Not just a number with God, you’re a name!

Why are there so many names in the Bible? That is the question.
Well, my whole attitude has changed entirely about all of the names we have to get through as we make an attempt to read through the Bible.

I used to skip through them, but I have begun to slow down and read through, with great trouble at times, the names.

You see, in our world today, don’t you just feel like a number most of the times?
We are a number at the deli counter, we are a number for this and for that, and for college you simply are a number – and at times we just feel like 1 in a million.

But you see, when you and I walk in the door to our home, we have names, we are part of a family. God says,
“Toni, call Me Father when you talk to Me.”

I am not a number with God.
His words for me,

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;” Jeremiah 1:5

He knows your name, you were known by Him before you were even formed in the womb. That is what the Bible tells us. And if that is not enough, God makes sure that He says it over and over again,

“My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
the days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.”

Psalm 139:15,16.

Surely you have heard these words before, haven’t you?
Well, they are true. And they are for you and for me.
This is where the word ‘believe’ comes in. Do you believe the Father loves you?
He knows your name.

We get asked many questions in the course of a day, but perhaps we need to be asked, Are you a child of God?

I was 20 when I felt God asking me that question. I wasn’t just a number to Him ever. He knew me even though I didn’t know Him.

He actually ‘chose me, in Him before the foundation of the world’ Eph. 1:4.

But there was a day when all I knew was that I needed Him.
Do you know your need for God? You might be an orphan that knows no father here on earth. Or, you might even have been born in a Christian family, but you might have turned your back on God.
We have an enemy that always lies about God, making us think that God the Father is not good. That He is going to put us in a box, so to speak. Then we tie ourselves in knots with our anger over what is not true.
So it’s really the other way around, without Him, we put ourselves in our own prisons. And then there are no open doors, where can we go?

“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10.

Do you need a door to walk through to feel at home. Jesus is the door. Did you know that,“In Him we have redemption through His blood and the forgiveness of sins,” Eph. 1:7. Of course you did, you probably learned it in Sunday School. But perhaps now it has meaning.

Well, God was calling my name. And He is calling yours as well. Remember, He knew you before the foundations of the world.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12

He even thinks about you,
“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I am awake, I am still with You.” Psalm 139:17,18.

Here is what you do,
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:30.
“Draw near to God,
and He will draw near to you.”
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will
lift you up.” James 4:8.

“Call unto Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you know not of…” Jer. 33:3, and He will draw near to you,…oh, and He won’t call you by a number, no, He will call you,…
by your name.

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who’s Barabbas?

Do you remember Barabbas? He’s the ‘notorious’ thief and murderer, the prisoner with a ‘life’ sentence. It was Barabbas who was chosen to be released and pardoned of his crimes and impending death, instead of Jesus. As both ‘criminals’ stood before the crowd on that early morning, I think of that dark night before. I suppose it was a dark night for the both of them:

For Barabbas, being guilty and sentenced to death, most likely on a Roman cross with two other criminals, guilty of severe crimes enough to make him ‘notorious’  and  even murder, perhaps he was wondering, “is this my last night?”

And for Jesus, He  was interrupted after sweating drops of blood as He prayed a prayer of surrender to His Father, “…nevertheless, not My will by Yours be done, “( Matthew 26:42), (as He thought about me and you). Then, He was arrested and falsely accused and scourged and beaten, and left with ‘stripes’ of blood across His whole body, unrecognizable, and crowned with a crown of thorns, ridiculed and mocked.Yes, indeed this was a dark night. But, the Bible tells us about the morning, yes it is recorded so we will never forget. Mathew 27:15-26:

“Now at the feast, the governor was accustomed to releasing unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when there were when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, “Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For he knew that for envy they had delivered him…”Matthew 27:15-18.

Can you image this moment if you were Barabbas? “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Which of the two will ye that I release unto you?

They said, Barabbas.”(Matthew 27:20,21).

