Awake, Awake, Deborah!

Deborah, under her palm

Please don’t stop reading because you are not named Deborah. This is a clarion call to way more than those named Deborah and may certainly be missed by many who are named Deborah. Please keep reading to see what I mean.

I must confess that this is a bit of a “soapbox” issue for me. By that, I mean –

I am quite impassioned about it! But it has not been my passion only, nor has it been only within the context of our modern times.

Since about the year 1237 BC this clarion call for Deborah to awake has sounded. So, I have been a relatively late addition to that call. What is it exactly? I’m glad you asked.

It is a call for women to rise up in the fullness of their giftings and promptings to inspire, challenge and lead their generation in divinely directed strategies towards divinely destined victories. Men, aren’t left out in this call, so don’t click out, they, too, have a place. Let’s look at it’s origins.

In the book of Judges we find the chronicles of the 12 Judges of Israel. These Judges served as the governmental leaders of the time, the time before the kings of Israel. This period covered approximately 272 years in Irasel’s history. The first Judge was Othniel and the last of the 12 was Sampson. Although Samuel was considered both a Prophet and the final Judge in Israel, before the first king – Saul.

Judge number 4 was a woman named Deborah. She is the only woman to serve as a Judge and as a ruler over Israel. She and Samuel are the only Judges who were also prophets. Read it, it is remarkable.

This Deborah was quite the woman in her generation. She was married to a guy who must have been a gem of a guy. His name was Lappidoth, which means “torches”. Other than his name in Judges 4:4, he is never mentioned again in the Bible. But when he is mentioned, as her husband, and we understand the firey meaning of his name, we realize that he was exactly what she needed when she came home at the end of her Judges day, Tired, burnt-out, and frazzled from holding court all day, her fire was relit by her loving husband. Together, they buzzed (her name means “bee”) for 40 years as Israel’s first couple.

What did she do? Well as just mentioned above, all day she sat under a palm tree, between Ramah & Bethel, where villagers brought their grievances and disputes to her for her legislative decisions and wise counsel. It was long and grueling, but she was anointed, and appointed by God for the job.

Where things get dicey is when God gives her a strategy for Israel’s victory over the king of Canaan & his army commander Sisera.

She is to tell a man named Barak,

” Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, “Go gather your men…and I will draw out Sisera to meet you and I will give him into your hand” ?”

Judges 4:6-7 ESV

She was calling out Barak, and reminding him of the word that the Lord had given to him. The word that he had failed to perform. The word that would bring victory to Israel. Deborah’s anointing was to awaken Barak, to get with the program and to quit procrastinating. The life of the nation depended on his action.

He heard her, and her challenge, but he still was lacking in confidence to complete his task. Look at his response –

“If you will go with me, I will go, but if you will not go with me, I will not go.”

Jud. 4:8 ESV

Not exactly a warrior’s response, right? She, of course, told him to saddle up, she would go with him, and, oh, by the way, you just blew your shot for glory, buddy, cuz Sisera will fall at the hand of a woman. Jud, 4:9

As the story goes, Sisera winds up running from Barak & Deborah’s army and slips into the tent of Heber & his wife Jael. It doesn’t end well for Sisera, for as he lies sleeping, Jael finds a tent peg and a hammer, & literally nails Sisera’s temple to the floor of her tent. It is quite the story, and ends with, “… and there lay Sisera dead, with a tent peg in his temple.” 4:22

Victory is declared and everyone is happy as the ememy is defeated. And amazingly, the entire next chapter, Judges 5, is a 31 verse song that was sung by the duet of Deborah and Barak. Seriously. 31 verses. In it, they sing of the state of Israel before the battle, which tribes rallied to help in the battle, how faithful God was in the battle and what a great vistory Jael had achieved. Yay! “And the land was at rest for 40 years.” Jud. 5:31

In verse 12 of the song it says this –

“Awake, awake, Deboarah! Awake, awake, break out in a song.”

Jud. 5:12 ESV

Hence, our call for the Deborah’s in spirit to AWAKE! And for their Lappidoth’s to arouse themselves too.

I believe we are living in the days of this Deborah anointing. I have been hearing it from many spiritually keen representatives and I agree fully. This is a call for women to rise up in the fullness of their giftings and promptings to inspire, challenge and lead their generation in divinely directed strategies towards divinely destined victories.

It is a call for their torches to be lit by one’s who love and support them. It is a call for the Barak’s to take hold of the promises and instructions from God and go forth in victory. It is a call to a nation to follow God’s perscriptions for winning battles and to move in obedience, lolligagging no longer.

Deborah’s anointing will empower women to judge with discernment. Operate in the Spirit of knowledge & wisdom, mother a generation totally confused about nurture and nature, deliver God given strategies, stir up tribes to rally and men to fight, and sing songs of praise and victory as worshipping warriors.

Perhaps that is why there is such a fierce war against women these days. Because the enemy is trying to keep the spirit of Deborah and Lappidoth silent, bridled, snuffed out and asleep. For if they were to awake, the enemies demise would be inflicted just as a tent peg to the temple.

May the spirit and anointing of Deborah awake within you today. There’s a battle to be fought and won.

Awake, awake Deborah.

Debbie (Debra)

“What is a woman?’

Mother’s Day 2022

Six weeks ago, on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, before a Judicial hearing of Congress, Senator Blackburn famously asked Supreme Court nominee, Judge Jackson if she could define what a woman was. This was her response –

” Can I provide a definition? No, I can’t. Not in this context, I’m not a biologist.”

My friend, I am not a biologist either, but on this Mother’s day, I will share with you the biblical definition of a woman.

Of course, this takes us back to the beginnings, even before biology was known or studied. In Genesis 1:27, we are told that God created mankind in His own image and likeness. He created mankind/humans (“man”/”adam” in Hebrew) male and female. Just like the Trinity was. Mankind, in male and female form was built, made and worked upon.

Then in Genesis chapter 2, we see in one verse, (2:7) the creation of the first man – “adam”, Adam.

“Then the Lord God formed the man of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.”

Half of mankind was made, in the representation or resemblance of a man. A male.

Later on in Genesis, as Adam is surveying and naming all the animals, God says, (to whom I’m not sure), “It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make a helper fit for him”. Gen. 2:18 And then we read of the creation of Eve – woman, the female counterpart of the Godhead. (which takes six verses to describe, jus’ sayin’…:-))

God puts Adam into a deep sleep so that He can surgerically remove a rib from his chest, and close him back up without disturbing his rest. When he wakend, he was pretty excited because he saw someone/thing like him, not with fur, scales or feathers like the animals. He said,

“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man.”

Genesis 2:23

God called her woman when he brought her to Adam, but Adam named her woman at this time. What’s the Hebrew definition here, of “woman”?

“Woman, wife, female. Opposite of man. (empathetic, a genuine woman, travailing, bearing children, nursing woman, a wise woman, prophetess, wife, female.”

Strong’s #H802

I am not a biologist, but I am a Bible believer and declare to you that a woman is a female created in God’s image capable of also being a wife, bearing children, a wise woman or a prophetess!

If we were to list the characteristics of a woman from Genesis 1-4, this would be our list:

  • female created in God’s image Gen. 1:27
  • made from man’s side Gen. 2:2
  • called a woman by God Gen. 2:22
  • named a woman by Adam Gen. 2:23
  • a helper for man Gen. 2:18
  • to help man’s lonliness Gen. 2:18
  • becomes a wife Gen. 2:25
  • becomes a mother Gen. 4:1
  • conceives Gen. 4:1
  • Has pain in childbearing Gen. 3:16
  • is in pain bringing forth children Gen. 3:16
  • desire to dominate your husband Gen. 3:16
  • he will (your husband) want to dominate you Gen. 3:16
  • (Interesting note: THEY BOTH were given the charge to dominate the animals and earth & have DOMINION together – before the fall! Gen. 1:28 Instead, because of the fall, they would oppose each other & struggle for dominance within their family. Crazy!)

A woman is an adult female, made in God’s image and may become a wife, or conceive children. She also may be wise, empathetic, nurse and travail. She is different from man, who is also made in God’s image and likeness, and they are created to complement each other, help each other and represent the identity of God on Earth.

To tamper with these principles is to attempt to alter the identity of God Himself. He created male and female because the identity of the Trinity emcompasses male and female characteristics. That’s why males and females have the emotions, characteristics and feelings that they do. Duh! They came from the God who also has them.

In a world who’s definitions are changing with each new fad or heresy, we must cling to THE TRUTH of the Word of God, it’s definitions, values and principles.

I am not a biologist, but in the words of Helen Reddy, “I am woman, hear me roar.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all women out there.

Debbie

Unfinished Work

At 7 PM, on October 20, 1968, a few thousand spectators remained in the Mexico City Olympic Stadium. It was cool and dark. The last of the marathon runners, each exhausted, were being carried off to first-aid stations. More than an hour ealrier, Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia – looking as fresh as when he statred the race – crossed the finish line, the winner of the 26-mile, 385 yard event.

As the remaining spectators prepared to leave, those sitting near the marathon gates suddenly heard the sound of sirens and police whistles. All eyes turned to the gate. A lone figure wearing number 36 and the colors of Tanzania entered the stadium. His name was John Stephen Akhwari. He was the last man to finish the marathon. He had fallen during the race and injured his knee and ankle. Now, with his leg bloodied and bandaged, he grimmaced with each hobbling step around the 400-meter track.

John Stephen Akhwari

The spectators arose and applauded him. After crossing the finish line, Akhwari slowly walked off the field. Later, a reporter asked Akhwari the question on everyone’s mind: “Why did you continue the race after you were so badly injured?”

He replied, “My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race. They sent me 7,000 miles to finish it.” (1)

Archippus, much like this Olympic runner, found himslef in a position of having lost sight of the finish line. Whether he had stumbled, been injured along the way or had just plain lost his strength or vision, he had stopped running his race.

We find him mentioned only two times in the New Testament, and it is in the first that we see him being told by the Apostle Paul,

” Be sure you give Archippus this message, “Be faithful to complete the ministry you received from the Lord.”

Colossians 4:17 TPT

Archippus had unfinished work that he needed to complete.

During his time, he and his family, (Philemon – probably his dad and Appia, his mom. Philemon 2) were somehow involved in the city of Colossae in advancing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. It must not have been without opposition and hardship for there were false teachings to be diffused, traditions to be dismantled, and Christianity was not even recognized as a legetimate or legal religion.

So whether he became sidetracked, exhausted, got mad and quit or just let it slide for others to handle, we do not know. What we do know is he needed to finsih the work that the Lord had given him. He had unfinished work to complete, and Paul had to remind him to finish what he started.

His race had somehow slowed and he may have been broken and bandaged, but his race was not completed. His work for the Lord had been started, but it needed to be finished. Paul reminded Archippus to get up, get back in the race and finish what had been started.

I love the way the Hawaiian’s say it –

” Tell Archippus dis: “All da work Da One In Charge tell you fo do, you betta do um now.”

Colossians 4:17 Hawaii Pidgen Bible

All da work!

If “The One in Charge” has given you a job to do, it’s best to complete it – all. All the way to the finish line. That is why He put you in the race, not just to start it, but to finish it.

I have a strong hunch that for you, my friend, there is unfinished work for you to finish. It is time to get back in the race, pick up that baton from where you left it, and run. It is time to complete that unfinished work.

Run strong and to the end,

Debbie

PS- Archippus did get back in the race, because Philemon 2, which was written 2 years later, tells us that he and his family formed a church in their home. He was back at it and ministering exactly where the Lord wanted him, completeing what he had been called to do.

