The River of Mercy (the infinite flow of God’s Grace)

woman on body of water

Photo by Daria Sannikova

We lost all of the image of God when we were found  outside of His Holiness. We are born rationalizers, barterers and liars.   Yes we are all created in His image just as he says but Sin’s first act shattered that mirror image inside of us, at least until such a time as we receive the Power of the Cross of Jesus to regenerate us, to rebirth us from our darkness into His perfect light!

It doesn’t take much to look around us and see these powerful tools of the deception of Sin.

  • Rationalizing our need for redemption and need for God By using our intellectual achievement or even our good morals or religion.
  • Bartering  with The Holy as if He could be bought with our arrogant rhetoric of being self-sufficient, mantras of our feeble idolatry of self love, celebrity, money, or even good deeds.
  • Liars- we are all in darkness and deceived by our own Sin some even professing a form of godliness but do not Honor God as our Lord, not do we give Him thanks.

 

Sounds bleak doesn’t it? However, we have been given The Good News. We have been given infinite Grace flowing in the River of Mercy so that we might repent and obey to be Reborn into the Image of God in all His Goodness and power!

I am learning that the River gets deeper not shallow the further down stream I go. I am depending and counting on the fact I have been born again by the Blood of Jesus Christ and I have nothing to offer Him and  never did but here is the beauty of the Truth of God’s plan to bring us back to Him in every way… The beauty of The Gospel is this: His love and Grace and all that implies is freely given to all who will receive it.

 

I have seen the River of Life and Mercy

A crystal clear river flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb

All who come to this river will be clean and whole

All burdens washed away, no more sorrows, tears, or death…

Revelation 22

You mistook my illness as my identity

silhouette of bird above clouds

Photo by Flo Maderebner

 

You may think you know me but you best beware,

 I am stronger than any thing so You best take care

You mistook my illness as my identity

but the Healer came to me and set my spirit free!

 

I won’t run from haters or keep quiet your lies

The Spirit teaches  me the Truth and why

You mistook my smallness as fragility

But my Maker gave Eagle’s wings to me!

 

I soar, I speak up, and I tell the Truth,

lies make you sick and bitterness takes root

Your Pharisee bondage is a con artist scam

I will listen and obey the great I AM!

A Wild Joy

grayscale photo of person standing on seashore

Photo by Engin Akyurt

 

Hours will bend

as words pour onto paper

 

Long day’s journey

salty is the flavor

 

White sails billow

the gull cries for favor

 

I think I’d like to be alone

but time can turn the tables

 

A Wild joy takes me over

The Holy hovers just inside

 

A Wild joy is my lover

ever changing with the tide

 

 

Born Liars…The Epiphany

nativity set figurine

Photo by Vinícius Vieira Fotografia

A mystery revealed. When we are born we know nothing of Truth. We believe those around us are truth tellers. We believe WE are truth tellers. We believe our parents tell us the truth and they believe it too. Our homes are warm and dry so safety must be true. Our siblings play and live the same as we do so how we live must be the true way to live. Our schools must teach true facts so educated people must be true. Our religion must be true because it rules our behavior, our traditions but the fact is we are born liars. We are born enemies of God and do not know truth. We are born liars, decievers, and accusers. The Truth is not in us until the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ utterly dwells within us. God’s Word states that not one of us is good and that humans love darkness and when the Light of the World came we did not know him. Until He chose to reveal to us, by the Spirit of God himself, who came in the flesh. Until Jesus! This is the Epiphany, the Light of the world who is the God Man Jesus. The One born in Bethlehem. The One who grew up without sin. The One who was crucified for all sin. The One who rose from the dead. The One who ascended and lives on High. The One who will return for His people and will reign forever. He is the only Truth!

So why are we surprised that we lie to each other and put on masks, and build detailed facades of being perfect families, perfect marriages, and perfect churches? Why are we surprised that some of us had Godly truth telling parents and some did not? Why are we surprised when our five year old child lies to us or sneaks candy from the pantry? Why are we surprised that we are or once were liars and not valiant for Truth?

This is an important part of understanding the ” state of human kind and our sin. Understanding our sin is the way that leads to falling on our faces before The Holy and repenting with humility. There is not plural Truth! There is only One Truth!

