The Lord is My Banner

The past week has been a continuous onslaught of events beyond usual life displeasures and irritating incidents. I will not bore you with a list because that is not where I want the focus of this post to land. I desire to direct all eyes towards Jehovah-nissi one of the names of God meaning The Lord is My Banner. That name is mentioned in Exodus chapter 17.

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Consuming Fire

God is referred to as a consuming fire in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Have you wondered why? According to some theologians when scripture refers to God by this term it is in reference to His holiness.

Purification or Destruction
Fire can both purify or destroy. It can purify metal by burning away the impurities thus refining the metal, but fire ravages homes, cities and forests.

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Beautiful Scars

Beginning in my childhood, I wondered why Jesus had scars after His resurrection. I had been led to believe our weaknesses, diseases, or disabilities would be perfected on Heaven’s side of eternity. Maybe I was a strange child pondering a theological element that did not coincide with my belief. Into adulthood, I wrestled with what seemed like a huge inconsistency. Jesus died, was resurrected, then why wasn’t His body whole – healed of scars? I was equating complete healing with NO visible scars.

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Praise Him!

Large pin oak damaged by 70 mph winds.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

In the past few weeks, I have had one challenge or trial after another and another. Each one assaulting my finances, physical stamina and emotional fortitude. Then I bottomed out. For context, I do property management to earn a living.

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Troubled Turkey

Wild turkey hen with juveniles.

Some believe the turkey is a stupid bird. I will let the wildlife biologists debate that case. I’m going to share about an interesting encounter I had with a wild turkey one morning.

I live in a very urban area one block from a heavily traveled four-lane road. But because there are 100 acres of preserve two blocks in the opposite direction, I do see my share of wildlife in my city neighborhood.

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Dear Foster Child

Open letter to foster children.

This week’s post is taking a different format from my usual devotional style. I have written an open letter to foster children. Note: the child in this letter is a compilation of all the foster children who have come into my home – it is not denoting a specific child.

Dear Foster Child
You are such a lovable little person. Oh, how I long for you to believe that about yourself. You are a precious human being created in the image of Almighty God. I hope one day soon you will know that you are special, you are unique and God put His fingerprints all over you!

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Can I Pray First?

Jesus Said
Have you ever wondered why Jesus said we are to become like little children to enter the kingdom of Heaven? In what ways? How do I become like a little child? Let’s examine this idea further, by contemplating the obvious traits we can associate with a young child.

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Many people are angry these days – cranky and on edge. I feel tension in our community. As if people are a minuscule flicker away from exploding.

I confess I have found myself “coranky.” That’s not a typo. I coined a new term – coranky. If someone can refer to an irritable hungry person as hangry, then I can call my edgy frustrations coranky. Coronavirus + cranky = coranky.

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Racist or Privileged
This past week was heavy and weighty due to current events, the sadness of George Floyd’s wrongful death, the peaceful protests, the outbreak of riots, and violent outbursts causing my son to temporarily flee the city he lives in.

As peaceful protestors have brought submerged issues to the forefront, I have reflected, ‘Was I/Am I racist in my thoughts and/or actions?’ I was born of white European descent – those frequently referred to as privileged in the US.

Growing up in a small rural Midwest town, the first person of color I met and knew was in college. I lived with my grandparents during that time and have a vivid memory of learning my grandparents were racist.

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Polished Shells

Shells found on a California beach.

Walking the Beach
I walked the beach enjoying moments of spiritual solitude and inner peace. Rhythmic waves crashed upon the shore. The powerful ocean waves deposited shells and I began to pick them up and examine them, thinking about my life.

My thoughts moved back and forth from praying to pondering all that had recently taken place in my life – a new marriage, combining households, recovering from health issues, four new grandchildren, and my son’s suicide. The raw pain that engulfed me was numbing, but I knew God was real and somehow would get me through all the turmoil.

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