Tuesday, December 21, 2021

LORD, increase our faith!

The disciples asked for Jesus to increase their faith after hearing they must forgive 70 times a day if someone repented. 

They didn't ask Jesus to increase their faith to follow Him. 

They didn't ask Jesus to increase their faith when asked to leave everything behind. 

They didn't ask Jesus to increase their faith as they dealt with persecution.

The disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith when He told them they had to forgive 70 times a day if someone repented of sinning against them. This is the one stumbling block that they knew they really needed help. 

Why? It is found in the daily routine of life. You know those moments of thoughtless spoken words as you go about your day that can build up and grow barriers that will hinder our ability to serve one another. 

Are you willing to say, "Hey, that hurt." in such a way that it causes a heart to recognize their words were off or unkind? So they repent and apologize. 

Are we willing to receive rebukes and apologize without fighting back and throwing lashes? 

Sometimes, I get this. Other times not so much. I like it better when my heart rests in forgiveness. Don't you? 

Crying out today, "LORD, increase my faith!" I am longing for that mustard seed that can uproot a messy mulberry tree.

Monday, December 20, 2021

To the Diaspora

(Photo credit from: https://unece.org/economic-cooperation-and-integration)

To the diaspora... 
Be patient
Consider the farmer
Wait on Jesus' return
Be patient
Jesus is coming near
Stop grumbling against each other
Be patient in suffering
Consider the prophets & Job
Suffering well brings honor
Know the LORD is kind and full of tender mercies
Take no oaths, a simple yes or no will do
If you suffer pray
If happy sing praise
If sick call elders to pray
Confess sins (weakness) to one another
Consider Elijah
Restore the wanderers

... wise reminders from James 5:7:19.

Tara Rye 12/20/2017

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Maranatha is the cry! A Psalm of Tara Rye

Maranatha! Come, LORD Jesus, Come! (A Psalm of Tara) 

I seek a Psalm that cries Your Name, Seeking Your Face Coming from a Holy place! 

I seek a Psalm that welcomes You home, Invites You in And makes You priority from within! 

I seek a Psalm that speaks to my now, A media-soaked generation trapped in its veneration! 

I seek a Psalm that cultivates hearts, awakens the senses and refocuses the imagination! 

I seek a Psalm that is written about Your coming! There are four that I can see… 

  A babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,

  A Preacher, Teacher, Healer, Redeemer,   

  A Witness through man living out Your plan, 

  And at Your return, You turn our weeping into dancing! 

I seek a Psalm that brings You glory, I scan Your pages and cannot find what is burdening me! I realize it must come from within me! 

I write a Psalm that cries to the nations, Do you see what I see? Can you hear His voice? Are you willing to ask? 

Come, LORD Jesus, Come! 
Maranatha is the cry! Come, LORD Jesus, Come! 

As you face the rage of the nations, And COVID propaganda cloaked in protocol, political upheaval, evil running amuck… 

Come, LORD Jesus, Come! Maranatha is the cry! Come, LORD Jesus, Come! 

As confusion escalates and lies abound, There is one truth that can be found! Come, LORD Jesus, Come! Maranatha is the cry! Come, LORD Jesus, Come! 

I write a Psalm that cries of Your return looking for the protection of the innocent and deliverance from evil! Confuse the ones that determine to thwart Your return! 

Come, LORD Jesus, Come! Maranatha is the cry! Come, LORD Jesus, Come! 

I write a Psalm that praises You, 
A babe that gave His life away, Emmanuel, God with us! You are here to stay! The seal of the Spirit marking hearts forever, waiting expectantly.   

Come, LORD Jesus, Come! Maranatha is the cry! Come, LORD Jesus, Come! 

I write a Psalm that sings, You are the Bright and Morning Star, 
The Foundation of the world with the earth as Your footstool. 

Come, LORD Jesus, Come! Maranatha is the cry! Come, LORD Jesus, Come! 

I write a Psalm that rests, For Nothing is too hard for You, For Your truth sets us free… 

  “Follow me I will make you fishers of men! 
  Go! Your faith has healed you! 
  Rise up! Come forth! 
  Worship in Spirit and in truth! 
  Go make disciples of all nations! 
  Be my witnesses to the ends of the earth! 
  I give you authority to teach, heal, cast out demons!” 

Come, LORD Jesus, Come! Maranatha is the cry! Come, LORD Jesus, Come! 

I write a Psalm that celebrates, You as Creator, Founder of all The One Who Inhabits Eternity, Who promises to heed our call! 

Come, LORD Jesus, Come! Maranatha is the cry! Come, LORD Jesus, Come!

November 27, 2021 Maranatha! Shalom Y’all!

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Peace on Earth Good Will to Men: An Angel's Story

I am an angel of the LORD, a messenger of God. 

 Today I am being sent to you to give you a message that GOD loves everyone. The good news is a gift from the Almighty for all people everywhere. 

I remember the day the announcement came for us to prepare for the birth announcement. All of Heaven was rejoicing. Excitement filled the air. 

The angels were flying about singing Glory to God in the Highest! Our joy filled heaven with anticipation of this great event. 

Do you know what event I am talking about? Please let me tell you the true story from the perspective of an angel of the LORD. 

It all started the day the angel Gabriel was told to go and give a message to a young maiden in Nazareth, a small town in Galilee. Her name was Mary. She was a gentle young maiden that loved GOD very much. She was engaged to a young man named Joseph. He was simple carpenter that was honest, faithful, and true. 

Oh, how excited we were to watch Gabriel prepare for his trip to earth. I could feel the tickles of joy crawl up and down my spine. For this was the greatest gift to ever be given. Peace on earth and good will toward men.

As in all gifts are free, it was free to be taken because grace was pouring out from heaven through this announcement. We peered down from heaven watching Gabriel appear to Mary. Oooh, He gave her such a fright! 

He said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Her face creased with fear. She did not realize that GOD found great pleasure in her and chose her special for this tremendous occasion. 

Gabriel instantly tried to calm her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with GOD. You will be with child and give birth to a son. You are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The LORD GOD will give Him the throne of this father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His Kingdom will never end.” 

It was at that moment, I realized all of Heaven was silent. Every angel held their breath in anticipation of Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel. 

