Silence

*Folding in and out of conscious silence

Intentionally waiting for the silence to come. Not as an exercise but as an expectation of what it means to wait on God.

The distractions and distractors hope to sabotage this worship. How could I know they were inwardly cursing while showing that dazzling smile?

I almost carried out an online purchase promising me the same amount of dazzle. #deceit

His character is all powerful and He has a love that is steady. What more do I need?

I will choose the silence as I wait on God. – Teresa #beinghopeful #thisismywork

Psalm 62:1-12 (ESV)

My Soul Waits for God Alone

To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

62 For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
3 How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
4 They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse. Selah
5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
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.
10 Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
11 Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12 and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work.

*photo credit http://pexels.com

Humility

*Tiny home under God’s great creation

Both King David and the Apostle Paul touch on the value of humility in the passages below. For David, he described being crushed by the betrayal of his close companion (possibly his spiritual advisor, Ahithophel -see 2 Samuel 15:30, 31). For Paul, he could not do everything he wanted on his own due to the thorn in his flesh (possible eyesight deficiencies after being struck by a saving light on the road to Damascus).

Relying on God to get us through an overwhelming situation or relying on others to help because of our own “deficiencies” develops a strong sense of humility.

Humility is important because it reminds us who it is we worship!! (…not our capable self!) Instead, we are freed to worship our capable God. It frees us to recognize and give Him thanks for all that He provides.

For those, like me, who are plagued by a need for perfectionism, I remind myself that needing God and others is what makes me human and relatable. Instead of getting angry at myself, I get amazed at those who don’t mind helping in a time of need. In fact, they actually enjoy being a part of the solution.

I have to humble myself and admit that I cannot do it all. In fact, it’s better that I don’t, in order to keep my eyes on our great God. I found an old voice memo of me attempting to sing a meditation to God. It was so refreshing to hear in my song a humility before the Creator and sustainer of my heart. Try making up your own song today and know God is waiting to show His strength through your weakness. -Teresa #beauty

Psalm 55:20-23 (ESV)

20 My companion[b] stretched out his hand against his friends;
he violated his covenant.
21 His speech was smooth as butter,
yet war was in his heart;
his words were softer than oil,
yet they were drawn swords.
22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.
23 But you, O God, will cast them down
into the pit of destruction;
men of blood and treachery
shall not live out half their days.
But I will trust in you.

2 Corinthians 10: 7-10 (ESV)

7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[a] a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

*photocredit http://pexels.com

Moving Day

*Moving on is never easy but it is worth it!

Our daughter is moving out today. Although it has been sweet to have her at home for the past 10 months, I can sense her excitement to move on with her life.

When I retired in May, I was excited to move on with my life but found there was much healing to be done first. Patience and honest reflection helped me to find a place of peace.

Because I’m goal driven, my new goals are: healing, health and helping my family. In addition, I’ve kept up with ministry service at the mission and seasonal volunteer work with the discipleship program of Head2Heart.

Ending something is truly a blessed time. It forces reflection and if we are honest, it can direct us into healthier choices.- Teresa #wisdom

Ecclesiastes 7:8-10 (ESV)

8 Better is the end of a thing than its beginning,
and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9 Be not quick in your spirit to become angry,
for anger lodges in the heart[b] of fools.
10 Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.

*photo credit http://pexels.com

Thirsty for a flowing stream

*Roar of the waterfall- #streamsflow

God is like water, not any water but water that is fresh, not stagnant. #comeallwhoarethirstyISAIAH 55:1

Knowing we must drink makes our thirst heightened and desperate. I never tire of drinking from the deep well of God’s love, even when I’m waterlogged by the breakers of opposition.

Where is He? Where is God? He touches the water of my tears, He feels the pouring out of my prayers.

He watches me cast down the turmoil in my soul and brings me hope through His steadfast love and comforting song.

The deadly wound of the enemy is fought through the life-giving stream of God’s provision. #ChristJesus #springofwaterwellinguptoternalife (see John 4:14)

-Teresa #TrustHim

Psalm 42: 1-11 (ESV)

42 As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?[b]
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
a multitude keeping festival.

