Constitution Review part 1

It’s no secret that there is a current emphasis on the Constitution in these days. For many are claiming one thing or another that the Constitution says and guarantees. So, it is vitally important to know the document itself, it’s pieces, principles, and powers. Our purpose in this 4-part review is to look at those pieces, principles and powers so that you can be refreshed in your understanding of our great document and equipped to support and defend it.

There are only 3 pieces to the Constitution.

The 1st piece is the Preamble. This is like an opening or introductary paragraph.

The 2nd piece is the Articles. There are 7 articles and each of them explicitly lays out the details of how our government is structured, who makes up each part, what their responsibilities are, and their qualifications. Additionally, these articles deal with how the nation does business and deals with other nations, and how the federal government and each state government work together.

The 3rd piece is the Amendments. These are the now 27 amendments, or changes that have been made to the Constitution since it was ratified.

As far as guiding principles found in the Constitution, we would have to mention these:

Self-givernment – the framers were firm in their resolve that America NOT be like their former homeland with a Monarch and where the people had little voice. Therefore, they chose to create a government in which the people’s voice directed the shape and direction of the leaders in government and the nation.

Liberty – Giving the people as much individual freedom as possible was a priority of the framers. That is why, in the ratification process, there were states that refused to ratify the Constitution unless and until a Bill of Rights was added that would ennumerate the freedoms provided by and protected by this new government.

Federalism – This gives certain, clearly defined and limited powers to a strong, central government but also specifically reserves the other powers to the states.

Separation of Powers – Not wanting any one person or branch to have too much power, our framers set out a structure of government that keeps three branches separate but equal. Included here comes the responsibility of those separate powers to check on the other two branches.

Let’s look now more closely at The Preamble.

WE THE PEOPLE” is the best known phrase from the Constitution and is the first three words of the Preamble. Listed in this brief, introductory paragraph are the 6 purposes of the entire document. Perhaps you had a History or Social Studies teacher who taught you the Schoolhouse Rock song? (I was that teacher… ha ha)

The 6 purposes are:

  1. to form a more perfect union – we’re making what we had even better
  2. establish justice – justice for all
  3. insure domestic tranquility – insure peace and protections for the inhabitants of the nation
  4. provide for the common defense – defend all states and the nation
  5. promote the general welfare – tend to the welfare of its citizens
  6. secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity – make the nation strong not just for us, but for the generations to come

How would you say we are doing living up to this remarkable Preamble?

In our last section for today, we will look at the first three Articles.

Article I- Congress/Legislature is the longest article & tells us about the legislative branch called Congress, and it shall consist of the Senate, elected every six years, and the House of Representatives, elected every two years. The Senate shall have 2 elected representatives from every state and representation in The House is based on each state’s population. Totaling 435 members of Congress.

The Capitol in Washington D.C. houses Congress

It’s important to note here, that “The Great Compromise” that was reached when settling this Two House government came with huge debate. The larger states and the smaller states wanted equal representation in Congress and via this compromise they got both, equal representation (in the Senate) and propotional representation (in the House).

Congress in session. (working)

Each of the 10 sections in Article 1 clearly spell out qualifications, how they are elected, duties, responsibilities, how a bill becomea a law, how Congress is run, and limits on Congressional powers. There are actually 18 listed powers that the Congress has. (see Article 1, section 8) Funding, declarations of war, and states importing and exporting with Congressional approval are some highlighted responsibilities.

Article II – The Executive/President The chief executive of the U.S. is the President, who is elected every four years, along with the Vice President. How he/she is elected, their qualifications, duties and responsibilities are listed. Additionally, how she/he shall be removed from office, what happens when the office is vacated, and how he/she is sworn in , is clearly articulated in this second article.

The White House in Washington D.C. is both the home and office of the President.

Article III – Judicial power of the U.S. is invested in one Supreme Court, and many inferior Courts. Particulars regarding trials, cases, juries, and crimes are innumerated in the 3 sections of this article. Treason is spoken of in this article, what it is and how it should be judged.

The Supreme Court in Washington D.C. is where the Justices do their business

A very signifigant point to make regarding The Supreme Court involves the issue of “Judicial Review”. This, a main responsibility of The High Court is when a law is presented to them in a case, and their task is to determine if, in fact, that law is “Constitutional”. They must determine if that state or federal law violates the constitution. If it does, (as determined by a majority vote of the 9 Judges) then it is deemed unconstitutional and reversed.

Many believe that these Judges have “legislated from the bench” (thorugh the years), thereby changing laws and resulting in a changed national outcome from what elected representatives have passed. The phrases to watch for are :

  • Strict Constitutionalist – one who believes the text of the constitution is not open for or to interpretation, it’s words are literal.
  • Judicial Activist – one who believes the Constitution is a living document and should be interpreted based on present situation.

These three Articles define what we often refer to as the Three Branches of Government, Legislative, Executive, and Judicial; and they clearly tell us who they are, what they do, and what is allowed in our government.

This document, our Constitution is the supreme law of our land. All persons and politicians are bound by it and no one is above it. Therefore, we best know it. Not know of it, not believe everything we hear about it, but know it. Know the document itself.

You can easily find it online at https://constitution.congress.gov

My personal go to’s

Paperback copies of the Constitution can be purchased as well. If you visit Washington D.C. or your Senator’s local office, they often give them away as well.

Please, if you are a citizen of the United States, of if you care deeply about America, do your due diligence and be familiar with this document. It is our responsibility as citizens to vote, and uphold the laws of the land, so we should know them as outlined in the Constitution.

https://momsforamerica.us has posted a short little constitution quiz which may be fun for you to take.

Whatever you do, I hope you’ll check back next week, for part 2 of our Constitution Review.

God Bless America,

Debbie

Sources:

US Constitution for dummies, Dr. Michale Arnheim

The Constitution of the United States of America

Constitution Day

September 17, 1787

Here it was, four years after independence had been won by the colonies, (the Treaty of Paris was signed Sept. 3, 1783) when this pronouncement was made,

It appears to me then little short of a miracle that the delegates from so many different states… should unite in forming a system of national government…”

George Washington, delegate to the Convention in Philadelphia, September 1787

Fifty-five men, from twelve colonies, (Rhode Island did not send representatives) had just spent months of debate (May – September), in the Pennsylvania Statehouse, located in Philadelphia, during the heat of summer, to produce a federal system of government that included checks and balances. Their finished product was called the Constitution of the United States. This was the miracle to which George Washington referred.

PA Statehouse, Independence Hall
George Washington and the delegates

It was apparent in 1786, two years after the Revolutionary War ended that the Union would break apart without a fix to the standing national government called The Articles of Confederation. This document had been drafted during the War by the Continental Congress to help guide the colonies through war and provide some sort of central government. It was obvious now, something more needed to be done for the sake of the new, fledgling nation.

At the pleading of the Annapolis Convention, (5 states with Maryland) in 1786, a Convention was called for in Philadelphia, May, 1787. On May 25, 1787, what we call the Constitutional Convention met with those fifty-five delgates at the statehouse in Philadelphia. Their intended purpose was to amend The Articles of Confederation.

After some time, it was clear that amending the Articles was to be scrapped. Something new had to be created. In this closed meeting house, with windows and doors shut tight for privacy (and sweating in wool coats and vests), without AC, these partiots hammered out the structure, form, and substance of our federal government. They built consensus, offered compromise, all within secrecy and never even threw a punch! (now that’s a miracle!)

Alexander Hamiliton, one of the delegates writes,

Alexander Hamilton

For my own part, I sincerely esteem it a system which without the finger of God (Luke 11:20) never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests.”

Alexander Hamiliton, upon the signing of the Constitution

James Madison, another delegate, writes,

James Madison

It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it the finger of that Almighty Hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the Revolution.”

James Madison, upon signing the Constitution

What these men came up with, our Constitution, is what governs our land now. It is what has inspired and modeled for other nations their constitution. The similiarities between ours and theirs is often identical in wording.

The U.S. Constitution

This document, the Constitution, was signed by thirty nine of the delegates on September 17, 1787, and as per the specification in the Constitution, later ratified by nine of the thirteen colonies to become effective. New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it on June 21, 1788. It was agreed upon that this new government would begin March 4, 1789. (Which is why Inaguration Day was in March for so many years. In 1981 it was changed to January 20.)

Our Constitution provides for:

  • 3 Branches of government
  • Legislative/Congress – make laws, checks on other branches
  • Executive/President – manages daily operations of the government, checks on other branches, enforces the laws
  • Judicial/Federal courts, Supreme Court – courts, judges, checks on the other branches, makes sure the laws are constitutional
  • Personal freedoms as stated in the Bill of Rights/first 10 amendments
  • Ways to amend or change the Constitution
  • Separation between the federal and state powers
  • all the qualifications for elections, candidates, how laws are made, where money comes from, treaties, citizenship, emprisonment, trails, searches and seizures, how a republic is run
  • and so much more
Outline of the contents of the Constitution

This document, our Constitution, has been and continues to be the “the law of the land”. All federal employees, military personal and so many other employees, upon entering their positions take an oath “to faithfully defend the Constitution”.

It is sacred, above all other ideologies, and worth every effort of patriots to defend. It is the law of our land, not immutable however, as provisions to change it are also addressed.

What the founding fathers and the framers created is a clearly laid out form and structure for our government. It has come under much scrutiny, debate and with much compromise and it still stands today, as Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration says, ” as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament were the effects of a Divine power.”

It behooves us then, We The People, to stand in the spirit of those patriots- who pledged their best hopes, strongest intellectual pursuits, and good faith in the creation of that Constitution, to do the same.

On this Constitution Day, 2022, 235 years after it’s signing, may we fully understand and promote, but also strongly defend The Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

In keeping with this challenge to understand, and leading up to the elections in 8 weeks, I will be presenting a 4 week follow-up refresher on The Constitution, walking us through the body of the Constitution, and examining the parts. They will be as follows:

  • Week 1 – The Preamble & Articles 1-3 Legislative, Executive & Judicial Branches
  • Week 2 – Articles 4-7 –
  • Week 3 – The Amendments, 1-10 The Bill of Rights
  • Week 4 – The Amendments, 11-27

You can see original copies of The Constitution, The Bill of Rights and The Declaration of Indepenence at The National Archives in Washington D.C.

National Archives, Documents on display

I hope you will sharpen your understanding and appreciation of this great document and our great nation and check back in to join us in that endeavor.

Debbie

God Bless America,

Sources

Britannica – The Constitutional Convention

History.com

Yahoonews.weather

National Archives – The Framers

BrainyQuotes.com

Spoiler Alert

We could be talking about the great cliffhanger spoiler alerts of the TV shows such as Dallas, Lost, Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, but not today. My favorite, however, was “Who shot JR?” from Dallas, 1980, how ’bout yours? Whether it be a sports playoff game, a reality show, or the unexpected end to a storyline, we appreciate being alerted to what is spoiling our expectations, don’t we?

Following a time of introspection and self-evaluation, I concluded that in my life I was greatly and easily distracted. It was obvious there were very few straight lines in my life, nearly everything I was doing was being infringed upon by something else. I couldn’t sit and focus without my mind jetting to another place or thing. I couldn’t read, study, or even talk with someone without some sort of mental distraction. (It’s always embarrasing to have to pull yourself back to the present when you find yourself wandering while in personal conversations. Geesh.)

How many bunny trails or peripheral issues have enticed us away from what is most important?

How many calls or appointments have we avoided because of less important distractions?

How many times have we given way to the immediate when on course for long term?

Today, I want to alert us to the spoilers in our life because I have seen them run rampant in mine.

There is a metaphor used in ancient writings that compares little foxes to the spoilers in our life. Cute, little, social, fast, and cunning foxes. Here’s the quote,

Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.”

Song of Songs 2:15 ESV

Let’s talk about those cute, furry foxes, shall we?

