Things to Think About

December 2, 2010 at 10:42pm

Here I am again in this place where I have so much to say. The problem is, the words are stuck in my head and when I try to speak them or write them they become a jumbled mess, not at all the thoughts that are so articulate in my mind.  I am convinced that if the world at large hasn’t been swayed by the beautiful and heart-rending epistles of the eye-witnesses, it will not be persuaded by me. I struggle daily with what it REALLY means to love, while Peter, Matthew, and John ate, drank, walked and slept with Perfect Love. The world was turned upside down by them, but the majority of the world would not acknowledge the Truth. We will always be a peculiar people. The true Light of Love will shine in the dark places and those hiding in the dark will scurry for cubbyholes to get away from the Light for it exposes their tyrannies. We are told we are short-sighted, illogical, and that we hate those who are not like us, when the truth is we are very long-sighted (looking at where we, family, friends, and co-workers will spend eternity); logical (for the logical end of wrongdoing is punishment and the logical end of righteousness is reward); full of love (we do not want ANYONE to perish, but for all to have eternal life).

Let’s say I’m coming out of a store into a busy parking lot. A child runs past me headed straight for the lot without seeing a moving car.I reach out and pull him to safety before he is injured or killed. Should I have minded my own business and allowed that child to be hit by the car? Would you have yelled at me, “Keep your freaking hands off my kid! You have NO Right to touch him!” Or would you have said through tears, “Thank you so much! I almost lost my child, but you have given him back to me!” YOU ARE THE CHILD, the parking lot is the world and the car is sin and lies that are being told to you by the adversary. One day a car will come along and run you over. But there are people in the world who are not like the world at all. They want to pull you out of the way of the speeding car, to save your life. But you want to kick, scream, and curse at us and tell us that we have no right to interfere in your business. We have no CHOICE but to tell you that the day is coming, and truly is knocking at the door, when we won’t be able to keep you from being run over. So while there is still time, we can’t for the love of Christ, not tell you of the dangers that lie ahead if you die without Christ in your heart. It is for Love’s sake that we tell you of a Father’s love for you!

It’s Christmas time and you’ve been given a ton of gifts. In your excitement, you have torn through them all and you really like them. But the one thing you had hoped and dreamed for, you did not get. Weeks later, you are putting away the Christmas tree and see a gift that was over-looked. When you pick it up, you realize it has your name on it. You decide since none of the other gifts you opened were the gift you really wanted, you are not going to open this one and be disappointed again. If you never open that gift, it is never truly yours. How do you know it is not what you’ve longed for all your life? So it is with Jesus’ gift of salvation to you. In order for the gift of salvation to truly be yours, you must accept it with your whole heart. He will completely fill that life-long emptiness you’ve carried. He will fulfill your deepest desire. But you’ll never know for sure unless you open the gift.

You haven’t eaten for several days and starvation has set in. I meet you and realize that without intervention you will die from lack of food. So I take you to the best restaurant in town and tell you that you can order anything on the menu, but you refuse to order. I then order what smells and tastes delicious and what your body needs to regain its strength.The waiter sets it before you, yet you still refuse to eat and the next day you die from starvation. So it is with the gift that God has given you through His Son, Jesus. He sees our need and how we are dying in our sins, shows us what we need to do, but we will not take part. Knowing our situation is desperate, He sent His Son to do for us what we can not do for ourselves, yet we refuse to accept His gift of life and we die in our sins. The old adage is true: you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink (even for its own good).

It’s Only Words

When the Lord sets a theme in action, the best thing to do is listen and learn. It is the difference between life without borders and death confined….

A few weeks ago as we were leaving a place we saw someone that caused my husband to have immediate negative reactions in his head and probably in his heart. He didn’t know I saw her and so followed me out the door without passing by her and exchanging words as he said he wanted to. I did see her and I chose to walk a different way to avoid any contact. Thank goodness, that day my reaction was a good one! But we talked about how I have had even more obvious reaction in the past with a different person.

I do not like conflict and will avoid it at all cost. I also do not put on faces well — whatever I am feeling you can read like a book in my entire body language. And I do not dare open my mouth when I am face to face with someone who has angered or hurt me because what is going through my mind will at some point spill out of my mouth. So I do my best to avoid.

