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

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

Why the struggle? Why the delay?

God holds the Umbrella. He cares about me.

Did I forget? Or did I simply leave?

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

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

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

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

I see the hand of His Son.

It’s reached out towards me.

Then I see His face.

His eyes, . . .

are grace.

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

Directly in my heart, I feel Him look.

Burning.

Revelation comes, Truth is alive.

He waits.

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

God is offering me to come out of the rain.

Again, He calls my name.

Do I receive Him and take hold of His hand?

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

In an instant I choose.

I lift my eyes to meet His.

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

He desires me.

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

I turn to kiss His cheek. He smiles.

He is pleased.

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

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

As the ducks go by, my vision came clear

The world is a whirlwind of motion and time. The needs are great. Energy is given.

Babies held. Toddlers taught. Children learn what’s right what’s not. Schools full. Businesses open. Roads busy. Food prepared, and food being eaten. Time ticks on.

Are our thoughts all our own?

The pond in the park by the big oak tree sings. The still waters speak to halt my reasoning. My heart is calmed, my pace is slowed, my vision is expanded, and my mind’s thoughts echo:

“Maybe I’m confused. It’s not all about me. Maybe what I think is actually hurting me.

And somehow in the park, when the ducks go by “quacking,” I come to the conclusion: I’m not the center.

The stress, the strife, the fast pace of life, halts as the sun’s reflection sparkles the water. The smells of fresh air, and birds chirping everywhere. All my senses come to life. There’s something special about this moment, this moment in time.

In an instant my vision is expanded to include, not just me, and my world. My woes and and my goals, but to think about God. The Creator of all.

That’s what I need. I need more of Him.

I need God. Bottom line. Period.

As I needed the still waters of this pond, to bring vision to my broken heart. I need God to bring alive what’s died. I can’t look back I must move on.

And suddenly I’m saddened. “I’ve been lied to. Been made to believe that with my own reasoning and actions, I can achieve. That the course is simply A then to B. Then each step of the way, it’s all mine. It’s up to me.”

Oh, the lies I believed.  The whirl of the world and it’s hum of pride: “Yes, there’s a God. He’s “love” and all that. But look at this world. Can you really believe He’s in control? Be reasonable. Use your mind. You must wear your own hat!”

And the sun hit the water and the breeze sang a song, and the duck went by slowly with his “quack, quack, quack.” And my heart stopped singing it’s sad, mourning song.

I looked up, and blocked the intense light of the afternoon sun just by lifting my tiny, wrinkly thumb. I decided right there, in that very moment of time, that the “thumb” of pride and unbelief was going to be set aside.

I was going to use my “reason” and remember my need. I need God. Right now, today. Front and center, no longer me, but He.

If God says He sent His Son to set me free, from myself and the rest of the ugliness, (as I learned as a child, and then unlearned by the world), then that will be my vision. “For God so loved the world that He gave …” who was I to change God – to be what my mind says.

“Jesus, can You see me? Today, I accept Your love. Somehow, as the ducks “quacked” in the still waters of this pond, my vision was changed.”

“You became my vision, and I remembered Your blood. It has washed me clean. But I forgot. I was taught by this world that I didn’t need washed.”

“Wash me again, and again. O God, I’m so sorry. Will You forgive me?”

So I went home and read Psalm 139 aloud, to be reminded again, that in fact, He is the center of all I see:

“O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. 

You know when I sit down and when I rise up [my entire life, everything I do];
You understand my thought from afar.

You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And You are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
 
Even before there is a word on my tongue [still unspoken],
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.

You have enclosed me behind and before,
And [You have] placed Your hand upon me.
 
Such [infinite] knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high [above me], I cannot reach it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there.
 
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
 
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will take hold of me.
 
If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me,
And the night will be the only light around me,”

 
Even the darkness is not dark to You and conceals nothing from You,
But the night shines as bright as the day;
Darkness and light are alike to You.

 
For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.
 
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

 
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape]. 

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

If I could count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You …

Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139, Amplified.