Foxes are omnivores, that means that they eat up everything. They feed on anything. They have no prefered food group. They eat it all at will and with pleasure. They are also very light and fast on their feet, and as social creatures live in packs, called a leash, skulk or earth. Their eyesite is fantastic and they live a very flexible life. (LiveScience.com)

“What does the fox say?” was a popular phrase that kids sang a while ago… I’m not sure what it says, but I do know these things about about that pesky lil’ creature; they:

  • dig holes & passages that loosen the soil of the vines, thereby preventing a stable root system
  • trample vines looking for prey with no care for what they destroy while looking
  • are speedy, fast in and fast out while gaining their prey/fruit
  • are cute but not tameable
  • are little & therefore we think they are insignifigant
  • are so cunning that they often work in pairs, one to distract the other to steal

Foxes are adoreable destroyers. Cute little, seemingly insignifigant spoilers that wreck an entire vineyard or garden. Living such flexible lives, their dens/burrows have multiple exits, so they rarely leave the way they came in. These smart spoliers, having stolen the fruit, leave the roots exposed, gnawed down and severly weakened.

SPOILER ALERT! There are little foxes loose in our life!

What are they? They could be:

  • our phones, devices – notifications, social media, updates, email, texts
  • “little” habits or attitudes that we often overlook of defend
  • people or places
  • anything that is stealing your fruitfulness
  • whatever is spoiling your relationships

For you, what are they? For me, almost all of my spoiling, little foxes come from my iPhone. Like Eve, I have bitten bigtime into the “apple” and am finding myself not only deceived but overrun with distracting, annoying, rabbit holes, bunny trails, and lost fruitfulness. I am bigtime distracted by what’s in my hand.

Here’s the thing tho’, I am wise now to those sly little fox-like distractions. But being wise or aware that there are foxes/distractions ruining my fruitfulness is not enough. I have to get rid of them, because I have been chosen to bear fruit. John 15:16 He is the Vine and I am the branch, and our goal is fruitfulness. John 15:5-8

ALERT -Those spoilers have got to go.

It is interesting to note that when The Potter puts a lump of clay on His wheel to fashion it and make it, He notices that the clay is spoiled.

And the vessel He was making of clay was spoiled in the Potter’s hand and He reworked it…”

Jeremiah 18:4 ESV

Could it be that the spoilers, the distractions that we continually allow into our life affect, and or delay the working of God in our life? Could we, by our following those spoilers, be thwarting our relationship to the Vine and our ability to produce the maximum fruitfulness He has called us to?

In my life, I say a resounding, “YES!” This piece of clay has been spoiled by distractions. “Please remake me, Master Potter.”

I believe He will respond to a heart’s cry like that, don’t you?

But I also believe, He will require action on my part. So, to help me with that, I’m gonna look to Sampson.

You’ll remember, Sampson was one of the 12 Judges of Israel, before the days of having a king. In fact, he was the last Judge of Israel. He was also the strongest. Given a supernatural power from God, he was able to perform amazing physical feats. You can review them in Judges chapters 13-16.

One of those amazing feats was the catching of 300 foxes! I kid you not. He actually rounded up and caught 300 wild foxes! (Did I say supernatural power? WOW.) Then he turned each pair of foxes, tail to tail and tied a torch to the tail pair. Having their tails fired up, they were released to run free and torch all the grain fields. Judges 15:4-5

Moral – we must personally round up those (potential) threats, distractions and spoilers to our relationships. It is up to us to identify them, acknowledge each one, be truthful and catch each distraction. Then, we gotta restrict the spoilers. Put restrictions on your phone use and response times. Repent of bad habits and attitudes. Illuminate all those cute little distractions and let them go. Stop holding on to them. They are spoilers to all that is the best in you. They are spoiling your relationship and your fruitfulness.

I have work to do, how ’bout you? (I’m placing my phone on restriction!)

Your life is designed to blossom. If it is not in bloom as it should be, check for those cute little foxes that are spoiling your life, your relationships. Then, restrict them. Tie them up, cut them off. Don’t let them into your vineyard to spoil anymore.

These are real and hard words, I know. I need them. But, I trust you can appreciate being alerted to what may be spoiling your fruitful expectations. I told you this would be a spoiler alert.

Let’s go catch those foxes,

Debbie

Get Dressed for Work

On this Labor Day weekend, I am challenging you to not stop working, but actually get dressed for work. (If you are interested in the history of our National Labor Day, see my “What is Labor Day” blog from September 2021.)

I once knew a man, who each morning would prepare himself and dutifully walk out the front door of his home to work. He did this even after He was fired from his job, just to fool his wife. He was dressed for work and pretended to be going off to work, but the truth was, he was neither.

Could that be an accurate description of many believers today? Being dressed and pretending it’s for the Lord and then pretending to be doing His work?

Here’s where this challenge comes from –

But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you.”

Jeremiah 1:17 ESV

Another, translation makes it even clearer –

But you – up on your feet and get dressed for work! Stand up and say your piece. Say exactly what I tell you to say. Don’t pull your punches or I’ll pull you out of the line up.”

Jeremiah 1:17 The Message paraphrase

The context of these Jeremiah verses is the beginning of a 50 year period in which Jeremiah spoke to Israel of their shameful and persistent sins. God had called this man, Jeremiah before he was even born, Jeremiah 1:5 to speak God’s words, even though Jeremiah claimed to not know how to speak or what to even say. Jeremiah 1:6-10

Jeremiah’s nation was headed for judgement because it had forsaken the Lord.

And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshipped the works of their own hands.”

Jeremiah 1:16 ESV

Then, turning on a dime, we find the next verse – BUT YOU – DRESS YOURSELF FOR WORK.

It is in the darkest days, the seemingly most hopeless and discouraging situations that the challenge comes – Up on your feet! Stand up and say your piece. Speak out and tell my Word. Don’t pull any punches. Tell things God’s way. Even when no one else is, or living it, or even desiring it. You, and me, are to dress ourself and get to work. He has put His Word in our heart ond on our lips.

I find it interesting that the Message paraphrase says, “don’t pull your punches”.

According to Quora, the root of this phrase comes from a boxer who pretends to punch, makes it look believable, but without full force. The boxer begins to retract his fist right before the punch has connected, therefore it looks like a punch but is severely weakened. Punching with full power begins in the feet and hips and is literally like throwing a punch.

In other words, my amplified translation would read like this,

“But you believers, stand your ground, Ephesiams 6:14, set yourself (like Daniel) and throw your punches – aka = say what I tell you, what My Word says. Do not pull back your powerful punch (Word), or withhold My Word in any given situation. Tell them everything that I tell you.”

You see, in these days, pretending to be dressed and pretending to be doing God’s work will not cut it. You might be able to fool others but you cannot fool God.

“Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Give yourselves to the work of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

“Present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed.” 2 Timothy 2:15

“God will not forget your work and love you have shown Him.” Hebrews 6:10

You are the person that God wants to use!

Some of you have things, conversations or assignments that you have been putting off – not giving yourself to fully. It is time to speak out and stand up.

So, my friend, on this Labor Day 2022, in the spiritual realm, it is time to get dressed and get to work.

Go with God,

Debbie

Dealing with Shame

Today, one of the most significant mental issues facing all of us is learning to deal with shame. In this video lesson we take a deep dive into this important topic for every person’s growth, well being and emotional stability.

click on to watch

Please take the steps needed to be free of shame. It is possible, through Jesus – the one who carried it all for you because He loves you.

Go with God,

Debbie

A Brief Lesson in Optics

light through a prism

Optics –

a science that deals with the genesis and propagation of light, the changes that it undergoes and produces, and other phenomena closely associated with it”

Merriam-Webster

So what do we know about light, and why should I care? How ‘bout these factoids?

  • Light is a natural energy produced to make things able to be seen
  • Light energy is always moving
  • Light is an electromagnetic wave, one of 7
  • Light travels at 186,000 mph
  • Light is plants sole source of food – therefore light provides food to all life
  • Light is vital for growth, sleep and body rhythms
  • Light is stored in all carbohydrates, therefore vital to our nutrition
  • All objects produce light (electromagnetic waves), we just can’t see them
  • Visible light accounts for less than one ten-billionth of the electromagnetic spectrum – so that means there is waaaaaaay more to be seen than is actually being seen.

We should care about light because as shown by the above facts, without light, life on earth would cease. The end. Fin. La Fin. Mwisho. Das Ende. Fim. Ang Dulo.

Allow me to remind you of some interesting features of light.

Light travels in waves, and always in a straight line. If an object gets in lights way – the light wave will bend, refract or get absorbed by the object. The actual wave or light beams, are made of zillions of air packets of light – called photons.

Visible light is what allows us to see colors and beauty. You actually see things when light enters your eye. That light can be from one of two sources – a light bulb or refracted light, which is much more common. If no light enters the eye, you see black – darkness. And to restate, all objects produce light, they create electromagnetic waves, the problem is that humans can’t see them.

Light not only benefits all life but is absolutely needed for life to exist. In addition, light is needed for drying and evaporation on earth. It is needed for sanitation on and scavenging in earth. Light actually raises earth’s temperature and therefore maintains not only temperature but life.

photosynthesis

Light is used in medicine and in all sorts of human applications.

Two more light tid bits and then we will drive this all home, okay?

Plato, the great philosopher once thought humans could shoot light from our eyes. Boy, what would this world be like if we could? I guess you can’t always be a genius, Mr. Plato.

A “jiffy” is a unit of measure that dictates how long it takes for light to travel up to a centimeter. So, when we say, “I’ll be back in a jiffy”, we’re making a pretty fast trip! ha ha Light travels so fast (186,000 mph) that if a human were to travel at the speed of light, in one second they could circumnavigate earth 7.5 times!!!! That’s MORE than a jiffy. Geesh!

We’ve shined the light on light’s characteristics, let’s focus now on another aspect of light.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16 ESV

As we have been for the past few weeks, we peek here into The Sermon on the Mount, preached by Jesus some 400 years after the close of the Old Testament era. Here, He was, newly introduced by his cousin John, as the worthy Lamb of God, who was the One spoken of. He went up to a mountain, and Sat down where thousands gathering around Him to hear Him teach about His kingdom ways.

BAM! The first words out of His mouth are eight values of the kingdom of God. (poor in spirit, mourn, meek, hunger and thirst for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, persecuted for righteousness sake) Then, He uses the analogy that these values are like salt, and as His followers live by them, they are actually salting, seasoning and presevering the earth. (For more see the past 3-4 Sunday Sermon blogs.)

Now, He makes another analogy or metaphor comparing the followers in His kingdom to light.

Your lives light up the world.”

Matthew 5:15 TPT

Wait. What? How can I, a simple little human living in Southern California light up the world? I just get up, go to work, love my family, and try to be kind to others, then get up the next day and do the same. “Light up the world” is a rather hefty statement, Jesus. But is it?

From the very beginning of creation, God’s focus has been on light.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

Genesis 1:3 ESV

And God said, “Let there be lights in the heavens to separate the day from the night…and let them be lights to give light upon earth…And it was so…And God made two great lights – the greater to rule the day and the lesser to rule the night…and God set them to give light on the earth… to rule over the day and the night… to separate light from darkness.”

Genesis 1:14-18 ESV

Light’s design on earth has always been to give life, to give light to the earth, to separate light from darkness, and to rule.

It’s funny that God said in Genesis 1:14 – “let there be lights” and Jesus said, in Matthew 5:14, “You are the light”. Jesus was telling us that as we live His kingdom values, and under His kingdom authority, we shine as light does in the world. We light up the darkness, we are the light. But how?

With Jesus, the light of the world, John 8:12, living in us, our kingdom actions and choices are seen by others. They are a light pointing the way in darkness. They are energy waves, illuminating from us, picked up by people, bouncing off of them, or being absorbed by them. Our words and actions, our auora even, distinguishes us, separates us, as “different” – because we are carriers of The Light. Sometimes people, really can see our light and they should. It should be giving light to all in the house. It should be on a stand for all to see. We should be standing for the Light of the kingdom.

As light, our course is a straight path. His Word is our true North, and we don’t waver off course. We bounce off of some people, bring clarity to others, and expose still others. Our light sanitizes or helps to clean up dirty places in people (and us), while at the same time bringing warmth to the cold hearts of some walking our earth.

