iBelieve

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

Archive for the category “Christianity”

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.

 

Late Night Visitor – Missing Someone I Never Met


I get to know people more by observing them because I believe their actions speak louder than words. When all someone has are words, then the consistency of the words speak to their character.

In the 10+ years I have been blogging, I realized early on that there is a blogging etiquette. One doesn’t write a blog, hit send and go on with their day. No, they search out topics of interest and find other bloggers that inspire them and subscribe to their site so they can keep up with the postings and comment on the writing.

Early on, I was impressed with a group of bloggers who were taking a “Post a Day Challenge”. I was too far into the year to begin the year-long challenge so I read and subscribed to some Christian bloggers that touched my heart-center with their words.

Butch Dean, Wordsmith’s Desk, is one such blogger that hit my sweet spot talking about the love of the Lord and many well-written stories of his past. His wife, Bonnie, also blogs and her site is called Memory Bears by Bonnie. When Butch hit send, Bonnie was right after him and their blogs showed up in succession in my inbox.

A post from Butch came on Thursday, October 22, 2020 and strangely one from Bonnie did not follow in my inbox. When I read the post titled, I’ve Changed My Address, it made me cry. Butch had his son send out his very last post that was beautifully and creatively written. He let his readers know that he is now face-to-face with the God he so lovingly had been writing about.

I get to know people more by observing them because I believe their actions speak louder than words. When all someone has are words, then the consistency of the words speak to their character.

Godspeed Butch. May the peace of God fill the hearts of Bonnie and all who loved Butch.

The Traveling Banana


I have good intentions, but those good intentions are only good if acted upon. Read more…

Watch Your Step!


I bet you did this when you were a kid.  I say this, because I still see little ones jumping around.

When I was a kid, I had to go places with my parents whether I wanted to or not. That was good parenting; I wasn’t left home to fend for myself. The most popular place we visited was the local grocery store, at least once a week.

I used to ride on the front end of the cart which had me facing mom as she pushed it through the store. I think she preferred me there as opposed to me pushing the cart and ramming it into the back of her ankle, that awfully sensitive Achilles tendon. When I accidentally did that, mom accidentally taught me swear words.

My attention span was short and so was my ride on the cart. I jumped off and began walking with mom.

The floor in the store was patterned with grey and black squares, but to me they were more than just squares. The grey ones were safe to step on, but the black ones contained kid-eating sharks. I knew this to be true because when my mom stepped on a black square nothing happened to her.

I followed my mom up and down the aisles being careful not to get eaten hopping from one grey square to the next.

This reminds me of the Christian walk. Walking daily in joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – the grey squares; the safest route. Anything that tempts us to sin is found in those black squares placed upon our path.

When Christians walk on the grey squares, it may look odd to non-believers. No worries, the Lord makes straight the path and it becomes more familiar and less awkward.

The next time you go to the grocery store, see if there is a pattern and pick one color to step on. People may look at you strangely, but don’t pay any attention to them. You’re on a mission to learn the Christian walk.

Deuteronomy 5:33 Walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

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.

God’s Not Dead 2


I just spent a snowy April afternoon Read more…

Bucket Bonanza


When I was young, I watched The Bozo the Clown Show on television before my walk to school with my two older brothers. Read more…

Shift From the Norm


If change is inevitable, why do we have such a hard time when it happens?

From my childhood recollection, the days were longer; my parents worked for the same company from the day I was born to the day they retired, and our family schedule was so consistent you could set your clock by our routine. But as I age, the days seem shorter, working for one company your whole career is unheard of, and nobody needs a routine because cable television has a convenient feature called DVR.

Consistency is comforting. My cats know when it’s feeding time, my spouse always returns home, and my playlists on my iPod are programmed with my favorite songs. But what happens when there is a shift from the norm?

The Pastor of my church made that shift from the norm. He wasn’t even with us for a full year before he left abruptly about two weeks ago. No good-bye party, no parting gifts, no keeping in touch; just gone from our lives due to personal reasons. We were left cold in our pews with a void in leadership. However, God has blessed my congregational family with a stand-in Pastor who led our congregation less than a year ago. He sympathizes with our heavy hearts. I believe his reassuring words today were Spirit-inspired messages from our God and Father, as they were genuine and comforting.

Change is inevitable. From my Christian perspective, our days are a gift from God, He knows us from before conception to the day we will die. Even Pastors change careers, and routines are hard to keep because the world is forever evolving. The abrupt departure may not make sense to my congregation, but we are pulling together once again because we have faith in the God we serve. He will not leave us nor will he forsake us, He will not leave us orphans as He holds us up with his righteous right hand. God is our comforting consistency.

For the Pastor that left us, the stand-in Pastor that is with us, and the Pastor that is to come, I pray these words from 2 Thessalonians 1:11
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.

Here Am I, Send Me!


Lord, please use me in any way you need me.

Prayer of St. Francis

By Sebastian Temple

Verse 1:
Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord,
And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Verse 2:
Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness only light,
And where there’s sadness ever joy.

Refrain:
Oh Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Verse 3:
Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
In giving of ourselves that we receive,
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

1 Samuel 3:8-10 (NIV)
A third time the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Assaulted


Forward thinking, I think not.

Read more…

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