Thursday, April 26, 2018

"Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming."  Ephesians 4:14 NIV

I am so glad to hear the birds chirping in my yard. What better sign of spring then the birds coming back from the south to grace us with their voices. Do you ever wonder what these little ones may be thinking? I'm pretty sure there isn't any bit of thought going through these bird brains.

It's not their fault. God didn't design their brains if any to think. We know the tiniest babe has thought processes. When a child grows we expect their thoughts  and abilities will mature too. There is a problem when the body grows and the mind doesn't. 

Have you ever been tossed by a wave? I will never forget one wave I was tossed by. We were at the Atlantic Ocean a few miles from our house. The beach was known for its waves and rough waters. I've only been there once and that was enough for me.

I was tossed over and over again and I couldn't find the ocean floor. Sand was tossed along with me, and I could't wait to get on shore. I wasn't sure I would find the beach. It was a scary feeling. How I wished someone saw what happened and would rescue me!

Our society is like the rough waters that toss us around. When we say we are sure of God's existence every other person will challenge us on it. Some do not want to believe in absolutes. Maybe their thought is acknowledging truth will mean changing their ways.  Could fear come behind this? 

One thing is for sure: as we mature in our understanding of God's Word, we have less fear." The name of the LORD is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe." Proverbs 18:10 ESV Maturity and trust go hand and hand in the spiritual realm. God expects us to go in faith and we can because he is good!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

"Until we all reach unity in the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."  Ephesians 4:13 NIV

We will need teachers, evangelists, apostles, pastors and prophets until we reach unity. This is called the five fold ministry. I used to be a member of a church called Pinecrest and this chapter was our declaration. I appreciate this chapter because it teaches us much of what we need in the body of Christ.

This "attaining of the whole measure of the fullness of Christ" is an overwhelming task. It could never be undertaken in our natural selves. Some of us may have tried to do this in our own strength. All this did was exhaust us, and defeat us as christians.

 We were never meant to take on a spiritual task in the natural. Actually the idea is quite ridiculous, and I tried it not realizing at all what I was doing. Once I got on track with God leading me life it was immeasurably easier.

Right now I can say I will never be complete on earth. God's work on my life will not end while I'm alive. We can always learn, grow, and become more like Jesus. I want to be reaching farther and growing more everyday. We need to be hungry!

What do I mean by this? I want to search deeper, grow stronger, be healthier. Our natural self will take over if we stop. We are leaky as christians. I watched a u-tube video made by Dr. Caroline Leaf, a christian neuroscientist. She said we need to listen to a talk or read information over and over again in order for it to make it into our memories. She told us if we want to increase brain intelligence we need to laugh. Good word!

What makes you laugh? Maturity is the ability to laugh at ourselves among other things. Do we take ourselves too seriously? I was mad at my daughter for not respecting my wishes. As I thought about it, I realized she didn't really understand what my wishes were. 

She was caught up in her own thoughts about her High School Formal and hadn't heard me. I apologized about being mad with her, and asked God to help me assess the situation in the future with better  accuracy before I jump to a conclusion.

God listens to us, as parents we need to take the initiative to follow in His footsteps and listen to our children. We aren't going to change overnight, so taking one step at a time will make a difference over the years. Let's give ourselves some slack, and not judge ourselves too harshly. The world will judge us harshly. "Laugh at the days to come!" Proverbs 31:25

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

" His intention was the perfecting of the saints {His consecrated people} {that they should do}the work of ministering toward building up Christ's body [the church]," Ephesians 4:12 AMP

The young man in the picture is Christopher Heimerle. He is in South Africa on a Missions Trip with his Bible School. The little boy is having the time of his life! 

Chris said where ever the students went children would follow them. If 15 children were invited to a meeting, 100 would come. One meeting had 1,000 children who came from all over to hear the Americans. Racial discrimination was obvious.

 One young man told Chris he would not be able to attend college. The separation between black and white was also a financial issue. This man would not be able to get a job that would afford him enough money to attend college.

 Chris said this fellow was very smart and frustrated with his situation. He couldn't understand how God could give him the ability and understanding of a college student, but not the opportunity. My answer was for him to think outside the box. Easier said than done, I know.

As Christians we need to be sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. Chris is in the United States again, and I don't know if he will ever have the opportunity to speak with this South African man again. I can't understand how a society could be closed to helping  their own countrymen, but it happens here too. 

This ugly, dirty slave called racism. It stifles love, opportunity, and kindness. It is on both sides. Most of us have been guilty of it. Lord, help us. Building up Christ's body. Can we bridge the gap? I don't mean any individual, but then maybe God does. Who knows what God can place on the heart of one christian?

Monday, April 23, 2018

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:" Ephesians 4:11 KJV

Have you had a chance to get away for a weekend? Have you been able to spend some big chunks of time looking to the Lord? I went on the Women's Retreat with my church this weekend, and I was refreshed. Do you ever get an opportunity to do this? I hope you can say yes!

It is so important to get away with the specific purpose of seeking God. We can get caught up in the daily grind of our schedules, and our children's schedules, and our husband's or friend's agenda. In our society where God ways are not cherished we need to relax in His presence. We need a good soaking in His presence. We need to be doused in the worship that is led by the Holy Spirit.

