Unwelcome Cross

A court ordered mandate enforced the removal of a cross from the top of a Christmas tree in Indiana this week. The man that filed the lawsuit said it caused him “irreparable harm”. Just seeing the cross as he drove was a source of “unwelcome contact.” It was so unwelcome by him that he went through legal proceedings to have it removed. Imagine the harm Jesus actually endured on the cross for you, for me, and for the man insisting the cross be removed. Jesus is so gracious. His response to the man would be something like, “Father forgive him, for he knows not what he is doing.” He’s way more grace filled than I am. I can think of a lot more colorful, defensive, self-righteous responses. But, thank you Jesus for the Holy Spirit, which enables us to do what we can not do on our own strength. Often He helps us do and say nothing. Phew! Keeping our mouths closed takes divine intervention.😉

The thought of us “not knowing what we are doing” percolated through my mind as I considered the cross. My first thought was, Jesus how can you claim that we don’t know what we are doing? I mean seriously, did the Roman guards not know it was barbaric to beat you, whip you, hurl insults at you, while leading you to a torturous death on the cross? How could they not know??? How brainless did they have to be not to know that kind of behavior is wrong….even if you weren’t the Son of God? But you were…and they did. And Jesus, seriously, how can that man not know getting a court order to remove a small cross from a big tree is…wrong…and lame? Oh, but then the conviction set in. In the words of John Bradford, “There but for the grace of God, go I”.

The thing is, there was a time I was completely blinded to the truth….spiritually blind. I remember rolling my eyes at Christian friends as a teen; laughing at their pursuit of this unknown God. The cross carried no value for me until I met Jesus. In fact, I was agitated by it and felt antagonist toward it…though there was no rational explanation for my feelings. I truly did not know what I was doing.

Even while walking with Jesus, I’ve gotten lost along the journey, and needed Him to set me back on track. I get uncomfortable with the cross too, like the man in the article. It confronts my own behavior, selfishness, judgements and offenses. So much about the cross makes me uncomfortable, but the Bible says to pick up our crosses and follow Him.

When we carry our crosses, we can’t carry much else. There was so much love demonstrated on His cross, such selflessness. At times I’m so overwhelmed by His love that I’m eager to pick mine up. Other days, I’m ashamed to admit, I’d rather remove the cross from the tree, so I can focus on how offended I feel, how wrong someone else is, and throw myself a little pity party. Yet, Jesus so willingly gave it all for me and you, that there isn’t room for petty offenses, grudges, or self-righteous behavior in light of His love. Though my humanness tries to persuade me to speak out, get angry, push back when offended, I can lay the offense down knowing He called me to a different way of living; to carry my cross.

How do you handle the offenses of others? It’s going to happen, a lot, especially this time of year. Christmas can bring about lots of expectations while visiting with family; fuel for big offenses to occur. We have in our minds how things should be, people should speak and behave. Here’s what I know for sure; an offense + a defense = a relational train wreck. If we choose to get defensive and offended by every offense we encounter, we are headed to a very un-merry Christmas.

Our closest friends and family can often feel like our biggest offenders, since their opinions tend to carry greater value than strangers or acquaintances. Great expectations can leave us feeling greatly offended. We expect that they are going to speak and behave differently than last year, but they don’t. We expect they will offer concern, care, or even just a little kindness to us, wrong again. We expect everyone will get along, enjoying all the food and festivities, much of which took weeks to prepare, but that awkward tension remains….it’s like cutting through caramel, only not as sweet. 😬

I’ve felt offended and unknowingly have offended family and friends more times than can be remembered. Unfortunately, I have a pretty good memory, so offenses can often be churned again and again in my mind, leaving a curdled mess in my heart. Nothing good comes from sour thinking.

Jesus set an amazing example for us when it comes to feeling offended. He laid down his life for us while we were still sinners. Think about how offended and defensive He could have been. He was perfect, and yet constantly accused. He offended people by loving them, healing them, working on his day off, caring for the marginalized in society, waiting on His Father’s timing, and claiming to be who He was….God. The gossip train was out of control when Jesus walked the earth, and yet, Jesus refused to hop on. He did not get defensive, wasting energy on what wouldn’t change. He stayed on course; headed toward His Father’s will; a pain filled, arduous journey that no one else could endure. His love fueled that train which lead to His death as He welcomed the cross.

