Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

VISION 2020: I CAN II

Today, I got new bookshelves in our little school library. Like most things in our library, these shelves were donated. The joy started bubbling over as I realized that they were exactly the answer to one of those unspoken prayers in my life. One of those things, I never really prayed over, but thought about often. Needless to say, my arthritic back was a little sore when I came home from school tonight. You can’t move close to a thousand books without experiencing a twinge or two.

In these “elder” years of my life, “I CAN do all things through Christ that strengthens me” always springs to mind when I see something I need to accomplish – especially when it is physical. Who am I kidding? It springs to mind whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual, and I am glad it does. It is His promise and I need those desperately.

But there was something more. The power of this answered prayer continued to nag at me with each stack of books I moved. I continued to chew on it as I worked. I ground my teeth a little as I sat in my chair icing my back. And finally – after being called into serious prayer in the Spirit for family, it hit me. Our Father cares about even those silly little everyday things that absorb our attention in daily life. The things we don’t really pray about – but somehow mean something to us – enough that it pulls at the depths of our heart and touches the Spirit that lives within us.

I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I looked down at my feet tonight as I stood outside and realized how strong that rock is under my feet. The Aaronic prayer of Numbers circles through my head. Not the verse as much as the song that I sang over and over throughout my early life. His peace reigns. The Amen chorus ringing its 4-part harmony even after all these years.

My heart has been heavy for the past week. Several prayer requests from family and friends light up my heart throughout the days and whisper in my sleep. The Spirit nudges me to pray – not in the comfort of my chair or bed – but on my knees – to fast – to listen – to seek His heart within my own; to open my eyes to the glory that is about to be made manifest to those who have been called.

“We know that in all things GOD works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” Rm 8;28

The world whips around us at amazing speed. Technology filling our heads with topics, music, pundits, knowledge pulling us far from the inner core that allows us to withstand the storms of life. Tumultuous quakings, shakings, of the soul that mimics the physical rebellion of the earth itself.

“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.” Ps 46:1-3

I often go out at night and stand on my front porch. It is not big. It does not need to be. It is comfortable and fits me perfectly. It has heard joyous songs. It has felt tears fall on its planks. It has provided shelter from the weather swirling beyond its confines. It is where I often feel closest to the Father and His Son. Whether the snow is falling or the humidity so thick that breathing is hard, whether skies are cloudy or the moon shining brightly upon the neighborhood, I feel His presence keenly. I savor whatever it is that calls me out to stand on its decking almost every night, and am humbled by the power of His glory that I can barely comprehend.

I CAN.

Valentines Day was today at our school. Tomorrow is a work day – which I really need to get the library back in shape. On my desk were little blessings, but as always, the best ones were from the kids as they peeked in the library, laughing at the mess, asking when they could come again, sneaking out of line to give me so many hugs, and giggling as they saw the candy tattoo on my tongue at lunch.

I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I CAN pray for those I can’t hug. I CAN move a bunch of books. I CAN love as HE loves. I CAN walk on water. I CAN do all things through Christ, and I’m so blessed that He is my rock and salvation. 

 [personal/google image]

THE BLEAK MID-WINTER CHRISTMAS (5 Days and Counting)

“In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.”

When I wake up with these words drifting through my mind – even before the mind is really functioning and prayers are only beginning to form – I pretty much know what the beginning of my Christmas writings will be.

Then logic kicks in high gear. I have lots to do. I don’t even remember the rest of the lyrics in totality. Really – just a phrase here and there.
“…water like a stone…” 
“…snow on snow…” 
“…long ago.”
It’s not even winter solstice yet – let alone – “mid-winter”. What can I possible say that is better than what Christina Rossetti wrote back in the late 1800’s?

“Our God, heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain,
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty —
Jesus Christ.”

Every verse a treasure chest of simplicity, wisdom and beauty. Another carol that encapsulates the picture of a lonely winter night into a glorious impossible of His – “The LORD GOD ALMIGHTY – JESUS CHRIST’s” – return.

