The Water and The Word

Although I have observed this unsettling occurrence for years, I find it especially common during this election season. I write about this in a manner that does not reveal any political views I have. Absolutely none.

But during this election season, I am disturbed the most by one thing: Christians “watering down” the Word of God. 

I expect it from nonbelievers. It doesn’t surprise me – or bother me – or offend me. But it shocks me when it comes from the believer – from those who have supposedly trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior. 

God is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And God’s Word doesn’t change, folks. It just doesn’t. 

All Scripture (God’s Word) is for us – in one way or  another.  We must apply and learn from the Old Testament, although we realize that God’s people, at that time, were living “under the law.” 

Then Jesus came. He brought the New Covenant. He brought us the offer of salvation. And He taught us believers how we need to live in today’s world.

God inspired His Word. Paul teaches us that it is living and active. It is sharp. It judges our thoughts and our hearts. It is a powerful piece of armor – a sword of God’s Spirit within us. We are commanded to put that piece of the armor on so that “when the day of evil comes,” we can stand our ground. And friends, that day of evil has come. I am not speaking of the election or political division (although we certainly find evil within it). I am speaking of the world in which we live. Although we still find much love and certainly we have great hope, one doesn’t have to look further than the evening news to see the evil around us. So we must be armed with the Word of God. Not so we can fight people – but so we can “stand.” (See passages below – Ephesians 6:13-17).

The Apostle James instructs us to not merely “listen” to the Word of God but to “do” what it says. How can we do it if we don’t “know” it?

The Apostle Peter tells us that we have the Word of the prophets. Let’s study those Words.

The Apostle Paul tells us not to distort God’s Word. 

Timothy admonishes us to avoid godless chatter and to correctly handle the Word of truth.

God, in his marvelous providence, gave us the Word – it is “God-breathed” and vital. It is for us. It is God speaking to us. In my writing, I refer to those messages as “Jesus Whispers,” because as I quieted myself before the Lord and dug into His Word, He spoke to me. God wants to speak to you. Directly. Personally. His message is of love and of guidance. Of hope and of comfort. Of peace and of a future!

The Word is life-changing!

We must let the Word of God  stir us, speak to us – in a gentle whisper or in a thundering voice. We must let the Word of God lead us, change us, and give us the wisdom God promises.

You might wonder where you can begin. You might  start with the passages listed below. Familiarize yourself with the power of God’s Word. Next, you’ll want to read and pray and review Psalm 119: it is all about the Word.

The Bible, God’s Word, is for each of us. The only “water” we shall put on God’s Word is that of Jesus, the Living Water. Let those streams of His Living Water flow from within us. Be “washed” by His Word instead of “watering down” His powerful Word. Drink of the Living Water – Jesus.

If you’re not sure you are truly a believer, please make sure. Click here and Learn more.

Want to begin to listen to God’s whispers? Or his thundering message? He wants to speak personally to you.

Start right here! Further reading: 2 Cor. 4:2; Eph. 6:17; 2 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 4:12; James 1:22; 2 Peter 1:19; 2 Tim. 3:16

A Little Bit of Jesus

Pharoah, the ruler of Egypt, the enemy of the Israelites, detested the words of Moses and Aaron regarding God’s plan for the Israelites. He referred to their words as lies and told his overseers to “Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”[1] You might be familiar with the many plagues God put upon Pharoah and the Egyptians to force Pharoah to let the Israelites go – to leave Egypt. After plagues of blood, frogs, gnats, and flies, Pharoah agreed to let the Israelites go – but only a certain distance. “I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God in the wilderness, but you must not go very far,” he said.[2]

Has the enemy, Satan, ever suggested similar ideas to you? He stirs you to find fault in your Christian leaders. He detests the Word of God they are preaching. Oh, he lets you worship – perhaps pray – a bit – but not too often. “You must not go very far,” he says.

He doesn’t mind if you go to church, as long as you don’t get “religious.”  “Don’t listen to those who speak God’s Word. They speak lies. You must not go very far,” he says.

