I AM Resonance

Genesis 2:7

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Job 33:4

The Spirit of God has made me;
    the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Photo: Jesse Pierce

[Reflective Journal]

Though my body fatigues and my eyes close, you never slumber for you are the breath in me. Oh how you sing over me even while I sleep. The rhythm of YHWH never ceases as my chest rises and falls day and night. The enemy runs from your sound even as I sleep; he remembers your voice [breath] from the highest heavens. Even your breath in me makes the enemy tremble.

As I wake, your breath rushes from my lungs in sweet adoration. How can we say you are not near as I feel you resonating in my lungs. My hand reverently reaches for my chest as if I’m stepping into the Holy of Holies for the first time after the veil was torn. I sing and pronounce worship for we enter your gates with thanksgiving and your courts with praise [Psalm 100:4].

As my hand rests upon my chest, you meet me there. Your resonant vibration tingles each fingertip like a father running his hand through his child’s hair. Each vibration of Your Spirit speaking promises, health, life, mercy, and forgiveness. I lift my hand in praise but quickly reach back for your resonance in my lungs. You have reminded me that you never leave nor forsake because your breath lives inside of me. When I feel alone, I sing out to you in my quiet place. There…your resonant vibration calls me to my knees as I watch your breath send ripples into the atmosphere. All creation pauses for we are reminded…I AM moves, speaks, and lives inside of me.

We must breathe you in for the enemy has a way of sucking the life out of us. Yet, even Paul and Silas did not breathe in despair while being beaten, chained, and thrown into jail. Rather, they breathed in hope which exhaled your work of salvation, freedom, and deliverance. Your breath is truly our stabilizer in this wicked world. You remind me that my body, in fact, requires Your breath and Your bread of life – Your Word – to survive. Without such things, we are truly hopeless and defenseless.

Be glorified in the sounds that are produced from my lungs for they are Yours! Rise from the depths of our lungs with boldness and courage and fill our mouths with Your words that we may evangelize and prophesy. Teach us a new song that we may share with our neighbors for your heart is pure, lovely, and patient. Above all, let the praises that reaches your throne wash your feet with the oil of gladness that comes from our lungs.


Dear believer,

Be encouraged! Remember that God Almighty breathed life inside of you; His breath. Place your hand on your chest and (a) sing praises to His name and (b) pray in the Spirit at all times. There, you will find YHWH inside of you. You are never alone even though the enemy works very hard to make us feel that way. It’s simply a lie. We hold the greatest power inside of us. It’s our job to breathe Him OUT!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Bible Bible Study Celebration Christianity Church Community Courage Daily Devotion Devotion Faith Focus Friends Friendship Glory God Gossip Grace Heart Holy Spirit Hurt Jesus Joy Lies LIfe light Love Mercy Miracle Path Peace Prayer Promises Protection Provider Reflection Religion Shelter Spirit Spiritual Warfare Storms thoughts Truth Victory Words worry

Step In

Psalm 139:1-12

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

[Reflective Journal]

The coast appears endless with its battered shoreline. Figuratively, each step representing torrential rains, fierce winds, and angry waves. Do I have the strength to take another step? Just ahead rests an abandoned boat; it’s floating atop glass. Who is the owner?

~Step in! I want to take you for a ride.

Where are we going? Is the destination in sight?

~Blessed are they who believe without seeing for I AM in the journey and destination.

My first step is unsteady as the boat begins to rock and create tiny ripples along the tranquil water. Will this old boat carry me to wherever we are going?

~Fear not, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand for I AM in the boat.

Fear replaces curiosity as the boat glides into the deep. You said we were going somewhere, but I didn’t know it was out this far! I can no longer see the shoreline and deep waters surround me. Your voice has become suddenly quiet. Did you bring me here to abandon me?

~When you pass through the deep waters, I will be with you for I AM in the waters.

The ripples have faded, and the boat is still. My face reaches for the sky only to be battered by the wind. The sun appears to unleash his rays like fire upon my head. The boat begins to shake like an animal at a feast. Why did I agree to come on this journey? Where are you?