Are you prepared for the possible “unwelcome contact” you might have with family over the next couple of weeks? Will you collide with your offenders, offering up defenses, finding flaw in them, hurling insults, withdrawing emotionally, or starting your own gossip train? There’s a better way. Offer grace, offer forgiveness, offer Jesus in those moments. It will keep you on track and you will be blessed beyond the circumstance by remaining close to the conductor of your soul. You’re bound to have moments of feeling offended this Christmas…just remember the cross atop of the tree. He is why we celebrate. Let Him be why you forgive, offer grace, and understanding. The offense is just a blip on your travel plans. Offer your loved ones the greatest gift, His unconditional love. They don’t need your stuff, wrapped in pretty packaging. They need His grace and if you know Him, you have it to give. Let’s carry our crosses into Christmas. You can do all things through Him!

Luke 23:34~Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Matt. 16:24~Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
1Peter 4:8~Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Proverbs 19:11~Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

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Avoid The Race

On your mark, get set….the tension is mounting, do you feel it? The Christmas decor is beckoning to be dusted off from attics and storage. Carols are playing, filling our senses with joy, memories, and anxiety for all that needs to be purchased, baked, wrapped, and given. Our days seem shorter and our lists seem longer. What ever happened to Thanksgiving? That day of being grateful for all we have  so generously been blessed with…it’s become a day for the race to begin…..ready….GO!

Martha understood the frenzy. People were coming to her house for dinner, not just “people”, but Jesus! How thrilling, overwhelming and exhausting. I can only imagine what she must have been feeling as she “opened her home to Him.” What an honor. What a blessing. What a frenzied ball of nerves she must have been, like a turkey avoiding the dinner plate. Everything must be in place for such an honored guest. But then, that annoying sister….

Mary, Martha’s sister, “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.” She just sat there! How rude. Martha is racing around preparing for their distinguished guest and her sister is just sitting, effortlessly at Jesus feet. How lazy, how wrong, how blind Mary was to poor Martha’s full blown anxiety attack. So, like many sisters would do, Martha tattles. She runs to Jesus, like a child, whining of how unfair life seems and demands a change. Commanding Jesus.   It’s like when our kids run to us demanding we reprimand their sibling for whatever alarming offense just occurred. Likely, there is blame to share.

Jesus response touches my own anxious heart. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better…”. Can you hear the gentleness in His voice, the tenderness? He doesn’t scold her or seem indifferent to her temper tantrum. He sees her anxiety and reminds her of what she really needs. She only needs ONE thing…and that is Him.

Oh to sit at the feet of Jesus, enjoying the company of our Father who adores and delights in us. To stop running about with our long lists, checking them twice, trying to be nice…but at the end of the day feeling worn out and more like Scrooge. What if we just sit and linger with Jesus? He is our source of joy, peace and love. Those are the gifts that our family and friends REALLY need, and we have it to offer, IF we receive it ourselves.

Thanksgiving is this Thursday. Don’t race past it my friends. When your internal alarms start sounding, feeling the tension of all that needs to be done, remember Mary. Choose what is better. Wake up in the morning and sit at Jesus feet. Drink in the goodness of time spent with Him so you can pour it out on your family and friends. Don’t put all your hopes into the perfect dinner, or expect perfect behavior from your family, setting yourself up to be perfectly disappointed. Put your hope in the perfect One, who brings perfect peace. You can do all things through Him!

May His peace flood your homes this Thanksgiving. Enjoy your family, friends, food and fellowship. What a blessed life we have been given!

Luke 10:38-42~38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Wrong Rights

I LOVE peanut M&M’s. They bring delight to my tastebuds and they are colorful morsels of happiness. On a bad day, like tax preparation day, I have my yellow bag on standby.😉 Now, I know they are not good for me. In fact, there have been articles written about the health hazards of eating to many. Occasionally, I have justified my indulgence by thinking, well, they have peanuts in them, and that’s a protein. Since protein is good for me, I can eat what I want. You could say, it is my right to eat peanut M&M’s, all day, every day, should I choose to.

