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January 29 2023 1 29 /01 /January /2023 16:32
A Sunday Morning Stroll Down Memory Lane ...

It's funny how often certain phrases or situations, which come up in conversations, will trigger a childhood memory. For me, when those happen, I am transported, in my mind in such an all consuming way that, for that minute, I am there again. It is like a strange kind of time travel.

 

For example, my younger sister is the one of us girls who seemed to inherit all of our Auntie's baking skills, my older sister, Pat, got her green thumb.

 

I can get by if I need to at either, but it is never outstanding. My skill lies more-so in the creative cooking arena, of being able to make decent, or even delicious, edible, and nutritious food out of unlikely, but available, ingredients! (And there is a real reason that I have so many fake flowers and plants!!! Lol)

 

I am using that example, because my younger sister, Nicky, just made me this scrump-dilly-icious Chocolate Pound Cake with German Chocolate icing – FROM SCRATCH. YUM!

 

And talking to her about one of the grand-baby's reaction to it, sparked so many different things. But one was this memory of our Aunt Elsie.

 

She was our mom's oldest sister. So, as the oldest girl, she was also the one privileged to be Grandmother's assistant in the home-making things, while everyone else went to the cotton field to assist Grandpa. Meaning that Aunt Elsie got the superior training in all things Home-Ec related.

 

But the memory I got, talking about the cake, was about her pantry! Yes there WERE cakes in her pantry! All home-made, and professionally decorated!

 

That place was a place of total wonder and magic for me. The walls were lined, to the ceiling, with canning jars, in a veritable rainbow of colors! The dark, dark Green of Mustard and Collard Greens, beside the lighter greens of Green Beans, Sugar Peas, green peppers, morphing into yellow-green of banana peppers, followed by Yellow Squash & peppers, then, yellow-orange peppers, beside Orange Carrots, and Red-Orange Sweet Potatoes, the Red-Red of tomatoes, and Peppers & Strawberries, Darker fruit colors varying from deep burgundy of beets, & Cranberries, then the purple of prunes, blackberries, followed by beans and peas of varying shades of brown, black, beige...both dried and cooked...  not to mention jellies, salsas, spaghetti sauces, Gravies, - you name it!

 

There were also clear glass square jars of cookies of all varieties, and fudge bars,  that somehow, magically, stayed full! And cakes, of all description, under clear domes, that came out after every meal! Barrels of freshly ground grain for baking... it seemed endless and awe inspiring. She also had an extensive root cellar, in the basement, with these cool bins that pulled down from the wall, that were full of dirt, which is where she kept fresh cabbage, potatoes, onions, Carrots, beans, and the like... and strings by the dozens hung from the ceiling drying peppers, garlic, various berries, and anything else she wanted dried.

 

The woman worked full time in the mill, kept a full, year 'round garden of vegetables and fruits, grew apple, persimmon & pear trees, kept hogs, turkeys, ducks & chickens (for eggs & meat), (& bartered with hunters in the family for deer), had cows for milk, bulls for meat, goats for milk, and a couple of sheep for wool & meat! Plus she kept her yard full of flowers, kept her house sparkling clean, hardwood floors, throw rugs and all, and canned, baked, made the family's clothes.... she was a working marvel of a woman!

 

The only "modern", labor-saving, devices she had was an "ice-box" in which actual ice blocks were purchased to keep food cold, and a washing machine with a hand wringer! Well, she WAS also blessed to have indoor plumbing and electricity. So they had Water Closets instead of outhouses. That was luxury back then! And slowly the water closet transformed to the bathroom with a claw foot tub and regular toilet that flushed without a bucket of water being poured in! 

 

The particular memory I had though, was just the wonder of that pantry!  Mainly because of how she arranged the colors in the jars, and the sheer order of the place, and the productivity that was evident just spoke deeply to my spirit.

 

Also, over time, that pantry became my hiding place from my annoying older cousins when they were home. They either never figured out that's where I went, or Aunt Elsie wouldn't let them invade my space, or they were just glad to be rid of me! Lol

 

There was an overhead light that hung from the ceiling, with a little dangling chain, that I could reach with the step stool (that stayed in there, so she could reach the higher shelves, of course). That stool was my desk. I would climb up, turn on the light. Stand in awe of the color burst for a minute or two, and then either sit on the first step of stool with my coloring things on the top step, or I would just sit on the stack of burlap bags in the corner and read my library books.

It was a truly enchanting, safe space, and one of the better childhood memories I've remembered, as the relentless stack of the well suppressed childhood (most NOT happy....) have emerged. So I was glad to wander down memory lane this morning and visit that magical place one more time. 

 

Happy sighs....

 

SCD

1/29/23

A Sunday Morning Stroll Down Memory Lane ...

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January 16 2023 2 16 /01 /January /2023 14:58
REAL Relationship In/With GOD

(REAL – Relentless Eternal Authentic Love)

 

I've been reading in the book of Matthew this morning. The latter chapters in which Yeshua is teaching the multitudes. Chapter 22 (vs.34-40) is the portion in which the Pharisaic Lawyers ask Him to define the greatest commandment. He replies that the FIRST and greatest commandment is to...”LOVE YeHoVaH your GOD, with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength!” He then added that the second is very similar, “You shall LOVE your neighbor as yourself....”. He said that upon these two commandments rested ALL the LAW & The Prophets!

 

In other words, He was saying that without keeping these two commandments, the observing of the rest of the Law is

1. impossible, and 2. rather pointless!

 

This guy didn't mince words! He was considered then, and would be considered now, by the religious community, as “harsh”.

 

Though He, the epitome of LOVE, was considered to be unloving simply because He spoke TRUTH, to religious flesh. This is odd, because TRUTH is that which is designed to make us free! Setting people free from that which has chained them to death is a very loving thing to do! But religious deception has never seen it that way! 

