Saturday, May 28, 2022

Seek Truth


As a child, one night I was awakened by our barking dog. No one shushed him. I listened and heard sounds coming from the kitchen. At first, I thought I must be imagining it, maybe it was a remnant of a dream. But the sounds continued, the dog growled, and the rest of the house remained silent. I waited, hoping someone would wake up and check it out, but no one stirred except my sister in the bed next to me. She was no help. She pulled the covers over her head and pretended nothing nefarious was going on. I wished I could convince myself she was right.

The noise continued and I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to know. I got out of bed and opened the door that led into the hallway. 

Someone was there! I could hear them. I shouted, "Who's there?!"

Footsteps ran toward the front of the house and charged out the front door with our barking dachshund in hot pursuit. And then the household woke up.

That is a snapshot of me. I have to know. It's easier for me to handle challenges if I know what I'm up against. That's how I've always been. And will likely always be.

However, recently when an MRI came back revealing a growth on my left kidney, I found myself wanting to avoid calls from my doctor. Did I really want to know the truth? No. I wasn't ready to know.

After a CT scan had been done, I actually ignored the first call from the doctor's office. I wasn't ready yet. However, I answered the next call and was told I have a tumor, which I've since discovered is cancerous. We - the doctor's, God and I are going to take care of it.

That incident got me to thinking. We believe we want to know the truth about circumstances in our life, including the truth of God's Word. But do we really? Would we rather pull a blanket over our head and refuse to see? 

Sometimes the truth is hard to look at. But ignoring it never serves us well. At the very least, if we're unable to act upon whatever it is we discover, we will know better how to pray.

I have been dealing with a good deal of frustration about how so many people seem unwilling to look at what's happening in the world these days. I have had little empathy for those who refuse to see. But this incident with my doctor has reminded me that sometimes we just need to be patient and wait until a person is ready to hear. 

Most of you very likely know that something is weird in the world. Things are off. Something IS wrong. And you have not looked to see what it is because you're not yet ready to know. But what is happening is truly dire and we all need to know. Now, possessing a little more compassion, I am praying that you will pull the blanket off your head and seek the truth.

Do not be faint of heart. God will not fail you. Really. 

Like the cancer growing in my kidney, if I ignore it ... it will destroy me. Why would I allow such a thing? 

Grace and peace to you from God,


Saturday, May 21, 2022

A Word to the Church


I decided it is time for me to reread the book of Revelation. Right off, God set me on a personal evaluation. 

Revelation 3:22 says,

    "Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches."

This is the last line of the first four chapters in the book of Revelation. It is repeated seven times in those four chapters. Clearly it is important. 

What does the church need to hear? And who is the church?

In each of the seven churches John addresses their strengths and their weaknesses. He gives only one answer to correct their course - listen to the Spirit. 

If we look at the church in these challenging days, it seems clear that many have lost their way. Too many focus on things like appearance, number of attendees, money and building projects, and even trying overly hard not to ruffle feathers. There are additional sins, some too horrible to mention here, though they may soon come to light.

I am no better than any other. I am a sinner, found by my Lord and lifted up out of a pit of despair. He set me on solid ground. I am forever grateful for His mercy toward me. 

God wishes that none, no not one, would be lost. He extends the gift of eternal life to all. But the choice to grasp his outstretched hand is ours to make. When we accept His gift, we become His children. That is so amazing! It is a miracle.

As children of God, we are part of the church. When we first stepped into the new us we were overjoyed and excited to learn all we could. But, as in the Church of Ephesus, over time some became distracted and lost their first love. What a great personal loss and a loss to the world, that looks to the church for direction, encouragement, hope and love. 

Even if we have been distracted or disheartened, we are not lost. The Lord will renew His Spirit within us and then we, the church, can do much to reveal light to the world. We can't conjure up the light - truth is light. We need to know the truth and let it rule in our hearts. And then as it says in Matthew 5:15, "No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket." 

Shine brightly. Be good to yourself. Take time for renewal. Read God's Word and be quiet before Him.

Close your eyes. Quiet your breath. Open your heart. Whisper His name - Jesus. Listen. 

He will speak. He is in you. 

Remember ... we are the church.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Are We Called?


Recently I connected with a Christian who felt it was her responsibility to make sure I understood what it looks like to obey Christ ... to follow through with what God had asked of me. Interesting thing is that God hadn't spoken to me about this, at least not in the way this person expressed. It's possible I might not have been listening, I'm an imperfect Christian. But when considering what had been said, I believe the Holy Spirit was not speaking to me through this individual.