Everything in life on Long Island and other places gravitates around moving fast. Texting had become so easy for me, that I don't like making phone calls. I am not even aware that I speed when I drive.

Maybe you can relate? I'm sure you can. Relationships, in order to be healthy don't work on the 5 minute plan. A pat on the head doesn't satisfy a child. We were made for touch, and good words, and kindness.We need time with our people. We need time with God.
 If you have never had a regular prayer time, start with 5 minutes a day. Be faithful to your 5 minutes, but if you're not, don't worry, just start again, and again and again if you need to. Don't give up and don't give in to discouragement.

These godly people mentioned in our verse today didn't become godly overnight. It took time. It takes time for us too. Change doesn't come quickly, not because God is slow, it's because we can't handle God working too fast in our lives.

We need to feed our bodies healthy food so that we can function at our optimal ability. Without certain vitamin and nutrients our body is sluggish and compromised. This is true of our spirits. Energy in, energy out. We begin to flow to our best ability. Some stress is eliminated on our digestive systems and we relax.

Take a deep breathe in, and hold it for a second. Breathe out. Doesn't this help? Good, now do the same for your spirit. I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise will continually be on my lips." Psalm 34:1 NKJV Say this verse a few times, and really think about what it means. Let it sink into your heart. Maybe you need to say it all day, or another verse that means something to you.

Can you eliminate some poor choices in what you read, look at, or listen to? Feed your spirit truth, which can be found in the Bible. Strength will be the reward. Start with one thing you feel isn't feeding you according to God's standards. 

This is why the Bible teaches us to come into His presence everyday through prayer. Read His Holy Word, and let it sink into the deepest inner resources of your being. Don't be distracted with other things on Sunday. Get to church, or Bible Study or that Prayer Meeting. Be faithful to God, and your life will not be the same.

Friday, April 20, 2018

" He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe."  Ephesians 4:10 NIV
Stop for a moment, and think about this verse. I had no idea when I first came to know God what He had done for you and I. In His humanity, Jesus submitted to His Father's plan. He knew His Father's plan included the cross. The sinless Son of God would hang on a tree, between two thieves.

His choice, fully knowing the consequences, was to be crucified. This doesn't mean it was an easy choice. It wasn't what He would have chosen for himself, but He wasn't motivated by His own choices. He knew His purpose for coming to earth, and He was determined to fulfill it.

In the old testament times, a spotless, perfect lamb had to be sacrificed on the altar in proxy for all of the Hebrew nation. Only the High Priest could go into the Most Holy Place to perform this sacrifice, for the atonement of sin.

A Priest studied and worked hard in order to be chosen for this highly respected position. He knew that being in the Holy of Holies could bring death, because God's presence was there. If He moved the wrong way, or had any sin in His own life, He might not return from this place.

Once a year this Priest would make a visit to atone for sin. Once and for all Jesus gave himself up to the plan of God. He became the Lamb that was slain. He took our place so we could live. He sits at the right hand of the Father now praying for us. God no longer sees our sin, because He sees the blood of Jesus instead.

This reality can be mind boggling when you consider that He chose it. Not because He wanted to suffer, but because He knew it would bring us to God.What kept Him on the cross? Only love for us could do this!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

"This is why it says: When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men. What does 'he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?"
Ephesians 4:8-9 NIV

What a day it is today! You might be wondering what I am referring to. Today is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice an be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 It may seem ordinary, and rainy, but it is a day that God has made for a purpose. You and I may not know what God is up to, but for sure He is doing some great things.

Our verse today refers to Jesus rising from the dead. Those who are "captive"are the souls that died before His resurrection. He freed those who had passed away previously from the sting of death and the grave. Why did He take these to heaven? They were believers in the promise of the coming Savior.

 We are saved from death{our souls I mean}because we look back to the work that Jesus did on the cross. These who were led by Jesus into heaven were those who believed before He came. Our God is so wonderful. He has made a way for all to partake in His grace, as long as we are willing.

When Jesus was crucified, be went into the "lower earthly regions" as Paul writes. The purpose of this was for Him to rise above all principalities and powers, and truly be Lord over all! He reigns over every lie, and destructive thing the enemy tries to put on you.

The power of the resurrection is beyond our understanding. We have not seen God moving in His power in this country the way He wants to move. Is it because we don't pray? We do pray, but maybe we haven't hit the mark yet. Maybe we need more dedicated time in prayer specifically for revival?

Some of you know I lead a prayer ministry in our church called 24/7 prayer.We hope to have someone praying every hour around the clock for revival, and blessing on our region.We are not complete yet, but are trusting God to send more people who will dedicate an hour once a week.

Who knows what God will do through prayer on Long Island? We know He is willing. May our cries reach His heart with sincere reality of our needs. He will answer with His might. It is all in His timing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it."   Ephesians 4:7  NIV

I took this picture myself a few years ago at Bethany Beach in Delaware.The pics I have used recently are from a site, and don't have any personal attachment. I can't wait to be on the beach! Usually we go to our local beach on the Long Island Sound, only 10 minutes away. There is little traffic, and it's easily accessible.

