What’s our comment? What can we say? When we take time to think on that day

The soldiers led Jesus into the hall, the Praetorium by name. And they called together a band—of mockers and scorners of ridicule and hate.

It’s as if it were staged. The one’s who chose not to believe, shouted with rage.

Oh, that those who believe on His name, would have double the passion to sing aloud their praise.

They clothed him with purple and laid a crown of thorns on His head. The one who it was said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the world’s sins, He sits alone. Misunderstood. With a bleeding head.

He was saluted, “Hail King of the Jews,” as they mocked him on their knees. He was hit, and spat at and whipped with a reed.

Is this what we think of when we read, “Remember Me.”

They took off the purple and put on the plain, then led him out to be crucified. They compelled a foreigner to carry the cross through.

On that note, believer, think it not strange when passing through this foreign land, that we be compelled, to carry a cross too.

But, oh, we do. Oh, yes, we do.

The one’s who chose not to believe, laughed and scorned Him, and brought  horror and shame. Shall we take a minute as we take our next breath, to adore Him and thank Him for enduring such pain.

Jesus was brought to the place, Golgotha. The Place of the Skull was and is it’s reputation. They offered him “wine mingled with myrr” but he refused—He endured to the utmost, the crucifixion.

He was numbered with the transgressors. He was crucified with two thieves. His guiltless name was written with a list of men with wrong-doings.

Yes, this was prophesied hundreds of years before, that this would be.

He bore ridicule from passers-by. He bore mocking from Religious heads. He bore the shouts, “Save, yourself. Come down from the cross.”

What is meekness? What is patience? Let Jesus be our teacher when we find ourselves at a loss!

And “when the sixth hour had come there was darkness over the land.” Noon until three, darkness surrounded. Does God have wisdom and power above what we do and don’t understand?

What were the hearts of men doing then? Some had fear, others—faith. For those who choose faith, let’s bow our heads together, taking time to thank Him for His loving grace.

There’s more to His Story. This is from Mark 15. On the ninth hour, 3:00 in the afternoon, Jesus shouted, “Eloi, Eloi, lama Sabachthani.

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

And He shouted, and we learn from another Gospel the words, “It is finished.” Jesus died on that tree.

And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Impossible with man, but with God—this testimony is true.

A witness, the centurian standing in front of Him during the passion, watched Him as He breathed His last breath, and said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” 

What is our comment? We best consider our reaction.

It might not seem to matter much to us today. But we best take time. To consider. Where. We plan to spend. Our eter-ni-ty.

Taken from Mark 15:16-32 and Isaiah 53

 

Advertisements

Remembering Jenny Part 1

Reasons

Sometimes I wonder why I want to write a book about Jenny. I feel in my heart that I have to. Perhaps the book is just for me. But maybe there’s someone else out there that needs to meet Jenny too. I know I needed her.

How could Jenny become completely paralyzed at only 34 years of age, lose the movement of every part of her body, not even be able to breathe on her own, and have the joy she did and a continuing faith to believe God?

She told me, from the very first day when she didn’t even know what was happening to her, she felt God had told her, “You’ll be able to walk again.”

And she believed those words and held on to them when she couldn’t hold on to anything. But hold on she did. They kept her faith strong even after 5 years of loss upon loss. God allowed us to be friends her last year on this earth, and I witnessed faith in champion proportions.

Do you know what she told me the first time I visited her at her house, while she sat in her chair. She said, “The very first day I was paralyzed, I ask God to help me get out of bed every day.”

I guess that’s why I’ll write the book. Because I need to stop complaining about my nothing in comparison problems, and fall into the temptation to look at mountains of situations, instead of looking to God.

Oh, that I might consistantly  think differently.That, no batter what, I would keep my faith and believe God. Day after day, trial after trial, the way Jenny so victoriously did.

Beginnings

Jenny couldn’t hug her girls anymore. She couldn’t do so many things.

The girls were young.

And no-one will know what the Lord did in-and-through her and, for the both of us unless the words are written. God let us be friends. We needed each other.

There were days when, just thinking of her and the extreme challenges she had to face every minute of the day, got me out of bed some mornings.

