Morning Juice January 16 (new year desires)

ah yea….here we are half way through the first month of the the new year, 2018. Anyone out there set goals, or make the statement “ I’m gonna do it this year ?“

How are you doin?

In this season of life, I’m not one to set new year resolutions, however i am one that will adjust certain areas of my life that seem outta kilter as the days, weeks, months and year fly by. For example, I have an area around my belly that is referred to as “flub a dub” or “rub a dub”, yep, it’s the keeper of the various sweets and other yummies that roll across the taste buds. As the calendar turns to a new year and the age on this body starts to stack up with the metabolism that once helped keep the flub a dub in check are now losing the battle. Adjustments are required. No, I didn’t quit eating them altogether, silly goose. I started with portion control, yes, smaller portions of those yummies and maybe a few more hits on the elliptical will solve the ever increasing size of the area around my belly button. hmmmmm…more adjustments needed…ok ok ok…it totally has to be worth the calorie added to portion control and even more minutes on the elliptical. yes, this will be it. Now gang yes my flub a dub is still present, yet today I believe it is a bit smaller (not sure why deb is laughing over there ) ….

So what is going on with my desires, my longings? You see the battle? I have a desire for the belly from my 20’s , yet the longing and desire of the sweet is winning the day.

what is the sweet feeding? Heck it’s just dang good, not gonna over think this one hahaha….

But have you ever thought why we have the start overs? you know that conversation we have with ourselves when that certain area in our live just isn’t like we want it to be? There is that same longing desire for something to be better in your life. I mean we even read in the bible (which by the way i’m referring to as my beLIeVING book (isn’t that fun!?!!).

Psa 37:4 NLT 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

So if that certain something that we have pulled up around our boot straps and said by ding dangy, its on this time, we have put our big girl panties on and we are swinging for the fences. Isn’t that a desire from our heart? maybe just maybe couldn’t we ask ourselves “why do i stop the very activity that I have deemed will make me feel better, isn’t that a heart desire? I must say looking back at the verse we have a hint of the help in the beginning of the verse we just read. (take a peek) however, before we dive into that piece, let’s ponder the desire you have?

Who created that particular longing or, as we are discussing, desire?

Yea i agree God, our creator has blown A desire within us only he can quench. Thus, as the psalmist wrote, take delight. Take delight? …and our heart’s desire….our hearts longing will be given….Wait, did you notice where the desire is flowing from?

its a request from our heart? What is the desire of our/my heart? It’s HIM…he is the sweet, He is before the yummies. He is in the do over. Yet how do we teach each other to first- TAKE delight in HIM. I love how the psalmist states to take it, maybe your translation simply states Delight, it’s a choice, it’s an action of delighting in HIM as he delights in us. Ah, I wonder if that’s it for some. We forget that he delights in us, takes joy in us, is slap hap silly bonkers in love with us. So could that be it?

Isa 62:4 NLT 4 Never again will you be called “The Forsaken City” or “The Desolate Land.” Your new name will be “The City of God’s Delight” and “The Bride of God,” for the LORD delights in you and will claim you as his
bride.

booooooo yyaaaaaaa are you seeing this? the Lord delights in you. He desires, yes, you….he claimed us through jesUS. He wasn’t going to be without us so he lives in US. i mean really and truly that is more satisfying than the dove dark chocolate i just devoured and it lasts longer too…What if in those areas of our lives we desire to see better, we recall that we are equipped with HIM. We are his dwelling place, so when i’m about to grab the bag of yummy, or about to respond to life in a manner that i no longer desire, what if i remember he is within me?

maybe, just maybe the number of wrappers will start to be less when i take delight in him first….something for my little bald head….ooops wait something for my heart to consider, yes that’s the origin of the desire.

love yall, have a fabulous week!

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morning’ juice 8 days

a week ago or even 8 days ago, where were you ? Maybe, just maybe somewhere celebrating the birth of Christ!
(December 25 to January 2)

Now we are screaming into a New Year 2018. The calendar for Mary and Joseph was a bit different compared to how our Gregorian calendar is set. For us, the end of one year and ushering in the new year brings about a feeling of starting over, a new beginning, fresh start, a sense of ahhhh, ok come on let’s do this people.

