Avenger


Jeremiah 51:12-52:34

“I will avenge you.” Jeremiah 51:36

If I were to summarize today’s Word of the Day into one sentence that would be it! Actually, if I were to summarize the entire book of Jeremiah that is how I would do it! And boy is that a sentence I needed to hear today too! I don’t know about you all, but here in the Knochel household the battle has been fierce lately. There are a LOT of things that I feel the Enemy has stolen from us lately that I want back by golly! Although, I hadn’t really thought about it that way until I read today’s Word of the Day.

When I read:

“This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says:

‘Babylon is like wheat on a threshing floor, about to be trampled. In just a little while her harvest will begin.’

‘King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has eaten and crushed us and drained us of strength. He has swallowed us like a great monster and filled his belly with our riches. He has thrown us out of our own country. Make Babylon suffer as she made us suffer,’ say the people of Zion.

‘Make the people of Babylonia pay for spilling our blood,’ says Jerusalem.”

My friends, Babylon is a symbol of Satan. God may have said all these things about Babylon long ago, but He is saying them again to us today! The Enemy may have been eating and crushing you and draining you of your strength. He may have swallowed you like a great monster and filled his belly with your riches. He may even have thrown you out of your own country. But HE will suffer for it. He will get a belly ache from eating us. His fingers will throb from crushing us. His strength will be drained from wearying us. He may have swallowed up our riches like a great monster but God will “make him vomit up all he has eaten” (Jeremiah 51:44). He may have thrown us out of our own country but God will gather us up and return us to it, obliterating the Enemy in the process. Satan WILL pay!

It’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when. Satan will pay for what he has done to YOU. He will regret the day that he ever laid eyes on you. It will come, as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west every day. Satan’s punishment will come and it will be sure. Trust in Jesus my friends. He’s got this; whatever it is that you’re going through. Whatever it is that is causing you to lose sleep at the moment, He’s got it under control. You can trust Him. I promise.

Categories: 365 Life, Jeremiah, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

He Loves YOU!


Jeremiah 49:23-51:11

“For the LORD has inspired” Jeremiah 51:11

It is written that the love of the LORD compels us to do good works so that the world may see His goodness right here in the land of the living.

This morning I was driving in my car listening to KLOVE radio when a “Behind the Music” story came on the air. Chris Tomlin was explaining how he had been inspired, by the Childhood song “Jesus Loves Me“, to write his new song “Jesus Loves Me”.

In the Behind the Music segment, he called the Truth of Jesus’ love for us, “simple”. And I about came unglued. While he is 100% correct. The love of Jesus for YOU is anything BUT simple. It’s powerful and complex beyond our wildest imagination! The love of Jesus is like a fractal, simple on the surface, yet the more closely you look at it the more amazingly complex it becomes.

*

The love of Jesus for me is by far the most amazingly complex thing I have ever experienced in my life. It is so simple and yet so amazingly profound! Here I find myself trying to come up with words to describe this Love and yet over and over what word do I find myself using? Amazing!

He is so amazing! His love toward us is amazing! It’s all I can say!!! The woman of many many words can think of none at the moment, save amazing.

My dearest friends, my deepest prayer for you – today and every day – is that you will FEEL His amazing love for you in wondrous ways. I pray that you will open your hearts to FULLY receive His love for you today (and every day) because His love for you is POWER for you. It is STRENGTH in your bones. It is HOPE for your soul. His love is simple and profound. It is wide and deep, high and low.

His love for you is the Holy Spirit in and through and to you. It is power beyond your wildest dreams and yet it is more accessible than anything else on this planet. It’s a breath away; a mere tear-fall from your reach. His love is yours for the taking. It’s yours for the receiving. It’s yours for eternity. His love is FOR you! You were created to receive His complete and total adoration. He is head over heels in love with every single aspect of you. There isn’t a single piece of you that He doesn’t love.

Jesus loves YOU.