I had suffered great loss. My heart physically felt it was bleeding. Did we even know that the heart can feel like it’s bleeding.

I needed a hero, a champion. Jenny was all that, but don’t think for a minute that Jenny’s the hero I’m writing about. Right from the start, the hero is God. I cried out to Him and He heard me. He gave me a friend.

I started praying for Jenny years before when on the very same week, on a February of 2008 I had a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. But Jenny became paralyzed, from the neck down, without the use of her diaphragm, thus preventing her from breathing on her own, causing a continual use of a respirator.

Within 24 hours Jenny mysteriously became quadriplegic.

I had nothing to complain about. What is Rheumatoid Arthritis, swelling and pain when moving, to paralysis of every limb and chest.

Debilitating changes

It all happened so quickly. February, 2008 brought change for the both of us, but for Jenny, she couldn’t move anything.

Was sudden paralysis of the spine due to a virus? Did the medical team ever really know? There were so many questions for Jenny, her husband, and her three girls. Questions that couldn’t be answered.

I thought about Jenny every day even though I didn’t know her well when all the changes happened.

I would reach for a cup out of the cupboard after getting up and walking out of bed. Tempted to complain of difficulties of life and my RA pain, which seemed to come so naturally, but then I would stop.

Almost as if I was watching myself from the outside, I would fill the cup with water and give myself a drink, then. . .  I would think, “Remember Jenny.” A young mom from the Y, with her girls on the same swim team as mine, and all of a sudden, word goes out, “Jenny’s paralyzed.

I was cured. Perspective is everything. I had no problems at all. Zero. None.

I can’t even imagine being 34 years old and not being able to move anything. Prayers went up to God for Jenny everywhere for her girls, her husband, and family.

Day after day.

Month after month.

Year after year.

I am not sure how long she was hospitalized, 8 months and more. And then training and preparation for life as a quadriplegic. A special chair was needed as well as 24/7 home health care. The house had to be renovated for the chair to go up stairs. A new van was purchased. The entire dynamics of the household was forever changed.

And Jenny couldn’t hug her girls anymore.

The girls would always smile when I waved as they walked into swim practice. What a great thing to have a pool to kick off all the stress and hardship of life for an hour. The girls were precious.

I remember watching her blow into a long straw-type tube to move her special wheel chair into the Y. We would have chats now and again.

I asked her, “Jenny, what’s the hardest part of all this?” Putting my hand on her hand. With great effort to catch breath, she answered me,

“People put their hands on my hand. They think they’ve touched me. I can’t feel my hands.”

She couldn’t do anything. Not even breathe on her own. This is more loss than I can comprehend.

Time to say “Thank you Jenny”

Time went on. I had a cancer diagnosis. A cancer fight with the struggles of chemo, surgery, hormone block treatments, the ups the downs, the all-arounds. And I would “remember Jenny.”

November of 2012, and I was driving my kids to school.

This was first year of school for my elementary and middle school aged children. I was a home-educator for 21 years, however the stress involved and the weakness I was dealing with gave way to public education for my kids.

We were in the car and the radio announcer posed a question,

“Is there someone very important in your life, and they might not even know it? Let this Thanksgiving be the time to let them know.”

“Jenny” was my thought.

So I found Jenny’s phone number and I called. I remembered Jenny every day, and I began visiting her home periodically.

This was four and-a-half years after the paralysis began!

A friendship developed

The first time I visited Jenny was a bit uncomfortable as I waited at the door at 10:30 in the morning for what seemed like a long time. I stood at the door, but then one of the home-health nurses let me in.

They were blow-drying her hair. I can’t imagine the amount of work it is every day to tend to all the needs of a young woman who can’t move or breathe on her own.

Jenny seemed so happy to have a visitor. And I was happy to be finally visiting. I came with my guitar. She really didn’t know me at all except for a few conversations at the Y and the call for Thanksgiving.

I felt I needed to thank her for many things.

This woman got me out of bed. This woman gave me courage and perspective. This woman taught me to be thankful.

Quite honestly I wonder how many lives this woman actually saved? I know God used her to save me from my pitiful thinking. From thinking thoughts that would were faith-less and fret-full.

