The burden of Merit…We can’t get religious enough. We can’t be good enough. We cannot do better for God. Jesus did it for us. 

“The fact is that sin is a bigger disaster than we think it is and grace is more amazing than we seem to be able to grasp that it is. No one who really understands what Scripture has to say about the comprehensive, every-aspect-of-your-personhood altering nature of sin would ever think that anyone could muster enough motivation and strength to rise to God’s standard of perfection. The thought that any fallen human being would be able to perform his or her way into acceptance with God has to be the most insane of all delusions. Yet we all tend to think that we are more righteous than we are, and when we think this, we have taken the first step to embracing the delusion that maybe we’re not so bad in God’s eyes after all.”   Paul Tripp

  1. You better pray everyday
  2. You better read your Bible every day.
  3. You better join the choir, teach Sunday school, be a missionary, or do some kind of ministry.
  4. You better tithe.
  5. You better be at Church every time the door was open. (This one was easy because my Dad was a Pastor.)

 So, if you are out there trying to earn your way into relationship with God it is a burden that you need not carry and when you realize this Truth it is actually a relief. Then you can start to actually do and say the things that please God by letting His Spirit live in you.

It can be a rough ride and not a pretty sight, but Jesus did not come and die for us because it was comfortable or pretty. He did it because he understood and still understands that it is HE who brings life from sin and death, and it is Jesus in you that will produce “good works and fruit.”

Your behavior will change because Jesus transforms our hearts and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, the hands serve, and the love overflows. I know, because I spent years trying to be good enough and failed and then as I lay all of that down I began to change.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Three words…

…all civilizations, and ages both on earth and heaven hinges on them
…they profoundly transform those who hear, say, and believe them
…they annihilate shame, guilt, burden, loneliness,depression, and death
…they provide supernatural joy, freedom, and hope
…they expose and destroy all lies, suffering, and evil
…they hold all the mysteries of creation, time, and purpose
…they drag “lies” kicking and screaming into the light and banish darkness
…they wreak havoc on all evil authority and authenticity
…they redefine success and sincerity and sacrifice
…they are immediately understood and leave their mark when spoken
…they hold in their meaning all beginnings and endings
Three words…
“He is Risen”

These words of prayer…

The bowels of the earth are thundering.

There is no longer safety in the past. There never was.

These words of prayer are for God. I know they please Him.

“…on earth as it is in heaven…”

There is only strength to take one moment at a time.

“…give us this day our daily bread…

We have been caught unaware of fragility like a vapor in the mist.

My shield of Faith feels like a furnace because all the earth is on fire and no water to be found.

Yet I am keenly aware of the scent of flowers, grass, and dirt.

“… deliver us from evil…”

…for thine is the glory forever and ever…”

God does not slumber. Jesus is Risen. His Love never fails.

Amen.

That place where we bleed

Photo by Lum3n

It is an early morning rain

blue crystals falling from the sky

Oh all the words won’t come my way

the search for them makes me high

I saw you sleeping in the candle light

coming round to that place where we bleed

Oh all your thoughts won’t come my way

each idea planted like a row of seeds

It is an early morning rain

a symphony falling from the sky

Oh all the dance steps are ours

or at least to give a try.

They Only Hear the Pretty Notes

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger

These children in my heart take my breath away.

So warm and wild in joyful play.

So strong yet gentle, with cheeks the color of the rose.

They only hear the pretty notes.

These days together are short and tender

I just smile up to heaven and surrender,

Then breathlessly, I hear all the pretty notes…

Looking for the pretty notes…

brass classic classical music close up

Photo by Pixabay

Looking for the pretty notes I strain my ear to hear

that melody of Holy song telling me you are near.

No minor chords of sad goodbye or Sin’s death and decay.

No more lies and darkened skies to distort my journeys way.

I listen for the harmony of your singing clear and sweet

The pretty notes of your presence your love song on repeat…

Early on We are taught…

boy jumping near sprinkler

Photo by Johan Bos

 

Early on we are taught 

Time is all we’ve got

and then we learn it’s not…

 

Grief comes to call

at some point

for us all, it’s true…

 

In the bubble of our backyard

we grow not knowing fear, it’s true

Dad is a super hero, Mom is always near…

 

Now we know those still waters 

let us grow, it’s true

no one can take that love from you.

 

Now we are old

and we know Time is brief 

like melting snow and falling leaves…

 

In the meaning of it all

we learn Time means nothing at all

It is  love that is never small, it’s true

There is nothing folded or any pockets left to hide anything…(This is what being a Nurse means…)

persons hands with rainbow colors

Photo by cottonbro

There is nothing folded or any pockets left to hide anything. There are no possessions, no promise to keep, and no clever things to say. There are no lies to tell, no more pressure of failure or success. There is no need to pursue happiness and accolades. There are no more bills to pay or money to spend. There is nothing clever to be said.

This man and I are alone in his hospital room. We are humans here together. I am the last person he saw. I am the last one to hold this hand that is already losing its warmth. This hand that held his sweetheart, his children, and grandchildren. This hand that worked diligently at a job and perhaps lost touch on his journey.

In this moment I feel his joys and sorrows as one human to another. I have the privilege to hold for just a brief moment the connection of the mystery that we both have lived, and dreamed in both the laughing and the weeping.

I am the one who will gently wash away the smell of sickness. I will  tenderly prepare this human body for final rest as if he were my loved one because the Truth is we are brother and sister in the family of “us.” All of us who are called humans. I will make sure he looks his best for his loved ones who are on their way here in mourning, and just for ” the blink of an eye”  I will hold this other human’s unknown secrets, dreams, and love for the cherished treasures they are. I will be a better person having done so.

I whisper a prayer to The One who gives life and who defeated death and give thanks that two complete strangers can be so completely united for a single moment.

This is what being a Nurse means…