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.

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. 

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

 

 

 

 

I choose health over anxiety. Where’s my hymnal?

Got health? Real wealth? Worthwhile things are worth the fight.

The struggle to balance. The work to think straight. The temptations surrounding. The need to put off, put away, to breathe, to wait.

I’ll let go of blame and fret. I’ll look up, not out. If it pleases God, that’s my final answer. His way, not mine, or the popular opinion of the time.

I choose to follow the direction that God leads. Even though He knows, I will fail Him over and over as He watches me.

So I take hold  of some old trust-worthy words, and recite them aloud like a song of a bird,

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Oh, there are ten thousand charms. Yes, riches, true riches are being near to God. Being full of peace and comfort, not fearing nor having alarm.

But alarm I have, and in fear I dive. But God is a help, and old hymns remind:

Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome
God’s free bounty glorify
True belief and true repentance
Every grace that brings you nigh
Come, ye weary, heavy-laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry ’til you’re better
You will never come at all

 

God is love. We are not. He is gracious in His being. He is compassionate.  His heart is gentle and kind. He doesn’t parade Himself. He is truthful, all of the time.

He knows our thoughts.

He is able to make a hard heart soft. He is powerful and willing. So often, we are not.

Are we are tired of being sick? Are willing to change our direction.

God the Father through Jesus His Son, and the power of His Spirit can bring change to our whole story.

He can give us wealth of health with freedom and forgiveness.

And He gives us victory to bring a sacrifice of thanksgiving.

No longer dwelling on the failures of the past. No longer projecting of a future unknown. Living in the present on this earth making my house a dwelling place for the Lord.

I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms.

Hymn by Joseph Hart:
Come, ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready, stands to save you
Full of pity, love and power
I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms
Come, ye thirsty, come and welcome
God’s free bounty glorify
True belief and true repentance
Every grace that brings you nigh
Come, ye weary, heavy-laden
Lost and ruined by the fall
If you tarry ’til you’re better
You will never come at all
I will arise and go to Jesus
He will embrace me in His arms
In the arms of my dear Savior
Oh, there are ten thousand charms

Get up! And fight with Hymn and Psalm

Crisis comes. The “fight” begins.  The battle is greatest against thoughts of fear and uncertainty. “The Lord is on thy side,” the old hymn reminds. But these words feel far removed at this time.

Be Still My soul.” The words learned during past trial, now echo from deep below. “Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side. Bear patiently, the cross of grief or pain.”

“Patiently.” That word. Who would ever choose that word?

Bear in l-o-n-g – s-u-f-f-e-r-i-n-g are my thoughts’ reasoning.  And, like a thread of continuation, “Love suffers long and is kind” pops in head.

“1 Corinthians 13 is impossible with man!” is my next exclamation. “I need a Savior.” is my heart’s cry.

Sorrow and fatigue leave me by a “Slough of Despond,” Just as in the old classic I have read. But, the Hymn of faith fights to bring truth to my lips,  “Leave to Thy God, to order and provide. In every change, He faithful will remain. Be still my soul.”

The battle rages against doubt and more doubt: “I can’t do this.” “God’s plan is not for good.”

“Why did He allow this?” My heart fails, only to remind me of a verse hidden there:

“My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26.

Remembrance is as if picking up a sword, and doubt flees. “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73: 25, 26 reminded me what I forgot.

Forever. That includes today.

But God is

“Be still my soul, thy best, thy heavenly friend, through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.”

So, I take up a hymn and a Psalm for strength. I breath the words that my heart and mind have learned and I speak aloud that my whole being hears the sound:

“Be still my soul. Thy God doth undertake. To guide thy future, as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake,

in every change, he faithful will remain. Be still my soul. The waves and wind still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.”

Faith restored, I open up God’s word. Psalm 73 speaks so personal to me: “Truly God is good to Israel. To such as are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled; My steps had nearly slipped…”

“Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind. I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You. NeverthelessI am continually with You;”

“You hold me by my right hand.”