Jenny had a gentle spirit and joyful nature, even after almost five years of circumstantial loss. This was someone who couldn’t move a thing. She couldn’t pull her bangs down to fix them up. She couldn’t take a sip from a cup. She couldn’t do anything!

This is the woman that should be on the cover of magazines of what a “beautiful woman” is.

I brought my guitar for a time of worship and prayer. We sang. Jenny cried. Her respirator buzzer kept going off because of the extra air needed. And we prayed.

When Jenny spoke out of the abundance of her heart, you would think there would be bitterness, frustration, anger, and complaint. But I will tell you right here and now, out of the abundance of this woman’s heart, who had lost so much, was one thing, grace poured out.

Not complaint, but gracious words. She shared, “He’s going to heal me. He told me at the beginning, when this first happened. He said to my spirit, “You’re going to walk again.”

Jenny believed God. From day one to year five, completely paralyzed.

“The Lord has let my legs still have muscle tone. They aren’t supposed to have that. “I’m going to walk again,” she told me with complete faith.

I asked Jenny of her favorite memory verse.

“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

She would joke how she spoke with God, “Lord, I’m not going anywhere!”

You probably think I’m writing nice words about a friend. No, I’m writing about seeing a miracle of God

This woman was overflowing with faith, and hope, and I haven’t even mentioned the love.

God did this.

He was present. I was a witness of a life filled with the Spirit and submitted to Him.

Jenny’s home health care ran out after a little over five and a half years. She found herself back in the very same hospital that she spent so many months in almost 6 years prior.

This was her greatest fear. At 40 years of age.

But God gave us time together in the hospital reading the Bible together and singing songs. The girls will never know what God did for both of us in opening His word together, I thought, unless I write the words.

So, letters for the girls were written. But they aren’t just for the girls. That’s why I’ll share them.

(to be continued, Part 2).

 

 

A prayer, “Increase my faith,” is proving to be an endurance test

The prayer was prayed, “Increase my faith.” And from that day, it seems God ordered a stress test for many days.

I was given exhortation from His word to start off: If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. (1) 

My flesh wanted to go back to bed and never leave, but my feet followed orders that said, “Get up. Just breathe!”

If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”(2)

This is the Word after my prayer I did read. The question to myself was, “Is this encouragement? I can hear the stampede.”

So, in seeking wisdom, I turn to Proverbs 3, So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine. 

“Yes Lord, yes. That this, will all be mine.” But what comes next in the black and white text:

My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loath His reproof, For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights . . .

Is that really what comes next? Is this all included in my “Increase my faith,” request?

“Good-night!” No wonder our flesh so often wants to turn off the Light.

But I open an ERV version with a search engine, of the next verse to see. Did we even know there is a version of the Bible titled, Easy-to-Read?

I pray, “Dear Lord, let this be some kind of encouragement to me.”

We must never stop looking to Jesus. He is the leader of our faith, and he is the one who makes our faith complete. He suffered death on a cross. But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. 

 Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him. Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying. (4)

OK, Hebrews 12, has me “think about Jesus,” instead of myself, that I might stop my deep sighing.

So, hopping around with the theme “Perseverance,” I’m instructed to turn to 1 Peter 4. Of course I turn there, because I need all the help I can get to keep from sighing again and to take the next step.

 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.(5)

And “Amen,” is easy to repeat, “Amen.” but then I keep reading in 1 Peter again:  Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (6)

Increase my faith as I watch You, dear Lord, fully trust and rest in Your Father as You endured the cross for me.

Faith will bring me to victory.

Step by step, in weakness I rise, but I will set my eyes on You Lord Jesus, that is how I will win the prize.

(1) Proverbs 24:10

(2) Jeremiah 12:5

(3) Proverbs 3:10-12

(4) Hebrews 12:2-4

(5) 1 Peter 4:11

(6) 1 Peter 4:11-13

 

Wait . . . I AM here. . .

Thinking on a good theme . . .

See God's Hand

When you’re ready  . . .

when you’re ready to know.

I wait, patiently. My ways are not like man’s ways you know.

The blind seem to be leading the blind somehow.

so much knowledge, yet, so little care.

