Awe or Dread?

psalm 10

When you look at this photo, if you were the one in red, would you be terrified or could you sit in awe at the incredible view?

The Lord is King forever and ever;

the nations perish from His land.

O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted;

You will strengthen their heart; You will incline Your ear

to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,

so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

Psalm 10:16-18

עָרַץ

`arats

[ä·rats’]

to awe

(intransitive) to dread; hence, to harass:— be afraid, dread, feared, terrified, break, dread, fear, oppress, prevail, shake terribly.

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You shall not be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God.  Deuteronomy 7:21

For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD?
Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD, a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones,
and awesome above all who are around Him?  Psalm 89:6-7

“Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread.  But the LORD of hosts, Him you shall honor as holy. Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.”  Isaiah 8:12-13

For when he sees his children,
the work of My hands, in his midst,
they will sanctify My name;
they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob
and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.  Isaiah 29:23

We can stand in awe of our God’s might or shiver in fright from the world’s terror.  Which shall we choose?

  • Dylann Storm Roof shot nine of our Christian brothers and sisters as they joined in fellowship and communion; even the armed gunman sat with them for over one hour in Bible study and prayer.
  • Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received a death sentence for killing 3 and maiming 264 at the Boston Marathon of 2013.
  • Islamic State, Taliban: car-bombs, kidnapping, killing, taking and retaking lands
  • Drug cartels
  • Armed and unarmed men killed by police
  • Boko Haram attacks, kidnappings
  • and on and on…

Can we pray for these instead of fearing them?

Can we look to our God in awe for Who He is, for all that He does?  He is the One Who enables us to hear from the afflicted, the oppressed, the poor, the elderly, and to be able to do something for orphans, the elderly, the oppressed.

And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.  And the idols he shall utterly abolish.  And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.  In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;  To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth.  Isaiah 2:17-21

Matthew Henry comments on Isaiah 2:20-12: “Let not your eye be to the power of man, for it is finite and limited, derived and depending; it is not from him that your judgment proceeds. Let not him be your fear, let not him be your hope; but look up to the power of God, to which all the powers of men are subject and subordinate; dread His wrath, secure His favour, take Him for your help, and let your hope be in the Lord your God.”

Father God, I pray that I would seek Your Holy face in all ways.  Your majesty and glory is above all and before all.  I want to see You.  I want to hear You.  I want to be obedient to You and not follow those who would lead me astray.  Father, You are my LORD and Savior.  You mean everything to me.  I thank You for saving me.  Should I ever be in a situation such as in the church in Charleston, may I be able to stand tall for You, not shrinking back from the love I have for You out of fear to man.  “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.”  Ephesians 6:13  May I stand for those who need You, for those who are downtrodden, for those who are old and alone, for those who are fatherless, for those who are hungry or thirsty.  Father, there are so many who need You in untold ways.  Show me Your ways.  Father, I pray these words of Jude: Now to Him who is able to keep [me] from stumbling and to present [me] blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen.  Jude 1:24-25

That I may be in awe of You.   Amen and Amen.

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Dependency

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 “Christianity promises to make men free; it never promises to make them independent.” 
William Ralph Inge


No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.  That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.”  But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

Roman 4:20-25

Abraham was faithful.  He depended upon God, was obedient to Him.  He had a relationship with His God.  His faith was “counted to Him as righteousness.”  I have a relationship with God because I want to be close.

I have worked so much of my life to be independent, having a life I could call my own, but faith in the LORD, being married to Kenneth, talking with one of my sisters each weekend on the phone, are relationships that mean so very much to me and call me to obedience and dependence.  Being dependent is not a bad thing as the world often portrays it.  From the Mosaic Bible’s devotions:  “While relationship doesn’t demand the sacrifice of independence, it offers the gift of meeting our inadequacies.  In such moments of weakness, we realize the strength of dependence.”


I Cannot Do This Alone

 by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you;
I cannot do this alone.
 
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
I do not understand your ways,
But you know the ways for me….
 
Restore me to liberty,
And enable me to live now
That I may answer before you and before men.
Lord, whatever this day may bring,
Your name be praised.
Amen.


I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  2 Corinthians 12:9


LORD, I need You and You alone.  May the needing of You be joyful and may it be the delight of my heart.  LORD, help me release my need to be self-sufficient so that I may always be God-dependent.  Amen.