Before this moment, there was no hope for Barabbas. Yes, the kids have a little song they sing in church, “I don’t wanna be a goat, nope, I don’t wanna be a goat, nope, ’cause there’s no hope – nope, I just wanna be a sheep, baa baaa baaa baaa. ” Anyway, he  was guilty of his crime and he had only death to look forward to. But now it is being requested that he be released?

Barabbas gets to go free? And Jesus must face death?

Well,the picture that I have just painted, so to speak,by telling this story,  is the same picture drawn for us in Leviticus chapter 16. You see,  the  High Priest, (meaning Aaron ,Moses’ brother at this time), offered the  ‘once – a- year  sin offering at the place of mercy for the people. He was to, “…sacrifice the people’s sin offering ‘goat’,and bring its blood within the veil, and sprinkle it upon the place of mercy and in front of it…”(Lev. 16:15)…”Thus he shall make atonement for the holy place”…and “when he had completed the rite of atonement,” ( sprinkling blood of the sacrificial goat on the altar, etc.), he was to take a live goat  and ‘lay both hands on its head, confess over it all the sins of the people of Israel, and then,  he was to send it into the desert,'(Lev. 16:21). They released it; they simply let it go…

Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.” (Matthew 27:26).

The sacrificial ‘sin offering’ goat’s blood was shed for the cleansing of sin. The other goat…he is known as the ‘scapegoat’.

Who’s Barabbas? You and I are Barabbas! The cross the Romans were preparing for that day was for Barabbas and 2 other criminals. Jesus’ blood was shed instead. You and me? We are Barabbas…

“He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he never said a word. He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he stood silent before the ones condemning him…He was bruised like a criminal, but in a rich man’s grave; but he had done no wrong, and had never spoken an evil word.”(Is. 53:7,9 Living).

“But it was the Lord’s good plan to bruise him and fill him with grief. However when his soul has been made an offering for sin, then he shall have a multitude of children, many heirs. He shall live again and God’s program shall prosper in his hands. And when he sees all that is accomplished by the anguish of his soul, he shall be satisfied…”

“…and because of what he has experienced, my righteous Servant shall make many to be counted righteous before God, for he shall bear all their sins.” Is. 53:10,11).

WHY? Because God so loves you and me. Do you Believe now? That is why we love Him. It’s not that we are ‘good’ people,because we are not! We are all Barabbas  -guilty, even of murder in our hearts! We love Him because He FIRST loved us. Believe Him and be free…

 

 

 

 

God makes it a game…

No one can ‘proclaim’ like God! God speaks, and He is so l-o-n-g-s-u-f-f-e-r-i-n-g that it almost ‘seems’ as if He isn’t angered by the fact that  MANY are not listening. But, He even says of Himself:
“And who can proclaim as I do?”(Is. 44:6-7).

But God does speak, and there is no One like our God. He is Compassionate and gracious and slow to anger, abounding in mercy – how do I know? Well, because He IS who He proclaims Himself to be, even when others lie about Him and twist the truth about Him and even hate Him. He is the ‘same, yesterday, today, and forever. He is the Creator of all we see, even if men don’t ‘believe’, none of that changes God. He is love, and all that is entailed in that: joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. Yes, He  is the One and He has proclaimed:
“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.”Is. 44:6. 

He is not shaken by our unbelief. Instead, He waits…and the answers to all the mystery are summed up in One, it seems.  One Word, One Person. Yes, hidden throughout all of the word is the answer to it all.  Didn’t God put in the heart of every man a love for a game? A love for a mystery in discovery? A love for challenge and variety? I think that is why He ‘hid’ the mysteries of truth on every page of His word, even at times when it seems SO BORING!

For example, it is written, “Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me. Since I appointed the ancient people and the things that are coming and shall come, Let them show these to them.”Is. 44:7. Let him ‘declare’ WHAT?, Set ‘WHAT’ in order? God appointed ‘ancient people’ to show ‘these things?’ WHAT THINGS?

It is a mystery, it is a game, it is a challenge- first of all, because much of His Word, the Bible  seems to be…seemingly BORING!

