A whole different kind of ‘school’…

We must be educated in what makes good health, what keeps our bodies fit, in language and math and social science. We must be educated to grow and know the sciences of this world and the arts of music and fabric and color, but God, He’s ultimately in charge of the country in which we’re born, and the people we will end up meeting. He’s a Professor of sorts and He uses every circumstance and situation…

He uses it all, because there’s a learning that must also take place in His children here on earth, it’s a learning that ultimately matters most -whether prince or pauper- it’s the learning of faith.

God has us enroll in the ‘school of life’ if we have breath. He’s the Lily of the Valley, and He knows, even after we receive Him, we have Him with us but we’re ‘lily’s among the thorns’.(Song of Solomon). He’s been here before, and He’s never real far, but the Father knows what’s best, the Father sent Him, you know…

So He schools us in ‘faith’, and patiently watches us as we go, just like the children… He leads us through wilderness and we enter classes in humility and even hunger inside, and He feeds us with ‘what’s that’ most of the time. Sometimes we just don’t understand the ‘manna’ that’s before us,  but this is the school that God has us walking. He has us walk, but at times we run away, but we end up coming back and oh, so slowly, learn to ‘trust and obey’. And then we learn His name, well, we knew it before, but now we KNOW Him , we proclaim  Him as Lord.

We cry out to Him in our deserts,”God, increase my faith!” And He does just that…He tests us in the ‘school of life’ in our lessons of humility, hunger, and monotony -but He never forgets to include in His trials an added measure of grace. Yes, He does a teaching of faith that’s painstakingly l-o-n-g, but it somehow is learned, and even mastered -(for me by keeping close to my tongue an old or a new ‘God’s Song).

Why does it take so long for us sheep to really ‘get it!’. Do we ever get a diploma? do we ever complete it? I think that we do…on that wonderful graduation day, when we finally arrive to our heavenly place, when we hear the great Master as He gives us a kiss, “Well done my servant, your ‘faith lesson’ is completed! Well done my daughters, well done my sons, enter  now into the joys of My Home!

This is the ‘school’ that matters most of all, in the whole scope of things in light of eternity. Can you hear the bell? Don’t rush, don’t fret, it’s not about you doing very much at all, you see, He’s done it all -the work on the cross- can you trust Him and believe? Yeah, it’s not that easy at all, but He’s the best Teacher around, He’ll give you time, He’s compassionate and gracious and slow to get hot- so keep reading those verses in the Bible and see your faith grow, and grow and grow even more. If it’s not always fun, don’t worry at all, just remember you’re still a lily, but while your here, they’ll be thorns. But keep your hands together in prayer and clapping in praise, and you’ll agree with me someday, God’s school of faith, it’s the best school of all!

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He’s watching our tents, but He’s preparing a mansion for us…

So, when you look at the cover of most old Bibles, they are very plain, usually black with just two large words, HOLY BIBLE, usually all in caps. So many people think that the words inside are boring as well. Well, they just don’t know.  Yes,  there are chapters upon chapters in the Old Testament of an  intricate pattern of the Tabernacle,(or the Tent in which God would dwell with His people), describing curtains and furniture, etc., but the crazy thing is – underneath those very ugly outside coverings of the Tent, everything inside was either covered with gold or hammered with pure gold! I cannot even imagine the beauty. It must have been heavenly.

And it is interesting, but I often marvel that the bodies we live in here on earth are thought of as ‘tents’ in the Bible. These amazing ‘bodies’ of ours are called ‘tents’! How we  spend quite a bit of  our time ‘fixing it up’, and dressing it all up, and  keeping it all in shape, educating  it, etc., only to find that something seems missing…there’s still a void, an emptiness…

But God is watching. He sees our ‘tents’. And He waits, He patiently waits for that day,  when the invitation has been made to invite Him to come in and dwell in our ‘tent’. What a glorious day  that is, it is reported that angels in heaven celebrate that day. It is a memorable ‘born-again’ birthday! It’s sad that that term has been misunderstood so, but it really sums it up – a celebration day with the angels because a life that was born on a particular day finally acknowledges the One who gave them breath, so that He may breathe on him ‘new life’ in the Spirit, for all eternity!

God purifies, He cleanses, He loves and fills and shines- but our tents don’t last forever, and because of this ‘sin-cursed’ world  – we get sick and our bodies, I mean, ‘our tents ‘ break and fall apart. But what is most glorious is, often at that time, His glory shines even greater out of the brokenness. But it’s not all ‘peachy-keen’, our tents feel pain, sorrow, and pain, and discomfort, and, did I say, pain? Well, the Word of God, the ‘boring on the outside book ‘ is all  gold on the inside, for such a  time as this:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:1-2.

There is no mention of ‘tents’ in heaven! He’s preparing a mansion for us! Our heavenly bodies are going to be amazing, and Jesus tells us, “And If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3.

