The Simple Key to Safety and Protection

TheSimpleKeyToSafetyAndProtection

My devotions took me to Ezra 3 this morning. First to back up:

In Ezra 1: 1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,

2 Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. 4 And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.

5 Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem. 6 And all they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things, beside all that was willingly offered.

A contingent of Jews headed back to Jerusalem to live.

In Ezra 3, the priests, “builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. 3 And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD, even burnt offerings morning and evening.

The Jewish people knew they had enemies all around, people who didn’t want them there, who scorned their God, and who wanted power over them. But the Jews remembered Who they served. They had the Book of the Law. They knew.

They knew the blessings God had promised if they would adhere to His Law (Deuteronomy 28.1). They knew the curses God had promised if His people would not hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God, to observe to do all His commandments and his statues which He commanded them that day. (Deuteronomy 28.15).

Deuteronomy 28. 1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God…. 7 The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. 8 The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

SO many blessings, in verses 1-14!

But then the curses, if they would not hearken unto God:

Deuteronomy 28. 21 The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. 22 The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish…. 25 The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth…. 33 The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed always.

Pestilence, consumption, inflammation, fleeing from enemies: sound like anywhere you know today?

The people of Ezra’s time knew that, in order to receive the protection and blessing of God, they would have to bow down and obey Him. They knew that their people had refused to listen to God for centuries, and God had, indeed, taken them away captive from their homeland. They knew that, without God’s protection, they would open themselves up to disaster, disease, tribulation, and suffering. Why would they want to go through that again?

They built an altar and worshiped God, as He commanded. They offered burnt sacrifices to atone for their sins. They humbled themselves before their Almighty God.

And they continued in their obedience: Ezra 3.5 And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD.

Are you seeking safety, protection, and peace? Humble yourself before the Lord God. Worship Him. Read His Word to find out how to obey Him. Call out to Him for guidance. Walk in obedience to Him. God always blesses obedience. He will bless you.

Ask for God’s eyes and heart to discern what His protection looks like. King David was a man after God’s own heart. He was often in the midst of danger, and he was spurred into action to go to war for God. Maybe that doesn’t look like safety and protection to many of us. But it did to David. Read his Psalms. David knew he was completely under the protective Hand of the God of Israel Who loved him. David had the peace of God that passes all understanding.

So did the apostle Paul. Paul endured beatings, shipwrecks, hunger, and thirst. But his heart was hard after God, and he knew implicitly that God had His Hand of Protection over him.

Peace with God comes with obedience. The peace includes giving our times, our circumstances, and our wills over to God, and accepting from His Hand all that happens, including death. If we are indeed obedient, we put all our trust in Him. In exchange for our obedience, God blesses us with His joy and peace.

The Key to Winning Life’s Challenges

Taken from today’s e-devotional from https://www.seniorlivingministries.org/.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33

Years ago in Tennessee, two men were competing in an all-day wood chopping competition. The first man worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The second man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the first man was infuriated to see he had lost the competition even though he had worked so hard.

“I don’t get it,” he said. “Every time I looked at you, you were resting. But you chopped more wood than I did. How did that happen?!”

“One thing you didn’t notice,” the winner said, “is that every time I sat down, I was sharpening my axe.”

Most people today underestimate the power of taking time to sharpen their axe. They want to have good relationships with others and to do something great with their lives. But they forget that those things take a sharpened axe… character produced by taking time to seek God.

Don’t neglect your axe. Spend time daily sharpening yourself in God’s Word. Connect with God regularly through heartfelt prayer. When you take time to sharpen your axe, you’ll be ready to face any challenge life throws your way as you maximize your Kingdom impact!

Prayer Challenge

Pray and ask God to help you commit daily time toward sharpening yourself to be used for the Kingdom and face any challenge that comes your way.

Questions for Thought

Why do you think many people want to succeed in life but neglect taking time to sharpen themselves?

What are some practical ways you can sharpen yourself on a daily basis to help you face life’s challenges?

