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Happy Hour with DrT is a daily (Monday through Friday)  Instagram Live broadcast to take a “busy-ness break” away from life for the next fe...

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

New Year's Plan - If I...then He

December 29, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Ezekiel 11: 17-21

Therefore say: “This is what the Lord God says: I will gather you from among the nations and assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.  When they return and cast away all of their loathsome things and detestable practices, I will give them one heart, placing a new spirit within them. I will remove their stubborn heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

When they live by My statutes, keep My ordinances by practicing, then they shall be My people, and I will be their God. 

But to those whose hearts delight in loathsome things and detestable practices, I'll bring the consequences of their behavior crashing down on their own heads, declares the Lord GOD.”

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The Lord gave these words to Ezekiel to tell the leaders of the Jewish people. God made them a promise...that He would return them to their promised land. But as we have seen with many of God’s promises, there are conditions:

  • IF turn away from loathsome things AND
  • IF they cast away detestable practices AND
  • WHEN they live by His statutes AND
  • WHEN they keep and practice HIS ordinances 
    • ....THEN they will be called “My People”  
    • ....THEN He will be their God

IF I, then HE...

...but God also promised that IF WE (continue our bad behavior) then HE will “bring consequences crashing down on our head.”

As we reflect on the monstrous things going on in our country and across the world right now – the WEForum.org terrorism; the failures of congress; the overreach of our governors and lame responses of our state legislators; the complete meltdown of the SCOTUS, we need to remember something: Each of those nameless characters are human beings. They did not uphold their oaths of office ...and are selling out of our constitution, our country, the American people, the people of the world. As I read the verses the Lord gave me today I had to wonder: What consequences will be crashing down on their heads, delivered by the Living God?

As we reflect back over the disturbing things that have happened to each of us individually and collectively throughout 2020, what did we each do for God? Where can you say...and over what behaviors... can you say, “IF I....then He”?

I really don’t support the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. They are mostly lofty and non-specific lists like, losing some weight or getting more sleep or exercising regularly. I read somewhere that about 8% are actually able to stick to them to make substantial changes in our lives. But what if we set 1 or 2 very specific GOALS for ourselves this year, especially in the area of spiritual growth.... what can you put down – in writing – that IF I this year... will be matched by one of God’s promises of “...then He”?

TODAY’S PRAYER:

Dear Lord, we are grateful for the Season of Remembering Your Birth and incarnation into human form for the sake of each of us. We are grateful for your birth, for your sacrificial death and for rising again to sit at the right hand of the Father, for the sake of us all.

The end of the year is a time for reflection, for taking stock of what has happened, what we have done, and what we should have done ...and for taking steps to formulate a plan for doing better in the upcoming year. 

Forgive us for our shortcomings Lord. Forgive our impatience, for our lack of courage, for being obedient and subservient to the WRONG MASTERS. Forgive us for not understanding what giving up our freedoms meant.

Be with those who lost loved ones this year, Lord. Touch and heal their hearts and remind them that if they are part of Your family, they will soon be united again, for all of eternity. 

Lord, humble our hearts. Give us strength and endurance for the days ahead. Give us guidance as to how we may serve You better, more fully and bring more glory to Your name.  

Lord, You declared, and it is written in Your Word, “There is nothing hidden that won't be revealed, and there is nothing secret that won't become known and come to light.” You admonished us to “be careful how we listen; for whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a longing for truth], even what he thinks he has [knows] will be taken away.”  (Luke 8: 17-18)

Lord, we continue to pray for the rightful outcome of our election, the continuation of our country and the prayerful love of our constitution and our bill of rights. We thank you for all You have given us throughout 2020 – for opening our eyes, our minds and our hearts to so much that we have never seen before – and have never before been able to comprehend.

Thank You for being with us through challenging times and through the best of times. Lord, as we move further into uncharted waters, we lean in.  You promised to never leave nor abandon us; we trust You Lord that this is so. 

As we close out 2020, please continually remind us that IF WE draw closer unto Thee going forward, we know absolutely THEN YOU will be there with us, every step of the way, until we see Your Holy face forever with You in Eternity. We ask that They will be done. We as for these things, this or something better, in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

 Photo credit:   

Friday, December 11, 2020

Have Hope - God Is Still Working On You

December 11, 2020 - LISTEN HERE

Romans 15:13
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

How can I do this, Lord? He then led me to this: 

Psalm 25:4-5
Make Your ways known to me, Lord; teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; I wait for You all day long.