Not sure Mary and Joseph had this same sense of fresh start as we do in regard to a calendar, but their lives over the past months certainly carried every emotion God has ever blown into our being. They definitely were in the midst of a new start, with the new life in the form of a baby front and center. For those following the law, the customs of the day in Judaism, that meant 8 days after the birth of Immanuel (God with jesUS), they would take off to the temple.

Luk 2:21-24 NLT 21 Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived. 22 Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. 23 The law of the Lord says, “If a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the LORD.” 24 So they offered the sacrifice required in the law of the Lord–“either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

Is that not amazing! I wonder if Mary and Joseph were kinda giggling under their breath knowing that their son was the lamb of God, the one born pure, is dedicated back to God through a purification sacrifice. So they, along with other mama and daddy’s who had given birth to little boys and girls 8 days prior were descending on the temple to follow the requirements.

why 8 days? I mean hello, could we cut ‘em a little slack here? Uh she did just have a child in a freaking barn. Been on the move for quite some time, could this have been ok to do, say on the 18th day?

why 8? well we could say the ol’ God said…but gang, God says a ton and we decide whether or not to beLIeVE and follow, don’t we? Man, I wonder if Mary and Joseph ever even questioned, wrestled, the decision to go?

As they traipse into town and to the temple. A man named…
Luk 2:28-30 NLT 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, 29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. 30 I have seen your salvation,

so why 8 days?

it’s a sign of resurrection, regeneration.

dare we say reborn, new life,

let this 8th day be your fresh start…

Own 2018 through your identity in who God says you are in beLIeVING Jesus Christ. HIM power is all we need to immerse ourselves in the moment given to each of us each day. What if every 8 days we reminded ourselves and each other of our salvation through Christ. That our new life and eternal life is NOW.

45 times during the year that we have a fresh start, a regeneration, this sense of new beginning. Wonder, just wonder how this would flow through us into our homes, at work, in our schools and universities.?

let me know….Jan 10…

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week 4 Mornin’ Juice (God with jesUS)

“The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.”
‭‭John‬ ‭20:30-31‬ ‭NLT‬‬
http://bible.com/116/jhn.20.30-31.nlt

read those words again…go ahead…

These are written by John. A disciple, a follower of Christ and as he describes in his letter, beloved. Prior to Emmanuel he was a devout follower of the Jewish customs, yes the very way of life that points to our need God with jesUS.

how, why

by the power of his name. Look back again end of the verse. Yea there it is. Power! power by His name, not mine. But the baby? Power from the infant? Uh The same one that we sing about thats in swaddling clothes, away in a manger?

Power? really? How? when?

answers:
power: Holy Spirit resurrection, tomb blastin’ life giving to the baby in Mary’s womb
how: beLIeVE God with jesUS (Emmanuel) is now God IN jesUS(Holy Spirit)life giving, life changing

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week 3 mornin’ juice (Bethlehem)

6421 miles

245 marathons

12 hours to fly direct if flying at 500 mph

that’s the distance from Murfreesboro, TN to Bethlehem, the city of David, the town where Jesus Christ was born. 6421 miles, that’s a bunch of steps.

Micah 5:2“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village in Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.”

approximately 700 years prior to:

Luke 2:4-5, 7, 15“And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was obviously pregnant by this time. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped Him snugly in strips of cloth and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn. When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, ‘Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’”

John 7:42“For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.”

Holy smolies we continue to be reminded of what’s to come approximately 700 years prior to Mary and Joseph walking the final steps from Galilee. Steps taken to conform to the mandate of Caesar Augustus to have everyone be counted. A mandate from an earthly king, marching in the entrance of the heavenly King. Steps being taken by a woman carrying the one who when born would be the start of our being able to be reborn. Wonder how many breaks she had to take so she could catch her breath. Breath that may have been in short supply due to the anticipation of the birth, shortness of breath in the walking any distance while 9 months pregnant walking with her man. Longing for a place to rest, they were stepping toward destiny in the town of Bethlehem.

