Category Archives: Purposeful living

Counting With God Day 31

As I am now in the 31st day of the count to Pentecost, I am overwhelmed with the wisdom of the Most High. Everywhere around us we are being bombarded with our invisible enemies residue, yet the silent truth that should be shouted from the roof tops is the amount of people who have overcome this disease.  To watch the news you would think we were losing this battle, but the numbers indicate that even from the beginning we have been winning.  We are not hearing the overwhelming testimony of the majority of people who fought corona and won. In our digital age where we can track everybody’s steps we are not hearing the voice of the majority, uncovering how they crossed over and we have to ask ourselves why?  Rather than building on the wisdom from our past everyone is being told to put his or her hope on something that has been and still is experimental that is yet to come. 

The most unprecedented act that I can see is not Corona, as pandemics have occurred all the way back to biblical times.  What was supposed to be a two-week break has turned into a two-month nightmare that has led to more and more uncertainty, conjuring up more questions than answers.  In the wake of all this lapse of time yet we still have no data.  We can say worldwide 98% of those who have gotten this virus has gotten over it with mild or no symptoms but yet, not enough data.   Perhaps we are not asking the right questions, or the right people the right questions. 

President Trump rightly termed this thing “the invisible enemy” and I would like to build on that premise because here is where we are losing out on a monumental opportunity to see this thing turn around.  If we were facing a country for instance would we build our countries morale by focusing on the number of casualties?  Please don’t get me wrong, I am in no way minimizing the value of the lives of those who have died from or been impacted by this disease, but what I am saying is those of us who are still alive have to have a greater value in life itself then awaiting a vaccine that may or may not work, and furthermore won’t be available until next year, and lets be real clear, many people are uncomfortable taking.  This being the case we know that our past way of handling those who died at war was to honor them, memorialize them, but put our focus on our victories, not on our defeats. 

Being that pandemics are not new lets talk about that for a minute.  Before the world of vaccines we had pandemics and like this one they too suffered losses, but amazingly those who seemed to weather it was able to do so by changing the terrain from within their bodies until that which threatened them from without had passed on.  In the bible you had those who had leprosy, there was no man-made elixir that cured it, there were men of God who obeyed the voice of God in directing those who were sick to do simple things to be healed.  (2 Kings 5) 

We should never get away from the simplicity that is in Christ.  Diseases like Rickets it wasn’t cured by pumping toxins into the blood stream, but it was a vitamin deficiency that caused it, and thus adding what the body needed that it was lacking cured it.  What I am saying is let’s not skip over some obvious options.  Let’s love humanity enough to at least consider solutions that we know won’t hurt us, before we move towards the more drastic treatments that we can’t predict its benefits or its detriments.

The part of all this that overwhelms me with the wisdom of the Most High is that the very things that I see in my world today was written in His word thousands of years ago.  He is speaking if we will not be afraid of anyone or anything but Him.  This disease has a name, and His name is above even it.  If we will take the time to count our blessings, open our eyes and our ears to His word and his voice we will see how He is carrying us through this. 

We DO NOT have to be afraid of the terror by night nor of the noisome pestilence that walketh in darkness. (Psa. 91) I realize that darkness can be intimidating, not having data, knowledge, or understanding in a situation like this is scary, but we have something much greater than data, we have the Teacher living and moving inside of us, this Teacher understands all and knows all, and if we will listen to Him he will direct us when and where to go, what, and how to do what we need to do.  In this time of counting don’t forget where your help comes from.  I can tell you I have probably made a thousand mistakes that could have made me vulnerable to this virus from the moment I knew it was in my area, but I know the ONE who keeps me, directs me, and order my steps.  If we know Him we can walk in darkness, and shine forth His light. 

Let us not stop searching for truth, nor give up on the simple wisdom of God.  Let us look at this as a time to prepare ourselves as good soldiers spirit, soul, and body for the battle ahead, because even the invisible enemy must bow to the Ever Present Most High YHVH!!   

What To Do When You Find Yourself Between A Rock and a Hard Place?

no buffer for what is to come.  If the rich didn’t store they find themselves in the same position as the poor or in our nation as the middle class.  When the supply is dry and the need is great you are in between a rock and a hard place. 

            If a mask, gloves, or disinfectant spray is the only barrier we have between us and the virus, and these are substances in high demand with little supply it is only a matter of time.  I submit to you, But GOD! See there is a God and His word says that though we may find ourselves going down the valley of the shadow of death (between a rock and a hard place) that He is with us, His Rod and Staff comfort us. (Psa 23).  Those who don’t have God in this hour has every motivation to put their trust in Him, and just as there will be those who will blame God for our predicament there are even more that can see the hand of God through it and repent and turn to Him.  The question is which one are you? 

