Month: October 2022

Open Enrollment

Tis the season for evaluating your plan and updating your benefits. Is your current plan sufficient, has it changed, do you need more and better coverage, do you know the full extent of your coverage?

Recently, on a call with our insurance broker, my husband was asked these and other quite specific questions regarding our Medicare plan. (Yes, we’re THAT old.) My husband was made to list specific medicines, doctors, procedures, dates, and desires. It was a thorough evaluation of his needs. I was next, and Den answered for me as well.

When the questions were finished, our guy confidently told us, “I can help you, and, it won’t cost you a thing”. Now that was super exciting because we had been paying nearly $400./month for supplemental insurance coverage.

Needless to say, the following week we took advantage of our open enrollment period and upgraded our benefits for FREE! Medical, Vision, Dental, Hospitalization, and more… for free!

The next morning I woke up with this in my mind,

… forget not all His benefits.”

Psalms 103:5 ESV

During this season of spiritual open enrollment, let’s take a moment here to compare our current plan and the benefits that are available for free to us because of Jesus, who –

Daily loads us with benefits.

Psalms 68:19 KJV

What are the benefits available to us, at no cost to us? For a simple and concise list, take a look at Psalm 103:3-19. We will focus on verses 3-6.

  1. He forgives your sins – every one, verse 3. TPT says, “you’ve kissed my heart with forgiveness, in spite of all I’ve done”. There’s nothing that you have done that He will not forgive. Every one of your sins will be forgiven, IF you ask Him. No matter what you have done.
  2. He heals your diseases – every one, verse 3 Every sickness, malady and agony, every worn, weak and wounded part of you – inside and out He can heal.
  3. He has rescued you from hell, saved your life, verse 4. He actually bought you back from the devil and acted as your next of kin, to redeem you from the dark forces. He stood in for you and your deserved death. He saved you from eternal punishment in hell and banishment from His presence because He wants to spend eternity loving you.
  4. He has crowned you with love and mercy, verse 4. As His son or daughter, His love and mercy is our eternal crown, forever covering us and reminding us of all of His benefits. He is full of love and abounding in mercy toward us.
  5. He satisfies my every desire with good things, verse 5. He fills you up with more than enough, and totally to your complete satisfaction, AND with things that make you happy and please you. Your satisfaction is guaranteed and provided ONLY by Him.
  6. Your youth is renewed like the eagles, verse 5. TPT says – “You’ve supercharged my life so that I soar again.” “Eagles” in this passage actually means “Griffon Vulture Eagle” (H5404) These eagles are the second largest bird in Europe and are the highest flying bird in the world. They have unbeleiveble eyesight, can eat anything and are very fast. These vulture/eagles while juveniles can migrate far and embark on long distance movements.

Griffon Vulture Eagle

This chapter is filled with MORE benefits that you are provided at no cost to you. AND the Bible in entiretiy is packed full of benefits to the believer who seeks to please the Lord. (Please print out the partial list of bible verses that I have added, showing some of His many benefits for us. )

Now is the time for you to consider, “Is your current plan sufficient?” Whatever it is that you have been depending on for your health and well being, is it enough? Is it time for you to update your benefits?

There is no need for you to be wrestling with guilt and shame over what you have done. YOU ARE FORGIVEN. It is a benefit that He has provided at no cost to you.

You have no sickness, malady or wound that He does not care about, feel your pain for, and provide healing from. It is included in His benefits for you.

He stepped up for you when the price was demanded for your sin, and paid it all, setting you completely free. Oh what love this benefit demonstrates for us!

The crown of the curse that permeates our thoughts, and seeks to keep us from believing in His mercy and acceptance for us has been replaced by an eternal crown of love and nutrure, as that of a womb cherishing a fetus. THIS is a benefit of being covered by God.

Those deep rooted desires that you have, unknown to all, were given to you by Him, and therefore He will surprise and delight you as He satisifies each one. You will get plenty of satisfaction! Who can match this benefit that the Lord provides to those that love him?

No matter your age, He will supercharge you and make you like the (griffon vulture) eagle. The one bigger than nearly all others, flying higher than any other, and with vision and strength superceeding most others. I know you are human, but this benefit empowers you to fly higher than most humans with strength that is not on the human spectrum

My friend, consider these benefits. Do you need to take advantage of these for the first time? Do you need an upgrade in your benefits? Do you need to better understand of each benefit? It is open enrollment so the time is now.

