Hope Remains, is my story

red lighted candle

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

 

 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

 

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

 

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

She Offers Perfect Praise… “unless you come as a child you will not know the kingdom of heaven…”

A child is not aware of her dependence on another. She simply trust that it will be done and gives her praise to God in unsolicited ways. Like the sunflower she moves through her day always facing the sun.

She praises God with belly laughs and silly songs never doubting that he will not be delighted with her. She praises by folding her little hands to pray. She praises by dancing for all the world to see. She praises by clapping for herself when she accomplishes a task. She praises with her tears when she is hurt and loving arms reach for her. She praises when she jumps into her daddy’s arms trusting that he will always catch her. She praises when she hangs on to her Mommy’s hand when she is unsure of what is occurring.

She is unencumbered of what things cost or ashamed of anything because she Trusts The Holy One who has shown himself to her in the rainbow and in the leaves and in the pretty rocks she picks up all along her walks with her Mama.

And all of the heavenly host rejoice with her!

“In all honesty I find myself to be a bit of a lapser… “

Photo by Ibrahim Asad

Like Einstein, I believe imagination just might be more important than knowledge. I am actually sure of it…

“In all honesty I find myself to be a bit of a “lapser”, the old lady said to me as we sat on the park bench. She laughed a hearty belly laugh and continued, “I lapse into doubt that I will make it to tomorrow and then I lapse into desperate hope that I will! See that vivid color blue of the sky today? I thought it was a question but she went right on talking… that is the color of the sky when there are no doubts and everything is crystal clear to me. That is what I call God’s blue. I know without a doubt how to live a life of purpose and kindness. Oh how I love God’s blue!”

My heart was warmed by the assurance that I had just happened to sit down on a park bench next to the right person. “I have lapses too I said, lapses in “How” to live well, I commented. The old woman did not laugh at me but sat there pensive. I figured at that point she would cast me away as crazy and take quick leave of our bench. She did not leave however and it wasn’t until years later I realized she could not leave because she knew me. She was at the end of her pilgrimage and she knew she was sent to that bench just for me. I now want to sit on the bench in the park for other pilgrims if I get the chance.

She began to speak of many things, deep things, funny things, horrible things and I listened hard. She shared how when Day’s sky was a gray-blue those were the days when she knew God was covering her with his Almighty protective wing. She said when there were many obstacles like clouds and winds in the sky that she realized the passing of time and the briskly moving clouds were a reminder every minute is a treasure. Then she said the colors of a Sunset sky were evidence of God’s love of relationships where all colors are mingled together to show His brilliance and to remind us that each of us is a different and known color to Him. These analogies went on for hours and I cannot do her wisdom justice with mere words. She painted with words like a Master.

The night sky she said is not to be feared because it is ordained to us for the purpose of rest, health, growth, and tears. The moon she said is a reminder that even though the “lesser” light rules the night it is no less light. The “dark” is the constant reminder that God does not slumber when we do. She said the moonless, dark sky is the hardest one because you have to believe in the light even when you cannot see it.

As the sun began to set all the colors of creation appeared and the old lady and I sat in silence in God’s Cathedral and worshipped Him, the Creator and all of his magnificent skies. As we parted the old lady took my hand and she put it to her soft crepe paper cheek. She said, “the next time you “Lapse” into a “how to do life well” simply look up and God’s blue will guide you and give you all the answer you need.

I do it every day.

Due to Bad Weather…

Photo by Magda Ehlers

So I am sitting in the Detroit airport waiting for a late flight, due to bad weather and a plane pulls up…everyone gradually looks around, they get up and walk to the observation window…low and behold a military escort marches out into the rainy, ice cold apron and then off the plane comes a casket and a family…all of us in the window stand reverently and then a young man in uniform salutes…some people put their hand over their heart as it dawns on each of us what we are witnessing..some begin to shed tears…this person who has served their country is coming home…there are no news cameras, no horns blowing…we don’t know their name or their family but all of us mourn…all of us are relieved it isn’t our son or daughter, brother, sister, mom, or dad…all of us wish the story would be different…a somber blanket lay over this small band of witnesses to something so private yet so universal…I bow my head and pray for the family…pray for my family who lives in freedom…pray for my country that she might be healed…as the casket is loaded into the hearse the crowd begins to spread out and I hear a little three year old girl say, “Daddy, can we get some candy now?”…the Dad picks her up and hugs her close…he cannot speak…I walk away and ask God to forgive me for complaining earlier about the weather…

Nine Months B.C.

They think they know me…I walk among them and they turn their eyes away. Most of them want to see me stoned to death but Joseph has stepped up to save me. Even my father and mother doubt me. Some say I am a lunatic or have devils in me.
I am ten and four years. I am a daughter of Abraham, a Hebrew girl. I was born, have lived and will die in this patriarchal world. I am to make a good wife and mother. I want to do that with all of my heart.
I have known trembling fear these last few months and yet I have had an unworldly peace in my soul. I really cannot explain it but my Faith in the integrity of my God is so very real to me. I know that God is good. I know that He loves people. I know he created all things and he loves and does not lie. I know that he is just and gives life…this has sustained me. I cry out to Him most nights when all are asleep and I am alone. I cry to him that I don’t understand this miracle that has taken place and that I am so frightened at times that my legs buckle underneath the weight of it. Then I hear His voice and there is peace…I cannot explain it. What lies ahead only God knows…

Year 33 A.D.

This last year has been both glorious and a torment. He had to go. I had known some of what He was to do but did not really comprehend the complete and utter sorrow of it. I was not prepared for the crucifixion. How can anyone be prepare for that? My son, God’s son – so loved yet hated, so gentle yet a stumbling block, murdered they say but I know He gave his own life by his own volition. I was there. A part of me died that day as well. I begged Him to call down the heaven’s army, to save himself…oh yes I did that. Do you think me less holy now? I wanted him to use his God-ness and kill them all! Of course, part of me understood on some level what He was here to do. I had a lifetime to learn of it but when it came to the reality of it I was his Mother and he was my son…A son who stepped down from being God to become my child…of course people think it is all insanity and I can understand that they would but if they met him, if they listened to him and saw his compassion they would be changed by him. That day at the Cross there was SO MUCH blood as if it flowed for all the people of all the world. I realize now that is exactly what was happening! 
So much pain and loss but he kept his word and rose from the grave on the third day as he said he would…Oh my heart was so full when I saw him. I knew then I could go on and when he ascended I knew I would see him again when I die.
He has saved the nations, even Gentiles! Can you imagine?

Now, people try to exalt me and some try to worship me. I run from them. They think they know me but they do not. I will have no worship of me. Jesus is my Savior and my King and He alone is to be worshiped. This I know beyond a doubt…
I must live on until my time comes to go to the temporary grave. I must live with the thought that they may still come for me and imprison me or kill me but it will not stop the message of Jesus…
In so many ways I still am that young child who became the mother of God in the flesh. I pray that no one ever thinks of me as Holy outside of the blood of that same Jesus that makes them Holy…I am full of failures and achievements like everyone else. I have had great joy and have been broken and insane with sorrow…and I am still simply a woman who has Faith in the Integrity of my God!

“Let it me done unto me as you have said…my soul still magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…”