iBelieve

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Archive for the category “Bible”

The Armor of God – The Belt


I grew up with twelve years of Catholic education and every year, I had to wear a uniform. As I got into high school, the uniform relaxed a bit, as I was only required to wear green-colored pants or skirts with a modest top that coordinated with the chosen green hue. Wearing a uniform was an outward testament to my educational upbringing and anyone in those days knew I was affiliated with the Catholic school system.

As Christians, we are instructed in Ephesians 6:10-17 to wear another uniform. This uniform is called the Armor of God which includes a belt, breastplate, feet coverings, shield, helmet, and a sword. I will have a short series of posts regarding each uniform article. Today, let’s review the BELT.

Our waist can be an example of the truthfulness of bad eating habits. By increasing the intake of carbohydrates and sugar while neglecting exercise, we see our waist expand. Pants fit tighter and we shop for stretchier fabrics to ease discomfort from less stretchy material. The truth is, we gained weight.

On the other hand, some people find it hard to gain weight due to high metabolism and need a belt just to hold up their pants. I was super skinny up until my mid-30s and found the belt to be an important wardrobe accessory.

As part of the armor of God, the belt he asks us to wear is the belt of truth. Back in Roman times, the belt wasn’t used as a way to hold up pants like we envision today. The belt had spaces to hold swords (which we will get to in a later post) and it also allowed strips of armor to hang from it for more protection. What is truth anyway?

In John 14:6-7, Jesus gives us the definition of truth, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” The way we get to know Jesus is by reading the Bible. He lays everything out for us that we need to know about Himself. Before opening the word of God, the Bible, I suggest you ask God to equip you with the ability to understand His truth. Regularly spend time with him in Scripture and in prayer.

This belt of truth protects us against the lies and deceptions of the enemy. Scripture does not mince words and states that Satan is the father of lies. In John 8:44 it reads, You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Even in Genesis 3, the devil appeared as a serpent and operated in half-truths to get Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. He is witty enough to twist the truth to cause people to stumble away from God’s truth.

Put on the belt of truth to prevent from falling prey to the devil’s lies. If we don’t have an understanding of the truth, the rest of the armor is useless. As hungry as we may be for carbohydrates and sugar, may we be that hungry for the word of God to expand our knowledge of Him.

 

Meager Offering


I often feel like a five loaves of bread and two fish sort of person. I don’t have much, but when I hand it over to God, He can do miracles.

When Jesus heard that John the Baptist, his cousin, was beheaded, He boarded a boat to be alone. I can only imagine His thoughts about John. After all, he was preparing the way for Jesus by baptizing people. He was given the honorable task of baptizing Jesus.

John suffered a horrible death. His work on earth was done.

The crowds may not have realized the relationship between Jesus and John. They may not have known why Jesus pushed off shore for some alone time to grieve. What they did know about Jesus was his ability to heal. So they chased after Him and when He saw them, He had compassion on them and went ashore.

Jesus often told people around those whom he brought back to life, such as His friend Lazarus, to feed them. Jesus spent a good portion of the day healing and reviving those who sought His attention on that hillside.

It was time to feed the crowd that followed Jesus that day. To me, this indicated new life and giving His people strength to go forward to show others who may be nonbelievers, how to believe.

A young boy, who happened to be nearby, packed a little lunch for himself that morning not knowing he would be handing it over to Jesus. He had a meager offering of five loaves of bread and two fish and Jesus blessed it, multiplied it, fed the large crowd and had left overs.

What meager offering do you have to hand over to Jesus today?

I often feel like a five loaves of bread and two fish sort of person. I don’t have much, but when I hand it over to God, He can do miracles.

If Jesus healed you or a loved one, restored a sour relationship, or has given you peace over a situation out of your control, grab a bite to eat because you have been given new life. Celebrate and give God the glory He so deserves.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

Mark 6:41-44

Late Night Visitor – Grief and Joy


Living with grief takes a toll on one’s emotions, health, and spiritual life. There is a time to mourn just as there is a time to laugh; so I had an idea. I put grief and joy in the same room with me (with 6 feet separation and we are all wearing masks).  Here is what happened.