Her eyes lowered as she whispered to Gabriel, “How can this be since I am not married?” 

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of GOD,” Gabriel replied. 

As the words rang from Mary’s lips, “I am the LORDS servant. May it be to me as you have said,” all of Heaven breathed again. We began to sing “Glory to God in the Highest and on Earth peace and good will toward men!” We exulted in the great gift of GOD in sending Jesus to man. 

Peace on earth. Good will to men.

There was a moment of hesitation in our singing as Joseph struggled with the news that Mary was with child. He did not understand about the baby.
The LORD dispatched an angel to him while he slept to give him this message: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save his people from their sins.” Joseph woke up and did as the angel of the LORD told him and took Mary as his wife.

Heaven danced again for the greatest gift would soon be born. 

Joseph and Mary traveled to his hometown of Bethlehem because of a census that Caesar Augustus decreed. We watched from heaven as they traveled the long road to Bethlehem from Galilee enduring the dirt paved road as the elements of the sun and moon paved their journey. Joseph had layered blankets on the donkey’s back so Mary could ride in comfort. His kind ministrations comforted her and allowed her to rest pleasantly. 

When they arrived in Bethlehem the little village was so crowded there was no place for them stay. Joseph went from house to house trying hard to find a room for them. The baby was to be born soon. 

An innkeeper saw that Joseph was very concerned. He felt so bad he did not have a place for the couple to sleep, but he had an idea. He walked Joseph and Mary around to his stable where he kept his animals. He said, “You can rest there!” 

A weary Mary walked into the stable and laid down to rest in the hay. Even the animals quieted waiting for the gift from GOD. Finally, a wailing cry pierced the night as Mary wrapped the baby in swaddling clothes placing him in the manger. 

At this perfect moment, a star appeared in heaven over the little town of David. Shining in all its glory, as the breath of heaven arrived on earth through the birth of the Christ Child.
Without haste, I gathered a host of angels in the sky above the fields where shepherds kept watch over their flock that night. The glory of the LORD shone around me as I appeared over the shepherds. Terror fell upon them as they fell hiding their eyes from the glory of the LORD! .

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born for you; he is Christ the LORD. This will be a sign to you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared praising God, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth good will toward men.”

As quickly as we appeared, we disappeared into heaven again to watch the gift of heaven be unwrapped by His children. 

The Shepherds were the first to capture the vision of the newborn babe. They knelt before Him as tears stained their dirt caked faces unable to speak words—as the beauty of promises fulfilled covered the face of the babe nestled in the loving arms of His mother. 

The shepherd’s ran and told everyone what they had seen and heard before they returned to their flock that night! All were amazed! 

Mary and Joseph were so proud of the baby Jesus. On the eighth day of His life, they presented the Christ child at the temple for all to see. One lover of God named Simeon was there that day. He loved GOD very much. He was waiting for the arrival of the Messiah. As he took Jesus in his arms with his weathered hands cradling Jesus gently. He knew he could go in peace.
A song burst from him, “My eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” He announced to all people, “Jesus is for everyone including you and me!” 

Mary and Joseph marveled over what was said of their son, Jesus. 
In time Jesus grew. Do you remember the star that appeared the night he was born? Well, there were some wise men studying the stars that night. They saw the star when it appeared. They had heard that it was the star of the Christ Child sent to be the King of the Jews, GODS own gift from Heaven. So they traveled to find the baby Jesus. They traveled for many months to see Jesus bringing Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. What they found on the day they arrived was a great surprise. The gift they received was far greater than their gifts or their journey! It was the gift of life! 

God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. 

This is the free gift of Heaven. Joy made complete in the birth of a baby. The Baby Jesus was born for all people every where. 

It does not matter who you are, where you have been, or what you have done. God gave a gift by sending His One and Only Son! For all people everywhere. “Glory to GOD in the highest. Peace on earth and good will toward men.” 

Written and told by Dr. Tara Rye at Grace University in 2017 for the Introduction to Orality Story Celebration! 

Shallom y'all!

Monday, December 13, 2021


My mind is often in way too many places at one time. This moment for me was a holy moment. I am in church blessed by the colors around me, holding hot citrus, honey, ginger tea I made. I'm sipping it as it's warmth fills my body on a cold day. I really am  listening as Elvin O. Torres  preaches on peace. Yet, I am thinking of Naomi Bates Frizzell. She gave me my mug because it says, "Be you". I am always saying, "Thank you for being you. When she saw it, it made her think of me. I smiled inside as the memory filled my heart. I am following along reading the verses as Elvin reads them and taking notes on his four points of peace.

Then I heard Elvin say, "His peace which surpasses all understanding. It is transcendent."

Oooh I liked that! 
Go ahead and just say it aloud, 

Now that is a prayer worth praying.

Life crazy? Father, help me to rest in your TRANSCENDENT PEACE and get off the crazy cycle.  

Lots of pain got ya down? Father, You give me TRANSCENDENT PEACE. I will look up to You.

Illness plaguing you? Father, Your  TRANSCENDENT PEACE will help me move through this. Cover me and move through me with Your TRANSCENDENT PEACE.

I have always prayed for the peace that surpasses all understanding, but to say transcendent makes me feel like I am tapping into the beauty of the mystery of God's peace. I know that neither word makes a difference. It is all about who He is and what He gives us even when we may not deserve it. 

But in His goodness God chooses to give us TRANSCENDENT PEACE.

Peace that doesn't make sense. 

Peace that makes us strong. 

Peace that helps us hold our heads high and walk through. 

Peace that gives hope.

Peace that is present. 

Peace that shuts the enemy up because it is evident God is with us. 

So I marked the moment God blessed me with the prayer of TRANSCENDENT PEACE!

Will you pause and pray for His TRANSCENDENT PEACE to be evident in you today? I know I am!