Our light is earth’s medicine. Earth’s life. Without our light, the earth would be enveloped in total darkness.

But our light is meant to give life, bring light, separate and rule the darkness. Darkness will never overpower our light or even understand it. John 1:5

God has set the lights in the sky, just as he has set brightly lit cities on hills. Those cities are filled with zillions of photon-people, like YOU, litting up not only their city, but the darkness. In much the same way that the Israelites’ homes were filled with light, during the ninth plague of darkness that gripped Egypt. Exodus 10:23

Our light helps all to see beauty, color, distinction. Our light can be like a light bulb, shining when needed in a dark space or refracted light- shining and bending back. Refracted light will change – and speed up, depending on the substance it is entering. It adjusts to the object. Without refracted light, focus is lost.

It matters little whether you are a light bulb or being refracted, as long as you are shinning.

Don’t hide your light.”

Matthew 5:16 TPT

These may well be days of darkness, but they are too, days of separation and distinction. They are days of waves of light beaming upon our earth, once again bringing light to the earth, and ruling over the darkness. Just as God originally intended.

May these words serve as a prism for you which will inspire and challenge you to burst forth in colorful, visible light upon your world.

Our world needs a brief lesson in optics.

Debbie

Sources

Factcity.com facts-about-light

Afrilcate.com facts-about- light

Study.com/academy/lesson/factsoflight

Light – studyread.com/uses of light

Wired.com – light

Let God Love You

One of the most significant things that we can learn in life is how to accept love and open ourselves up to being loved. Opening yourself up to God’s amazing love will melt, change, warm, strengthen and amaze you and is the most important experience of your life, bar none.

See what I mean in this video. You’ll never be the same.

Let Him love you,

Debbie

Are You Salty?

Your lives are like salt among the people. But if you, like salt, become bland, how can your saltiness be restored? Flavorless salt is good for nothing and will be thrown out and trampled by others.”

Matthew 5:13 TPT

So, what do we know about salt? If our life is like salt, then it would be worth our time to take a look at Na (sodium) + Cl (chloride) = salt. Let’s dive in.

There are several approaches we can take in looking at salt. The first would be in the context and setting of this passage in Matthew.

Salt shards were gathered from the Dead Sea during Jesus’ time and brought back to the home for multiple uses. Dead Sea salt of that time was often “contaminated with other minerals, causing a weakness in flavor or bland, unpleasant taste.” (1) But one of it’s primary uses in the home was for flavoring the water pot for stew. The salt shard would be dipped into the pot of water to flavor the water. After too many dips, the salt shard would have lost it’s flavor. It would then be taken ouside and used as pavers to walk on.

The Dead Sea

It was also possible that a flavorful salt shard would get rained on. That would dissolve the salt, leaving only the contaminants which were of little use.

Another approach when looking at salt is the scientific perspective.

Salt is an inorganic compound, not from living matter. As mentioned earlier, it is the combination of Na – sodium + Cl – chloride. Sodium chloride = table salt. NaCl is a very stable chemical substance. In fact, the only way for salt to lose it’s salinity is through a chemical reaction with another substance. (My teaching 8th grade, Physical Science is coming in handy now.) Salt can however be diluted in water and will then loose it’s pungent saltiness. It does not form a new compound when combind with water, it forms a mixture. But in it’s crystal form, it is non-reactive.

Salt may become bland by the presence of impurities, interation with other components or exposure to humid environments. All of these, cause harm to the flavor of salt. Salt will become “bad” only when it gets deteriorated due to some external factors. “There is no such thing as horrible natural salt in the world of salt.” (2)

Impurities in salt

Another part of the science of salt is salt’s many uses.

We are told that there are 14,000 known uses for salt. It is much more than a flavor enhancer or preserver. Salt carries iodine which aids the thyroid function, and fluorine which helps prevent tooth decay. In fact, adults need 4-5 grams of common salt a day. (Which with balanced nurtition, is found in our meals.)

Our body actually needs salt to:

  • absorb & transport nutrients
  • maintain blood pressure
  • maintain the right balance of fluid
  • transmit nerve signals
  • contract and relax muscles (3)

Your body needs salt, but too little or too much can be harmful.

Remember too, that on your tongue are 5 primary taste modalities. Can you remember them? Sweet, sour, bitter, savoriness (now called umami), and saltiness. Matter of fact, the brain detects the taste from salty foods as “pleasant“, and from the others as “unpleasant”. No kidding, a chemical event on your tongue that determines what is pleasant?! Crazy.

your tongue

The internet is filled with lists of uses for salt. I’ve read most of them and written down many. But to summarize here, human comsumption of salt represents only 6% of the 250 million metric tonnes of salt that is used world wide in a year. The majority 94% is used for: softening water, de-icing roads, and in agriculture; with the largest amount used in manufacture of PVC, plastics, & paper pulp. (4) In 2020 the salt industry was valued at 28 billion US dollars.

Please hang with me here, you know we’re gonna drive this all home. But one last thing worth mentioning about salt.

There are 3 methods of sourcing salt – getting it out of the earth. They are:

  1. evaporation of sea water
  2. mining rock salt formations in the earth
  3. creating salt brines (6)

Each of these is interesting in itself, but for sake of time, I want to mention only one – mining rock salt formations.

To mine rock salt, specialized equipment is used underground, that cuts the salt beds into large blocks. The method that is commonly used for this is called the “room and pillar” method. The equipment extracts large “rooms”of salt (a block at at time) from the salt beds with unscathed “pillars” left behind. The Sifto Salt Mine in Ontario, Canada is the largest salt mine in the world and it is 2,000 feet below earth’s surface.

room and pillar salt mining

I will close now with looking at salt from the spiritual point of view, applying what we have learned about salt to our lives and seeking your answer to our opening question.

It is no accident that after Jesus taught his disciples “The Beattitudes” in Matthew chapter 5, (which we talked about in 2 previous blogs), that He then tells them,

You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost it’s taste, how shall it’s saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”

Matthew 5:13 ESV

He was telling them, YOU are the salt shards, pulled from the earth, and now dipped into every homes’ nourishment and sustainence. Stay salty, flavorful, not dilluted, or contaminated and don’t allow yourselves to become those road pavers that are walked all over by men. Too much dipping will cause you to be bland. Be wise. Be salty. Keep your flavor.

He is telling us, as salt shards, our flavor will deteriorate only when we succomb to external factors. (Stress, worry, fear, unbelief, depression, etc.) We are stable when our relationship with Him is crystalized and found to be without mixture or dillution. We are put in this world as salt, a nonreactive, stable and needed compound intended to affect everything that we are dipped into.

Indeed, your saltiness in this world has at least 14,000 uses. Your impact as salt in your home is more than just seasoning, it is vital to a healthy family life. Your saltiness at work, school, or in your neighborhood has untold influence in more ways than you may ever see. Just a dash of your saltiness can treat irritations, melt hard hearts, and put fires out. Your saltiness will bring healing and even deoderize smelly situations. Your body will prosper and be in good health, as you are salty. As you, yourself are seasoned with the salt of His presence.

We humans, in abundant supply on this planet carry the capacity to majorly affect our world and that is indeed God’s intention for us as the salt of the earth, if, we have not lost our saltiness. And let’s not forget that saltiness is detected as pleasant by our brain, so let’s share our salty pleasantness with our neighbors.

One last thought – Do you recall Lot’s wife? The one who looked back and “turned to a pillar of salt”? Genesis 19:26 Do you recall the common method for mining rock salt? “Room and pillar“, right? Could it be that Lot’s wife had lost her saltiness and become a pillar because all of her salt had been mined out of her by living in such close contact with and deteriorated by the perverted people of Sodom? There was no room in her that contained salt. Her salt was empty and depleted. She had been dipped and mined and had nothing left but a stationary, singular pillar. Just wondering…

empty rooms only pillars

Wrapping this up, Mark tells us “to have salt in yourselves” Mark 9:50. Paul in Colossians 4:6 tells us, ” that your speech be seasoned with salt…”. Jesus said, “You are the salt…”.

As believers, we should be able to retain and live the very “beattitudes” or salt of the kingdom, as listed below, free from external forces, mixture, deterioration, dissolving away, or being mined out of us. These salty crystals are what keeps us stable and nonreactive in this world.

  • poor in spirit – unable to live spiritually without God
  • mourn – feeling genuine sadness for sin
  • meek – accepting God’s dealings with us, humble
  • hunger & thirst for righteousness – craving what is right before God
  • merciful – compassionate
  • pure in heart – free from corrupt desires
  • peacemakers – bringers of peace
  • the persecuted – harassed, troubled, maltreated

So, do you see it now, the link between those salty beattitudes of kingdom living and us being the salt of the earth? Those values are what fires our saltiness. No wonder Mark 9:49 says, “everyone will be salted with fire.”

So here we are, again asking you, are you salty?

Debbie

  1. “Salt in the Bible” – Wikipedia
  2. FactsAboutFood.com
  3. Healthline.com
  4. FoodUnfolded.com
  5. Statista.com/thesaltindustry
  6. FoodUnfolded.com

Part 2 – As Above, So Below

Continuing our look at the kingdom of God from above, being lived out here on earth below, let’s review for a moment.

There is a kingdom in heaven, fully functioning under the reign and soverignity of Almighty God and His son, Jesus who is the King of Kings. This kingdom is of or from heaven, and is intended to be fully demonstrated here on earth by humans, who are living the values, principles, and “doms” (see part 1) of our King Jesus.

We get a glimpse of this kingdom when we look at the “Beattitudes” of Jesus, as found in Matthew chapter 5. These beattitudes reflect the nature of life in the kingdom of God which is evidenced by the supreme state of well-being when walking in relationship with God.

So, as we look at the last four beattitudes (there are 8, see the first 4 in part 1), imagine life here on earth, if these characteristics were to be truly demonstrated. What a world we would have, here below, if we lived as it is above in heaven.

Blessed are the merciful, they shall receive mercy.”

Matthew 5:7 ESV

Those who, from their deepest heart are able to demonstrate tender mercy to others, themselves will be shown mercy by God. This pictures someone, who “from their womb” – the birthplace of new life, new ideas, new ways – expresses and displays compassion and mercy to others. This one, because of what he or she sows, will not only be satisfied but will reap back the same compassion and mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Matthew 5:8 ESV

The “pure in heart” is one who pursues purity and uprightness; that which is right, true, just, and pure in God’s eyes. They are not soiled or sullied by the filthiness of worldly affects and actions but “have kept themselves” from such influences. They have chosen a better way, a higher standard. They have set themselves apart to God and for His pleasure and have aimed at his favor and acceptance rather than that of man.

It is no wonder then, that they are the ones who not only see God now but progressively see Him more and more. Because their hearts are pure before God (and that does not mean sinless!), which is the most important thing (not external traditions), God honors them by revealing Himself to them. There is NO GREATER HONOR OR HUMBLING STATE for a humnan being than to experience God. That is beyond a blessing!

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.”

Matthew 5:9 ESV

These peacemakers start within themselves. They are at peace with themselves before Almighty God. You cannot be at peace within yourself, if there is no accountability to God. Those who try to find peace without God awareness, sensitivity and willingness to follow His ways are only fooling themselves. Jesus is the Prince of Peace and brings peace to those willing to make peace with Him. That is where peacemaking begins. Then peacemaking will flow from the personal peace that we have found with God out from us to the community. This peace then, is both personal and communal.

These peacemaking folks, are the sons of God. These peacemakers, defined by their peace with God, are adding to and expanding God’s eternal family, as His sons and daughters, by bringing peace to others and making peace between others.

Are you able to see and image a world ruled and governed by these attitudes, characteristics and values? Can you imagine earth here below, under the influence of the kingdom of God?

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:10 ESV

Could it be that those who are living by these kingdom values will be persecuted? Could the challenge be to those believers who have chosen to live as citizens of God’s kingdom and under his constitution, it’s time to buckle up. Not everyone is gonna like these values, ideas and ways of life. There will be those who not only contradict these values but persecute those who live by them.

