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Is it Any Wonder They Call it… Amazing Grace – a Ragamuffin Blog

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The False Narrative of Systemic Racism by Police

Every unarmed black suspect killed by police in 2019 reviewed in attached video.

Total Unarmed Blacks Killed 2019: 9

Total Police officers in the USA: 686,665

Total arrests in the USA 2018: 10,310,960

So out of over 10 Million arrests – 9 unarmed black men were killed. Even if all of them were unwarranted (which they were not per the video below) the numbers would be and are proof positive that the police force in this country is not a systemically racist black killing machine.

YES – there are racists. YES – there are racist cops. YES – the killing of George Floyd was evil. YES – that cop should be charged and go to jail (which he has and is)

But that is not what people are rallying about.

They are rallying because of systematic injustice in the police system.

That narrative is absurdly false.

Those of you joining the movement and posting #defundthepolice are in error and contributing to the division and destruction of the country.

If black lives truly matter – and they do – these are not the actions to help them – these are the actions that will bring about all of our demise.

Please reconsider

Please choose the right

Please love your neighbor no matter their color or occupation

Please remember our hope is in Christ alone not in joining the new religion of white castigation, self-atoning obeisance, police-bashing, and intentional destruction of western civilization. These solutions are vastly worse than our current problems.

It is only through the hope of the Gospel that hearts are ultimately changed.

This is what we have to offer to the world:

Ephesians 2

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

One in Christ

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,d but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

https://www.statista.com/…/number-of-arrests-for-all-offen…/

Are We Safe Yet Washington State? Evaluating Covid 19 from a May 2020 Perspective

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In the last seven days initial estimates on Covid-19 related deaths in Washington State: 10

Two days had 0 deaths

LINK

The week before: 36 deaths

Estimated deaths from all causes for that same 2 week period in Washington State: 2282 deaths

 LINK (I took 2015 death rate and increased at the same ratio to account for the 2020 population increase)

This means that 2238 of the 2282 people who died in Washington State over the past 2 weeks (or 98.1%) died of something other than Covid-19 even with our “generous” counting methods.

A total of 749 people in Washington state died from Covid-19 through 4/26. 7 of those deaths were people under the age of 40 and 0 deaths under the age of 19 and less than 10% are under the age of 60.

396 of the deaths are among those age 80 or older. One of the worst aspects of our society is the devaluing of the elderly so I do not take these deaths lightly. But there are 247,928 people in Washington age 80 or older giving a mortality rate in the worst demographic of .16%. The overall mortality rate in the state is .01%

LINK LINK

Based on this data should all age groups have the same precautions placed upon them?

Here are the counties that are currently shut down – small business forced to close, churches not meeting, only essential travel, no hair dressers or barbers, no new construction – these counties haven’t had a SINGLE Covid-19 death in the entire month of April as of 4/26.

Asotin County, Chelan County, Douglas County, Grant County, Island County, Kitsap County, Adams County, Clallam County, Cowlitz County, Grays Harbor County, Jefferson County, San Juan County, Stevens County, Thurston County, Walla Walla County, Whitman County, Ferry County.

And here are additional counties that haven’t had a death in the past 2 weeks

Franklin County, Klickitat County, Lewis County, Spokane County, Whatcom County.

Friends – that is most of the state. May I ask a question?

Based on this data should we be putting the exact same restrictions on every area – rural and urban?

Is it really necessary for business owners to be losing their life’s work, for our constitutional and God-granted freedoms be forfeited, for our government to tether us to a massive debt?

Or could we open – now – in many areas? Could our most vulnerable be trusted to decide for themselves the risks they are willing to take? And could we allow the rest of us to return for the most part to business as usual?

Based on the data above the answer is “Yes!”

#UseYourVoice #ShareThis

Is it Time to Dial Back our Reactions to Covid-19?