But a miracle happens! God touches a ‘broken’ heart and ‘seals it’ with His Spirit and all of a sudden, “who can proclaim it as I do,” begins to ‘make sense, and reading the Bible becomes a game, a challenge, a key to unlock all the mystery. So, can I take you to perhaps one of the MOST boring chapters in the Bible? Genesis chapter 5. Trust me, you will be so amazed. Truly, the ‘appointed ancient people’ are ‘set in order’ and clearly ‘declare it’. “Declare WHAT?” you ask.

Well, it doesn’t get any more ancient than Adam all the way to Noah. And it doesn’t get any more boring to read, “And Adam lived 130 years and begot a son…so all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died. ” (Gen 5:3-5), etc., etc., all the way to Noah. It seems, (seemingly boring) that there is nothing there! (Except for the fact that Adam lived nearly 1000 years, and most likely he had some time to get this Story told even to Noah, who probably ended up passing it along  through the genealogy  to Abraham,… Wait, this has nothing to do with today, anyway,to get back…)

God talks about ‘beautiful feet’ as those that bring good news. And when God brings a teacher of the word to open blind eyes to the monotony of it all-it’s as if God just handed you a ‘key’ to help ‘unlock’ the truth. So, there was a day when Chuck Messler, a teacher of  the word, opened up Gen. 5, and began to ‘decode’ for us, (us meaning the one’s who showed up for church that day), the ‘meaning of the name.’

So here it is; the ancient name and its meaning, declared and set in order:

Adam is a name that means,  Man.
Seth,
has the meaning: Appointed.
Enosh
means Mortal.
Cainan, 
(maybe it was a tragic delivery?), but his name means Sorrow.
Mahalaleel is a name that means, Blessed.
Jared,
a name I particularly like, but not because of the meaning, which is, Descended, or Shall Come Down,
Enoch = Teaching.
Methuselah
 has a name that means, His Death Shall Bring, (very interesting that it was to be that at his death there shall be judgement which was the Great Flood, and he actually is the longest living man recorded in history, nine hundred and sixty-nine years; a true example that God is l-o-n-g-s-u-f-f-e-r-i-n-g!)
Lamech, another interesting name, but the meaning of Lamech is  Despairing, and Noah, well
Noah means Comfort.

Is. 44:7, “And who can proclaim as I do? Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me, Since I appointed the ancient people, And the things that are coming and shall come,
Let them show those to them.” 
It unravels like a mystery, but there seems to be a message.

Can you see it? Can you see the mystery revealed ? Can you open up now a bit of understanding? Can you see the bigger picture, the One the whole Book is written about? All in the most boring chapter,  Gen 5?
Man Appointed Mortal Sorrow (but the) Blessed Descended (or Shall Come Down) Teaching (that) His Death Shall Bring (the) Despairing, Comfort.

THAT is the whole story: yes, man is appointed mortal sorrow, we’ve all sinned and all fall short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, not even one! But the Blessed shall come down – yes, My God to save me came down…teaching, but that wasn’t why He came down, He came teaching that His death, His death on the cross would take away the sins of the  whole world , not just mine, and bring the despairing, that is you and me and everyone…comfort!

His Death Shall Bring, the Despairing,Comfort.

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received:
that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” 1 Cor. 15:3.

“Why?” Because God so loved the world. He wanted to keep us searching, so He makes it like a game – Jesus is on every page…let’s go and find Him!

Who is God? I think Humpty Dumpty can tell us…

 

God gets a lot of ‘bad press’ that is continually full of lies , and this, from the beginning of time until the present. Yet, ‘He opens not His mouth.” (Is. 53:7). But when do we, personally, people on this earth, finally ‘seek the truth?’ We seek it, ‘…finally’, when we’ve had some kind of ‘falling’.  And sometimes, it takes a ‘great fall’. (Be it sickness or death of a loved one, or compulsive behavior that is debilitating, or financial strain, or an angry child, loss of any sort,etc.)

