Betwixt and Between

Betwixt and Between:

a midway position :  neither one thing nor the other

Thanksgiving is over.

Christmas is soon.

holly

A large Thanksgiving meal–prepared and eaten.  Giving thanks for the many blessings we have had throughout the year–a reminder that all throughout the year is time to be grateful.

Yes, yes, I’ll get back to that after Christmas.

When the meal is done and all have gone home, many pull out the decorations and begin to prepare for Christmas.  There are about four weeks to plan, shop, write and send cards, possibly travel, prepare another meal.  It feels hectic. It can be.

Wait…this season is beautiful.  It is filled with reminders: the coming birth of Jesus Christ, Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem in preparation for the census, a manger will hold the newborn Babe, a star directs shepherds to the Christ Child, the Holy One.

We should be aware and watching for the Star of Bethlehem, be traveling with Mary and Joseph, be there at the manger.

star

Why are we rushing to and fro in search of something material when the true Gift is coming right into our hearts?  Why are we so busy with things that are ‘expected’ yet may not be ‘necessary?’  Why are we not still, awaiting for the Savior to come?  Why are we not looking up?

I know, I know.  Christmas is when we gather and give.  Gift-giving may be to children and others.  There may be expressions of love.  Family and friends who have been apart for a long time may come together for the holiday.  I am not saying that this is all wrong.  But we need to slow down and look up.  We need to remember Who Christmas is about and what He means to us.  He came to save us from our sins, from ourselves.  He came to lay His life down for us…for me.  

     For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  Luke 2:11-14

Father in Heaven, forgive us for being so wrapped up by the world and all of the things of it.  Forgive us for forgetting Who You sent into this world for our salvation.  Forgive us for thinking that we understand what this beautiful Christmas season is all about when we often barely give Jesus a thought in the hustle and bustle of Christmas.  Father, I pray for the many who are so caught in the stuff of Christmas.  I pray that they will not miss another Christmas of You, of Jesus.  I pray that they will see all that they have been missing for far too many years.  I pray that the eyes and ears of our hearts be opened to the coming of Your Son, Your One and Only Gift.  May we stand before the manger in awe this Christmas and know that Your Love has come to us, come for us.  May we be still and quiet so we will know the Spirit of Christmas.  May our hearts be calm to hear Your Voice.  I pray that we will see Your perfect Gift.   May praises come forth from our lips and hearts; may our songs be filled with thanksgiving.  Father, I pray that we will not be standing betwixt nor between, but would stand strong with You and beside You.  I so pray this in the Name of Jesus.  Amen.     

bwdarkgreen sig

 

Joy

2da63e8df5440309f3200759cfb3758a

Therefore with joy you will draw water
From the wells of salvation.  Isaiah 12:3

שָׂשׂוֹן

sasown

cheerfulness; specifically, welcome:—gladness, joy, mirth, rejoicing

Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.  NASB

Joyfully you will draw water from the springs of deliverance.  NET

The same Hebrew word is used here for joy:

Your words were found, and I ate them,
And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;
For I am called by Your name,
O LORD God of hosts.  Jeremiah 15:16

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

john15_11

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”  John 15:11

In Greek, joy is…

χαρά

chara

cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight:—gladness, greatly, (X be exceeding) joy(-ful, -fully, -fulness, -ous)

“Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”  John 16:22

 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.  NIV

The same Greek word for joy is used many times over in the New Testament.  Here are two verses:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  Galatians 5:22-23

 

The dictionary.com definition of joy:

noun
1.  the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation

2.  a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated

3.  the expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety

4.  a state of happiness or felicity  [verb (used without object)]

5.  to feel joy; be glad; rejoice [verb (used with object)]

6.  Obsolete. to gladden.

 

Walking in the Spirit, with the Lord, in obedience…the fruit of the Spirit grows on the branches of our lives.  We walk more and more in the image of Christ as we come in contact with the world around us.  Joy is one of those fruits and it can surely show on the outside.  The fruit also grows within us, opening our hearts to be more and more like Christ.  The fruit overcomes the hard roads we walk or the roads which loom ahead.  Joy can bring smiles when circumstances might take us down to heavy places.  Joy can overwhelm the dull.  Joy can depress the depression.  Joy can be the joy of the Lord in our lives.

Father, You are my Joy that lightens my load, lifts my burden, relieves my stress, changes my sorrow into joy.  You bring me near to Your side that I will know Joy, the Joy that You are.  You are my Salvation, my delight, my exceptional satisfaction because You are You, my LORD.  May I rely on You and know Your Joy so that my joy may be complete.  In Your Son’s Name, I pray.  Amen.

