Is My Light Bright?

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Is My Light Bright?
You are the light of the world!... Let your light shine!... (see Matthew 5:14-16)
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In my writing Anchor Awareness, I shared this prayer from a friend who is going through a huge trial: 

“God, use this difficult event to bring glory to Your Name. I pray that people would see things in us that would point them to You, that Your light would shine so brightly in us that people are blinded by Your majesty, and that You would take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it to good.”

Then, a brother read the prayer and responded with these words and question. I think this is a common question among believers, and so I asked for his permission to share it:

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Anchor Awareness

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Anchor Awareness
Our Sure Hope
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Yeshua (Jesus) said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again.” (John 3:7)

When we receive Yeshua, we are born again (see John 1:11-13). God creates a new heart in us. (2 Cor. 5:17)

Through our new birth, He seals us in Him with an imperishable seed by the Holy Spirit. (1 Peter 1:23)

We are anchored in God. He is our Anchor.

We are in Him (Colossians 3:3), and He is in us (Colossians 1:25-27), and He is with us (John 14:16-17).

“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us...” (Hebrews 6:19)

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Hanukkah, Blossoms, and Yeshua

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Hanukkah, Blossoms, and Yeshua 
Let us hear His voice
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The menorah (or lampstand) that was in the Tabernacle of the Lord is described in Exodus 25. It was created of solid, poured gold with gold almond blossoms for the cups of the candlesticks. For our Hannukah art card, I painted the almond blossoms to be alive – white with pink hues.

Almond trees bloom in the late winter in Israel and are the first blooms of the year. They signal the celebration of Passover which occurs on the first full moon of spring. The Hebrew word for almond means eager anticipation, wakeful hastening, and readiness – all descriptions the Israelites needed at the first Passover when the Lord delivered them from their enemy.

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His Name - Why is it so important?

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His Name 
Why is it so important?
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People in the Bible have called God by many names that express the aspect of His character they experienced. They are beautiful names and are the reason I created The Hebrew Names of God Collection of art cards. God’s three most used names in Scripture are Yahweh, Adonai, and Elohim. The translators of my Bible (NASB) use the uppercase GOD and LORD to designate His Name Yahweh. They use the lowercase Lord to designate Adonai and the lowercase God to designate Elohim. I love this tool because it informs me of the aspect of His character the author is expressing. Today, I want to focus on His Name Yahweh.

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Clear Vision

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Clear Vision
Our Critical Need
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Yeshua (Jesus) gives us clear vision to navigate the maze of influences and information that surround us. He intimately knows our unique personalities, emotions, and responses (Psalm 139:1-4). He is the Light of the world! His word is a lamp to our feet and a sharp, two-edged sword that distinguishes between what is pure and what is evil, between truth and subtle lies, between the excellent and the unimportant, and between pure and impure motives. In His light, truth stands out starkly in our field of vision.

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Our Banner Who Gathers Us

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Our Banner Who Gathers Us 
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Dear friends… beloved of the Lord,
We grieve together for our brothers, sisters, and all people in the land of Israel. The depth of evil that took place on October 7th is incomprehensible. We pray together for the survivors to be protected and, if they do not know Messiah Yeshua (Jesus), that they would come to know Him during this time. May they see Him in dreams and visions and in the pages of Scripture. May they be drawn to Him by the Father and see Him clearly as their Savior with spiritual eyes and receptive hearts. He is the Only One Who can save them now and for eternity. We pray for a spiritual awakening and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit across the land of Israel!

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Intimate Counselor

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Intimate Counselor 
Our Exquisite Time with Him
I will counsel you with My eye upon you. (Psalm 32:8b)
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There is something about a thing being common that takes away from its exquisiteness. In nature, there are no two things alike. The examination of every flower presents a breathtaking unique capsule in time. This fall, the butterflies, praying mantis, bees, and grasshoppers were fascinating in their detail.

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The Day of Loud Sound

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The Day of Loud Sound
Yom T’ruah and why I love it!
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As I write today, I am aware that excellence and accuracy were instilled in me, and I’m thankful for that. But we know that life is most-often not accurate; we can only do our best and then rest in Him – Best then Rest, how is that for a motto!? So, I offer this writing, not to be accurate, although that would appear to be my intent, but to simply share the joy that came as I studied these things; my study left the picture in my mind of us praising our King, dancing with all our might! And so, I will dive in…

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Do you see Him? - Peter’s Letter, Part 1

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Do you see Him? 
Peter’s Letter, Part 1
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The Apostle Peter’s first letter was written to “those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen…”[1] Every word of his letter served the purpose of encouraging them to stand strong in the face of the horrific persecution surrounding them.  