All have sinned and fall short… (Romans 3:23). All of us need redemption. All of us are liars if we say this isn’t true. Truth is a person in flesh and a person in the Trinity of God’s very being. We do not know Truth in our lives until we humble ourselves to receive the Grace and the Mercy of The Holy One who is the very definition of Truth.

” and they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for Truth…Jeremiah 9:3

You said I have become a grown up girl

person standing in pathway

Photo by Lisa Fotios

 

I remember that sweet lavender dawn

                      you looked at me across the room

you were thinking I was still that little girl

                      who cried over all the pain and gloom

Ah yes that sweet little girl is still here

                      but she is not afraid and her heart is free

By God’s grace she has grown into a woman

                       and can face each path with eyes that clearly see…

 

 

We have traveled far, that little girl and I

                       We have danced and died, laughed and cried

We have known romance and reality

                       We remember and forget, we dream and sigh…

I love that little girl and the woman she became

                        she could always spot a faker and call a spade a spade

She is me and I am she woven and spun by God

                       We travel well together upon this earthly sod…

 

 

You said I had become a grown up girl

                        and what you say is true

This grown up girl is a woman now

                        and has no need of you…

 

 

And Christmas comes once more…

person holding flashlight in road

Photo by Simon Migaj

 

The crave for connection… As we approach the advent of the first coming of Christ I am reminded that in my sixty three years of life I have never observed a more isolated society even though communication avenues are more brilliant than ever. I love that we share the love of our families on Facebook as this is the most critical form of connection in the human race…though all of us cannot connect with blood family we still have a longing to belong.
There is much data out there now regarding anxiety and shame. I believe that most of us are still very uncomfortable with these very two unraveling entities. Shame unravels the deepest level of our ability to “connect” to anyone and Vulnerability, which causes anxiety,  comes with the extremely high RISK of being wounded. Connecting with another human being is that level that gives life meaning. To tell the true story of your whole heart tells who you are. Most of us guard that story due to past failures to be understood or to find ourselves left like a wounded soldier bleeding on the battlefield…while this may sound somewhat depressing I do not believe this is true…I have lived my life both ways. One, guarded from any and all who might hurt me or think me strange (which no doubt I am strange. Hal) On the other hand I have chosen to take the Vulnerable life path in my latter years and here is why…The most vulnerable person I have the deepest relationship with is Jesus Christ. He chose to be vulnerable in the hopes that those who believe in his sacrifice will always have Hope and Life…deep inside of us we all long for these two things above all else in my opinion… when I reflect on the Courage it takes to deny “shame” and embrace “vulnerability” it is mind boggling…I have messed up innumerable times attempting these two actions of life. The result is it leaves me victorious, humble, and often times “wounded” and at risk for “injury” deep down in my soul but oh my how WORTH it the victories, failures, and wounds have been! As I approach 64 years the end of the month I must say yes I have regrets and there are things I would do differently now but I do not regret one single day that God has allowed me to breathe the breath of an abundant life and to embrace the sweaty, difficult, messy parts as well as the fragrance of a rose or a daffodil in the Spring, the salty sea of Summertime, the woodsmoke smell of Fall, and the biting cold of Winter over and over again…
My Christmas wish is that I would continue to tell the story of my whole heart and that each of you would share yours too. It is the reason for those of us who believe in the Holy Birth of Jesus continue steady on…

Where Charity stands watching
And Faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks,
And Christmas comes once more.

In the Middle of this Young Girl’s Dream

action background blur bottles

Photo by Pixabay

 

I want to stay next time

Don’t wake me up from my young girl’s dream

It is a place that I love and call home

This dream carries me in my older days

a special place where my soul has flown

 

In the middle of this young girl’s dream

all the ones I love never have to leave and

sometimes when the world is unkind

There is only Joy like the Sun’s glow

It warms my hands and soul as I am growing  old

 

 

 

 

Magen veLo Yera’e (Defender that shall not be seen.)

switched beige table lamp

Photo by 祝 鹤槐

Like silver liquid the moonlight poured over my head spilling down my back renewing my eyes and my mind…

