Kingdom of Heaven is Like…

Have you ever stood in front of one of those stereogram illusions where your eyes had to look differently at it to see the picture? The kingdom of heaven is like that. At first all you see is a bunch of squiggly lines. Lots of colors. But nothing makes sense. This is not art. You don’t see anything of value. But once your eyes learn how to look differently, an entire picture is revealed to you. 

Suddenly things are different. You stand next to others who are looking at the same thing you are, and like you, when you first stood there, all they see are squiggly lines. Lots of colors. But nothing makes sense. You could try to explain to them that there is something beautifully amazing in front of them. You could explain in great detail what you see. You can coach them. Explain how to refocus their eyes. Maybe just look at one part of the picture, and ignore the rest for now.  But they look at you like you’ve lost your mind. There is really nothing you can do to get them to see the picture any differently. It’s not until their eyes learn to see differently do they understand. They won’t get it though, unless they try and keep trying.

I wish everyone could see the Kingdom of Heaven like I do. It doesn’t look like much if you don’t know what you’re looking at. It often looks like a lot of squiggly lines with lots of color. But nothing of value or importance. 

But once the picture has been revealed to you, there’s no going back. You can’t unsee what you’ve already seen. And people call you crazy and that you’ve lost your mind. 

But it’s ok.  I’ve seen the truth. I know what’s there.

“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become callused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ – Matthew 13:13-15

Peacemakers: 1 Samuel 1:1-20

1 Samuel 1:1-20

Peninnah taunted Hannah. (1:6)

The priest accuses Hannah if being drunk. (1:14)

“In that case,” Eli said, go and peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked him.” – 1:17

(Wonder what the meaning of go in peace was supposed to mean? Didn’t mean your prayer will be answered? Or just to be encouraged?

When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, and in due time she gave birth to a son. – 1:21-20

Peacemakers: Ruth 2:10-4:22

Ruth 2:10-4:22

Attitude, gratefulness and respect will get you far. (2:11-14)

This way she can have a son to carry on the family name of her dead husband and to inherit the family property here in his hometown. – 4:10 (If Boaz married Ruth to carry on the family name of her dead husband, why is Boaz listed in the heritage of Jesus, but not her dead husband?)

Sold My Soul and Taking it Back!

Today I have learned the average American earns about two million dollars over their lifetime. TWO MILLION DOLLARS! Where is it? I am practically living paycheck to paycheck. 

I have not been good or faithful. 

I am ashamed of how much debt Mike and I have accrued. I am ashamed we have let things become our god and debt in the form of monthly payments, lords over us. We have become slaves to money, to banks, to creditors, to things of this world. 

For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. – 1 Timothy 6:10


I have been convicted to break free from the lie that everyone will have to owe something to someone, that debt is normal, acceptable and ok, and we can never get away with paying off school loans and a mortgage.

Our income is a gift from God, intended for others, to do his good works, not for just ourselves. I would look down on people who had lots of money and bought expensive things. I JUDGE THEM FOR BEING SELFISH AND COULDN’T POSSIBLY A BE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST! 

But look at me. I’m worse! God blessed me and I became a slave to it! And what’s worse, I sold my soul to it. I wasn’t forced. I made the wrong choice.

We can’t be good or faithful servants if we are not able to share the gifts God gave to us to share. I am disgusted with myself when I think of the amount of debt that keeps us from doing God’s plan. I feel we’ve let him down and he expected more from us. 

I am grateful for these scales that have fallen from my eyes and learning the truth. We still have time to fix this. I am angry at how easily I let myself wander from God’s path, but no more. The chains are broken TONIGHT! God will provide or he won’t, but never again will we buy something we don’t have the cash to do so. I’m taking my soul back and am placing it back into the hands of my Savior.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Forgive me for my errors. I can’t say enough how sorry I am. I was so so wrong to believe because I had no money at the end of the month, I was poor. You have given me more riches than I deserve. I ask that you be with Mike and I as we climb our way out of this hole we’ve dug, and restore what we’ve mismanaged. Thank you God. THANK YOU for caring enough for us to show us how much we need you.