 

“And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”  Nehemiah 8:10

bwturq sig

…as a mere breath! (republished from Sanctified Together)

REPUBLISHED ARTICLE FROM SANCTIFIED TOGETHER ONLINE MAGAZINE — LIFE AS A VAPOR  edition

…as a mere breath!

Fog that forms in valleys and lowlands is known as radiation or ground fog and may leave the valleys fogged in all day, while the tops of the hills are clear. It often occurs on clear nights when a layer of cool, moist air is covered by a layer of drier air. The ground cools rapidly, since little of the heat radiating from its surface is absorbed by the moist air. As the ground cools, so does the air above it, which becomes saturated, allowing fog to form. The cold, heavy air that collects in valley bottoms makes them especially susceptible to fogs in late fall and winter.

 “O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!”
–   Psalm 39:4-5 (ESV)
Pondering, I find I am fearful that I am nothing but a vapor. That I do not count. That no one notices me. That I am not making a difference in this world. Yet, it is the world that yells loudly in my ears to be, to do, to follow the crowd, to eat this or that, to act or look in certain ways; and these messages go on and on.
“What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14b ESV).

What is my life?  My life is a vapor, a mist, a breath. This is all the more reason to be all that God has created me to be and to do. For today I could breathe my last and utter my final word. My thoughts remind me of the victory I have with every breath according to God’s Word. I rejoice!

Seventeen years ago, I was given a new life from the Lord. As I spend time with Him, He guides me and teaches me. His Love permeates my heart. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19 ESV). His Light radiates from my face as I become more like Him.

“And we all, with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV).

He allows me to focus on His world through His eyes. I know that each breath of mine is His.  I cherish the moments with Him – seeing through His eyes and listening through His ears. I trust Him to walk with me through the brightly lit fields of spring flowers and through the harsh realities of nursing home life. We walk together and . . .

  • By His grace, I care for my 96 year old mother, loving her no matter where her mind is or isn’t today, massaging her feet with peppermint lotion, keeping flowers, fruit, and favorites in her room, reminiscing, reminding.
  • By His tenderness and compassion, I am able to love elderly nursing home residents with kind words, a touch, a smile, a drink of fresh water.
  • By His joy, I just love several children whose mothers work as nurses’ aides at the nursing home. I read, hug, and talk with them. Through His eyes, I watch these precious, well-behaved young ones spend hours in this place waiting for their mothers, touching the hearts of elderly ones in their innocent, wholesome, unconditional ways. I am amazed and know it is by His Power.
  • By His tender mercies, I take my seventy-eight year old Alzheimer-ridden brother-in-law for a ride so my husband and his visiting sister can have an hour alone.

“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.”  ” 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 25:35-36, 40 ESV).

The beauty of reflecting Christ enlarges my life. But slowing down so as not to miss an opportunity does not come easily in today’s hectic pace; yet with each breath, I will try. This is my life…one breath. Let not my last breath come because my light has yet to shine and my love has yet to love. I pray that I may be used up for my LORD.

“I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.”
–    Psalm 104:33 (ESV)

linda sig

THE ENTIRE MAGAZINE EDITION IS @ http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs012/1102811929004/archive/1103239394001.html

fibuttonnew1NewSTbutton-1

Peace, Perfect Peace (republished from Sanctified Together)

GUEST POST | REPUBLISH @ BEING WOVEN

November 2010 Online Magazine “Sanctified Together” Edition “Peace”

158

In this world, perfect peace is just not attainable although moments of peace may glide in and out of our days and evenings. For me, I may experience one of those rare moments when I can sit, listening and watching the migrating birds resting in our trees, or when I can read a wonderful book and become so involved that I am unaware of the world around me. Just this very morning as I drove across the causeway, stretching out over Nueces Bay, a flock of hundreds of white pelicans silently glided through the air to find their winter home in Oso Bay or other nearby bays here in South Texas. Their beauty, their movement, and their silence gave me an inkling of sweet peace while I watched and even later recalled the sight. Yet, this peace lasts for just a little while before an interruption occurs–traffic, a noise, the bridge.

Perfect peace, while not touchable today, is attainable through our LORD, Jesus Christ. He is the Prince of Peace, the Giver of the true and beautiful peace. He is that perfect peace.