As I sat at my table after reading Peter’s letter, the encouragement that surfaced was to see Him.

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My Greatest Gift

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My Greatest Gift 
A message given on the day with the shortest period of daylight when the earth reaches its maximum tilt away from the sun. Today and always, Jesus is the Light of the world!
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The Greatest Gift anyone ever gave me was my new birth. It was given to me by my Father. I know I had to receive it, but I don’t remember receiving it. I just remember Him reaching out His hand into my darkness and touching me with a light so bright, I felt like I was swimming in a huge ocean of love, joy, and wholeness. I was completely new. It was like the words in a song – It was a “holy collision.” It was like the words that fell from Mary’s lips...

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Are You Thirsty?

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Are You Thirsty? 
Yeshua’s Supreme Invitation
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Are you thirsty?
Are you hungry?
Are you hungry for good to overcome evil?
Are you hungry for unconditional love?
Are you hungry to overcome habits that threaten your well-being?
Are you hungry for someone to listen… someone who would really hear?

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Permeating Rest

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Permeating Rest 
His Desire and Design
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In my writing from October 11, Coming Home for the Holy Days, I shared ways our faith in Yeshua (Jesus) is true, high, and distinct from all other worldviews or so-called “religions.” Here are three of many ways:

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The Highest Form of Worship

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The Highest Form of Worship 
Learning from the Master
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In his book New Light on the Difficult Words of Jesus, Insights from His Jewish Context, David Bivin writes about the first century schools in which Jewish children began their study of Torah (the first five books of our Old Testament) at five years of age. He writes,

“One might assume that the synagogue as the place of worship would be considered more important or more sacred than the schools, but this was not the case. To this day the bet midrash [the secondary school in which children and adults studied Torah and the oral traditions] is given more prominence than the synagogues – not because education is valued more highly than worship, but because Judaism does not make a distinction between the two. Indeed, Judaism has always held that study of Torah is one of the highest forms of worship.”

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In His Dust - Staying Close

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In His Dust
Staying Close
A very short devotional and prayer
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As I continue to learn more about Yeshua (Jesus) by understanding the culture in which He lived, I fall more and more in love with Him! The autumn tasks seem to multiply, but I want to keep lots of room for this pursuit!

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Coming Home for the Holy Days

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Coming Home for the Holy Days 
Coming Home to Him
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He is our Home
Most days my heart can barely take the news. How thankful I am that Yahweh, the Eternally-Existent, Majestic Creator, and Sovereign One is our only Home. Although He has allowed the waywardness of humankind to run its course, He is full of hesed (His indescribable, undeserved, vast love) to those who seek Him. Our faith in Him is true and high and distinct from every other so-called “religion” because:

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Eternal, Life-Giving Word 

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Eternal, Life-Giving Word 
Our Certainty in Difficult Times
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Greetings to you on this hot July weekend! This morning, the garden has been watered, the laundry started, the kitchen cleaned up, and here I am with a message on my heart!

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His Promise of Freedom

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His Promise of Freedom
He brought me forth into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me. (Psalm 18:19)
(my completely untouched photograph of vineyards and cherry trees on Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan)
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Loving Him First
This morning, the Lord reminded me of a revelation He gave to me 20 years ago. I was single. My pastor encouraged me to attend The Great Commandment Principle Seminar given by David Ferguson. In a moment during the seminar, I sat stunned, awed from head to toe. Mr. Ferguson read the words of Yeshua from John 14:15, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.” Then, he asked us –
“What if this statement is not a warning, but a promise?”

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A Passover Meditation

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A Passover Meditation 
We have passed through the waters of forgiveness into freedom!
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The Israelites’ deliverance from judgment at Passover by the blood of spotless lambs foreshadows our deliverance from judgment through the blood of the Passover Lamb, Yeshua the Messiah.

The Israelites’ subsequent deliverance out of the enemy’s control through the Red Sea foreshadows our deliverance out of the enemy’s control through our new birth in the Holy Spirit.
We have passed through the waters of forgiveness into freedom!

