"The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion — to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."~from ISAIAH 61 Bible verse for this Blog

APOLOGY to READERS who followed a SEARCH to HERE & didn't find it

On July 18, 2017, I drafted almost 3000 blog posts that I had published since 2008 when I began blogging, rather than edit each one. So if you clicked here from somewhere else and ended up with the post unavailable or error, I am sorry but this is why. It'd be too much work for me to go back and fix them. There's an explanation on 7/19/17 as I'm still learning.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

CHOOSE "CALM" No Matter ...

Sometimes it's not a Choice

(*it's "mind over matter")

but for me in

2024


it's suppose to be my 

One Word

{*oh, no - I use another idiomatic expression, but I will refrain from going off on that tangent}


By now, it might look as if my 2024 One Word is FOCUS, or maybe some other One Word that you have seen often in my blog posts since 2024 began and not so much the One Word CALM. But behind the scenes, I still am seeking CALM, as my One Word. God has really placed CALM as my center FOCUS, and yet as I FOCUS on all the other One Words for each week, or the ones for "Pauses"; I decide to CHOOSE "CALM"; if only it was that easy. That is the same premise that I started with here today and also the other day, however, I am sure that for quite some time I have been choosing "CALM" yet have failed to find it (like other things, too). I know (in my mind & especially my heart) that choosing "CALM" over chaos would be most people's choice, as well as "serenity over stress" and "peace over perfection". I especially like "grace over grit"! But "faith over fear" is really good for many of us too. 

[Sad to say, I did not know Mary Davis when I used her image quote; but when I looked her up, I was a bit hesitant about using her quote. There's good, and not so good in what I discovered, so I'm not endorsing her, but that doesn't mean her thoughts (the quote) are not good & true. If you have a part in Special Olympics, then the good outshines some of the rest. Right?]

My purpose of this post is not the quote, nor the idiomatic expression of "mind over matter", but to begin to share some of my journey into CALM as my One Word. So let's start.

As always, I have to start out with the definition of CALM:

 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary:
1. (n.) Freedom from motion, agitation, or disturbance; a cessation or absence of that which causes motion or disturbance, as of winds or waves; tranquility; stillness; quiet; serenity.

2. (n.) To make calm; to render still or quiet, as elements; as, to calm the winds.

3. (n.) To deliver from agitation or excitement; to still or soothe, as the mind or passions.

4. (super.) Not stormy; without motion, as of winds or waves; still; quiet; serene; undisturbed.

5. (super.) Undisturbed by passion or emotion; not agitated or excited; tranquil; quiet in act or speech.



I also enjoy beginning by looking at the Greek and Hebrew words for CALM, but I'll wait until I have a verse with it & check out Strong's then so my next part of my search is looking at the words in the Thesaurus (a synonym dictionary, list of similar words). The list includes: 18 occurrences of CALM in the Bible; Quiet (167 occurrences); waves; lull; still; tranquil;   placid; serene; peaceful; harmonious; hushed; untroubled; mild; soothing; ... there's many more given.

Of course, there are many 'worldly' ways to become a calm person, so I looked specifically for Christian ways, which you need to do these days but still be cautious. I also have my own collection of Christian books: one in particular gifted to me from a wonderful sister in Christ πŸ’šlast year: "Jesus, CALM My Heart" to last me all 365 (Nights) {although many seem to be for another person, I find them helpful to direct me toward God before going to sleep} and after doing other YV plans; I got some others too, but last year, I began with Wendy Blight's "Rest for Your Soul". Another one I began this year with was "Sleep Psalms"(also a sample of 14 days in YV). My most recent acquisition is "Give it to God and Go to Bed" after completing the 5 day sample by Laura Harris Smith on You Version(YV), and along with her videos that go with her book (and this has many other products available on amazon from pillows to signs to canvas wall art and even a bedside cross). All of those showed up before I could get to the book. Clearly too many of us have much "to give to God" so we can go to sleep. I also have books by Max Lucado like "Calm Moments..."; "Less Fret ..."; "Anxious ... Calm in a Chaotic"; etc. Another favorite is by Julie K. Gillies, "Prayers to Calm Your Anxious Heart" (sample at YV of 5 days of Heart-Calming Prayer)!πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™ I highly recommend all of these books!

