Uh Oh

Trees are blooming here in the Cincinnati area. On a recent trip to downtown I pointed them out to a friend who is sight impaired. Even she was able to see them carpeting hillsides and valleys. Later that night we were driving home and in the street lights I saw white trees and immediately thought, “Oh look the trees are covered with snow!” Ha! I was so wrong. It was 45 degrees and I was simply seeing the Bradford Pears reflecting the street lights. The joke was on me. If you are not familiar with Bradford Pears they are also call Callery Pears. They have become invasive in Ohio and likely other parts of the USA, too.

“Unfortunately, the majority of the Callery Pear that you are seeing, or smelling, were not planted, and you will continue to find more and more of them every year that were not planted by people, but instead, spread by birds and animals. While the tree lawns in cities are littered with trees that were planted, you can basically stick these trees in any kind of soil, and they will grow. What is even more disturbing is to find these trees popping up in otherwise untouched wilderness areas, far away from where anyone would have originally planted one. Once they are established areas, they begin to choke out native plant species and become thick, deep rooted stands of trees that are frustratingly difficult and expensive to control.

They are invasive to the point that the Ohio Department of Natural Resources added the Callery/Bradford pear to the states invasive species listing in in 2018. In 2023 it will be illegal to buy or plant this species in Ohio. This is a good move; it is just about 20 years late. The ones planted are spreading exponentially and are causing serious problems if not kept in check. Though originally thought that they did breed to not bear fruit, they do. Birds gorge on the plentiful, but low energy fruit then dropping the seeds in their waste everywhere and the next tree takes off creating an endless and devastating cycle. Callery/Bradford pears are weak structured with steep “V” notched branches that are prone to breaking off in ice, snow, and windy conditions. They will get to roughly 10 to 15 years old and then start falling apart. The other issue is the waxy leaves decompose very slowly causing headaches in landscape and street tree settings, as well as compost piles.”


One Recent Journal Entry

Gloomy Sunrise © Molly Lin Dutina 22-3-1
gloomy sunrise
mostly gray sky
birds flying tree to black tree
also seem black
as the sun rises higher
giving brighter light
the grass begins to green
dead weeds brown to beige
spring songbirds announce the day
"look here and trust" they sing
each melody sweeter than the last
whatever this day brings
look up
your Savior is near
suddenly the southern horizon pinks up
yes there is a shelf of dark clouds
but look, there is more than
our eyes can perceive from this angle
we sing hallelujah
our King reigns
resounding through my soul
hallelujah here below
as elevation worship sings
"We are an altar of broken stones
but You abide in the song we sing"
help me remain aware of You
as this day unfolds
grasp me tightly by the hand
hold me in Your holy embrace

So why this poem? Inspired by awareness of the call upon my soul to worship my King at all times, gloom gave way to sunrise and song. Sung here acapella with choral parts, is the song I referenced:

“We are an altar of broken stones, but You abide in the song we sing”

Rest on Your Laurels

… means to be satisfied with one’s achievement, by implication enough so as not to expend further effort. Wikipedia: wise one of the earth says, “The term, dating from the mid-nineteenth century, alludes to the wreaths of laurel leaves use to crown the winner of athletic contests in ancient Greek and Roman times; the laurel today remains a symbol of victory.”

Still boasting about something God used you for?

Thus says the Lord: Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth;  but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 NRSV

Some have made mission trips and saw the Lord move mightily and use them in significant ways. May all glory go to God. Some have never traveled far at all, yet the Lord often uses them frequently in the local store.

Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NRSV

Matilda Kipfer said she was a simple woman, not wise. Being foolish by the standards of the world was fine by her because the Lord chose what is foolish to confound the wise.

Seems to me there was an image like this in my childhood Bible

If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus (blessed be he forever!) knows that I do not lie.  In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to seize me,  but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands. It is necessary to boast; nothing is to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 11:30 – 2 Corinthians 12:1

Most humans do not want to be seen as weak. Yet Paul tells us how he was lowered in a basket to escape a king who wanted to seize Paul. The Bible says it is better to be weak and a fool than to follow after things of the world. Let God be seen as strong and mighty, even at your own expense.

Did God do something mighty through your service? If so, we must remember we were God’s tool just as Balaam’s donkey was God’s tool. Numbers 22 tells the story of how Balaam was known as a professional prophet who traveled about and cursed military enemies for money. He was a seer for hire. His only power was words to put curses on others. (Isn’t the Bible full of interesting characters?) His donkey saved his life three times when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord blocking the path with a drawn sword. How do we know this? The third time it happened as Balaam beat his donkey with anger and the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth to speak!

