SONrise

The sunrise over the snow reminds me of His faithful presence in and over all - that He did rise that third day!

So often I want God to lift the fog in life so I can see clearly the way to the destination, and He’s trying to say I AM the destination, I AM the Way.

He comes from outside all time and space and amazingly desires a relationship with us yet so often we only want to concern ourselves with our little moment in time and space when His promise is for so much more!

On the cross He said it’s finished. By His stripes we are healed yet maybe we don’t feel “healed.”  it’s a promise already, but not yet.

Jesus thank you for Your sunrise to remind me that You did rise and this is not how it ends. Pursue my heart till it’s completely enraptured in the fullness of Your joy so that even in the fog I will praise Your name.

“They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings--and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers." Revelation 17:14

“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.” Psalms 94:19

“O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.” Psalms 95:1

God bless your day!

Jeanette Kieffer
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New Hope

1 Peter 1:3-4:  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope (LIVING HOPE!) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade- (NEVER FADE! A hope that is living and always new!!)

I remember a time as a child when I made a not-so-bright choice. I really don’t know how it all started, but I looked down at my feet having noticed I had stepped on something on my way up from the backyard (it was the neighbor's aluminum rain gutter) and it crunched ever so perfectly under my foot. Something caught my curiosity and I stepped on it again and the same amazing flattening crunch happened! So, like Eve in the garden I called my little brother over to join me in this amazing “science experiment!” We laughed and giggled with each hop-crunch, hop-crunch until the entire rain gutter spout was COMPLETELY flattened… like a pancake. Just in time for our dad to come round the corner of the house. Our glee turned immediately to shame as the reality of what we had just done hit us full force.

Now there is no one on earth more graciously patient than our dad. After our consequence was doled out, the day went on. Actually, the rest of that day we spent working on a replacement piece for the neighbor’s home. However, AFTER that day, we moved on.

This incident reminded me of the juxtaposition of the events ending Numbers 14 and beginning Numbers 15. The Israelites were just handed the punishment of wandering in desert for 40 years in chapter 14 due to their doubt in God. He promised to lead them successfully into the Promised Land but they were too afraid to go, doubting the ability of God. However, chapter 15 begins with God giving instructions for when they DO enter the land He would still give them 40 years from then! God in His grace doled out their just punishment and had moved on, just like that.

How often do we get stuck in our past sin (much to the devil's delight) and forget that God has forgiven us and longs for us to move forward with Him? In Jesus there is NEW HOPE every day. He is in the business of making all things new and creating beauty from ashes. If He is making our hearts beat He still has a purpose for you and I, despite our many failings. A purpose in which we can still bring Him glory with our life!

Believe Jesus for this new hope today, and then again tomorrow and then again the next day… YOU CAN NOT, HAVE NOT FAILED TO WHERE HIS BLOOD SHED FOR YOU ON THE CROSS WILL NOT ATONE FOR YOU when you sincerely repent and move on. As my dad would say, “The sun is still gonna rise tomorrow.” Let’s rise with the Son!

Independent Read: Isaiah 43:19, Isaiah 61:3, Psalm 147:11, Romans 5:1-6, 2 Peter 3:8-9, Lamentations 3:21-23

Jeanette Kieffer
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Spilled Paint

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. 2 Chronicles 15:7

Recently I decided to do a few home renovations including repainting the master bathroom. No biggie, right?! However this led to the need for replacing the flooring, after the paint bucket slipped off the potty and landed... upside down. This event led to challenging my application of my knowledge of the fruit of the Spirit.

I took a few deep calming breaths and got to thinking about how that can of paint got to be that nice shade of green (that now covered not only the walls, but my bathroom floor AND toilet). At the store the paint man started with a clear base and began squirting all sorts of colors into it. Then the can was placed into the giant shaker mixer thing that my young kids love to watch do its magic. When it's done being shaken the paint man takes the can out and reveals that somehow all the magic squirts have mixed and made it to every part of the can so that the entire clear base is now the beautiful shade I had chosen! Magic!

Such is like the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We often need to get shaken up in order to surrender and allow the Holy Spirit access to ALL the places in our lives. (Not just the easy parts, like BEFORE you spill the paint.) When we do allow God into EVERY area, we find out that actually God's idea--His color choice--for our lives is actually the most beautiful.

Independent Read: Proverbs 24:10, Jeremiah 12:5, Galatians 6:10-11, Galatians 5:22-23

Janette Keiffer
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Wisemen Already Deployed

You are under a curse–your whole nation–because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the LORD Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3:10

Do we really think God would have any trouble filling His home with food?! I’m pretty sure the God who spoke the universe into existence never has to worry about running out of any resource. So, if we can’t rob God in that sense, I've come to think we can rob ourselves out of the blessings He longs to lavish on us.

In Leviticus 12 it says that a burnt offering of a lamb is to be brought to the Lord after childbirth. However, if a lamb cannot be afforded God allowed for two doves instead. Never think what is in your hand is too little to be of value when offered to the Lord.

Now jump forward to Joseph and Mary after the birth of Jesus in Luke 2. It seems they were too poor to bring a lamb and offered two doves. In faith Joseph offered the little that he had. He could easily have rationalized with God… “God I need to raise Your Son! I need all the money I can get and I really do not have much as it is! God You saw He was just born in a stable! I need these two doves to provide! You understand, right God!?!” But that is not what Joseph said. In faith Joseph offered all that he had.

Little did Joseph know that God had already deployed the wise men! How great is our God, right? Matthew 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 

Who would have thought? Only God would/could throw open flood gates of blessing like that! But… it took Joseph stepping out in faith FIRST, trusting that somehow God knew all the details and would provide.

We cannot out-give God…not ever.

Independent Read: Psalm 91:1,4,14-16, Philippians 4:19, Matthew 6:25-34

Janette Keiffer
Author

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Afraid Yet Filled with Joy

Did you know that the saline crystal of a tear when viewed through a microscope is the shape of a cross? Learning that fact touched my heart because if there is anyone who understands the well of emotions behind tears it is Jesus, the One who took the cross in my place. I think He designed it that way to say "I understand and I love you".  Psalm 56:8 says -"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." He cares for the cause of each one, too. Tears come with many emotions..glad, sad, fear...

And speaking of fear, my daughter shared a verse from her morning devotional that got me thinking. Matthew 28: 8 says "So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell the disciples." - Wait, what?! When was the last time you were afraid yet filled with joy?! The women in Matthew 28:8 were afraid because they did not understand and didn't know what was going on but they had joy because the angels had said Jesus was ALIVE! It's like Philippians 4:7 says, you can't seek peace that comes FROM understanding, it is BEYOND understanding, it's only in the presence of the Prince of Peace in your life! Jacob said when he woke up from his dream... "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it." (Genesis 28:16) To be in God’s presence and not know!

Do we choose to have eyes and ears open to perceive Him all around us? If I cannot find the source of my joy in Jesus regardless of my situations and circumstances than I never will. My four-year-old finds pure joy in rubbing his entire face in his freshly washed, snuggly warm blanket. That's joy in the little things. God is longing for us to notice Him. He's all around us. Choose to let Him wrap you up tight like in a straight-out-of-the-dyer blanket.

***For independent read: Isaiah 61:3, 1 Thessalonians 5:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Philippians 4:8, Psalm 42:11, Psalm 144:15, Nehemiah 8:10, Joshua 1:9

Janette Kieffer
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A Moveable Heart

The world is silent but my mind is buzzing. It may or may not be 3:00am-ish and this may or may not be the 100th time I’ve sat down to compose this writing and I may or may not have had to utilize the 90 calming seconds (multiple times) brain scientists say it takes to flush out the rush of frustrated emotion that comes when you work hours perfecting half a novel that is SURE to inspire the WHOLE world...just to have it not save, or to get locked out of your account, or to have the internet crashing!

90 seconds… deep breaths.

Yesterday I thought this can’t be what God wants me to do but yet here I am unable to sleep with the same message on my brain…. A Movable Heart.So, this is attempt number 10,009,876 to scribble down something He put on my heart.

Yesterday I read in Ezra how the Lord moved king Cyrus’ heart to release the Jews from captivity yet so very few took advantage of that freeing.   Why not?!  Why stay where I am when the Lord sets me free?  Fear, insecurity, past failure… But Proverbs 31:25 says "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."  Why? How? Because of Psalm 31:14 "But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God. My times are in your hands.'" And Jesus is a God of second chances (think of the story of Jonah).

John 8:36 states "If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."  Wow!  Our God is able so why do we hesitate?  Ezra 1:5 says "Everyone whose heart God had moved prepared to go up and build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem."  Do you see that? Everyone whose heart God had moved!

Oh, Lord take my heart and make it movable! Help me pray with all sincerity “Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

This is far from the perfected half novel I had planned but my little placed in His mighty hands is more than enough so I'm trusting Him with this message.

For further reading: Jude 1:24-25

Janette Kieffer
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Eye On The Ball

Recently I was yet again on my way to Walmart in the evening (in the freezing cold darkness) to get my crew another six gallons (yes, SIX gallons) of milk for the week (yes, a week at best). Even though it would probably be cheaper to keep a cow in our backyard until the Lord grants us the farm, we will continue to be thankful for our nearby Walmart.

When I’m driving Jesus just has a way of romancing me like no other time with His spontaneity.

All of a sudden this GIANT sized ball (the moon) caught my eye! I so desperately wanted to get a picture but alas, I was driving. Even so, His message continued to radiate in my heart.  

"In the game of life keep your eye on the ball, not the scoreboard. You can only reflect Me to the degree that you face Me. The extent to which you let this world come between you and I will determine how much and how well you reflect My glory.

Where are your eyes? Comparing, judging, trying to just be good enough? News flash: I never made anything to be 'just good enough.' The King of Kings only does mighty and awesome! Keep your eyes on the Light!

Jesus said 'I am the light of the world' (John 8:12). AND I am always moving!"

I was amazed when I left Walmart (6 gallons of milk later) that the moon was now small and VERY high in the sky. In John 5:17 Jesus says "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working."

If my eyes are not on the ball I might miss where He might want to accomplish His purposes through me. Let's fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). If you've lost in the past or failed and fallen short Romans 3:23 says we ALL have!

Our God is King of the comebacks. Remember three days after the cross? He blew out of that tomb ALIVE! It’s all about Jesus.

Am I in a position that I can see Him? How much of the world is blocking my view?

"Jesus lift my eyes, keep my eyes on You."

Additional reading:  Psalm 19:1-4.

Janette Kieffer
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