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The Mountain View

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The Mountain View
Transfixed by His Glory
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When I was a teenager, my family vacationed in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I vividly remember sitting on top of a huge sand dune at dusk to see the view of the shoreline. I remember the deep loneliness I felt, wanting to share the experience with a forever-partner who would love me always no matter what.

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Chosen for the Surge

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Chosen for the Surge
His Purpose vs. My Dream
Written August 2020, revised February 2022, revised December 2023 for the New Year 2024
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As Yeshua (Jesus) and His disciples walked from their last Passover feast together through the gates of Jerusalem toward the garden of Gethsemane, He said to them,

“I Am the Vine; you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) and He said,

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Purifying Fire

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Purifying Fire 
A New Beginning
My Journey through January 2022
January 29, 2022; revisited January 28, 2024
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“In this you greatly rejoice even though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in various trials, so that the proof of your faith which is more precious than gold which perishes though refined by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Yeshua the Messiah.” (1 Peter 1:6-7)

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Made for Another World

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Made for Another World 
Windows into Joy
written December 18, 2021
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On Saturday morning, December 18, 2021, I awoke after a long night’s sleep to waves of thoughts, all connecting into a powerful revelation that produced joy in me. I grabbed my journal to capture the thoughts. After writing them down, I realized what I so often realize when writing… that the thoughts were not particularly profound in themselves; but rather they were powerful because they were personal. The Lord simply wanted to give me joy.

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Readiness for Yeshua’s Return

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Readiness for Yeshua’s Return 
He is eager to come for you!
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Every message these days seems to flow from the Song of Songs. He is coming back for us, His Bride! We are the delight of His heart, created in His image, the apple of His eye, the crown of His creation!

His love is our driving force for readiness. Let’s love Him back with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength by the power of the Holy Spirit!

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Messiah Now

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Messiah Now 
November 30, 2021; revised February 14, 2024
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We most often picture Yeshua (Jesus) as He walked on the earth in human form as recorded in the historical narratives of the Gospels of the New Testament, because His glory was revealed to us in this way (John 1:14). He became one of us! But how does He appear now as He intercedes for us? Although His splendor is beyond description and human comprehension, the Scripture gives us a glimpse into His eternal majesty with visions given in glorious, apocalyptic language that symbolizes His greatness, beauty, and sacrifice.

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Beckoning Almond Blossoms

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Beckoning Almond Blossoms 
A Symbol of Eager Anticipation
A Hanukkah Message
A Dream and a Devotional
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The celebration of Hanukkah began last night this year, November 28th, at sunset and ends at nightfall on December 6th. I would like to share with you how I will recognize Hanukkah this year in a new way!

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This is the Message

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This is the Message 
An Encapsulation of our Faith
And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you that God is Light! (1 John 1:5)
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This past year, I have listened to many incredible speakers who are combatting the darkness with their expertise; they are doctors, lawyers, pastors, senators, journalists, nurses, and others willing to stand strong against the lies coming from every sector of our society. I appreciate their willingness to share their faith in Jesus as they put their lives on the line to address the relevant issues of the day.

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A Word from Yeshua to Those Who Have Failed

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A Word from Yeshua to Those Who Have Failed 
His Covenant is Always in His Mind
Psalm 106:44-48
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Dear friends and beloved of the Lord,
I am quite sure that those who subscribe to receive my emails are those who love the Lord. You are not trying to make excuses for wrong behavior. You love Adonai with all your heart. You’ve been born again by the Ruach, the Holy Spirit. You seek to walk triumphantly, and you enjoy His presence daily. You likely take sin seriously; however, you may have failed.

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A Word from Yeshua to the Downtrodden, Abused, Hurting or Weary

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A Word from Yeshua to the Downtrodden, Abused, Hurting or Weary 
from the following Scriptures:  (Print the PDF)

  • Matthew 11:28-30
  • Psalm 37:7
  • Genesis 49:10-12
  • Psalm 1:2
  • John 10:8-11; 27-29
  • Psalm 23
  • Romans 8:33-39
  • Matthew 28:16-20
  • John 14:1-3
  • Revelation 19:7; 21:4
  • Isaiah 35:10b
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The Great Governor

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The Great Governor 
Who Brings Order, Goodness, and Equity
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The Names of God
There are many Names for God in Scripture. They were either declared by God Himself or given to Him by people when He became personal to them. For instance, the Hebrew Name of God, El Roi, was given by Hagar, Sarai’s maid. After Sarai’s harsh treatment of her, Hagar fled and found herself in a desperate, lonely place. An angel of the Lord came to her by a spring in the wilderness with instruction and comfort. She declared, “You are El Roi!” meaning You are God Who sees me 

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The Gospel

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The Gospel
Focusing on the Root which is His Love
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Gospel means Good News. The more I scrutinize the simple Gospel of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the more I am changed by it. We must grasp the Gospel because through its message, the Lord frames our hearts and thoughts. Our behavior is not a concern, because it simply flows from the core of the Gospel’s message. If we try to align our behavior instead of our hearts, we are devastated when we fail. If we allow Him to align our hearts, even when we fail, we know we are safe in His love.