“Yes, Lord, You see me. Help me grow in You, each day, please.”

12321625_10153771143395350_1928358968783307851_n-1.jpg

 

 

“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.”

 

 

brown paper wrapping with a scarlet chord

brown paper wrapping with a scarlet chord, amidst sparkling and glitter and silver and gold.

not chosen first. often chosen last – but when the gifts are all broken, all tired and worn, then on a lonely, cold night, the plain wrapping comes in sight.

Finally a curious glance at the scarlet red chord – and the question,”What’s it all for?”

To choose to pick up the package of brown, and loosen the scarlet chord tied around, feels uncomfortable, even painful in part. As if it’d be easier to simply quit, and not make a new start.

“I’m hungry. I’m in the dark. I don’t know which way to go. I need some guidance. I need a new life. I need breath -it’s time to grow.”

So, the choice is finally made, to take hold of the scarlet thread, and unloose the Gift that was given, of the Story that I’d only known, … in my head.

Great discovery was made – the boring package – magnificent – water and light and a sword for the fight. Gold and pure. Dispelling the lies.

God really cares. Even when I cared-less. When I refused to listen to His gentleness.

When I chose not to believe, and He wrote, “I believe in you.” With nail prints in His hands, He said, “I – believe – in you.” No matter what you do, I have paid your debt.  I Am truth.”

Now what? what do I do?

The package in brown, in Scarlet chord all around, is a mystery revealed in the pages of the Book.

Who wants to surrender against their own selfish will? “No one.” Is the answer. But He laid down His life on the cross. His is the example. Be still and know – He is God, and I am not. The Gift seems less, but it’s most. It’s not as I thought.

Jesus waits and watches: “Will they receive Me? Or will they not?”

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, …” Jeremiah 29:11-14.

I am the bread of life. John 6:35 and 48. I am the light, John 9 verse 5. 

I am the resurrection and the life, John 11: 25.

I am the good shepherd. John chapter 10. I am the door. John 10 verse 11.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7 verse 7.

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.

Do you believe this?” John 11:25 and  26.

“Will you receive Me?” Can you hear Jesus asking?

 

 

Guilty. But, Jesus

Adultery? Are we all guilty? We, believers in God through the Son He has sent- we are the  Bride of Christ. We are the Church. If Jesus is the Bridegroom, then aren’t we guilty of adultery as well, putting so much attention on stuff in this world and not giving attention to the wedding at hand?

So, the story is told in the Book of John, chapter 8,  that God has come into the temple, And He, Jesus in fact,  begins to write in the dirt: “This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.  John 8:6. Two thousand years before, it was the finger of God who wrote on stone tablets, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14.

The Religious Leaders came as policemen asking  about the punishment this woman, caught in adultery, should receive.  Jesus spoke: “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

One by one, they slipped away, beginning with the oldest even to the last. (Yes, this is how it is written in John 8 verse 9). ‘And Jesus was left alone – with the woman standing in the midst. “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

This is the voice of the Lord.  And she answered, “No one, Lord.”

“Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (These are the words of Jesus, no pointing of the finger in John chapter 8 verse 11.)

Do you think the woman lifted her head to look in His eyes?  Jesus comes today to forgive our sin.

Am I willing to hear Him and lift up my head? Am I willing to receive his forgiveness and go – and walk in the light? No more hiding in the night.

If Jesus is the Bridegroom, and we are the Bride if Christ, shall we go now giving attention to the wedding at hand?

“The marriage feast of the Lamb ” (Revelation 19:6) is coming! Is the Bride making herself ready? Our Bridegroom, Jesus – does He have first place in our heart?

 We’ve all failed to be faithful! We’ve all missed the mark. What are we to do? We must hear the voice of our Lord:

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

Are our ears open to hear His gentle and compassionate voice: “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

I pray for myself, I pray for you, that we lift up our chins and make this very choice.

“Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God
    the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
    and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
    and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
    with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said  to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” This is in the Book of Revelation, the Revelation of Jesus Christ. The Story is written, the invitations are going out! Revelation 19 reminds us: Let us be glad and rejoice, for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come.

