~ Word ~

January 28, 2023

Deuteronomy 31:8

“And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you.

He will be with you,

He will not leave you nor forsake you;

do not fear nor be dismayed.”

my twocents…

in all the trials and tribulations we go through, we cannot succeed without the Lord. we can easily get pulled down and pulled into worldly drama. we are his little sheep that get lost so easily, that stray into the woods, that follow those shiny objects. we get stuck in the mud and we cry for help. He is the One that helps us. He goes before us and He knows our boundaries. His promise is solid and He will never leave us nor forsake us. faith is in knowing this truth and faith in action is trusting this truth in all we do. our confidence is in the Lord. we put on our armor that He designed for us and it is all built with His materials. we can never be unarmed because He lives in us. we can’t be perfect without Him, but we are perfect and cleansed because of what He has done on the cross. through the cross we are able to be with Him and we are accepted to live with Him eternally because of our faith in Him. and as we strive to succeed in this world, in only the ways we know best, He is there to direct and redirect us. we continually learn, we are continually guided, and our wisdom grows as this faith is continually practiced. He is Our Great Shepherd.

so in the worldly strife that we are surrounded with, let us not forget this amazing truth. we are His. there is no need to fear, even when we can’t see the path ahead. He goes before us. He paves our ways and ensures us safe travel. He quenches our thirst and satisfies our hunger. He knows our needs and cares for us. we may feel scared and unsure at times, and despite this, we have no reason to fear. we have no reason to bury our heads or shake in our boots. so let us hear this truth again and let us carry on with the power that the Holy Spirit beams from within ourselves. let us hear this truth and repeat it everyday and every moment that we forget. be strong and be confident in the Lord because He is always with us.

January 25, 2023

Psalms 56:4

“In God whose word I praise-

in God I trust and am not afraid.

What can mere mortals do to me?"

"The Journey"

January 23, 2023

Deuteronomy 30:19-20

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you,

that I have set before you life and death,

blessing and cursing;

therefore choose life,

that both you and your descendants may live;

that you may love the LORD your God,

that you may obey His voice,

and that you may cling to Him,

for He is your life and the length of your days;

and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers,

to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

my twocents…

read these words and hear the Lord speaking directly to you today. every day, the Lord offers us this same choice. this is the choice between life and death.

whether you want to believe it or not, God is real and He is our Almighty Creator. He loves us on a level that is nearly impossible for us to understand. people always ask, “if God is real, why does all this bad stuff happen?”. the Word tells us about the origins of this broken world. our life is so short and fleeting, and as chaotic as it all can be, God allows us to live here and have a chance to find Him as our Creator and our Savior. He waits for us patiently. shouldn’t we be thankful that we were not created and then put in a box and forced to specific actions- even if those actions are love and obedience? we don't do that to our children, and He doesn't do that to us.

but each day that we wake up, we remember how mortal we are. that’s why our choices are so important and our time is so precious. do you wake up to a barrage of negative thoughts and give into them? do you wake up angry and immediately feel the need to blame someone else? do you wake up lacking hope and purpose and then decide to neglect your own needs and the needs of those involved in your life? whether you know it or not, people rely on you to show up. if your day consists of coming into contact with other human beings, then you automatically have a responsibility to bring your best. when you choose death, you’re affecting those around you negatively. you’re making their walk more difficult. there’s no telling the domino effect here with people who are weak and frail. your choices matter. but giving up also isn’t doing any respect to the precious chance that God has given us.

if you had a choice between swimming downstream (very easy, kind of fun, everyone else seems to be doing it, but you gain no strength and move quicker to the ‘end’) or swimming upstream (challenging every moment, becoming the outcast by your unpopular choices, but gaining strength and purpose along the way to a glorious reward); which would you choose? making the choice for life implies that the next step is action: work, effort, sweat. just like the israelites, because they had to continue walking to their promised land and obeying the Lord along the way: stopping when He commanded stop, and continuing when He commanded to press on. like climbing a mountain, the reward is reaching the top. who ever sets a goal to descend a mountain? choose life and fight for it. show everyone that you’re on a mission to reject the deception of death.

the Lord calls us to choose life. choosing life allows us to live a full life, and as we lean into the Lord, He will show us a life filled with wonders we never imagined- even at 80 years old. don’t ever underestimate Him. if you choose life, you open the door for your children and your family to thrive. if you choose life, you will learn love and you will be joyfully obedient to our Gracious Maker’s words. His Word is filled with promises that He never fails to keep. and this is another great one.

"Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me" by R. Mays

January 20, 2023

1 Corinthians 6:12

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

my twocents…

reflecting on the culture of our generation, we can see how widely influenced we are in cultivating a mentality that ‘the world is at our fingertips’ and ‘we can reach any goals we strive for’. everywhere we turn, there is an over-abundance of ‘stuff’. everywhere we turn are promises of pleasure. it makes us want to grow up too fast, to take part in ‘adult’ activities- not just meaning sexual immorality, but even things like buying cars, taking trips, dining out, shopping, watching anything we want on tv, and exercising independence as if the ultimate goal is to be: independent, attractive and successful. to not need our friends and family. the lessons of obeying our parents and respecting authority are not encouraged, and more often, rejected. the world wants children to rebel early and to be lead by their own desires. and the effect worsens when their parents fall for the same narrative and neglect the ‘rod of discipline’ and put their own desires ahead of the Lord's will. satan wants to pull us away from the light as quickly as he possibly can, and continue to manipulate us and gain control over us.

childish adults roam the world aimlessly. diving head first into the adult world is not all that was promised. indulging in anything at anytime does not mold us into admirable, righteous, loving human beings. instead, it creates hedonists and gluttons that live only for themselves. our idols rule us and we have no boundaries or limits in this worldly realm. the concept that everything is at our fingertips does not allow for self-control and discipline. the idea of ‘no authority’ is what we seek, and we become our own rulers, we become our own false gods, and we resist the one true God. it is so true how boundaries, discipline and constant direction and love from the Lord is vital...

“not everything is helpful” and so, with the suffocation of abundance, we lose our freedom and we can start to sense it. we rebel and fight for control, we fight for breathing room. we want to define our own boundaries, to sort through the rubble that has been dumped on us, and to build our own structure. but what do we know about construction? God is the one and only expert in this. so as we find ourselves in this delusion, we lose our power and feel infinitely insatiable. we have been brought under the power of these ‘things', and become slaves to the world. until we fall on our knees at the mercy of the Lord, the only one who can show us the way, the walls, the path, we cannot find enough strength in ourselves alone and we the lack stamina to continue further. He is the only one that can break our chains.

this is why the Lord is so amazing, this is why He is our Savior. He is the only one that could create the wonders of this earth with His Words, and the only one who can bring us into His Eternal Kingdom. we need Him every single day, because every single day we are tempted and torn between the flesh and the Spirit. not all things are beneficial, and these things will steal our freedom and power. we have power through the Holy Spirit, and it is more than enough to allow for joy, peace and love that lasts an eternity.

"Let There Be Light" by Yulia Litvinova

January 18, 2023

James 1:15

“Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

my twocents…

some people who are new in Christ, and some non-believers, and some even long-time self-proclaimed Christians, don’t really know what sin actually means. growing up and hearing that word, ‘sin’, it just sounds so uncomfortable, like a mean old nun chastising you. it sounds very judging, and it is just a word we’d all rather not talk about, right? we could instead talk about “our ‘tiny mistakes’ that really didn’t affect anyone”, or “our ‘white lies’ that had honest intention”, or “our ‘justified actions’ that shouldn’t be called sins anyway”. using any other words besides ‘sin’ will make everyone more comfortable, allow for less confrontation, and well let’s be honest, it will also perpetuate denial and impede growth.

so we need to sit up straight and be ready to learn what sin truly means and why it’s important to know. this amazing verse tells us so much in so few words. we see the origin and the development of sin. so, we can understand the character of sin by it’s predecessor and successor.

it all starts with desire. without Christ, we live in the world and for the world. without the truth, we live by lies and makeshift guesses. without light, there is just darkness. so in this dim setting, we have to distract ourselves with goals to obtain the things we desire. as we do not follow God, we follow a false leader. we may think for ourselves, we may be subject to influences, or we may do someone else’s bidding, but either way, it’s mostly wandering. when we truly want to fill the dark void that only light can fill, we fall victim to thinking that other things might work: money, fame, lust, vanity, gluttony and drunkenness. we envision ourselves being glorified and pleasured, these things will 'make us happy' and we want that. so here are the desires… the next step is action: sin.