  1. Edward K. Rowell, Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching; pg. 71, Finishing Well

Walking in the Spirit

Spiritual How-to’s

Growing in relationship with Jesus means evidence of this relationship shows in our life. It is a process, iniated by the Holy Spirit and carried out by our mutual laboring. We choose to walk in the Spirit or in the flesh. That’s what this video seeks to explain and inspire you with.

Happy walking…no need to run.

Debbie

Amazing Monday 4.25.22

Your amazing ear/hearing

At the beginning of each week I have tried to post something on the lighter side and with this post I will continue with that by adding a new category I am calling “Amazing Monday”. In these short, video snip-its I expect to share amazing facts about your body, or Earth, or some other practical factoids and draw some parallels.

Enjoy this first offering.

Keep your hearing happy.

Debbie

Adopted by Another

She was the 20 year old daughter of the town’s mayor, who had fallen in love with and married a man whom she would soon discover had a dark side. He was charismatic and oozed charm on his exterior, but underneath there was a vicious temper that was flagrantly violent. His threats were frequent and she knew danger was imminent.

Finding out she was pregnant, in her fear, she asked for and received help from the child’s grandparents. Although she and her newborn were given a room in their home, one day her husband stormed in with a buthcer knife and threatened to kill her, the baby and the nurse. The police came and settled the issue and shortly therefter a divorce was granted. Although the court ordered the biological father to pay child support and alimony, he adamantly refused, paid nothing and choose not to be a part of his son’s life.

Time passed and the mother met and married a paint salesman, who loved her and her 2 year old son. This love, prompted Gerald R. Ford to adopt Leslie as his own son, renaming him Gerald R. Ford Jr.. The family grew in love and in numbers and this is how the adopted, adult Gerald later described his family – (1)

Gerald Ford Jr. as a child

“My stepfather was a magnificient person and my mother equally wonderful. So I couldn’t have written a better prescription for a superb family upbringing.”

Adoptions with Love – President Gerald Ford

Leslie Lynch Jr. was adopted by another, received his new name Gerald R. Ford Jr., and years later became the 38th President of the United States.

President Ford

“Adoption is the most intentional process on Earth.”

Jody Cantrell Dyer

According to the dictionary, adoption is the act of taking as one’s own, a choosing by way of preference or approval: formal acceptance. In adoption, a person assumes the parenting of another. Child Welfare Information Gateway describes adoption as, “full permanent & legal members of a family” – that occurs through mutual assessment and the process of “home study”. Child Welfare tells us that there are tens of thousands of children waiting to be adopted.

The thing so precious and powerful about adoption is CHOICE. The adoptee is chosen, fully and formally accepted, even preferred, and completely approved of! An adopted child/person is 100% chosen, hand picked, every bit intentional. What a secure feeling! What a relief. What love! President Ford experienced this love, acceptance and approval. He had been adopted by another.

Want to know and see something else powerful?

“For it was always his perfect plan to adopt us as his delightful children, through our union with Jesus… so that his trememndous love that cascades over us would glorify his grace – for the same love he has for his Beloved One, Jesus, he has for us. And this unfolding plan brings him great pleasure!”

Ephesians 1:5-6 TPT

God’s plan has always been to choose you. Select you. Pick you. Want you. He aproves of you, accepts you and prefers you. He has chosen to adopt YOU. That means He wants to assume His parental rights and place you in His family with all of the privileges, rights and inheritance you are due. You belong in His family, bear His name, have family relationships through Him. You also have family responsibilities.

Jesus told His disciples in John 14, that in His Father’s house there were many rooms and He was going to prepare a place for them. One of those rooms is for you. It has your name on it. The family room of heaven, and the dinning room of heaven are yours as well. Jesus is getting it all ready for the family reunion that will one day come, when all of the kids and relatives will be home, and at last, be reunited.

You see, when you have been adopted by another, namely God through Jesus Christ –

  • You are a full member of God’s family
  • You have full rights and privileges in heaven
  • You have immediate access to God
  • You belong to His family
  • You bear His name
  • You have full share in the inheritance he has promised (2)
  • The devil no longer has parental rights over you, because you are not part of His family anymore

You no longer have to fear being harmed or not being good enough because you have received the spirit of adoption, that enfolds you into the family of God. Romans 8:15

He loves you so much, He is not satisfied with partial custody. He wants full custody of His children, so that He can lavish His tremendous cascade of love upon them. His kids make Him happy, He takes pleasure in loving His children and we can call Him, “Papa”, “Abba”, “Daddy”.

Now we’re talking security! Acceptance. Approval. That’s a family to be part of. He loves us like He loves Jesus. We are all part of His family because of our union with Jesus.

There is no greater prescription for a superb family upbringing. There is no greater family. God has chosen you and wants to be intricately involved in your whole life. He has lovingly adopted you and changed your name to His.

Adoption is the most intentional process on Earth or in heaven and there are thousands of children still waiting to be adopted into God’s family. Are you one? Have you received your full, legal adoption into God’s family by the blood of Jesus Christ? Are you exercising your rights and privileges as a son or daughter of God? Are you walking in your full inheritance of healing, provision, and power? Are you fulfilling your responsibilities with faithfulness?

Such confidence, and peace come to those who know that they have been adopted by another.

God bless you, Family,

Debbie

  1. Gerald Ford, Deserted by his Birth Father, WorldHistory.us
  2. KeepBelieving.com

Baskets, Bonnets and Bunnies

Easter 2022

I very much agree with the two thirds of voters in the U.S. who believe that the moral lessons of Passover and Easter are important to “ensuring a strong America for future generations”. So allow me to share three lessons today, based on baskets, bonnets and bunnies.

Easter baskets, as you know are a special basket made and used at Easter, filled with eggs, food, toys, or other colorful gifts. Whether they really are meant to pay homage to the pagan goddess of Spring and fertility, Eostre, and the image of her holding a basket on her arm, is not my point. My point simply is, these Easter baskets are usually filled with all sorts of good things!

Lesson 1 – Because of what Jesus did on the cross and by His resurrection from death, He has provided everything that we need. A basket of sorts, filled with good things, for this life and the eternal one to come.

“… seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”

2 Peter 1:2 NASB

” I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

John 10:10 NASB

God offers you the most colorful and abundant life basket, filled with the most powerful realities, promises, adventures, challenges, & relationships that you could ever imagine.

Easter bonnets – Wearing a new or fancy hat at Easter represents wearing new clothes for Easter and the new Spring season with its renewal. It represents offering our best on Easter. Irving Berlin made famous the Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, as he sang of the Easter parade that followed this display of new clothes, down 5th Avenue from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC. During the Depression, a new hat or refurbished one represented a simple luxury.

Lesson 2 – New hats and clothes are but trappings for the whole new life that Jesus offers us. A brand new way of thinking, being, doing and living – He made us a new creature from the inside out. THIS is lasting and won’t ever wear out or need to be refurbished. It is a life-long luxury. He offered His best for us!

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB

” Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father. so we too might walk in newness of life.”

Romans 6:4 NASB

Have you received the new life that Jesus purchased for you? Are you living your best life?

Easter bunnies – I’m sorry, but the first thing I think about with bunny rabbits is their superior reproductive abilities. After all, it is the European rabbit that has the distinction of being the number one mammal for reproduction. Cuniculturists (those who breed and raise domestic rabbits) tell us that rabbits draw little distinction between sexual behavior and social behavior. Humph… No wonder a female can potentially deliver up to 60 young a year! (Of course, an average 31 day gestation period helps, too.)

Lesson 3 – I want to steal the phrase, “Breed like rabbits.” As Christians, we have been given a job to do, go multiply and make disciples. We are to reproduce – especially spiritually.

” Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.”

Genesis 1:28 NASB

” Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20 NASB

Perhaps, between now and next Easter, we could commit to share our faith with others and reproduce disciples for Christ!? It is what we’ve been designed to do.

This and every Easter may we ensure a strong America for future generations by remembering the moral lessons of baskets, bonnets and bunnies.

He is Risen, indeed!

Debbie

“Scrambled Eggs”

Even the most talented people may not get it right the first time.

In a 1995 interview ex-Beatle Paul McCartney said he once wrote a song with the first line “Scrambled eggs, oh my baby how I love your legs.”

Have you ever heard that song?

Not likely. McCartney tossed those words and wrote, “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.”

Since then, “Yesterday” has played on the radio more than any other record in history. “Yesterday” also happens to be McCartney’s favorite song.

Here it is for you. Insert “Scrambled eggs” and enjoy. ha ha

The difference between failure and success – between “Scrambled Eggs” and “Yesterday” – is persistence. (1)

Keep at it,

Debbie

(1) Larson; Contemporary Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers & Writers; pg. 173, Persistence

The Politics of Rome

The Jews of Jesus day were not an easy people to rule. They had been conquered and dominated for centuries and now they were under Rome’s power. “Pax Romana” as it was known, wasn’t really peace, it was peace through coercion and violence. That was the politics of Rome.

Each year for Passover, 200,000 pilgrims would travel to Jerusalem from all over the region for their celebration. This made for a tense time in the city as the officials feared riots and the Jews feeling empowered by their celebrations thereby risking a revolt. So, Pontus Pilate was sent to the city at that time to keep it peaceful and maintain control. The Jews could hold their festival but military force would assure there would be no insurrection. The politics of Rome would reign supreme.

It was into this political climate that Jesus of Nazareth chose to go public.

Although he had traveled all over the region healing, performing miracles, and deeply affecting lives; and although his fame had spread oft-times ahead of him, he insisted on slipping away from crowds and warning many healed to go and tell no one. He refused the accolades, and attempts to promote him.

Palm Sunday, AD 29 was different.

On this day, Jesus chose to unravel the politics of Rome by going public with His right to claims as the Messiah. On this day, he made his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, as King of the Jews. On this day, he once again displayed cornerstones of His Kingdom, The Kingdom of Heaven.

He entered the city: (Matthew 21; Mark 11; Luke 19; John 12)

  • riding a donkey and it’s colt
  • and people put their coats on the animal and the ground ahead of him
  • people cut tree branches and spread them on the road
  • crowds shouted in front of and behind him
  • they shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David”
  • they shouted “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”
  • the whole city was stirred
  • the crowds praised Him for all of His mighty works
  • religious leaders told them to be quiet
  • Jesus told them if they kept quiet, the stones would cry out
  • and He wept over the city
  • saying, “I wish that you had known today the things that make for peace”
  • but you do not know the time of your visitation
  • He entered the Temple and drove out the moneychangers
  • He reinstituted His House as a house of prayer
  • crowds followed Him because they heard of Lazarus being raised from the dead

When Jesus entered the city that day, He was publically displaying the Kingdom of Heaven in its peace, humility, and victory. He was publically receiving and encouraging praise. He was publically allowing a parade of praise, peace and His power to be linked with Him and His Kingdom. He was publically contrasting the politics of Rome with the Kingdom of Heaven.

And the city “was stirred”. The residents took notice that something different was happening. The pilgrims took notice. Pilate the governor took notice. Herod the King too, they all took notice of Jesus’ parade through the streets and His influence over the people.

Jesus was political that day. He was political because He was influencing people on a civic and individual level. He was influencing people with The Kingdom of Heaven. He was showing all of them that heaven is a way of life, it is here and now. Not just a place we go to when we die. He was going public with the Kingdom of Heaven.

With everything in me I can tell you that this is an urgent season, this is a Palm Sunday Season, and it is time for God’s people to go public with the Kingdom of Heaven. Not just for a day or a week either.

These are the days for Christians to go public, when the Kingdom of God is put on display. When Jesus’ miracles and fame fills our cities and neighborhoods. In the face of coercion and violence, of cancel culture and persecution, and in the throws of the politics of our own Rome, we declare HOSANNA – save us! Blessed is the King who is coming.