~Wind, fire, and earthquake…for I AM in a still small voice.

You bring a rainbow to show me life, but the fiery darts have multiplied. Will we ever make it to our destination for I am weary? You never told me where we were going! You told me to get in the boat, but it feels futile. I’ll take the paddles from here.

~Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding for I AM in the paddles.

Trusting the journey is the hardest thing especially when you’ve been called. Waiting. Listening. Growing. Yet, one cannot reach the destination without first going through a journey. Dear friends, this message is for someone who is facing doubt and discouragement. I love how Psalm 139 says it, “if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Simply put, we cannot escape the presence and love of God.

I know some of you are in a season of loneliness, sadness, discouragement, and doubt. This world is becoming increasingly dark. Yet, even darkness is not darkness to God. I pray that we walk in faith during these dark times, and keep our eyes fixed on Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith. Believer, do not give up on the destination. Our ultimate destination is heaven. However, God has planted earthly tasks in each of us while we are still on this earth. Don’t give up! The journey may be long; Abraham waited for God’s promise as well.

Ultimately, stand firm and claim your position as a co-heir of Christ so your journey may be filled with peace, joy, blessings, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Bible Bible Study Celebration Christianity Church Community Courage Daily Devotion Devotion Faith Focus Friends Friendship Glory God Gossip Grace Heart Holy Spirit Hurt Jesus Joy Lies LIfe light Love Mercy Miracle Path Peace Prayer Promises Protection Provider Reflection Religion Shelter Spirit Spiritual Warfare Storms thoughts Truth Victory Words worry

Imbue Ivy

Psalm 92:12-14

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,

[Journal]

You saturate us with the wellspring of life.

Your vine is rich and sprouts from our souls.

~We rest on Your bed of imbue ivy.

Holy Spirit fills us from the depths of true love.

Colored. Green. Vibrant. Life.

~We stand on Your bed of imbue ivy.

The doors of our hearts remain open for ministry.

You line the path with flowers from heaven.

~We walk on Your bed of imbue ivy.

Worship. Prayer. Word. Revival.

Tongues of fire can be heard from your ivy laced windows.

~We bow on Your bed of imbue ivy.

The world watches and awaits its turn.

Holy Spirit fire falling upon unreached nations.

~We dance on Your bed of imbue ivy.

Your Word shall not return void.

Promises. Truth. Deliverance. Freedom.

~We pray on Your bed of imbue ivy.

Ivy ripples cannot be stopped.

The righteous stay fresh and green.

~We praise on Your bed of imbue ivy.

Pressed down, shaken together, and running over.

Blessings permeate the toughest soil.

~We listen on Your bed of imbue ivy.

Speak, for your servant is listening.

Ears. Eyes. Mouth. Hands. Feet.

~We prophesy on Your bed of imbue ivy.

Darkness trembles as we open the doors.

Healing. Salvation. Growth.

~We commune on Your bed of imbue ivy.

Holy Spirit, come!

Fire. Water. Wind. Oil.

~We revel on Your bed of imbue ivy.

______________________________________________

In honor of my dear friends in ministry: Summer Bailey & Debbie Cruz.

The Ivy House. Endless Immersion Ministry.

Bible Bible Study Celebration Christianity Church Community Courage Daily Devotion Devotion Faith Focus Friends Friendship Glory God Gossip Grace Heart Holy Spirit Hurt Jesus Joy Lies LIfe light Love Mercy Miracle Path Peace Prayer Promises Protection Provider Reflection Religion Shelter Spirit Spiritual Warfare Storms thoughts Truth Victory Words worry

Poured Out – This Easter

Matthew 26:6-7

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

[Personal Journal]

I hear you God! Our lives are an alabaster jar…poured out! You amaze me, honestly. Early Sunday morning before church, I was reading the passage in Matthew 26 where the unnamed woman opened an expensive bottle of perfume and poured it all out on Jesus’ head. The Holy Spirit spoke heavily that morning, and I was prepared to journal my thoughts as He directed.