can you follow any of these desires without sinning? no. the root intention is selfish, and there is no love in any of this. even when we are fooled by lies that have told us that lust is love, please realize, it is simply not the truth. or maybe it’s believable that if you have money, it will create harmony, and everyone in your family will get along. nope, it doesn’t work like that. again, without light, it’s just darkness, and without God, there is not love.

now let’s say this is a person that has accepted Christ. well, there’s still a lot more growing to do after being born again. it actually is like re-doing the toddler years: learning words, seeing the world for the first time, and learning the truth, the Word, for the first time. as we learn, our actions start to change to promote goodness and glorify God. but in the beginning of this journey, we continue to sin and oftentimes, without knowing it. we might be involved in a situation that keeps repeating itself, or a problem that can’t seem to be solved. this is a sign that more learning is needed: return to the Word. we are used to living in self-focused, selfish ways, catering to our own desires. through our journey in Christ, we mature spiritually and learn to make sound decisions through knowing the Word and becoming great listeners to God. note the word: journey.

so, desire gives birth to sin. and as you can see, it isn’t so blatantly taking a gun to someone’s head, “the sixth commandment”. it’s taking one step back into darkness, away from God, and the thing is, there is a ripple effect. when we sin, people get hurt. and sometimes, those people take that pain and respond with more sin. everything we do on this earth affects others. this is the most intricate ecosystem. what we obtain is also a thing not obtained someone else. sin is more like a black mold that has been given the opportunity to grow. unattended, it grows beyond our line of sight and it affects numerous people and things that we can’t even see.

and that’s when death enters. the mold kills the things it overtakes. sin causes destruction, not construction.

so here we are in this present world, with a ongoing spiritual battle between darkness and light. the dark void absorbs and destroys, but the brilliant light shines and creates. we cannot have two masters, but we must pick one. slavery to sin or obedience to God? do we side with the darkness or follow the light? (if you need a hint: in the end, God wins.)

“And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:5

'Kneel At The Cross' by Eric Johansen

January 14, 2023

James 4:4-6

“Adulterers and adulteresses!

Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?

Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world

makes himself an enemy of God.

Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain,

‘The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously’?

But He gives more grace.

Therefore He says:

‘God resists the proud,

But gives grace to the humble.’”

my twocents…

think back to those days in high school when all the focus was on the “cool, popular kids”. we tried to be like them, or maybe some of us rebelled in anger, or some of us just felt the weight of oppression as we could not be seen through the crowds. we'd come home after a trying day at school and turn on the tv and see this alternate reality of what people should look and act like. the ease in which it was presented almost made us feel stupid for not being like them already. the tv really pleaded a strong case that it was, in fact, reality.

we made some bad decisions, and we compromised ourselves. we stumbled and fell low, wondering why we couldn’t just be accepted… that same pain cycled through generations and it cycles in the air around us now. the world and God are at odds. doing the ‘cool thing’ is not cool with God. being popular is not being popular with God. and accepting admiration from the world, is rejecting love from God. there is something here that goes deeper. it is pride. all those years that we learned what it took to ‘be cool’ and all that training we put ourselves through to reach this ideal image - now we’re just supposed to dump it down the drain? “well, now i am more attractive and charismatic than i ever was. people like me, and i can persuade them and make them laugh, and i can finally be the person i’ve always wanted to be.” this is said… but what prices have been paid to get here? with destructive sin as currency, what have we really gained with our purchase? the dark places we had to go to learn the things we learned, to step over our neighbor, to be better than him- was it all worth it? of course not… that emptiness lingered inside as it always had, and might have even grown a bit. the darker the mind and the more filled it had become with thoughts of ‘self, self, self’, the lower we sank and more denial was necessary to cope.

until we came to the Cross. and that was the beauty of the contrast, the telling of the truth. that God and the world are at odds, and coming into the light was brighter that we had ever imagined it would be. by kneeling to the Cross, the ego sure took a hit. all that work we’d done was, in fact, dumped down the drain. but there was no denying the truth. we needed Him. we needed Him so bad. this might have actually been our first time feeling what humility was like. it felt uncomfortable, and kind of embarrassing, but it felt right. we felt obedience when we had never wanted to listen to anyone but ourselves our whole life. we always wanted to be our own final approver, but now we realize that He does our final approving. this isn’t about God being jealous, it's about the fact that He allows us to learn that we have to step down from our pedestal of pride in order to receive His grace. just like kneeling down to a brook to receive water. do you expect the water to just magically flow up out of the brook into your mouth while you’re standing tall and proud? no, but it’s there if you’re willing to come down… it’s where it always was… and it sure is plentiful!

God's Promise by Ron Chambers

January 12, 2023

Deuteronomy 6:10-12

“So it shall be, when the Lord your God

brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers,

to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,

to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build,

houses full of all good things, which you did not fill,

hewn-out wells which you did not dig,

vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant—

when you have eaten and are full—

then beware, lest you forget the Lord

who brought you out of the land of Egypt,

from the house of bondage.”

my twocents…

going back to this early story in the Bible, there is so much to learn. this same story repeats through time: people seek the Lord, are guided and blessed by Him, and then they lose sight of how they got to a place filled with blessings. what is this odd phenomenon where we are eager to pray to the Lord everyday when we are poor and troubled, but when we are in a place of enjoying all the prayers He has answered, we forget Him?

it can be so hard to grasp and understand, but our God, the one and only Almighty, is completely faithful and true to His Word. there are too many of these amazing promises to list, but here a few:

Isa 41:10 - “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Psa 37:23-24 - “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.”

Rom 8:28 - "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Isa 40:31 - “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”

Jer 29:11 - “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Phi 4:9 - “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Exo 14:14 - “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

John 14:1`3 - “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

Nah 1:7 - “The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.”

John 8:12 - “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

so when we are looking for answers and resolution, let us speak and rehearse His promises. they are guaranteed to be fulfilled. everything that we have the honor of enjoying comes from Him: our loved ones, our home, our comfort, our nourishment, our successes, and our peace. we did not manifest these things. even if we feel ownership over something we built with our hands, remember that God first ‘brought us out of egypt’ before we could even be in a position to build that object. He has brought us out of the bondage of Sin, that kept us from joy and love. to enjoy anything, we first needed His forgiving salvation. remember that, and celebrate His goodness. when we pray, let us envision the Lord’s promises fulfilled- because they surely will be- and our rejoicing and praising of Him. let us never forget our amazing God; from whom all goodness and love pours from.

'Snowball Recess' by John Clymer

January 9, 2023

John 15:3

“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”

my twocents…

as a follower of Christ, there are many questions along the way, as we strive to obey Him. thoughts of how to make the best decisions throughout the day can be a common objective between us. we're shedding old ways and learning new, and while we are pulled between spirit and flesh, we are still subject to confusion and misdirection. even though He may allow us to stumble, He will never let us fall. but it's safe to say that we would like to minimize that amount of stumbling. you can see where we get caught in a desire for clear black-and-white rules, a safeguard to keep us walking straight... but if we're leaning on this safeguard, how can we also be leaning on God?

the pharisees got to a point in their religious and cultural traditions, rituals and routines where they became very disconnected from God and The Truth. what once started as a love for the Lord who had shown them how to live, turned into a self-righteous competition for status. they started out by dedicating their lives to obeying His commands, but they ultimately found themselves living by their own rules and understandings, and their world became cold and harsh.

as we overanalyze ourselves in our own walk with Christ, our own jabbering words block His from being heard. if we keep focusing on ways to fail, we will fail. and as we fear failure, our eyes are set on those negatives, not on God. we see weakness and brokenness in ourselves and that is why failure is so threatening- that sense of mortality and imperfection is hard to accept.

being unclean, especially in the eyes of the pharisees, is much like debilitation. it’s an inability to partake in normal activities physically, mentally and spiritually. a separation between ourselves and others. like the kid sitting on the sidelines at recess, excluded and unaccepted by the others. when we restrict ourselves to rules and regulations that contradict God’s personalized direction (usually given day to day vs long term), we’re condemning our own selves to the sidelines. by focusing on our fears, lies that are not from Him, we are telling ourselves we are unclean, “not quite worthy to join the others and participate as a complete human being”. yet, Jesus reminds us here in this verse, we are already clean. because of the Words He has spoken. hear this truth!

all of this complication that has been stirred up is not from Him. it’s not necessary. repeat this verse everyday for however long it takes to remember that you are worthy! you are worthy because of the price Jesus paid on the cross. accept this and move forward as a complete being with our Lord. join the other kids at recess and start playing today.

'Give Me Strength' by Andrew Nichols

January 6, 2023

Hebrews 11:3

"By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”

my two cents…

faith is a natural part of us, wound into our very fibers. the Lord created this whole earth, including us, by His Word and before that there was nothing. faith is a component of who we are and everything that exists in our life. our words are spoken and then they manifest for better or for worse. His Words created our existence and His Words are always good.

now why is it so hard for us to have faith, to act in faith? why does it feel awkward and uncomfortable for us? faith is in our makeup, isn't it? our Father created us in this way, so what we create shall be done the same. any other ways are not ways of creation, but ways of destruction. its like using a hammer to a screw. a screwdriver to a screw would mean progress, but a hammer to a screw would destroy the construction. why do we live in a reactionary state, just responding to stimuli? we react in worry and fear, and there is the hammer again, trying to nail in the screw. wrong tool! we cover our ears to the Truth and then wait for ‘an event’ to happen to us, and then react. and in this way we are exercising fear and strengthening it through exercise. if we had sought God and His Word and remembered His promises, the interpretation of ‘the event’ would be much different. events that happen to us are lessons for our development, opportunities for exercise. will you exercise fear or faith? which will you strengthen? if you want your faith to be strong, it needs to be the first tool you grab, it needs exercise, it needs to be practiced. every moment, every scenario can be a testing ground for faith. identify those scenarios that beg a reaction, that beg the need for a tool to be used.

responses to scenarios that include worry, anxiety, fear, and a rush to ‘fix your own problem’ are symptoms of choosing (and exercising) the wrong tool. God doesn’t give us reason to worry. He’s already promised good tidings of great joy to all of us. He's promised that He will take care of us. any response of fear is not derived from the Spirit. so then how do we handle our battles? Here are some Words of direction:

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

“O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” 2 Chronicles 20:12

admit that we cannot fix our own problems. we cannot succeed in any battle, any challenge, without leaning on the Lord, setting our eyes on Him, praising Him, and admitting that we cannot do alone what He can do through us. this is faith. this is screwing in the screw with the screwdriver. God knows how to orchestrate everything, and He does, for us. we cast our cares on Him and keep our eyes on Him. it doesn’t mean we are idle and inactive, but we have the awareness to hear His direction, and an ongoing dialogue making sure we are taking the right steps. it’s like driving a car to a place unknown, relying on our Passenger, the Holy Spirit, to tell us the directions, every turn, the speed limit, interpreting our surroundings and keeping us comforted through the storms and moments of decreased visibility. we can’t lean on our own understanding - we don’t even know where we’re driving to!

for many of us, this is a tough transition, especially those new in Christ. we have been exercising and strengthening fear for a long time. it’s time to put fear on the bench, to never let him in the game again, and to get faith in there. faith will get stronger and stronger over time, and the plays will become easier. faith will surely bring home the win.

'Sheep Close To The Red Door' by Natalia Demenko

January 5, 2023

John 10:7-10

"Then Jesus said to them again,

“Most assuredly, I say to you,

I am the door of the sheep.

All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers,

but the sheep did not hear them.

I am the door.

If anyone enters by Me,

he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.

I have come that they may have life,

and that they may have it more abundantly."

my twocents…

living in this world mixed with darkness and light can be difficult and confusing. like israel, we are pulled here and there by various authorities and told about multiple ‘ways’ to view and understand life. we might become controlled by evil authorities that want to mislead us so that we become blind to the truth. reading through the old testament, we can see how the israelites fell time and time again for evil leaders who influenced, and sometimes commanded, them to worship idols and make sacrilegious sacrifices to false gods. their lives were filled with such torment, emptiness, and sadness and they were lost in the darkness. unfortunately, that’s what thieves do.

until Jesus came to be the ultimate sacrifice, there was no door. praise Him for providing the Way! He is the Way to the pasture- and isn't that truly what we are looking for? not only are we gifted with His truth and love, but He came so that we may have abundant life. abundant life, not mundane life, not tiresome life, but abundant life! let us relish this amazing truth…

we may not enjoy being called sheep, but we can’t deny that we need a true leader, model and savior. we are subject to getting lost, hurt, and confused- just like sheep. we can be easily swayed and distracted. but when we know, we know who our Shepherd is. and we shall not listen to thieves and robbers and we shall not be hurt. our Lord is our graceful Shepherd and our mighty Protector. Jesus wants us to have abundant life, He granted this to us, so let us accept it! let not one more moment of happiness be stolen from us, for that is not what our Lord came to do. let us wake with eagerness to breath in clean air, let us savor our nourishing meals, let our hearts be opened to the kindness and love from our brothers and sisters in Christ, let us connect with one another and not only share, but represent, the love the He has filled us with.

January 3, 2023

Genesis 22:2

“Then He said, “Take now your son,

your only son Isaac,

whom you love,

and go to the land of Moriah,

and offer him there as a burnt offering

on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

my twocents…

this verse shows us the first mention of the word ‘love’ in the Bible. this moment is so laced with symbolism, foreshadowing, and deep meaning. and here, we find this verse with the word ‘love’…

abraham was the beginning of the line of God’s chosen people because his faith was true. abraham was devoted to God and he was willing to sacrifice his only son. he was devastated and broken about doing it, but went as far as stretching out his hand with the knife before God stopped him. this dedication reflects what took place many years later, when our Savior came to earth and fulfilled the Lord’s promises. God loved the world so, that He gave His only begotten Son to the cross. yet His Son did die in the flesh, He rose from the grave. and He blessed us with His loving Spirit.

it’s almost as if abraham’s faith was the first glimpse of hope for all of mankind. that maybe, this great expression of human faith could be enough to move mountains... can we find that faith in our daliy lives and put it to the test?

notice how the Lord has these beautiful ways of interweaving His promises and His love throughout the waves of time. this word ‘love’ comes to us in the first book of the Holy Bible and it echoes on and on. that’s what this story is all about. by seeking His Word, we will find so many more treasures like this one. when our Father only wants to tell us how much He loves us, open your ears to His Word and hear the beautiful truth.

Our Daily Bread by Renee Dumont

January 1, 2023

Matthew 6:31-34

“Therefore do not worry, saying,

‘What shall we eat?’

or ‘What shall we drink?’

or ‘What shall we wear?’

For after all these things the Gentiles seek.

For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,

and all these things shall be added to you.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,

for tomorrow will worry about its own things.

Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

my twocents…

as we enter into this new year, there's a lot of excitement and hope for what is to come. it feels like a clean slate. many of us have our eyes set on our own goals, on the things we want to change in ourselves and our environment, and on the new endeavors we want to pursue. but let us not build up a year’s worth of new pressures and worries of self-focus. let us not pile our plates so high with expectations that we inevitably disappoint ourselves when achievement proves impossible.

Jesus knows our common worries about what to eat and what to wear. we can get so caught up in our appearance and the image we want to bring into the new year. we can get so lost in trying to be someone different than who we are today. i pray that we steer this energy into the right direction and that it is not all spent in vain. use this energy to wholeheartedly seek the Lord. He will provide. He will give us this day our daily bread, and we will not worry about tomorrow’s bread- why should we? as we hunger for His Word, we are enlightened to His Ways through our studies. instead of answers to petty questions about meals and clothing, let us receive answers that tell us about our Creator, the Author of Salvation, our Miracleworker- the things He has already done and the promises that He will fulfill.

and for those that aren’t excited for the new year - simply read the living Word and see why there is so much to be excited about! following fruitless pursuits may have zapped all the energy and hope out of you, but by taking the Lord’s hand you can be lead to a bountiful harvest. step into this new year by being present and feeling the joy of the Lord in this moment. it’s not possible to feel tomorrow’s joy when it doesn’t exist, and that very deception steals the gifts we have at our doorstep right now. each day brings it’s own trouble, as Jesus says, so let us travel through those troubles with the armor of God, prepared and strong, letting Him lead us, clearing our path, and showing us His will. those arrows wont feel like anything when you have His solid protection. this is why it’s so important to take one day at a time. all that excitement for what’s to come is great, but don’t take for granted what already is. rejoice in your blessings and seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness today.