Start your engines, it’s a new work week and as always there’s lot of buzz about  “we can do it.” 

Work hard, try harder, earn more…. But what about that which we can’t do? Did anyone ask Rosie that?  There are some things that muscle, grit and strength do not provide no matter what gender you claim.  In all the equality talk I’d like to point out – there is One without equal, unrivaled who gives strength.

So this morning it is back to the grind. Remember when Huey Lewis sang,

“Hey I’m not complainin’ ’cause I really need the work,
Hittin’ up my buddy’s got me feelin’ like a jerk.
Hundred dollar car note, two hundred rent– I get a check on Friday,
but it’s already spent.”

It’s Monday morning and the highways are filled, it’s rush hour. Kids are back on the bus, back to school and racing to pull out assignments. People are at the water coolers all over America talking Olympics, news and weekend exploits. Pastors are wondering what went wrong over the weekend, some — what went right, janitors are cleaning up all kinds of mess in the pews. Workin for a livin…  It’s American, it’s what we do. President Trump is rolling out a new infrastructure budget, congress is planning on stalling, workers are preparing to fix, work and come Friday, grab a check and punch out. Scandals are being run through the presses, mamas are makin beds and  Investing in stocks, papas are cleaning houses, garbage collectors are rollin through the neighborhoods. 

T.G.I.F.  means people are looking forward to the weekend. The week has barely started and there is already talk about plans. At least in the world it works that way. What are your plans for the weekend? Will you feast, fast or go shopping? Where will you connect with God? Will you wear a new glittery outfit or blue jeans and a sweatshirt? Some will stock beer in their fridge; some will go to the grocery store after work. Some are already making choices they’ll regret. Some will set out special clothes and communion, preparing an extra setting at the table. Some will fling themselves in a lazy boy and pray their bones will last long enough to take them back to work on Monday morning. Some act and vision cast, some react and respond, the cycle will continue.

What is so paradoxical and wildly fun about the Gospel is this – it’s free. 

The payment, debt and hard work has already been done. It’s only Monday!  Free. We don’t earn it, we can’t work for it yet it gives LIFE – for free.  When Adam and Eve step into fellowship with God it happens because HE has done the work and they get to enjoy it. They work each day in celebration of HIS amazing provision. They weren’t working for a living, they were created with LIFE and then work to celebrate and thank that awesome creator. It levels the playing field because some  ALL women  (and some  ALL men) can’t do everything.  Even if they try their hardest, even if they don’t cheat, lie or steal.  No one can do what only Christ can do – justify someone. I hear Paul crying out thru history “I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil.4:13  

Over the weekend we had company. We ate,  visited and enjoyed conversation, laughter and life. The ice storm brought in an extra guest and we just celebrated the family and friend time.  By accident, last week  we had organized the house a little bit so we did not have to scramble to prepare. I’ve heard laughter is the best medicine but it was so fun to remember, celebrate and look forward to the future. It made all the work the weekend before worth it, it gave it meaning. If one of God’s biggest gifts to us is ENJOYMENT of Him and those around us , we would certainly be remiss to miss it. We would be crazy to not cash our employer’s bonus check right? That’s what these moments are like – an extra blessing or gift. One of the largest presents from God seems to be a pretty important one. One that we celebrate – not earn.

What’s the Word on the street today? Justification.

It means we don’t earn what God gives us – it’s free. Some have said it stands for ” just if I’d never done it ” but that puts emphasis again on us. Man, we love to be the stars and center of everything don’t we? It means positionally we stand loved and valued – before Monday morning starts. Do positions matter? Yep, if it’s this one. Jesus served up a good ol plate of grace and salvation – something He did.  It’s FREE. Some say, “That person’s actions were justified.” It means that there was a good reason for what they did. With humans we really don’t have a reason–  we are without excuse. No amount of work, service or great skill, title, education or perfection makes us worthy in God’s eyes. Remember, it was human folks that beat up and crucified His son. That’s not going away. Son’s lives matter – that crucified Life mattered. But instead of God being ticked – He forgave and justified those who believe in His son. He accepted the payment which was very costly to Him.

That truly is amazing grace and it’s free.

We can’t ignore, remarket or sweep  sins under some cosmic carpet. We were, we are guilty and deserve the death penalty yet God in His mercy forgives and frees us.

You might say those  red letters wiped out that death sentence.  Word!

 Jesus preached with His very life.  We can now rejoice and thank God – on menacing Mondays. On terrible Tuesdays,  wicked Wednesdays, threatening Thursdays,  Fatigued Fridays, Sad Saturdays and  even spiritually dry Sundays. For Free, He’s paid the debt, covered the cost.

That is not like a free basket of kittens you get to neuter, feed and clean up after all year. It’s free. It’s not like the free vacation where you spend hours writhing in a time share promotion. It’s free. It’s not like a free test drive and then years of car payments. It’s free – completely.

What’s the catch? He wants you for His own, His Bride. 

He’s wooing you, drawing you, calling near His beloved. Today, we still look forward to the weekend and it’s always a good idea to plan ahead, but we don’t have to wait till then to take a deep breath, to rest in His provision, to sigh a huge sigh of relief that we are JUSTIFIED, forgiven and made free. We can work whatever work He has called us to do today out of GLADNESS and joy versus obligation, duty and guilt. Blessed if you do, blessed if you don’t, — guaranteed eternal life and joy — if you want. THANK GOD IT’S FREE!  TGIF.

Even though this is the beginning of the week you can put on a pair of  old ripped blue jeans and sweatshirt, take your hair down, sigh and pop open a cold one [think water or fruit beverage  that actually quenches thirst] —  and really THANK GOD you’re in right standing with God – it’s free. Aaaaagh….     (Close your eyes and just think of that for a minute or hour).  We can relax when the work is done – it’s finished. The rest is just praise for His name., working for the Father while it is still daylight. The heavy lifting was done by the man on the cross. 

My place before God was not done by my perfection or anything I avoid or have done but because of what JESUS has done. All the requirements against me – broken, all the condemnation postured to sink me – broken. All the hate, lies, accusations and assumptions around me – broken. I’m justified. If I’m in Christ, I am in right position with God by virtue of the cross. Man does not place you there so man cannot take you out. That’s job security right there.  My purpose does not come from my family or my church but my position in HIM. Condemnation? God’s not going to allow nonsense by His throne just the sweet whispers of the One who sits beside Him – “free, mine, free, beloved, free, covered – these  Father, I’ve justified!”   

