Friday, November 28, 2014

1st Song


First Song

My dust-covered legs ached. We had walked miles and miles with the throngs of others. Yet there was definitely more dust than people. Dust in our noses and mouths choking us as we traveled on.

She was in pain. Her right hand clutched to keep her upright. With her left hand, gripping her pregnant self, as if that might help the labor.
He rubbed her shoulders, patting her back as he raised his calloused hand to knock.

“Ah, we need a room, the babe….”

“Sorry, this is my best season and we have been out of rooms for awhile now… census you know…..”

And we joined the dust-covered legs yet again moving to another door. He tried again “Sir, I beg of you a place, the babe is almost here and my wife can hardly sit anymore”

“No, we have no rooms”

“But sir, she can’t have the baby sitting on a donkey. Please, isn’t there some place?”

“Well, even the sheep have their shed; you can go out back with her.”

And we walked a little farther on in time to see several wooly-bahs (I think he called them “sheep”). It was only minutes before the baby arrived and was tight-wrapped. I gave him my manger-crib for a bed.

As I ate the hay which fell down on the ground, I watched those tiny toes wiggle and knew I would never have another dinner this sweet. Then the wooly-bahs and I heard the most incredible song. We were directed by God’s hand to join in. I sang bass; the wooly-bahs sang tenor and the angels….. Oh, my. Could you even call it singing? They were singing three dimensional notes that had a life of their own.

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill towards men” (NKJV) The praise, the tangible joy, the anthem never before sung and never to be repeated. We took part in lauding this infant creator of the universe and King! I with my ey-haw, ey-haw and the bah, bah, bahs joining in. What a wonderful honor and night to remember!

Surely they would come to worship Him, those he had been created to liberate and set free. Several of them came, awe struck humans with crooked sticks, who took care of many wooly-bahs. Our unique chorus swelled. But where were the rest? Didn’t they know? Did they have eyes of stone and hearts that couldn’t see?

Years later I related this night and our part in it to my donkey grandson. He wanted to see this God-man, this Savior of humankind and worship Him. It was not a surprise to him at all when they came and led him away from his mom to be ridden by the Master. This time maybe the humans would see and know!

Many, many came shouting; “Hosana! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!” (NKJV)

My donkey grandson was the one He chose saying “Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”

We knew. The Mankind Liberator would be known now and we were part of this incredible history again.

Some did know. They came to the Liberator-God to be set free from their sin. But many of that multitude just days later had eyes of stone and hearts which couldn’t see and cried “away with Him, crucify Him”. (NKJV)

He died with most not understanding, He didn’t come to take on Rome but to liberate humans from sin. It was terrible for three days with much mourning and crying out for those humans who loved Him.

Resurrection! Then, we all saw Him again. He walked and talked with many, and some actually had seeing eyes and hearts! But not so many called out.

Couldn’t they know He was God sent to earth to be one of the humans? He came to pay their sin penalty and liberate them if they would but ask? We just did not understand.

So I would ask you today, do you have eyes of stone and a heart that cannot see or will you ask and receive the most incredible Christmas gift ever to be given? You don’t even have to wait for Christmas, you know! He is listening. He is waiting. He wants only to hear your request for forgiveness to give you your new song to sing.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

 

 

Christmas 2014


For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Remembering the GREATEST gift ever given as we celebrate the season of His birth.
Sending our love to all of you and wishing we could spend some time together! Lately we have been in awe of the glorious sunrises and sunsets.... see attached for an example from this morning.
God had been so good to us... this quarter our business is very busy and Mick is enjoying helping his clients with pretty good sized remodeling projects. He really loves having this business. As his office manager, I might have to break down and learn Quick Books Pro this coming year.
My publisher has sold Stonebridge to a young couple (editor and graphic designer) who have been with the business since it started. I am looking forward to working with Rob and Laura Trahan in their new capacity as owners of the company!
We have had some health issues but the Lord is giving wisdom and help. Even at our ages we are still climbing around in the mountains and enjoying life in Colorado a lot. I have recently found out, the hard way, that several of my meds can and do cause ulcers...
Our church has been studying the Townsend and Cloud book "Boundaries" - the classes have been most incredible with even the "shy" once sharing deeply from their hearts. We are all learning and growing in the Lord as we see how God has boundaries and will help us to realize what we are responsible for in our own lives, and what we are not responsible for in the lives of those we love. Great book and study I can recommend.
Our weather has been wonderful... highest this summer was 78 degrees with many other days in the 60s. We have had maybe one snow, so far, of 2 inches. Lately it has been WINDY but today we are supposed to get to 56!
Sending our best to you and may you be blessed with a wonderful Christmas full of friends and family and times of peace and rest!
With Love,
Marijo and Mick