The trade off is it is not the Ocean. There are rocks instead of a lot of nice clean sand, and if you don't wear beach shoes it's not fun at all. Bugs can be a problem too, since there isn't a strong ocean breeze. My husband Rudy isn't up for a ride to the ocean on the weekends. He rather sit in our own backyard and listen to the birds chirp, and not hear people.

He's not anti social at all, He's tired after a busy week, and I understand him. I go to our local beach sometimes during the day to walk and get my feet wet. I might pray a little when no one is around. I feel the Lord's presence in the outdoors. It is His domain.

This is the first week that us Long Islanders have had a day where the temp was above 60 degrees.  My sister in North Carolina has had spring weather for two months. Those of us in the northeast have had to rely on God's grace to get us through.

I'll bet you were wondering how I was going to fit this verse in! God's grace isn't something we can take for granted. It is given when we trust Him to be who He said He would be. Our faith ignites the grace of God in our lives. We become aware of this marvelous grace when faith is present.

Can we trust God that He will apportion to us the grace that is needed in our circumstance? Yes, because He knows better than anyone how much is necessary. He is keenly aware of our lives and knows all the details, better than we do.

As I read the Word of God I am aware of His grace being poured out on lives in both the Old and New Testaments. Since God NEVER changes we can lean on His lovingkindness to be liberal in our lives. How wonderful to know the Lord of All the Heavens and the Earth.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"---one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."  Ephesians 4:5-6  NIV

This picture is of myself with our son Matthew. It is on the day he graduated from High School. Five years ago I could never have imagined that he would now be ready to graduate College.

 He wasn't a good student in High School. He was close to graduation before we knew if he would actually graduate with his class. Wrestling and goofing off was more his style. Immaturity was high on the list of reasons for this behavior.

More than once in the past five years he has told us things that he did in school during High School. We are so glad we didn't know about these escapades earlier. We had enough angst as it was! More than once we had to talk the school into giving him one more chance.

Daily prayer is responsible for his turn around. As he began Community College he became close to a professor who was dynamic and easy to listen to. He had a son who was a wrestler, and Matt him. They had wrestled together during the summer practices when our team from our small Christian School would meet with the Public School team.

This meeting wasn't by chance. God knows who to put in our paths to bring us into what He wants for us. Matt's grades went from barely passing to A's. He was inspired to work for what he wanted for his future.

In a month he will graduate from Stony Brook University with a bachelor's degree in International Business. Prayer has been the fuel behind his success. He will tell you that he worked hard, which he did. Without prayer I don't think it would have worked out as well, if at all.

Those things that we bathe in prayer bring the grace and strength of God into the picture. As I continue to pray, I believe God to complete the work that He began in Matt. God works in situations in ways we can never imagine. Who knew this Professor at Suffolk Community would be the springboard for Matt to succeed? Only God.

Questions or comments? I would be glad to speak with you. Please  text me at Love to you and your family!

Monday, April 16, 2018

"--one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."  Ephesians 4:5-6 NIV

I used to get nervous when little bodies pushed chairs over to the sink. Things could get out of control easily with the water and soap flying. Look at the joy on these children's faces! It is a time to be a little more free.

A lot of time can go by when children are occupied with such activities. I tried to supply my children with lots of activities that varied from arts and crafts to running and playing outside. One of our favorite times of every week was playing with our friends, the Gaudios. 

Cathy Gaudio has a son who is the same age as my son Rudy. Both of them are 28 years old, and are still very good friends. The two of them went to Miami for vacation last week. My daughter is the same age as Cathy's second son Ken. Rachel and Kenny had some fun times together. 

 Kenny took her to her Prom in High School. My son Matt is the same age as Cathy's son Mike. After that she had a forth son, who is two years older than my youngest daughter.

Cathy and I have been friends for 28 years. We don't get to see each other as often now. She is a Speech Pathologist at a local Elementary. Her family keeps her busy on the weekends. Our friendship picks up where ever we leave off. It doesn't matter how much time has transpired. We both acknowledge that God gave us each other as a special blessing in our lives.

God is the same always. He never changes. He is our God and Father over all. He is the one who keeps us. No matter what life throws our way, we know He is faithful! He has a way of putting us together so life works. This doesn't mean that it is perfect.

Our lives may not turn out the way we pictured it years ago. There are unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes we may feel as if an avalanche blocked us from achieving what we had planned. I don't know what I had planned before depression hit me, but it doesn't matter now. Nothing blocks us from God's plans as long as we are sticking close by His side.

Depression was part of God's plan to make me whole. He was not the author of it, but He used it in ways I still cannot fathom. My life has been put together in stronger ways than before. Sorrow and heartache can work for our good. 

He says:" And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,  and are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 KJV We can trust God hand. If He has allowed something in our lives, know that He can also work it out as a blessing in the end.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

"There is one body and one spirit- just as you were called into one hope when you were called-  Ephesians 4:4  NIV

This little girl looks like my daughter Stephanie. She doesn't play any sports as this child does, but she likes to look in the fridge. Usually she says,"Mom what is there to eat?" I would like to reply maybe by saying, You are the one looking in the fridge, you tell me. I don't ever say that.