Everything I say and everything I do can flow from that place of grace, mercy and thankfulness because all my obligation in Him is fulfilled/ completed. What a reason to be grateful and content today. I’m on His time clock (no time to repeat failures or folly ) and the best employee of the month has already been lifted up high for all to see. Mockers get out of that parking space it is reserved for the King! What a relief!  I don’t have to scrub away my bad qualities or fight to lift up my good ones – those positions have been taken. I rest in the position of being justified. Boss God, what can we do today to bless you? What is your heart, strategy, mind and will? We want to serve you in freshness, purity, joy and delight.  Yes, New Creation, new Day ,  I can’t  do everything but the thing that is most important Jesus CAN DO for me. It cost Him dearly but for me – it’s free. Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.

 T  G  I  F – Thank God I’m Free ! 

Renae Roche 2018      

Majestic Monday – freedom. Thankful Tuesday – freedom. Worshipping Wednesdays – freedom. Tearing it up in praise Thursday – freedom. Flourishing freshness Friday – freedom. Saturated Saturdays – freedom. Soaking in His mercy Sundays – Freedom.  T.G.I.F. every precious, God loving, God breathing, God moving day. Let all God’s people say – amen!

                            Give Me ……   Coffee

In the morning when I rise, I drink a glass of water (refreshes the body and flushes the internal organs). Then I spend some time focusing my mind and heart for the day. No, I don’t believe I get any cosmic brownie points for minutes spent reading or even praying but it alerts my lazy self that this day does not belong to me and streamlines my purpose. The other thing I do with hunky hubby is have a cup of coffee. We had a professional barista from Starbucks at our wedding (a friend) and so every sip is like a romantic reminder. We enjoy coffee – liquid love. Now while I’m seeing stars and hearts swirling around the living room hubby is trying to open his eyes and probably praying that no one chatters away. Our mornings are shared but very different. Smile.

This past week hubby went on a business trip. He usually makes the coffee. There was none. The pot had no water; there was no warm caffeinated goodness. There sat an empty bag in the cupboard. The house was dark, it was cold. It was a pretty serious dilemma. The boys and I went through our normal routine and I dropped them off at school. We were all missing the dad, but sincerely I was also missing the coffee.

One of the tasks for my day was to pay  our tithe. Tithing has not been as fun recently as it seems so impersonal to send it off rather than dance or worship or hilariously give. The blond guy on television says tithing must be the FIRST thing that comes from our income. A speaker at church (Kennedy) states if you don’t do it before other expenses you are merely tipping God and in control of your own money – it’s a heart issue. That all sounds really good – in the middle of the month. It is more easy to debate at the end of the month when grocery budgets are strained. Sometimes you just shrug and wonder if God really cares about all those quarters and dimes. A couple weeks ago all I had in the bottom of my purse was a used gum wrapper and 27 cents. The next week I noticed it had doubled – even the gum wrapper.

So, after dropping the kids off at school I decided to put first things first. I went to the bank to get a money order so it didn’t tie up our account if the check wasn’t cashed right away. You have to get out of your car to do that and actually go in the bank. Once in, the lady (who looked like she had not had coffee either) said they didn’t do those and that I should go to QT. So, back in the car. Now I had the need to go through the drive thru at Starbucks but that would be first and since I was feeling especially legalistic I decided to go the full Monty. Once in QT, the nice man told me they didn’t do money orders with a debit card. That’s when the coffee withdrawal started kicking in. The bank lady seemed like a villain and I felt especially foolish – I had not brought cash. A kind lady walked over, fully perked and ready to go for the day – I’m assuming she has had a full pot of coffee, and  told me there was an ATM around the corner. It sounded so easy but my liquid love tank is now sucking wind. Funny thing about ATM’s – they need passwords which require CAFFEINE! Two years with the same password that is from a number I shouldn’t forget and there I stood. If you stand there and no money comes out, you look suspicious. There was also a small potential that I might fall asleep. I wondered if God saw all these efforts and if it made any difference or if I should have just done this task in the course of my day instead of making it such a priority.

Next thought was…. You may wonder why I think you care about my inner thoughts but I promise you it will help you as there is nothing new under the sun, especially when it comes to warfare. I randomly thought, God is not legalistic. Does He really care if I tithe first? Surely He loves me and like David ate the grain in the field, God knows that I NEED COFFEE. Did He really say? I mean does He really care about the order of my day when He runs the universe? He sees my heart that I’m on my way and this is silly. A non-believer would think Christians are led by nonsense if I said anything. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, surely He can wait another half hour (after I get a latte at Starbucks) to get His money. Note that the coffee under 2.00 was elevated to a latte. Hmm? This is feeling less and less like worship.

I got back in my car to head to the bank when I saw the COSTCO sign. They probably have money orders there. I got out in the cold air, now my neck is hurting. No longer do they do money orders. They do however have large packs of blueberries and warehouse size bags of COFFEE. God wants my family to eat? Who would fault me if I just bought groceries really quick like and then went to the Starbucks and then to the bank? No one even knows I’m going through all this. I’ve served the Lord for years, He isn’t concerned about my measly little tithe, He would rather I feed my family and protect my health. Doesn’t God care about hungry little children? Legalism is like leaven and I’m bought with the blood. Yep, I’m free and this is ridiculous, for heaven’s sake. … Heaven’s sake. By this point the obvious has floated to the top that I’m a little more pampered than I thought and think way too deeply about theology. However my heart really wants to bless God and put Him first in my life. I want to honor Him.

As I drove out of the parking lot I noticed a couple having an argument. He went away and the woman sat there. Now I’m going to be lured away and distracted again from getting on with my day? No way, only Pharisees struggle with all this minutia and I’m going home. I got to the end of the parking lot and felt drawn to go back. God saw this woman. He had compassion on her. Her craving for God (prayer) was much stronger than my craving for caffeine and something arrested my attention. God sees her now.

This blog isn’t about that encounter although it would be a cool and  fun story to tell.

