Category Archives: Faith

Faithful Rejoicing

Our last post I asked you all to tell me what you would like for us to talk about. I asked to find out what you are hungry for, or as a seeker you don’t know, or as an unbeliever you want to disprove, or you just want to talk about. I was surprised the only answers I got were the Book of Psalm and the topic of Hymns; two things that go very well together since Psalms are poems and hymns of their time. They are also a source of many hymns over the last two thousand plus years, and music is a good gift from God!

Elisha responded, “As the Lord of Hosts lives, I stand before Him. If I did not have respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah, I would not look at you; I wouldn’t take notice of you.  Now, bring me a musician.” While the musician played, the Lord’s hand came on Elisha.  2 Kings 3:14-15

Then David told the leaders of the Levites to appoint their relatives as singers and to have them raise their voices with joy accompanied by musical instruments—harps, lyres, and cymbals.   1 Chronicals 15:16

Over the last few days I have been thinking, listening to music, and praying about what is next for us. A recent sermon Agape for Sinners got the wheels turning. Within a couple of days I began an online bible study with an soldier overseas on the topic of Revelation. I’m including the links in case you’re curious and want to experience the same thing.

Back to Agape, the love of God, or more correctly defined as the “is a Greco-Christian term referring to love, “the highest form of love, charity” and “the love of God for man and of man for God”. If you are a believer, try to explain your love of God to another, not your faith, but your love! The first time I seperated the two, it was an overwhelming AHA moment about how we were to place Him in our lives. It’s also when I stopped looking at Him as God and Father, things in my life that really had no meaning, and saw Him as ABBA, Daddy. Though I didn’t know what daddy was, when I met Daddy, I got it. If you don’t know Him yet, perhaps the next few days will help that.

Long story, sorry, just want to make sure you don’t get lost on the journey. When you experience agape and you meet Abba, you find out what faith and faithfulness means and you rejoice, as David taught us, in poetry and music, about the God you gave you life, love, promises fulfilled, and eternal life. David put the psalms down, God set the example for us to follow.

May the Lord be praised, for He has wonderfully shown His faithful love to me in a city under siege.  Psalm 31:21 (HCSB)

But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever.  Psalm 52:8 (HCSB)

For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.  Psalm 100:5 (HCSB)

He is my faithful love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in Him; He subdues my people under me.  Psalm 144:2 (HCSB)

All of us experience a point in our belief life where we doubt God. We ask Him why. Some, like me, have had long, argumentativee, in your face talks with Him about why was he doing “THIS TO ME”, “WHAT HAD I DONE” and let’s not forget the “WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS”, or the normal teenage response to parent, “I HATE YOU”.  Very few will confess they ever said this last one. I remember be 10, 11 & 12-years old and more than once saying it when issues when my mother came up. Talk about guilt later, but I’m forgiven.

As I grew up, in age and in Christ; and as you will if you’ve not done so already, I learned the following lesson.

You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, …      1 Peter 1:6-8 (HCSB)

Our struggles make us strong, strong in character, faith and in our determination to sing praises, to share hymns, and to pass out psalms. I don’t know how this topic will go on, but faith, hymns and psalms are wonderfully, interlaced, hilly journies. Feel free to share your journies too.

Be blessed!



This morning my conversation is with the Holy Spirit (yes I believe there is a two way conversation that happens and no, there’s not necessarily a voice so I don’t need therapy (see Joy Behar)). The reality is, we’ve wandered away from one of the key topics of this blog, prayer. After all, the title does state our two desires, seek and pray. We do a lot of seeking, let’s spend a few days talking about prayer.

First, let’s talk about what prayer is. The Greek word we get it from is παράκληση (prosefchi) meaning request, solicitation, prayer, entreaty, invocation, or rogation. Thank you Google Translate for this information.

It is my view that we can see an evolution of prayer in the Old Testament until we get to Jesus’ teachings. In the beginning, Adam and Eve had a one-on-one face-to-face relationship with their Creator. They had no need to ask for anything, He had already provided. They just walked and talked. Enjoyed the amazing beauty of His work. How cool would that be!!!! Then we manage, as humans do, to screw it up, and bite the wrong thing and run away and hide. We stop talking, stop telling the truth. Until it comes out, either on it’s own or because it’s uncovered some other way; and with discovery comes consequence. We know longer get to talk to God, our friend, Creator, Abba as we had. How now?