Let us be a Bride that makes herself ready! Yes, no? We all have the choice.

 

Where’s the App? Directions? … God’s word

Where’s the App that will let me know what’s ahead? Where’s the GPS to guide me through the next step?

“Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the Lord has spoken:” Make no mistake, the prophet reveals,  this is the word of the Lord, and He bids all to hear.

This is the voice of God’s Holy Word.  He seems to call aloud to everyone. Exclamation points in place, New International Version, Isaiah, chapter 1. 

Breathed out by the breath of God, the One who made us, not we ourselves. He sees, He watches, He’s ever present and powerful. He knows our name. He has a plan, He knows what He’s doing. His thoughts are not ours. He is God Almighty, He’s the great I AM.

Do we hear? Do we remember? “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Psalm One Hundred, eleven. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning,” found again, in Proverbs 9:10.

At this time, do we care? This is important to ask. Who’s voice do we hear?  Oh children of the world, “Wake up, fast!”

“I reared children and brought them up,
    but they have rebelled against me.
 The ox knows its master,
    the donkey its owner’s manger,
but Israel does not know,
    my people do not understand.”  The Lord speaks to he who has ears. Words printed in Isaiah 1.

These words came off the tongue of the Lord. His heart speaks. There are no contractions. Do we take time to see for ourselves, or do we simply think we know it all too well?

 “Woe to the sinful nation,
    a people whose guilt is great,
a brood of evildoers,
    children given to corruption!
They have forsaken the Lord;
    they have spurned the Holy One of Israel
    and turned their backs on him.” These are the words spoken by the prophet, Isaiah chapter 1. 

The Book is living water. Are we thirsty for the well?

Where have we turned our backs, is the question. Have we turned them on God? Let’s stop and have reflection.

  “Why should you be beaten anymore?

    Why do you persist in rebellion?
Your whole head is injured,
    your whole heart afflicted.
From the sole of your foot to the top of your head
    there is no soundness—
only wounds and welts
    and open sores,
not cleansed or bandaged
    or soothed with olive oil.” Isaiah 1: 2-6.

Which direction? Is there a remedy? Where is a reliable fix? If peace is what is desired, the accuser is not the Lord. The accuser is the devil- sin is the reproach.

But God has made a way. He is the Way, you know. He sent His Son – His blood poured out. To atone us, everyone.  To make us at-one with Him. His blood was shed to redeem us. His arm is not short, His ears hear. His name is forever, to bring hope, and peace and salvation, to all the children everywhere.

“Wash and make yourselves clean.
    Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
    stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; …” Isaiah chapter 1:16,17. But don’t think for a minute, that this is about you! The only righteousness in you, can be in be-liev-ing.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord.

“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18.

It is time to seek the Lord.” …seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1 proclaims,  but the power behind all of this – 

is in the name of Jesus.

Remember the angel and the words proclaimed: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.” Luke 2 verse 10.

The Messiah is born, and a sign was given: A baby in a manger. The shepherds, the star. Have we forgotten? Are our hearts far?

Let’s turn around as John the Baptist suggested and see,  “… the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:9. 

Instead of our backs, let us turn our face – to the Lord. Acknowledge Him. Believe He came for us. Call out His name,seek His promises to guide us.

His name is Jesus, sad hearts weep no more. He has healed the broken hearted open wide the prison doors, He is able to deliver – evermore.”

If you need help with the praise part, open Psalm 111. Read aloud and watch your mind be transformed:

“Praise the Lord.

I will extol the Lord with all my heart
    in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

Great are the works of the Lord;
    they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
    and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
    the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear him;
    he remembers his covenant forever.

He has shown his people the power of his works,
    giving them the lands of other nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
    all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
    enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
He provided redemption for his people;
    he ordained his covenant forever—
    holy and awesome is his name.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
    To him belongs eternal praise.” Psalm 111. Amen.