Jesus Christ paid your premium for full access to health, vision, dental, medical, and so much more. Your peace, hope, and purpose are included as your benefits. Your daily strength and provision is itimized in your coverage as well. Joy unspeakable, life abundant, and love that never fails are standard with God’s benefits.

God can help you, my friend, and it won’t cost you a dime. It is free to you because Jesus paid the full price. But we must accept His offer and daily walk in the benefits that He loads upon us. Knowledge of the benefits and faith attatched to each one, brings full coverage to us as we walk covered by the blood of Jesus.

Let’s take advantage of this open enrollment season to upgrade our benefits where needed and to more fully understand and apply His benefits in our life. OK?

Let’s not forget all His benefits.


Your Peace Depends on This

I woke up suddenly recently, in the middle of the night with a phrase ringing in my mind and heart. It repeated over and over, and I couldn’t shake it…

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you…”

taken out of Isaiah 26:3 ESV

Over and over and over it played on repeat.

What was I to take from this? I heard the words and message, but what was it’s meaning? Who was it for? After some deep processing, and deeper study, I have something to share with YOU, and your peace depends on it.

There are more than a few ways that our personal peace is being ripped off. We are bombarded by so many issues, needs and concerns that our mental peace is often in a fragile state. No matter the age or station in life, mental health issues are exploding off the charts as men, women and children are trying to cope and find peace in these times.

Triggers, safe zones, microaggressions, and mental health days are abounding, while personal peace is disappearing and being able to find it is becoming less likely as we look to fill our gas tank, buy groceries, pay bills or enjoy life.

Here’s the deal, remember that phrase I woke up to? In it we find what our peace is dependent on. Your peace, my peace is dependent on what we keep our mind focused on. Here’ another way of saying it…

Perfect, absolute peace surrounds those whose imaginations are consumed with you.”

Isaiah 26:3, The Passion Translation

Your peace is dependent on what your imagination is consumed with. Seriously. What is your mind and imagination consumed with?

  • worry
  • concerns
  • questions
  • doubt
  • details
  • what ifs
  • hopelessness
  • confusion
  • frustration
  • uncertainty
  • worst case senarios
  • indecision

When these things consume our thinking we find ourselves imagining the worst, worrying about what might or could happen. We are consumed with the negative and our imagination builds a framework of action based on those negatives.

“YESER” is the Hebrew word in Isaiah 26;3 for mind. It literally means,

conception, form, framing, purpose, imagination.” The lexicon goes on to say, “to lean, lay, rest or support.”

Strongs condordance H3336

Stay with me here because what this is telling us is – what we consume our thinking with becomes the fertile bed in which new ideas are formed and purpose is bred. The mind or imagination that leans, lays or rests (on God) for support will find perfect peace permeating their thoughts, words and actions.

In fact, it is from our imagination, that our reality is built. It is our imagination that forms and frames our reality.

Think about that. Our imagination is the God given ability we have to form mental images of things not present. Our imagination is the power we have to go beyond our senses to things never before perceived. Our imagination is our creative ability. It is our ability to confront and deal with a problem. It is evidence of a thinking or active mind.

Psychologists agree that there is a strong connection between the mind and the body, even though they do not completely understand it. They also agree that imagination allows a person to make creative connections and inferences. There are entire lists of ways in which your imagination is vitally important to you. Again, I would say, your peace depends on your imagination, on what you are imagining.

In the nine times that imagination is mentioned in the bible, you will find these things said about man’s imagination:

  • Genesis 6:5 – every imagination of man’s heart was evil, all the time
  • Genesis 8:21 – man’s imagination is evil from youth
  • Deuteronomy 31:21 – (God says) I know what they are inclined to do
  • 1 Chronicles 28:9 – serve Him with your whole heart & willing mind (imagination) He understands every thought and plan
  • Psalm 103:14 – He knows our frame (imagination)

I find it staggering the evil proclivity that lies within our imagination. And here we think that we’re not so bad. Sure, when we look at “those people” they are evil, but certainly not me. Oh Lord, help us.

My peace, your peace depends on what our imagination is consumed with. AND, without it being governed or ruled by the Holy Spirit, we are leaning on that seedbed of evil concoctions that have sprouted from worry, fear, doubt, and what ifs.