Sobering Words of God

SoberingWordsOfGod

As I read my daily devotions, I have, of course, the events of our day and time running along the back of my mind. A lot of it jumps forward as I read God’s Word. The Bible is all about current events.

Now, as in all times of our history, evil is rampant. Why so much evil? Where does it come from, and why does it take over?

God tells us some things in His Word that we don’t like to see, sometimes. For example, God created evil.

 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.  Isaiah 45.7

The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.  Proverbs 16.4

This is one of those concepts that, when you think about it in the correct context (God’s Word) you say to yourself, “Well, of course.”

From where else did anything and everything in existence come? God is eternal: past, present, future, always. Anything else that exists is in existence because HE created it.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him.  Colossians 1.15, 16

But why?

All things God does creates, and allows are for His glory, for His purposes.

God created people with the ability to make choices. WE CHOOSE our attitudes, our actions, our thoughts. Sometimes we choose evil. Those who continually choose evil will forever be destroyed. That is God’s plan for His glory.

How great are Your works, O LORD, how deep are Your thoughts! A senseless man does not know, and a fool does not understand, that though the wicked sprout like grass, and all evildoers flourish, they will be forever destroyed.  Psalms 92.5-7

When we choose God, He delights in us and blesses us.

…choose you this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.  Joshua 24.15

When God chooses us, we are His forever.

neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8.39

However the events of this world play out, God is in control. Worship Him, give Him all glory.

Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of Hosts.  Zechariah 4.6b

Why Read the Bible

WhyReadTheBible

2 Timothy 3.15 – 17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

First, let’s get some foundation:

  1. The Bible is Truth.
  2. The Bible is God’s inerrant Word.
  3. The Bible contains all we need for righteous living.
  4. The Bible is God’s love letter to us: His way of establishing, maintaining, and deepening our relationship with Him.

Read the Bible to discover Truth. When we don’t read God’s Word, we start making up our own truth, and living the way we think is right. That was the original sin with Adam and Eve: to be like God and know good and evil. Only God’s perspective is Truth. Whatever we think is good or evil is twisted according to our fleshly desires.

Read the Bible to balance your life. John 14.27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Read the Bible to understand yourself better. Hebrews 4.12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Read the Bible to understand how to relate to God. John 14.15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Read the Bible to understand how to relate to other people. Colossians 3.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. God’s Word provides insight into human behavior. It explains why we think the way we do, and how to correct our thinking. It gives us God’s perspective on love. what love is, and how to love one another when our flesh is unwilling.

As you read more of the Bible, it comes back to you more often. Whether you’re watching the news, conversing with others, or completing routine chores, God’s Word interjects itself into your meditations and thoughts. You will be able to make connections that you never thought of before. That’s because reading God’s Word provides wisdom.

Read the Bible in order to understand what not to do: Psalms 119.9-11 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. We must have some sort of plumb line so that we may live righteously. Wrong thinking leads to wrong actions, wrong feelings, depression, anxiety, and a sinful lifestyle.

To gain deeper understanding and appreciation for God’s Word, I direct you to Psalms 119. Read it. Read it often. Read it deeply. Use it as a springboard to read more and more of God’s Word.

Lord, Make Me Your Remnant

LordMakeMeYourRemnant

Throughout the Old Testament, God gives example after example of His power to save us. His power comes into play whether the people cry out to Him or not. But it follows the people needing saving. Whether in battle or tribulation or sin or disease or disaster, the people are unable to save themselves; God saves them.

So many lessons of people trying to save themselves, to get themselves out of their predicaments, trying to avoid tribulations. They end in despair. The people are brought low. And then they cry out to God.

2 Chronicles 20.15, 17 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. … 17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.

God destroys the evil. Sometimes the evil is without, sometimes the evil is within, sometimes the evil is among.

When God destroys, He always saves a remnant. Look at His example in 1 Kings chapters 18 and 19. Elijah stood strong for the Lord and stood against Ahab and Jezebel. On Mount Carmel, Elijah slew all the prophets of Baal. When Jezebel heard of it, she sought to kill him, so Elijah fled. He hid and became discouraged. See how God comforts him:

1 Kings 19. 9 And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? 10 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. 11 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? 14 And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.