Joseph slowly, patiently guiding his soon to be bride through the streets of a town that carried his family lineage. Would the inhabitants of the city of David notice? Would they notice the baby bump? Where was Mary waiting for her man, when he returned from each knock of the door to hear NO ROOM….Joseph, did you ever doubt in this moment? Dude, you must have been driven by the remembrance of the conversations you had with the angel who assured you to take Mary as your bride. The conversations (prayers) with God to affirm that yes, indeed you would help HIM father HIS son . And now to find a place for your creator to be born.

Bethlehem I mean really. this little town. Joseph when did the “oh yea” light come? Or Did the connection occur from prophets words from 700 years to this moment, as you kept knocking, kept asking, kept stepping until the stable, the trough, was the place where lives would be forever changed. Mary did you ever consider or wonder if Bethlehem would hear your screams as the God in you became the God with jesUS (Immanuel)?

Thank you Lord
there is no distance too vast, no time too long for you to step through in Jesus Christ

praying everyone to beLIeVE He will be the only source for peace on earth!

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More Than Silver and Gold

Deb here…

It’s been nearly 3 weeks since our last gathering, and if I’m real and transparent, I have gone through a myriad of emotions…relief, sadness, grief, and confusion. Refuge has, and will continue to be a vital part of our DNA. Whether there is a corporate gathering or not will never change that. Seven years ago, God breathed a vision into Mike and me for the brokenhearted, the bound, and the ones who needed fresh sight of their identity and standing in Christ Jesus. We walked into the unknown not knowing exactly where God was taking us, but knowing that where He was going was good, and we wanted to be right alongside Him.

We have continued to try to stay in step with where the Spirit is leading, and for that reason, it was time to turn the page and go where again, we don’t know where.

There have been many reasons that the page needed turning, but I wanted to share one with you that most will be able to resonate with at some level. Jesus uses music to speak to deep places within me, and a few weeks before we settled into where we knew God was leading, I heard a song that sang over me truth and revelation to the state of my own heart.

In You I Live by Housefires

Silver and Gold
Could never come close
I’d trade it all for You
Silver and Gold
Could never come close
I’d trade it all for you
Cause You’re my everything.
All I ever need is You, is You

We all have things in our lives that represent silver and gold. To some it might actually be money or status, to others it may be a relationship held a little too close, while for others it might be a career or the hopes of the house and the Land Rover or a social standing. Silver and gold, in whatever form, were never meant to be hoarded, exalted, or idolized.

As I sit here writing, Bing Crosby was singing “Do You Hear what I Hear?”, and how fitting that part of the chorus sings, “Let us bring HIM silver and gold.” Exactly, Jesus. Exactly.

So as I’m listening to the song by Housefires, God gently showed me part of the “why” that Refuge needed to turn the page. Mike and I have loved this long season of leading people at the Refuge. We have seen people find their identity, break free of shame, overcome strongholds, and own their faith like never before. This season is one we will never regret, and even though the change was a challenge, to say the least, we would do it all over again if God led us to it.

So, that silver and gold piece…when Mike and I took the faith leap to step out and do something drastically different than any organized Body of Christ that we had ever seen or been a part of, our hearts were completely pure in motive. We just wanted to see the hurting and captive set free by the Power of Jesus that lives in all who say yes to Him. Somewhere down the line we got duped by the enemy. We allowed people’s questions of “So, how many do you have coming?” to begin to cloud God’s vision of the reason we began Refuge. We live in a performance based society. If you perform and people like it, you succeed. If you don’t perform, you’re a failure. That became our silver and gold. People and participation. I can’t tell you how many times we claimed the “take the thought captive and make it obey Christ” verse over ourselves and asked why we couldn’t get past it? Honestly, the battle in our minds was absolutely exhausting, (Can anyone relate?) and we knew that we needed to begin praying as to what needed to look different.