For the fourth time in 2 weeks the “top projection study” has significantly revised their death projections downward. This is not due to the “shelter-in-place” order as that was factored into all of the projections they produced. LINK

Some observations:

1) Covid-19 appears to be more aggressive than the seasonal flu and requires caution especially among higher risk individuals. Though at least at this point the last season’s flu killed more than double the number of people Covid-19 has. LINK

2) In highly populous areas like New York the virus spreads faster and has the potential to overrun medical facilities. But in recent days the fears that there would be a massive shortage of beds even in NYC have been to shown to be wildly ill-founded. LINK

3) The over-all rate of death in the US is unlikely to be meaningfully changed versus the average year. In fact due to us not being out and about the death rate in the United States has significantly fallen believe it our not. Meaning far less people are dying than is normal. (see chart below based on NCHS Data)

No photo description available.

Questions I feel we should all be asking.

1) Why is this a one size fits all approach? For example in my home state of Washington – Ferry County – has 0 active cases of Covid-19 (they have 1 recovered patient). Why should traveling, golfing, restaurants, small businesses, and schools be shut down? In my county, Grant, we have 140 cases and 2 deaths.

No photo description available.

This is not hospital overrun or mass death. Why are we committing mass economic suicide? Did you know that there is only 1 county that has over 100 deaths in this state? King County – where as of today, 4/18/2020, 330 people have died with 4,865 tested infections. The population of King County is 2.25 million. 720 people died in King County from unintentional injury for the most recent year with data – more than double Covid-19 in our hardest hit region. LINK

I ask again – Why the panic? Why the suicide pill?

2) Of course the answer is “because we want to flatten the curve – we want to not overwhelm hospitals – and we want to reduce the death count.” Okay questions…

Hasn’t the curve been flattened and hasn’t the death rate been significantly below the projected models with mass enforced social distancing protocols? Answer is emphatically – Yes!

Have hospitals been overwhelmed throughout the country dealing with Covid-19 cases? No (NYC has been hit hard but even there the 2500 bed rapidly built hospital is only using 330 beds and the “experts” are saying they are over the hump) In many cases throughout the country medical staff are being laid off because there are not enough patients to pay their salaries.

One example – LINK

Please please note – this is not AT ALL to say medical staff are not nobly and heroically demonstrating supreme dedication and care to those with Covid-19. They ARE and I am grateful for what they show me about the people that make up our country.

And while fending off those who think of this as a zero-sum game – meaning either I join in on the panic or I hate old people – let me also say any death is tragic and I am grieved with all of you who have been affected personally by this virus. And I am grateful to serve a King who has conquered over death and to know there is coming a day for all who hope in Him where death will be finally trampled under foot.

Back to the article.

“We want to reduce death count.” Is what we are doing going to reduce the death count? How is immunity to a virus developed in a group? One way is via vaccine – this is apparently the only way from guys like Bill Gates (why is he involved?) and Dr. Fauci (a lifelong big pharma guy).

Here are some incontrovertible facts. 1) We do not have a vaccine. 2) The most optimistic reports state that it would be a least a year to develop and mass produce a vaccine. 3) We CANNOT survive as a country without business until a vaccine is developed. The obvious (to me at least) conclusion from these facts is that we must reopen the country BEFORE we have a vaccine. And when we do more people will get sick thus creating a “second wave.” Since the facts point to this conclusion why are we committing economic suicide before submitting to the inevitable? What will be different next week or month about the coronavirus? Will we have a cure then? Will Corona wink out of existence then? No! And if “no” what are we doing to ourselves?

Which leads me to my second point – vaccine is not the only way (or most common way) of developing immunity. The most common way is via people getting sick, developing immunity and thus protecting the most vulnerable. The good news with Covid-19 is that children seem to be thankfully, very little impacted and could help protect their grandparents from this virus. More good news 98% or more of people recover from this virus – MANY a-symptomatically. Forbes has a long article on this (and other points) which I will link here. LINK

But here is a salient point.