Numbers 22:21-35 Donkey saves Balaam’s Life

Being corrected and saved by a donkey has to bring humility I would think. In the end of the story God had victory over the evil troops. No curses were allowed.

So what now? Give thanks for the ways God has used you in the past. What have you done recently with God? Have you found where He is working and joined His project? Or are you still telling others what He did long ago and far away? Has your laurel wreath withered and become only an old story? Do you know Jesus and have you talked with Him today? What are your marching orders from Him? Are you walking in obedience to His orders?

I hope you are not sitting on your laurels and letting the Kingdom work fall to others. “Let those who boast boast that they understand and know Me.” “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” The Lord wants it known that He acts with steadfast love, justice and righteousness on the earth. Have you shared that message? As we gain a deeper understanding of Him let’s spread that knowledge every place we go. Perhaps He will use us to His glory! Meanwhile, let your laurels bloom and move on.


In 1970 when Judy Collins’ recording of Amazing Grace was on the radio my Mom was furious that it was being played in the bars. I asked her, “Where better, Mom?” My thinking was why not reach the lost in the bars? Give them hope that Jesus could touch them, too?

Now we can watch church on YouTube and sing along to almost every hymn ever recorded. The possibilities are limitless with the computer in our pocket that we call a telephone. I have access to the entire Bible in various versions, sermons from New York City, my local Pastor preaching, all on my iPhone.

Renaissance Church, New York City, Harlem

Whether it is a song from my childhood (“How Much is that Doggie in the Window?) or a lyric line like “More than you know,” yep, You Tube has it. I can even post my own videos of Lucky watching a doe and her fawn or monarch caterpillars devouring milkweed plants.

But the earth will be filled

    with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,

    as the waters cover the sea.

Habakkuk 2:14 NRSV

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.

    Let your glory be over all the earth.

Psalm 57:5and Psalm 108:5

Mom had no idea where things were headed. I must admit I did not either in 1970!


 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

Matthew 13:45-46
Purported to be the largest pearl ever found

So what do you value the most? The parable says this is what the kingdom of heaven is like …. Do you value the Kingdom and your relationship with the Trinity above everything else? Would you give everything you have to get this pearl?

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.”

Matthew 6:33

Jesus said the above after telling the people not to worry about clothing or food or anything else. If we are willing to seek Him, the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, we will have everything else we need.

St. Isaac of Syria, from the 600s, continues to influence Orthodox spirituality today. He is known as one of the greatest spiritual writers of the Christian East. His writing was suggested to me in 2009. Remarking on this parable he wrote:

A swimmer dives into the sea naked, in order to find a pearl.

A wise monk journeys through life, stripped of all that he has, to find within himself the pearl, Jesus Christ, and finding him, he no longer seeks to acquire anything else beside him.

Daily Readings with St. Isaac of Syria

I believe the first thing we stumble over in this pursuit is naked, or stripped of all that he has. We are simply way too attached to our things. If you were from Ukraine right now you would either be putting your life on the line for your country or running for your life with few, if any, possessions. Are we willing to turn loose of our hold on possessions so we might grasp the Lord firmly as our source of life and reason for living?

Have you forgotten –

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

and naked I will leave this life.

Job 1:20a

The saying goes “You can’t take it with you” but what if you turned loose of the all-encompassing life-draining drive for power and possessions now? It is unlikely you will move to a barren wasteland and become a desert father or mother. You could however focus your life upon the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. You could pursue this pearl of great price and find treasure you never suspected was available to you in 2022. Never will the question be answered in your own heart unless you experiment with opening your hand, letting go of the tenacious grasp of things, so you can grab hold of the Lord.

Do you have a Halloween store near you? Once when I was having difficulty turning loose of my teenage children the Lord had me buy a rubber hand like the ones below.

I took it home and easily cut off the red line of ‘blood.” I placed it palm up on my dashboard. The Lord had said I could turn my kids loose to Him or He could pry them out of my hands. Every time the car hit a bump those fingers would vibrate and wiggle. Yes, it was a clear object lesson for me and it made me laugh to boot. God has such a sense of humor!

Perhaps you need to visit the local part supply store and get a hand for yourself? Turn loose of a few obsessions first, trusting that He is able to be in charge of those. Then a few more things. Then a few more, filling your time and mind with His word and presence. He is able to inspire and help you with this if only you will ask.

Yield to Him and find out what He has in mind.