In our own hostile politics, we can no longer shrink back in fear and allow the Pilate’s and Herod’s to rule over and intimidate us. We cannot allow government to coerce us with peace that comes by violence, for that is the politics of Rome.

We are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven!

In humility, true peace and total victory (by the Blood of the Lamb), we will demonstrate heaven on earth by living in alignment with The Word, and setting it as our standard in all things. We will speak up, show up, and stand up. We will declare the Truth of The Word in the hearing of those that spout lies. We will parade His greatness, show off His power, and not be silenced. (Although, I’d love to see and hear rocks cry out.)

We will pray, sing, have faith, see healings, miracles and the Kingdom of Heaven advance. We will be the passionate who advance His Kingdom passionately.

It is time to go public, my friend! The stakes are high and rising. The religious and the real are being sifted. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

You must choose with which kingdom you will identify – the Kingdom of Heaven or the Politics of Rome.

Happy Palm Sunday,

Debbie

He Knows Your Name

He sure does; please don’t doubt it, settle it.

Follow me here for just a moment –

” He determines the number of stars; he gives to all of them their names.”

Psalms 147:4 ESV

There are approximately 200 trillion galaxies in the observable universe. And there are thought to be an average of 100 million stars in each galaxy. That my friend, is 2 x 10 to the 22 power, or 200 quintrillion stars in the observable universe. (1)

these are stars
these are are galaxies

And every one of them is not only numbered by the Creator, but named by the Creator as well. He knows their name, each and every one.

named stars

My brain cannot even phanthom a number that large, much less the names to correspond with each star. Geesh, I can’t even remember a grocery list of 5 or 6 items.

But here’s where you come into this amazing picture.

” This is what the Lord says, He who created YOU, He who formed YOU; I have called YOU by name.”

Isaiah 43:1 ESV

” The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother, he named my name.”

Isaiah 49:1
in Mom’s womb

There are many other places too, where we are reminded that the Creator knows our name. Just as He knows and names the stars, even better He knows you, He knows your name.

He knows the names of the 108 billion people who have ever been born on this planet since it was created, all of them. And my friend, YOU are one of them. He knows your name.

There are times when we lose sight of our own signifigance. We forget our value. We think no one notices us or really cares about what is important to us. We think that our feelings, interests, desires, energies and deeds are overlooked or disregarded. At times we may even wonder if we are truly known.

Whether not not those thougts have swirled through your subconscious (or conscious) mind, the fact remains- HE KNOWS YOUR NAME. He knows your identity. He knows the very structure of your DNA with all of it’s nucleotide units. Including the exact number of hairs on your head. (Which by the way is somewhere between 80,000-120,000.)

Someone on the other side of this screen, needs to be reminded that YOU MATTER. Your name and your identity are noticed, valued, and intentional. He loves you, created you in your mother’s womb and knows your name.

So glad that He knows my name,

Debra L. Chaney

1. Space.com, Elizabeth Howell, Ailsa Hawkey; 2.11.22

Audacious Achsah

AKA The woman who dared to ask for more

The only daughter of Caleb and his wife, Achsah, was a jewel in her family, set among her three brothers. Her dad was a well respected prince in Israel, with a long history of heroic accomplishments, and through her childhood she and her brothers had beard of his many spy stories. It was he and Joshua, who chose to report on the promises of Yahweh being fulfilled when he and the other 11 spies were sent in to spy out the new land, rather than the giant obstacles that were there. For his faithful service to Yahweh, he was honored and respected both inside and out of his family. Caleb was audacious.

Caleb and his wife, marked their daughter with a name to represent their regard for her. She was their jewel, their anklet. Her walk would bring a lovely jingle, and a resounding note to everyone that she was approaching. People would hear her coming before she actually arrived. THAT was her heritage. THAT was the DNA that her famous Dad and Mom passed on to her. She would make audacious sounds and requests, like her Dad.

There was a time when Caleb was leading the men of Judah in battle for the city of Debir. He made this promise,

” He who attacks Debir and captures it, I will give him Ascsah my daughter for a wife.”

Judges 1:11-12 ESV

Now by all of our modern standards, this father’s promise is the height of misogyny. It’s hard for us in the the Western culture to comprehend. But in that day, and that culture, although women’s rights were limited, the assumption that a girl would be given in marriage was accepted and most of the time arranged. So, the fact that she would wed another prince and courageous Yahweh lover was a plus for Achsah. She understood, but she didn’t settle.

The warrior who captured Debir and was given Achsah as his wife was Othniel, Caleb’s nephew.

When the time came for them to wed, we see the audicious DNA of Achsah come jingling and shining forth, they all would now see who Achsah really was. She would resound as her voice was heard. This jewel would now be heard and seen.

” When she (Achsah) came to him (Othniel, her husband), she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Give me a blessing! Since you have set me in the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water.” And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.”

Judges 1:14-15 ESV

She was content to be the reward that Othniel was given, but she was not content with what she had been given.

After she URGED her husband to ask for land, she “got off her ass” (KJV) and respectfully TOLD her Dad to give her a blessing also. She was not about to settle for a dry piece of land at the edge of Judah’s border, with no source of fresh water. Without water, their land would be almost useless. She dared to ask for more.

The Septuagint adds this-

” …and Chaleb gave her according to her heart the ransom of the upper springs and the ransom for the low springs.”

Judges 1:15 The Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Torah)

This audacious, Achsah, this jewel of Caleb’s family, knew exactly what the desires of her heart were. In order to raise a family, they would need more than land, they needed water. With land and water their land would be fruitful and provide for their family. Othniel, a man of the Torah, and not a farmer, would have enough to supprot their growing family. She respected him, but she would not settle and audaciously asked for more.

Guess what? You read it, she got what she asked for. Not just one spring, but two. The upper and the lower springs! Her family would now prosper. Now she was content and could leave her Dad and cleave unto her husband. They would be one now.

This was a marriage arranged by God. Othniel was joined to an audacious woman, who spoke her heart, and did not settle, but wanted more and dared not only to believe for it, but ask for it. He learned to lean on her and her on him.

This Othniel, became the first judge mentioned in the book of Judges to oversee the land of Israel. And of this Othniel it is said, “the Spirit of the Lord was upon him and he judged Israel.” Judges 3:10 ESV

Can two walk together except they be agreed? Amos 3:3 Othniel and Achsah were a pair to be reckoned with. The Spirit of the Lord was on them in one of Israel’s darkest seasons. And for forty years the land had rest, under their leadership. Judges 3:11

My friend, if you are married, there is more for you and your spouse. Will you dare to believe for it and ASK for it? What is in your heart? Be audacious. Urge God. Lift your voice, make some noise, jingle like Achsah’s anklet.

Are you single? Will you dare to ask for more? Do you even want more? Are you content? Have you settled? Are you satisfied? There is more for you, what is in your heart? ASK FOR IT. Tell your Father you want more!

Our Father has upper springs (heavenly resources and appointments) and lower springs (earthly, temporal necessities) to give us. They are there for the asking. Dare to ask for more!

“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.”

Luke 11:9 ESV

I dare say, it’s time to “get off our ass” and ask for more!

Be bold, be courageous, be impudent, and be audacious like Achsah.

Go with God,

Debbie

The Measure of a Man

This past week I found myself taking two different “assessments” to help me determine those things that lie within me as strengths and weaknesses. Of the results, one was not surprising to me at all, I read the conclusions and agreed with the assessment. The other was more revealing to me. For in it “they” saw things in me that I didn’t know about and therefore could not see. I was glad to have taken both assessments.

Probably because of those assessments, I began some self-evaluation. Then, this phrase BURST into my thinking – “the measure of a man“. I don’t know why, where it came from or the origins of the phrase, but I determined to pursue it, because, here I was considering within me, what my measure was, how was I measuring up, and by what do I measure my life. What, in fact, is the measure of a man?

After sweeping aside the current and ridiculous arguements about what is a man or a woman, and following some shallow search, I discovered that the phrase was pretty much made popular by two speeches given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1958. His speeches, (What is Man? and The Dimensions of a Complete Life) were so highly regarded by the attendees at those speeches, that they were published together in a book entitled, “The Measure of a Man”. Voila!

In his “What is Man?” speech, Dr. King addresses what he considers to be the “most important questions confronting any generation”, proposing that man is “a biological being, a spirit being who is made in the image of God, and a sinner in need of God’s divine grace”.

“In his “The Dimensions of a Complete Life”, King finally asks God: “help us to discover ourselves, to discover our neighbors, and to discover thee and to make all part of our life.” (1)

“Help us to discover ourselves” is such a wise and powerful request, and not just for Dr. King.

For when we dare to look within ourselves, to honestly assess what lies there, we will find things that are not at all surprising to us and then again, we will discover those things that we had no idea about, hidden in those deep recesses.

We are right to look within and discover. We are right to assess our strengths, weaknesses, our right and our wrong.

“Those who turn their backs on what they know is right will no longer be able to tell right from wrong.”

Proverbs 28:4 TPT

May we join Dr. King in the prayer to discover ourselves, our neighbor and the measure of a man.

Cheers to you,

Debbie

(1) Stanford University; The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute; The Measure of a Man

He’s A Keeper

When speaking with my girlfriend recently, I commented, “He’s a keeper”, referring to her new boyfriend, and her response was, “He is definately a keeper!”. We both were approving of their budding relationship. (He is also approving. ha ha)

Did you know that there is a list of signs you can look for to see if your friend’s boyfriend, your boyfriend or girlfriend is a keeper? (Or, how about your spouse?) I didn’t, but scan this list of signs to see if he’s a keeper: (1)

  • You are comfortable around him
  • He respects your uniqueness
  • You laugh together
  • You can discuss anything
  • He’s open to resolve conflicts
  • Understands when you act up
  • Your relationship gets better
  • He includes you in his plans
  • He has a good sense of responsibility
  • Your loved ones support your relationship
  • You are very happy
  • He is interested in your daily affairs
  • He notices intricate physical details about you
  • He remembers important things about you
  • He loves spending quality time with you
  • He says good things about you to his loved ones
  • He is excited anytime you succeed
  • He doesn’t blame you when you fail
  • He doesn’t expect anything in return when he does something for you
  • He doesn’t shy away from challenges
  • He is always real with you
  • He makes you feel on top of the world
  • He loves you

Have you found that kind of partner? It’s not too good to be true. Some of us have found in our spouse a keeper, so we know it is possible.

But more importantly, for all of us, male, female, single, or married you have a keeper!

“The Lord is your keeper…”

Psalm 121:5 ESV

I was impressed that six times in this eight verse chapter it mentions KEEP, KEEPER, or KEEPS. THE LORD IS A KEEPER. HE KEEPS US… HE WILL KEEP US

The Lord is a keeper!

Please be encouraged, refreshed, and reminded that the Lord loves you and keeps you. Here’s what that means:

“Hebrew 8104 = to hedge about (with thorns); guard, protect, body guard, to watch carefully over.”

Strong’s Concordance

You see, the Lord is your personal body guard. He is your protector and He carefully watches over you. He is jealous for you and will hedge you in a safe place, protected by the thorns of healing and victory that He purchased for you on the cross of Calvary, where He shed His blood, died and was resurrected.

Let’s look at the 6 KEEPS in this Psalm:

“He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

Psalm 121:3 ESV

There are three points to make here, my friend. 1- Your Keeper, will protect your steps, He will guard them. He will guard where you walk. He is your bodyguard, remember? 2- He is your individual keeper (guard), but He is also Israel’s guard. That means He keeps the nations of the Earth and guards them, (corporate guard) and He keeps you. (individual guard) Especially in these days, let’s not loose sight of the ONE who guards not only our steps but the nations. 3 – HE never sleeps or slumbers. Our Lord never takes a light nap on His watch over us, nor does He slip into a deep sleep. Never.