He has gone, that is true, but He is coming again…but in the time being, while in this ‘tent’ I need assurance, I need to know He’s nearby…and I am sure we all do. Let me show you more gold, Psalm 139-it tells us straight: (Amplified Version, with references), “O LORD, You have searched me (thoroughly) and have known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off.  You sift and search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word in my tongue (still unuttered), but lo, O Lord, You know it altogether. {Heb. 4:13}

  You have beset me and shut me in behind and before, and have laid Your hand upon me. Your infinite knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high above me, I cannot reach it.

 Where could I go from Your Spirit? Or where could I flee from Your presence? If I ascend up into Heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol (the place of the dead), behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there shall Your hand lead me, and Your right hand hold me.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the night shall be the only light about me, Even  the darkness hides nothing from You, but the night shines as the day;

the darkness and the light are both alike to You. (Dan. 2:22)

For You did form my inward parts, You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will confess and praise You, for You are fearfully wonderful, and for the awesome wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well…’

God never leaves me or you.  Before even time began, He knew my name and yours. He sees every tear that falls from my eyes, He knows yours as well. He does. He knows that these tents of ours don’t last forever. But if He dwells in our tents – because we’ve given Him an invitation in prayer, these tents will metamorph…

yes, these tents…become mansions! “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27).

Have you personally asked Jesus Christ to come into your life? He offers life eternal. Your debt of sin, all the wrong and guilt in your life has been paid for on the cross. Look to Him, acknowledge Him, ask forgiveness of all your sin and He will and He does come in and dwell in your ‘tent’, only to breath new life…and yes, He also is preparing a place for us!

Amen to that! Amen to that!

We are just as, ‘the children of God…’

As we journey, just as the children, the children of God,
who had been slaves – but after the blood was put on the door – the angel of death, passed over.
Everlasting life, life forever starting now and never ending…as we journey just as the children, the children of God.

The enemy is after us, just as the children, the children of God.
But the Red Sea is parted, time and time again, as we journey, just as the children, the children of God.

He leads us out and He feeds us His food, just as the children, the children of God – but they are thirsty on the way, yes, we are thirsty as we journey on, just as the children, the children of God.

But the Rock has been struck, yes the Rock has been struck and the living waters satisfied…but the next thing we know, as the children journey on, yes the next thing we know,
we journey on forgetting the parting of the Sea and the food sent from heaven, and the Rock that was struck which poured out the waters…
we journey on discouraged and doubting His  faithful, upholding Hand, just as the children, the children of God.

They spoke against God and the leader He chose, and complained, “Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die?” These were the children, the children of God who were fed each and every day the bread from the skies
and given what was needed at the sound of their cry. These were the children, the children of God.

Do you remember what happened on that day they complained, well, it wasn’t the first time, no, it wasn’t the first, but with  great anger they murmured, on this particular day. Perhaps we should take note, just as they were, we are just like,   just as the children, the children of God.

The Lord sent fiery serpents, with deadly venom to bite- yes, the children were bitten, the children of God – but what child that is loved very deeply by their father, is not disciplined promptly, promptly to save; to save from destruction in going the wrong way?

So they cried out to Moses, back in that day, “We have sinned, We’ve spoken against  our great Lord! Pray that the Lord will have mercy on us and save us from these serpents, please take them away!”

This is so important what happens next, because we’re just as these children, yes, we’ve all been bitten in some form or another – we’re just as these children, these children of God! So, God said to Moses, “Make a serpent out of brass and set it on a pole and every single child who’s been bitten , who looks up at this pole, will find themselves forgiven, healed and whole.” These were the words to the children, “Thus saith the Lord.” These were the words to the children, they were commanded to ‘LOOK’!

To think that an ‘uplifted serpent’ could cure all their ills. From the prince of the tribe to  the poorest of them still, “Just look to the serpent lifted on the pole-that is your cure!” instructed the Father to the children, the children of God.

It didn’t much matter the man holding the pole, that wasn’t the focus to make the children whole. Oh no, just the serpent lifted on the pole, that was the focus, that was the cure on that day back then, for the children who were bitten, the children of God.

The pole is lifted, Jesus came to die- He took the curse on Himself and died on the cross. So, just as the children, the children of God, we must not worry about the man holding the pole, instead we must focus and look on Him who has died. He is our Savior, He has given us life…

just as the children, oh yes, just as the children, the children of God.

I have been bitten, and you have been too. Let us look to the serpent lifted on the pole, let us look to Jesus – that we would be whole. Let us look EVERY DAY, for He is the way, yes, He is the way the truth, and the life. Please dear children, let us learn from God’s children, ’cause we are just like them, the children of God.

