This is a very good word from Jesus. I have never added a single hour to my life by worrying. None of us have. Believe me, as many of you know, I have plenty I could worry about. I say this from what I have learned after many years of suffering, give it all to God! Whatever it is, lay it down to the One who can carry it for you. Lay it down to the One who loves your soul! He will take care of us and meet all of our needs. Just look at the pretty little birds and remember His words.
Have a blessed and encouraging weekend!
Grace and peace to you all!
Here is a new song called “Bring On The Holidays” that Toby Mac just put out for Christmas! He just tweeted it out yesterday–enjoy and Merry Christmas!
The Lord has been speaking to me about my suffering and the plans He has for me. He has been showing me that even my suffering is for my benefit somehow, and all the pain and anguish I have been through are still part of the good plans He has for me. I have talked about the above Scripture before and the suffering Hezekiah endured and how He cried out to God. I understand his heart and the anguish he suffered described in Isaiah chapter 38. In His great love, God kept me from the pit of destruction and let me live too! In His grace and mercy, He has put all my sins behind His back!
The Lord spoke Isaiah 38:17 to my heart along with Jeremiah 29:11 this morning. He wanted me to see the connection and remember both verses together at the same time. Why? Because He wants me to trust in the plans He has for me, even when those plans require anguish and suffering. He wants me to trust that even my suffering is beneficial. When you follow Jesus, He makes beauty from ashes in every area of your life and nothing is wasted.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We have to trust that even the suffering we endure as part of God’s plan will somehow prosper us and not harm us. Somehow His plans will always bring hope and a future. Yes, when we follow Jesus, even our suffering is for our benefit. We might get angry and we might not understand, but He will see us through. All we have to do is trust Him and keep walking by faith. Easier said then done, but with God nothing is impossible and He holds our hearts. Whatever troubles you are facing today, remember, if you know Jesus, then He is working on your behalf for your benefit!
In the midst of my troubles, the Lord gently spoke this verse to my heart as I drove the kids home from school today. As we drove south and looked west to the Rockies, I quoted that verse to my kids and afterwards I said, “remember that every time you look at the mountains.” I was choking back tears as I spoke that Scripture to them because at the same time I was teaching my kids, the Lord was speaking to my heart to trust Him.
He knows I have been struggling. He knows I’m thinking about selling my truck, so we can pay bills. He knows I was struggling to write a single word today because of discouragement. My wife is working late tonight at the school, so it has just been the kids and I hanging out. I was doing the dishes and I was thinking about calling the guy I know at the Chevy dealership in Aurora. I was also thinking about listing my truck on Craigslist for at least $25K. As I was thinking about these things while I loaded the dishwasher, I heard the Lord speak softly to me, “Don’t sell your truck. I will make a way.” As is the Lord’s way with me, He nudged me to repeat out loud what I had heard, so I did and said, “Don’t sell your truck. I will make a way.” I just smiled and said, “Okay Lord, your will be done.”
I don’t know what God is doing folks. Celiac has really been beating me up lately and we are struggling financially, but I know He is going to make a way somehow. I have been praying for a breakthrough for almost 7 years. I trust what He told me today. He reminded me to lift up my eyes to the hills and remember where my help comes from. He touched my heart to the point of tears and I am humbled and encouraged.
Where does your help come from? I hope it is from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth! He loves you more than you can imagine!
Hello everyone! I wanted to take some time and share some photos I took with my good Canon camera in November. I took the sunset picture above and the pictures that follow on the 10th between 5:07 and 5:09 P.M. Mountain Time. I hope you enjoy the colors as much as I do! When I zoomed in, the shades of purple were amazing! God is amazing! I will also share some pictures of a Rocky Mountain morning and the friendly animals that live around our home. I pray the peace of the Lord enters your heart as you ponder the wonders of God in all He has created. May His creation encourage and inspire you! God bless you all in the Name of Jesus!
Praise the Lord!!! All of that beauty in only two minutes! God never ceases to amaze me! You want to see God? Look at His creation around you and He will show you His glory!
Here is sunrise shining on the Rockies in the West just a few days later. This was just before 7 a.m. It was cold and a bit overcast, but the rays of light still kissed the Rockies.
We have many animal friends that live in our neighborhood and many of them like to chill near our home and in our backyard. The deer like to rest right behind our fence next to the big Austrian Pine trees we have. Our yard offers them protection and warmth. I thank God for that. It’s cool to see them every day. The babies are so cute!
Such a good mama! Look at those big beautiful eyes!
Here are some of the little critter friends that like to visit.
That is a little Colorado woodpecker. There is a different species that is bigger and that one likes to peck our house. This little guy sticks to the trees.
Last, but not least, may I introduce the little squirrel and sparrow that live here. The squirrels came into our area over the last few years as everyone’s trees got bigger. Our neighborhood was a brand new development when we moved in 12 years ago. There are only a few squirrels around, but this little guy loves our trees. The sparrow has a bunch of buddies and they are always singing beautifully for us.
I pray for all of you today that the Lord will lift you up and you will notice His touch in everything He created in your part of the world too!
Grace and peace to you all in the Name of Jesus!
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
Hello everyone! It has been crazy busy for us since last week. Our son is doing the kids Christmas choir at church, so I had to take him to practice, and our daughter performed in the Nutcracker ballet at school and she had three shows to do over two days. The ballet was really good too! Our kids go to a charter school that specializes in performing arts and they have great programs for music, dance, theater, and art. The dance teacher is a professional ballerina and she did an amazing job teaching the Nutcracker. We did our tree early last week and I hung the lights up on our house yesterday. It took me a couple hours and lots of prayer, but I got it done without much trouble. I prayed that it would remind people of Jesus and encourage people’s hearts. Remember, Jesus is the Light of the world!