“You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail;”

“But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:1,2,21-26.

My “forever” begins this minute, right now. Let us fight this battle with faith.

Join me? Let’s get up and get going in His strength. The Lord is on our side!

 

 

 

 

The prayer in the hymn. The answer within: “Just from Jesus, simply taking …

Deep inside, tired. Deep within, weary. Like a wilted plant longing for reviving water. We hold out our hands, and our spirits seek God. In our weakness of faith, we cry out to Him.

And He hears our silent voices. He sees our seeking hearts. He breathes upon our frame mysterious peace though nothing changes.

Personally, as for me, deep inside my heart, I write what the Living God, through His glorious Spirit does, as I long for so much, time and time again. My morning prayer is written – from an age old hymn.

Not the first part, nor the middle – but the last thought becomes my prayer: “… O for grace to trust Thee more … O for grace to trust You more.” Silent words repeated over and again, but with wholehearted meaning and truthfulness: “O for grace, to trust You more.”

The next thing I know is a resurrection takes place. My eyes lift up and my whole countenance has change. “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus.” This is the Spirit of God speaking: “Trust Me.”

“Trust, … Me.

I know the old words. What a treasure store. The Spirit brings them to my mind to answer and restore:“Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.”

Simply take from Jesus: life and rest, and joy and peace?

Then the realization is brought to mind, in my weariness, I’m not taking from Jesus – anything. Like stagnant waters with no movement and sound. But to my rescue at my soundless call, the Spirit woos me to remember His Song.

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”

The next thing I know, my heart responds. Being reminded of my Love who is mine, evermore. And the song, though silent, stirs in my heart and revives me and prays the words I longed for:

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Then those words, almost hidden, they are. Words that could be so easily missed – become highlighted to me and repeated again …

“Just from Jesus simply taking, life and rest. Joy and peace.” 

“Take from Me. Take from Me.” I feel my Jesus answer.

“I offer life. I offer rest. I offer joy and peace.”

What do we say, to the old hymn’s reminder? What is our response this day, this hour?

Let’s respond with the old words that are written, and be renewed in the spirit of our minds once again. Let us rejoice in the Lord, always – no matter the mess we’re in.

Let us sing, even aloud with our voices today,

“Jesus, Jesus, how I trust You. How I’ve proved You o’er and o’er Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! Oh, for grace to trust You more!”

“O for grace to trust You more.”

So, today I will go, knowing I will fail Him often. Especially in my trust in Him along the way. But there will be a day, when He calls me to meet Him, and I will finally be able to truthfully say:

“I’m so glad I learned to trust Him, Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend”

but today, I will believe with all my heart the hymn:

“And I know that He is with me,
Will be with me to the end.”

Let us sing with rejoicing and be ignited with praise:

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood
And in simple faith to plunge me
‘Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

 

“Thy power … can change the leper’s spots …”

“Lord, now indeed I find, Thy pow’r, and Thine alone, Can change the leper’s spots And melt the heart of stone. Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” Elvina Hall, 1800’s hymn.

“Lord, …” means, ‘master,’ or, ‘captain of my ship. “Lord, now …’, means, this moment, the one I take orders from,’ or ‘the one I choose to obey.

“Lord, now indeed I find, …” brings me to a place where I’m searching for what You have to say.

“I hear the Savior say, ‘Thy strength indeed is small; child of weakness watch and pray, find in Me, thine all in all.”

 Even before he, (God), made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, …

and it gave him great pleasure.” (1) The Bible is said to be true. Ask God to show you if these words are trustworthy. Ask God, Himself. He will answer you. 

“But, I’m full of fault, Lord! Now what do I do? I fail, everyday. I am far from being holy. Sin has left a crimson stain, tell me again, the Gospel Story.”

“Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own, …”(2) – don’t you remember, “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His … family.” (3) His desire is to bring us back home.