My daughters only like certain things, my sons like almost anything. After Steph has said her part I usually go down the list of the foods that I have and I know she likes. It can be tough sometimes! She has eaten cereal for dinner more than once.

To make matters worse, what she may like this week, she may not want the next! I cook basic paleo food, but I make anything that my kids may like outside of this. Unity would be a great thing for my family when it comes to mealtime.

Thank God he doesn't give us too many choices.There is one body, The body of Christ, made up of simple individuals. The everyday people like you and me, are who God's people are. Unity comes in the body when all eyes are focused on the head. Christ Jesus, our one and only Savior is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.

All  good things come from His loving hands. He is the hope of nations the Bible says. Biblical hope is steadfast, without wavering. It isn't what we may think. We might say, I hope it doesn't rain. Biblical hope is a strong declaration similar to faith. Our hope is in the Lord. It is unmoving, just as He is.

Life can throw us tsunamis out of left field. We can feel helpless and overwhelmed. In a world with much upheaval it is wonderful to know that Our God reigns! He reigns over every circumstance and situation that we hand over to him.You are being called into His presence where peace and joy can fill your heart. When we release burdens into His capable hands we can be filled with such blessings.

Let God lead you into His peace and grace and carry your heavy burdens for you. We were not made to carry emotional turmoil and heartache. It will weight on us and pull us down. His grace is sufficient for us, and His strength is made perfect in weakness. Based on 2 Corinthians 12:9  

Maybe none of this makes any sense to you and you would like to talk. Questions and comments:  Love to all.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

"Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace."  Ephesians 4:3 NIV

Peace is a gift of the Spirit of God. It is something that every person on the face of the earth wants. Some people try to find it in ordinary ways, like listening to God and doing what he says. This is the best way to obtain it.

His peace rests on those who line up their lives with His truth. Not everyone wants to go about this the easy way. Rebellion in our hearts doesn't want to yield to God. Youth says to us, lets try to go around "the rules."Years of learning tells us that it's smart to go with God. Many have died trying to live contrary to the way of grace.

Wisdom might also say that it's not smart to have a dog in your wedding if you want to keep your dress white. I'm getting off track here, please forgive me, but dogs make me happy. 

Paul admonishes us to make every effort because it's that important to have the unity of the spirit and peace. The harmony and oneness of the spirit is what gives peace and grace to every situation.  In verse 2 we see the importance of making allowances for others because of love. 

Love is the only sincere way to keep people in harmony with one another. If our focus is to follow Him, the flow follows. Peace is the natural outflow of this focus. I hope this makes sense. So many things going on around me right now as I try to write. I promise I will be free of distractions tomorrow.  Love and Prayers to you.

Comments or questions? Please e-mail me at I don't want this blog to be a monologue, but a dialog. You are precious to me, my readers.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2 NIV

My words can be toxic sometimes. All of us are capable of saying the wrong thing. As a parent I wish I could take back foolish words spoken in the heat of the moment. Cutting words that we don't think will hurt usually do. Afterward our thoughts are burdened with the weight of what we said.

I have learned to be careful. I believe I have not fallen into this trap as often as I used to. Be completely humble means I have had to eat those mean words by asking for forgiveness. Walking in love means that I have to pay attention to what I say, do, and think. Do you feel the same way?

I know people who don't have filters. Words come out of their mouths without any thought whatsoever. My son had this problem until we taught him how wrong it is to speak every thought. Brain action is required before the mouth opens when you live with others who want relationship with you. 

Some people have to learn this later in life. It can only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit. Patience is a learned action. Being careful is a life long lesson that will reap abundant blessings.

No matter our age we know that humility is not automatic either. Our natural selves want attention to be drawn to itself. Lessons well learned save us heartache later on in life. If only I knew this when I was younger! Thank God, He works in our lives no matter how old we are. Blessings to you this day.

Please send your comments and questions to

Friday, April 6, 2018

" to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:21 NKJV

What is this little girl thinking? It's anybody's guess. She seems inquisative but maybe thoughtful? We can read most anything into someone's facial expressions. 

 I like to think she is being challenged which a question. This is the teacher in me. I like it when kids use their brains instead of their fingers. Texting can cause lack of brain activity. Just kidding.

 I was thinking today about whether this current generation is more worrisome than any previous one? I remember older adults being concerned about my generation and what we would amount to. Would there be a strong body of believers to deliver the message of Jesus to the masses?

Today with the internet the gospel has reached almost to every people group. This generation has an increasing amount of wrong doctrine to contend with. The moral fiber of the nation has decreased to a greater extent than in the past.

Young people tend to accept alternative lifestyles with less resistance than in the past. That which was unacceptable or considered sin in the past may not be today. This is a serious mistake moving in the wrong direction. 

High moral standards is essential for any society to thrive. Societies that have moral decline cannot stand for long. History is replete with examples for this. One thing is for sure. Jesus wants to invade our darkness and expel it. He has always been about this. Ask the Lord today to cleanse our land, and lovingly turn hearts toward him.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us," Ephesians 3:20 NIV

This looks like a fun family activity. We love water sports but usually do them with friends who have boats and waterfront property. Last summer we didn't do much on the water, but this summer is in the planning stages!