Of course, this brings up points of its own: 1. Oh look, she must be guilty since she can’t bear to face that person; 2. I knew she hasn’t forgiven _____________! If she had, she wouldn’t avoid that person. 3. Wow! I thought she was a Christian? She just shunned that person.

The morning after this incident, even before my eyes were fully opened, the Lord reminded me about my positive reaction to the one who causes such strong emotions in me earlier in the week. I was caught off-guard yet, I gave a look of recognition, a quick smile and small wave. I did not wait for nor do I know if any of it was acknowledged. I am simply happy that I’ve made a positive break-through where that person is concerned.

Then I opened FaceBook that morning, here was the first thing I read:
A person who kneels before God can stand before anyone.
Yes, that is where I want to be at all times!

Abba surely had an important message for me because these are the rest of the statuses I read that morning:

Joyce Meyers: I will let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of my mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. — Ephesians 4:29 AMP

Hebrew for Christians: The sages link tzaraat (i.e., spiritual affliction that affects the flesh)with lashon hara (לָשׁוֹן הָרָה), which is defined as saying something bad about another person *even if* it happens to be true. The sages regard this sin as particularly offensive: “Lashon hara is worse than murder. One who murders, murders but one; however, one who speaks lashon hara kills three: the one who speaks it (motzi shem ra), the one who hears it, and the one of whom it is spoken.” This is similar to the sin of “emotional homicide” caused by publicly shaming another.  According to the Talmud, the shamed person’s face is drained of blood and turns white, and therefore humiliation is called halbanat panim, “whitening the face.” Therefore the sages stress shemirat ha-lashon (שְׁמִירַת הַלָּשׁוֹן), the “guarding of the tongue,” as a central virtue of the righteous.

Scott L. Boatner: “Hold my Tongue”

“Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.”(Job 6:24)

Job directed this question at his judgmental, self-righteous friends and they, of course, couldn’t offer a spiritually sound answer. There is not a thing on earth that upsets the self-righteous more than getting a question as an answer to a question. If you read the stories of Jesus you will notice that He used this method to bring light to the subject at hand thus unveiling Truth. God is the only one that can answer Job’s question, which actually should be a prayer to our Heavenly Father, not a question that is really an expression of our own spiritual frustration. If we would be so bold as to use this verse as a cry to our loving Savior, our lives would change. I’m praying this short pray because its the desire of my heart to walk with God. At the risk of sounding juvenile, “I double dog dare you to pray this prayer”. Let the Holy Spirit change us so we, by the power of Jesus, can change the world!!! 
Father, Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred, in Jesus Name, Amen!!

Pastor Rick Warren: God gave us mouths that close, and ears that don’t. What does that tell us? “Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19 If you do the first two, the third is automatic.

After pondering on these things for awhile, I decided I would share them with you. Maybe you are going through something similar and need encouragement to properly deal with the negative emotions you are feeling towards someone. I hope this helps you today.

“Good” Friday

Written March 29, 2013:

Today is the day that every Christian commemorates and memorializes in his heart for had it not been for that day, we would have no reason to hope. The events hit us on every emotional level’ how can a friend betray One whose every word and deed reenforced that He would never leave nor forsake him? How can throngs of people show no mercy toward One whose entire life exuded mercy toward them? How can those in authority have no moral compass within that screamed they were committing a miscarriage of justice against the only One who is truly just? Doesn’t it make you angry? The exceptional cruelty is excruciating to watch (and we still have not seen it as it really was).  All the horrible imagery that surrounds this day — don’t you wish you never had to see it again?

May I always see in my mind and reverence in my heart what Jesus went through on that day, so I will never forget what real, true, selfless love looks like! I can be angry all I want, but my anger can only be turned upon myself because it was for my sin that He endured that day. Soldiers with whips did not drive Him up that hill, and nails did not hold Him to that execution stake. A Father’s love held Him there for my sake.

Oh God — for me. For every single act of defiant, rebellious, stiff-necked, willful, intolerant, hate-filled, adulterous, murderous, mocking act I have ever committed. For every time I have put my ways above Your ways, and for everyone and everything I have shown more honor, regard, and love for over You, the One who lived and died for me — You who made me in Your OWN image. You chose to go through and endure that day so that I would not have to. Hot, angry thoughts turn into a searing and broken heart as the scene of Judas’ betrayal shows my face kissing the One who called me friend. Tears of sadness roll down my face as I hear my voice deny Him with an oath rather than Peter’s. My insides are twisted and crushed as my mind pans the angry crowd and sees my face in a frenzy screaming, “crucify, crucify!” In self-loathing, I see the cat-of-nine-tails in my own hand ripping the flesh from His body and beating the crown of thorns into His brow. In disgust and anguish I see myself driving spikes through His tortured, writhing body. Oh God! It is finished. Surely this Man is the Son of God. What can I do now, for I am doomed….