So much violence, everywhere.

Are you broken and hurting inside? I AM compassion. Bow your head, I will abide. Selah. Pause and think quietly on this:

I AM the same, yesterday, today, forever.  I patiently endure. I AM here.

I bring Comfort in time. I bring rhythm and rhyme – but not now,

while your cut-heart bleeds . . .

There is a time to grieve. There is a time to mourn with sadness. But the tears will stop, your face will see.

I overcome what you can’t. My ears hear. I hear hearts. I hear tears.

Do you rememberI have engraved, on the palms of My hand, your name?

You have…

View original post 607 more words

God, I have a prayer . . .

“God, I have a prayer,  for the little ones and the old. May  children wake up surrounded, not by evil thoughts that are cold, but let the Spirit breathe on them, even words from long ago, hear our prayer:  “Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, heal the sick, and lead the blind…” (1)

God, I have a prayer, that vision would be giv’n to things that are unseen, that our minds would think above, that our souls would be set free. That the prayer of our heart and exclamation of our tongues would be:  “More than all, in Thee I find!” Let Your Spirit refresh and our tongue repeat: “More than all, in Thee I find!”

You, Lord Jesus are what we need. To seek Thee first, is the key.

Oh God, may the world see the colors in Your hue. May our eyes be opened to the sunrise of Your face. May the children of the entire human race, see that Your color, Dear Lord, is Grace!

“God, my prayer is written in this old Wesley hymn,“Just and holy is Thy name; I am all unrighteousness… that these words would be ours, our proclamation to you:  “Just and holy is Thy name; I am all unrighteousness…

As easy as ABC, yet harder than any Chemistry – there is no need for ‘outside clean-up’ jobs, the main event’s gotta happen inside, where the heart of the child sees their own mess, and finally cries: “Just and holy is His name . I am all unrighteousness.”

False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace.” That children young and old would know, the words to the hymn, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul!”

“ALL the children of the world must admit, each in his own unique time and space:  “I am all unrighteousness!”Oh God, may the world see the color in Your hue, may their eyes be opened to the color of Your face – and that in Your image You created the entire human race, Your face, our Prince of Peace is full of Grace.

For “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Your very own words, dear Lord God. Matthew chapter 5  – is full of the attitudes You, Yourself had spoken – to be remedy to the sadness, pain and cries. Be still, children. And, on God’s green sod, lie.

“The Kingdom of heaven is yours today, be poor in spirit and blessed you’ll be.” These are the words, the remedy. But not one man likes to hear words of this sound. Oh no,”poor in spirit?” that means “I have need.”

“God, I have a prayer that the children can say: “Other refuge have I none; hangs my helpless soul on Thee. Leave, ah, leave me not alone; Still support and comfort me!”

Dear Lord, that the children would sing, “All my trust on Thee is stayed; All my help from Thee I bring. Cover my defenseless head, With the shadow of Thy wing.”

Yes, God, I have a prayer that the children of the world that You laid Your life down for, would change their tune and sing an old song: “Jesus, lover of my soul, Let me to Thy bosom fly, While the nearer waters roll, While the tempest still is high! Hide me O my Savior hide, Till the storm of life is past. Safe into the haven guide. Oh, receive my soul at last!”

That the children would trust as they rest in Your hand, and sing and sing, “Jesus, lover of my soul, Let me to Thy bosom fly, while the nearer waters roll, While the tempest still is high.” “God I have a prayer, that the children of the world to YOU would direct their cry!”

“Thou, O Christ, art all I want; More than all, in Thee I find.” That revival would spread like a fire in the forest, the children would pray, “Raise the fallen, cheer the faint, Heal the sick and lead the blind. Just and Holy is Thy name, I am all unrighteousness. False and full of sin I am; Thou art full of truth and grace.” Yes, this is my prayer for me and for them!”

“Plenteous grace with Thee is found, Grace to cover all my sin. Let the healing streams abound…” I pray for the children, the children of the world, that they would turn around and speak this new ‘old’ song, “Make and keep me pure within. Thou of life, the Fountain art, Freely let me take of Thee …”Spring Thou up within my heart; Rise to all eternity.”