First things first. We need to have sunny days and warm weather. Snow is in the forecast again, but I am not believing it. This is the month of April. We have rain, not snow. This is the way things work. Put away the winter clothes, sweaters, hats, scarves and gloves.

Only God can cheer me up about the weather! When I think of Him, I know this is temporary. He holds all creation in His hands. Eternity will be filled with sunny days, and warm temperatures. 

My son Rudy is in Miami, Florida this week enjoying 85 degree days. Our weather is not world wide, and sometimes I forget this. Our problems aren't as deep as they may seem to us. God is able.

"Now to him who is able"is a snippet of our verse that I am tickled with today. It says a lot right here. It means He is, and He will, and He has. The "He has" is part of history. The "He is" is from the Word of God. The "He will" is part of prayer. I know he will answer me, because he always has.

These sayings are intertwined just as our bodies are connected to our spirit, and souls. How do I know He will? I have a history with God. He is faithful. He is, because I know the Word of God says so and I see His hand in all things around me. This builds my faith for the coming answers because the He will comes from He has, and He is. Does this make sense to you?

I hope so, because I am being blessed. If you can't join in I've lost something. I hope you got the message that God can do a lot of things. What an understatement! Immeasurably more, goes farther than a lot. He is beyond our wildest imaginations. Better than our best dreams will allow. When you are reaching higher than before, keep going and you still won't reach beyond His best for you. Let that sink in.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

"and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."  Ephesians 3:19 NIV

It is a rainy day, similar to the one in this picture. I can imagine these children saying, "But Mom, it's April do I really need to wear a winter coat?" It's not warm yet, but it is coming. When the temperature stays in the 50's for a week, then I can call it warm.

Love that surpasses knowledge? Our minds cannot comprehend a love that never gives in or gives up. We try to reason what it would take for him to be like us. He isn't. Jesus took on flesh and became as a man, but without sin.  

He doesn't hate anything but sin because that hurts us. Sin tries to grab you when you least expect it, and take you down like an crocodile who twists around until its victim drowns in the water. What does that mean to us? Be aware of his lies, and know God's word.

Nothing stops the enemy of our souls but God's word. This is why Jesus used scripture any time he spoke to satan. He said, "It is written, and the enemy had to leave.The enemy tried to temp Jesus to eat while on a fast. Jesus said,"It is written, Man cannot live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4

Jesus had fasted for 40 days but He could not do what satan said. He way is to lie, cheat and steal. Nothing good will ever come from his hand. God is good, and when the Bible says this it means it in the purest form possible. The word good might mean many things to us.  In the Kingdom of God "good" is in the highest form of the word because it describes the one and only Lord God Almighty. 

Nothing can come close to "good". We have other words that we might use that would trump this, but not in heaven. God is good is a statement that can shake the very core of a mountain. When we read that Ephesians 3:19 says"that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God," we could praise Him for all eternity just for this.

Everything about our God is beyond our comprehension. His love is indescribably. His fullness is running over in our lives. His grace is beyond amazing. Who can write the right words to be enough? 

Monday, April 2, 2018

"may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ," Ephesians 3:18

Do you have a rabbit in your kitchen? I don't know I thought maybe I missed the latest trend. My dogs would not go for this. Not even a bird can light on our lawn without a lot of barking. I thought it was a cute picture. 

On this day all over the world, people stop to think of Jesus. Some as a passing thought:others as the Savior of the World. You have all levels of understanding in between. What do you think of him today? 

I browsed through the new "Evidence That Demands a Verdict ," by Josh and Sean McDowell. It is quite an extensive work, with all sorts of research on the validity of scripture. From archeological findings to historical references and comparisons of the gospels. There can be no doubt that the Bible is a unique book.

Those of us who walk by faith have a knowing in our souls before we read any research by the experts. These wonderful works only add clarity and strength to those who seek after God.

There has been much written about the love of Christ. He is the only one who could ever put all that we see together, to make sense. In this day, we live under the burden of sin, but only for a short while. Soon our Lord will release all of the world from the curse of sin and death.

His work on the cross is our deliverance. Our victory here and now is the power of the resurrection. His resurrection power belongs to us as believers.Our ability to see past this natural realm enables us to stand on our mountains.

His love will abound in a way that we cannot comprehend on the day of His return. He will pull back the veil, to reveal all the perfection that he desired for us from the beginning. We will sing and rejoice beyond our natural ability now. Knowing His love is what gives us the strength we need while here. 

God never intended for us to be sick, have relational problems, or to suffer heartache. The world He designed for us was pure, unadulterated, and free. We will return to that Garden of Eden, so to speak, without the Fall in view. Blessings and love always.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

"So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love," Ephesians 3:17 NIV

Families are made by God's design. In the middle of life I forget this sometimes. We get caught up in the daily grind of doing the dishes, and food shopping, and appointments and...the list goes on. God never forgets the importance of who we are to one another.