            Are you the individual whose heart is failing you in fear?

            Or are you the one who would rather bury your head in the quicksand? 

            Still yet are you in denial, believing that the whole thing is some sort of large scam? 

            The fact of the matter is no matter what group you are in, including those trusting in Yeshua, you are NOT exempt from Covid-19.  The difference is those who are in Yeshua can’t lose, because He has already told us before hand and since He has already conquered both hell and death we have no need to be stressed or dismayed.  If you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, I encourage you to reach for the Rock, but get behind the Rock.  He has already conquered death and hell and taken the keys from the enemy.  It is much better for you to land on the stone then for the stone to land on you. (Matt 21:44) 

            This is the future of the hard place.  See the Rock is the one that followed the children of Israel in the wilderness, that Rock has dealt with plagues, famine, contaminated water sources, and in every case came forth victorious.  The hard place is what the enemy puts in your path.  It’s that stumblingblock in life that is meant to trip you up so that it seems as though only calamity comes your way.  The only way to conquer the hard places life may throw your way is to cling to the Rock.  The Rock will anchor you, can be your buffer, and most importantly save your soul.  Hell is a hard place that was not made for mankind, but, just because it wasn’t purposed for us doesn’t mean it can’t house us.  In fact the scriptures say that it has enlarged herself to accommodate us. (Isa 5:14) 

            If you choose to bury your head in the sand doing all you can to avoid dealing with the ramifications of this plague called Corona you may find yourself in that hard place.  Those who think it is some sort of large scam, while it may be biological warfare, could be an accident, premeditated, or purely a judgment from the Almighty with no input from mankind, no matter what its source is or how it has gotten here, it is real.  There are real people dying from it, real people suffering with it, and a real chance of getting it, and those who choose to believe that it’s a scam won’t protect themselves from it and will inevitably find themselves head on contending with it.  The end of such a person who doesn’t turn to the Rock of Salvation is the hard place of Hell. 

            Those who choose to mentally escape the reality to cope, find yourselves buried in movies to ignore the borage of media coverage that Corona is getting, thinking you will just do nothing, remain cozy in your home until it passes.  You may survive the virus, you may make it until it completely passes over, what you would have missed is the opportunity that YHVH is giving us to repent, to spend time in His word, so that we will be ready for what will happen next. 

            Other’s may find your safe haven no longer shielded by stimulus packages, your cable bill can’t be paid, you’ve seen all the movies that have been out, the grocery stores are empty, or you have missed the one piece of news that you needed in a timely fashion to stock up before the stores closed and you have nothing planted.  What happens then?  Or electricity ceases.  Because you didn’t take advantage of getting the oil before the lights went out you find yourself in the dark with no way to leave when the bridegroom cometh. (Matt 25:1-13)  This is the fate of those who have rejected the Rock of safety to hold onto the false hope of their hard place.  Inevitable calamity. 

            None of those are you, you stay informed, you are glued to the tube knowing every moment when the number of cases and deaths change.  You have your clock set to check the news online or on t.v. so that you are informed.  You have switched your soap operas to the different media outlets bouncing from one station to the next all the while gripped with fear wondering when or how Corona may slip through your door.  These are the ones who the fear of catching the disease has caused more damage than the disease and thus stress becomes their killer. 

            They’d rather put their trust in a vaccine, or medicine, some quick fix or anything other than turning to Yah.  This person knows all about the plane how it works, details of every single part, but majored in minors and thus negated the most important thing to know when being in a plane that is crashing, how to work a parachute!  See Yeshua is our parachute when we are faced with falling from a collapsing plane.  His pill is good for any ill, this is why it is good news, the Gospel!  The earth will melt with fervent heat, heaven and earth may pass away, but His word is forever settled in heaven. (Mar 13:31)  Though this outward man will perish the inward man is renewed every day and knowing where that man will be when Corona has come and gone, and left its wake of cartilage behind is the most important thing we need to know. (1 Cor 4:16) It will give us peace of mind such that we have no need to fear.  We don’t take foolish chances, but we don’t have to walk in fear either.

A Disciplined Life in Messiah

What exactly is a disciplined life in Messiah?  Has the Western Church become vulnerable to the plagues that have challenged the rest of Western civilization? Could we be guilty of the sin of Asa?  Are we seeking the physician’s wisdom instead of Yah? (2 Chr 16:12) We individually must answer this question through much time of prayer and steadfast seeking the Lord for correction.