Remembering the past to honor the prophecy. She intertwines them verse after verse. In our days of blatant – in your face – words, this carol paints pictures of what was – and is – and is to come. The Glorious Impossible. 
“A breastful of milk…”
“…Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air…”
“…But only His Mother
Worshipped the Beloved with a kiss…”

But it is always the last verse that catches in my thoughts. These were the words that awakened me this morning. These were the words that have followed me from Christmas to Christmas. These are the words – day after day – month after month – season after season – year after year – that continue to guide my life. The Glorious Impossible continues.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a Shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.”

 

 

 

12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2017 #12

“On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”

A King’s Day.

Waking up early to bake Mama Mick’s 3-layer choc cake is always a celebratory way to start the day. I pull out my notebook that holds the recipe. 3 note cards filled with Mom’s beautiful cursive from different stages in her life. One cake recipe that is supposed to be the same, but somehow – appears different on every card. I always end up using bits and pieces from each card to make one cake.

Devil’s food chocolate cake.
Choc fudge frosting for the layers.
7 minute frosting on top (that the Grands call marshmallow frosting)

It takes about 3 hours from start to finish. Best yet, when I get to the last part of making the 7-minute frosting, I get to pull out Grandma Mac’s double boiler. It is getting old, and I dread the day when the rust spots in that blue-spotted, enamel pot completely finish the work they started.

Touchstones on a King’s Day.

“On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 12 drummers drumming.”

Drummers drumming are often loud, bombastic, full of sound and rhythm. Seems like the composer of the 12 Days of Christmas had an epiphany for Epiphany. The day celebrated in honor of the Magi who made their way to the infant newborn King in Bethlehem. The first hint that Gentiles would be welcomed and loved as a part of Our Father’s family.

“…the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” ~Matt 2:9-11

Traditionally, the 12 drummers represent the 12 points of the Apostles Creed. 12 points of faith in the fulfilled destiny of the infant king that the Magi found in a house under a star. 12 points of faith that remind us what that baby modeled for us everyday of his journey on this planet. 12 points of faith that we should let resound with rhythm and sound deep into our hearts.

A King’s Day.

A day when I woke up to make a cake. Felt my parents and grandparents’ love around me as I mixed the ingredients. Rejoiced over the gifts and fruits of the Spirit that I have been given throughout Christmas 2017 – even the cold weather and “cold” cough. Brought my gifts to a young lad who is in the early stages of his journey and hugged my “1st baby girl” who also celebrated a birthday this week. Laughed with the Grands as I tried to play Bop-it with a tiny figure named Groot. Drank the remainder of a NYC son-in-law’s perfect bloody mary mix. Re-affirmed the 12 points of faith tonight as I yawned one more time.

It has been a King’s Day to ponder in my heart and file in my treasure chest of memories. A King’s Day.

“I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.”

*the true Christian church of all times and all places

Blessings!Be! on this King’s Day. 

[google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #99

I have a tiny journal that I got in 2012. It has George Washington’s name on the front and a replica of the compass that he used throughout his life. Maybe that is why I don’t really use it as a journal. I have bigger books for that chore. This one is more of a — hmmmm —- this one is more of a – – – a salt collector.
It sits by my chair and has some crazy random thoughts spread throughout it. A few doodles of my swirling thoughts. Starts of poems that never found completion. Prayer shawls that I wove in words of love and tears. Treasure gems of thought. Quotes of note. Bible verses that hold my feet steady on His path. And tomorrow night, after I type the last Ration, I will tuck my daddy’s 1942 Ration booklet into a pocket on its back cover.
There are still many to pages to fill in my salt journal. Elohim reminded me tonight that I that I drifted a little off course the past couple years and need to focus. The best part, He opened the clouds tonight just enough for a moon to peek through. What a blessing. I got to see the super-duper moon and of course, this tiny prayer made its way into my heart.
“I see the moon and the moon sees me,
And the moon sees the ones that I can’t see.
God bless the moon, and God bless me,
And God bless the ones that I can’t see.”
1942 Daily Ration: “Freedom is never a good thing unless he is good that has it.’~Alfred the Great.
‘As free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness but as bondservants of God.’~1 Peter 2:16
“September 17 is the anniversary of the Constitution of the united States of America. For over 150 years ours as been a Government of law rather than of men. God grant that it may so continue! But if it does we must get right concerning law. We can make or break or keep law; but enforce law we cannot. As Joseph Parker wrote, “Law-making may be reduced to a science; but law-keeping comes out of the heart.”
“A commencement speaker asked: ‘How long will America last? Ten years? A hundred years” A thousand years?’ The answer is written in our attitude towards the truth of a newspaper comment: ‘Patriotism is not talking in a certain way; it is living in a certain way.’
Read: Galatians 5:13-26