“The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.”

Psalm 121:5 ESV

As your Keeper, in the heat, stresses, and sweat of hot and troubled days, the Lord is your shade. He is the One to protect you, to cover you from the intense heat of the days as well as from the darkness that creeps in each evening and overtakes your thinking.

“The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevemore.”

Psalm 121:7-8 ESV

You can be confident that He will keep you from all evil. As you keep your heart turned toward Him in love and trust, He WILL keep your life from evil. It shall not come near you. He has hedged you in and is closely watching over you. Your life is in His hands. You are safe. (Better than Allstate)

When you leave the house, He is with you. When you get back home, He is with you. He has been with you the whole time. He is your body guard and is guarding you in the car, store, workplace, doctor’s office, post office, church, and on your walk, or during your workout. Every place you go, He goes, protecting you, guarding you, watching out for you.

He’s a keeper! He is your keeper.

No wonder the psalm writer began the psalm with –

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where my help comes from. My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 ESV

Oh, how often, we must lift our eyes up, and focus on the Lord – the One who created heaven and earth, the One who is not only our helper, but our Keeper. And as our partner, He actually fulfills everything on that list we started with – reread it. When you do, let it sink in that is exactly how the Lord feels about you, as your Keeper.

He is our helper and He’s definately a keeper.

Cheers to you,

Debbie

(1.) Marriage.com/SignsHeisakeeper . Rachel Pace 12/21

Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans

Once there was a daughter who complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. (1)

She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.

Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots with water began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.

He then let them boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.

After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the boiled eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He ladeled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked, “Daughter, what do you see?”

“Potatoes, eggs and coffee,” she replied.

“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.

“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.

He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and the coffee beans had each faced the same adversity – the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently.

The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.

The egg was fragile, with a thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.

However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.

“Which are you,” he asked his daughter, “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Today, my friend, I ask you, “Which are you?”

Cheers to you,

Debbie

  1. This story and modifications of it is a familiar one retold by many writers. Its author is unknown.

The Friday Psalm

This is the inscription that ancient writings (The Septuagint) gave to Psalm 93, and that the Talmud says was sung every Friday, in the Temple, by the Levites.

Why should you care about this ancient song, especially since it’s probably not Friday?

Psalm 93 is a short, (5 verse) declaration of God’s might, power, and holiness. I ran across it again this week, in my reading, and was so encouraged by it, that I wanted to share it so that you too would be encouraged, and perhaps even make it a weekly reminder, like the singing Jews did.

Let’s look into it.

When I was reading it, what stood out to me was three times it stated:

“The floods have lifted up...”

Psalm 93:3 ESV

Now, I’m smart enough to recognize that when something is repeated three times, it’s important. So these floods being lifted up is super important, but more exactly, they are describing a threatening storm, whose noise is loud, and filled with terror and even presenting danger.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring.”

Psalm 93:3 ESV

Living today, in March of 2022, I can’t help but feel these threatening floods rising up, and their loud and terror-filled voices seeking to overwhelm me. That is when I noticed, what follows in Psalm 93.

Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the seas, the Lord on high is mightier!”

Psalm 93:4 ESV

Like a lucky, three-leaf clover, I found within these verses of three thundering floods, a three-leaf promise that my GOD IS MIGHTIER! God is mightier than the noise of the floods. God is mighitier than the threat from the floods. God is mightier than the rising flood lines. God is mightier than the terror-filled voices. God is mightier!

THAT made my day. THAT helped to settle my uneasy spirit. That brought me renewed peace. God is mightier. Duh.

But I have since found that this short psalm is bubbling with effervescent and intoxicating truth. Check it:

The Psalm begins with:

“The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.”

Psalm 93:1 ESV

Here we have a picture of God’s dominion over all. He reigns! That is Yehweh, not another god. This is emphatically and decisively declared – “THE LORD REIGNS!”. He is clothed in majesty; in clothes that match his diignity and soverignity and authority. He is clothed in majesty as a King and strength as a General. Think of it, he can do anything!

The next verse says,

“Your throne is established from old; you are from everlasting.”

Psalm 93:2

Our God, the Lord, Yahweh, reigns forever! He is eternal and before any ruler, principality or power came into being he was ruling! His throne is not temporary, like the worlds. It is eternal and unchangeable. His authority extends over everyone and has always been.

It is in this context, that the writer then speaks three times of the scary floods approaching to overwhelm him, that we mentioned earlier. That means, the writer is declaring that God is not only mighty over these thunderous storms and floods, but he is triumphant over them.

No threatening storm, loud and terror-filled waves, or booming voices; no waves of danger or ungodly floods will be successful or harmful because HE REIGNS TRIUMPHANTLY. He always has and always will. He is clothed in majesty and strength and he is eternal. The Lord is mightier than the noise and the threats.

This wonderful, Friday song, closes with this verse:

“Nothing could ever change your royal decrees; they will last forever! Holiness is the beauty that fills your house, you are the one who abides forevermore!”

Psalm 93:5 TPT

When the writer saw the waves. the floods coming, the tide rising and heard the deafening waves crashing, what he also saw was the Lord God’s mighty power, authority and sovereignty. What he saw was the One who has always reigned, and still reigns over every power, principality, and person on the planet.

He saw that it is God’s Word that is final. His decrees that matter. For they are eternal and unchangeable.

This is effervescent because the reminder that the Lord reigns over the mess of the world and has it all in His control bubbles and boils out of us to those whose hope has gone flat and stale.

It is intoxicating because this truth of the Spirit fills us so that we are not uptight when we see waves and dare to believe that He who is living in us is mightier than the noise of the floods.

This Friday psalm should be our Friday song. We must weekly remind ourselves and those in our sphere of influence that our God reigns and is mightier than the threats and floods, and he is not going anywhere. HE REIGNS FOREVER.

Sing it,

Debbie

Our Lopsided Orbit

There are times when our lives feel off kilter, out of alignment, and going around in endless circles. Times of cycling through repeated motions with little purpose or meaning. Times when we seem caught in a gravitational pull from which there is no escape. Our life seems like it is in a lopsided orbit to nowhere.

Well, my friend, welcome to what the scientific community describes as seasons. All those descriptions and the earmarks of those on our life, are telling us that we are experiencing the seasons of life. Those describe the very why there are seasons on Earth and thereby in our personal life.

Seasons are caused because Earth is lopsided as it spins on it’s axis once each day. And because Earth is titled, and the axis is not straight, that exposes the light of the sun to different parts of the Earth at different times, thereby causing seasons on Earth.

Sometimes parts of the globe are close to the sun at 91,000,000 miles and other times are far away at 94.5000.000 miles. But because Earth’s tilt on her axis is 23.5 degrees as she orbits and revolves, we have our seasons.

Her lopsided orbit causes seasons.

As James Taylor and Carol King sang, we have “Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall”.

What is true of Earth, is true for you and me. Because of our lopsided orbit, our “imperfect alignment”, we experience seasons of life.

You know what I mean, times when we just can’t seem to find our purpose, joy or direction. (winter) Other times when we are so busy that we can’t keep up and become overwhelmed. (fall) Or those long and dreary dry times when all we do seems like sweat and work, (summer) And then there are days of joy, and newbirth like spring.

In my early childhood days, seeing and recognizing the seasons on the farms in Iowa was easy. But in our daily lives it is not so easy to recognize the season that we are in. And what makes it even worse, is the fact that we are constantly comparing ourselves to and with others. We look at someone else and say, “They’ve got it together, look at how productive they are and how their life is filled with purpose.” When in fact, what we need to understand is they are probably in a different season than we are. (Not to mention they are entirely different people than we are with different life experiences, maturity levels, weaknesses and strengths AND in whose private life we have no idea what they are dealing with.)

We are surrounded by people that we love, admire and respect who are in differnt seasons that we are. It is always unwise to compare.

But more importantly, recognizing the season that you are in is vital.

SPRING – seeds take root, vegetation grows, it’s warmer, wetter, animals wake, new babies & melting snow

SUMMER – temperatures increase, heat waves and droughts, less water, more fires

FALL – Temperatures cool, plants go dormant, preparation for winter

WINTER – chill, cold, often a change in appearance to adapt

These are what we see in our natural world during the seasons. In what ways can you apply these characteristics to your life and the season that you are currently in?

Try these seasonal interpersonal characteristic applications.

SPRING – joy after dormancy. Pruning, shaping

SUMMER – dryness, need spiritual food

FALL – harvest, bear fruit, reaping

WINTER – introspection, examination, change

” For everything there is a season…”

Ecclestiates 3:1 ESV

I charge you, please realize that the times when your life feels off kilter, out of alignment, and going around in endless circles, the times of cycling through repeated motions with little purpose or meaning, and the times when you seem caught in a gravitational pull from which there is no escape; in those times of lopsided orbit to nowhere- YOU ARE IN A SEASON that will end.

What season is it? Identify it, learn from it, grow in it. What season is next? Prepare for it. And don’t compare!

Tilt, rotation and revolution cause seasons. Remember, it is your lopsided orbit that causes your seasons.

Cheers to you,

Debbie

The Red Rider’s Permit

Are we living in the days of the rider on a red horse, that John, the beloved, wrote of in Revelation? I don’t know, but look at what John said…

” Out came another horse, bright red. It’s rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that the people should slay one another…”

Revelation 6:4 ESV

Whether we are or not, it certainly appears that permission has been granted for peace to be taken from the earth. From the war in Ukraine, Covid mandates, rising drug addictions, mental health issues and political infighting, peace is being taken from the earth. Peace is being taken from hearts and minds. Peace has been permitted to be taken.

Probably, even within your heart or the heart of a loved one, you’ve seen a wearing away of peace and a rise in anxiety, fear, depression and pending doom.

But today, I am here to remind you of what Jesus has given to you– in spite of what the red rider has been permitted to take.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

John 14:27 ESV

Read that again, in another translation –

” I leave the gift of peace with you – my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts – instead, be courageous!”

John 14:27 TPT

When Jesus came to Earth, He came as the Prince of Peace, Isaiah 9:6 tells us. That means He is the “Captain, Commander, General & Governor of Peace. He alone is the leader with immediate authority over everything, and He alone is the leading priest, above all others.” (That’s actually what “prince” means in the Hebrew there.) In fact, isn’t that what the angels proclaimed at His birth? “Peace on Earth, good will to all men.”?

Additionally, to encourage you if you’ve found yourself dealing with fear, worry, concern & lack of peace… remember after Jesus raised back to life, and He went to find his 12, make that 11, “mighty disciples”, they were hiding in fear behind bolted doors and in denial of what Mary had told them about the empty tomb.

It was to THOSE mighty disciples that Jesus appeared and said,

“Peace to you!”

Luke 24:36

Or as John puts it –

“Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this He showed them His hands and his side…. then He said to them again, “Peace be with you”.

John 20:18-21 ESV

Here they were, totally engulfed in fear, anxiety, worry and even unbelief, and Jesus walks through the walls to tell them AGAIN, “Peace be with you.”.

Their peace had been taken. Their peace had been stolen. Their peace had been taken away when they saw Jesus crucified and buried. That’s why He showed them His scars and reaffirmed His offer of peace to them.

My friend, in these days, when our peace is being stolen, may I remind you of these profound promises?