It’s ironic, but the whole story is told quite simply, in the little child’s nursery rhyme ‘Humpty Dumpty’.  ‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the kings horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put Humpty together again”. Yes, that is the hopelessness about a life without God. I was Humpty Dumpty, and I sat on a wall, and yes, there was a day when my ‘world’ had a great fall and nothing could ‘help me’ be put together, nothing ‘helped’ me be ‘whole’.

But there is another version of this story, but this time, it goes like this: “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Humpty Dumpty shouted “AMEN” God will put  me together again!” Yes, this is a version with hope. This is a version you look for after knowing the ‘truth’ about God.

Yes, we all learn that we are ‘Humpty Dumpty’ after  we’ve lived a while and ‘tried to fix it all’ with every resource – except God –  trying to ‘prove’ that ‘we can do it on our own because for some reason we ‘believed all of the ‘bad press’ about Him. We believed He is ‘angry ‘ at us .We ‘believed the lies that He is only there for the ‘perfect’ ones.

But when the ‘brokenness’ is severe and the only place to cry is to God, we discover something so different from what we originally thought to be true – we find that He is there. How can that be?

Because He is not who we thought He was. From the Living Bible, it is said of God that He:“…decended in the form of a pillar of cloud and stood there with him, (Moses), and passed in front of him and announced the meaning of his name. “I am Jehovah, the merciful and gracious God,” he said, “slow to anger and rich in steadfast love and truth.

I Jehovah, show this steadfast love to many thousands by forgiving their sins; (literally forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin),(Ex. 34:6,7, Living).

Somehow, we are misled, we are lied to, we are deceived. But this is God. He waited patiently for me. He waited for my cry to Him. And He came to…put me back together again!

These are some words from God: “Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,”…”And I will heal him.” (Is. 57:19, NKJV). He knows what we are made of. He’s knows how very fragile we are. And He knows, we have been broken…“Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt…”Jer. 31:3.

Know the truth, it will set you free. “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. (Jer. 33:3). This is God’s phone number. “Behold, I will bring …health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.”(Jer. 33:6). “I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me.” (Jer. 33:8).

“Then it shall be to Me a name of joy,…” (Jer. 33:9).

Even ‘Humpty Dumpty’, because, ‘Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. but Humpty Dumpty shouted “AMEN” God will put me together again! God uses everything! And guess what He uses for the glue? Oh yes, Jesus. His name is Jesus…He IS the glue!

“Today!” The Good Shepherds call to…all who will hear

Sometimes I imagine Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd literally calling His sheep. And I imagine Him out in the pasture calling, “Today! Today! Today.Today.”
That is what I imagine His call to be.

He is the One that the Bible says He, ‘knows His sheep, and is known by His own.’ John 10:14.
He calls, “Today. Today.”
And He brings them out, and He calls His own sheep by name. “Today Joe. Today Bob. Today Mary….Today Jewish Nation…

And what is even more wonderful is the Bible tells us that He also is the ‘One who even has other sheep which are not of this fold’; John 10:16.
“And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” John 10:16.

And to these sheep, I can imagine Him calling, “Today! Today!”
“Today, if you will My voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion…”Heb. 3:7.
“Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold now is the day of salvation.” 2Corinthians 6:2.
And He knows each ‘sheep’ by name, “Today! Charlie, Today! Jerry, Today! Kaitlin, Today! Gentile Nations…

for some, ‘today’ will be their day for salvation, finally making a decision to follow Him.And ‘Today! He gives them eternal life and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My Father’s hand.’ John 10:28.

But His call to His sheep that know His voice, and follow after Him – His call is the SAME: “Today. Today.”

But, it is not the same, just the same (!) You see, the Good Shepherd speaks, warning and comfort and direction and wisdom; the good Shepherd speaks, ‘Today!” to His sheep. Oh that Voice, that beautiful Voice:
“Today, ‘lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…’Matthew 6:20.
“Today, ‘do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.’
“Today, do not worry!”
“Today, ‘do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.” Matthew 6:34.