Following church, I returned home to find a surprise in the middle of my living room floor. I noticed that our glass oil fragrance burner had fallen from our fireplace mantle; oil was pouring out into a perfect pool of liquid in the middle of the floor. The glass lamp had fallen from a height of approximately six feet without suffering any cracks or shattering. The top of the lamp was tipped open and the oil was flowing ever so gently out of the vessel. I hear you God! I will be obedient and write your Easter message.

Jesus – The Anointed One. We have many names for Jesus: Lord, Messiah, King, Shepherd, etc. Yet, many of us fail to understand one very important meaning of His name, Anointed. Jesus was anointed by the Father to bring salvation to the world. Acts 10:38 also tells us that, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”

During my meditation time, the Holy Spirit spoke clearly when He said that we often seek God’s anointing but we fail to bless the Anointed One. [Pause]. Hear me clearly. There is nothing wrong with seeking! Yet, dear brother and sister…drawing near is truly the first step. Your life is an alabaster jar. He is the Anointed One. I truly believe that the Holy Spirit is trying to get our focus on blessing the Anointed and stop focusing on ourselves. We should, instead, pour ourselves out and then He, by nature, will fill us up!

Often, believers spend an exorbitant amount of time seeking gifts but not the Giver. I think we are getting the point now. This Easter is about the Anointed One. The One who came to seek and save the lost. Therefore, we bless you and pour ourselves out for You, Lord. This Easter, may we open our alabaster jars of our lives and pour them fully onto the head of Jesus. Not only does He deserve it, but there is no better place I’d rather be than anointing my Savior with my words, life, giving, thoughts, actions, sacrifice, etc.

You are an alabaster jar, and you are pouring yourself out to something. Trust me when I say that. Your life is expensive. It was bought with a price! You are most certainly opening your expensive jar and pouring yourself out to something or someone. Only you can answer that question. This Easter, ask God to seek your heart and burn up what is not of Him and to fill you with the Holy Spirit. Open your expensive jar and pour yourself onto His head as a peace offering, and be prepared to receive a rebound of His fullness in love, grace, mercy, and gifts.

In other words, you get the fullness of Jesus Himself through the Holy Spirit. Then, you are able to work in your gifting to do exactly what Jesus did…”doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil” as stated in Acts. How do we know this? For the Holy Spirit lives inside of you. Apart from Jesus, you can do nothing.

Lesson: The most amazing thing is that your jar is never too empty; you are never too spent or cracked! He wants what you have, and He will fill you to an overflow in return. You are an alabaster jar of expensive perfume, and you were bought with a price. Let us pour ourselves out this Easter as a peace offering. We bless the name of Jesus. Poured out for you this Easter and forevermore.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Bible Bible Study Celebration Christianity Church Community Courage Daily Devotion Devotion Faith Focus Friends Friendship Glory God Gossip Grace Heart Holy Spirit Hurt Jesus Joy Lies LIfe light Love Mercy Miracle Path Peace Prayer Promises Protection Provider Reflection Religion Shelter Spirit Spiritual Warfare Storms thoughts Truth Victory Words worry

Creation Speaks

Genesis 1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 

[Personal Journal]

Life. I love when God reminds me to…look up! He often does this when I’m around a lot of people or in a busy season. You see, what I consider “big” in my life cannot compare to the existence of God and His creation. Life.

Sound. A baby cries. I am reminded that all of life creates sound harmoniously. We may not be able to hear it with our human ears, but trust me when I say…it is speaking! Even if man seals my lips, the rocks will cry out. In my time of spiritual meditation, I love when the Holy Spirit pushes my finite cognition. When a baby takes his first breath, he signals to the world that he is born. He cries. In response, his mother places him on her chest to feel her heartbeat and breath. She speaks over him and he knows her voice. What was it like when Abba Father spoke creation into existence? Sound.

Light. I can only imagine that the light flickers in wonderment as it peaks above the horizon bathing the land day after day. When light speaks, flares shoot into the atmosphere shouting praises to Yahweh. The light drives out darkness as a mirror image of God the Father. It dances over the land as it rushes its brilliance over the Father’s creation. Light.