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Reason for Thanks All Year Round


A Reason for Thanks All Year Round
My child, rejoice for I have saved your soul from sin and damnation. Climb unto my heavenly pathways – let Me lift you unto Me as you lift Me up in song, in spirit with joy. I care. I love you. Quiet your spirit before Me and I will teach you My peace.
 
We are about to celebrate Thanksgiving on a special day, one for family, friends, food and focus on our provider, God. We pause to remember His special gifts to us beginning with our salvation. If Jesus hadn’t come and lived among us and then gone to that terrible splintery cross and died so that we might live, where would we be? I hate to even think with the path that I was running before He saved me.
Perhaps it is good to reflect on where He met us and what He delivered us from. He delivered us from ourselves, our sin, our choices which broke His heart on a regular basis, our self focused life styles leading ultimately to our destruction. If He hadn’t come to pay the debt we owed and yet we could have never paid, where would we be? Jesus is God, sinless yet tempted just as we are all tempted. He left heaven. One day we will see with our own eyes exactly what He left, or maybe better put WHO He left. He left the presence of His Father to become a baby boy who’d grow up to be that man on the cross. The only one who could have died and paid the terrible price for your sin and for mine.
The following scriptures amplify what the Lord Jesus Christ laid on my heart in the above “word” from Him to me and to you. The scriptures below clarify and some could even be used as prayers to the Lord.
 
Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
 
DIGGING DEEPER
Take a minute to look up the following writing down what our Lord is saying to you, today, about the application of each verse to you, personally.
 
Titus 3:5
 
 
Ephesians 1:3
 

Psalms 131:2

 
 
2Peter 3:14
 
 
My Commitment:
 
 
 
Prayer: Thank you Lord Jesus that you CAME and didn’t call 10,000 angels but went through the agony of death and separation from the Father as he turned his head. Oh, Lord, will we ever begin to grasp what that sacrifice cost? Thank you that you can and will teach us Your peace. And thank you that I have grown, yes, in tiny increments but little by little is still growth in You!  We pray in Your name, Lord Jesus, AMEN.
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. 
 
 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bir Rebel or Little Rebel, Neither are "Pretty"

We have all observed or maybe been the participant in younger years the toddler’s temper tantrum. That little one defiantly saying NO, then going into a kicking, screaming, yelling fit in hopes to get his or her own way; right now, the way they want it without regards for anyone else except SELF. Do you ever wonder how God sometimes sees us? Once again I sense He is whispering to my inner ears and my heart:
You have seen my beauty in the mountains, in the valleys and even in the desert. Know that you have beauty when you are on spiritual mountain tops or in valleys, yes, even in spiritual deserts. Rebellion has no beauty because it is not somewhere obedience puts you, but rather SELF.
Look to me for your strength and renewal, daughter. I have been with you and you shall grow to bloom again. You are loved and understood and cherished by your Lord. There is no condemnation in rest. Refresh yourself in my Word. Selah.
 
In Psalm 46:10 we are entreated to “be still and know that I am God”. The Lord, through David, then goes on to say that He will be exalted among the nations, He will be exalted in the earth. Let’s look at this for a minute. Does that make sense? That the Creator of the Universe should be lifted up, should be praised and looked up to? Or would we think that a little one, crawling around and not even able to walk yet should get all that notice and adulation? Pretty easy decision with that picture, isn’t it? We are not our own God. We are not running the show. Some of us know from experience where that can take us when we try to “take over” and call all the shots. Some of us are blessed to even be alive because of the incredibly UN-insightful choices we have made. Enough said.
 
