Friday, January 22, 2021

Just say the name....

Throughout Scripture there are examples of demons leaving people when they are cast out in the name of Jesus.

What does this have to do with us you may ask?  We don’t really see demon possessed folks any more and anyway, it could be that I t was mental illness back then and people just THOUGHT they were possessed.  At least that's a theory we've heard.

The application, though, is that there is power in the name of Jesus.   That when HIS name is spoken, the enemy trembles.

A coworker shared this song with me and I want to share it with you…..

My favorite section says this:

I'll sing the night into the morning
I'll sing the fear into your praise
I'll sing my soul into your presence
Whenever I say Your name
Let the devil know not today

When we speak the name of Jesus, the devil knows he’s losing and we are winning.  In fact, according to the song it sends him into a panic.

So let’s end the work week saying #NotTodaySatan one more time.




Thursday, January 21, 2021

Victory is Ours

When you have a theme that resonates, you gotta stick with it.  Sometimes when I send out these emails I don’t hear back from anyone, but the last couple days the idea of spiritual battles seems to be resonating with me and several people have let me know that they have.

Check out this verse from 1 Samuel 17:47

All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.

Anyone know the context?  It’s when David was getting ready to head into battle with Goliath!  So don’t tell me it doesn’t apply to whatever you’re fighting.

When I lived in Mexico between 1992 and 1994 I used to sing this song in Spanish.  We taught it to our congregation and I played keyboards.   Wow.  That was a long time ago.

Toda la gloria, sabidurĂ­a, honor y todo el poder…. A nuestra Dios ahora y siempre Amen!




But you may have heard it in English:




Whatever battle you are facing today — the battle is the Lord’s! 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

#NotTodaySatan

Yesterday a coworker sent me an email in response to my devotional using the hashtag #nottodaysatan.

I hadn’t seen that before and I like it.

When it comes right down to it the battles that we fight really aren’t, contrary to popular belief, against the people or the problems in our lives.  The battle is in the spiritual realm.

Ephesians 6:12 (ESV) tells us this very clearly.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

One of the tactics most used by the enemy is to divide us Christians and plot them against each other, convincing us that the other folks are the enemy.  

Let’s remember this and fight against these cosmic powers together — not with each other.

And here’s a song to take us back in time.  Anyone remember this one?

You might as well get behind me Satan — you cannot prevail!



Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Battle

My youngest daughter has had a rough year.   She absolutely does not want me to tell you anything about it I can guarantee you.

This weekend she sent me a text saying that this song was the song she was claiming for 2021.  I hadn't heard it but it's pretty perfect for this year if you ask me!




Monday, January 18, 2021

Seem like a lot of things are coming at you at once?

 I don’t know about you, but in our house, it seems like annoying (or even tragic things) happen at the same time, or pile up on each other after a stretch when things seem to be going pretty well.

Nobody understands this better than Job.   If you just read Chapter One of the book you will see that life turned very quickly for Job.  In fact the messengers that came to tell him the bad news couldn’t even get the first round of bad news out before the next messenger came with more.  His animals, servants, and children were all killed.  He lost everything in one day.

And yet here was his response:

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised.

We don’t know for sure why Job was able tor respond that way immediately, but here’s my guess.  He recognized that every good thing he had was a gift from God — not something he earned or deserved.  And in recognizing that He could praise God’s name even when those blessings were taken away.

So we need to reminded that in seasons where life is good …. These are gifts from God.

And that when hard things come our way — we can remember that God is still worthy of our praise.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Top Ten (OK 8) Things that Bug Me about Living with Adult Children

 I’m obviously not going to link this to Facebook and for those kids of mine who happen upon this maybe it will change their behavior.   Not hopeful but I suppose it’s a possibility.

If you are living with adult kids I hope that your life is different than mine and that you don’t have these things to worry about, but for a while I have thought that there are probably less than ten things that really annoy me.  So maybe I won’t even get to ten.

And yes, before I start, we know that we allow them to live here.   Most of them probably wouldn’t make it somewhere else.   And believe me we talk about kicking them out often, but nobody is going over the edge.  In fact, there are some REALLY good things about having them here.  Some are very helpful.  Most are paying some kind of rent.  And having the grandkids isn’t he basement is a bonus on every level.  But if they would stop doing these things that bug me life would be so much better.

1). The smell of smoke.   Yes, more than one kind, but particularly one kind.   Nobody is disrespectful and smoking in the house (that would send me over the edge). But even smelling it outside bugs me.   And please don’t tell me that we can simply say “we don’t allow it” because that goes back to the paragraph above where we would have to kick them out.