I left that parking lot singing, crying tears of joy and so aware that God sees where we are and knows everything about us. I was so deeply touched that God loved this person so much that He “illuminated” her and let her know that He saw her and cared enough to step into her world. As I pulled out to the highway I sensed the presence of God so strong in my car that it even satisfied my craving for coffee. It would be late in the afternoon before I even remembered I wanted some. I absolutely do not have to tithe, nor do I have to do specific exercises to “prove” my love or gain God’s favor. But somehow, when I align myself with His purposes which benefit me, He brings me into His world and shows me a little taste of His kingdom. I felt like I was on His schedule and plan rather than just my own. The clock of my week and day were altered but it turned out better than if I had just had an ordinary day doing my own thing. Had God circumvented my day and circumstances to get me into place for His design? 

This morning I read in Mark 9 that Jesus was going up on a mountain by himself and the disciples went with him. It wasn’t a special event, just a couple guys getting away – until Elijah and Moses showed up. God speaks (one of the only times in the NT) and tells them to listen to JESUS. Big theological shift. The disciple’s immediately try to put Him in one of their boxes (tents) to make sure He’s safe and covered but God covered Him from on high.  It started out just an ordinary day – but they followed the King and it became very extraordinary.

This morning I woke up and felt stirred to write this blog. I usually do it on Mondays. I’m not sure why but it seems like maybe there is someone reading this  that is worn down from serving God with a pure heart and being around others who are offering up things Cain style. Serve Him anyway. Flourish and love extravagantly – don’t let others miserly or stingy hearts make you feel prudish or legalistic because you run with abandoned love. Whether you are in a car, van or Costco parking lot, God knows your struggles and your efforts to love on Him. He can sort out the rest because He loves you. Your efforts to bless Him please and delight His heart.


Any movement towards God is a praise.


I get muddled up with all the rules and regulations — I don’t even know what they are at times. I know I do not want to be like a Pharisee or Sadducee. More than anything I want to align my heart and life with Kingdom principles and follow after Christ. I need His liquid love daily and I want to do my part however large or small. Whether its tithing, Sabbath observance, serving…   Listen to Jesus and follow HIM. He’s got this covered and wants to show us HIS Kingdom. We love because He first loved us.

In the morning, when I rise, just give me    coffee  …..        JESUS.

Ps. Yes the tithe got all ready, the bank blessed me  and God provided for a need. Those led by the spirit are the sons of God. So glad the liquid love of Heaven never runs dry.

Renae Roche February 2019

“They will proclaim my glory among the nations.”  Isaiah 66:19



In the past few months we have been challenged and blessed to be a part of several missions conferences for four different nations. Each of these were represented by different denominations in different cities. As the calendar got filled and our finances got tighter I worried what our kids would “see” as we engaged in the various events. 

The first one we attended had a focus of doing outreach projects for the national church in a country overseas. The local church  in America was sending laborers and money, equipping their members to reach out.  We, as a family group are going to partner with the family that lives there. The fellowship was so amazing and the food could have been served at Jack Stack it was so wonderful. This event made me want to go with the team and prompted me to pray and give. I felt God’s spirit unifying and calling the people. I saw such a collaborative heart.

The church members overseas will get some rest as others come and help them labor.

The second one focused on two different countries overseas helping them reach their budget and build the local church. These countries just happened to be where my husband and my ancestors were from which surprised us both. Testimonies were shared about securing buildings and lives being touched. They did a fundraiser (auction) and you could sense the giving heart of the congregation and total commitment to raise funds even at great sacrifice. The food was represented by several different cultures and was quite the smorgasbord. The crab rangoons were exceptional! This one also touched my heart as I saw my kids get stirred in their faith to serve God and their hearts touched as other kids donated items to sell. In the midst of that event I met someone from Eastern Europe which brought back memories of my trip there. Miles away from home he was part of a group blessing other nations.  I expanded my prayer list and was reminded of God’s provision for us here in the states. We savored ice cream later that night after hearing many can not purchase it in their cities. We had taken such a small thing for granted.  Those who prayed and those who gave were all blessed and the entire crowd got to celebrate the results.

The pastors will get some rest as they can focus on the work of the ministry instead of raising funds or getting second jobs.

The last one was focused on one nation empowering the people, giving them food, micro-loans and helping them build their own houses. The food served was specific to that nation and there were learning stations for each aspect of their culture. You could also buy coffee, jewelry or books. After seeing videos of lean -to shelters, I was thankful for our home and realized it was a blessing – plumbing, heating and running water included. My tattered couch was no longer an eyesore but an extravagance.  This group has dug their heels deep into one community and literally caused transformation throughout the nation. It was so well run and professional. “Seamless leadership” was the prevailing thought after the event and each section glorified God, with little emphasis on the people from the USA doing the work. All of the focus was on the smiles of the people and their needs. Little was said of those giving or going. Much was said about doing the work (clothing, feeding, housing) in Jesus name and example.

The families will receive rest as they eat, sleep and live in homes that now have strong walls and concrete instead of mud floors.

We pray for a precious couple in Africa, unable to email or let us know their needs. They have no conference here but we call out their names and trust God to supply, comfort and anoint. We trust that in the absence of American workers, God will send heavenly and earthly ambassadors to do His bidding.

I wanted to blog about these events because it struck me, why in the world would busy, engaged people work so hard to bring rest to other people they have never met before? Why would they take their hard earned money and give it away so strangers could get a little peace? Believers, pastors, families are all getting blessed, touched and encouraged. Those giving have joy on their faces, contentment in their hearts and strain on their pocketbooks. The people stateside – were connected, humming in harmony as they went about their work. No one debated the flag, politics, immigrants. No one grabbed for the last chicken leg or fought for attention. They gathered, they gave, they prepared to go.

Our friends from different denominations stretched our hearts. They are beautiful people – inside and out and invited us to see the world through their lenses and we were touched. Our friends within our denomination rallied our faith, calling us to something greater than ourselves. Whether it be serving lemonade, filling out feedback surveys, bringing a testimony or a song, we were part of something we will not soon forget. We connected in our small little way with another nation in a way that will become big. That’s sacred, holy. I wonder if it gives God rest?

