“You cannot find the way of the Cross. Jesus must lead you there…” Martin Luther

mountains nature arrow guide

Photo by Jens Johnsson

Oswald Chambers says “The Cross of Jesus Christ was the greatest and most profound collision of God and Sin”. In my sixty-three years of life I am still often astounded how I cannot grasp all that The Cross of Jesus means to those who choose to follow him. For you see it is a choice. Jesus never pushes himself on people because He knows that to be his follower there will be a cost.

In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book, Meditations on The Cross, I found myself pierced in the heart at my lack of true discipleship. Oh, make no mistake I am a born again child of God, regenerated and adopted into the family of God through Jesus’ blood shed for me however, having knowledge of that and thoughts and plans of my own on how that should go and how that should look I am learning to abandon.

In Bonhoeffer’s book he quotes Martin Luther and this quote absolutely “gutted” my spirit and has also transformed my idea of what following and obeying Christ means…I really don’t have the words to express what I have realized.

The Martin Luther quote, “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.”

“So, this Great Collision between God and Sin, this collision absorbed by the heart of God is what the Cross of Jesus is. The world shook, the foundation of hell and death were defeated forever.”  Oswald Chambers

 

What the Cross is NOT is an act of martyrdom, in the sense that there is no “defeat” on Jesus’ cross. Only victory with the greatest price paid that eternity past, present, and future has ever known. The Cross is the central event in time and eternity, and the answer to all the questions of both. Nor is the Cross of Jesus something that “happened” to Jesus. He came for this exact purpose when he made His covenant between the three persons of the Godhead to become flesh and dwell among us.

Oswald Chambers says, “The Cross of Jesus is not “a” gift from God rather it is THE Gift from God! The Cross of Jesus is the literal act of God’s Holy judgment on Sin.”  Most Christians are familiar with these words but I tell you when I pondered on Martin Luther’s quote above regarding Jesus leading me like a blind person to His Cross, bearing my own cross of sin, selfishness, and vain knowledge I was undone!

In an ongoing study but now a  conclusion to this small putting together of words that cannot satisfy what I am trying to say,  The Cross is not the horrible end of a pious life, but stands rather at the beginning of community with Jesus Christ. Every call of Christ leads to death of self with the promise of eternal life in Him. You cannot know the way of the cross. I cannot make myself a disciple of Christ with my own knowledge, my own pursuits. It is only in following Jesus to His Cross that we will know the “Power of His resurrection” and eternal life. Lift up the mighty shield of faith for there are battles daily in this world but Jesus the God/man Redeemer of all is leading the way!

 

Oh what a Collision of God and Sin, my sin happened on the Cross of Jesus. The Cross of God. Oh my soul rejoice for the Joy of my Salvation has been restored!

 

(Credit to Oswald Chambers and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther, and the Holy Bible.)

 

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Axe to the Tree

 

cut a tree fell a tree ax axe

Photo by Tookapic

when Life is not always

a merry Tale

or Thunder makes war

from east to west…

 

when Day leads to 

a comfortless Night

or Evil and danger bring

your Soul to unrest…

 

put an Axe to the Tree

of all things hidden

keep your Sword always drawn

and sharpened…

 

let the Fair and the Fresh

be your Dream

never forget the High King

of Heaven…

“I got my meanness from the gutter and my kindness from God…

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He said, “I get my meanness from the gutter and I get my kindness from God.” I sat down under the bridge with him and I said, “I think I could say the same.” He looked at me square in the eyes and I could see he was surprised by my response. He said, “You don’t look like you know much about the gutter.”

