Circumcision of the heart

It only takes a spark... March 28, 2020

Deuteronomy 10: 12-22 (ESV)

Circumcise Your Heart

When God becomes our praise, when we acknowledge His awesome miraculous acts on our behalf, His love and purpose touches us personally and energizes us to serve. We cannot bribe God. We cannot expect partial treatment because of our gold nuggets. We can only fall on His mercy and show this to others who are journeying life’s path.

My friend, Susan, sent me an inspirational devotion this week. I watched it on my lunch break, I was in the midddle of a busy day serving others -in the midst of what seems to be too great a need (COVID-19 pandemic): Thanks to everyone who are praying for and encouraging healthcare workers at this time!

https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/grace-for-our-hardest-moments

You will be blessed by this message since it reminds us that it may not be God’s will to remove us from the storm or to run and hide from the great needs pressing on us. Instead, we may be called to remember that all needs are met when He gets in the boat with us. Make room, everyone, for the King of glory to step in!

Today, you can do your part by taking a silent moment with the King of Kings. By letting God know that He is above all and number One in your life, He will bless you with peace. Your part may be staying home (social distancing). Your part may be asking for courage to face a deadly virus, while doing your job well. Your part may be encouraging others in the midst of their struggle and checking in with them. His justice and mercy is enough for us all. – Teresa #unlimitedresources #allneedsmet #Godsplanfirstandforemost #JesusChristheLord

Deuteronomy 10: 12-22 (ESV) 12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? 14 Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. 16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. 18 He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. 19 Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 20 You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear. 21 He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.

Healing for the one who asked

It only takes a spark... March 22, 2020

Luke 5:12-16 (ESV)

Finding a new walking trail- social distancing!

Spending time with the Lord, is important for our spiritual health in this season of the “viral spiral”. Jesus was not only able to cleanse the leper who came to Him for healing but He was willing.

When we have issues that bubble up in our lives (maybe even from the past), we must see them for what tbey are- a condition that can only be cleansed with a spiritual disinfectant. We can wash and wash but the disease is still stuck to our DNA. With Jesus’ healing power, He gives us a cure that regenerates our very own genetic makeup. No longer are we stuck in the sin nature or addictive cycle. We are given another option- to trust Him in this new way of life.

C. S. Lewis describes his conversion as factual not emotional. He was headed to the zoo in the side car of his brother’s motorcycle. Leaving on the journey as an unbeliever, he arrived a new creation. Old things passed away. He was a believer from that moment forward.

https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1901-2000/cs-lewis-sidecar-conversion-11630750.html

Be encouraged by Luke’s account (a physical encounter that represents our spiritual need):

12 While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy.[a] And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” 13 And Jesus[b] stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 15 But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. 16 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

Today, when you “hear” His voice- call out to Jesus. He is willing to make you whole.- Teresa

Resources touched by Jesus

It only takes a spark... March 21, 2020

When Jesus asks to use “our” resources, He will provide in ways that seem miraculous. Truly, all that we have is His but He will test our hearts. When Peter agreed to give to Him what was needed in the moment (his boat- as a speaking platform set apart from the crowd so that all could hear the teaching), he was blessed by Jesus’ miracle (a catch of fish that would almost sink the boat).

When we witness His miracles, we too are ready to leave all and follow Jesus. Or are we?

I was encouraged by my son, Hans, who figured out a way to keep serving and using his gifts in the midst of closed venues (for live music). He offered an hour “live feed” concert including his caring presence. Thanks, Hans, for coming through loud and clear that we need to share a caring presence when isolation abounds. #HansAnderson #OrganicVibez

During a time when our lives seem vulnerable, we can still rest assured that God has asked of us something that is reasonable. To leave all and follow Him-represents our attachments to the “god” of this age. Whatever has come to steal, kill and destroy is part of that diabolical rule. At times it may be those things that steal our future ministry.

Who would have imagined that one small act of offering his boat would lead the apostle Peter into the greatest service of his life! We too should be ready to hear the request of our small gift. Then, get ready for a miracle that will change your life! – Teresa #compassionfromourSavior #leadusgently#forwearesheepineedofashepherd

Luke 5:5-11 (ESV)

5 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”[c] 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

Footnotes

Luke 4:34 Or Leave us alone
Luke 4:44 Some manuscripts Galilee
Luke 5:10 The Greek word anthropoi refers here to both men and women

Stressed out but not shaken

It only takes a spark... March 19, 2020

Tears can be our friend at times. They wash out the toxins of stress to keep our upper airways moist! On a more serious note, these are stressful times for everyone. I propose that whatever is facing you personally, you will get through this. Oppression starts with disobedience. We may allow things into our lives that are not meant to be there. Or we may love aomeone who has done this, which also affects us. So whether you are putting things right for yourself or standing in the gap for those you love (or both), be encouraged. God alone is our hope, he invites us to pour out our hearts before Him. My husband and I watched the Pureflix movie, Samson, over the weekend. When Samson yielded his will to God’s purposes, he was unstoppable. When Samson put his eyes on his own desires and will, he was oppressed. We can be stopped by fear at this time or we can move forward in faith. Eyes that see from God’s perspective are eyes that bring peace and hope to the soul. – Teresa #whatifurgreatestchoreisurgreatestgift #seeingtheburdenasablessing

Psalm 62: 1-12 (ESV)

1For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
3 How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
4 They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse. Selah
5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
9 Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
10 Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
11 Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12 and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
according to his work.

