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Play Ball!

Play Ball!

To listen to the podcast, click here.

School is out. Summer has settled in. The sun is out as we make our way to Wrigley Field. Countless steps are climbed as the anticipation builds. Vendors are shouting out what’s for sale. Mascots are walking around getting their picture taken with fans. Finally, a step out of the concrete corridor into the open stadium of a beautiful baseball field. A moment of awe catches my breath in a sense of wonderment. The smell of hot dogs and cotton candy are in the air. Baseball players are warming up, ready to take the field. I stand at attention as the National Anthem is sung. After the final note, we all shout, “PLAY BALL!” The Reds take the field as we cheer and settle in with the anticipation of a win. Cheers and Boos are shouted throughout the game. A display of fireworks marks the win for the Reds. What a beautiful day at the park!

High School baseball begins Mid-March. Not exactly summer! The sun comes out on occasion, but is usually accompanied with wind. By Mid-April, we have played eleven games. Each game I’ve dressed in layers. Tights, pants, shirt, sweatshirt, winter coat, hat, gloves and two blankets. I look like an eskimo ready for a winter storm! Not exactly baseball weather. After the National Anthem is played, I yell Play Ball through chattering teeth. Music played between innings encourages fans to clap their hands. Um, no thank you. My hands are warm and bundled up. They are not coming out! Needless to say, it has not been ideal baseball weather.

Jesus was sitting on a hillside, enjoying the weather and company around him. The crowd grew with anticipation of His teachings. All day, He was in His happy place teaching others about the love of God. By evening, 5000+ people had gathered and it was time for supper. How do you feed 5000+ people? With 5 loaves and 2 fish of course! The people gathered witnessed a miracle. 5000+ people were fed and several baskets of leftovers were gathered. The crowd jumped to their feet, cheered for the Home team, high-fived their neighbors around them. Jesus hit a grand slam!!  

Towards the end of Jesus’ journey, guards approached Him, ready to arrest Him. Peter, distraught to see his beloved leader being arrested, pursued the closest guard and cut off his ear. Witnessing this, Jesus leaned over, placed His hand on the wounded soldier and healed his ear. Not exactly a warm, sunny day at the park. More like a frigid, bundle up kind of day. The conditions weren’t perfect, yet Jesus healed anyway. 

I do not enjoy being bundled up to watch my son play baseball. Yet, I’m there anyway cheering him on with anticipation of a win. 

Come rain or shine Jesus is ready and willing to shower us with miracle after miracle. His ever presence is not wavered by the weather or our state of mind. Thank goodness! He is ready to Play Ball 24/7 365.

Think back through your day or yesterday. Where did you see Jesus? He is in the layers that have kept me warm. Time opened up in my day to take care of unexpected needs. Friends step up, interrupt their day to come help at a moment’s notice. He provided the extra vehicles when one had broken down. Jesus is in the sun at my back to keep me warm during another cold baseball game. Jesus is everywhere and in everything we do.

Open your eyes and heart to see Jesus in your life. He is playing ball with you in all you do come rain or shine. How has He hit a grand slam for you today.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together, playing ball with Jesus.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

Jesus

Jesus

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Jesus pre-planned and executed a walk in the woods with me recently. He knows me best and plans ahead more than I do to prepare what is needed most; time with Him. 

Take a walk with me for a moment. Walking through the woods, my mind is rolling through the day’s events, yesterday’s events and the events to come. I’m thinking about the conversations I’ve had with people, the conversation I’m currently having with Jesus and the conversations that might occur in the future. Then, I start thinking about people with health needs. My litany of prayer begins and before I know it, I’ve listed several who need to be healed. At this point, I’m getting overwhelmed with the needs all around me. We live in a dark world where my light seems to be only a flicker and not a flame. My mind freezes in moments of inadequacy. The only thing I can say is, “Jesus.” Over and over, “Jesus.” 

Meandering around small towns and their shops reveal what some find as treasures when others see junk. It’s interesting to me to see the eclectic variety of “antiques” that are sold. On a beautiful sunny afternoon, I was meandering through some small town shops. A picture window had a fun display of Coke a Cola paraphernalia. Their window appeal worked and I walked into the store. I took three steps in and froze in my tracks. Stuff was everywhere. It didn’t seem organized or placed properly, the paths through the store were narrow and cluttered. My mind froze. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t think. My eyes and my brain were in overdrive trying to figure out what in the world was going on in this store. The wheels were spinning too fast and the store was closing in around me. I finally gossled myself back to reality, said, “I don’t think so,” turned around and left. The Coke a Cola display can stay where it’s at. There will be another one somewhere else. 