We’ve been bitten by sin, ALL of mankind, but God has provided deliverance complete and sure, when we admit we’ve been bitten, when we believe their is hope and when we call out to Jesus, He then makes us whole! Read the old stories, they are written to teach, ’cause we’re just as the children… just like them it’s true, just as the children, the children of God!

“And Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should no perish, but have eternal life. for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. for God sent not his Son intot he world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved! (John 3:14-17, KJV, exclamation point, mine!)

Let us turn our attention, let us ‘look to Him who was pierced’

 

 

 

“Praise changes things!”

“Sing for joy to God, our strength. Shout out loud to the God of Jacob.” Ps. 81: 1.

When do we sing out loud? Can you remember when last you have done just that? When do we ‘sing for joy’ and ‘shout out loud to God?’ We ‘listen’ to music and are recipients of its beauty, but are we singing? Ask yourself the very question, “Did I sing aloud, or have a song in my heart yesterday?” Yes, I believe it is true that I play a ‘one stringed fiddle’ so to speak, in that I believe God is speaking to the hearts of His weary children and He is saying, “Sing for joy to God, our strength. Shout out loud to the God of Jacob.”

Please, don’t stop reading. Ask yourself this hard question, “Do I have a song today? Did I sing one yesterday?” “Do I sing a song to God everyday and even ‘out loud?'”

What language am I speaking? Do I sing a song of woe? Do I have a ‘hope-less’ song? Do I need to sing a new song?”

God ‘inhabits’ songs of praise.God draws near to our thirsty souls when we sing a God song. This is the word of the Lord, and when we cry out to Him, “Help me God to overcome…” Help me Lord to bear this burden!”…”Help me…” I believe with all my heart that He says, “Sing to Me, I’m your strength.” God understands a language of praise. God is in the praise.Trust me, consider, ask yourself, “Do I have His song in my heart?”
We can learn so much from Psalm 81. Verse 2 continues:

Begin the music. Play the tambourines. Play pleasant music on the harps and lyres.” (Ps. 81:2)  God is saying, pick up your instruments and play a God’s song!”Blow the sheep’s horn at the time of the New Moon. Blow it when the moon is full, when our feast begins. This is the law for Israel. It is God’s command to the people of Jacob.” (Ps. 81:3,4). God, who is our Father in heaven, He is speaking to His children, He is telling us what makes a ‘joy-filled heart’ even when life is not going  our way- even then- He reminds us,

“Remember the Passover!” “Remember the night the children of Israel were spared death of the firstborn because of the blood of the lamb on the door.” “Remember my Son who died on the cross instead of you! ” “Remember Me!” “Sing for joy to God, our strength…Begin the music.  Play the spoons, play the tap on the knee, play those vocal chords…! ‘Sing a new song!’

We have heard that ‘Prayer changes things’, well even just as powerful  and just as true, “Praise changes things!”

But listen to the next words of the Psalmist, “When He went throughout the land of Egypt, I heard a language I did not understand.”Ps. 81:5, NKJ). All of a sudden, the psalmist is no longer talking…this is God speaking, the Great I Am, the One who knows everything – yet there is a language that He did not understand?

Well, when God’s children were enslaved in a the land of Egypt, He could hear their cries, He knew their trouble, He was giving them a strength they didn’t posses  before their captivity, He was giving them unity amongst themselves, He was with them. God loves the children! He was with them during this time of trouble. but here in His word we learn that He went throughout the land of Egypt and it is said that “I heard a ‘language  I did not understand…”

I think of a time, I didn’t know God’s language, so to speak, but I was knocking and seeking True Love. When the doors I was knocking on had no power to open and unlock the enslavement I was in with an eating disorder, I knocked on other doors until I found the ONE. He responded to my knock. He taught me His ways, His language. He became a deliverer to me, He is my stronghold, my very present help in trouble.
I have hope for the children, the children of the world who have been taken into bondage. those seeking truth will find it
“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all of your heart.” (Jer. 29:13).
They, just as I did,  will cry out to possibly their little ‘g’ god that they have been taught, but I also believe, that when there is no answer, they will ‘call on’ , as in my case,’seeking, Asking, knocking-‘seeking Love in truth, and then the ‘language ‘ is heard by God! Faith opens the Door! Faith in the very One who calls Himself, ‘the Door’,

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:9. Yes ‘faith’ which in turn brings ‘hope’ ,

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us,” Romans 5:5. Yes, this hope fills us with ‘love’ – thus … The Love Song! But the Psalm tells us that God went throughout the  land of Egypt and heard a language He knew not! Our ‘Father who art in heaven’, who is Spirit, who is God. He speaks a language – but do we, as we dwell in this land, do we speak a language He understands?

God had no fellowship with the Egyptians in their ‘self-will’, in their arrogance, in their hardness of heart…He didn’t know their language.
The children of God were set apart by the blood put on the door, the Passover Lamb. They were instructed, they were warned of the ‘death’ to come, they heard,  and…they obeyed.