It’s fine with him if you give a small offering to ministry, but he shows you many faults with giving a tithe or more. The church doesn’t use the money properly – or you certainly need the money for something more important this week. You can “give” next week instead. “You must not go very far,” he says.

He makes the Christian look foolish – you know – the one who speaks to others about being saved. The one who prays in public. The one who prays with the sick or the grieving. And he tells you that you would certainly appear foolish in front of others by revealing your Christian faith. “You must not go very far,” he says.

He causes you to be totally worn out on Sunday mornings. Your children aren’t obeying your directions to brush their teeth and get dressed. An argument is brewing with you and your husband. Going to church isn’t worth it. I don’t want to be a hypocrite, you tell yourself. “You must not go very far,” he says.

I’m familiar with these lies, as the enemy throws them at me quite often. But just as God willed Moses to lead his chosen people out of Egypt, He wills us to leave the burden of slavery to sin and follow Him, as Peter and the other disciples did when they recognized Jesus as Messiah, the one about whom Moses had written.[3] Once we belong to Him, He offers us abundant life.[4] The enemy doesn’t want abundant life for us, so we mustn’t listen to his lies any longer. He tricks us into thinking we’re just fine with a little bit of Jesus.

[1] Exodus 5:9

[2] Exodus 8:28, italics added

[3] John 1: 35-51

[4] John 10:10

Take off your sandals!

The nation of Israel had just crossed the Jordan River. And before they undertook this awesome journey, they had consecrated themselves, as Joshua had told them to do.

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” (Joshua 3:4)

And the Lord did amazing things!

Next, the Israelites had another huge, unimaginable task before them – to bring down the city of Jericho – literally bring it down, with a SHOUT, making Jericho totally vulnerable to Israel’s own army – the army of the Lord. But just before this was to happen, Joshua saw a man in front of him – a man with a drawn sword in his hand. This man told Joshua that he was “commander of the army of the Lord.” Was he the Lord himself? Perhaps he was.  We can assume so, as Joshua certainly recognized the authority of this commander. He fell facedown and asked the commander a question:

“What message does my Lord have for his servant?”

“The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy, ‘ And Joshua did so. ‘”(Joshua 5:15)

We see obedience. I, too, must ask the Lord,

What message do you have for me, Lord – for me, your servant?

Do you want to stand on holy ground? I do. I want to obey my commander’s orders. I want to be ready for the huge, unimaginable task before me. In order to do that, I must ask the Lord what His message is for me. And I need to take off my sandals. They’re dirty; they carry the dust and grime of the path I’ve been on. I want to be rid of them. I want my feet to be clean so I can step on to God’s holy ground. I want to be cleansed.

“Search me, O God . . . See if there is any offensive way in me . . .” (Psalm 139:23-24) “Create in me a [clean and] pure heart, O God. . . Restore me” (Psalm 51:10, 12).

It is only then, after taking off my sandals, after cleansing, that I can be ready to follow the seemingly huge, unimaginable task the Lord has set before me.

It is only then, that it could be written,

“Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy. And Kathi did so.”

Do you want to stand on holy ground?

Then take off your sandals.

My Great Defender

I’m always fascinated – and thankful.  Women marched – and marched – and marched! Then 100 years ago, women gained the right to vote.  And because of them, we women today have not only the right to vote but equal rights overall. Those marching women changed history for all women in our country, positively affecting women in other countries, as well. It was the huge step for women. They stood together with very few men supporting them. They were our early defenders.

As significant as those women were, no one in history has done more for women than Jesus Christ. No one.

He healed them. He healed their loved ones. He listened. He met their needs. And related to my beginning statements about women’s rights, He defended them. He stood for them when no one else did. The greatest barrister ever.

They composed a large segment of His followers. Although they most likely did not yet recognize the fullness of His Deity, they undoubtedly sensed it, as evidenced in the manner they served Him and sat at His feet in worship. They followed the Savior.