So the words “Silver and gold could never come close, I’d trade it all for You” became the song Jesus sang over me and I in turn sang it back to Him. Although there were many other factors that fed into God leading us to end our Sunday evening gatherings, we felt it was time for us to get out of our own way and begin to disassemble anything that was trying to build a higher place than Jesus in our lives. He deserves so much more. He deserves it all.

This decision was excruciating to make, but sometimes the hardest decisions have to made to put Jesus back on His rightful place on the throne of our hearts. I love the Body of Christ. I’m for the Body of Christ. Our hearts have always been to see in our community, followers of Jesus, lovers of Jesus to link arms for a united influence for the Kingdom. We will continue to be a part of the Body. It will just look different, and that’s okay. Jesus is King of our home and we will follow Him and His plan for our lives relentlessly.

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mornin’ juice

Mary did you know? Remember this song? Yea sure you do.

Mary did you know your baby boy…first time I heard this song Kathy Mattea was absolutely letting it rip.

Still one of my favorite songs. Stop to think for a moment.

Mary did you know that approx. 700 years earlier these words were spoken.

Isa 7:14 NLT 14 All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).

Mary, even if you did know, or had even heard these words, did you even consider that this might be you? Mary had you ever have the thought that you might be the virgin who would conceive this child of God? Oh Mary, in your engagement with Joseph did you know that you would receive a visit from an angel named Gabriel, an angel from God who calls you favored and that the Lord is with you? Mary in this moment could you ever in a million years know that after he settled you down from a moment of fear that you would hear these words?

Luke 1: 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.

Immanuel, God with us. God in you…

Mary, did you know that you would say:

Luke 1:38 NLT 38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

Mary were you shocked, were you in awe, goodness, were you in complete amazement considering your son has walked where angels trod? Mary did you ever doubt or consider how you would tell Joseph? Mary, where did your courage come from? Was it from the one you would deliver, the ONE who would soon deliver you?

Gosh, how did you know how to treasure this moment as you walked to share this season with Elizabeth, yea Elizabeth who is carrying John, the one who would holler out to the world the coming of the Messiah, the son of God, the Prince of Peace, Immanuel, God with us, God in you.

Gollee, Mary there was no way you could’ve known that THE perfect lamb would be born in a stable with lambs, could you?

Mary did you know that when you kissed your little baby, you kissed the face of God?

Mary did you know any of this? Wow, maybe not the details of the how and when but you sure did know who to trust. Thanks Mary for modeling faith, modeling trust, showing how to beLIeVE.

Thank you mary for your yes to our merry CHRISTmas

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mornin’ juice (who’s your daddy?)

Heb 1:1-2 NLT 1 Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. 2 And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.

When I read the first two words I can’t help but think of the words from Star Wars, “a long time ago in a galaxy far far away….

Maybe for some, the words God spoke through the prophets about Jesus Christ was in a different galaxy, and yes was a long time ago. My desire for the weekly chats is to help us connect the long ago to our today. So, each week we will take a look at the words from the guys (prophets) who were telling everyone the how, the why, and the where Jesus Christ was coming. Maybe our saying yes to Jesus was a long long time ago and we feel like He is galaxies far far away. I pray the weeks to come will remind, encourage, and recall the wonder and awe of our Savior, the prince of peace in a stable. We will look at Mary and Joseph (mama and daddy) who beLIeVED the Heavenly Daddy’s (God’s) words when He speaks of the coming of the Messiah, the one who will save the world. The world, gang, including yours and mine, whatever galaxy you may find yourself in, the babe created it.

Let’s have a blast drinking in the mornin’ juice as we celebrate the reason for season!

In today’s climate, we certainly understand or can at least relate to power and authority. Nations are clamoring against one another. We live in a world where the motto is to display your strength, not much has changed gang. God established kings, priests, rulers through His chosen people. In the era of Old Testament living, your lineage was important.