  • “In me you will have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
  • “Peace from God our Father.” Rom. 1:7
  • “For the Kingdom of God is righteousness, PEACE, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Rom. 14:17
  • “The God of hope will fill you with peace…” Rom. 15:13
  • “The God of peace will be with you.” Rom. 15:33
  • “The God of peace will soon crush Satan…” Rom. 16:20
  • “God is not the God of confusion, but a God of peace.” 1 Cor. 14:33
  • Peace is a fruit of the Spirit. Gal. 5:22
  • “He is our peace who has broken down every wall.” Eph. 2:14-18
  • “The peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds.” Phil. 4:7
  • “The peace of God will rule in your hearts…” Col. 3:20
  • “Seek peace and pursue it.” 2 Pet. 3:11
  • “grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and Jesus.” 2 Pet. 1:2

You see, scripture is full of reminders to us who become anxious and alarmed, that as we adjust our focus to God and His kingdom, where Jesus reigns as the Prince of Peace, we find our internal storms calming. Just like when Jesus told the storm on the sea – he says to our mental storm – “Peace be still”. And guess what? It has to obey Him, cuz He has all power and authority. He’s the Commander, and His peace surpasses our understanding.

The reality of Jesus’ peace for us becomes evident when we realize that although we live in this earthly kingdom with wars and other robbers of peace, we belong to another, eternal kingdom that is very much real. Our focus has to stay on the Prince of the Heavenly Kingdom – Jesus, and not the rider on a red horse with his permit, for he has only limited permissions.

Our Jesus, who is Faithful and True, the King of Kings, will come again on a horse, as well, and the kingdom of this world will become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever. Revelation 11:15

The red rider may have permits to take your peace, but he needs your permission too, and you do not have to give it to him because Jesus has given you His peace.

Shalom,

Debbie

How to love the Lord

In this Spiritual How-to, we find out how to love him rather than rather than try to fulfill some legalistic list of do’s and don’ts.

The notes for this teaching, with the bible references are available on the Spiritual How-to’s tab and Bible Studies tab.

Blessings to you,

Debbie

Tips to help you L.A.U.G.H.

Did you know that there is a whole psychology developed around joy, that there is a thing called “the psychology of joy”? In it, we are given strategies that promote joy, reasons for lack of joy and the like. Bottom line, there is a large and credible stack of evidence that joy and laughter is vital for a healthy human’s being.

It really doesn’t take any effort to live in these days of “dust to ashes, mormid-mindedness”. Just pay attention to the news, world & local events or listen closely to people’s conversations. But here, today that is not our goal. I’d like to share with you tips that I have found to help me find joy and laughter in my days.

That great philosopher (and guitarist), Carlos Santana once said,

“If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.”

So, if you’re wanting to add more joy & laughter to your life, try there proven tips:

L. – little kids

Find little kids and address them, talk to them, listen to them and you will LAUGH. I promise!

A. – adults

Adults who take themselves too seriously are incredibly funny humans to watch. And often, in them, we see ourselves, which is even funnier. Go ahead and laugh at them.

U. – U/YOU

You are hilarious, look closely, shake your head in disbelief at what you just did and then laugh at yourself.

G. – genuine

Be genuine in your laughter; not that stuffy, proper and condescending garden-party fake laughter. And while you’re being genuine, find those times of GUT WRENCHING laughter. You know the kind, when tears fill your eyes and roll down your cheeks, when your sides hurt and you are out of breath…

H. – no hurry

Don’t be in a hurry everywhere you go. Slow down. Our hurriedness hurls us right past those moments that will brighten up our days and at very least bring a smile to our face, if not an outloud laugh through our mouth.

We may not be able to fill our days with laughter, but we can do better to find those times and fully utilize them. Plus, we can choose to fill our days with joy, regardless of the grey clouds, firestorms, broken promises or hopeless situations. Joy does come to those who look for it and choose to pursue it instead of being negative all the time.

” The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy.”

Jim Rohn

Even brief and infrequent moments of joy have power in our lives. And as you know laughter IS the best medicine. When was the last time you had a deep belly laugh, with tears running down your cheeks? I had one just a few days ago, when my friend shared this video with me. Click it on, let it do it’s therapy on you, too.

at 1.41 I loose it… keep watching…

I hope that you have family and or friends who will help you to laugh and find joy. They are the best! Even if they pull pranks on you… what fun!!!

Try out these tips, and I bet your days will be brighter and your laughter louder.

Cheers to you,

Debbie

“I Will Spare the City”

It was a city against which the outcry was very great, filled with wicked men and rampant immorality. Here are snipits from their headlines:

  • unbridled lusts
  • lawlessness
  • despise authority
  • bold & willful blasphmers
  • eyes only of adultry
  • enticing others
  • greedy hearts
  • pride
  • very great sin
  • forsaking the right way
  • loving gain from wrongdoing
  • loud, boastful, foolishness
  • enticed by sensual passions of the flesh
  • promise freedom, but are slaves
  • Ezk.16:49; 2 Pet. 2:4-10; Gen. 18:20 TPT

A resident of the city described his living there as, “living among them, day after day, distressed my soul by all the rebellious deeds I saw and heard.” 2 Peter 2:8 TPT

The reports of the evil within this city were so outrageous, that God said, “I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me.” Gen. 18:21 TPT

THIS is the city, that Abraham found himself negotiating with God for. Abe’s nephew, Lot, was living in this city and it is his quote that we mentioned earlier. The city was worse than the armpit of the Middle East, it was a swirling cesspool of licentiousness, perverted sexual behaviors, pride and rebellion.

Lot had chosen to live there (which is another story altogether) and now God had sent angels to rescue him because God was going to send judgement on the city.

So, in the prayerful negotiating for the saving of the city of Sodom and rescuing Lot, Abraham asked God, “Will you destroy the wicked with the righteous? If there are 50 righteous in the city, will you spare the city?” To which God responded, “If I find 50 righteous, I will spare the whole city for their sake.” Gen. 18:25-26 TPT

Abe continued negotiating, how ’bout if there are 45? 40? 30? 20? 10? Each time, God answered, ” I will spare the city.” Gen. 18:27-33 TPT

Here was a vile, wicked city that practiced group rape in the city square on unsheltered visitors, and God promised if there were just a handful of righteous people in the city, He would spare the entire city.

I have recently found myself wondering how many righteous God would find in America. Would He find enough righteous people in America that He would, “Spare the whole country for their sake?” My prayer has been, “Lord, are there enough in America? Raise up the rightoeus. I wanna be one of the righteous.”

In matter of fact, regarding Sodom, He did NOT find enough righteous in the city. All He found were Lot, his wife and their two daughters. That’s 4!!! In a city of between 3,000 and 1,000 citizens, ONLY 4 were righteous! And God sent 2 angels to them to get them out. Even then, Lot’s wife didn’t make it out alive, so there were only 3 who survived when Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire and brimstone.

The entire city was completely destroyed and leveled because there were not enough righteous people in it. Please, stop for a moment and think that through. Had there been only 10, the city would have been spared. Imagine that.

Consider yet another city, if you will.

This next city, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, was one of the greatest cities of ancient times. During the seventh century it occupied and controlled the Eastern shores of the Mediterrean Sea. It was a thorn in Israel’s side for generations and finally in 733 and 721, it fully conquered and took captives from both the Northern and Southern kingdoms of Israel.

The Assyrians were feared for their army. They were a warrior society and fighting was their skill. They were cruel, ruthless warriors. They were the first to use iron weapons and siege equipment to dominate their enemies. Their army was a standing army, meaning that they were professional soldiers whose only duty was to fight.

They were brutal with their chariots, swords, spears, bows and arrows, slings and daggers. But they also used armor, battering rams, siege towers and went not just over walls and towers but they also would tunnel under city walls for surprise attacks. They were the world’s first true master’s of war.

Their primary belief was “warfare is the process of ordering the universe.” So order the universe, they would.

The capital city of the Assyrian Empire, was Nineveh.

Now imagine this –

“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah… saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.”

Jonah 1:1-2 TPT

What would you do?

These masters of war, cruel and ruthless people are the ones God wants you to confront. He wants you to call out to them… call them to repent. Change their ways, Turn to God. Stop their cruelty. THAT great city is the one He tells you to go to. In a word, Jonah said, “NOPE”. He called for an Uber, taking him as far as he could go in the opposite direction of Nineveh, and went all the way to the Tarshish seaboard.

To make a short story, even shorter, Jonah eventually did go to that evil and intimidating city of Nineveh and told them that they had 40 days before their city would be overthrown. And look at their response –

“And the people of the Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. And word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose and removed his robe and covered himself with sackcloth and ashes. And he issued a proclamation…Let neither man nor beast taste anything or drink water… and let them call out to the mighty God…let everyone turn from their evil way. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

Jonah 3:5-9 TPT

Do you think that God found 10 righteous in the city of Nineveh? 20? 30? 40? 45? 50? How did God respond?

“When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said that he would do to them, and he did not do it.”

Jonah 3:10 TPT

Because the people of Nineveh did turn to God and repent of their evil practices, their city was spared. There was a 150 year stay of judgment on Nineveh, because God found righteous people in the city that had been set for judgment and distruction.

Again my wondering goes to America as a nation. Are there enough righteous here that God would relent of our pending judgment? My city, Mission Viejo, are there enough righteous here? Am I one? Am I contributing to the blessing of my city and nation? Am I praying and negotiating for my city and nation?

God is the same, He never changes, what He did for Abe and Jonah He will do for me and my city, and my nation. And He will do the same for you, your city and your nation – as you find yourself among the righteous of the city.

What a responsibility.

Could you really be the salt that perserves your city and nation? I hope so, cuz He still says, “I will spare the city.”

Blessings to you,

Debbie

Give Peace a Chance

It is more than a 1969, Plastic Ono Band song, by John Lennon, it is the cry of your weary mind and body.

Peace, silence, quiet and tranquility offer your body and mind many benefits, and until there is peace in our mind there will never be peace anywhere else. So it’s time to overcome that fear and phrase of this generation – “Awkward silence”, because awkward or not, we need to give peace a chance.

According to PsychCentral, here are some benefits of silence in your life:

  • lower blood pressure
  • boosts immune system
  • helps the brain cells to reproduce thus increasing learning, remembering & emotions
  • prevents plaque forming in the arteries
  • increases creativity by allowing thoughts & ideas to go where they will
  • increases awareness in self & the environment
  • promotes ability to connect seemingly disconnected threads in life
  • improved sleep patterns

Because we are exposed to so much noise and chaos, intentionally choosing times of silence, like a walk outside, or turning OFF the music inside for a bit, will refresh and renew us in ways that are important and sometimes even unexpected.

I personally love to walk outside, but I hate walking on busy, noisy streets because that defeats my whole purpose for walking. I also both notice and marvel at those people outside, running or walking with earbuds or headphones filling their ears and minds as they go. I realize that people are motivated by different things as they exercise, but I just hope that somewhere in their busy day, that they find time to actually enjoy the recharge that silence brings.

my watch telling me my environment is too loud

Last week, after my AppleWatch upgrade, it started talking to me differently. One of the things it told me was that my environment noise levels were too high and with 30 minutes of exposure at this level, hearing damage could occur.

Maybe that’s not such a bad warning for us today. HEY! YOU’RE GONNA CAUSE PERMANENT DAMAGE IF YOU DON’T FIND SOME PEACE & QUIET IN YOUR LIFE ON A REGULAR BASIS.

” I have begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all it’s own.”

Chaim Potok

“The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.”

Take some time to get outside, find a workout without music, or sit on the patio for a bit. All I am saying is, give peace a chance.

Cheer to you,

Debbie

Ambassadors

This week, my husband and I joined a few friends and a thousand plus others in Pasadena, at the Ambassador Auditorium for a Let Us Worship event. It was personally exhilatarting, inspiring and empowering and I left knowing quite certainly, that those gathered there that night were being released into the world as ambassadors.

Ambassador Auditorium, Pasadena CA

And so, my mind began to wonder, “What is the job and responsibility of an ambassador?”. So guess what I studied??