So even though, it might seem that I'm FOCUSed on many other One Words, I am still pursuing my One Word of CALM for 2024. In the background, I really am "surrounding myself (or at least trying to) with more positive influence" which for me means "quiet time with God" morning & night and often times throughout my day & night, seeking to center myself in the CALM that God intends us to have in our lives. A Bible boost can do so much, so filling myself up with uplifting verses from Scriptures, and having them around you in your living environment (such as the products above in wall decor or even simple bookmarks can help). But my most helpful so far, has been to listen to Christian or instrumental music, whenever and wherever I can. 

I will save my Scripture verses for other blog posts except for the 7 following verses to "CALM an anxious heart" starting out with my life verse since the 90s and in my order of 'go-to':

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

"Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28 (VOICE)

" So don’t be afraid. I am here, with you;
        don’t be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you, help you.
        I am here with My right hand to make right and to hold you up. "
Isaiah 41:10 (VOICE)

"Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours] " Philippians 4:6-7 (AMP)

"I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous! " John 14:27 (TPT)

"The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble? " Psalm 27:1 (NLT)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to Him,
    and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

These are mainstay Bible verses to CALM our hearts, but they are not

One Word verses with the One Word: CALM like this:

Psalm 131:2
"Instead I have kept my soul CALM and quiet ..."
(God's Word Translation)

More will be in future blog posts on CALM. 

But meanwhile,

I want to end with at least one good devotion to go read:

"Learning to CALM and Quiet Your Soul"

by Sarah J. Hauser

Proverbs 31 Ministries



[I went to P31 looking for one by Lysa T. because I had just read one, but this is what I chose]

I was hoping her new book might be & actually I wish that the title was:

CALM Mind, Peaceful Heart

but

it's actually

"Clear Mind, Peaceful Heart"

(perhaps having a clear mind will cause us to be calm, remain calm & live calm)

Today, I CHOOSE 

CALM

Jesus' CALM, no matter what ...

<>

As I look at the date I chose to publish this before the CHOOSE week is over, I find that it is my older brother's birthday. He would be 75, if he didn't depart from here last August 2023. 


[Blog post 3,400]

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

CHOOSE ...

"The CHOICE is yours!"

[image credit]



The devotional in "FOCUS" begins with this thought in the very first paragraph and I found that this expression stayed with me. Yet I must add that the entire devotional (5-6 paragraphs)is spot-on and exceptional in its content, thought provoking and searching with the ending questions. The concluding paragraph is the best truth that every person needs ending with "May we commit to CHOOSING more of Him" (Jesus) ! Amen, Hallelujah! I especially appreciate the "Focus Tip" on CHOOSING His ways over ours - I'm sure most of us need to do this more, from our decisions to our actions, we should remind ourselves that we have a choice and then CHOOSE Jesus - every time. 

But now, I have to go back to that expression "the choice is yours" - which I found out is/was a song, movie and a book (maybe more than one) but I found the one above in that image in the beginning (I didn't purchase it; & I don't think it's Christian, but it could be, I'm not familiar with it or the author). I went on a search of this well-known expression "the choice is yours" and found the previous. But I do like the book's description, and have decided to share it here:

"We all make decisions, big and small, every single day. But how often do we do so while operating on autopilot, telling ourselves we “have to” or “should,” or that we “don’t have a choice?” Why do we limit ourselves and relinquish our power to something or someone else? What’s possible when we remember that the choice is ours?

In this inspiring and user-friendly book, The Choice Is Yours: A Simple Approach to Live and Lead with More Joy, Ease, and Purpose, expert executive and life coach Stef Ziev helps us identify what drives our choices and understand their impact through a new lens. With humor and grace, she shows us how to embrace personal responsibility, empower ourselves to take ownership of our thoughts and actions, and transform the negative beliefs that weigh us down into energizing choices that lift us up. Using real client examples, as well as her own, Ziev illustrates how being more conscious about our choices creates profound, meaningful, and powerful change inside and out.

