Marilyn Friesen

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Did Jesus Play Catch?

Did Jesus Play Catch?

Can you picture the scene: a sunny day, perhaps very early in the morning because there doesn’t seem to be too many people around.  The sun is gleaming off the white washed stone dwelling nearby and on the rocks at our feet. We are observers, onlookers and unwilling to get too involved. Jesus is walking on Solomon’s porch and we can hear Him well enough.

Hecklers who want to pick a quarrel with Jesus show up and we back up a little, sensing that trouble is fermenting.

Just a moment before you were getting this warm cozy feeling because the Master had said: “I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
A picture popped into your mind of the great, big, cupped hands of God. As long as you wanted to stay there, you were perfectly safe even if you were restless and easily distracted, He wouldn’t dump you.

Wait, those religious leaders were objecting---to that? Yup, they didn’t like the implication of power, of being one with God that Jesus is declaring.  They don’t want to listen, let alone obey him, and so what do they do? ‘Then the Jews rushed over to where you were standing and picked up stones again to stone Him. John 10:13.’
I got this warm, little image in my mind of Jesus catching the stones hurled at him and casually dropping them while He continued talking. “Many good works have I showed you from my Father: for which of those works do you me?”

He didn’t let the stones hurt Him, and He didn’t take credit for His ministry of healing in love.
When insults are hurled our way whether real or imagined, let’s just catch the stones and toss them aside (NOT BACK!) and continue going about our Father’s business.

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Child,
I know what happened; I was there. Your innocent heart was like a rosebud, a pure white flower in a crystal vase. Then an evil hand came and smudged one of the petals. In your innocence, you were soon able to forget and go on with your play.  
You didn’t know this wasn’t normal, you didn’t know this was wrong but you kept it to yourself, why?
Maybe because it made you feel uncomfortable, maybe because you were afraid he would find out and get upset.  But it continued, one petal after another was smudged then crushed until one day the flower withered and died and the water of joy that had been feeding it had also drained away.
As a young child, you soon learned to be afraid of—him. By nature, you would have been carefree, but a shell that some called shyness was developing around you.
Time passed and you gradually became more aware of right and wrong. You saw younger children still carrying the beautiful bud of innocence but yours was gone, faded and dying. It was then you began to realise that the delicate vase that was in your heart had also been crushed and the broken pieces were piercing you, causing much pain.
Is that the end: a broken heart, a dying flower?
It seemed like. In fact, the cuts festered over the years as you learned this was not normal and many were going through life happy because no evil monster had snatched away the flower of innocence and left a broken heart.
By now, those pieces have embedded deep into your heart but you observed others were acting ‘normally’ so pretended to do the same. How can a person be ‘normal’ when the slightest memory brings pain and bad experiences would cause the old wounds to start bleeding away?
How can you go on like this? But you did, year after year, you raised a family, had a caring husband …and prayed…
I keep ‘seeing’ the Great Physician hovering over me while I write; He wants me to remind you how He removed those crushed shards one by one and poured in the healing balm of love.
I know and am grateful for what He has done, but there are
others who are still suffering. Give your heart to Jesus let Him remove the broken pieces. It will not be easy but will sure be a lot easier than having them remain there.
I may have lost that flower of innocence at too young an age but it’s okay, now, because the Great Physician gave me what feels like a Garden of Eden in return

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Why Did He Weep?

On a hill far away, stood an old rugged cross: have you ever heard that song? Do you know what it is referring to? I picture a dark scene with three raw-hewn crosses and a crowd, some mocking others weeping below. It’s not a very pretty scene and it is sad, very sad. 
Crucifixion was the cruellest form of death known to man, so painful in fact that the word excruciating is related to it. On the centre cross was an innocent man. Not only was He guiltless but He didn’t curse and swear and say all kinds of blasphemous words against the people that put Him there.
Why was He like that? Would you have been that forgiving? I sure wouldn’t! But He, God’s Son, came to earth for that very purpose. First, He went about doing all the good He could so that people would sit up and take notice that GOD IS LOVE.
There is a lot of things that God is not, even though people seem to think He is, but the one thing He is, is LOVE, and love covers so many areas…
Back to the cross on the hill, what do you think He was thinking? Among other things, I suspect He was heartbroken, not because He was being treated unjustly but because so few would accept His gift of salvation.
What? Salvation? What do we need to be saved from? We were born in sin, and because God is so perfect and full of love He could not have His beautiful Home in Heaven spoiled by bad attitudes, BUT He really, really wants us there!  He wants to save us from sin, which is what keeps us from having peace in our hearts.He wants us to be happy while here on earth, so Jesus, His Son offered to take our punishment so that we could live a life of freedom, peace, and joy.
Do you get what I mean? Have I explained it clear enough? Admit that you do wrong things and have bad attitudes; that you have sins ask Jesus to take them all away, and pray to Him every day so that He helps you to do what is right and not keep falling back into sin.

If you have any questions or desire prayer, meet me on Hang Outs. 
P.S. I thought of writing this post when it came to me that He must have been heartbroken that so very few people of all the millions ever born would ever truly love and serve Him. 

