Tag Archives: faith

Be still

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

I looked out at the dark morning through the window in front of my desk, seeing only the reflection of me in my jammies and become aware of the fact that my shoulders were up around my ears. What in the world ya’ll?? Its 5:45 a.m., and I already have tension in my neck and shoulders? No wonder I have neck and shoulder pain all the time! Closing my eyes, I intentionally relaxed my shoulders and breath . I feel my whole body release.

Aaaahhhhhh, that feels better.

Ok, now you do it! Take notice of your shoulders…are they tensed up? Ok, relax them just for a second. Notice any difference? Ahhhh. Be still, and know that God is God.

I do have a tendency to carry stress and the worries of the world on my shoulders. Always a To-Do-List rattling around in my head. Forever wondering if the conversations I had yesterday were ok. Endlessly thinking about people, places and things for the future.

“Be still,” God says in my heart, “I WILL be exalted among the nations, I WILL BE exalted in the earth. And really, Theresa, there’s not much you can do to speed that up or slow that down. Its happening. Period.”

Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11:22-24

Jesus had just performed a miracle by withering up a fig tree that wasn’t bearing fruit and his disciples were amazed. Jesus reassures them that they can make stuff happen too….if they only believe.

And trust.

And relax their shoulders.

Jesus had also just flipped tables in the temple courts. So he had been MAD too! Who wants to be the one to make God mad? Not me! I would definitely have had tense shoulders! So I read up on this flipping tables moment in time.

This happened in the temple courts which was the ONLY place that the Gentiles, AKA outsiders, could go to worship God and gather for prayer. They weren’t allowed inside the temple courts. The vendors coming to sell animals and exchange money set their tables up there in the ONLY place for these not normally included outcasts to worship. How is one supposed to pray and worship with goats bleating, doves cooing, and vendors yelling? These people were probably those who yearned for God. The desperate ones. The ones that took that last leap of faith. Yet, they had to compete with the oxen and pushy salesmen pushing their goods.

I’m a sucker for the underdog, ya know? When I see or predict a situation where an injustice is happening or when there is tension in the area….well….my shoulders get all tensed up, and I’m ready to go to battle.

But that’s not always my job is it? In this case, its God’s job. My job is to “Have faith in God….not doubt in my heart….believe” (Mark 11:22-24 abbreviated) But there is some requirements of me.

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

Mark 11:25

Forgiveness. Its trick isn’t it? While I am standing still, praying, take note of any forgiveness that needs to happen. God WILL accomplish miracles….in fact, God already has accomplished miracles. God already sent his only son, Jesus, to live among us, teach us how to love one another by dying for us, and was resurrected on the third day. Now He is seated at the right hand of the Father. That’s the miracle, the rest will just fall into place, whether I’m all tensed up or not.

Father God, I thank you for your Word that reminds me that you already have all this under control. No matter what I do, say, write or don’t write, Your Name WILL BE exalted in the earth. Help me to know what it means to be still today. I pray for the person reading this that You would speak to their heart, encourage each person with the understanding that You already have this under control. Lord, I desire to be part of your plan to bring glory to Your Name. Show me how to do that. Teach me Lord, how I can be part of your plan in such a time as this.

Is there something that you can trust God with?

What does it mean to you to Be Still?

How can I pray for you today?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

What did Jesus come to do?

  • Leviticus 13:1-59
  • Mark 6:1-29
  • Psalm 39:1-13
  • Proverbs 10:10

As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.

Leviticus 13:46

This was the prescription for defiling skin diseases. This was also the prescription for mental illnesses of all kinds. and other physical diseases. This was also the prescription for some levels of criminal behavior. These kinds of people were to be avoided and rejected by the community. God was present,visually and spiritually, in the tabernacle and in the camp where everyone else was at. So when a person got inflicted with a disease and got booted out of the camp, they were no longer in the presence of God.

No visitors.

Wear your mask.

Isolation.

Quarantine.

