Being Woven

The God of Peace Carries Me

May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.  Romans 15:33

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These few months have brought such change for us, such blessings, such stress, such hard work, and such joy.  We have sold our home of 23 years, traveled to the area we hoped to move, found a house, set that into escrow, traveled to relatives where we could stay for a while in Texas and Alabama, and back for escrow closing.  In the midst of those things, we ordered inspections, emailed and talked with our realtor often, set start-up dates for utilities, and so much more.  The sweet house we bought was not left clean so we had major cleaning to do while we lived in it…in order to live in it!  We moved in with two mattresses and eventually two patio chairs.  Two weeks later the POD was delivered and emptied.  Now we are unpacking boxes.

For two almost-seventy year olds, we are making it, box-by-box.  In between, we are changing banks, getting new driver’s licenses, buying new things that were old and decrepit, but still needed.  We love our multi-cultural neighborhood, this sweet town of 35,000, and the lovely, tall, green creations of God called pine and oak trees.  The lushness of East Texas is special after living on the Gulf Coast for so many years.  I always wanted to return to Oregon but this part of Texas will replace that desire.  The Pacific Ocean will just have to wait on my arrival for another day…probably a heavenly day.

Amidst all of this, God is my constant.  He is my still, strong source of peace.  He is the God of peace.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Romans 15:13

Such gifts we are given in our belief.  No matter what the circumstances look like, the calm waters of Christ surround me and still my spirit.

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You keep him in perfect peace

whose mind is stayed on You,

because he trusts in You.

Isaiah 26:3

Father God, thank You for this blessed time that Ken and I have shared as we looked to begin a new chapter in our life together.  We have shared our time with two precious sisters of Ken’s.  We have been led by You to a neighborhood that is surely blessing us already.  We trust You for all of our needs in these times.  Please direct our steps.  We lean on You for comfort and strength.  We rest in You for the peace that passes all understanding.  And it truly is beyond comprehension, LORD, but it is of You and I know that.  I love You so and have felt Your Presence all the way…over the miles we’ve traveled…in the steps taken.  You are the God of Peace in Whom I trust.  In the name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen. 

Almost Back!

Sweet Friends,

The POD sits in the driveway; the movers are scheduled to unpack it Friday!  I do not have internet yet so am typing this at the library.

I so want to be back on here and am looking forward to this return.

I pray for each of you.  Please hold us in your prayers.

We have been in the pack-up, find a house in a new area of Texas (as it turned out), wait for escrow by visiting my husband’s two sisters, and now have moved into our new house with mattresses and patio chairs only.  Soon we hope to call this place our new HOME!

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God has been with us throughout this process.  We feel so very blessed.  Lufkin, Texas, is filled with tall pine trees and many deciduous trees in between.  It is lush and lovely.

Caring through Christ, ~ linda

Transplanting

To all of my Special Followers,

I will be silent for a little while as we are moving to East Texas from the coast of Texas.  This is our next season, a season of change.

Why would we leave a house that Kenneth built himself just for us, our “home” for 23 of our 24 years together?   East Texas has pine trees.  The coast has palm trees.  The eastern part of the state is hilly.  The coast is flat.  We are ready for those differences, but we also have a number of other reasons.  Most of all, we are in God’s hands and pray we are following Him.

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Please pray with us for God’s place, home, and community, the one He has already picked out for us.  We go in faith and ask for your prayers as the trust and faith we desire to walk in dissipates from time to time!  : /

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6 

I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you, I will give counsel.  Psalm 32:8

LORD, may we walk in Your ways…Your ways alone.  May we be still and hear Your perfect voice.  We pray we follow You as You lead us to Your perfect spot.  We so want to be in Your will for our lives.  Bless the time we spend with family along the way and keep us safe, Father.  In the powerful Name of Your Son, I pray.  Amen.

With Love …

and Caring through Christ, ~ linda @ Being Woven

Oh…to Let Go

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Oh, how I have struggled with aspects of life, wanting my own way, not wanting to lose control of things that I believe I have control over.  There have been times where I just refused to give in and other times where I gave in feeling defeated.  Either way, it was all about SELF, about ME!!  My will, my ego needed nourishing and placed above all else, even above God…OR so I believed.

As I grow in the LORD, He shows me His way, His will.  I let go, but not always without a struggle.  So the lessons must be taught and re-taught.  My desire to write about “letting go” has taken me down a sweet road with Jesus.

