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 up 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecclesiates

brown book page

Photo by Wendy van Zyl 

 

There are no new words that I can write

No way to change the world tonight

I can feel a sadness coming round again

Trying to take me someplace I’ve already been

 

I am just calling it what it is

The way God made me, I am a child of His

When loneliness visits and friends don’t call

It is best not to compromise the Truth at all

 

Contentment is not happy and sad is not depressed

I’m still so far from wisdom, always was I guess

This melancholy often drives me to my knees

It is just the way God made me, I am a child of His

The emptiness of my conceit and arrogance…

photo of river during daytime

Photo by Ionut Cerchia

 

As I sat in the still and In the mess

In the emptiness of my own conceit and arrogance

The old man with white hair said,

“these are your thorns to bear…”

 

When the only free person in the room

Is the one who is in chains

Then it is time to look at what man calls “justice”

Pontius Pilate could not deny his claims

 

It is in vulnerability that God’s Grace comes

It is in the mourning that the Grief is fulfilled

It is in the freedom of Truth that I want to run

It is in humility that true courage is spilled

 

 

I was flayed open with a razor sharp knife

silhouette of girl during evening

Photo by luizclas

He was the only one there in that dark still night

I was flayed open with a razor sharp knife

He said are you ready to rise from the dead?

Through sobs and his blood yes was all I said

 

He said I am the love you are counting on

I am the only One when all  others are gone

I am the one who carries you when you fall

Through doubts and sorrow I’ve paid it all

 

He is the one who  gave His all for me

He fought for me to the bloody end

And on that day when He rose again

He said I am all I have ever been

 

He held me there as life seeped in

He is everything no one else has been

He is my champion, teacher, Redeemer, and friend

He is the one I will count on until the end

 

 

 

 

 

The coldest nights are God’s mercy (survival is fear based and slides into dying)

cold dark eerie environment

Photo by Pixabay 

It is the coldest night in years

The heavens in the sky so clear

The burden on her back slid off her shoulders

She thought,  I must lay down this boulder…

 

It is  time the voice said, there is no more to do

I want you to leave this burden here tonight

Survival is fear based and slides into dying

Thriving mercy comes from Me the voice cried…

 

She lay down on the cold ground shivering

When she woke a spring morning shining

She looked around with a pounding in her mind

And the boulder was no where in sight…

 

 

Not even scorpions will inhabit the desolate Judean desert…

 

flight pigeon twig

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Just declared to be God’s only Son. The voice and the dove announced it to the world. Driven straight out by God’s Spirit to the wilderness of Judea where not even scorpions will  live…

No food or water upon these forty days. He who is announced and ordained now lay weak, trembling near death only to now be approached by Satan…

Satan, the shining one come to accuse The Word of God. If you are the Son of God??? Compared to Eden the destruction of the Second Adam seems it might be an easy victory…

 

Fear is a wilderness where the devil runs around

He tempted Jesus there now he wants to take me down

Fear is a wilderness where death creeps up on trust

The water is polluted, hope turns into dust

Fear is a wilderness where Jesus walked alone

Oh but The King of Ages left the wilderness undone!

 

Jesus never once defended his identity or Godly position. He knew that Satan knew it well. For even Satan and all his demons tremble at His name. He the Second Adam would destroy all death and hell! For the living Word is his name and his Word is more powerful than any two edged sword!

 

“Death begins with bad feet…”

man wearing military uniform and walking through woods

Photo by Specna Arms

The older experienced soldier watched as twenty new young men were milling about the base. He knew they had no clue what they were in for. The Korean “police action” at the 38th parallel between South Korea supported by the  United Nations  (largely the United States of America) against North Korea supported by China and The Soviet Union. The older soldier was still recovering from the unexpected and brutal Battle at Naktong River. That is where his best buddy’s feet went bad. The wet boots along with pouring down rain never allowed much time for drying out. His buddy didn’t even try to get his feet dry and by the time the battle ended his feet were black. Three weeks later he was dead. The Koreans have a saying, “death begins with bad feet.”