Seas. When God separated the land from the sea, I can only imagine that the blue waves clapped in reverence. When the seas speak, the whitecap waves reach up high and kiss the face of God as He leans down. The seas sway in perfect cadence day and night as the angels sing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord, and all-powerful God.” Seas.

Land. When the dry ground appeared, I can only imagine that it rumbled loudly in admiration of God’s masterpiece. When the land speaks, the entire landscape transforms: grass stands at attention in amazement, mountains tremble in His presence, tree branches crackle as they reach to the heavens in praise, and rocks inhale collectively across the globe in perfect anticipation…they cry out, “Our God is the Rock. His work is perfect.” [Deuteronomy 32:3–4]. Land.

Sky. When Father God separated the sky from the land and water below, I can only imagine that the clouds reflected the most beautiful rays of His face that day. When the sky speaks, it thunder-claps like a symphonic orchestra. The trumpets vibrate from cloud to cloud in pillowy showcase to His glory. Lightening twirls around like a Prima ballerina dancing for her King. The sun brushes each cloud with indescribable colors as a present to Elohim. Sky.

While I was in the middle of writing this journal entry, some dear friends of mine shared a special message and passage with me. This not only confirmed why the Holy Spirit was speaking so loudly to me, but it affirmed my purpose!

Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” I wanted to be in shock when this passage was shared with me, but I was honestly brought to my knees in praise. I was writing a personal journal entry about how God’s creation speaks when my friends sent me a message about the earth being filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

God, in all His glory, is continuing to bring about His vast, deep, and powerful knowledge to the earth…just as the waters cover the sea. I am thankful God chooses to use common people like me and you. We must make that point very clear. He CHOOSES! Just as He spoke light into existence, He could do anything with the power of just His breath. Yet, He chooses to use people: love God and love people.

I’m thankful for Holy Spirit connections, power, and revival. Remember, life creates sound! Are you alive? Are you making a “sound” for the King? Even creation speaks.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Bible Bible Study Celebration Christianity Church Community Courage Daily Devotion Devotion Faith Focus Friends Friendship Glory God Gossip Grace Heart Holy Spirit Hurt Jesus Joy Lies LIfe light Love Mercy Miracle Path Peace Prayer Promises Protection Provider Reflection Religion Shelter Spirit Spiritual Warfare Storms thoughts Truth Victory Words worry

Heart Seasons – FaithWalk Journal

1 Corinthians 15:58

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

[Personal Journal]

I no longer believe in four seasons…summer, fall, winter, and spring. No. You showed me otherwise this weekend. FaithWalk. You, Holy God, plant seasons in the heart far greater than the four times we experience change in one year. You see, atmospheric change cannot describe heart change. It cannot describe the seasons of the heart…but you still produce them.

Some of these heart seasons remind me of cold, dark, and lonely times where growth appears stale. I cry out to you in those “wintery” seasons and beg you to shine new light on me. Yet, the bitter cold of the tongues of men strike daggers through my bones sharper than any known human weapon. Frozen. I’m unable to move from the pain. The windchill from words of death have paralyzed me. However, I’m always reminded that you never leave me nor forsake me no matter how bitter cold those valleys become. Your light is warmth for my soul.

Other heart seasons remind me of new life bursting with color. Your Spirit births words of knowledge, visions, and restoration to what was once dead. Just in these “springtime” seasons, the Holy Spirit blows dandelion kisses spreading His seed all across the field. A doe caresses her fawn the same way you bend down from heaven to listen to me. I hear you too. Meditating on your Word is like honey from the honeycomb…sweet. I’m reminded that the springtime rain is truly your anointing oil kissing the chosen’s head and cheeks for such a time as this.

Yes, there are heart seasons far greater than one can count. Your “summer” showers refreshed all of us this weekend with your presence. I no longer say, “It’s too much.” I desire all of your wind, fire, and living water bursting forth because as an eternal provider it continues to flow in and out of me. Earthly elements are designed to take away and leave empty, but You, Holy God, are designed to give life. You brought butterflies from states away to help produce flowers in us by pollinating your Word all throughout the camp. They are beautiful and gently brush against my skin to remind me of your touch. When they leave, I cry. You’ve created colors on their wings that leave fire pixels wherever they touch so they always point to you even when they are gone.