Prayer: We bless thee again and again, our God, for the privilege of American citizenship. Remind us of the fact that as a Government we are still in the experimental stage. The world has not yet had full proof that a nation can both govern itself and live. We would give that demonstration. May we, therefore, so live that every good thing in America shall be strengthened and every bad things weakened. In the name of the King of all kings, even Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.” [google image]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #93

Whenever I walk somewhere – songs ramble through my brain. I don’t know if it is the rhythm of the steps that brings a song to my mind or if it is just my mind reverting to those early days of walking and singing just for the sheer joy of singing. Today it was this one.

“I like the United States of America.
I like the way we all live without fear.
I like to vote for my choice, speak my mind, raise my voice,
Yes I like it here.

I like the United States of America.
I am thankful each day of the year.
For I can do as I please, ’cause I’m free as the breeze,
Yes I like it here.

I like to climb to the top of the mountain so high,
Lift my head to the sky,
And say how grateful am I
For the way that I’m working, and helping, and giving,
And doing the things I hold dear.

Yes I like it, I like it, I like it here.”

Way, way back in time, I memorized this little ditty and never forgot it. Today when it popped into my mind, I felt the breath of that little girl again. That 50’s world where faith, hope and love were a little more tangible made me smile.

It is a good day to smile. A good day to practice faith, hope and love.

1942 Daily Rations: [Continuation of a British mother’s letter during the war] Read: St. John 3:12-16

” ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ ~St. John 3:16

“So arm yourself against mental suffering at the horrors you will see, by a serene courageous attitude of mind.

“Don’t regard the killed as lost men, nor crippled as defeated men, nor the bankrupt as afflicted men. These are the fears of puny hearts incapable of looking up at the starlit heavens and reading the signature of God.

“You will face destruction of this temporary body, and that is the leat of your troubles. Because death is nothing. Not even the loss of the pleasure of living.

“You will walk through a gate and you will go on. I don’t even pray you should be spared this because i would not feel that I had lost you. A temporary separation, that is all.

“Don’t be afraid of fear. . .It’s man’s deepest instinct, and a spur to brave men. Relax and pray. Reach out for the source of all life, all courage, all good, and a Hand will lead you through the dark. I don’t say this to give you any false comfort. It is true—true. I have proved it—and I know.”

“Prayer: O Lord, we pray thee to have mercy upon all who are this day wounded and suffering. Though kindred and friends be far away, let thy grace be their comfort. Raise them to health again, if it be thy good pleasure; but chiefly give them patience and faith in thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”  [google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #81

It’s 11 days to the election. Early voting has started in most states that allow it. Words are ugly and getting uglier: nasty, criminal, deplorable, irredeemable
“Remove vexation from your heart, and put away pain from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.” — Ecclesiastes 11:10 (ESV)
My prayers for this country and its leaders continues every night at 6 P.M. during the 1942 American Prayer minute, and if I don’t quite make it at 6, I know that there is a place where time doesn’t matter. It is the same place where every person that is covered in any kind of sin IS redeemable.
It is time to start using wise words that express the beauty, the wonder, the awe of each individual instead of the ugly, dark words. According to ancient rabbinic tradition, Solomon knew this when he wrote, “Remove vexation from your heart…” Vexation in the original Hebrew should actually be translated “anger”.
Remove the anger. Clean the dark glass. Find the blessings in each of the next 11 days.
Grace and Salvation are always found in the Light and may we come together again as a nation.
1942 Daily Rations: “Jehovah is my light and my salvation: Whom shall I fear?~Ps 27:1
“Dense forests creep up to the very edge of the deep-blue waters of Lake Tahoe in the high Sierras. All about the sore are hundreds of campers, but during the day a person may paddle for hours in his canoe with a feeling that he is alone. Only when night does does the glow of many campfires make him aware of comradeship- – -the presence of life.
“So often in the bright daylight of our lives various interests and activities claim our attention so fully that the presence of the living Christ becomes obscured. Then comes darkness. A loved one is taken away. Storms of conflicting emotions arise. But in the darkness we see a strange light, the brightness of God’s glory- – -Jesus Christ the Light of the world- – -and our hearts burn within us. Darkness comes that we may see the light.
“The two men on the way to Emmaus had reached the darkest depths of despair when Jesus appeared and there was light. Paul on the way to Damascus had reached the deepest abyss of his life when suddenly the light of Jesus appeared.
“Read: Luke 4:18,19; John 8:12; 1 John 1:5-7
Prayer: O Lord, let us not fear, for thou art our light and our salvation. Though we walk through the valley of the shadow thou art with us. Amen.”