“who’s your daddy?” meant power or lack thereof

King David, yea that’s right, is the same David who as a shepherd boy went out and pummeled the big ol’ boy named Goliath. He is a man after God’s heart, (Acts 13) and the family line from which Jesus Christ would come from.

Isa 9:6-7 NLT 6 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!

You see, David’s daddy Jesse is also known as king of Israelites, it just so happens that he lived in Bethlehem and was from the tribe of Judah.

Isa 11:1-2 NIV 1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD—

If you were to take the time and read through what seems to be an unending list of names after names after names in Luke 3 you will see. (go ahead have fun with sounding out the names, its fun)

Luk 3:32-34 NLT 32 David was the son of Jesse. Jesse was the son of Obed. Obed was the son of Boaz. Boaz was the son of Salmon. Salmon was the son of Nahshon. 33 Nahshon was the son of Amminadab. Amminadab was the son of Admin. Admin was the son of Arni. Arni was the son of Hezron. Hezron was the son of Perez. Perez was the son of Judah. 34 Judah was the son of Jacob. Jacob was the son of Isaac. Isaac was the son of Abraham. Abraham was the son of Terah. Terah was the son of Nahor.

It’s part of the Jesus family tree that traces back to God, the creator of all…God is changing the line of priesthood from the tribe of Levi (works), to the tribe of Judah (faith). This fulfills the old way and replaces it with the new way of faith through Christ, Jesus. Oh yea, as we finish our mornin’ juice, see that guy in verse 34. Abraham, the daddy of Isaac, granddaddy to Jacob. The one some refer to as father of faith.

God talking to Abraham….
Gen 22:18 NLT 18 And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed–all because you have obeyed (beLIeVED)me.”

Rom 4:3 NLT 3 For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”

Looks like these ol’ boys knew the answer to who’s your daddy.

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Liz

It was Saturday morning. I jump into my workout clothes, bust through the door, into the truck and off the gym. Saturdays the gym doesn’t open until 07:00 am and I arrived – yes as the family would attest – a bit early. Find me a spot in my normal area and waited.

I noticed Liz as I was pulling into the parking lot. A frail lady that was walking in the middle of the stripes throughout the lot. My glances to the gym door to see if they were ready for folks to come in and get those endorphins flying, would land back on Liz. At this time she had coaxed the window down of another early gym rat and a dollar bill came out of the hand of the driver into the hand of Liz.

Here she comes. Dang it. The windows to my truck are tinted, not totally blacked out, yet tinted enough, you know the tint that back in my day would have you wondering if that was a “weed car” (you know mary jane, canibus). I ducked my head reading Luke. Yeppers, reading the Word. Real honesty here, hoping the tinted windows would deter this now very visible older lady, blue jeans hanging on top of her body, with clean yet oversized clothes everywhere and a big comfy wool hat for her head. Nope she was coming. Rolled the window down.

Me: Good morning
Liz: I have had two brain aneurisms (in a voice that was weak, scratchy. Her eyes large and wide open as she asked if would like to see her scars)
Me: No maam, thanks for asking but i really don’t want to see your scars, whatcha ya doin’ this morning? what’s your name?
Liz: Liz
Me: oh yes Liz we have met before, its been years ago, how are ya, remind me where you live?
Liz: (dazed look, eyes still wide, dilated, stains of what appeared to be tobacco in the corners of her mouth). I live on lokey, I need money for my medicines

(I’m thinking as she is talking questioning her motive…my guards are up….)

me: Liz have you been to hope clinic?
Liz: i’ve had two brain aneurisms, no they won’t help, just need $15.00 (now her voice is squeaking, face winched, eyes now squinted and flowing with water)
me: dang liz i hate that, yet i know that they are very helpful, (as i lean over to pull money from my pocket)

I thumb through the $10.00, the $5.00, the $20.00 to get to some singles and hand over $2.00 …………geeeez……

Liz: all i need is $3.00 more.
me: silence….