My take away from this wisdom is that I have learned to pay attention to where my feet are walking on this journey of life. The small things. My feet get soggy with the cares of the material world of what people think of me. According to scripture we are in spiritual warfare as believers who follow Christ…

For the follower of Christ Jesus  we are taught to put on the armour of God for the daily warfare with an evil , fallen world. Part of that armour described in Ephesians 6 encourages us to Shod our feet with the Gospel, the Good News that the Savior of the world has come.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation…Isaiah 52:7

 

Kneeling at the idols of burning dreams…

man kneeling in front of cross

Photo by Pixabay 

No I didn’t worship as the pagans do or did I? That realization was a rude awakening for a girl raised in the knowledge of Christ and the Bible. Hey, those false, other gods had nothing to do with me or did/do they?

I have always been curious and believe I now know why John the Apostle wrote in the last verse of his book “children, be aware of idols.”

I have read and read that Gospel of John’s and that verse always convicted me.

After bowing down to man made works (supposedly for God), after walking many miles in my journey with Jesus I have come to know that everything and everyone put before God in my life is an idol. Sounds simple yes but it is gut wrenching because my idols come in the love of grandchildren, love of admiration, love of being right, love of caring for the sick, the love of (fill in the blank)…

As a young woman I believe my idols were rooted in the identity given me by birth. Later I believe my idols were turned to the insecurity of fitting in so I would do what everyone else was doing. Just to fit in. I could list them all but the one in my older years that finally got my spiritual attention like no other was when my first grandchild was born. Oh how God has lavished his love upon those of us who are given grandchildren!  It is a good reward undeserved but  I began to put that love above everyone and everything. I didn’t even realize how deep I had waded into that “good” idolatry.

But God… in his purity and fury thundered through to me one sleepless night as I was telling him that he felt so distant lately. I had taken a gift of Joy and great love and delight and turned it in to a god!

How could that be I said? I am following you Lord. I felt His Spirit say, “if you follow me then you must put no other gods before me…”

So I knelt down before my Lord had one of those snot slinging, sobbing moments of repentance…

Paul wrote, “for what do you have that you did not receive? If you received it then how can you boast about anything?” 1 Corinthians 4:7

 

“…but what comes to you contrary to your choosing, thinking, desiring, that is where you must follow, there He is calling.”

woman with yellow backpack standing on hanging bridge with trees

Photo by Josh Willink 

For many years I have tried to manage Christian “doctrine” and the “Truth of Jesus and His Cross.”  I write about this a lot because following Jesus Christ and being used by Jesus Christ to further his Kingdom has been the greatest longing in my life. I was basically and literally born into it. I am more than grateful for my raising, even the hardest parts where I learned what a mess I am.

I say this because while my deepest and strongest desire in this world is to be a disciple of Jesus I am now in my sixth decade and feel I am just beginning to understand what that means.

It is really quite simple. Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we could be put “in right relationship with God.” Which is marvelous in and of itself however God’s plan is to put the whole world right as well. Not just you and me. Salvation is NOT just me and my loved ones but ALL the people in ALL the world. 

This  has been quite diluted in the Church since  the moment Jesus ascended. This Revolution Jesus started on the Cross, this most powerful declaration of God’s love for us cannot be reduced to formulas or catchy slogans or politics or religious formulas and traditions. 

Again this quote from Martin Luther says it so much better than I can…

“things must happen NOT according to your own knowledge but rather immerse yourself in the abandonment of understanding and Jesus will give you true understanding. You cannot find the way of the cross. Jesus must lead you there like a blind person. Not the work you chose for yourself, not the sufferings you think up for yourself, but what comes to you contrary to your choosing, thinking, desiring, that is where you must follow, there He is calling. There you are the pupil, there is where your teacher, your Savior has come and is found.”

You see, our LORD has walked this path before us as a human. His Holy Spirit is here walking this path with us, teaching us, guiding us…

As we walk so closely to Jesus, like a blind person. Trusting Him (Jesus) the way He trusted God, our Father, becoming a true disciple is about these things… giving up control, not being my own god…Yes Lord.