How Much More Does God

If the evil judge serves justice to the sufferers of this world, just to shut up the victims from their constant cries, how much more will God, who is just and loving, serve justice to His children (Luke 18:1-8)? If an evil man is capable of treating his children with gifts, how much more will God, who is the creator of love and holds His little ones to His heart each moment, bless His children (Matthew 7:11)?

You can look around you, pay attention to the expressions of love and selflessness that stem sometimes from the lost, the confused, the consumed, the fallen, the broken, and the terrible. See these things and know that even they understand, in their soul somewhere, the essence of God. They can not escape the truth of Him, even if they don’t know it consciously (Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:18-20)

They are stumbling into good, so how much more wonderful is God who is the very personification of Love, Righteousness, and Peace? It’s understandable, after being steeped in the darkness of the world since your birth, to know no other way than distrust. Know this though, God is not of this world (Numbers 23:19; John 18:36)). He is so much more than you’ve ever experienced: you don’t know love. You think you do, but there is no love in this life that can compare to His.

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 89:1-4

Some of you may already know of all the above, and if you do: wonderful, wonderful, and live in that joy! Some do not or only see a piece of the picture, not understanding the entirety of God’s overwhelming love and concern for us. During these times, they aren’t fully sure of Him or His promises. I write to remind and to teach when possible. Let’s not forget, especially in these days of doubt and darkness, to sing of His love and faithfulness, forever.

God bless!

Listen

Why do you complain to him that he responds to no one’s words? For God does speak – now one way, now another – though no one perceives it.

Job 23:13-14

The world, I believe, is receiving a lesson on listening.

Sometimes, I really long to speak with God, not just pray to Him but hear from Him. Just the other day, I sat outside in the sunshine to eat my lunch while reading Lord of the Rings (I have never read it, just watched the movies). It came to a part where the wizard was rushing out of Frodo’s home, and he promised that although he’d never openly visit again, he would come see Frodo when he least expected it.

“Like me,” I felt God say.

This feeling made me stop my reading and look up. Like Frodo with the wizard, I didn’t want God to just say those words and leave. I wanted Him to stay and converse with me, but I had a sinking feeling that was all He would say.

Then, I noticed the sunlight glinted off the grass as it swayed in the warm breeze, the sound of cars sweeping down our road up front, and the smell of my coffee as I sipped it. The difference, He seemed to say through His creations, between Frodo’s wizard and I, is I never leave. I’m always there in a million subtle ways. Why chatter on incessantly when we can just be together?

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

Psalm 62:5

I think, during this time of social distancing and standstill, the world is learning to listen: to the rhythm of nature, to the heartbeat of their family, to the essence of what makes us human, to the foundations of our world, to the voice of God even in the silence.

Through the news, social media, and various other outlets, I see people talking about community, family, God, and the care of Earth more than I ever did before. The center of the universe has been shaken a bit from ourselves and shallow entertainment. It took the world being put on quarantine to make it happen.

So, whether you’re still busy or being forced to take a Great Pause, take a moment to really listen out for God’s voice, and realize that maybe He speaks to you by simply remaining by your side through it all.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Matthew 28:20

God bless!

What Remains

If you’re anything like me, you’ve already read too many articles about the era of history unfolding before us. It’s a strange time to live, and it came so suddenly upon us, I think most of us are still reeling from the changes that this virus, the lockdowns, and just the fear have brought to the world. That’s the thing though, right? This concerns the entire world. I know I’m young(ish), but I don’t recall any single event affecting the entire world so abruptly and at the same time.

We’re all realizing how connected we all are. If such a terrible thing like this virus can spread so quickly from person to person across the globe, then so can a wondrous thing like love, kindness, compassion, and hope. What if, when you serve your neighbor, that joyful servitude spreads, infectious with love, to a child in Japan within a month or two? We usually never know because the CDC doesn’t report spreading acts of compassion, we don’t pause our daily lives for the bellies filled or the smiles created, and we don’t have world-wide counts on the re-born rates of children of God.

I lay in my hammock yesterday realizing something about all of this. I’ve never felt more like a child since I was an actual child. It’s a weird thing to feel, now, during all of this. I used to play all day, from sunrise to sunset if I could, outside, barefoot and dirty. Now, when I step outside I notice that the world of nature hasn’t changed in the face of the news. The birds still sing over the warmer weather. The flowers have been blooming, bringing the joyful buzz of bees. Some days it rains, and the smell brings me back to memories of sitting on my parent’s porch with the wind chimes ringing in the storms.

