plug into the source

Why do we run around crazy trying to do everything on our own strength?

Why do we pretend we have it all together when we don’t?

Why do we not lean in to the source from the start of our frustrations, worries, or troubles?

So often we buy into the thought that we don’t need God’s help or whatever it is ailing us is not something needed to bother God with.

No! No! No!

Plug into the source.

Get prayed up, filled up, loved up, and your strength up.

God is the only one able to provide for and meet all our needs.

No reason to go to any other source but Him alone.

Read the following scriptures to be reminded where your hope, joy, and strength really do come from.

“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 6.10

The Lord is my shepherd: I shall lack nothing.” Psalm 23.1

For the Lord God is a sun and a shield. The Lord will give grace and glory. He withholds no good thing from those who walk blamelessly.” Psalms 84:11

Plug into the source and…

be.the.church

For He satisfies the longing soul. He fills the hungry soul with good.” Psalms 107:9

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

what gets your attention

What has God allowed in your life to get your attention? If you look, He is usually in the midst.

He desperately wants you to come to Him.

He won’t waste anything to draw you to Him so be aware of what gets your attention and seek to find Him in it.

Look for the ways He is trying to grab your attention and move towards Him.

As we grow closer to our Lord, it is He who will direct and guide. He will show us which way to go and He will be honored when we follow.

Look for what gets your attention. Then, look for the Lord. He will be close by ready and waiting to lead you in the direction He has planned for you.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” Isaiah 30.21

Listen and follow.

“…the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things…” John 14.26

Let Him!

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16.9

Follow in them.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.Psalm 119.105

Stay in the Word and you will find true guidance.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

When you follow the above and all the instructions in The Word, you will..

be.the.church

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

live out the light

Some say I need to get my life together before I can commit to God. Others say my life is too much of a mess He wouldn’t want me. And still others convince themselves that later down the road they will find the ‘light’ and follow it.

You can live out the light even now in the middle of what we might call a mess. For remember, God turns ashes into beauty. (Isaiah 61.3)

Let Him take your cares and worries. (1 Peter 5.7) But, you have to leave them at the foot of the cross and do your part to surrender.

Say every day that this is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118.24)

And then give every bit – every second, every minute, and every hour to Him. Sometimes it’s a minute by minute battle. Sometimes it’s an hour by hour battle. And sometimes it might be days or weeks until we have to fight that battle again. But God! He is by our side wanting to fight for us if we let Him.

Today is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6.2)

Make sure you are apart of His family.

Let God in.

Let Him take all your worries and fears.

Let Him begin the healing work of restoring your heart.

Let Him guide you.

Let Him help you.

Let Him live out the light through you as you…

be.the.church

Let God be the light shining through you.

And if you need a little more help or encouragement, check out this previous post: https://bethechurch.home.blog/2019/08/15/complete-healing-to-the-hurt/

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

the waves keep rolling

I prefer cloudy, overcast beach days to full sun especially if the wind is too strong to put up an umbrella for much needed shade. Regardless of the temperature or climate, those waves keep rolling in. Often you have to keep moving your chair or blanket back so you won’t be consumed by the increasing tide.

Waves to me remind me of God’s consistency. He will keep rolling into our lives and cover us with His love, protection, and grace as long as we let Him in.

Let Him reign in your heart and life so you are so consumed by His presence that You will never feel alone.

Yes, Lord, keep those waves of Your mercy and grace rolling on in.

Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me.” Psalm 42.7

You rule the swelling of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them.” Psalm 89.9

Who stills the roaring of the seas, The roaring of their waves, And the tumult of the peoples.” Psalm 65.7

He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed.” Psalm 107.29

For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the LORD of hosts is His name).” Isaiah 51.15

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

“just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower”*

Ah, vitamin sea (pun intended)! So good for our health. Get out and enjoy the Sonshine (spelled wrong on purpose so look again.)

Freedom – even if you live somewhere where you do not have full freedom, we all can live free from the punishment we deserve from sin which is damnation or separation from God for all eternity. That is true freedom! Knowing we will one day be in heaven should put a perpetual smile on your face.

A little flower blooming should do that too! Revel in the Father’s detailed creativity.

I also thought how these three things can remind us of the triune God we serve.

Sunshinethe Holy Spirit shines into our lives to guide and direct.

Christ came to give of Himself so we can have freedom.

And The Father created all things bright and beautiful for us to enjoy.

So, again put a smile on your face…

and if need be turn that frown upside down.

As Christians, we should be the happiest people on earth regardless of our circumstances.

So, yes: “Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

And I say, keep a smile on your face to represent God in a powerful way. That is how to…

be.the.church

Let the world know by your countenance whose you are and to whom you belong!

A joyful heart makes a cheerful face…” Proverbs 15.13

*H.C. Andersen, Danish author and poet

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

f.r.o.g.

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you have probably seen an acronym or two.