Grief:  “Hi Kristine, are you going to introduce me to your friend?”

Me:  “Hi Grief.  Yes, I am going to introduce you to my friend.  Grief, this is Joy, Joy this is Grief.”

(Neither can they shake hands, nor can they see a smile on each other’s face, so they nod to each other.)

Joy:  “Hello, Grief.

Grief:  “Hello, Joy.”

Me:  “Grief, Joy, I brought you two together because I need you to know that you both exist in my life. Grief, you and I were spending way too much time together and it was taking a toll on my concentration. I had some negative comments when you were at your peak, but not everyone knows how tight we have been and it just looked like I was not on my game.  I was reading the Bible one day and I met Joy.

As the Bible states in Ecclesiastes 3:4 it is okay that both of you are in my life.  The verse says, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”.  I don’t always want to be sad and I don’t always feel like laughing or dancing, but whatever emotion I want to feel, I need you two to respect, as well as, get out of the way of the other.  I would like to send you away, Grief, but Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble, but He has overcome the world and that is why Joy needs to step in between us more often. I am hanging onto Jesus’s promises rather than settling in with sadness. Jesus overcoming this world is really good news for me because I cannot do this alone or with my own strength.”

Living with grief takes a toll on one’s emotions, health, and spiritual life.  Let Jesus in with the joy He has in store for you and watch your emotions, health, and spiritual life be rejuvenated.

 

With or Without


This repost is edited from its submission one year ago today.  I felt it appropriate as we start fresh in a new year and new decade.
Read more…

With or Without


This repost is edited from its submission one year ago today.  I felt it appropriate as we start fresh in a new year and new decade.
Read more…

Judging a Book by Its Cover


At one of the turning points in my life, Read more…

Fourth Watch of the Night


I am a firm believer that our subconscious mind is telling us a whole lot of information that we can utilize in our waking life.  I have a dream to share with you. Read more…

About the Mountain Top


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Reflect,Then Move Forward


via Daily Prompt: Year

Today is January 1, 2017 and yesterday was so last year.  I stayed awake to ring in the new year with my husband.  Normally I get sleepy by 9:30pm and find myself crawling in bed by 10:00pm.  Because I stayed awake, I, along with millions of other people, either in New York Times Square or sitting comfortably in our homes in front of a television or other electronic device, were witness to Mariah Carey’s train-wreck of a show minutes before the ball drop.  Much to her chagrin, her reputation needs repair.  I can only guess what her New Year’s Resolution is for 2017.  However, a big round of applause goes to her backup dancers as they did a great job!

On February 12 my husband, and I,  said good-bye to our little girl, Bean.  She was the sweetest Grey Tiger-striped kitty who we adopted from a local no-kill cat shelter years ago.  My husband picked her out and the first day in our house, she owned it.  She sat up on the couch and took a nap, all while our other cats were sniffing her acquaintance.  On December 5, my niece passed away.  She was an awesome mom to her children and had a huge heart for helping people.  We are blessed to know how many lives she touched in her short 31 years of life.  My summation for 2016 is that the good die young.

This past year was heart-breaking, to say the least, but knowing that God is close to the broken-hearted brings me peace.  That means He is near to me, my husband, my family, and Jill’s friends, holding us close as we mourn.

Isaiah 43:18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”   But our minds hit replay on many episodes of days gone by, conversations that happened or didn’t happen, loved ones who were called home to eternity, or the voice of the doctor delivering news of a grave illness just discovered.  God is close to the broken-hearted and he offers His outstretched hand for us to walk into 2017 with Him.  Yes, God can even help restore Mariah Carey’s reputation if she reaches out to Him.

Isaiah 41:10 So Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

May God Bless you in 2017.

Ecclesiastes 3:7b


Ecclesiastes 3:7b  A time to be silent and a time to speak Read more…

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