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus calls us to Him promising rest for all of us who labor and are heavy laden. Isn’t it great to realize that there is one strong enough to handle all our stresses, strains and backpack boulders if we simply call upon Him?
 
In Psalm 23:3 David is giving credit to His Lord saying He refreshed my soul, He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake. This, too, is taking the burden off us and giving it to Him who is able.
 
In 1 Samuel 15:23 we are reminded that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, stubbornness is as inequity and idolatry, and that because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also had rejected you from being king.
 
This is a pretty strong admonishment. We can easily tell that God wants to lead us and hates us to rebel, that there are consequences if we do – for our safety and for the wellbeing of those around us. Thank you, Lord.
 
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to see into our own hearts and yield to you so we can dwell in Your peace and rest. Allow us wisdom to squelch even the mental footstep towards rebellion and self exultation. Please help us to keep humble hearts and teachable spirits before Your throne. AMEN
 
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Are You in the Middle of the Wind and the Rain

Are You in the Middle of the Wind and the Rain
Do you think shed tears eventually help us to grow? Is that all part of His process for us too? Crying is usually out of frustration or overwhelming sorrow for me, occasionally anger plays a part in tears too. I don’t associate all of that with growth but maybe I am missing a key. Once again, I hear the voice of my Lord speaking His wisdom to me:
You hear the gentle rain. My tears wash, cleanse and nourish the grass, flowers and trees.

Just as the blood of my Son purifies all who accept it as shed on their behalf.

Through your walk with me there will be some of your tears shed to help you grow and become more fruitful as Jesus is magnified and your own willfulness is offered up as a sacrifice of praise to the Lamb who is worthy.

Let me wash and purify you, make you spotless.

Rejoice even in my rain times even when you think you can't see my Son perhaps He is accomplishing His great work in you even more on those rainy, rainy days.

Praise Him. Praise Him.
And of course our Lord never wept, did He? Look up the shortest verse in the Bible. John 11:35 Jesus wept. It was on the occasion of the death of His friend. Yes, Jesus knew He could, would and was going to resurrect Lazarus. I think he was touched by the grief of Martha and Mary and wept along with them.

1 John 3:3 speaks of purity. Jesus is pure and we are also to purify ourselves because we have the hope of Christ within us.

In Revelation 5:12 we hear more about who is worthy of our praises. Jesus, the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world. He alone is worthy to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing. Can we give that to Him?

Next, we go to John 13:5 we get a verbal snapshot of Jesus washing and wiping the disciple’s feet, Jesus, being a servant to those He loved.


Prayer: Ah, Lord God, please help us to see the good of tears in our lives. Help us to let go and grow! To allow You to do your perfect work in our lives and hearts. We ask this in the incredible name of Jesus. Thank you for giving us a variety of emotions to feel and express to You! AMEN
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with with proper credits.

 

 

Yesterday in the 4x4ing Wilderness








Thursday, November 13, 2014

God's Presence With Us


Do you have those days when you wonder “where is God in all of this?” those times when things seem to be falling down around your ears? He really is there. Maybe you can’t sense His presence for one reason or another but His Word promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. HE is SO faithful and we, we are “but dust”. Sometimes I think maybe I should do more spring cleaning of my spirit, know what I mean?

Daughter, some days what I would impart to you is not profound or pertinent to KNOWLEDGE, rather that I AM with you always.
In Colossians 1:27 the Bible says that Christ is in us (those who have asked Him to be their Lord and Savior) and that is the hope of glory. What a promise, I think it is also a glorious hope too!
Matthew 28:20 is Jesus speaking and teaching and promising he will be with us always, even to the end of the age.
The Lord doesn’t give us a life of ease and no troubles but he promises to walk through it all with us, right by our side. He is our strong champion. Sometimes when the going is too rough He will pick us up and hold us close to Him and carry us. These are the times of the proverbial “one set of footprints” that we have all experienced. Thank you, Lord, for those times when we are too battle weary to even hobble that you pick us up, hold us tightly to your chest and carry us onward.
Psalms 23:4 speaks of walking through the valley of the shadow of death and fearing no evil because God is there with the writer. What a promise for us even today!
Prayer: Dear God, to have you with us always, there is nothing more we could ask or desire and we praise You! We thank you for those times when our weakness is so weak for then your strength can be tested and proven to be perfect for us in that very moment. AMEN
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.
 