As a nation love for money has overcome our love for people, and so, leads to symptom treatment instead of cures. Self-preservation instead of searching for viable solutions. Solutions found in the word of God that are overlooked are the key to why we suffer diseases. Countless examples are found of men of God who didn’t die of disease and the one who did, did so because he sought a physician instead of Yah for a remedy. (2 Ch. 16:12) There is a lesson in that for us, we’d do well to take heed to.

Who are we seeking for answers? Who did Moses, Abraham, David, Paul, Peter, James, John, look to for health solutions? Now don’t get it twisted I realize Yah can and does use mankind in healing men the same way He used Moses as the instrument by which the children of Israel received freedom. The point is are we seeking Him first for answers, are we being led by His Spirit? Do His sheep listen for His voice or forsake it for a stranger?

It just bothers me when we put our hopes in the things Yah has allowed mankind to discover more then Yah who gave it to us. He has the power and authority to flip the script as He sees fit. When we get to the point where we call the shots then we are in trouble. Where we are relying on last season’s serpent as the answer this season’s plague, instead of YHVH’s voice.

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. (Rom 8:19)

I believe the cure to our broken world, famine, disease, poverty, etc… Is when we who are the Sons of God wake up to our identity. When we come to the full stature, mature body walking together in love with an ear to heaven unbroken. There will be the manifestation, and this revelation right here the enemy is fighting with every arsenal he has at his disposal to keep us from experiencing. Thus as I began, the Torah trains us through a disciplined obedient loving relationship with Yah how to stay well to accomplish our mission. Believers should not be taken out this life through disease, murdered for preaching the Gospel, is at least in the realm of possibility. But the diseases of Egypt, the plagues upon humanity at large, should escape us.

For standing for righteousness, yes scripture makes clear, but through disease predicated on an undisciplined lifestyle, this shouldn’t be. He said He wouldn’t put none of the diseases He put on Egypt on us, if we hearken to His voice, do that which is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments.

And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. (Exo 15:26)

Somewhere we are coming up short and a sick world is the evidence of our lack of obedience. This promise, of course, applies to the church, which is His body, NOT a building.

We know these benefits never was for those out of covenant. Believers living life in loving obedience to the Father means we would hear Yah who would then direct us in how to bring about liberty for those outside of Covenant for the end purpose of drawing them into the covenant. For its the goodness of Yah that leads men to repentance. (Rom. 2:4)

Once they are set free and learn those things that offend Yah then they are able to share with others what was done for them and see others set free by the power of the Almighty. The diseases provide a platform for believers to reach unbelievers through Yah using us as He did Aaron and Moses to bring people into covenant with the Creator.

A disciplined life produces a disciplined life in others. We can’t do this without Him. But the first step is acknowledging that we are not adhering to His voice, doing that which is right in His sight, giving ear to His commandments or statutes, and as a result, we are not reaping the benefits of what springs forth from a disciplined life.

Stop Watering The Weeds In Your Life

This morning as I was listening to the bible going through the first book of Chronicles when I completed my reading I asked the Father to show me something from these passages.  I have never heard anyone preach on it, and I believe it’s intimidating because of the meticulous details, but I understood that nothing in God’s word is simply there as a placeholder, but has significance.  So finding it in the details of counting can be challenging.   Counting is the theme of this season leading up to Pentecost. It is the time of the counting when scriptures like “teach us how to number our days that we might incline our hearts towards wisdom”, come to mind. (Psalms 90:12)

The battle of exercising in Louisiana heat is challenging especially for one who doesn’t come alive until after 9 am, yet I realize that every minute I lose is the enemies gain which is why we are admonished throughout scripture to consider the work ethic of the ant.(Pro. 6:6) The ant teaches us that laziness and slothfulness can take your wealth and bring you to poverty. But here is my challenge, I live in Sportsman’s paradise and in the country walking alone too often can make you food or at least a victim to animals great and small. However, the amount of work needed around my house was plenty to get me a little cardio and resistance in. When you come out of the routine of exercise, no matter what the cause it can take a lot to get back on the bandwagon.