2).  Borrowing stuff and not returning it.   It’s so annoying to have to track down things that belong to us because someone needed to borrow it.   Along with this is moving things and not putting them back where they belong.   

3).  Taking stuff that doesn’t belong to them.    Really annoying.

4).  Eating food that we have purchased without asking when it is something we were planning to use for other things.   Particularly when it’s Keto or low carb and nobody else is on a diet!

5).  Making me the hub of all things negative.   If anyone in this house is mad at anyone else they tell me about it.

6).  Texts intended to start an argument, particularly when we are both in the house.  If it isn’t important enough to walk a flight of stairs to tell me about it, it may not be worth texting.   The mental games that are played through these texts just drive me crazy.

7).  Expecting me to know everything without telling me anything.   Nobody tells me their work schedule, but they all expect me to know where everyone is.

8).  Leaving stuff everywhere.  This may go up higher on the list — these are not in order.   But I don’t want to step over your dirty socks in my dining room — or see your clothes still on the bathroom floor and on and on and on.  I wont’ go into your room if you keep your door closed — but please keep all your stuff in your room.  Is that really that hard?

I guess that’s really it.  Just 8 things.   If I could get those things to change, I would have no complaints.  

Before I close I must remind myself that all but one of them is working.  Nobody is breaking the law (that we know of) and substance abuse isn’t occurring on a massive level.   Nobody is violent or aggressive and I only get sworn at a few times a week.   Things have been way worse.

As I told one of my sons recently:  When you were 8 you played these lying, manipulative games with me and I was 35.  It was tiring.   When you did the same thing at 18 I was 45 and it was exhausting.  Now you’re 30 and trying the same thing and I”m 57 and I just can’t do it any more.

An empty nest would probably be boring, and on most days we love having people here.  Family dinners a few times a week are typically enjoyable.   Just eight things to stop doing and life would be so much better.

Anybody else relate?

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Want to Feel Better?

 Maybe you're in a slump and not sure how to get out of it.

Here's the BEST way to do it.  

Do something for someone else.

I had a blast today taking my 19 year old friend that I met through CarePortal out for lunch.  We talked and laughed and ate good food and I tried to motivate her to finish her GED.

I poured as much as I could into her -- wisdom, advice (not solicited of course), energy, love and encouragement.

I left feeling way more energized.

You'd think I would have been more tired, but instead I felt better.

You should try it.

Saturday Musings (applying my. muzzle)


Sometimes I write a daily email on weekdays or my coworkers that contains a devotional and I share it on the blog as well.

But on Saturday there is no daily email and so I am in front of a blank blog screen with the freedom to blog about almost anything I want to.

Except that....

I have adult children who like their lives to remain fairly private who may read the blog. That means that I can't be as open about frustrations with them as I'd like to be.

I have a diverse set of Facebook friends (as I have mentioned in other posts) that I don't want to offend should they click on my blog.

I represent an organization that I care very much about and I don't want to damage any of those relationships.  

I am married to the pastor of a church whose members I would never want to offend.

and the last thing I want to do is start a comment war.

So often my thoughts get stifled on their way out.

I've thought of an anonymous blog, but nobody would read it ... in fact, hardly anyone reads this one.

All that being said, it's Saturday.   My routine is to write to my mother and to Bart's extended family and do the Powerpoint for church.  Then most of my Saturdays are dedicated to CarePortal needs.   Today I am going to take a new friend to look at some of the furniture we picked up from the hotel that was closing.   She aged out of foster care a year ago.  Her father has passed away -- her mom has a master's in counseling but started using and is now an addict.  She very much cares about younger siblings and as an adult is trying to take care of them and her grandma and her mom while living on her own, receiving some assistance from the "Fostering Futures" program for kids 18-21.   She's smart, stubborn and resilient, but the number of healthy stable people in her life is slim.

She was in a serious car accident right before Christmas, and is still recovering from that.  I haven't seen her since September or October, but she says today she'll go to lunch with me and check out the furniture.

If you haven't checked out CarePortal yet -- it is my number one passion right now.  Nothing I've seen over the years does a better job of introducing church members to families and children in crisis and allowing them to make a tangible difference.   

No matter where you live, you can partner with me to make a difference in people's lives.  You can check out our church page and join our response team (I think) or donate from afar to help....

I really had no plans to end with asking you something, but you know how I get.  My passion overtakes me. :-).