Ziev offers a straightforward and proven approach to help us recognize our triggers, release our blocks, and make decisions that are aligned with the truth of who we are and what we really want. She reminds us that whatever challenges we face, we all have the authority to choose our responses and curate the direction and quality of our lives and leadership. Ziev provides practical tools and reflection exercises that support us to bring more intention to the choices we make, so that we have more power over the results we create. Isn’t it time to take a stand and choose to live and lead with more joy, ease, and purpose?

The choice is yours."



In the book description, you will see the entire title better than you can read it on the image. The additional part "... to live and lead with More Joy, Ease, and Purpose" is very appealing to me and coincides in my month long journey into JOY (that I mentioned last blog post). My search also turned up many series of churches doing "The Choice is Yours" in their sermons. It was in that search that I discovered another book with that title, that is Christian.{I'm considering this one πŸ˜‰ used copy, because it's from 2011 and much has happened in our world since 2011} Yet I noticed that the "twelve choices" presented "that can strengthen or weaken our walk with God" (depending) do not change or grow old because these "daily decisions will bring joy and purpose to your life" still and that's how the "choice is ours" because walking with God is a daily decision as we CHOOSE - because it is a choice. Choosing to live the Christian life well does not just happen by accident and end up where we hope to be. Clearly the most important CHOICE is to CHOOSE Jesus & receive the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ, with a clear understanding that we need a Savior and to be redeemed from the sin in our lives that only Jesus can do. 

Here are this book's & author's 12 choices, which are clearly expanded on in each chapter of her excellent book and I'm sure it is backed up with scriptures and applicable examples: 

  1. choose to be real
  2. choose to live by faith
  3. choose to listen to God
  4. choose to talk to God
  5. choose to let go
  6. choose to press on
  7. choose to be joyful
  8. choose to be strong
  9. choose to succeed
  10. choose to serve
  11. choose to speak wisely
  12. choose to be filled with the Spirit

Good advice and great choices captured in this book "The Choice is Yours"

<>

Now back to my initial reason to search and research "the choice is yours" and share the Scriptures for this week's One Word: CHOOSE ... I did link (connect) in my last blog post to the Bible Hub for the Topical definition with a full page of information and verses that include the One Word: CHOOSE; whereas the book "Focus..." usually chooses verses that do not include the One Word, and I shared them also in that blog post near the end. However, the first verse given in the book DOES include CHOOSE and is often the one that is familiar or considered to be a well-known verse (at least the last part): 

" This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now CHOOSE life, so that you and your children may live " Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV

Often we don't CHOOSE to read the full context and the book chooses to share the NLT version of Deuteronomy 30:19. This verse is Moses speaking. You can read more here in The Voice (or the full chapter here). I'm sure that Pro-life uses this verse starting with "Now Choose life" and hopefully we do, but it's a choice.

The meaning of "the choice is yours" according to a linked in person is "you are solely accountable (responsible) for every action you make and every emotion you have" which means "it's up to you", "it's entirely your decision". Really? Dr. Anita Phillips shares a video from a conference in 2023 (almost an hour long) on "The Choice is Yours". The message of these words sounds like it's an empowering one but truthfully I have to agree with an article that added "for some". When I read "the choice is yours", I often think that it may be or it may not be a choice, depending on your circumstances, or the situation. I guess that I'm a 'half-empty' kind of person rather than a 'half-full'. In some cases, as this one article I read states "it's an empty message" ..." for those whose only choices are compliance or punishment." I would rather that it's a choice of empowering the person rather than overpowering them; and to make more choices available whenever possible helps to assure that "the choice is yours". The Free Dictionary did not help me with this idiom, but it did show so many other expressions there are with "choices". The phrase "the choice is yours" seems to indicate that there is the freedom to CHOOSE to make the decision between two or more options. I hate to be the one to state this but sometimes people do not (or may not) have the freedom to CHOOSE. Which brings me to my point that God gives every human being the free will to CHOOSE. And free will is a huge topic of discussion for another time and place!

