Sunday, May 29, 2011

In the Wake of Destruction

Destruction, tragedy, desperate need;

suddenly awakened,
jolted by stark reality,
we come face to face with our own mortality.

Driven to our knees,
the exposed reality of
our sole surviving hope
is God alone.

Hearts are stirred,
focuses are shifted,
friendships are deepened,
hope is tangible.

Sarcasm yields to sincerity,
vulnerability gives way to trust,
rich and poor are on level ground.

Dishonesty and greed are confronted by
selflessness, integrity and kindness.

Ears and eyes are opened
to the words of the faithful,
the touches of the merciful,
the prayers of the compassionate.

In the darkest hour,
the Light shines brightly.

“Whoever serves
is to do so as one who is serving
by the strength which God supplies;
so that in all things
God may be glorified through Jesus Christ,
to whom belongs the glory
and dominion
forever and ever.” 
~I Peter 4:11

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Dance

She was young and beautiful
with flowers in her hair
and the wind in her wings.
Her father delighted
in her breathtaking loveliness.

But one morning
she was unable to stand,
to step, to walk.
Her father’s heart felt
intense compassion.

He prayed for her
that one day
she would be clothed in white.
He would walk her down the aisle
and offer her hand in marriage
to the love of her life.

...and he would dance with her.

…many years passed…

She was young and beautiful
with flowers in her hair
and the wind in the wings of her heart.
Her father delighted
in her breathtaking loveliness.

Her struggles were many,
her courage challenged,
and with each endeavor to stand
to step, to walk,
she grew to depend upon the Strength
that was made perfect in her weakness.

Then one day
her father’s prayers were answered.
He walked her down the aisle
and offered her hand in marriage
to the love of her life.

...and he danced with her!

God’s people were young and beautiful
with flowers in their hair
and the wind in their wings.
The Father delighted
in their breathtaking loveliness
and said, “It is good.”

But they were unable to stand,
to step, to walk.
The Father’s heart felt
intense compassion.

He planned for them
that one day
they would be clothed in white
His people would become
the church,
the bride
which He purposed her to be.
He would walk her down the aisle
and offer her hand in marriage
to the Love of her life…

...and He would dance with her.

...many years passed....

The church was young and beautiful
with flowers in her hair
and the wind in the wings of her heart.
Her Father delighted
in her breathtaking loveliness,
for in the church, His glory was revealed.

The church’s struggles were many,
her courage challenged,
and with each endeavor to stand
to step, to walk,
the church grew to depend upon the Strength
that was made perfect in her weakness.

One day
the Father will walk the church down the aisle
and offer her hand
to the One Who will come for His bride;
the Father’s own Son,
the Love of her life.

...and the Father will dance with her!

"And they will see the Son of Man
coming on the clouds of the sky 
with power and great glory.
And He will send forth His angels
with a great trumpet 
and they will gather together His elect
from the four winds,
from one end of the sky to the other..

...but of that day and hour
no one knows,
not even the angels of heaven, 
nor the Son,
but the Father alone."
~Matthew 24:30,31,36

Monday, May 23, 2011

Wisdom Sequence

“But the wisdom from above is first pure,
 then peaceable, gentle,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without hypocrisy,
and the seed whose fruit is righteousness
is sown in peace
by those who make peace.” 
~James 3:17,18
Primarily, Initially, Originally                            
Foremost, In the beginning, At the outset
To start with, Chiefly, Principally                           

Unadulterated, Uncontaminated, Unpolluted                        
Clean, Wholesome, Chaste
Unsullied, Uncorrupted, Innocent                             
Unmixed, One hundred percent, Genuine
Real, Authentic, Virtuous                              

After that, Next, Afterward
Followed by  

Serene, Harmonious, Calm                                     
Quiet, Compliant, Amiable
Unwarlike, Agreeable

Mild, Calm, Kind                                      
Tender, Moderate, Placid
Temperate, Restful

Sensible, Rational, Practical                              
Realistic, Levelheaded, Sound
Evenhanded, Sufficient, Acceptable                        

Full of Mercy
Compassion, Clemency, Forgiveness                       
Kindness, Sympathy, Understanding

Good Fruits
Outgrowths, Produce, Results
Effects, Developments, Outcomes

Firm, Solid, Steadfast                            
Untiring, Dogged, Resolute
Steady, Unswerving

Without Hypocrisy
Sincere, Genuine, Honest
Serious, Earnest, Unaffected

Beginning, Start, Germ

Virtue, Morality, Justice                                 
Decency, Uprightness, Rectitude
Honesty, Respectability, Honor                                  

Spread, Propagated, Introduced                         
Implanted, Scattered, Planted

Create, Build, Construct                           
Craft, Formulate, Compose
Put together, Assemble, Yield                                     
Produce, Prepare, Cause
Bring about, Give rise to, Effect                                   
Generate, Render, Accomplish
Achieve, Form

Tranquility, Harmony, Serenity                              
Freedom from strife, Reconciliation, Settlement
Quietude, Composure, Reunion                              
Ceasefire, Bringing together, Resolution
Contentment, Satisfaction, Happiness                          

“But the wisdom from above is first pure,
 then peaceable, gentle,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without hypocrisy,
and the seed whose fruit is righteousness
is sown in peace
by those who make peace.” 
~James 3:17,18

Friday, May 20, 2011

Shoes of Dependency

How do I pray for someone
who must endure chemotherapy treatments?
I have never walked that path
and cannot imagine my way into her shoes.