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picture:  https://jimkane.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/slide14.png

You Did It To Me

For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me, I was in prison and you came to Me.’  Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  And when did we see You a stranger and welcome You, or naked and clothe You?  And when did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’  And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.’   Matthew 25:35-40

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I have just finished reading “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck, written in 1939.  Prior to that book, I read “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson, written in 2014.  In this world today…my heart, my eyes, my ears see and sense injustice, inequality, desperation in trying to migrate or to escape across waters and harsh lands, living in war-torn countries, starvation, sex and slave trafficking, and this list goes on and on.  I also see the good and the great, but these books have focused my attention on these harder issues.

The first of these books wraps around the issues of migrant farm work back in the Dust Bowl period and the Depression.  The misuse of land, bank loans, and then corporations getting the land of small farmers, set these families off their land.   When they saw handbills advertising workers were needed in the rich, fertile valleys of California, far too many went out there without enough work for all.  Then corruption reared its ugly head all across the state in many forms.  The circumstances of it all broke the spirits of many of these people, yet many overcame as best they could to survive.

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The second book is about a lawyer who meets prisoners on death row.  These men come together when Bryan Stevenson goes to the South for a month-long class while attending Harvard Law School.  He meets men who have been locked up in solitary confinement for years upon years.  Eventually, the ones in the book are found to be innocent, yet never had the council necessary to have a fair trial.  People in authority used their powers unjustly to lock up innocent people to keep the guilty out of prison or to keep their own name from coming under ridicule when they did not arrest a guilty party.

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Although one book is fiction, it is based on events over years and of many that actually did occur.  It is like a composite of the times.  The other is nonfiction.  My heart strings have been pulled immensely these weeks.  I am sad for the injustice that took place so long ago in many situations, and still takes place to this very day.

Jesus calls us to feed the hungry, to visit prisoners, to welcome a stranger.  When we look around, there seems so very much that needs to be done.  Overwhelming, indeed.  And we often sit still, doing nothing because we don’t know where to begin or it seems like too daunting of a task.  Bryan S. thought such thoughts, but he began with one prisoner.  Casy, in Steinbeck’s book, stood up for the downtrodden who were being underpaid, overworked, and betrayed because someone else was willing to do their job for less so the wealthy landowners hired the new ones for half the price and forced the others to take that same pay or get out.  Tom Joad, a main character, planned to take up that mantle after Casy was killed in trying.  Tom was willing to risk it all.

Risking is hard.  Yet…can we lift a hand to help another?  Can we offer a drink of water?  Can we feed the starving?  Can we bring Jesus to the hearts of the lost?  Will we?

Helping-Others-Quotes-No-one-is-useless-in-this-world-who-lightens-the-burdens-of-another.

Father, I ask Your forgiveness for all of the open doors I have walked passed, missing the golden moments to offer help.  And thank You for giving me an opportunity to feed one from Cuba recently when he asked for money for food.  We were just outside a cafe so I invited him in and bought his lunch. He was most grateful.  You blessed me, LORD, for this man truly wanted a meal.  My cynicism creeps in when so many have a hand out with looks of drug and alcohol abuse.  My trust in their request is zero for I judge them and think I know what it is they really want.  Guide me to those who You want me to help.  I trust in You and You alone.  Then I will know.  Father, take me by the hand and teach me Your ways that I will see Jesus in these with a need.  I don’t want to get to Heaven and find out just how many, many times I have missed Him here on this earth.  I know I will have missed many, but I don’t want to add to that number now.  I lift this prayer to You in Your Son’s Name. Amen. 

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Martin Luther King, Jr. photo:  https://www.facebook.com/RevivalAmerica

Charles Dickens’ Quote:  http://www.verybestquotes.com

Rolling

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Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in Him, and He will act.

He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.  Psalm 37:5-6

גָּלַל

galal

to roll

roll away

roll down

roll together

=

commit

rolling down

Playing with a ball brings to mind rolling.  Lying at the top of a grassy knoll brings a delightful roll down the hill on one’s side.  Playing marbles is about rolling.  Using an exercise ball calls for a rolling action of the body upon the ball, whether standing up against it or lying atop of it.  We roll.