Shalom y'all.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Heaven’s Hospitality for Women

One day as I drove to a speaking engagement to a women's event in South Dakota I was praying about International Women's Day. It was heavy on my heart that the women of the world are not taught their value in Jesus. God began to place on my heart all of the stories that helped me realize my value. These stories are the very stories that helped me to discover my identity in Christ and that I am worthy of honor and respect. I could not wait to go home and compile the list of what God gave me that helped me to discover Heaven's Hospitality toward me! God gave this to me when I was writing and teaching Heaven's Hospitality so I called it Heaven’s Hospitality for Women. Jesus’ conversations with women reveal that He knew women had the capability to comprehend the gospel, discuss theology, be a witness, make disciples, provide financial assistance, and assist in ministry without being a seductress. Jesus allowed women to be actively involved in kingdom building. Jesus’ interactions with women transcended culturally defined roles. 1. Jesus honored His mother’s request to turn water to wine at the wedding of Cana (John 2:11). 2. Jesus initiates conversations with foreign women (John 4:9). 3. Jesus did not gloss over the sin but confronted the sin of the women He interacted (John 4:16-18). 4. Jesus allowed women to be actively involved in kingdom building (John 4:21-24; 39-42). 5. Jesus trusted a woman’s testimony to lead an entire village (John 4:21-24; 39-42). 6. Jesus revealed His identity to a woman (John 4:26). 7. Jesus healed women: Peter’s mother-in-law and Woman with blood flow (Luke 4:38-41; 8:44; Luke 13:16). 8. Jesus spoke to women in public and showed He was tender hearted toward their suffering (Luke 7:11-17). 9. Jesus welcomes worship from a sinful woman (Luke 7:38; Matthew 26:13). 10. Jesus forgave/forgives women (Luke 7:48). 11. Jesus gave dignity when man sought shame and when the law demanded judgment (Luke 7:36-50). 12. Jesus trusted women to be persons of faith (Luke 7:50). 13. Jesus allowed women to travel with Him for ministry (Luke 8:1-3). 14. Jesus allowed women to minister to Him financially (Luke 8:1-3). 15. Jesus confronted sin with mercy (John 8:11). 16. Jesus used affectionate familial terms when talking to women… daughter (Luke 8:48). 17. Jesus showed compassion to women and did not view women as unclean (John 8:43-48). 18. Jesus settled disputes with a kingdom view (Luke 10:41). 19. Jesus commends sacrifice of widowed woman (Luke 21:2). 20. Jesus noticed the outcast and socially invisible woman (Luke 21:2). 21. Jesus took care of His mother (John 19:26). 22. Jesus used women as eye-witnesses (Mark 16:11; John 20:11-18; Matthew 28:1-10). 23. Jesus parables about women to teach truth (Matthew 25, Luke 15; 18). 24. Jesus had theological discussions with the Samaritan Woman on Living Water, Martha on the Resurrection of Life, and Mary Magdalene was the first eyewitness after Jesus rose from the grave. I do not feel this list is exhaustive. I realize that I need to make a list for the Old Testament too! My favorite Bible story to use in the Old Testament is the Widow's Oil in 1 Kings 4:1-7. We also need to consider the Ten Commandments, the Great Commandment, the Great Commission, and the Spiritual Gifts. These are commands and gifts that are given with the intent that both men and women fulfill them. If I may encourage the freedom that is modeled and commanded to be lived out among us. Live in Heaven’s hospitality and be a blessing as you are blessed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The LORD is with you when you are with Him!

(Watercolor by AmosCatfish.com)

When I was in my twenties, I drove by a grocery store with a billboard that was not the typical post. Instead of declaring the weekly special, it said, Wherever you go, there you are! I literally laughed out loud! Nothing like stating the obvious. That crazy true statement is quite profound and has caused me to remind myself through the years to be present where I am at.

This morning as I read my Bible, I had another one of those laugh out loud moments from someone stating the obvious.

"The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded.
 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with Him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them" (2 Chronicles 15:1-4).

The LORD is with you if you are with Him! Azariah stated the obvious to Asa because Israel forgot to bring God along. It is pretty easy to do. I wake up, get up, get my tea and start the day without inviting God to join me. Sadly, it is pretty obvious when I have forgotten to bring him along. Greg will testify that my responses are less kind and if I am in a foul mood I can be downright rude. Ugh. 

I guess this is why I like these two reminders. Wherever you go, there you are! I want to be present, but not just present. I don't want to ever forget that the LORD is with me when I am with Him. 

So, when I wake up in the morning, I often greet the LORD in my mind which draws a smile to my face. I start talking about my day. I get up and let the dog out. Get my hot tea and settle in with my Bible to read and pray. I then take out my prayer journal and start processing my day with God. Some days are longer and richer than others, but it is my heart that I seek to be present with God and invite Him so that wherever I go, there WE are

Take courage! It really is that simple. 

Would you invite God to be present with you, wherever you go? Remember, the LORD is with you when you are with Him!

Shalom y'all! 

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Jesus' Birth Inspires Generosity

As I listened to the Christmas story of the wise men visiting Jesus, I was again struck by the generosity of their gifts.

It wasn't just that they brought gold, frankenscence and myrrh. These are meaningful and prophetic gifts even if they did not know it.

They left their country, traveled long distance by foot or most likely on a camel. 

They sacrificed the time to travel there. One speculation is if these wise men were from Babylon in the east (about 1,677 miles or 2,700 kilometers) it would have taken them four to five months traveling a little less than 19 miles or 30 kilometers a day. 

They sacrificed time with family and work. Can you imagine an astronomer wakes his wife up and says, "Hey babe, there is a baby that has been born in Bethlehem, but will be moved to Egypt and I am going to go do a baby visit. I will be back in a year or maybe even a little more!"

It also would have required a huge caravan to carry what they would need for the journey and for anyone traveling with them. 

The birth of Jesus inspired uncommon generosity and sacrifice.

The birth of Jesus also inspired unimaginable evil. Herod the Great, king of Judea ordered a decree that all two-year-olds and under in or around Bethlehem to be killed when he heard that the King of the Jews was born. This is referred to as the Massacre of the Innocents. 

Herod sacrificed others because of his desire for power. Some hearts have moved so close to evil that they no longer are affected by the beauty and gift of a child or the gift of God. 

Jesus draws out the passion that is held in the heart. His name alone can cause great joy and inspire unimaginable generosity or cause the evil within to be revealed and unleashed on unsuspecting innocents.

What is revealed in your heart when you hear that God so loved the world that He gave His only so that all who believe in Him will not perish? 

I hope it is a yes and you allow the generosity of God to begin teaching you how to be just like Him... generous in all your ways! 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Treasure These Things

Have you ever noticed how a baby can reduce the the toughest guy to the most gentle of man? I love this! Everyone loves a little baby! 