One woman, in particular, had been married five times and lived with at least one other man, as well. Not one of those men had yet her needs. She was spiritually thirsty.

Some women grow up recognizing that no man will ever meet her needs, nor does she care. Others, as they mature, sometimes early – sometimes later, come to this realization, grasping the understanding and moving on. We don’t need a man to be happy. We are strong.  I am woman. Hear me roar. Yet for others, it’s a difficult, disappointing discovery, especially for those of us who were expecting it, who were enthralled but misled by fairy tales and Hallmark movies, duped by countless social media posts revealing unending smiles and accounts of unlimited ventures of happiness. Reality hits. We most often move forward. In any of these instances, outwardly, our bodies may reveal no signs of dehydration. Yet inwardly, we all are thirsting – not for a man but with a spiritual thirst, unquenched by anything or anyone in this world.

It seems we are born with a thirst for a true relationship, one of unconditional love and acceptance. A true commitment. And why wouldn’t we be? Just as we were separated from our mother’s body when we were born, the world has separated us from our true Father – our Maker – the one who knew us in our mother’s womb and who has loved us since.

My thirst is for Him – the Living Water.

I am that woman at the well to whom Jesus purposely met.

I am that woman He loves unconditionally – no matter my past.

I am that woman who says, “Please, sir, give me some of that water.”

I am that woman who drops my empty bucket and says, “Jesus, I thirst – Quench me. You’re all I need.”

Further Reading: John 4:16-26; 7:37; 8:1-11

Click here – Let Him quench your thirst. 

Locked in

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” John 20:19

“. . . the doors locked for fear . . .”

Are you “locked in your room”  so to speak “for fear of” talking to others? Fear of letting them know that you are a believer – a follower of Jesus?

What will they say? Will they laugh? Tease? Make fun of you?

How long have you hidden from others? How many times have you locked yourself in, hiding your Bible, your faith, your Jesus?

“Jesus . . . among them . . .”

 He is there in that locked room with you, offering you peace.

He suffered for you.

Died for you.

Resurrected for you.

You’ve seen His hands and His side. Isn’t it time you open the locked door, go out, and show Jesus to others?

He’s sending you. And He’ll give you the peace to go. Unlock the door.

Further reading: John 20:19-28

A New Normal

The New Normal

I don’t like it. And from what I gather, I’m not alone.

I’ve been thinking about it. Someday I’ll go back to the grocery store – without a mask. I’ll get my hair cut and colored. I’ll hug a friend, a neighbor. Or will I? Will it ever be the same? Experts tell us it won’t. It’ll be a new normal.

I haven’t liked the new normals of the past. The empty nest when the kids left home. Life without Mama after she passed. Life without Daddy. I really don’t want a new normal.

Spring was an especially difficult time here in Michigan to isolate. While I waited, I walked around my house. I cooked. I baked. I order groceries. I sent out sympathy cards. I prayed. Oh God. Give me wisdom. I can’t seem to focus without your direction.

I had plenty to do. Spring cleaning. A lifetime of photos to sort – to scan – to organize. A devotional book to write. A Bible Study to promote. But no motivation. It rained. It hailed. Finally the sun shone! I stepped outside. I walked. Worked in the garden. Planted. Breathed in the fresh air. Soaked up the sunshine. I prayed. Oh God. Give me wisdom.

The wisdom is found in the Word. He is the wisdom. I listened. He spoke. I heard “Jesus whispers!”

“Kathi, you are coming to a crossroad. This is where the paths meet. This is where wisdom takes her stand. This is where you take your stand. Wisdom is crying out to you. Stand at these crossroads and look at your past. Ask for the ancient paths, the paths where you have found wisdom before. Ask for the good way. Find it. Walk in that way. It’s where you’ll find rest for your soul.” 

Now it’s late summer. Strict isolation has ended yet we are constantly aware of “the virus.” It’s an enemy. It haunts. It taunts.  We still don’t know what the future holds.

We are at a crossroad. I have a choice. I determine my new normal. I want to be wise in choosing the path I take out of this time of isolation, social distancing, mask wearing. Of lockdown. Of stay-at-home.