But God assures him in verse 18: Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

Think of the great flood, where God saved Noah and his family. They were the remnant.

See how God saved David from all his enemies. Read Psalms 34.

Isaiah and Jeremiah were among the great prophets, warning the people, trying to turn them back to their True King. God saved them as a remnant while He destroyed the evil among them.

Look at the New Testament, when Saul was persecuting the Christians. They had fled, and were in hiding. But God saved a remnant and scattered them; the Gospel spread. Ananias ministered to Saul / Paul at the direction of God, and God used Paul mightily to preach and teach in His name.

We live in such times now. God is shaking us. He is using His Word to bring His people to Himself, to bring us to our knees as we cry out to Him.

For what do we cry?

For His justice?

For His mercy and grace?

How long, oh Lord, how long will you allow us to wallow in our miry pit as we dig ourselves deeper and deeper into our sin?

Jeremiah 10.10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

Psalms 107 applies to us today:

Psalms 107. 17 Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.

18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.

19 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.

20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

21 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

39 Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.

40 He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.

41 Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.

42 The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.

43 Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.

Pray with me:

Lord, as You shake us and sift us, as you allow our own works to consume us, we fall on our knees before You. Lord God, I pray that I may be found faithful. Secure my heart to You, oh Lord; make me Your remnant. Strengthen me that I may ever stand strong for you.

 

Science-Backed Alternative Medicine Webinar

A free webinar is being offered starting Tuesday, June 2nd, and extending through Wednesday, June 10th. It addresses researched-based, scientifically-proven alternative medical practices that improve your health, from everyday issues (such as difficulty sleeping, stress) to chronic illnesses (such as high blood pressure and cancer).

“Proven: Healing Breakthroughs Backed By Science” will offer presentations by doctors and practitioners from around the world, with episodes airing each day.

An excerpt from Dr. Zelinski’s e-mail:

Thousands of studies are now showing that many “alternative” medicines and therapies (that your doctor doesn’t know about or isn’t allowed to recommend) are FAR superior for the majority of chronic health conditions we suffer from…

If you want to expand your horizons and discover fact-based solutions for what is ailing you (or a family member), there’s a new 9-part documentary series called Proven: Healing Breakthroughs Backed By Science that is premiering in a few days – and it’s an absolute must-see!

Each episode will provide you with highly effective (and safe) approaches to wellness that will change your life… and it’s F-R-E-E to watch!

–>> Click HERE to watch the trailer!  

There are so many complementary, alternative, and natural ways to protect – and to reclaim – strong, optimal health. Many of these healing resources are amazingly simple, and you can take advantage of them all by yourself!

Far more treatments and therapies exist in this world than you are being told about – and their power has been proven, scientifically.

Regardless of whether you are struggling with a chronic health condition, or want more vital energy, or you simply want to defy the effects of aging in the years to come… we cannot recommend this documentary series highly enough.

We know there will be some treasure in it for you.

https://proven.thesacredscience.com/.

Prayer for Unity

I have been burdened to pray these last times, for unity in God’s people through His Spirit. As children of God, we all have His same Spirit. When that Spirit is allowed full reign, when we are obedient to Him, then we all work in unity, toward the same purpose of glorifying God Almighty.

Please join me as I use God’s Word to pray. As I pray at different times, I direct His Words and my prayer to myself, to my marriage/family, to my church, to my community, my state, my nation, and my world. May my eyes look unto the Hand of my Master; and may He have mercy on us.

Romans 15.5-7

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 

That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

Psalm 123

{A Song of degrees.} Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.

Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

Psalms 90.12-17

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.

O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.

Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.

And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

 

 

Mental Health Webinar Opportunity

Many, many people are struggling with mental health issues. When we are squeezed, such as in our current situation, sometimes ugly stuff comes out.