There will be those at the Lord’s return crying “Lord, Lord!” But The Lord will reply, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.”
Does God know my language? A language of faith in The Lord Jesus Christ, a language of hope in His promises, a language of love for our Savior, deliverer, redeemer, and yes, our Bridegroom!
Sing aloud to God… He understands your every word!

Still inspired by Handel who was inspired by Is. 40…

Posted over a year ago that I was writing a book, (of which I still am, but in much different form than first intended), I wrote about inspiration:

“Isn’t your entire being moved during Handel’s Messiah? When you hear, ‘Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!…’ it’s as if “the glory of the Lord has been revealed, And all flesh see it together.” (Is. 40:5). It’s heavenly, it’s glorious, it’s invigorating, it’s hopeful.

Well, did you know that it is written that George Frideric Handel was greatly inspired by Isaiah 40, “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” says your God.
Perhaps these words spoke volumes to him because at this time his music was perceived as ‘outdated’ and he was thought of as an ‘old fogey’, after having great success at the Royal Academy of Music which he had opened years before. The story is told that Handel shut his door in London on Aug. 22, 1741 and started composing music to these words, “Comfort, yes, comfort My people.” After 23 days, Handel’s Messiahwas birthed.

Have you read Isaiah 40? Well, they come after 39 chapters of “woes”. Isaiah 40 comes after 39 chapters of judgement,
“Comfort, yes comfort My people!” says, your God. Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the Lord’s hand
double,(or forgiveness) for all her sins.”

These words have inspired me, as they did Handel.
You see,after suffering great amounts of trial,(in my opinion) the Lord showed me His hand, it was nail pieced and He offers forgiveness for all our sins. So I feel in some strange way that just as John the Baptist fulfilled these verses in Isaiah in Jesus’ day, that God uses our voices today, to be “a voice crying in the wilderness: saying “Prepare the way of the LORD;”

So I close my door, so to speak, (in the mini moments of time God permits!) to complete a book that I am writing called, “God’s Hand.”
“Why?” you might ask.  Well, I think Isaiah 40: 6,7,and 8 answer the question: The voice said, “Cry out!” And he said, “What shall I cry?” “All flesh is grass, And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

In other words, God  has shown me that life is short! And  in that short life, God allows some tough times to blow, but in the wind and torrent, His Word becomes my life, when before they were,…well, just words…and in the storm or trouble is the wonderful discovery that His word stands forever -yesterday, today and forever.
I write because God has spoken, “Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”

So the book IS being written, but not as I originally thought. The book is many books, and each book in and of itself has one theme: “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. (is. 40:1), “Fear not, for I am with you;…I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”(Is. 41:10). “Behold, My Servant whom I uphold,” (Is. 42:1),”Sing, O barren…” (Is. 54:1), yes, one theme- God is with us!

Are you inspired to dream, and then inspired to flesh it out? Yes, that comes from God. We don’t always have 20 some odd days to close the door and focus with that intensity,  as Handel did back then, but if it takes 2,000 and some odd days, we must continue to be inspired by God’s breath that He breathes on us each day, and be filled by His Spirit in which the work will ultimately come,…

‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the LORD of hosts. (Zech. 4:6),…

and each write our own stories . I am inspired to write of God’s gracious, preserving and loving Hand in and through our lives. We can all do that, each day; some with pencil in hand, others with their hands and feet- and for some, like my dear friend Jenny, (of whom my first little book  of letters has been written), (who couldn’t write, who  couldn’t walk, who couldn’t move one muscle), but she wrote the story of victorious faith!

Let’s continue to be inspired! Can you hear the chorus? “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halle-lu-jah!”

Guess where God meets us? From above the mercy seat…

Man may not be merciful at times, but God is. In fact, one of the most popular of all the psalms is Ps. 23 and it reminds us over and over again, as we meditate and think on God’s word as we are told to do, that ‘surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life’; that is, if we’ve decided to make the Lord our Shepherd!

God is merciful! It is in His being! He even gave a ‘plan’ to Tabernacle to Moses and the whole pattern was written up, but the very first place that God brought up was the ark of the covenant and He told Moses Himself that He would meet us at the mercy seat.

Have you ever looked at God’s plans? The whole pattern and plan is laid out for us in Exodus 25-28, of which I want to record for me, and perhaps anyone else that might want to know, is it all starts not at the door or even the altar, (which have to do with things I have to do, like ‘go through the door and bring an offering at the altar’), NO, God’s word let’s us know where it all begins- it begins with HIM!

Well God spoke to Moses, to speak to the children of Israel about ‘a pattern’ He had for the Sanctuary, for  the Tabernacle. He said, “Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them.”(Ex. 25:8). “According to all that I am going to show you, as the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furniture, just so you shall construct it.” (Ex. 25:9).

