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Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bible. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tears in Heaven


Heaven is supposed to be a happy place but seems to me the luster had dimmed somewhat that day long ago, and the sparkle had gone out of the eyes of the ones circled around the throne.   Ten thousand angels with drooping wings were pleading with Jesus.

               “Don’t go, please don’t go. You’ll meet with suffering and persecution down there.”
               “They’ll never appreciate you as much as we do.”
               “Jesus, You told us yourself that You’ll be crucified. That is so unfair, so unjust! Surely there is another way.”
               Then Jesus met His Father’s love-filled eyes and the power in that beam caused the voices around Him to become like an indistinct murmur.
               “I’ll do anything for you, Father, absolutely anything,” He communicated wordlessly just as His Father knew He would.
               Jesus had died and rose again, as predicted, He had suffered scorn and reproach, been spat upon, beaten and His crucifixion was more brutal than any before or since because He carried your sins and mine to the cross with Him.
               Just as He knew would happen, the scorn and rejection did not vanish with the resurrection, but He had left the peace and joy in Heaven for our sakes, not His.

               Saul was a particularly zealous enemy of Christ, and while still a young man, took care of the coats of those who were deliberately hurling stones at a follower of Jesus to kill Him.

               That was only the beginning of Saul’s evil campaign; later on, he marched off to Damascus with the intention of irradiating as many Christians as possible. However, the Heavenly Father loved that fiercely determined young man. He saw that he was sincere—but mistaken. Acts 9 NKJV - The Damascus Road: Saul Converted - Bible Gateway

            
   Things changed radically for Saul. Even his name was changed, and the newly converted Paul worked tirelessly for the new Master whom he adored.
               Adored, you say? Isn’t this the same man who was bound and determined to go to Jerusalem even though he had been warned repeatedly that he would face bonds and imprisonment there? https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjxsKrUrszUAhUHx2MKHYFgDQAQFggoMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbiblehub.com%2Facts%2F21-11.htm&usg=AFQjCNG_6wSo-X2XC7zTiyM0mnbMKhNcGg&sig2=w87sfmwbYFGDv56rGWxTLQ biblehub.com/acts/20-23.htm  Wasn’t he being a stubborn old codger to go against the advice of so many of  brothers and sisters in Christ? I don’t think so. Take note of how much the fellow believers loved him, how they wept over him, and eagerly hung on to his every word even long into the night.
               Remember how he persecuted the church? Here was a man who, in worshipful adoration, was trying to make amends. Here was someone who was so grateful he would do anything for the One who had came down from Heaven to rescue him.

            Do you remember how the angels may have pleaded with Jesus not to go but He went anyway?  Few of us have been asked to sacrifice as much as Paul was, but he caught the vison of what Jesus had done for Him and couldn’t do enough in return.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Is the Head Covering Optional?

I grew up going to a church where no one wore a head covering and never thought twice about it. Probably you did too, or maybe you belonged to a conservative group where it was the custom to wear some sort of veil at least in public religious services. Is it really necessary:  or is it a tradition that has more or less fallen by the wayside? What do you think? I’d love to hear your opinions.

Why did women wear it for so many years, no change that to centuries if it was just, well, fashion? 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Hope for the Hopeless



Tired, always tired, and gaunt, you wouldn’t look in the mirror if it was thrust in your face because you knew what you’d see and it isn’t a pretty sight.
Faded, unwashed hair straggling around your face is the least of your concerns, but the eyes…Oh those eyes, the dark look of hopelessness looming there is what makes others look away, it is so, so…what it is? Only you can say for sure: lonely? Despairing? Filled with a lifetime of pain, heartache, and grief?
You are plodding down a crowded street, shoved or avoided by the hurrying throng that you hardly notice, but you need a fix: that is your consuming desire, a fix, a fix, but that is exactly what you wanted to avoid at all costs.
 For ten, fifteen, maybe even twenty years or more your life has been a mess of addiction, prostitution and other details known only know to you but where oh where can you get your next very fleeting thrill from a pill, a bottle or a needle?
Natalie, yes, that’s a real person, was facing the same desperate situation once.  After serving time in jail, you can imagine what for, she had nowhere to turn, no place to live but, maybe with her sister.
She had been wandering, drifting for so many years that she absolutely loathed it. After reaching the empty apartment Natalie wandered out to the balcony and thought of ending her life by jumping down, but it wasn’t far enough. Across the normally teeming street was a new building going up with scaffolding high in the air. That’s where she was headed: that would be a good place to leap from.
 For some reason there was no one around which was very unusual, as she crossed the street, however, a small black man came out of the shadows and handed her a handwritten letter while saying: ‘Jesus loves you’. She paused to read it and one thing lead to another until she found out about Heart Seasons.
If you live in New York City maybe you have heard about them.
Natalie found a group of people with as bad a history as hers. She found other ‘sisters’ who had tried to recover countless times from addictions, but here at Heart Seasons there was hope. Yes, there really was.
This center was different than many; it focused on Jesus as the only answer. The program was strict, really strict for they were expected to take part in several hours of Bible study every single day, and were not allowed to ever leave without an escort.
After a year and a half or way longer if they wanted, if a person stuck with the program they could graduate, if they were ready. Being ready meant being able to rent an apartment and have a job for at least three months. Most were terrified of leaving, but of course,
they weren’t abandoned, they had their support group, and best of all they had Jesus.
Are you like Natalie, desperate, despairing and certain you have tried every ‘solution’ out there?
There is hope. There truly is. Jesus can be your anchor from drifting back into sin. There are friends of Jesus who would love to reach out to you, also.
 Contact me, if you want and I’ll see what I can do to help. Look up Heart Seasons in the telephone book, or elsewhere. I’m trying to find an address for you.