I smiled and said “looks can be deceiving don’t ya know?” Then he laughed. The sound of his laughter was one that made me smile. His laughter was like a nine month old baby’s belly laugh. The kind of laughter where nothing is held back and a sweetness of joy rings from it. I told him I had not laughed like that in ages and he said, “Oh you can only laugh like that when Fury and Thunder have cracked your soul and all the dark places have been opened up and cleaned out and all the pieces are strewn about and you cannot put them back together by yourself. I call it reconcilable purity. This laughter only occurs when you have lost your life to save it and when you were first but now you are last…”

I sat there in sober silence but something inside of me begin to tremble. “Who are you?” I whispered. He said, “I am just an old man who has been given a new heart and all day long I just like to go around and give my heart and life away to whoever might need it for a minute or two so that they can go about their day with some pure laughter…” The gorged veined, brown spotted hands palmed my face and the old man looked me in the eye and he said, “Go and be, not do. Go laugh and cry. Go and give your life away for someone else and you will see. You will laugh the laugh of “reconcilable purity.”

Beginning of Wisdom

gray concrete post tunnel

Photo by James Wheeler

I am a ruin, only pieces of me stand.

I was a fool and knew only nonsense

yet he levels the mountains before me

and cuts through my chains.

 

He make fools of false teachers

and keeps His promises.

His foundation is laid, it is His Son.

 

In my secret place He stores his riches

and gives me a name of honor.

Rejoice in the ruin that stand restored.

 

Inspired by the prophet Isaiah

I dance on the ledge that is way too high…

woman standing by one foot and holding flare stick near trees

Photo by Wellington Cunhao

When I wanted to dance on that ledge that was way to high

when I was a foolish naive woman child

You did not judge me rather you told me to try

when the summer storm cleared the sky I cried

 

I cried because I made mistakes and had deep wounds to show

I cried because I grieved the things that had ravaged my soul

I cried because I am grateful that you never let me go

You said whenever you are ready I will take you home…

and never more will you cry…

 

I still dance on high ledges because life is a thrill

I cherish my wisdom and my fine woman skills

I gladly now bow to you my Lord and King

So whenever you are ready my heart will take wing…

and I will be home with you…

 

The Lillies of the field sing for me

The waves of the sea are my dance

The stars in the heavens are my guiding light

As I dance on the ledge that is way too high!

 

 

 

No Shadows can fall where there is only light

silhouette of person in green grass under the sun during daytime

Photo by Pixabay

 

Standing here under the brightest moon

I sense your presence like a cozy room

I feel your holy antiquity yet you make all things new

and now traveling North is true

 

 

I look over my shoulder at the past

and it is vanquished forever into long lost night

It never was what mattered to you at last

and no shadows can fall where there is only light

 

The Key Hole

antique close up door iron

Photo by Lukasz Dziegel

Peeping through the key hole in someone else’s dream

I thought I saw the answers to the meaning of deep things

There was no life-size rabbit or a balded man named Oz

There was simply Light blazing brighter than the sun

The Son, He is the King with lovers all around him

He cried, “everyone is welcome” but some people would not have him

Then once the door was open the King said, “Please come in”

His loving arms enveloped me can I sing that song again?

 

On either side of Him stood two beings…

silhouette of person s hand touching water during sunset

Photo by Emre Kuzu

His face sparkled like a multi-faceted diamond. A face that blazed like the sun yet different. A pure white light with flashes of blue, silver, and gold. It hurt my eyes so badly to look at Him but I could not, would not turn my face away. I did not care if I went blind. This face is the One I’d been waiting to see all of my life. His face was all I could look at as if in a trance; like when starting a fire in the Old World. Mesmerizing doesn’t begin to describe it. The blaze was so bright that I could not see anything of His other features at all.

On either side of Him stood two beings, they were a coll alabaster white, not bright white, not shining in any way but pure and cool looking. They each stood facing Him never moving their face from His. They did not speak. They were powerful creatures, I could tell, they were strong and sure of their purpose. They were creatures with a human face that I could recognize and at least seven feet tall and had wings that were about six feet tall and four feet in width. Each feather gently folded into the next. Once for just a second I saw their feathers slightly ruffle from top to bottom and could see these were strong wings. Wings that never faltered  when they flew or fought in a battle or stood at attention. I was afraid.