 

 

* Thank you to fractal-walpapers.com for the great fractal image! :D

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Feathers


Jeremiah 47:1-49:22

“How can it be still when the LORD has sent it on a mission?” Jeremiah 47:7

“Cursed are those who refuse to do the LORD’s work,” Jeremiah 48:10

I had to share these particular verses today because I feel their “pain”. As one who has been sent on a mission by the LORD, I know that it is VERY difficult to be still in regards toward that mission. It is extremely difficult for me NOT to write. And then you get to the second verse, and again I can totally relate to it! Although it is EXTREMELY hard for me to refuse the LORD, sadly it isn’t impossible. And yet at any point when I am refusing Him, I feel horrible about doing it. My conscience won’t let me rest. Honestly, because I know better. I know deep down what it is that the LORD is asking me to do; and I know that because He is the one asking then it MUST be the best choice for me and for everyone involved even if it doesn’t make sense in my head. And I get no relief, no rest, until I do the very thing that He is requesting of me. And then OH THE RELEASE that follows!!! The blissful release that comes from doing the very thing that you had been resisting all that time! Oh… it’s heaven!

My beloved friend, I don’t know what you’ve been resisting. But you do. Right now the Holy Spirit is convicting you of it. Let it go. Forgive that person you’re holding resentment towards. Tell that person that thing you’ve been meaning to tell them but were afraid of how they would react. Do that thing you’ve feared doing, take that plunge you’ve feared taking. Leap out off of that precipice from which you’ve been standing and staring into the unknown abyss just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Take that leap of faith that He’s been asking you to take. He IS faithful and He will lift you up on eagle’s wings and help you to fly rather than fall to your doom.

In our family we are VERY into the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings stories. (If you’re into fantastic adventure stories, these are for you! Not just the movies my friends, the books!) Anyway, in many of the most dramatic and pivotal parts of these stories, just when you think that the heroes are sunk, doomed to suffer a horrid fate. The eagles show up. They show up, and at some points, literally scoop the falling heroes out of the air, saving them from death by a feather. It’s always beautiful and usually I find myself taking a deep breath in those moments because I’ve been holding it, before it happened.

Have you been holding your breath waiting to see what will happen next? Have you been sitting with bated breath tense from the battle and feeling like you’re falling through thin air? Then get ready for a sudden stop! Not as you hit hard pavement, but the soft feathers of the Father’s wings as He flies beneath you and fully supports you like nothing else in this world ever could! He has called you to something. Something difficult, challenging, maybe it doesn’t even make sense in your head, but in your heart you know with a knowledge that passes all understanding that it’s right. If He has called you to it, then He will guide you through it. I know it’s terribly cliché, but it’s True. God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.

“Fear not Little One, My Beloved, for I love YOU!”

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD; He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My name. When they call on Me, I will answer, I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them My salvation.” – Psalm 91

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Sunday SHMILY


Jeremiah 44:1-46:28

“For this is the day of the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies” Jeremiah 46:10

Oh my friends! I had the most wonderful birthday!!! It actually started the day before my birthday. On Friday my husband gave me the best gift he ever could have given me, public praise and support of my writing. I bawled like a baby when I saw in on Facebook, and even now I’m getting choked up again. That meant more to me than ANYTHING he ever could have bought for me! I hadn’t asked for it, and I doubt that he even meant for it to be a gift, but it was. I’m sure you wives know what I mean. His accolades mean so much more to me than a thousand screaming fans ever could.

On Saturday morning, I woke up to the glorious sun shining, and it hasn’t been lately. I got dressed and ready and actually liked what I saw in the mirror staring back at me – for once – I felt like I looked *good*. The kids and I jumped into the car and grabbed some donuts for breakfast and then ran off to Staples to pick up a few things I had ordered for the book signing, along with a new fine-tip pink Sharpie to sign those books. There were NO problems with my order, Hallelujah! Although I had been prepared in case there had been problems with it. ‘Cause, you know, I’ve been there and done that already and am wise enough now to know to be Boy Scout prepared. ;) Then we zipped off to Living Truth where there was a sweet little table all ready for me sitting right next to a shelf FULL of my products!!! It was so awesome to see it all together and displayed so neatly. I was a little impressed with myself, I’ve got to admit.