First and foremost, the very next verse is not about the altar, not about the door  or the place of washing; all the places where we have to be busy ‘doing’ or anything else-like I previously mentioned, because it is very important that we remember that- the very first verse of instruction is: (Ex. 25:10), “And they shall make an ark…” 

This is where God wants everything to begin when we think of sanctuary of God. So, we ask, “What’s the ark all about?” Here’s the pattern:

“They shall construct an ark of acacia wood two and a half cubits long, and one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and you shall make a gold molding , (or crown), around it.”(Ex. 25:10). 

You see, acacia wood speaks of humanity, ‘Jesus came as a man’, or in Isaiah’s words, “He grew up…like a root out of parched ground;” (Is. 53:2). And this ‘acacia wood’, when pierced, it would pour forth a ‘gum resin’ that had healing properties for cuts and sores, just as Jesus was ‘pierced by the flagellum’ and we remember Isaiah’s words, “By His stripes we are healed.” (Is. 53:5). And about the molding or crown, yes, Jesus wore a crown of thorns, but He will also be crowned with a crown of gold, (Rev. 14:14).

This 4 foot, by 2 foot, by 2 foot, wooden box covered with pure gold is the first instruction for God’s tabernacle, this box is a picture of Jesus…He is what matters first, not all the ‘stuff we think we need to DO to please God, it’s first about Him. The pattern of the sanctuary begins with Him…but it doesn’t end there:

“You shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you.” (Ex. 25:16).

So, inside this box, were to  be placed the 10 commandments written by the ‘finger of God’ on tablets of stone. (Ex. 31:18). Think on this: The ark is a picture of Jesus, so to speak. And, the Law was to be kept in this ark. He actually is the ONLY ONE who is able to KEEP the 10 commandments. We all have missed the mark. We can’t keep the 10 commandments – Jesus alone can! He is the only ONE who can say, and He did say, “I always do the things that please the Father.” (John 8:29). We most certainly can’t say these words! But God knows this! He has a plan. He knows what we need…

“You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide. You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherub of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends…” (Ex. 25:17-19).

“The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another, the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I will give to you.” (Ex. 25:20-21).

The Master Artist had a pattern and design, and He had a plan: “There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony,…”(Ex. 25:22). God says, “I will meet you at the mercy seat.”

First comes the relationship! “I will meet you…at the mercy seat.”

Well, there is a story in the Bible (1 Sam 6), when the ark was captured by the Philistines and they put the ark with their god Dagon. Well, the next morning, their god Dagon was on his face. So they picked him up. But the next morning Dagon had fallen over again, but this time his head broke off as well as his hands. so the Philistines got rid of the ark and sent it back home. Needless to say, the children of Israel were very happy to get their ark back, but in the excitement, they took the liberties to lift the mercy seat to see what was inside. Well, on that day, 50, 070 people died – all because they ‘lifted the mercy seat’ to uncover the Law.

And, this is true for you and me as well. It can be ‘deadly’ when we ‘lift the mercy seat’ so to speak to get to the inside of the matter! This can lead to death of relationships in families or friends, etc.

“The letter of the Law kills” Paul wrote in 2 Cor 3:6, “But the Spirit gives life.”

God knows we can’t keep His Law. He knows we ‘miss the mark’. He’s provided for us a mercy seat, made of pure gold. He doesn’t lift it to get to the bottom, no, He covers it with His mercy and meets us there. God dwells above the mercy seat!

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7 says. Have you been wronged. Have you been lied to, hurt, and become broken? Are you angry and vengeful? “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy,” the Bible says.

But what I think is the most amazing – is God knew in this broken world we would face a lot of hurt, and trial and pain,but He gave us a picture of where He meets us  first – and we’ve hurt Him, over and over again in our disobedience and hardness of heart continually- He meets us…with mercy, so that we might be a merciful people to others.

The pattern is precise, according to the Master Artis’s plan, so that we would have picture to remember:…”and there I will meet with you, and I will commune with you from above the mercy seat…” Oh, the beauty of our merciful and compassionate Lord.

It’s not just a pattern of a box, it’s a picture of Jesus. He paid it all. God says, The Law is kept perfect in My Son.  I often think, Blessed are those who have received God’s mercy, because then He ‘fills us’ with His mercy -all according to His Master plan!

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with you God?” (Micah 6:8).

“Lord, You have met us with mercy, please enable us to meet others with mercy as well, that we might bring glory to You and glorify Your name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

“It’s all about the children”, he used to say… remembering Pastor Gary today…

Reposting something I wrote soon after my brother in the Lord went home to be with his Jesus…Have you ever thought, “We are all God’s children. We are all humans and God created us, therefore, we are all God’s children.”Have you ever wondered, “What if what I think is not true? What then?” “Who are God’s children then?”