Thank you, Jesus, for never giving up on me, even when I have been stubborn.  Thank You for walking with me and teaching me the Truth.  You are The Word.  You are where I desire to dwell. 

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. 
Psalm 19:14

In the Name of Jesus, The Word.  Amen. 

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A rope with two stories upon which I dangle and learn letting go!

from Genesis 32: And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day.  When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”  Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him.  So Jacob called the name of the place Penuel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.  Genesis 32:24-31

A few verses earlier in this chapter of Genesis, Jacob prayed heartily to God for protection, laying out his great fears, and reminding God of His promises:  
“… But You have said, ‘I will surely make you prosper and will make your descendants like the sand of the sea, which cannot be counted.’ ”  Genesis 32:12  How often I pray and then wrestle with all that I prayed, even with the prayers I did not know how to utter, often keeping me awake for hours into the night!  Jacob stayed strong in his struggle and did not quit although he received an injury in the hip joint by a touch.  Jacob’s faith in God and his deep prayer life prevailed above his fears.  Jacob’s strength caused him to wrestle and prevail with God for promised blessings.  God did bless him with a new name, Israel, meaning prince with God, a most honorable name, plus God fulfilled His promises.  Jacob was forever reminded of this struggle by the hip injury, a limp.  Jacob did not let go until God released him, yet he was humbled by the injury, yet praised and honored God for blessing him as well as deliverance of his life.  As the sun rose, communion between Israel and God was shared.  Jacob, now Israel, let go of his fears and no longer needed to wrestle with God.

from Luke 13: And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years.  She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself.  When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”  And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God.  Luke 13:11-13

 

This woman struggled with a spirit that disabled her for a long time.  Jesus touched her.  Her body was healed…from bent-over to straight.  She had lived in a humbled position all bent over for years, possibly dependent upon others, made fun of, or even neglected.  The healing may have changed her posture and removed the disabling spirit, yet she did not go around saying, “Look at me!  Look what I did!”  What she did do was…“She glorified God.”  I believe she remained humbled, recalling often her blessing from God.  In continued humility, she praised Him, seemingly being able to let go of eighteen years of suffering and maybe there was self-pity to release too.  How else can one rejoice as she did?  God healed her.  She could stand tall.  I believe she could let go of the past, looked ahead and UPward unto God

Letting go humbles me by understanding God’s promises, believing Him for them, praying unto Him, and standing strong in those promises and blessings, knowing He will, indeed, fulfill them.  He may allow me to struggle with fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis, hip and knee issues.  But I am continually reminded Who granted the blessings and promises.

Letting go humbles me by acknowledging God’s healing power and knowing that it is not me who heals myself, for I am poor, meek, and a sinner.  God loves me and drew me to Him.  He is my Healer.  He is All I need.  I can stand upright in Him no matter my physical, mental, emotional condition.  He heals my spiritual health and will heal all else in His will and in His timing.

No matter where I am on the rope, the healing touch or the wounding touch, I learn to bring praise and honor to my God.

 

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LORD, I am humbled no matter where I am on the rope.  I am humbled because You are You and You love me.  I ask for Your help that I would let go, living for You in all ways.  I want to be healed physically, desiring to be strong spiritually even more so.  I want to walk in Your will and desire You always by my side, Father.  I know You will hold me upright as You fill me with the fruit of Your righteousness through Your Son’s death on the Cross.  I love You more than all, Abba Father.  Amen.

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Photo “Hanging On”http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=107753&picture=hanging-on

Photo “Twisted Rope Up Close”http://www.photos-public-domain.com/2012/03/18/twisted-rope-close-up/

Letting Go

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There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind.  But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.

— Author Unknown

Can’t you feel this droplet of water so ready to drop from the tiny blade of grass?  It’s weight is making it heavier and heavier so that soon it can fall to the ground and water that which is below. Letting go is a difficult part of life as we tend to hang on, for releasing that which we know is harder than walking into that which we know nothing about.  Life changes happen for all of us.  It is the way we handle them that makes the difference.

