I worked for Kaiser Permanente for 17 years, longest role being an RN nurse manager. I also completed my seminary graduate studies diploma in Christian Ministry in 2013 from Western Seminary. My ministry involves loving my family at home, team building in the community and joyfully proclaiming the gospel monthly at the Sacramento Union Gospel Mission weekly and online through this blog. I've been married for almost 40 years to Michael Anderson. We love our 4 children, son-in-law and three grandchildren!!
There is much wisdom in the house of mourning (see Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 KJV 2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.)
I’ve been refreshed with a trip back to my childhood home (near Lake Superior). Seeing so many wonderful people, I am reminded of the value of community and caring for one another.
I feel honored to have a place like this. Looking out at nature‘s brilliance, God’s mercy and grace move me. Mercy = not getting the repercussions I deserve and grace= receiving freely of more than I could ever earn.
This passage struck me as an example of that. Although Paul had been taken as a prisoner, he continued to show God’s mercy and grace to his fellow passengers about to shipwreck. When we keep giving to others (no matter our circumstance), we will be blessed. – Teresa #griefheals #taketimetomourn
Acts 26:33-38 (ESV)
33 As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength,[c] for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” 35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. 36 Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 (We were in all 276[d] persons in the ship.) 38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.
Psalms chapter one begins by reminding us of God’s provision. The children of Israel (12 tribes of Jacob) relied on physical prosperity to advance their influence, thereby blessing the world with the knowledge of ONE God, YHWH.
During my time in seminary, I learned that the Old Testament used the word blessing over and over to describe God’s covenant with His people. They obeyed His Law and He provided provision and security.
We too, who live under The New Covenant (Jeremiah 31: 31-34) have God’s provision and security in the spiritual realm. The river of His Holy Spirit nourishes our lives to bear fruit and helps us live Christlike (the fruit of the Spirit is listed in Galatians 5:22,23).
I still delight in God’s word, the Bible. At 9 years old, I heard our pastor preach about the importance of having a daily input of God’s influence on our lives. He challenged us to spend time daily in the Word. He said we would never regret the good influence it would have on our lives. I took up the challenge and fell in love with these ancient writings that are still so applicable today.
1 Blessed is the man[a] who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
When Hannah prayed silently and promised her son to God, the priest accused her of being drunk.
Women have endured misunderstanding for their true devotion for generations. Is it because their expression of love for God have been misconstrued by how others in the culture (i.e. male dominated leadership) would speak about or to them?
I have even heard women casting slurs on each other (to be popular with those in leadership)? I firmly believe that every church needs a woman’s pastor with equal authority to the men’s pastor, who can help shepherd women and children.
If men would not go to a woman with a “spiritual issue”, then why would a woman go to a man (who does not understand how a woman thinks)?
Of course every pastor/leader (whether for men or women) should be equally equipped. You wouldn’t make your husband have surgery done by your surgeon’s husband- who has never been to med school- just because he’s the “surgeon’s” spouse. Why are women relegated to the “pastor’s” spouse (who have had no official training in seminary) to oversee the women’s ministry? Just saying, if it’s important for men, then it’s equally important for women to have equipped leaders.
I view Paul as being a forward thinker in his generation. Many make overall rules based on his writings, forgetting the cultural implications of the day that no longer apply. For instance, women at that time were not educated in the same way as the men and therefore asked to be silent in church (so they could ask their questions at home, of their husbands).
In this passage, Paul demonstrated his ability to bring the gospel successfully to the Greek culture. Even so, we are challenged today to address issues of society that are different from centuries ago.
Damaris (see below), Lydia and Priscilla are just three examples of women believers/leaders in the early church whom Paul trusted and named.
– Teresa #transformedbyHim #givenaname
*photo from pexels.com
Acts 17: 22-34 (ESV)
Paul Addresses the Areopagus
22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for
“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d] as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e] 29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
It really doesn’t matter what the “look” is, dads work from home. The lessons in real life that are taught by our fathers have lasting impacts, usually for good but not always.
The children who have a sense of being loved by their father (including discipline- because that takes time and attention) and are accepted for who they are tend to grow up into courageous individuals, able to carry the load and to help other with their load as well.
For the majority of children who have fathers who have been absent, abusive or emotionally injured and may unintentionally pass this injury down, we do our best to live our lives in search of affection or acceptance. We may continue to carry an extra heavy load, not intended for human shoulders. It’s extra heavy because we may add unnecessary weight of the need for human acceptance (rather than being secure in God’s love alone).
Paul speaks to the people in this passage to help them realize that there is a solution to the needs of our broken humanity. Per Matthew Henry, Paul transitions from speaking about David’s royal lineage (don’t get caught up in the father’s line) to the Son of David’s amazing work (Jesus Christ the LORD).
As much as the old “guardian” of the children of Israel (the Law of Moses) could not bring them life, our heavenly Father provided His Son (through David’s line) to bear the sins of the world and to bring eternal life.
This means we no longer rely on “good works” to be loved and accepted but we rely on the completed work of His Son. This is life-giving because amazingly enough, there was no corruption in the death of Jesus. He rose again by the power of God.
Dad and all fathers are rejoicing because God has redeemed their efforts and healed us as his children. – Teresa #childrenofGod #redeemedbythebloodofthelamb #lovedwithaneverlastinglove
Acts 13:22-41 English Standard Version
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ 23 Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’
26 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm,
“‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ 34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,
“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ 35 Therefore he says also in another psalm,
“‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’ 36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. 38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed[b] from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. 40 Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about:
41 “‘Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’”
130 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! 2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! 3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. 5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. 7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. 8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
The fog horn sounded incessantly, providing a signal for safe harbour. By evening, the sound faded into white noise. Then, in an instant, the sun broke through and the status quo changed.