It’s hard to say goodbye, God! I don’t want to leave your “sunsets on the beach” and your constant whispers from the ocean waves. What is it, Lord? Your colors? I’m not leaving?? You’re changing the colors of my heart, the same way you color a fall tree. I’ve known my gifts before: encouragement/yellow, discernment/blue, vision/red, prayer/white…but you’ve added a new color to my heart this weekend: pastor/green. I never knew the fullness of your heart in me until this weekend walking alongside MY pastor, mentor, and friend. Thank you for using me to help grow/green others, but honestly, Lord, you GREW me.

So, I’ll take your colors with me. With tear-soaked memories, I will forever be thankful and grateful to have walked these seasons with my wife, pastor, and friends. “Wintery” heart seasons won’t be nearly as hard this time…why? I picked a dozen Esther light pink roses to put in my vase. Each one speaks a word to me: leader, beauty, elegance,…

Esther Light Pink Roses

This Holy Spirit nourishment is all I need. May I never forget this experience as I walk the seasons of my life. You, oh Lord, have overly blessed me, and I bless your name with every breath in my body.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

AKA: “Bro. Christian”

Bible Bible Study Celebration Christianity Church Community Courage Daily Devotion Devotion Faith Focus Friends Friendship Glory God Gossip Grace Heart Holy Spirit Hurt Jesus Joy Lies LIfe light Love Mercy Miracle Path Peace Prayer Promises Protection Provider Reflection Religion Shelter Spirit Spiritual Warfare Storms thoughts Truth Victory Words worry

An Unlikely Gift – A Christmas Tale Part II

Romans 6:23

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Gift of God is Eternal Life in Christ “by Promise” | Kingdom of Christ

[Narrative]

When I was growing up, I heard stories about you. We were born around the same day in a small town called Bethlehem. I didn’t know it then as an infant, but I heard that you were delivered and placed in a manger because there was no room in the inn. My parents remembered the townspeople chattering about your birth, “The Savior of the world has come; his name is Immanuel.” How can that be? You were just a helpless baby – crying in a trough to be exact.

Jesus Resting On A Manger Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

I didn’t think you noticed me or even knew my name. You paused…and looked right at me when you were preaching at the temple. Did you know that I had just stolen food and money? Did my nervous energy give it away? Surely that’s the reason! Your eyes were strong, piercing, yet compassionate. At the same time, I heard a dark voice in my head slithering phrases into my conscious: “Who does he think he is? Don’t listen to him! You are filthy and can never be freed from your guilt.” Your eyes spoke of a different story. I’ve heard many teachers, prophets, and religious leaders speak as I walked around the temple looking for something to steal to be frank, but you sounded…different. Yet, the voices convinced me to turn around and walk way. It was easier to continue my life as a thief.

Is that you? I see you coming. Through blood-soaked tears and painful muscle spasms contracting every connective fascia in my body, I see you carrying that cross. What did you do? I’ve watched you over the years, from a distance of course, and I’ve only seen you preach, teach, deliver, and perform miracles. What crime did you commit? What could you have done to receive this type of punishment? I know my sins equal my punishment, but truly what have you done? Why are they nailing you to this cross? I want to feel rage, but I know my crimes. How can you offer forgiveness when they are killing you? Yet, I’m not surprised as this rings true to your character. Seeing you offer forgiveness, love, and zero retaliation began to change my heart. At that time, I couldn’t stand to listen to the insults any longer. You ARE the Messiah and our Immanuel. You don’t deserve this punishment like I do, but please remember me when you come into Your kingdom. Then you said, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” [Luke 23:43]

Sermon Recording- Face to Face, The Thief and Jesus (Luke 23.32-43) |  Revlisad.com

Listen dear child, the unlikely gift this Christmas season is the free gift of Jesus, which brings salvation, wholeness, freedom, healing, restoration, peace, forgiveness, and deliverance. Please do not let the true meaning of this season become overshadowed by worldly presents, trees, and lights. Even while his flesh was dying, Jesus was still in the business of saving lives! Yes, the baby in the manger changes everything, but you still have to accept Him. The two thieves on the cross are truly the perfect example! Jesus did not turn to the other thief and condemn him or harass him for his unbelief and insults. Sadly, Jesus knew where that man would spend eternity, but He did not force Himself upon him even as the other thief was dying. What a lesson!