True riches …

So precious the little girls, how they love tiaras and gowns. And the boys how they make the everyday sticks into a swords protecting all around.

Oh, there is much clamor about how this isn’t true. But, silently, some know not to listen to the noise. To breathe in the beauty of the sky above and marvel at it’s breathtaking brilliance and  magnificent poise.

Some choose to hear the music in the everyday sounds. To know that God is, and sing His praises and own the riches of sleep, sound.

He is fairer than the sons of men, so much fairer is He. He is a Rock, a fortress, a buckler, tis true-but He’s also the Rose of Sharon. He’s the Lily of the Valley. He is gentle in beauty. He brings joy greater than any man’s wine, and best of all, He’s mine.

And He can be yours too. May the song sing and your heart dance when your ears hear His voice at last. This is no ‘dream’ that I follow. There is substance and power. There is lasting hope, there is beauty – never fading … this is faith in believing that we are the Bride, both men and woman together, the church – for Christ is by our side.

“She lives in a bubble. She’s messed up in the head. She’s been brainwashed to believe!” these are the thoughts of those around. But what have I lost, by believing in the Son? What have I lost, in that I can sleep, sound?

“My Beloved came to His garden, and He knocked on the door in the night, saying, “Open for me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one; for my head is covered with dew…”(4) but I was tired and just wanted sleep and couldn’t move from my bed. But when I came to my senses and opened the door, He was nowhere to be seen, so far out of sight.

So I went searching and asking all around, “Have you seen the one I love?” And it was then, in my search that I found the One…It is written in the Song of all Songs, the words of this ready writer’s pen. Like a wedding procession, He stands and sings over us, His Song:

“Behold, you are fair my love! Behold you are fair! You have dove’s eyes behind your veil…(1)

You are fair my love, and there is no spot in you… You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart…”

This is the heart of God towards me, this is the heart of God, towards you!

But the clamor, the noise … movement never ending. “Be Still and know!” He calls in the night. He makes us lie down. But we put up such a fight.

“Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters.” (2) He is the Lily of the Valley among the thorns He came down…

He calls, I will follow. Can you hear His voice in the night? – I am His ‘lily’, His lily among the thorns – sick and torn. Even despised in some’s sight. But, He’s got hold of me, He’s got a hold of my heart.  (3) He calls your name too. He waits for your answer. He has a still small voice – He won’t shout and flail His arms. He is the Lord.

He is God.

He stretched out the heavens. He has power to open blind eyes. He is our peace. He doesn’t fret. He is not anxious at all. He loves with an everlasting love. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is first and He is last.  He has broken down every wall. (5)

“But now in Christ Jesus you[Gentiles] who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:13-18 RSV)

 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 28-30.

What do you say? come out of the night? He will show us the way … moment by moment, one step at a time. He is our Husband, our Maker. He is with us. His love is better than wine!

 

(1)Song of Solomon 4.

(2) Song of Solomon 1-3.

(3) Isaiah 41:10

(4) Song of Solomon 5.

(5) Ephesians 2:14. “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.”

Today, is new!

Today, I wake up turned around in my thinking. Today is a new day. The enemy of God hates me and my family, but God … O how He watches over our way.

Do you believe? The lies of the enemy or the truth and strength and hope of our Lord? The liar, the accuser fills us with doubt and fear for the day and even hatred and pride and words that destroy.

Do we hurt inside and then turn to hurt those beside us? Let us let go of what’s past and take hold of today, that God might breathe new hope and life for tomorrow. Let us stop. Let us be still – and … hear the voice of the Lord:

“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.” reads Psalm 27:14.

The truth of the matter, is after going it ‘my own way,’ I am left weak, weary, and lean. That’s when we must take courage in God, and know what He has to say. Because the accuser, the hater of God and of man is quick to speak in our ear, “God wants nothing to do with you, my friend.”

“In that day,” says the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.  This is what the Lord says:

“Those who survive the coming destruction
    will find blessings even in the barren land,
    for I will give rest to the people of Israel.”

 Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
    With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
 I will rebuild you, my virgin Israel.
    You will again be happy
    and dance merrily with your tambourines.
Again you will plant your vineyards on the mountains of Samaria
    and eat from your own gardens there.”(1)

This is the word of the Lord for the one, who no longer does things in his own schemes, but makes the choice to be ‘Governed by God!’ That is what the name Israel means. We no longer have to be weak, weary and lean. We can take courage when we put our eyes on the Lord.

Do you see Him? He laid down His life for all who are bitten. And for that matter, we all have been – there has been none that has escaped! So what do we do? We open our ears to hear. We STOP. We, ‘Be Still’ and hear the voice of the Lord:

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,  that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” (2)

 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (3)

Today can be your first prayer of salvation, or just a refreshing of what we have in us still: For God so loves you, He laid down His life, and He is with you now, and forever will.

“Psalm 40:1 For the choir director. A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.” 

God has ears that hear the voice that call out His name. Don’t let the enemy have any more gain. Call out to Jesus … “Indeed, none of those who wait for Him, will be ashamed…” (4)

For God so loved you, that He gave His only Son, …” (5) Remember today, remember tomorrow, the song you sang as a young one: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little one’s to Him belong, they are weak,…

but He is strong.” 

Today is new. I am changed inside. “Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.”

(1) Jeremiah 31:1-5.

(2) John 3:14,15.

(3) John 3:17.

(4) Psalm 25:3.

(5) John 3:16.

“There’s no room in this Inn!”PLEASE Change your mind!

“There’s no room!” You can’t come in! We are all full! Go, and find different place!”

These words are familiar to every child who has heard, the story of Mary and Joseph  traveling, when she was near to deliver – ‘how absurd!’

“Go find a different place!” Take down the Landmarks!” “Get God out of the schools-no prayers-no mention of Jesus in the public squares!”

“Where is there room? To receive His precious grace?” “Where is there room, for the King to reveal His face?””Where can He be born? The King of all mankind? Where is there room for Love Divine?”

There is an answer! God gave it Himself!” It’s hidden in a treasure of words, perhaps dusty on the shelf! But it’s there, and He’s waiting and He knows all things – He knows your name. He’s alive, remember-He died and rose again!”

The birth of the King happens in places rough and low. It’s in the story that we know – but do we really know? The story has become starched and stiff and fitted on fire-place mantles, yet it’s dead and forgotten…as we light up the candles.

So, here it goes, straight from His word, in Isaiah 35 – powerful and full of hope and delight. So if your heart is stuck in a ‘desert place’ – rejoice! You are ever so close to even see His very face, as you draw near to Him in your rough ‘wilderness’ and He restores your sight and brings light to your night:

“Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days.
    The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses.
Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers
    and singing and joy!
The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon,
    as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon.
There the Lord will display his glory,
    the splendor of our God.
With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
    and encourage those who have weak knees.
Say to those with fearful hearts,
    “Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
    He is coming to save you.”

And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
    and unplug the ears of the deaf.
The lame will leap like a deer,
    and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!
Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,
    and streams will water the wasteland.
The parched ground will become a pool,
    and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land.
Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish
    where desert jackals once lived.” (Isaiah 35: verses 1 through seven, New Living Translation. Hope for the hurting and broken and lost, because there’s room in the desert, He can find entrance there. There’s room in the solitary place,  yes, there is room for Him there!

And a great road will go through that once deserted land.
    It will be named the Highway of Holiness.
Evil-minded people will never travel on it.
    It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways;
    fools will never walk there.
Lions will not lurk along its course,
    nor any other ferocious beasts.
There will be no other dangers.
    Only the redeemed will walk on it.
10 Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.
    They will enter Jerusalem[a] singing,
    crowned with everlasting joy.
Sorrow and mourning will disappear,
    and they will be filled with joy and gladness.” (Isaiah 35:1-10, New Living Translation).

“Joy to the world the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King. Let every heart…

prepare Him room. And heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing: “Joy to the World!”