As I was listening to 1 Chronicles 22-29, I was also cutting weeds from around my house and not wanting to hear the scriptures without receiving revelation I sought the Father concerning the significance of the retelling of King David’s reign. The scriptures I was reading today highlighted the details of what was needed, and what was available to build the Temple and David’s thankfulness that YHVH would choose his tribe to be blessed with such an honor. Several things stood out to me about this story, the humility of David for one because out of all the tribes that existed and all the talent that Israel possessed this was a man that after considering his entire life and the mistakes he has made experienced the mercy of God and the blessing of God despite them. I understood in a greater measure why YHVH would call David a man after his own heart. When you realize it’s not your talent, your faithfulness, or your obedience alone that has positioned you, but the faithfulness, and mercy of the Most High to bless you despite your shortcomings that has blessed you to be where you are then you can touch the heart of the Father. While I hope to be holy as He is holy the bigger question is how do I respond when I do not reach it? If I sin what is my approach, is it to hide my nakedness as Adam and Eve did or is it to confess and forsake it as David did in his repentance? David was a man of great strength, but also of great humility, he recognized his weakness but he didn’t live in it.

Which brings me to the next revelation in my gardening lesson today and that is, what are we giving our time, talent, and treasure too? As I was removing the weeds that seem to grow plentiful around my house without a lot of effort but willingly volunteers itself and invades my space I asked why is it that weeds grow so fast and that which I plant on purpose require so much more attention? While it seems like I have taken a derailment from the scripture consider this. As you read the chapters I just mentioned, one thing that is clear is all the planning involved in preparing for the building of the Temple that YHVH would dwell in. While David was a man after God’s own heart he also was a man of war and though his heart was right, his hands were dirty and he would not get the honor of being the one to build the Temple, but his son would.

In these chapters, great details are mentioned concerning all the talent of the men who would be a part of constructing various aspects of this project along with the materials that would be required. While cutting the weeds that have invaded my home I asked the Lord to give me something from these details and He did as He faithfully does when we seek him. He showed me a lesson in the work of my hands and that is, if we would spend more time thinking, doing, and attending to the things we want to plant and less time on the things we don’t want to come up in our lives we could do what God put us on earth to do. So much of our time, talent, and treasure is wasted on things that have no profit for us much less the kingdom of God. Even when we are productive in what we do on earth it is towards things that are weeds that masquerade themselves as fruit.

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (Matt 6:19)

Focus on being fruitful, instead of planting that which gravitate towards weeds. In our culture, we focus on having lawns which without animals to eat them are just homes for weeds to grow. I often want to pull up every blade of grass and mulch and pine straw my entire yard except for that which I used to plant and grow things I want to grow, things that can provide food for us and others so that we won’t have to spend our time cutting down the resting ground for weeds. So here’s the thing if we do what King David did, he prepared and planned for that which was important not just in his generation but also in the one to come.   We focus on what God wants us to do, instead of giving room in our hearts, minds, and actions towards things that are unprofitable. These are the weeds that grow and choke the Word of God from living, moving, and abiding in us. Weeds steal, kill, and destroy that which is meant to give life. For me, this meant no longer wasting time focusing on things I cannot change, but instead focus on changing things I have control over, myself.   To commit to placing more energy in planting those things in my life I want to grow, so that the weeds of the earth can’t find a place to rest. If we strengthen the constitution of the fruit then the fruit will choke the weeds out. So I am committing myself to not focusing on the weeds that surround me, but planning the places I want the fruit to grow.

 

Our Struggle is Not with Flesh and Blood Part I

From the view of the underdog, it is very easy to believe that the fight we have is with flesh and blood, but the Bible teaches us of a more accurate truth. Our struggle is not with flesh no matter how dark or light their skin is, nor is it with blood, for though we know that the greatest enemy of mankind can often seem like those of our own household. The reality is we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph. 6:12) While the news will tell you the enemy is a woman or man, the posts on Facebook will tell you their black or white, the radio will tell you it’s the Republicans or Democrats. Whether it’s the internet or the television you can find someone who will feed to whatever your bend is. There is no shortage of sources that you can watch that could allow you to vacillate between the two, but the Bible makes this clear if this is your focus you’re wrestling with flesh and blood. If you can see your enemy, handle your enemy, put a name and face to your enemy then you’re fighting the wrong fight.  The enemy that Ephesians is exposing is unseen, the wickedness that exists in a higher place than where we are, we can’t reach it with our five senses. If we are using our manmade weapons of mass destruction we will miss the target.

