life goes on

Week seven with shut down and life goes on

We are somewhat getting use to changes we thought we would never see in our lifetime like social distancing, mask wearing, and raw or dry hands from continually washing. We are doing life different from meeting friends outside sitting 6 or more feet apart to using technology more to connect to those we work with or love. Many are completing projects set on a shelf for years. Puzzles are being displayed. Games are being enjoyed. More walks and talks with those you share home with.

How’s it going for you? What have you been doing to stay sane and pass some time. I would love to hear what you have done to make life more bearable.

Here’s a few tips to keep sane and embrace life as we now see it:

Start a thankful list and add to it daily.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5.18

Start a list with the names of God to comfort you in lonely moments.

‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1.8

Don’t stress about the happenings in this world. Remember: God is in control, still sits on His throne, and in the end all who call upon His name to be saved will live in glory with Him forever.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” I John 2.15-17

Move a little each day.

“… your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” I Corinthians 6.19+20

If you can’t get outside to move because of the represent restrictions then, I highly recommend joining the Facebook ‘view from my window’ group.

It is over 2 million people strong and many have posted amazing pictures of the view out their window during this worldwide shutdown.

It avails you to go ‘traveling’ without leaving your quarantined quarters.

In the meantime, try to…

Renew your mind.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12.2

Be productive.

Be kind.

and…

be.the.hope, be.the.church, be.the.light

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” I Peter 2.9

© 2020 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

return

So not sure anyone out in cyberland noticed that I have been gone a minute. It was not intentional as even when I am traveling I have posts scheduled. Perhaps I needed a break from the 13 plus months of daily blogging or more likely God knew what was coming in our lives.

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16.33

Crazy times we are walking through but here’s the thing: if you call yourself a Christian then you know the back of The Book says we win!

Fantasy, Light, Mood, Sky, Beautiful, Fairytale, Dream

God is in control. Christ is on throne, but the most important thing is this: He will return and take us with Him.

Shout a hallelujah.

Be safe and adhere to the guidelines and protocols wherever you live. We will get through this. Things will return to “normal.” But, I dare say we will never be the same nor should we be. Whenever we go through trials, coming out the other side we should be changed and not return to who we were before.

Yes, we will get through this, but the question to ask is how will I be better because of covid19? What will I do different? How can I be a better citizen and neighbor?

So many stories of kindness and love shining through these tough times. Be the church by being the hope as you go…

be.the.light

If you have a story of kindness or have heard one, please comment and share. Thank you!

© 2020 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

the why

Luke Chapter 24 – 23 ends with spices prepared, but since it was the sabbath; they were not put on Jesus. Now, they return as early as possible on the first day of the week only to discover the body is gone. Before they even discovered that, did they wonder why or how the stone was rolled away? Did they understand He had risen just as He said?

When they reported back to the disciples, they did not believe them.

Again, why?

Jesus had told them exactly what was going to happen. I love that Peter went running to see for Himself. He found the tomb just as the women said and left wondering himself what had happened.

The two on the road to Emmaus give us the why; they believed Jesus was going to have a kingdom on earth. They didn’t see the bigger picture of saving all humanity for all eternity. I love when they finally recognize Him, He disappears from their sight. Now, that should have cleared up any doubts of unbelief. So, they go back to Jerusalem to see the 11 disciples who were in an upper room and Jesus appears again with the simple message: “Peace be with you.”

And here lies the gospel message and purpose of His coming with these 4 words. Yet, they still did not fully believe. So after Jesus shows His scars, He asks for something to eat to prove He is not just a spirit or something they are imagining. The whole scene would have been shocking to any of us. But, Jesus continues to appear to many even to this day. It is a way people are coming to know Him in places there is not a witness. But, we are to be His witnesses and proclaim His death and resurrection until He returns. Don’t delay tell others of the saving knowledge of Christ and their need of forgiveness.

be.the.light

half truths

Luke Chapter 23 – the accusations made against Jesus were half truths. He never said not to pay taxes – He said: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God God’s.” He did not pervert the nation by saying He was a king, but because He said He was Christ Himself; they twisted His words. Don’t do that. It is so easy to twist and change words like the Pharisees of old, but when you do think of it this way: you are driving the nails into our Lord.