Anna and I got all set up; she was my sweet little helper for the day. (Gabe was in a tennis tournament all morning.) Once we got settled in we, OK I, meandered back to visit with the other two authors that were there for Living Truth’s Anniversary Celebration. We had a GREAT time “talking shop” and getting marketing ideas from one another. I was stunned to find out that of the three of us, I had been writing the longest at five years.

We ended up having a great turn out for the book signing and I ended up selling/signing more books than I’ve ever sold/signed at any of my book signings before. Maybe even all of them combined even! I got to talk to people about my books and they all were genuinely interested in them. I got to give my testimony and minister AND I actually SOLD BOOKS! One of you even came out to see me, which TOTALLY made my day!

After the signing my husband took us out to my favorite Chinese restaurant… right next door to the bookstore! Which is a good thing too because my feet were killing me from standing in those heels for so long! After dinner we came home and Anna made me the cake she had been begging me to make all week.

That’s a stick family in red icing. The same stick family that she had sketched on her notebook earlier this week when she was planning my cake!!!

Watching her decorate this cake with such meticulous care was such a gift to me! She worked so hard on this cake, and you can taste the love in every bite too!

That says, “Mommy”. The blob of sprinkles in the middle of it was my fault. I totally messed up her design. Oops!

While Anna was decorating, Gabe made me a paper crane. He’s very into paper folding and is getting pretty good at it. He made a crane because they’re supposed to be good luck.

After taking as many pictures of the cake as I could possibly take, I dug in! And

OOOOHHHH

MMMMYYYYYY

GGGGGOOOODDDDDNNNNEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate Cake with coconut pecan frosting in the middle layer and classic chocolate frosting on the top and sides, OH! That is one GOOD chocolate lovers cake! And one VERY happy Mommy!

And wouldn’t you know it, what would my little eye spy in red frosting as I finished licking my plate?

A red heart of course! Yes LORD, I have seen how much You love me today! :D I am so very blessed indeed!

Thank you all so very much for your prayers! They mean the world to me and I could CERTAINLY feel them throughout the entire day on Saturday, but especially during the book signing. There was one point in particular, I think it was around 1 EST when people just started pouring in the door and I felt the Holy Spirit telling me that it was all because you had prayed for them to come. Thank you for that!!! Getting to talk to people about my story and actually get to see their reactions was such a tremendous blessing to me, words can’t even come close to describing how that felt. It was a dream come true. God is good. So good. And I want everyone to know it! He is so good to us!

He is SO GOOD to us!!!

Thank you for praying my friends. You mean the world to me! :D

And here are the rest of this week’s SHMILY pictures!

Categories: 365 Life, Jeremiah, Season 3, SHMILY!, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | 2 Comments

Pride


Jeremiah 39:1-43:13

“He will spread His royal canopy over them.” Jeremiah 43:10

So, I am taking this verse COMPLETELY out of context today, but this phrase is precisely what is happening today too. His royal canopy is spread over me today and that banner over me is love. I opened this morning with the prayer, “Lord, search my heart and show me what’s inside. I need to know. If there is anything inside me that needs to come out please remove it today.” Through the process of this day I have come to realize that as terrified as I am that no one will come to the book signing this weekend, I am equally terrified that they will!

Who am I to have someone’s ear and tell them, “Thus saith the LORD”? Who am I to go out and preach this wonderful news of a King who loves us so much that He would send His one and only Son to die on our behalf so that He could spend eternity with us? Who am I to have ANYONE listening to a single word I have to say about anything? I am nothing but a fragile weak woman who is just as human as the rest of us. But the one thing I have going for me is that I KNOW that I am weak and in need of a Lord and Savior. And I have little shame in saying so either. And perhaps that is where my strength really lies. I am weak and I know it. And what’s more, I know that God is counting on me to be weak. And in some small manner, that is a relief. Actually, it’s a huge relief to know that He understands that I am weak and unable to carry this weight on my own. I certainly do NOT want to try and lift this burden by myself!