I don’t have children at home any more but I see the effects of children and families regarding covid restrictions. It’s insane what we are doing to people! If you don’t agree with me, I am sorry, but this is ridiculous! The scientific numbers aren’t supporting the isolation that is taking place. The effects of addiction and depression have substantially increased since this quarantine mess has started. Criminal behavior has elevated to unprecedented rates, and frankly I wonder if its not the effect of stress, isolation and the economy. I see my grandchildren not being allowed to go to school, just because they were on the bus with a kid who had been exposed. My daughter was quarantined away from family and friends because she “tested positive”. She had no symptoms. Grandparents are not being allowed to go to sporting events of their grandchildren because of covid regulations. Seniors in nursing homes are even MORE isolated from their families than they were before, all in the name of coronavirus.

I do know people who’ve had covid, and some have gotten really, really sick. I know of 1 person who died. My heart goes out to families and friends who have lost loved ones because of this horrible disease. Also to the ones who have lost friends and family members to heart disease, cancer, pneumonia, sclerosis of the liver, diabetes, the flu. Its heart wrenching to lose someone we love. When someone is sick with any illness, they should stay home, rest, and respect others enough to not go around them.

I wonder though, if we are not killing more people with isolation than we are with covid. What are we doing people? We are killing our society and our economy with this desolation!!

I feel like we are back in the days of Leviticus with this isolation thing. Enough is enough! It is time to get on with life.

5He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6He was amazed at their lack of faith.

Mark 6:5-6

Sometimes I wonder if God isn’t trying to get our attention? We all know the high risk groups, right? Those with heart conditions, diabetes, lung disease, cancer and other pre existing illnesses. Also, it seems those who are overweight, who smoke, who drink alcohol excessively, don’t exercise or try to stay healthy are more at risk to getting sicker.

But then, I hear of people who are panicked and afraid to go outside for fear of catching covid but are excessively overweight. Other’s who are afraid to go inside the grocery store, except of course to get their cigarettes. During the shut down last spring, the government stopped allowing church services, but it was ok for liquor stores to be open, because after all we don’t want people to go in to withdrawals. We don’t allow community gatherings of more than 10 people, but riots in large cities are ok.

We have to return to God, friends.

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 forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:-14

Jesus is the real deal y’all! He CAN and WILL and WANTS TO heal our land. But we as a world MUST:

  • call on His name,
  • humble ourselves
  • pray
  • seek his face
  • repent AKA and turn from our wicked ways

Repenting seems like a crazy super Jesus freak word….but all it means is to turn away from, or change our minds. So if I’m heading down the road to a place and realize that I’ve gone the wrong direction, I can turn away from that direction and go towards the right direction. I repent. Its really just that simple. There’s no judgement there….just a changing of direction.

But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.

Hear my prayer, Lord, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping, I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were.

psalm 39: 7 & 12

The Psalms teach us how to call upon God, they’re big and sometimes hard to understand, but there are verses in each one that are just a prayer…friends, I pray this for our world. I pray that God would hear my prayer, my cry for help. I turn on the news or read it on my phone and feel like a foreigner or a stranger in this land called America. There is so much violence and hatred. I don’t even go on social media anymore because its full of vitriol and anger. Its like people are spitting at each other.

Ashley said recently, “Mom, I wish we could just all go back to posting pictures and memes”.

Right?!?!

Now it all seems like everyone is playing a political theater game or something.

Whoever winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin.

Proverbs 10:10

Jesus was in his own home town hanging out with the kids he went to carpenter school with played on the football team with. His buddies. In todays world he may have been in his own Facebook group or his own Twitter feed when he said:

“A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.”

Mark 6:4

This change in the world, has got to start with one person. Then, like a drop of water in the still pond, it will spread. Turning away from this fear and hatred to the One who can do miracles will seem scary at first. People will doubt you, and they will wonder what got in to you. I even had one person years ago say, “Yea, your mom told me that you got religion.” When I heard that, it felt like being stabbed in the heart. My own mom. A friend. But friends, when Jesus came in to my life, it was worth it. I was able to leave behind some really bad choices and a terribly unhealthy lifestyle. Its not easy being the only one in your family or friend group who believes in this Jesus, but God will send people your way. I promise.