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Pray It Through

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Pray It Through 
A Very Short Devotional
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A few years ago, Dusty and I planned a getaway to our usual spot in Michigan. We had just one day to visit my favorite place – an overlook of Lake Michigan from the top of a 450-foot sand dune. When the sun shines on the water, the view is breathtaking! I like to just sit on the dune for hours and allow the grandeur and beauty to refresh my spirit.

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A Distant Grief / An Abiding Joy

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A Distant Grief / An Abiding Joy 
How to walk and work in joy in hard times
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A Distant Grief
Years ago, I read a book called A Distant Grief by Kefa Sempangi, the founding pastor of the Redeemed Church of Kampala in Uganda. 14,000 members attended in the early 1970s. Kefa’s family and church were targets of Idi Amin’s brutal regime. By God's grace, they escaped from Uganda, but many did not.

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A Reclaimed Species

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A Reclaimed Species
The Kedoshim
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Dearly beloved of God,
At the beginning of July, I sent this message to you, because the Lord used it to change the way I thought and prayed. A few weeks later, I simplified it to share at a large retreat. I think this version is clearer in its simplicity, and so I am re-sending it to you. Why? Because it is important for us to understand and be reminded of who we are. When I know who I am in Yeshua (Jesus), I can better navigate the adversity around me.

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A Baptism to Undergo

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A Baptism to Undergo
Passing through the waters
A Short Scripture Study and Personal Story
Luke 12:49-50
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Last July 7, 2020, I awoke with Luke 12:50a on my mind – “I have a baptism to undergo…” This morning, November 16, 2020, I awoke with the verse on my mind again. I had not been reading in the Gospel of Luke on either day, so I believe the Lord brought this verse to my mind to consider.

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Kedoshim Favor

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Kedoshim, Talmidim Favor
Ephesians 1
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Ephesians 1 is a favorite chapter in the Bible for many people. My Who I Am Journal Art Card Collection was inspired by it. The Apostle Paul begins this letter by addressing the faithful saints in the city of Ephesus. The Hebrew word for saints is kedoshim and means holy ones or set apart ones. Anyone can be a part of this family! (See John 1:12)

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His Fullness

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His Fullness
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The Hebrew words for the Holy Spirit are Ruach HaKodesh. I quickly drew this image I saw in the early morning hours of February 2019 for a conference where I was to speak. It is a hovering covering of angels and the Ruach over, in and surrounding us!

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You Have Arrived!

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You Have Arrived!
Forest Flowers
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“He [Jesus] said to them, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’ Therefore, they were willing to receive Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.” (John 6:20-21)

Jesus had travelled an arduous four-day journey north from Jerusalem to Tiberias on the western side of the Sea of Galilee where a great crowd had followed Him because of the miracles He performed.

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Heaven's Leaven

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Heaven's Leaven
The River of Life
The Witness in the World
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Jesus spoke a parable, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three pecks of meal until it was all leavened.” (Matthew 13:33)

The kingdom of heaven is the rule and reign of God. It is found in every place that is touched by the ways of Adonai, the Master and Lord of the universe. He has allowed His beautiful, perfect creation to be spoiled by the sin of man until that day when “He Who sits on the throne says, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” (Revelation 21:5a)

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The Freedom Diet

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The Freedom Diet
John 6
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Last night, a strong rain came after a prolonged drought in Columbus, Ohio! Ahhh! Lord, You rain! Rain Your nourishment on us! You are the manna from heaven! Feed us! Be our Food and Drink! We listen. We hear Your voice. We follow You. You delight to speak and lead. Give life to our ears and humility to our response.

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Depth

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Depth
Revelation of Simple Truth
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The Apostle Paul was concerned that the believers in Corinth would be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3).