I love this picture of a young family. I can imagine the father is telling the children a story. Maybe about brushing teeth, since the little boy has a toothbrush. Whatever it is, we can see that a closeness, a bond is present.

Christ dwells in our hearts by faith. This is a bond with our Father that can't be broken. We could break it, but He would never do such a thing. It is against His nature to ever let go of us. This draws my heart closer to his. I want to strengthen my bond of love with him.

It's the roots that we put down in various places that hold the ground. The roots of family, of love, of commitment. Have you ever pulled a plant out of the ground so that it's roots are exposed?

The dirt clings to it. It is not meant to be out of the ground. Once the roots are exposed to the air, it starts to die. Shock can set in. We can hurry and place it back in the ground, and it will be al right. It might take some time to re-orient itself.

Our society wants us to adhere to its dictates of anything goes, and commitment is thrown out the window. There is no stability in their lives, and therefore no peace. The bond of love that God gives frees us to be everything he wants us to be, and fulfillment and peace walk with it. He gives us a longing to be complete in him.

Today is unlike any other. This might be your day to draw closer to the father heart of God. It will be a day to remember always, and you will be changed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being." Ephesians 3:16 NKJV

How are you today? I wish we could grab a cup of tea, and sit at my kitchen table and chat for a while. This isn't possible just now, but hopefully you get to do this every so often. 

Women need other women. This isn't a nice saying it's the truth. We are wired to need opportunities to share with a sister in the Lord about our lives. We bounce ideas off each other, talk about our families, ask for opinions or let go of emotions.

We need a safe person to share with. Our hopes and dreams aren't to be scattered over the internet, but given to someone who will pray for us. Our concerns about our children are valid, and need to fall on the ears of another who understands.

God's glorious riches come packaged differently sometimes. Some of those riches have blonde hair, or black. Sometimes that package is tall or short, stocky or thin. Their ages vary, as does every other thing about them. Each is a unique gift to us, and those around them.

The Holy Spirit can anoint the right woman to speak to us at any time in our lives. We may never see them again, or she might live just next door. Maybe she's related to you, or she lives in another country.There can be a sisterhood of christian women that surpasses any other group of women in our lives.

Pray for God to bless each one of these women in your life!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name."Ephesians 3:14-15

I can remember lying on the grass, looking up at the sky like this little girl. The world was no where to be found as I was lost in my day dreams. I thought I would stay there forever. Life moves on as it always does. In the moment, you feel as if you are beyond all other things happening around you.

Our perspective has a lot to do with how we feel. If we feel closed in, we might act as if we are trapped. If we are lonely we might feel afraid. When we sense hostility we might feel anxious. The problem comes when we don't know where the emotion is coming from.

When we bow before Jesus every anxious thought is quieted. When our eyes turn to the one and only King of Kings, our hearts can rest. Peace swoops in to the rescue, as if a helicopter appears on the scene, and throws out a net. We grab on and are pulled out of the fire.

Not only is" the peace that passes all understanding" here with us, it permeates heaven as well. His name, and all the authority gained from it belongs to God's obedient children. This truth is impossible for us to fully grasp. I don't think in our present state we could handle it.

Monday, March 26, 2018

"I ask you therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory." Ephesians 3:13  NIV

The bridal gown on the wall? It's not mine. I don't know whose it is. It's a reminder to us that a wedding has taken place, at some moment in time. I think it's happened, since it's not wrapped in plastic, as a new dress would be.

I would think the bride wore her dress with elegance, and grace, but I'm not sure. I wasn't at the wedding. I didn't see her move down the center aisle, or meet her groom at the altar. I didn't hear the Pastor's sermon, or their wedding vows.

I can be almost sure she made herself ready. The right make-up and hairstyle were decided upon long before the date arrived. If it took place in the summer I can imagine she sat in the sun, hoping for a tan.

 Can you remember thinking about your own wedding as a young girl, hoping your groom would be as handsome as the Prince in your favorite Disney movie? Most of us have idealistic dreams of what life will be like when we grow older.

There is a Bride who is waiting patiently for her Groom. Paul, our friend the Apostle from the first century speaks of her often. He calls her the body of Christ or the church. Even though Paul wrote these words, Jesus could have spoken similar words to His Bride.

We don't actually glory in Christ's sufferings, but we glory in the finished work of Calvary, which came into being because He suffered and died. We glory in the fact that our names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life according to the Book of Revelation.

We glory in the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave His all so that we might live. He became a ransom for many. Do you know Him, as Lord and Savior? Have you ever invited Him into your life? If not, why not do it today? Today is as good a day as any.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

"according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in him." Ephesians 3:11-12  NKJV

God's eternal purpose; this sounds like a serious subject. What can I say to you about this topic that I haven't said in the past? Why does this sound ominous as if it is a negative thing? It sounds too big to tackle, and beyond our ability to accomplish.

As Christ is formed in us, we take on His nature, and do His will. I know, it's not as easy as this. But what if it is? Maybe we make too much out of following Christ, and it isn't such a big deal? In reality, the love of God is placed in our heart as we look to him in all things. We gravitate towards His love, and so follow what He says.

