1 Corinthians 2:14

“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 2:14.
 
I don’t know about you, but I’ve struggled for a long time with trying to understand why some people do or don’t do the things they do or don’t do. I have allowed myself to get so upset by being completely baffled by the lack of concern or care some have for certain things in life. I’ve allowed unhealthy anger to consume me over it, repeating the phrase “What is wrong with people?” Shamefully, I admit that I’ve judged them, forgetting that in this world there are those who have understanding and discernment and those that don’t.
 
Recently, God has been molding this judgment and anger out of me through repeated interactions with these people. People who have a direct influence and impact on our family, to the extent that we will allow, but do not have the discernment of the Spirit. Instead of becoming frustrated and judgmental and making myself crazy over why they do or don’t do things, I’ve been reminded to consider the fact that it’s because they lack the capability to understand. I can’t blame them. But what I can do is continue to walk in the Spirit and love them. Removing any expectations I may have that they would understand why our family does or doesn’t do things a certain way. Focusing on pleasing my Father in Heaven, not those who think our ways are foolish.
 
Sometimes for example, I believe our parenting looks foreign to those who don’t have the Spirit. It’s been a tremendous struggle over the years to parent Christian boys in a secular world. I’m always encouraged to hear we aren’t the only family setting boundaries in a world where they are basically nonexistent or very flimsy to say the least. In a world where the norm and popular way is not HIS way, we may tend to become discouraged or feel defeated. Remember though, He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world and He who is in us has OVERCOME!! Which means so have we!!
I pray that if we as Christians stick with it and keep fighting the good fight, eventually we will look beside us and see that the narrow path has become quite crowded because of the influence and example we leave along the way. Onward Christian soldiers!
 
Leah Parkin – Aug 27, 2017


Forgivness

“If you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14.
 
It’s the beginning of a new week. If you did a self inventory today, would you find that you are spiritually sick? Are you holding grudges? Maybe living angry? Is there an unhealthiness hidden deep inside that you’ve pushed so far down because whatever it is or was happened so long ago that you’ve just decided to move on and let things be? Remembering might be too painful so instead of addressing it, you decide to look right past it because if you’ve went this long what’s the point now? If you looked at your walk with God, would He say to you “go and forgive”? Do you feel as if you are walking in freedom or hiding from it? Maybe it’s a case of you needing to ask forgiveness from someone.
I’d like to encourage you to step out in faith today and examine your spiritual life. It takes faith to do that sometimes because it’s not always easy if we know something may be uncovered that isn’t pretty. When we take time to consider handing our hurt or sin over to God, then we are opening doors to spiritual freedom in our lives that can propel us right onto the path He has laid out for us. However, that path may be collecting cob webs while it’s waiting for us to take the step in that direction. If you hold anything against anyone this morning I encourage you to take some time in prayer with your Heavenly Father and ask Him to give you strength and opportunity to forgive, or to ask for forgiveness, which ever it may be. Both make the soul sick and hold us in captivity.
Maybe you need to forgive yourself. Have you ever considered that your hang ups of past mistakes are keeping you in the quicksand of life? The more you wrestle with yourself, the harder it grips you, the deeper you sink into darkness. Grab the hand that’s extending out today and allow yourself to be pulled to freedom so you can make strides towards walking in His destiny for you. Make an intentional choice to choose healing. You are too precious to let that go to waste. Time is not our friend. Don’t pass up another opportunity to forgive, we never know when it might be our last one. Blessings for a fruitful week.
 
Leah Parkin 8-21-17


Many Mansions

2 “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 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.” John 14:2-3.
 
This past weekend we did a lot of driving, we needed to stop one night to get a room because we just couldn’t drive any longer. We quickly scoped out something online that was a good rate (under $100 for the night, while hoping for no roaches) and called to make our reservation because though it was hard to tell, the pictures looked decent on the website. Upon arrival and seeing the place, we quickly questioned if the rate the lady gave us over the phone was correct. “It couldn’t be”, we said to one another. “It just couldn’t be!!” We parked and walked in, taking in the beauty of the grounds. A gorgeous golf course was being watered by a fountain sprinkler and the most beautiful, lush, flowering bushes of all colors laid the backdrop. White columns and brick stairs led to the front entrance that opened up to the shiniest white marble floors you’ve ever seen, doors adorned with decorative, golden door knobs, dangling, sparkling chandeliers, wood work that must have been crafted by a very skilled hand lined the very long, carpeted hallways and embellished the high ceilings, a vase of the deepest red roses we’d ever seen stood three feet tall on a round marble topped table that sat in front of an elegant fireplace that held a mantle with flowers in vases that probably cost more than our car, the clearest windows draped with satin floor length curtains framed the green fairway that was skirted by the most shapely trees and perfectly positioned was a gazebo that you’d see as a stage for a princess for her wedding. Our jaws dropped with each step we took. “No way! Maybe we misunderstood her over the phone about how much it will cost.” But, we didn’t so our excitement grew. She proceeded to tell us upon check in about the complimentary driving range access and complimentary breakfast. The next morning we gleefully discovered that it wasn’t just boxed cereal for little people with carton orange juice. No, it was a full spread with eggs and bacon, sausage and hashbrowns in silver warming trays along with a buffet of other yummy stuff. Silverware that was heavier than the full plate, cloth napkins and several different gourmet coffee flavors to choose from. The dining room was stunning with cherry carved woodwork, marble floors and copper tin topped tables next to a grand piano overlooking the immaculate landscaping. Iron tables and chairs with sturdy umbrellas to block the sun dawned a stone patio etched with character. An indoor pool that was built for Olympic swimmers had wicker furniture with cushions that lined the deck along with palm trees that added to the beach like ambiance. Ok, I think you get the point by now. It was NICE and we couldn’t believe it was for us.
 