Total Surrender

It was perhaps 1981 when I read Freedom From a Self-centered Life/Dying to Self Selections from the writings of William Law, edited by Andrew Murray. Page 91 reads:

When God created man, to find his blessedness in entire dependence upon Him, and in receiving all life and goodness each moment from Him, humility was the one condition of his continuing in that blessed state. When man disobeyed and fell it was self-exaltation that drew him from God and became the ruling power of his life and the cause of all sin and wretchedness. When Christ became man it was to restore in humanity that blessed dependence upon God: by His humble, meek, patient resignation to God to atone for our sin and create anew in us the nature of man before the fall.

From morning to night – you want to begin every day very definitely with an Act of humility, recognizing it as the first duty of the day and of your life to get into the right place of dependence before God, in meek, patient, humble resignation to Him.

Freedom from a Self-centered Life

Entire dependence upon God. What a concept and it can be ours in 2022! Meek, patience, humble resignation to Him. Why? Because Isaiah 55:8 is true. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways higher than our ways. Because Jeremiah 17:9-10 is also true.

The heart is devious above all else;
    it is perverse—
    who can understand it?
I the Lord test the mind
    and search the heart,
to give to all according to their ways,
    according to the fruit of their doings.

Praying about this all those years ago a melody and a verse came to me. it goes like this.

Total Surrender ©2018 Molly Lin Dutina 
Total surrender brings total power; 
Spirit of Christ in me, 
Totally yielded to Thee every hour, 
Until Thy will I see. 

Death to my passions and every desire, 
Living wholly for Thee. 
Have Thine own way, 
Spirit of love, 
Totally flow through me. 

Entire dependence upon Him. Dan Cooksey taught a course called The Shepherd’s Staff. In the midst of that course he emphasized the same idea. I adapted it to what I am to say to Jesus if I am to remain part of the Bride of Christ. The traditional marriage ceremony words are “I do.” Dan taught us I stands for Intimacy, D stand for Dependence, and O stands for Obedience.

As part of the Bride of Christ I live my life practicing Intimacy with Christ, Dependence upon Him and Obedience to what He asks me to do. Total Surrender. I DO.

Oh Lord, draw us closer and closer to Your heart. Help us to bring You joy and delight as we live our lives in and through You.

Lenten Surrender

Surrender: 1.To relinquish possession or control of (something) to another because of demand or compulsion. 2. To give up in favor of another, especially voluntarily

Has Lent been leading you to a place of surrender? Have you discovered that God’s ways are better than your ways, God’s thoughts higher than your thoughts? Do you have a hope of eternity with Him? An eye towards the future in the grandest sense?

The Book of Common Prayer in the service for Ash Wednesday (March 2, of this year) reminds us why Lent is celebrated.

Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.

“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer.

How does this apply now? We are in the midst of the Lenten season. Easter is celebrated this year on April 17. Perhaps you do not attend a liturgical church or any church whatsoever? You can still observe Lent with the Lord our Savior. Keep a holy Lent by self-examination and repentance. I was terrible at this years ago. I knew all about self-castigation and beating myself up for things, so I feared this idea of self-examination. What if I got into it and could not find my way out again to joyful fellowship with Christ? Self-examination as I now understand it has to do with looking at the hopes Jesus has for me and how I actually live. Confess my wrongs, receive forgiveness and move on, returning to fellowship with Him. Brother Lawrence said to return to fellowship quickly!

Prayer, fasting and self-denial. Pray without ceasing (1Thessalonians 5:17) is something I aim for daily. Gets harder after 4 PM when I feel worse physically, but I keep pursuing the goal. Fasting this year, I am fasting from too many words. Fasting from thinking, like Catherine Marshall did, that my opinion on everything counts. Self-denial goes right with that too many words. I am trying to give up thinking I must have the last word on any topic. Reading and meditating on God’s Word. There is no excuse for me here. I have tapped into Bible gateway to help with that. Many of the versions they provide can be read to you. So whether I am cooking or walking the dog, I can listen to those 5 chapters of Psalms a day or one chapter of Proverbs. No excuses as long as my phone is charged! One way of meditating on the Word.

I ran into a person last week who balked in fear at the idea of Christians meditating. We are to center our thoughts, prayers and being upon the Word. How can that be wrong? Center yourself with “Maranatha”, Our Lord, come! (1 COR 16:22) or using your breath “Inhale: He must increase, Exhale, I must decrease.” (John 3:30). Meditate upon the Word. Listen for His instruction.