“Persecuted” here in the Greek means, “to harass, trouble, molest; to make one run, drive away, maltreated.” The Apostle Paul was persecuted. All the other disciples were pesecuted. Jesus himself was persecuted. Christians through the ages on every continent have been persecuted. Why, oh why, would we think we are any different or walk a different walk? How could we if we are truly living for the kingdom here on earth?

Compared to the suffering saints and martyrs of the past, I tend to think we, ourselves ain’t seen nothing yet!

Our comfort? Our motivation? Our strength? The kingdom of God! We receive eternally and live forever in the kingdom of God. The very one we have lived here on earth. We step from this earth into the kingdom of our inheritance, the one of God’s vast domain.

In closing, let’s remember these things about these beattitudes: (we mentioned them in part 1)

  1. they are a code of ethics for disciples & standard of conduct for all believers
  2. they contrast kingdom values with worldly values (eternal vrs. temporary)
  3. they contrast superficial faith (of the Pharisees) with the real faith that Jesus wants
  4. they show how the Old Testament expectations will be fulfilled in His new kingdom (1)

My prayer is that believers all over the world continue to stand strong in faith and courage as they choose to display on earth what is being lived out in heaven now.

May we, live here below as it is above.

Debbie

  1. Life Application Study Bible – Zondervan

As Above, So Below

This is what Jesus actually taught us to pray, (on earth as it is in heaven) Matthew 6:10 What are we actually praying for? I mean really.

Jesus’ instructions on how to pray begins with seeing Our Glorious Father in heaven and His fully functioning kingdom there being extended to and demonstrated here on earth. He taught us to pray to live here below as it is above.

When Jesus began His ministry on earth, this was His message –

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, Repent fro the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Matthew 4:17

And throughout his entire time on earth, He preached about the kingdon of heaven, aka, the kingdom of God. He taught his disciples, the crowds and the skeptics about what it was like to live by kingdom values and principles. He modeled it with His life of example. He admonished them to live here below as it is above, in heaven.

The kingdom of God is where His authority is acknowledged, it is the realm of His influence. It is in our midst, Luke 17:21, and entered into by spiritual birth, Matthew 18:3; John 3:5. The kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Romans 14:17 The kingdom of God is not about words but about power. 1 Corinthians 4:20

When one experiences the salvation that Jesus provides, we are translated into the kingdom of His dear son, Colossians 1:13 and have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Hebrews 12:28

So what does this kingdom deposit that has been placed inside of us look like? How is the kingdom of God seen by others? What was it that Paul spent three months preaching about in Ephesus? Acts 19:8 And another entire day in Rome preaching to his house guests about? Acts 28:23

The kingdom of God. Geesh. There must be alot to say about that kingdom then – the one above to be lived out here below. We will go there in a minute, but first let’s look at the old English word derivation.

The old English background for kingdom means the king’s domain, where his kingdom activity occured. The king wrote laws and circulated them for all to obey, they were called his “doms”. The King’s doms were the rules for his kingdom.

Well then, what are the kingdom of God’s rules? The “doms” of God’s kingdom?

Matthew 5, part of The Sermon on the Mount has been called the Constitution for citizens of God’s kingdom. For in this exhaustive teaching of Jesus we find those attitudes from above (from God) that should be demonstrated here below, by followers of Jesus. They show what Christ followers should be like. The Sermon on the Mount is the standard for all Christians. It is the standard for the kingdom of God and reveals the values, and principles of the kingdom of God. This sermon describes what the kingdom of God is really like. These beattitudes reflect who God is through His people. Thus, truly, as above, so below.

These standards of the kingdom of God are not multiple choice, pick what you like, they must be taken as a whole. They are our code of ethics and clearly contrast kingdom values with worldly values. They contrast superficial faith with real faith. And they show that those who live by the King’s “doms”, will be blessed – fully satisfied, well off, and fortunate.

Let’s look at a four of the “doms” of our King.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”

Matthew 5:3 ESV

The first of eight “beattitudes” listed in Matthew 5 is the blessing that comes to those who recognize their need for God. It has nothing to do with financial poverty or being poor, but everything to do with admitting you need God’s help and cannot do without Him. We begin our life in God’s kingdom by admitting we absolutely need Him, everyday. We begin by submitting to The King and His ways and yielding to His kindgom values and principles. To those – the blessing that comes is access to the kingdom. WOW!

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Matthew 5:4 ESV

Contrary to popular usage, this passage about mourning has to do with being sorry for your sins and the sins of others. You see, the one who is truly sorry for violating their conscience and God’s “doms” will receive comfort and the help of the “parakleto” – the Holy Spirit – who will strengthen and encourage.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

Matthew 5:5 ESV

These meek ones of the kingdom are ones who rely on God’s strength, not their own, and accept God’s dealings as good, without disputing or resisting. Their meekness doesn’t make them push overs or whimps, but ones who trust the King who is soverign over all and on whose strength they can depend.Their abundant blessing comes in the end of all, when they will inherit a new earth.

One last one for today…

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Matthew 5:6 ESV

The kingdom of God is populated with those who crave righteousness and eagerly thirst for more and more of it. Not satisfied with low, worldly morals and standards, these kingdom royals will be satisifed only with more of God’s righteousness, not man’s filthiness and perversions. No compromise is reached because the standard of the kingdom stands supreme.

These first four “attitudes” – admitting we need God, being grieved for sin, accepting God’s will and strength, and craving righteousness are the fabric of God’s kingdom. These demonstrate God’s kingdom here on earth.

As you can see, these first four kingdom values in the beattitudes, fly in the face of worldly values and clearly demonstrate an eternal perspective and code of ethics from above, that we believers are chraged with living and pulling down for here on earth.

Perhaps you share my disgust with what is being strutted before us as wholesome, what is being herladed as virtuous, what is being declared as truth, and what is being propped up as leadership, or perhaps not, but what still stands is the stark contrast between what we are seeing in this earthly realm, compared to God’s heavenly kingdom – the kingdom of God.

I choose to proclaim and live as John the Baptist, Jesus, and Paul, “The Kingdom of God is at hand”. As royals, blood bought believers in Jesus and heirs of the King, we are rising up in demonstration and power because the kingdom of light within us, is breaking forth from within us. The King’s “doms” are being lived out by us, they are our standard, our ethics, and our kingdom contsitution.

It’s important to remember these kingdom characteristics, these beattitudes and keep yourself aligned with them. It is so easy to lose track of kingdom principles when there’s nothing but garbage and lies being promoted, right? Remember too, God promises to supremely bless those who align with the standards of His Kingdom.

So when we pray for “it” to be done on earth as it is in heaven, all this is what we are praying for and rising up to live out.

May it be here below, as it is above in heaven. Now is the time.

Cheers to YOU,

Debbie

P.S. – Next week we will continue with the remaining beattitudes and our kingdom theme. Hope to see you back, then.

A Blessing in the Wilderness

Sitting here, I’ve been attempting to see and sync historical connections and have them make sense. I was wrestling, pondering, & researching until this sense settled on me, “It’s not about history, as much as it is about now,” the Lord spoke clearly. “Ok, what are you saying about now, Lord?”

I have a blessing for my people.

Allow me to go back for a moment.

Over six weeks ago, I began studying the events within the book of Numbers. From the first six chapters, I clearly heard the Lord speak, “This is for today”. Each of those first six chapters of Numbers began with the phrase, “And the Lord spoke…” The word was clear, this is what the Lord is speaking to us today too.

So, seizing that impression of the Spirit, I proceeded to write six Sunday Sermon Blogs, sumizing what the Lord is saying today, to us. They are:

  • June 18, 2022 – Father’s Are Essential
  • June 25, 2022 – Under What Banner Are You Camping?
  • July 2, 2022 – Gardians of the …
  • July 9, 2022 – Calling Out Those Who Are Called to Carry
  • July 16, 2022 – Clean Up in America
  • July 23, 2022 – A Holy Nation

Thinking that I was done, (because chapter 7 begins a different way & goes in a different direction), I paused and reviewed Numbers chapters 1-6. Tucked away, in the last 6 verses of chapter 6 is the one of, if not the most powerful blessings of the Old Testament. “The Priestly Blessing” or the “Aaronic Blessing”.

It reads –

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ” Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: You shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”

Numbers 6:22-27 ESV

The Lord wasn’t done speaking to me, or them or YOU! He had a blessing yet to be released upon His people – a blessing for us, in our wilderness. For you, in your wilderness.

Let’s look at it more closely.

  1. The Lord – bless & keep you
  2. The Lord – make His face shine on you & be gracious to you
  3. The Lord – lift up His countenance on you & give you peace

Notice, three times The Lord‘s name, Yaweh, is mentioned? This represents emphasis and carries force with it. It also represents the fullness of God and His promises. Three in one Lord – Jesus, God and Holy Spirit. This blessing, the favor of God, Jesus and Holy Spirit is all in all here. Wow.

Each verse then, conveys two concepts of blessing. The Father God, 2 concepts. Jesus, the Son, 2 concepts. And Holy Spirit, 2 as well.

The promise and favor of God is promised to bless you and keep you. An invocation of blessing is being spoken upon you by God and a hedge of protection is being built around you to guard and keep watch over you.

The blessing that flows from the Lord, Jesus is His light breaking into your darkness and bringing His illumination and glory, and as a loving bridegroom, bending down and bestowing kindness, grace & favor upon His beloved.

This blessing from the Holy Spirit brings a lifting up, as the flood lifts up the ark and with it complete contentment, soundness, safety and prosperity.

Look at what is spoken over you by the Lord. Look at what His promise is to you. Look at all He provides to His people, those who listen for and follow His voice. Blest indeed are we.

What more could we possible need? Why do we seek anything else?

We must remember that the Lord is faithful and rewards those who deligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 Their reward is His blessing, favor, protection, peace, illumination, kindness, grace, contentment, prosperity and soundness.

The power of this amazing priestly blessing is for us, not just the Israelites. It is for the fathers, the families, the carriers of His presence, the guardians of His presence, the cleaned up (by repentance) and set apart ones. (mentioned in chapters 1-6) God’s blessing is promised AND spoken upon them, upon Us.

Could it be that the reason the number 1 video, “THE BLESSING”, was circulating in every nation during the 2020 pandemic is because that is what THE LORD was speaking to His people worldwide? The Lord was speaking The Priestly Blessing over His people worldwide. Jesus, our high priest was speaking His blessing, favor and peace upon His people in the midst of their wilderness experience.

The Lord was blessing His people worldwide by setting His name upon them and marking them with His honor, authority and character. I believe it was released worldwide in 2020 and is still settling upon those who choose to follow Him.

God was blessing them in the wilderness in 1440 BC and He is offering that same blessing in our wilderness of 2022.

“The blessing of the Lord makes rich, and adds no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 10:22

Let’s open ourselves up and fully receive it. Let’s walk in the blessing of the Lord in our wilderness.

THIS is the only place that we will find true unity and brotherhood. In the blessing of the Lord – worldwide.

Receive right now, your blessing in the wilderness.

Debbie

A Holy Nation

It is no secret that “a holy nation” has been the desire of God since ancient times. From Exodus to 1 Peter, we see-

…you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:9

So it really didn’t surprise me in my study of Numbers, to find that the 6th and final topic “the Lord spoke to Moses” in the wilderness about was holiness.

Holiness, is the the 6th time “the Lord spoke”… do you remember the other five?

  • Fathers Numbers 1
  • Standards Numbers 2
  • Guarding Numbers 3
  • Carrying Numbers 4
  • Cleansing Numbers 5
  • Holiness Numbers 6

Let’s begin by establishing the difference between cleansing and holiness. ( 5 & 6) Cleansing is the removal of dirt. Holiness is to not play in or near the dirt. Cleansing is a repeated act as needed. Holiness calls for intentional separation.