“Baa, baa, baa-but what about tomorrow?”

And He says,
“Today, ‘seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you!”

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them,
and they
follow
Me.”
John 10:27.

“Baa, baa”
“Sounds simple, but NOT easy!”

God’s reply,
That is true, ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. John 10:11.
“Follow Me.”

God has hidden things from us?

Has God  hidden truth from us? Well, Jesus, Himself prayed,  “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth … (Matthew 11:25). Hiding the truth? would God do that?

The verse continues: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth from those who think themselves so wise…”(Matthew 11:25). So, I am reminded of the time of year when ‘hiding things’ is part of the holiday, when  children enjoy ‘coloring eggs’ and parents love ‘hiding ‘ the little plastic ones filled with sweet treasures .”

That’s it! That’s it! That is the picture for us all to see. God hides the truth to ‘those who think themselves wise’…but the egg which is a symbol of ‘life’ is hidden filled with sweet things only to be found by…children!

“Assuredly, I (Jesus) say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”Mark 10:15.

Is it ever too late to be ‘a little child’?

“Dear God, to You, it seems, that it’s all about the children. It seems that You want us to  ‘see the children’, that we ‘look at the children’. You, Yourself even called a little child and brought them front and center – oh, yes, they are messy, and they are loud at times, and they are  boisterous, and they are simple and in constant need, and most definitely ‘prone to sin’ -But that’s what you did that we might understand Your Kingdom. The Kingdom that we pray, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done…”

and the children come. Oh yes, You say, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”(Matthew 19:14).

Could it be, that as a loving Father in Heaven, who loves us even when we don’t give You a thought, hide your little secrets, in  the ‘little child’ for us all to see? You, the Creator of everything,  came to earth for a very short time and spoke about the Kingdom that we pray about every day  when You ‘called a the little child in the midst of all  of them’ (Matthew 18:2).In the midst of all the chaos, all the different opinions, all the different circumstances, and You and took him , the ‘little child’ into Your arms. Your arms  of everlasting strength,  and everlasting love. Those  arms of mercy and compassion and grace. The all-sufficient arms that are able to what concerns me today. You called the ‘little child’ as if You were a Father…

The door to the kingdom of God can be entered by a ‘little child’.  Just as Jesus continued His prayer in Matthew 11:26, “Yes, Father,” for it pleased you to do it this way!”

We hide the eggs and it gives us such joy as the  ‘little children ‘ FIND them filled with sweet things’.

Could it be that You’ve been waiting for me? Could it be that You have scheduled the ‘egg-hunt’ but I was ‘too wise’ to join in – I had ‘treasures’ to be seeking, because in this world I had a fear of missing out ; but I have discovered that those treasures are far from ‘sweet’.  Maybe I just was ‘watching’ from the side – but I didn’t know that I WAS ‘missing out!’

I’m not sure if I’m Your child or not, but I’ve heard Your voice about the children. Can I come now into Your Family? Will You be my much needed Father and can I be…Your child? I am ready to find the treasures, all the hidden treasures in YOU.” in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12). What’s the hidden truth? “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. So what is this wonderful ‘egg of truth’ filled with? “…full of grace and truth.” Oh,  and just as we love to enjoy those sweets after the holiday ‘hunt’,  what’s the ‘sweets we’re filled with after receiving His life?  It’s written, “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” John 1:16.

Be like a child! Go on the hunt, and seek. You will surely find! Yes, you will find the sweet love of the Father and you can call yourself His child. Forever…What a glorious find!

 

 

 

Letters to a child in the dark…(#1)

There are a thousand reasons why I shouldn’t write this letter -you might not care, -it’s just a dumb idea,-who is this person anyway?…

but I have 10,000 reasons why I should-for 1…God has put it on my heart.