The Father sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to die for us. He paid the debt we couldn’t pay, He laid down His life in sacrifice. So “we stand before him covered in his love.” (4) We are perfect, we are washed, we have hope of heaven. We have peace in this life.

“For nothing good have I Whereby Thy grace to claim; I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son, …” (5), this is the Good News found in Ephesians 1.

 “He forgave our sins.  He has showered his kindness on us, … along with all wisdom and understanding …” God now reveals to us, all that regards Christ – all that’s mysterious!

God reveals, He will fulfill His own good plan. “And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ – everything in heaven and on earth.” (6) He was, He is, He is coming again.

The Gospel Story is that He saves you. He saves me. We can’t save ourselves – we all desperately need help.  But we are surrounded by voices, we are deceived by lies. But God reminds and instructs each one of us: Look up. “I will guide you with My eyes.”(7)

” … when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised, …”(8) He has purchased us with His blood on the cross, this is how Jesus proves that He – lovesus.

“Lord, now indeed I find Thy pow’r, and Thine alone, Can change the leper’s spots, and melt the heart of stone. Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

We’ve been bought with a price. He knows our weakness. He knows our strife.  Yes, in receiving Christ, we become His Bride. “I am my lover’s, and my lover is mine. He browses among the lilies. (8) He is the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys” (9) I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. 

For now, for tomorrow, for all of time.

“And when before the throne, I stand in Him complete, I’ll lay my trophies down, All down at Jesus’ feet. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

He washed it white as snow. My past – I let it go. In the present, I choose to go:

“And now complete in Him, My robe, His righteousness, Close sheltered ‘neath His side,  – I am  – divinely – blest. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

  1. Ephesians 1:4, New Living Translation
  2. Ephesians 1:4, Living Translation
  3. Ephesians 1:4, Living Translation
  4. Ephesians 1:4, Living Translation.
  5. Ephesians 1:5, Living Translation.
  6. Ephesians 1:7, New Living Translation.
  7. Ephesians 1:10, New Living Translation.
  8. Psalm 32:8, New Living Translation.
  9. Song of Solomon 6:31.

 

Finally, joy has come to this world of mine …

Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart
Prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing. O how the familiar words of Isaac Watts play over again in our minds, but it’s on a glorious moment –

when the dust of our own personal world, and the North wind has blown to make us cold, but we are tired of being broken and alone –

that we invite the King in. That we finally make room for Him.

And the angels in heaven sing. And our eyes suddenly see all of nature, with exotic colors, form and  beauty, form a symphony of song as we walk on our journeys.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods
Rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy

Finally, when our flesh, says, to the LORD, “Yes.” The words of the hymn come alive. And the word ‘joy’ has meaning for the very first time. Deliverance comes when the fight finally ends. When the Savior at last, has the reins of our soul, and a miracle I witness, as I feel my world – whole.

Joy has finally come into my world, because room as been made, that the Great Surgeon can cut away, the hardness of heart, the criticalness:

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love;
And wonders of His love;
And wonders, …

the wonder of His love for me, who, for so long refused to see – His truth, His grace, … His beautiful life He gave.  Joy to my world has come, with each new day, with each new breath.

Will you join my joyful chorus as well, and of the King and His greatness tell? We would sing together a joyful song:  “Joy has come to this world of mine. I will sing of my King for all – of  – time.”

 

 

May I share a hidden treasure of a hymn-“It came upon a Midnight Clear”

Christmas hymns can become familiar and sterile, yet when the waves of a storm are greatly brought on, there is a searching that comes,

as we look for a glimmer of hope, or the light of the dawn.

It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, That glorious song of old, From angels bending near the earth To touch their harps of gold. “Peace on the earth good will to man, From heaven’s all gracious King!” The world in solemn stillness lay To hear the angels sing.”

The hymnal is opened, Edmund H. Sears work is displayed. “The world in solemn stillness lay? …” There is nothing in this world that is still, it seems, except for the broken in heart and children’s dreams.