On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.   Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”   And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”  John 20:19-22 ESV

Through the Blood of the Cross, our LORD has given us peace. He showed His hands and His side to the disciples, to us, to say that He has gone through this for you, for us. You are forgiven. Jesus says you may have peace as you believe Him, His death, and His resurrection. How can the death of Jesus Christ bring peace?  It does through forgiveness and is the only event where true and perfect peace lies.


For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:19-20 ESV

As I ponder “peace,” I quiet my mind, sit still before my God, and ask, “What does ‘peace’ mean?” The dictionary has words to describe “peace” :

·    freedom from disturbance
·    quiet and tranquility
·    mental calm; serenity
·    freedom from or the cessation of war or violence

Yes, these describe “peace” as I know it intellectually. Yet, I want to know “peace” spiritually. LORD, please show me Your Peace. Jesus Christ stands before me without words. He is Peace. He is Perfect Peace.How can I have it, my LORD? 


You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.  Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD God is an everlasting rock. Isaiah 26:3-4 ESV

His Word tells me to trust and keep my mind upon Him. So when I want to do something my way, or in the world’s way, when I am disobedient, when I dwell upon myself, my struggles, everyone else’s struggles, I am not trusting; I am not keeping my mind set upon the LORD. I am doing things Linda’s way.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 ESV

How often do we live in the way of this world?  How often do we linger on troubles and trials, rolling them over and over again in our minds? Then they find their way to our hearts and settle there for a period. Ridding ourselves of these dwelt upon concerns is a call for prayer and for dependence upon God. But He tells us in the phrase, “I have overcome the world,” that His Blood shed for us at Calvary is enough. His Love for us is enough. He has overcome the world. Through His grace we can dwell with Him–He with us. He overcame the world that the world cannot dwell in us. He is here in our hearts. He occupies the whole space. And the Word tells me that “in Me you may have peace.” IN HIM … I MAY HAVE PEACE.


I need to have a right relationship with Him. I need to trust Him. I need to believe. I believe IN Him and what He did at the Cross. And I need to BELIEVE HIM. He tells me the Truth. He speaks to me and answers me. He dwells in my heart. And I need to dwell ever-so-closely with my King. Through this beautiful relationship, I can live in quiet contentment. I can know that His Presence in me creates a quiet confidence no matter what my circumstances, what people are doing in my life, or around me, or even far off in another corner of this world.  There is a sense of wholeness, a spring of well-being that permeates through me.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.  John 14:27 ESV

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7  KJV

LORD, we pray for heart-understanding of Your peace, the filling of the Holy Spirit Who gives us rest in You. You are Peace. You are Rest. May Your Blood flow through our veins and reign in our hearts as we learn to trust, depend, and love You wholly and solidly. LORD, may we know You as the Prince of Peace here on earth, that we would be able to experience Your rest now, and be ready for Your perfect peace on that beautiful day. Amen.

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12 ESV

I join in singing and praising! Hallelujah!


~ Linda Gill
THIS MAGAZINE IS NO LONGER ONLINE.  BUT THE ARCHIVES ARE HERE:  http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs012/1102811929004/archive/1103705870424.html

NewSTbutton-1fibuttonnew1

Veterans Day — 2015

row of flags
I honor you, Veterans of the United States of America.

I am a proud wife and daughter of military veterans.

On this day, I stand tall in honor of these two men and all the other veterans of today and the yesterdays.

It also makes me sad
for all those who have lost their lives due to war.
 arlingtoninfall
I honor the veterans who return with physical, mental, and emotional wounds.  I am so very sorry.
I pray for you and your families.
I honor the families who serve alongside of their husband, wife, son, daughter, mother, father, grandchildren…for you are serving this country as well.
Thank you to each and every one of you.
 IMG_1434My husband is an Army combat veteran, 101st Airborne Division/Co. B 3/506, served in Vietnam, 1968-69.
You were a soldier once…and young, as were (and are) so many others.
I am so proud of you, Kenneth.  I respect you and love you.
I did not know you back then, but am so glad and grateful I do now.

Thank you for marrying me and loving me so.

 

Scan 7My father was a Navy doctor, a “lifer.”  He loved his Navy. 
He served in WWII in the Pacific
and then went on to be a part of the post-war Manhattan Project
(Bikini, Eniwetok Islands)
where radiation exposure eventually took his life by Pancreatic Cancer.
He practiced medicine in the Navy for 20 years until he died at age 46. 
My Daddy died when I was 12. 
He and my mother are buried in Arlington National Cemetery. 
My sisters and I are honored. 
You loved us so, Daddy.  I still miss you and love you. 
Mama, I miss you too.

photo 1
Freedom is
never FREE.