Monday, November 10, 2014

His Bride... Are We Ready?


Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, you make joy in my heart when I hear you speak my name! I love You. Help me to tune in and listen and hear Your whispered plans for today. I’ve read the book, chapter and verse and already know Your plans for tomorrow. I want to be ready – a warrior for Jesus! 

My child, I am preparing my Bride, I love you so. Think not that my timing is slow. I shall pour out blessing upon you. My ways are perfect and you do delight therein. Wait but awhile and it shall become very clear to you what is in my heart. You shall and do hear. Fear not but rejoice. I love you and have a special place for you where I shall be also. More will become clear as you walk daily in my path of righteousness. Selah. You have been set free, child, no doubt, no guilt, no self recriminations but free in Jesus – rest in that release and be free. 

John 3:29 

The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. (NIV) 

Revelation 19:7 

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. (NIV) 

Revelation 22:17 

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. (NIV) 

Deuteronomy 32:4 

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (NIV) 

Isaiah 29:19 

Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. (NIV) 

John 14:3 

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (NIV) 

Romans 6:22 

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Does Jesus Know You Best?


When a voice makes the command “SIT” do you look around expecting to see a four legged friend with fur being obedient and placing his or her backside on the ground? Well, sometimes my Lord Jesus and His Holy Spirit know me and what it will take to get my attention even better than I know myself. Yes, He speaks to us in a “still, small voice” but sometimes His voice is strong and has a very commanding presence.
It was on one of those “commanding presence” days in which I seemed to hear Him say:
Sit. Bring your mind into captive concentration on my Word and your Jesus.

There is warfare going on and the spiritual enemies are everywhere and permeate the world BUT mighty is HE who overshadows all, has overcome and is yet to RETURN.

Be a disciplined soldier loved and encouraged as the child you are, SOON to see your FATHER and redeemer!!! Selah. Selah. Selah.
In Romans 8:7 the Word of God says that the sinful mind is hostile to God. It doesn’t submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
The above scripture should explain a lot. Looking around in our world today, that scripture seems to touch upon what we are seeing and sensing and going through each and every day of our lives.
A bit further on in Romans 12:2 we are given some really good instructions about not conforming any longer to the pattern of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind.
Do we need to be transformed? I think most of us would state a resounding YES to that question. One thing I think about too, if the renewing of our minds comes from reading God’s word what happens with other sources of information that we put into our minds. Other sources like less than encouraging “entertainment” perhaps TV, videos, books, conversations…… I get the mental image of a huge vacuum cleaner coming with those sources of stuff going in and sucking our spirits dry. Not a good image at all but think about it for a minute. Then I think about placing God’s Word from the Bible or an encouraging devotional in our minds and can see our spirits flourishing in Him.
1 Corinthians 14:15 poses the question and answers it “so what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.”
We aren’t just a “mind” and we aren’t just a “spirit” we are both surrounded by our earth suit or body. We can talk to God with our minds and our spirit. We can speak in our prayer language to God (“tongues of men and angels”) or even sing in tongues. We can communicate with the creator of the universe. Take time. Make time. He is the most important one you will speak to today.
Psalm 135:5
I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. (NIV)
We can be encouraged by 1 John 4:4 “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (NIV)
The one who is in us would be Jesus in the presence of His Holy Spirit. Jesus has overcome the world!
 
2 Timothy 2:3  admonished us to endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. I have found over the years that my Jesus will not ask anything of me that He isn’t willing to equip me to do. Be encouraged as our Lord Jesus strengthens us to walk in Him in every step we will take today!
Prayer: Oh, Father God, please help us to be good soldiers.  Help us to be equipped by You to fight the battle in our minds and to pray always without ceasing in the Spirit and in our understanding, to grow up to be like our Jesus.  AMEN.
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved.
 
 
 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Skies Last Week





Praising God for His beauty at our place!