Colossians 3:15 tells us we must allow the peace of God to rule in our heart and mind.

Romans 8:6 reminds us that the mind that is governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Even our opening verse, Isaiah 26:3, that repeating phrase I woke up with, “you keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You.”

Peace only comes from choosing to keep our imagination stayed on God’s goodness, peace, mercy, grace, and power. When my mind and imagination is “stayed” or leaning on and taking hold of His Word and promises, only then, do I find personal peace.

If the negative in my mind and imagination can be a seedbed for framing my negative reality, how much more, when the Word of God, faith, trust, hope, peace of God, is consuming my thoughts and mind will my reality be shaped and tailored by God’s truth.

When the Spirit governs my thoughts and consumes my imaginations, then the peace of God can rule in my heart and life. Being consumed with anything else is what wars against our peace.

I love that God’s intended purpose for our imaginations is for us to dream and think BIG. Dream and think creatively, freely, positively, faith-filled creations. Why? Cuz He wants to top what we consider our biggest imagined reality. Check it out:

He is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, acording to His power at work within us…”

Ephesians 3:20 ESV

God’s reality for us is so much better than what we are walking in. And He has given us the key to creating His reality in our lives. Let your mind race with imaginations of God’s Word, His power, His grace, His possibilities and see if you haven’t created a new reality for yourself. THEN, watch God top that. Watch Him eclipse your biggest expectation. Watch Him outdo you. Cuz He’s the Creator, after all.

Your peace depends on what your imaginations are consumed with. Only you can do that self-check. But please do.

Your peace depends on it.

At peace,


Constitution Review part 4

In this, our last review of the U.S. Constitution, we will address a couple more items: Amendmends 11-27 and a hot button issue, The Electoral College. If you care for more about our Constitution, please see my previous posts: Constitution Day, Constitution Review parts 1,2 and 3.

Remember, the first 10 amendments are called The Bill of Rights and were ratified as a package deal, as prescribed for amendments in Article V of the Constitution. Those first 10 were ratified in 1791. Each of the remaining 17 amendments have been added to the document from 1795 to present day.

Since the ratification of The Bill of RIghts, some 11,000 other amendments have been proposed through the years. Of the 27 amendments that are part of our Constituion, 25 of them are currently active. The 18th – having to do with prohibition and the 21st – dealing with it’s repeal are inactive.

Lastly, before we dive into those last amendments, let’s recall that as prescribed by the Constitution, it can only be changed (amended) in the following, complicated ways. Complicated because the Framers did not want this document to change with the shifting winds of society or the latest fads of the people. There are four ways prescribed but one of these two procedures were used for every amendment since the Bill of RIghts.

  • A proposal by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress or
  • Ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures.

So, let’s review Amendments 11-27, shall we?

Amendment XI – 1795 – bans lawsuits brought by citizens of one state against another state. This was introduced to overrule a Supreme Court decision in a Georgia case.

Amendment XII – 1804 – electing the President and Vice President, electors, tallying votes and certifying votes. Again, this one was introduced to deal with an issue in the previous election.

Amendment XIII – 1865 – abolished slavery. Proposed during the raging Civil War, it became the law of the land!

Amendment XIV – 1868 – Rights of citizenship, the states obligations and due process. Suffice it to say, this, one of the meatiest amendments, is also one of the most controversial. Included in this amendment are these issues – equal protection laws, state or federal citizenship, age discrimination, capital punishment, segregation, busing, affirmative action, and gerrymandering. The four sections in this amendment have been torn apart, redefined, scrutinized, and agrued over for over 150 years.

Amendment XV – 1870 – Bans racial discrimination in voting.

Negros gain the vote

Amendment XVI – 1913 – Congress is granted power to collect income tax

Amendment XVII – 1913 – Senators seats and their vacancies

Amendment XVIII – 1919 – Prohibition of intoxicating liquors

Prohibition days

Amendment XIX – 1920 – Women’s right to vote

Women gain the vote

Amendment XX – 1933 – New inaguration date for President and terms date for Congress

Amendment XXI – 1933 – Repeal of Prohibition – Amendment 18

Amendment XXII – 1951 – Limits President to 2 terms

Amendment XXIII – 1961 – The Disctict of Columbia, (Washington D.C.) is granted voting rights

Amendment XXIV – 1964 – Poll taxes are banned

Amendment XXV – 1967 – Vice President takes over for President in the event of death, removal, resignation or incapacity

Amendment XXVI – 1971 – Voting age is reduced to 18

Amendment XXVII – 1992 – Pay increases for Congress shall take effect after elections

It’s been thirty years since any new amendments have been ratified. Are we due? What issues do you think should be addressed by amendment to the standing rule of law for our federal government?