Here are four ways to choose hope:*

1. Go outside. Step out of your house – take off your MASK - and breathe in the air. Never before in history has the entire planet been muzzled at the same time – and have we been denied OXYGEN. You are alive. Dance. Sing. Hug. 

Give thanks for the simple things and freedoms we still enjoy.  The fresh air – and the sunshine, the snow and even the rain will do amazing things for you – physically, emotionally and spiritually.

2. Read Bible verses on truth, hope, and God’s loveWe did an entire week on HappyHour about hope – go back and review all the readings and prayer for a jolt of inspiration. Put HOPE in the search bar and all the sessions will come up. 

3. Pray for someone else. We’re all struggling right now at some level, whether we want to admit it out loud or not. I see it reflected differently in each of the patients I see. We are sad, anxious, withdrawn, quiet, angry. But if we look to God for our comfort, we will be able to pray for others who are suffering more than we are. 

God gives us as much as we can handle...but sometimes, He gives us a little more, to stretch us, to move us, to teach us – to TRUST that He has everything under control. Praying for others allows us to look outside ourselves; reach for something bigger. Compassion for others makes us grow. Pick up the phone and call someone, don’t just send a text message or email. 

Send a real Christmas card with a hand-written, personal message about how much the person means to you; please don't just sign it and stuff it in the envelope. This year, more than ever, we’re all missing humanity right now....and this is by design. Reach out. Be human. By giving someone else hope, the hope inside you is magnified too.

4. Remember God is still working on you.  At the end of the day, all we need is to cling to Christ Jesus. But remember: we are a work in progress. Rest and be secure in this truth: We are a work in progress. As long as we are still on the top side of the grass, we are as clay being molded by the Father in Heaven. We fail. We get up and try again. We do good works. We mess up. We fall short of the Glory that the Lord would have us be. Reading God’s word, praying, and serving others will lift our eyes away from our heartache and onto God’s purpose for our life. Don’t give way to the darkness - God is still working on you!

TODAY’S PRAYER:

Lord, be with us through this holiday season that is a celebration of Your birth, Your life, Your sacrifice for each and every one of us. Humans are struggling right now Lord. Not just Your children, but all humans. Teach us Your ways. Expand our hearts to be bigger, to share better, to hold more love. Help us to seek You with all our concerns and lay them at the base of the cross. We know You hold it all....give us the grace to lean in.

*concept credit: Sarah Frazer, Crosswalk.com

 Photo credit: 
ID 96651400 |  |Dreamstime.com



 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Don't Be Afraid: You Have Been Redeemed

Isaiah 43: 1-7, 11

Vs 1- But now, this is what the Lord, your Creator says, He who formed you,

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine.

Vs 2 - When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.

Vs 3 - I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Redeemer And I've given Egypt as your ransom, Cush (ancient Ethiopia) and the people of Seba (its province) in exchange for you.

Vs 4 - Since you're precious in my sight and honored, and because I love you, I'm giving up people in your place, and nations in exchange for your life.

Vs 5-7 - Don't be afraid, for I am with you; I'll bring your children from the east, and gather you from the west. I'll say to the north, "Give them up'! and to the south, "Don't keep them back!' Bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the ends of the earth 
everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.

Vs 11- Yes I AM the LORD, and apart from me there is no other savior.

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What is the definition of redeemed?  Webster’s says:

·      To buy back, to free from captivity by paying a ransom

·      To repair or restore

·      To remove an obligation

·      To exchange something of value

·      To extricate from something that is detrimental

·      To release from blame or debt

·      To free from the consequences of sin


Today’s Prayer:

Dear Lord, Your Word says in so many places that You will do it all for US...if we are His Children and called by His name. We won’t be afraid of what’s coming, no matter what that is. We will steadfastly cling to you thorough Your Word. We will be bold in the world and all will know that we are Your children, Your chosen ones, the Children you have extricated from sin and released from blame. We are grateful Lord for the Blood of Jesus.  

Lord, it is simple, even easy, to lean on You and happily claim to be Christian when times are easy. But when the going gets tough, we learn the lessons of trust. We learn to trust Your Word, Your Truth and release the fear... however it is defined. Thank you Lord for the lessons we learn from sharing this time together....and collectively calling on You for strength, for courage, for patience, for protection. We pray for our families, our friends, our country. Lord pour out Your mercy and heal the divisiveness in our land. Keep us from descending into the Valley of the Shadow of death and war. And yet Lord, we beseech you that Thy Will be done in our lives and in our country. We petition You Lord for all these things...this or something better. In Jesus name, Amen.