One thing that drew me to the Episcopalians in 1965 was the idea cited in this Lenten invitation: “And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer.” The many churches I had visited read Psalms and spoke about kneeling before the Lord our God, but I never saw them bend a knee. The Episcopalians did. Regularly. Every service in prayer.

Back to surrender.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV
Open Hands — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

We come to a place of genuine surrender when we realize the Lord has thoughts and ways that are continually higher than ours, better than ours, more life giving than ours. Have you heard the concept about parenting that when a child misbehaves after they have time to reflect on their misdeed you should ask the child what the punishment should be? Usually they choose something more harsh than we had in mind. So, too, is our life with God. His first choice is almost always to bring us to a place of life and that more abundantly. Not more things, but a richer, more authentic, Christ-like life.

Have your Lenten practices shown you areas where you fall short? Mine have. My prayer is that these revelations about myself will carry over into my Easter celebration and into the remainder of my life.

Matilda Taught Me So Much!!

Our church recently announced a program where older women will be given an intentional opportunity to mingle with younger women. I was stirred in my spirit to pursue that. I also was reminded almost instantly of Matilda Kipfer. I know! Not a name you are likely to forget! Matilda Kipfer influenced my life in many ways. I heard her as a speaker at a Cincinnati Women’s Aglow meeting years ago, probably 1984?

She always called herself an ordinary woman. She taught us ways to pray constantly. “When you wash the China, pray for China. When you vacuum the carpet pray asking the Glory of God to spread over the room. When you make a bed ask the Holy Spirit to touch the one who sleeps there.” No, she never mentioned Brother Lawrence, but she understood his concepts thoroughly.

I was amazed to realize she shared the same birthday as my mother, though my mother was 14 years older than Matilda!

She often lamented “I was forty-three years old before I knew that God was excited on the day of my birth.” Then she would get excited over the love and mercy of God rejoicing over us all. She was one of His best cheerleaders! I learned recently that she died January 6, 2021 at the age of 92. The world is not as bright a place with her loss. But you could go forward teaching and practicing your faith like she did!

Part of her obituary read: “Matilda was a devout Christian, actively serving in her local Mennonite Church. In the 1970’s Matilda became President of the Buffalo Chapter of Women’s Aglow, and eventually served as a board member of Women’s Aglow International. The world opened up to her and she traveled extensively, spreading the gospel, and teaching women to discover their destiny. She was a true pioneer for women in ministry. She had speaking engagements in every state in the US and every province in Canada at least twice. Her travels led her as far as China, Sri Lanka, Israel, Egypt, the Philippines and many countries in between.”

 Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.

Titus 2:3-5 NRSV

I must agree with the Lord in saying well done, good and faithful servant! You are missed.

She also wrote a book “Uniquely His, Love Matilda” which I just ordered from Abe Books. If you are interested you should try ordering it from Abe Books online.

With her extended family ( 14th child of 14), her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren Matilda experienced many things that we also wrestle with. She especially liked to teach about ‘having a bad attitude.’ Speaking of attitudes she would mimic a sheep saying “Baaa-d attitude.”

She would tell the women that if they were not willing to forgive every slight, hurt and disappointment quickly, then they were giving ground to develop a bad attitude. In contrast, having a good attitude, staying clean in your heart and mind before God, blessings from heaven would shower you and those around you. 2 Corinthians 10:5b says “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

She prayed that letters would be filled with the Light of Christ. That the Holy Spirit would go before her in each meeting and encounter with others. When her son was leaning towards ways of the world she would pray over his bed. She asked God to come to him in dreams and show him the path of life. God did.

So this ordinary woman who never quoted Brother Lawrence knew how to practice the presence of God. She said that once she came to know the Holy Spirit she learned that God really does want us to to the New Testament teachings. Love one another (1 John 4:7-8)

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Choose life in every situation that develops in your realm. Over and over again choose life. If your husband is depressed, choose life and speak prayers for him choosing life. If your kids are rebellious, choose life. And focus on the life God wants to give them. Positive prayers can direct others towards positive paths. Not some magic hocus-pocus, but speaking life over them. Not focusing on what they are doing that you do not like, but placing the focus on what God calls them to do.

The gospel of Christ is simple and we complicate it many times over. Matilda knew a the simplicity of Christ. She taught those simple ways. That is not to say her life was easy. Certainly not. And our lives are not easy either! Knowing Christ is with us and can give us the words to pray through the Holy Spirit gives us confidence and courage. Pray with your spirit and your mind (1 Corinthians 14:15), Jesus is made unto us wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30), and best of all …

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Romans 8:11

Obviously I could go on and on. I would ask that you try relating to God as Matilda did. She knew that left to herself she would never get it right. She cried out to God for wisdom and insights. If you cannot relate to Brother Lawrence form the 1600s, perhaps you can related to Matilda Jantzi Kipfer Feb. 7, 1928 – Jan. 6, 2021. She rests in peace in her reward from Christ. This woman declares, well done, good and faithful servant!

