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Why can't all followers of Jesus just come together around scripture?


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I WILL Have Joy

My missionary son-in-law went to heaven March 14, 2020.

Our sweet son was a faithful servant of God and prepared his family to live with joy no matter what the circumstances. He and his little family sang a song from Psalm 118:24 every morning together, no matter how sick he became, and then set about living this verse. As followers of Jesus, we are meant to live differently than the world. We are not meant to wallow in despair and self pity.

Do you notice that this verse says, ‘We WILL rejoice and be glad?” It sounds like the Psalmist is talking to himself. Maybe he even pounds his chest to emphasize WILL. I think that is the key to joy in difficult moments, giving myself a firm talking to. Telling myself that I WILL have love. I WILL be joyful, I WILL be peaceful, I WILL exhibit patience, I WILL show kindness, I WILL think about good, I WILL be faithful, I WILL speak with gentleness, and I WILL control myself when stressed. Did you recognize the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23?

Maybe these thoughts will help you in the days to come. We are certainly living in strange times, aren’t we? Let’s all start talking to ourselves like David did. I WILL rejoice.

A note about my blog: Thank you all for following Sanctified Tourist. This may be my last post using this name. I am undecided about the direction that the Holy Spirit is leading me, I only know I want to encourage others with scripture. I think a name change might be needed to better direct the hurting and hungry to my blog and Facebook page. Links will follow.

Blessings, Alice

 

 

Maybe it's because we, who live in a first world country, lack desperation for literal daily bread that we might not quite get the spiritual message Jesus conveyed when comparing bread to the word of God during His temptation. 


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The Daily Hustle

(Our daughter and family were missionaries to Cambodia.  My hubby and I lived there half of the year, giving help to them as we are able.  In spring 2019 my missionary son-in-law was diagnosed with stage four cancer and went to heaven spring 2020.  Our trips to Cambodia are on hold for now.)

My hubby and I  spend time every morning in our Cambodian town walking on the riverside across the street from our house, for exercise and prayer.  The daily hustle for food and shelter play out before us as we make our way down the street.  The Holy Spirit teaches us a spiritual lesson while we walk by life being lived along the river.

Maybe it's because we, the privileged, lack desperation for literal daily bread that we might not quite get the spiritual message Jesus conveyed when comparing bread to the word of God during His temptation. 

In His famous prayer, Jesus tells us to,”Give us this day our daily bread,” and we recite it solemnly with no real idea what it might really mean to work every single day for just enough money to be able to stop by the open air market on the way home, and then to start all over the next day because what you had the day before is in the stomach of your children.

On our walk, we watch the local iceman stop by the same roadside shop everyday and saw off a hunk of ice for the drink shop lady’s cooler because she does not have a refrigerator.  Pennies change hands and off he goes to his next customer.  Her drinks also sell for pennies.  They are both providers…hard workers.  There are no sick days for these people, no steady income, no government assistance.

They need daily bread.

Maybe it's because we, the privileged, lack desperation for literal daily bread that we might not quite get the spiritual message Jesus conveyed when comparing bread to the word of God during His temptation. 

As we make the loop around the end of the riverside, we notice several women standing knee deep in the river washing the daily catch of shrimp.  They are not the ones who caught the shrimp, their job is to clean it…for pennies.  Soon a man on a motorcycle arrives to stack three huge baskets of clean shrimp on the back of his moto and take the fresh shrimp to the town market for sale…for pennies.  We will see this same routine repeat again the next day.  There are no weekends off if they want to eat.

They need daily bread.

And then there are the custodians of the riverside, sweeping and picking up trash every day.  One of their jobs is to scrape out the weeds that grow between the bricks… by hand.  Their toddlers play nearby.  There is no day care for those who work for pennies.

They need daily bread.  If they don’t eat they will get sick and die.

Maybe it's because we, the privileged, lack desperation for literal daily bread that we might not quite get the spiritual message Jesus conveyed when comparing bread to the word of God during His temptation. 

Maybe it’s because we in first world countries lack desperation for literal daily bread that we might not quite get the spiritual message about bread Jesus conveyed when quoting part of Deuteronomy 8:3 during His temptation.  “…man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”  Shouldn’t we hunger for His words when the belly of our soul is empty?  Shouldn’t we pursue it as if famished, never resting until full?  Shouldn’t we feed it to our spiritually starving children? Won’t they just get sick and die without it?