Whatever you do, never, never, never give up; there is hope. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Twins Are Still Separated

Two Mothers, Twin Daughters

Chapter Nineteen

Some folks seem to enjoy reading excerpts from the book I am writing, so I’ll update you once again.
T hree years went by, and the twins were still separated.

Margaret listened; for once the children were quiet. It seemed they had settled down nicely for their naps, the two younger ones, that is, and Davey Juniour wouldn’t be released from school for another hour or so.  She reached for her Bible on the nearby nightstand and took the latest letter from Marita out from just inside the back cover and clutched it in her hands while bowing her head in prayer.  The much read letter was already a year old so Margaret carefully unfolded the sharp creases to read it once more.

“Dear Margaret,
I can’t bear to tell my dear mother-in-law what we are going through so hope you can take it since I feel I would crack up if I couldn’t share with someone!

Randall’s out of work—again, has been for three months this time. In a way I am not sorry he lost this job but we are in desperate straits. He had had an epileptic fit while on scaffolding and fell. The job wasn’t waiting for him when his leg finally mended.  

Sometimes I am at my wits end to know how to respond to him.  We are hungry nearly all the time but I know he finds enough money to spend on beer. How long must I excuse his behavior on the war? Does David sometimes seem to be unreasonable---still?

Oh, Margaret, what can I ever do? I would offer to take in babysitting but our one room suite and half bath are far too crowded to entertain extra children. 

Thank you so much for the gift of money you slipped in your last letter.  Oh, Margaret, it’s a good thing Randall wasn’t home when the mailman arrived with the cash. I bawled buckets and Emily was all over me trying to comfort me so I tried to tell her they were happy tears.

I  hope I can someday repay you.  I have to dole it out slowly so he won’t get suspicious and wonder where it came from. As it is I have to hide it because he rifles through my purse in the vain hope I’d have some money stashed away.

So far I have only bought a small bag of oatmeal and some powdered milk with the money, and oh yes, a bag of carrots because they keep for a long time in the icebox,  we won’t go hungry for a while.

Emily is healthy, for which I thank the Lord. Her sweetness and innocence helps me to trust our Heavenly Father more. I have much time on my hands so often turn to Mum-in-law’s Bible in time of need. I still worry a lot and get sharp with Randall way too often, but I’m glad I have Emily and I’m glad I have God.

Lots of love, |
Marita

P.S. Sorry for being so full of myself: I really do want a long, fully detailed letter about everything that’s going on in your life and especially about Alice.  (Sorry if I sound selfish.)

P.S. 2. We are in Vancouver now, but I’m sure we will be moving soon.

Margaret refolded the letter then gently placed it back between the worn covers of the Bible.  She sat lost in thought until her burdened heart caused her to slip to her knees in prayer. She laid her head on her arm.

“It’s been so long, Lord. Marita is almost dearer to me that a flesh and blood sister might be. Please be with her. Keep her, comfort her, and help Randall to overcome his drinking habit. Thou knowest what awful memories are still gripping him, and we don’t.  Thou knowest the anxiety Marita faces: please help him to find a good job, and keep it. May Marita continue to call upon you when the floods threaten to overwhelm her—“

“Mommy, Alice spilled the milk on the floor!”

It was obvious that Sally would have gotten the milk out of the refrigerator because Emily was too young to handle the door.  Alice was on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor with a tea towel.

“Let’s not use a tea towel to clean the floor next time, okay, Sweetie. Sally, you fetch a rag from the rag bag.”

“But she spilled it!”

“Just do as I tell you.”

 "Alice, wait for Mommy to pour your milk for you okay”— she almost called her ‘Sweetie’ again but then remembered it was too easy to favor the daughter of her troubled friend over the other two.

Margaret was thoughtful, prayerful, as she tended to her motherly duties . They walked to the corner to meet Davey and he prattled joyfully about his day at school, she served the children cookies and milk but hardly heard them.

David came home two hours later and once again Margaret was so thankful that the man she married had a steady job as a mechanic. There were still far too many veterans drifting aimlessly through life, addicted to the bottle, and not coping well with their violent past. David seemed to be so steady in comparison. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Who Told You God Was a Hard Task Master? Who Dared?`


I like to spend time with God first thing in the morning. These days it`s the topic of choices that caught my attention, and what the Bible has to say about them. Did you know that  in Deuteronomy we are encouraged to bring our choicest offerings? Well, knowing me, that got me curious to know what was being referred to, so I hauled out the good old Matthew Henry`s commentary which is great source for inspiring observations.

I was surprised that way back in the Old Testament times already God wanted us to worship Him with holy joy. Our soul is nourished when we come before Him with a thankful heart. That`s when we are best able to commune with Him and He fills us with the desire to have our faith and spiritual understanding increased. He fills us with a longing to become more and more like Him in every deed and action.

So what is the choicest sacrifice? Holy joy, thankfulness.