 

Here is where the confusion lies, Truth IS death - to the flesh! BUT, what we must realize and accept is that the flesh is counterproductive to any kind of real life. So, starving, denying, or crucifying the flesh, in order to free the captive spirit man inside, is THE point of real love. Real life is not found in the temporary fleshly existence. Real Love is found ONLY in God, and THIS is WHY Yeshua made that very real distinction! 

 

Love is an eternal, God-inspired, entity, which is not possible in the human realm. The human kind of “love” only gives to get something. It is not, as God's love is, self-sacrificing, for the good of others!

 

But here is the astounding mystery of how God's stuff works! When we set ourselves to do good to others first, then WE get blessed beyond all measure!

 

We must get hold of the reality that GOD is not going to be outdone. When it comes to goodness, not only is He the source, HE can produce nothing evil! So when we set the good-cycle in motion, He will multiply it back to us! That is simply how He works! We can not, will never, ever out-give GOD!

 

Just as the conduit through which oil flows is well greased, so, also, it is true that the vessels through which God's blessings flow to others will be extremely blessed! It is just how it works!!!

 

But I digress. That is all true, and worthy of our time, concentration and observation!  However, the point I wanted to get down to is that what Yeshua was saying is that we must be REAL.

 

Religion just isn't what God is after. He wants RELATIONSHIP. He will settle for nothing less! He abhors hypocrisy, double-mindedness and fearful self-protection! He demands our trust, and our open, honest, pouring out of ourselves to Him and to those to whom He sends us!

 

He doesn't want secrets, shadows, and shame! He wants our devoted surrender to HIS WILL, so that HIS KINGDOM can be set up on this planet once again! He wants the undivided attention, devotion and dedication that the first couple had before they took the bait of satan! He wants back that unquestioning trust, and undivided devotion to Himself, His plan and His work!

 

But in giving themselves that way, THEY prospered. They were clothed in glory, they were in constant contact with God, and in charge of the whole place! I bet their physical intimacy was amazing! And I am sure that childbirth would have been only a miraculous blessing, not the drudgery and death defying struggle it has become on our watch!

 

Why would anyone want to give that up for one forbidden fruit? That is the challenge of free will. So why would even God allow/invent free will?

 

Free will is what enabled “Lucifer”, the angel of light, to rebel and seek God's power, over his own, already enviable position as worship leader for the TOP BRASS? Because of one deep desire that God has, one that has been instilled into each of His human creations, the desire to be pursued, trusted, wanted and esteemed above all others!

 

We humans don't need or desire that from everyone we meet, but there are those few closest humans that we'd give anything to have that kind of relationship with. Instead though, partly because WE don't even love ourselves very well, because we've bought into the shame of our perceived failures (real or imagined), and partly because we're too busy judging everyone else for theirs, we keep missing the mark! We will often sell real relationships for the thrill of fame, temporary glory, applause, accolades, grades or monetary rewards! We want ease above all else. If it's going to cost us too much, forget about it. We talk a lot of junk about how much we value the health of our planet, we throw around words like “Green” and “Recycle” - but most won't even consider reusing stuff to relieve the landfills! Others hoard worthless junk, making their homes a secondary landfill, out of some sense of desperation or obligation, or insecurity, or just plain insanity. But we've been given some pretty awesome promises by God in exchange for our attention, and devotion! I don't get what all the resistance is about. It is, like the first couple experienced, just the deceptive skills of God's determined enemy.

 

The only real question I've ever had about that deal is why did he even make it out of heaven? If God was going to end him in a great and eternal fury, why did He drag this mess out? But, of course, The Creator of the universe, Who Is also the Creator and sustainer of me, does not owe me an answer! He has His reasons. Who am I to even question? But He made us to think, reason, struggle and win. He has ASKED that we find HIS WAYS of doing those things. That we THINK on the things that HE recommends, that we accept the reasons He does give us, that we Struggle in HIS strength – and that we count on Him for the big win at the end, and the little wins along the way!

 

The reason for the insanity in our government, the reason for the divorce rates, the reason relationships just don't work anymore, is clearly (to me, after decades of observation on this planet) that we have, again, forsaken the source of good, the source of love, the source of truth, sanity and reason, and have, again, fallen for the cons of the enemy of God – who is also the extreme hater of all God creates and stands for. Therefore we are targets of his revenge. We are quite the fool to ever buy any of his crap. He is always lying. It is his job description. Why would we choose to trust a liar over The One Who exemplifies TRUTH? The flesh is born broken, fallen and deceived. That is why we need to hear the Truth of God's Word preached. It why we need to see His people LIVE in HIS LIGHT, so that our darkness can be noticed and dispelled. Our mission, once we accept Christ – The ANOINTED ONE – is to walk – live – breathe – love – excel – in that Anointing until He comes! Our blessed existence is supposed to make the fallen world thirsty for Him, the living water! Our Joy is supposed to be contagious!

 

It is time the people of God – those who call themselves by that moniker – align themselves with HIM, in a REAL, AUTHENTIC, ORGANIC way – decide to walk the walk not just talk the talk – and become who HE has paid the price for us to be. It is time WE become broken bread and poured out wine, as HE did, to feed the hungry and heal the downtrodden! It is time WE took on HIS mantle of authority by yoking ourselves to HIM, in an inseparable way. It is time that we came down off the fence of religious pretense, and made a firm commitment to follow HIM. There is coming a day when the choice will no longer be available. There is coming a day when He will appear, take those who have fully committed to a loving, trusting, all-in, relationship with Him to His side, and those playing on the fence will find themselves inside it. Trapped. Eternally separated from Him. TODAY is the day of Salvation – which – by the way – is what YESHUA means. Today is the day of Yeshua. Choose Life. CHOOSE HIM.