And how blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel; They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks, discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain! God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and at the last turn—Zion! God in full view!

Psalm 84:5-7 The Message

The Garden Song

My mother taught my sister and me this hymn as we traveled in the car. I do not remember her singing at home, but always on a road trip! She made me learn the alto part so we could harmonize.

Only 2 of 3 verses, but tight harmony!

Now if you are asking, “What if I do not have a garden, Molly? I do not even get out much to walk anymore!” Well the theme is about abiding with Jesus. Sharing your life with Him and discussing everything that occurs. Remember Charlene who was dying of cancer and told me she talked to Jesus all day long? ( see https://wordpress.com/post/treasures-in-plain-sight.org/8062) That sort of garden walking!

Reading Matilda Kipfer recently I was drawn to this Message version of Psalm 84.

And how blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel; They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks, discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain! God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and at the last turn—Zion! God in full view!

Psalm 84:5 The Message

For those of you who are not familiar with The Message, Eugene Peterson published this interpretation in 1993, 1998 and 2000. Each portion took considerable time, thus the 3 dates.

The Message is a reading Bible translated from the original Greek and Hebrew Scriptures by scholar, pastor, author, and poet Eugene Peterson. Thoroughly reviewed and approved by twenty biblical scholars, The Message combines the authority of God’s Word with the cadence and energy of conversational English.

NAV Press Review

Reading the portion above of Psalm 84, I could just hear the song In The Garden. “Those in whom You live,” we are indwelt by the Spirit of Christ. “Whose lives become roads You travel,” yes, He walks with me and He talks with me. { Aside I once had a Lutheran minister ask if I really believed that. I looked him right in the eye and answered, “Absolutely!” } Yes, God travels with us. He will open our eyes to understand that if we ask Him to do it.

Did He Die In Vain?

Is there an area of your life where there is warfare? Once you become aware of the warfare and oppression are you doing anything about it? Are you feeling hopeless or ineffective against the darkness?

For in Him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have come to fullness of life in Him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11 In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 12 and you were buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this He set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in Him.

Colossians 2:9-15

Looking at the passage above you can read some of the mighty things the Father has done for you through Jesus/in Him. God raised you with Him (Jesus) from the dead. He made you alive together with Him (Jesus). You have resurrection power within you. Have you used it? Have you asked the Father how to use it to alter your circumstances? Jesus died to give us the Holy Spirit. If we are not using the Spirit in our lives did Jesus die in vain?

Warfare and oppression can feel like a wet, cold, gray blanket thrown over your mind and soul. Father has given us power to throw that off. One image is to push it back, away from you. When I become aware of a situation like that in my life, (and I am not usually aware the first few times it happens), when I become aware of a pattern of discouragement or negative thinking I have to bring myself to my senses. Inner conversation usually goes something like: “Wait a minute. I have been here before and I don’t like it! In the Name of Jesus I push that away. Father You promised to make me a new creation. Help me form my thoughts around Your word. By Your Spirit instruct and guide me, I pray.”

If I am having difficulty I go get my Bible or look up one on my phone. I especially like the Bible Gateway app as they offer many translations easily.

If I face a situation where others are at unrest, I must be careful not to give them advice but just go to prayer. I do the same prayer pattern: “In the Name of Jesus and by His blood I order that (whatever I sense, I sometimes just say darkness) out of this room. Holy Spirit comfort and guide that one. I pray peace over their soul. I ask the Spirit to bring them thoughts of life. Shower them with Living Water, Father. Fill this place with Your holiness I pray.” Then I start praising God for His Presence, Life, and Love and Holiness. I sing praise songs in my soul. Reiki people would say to focus all your positive energy upon the person.

If you are starting to think I might be nuts, read this.

His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Thus He has given us, through these things, His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature.

2 Peter 1:3-4

Everything we need for life and godliness. Everything we need for spiritual warfare. His very great and precious promises. Through them we become participants of the divine nature. We need this stuff if we are to succeed as Christians and maintain our disciplines. This is part of our work in the Kingdom. This is powerful, holy and a gift to us.

In keeping with music week LOL imagine my surprise a few years ago when I heard this for the first time!

As Jesus said, “Go and do likewise!”