I’m terrified of who I might become with the knowledge of just how many souls are reading what I write. Pride can strangle a ministry if given the opportunity and I certainly don’t want that! And yet, God knows that that has been my chief fear from the very inception of my writing career. I fear celebrity and it’s destruction of families and individuals alike. But as much as I fear these things, I MUST trust in the God who called me to such things in order to use me to my fullest potential. In my time with Him today, in answer to all these fears, He pointed me to 2 Corinthians 12:7-10:

“So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

God, in His amazing grace protected Paul from Pride. So will He not also protect me from the enemy I fear the most as well? I pray so!!! Although I do pray that He doesn’t have to go so far as to send a “messenger from Satan to torment me” in order to do it!

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Book Signing & Kindle Countdown Deal


Jeremiah 35:1-38:28

“Don’t try to hide the truth.” Jeremiah 38:14

Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

I just have to plug my book signing just one more time before this weekend! Please come if you are able. If you’re not able, please pray that others come and BUY BOOKS AND THEN READ THEM!!!!! I pray that the Holy Spirit will compel them to come in droves, though they may not even understand why. I pray that they will be compelled to come and partake of the blessed banquet that the Father has prepared ahead of time for them. In Jesus’ name! Amen!

Please share this information, especially the Kindle Countdown Deal, with as many people as you possibly can! Let’s get the word out that Jesus loves YOU!!!

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Thirty-Five


Jeremiah 32:1-34:22

“I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:26

I think I mentioned it to you all awhile ago, but if I didn’t I’m going to mention it to you today. This Saturday is my birthday! :D My thirty-fifth birthday to be exact. And to celebrate (I hope) I’m having a book signing at my FAVORITE book store, Living Truth in Noblesville IN.

Now here’s the part where I’m going to be honest with you. I’m terrified! Historically speaking when I plan an event like this no one generally shows up. And when I say no one, I don’t mean that a few people show up and I consider those that do “no one”. I mean no one as in zip, zero, zilch, nada, no one shows up. So to say that I’m nervous about no one showing up for this book signing would be an understatement. In fact, just thinking about it right now is making me tear up and there’s a lump in my throat.

For the last five years of my life I have spent the majority of my time, treasures and talents on spreading the gospel of Christ through writing. I’ve created and published over twenty works to that end. And yet, although I’ve spent an exuberant amount of time creating them and doing my best to market them, they aren’t selling. And that kills me. I have poured my heart and soul, sweat and tears into the creation of these materials and yet I feel like I’m the only one benefitting from them. Which I am eternally gratefully for don’t get me wrong! But I’m doing this to HELP PEOPLE!!! I want to see these materials SAVE people. I want them to go into the furthest reaches of the world and guide people into an INTIMATE relationship with Jesus that wasn’t a reality before they picked up that book with my name on the cover. I KNOW the power that these books contain because I’ve experienced it FIRST HAND! I’ve lived through them first before anyone else ever set hands on them. I know that they’re effective and carry the word of God because that’s what they’ve done for ME!

Reading Beth Moore’s So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Me changed my life! I mean, it REALLY changed my life! Of all the books I’ve read in my life time, it’s up there pretty near the top of the list. And it’s made me realize that books have the power to do that! MY books have the power to do that… if given the opportunity. And therein is my request to you. There are some of you out there that read regularly here on the blog and are local enough to be able to show up for the book signing. For you to come out and let me know that I’ve made a difference in your life would mean SO MUCH to me. So often I sit here and tap into cyberspace and speak to a crowd with no faces but my own reflecting back to me on the screen. And that’s OK. I know that most of the time, I’m writing to myself more than I’m writing to you anyway. But there’s a part deep down inside of me that is desperate to help people and to make a lasting impact on this world right now. And while God keeps telling me that I am, it’s very hard for me to SEE it. There are numbers on the stats page of my website that don’t lie, but they can be skewed by the slightest things. Behind every number there is a face, a REAL live person… a person I can’t see with my eyes but so desperately want to! On the other side of this screen there is a human heart that *might* be changing all because I took the time to push the “publish” button on the blog. But I can’t see it, or feel it, or experience any of that like a regular person in normal ministry would.