Selah....

 

SCD

1.16.23

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January 11 2023 4 11 /01 /January /2023 15:35
"What would a man give, (or take) in exchange for his soul?"  ~ Yeshua (Matthew 16)

“What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” ~ Yeshua (Matthew 16)

 

I took this portion from this morning's devotional encouragement, sent out by the Pastor of Resurrection Life, Jerry Snipes. Or perhaps I should say, it “took” me. I was quite taken by the words of our LORD, by His probing questions to His disciples, then and now.

 

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works." Matthew 16:24-27...

 

“...Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” This is a valid question He is asking. And He is demanding an answer. What is it, that this temporary earthly existence has to offer, that is truly worth possibly losing one's soul for all of eternity to come?

 

First one must settle some basic, ground laying, questions – like – does one really believe that there will be an eternal existence? If this life is all there is, then perhaps my old mum was right in saying, “get all you can, can all you get, and sit on the can!” BUT! What if there actually is another life, a world beyond this one? And a Great Creator, Who created this one to be eternal, but allowed man to “do that one in”, by selling out to a mere fleshly desire! BUT IF there IS an ETERNITY – in which WE must choose our direction – then – again – what is worth risking being separated from that Creator, and HIS wonderful ideas of LIFE, forever?

 

Is a bit of ease worth it? Is having our own way at the expense of others worth it? Or worse, at the expense of our relationship with God and others? Is a great fortune, supplying all the desires of our fleshly dreams and ambitions, even worth it – when one considers how short a time those are to be enjoyed, and how long one may have to suffer when that time is up?

 

I live for the eternal realm. In the meantime, I try to be a good steward over what I've been given here. The blessings bestowed on me by God – through friends, work, or whatever. I try to maintain order, that brings His Peace more readily. I try to maintain health, by following HIS recommendations, and using what HE has put into the earth for that purpose. But most of all, my focus is on HEARING HIM, and DOING WHAT HE SAYS, at any given moment!

 

Not because I am a suck up. Not because I fear His wrath if I don't. Not because I am “so heavenly minded that I am no earthly good”. All of which have been said about me. But because I don't want to miss one minute of His Good Pleasure. I sincerely love and trust Him that much. I have found, in being that devoted to Him, that HE is also that devoted to me. Rarely do I make a request that isn't answered. Sometimes the answer is no! Don't get me wrong. But there is always a good reason for that. He is bent toward achieving my good and His glory! And I have partnered with Him in that venture. It isn't wrong to want good for ourselves! It is quite ridiculous to pretend other wise! It is wrong, however, to put OUR GOOD ABOVE everyone else's! To be other-minded, to put the Glory of God, and the Good of others above our own selves is ironically, and surprisingly, the KEY to getting the best out of life, and staying in a place of emotional peace, physical health, and spiritual security!

 

So. Yeshua is asking us …. “What would YOU give in exchange for your soul?” Or put another way, “What would YOU sell your soul to get?” Fame? Fortune? Comfort? Ease? That plastic peace, which appeasing the ever grasping flesh seems to bring?

 

Listen to Sandra - if there is ANYTHING that has more of your attention than He does, it is best that you follow the advice He gave to the rich young ruler - “Quickly (without giving it too much thought), go and sell ALL you have, and come follow Me.”

 

The rich young ruler, we are told, went away sad, dejected and conflicted. For he had seen what Yeshua could do, Who He Was! He had been bitten by the spiritual desire, awakened to his own lack, he longed to follow this man, Who walked in so much authority and love! Yet, his riches & position as a nobleman had too much of a hold on him, so, sadly he chose poorly, and walked away – knowing he was making a mistake.

 

I am firmly convinced that NOTHING in this measly world is worth the risk of losing my hold on Yeshua. Or loosening HIS hold on me! HE IS my one true desire. One could say it was easier for me – since I had nothing worth having to begin with!!! And, that is true. But I had the same potential to sell my soul for some red bean stew, the same as Esau. I had the same energy, time, and potential to have “made it' in this world as anyone else. There are many “rags to riches” stories out there. Mine could have been one of them! I am, as most who know me have discovered, quite creative, ingenuous, and talented in many areas.

 

I have seen, and even personally encountered, the riches and comforts of this world. I have watched the elite live their lives of selfish ease, or even generous sharing! And, to be honest, I believe that the poverty I have endured was NOT the perfect will of God for me! Abraham, it is said, was BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING! (Not like some in our culture, to have a GOLD bathtub!) David rose to the highest level in the land – while doing the express will of YeHoVaH!!! So I don't reject success, wealth or blessing!!!! I'm not crazy about the idea of fame. Being a natural introvert. But I will do, go and be whatever The Father needs me to be!

 

My point is that I wouldn't risk any of those things pulling me away from HIM. HE Is the central goal of my existence! All else is but a vapor. Nothing else has the substance He has. Nothing else holds the promise of ETERNAL BLESSING. A FOREVER AFTER that is worth pursuing.

 

I would love nothing better than to have the money to give people a hand up when they need it. To help people struggle out of poverty and into a good living for themselves – to be part of God's mechanism to “Bless the WORK of our hands” - to be a conduit through which HIS oil can flow unobstructedly, unhindered, to others in need – has been a goal of mine, a much repeated request during intercession. I believe that I am repeating His will and desire for me, and for others, as I pray these things. But I also pray, though I may eventually have money in abundance, that it may never have me! I do not want a divided loyalty. I will have only ONE God. YeHoVaH Elohim! And will serve on under His appointed and anointed King, Yeshua, The Anointed One.