God says, "Be wary. Be wise. Be attentive."

God has called each of us to our own unique walk of service. In these troubled times there is great need. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. But then I am remined that God is the one who places my steps. My path is not the same as anyone else's. He will guide me. He will not overburden me.

The person who confronted me implied that taking a vocal stand about the leadership in this country was not a Godly way to serve. That the only avenue for someone like me was to display quiet "Godly" behavior. Paul immediately came to mind. What would have happened if he'd remained quiet? What about Stephen? And there's Peter ... plus a long list of other saints who strive to serve humanity and Father God.

Many are called to be prayer warriors. I would hate to think what our lives would be like without them. And there are others have been directed to take a more public stance. There are many ways we can stand up to the enemy, but they each must begin with The Father. Do not conform to common thinking, that's not what God is asking of us.

Do not be afraid. Seek God. Spend time in His Word. Listen to Him. Pray. 

And then, do what it is that He is asking of you. It could bring conflict but go forward anyway. God will not send you out alone. He is with you. He is your strength and your power. 

We are called to battle. Ephesians 6:10 - 20 says it perfectly. 

"A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God's mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God's ambassador. So, pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

When the scripture says, "Put On all of God's armor" it is not a suggestion. It is a command. After we have done so then we can stand and do battle.

There are many different battlefields. In them all, may we stand together ... in the mighty power and in the love of God. I am praying for all of my Christian brothers and sisters. 

Grace and peace to you from God,


Friday, May 06, 2022

A Powerful Weapon

 Study the picture above for a few moments. Look at each face, each smile. 

Did anything happen?

No. Really. Did you feel anything? 

Did you find yourself smiling? I did. I felt happier inside and, without even trying, a smile settled on my lips. Isn't it amazing how wonderfully made we are?

For many months our smiles have been hidden behind masks and in some places they still are. I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and everyone in the office had to wear a mask the entire time we were in the building. Needless to say, spirits weren't so high, and everyone was quiet. 

We are in a war, a war of good against evil. Did you know that? Have you felt it?

There has long been a battle waged in the heavenlies, but this is a bit different. The enemy is threatened, and he is doing all he can to destroy the lives and eternities of people around the world.  This could be described as World War III, though the fight isn't typical. It's a war of ideas, it's technological and uses mind control to bring about changes in our core values. We need to win this war.

It's not easy to stand up to the pressures brought down upon us by the government and even our family, friends and neighbors. In order to win we need to carefully consider how to go about doing that. It begins with our hearts and our spirits. We need to be right with God and trust His Holy Spirit to guide us, to give us courage, wisdom and strength.

We need to know the truth. Seek it. Do all you can to gain knowledge.

No war against tyranny was ever won by complying. Therefore, we must NOT comply. Don't wear your mask. Don't cover your smile. When you are out and about, look at those around you and offer them the beauty, encouragement, strength, and joy that can only be shared in a smile. It's a beautiful way to connect. We are humans and we need to be reminded every day that we are significant. We are one species, yet we are individuals with no other just like us. When we link arms and stand together, we are stronger.

Let's remember to look at each other and keep smiling, keep connecting, the way God intended. 

On so many of the trips I've made into town over the last two years I found myself deeply disturbed by what I found and what I felt. As I walked through stores people were often silent. They didn't look at each other. They didn't talk or laugh. It was incredibly sad. Fear was palpable. That's not how we are meant to interact. The enemy knows us well, but God has created us to overcome.

It's not easy to go against the flow, to stick out. And I'm not here to toss guilt toward anyone. However, I want to remind each of you how special and wonderfully made you are. God created each of us and He knew what we needed in order to thrive on this planet. One of those things is each other.  

I do not know what the coming months will bring. God does. We can trust Him. He is our strength. 

What I do know is that we will fare much better if we keep our eyes on The Father instead of on problems that arise or even our government authorities. 

I am not one who disobeys laws. In fact, I tend to be a rule-follower. However, in these special days there too much at stake to simply go with the flow. I urge you to use discernment, reach deep inside, seek God, listen well and obey the higher authority. He will guide you. 

And for today, use that beautiful smile God gave you. Share it liberally as you go about your day. It truly is contagious and good for the soul. And God knows we need more of that.

Grace and peace to you from God,

Bonnie Leon