This irony should not surprise us especially when we discover that God chose shepherds to be the first to welcome the Lamb of God, Messiah! 

If anyone was rough and lowly in culture it was a shepherd. Yet, God chose them to see His Son and tell the people the Savior has arrived. 

If anyone could understand the importance of a first born sacrifice, it would be a shepherd. They were the ones that cared for the mother and delivered the little lamb. They had to inspect it to make sure it was without blemish and then walk it to the temple for it to be sacrificed. Shepherds got it! 

And they were amazed! They ran and told everyone.

While Mary treasured these things in her heart. Little Hinley (5 years old, Anneliese Kliewer) summed it up beautifully, "Mary locked these things in her heart." When he heard the story he understood that Mary was not going to forget the beauty of her little babe being born and the rugged shepherds coming to welcome Him. Or that they declared that a host of angels sang over them as they watched their flock that night. Because an angel told both her and Joseph about Jesus. Jesus would be the Son of God and Savior of the world. 

Have you welcomed the beautiful baby Jesus into your rugged ole' heart? 

I have! Shalom y'all!

Friday, December 3, 2021

Worry and Fear Kill

(Art by Scott Young)

"Death was walking toward a man who stopped him and asked, "What are you going to do?" 

Death said, "I'm going to kill ten thousand people." The man said, "That's horrible!" 

Death said, "That's the way it is; that is what I do!" As the day passed, the man warned everyone he could of Death's plan. 

At the end of the day, he met Death again. He said, "You said, "You were going to kill ten thousand people, and yet one hundred thousand people died." 

Death explained, "I only killed ten thousand. 

Worry and fear killed the others." (Source unknown, but found in Holman New Testament Commentary). 

Worry seems to be in a lot of my conversations and if I am honest my mind spends way too much time worrying, too. 

Been thinking on this alot because Grant has quoted at least three times, well maybe more, a line from Fantastic Creatures. "Don't worry because this means you live it twice." 

Everytime, he says it, I think some die a thousand times over. I know! It is easier said than done. I know this is why we are commanded to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Mind renewal isn't just taking a positive thinking stance. It is the willful obedience to release the circumstances to the LORD and trust Him with the outcome. Sometimes, this must done a thousand times over before we just realize, "Hey, I did not think on that today!" 

Where are you reliving something two, three times or more?  

Beloved, release it to the LORD JESUS and enjoy the peace which surpasses all understanding to guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. No point in giving Death more than he is accountable for!

Knowing the Names of God Builds Enable Obedience and Obedience Builds Hope

How do you respond when someone says, "Obey or Obedience!"  Does it cause you to want to fight or listen?  What if I told you that often obedience builds hope? 

In today's advent story, we will discover that Joseph's obedience gave him hope to do the right thing. 

This week as I reflected on the Christmas stories to teach them I wrote out every name given to Jesus through the Christmas stories. Here are some I noted.  They are from the three angel visits to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherd's stories.

Son of the Most High
King David's descendant 
King of Israel
Son of God
The LORD Saves
God with us
The Lord

Knowing the names of God help us to understand His character and that builds hope. It also helps us to obey when things just don't make sense or seem hard. 

I love how God made sure Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds were given the character traits and names that would help them walk in obedience to fulfill His will in their lives. Our lives are changed because of it.

Where do you struggle with obedience? What character trait of God do you call upon to help you walk in obedience?  How did it give you hope? 

Blessings come when we obey! Joseph got to become the earthly father of the heavenly king because of his obedience and we now live in hope because of his gift.

Father, please use this story to build hope today. Here is to knowing the character of God and walking in obedience. Thank you for hope! 

Shalom y'all!

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Christmas: Being Seen Gives Hope

Listen to the story: Mary Visits Elizabeth

Do you ever feel unseen? There is something powerful that happens in us when we are seen. Hope rises. I love that God gave Mary the truth that her cousin was pregnant so that Mary would go see her. This would be someone she could tell what is happening inside her that might understand.

Upon arriving, Elizabeth's baby leapt in her womb because he knew who was in Mary's womb. Talk about miraculous sight! That moment confirmed what Mary had seen and heard from the angel. It gave her hope.

When I feel unseen or unheard I feel despair? Do you? We are created to know and be known.  

The moment Elizabeth saw Mary she was very specific in her words, "You are blessed among women..." As I reflect on how Elizabeth made Mary feel seen, I realize that she was very specific about what was important to Mary in the moment. This may not be what this story intentionally teaches, but this is the power of story unfolding. I see a leader, an aunt, speaking hope to someone in need of hope. She was quick in letting Mary hear her words of encouragement. I see this and I think I can do that! 

How can I speak to someone in such a way that they know they are seen? 

When the Spirit of God is at work in us, He will give us the miraculous in the moment, too. It may not be as dramatic as John the Baptist type moment leaping in the womb, but it will come in giving us insight in what to say.

Father, show us how to help others be seen and find hope!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Christmas: Uninvited Guests

I love preparing for guests to come over. As I bustle about my house, I consider their needs and how I can care for them. My heart overflows with goodness and I cannot wait for them to enjoy our time together. Yet, sometimes when a guest arrives uninvited it is easy for my response to be fear. My fear may come in many forms. I am not ready. I am not prepared. I am too busy. I am tired or my house is a mess. Ugh! 

As we enter the season of Christmas, I wonder at the bustle of heaven in preparation for Jesus' visitation on earth. People had been praying and anticipating His arrival, but it did not happen as they expected. 

I imagine God was so excited about inviting us to join Him that He sent on three different occassions messengers to prepare people.

The angels visits were not expected. In fact, they caused fear. The people were not prepared and most definitely did not expect it to happen as it did. Yet, each one responded to their uninvited guest with a yes.

How do you respond to uninvited guests? How do you respond to God's unexpected messengers? Have you allowed your bustle to get in the way of seeing the uninvited guests? Have you been preparing for God to come, but not welcomed the gift of His Son? 

I'm praying I am ready! How about you?

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Their Minds are Sweetly Occupied with Higher Things


Do you ever struggle with keeping your mind on higher things?  I know I do! Here is a great reminder.