Den and I

I think most of us are aware that in every country there are those who have the job of being an ambassador. They are living in a country, not their own, doing something for their home counrtry, but more than that, we barely care about or understand, right?

Let me give you some basic bullets for understanding a US ambassador: (1)

  • highest ranking representative of the US to a foreign country
  • his/her responsibility is to protect and promote US interests to the world
  • cannot override a foreign countries legal system
  • but can make sure American’s receive all rights they are entitled to
  • work long, hard hours, in remote and dangerous locations
  • in a crisis, the ambassador is the point man for America
  • direct all US government employees, foreign service officers & representatives of American agencies
  • building goodwill with government and civilian’s is an important duty
  • Benefits/perks –
  • a paid full time staff, free housing, body guards, car & driver, expense account, healthcare & retirement, diplomatic immunity

We are further told that an effective ambassador will possess these skills:

  • strong leader
  • good manager
  • resilient
  • negotiator
  • respected representative

When Joe Biden took office as President, as prescribed by Article II of the Constitution, one of his duties was to appoint ambassadors. He had 190 appointments, ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe, to submit to Congress for approval. In some ambassador posts, there are twenty-seven federal agencies that work with the embassy staff. So, to receive the appointment of an ambassador is a weighty responsibility.

” We are ambassadors for Christ… who carry the message of Christ to the world, as though God were tenderly pleading with them directly through our lips.”

2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV, TPT

I marvel, that Almighty God would choose us lowly humans to both carry the life of Jesus within us and to then trust us to best represent that same powerful and loving Jesus to the world. What weak and faulty vessels we are, to contain such a treasure and bear such a responsibility. Yet, that is exactly what God has purposed for those of us who claim Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

If that’s you, consider:

  • YOU are the highest ranking representative of God’s kingdom, on Earth
  • it is not only your responsibility to represent Kingdom values and interests in the world, but to protect and promote them as well
  • you are bound by the laws of your country, but you are also responsible to see that your countrymen know their rights in God’s kingdom
  • your ambassador post will demand long, hard and sometimes dangerous hours & locations
  • be ready when crisis’ come, because people will be looking to you to lead and advise
  • building goodwill, helping people see that God is good and loving is an important part of your daily duty

I wish that I could promise you a full time salary, staff and all those other perks, but I am confident that your reward in heaven will far surpass those earthly benefits.

The US Ambassador’s flag

In the same way that no person could adequately reflect the fullness and greatness of the American Constitution with it’s values, and the freedom loving way of life, no human can adequately represent the Kingdom of God on Earth. And yet, we do our best to live up to our honorable appointment and express to others the amazing life that we live on Earth but also the joyous expectation that we have as citizens of heaven.

As His ambassadors, we allow God’s love and words to tenderly plead with them through our lips.

What an honor. What a joy. What a responsibility.

To be His ambassadors.

Cheers to you,

Debbie

  1. Benefits and Duties of US Ambassador, Thomas Metculf, 5/17

Why Presidents?

Mount Rushmore

The History Files 2.21.22

It has been so since February of 1789, when George Washington was elected the very first President of the United States of America. Elected on February 4, and sworn in on April 30, he had been elected as prescribed by the newly fashioned Constitution.

Washington’s inaguration in NY

This Constitution, which was the upgrade to the previous Articles of Confederation that “governed” this baby nation, established three separate, but equal branches of government, which would oversee our nation- the Judical, the Legislative, and the Executive branch, that would be headed by one, “Executive, a President”.

George Washington, born February 22, 1732, was elected in the first free election of any democratic nation. Having served first as a British subject in the army that stood within this fledgling nation, then after disenchantment with Britian, as the leader of the Continental Army in the ensuing American Revolution.

He had proved a strong and fearless leader during the French and Indian War, where it is reported that he dodged bullets and had horses shot out from under him. Having a reputation for coolness under fire and self discipline, his men loved and respected him and willing followed him. He was even taken prisoner by the French at one time. And although in his wartime efforts he led nearly as many loosing battles as he won, he stood out as an exemplary officer.

It is of no wonder then, that when the electors voted for president in 1789, he was the overwhelming selection.

He was very aware, as the first president of setting precedents for future presidents. He tried to unify the politicians and expressed hatred for the political parties of the day. He often argued with others about what image the president should maintain, but held to his firm conviction that he should display dignity and humility.

He served our country for two terms (8 years) and then retired to his beloved Mount Vernon, VA, where he once again enjoyed rural life and even started a whisky distillery. It was there that he died on December 14, 1799.

His home, Mount Vernon
His bedroom at Mount Vernon, where he died

It was the Sixth Congress that commissioned a eulogy to remember him as –

“First in war. First in peace. First in the hearts of his countrymen.”

George Washingtion’s eulogy

In 1800, celebrating Washington’s birthday each year was a way to remember him and by 1879 it had become law, but only in D.C. Then, in 1885 it expanded to the whole country. Washington’s birthday was added to Christmas, New Year’s Day, July 4 and Thanksgiving as federal holidays. But it was the first to honor the life of an individual.

Then along came the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act” which was passed in 1968. This act of Congress shifted Washington’s birthday to President’s Day and more Monday holidays. The act sought to encourage workers and reduce absenteeism while boosting retail sales.

It added Lincoln’s 2/12 birthday to the Monday remembrance, and both Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays were remembered the third Monday in February. It then became President’s Day.

That act also shifted Columbus Day, Memorial Day and Verterans Day to Monday’s. Veterans day took lots of criticism in the move and was eventually moved back to 11.11 for it’s celebration of our veterans.

Here’s why honoring President’s Day should matter to you.

Whether or not you hang a flag, or celebrate in some patriotic way is not the point. (to me, anyway) There are times when citizens of our great nation must show their respect for the nation and the ones who have paved the way for our greatness by their foresight, through their sacrifices, commitment, and courage. It is the duty of we, the people.

We cannot only take from this nation, it is our responsibility to give back, honor, respect, gratitude, and show patriotism. Whether or not we agree with all of it’s issues, as American’s we choose to salute the flag and those that gave of their sacred honor to defend it. Those like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

May ALL of our presidents receive the honor, dignity and esteem they deserve, simply by virture of the office they hold (or held). They are not just citizens, they are presidents of these United States.

Engage in partiotism,

Debbie

Blessed is the One Who is Not Offended by Me

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples in Luke 7:23, and I believe He is speaking them to us in these days as well.

Jesus was being Jesus, healing people of diseases, plagues and evil spirits. He was giving sight to the blind, allowing the lame to walk, lepers were being cleansed, the dead were raising to life, and even the poor were receiving good news.

It was admid these happenings that John the Baptizer sent messengers to ask if Jesus was what they were all looking and hoping for. Smack dab in the middle of miraculous healings, and wondrous miracles, the guy who was s’pose to be preparing the way, was wondering if this was the right guy and the right way.

Jesus response to him was, “You tell me, what do you see and hear happening?” Then Jesus recounted the miracles that were happening:

  • the blind receive their sight
  • the lame walk
  • lepers are cleansed
  • the deaf hear
  • the dead are raised up
  • the poor have heard the good news

And then, He added, “And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Why is this powerful phrase included with the events of the miraculous healings and actions of Jesus?

First, let’s look at what offended in this text means.

“Offended” in the Greek here means:

skandalizo” = a stumbling block, tripped over. Entangled, annoyed, find displeasure, make indignant.”

G 4624 Strong’s Concordance

Could it be that miraculous healings will trip people up? Would some people be annoyed by what Jesus asks them to do for their healing? Would there be those who get angry by the way God does things when healings and demon evictions start happening? Would some dare call healing services and meetings scandalous?

Look at these bible examples before you answer.

  • Naaman the leper- was annoyed that he had to go and dip in the Jordan River. 2 Ki. 5
  • the disciples were trippin’ (offended) that Jesus told them they would eat His flesh. John 6
  • the rich, young, displeased, ruler, turned and walked sadly away. Mat. 19
  • King Herod seized and killed John because John challenged him. (THAT’S anger!) Mt. 14
  • Ananias & Sapphira, entangled in greed, lied about a property cost to keep more of the money. Acts 5
  • The Saducees and Pharaisees were constantly annoyed and angry at Jesus for something that He did or said. The Gospels
  • Paul & Barnabus were threatened by unbelieving Jews who also stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned people’s minds against the brothers. Acts 14
  • Jews mocked the Apostles. Acts 17

So, what say you? Could it be that when God moves that there will be those who are offended?

Lest we shovel the blame out there, on some unsuspecting reader, let’s look within.

If I am being honest, here are some things that God has told me, that I still trip over and sometimes get annoyed with:

  • love & forgive my enemy
  • deny my own way
  • seek Him 1st, not 2nd or 3rd
  • don’t try to figure it out (my own understanding)

If Jesus is Lord of my life and God is ruler of the universe (and they are), then the chances are we are gonna have our wills cross, don’t you think? That is “picking up the cross daily” part of our Christian walk.

But here’s Jesus’ point in the text of Luke 7. Jesus is listing all of these fabulous, life-altering miracles – all of which everybody should be celebrating. Geesh, the lame are walking! The blind just saw his daughter for the first time! The demon possessed woman has been freed and in her right mind! Oh, and that guy won’t be needing his grave just yet, he’s gonna be here a while longer! These are all headlines not only worth noting, but extolling.

And for one last entry, Jesus adds, (my slant), “Don’t get offended and all tripped up or annoyed about the way I heal and perform miracles.” Don’t let the way it happens, or the length of time it takes to happen, or the one’s He uses to make it happen, or even where it happens be considered scandalous by YOU.

Jesus is saying, Don’t allow yourself to be offended by what I do. The way I do it. Who I do it to. Who I use to do it. Where I choose to do it. You wanna know if I’m the one everyone has been looking for and hoping for…?

LOOK AT THE MIRACLES that are happening.

Oh dear reader, call me crazy if you want, but I firmly believe we are living in the days of God’s miraculous. He is still a God who heals, delivers and makes people whole and free. He is moving in miracles, signs and wonders today, and there will be those who are on board and involved with what He is doing, celebrating every healing and sharing it. They are those who are blessed.

And there will be those who are offended and call what God is doing a scandal.

Which group will you be in?

Debbie

Part of Something Bigger

Yesterday, my L.A. RAMS won the Super Bowl! It was a day and night of celebrations throughout the region. In those interviews that followed with players and coaches, I noticed how many of them attributed their success to “being part of something bigger than myself.” It was astounding to hear it repeated so often and at so many levels of the organization.

Den and I at SoFi (tee hee)
Go RAMS

And it got me thinking…

When we have that awareness, that of being part of something bigger than ourselves- our purpose, fulfillment and happiness finds it’s own realization. When we use our part, our giftings, our talents and strengths to better the whole, we obtain personal satisfaction and enjoyment. Especially when working with others who carry that same vision of contributing to the betterment of the whole, but not exclusively. Cuz, let’s face it, we often find ourselves living and working next to ones who are not so inclined, and do not care about contributing to the betterment of anything. They are living only for themselves and their profitability.

I love that the Israelites were all told to bring a half shekel as an offering for the tabernacle- the rich and poor, all had to bring the same thing, their half shekel. Not a whole shekel, a half shekel. Weird.

Could perhaps there be a message here?

Your half is incomplete, only half of what is needed. We can’t do anything on our own, we can only do half. The other half must come from everyone else. Together, we form the whole and can accomplish great things. We are part of something much bigger than ourselves but need what others have as well.

Consider your part, your giftings, your strengths and be faithful to live them out. Are you generous, joyous, positive, humble, patriotic, fiscally sound, wise, a hard worker, insightful, musical, kind? We need you, we need that part, live it, let others see it, share it. Your half is vital and part of something bigger. Don’t hide it.

