Re-weave this tapestry

“Empty the impatience, empty the anxiety.” You, Lord, can read my heart as it cries,  “Give me a break!”

This tapestry of mine is frayed and torn and worn out, forlorn.

Then, I remember, when You walked this dry, barren land, officials with position put on Your head a thorny crown.

The words, “Give me a break,” come back to me, as I watch You in Your word, in silence You went, the way of the cross.

I have a payment owed. I can’t come close to pay it.

Death for my sin is the bottom line. To be separated forever from Your Love, for all time.

I am broken and frayed. I can’t meet the requirements. To be perfect and holy, there’s naturally, no way.

“I am willing.” Jesus answers. Not with words, but in action. The words of the pages bring the past into focus.  The words are today, for me, in the present.

“Show me!” I cry. And He answers before my eyes:

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged.  The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe  and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.

 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.”  When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!

 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” (John 19:1-6, NIV).

 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” (John 19:7).

The word speaks with such sharpness. How the story often is blurred. But living, it speaks. To me, every word:

 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer.  “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar . . .”

13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out, . . . “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.

15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”

How can I read all this and not ask, “Who is this Man?”

Praying, “God, give me a break.” He shows me, “I AM.”

 

Deeply woven in me is a sense of justice. But, it’s not found in You.

Weaved inside my being are threads that life should be fair. That what’s “right” must prevail.

But, Jesus. You didn’t fight. You didn’t defend Your innocence.

You remained silent. You weave the word s-a-c-r-f-i-c-e in Your cloak of Love.

And in my tapestry, you find competition, comparisons, insecurities, and pride.

And, who am I kidding, rudeness and evil thoughts thread their way through, knit, naturally within my whole being.

Rip it all out Lord. Rip these threads from me. I believe Who You are. You came that I might be made free.

Weave in me, Your Scarlet thread. Death to myself and my own righteousness – and my needing control of the circumstance. Re-weave me.

I am broken and frayed. But I believe You came. Let my tapestry proclaim You.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. (Revelation 21:5-7).

 

 

Changing Landscapes?

Soil, hard with clay and stone. Creates a landscape barren. Barren, dry, plain, and forlorn.

But with a shovel, some dirt, sweat and possibly tears – seeds can be fallen to bring about hope.

Planting seeds of promise. Promise of refreshing fruit.

“. . . unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (1)

“If it dies, it produces,” produces and multiplies. Life and fruit overcome. Life then, overcomes the weeds.

Soil prepared and seeds planted, required sun and water surrounded – the “kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies,” and a miracle springs up before our eyes.

Fragile, tender – however, life’s there!

Promise of a flower, a tomato, or pear. Fruit of self-control, and gentleness, and care.

“. . . unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies,” 

“Jesus, You see my struggle. May I determine to focus on Your eyes. On the cross, You, the Lamb of God, willingly laid Your life down for me – that I might overcome, and be made free.

The struggle, the strain. Who likes “to die?” But the promise of newness- the guarantee of life. I will fix my eyes upon Jesus, and ask that You be magnified.

Magnify Your splendor. Magnify Your grace. Magnify Your steadfast love. No longer barren, but now a beautiful landscape.

A landscape of hope. Earth filled with color. Land providing sustenance. Fruit in multiplication- spread to splash this world with color.

“. . . unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, . . .”

the fruit of love is spread all over.

(1) John 12:24, NIV

What news are we investing time in?

We see and hear the news. Have we honestly been deceived in believing the daily news is of more value than the inspired Word of the God, who Loves and created us all?

With intelligence in technology, and language, and medicine, and law – have we really come to believe we can “live life without God?”

In Literature, we understand the best story has great conflict. Did we forget there’s an enemy that’s out to destroy? Did we forget he hates everyone? Satan deceives the world that God is the “kill joy.” When he, himself is the killer of all joy.

Satan hates. Satan lies. And he’s deceived the world that God doesn’t care.

Our hearts and minds are naturally dark from the fall.

By page 3, in the Book, the Bible, by name – we can clearly see, that God didn’t bring the ruin we often give Him blame.  Where is the curiosity to “check it out for ourselves?” Do we really believe the modern “opinion” of what the Book’s all about.

