I Am Knit Together in Love

My Grandma, my Mother’s Mom, crocheted blankets for people she loved. I will never forget the beautifully put together blanket she made for my baby. It was knit together in love. My Mom does cross-stitch, and has made beautiful works for all of us. Mine hang throughout my house, and everytime I look at one, I am reminded of her love. Everyone does something to show their love. It may be a tangible thing, like a blanket or a cross-stitch design or a painting or other handcrafted item, or a meal or baked goods. It could be an act of service, or it could be giving up a baby or child, so that the child can have a better life. These can all be put done in love.

God showed His Love in creating us; He knitted us together. As the psalmist so beautifully said;

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your Book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” – Psalms 139:13‭-‬16 NLT

This Almighty God created a beautiful world for us to live on. He knit it together, along with the stars and the planets, for us to enjoy. He also created in us a free will, the ability to make our own decisions, and we have done our utmost to destroy our world and our lives ever since. The God of the Universe didn’t let us slide, but He did one better. He sent His Son, an integral part of Himself, to live among us and to die for us. The Ultimate Sacrifice.

“How precious are Your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, You are still with me!” –
Psalms 139:17‭-‬18 NLT

What Amazing Grace! Not only did He Knit together the Universe for us, He sacrificed Himself to redeem us from our sins. Whatever other people say to you, regardless of the lies and venom Satan spews in your ears, you have been knit together by God. You are beautiful to Him, and what you do matters to Him. His hearts desire is to Love us, and for us to love Him in return. To show us mere humans the breathe and depth of His Love, Jesus – The WORD – stepped down from His Throne, His rightful place at the side of GOD, for this purpose.

“In the beginning The WORD already existed. The WORD was with GOD, and the WORD was GOD. GOD created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The WORD gave Life to everything that was created, and His Life brought Light to everyone. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” – John 1:1‭, ‬3‭-‬5 NLT

“So The WORD became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing Love and Faithfulness. And we have seen His Glory, the Glory of the FATHER’s One and Only SON.” – John 1:14 NLT

The point is this: we were knit together for one reason only. To share the ABSOLUTE LOVE of our Creator and Father with Him. Simple, but somehow it becomes the most difficult thing for so many people to grasp. If you have known any love in your life, multiply by a million, and you will still fall short of how much our Father in heaven LOVES us. Are you interested in a relationship with the One who created you and Who knows everything about you down to the tiniest component of your physical body (remember, He made it!), and He knows every thought you have ever had or will have…… ? I have a relationship with Him, and because of that He has made me the Daughter of the King of kings. How AWESOME is that? Your elevation from mere human-ness to being the son or daughter of THE King is just waiting for you to take a small but decisive step to Jesus.

“For this is how GOD Loved the world: He gave His ONE and ONLY Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have ETERNAL LIFE. GOD sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” – John 3:16‭-‬17 NLT

Have you taken that step and asked Jesus to come into your heart and your soul and your life? My prayer is that you will take that tiny step today as you are reading this. I can promise that there is NOTHING in the whole earth-world that will even come close to it!

Being knit together……

I AM

“God replied to Moses, “ I AM Who I AM . Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.” (Exodus 3:14 NLT)

and again:

“This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.” (Isaiah 48:17 NLT)

No equivocation, no hestitation.

“Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!” …. Then He {Jesus} said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of GOD going up and down on the Son of Man, the One Who is the stairway between heaven and earth. ” ” (John 1:49‭, ‬51 NLT)

“Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.” (Matthew 14:33 NLT)

Why, why, why do we doubt God’s Sovereignty? How can we not see Him in every bit of creation, from the absolute tiniest organism or cell struction, to the immensity of the higest mountains and the deepest canyons in the seas? Researchers are finding more evidence every day that supports the Bible accounts, and yet we still have skeptics and denial from every quarter. Yes, it takes faith to believe in the unseen. Do you believe in the air we breathe? It is unseen…. Do you believe in sound waves, and wireless signals; in electricity and radio and television signals? We can’t see them, either. “But wait,” you say. “We can see the pictures on the television. We can talk on our phones. We hear the radio, so it doesn’t require faith to believe in them. There is evidence to support their existance.”

Then i can only say this: look around yourself, at the grass and dirt and flowers and trees; look at the animals – dogs, cats, birds, horses…. they just evolved from slime?? Picture this: a scientist is arguing with God, trying to prove the theory of evolution. God says, “Okay, let’s each create a living being.” The scientist grabs a handful of dirt to get started, and God says, “Put that down! Create your own dirt!” Simple choice: believe in a THEORY of evolution, or believe in I AM, Creator God….