Spurgeon's response to the quarrel between two women in Philipi (Euodia and Syntyche), "I am glad that we do not know what the quarrel was about; I am usually thankful for ignorance on such subjects; - but as a cure for disagreements, the apostle says, 'Rejoice in the Lord always.' People who are very happy, especially those who are very happy in the Lord, are not apt either to give offense or to take offense. Their minds are so sweetly occupied with higher things, that they are not easily distracted by the little troubles which naturally arise among such imperfect creatures as we are. Joy in the Lord is the cure for all discord." (Spurgeon) 

I love how he notes that those who avoid quarrels are because their minds are on higher things. 

Praying for a mind focused on higher things. I have learned over and over that when I am offended that I am the one who walked out of love. Choosing to love provides so much peace and gives room for all to grow. 

My prayer word this year is rejoice. It has almost been ironic at the moments God has reminded me to choose joy and to rejoice. 

Question for the week... Am I giving offense or taking offense and if so how can I edify God, the other or self in this situation and seek higher ground?

A good reminder from November 27, 2016.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Leading to Edification

“Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification” (Romans 15:2)


I remember the moment the mind shift was taking place in me. I was in my twenties; Greg and I were newlywed. Honestly, I was angry at God! Well, I was angry at Greg and letting God have it. Poor guy! We were in another of those early marriage spats. You know, the moment when you are yelling because they squeezed the toothpaste roll the wrong way. I quickly learned. Greg gets his own tube. I want to squeeze the way I squeeze my toothpaste! But the fight had nothing to do with the toothpaste, but with an unmet expectation that had not been clearly communicated. I cannot even remember what we were fighting about, but we were fighting again! UGH! I was reading my Bible and letting God have it because Greg wasn’t getting his stuff together! I was the master at telling God what Greg needed to grow up in. Sometimes, we can be masters at pointing out other’s faults. O God, forgive us! 

BUT GOD, kindly and graciously reminded me in my daily Bible reading that it was not about Greg. It is never about Greg. It is ALWAYS about me when it is a matter that I am talking to Him about in prayer. God wanted me to stop talking about what Greg was doing wrong and to start thinking about what I was doing wrong and what I needed to do to live right. UGH! SERIOUSLY! I thought to myself, “Can I not even whine in my prayers to You?” And again, God kindly reminded me that I could whine and tell Him all about my woes and worries, but that is where it must stop and then I must listen and obey. Why? Because God wants me to live my life so that I lead in edification! 

I am a bride. Can I lead? You betcha! I LEAD! It is as much my responsibility to lead as it is Greg’s and God was not going to let me off the hook! This morning I caught myself asking, what does it mean to lead with edification? God took me back to that memory of when He started teaching me this principle. If you would have asked me then if God was teaching me to live out a life that builds up, I would not have been able to see it. At the time, it felt more like God was tearing me down. But God grew me up in it despite me. 

The Greek word for edify is oikodome’. It means to build a house. Literally, visualize a house that is being built stone by stone. 

I once read that stone arches were used because of how they were so sturdy. Each stone was piled up on the other in such a way that the pressure caused them to provide support and stability that made them strong. The stones edified one another! It was in the stones leaning into each other that they were able to provide a beautiful archway that supported the infrastructure, and, in many cases, it weathered the elements and lasted years beyond the use of the entire building.

Greg and I had to learn to lean into each other as we faced pressure. We had to learn how to speak to one another in such a way that it built up (edified) rather than tore down. I needed to ask myself, “Do my words build my Greg up or do they tear him down?” He needed to ask it, too, but I am only allowed to talk and deal with my own sin. And y’all, I had much to learn and still do. 

Beyond marriage, I am grieved by so much that happens around me. I hurt when I see two people not able to talk about COVID vaccines without ripping apart the other person. It is as if we have forgotten how to build up. We are no longer leaning in and helping each other to be stronger. Greg read this verse to me this morning and it is a great reminder because it applies to how we react and interact with each other. “Be careful that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak” (1 Corinthians 8:9). We don’t want to be the stumbling block. And it seems that this issue is becoming a massive stumbling block. How can we lean into each other and help support each other in our decisions? 

It grieves my heart when I hear people getting nasty over politics. History reminds us that politics and division will always be there, but it is the one that loves that can change the course of history. We need to live by ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31). 

Do I lead to edify in these situations? Sometimes, I have to stop myself midsentence and choose to do a redirect! Not because I am avoiding or running away, but because I love the person more than I love my opinion. I need to lean into them to make us both stronger and this provides stability. What can I learn from them? How can we use this pressure to help us get stronger and make us more stable as we support each other? How can I be a servant in the moment and make it less about me and more about understanding them? 

Jesus commanded us, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise authority over them. It shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…” (Matthew 20:25). 

If I am leading to edification then I am thinking about the other person’s heart, their mind, their soul, and yes even their spirit! I have to ask myself, “Am I a giving instruction that is helpful, useful, kind? Am I saying it in a way that builds up? Can I see that the way I am communicating is designed to improve, instruct, encourage, and bless? 

How does leading to edification challenge you today? Are you willing to pause and ask God how you might need to shift in tone, word, deed so that you lead to edify? 

Today, I will be asking myself, how am I leading to edification? 

Shalom y’all!

Saturday, November 6, 2021

A Prayer to Pray When You Hear of Wars and Rumors of Wars


How do I live in prayer and worship during seasons of war? 

I turned to King David to see how he prayed since he was known as the man after God's own heart. David recognized that the LORD's training was continuous. It never ends. It does not matter if it is training the hands for a physical battle or if it is training the hands for a spiritual battle the LORD will train His warrior for the battle. We must remember that our physical battles and our spiritual battles are opportunities for spiritual strength to be trained and revealed. We do not face either one without the LORD's preparation if we are His child calling upon His name. 

Consider reading Psalm 144. 

Do you see that David used praise as a weapon of war? 

Do you see how David spends more time talking about God rather than the enemy? 

In what ways might David's Psalm be a sacrifice of praise? 

How does this Psalm show that David feared the LORD and not man? 