This is the prayer, this is it, I say, “Spring Thou up within my heart;” May revival around us speak louder than the lies, “Plenteous grace with Thee is found, Grace to cover all my sin… “Thou of life the Fountain art, Freely let me take of Thee. Spring Thou up within my heart; Rise to all eternity!”

“Let it be. Amen, let it be. Amen. For the women, the men and all the children. “Thou, O Christ, art all I want; More than all, in Thee I find … 

“Spring Thou up within my heart; Rise to all eternity!”

(1) a hymn by Wesley: “Jesus, Lover of my Soul”

I can still feel her hugs. I remember Judy.

My sister-in-law stood out above us all when we were gathered for family events. But don’t get me wrong, Judy was not an up-front, high-energy kind-of-person.

No, Judy was exceptional because she did little things with excellence. And, her other gift was, she was an in-the-moment kind of person.

When Judy, whom I didn’t meet until she had to face a 2nd battle with Lymphoma  after being in remission for 5 years—when she did even the smallest things, she did it with excellence.

Judy would make the salad for the family gathering. It was unforgettable. The homemade raspberry dressing and the array of different greens, (way before they ever began selling the little “fast and quick” salad bags in the stores), pine nuts, walnuts, raisins—out-of-this-world, memorable.

So, every time I make a raspberry salad, what am I thinking? I remember Judy.

Judy put in a wildflower/perennial garden on the side of her house. Breathtaking.

Today, I have a wildflower/perennial garden. It doesn’t even come close to having the “wow”-factor effect that Judy’s flowers had on me.  She made a choice to do things with excellence. It was a lasting choice.

Thank you Judy.

When Judy would wrap a gift, and sometimes, simply using the comics from the Sunday paper, (which is becoming uncommon in these days), somehow, she would add ribbon and tie on a trinket or two along with a card—the wrapping was as much a gift as the gift—

unforgettable.

So, of course, every time I wrap a gift, . . .

I remember Judy.

She talked with me and gave me importance. Even though she was going through so much, she listened to me and my craziness of being a young mom with a bunch of little kids.

Do you know, when my daughter Carolyn was three years old, Judy sewed a beautiful floral dress, with a matching bunny and put together a hat so my little girl would be the sweetest-looking-thing around.

You better believe the cameras came out. You would have thought they pulled out a red carpet when my daughter got out of the car. All I remember is the pouty face on my little beauty. (She wouldn’t smile for anything. I think it’s because it was her mom’s idea, but that’s a whole other story).

My mother-in-law was so impressed she did a watercolor of the special moment.

Remarkable.

Judy was exceptional.

What can I say? Well, I can say even more. It was her hugs. You see, when Judy gave me a hug, she held on to me. She would squeeze and hug me long. Longer than my comfortable .

But I’m so glad she did. Because even though Judy is no longer here, she lives in me. The salad, the gifts, the garden, the hugs.

And, I’m going to tell you one more thing. The day before thanksgiving, many years ago, my mother-in-law was broken, and sad, and emotional, but satisfied, when tulips were placed on top of the casket.

Tulips in November? Yes, for Judy—tulips were requested and tulips were found. Exceptional. Remarkable. Memorable, forever.

I remember Judy today because I was asked the other day, “Who has had an impact on you?”

Since I can’t tell Judy to her face until I get to be in heaven, I thought I’d share her with you. I think she might just make us all a better person today.

Unforgettable. I remember Judy. And now, you can too.

 

 

 

 

Water into Wine, Remembering my Journal entry. August 9, 2010

August 9, 2010. On this date, I knew there was a very large lump on my right breast, but I didn’t know what it was at this time.

I was keeping a Bible Journal at the time. Apparently I was in John 2:

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.”

That was a crisis for this wedding feast. And I was in “crisis” as well.

Jesus said her,”Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”
John 2:4.

In my journal writing I wrote, “Can God be showing me what to do in my crisis?”

I wrote so many years ago, (7 years to be exact):

There were 6 water pots of stone about twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.”
Today feeling very empty and confused, He said, “fill the water pots with water.” Water in the Bible symbolizes the Holy Spirit. And at the wedding they ran out of wine and He said, “Fill the pots with water.”