I have a Friend in Jesus; He is my Hope, my Cleansing, my Protector, and my Salvation. There is no one like Him. He makes me WHOLE. Amen!

Filth? Evil?

“So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” – James 1:21 NLT

What is filth? What is evil? Everything is so skewed in our world… From the time of Adam and Eve, we have been hell bent on proving we are as intelligent as the Creator. We listen as the Father of lies fills our hearts and our heads with the promise that we are gods, equal to the Almighty. The liar assures us that there is no greater God than ourselves, and that we are free to do and live any way we choose. Satan is correct on one point: it is our choice to live how we we. What Satan doesn’t want us to know is that our Creator built free will into our DNA, because our LORD will never force us to choose Him. He wants us; He yearns for us to have a relationship with Him, and He will always leave it up to us. Have you ever loved someone so much that you feel a physical pull towards them, an emotional, even spiritual connection, only to have them choose someone else? If you have never experienced that connection, my heart hurts for you. If you have experienced it, and lost it – as I have – then you know the agony it causes. Anyone who has lost a child knows it. God loves us even more, more than we can comprehend, yet we routinely turn our backs oh His pure Love for the glittery fake the enemy dangles in front of us.

The only way to know truth is to fall back on God’s Word. If you have never read the Bible yourself, I suggest going online to http://bible.com and choose either the NIV or NLT version, and start reading in John, chapter one, verse one. It’s so beautiful. Throughput the history of the earth, God has employed poets and writers and other artists to share His Love for us, with us. It makes me so sad when I read comments on social media or in the news, or hear people stating that a Creator God is myth, and the Bible is a collection of stories written by old men – as if it were fairy tales. I cry for those people who have chosen the ultimate lie.

Jesus Christ was not a good man. He was not a prophet. He is either Who He says He is, the Son of the Most High God, or He is an insane man. History supports the Son of God. Archeological evidence points to the Garden, and every day brings forth new physical evidence to support the Scriptures. When I say we believe it, or not, at our own peril, I do not say it to be fear monger. I say with the strength of Scriptures and science. There is a heavenly, there is a hell, and there is ONE God over all. I pray you make peace with Him, before it is too late.

He Knit Me Together

I LOVE this! Before I was even a thought in my mother’s mind, GOD was with me.

“YOU {GOD} made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” – – Psalms 139:13-14 NLT

Imagine! Marvel at His creation! He takes 2 cells, which alone are nothing, and He joins them together to create the complex and incredible thing we call life! Man can join the cells, and man can manipulate the cells, but only GOD can create the life within; what a MARVEL, what IMAGINATION, what CREATIVITY!

My puny little mind has trouble grasping the sheer magnitude of it all. Every single day in this country, thousands of babies die through abortion. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the AGI (Guttmacher Institute), in 2015 there were over 900,000 babies aborted. Killed. Of those, less than 2% – 2% – were from rape, incest, or the mother’s life was in danger! That’s insane. Basically, that means that 98% of babies who are murdered each year is because the mother doesn’t want to deal with it, for whatever reason. According to the CDC, in 2013, black women were 3.75% more likely to have an abortion than white women. Where are the pro athletes standing – or kneeling – on this issue?

Even if this were not a moral issue, it should be a financial issues. 17 states use public funds to pay for abortion, and about 14% of all abortions in the U.S. are paid for with public funds. That’s our tax dollars at work, people. Putting aside both of those objections, think on this for a moment. There is a tremendous outcry for more gun control because there were 59 people killed and over 500 injured this past week in Las Vegas. The hurricanes this year have taken 34 lives (so far) in Puerto Rico, and over 1oo in the Florida and Texas hurricanes. There has been a vigorous response to all of these tragedies, as there should be. I am by no means making light of these because they are devastating. I’m pointing out that lives lost due to overt violence or through natural disasters are next to nothing when compared to the over 2,400 lives lost every day through abortion. Where is the outrage; the outcry? I don’t hear it.

Did you know that at 45 days after conception, the heart is formed and beating? At 9 weeks, well within the first trimester, there is a recognizable baby, and at 52 weeks, babies have retinas, feet and hands? Check out this fascinating, eye-opening video – https://www.ted.com/talks/alexander_tsiaras_conception_to_birth_visualized .

Not just fascinating, but fantastic, awe-inspiring, breathtakingly beautiful, or to quote Alexander Tsiaras, “The magic, the mystery, the divine that is us.”

Thought provoking? I pray so.

The Most High

Be honest. Do you believe in a being who could create everything out of nothing, or do you believe in the Big Bang? There’s a joke I recently heard about God and some evolutionary scientists. As they were discussing which was correct, evolution or creation, they decided to have a contest to see who could create a man. The scientists took a handful of mud in order to begin, and God said “Hold on. Use your own mud!” I love this, because it showcases the difference between creation and evolution.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1 (http://bible.com/116/gen.1.1.NLT)

Simply, eloquently, stated.

“But why is there such destruction and pain and suffering on the earth? How could God allow children to be abused and neglected?” When God created man, He gave them free will. He didn’t want puppets or ‘yes men,’ He wanted us to choose to love Him and to have fellowship with Him. Just look around you. If you are hosting a party or other gathering, and there is a person who is clearly unhappy about being there, how does that make you feel? Our goal as host is to ensure that everyone is enjoying the fellowship and interaction with us. That’s why God gave us free will. He doesn’t force anyone to interact with him. Adam and Eve decided they were better suited to determining what was best for themselves; much more than God, and so they chose to be disobedient and eat the one forbidden fruit… thanks, guys! They had an entire garden (we’re talking acres and acres here!) of the most incredible, delicious fruits to eat, and they decide they just have to have the one, single fruit God said to leave alone. That says a lot about our human ability to make good choices!!

Thankfully, the Lord Creator God gave us a means of rescue from our ancestors poor choice.

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my Refuge, my Place of Safety; He is my God, and I trust Him.” – Psalms 91:1‭-‬2 (http://bible.com/116/psa.91.1-2.NLT)

The MOST High; Creator, Savior, Almighty God; LORD of All…

Irony

I am enjoying what may be the most pleasant morning we’ve seen in central Oklahoma for this entire summer…. while the state to our south is enduring the remainder of the worst hurricane to hit the U.S. in at least 12 years. In fact, I don’t remember an August quite like this one for its weather. So far, it’s the 3rd wettest August on record – and we have a chance for more rain before it is over. It has been the coolest in 20 years, and last year, 2016, was the hottest August on record, EVER, for the entire earth. Climate change! Oh no! Call Al Gore and the climate police! Call PETA and the ACLU and all the “Save the world” campaigns. (Sorry, couldn’t resist a little poke.)

Seriously. Look at the history of the earth. It began from a formless void, and was fashioned by the Creator into a living entity (NOT sentient; LIVING) to support life as He created it. Over the millenia, the earth has changed in a myriad of ways. First, God created the creatures of the sea, then the land, and finally man to watch over and protect it all. From the tiniest organism and the most minute cell structure, to the largest creatures, He created it all, and called it good. Read Genesis 1-2 for a full account. It’s quite beautiful. God created the creatures we call dinosaurs, and He created dragons. You have to realize that all myths are based on fact.

The problem with the earth, and all of the climate changes across the eons, are ultimately our responsibility. Starting with being thrown out of the Garden, we have been on a destructive bent ever since. Because of bad choices made by humans, the enemy of everything good, Satan, has been released to create havoc on and in the earth. Through his fury and desire to take everything good and turn it into evil, not only have humans suffered, but all of the plants and all the creatures suffered; even the earth itself is being brutalized by the enemy. Is it our fault the earth has gone through ice ages and worldwide drought? Is it our fault that the entire earth was covered in water, drowning anyone and anything that was not on Noah’s ark? Are hurricanes and tornados and floods and drought our fault?

Ultimately, yes. It does all rest on our shoulders, and the world is a heavy burden to carry. (Theme song of “The Twilight Zone” plays….)

“And to the man [Adam] He said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.” ” Genesis 3:17‭-‬19 (http://bible.com/116/gen.3.17-19.NLT)

Sounds all gloom and doom, doesn’t it? Fortunately for us, and for ALL of creation, this is all temporary. The phrophet Isaiah foretold it: “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.” Isaiah 65:17 (http://bible.com/116/isa.65.17.NLT)

John, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, also foretells us: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.” Revelation 21:1 (http://bible.com/116/rev.21.1.NLT)

We have a responsibility to take care of, and manage well, this pile of dirt and rock and water that we live on. We carry that responsibility for every part of this world, plant, animal, and human. I’m not an advocate for the extremists who scream that we shouldn’t eat animals or use ridiculous schemes to prevent us from using the earth’s resources. We are here to manage and maintain. As any true conservationist will tell you, animal flocks and herds have to be managed, and that entails culling to maintain and do balance. God gave us the earth and did and drill that is within it to oversee. Since we gave the job of overseer to the enemy, we, and all of creation, are suffering. That’s irony. We gave the job that God gave us to the worst thing possible, the one being whose existence is the opposite of God.

The first step to save the world is to submit ourselves to our Lord Jesus Christ. Only then can we began to see how to truly care for the beautiful people and creatures, and the earth itself. Ready for real climate change? Look to the Savior. Start with prayer and thankfulness for the incredibly diverse world He has given us. Love God, love His creation.

Neutral Ground 

  “There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second is claimed by God, and counterclaimed by Satan.” C.S. Lewis, @CSLewisDaily 

Wow. Just contemplate this statement for a minute. In case you don’t know C.S. Lewis, he was a committed atheist for years before he surrendered to God:

“You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen  [College, Oxford], night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.” (Source: Wikipedia.org)

Lewis was a scholar and a prolific writer, who took his Christianity seriously and wrote in such a way as to introduce a Living God to unbelievers and believers alike. I think most everyone is familiar with his Narnia series, and it is a wonderful, imaginative and fanciful way to show the principles of Christianity to those who wouldn’t see them, otherwise.  J.R.R. Tolkien did the same thing with his Lord of the Rings books. If you are unfamiliar with the writings of either of these men, I would highly recommend them! This scripture from the Psalms seems to reflect on them: 

  “Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing Your instructions. Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me Life through Your Word.” – Psalms 119:29‭, ‬37 NLT

I realize that fantasy doesn’t appeal to everyone, so rest assured that both authors wrote many other books on Christianity and our relationship with Christ. 

Looking at the term “neutral ground,” I consider the route I traveled the past couple of days, driving from Tucson AZ, back to the Oklahoma City area. Coming up out of Tucson, we (me and the pups) took the scenic route through the Santa Catalina mountains, then on through the Salt River Canyon. One word describes it for me: Breathtaking! Our Creator God took the desert and decorated it with dozens (hundreds?) of species of cacti and grasses and trees in fantastic shapes and colors you won’t see anywhere else in the world. The monsoons began while I was in Tucson, so everything was brilliant shades of green. The trip through the canyon is awesome. Yes, it is a steep grade (mostly 8%) and switchbacks, and if you have never experienced anything like it, well, you should! At the rest stop at the bottom of the canyon, you can walk across the old bridge and watch as the river roars through, and literally crane your neck backward in order to see the top of the canyon on either side. How can anyone stand there and NOT see the Hand of God? At the same time as I am worshipping my God,  I have to stop and think about the statement by Lewis. “…. Every square inch is claimed by God, and counterclaimed by Satan.” God created an incredible, breathtakingly beautiful earth, and Satan turns it around and tries to corrupt it. The canyon is gorgeous  – and treacherous. The desert is the same, full of fantastic plants and animals – which the enemy has crammed with dangerous reptiles and plants which can cause serious damage. It’s like a glimpse of heaven and hell smashed together. 

Coming out of the canyon, you’ll see a completely different kind of desert, then through pines and firs as the road continues into the White Mountains. I love this route in large part because of its contrasts. When you leave the White Mountains and come out into red rock Painted Desert country, there is a whole new world of contrasts. Towering bluffs and mesa after mesa … red rocks and colors stacked on top of each other.  It’s Tony Hillerman and Louie L’Amour country, and it is all beautiful. Anyone who thinks anything called “desert” is drab and colorless hasn’t really looked! Driving east on the interstate goes through so many types of country it would take volumes to describe it all. None of it is neutral ground. Throughput my entire trip, the struggle of the enemy against the Creator is so obvious. I see the beauty God and poured out for us, and I see how hard Satan is striving to make it ugly. For myself, I refuse to let the enemy ruin any of it for me. 

It all comes down to choice. Do we allow the enemy to come into our lives and spoil them, or do we choose God? It will NEVER be easy when you choose God, because the enemy will just concentrate harder on making life miserable. Finding JOY in the pain and the ugly is only possible through God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I choose the ground, every square inch, and every split second, claimed by God!

(All scriptures quoted are from http://bible.com/116/NLT)