So I say all that to say thins, if you can come out and just say, “Hi” on Saturday it would mean the world to me. If you can’t, will you please pray that those who can will?

My heart’s desire is to be able to write full time. To do that the only real requirement would be for my books to sell in numbers that would support our family financially so that I don’t have to work in an exhausting minimum wage job where I’m away from the home and family members that I love. LOTS of people make a great living writing, so why can’t I? Right now my books aren’t selling. I’m guessing that’s because “no one” knows they’re out there. And those that do, aren’t buying them either. So if you like this blog, please share it with a friend, buy a book to pass on to someone having a rough day, make a difference in my life by letting me know that my life is making a difference.

 

 

OK, so I just went to post this and yesterday’s post title was staring me in the face, “Standing FIRM in Security”. OBVIOUSLY my writing is an area of INSECURITY in my life! One where I am most likely measuring my abilities and success through unrealistic measuring devices… And yet isn’t the main goal of an artist, for the work to be appreciated and enjoyed by others? Doesn’t a chef want their meal to be enjoyed and appreciated (and paid for)? Anyway, obviously I could use your prayers right now on this!!!

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Standing Firm in Security


Jeremiah 30:1-31:40

“They will be radiant because of the LORD’s good gifts – the abundant crops of grain, new wine, and olive oil, and the healthy flocks and herds. Their life will be like a watered garden, and all their sorrows will be gone.” Jeremiah 31:12

At work yesterday I had a man who tried to tell me that I hadn’t activated his PayPal card correctly at the register. And I have to tell you, six months ago, before working prayerfully through Beth Moore’s book So Long, Insecurity You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us, I would have caved and shriveled like a raisin under his accusations. I would have agreed with him that I had done something wrong and I would have beat myself up about it for the rest of the day too. But no longer!

I think that may have just been my final exam for the Security class I’ve been taking! I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I HAD done it correctly. The Dollar General system is set up to be as foolproof as possible. If I HAD done it incorrectly it would have set off more alarms than a five alarm fire. I could have stood there and argued with him about it and made a big ole scene in front of the drawing crowd of people waiting behind him in line too. But I could plainly see that no matter how calmly I explained to him that there was no way I could have done it incorrectly; he wasn’t going to believe me. And like Jesus says, don’t throw pearls to pigs and don’t argue with a Pharisee! So I didn’t.

I took out my MANAGER’s key, calmly refunded his money and wished him a good day. The next lady in line is a regular customer of mine so she KNEW how hot I was. She said, ”Breathe girl” as she placed her purchases on the counter. I smiled. I love my customers. They’re good people. I thanked her and told her how glad I was that she had been immediately after him. She complimented me on my ability to stay calm in the face of that adversity and that I handled it with decorum and professionalism. I breathed a sigh of relief. I had survived the pressure. Satan had not won, I had. And as I stood there and counted out her change from my drawer I breathed my prayer of amazing gratitude to the Father for His Truth freeing me from the Shrinking Violet Syndrome I have suffered from all these years. That man’s doubts of my abilities to perform my duties can not take my security from me. Period. I refuse to allow someone’s misconceptions of my abilities to rob me of the peace that passes all understanding that Jesus died to give me. And even if I HAD processed his card incorrectly, even that can’t steal my security and peace. Not if I don’t let it anyway. I’ve come to realize that it’s all just a decision that we make BEFORE HAND and then again in the moment when it happens.