We gather, we give, we go. Blessing others blesses us. None of these conferences could have happened without a large group of people working together towards a common goal. That’s noteworthy, unity working, collaboration sharing. There was no red carpet, no goodie bag (although my husband scored some cheese at one event), no awards or trophy. NBC, CBS nor FOX news covered it. President Trump nor Obama tweeted about it. No women marched for or against it. Hillary Clinton made no cameo appearance. Yet, somehow it worked and spread like joyous leaven through the crowd. giving all a lift.

My heart was filled, my families hearts were filled, just a little bit more.

I wonder if the people overseas will lay in their beds tonight and know someone is thinking about them. I wonder if they know help is on its way. I wonder if they will realize their plight brought joy as people gathered to alleviate their stress. I wonder if they know that people thousands of miles away dearly love them and want them to be supported and blessed. Is there some little boy, some little girl praying “God please see our need.” Is there some daddy, some mama, trusting that He will?

Yes, the world continues to spin but the Body of Christ in all her glory… remains very beautiful, very unique. As I told my kids this week “we do not go to Church, we ARE the church.”


Renae Roche  2018



Thank God it is Friday! 

I raced around the house today cleaning and picking up hoping to spend more time with the family and less time being “mama super freak house cleaner” this weekend. Good goal but oh so never reachable. Lol. I sat down to take a break and have breakfast and turned on a female talk show. Before they sat down they all danced behind their chairs. It seemed kind of weird and plastic to me when I saw it a couple weeks ago but today I kind of liked it. When I sit down at the table tonight I think I’ll try it. Woo-hoo. Oh yea, mamas in the house!  I’ll shake my booty; give a shout out to God with a little hallelujah or something. Or when I go to church, seriously laugh out loud, I’ll say woo-hoo and twirl around before I sit down in the chair.  Why is it normal for talk show hosts to celebrate and get their praise on but not regular folk?  I will not follow my praise jig with a bourbon or special drink as these ladies did but I might just get myself some tart cherry juice and celebrate the decrease of inflammation in my veins. Yes! Down with inflammation, up with healthy cholesterol.

So, not what you would expect from a theological blog on Rest but the wind down for the weekend has begun. To the pure all things are pure; to the free all things can be free.

On that momentary break in my day a commercial came on. It seemed so innocent and just a little commercial. They expounded on the ways my dog loves me and all the cute little things he does that make my life worth living. (I don’t have a dog). It was fun and fuzzy until they asked, “So what are you doing for him?” hmmm? I was cornered and stuck and sat there with millions of other viewers feeling woefully not ready to confess – nothing, he’s a dog. oh the shame that bowed our heads.  I kept watching only to hear that if you really appreciated and respected ALL that this wonderful better than a friend, furry little critter does for you then you would reciprocate that love. I felt so condemned. I’m not a bad dog owner. I’m not even a dog owner. This is crummy. Then the catch came – if you truly love your faithful friend you will buy him this certain brand of puppy chow.

They asked: “ How do you love him back? ”

It was effective; I felt the hook and momentarily felt a twinge of guilt even though I don’t even OWN A DOG!  Man, what’s wrong with these people not loving their dogs back? Sounds like a serious neglect and lack of compassion. It was a nice break  to be mad at these dog owners rather than politicians.

The spiritual marketplace hawkers do similar things. You want to really love God and thank Him for all He’s done?  Then you need to buy Jesus a Christmas  box or present to show Him your love is real – buy now! You need to worship in this posture, style or sanctuary  – come now! You must or need to support this ministry or buy this gold brick to give or pay back God’s love – call now. You need to get this information, CD, book, shirt , class, conference or app if you really want to show God and others that you too are fully engaged, loving, etc. Love now. AAAGH!  We sit feeling  condemned and wondering who to listen to. If Jesus paid my debt why are all the spiritual people trying to sign me up for obligatory loans and paybacks? What’s the difference between offering up our praise and buying off God? It can feel like a spiritual shake down and not grace quickly.  What’s love and what’s debt?

Two Things:

  1. We love because He first loved us. For God so loved the world that He gave (freely without thought of return) His son. No He doesn’t ask for anything in return but specifically that we follow His son. God wants our love and devotion and wants us to love our neighbor. Showing mercy delights Him which speaks to action –based on His voice and leading, not marketers and their goods. If it requires more than simple faith, we should pause. The just live by faith. So what does God require or possibly like? Loving Him. Another verse Gal. 5:14 tells us that we fulfill the law by loving our neighbor but that’s impossible to do by sitting inside your house and not reaching out. He never puts in red letters – go to church, run yourself ragged, donate to every cause and sing hymns in minor keys. Loving your neighbor takes relationship with God to know how, when and where. It also takes receiving ministry from them.  Do we pray for them as much as we pray for ourselves and our families? Living relationship. What good things prevent us from doing what God prefers we do for Him?  



2. It’s a good idea to love God back. Not like the puppy story above where it is out of obligation or one biscuit equals three licks and a handshake. One way we show God and the angelic realm that we still love Him is by setting aside time to spend with Him (Sunday church, Sabbath Rest, Family communion – pick your passion) . It’s helpful to prepare now what you will do this weekend to love on God. He stands and waits….  He longs for His kids to come home…. He beckons you to the table… He calls you to hear… He sings over you songs of love. Our worship is indicative of how we want to love Him back and part of being thankful for all He’s done for us.

Hubby has been very busy lately. Not crazy busy as a workaholic but fruitful, focused and purposeful asking God where he fits in the kingdom busy. We snuck away for a date on Thursday – smile.  At first I said I was too busy and the kids had plans and it was a school night . Then I realized there was nothing I would truly like to do more than be with this guy that captures my heart. He’s the one I promised to love. Seriously, why would I let anything or anybody block that time?  Schedule – back up!  It wasn’t the usual day but it thrilled my heart. It demonstrated to me that he’s still interested in me, that he appreciates me. He didn’t owe me for making supper, cleaning, etc. What a joy!  I so enjoyed the time with him and laughter.   God has preferences, emotions and blessings and will share them with those who inquire of Him and respond to His invitation to draw near. “God I want to love you back, thank you and just be with you this weekend, receive my love.” Relationships that are reciprocal, trusted , honoring and loving are awesome! True for puppies, friends, spouses and I’m thinking today probably God too.  One-sided anything is draining. I want God to know I prefer Him – enough to give Him priority and time.

