The girl on the side street…

astronomy dark dawn dusk

Photo by Matheus Bertelli

Once I was the girl on the side street flashing in and out of the dark. I was taught a role to play for the well being of my family and for my Dad’s livelihood.  I played it well. Such a mix of tender family moments peppered with the fear that maybe Jesus didn’t really come for me…

…now the ocean’s wind catches each regret, each sin, and sorrow throwing it into the eternity of a perfect God to be forever forgotten.  In the light of the moon a young woman, who thought the stars would stop shining above her found the Maker of the stars and the freedom and love and the lullaby when He sang a Holy song baptizing over her in waves. So now I am drifting, sailing and it was you who came for me.

On that day when the sun tipped over the edge of the earth and spilled colors like buckets of orange, pink, and violet as a reminder of the power of Holy light. The young woman once ravaged and scarred by guilt and shame found joy in the warmth of The Son. Lifted from the darkness you came for me.  You hold me in your arms and by your own wounds, scars, and stripes you heal me. The girl on the side street finally came home…

All her colors run together on the floor

beautiful calm clouds dark

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All her colors run together on the floor…

she has been here so many times before

She is sure this time they will stone her

Condemnation beats in her heart and her soul is torn…

 

His gentle words were more than she had hoped for…

He bent down in the dirt and wrote a word

He spoke gently lifting her face to see Heaven

“No one here can condemn you anymore…”

 

All the colors of New life swirled around her at once

Blood red drops in the dirt became white as snow

the blue of the sky filled with angels singing “gloria! ”

He said, ” your sins are forgiven now you are whole… “

Hope Remains, is my story

red lighted candle

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 I have a Story given me by my Maker

A heart fierce yet ravaged ever in need of saving

I’ve been given clear eyes to see the Holy One

To shed tears of remorse washing away bitterness

And I’ve been given healing in these two hands

To share the balm I have received  and know that Hope remains

 

I have not seen all the wonders of this world

I have not walked with the noble nor do I own anything of worth

I have not known wealth or fame but I do know  joy and pain

And I’ve been given life and love far beyond all earthly gain

I pray for humility and a heart full of gratitude running over

To share the balm I have received and know that Hope remains

 

My Beating Heart

i hate nothing about you with red heart light

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At times my heart is like a quivering bird in this cage of Flesh and bone

I know it will not withstand such a relentless seige

 

At times my heart is like a big bass drum

I know it will strike strong with the rhythm and the beat!

 

It feels as if I am dying and I cannot stay the course

Then it feels as if I am a warrior crying out “all is victorious!”

 

Some say this is a fickle heart but I know this is not true

For I know this heart in me comes from the heart in you!

 

 

 

No Additives

 

 

alcohol bar beverage black background

Photo by freestocks.org

 

He heals the wounds of a ravaged heart

                                                   oh fathom lavish love!

Drink his grace straight up

                                                  fill oh fill my cup!

No one else will care like this

                                               oh death where is thy sting?

Drink his grace straight up

                                             fill oh fill my cup!

Cannot add to him or take him away

                                            oh pure the bread and wine!

Drink his grace straight up

                                           fill oh fill my cup!

 

 

The Cross of Jesus is the most inglorious event in all of mankind’s history yet is the only event that makes our Glory legitimate…

person lying on cart

Photo by HARSH KUSHWAHA

God spoke, “I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold; so my own arm brought me salvation, and my righteous wrath upheld me.” Isaiah 63:5

The theology (meaning study of…) of the Cross vs. The theology of Glory jumped out at me while reading again the book called The Gospel According to Job  by Mike Mason which I have been reading for over five years along with The Discipline of Disturbance  by Hud McWilliams, who has been my spiritual mentor for over twenty-nine years.

All of that to say it absolutely astounded me  when I realized that there is no glory in the Cross. The monumental indescribable event that took place on that cross was one of absolutely NO glory yet it is exactly that event on that cross that makes Glory for you and I a legitimate option through the obedience of Jesus to die on that cross. and be given by God the Father the Sovereign rule forever. It stirred me so that I could not eat or sleep.

The spirituality of the Cross and those of us who trust in The One who died up on it is that it seeks God and ONLY God and here is the kicker, the work on the cross of Jesus would accept NO GLORY!  There is no glory in sin. God himself is the significant value of the Cross!!! Jesus humbled himself  only seeking God’s will and then doing it.

Glory to God is useless if humans conjure it up in themselves. We see it all around us in the Church. A mega church boasting about their numbers of attendance. The church member who judges others who cannot seem to overcome their sin issues  but never  repenting of their own or the supposed Christian celebrities that millions follow on social media and accept their teachings because they are popular.

The Glory belongs to Jesus and Jesus alone, who’ s very essence is God,  yet on that cross he was a son, a man who had not sought ANY glory for himself only his Father’s.

“Never build your case for forgiveness on the idea that God is our Father and He will forgive us because he loves us. God forgives sin ONLY because of the death of Christ…anything that LESSENS the holiness of God through a false view of His love, contradicts the truth of God as REVEALED by Jesus Christ…”  Oswald Chambers

The lesson is that the Cross is for those who will walk by simple faith seeking no glory of our own. Oh that I might grasp this Truth today and everyday for one day my Faith will be made sight and the glory will be more than eternity can hold. Not mine but His.