We can't see any of this with our natural eye, but inside we can feel the difference. Today is a day that I need to really dig down deep, because I feel a bit off. I'm sure you know what I mean. My allergies aren't bad, but maybe there is a issue there I'm not aware of. We are not moved by our feelings, because the word of God is true and right.

My strength is not in my emotional realm, but in the strength of my eternal Father who stands tall as the rock that he built the world on. No, taller than that. He is stronger than the rock He built. 

My confidence is in the God who can move mountains, and I know he has moved obstacles in the way before. My faith can move mountains because he lives through me! Boldness, it comes as I stand at attention to His commands. This is not the case for me.

I usually procrastinate when I feel God is saying something to me. One morning I felt God pulling me out of bed to pray for my daughter.  I lingered a while, but I did get up.  I'm not happy to share my inadequacy. 

Access to my Father, He says, "Come and sit on my knee, and tell me your deepest heart's cry."No appointment necessary. Do we realize the ramifications of our heritage as women of God? I think not. Maybe this realization would be too much for us to comprehend. Another important word to remember is confidence.

When our confidence is placed in the Living God what could be better?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

"{The purpose is} that through the church the complicated, many sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities[principalities and powers] in the heavenly sphere."
Ephesians 3:10 AMP

This is a mouth full of a verse. I am especially taken by the word complicated. God is complex, infinite, all encompassing, and wild at heart. Complicated reminds me of writing a computer  program or another task that I haven't the slightest idea how to do.

It's not impossible, but it would take some concentration. According to the Oxford dictionary complex means:"made up of many parts, complicated or hard to understand."I  don't feel comfortable with this definition, but then I wouldn't describe God as complex either.

Somehow it sounds cold and inhumane to me. If we look at the verse closely we can see Paul is describing the wisdom of God, and how it is better communicated through the church. The church can communicate the wisdom of God through His love.

 Love covers all emotions with its blanket of warmth and coziness. It removes the sting of cold indifference coming from life outside of God. Our world becomes full of colorful light under the love of God. It somehow washes us clean, and gives a sweet aroma at the same time. It gathers us under His wing, and summons us to not be afraid.

As this verse states, the wisdom of God speaks to the heavenly authorities and let's them know there is a new boss in town. This new guy is not like the others and all of you better head for the hills before he tosses you out on your ear. He is here for good, and no one can ever compare to His ability to keep you from ever touching his children again.

The church; it has just begun to realize its potential. Why has it taken so long? I don't know. Distractions come out of nowhere to throw off God's mission. You know in your own life how you become strong, and something hits you seemingly from behind. 

The church needs to be who God says it is. His body, His people, the called out ones. Those who will usher in the power and presence of God. In families, communities, towns and where ever God says. Ask him today how he wants you to part of his church body. We need each other.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

"and to  make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ,"   Ephesians 3:9 NKJV

The Gentiles has the same chance to be God's people as the Jews. This is the mystery that Paul is talking about. Some of you may not be reading each day so I wanted to make sure everyone knew. Paul is overcome with this revelation, since the Jews were to have nothing to do with others. No touching, talking or contact in any way. 

Why did God tell his old testament people to stay away? It was symbolic of sin; and it was also physical. Those who did not follow the mosaic law were susceptible to disease and sickness. When the Israelites raided a foreigner many times God commanded them not to take any livestock because of the disease that spread to them. Sometimes the disease was because of sinful practices.God was painting a picture in their minds of the ravages of sin and darkness.

Today sin is looked upon as an ancient word and concept but God doesn't see it any differently. Sin began in the Garden of Eden, and it will continue until Jesus returns. Our job is to be obedient to God with all of our heart, and to teach others to do the same.

The lie of the enemy is that it no longer is a concern. If people don't believe something is wrong, why would they have to repent?  

Monday, March 19, 2018

"To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ," Ephesians 3:8 NKJV

When Paul says the unsearchable riches,  I believe he means that we could never come to the end of the riches that God has given. In searching out all that God has for us, we would not have enough time in our lives to find them all. Precious jewels on earth rot with time: these riches endure forever, and never stop glistening.

God does want us to be aware of what he has done for us. He wants us to seek for him, because he will be found. Just as Jesus spoke in parables, God has hidden truths in his word for us to identify. Why does he hide them? They are only for those who seek after him, and put him first in their lives.

If everyone knew the treasures hidden inside, they might trample them, and not consider the truth within. Our heart attitude is what Jesus is after. I wish I could tell you there was an easier way, but there's not. Dying to our own selfish ways is the only way to see Jesus.

Paul is very humble in this passage, probably since he remembers where he was before Christ. That is enough to humble any of us. The light of the Gospel thrusts us out of darkness and shame, and gives us" joy unspeakable and full of glory." 1Peter1:8

The joy of the Lord is with Paul as he now encourages those he once incarcerated. His life is a perfect example of a life that was changes completely by the grace of God. What wonders does God have in store for you and I? Only time will tell.

Friday, March 16, 2018

"of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of his power."   Ephesians 3: 7 NKJV

Grace is a word that is seldom used in the old testament. It's not there often because grace and truth come through Jesus Christ. The old testament definitely supports the idea of grace in that it speaks many times of the coming Savior. It also stands strong in  the love which is the most important aspects of why grace works.