“If we offer up nothing – that’s just bad puppy chow man.  Giving Him you’re table scraps or leftovers – dude, that’s not even puppy chow that’s just lame.  “

We are not ready for a puppy yet but when we get one I’m definitely going to get that special puppy chow to love my puppy back. I do not want to be a selfish, cold dog owner. That sounds just awful. I also don’t want to be a cold, loveless recipient of God’s love.  I want Him to know how much I love Him so I will spend time in His presence and ask Him to reveal to me how I can bless Him best .

Loving Him back…   

Renae Roche

As always, you can weigh in on these discussions by emailing the contact info on the website. I’d love to hear and share your thoughts!


In a violent culture it is difficult to find good things to watch on television. We introduced our kids to some of the golden “oldies” so they too could enjoy Gilligan, Fonzie and the rest of the people who made our lives interesting when we were kids. One of the shows “The Beverly Hillbillies” we especially like, because they are down to earth folks who are kind hearted. Netflix does not cut out the commercials and one day we noticed one of the boys singing, “Winston tastes good, like a good cigarette should.” So much for bringing back the good old days – they weren’t necessarily good in all aspects!

The discussions  on social media now are no longer about cigarette use as the debate over marijuana has taken over. What was once a felony, smoking weed, is now legalized in some states. Parents in those states are scrambling to teach their kids how to “say no” when adults around them are saying yes. It’s a new drug war and just about the time you think the teens are safe they have a new interest in ingesting laundry detergent pods.  Ew!

My  friends who work in healthcare tell me an even bigger war is  raging -keeping kids hands clean and sanitized. New superbugs have entered hospitals and schools that are super resistant to all antibiotics and causing death from what used to be just a simple cut or even the flu. Hygiene is important and scientists can now tell us exactly how the germs work against our immune system.

So, what are “normal” protections, what is morally wrong when the state says it is legal and what is rigidity and legalism? One man took on the whole debate and got himself killed for it – Jesus. He  isn’t oblivious to our new dilemmas– He created all those bugs, germs and dirt. He would have been familiar with the concept “do not become slaves of anything.” He could see years down the line what drugs and  addictions would do.

I wonder why He went for the spiritual and did not address all the other things?

10 And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but

what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” 

12 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” 15 But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile (make spiritually unclean) anyone.”

He told the disciples to side- step petty arguments that are intended to trip you up in punishment and judgement – good advice as the Pharisees were not looking to reconcile but to prove themselves righteous and holy. They were gnats in the ointment and Jesus discerned that.

I recently heard a kind brother in the Lord worry that smoking would defile him as a Christian.  He was told that smoking was a barrier between him and God. I grew up around people who smoked so I’ve never had that legalistic filter (pun intended). One of my first pastors smoked during our youth meetings so I just thought it was something adults did. He also cussed some. It demonstrated to me that God was much higher and this guy was not God but would tell us what he knew about him. We had to fin for ourselves to define holy. Looking back it may have been a good thing because there was no super leader / savior complex and we were all just scraggly creatures looking for a kingdom – together. Hmm?

The argument could be made that nicotine imbeds itself in your brain (neurotransmitters) so it does not flush out but remains there craving, screaming for more. Once the person quits though, it does come out so that would be weak to push that as an argument here. My hips will testify that the chocolate doth remain, but that’s another story.  

What lingered in my mind was this – why would someone take a little smoking wrapper and use that as a way to block a brother (or sisters) access to Christ? Jesus clearly said it does not defile someone because it is temporary. A greater ill is using one’s mouth to slander or harm or gossip about someone. That makes one UGLY and those around them ill. Inside.  Drinking  communion grape juice all day won’t flush that out. However,  repentance and communion to signpost it might be part of that process.  The payment Jesus made on the cross is capable of making us clean on the inside. 

In this text, we must insert our own names_____ here because the second we insert someone else’s we are back to being in the defiled bucket. Ouch. No wonder Jesus addressed this as a systemic evil. There’s only one who is righteous  and  it  isn’t the Marlboro man. Only One has paid the price for all to enter in:

 “This was according to the ETERNAL purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in  HIM,  in HIM.” Eph. 3 Also see Heb. 4:16.

What one abstains from (makeup, movies, cigarettes) does not make one holy/clean. What one achieves (education, good works, church rituals, 24/7 worship) does not make one holy/clean.   If that were the standard then the highest bidder or best ecclesiastical gymnast would get the trophy. Only the blood of Jesus can make one clean. Only (sola) that cross payment on Calvary can “open doors” to God’s heart.  Grape juice doesn’t flush out sin  but it can remind us that spiritually Christ’s blood can make us whiter than snow and pay the penalty for all of our sins – great and small.


Three  of my favorite Christian women were smokers and ultimately it killed them, leaving a big hole in my heart. I will never be a fan of smoking because it took away those I cherished. I get angry every time I even think of the lure on the commercials – they were bait and switch and robbed us of family. However, the greatest love in my life is not distant or repulsed by smoking and He gets to determine the definition of defiled – not me, although honestly sometimes I would really like to. No ritual, tradition, food or anything else defiles someone so much that the way to Jesus is blocked, or even lessened in some way. It just isn’t mercy to rate others sins, it isn’t holy and if I were Jesus , I’d be offended at those who made others feel like they were “defiled” so much that they could not draw near. He beckons them, draws them, and longs for them because He sees something on the inside that we never could and

the Father sees something also – the blood of His Son.

All humans have “issues” and things they need help fixing. Mercy says Jesus will help. Lordship says Jesus is the one who determines how and when. The door is not revolving – it is blood bought and fixed in eternity. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that WHOSOEVER believes in Him (Winston user, Vaper, Toker or abstainer) should NOT perish but have everlasting life. He made a way, cleared back the religious and self-righteous and shouts COME! To ALL who are willing. That’s an open invitation based on God’s large heart, not our earthly restrictions.

Today, I’ll sanitize and wash my hands – I don’t want the flu or to spread staph to my family. Today, I will breathe in clean air. Today I will eat my greens. Not because it makes me holy but it’s a good choice. Today I will ask God to cleanse my mouth, my heart and help me kick back any roadblocks I have put in others way that might falsely make anyone think they are blocked from the blood or presence of Christ because of something they’ve ingested or done on the outside. It (the blood) always serves as a reminder to me that I’m not holy because others smoke, toke or vape and I don’t.

