What We Have & What’s In Store

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.
1 Peter 1:3 MSG

http://bible.com/97/1pe.1.3.MSG

Enough said, beetle

Moral Compass & Magnetic North

Credit to: Pastors Pondering blog (www.pastorsponderings.org/2018/08/29/messy-church-weekend-vbs-i-ams-of-jesus/)

He did a more lengthy blog post about a VBS program they did at their church.

Theme: “I Am the way”

Scripture Verse – John 14:6

Intro to today’s Messy Church:
Hey everybody!
Today we are going to begin our Messy Church with a scripture verse of John 14:6
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Suggested Themed Music Videos you could play at the beginning:

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Stations:

1) Needle compass activity                                                                                       20 Min
Science experiment – https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=36&v=QiSp6pGe0w0

Items Needed:
Bowl
Needle
Magnet
Pitcher of Water
Cork
Actual Compass

Directions:
Pour the water into the bowl.
Then rub the needle on the magnet about 10 -15 times
Place the small cork piece into the water, then place the needle on top of the floating cork.

The needle, having picked up some of the magnetic attraction from the magnet is now starting to face magnetic north.  So it spins until it points north and south.  

 Now, check it out, the Bible is a lot like this in our lives too.  When we read about Jesus and what He did while on earth we begin to know more about God, and when we begin to know more about God, we begin to live for Him and we start to point others toward Him through our Godly examples.

What does it looks to live for God?
(I challenge you to ask a kid to answer this. Children have amazing insight that we don’t always give them credit for).

I asked myself, “Why does it matter if we live for God or we don’t live for God?”

So, I went to God’s Word for answers. I read Matthew 16:24-26,  “Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” (Matthew 16:24-26 Message Version)

And ya know, Jesus wants us to point others to God while we follow Him.

If we don’t listen and we don’t care about other people, they may not see God through our lives. 

 So today, I pray that God will give you & me a love for others in our hearts.  

Let God lead us, and may our words and our actions point others to God.

Maybe you’ll try this experiment of making a compass (outlined above) while comparing it to a real compass to make sure it is pointing to magnetic North. 

If it’s not done right it won’t work, it will just be a small piece of cork floating in a bowl of water with a needle on top of it.

Don’t just be a cork floating in the water.

In Christ, beetle

Throw The Tail. Shed The Skin. 

You have may already known this but many lizards can actually detach themselves from their tail.

 I’ve always thought of it as their tail breaking off by force or tension; however, they can actually release themselves from it and just grow a new one. 

Maybe you have seen them shedding their skin too. I thought that this too was kind of a neat analogy that we could apply to our spiritual lives or maybe even to our emotional lives, to just shed off the old skin, let go of things that are bothering us.

Back to the tale of its tail, when a lizard lets go of its tail it’s a meal for whatever predator was trying to catch it. As I mentioned, some lizard species can actually release their tail, thus confusing their predictor & use that time of distraction to escape. 

Even more amazing perhaps, remember, they grow that tail back and go on living and they’re just fine. Obviously, let’s not forget, that it takes time to grow it back. Much to my surprise when I leatned this at age 9 it doesn’t just shoot out and instantly they have a new tale to tell about their tail they lost. It has to heal & grow back.

Also, when they shed their skin they grow a beautiful new, clean, clear, smoother and bright one.

    I think there’s a lot of food for thought there and it was worth me doing short little blog post on this. 

Here is a Bible verse to apply to this & to life:

2Co. 5:17

Enough said for now, beetle

Click links below for more close up pic.s of these cute li’l creatures, a closer look you’ll very rarely catch with your naked eye.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl_MpnhHSAT/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=d6jy1f0ql072

6,000 species https://www.instagram.com/p/Blnz3fwH8sJ/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1pfuj5ssuumy8

Don’t settle for basic when you can be extraordinary –

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlVrkqGHYze/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=4lip2tj2hou7

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkQKS2cHdVj/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=196mjaldq6zqv

Green Anoles with extra long tail, ready to throw when he needs to.

For another post featuring lizards go to:  Lizard or Louse?

Hope is worth fighting for

Our Hope in Christ. HE is our anchor.
A great, precious reminder.

Heather C. King - Room to Breathe

There’s an abandoned house in my neighborhood and I pass it every time I drive out and I drive in, or when I  walk  my normal exercise route.

It took me a while to notice.  Mostly the grass is the telltale sign.  It’s not just uncut for a week or two.  The grass reaches to my knees before someone runs through it with a lawnmower, mostly for mercy I think.

There are other hints.  The lack of cars coming in and out.  The missing mailbox.  The tiles on the front porch that are stacked up and never, ever move.