Your extremely undeserving and most grateful daughter.

Peacemakers: Ruth 1:1-2:9

Ruth 1:1-2:9

Blessings are an act of peace. (1:6)

Things are far more better for me than for you, because the Lord himself has raised his fist against me.” – Ruth 1:13 

“Don’t call me Naomi, ” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted[d] me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” – Ruth 1:20-21 

(Not everything is as they appear.)

But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!” – Ruth 1:16-17 (Loyalty)


Peacemakers: Judges 17:1-21:25

 Judges 17:1-21:25

Israel appears to be falling apart and falling away from the teaching of God. Micah makes and worships idols, the tribe of Dan steals the idols to worship. Looks like the entire tribe of Dan has fallen away from God. (17:1-18:31)

The story of The Levite and His Concubine disturbs me everytime I read it, however this time I was able to get past the horrible act that happened to a woman, and see the significance of the story.

Starting with the Levites were priests, and weren’t even supposed to have concubines. The story shows just how far from God’s teaching the Israelites had fallen. 

And how the tribe of Benjamin got their wives is just so horrendous! So much evil God had to sift through to keep his people unified. It’s grotesque, and yet he loved/loves them after all they had done.

Last verse in Judges…

In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. – 21:25

They had no king. They had stopped following Moses’ teachings. They were influenced by people they didn’t push out of the land, and followed their evil ways. It does not look good for the 12 tribes of Israel.

Peacemakers: Judges 15:1-16:31

Judges 15:1-16:31

Much of Samson’s life was not in peace with the Philistines but he did have peace with God.

So God caused water to gush out of a hollow in the ground at Lehi, and Samson was revived as he drank. Then he named that place “The Spring of the One Who Cried Out,”[a] and it is still in Lehi to this day. 15:19

Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me just one more time. With one blow let me pay back the Philistines for the loss of my two eyes.” – 16:28

Peacemakers: Judges 11:36-14:20

Judges 11:36-14:20

Fighting within Israel. Judges 12:1-6

Did Judges know they were Judges? Or did God just give them wisdom and people instinctively knew to follow them? Were they called Judges back then? Did they say, hey let’s go ask Judge Debra, or did they say, hey let’s go ask Debra? There doesn’t seem to be any training or any kind of inherited right.

Feeding people looks to be an act of peace. 13:15

His father and mother didn’t realize the Lord was at work in this, creating an opportunity to work against the Philistines, who ruled over Israel at that time. – 14:4 (We never know what God could be up to.)

I can image the frustrating Samson’s parents could have felt after being so careful to follow all of God’s commands about what not to eat, and even receiving a gift of a child from God, and then watching him be attracted to Philistines women. They must have felt like they had failed God, when actually God knew this was going to happen all along. He counted on it.

Peacemakers: Judges 11:1-35

Judges 11:1-35

Gilead’s wife also had several sons, and when these half brothers grew up, they chased Jephthah off the land. “You will not get any of our father’s inheritance,” they said, “for you are the son of a prostitute.” – 11:2 (Not very brotherly)

You keep whatever your God Chemosh gives you, and we will keep whatever the Lord our God gives us. – 11:24

“Israel has been living here for 300 years, …” 11:26 (Wow, that’s a long time.)

When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break.” – Judges 11:34-35 (How the heck is this HER fault?)


Peacemakers: Judges 6:1-10:18

Judges 6:1-10:18

Everytime Israel cried out, God rescued them. 


And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means “the Lord is peace”).  – 6:23

Gideon humbled himself by elevating the people of Ephraim to bring peace. 8:2-3

Gideon attacked nations who would not feed his warriors. 8:7-9, 8:16-17

Crying out to God for help, is an act of peace.