The interesting thing about “rights” is they can be so very wrong. My body would revolt after awhile, if I chose only to partake in my little round, happy, chocolates. While they do contain  protein, they also have lots of ingredients that I can’t even pronounce; some of which have been linked to cancer.😳 I’ve considered laying down my rights to M&M’s altogether because of the health risks, but I’m a work in progress. 😉

In recent news and social media I have heard a lot about “rights”; women’s rights, immigrant rights, LGBT rights, African American rights, rights to guns, rights of free speech, rights to protest….the list goes on and on. Many of my Christian friends have participated in discussions about “rights”, which has caused me to pray and seek Jesus and His perspective.

In reality, there is a peanut of truth to the discussions about rights.  These discussions are labeled as rights, but I think the desire behind the dialogue is more about value.  Do we all have equal value?  The answer is a resounding YES.  Jesus is about equality of all people as evidenced in scripture, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”(Gal.3:28) Incidentally, this scripture isn’t absolving gender identity or the fact that we are born of different cultures.  Rather, it is demonstrating that every life has equal worth, through Christ Jesus.  He is the great equalizer.  We don’t need anyone else to tell us we are valued in order for it to be true…it’s true because Jesus says so. No person or circumstance can lessen our value.  Period.

Jesus also points out our equal need for a Savior.  He openly admitted we all fall short of God’s glory and are in desperate need of His grace and forgiveness. Every person, including Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, need Him.  Though they have differing views on political policies, they both equally need grace and forgiveness.

Honest dialogue about perceived inequality can be good and healing.  However, there seems to be more behind some of the social media discussions of “rights”; ingredients that are unhealthy for the soul.  There is an angry tone, a loathing, a disgust, an entitlement simmering that is damaging.  There is one who comes to kill and steal away our joy…we have a real enemy, and it isn’t each other.

As a Jesus follower, it is my right and privilege, to lay my life down, pick up my cross and follow Jesus; loving God and loving people.  His ways are often different than popular opinion…especially those displayed in the media.  The news and much of social media has been offering up a lot of spiritual junk food.  It’s of little value and we should be careful about absorbing to much of it.  Allowing ourselves to get caught up in angry finger pointing, is like eating to many M&M’s….it tastes good in the moment but makes you feel awful after. There is no value to it, since it solves nothing, just fans the flames of anger and hostility.

Brothers and sisters of the faith, remember we no longer fight for our rights, but for God’s. We no longer live for us, but for Him and His plans. What ‘right’ do we have to anything?  Is it possible for us to feel entitled to anything more  when God has given us everything in Him? If anyone could have felt entitled, it should have been Jesus.  Being the only perfect person to ever walk the earth, He had that right, but He waved His rights, out of His great love for us. Such humility and grace, I can hardly take it in.

I don’t even have the right to my next breath, unless He gives it to me.  There is no guarantee of tomorrow, or even 10 minutes from now.  Every moment we have on this lovely earth is a gift given from our Father above.  Rather than investing our limited time on endless discussions about ‘rights’, what if we savored each moment, appreciating the people placed in our lives and enjoying our blessings?

Jesus is our model for living and He didn’t debate much, and rarely got angry; leading me to believe we get into the wrong kinds of discussions.  As Jesus followers we need  to be careful that our pride doesn’t swell, leading us to have an unhealthy perspective of “rights” and entitlement.  We ought to get on our knees in prayer, seek Him and maintain a posture of surrender to His will.  We are living  in times that  will challenge our faith like never before.  Be leery of your own feelings which can lead to emotional outbursts; laying down your cross, and hurling stones at one another. Pick up your cross, and follow in His footsteps. He reached out to people in love, humility, grace and truth. If people throw stones at you for expressing love, in truth, He will be your shield and protector. Don’t be discouraged or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you. Keep looking in the mirror and asking God how you can be the best YOU for Jesus, then be the change you hope to see in the world.    We are shining His light, and the enemy would love to snuff us out, giving the impression we are outdated and irrelevant. Don’t fall prey to the lies of the enemy.