I was so afraid that my legs could no longer hold me. I was eager to kneel down. It felt good to kneel before Him because in the Old World with decaying knee joints I could no longer kneel in His presence. All the while my eyes were burning severely from His brightness. I felt strong in the kneeling as if I, like the two creatures, am created for this very thing.

Then the most incredible thing happened…He knelt down on His knees too and when He did it was the face I knew it would be. His face. The face of softness and kindness. The face of antiquity yet new and fresh. His eyes were not like our eyes. His eyes were not blue, brown, green, or hazel or gray or any of those colors…they were simply Light.

He took his hand and palmed my cheek and spoke to me. The words he spoke I will not share with anyone ever. They were words just between us. Words I had thirsted for since I was formed in my Mother’s womb by my Father’s sinful Adam’s seed. They were words beyond redeeming love, words of My Story with Him, of understanding with healing and further instruction of what is to come. They were words I had never heard spoken before, another language if you will. They were Peace and oh what joy did flood my soul.

At that moment the same blazing light that came from Him entered into me and my eyes no longer burned at all. My sight was inconceivably and brilliantly clear. I belonged there with Him…every “longing” I had ever known in my Eternal Life and even before in the Dead Life stood right there in front of me. Each one of them actually existed before my eyes and each one was finally satiated beyond measure. He smiled at me and pulled me up from my knees and that is when I felt the scars in His hands. Those beautiful wounded hands took mine and we walked among my life, my dreams. As He held my hand in His I knew I would never have to be separated from Him again.

He said, “let’s walk along the place you loved the most in the Old World.”

Gently without fanfare or fear I heard that beautiful love song of waves washing upon the shore. The smell of salt water and life teemed all around me. There was no stench of dead sea life or decay of any kind just the scent of cleanness. The colors of the water was too wonderful for words. Again, I want to keep this precious moment private…this was our beach, just His and mine. We stayed there and looked for shell and other jewels that were of a beauty and colors I have never seen. We waded into the water and even though it was Ocean water we could drink it and it tasted sweet beyond honey. We picked some living anemone flowers and held them and then put them back unscathed into the water. They swam around His feet as if to love on Him. Oh it is a glorious place We sat down in the sand as white and soft as a cloud and we held hands and rested…

 

 

Catching Sparks

abstract art blaze bonfire

Photo by Pixabay

I put my mind on pause till midnight moon rise

I get hysterically reverent when the church bells chime

 

Painted soft flames of love lick around my  heart

The shadow of a poet’s she’s only catching sparks

 

I want to sleep deeply in a minor key

Need the old emerald sea washing over me

 

Sprinkles of  “should haves” drop into the sand

A seeker, a woman just had to love that man

 

Catching sparks, clear as star fire

Catching sparks of loving kindness

Catching sparks like glowing fireflies

Catching sparks till I close my eyes

 

A handful of words you say…

belief bible book business

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I am a writer. Writers love to read other writers. I can only speak for myself but I like to read to see if I can find that author who has written something I have never read before. I have always been an adroit reader and have read profound words but honestly they have been said before. I have read deeply meaningful stories but they have been told before because we know, according to The Preacher, that there is “nothing new under the sun.”

But what if, what if someone’s words drive a stake into the ground right where you are standing? Or what if someone’s story breaks the chains of your heart and your own story comes to life?

That is the treasure hunt for me. The words, the expressions, the Truth, and the lies…like looking for sea shells for hours and hours and days and days seeing each one as beautifully written. The broken shells, the beautifully colored ones, the plain ones, the big ones, the little ones…all treasures.
In the end of it all I still come back to the most profound words I have ever read and these words DO drive a stake into the earth where I am standing and they DO keep me grounded and rooted in the life I have been given. This author is the only One who has broken the chains of my heart and allowed my own story to come to life…

Just a handful of words you say…yea and what a handful of words they are!

“I am the light of the world. I am the bread of life. I am the Resurrection and the Life. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I am the door of the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd. I am the True Vine. If you have seen Me then you have seen the Father. I am the Alpha and Omega. I am the Lamb that was slain. I go to prepare a place for you so that where I am you may be there also…”