“Standard epidemic models, such as the Kermack-McKendrick model from 1927, emphasize that in the absence of vaccines and treatments, epidemics only conclude when herd immunity is achieved in the population. Herd immunity refers to the proportion of the population that is immune to the source of infection. When the proportion of the population which becomes infected and then immune is sufficiently high, the total number of infections stabilizes, instead of growing.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who advises the President on COVID-19, a vaccine for COVID-19 will not be available for at least 10 months. Therefore, the country is going to have to rely on herd immunity if it is to end the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. this year.”

Additional Questions:

– Why are we insisting on counting anything as a Covid-19 death even if that was not the root problem? And even if Covid-19 wasn’t tested for? There are many anecdotal stories of this out there plus the CDC has put the policy into writing.

“COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death.” LINK

And here is a doctor talking about it

Are we trying to peddle fear? If we published a Johns Hopkins style blip map of every way Americans or world citizens have died on a daily basis – would it inspire fear? And if we posted on every page of social media and the news the running total of deaths how would it not be rightly said that you are trying to peddle fear to gain power over people and to control their actions?

And that leads me to a final question for all of us.

How is it possible that we have so quickly surrendered the liberty and freedom that have long defined us as a nation?

We are not allowed to go to church even with social distancing. We cannot drive where we please (how driving is not social distancing I have no idea). Our small business have been forced to shut down. We are not allowed to go to work. Gun stores are shut down while abortion mills and marijuana stores are deemed essential.

Since when do we trust the government to be our parent? Are we the people really considered so dumb that we cannot think for ourselves? Do we not all -every day – make evaluations about risks and activities and then choose whether or not to participate in them? There is risk inherent in driving a car (the numbers suggest far more risk than corona) yet we have insisted on our freedom to drive. What we choose to eat and drink we are free to choose yet both again lead to far more death than Corona. If we were given rations and our freedom to eat and drink as we choose were encroached upon we would NOT tolerate it. So why rush to give up our blood bought liberties because of corona?

“We the people” is the opening line to our constitution. I am not advocating a war with weapons – I am saying we have the amazing freedom in America to exercise our freedom to speak. We have the freedom to learn and evaluate on our own. We have the ability to not just receive what is fed us. We have to right to say, “No! We do not want a 6 trillion dollar bribe for our silence.”

We want our business owners to have the freedom to unlock their doors. We want the freedom to worship as we see fit. We want the freedom to travel. We want the freedom to evaluate for ourselves the risks and precautions we will take – not have them thrust upon us in a one size fits all approach.

Life has inherent risks. The freedom to accept those risks and live life is part of what it means to be human. This is not a “throw caution to the wind” article – it is article pushing back on the idea that we must panic, we must hunker down and we must destroy our lives. And I hope to encourage you to use your voice to speak to your neighbors, friends and government leaders.

So Governor Jay Inslee – this is one voice asking that our freedom be restored.

#ShareThis

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Covid-19, Abortion and Seeking the Lord

Covid-19 is taking its toll on the US I feel it – the uncertainty, the fear, the mounting cases and corresponding death tolls, the economic uncertainty….

I’m a numbers guy – and I keep tracking every day – What is the death rate? What is the R0 rating? What are the projections?

And I am a God guy. In this case meaning I believe God rules over all things on heaven and on earth and does whatever he pleases. His rule includes Covid-19. So I am asking myself where is God in this circumstance? What does he have for me – for my neighbors and friends – for the world?

As I have reviewed the numbers I keep comparing Covid-19 with other deaths and I keep being shocked by what a tiny number it is compared to abortion. This is not to minimize the devastation of the virus. We are rightfully saddened by the deaths it has and will cause.

But, how many of us, myself included, have anything approaching what we feel about Covid-19 directed towards the loss of life via abortion.

The map below shows the total number of deaths in the US from Covid-19 at 3,902 as of this morning. And what an alarming number that is. And yet for March 2020 alone in the US more than 78,000 babies have been aborted. That’s more than 20 times the cumulative total of Covid-19 deaths. 20 times!