A light for those living under the shadow of death

It only takes a spark... March 15, 2020

We are currently living under a shadow of death. We need a light to provide the knowledge of salvation. Who can prepare the way for us? Who can turn the crooked routes into a straight-albeit narrow way (called unity)?

John the Baptist was chosen before birth to make straight the way for Jesus’ coming. How did he do this? He prepared the way for salvation by bringing knowledge of what it meant to be saved =the forgiveness of sin. When John preached, people were changed and their hearts were soft to God’s message. They received the baptism of repentance.

Even now, as we humble ourselves before God, he will lift us up. His mercy and forgiveness are what pursues us. King David (in Psalm 23) spoke about his experience with God. Even more than the terror of being hunted by a jealous king and his army, David was being “hunted” by God’s goodness. Do you recognize God’s goodness in the midst of the terror?

When we realize the gift in this moment: to slow down, repent of our wayward, self-focused lives and bask in the knowledge of God’s goodness, then we will be saved from a “viral spiral” of fear. More importantly, He is able to save our Spirit and soul from eternal death (separation from God because of sin) through redemption – or forgiveness of sin. What was sold to pay our sin debt (our relationship with God) has been bought back or redeemed through Jesus, His Son.

Powerfully, Jesus brought us more than John’s water baptism of repentance by baptizing with fire (the promised Holy Spirit). In John 17, Jesus prays for all of us who would believe in Him through the apostle’s ministry. His prayer was for unity. Just as God the Father was in Jesus the Son, so is Jesus our Saviour in every believer through the promised Holy Spirit. The unity of the Godhead (or trinity- one being with three persons) invites us to also live in unity through the precious blood of Jesus Christ our LORD and Savior. Jesus prayed,”I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. – John 17:23”.

We may not have all the answers yet for the CoVID-19 pandemic, but we do have more important answers to our underlying “sin-sickness”. If we pursued Jesus in the way we are pursuing viral answers, I am convinced that our love for one another would bring deeper healing than has ever been known.- Teresa #Istillbelieve #inspirationalmovieabout JeremyCamp

Luke 1:67-80 (ESV)

67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, 68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us[a] from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

Read full chapter
Footnotes

Luke 1:78 Or when the sunrise shall dawn upon us; some manuscripts since the sunrise has visited us

Do a beautiful thing

It only takes a spark... March 8, 2020

I cried for my brother, yesterday. It was not something I tried to make happen, it just flowed out of me. It happened when I thought about what was important to us as young people, growing up in an amazing time of God’s fire touching our hearts. Our church youth group had this “touch” from heaven, loving the world around us. George and Marlys McFall, our missionary leaders, found a way to bring reality to our passion of spreading the joy we had found in Christ. (Teen Missions, International). These summer missions put feet to our love for the Savior and it poured back into us miraculous experiences that would be remembered for life. Before Jesus poured out His life for mankind, Mary poured out her love for the LORD. She did a beautiful thing to Jesus, recognizing Him as her Saviour. This costly act of service involved her whole retirement income and her reputation (with more than likely chances of being scolded by the religious leaders of her group, “the Way”). Why would she choose this? It appeared to be a lose-lose decision. It was because Jesus brought her brother back to life (after being in the tomb for three days). She had experienced the resurrection power of God, personally. Only HIS personal touch will give us the courage to go out on a limb. Faith brings about beautiful things! – Teresa #notmanipulative #trulyobedient #readtheCaseforMiraclesbyLeeStrobel

TMI 1980 bus trip crom FL to AK- Alcan Hwy
TMI 1977 San Diego plus 5 weeks in Honolulu
My brother, Mike #loverofGod
NewTribes Mission 1981 #hollersofKY

Mark 14:1-9 (ESV)

14 It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him, 2 for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

3 And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,[a] as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. 4 There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii[b] and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 9 And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

What to do with guilt

It only takes a spark... March 3, 2020

When I feel guilty for taking “me” time, I am reminded to be still and know who God is in my life. (Vs. 10) He who multiplies resources for His glory can take care of my cares. Have you been accused of being a pushover? Remember that we are protected by an unmoveable fortress of love (not easily moved but capable of flexing as a bruised reed that cannot be crushed). Have you been targeted by the bully of the playground?Remember that God will be honored among tbe nations (not the bullies). Are the “fires” of others preventing you from your own responsibilities? Remember vs. 1 below (who is our ready help in time of trouble?). Overall, we can rest and be still because we truly know who is God.- Teresa

This old house has been around a long time guilt free!

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength,
always ready to help in times of trouble.
2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
3 Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude
4 A river brings joy to the city of our God,
the sacred home of the Most High.
5 God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.
From the very break of day, God will protect it.
6 The nations are in chaos,
and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders,
and the earth melts!
7 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel[b] is our fortress. Interlude
8 Come, see the glorious works of the Lord:
See how he brings destruction upon the world.
9 He causes wars to end throughout the earth.
He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”
11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress. Interlude
Footnotes:

46:Title Hebrew according to alamoth.
46:7 Hebrew of Jacob; also in 46:11. See note on 44:4.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.