There are really too many controversial issues attached to portions of our governing document for me to address. But I have one that I chose to address. That is the issue of the Electoral College.

I know of many who still do not even understand what the electoral college is much less it’s purpose and why the framers included such a convention into our election process. Allow me, if you will to attempt explanation.

Each state has a specific number of electors

Understanding the Electoral College

  • The Framers took 60 ballots to settle the election process involving electors
  • The President and Vice President shall be chosen by the casting of ballots of the electors, not upon popular vote
  • The term electoral college is NOT in the constitution
  • “electors” are though, and refered to in Article II and in the 12th Amendment
  • these electors are appointed in each state according to the number of representatives and senators. example: CA 55 representatives and 2 senators = 57 electors
  • Electors cast their vote based upon the popular vote of their respective state. So, if the majority of CA voters voted for candidate A, that one would receive all 55 electoral votes for CA
  • This is based on the “winner take all system” which is used in all but 2 states.
  • Nebraska and Maine do not use this “winner take all” system
  • This is why is it possible for a candidate to have a lead in popular votes but not in electors (and vice versa)
  • 270 electoral votes are needed for a candidate to be elected President of the US. (regardless of if they received the most votes in the popular vote)
  • The Framers fought to make sure that each state had equal say in the election of the nation’s president. Not just the bigger, more populated states.

On a personal note here – Many are inclined to do away with The Electoral College believing that the popular vote should decide the presidental winner. They put forth the problem as The Electoral College itself. I DISAGREE. The problem is NOT with the electors and that process, it is with the winner take all distrubution of votes by the states.

Again, in the winner take all system, it does not matter whether the candidate wins by few or many votes. If he/she wins, then they are allotted ALL of the electors. THAT IS THE PROBLEM in my view.

I believe Nebraska and Maine, have it closer to right by allowing votes within each district to be tallied and the state’s electors split if needed, thereby dividing their electors between candidates based on the number of popular votes.

It’s no wonder that The Framers took so many ballots to try and get this right.

The bottom line to remember, when you vote (and I sure hope that you do), your vote is telling your state’s electors who to vote for. If you live in a winner take all state, then all of your electors will go to the candidate with the most popular votes.

If you don’t like the winner take all system, rally, write, and speak up in your state to change it.

I appreciate your support for these blogs and trust that your vote will be well informed and your patriotism renewed.

God bless America, the land that I love.


Constitution Review part 3

Today’s review will focus on The Bill of Rights section of the US Constitution. Do you recall what The Bill of Rights includes? Can you name some of those rights?

Because I am a teacher of over 40 years, let’s take a little quiz, to review what we have studied so far. Skip ahead if your quizzing days are behind you for good.

  1. What are the major parts of the Constitution called?
  2. What do the first three Articles tell us about?
  3. Where do we find the phrase, “We The People”?
  4. What was the original intention of the Constitutional Convention?
  5. Why is The Constitution such an important document?

For the correct answers and your score, scroll to the end of this post. Good luck.

As mentioned in an earlier post, there were many to The Constitutional Convention who refused to sign the Constitution unless it contained rights for the individual. They were equally sure that the rights of the American individual must be upheld and enshrined as they were that the federal government be strengthened. Therefore, a Bill of Rights was drafted and included in Constitution soon after it was ratified.

THE BILL OF RIGHTS – was ratified on December 15, 1791 as a package deal. In the deal were the first 10 Amendments which were designed to stop Congress from taking away rights that already existed. The rights listed in these 10 amendments were not new rights granted by the Framers, but ones the Framers assumed already existed for everyone. They wanted them codified.