He is my only  righteousness.

He’s the cleaner, the detergent, the sanctifier and the ONLY One who declares us holy or defiled by His standard — the cross.

BOLD, access with confidence…. Put out the welcome mat and step aside, an invited one is making his way on in! Just as we are? Yes, not because we smell of nicotine or altar incense but because He’s worthy and holy and clean, we can enter in whether scraggly or sanitized.


2018 Renae Roche  


*Warning disclaimer: The surgeon general has warned that smoking is harmful to one’s health. The Bible has also warned that hindering others from entering in can also  be harmful to one’s eternal health.


All creation, come praise the name of the Lord. Psalm 148:13


One afternoon the boys and I were hanging around the house when we heard a knock on the door. Our neighbors’ son and daughter dropped by to bring us an Orchid root – complete with bloom. We had a nice visit and when everyone was gone I looked at that plant and thought, “what in the world am I going to do with this, I can’t keep violets alive?” I did not know what type of planter to use and just put it out of mind for a few days until I figured out how to care for it. By the third day little plant was in an emergency state and I felt terrible so I gathered the family and we all did triage – one grabbing rocks for drainage, one grabbing water and one emptying out the yucky frozen planter stored in the garage.

Orchids can be fickle but they are well worth the effort.  They require special care. The instructions say the two top things that will kill them are number 1 – not enough light and number 2 – too much light. Alrighty then, that clears everything up! I researched with the family and then located everything we could find while snuggled inside our warm house during a snowstorm. We needed tree bark, a special planter, special fertilizer and soil. We had none of those things and could not get out to get them. “Yes kids, prayer works for everything.” We dug, patted, watered and then asked for some divine intervention. You tube videos on the following days confirmed our fears – indeed we had done basically everything wrong.

It seemed strange to replant this orchid while taking down Christmas decorations. Pine cones scattered my floor, tree remains and glittery pieces of who knows what still littered the floor. The little orchid looked so tiny, fuchsia and unique in comparison.

Why would anyone involve themselves in such a delicate, fragile flower? I’ve seen them in Chinese restaurants and nail salons. I’ve never seen them at a McDonalds. They are feminine and delicate, adding beauty and fragrance to any room. Why bother? I told the three guys in my house that I really liked this flower but really we are probably more “dandelion growers” than anything. We do pretty well with mint and poison ivy but nothing else has really grown around here that we can lay any claim to.

Did you know that orchids do best when they “dry out” and get saturated with water only once a week? Soak, expend. Soak, expend. Hmm. I recognize that from somewhere. They also do not need a planter to thrive but love to grow outside wherever they can extend. Unique. Rare. What a beautiful reminder of God’s grace and call to us to rest and go, rest and go. It brings to mind the song, “I give myself away, so You can use me” by William McDowell.  *

At the same time this was all taking place I was studying the passage, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12.

The part that stuck out to me this week  was, “let us run (with patience/endurance) the race that is
SET before US…

This is not just “get with the program we all have a part to play” language. It specifically means: to run what is placed before you or in front of you. That which has been appointed or destined for your life, what is present and at hand.

 Not what others think you could or should do.

It does not say to run others races in their lane for them. It is not a “one size fits all” pajama pant arrangement but a call to run the path God has specifically ordained and created for you – the track He has laid out for YOU to run on.

Yes! If there is a track, there is a runner. The word “set” is the Greek word prokeimai which is a passive deponent. It means we don’t forge out our plan but …


we get on the moving walkway of His will – much easier.


He acts, we passively ride on His plan. Good set up.  You are necessary and needed and God has specifically set that path in front of us so we can get to where He wants and needs us to go. Specific, unique, special. We can’t make others run on our track, or insist they follow our time, distance or speed. We line ourselves up with the Kingdom pathway.

A few days passed… and a little  bloom was lifted above the green leaves, perky and strong. We named her Gloria (our persevering little orchid) and in George Washington Carver fashion we greet her every morning and thank God that He kept her alive in spite of our makeshift efforts of care.  Her needs and what will make her grow are specific to HER. We will do our best but have to remain aware that all plants are not the same, some need different environments than other plants. God can make anything flourish and grow – if it is HIS will.

The boys only let me name one of our fourteen fish in the tank, so this new addition brought me great joy. It will be the first feminine named thing in our home – pink power!  We were thrilled that the little plant survived. She’s dainty, beautiful and pink. I wondered throughout this process, what is the race set before us? How do we make a loving, environment for those “unlike” us or what we are used to? 

Lord, thank you for Your beauty and the beauty of everything you create. Thank you for my beautiful neighbor who gave us this plant. Thank you for the guys  in this home who co-labor with me and who helped me repot this orchid, even though it looked hopeless and took  some time. Thank you for just the right amount of light to make Gloria grow. Thank you for the journey set before us that is unique, special and designed by You with us specifically in mind.

Gloria a Dios

*Also check out Give Us Your Heart by William McDowell. They are both great prayer songs.

RenaeRoche 2018 

The boys and I spent an evening in the emergency room this week. There were many people there with various ailments, some coughing, some bloody and some asleep from the wait. The hospital was doing a great job accommodating everyone but the severity of the conditions and amount of people were a bit overwhelming as we waited our turn.

There was a middle aged woman pacing the floor. She was dressed casually and fashionable.  She looked anxious but not ill.  The look on her face told me this wasn’t her first rodeo. There is a suffering that comes that teaches things you cannot get in a book. Those words were written on her face although I can’t exactly explain how I knew that. The fellowship of suffering is a real and tangible thing and once you’ve been to that place you recognize it in others.

Later on I was able to hear the woman’s story and since I do not have permission to share it, I will keep the details private. It was a brief encounter. Her son was there with a serious problem. Her other son was there comforting him. The worry on her face looked how my heart felt in that moment. You could tell that her older son knew how to comfort his younger brother. You could see that this woman loved them both and had invested a lot in her family. In spite of real, deep pain and agony their love for one another was beautiful to behold. It was sacred and told a story words could not express.