The world desperately needs the love and healing of Jesus. I want what Jesus wants; all to become part of His eternal family. And yet the wide scope of the desire overwhelms me and stops me in my tracts. My mind keeps rolling with hurts and pains of the world, yet my words are frozen inside. I gossle myself as I whisper, “Jesus.” and a little louder and then strong and confident, “Jesus.” His name is sufficient. His name is powerful. His name says it all. 

The thing is, I want to overcome my frozen state of mind, have a clear, confident mind of Christ, and continue to converse with Him even in the midst of chaos. 

Recently I was reminded of the Jesus Prayer with a twist at the end. “Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, your daughter.” Instead of sinner at the end, I replaced it with daughter or you can insert your name. This simple prayer is packed with power.

Jesus is my Savior. Above all else, He has saved me from my sinful life, drew me into His loving arms of grace to be His forever daughter.

Christ has anointed me with the Holy Spirit who has given me the power of authority, boldness, wisdom, compassion and insight. It is not I, but Christ who lives within me.

Son of the living God gives me my identity as His heir, His beloved daughter, His shining light for all to see. 

Have mercy on me, your daughter. His mercy showers grace over me and in my life. I don’t deserve the goodness of His blessing, yet He gives it because He loves me, because I am His daughter. 

I’ve prayed this several times lately and my spirits are lifted immediately and my soul is refreshed by who He is to me.

Even if you’re not feeling overwhelmed at the moment, the prayer still has power and can bring you to a new level of His love for you. Pray this prayer when your brain freezes or you don’t know what to pray. 

I’m going to close a little differently and pray this prayer for you. 

My precious friend, may you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Be confident in His saving power and His forgiveness. Look up and feel Christ pouring His anointing over you. Allow Christ in you to be the authority over all things and fill you with His boldness to take the next step closer to Him. May you understand the wisdom He freely gives and guide your path and give compassion to all you interact with. May your eyes be open to His insight and guidance in becoming the child of God He has created you to be. May He shower you with His mercy as you pause, breathe in His presence and exhale His peace in all you do. Amen.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this, praying together, in Him.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

Layer Up!

Layer Up!

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Continuing education excites the life long students at heart. While some inwardly groan at the thought of sitting for a long period of time listening to lecture after lecture. Find a happy place with a little bit of lecture and a little bit of realistic experience and then life is good!

A few weeks ago I was invited to join a diverse group of people sharing in the desire to learn more about survival, first aid and firearm skills. We had a long day, enough information to make my head spin, practical first aid training and firearm training with the finest instructors.

As we drove back to the hotel, my mind replayed the day and all the information that was shared. New information and skills built upon previous knowledge and experience.

One of the exercises was to properly pack a puncture wound. No one wants to be the one to step up and go first. After a few seconds of awkwardness, I stepped up and began to pack and wrap our instructor’s “puncture wound.” When I finished, he gave me a raised eyebrow and said it was done very well, as if you had done this before. HA! Nope. Years of wrapping sprained ankles for Mark and my son allowed me to expertly warp his arm. I did learn a new skill to twist the bandage on top of the wound to give additional pressure to stop the bleeding.

We also took some time at the firing range. We had former Navy SEALs and professional marksmen to instruct, correct and refine our skills. Over the last 10 years I have spent some time at a firing range. I started out slow, once a year, with a trusted brother-in-law. Overtime, my cautiousness of a firearm grew into respect for the power of the weapon. During the last few years I have taken several courses of safety, awareness and skills for handling a firearm. Each time, the one thing I was struggling with was discussed and worked on. While I was at the latest workshop, we did a drill that focused on what to do when your gun jams. Previously, I had no idea what to do. I simply set it down, stepped back and let someone else who knew what they were doing, fix the jam. Because of the experts who were there to help us, they showed us how and performed drills on how to fix a jam, without losing focus, while keeping an eye on our target. To say the least, the training was very beneficial. I walked away more confident and loaded with new knowledge on handling my firearm.

Each trip to the shooting range and each class I take, my knowledge, understanding and skills deppen. With a variety of “Continuing Education” options, it can be beneficial and doesn’t have to be dreaded. Layer up your knowledge of what interests you. There is always something new to learn.

During the last several months, I’ve joined a Bible study group during the week. Life is busy and schedules get complicated. Yet, adding Bible study to my weekly schedule has proven beneficial.