Wisdom is crying out to me. Am I listening? Am I heeding the message?

I look at the past as the Word says. Good decisions. Bad decisions. I’ll be wise to learn from both.

I consider the ancient paths. Hebrews, chapter 11, begins by telling us that the “ancients” were commended for their faith. Then it gives example after example of those who exhibited tremendous faith. This is where I start – in the Word. A bit further, in chapter 13, I read to remember those who spoke the word of God to me – to imitate their faith. So as I consider the past, I ask, Where have I seen wisdom in action? Who displayed wisdom? Who modeled it? I think of those strongholds of the faith – Corrie tenBoom, who hid Jews in her home during the Holocaust and was herself punished in a concentration camp. She walked in “the good way.” I think of missionaries through the centuries. I think of Reverend Lindner, who led me to Christ – who faithfully taught children about Jesus. As I look at the “ancient paths,” I think of countless, wise models of wisdom. Those who have taken the “good way” God tells me to take – as I choose the path at this “crossroad” in my life.

What have I learned during these unprecedented, unwanted months? I’ve been comfortable, but I’ve observed others who are not. I’ve known people with COVID19 who have recovered; and I’ve know some who’ve suffered unbearably from it. I’ve spent days filled with anxiety; I’ve spent days filled with contentment. But most of those days are filled with a sense of uneasiness. None have been “normal.”  Families are struggling. Friends have lost their loved ones and cannot have a funeral. Drive-through funeral visitations have become a norm in my community. I remember the days of sitting at a social distance with my own flesh and blood in order to speak for a few minutes. I FaceTimed or Zoomed with my family that live away. I’ve learned that although the expression, “we’re all in this together” is tossed around with the purpose of bringing hope and encouragement, hate is nonetheless sown, as well, and it germinates and produces an ugly poisonous plant. Politics always seem to have the trump card in every discussion, and the rules change as the game progresses. I’m truly not fond of facing a “new normal.”

This time will end. I’m at a crossroad. And you are too. We face a “new normal.” I don’t want to choose the comfortable path that I used to think was the most important thing in this world. I want to have learned from what we’ve been through. I want to reach out – physically and in spirit – to those who are struggling. I want to play by God’s rules. I want the seed I sow to produce a beautiful plant – one that glorifies God. I want to choose the “good way” and walk in it. And as I hear “Jesus whispers,” (the Word of God) I’ll find rest for my soul in that “way.” Rest is what it’s all about. Not the rest I get at night when I sleep. Or the rest I encounter when I sit around the house these days, lacking energy or purpose. But the rest I read about in the Word. The rest He promises. The rest I desire. The rest of my spirit. The rest that brings me peace, knowing everything is well, knowing my future is secure. (I wrote a bit about rest in another recent post in this series: https://kathiwaligora.com/shelter-in-place/)

Your future is before you. Let’s not be overly concerned about finding the “new normal,” but be more concerned about choosing the right path at this crossroad; the “way” – the “good way” – and walking in it.

Further Reading: Proverbs 8:2; Jeremiah 6:16; Hebrews 11; Hebrews 13:7

The Final Waterfall of the Trip – And I Missed It! Post 9 – From “The Getaway . . .”

On this getaway trip, Ron had been gracious to help me revisit and recreate scenes and moments from 1955, when I had first visited these sites in the Porcupine Mountains and surrounding areas of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with my family. On the day we packed up and hooked up our little “home away from home,” as we left the Porkies, we stopped one last time at the Welcome Center to pick up a souvenir in their gift shop. Two young women were just entering the park and happened to be coming from the two waterfalls to which we were headed: Bond Falls and Agate Falls. I showed them the photo on my phone – the one I wanted to “recreate,” taken of me at Agate Falls 65 years earlier!

Little Kathi at Agate Falls – 1955. Photo taken by her Daddy.

“Oh,” one of the young women said, looking at my photo. “That’s not Agate Falls – it’s Bond Falls. We were just there.”