Well, this weekend there is going to be a memorial service for one of God’s children. So many people are sad because a most loving, gentle, and genuine man is no longer here on earth, but it is really going to be a Celebration Service, because God’s child, who was just passing through, was called home. You might ask, “How do you know he was God’s child? Can you REALLY know?”

Yes, we CAN really know! It is at a time like this that each of us needs to seriously ask ourselves, “Is what I believe, really true? What is truth?

Well, the truth is, my friend was born 60 years ago and he celebrated birthday after birthday, and he got married and had a daughter,(he later had two girls) and had troubles and pressures, and he was running from God. (Like so many of us.) But his little girl(about 3-4 years old) loved her daddy and prayed for him and she would sing this song around the house and to him: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong! Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me,the Bible tells me so.”

Did you know that God used the words to that dear,old song sung by his precious little girl,(and years of prayers) to finally bring him to the realization that he needed God.(He could never share his story to anyone without shedding tears.) It was a child’s faith, a child’s song, no wonder he was a man that was so touched by the children, because God  had touched him through his child!

That is the story – there finally came a day when his hardened heart was softened and he cried out to God and asked Him to come into his life. Guess what this day was? It was his 2nd birth! You see, his first birth, he was born with water, but this 2nd birth- he was now born of the Spirit! This was really his first day of LIFE! (and he was about 30 at this time!) And guess what his favorite song was? Yes, ‘Jesus loves me…’

And because he is a child of God, his life will last forever and ever with God in heaven! How do I know? Because the Bible tells me so!

So I will cry buckets for myself and for his wife, kids, grandkids, and family- but for my brother, for that dear child of God- I am going to sing this old Hymn rejoicing, as he is right now:”When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation, and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart! When I shall bow, with humble adoration,and then proclaim,

MY GOD, HOW GREAT THOU ART!”

So, you see, we need to ask ourselves this question, “I’ve been born once, but have I been born twice? Am I really a child of God?

Sin is what separates us from God, but Jesus paid our debt of ‘death’ in full on the cross. Believing on Jesus and all He has done for us, and receiving His forgiveness- this is how we become a child of God!

My friend, and brother in the Lord would be so happy if his death,(which really isn’t death) would make some stop and say, “Enough already!” Enough running away from God. I am ready for this ‘new birth.’

And he, himself, would lead you in a prayer much like this, “Jesus, I’m a mess and I need You.I want to become Your child. I need You to come into my life. Forgive me of all my sins, please, fill me with Your Spirit- that I might live forever- for You!”

Then your heart will begin singing as his heart did so many years ago:
“Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me- the Bible tells me so!
And you will KNOW that you are a child of God!

Oh, how I am thankful that God let me have so many years alongside Pastor Gary ministering to children. What a gift from God that was. You might know a ‘Pastor Gary’ ,who truly loves the little children.  All I can say is, let them teach you…let them teach  you as they lead by example, to love the children also! “Lord, give us hearts for the children! “”It’s all about the children!” I love you Pastor Gary, your sister in the Lord misses you!

Children, do you know the mama’s song?

Mama’s sing and rock and soothe the infant. Mama’s sing and dance with the child. Mama’s never stop singing because they get their songs from God, and they so badly need the comfort that only comes from Him, that tells them that He loves them and will help them carry on. Mama’s sing because they know, they are His child also, and that they are His child forever, even when they grow old.

So they sing to teach the child in the way that they should go, but they sing to keep their own feet on the straight and narrow. So what exactly is the mama’s song. What are the words to the tune?

Can you hear the mama’s song? Even perhaps that she has gone? Can you hear her heart that chose to sing, no matter what, through everything?

She sang something like this, if your memory escapes you, sometimes in a short rhyme, sometimes in a jumpy tune, and there were times when the ballad was all that rang through.

“We are His children, young and even very old, we are all His children when we choose to trust the Lord. Jesus, Jesus, that is His name, and since I’ve received Him, I will never be the same!”

“Dear child of mine, don’t you see the grace that is in His eyes? Can you feel how He lifts you, even on ‘eagle’s wings’ as time goes by? He saves us from our enemies. But don’t be looking too far , because the enemy ‘lurks inside’. Oh my dear child, please know this always, the ‘self’ , so badly wants to sit on the throne, but he needs to ‘die’ that you might live and bloom.” Why do you think we spent so much time, season after season, digging the rocky, parched soil, to plant those little seeds of promise? Yes, it was a visual, of the death our ‘self’ needs to make. But the flowers; oh the beauty, the reward! Your eyes can see it!”

“We are His children, young and even very old, we are all His children when we choose to trust the Lord. Jesus, Jesus, that is His name, and since I’ve received Him, I will always speak His name.”