Here’s a few posts to look back on and see in case you don’t remember or are just joining us:

https://bethechurch.home.blog/2019/07/08/miles-may-separate-but-prayer-unites/

https://bethechurch.home.blog/2019/06/12/nbc/

https://bethechurch.home.blog/2019/02/07/keep-fighting-the-good-fight-2/

And here’s a few to contemplate today:

F.R.O.G.

F – ully

R – ely

O – n

G – od

Can I get an amen?

Your priorities should be:

J esus (first)

O thers (next then…)

Y ou

And if you are:

H ungry

A ngry

L onely or

T ired

You might want to h.a.l.t. before you speak.

“…Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” James‬ ‭1:19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When you are, you will do better as you strive to…

be.the.church

Just for fun, see how many other combinations for G-O-D you can add to this list:

Good Orderly Direction

Guardian Over Death

Greatest of Deities

God Opens Doors

Get off drugs and Go Obey Dad

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

what God looks like

Posted in April – repost?

I was in Sunday school and reprimanded by the teacher. We were to draw a picture of what we thought God looked like. Most kids drew a long haired Mediterranean looking dude. Some drew a picture of a man sitting on a throne with a crown and angels all around.

I imagined God must be like nothing the human eye has every seen so I made Him different.

He had four eyes – two on His face and two on the back of His head. I gave Him three or maybe it was four arms. I colored Him mostly purple with other rainbow colors for His hair and clothes. I loved my masterpiece and was so proud. I could hardly wait till it would be my turn to explain my picture.

We were to hand them into the teacher and she was to pick them in random order and display for the class to see. When she got to mine, she crumpled it up and had me stand with my face in the corner until I was picked up from class.

I remember trying to hold the hot tears back. I remember hearing sneers from some of the other boys and whispers as well as giggles from the girls. I was heated that I was not given a chance to explain what I thought was a brilliant interpretation of what God may look like then and still think it had such vision. Why wasn’t I even given the chance to explain it?

My father came to pick me up which was a rarity as he worked most Sundays. He saw me in the corner and the teacher tried to explain away my disrespect, but instead he firmly called my name and said let’s go.

On the way out of the room, I gently reached into that garbage can and took my drawing out. I tried my best to get rid of the wrinkles caused by that insensitive teacher.

She thought she was teaching me a lesson. If only she would have let me explain, she would have been the one learning.

I explained it to my dad as he lovingly responded with oos and ahs saying how creative and contemplative I was.

The extra eyes were there because I heard moms say : I have eyes on the back of my head so don’t try getting away with anything. If God created moms all-knowing, well, He must be needing those.

I gave Him extra arms because I had observed moms having their hands full with kids in tow. Surely if they could use some extra help, God must have more to be able to hold the whole world in His hands as the song sang.

I colored Him in bright, bold colors because that insensitive teacher was probably the one who had taught me that God had never be seen. Well, if He has never been seen and is the creator of all things lovely, He must be the most beautiful thus all the rainbow colors.

And He who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald.” Revelation 4.3

The moral of the story is this: seek to understand. And please, please, please give the benefit of the doubt to another especially a child.

Sadly, that was the last Sunday school class I ever attended for a very long time. Teachers, take care of how you treat those you are instruct. I would never want someone not to return to class because of how I treated them. Make sure that is never you.

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” James 3:1

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

you can be whole (again)

I was reading a tag line for a blog. It said: “No matter what you have been through, you can feel good again.”* It is true, but what I did was copied it down and changed it to say: no matter what you have been through, you can be whole again. It is just okay to feel good again, but to be whole well that is whole other level.

Remember, our feelings come and go, but with Jesus taking the wheel we can be whole.

Stand on truth.

And figure out what you need to do if you desire or wish to be whole again.

Distance yourself from those that are not helping you walk in the right direction. Stay in your own lane and limit drama so you can be at peace and whole.

Sometimes a walk in the woods or a shower can refresh.

At other times, a quiet place to sit and contemplate with a coffee or tea works.

An open Bible with a notebook or highlighter handy does wonders to uplift your soul and make you feel whole.

The key ingredient regardless of past hurts or mistakes is letting God in and surrendering your will and wants to His.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4.8

Build your relationship with the Lord.

Daily talk to your heavenly Father.

Ask the Holy Spirit to guide each step.

I pray whatever it is that kept you from feeling complete and whole will be replaced with God’s loving embrace.

Seek His plan for your life. Then, step in the direction He is leading. And soon you will feel whole again if you don’t already.

When you do, go walk in confidence and…

be.the.church

so others can feel whole too.

I believe in you and I believe in God’s presence in our lives. Choose joy for the journey and it will help you continually feel whole. May God bless you today as you seek His plan and presence. Amen!

*https://joypassiondesire.com/

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

the olfactory

Smells can often transport us. They can conjure up both good and sad memories.

After my father passed, we had some articles that I kept in the laundry room for several months and refused to have them washed. The smells would carry me to a place of peace combined with a ting of sorrow.

