Faith

Shake It Off

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Over the summer I was at the right place at the right time to capture this bee and butterfly. I’m always on the lookout for butterflies when I’m working in the garden. This scene got my attention in a different way. The beautiful monarch was eating nectar, and the bees would not leave it alone. Bees kept landing on the butterfly’s wings. The monarch was undeterred as it would shake it’s wings and get right back to business.

This pattern kept repeating. Happy monarch eating nectar, busy bees landing on it’s wings. The monarch would flutter it’s wings every time a bee landed on them. This was one determined butterfly. Nothing was going to stop the butterfly from it’s purpose of gathering nectar, not even some very stubborn bees.

We get distracted from our purpose. The enemy loves to get us off course, and stop us dead in our tracks from our Kingdom purposes. He dive bombs us every day with all sorts of things to take our eyes off of Jesus. That’s the last place he wants us looking. Oh no, we can’t have our focus on Christ. Buzz, buzz, buzz.

Some days the distractions are small, and some days the distractions are big. So big that they take our joy away, and steal our hope. We get weighed down, and get hurt. Then we are so busy focusing on the pain and annoyances in life that we have completely forgotten about our victory in Jesus Christ.

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:57, NIV 

Those of us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ as Savior have victory over death and sin. Sin has no hold on us. Death has no sting. The same Jesus who took our sin away also gives us victory over every challenge and problem in this life. We don’t always win every battle, and we will take some losses along the way, but we are winners in the end through Jesus. He already took care of it for us.

Those bees will keep coming. They will try their hardest to land on our wings, and stop us. We will keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. And when we get stung, He will help us, and heal us, and we will start again.

Shake off the distractions. Eyes on Jesus. We have victory through Him.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2, Berean Study Bible

Love you all,

Meghan

Father God,

Thank you for your perfect love and grace. Thank you for Jesus. Help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. When we get distracted, help get our focus back on the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. Thank you for the victory we have in Jesus in every circumstance, and every trial. We belong to You, and You always take care of your children.

Amen

God

The Lord Bless You

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“‘“The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
 the Lord make his face shine upon you
    and be gracious to you;
 the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”’

Numbers 6:24-26, NIV

The Priestly Blessing is one of the most beautiful passages in scripture. I adore these verses. There are denominations that end each service by reading this blessing. What an incredible way to end a time of worship.

These are God’s words to the Israelites and to us. God loves us so much. He is with us, guiding us, protecting us, shining His face on us. This is miraculous. The God of the universe is infinite and intimate.

When the Lord gave these words to Moses to tell Aaron and his sons, Israel would soon leave Sinai and head out to the desert.

34 For forty years—one year for each of the forty days you explored the land—you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ Numbers 14:34, NIV

The Lord used those forty years in the desert to prepare the Israelites for the Promised Land. They would need that daily reminder of the Lord’s love and faithfulness. This was His blessing for the journey through the dessert.

You might be in a desert right now, or about to go through one. You will make it. The Lord will bless you and keep you. You may have to eat some manna during the desert time, but you will come out stronger with a deeper faith in the Lord.

God never lets time in the desert go to waste.

There were countless miracles in the wilderness for the Israelites. God provided manna and quail. Their flocks increased. God blessed them with health. They followed a supernatural cloud by day and fire by night. All these things and more happened in the desert.

I can’t help but think of what is happening right now. As the world turns against Christians increasingly more and more, we must keep our eyes on the Lord. The Lord will sustain us. The Lord will continue to bless us. The Lord will keep us. The Lord will keep shining His face on us.

27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.” Numbers 6:27, NIV

The Lord is the one who blesses through the words spoken by the priests. God putting His name on the people shows they belong to Him, and He is the source of all blessings. Those of us in Christ are now children of God through our faith in Jesus (Galations 3:26). We belong to God from whom all blessings flow and we bear the name of Jesus (1 Peter 4:16). In Jesus we have every single thing we need.

The Lord bless you and keep you,

the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you peace.

Amen

Love you all,

Meghan

Jesus, The Early Church

Come, Follow Me

boats on body of water
Photo by Nick Kwan on Pexels.com

I wonder if I had lived when Jesus walked the Earth, would I have followed Him? I am absolutely amazed at the first disciples, and their willingness to follow Jesus, no matter the cost. Following Jesus in those days came at a great cost.

Jesus, God’s Son, was walking along the Sea of Galilee when He sees Simon and Andrew working. They were fishing because that was their job. I can only imagine this scene. God, in the flesh, invites them to join Him. What an honor!

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Mark 1:16-17, NIV

This was very unusual for a rabbi. People would flock to a rabbi, very few were called by a rabbi to follow them. This was no ordinary teacher, and no ordinary person. The one calling Simon and Andrew was Jesus, the Savior.

At once they left their nets and followed him. Mark 1:18, NIV

Simon and Andrew dropped their nets and followed Jesus, immediately. They did not hesitate. They did not tell Jesus no. They did not say they would think about it. They left their livelihoods to follow Jesus. Simon and Andrew walked away from their careers when they dropped those nets.

When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him. Mark 1:19-20, NIV

The same scenario repeats itself with the calling of James and John. They followed Jesus, leaving behind their father. All four of these men willingly followed Jesus and left jobs and family to do so.

Burly fishermen were called by Jesus to follow Him, and they answered the call without reservation.

These guys didn’t even fully know or understand who Jesus was when they answered His call on their lives, yet they followed Him. I want this kind of passion as a Christ Follower. Am I willing to let go of everything and follow Jesus wholeheartedly?

Jesus says, “Come, follow me,” to you and to me. He is calling all of us, but are we willing? There is a cost to following to Jesus. We must die to ourselves.

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Mark 8:34, NIV

The rewards to following Jesus are greater than the losses. He says we will be fishers of men. We get the awesome privilege to participate with Jesus in His work. That’s big. That’s huge. God’s Son wants to use us in His Kingdom work.

May we drop everything and run with abandon to Jesus.

I want to follow Jesus all the days of my life.

Jesus is worth it.

Love you all,

Meghan

Heavenly Father,

You are awesome, holy God. The one true God. Thank you for Jesus. May we clearly hear His voice and answer His call on our lives with no reservations. We love you and praise you!

Amen

Trials

Keep Believing

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This beautiful wisteria climbs along my backyard fence. It was in full bloom a week ago. I love the contrast of these stunning purple flowers against my brown backyard. The historic winter storm in Texas killed off most of our plants. I was so happy to see this gorgeous plant thriving.

It’s a picture of my life right now. We are smack dab in the middle of some hard things. Still waiting for answers on my husband’s health. Still waiting for complete healing. Still waiting for the catheter to be removed so my husband is no longer in constant pain. Yet we are being blessed by God every day during this entire ordeal.

When I look around, everything is brown. Will there be new life again Lord? Will you really heal Tom? Is this our future?

Wednesday of this week was awful. Tom had an appointment with the kidney doctor. It did not go as well as I was hoping and praying for. We have nicknamed the nephrologist Dr. Doom and Gloom. I met him once in the hospital and he’s not my favorite doctor. He’s a brilliant doctor and speaks honestly and that’s important, but he is not an optimistic person, and that’s bad.

Tom’s kidney function is still not good. The improvement has slowed down, almost stopped. That was not news I was ready for. It broke my heart. All I could see was brown. No signs of life. My heart was ripped in two. My hope was stomped on.

But God reminded me that Tom’s story is not done.

I smelled something so lovely. Wisteria gives off the most delightful fragrance. Because we had so many flowers the smell was powerful. I could smell the wisteria flowers over smoke during a fire we had in our fire bowl one night. You just could not stop the fragrance or cover it up.

In the middle of the trial, God’s beauty and blessings abound.

The love that has been poured out on us is overwhelming. Our church small group is incredible. They have given us countless meals, prayers, words of encouragement, and the most amazing Easter basket with a generous cash gift. Tom’s co-workers took up a large cash donation and they all signed a beautiful card with well wishes. Friends and family are praying for us and checking on us. My in-laws have been so supportive and generous. Our church has blessed us with so many prayers and a gift card from one of our pastors and his wife.

I could go on, and on with the many blessings we have received. That’s just how good God is.

I got a text on Wednesday night from my friend, and prayer partner, Roger. He is 78 years old and leads the prayer ministry at my church. We have prayed together for many things, and many people as we serve on the prayer team side by side. I respect him like a father and in some ways he is like a spiritual father to me. He reminded me to persevere. God bless Roger for that.

God bless the many friends and family who have sent an encouraging text at just the right time. I love all of you!

Yes, there are still a lot of unknowns. Still lots of waiting. But God is not done, and new growth is coming. So I will look past the brown and lifeless looking things to the beautiful. That’s where my Father resides.

I still believe in miracles. I will continue to trust God for complete healing of Tom. I will persevere by the power of the Holy Spirit in me. I will follow Jesus out of this. He is a way maker where there seems to be no way.

I am a very visual person and many times God speaks to me with pictures. When Tom was in the hospital I kept seeing Jesus walking on a tight rope over a huge jungle ravine. I could only see His back because He leads. I am to follow Him out and keep my eyes fixed on Him. Jesus is the way out.

I don’t always understand how God works but I trust Him. God is completely trustworthy.

Thank you for your prayers and love. It means so much to me!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1, KJV

Love you all,

Meghan

Please send me your prayer requests anytime meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com