I don't have "Bible Study Tools" Plus but if you do, they have "The Choice is Yours" that starts out with "Life is filled with choices and decisions." and shares key scriptures like the one from Deuteronomy 30:19. Looking through all the Scriptures given for CHOOSE and the various sermons or series I discovered, I'd have to say that the CHOICES are endless (but that's not entirely true) there just are many; and so I CHOOSE to look at a few, but center in on a few from well-known people to me: 1) Max Lucado, 2) Rick Warren and one that was not known to me in a series called 3) "Recalibrate" (but that one will take quite alot of time, unless I just look at Week 6, which contains "The Choice is Yours" on Day 4, from Romans 6:15-19, which I did but it doesn't give content, just discussion questions, so I need to be more familiar with it and I'm not) easier to just read and FOCUS on the devotion on CHOOSE by Cleere Cherry Reaves. 

It was better to just CHOOSE this rather than venture off on my "search" on the expression yet maybe the books might help me understand why the mere mention of this stirred something deep inside of me about our choices and the right to CHOOSE. I do realize that this is not the intent of this particular devotion nor of this expression, however, I feel led by the Holy Spirit (at times) to just go with where He leads me and this is where I ended up. The "choice", in my opinion, is not always our choice, nor do we always have control over the choices; yet our choices, or who we choose, or what we choose; does always have its consequences. Free and fair are the key words; and things are not always fair, and usually many are not free - the cost is immense in many choices we make or may make. At times, we make the wrong choice; at times we are stuck with the choice forced on us by others - in this case, I'd have to say we were not free to CHOOSE. I've seen far too many suffer because they were not free to CHOOSE or their choice led to many more poor choices, impeding what or who they CHOOSE after that and for the future or in the way that they CHOOSE later. God is fair, but human beings fail often in this and now governing authorities & countries do, too. We should not presume that we can CHOOSE for all others; if that was the case, God, in His Omnipotence, would not have given we humans a free will to CHOOSE. 

I will pray about this and hope you do also. Meanwhile, on a lighter side - read either Pastor Max or Rick. And just be thankful that you can CHOOSE and that you CHOSE JESUS! 


[image credit Pastor Rick's]

Which book, or choice mentioned above might you CHOOSE, or any other options?

πŸ˜‰

{in the time after pulling this together & setting up publishing, I went to read comment 
on that last CHOOSING blog post & replied, but it kinda made me reconsider posting this
because I had a fresh perspective. That's the benefit of sharing what you read
 and getting other people's input. It was highly valuable & refreshing! 

It also had me rereading the actual devotional & focusing on something new:

... "In our culture, we tend to negate our own authority  in an attempt to earn it before walking in it ..."

It's at this point the comment picks up.

But the most important part I seem to have overlooked:

"... Because He lives in us, we have authority ..." 

[the comment fits here; and I CHOOSE this part to end my thoughts]

"... We are able to experience a setback and still believe in victory." ...

And "a setback is a setup ...

for God to work

... for a comeback"

And God's Resurrection power in us!

so let's "release what is not ours to carry & give it to Him instead!"

Powerful and eye-opening message - thanks πŸ’š


"God, when we see wrong, help us to
CHOOSE
right.
When injustice demands silence,
let me speak,
When violence seeks apathy,
let me act.
When busyness produces chaos,
let me find peace.
{knowing God calms chaos}
For You guide us and You give us strength
to boldly stand, speak, and act."
πŸ™
(prayer words are from the other book I have:
"40 Days, 40 Prayers, 40 Words..."
B.REYESCHOW 



Sunday, April 7, 2024

MORE "PAUSES" and ONE WORD CHOICES

50 days from Resurrection Sunday (Easter) is PENTECOST!



"Pentecost is a holy day when Christians commemorate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the early followers of Jesus Christ. Originating from a Greek word meaning "50th day," Pentecost occurred 50 days after Christ's resurrection. Before the events of Pentecost, Jesus had followers, but there was no movement that could really be called the church. Pentecost is considered the birthday of the church. In Pauses for Pentecost, Trevor Hudson leads readers to focus on one word and scripture verse each day. He invites us to pause for just a few minutes to read the brief daily reflection and do a simple practice. The beauty of this book is its simplicity, and the thoughtful meditations guide us to a deeper understanding of the meaning of Pentecost."