Similarly, when the believers prayed for boldness the status quo changed. The Holy Spirit was delivered from the Heavenly Father in response to the disciples request to continue to “speak your word with all boldness”.
The disciples had all been recipients of Jesus’ healing touch, some through signs and wonders (i.e. Mary Magdalene). They requested that the Father’s touch would continue to others through the powerful name of His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord.
In a moment, those who were uneducated began to lead the entire Roman world to the Father through the Savior’s transformative presence spoken into their lives.
The comforter (aka Holy Spirit) guides us into all truth. We can experience change but do we desire boldness?- Teresa#HolySpiritcome
Acts 4:23-31 (ESV)
The Believers Pray for Boldness
23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant,[d] said by the Holy Spirit,
“‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’[e]— 27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
If so, let me rest today in His finished work. -Teresa #moneyinthebank #areyouready? #forthedayofredemption #theDayoftheLord
Psalm 119: 113-128 (ESV)
113 I hate the double-minded, but I love your law. 114 You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. 115 Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God. 116 Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope! 117 Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually! 118 You spurn all who go astray from your statutes, for their cunning is in vain. 119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies. 120 My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments. Ayin
121 I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my oppressors. 122 Give your servant a pledge of good; let not the insolent oppress me. 123 My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise. 124 Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes. 125 I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies! 126 It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken. 127 Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold. 128 Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. 21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.[a] 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the Lordhas made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
This Messianic prophecy of the Psalmist speaks to the Son of Man being the cornerstone of our faith. Although the religious leaders rejected Him, He was obedient unto death even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8).
John 11: 27-36a (ESV)
The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up
27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
Who is this Son of Man? Open your eyes to the light illuminating the path before you. If you can see it clearly, then thank God for His gate of righteousness, which has guided you home. -Teresa
When David, who was much younger than his brothers as they fought in King Saul’s army, decided to take on Goliath…he rationalized it with the following thoughts.
The “paw” of the lion was not too difficult for me, the “paw” of the bear did not conquer me, so how hard could the “hand” of a giant be?
Although a giant’s hand may hold a sword, a spear or a javelin, David believed that the name of the God of Israel was more than enough protection.
Jonathon, the King’s son, responded to David’s victory like this. 1Samuel 18:1-4 (ESV)
18 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.
Jonathon was a warrior like his father King Saul. They both fought bravely for their people. What amazed Jonathon about David was that he took the battlefield to a whole new level. David saw it as a matter of trusting God to act according to His character, works and reputation.
What if we also would trust God’s name? Would we be willing to stand in the gap for those cowering in fear? Would we willingly obey all that God has developed in us without worrying about the world’s opinions?
The battle is not always a physical show down but it is can be waging war in our minds. Whose opinion matters to you most? Sometimes we must defer our own view of the matter to God’s great wisdom. Trust Him for a victory even when it seems unlikely!- Teresa #shepherdHisflock
I Samuel 17: 31-58 (ESV)
31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. 32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
38 Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, 39 and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.
41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
48 When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52 And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath[f] and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. 53 And the people of Israel came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. 54 And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.
55 As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.” 56 And the king said, “Inquire whose son the boy is.” 57 And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58 And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”
There is a song by Randy Travis, Angels, that speaks to the beauty of being a mom. My husband told me once that he thought of me after he heard that song (at a time when our children were in their teenage years). It made me cry! Angels
As parents, we may feel lonely (feeling they don’t understand what we went through) or blessed (by how our children amazingly turned out)- as each generation stands on the shoulders of the one prior. In this passage, God spoke to the importance of keeping God first, above our desire to enrich our children’s lives, remembering that some lessons in real life are better learned with hard work or tough love.
Even if we don’t see the end of the story, we can be certain of one thing: God is raising up those who are faithful to Him. He was referring in this passage to Samuel (whose mother, Hannah, cried out to God and she was heard)!!
27 And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh? 28 Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel. 29 Why then do you scorn[a] my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?’ 30 Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 31 Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32 Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33 The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep his[b] eyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendants[c] of your house shall die by the sword of men.[d] 34 And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day. 35 And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.
1 Samuel 1:9-20 (NIV)
Hannah’s Prayer 9 After eating and drinking, Hannah quietly got up and went to pray to the Lord. Eli the priest was sitting on a chair near the door of the Lord’s Holy Building. 10 Hannah was so sad that she cried the whole time she was praying to the Lord. 11 She made a special promise to God and said, ” Lord All-Powerful, you can see how sad I am. Remember me. Don’t forget me. If you will give me a son, I will give him to you. He will be yours his whole life, and as a Nazirite, he will not drink wine or strong drink, and no one will ever cut his hair.” 12 Hannah prayed to the Lord a long time. Eli was watching her mouth while she was praying. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart. Her lips were moving, but since she did not say the words out loud, Eli thought she was drunk. 14 He said to her, “You have had too much to drink. It is time to put away the wine.” 15 Hannah answered, “Sir, I have not drunk any wine or beer. I am deeply troubled, and I was telling the Lord about all my problems. 16 Don’t think I am a bad woman. I have been praying so long because I have so many troubles and am very sad.” 17 Eli answered, “Go in peace. May the God of Israel give you what you asked for.” 18 Hannah said, “May you be happy with me.” Then she left and ate something. She was not sad anymore. 19 Early the next morning Elkanah’s family got up. They worshiped the Lord and then went back home to Ramah.
Samuel’s Birth Elkanah had sexual relations with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered Hannah. 20 By that time the following year, Hannah had become pregnant and had a son. She named him Samuel. She said, “His name is Samuel because I asked the Lord for him.”