Go RAMS and go YOU.

Debbie

A Tale of Two Cities

With grateful acknowledgement to that literary genius, Charles Dickens, I am utilizing the title he first coined, in his 1859 masterpiece, the telling of the French Revolution and Reign of Terror in his, “A Tale of Two Cities“.

In his work of historical fiction, set in the cities of London and Paris, he weaves together social classes and political affiliations to address themes such as injustice, social anarchy, imprisonenment, resurrection and reunification. Using rich characters amid chaos and turbulence, these themes play out with intensity and anticipation.

In that same approach, I would like to draw upon two cities or cultures for comparison, instruction, and insight. Follow with me, if you will.

In these two snapshots from scripture that we will share, we will see clearly the characteristics of the characters living within these cities/cultures. The two cities are as vastly different as the French Revolution and Reign of Terror were, and yet the scriptural pictures painted of these two are also similiar to Paris and London in Dickens’ tale. Again, hang with me and let’s take a look at what I mean.

In the the book of 2 Timothy chapter 3, it tells us, “in the final days the culture of society will become…”, and then this is the pitcure of the characteristics that are portrayed there: (TPT version)

  • extremely fierce
  • self centered
  • obsessed with money
  • boast of great things
  • mock all that’s right
  • ignore their own families
  • ungrateful
  • ungodly
  • addicted to hateful slander
  • slaves to desires
  • ferocious, belligerent haters of what is good & right
  • act without restraint
  • bigoted
  • conceited
  • delight in pleasures
  • pretend to respect God
  • want nothing to do with God’s power
  • 17 in all

Tell me now, couldn’t this be an apt description of our society today?

I would dare say, at least from my viewpoint, that it could run as a literary parallel to Dickens’ reign of terror. Am I off base or out of line?

Regardless, these descriptions represent a society or culture- and in our comparison today, a city. One that displays these characteristics lived out by passionate characters flaunting each one of these base ideas.

This is one city. One type of society. But is it our only hope, our only option? (We are doomed if it is.)

Here though, is another city, society/culture that is also presented in scripture. We find it in Proverbs chapter 11. (TPT version) The players of this society are described as, “flowers in the spring” and here are the earmarks of their city/culture:

  • apply right standards
  • walk in humility
  • led by integrity
  • rich in righteousness
  • good character
  • trusted friendships
  • good counselors
  • wise leadership
  • gracious, generous
  • kindness
  • long-term rewards (not short term gain)
  • whole-hearted (not doubleminded)
  • longing to please God
  • social conscience
  • seeking other’s good
  • loving God
  • wise
  • 17 in all, humph?! Coincidence?
The Revolution (French)

Wouldn’t this be the prefered society? Isn’t this a culture that would garner the favor of every social class and political affiliation? (like Dickens’ did) Isn’t this the society in which we would see peoples reunited, see justice served and anarchy toppled? C’mon, now?!

And to top it off, in the tale of this city, is the promise of:

” The blessing that rests on the righteous releases strength and favor to the entire city.”

Proverbs 11:10 TPT

“The blessing of favor resting upon the righteous influences a city to lift it higher.”

Proverbs 11:11 TPT

The frosting on this cake is, that upon this second city, culture/society, where these characteristics are demonstrated by its populous, God promises to release strength, blessing, favor and influence.

You see, the one who can bridle themself to please God and be fruitful in the ways listed above, will be like a flower in the spring. And imagine hundreds of likeminded people, doing the same thing. We would have a beautiful, fragrant garden/city/culture that is flourishing under the blessing of God and growing in rich relationships with others around them.

You my friend, are one of those flowers.

“But the lovers of God rise up like flowers in the spring.

Proverbs 11:28 TPT

Germination has been activated and the time of your flowering has begun. Our cities will begin to reflect the beauty of flowering characters, who are demonstrating humility, integrity, generosity, kindness, wisdom, social conscience, and longing to please God.

Revolution or reign of terror.

Indeed, we have before us a tale of two cities; but our overwhelming choice is the culture of a garden of flowers in the spring.

God bless your blooming and your city.

Debbie

Foot Note

They are your natural shock absorbers and over the course of a day will take a cumulative force of 200 tons. Each, when walking, takes 1.5 times your body weight and when running 5 times your body weight. Yet, just two in ten people even consider their feet or their foot health regularily.

Sometimes, we just need to stop and consider how very blessed we are (most of us) to have two amazingly, functioning feet. Seriously.

How they are taken so for granted. How we pay them very little attention and how very much we expect of them. So in this post, for a change of pace, we will take note of our wonderful feet.

Consider, that at week eleven of your fetal development you had ten digits on your hands and feet. By week twelve you were curling your toes, and at week fourteen fingernails/toenails were present. At birth, your feet were underdeveloped and it took time for your arches to form.

Some 20-30% of you have what’s called Morton’s toe, you know, when the second toe is longer than the others. (Are you one? :-)) And most of us have experienced the most common foot ailment -an ankle sprain. (When was your last one?)

But here are some unreal foot facts: (according to thegoodbody.com)

  • nearly a quarter of all bones in our bodies are in our feet
  • 26 bones in each foot
  • 33 joints
  • 19 muscles
  • 10 tendons and
  • 107 ligaments

Your feet have been equipped to withstand and bear so much. Their very structure and construction is a miraculous engineering feat. How they work alone or in tandem to support you for those 110,000 miles you will walk in your lifetime is unbelievable and so unnoticed.

Also embedded in your two feet are 250,000 sweat glands that are able to produce one pint of sweat each and every day! Phew… And let’s not forget about the strongest tendon in the human body that is also found in the foot. Know what it is????? The Achilles tendon.

It’s a shame that we wear shoes so often, as our feet work best in their bare, natural state. Plus, we can’t take notice of and appreciate those toenails that have taken 12-18 months to completely grow. The skin on the soles of our feet is thicker than any place else on our body, so again, why have we since 3,5000 BC worn shoes? (The first shoe was found in Armenia, dating back to then and was a single piece of leather.)

Doctors tell us that our feet often tell alot about our general health. Foot pain, sores, numbness, ulcers, loss of hair, etc. are often indicators of disease elsewhere. And women are 4 times more likely to have foot problems compared to men. Why? Largely due to wearing heels. (Yep, that’s why I stopped wearing them.)

I guess with the emphasis this week on the Olympics and the coming Paralympic Games, it has caused me to consider the tremendous value of my feet and to recognize how fortunate I am. How fortunate we are!

I trust you will give pause more often to take note of your feet and perhaps even enjoy a foot massage, which will not only improve your mood but your overall health.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of them…”

Cheers,

Debbie

“But Now”

Sunday Sermon 2.5.22

It is said that there are two things that people hate. Change and boredom. Would you concur?

I raised my son with, and taught my middle school classes the oft trumpted reminder that, “boredom is a choice“. To this day I still believe it and live by it. I believe we can manage boredom. Change on the otherhand, is less under our control.

Change is what God is up to right now, though. He’s not changing, but times are and so are things for His remnant, those who have held on to Him during these perilous times. Check this out:

But now, I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days, declares the Lord of hosts. (ESV)

Things have changed. I’m taking the side of of my core of surviving people. Sowing and harvesting will resume. Vines will grow grapes. Gardens will flourish. Dew and rain will make everything green. My survivors will get everything they need – and more. You’ve gotten a reputation as a bad-news people, … but I am going to save you. From now on you’re going to be good-news people. Don’t be afraid. Keep a firm grip on what I’m doing.” (TPT)

Zechariah 8:11-13

Although this encouragement was given by Zechariah to Israel some 500 years before Jesus was born, it couldn’t be more fitting for us today. And, we are well within our rights and understanding of Bible interpretation to apply Zechariah’s words to ourselves and not just Israel’s remnant.

The Apostle Paul teaches us that:

So, let’s look more closely at these tremendously encouraging words. I read them in my private devotions on 1.29.22, and felt such a strong impression and inspiration from them. So much so, I wrote it in my Bible, and then dug deeper into the text.

  • these things took place as examples for us 1 Corinthians 10:6
  • they are written down for our instruction 1 Coringthians 10:11
  • all scripture is breathed by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness… 2 Timothy 3:16

God is speaking to you, He is speaking to me. It is a promise of positive change coming!

God says, look, this is the way is was, and he lists a few specific situations. Zechariah 8:9-10 Then verse 11 BLASTS THROUGH with, “BUT NOW”. I love that. Everything that had happened was no longer the driving factor or revelant. It WAS that way, BUT NOW, things were going to change.

Whatever has marked your life in the recent months may have been big and heavy and oppressive, BUT NOW God is going to deal with you differently. Verse 11 tells us God is no longer going to deal with us as He did in past days! That is wonderful news to you (and me)!

Here’s the change – it’s all good and it is so amazingly encouraging and freeing. Look!

  • “there shall be sowing in peace” – there’s been enough division, quarrelling, warring and the days of peace are upon us.
  • “the vine shall give its fruit” – you will be fruitful. It is time for the fruit of your labors and efforts to spring forth.
  • “the ground shall give its produce” – the days of productivity are upon you. What you do will actually produce evidence, fruit, things.
  • “the heavens shall give their dew” – you are living under an open heaven of God’s blessing, outpouring and refreshing. Take full advantage and fill up, drink in.
  • “the remnant of this people shall possess all of these things” – those who have been clinging to God, His Word and His ways are the intended recipients of all these blessings!

Slow down. Stop. Go back and re-read those bullets. Those are promises for YOU, for NOW, because God is bringing change, now.

But wait, there’s more! (that sounds like an infomercial add, doesn’t it?)

It doesn’t end there. Zechariah 8:13 ESV

  • “you have been a byword of cursing…” – Christians, the God-fearing, Truth seekers, Jesus followers, believers who have been cursed, shamed, put down, humiliated, etc.
  • “so I will save you” – God is coming to our rescue. God is saving us from situations and God is turning it around.
  • “and you shall be a blessing” – the very ones who have been mocked, will be a blessing!

OMGoodness. When I read this passage last week, I physically felt that God was speaking it to the remnant of His followers. God was telling us that He was bringing change, doing things differently, because we had transitioned into a “BUT NOW” time.

Dear reader, you have transitioned! It is a new and different season for you. This is a season of peace, fruitfulness, productivity and fulfillment. The curses of the past have been broken and you have been released into a time of blessing, release, and possession of your dreams, and hopes in God.

It is altogether fitting that this passage closes with this phrase,

Fear not, but let your hands be strong.”

Zechariah 8:13 ESV

It is time to choose faith over fear and to get your hands dirty doing what God has put in your heart, or placed in your path. Whatever your hand finds to do during this season, do it with all your strength for the Lord and see His blessing on it. It’s time to produce. It’s time for fruit, evidence. It’s time for peace. And it’s time for you to possess all of these blessings so that you can be a blessing!

God is here to help you, save you and make you fruitful in what you do in 2022.

What has been, has been. BUT NOW God is doing something totally different with His remnant. Fear not and be strong!

Be a blessing,

Debbie

Spiritual How-to’s

How to Please God

This is the first in a new video series, that has it’s own tab on my website. Every Wednesday you can check underdebraspalm.com, IGTV, YouTube or here for the next installment of Spiritual How-to’s.

Lesson notes are included on the website and the use of these videos for discipleship and training is encouraged. Be blessed and build the Kingdom.

Number 1

Step Out From Where You Are

Ben Patterson, in Waiting, writes: (1)

In 1988, three friends and I climbed Mount Lyell, the highest peak in Yosemite National Park. Our base camp was less than 2,000 feet from the peak, but the clinb to the top and back was to take the better part of a day, due in large part to the difficulty of the glacier we had to cross to get to the top. The morning of the climb we started out chattering and cracking jokes.