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation[c] 6 and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
have gone over me.
8 By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God, my rock:
“Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my bones,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
“Where is your God?”

* photo creditPexels.com

Naked

*bare branches meet God’s presence

The tree gave unreservedly that year. The fruit was sweeter and juicier, somehow more satisfying.

It may have been similar to our 2021 harvest from the Santa Rosa plum tree. Who knew that such an old, gnarly tree could still produce an abundant crop.

Golden life links the root to the leaf

When the seed of God was crushed, buried and left for dead, He produced a generation of faith unlike any other time on earth. #kairos

At that moment when all seemed lost, life was renewed. He rose from the dead with a new body, no longer a seed but with a body (bread) of spiritual provision for mankind. A reconnection with the Father.

The only requirement for us is to be naked before Him. By removing our pretensions and good works, we realize how vulnerable we truly are.

We will be amazed that He is able #worthy to bring us into the Father’s presence. In that place, we can be richly clothed with the communion of our forever family. #Hisrighteousness

Job feared God and was clothed through worship. What will stop us today from truly worshiping our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ?

– Teresa #breadoflife #toliveisChrist #worshipinspiteoflife’schallenges

Job 1:20-22 (ESV)

20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

22 In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

*photo from http://pexels.com

Hearsay vs. Fact

Fact is: we are enjoying Yosemite (in this photo)

While others may have opinions and tell us what they have heard, always remember that there are two sides to a story.

If it’s your story being questioned or brought into a bad light, you have God on your side as you stand your ground.

In this passage, Nehemiah disputes troublemakers who want to put words into his mouth. Instead he continues to work steadfastly with the vision from God in mind- (to rebuild the city walls of Jerusalem).

Is our vision heaven sent? If so, we should not be distracted by the naysayers who may be positioned to distract us or even worse to lure us into sinning against God. See Acts 4:19- what is right, to listen to God or to obey “misled authoritarians?”

Be strong and courageous, just as Joshua was instructed by Moses. Most work that involves a great deliverance for generations to come is met with opposition.

He will bring it to pass, faithul to complete it. -Teresa #wecannotbeshaken #taketimeforprayer #refusetimeforhearsay #God’sworkinGod’sway

Nehemiah 6: 1-16 (ESV)

6 Now when Sanballat and Tobiah and Geshem the Arab and the rest of our enemies heard that I had built the wall and that there was no breach left in it (although up to that time I had not set up the doors in the gates), 2 Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. 3 And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” 4 And they sent to me four times in this way, and I answered them in the same manner. 5 In the same way Sanballat for the fifth time sent his servant to me with an open letter in his hand. 6 In it was written, “It is reported among the nations, and Geshem[d] also says it, that you and the Jews intend to rebel; that is why you are building the wall. And according to these reports you wish to become their king. 7 And you have also set up prophets to proclaim concerning you in Jerusalem, ‘There is a king in Judah.’ And now the king will hear of these reports. So now come and let us take counsel together.” 8 Then I sent to him, saying, “No such things as you say have been done, for you are inventing them out of your own mind.” 9 For they all wanted to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will drop from the work, and it will not be done.” But now, O God,[e] strengthen my hands.

10 Now when I went into the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home, he said, “Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple. Let us close the doors of the temple, for they are coming to kill you. They are coming to kill you by night.” 11 But I said, “Should such a man as I run away? And what man such as I could go into the temple and live?[f] I will not go in.” 12 And I understood and saw that God had not sent him, but he had pronounced the prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 For this purpose he was hired, that I should be afraid and act in this way and sin, and so they could give me a bad name in order to taunt me. 14 Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, according to these things that they did, and also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who wanted to make me afraid.

The Wall Is Finished

15 So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God.

Our Great God

*What God provides amazes me!

Strength and peace are byproducts of God’s gift and blessing to us.

The water of Noah’s day came as a penultimate response to man’s wickedness. Who is over the waters?

The heavenly throne of God is over the flood. Who is king forever?

He established the creation through His word. Who is the Word of God?