My Rock and My Fortress (Psalm 144 Of David) 

1 Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle; 2 he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. 3 O Lord, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? 4 Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow. 5 Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke! 6 Flash forth the lightning and scatter them; send out your arrows and rout them! 7 Stretch out your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me from the many waters,from the hand of foreigners, 8 whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood. 9 I will sing a new song to you, O God; upon a ten-stringed harp, I will play to you, 10 who gives victory to kings, who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword. 11 Rescue me and deliver me from the hand of foreigners, whose mouths speak lies and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood. 12 May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace; 13 may our granaries be full, providing all kinds of produce; may our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields; 14 may our cattle be heavy with young, suffering no mishap or failure in bearing; may there be no cry of distress in our streets! 15 Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord! 

What character traits of God do you see? 

How can you pray these character traits over you, your family, your nation? 

What character trait do you cling to right now and why? 

What do you learn about David? 

What do you learn about the enemy? 

What do you need to do based on what you discovered? 

In case you did not know, the word foreigner here does not mean nationality! It references the person or people that reject God and the commands of God. This person or people groups' actions are traitorous. They are liars and deceivers with both their words and actions. This person or people group cannot be trusted and does not respect the sanctity of life. These are the ones that David is asking God to scatter.

www.audioscripture.org www.tararye.com www.whollyloved.com

Friday, November 5, 2021

His Life is in Your Hands

Have you ever been crushed by someone’s words? Have you known someone who gave you life by what they said? 

Today’s devotional, written by Tara Rye,  reminds us of the power of our words. 

Read it here: https://whollyloved.com/2021/11/01/his-life-is-in-your-hands/

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

"I do!"

30 years ago today Greg and I said, "I do!" 

Have you ever thought what those two words really mean?

Love is an action and in our marriage vows it is spoken as, "I do!" 

"I do" means that I am your yes and amen (so be it). Consider just some of the ways we "I do" through the years...

"I do" to you! 
"I do" time with you!
"I do" lots of talking with self-disclosure exposing my highs and lows with you!
"I do" laughter and tears with you!
"I do" celebrations and devastations! 
"I do" births and deaths with you!
"I do" the best of my physical being and the worst of me with you!
"I do" disappointments and surprises with you!
"I do" natural phenomenon and disasters with you!
"I do" family both the good and the bad with you!
"I do" life knowing and serving with you! 
"I do" gathering of friends, coworkers, and neighbors with you! 
"I do" struggle and worship with you.
"I do" dinners, meals, feasts and fasts with you.
"I do" seasons, years, months, weeks, hours and minutes with you.
"I do" means I die to me and say yes to you.

Every day and every moment is  offered as an "I do" to you.

We have had 30 years of "I do" Greg Rye both the good and the bad and here we are stilling saying "I do". 

I am a better human because I said, "I do" to you! 

Thanks babe for being you!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Esther: A Queen's Dignity (Esther 1-2)

What does dignity look like? Do you know someone that you think of when you think of dignity? I love this section of Esther because it shows that for one woman dignity is revealed by saying, "No!" to the king. For the other woman, dignity was revealed by her walking with a "yes" as she moved obediently through the process! Both of them were dignified in their response. The other thing that blesses me about Esther's story is that even though God is not mentioned you can see His providential hand at work. Crazy factoids I discovered as I studied this book. Greece was holding its 79th Olympics during this time frame! Crazy to think the Olympics have been going on that long. The other thing that blew my mind was the extense of Xerxes territories as the King of Persia. His kingdom spanned through Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Jordan, Lebanon as well as parts of Egypt, Sudan, Libya, and Arabia. No wonder his party lasted 180 days as he welcomed all of his territories! I imagine the dignitaries were coming and going as they arrived on the scene! Apparently, Persia loved to party! The first two chapters have three parties and as we watch this true story unfold we will see that Esther holds her own parties. Even the bad guy hangs out with his friends and family in between scenes! This was one communal group! Yet, through it all, we will discover that God can use one person that is willing to be used by Him to help change things for a nation.

Monday, October 18, 2021



When I received a friend request from a man wearing a topi I was intrigued. I thought, Why would he be friending me? After checking out his profile to make sure he was a safe person I friended him. I always examine my friend requests before I accept them. I try to say yes as much as possible because I use my social media for ministry. 

 The next day he wrote on one of my posts to pray for his country. I asked for the name of this country, and he shared it with me. I wrote it down in my prayer journal and started praying the next day. That night I received the longest message in messenger telling me about his people group. 

I learned that the there is 0% literacy among the women and that the men have less than 2%. They take care of cattle and cotton crops. They don’t have tv’s, radios, or Wi-Fi and no Bible is published yet in their language. I also learned that the women are not allowed to use cell phones or in their culture there is no need to do so. They are truly an oral culture. 

He then asked me, “Will you disciple my wife in Bible storytelling?” 

He shared that he prayed and asked God to give him someone that would teach his wife so she could disciple their women because he realized that if they don’t teach the women the Bible then their culture would never change. 

I found myself asking God, “God is this my person of peace? Am I to do this?” and immediately I heard in my heart a resounding, “Yes!” 

My response was, “Here I am, LORD!” We set up a time to meet. Late at night for my husband Greg and me and early morning for them. Now three months later and sixteen Bible stories, this couple is like family to my husband and me. We cannot wait for our Zoom calls and are eager for messages about what is happening in their lives. 

Somehow GOD in HIS sovereign will chose us to go to a place we never thought possible to make disciples through ZOOM of all things. 

We use several different methods as we train: conversations, stories, questions, art, stick figure drawing, graphs, and PowerPoint slides. 

Sometimes Greg and I are up early, and they are up late. We change the time based on the rhythm of our needs, but we remain faithful to giving the Word of God as accurately as we can orally so they can hear the Scriptures in their heart language. 

Greg or I tell the Bible story and then our friend interprets it to his wife so she can hear it. Then she repeats the story back and he interprets it to us so we can tell if she understood correctly. She then meets with five to eight women from five different villages on Friday nights and tells them the Bible stories. They tell them back to her and she checks to make sure they know it. They then go home and tell people the Bible stories in their villages. The women then report back stories of what happened. It is a circle dance of listening, sharing, teaching, listening, sharing, teaching with questions mixed in to help us all understand. 

The NARION theme for 2021 is Mark 13:10 “And the gospel must first be communicated to all nations.” (Mark 13:10). 