Using, I discovered the word prayer does not appear in any version of the Bible until Genesis 20:7. While I found this interesting, the behavior of prayer throughout the Old Testament (OT) was the people would take their concerns, requests, and praises to a prophet or priest and with a sacrifice to God he would present it. Conversation was not two way always. Life was legalistic. People were told do this and you will make God happy and He will keep you. Blessedly, David, even before becoming a King, showed us a better way (he’s not the only one, but a prominent one). He sang! He played instruments! He danced! He rejoiced! He wrote poems! He talked with God, seeking answers, expecting to hear Him, faithfully (usually) waiting. The Book of Psalms shares all this with as.

Wait a minute! Sing? Dance? Play music? Rejoice? Isn’t all of the just shameful? Even David’s wife Mical challenges this (2 Samuel 6:20)! David basically tells her to get over herself. The love of God and the thanksgiving of His gifts are something to be celebrated, not hidden. We should be loud about our love of God, not silenced.

I’ll finish today with my two favorite thoughts on prayer. First, there are some awesome music groups out there with great music about prayer. Some of my favorites are Renew Me and The Creed by Avalon, Listen to the Sound by Building 429, and Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood. Those are but a few that come to mind quickly. Eden’s Bridge, for KING AND COUNTRY, Mandisa, Mercy Me, and Out of Eden are other groups that have fantastic music for praying!

Psalm 16:1 says, “Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You”. what a declaration! If we can make this statement, then we need to also be able to follow 2 Chronicles 7:14 :

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (NIV)

Heavenly Father, hear our cry, we reach out to you now. Let us, as we walk together, learn to talk with you consistently, learn to listen to you, learn to humbly but boldly follow you. Be with us and our loved ones, protecting us from the evils of this world, comforting us in the knowledge that you are carrying us through whatever our journey is. Thank you Father. Amen.

Where is Church?

Why this question?

In looking around the blog world the other day, I stumbled on a blog by Michelle Lesley. It is well written and thought out but definitely not in line with how I interpret  the teachings within Timothy’s. No problem, 1 John 4:1 tells us to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”.  I’m not saying Michelle is a false prophet. I am saying that I (we) are to test what we read and hear against God’s word. Not to challenge it or argue against it, but to ensure we are believing, following, sharing, teaching and preaching the right message.

Christ himself gave us an example of how we are to have this conversation in Acts 19:8 when he entered the Lecture Hall of Tyrannus: “Then he entered the synagogue and spoke boldly over a period of three months, engaging in discussion and trying to persuade them about the things of the kingdom of God.”

In a nutshell she was discussing the role of women in the church, which is not what we’ll talk about today. In a brief exchange between us, I asked “If you believe 100% what you have written here, then you believe 100% what you have taught, proselytized, preached (different people will apply different words to what we bloggers do) here. How does your work here not go against what you have said the Bible does? ” Her response took me back, “The instruction is that women are not to preach to, teach Scripture to, or exercise authority over men in the church. A blog is not the church.”

What is Church?

I have written about this before (Where We Gather and Here & Now – Worship) as this question as well as what is worship are ones far too many of us do not understand or experience.

A quick survey of a variety of versions of the Bible show that the word church shows up a little over 100 times in the New Testament. When God talks about the church with us, He is not talking about the man made denominations we’ve created, He’s talking about His people. In the Old Testament, church did equal the Temple and people were expected to gather there for sacrifices and teachings (the men anyway). But in the New Testament, Christ changes this format. The Bible does give references to congregations, but those are congregations of cities or communities, not a physical institution. So, what is church?

For the purist among you, the word church comes from the Greek word ekklesia meaning ‘assembly’ or ‘called out ones’.

First of all, we need to understand that the church is Christ:

“He is also the head of the body, the church;”.   Col 1:24 (HCSB)

Then we need to understand that church is a place of gathering, but it is a place where two or more gather.

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.” Matt 18:20 (HCSB)

Some would argue that the Holy Spirit being present can be counted as one since He is a participant in prayer; I don’t think this supported biblically but can understand the argument when Christ gives us examples like the Garden of Gethsemane.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Matt 26:36 (HCSB) also Mk 14:32

And when we’re instructed to privately talk with Abba, one-on-one; two are present.

But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret.  Matt 6:5-6 (HCSB)

Christ first mentions the work of building a church in Matthew, but He is not talking about the confining walls of a building, but The Church (of Jesus Christ) full of people.

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it.  Matt 16:18 (HCSB)

To truly understand what the church is, we must go to the Book of Acts and recognize some major shifts in societal and physical behaviors. One of the largest is the clarity of the message that no one is excluded.