Jesus Christ the Lord is God’s Son and our Savior. He alone is able to provide the holy attire of our worship.

Without him, our “righteousness” is as filthy rags. WITH him, giving glory of God is part of our story.

Strength and peace come to encourage us in the midst of life’s challenges. – Teresa

#JesusmyLord #Heisworthy #thewordofGod #arkofprotectionfromtheflood (see Matthew Henry’s commentary)

Ascribe to the Lord Glory

A Psalm of David.

29 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,[a]
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.[b]
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth[c]
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless[d] his people with peace!

Footnotes

Psalm 29:1 Hebrew sons of God, or sons of might
Psalm 29:2 Or in holy attire
Psalm 29:9 Revocalization yields makes the oaks to shake
Psalm 29:11 Or The Lord will give… The Lord will bless

*photo from http://pexels.com

King of glory

*You are glorious, Lord!

Who has opened the gate? Who has lifted up the ancient door that was locked for generations?

The Lord of Hosts IS the King of Glory. He has authority over every ancestoral portal that locks out God’s blessing on our lives. Our identity may feel tied up with mischievious family members. When God makes us new, he changes how we see ourselves. We are no longer part of their issues. We have been set free.

Truly, our memory may not serve us well and try to bring us down. God never forgets. He is not only just but full of loyal love. He provided a way for us to pass from death to life, through His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ the LORD.

He will never leave us or forsake us. He has meant for His blessing to pass through the generations of our families.

The Blessing (sung by Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes and Justin Bieber)

When we are discouraged with generational issues, be encouraged by this Psalm of David. The Lord of hosts is able to do battle in the spiritual realm. He can provide a glorious outcome. – Teresa

#righteousnessofJesus #boldnesstoseekGod’sface

Psalm 24
English Standard Version
The King of Glory

A Psalm of David.

24 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,[a]
the world and those who dwell therein,
2 for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
5 He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.[b] Selah
7 Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle!
9 Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory! Selah

*photo fromhttps://www.pexels.com/@rzierik

Groanings too deep for words

*Beauty in the deep

I went to an art class at The Painted Cork a few years back. My friend, Chris, and I learned how to paint jellyfish! I completed my first and last painting ever, but I considered it a success as it was deemed worthy enough to display for awhile.

Going deep into any subject requires more than a one afternoon commitment. I’ve even heard that professional musicians practice 6-7 hours every day to stay competetive with their skills. This passage in Romans is refreshing because simply stated, there is help when our determination is low. In the midst of our weakness we are always held secure by God’s love. #notaprofessionalChristian

Our job is to realize our weakness and ask for God’s help. His Spirit intereceds for us with groanings too deep for words. His Son, our Savior, intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father.

Being conformed to the image of Jesus is not a one afternoon project, this is a lifetime commitment. Whether or not your life takes a turn for the worse, God is committed to you. Are we willing to admit our need of Him?- Teresa #whenIdon’tknow #Heknows #alwayslivestointercede #greathighpriest

Romans 8:26-39
English Standard Version
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[a] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[b] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

God’s Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[c] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[d] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

*photo from http://Pexels.com

Father Abraham

If we consider Abraham our father, then we understand justification by faith.

Leap of faith

Trusting the One who is able to make up the difference for us means we follow in the example of Father Abraham. He trusted that what God said was true and did not rely on the works of his flesh (i.e. circumcision) to be made right in God’s sight.

God alone can justify the ungodly. He did this through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord. As a result, no one can boast in their righteous acts but all those who believe God and receive His free gift are considered blessed.

To have faith like a child requires humility (we must become like little children to receive the kingdom of heaven- see Matthew 18:3). Children have a natural faith/trust toward what is right.

All mankind has an opportunity to receive Christ Jesus as Savior (whether they have followed certain rules or not). For God so loved the world that He gave… (see John 3:16).

– Teresa #humbledbyHisgreatlove #trustinHisword #theHolyBible #thelivingWord #John1:1-14

Romans 4:1-12
English Standard Version
Abraham Justified by Faith

4 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in[a] him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:

7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.