Did we forget that all the words that flow through our brains is not truth. All the words we read are not fact. Satan hates. And He is in full attack!

The name of “Jesus” is an offense. “Whatever you do, don’t speak of His name.”

Can’t you see the smirk on Satan’s face, when in the name of “Jesus” Satan has to flee.

Run to the Word. Seek refuge in God. Yell at Him if you must. Tell Him your heart. God is big enough to take your pain and your anger.

He sent His Son. Your debt has been paid. Talk to Him about Jesus. Ask Him what it’s all about.

His word will bring healing to your heart.

When we turn in our disaster to His good and precious Word. When we seek Him in brokenness, He won’t turn away,

He hears . . .

He hears . . .

Are you seeking His face? He will pour down on you, His grace.

Satan hates for any to believe. If you get on your knees, he has to flee.

A Book in the Bible, Nehemiah by name, tells a story, that today many can relate. Nehemiah received news about the state of his homeland.

Those who survived the exile . . . are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” Nehemiah 1:3.

Turn and open the pages in the Book. Watch Nehemiah’s response, after receiving news of the day:

 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”   Then I said:

Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,  let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.” (Nehemiah 1:4-6).

Have we forgotten God is the creator of heaven, and is the great and awesome God?

Have we believed all the words of deception, of  “Big Bang” evolution – even though every day we see that through time all material things break down.

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics – a universal law of decay. Yet book after book fill the libraries today that great systems evolved through eons of time.

Satan laughs through it all. He’s deceived God’s creation.

Back to Nehemiah, and his prayer. Could it be, that God will restore life and hope in the hearts of us all, if we simply open old, and sacred pages:

“I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.  We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations,  but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’” (Nehemiah 1:6-9).

Can we humble ourselves and admit “sin” anymore?

“O God, turn us around. Restore. Restore!”

What medicine ever “tastes” good and is “easy to take?” The remedy of “turning to God and admitting my wrong,” isn’t pleasant,

but that’s when the healing comes. Do hard things.

Can you and I admit that we’ve been unfaithful? That our hearts feel “scattered” and torn. Can you and I receive today, the promise in the return:

but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.” (Nehemiah 1:9).

I pray for a return of the children of God. Let’s pray “Revival.” And believe in our hearts that with God’s “great strength and mighty hand,” He will “gather” His children back and restore.

That the News of God’s Holy Word would be the priority above all things.

“Today, Our Father in heaven, in Whom we pray, and in the name of Jesus, Whom You gave to save, I humble and pray and seek Your face. Will You wipe away all my sin and disgrace? I believe healing, salvation and an outpouring of Your amazing grace. A new creation today, I’ll be. Thank you for gathering me, and setting me free. in Jesus name, Amen.”

 

 

 

 

Nevertheless God

Most people desire friendship with Happiness. I know I do. And we yearn for acquaintance with Joy.

Do we not?

Joy, so easily sneaks out the back door  when Distress and Restlessness show their heads and appear.

And where is Rest? Did we not invite him at the close of the day? Where did he go when everyone else was sleeping?

With a tap of a finger, or a click with the thumb, women “roar” and men “parade” themselves, places are torn down.  Trouble surrounds.  But, there’s a voice of Refuge shouting, “Turn it off! Turn it off! Stop and remember what God’s Word has to say:

our bodies had no rest, . . . we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears. Nevertheless God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us . . .” (2 Corinthians 7:5,6. NKJV).  

Refuge reminds. His companion, Calm, follows close behind singing a song from age-old time:

“O soul are you weary and troubled. No light in the darkness you see. There’s a light for a look at the Savior and life more abundant and free. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” (Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, Helen Lemmel (1863-1961).

Remember did come to my aid with a warning: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.Mark 14:38, NIV.

“O God,” I cry, “Remind me the promises. When the mountains quake, the trials mount, and Anxiety wants to be my best friend. Speak Lord, speak with mysteries deep.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”      Psalm 46:1-3.