Although her loving family and dear friends
Are by her side as much as they can possibly be,
she must taste and see
the depths of this valley alone.

If I cannot wear her shoes,
What shoes must she wear?
How can I offer her courage for this journey?

“Stand firm therefore…
having shod your feet
with the preparation
of the Gospel of peace…”
~Ephesians 6:14,15

God’s Word reminds me that
I don’t know how to pray as I should,
and that the Holy Spirit Himself
intercedes for me with groaning
too deep for words. (Romans 8:26)

But I asked the Lord
to teach me His heart in this matter.

The words to an old familiar song
Began playing its comforting message in my mind
with rocking chair tempo
and lilting melody…

"I come to the garden alone
while the dew is still on the roses.
And the voice I hear
falling on my ear,
the Son of God disclosed.

"And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
and He tells me I am His own;
and the joy we share as we tarry there
none other has ever known.

"He speaks, and the sound of His voice
is so sweet the birds hush their singing;
and the melody that He gave to me
within my heart is ringing.

"And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
and He tells me I am His own;
and the joy we share as we tarry there
none other has ever known.

"I’d stay in the garden with Him
though the night around me be falling;
but He bids me go through the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.

"And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
and He tells me I am His own;
and the joy we share as we tarry there
none other has ever known.
~Text & Music by C. Austin Miles, 1940

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


A beam of light has been defined
as a transverse wave in an electric field
and a transverse wave in a magnetic field
flowing perpendicular to one another. 

Light wave are also particles
which are not continuous,
rather they flow in broken portions of waves called photons. 

Transverse waves
in an electric field
and in a magnetic field
do not exist without each other,
defining them as different aspects of the same thing.

Light’s threefold nature,
within the perplexing makeup and function of its waves and photons,
is difficult for scientists to sort out
let alone try to explain.
“Then God said, ‘Let there be light’;
and there was light.”
~Genesis 1:3

Oh, but there’s more…

Unlike waves of sound or water,
there is no atomic or molecular medium
necessary for light to travel.
Light journeys through a vacuum
at the same speed as it passes through air.

Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity states
that nothing with mass can travel faster
than 300,000,000 meters per second,
establishing light as the speed limit
which no object with mass can exceed.

The only reason that the speed of light
has been established as fastest
is because no one has been able
to measure anything faster.
“I Am the Light of the world;
he who follows Me
will not walk in the darkness,
but will have the Light of Life.”
~John 8:12

Can the threefold nature of God,
the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit,
be explained?

Can God’s ways be measured?

How astounding that God not only created light
in such a way that is too difficult for us to fathom,
He also referred to Himself as Light.

“When I consider Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
what is man that You take thought of him,
and the son of man that You care for Him?

“O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
~Psalm 8:3,4,9

“The Lord is my Light
and my Salvation;
whom shall I fear?”
~Psalm 27:1

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hiding Place

Where were they?

All winter long,
the robins did not hop about
plucking worms and bugs from the soil,
nor did they sing to each other
among the trees or in the fields.

To the best of my knowledge,
there were no robins.

out of nowhere,
there are thousands of them!

They are all so very, very busy,
and they are everywhere,
and their rounded bellies
boast telltale signs 
of more robins in the near future.

So, where were they all winter?

"Look at the birds of the air, 
that they do not sow, 
nor reap nor gather into barns, 
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  
Are you not worth much more than they?"  
~Matthew 6:26

are my hiding place;
preserve me from trouble; 
surround me with songs of deliverance." 
~Psalm 32:7

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring Gleaning

   Such a tremendous encouragement to read through a few biographies of women of great faith that have gone before us!  Following are a few clips to offer a flavor of the rich Christian heritage from which we may glean and gain valuable insight in to life in Jesus.
   Their stories are an important reminder that life is never easy and that God alone is our hope.
   Please note that much of what is written is not in my own words, but gathered from a variety of sources which are not noted.  ~ae

Amy Carmichael (1867–1951)
Missionary to India; founder of Dohnavur Fellowship, a society devoted to saving neglected and ill-treated children.

In many ways an unlikely candidate for missionary work, she suffered neuralgia, a disease of the nerves that made her whole body weak and achy and often put her in bed for weeks on end.