It’s surrounded by the cutest bunch of houses all down the lane with well-tended gardens.  They have gazebos and bird feeders, wind chimes, and color-coordinated flower beds,  porch swings, garden flags and pinwheels.   Every house around it looks loved and still this one sits, not just empty—abandoned.  That’s how I think…

View original post 590 more words

Inventory (We Are Not Onions)

As I read a fellow blogger’s post (go to: WHAT’S LEFT? for whole post) I highlighted a few things.

The main emphasis for me was on taking a personal inventory and the importance of our soul, under all the other outter layers that comprise of who we are physically.

Aside from what M. Dennis (Those Who Sin Differently blog) wrote I thought about how we do tend to peal layers away as we mature. As humans the great thing is as we grow up and peal away these fads, inmature thinking & childish games of life thank God we are not like an onion. If you keep pealing away at an onion soon there will be nothing left.

Perhaps you recall Shrek (the movie) & how he tries to tell Donkey how he has layers. He uses an onion as an example and insists that Donkey understands:

Ogers may be like onions but human beings are not. Although we have layers, and the more we get to know someone or get to understanding ourselves we see there are many levels to who we are, when it comes right down to the center of who we really really are what is there, in the very center of our core, our spiritual gut, our soul is truly what & who we are.

The shape our soul is in will formulate our true character & effect our decision making, responses & our very lifestyle.

M.Dennis wrights, 

While the outside of a physical thing is typically what we can see, what is inside is often more important.  In the same way, we are taught (correctly) that we shouldn’t judge people based on appearances (see 1 Samuel 16:7), but what is in their hearts matters more (see Luke 6:25Mark 7:20-23Matthew 15:18-19).

At the end of the well-known chapter of 1 Corinthians 13, Paul (writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) describes what is “left” – what will last after other things perish.  I think of this as what we find after we clear away the unimportant things of life, after we get past the surface and find what is most valuable in this universe.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

https://bible.com/bible/111/1co.13.13.NIV

He goes on to back things up with God’s word as we challenge ourselves to consider our foundation. M. Dennis reminds us what The Bible says,

Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3:12‭-‬15 NASB

https://bible.com/bible/100/1co.3.12-15.NASB

So, take a look at yourself as I take a look at my own life. What is deep inside? Does it bubble up & out into our daily life, seen by our family & people we meet?

I like the question, 

“What makes you sore and what makes you soar?”

You are not an onion.

“What’s inside your wallet?”

Go with God, beetle

Again, for main post that inspired this I encourage you to go to: What’s Left -M.Dennis’s blog “Those Who Sin Differently” (https://wp.me/p84Ya7-76E)

Suicide Is Preventable

Great Article:

Link: http://cfs.cbcs.usf.edu/news-events/detail.cfm?id=1136

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month: Invest Five Minutes To Save a Life

A MESSAGE FROM STEPHEN ROGGENBAUM, USF FACULTY MEMBER AND FLORIDA SUICIDE PREVENTION COALITION VICE CHAIR

 

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and September 10 marks World Suicide Prevention Day. This targeted awareness, combined with two celebrity deaths by suicide this past summer and reports that suicide rates are increasing in Florida and nationwide (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018) should be a call to action for all citizens.

The National Council for Suicide Prevention has organized mental health and suicide prevention communities to spread the word about World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th and the Take 5 to Save Lives campaign.

Take5toSaveLives is an internationally recognized campaign that engages us, the public, by providing five easy action-oriented steps surrounding suicide prevention on or before World Suicide Prevention Day.  The campaign asks supporters to take 5 simple action steps:

  1. Learn the signs 👈click for link
  2. Do your part 👈click for link
  3. Practice Self-care 👈click for link
  4. Reach out 👈click for link, and
  5. Spread the word. 👈click for link

Through these five action steps we can increase public understanding of three very important messages:  

  1. Suicide is preventable
  2. Preventing suicide is a collective responsibility, and
  3. Help is available for anyone experiencing an emotional crisis.  

The Take5 campaign aligns with the International Association for Suicide Prevention’s leadership of World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th) and the theme of “Working Together to Prevent Suicide.”

This year, join the growing national movement that is changing and saving lives. Invest five minutes and visit www.take5tosavelives.org to enhance your capacity to reach out (Step 4) when you see a friend, coworker, neighbor, or relative in distress. Asking someone about suicide does not plant the idea in his/her mind. Asking someone directly if he or she is thinking about suicide in a caring manner can help a person realize it’s okay to struggle, talk about it, and seek help.

