Lullaby

Teresa Poucher

Did you get sung to sleep?  Chances are if you did, you also sang your little ones to sleep as well.  These songs evolved, depending on when and where you lived.  Parents have sung lullabies dating back 4000 years.  Many seemed to contain shaky undertones as well as hopes and dreams for better days.  It didn’t matter whether your voice was beautiful or not; you were both comforted by the singing.

 

  There are two types of people, those who can play music and sing and those who wish they could.  Singing has been around, I suppose, since the beginning of time.  According to Statistica,*  the music industry brought in 23 billion dollars in 2020.   So why do we spend so much money on music?  It motivates, connects, encourages, relaxes, and excites us.  Music is powerful.

 

God loves music and singing. There are over 200 verses on singing, not including music. I am not a musician, but I can play a rhythm guitar. I used to play and sing at the church I attended. Granted, I’m not talented, but I did have a song, and I worshipped. Then I changed churches. The musicians and singers at my new church are more capable, and I wasn’t familiar with the new music. So, now I am a worshiper instead of a singer or musician. That being said, I pretty much quit singing. It’s been around four years. Since I didn’t play at church, I didn’t see the need to play or sing.

 

  A couple of weeks ago, I was praying, and the Lord spoke to my heart, “You don’t sing to me anymore.”  Oh no, was He disappointed? Did I neglect my Lord?  I had to ask myself, why did I sing?  If I was singing for God, why did I quit?  I have to tell you, I have repented.  I’ve been singing to the Lord throughout the day lately.  God enjoys hearing me, even though my voice isn’t beautiful.  I have been feeling better physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

 

  You don’t have to be good at it; just sing a song of worship. The Lord will be smiling, and so will you.  You will probably sleep better too.

 

O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth.” (Psalms 96:1)

*https://www.statista.com/statistics/272305/global-revenue-of-the-music-industry/

Have You Ever Prayed For Patience?

Teresa Poucher

How did that work for you?  Did you catch every red light?  Did the shortest line at the grocery store end up in a glitch?  I don’t want to pray for patience; I will try to grow in it. Thank you!  

  Years ago, I overheard someone pray, “God, I want to trust you.”  Did they realize what they were asking?  God, I want to be where no one else will be able to help me.  I will rely on you alone, with a much bigger situation than I could handle on my own.  

  Well, I do want to trust God, but I haven’t prayed for the ability to trust Him until recently.  The day we are living in has become quite stressful.  We read in Luke 21:25-26: 

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”

  According to market watch.com, anti-anxiety use is up 34% since the COVID pandemic began.*  I don’t want to mention the number of floods, fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes we’ve endured.  ‘Truth is, we need to trust God, which is much easier to say than do.  Yet, we are pretty silly — we don’t control anything anyway!  Can you even breathe without God?  It would behoove us to lose all control and give it to God.  After all, He is a God we can trust.

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

  Lord, teach me to trust you.

*Anti-anxiety medication prescriptions have spiked 34% during …

Are You in the Wilderness?

Teresa Poucher

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:1-4)

  A wilderness is a barren place where one feels alone.   It seems there is nothing around to sustain or help you.  Can you relate to that? 

  Jesus knew what it was to be in the wilderness.  Note, He was led to this uninhabited land.  We may not always like where the Lord is leading us.  He had fasted 40 days. Surely, He was hungry, as well as weak.  ‘Seems the enemy likes to kick you while you’re down and out. 


When Satan went to Him and said, “Make these stones bread,”Jesus didn’t use his creative power. Jesus equates bread (the main staple of the time) to the Word of God. He spoke and said, ”It is written.”
I’m so glad he used something that we have readily available to us. When we read the story of creation, we see ten times in Genesis 1: “…and God said.”

“…but [whosoever] shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Matthew 11:23)

In our wilderness, what are we going to say? Words of faith, promise, and favor?

It wasn’t until he came out of the wilderness that He performed his first earthly miracle. What is the word?

What is Salt Worth?

Teresa Poucher

That all depends on the era in which we’re living. If we look back in history, we will find our ancestors using salt thousands of years ago. It was found in salt beds, as well as in seawater.