 

I have made up my mind. I have set my course. I have chosen my path. I have determined what is worthy of my attention, time and resources. I am Kingdom oriented. I live down here, on earth for now. And I am a very practical person with regard to temporal needs. But over time I have developed a boundary for myself (I used it on my kids when I was home educating them as well) – I still say to my flesh - “We're not doing WANTS today”. Which simply means, that I am NOT pleasing the flesh today! I am doing the WILL of GOD. I will do what is RIGHT. I will do what pleases HIM, what agrees with Scripture. And if I miss it – if I am tripped by the fleshly parts of me - I will repent. Change direction. Make a necessary adjustment. Do whatever it takes to make HIM happy with me again.

 

Because it is HIS SMILE that I live for. That is what guides my choices, and determines what my work will be each day. Some days are spent working on getting the house He has given me in order. Some days are spent on the phone, pouring out my time and His Word on people who are hurting, or lonely, or just needing prayer or a listening ear. Some days are spent in writing, and intercession. But HE is actually “THE LORD” of my life – which means that HE gets to dictate how I spend my time! It isn't just something to throw around in religious circles! As an old preacher once said, “If He isn't Lord OF all, then He isn't really Lord AT all!” I truly think it is time the vast majority of those who consider themselves to be “The Church”, finally got hold of that reality, and finally made some choices, stop being conflicted, double-minded and apathetic in their following of Him. He demands ALL. We can say that isn't fair. But then, HE GAVE ALL. So....? Today is the day of Yeshua (Salvation). Today is the day to choose. Again, the question is, “What would you give (or get) in exchange for YOUR soul?”

Selah.

 

SCD

1/11/23

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December 29 2022 5 29 /12 /December /2022 19:47
Carrying the AWE Beyond Christmas ....

When I see those pictures of the manger scene, where Mary and Joseph sit in awe, and a bit of disbelief, or shock, at what has just happened ....when I see the Shepherds, having been motivated by a host of heavenly beings, already worshiping, coming to fall at a lowly manger (*or whatever they had Him resting in, I've heard this wasn't an accurate translation of the original? But again, whatever...). . . I have to ask …. where is our awe? We have been all about, in a sadly religious kind of way, “putting The CHRIST back into CHRISTmas”. I have stated, by His Spirit I think, that we must first work on putting The CHRIST into His “CHRISTians”! We seem to have lost our awareness of His Holiness, His majesty, His Goodness and His Presence!

 

The young Savior was nearly 2 years old when the Magi finally showed up looking for Him, due to some star searching, and prophetic downloads they had gotten. This event upset the reigning monarch of that time so thoroughly that he ordered all male infants, 2 & under, to be murdered! But Joseph, who was warned by an angel, got up and took his wife and son to Egypt, so that His life was spared, because, obviously, He had not completed His mission. The Magi found Him there, left their prophetic gifts and moved on. Wisely not reporting back to Herod as requested!

 

Here we are centuries later, still celebrating that birth, but somehow, still living everyday life as though it never happened. I mean, how often are the sick healed – miraculously? How many times have WE loosed people from life-hindering strongholds, citadels of the flesh, which can, and do, keep us humans from obedience and blessing? How many people have WE led to God, or personally discipled?

 

Somehow the system blandly referred to as “church” has utterly lost that whole discipleship idea! We make converts to our religious persuasions, not disciples to Christ! Most people have no time for real discipleship. It can be very time consuming, and life disorienting! People are needy beings. But until we are directed to the source of our need, and taught how to access that source, we will fluctuate, as most do, between codependent and independent. We want to run our own life and be accountable to no one, on the one hand, and yet have others solve all our problems for us! I will tell you, this doesn't ever work. We must be discipled to HIM. Taught His ways by those who know HIM. The whole church system that has only one poor fellow as "pastor", with some assistants, is NOT what the WORD instructed us to DO! WE are to FIRST BECOME HIS faithful followers, and then, as Paul said & did, persuade people to "follow me as I follow Christ"! THAT is what discipleship looks like. The five-fold ministry gifts are for ALL believers! Nowhere in the Word of God does it ever suggest that only seminary students get to operate in those!!!! 

 

What God has set up, in sending His Son to establish His Kingdom on the earth, and in sending His Spirit to help US run it – is a delightful interdependence, where we depend on GOD first, and on each other for the temporal, earthly, stuff that people need help with! We are to be need-meeters! We are to meet the real needs of those who are working to get their lives in order under God! We are not ever to be enablers of bratty, entitlement oriented, spoiled, devil-driven, hell-bent flesh! There is still entirely too much SELFISHNESS in “the Church”! And too little real AWE of WHO it is that we are supposedly serving?

 

Most act as though He is our servant, or worse, some slot machine that one hits when there's some desperate need! And, after living lives of apathetic, half-interested, barely invested, religiosity, we have the nerve to get stiff with HIM for “not meeting” some need we've thrown out to Him! We have the nerve to accuse HIM of not upholding His Word! Which is totally appalling, especially when most barely even know what His WORD says, due to a profound lack of actually reading it – soaking in it – and trying to LIVE it!!!!

 

Seriously people, if most people treated their jobs with the same disregard and divided interest with which they treat their calling they'd be starving!

 

So, as another season rolls past, as the sappy movies that make this holiday about anything but HIM take a break, as the music returns to our normal playlists, and the twinkling lights are put back into their storage boxes....Let's let that LIGHT that burned over that “manger”, which drew both Shepherds and Wise men, which enraged a fleshly king, and heralded the worship of Angels – THAT LIGHT that was HIM – let's take that light into the New Year with us. Let's let HIS LIGHT turn all our dark places into bright spots! Let's let HIS LOVE overcome all the anti-love feelings which so easily come upon us in our dealings with other imperfect humans.