[google images]

RATIONS 100 DAYS! #44

I was rummaging around in my office today. Trying to dig through the huge box of pictures and “stuff” my mom had accumulated in the later years of her life and handed over to me, has not been easy. There were fragments of her life story written on legal size yellow notebook paper. Aged, multi-colored-stained note cards covered with hand-written recipes (this from a woman who hated cooking). Pins, postcards and pictures from various conferences across the country. Dad’s stuff – her stuff – my stuff all mixed together. Memories that will take a long time to categorize since there is almost a half a century of “stuff’ with no year designation in sight.
I love it.
I set a goal. Grab one handful and that is all I do for the day. It may take forever, but saves on the frustration level. Best yet – that ‘push to finish’ isn’t around, and I can actually feel their presence as I work. Their voices talk as I read their words, this fear-filled world falls away, and it is as if I find them and our home all over again.
God is like that.
‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’~Jer 29:13
During the day, I try to remember to reach in my life “box” and grab a hand-full of things that God left in there for me to find. As I read His words, His voice takes over and I bask in His presence. The neat thing is that presence tends to stay with me during the rest of the day. Cooking in the kitchen, listening to the news full of angst and fear, walking the dogs, reading to the Grands, crying over the picture of my mom when she wore a queen’s crown.
God’s presence is with us always – just up to us to seek it and turn away from the fear that the world wants us to feel. No surprise – today’s Ration, written in 1942, was written just for me.
1942 Daily Ration:           Read: II Timothy 1:1-12
“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee…For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’~II Timothy 1:6,7
“Almost everyone we meet is fear-ridden in some way. Fear of germs, fear of hunger, fear of assaults, fear of losing a job, fear of harm to loved ones- – -the list is endless. Make a list of your individual fears, and the group fears you have taken over. Look at them squarely. For most of us, the list will be long. How do we ever manage to enter any new day with such a burden on our spirits?
“The New Testament ‘good news’ is that we do not have to hear such a burden. To be free from it is the gift of God- – -not only to be free from fear, but to save in its place power, and love, and a sound mind.
“We want this gift above all else, and God is offering it to us- – -yet we do not reach out and take it. We will not let God give us his gift.
“Prayer: O most loving Father, who willest us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of thee, and to cast all our care on thee, who cares for us, preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no cloud of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which thou hast manifested unto us in thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

[Akiane/google images]

SO…

heavenSo…

Remember that old camp song?  “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love.  They will know we are Christians by our love.”  “We call ourselves Christians.”  Yesterday, our pastor brought that simple sentence to the pulpit.  He said it in passing.  It wasn’t theme of his sermon. It wasn’t even a sub-point.  It was just a sentence.  But it stuck in the back of my mind, and – obviously – I’m still thinking about it.

I’ve called myself  “Christian” all my life.  Needless to say, it has been an identifier that started with my parents and extended family.  They taught me according to their beliefs.  Everyone I knew went to church on Sunday.  They might have only gone on special days such as Easter or Christmas, but every one went.  Perhaps it was still part of the post-war jitters.  Americans had just come through a long war.  Man – and women – saw things that they really didn’t talk about for the rest of their lives, and the popular adage, “There are no atheists in a foxhole” was uttered often enough that I don’t remember a time I didn’t know it.  In God We Trust wasn’t just a motto.

“Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.” Ps 37:5-7 (NASB)

However, the word Christian is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible.  There was no nomenclature to describe those Jesus called to follow Him except —“Followers”.   Which started me down a whole ‘nother train of thought, so to speak.  Am I a follower?  Would I drop everything in my life, get in the boat and sail out on the sea He that He told me to sail?  Do I trust Him that much?  I honestly don’t know, and part of me is afraid to take even a step towards that “Sea of Choice”.