 

  I was twelve when we lived in Hawaii.  The waves would sometimes splash water onto the jetties.  Later, it would dry, and the salt would remain.  Since the oceans cover such an expanse, I never thought of salt having much value.  Maybe you’ve heard the expression, “They aren’t worth the salt in their soup.”  

 

  In ancient times they used it to preserve and ferment food.  We still do this today.   Salt is very inexpensive, yet it has proven to be extremely valuable.  Do you sometimes feel inadequate or lacking in worth?  

 

  I remember my Mom saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Well, I like the addition, “…but you can put salt in his oats!” 

 

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (Matthew 5:13)

 

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”(Colossians 4:6)

 

Let my words be seasoned with salt, so others will thirst for the Living Water.

 

“… whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)

  Can you put a price on a thirsty soul?   

 

So, what is your salt worth? Is it cheap or priceless?

Is He God or Not?

Teresa Poucher

I get it.  The unanswered prayer.  The broken heart, disappointments, sickness, death, loss, shattered dreams, and hopes.  We have all had our share of hurts, some more than others.

  Does it mean He doesn’t hear or care?  Not hardly. It’s not necessarily what happens to us that shakes our faith, but how we react to the situation. 

Yes, we can remind ourselves of scriptures such as when Jesus promised, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5) and when Paul assured us that “…all things work together for good…” (Romans 8:28) Yet, we still feel inadequate, and in ourselves, we are. However, there is a way to escape those feelings.

  In I Kings chapter 18, Elijah approached King Ahab.  Keep in mind there had been a drought for three years, and Jezebel had killed many of the prophets.  Elijah told Ahab to meet him at Mount Carmel.  You know the story of the 450 prophets of Baal sacrificing a bullock:  They prayed, leaped on the altar, and cut themselves, but there was no answer. 

  Then it was Elijah’s turn.  Please note, the first thing he did was to repair the altar.  Sometimes, our altar may be in disarray or damaged.  Has it been neglected?  Maybe we are going to the altar but not bringing a sacrifice.  We are telling God how wrong things are going, how weary we are.  What happened to our sacrifice of praise? 

  Elijah brought quite a sacrifice.  Not only did he supply a bullock, but he also got four barrels of water.  The brook Cherith where God told him to go had already dried up.  It was a grievous time for the people, land, and animals.

  To repair the altar, he gathered twelve stones.  They represented the twelve tribes of Israel.  Perhaps this indicates the need for unity of the people of God, for the kingdom was divided.

“…endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:3-6)

  When things are good, praise Him.  When you are in the plains, praise Him.  When nothing seems to be going right, and trouble is on every side, that is when you really need to praise Him.  Are you in a spiritual famine or a dry and thirsty land?  Praise, worship, sing, pray and read His Word.  Watch Him come to your aid.

“… How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him…. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.” (I Kings 18:21, 38-39)

Mercy

Teresa Poucher

When I was young, many moons ago, we played a game called “Mercy.”  The game is played by two people who grasp each other’s hands with interlocked fingers. The object is to twist the opponent’s hands or fingers until the opponent gives in and cries, “Mercy.”

 

  I like studying the Ark of the Covenant.  In the wooden box covered with gold, we find the Ten Commandments. It was covered with a lid called the “mercy seat” and made of pure solid gold.  Once a year, the high priest would go into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on it.

 

Unfortunately, this just covered their sins until the following year. However, when Jesus, the Lamb of God, shed his blood on Calvary, it washed away our sins permanently:

 

“… and washed us from our sins in his own blood …” (Revelation 1:5)

 

  The commandments let me know I was a sinner.  I needed God’s mercy.  I’ve heard mercy described as “not giving me what I deserve.”  

 

“What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, if it had not been for the Law, I would not have recognized sin.” (Romans 7:7)

 

  We all need His mercy, but here’s the real kicker: We need to be merciful.  I want to go beyond forgiveness so I can be forgiven. I have no desire for my adversaries to pay for the wrong they inflicted upon me or on any of my loved ones.

 

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)

 

He kept His mercy near before I asked for it; shouldn’t I do the same? Today, I no longer play mercy, but I will cry out, “Mercy!”

Are You Alone?

