Alone?

Jesus knows.

Peter began to say to Him, “Look, we have left everything and followed You.” “Truly I tell you, said Jesus, “- no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for My sake and for the gospel will fail to receive a hundredfold in the present age—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, along with persecutions—and to receive eternal life in the age to come” Mark 10:28-30

jesus-loves-you

It’s far more than that! I consider everything else worthless because I’m much better off knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. It’s because of him that I think of everything as worthless. I threw it all away in order to gain Christ.  Philippians 3:8

the-only-one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rZ8k9m2hwo

the-cure-to-a-lonely-heartJesus, I am feeling alone.  My family thinks I’m crazy.

So if we were crazy, it was for God. If we are sane, it is for you.    2 Corinthians 5:13

They look at me as an ignorant fool.  It hurts, Lord.  It hurts. You know.

When his family heard about it, they went to get him. They said, “He’s out of his mind!”  Mark 3:21

How lonely were you Father, when Your only Son, Jesus, left heaven to come down to earth?  How lonely were you Jesus, to not only leave our Father in heaven when You came down to earth, but to hang forsaken on that cross?  Only you, Jesus, know what true utter forsaken loneliness feels like.

what-love-is

God, I have Your Word, and Your Word is enough.  More than enough!

I pray that you being rooted and grounded in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of His love, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.…Ephesians 3:18

If we have left everything in this world then of course we are going to feel lonely!  And it’s okay.  Help our unbelief, Lord.  Fill us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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Wisdom Of The Ages

the-foolishness-of-old-age-does-not-characterize-all-who-are-old-but-only-the-foolish-quote-1 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility:  1 Peter 5:5

I have noticed that the young do not listen to wisdom anymore.

Poverty and shame [shall be to] him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured. Proverbs 13:18

Did they ever?

What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun. Ecc 1:4-11

They do not regard those as older and wiser as older and wiser.

Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Psalm 1:1

They regard them as foolish fools.

Senseless people do not know, fools do not understand…Psalm 92:6

Age and experience brings wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

No one holds age sacred anymore.

They will consider nothing sacred anymore. 2 Timothy 3:2

The paradox in having a teachable heart is that you have to learn how to have a teachable heart.  I now learn from those older, wiser, and schooled in the truth of Jesus Christ.  The following is one of those examples.

I was reading my advent devotions…yes, I got a little behind on the reading…and came across this superlative gem of wisdom by G.K. Chesterton.  I thought it so good that I felt compelled to share it on my blog:

THE PARADOX OF CHARITY

Charity is a paradox, like modesty and courage. Stated baldly, charity certainly means one of two things — pardoning unpardonable acts, or loving unlovable people. But if we ask ourselves (as we did in the case of pride) what a sensible pagan would feel about such a subject, we shall probably be beginning at the bottom of it. A sensible pagan would say that there were some people one could forgive, and some one couldn’t: a slave who stole wine could be laughed at; a slave who betrayed his benefactor could be killed, and cursed even after he was killed. In so far as the act was pardonable, the man was pardonable. That again is rational, and even refreshing; but it is a dilution. It leaves no place for a pure horror of injustice, such as that which is a great beauty in the innocent. And it leaves no place for a mere tenderness for men as men, such as is the whole fascination of the charitable. Christianity came in here as before. It came in startlingly with a sword, and clove one thing from another. It divided the crime from the criminal. The criminal we must forgive unto seventy times seven. The crime we must not forgive at all. It was not enough that slaves who stole wine inspired partly anger and partly kindness. We must be much more angry with theft than before, and yet much kinder to thieves than before. There was room for wrath and love to run wild. And the more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.

 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times? “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! Matthew 1821-11

Now there’s some wisdom!

I’ve known some old people who never learn, either.  Never stop learning.  Even unto old age…

6e6bc02e032ca8b714483946ac5a7776And here is some more wisdom in the prayer that followed:

Lord of Outrageous Grace, you showed Peter and you show us the stinginess of our forgiveness, Peter hoped for a lower number, six or perhaps five times to forgive his neighbor.  We often settle for once, or not at all.  How can we be as forgiving as you command!  How can we, except by your grace, have the strength to offer ourselves again and again to those who offend us?  Pour out your Spirit on us, Lord Christ, and grant that we may one day stop counting altogether.

Help us to remember that the things of God often appear foolish.  Grey hair is a crown of glory and should be revered, respected, and held sacred!