Nevertheless God shows up. In His word, in old songs, in each breath that I take.  And He teaches me again to sing,

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

Refuge came. He brought Calm along. With a Psalm and Song, I finally found Rest.

 “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
 God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

And this is where I found Joy.

  1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free!

    • Refrain:
      Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
      Look full in His wonderful face,
      And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
      In the light of His glory and grace.
  2. Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
    For more than conqu’rors we are!
  3. His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
    Believe Him, and all will be well:
    Then go to a world that is dying,
    His perfect salvation to tell!   hymn by Helen Lemmel

 

 

 

 

Speak, “Be Still My Soul.” Time and again, for myself and my friends

“Be Still my soul … ” (1)

How can it be? The reality. God help us see – that You are the Almighty. “Be Still my soul … Be Still my soul.” 

Words. They hold power.

Let us speak old words together. With fears, and stress, tears and pain, whether seen on the outside – it seems, there are dark clouds within. We walk in the night, with courage and fight  – “O God, we cry – increase our faith  –  again, and again.

Today we pray, “Increase our faith.” Tomorrow we asked for increased faith again in this marathon-type race.

Words penned in 1752, over 200 years ago, bring health to the soul, somehow. So, today, let us pray together, to our God Almighty and our Father in heaven, with old words, true, (yet first person is changed a few)-  that we might  comfort ourselves in You.

Let us say together, out loud, putting sound on our chords:   “Be Still my Soul. Be Still my soul, The Lord is on our side …

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to our God to order and provide;
In every change, You faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”

There is so much change. But You, O LORD remain. We draw near to You, and You draw near when we do. O God, help us, today in such darkness, take hold of Your light and believe and rest . . .

in Your faithfulness.

“Be still, my soul: Our God doth undertake
To guide the future, as You have the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
Your voice Who ruled them while You dwelt below.”

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart, And all is darkened in the vale of tears, 

Then shalt we  better know Your love, Your heart,
Who comes to soothe our sorrow and our fears.

“Dear Lord, comfort the downcast with Your Spirit, we draw near.”

“Be still, my soul: the hour is hast’ning on
When we shall be forever with You Lord.
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.”

Dear Father in heaven, we bow our heads together. The most important change that needs be, is that which must be done, inside of me.

Increase my faith, that I might stand, and follow You, as You take hold of my hand:

“Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, believing,  You, O Lord on high; to
Acknowledge You in all our words and ways,
So shall You  view us with a well-pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Son of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.”

Today. Today! This is what You have given us. Teach us to pray. To talk with You the words of this hymn rather than complaint. Be merciful to us.

Teach us to trust.

Help us to take hold of You – who are Love, and let go of all lust. Let us put off the fight, and the anger, and the strife …

and let us make harmony as we sing Your melody throughout the rest of our life.

We bow our heads, we pray to You. We end our words  and whole heartedly say:  “Our soul is still, as we set our minds on the hill, where You laid down Your life, as a perfect sacrifice, forgiving my failures, Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You.

(1) “Be Still My Soul” by Katherine von Schlegel. 

“Trusting God is always the right thing to do.” A happy birthday note to David.

“Trusting God is always the right thing to do.”

It might not always look like the “smartest” thing to do, but as each day dawns, if we seek the Lord with a yielded heart, doing the best we can, slippin’ and slidin’ along the way, He is our support.

His Hand is our hope and stay.

He offers grace, “unmerited favor,” and mercy, “not giving us what we deserve.” God is a faithful Father.

And God spoke from heaven in Luke 9:35, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”

There was a day I heard God say those words to me, so I spend time each day trying to do just that – to “hear Him”

 Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. Matthew 19:14.

Perhaps I’ll spend my lifetime discovering what this verse is all about. But today I write because we celebrate the birthday of my 9th child, David.

Happy Birthday David! How can you actually be 17 years old today?

Born in the year 2000, I will never have to stop and do math to figure out your age. My 2000 baby.

David, you are such a blessing. Words could never express.

From the beginning, well, you did have a bit of a rough beginning, at least from my point of view – you were my biggest baby of the 11 at 8lbs 14 oz.