I offered water and prayer but nothing but getting in to see a doctor would alleviate their concern. I let her know we would be praying and I sincerely ask anyone reading this to pray for that family because they need a miracle for life to continue in any normal way.

This is what gripped me that evening. She was scanning the room, looking for solutions, wondering about the outcome, wondering if things would turn out alright. I was a total stranger and so desperately wished I could fix their pain. Her searching eyes and focus on helping her son stirred me to pray. Her love and concern still linger in my mind as I remember her desperation. The need is so great that only God can help them.

Jesus is merciful. Eleos (Greek word for mercy) means He stands waiting to help, waiting to be compassionate and kind, ready to assist and show love. He not only sees our struggle but WANTS to help. That is not just for the righteous or those who have daily devotions. It’s not for those who are members of churches or sing certain hymns. It is who He is at His core.

That mom would have done ANYTHING in the world at that time to help her son. Yes, you reason, but that’s a mom’s natural love for a child she has birthed and raised up in this world. That’s much different than a holy God who reigns the universe.

Consider this verse: 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”  Romans 8:15 ESV

Could that same God welcome you? Me? He’s pretty far up there in rank and authority. He sees all of our sins and failures. He knows all of our flaws. Sometimes I feel like I can’t reach Him. Sometimes I question if He cares about a little worm such as myself. Sometimes I feel very carnal and small. But when I lose my way, when my vision grows dim I can look at Jesus and see what He was like on this earth. Reading God’s word reminds us that our fears are about us and not how God feels at all. Matthew 14 reminds us Jesus helped Peter walk on the sea; people touched just the fringe of his garment and were healed. He didn’t just sit in the synagogue and yell “next” when people came to Him. He continually demonstrated His fathers’ compassion and care so we would know His character, His heart.

If we have come to Christ, He does not stand aloof, just begging us to go to church. He stands postured to extend the mercy of the Father, He stands with open arms wanting to help, wanting to hear, wanting to bless. Not just because He’s merciful, not just because we are pitiful, but because we are SONS – adopted heirs. He loved us so much He died on a cross to provide real answers and solutions to our real needs.

One prayer request I’ve waited for over eight years for an answer, without any response. Another one, four years. When God is silent we are tempted to think He is aloof, uninterested or even possibly rejecting us along with our need. But that is contrary, opposite of His nature. Time erodes our faith, circumstances cloud our hope. The Life of Jesus, His character, grace and actions SCREAM the opposite of what the world or our fears tell us, if we will only pause long enough to hear. He is not only true, He is merciful. He is not only alive, He sees and hears and wants to help.

I’m asking God to intervene for that worried mama in the ER. I’m asking God to reveal himself to the young man encouraging his little brother. I’m asking God to continue to show me how deep and wide and strong is His love for me. I’m not a passing stranger He wants to impress, I am His adopted SON (same title for daughters) and He stands waiting to help, assist, offer compassion, love and kindness.

Thank you Jesus. Though I do not always see it, though I take it for granted, you want to support, bless and guide. Help us see who you really are today and who we are as adopted sons. Thank you for letting me encounter compassion in the midst of pain.

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Hunky husband asked me out on a romantic date. I wore my best smelly stuff reserved for time with him, the kind he loves. I put on fancy lipstick from Lancome, made my hair shiny with as much product as it could hold and  put on my favorite maroon sweater. We were to meet at an Italian restaurant and I was ready. I counted the minutes and then drove through town, anticipating conversation and laughter, Italian food and great coffee. I walked through the dark restaurant looking for my beloved but he was nowhere in sight. The waiters also helped me look for him. As I sat there, he texted, delayed at a meeting. No worries, there is warm bread on the table and I trust he is on his way. Eventually he came and the waiters were watching for my response. I was delighted he was there and our time was well worth the wait. There is just no one else that would thrill my heart so much to be with. He made time in his busy schedule – for me.

This weekend – we anticipate being with each other and the Lord. Do we prepare? Do we put out our clothes, shoes? Does our heart beat with excitement as we long for what He will speak to us? Do we count the minutes until we gaze into His face? Do we prepare our minds, pushing aside worries and anxiety? What do we do in advance to show our desire for this all important meeting, setting aside all lesser loves?

Matthew 12

At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless?

 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 

ESV says “something” but in the Greek it says “estis” – someONE. Who or what could be greater than the temple or the priests (authorities) of that temple? This ONE is greater in rank, authority, prestige – He is the elder and superior one. The ONE higher than all the rules. What Jesus, you think you are above the law? Yup. You think that rules don’t apply to you buddy? Yup. Basically Jesus is stating that He is GOD. Snap! He just outranked the law and legalists. The creator, builder, high priest…  He decides what happens.

He is greater than   > > > religion and the religious

 And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, (Greek “eleos”, to be compassionate and show kindness to the miserable and afflicted, helpful)

and not sacrifice,’ (victims, gift) you would not have condemned (judged) the guiltless (innocent). For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

Who is the son of man? God’s kid, the one given all authority. A prince does not need permission from his friends to redirect the kingdom. That is who Jesus claimed to be which set him at odds with the temple and all who worked there. He declared that He was supreme, the chief, the master, the One who regulated and directed all traffic on the holy day. Many think 3 Chris Tomlin songs, offering, sermon and fellowship in the parking lot is the standard. Who determines that or defines “Sabbath” today?

From this point on – others will market, direct, suggest, legislate and formulate the “day”. Jesus clearly here points out that what happens during that day of rest and renewal – is up to Him. Yikes! Not denominations, not pastors or priests, not parents, not doctrines, not lexicons… how will we understand and know then? Give us a formula so we can avoid asking Him!

The word of God is our guide; the Spirit of God is our teacher, if we listen.

This is a pretty weighty matter for a simple blog but let me direct you to what thrills the heart of God – eleos, mercy. He is delighted to extend it. If you are miserable, you can apply. If you are afflicted, desperate, tormented, weary, you can apply. This Lord loves compassion and bringing help to those who need it. Is that mercy for us, the hurting, neighbors? Yes.