Do not wait for a deathbed confession! Today is the day for salvation. No matter how old you are, what you’ve done, or how “bad” you “think” you are, Jesus is MORE than able! However, no matter where you are in your life: young, old, or truly in a season of death and dying, Jesus can restore your soul in an instant; you simply have to accept.

~Do you need peace? JESUS

~Do you need healing? JESUS

~Do you need restoration? JESUS

~Do you need joy? JESUS

~Do you need fulfillment? JESUS

~Do you need deliverance? JESUS

~Do you need clarity? JESUS

~Do you need freedom? JESUS

~Do you need salvation? JESUS

Question: Will you accept this unlikely gift? One that offers you EVERYTHING by accepting, repenting, and confessing.

Gift: “You will be with Me in Paradise.”

Bible Bible Study Celebration Christianity Church Community Courage Daily Devotion Devotion Faith Focus Friends Friendship Glory God Gossip Grace Heart Holy Spirit Hurt Jesus Joy Lies LIfe light Love Mercy Miracle Path Peace Prayer Promises Protection Provider Reflection Religion Shelter Spirit Spiritual Warfare Storms thoughts Truth Victory Words worry

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Faded Joy – A Christmas Tale

James 1:2-3

Trials and Temptations

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Mary, did you know when the angel entered your home and said you were favored by the Lord that there would be many trials?…

Luke 1:28-38

When the angel entered her home, he greeted her and said, “You are favored by the Lord! The Lord is with you.”

29 She was startled by what the angel said and tried to figure out what this greeting meant.

30 The angel told her,

“Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor  with God.
31 You will become pregnant, give birth to a son,
and name him Jesus.
32 He will be a great man
and will be called the Son of the Most High.
The Lord God will give him
the throne of his ancestor David.
33 Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever,
and his kingdom will never end.”

34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be? I’m a virgin.”

35 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come to you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy child developing inside you will be called the Son of God.

36 “Elizabeth, your relative, is six months pregnant with a son in her old age. People said she couldn’t have a child. 37 But nothing is impossible for God.”

38 Mary answered, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you’ve said happen to me.”


The response of FAITH and pure JOY!…”Let everything you’ve said happen to me.”

Mary, did you know that trials would engulf your family and attempt to steal your joy when Joseph woke up from a dream and said your family had to flee to Egypt because Herod was plotting to kill all the male children two years old and younger?


Mary, did you know that the trial of misplacing your preteen son, who was also fully God, during the Festival of the Passover for three days would cause you great anxiety?

Luke 2:48-50

48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.


Mary, did you know the trial of watching your son, the Savior of the world, being beaten and crucified would cause anguish and grief?

Matthew 27:55-56

55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.


Mary, did you know that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection would trade pieces of faded joy for a cup overflowing with everlasting life? Just as the angel said decades prior, “Nothing is impossible for God.”

I’m reminded this Christmas season that not everything is jolly and bright. We must be sensitive to those around us and the trials they are going through. In fact, YOU are probably going through some trials of your own! As believers, it is our duty to carry each other’s burdens.

Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Truly, Christ carries us and ALL of our burdens but this passage reminds us to be outwardly focused.

~This Christmas season, there are families that will attempt to cook their family Christmas dinner without a loved one. Tears replace laughter.

~This Christmas season, there are co-workers who are lonely and seeking to fill a great void in their lives that only the risen Christ can seal. Depression replaces peace.

~This Christmas season, there are single parents struggling to pay rent and feed their children while the world continues to spiral out of control. Chaos replaces security.

