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

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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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the mourning is in the small connections to ordinary things

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The mourning is in the small connections to ordinary things. The smell of her hand cream and her talcum powder…

The crinkle of his skin in the corner of his gray-blue eyes when he smiles. The silly songs he  sang to wake me up each morning and the silly nicknames he called us to show His love…

The struggle, the grief, the mourning  is not between ourselves and others. It is within ourselves and lay between the longing in our souls and that which is ordained by God himself…

Between the body and its desire and between the mind and its necessary vital need of renewal…

These connections are learned at a very young age, as a babe already knows the scent of his mother and the lower tones in  her father’s  voice …So it is that these ordinary simple connections… are in reality the sound of Joy’s voice  like a warm spring rain…

These are the gentle paths of mourning that ease us into grief. There is no fear in mourning for it is a connection to our Maker…there is no fear or reason to “get rid” of grief.  For without the mourning there is no comfort. Without the sorrow there is no relationship and without grief there is no Joy.

 

 

 

The Lover of My Soul…a tribute to my sweet Mother who has gone to be with the Lord…this is what she taught me all of my life…I love you Mom and will see you again in God’s perfect timing…

 

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I lift my eyes
from all that is broken
from the ashes of idols
from lies that are spoken

I lift my eyes 
from this earthen vessel
from unanswered questions
from the unfulfilling morsels

I lift my eyes
the window of my soul
to the heaven’s Creator
to The One who has control

I lift my eyes
where my Faith will be made sight
at His appearing I will see
The Defender and Lover of my soul
has His eyes on me

New Agony

brown wooden armchair on brown wooden floor

Photo by Marcelo Jaboo

I thought I had known agony

least ways had tasted its edges

but now tasting it fully

it uproots my  heart as it dredges

 

This is a new agony

one more step off the cliff

Did I think Death not an enemy

how mortal is my wish?

 

There are events we must do alone

this loss cannot be shared

Yet in the middle of the night I wept

when I felt your Presence there

A handful of words you say…

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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…”

Shadow Boxer

…and when I looked I saw you Oh Beauty! The Cherubim hovering above the Holy High God’s throne. Your total attention on the Holy Wisdom God himself imparted to you so that you could impart his will to the Celestial Armies…then for a millisecond your eyes darted away…your royal beauty reflected in your armor of precious gems and gold…No longer were you worshipping God but yourself, oh Lucifer why? Why did you let your created beauty and access to Godly Wisdom deceive you? All created beings are worshippers but only of The Holy One who is right, true, and just…so you and those you deceived were cast out forever! Your beauty is decay. Your wisdom is a lie…now you roam this earth seeking whom you may devour but you have been exposed to us by the power of the Cross of Jesus Christ, the Resurrected King of Glory!

 

Shadow Boxer

glitters like gold!

Shapeshifter lies

have all been told!

His candy is poison

but sure taste sweet!

He shadow boxes

down on Deception Street!

Shadow Boxer betrays

with silver, he stole!

His beauty hides his

evil lust for control!

oh your fall from the heavens

like a burning star

shook the deep of this earth

what a falling was there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Beating Heart

i hate nothing about you with red heart light

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

 

At times my heart is like a quivering bird in this cage of Flesh and bone

I know it will not withstand such a relentless seige

 

At times my heart is like a big bass drum

I know it will strike strong with the rhythm and the beat!

 

It feels as if I am dying and I cannot stay the course

Then it feels as if I am a warrior crying out “all is victorious!”

 

Some say this is a fickle heart but I know this is not true

For I know this heart in me comes from the heart in you!

 

 

 

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

 

The Devil Came to Cuba

 

antique automobile automotive car

Photo by Pixabay

Blue crystal deepest ocean

Hot sun high in the sky

The devil came to Cuba

Had to run or die

 

You came seeking refuge

The way so unclear

Fighting hard for freedom

You let me see the years

 

We are old and wise now

We cannot count the “ifs”

I still hear your Latin song

And taste Cuba on my lips

A Gift from High School…

1975

I met a young sweet boy in high school. He was trying to find his way to manhood with a heart so kind and fragile. I, as well, had no idea how to handle the heart of anyone. I desired to be careful yet there is an “innocent ignorance” of youth that is just brutal…
This boy thought that I was unattainable as he watched me from afar laughing with other boys… Oh the angst of those lovely awful years of high school! None of us can know the “power” we have to hurt others…I certainly didn’t.

I liked high school for mostly social reasons. Academically I was only interested in English Lit, and writing with a little bit of interest in history. I suppose I was a “cool kid” in the world of “labels” that befall us in high school. However I was terrified of being a fake. I will never forget one of my classmates who could cut you deeply with his wit…he reminded us almost all of the time that we were ALL fake! I just love that he did that. (Thank you Bill)

One day the sweet boy waited for me after school and asked if he could give me a ride in his car. I said yes and his face turned red. At the time I had no idea how much courage that took but I understand it now. After all the possibility of rejection drives the human soul to craziness.

Now it is some forty years later but I have never forgotten that gentle boy…he went his way and made his life. He is a man now. A good man. I knew he would be…and even now I will smile when I remember what he said to me one day…”you are beautiful inside and out”…such few words yet having a major impact. I took those words with me from that day. I have tried to live up to them and failed many times. It made me want to be a better person…it still makes me want to be better…Thank you sweet boy…I remember…

“now to see things clear is hard enough I know while you’re waiting for reality to show…but when you have a real friend somewhere it makes all the others so much easier to bear…” Jackson Browne