How are we clothed?

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“Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day,…”Romans 13:11-13

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary has these eye popping words to share.

13:11-14 “Four things are here taught, as a Christian’s directory for his day’s work. When to awake; Now; and to awake out of the sleep of carnal security, sloth, and negligence; out of the sleep of spiritual death, and out of the sleep of spiritual deadness. Considering the time; a busy time; a perilous time. Also the salvation nigh at hand. Let us mind our way, and mend our pace, we are nearer our journey’s end. Also to make ourselves ready. The night is far spent, the day is at hand; therefore it is time to dress ourselves. Observe what we must put off; clothes worn in the night. Cast off the sinful works of darkness. Observe what we must put on; how we should dress our souls. Put on the armour of light. A Christian must reckon himself undressed, if unarmed. The graces of the Spirit are this armour, to secure the soul from Satan’s temptations, and the assaults of this present evil world. Put on Christ; that includes all. Put on righteousness of Christ, for justification. Put on the Spirit and grace of Christ, for sanctification. The Lord Jesus Christ must be put on as Lord to rule you as Jesus to save you; and in both, as Christ anointed and appointed by the Father to this ruling, saving work. And how to walk. When we are up and ready, we are not to sit still, but to appear abroad; let us walk. Christianity teaches us how to walk so as to please God, who ever sees us. Walk honestly as in the day; avoiding the works of darkness. Where there are riot and drunkenness, there usually are chambering and wantonness, and strife and envy. Solomon puts these all together, Pr 23:29-35. See what provision to make. Our great care must be to provide for our souls: but must we take no care about our bodies? Yes; but two things are forbidden. Perplexing ourselves with anxious, encumbering care; and indulging ourselves in irregular desires. Natural wants are to be answered, but evil appetites must be checked and denied. To ask meat for our necessities, is our duty, we are taught to pray for daily bread; but to ask meat for our lusts, is provoking God,” Ps 78:18.

He had more to say! What say you?

Prayer Growth

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I would like to hear about how groups you are a part of take prayer request and handle the request. As many of us look for ways to grow and learn in prayer we look for ways to connect with others in caring and sharing.

Rebecca Dwight Bruff shares “…it’s not about us. It’s about what God is doing in the world. What if all of Jesus’ apprentices imagined a world made whole and holy by the love and grace of God?” She also shares her thoughts of the what if’s by saying, “I BELIEVE THAT asking “What if?” is a worthwhile spiritual practice. It keeps our eyes and minds open to what God is doing in the world, and it keeps us grounded as well.”

I sat in church this past Sunday celebrating “Homecoming” a practice some churches still celebrate to acknowledge their history. The history of the church was given on a digital overhead overview of just shy of 150 years. I took notice that my father’s family were ‘steel magnolias’ in that little corner of God’s earth. Before, I entered the doors I felt a little proud to acknowledge my heritage when I heard words from my heart echo,    “… The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it…” Psalm 24

Gary and I greeted our church bulletin with neon joy as we gazed upon the drawing of  the church building on its cover.  Inside was overflowing with pleasures for the day. The back cover was laden with name after name of suffering and pain.  My heart of pride turned to dust and I begin to imagine Jesus taking His finger and writing truths in my dust, all loved, accepted, healed, and gifted as mercy drops fall on each life given by grace as I prayed.

Moses asked to see God’s Glory, And God said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the name, ‘The LORD'; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” Exodus 33: 18,19,  Romans 9:15

Today, I hear God say, “Sara, it’s not about you and what you will and the way you run your race BUT about God who shows MERCY!” Romans 9:16 Just pray!

Obey or Disobey

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“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

As I read this text I am reminded I must first get my anxiety under control before I formulate my prayers if I want certain results. I just noticed anxiety over many issues are at the top of my prayer list. The ‘what if syndrome’ is real important in my mind. I am good at reading ahead and liking the results and forgetting to back tract for the goal.

Let me try here, 1) get over myself 2) formulate prayers from eyes of faith and not ‘what ifs’ by accusing God of slack amd lack 3)then by obeying step one and two, gearing into faith, Peace shows up 4) Bang, out comes the security guards to tract my daily steps while God and host negotiate on behalf of prayers and supplications that were presented to God by me 5) And, as Peace, greater than peace, guards my mind so I can keep thanking the Almighty for His answers by having clear understanding that my supplication =’s humility.

How can I get so much out of a few words written? Then leave here and forget it? The writer of Philippians knew as a good lawyer knows we need a summary. He gave us one in verses 8-9 same chapter being 4. Read on, “summing it all up, friends…”

Joshua 1:8

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“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

Do we need a quarantine to practice the art of meditation? Personal, church, nation? Just think if we would quarantine ourselves and think not on ourselves or the enemy we fight but meditate on God’s Word and then pull with Adiddas, “just do it” (all that is written in God’s Word)we would be prosperous and have success, seemly this text says.

Do you believe it? I did notice it didn’t say study* but meditate* and in my mind that calls for quarantine time! Here’s my LOL, laugh out loud…from what people tell me and my own chatter…time, husband, wife, kids,work, sports, shop, worry, stress, anxiety, sex, video games, church, too much money, to little money, Doc appts, dentist appts, counsellor appts, oops, less I forget, MEETINGS! Etc.

Well, it is OT after all. And, it’s quoted out of context. It is talking to others surely not me? And, if I meditate I might find a nugget of truth for me but I’m just not going to do it because my ——might not like me. My—–will—-.

Does the Bible just overwhelm you at times? It does me! I’m here too often. I Kings 18:29….I read this… “but the people said nothing”… they didn’t choose God or Baal. I’m dwelling on the backside of the desert in my dreams! Or, just living there!

*Study (dissecting the text): What exactly is the text saying? What do the words mean?
*Meditation (savoring the text and entering into it): What is God saying to me? What is God inviting me to consider?

Pray

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Jacques Ellul is quite right, it seems to Gary and I, though very bold, when he says, “It is prayer, and prayer alone, which can make history.… To pray is to carry oneself toward the future. It is both to expect it as possible, and to will it as history.”

Fall Plant Sale, Leesburg, Va by Debi Chaves

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Once again fall is almost here. How did it arrive on my doorstop so quickly? Seems I was just waving goodbye! Even the name Fall describes the activity of the season: falling leaves, falling temperatures, falling sap in the trees and fall-back time change.

One way to fall into Fall, is to change our gardens. Instead of watching your summer annuals die a slow death, remove them and plant colorful and hardy winter pansies that will brighten the cold days of winter. Add a mum or an ornamental cabbage or kale. There are beautiful ornamental grasses and fall perennials that will liven the fall days and come back to greet you next year.

If you are in the Leesburg, Virginia area, I invite you to visit Monroe Technology Center’s annual Fall Plant Sale. Our agriculture students will be happy to help you find a plant that is sure to help beautify your fall. And you will be helping provide scholarships for them. Wednesday, September 17, 10-6pm, Thursday, September 18, 10-6pm, Friday, September 19, 10-4pm.