Thank You, Father, that the Author of my faith is also the Finisher! And it will all be revealed in full early in the morning of the first day of the week! But for now, I must drink this cup, knowing that I am guilty and this Man was truly, completely innocent. I must bear the full weight that my sins killed a righteous Man. One of the thieves realized this and put his trust in Him, and one refused. There is not one person who will not have to make the choice these two thieves had to make. As for me, I have chosen to accept His death on my behalf.

Three Days’ Wait

Nisan 14-15:

Do you hear that? It is the deafening sound of my own heart pounding in my ears? Do you feel that? It is the sickening feeling of fear that promises to drown me in its unrelenting waves of trepidation? Do you see that? It is the most grotesque pictures of the day’s events ever present before my eyes. It is all the sinking knowledge of my hand in the betrayal of my Friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Oh to hear His tender voice saying, “Blessed are you….” To feel the indescribable love, joy, peace, and contentment of being in His presence. Oh to see His gentle face laughing with the children, rejoicing with the healed and restored ones, smiling at me when I finally got what He was teaching!

How will I ever get through this night….

Shhh, what is that noise? It is only my own guilt rising up to condemn me; my own heartache that will not be consoled.

I witnessed Him beaten and tortured. He was barely alive as He carried that cross. I saw the nails driven in His hands and feet. I watched as that soldier lanced His side. Oh! the Blood! I’ve never witnessed so much blood. I helped hold His lifeless body. I helped lay Him in the tomb. My Teacher, my Master, my Friend, the One who loved me most is dead.

Oh, how will I ever get through this night….

Nisan 15-16:

Oh how this day has dragged on! It is Sabbath and a High Sabbath, at that. A day of rest to reflect upon G-d’s goodness and love towards us. How many times have we sung the passage from the Song of Songs upon this night? But after yesterday’s events….Oh surely, this could not have been His will for our Rabbi to die! Not the death of a criminal! What did He do to deserve such atrocity? He only did good wherever He went and taught us to do the same. Lepers were healed, the lame walked, the mute spoke, blinded eyes were opened, demons were driven out, and the dead were raised to new life! He wanted that for all of us, even for the ones who ridiculed Him. But He…He lies in a borrowed tomb!

How can I rest! Whenever I close my eyes I am plagued with the brutal imagery of yesterday. The grotesque sounds of horrific death mingled with the angry mockery of the people standing there is deafening in my ears. Oh, the distress written across His mother’s face. How did He even have the strength to place her into my care? Why would He? I could do nothing to help Him. Will I be able to protect her?

All I want to do is run to where we laid Him. But because of the Sabbaths we can’t even properly prepare His body. There is a deep craving within me to be doing something…but fear of those I am suppose to trust has kept me, all of us, hidden in this room. The urge to run to the ends of earth is nearly overwhelming.

How will I ever get through this night….

Nisan 16-17:

This is excruciating. Today is our weekly Sabbath, so yet another day of rest. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to rest again. I know my attention is supposed to be focused upon the LORD. but all I can think about is my Rabbi and all the brutality He endured at the hands of His own people and His friends. I’m trying so hard to remember the last 3 years of conversations, but all I hear is the jeers of the crowd. I desperately long to recall His gentle face, but all I see is the unrecognizable form struggling under the weight of that rugged cross. If I can just manage to go to sleep, when I wake in the morning I can go to the tomb and at least prepare His torn body for a proper burial. But how will I ever get through this night….

Nisan 17-18:

We all spent last night getting everything together we would need to prepare our Lord’s body for a proper burial. I’ve always looked forward to Sabbath, and especially the High Sabbaths. But the last 3 days have been filled with fear, anger, and inconsolable sadness. None of us has been able to talk about the events of that day with each other. We’ve tried, but we are overcome by the brutality of it all and are at a loss for words. So we fall silent once again.