My very first thought is, the Holy Spirit. I need to be filled with the Holy Spirit!

So, on that day, many years ago, God was showing me personally, intimately what I, Toni, needed to do to get through that day, and the days I didn’t even know were to come, (which included a cancer diagnosis, many doctor and surgeon visits, then chemo, surgery, hormone therapy, etc., etc.

The words of Mary ring so loud to me, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

Fill the pots with water.”

That’s what He said.

I knew I needed counsel. He answered me, “Fill your clay vessel with water.”

So, I went to the word about the Holy Spirit:
And not be drunk with wine which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the LORD, giving thanks always…,” Eph. 5:18.

Little did I know, but for me, to help me through and keep me standing on the Rock, to keep faith through all the chemo and chemicals, I would be turning the pages of Then Sings My Soul, by Robert Morgan.

Speaking the words of the hymns, and singing them as I learned them, I was transformed, from fear to courage.

I was continually being transformed- from fear to courage!

So today, a lot has changed. I am healthy and strong. But what’s amazing is the remedy for my crisis today still remains:

“Whatever He says to do, do it.”

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”
What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. John 2: 7-11.

Dear Lord, teach me to seek Your face and hear Your voice as I open your word to hear what You say.” In Jesus Name. 

Amen.

Have I forgotten, the horse goes before the cart?

The horse precedes the cart. Does it not? If it’s to move forward it must.

Am I guilty of putting the cart before the horse? Am I am guilty of lifting my hands in praise to my God, yet often forgetting to remember He is Holy. He is Just.

Have I forgotten? He knows every thought in my heart.

Do I come through God’s doors seeking blessing and peace? And yet expect perfection from others, not trusting, making lists of their wrongs, and then come to praise God, lift my hands. What is it I seek?

Our Father who is in Heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Do I even come close to understand the words I’m saying?

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.

We all have debts, we all have debtors. God knows this world is hard and painful, but He breathed out His letters.

“As we have forgiven our debtors.” This is the method Jesus instructed we pray.  How sharp, and at the same time grace-full; instruction and warning yet, “always believing.” This the Lord’s, (not man’s) way. “Help my perceiving.”

I have forgiven. I have spent time in prayer. God knows I have, but then, am I being tempted that I haven’t?

The battle is great, my constitution weak: And do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil.” (1)

I won’t for a minute longer try to celebrate the joy of the Lord, until I have first come, asking mercy, with a heart ready for surgery from His Word.

I come to the cross. Drawing near to God. He laid down His life. He took all my sin—my ugliness, my strife.

I must not worry about what others think,  I must first come to Jesus, and be willing to hear Him speak.

Tempted to run, but right here I’ll stay. Today must be a day of atonement for me.  To be at-one-with-God. To know Him and His love and His compassionate, gracious way.

So I look up atonement, and let God’s Word (and Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible on Leviticus 23), speak.

The tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. Hold a sacred assembly and deny yourselves,  and present an offering made to the LORD . . .
A time to be sorry for sin. For looking . . . in.
But then on the same page, in the same chapter and all, is a feast, a celebration, a joyous time. I continue to read in Spurgeon’s Devotional,
So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the LORD for seven days; . . . On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches . . . and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.

 

Sorrow for sin is the “horse” so to speak. The horse must precede the cart, or nothing gets moving.

Sorrow for sin is the hallway I must go through, before I enter the room of atonement. “If sin is sweet to my tastebuds and life, I will miss completely at-one-ment with Christ.”

The horse precedes the cart. This is the only way to move forward. This day of mourning and sadness for sin, leads on to gladsome feast and in the Lord, great rejoicing.

No work of mine. Not one thing I can do. Jesus did the work for me. And He paid it in full . . . for you.

We’ve all been broken. We’ve all fallen. We so often miss the mark. But He’s risen and alive! The day of atonement must come first. But then the joy of the Lord will move the cart.

Daily let us come to the cross and seek His grace. Receiving and believing, this moment, then . . . we wash the tears from our face.

Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible brought insight for this blog. Feb. 24—Evening, Leviticus XXIII.

(1) Matthew 6:9-13

 

There is a place of quiet and rest . . .