 

“Let's” or “Let Us” - are actions words –  so let us become such a bright reflection of HIM in this world that no one around us can miss HIM. Let's let that AWE that Mary & Joseph felt that night, so long ago, overwhelm US as it did them, HE IS. He is still with us. HIS SPIRIT lives IN US. HE - The Christ of Christmas – still longs for us – from every economic & intellectual level – from lowly shepherds to reigning Wisemen – to show up at His feet, fall down in worship, and then be lifted to follow in His footsteps! To do, as He stated in John 14:12, even greater works than He did!

 

That boggles my brain. But if He said it I believe it! He is not (merely) a man that He should lie! He came as a human, so that He could fully relate to our trials, temptations, and struggles. He did not live in some spiritual cloud above or apart from our earthly realm. He Dwelt among us …. and LIVED what He preached, as an example for US to do the same!

 

So.... now that Christmas is over, Chanukah's lights have dimmed, and the New Year is upon us, let us march forward keeping CHRIST in “CHRISTians”! May we fully live up to the name, and not be “CHRINOS” – Christians In Name Only!

 

This year, may HIS LIGHT burn brightly within us all year long, and may many come to the brightness of HIS shining! May we be a true, living, actual, authentic, organic representation of HIM, to this fallen, broken, yearning, planet. May we step up into our authority as His representatives on earth and truly bring His Good Will to Men, not just at Christmas.

May we never lose the AWE of those who sat at that manger, knowing beyond all doubt that The Messiah was laying before them, in the form of that tiny human. And May we never forget that the baby grew up, gave His life for us, and has RISEN – sending His Spirit to enable US to do likewise. If THAT doesn't put one in AWE, as the old ones used to say, “your wood is wet”! Let His warmth dry out that wood, and let His Spirit light that fire. May we take His light into a dark and dying world like never before! 

 

Selah.

 

(*P.S. I've used the word “let” a lot. Because He gave us free will. He will not bully us into obedience, we must “LET” Him do what He does. We must cooperate. This year may we lay aside our prideful self-striving and LET HIM be KING of KINGS & LORD of LORDS! Remember, as a wise one once said, “If He isn't LORD OF ALL in my life, then He isn't LORD AT ALL....” Selah – which means, Pause and carefully contemplate that!)

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December 27 2022 3 27 /12 /December /2022 18:56
Balance + Persistence = VICTORY

Hope for the best, be prepared for the worst,

then find God's Grace for whichever comes first!

OUR Faith guides US in what WE will be,

yet others make choices which still affect me!

 

I can not enforce what I do not control,

so “others' choices”, on God, I must daily roll!

I must daily contend for the ground that is MINE,

but, the rest, keep surrendered, to His Miraculous Design!

 

HE Is The One Who knows all, you see,

so all of that burden is not on me!

Thank GOD He Is Faithful, Helpful and True,

and does not heap those burdens on me, or on you!

 

Thank God HE knows just what we need to survive

what the enemy throws daily & yet helps us to THRIVE;

Amidst chaos and controversy, in sickness and strife,

and brings us to Victory, while giving new life!

 

So whether or not this skirmish I win,

In HIM I've defeated death, hell and sin!

And knowing this Truth, I continue to fight,

what's been hidden in darkness, now coming to light!

 

I will not succumb to the evil attempts,

of demonic destroying hell-driven wimps,

desiring to squelch and diminish my trust,

I'll fight while I'm able, and rest when I must!

 

But GOD, Who sustains me, will NOT let me fall!

As on HIS DEAR SPIRIT, I continuously call!

HE will come fight for me, when I've fallen down,

He picks me up, dusts me off, and turns me around.

 

Then together we face down the incessant foes,

which gather against me to increase my woes,

We will be triumphant, we'll challenge and win,

And everything WILL come out right, in the end!

 

So soldier on Warriors, Do not be dismayed,

at the fierceness and foulness, by the enemy displayed!

He is just a liar, with an exalted pride,

clearly quite unprepared for his downward, last, ride!

 

Keep up that WORSHIP! Keep Reflecting His Light!

Keep wearing that armor, that you've kept polished bright!

Keep following the leader, do all He commands,

No strength to march? Then just take a stand!

 

This war isn't over, it's only begun,

we've taken the beaches, put hell on the run,

There's more to accomplish, it won't be a breeze!

But we're promised a victory if our faith doesn't freeze!

 

Soldier on Warriors, lose all fear and dread,

replace it with Faith in His Power instead!

Rise UP now in Worship, laying all fear aside,

And mount up to follow The King on this ride.

 

We've nothing to gain falling back in despair!

Let's mount up like eagles and take to the air,

and hunt down the rodents now plaguing our land,

it's our job to DO all the King now demands!

 

We've Victory waiting, just over the crest,

as we follow the One Who is Righteous and Blessed!

Lay aside, now, the doubting, the pouting, the frets,

put all Trust in The One Who hasn't failed yet!

 

Let's make up our minds, let's finally give all,

let's finally take action and respond to His Call!

Let's see this thing through to Victorious End!

That's my plan today, what do you say, my friend?

 

SCD

12/27/22

 

 

 

 

 

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December 12 2022 2 12 /12 /December /2022 12:17
The REASON For The SEASON

THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

Some things to consider, please don't shout me down,
I need to address some ideas, quite profound!
I need to give voice to this wonderful Season,
bring us back to YESHUA, Who IS STILL The REAL REASON!

Not about “Elves on shelves”, nor presents, nor trees!
Nor Fat men in red suits, flying reindeer? OH PLEASE!
Not Christmas trees! Shopping! Even presents for others!
But sharing HIS LOVE with our sisters and brothers!