But this morning there has been a buss here where we are staying. Fear of the authorities is prevalent; we just don’t know if they want us all dead. We’ll have to be careful as we make our way to the tomb. Surely, they are expecting us to go to the grave site today. We’re all agreed that it will be safer for the women to go. And we are more than happy to do so, if “happy” is the word we can use about such a thing. Our only concern is about the soldiers who’ve been assigned to guard the tomb because the officials were told that we would steal our Lord’s body in order to say He was resurrected. But maybe they will help us roll the stone away….

I truly dread to see my Lord’s body in that manner, but I do not want to leave Him as we had to do so quickly on Preparation Day.

…………………………

Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! This morning the women went to where we laid Jesus and He was not there! They came back in hysterics, beating on the door–we were afraid to open it because we thought the authorities were onto us all. When we did let them in, they began frantically talking about how they went to the tomb, the soldiers were in a stooper, the stone was rolled back and His body was not there! Then Mary Magdalene tells us how she saw someone she thought was the gardener and asked him where they took Him. She then said that Jesus called her by name and told her to come get us and meet Him in Galilee. Well, none of us believed the women! The events have been too much for them! But to quiet them and to inquire where they took His body, John and I took off to the tomb. When we got there everything was just as the women said. We even held the linen wrapper and His face napkin!

We’ve all gathered up and are now heading out to Galilee. Mary said that Jesus asked for His disciples and me specifically. I don’t know why He wants me, unless it is to punish me. And I understand. After all, I did deny Him 3 times. I know I can never be part of His disciples again, but just to see Him alive again! Oh, that will be joy enough for me! Can it really be true? After all we have witnessed, has He truly been raised from the dead? Oh, we must get there quickly!

…………………………..

Oh, oh! It is all TRUE! Jesus is ALIVE! And He is beautiful, although I can see the beating and nail scars He took in my place. The moment I saw Him, it was like a fire quickly starting and I began to remember and understand so much of what He had said to us in the days leading up to Passover. How could we be so dull? How could we not understand that He is God’s Son, our Messiah, the King who chose to be a Servant to all, our Passover Lamb?

He has spent the day going over the Law and the Prophets, showing us from Genesis to Malachi Who He is and God’s redemptive work throughout Scripture.

We kept trying to get Him to take control and rescue Israel. And all along He was and is in control, and His desire is to rescue people–from Israel and every tribe, tongue and nation. And He intends to use US. Can you believe that? He told us that we will be going into all the world preaching the Good News and making disciples.

Peter was so afraid that the Lord would reject him after his denial. But Jesus seemed especially gentle with him. 3 times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, and Peter answered Him with a yes. Each time Jesus made it clear that He wanted Peter to teach His sheep. It has been very humbling for all of us.

There are no words to describe our joy right now! I only wish I could impart our realizations into you. For if that were possible, you would be elated too and you would be springing to your feet to tell someone that Jesus is alive. He is our Redeemer/Kinsman. He has paid it all, in full and it is finished, once and for all!

Order and Design

April 12, 2014

God is the God of order, not chaos. This is made obvious in so many Bible stories like Creation,  in Joseph’s life,  the Exodus, in Ester life, in Temple worship, and in the life of Jesus.

Animals and mankind could not be sustained had God not orchestrated the 6 days of Creation as He did. So you can go through the entire Word of God and see the same sort of order…and that order brings life.
So why do we say we accept these stories, then balk at the order He gave to the church? Don’t you understand that if we keep the order of the church, that life is breathed into her?

There’s not much activity in a cemetery. No! People are drawn to where LIFE is. But a church out of order is chaos, and chaos is not of your Father in heaven but comes from the evil one to deceive and to destroy you. “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” –Eph 5:17-21

Likewise is the order of the family. “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church….Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”–Eph 5:23-24. So why is a husband who is the head of his wife called a male-chauvinist? Or the wife who is submissive called weak? Aren’t they both doing the will of their Father? And if they are, shouldn’t you be calling them “obedient” and “righteous”?

Your Father in heaven designed you and He knows the hopes, dreams, desires which are in your heart (the ones He put there and the ones you’ve allowed the world to dump there). He knows what it takes to make you grow and mature and he has placed an order in your life that will bring about the best for you and for those around you. But if you cannot learn to submit to one another in Christian fellowship and if you cannot submit to your husband as your head, both of which you can see, how will you ever be able to submit to your heavenly Father whom you do not see?