Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Jesus' Baby Dedication

As I prepared to study Jesus's baby dedication or presentation at the temple I thought, "I don't think there will be much for me to take away." LOL! God loves these moments in my life. I don't know why they still show up in my head, but they do and He always shows me how wrong I am. LOL!

I had never paid attention to all the descriptions of Jesus in this passage. I discovered 12! Seriously! Wozer!

Well, I just started listing more in my head...
Wise Counselor
Some are listed directly and others are implied. But. OH MY! 

No wonder Simeon and Anna's responses were Thanksgiving and praise! 

What I love I'd that they saw Jesus!  Am I looking to see Him?  Do I seek Him out in my day? And once I meet Him do I do what Simeon did bless those that brought Him to me?  Or do I do what Anna did and go tell those that are looking for redemption about Him? 

I love that seeing Jesus brings out praise, blessings, thanksgiving, and telling of Him. 

We cannot share about what we do not know! But when we do know we can't help buy pour it out. It just overflows!

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Wilderness Testing and Temptation

Sometimes when I am in a wilderness moment, you know those seasons where you know you are in a struggle and feel like you are being tested or tempted on every angle, I often don't realize I am in it until I am at the end of it or until I put an end to it. The end always happens when I choose to activate my faith through the power of God's Word in me. Then suddenly it all makes sense and I feel release, relief, strength, and the ability to move forward. 

Once when I was preparing for a speaking engagement in Lake McQueeny, Texas I felt heavy weeks before it almost like I was walking in a dense fog. I kept moving forward in prayer, reading Scripture, and praising God even though I felt the weight. There was a moment when someone repented of a very serious sin and then the weight was gone. It wasn't until that moment that I realized I was fighting a spiritual battle. The lifting happened when I prayed Psalm 51 over the person. God taught me alot in that moment. 

This morning as I read about Jesus' testing/temptation or wilderness moment, I am reminded once again of the power of praying God's Word. It is what makes us strong when we are weak. His Word is what makes Satan flee. Yes, Satan is real and he is out to steal, kill, and destroy, but God's Word is powerful, effective, and can cut through any circumstance. 

We are all fighting spiritual battles. These are not easily won. We need to do as Jesus did! Counter the lies with the Word of God! We must listen to it, read it, believe it, speak it, and pray it into every circumstance of our lives.

We must trust that the Holy Spirit is with us. Notice that Scripture does not say that the Holy Spirit left Jesus! The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness. This is telling us He was with Him. 

So when we are in our times of preparation hold onto the presence of the Holy Spirit. Trust Him to guide you in all truth and speak the Word of God to counter the enemy.

Shalom y'all!

Friday, February 4, 2022

The Gift of Gratitude and Thankfulness

Do you ever struggle with gratitude?  I know I do. Sometimes, I want to just grumble and complain. Oh God forgive me! My mom Olive Kathy Warren is blessing me so much as I watch her journey a very difficult season. Literally, she oozes thankfulness and gratitude. She is having to figure out a new norm and when we talk she tells me of the simple joys she had that day. 

This morning as I read 1 Chronicles 23, I read again that the priests were given the task to start the day and end the day with giving praise and thankfulness to the LORD. As I prayed over our family asking God to make us a people that start our day and end our day in praise and thankfulness, I was reminded of how praise and thankfulness are a gift to us mentally, emotionally, socially, physically, and even spiritually.

Did you know that scientists have done research and that patients that give thanks and gratitude release serotonin and dopamine the feel good hormones? Science  supports what God has already shown us. 

"Give thanks to the LORD for He is good. His love endures forever!" (Psalm 136:1-2).

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16

When I taught at the University of Houston in a lab school, we used to have a saying on really bad days when it seemed like the whole classroom was in complete chaos, "He/she has good bones." No matter how bad it got, we could find something good to say. Even if it was simply someone has good bones. They couldn't do what they were doing if their bones were not functioning well. Lol.

What can you give thanks for today?  How can you praise God? Thankfulness and gratitude are gifts of God that give back to you. Give them freely and give them generously. Blessings will over flow inside you because of it! 

By the way, I praise God for you!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Why was Jesus baptized?

Why was Jesus baptized?

Jesus' baptism story is in three books (Matthew 3:23-17, Mark 19-11, and Luke 3:21-23). Each author tells something unique that they noticed.

Matthew noticed that Jesus asked John to help Him and when John tried to refuse Jesus pointed out that His baptism fulfills righteousness now.

Mark noticed that when the dove ascended from heaven that heaven tore open. 

Luke noticed that Jesus prayed when He was being baptized.

All three spoke of Jesus, the Holy Spirt, and the Voice of Heaven (the Father).

All three pointed out that the Father Said, "This is my Son, whom I love and am well pleased!"

Then Luke lets us know that Jesus' ministry began. 

Based on what you just read, why was Jesus baptized? 

Why would it be in the Bible for us to read about? 

What do learn from this true story?

Many years ago, I caught the truth that obedience fulfills righteousness in the moment. This was a huge truth for me to meditate on. I started asking myself, How can I fulfill righteousness now? 

For some, it could be you need to know Jesus, for others it could be getting baptized. For some, it could be seeking help to fulfill righteousness in the moment, and others it could be listening to the voice of God and the truths that He speaks over you. Some might need to be aware that the Holy Spirit is present and at work.

It is so much fun to be in the Word, to be with Jesus, and be transformed! 

Shalom y'all!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Jesus is Risen and Gives the Great Commission

What I love about asking these simple questions when I study the Bible is that it allows me to hear from God directly what He needs me to hear. 

I don't know about you, but sometimes obedience us hard, scary, and overwhelming. 

How can I? Who am I? 

You know the question reel in your brain. But, then God sends the reminder, "Do not be afraid!" 

I may not have an angel appearing, but the consistent study and listening to His Word brings about His authority in me. It is one crazy thing. A mystery. I cannot explain and I cannot achieve it on my own. Yet, BUT GOD! Somehow, obedience happens in me and I am walking in it before I know a change has happened. 

I never had it on my list to teach nations. Yet, God brings me people from different nations that ask me to teach them. 

Have you ever read the Resurrection and the Great Commission passage and simply asked, "How does this apply to me? What do you want me to go? Who do you want me to teach or disciple?"

Trust His presence! Trust His authority! Trust His Word! And remember, it is never ever about me! 

Father, please show me the who and the where. I will obey Your how!

Monday, January 10, 2022

Generosity comes from the Latin root of noble birth

(Image taken from braveheartedbeauty.com)
Did you know that the word generosity comes from the root words "to be of noble birth"?

Aristotle is quote as saying that generosity is seeking to be noble in your actions. But the more I study generosity, the more I realize it is so much more than giving monetary. It is giving of words, time, talent, treasure, and hope.

In the moment, when I want to be sparky generosity is being kind because it is the noble thing to do.

When I feel I have no time and I have someone that has a legitimate need in their life that I can meet, it is the noble thing to do it.

When I see an opportunity to give and feel compelled in my spirit to give, I do so without expectation of return. In fact, it is best it not be known I gave. This one us hard to do with our world of record keeping. But it is noble to find ways to give without being seen.

It is when I see an opportunity to be a blessing and bring about noble influence in a situation through guided conversation, encouragement, etc. While seeking the noble outcome even when it means sacrifice on my part.

Generosity comes from noble birth because our God is a generous God. He is who gives us our noble birth and the ability to be generous. 

Father, will You please teach me how to be generous and live out of my nobility rather than my poverty. In Jesus name, amen

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.