There is a place of quiet and rest/there is a place of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God.

Do we long to be held. With acceptance and care. Do we long in our hearts for love. Where is it? Where?

Why is it, that oft’ times we don’t stop, until we are “made to” lie down. When all of a sudden, we are broken, and we have time to look around.

But the heart of God? It seems so far. When I try to focus, He feels distant as a star.

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, . . .”

I was taught as a young child that He never changes. I learned, He is the Shepherd that takes good care of His sheep.

But I’m wanting, dear Lord! What does all this mean?

Did I forget the Lord as my Shepherd this day? Did I move ahead of His lead? What can I say. It feels as if I’m trying, then failing. Trying then fail?

Sometimes I believe He’s forgotten my name.

But, “He makes me to lie down on green pastures.”

And, I confess, I’m guilty of doubting and asking, “Pastures of green. Are You sure?

He allows pressures and cares and warned me there’d be troubles here and there, but “He leads me beside still waters,”

“He restores my soul.”

And it’s true, He does. It’s just not easy getting there.

Time alone. Quiet, and rest. These moments prove to be a giant test.

He allows me to be broken that I might seek God’s heart. And God so loves me all that He patiently waits until, from all my own best efforts, I depart.

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.

Refrain:
O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God;
Hold us, who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

A spoon full of medicine brings relief at times, yet God’s Word and a Hymn revolutionize the mind. Words spoken like “Redeemer,” and “blest” refresh tired minds like dew on morning grass.

  • There is a place of comfort sweet,
    Near to the heart of God;
    A place where we our Savior meet,
    Near to the heart of God.
  • There is a place of full release,
    Near to the heart of God;
    A place where all is joy and peace,
    Near to the heart of God.

Today, while it is today- who will join me in seeking His face? Confessing sin and all the rest, that we might find peace and health near the heart of God. “There is a place of quiet rest . . .”

 

A Rhyme for Mankind, for All of Time

 

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.” This famous Mother Goose Rhyme has stood the test of time.

It’s much like the world’s daily news. Dark, sad, full of hopelessness. But our Father God, in heaven, is holy. He has a whole different story for each of us.

But how can we know unless we stop and take a look, with God given curiosity, and open up the Holy Book?

In the beginning,” it is written on page one, “God created . . .” And so, it’s documented how it all begun.

A,B,C, 1,2,3. The Book is a treasury—if only the human heart is willing to see. On the first page it’s hidden, in mystery style, man’s help and hope. Will you stop and consider for a short while?

God must have known that man might not turn the first page, so He cleverly, (by Masterful Design) includes the Remedy for every age.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (1) And He knows and is, even before it’s birth. But, there’s a struggle to agree—right from the first line,

but on page one, before verse four, is the hope for all of mankind.

The earth was without form and an empty waste.” And darkness was upon the great deep of the face. Yet the Spirit of God was moving, hovering still. And God said, “Let there be light.” And there was.  And always will.

Humpty Dumpty might have had a great fall, but God is greater and the ruler of all. If there is no help as you and I look around—we must look up and believe. God’s love is sufficient. Let’s finally, let go and receive.

The picture is clear. “In the beginning,” it’s recorded. Even if I never read to page three in God’s Book, I can see a great fall occurred everywhere I look.

A great fall occurred and I went down with it all. You, me, and all the people of the world. Our hearts are empty, void and covered in darkness.

My disordered ways had me filled with confusion and emptiness.

All the kings horses and all the kings men,” Oh, how we try to put ourselves together again, . . . and again.

But, the Spirit of God was hovering over my troubled waters. And He came to my rescue and helped me see His light.

The earth was without form and an empty waste.” And darkness was upon the great deep of the face. Yet the Spirit of God was moving, hovering still. And God said, “Let there be light.” And there was, and always will.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But God is greater and ruler of all. There is no help as we look around, but God’s love is sufficient. He has made us to stand on solid ground!

The exclamation point is for me and for you when we surrender our whole selves to the One who is able—to not only “fix,” but make us new.

While it is today, what is our response to God and His ways?
“Amen, Hallelujah! With our lives we give Him praise.”