Father, give us zeal in pursuing daily spiritual bread as steadily as these Cambodian people pursue real bread.  Holy Spirit, remind us of the words of Jesus in John 6:25,  “…I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again…”  Nourish our souls Lord Jesus.

Maybe it's because we, the privileged, lack desperation for literal daily bread that we might not quite get the spiritual message Jesus conveyed when comparing bread to the word of God during His temptation. 

Blessings, Alice

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Cultural sin...vile but packaged as pure. Poetry is a way for me to express what I am helpless to verbalize. I cry out for the world y'all.


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A Poetic Comment on Cultural Sin

Society in general tends to beautify sin.

Normalize sin.

Cultural sin...vile but packaged as pure. Poetry is a way for me to express what I am helpless to verbalize. I cry out for the world y'all.

In reality sin is dark, crude, and filthy.

Steaming excrement.

The masses cry to turn off the light,

when truth tries to penetrate.

A brutal confrontation with one’s own darkness

in comparison to our Savior’s purity

is the beginning of everything.

Of everything!

Stand before the inner darkness oh soul,

vomit from the stench,

then purposely,

painfully,

let Jesus burn the evil within

to oblivion

until all that is left

is light.

Cultural sin...vile but packaged as pure.  Poetry is a way for me to express what I am helpless to verbalize.  I cry out for the world y'all.

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Picture:  +  Taken at sunset at my family’s ranch in Montana.

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Don't discount modern day parables. Jesus used lost sheep and coins to relate to His time in history, who says He can't update His repertoire using your life?


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The Parable of the Lost Passports

If you don’t travel outside of the country then you cannot possibly know just how disconcerting misplacing a passport is, especially if you already have bought the plane tickets.  I was reading through my 2015 journal and was reminded that about a year ago I lost our passports.  So what does one do when in a situation like this?

Don't discount modern day parables.   Jesus used lost sheep and coins to relate to His time in history,  who says He can't update His repertoire using your life?

Spend five hours tearing the house apart from top to bottom.

FIVE hours.

And they were there all along.  I had even unknowingly held them in my hand.   It was as if God had blinded me so I could gain insights from this struggle.  A personal parable.  A spiritual lesson.  Here is what I learned:

  1.  My husband was not the same man I married.  In our early years my husband tended to see the glass as half empty.  This same man partnered with me in the passport search and did not complain once.  And when the allusive passports were found, he laughed with me.  A spiritual  change in a husband is cause for celebration.
  2. If you pray for something, God might take you on a five hour “journey” to find it.  Yes, I found the passport, but I also found my prayer list that had been missing for a while too.  I always felt like I was forgetting to pray for certain people and would repeatedly ask God to help me find it.  Was this passport trek an answer to my prayer about the list?  I’ll bet God was laughing along with us that day.
  3. Figuratively, I learned that seeking a lost soul is hard work.  And maybe the lost are right there under your nose…right where you least expect them to be.
  4. By all means the most profound lesson I learned was that God is the one who brings the lost, not me.  I just have to be actively searching, so that when a soul’s heart is opened by Jesus, I am there to speak life to them.  see Acts 16:1

Don't discount modern day parables. Jesus used lost sheep and coins to relate to His time in history, who says He can't update His repertoire using your life?

 

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Have you ever prayer for something for a LONG time, something that hurts your heart, something that has become a depressing ritual of petition to the Father? Have you ever seen a glimmer that your vigil is coming to an end? A speck of hope?


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Is Your Endurance Inspired by Hope?

Have you ever prayed for something for a LONG time, something that hurts your heart, something that has become a depressing ritual of petition to the Father?  Have you ever seen a glimmer that your vigil was coming to an end?  A speck of hope?  A crumb the Father sends to you to let you know things are not quite as desperate as once thought?  An endurance inspired by hope?  1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Have you ever prayer for something for a LONG time, something that hurts your heart, something that has become a depressing ritual of petition to the Father?  Have you ever seen a glimmer that your vigil is coming to an end?  A speck of hope?

 

Hope

In the blindness of the dark, it is the feel of a hand on your back.

In the panic of falling, it is the open chute.

In the drifting sailboat, it is the kiss of a breeze.

In the confusion of lies, it is the whisper of truth.

In the isolation of self, it is the elbow in the ribs.

In the sadness of despair, it is the embrace of love.

Hope

 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-5 NLT

And hope, when fully realized, brings a life of joy…even while you wait.

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