GOD, ARE YOU MOVING?

For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory (1 Peter 1:8).

I heard stories and testimonies on the internet of people coming to Christ in the outdoor gathering, especially in the cities. Not only Sean Feucht’s “Let Us Worship”, but others also, and I hope and pray it’s real.

You see, I confess, I struggle with cynicism. I want to believe it is all a work of God, but there is a section of my brain that doesn’t believe anything anyone (anyone I don’t know) says. Everyone lies. We live in a lying culture. I have even heard Christians lie (sighs of grief).

So, I have struggled with this and this is where I have arrived.

First: God is supernatural. God is sovereign. God is good. God is mercy and grace. God brings good out of evil. God hears the prayers of his people.

I believe all of the above (I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24).

Second: When the Gospel is spoken and Jesus is exalted and proclaimed the only way to heaven I believe God honors that.

Third: Paul said in Philippians 1 that although some men were preaching Christ out of envy and rivalry thinking to inflict him, he didn’t care, as long as Christ was being proclaimed. He rejoiced in that.

So, even if I don’t go along with all of someone’s theology, as long as they are not spreading hearsay, but are proclaiming the Gospel and Christ crucified, buried and risen, I believe the miraculous can happen. Does happen. The biggest miracle of all is a stoney heart turned to flesh so that it loves Jesus and delights in God.

I don’t have to see the miracles to believe. I walk by faith, not sight, but because I have faith, I want to see the miracles.

Fourth: I do believe God is moving in our day. He is always busy doing things, but here and now, through COVID and all the rest, we are seeing God deal with his Church.

I love seeing Christians, mostly young ones, standing together, singing and jumping to the glory of God. They hear the word, sing, and pray and are a light in the darkness.

GOD BLESS THEM! DOUBLE GOD BLESS THEM!

I believe, now more than ever, God would have the church leave the building!

We are loved!

THE CHURCH NEEDS TO LEAVE THE BUILDING!

I am grieved over the state of the church in America. We are complacent and comfortable. We have patted ourselves on the back because during the “pandemic” we finally started to gather again. We are magnanimous in our tolerance of those who wear masks and those who don’t. Our worship is limp and lame. Where is the shouting?

May we shout for joy over your salvation,
and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions (Psalm 20:5)!

Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart (Psalm 32:11)!

Where is the loud singing?


The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

God sings loudly over us, so shouldn’t we sing loudly over him?

And the people of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with great gladness, and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with all their might to the Lord (2 Chronicles 30:21).

And, by the way, where is the dancing? Now, I have really lost some of you. But, that was a form of worship in the Old Testament. I guess God like it then …

Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre Psalm 149:3)!


As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart (2 Samuel 6:16).

We know what happened to Michal because she despised David for publically worshipping the Lord. Read 2 Samuel 6.

The church needs to get loud. The church needs to be heard. The church needs to leave the building!

And I need to do all those things!

Despite us, we are loved.

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SHE CHANGED HER NAME TO SCHOOLBUS

My great-granddaughter, Lillie Mae, decided this morning her name was Schoolbus. She is quiet insistent. She is three, so she can get away with changing her name. When I received the text telling me of the name change, I was reading John 15 and decided I would change my name to Branch.

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After all, that is what I am. I am not the vine — that’s Jesus. I am not the sap — that’s the Holy Spirit, not spelled out in John 15, but implied, I think. I am certainly not the vinedresser — that is God the Father. I am the branch that grows or abides, as Jesus says, in the vine.

If I am bearing fruit by the strength and power and nourishment of the Holy Spirit, I will be pruned. That is what happens to branches on physical vines. Or bushes. Or trees. It is an easy allegory to understand, even if you are a city girl. You pinch flowers off your house plants so more buds may grow.

If I am a branch abiding in the vine, living a fruitful branch life, for my sake and the Gospel’s, I will need pruning. Even good things can become too much. Or I can go off the rails and get involved in things that don’t bring God glory. Maybe, Jesus just wants to change my direction.

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Do you feel like 2020 was/is pruning season? I sure do. It hasn’t been a little snip here and a little snip there. It has been lop here and lop there. And from that pruning other fruit has appeared, hence this blog.

If Lillie can be Schoolbus, I most certainly am Branch.

What if we were able to keep our imaginations pure and believing and vibrant as a three year old? That is for another post. I have to rev up my imagination to imagine having an imagination of a sweet, delightful three year old girl.

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For now, I will be Branch.

You are loved.

THE EXILED ROAD

The Exiled Road is a lonely business. So come with me along the way.

It’s the road just on the other side of the narrow gate.

It’s a narrow, but straight, smooth road, yet with valleys and mountain tops, potholes and ruts.

The one who built it, the Master builder promises abundant life while on it.

It’s a road of denial, not indulgence, of obedience not rebellion.

Not for you? Doesn’t sound abundant?

Patience, I haven’t told you the rest.

It’s a road of peace, not violence; a road of delight, not despair; a road of joy, not depression; a road of love, not hate.

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Other roads may seem wide and easy to travel, but their end is destruction and death.

Go down the Exiled Road with me. The Master Builder, who created all things, including you and me, holds all things together, including you and me, by the power of his word.

Traveling with us he guides us, helps us, comforts us and waits to welcome us home at the end of the road.

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So come with me. Hear him calling? Take my hand we will go together.

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few (Matthew 7:13-14).


The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10).

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth (Hebrews 11:13).

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DISREGARD INSTRUCTIONS AT YOUR PERIL

“Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.” – J. I. Packer

One of the things I hate most in life is putting together furniture. My husband and I have done it numerous times and our marriage is still intact. That says a lot for the power of the Holy Spirit.

I don’t like to remember the times we had to take something apart and reassemble it because the part A that was supposed to attach to part D somehow got attached to part C.

Part of the problem is the directions. Some just give you pictures and others detailed instructions that seem like they were originally written in a language other than English and then poorly translated. It gets really bad when my husband jumps ahead and tries to put something together while completing ignoring the directions.

J. I. Parker is saying God gave us instructions for living and we ignore them at our peril.

God says his instructions are breathed out by himself and are “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Everything we need to know to live abundantly God has already told us.

Now here’s the crazy part, his directions are alive and read us and change us.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

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Oh, if only these directions for putting together my desk were alive and would build it for me and make it better than when I dragged it out of the box.

Of course they can’t, but the word of God can make me better. God’s goal is to make me like Jesus and he uses his word to do it.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:29).

His word always does what God wants it to do.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11).

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It’s a sure thing. When you or I speak the word or write the word that God breathed out it does what he wants it to do. It’s a sure thing.


So, speak and write. God has given us his instructions. Use them liberally.

You are loved!