~This Christmas season, there are neighbors in your community who won’t be able to see their loved ones leaving them all alone for the holidays. Silence replaces chatter.

~This Christmas season, there are foster children begging for a permanent loving home. Sadness replaces contentment.

~This Christmas season, there are souls all across the globe who are either lost, hurt, or struggling. Trials replace hope.


No matter where you see yourself (or others), trials produce spiritual perseverance. Therefore, this Christmas season, we take notes from the greatest overcomer: Jesus Christ. Despite the various trials He experienced, He ACCOMPLISHED what He came to do: To seek and save the lost.

Oh dear child! That simply gives me chills. He seeks you! The eyes of the Lord are upon you even in your desperate time of need. I challenge you to trade your faded joy for Christmas hope!

This type of hope does not come in a pretty package. It cannot be bought, and you will NEVER find it in a store. You will find Him [HOPE] this season wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Do not be dismayed…this baby changes everything!

faith…hope…love…salvation!

I’m thankful for my dear wife, Aimee, for sending me the picture of her coffee mug this morning with the title: faded joy. It is overwhelming to see the Holy Spirit speak and use her as He does.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Bible Bible Study Celebration Christianity Church Community Courage Daily Devotion Devotion Faith Focus Friends Friendship Glory God Gossip Grace Heart Holy Spirit Hurt Jesus Joy Lies LIfe light Love Mercy Miracle Path Peace Prayer Promises Protection Provider Reflection Religion Shelter Spirit Spiritual Warfare Storms thoughts Truth Victory Words worry

Clothed in Christ

Romans 13:14

14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

11-14 [The Message] But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!

[Interpretative]

This tree, full of life, is clothed in your beauty.

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

You, Lord, are our place of refuge and safety. I shall not want.

Your vibrance reaches across the expanse from your breath of life as you whisper to all souls.

Yet, death lurks in the distance.

Sin, that so easily entangles, is wagging war for the same space.

Drunkenness, lust, pride, bickering, and greed are the brittle limbs holding the last of your colorful gifts.

These sins have eaten at your soul and lay waste to the ground in lifeless decay.

Your trunk is surrounded by death as you war against: “Whoever finds their life will lose it.”

Yet a still small voice paints a different picture: “Whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

Picking up your cross, daily, leaves deep wounds.

No one promised that this life was going to be easy.

However, consider it pure joy when you go through various trials.

Don’t squander an opportunity…get dressed and clothe yourself in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Your covering drapes over me like a rich anointing flowing from my head to my knees.

As I bow, you cover me to where others only see the Son.

Conversely, sin has a covering.

This veiled sackcloth suffocates the very spiritual breath required for healthy spiritual fruit.

Your vibrant greens are fading to fragile browns.

This tree, full of life, is clothed in your beauty…your love ran red and cleansed me.

When others look at me, they can only see your skillful creation and handiwork.

So with fresh spiritual eyes, awaken O sleeper.

The time is near and He is calling.

Cast off all the sin that so easily ensnares and clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Reclaim what the locust have stolen and take your rightful place.

Stand firm with your trunk unwavering on the cornerstone of Christ.

Don’t sway or turn to the ways of this world.

Remain in the light and He shall cover you with His wings.

The time is now…don’t wait or linger.

You were called for such a time as this but don’t go at it alone.

Putting on the full armor of God protects you in this spiritual battle.

He promises to protect you from the fiery darts of the enemy with the shield of faith.

He waters your soul because He is living water just as the moss helps hydrate the tree.

Remain refreshed by filling yourself with all things just, fair, noble, and true.

Clothe yourself in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Cast off everything else you’re not meant to wear or carry.

Wake up! It’s time to get dressed!

Challenge: What or who are you wearing? This is not a question about designer clothing. This is a spiritual matter.