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Higher Ground

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Higher Ground
Father leads us
June 20, 2019
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In Romans 8:14, Paul writes, “All who are led by the Spirit of God, these are the uihos (pronounced hwee-os’) of God.”  Uihos (νίός) is generally translated as sons, but its fuller meaning in the original Greek is “those whom God loves and cherishes as a Father.”

So, Romans 8:14 reads, “All who are led by the Spirit of God are those whom He loves and cherishes as a Father,” or “The Father leads His beloved children by His Spirit.”

When we receive Jesus, we are born into God’s family (John 1:12-13; John 3:3). We come into a physical birth by our parents, but then we come into a spiritual birth by our heavenly Father when we receive His Son, His costly sacrifice on our behalf – Jesus the Messiah. He cherishes us! He is the best Father anyone could ever imagine!

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God trusts you

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God trusts you!

You are a Reflector of the glory of His grace!

In the 1980s, I read every book by and about Amy Carmichael that I could get my hands on. I never forgot this one story from her life: 

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Scaling the Heights

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Scaling the Heights
There will be dips
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Two and a half years after I wrote The Mountain View, I was in a difficult situation. My Lord gave me a visual picture that I was in warfare, scaling up the Song of songs mountain. This time the mountain was vertical, making it very difficult, almost impossible to retain my footing and my grasp.

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My Withness With My Savior

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My Withness With My Savior 
I am hidden in Him
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Noah's Calling and Rest

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Noah’s Calling and Rest

Contents

Noah's Calling and Ours

Our hearts, God's resting place

Noah's Rest and Ours

God's heart, our resting place

A Scripture Study in Luke 18:1-8
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The Bridegroom and the Sun

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The Bridegroom and the Sun
Psalm 19
March 2017, revised June 21, 2021

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In the heavens God has placed a tent for the sun,
which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber.
It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.
Its rising is from one end of the heavens,
And its circuit to the other end of them,
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
(Psalm 19:4b-6)

Abraham’s son, Isaac, entered his mother’s tent to consummate his marriage with Rebekah.
(Genesis 24:67)

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Awareness = Belief

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Awareness = Belief
Practical steps to increase belief
Free Downloadable PDF

When we receive God’s gift of Jesus, Father gives us a new heart, and His Spirit comes to live within us - ALL of Him, not just a little bit at a time. We don’t get full and less-full of Him at different times. When I feel full, it’s because I am aware of His presence, not because I am more full. The obstacle to our awareness is unbelief.

We can increase our awareness of His presence by believing Him in all the little moments of the day. We can acknowledge Him for placing beautiful thoughts in our minds, for the unseasonably cool breeze on a morning in late July, for those still soft thoughts that come to us in the morning, and for His gentle kindnesses.

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Governed Garden

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Governed Garden
Defending the Weak

Weeds are plants that grow in the wrong place. They are unwanted, because they are outside of order, harmony and beauty.

Queen Anne’s Lace and Thistles are beautiful along the bike path. Their blooms and stalks gracefully reach toward the sky and give off summer scents. But in my garden, they are dominant, intrusive and greedy. They take nourishment from the soil that is meant for other plants.

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Signs for the Sincere and Insincere

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Signs for the Sincere and Insincere
Staying

Matthew 16:1-4
The Pharisees and Sadducees came up and testing Jesus, asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to discern the appearance of the sky but cannot discern the signs of the times? An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.

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Heart Absorption

Heart-Absorption

Heart Absorption
Luke 6:17-23   Hebrews 4:12    Luke 2:35
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Jesus and His disciples came down into a plain in Judea and faced a mass of humanity gathered from the surrounding districts. This mixture of need and motive had one thing in common – their eagerness to be there.

The truth began to ring from Jesus’ lips penetrating through the maze of emotion, longing, and brokenness like a sharp, double-edged sword, alive and active with saturating life. The union of His words with each listening heart would tell a story as different as the features on their faces.

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Welcome to Shale Fragments, a collection of writings and art for individual and group use!

Teaching God’s truth and the beauty of His Word is my greatest delight! My art card company, Flower Girl Greetings, was launched in 2012 with this purpose. In April 2020, ShaleFragments.com became the gathering place for the writings.

As I have studied the rich meanings of the original Greek and Hebrew languages of the Bible, I continue to see beautiful progressions and connections that compel me to organize and convey their life-changing beauty! 

Please click on each category to access a list of contents or scroll through the posts. To receive Shale Fragments updates, please subscribe here.