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

Lose It

 

man and woman boat rowing in sea during golden hour

Photo by Sebastian Voortman

They were each alone and tired of talking.

She remembered when she thought she told the Truth.

Then she grew up and knew it an impossibility for the corruptable man.

Yet their longing made them bolder and  knit them together.

It is a risk you choose, even if it means you lose everything else.

Like The Master said, “you must lose your life to save it.”

 

 

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!

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drift off into the opioid of sabotage…

 

grey cliff beside ocean

Photo by Simon Clayton

Do not let me go to sleep and drift off into the opioid of sabotage

Sin and persistent failures a cunning addiction 

I grow weary of all the brutal truth of how one must guard the deep longing of their heart

For I wander high upon the cliff and the sea glistens enchanted below

I envy your assurance but  find mine for my self

Though I am anxious to arrive I wish the journey to an end

A silence I cannot hear whispers of  the Living Water where there are no dangers hidden

 

“…if you would ask him he would give you living water…(John 4:10)

 

 

 

 

 

I Know…

 

aerial photo of boat on sea

Photo by Pok Rie

 

I was not your faithful friend

I was not truthful, no

I am not the best daughter, sister, wife, or mother

But I know The One who is all I have not been

 

The One who is a kind and faithful friend

The One who always tells the Truth, yes

The One who is the best in me that I cannot be

The One who’s is all I have not been

 

So when you think of how I let you down

And remember the times I did not live in truth

I want you to know that I know

Jesus is The One who is all I have not been

I wish our story was prettier than it is…

 

white and blue horse carousel

Photo by V gtrei

You took the hammer and rang the bell

Won me a stuffed animal with a cotton candy smell

but I dropped the dream and walked away

there was just no more games I wanted to play

 

I wish  our story was prettier than it is

I stared for days at that Ferris wheel

no carnival or a carousel  left to ride with you

at least I finally saw the Truth

 

You took the hammer and rang the bell

you said it isn’t working out so well

I wish there was prettier story to tell

like all the  horses on the carousel

 

 

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