What we partner with is always so important, but especially at this point in history. There is a lot going on which results in a huge variety of sounds and voices being released into our air waves: by radio, TV and by us. We can easily feel overwhelmed and shut down. In Scripture there are three different words that are translated as people making a noise. Two are positive and one…not so much.
There is more to July than barbecues and summer sports. Recently, God drew my attention to the fact that July is the seventh month of the year. Seven is an interesting number in the Bible. It is the number of articles in the tabernacle, the number of times Jesus spoke on the cross, and the number of churches that received a letter in the book of Revelation. Seven often represents fullness, perfection, and rest. On the seventh day, God rested from His work of creation (Genesis 2:2-3). So too, He commanded the Israelites that the seventh day of their week and every seventh year be ones of total rest from their labor (Exodus 20:10; Leviticus 25:1-7).
This month we especially recognize the important role that godly men play in God’s plan for humankind.
We are grateful for the godly men that the Lord has brought to Dare to Believe Ministries. Men who understand the important role they play in God’s Kingdom. Strong men who partner with strong women to bring blessings and increase all around them.
Although this season is hard (and I am not really enjoying it), I’m discovering that these challenging situations and circumstances aren’t tripping me up like they would have in the past. With the Lord’s help, I am able to enter in, push through and step over these challenges. This is very different than ignoring them or avoiding them. I know, because I have done both of those things in the past. The difference is I now find myself getting through to the other side. I believe this is evidence of what I have overcome with God’s help.
Hope permeates the air as the rain refreshes the ground, the grass becomes greener, the buds appear on the trees and tulips and daffodils bloom – a sure sign of warmer, sunnier days to come. Hope is the confident expectation of coming good. It’s not a wishy-washy sentiment synonymous with “maybe,” but a deep-seated certainty. A knowing. It’s similar to how we know the longer days and warmer weather of April will produce new life.
I have the most amazing grandchildren! Gary and I visited them a couple of weeks ago and we loved every minute. We had been at their house for less than an hour when our 4-year-old grandson came to me and looked me straight in the eyes. “Grandma, I have a secret,” he said earnestly. “I am Batman.” This is so cute and fun! He knows in his heart that he is a superhero. Children are brilliant. They absorb the world around them. They have not yet learned to shut down the creativity and joy that they were born with.
We must be intentional to trust God more than we are intimidated by the world. God has good things in store for you…do you believe this? We have to trust him on that! He is more powerful than anything that comes against us. Do you know this truth in your heart? Prayer and worship are foundational to all that we do. Stay engaged in intentional prayer. Worship regularly. You will be transformed!
In 2020, I soon learned to recognize disappointment, offense or lack of peace as signals alerting me to a part of my faith that wasn’t fully anchored in Jesus. These moments served as an invitation for me to draw close to the Lord, share my feelings, receive his love and submit to his pruning cuts. As painful and humbling as it was to realize that I had placed twenty percent of my hope in my own plans or ten percent of my hope into politics, I was one hundred percent grateful to have these places revealed so that every ounce of my trust could be placed in the only unshakable One.
When I have the peace of God solidly inside of me, I am aware of world events, angry people, and all the unrest that is going on. Yet, still I am able to walk forward with wisdom and joy. When I lose my peace for any reason, it seems that the fear, anger and other things around me hit me on the inside. I don’t make good decisions, I lose energy, I worry….
In Luke 10, we read that Jesus taught His disciples to declare peace over a town before entering it. What if we learned to regularly use our words to bless our community…those in proximity to us…businesses in our area…whoever and whatever God brings to mind? What if we as Jesus followers learned to break the forces of darkness around us by establishing the peace of God intentionally? What if we learned to craft our prayers to bless our community?
Shortly after Gary and I were married, I started realizing that my dreams meant something more than I had been taught. Both of us grew up in the Christian church and dreamt a lot. Yet our churches taught that while dreams were a Biblical experience, they were no longer sent from God. Two dreams in particular got my attention.
The smoke of hopelessness, fear, hate and division are a haze around us. The words clouding our airwaves are thick and blinding. Where is God in all of this? How can we as followers of Jesus help clear the air? How can we create a healthier environment for ourselves and others to see who God is and what God is doing?