The First Amendment – The wording of the 1st Amendment begins like this –

Congress shall make no law…”

Amendment I – The US Constitution

This first amendment is clearly directed at the Congress and they are instructed that they shall make no laws regarding these personal rights:

  • establishing a religion (The US did NOT want to have a church sponsored religion like The Church of England had),
  • prohibiting the free exercise of religion (worship as you choose),
  • after religion, the next freedoms assumed were
  • free speech and expression
  • freedom of the press
  • freedom to assemble peacefully and
  • freedom to petition the government with grievances

Each of these rights, are listed in Amendment I of our Constitution and are the binding, supreme law of our land for all. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech and press, and freedom to peacefully protest against our government are guaranteed to American citizens in our Constitution.

Although, these statements seem pretty simple and straightforward, suffice it to say, that through Supreme Court rulings their interpretations have established new precedents for what these amendments may actually mean. Agree or disagree, these rulings have affected us today.

The Second Amendment – the right of the people to bear arms, or own firearms shall not be taken away.

Again this seems clear, you have a right to own a weapon and that right cannot be taken away. But the argument arises, is this amendment speaking to the colonial days when a militia was made up of farmers and common people who possessed their own guns, or to anyone today who chooses to own a weapon for recreational or any other purpose?

The Third Amendment – during times of peace no soldier can stay in your house without your permission. In times of war, soldiers can invade and stay in your home “only as prescribed by law”. Yippie.

The Fourth Amendment – your right against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and warrants may be granted only for probable cause and specific locations detailed within it.

This is the amendment that supposedly keeps the Feds off of your back and out of your house. But it also opens up issues like surveillance, court orders, excluding evidence, and police fishing expeditions for a vast array of information that is unspecified.

The Fifth Amendment – With five weighty issues herein, this amendment deals with these oft-times controversial issues:

  • the right against self-incrimination (I plead the 5th…don’t have to answere against myself)
  • the grand jury – a group of 16-23 people that form a bigger jury to determine if a person should be indicted or not. These people are involved in felonies and before a trial jury
  • double-jeapordy – you can’t be charged twice for the same crime; you can’t be convicted for a crime you’ve already been convicted of; and you can’t be given a second punishment for the same offense
  • due process – you are guaranteed a fair process in a trial or legal proceeding. (This is a fairly meaty concept with many more nuances, that I don’t care to go into here).
  • eminent domain – your private property, desired FOR PUBLIC USE by the government, cannot be taken from you without you being paid a fair price. (Think about the homes beside an expanding freeway. These are for public use and must be paid a fair price.)

The Sixth Amendment – guarantees you a fair “speedy” trail by jury and an attorney for your defense. It also adds the fact that you are considered innocent until proven guilty by the jury. There are a variety of other guarantees to you should you go to criminal trail.

The Seventh Amendment – you are guananteed the right to a trial by jury in civil cases as well.

The Eighth Amendment – excessive bail nor fines shall be imposed on you and no cruel and unusual punsihments shall be inflicted. Goodie.

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments – neither of these really deal with personal rights. Both are generalizations and often misunderstood, so I’ll give it my best.

Ninth Amendment – The 21 words comprising this amendment are given to help us interpret the Constitution and tells us that if something is not mentioned in the Constitution specifically, then that right belongs to the people. Within the Constitution are certain rights but those aren’t the only rigts an individual has. Before the Constitution even was, the people had rights, and the Constitution shall not deprive people of those always held rights.

Tenth Amendment – tells us that either the federal government, state government or the people have the power. Even though the power began with, We The People, we delegated some of it to the federal government, and what they didn’t receive was for the states. If a certain power wasn’t specified to either of those, then it still belongs to the people.

Our freedoms are not to be taken lightly by us or given up, yielded or snatched away by another. They are if you will, God given liberties. May we value them and hold firmly to them, not just for us, but for our children and grandchildren.

See you next time for our final review.


Quiz Review answers

  1. Preamble, Articles, Amendments
  2. Our 3 branches of governmemt – Legeslative, Executive, & Judicial
  3. In the Preamble
  4. to improve The Articles of Confederation
  5. it is the supreme law of our land, above all others. It tells us how our government is structured and how it is run.

Grading – if you tried at all, you get an A for effort. Way to go! If you got them all right, then you get an A+, now go and share what you know and your love of country. 🙂

Telling the Truth

In these days, few and rare are the ones who live with integrity and are honest in character. Telling the truth has morphed into something unrecognizable as truth, in these “post truth” days.

If you are game, click this on and remind yourself that you want to be that person of integrity and character.

Here are the notes.

Let’s commit to be the ones who “tell the truth in love” as we let our light shine in this dark world.