I’ve always loved Isaiah 7:9: “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” I believe that it is critical for us to know what we believe and why and then take a stand according to those beliefs. That’s part of why I feel it’s so important that Christians READ THE BIBLE FOR THEMSELVES so that we can take that opportunity to form a belief system that is genuine and sincere because we’ve formed it through a genuine relationship with Christ. However, this verse has taken on a deeper meaning for me today in the hindsight of my security test. Not only do we need to stand firm in our beliefs of who Christ is in our lives, but we also need to stand firm in what we believe He says about US! I need to stand firm in my faith in myself just as much as I need to stand firm in my faith in God. Otherwise I will not stand at all.

God has given us the blood-bought gift of security in Him and when we stand firm in the belief of that security we too will be radiant!

Categories: 365 Life, Insecurity, Jeremiah, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Tiny Terrorists


Jeremiah 26:1-29:32

“For it is absolutely true that the LORD sent me to speak every word you have heard.” Jeremiah 26:15

This morning when I went to put my daughter on the bus one of the other moms was walking her little one to the bus with her two year old lagging behind them screaming at the top of his lungs. I smiled, I remember those days.

They were hard! But we survived them intact and have wonderfully respectful children today because of it. When Mom got up to Anna and I, I praised her for sticking to her “mommy guns” and not letting him win the argument through screaming. She gave me a forlorn exhausted look and sighed, “Thank You”. Why was he screaming you ask? He didn’t want to put his coat on in the 50 degree chill of the morning. We got our kiddos on the bus, with the two-year-old terrorist howling the entire time. I laughed a knowing laugh on my way back into the house, picked up my phone and sent my neighbor a text of congratulations for hanging in there and not giving in to him. The rest of her day would have been so much worse if she had let him win. And she thanked me for encouraging her in her moment of weakness. She said if I hadn’t been there she might have caved. And then it hit me, that is PRECISELY what I feel we can learn from Jeremiah today too. In Today’s Word of the Day he was put under tremendous pressure, the threat of death, to cave and relent on the message that he had been sent to deliver. But he didn’t, he stood his ground and would not cave against the pressure they were putting against him.

God has called each and every one of us to DO something, it’s part of being on this Earth. He may not have called you to write a daily blog, or preach to thousands, but He may have called you to care for orphaned animals in your home or tend to those precious little tiny terrorists that nip at your heels all day long trying to get their own way. Motherhood is a gift, but It’s also a calling. It’s hard and time consuming not to mention, at times, sucks your will to live right from your soul! (Trust me I’ve had my moments!)

And no matter what we’ve been called to, whether it’s tending to His little lambs, or feeding His sheep, you can bet your buttons that simply because God is the One who asked you to do it, it will have its pressure-filled moments of terror when you’ll be tempted to just throw in the towel and cave to that pressure. But you can’t!

When those two year olds get their way just one time by screaming, then they will continue to use that tactic to get their way – because it WORKED. So they will continue doing just that, screaming, every time until it stops working. It is SO MUCH EASIER as the parent to simply stand your ground than to cave into their temper tantrum because they begin to realize who the boss really is and accept that for how it will be. Satan is just like those little two-year-olds! He will stand there and scream until he is blue in the face in order to try and get his way. And we get oh so tempted to cave under his pressure. But we CAN’T because if we do, then it will just be harder for us later on. We CAN’T CAVE. We have to remember in those moments who the boss really is. He may be the ruler of this world, but we are the Children of the King of kings and Lord of lords! WE are seated beside Jesus in heavenly places, not Satan. Jesus has taken the keys to Hell; Satan doesn’t hold that kind of authority anymore. WE DO!

Those tiny terrorists can’t steal our peace. Not if we don’t let them!