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Bible Bible Study Celebration Christianity Church Community Courage Daily Devotion Devotion Faith Focus Friends Friendship Glory God Gossip Grace Heart Holy Spirit Hurt Jesus Joy Lies LIfe light Love Mercy Miracle Path Peace Prayer Promises Protection Provider Reflection Religion Shelter Spirit Spiritual Warfare Storms thoughts Truth Victory Words worry

Destination

Psalm 37:5

 5  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

Your destination does not mean that you’ve arrived! Arrival is set for when you meet Jesus face-to-face. It’s what you do in the middle that matters. From the time that I was a child, my wise aunt always said, “The train keeps moving if you’re on it or not so you might as well get on the train.”

I come from a long line of both intellectual and spiritual warriors so this adage stuck with me. Following high school, I climbed aboard and have ridden the rails between vast cotton fields of northeast Louisiana, through bright city lights in the heart of Texas, and on country back porches in the “Heel of the Boot.”

All of these destination stops were God-designed, God-ordained, and God-breathed. Yet the journal was not easy! Through many years of hard work and dedication, I am stepping off my fourth train and looking forward to this next season/destination of life. These trains may have awarded me more credentials and degrees on my “rail ticket” or “life’s passport,” but I’ve gained something more valuable as I watch the train leave the station: contentment, peace, love, joy, appreciation, and servant-leadership.

Simply put, I’ve spent twelve years in post-secondary education…climbing up; can you hear the sound of the train’s whistle as it climbs? Yet, the entire time, God was teaching me to kneel and wash the feet of those He placed in my care. Let’s just say, the ride wasn’t always easy, and some years felt more like a rollercoaster versus a scenic ride through the mountains. Pride’s fuel results in an erratic and unpredictable terrane. Whereas, humility’s fuel brings smooth rides through lush landscapes.

Don’t forget…your destination, wherever you are, is NOT your arrival. These are two separate and distinctly different words. Will there be another train ride? As my wise aunt stated, “That depends on the Conductor [Jesus Christ]. He has delivered you [and all of us] through all the high mountains, low valleys, deep waters, and stormy weather. So whatever He plans for your life, we trust in His direction for your future.”

As I turn and wave goodbye to this faithful ride, I never want to forget the sounds of the wheels that remind me of the roughness of life. The “clickety-clack” is a constant reminder that we will face MANY trials in this life, but we are to consider them PURE JOY for the testing of your faith produces perseverance [James 1:1-3]. I want to hear the blast of the train’s whistle one more time, which reminds me that Jesus will send out his angels with a LOUD trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other [Matthew 24:31]; therefore, we must be intentional about sharing and SHOWING the gospel EVEN outside the walls of the church. Finally, I want to hear the roar of the engine, which reminds me that when God is in control of YOUR vessel…NOTHING can stop you because even the winds and waves obey Him [Matthew 8:24-27].

God has a high-level view of your life! As I walked away from my final train station, He allowed me to see that all four stations represented His Son, Jesus Christ. Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway?! Therefore, wherever you are, please be encouraged!

(1) God may be telling you to get on the train (whatever that train represents for you). Remember, “The train keeps moving if you’re on it or not!” Where might the Lord want to “take” you next in your spiritual journey. Time to let go and climb aboard!

(2) He may also be trying to fill you with courage to leave the station and finally begin your new journey/destination. You weren’t meant to stay at the station forever. It’s time to go make an impact for Him. Get off the bench; pick up your bags, and make the first step. He will honor your faithfulness.

(3) He may be trying to OPEN your eyes to your surroundings and others and stop focusing on life’s negativities. Again, wherever you are, I can guarantee you one thing…He will always be with you!

In the last year and a half, we have seen extreme suffering and loss. The world AND OUR neighbors are hurting. Don’t let the enemy stifle God’s purpose for your life. You have a choice. Let today be your day to make an impact for the Kingdom.

Goodbye for now faithful engine…

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Bible Bible Study Celebration Christianity Church Community Courage Daily Devotion Devotion Faith Focus Friends Friendship Glory God Gossip Grace Heart Holy Spirit Hurt Jesus Joy Lies LIfe light Love Mercy Miracle Path Peace Prayer Promises Protection Provider Reflection Religion Shelter Spirit Spiritual Warfare Storms thoughts Truth Victory Words worry