Teresa Poucher

I have plenty of tasks at hand, as well as a to-do list, so get out of my way!  

  It’s hard for me to slow down; I’m just a little too task-oriented.  

Sometimes, my to-do lists keep me from doing the things I need to do:  Talk to my mom, visit a friend, or just stop and breathe.

 

We have heard it said, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.” ‘Seems to me, a busy mind is a fortress. It’s locked up so tight that we have trouble seeing or hearing what’s happening around us.

 

Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? …” (Mark 8:18)

 

  Maybe you too have made yourself busy with means of distraction from what is going on in the world today.  

 

  Several times, we see that Jesus withdrew to be alone to pray.  

 

“And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” (Matthew 14:23)

 

“…So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.” (Nehemiah 2:6)

 

  How is one going to hear with all the disturbances?

 

“…and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.” (Mark 4:34)

 

Isn’t it time we get alone?

Floods, Fires, Cyclones, Collapse, Earthquake

Teresa Poucher

Our world has been shaken!

 

Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.” (Hebrews 12:26)

 

  Many will fall during this time, yet many will come to the Lord. I know the love of many will wax cold but let those “revival fires” burn.

 

“And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:3-4)

 

  It’s alright to let the floodwaters flow spiritually.

 

“For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.” (Isaiah 44:3)

 

  During this time of uncertainty, one thing is sure. God is still in control. I want to seek His face and cry out for His will.

 

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bands were loosed.” (Acts 16:25-26)

 

  Does it feel like your foundation has been shaken? What we were accustomed to has a different footing now. May the things that used to bind us be loosened. The doors we may have neglected or been reluctant to go through have been opened.

 

  Paul, Silas, and the prisoners had a move of God that would never be forgotten. Just in case you didn’t notice the prisoners experienced this too. It’s for whosoever will.

 

  I want to continue standing for God and His righteousness, don’t you?

Get out of your Cave

Teresa Poucher

If you’ve ever read the book Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus,* you understand about men becoming cave-dwellers at times. We ladies would rather talk about a problem to a friend; however, a man tends to retreat, much like Elijah.

 

  In I Kings, chapter 18, we find Elijah on a mountain top experience.  He has a showdown with the prophets of Baal on which God answers by fire.  Not only does fire fall from heaven and consume the sacrifice, but Elijah also slays the prophets.  In chapter 19, King Ahab goes to Jezebel, his wife, and she threatens to kill Elijah.  Now he is ready to die and hides in a cave, thinking he is the only one serving God.

 

What doest thou here, Elijah,” said God. Elijah proceeded to talk to God. In my words, he said, “I have been on fire for you. I have fought against all evil for your name’s sake. Everyone else has given up, and what do I get? They are out to kill me. I’m just going to stay in my cave until I figure this out.”

 

Can I tell you, you will never figure God out. He may speak to your heart; you may have an excellent relationship, but “…his ways are past finding out.” (Romans 11:33)

 

  God told him to go forth and stand on the mountain. (That is to say, “Get out of your cave!”) He saw the wind break the rocks, the earthquake, and the fire. Yet God didn’t move like Elijah thought He should.  He was in that still small voice.

 

  It would do us well to turn off the music, TV, and cell phone.  God is still speaking in that still small voice.  Get out of your cave.  Look, listen, seek; there might very well be three anointings waiting for you.

*Gray, J. (2009). Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. HarperCollins

How To Get A Blessing

Teresa Poucher

And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell the of…. And Abraham said unto his young men, abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” (Genesis 22:2,5)

The first time we see the word “worship” is when God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son. This would not have been unheard of to the nations that worshiped false gods. I don’t believe he told his wife where he was going with the long-awaited son. The part that takes me back is when he tells his servants, “…I and the lad will go yonder and worship…” (Genesis 22:5)

  The mount is Moriah. Solomon built God’s house on Mount Moriah, where David saw the judgment of God when he numbered Israel.  It was there he repented, sacrificed, and worshiped.

What we call “sacrifice,” Abraham called “worship.” We invite God’s Presence through our repentance, sacrifice, and worship. When our sacrifice turns to worship, we will be blessed.

“…and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies…” (Genesis 22:16-17)