The day came when it was time to put those memories behind and do the wash, but if I close my eyes, I can still almost smell those items.

Some smells still bring me back to childhood carefree days.

Cotton candy and remembering going to the fairs.

Do you remember old fashioned penny candy? We called it such back in the day because it really was a penny a piece. Sometimes even three for a penny. I bet that brings back memories for some. Regardless, can you almost smell them off the page, right?

Marshmallow cones

Candy buttons

What’s your fave pictured above?

If I smell a big pot of sauce cooking on the stove, I am transported to my grandmother’s.

Tomato soup takes me all the way back to coming home from half day kindergarten which is sadly no longer a thing anymore.

Double and triple burgers or grilled cheeses stacked high remind me of growing boys or food competitions men make with each other.

I am sure you can think of lots of things that conjure up personal memories in your mind.

What smells remind you of days gone by? Please comment below.

I believe God uses our senses.

Sometimes it is to help us be sensitive. I say, when a memory flies through your brain, pause long enough to embrace it. Who knows? That smell that triggers that thought may just be preparing you for your next encounter.

We will never know all that another is going through but often can find common ground even through a smell that transports or unites our memories.

Thank God for all your senses if you have them. And if you don’t, thank Him for heightening the others. I am always amazed at the sense of smell someone who is blind has.

Our senses should remind us as they work together to give us information, so does the body of Christ work together to meet the needs of the church (I Corinthians 12).

It is good to walk down memory lane on occasion, but don’t get stuck in sorrow rather revel in the truth of what is to come.

“And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.Ephesians 5.2

When you do, you will…

be.the.church

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved

what does God look like

I was in Sunday school and reprimanded by the teacher.

We were to draw a picture of what we thought God looked like. Most kids drew a long-haired Mediterranean looking dude. Some drew a picture of a man sitting on a throne with a crown and angels all around.

I imagined God must be like nothing the human eye has every seen so I made Him different.

He had four eyes – two on His face and two on the back of His head. I gave Him three or maybe it was four arms. I colored Him mostly purple with other rainbow colors for His hair and clothes.

We were to hand them into the teacher and she was to pick them in random order and display for the class to see.

When she got to mine, she crumpled it up, threw it in the bin, and had me stand with my face to the wall until I was picked up from class. I was embarrassed, but not sure why and I remember trying to hold the hot tears back. I also remember hearing sneers from some of the other boys and whispers as well as giggles from the girls. I was so angry at the injustice and the fact that I was not given an opportunity to share what I thought was a brilliant interpretation of what God may look like. Why wasn’t I even given the chance? I was so confused to why I was stuck in the corner. And my other thought at that young tender age of single digits was this lady should not be a teacher especially in church!

My father came to pick me up which was a rarity as he worked most Sundays. He saw me in the corner and the teacher tried to explain away my disrespect, but instead he firmly called my name and said: “Let’s go.” On the way out of the room, I gently reached into that garbage bin and gingerly took my drawing out. I tried my best to rid it of the wrinkles caused by that insensitive ‘teacher’. She thought she was teaching me a lesson. If only she would have let me explain, she would have been the one learning. So instead I explained it to my dad as he lovingly responded with oos and ahs saying how creative and contemplative I was.

The eyes on the back of the head were there because I had heard moms say they had eyes on back of theirs. If moms knew all then surely God knew more so He needed to see in every direction. Moms also complained they didn’t have enough hands for everything so that is why in that picture I gave God more. I colored His skin purple because surely He did not have the same skin tones as humans. Thus, the rainbow colors for clothes and hair was my choice. I so wish I still had that innocent and insightful drawing.

Such meaning.

Such depth.

Such understanding that God is more than meets the human eye.

So here I sit four plus decades later with that day forever engrained in my mind’s eye. I did not ever go back to that Sunday school class and from that day on rarely was creative but conformed to teachers’ wishes. What a waste of childhood innocence and squelching creativity.

We can’t put God in a box and others should not try to put us in one either.

I bet that teacher never thought about that day again or if she did, it was thought of smuggly thinking she did the right thing.

I often gauge ministry by this little saying I coined: “Feelings saved are always better than being right.”

I wonder if she ever knew how hurt my feelings really were because of the creativity God put within in me to try to describe He who is indescribable. Ironic that I was hurt in a class supposedly teaching about a loving God. Where was her love, patience, even tolerance or understanding for a child who thought different? God desires us to love and embrace our differences. He created each of us uniquely so we should see that especially in drawings of young children. Ask the meaning before assuming you know what it is!

But, God!

Our God is a constant, unchanging, unwavering Deity we can depend on. Praise Him for this! And maybe just maybe when we get to Heaven, we might see Him a little different and better than we could ever imagine or attempt to portray. Who knows, purple skin or rainbow hair may just dazzle us!

In the meantime, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10.27) and the world will see you…

be.the.church

© 2019 be.the.church aclearberry all rights reserved