You can buy a Lutheran or Pentecostal guide to Sunday worship, a yoga guide to stretching, a Buddhist guide to mindfulness…   all may have some pointers but while you “legislate” the day you will get further from the One who wants to direct traffic- the Lord of the Sabbath. His thing? Mercy. His passion? Mercy. His desire? Mercy. Compassion, kindness and help are part of that. It’s His kryptonite. He’s the Lord of that day – then, now, tomorrow.

You have a date with the KING this weekend … an amazing, loving KING. He is Lord of that time, wait for it ….., celebrate it and keep it FRESH! 

    JESUS  is >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> than just church day.

So, my husband got a fish tank recently and added some new fish. We have one fish that has lived for several years. The old tank was getting really gross and everything inside had a grey cast to it. The fish seemed upset by this but I didn’t say anything, lest hubby might call me the “fish whisperer” or something. I did sense their dissatisfaction however. The glass was even getting murky brown.

One day he left the house with a vial of something. All day I prayed, interceded and cried out to God on hubby’s behalf. I was sure it was cancer or something worse. Maybe I should have been more intentional about our nutrition and diet? The man I loved was possibly too frightened by a bad report to tell me what he was facing.  When he came home he let me know that the people at the fish store said his water needed some different chemicals. I know we are on a budget, but seriously?  I thought “man, for something so important why are you trusting people at a fish store with your health? “ Ends up, he was having the fish water tested – who knew such things took place? Magically, the fish tank kept  changing.  It is such a good idea for me to stick to other things in our marriage because clearly, or in this case, dimly, this was not my area of expertise.

Eventually, new fish began to appear replacing the ones who died from either the brown water, the stressed out lady watching the water or possibly they went on to fish Heaven, no one really knows. In that mix , a snail was purchased. This snail was not your average snail. It was not taupe in color but a bright orange. Instead of sliding along through life she would show up on the bottom of the tank, the side, the top –all in one day. One morning, I woke up and everything looked bright and brilliant inside the tank. The rocks were tan instead of black and the foliage was green. I thought I was more chipper, possibly had more coffee that morning, but after several days of estimating this, I realized this exceptional snail had sucked up the mold, garbage and toxins throughout the tank. It looked like someone had scrubbed the castle and the submarine which was pretty amazing. Hubby was given a gift of beauty that could also clean. Hmmm?  Nice combo.  Glad for snail’s example.

Miss snails destiny – garbage sucking. Pure unsophisticated garbage removal. Who would want that for a job or career? She did not pass on the garbage or slide it elsewhere, she sucked it up and removed it. Impressive. Everything in her path became brighter – not because she painted, glossed or polished, she merely removed the trash in her way. The results were gorgeous and displayed brilliant color. She was doing exactly what she was created to do. I’m not a huge fan of fish (too many bad flushing experiences as a child perhaps) but this snail has caught my attention. She makes the tank, our home, the world – a better place. I like her better than some people I know because of this. She removes stains and  keeps moving forward. She shines dark places.

Hubby and I won the “ugly sweater” contest at church last week. He wore a tree on his head and I wore a sweaty sweatshirt and grumped “bah humbug” in an ugly manner. It was fun to be ugly for an hour but I missed  smiling and being positive for Jesus. Do I let others “garbage” affect me or move on to polish?  Our snail does not get snagged by garbage, it actually propels her forward. Sadly, I’m not sure I am as spiritually mature as the snail in my fish tank. Sometimes I linger and grumble about the dirt and garbage, instead of just moving on.  1 John 3:8 says for this purpose was the Son of God manifest – to destroy the works of the evil one. Wherever Jesus went, he made things better and BRIGHTER. Bringing beauty is a choice, not for the fast or furious but the faithful.

Keep going today – whatever your pace, shining and knowing God, your creator watches and sees it all.

Renae Roche 2018

January 1       Complete, Carry Out, Fill

The web counter was added mid-December. The counts were  17,251 on the 29th of December.  I’m glad you stopped by and truly appreciate your visit. Would you be willing to comment or add your questions/ thoughts?  See the “contact us” form at the end of the blog. Thanks!  Renae

Matthew 5  ESV

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish (destroy, overthrow or dissolve) the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish (destroy, overthrow or dissolve) them but to fulfill them.

Fulfill = Complete, carry out to the full, fill

 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, (does not say resurrection here)

Not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 

19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will NEVER enter the kingdom of heaven.’

Ouch! I want to go to Heaven. I know that all of my righteousness is but filthy rags. My righteousness must be in the person of Christ or I remain without hope. So how does a limited supply – that which is found in Christ, exceed a set limit? Is it positional meaning it comes from Christ or can it be impacted by conditions such as waiting in His presence?

So, these words do not square with “hippie Jesus” that goes for anything and everything under the guise of grace. He sounds, in fact, pretty serious here.  It is a direct quote from Christ himself, leaving none to theologically outrank Him. It almost elevates the wound tight lives of the scribes and Pharisees but considering the whole context of scripture — that can’t be right either. How do we reconcile these words with contemporary society? Those not believing in the apostolic age where gifts are poured out after the resurrection will say this ceased – the need for filling. Pentecostals will shout out that we all need to be filled by the Holy Spirit. That is Biblical and experientially I’ve seen that take place. But how does the law get filled, completed with each commandment? This is a quandary, a fascinating subject, worthy of study.

Greek students will recognize the importance of the iota and dot. They are necessary and vital.

Mama’s and Papa’s may see the words “called great in the Kingdom” and desire that for their children. Many secretly desire that for themselves and would that be misguided or perfect?

What does this mind twister mean and how does it fit in with the very Jewish book of Matthew? How does it square with the content of scripture as a whole? The early church asked these same questions because the answers mattered to them. Some worshipped, others ran for their lives to avoid martyrdom. We see the words in red and know that they carry meaning for our lives. How do we fully obey Christ in this generation?

Comments? Thoughts? Challenges?

I pray this year will be filled with Scripture and Spirit = a sure plan for success. (See Psalm and Proverbs 1). My hope is this year our hearts and minds will be challenged to know God more and follow Him with all that is within US. I love Ravi Zacharias’ ministry name: “Let my people think”. Let us serve God with our whole bodies, our hearts, our strength, our souls and our minds in 2018.  Renae


May you always be:

A MIND though which Christ thinks;

A HEART through which Christ loves;

A VOICE through which Christ speaks;

A HAND through which Christ helps.     (Author unknown)