As the hours passed, the two more experienced mountaineers opened up a wide gap between me and my less-experienced companion. Being competitive by nature, I began to look for shortcuts to beat them to the top, I thought I saw one to the right of an outcropping of rock- so I went, deaf to the protests of my companion.

Perhaps it was the effect of the high altitude, but the significance of the two experienced climbers not choosing this path did not register in my consciousness. It should have, for thirty minutes later I was trapped in a cul-de-sac of rock atop Lyell Glacier, looking down several hundred feet of a sheer slope of ice, pitched at about a fourty-five degree angle… I was only about ten feet from the safety of a rock, but one little slip and I wouldn’t stop sliding until I landed in the valley floor some fifty miles away! It was nearly noon, and the warm sun had the glacier glistening with slippery ice. I was stuck, and I was scared.

It took an hour for my experienced climbing friends to find me. Standing on the rock I wanted to reach, one of them leaned out and used an ice axe to chip two little footsteps in the glacier. Then he gave me the following instructions: “Ben, you must step out from where you are and put your foot where the first foothold is. When your foot touches it, without a moment’s hesitation swing your other foot across and land it on the next step. When you do that, reach out and I will take your hand and pull you to safety.”

That sounded real good to me. It was the next thing he said that made me more frightened than ever. “But listen carefully: As you step across, lean out a bit. Otherwise, your feet may fly out from under you, and you will start sliding down.”

I don’t like precipicies. When I am on the edge of a cliff, my instincts are to lie down and hug the mountain, to become one with it, not to lean away from it! But that was what my good friend was telling me to do. For a moment, based solely on what I beleived to be the good will and good sense of my friend, I decided to say no to what I felt, to stifle my impulse to cling to the security of the mountain, to lean out, step out, and traverse the ice to safety. It took less than two seconds to find out if my faith was well founded.

To save us, God often tells us to do things that are the opposite of our natural inclination. Is God loving and faithful? Can we trust him?

He is. We can.

Is it time for you to step out from where you are? (from the safety of where you have been or from the danger of your ill-advised short cut?)

It is for me and I will share with you my new venture in a few days.

Let’s take the step and lean out!

Debbie

1, Fresh Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching from Leadership Journal – Edward K. Rowell; Faith, pg. 62

To the Weak and Wounded – Your Turnaround is Coming !

Sunday Sermon 1.29.22

Imagine, if you will, a boxer in the ring having withstood twelve, grueling rounds; he is weak and wounded, but he is still standing. This is such a fitting description of God’s people in the last scene of Isaiah 51, the chapter we have been studying.

Staggering about the ring, having trouble standing on their own, and trapped within the ring of punishment, their pain radiating, are God’s people. Overwhelmed, pounded, briused and weak, they are seemingly at the mercy of their opponent and about to go down.

Isaiah describes it as Israel being staggering drunk without anyone to help them get home, no help, no comfort, seized by disaster and devastation and overcome by God’s anger. He describes what they have experienced as “drinking from the cup of God’s anger”. He says they are weak and wounded because of their intoxication on God’s anger. Isaiah 51:17-21

The Bible is clear, and states in many places that there will be days of God’s anger, His judgment. Days when He will pour out His wrath and judge mankind for their works. These are the days Isaiah is identifying for the nation of Israel, and the days that they were living in – the days of God’s jusgment.

Yet, right in the middle of that, look what it says,

“So listen, you who are weak and wounded, This is what your sovereign ruler, Lord Yahweh, your God, the Mighty Defender of his people says, “Look! I have removed from your hand the intoxicating cup that made you stagger. You will no longer drink from the bowl of my anger. Instead, I will put that bowl in the hands of your tormentors, who said to you, “Lie down so we can walk all over you! For your back became like the ground they trample on, like the street for them to walk on.”

Isaiah 51:22-25 TPT

God removed that judgment filled cup from Israel’s hands, they were no longer going to be drinking from it. His judgments, however justified and timely, were now going to be lifted from them, but not removed altogether. Why?

Because those very oppressors and tormentors, who had been pounding them, were now going to get pounded. They were going to be the recipients of the cup of God’s wrath and anger. Those who had walked all over them were now going to be trampled, by the Lord! The cup of His anger was being placed in their hands and those very tormentors and oppressors were going to drink from it. He was going to judge THEM!

The Assyrians were well known for their cruelity and psychological warfare, they had mastered the art of war and torture. History thoroughly documents this. And now, they were about to get a taste of their own medicine.

God’s Word is true. The very gallows that Haman built to kill Mordecai on, was where he died. Esther 7:10 The evil that Joseph’s brothers intended for him, came back on them. Genesis 50:20 Evil people fall into their own traps. Proverbs 29:6 Wicked people fall into their own nets. Psalms 141:10 Our enemies may set a trap for us, but they will fall into it. Psalms 57:6

I believe what God did in removing the cup of His anger from Israel, He has done for us. In my Spirit, this past week, I sensed a major shift, and it could very well be just that. That God’s releived His people from the burden of the two year oppression of being walked all over and is reassigning His wrath upon our oppressors. We have been released and freed!

So let us,

Wake up, wake up, get up... you who have drunk enough from Yahweh’s cup of anger…”

Isaiah 51:17 CEV

The days of our oppression are behind us now! It is time for us to wake up out of our despondency and despair. Shake our heads, stir ourselves, revive our weary hearts and stand on our feet like the Army of God that we are. No more dry and dead bones, being walked on by the enemy. God’s people are arising, for the tide has turned!

” …the hour has come for you to wake up from sleep… so then, let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime…”

Romans 13:11-14

God has lifted you up and the enemy can no longer walk all over you. It is time for you to crush Satan underneath your feet. Romans 16:19 Turn every weapon He has used on you, around back onto him. Start praying this way and see things change in your life, your family, your neighborhood and your nation. Your neighborhood needs you. Your nation needs you. Wake up and start stomping!

It’s time for the people of God to rise and walk jn faith, speaking His word, and believe for His Kingdom to overthrow and defeat that of our spiritual enemies. Lets live like more than conquerors.

He has restored more than your hope. He has restored your soul your power, your vitality and your victory. You are no longer weak and wounded, your turn around has come!

Go get ’em,

Debbie

Do It Again

Sunday Sermon 1.22.22

Looking in on today’s thoughts from a chapter that we feel is prophetic for this year, 2022, our focus is on Isaiah 51:9-15.

In it we see a people who are being harrassed and oppresed by tyrannical edicts spoken by national and state rulers. These people are discouraged, in despair, and depressed, for their struggle has been unbearable. They live each day constantly worrying, and living in fear of their angry oppressor.

They see the opposition against them as the generation past saw the Red Sea – a wall of impossibilities and hoplessness. Their enemy is powerful, and fearful and they are toast. They seem to see a silent God, unmoved and inactive. Their desperate cry is to arouse Him on their behalf, surely He has forgotten them, look at their state!

It is not only from these circumstances, but from this mindset that God’s people (of Isaiah 51) call out to Yahweh/God and dare I say, even lash out against Him. Take a look.

“Awake, God, awake! Arm of Yahweh, put on your robe of strength! Awake and do the works of power as in ancient days, as in generations past! Wasn’t it you who smashed the sea monster… who pierced the dragon in generations long ago… wasn’t it you who dried up the Red Sea, and made a path through the sea to rescue the redeemed? Do it again!”

Isaiah 51:7-11a TPT

Folks, let’s be real here.

Does God sleep? Does He need to be woken up from some kind of short little power nap? Does He even need to be reminded of what was done in, through and for past generations? Does He forget? Is He some kind of elderly sage who drifts off or rambles off topic that needs our help realigning himself, getting back on track?

C’mon!

These discouraged people think that God is asleep. Notice the urgency of their double imperative, “Awake, awake”. They are doubting that God is active, they are afraid He is asleep at the wheel. I wonder who it is that is really asleep and needs to be awakened.

This all sounds eerlily familiar, or is it just me?

Following their pleas for God to wake up and reveal His power, comes God’s response.

“I, I am he who comforts you; who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, … and have forgotten the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, and you fear continually all the day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who set himself to destroy?”

Isaiah 51:12-13 ESV

Look how he responds. Remember how they cried out, “Awake, awake!”? He heard them, because His responce begins with, “I, I am“. THAT is powerful! A double imperitive meets a double I, I AM! Wham. He answers their repeated request with His name, repeated!

The “I am” God, reminds them that He is the God who not only brings them comfort but also created the heavens and earth. He was and still is omnipotent. They urgently cry awake, He urgently responds I Am!

Then He rebukes their fears and particularily their fear of the people, who were their oppressors. They are afraid of man but not of God. They have forgotten the Lord. Notice the question mark at the end of that passage. God is questioning them, why are you fearing man and not me?

God is giving these people a stern reminder that He is the Great I AM, He is their comforter, He is the creator of the universe and He is the one that they should fear in reverence and humility. Not the leaders, government, oppressors, or other loud and anrgy voices. HIM!

He continues speaking in the passage telling them that in fact, those suffering would soon be released and those feeling imprisonment will not die or go hungry. Isaiah 51:14 His voice reassured them that what they were seeing was indeed not going to last, and things were going to turn around for them.

These folks of Isaiah 51 had feared Babylon, but not God. Babylon wanted to make them captives, God wanted to set them free. These people had misplaced their fear and their love.

In the passage, it follows that He thunders with this:

“For I am Yahweh, your faithful God, who split the sea with its roaring waves. My name is Lord Yahweh, Commander of Angel Armies! And I have put my words in your mouth, and covered you in the shadow of my hand, establishing the heavens and laying the foundations of the earth and saying to Zion, “You are my people”.”

Isaiah 51:15 TPT, ESV

WOW. Drop the mic!

Our Isaiah 51 people had forgotten the Lord, their Maker (and the maker of the heavens and earth, as they were reminded) and because they had forgotten Him, they had succombed to worry, fear, accusations, and unbelief. They prayed from that mindset in an attempt to wake up God. Look at the silliness of that sentence even. But that’s what our mindset is and does.

Our mindset can filter out the truth that we are His people and He is the God of the Angel Armies, the Great I Am. The truth that He has protected us in the shadow of his hand, where we sit, as His child. The truth that He has put His word in our mouths. We have the Living Word of God to shape our mindset and not the words and power of man.

Here, in this passage, we see a picture of ourselves really, don’t we?

At this time in our nation comes the same Voice of the Lord, saying, ” You have forgotten the Lord, your Maker.” Until and unless we choose to remember Him with our words, actions and position of our heart, we will speak foolishly from a mindset of fear, worry, and unbelief.

We will be overcome by our circumstances and edicts until we humble ourselves before the Lord, and revere Him with holy fear. He is the One who still has all power and He is the One who alone will comfort, protect and rescue us. Our faith in Him and love for Him must be renewed.

What really needs to happen is that we need to wake up to the awesome Power of God and His purpose to do it agian. To awaken His people, to awaken all hearts to turn to Him, to visit the earth in powerful demonstration, to speak through His people, to have a people fully dedicated to Him.

God is awake and powerfully able to do what He says He will do. He is looking for those who will focus on Him, remember Him, trust and believe in Him. He is waiting to do it again.

Yes, Lord, do it again. (in me)

Blessings on you,

Debbie

Understanding Grace

One of the most important concepts in Christianity & therefore the lives of believers is grace. Understanding the many facets of it’s power and it’s absolute necessity in our everyday life is vital.

Check out the video, but first get the notes on the Bible studies page, or the Spiritual How to’s page, then have a sit and follow along.

Be encouraged, God’s influence in your life is enough for anything that you face. His grace is sufficient.

Click on to play

Continue to grow in grace,

Debbie