I always feel closer to God when in nature. When I’m inside, I feel Him too, but I’m distracted by all the man-made stuff, chattering TV, the chores left to do. When I’m outside, I sense Him in His creation, things going on as they have been when He set them in motion. He can be seen in His creation, too. His hope in reflected in the erupting colors of spring, His calm in the gentle, warm breeze. You can feel how solid He is if you stand, barefoot, on the soil and watch His smile in the cotton clouds above.

I guess I’m writing this to tell you that we’re all feeling super complex feelings about this. It’s temporary; this will pass, but difficult times always feel like they’ll last forever. We’re all grieving the loss of control we thought we had over our lives. We’re all anxious sometimes of what tomorrow will bring. The emotions sometimes hit me out of nowhere. You’re not alone; but you’re probably just realizing this more than ever. Everything you do affects the whole world, at some point. We’ve never been in control. God has been this whole time, still is, and He is calm, hopeful, loving, and reaching out to you whatever you’re feeling. Even if all else fell away, He would remain.

Maybe step outside, take your shoes off to feel the ground beneath your feet, and speak to Him.

God bless!

Lost that Loving Feeling

Have you ever heard someone say that God is silent? Or maybe He doesn’t answer his or her prayers? Did they say they’ve been searching for Him, but He seems absent?

The fact that they feel a lack is a good sign they haven’t grown complacent to a distant relationship with God. If they’ve been searching and praying, God has been showing up and answering. The question is, why don’t they see or hear Him in their lives? Why can’t they feel Him anymore?

He exists and loves you external to and despite your feelings. Whether you perceive Him or “feel” anything in relation to Him doesn’t change the fact He is there, always moving, speaking, and reaching out to you. Consider the oxygen around you. If you didn’t know it existed, would you be unable to breathe? Does it change its existence. No, the truth remains outside of our perception or acceptance. It just is.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

1 John 4:16

The hard fact about God’s love is that more than just a feeling. It’s an action. If you don’t sense God or feel as though He’s distant, consider that maybe you’re the one who walked off. Walk your way back, and the best way to do that is be called into action to show your love for Him and His creation. Volunteer, donate, spread comfort, love, and cheer to others, tell others of your love for Him, whatever you do, do it in Love. You’ll find Him there.

You should be aware that you’re not the only one to have felt this way. In fact, it is said David (God said he was a man after His own heart) wrote this psalm:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
    by night, but I find no rest
Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
    you are the one Israel praises.
In you our ancestors put their trust;
    they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried out and were saved;
    in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man,
    scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
    they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
“He trusts in the Lord,” they say,
    “let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
    since he delights in him.”
Yet you brought me out of the womb;
    you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
    from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be far from me,
    for trouble is near
    and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me;
    strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
    open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
    and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
    it has melted within me.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
    and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
    you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs surround me,
    a pack of villains encircles me;
    they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
    people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.
19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me.
    You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
    my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
    save me from the horns of the wild oxen.
22 I will declare your name to my people;
    in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him!
    All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
    Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help.
25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
    before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
    those who seek the Lord will praise him—
    may your hearts live forever!
27 All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the Lord
    and he rules over the nations.
29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
    those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
    declaring to a people yet unborn:
    He has done it!
Psalm 22

God answered many times during David’s time, which he speaks of in his other Psalms. However, He answered again, this time to all of humanity who felt this way. Notice Jesus mentions this psalm when He hung on the cross:

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

Matthew 27: 45-46

He feels the cries of countless souls who suffer in this fallen world, and in answer, He dies to save them from the darkness. Know that although David felt unheard at times, God heard and remembered.

I know many are having a hard time lately with all that’s going on in the world, but know that despite your feelings, God loves you and is still reaching out to you. Know in your heart that He hears and answers. It may not be the answer you like, and it may not come when you want it, but God knows better than any of us. You’ll find it was the right answer and the right timing. Please love one another in action, not just emotion. We all need each other more than ever.

God bless!

The World’s Afraid to Die

Photo by Ian Panelo on Pexels.com

It’s on every corner of the internet, TV, radio, podcast, heck even my Bible app was asking me to wash my hands today… the Coronavirus. I remember when I was a child, everyone talking about mad cow disease, Y2K and the strange weather patterns they called El Nino. As I grew older, the world was discussing bird flu, SARs, gosh I can’t remember the names of all the scary new sicknesses through the years.

Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.

John 14:27

I’m not really here to tell you not to be afraid. God is. However, fear can be motivator for action. Maybe we need to know that we aren’t invincible sometimes. Maybe we need reminders that our old, sick, and vulnerable are not being taken care of as well as they should. There’s really no need for worry of the future or whether you and your loved ones will get sick or how this sickness will progress as we learn more about it. Your worry will do nothing. However, if you use the scariness of the situation to pull you into the thick of loving others, if it makes you aware that the world is afraid and many are drowning in storms on a sea of hopelessness without a rock to stand, then maybe all this can be made purposeful.

I was going to repeat my post called “Fear is a Liar,” and you can read that too as it could apply as well in some ways. Yet, I didn’t think it really encompassed this sort of situation where there is a fear about a real and present danger.

If you’re younger than 80 and in fairly good health, you’ll probably be fine and suffer no worse than you would with a flu, according to various sources. But, what if you are older, have bad health, or, like most of us, have loved ones that could be vulnerable? You need to know you have the Rock of Yahweh. He’s here today, like He was here yesterday, and will be here tomorrow. In fact, He exists outside of time itself, so He’s already there in tomorrow before you.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you where you go.

Joshua 1:9

For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you.

Isaiah 41:13

There are those of us who have already been affected either ourselves, our loved ones, or simply being quarantined and locked down, our normal lives disrupted. I want you to know that God is by your side, arm around your back, waiting for you to speak to Him your fears, to let Him handle them, so you can be the disciple and priest (all Children of God are His priests!) who loves others and brings them hope and comfort.

You were made for such times as this. It’s no accident you were born in the period you were, so rise, rise up on the faith and hope of God. With Him, you are enough to walk through this fire of fear and chaos on behalf of the many who cannot.

The world needs you because there are many who are unbelievers or are weak of faith, and they are awash in this storm. Stand on the Rock, and call them to the firm place beside you.

God bless! May He heal, comfort, and protect you all.

Aliens – Like the Space Kind

According to ancient astronaut theorists… you know you’ve watched it: So many “experts,” so many conspiracy theories. It’s fun to think about other beings inhabiting the universe, the deep space full of more lives than our own. So, what does this have to do with God and His heavenly estate? Apparently a lot according to Ancient Aliens show. If you’ve watched this show or just heard similar perspectives, you’ll know they look at God from an alien enthusiasts’ view. So, here, we’ll be looking at the idea of aliens from God’s. So, let’s dive into the vacuum of space and look around.

If you read the Bible trying to scan for terms like space, aliens, planets, or maybe UFOs, you’re not going to find them. Modern people have different ideas about beings from other planets, about what to call them, and really about the universe all together. You really should open your mind a bit to the idea that neither of us really know what we’re seeing when we see strange things in the sky. We all are describing events in a way our audience will understand. What we call spacecraft, the people of long ago may have called a chariot or wheels within wheels.

Let me tell you a strange, true story, and you can believe it or disbelieve it. That’s fine. Maybe there’s a good, rational, society-accepted explanation for the event I’ve experienced. When I was in my twenties, Johnnie was driving me back home from a date we’d been on. It was somewhat late, from what I recall. The dirt road that leads back to my parents’ house goes down a fairly large wooded and uninhabited area. As we neared the road, we saw a metallic-looking cylindrical thing, maybe as large as a semi hovering just above the trees. It made no noise, and it was lit up all around with lights. It had blue and red lights that alternated from what I recall.  Anyhow, despite the fact we both had phones with cameras, neither of us took photos (of course!). We were in shock and couldn’t move. We just stared. When we finally high-tailed it out of there, Johnnie decided to return just a minute later, and it was completely gone.

I told someone about this experience back in college, and they, a devout Christian, called it a weather balloon and dismissed the idea outright, stating that aliens were a myth. Um, you believe in flying chariots and angels who come from where (heaven = sky)? Okay, I’m not here to argue the existence of aliens, rather the hypocrisy of immediate dismissal when you’re a Bible-toting believer. Open your mind to the fact that God is omnipotent and has the capability of being a God and creator to not just this world but many. I’m not saying He has made more worlds with other intelligent beings. I’m just saying that with God all things are possible.