Dr. Eric Zelinski addresses such concerns often in his posts. In his recent e-mail, he shares an opportunity for a free webinar. Here is his e-mail:

Of the billions of people affected by the current “pandemic”, none have been more devastated than those suffering from mental illness. Suicide, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and feelings of hopeless are at an all-time high.
If you or a loved one are one of the 450 million people struggling from a mental health challenge…
Or, in particular, one of the 55+ million Americans suffering from depression and/or anxiety…
Know this:  you are NOT alone. 
Yet it’s tough to talk about.
So let’s talk about it.
Let’s talk about how HARD it can be to find effective solutions that don’t come with its own set of problems.
Anyone who’s lived with mental health issues or with a loved one with these issues can tell you, it’s a wild ride and it’s far from fun.
Experimenting with pharmaceuticals, trying to find the right cocktail that helps your condition can be both expensive and defeating. Not to mention, dangerous.
At Natural Living Family you know our mission is always to help people uncover the root cause of their problems and personalize relief. Not a one-size-fits-all quick fix pill or potion.
Because what if there are solutions that are unique to each person? What if you could back up these solutions with cutting edge science and data that actually measure results?
That’s precisely what our good friend and mental health expert Dr. Elena Villanueva is offering in her 5-Part Masterclass that’s airing completely F-R-E-E, staring June 7th  at 9 pm ET.
When you join Dr. Elena for The Mental Health Masterclass you’ll discover…
    • The foods that can cause or increase your anxiety
    • The real root causes of mental illness and mental health challenges
    • Why managing mental health is so challenging in this modern age
    • Medications and hidden factors that make things worse
    • How clients suffering with psychological disorders and neurological diseases are seeing real results, backed by measurable data
    • And so much more!

As part of this incredible presentation, Dr. Elena has included several bonus items you can print out and reference as you start your journey towards release from mental health challenges.

–>> Grab a bonus coloring book to help you destress and unwind. 🙂 

It all starts June 7th at 9 pm ET.

Join the thousands of other people who have regained their hope and peace by following Dr. Elena’s guidance…

<< Register for The Mental Health Masterclass Here >>

We can’t wait to hear your success story.

 

As always, our hope & prayer is that YOU experience the abundant life.

~ Dr. Z

Canning Class Opportunity

I receive e-newsletters from Melissa K. Norris, a home canning expert. Her most recent post gave invitation to join her canning class, coming up this Thursday. An excerpt from her mailing:

I can well over 400+ jars a year for my family but this year, I’ve already purchased extra jars and plan on making sure every single jar is full by the end of the season. If I’m upping my game I know this means more of us than ever before need to put up our own food.

I also know many people don’t know how or don’t realize the info they’re getting in a Facebook group or from Aunt Ellie Suzy May isn’t safe (I know this because almost daily I get messages from people asking if the way they canned something was safe and many times I have to be the bearer of bad news and tell them no, it isn’t).

There’s also a myth the only way to put up that many jars of food are to spend hours a day slaving over the stove and there’s no way people who work have time to do it.

This is simply not true and good news, I’m going to be sharing my system for getting jars on the shelf the safe way for free in a LIVE training this week!

Because the beginning of our harvest (aka canning season) starts for me next month, this is THE LAST TIME I’ll be teaching this live class any time soon. I won’t be doing any live teaching over the next month except inside the Pioneering Today Academy.

Don’t miss this last class, this Thursday, May 28th, at 1 pm Pacific/ 4 pm Eastern I’m teaching a FREE live class giving you my best tips on home canning including:

  • the essential supply list (you don’t need as much equipment as you think)
  • my system for making sure we have the staple home-canned goods we need to create meals for my family without spending a TON of time canning (and how to customize it for your kitchen).
  • what you MUST know in order to stay safe with canning
  • my TOP home-canned items to help create the most versatile meals
  • BONUS: how to can jams and jellies WITHOUT store-bought pectin


These always fill up fast, so snag your seat now!

Can’t wait to hang out with you!


Talk soon,
Melissa