Pilate can’t find fault with Jesus, but finds out He is a Galilean so sends Him to Herod who is overjoyed as He wants to see Him do ‘magic.’

He is sent back to Pilate who really doesn’t want to crucify Him and I believe when he suggested to release Christ he never dreamed he would be asked to release a rebellious murderer instead.

I am always fascinated and wonder why Simon the Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside was asked to carry the cross. The chapter closes with the all the events of Christ’s execution and ends with how the women prepared the burial spices

then rested on the sabbath.

So much to take in and a good reminder to rest.

Learn all you can about our Lord, rest to be rejuvenated so you can be better prepared to…

be.the.light

are you for or against the Lord

Chapter 22 – interesting that the chief priests feared the people so they sought a plan to kill Jesus (2). That doesn’t even make sense to me. How about you?

Then it talks about Satan entering Judas. Every thought we keep, every act we do we are either aligning ourselves with the Lord or against Him. Think about that not only for your actions but as you interact with others.

As they went to prepare for the Passover, Jesus told the disciples to follow the man with pitcher of water (10) and of course they found everything just as He said (13). Would you trust the instruction?

The ‘communion’ verses (14-23) are the ones I use if leading a communion time. The Lord desired to share this time with His closest disciples. Did they catch it was His last meal? Did they understand that His suffering was coming? How could they?

When Jesus predicts Peter’s denial (31-34), I bet Peter was in denial and thought that will never happen! How quickly things can change even with out best intentions.

When Jesus went into the garden to pray and told the disciples to do just that: “Pray that you might not enter into temptation” 40. I think it is no different than what He wants us to do today – pray so we don’t fall into temptation.

And I love that in the midst of His anguish, the scripture says an angel came to strengthen Him (43). God will do the same in our lives if need be too.

In the midst of the chaos of the midnight arrest that pursues right after this, “…one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.” 50 NKJV and of course, Jesus touched the ear and healed him (51). Why wouldn’t they all stop in awe and wonder? Instead they drag Jesus away to have a secret trial.

Don’t you just “love that God still intervenes in our lives!” DH

When you read “how Jesus fed the four thousand with a few pieces of bread and fish…how could the disciples not see the enormity of the miracle they had just witnessed?” JV

“The Pharisees sought signs, but Jesus said there would be no signs. All the while, sign after sign of healing and revelation of God’s word was being performed in their midst. It really does take the Holy Spirit to reveal to our sin-sick hearts who Jesus is.” JV

Thank You, Lord, for Your mercy and Your grace, for choosing us to live with You forever.

Help us…

be.the.light

be expectant

Luke Chapter 21 – the widow gives all she had to live on (4). What are you sacrificing for God?

The talk about the end (7-19) should challenge us to be a light. Jesus said: “It will lead to an opportunity for you to witness.” 13

Be expectant.

Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near! ” 27-28 HCSB

Take to heart all this chapter says so you can: “…recognize that the kingdom of God is near.” 31 HCSB

And remember: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” 33 HCSB

Take Jesus’ example by day He taught but night He went to the mount of olives to refuel as early in the morn the people would be back again to hear Him in the temple complex (37-38).

Pray to be ready to share your faith and…

be.the.light

miracles and lives changed

Luke Chapter 20 – I love love love that Jesus answers the questions from those trying to trap Him with a question: “John’s baptism – was it from heaven, or of human origin?” 4

Then, a big discussion amongst themselves ensues and in the end, they hand the debate back to Christ on a silver platter with their answer of “we do not know” 7. Jesus doesn’t bite and simply responds: “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” 8

I can almost see the smoke rising from their frustrated heads.

They were missing the bigger picture of miracles and lives changed. Focus on that when doubt enters in.

They continued to try to trap Jesus but were astonished by His answers that the spies they sent became silent (20-26). Now that right there is a miracle! A few verses down it says no one dared to ask Him more questions (40).

The ending verses remind me of some modern day money hungry churches or dishonest tv evangelists: “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.” 46

Sit in the back and let someone move you close to the front if they so choose. Don’t seek the attention of man but rather give glory to God. In little or big things…

be.the.light

be changed

Luke Chapter 19 – I have always loved the story of Zacchaeus. Perhaps from the childhood song: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bkd-QFD7vMA

Or maybe it was relating to being short when I was younger.