But as I begin to write, I have all kinds of thoughts in my heart, even screaming and yelling it seems with all the tumult I feel as I write: “No way, don’t write these letters. Are you actually going to send them anyway?” But I keep feeling that God wants the words written; I hear Him encourage me through other people. I was listening to the radio as I was driving to my destination, and (again, as I’ve had this happen to me in the past) I heard the announcer say, (it seems out of no-where), “Write That Letter!”

But that’s not all. In my struggle to actually put the words to the paper, someone was talking about having the problem of ‘analysis to paralysis’! I felt God telling me, “Don’t analyze and be paralyzed!”

So, I write this letter. First of all, I don’t think of you because anyone is talking about you or you entered into the conversation- NO, you must know this, and you must know this NOW, God puts you on my heart daily, but it’s not just recently, it’s been for the past 4 years now! I don’t really know what’s going on – but I pray for you because God won’t let me forget you. Now, that’s the truth.

And guess what I’ve learned about praying for people everyday, for weeks, that turn into months, that turn into years…they become very special and through prayer God puts His love that He has for you in my heart and all of a sudden, it seems as if we’re family. It’s as if I am praying for a family member or something. So, I write, just to let you know. You feel like family at this point. It’s as if I am praying for my own child.

You don’t ‘believe’ right now, but I write so that you might ‘believe’ one thing: You are special to God. Your life is important and He loves you very much. I know this because He won’t let me forget you ever! (And I forget a lot of things, just ask my kids!)

Well, to add to that list of ‘10,000 reasons’ why I should write this letter is because recently, I have heard the words, “Love’s worth fighting for!”

So, I kind of feel like I’m getting in the ring with you, (stepping out of my comfort zone), but unless I write these words, you’ll never know the story -so, I’ll tell you. The story, it’s about you). You see, it was a while back, but the neighbor had asked my younger boys to do  a job of  weeding in their entrance. Well, it was like a jungle, so I went to help them. These weren’t just weeds, they were WEEDS – mean and nasty, prickly and big, AND DEEP! So there was this one WEED! This thing was probably from the ‘dandelion’ family but a ‘Goliath’ variety! So,…

I got a shovel and started to dig around it, real deep, in order to break up the hard, clay-like dirt…and then I started praying for you… Then, with some heavy duty gloves on, I tried to pull this thing out. NO WAY! This thing was not moving.

I kept praying for you and asking God that He would ‘Set you free’ so to speak. This weed, that had grown so deep and seemed impossible to get out was a visual for me as I prayed…for you.

So, I dug again, pulled again. Still, no success. I dug deeper and this time, you will never believe this, but this WEED din’t just break off, or stubbornly just free up the upper portion, NO! The entire WEED, all the way to the tap-root came out! From top to bottom, this monster was ‘out of there’! Yes, completely set free!

I believe God gave me this visual so that I would always believe, no matter what, that you will be completely healed. Completely delivered. There will be a great deliverance – just as Jesus Himself said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26.

I don’t know why there is a part of me that wants to ‘apologize’ for writing this first letter, maybe it’s that ‘pleaser’ personality in me, but what I really want to say is, I care, and I believe in all God wants to do in you. Yes, I believe, and I pray with all my heart, that you would believe too.  And, in case you haven’t heard, God has a plan for you… yes, He made sure that it was written. And I’m so glad, because if it wasn’t, we would never know. Here’s what He says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you, and not to harm you. To give you a future and … a hope. Jer. 29:11.

with love, that God has filled me with, for you, …

 

 

Once again, ‘Someday the Kids will know.’

To every parent, their child is a ‘painted morning sky’. Because I get to see all the beautiful babies being born, I would like to share this mama’s heart…

See God's Hand

Letting go of the children that were only lent to us – is easier knowing that He has them in His hand.
So today, this is where I am …again. (Except the cancer and treatment part!)

Someday the kids will know.
Today I speak of a song. (Speak together in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual songs…Eph 5)

A special day was on the calendar! It was my son Jared and his fiance’s wedding! The day, Sept. 4th, 2010. But only weeks before, my world had drastically changed with a cancer diagnosis. I now had a battle to prepare for.