“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matt 14:22-27 (NIV)

So…

It is easy to call myself a Christian.  It is easy to sit in my comfy chair, family pictures hanging on the wall, dogs sleeping at my feet, husband sorting through Craig’s List options for things we “need”, Grands just minutes away, fancy clothes washer taking care of my chores, and a piano calling my name.  But could I sell it all and actually get in the boat?  It’s a scary thought.  Military families experience this on a small scale.  They move.  They get in the USS boat and sail away to distant shores.  They trust that there is a reason to go.  How much scarier is that?  Trusting men who live sin-filled lives or trusting the One who knows the Father and loves enough to get on the storm-tossed boat with me?

So…

Many years ago, while I was in college, I ran across a prayer that I cut out and taped to my brick and bare board bookshelf.  (Who knows what happened to that original copy?)  Did you know that God is a recycler? Recently, that same prayer popped up in my sphere and this time, thanks to technology, I could find out where it came from  About 800 years ago, a prayer book was written in England. It was called the Sarum Primer.  This one prayer makes me think it was written by a “Follower” instead of a “Christian”.

“God be in my head, and in my understanding; God be in mine eyes, and in my looking; God be in my mouth, and in my speaking; God be in my heart, and in my thinking; God be at mine end, and at my departing.” Sarum Primer

So…

With all the things that are going on in our world today, I’m hoping to make some changes in my identifiers.  The process has started already.  No longer “Mom” as much as “Grandma” (even to the kids I teach – I have become “Miss Grandma”).  “Retiree” more than “teacher”.  “Writer” more than “Performer”.  So – maybe – hopefully – possibly – prayerfully…I can be “Follower” more than “Christian”.  So…how about you?  Up for a new challenge?

BUT…

I know that a lot of conservative Christians feel that Halloween is not a holiday that needs to be celebrated.  It is pagan in it’s origins.  A time when spirits roam the earth and witches rule the skies.  It celebrates the “darkness” of human life with scary images and horrific  experiences that most of us abhor.  Gravestones.  Boiling pots of magical brew.  Strobe lights that crash the mind.  Eerie music emanating from the night. Webs of deceit that tangle around our body as much as inside our head.  Satanic influences that glorify the ugly sins that happen all too often.

Good reasons one and all.

BUT…

and this is prayerfully submitted…

BUT…

It can also be warm family memories.  Laughter embed with love.  Sweet treats that remind us of special occasions.  Choices exist within choices upon this crazy habitat that Our Father designed just for us.  I’m sure He hoped, like all of us hope for our children, that we would never experience the pain of sin and sorrow.  But…free will allows us to dance around the fires of choice, and all too often we end up getting burnt.  BUT…choice also allows us to decide not to stick our extremities in the fire or dance so close that we burn the things we love.

But…

img822Perhaps because I grew up in the fabled era of the 50’s/60’s…perhaps because I grew up in a small town surrounded by neighbors who acted like extended family…perhaps because horror and fear were an abstract instead of a daily reality…Halloween was more filled with Christ than with the evil one. My Halloweens were filled with a mother who created costumes out of scraps img820(gotta love her choice of costume for me when I was five)…dark runs through many neighborhoods filled with faces that I knew as well as I knew my family’s…contests with my best friends for apples, candy and costumes…family businesses that handed out miniatures bags of whatever they made…pictures boxes of memories filled with family love.

“For I am the LORD your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.” 
Isaiah 41:13

There is a story in Jewish tradition that tells about a rabbi who went to eat with a poor man and his wife.  They had nothing to serve the rabbi except some flour.  So the wife went into the woods to find some herbs to enhance the flour that she would serve to the rabbi.  As she picked the herbs and spices that Jehovah-Jireh had designed so long ago, she prayed that they would not only nourish their their rabbi but bless him with all the beauty that was once in the Garden of Eden.  Later in the week, the rabbi’s wife approached the poor woman and begged her for the recipe of the rabbi’s wonderful meal.  The poor woman was stunned.  She explained that she had served him only flour, water and some spices.  The rabbi’s wife was also stunned.  She told the woman that her husband had said it tasted so good that it must of come straight from the Garden of Eden.  At that, the poor woman started to cry.  She remembered her prayer over the herbs that she had gathered that day.  God had heard her prayers and blessed her as much as He had blessed her rabbi.

“Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
— Isaiah 41:14

Halloween can still be the pagan holiday of the past.  Halloween can still offer monsters and scary demons a chance to dance around in all the gory ugliness that this world has to offer. Halloween can still be the pagan holiday that people create over and over again by their everyday choices.  Halloween can still be a time when the evil one rejoices.

img819

BUT…

Like the poor wife, when we pray…….Halloween can also be something made new because Jesus Christ has brought light into the darkness.  It can be another kind of day…another chance for families to gather together and bless the night with LIGHT.  A time when LOVE…that brings the moon out from beyond the clouds…reaches beyond hope…passes beyond understanding…and takes over the darkness that the evil one has spread and warms the chilly air that he has brought with its pagan beginnings.

I, for one, am thankful for Halloween and the wonderful memories I have buried in my heart, and all the new memories I am helping to create in the Grands.  BUT…most of all…I am thankful for Jesus Christ that lightens the darkness of this world with His love and reminds me to keep looking up and praying over everything I do.HALLOWEEN LOVE

 

Emotions of God: Anger

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand…” Joel 2:1(NKJ)Anger

Lets admit it; we all get angry.  I get angry.  Angry at the government.  Angry at the politicians.   Angry at the driver who cuts us off.  Angry at the line we have to wait in when we have a million and one other errands to run.  Angry at the life’s craziness that steals our joy.  Angry at the dog who tore up one of our favorite shoes.  Angry at the one who rejects what we hold precious – especially our children and spouses.  Angry at the experiences when our love, that let us share our most vulnerable self, is spurned and trampled into the mire of  bad choices and selfish garbage that degrades the golden treasure offered.

“And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” Joel 2:13 (KJV)

We get our anger naturally.  God created us “in His own image…” (Gen 1:27) If we accept the premise that the WORD of God is perfect, then we accept that scary parts of that WORD as well.  These days we like to see God with only one emotion: LOVE.  It is comfortable.  It is non-controversial.  Everyone likes hearing about LOVE.  We like that one because we know everyone likes that one…easy-peasy. In our mind’s eye, it is our cute, little puppy…our strong father…our nurturing mother…our best friend…our perfect soul mate.  It is that wonderful feeling that we want to surround ourselves with constantly.bible

But God is not easy.  Jesus Christ is not easy.  According to the accounts recorded in the WORD, both Rabbi Yeshua and His Father get angry.  The war in heaven and the casting down of the evil one.  The flood.  Sodom and Gomorrah. Turning children away.  Money changers in the temple.  The lack of faith by disciples. A tree with no fruit.  Look it up for yourselves.  There are many more examples of righteous anger in both the Old and New Testament.

“Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God.” Rom 12:19 (NLT)

The important thing is to notice how Rabbi Yeshua handled His anger while He journeyed here on earth.  Over and over, He says how the Father shared with Him the things He was to share with us.  Often when the accounts in the New Testament describe the rabbi getting angry, they also included the word sorrow (which will have to be a lesson for another time).  Every time Rabbi Yeshua became angry, He modeled for us how to use that anger as a blessing rather than a curse.  He did not retaliate.  He did not belittle.  He did not destroy.  Instead, He reached out once again.  He modeled…once again…how to turn the other cheek.  He taught…over and over…to look for the lesson in the pain of the moment.

“The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.” Mk 11:12(NIV)

For the longest time, I mused and contemplated why Jesus cursed a tree that did fig treenot have fruit.  It bothered me.  Even the reading the lesson that is generally presented with this story didn’t set easy.  Then again, painful lessons are never easy.  As I pondered my own anger this weekend, I looked back at this lesson.  Righteous anger is different from destructive anger.  If we water our soil with the WORD, fertilize and loosen the soil around our roots with actions that bare witness to those words, and bask in the rays of LIGHT that emanate from His kingdom, then we have a good chance of our anger bearing fruit because it is righteous anger.  Anger that is close to sorrow.  Anger that bears fruit.  Anger that does not destroy but teaches.

“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mk 11:25

So scary – so not easy-peasy – so right.

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