Man with a Colt

ManWithAColtimage from google images

In Mark, chapter 11, Jesus sendeth forth two of his disciples, 2 And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. 3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.

And sure enough, certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? The disciples tell them that the Lord has need of it, and the men let them go with the colt.

Whose colt was it? Did it belong to one of the men standing there?

I think that God put it in their hearts to let the colt go. And I think they followed the disciples and the colt, to see what was going on. Perhaps the owner of the colt knew of Jesus and His miracles. Perhaps the owner’s own wife or son or daughter had been healed. Perhaps he had been one of the crowd who had recently watched Lazarus come out of the tomb.

Imagine the owner’s feelings when he saw the garments spread on his colt, saw Jesus Himself sitting upon it, and entering into the city.

The crowd sang praises to Jesus: v9  And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: 10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

Note: The crowd cried “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” The word Lord, here, is the same word that was used back in verse 3, when the disciples told the men that “the Lord” had need of the colt. The language was referring to God in both cases.

The colt owner likely got his colt back after it was all over. Maybe he was proud that his own colt had been used for such an important occasion. Maybe his neighbors and friends, who knew of Jesus, came to touch the colt or look at it.

The man with the colt may likely have been one of the crowd, shortly thereafter, who cried “Crucify Him!”

What was the change? I believe, besides the powerful pull of our flesh, that it was the leaders: the Pharisees and scribes. Those Pharisees had immense power. (In John Chapter 9, the parents of a man born blind were afraid to admit to the Pharisees that Jesus had healed their son. Verse 22: These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.) It was a grave thing to be put out of the synagogue: culturally, socially, and emotionally. The Pharisees had the power to put anyone out, and they would use it. The common people were afraid to displease the Pharisees; they felt the Pharisees must be closest to God, since they served Him all day, and knew all the laws and how to follow them. In Matthew 15.12, the disciples were anxious that Jesus had offended the Pharisees.

It is an immense responsibility to have so much power. Luke 12.48 ends with, For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

And so the people, and perhaps the man with the colt, cried out, “Crucify Him!” And Jesus prayed His Father, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23.34).

This was the most horrible thing in the history of the world! That we could crucify our Savior! We didn’t know. We were blind. We followed the beliefs of the world.

But God made it all better. We cannot imagine, at any given time, that God can make everything all better. But He can! And He does.

That crucified man was God, Himself, and He rose from the dead to save us from our sins.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4

We MUST look carefully at those whom we follow. We are to obey those in authority over us, obey our government. But we must carefully discern. We must use the wisdom God gives us.

Listen, God speaks: I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalm 32.8

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30.20, 21

We live in a momentous time. Take a careful look at who holds power: government, media, religious leaders, and celebrities. Please scrupulously groom your information sources. Use God’s Word as your plumb line and filter all you receive through Him. Pray for His guidance and counsel. When He calls you, be His hands and feet.

Matthew 9.36-38 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Will you be a laborer for God’s glory?

Lord, Heal Our Land

LordHealOurLand

Yesterday, as I prayed, so many things came to mind to pray about.

I had a deep devotional time in Mark 11, and I will write about that in another post.

I took a long walk.

A couple walked together, hand-in-hand, and smiling. Another couple worked together on a project on their back stoop. Children ran and laughed in the park.

Lord, knit Your families together.

I met a man on his walk, one from our church. We smiled and chatted, staying 6 feet apart.

Lord, build Your Body.

I saw a dad and son playing ball in the park.

Lord, turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest You come and smite the earth with a curse. (Malachi 4.6)

May there be tents set up in back yards, with giggles inside.

Birds were chitter-chattering, swirling in the air, tangling together; they know not that there is a virus.

Matthew 6.26 Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow nor do they reap, nor do they gather into barns, and your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

All along the way, people walking or driving smiled and waved at each other, glad to see other faces.

John 16.33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

I stopped to visit with my husband as he worked at the Food Pantry. He goes in when the shop is closed, to restock. He’s been pretty busy this week; the goods are flying off the shelves.

