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

 

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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

 

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tune me Lord, again and again . . .

“Tune it up. It’s flat.”

When an instrument’s out of tune, it  brings about a stop. Before moving on, it’s got to be tuned.

So, with a turn of a peg, or a bit more complicated maneuver, an instrument is brought back to position, that harmony may once again be brought to the ear.

If it were only that easy for the human race.

Our hearts go out of tune. Sometimes by our own hard strums, but also by outward bumps and hits.

But who can tune a heart?

We try, and we fail. The task is too hard.

Words were penned way back in 1757. Robert Robinson wrote a familiar hymn. A turning of the head, can prove to any stubborn heart—remedy and hope for today.

Read aloud, or sung alone, there’s something supernatural when we desperately need a new tune.

Let it go, and let the sound out.  Speak with me old words, that perhaps they are our help to turn our head and tune our heart.

Come Thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy grace

Streams of mercy, never ceasing/Call for songs of loudest praise

Teach me some melodious sonnet/Sung by flaming tongues above

Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it

Mount of Thy unchanging love

A battle rages.  Our eyes haven’t been fixed upon the mount. We forgot that with God, streams of mercy never cease. Our eyes haven’t sung melodious psalms. We forgot that unlike any man, God’s has unchanging love.

 Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” Luke 22:31,32. Were these words written today of our reality?

The hymn. The hymn. Let’s remind ourselves of God’s faithful presence and peace:

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here there by Thy great help I’ve come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

When we look back, we can see His faithful hand. We’ve been carried to this place. He will lead us safely home.

How can we become strangers again to the One who watches us so.  But He waits and loves, though we’ve chosen to be separate for a time. He knows.

Our hearts can’t believe in any love like this. The hymn. This hymn, our remedy, God’s bliss:

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let that grace now, like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

God, help us!  Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.

Here is the turn that will bring back the harmony again:

“Here’s my heart Lord,

take,

and seal it,

seal it for Thy courts above.”

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers” Luke 22:31,32. 

Give fears to God. He shall lift up our head

“Give to the winds thy fears; Hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.” (Words by Paul Gerhardt from Germany in 1656, translated to English by John Wesley, 1737).

Time and again, I read these words aloud. My thoughts seek refuge and I find it in psalms and hymns. I don’t have to come up with words. They’ve been written. The psalms speak my heart,

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5

You are God my stronghold.
    Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
    oppressed by the enemy? Psalm 43:2

At times we believe God has rejected us. We must seek His face with words given to us,
 Send me your light and your faithful care,
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
    to the place where you dwell.
 Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre,
    O God, my God. Psalm 43:3-4

Have I praised God for His goodness today? Forget about yesterday. It’s gone. But today is what I have.

Today, I choose to praise and speak aloud. To read an old hymn from centuries ago, and believe that remedy comes.

Remedy arrives in the changing of my mind.

God abides in praise. He rescues us and changes us in the very act of praise to Him. Do we make that choice?

Let us read aloud. And be changed from the inside out.

“Give to the winds thy fears; hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.”

“Through waves and clouds and storms, He gently clears thy way; Wait thou His time; So shall this night soon end in joyous day.”

“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah  

But You. O LORD are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the LORD with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.    Selah  (Psalm 3:3,4).

“Leave to God’s sov’reign sway to choose and to command; So shall thou, wond’ring, own that way, How wise, how strong His hand!”

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4. 

Psalm 46, 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.

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.”

If the Lord Almighty is with us, our dismay, changes to  hope.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7
 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9

“Let us in life, in death, Thy steadfast truth declare, And publish with our latest breath Thy love and guardian care.”

“Far, far above thy thought, His counsel shall appear, When fully He the work hath wrought that caused thy needless fear.” 

Leave to God’s sov’reign sway, to choose and to command; So shall thou, wond’ring, own that way, How wise, how strong His hand!”

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:8,9). 

Do not fret…trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness…commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass…rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret – it only causes harm. (Psalm 37:1-8).

This is my choosing today, and prayerfully, everyday:

“Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments], making melody with all your heart to the Lord.” (Eph.5:19, Amplified).

Let all the children say, “Amen!”

Receive the gift of Jesus today. We must,
A: Admit our  fall.
B: Believe in His provision of forgiveness.
C: Confess and Call out to Him.

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

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.