But for you, it was probably wonderful to be breathing well at birth because you had the chord wrapped around your neck during delivery. Thanks to the best midwife on the planet, Marylou Nalducci,

and our Lord Jesus, (who was watching out for you then and is watching out for you now,)

you recovered it all. The purple blue face for the first few days, all the prodding from the Neonatologist, the tests. And then later, coming home to a houseful of kids who couldn’t wait to hold you.

It is days like this when you can say with a heart skipping with joy, “It is always right to trust the Lord.”

And now to think, you will be approaching your Senior year in high school. And smart as can be. No damage done in that rough beginning, that’s for sure.

“Thank you Lord.”

David, 17 years later your mom and dad will still tell you, “It’s always right to trust the Lord.” We might not always say it with an outward “skip and a hop,” in our voice, but with a deep resound.

But God has shown himself faithful daily. To you, to me, to our entire family. That is why your mom and dad love the Lord so much David. Because He loves us first.

And He blessed us on June 3 with you! “Trusting God is always the right thing to do!”

But you have experienced and seen for yourself, in the 17 young years of your life, that “trusting God” in life is a bit like a marathon. It has it’s ups and downs and dizzy spells and muscle aches.

Sometimes “trusting God” just plain hurts. Especially if you feel you are on mile 17 of the run, or again on mile 26, with rubber knees and bleeding toes! ( I wouldn’t know from running specifically.)

But experientially, your mom and dad can say, David, It’s always right to trust the Lord. You see, He is the One who directs your steps through the rough terrain and the smooth.

He’s there at the beginning. He waits for us to believe. He hears us when we bleed. He helps us persevere. And in Him, He helps us succeed.

Seek His face as you wake. Hear His voice in His word. Talk to Him throughout your day.

Trust God. He is faithful. Always.

David, before you get out of bed, take a hold of your Father’s hand – your Father in heaven, and follow His lead. He will show you the way.

I love you, forever,

mom

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5,6.

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8.

“Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?” Deuteronomy 10:12-13.

A Salvation Story. Do I come out of the rain?

God holds the Umbrella that I come out of the rain.

Why the struggle? Why the delay?

God holds the Umbrella. He cares about me.

Did I forget? Or did I simply leave?

Do I find contentment in lies that bring strife? Am I choosing to destroy my very own life?

Can I make the choice to step out of the comforts of despair?

Or do I keep my head down on the puddles, believing lies of being victim. Staying, pitifully there.

He bids me with thunder and lightning to fear and to look. In the Light, through the flash,

I see the hand of His Son.

It’s reached out towards me.

Then I see His face.

His eyes, . . .

are grace.

He calls my name. I hear the words,”Come.” 

Directly in my heart, I feel Him look.

Burning.

Revelation comes, Truth is alive.

He waits.

Immediately, there’s strength that wasn’t there.  Hope to lay down the shame. To cast off the pain.

God is offering me to come out of the rain.

Again, He calls my name.

Do I receive Him and take hold of His hand?

Why is it so hard? Why would I choose to stay out in the cold? To reject the dance. To stay wet in distress?

In an instant I choose.

I lift my eyes to meet His.

In an instant my garments are made new. Gloriously cleansed. I take hold of His hands. With all of my being, I know at last, I have found Love. He loved me first.

He desires me.

The rain is still falling, but I don’t even care. Because Love has captured all of my being. Love has called me. He has lifted me up.

I turn to kiss His cheek. He smiles.

He is pleased.

Everything new, everything possible, we dance, and we dance under the grand Umbrella. The canopy of protection, with a symphony of grace.  As it rains,  Love and I look face to face.

With a long-lost song that returns in my heart, I will sing as I dance, and make day of the night.

Starting over

 

There is a time for “starting over.”

Even when a house is torn down, the foundation is left to build upon.

The foundation old and solid, the building all new. Gloriously new.

The past is the seasoned instruction manual. Not for dwelling deep, but for gleaning wisdom in the forward motions of hope and joy.

Starting over. With revelation of the preciousness of each breath.

I will write for my kids. Because the Lord told me so. Just as He said to Jeremiah so many years ago, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. Jeremiah 30:2.