But the flood has come, or we’ve been made to walk through the fire, but the hymn sings in our ears, the words of the angels: “Peace on the earth, good will to man, from heaven’s all gracious King!”

My eyes catch the words of the hymn-writer’s story, (thank you Robert J. Morgan for sharing, Then Sings My Soul, in this hymn book I was given.) Recorded are lost words not known, quite forgotten, (still sung with the same melody and rhythm:)

“Yet with the woes of sin and strife/ The world hath suffered long; Beneath the angel-strain have rolled/ Two thousand years of wrong; And man, at war with man, hears not/ The love song which they bring; 

O hush the noise, ye men of strife/ And hear the angels sing!”

I’ve been hushed. I’ve been striving against my Lord. Perhaps the brokenness has brought me life:  “O God, bring me to hear the angels sing. My vocal chords have been stilled for far too long. Dear Jesus, will you restore to me, Your song.”

And so, I read in my Christmas gift hymnal, a verse I’ve never in the past seen:

“For lo, the days are hastening on, By prophets bards foretold; With the ev-er circling years, comes round the age of gold. When peace shall o-ver all the earth, Its ancient splendors fling;

And the whole world give back the song Which now the angels sing.”

So perhaps, this ‘mid-night’ has been made clear, as my eyes caught the promise of the glorious King. God Almighty has restored to me sight, and brought back a song that was hidden in night.

I will sing of my King, and give back the song: “Peace on earth …” this earth that is me. This Christmas  has brought revival and song. Lord Jesus, my Savior, God with us, Immanuel – I bow my knee …

I bring my offering … to worship Thee, my glorious King.”

If you feel revival in heart is needed today, Admit your wrongs, Believe Jesus loves you, and Call out His name! He hears, He loves and forgives and restores. Jesus is here to give you life evermore.

The evergreen, in the midst of night …

The evergreen is brought in, this time again. Adorned with lights, and gifts, and angels of white, baubles of red and garlands of thread. With my thoughts ringing, “Do not be afraid, …”  remembering what the angel said.

“So much has changed.” as I hang a nativity up on the tree. “Dear God, I need You to speak in such a time as this. Please don’t be silent. I’m tempted to doubt that I can get through this …

So I open up the story, told over and again, and I read the words of the angel to Mary, from a long, lost time, from way back when: “… for you have found grace with God … you will give birth to a Son and  you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the most High … and of his reign there will be no end.”

Luke Chapter 1 verse 33, Amplified. And, then You hear my heart cry, “Oh God, what does all this mean for me? In the midst of the night, let me hear, let me rest. Let me simply sit in this uncomfortable – ness!

So, I sit. In the night. But I marvel at the sight. Amidst anxious thoughts, wrestling to overthrow my rest and peace, I look upon the evergreen.

“For with God nothing is ever impossible, and no word from God shall be without power …” the Amplified version of Luke 1:37 speaks. I read them, and I wonder, “Do I believe?

Do I really believe the Word of God? Or only on sunflower days, and when the sod is soft and green. do I believe God when all seems against all my understanding?”

So as I look at the evergreen in the room. Adorned with lights, and gifts, and angels of white, I see the baubles of red, and remember the blood that was shed. I see the garland of thread, and think of the Good Word I have read:

Mary’s response to the news of the angel: “My soul glorifies the Lord
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, …”

Somehow I forgot Luke 1:47. How could I miss the response that was given.

“Oh dear Lord, may I choose to rejoice as well, and worship You, for, …
 “…for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant …

for the Mighty One has done great things for me—

His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.”

This is the story, Luke 1:48-50. These are the words breathed by God, to tell –

to tell me that today, even in the midst of night, that He is great and will extend mercy, even on me, all the same. “Give me grace, dear Lord Jesus, to magnify and give You my praise, through my heart’s tears and through the dark rain. The Son dwells in my heart forever. The Son Of God does great things,

and this Christmas, I will again, believe.

“O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”