Help is available. If you or someone you know is struggling emotionally, in crisis, or having thoughts of suicide, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (TALK) or the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

Stephen Roggenbaum
USF Faculty Member
Child & Family Studies
College of Behavioral and Community Sciences
Suicide Prevention Coordinating Council, Governor appointee
Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition Vice Chair


Dancing on the Head of The Serpent

There is a classic Christian rock band called “Jerusalem”. They ROCK & pack the punch of a solid message with song titles like “What if Jesus is Right?”, “Man Of This World” and “Constantly Changing”.

Another song of their’s I love is called “Dancing on the head of the serpent”.

Lyrics (audio at bottom)

There’s a fallen angel on a throne in every capitalcity
Ruling with “wisdom” that manipulates the children of this century
Pulling the kings like puppets on strings bowing their knees to him

Dancing on the head of the serpent
Dancing on the head of the serpent

His name is lust, his name is pride his name is deceptive knowledge
But still he has a nail in his eye he can’t buy the saints in the city
He tries and he tries but they won’t compromise they show him no mercy no pity
And that’s alright, that’s alright

Dancing on the head of the serpent

He sits on a throne with an arrogant smile thinking he’s gonna stay there forever
But the King of the Saints is mounting His steps there is a judgement to settle
And in a short moment his face turns surprised before he is thrown to the ground
That’s alright, that’s alright

Dancing on the head of the serpent
Dancing on the head of the serpent

Audio: 

This goes well with the post I wrote yesterday and God’s continual reminder that He’ll crush the head of satan the serpent with His heal.

Dragon Be Gone

I keep handwritten journals, as well as this blog, & there sometimes I capture things I can not get across in my blog. 

There is just something about holding an actual pen & paper and a hard cover book in your hands.

Although photographs capture a lot nothing can compare to seeing things with the naked eye in real life.

A page from my personal journal

Recently Psalm 34 caught my mind & imagination.

 The above (& below) pic. went along so well with what that Psalm reminded me.


This is a grand reminder of the promises we are given by God. We have His word: The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;  he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.  Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.  The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. Psalm 34:19‭-‬22 NIV

The dragon may devour the evil, EVIL SLAY THE WICKED but he is defeated by ALL CHRIST DID, IS DOING & GOING TO DO!
 PSALM 34 –I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.  I will glory in the Lord ; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.  Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.  I sought the Lord , and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.  This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.  The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.  Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.  Fear the Lord , you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.  The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.  Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord .  Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,  keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.  Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.  

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;  

but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth.  The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;  he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.  Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.  The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. Psalm 34:1‭-‬22 NIV

You know John 3:16 & share it. Don’t forget John 3:17 & on –

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

John 3:16‭-‬18 NIV

http://bible.com/111/jhn.3.16-18.NIV

“A Sense of Divine Purpose”

Most people at one point or another mature to a point of longing to do some soul searching and have a sense of divine purpose. We come to a point where we ask, “Is this as good as it gets?” What is my purpose?” “What have I been put on this earth to do?”

Perhaps you can identify with this mysterious longing.

The Bible says,

He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]–yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.
ECCLESIASTES 3:11 AMP
Taken from the “about” section of my blog and from God’s word, which i’m all about, i share this: The Pleasure of Proclaiming-

1 Co 9:16-23

16 If I proclaim the Message, it’s not to get something out of it for myself. I’m compelled to do it, and doomed if I don’t!

17 If this was my own idea of just another way to make a living, I’d expect some pay. But since it’s not my idea but something solemnly entrusted to me, why would I expect to get paid?

18 So am I getting anything out of it? Yes, as a matter of fact: the pleasure of proclaiming the Message at no cost to you. You don’t even have to pay my expenses!

19 Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people:

20 religious, nonreligious,

21 meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists,

22 the defeated, the demoralized – whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ – but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servantthere is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life.

23 I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it

SO, being “in on it” for “The Pleasure of proclaiming”- to reach out to the

  •  religious, 
  • nonreligious, 
  • meticulous 
  • moralists,
  •  loose-living immoralists,
  •  the defeated, 
  • the demoralized
  •  – whoever.

I am one of The Messiah’s Misfits.

If we are honest we all have that longing to understand our creator better. God planted that in us, a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]; however The Bible says,

yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.

That is where ‘faith’ comes in. 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:1‭-‬3 NIV

Although we don’t see we still believe. We may not be able to explain it all but that is because we are not divine, we are only human.

God’s Word says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord . 

 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,  so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:8‭-‬11 NIV

Let God achieve the purpose. 

Just ask & be willing.

Go with God,

Tom “Beetle” Bailey

Song by John Elefante, “Hello My Good Friend” –