The Disciples were baptized by The Holy Spirit and received His power (Acts 1:8).
Women were included in acts and in gifts. (Acts 1:14, 2:17,18)
Pentecost brought the time of speaking in tongues so the Word of God would be heard by so many more. (Acts 2:4)
One expectation was laid out for followers, REPENT.  (Acts 2-38-40)
A picture of church is presented, people who devote themselves to learning, gathering, breaking of bread (eating) with a joyful and humble attitude, and praising. (Acts 2:42,46)

With all of this, we can now go to the question, are we on this blog, a church? Are we discussing, teaching, preaching, sharing, learning and supporting each other in the name of Christ? Are we asking questions to ensure what we learn is true? Does this technology allow us to find God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit? I believe so and I believe I am responsible for each person who reads or shares this.

What I do not believe is that this makes me the head of a church or places me over any man who may be reading this. Just as women were including in the act of praying in the upper room, teaching in homes throughout Acts and receiving calls directly to guide others, they were not the head of their churches; they were answering God’s call to teach, proselytize, praise, whatever their gift was.

After Michelle and I chatted, I searched out many more blogs and websites hosted by women Christians and I was astonished at how many did not accept responsibility, most saying (in various ways), ‘I can not control who reads what I write’ and ‘if a man chooses to read my writings that is on him’. Really? How is ones accountability for what one shares with one gender any different than the other?

I stand in my conclusion that, I am a Disciple and it is my humble prayer that God uses me, through the Holy Spirit, to reach out to anyone who knows or does not know Him who saves us all, and provides either encouragement or hunger for their own walk with the Triune God. I know I am challenged when I sit down and do this blog for fear of false teachings [2 Peter 2:1]. I humbly pray if any of you ever feel I am guilty, you hold a conversation here with me so we all may grow.

FYI: Those of you that have followed me for a while know I use a multitude of versions of the Bible. I do this for two reasons; one, some versions have wording that is easier to understand and two, to help show that although the words may be in a different order, the meaning is the same. Currently I’m using The Apologetics Study Bible (Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)).


Every person has these – a spot. They may be a spot, see a spot, have a spot or get a spot. Life evolves with them; ooh, dirty word, evolution, but life does change and so do our spots.

When conceived we are smaller than the top of a pin head and we look like a spot.

As we grow, we look like a lot of spots hanging out together in a round thing that looks like a spot.

Perhaps one day that mother wakes up and finds a spot of blood she wasn’t expecting. Could be nothing. Could be the beginning of the end.

If not the end, those spots grow into shapes and the mother gains one large spot hanging out in front (temporarily at least); and then, in a moment of time (a spot) you are now outside the womb. Her spots are gone, yours have morphed into a person and your becoming your own person.

Bear with me, I do have a point with all this. You grow, play outside, find brown spots on your face and nose, freckles! They tell a story of your life! You love to play outside. They help you remember those fun times. Teachers have you read books like “Time for Bed Spot” and “Spot’s Tummy Time”, the spot a dog, but still a warm memory you will always look back on.

As you grow, you win or lose spots on teams or in organizations. Maybe with schools or places of employment. You win or lose in love, that spot or moment in time you that you had it. Obviously I can go on. But then, there are the other spots. The black spots. The spots that shouldn’t be there, at least as far as we people are concerned.

The spot in your life when you realized you couldn’t pay your mortgage and you lost your house and had to change your lifestyle.

The spot in your life when you found drugs, alcohol or pornography in you child’s room and knew you had to address it.

The spot on your spouses shirt you did not understand and knew you could not wash away until the explained the late night and where it came from.

Those spots you so loved when you were younger, well, the doctor just told you one or two have become cancerous and require surgery. The moment with the doctor changing some of your sweetest memories.

The spot found when returning for a wellness check after beating cancer, once or twice or even three times, and being told it needed to be checked into.

The spot in your life when you realized you were mortal and you would die one day and maybe, just maybe, you hadn’t gotten life just right.

Newsflash – Everything is a spot:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.        Ecc 3:1-8 (HCSB)

The time between spots for us may seem like an eternity; but God, our ABBA, has been here since before (mans) time existed and will continue after. It is not the spots in our lives that matter, but what you do with those spots.