In Jesus’ name, Amen

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LOVE WHISPERS OF GOD

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

love-whispersI am a Stephen Minister.

I was commissioned on June 14, 2009.  As I knelt at the altar to receive my commissioning, the Lord brought to my remembrance the date and its significance.  I had not given thought to it before, but love whispers it dawned on me as I knelt there that this day was the exact day of the 25th anniversary of my Mom’s death.   I wept as I received God’s blessing.

It wasn’t long afterwards that the Stephen Minister Manager called me with a care receiver.  He told me that as soon as he heard of her situation love whispers he knew without a doubt that I was the one to give her care.

Without divulging any names to maintain anonymity, this was her situation.  Love whispers Christmas was fast approaching and my care receiver was in deep depression and mourning for her oldest son who, in his early 20’s, had overdosed and died earlier that year.

As I started to meet with her and talk with her and get to know her we were both surprised (and as fellow believers, awed) to find that love whispers her oldest of three sons had overdosed on the exact day that my husband and I had moved from the country into our new home in the township near the city in which she lived.

Her husband, the son’s father, had died fairly young several years earlier and she was contemplating suicide herself and this is why.  She had read…

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Mat 21:22

…and was still believing…even almost a year after her son’s death!…that God would raise her son from the dead because she believed Him to do it, but He wasn’t answering her prayer.  She was at the end of her faith.

Oh, did I pray!

Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Mat 6:8

I did not know what I needed to say to her and I felt utterly helpless.  I prayed and prayed and prayed and sought God.  And this is the gem that love whispers God in His infinite wisdom revealed to me to say to her.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14

When I shared that with her I could see love whispers the light go on in her eyes.  She realized love whispers it was not God’s will that her son be raised.

After the light went on in her eyes I could see that she now was floundering because the foundation she had been clinging to for almost a year had been pulled out from underneath her.    I then shared something with her that love whispers my pastor had shared with me about her situation to restore to her a foundation upon which to stand.

“That same faith with which you believed God to raise your son from the dead is the same faith which will sustain you all the days of your life.”

Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.   Eph 2:20

And here is the greatest love whisper of all in this entire Stephen Ministry relationship:

As my care receiver was recovering from her depression and we were coming to the end of our relationship love whispers the Lord brought to my memory one more thing…

We love because he first loved us.    1 John 4:19

…a long time ago, several years ago in fact, when I still lived in a little country town and was first coming to faith.  At that time, the Lord was especially dealing with me on unconditional forgiveness.   I had an encounter with my as yet unknown care receiver and her sons.  I was riding my bike to a local convenience store and as I pulled in a young voice from the backseat of a car parked there yelled, “Hey!  Your a** is too fat to ride that bike.”

and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.  Matthew 6:12

I noticed 3 young boys sitting side by side laughing at me.  I walked over to the car and told them something along these lines, “We’ll just wait until your parents comes out and see what they have to say.”  The boys were still laughing when out walked their Mom (my years later care receiver).  When I shared with her what her son said to me and requested that she ask him to apologize to me she screamed at me, “Their father just died, so leave us alone!!!” as if that were an excuse for bad behavior.  She then got in the car and drove off.

During our later Stephen Ministry relationship I never shared that memory with her.

From:  When Love Whispers Your Name

If love whispers your name
Breathes in your ear
Sighs in the rain
Love is worth every fall
Even to beg
Even to crawl

Love is worth every wound
Each lonely day,
Each sleepless night
Love is worth every wound
The price that you pay
To live in the light

~Richard Thompson

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13

Love whispers.

love-whispers-the-crossFor God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLQu6_Tjk9M

Jesus, Lover of my soul.  If we would just listen.  Open our ears to hear you.  Whisper, oh Love, whisper on.  Amen.


 

 

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Jesus’ Peace Full Lullaby

fullness-of-timeColossians 1:15-20New International Version (NIV)

The Supremacy of the Son of God

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

jesus_and_mary_manger_by_bnw20401

JESUS’ LULLABY

A gentle young hand cradles His head, and wraps Him in cloth and lays Him to bed.

The Life in death,

He’s born to breath,

And breath, and breath.

Peaceful Baby born to breath.

A gentle young hand cradles His head, and wraps Him in cloth and lays Him to bed.

The Son and Heir,

Born to bear,

And bear, and bear.

Peaceful Baby born to bear.

A gentle young hand cradles His head, and wraps Him in cloth and lays Him to bed.

The Truth in lies,

He’s born to cry,

And cry, and cry.