Categories: 365 Life, Jeremiah, Season 3, The Crazy Mom Blog, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

The Pen IS Mightier than the Sword


Jeremiah 23:1-25:38

“‘Let My true messengers faithfully proclaim My every word. There is a difference between straw and grain! Does not My word burn like fire?’ says the LORD. ‘Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?'” Jeremiah 23:28-29

I have an insatiable hunger to record perfect moments forever in ink. The curl of steam from a mug of coffee on a quiet crisp fall morning, the laugh of an infant playing innocently on the floor unaware of the turmoil of a parent’s concerned heart, the relief of a gentle wind in the heat of a summer day, the way the stillness of the falling snow can calm my soul… all moments that make my hunger to write grumble until I press the record button of my heart and inscribed them in ink – for no real reason other than to celebrate what God has made. No one will see those scraps of paper; I myself haven’t seen them in years probably tossed out with the old bills long ago. And yet, there they are, still inscribed on my heart in indelible ink.

Then there are other moments in my life that are not the most pleasant of memories, those too are inscribed on my heart. I’m not sure what kind of ink was used to write those down, but I know that it’s the kind of ink that hurts like the dickens when it’s first carved in and the longer it sits untouched by Holy Hands, the more it hurts and festers and infects. That ink has a tendency to spread and blur lines that weren’t meant to be crossed until it absorbs into the heart and goes places it’s not been invited into. It’s a dark ink that covers much of the color and joy that the first ink leaves. But there’s something about this ink that I do love, its reaction to Light. You see in the darkness of sorrow and pain this ink spreads and darkens once colorful inks. But in the presence of Light it dissipates like the fog in the morning sun. Not all at once, but in varying degrees and more rapidly with more exposure. After enough time in the Light this ink changes, the original outline of the painful memory still remains, but it’s… different, in the Light of the Word. It’s not nearly as painful as it once was, at least not in the same way that it was. The Light shows that ink for what it really is, the work of a Brilliant Master who works in ALL the colors, even the dark ones. He uses shadow AND light to create the most amazing masterpieces you’ve ever seen. And the beauty of the masterpiece is that you get to come face-to-face with it each and every time you glimpse yourself in a mirror.

There is NO ONE on this planet whose heart has been pierced in exactly the same way that yours has been. There is no one whose shoes have been sodden and muddied the way yours have been. But there is One who has been right there with you each and every single step of that painful journey. His name is Jesus. He was right there with you when your heart received that sword filled with venomous ink. He was right there with you when your foot sank into the mire of muck and grime. Why didn’t He keep that sword from inflicting its pain or that pit from sucking at your feet? I don’t propose to know all the answers, but I do know this, He can be trusted. My dearest friend, I don’t know why it was important for you to go through what you’ve been through but I can guarantee that what you’ve been through – the good and the bad – it has shaped you and made you who you are today. In Jeremiah’s story he describes a time when God takes him to a potter’s shop and has him watch the potter molding the clay to form a vessel. God explains to Jeremiah that He is like that potter and we are like that clay. While the clay has no real say over what kind of vessel it will become, there are two things that are certain: 1) it will become a vessel that is useful to the purchaser and 2) it is worth the price that was paid to purchase it. My Dear One, YOU are that vessel. You were and are still being created in the Master Potter’s hands and while that formation process (at times) involves sharp instruments that dig at your flesh and cause you to wince and cry out in pain that doesn’t mean that you aren’t still in the Master’s hands. It doesn’t mean that at any point you’ve become a useless vessel or that you aren’t’ still worth the price that Jesus paid to purchase you. Your life has tremendous meaning and importance. Don’t forget that. Don’t ever lose sight of that. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, it’s important to the Kingdom of God because it’s important to the King, God. YOU are important to the King. More important than a mere wordsmith like myself could ever import with mere words and ink. Though I will continue to do my best to try because like Jeremiah says in chapter twenty verse nine of his book, “His Word burns in my heart like a fire; like a fire in my bones! And it wears me out trying to hold them in.” So I stopped trying long ago and I let them fall out of my fingertips daily from this platform where I beg Him to use me to help you fully receive His love for YOU today. He has, is and will always speak His Words of Love in wonderful ways to us if we simply open our ears to hear them and our eyes to see them every day.

Categories: 365 Life, Jeremiah, Morning Prayer, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

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