Now, I do find about 90% of the Ancient Alien show hogwash because they really, really stretch things to fit the theory that basically everything was done by or initiated by “otherworldly beings.” They also will try to justify Satan’s actions (let’s pause for a moment of silence), stating that he was “just trying to impart helpful knowledge.” *Cue maniacal laughter here* It wasn’t so much that he was imparting knowledge. It was that he was acting in direct disobedience to God’s commands and attempting to get humans to do the same (“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat of any tree in the garden?'” Genesis 3:1). Sure, if you don’t believe God is an all-good God full of love, you may be tempted to believe Satan was a rebel with a cause. He only wishes he were that cool.

There are instances in the Bible where you can see strange events that sounds otherworldly. For instance, Ezekiel:

I looked and saw a whirlwind coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing back and forth and brilliant light all around it. In the center of the fire was a gleam like amber, and within it was the form of four living creatures… The workmanship of the wheels looked like the gleam of beryl, and all four had the same likeness. Their workmanship was like a wheel within a wheel. As they moved, they went in any of the four directions, without pivoting as the moved.

Ezekiel 1:4-17

Maybe you’ll be interested in how Elijah was taken up into the skies by fiery chariots:

As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire with horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up into heaven in a whirlwind. As Elisha watched, he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And he saw Elijah no more.

2 Kings 2:11-12

God is amazing, omnipotent, and omniscient, and He can do anything. It’s possible aliens exist, but it’s okay whatever you believe on that matter. The fact of the matter is that we really aren’t alone in the universe. We’re already told there are beings God created other than us called Sons of God or angels. We see prophecies throughout the Bible with various strange creatures that could be figurative, symbolic or maybe not. Just looking around the Earth, we can see wondrous lives swimming deep in the ocean, flying in the air above, teeming all around us. It’s not a stretch to believe He may have created more we are unaware of, whether that’s on another planet or in another dimension, if those exist. What do you think?

God bless!

Burn Out

I’ve learned that a good way to treat burn out is by creativity.

They are complete opposites. Burn out is spurred by ongoing, unresolved stress rounded out by unmet needs. True creativity may be shaped by practice and work, but in essence, it is a free thing, unrestrained by expectations and stress. Children are innately creative as they color outside lines and sometimes on walls. They don’t call themselves uncreative or stop from drawing their stick family because they think their hands aren’t talented enough. They sing without worrying about how squeaky their voices are. They dabble in poetry without realizing, as it falls from lips during hopscotch or while sitting in the trees.

We are all creative beings. God is the ultimate artist, and we, in His image, are as well. God also doesn’t stop painting the sunrise or forming the ears on a newborn calf because He wonders if someone else will disapprove of His style or ability.

Neither should you.

So, the reason I bring up burn out is, quite simply, I’m experiencing it. It’s not because of this blog. It’s due to a number of reasons connected to work and other life stresses, which reach their tentacles into other areas of my life. So, this is why I’ve not been writing consistently the past few weeks.

However, God put the urge to write poetry in my heart for some reason, pulling out my creative urges and reminding me of who I am and why I write here. I don’t like to show off unfinished works of art, but I did before here, and I will again today. I’m reminded that this is not just a place full of essay-like studies, but rather a connection to God’s heart. And God’s heart is full of joy, creativity, and not burn out. He’s healing, and He’s healing me too.

I like to document my journey through learning how to love like Jesus, so here you go. You can love like Jesus by stepping back and being creative once in a while. Write, draw, sing, create. It’s what you were made for, and do it all in love. I love y’all, so here’s my latest poem. It’s about the Father and Son from before humanity. I may add to it later or change a lot, but if I don’t, I don’t. It’s a sacrifice of time and effort on the altar to God. I hope you both like it.

In the beginning there was you and me
Hemmed by darkness
Word; a cord connects us
Echoes
Calls for light from void
When we were, we are, will be
The sounds of thunder
creation freed
All that was hidden is burned,
revealed
A Word, The Word
From edge to edge
a Blossoming begin
A calling from the nothingness
Unfurling, flinging, fly
Torn from the womb of abyss
Bordered now by sky
Summon forth the suns and souls
Topple worlds; plant more anew
A universe full
Once just me and you

God bless!

P.s. if you can’t see the poem as it can get glitchy with the IOS app, switch to your internet browser.