Double, triple geeeeezzz ….not at liz gang, but looking back it’s with me…HUGE realization moment for me, as i traipsed in to the gym. Climbed on board one of my favorite machines, affectionately named sparky. The gym i pay $40.00 a month to attend, that has the machine where i just plunked $1.50 in a machine to retrieve a bottle of smart water HAHAHAHa…to read from a screen on a phone that is starting the “feel” outdated, only to stop at the counter to retrieve a recovery smoothie for that $5.00 i strolled past just an hour ago.

I’m not reliving this moment to beat myself up or to try and create shame. It has made me realize that at times I feel myself being frustrated at the lack of empathy I have experienced in the body, the lack of attention given to the least of these from the organized barns (churches) in helping the Liz’s of the world. I’m part of that body!…seeing the very thing in me that i don’t want to see.

So how did this all start to stir in me? Well after Liz left my car, I watched her walk to another car, and the person wouldn’t roll down the window. She then approached a couple as they to were walking into the gym, but they didn’t acknowledge her. One more attempt as she was walking to another car, but the car pulled away and went to another parking space. It hit me like a ton of bricks to see me in those movements, sure I at least rolled down the window after, except I was hoping upon hope that she would not come to my window…ugggggghhhhhh…

We have to be wiling to walk through and learn through these moments, remembering that GOD is a good good father. He wants and desires the best not only for me but for Liz also. In that moment I placed myself in a place of authority over her instead of remembering she too is made in the image of God. It’s not about the three more dollars she asked for, gang. Its receiving and treating her as a princess of the King of Kings. A daughter of the most high. To see her as Jesus knows her!

I wonder what and how Liz feels? You see if I remember her house on lokey, she has a banner out front stating that Jesus loves us. It is about jesUS….the US, the whole body coming together as one to show a world we beLIeVE, giving ourselves and each other grace as we stumble through some teaching moments. I think next time I see Liz, i’ll ask her if she wants to share a bottle of that “smart” water.

love em up!

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flip the switch

As a child i remember if the room i was approaching was draped in dark, i would stop at the door, kinda scoot myself over to the side and do the 180 degree reach in, flip the switch and whamo darkness gone. I just had to be able to see those nasty gnarly snaggled tooth whatevers before i entered. Yea all of us can recall “there’s nothing to be afraid of dear” statements from our parents….bull crap, if you only knew what was swirling in my 8 yr old…sometimes 53 yr old skull you would run for your life hahaha.

Monday the world is churning due to the upcoming eclipse. For a few minutes up to hours depending on your location darkness will come. A different type of switch is being flipped. There was a day when He flipped the switch to darkness to satisfy and bring light to you and me.

Luk 23:44-46 NLT 44 By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. 45 The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. 46 Then Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last.

Listen to what Jesus said in v46 “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands”. Wow some translations have I commit, I give, my spirit into your hands. Im reminded of his conversation with God in the garden before the cross. (my interpretation of the conversation)

Jesus:
Hey dad uh hey i’ve been thinking, and just talking out loud here uh is there any other way to eliminate darkness? I mean Im with ya and everything, but yea heart is pounding outta my chest here, flip my sweat is lookin’ like blood so just thought it would be worth asking if there is another way. God replies: “Son you know this is the only way to completely satisfy and secure eternity for everyone who beLIeVES?
Jesus: yea right right right…but man o man ok….yes your perfect love drives out fear, im pressin in on that dad,..i do trust you, was just wonderin’….i see that we have to walk through unknown knowing you are in control of the unknown…..yes yes you make the unknown known…you are safe and you are light….yes your will not mine…

And then to hear Jesus speak out my God my God why have you forsaken me….the darkness is overwhelming on friday

3 hours. About the time of a football game or baseball game, 3 hours, darkness consumed the land when Jesus took upon him the sin of the world. Darkness much of the time and rightfully so is tied to satan, evil, yet at this time of darkness the curtain of the Temple the very symbol of being separated from God came rippin down. God in this darkness is telling the world that my light overcomes the darkness and through Jesus you have total complete access to me.

v46…..I commit my spirit into your hands

Sunday is coming and the switch is flipped to ON….forever!