Born to a Navy doctor and his wife in 1947, I learned to be uprooted, moving to a new place (Daddy’s next duty station).  Sometimes, he went away (deployed as we know today), leaving us behind.  One time, he had to go a way, and we (my mother and two younger sisters) moved to Chicago to live with my grandparents for about a year.  So letting go of friends, neighbors, school, a place, and a home were just a part of life.  I loved to move, to change.  I did not leave well though for I did not let go of all that I left behind, not just the people, but the child-world I lived in…on bases, in neighborhoods, being around other Navy children and families.  I missed people more than anything.  I still, to this day, write to a girl I met in the first grade.  It may be just Christmas cards now, but it began with many handwritten letters and postcards.  There were several times when she and I lived near again and we spent a week in the summer together; another time as adults, we met for lunch.  She is just one of the many I have kept in touch with over the years.

I did not let go as we are called to do. 
 
O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me.  Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.  O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever Psalm 131:1-3 
 

But I was just a child and knew none of this then!

My dear father died when I was 12.  I truly did not let go.  He was so special to me and I was just at that age to need my Daddy more than I could have imagined.  He was gone forever, yet not out of my mind and especially not out of my heart.

I did not let him go well either.  

Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me!  Psalm 38:21

Oh! How I needed those words!  But I did not have them in my heart then.

I was married out of college to a man that was not good for me.  Ten years later, we divorced.  I left as much as I could behind, but my heart and my inside-self were flat as a pancake, run over by a Mack truck … hurt, angry, sad, feeling as a failure with no self-esteem.

I let go as best I could because I was so ready, yet I was crushed and needed a lot of care.  I carried much baggage with me.

“It is the LORD Who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

These words minister to me now.  Only if I had known them then!

I began searching for a gap-filling something.  I thought it might be “church” and met a great singles group that did care about and for me.  They were special in my life.  I had a few other special women who tenderly loved me back to a better place, yet I moved away, leaving those friends behind.  I also left the “church” behind.  Thinking about that particular church, it now seems so shallow to me.  I attended other “churches” that gave me the warm fuzzies that I thought I needed, but they were what I now know to be new age churches.  I tried to let them go, working at leaving their messages behind.

We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.  For one who has died has been set free from sin.  Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.  Romans 6:6-8 

I did not know!

One day, I met Jesus.  He filled me with the Truth.  He covered me with His Love.  He came in and sat with me.  He told me what I needed to hear, made me feel loved and wanted.  He came alongside me to teach and guide me.  The words that are in the past tense above in this paragraph are always in the present tense now.  He does not leave me.  He is with me in the hard moments, illnesses, trials.  He also does not leave me in the beautiful moments, the flowers blooming, new Spring growth on the trees, the butterflies and ladybugs fluttering by, the gift of Kenneth as my husband who loves me dearly.

When He was at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.  And their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. And He vanished from their sight.  They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?”  Luke 24:30-32  

The Light shone before me and I finally saw!  All that I ever needed was and is Jesus.  Just Jesus.

Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:21-24 

Yes, I know now.  I am His.  And I am learning to let go of past hurts and worries, future concerns, and current struggles.  I walk with the One Who has all of the answers.  I sit at His feet learning the Truth.  I bow before Him and worship my King.  And I kneel before the cross with my life in my hands to lay at His feet.  I don’t need to say, “If only I had known….”  I have Jesus and He has me and that’s all that matters.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

 

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LORD, I thank You for bringing me through so many changes in my life.  Thank You for loving me as I took so many wrong turns, for helping me carry heavy loads.  You have guided me into the Truth.  You teach me more and more each and every day.  Hold me near for I desire to always walk out the plans You have for my life.  Shelter me when I am in the storms of life, and comfort me as I learn to let go of that which needs to go.  I love You, LORD, and praise Your Holy Name.  Amen. 

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Photo:   http://funpulp.com/morning-dew-photography/

Graphic:  http://www.heallovenow.com/2011/05/letting-go.html

This is the Way…

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And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, 
yet your Teacher will not hide Himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.  
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” 
when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:20-21

The LORD clearly gives directions so that I would reach Him throughout His Holy Word.  As the Crucifixion and the Resurrection have recently been my focus, the one and only desire I have is to be with Him obediently.

 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene.  John 19:25

I want to stand at the Cross as His mother did.  She stood near to see her precious son beaten, nailed upon the Cross, bleeding, dying.  She could not have been closer to Him at this time… body, mind, and soul.  Her heart must have been beating with His.

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.  So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”  John 20:1-2
 

I want to go to the tomb with Mary Magdalene, looking for Jesus.  I want to run with her to the others.

Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.  John 21:13

I want to be with those disciples fishing on the Sea of Tiberias.  Even though nothing had been caught, Jesus, Whom I do not recognize, tells me to fish on the right side of the boat.  I want to recognize Jesus and say, “It is the Lord.”  I want to break the fast with Him.

And their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him.  And He vanished from their sight.  They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?”  Luke 24:31-32

I want to walk on the road to Emmaus where Jesus joins me.  He shares His Father’s Word.

And when He had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.  Acts 1:9

I want to see Christ lifted up on a cloud, knowing that He will, one day, return for me in this same manner.

“For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God.  You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”   Leviticus 11:45

I believe.  I want to grow in His grace, becoming holy as He is holy.  I receive His grace moment by moment as I obey His commandments, following His Way, walking in it.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.   No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6

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He is my Truth, my Way, and my Life.  Christ is returning for me one day.

The beauty of Your Truth, LORD, sends me to my knees.  May I walk in Your holiness, LORD, with faith unfathomable.  May I be set apart, be consecrated unto You.  May I faithfully walk with You.  I pray that, obediently, I shall seek You in all ways, for all things.

I love You, my LORD.  In Your Name, I pray.  Amen

 

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Isaiah 30:20-21 graphic/photo:  https://workingwomenoffaith.com/verse-for-the-week-are-you-listening/
John 14:6 graphic/photo: http://sowandgather.com/devotionals/2016/3/3/treasure-gods-word-john-146
 

 

 

After Easter Comes What?

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“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”  Galatians 2:20

After Easter…how do I live?  Do I go back to ways that forget what the Crucified Christ means to me and how His resurrection affects me?

Easter is central to my Christian beliefs.  His crucifixion is very difficult for me and yet His resurrection is resplendent.  Easter is a beautiful remembrance of all Christ did for me over 2,000 years ago and Who He is to me now.  I want to live intentionally and thoughtfully in regards to what it means to be a person of the Resurrection in my world all year.  I want to continuously experience the Presence of the Living Christ.  I want to then walk in His Presence before others.

Yet, I seem to still be in the womb so much of the time, afraid to come out.  (As a baby in my mother’s womb, I did not want to exit then either!  Mom said her labor was hard and long.  “You just fought,” she said.)  Christ holds me near as I learn to walk in His Light more and more.  I must come out from the womb, that darkness.  I am to do His will on roads, in cafes, in hospital rooms, in homes…the world.  This is not a doable calling from a safe, warm womb.  

He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of His people He will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.  Isaiah 25:8 ESV

As a person of the Resurrection, I would like to believe that my life shines Christ for others to see, hear, and read, sensing that they have touched the Living Christ, the Hand of God.  Sometimes, this is true, but not always, to be sure.  I want to be less of Linda and more of Christ with each moment.  I am continuously being woven into the tapestry that will be perfect in Eternity…one.thread.at.a.time.

Easter brings HOPE.  As a person of the Resurrection, I pray I am able to offer the beauty of HOPE to a world that finds reasons all around for despair, fear, and hopelessness.

Being a person of the Resurrection allows me to live under the umbrella of God’s GRACE and MERCY.  I accept His forgiveness, offered to me in love.  I pray, too, that I may give these generously.

Easter is all about LOVE“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16  As a person of the Resurrection, I desire to love from His heart, to give from His hand, and share the LORD through my actions, words, love, and life.  May this LOVE cause me to be open and caring towards others. 

As a person of the Resurrection, I do know that the Holy Spirit has come upon me.  I also know that my humanness squelches Him under the Linda that thinks she needs to be in control. Forgive me, LORD.  Please forgive me.  

As a person of the Resurrection, I no longer live in the dark, but carry the Light of Jesus within me as I share light in a dark world.

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God, make me Yours wholly.  Give me courage and strength to be the Linda You desire of me.  Give me wisdom that I would have Your Words and the openness to share Your Truth.   I want to be one of Your people of the Resurrection each and every day, walking in faith.  As You continue to grow me, may I spread hope, love, grace, mercy, and light through Your Truth.  Thank You for giving me life through the death and resurrection of Your One and Only Son, Christ Jesus.  You truly are gracious towards me, Father.  May I carry a Daffodil of peace with me, LORD, wherever I go.  Daffodils just seems to be filled with hope, joy, love, and beauty, all that You are Abba Father.  In the Name of Your Son, I pray.  Amen.

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Daffodils: http://www.wallpaperslot.com/wallpaper-delightful-daffodils-21200.php

Reflection…Now Through Eternity

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For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

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unclear
vague
imprecise
hazy

So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”  John 12:13

triumphal procession
hopeful
King
Messiah

hatred
sin
selfish
shame
guilt
saddened

love
How can He?
He does.
He always will.

forgiveness
I seek
He forgives.

letting go
struggle…lessens…reverts to hard again…
Why?
Because I need Him…yet live in this humanness

He shows me my weak, selfish, independent self
Relinquish…ALL
Letting go to Him

led to the Cross
with Him
harsh, thorns, flogging, brutality, hatred, sorrow, ashamed

I go with Him
crucified with Him
my sins crucified

I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. Galatians 2:20-21

“No purpose”…NO!
He is Love
His Love shines.
He died because He loves us
Salvation
Purpose
Perfect Purpose

The mirror reflects perfectly.
clearly
distinctly
undoubtedly
Reflection for Eternity

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We love Him, because He first loved us.  1 John 4:19

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  1 Corinthians 13:7

Jesus, Your reflection teaches me.  You love despite my imperfections.  I thank You, Jesus.  You show me joy and sorrow, peace and anguish, love and hatred.  You show me that I am burdened by sin, yet You forgive.  Your Holy Spirit fills me up, taking the place of sin.  You teach me to ask in Your Name.  Your love bears me up.  Your love endures all of me, because You love me.  I wonder why, Lord, but Your love is far greater than my “why.”  Your love is true, filled with hope, for You are God.  I am Your child.  You reflect wholly.. all sides and aspects of me…from the depths of my sin … to the gifts, the love You have bestowed upon this helpless sheep.  May I be wholly dependent upon You, 100%.  May I die to this self completely…Oh! So completely.  One day, when I look into Your face I will know that as I see perfection in You, the reflection from me will be Yours through Eternity.  I pray I do reflect Your light while I sojourn here on this earth.  I love You, LORD.  Amen.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  1 Corinthians 13:12

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The Burden of this Cross

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Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.   Matthew 16:24

ἀπαρνέομαι

aparneomai

to forget one’s self

lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests

disown, abstain

Jesus’ words strike a hard cord in me.  I am called to follow Jesus because I have chosen His way over mine, yet I still want to do things my way, guide the direction of my own life, take my own chances.  Then I hit a wall and it hurts.  I run on empty, unable to go anywhere in life except down by the pull of gravity.  In order to follow the Lord, I am to deny myself, releasing my desires and hopes for His, His alone.  When I am in step with Jesus, all that He desires for me are those things I need.  An interesting piece of God’s puzzle for my life is His desires for me are often just what I desire for myself.  I’m not losing after all.  The relationship with Christ is far more important so that I walk rightly with the Lord.

αἴρω

airō

  bear (up)

place on oneself

to carry

My burdens can be worries, anxieties, physical pain, other people’s lives and their concerns, hurting people of this world, and so much more.  All can weigh heavily upon my heart.  The Word tells me not to be anxious, not to worry.  He is faithful and is with me.  He feeds and clothes the birds; He will do the same for His children.  So I lift those weights and take them to Jesus.

σταυρός

stauros

a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (specially), a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment)

figuratively, exposure to death, i.e. self-denial

by implication, the atonement of Christ:—cross.

The cross is what Jesus was placed upon for His crucifixion.  It is a horribly cruel punishment and eventual death.  Scourging comes first.  The one being crucified must carry his own cross.  Jesus did this part of the way until Simon was compelled to carry it the remainder of the way.  Jesus would hang upon the Cross until death.

And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.  Luke 23:26

The cross is that which will kill this earthly life.

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I carry a cross, laden with burdens.  I place it there at the feet of Jesus.  He died for my sins.  Why do I continue weighing myself down?  Jesus has taken it all to the Cross.  Part of the definition of cross, in Greek, is self -denial.  I deny myself, being exposed to death, reproach, suffering, trials, punishment.  I am no longer mine, but His.

I am learning as I do that which Jesus asks of me: denying things of the self, lifting up that which weighs me down, carrying the cross to Jesus Who has already taken my burdens upon Himself.  It is in the doing, the actions of denying, lifting, and carrying to Jesus that I begin to find a clearer, deeper meaning to all that He is asking of me.

ἀκολουθέω

akoloutheō

to be or become the disciple of another as to faith and practice

to follow his teaching

Following Jesus is key to my walk in this Christian life.  When I am His, I desire to be near and to know the path upon which He leads me.  I release all burdens, knowing that He is caring for me.

“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

As Your child, LORD, I depend upon You.  When I feel alone, or struggling with concerns, You are right here.  You are yoked with me.  You know my physical pain, the concerns that touch my heart regarding others, my anxiousness over provision for this earthly life.  Your grace is truly sufficient, Sweet Jesus.  Sometimes I feel wrung out and worn out.  The Word says in Matthew 27, verse 39-40: And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself!  If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’  But You hung on that Cross, LORD, and paid the ultimate price for me, releasing me to walk with You always. You have given me eternal life.  How much more could I ask?  What else is there to ask?  Forgive me when I am selfish.  Often, when I deny myself, I must turn around and deny myself again, LORD, because I am selfish.  I just am, but am also very sorry.  I carry my cross to You so that I may follow You.  “And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”  (Matthew 10:38 ESV)  I do not want to be called “unworthy,” LORD.  Thank You for walking with me on this journey even when I fail You.  Your forgiveness, Your love, Your gentle nature give me the hope in this life that my physical eyes cannot see, yet the eyes of my heart know hope for You are the Hope.  I love You, Jesus.  I pray gently in Your Name.  Amen. 

befuschiasig

 

Graphic:  by American/Dutch web designer Catherine Reijans, founder of KATINK web design; https://thinkingmuseum.com/2013/10/30/thinking-museum-on-think-katink/  (but the actual think-Katink web design site is no longer connected, but I want to give her credit where it is due)

Cross:  http://www.themescompany.com/2012/04/17/cross/

Turning Back

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“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord GOD.  Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.”  Ezekiel 18:30

שׁוּב

shuwb

to turn back, return to God

restore, repair,  refresh

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Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets long ago.  Acts 3:19-21

μετανοέω

metanoeō

to change one’s mind with intent on obtaining God’s pardon

to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins

conduct worthy of a heart changed and abhorring sin

Repent a word that I have misunderstood from the beginning of my spiritual walk with my LORD. Apologizing over and over again has only brought me back to the same sinfulness over and over again. I am truly sorry for my ways. I am sorry I mess up, but beating myself over the head again and again surely does not make me a better Christian. It becomes a mental as well as a spiritual handicap. I feel stuck and browbeaten. The worst part is that I feel like I am the one doing it to myself. Yet satan is the beater, the tempest, the devil dressed up, the evil one torturing me and accusing me. And I believe him far too often. I fall for his lies.  

Repent I know I have done many wrongs. I admit them. It is in the turning away from those ways and returning to God that brings me to the pathway He has for me. I want to walk it with Him. My life changes. I live differently than I did before I made the turn. The spiritual upward spiral toward God, a beautiful relationship with Him, abiding in the LORD, is repentance. I turn as a ballerina turns, keeping eyes focused on a point, twirling from point to point. Jesus is my point. I turn to Him, staying focused upon Him for balance, for holding center.

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It is by faith, not anything I do today or any other day, that I am forgiven. Leaning on myself is not the answer. Leaning on the LORD is truly the only answer.

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.  Revelation 3:19-20

By grace…I trust
By hope…I see, I hear.
By faith…I believe.

By love…I desire the One Who forgives me.

Repent by prayer
Repent on my knees
Repent moment by moment
Repent from my heart
Repent …. with eyes fixed upon Jesus
Repent live by the Spirit
Repent

 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,…    Hebrew 12:2a

LORD, may the Spirit change my heart every moment of every day to be Yours, to follow Your Ways. May I release the reigns from my own grip and trust, with open-handed faith, that You are my Caregiver, my Provider, my Husband, the Lover of my soul. LORD, I pray that as I grow in You, that I understand that I must die to this self and live for You. You are forever gracious. I am forever grateful. I pray in the Name of Jesus, my Focal Point. Amen. 

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graphic: http://www.pinsuggest.com | http://www.pinstopin.com

Ballerina:Stunning technique and form – Elizabeth Rodbell of the Rochester City Ballet (New York state). @ http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_me8rpa1iTX1qix34io1_500.gif