I frame words already written, tucked away under black leather covers. I bring out to light words in the old song books that are living through the ages of time.

I’m starting over, yet in reality, I’m continuing ahead.

So, I will write with each new day, what the Lord has shown me in His book. I will leave it at that and pray that God draws you near to Him with each moment of each day.

Matthew Henry in his commentary on Jeremiah 30:1-11 writes what I believe God wants to show me, and you, and all the children who take the time in God’s word and take note of what’s been heard:

Matthew Henry Commentary

30:1-11 Jeremiah is to write what God had spoken to him. The very words are such as the Holy Ghost teaches. These are the words God ordered to be written; and promises written by his order, are truly his word. He must write a description of the trouble the people were now in, and were likely to be in. A happy end should be put to these calamities . . .”

How glorious are the old words written! Does this not make our appetites yearn to taste and see the promises within?  Matthew Henry continues in his writings on Jeremiah 30, which encourage us today in the trials we endure:

“Though the afflictions of the church may last long, they shall not last always. The Jews shall be restored again. They shall obey, or hearken to the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of David, their King. The deliverance of the Jews from Babylon, is pointed out in the prophecy, but the restoration and happy state of Israel and Judah, when converted to Christ their King, are foretold; also the miseries of the nations before the coming of Christ. All men must honour the Son as they honour the Father, and come into the service and worship of God by him. Our gracious Lord pardons the sins of the believer, and breaks off the yoke of sin and Satan, that he may serve God without fear, in righteousness and true holiness before him all the remainder of his days, as the redeemed subject of Christ our King.”Jeremiah 30:2 Commentaries

This is it. This is why I write. I write for myself and perhaps someone else will benefit and grow in discovering treasured words under dusty covers.

I’m starting over, but I’m really just persevering on.

May we be faithful to take time to hear His voice. May we be faithful to talk to Him, to wrestle with Him. To seek Him evermore. Start over we will, with each new day.  Let us live the life He has for us.

God’s given us breath. Let us take the next breath He has given and read aloud God’s inspired wisdom:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-17.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

15 Whatever is has already been,
    and what will be has been before;
    and God will call the past to account.[b]

16 And I saw something else under the sun:

In the place of judgment—wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice—wickedness was there.

17 I said to myself,

“God will bring into judgment
    both the righteous and the wicked,
for there will be a time for every activity,
    a time to judge every deed.”

Read these words aloud. They are living: This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me and given me life. (Psalm 119:50, Amplified).

 

What is Lovely? Who is the same?

“Lovely” is a term that might seem to be going out of style. But there are some things that are truly “lovely.” Like beautiful weather in the course of a day, or a flower, either wild or grand.

Or perhaps some might think a vacation or delicious dessert. Or for others,  “lovely” brings about noble thoughts, such as Manners matter, Character counts.

Today, my word is “lovely.” In whose eyes do I care to be? Do I care to be “lovely” to God today, or other people, or just me.

Merriam-Webster concludes: Definition of lovely, lovelierloveliest

  1. obsolete :  lovable

  2.   delightful for beauty, harmony, or grace :  attractive She looks lovely in that dress.

  3.   grand, swell what a lovely morning

  4.   eliciting love by moral or ideal worth A lovely woman who loves him for himself, not for his money.

    This can be disheartening. I’m just not “lovely” at best.

     But when I think about my Father in heaven, Whom I believe cares and is aware. And I think about the mess we’ve made as a whole human race. This great earth He designed that we might enjoy and have peace. But we fell with the first.

    But God made way that we may be made new by the last.

    He is all together lovely.

    He came. He died. He rose. Even when no one takes notice, He still delivers a gorgeous rose, and the morning dew, and early birds that sing.

    To think that God gave Himself in exchange for my shame. To think that He gave His only begotten Son, even if it were only me.

    To think that He loves. He bears all things.

    Oh, that we wouldn’t worry about being “right.”

    That instead we would learn more of harmony and grace.

    If we would invest time in knowing God, and asking Him plainly to show us His Son.

    Lovely is what we would find, bottom line. He is all together lovely. For all time.

    What is lovely?

    Making Jesus mine.