I had stepped outside the hospital to get a breath of fresh air. It had been a long shift and my body, mind, and spirit had grown weary…

As often happens to nurses, I often received words, tokens and notes of thanks and appreciation throughout my career from patients and families, and each one is so very meaningful…

Loss is hopefully made a bit more endurable by compassion and kindness. It is perhaps the truest calling of a nurse, for inside of me lives “Magen veLo Yera’e” which in Hebrew means “Defender that shall not be seen.” Of course, that Defender is not me but the Spirit of Jesus abiding in me. For there is no one good but God as Jesus said, so I know it isn’t me doing it, but I digress…

As I look back over the past forty years my memory runs to the many wonderful people, I have had the privilege to care for and their families. For some there is a reluctance to embrace the future and losing meaning of the past. For some they linger in the pre-dawn haze digesting an outcome they perhaps always knew was coming.

The greatest gift these people have given me is the privilege and opportunity to see that God’s design of our longing to live is not a fragile thing. It is in fact the very strongest thing about us. Yes, our physical bodies wear out with time or disease. Ah, but the soul, the spirit of a person, it fights for life! We were designed for life not death and that is why the “Unseen One who defends us” is the Holy Spirit who lives within those who believe.

Jesus told his follower that He would send us the exact essence of himself in the person of the Holy Spirit to comfort us, to guide, and teach us about Him. It is the transforming phase of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus that He sent us the Holy Spirit, who is unseen but defends us all the way into eternal life.

This is one of the many gifts that nursing has been to me for I have seen, I have witnessed the presence of the Magen veLo Yera’e. He is faithful. He is comfort. He is Peace. He is Jesus the Christ, the presence of the Holy God himself. Jesus is the gift of eternal life and the forever Defender of our Faith and there is a day coming for each of us when we will see Him face to face and we will know Him in Spirit and in Truth. So, when the night is long and dark and grief comes and hope seems so silent I remember the “thank you” from my patients, other human beings just like me with whom I am allowed to care for, hold a hand, say a prayer, shed a tear, and talk of our loved ones we will miss and already miss. Oh yes, there is much physical  technical data in taking of lab work, blood pressures, procedures, surgeries, and various myriads of daily physical care. But the expressions of “thank you” and the bittersweet outcomes are more than a gift.  I have been gifted with the precious sight of a Child of God being carried home in the arms of the Magen veLo Yera’e, the unseen shield, the Holy Defender of God’s precious people.

Seven months ago, my own Mother who was not acutely ill but was called home from this body while all alone was in fact not alone at all,  the unseen defender was present to the very end.
In this season of giving gifts I am like the little drummer boy…I have no gift to bring before my King but the thanksgiving of letting me know some of His children in this intimate way and being an eye witness to the presence of Magen veLo Yera’e, The unseen miraculous presence of The Holy.
So, you see there is much more to our Christmas celebration of the Jesus Child for with Him he brought all we need for life and godliness.

It began to astound me (the good confession)

photo of person on bridge

Photo by Andy Vu

 

It began to astound me, I cry out, oh God help!

Truth has become a catch phrase of Hell!

Man has his face in the gutter with his booze!

Woman is killing herself for the fountain of youth!

Children with no interest in conversation or humanity!

Babies without voices filling up the heavens!

Churches re-phrasing God’s word to suit their situation!

Politician ‘s rumors and counter rumors spew!

Evil’s darkness lies in wait for a chance to consume!

The one in the shackles is the only one free in the room!

It begin to astound me that I must always agree with you

Or be outcast as a biggot or hatemonger or shrew!

 

So I will trust in the purity and promises of God

Who is good and loving in all his ways!

I will search the horizon  both morning and night

for that final wave to break upon the shore

when there will be no dying or crying anymore!

For it is a fool who says there is no God!

Yet I am astounded even more at His ever lasting love!

His mercies are new every morning!

I count each day to  be the day of His glory!

May this be the time my faith will be sight!

Was there ever a more astounding  day to  ponder!

 

 “…but you, oh child of God flee these things and pursue godliness, faith, love patience, gentleness. Fight the Good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were called and have confessed…”  1 Timothy 6:11