Much of her work was with young ladies, some of whom were saved from forced prostitution, providing a place of sanctuary for more than one thousand children who would otherwise have faced a bleak future.

In 1931, Carmichael was badly injured in a fall, which left her bedridden much of the time until her death. Amy Carmichael died in India in 1951 at the age of 83.

Quote:  "Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is." 

Quote:  "But God is the God of the waves and the billows, and they are still His when they come over us; and again and again we have proved that the overwhelming thing does not overwhelm. Once more by His interposition deliverance came. We were cast down, but not destroyed." 

Quote:  "I wish thy way.
And when in me myself should rise,
and long for something otherwise,
Then Lord, take sword and spear
And slay." 

Quote:  "Do not fight the thing in detail: turn from it. Look ONLY at your Lord. Sing. Read. Work." 

Quote:  "Bare heights of loneliness...a wilderness whose burning winds sweep over glowing sands, what are they to HIM? Even there He can refresh us, even there He can renew us." 

Quote:  "Satan is so much more in earnest than we are--he buys up the opportunity while we are wondering how much it will cost." 

Frances Jane Crosby  (1820–1915)
Blind all her life, she saw over 8,000 poems set to music and over 100,000,000 copies of her songs printed.

Born in a one-story cottage, her father died before her first birthday. At six weeks old, she caught a slight cold in her eyes, and as a result of poor medical treatment her sight was destroyed completely.

At age eight, she wrote her first recorded poetry: “0 what a happy soul am I! Although I cannot see, I am resolved that in this world, contented I will be. How many blessings I enjoy, that other people don't. To weep and sigh because I'm blind, I cannot and I won't!”

Quote:  "Mother, if I had a choice, I would still choose to remain blind ... for when I die; the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Saviour."

Mary Mitchell Slessor  (1848-1915)
Missionary to Africa.

When she was 11, she began working 10 hours a day to help provide for her family.  Her father was an alcoholic, but she was extremely close to her mother as they prayed continually for God's provision and protection.

She was not well-educated, but loved to read the Bible most of all, studying Jesus and his life in the gospels.

At age 27, she sailed for Calabar (in present day Nigeria) where she became a school teacher.  After three years, she was sent home on furlough because of malaria. When she returned, she lived with the people she served.  Her childhood of poverty made this lifestyle seem fairly normal.

Witchcraft and spiritism and cruel tribal customs were hard to fight against. The tribes thought that twins were a result of a curse caused by an evil spirit who fathered one of the children. Both babies were brutally murdered and the mother was shunned from society.

Rescuing many twins and ministering to their mothers, she was continuously fighting against this evil practice, often risking her life. The Lord gave her favor with the tribesmen, and Mary eventually gained a respect unheard of for a woman.

Quote:  "Lord, the task is impossible for me but not for Thee. Lead the way and I will follow."
Quote:   "Why should I fear? I am on a Royal Mission. I am in the service of the King of kings.

Esther John (1929–1960),  born Qamar Zia
Pakistani Christian nurse who was allegedly killed by a Muslim radical. 

She attended a government school and, after the age of seventeen, a Christian school. There she was greatly moved by the faith of one of her teachers, and she began to read the Bible earnestly.

While reading Isaiah 53, she chose to leave Islam and adopted Christianity. She faced many problems from her family, who migrated to Pakistan.

Her Christian faith grew secretly.  Eventually, she ran away from home, fearful of the prospect of marriage to a Muslim husband.  She worked in an orphanage and took the name Esther John.  

She evangelized in the villages, travelling from one to the other by bicycle, teaching women to read and working with them in the cotton fields. At times her relationship with her distant family seemed calm but sometimes her anxiety was troubling.

Today, Esther John is remembered with devotion by the Christian community with whom she lived and worked"

Quote:  "In an age where conversion to a new faith provokes fear and hatred, leave all other ties; Jesus is calling.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Up Close and Personal

I can catch a passing reflection of myself
as I pass by a window,
a puddle,
a waxed car,
or a piece of tin foil.

If I stop for a longer glance,
I might notice that my hair needs brushing.

If the lighting is just right,
and if I strain my eyes into the distorted reflection,
I may be able to see well enough
to seize a stray bit of lettuce
that took refuge between my two front teeth.

if I take the little concave mirror
out of my purse
and hold it really close
to my face,
I am able to see every pore,
every mole, every eyelash,
and every imperfection.

When I look into God’s Word,
what do I see?…

a distorted passing reflection?
a glance lengthened enough to fix what's messed up?
or a keenly focused attention on the Person of Jesus,
up close and personal?

“But prove yourselves doers of the Word,
and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 
For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer,
he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;
for once he has looked at himself and gone away,
he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 

“But one who looks intently
at the perfect law (Jesus), the law of liberty,
and abides by it,
not having become a forgetful hearer
but an effectual doer,
this man will be blessed in what he does.”
~James 1:22-25