Lord, provide for Your people. Bless those who are in need. Thank you for the workers who meet the needs.

I heard a child cry, and a father yelling. All is not happy and well in the quarantined homes.

Lord, protect victims of domestic violence. Lead people to give their anger to You. I pray You intervene, show where our hope lies.

Lord, as families are spending focused, concentrated time together, please bless the interactions. Give us a desire to see, to love one another. Give husbands and wives new eyes and ears to see and hear one another through Your heart. Provide creative ideas on how to spend time together, give us flexible hearts to participate in activities that may not suit individual tastes, but that bring joy to others. May we bring out more board games and card games; more neighborhood walks and hikes in nature; more authentic projects together; more helping hands and full hearts.

What does this do to

  • The crime rate
  • The suicide rate
  • The domestic violence rate
  • The sex trafficking rate
  • The abortion rate?

Lord, protect Your families; teach them to cry out to You.

Oh Lord God, You are doing a great work in these unique times; we are in Your Hands. May we keep our hearts turned toward You. May we look to You. We have sinned, Lord God. May we fall on our faces before You and repent. May we be cleansed of our sin and turn our hearts and our ways to be obedient to You. Isaiah 17.7 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 60.1-5, 11, 12

O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.

Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.

Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.

Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.

That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.

Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.

Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

Recipe Friday: Pickled Red Onions

RecipeFridayPickledRedOnionsimage from google images

These are so easy to make, and so tasty, you’ll want to make them often.

What to do with tangy, delicious, radiant red onions? Here are a few ideas:

  • Top a sloppy joe
  • Add to a salad
  • Serve along with eggs
  • Top toast with onions and avocado
  • Taco topping
  • Tuck into sandwiches and wraps
  • Burger topping
  • Onion and cucumber sandwich with a bit of cheese
  • Top a vegetable dish

Onions are so nutritious: they are a good source of Vitamin C; onions have a high content of antioxidants; they are anti-inflammatory; they are very rich in healthy soluble fibers (fructans), which are prebiotic fibers; prebiotic fibers feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut; they are a source of folate (B9), B6, and potassium. Onions are naturally fat- and cholesterol-free, and are a source of dietary fiber. Onions contain nutrients linked to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

There is even a National Onion Association website to help you learn more about this amazing vegetable: https://www.onions-usa.org/.

Use raw, apple cider vinegar in this recipe, and don’t cook it. Cooking destroys many of the beneficial compounds in both the onions and the vinegar.

I list two different lists of ingredients, one with sweetener and one without. If you use a sweetener, please use a nutritional sweetener, such as maple syrup, honey, or sucanat.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sweetener
  • 1 1/2 tsp natural salt
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • medium red onion, thinly sliced

Alternate Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp peppercorns
  • 2 small red onions (or 1 large), sliced

Directions:

Mix first four ingredients together in a jar and add sliced onion. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Optional ingredients to add in:

  • garlic cloves
  • jalapeno peppers
  • peppercorns
  • bay leaf

A Day of Fasting and Prayer

Following a prompt from sister Julie at https://juliedibblewrites.wordpress.com/, I will be fasting tomorrow from social media and (modified/conditional) food. I will have one pre-scheduled post up tomorrow morning, but otherwise my site will be still.

I will be spending extra time in prayer for our country, for our people, and for our world. I will be praying God’s guidance; that He will open the eyes and hearts of His people, that He will allow us to see Him, His Truth, and His glory; that we will fall on our faces in repentance to Him; that we will love Him and obey Him; and that He will heal our land.

Whoever will, please join us in uniting in His Spirit before the throne of our Almighty God.

Rejoice, Worship, and Praise Together!

Psalm 95

1 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.

5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.

6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,

8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

How to Spot the Enemy’s Lies

From Senior Living Ministries March 13, 2020 https://www.seniorlivingministries.org/ via OnePlace https://www.oneplace.com/

How to Spot the Enemy’s Lies

All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. – Psalm 119:160

The American Banking Association once sponsored a two-week training program to help tellers detect counterfeit bills.