I've continued to "Pause" (as I did during Lent) with a book by Trevor Hudson again

πŸ”₯"Pauses for Pentecost"πŸ”₯

Fortunately, it's only been a week, but that means I've missed sharing 7 days with you

and that means 7 One Words & Scriptures, which are (were) the following:

Day 1 STONE Matthew 28:1-2 (NIV)
Day 2 ANGEL Matthew 28:3-6
Day 3 AHEAD Matthew 28:7
Day 4 *JOY*   Matthew 28:8   
Day 5 CRYING   John 20:15
Day 6 BURNING Luke 24:32
Day 7 TABLE      Luke 24:30

* I am also doing a You Version plan that focuses on just JOY for the month of April:

Pause: A Month of Joy in 5 Minutes a Day

It's not at all like the books by Trevor Hudson or associated with the same type of "pauses".

There are 4 plans of 30 days by 
Lance LangHope is Alive Ministries.
  
I am enjoying this plan & the author's 
style of using: 

Proclaim, Prompt, Prod, Praise, Pray 
each day in the devotions.

After Resurrection SONday,
this is a great way to continue the JOYFUL celebration with even more JOY 
because

"When we are full of JOY, 
life becomes worth living."

(and personally, I need to pause & focus more on JOY in my life because of Jesus!)

I need the fullness of JOY - Resurrection JOY & POWER!

{I didn't mean to digress, yet when Day 4 was JOY, it made me think of this plan.}

<><><>

So let's go back & continue with "Pauses for Pentecost" for this 2nd Week:

Day 8 BREATHED John 20:22 (NIV)
Day 9 DOUBT        John 20:27
Day 10 MORNING John 21:4
Day 11 LEAD         John 21:18
Day 12 ALIVE        Ephesians 2:4-5
Day 13 RAISED     Colossians 3:1
Day 14 DEATH      Colossians 3:5

These are wonderful reflections given for each day of the 50 days along with a Daily Practice.

I probably will not continue sharing all 50 days with the One Words & Scriptures 

but I encourage you to get a copy
(Kindle was very inexpensive)

and allow this season between 
Jesus' Resurrection & Ascension 
to Pentecost Day
to be a time for us as followers of Jesus Christ (Christians, in the real sense)
to enter more fully into God's good news daily together as we meditate on the filling of

the Holy Spirit, in the early church & now, letting the risen Christ 

bring us alive & full of the Spirit & His Resurrection power!

When I read and followed "Pauses for Lent", I was looking forward to continuing with

"Pauses for Pentecost"

to continue my journey intentionally to be refreshed by His Spirit

with the wondrous glory of God

alive in me (us)!

Seeking, thirsting and ready continually

through Christ Jesus for Jesus' return filled with the Living Spirit!

I'm so thankful I discovered these books & this author!

<><><>

And I am continuing with my weekly

ONE WORD

also


This week is

CHOOSE

John 3:30 BSB

 again, the One Word "CHOOSE" is not in the verse, it's found in the devotion & in the

FOCUS TIP

"... focus on CHOOSING His way over yours. When a decision needs to be made, remind yourself that you have a choice and then CHOOSE Him - every time. ... His way is always going to win." Cleere Cherry Reaves

The main reflection question for me:

"...are you CHOOSING what is comfortable over what is Christlike?..." 

WOW

(ouch)

😳

Excellent points & questions throughout this devotion by Cleere Cherry Reaves again

for this week as we allow this One Word to transform our lives.

<>

I certainly see a spiritual connection for me between 

"CHOOSE"

and

the Holy Spirit's filling during

"Pauses for Pentecost"

"HE MUST INCREASE; I MUST DECREASE"


*Deuteronomy 30:19-20(NLT); Job 23:11(NIV); Psalm 16:11(NIV); Matthew 7:13(NIV) 

* has the One Word "Choose"; there are many choices if you click on "CHOOSE"


"Jesus, more of You, less of me."

πŸ™

Good Word(s) to Focus on for this week!