You will no longer ever have to reach in and be fearful of what might be in the room, on your path, to turn the light on. The light of me will be within you!

Think of the areas in our lives where we have turned the light off.
maybe it’s a particular talent and gift you have been fearful to share
maybe it’s reconciling or rekindling a relationship
maybe it’s releasing what the future will look
maybe it’s releasing unspoken expectations on others
The switch within us is flipped on gang through our yes to beLIeVE. Graham Cooke shared that we as a body of Christ are the visual aide to the world what the character of God is like. hmmmm visual aide…what is needed to see gang? YEPPERS LIGHT….the switch is ON….let em see ya beLIeVE

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Bright Eyes

It has been a bit since my last update to everyone on the travels of my mama and daddy. For those who may have just now tuned in, my mom has dementia, among other ailments such as diabetes that has taken a toll on her 80 year old body. Her man, my daddy, has been the sole caregiver for many years leading up to a time when his health got him sidelined which resulted in mama staying at a local life care (nursing) facility. The care in this facility is second to none and gave the family a glimpse of what we had no idea was coming. Daddy, however, believed his sole role was to bring his bride back home and he did….

Over the months extra hands were needed to provide the daily care a woman whose ability to communicate dwindles and the mobility is almost gone. The time was coming and did come when her man – my daddy – saw that the best care for her was at the nursing facility. So daddy loaded his bride up and settled her back in to room 243 in Tullahoma life care. No words to describe the pain that is coursing through my daddy, he is healing as the family continues to remind and love him through the fact that, yes, this is best but still painful.

One trait that mama hasn’t lost is her laugh and her eyes. These deep dark eyes that will light up the room when she meets ya. Wednesday this week i met daddy in tullahoma for breakfast at his favorite little restaurant, City Café. The ladies there just dote all over him and boy does he drink it in. They ask about mama and send plates of food often. We finished and headed over to hang out with his bride, my mama. As we entered the building ladies were positioned around tables. Some in wheel chairs, only a few agile enough to walk and seat themselves. Around those tables were other women feeding the ladies. Feeding ladies who one day fed. I’m picturing now the words, the “gooo gooo gaaaa,” the pleading, the “open up the hanger let the airplane in” ways my mama used to coax open the mouths of me and my brother. Pretty sure her eye brows would be raised describing the excitement that would come if only I would open up.

I came up to mama as she was being fed by her now buddy, Mary. I said “hey mama” kissed her forehead like she would kiss us…like a machine a gun on automatic hahaha…..and her eyes lit up to say, “Hey tommy”

Tommy is her sister’s son, who many would say that me, Tommy, and his brother Jerry looked alike. I said, “Hey mama, you having fun with breakfast?” “Yes honey, now yall go play,” replied mama. Then she heard a voice, a voice that was all too familiar, one that jolted her head and eyes over my head and latched on to her man. Her man had arrived….and her eyes lit up….incredibly bright eyes!

WOW WOW WOW….she may not have the words but her eyes said it all….My man is here and I am safe…..Daddy saunters over to give his “poooky” a kiss on her scrambled egg covered lips. As I sat and watched I couldn’t help but think of the days their eyes first met and lit up with excitement, screaming bright at the sight of this new found beauty in each other. Or the day as she starts to walk down the aisle, her eyes bright with excitement to become one with her man, Dan, through the One, Jesus. The bright deep brown eyes that would light up each time she and her man would load a bus in their retirement years and head off to a destination she always wanted to go to.

The eyes are bright, no not all of the time. The eyes of Joann Bivins, wife to Dan Bivins, mama to Danny and Michael (she has always called me Michael), mama to our brides Brenda and Deb. Nanny B to all of our kiddos and now a great grandma to Everleigh, will go off into a distant stare at times, yet I know they will be bright as can be one day when she sees Jesus face to face!

Thanks for letting me catch ya up. you are loved, thanks for loving me.

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