

Their assertion was not as cute as a two year old. In fact, it was grievous enough to God that He told them in no uncertain terms that what they feared and were running from (by going to Egypt), would follow them there. (Aka the Babylonians)

How often do my fears put me on the run? Instead of relaxing and moving ahead steadily as God lays out the plan, I can waste so much energy with a knee-jerk reaction.

God has promised to direct our paths as we trust Him wholeheartedly. (Proverbs 3:5,6)

Many times I’ve referred to myself as Jeremiah, especially when God touches my heart about an “impossible” person or situation. When I cry, my husband will comfort me by saying…from your tears to God’s heart.

I remind myself that God has each one of us uniquely suited to His plan. Our job is not to shout “no” to what seems impossible.- Teresa #blessedarethosewhomourn #theywillbecomforted #giveusaheartforyou#faith

Jeremiah 43: 1-13 (ESV)

43 When Jeremiah finished speaking to all the people all these words of the Lord their God, with which the Lordtheir God had sent him to them,2 Azariah the son of Hoshaiah and Johanan the son of Kareah and all the insolent men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie. The Lord our God did not send you to say, ‘Do not go to Egypt to live there,’ 3 but Baruch the son of Neriah has set you against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they may kill us or take us into exile in Babylon.” 4 So Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces and all the people did not obey the voice of the Lord, to remain in the land of Judah.5 But Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces took all the remnant of Judah who had returned to live in the land of Judah from all the nations to which they had been driven— 6 the men, the women, the children, the princesses, and every person whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan; also Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch the son of Neriah. 7 And they came into the land of Egypt, for they did not obey the voice of the Lord. And they arrived at Tahpanhes.

8 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes: 9 “Take in your hands large stones and hide them in the mortar in the pavement that is at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah, 10 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will set his throne above these stones that I have hidden, and he will spread his royal canopy over them. 11 He shall come and strike the land of Egypt, giving over to the pestilence those who are doomed to the pestilence, to captivity those who are doomed to captivity, and to the sword those who are doomed to the sword. 12 I shall kindle a fire in the temples of the gods of Egypt, and he shall burn them and carry them away captive. And he shall clean the land of Egypt as a shepherd cleans his cloak of vermin, and he shall go away from there in peace. 13 He shall break the obelisks of Heliopolis, which is in the land of Egypt, and the temples of the gods of Egypt he shall burn with fire.’”

Help and comfort

*a bit of help (caffeine) and comfort (latte)

No matter our profession or purpose in life, there will always be naysayers. Reading the book of Jeremiah, my husband and I were surprised by how many times he had to stand up to false teachers.

Importantly, help and comfort can be ours when we encounter difficult situations. We must realize the difference between God’s mercy and grace and the worldly-minded naysayer. When put on a balance, God is much “weightier”. Who’s opinion really matters most?

Basking in the comfort that comes from understanding God’s character, we begin to withdraw from the war and receive His help. There is no conflict when we are confident in His favor!

Psalm 89:14-17 (ESV)-

– Teresa #strength #salvation #turntome #Seekingyourface

14 O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

16 Turn to me and be gracious to me;
give your strength to your servant,
and save the son of your maidservant.
17 Show me a sign of your favor,
that those who hate me ma
y see and be put to shame
because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Who is dear to you?

*babies and moms express God’s heart of care

Gentleness is depicted in this photo along with absolute trust. Even now, two birds are taking their morning bath in my front yard, trusting the gentle water to cleanse them while enveloped by serenity and safety.

Paul saw the need for this with new believers. When troublemakers came attempting to bring conflict, Paul endured much pain for the sake of those who were still young in the faith.

Are we willing to suffer for those who receive the gospel? Are total strangers dear enough to us that we will not only refuse money/profit but endure discomfort for their sake?

Flattering words may produce “fast friends” but authentic encouragement will be highly influential to the next generation of believers.

– Teresa #joyintheHolySpirit #leadstosharingourownself

1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:8English Standard Version

Greeting

1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace.

The Thessalonians’ Faith and Example

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly[a] mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers[b] loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Paul’s Ministry to the Thessalonians

2 For you yourselves know, brothers,[c] that our coming to you was not in vain. But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery,[d] as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle[e] among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Thessalonians 1:2 Or without ceasing
  2. 1 Thessalonians 1:4 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi(translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters
  3. 1 Thessalonians 2:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 9, 14, 17
  4. 1 Thessalonians 2:5 Or with a flattering speech
  5. 1 Thessalonians 2:7 Some manuscripts infants

*http://pexels.com photo credit*

Losing all

*to gain what we love sometimes means losing what we value

Paul had amazing “religious” credentials, nevertheless he was willing to give up their value in order to gain Christ.

He could have chosen to be well respected and stand in the light of his credentials but he chose to be looked on by the world as “nothing”. In so doing, he brought many to glory. It was his passion to only know Christ and him crucified.

My righteousness must originate from faith in Christ alone. He has become the lover of my soul and the passion of my life. Losing what I value (i.e. achieving goals and starting non-profits) becomes easy in light of this great love.

What has He called you to lay down in light of achievements? – Teresa #powerfulOne #myprovider #IamHisandHeismine

Philippians 3: 4b-21 (ESV)

If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law,[a] blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Straining Toward the Goal

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. 18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

*photo credit http://pexels.com