[image credit: Mary Davis quote]





Wednesday, April 3, 2024

SCRIPTURES (to be, stay and keep) ALERT




"Offer prayers and petitions in the Spirit all the time. Stay ALERT by hanging in there and praying for all believers." CEB, Eph. 6:18



I'm still FOCUSing on ALERT, but I promise that this blog post will not be like "ALERT" or a few of my other recent ones, strictly scriptural. πŸ˜‰ At least, I intend it to be. 

The book, FOCUS ... gives more than the main verse 1 Corinthians 16:13 BLB that I shared back on the 1st blog post for this week's One Word but the book's 4 scriptures do not contain the One Word: ALERT. The verses given are: 1 Peter 4:12; John 14:26; John 16:33; Proverbs 18:10 all in the ESV. I did share 2 additional ones in "ALERT" from The Voice (Luke 12:40) and Romans 5:3-5 from The Message (MSG); plus a Verse Image of 1 Peter 5:8-9 from Bible (dot) com - You Version. However, there are quite a few scripture verses with the One Word

ALERT

I've chosen a few to share:

Mark 13:33 "Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. And since you don't know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert ... "

"

What I say to you I say to everyone, ‘Be on the alert [stay awake and be continually cautious]!’ ”

Mark 13:37, Amplified (AMP)

but as you may know - I love Word Studies

"Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being ALERT and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving." Colossians 4:2 AMP

"So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded." 1 Thessalonians 5:6 NLT

"Be constantly alert, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God." NASB Revelation 3:2 

"
So remember what you received and heard. Obey it, and repent. If you are not alert, I will come like a thief, and you won't know the time when I will come to you." Revelation 3:3 International Standard Version (ISV)

"But keep ALERT at all times [be attentive and ready], praying that you may have the strength and ability [to be found worthy and] to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man [at His coming].” "Luke 21:36 AMP

"Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night and finds them alert, those servants will be blessed." Luke 12:38 Berean Standard Bible (BSB)

There are various ones in the Gospels, as you can see, but Matthew has these:

Matthew 24:42Matthew 24:43; Matthew 25:13

Also, there is one in Isaiah, Joshua; and a couple of the Psalms (17 & 127) with ALERT.

<>

In my search of The VOICE, there are 20 results with ALERT 
in some form of the actual word.

<>

I already shared a special one in "ALERT" but here's another favorite 
from the Old Testament (OT)

 "Remember, as you prepare to fight against us, that the True God is on our side and is leading us. His priests will blow the signal trumpets to alert Him that you are here to fight us, and He will rescue us from our enemies as He promised. O Israelites, God’s chosen people, do not fight against the Eternal One, the True God of your fathers, because you will not succeed." 2 Chronicles 13:12, The Voice

My search for ALERT in The Passion Translation (TPT)
has pages and some of the same as above, but many of the verses 
do not actually have the One WORD: ALERT

<>

Staying ALERT by

"... hanging in there and praying for all believers ..." CEB
{and even some non-believers still}

"Dear Jesus, thank You for the way You prepare my heart for what is ahead.
Help my mind to be ALERT and my feet ready for opposition and the unexpected;
may I respond rather than react. ..." p. 67 of FOCUS... by Cleere Cherry Reaves

<>

ALERT

biblically means

"to be ready, watching"

Staying spiritually

ALERT

(keeps us from being fearful)

in the power of the Spirit
(2 Timothy 1:7)

This has been my life verse since the mid 80s!

Topical Bible: ALERT

I choose to know or be aware of what's coming

being in God's Word

keeps me focused and

ALERT

<>

This is info for me
{started this blog post at 2:19pm and finished at 4:45pm}
takes me a little longer nowadays (lol)
I thought I might hold this for another day this week, but ...

All I need now is an acronym for ALERT
πŸ€”


Tuesday, April 2, 2024

ALERT

You may not agree with me (and sadly, I do understand) however, at least, I hope that we can discuss and listen to each other's side in an open, healthy discussion. But, in this time, I am clearly aware that THIS rarely is happening now, especially with people of different opinions and ideas.

Yet, I'm still hopeful! 