Lets choose a healthier diet of “rights” by  loving tirelessly, giving generously, and letting  grace abound. Filter through the spiritually sick ingredients that are being force fed to us through news and social media, and check those ingredients with His word. If the ingredients don’t match scripture, don’t eat them! Throw them out and stand firm in His truth. Don’t look for a loophole, absorbing what is bad for your soul. Accepting what is popular and ‘feels good’ can be the path of least resistance, but there is NO growth in that. It’s just a diet of peanut M&M’s; slowly malnourishing our spiritual health.  Pretty soon, all the absorbed loopholes we’ve ingested cause our lights to dim, and we are no longer distinguishable to the world around us.  Jesus stood out in a crowd.

We will all be accountable for what we did with Jesus. He laid down His very life for each of us….there is no greater love than His. No politician, no civil rights groups, no protestors, no sports figures, no celebrities, no peanut M&M’s will satisfy the hunger we have for true love, value, and justice. Jesus gives it freely and fully.  He hands out healthy love by the bucketfuls, if we are open to receiving it. Recieve the free gift of His love daily and then give it out to those around you.  Don’t get sidetracked by discussions meant to keep you on a merry-go-round to nowhere.  Grab His hand And walk with Him, even though you will stand out and may get insulted or even assaulted. You no longer live for yourself, you live for Him. You can do ALL things through Him! 🙏

John 15:13~Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Gal 2:20~I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Luke 9:23~Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Isaiah 41:40~So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

What Ifs…

Hope was teetering on the edge and the cliff was steep. I feared if I lost my grip, it would never be regained. My heart clung to hope….

It had been 3 weeks since my body rebelled against my will. One evening I was leading a high intensity Zumba class and the next day my body felt as though there was an elephant on my back. Movements were heavy and labored. My head felt to heavy for my neck to support, forcing me to prop it up with pillows while sitting on the couch. There was strange tingling in my arms and up my neck, along with unmanageable exhaustion. For the first few days, I convinced myself I must have been exposed to a strange virus, but days grew into a week and beyond. By week two my doctor tried to diagnose me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome….but my gut said no. (This time my stubbornness paid off and I insisted on testing.)

Resisting an “easy” diagnosis, I was sent to a neurologist, a cardiologist, an ENT specialist, a physical therapist, had a multitude of blood tests done, CT scans with dye and without, and an MRI…yet, nothing was found. It was baffling. The “What If’s” became a lion trying to chase me off of my emotional cliff. What if….I don’t get better? What if….I can never care for my family again? What if…there is something REALLY wrong with me? What if…I can never sing or dance again? What if….I become a burden to family and friends? “What ifs” seem to come in bulk supply.

As I lay motionless in the tube, listening to the loud clanking and hammering of the MRI machine, I forced myself to take my “what ifs” to Jesus in prayer. Without making a sound or moving a muscle, I laid it all out before the Lord. My fear, my anguish, my lack of control, every worry, all of it. Almost immediately, song lyrics from “The Heart of Worship” filled my mind, overpowering the machine:

“When the music fades and all is stripped away and I simply come. Longing just to bring something that’s of worth that will bless your heart. I’ll bring you more than a song for a song in itself is not what you have required. You search much deeper within….your looking into my heart. I’m coming back to the heart of worship and its all about You, it’s ALL about you Jesus”.

Suddenly, I was worshipping, without spoken words, or motion, but with all my heart. It was a powerful worship experience. I felt as if I had exposed all my inadequacies and brokenness to the Lord and I could almost hear Him say, “it’s never been about what you can do for me. Your heart is all I’ve ever wanted.” To be so fully known and so completely loved quenched my fears and slayed my “what ifs”. The truth was if I could never help another person, sing another song, dance another dance, or even move a muscle, He loved me, period. I may have felt physically helpless, but I wasn’t hopeless. My hope was, and is in Him and He never lets go.