God is more than faithful to forgive and cleanse our sin, yet His heart longs for a people, a nation if you will, who choose to separate themselves to Him in holiness. Because He is holy. Leviticus 11:44-45;19:2; 20:26; 20:7; 21:8; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Deuteronomy 23:14

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, When either a man or a woman makes a special vow of a Nazarite, to separate himself to the Lord, he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink… All the days of his vow of separation, no razor shall touch his head… he shall not go near a dead body. All the days of his separation, he is holy to the Lord.

Numbers 6:1-8 ESV

In His quest for a holy nation, there is a opportunity given to any man or woman to voluntarily submit themselves to the “Vow of the Nazarite”. The length of this vow was up to the individual, but what it involved was specifically outlined in Numbers 6 :

  • The individual was to separate themself to the Lord
  • The individual was to separate from wine & grape products
  • The individual was to separate by not cutting their hair
  • The individual was to separate from dead bodies

There are two separations to holiness revealed here and they both still apply.

  1. Separate to the Lordmotivated by an inner call to holiness and devotion to the Lord, these men and women set themselves apart FOR THE LORD. “They choose to distinguish themselves, by going beyond their own power and become extraordinary with wonderful acts in judgment and redemption. They choose to do a difficult thing by the surpassing power of God”. (This sentence uses the full Hebrew word meanings)
  2. Separate from – this second separation involved holding off or abstaining from certain things. They were:
    1. wine & vine products = represents the inner strength to stand against social pressures
    2. not cutting hair = hair, a symbol of intimacy and covering of the Lord. A growing reminder of one’s time spent with God. Intimacy with Him. Relationship with Him.
    3. dead bodies = represents purity and the desire to be free from contamimation that comes from dead works and things

These Old Testament men and women voluntarily choose to be separated to the Lord in a visible and marked way. Their vows were public and respected by the community. Their choices fulfilled their holy vow, and their length of separation was entirely up to them. This was a personal decision with national consequences.

So too, is the choice we have. It is a willing choice we make, to walk in holiness.

Do we choose to stand against social pressures? Is our intimate relationship with Him growing, uncut and unhindered? Is our lifestyle one of purity, free of contaminating dead works?

Paul echos these questions as he writes to the believers in Corinth. He calls out these mismatched alliances – 1 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 TPT

  • righteousness verses rebellion
  • light verses darkness
  • Christ verses satan
  • believer verses unbeliever
  • God’s temple verses demons

He calls believers to stand out in society and be separate, the exact same call to the Numbers 6, Nazarite vow volunteers.

He even uses the same words when he exhorts them to ” touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you…”

1 Coringthians 6:17 ESV

In these days, is there a distinction on those who have allied themselves with a life of separation to the Lord. There should be! Not only not touching unclean things, (cleansing), but voluntarily signing up to live a life separated to Him and abstaing from worldly contaminates. (holiness)

Where are those who will accept the invitation to share in His holiness. Hebrews 12:10 And run swiftly toward holiness. Hebrews 12:14 Those who will come closer to God with an open heart, fully convinced nothing will keep them at a distance from Him. Hebrews 10:22

Will you join the ranks of Sampson, Samuel, John the Baptist, and even the Apostle Paul in the Nazarite vow of dedication to the Lord? He’s not looking for Nazarites, He is looking for holiness, those who will separate themselves to Him. Those who will abandon everything morally impure. James 1:22

You decide. This is a personal, decision. But remember, it has national consequences.

I believe holiness will retore a conscience to society. Holiness will restore a moral conscience to our decadent culture. Holiness will restore the presence of God to our nation, because that is where He lives, in holiness.

May millions arise who will join with saints of old in not only cleansing ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, but also in bringing holiness to completion in the fear of the Lord. 1Corinthians 7:1 ESV

May you and I be a part of an emerging holy nation revolution, a counter culture that carries God’s manifest presence. I can think of nothing more exciting or challenging, but I’m in.

Sign me up!

Debbie

Clean Up in America

Sitting for 5 minutes with my phone, clicking through the local headlines, I listed the following topics that need cleaning up in America.

  • murder
  • assalut
  • theft
  • robbery
  • drug sales
  • violence
  • rioting
  • human trafficking
  • division
  • hatred
  • corruption
  • lies
  • big pharma
  • big tech

I bet we would agree too, that this is not a complete list. What would you add to it?

One of the things the Lord showed me a few weeks back was that we need cleansing. As a nation we need cleansing and as individuals, we need cleansing – a good scrubbing clean.

In fact, He was commanding us to get clean – to remove uncleanness from our life and nation. Here’s what He said,

The Lord spoke…Command the people……”

Numbers 5:1-2 ESV

Not often do we hear of the Lord COMMANDING his people, but this is one of them. He is ordering us, charging us, commissioning us to be cleansed. Now, not later. Let’s look at what we are to be rid of.

Command the people that they are to put out of the camp everyone who is leprous or has a discharge and everyone who is unclean through contact with the dead.”

Numbers 5:2- ESV

Three uncleannesses were to be put out of the camp.

  1. the leprous
  2. the one with a discharge, an issue
  3. those who come in contact with the dead

In this biblical context, the ones who “quaified” in those categories were sent away from the camp where God was and sent away from the army. They were let loose from the encampment so their uncleanness wouldn’t contaminate the whole camp.

I believe that the Lord is speaking that to you and me in these days. He is calling us to a personal and national season of cleaning/cleansing. That involves removing from our camp (our family, our life) these things and then praying for their removal and cleasning from our nation. So what do these three represent?

The leprous

the leprous

Leprosy is an attack on the nerve endings & loss of ability to feel pain. It has a long incubation period and when it arises, it shows as specks on the eyelids, palms and gradually spreads, bleaching the hair white with sores and swelling appearing. It casues bodily harm because of the loss of the pain mechanism by the nerve endings being attacked. And contrary to what we’ve heard, it is NOT easily contagious – but rather is caught by close, repeated contact with someone untreaded. It ends up eating inward to the bone, eventually rotting the whole body. Therefore, it has come to represent an outward and visible sign of a innermost spiritual corruption.

For the leprous, they have become desensitized, barely able feel pain anymore. Nerves shattered, and the ability to see clearly spotted by leprous specks that have found their way beyond vision to everything they do. Swollen with pride and sore with callousness, and dullness of feelings, their hearts and souls have become bleached out, dry and numb.

You will become like them, through close, repeated contact. And that is why God is commanding you and me to remove the leprous from our camp. Remember too, it’s not them. The cleansing the Lord is commanding is for us first. How have we become desensitized to what is happening in our world? Are we feeling the deep pain of the Father’s heart for our sick and dying world? Have our eyes become spotted and blinded to God’s Truth and Justice? Are our actions those of world changers or couch potatos?

Remove every bit of leprosy from your camp, from your life life. Confess, repent, seek His healing and restoration. Now is the time for a clean up in America, starting with us. He is commanding us to.

The one with a discharge, an issue

a twelve year issue

The discharge here in Numbers means “to flow freely, like water; to gush, flow away”. To waste away.” It may be referring to the STD gonorrhea, or female menses. But it reminds me of the woman in the Gospels who, for 12 years had an issue of blood. This issue for years had bled her dry of hope, money and options. All she had, had wasted away with her issue, she had no hope or help.

Jesus is capable of handling and healing all of our issues. Whatever be the issue that has caused us to waste away years… He wants to touch, cleanse and heal it. WIthout the Master’s touch, our issues will remove us from the camp where the presence of the Lord is. Our issue, will remove us from His presence.

Our nation has issues that can only be healed as we, His Body are healed, cleansed and restored. Now is time for a clean up in America, starting with us. He is commanding us to.

Those who come in contact with the dead

contacting the dead

Old Testament law did not permit the Jews to touch anything dead. There are very specific regulations involving contact with and cleansing from touching dead things. So this charge is not aimed that direction, for it is already covered. Its aim however, is at those who contact the dead through mediums, seances, phychics, & witches. It is those involved with witchcraft and the like that are to be removed from the camp, so as to not allow their evil influences to affect the nation.

My friend, there is no power greater than that of the Almighty God, Jehovah, the great I AM. To meddle with the evil spirits who war against God, is to war with God Himslef. To seek tarot cards, a daily reading, a deceased loved one or the full on dark powers of magic and sorcery, to cast spells or try incantations, all of these, we are commanded to be cleansed from. Run all them evil spirits, books, signs, and sins out of your camp. Confess your sin, repent of it, ask forgiveness and be cleansed from everything having to do with the dead and their dry, old, dead spirits. Now is the time for a clean up in Ameica, starting with us. He is commanding us to.

Lest you think these ideas are far fetched for New Testament believers, the New Testament is clear that we are to cleanse ourselves for every form of impurity and sin. Cleansing is a new testament concept.

  • 1 Cor. 5:7 – cleanse out all the old leaven…
  • 2 Cor. 7:1 – let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness
  • Jas. 4:8 – cleanse your hands you sinners and purify your hearts you double minded
  • Mat. 8:3 – immediately his leprosy was cleansed
  • Acts 15:9 – having cleansed our hearts by faith
  • 2 Pet. 1:9 – …having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins…

Cleasning is for now. Is needed now. In my life. In your life. In the nation.

Webster says that “cleanse” means = clean, especially to be rid of impurities by washing. Remove toxins from body. Purge, purify, sanctify.

If we are to see our nation rid of murder, assalut, theft, violence and the others we listed earlier, it starts with us. It starts in me. It starts in you.

I am asking you to consider joining me and others in a personal prayer of cleansing and repentance. Evaluate and rid your life from any –

  • leprosy – anything that has numbed your senses to God’s heart. Blinded your eyes to His truth & justice. Anything that has eaten away at your spiritual condition. Those things that have worn away at your ability to feel completely and even experience pain
  • issues – that have run for years through your life and bled you dry of hope, healing, and faith. Issues that represent wasted years.
  • contact with the dead – renounce all associations with witchcraft, mediums, the supernatural, evil spirits, and walk as one covered by the Blood of Jesus, whose death overcame all forms of darkness, and by whose death you are victorious over them all

Here’s how –

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Proverbs 28:13 – he who confesses and forsakes them (his sin) will obtain mercy.

Psalms 32:5 – I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my inquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and you forgave the inquity of my sin.

I believe the Lord is calling us all to put out of the camp everything that is unclean. Including these that we have discussed. He is calling for us to be purified, cleansed, forgiven and empowered. I don’t know what lies ahead for us in America, but I do know that He is up to something amazing and is looking for clean vessels that He can use.

That’s why your prayer of cleansing and my prayer of cleansing is the start of a clean up in America.

Amen!

Debbie

Calling Out Those Who are Called to Carry

This message is really one in a series of messages the Lord highlighted to me while reading the book of Numbers. In the first six chapters there, each chapter begins with this phrase –

The Lord spoke to Moses…”

Numbers 1:1; 2:1; 3:1; 4:1; 5:1; 6:1 ESV

So I thought, if the Lord is speaking, what is He saying here and how can it be for us too? We better listen up and get on board. (Don’t you talk to yourself that way when you read the Bible? :-))

So here’s the deal.

I fully understand that we are “under Grace” and the New Covenant of Jesus blood and redemption. I understand that Jesus fulfilled all the law. I get it. But I also understand that there are truths for us, within these seemingly obscure Old Testament stories, practices, laws and observances. So hear me out.

A quick backstory of Numbers 4. In this chapter, the Kohathites, one of the three sons of Levi (the priest & therefore his family were all priests) are being assigned their priestly duties. Their job was to cover and carry the “most holy things”.

this is the service of the sons of Kohath: the most holy things.”

Numbers 4:4

After listing everything that they were to cover and expressly how to cover it, it says this –

…the sons of Kohath shall come to carry (1) these… These are the things of the tent of meeting that the sons of Kohath are to carry (2).”

Numbers 4:15
Kohathites carrying the Ark of the Covenant

Ok, so they’re s’pose to carry furniture, big deal, so what, you may be thinking.

In fact, they are not just carrying furniture, and the most holy furniture at that. There are two different words for “carry” used in that last verse. Stay with me.