“Dear child of mine, I want you to know, there is nothing to fear, once the choice has been made to ‘die’ to your ‘self’ and let God take the lead. When you are His, He  breathes on you some shade, even when standing in the scorching, hot sun. Yes, He leads His children beside still waters and He restores our weary souls. Yes, child, it’s true, it’s done!

And don’t ever forget, dear child of mine, that God sings over you as you go through your day. And please always remember He inhabits your praise; so don’t stope singing-especially when you’re afraid. Remember especially to sing His song – when you doubt or are in pain and you feel life is ‘all draught’.

Children, it happens, I can speak for myself, that their are days, and weeks and months and even years that the song becomes lost. Do whatever you can to find it. We forget to ‘train our hands for war'(Ps. 18), we don’t have time to strum the strings or turn on His song. Us ‘older kids’ have to fight to keep the song, we must ‘gird up the loins of our minds’ and think of that song. As in times of battle, the song kept the soldiers strong. So if there is a blank in your head and a tune isn’t coming, perhaps you can remember the song mama was always  singin’:

“We are His children, young and even very old, we are all His children when we choose to trust the Lord. Jesus, Jesus, that is His name, and since I’ve received Him, I have peace through the rain.”

Here comes the ballad, the slow but powerful words, but don’t ever forget them, keep them always near: “The enemy of doubt and fear and great temptation to sin, sometimes surround us like a flood- but God is greater still. He promises to give us a way of escape- we must look for it and RUN – we much choose to obey! But we slip and we fall and go the wrong way…but He  lovingly washes us by His powerful word. Nobody is perfect, no, not a one, so don’t get discouraged, just run to the Son. To think that He knows everything, everyday, yet He willingly laid down His life for us on that  most dreadful day.

Could it really be true? It’s beyond our comprehension, that the blood of my Jesus, fully covers me; that the Father in heaven sees us as ‘perfect’ and even has ‘righteous’ by our name! Oh yes, don’t be deceived, He sees all that we do. He sees that we mess up and miss the mark each and every day. But Jesus, let me remind you that He is patient and kind, He stands next to the Father’s right side and says, “Father, this child’s debt has been completely paid. This child is Mine! This child is Mine!”

Now, it’s time to jump and dance and sing with a shout! His name is greatest of all, there is no doubt! “Kids, you can trust Him, He won’t let you down! If you’ve mess up and blown it – run to His name. You remember I taught you it’s a tower that’s strong. You run to Him, it will never go wrong. You see God has a way to make ‘all things work for good’, don’t ask me how, just know it, He’s all good!”

That is why, no matter WHAT happens, you can trust Him and sing. Sing when you’re sad, sing when your weak, sing when there is nothing on the shelves to eat. Sing when you doubt, sing when in pain, He will bring rain in your brokenness and drought. You don’t believe me? You think I’m insane? All I can say, is He’s rained on my drought.What if it’s worse and there is a  flood of despair? Mama will tell you, He brought me out and said, ‘dear child, I love you. I will help you dance in the rain. I offer My Spirit to protect and provide and cover you completely so you can be by My side.”

So mama always has a song to sing, can you hear it still? She sings: “We are His children, young and even very old, we are His children when we choose to trust the Lord. Jesus, Jesus, that is His name, I’ll love you forever, forever …and a day!”

It’s too heavy to bear, “I must tell Jesus…”

It’s too much. Life in this world right now is hard for everyone.  There is not one person escaping the oppressive atmosphere in the air these days. And then, there’s the news. No, it’s too heavy to bear…It is then, that we must know the stories. Perhaps we can see what has been done in the past…

There was a pastor from yester-year, who’s past-time was hymn writing in the 1890’s . His name, Elisha A Hoffman .He met many of the ‘destitute’ at that time, as he would visit them. While ‘calling on’ a woman who  felt that life was too heavy to bear, it is recorded  in Robert Morgan’s ‘beautiful collection of hymns and their stories, Then Sings My Soul’, that it seemed that her depression seemed beyond cure. She opened her heart and poured on him her pent-up sorrows. Wringing her hands, she cried, “What shall I do? Oh, what shall I do?”

Could it be that the pain and her despairing  heart were so painful and so heavy that she couldn’t look to God? Could it be that her understanding of God was that He was distant and far removed from what was going on in her life? Perhaps in her weakness, she prayed the only words that she had the strength to pray, “Help me.” And from the story behind an old hymn, it seems that God DID help her. He brought some  beautiful feet to her door, God brought Elisha Hoffman…

Hoffman knew what she should do, for he had himself  had opportunity to learn deeper lessons of God’s comfort. He said to the woman,”You cannot do better than to take all your sorrows to Jesus. You must tell Jesus.”