It would be several months before my body started to fully cooperate. The healing didn’t come all at once and to this day I have lingering effects of the injury they found. A tear was found in my cervical spine, which caused spinal fluid to leak onto my spinal chord, causing the bizarre symptoms. It forced me to make a couple minor lifestyle changes, but none of the major “what ifs” occurred. The bulk supply of worries was laid to rest.

Are you carrying a bulk supply of “what ifs” this week? Are you ruminating in fear and worry? Lay it all down at the cliffs edge and fall back into the arms of your loving Father. Life can take us to the edge of what we can handle on our own strength. We were never meant to be strong enough to carry it alone. Jesus is our ever present help in times of trouble. He came as the bridge to carry you across those “what ifs” and comfort you through the unknowns. You don’t have to know what tomorrow will bring, when you know the creator of tomorrow. He’s with you through the cliff hangers, the stormy seas, even in the claustrophobic hammering of an MRI machine. He can give you a peace that surpasses all understanding….all He wants is your heart.❤️ He is with you…are you listening?

Phil.4:7~ And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 46:1~God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Psalm 19:14~May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Daily Bread

Matt.6:11~Give us today our daily bread.

Bread. It just makes me happy. Oh the wafting smells of fresh baked bread. Is there anything more deliciously intoxicating? It distracts me as I’m walking through the grocery store. Usually I make a beeline to the bakery in hopes that I will pick up a baguette or French bread that is still warm….be still my beating heart!😉 Seriously, a fresh baguette with butter….is there anything better? Maybe it’s the Italian gene in me, but I’m quite certain that bread helps cure sadness and possibly sickness. Ok, maybe I’ve gone overboard, but you get the idea. I love bread!

As I’ve journeyed through the Bible, I’ve discovered that bread is mentioned, a lot. In the King James Version it is mentioned 361 times…God must have known it would draw our attention. I’ve begun highlighting every mention of my high in carbs, doughy, friend. Sometimes it’s used to reference our tendency toward thinking to highly of ourselves, our pride, as we get puffed up like bread. Other times, it’s used to reference our need for our daily bread, the Bread of Life, that is Jesus.

The thing about bread is, it always leaves me wanting more. Who eats just one piece?? I’ve never eaten one piece and thought, yeah, that was plenty, I’m satisfied. Nope! It’s usually difficult to stop eating it once I’ve started. (Maybe it’s just me?😜🍞) I feel the same way about the Bread of Life.

Once I start encountering the sweet deliciousness of my God’s goodness, tenderness and love, I can’t get enough. I long to be in His presence, to take in His richness. He alone satisfies the hunger in my heart. I’ve found that if I feast on His word (the Bible) every day, it gives me strength, encouragement, perspective, and lasting joy. I do my best to start each day by asking Him to give me my daily bread. He knows what my soul needs better than I do….sometimes it needs vitamins and veggies, a dose of reality and cleansing truth to draw out impurities. Often His word speaks to my soul of His unconditional love, how He, the creator of all things, delights in us…it’s like savoring the sweetest, richest of bread puddings, only infinitely better. There are times I can hardly take it in, how lavish His love is for us! As I let Him search my heart through prayer and His word, I’m able to live out my purpose with greater clarity and savor each moment.

Are you feasting on the Bread of Life, or are you eating lesser things which will rob your soul of nutrients, decieving you into thinking your life is full? Don’t continue to consume empty calories which will only leave you with heartburn and indigestion. (This life has lots of empty calories to offer!) Taste and see how good God is. Start by asking Him to be your Bread of Life and to give you what you need.  Soak in His goodness through quiet times with Him. He will meet your needs daily as you seek Him with all your heart. Let Him satisfy your soul. Waft in the fragrant aroma of His goodness today. You can do ALL things through Him!

John 6:35~Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Psalm 34:8~Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 103:5~…who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Phil.4:19~And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Seatbelt Distress

My disclaimer, it was late and I was sleep deprived. The three of us (Randy, our friend Chandra, and me) had just flown into St. Louis, hopped on the shuttle to pick up our rental car, and were just pulling up to our stop. As I gathered my belongings, I attempted to lift myself from my seat, but something was….wrong. My brain said ‘get up’ but my body couldn’t accomplish the orders given. A second attempt was made, followed by a third…I’m embarrassed to admit, it took Chandra saying, “I think you need to unbuckle your seatbelt first.” (Which was followed by eruptive, tear streaming, stomach-aching, irrepressible laughter😂😂😂). Did I mention it was late and I was tired?😜 What could have been one of my all time, most embarrassing moments actually became one of the most hilarious. (Laughter is good for the soul…my soul was healthy that night.)