The good news in this impossible situation just described is if we know who and what we are fighting then we can begin to consider what tools are available to reach the unseen enemy. Ephesians give us the answer on how we can fight this invisible enemy that operates in an area too high for us to reach. Ephesians 6:13 tells us to put on the whole armor of God. As King Saul did to David, so also the world wants to do to you, give you their artillery, even when it’s not working for them.  The world tells you the answer is a bigger gun yet those of us with the big guns still don’t feel secure against this war that is being waged on humanity. It is like Saul trying to suit up David for the run-in with Goliath. Yet, listen carefully to the response David had. He made it clear this isn’t going to work, I haven’t tried these things that you are trying to put on me. When I fought a bear and a lion I was successful with what I had. I’ve tried and seen that this works. (1 Sam 17:39) It is very important that you read up a few verses because you will see that David understood that the true power that he had was not in the physical weaponry, but in a clear trust through tried faith that YHVH would deliver him. David’s denial of King Saul’s armor represented a clear understanding that his tried faith in following YHVH using his slingshot and five smooth stones was more reliable than the untried armor that Saul’s soldiers used.

You don’t need what you think you need to fight the enemy of your soul, you need what God has faithfully used with you to get you through your battle.

David learned a lesson many of us have yet to learn, at an early age. Too often we discredit the gift God has given us thinking that our gift can’t measure up to the bells and whistles that the world would flaunt before us. Our gift of writing or our gift of music seems like a slingshot compared to Goliath’s sword, but the gift God has perfected in you is mightier then Goliath’s sword.

Preparing For Eternity

I created a podcast to share information and find solutions for the care of those suffering from Dementia related illnesses, as well as for reversing and preventing the disease. This podcast however deals with a much more important aspect of life, what happens after life. Planning for eternity is something we should all do. I hope this podcast inspires you to do just that.

Listen to the newest episode of my podcast, A Heart 2 Serve: Preparing For Eternity https://anchor.fm/torie-mclaughlin/episodes/Preparing-For-Eternity-e2t72v

It Gets old

We are told in scripture to put on the full armor of God. What happens when your armor gets worn in the natural? Finding and assembling the perfect armor doesn’t come easy. David understood that armor wasn’t one size fits all and fancy doesn’t mean effective, nor guarantees comfort or function. Most things get worse with time.

I remember my first pair of SAS shoes and my first pair of skechers. They made me feel like I was walking on air and I wore them both until they could not be worn any more. Primarily because they were so comfortable, but I made the mistake many of us make after that first pair. I assumed that over time things would not change with them. That the same quality I received from the first pair would continue with my next pair.

Like a drug dealer things start out real cheap to get you started, but become real expensive once hooked. My skechers when I first bought them were $11, by the time I wore those out another pair would cost me $80. Yet the $80 shoe was not nearly as durable or comfortable as the $11 pair.

Start up companies tend to be that way they start out with the customer in mind, get you hooked then without notice it switches from customer focused to dollar focused. Not sure if manufacturer change as popularity increase or if companies really believe people are so stupid that if we’re drawn to a company based on quality that once the name gained fame the quality could diminish and we’d keep buying it?

Well I have been in search of that first pair of shoes from both companies, and my SAS shoes are way too expensive to make my first mistake twice so I have put them down altogether. Point I’m making is this, time doesn’t make things better not for people, not for products, not the world. A renewed mind can make for a better spirit man, but time insures that your physical state may increase, but your Spirit man doesn’t operate on that principle the potential for your Spirit to get better with time is great, as we build our armor with experience with God and understanding of his word. Your physical strength, your hair, your teeth, anything you use or have will continue to move downward. Yet we in the technological age would rather believe things are progressing. Contrary to scripture and nature itself we continue to believe things are getting better when the evidence just beneath the surface of the beautiful decor reflects the holes and cracks we so eloquently hide. Having no evidence to the contrary we believe the first millennium man was archaic and less advanced yet he lived 930 years when we barely make it to 70 and many of those who make it to that age suffer from health issues that suggests existence but barely could call it living.

The world needs Yah, a life without hope in Messiah YeHoSHua is just existence without purpose. We become days of output and put in like machines accomplishing something, but life having no meaning. We are lost, wretched and miserable without Yah. We are like those first pair of SAS shoes we start out floating on air in this life but with time we recognize we are in need of a new life and we make the mistake of thinking we can find that through our original supplier only to discover they are coming up short. Only the new man in Christ can have purpose, understand this nonsensical world and elevate to floating on air by a means beyond the natural man.

Thus we are admonished to put on the new man and to take off the old. Only in Christ is the remedy resolved by the new rather then the old, yet He has been the answer from the beginning and his remedy is not new, but we have to be renewed to see it.