Peaceful Baby born to cry.

A gentle young hand cradles His head, and wraps Him in cloth and lays Him to bed.

The Light in dark,

He’s born to walk,

And walk, and walk.

Peaceful Baby born to walk.

A gentle young hand cradles His head, and wraps Him in cloth and lays Him to bed.

He’s born to speak

And born to preach,

And preach, and preach.

Peaceful Baby born to preach.

A gentle young hand cradles His head, and wraps Him in cloth and lays Him to bed.

He’s born to live,

Born to forgive,

And give, and give.

Peaceful Baby born to give.

A gentle young hand cradles His head, and wraps Him in cloth and lays Him to bed.

The Answer Why,

Born to die,

And die, and die.

Peaceful Baby born to die.

A gentle young hand cradles His head, and wraps Him in cloth and lays Him to bed.

Godhead in guise,

Born to rise,

And rise, and rise.

Peaceful Baby born to rise.

A gentle young hand cradles His head, and wraps Him in cloth and lays Him to bed.

Amy (C)

Christmas 2016

cross-in-the-manger-png-w645

in Christ you have been brought to fullness. Colossians 2:10

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=yfp-t&p=jesus+lullaby+lyrics#id=1&vid=78850c7e7d0161562c071fbbd8ad8f26&action=click

Jesus, An ancient old hand cradles our head, wraps us in cloths and saves us instead.  We do not know how poor and needy we truly are, Lord.  Thank you for filling us with all the fullness of Christ in Christ.  Thank you for saving us and granting us Your peace…The only peace which surpasses human understanding.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

manger

 

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Rainbow Power

My blog post today may not be what you’re expecting.  Just a head’s up.

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.  Genesis 9:13

rainbow-crossI had a dream the other night.

In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.  Acts 2:17

It was a simple dream.

I was standing in next to Jesus looking down as He purposely set His foot in the sand.

footprints-in-the-sand-1-croppedAs I watched His foot make an impression I remember I started thinking about that poem “Footprints in the Sand” but my thinking was abruptly halted as a powerful radiant rainbow aura of color expanded out around His entire foot.

Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.  Eze 1:28

rainbowexplosionI remember thinking with my whole heart, “power”.

I remember being impressed simply and quickly that Jesus was not just a man who’s foot makes an impression in the sand, but that everything touched by the impression of God is changed with His power. Shaken with the power of God.

A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.  Revelation 4:3

Even a simple footprint of God is imbued with the power of God.  And not just the footprint, but the sand and the world around it like the ripple effect of a pebble being dropped into water.

300px-ripple_effect_on_waterI remember feeling as if Jesus had shared something wonderfully revelatory with me.

He reveals deep and hidden things…Daniel 2:22

I remember a short burst of peace.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  John 14:27

And then I woke up.

Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md3W7GXTPuA

Jesus, I’m not sure why I had that dream, but I know it was from You.  It was a beautiful dream.  A peaceful dream.  A powerful dream.  I thank You that the rainbow and the power belongs to You and no one can snatch it away from You no matter how hard…in their pride…. they try to wrestle it from You.   We love because You first loved us, Lord.  May the power of God reach more and more people with the Truth about You and Your life, sanctifying work on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins, and Your resurrection 3 days later.  May all who read believe, In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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The Mystery of Hidden Modesty

But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it. Luke 9:45

modesty“I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”  Psalm 78:2 and Matthew 13

I was thinking about my Mom this early winter morning.  I was thinking about how I never…not once…ever…in the 19 treasured earthly years I had with her…saw her take a bath or shower.  And yet, she was still always clean, fresh, and sweet smelling.

…the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.       John 12:3

She was sooooooo modest!

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.  Hebrews 4:13

Compared to today’s world she probably would be classified as some sort of phobic about modesty?  Is there such a thing?  Can it be a bad thing?

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. Revelation 2:17

This is my thought…

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again…1 Thes 4:14

Her extreme modesty made a lasting impression on me.

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.Colossians 3:3

It imprinted itself upon my heart.

…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…Ephesians 3:17

It was beautiful!

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles…

Valuable!

…and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes…

Precious.

…Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3

It was a glimpse of God.

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

modesty-lift-the-veil-over-body-faceDear Jesus, Thank you for the dignity revealed through my Mom’s modesty.  Help us to live in the paradox of Christ.     Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, establish those reading by faith.  Lift the veil and reveal hidden things to them, in Your name, Amen.

 

 

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