This Crazy Life

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By Dawn Bennett

I was driving home from one of my son’s baseball games, thinking how I still needed to make dinner (even though it was late), and knowing I had to run to the store after dinner, and then thinking how tired I already was from all of the busyness of the day.  A song came on the radio, it was a song I’ve heard a bunch of times, but this time the lyrics really caught my attention. The song is called “Breathe” by Johnny Diaz. Here is the first verse

“Alarm clock screaming bare feet hit the floor
It’s off to the races everybody out the door
I’m feeling like I’m falling behind, it’s a crazy life
Ninety miles an hour going fast as I can
Trying to push a little harder trying to get the upper hand
So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life
It’s ready, set, go it’s another wild day”

It is a crazy life for so many of us! Running around trying to fit it all in. This one needs to be at track at the same time baseball practice is. Phone calls to make, paperwork to do, appointments to keep, grocery shopping if we want to eat this week, laundry to be done if we want any clothes to wear. Running, running, running, but somehow it all needs to get done! It can all feel overwhelming sometimes.

But then the song goes on to say…

“I hear You say, Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe

I’m reminded of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10. 

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

It’s so easy to be distracted with all of life’s craziness. But the fact is we have to find the time to sit at His feet and just breathe. Let Him give us the peace we need to make it through the day. Don’t be like Martha, do not allow life to get in the way of what is truly important. Be Mary and rest in His presence. He knows we need to get things done, but don’t let the chaos get in the way of the peace God gives.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:1

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Turning the Hearts of the Fathers to the Children

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By Johanna Tompkins

Malachi 4:5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: ”
Malachi 4:6  “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

As we look around in the world today we can clearly see that the natural family and spiritual family of God are under attack. The traditional institution of marriage is under an onslaught in all directions. Many believe the lie that God has not ordained a marriage between a man and a woman only. To go even further, some even believe that a Father can be absent from the home and is not needed. Nothing could be further from the truth! Natural fathers represent the Father in Heaven. Because of the absence of natural fathers in the home there has been chaos and all sorts of negative impacts on fatherless children. This has also extended to society and to the church!

Fatherless is an epidemic this generation is facing and it’s prophetic. It’s a reflection of turning away from THE FATHER, the Truth and His Ways. When we turn away from God and do our own thing, The Father is not obligated to gather us together unto Himself. He is not obligated to Hide us under the shadow of His Wings. When we humble ourselves before our Heavenly Father, turning our Heart to Him, then we will be His People. As we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. As His children we don’t know everything. The beginning of Wisdom is the Fear of The Lord. Not a terror fear but a respect and awe for someone greater than oneself. God truly knows what is best for us more than we do!

Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Eph 6:2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
Eph 6:3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

The Bible clearly tells us to honor our Father and Mother and things will go well with us. Why does God says this? If we honor those that we can see then God knows we will extend that honor to Him and all those in the earth! This commandment is not only for our natural families but our spiritual families as well. We all must remain teachable and keep our hearts soft. I have been corrected by my little children before. It doesn’t matter who it’s from but that in areas I needed to grow; so I receive it and change. We must be transparent before God and repent when we need to repent! There is always room to grow for all of us, just ask God and see what He says!

Lawlessness is INCREASING AT AN ALARMING rate because the world is Not honoring the Creator. Because men and woman do not fear God, that translates to not honoring the rules of the land or the people of the land. Just because we may not agree with people does not give any person the right to dishonor or harm Gods creation. People are Gods and we are to respect all mankind.

Psa 68:6 God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

God loves us so much that He wants us to dwell in a good land, a land flowing with milk and honey. He wants our families to prosper and grow both spiritually and naturally. We MUST NOT be rebellious to His ways or truths. Hear Him and live. Keep your heart soft!

How can we fix this worldwide problem? One person at a time. You can truly Honor God in your life. As you truly Honor Him and He transforms your heart. You will love those around you with sincerity and truth. You may not even always agree with those you love, your boss, leaders of the land but we still Must Honor them because we Honor Him. Start at home and in your community with those you come in contact with. Listen to your children, be present and take time to hear each other. Life is not about us alone. We are happiest when we are truly serving God and each other, that’s the way God Ordained it and anything other than that brings Chaos and disorder. Which path will you choose? I pray and hope you will boldly declare, “Me and My house, we will serve The Lord!”

 

Pruning Brings Life

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By Dawn Bennett

Today I walked to my garden to pick some cherry tomatoes for my salad, I started plucking off the tomatoes and realized that all the plants had a ton of dead leaves on them. I started to remove the dead pieces and was reminded of these verse in John. I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.  John 15:1-2

The scripture says “He prunes us.” You have to pick the dead off of the plant in order for it to grow. Without doing so, we cause the plant to eventually die. But once the plant is free of the dead, it has the opportunity to thrive and grow more fruit. The same is for us. If we don’t remove the things that do not please God, it can lead to death. Yet when we do, we will grow, develop and produce more fruit. Pruning is actually a two-fold thing. It may hurt to remove the unwanted, but at the same time it causes growth.

To be honest I only pruned two of the plants before I walked back inside to make my salad. But I thought well here’s another example….we start to prune things off, we start to  give things up, and start to change our lives. And we think we are doing so good, but then we forget that we really do have more stuff to get rid of. Don’t get me wrong I know it’s a process, everything can’t be removed at once. But we need to be actively seeking God for what HE wants us to remove from our lives. Sometimes its obvious things. However, a lot of times its not that straight-forward, you may not even realize its there. Nevertheless, its just as important to remove it.

So let the Gardener do His work and prune the undesirable from your life.   Remain in Him as verse 4 & 5 goes on to say, when we do, we can produce much fruit, and when we produce much fruit, we are called His true disciples.

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.  Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father”. John 15:4-8

The Bible’s 911

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by Kathy Bennett

If we find our self in an impending danger, or in an emergency situation, we are told to dial 911. I want to introduce you to the Bible’s 911 call…

Psalm 91:1  “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Or she!)

Verse 2 goes on to say, “I will say of the Lord: He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

Psalm 91 in it’s entirety speaks about 24 hour protection. I have memorized it, personalized it, and declare its verses often.

What is it to abide under the shadow of the Almighty? Think about how the birds build nests under the shadow of the branches in trees, protected from the storms and predators. During a rainstorm we find cover or venture out under the shelter of an umbrella. Being under the shadow of Almighty God is a walk where you stay close to Him, nestled under his mighty arms of protection. The secret place is where you desire to hear His very heartbeat, and where you desire to know His ways and His secrets, becoming transparent before Him. It’s the place where you drop all the facades and communicate personally with your God. Intimacy! Intimacy can only be developed by staying close or spending time with someone.. with Him. It’s a God-consciousness all day long. Whether sitting quietly with your Bible (His love letter to you), or going about your day, you take Him with you into all that you do and say. You want to know what pleases Him and you want to stay away from what displeases Him. And because you stay so close to Him, He shows you the way, step by step, hand in hand.typorama copy.jpg