“Oh thanks!” I replied, thinking I must have marked the photo wrong.  “We need to be heading to Bond Falls.”

So we left the memorable Porcupine Mountains and headed to one of the most beautiful falls in Michigan: Bond Falls.

It was a lovely drive. The parking area was full. Even during this time of dreadful COVID, people ventured out – eager and desirous to seek beauty in nature. It took a bit of time to find area to park our vehicle and trailer, but we found shade on this hot summer day!

Yellow Birch – common in the U.P.

It was just a short distance up a trail to the waterfall, where we strove to find the location to recreate the 1955 photo my Daddy had taken of me.

Back and forth, up and down the old cement steps along the shaded east side we hiked, stopped, and photographed.

It just didn’t seem right. Had the direction of the water changed in all those years?

By this time, as you can imagine, Ron and I were just about “waterfalled out.” Bond Falls was beautiful. We had seen it, the mosquitoes were bothering us, and now we were ready to trek back to our truck and travel trailer and continue our venture. But we suddenly realized that another trail led over a footbridge and across the river to the opposite side – the west side. We brushed the mosquitoes off and followed it. On that west bank, I stepped down to the riverside and placed my feet on  (what I assumed) was the exact ground upon which I had stood as a tiny girl in 1955. The scene was recreated! (or so I thought.) I squinted my eyes a bit as I looked at Ron taking my picture – but I didn’t see Ron – I saw my Daddy.

Kathi 2020 at Bond Falls

Now, this is the actual changing point of the original article. I initially made a correlation that if we hadn’t gone over to the other side of the Bond Falls, we would have missed recreating the scene . . . and I completed the article about it. The original article was titled, “The Final Waterfall of the Trip – And I Almost Missed it!”

As I had initially written, we were “waterfalled out,” so when we left Bond Falls, we had no desire to visit nearby Agate Falls, instead driving on to L’Anse Michigan at the base of the Keweenaw Peninsula, to visit more familiar sites and recreate the last photos from so many years ago.

It wasn’t until weeks later, in making the final revisions to this article that I reviewed photos and realized my mistake: The original photo was indeed taken at Agate Falls – not Bond Falls. My childhood pic and another photo of Agate Falls reveal the obvious:

Little Kathi at Agate Falls 1955
Agate Falls

I had missed the last waterfall – a most important re-creation of a most important memory. 

I had quickly taken the advice of a well-intentioned, kind young woman, rather than double-checking my own photos and plans. Accepted her comment instead of following my own instinct and knowledge.

I was saddened but not surprised. It wasn’t the first time I had practiced poor judgment – was unwise in my decisions! And of course, it brought about regrets. Once again on this “… Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place, and Wisdom,”   I had learned a lesson about wisdom in a most unexpected manner.

Proverbs speaks much about wisdom:

There is a way that seems right . . . (but it isn’t!)

He who walks with the wise grows wise. (obviously the young women weren’t wise regarding waterfalls)

. . . and perhaps most important or applicable to my situation – in Corinthians:

my faith must not rest upon the wisdom of others, but upon God’s power. . .

Of course the lesson is much greater than finding the correct location – the correct waterfall. It’s in finding God’s will – following God’s plan instead of following people. People will never have the answers for me, but God will. He will lead me, if/when I seek Him. And I can always seek Him in prayer and through His Word.

The good news for me regarding Agate Falls is that there’s a possibility that Ron and I will be in the area again next summer. As we walk the path to the falls and hear the rush of water, my eyes will feel a bit of rush, as well, and a mist will roll down my cheeks. Ron will hold the camera. I’ll step close to the water’s edge with the beautiful falls in the background, and squint a bit, looking in Ron’s eyes, but seeing my Daddy holding his Kodak 35 mm.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

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Who Knew the Time Had Changed? There’s a time for everything. Post 7 – From “The Getaway…”

Who would think that in the middle of a mountain drive, in the middle of a huge state park, within just one county and within only the state of Michigan, would be a time zone division? Well, there is! This huge park has two different time zones.