The program was unique – never during the two-week training did the tellers even look at a counterfeit bill, nor did they listen to any lectures concerning the characteristics of counterfeit bills… All they did for two weeks was handle authentic currency, hour after hour and day after day, until they were so familiar with the truth that they could not possibly be fooled by the false.

Lies accompany every temptation that comes your way. They’re the sugar Satan sprinkles on sin to make it look sweet. But you don’t learn to spot the lie by growing more acquainted with the sin – you learn to spot the lie by growing more acquainted with the truth.

God’s Word is your divine source of truth. And like the bank tellers, you’ll have no problem spotting counterfeit truth when you spend time with the real thing.

Prayer Challenge: 

Ask God to open the eyes of your heart to the truth of His Word. Pray that He’ll equip you to distinguish His truth from the lies of the enemy.

Questions for Thought:

What are some lies the enemy has tried to sell you in the past?

What does the truth of God’s Word say about them?

 

Mark 8

Mark8

In Mark Chapter 8 Jesus feeds the 4,000 (this is after He fed the 5,000 in chapter 6, and after He walked on water, also in chapter 6). The disciples are seeing a lot of supernatural love.

In the next passage (v 11-13), the Pharisees seek a sign of Him from Heaven, tempting Him. He sighs deeply in His spirit and replies that there will be no sign given to this generation. My thoughts: How are the Pharisees seeking a sign, when Jesus has been performing all these miracles, some of which they have witnessed? They have not eyes to see.

Then Jesus charges the disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees; the disciples can’t figure what He’s talking about, and reason it’s because they forgot to bring bread with them. Jesus asks them several questions: Why reason ye? Perceive ye not? Having eyes, see ye not? And having ears, hear ye not? Do you not remember? How is it that ye do not understand?

Reading this with my human perspective, it sounds like Jesus is getting fed up with them. BUT I know that Jesus is God, and that the words of His mouth and the meditations of His heart are pleasing in God’s sight (Psalm 19.14).

Jesus never asks a question to which He does not know the answer, because He knows everything. And, because God is love, Jesus is love. He asks and does all things in love. And I’m pretty sure that love showed on His face and in His body language.

Jesus asks these questions to edify them because He loves them. He wants them to see.

Next, Jesus heals a blind man. The blind man first sees men as trees, walking; after Jesus puts His hands again upon the man’s eyes, the man can see clearly.

My thoughts: Jesus is using this as an object lesson, connecting it to their discussion about not seeing / not perceiving. The blind man starts to see after Jesus intervenes. The disciples are starting to see. Jesus continues to intervene for the blind man, and then the man can see clearly. Jesus will continue to intervene for His disciples, and they will be able to see “every man clearly.”

Next, Jesus is walking with His disciples and He asks who others say He is, then He asks who they say He is. Peter answers that Jesus is the Christ. [In the parallel telling, in Matthew 16.17, Jesus answers Peter, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”]

In the final passage in Mark 8 (v 31-38), Jesus speaks to His disciples and others. He says, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.”

This ties up the lesson Jesus has for His disciples: In your flesh, in your natural state, you are unable to perceive truth, to see God in His glory. There is the example of the Pharisees: they were unable to perceive Who Jesus was, even after witnessing His miracles and love.  It is important to understand that basic fact – you are nothing in and of yourself (John 15.5). But when Jesus intervenes, truth dawns. We can start to understand that Jesus is the Christ, and that He can do all things. The blind man receiving clarity of sight foretells the coming of the Holy Spirit, when we are given the gift of Very God living within us.

We are not able to see unless God the Father gives us sight. Luke 10.21-23 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see.

We must not get in the way of the Holy Spirit (Mark 8.32, when Peter rebuked Jesus). Mark 8.35: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

Step aside. Let God’s Holy Spirit have His way with you. Just like in Matthew 16.17, Jesus answers Peter, “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” Flesh and blood cannot reveal Truth to you, but only God, Who is in Heaven.

He who has eyes to see, let him see; he who has ears to hear, let him hear. The eyes and the ears must be His.