God, in his unimaginable capacity to love us, sent His only son to take our place. He died because our sinful flesh couldn't redeem itself. Jesus is grace personified. Mercy is not receiving from God what we deserve in the way of punishment. Grace is his unmerited favor.

I wrote the previous paragraphs on Wednesday. On Thursday, I took my daughter  Rachel to the emergency room because of a bowel prolapse. She had a viral stomach upset for the two days before. She thought she had hemorrhoids, and it never occurred to us that it could be worse.

 The Doctor at the walk in clinic we went to was wonderful. She said go immediately to the emergency room which we did. Once at Stony Brook hospital, the doctor said it was a hemorrhoid, but just to double check we will have the colorectal department check you. Meanwhile she got some pain medication which was truly necessary.

Rachel got relief from the pain she had for two days. She must have a high tolerance for pain. The nurse came in to check on her and he said, "Boy you are really strong, I couldn't think of having that much pain." I was glad to see the color return to her face. The doctors from the colorectal department said you will probably need surgery. She was sent to pre-op and the doctor who was going to operate came in, and he said, Oh, it popped back in! 

He continued to say, "We will go in and repair the hemorrhoid, but we can give you a local anesthesia, instead of the general." "Awesome" is what I thought. About 40 minutes after I went into the waiting room the doctor comes to find me. He said, "There wasn't a hemorrhoid, she had a bowel prolapse. I didn't have to cut or stitch." 
I wanted to do my happy dance right there in front of everyone, but I held back. A half hour later I saw her, and she was groggy, but beautiful. She came home with me that night, and today she is fine. No need for any more pain medication.

While all of this took place, I was texting friends to pray. What a wonderful group of prayer warriors! Neither Rachel or I were distraught or worried. I have to say I leaned a little towards panic when told she would need surgery, but I bounced back to trust quickly. 

Fatigue also kicked in at some point, but I was not overcome by it.  I am forever grateful to God for sparing Rachel the pain and other consequences of surgery. The grace of God, which is referred to in our verse today, was upon us. God answers prayer, and he is a faithful Father to us, and to you. Blessings and love!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

"that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,"  Ephesians 3:6  NKJV

Today is a snowy day in New York. Eight inches in my town of Setauket, and low temperatures make it a good day to stay indoors. Every one is home, even my daughter from Chicago. The snow won't last long since it's March. 

There is a fire in the fireplace, and I am trying to stay on task as my family is around. We are having February weather in March, and we had march temperatures in February. You never know what a day will bring. Two storms in March and another predicted for next week, and I'm happy to be here writing to you.

The sun will shine another day, I am sure of it. Looking forward to it has given me much joy and has for a while. If you don't like the weather, a new day is on the horizon. This is true in our walk with God. If you are struggling with a bad habit or a relational matter, keep at it, because with the Lord it can be changed.

Only God can unleash us from harmful thoughts, problems getting along with another or overcoming a weakness. If you are sure that you don't fit into any of these categories, maybe you should ask someone else. Ask them to be compassionate in their answer.

How we word our difficulties with a family member or friend is more important than pointing out a weakness. "It's God's kindness that leads us to repentance."Romans 2:4 We want to be Jesus' hands and feet to all those around us. Another may not remember what the subject matter is, but most people will remember how we made them feel.

" Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to any particular individual." Colossians 4:6 CJB

Following Christ and being like him means we care about what we say and do. It doesn't make us perfect, but our desire should be to become better. Displaying a life and heart that follows Jesus is what every longing heart yearns for. Do you know anybody who doesn't long to be whole? Me either.

Monday, March 12, 2018

"which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has  now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:"  Ephesians 3:5  NKJV

Those who went before Paul did not know because God did not reveal it to them. There are many things that are better left unsaid. The last word in an argument. A bitter word to a close friend or family member. Words muttered to self under our breath.

This verse does not refer to words better left unsaid, but to words that didn't make sense to the hearers. The meaning was scrambled or understood to mean something else. The same words now are understood to mean the Gentile and Jew are made one through the blood of the Lamb, {Jesus Christ}. 

This oneness is referred to the people of God or the body of Christ, with Jesus being the head. What good is a body without the head? You guessed it: Nothing. The head gives all the commands to move here or there or to stay in one place. The head or brain is the center for all speech and thought.

What difference would God's people make on the earth without Jesus? The people of God would be of no effect if he were not within them. It is impossible to belong to Christ, and not be  attached. No one can run on their own without the head.

Belonging to a local church body is important for several reasons. The act of belonging brings safety to every individual because we were made for this. God made us to rely on each other. Someone has to be able to give us perspective from the outside of our own world.

A Pastor is to watch his people to guard each soul from trouble. This is called accountability. Without it we can easily be deceived and fall into sin. A close church group in larger churches is built especially for this. A spiritual mentor can help a pastoral staff to keep the flock safe.

We were made for relationship with God and his people. Those around us need to be careful to speak words of truth and life so that we can prosper spiritually. Love has to be the motive of the heart. Without the love of God all of this is just a dream.