I probably don't agree with you because I don't understand - actually I can't understand but that's what happens with people from different perspectives ... I am eternally hopeful that at least you try to read what I write with an open mind and heart, in particular with what I feel compelled to write about while I'm focusing on the One Word: ALERT for this week. And because I have been reading for quite some time about this, and hearing so much truths; and misinformation, I decided to read an article from someone I trust - a pastor actually that I have been reading "stuff that needs to be said" for almost a decade now and in his most recent article, he encourages us to share "this" with family members & friends, etc. So I have been commissioned or emboldened to do my best & decided to share it publicly. Perhaps, I'm still somewhat of a coward, hiding behind a blog post rather than face to face. I'm just not quite ready to do so with my family members, who view things differently and I have no idea about most of my friends, what they think or how they view. Yet I believe the expression "agree to disagree" and that our words matter still. We can differ but still be respectful of one another. 


I read this Bible verse in the above image and the following Bible verse this morning (shared by a dear sister in Christ) as we share Scripture verses, prayers and Bible reading plans; so even though we might not agree on this 'stuff', at least we can openly share God's Word and encourage each other in our lives. Today she shared more wonderful verses on ALERT (actually with the word ALERT in them) and this verse helped convince me that I should not delay any longer because of the "sense of urgency and intensity" that I feel strongly in my inner being to ALERT others, or at least try (although this particular verse is definitely not about what I hope to share & reading in context is much better):

"... I’m trying to tell you that these are times for alertness, times requiring a sense of urgency and intensity, because like the master in the first story or the thief in the second, the Son of Man shows up by surprise." Luke 12:40 The Voice

Yet it makes me keenly aware that "these are times for ..." being ALERT!

So in these times, in 2024, that are

"times requiring a sense of urgency and intensity"

in my heart and in my mind

and so it is my patriotic duty to attempt the best I can to urge each one of you
to seriously realize the immense importance of your vote in 2024

BUT FIRST

really examine your heart

and 

READ THIS ARTICLE
[from "a longtime pastor and current author, speaker, activist and storyteller, 
hoping to write words to make the world a more compassionate & beautiful place"]

His current book is:

"Worth Fighting For: Finding Courage & Compassion When Cruelty is Trending"


TO OPEN YOUR MIND, EYES, & HEART

to

Be on (your) guard (NIV, NLT, AMP)
Be watchful (ESV)
Watch ye (KJV) 
Be on the alert (NASB)
Be alert (CSB, HCSB)
Keep alert (CEV)
Remain alert (ISV)
Stay alert (NET)
Watch! (WEB)
STAY AWAKE
(CEB)

[from my earlier post this week]

DO NOT BE DECEIVED

Matthew 7:15

Beware ...

His writings may be a bit rough for some of you & perhaps you will turn away because you don't agree or find it distasteful but please read through (or listen). He has a Facebook, Substack, The Beautiful Mess (that's what I linked to; if it didn't work, please let me know). With sharing the word "Mess" in his title and my blog, how could I resist. And also a podcast with that title. I read & have two books of his: "Low" an Honest Advent, and "Rise" a Lent devotional. 

But if you couldn't read his article, I urge you to make yourself aware of the agenda of the other side (it might be your side) and become aware of their 180 day playbook and policy. Perhaps you don't quite understand what theocracy or autocracy will mean to our country. But clearly, you can see the character of this person is not one that can be trusted, and his leadership will have grave consequences on this nation, stripping away civil and human rights in our democracy and this republic. He has unleashed the worst throughout our country. Please understand that he does not have your or our best interests at heart, only his own. I fear what our future will become. His lies have taken hold of far too many good people. He is truly deceiving you (by repeating & repeating his lies, which make you believe them as truths). 

I've even ventured off my normal reading into reading political books, which is far from my norm or interest, yet I needed to know. There are so many books available and you must broaden your mind and understanding as you educate yourself & make an informed decision, realizing the significance and importance of your vote in November. This, too, is highly not like me, but I, even have books written by Mark Meadows and Liz Cheney, as well as the Audible of Cassidy Hutchinson, and the following two books.