I posted yesterday from Amos 3 – God asks his people this question – “Does disaster come to a city unless the LORD has done it?” It is a rhetorical question and the answer is No. The Lord is in and rules over even disasters. And as in Amos he has something to teach us.

In Job 37 it describes God’s rule over the destructive elements of the world and the section concludes with this needed truth: “whether for correction or for his land or for love, he (God) causes it to happen.”

What God’s purposes in this crisis are I can only speculate. Abortion has been a blight on our national conscience for over 40 year. Millions have been killed on the altar of convenience and self-absorption and very few of us bother to consider it much less care. We refuse to look.

There is an invitation in the middle of the the judgement that Amos declares and it says “Seek the Lord and live.”

“Seek good, and not evil,
that you may live;
and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you,
as you have said.
Hate evil, and love good,
and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts,
will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. “

“Seek me and live;
but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
or cross over to Beersheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
and Bethel shall come to nothing.”

Seek the LORD and live,
lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,
O you who turn justice to wormwood
and cast down righteousness to the earth!

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the morning
and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the LORD is his name;”

There is hope beyond Covid-19. There is hope for a calloused nation that causally murders its young and most vulnerable. There is hope for you and me – sinners though we are.

This is the hope I need and my friends need and the world needs. It is a hope that goes far beyond the hope of Covid-19 going away. Infinitely greater hope. Jesus said “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28.

Yes fear Him because he rules over all things. It is before Him that you will give an account.

But then Jesus adds,

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

Perhaps Covid-19 is an opportunity for repentance- yes of our national sins – and yes of our personal sins. The invitation of God is clear “Seek the Lord and LIVE!”

https://dailycaller.com/…/coronavirus-map-united-states-de…/

https://worldpopulationreview.com/…/abortion-rates-by-state/

Covid-19 is taking its toll on the US I feel it – the uncertainty, the fear, the mounting cases and corresponding death tolls, the economic uncertainty….

I’m a numbers guy – and I keep tracking every day – What is the death rate? What is the R0 rating? What are the projections?

And I am a God guy. In this case meaning I believe God rules over all things on heaven and on earth and does whatever he pleases. His rule includes Covid-19. So I am asking myself where is God in this circumstance? What does he have for me – for my neighbors and friends – for the world?

As I have reviewed the numbers I keep comparing Covid-19 with other deaths and I keep being shocked by what a tiny number it is compared to abortion. This is not to minimize the devastation of the virus. We are rightfully saddened by the deaths it has and will cause.

But, how many of us, myself included, have anything approaching what we feel about Covid-19 directed towards the loss of life via abortion.

The map below shows the total number of deaths in the US from Covid-19 at 3,902 as of this morning. And what an alarming number that is. And yet for March 2020 alone in the US more than 78,000 babies have been aborted. That’s more than 20 times the cumulative total of Covid-19 deaths. 20 times!

I posted yesterday from Amos 3 – God asks his people this question – “Does disaster come to a city unless the LORD has done it?” It is a rhetorical question and the answer is No. The Lord is in and rules over even disasters. And as in Amos he has something to teach us.

In Job 37 it describes God’s rule over the destructive elements of the world and the section concludes with this needed truth: “whether for correction or for his land or for love, he (God) causes it to happen.”

What God’s purposes in this crisis are I can only speculate. Abortion has been a blight on our national conscience for over 40 year. Millions have been killed on the altar of convenience and self-absorption and very few of us bother to consider it much less care. We refuse to look.

There is an invitation in the middle of the the judgement that Amos declares and it says “Seek the Lord and live.”

“Seek good, and not evil,
that you may live;
and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you,
as you have said.
Hate evil, and love good,
and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts,
will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. “

“Seek me and live;
but do not seek Bethel,
and do not enter into Gilgal
or cross over to Beersheba;
for Gilgal shall surely go into exile,
and Bethel shall come to nothing.”

Seek the LORD and live,
lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph,
and it devour, with none to quench it for Bethel,
O you who turn justice to wormwood
and cast down righteousness to the earth!