It is written that the woman then replied, “Yes! that’s it! I must tell Jesus.” Somehow, she knew at that time, it was Jesus she needed to ‘talk’ to. There is power in the name, in the name of Jesus.

There are many ‘little ‘g’ gods. But seeking help from them is like knocking on a closed door. Humanly speaking, when we knock on a locked door and find no entrance, we usually try to find another door or the key, either one- it’s only natural. She must have been knocking and knocking, and the door of despair and despondency seemed the only door that opened. Perhaps the little faith she had had long evaporated from her spirit. So it seems, that God brought a man with the key to visit this woman that day in 1894. Perhaps Hoffman reminded her of all that the name is. Perchance he let her know that Jesus is the door, that He is our Advocate, that He is our Deliverer, that He is faithful, He can be trusted. Did Hoffman remind her that Jesus is all-powerful, and that He knows all that is going on, and He is ever present. That the name is Jesus, but the name is ‘Alpha and Omega’ and ‘the Bread of life’ that He is the ‘Bright and Morning Star’, He is the ‘I AM’ the very ‘image of God’. Jesus is the Immanuel.The name of Jesus is salvation!

Could it be that Hoffman just spent a little time with this woman whose situation seemed ‘beyond cure’. That he told her all about the Name? That He is the El-Shaddai, who comforts and nourishes like a mother. That He is Elohim, the Almighty God, the One who created every mountain, every tree. There is no one higher than the El Elyon, the Most High, and yet, He is a very personal and protecting God. He is Jehovah-jireh, the God who provides. Perhaps Hoffman reminded the woman that God didn’t mess up in His provision. He reminded her of Jesus.

Hoffman  was a man with human feet, and he had no human resources to help, but  he knew that Jesus had everything and Jesus had been through the worst of all evils. Perhaps he reminded her  what God had to say about Him when the disciples were on the Mount of Transfiguration, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 17:5).

Yes, he rightly said to this woman, “You cannot do better than to take all your sorrows to Jesus. You must tell Jesus.” And, how beautiful her reply, in that God had simply reminder her the things that were true, and all of a sudden she knew the way, she replied, “Yes! that’s it! I must tell Jesus.

After ministering to this woman, Hoffman wrote the words to a hymn that is called, “I Must Tell Jesus.” If your heart is heavy, and you are even despairing, put off your anger and frustration and throw it all to Jesus…You see, He is strong enough to take it all. No one else can handle it, but Jesus…

He can, and He will; I am sure that you have heard that “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red,brown, yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight,” and when you were a child you might have even made the choice to believe it; well choose to believe it now. You are still a child in His eyes, Your Father has provided you with a friend, His name is Jesus:

This hymn reads like a lullaby to help calm a fretful child. Yes, for every fret-ful child, this hymn shows us the way, and reminds us of truth and transforms us back to life! How do I know? Because this hymn did this for me:

I must tell Jesus All of my trials, I cannot bear These burdens alone. In my distress He kindly will help me. He ever loves and cares for His own.” (Perhaps it is only unbelief. Perhaps it is ignorance, but it is true, ‘Jesus kindly will help me. He ever loves and cares for His own’).And many, many times, we don’t ‘become His own’ until we have been in a place of trial and great trouble. And, oftentimes, when there is nowhere else to turn, and God brings some ‘beautiful feet’ to remind us, we finally turn to…Jesus, or turn ‘back to’ Him.

“I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! I cannot bear My burdens alone. I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.”

“I must tell Jesus All of my troubles, He is a kind, Compassionate friend. If I but ask Him, He will deliver, Make of my troubles Quickly an end…”

O how the world to evil allures me. O how my heart Is tempted to sin. I must tell Jesus And He will help me, Over the world The victory win…”

“I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! I cannot bear My burdens alone. I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.”

Are we talking to the One who is able? Oh, the world is pressing down way too heavy. Don’t let the sin of unbelief keep you  from going to the One. Make the choice and believe:

“I must tell Jesus. Jesus can help me, Jesus alone!”

1Peter 5:6-7)”Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

“Come and have breakfast.” (John 21:12)

again, “Come and have breakfast.” my response, Yes, thanks, I think I will!”

See God's Hand

“Come and have breakfast.” (John 21:12, Amplified Version).

These words mean so much to me today. This morning, I woke, tired, heavy-hearted…but I heard in my heart such tender words from the Lord,  “Come and have breakfast.”

These are words spoken by Jesus AFTER He was beaten and scourged and His hands were lifted and nailed to a cross, after He breathed His last, and died, after He was buried in the tomb! These words, He spoke to His disciples,while He was sitting on the beach in front of some fish He was cooking and some bread! And Peter was there too, Jesus spoke these words to him as well, even after he openly denied Jesus previously.

This is my story, as if, I am one of the disciples on the pages of The Book in this story in John 21.It’ as if these words were spoken just today, just…

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