Welcome to our home! It is filled with the Love and Light of Jesus!!!
Here is our 8 foot Rocky Mountain Christmas tree! It is so fresh it had sap on the branches and our fingers got sticky as we put the ornaments on.
The kids also made wreaths out of paper and decorated their bedroom doors. Our son’s door is on the left and our daughter’s door is on the right. Great job kids! Very creative and joyful!
The kids also decorated their windows. They have the best views in the house! It’s kind of cloudy today, but you can usually see Pike’s Peak and the front range of the Rockies. Awesome job on your windows too kids!
Here is our daughter’s window:
Here is our son’s window:
And just for fun, this is how Coloradoans celebrate Christmas!
So much fun! Shout out to all the mountain riders!
Grace and peace to you all and Merry Christmas!!!
“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.”
Please pray for the people of Anchorage, Alaska. They had a major 7.0 magnitude earthquake this morning! Thankfully, there have been no reports of injuries. There was a tsunami warning for Kodiak Island, but that has been cancelled. There has been major structural damage to buildings, homes, and roads though. My wife is from Anchorage and all her family lives there. I texted her Dad and he said they are okay. They just have a busted pipe that he said he can fix easily. My father-in-law can fix anything! He built the house my wife grew up in and my wife’s grandparents were pioneers to Alaska. Her Dad and Grandpa built many of the houses in their neighborhood. I have learned a ton of valuable skills from her Dad! We are so glad everyone is okay! Praise God!
Please pray that everything gets fixed and that the weather will be good. I lived up there for a winter and it is not as bad as some think, but it does get very cold at times and it can snow like crazy. They call Anchorage the banana belt of Alaska because it has more mild temperatures year round. Many times we are colder here in Denver than they are!
Here is a photo of the damage to Minnesota Drive in Anchorage. I have driven on that road!
Look at this quote from Fox News:
“Slaton was alone and home and soaking in the bathtub when the Alaska earthquake struck.
He said the quake created a powerful back-and-forth sloshing in the bathtub and before he knew it, he’d been thrown out of the tub by the force of the waves.
His 120-pound mastiff panicked and tried to run down the stairs, but the house was swaying so much she was thrown off her feet and into a wall and tumbled to the base of the stairs, Slaton added.”
-Greg Norman, Fox News
That is one powerful earthquake! I have felt one earthquake in my life and it was in Anchorage when we were visiting one summer. We heard a loud boom in the distance, then the whole house started shaking. It was crazy! My father-in-law said we had just experienced a minor tremor, and it was quite a shaking. I can’t imagine a 7.0 earthquake!
Thank you all for your prayers as the city of Anchorage comes together to rebuild!
Grace and peace to you all!
If you are ever in Anchorage, you have to go downtown and have a caribou dog from one of the street vendors! They are incredibly delicious! Before I had Celiac, we would go down there and I would eat those up! Caribou meat is awesome! I can still eat caribou, just not with a wheat bun, you know my GF style.
When we think of someone being arrested, we usually picture that person being handcuffed against their will. They are usually forced down to the ground or restrained in a variety of ways and taken into custody. When Jesus was arrested he had committed no crime and the men who came to arrest him were only able to do so because Jesus allowed it. Jesus was not taken against His will. He knew His mission and He went to His death willingly. That one very short verse in John shows just how powerful Jesus is and that those men were completely powerless to do anything to Jesus apart from God’s will.
Let’s take a look at the section of Scripture regarding the arrest of Jesus.
“Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”
And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
“I told you that I am he,” Jesus answered. “If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
I find it amusing that He asked them twice who they wanted. He showed them who was really in control and He could have kept knocking them down, but He had mercy on them! They didn’t catch Him. He wasn’t running! They didn’t arrest Him. He gave Himself up for us! Think about John 18:6 for a moment. A bunch of soldiers, officials from the chief priests, and Pharisees who were being guided by Judas show up to arrest Jesus, and when Jesus answers them His very words knock them to the ground! That is some serious power! Folks, Jesus is God in human flesh! Those men only had power to arrest Jesus because His mission was to die for the sins of the whole world!
“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
1 John 2:2
We all know what Peter’s reaction was when they came to arrest Jesus, but Jesus did not need Peter’s sword for protection. He had just knocked the entire group of men down with His very breath and He revealed to all of them just how powerful He really is.
“Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)
Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people.”
Jesus also reminds Peter that He has some serious back up, but He will not use it because Scripture must be fulfilled.
“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
That is a whole army of angels folks! I understand Peter’s reaction. He loved Jesus so much that he wanted to protect Him, but that was not the way. Jesus came to die for us, He knew that, and He allowed His arrest because He loves us! Jesus was willing to drink the cup the Father had given Him even though that meant terrible suffering and death. Even in that moment He showed love and mercy to the men arresting Him and He healed the servant’s ear that had just been cut off. Yes, the Lord touched him and he had a perfectly created ear again!
“When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour–when darkness reigns.”
Jesus showed great compassion and mercy on the high priest’s servant! He also explained very clearly to all of them that they only had the power to lay a hand on Him because it was God’s will. It was their hour for an appointed time in God’s plan for salvation and that is the only reason they were allowed to arrest His Son.
Jesus willingly gave Himself up for us, so we could be reconciled with God. Jesus drank the cup the Father gave Him and He fulfilled the Scriptures. Jesus is Lord and He did it all because He loves us!
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Don’t ever forget how powerful Jesus is! There will be another time He uses the breath of His mouth and He will use it to overthrow the lawless one!
“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.”
2 Thessalonians 2:8
Jesus could have overthrown His enemies at any time, but Jesus died for us willingly. May we never forget that and may we always worship Him and honor Him for that!