So, by the time we reached the Lake of the Clouds (Click here to read Post 5 about that experience) at the top of Porcupine Mountains, the time had changed from 1:30 to 12:30. Since we didn’t know about it or expect it, it was quite confusing! We viewed the beautiful lake and landscape, hiked 3.5 miles through the deep woods, over roots and red slate rocks, straight down .5 mile to the base of the huge lake and up again in hot, sticky damp heat, and were totally exhausted, so it was even more confusing! Again, I had packed a picnic lunch in a wicker basket, including a red-checkered tablecloth (in keeping with the “time frame” of the 1950’s when I had first visited this site). The clock in the vehicle showed one time – our cell phone showed another. So now we wondered ~ What time was it anyway?  It was later than we thought! We assumed we had much more time than this!

You’ve probably heard the classic soft rock song, “Turn, Turn, Turn.” Pete Seeger composed it in the late 50’s, and The Byrds made it popular when they recorded it in 1965. Click it on and read the lyrics while you listen. (If the website music is playing, you can lower or mute it on the bottom of this site.)

Ron and I grew up with this song, so it really brought back some memories for us! I said that Pete Seeger wrote this song, but actually, he only composed the music. The lyrics were already written. Did you know that these lyrics are the first 8 verses of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3? God wrote these words through King Solomon. You’re probably quite familiar with it:

There’s a time for everything . . .

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

And so on . . .

If you’ve lived for a while like I have, you are familiar with these “times.” Some are pleasant – like laughing; others are not – like weeping. We’ve experienced most of these “times.” We know they are a part of life. It’s not surprising that Pete Seeger titled his song, “Turn, Turn, Turn.” The “times” of our lives are constantly turning and often become confusing.

Jesus knew we would get confused in this life, thinking we have much more time to do everything we want to do – much more time to live.  Some people think that becoming a believer would detract from that “living,” but actually, it brings abundance of life! So, I think that’s why He told us that now is the time of God’s favor. Now is the day of salvation. He wants you to believe in Him and have abundance of life and the abundance of time!

I plan on living to be very old unless the Lord comes first to gather the believers, which could happen anytime! Either way, I’m ready and can spend the time I have left – living and loving and doing everything good I read about in Eccl. 3 and hear in Pete Seeger’s song: to plant and heal and build and laugh and dance and mend and speak and love and make peace. Are you ready to meet the Lord when He gathers us? If so, join me in living life to the fullest with these good things. If not, get ready. Learn what Jesus did for you, and believe! Click here to learn more at www.kathiwaligora.com/become-a-believer

It’s all between you and God, your maker. He’s given you this time – so you can be sure. You needn’t be confused!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Hosea 10:12

2 Corinthians 6:2

Have you read my book, When Life Roars, Jesus Whispers? Click here to order. It would make a great gift, as well.

I Hate Bats! Post 6 – From “The Getaway. . .”

I had looked at photos and articles in the brochures, pamphlets, and travel guides of the park, considering which sites Ron and I might want to see. Much to my distress, one article had a photo of a bat, which I immediately covered up by folding the corner of the paper over it. I hate bats! Repeat – I hate bats! Please don’t try to convince me of all the good things about bats. It won’t sway me. They remind me of demons. I hate bats. 

You see, the Porkies (Porcupine Mountains) have many old, abandoned mines – copper and iron ore. The article and photo I covered in a brochure, so as not to see, described a strategy conservationists of the Porkies are taking to keep bats from getting some white-nose disease. As you can imagine, I didn’t read the article. (I kept it covered – out of sight.)  So anyway, I said, “This is one site here in the Porkies I don’t care to visit.” End of story. 

It was not really the “end of story” because as we were driving up the mountain to the Lake of the Clouds (Click here to read my last Post 5), we stopped at a beautiful site where there was a small spot to park and to look out over the beautiful Lake Superior from quite a height. We walked to the lookout point. I took a pic of Ron and of the nearby sign.