“The Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to those who are being saved it is the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 1:18

 

In a culture that worships a false normal of beauty and worth…

photo of night sky with stars

Photo by Bryan Schneider

“Some of the greatest lies you will ever believe are told by your own eyes.”  Says the  writer Preston Sprinkle

We have been talking about this issue in American culture for the last twenty-five years and I don’t see much change in the message. Even in the age of reality TV shows like “the Voice” while the auditions are blind so that a judge cannot pick the contestant on any merit other than their voice we find that if they make it past the blind auditions they are quickly given a Hollywood stylist and their clothes, make-up, and hair are tweaked here and there and by the time the contest is over for that season the person is “acceptably attractive.” Even as far back as Carrie Underwood winning American Idol or Kelly Clarkson…if you go back and look at them you can see they were “made” more acceptable.

With God, your image, yours and mine, we are acceptable just as we are but I cannot for the life of me understand why we cannot get past these stereotypes of how one should look, and dress, and even age…

As a believer in God, Jesus Christ and the Bible I have no problem believing that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, all-knowing, all-seeing, creator of ninety trillion million stars, the ocean, the tide, the sun, the earth…(You get the picture). Nobody tells God what he can or cannot do.

I have a harder time believing that this same transcendent Holy God would reach down to his earth and rescue his human race which makes him also an intimate God. A God who desires relationship with the people he created, with me and you. He isn’t playing a game of cosmic chess with us. He doesn’t love us begrudgingly yet most of us have a difficult time believing that same huge God who we believe created us and everything around us truly cares about us. That he delights in us. That he thinks of us more often than there are grains of sand? That he can’t wait for me to come talk and walk with him? That I am more beautiful than any sunset or sunrise could ever be? That he wants to be my friend and even more astonishing that He trusts me? That he never gives up on me just like the father in the story of the prodigal son He never stops looking out to the horizon to see if I am coming home after making a mess of everything in my life! He loves to hear my joy of laughter or singing. He is patient and kind and slow to anger. He loves my face and my body. He loves me!

It is an endless dance of performances and masks that I grow so very weary of. Are you weary? I cannot sustain what I think that you think I need to look like to be acceptable. This is the burden of societal shame. 

So, I must not let my own eyes deceive me in commercial ads, in billboard ads, in Playboy, in movies, in T.V.

I work with young women. Eating disorders, body image, and anxiety is at an all time high in this country. It is a fact. They believe they must be thin, quiet, and good all the time. They believe they are ugly and not made by God and in His image at all. What a toll it has taken on our people.

God sees his children as beautiful. He sees each race as beautiful. His redemption of his children cannot be thwarted by any scheme of Evil or of man. So, I choose to look at myself through the eyes of my Father God who created me. I choose to look into his eyes and see myself as his beloved daughter. A daughter of beauty in every way and that He came down from heaven and redeemed me with his Grace and lets me walk with him daily and talk with him freely and never feel that I am ugly or unworthy of his love and blessings.

My spirituality, my beauty, my worth is upheld by God’s stubborn Grace and deep enjoyment of me.  It is  God whom I reflect and even if my eyes lie to me a thousand times it does not change the Truth one bit. I am precious, beloved, and I do belong to Him. I am beautiful…

I want my daughters and their sons and daughters to know they are more than even their own eyes tell them they are.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity into our human hearts; no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes  3:11

Icy bare branches…

branch cold freezing frost

Photo by Pixabay

 

Icy bare branches

sway in the wind

the death winter brings

reminiscing again

 

round goes the cycle

so providentially set

to die is to live

and be born again

 

the desire is endless

to live in that place

where the glory of sight

Is to look upon your face

 

She had forgotten the taste of new wine and sweet olive oil…

green flower bouquet on white background

Photo by Alena Koval

I saw her standing in the Valley of Decision and I reached for her hand gently.
I said, “I don’t know where you are coming from but I do know what you are running from.”
She said she had forgotten her loveliness and her might. She has forgotten the taste of new wine and sweet olive oil. Her trees would bear no more fruit. All of her gifts and talents had drained away. The “invented” normal had left her heart and soul gravely bruised…
I have seen it many times in sixty-three years. The exigencies the “inventor of lies” has put upon us. The accuser, the impostor of beauty and wisdom says, “We girls have to be skinny, smart, beautiful, witty, sexy, as well as Mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, healer, cook, house keeper, and oh yes, we can never age, wrinkle, or grow soft muscles or gray hair…
Oh what a relief is found when we know these falsehoods cannot raze our joy! The Spring rain will wash you clean of shame and doubt and you will regain all you have lost! Young woman, daughter, widow, single Mother, or any Mother, any woman…Come to the Valley of Decision and lay down all the plates you are spinning. Hold with palms open upward any control you deem you have and you will realize that you are so far beyond what you believed. Choose Wisdom instead of control. Choose Wisdom which says, “You are the Pearl of Great Price!”
Stay in this Valley and decide to seek Wisdom… be healed, be whole, and dance before the Lord God without fear and then reach out your hand for the next woman you see and give her the Wisdom you have gained…it is a decision, it is truth or it is lies and you must choose…thousands upon thousands of women are waiting for your hand…

A bruised reed he will not break, and a fading candle he won’t snuff out. He’ll bring forth justice for the truth. Isaiah 42:3
Also, inspiration from Joel 3:14

Cracked Mirrors

blue close up colors cracks
Photo by the happiest face =)
We were exalted in Eden
above all creation ruled
Even in our fractures of sin
   we bear His image like rare jewels
 
The lilies of the field
nor Solomon and all his gold
Can please the Holy One more
than the image that we hold
 
We are all cracked mirrors yet
reflecting still God’s face
We are exalted by His blood
in His high and heavenly Grace