In the first usage, it means “to lift, accept, advance, aid. Burden bearer, honor.” (H5375) So it is clear that the Kohath family of priests were to literally, physically lift and carry the most holy pieces of furniture as the nation hiked through the desert.

In the second usage of “carry” it is an entirely different word, and yet is still translated “carry”. Take a look –

H4853 = “massa” = a burden in the form of a prophetic utterance. A tribute. An utterance, chiefly doom, especially singing; carring away, prophecy. Prophetic utterance, oracle.”

Strongs Concordance; Brown-Driver-Briggs Lexicon

Here, it expressly states that the Kohathites are to bear the burden of carrying the prophetic words and songs from God. Their service of carrying the holy things and bearing the holy, prophetic burden is so important, verse 17 says this, “let not the tribe of the Kohathites be destroyed from among the Levites.” (Of course, carrying the most holy things was a risky endeavor if not done right, too, and could cost a life. Think- Uzzah..)

The whole chapter of Numbers 4 closes with this statement –

… each one (of the sons of Levi) with the task of serving or carrying…”

Numbers 4:48 ESV

Do you see it? Not only were there to be those who valued, honored and carried the Most Holy things, but they also carried the burden for the prophetic utterance and prophecy in the nation. Each one with the task of carrying the prophetic voice of God in the camp, in the nation.

…they were charged with the service of the holy things that had to be carried on the shoulder.”

Numbers 7:9 ESV

This responsibility of carrying the holy things, of carrying the prophectc burden was carried on their shoulders. It was their responsibility, their honor, their duty for all generations. They were not to be destroyed, or disappear, ever, is what God said and intended.

One last note, before I wrap up.

“Kohath” actually means in the Hebrew – “to ally oneself; allied.” H6955

The point here is this – I believe that the Lord is calling out to those who are called to carry the burden of the holy things and the weight of His prophetic words. It’s that simple.

The call is for those who will align themselves with Him and what He is doing and saying. To those in alignment, who are allied with God, He will speak and their words will be in alignment with His will.

As mentioned last week, we are a royal priesthood. (1Peter 2:9) Today, I add – who have been called to carry the burden of the presence and prophetic voice of the Lord for our nation.

I am Calling Out Those Who are Called to Carry the burden of the holy things and His prophetic word.

Are you one? Will you respond?

Debbie

Guardians of the …

What pops into your mind?

If it’s the 2014 Oscar nominated, multi-award winning, $773 million dollar grossing, blockbuster film, staring Chris Pratt – you might be close. If it’s the simple word – “galaxy”, you’d be even closer.

spiral galaxy

Although I would enjoy drawing parallels from the Guardians, whose goal it is to combat evil and create a orderly universe, utilizing their mechanized police force – “The Manhunters”, who sought to eradicate organic life starting in Sector 666 (and left survivors of the massacre called “demons”, who banded together to form a nation called “Empire of Tears”), I will leave that for another time. (1)

Guardians of the Galaxy

What I would like to add to the list of things that could pop into your mind is this: We humans have indeed been selected to be guardians. It’s true. You, me, and every human on the planet, are intended to follow in the steps of Adam, our father and be guardians or “watchmen” over God’s creation – His garden.

That garden first starts within us (Song of Sol. 1:6) and then extends to our planet. Why? Because there is a snake in the garden, and we are to watch, guard and keep the snake out. Man’s role is protector, keeper, and watchman (2) … of the galaxy (if you will) – to keep the snake out!

Yahweh-God took the man and placed him in the graden of Eden to work and watch over it.”

Genesis 2:15 TPT

I believe this is where so many who champion the “Green” philosophy of planet conservation and all, get their mandate. It is valid. We are to take care of “Mother Earth”, and watch out for her for the sake of continued life on the planet. We are to be earth’s stewards.

But there is more to our guardianship of this galaxy, and planet… and it still has to do with keeping the snake out and watching for its encroachments.

A clear example and model of this can be found in the selection (by God) of the tribe of Levi, to guard the sanctuary and presence of God. This family of priests, one of twelve families, was chosen to be guardians of the Tent of Meeting as they traveled through the wilderness and entered into their promised land. Their job involved, guarding the sanctuary, guarding the priesthood, guarding the furnishings, guarding the people, guarding the coverings, screens, and the most sacred ark. Numbers chapter 3 tells of it all.

It is interesting to note that Levi had three sons (Gershon, Kohath, and Merarai) and to each son, along with their family was given the responsibility for a specific part of the Tabernacle. Here’s the interseting part – look at this verse about Kohath (and his family):

Let not the tribe of the clans of the Kohathites be destroyed from the Levites…”

Numbers 4:17 ESV

In other words, take careful heed to see to it that there are always Kohathites (Levites – priests) guarding, watching, keeping and protecting. You see, as 1 Peter 2:5 tells us, WE ARE TO BE A HOLY PRIESTHOOD, offering spiritual sacrifices. What sacrifices? Guard duty, watching for snakes!

Where?

Yes, in the sactuary/assembly. We do watch for snakes in church, we keep guard for actions, attitudes and allurements from the serpent. We identify them. We rally in prayer around them. We bind them. We keep the garden free from the whiles of the enemy.

But also, we keep watch personally and corporately. In our own lives and then in the national life stream. Where there is any evidence of a slithering snake, its poison and deception, we crush it’s head, under our feet. Romans 16:19

In our nation, it is easy to identify the imprint of the snake. Whatever is contrary to The Word, is from the snake. Use the Sword then, to cut it’s head off. Keep it out, protect against its lies and heresy.

I could (and maybe even should) spend another whole blog on the absolute imperative we have to guard liberty. My friend, America’s liberty must be guarded. It is given to us, to safeguard, protect, and defend the liberties our great nation was founded upon and to raise up others who will do the same. “Give me liberty or give me death” is still the revolutionary call.

In our personal lives too, we guard against the lurings of the snake to doubt what God has said, to believe He is holding something back from us and doesn’t want us to be happy and fulfilled. But most importantly, our guard is to be for the keeping of His presence. Let me explain.

The Levites were to guard the presence of the Lord. The ark. They were to keep watch for anything out of line with what God had directed. Their charge was to be watchmen for the presence and to keep the snake out!

We too are to guard the presence of God in our life, in our church, in our nation, in our family. It is all about the presence – God’s presence. Keeping it, guarding it. In fact, being guardians of His presence.

The snake seeks to divert us, distract us, and destroy anything that leads us to the presence of God or experiencing the full presence of God. The holy, awesome, powerful presence of God is the snake’s demise. That is why we are called to be guardians of the presence. Watchmen for His presence and walkers in it, in Him. Seeking to protect it at all costs, through all generations. Cherishing, revering, and guarding His presence is what we have been commission to do.

We are on guard duty. Watchmen on the wall. Guardians of His presence. Keepers of our garden, on the look out for the snake.

So, now, what pops into your mind?

Guardians of the …

Cheers to you,

Debbie

  1. Wikipedia; Guardians of the Galaxy (film)
  2. The Book of Genesis; The Passion Translation, Brian Simmons; notes Genesis 2:15

Are You a Sweet Smell?

I’m sure you know toxic people and maybe even some that are like the Corpse flower. You know, that rare plant that only blooms every 7-10 years, and when it does, it smells like rotting flesh. The fragrance of it and people like it is far from sweet.

Click on the video for some tools to help you determine what smell it is that you are filling the room with.

Cheers to you,

Debbie

Under What Banner Are You Camping?

To be clear- this is not about outdoor camping, political affiliations, or social justice causes. This is about what I recently heard the Lord speak to me while reading His Word, when He said, “Under what banner are you camping?”.

This question, although posed to me, I understood to be for you too. In fact, I believe it to be one of the priority questions of the Spirit in this current season that we all must grapple with.

Hang with me as I explain, you’ll be glad you do.

The children of Israel had just escaped Egypt and were in the wilderness of Sinai where the Lord is speaking to them. And here is the seed bed for our topic and question-

“ The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “The people of Israel shall camp each by his own standard, with the banners of their father’s houses.”

Numbers 2:1-2 ESV

Here’s the thing- God was directing the entire nation, and calling for each individual to camp by their own standard, under their family banner.

You see, back then, each tribe had their own standard, (Judah/ Issachar/Zebulun, Reuben/Simeon/Gad, Ephraim/Manasseh/Benjamin, Dan/Asher/Napthali); each family within each tribe had their own banner; and each triad of tribes had their own standard. (The triad is a group of 3 tribes that camped together around the tabernacle in the wilderness)

No one really knows what they looked like

The point here is – everyone was to camp around their own family banner & their tribe’s standard. Where they camped had to do with their family flag, and the standard under which they lived.

The Hebrew word “standard” here is taken from a root word that means – “to flaunt, to raise a flag, to be conspicuous – set up a banner”. (H1713) What we can glean from this is, the banner under which they lived is what made them stand out, be conspicuous. Or perhaps even, they stood out and were conspicuous based upon the standard under which they lived and identified.

But each individual was also linked to a family, not just a tribe. And they were to camp under the banner of their father’s house as well. Take a look at what “banner” means.

” sign, pledges, signs – miracles, memorial stones of their father’s houses.”

H226

Translation… family signs (sins, tendencies, weaknesses), turned to miracles, became the banner of identification for every individual, who then became part of a larger group (triad) who marched together conspicously, flaunting their standard of victory.

But here’s the question, under what banner are YOU camping? What are the obvious signs on your life? What does your life point to, stand out for?

We all have a family, and each family looks different. Family in this text means all of these things in fact –

“house, palace, prison, temple – house containing a family”

H1004

Families have problems, let’s face it. But every family has problems and every family since time has begun has had problems. Even the problems of biblical families are not hidden. For example-

  • Adam – blame shifting
  • Cain/Abel, Jacob/Esau, Joseph -sibling rivalry
  • Rachel, Leah, Hannah – jealousy
  • Samuel & Eli – wayward kids
  • Saul & Jonathan – angry tempered father
  • David & Absolom – rebellious son
  • Hosea – marriage issues

God set up families as His first institution to teach us about human interactions. It is within this context that we realize family tendencies, weaknesses, strengths and values, right? It is within this framework that we see “generational sins”. These are weaknesses or tendencies handed down to us through generations via our parents. They include behavioral patterns and ways of thinking.

In my biological family, I see family traits that have been passed down, anger, impatience, pride, judgment, lying, bitterness, drunkenness, demeaning, and cursing, to name a few. What are yours? Cuz we all have them.

But even tho’ these are signs, sins, (of my family) that doesn’t mean I have to camp under that banner. I am not a victim of those generational sins. I can choose to live differently and under another banner. Jesus has freed me and I am responsibile for my own sin and not the sins of my forefathers. Ezkiel 18:30-32 I can pray like David, “do not remember the sins of my forefathers.” Psa. 79:8-9

Even though Issac lied about his wife just like his dad Abraham did, and Jacob with his mom decieved Esau, we do not have to camp under the banner of our families generational sins. But without intentional, personal confession & repentance we will fall prey to those “sins that so easily beset us”, those unspiritual family traits, whatever they may be.

You see, generational sins have a tendency to multiply among family members, and given opportunity to reign to 4 generations become a “stronghold” in the family. These become stumbling blocks that must be dealt with through prayer, confession & repentance as we mentioned. At it’s core, generational sins are about disobeying God’s commands and we must realign ourselves with God, His will, His grace, mercy, forgiveness and love. He truly is a “good, good father”.

That then puts us under the banner of LOVE (Song of Solomom 2:4). Now, The Lord has become our banner, and The Lord is the banner that we camp under. His miracles in our life, His signs of setting us free from family sins, and the memorials we set up to remind ourselves of His forgiveness and deliverance for us.

AND, for the record, “THE LORD OUR BANNER” is one of the names of God that He gave to Moses when Amalek attacked the children of Israel in the wilderness. The story is important for us, in this context because Amalek was the first nation to attack the Jews and God told them that they would have war with him from “generation to generation”. Exodus 17:16 (That means, us!)

Amalek was the grandson of Esau. He grew up in Esau’s house feeding on the hatred of his Granddad for Jacob. Isn’t that what generational sins do? Grow up, unchecked in households like festering wounds, producing swelling and infection. That is why God promised that Amalek would be completely destroyed and remembered no more. Exodus 17:14

And how?

Moses shows us in Exodus 17 – While Moses and Aaron’s hands were lifted, Joshua was victorious in battle over Amalek, if their hands were lowered, Amalek won the battle. As their hands remained lifted, Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. THAT my friend, is effective, fervent prayer and praise!

It was in THAT battle, that Moses called God by the name, “The Lord Is My Banner”. The banner that wins us victory over Amalek (our generational sins, weaknesses and tendencies) is The Lord. The Lord Our Banner is The banner under which we need to park ourselves. Not the banner of our family sins, addictions or shortcomings.

When we find ourselves (and our family) camped under The Lord Our Banner, it is only fitting to then look up and find that we are aligned with the standard of our victorious tribe- The Bride of Christ. Remember, it is under the standard that we become conspicious flaunting even.

When we experience the victory of The Lord in our life over our generational, family sins, we share it, tell others, and become conspicuous to others in our freedom. It is not out of pride or gloating that we flaunt our freedom from family sins, but out of a heart of humble, gratitude that we can’t help but show others that freedom is possible. They too could be free to camp under The Lord Our Banner, and the miracles and signs He will do.

Your battle with Amalek is guaranteed, but your victory over Amalek and those family sins is your responsibility. “For each person will camp by his own standard, with the banner of his father’s house.”

The question that remains then is, under what banner are you camping?

Let’s get to the business of freeing ourselves and our families.

Debbie

PS – I believe that God is preparing His people to march forward in mighty victory as His Ekklesia, but before that can happen, we must be free of anything that entangles us and binds us. Just as with the Jew’s, God spoke for them to realign under their standards and banners – BEFORE He released them to march forward. It’s time to realign, get things settled, and get ourselves out from under generational bondage.

So, my friend, let’s get to it. It’s almost time to move out.

Fathers Are Essential

Fathers are so essential, and their priority so foundational, that in both the Hebrew and Aramaic languages, the first word, is “Ab” = father. You will find it first, literally the number 1, in your lexicons and concordances. (Go ahead, pull out your Strong’s concordance & see.) But fathers are not only essential in languages, fathers are essential to healthy, functioning societies.

According to the research, from birth, even prenatal birth, involved fathers are shown to produce emotionally secure children. (1) Active and nurturing fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functions and academic achievements. (2) In a majority of studies, there is no question that involved fathers do play a crucial role in cognitive, behavioral, and general health and well being areas of a child’s life. (3)

It should come then, as no surprise to us that God’s design for dad’s influence in their family is one of his highest priorities. And yet, as I was recently reading in the first chapter of the book of Numbers (the 4th book in the Bible), I was surprised to find a whopping 17 times (in only 45 verses) the phrase – “by their father’s houses”. Let me show you how the whole book and chapter 1 begins-

” The Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai…saying…”

Numbers 1:1 ESV

The book starts with GOD SPEAKING (in the wilderness) and telling (Moses) something. My friend, when God speaks, we would be wise to listen, every single time. So God is speaking… what is He saying?

“Take a census.. by their father’s houses…every father and male… head to head…”

Numbers 1:2,5,18,20,22,24,26,28,30,32,34, 36,38,40,42,44,45

God is counting the fathers. God is counting on fathers.

He is counting the father’s households. He wants every father counted, and every male in each father’s family counted. Now I know that this is a military census, but do you really believe that is all it is? For as I read and reread this chapter, I heard God clearly say I AM COUNTING THE FATHERS. I am holding fathers to account.

You see, in God’s eyes, it all begins with the fathers. God’s priority is on fathers, families, and fatherlessness. Why? Because God is our EVERLASTING FATHER, and the father of all the families of the Earth. He is Our Father in heaven.

Do you think it is a coincidence that fatherhood and male identities and role models are under attack? Positive, male, role models develop positive gender-role characteristics. (4) The casting off of those positive, male characteristics and fatherhood identities erode all civilizations that succomb to them.

The erasing of male identity and fatherhood is a blatant attempt to erase Our Heavenly Father‘s imprint on humanity. It is a spiritual and demonic strategy.

Fathers matter. Fathers impact their children’s well-being. Just look at what the data shows:

  • Children involved with caring fathers have better educational outcomes (5)
  • Playtime with fathers leaves an important impact on children (6)
  • Fathers bring strength, momentum and movement to a family (7)
  • Son’s with a good relationship with dad handle stress more effectively (8)
  • Involved dad’s have a direct impact on their child’s future (9)
  • Families are strengthened by supporting fathers (10)
  • Dad’s involvement curbs unwelcome teen pregnancy (11)
  • Dad’s presence has a measureable boost to infant development (12)
  • The ability to choose well is the legacy fo a good dad (13)
  • Adolescent/teen boys who live with their dads are less likely to carry guns and deal drugs (15)

Fathers are essential for America as a nation and every other nation for that matter.

Yet, 1 in 4 children live without a biological, step or adoptive father in the home. That’s enough kids to fill NYC once or LA 4 times! Plus, there are millions more who live in homes where Dad is physically present, but emotionally absent. If classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic and natonal emergency. (14)

In my generation, 87.7% grew up with 2 biological parents. Today, that number is 68.1%.

Again, is it any wonder why fathers are so important to God – our Heavenly Father? They are number 1 to Him because they are the building blocks of strong families and thereby strong and healthy society.

That Hebrew word “Ab” that we opened with, the number 1 word in the lexicon, means this:

“Ab – H1 = father, head of a household, patron of a family. Human or spiritual father. A familial relationship represented by the word father.”

Strong’s Concordance

Male role models are vital for families. They teach relationsips, reactions and responses. They set models for marriages and teach important life lessons. Without these good & positive influences we have countless families suffering through the absence of their father, because of his bad influence. And we too often mourn the lessons NOT learned, because of the image of Dad as a shadowdy, angry, booming presence. (and often harmful) The experiences we have with our dad powerfully linger in our emotions. For good or bad.

Today, I hear the call of The Spirit, to Fathers.

More than ever, this generation needs father figures and teachers. God is calling spiritual fathers to rise up. He is calling for earthly fathers to wake up. He is calling role models to step up. We have an epidemic of fatherlessness that OUR FATHER in heaven is crying to heal and fill. He is crying out for the fatherless.

This society badly needs the foundations that a father brings –

  1. The Father as the Source
  2. The Father who Provides
  3. The Father who Corrects
  4. The Father who Loves

God is speaking, in our wilderness…. where are the Fathers? I am looking for them, I am counting on them.

How can you help?

Father’s are essential

In the Father’s love,

Debbie

Works Cited

  1. Father’s and Their Impact on Children’s Well-Being; Dr. Olker PhD.; Psychology Today 6.2011
  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid
  4. Ibid
  5. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  7. Father’s Matter; Danny Huerta PsyD; Focus on the Family
  8. Ibid
  9. 5 Things About the Importance of Father’s; LBJ School of Public Affairs; Child & Family Research Partnership; 6.2017
  10. Ibid
  11. 10 Amazing Research Findings; Couples Therapy Inc., Cherlin, A.; 6.2021
  12. Ibid
  13. Ibid
  14. Father’s.com
  15. National Fatherhood Initiative 2012

We the People of the Land

That’s how this story starts – with the people of the land. These citizens, in groups of categorized people and by various means have (after a considerable delay) spotted an opportunity. So they rally together, create their case, and call for the leader in charge to do something! They call on him to break them loose from their religious & political confines, to unbind them from their past restrctions and to release them to enjoy unrestrained “freedoms”.

And that is exactly what their leader does. He calls for the embellishments on their ears to be removed and given to him. With their hearing now affected, he fashions an image that will retune their focus and shift their vision. He willingly fashions this new image for them and the people willingly accept it.

This story, is none other than the acount of the Israelites encounter with Aaron when Moses was on the top of Mount Sinai with God. We find it in Exodus 32.

“When the people saw that Moses was delayed… the people gathered themselves together to Aaron… and said make us gods…So Aaron said, take off the gold that is in the ears of your wives, your sons and your daughters…so the people brought them to him… and he received the gold…and fashioned it… and made a golden calf…Aaron built an altar… They said, these are our gods… The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play. And when Moses saw that that people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose), Moses stood at the gate…”

Exodus 32:1-7; 25 ESV

Check out some of the meanings of these words and phrases from Exodus 32. It is chilling with respect to its application for our days.

  • people H5971= a people, tribe; groups of people that can be categorized in various ways. Citizens.
  • Moses delayed = so the people felt anxious and pressed for action to seize the opportunity
  • Aaron said, take off the gold on the ears of your family = those embellishments that affect our hearing were removed. Gold. (No godly filters)
  • Aaron received it and fashioned a golden calf = made by the hands of Aaron, this was their new vision and focus
  • The picture in Hebrew, at the foot of the mountain was one of wanton sex orgies, and drunkenness
  • the people had broken loose = they were now completly unrestrained in every perverted desire and passion. Total and unabandon sexual perversion.

In this group of citizens, there arose a domineering voice. (We are told that Israel at this time probably numbered near 2 million people, including women and children.) This voice was one seeking to unleash action in the absence of apparent inaction. This voice coalesced around Aaron and his newfound leadership power. And this voice persuaded Aaron to take these corrupt actions.

Do you see any parallels here with our government in America, it’s leadership, and a group of its people?

It is crystal clear that the American people have “broken loose” and our leadership let them “break loose”. Never wasting an opportunity….

Scripture tells us that,

“Where there is no prophetic vision the people will cast off restraint.”

Proverbs 29:18 ESV

When the vision of God for a people, nation, or individual is cast off, all restraint is let go and all hell breaks loose. God looks at these people as corrupted, having turned away from Him and choosing their own images of worship, rather than Him.

But I would like to suggest to you that the loud voice of this first group was not the only group around the bottom of the mountain that day. Yes, those people did speak loudly and unified themselves around Aaron, but there was another group.

There were (at least) two groups that day. This first one saw:

  • delay, unity in numbers, opportunity to fundamentally change their restricted lives

The other, we find in this passage –

” Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him, “Thus says, the Lord God of Israel, “Put your sword on your side, each of you…”

Exodus 32:26-27 ESV

Here’s the 2nd group in the crowd that day and what brought them together:

  • Who is on the Lord’s side, gathered around Moses, put on their sword

This group was categorized by their desire to please the Lord and obey His will. These Levites, were in the crowd at the foot of Sinai and saw what was going on, the debauchery, and not yielding to it. When the call came – WHO IS ON THE LORD’S SIDE, they seized the opportunity to stand on the Lord’s side. They strapped on their sword and went to work.

People, of the many and varied groups that we find ourselves divided into these days, we are united as citizens. We are the people of the land. And like those citizens amassed at Sinai, we find ourselves seeing the breaking loose and casting off of all restraints of moral, justice, education and religious values. And our leaders not only allow it but promote it.

It is important to note the end of Exodus chapter 32. For in verse 35, it says, “And the Lord sent a plague on the people because they made the calf, the one that Aaron made.”

The leaders of this land will be held accountable for their actions. The people of the land will be held accountable for their actions. And the Lord will indeed judge our land for her actions. Let’s not fool ourselves.

But today, we the people… with which group do ally?

Casting off restraint or strapping on a sword?

The clarion call is being trumpted, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”

We, people of the land, it’s time to strap on your Sword.

Go with God,

Debbie

Dying of Thirst

You’ve probably seen the movie of shipwrecked men who are left drifting aimlessly on the ocean in a lifeboat. As the days pass under the scorching sun, their rations and fresh water finally give out. These men grow deliriously thirsty. Finally, one night while the others are asleep, one man ignores all previous warnings and gulps down some salt water. He quickly dies.

Ocean water contains seven times more salt than the human body can safely ingest. Drinking it, a person dehydrates because his kidneys demand extra water to flush the overload of salt. The more salt water someone drinks, the thirstier he gets. He actually dies of thirst. (1)

We can die of thrist by drinking too much of the wrong thing (saltwater), or not enough of the right thing (water/dehydration). We can die from lack of thirst or from excessive thirst. Both can signal disease, a medical condition or mental disorder. Thirst tells our body we need more fluids, so we should drink more if we are thirsty, but it also tells our body to be sure to maintain adequate fluid levels each day even if we’re not thirsty. (2)

We are living in a dry and thirsty land.

And I don’t just mean here in California, where we are facing the driest winter in over 100 years and where all 58 counties are in a drought emergency proclamation. Even though CADrought Action declares these times, “the driest conditions in recorded history”, I believe they speak to both the physical conditions of the land and the spiritual conditions of the land that are dry and thirsty.

Who of us has not had the sensation of dryness in our mouth and throat in these past two years? Who of us would deny the major changes in patterns of what we have thristed for? Are there those of you who have craved vehemently for justice, or understanding or truth lately?

Those symptoms are the very definitions of thirst as provided by the dictionary and medical professionals.

What do we do about it? What do we do when we are thirsty? We better drink, right, and the correct fluid, too.

“… is anyone thirsty? Come! All who will, come and drink. Drink freely of the Water of Life.”

Revelation 22:17 MSG

I find it noteworthy, that near the very last verse of the Bible (verse 21 is the last one in Rev. 22), we have a standing invitation to COME and quench our thirst. COME and drink freely. COME one, COME all. Whoever is gripped with a spiritual thirst for more than the dry, ole, stale drought of the past 2 years, COME and drink freely from the Water of Life. Whoever craves fresh, vibrant, refreshing, cool, life-giving water, COME and rehydrate yourself.

“Come everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come buy and eat! Come buy milk and wine without money and without price.”

Isaiah 55:1 ESV

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground.”

Isaiah 44:3 ESV

Let me repeat, you and I have a standing invititation to COME and drink when we are thirsty.

We offer standing invitations to come into our homes (and perhaps even stay) only to our closest friends and family. They are always welcome, anytime and always embraced, enjoyed, and provided for, right? THAT is the offer that Jesus extends to YOU – COME. You are always welcome and will always be embraced, enjoyed and provided for.

Jesus said,

” If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” John 7:37

From Jesus we receive fresh, refreshing water, that will renew and spiritually rehydrate us. The problem is, we often pass up His standing invitation and drink from that salty water that will only make us more thirsty until we eventually die of thirst.

I love what Hosea says, “I cared for you… in the land of drought…” Hosea 13:5

In this dry and thristy land, in the dryness of our soul and in our parched wanderings, it is the standing offer of the Lord to COME and drink that booms forth to you today. His invitation and your response to it will change your wilderness into a pool of water with springs of water flowing. Psalm 107:35

Could it be that we are living in the driest conditions in history because God is offering the most massive downpour of refreshing that the world has ever seen?

Are you thirsty? Will you accept His standing invitation for you to COME and drink or will you die of your thirst?

Cheers to you,

Debbie

  1. Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching; Craig Larson; pg. 147
  2. Healthgrades.com; WIlliam C. Lloyd III, MD

The Importance of Memorials (in 4 R’s)

Surrounded by pitch black, darkness and a bone chilling cold we somberly walked down the dimly lit pathway toward the black, granite wall where his name was inscribed. Shining eerily in the darkness were glow sticks dotting the walkway and carried by attendees. The respectful silence was pierced only by the amplified booming of full names, slowly being read aloud into the night air. We would take our place on the stage, to read aloud the honored names that preceeded and followed that of Lt. John H. Carson. Over the next 60 plus hours, 57,939 names would be lifted from The Wall and sent via sound waves into the memories of those there and the cosmos itself.

This was the 10 Year Anniversary celebration of the Vietnam Memorial in 1992, and it was the first of dozens of visits that I have taken to the Wall on the Mall in Washington D.C.

Vietnam Memorial, Washington DC

Memorials are an important part of every culture. Memorials help us to remember the sacrifice of brave soldiers, the valuable contributions of an important public figure, the life well lived of a great leader or unforgotten hero. Statues, momuments and memorials challenge us to remember the value of a person or event.

Memorial – from the Latin word, “memos” means “mindful”, and that is the task of a memorial, to present us with being mindful of the past and the costs that have brought us to this point.

Lincoln Memorial

Scripture is strong in it’s references to memorials, remembrances, and ancient landmarks. We are challenged to make certain days a memorial, remember certain people’s actions as a memorial, wear certain priestly accessories as a memorial, build a pile of rocks as a memorial, give money as a memorial, eat bread and drink wine as a memorial and to not remove ancient landmarks because they are to be a memorial for all generations.

Memorials serve an important role in our lives and in culture, and we would do well to pay attention to them in these 4 ways – these are my 4 R’s.

RESPECT – every memorial, no matter it’s origin or intention, should be respected. It is there to commemorate something honored and sacred by someone. Whether or not I understand, or even agree with it or the reason, it is incumbent upon me to be respectful around it, to it and to those who are paying or who have paid their respects to it.

President JFK’s Memorial Flame & Tomb, Arlington Cemetery, VA

REMEMBER – Each memorial is set to remind us of someone or something. Stop and remember it. If you don’t know about it or the person, look it up, read up, understand why it is there. Remembering is vital for the success of any society. Remembering does no real harm to us but it does honor the one or event that it represents. In the event there is “harm” by remembering, let it lead you to the next R.

REFLECT – A reflection is light that bounces off of an object. When we choose to reflect at memorials, light will shine and bounce back on us. This light may cause “harm”, sadness, maybe even anger, but let the light shine on you, your memories, feelings, emotions and allow that light to make YOU a stronger, wiser and more understanding person. Allow your reflection to make a difference, even if only in you. Reflection is intended make us better, and our society stronger, then we can reevaluate, make changes and move on to R number 4.

RENEW – Everything that happens does so for a reason and that reason will generally benefit us in the long term. When we honor a memorial and allow ourselves to reflect, we cannot help but renew our commitment to the passion stirred by that memorial. Memorials galvanize our renewed drive toward an honorable and valiant cause. We are stirred, we are renewed by the statememts that memorials make. Our spirit is renewed because of memorials.

Headstone from a Revolutionary War soldier, New York

There are ancient landmarks, memorials and statues that are meant to stand for and through generations. It is the duty of every member of society to respect, remember, reflect and renew themselves in the honoring of these landmarks.

WWII Memorial, The Mall, Washington DC

Whether it be a makeshift memorial at a grocery store in Buffalo, a flower in a granite reflecting pool in New York City, or the overwhelming awe that comes from standing at the foot of The Great Pyramid, memorials are a very important part of every culture.

Twin Towers Memorial, NYC

May we be ones who give honor to whom honor is due and lead the way by example for so many others who don’t care, don’t know any better or fail to see the importance of memorials.

Cheers to you,

Debbie

Jefferson Memorial, Wahington DC

Are You Picking Up God’s Voice?

Radio waves are those electromagnetic waves that are transmitted by an antenna and received by a receiver, which then converts the signals (EM waves) into audio or visual form for you to see or hear. You’ve used them, you tune your radio to 101.3, and pick up that frequency, that specific signal. In fact, every wireless technology has it’s own little band with which it receives it’s assigned frequencies.

  • garage door opener 40 megahertz
  • cordless phones 40-50 megahertz
  • wildlife tracking devices 215-220 megahertz
  • cell phones 824-849 megahertz
  • GPS systems 1227-1575 megahertz

Although most raidos are single purpose radios (AM only receives AM signals, FM only receives FM signals, etc.) a scanner receives a wide range of frequencies and can be set to a specific frewuency.

Your brain has similiar capabilities to a radio receiver. Your brain can choose what you hear. For example, if there were many people talking a foreign language at the same time around you, you’ll hear noise. If one person speaks in a familiar language, you’ll be able to hear that one, even if the others are louder, because our brains react differently when we hear understandable language, thus allowing you to hear it clearly. Your brain immediately pays attention to it and turns it into waves.

Our brain never stops hearing. Even when we’re sleeping, the brain is still hearing frequencies and signals. Our ears can distinguish between 100’s of 1000’s of different sounds. No one has an ear or set of ears like yours. Ears are completely individual – like fingerprints. So you have your own little band for hearing that is uniquely yours and singular in purpose. You can scan a wide range of frequencies or tune in on a specific frequency.

In some ways, we could be compared to a car with its antenna raised. Fully functional – it can tune in and out of AM, FM, XM, and car play waves. But with a broken antenna (like my car), signals are limited and static ridden.

We have been manufactured with a built-in spiritual antenna capable of picking up spiritual signals – or God’s voice. We can choose which of the 1000’s of signals we will listen to. We can scan right by God’s voice or we can choose to set our scanner to the frequency of God’s voice. What do we do? Do we tune it out? Is our antenna broken? Do we hear it and respond?

I am encouraged by this insightful verse –

“… long ago God spoke by the prophets, but in these days he has spoken to us by Jesus…”

Hebrews 1:1-2 ESV

God not only spoke to men and women long ago, but He is speaking to men and women in these days. That means we need to tune in to His frequency, and be picking up His signal.

“Therefore, we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”

Hebrews 2:1 ESV

“Paying careful attention to what we hear”, is not scanning over or past what we hear God’s speaking to us, it is tuning in and locking His channel down. Even making it a pre-set in our spiritual, brainy, receiver.

There are two useful scripture passages to mention here.

1 Samuel 3 tells of a young boy, named Samuel who was sleeping in the Temple. He was under the tutoring of the priest of the day, Eli. Samuel was awakened 3 times by the voice of the Lord talking to Him. Each of these times he had no idea it was God because the days he was living in were dark and desperate, a time when the revelation of God was rare. Samuel didn’t even know God yet.

But that didn’t stop God from speaking to Samuel. Matter of fact, God even spoke to Samuel a 4th time and this time Samuel said, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” And guess what, scripture tells us that God came and stood by him as before and called his name. Then God said, “Listen carefully…” 3:11

Another important scripture along this vein is 1 Kings 19:11-12. Here Elijah, the prohet is listening for the voice of God. He says that God’s voice is NOT in the hurricane, the earthquake, or fire. But God’s voice is like “a gentle & quiet whisper.”

The noise of life drowns out God’s voice. His signal is beaming down upon us for us to pick up on and hear. But are we hearing it, that gentle, quiet whisper? Is His voice above the background noise so that we can hear it? It is but a whisper in our head, a pounding in our heart… are you picking up on it?

“Oh, that my people would listen to me…”

Psalms 81:13 ESV

“My sheep hear my voice…”

John 10:3-4 ESV

As we close, it is interesting to note that the very last book in the Bible places a very high priority on paying close attention to what the Spirit says. Seven letters were written to seven churches and each of them ends with this phrase –

“… he who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches…”

Revelation 2:7; 11; 17; 29; 3:6; 13; 22 ESV

Additionally, twice in the last chapter of Revelation it speaks to those who hear, and a warning is given. Revelation 21:17-18

Dear friend, I firmly believe that God is speaking in these days. He speaks through Jesus, and His words. He speaks through the Bible, and He also speaks in a gentle, quiet whisper into your heart and mind. His voice will never contradict or violate the Bible and will always encourage your relationship with Him. He speaks to you in your prayers, through other people and will always align with your spiritual calling. As you choose to draw near to God, you will hear His voice clearer, because He will be drawing closer to you too. To that one, the signal of God’s voice is strong and steady. There is no static, no doubt.

We can choose to repair a broken antenna, by turning back to Jesus. We can choose which of the thousands of signals we will tune in to. We can be a scanner that scans a range of frequencies or we can be a scanner that is set to a specific frequency – that of God’s, loving and firm voice.

We can be like Samuel. Whether it be the first, second, third, or fourth time that God speaks to us, we can choose to say, “Speak Lord, for I am listening.”

It is no accident that the greatest command to every Jew is –

HEAR, O ISRAEL : “

Deuteronomy 6:4

“Listen carefully”.

Are you hearing God speak to you? Are you picking up God’s voice?

Go with God,

Debbie

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