At the moment we are studying the book of Revelation. My first response was an inward groan. I’ve studied the book of Revelation several times over the years. I have a difficult time translating and understanding the imagery of the contents. I get stuck on the imagery and miss the significance. I went in with my understanding up to this point, willing to layer on information to see if it would make a little more sense to me.

After a couple of weeks, I had learned more and understood what I did not understand before. I have added several new layers to my understanding and knowledge of Revelation.

Knowledge, understanding and growth occurs in layers. Along with life experience, each new layer  deepens my wisdom as well.

The areas we layer up knowledge are our passions and interests. Interests can also change over the years. A diversity of interests ignites a stronger desire to  layer up.

My friends, what are your passions and interests? What do you want to layer up your knowledge on? May you have an inner desire to lay up on Jesus. All knowledge and wisdom is an intricate part of who you are. Who do you want at the core and soul of your being? I tried me and it didn’t work out so well. I am layering up to have Jesus more and more be at the core and soul of my being. Give it a try and layer up on your knowledge of Jesus.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this, layering up together, in HIm.

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

Unfailing Hope

Unfailing Hope

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Ever asked someone so many questions that they asked if they’re being interrogated? Or get the glassed over eye look? Yeah, I get that a lot from my kids. Usually includes several eye rolls! I like to ask questions, with an occasional, here we go again, mumbled in the background. It’s okay. One day they will appreciate it! 

When something strikes my interest, the questions begin. When meeting someone new, the basic questions are asked. What do you do? How big is your family? What do you do for fun? Etc. At times, I keep questions to myself, observe and come up with a conclusion that can be confirmed in additional conversations at a later time. 

Searching out answers to our questions enhances knowledge and wisdom. You can Google just about anything and have an answer within seconds. Gone are the days of sifting through reference books and microfiche at the library. (I just dated myself!!)

Several times, while teaching, my students would ask me a question that I did not know the answer to. Instead of making something up, I told them, “I don’t know. But I’ll find out and get back to you.” 

At times, for whatever reason, an answer can not be found. Rationality, common sense and personal experience forms an opinion that best answers the unknown. Sometimes spot on, sometimes out in left field!

My sweet, intelligent friends, we don’t have to have the answers all the time. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” You don’t have to have an answer for everything. It’s impossible anyway! There are a few, “Why?” questions I’ll never have the answers to. 

How do you handle questions that you don’t have the answers to? Well, let’s start with a few you can answer. (Please take a moment and give some thought and answer these questions.)

What’s your name?

How old are you? JUST KIDDING!!

Anything exciting happened today?

(entire teenage eye roll!)

What is your disposition at this moment? Happy, joyful, anxious, nervous, easy going?

What life circumstance is occupying most of your thoughts and emotions? 

Is it a glass half empty or glass half full kind of day?

Where is your hope on a scale of 1-10? 1 being the lowest, 10 being the highest.

Frustration has a tendency to kick in when I don’t know the answers or life circumstances aren’t what I’d thought they would be. Frustration ignites giving up. Giving up fuels hopelessness. Hopelessness is a dangerous place to be. 

A 6 six year old girl was having a no good, very bad day. As I walked up to her it was evident she was upset. I asked why she was so sad. She went into a dramatic explanation of such sadness. Trying to reason with a rather dramatic six year old was futile. Encouragement, rephrasing from a different point of view or numerous hugs, the response was still “Whoa is me, I’m so mistreated.” At this point, only the precious six year could work her way out of hopelessness. 

A variety of life circumstances and unanswered questions could leave me hopeless; if I chose to be. The thing is, life circumstances and unanswered questions don’t have that much power over me. It’s my decision to choose hopelessness or hope, no matter the circumstance. 

“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.” John 1:14

Who is the Word that became human? (Jesus)

Where did He make His home? (Among us. In us. All around us.)

What overflowed from Him? Unfailing love and faithfulness

Let’s pause and look at unfailing love and faithfulness for a moment. Can you name one thing that has never failed? I can’t think of a thing. My pen exploded after using it a few times. I snagged one of my favorite tops after having it for over a year. Something may fail instantly or may last for a long time before it starts breaking down. Everything has failed at one point in time. God’s love is UNfailing. His love never breaks down, never stops working, always loves no matter what. Never ceasing. 