Our theme is ALL NATIONS BY ALL MEANS! As I prayed God put on my heart four words that we should remember. 
The first word that God put on my heart is PANTA TA ETHNE! In the great commission God gave us the command to go to all nations by all means. 

All Nations is the PANTA TA ETHNE. There are debates among theologians on whether this word represents the geography, the anthropology, the linguistic, or the Gentile. But in the scheme of things all agree we must go and if someone doesn’t know then we must find a way to get the Scriptures to them in their heart language. 

According to the Joshua Project 41.8% of the world’s population in completely unreached with the message that God so loved them that He gave His only Son, Jesus, to die for them! And if you add up all of the columns except the significantly reached 77.4% of the world’s population needs more people that are willing to say, “Here I am!” 

This bring us to our next word Hineni (Hnaynee) which means “HERE I AM!” 

It appears 17 times in four books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Samuel, and Isaiah). 

My friend that contacted me over social media was willing to use social media to reach out to the nations for help! He was willing to ask me if I was willing to say, “Here I am! I will go to the nations!” He was willing to ask me, when culture would say, a man should not ask a woman for help. He went ahead and asked. He recognized that God was urging him to do so, so he obeyed. 

Hineni is about a call and response. 


 God is seeking our full attention for His purpose. 


 We have a to make choice. 
   • Am I willing to sacrifice? 
   • Am I willing to obey the call? 

There is great risk in saying, “HERE I AM!” 
   Think of Abraham with Isaac. 
   Think of Joseph searching out his brothers before they threw him in a pit and sold him as a slave. 
   Think of Moses facing his past as a murderer before he could lead the nation out of bondage in Egypt.  

Hineni says… 
   Here I am with ALL of ME! 
   Here I am ready to face whatever is before me! 
   Here I am to do whatever You lead me to! 
   Here I am to go wherever You tell me to go! 

Hineni is… 
   Into the unknown 
   Requires faith  Expects surrender 
   Faces pain 
   Embraces needs of others 
   Dives into the deep 
   Is willing to do God’s circle dance  

Our dear sister Nancy Wilson is a person who lived out Hineni! Nancy served as a Global Ambassador with CRU on the StoryRunners team. She traveled the globe as she surrendered to her Hineni. Nancy visited over 70 countries. She lived out “Here I am” for the nations. She used many methods to reach others. She was an incredible storyteller. She used her clothes as an opportunity to tell stories and draw people into conversations. She used prayer, events, books, and speeches. Nancy used everything at her disposal to reach the nations. 

We want to take a moment to recognize her and say we miss her. We celebrate the life of our dear friend Nancy. Nancy lived out a beautiful circle dance for Jesus all over the world. 

Which leads us to the next word. Marharal. Marharal is the Circle dance! 

It is what Miriam did when they crossed the Red Sea! 
  • The Circle dance celebrates our connection to God and to each other. 
 • The Circle dance is about movement. 
 • The Circle dance is about unity. o In the Circle dance each person will move through the circle from person to person taking the next person’s place. Together moving in unity! You are never stationary and you are never alone!
 • The Circle dance celebrates in community. 
 • The Circle dance is focused on God! He is at the center! The movement is not about the one moving, but the one with whom we encircle! We are all dancing for His glory and praise! 

As I listened to this description at a wedding recently, I thought, “What a beautiful picture of ministry!” 

We each play our part and we keep moving in unity as we seek to follow our “Here I am” LORD call. 

We cannot do this alone! We must do this together and we must do it through many ways. 

This leads me to our last word Multi-modal. 

As we go to the nations with our ‘Here I am’ response and join the circle dance we must be willing to use whatever means possible to reach the unreached. 

Multi-modal is using various methods, strategies, or modes of communication in order to increase meaning. 

Multi-modal is 
 • Adaptive to the audience 
 • Flexible 
 • Interactive 
 • Experiential
 • Uses the senses
 • Creative 

It is Biblical… 

 • Miriam choreographed a group of women to sing, dance, and worship the LORD with hand drums. 
 • David Danced in the streets.
 • Ahimaaz the son of Zadok ran to get a message to David. 
 • Isaiah used poetry to point us to the Messiah.
 • Jeremiah smashed jars as visual aids to show the people God was going to smash them. 
 • Nehemiah shook his robes to show that this is what will happen to the ones that do not follow through with their word. 
 • Jesus used parables and questions.   • Paul wrote letters. 

In God’s call to the Nation’s, it is about using whatever method will help the person develop understanding and meaning when they hear the Word of GOD! 

I love how God’s message has been communicated from so many different methods! It is never about the method! It is about JESUS and reaching the people with HIS message. 

We are here today not to compete with one another, but to celebrate one another as we go to the nations in our unique, “Here I am” with whatever method, strategy, or mode that works to get people the gospel message! 

We celebrate you and thank GOD for all you do! 

Shalom y’all!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The 10 Commandments with Hidden Persian Numbers

When the kids were little Greg found images similar to these to teach the kids the 10 commandments. We were amazed that after looking at them for a few minutes both of them could tell us the 10 Commandments. 
I just recreated this set but this time there are images embedded in the drawings of the Persian script number. 

Can you find the Persian numbers? 

Can you name the 10 Commandments without looking them up?

Does this look like me and Greg?

I need advice. Which image for number 4 do you prefer?  

Do you like the Bible or the church to help you remember to keep the Sabbath?

How would you draw them?

I really like my bowing guy. No I am not keeping him as an idol!

The Most High God us number one in My life! 

Let me know if this was helpful.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

When our Actions Don't Match our Words Trust Gets Broken

In today's Bible story in the Joseph series, we will discover the importance of letting our actions match our words. As you listen to the next few stories in the series as yourself, how did their actions not matching their words break trust. It greatly affected Joseph's family dynamics. 

How has your trust been broken by those who say one thing but do another? How might have you broken the trust of others by not following through?

It is at this point in Joseph's story that we see the consequences and how it affects his brothers and his father.

Watch the story here..

Sunday, September 26, 2021

God was with Joseph

Have you ever felt like every time you turn around someone else is doing you wrong? If anyone could give this as a complaint it is Joseph in the Bible. Yet, we are told God was with Joseph! Literally, every time something bad happened Joseph had this way of landing upright on his feet even when sold into slavery, thrown into jail, and while being forgotten! Through it all, God was with Joseph. What was it that made Joseph such a blessing to those he served? 