He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
and turns deep darkness into the morning
and darkens the day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out on the surface of the earth,
the LORD is his name;”

There is hope beyond Covid-19. There is hope for a calloused nation that causally murders its young and most vulnerable. There is hope for you and me – sinners though we are.

This is the hope I need and my friends need and the world needs. It is a hope that goes far beyond the hope of Covid-19 going away. Infinitely greater hope. Jesus said “do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28.

Yes fear Him because he rules over all things. It is before Him that you will give an account.

But then Jesus adds,

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

Perhaps Covid-19 is an opportunity for repentance- yes of our national sins – and yes of our personal sins. The invitation of God is clear “Seek the Lord and LIVE!”

https://dailycaller.com/…/coronavirus-map-united-states-de…

https://worldpopulationreview.com/…/abortion-rates-by-state/

What if….? The Power and Promises of God that bring Peace in Uncertainty

FEAR
In recent weeks the entire world seems to have been caught in grip of its cold steel tongs.

What if I or my loved ones contract Corona Virus?

What if _________ becomes president of the United States?

The stock market is plunging – How can I feel secure?

The wheels of the world seem to be coming off as we fly at breakneck speed over some unseen precipice.

BE STILL

“Be still and know that He is God!”

“Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”

PEACE – SELAH

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

SELAH – PEACE

“Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.

Be still, and know that I am God.”

There is a God in heaven who rules over the affairs of men. Those who trust in Him are glad. Even in great storms when the waves swamp the deck of our little boats – our anchor strikes firmly on the rock.

HIS PROMISES:

“I will never leave your or forsake you”

“Fear not! I am the one who helps you.”

“I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no Savior.”

“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”

“”Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

“Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.”

TRUST HIM!

These are God’s promises to his people – to all who are His. Instead of giving in to fear turn your eyes to the One who alone rules over all things – to the one who has provided redemption and life and joy and peace that endures through any towering waves in this life.

If you don’t know this God – Seek Him today while he may be found – Call upon Him and you will find He is very near.

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.

He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;

God is a refuge for us. Selah”

Featured post

Life as a Symphony

See the source image

Life is like a frenetically played William Tell Overture. It gallops by at breakneck speed punctuated by shocking staccato notes that make us gasp in pain and pleasure and then concludes as a dramatic dissonant chord with unplayed notes hanging in the air.

But this is but a beginning. More – it is but the faintest breath of a beginning – the opening bars of an ongoing symphony.

And when the page is turned we will find the notes resolve and are played with a sweetness that we could not have imagined previously. The scale of time will extend like the vanishing point of a master painter’s watercolor sunset. And we will wonder how we ever lived any other way.

Featured post

Kobe Bryant – 1978-2020

Along with many of you I am shocked and saddened by Kobe and his daughter’s death as well as those others who were in the helicopter with them. No matter when it comes, death is shocking. But when it comes like this to a young man and young girl – to a celebrity – suddenly – it is even more shocking.

But as shocking as it is to me, I wonder how many of us consider that our days are also numbered. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. While shocked when an event like this happens we struggle to bring the reality home to ourselves. We naively believe “this will never happen to me.”

But it will – at some point or another – all of us face sudden death. “It is appointed to men once to die and after this the judgement.” Were Kobe and Gianna prepared to stand before a holy God today? I pray they were. But perhaps the more appropriate question to ask ourselves is – Are we? Am I ready?

“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

If you mind immediately goes to evaluating whether or not you are a good enough person – could I just encourage you to consider a different answer? The Bible says that NONE of us are good. NONE of us stand a chance before a holy God – because God is perfect and nothing and no one imperfect can stand before Him.

Kobe wasn’t perfect. Gianna wasn’t perfect. I am not perfect. You are not perfect. And the Bible says the just penalty for our imperfection or sin is death.

There is One who is perfect and His name is Jesus. Every other religion says be good enough – work your way to God. Christianity says God comes down to us. Jesus – the perfect, spotless Lamb of God – came to dwell among us – to die our death and be resurrected to triumph over sin, death and the grave.

We are joined to the life of Jesus, not by working for it, but by believing that the gift of God to sinners is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” II Corinthians 5:21

“Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”
Romans 4:4

This is my hope and I hope that it is yours as well. But if it isn’t – I pray that you do not let this tragic reminder of our mortality go to waste. Turn to the Lord and you will find him welcoming you with open arms.

Monday Morning Armor

It is Monday
– My oldest son is in the final stages of getting a job
– My second son just moved out by himself and starts college today and needs a job
– I have a son in running start who also needs a job
– My 13 year old is in public school and needs to have a good year in school
– Christie is homeschooling to youngest two which is great but requires a lot from her
– I have good news to deliver at work today
– The Moses Lake branch is in the final push of winning the cup for the year
– It is the end of the year at the bank and the stress level across the division is higher than normal
– I have a ton of work to do to prepare for the new fiscal year
– I would like to try something new with my division this year but I’m not sure how to implement it – and will required a lot of creative energy to work through
– I have friends in difficult places in their lives and I am burdened for them
– In my own life I feel restless and unsettled this morning.
– I have internal questions around my ability, stamina, adequacy to be enough for my family, friends, colleagues, church – and even for myself.

This is a typical stream of consciousness that hits me right away in the morning – especially Monday mornings. It seems as though the expectation of me in life is to make it all work and walk through unfazed by its challenges. But I know from a long history of looking internally to my own resources for help that they are in fact inadequate. And so am I – at least on my own.

Yesterday I taught on Psalm 33 and discussed specifically this “morning battle” Here are a couple thoughts that particularly struck me.

The Psalmist begins with praise. Praise requires me to look outward and away from my own self reliance. Praising God when you are feeling overwhelmed is hard but also even more needed.

Secondly as the Psalmist begins to describe the power of God he says: “He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.”
The Psalmist MEANS for this to strike awe in me and it does. God is heaping the depths of the ocean and containing them like we do grain in a grain bin (which happens to also be beyond my ability). This reality is meant to fill my heart with awe and fill my mouth with praise.

But then he says this: “No king is saved by the multitude of an army A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety Neither shall it deliver ANY by its great strength.” This means my own resources (even if were a king with a mighty horse and great army which I’m not) are INSUFFICIENT to meet my problems BUT the God who scooped the ocean into grain bins….. He “might” have the strength, knowledge and wisdom to. But will he help me in my need?

Psalm 33:18: “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name.

Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, Just as we hope in you.”

Anxiety piling up? Feel stretched thin? Worried? Worn? Defeated? – Lift your gaze in praise! Look away from your own resources and look to the maker of ocean storehouses. Look with awe and delight at the creator this Monday morning. And remember that for those that know him – who hope in his mercy (and if you don’t you can right now) – He is our help and our shield.

Monday Morning Armor = God: Ocean-Container

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A Prayer for Monday Mornings

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It is Monday morning and the week ahead looms in my mind – so much to do. Some things I am eagerly anticipating, others feel like a weight. All the worries and cares in my life rush in – especially on Monday mornings. What shall I do?

I will cast my cares on the Lord for he cares for me!

I will consider the birds chirping around my house this morning and remember they neither sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, but My Father feeds them

I will remember my Father knows my needs and so I am free to seek Him and His kingdom above what he provides.

I will not borrow from all the potential troubles ahead but give today’s cares to the Lord

I will lift up my heart to the Lord and not be anxious – trusting in his provision and care for me as a good Father.

I will remember that even in difficulty, stress, embarrassment, failure, loss – You are my refuge and strength and nothing can separate me from Your love.

So Lord I give You this day and this week with eyes turned to You – incline my heart after You – may this week by Your Spirit be used to shape me increasingly to the image of Your Son and may I find this week, in ways I have have never experienced before, that in YOU alone all my longings are met.

In Jesus Name

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