So let's pause our traditions, let's ditch "let's pretend",
Let's worship the Birth of our Savior and Friend!
If we'd have our children believe, and follow our SAVIOR,
then it's time we, as grown ups, did them a huge favor...

Like focusing MORE on the POINT of this Season,
instead of confusing our children about the real Reason?
Now, I know, these deceptions are all spun “just in fun"!
But they should not overshadow THE GLORIOUS ONE.

Let's truly remember WHY it was that HE came,
point folks to the manger, Praise HIS dear NAME!
Don't let our kids focus on what they might receive,
but on what we've been given, so that they might believe.

The Babe in the Manger isn't part of the hoax,
But don't expect little kids to discern that truth folks.
Our job is to lead them to bow at HIS FEET,
So let's let our “Traditions” now take a back seat.

It's time that we taught kids the Fear of THE LORD,
Not to fear some weird Elf doll, that was bought from a store!
To use fear to control kids is manipulation,
While Respect for a GOOD GOD, might lead to SALVATION!

Please, tell them the TRUTH, don't deceive them with lies.
Please focus on HIM, so that FAITH can arise!
That ruse can shake their faith later, I know this to be true.
It isn't worth risking to me, how about you?

So, it's time we came back to the Wonderful REASON,
Time to celebrate HIM this Magnificent SEASON!
For if we would "KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTmas",
you see, HE must first be EXALTED in you, and in me!

SCD
12/8/22

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December 9 2022 6 09 /12 /December /2022 13:43
Lessons from the Vineyard

Gleanings from the Vineyard....

(Defeating Pride, Learning Humility)


 

Matthew 20:8-16. “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.’ When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius. When those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.

But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own? Or is your eye envious because I am generous?’

So the last shall be first, and the first last.”


 

This teaching of Yeshua is hard for some to choke down. You see, we humans have our own exalted sense of “morality”, which includes an idea of “fairness”. And we tend to judge each other, and even GOD by THAT self-designed standard. Instead of humbly submitting ourselves to HIS higher standard of RIGHTEOUSNESS, which goes way beyond the limitations of our “moral correctness”.


 

The meaning of this teaching is that GOD has the last say! HE alone is capable and worthy of deciding who gets what! We don't get to sign up for His Kingdom, by taking the sacrifices of His Only Son, (which most of church going humanity has treated as our “get out of hell free card”) and then tell HIM HIS BUSINESS! That is NOT how this works. But it IS how most of us have treated this business of “Christianity”!


 

When, what Yeshua is saying, is that we should take the attitude of the Prodigal son, who, finally, “came to himself”. Meaning that he took full ownership & responsibility for his foolish misuse of the blessings of his father's inheritance. After doing so, he decided to humbly ask to be allowed to serve his father, and receive the rewards of his father's servants. Because his father, being a good man, treated even his servants with kindness and generosity.


 

We, like him, need to realize that we are not worthy to be called sons! It is entirely HIS GIFT of mercy to us! Due to our rebellious nature, and former life choices, we voided that right! But then, when, like the Father in the story, HE embraces us anyway, and puts a royal robe and signet ring on our fingers, we should gladly and humbly rejoice in His great grace, mercy and love! And determine to serve Him all the more loyally, for the privilege of being given room to serve HIM! But we don't get to demand ANYTHING for our “service”. We don't get to hold GOD accountable to our cheap standards of fairness. There is SO much we don't see! So much WE don't know! We dare not take the attitude of telling GOD His business.


 

We should take what He gives with an attitude of pure gratitude, for including US in HIS PLAN, AT ALL! We should just be rejoicing every day, that Yeshua paid us out of debt, and we are no longer slaves to sin, unless we willing submit to it. We have been given the privilege to be called SONS & DAUGHTERS of THE MOST HIGH GOD, our loving Heavenly FATHER! We are no longer orphans, doomed to a life of slavery to the cruelest task master living – our own rotten flesh. Leading us toward death one minute, then denigrating us for following! Why would we tolerate that ever?! Go figure!


 

In this season of celebration, let's keep focused on the birth of THE ONE, who bought us such favor. Let's keep a heart of gratitude toward our loving Father, Who went to such lengths to include US in this celebration. And let's not get into negativity, like comparing ourselves to others, or attempting to judge anyone, but especially God, by our own limited, foolish standards of faux “morality”. The flesh is a mesh, meant to filter out god, and trap our souls. It is time we put that down now, and picked up the opportunity to LIVE in HIS KINGDOM, in REAL HOLINESS, which is miles above our low standards of “fairness”. Let's admit that HE IS GOD, HE created US, not the other way around, and it is HIS opinion that matters in the end – as well as the beginning, and all the time in between. It is time to get hold of HIS TRUTH, that, if we DO choose LIFE according to HIS STANDARDS there is no end! But a blissful forever to look forward to.


 

YeHoVaH, HE IS GOD. We are not. That is the reality, should we choose to receive it. But our actions and words need to reflect that choice this holiday season, and beyond.


 

Shalom Haverim, Chag Sameach Chanukah, Merry Christmas, and an Adventure filled NEW year. As we practice that old mantra – OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW!


 

The Spirit of God has something NEW in mind this year. Be ready. You don't want to miss this. ;)

 

 

SCD

12/9/22
 

 



 

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December 3 2022 7 03 /12 /December /2022 16:18
Welcome December!

Welcome December! May your wintery chill,

replace summer swelter, your winds blow in good will.
May the grayness of your cloudy, skies,

our lights and candles emphasize.

May the Holiday's hustle and bustle not dim,
The celebration, and true praise of HIM.
Though He likely was born at an earlier time,
In Tradition, still, His birth is sublime .....

And Enjoins our hearts and minds to bring,

elated Worship to our King!

Reminds us that our King was born,

lifting the spirits of those forlorn!
 

And Chanukah, a Victory too,

is celebrated, by a few!
Who know that that victory had a real place,

in the lineage of Yeshua, not being erased!

If there had been no Chanukah, Christ would not be,

so I'm more about the Candlelight, and less about the Tree.

It's more about HIM, Who is the true GIFT,

and less about presents, and that Santa Claus stiff!

But where ever HE's remembered, or how, I am good.
Let's keep both celebrations about Him! Yes, we should!
So a Big Chag Sameach to the Chanukah crowd,

and a big Merry Christmas, YES, I'll say it out loud!

For the Light of the Gospel, gets spread more this season,
if we can just keep focused on the actual Reason!
And for those in the middle, who don't know what to do,
I'm sending a big "Happy Holidays" to you!

And before I now exit this December Rhyme scene,
I'll end with a grateful, "Shalom Haverim"!

And a blessing that we may all bask in this season,

remembering the Christ-child, Who IS truly THE REASON!

SCD
12/3/22


 

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November 17 2022 5 17 /11 /November /2022 23:02
Storm Damage Repaired

In our "Betrayal Recovery" group we've been going over happenings from the past which caused us pain, injury or trauma, and the things we can do now to heal from those happenings.

One of the analogies used was a damaged ship. Sailing becomes difficult to impossible with a damaged hold. So it has to be taken into the dock and repaired.

That sparked a poem from me, Surprise! lol I'm sharing because I know that I am not the only one whose "hold" is being restored right now. 

 

Storm Damage Repaired

 

Bitterness like rotting rust,

turning metal into dust.

Numbing misery, Blinding pain,

obscuring whatever might remain...

 

Lack of connection, lack of words,

never feeling seen or heard.

Needs continuously unmet, ignored,

betrayals felt like being gored.

 

Overwhelming hopelessness,

diminishing desire to bless..

Wondering where, and WHAT I missed,

to deserve feeling alone and dissed?

 

How to stay in love and grace,

while disrespected to my face?

How to see this journey through,

yet not just rot away with you?

 

For better or worse, rich or poor,

in sickness or health, til death endure...

If I've not seen the worst, may death come now?

We've seen sickness and poverty, holy cow!

 

May God Almighty find us in this dock,

Spirit revive us from this shock,

Retrieve us, please LORD, from this dive,

pull us off this ship alive...

 

I'm too worn out to swim or wrestle,

Please Abba, resurrect this vessel!

Mend the sails, mend the hold,

With Your healing touch of molten gold.

 

Heal the worn out victims of it's wreckage,

Please take Your Gold, and mend the breakage,

Restore this husband, restore this wife;

restore this marriage, breathe new life...

 

Then send US, once more, out to sea,

afloat on Your Love, Your sweet Mercy.

No matter what storms, we still must weather,

May we hold tight, and stick together.

 

Yeshua resting in our boat,

Will keep this couple-ship afloat,

No storm is bigger than His Power,

No evil plot can make Him cower!

 

And soon, with Him, our one resort,

We'll sail Victoriously into port.

Once there, escorted by the Son,

We'll hear our Father say, Well done!

 

SCD

11/12/22

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November 13 2022 1 13 /11 /November /2022 15:22
Being Angry While Avoiding Sin

Finding The Spiritual Balance

 

Eph. 4:17-32 

“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

 

 “Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need. Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”


 

~ ~ ~ Amen & Amen

 

We are told that we must, as a forcible act, “put off”, “the old us”, which will include whatever actions or belief structures which might cause us to “put off” of the will of God for our lives, or the guidance of His Spirit. And, that, in place of that old one, we must “PUT ON”the “NEW US”, which is achieved, we are also informed, by the “renewing” (one could say, “reprogramming”, “restructuring”, “reframing” or “renovating”) of our minds – which is also a forceful and deliberate – even determined – action.

 

These are not passive options to be pursued at our leisure and whims. Leisure and whims are decided marks of the OLD US. These are firm instructions to be pursued IF we are disciples of The Anointed One, Yeshua. We simply can not follow Him, and the flesh at the same time, we must CHOOSE ONE. As The Father, and HIS Word adjures us, all the way through, we must CHOOSE LIFE! That choice will mean that we forcibly lay aside old patterns of thinking and doing, that have become second nature to us, that feel “normal”. Yet they are far from the “normal” God created us to be! We must, as the excellent actor, portraying Jesus in the movie “The Chosen” quipped, “Get used to DIFFERENT”. God's ways, we are told, are NOT our ways! OY! Has that become apparent! Annoyingly so at times! But it is only annoying to the parts still governed by the old me. There is still some “putting off” to be done! AND some intentional “putting on”!

 

OFF with the OLD, ON with the NEW. His Spirit will lead us in what we must do! But we won't make progress until we are through, playing around with the old, while avoiding the new!

 

Sorry. I call that a Seuss lapse, when I just bust into rhyme. . .

But, seriously. Attention MUST be given to this “reprogramming” daily, if we are ever to leave behind our miserable failures, mistakes, regrets, and our tendency to obsess on those, so as to wallow in the mire of self-pity, in the fleshly hog-pen we've made for ourselves, emotionally speaking. But usually it will also manifest in the physical realm, in some way, resulting in chaos and cluttered, confusion oriented, living, or sickness and pain in our bodies, and strained relationships with all those around us!

 

The Good News, however, is that we are now FREE, in Yeshua, to LEAVE BEHIND that low level living, and LEVEL UP to a NEW LIFE in HIM. But WE MUST MAKE UP OUR MINDS. We must get to that place that we are totally DONE with the old ways of being and doing! We must be ready to “burn the boats” of the old life we've become used to, and be willing to be willing to WORK, in cooperation with His Spirit, to “PUT OFF”, “LAY ASIDE”, the OLD “US” (which really is a half version of us) and be willing, even eager I would suggest, to pursue, with all our enthusiasm, intention and action, the NEW US (which is the REAL US that GOD envisioned) – by obeying HIS instruction and staying within HIS boundaries (which is our real “safety zone”)!

 

Ephesians is a great instruction book on how this is best accomplished, on what our part is in this effort, how to best cooperate with His Spirit in achieving this new normal, this new high life. One of the decisions this chapter calls for is a restructuring of our emotional and verbal responses to conflict, disappointment or challenges. He says that we should “put away lying” and “speak truth”. Well, that settles the Passive/Aggressive mess that too often substitutes for real “Christianity” around here! Just sayin'!

 

He continues that we should “be angry” yet not sin! Well. That would definitely be a spiritual accomplishment! For me it has been a most determined, and decisive attitude adjustment! It means that we must thoughtfully RESPOND to the difficulties (and the humans behind them) of life, and not merely react! OY!

 

Salvation and the forgiveness of our sin is free to us, in that HE paid the debts and penalties attached! However, following the One who forgives us will cost us our lives – in that the old life must be “put off”, firmly and completely, in order to follow Him! We are told that we must “die to the flesh & live to the spirit” “Do not let the sun go down on your wrath” (don't hold onto grudges until bedtime, it will disturb your rest), “and do not give the devil an opportunity”. Meaning that our mishandled anger opens the door for demonic involvement.

 

Anger is a legitimate emotional tool. Emotions, as I have felt led to point out on occasion, are like a “Check-Engine Light” in a car. They indicate a problem, potential or threatening. It is best not to ignore it, but you don't need to junk the whole car because a light comes on! We take it to a professional mechanic to diagnose the issues. It may just be a blown fuse, or part of the engine could need “fixing”. If it only needs oil we don't have to pay the mechanic for that service. We can thank him, go home and do it ourselves. But if part of the engine, or intricate working parts need replacing, then we must employ his or her services in that matter. In the same way, we take our emotions to God to see what we need to do – or have done - about it. Sometimes we just need to calm down, focus on the positive (whatever is true, lovely....etc.), and let stuff go. Sometimes we need to worship or journal or study to recharge our battery, or restore the blown fuse. Sometimes we need deliverance from a stronghold, or emotional “keep” that we've allowed the enemy to build and operate from, which is then keeping us from achieving our peace, maturity and stability spiritually – which requires the services The Great Mechanic! But the way we handle our anger is a big deal to God.

 

Which is why Paul continued his instruction on how to best handle anger, saying, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice (force). And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

 

What NOT to do –

1.DO NOT ALLOW corrupt communication – that which is not pleasing to God, helpful or necessary – come out of the mouth. “Thumper's Rule” (“Thumper” is the little rabbit-friend from Disney's Bambi move) comes to mind, “If you can't say something good, or nice, then don't say anything at all.”

2.DO NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT – by allowing the flesh to become dominant in frustration. 3.PUT AWAY FROM OURSELVES – ALL bitterness, wrath, anger (what is the distinction between those), clamor AND evil speaking – with ALL FORCE/Malice. In other words those things are worthy of our judgment, and worth despising.

 

AND – a final exhortation of what TO DO – we should – BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER. Tenderhearted (not selfishly self-defensive) – achieved by – FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER AS WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN. God really is a “pay it forward” kind of GOD.

 

So, as we each recover our ground spiritually, let us stay accountable to each other, and hold each other accountable to THE WORD. Because that is the source of the TRUTH we are told to speak. Also let us be attentive to the nudges of the spirit, and to take our check-engine lights seriously enough to get down to what is causing it – but not let those emotions become the “lord”, or director of our actions! We are to report for duty daily, to receive His instructions, let Him interpret our challenges for us, as to HIS intentions for allowing them, and get HIS help with anything we are not mature enough to handle yet. And all of this without any shame, but only gratitude that HE IS THERE FOR US, and ready and able to aid us in keeping our transformation going, in our progress toward perfection!

 

This is the way to the maturity in The Spirit, which will enable us to be true followers and disciples of our dear Lord & Savior, and eventually walk in His Authority and Anointing enough to “do the things which HE does & greater” as promised – by the Power and Aid of His Spirit working through us. Cultivating these practices does decimate the foolish flesh, and empowers the spirit-beings in us, so that we can be HIS partners in seeing “His Kingdom come...” and “His will be done, HERE as it Heaven.”

 

And, I don't know about all of you, but THAT is exactly the goal of my life, breath and existence. I am obviously not done yet. But as we say in our recovery groups, “Progress Toward Perfection.” It is happening, by His grace.

 

Selah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being Angry While Avoiding Sin
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  • : SELAH Jubilee Lady Writes 4 Shalom
  • : I love to write, all about life, and what is going on in it. And about the Beloved Creator, Who sponsored it! I hope to intrigue and inspire.
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  • Sandra Carlton Duncan
  • I am a devoted follower of Yeshua, the Messiah. I have been married to Gene Duncan II for 37  years, and counting. I have 7 children, 3 boys & 4 girls - all grown up. They have been home educated, K-12. I also write, hence the blog  (including, but not limited to: children's books, poems, and personal growth art. ) Please stay tuned as I share my personal journey through poems and writing.
  • I am a devoted follower of Yeshua, the Messiah. I have been married to Gene Duncan II for 37 years, and counting. I have 7 children, 3 boys & 4 girls - all grown up. They have been home educated, K-12. I also write, hence the blog (including, but not limited to: children's books, poems, and personal growth art. ) Please stay tuned as I share my personal journey through poems and writing.

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