By His will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  Hebrew 10:10

Jesus paid the ultimate price for our/my freedom.  You offered Your Son as the Sacrifice to redeem Your children to You.  I am and will be grateful forever, Abba Father.  May I live as You have called me to live, Father God.  Thank You for these men and women who have served and are currently serving this country. I pray that we do not forget them but honor them in this life for the honor with which most have served. I lift up those today who came back from war with scars on or in their bodies, minds, and souls. Protect and heal them, Father. I pray for the families of those fallen soldiers, the families of those who are yet in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other areas of this world which place them in harm’s way. I lift up our Coast Guard who are risking their lives to interdict the drug cartels coming out of Mexico. Oh, Father, there are so many concerns and I pray on my knees before You. Thank You for hearing my cries, seeing my tears.   May we each turn to You and know that You are God and Father of all.  Amen.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Have you ever heard about Wreaths Across America? or Worcester Wreath Company in Maine? This company has been honoring our fallen soldiers by placing wreaths upon the graves since 1992. It began small and has grown to almost every Veterans Cemetery in the USA. Check out their story: Remember
Saturday, December 12, 2015 National Wreaths Across America Day –


bwturq sig

Flags photo:  http://blog.mass.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Flags-Veterans.jpg

Arlington National Cemetery in the Fall:  http://www.todayifoundout.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/arlington-national-cemetery.jpg

The others are my own photos.

Father God

To ponder…

Does God feel like a loving Father to you?  Does He feel like the kind of Father that you could crawl up in His lap and snuggle with or swing in a swing with?

family-440607_640

He is.  I know because I snuggle.  I climb into His lap.  I swing with Him.  I know that I am held firmly and securely no matter where I am with Him.  He is my Protector and the Love of my eternal life.  I must trust Him in order to sit in the vulnerable position as the child above.  I am learning to trust more and more.

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the One Who helps you.”  Isaiah 41:13

The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.   Psalm 29:7

“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”  Luke 18:17

Abba Father, You are the best.  You love me the way I am.  You strengthen me to do what You have called me to do and to be.  You hold me close that I know You are with me.  You teach me trust by being Who You are…my Father, my Protector, my Strength.  You are my All, Abba.  I want to learn and be the clay in Your hands.  I am sorry when I become afraid and lose my ability to trust You.  I am learning.  I thank You for Your patience with me and for being my Teacher.  I love You, Abba Father.  I pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

bwturq sig

Photo: by Antranias (Manfred Antranias Zimmer From Bernau am Chiemsee, Germany)  https://pixabay.com/en/family-leisure-parents-child-440607/

Unsearchable

romans11_33b
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
  Romans 11:33

ἀνεξεραύνητος

anexeraunētos

not searched out, i.e. (by implication) inscrutable:—unsearchable

ἀνεξιχνίαστος

anexichniastos

not tracked out, i.e. (by implication) untraceable:—past finding out; unsearchable.

that cannot be comprehended

past finding out

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

These two Greek words almost look alike, mean almost the same thing with just slight changes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Versions of the Bible use different words to lay this meaning out before us:

Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!  NLT

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!  NKJV

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!  NIV

Oh, the depth of the riches

both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!

How unsearchable His judgments

and untraceable His ways!  HCSB

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!  NASB

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!  NET

Impossible, untraceable, beyond our ability to trace or to find out, unfathomable…the greatness of God, His Omnipotence, His Omniscience, His Omnipresence…He is far more than we can possibly understand at this time.

Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast You save, O LORD.  Psalm 36:6

Your way was through the sea,
Your path through the great waters;
yet Your footprints were unseen.  Psalm 77:19

God, You are more than my mind can wrap around yet my heart feels Your love and Your care for me.  I know You are with me and hear my prayer.  You are unsearchable but I am learning more and more about You.  I am in love with You and praise You for Who You are.  I thank You with my whole heart for saving me through Your Son’s sacrifice and His love for me, for many such as I.  He was resurrected from the grave and told His disciples that He will return for them, for me.  One day, we will be together and You will still be more than I could have imagined here on this earth.  Will I be able to fathom You even then, Abba Father?  Your mercy, Your grace, Your greatness, Your faithfulness, Your power and Your might?  Jesus said that we may not understand but one day we will.  I look forward to that day, Abba Father.  I lift this prayer in the Name of Jesus.  Amen.

Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”  John 13:7

grand-canyon-south-rim-overview-011

befuschiasig

Photo:  Heartlight.org @ http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/526.html