I guess God gave me that reminder because I try to write books that will bring honour and glory to Him and yet so few sell. He understands when we feel like we are failing.  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Cherish the Fragments

Fourteen-year-old Rebecca pressed closer to her young husband. She felt uncomfortable even in small crowds and this one stretched out as far as she could see…well almost. She pressed her hand protectively against her stomach and wished the nausea would go away just for a moment.
Then the Voice she loved, the Voice that made her get out of her bed of misery to listen to as often as possible, was speaking. It was Jesus, her wonderful hero Jesus. A tiny smile lifted the corners of her mouth as He instructed the multitude to sit down. She was able to swallow the lump of fear lodged in her throat as she remembered that not even once had the crowd become exceptionally disorderly and riotous in the presence of the Man from Galilee.
As she watched Him speaking to His disciples, she saw a young lad step forward with a small basket and one of His followers lifted out a loaf of barley bread. Rebecca’s stomach growled: she hadn’t eaten properly in weeks and now she was hungry, were they only going to feed the tiny lunch to their Master while the rest looked on? She felt ashamed of her selfishness but then Jesus was asking them to all rise for prayer. As He blessed the food, Rebecca felt warmed and satisfied, somehow everything would work out.
Now Jesus was breaking up the loaves and fishes and after a few gasps of astonishment, some nearby workers lugged a stack of fishing baskets over, heaped them with the miraculous food and handed them out to the crowds.
Rebecca took her portion and ate it almost reverently. When He said ‘gather up the fragments that none be lost’ she wondered if He was referring to more than food. She wanted to gather up the memories of being with Jesus and cherish them.

I do too.

Monday, December 19, 2016

When You Feel Like a Failure

Grandpa and Grandma Jones leaned on their hoes and gazed at the frost-blighted crop. When a tear simmered like a cold jewel on Grandma’s cheek, Grandpa put his arm around her shoulder.
“We tried so hard,” Grandma sighed.
“We should have covered the plants, we should have listened to the weather forecast, we should have"—
“Aye, there is so much we should have done,” his wife sighed.
He helped her get down on her knees wondering all the while, what she wanted to look for. It was obvious that the garden was covered with whitened stocks. The early dawn coolness would soon dissipate and the then blackened stocks would look more pathetic than ever.
Granma searched until she found a pod with over-ripened peas, then another and another. Grandfather stooped down to help her search for seeds, and although pitifully few they did get some.
Grandpa and Grandpa looked at each other with new hope in their eyes. “We failed in so many ways, but there were some good fruit and plenty of good seed to start again.”
“Good seed,” Grandpa murmured looking with the eyes of faith into an unknown future. “Even if the soil was poor and covered with weeds, we need not despair because the seed was God’s.”
With shining eyes, Grandma shifted some seeds from one hand to another. “We will keep planting the good seed into the hearts of our children and grandchildren. Even if their hearts seem crowded with other things-“
“Or frozen—“
“We know that some will sprout—“
“And bring forth good fruit.”
They turned their back on their disappointing past knowing full-well they would keep planting, watering and nurturing each little seedling that sprouted, for surely someday and in some unforeseeable way the Lord would bless their efforts.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Who Are You Inviting For Christmas?

Happy holidays! How many times have you said that or had someone say that to you? Did it bring a smile to your face? Sure probably, but did it bring a warmth to your heart as you thought of the true reason for the season?
Or do you even know why so many people all over the world have a celebration right in the middle of the shortest month in the northern hemisphere?
 Have you ever heard of the tiny baby whose birth was heralded by a whole choir of angels? It looks as if all of Heaven couldn’t contain the joy that a Savior had come down to rescue fallen man from their sins. Did you know that wise men, possibly very wealthy ones at that, had traveled a very great distance to come and see this new born baby, and give Him wonderful gifts? That, by the way, is the reason why we exchange presents at Christmas.
Traveling wasn’t so easy in those days and we are given reason to believe they journeyed over a vast desert to see the Son of God. This infant was created in the form of man, not only so He could save us, but so He could totally identify and have compassion on us even on our worst days!
Okay, this isn’t just a wonderful mythical story from long ago like the one about Santa Claus. This honestly happened: Jesus truly is the Son of God and millions have gotten to know and love Him to this day  because we know that after He died, He rose again and eventually went back to Heaven and sent a Comforter who gives us joy, peace, and guidance.
So are you going to have a Happy Holiday or a Blessed Christmas? I don’t care for the word ‘Merry’ because it suggests a frivolity that could lead to grief. See the word Christmas? It is announcing for all the world to see that Christ—that tiny baby, Jesus Christ—is supposed to be the center of the season.

Are you going to invite Christ to your home, or better yet have Him the center of all you do?  Go for it! He is the most awesome Guest you will ever have. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Running Out of Oil

The Ten Virgins
Maidens so sweet with your lamps all bright
Lighting the way through the starry night
Waiting with music and lilting voice
Arrayed in garments of finest choice.

Sundown has darkened the village streets
Ten drowsy maidens are fighting sleep
While cheery lanterns are growing dim
Will they expire ‘ere the groom comes again?

There’s a delay and the girls slump down
All fast asleep in their bridal gowns
Glad shouts are ringing down the lane
The bridegroom comes make your lanterns shine.

The girls rouse quickly their lamps to trim
But some will lament that their oil is gone.
Oh virgins listen that have to share
You won’t run out for the Lord put it there.

The widow's vessels all had enough
Of oil from God when she but asked
And you will to for your sister’s need
It is blessed by God, so please give heed.

Marilyn Friesen


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Reading for Peace

I have nothing to brag about: I am a loving mother and grandmother who has written since the age of eleven. History and compassion are deeply entwined in my stories and articles. I chose to write from the heart rather than anything sensational which is why my books may never reach best-seller lists, but I do hope they will be found by those people whose hearts would be warmed. My website marilynshistoricalnovels.com describes each book and provides links to where they may be purchased