These books have totally awed me and awakened me:

*The Spiritual Danger of Donald Trump: 30 Evangelical Christians on Justice, Truth and Moral Integrity  

{I plan to do a book review on this one! I highly recommend even though it's not current.}

The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrist and Mental Health Experts Assess a President

And in case your question me reading this, know that I also read on & about Joe Biden. But there are no books like the ones I listed above on him. Yet I did balance my reading. This is not casual reading for me. In fact, I need to read and reread to get it. 

Please understand:
 
"...This is not alarmist, sky-is-falling histrionics, it is the clear and sober forecast from someone who knows these people better than anyone. These are not followers of Jesus despite the trappings and window dressing. They are Jesus-less extremists: blind zealots for nothing but power. They have been conditioned by decades of polluted theology and Fox News alternative facts to see diversity as a threat, to see progress as attacks on America, and to interpret more people being treated with dignity, as oppression of white people"~Pastor John Pavlovitz

I am asking you to expand your perspective

enough to let God shine

His True Light

into

your critical thinking

for the future of this country & our world.

The impact will be phenomenal & beyond 
what is seen now

Do not allow yourself to be deceived

and remain ALERT to all for

"God has not given us a spirit of FEAR ..."

(2 Timothy 1:7)

however, that unwell candidate is unfit for this office or any

and he has perpetuated & provoked 
much fear and violence

with his words, law breaking ideas 
& questionable standards

especially for himself.

Look & Listen

to others like former Vice President Pence

not willing to support him

and the many leaving their governmental positions

that can no longer support this!

They know better & so should we, the people!


"

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us ALERT for whatever God will do next. In ALERT expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

 " Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)


I should have written my own about 
what the pastor and authors wrote

instead of linking & sending you to his article,

because I really believe God is asking me

to

ALERT

and

warn us about this crucial upcoming

key event that depends

on us

I came here to write and only share more verses on

ALERT

yet as I began to write after reading 
Pastor John's article

I could not ignore saying something more

I was prompted & reminded by God

I don't claim to be God, or Jesus

like this former candidate

has elevated himself

expecting to be 

idolized

nor am I a prophet like Jonah,

or Isaiah or Jeremiah,

I'm just 

a very concerned citizen

hoping that you continue to examine your heart 

as I do

Seek the Truth

Follow only JESUS CHRIST and His Way

IN HIM, THERE IS NO DARKNESS

(1 John 1:5)

and I pray that the

Holy Spirit

speaks to you,

pours into our lives

our hearts & minds

guides us with

our decision

<>

I believe 

THIS

our country's

WORTH FIGHTING FOR

(not physically as I've heard of rumors of civil war - how ludicrous & unsound)

let's do all that we do

in PEACE and in God's SPIRIT

which is LOVE, not HATE;

EQUAL, not SUPERIOR

ONE GODLY SPIRIT

which is Christ-like

reflecting 

 the Light of

Jesus Christ

πŸ™


written in His Love

finished by His aMazing Grace

published
at the time I began writing this today
not the time I finished 3 hours later

[I know it's much to read but bear with me as write these blog posts. Thank you.]

Some days, ya' just gotta write what your heart tells you to say and speak the truth in love.
This is far out of my normal kind of writing here, but there's too much to be said.

I am not an authority on this topic, but I really do not want to live in a country that's authoritarian or undemocratic or under a dictatorship (and under the rule of someone who does not want to leave the office ever) and desires to turn our country upside down.

I also do not want to have to move to another country because of a regime or takeover of this one.

No, I do not say this out of fear, but I am fearful of what this country is becoming!

And so should you be ... 

God help our nation & hear the prayers for mercy and always
HIS
GRACE


Dear Reader: after publishing this, I've updated, but I also read in the comments of the article
I mentioned above, someone else's article that I found very helpful if all this is new to you or if
you'd like to read more. I also apologize for the length but I didn't want to add a new blog post.


To my faithful visitors;
all of you who spend your valuable time here with me
I do appreciate you so much!

Thank you for taking your time to visit!

Love, Sweet blessings & Hugs!

DIOS TE BENDIGA
GOD BLESS YOU

always

Peggy