Funny how God can use incidental moments and apply biblical truths to them. As I thought of my seatbelt distress and my lack of awareness, it occurred to me that sin works the same way in our lives…minus all the laughter. Sin holds us captive, yet deceives us into believing we are free. We might think we are moving ahead in life, while we continue to buckle into dependency on people, bad habits, addictions that numb pain, pride, or illusions of control and pursuit of the ever elusive quest for our own happiness…but we are really stuck.   What’s amazing is, it is ALWAYS a choice. We can unbuckle ourselves at any time from all strongholds and hand those seat belts over to Jesus. He longs to set us free from those pesky belts that deny us our full potential in Him.

It is impossible to move forward in God’s plans when we are buckled into sin. What’s holding you back? It’s good to ask ourselves, and God, this question on a regular basis. We have a tendency to buckle into stuff unintentionally. Often times, God will use people to point out what we can’t see, like Chandra did for me. They can help us identify what we are strapped into. There are no limits to what He can unbuckle in our lives and He won’t lash you with the seatbelt once removed. He just forgives and says, “Get going, I’ve got such great plans for you!” Pray and ask Him to help you unbuckle from sin and buckle into Him, our belt of Truth. You will feel freedom and discover your purpose like never before…and you’ll be able to get off the shuttle when it stops. 😉 We can do ALL things through Him!🙏💪

Eph.6:14~Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist…
John 8:11~“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
John 8:36~ If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Jer.29:11~For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Fighting For Pennies

A 3 cent check was mailed to me last week. Apparently I was in a legal battle with AT&T and I didn’t know it.😉 As I opened the check and saw my big winnings, I thought, what a waste! The value of the check is worth less than the stamp to mail it…and so the check remains on my counter waiting to be deposited or discarded. There may be some recipients that received larger payouts but my pathetic check would be an embarrassment at the bank. As I rolled my eyes when glancing at the measly check, I thought, how rediculous. Was the legal battle worth the fight for 3 cents? But just as the thought entered my mind God spoke to my heart….most of the things you fight about are worth the same 3 cents, in the scope of eternity. What?? Woah, that was harsh God….but as I wrestled with the thought, I relinquished to the truth. He’s right! It’s so easy to get my eyes off of Jesus and onto what annoys me….like the driver that made me miss my chance at crossing our busy street when I was in a hurry (grrrr), or the FB post I saw that felt like an intentional missile fired in hopes of retaliation, or the comment made by my hubby which gnawed at me far to long the other day (poor guy didn’t know how long I chewed on that one😁)…..the list goes on and on. Many, if not most, of my battles are fought inwardly. My mind is often dueling with people, or myself. The time and energy spent on battling or begrudging trivial matters has about a 3 cent value in light of eternity.

What are you fighting for or about? What is your mind battling? The mind can be our biggest battlefield. Ask yourself,does this internal battle have eternal value? If not, let.it.go. Chances are, in a few hours, a week, a month or even a year from now, you won’t remember what it was you were annoyed by or fighting for. Let’s not waste one more moment fighting for pennies, when we can make kingdom investments.
Sounds simple enough, but oh it gets tough, from the moment our feet hit the ground in the morning until our heads hit the pillow at night, we are bombarded with opportunities to battle for spiritual chump change. Just like I was in a battle with AT&T, unbeknownst to me, we are all in a spiritual battle every day. The enemy is NOT other people, though he’d love to convince us of that, so we will be distracted fighting pointless battles. Today, I’m prayed up for battle and ready to make some eternal deposits by loving like Jesus. How about you? How can I pray for you? We can do ALL things through Him!💪🙏

1Tim.6:12~Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Eph.6:12~For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
1Thess.5:16-18~Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Exodus 14:14 ~The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”