This recording is one of the longer ones. I imagine most won't even take the time to give it a thorough listen. Ain't nobody got time for that! But, the reality is that we all need to listen to and read Joseph's story more often. 

There are life principles we need to grasp with the first one being that we recognize that through it all GOD IS WITH US! HE ALONE IS THE ONE WHO BLESSES US! 

Greg asked me how my morning was going when he came home for lunch. I shared with him that I had to record this over and over, but through it all, I felt so blessed. Each time, I discovered a new thought and nuance to the story that weaved its way into my soul! I love the mornings when I get a chance to record. They are my personal soul food!

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

John 3:16 In Different Languages

This is so beautiful! You can listen to John 3:16 in different languages.


When the Rooster Crows a New Day is Coming

This morning as I read about Peter's third denial of being a disciple, I was struck by the rooster's crow. I remembered that Jesus had warned Peter that he would deny Him three times and when he was done doing it a rooster would crow. But then I remembered these words.

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers" (Luke 22:31-32).

I then thought the whole reason a rooster crows is to let us know it is a new day. A rooster crows because he has an "internal clock that helps him anticipate sunrise (www.earthsky.org). The rooster anticipates the new day is awakening. Jesus could have used anything to remind Peter of his conversation, but He chose to use a rooster. 

Peter chose to run and deny what he knew as truth, but there is a new day coming when he would stand his ground and face his own demise at the hands of man. 

Peter may have forgotten who he was and who he served for a moment, but a new day was coming when he would proclaim boldly in the streets and synagogues. 

Peter may weep after the rooster crows, but soon he will rejoice when many nations receive the Holy Spirit. 

I love that Jesus gave Peter a rooster. An ordinary creature that daily crows even today on the Mount of Olives. A new day is coming. Get up and embrace the new day.

I do not know where you have been or what you have done, but I do know each of us need to hear the rooster crow. Go ahead and weep like Peter as you remember what you have done that you should not have done, but then get up and remember a new day has come!

Jesus intercedes for you! Though you may be sifted for a moment remember a new day is coming. Celebrate the rooster crowing as our reminder! Jesus has already come and He will come again!

Shalom y'all. 

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Heaven's Hospitality: How am I Giving Hospitality to my one?

The Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46) https://youtu.be/_mJ969mHD9M

Have you ever wondered, "Who am I responsible to share hospitality to?" I know for me it feels overwhelming to think that there is a whole world out there and I could be considered responsible for them. 

But, I AM NOT! I cannot give hospitality to the whole world! It is impossible. I cannot be communal to all people, or generous and sacrificial to all people. I am not capable to reach all people everywhere to share the presence of God or HIS plan! 

I recently had someone contact me from far away and tell me that God told them I was to give them money. I took the time to pray and ask God, "Am I supposed to do give money to this person?" 

It really bothered me because this person is a total stranger and not someone that I would even know if they had not found me via social media. But, I did not want to ignore it if God wanted me to do it. I prayed. I did not feel led to do anything. Then I struggled how do I gracefully help this person to hear that I do not feel I am responsible for their need. The person kept asking. I almost felt harrassed. I finally said, "God has not confirmed for me that this is what I am supposed to do." 

My hospitality came through the form of gracious and kindness in the face of a demand. The person then said to me, "Then I will pray you will hear from God!" 

This really bothered me because I am studying the importance of hospitality and I am seeking to honor God in what I do, how I give, and how I serve. And, I did not feel that the person was honoring me with hospitality the way they were demanding of me. I really struggling over the many requests that come in from strangers. 

We are called to be kind to all, but where do we draw the line? How do I know who to give my hospitality to? One truth that we discovered in this study is that in the Biblical middleeast hospitality is something that we do for a stranger not a family member. When we are kind to a family member this is considered to be steadfast love. I found myself asking, Does this make every stranger my stranger to serve? On some levels, yes! 

Kindness is easily given and will never be regretted. But, there is a difference from being welcoming, kind, caring, and loving to giving generously and sacrificially. 

As I reflect on Jesus' life and the way He walked around and served, I realized that He did not take care of all the people that bumped into Him, yet when the bleeding woman reached out to touch Him healing went out from Him. There were also times that Jesus allowed disciples to walk away simply because the message He taught was too hard for them to follow. This made me realize that if Jesus did not offer His gifts to all then I, too, should be wise in who and how I give and serve. This is when we must trust the Holy Spirit to work out in us. 

In the last year, I had another person contact me and ask me if I would train his wife. I was intrigued so I did my research and prayed. I felt led to move forward. This has proven to be one of the most blessed times for both of our families. We all know and feel the blessing of God at work in us. This person that was a stranger has become like family to our family. Greg and I know joy overflowing when we talk of them and in preparation to get together. 

I discovered that by freely giving our gifts of hospitality to this person both of our families gave honor to God. It wasn't about our gifts, but our mutual love for the LORD and His movement in us. Blessings overflowed. It was not a chore, but a delight to sacrifice together. 

I honestly do not know why God put on my heart to say "no" to one and a "yes" to another, but I recognize that we all have our limits in what we can do. I almost wonder if God made me say, "no" to the first person because that situation would take the glory away from God and not give it to Him. 

In today's Bible story, it opens with the Son of Man sitting on His glorious throne and gathering the nations to Him along with His angels. Glory is very prominent because the story is all about honoring Him. 

What if we asked ourselves, "How can I give Him the glory due His name in this situation?" and allowed that to determine if we are to say, "yes" or "no" and give our hospitality! 

In this, I am talking about more than neighborly kindness. I am talking about the communal, generous, sacrifice that will lead to joining Jesus as He serves amongst us in cognito!     

I am accountable to my one through The ONE! The very person in front of me should receive all of the fruits of the spirit that reside in me through Jesus! 

The last Bible story for Heaven's Hospitality releases us from the pressure of the whole world, but it holds us accountable to the least of these in our area of influence. 

I had to learn to recognize that my spirit of welcome is for all, but my time, talent, and treasures should be given out as the LORD leads in hopes that I bless Him unawares! 

Go check it out in Matthew 25:31-46. It will be very comforting, but get yourself ready because it will also be convicting. 

Who is your one?