    “Please God help me slow down to sing.”

    From hectic to gentle with my eyes on God. He is gracious, compassionate. He is the Lord God Almighty.

    That my main “fear” would be to offend Him.

    Today, let us chose to move in a way that might be lovely. In the sight of God, and not worry first of the thoughts of man.

    Lovely would be, if with God, I would, you would, the whole of creation, would all agree.

    I pray that you and me together might choose to bring more harmony and grace to the very rooms we walk.

that we might experience “lovely” in a new and special way . . .
and  perhaps overflow some “lovely” fragrance in our earthly place.

“My dear friend, when grief presses you to the dust, worship there!”

“My dear friend, when grief presses you to the dust, worship there!”

C.H. Spurgeon wrote these words. These words were penned and written among a field of thousands of sermons. These gems are gleaned and shared for you and me in the book: Beside Still Waters, Words of Comfort for the Soul,C.H. Spurgeon/ Editor Roy H. Clarke.

When I was in great need of comfort, a friend sent me this book. For this I am forever grateful. God was watching over me. He is always in control. Old words written were now opened to help restore my soul.

Thoughts run here, there, and everywhere – especially when one is going through a crisis-and there are times when we need Help from Someone to lead us “beside still waters.” (Psalm 23).

I share words that have been written many years past:

“My dear friend, when grief presses you to the dust, worship there! Remember David’s words, ‘Pour out your heart.’ But do not stop there; finish the quotation. “Pour out your heart before Him.” Turn your heart upside down, empty it, and let every drop run out. “Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62:8).(Beside Still Waters, pg.49, Yet Will I Trust Him)

Spurgeon continues: “When you are bowed down beneath a heavy burden of sorrow, worship and adore God there. In full surrender to His divine will, say with Job, “Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him” (Job 13:15). This kind of worship subdues the will, arouses the affections, stirs the whole mind, and presents you to God in solemn consecration…”

This last sentence, I circled with stars and even wrote it again at the bottom of the page: “This worship sweetens sorrow and takes away its sting.”

So, in turn, Spurgeon encouraged me to run to the songs.

I received air in my lungs and breath again from words of an old hymn. I opened to the light “Be Still My Soul.”

Worship Him there, in restlessness and pain. Worship Him and speak aloud, “Be still my soul.”

“Be still my soul. The Lord is on Thy side, bear patiently, the cross of grief or pain. Leave to Thy God, to order and provide. In every change, He faithful will remain. Be still my soul, thy Best and Heavenly Friend -through thorny ways- leads to a joyful end.”( Katherina A. von Schlegel 1752).

It’s the books that refresh. Not a shopping trip or vacation. It’s old words on some pages. It’s the word of God and hymns and devotional phrases.

The old words. I opened them up. And today, let us open them again. Let us read aloud hymns and devotions and be lifted up. At a turn of the page, I share another hymn:

 I Will arise and Go to Jesus.

” Come, ye sinners, poor and needy, Weak and wounded, sick and sore; Jesus ready stands to save you, Full of pity, love and pow’r.

A devotional and hymn book are a living remedy to a broken heart. Words that live begin to remind me, it might not be well with my life or my even my broken heart, but because the Lord loves me,

“It is Well With My soul.”

God, the Creator, the Lover of my soul – He is in control. The words remind me what I had forgot:

“When Satan does buffet, and trials do come. Let this blessed assurance control: That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, and He’s shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well with my soul.

 It is well, it is well with my soul.” 

Oh how words comfort and restore. Yesterday, today, and until the final test. God has not left us, He draws near. His word and the hymns caress.

“When grief presses you to the dust, worship Jesus there!

Thank you C.H. Spurgeon for reminding me that “This worship sweetens sorrow and takes away the sting.”

“The Lord is my strength and my song, and He is become my salvation!”(Exodus 15:2).

Let us go on, with our eyes up, not out on the broken horizon, and let us sing a song that will carry our heavy feet onward.

It might not be well with our circumstances and our hearts, but in Jesus, He’s covered us and washed us and loved us complete. We can take a breath, and bring a sacrifice of sound and sing, “It is well, it is well with my soul.