At any rate, I can just imagine the smile on our Saviour’s face when He saw the determination and the sheer excitement of it all with Zacchaeus up in the tree (5).

But, the story is not over there. Zacchaeus became a changed man and even gave away half of his belongings to the poor and repaid anyone he cheated 4x what he took (8).

That is why Jesus came to seek and save the lost (10). That is why He came to change hearts. To make the poor rich and the weak strong. Oh what a changed man that Zacchaeus was!

When Jesus sends servant’s on ahead and tells them to get the colt, did the owners know he would take it? Was anyone upset that the colt was taken? The miracle here to me is that everything was there just as He said. Have you ever thought of that? Also, the fact that He could get on it even though it had never been ridden!

Verse 40 brings another miracle in the making, if the people didn’t praise Christ, the stones would cry out. That would be something to hear, right? Talking rocks! Imagine that!


The next verse Jesus cries over the city…

and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭19:42-44‬ ‭NIV‬‬

May our hearts be so in tune with others’ needs we share our faith and grieve that some will not accept Christ.

When Jesus drives out the those selling things in the temple (42-42), was He as angry as theatrics sometimes have portrayed?

At any rate, strive to be changed so you can show the world who you are and whose you are as you…

be.the.light

always pray and never give up

Luke Chapter 18 – I love the parable of the persistent widow. The lesson: always pray and never give up (1), but the end is definitely something to contemplate about your own life. “… when the Son of Man comes will He find faith on earth?” 8

All the parables are great lessons and I could comment on each one but let me focus on this: the pharisee and the tax collector – we must humble ourselves. “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” 14

When people were bringing their babies to Jesus and He would put His hands on their (15) heads reminds me of modern-day politicians especially thinking of people wanting their babies’ pictures taken with Hitler or John F. Kennedy. The disciples then and the politicians of today both want to sway this from happening. I love how Jesus’ response is to let the children come and how we need to be like children. Oh the faith of a child is so trusting. May we be such with ours.

Then there is the rich ruler. He says he has kept all the commandments since he was young so we know right there that is a problem for we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3.23). Jesus told him to sell everything and give to the poor (22). This saddened him as he was very wealthy. But, I believe Jesus knew where his heart was and that is why He said sell all. We too have to be all in. Is there something holding you back from fully surrendering?

Jesus predicts His death a third time and the disciples still don’t know what He is talking about (31-35). I bet I would have been in the same boat. What about you?

Verse 35 to the end of the chapter tells of a blind beggar wanting Jesus to heal him. His actual words were: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me?” 38

Those leading the way rebuked him (39) Why? Did they not understand Jesus’ purpose? To reveal who He was and turning to Him brings healing.

I love that Jesus asks him to be brought and asks what he wants. Then, tells him simply receive your sight; your faith has made you well (42). And what did he do? “Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.” 43

Well, let us join in and praise God too!

Others need to know the praises and reasons we have thanks. Tell them and…

be.the.light

be the one

Luke Chapter 17 – back to the amplified today. Be ready for stumbling blocks (1) so pay attention and be on guard (3). The amplified qualifies this by saying to look out for one another. I never looked at the verse in that context before. You?

We are to be our brothers’ keepers. If they sin, warn them and if they repent, forgive (3). Easier said then done sometimes.

The section about the mustard seed in this version explains how the mulberry tree has strong roots.

It also says that if what is asked aligns with God’s will; it will be done. We often don’t understand that something not answered may just be because we don’t see the whole picture as the Lord does.

I love the fact that Jesus tells the ten lepers to go show themselves to the priests and as they went they were miraculously made clean (14). Sometimes in order for the healing to happen it takes action. It also should be followed with gratitude. Only one returned to thank the Lord. Only one! (18)

Be the one!

The rest of the chapter (22-37) the Lord again tells of the coming suffering, but also tells of His second coming. Did those listening understand at all? Do those reading today understand the gravity of not knowing Christ?

Reminds me of a song by Larry Norman – I wish we’d all been ready https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X1FcTKNXlO0

Be ready and…

be.the.light