Lord, do not withhold Your compassion from me;
     Your constant love and truth will always guard me.
For troubles without number have surrounded me;
     my sins have overtaken me; I am unable to see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
     and my courage leaves me.
Lord, be pleased to deliver me;
     hurry to help me, Lord.     Psalm 40:11-13 (HCSB)

Sometimes, like now for me, your life becomes full of spots. Family members with spots that won’t go away or keep coming back. A Sister-in-Christ fighting those pesky freckle spots while other sisters are fighting other spots. It seems from my perch, every person has their own spot that is touched by so many other spots, a.k.a. Network, yet we don’t or won’t take the time or energy to reach to them, to call them be name. Take the time today to take a knee and call them out by name to God and lift them up. Don’t worry how long it will take. That spot of time will disappear in a flash.

However, if my people, who are called by my name,
    will humble themselves,
    pray, search for me, and turn from their evil ways,
        then I will hear their prayer from heaven, forgive their sins,
    and heal their country.
       My eyes will be open, and my ears
            will pay attention to those prayers at this place. 2 Chron 7:14-15 (GW)

Be blessed today, be filled with hope.

Blinded by our own …

How many times in a day do you find yourself judging another person?

Wait, don’t be so quick to say never. Let’s think about some ‘innocent’ comments we all blindly overlook. For example, “I’d never dress like that!” or “How could they raise their kids in those conditions? or “A tattoo?”

How? Why? Never! You should have! You shouldn’t have!  We want to innocently believe that we are doing no harm by these comments. That we are educating people or trying to make them aware of what is better; but, in truth, we’re just passing on our own prejudices by stating our attitude, desires, and fears.

And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 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. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that?  For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 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. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 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.”  Mark 14:3-9 (ESV)

There is never a time when we know the whole story or are able of seeing the whole picture. We cannot know a person’s past, their mind, heart or purpose. It’s not our place too, that’s not our purpose. Yes, if they are drowning, if they reach out, we are to provide guidance, a hand, a net but not a judgment. If one is to be handed down, it will be done so by the one who does no know the big and small pictures; who does know each person’s place and purpose.

Take this day, week, month, however long and talk with Christ about your own blindness. Ask him for forgiveness and for clearer vision. Rejoice in the peace that comes when you realize your prejudices are greatly reduced (your human, you will stumble). Others will not get this new side of you. Seize this as an opportunity to share Christ and his forgiveness of your mistakes to help them seize Him blindly (in faith).

Too Comfortable

Oh my, it has been a while since I’ve written, and our God, our very good and very gracious God has been nudging me. First with unexpected new members to our site. Welcome! Everyone is so welcome! Everyone’s comment are welcome as long as they’re sincere and not hostile. Second, of my old friends, whose still with me? I hope all of you! Doing this daily will be a practice I have to get back into but I’ll work at it.

How else has He been nudging? His words of course. Today’s reading, Mark 4 (ESV), the Parable of the Sower:

13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?

14The sower sows the word.

15And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.

16And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.

18And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, 19but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

20But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

At first I had to pause at my guilt. Life is how Satan interferes with my relationship with God. By that, I get so caught up in what I must focus on in order to get through a day that I get to bed at night realizing I’ve not placed God first yet taking comfort knowing he’s kept me protected. Shame on me.

Wait – wrong. Talk about allowing Satan to interfere. Yes, I’m too comfortable in my relationship with God. Yes, I do not spend enough time in prayer, journaling, reading, preaching, teaching, meditating or singing with or about Him. Yes, I forget to put Him first, to give Him credit, to ask for His guidance, and to care for my neighbors. But, Satan, I have not forgotten my God and you cannot take away this girls faith.

You’ve not succeeded in interfering with my relationship, you’ve just succeeded in confusing me for a short time to recognize I’m in a season of rest. Just as all living things God created, His human creations have seasons and our rest seasons allow us many things. We gain perspective, strength, and insight. Many times we gain determination. Time for you so shoo. Just as the trees appear to be waking up already, it seems this season is passing. Wonder what’s next?

Blessings to you all.


Oh mud. Thick, gooey, wet, sticky, mushy mud.  Pigs and other beasts wallow in it to cool off.  People use it in a mixture to make mortar and brick for houses.  Some think of it as a beauty treatment, lathering it on their skin or hair. Some eat it, hungry for the silica in it because their diet is empty of it.  Some see it as life; plant crops, food grows, family is provided for.  Me, I see is as a mess. I vacuum it and wipe it off dogs and clean paws over and over again and right now am sincerely sick of it.  Especially as my two happy critters eagerly bounce at the door to go chase the squirrels they see; oh what a mess I see coming if I give in.

Isn’t that what life is though? Messy, sticky, mushy.  We add water and dirt and other ‘stuff’ and then we sit back at the end of the day and either crow about the great life we’ve made or whine about the horrible predicament we have found ourselves to be in. Continue reading