Lord, I am sorry for our lack of faith. I am sorry that you can not do any miracles here because of our sin and doubt. I repent in behalf of our world and nation. I pray that you lay hands on a few sick people and heal them, because they are out there. Lord, heal our land. Heal our world. I thank you that all things are possible for those who believe in you and call upon your name. I pray specifically for the person reading this today, that you would work on their heart, heal their body, mind and spirit and use all these things to draw them and me, closer to you.

How has coronavirus affected you? Can I pray for you today?

What does it mean to you for God to heal our land?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Just believe

  • Leviticus 11:1-12:8
  • Mark 5:21-43
  • Psalm 38:1-22
  • Proverbs 10:8-9

22Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jarius, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live. 24So Jesus went with him.

Mark 5:22-24

Jarius was a synagogue leader, which from my understanding, is a layman whose responsibilities were administrative. There was usually only one synagogue leader so they would be responsible for looking after the building, the administrative work and supervising the worship. This leader had an important role at the synagogue. Jesus had been causing quite an uproar amongst the people and church leadership, so Jarius had heard what Jesus was teaching and doing. Jarius would have likely heard quite a bit of scuffle about this miracle worker.

And Jarius’ daughter was dying. Church leader or not, his daughter was dying, and I can’t even imagine the desperation that brings on. Jarius had come to the end of all he could do, there was no hope left. She was dying.

Then in Verse 25…

25And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.

Mark 5:25-26

She had her menstrual period for 12 years. Uhhhhh….ladies, can you imagine? Ugh. Praise God, I’m past that time in life, but oh my goodness, do I remember the inconvenience of that! This could have been a post childbirth issue that never quite healed up, or she could have been like many women I know, that their menstrual cycles just don’t ever regulate. For us today, it’s quite an inconvenience and you can bet your sweet britches that I’d be seeing every doctor I could find to get this fixed!!

But in Jesus times….it was more than a complication. Post childbirth regulations and menstrual purification regulations were quite a sentance. In today’s Old Testament readings we see a portion of this:

“A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period…..If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.

When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent….

In this way the priest will make atonement for her.

Leviticus 12:1-8

There’s a whole chapter in today’s readings dedicated to the uncleanliness of a woman after childbirth. When any animal is unclean or any human is considered unclean they were to be exiled from their community.

So for this poor woman, it had been twelve years of uncleanliness and isolation.

Twelve years in quarantine.

Twelve years of shut-downs.

When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”

Mark 5:27-28

Can you hear it? Can you hear her tears? If I can just touch his clothes. If I can just get close. If he will just look at me. If SOMEONE will just look at me. If someone will just HELP ME! I can’t take this anymore!

The synagogue leader and the outcast woman had one thing in common.

Desperation.

They were both at the end of their options.

They were both at the end of their rope.

All they had left was faith in this Jesus fellow that everyone was talking about. What else was left, ya know? It’s worth a shot, right?

While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. Why bother the teacher anymore?

Mark 5:35

Can you say PEER PRESSURE!! It was his people that were pressuring Jarius to doubt. Notice that its Jarius FRIENDS bringing on the confusion to what Jarius believed to be true. And you know what….it was WHILE JESUS WAS STILL SPEAKING! These doubters couldn’t wait to cloud the testimony!

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Mark 5:36

Lord, I thank you that you overhear the haters in my life that want to cause me to doubt. I thank you that you can be heard above the noise, if I just listen. For any reader that may be at the end of their hope today, I pray that you speak to their heart. I pray with you that each of us “Don’t be afraid.” I pray for the faith of the woman and the belief of the leader, give me that kind of hope. Give my readers that kind of hope. We need to hear you above the noise.

Have you lost hope friend? What needs healed in you today?

Do you really believe? Can you really trust in this Jesus?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized