Articles

At Least In My Days?

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD: ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the LORD. ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ ” So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?”
(2 Kings 20:16-19, NKJV)

Take a moment to re-read what Isaiah said to King Hezekiah. Devastation. Plundered. Captivity and being conquered. Children castrated. This is bad stuff.

What is King Hezekiah’s answer? “Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?” The English Standard Version reads this way,

Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?”
(2 Kings 20:19)

Well, that’s really bad stuff, but at least it won’t happen in my time. I can understand how the King would be led to think that way. But before this event, King Hezekiah had taken his eye off the ball. After he was healed by God from a fatal illness, he became lifted up with pride (2 Chronicles 32:25-26). He humbled himself and repented of that pride, but the punishment was already put in place. It was during those years that Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, was born and raised. Manasseh turned out to be the worst, most evil king God’s people ever had.

The mentality of “At Least In My Days” is not just found in Hezekiah’s life. It is found in the church. Sometimes leaders, preachers, elders, parents, etc. are not thinking generation-ally. “Things are going well now at our congregation,” we may think, but are we planning for the next generation of leaders (teachers, preachers, shepherds?). Do we even see the need to do that? If we are going to be faithful to God as leaders in God’s church, then we must diligently and purposefully mentor the next generation of leaders.

Listen to the words of Paul,

and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
(2 Timothy 2:2)

Consider the above verse. Do you see four generations in that passage? Paul –> Timothy –> Faithful men –> Others

Paul wants us to think, talk, plan and behave in a generational way in the church. You see, if you read later in 2 Timothy, Paul through the Holy Spirit knew that things would get worse for the churches. Evil men would grow worse (2 Timothy 3), and people would develop itching ears and heap up false teachers to themselves (2 Timothy 4). Yes, that is bad, but our solution is not to say, “Well, at least we have great leaders now. At least things are going well now and our church is strong now.” That’s not good enough. Think generation-ally.

But how we do that on a practical level? More to come on this soon.

The Mere Existence of a King

And when you saw that Nahash the king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us,’ when the LORD your God was your king. And now behold the king whom you have chosen, for whom you have asked; behold, the LORD has set a king over you.
(1 Samuel 12:12-13)

The Mere Existence of a King in Israel was a symptom of Israel’s heart condition before God. They had rejected God as their king, and that is why they asked for a king to rule them.

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”
(1 Samuel 8:4-9)

Israel, God’s chosen nation, wanted to be like the other nations (1 Samuel 8:5). They wanted a king to fight their battles for them (1 Samuel 8:20). Israel was not content to be a peculiar people and to stand out among the nations as different. Their faith was not in the power of God, but in the power of men. But they did not think this through really well, because that king would not fight “their” battles without them. Their sons would be soldiers and their daughters would be servants, and they would be taxed heavily (1 Samuel 8:10-19).

A thousand years later, Israel still wanted a physical king and rejected God as their king. Jesus was their king (John 18:36), but they wanted a physical king. That’s why they tried to force Jesus into a physical kingdom (John 6:15).

All of this to say again that the mere existence of a king displayed the real heart condition of Israel. That is true in our lives. The mere existence of certain things are symptoms of a greater issue in our hearts. Our credit card statement may reveal symptoms of a greater problem, and that is our lack of contentment and patience. The mere existence of fighting in the home is a symptom of a greater problem in our hearts: lust, anger, jealousy, etc. (James 4:1).

When Jesus is not my true king, the symptoms will raise their ugly heads and they will rule my life instead of Jesus. That’s what happened to Israel, and it’s what happens to us today. Put Jesus back on the throne of your heart. He is a merciful and loving King, and the burden of following Him is light especially when considering the alternative!

Responsibilities, Expectations, Consequences

 10 For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.  11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.  12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15 but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit… (1 Peter 3:10-18).

Our children are little people and just like us big people, they have their own personality, make their own choices, have their own desires, etc.  I say this because sometimes I forget that as much as I want to protect my children, see them not make the same mistakes I did, always go the right way, not hurt…these are not realistic.  Our children, like us, have to make their own way and WILL make their own way.  Our hope is that we will provide them a good example, teach them to keep Jesus close and to pray without ceasing and allow God to work in their lives.

God has always given His people specific guidance in the form of His laws.  It is His will for us.

The Israelites had the Law of Moses and their obedience to the laws of Moses set them apart and their obedience would point them and others to Jehovah. (Deuteronomy 4:1-8).

As Christians, we have the Law of Christ and our obedience sets us apart and will point us and others to Jehovah.  (1 Peter 1:13-25).

In teaching our children God’s Law…that found both in the Old and the New Covenant, we provide them the opportunity to understand what is expected of them, their responsibility and the reward for their obedience and/or the consequences of their rebellion.  We cannot make them choose obedience and as much as I would like to duct tape my children to their bed or hide them in a bubble, that is not how our Father raises us and is not how we will raise our children.  Our Abba Father wants us to choose Him and if we abide in His Son…loving Him by keeping His commandments…He will work in our lives…even in the times that hurt.  The same is true for our children and if we believe that and talk to Him about it…we will find comfort, confidence and hope.

God has provided us the roadmap for our lives and the guideposts to ensure we know we are on the right path.  He has taught us our responsibilities, His expectations, and the consequences if we go astray.  Our prayer…God help us to learn your way, believe your word, and model it in our lives and teach your way to our children.  With God in their lives…they have no better Father.

Beatitudes of Marriage

In Ecclesiastes 4, Solomon first talks about the uselessness of selfish toil and then the vanity of it.  He then talks about the value of a friend in verses 9-12:

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor.  10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.  But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.  11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone?  12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.  And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; NKJV).

A threefold cord…like in our marriages…where there is husband, wife, and God.  If that describes our marriage, then we are truly blessed and secure.

With this in mind, read through this list I came across in my notes.  It is titled “Beatitudes for Marriage”.

BLESSED are the husband and wife who continue to be affectionate and considerate, loving after the wedding bells have ceased ringing.

BLESSED are the husband and wife who are as polite and courteous to one another as they are to their friends.

BLESSED are they who have a sense of humor, for this attribute will be a handy shock absorber.

BLESSED are they who love their mates more than any other person in the world and who joyfully fulfill their marriage vows of lifetime of fidelity and mutual helpfulness to one another.

BLESSED are they who attain parenthood, for children are a heritage of the Lord.

BLESSED are they who remember to thank God for their food before they partake of it, and who set apart some time each day for the reading of the Bible and for prayer.

BLESSED are those mates who never speak loudly to one another and who make their home a place where seldom is heard a discouraging word.

BLESSED are the husband and wife who faithfully attend the worship service of the church and who work together in the church for the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom.

BLESSED are the husband and wife who can work out problems of adjustments without interference from relatives.

BLESSED is the couple who has a complete understanding about financial matters and who has worked out a perfect partnership with all money under the control of both.

BLESSED are the husband and wife who humbly dedicate their lives and their home to Christ and who practice the teachings of Christ in the home by being unselfish, loyal, and loving.

This might not be your list, so I encourage you to think about the blessings you have in your marriage.  Don’t let it stop there and share your blessings with others as an encouragement and a testimony to God’s awesome power in our lives, our relationships and our homes.

Sweeter than honey

A special thanks to Shane and Andy for writing the articles for the Men’s Daily Briefing for the last two crazy months. God bless you two for your help. Shane will be taking over managing of the Men’s Daily Briefing, and for that I’m so thankful. I’m looking forward to continuing writing and helping Shane and others produce helpful articles for your daily encouragement!

More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
(Psalms 19:10)

We recently harvested our first batch of honey from our hives. Wow! What an incredible experience! God is so amazing in what He designed, especially in the honeybee. This little creature is so fascinating in how it builds hives, makes wax, makes honey, pollinates flowers, communicates with each other, etc. Just incredible.

As we were harvesting the honey, we were discussing how God’s word is compared to honey in the Scripture (see the above Psalm). The more I thought about it, the more I began to understand a few more reasons why God’s word is compared to honey.

Honey is sweet, I mean really sweet! Honey is nourishing and has healing properties. You don’t make the honey, the bees make it. We can’t come along later and brag about how we made honey. Those honeybees might come after you for that one! Also, honey lasts a long, long, long time! It does not go bad. In fact archaeologists have found 3,000 year old honey in the Pyramids in Egypt that was still edible!

God’s word is just like honey, except it is sweeter, more nourishing, more healing, and it lasts forever. And you and I had nothing to do with it. The word came because of the power of God, and we enjoy the benefits of God’s work just like we can enjoy in the benefits of honey!

Thank you God, for making a little creature like the honeybee that while it lives for just a short time on this earth makes such a wonderful substance for us to enjoy for the short time we are here on this earth. But even more that that Lord, thank you for your living, sweet, healing, nourishing and ever-abiding word that lives within us.

Safety and Encouragement in God’s Word and Blessings

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33; NKJV)

1God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.  2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the  sea; 3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah…7 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.  (Psalm 46: 1-3, 7; NKJV)

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.’  (Isaiah 41:10; NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7; NKJV)

I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.  (Psalm 16: 8; NKJV)

Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22; NKJV)

He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. (Psalm 62:6; NKJV)

…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  (1 Peter 5:7; NKJV)

The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him. (Nahum 1:7; NKJV)

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3; NKJV)

I hope you find these verses encouraging today and invite you to work them into your prayers and for the prayers of your brethren.

There have been times when I have sent a text, an email or left a voicemail just trying to encourage a brother or sister and they have either texted me back or called me a few days later apologizing that they didn’t acknowledge it or thank me or some other closure to the gesture.   The last time this happened I told my brother that it was not necessary at all…that I look at encouragement as a “heat seeking missile”…something that you target on what you want to hit and then “fire and forget” knowing that it will hit its mark and have the effect you were hoping for.

That is how I see encouragement…as the encourager we can take heart our effort will have a positive effect and if we are the one being encouraged we might just let it…and leave it at that.  Either way, I am “firing” these verses your way and am confident they will bring you comfort and encouragement…that is God’s blessing and work in your life.

Live blessed today and be a blessing to others!

Safety for the Ensnared

20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:20-26; NKJV)

I was thinking about standing next to Jesus in our safe house as we discussed earlier in the week and looking at those out in harms way who seem to want to come in but can’t or won’t.  I was thinking about why that is and verse 26 came to mind…about how the devil sets snares for us and how he takes us captive and how hard it can be to believe we can be free again.  How many people have I talked to who are in this situation.

In reading the verses above, Paul describes how we should be as we abide in Jesus, follow Him and share the gospel in the world.  How we should be a vessel of honor, sanctified (set apart for a godly purpose) and be useful to the Master!

In considering this, there are things we should do and things we should avoid.

In terms of our personal conduct, we must cleanse ourselves of false doctrine or what the world wants to teach us; we must flee youthful lusts and mature in the faith past the lust of the flesh or lust of the eyes avoiding wicked associations and wicked conduct.

What we should do is pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace which are qualities we must have if we want to see Jesus and qualities suited for a man of God.  We should call on the Lord out of a pure heart together with those who sincerely love God and remember we are not alone.  In our personal conduct we must seek both holy conduct and holy associations.

In terms of our interpersonal relations, we should avoid foolish and ignorant disputes that generate strife, bring ruin to the hearers, and increase to more ungodliness.  We must not quarrel which is to fight over words (war of words; dispute) avoiding discussions that are little more than word battles.

What we should do is be gentle to all mild or kind, be able to teach (exhort and convict those that contradict), be patient especially in avoiding word battles.  We should correct in humility with gentleness, meekness, and mildness even against those that oppose the truth and are ensnared by the devil…they might be just a step away to coming in to safety.  We must develop and demonstrate a Christ-like character toward the opposition.

In doing so, they will know exactly what to expect when they step inside the safe house.  The same words you have used about Jesus reflect your actions toward Jesus and the actions of those with like-minded faith and they will represent the Savior and who He is in our lives…and will be in theirs.  There are a lot of people trapped by satan who want to take that last step into safety…will we have compassion and reach out…just as Jesus reached out to us?

Safely Abide and Pray

In John 15, Jesus tells us to “Abide in Me.”  Like a branch connected to a vine…be connected and draw nourishment and bear fruit.  Our words will be His words and as we ask of Him it will be granted to us and in that God is glorified.  Love.  The love the Father has for the Son is the love the Son has for us and we love Him by abiding in Him and keeping His commandments.

All of this demonstrates a safe place with Jesus standing at the door calling us in to abide with Him.  When safely in, Jesus wants us to talk like Him and act like Him…obedient and to the glory of God.

So from our safety in Jesus, I invite you to take some time, turn in your bible and read Psalm 91.  Meditate on it and take God’s words given to us by inspiration and pray them on behalf of your home, your children, your grandchildren, and the children of our family in Jesus.

I offer you my version and leave you to yours.

“Dear Heavenly Father, me and my household have made You our dwelling place, the Most High, who is our refuge. I trust that because of this, no evil shall be allowed to befall me and my children, no plague can come near my home. For You will command angels concerning us to minister to my family.  On their hands they will bear me up lest I strike my foot against a stone. I will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent we will trample underfoot. As a father of the children You have blessed me with, I rest upon your promise: “I will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My name. When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them My salvation.  In name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Safely With Her

In yesterday’s post we painted an image of a safe place in Jesus and how hard it is sometimes for us and others to take that last step towards Him and abide in Him and be safe.  In the passage we considered, Jesus taught that it is good to know what is expected, but what matters is what we do with it.  I want to take both of those thoughts and consider this section of scripture in the context of the relationships we have with the women and/or girls in our lives.

 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.  25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:22-33; NKJV).

I know this is a familiar passage to many of us in terms of studying marriage and roles therein.  There is a lot going on in this section of scripture, but I want to focus on a couple thoughts.  First, consider the word “submit”.  This can seem like a harsh term to some.  It is a military term and has to do with rank and file and in my mind, it has to do with order.  Our God is a God of order and in the marriage, He is calling wives to submit to husbands.  This is the order of things and a woman who is endeavoring to be a Godly wife will submit to her husband.  So, this is all her responsibility…right?  No, of course not because husbands are called to love their wives just as Christ loved the church…giving Himself for it…dying for it…willing even to go to the cross.  There is a great responsibility for husbands and that is where submission begins.  In order for our wives to submit to us, we have to first submit to Jesus.  In order for our wives to be safe in a Godly marriage, husbands must first be safe in their relationship with Jesus.  We have to take those last couple steps first.

So we have to KNOW this and then we have to DO this.  We can’t expect our wives to come to us and take those last steps if we have not first done that with our Savior.  We have to submit to Jesus in order to be the husband He has called us to be so that it is safe for our wife to come to us, to submit, to be fully engaged in a Godly home.  It isn’t a “you shall submit” that we command but an attitude and life lived in Jesus that calls her to us and we abide together in Jesus and His love, His power, and His safety.

In doing so, we also demonstrate to our daughters the kind of man we would want them to look for, a man who loves Jesus more than he loves them.  Many husbands love their wives and it is beautiful.  But how much more beautiful is a husband who first loves Jesus and because of that love truly loves his wife.  And how much more beautiful is a wife who loves her husband because he first loved Jesus.  This is a safe place.  This is what Jesus wants us to know and to do.  When we live in this safety, we can then call our wives and our daughters to us and they will see Jesus in us and come because they first loved Him.

There are a lot of times I am barking at the door “get in here” when I should be silent and stand with Jesus.  Opening the door of my heart to Him who will make room for my wife and for my daughter.  I pray that God will take down the barriers I put up so that I can nestle into the loving arms of Jesus and abide in Him.  I pray my wife and daughter see Jesus in my life and find safety in that.  Jesus will take care of the rest and what a beautiful thing when my wife and my daughter are there with me because we love Jesus and He loves us.

Only Steps Away

28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” 29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” (Mark 12:  28-34; NKJV)

Today the sermon at South Macomb was a continuation of our working through the four gospels and focused on lessons in Mark 11 and 12.  There were many points to be made but I wanted to focus on a section found in chapter 12.  I encourage you to read the chapter as I am not going to lay down much background but want to focus on this encounter between Jesus and the scribe.  I want to attempt to paint a picture in your mind that was given today and then keep that image in our mind as we work through this week.

The image I want to paint is of a safe place, a dangerous place, and someone caught in the middle.  You might have your own version of this, but I am going to offer one of my own.  Imagine you are in a building and a battle rages outside with gunfire and explosions all around.  There is a group who is safe in their reinforced concrete bunker, with no windows and made to survive the kind of chaos and destruction going on.  They are safe, but someone cracks the door to see what is going on and notices a young man running down the street…unarmed, confused, scared, looking for shelter…to be safe and live.  The one looking out also notices he is wearing the wrong uniform…the uniform of the enemy.  Even more, the one looking is wearing the wrong uniform in the eyes of the man outside…the clothes of his enemy.  But the one inside calls out to him anyways…beckons him to come and be safe.  He hears the call and he sees the caller and even starts making his way to the door.  He is hesitant and unsure what to do as he gets closer.  What if it is a trap?  Even though the bunker gets him out of the gun battle going on outside and everything he has been taught about fighting tells him this is a secure place…how does he know what is inside is safer than outside?  Still the call goes out to him, encourages him, tells him it will be safe.  Others from inside gather with the one and join and shout this same message of safety…of friendship…of hope.  He comes closer and it is clear he really wants to live and wants to be safe and wants to believe that he can be inside the bunker.  He is right there…just a couple more steps and he will be in and safe and can live.  Everyone calls to him but he stops…he looks at them…they want to grab him but the bullets are flying and they can’t quite reach him…if only he would take one more step…but he stops.  Now he is out in the open and all the danger of the situation is upon him though he is only a step or two from safety…he is unsure, and he hesitates.  Surely he was about to come those two steps…they sure want him to…but a bullet hits its mark and he is gone.  It is too late…he was so close to safety…the caller was there to save him…they had a place for him to be safe…they called out to him…they wanted him with them…but his hesitation…his lack of faith in the caller’s intentions, their actions, and the offer left him just a couple steps too far from being saved.

I know you get the point.  So let me just end today with this.  I want us to look at these kinds of situations from three perspectives this week.  Jesus is the one calling out.  We are the ones who join with hHim to encourage.  Those in the world or those of our brethren who are astray are the man in harms way.  You saw that coming right?  But don’t stop there.  Take another look.  Jesus is still calling out, our brethren are still joining in the call, but are we the man in harms way?  That could be a likely scenario…right?  Could it be that it depends in any given situation or stage of our lives or the lives of others?  Read chapter 12.  Paint this image in your head.  Meditate and pray about what we can do about those 2 last steps…whether we are in harms way or with Jesus calling others to safety.  Take some time and work that over in your head and heart and let’s see what we can learn and apply this week.  I love you all…and thankfully Jesus loves us more.