His faithfulness is relentless. If I were Him, I would have given up on me a long time ago. His faithfulness to me, to who He created me to be, gives a hope that is unfailing. What if we lived in His unfailing hope every day of our life? Instead of Whoa is me? Try; Okay Lord, my hope is in knowing and believing you’ve got this. You see something I don’t see. Let me lean into the hope of knowing Your greatness, peace and comfort. This may hurt right now, but I have Your unfailing hope that You will bring me through this and I will live in the hope You have for me. 

“….Love always hopes.” I Corinthians 13:7 God’s hope is unfailing. May I live in His unfailing hope every moment, every day. No matter the circumstances. No matter the life delay, may I rest in His unfailing hope. May I rest assured that my everyday hope is leading to my eternal hope in Him. 

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this, relying on His unfailing hope together, in HIm. 

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.

Winter Chub

Winter Chub

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Recently, I was wondering why my jeans were feeling a little tighter. I was hoping it was because I had been doing different exercises and my legs were stronger and getting a little bigger. That might be part of it, but I’m pretty sure it’s my winter chub settling in!

Spring, Summer and Fall are my favorite times to be outside, especially to ride my bike or walk. I’m one of the weird ones that like to work up a good sweat! Sweat out all of the nasty poisons in my body and breathe in the fresh air. Life is good!!

The stationary bike gets a break in the summer but is put to good use during the winter months. I was doing pretty well getting in a few rides a  week. Unfortunately, I began to slack in my exercise routine and now the chub is catching up with me. 

I think we all can agree that life is busy. Too many times this winter I’ve pushed working out aside to do other things. Bad idea!! Over the last couple of days, I’ve told myself, “Enough is enough! Step away from the cookies and go for a ride or walk!” I’m a slow learner and lack self-discipline with sweets. They are my weakness! But seriously, I’ve gained too much and it’s time to do something about it! Time to clean out the snack drawer and empty my chocolate secret hiding places!! Time to head to the bike instead of the refrigerator! It’s time!

Several times in the Gospel, people approached Christ asking what they needed to do to follow Him. One young ruler couldn’t handle His answer and walked away defeated and disappointed. You see, he did all the right things, said all the right things, kept all the commandments. Looking from the outside in, the young ruler was a good man and did many good things. But the one thing Christ asked him to do was incomprehensible. Jesus said, sell all our possessions, give your fortune to the poor and come follow me. But Lord, I can not, replied the young ruler. 

I’ve often wondered what was rolling around in his head at that moment. He may be thinking he’s done all the right things, why are you punishing me by telling me to sell everything I own, everything I’ve worked so hard for? I’ve said and done all the right things. Should I be allowed to keep my possessions? 

There lies the problem. The heart of the young ruler was still wrapped up in his possessions and not surrendered completely to Christ. He was doing all the right things for the wrong reason. In all you say and do, do for the glory of God. If you do anything for any other reason or purpose, it’s the wrong reason. 

My older brother was once a hot head teenage boy, and at times, got himself into scuffles. Being 6 years older than me, I learned what not to do to get grounded or have mom and dad upset with me.  Many of my life lessons are learned by seeing what not to do. Here, I’ve learned not to put my heart into worldly possessions or actions. I don’t want to walk away from Jesus with my heart in the wrong place. I want to walk towards and with Jesus. What does that look like for me? What, in my heart, do I cherish more than Him? What distraction chub do I need to get rid of?

At some point in our spiritual walk with Christ, we need to tell our distraction chub enough is enough. It’s time to do something different. It’s time to have a heart check and take a step closer to Jesus. In all I do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of Jesus. 

Truth be told, I didn’t make exercise a priority and now my winter chub is saying enough is enough. My distraction chub is saying enough is enough, I need me some Jesus!

“Whether you eat or drink, live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.” 1 Cor. 10:31

Tonight, a very sweet, wise, follower of Christ friend, shared words of encouragement with me. She probably has no idea how powerful her words of encouragement were, but she helped shed some distraction chub and nudged me a step closer to Jesus. 

My friend, the winter and distraction chub have no power over you. The Jesus that lives in you, defeated Satan to return to this earth and send the Holy Spirit. That same Jesus power is within us to defeat our winter and distraction chub. Encourage one another and build each other up. 

Whether you eat or turn and make a beeline for the bike, live your life in such a way it glorifies God. From the littlest, non-noticed actions to the everyday routine of life, do it in such a way that encourages someone else and brings a bigger smile to Jesus’ face. He delights in you already. Join Him in His delight over you.

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are shedding chub together, in Him. 

Share this moment we’ve shared with someone else. You can find more blogs and podcasts at my website: http://www.mollimoments.com to share with others. Be blessed and see you next time.