It had me Kingdom thinking again, because honestly, that’s where my brain goes with just about every earthly encounter. If this earthly, temporal building can be so nice, I can’t imagine how Heaven will have me in awe. Jesus tells us that he has gone to prepare a room for us in His mansion. When we arrive we will probably not be able to believe that it’s actually something we can afford to stay in, or even something we are worthy of. But upon checking in, Jesus will tell us that the price has already been paid, no security deposit and the most exciting part…no checking out…EVER! He will also tell us that not only are you worthy to stay here but I made it with you specifically in mind. Isn’t that exciting to think about? Our imaginations can not even fathom how beautiful it will be. Beautiful won’t even be enough of an adjective to describe it. How amazing He is that He’s already got a place for us. A place beyond our wildest imaginations and we don’t even have to call ahead to make reservations, He’s already put our name on the list and is anxiously awaiting the day He can say, “welcome home child, welcome home.”
Leah Parkin
August 13, 2017


Forevers Gonna Start Tonight!!!

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15.
 
August 21st of this year something pretty awesome is going to take place. Have you heard or read about it? It’s a total eclipse of the heart, oh, I mean the sun. Well, for some parts of the U.S. anyway. Up here in the north country we will have a partial eclipse if we are lucky enough to have cloud free skies. Public safety announcement: don’t forget your eye protection.
With the upcoming eclipse and all the excitement about it, I’ve been reading a lot about the light and dark and how for just a very short time the animals will think it’s nighttime and become confused and start acting as if they are about to be in darkness for the next eight hours or so. Aside from that, if I’m being totally honest I can’t help but occasionally break out singing Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. You’re welcome, you will now have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day won’t you? Come on, sing a few words with me…”once upon a time there was light in my life, now there’s only love in the dark…forever’s gonna start tonight, forever’s gonna start tonight.” Can you even get through this without having to finish your hairbrush karaoke? I’m struggling to. Hahaha!
I’ve even recently read an “eclipse day preparation” article telling people to shop for food and gas early, check on the elderly, don’t drive on the highways if you can help it bc people will be stopping to watch and it could be dangerous. When considering all the scientific facts and preparations of this event I can’t help but put a Kingdom perspective on the light and dark that will touch America in a few short weeks. What would it look like if we prepped for eternity like we do for the temporary things of this world?
Jesus tells us that He is the light of the world, we are to follow suit and be a city on a hill, a lamp that lights the whole house. We cannot be covered up. He has overcome the darkness. With this upcoming “total” eclipse, does it mean that the sun is being turned off? No! Is darkness coming to stay? No! In fact, the sun will still be visible as it shines around the edges of the moon. It can’t be hidden. Though the animals may be confused, we will not be. We know that even if forever was to start tonight, those of us who have the light living in us will never be in total darkness. We may have seasons of darkness, but it will never consume us. Just as the moon will on the 21st, that season of darkness too shall pass and once it does, those that get to witness our testimony of coming through that darkness better have some eye protection because the light will be radiating off of us so immensely that no doubt others will be affected. May we all be reminded that no matter what or who tries to dim our light, the Son cannot be in total darkness, which means neither can we if He’s living within us. Let your light shine beautiful people, forever could start tonight.
Leah Parkin
August 2017


Give, Give, Give…

Give, give, give. We all know this is the season for giving but for some, just hearing those words might make a person cringe, feel badly, or be anxious as there may not even be enough funds left to toss a few coins into the oft seen large red kettles. Maybe we could start thinking beyond our normal idea of material things when we consider the area of giving. I didn’t look up the actual definition of the word, but to “give” makes me think of relinquishing something I have within my ability or possession for the sole benefit of the receiver. With that in mind, there are endless possibilities for us to give. Beyond the obvious financial giving, we might think of giving our time, although during this busy season even that may be hard to come by. The really good news is that gift giving can come in many different forms…we can come bearing gifts in many other ways that would greatly benefit others. Gifts like kindness and thoughtfulness are priceless treasures. In one casual conversation, we can extend encouragement to another person simply with our words. We can offer someone patience who seems frazzled and harried even when we bear the brunt of their behavior. Helping someone even when it is inconvenient is really such a great blessing. We can give someone who looks forlorn a smile or a hug. We could hand out gift bags filled with forgiveness or grace or mercy to people who we might feel are undeserving of it. All of these little gift packages can be given over and over, they can be regifted, and they can be given to anyone at any time. Although there is most often some amount of sacrifice in true giving (especially when we don’t really “feel” like doing it), the bottom line is it won’t cost us a penny, but the rewards will be great and farther reaching than we will probably ever know. God intends for us all to be generous givers, in more ways than one. May we keep our eyes open to the opportunities ever before us and our hearts sensitive to what ways His Spirit may be leading us to “give”. So here’s to the season of giving, in ways we all can afford!

Peggy Lago 12/20/16