It was lovely, BUT, on the opposite side of the narrow road, dug into the side of the mountain was an old abandoned copper mine, and – you guessed it – was the very site, placard and all, about the story of the bats. Evidently thousands come out of that mine shaft at night . . . you know the story. Another reason they remind me of demons – there are thousands, and they love to work at night.  – in the dark. Well, we “hightailed it” out of there!

Have you ever tried so hard to avoid something, like I tried to avoid the bat cave, but you run right into it? Sin is like that. Your intentions are good, but that devil just keeps chasing after you.

He’s dark – the prince of darkness.

His work is dark.

His intentions are dark.

His actions are dark.

My sin is dark.

Your sin is dark.

But Jesus came, and Jesus is light.

I just have to repeat it! Jesus came, and Jesus is light. He is the Light of the World. He brings light into our sinful lives – if we let Him.

The Bible tells us to submit ourselves to God and to resist the devil, and he will flee from us. Resist him, just like I “hightailed it” away from that bat cave. (Well, not really just the same – but you get the idea.) I’ve lived in the darkness of sin before – and you have too. I’ve come out of that darkness and into the Light: Jesus! Have you? If not, it’s time you do!

Learn more about how Jesus takes our sin away and makes us “children of light” at this link: www.kathiwaligora.com/become-a-believer

And you can find more about submitting to God and resisting the devil if you do some further reading, starting with James 4:7 in the New Testament.

Mid Morning Favor – Post 5 – From “The Getaway …”

Contrary to the report on Ron’s weather app, the sun was shining today, so we drove up the mountain, 1000 feet above Lake Superior to the “Lake of the Clouds.”

With my Mama in 1955

It was a beautiful drive to the top of the mountain. And today, as we parked and walked the 100 yard embankment to the cliff above, years of imbedded memories surged in the form of droplets in my eyes, welling up and rolling down my cheeks. I’m sure that my daddy and mama would have never thought that the memories of this very place, which they had created within me and had kept alive through photos taken with Daddy’s new 35 mm Kodak in 1955 would stir up fresh within me all these years later. You’ll see me as the little blonde girl in the older pictures. See more pics below.

Until today, I had never been back to The Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains.

But I’ve wanted to.

I’ve hoped to.

And I’ve thought about it ever since.

This was a desire of my heart.

Today was the day.

Oftentimes God grants us the desires of our hearts. He loves to do so. He knows those things – even the little things – that will delight us. In fact, He surrounds us with His favor. His favor is like a shield around us. I had lived much of my adult life unaware or unknowing or not believing that I was favored by God, but about eight years ago, in the most difficult time of my life, I became cognizant of it. I believed the Word of God. And I embraced it, finally trusting that God loves me and wants to show me favor.

The Oxford dictionary defines favor as “act of kindness beyond what is due.” And that’s just what God did for me once again – at the Lake of the Clouds. He granted me an “act of kindness beyond what is due.” He allowed me to go back to a very peaceful time in my life, remembering all those years ago, on the edge of this same cliff but feeling absolutely no danger because I was protected by my Daddy and my Mama. And God allowed me to know the same serenity of this peaceful setting today, completely protected by Him, my Heavenly Father. 

My Mama 1955 (My Daddy stands in the same spot in the featured picture at top of post.
I’m standing in nearly the same spot as my mother – 65 years later. My heart is full!

Then He opened my eyes to see even more: the beauty of this place. He filled me with the joy of being there with my husband, Ron.

We hiked miles across the encampment and down to the base of the lake below. My heart was full-of God’s favor.

God loves to give you the desires of your heart. Ask Him. Then look for it. Sometimes it’s huge. Sometimes it’s in the little things. 

Undeserved. Unmerited. But it is mine. And it’s yours: the Favor of the Father. And it is all because of Jesus. Grasp it. Hold on.

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Further reading: Psalm 37:4

With Grandpa and Grandma Locke, my mother, my brother Larry, Aunt Carolyn, and Uncle Dick. 1955