But my vision,(not my eye-sight) but my vision on life became so much clearer. The Port-a-cath was put in on Sept 2nd to prepare me for my first ‘poison’, I mean chemo treatment, Sept. 9th. But September 4th was a most special day- the wedding!

Back to the song. It was chosen…

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A Garden Story…

I write a story about a garden. This is a true story and the garden is real.

It is a rough bit of ground, very hard with clay soil, with weed seeds planted everywhere in great variety. But it is time ‘to break up this fallow ground’-and deep down, we all know, that our hearts are as hard as this ground. Our thoughts are overcome with weeds of lies and projections of non-truths about the future and other people. But, we think it’s only ‘me’, that the other guy has it ‘all together’ and ‘gets it right’ and everything always works out great for ‘him’. This garden seems hopeless, and yes, the soil of our hearts will remain unfruitful, unless…

something happens.

This is not easy work. There will be a scent of perspiration as great amounts of energy will be expended, and there will be pain as the thorns of the nasty weeds cut through the gloves. It sometimes seems like an impossible job – wondering, “how in the world can all these weeds grow so violently when the soil is only clay and rock? Nothing should grow in this soil!”

Breaking up the ‘fallow ground’ in this garden and turning it around to be fruitful just seems like a mountain too high to climb,so to speak. Maybe it just shouldn’t be done -forget about it, it’s just too hard a job. There’s no way all these weeds can be pulled out, there is no way this soil can go from rocky to soft. No, forget  it- this is an impossible job.

But there is a messenger with the words, “Don’t you know? Surely you have heard. Hasn’t someone told you from the beginning?”(paraphrased, Is. 40:21). “Didn’t you believe the report you heard? Didn’t someone tell you of the hand of God?” (paraphrased, Is. 53:1).

“He’s the Master Gardener, you know. All things are possible with Him. Didn’t you know that ‘He grew up like a small plant before the LORD and that He was like a root growing in dry ground’?(Is. 53:2). There was nothing strikingly beautiful about His appearance that made Him desirable. Yes, He was ‘a root growing in dry ground.’

“Surely, you know this, that He was hated and rejected by people. He had much pain and suffering. People would not even look on Him. He was hated, and we didn’t even notice Him. But He took our suffering on Himself and felt our pain for us.” (Is. 53:2,3.)

Did we see His suffering in the garden? Did we see Him as He prayed for us? Did we see Him with the crown of thorns on His head? No, we didn’t know. None of us did. ‘We all have wandered away like sheep. Each of us has gone his own way.’ (Is. 53:6). “There is none righteous, no not one; there is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God…” (Romans 3:10,11). Our hearts are like stoney and weed infested gardens. There’s no hope for fruit.

But something has happened. The work has been done: “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. And His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44). “Surely our griefs he Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried…He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well being…” (Is. 53:5).

The Master Gardener was faithful in a ‘faithless’ land of stones and weeds. The Master Gardener was willing to face the task at hand, the sweat, the thorns, the pain and toil…breaking up of the fallow ground came upon Him; ‘He was  wounded for the wrong things we did. He was crushed for the evil things we did, (Is. 53:5, Int. Children’s Version)…that we might be healed.

Something happened,  He said, “I am willing.” Something happened, He said, “I believe in you.” ‘He willingly gave His life, He was treated like a criminal. But He carried away the sins of many people. And He asked forgiveness for those who sinned.”

Something happened, He said, “It is finished.”(John 19:30). 

The soil is made new, that it might bear fruit. Life will come from each desolate heart ‘ for God so loves ‘His garden, His garden is you and me, without Him we are nothing! “Who has believed His report?”(Is. 53:1). Will you?

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. for you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up, And instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up…” (Is. 56:10-13).

“God made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21). And ‘in Him’ He speaks as a Master Gardener to His own, “No longer do iIcall you servants, but I have called you friends. For all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit ..that whatever you ask the Father in my name,…He may give you.”(John 15:15).