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Commit, in the verse above, is about rolling our cares off from ourselves and onto God.  We are to…

commit

trust

remove from ourselves

throw off, give, cast off a burden

 

Roll unto Jehovah thy works, And established are thy purposes,…   Proverbs 16:3 YLT

“Roll upon Jehovah thy way,”… i.e., commit all my concerns to God.

And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” And so the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.  Joshua 5:9

Jesus tells us, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Matthew 6:25

…casting all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

All of our cares, those anxious moments, those tender ones whom we love so…give them all to Him.  Our job is just that.

Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and chief over them; and Jephthah spoke all his words before the LORD at Mizpah.  Judges 11:11

Jephthah gave all his concerns to the LORD and trusted Him with the outcome for in verse 7, Jephthah asks, “And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father’s house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress?”  He had reason for concern.

Naomi said to Ruth, “Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.”  Ruth 3:18

In His time, God will roll away the reproach, bring forth righteousness and honor due to the one who is rolling away his cares onto the LORD.  Just because God takes on our cares does not mean that we should stand far off, be afraid that these cares, concerns will be back in our own hands.

Yes, I do take them back all on my own, but God usually does not give them back.  I tend to roll them over to Him time and time again, because I take them back time and time again.

BUT…I am to stay near to God…

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  James 4:8

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.  James 4:10

Father God, You want me to roll my burdens to You, to “roll upon Jevovah thy ways.”  I want to.  I do.  I forget and take them back.  I am sorry.  I am learning.  I wish that I were a child and still rolling down those green hills with laughter bubbling out of my mouth and heart, never thinking once, let alone twice, about cares and concerns.  I was a kid having fun “without a care in the world.”  I want to roll down those green, lush hills, but I can no longer do that physically.   You know that of me.  But you also know that I can lighten my load by giving it to You.  Teach me Your ways, O LORD.  I want to learn to roll, to commit my burdens to the One Who can do something about them.  I want to quit pretending that I can do things better than You.  I want to lay down my pretenses of strength and allow You to be my Strength.  I want to roll everything onto Your back for You can carry these loads.  I cannot.  Then when I finally let them go, Father, I can heart-fully roll down those green hills once again with the lightness and laughter of long ago when I did not even know “burdens.”  O Father, I can be the child I miss so, sometimes.  I can be Your child and run, walk, roll, and stay close because You love me so.  I am Yours, Father.  I pray these words in the Name of Your Son, my Brother.  Amen. 

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Rolling Ball Clipart:  http://imgarcade.com/1/rolling-ball-clipart/

Children rolling down hill:  https://beingwoven27.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/290a7-rollingdown.jpg

Photo of little girl in red:  http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/parenting/4254193/Lee-Price-tries-the-50-things-every-kid-should-do-before-they-are-11.html

With Healing in Its Wings

malachi4_2But for you who fear My Name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.  Malachi 4:2

מַרְפֵּא

marpe’

health, healing, cure

health, as of sound mind

refreshing of the body, of the mind

deliverance

remedy

relaxed, tranquility of mind, meekness

This is where I am today.  Surgery…knee arthroscopy: torn meniscus, arthritis rubbing on bone.  A week ago, that surgery.  Yesterday, doctor appointment.  I am walking without Mama’s walker, weight-bearing on the right knee and leg.  I am not quite ready to leap out of those stalls with the calves, but soon!  I begin outpatient physical therapy this week to gain strength, better mobility.  God is so good and so gracious to this one.  I am so grateful to my Healer.

Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.  Jeremiah 33:6

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh,
but envy makes the bones rot.  Proverbs 14:30

A sound heart, a heart of meekness, a tranquil heart, a peaceful heart…gives life to this flesh.  LORD, You alone have given me this calmness throughout this time.  The trust in my surgeon comes from You.  The staff that took care of me from pre-op to post-op and all of those in between were just so kind and caring.  You sent me to this small hospital that is doctor owned two years ago for a hip replacement that first time.  It was just as fine in an outpatient setting as it was when I spent nights after surgery.  You know my every need and You held my heart and mind in Your mighty hands.  Your heart melded around mine and kept all systems running perfectly as I underwent this surgery.  Oh, God, I praise You.  My heart tonight still feels the peace of a week ago.  You have walked every step with me this week.  With all the love I have to give You back, I hand my heart overflowing with love to You, O Father.  In the Name of Your Son, I pray.  Amen.   

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Photo:  http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/113.html