You  and I, shall be like a garden …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry worth reading aloud, Hymns worth reciting…

This is a day of ‘sharing’ media. Just in case you didn’t have a chance to open Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible, p. 121, and an old hymnal.I’d like to share a few of his poems and some powerful words from some hymns.Read aloud children! Read aloud and be changed…

A poem, concerning the children of Israel? Concerning, you and me:”How strange that souls, whom Jesus feeds with manna from above, should grieve him by their evil deeds, and sin against his love! But ’tis a greater marvel still, That he, from whom they stray, Should bear with their rebellious will, And wash their sins away.”

Yes, ’tis a greater marvel still, That he, from whom they stray, Should bear with their rebellious will, And wash their sins away!’

Does this not bring to  mind some lines in the old hymns? “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!’   And, “O how sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to trust His cleansing blood; Just in simple faith to plunge me, Neath the healing, cleansing flood!” Don’t the words of the poetry, and the words of the hymns make us want to recite the old written chorus: “Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him! How I ‘ve proved Him o’er and o’er! Jesus, Jesus precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Him more!”

Yes, ‘O for grace to trust Him more!’ Read on, read on, read on aloud poems of long ago: “Let God arise, and scattered Let all his enemies be; And let all those that do him hate before his presence flee. As smoke is driv’n so drive thou them; As fire melts wax away, Before God’s face let wicked men So perish and decay. But let the righteous all be glad: Let them before God’s sight Be very joyful; yea, let them Rejoice with all their might.”

But we must never forget what ‘righteousness’ is – we must never forget that “This is all my righteousness – Nothing but the blood of Jesus!” Yes, “O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow! No other fount I know, nothing but the Blood of Jesus.”

“But let the righteous be glad…” Spurgeon writes in his poem and something in our heart sinks, because we know we aren’t ‘righteous’ on our own, we miss the mark continually, but then there is another poem:

“Jesus! who in the form of God Didst equal honour claim, Yet, to redeem our guilty souls, Didtst stoop to death and shame. Oh may that mind in us be form’d Which shone so bright in thee; May we be humble, lowly, meek, From pride and envy free. May we to others stoop, and learn To emulate thy love; so shall we bear thine image here, And share thy throne above.”

And we know we miss the mark, but the hymn reminds us, “This is all my hope and peace…, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.” Oh, if it weren’t for the blood… Is it not true that we love sweet things when we are young, but as we get older, more and more do I realize, that there is nothing ‘sweeter’ than that precious blood.

“Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus, Just from sin and self to cease; Just from Jesus simply taking Life and rest and joy and peace.” “Oh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow.” How these two hymns almost seem as one. But the poetry continues all on the same page, such treasure of wisdom and truth Spurgeon writes:

“Since I have tasted of the grapes, I sometimes long to go Where my dear Lord, the vineyard keeps, And all the clusters grow. Weak as I am, yet through his grace, I can the land subdue; Tread down the Canaanitish race, And force a passage through.

Is anything too hard for God? Through Jesus we can all things do; Who Satan and his works destroyed, Shall make us more than conquerors, too. Let us at once the land possess, And taste the blessings from above, The milk sincere of pardoning grace, The honey of his perfect love.”

The ‘honey of his perfect love!’ Oh, how I love honey and yes, it is so sweet. Yes, “I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee, Precious Jesus, Savior friend; And I know that Thou art with me, Wilt be with me to the end! ”

And even though I know I fail to ‘trust’ at times,  I know also that, even when we are ‘faithless’, He is faithful still. (2 Tim 2:13).So I will recite aloud, “Jesus, Jesu how I trust Him! How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er! Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Him more!”

Oh yes, this bears repeating: “O for grace…

to trust, Him…

more!”

What a joy to ‘speak together in some spiritual songs of Spurgeon and some hymns – sweeter than honey it is! (All form Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible p. 121, and the hymns, “Nothing But the Blood” and “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus “).