Being Woven

On Being a Widow

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I would call becoming a widow (widower) going through deep waters.  AND then God promises to be with me (you) during these deep-water times.  Absolutely beautiful and so very reassuring.

WIDOW!  A word I have never given much thought to for myself, but the reality is that I am one now.  I saw (and sensed) my mother become one when she was only 46 with three girls ages 13, 10, and 7 to raise.  But me?  I am into this new pathway for a wee bit over one month now at age 70 with no children, no grandchildren.  The precious peace that Kenneth and I felt during the last five months has continued to envelop me, keeping me held and gently rocked.  I cry and know that God is okay with all of my tears.  I know that His plan included this loss as part of my life.

YET…it is not easy.  I miss Kenneth so very much.  Then there is all the paperwork, changing titles, probating the will and…and….  On top of all that stuff, there are buckets of tears!  And not just from the eyes but from this heart.  It is hard Those three words say it best!

Yet, at the same time, I sense the joy of the Lord, His strength, and His love abounding in my life.  He is bringing the right people onto my path.  He sends me to a church Sunday that rained peace all over me.  He is blessing me with the peace that passes ALL understanding.  I love Him so.  I may not comprehend it all so, but I certainly will not turn any of this away for it is my journey.

My soul waits in silence for God only;
From Him is my Salvation.  He only is my Rock and my Salvation,
My Stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.  Psalm 62:1-2

Behold, God is my Helper;
The Lord is the Sustainer of my soul.  Psalm 54:4

To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises;
For God is my Defense,
My God of mercy.  Psalm 59:17

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord GOD my Refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works. 
Psalm 73:28

“Behold, God is my Salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the LORD GOD is my Strength and my Song,
and He has become my Salvation.”  Isaiah 12:2

Oh, how these verses tell Who God is to me…He is all of this and so much more.

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The LORD will tear down the house of the proud,
But He will establish the boundary of the widow.  Psalm 15:25

אַלְמָנָה

‘almanah

a widow; also a desolate place:—desolate house (palace)

A widow is most often described as a woman who has lost her husband by death and has not remarried.

The LORD watches over the sojourners;
He upholds the widow and the fatherless,
but the way of the wicked He brings to ruin.  Psalm 146:9

“Leave your fatherless children,
I will preserve them alive;
And let your widows trust in Me.” 
Jeremiah 49:11

God cares about me, about us.  He did before I became a widow and He still does.  Praise You, Father.  Praise You. 

Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Reprove the ruthless,
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow.  Isaiah 1:17

In Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Isaiah 1: Seek opportunities of doing good: Relieve the oppressed, those whom you yourselves have oppressed; ease them of their burdens.  You, that have power in your hands, use it for the relief of those whom others do oppress, for that is your business.  Avenge those that suffer wrong, in a special manner concerning yourselves for the fatherless and the widow, whom, because they are weak and helpless, proud men trample upon and abuse;….  Speak for those that know not how to speak for themselves and that have not wherewithal to gratify you for your kindness.

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.  James 1:27

I do not consider myself weak.  I can stand up for myself…sometimes.  I can be gullible…sometimes.  Right now, as a one-month-old baby in this new widowhood, I am vulnerable.  I know that because it is hard.  I have just lost my dear Kenneth, my husband of 25 years, this man who loved me as unconditionally as any human being can.  He cared for and about me like no one else.  So I truly am vulnerable and must look to my Lord.  Focusing my eyes and the eyes of my heart upon Jesus is what I am doing.

When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.  When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow.   When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow.  Deuteronomy 24:19-21

God planned for widowhood.  He knew and still knows what needs to happen for them.  I think of the many widows and orphans in the world today with so many wars and such violence occurring all around this globe.  I do not consider myself one of those precious women or those innocent children.  I have so much more than they do, it seems.  I have a roof over my head and know that I have a meal.  Many of those widows are so strong in the midst of their huge struggles.  God knows each of our needs.  He knows from whence we came and where we are headed.

Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.  Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day.  But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives.  1 Timothy 5:3-6

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She sets her hope on God.  Oh, how I desire that for myself.  I pray, Father, that I walk the path that You have chosen for me, a straight and narrow path.  I rejoice that I have You to trust, to hope in, to love and to cherish.  Oh, I am so very grateful.  I have no parents alive now and have no children.  I come to You for You are my Redeemer.  Guide me each day, reminding me Whose I am.  Be with those widows and orphans in Africa, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and so many other areas of this world.  Provide for each one in ways that will direct their eyes to You. 

After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.  1 Peter 5:10

Father God, I praise You even in the midst of my sorrow.  I was so very blessed to have Kenneth for 25 years, yet I miss him so.  I know that he is free from the body that was decaying.  I know he is with You.  I know those things in my head, but my heart still is filled with pain and sorrow.  And this heart is also filled with joy because You are my Husband.  You are the One I trust.  You are my Hope and my All, Lord.  Oh, how very blessed I am. I thank You for being willing to perfect, to confirm, to strengthen and to establish me as I grow in You for the rest of my years.  The strength I have is because You are my Strength.  You are my Shield and Protector.  You are my Peace, my Jehovah-Shalom, my Healer, Jehovah-Rapha, my Provider, Jehovah-Jireh, my Shepherd, Jehovah-Raah.  Thank You for being my All.  I am eternally grateful to the One Who is Present, my Jehovah-Shammah. In the Name of Christ, I pray.  Amen.  

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Graphics:

#1:  http://godisheart.blogspot.com/2013/09/when-you-go-through-deep-waters-i-will.html

#2:  https://armyofcompassion.me/2014/09/13/lesson-2-one-god/

#3:  https://quotesblog.net/best-famous-hope-quotes-2015-hope-quotations/

 

 

Kenneth

Kenneth

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff,
they comfort me.  Psalm 23:4

My sweet Kenneth left this earth in the early hours of Thursday, June 7th, 2018.  Peace, love and awe were written all over his face and in the ways of his still hands…truly, he showed me the way he died.  A beautiful moment, yet so hard on my heart.

He has left this harsh world for the glories of heaven.

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In January, 2018, Kenneth became very ill, was transported to Houston Methodist Hospital where Diffuse Large B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma was diagnosed. He chose hospice versus treatment and we were blessed with five precious months! Kenneth did all he could to make sure this house was in order for me. He taught me things I would need to do and know; had me take notes for repetitive chores that I will need to remember.

We spent time talking of life and death and of our faith in Christ. We loved one another dearly and deeply. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on May 22. We had a wonderful and special marriage. I am so very grateful to God for my husband, Kenneth.

Kenneth served in the US Army as a Sergeant E-5, 3rd/506th Airborne (Combat) Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. He served in Vietnam from 4/1968-4/1969. This cancer has been identified as possibly caused by exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
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Agent Orange

Our Vietnam War Veterans may not have been welcomed home rightly upon their return to US soil, but Kenneth received a beautiful welcome into his heavenly Home by Jesus Christ, his Lord and Savior.

Praising the Lord in my sorrow,  I ask You, Father, to watch over my steps, to guide me each day as I follow You .  Thank You for the sweet five months Kenneth and I had together at the end of his life.  I so praise You, Lord, for the peace that I saw upon my sweet Kenneth’s face.  I loved him so and thank You for the 25 years we had together.  I have You for Eternity and what a glorious thought that is to my heart.  I will look to You as my Husband and Redeemer, Lord, for You say in Isaiah 54:5:  

For your Maker is your husband,
The LORD of hosts is His name;
And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel;
He is called the God of the whole earth.

And You care for and about the widow, as I am one now:

Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in Me.  Jeremiah 49:11

I pray in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen. 

 

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Mercy and Mornings

 

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Merciful
Compassionate
Kind
Such words bring a sweet feeling deep in my soul.  God is merciful.  He cares about His children.  He loves us.  He is kind and compassionate towards us.  How blessed we are to be covered by His Love, His Grace, His pinion feathers.  He protects us as an eagle protects her young.  He holds us close.  His mercies, His kindness, His compassion are meant to bless us.
Mercy can also mean to pity, feel sorry for one, shame, reproach. 

But God loves to shower kindness and compassion upon us.  He is.

 חֶסֶד

checed

kindness; beauty:—favor, good deed, zeal towards anyone, love, act kindly towards, to turn or incline kindness towards anyone, merciful (kindness), mercy,  benevolence, (loving-) kindness; grace, favor, mercy of God towards men;

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Lamentations 3:21-26…

21  But this I call to mind,

and therefore I have hope:

22  The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;

His mercies never come to an end;

23  they are new every morning;

great is Your faithfulness.

24  “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,

“therefore I will hope in Him.”

25  The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,

to the soul who seeks Him.

26  It is good that one should wait quietly

for the salvation of the LORD.  

 

His mercy is new every single morning.  God wants us to know how very much He loves us every day.  Upon awakening, He shows us His sunrise, His dew on the grass, His shelter over our heads, His birds singing in the Springtime trees.  He wants us to know Him in all ways, each and every day, in every moment, if at all possible.  He wants us to feel, sense, hear, and see Him all around us…all of the time.

We want that as well so we try to keep our hearts and eyes open all of the time.  Yes, I miss His beauty when I have my head down, or His words when I have my ears and mind filled with ‘stuff’ at times, but between Kenneth and myself, we find that He is close all of the time.  We remind one another too for we do not want to miss our Creator at all, if we can help it.

בֹּקֶר

boqer

dawn (as the break of day), day, early, morning, morrow, daybreak, morning light

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My husband, Kenneth, continues to walk this earth as he lives with Lymphoma on hospice.  We are learning each day the mercies of God.  He gives Kenneth breath for each day (me too, for that matter).  He gives him eyes and ears to see and hear the beauty of God’s world outside each day.  He allows Kenneth to eat certain foods.  He gives Kenneth strength to work in the garage in order to finish unpacking from our move here last summer and to get the garage settled for me, so that I know where things are and how to use certain tools that I may or will need.  He loves getting his workshop ready for both of us now, me later.

We ponder the magnitude of our God in our quiet time.  We spend as much time as possible together throughout each day.  When I am not running errands, I want to be home with him.  Love runs between us deeply and dearly.  We feel God’s hand in our marriage, not just these two months now since the diagnosis, but for the past almost 25 years.  I spend time with Kenneth in the garage learning and helping and we are enjoying that kind of time together too.

God has given us these precious days…weeks…months to share our love, take care of one another, minister to others in whole new ways, and to be together.  We are more in love with each other than ever.  Even sweeter is that we love the LORD in whole new and precious ways too.  We are taking each day that we wake up rejoicing and thanking God…FOR TODAY!

This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

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O LORD, be gracious to us; we have waited for You.
Be their strength every morning,
Our salvation also in the time of distress.  Isaiah 33:2

For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.  Psalm 30:5

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“The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me,
‘He who rules over men righteously,
Who rules in the fear of God,

Is as the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
When the tender grass springs out of the earth,
Through sunshine after rain.’  2 Samuel 23:3-4

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns Psalm 46:4-5

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But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.  Psalm 59:16

He who made the Pleiades and Orion
And changes deep darkness into morning
Who also darkens day into night,
Who calls for the waters of the sea
And pours them out on the surface of the earth,
The LORD is His name.  Amos 5:8

O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness,
That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.  Psalm 90:14

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The LORD is His Name…Great is Thy Faithfulness.  O Heavenly Father, Your promises are everlasting.  Your love is forever.  You walk with us in these hard and seemingly dark places.  You bring joy to us.  You rain Your mercies upon us each and every day.  Hallelujah!  The way much of the world thinks, Kenneth and I should be sorrowful, tearful, nervous, depressed, fearful, stressed while facing a Cancer diagnosis and a final outcome of death.  I often feel guilty because I feel so at peace in You, LORD, and because I am not moping around with the “Whoa is me!” syndrome.  Yet we are living in Your Peace, Father.  Your Peace brings calm and quiet to our days.  We feel more in love with one another than ever before, more joy-filled, eyes open to the gorgeous green of Springtime, ears alert to the chirping of birds with their nestlings or fledglings.  Yes, Father, we are facing death in this household, yet there is no room for moping, for feeling sad all the time.  Yes, we feel these things, but we are not living our days in them.  We desire to stay near to You.  We sense Your presence in our lives.  You fill us with Your joy, love, and peace.  Father, these are of You.  You are in our house and in our lives.  Thank You.  We want to be close to You and feel Your Presence.  How wonderful You are, LORD!  How sweet is this time!  I never could have imagined that walking this closely with You would bring such wonder to my heart, to my eyes and ears, to my mind and soul.  Thank You.  Kenneth also feels this joy, love, wonder and peace!  How blessed we are.  We are so very grateful, Father.  In the powerful Name of Jesus, Amen. 

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“Dew on the Grass” photo by Wallpaper.com @  http://wallpoper.com/wallpaper/dew-on-grass-447065; Scripture added @ https://ipiccy.com by me.

Lavendar Field at Dawn @ http://eskipaper.com/nature-dawn-wallpaper.html

Daisies (Psalm 118:24) @ https://twitter.com/kayarthur/status/740532666160828416

Joy Comes in the Morning @ https://sensiblefaith.com/2013/10/07/your-joy-comes-in-the-morning-psalm-305/

Sunrise in Yosemite National Park with Merced River in foreground @  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/282530576598864422/

“Sun Rays Psalms 90:14” @ @}ARosePhotos~~

Every Purpose Under Heaven

 

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I continue to be woven by the hands of God through all of life’s circumstances, events, conversations, precious time spent with my husband.  God is so merciful.  He allows hard, yet quilts it with the downy feathers or soft rabbit fur as for a nest.  He gives us His grace in portions, some small, some huge.  He is so fine and so beautiful.

As many know from my last post, my husband, of almost 25 years, has been diagnosed with Lymphoma.  He has chosen to be under hospice care, and to be ushered into Heaven in God’s perfect timing.  Kenneth served in the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Infantry Division during the Vietnam War.  He was exposed to Agent Orange which could very well be the cause of this cancer.  Life is fragile any day and especially when one fights in a war.  We see affects today with our soldiers coming home from Iraq, Afghanistan, and so many other places these days.  There are prices paid when one serves this country in the Armed Services.

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For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.  Psalm 139:13-16

God created each one of us.  He made these bodies so magnificently…just think about the mechanics of all of the working parts, the symmetry between those parts, and the details of each part…the skin, the heart, the eyes, and all.  We have been built by The Master Craftsman, Architect, Creator….The Master Weaver.

My husband’s already frail body has a cancer.  He has chosen not to fight it for many of his own reasons, but the real reason is God.  He is calling him Home.  Each night, while in the hospital, God came.  He would be there with Kenneth in the quiet, in the dark.  Kenneth knew and waited, listened, believed.  On the surface, Kenneth was there in the hospital waiting for answers from the doctors.  In the depths, the real answers were coming from the LORD.

I saw Christ in Kenneth more clearly each morning when I came to visit.  I was affected dearly by what was happening to my husband.

We have been home from Houston for about six weeks.  Kenneth and I are continuing to feel God’s Peace and, now, His purposes for us.  We have new mornings for which to be grateful.  We share precious time together.

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.

It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the LORD.  Lamentations 3:22-26

We are more in love than when we got married which is hard to imagine.  We were so crazy in love 25 years ago.  We are growing in the LORD each and every day, growing closer to one another too.

Kenneth has begun teaching me things I will need to know when I am a widow.  (Yes, that is hard to write, think, say, yet, unless God has a miracle in store, I am headed that way.) He is working on small projects as he is able so as to make things better for me.  He is so delighted to have these tasks to do, not only for me, but to give him purpose for each day.  He came home to die, yet only God knows the number of days for Kenneth.  To while away the unknown number of days sitting around or lying in bed is not good for the soul…if one can help it.  Purpose of heart, purpose of mind, purpose of being are vitally important for life.  Kenneth is very much alive today.  He is being held by God.  I am in His arms as well.  Each day is a learning experience and one not to be missed.  Our eyes, ears, and hearts are wide open for this time.

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

[A time for EVERY PURPOSE under Heaven…we are living this right now…right now on earth…under Heaven.  Thank You, LORD.]

Ecclesiastes 3-1 To Everything There Is A Season Under Heaven brown

A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;

A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;

A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;

A time to tear,
And a time to sew; A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;

A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Beautiful words to embrace.

Our time together is precious.  We do not know the number of days.  We only know that This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.  [Psalm 118:24]  Today is the day to be God’s creations together.  He is giving us daily gifts.  When Kenneth’s days are up, I will truly be sad; I will miss him so.  He is so good to and for me.  God blessed me with this man.  So we take today.  Today is holy ground.

Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”  Exodus 3:5

God could also bring a miracle.  And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26

Father, I lift my voice: “Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help,
When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary.” [Psalm 28:2]  …the innermost place of Your sanctuary.  Father, You have given Kenneth such insight, love, and kindness.  He shares it with me and I am so blessed.  Thank You, LORD.  I pray Your watch-care over him every day, all day.  Hold me close and never let me go.  EVER, Abba Father.  I ask You to guard my heart.  Guide me upon Your path for my life.  I thank You for loving us so.  Thank You for giving us these many years together.  And should there be more, I thank You and praise You now.  As we have been praying all along, LORD, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.  I pray in the Name of Your Son, my Savior and LORD.  Amen.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.  Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.  Ecclesiastes 3:11

 

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http://eweniquelyewe.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-bit-of-weaving.html

http://ejdodson.blogspot.com

Knowing-Jesus.com: https://images.knowing-jesus.com/i/ecclesiastes-3-1-to-everything-there-is-a-season-under-heaven-brown-4101

https://www.embeddedfaith.org/embedded-faith/tweetspiration-thursdays#.Wp3GcyHw-Uk

 

Oh, to soar!

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.   
Isaiah 40:31

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God has placed a challenge of a lifetime before me, yet I feel very little burden.  The peace and love of God rains upon me and He reigns in my heart with every step I take.

As this photograph depicts, fog is clearly in my life.  I cannot see down the road.  I can only see right where I am.  I move forward as God moves me and He meets me right where I am.

Just last week, my precious husband of almost 25 years has been diagnosed with Lymphoma.  A large blockage obstructs the Duodenum from the outside so food cannot pass from the stomach to the small intestines.  Ken has chosen no treatment as he watched a niece go through years of chemo and radiation to gain a few extra years, but through tremendous suffering and with limited quality of life.  Ken just wanted to return to our home and be under hospice care which is where we are today.

During his week-long stay in a large, excellent Houston hospital, he knew the presence of God in His life, knowing that God’s will was being orchestrated right before his eyes.  He was so filled with peace there and that peace filtered into me.

I cannot imagine life without Kenneth yet I know both our lives are in the LORD’s hands.  Jesus will not leave nor forsake us in this trial.  For now, I have Kenneth and I cherish every single moment with him.  What a privilege to serve him in this intimate way and be there for him as his needs arise.  When he is awake and desiring to fellowship with me during his waking hours, I feel so very blessed.  Oh, my!

We are privileged to know Christ Jesus as our LORD and Savior.  Jesus walked the road to the Cross.  Ken and I walk with Jesus, following Him as He wills.

In the days and weeks to come, may I ask for your prayers…for us both.

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Photo from Yosemite National Park Service Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/YosemiteNPS/

 

His Invisible Attributes

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For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.   Romans 1:20

But as for me, I will hope continually,
And will praise You yet more and more.  Psalm 71:14

How do we come to know God?  He is infinite.  He Omniscient.  He is Omnipresent.  He is Omnipotent.  He always existed.  He is the Great I AM.  How can I wrap my brain and heart around this God from this tiny life I am here on earth?  I feel so small when I think about my Creator, my Strength, my Healer, my Redeemer.  How can I know that Him?

Matthew Henry stated:  The being of God may be apprehended, but cannot be comprehended. 

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How can I call Him all of these things when I cannot even know Him?  How can I know that He will be so much for me when He is invisible to me?

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. Ecclesiastes 11:5

My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Psalm 139:15

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His Word tells me that He is all that He says He is.  The Word is the Truth.  I believe God’s Word.

I look all around me…at the trees, the birds, the flowers…seeing God’s natural beauty.

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God shows Himself in ways that are birthed in the natural.  We see His beauty all around us.

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Nevertheless He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.  Acts 14:17

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Psalm 19:1

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Lift up your eyes on high
And see Who has created these stars,
The One Who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing.  Isaiah 40:26

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“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’”  Acts 17:24-28

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When I find these words in the Bible telling me that the LORD is, and He is all, I trust and open my heart.

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.  Psalm 18:2

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Father, You are God and Creator of my soul, body, and mind.  You know all.  You are over all.  Your beauty surrounds me.  I see it in the trees, the streams, the color of Fall, the flowers of Spring and Summer, the rain and the snow.  I hear it from the tops of trees…a bird’s chirping.  I see their colors.  They are of You and remind me of Your amazing touch on all.  You painted a beautiful natural world.  I see it through my eyes, hear it through my ears, and sense it in my heart and soul.  Your world is my temporary home.  One day I will be in a Home with You.  Oh, what a glorious day that will be.  The natural beauty that is here in the things around me, the National Parks, the breadth and blues of the oceans, the clouds and sky above me…these give me a glimpse of the beauty of our Heavenly Home.  Father God, You are the Artist and Creator of this natural world here.  I cannot even imagine the Heavenly Home You have prepared for us..  What beauty You have created.  Thank You, for I come to know You a bit better each day as I see my world.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

 

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  1. Christian Computer Wallpaper:  http://www.christiancomputerwallpaper.com/author/editor/
  2. Psalm Quotes for Winter, Melinda Somers, Via Karina Martínez,  http://quotesgram.com/img/psalm-quotes-for-winter/8082747/

  3. Snow on branch:  http://flickrhivemind.net/Tags/cold,scripture/Interesting

  4. “Snow Falling” – http://www.bwallpapers.com/wallpaper/snow-falling-4569/

  5. Psalm Quotes for Winter, Julie Rios, http://quotesgram.com/img/psalm-quotes-for-winter/8197395/

  6. Psalm Quotes,  http://www.psalmsquotes.com/psalm-19-1-famous.htm

  7. Night Stars: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?search=night+stars&title=Special:Search&go=Go&searchToken=5kja8wlaa2wp6btgjd8pjw0wb

  8. “What no mind….”  http://flickrhivemind.net/Tags/cold,scripture/Interesting

  9. Psalm Quotes: Veronica Herman, Psalm And Winter Scene Photograph,    http://quotesgram.com/img/psalm-quotes-for-winter/45490/

 

 

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR — 2018

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To my sweet friends,

As we cross this bridge from one side to this other … from 2017 to 2018 … may we look upon each day as the most important day there is…that we love one another with all we have today, that we give thanks for all that is provided for just that day, that we be kind and gentle with each other and those we encounter today.  I want to take those steps one at a time so that I do not miss anything that is there for me to find.  Every day has so much, so many gifts…let us not miss those.  People share words with us that take on special meaning just for us as we ponder them in the hours or days to come.  Animals give us their own kind of love that only animals can give, like a lick, a rub, a gentle bark or meow.  May our eyes be open to see the colors of the sunrise or sunset before us, the height and majesty of the mountains in the distance. the blue of the sky above us, and the brilliance of each flower at our feet.  The world has so much good to offer.  We see the bad, the negative, the harsh far too often.  Let us look up to see the beauty and brilliance of all that is good and positive.  There is so much.  God has called us to see that which is of Him.  May we see and hear it all.
May your 2018 be focused on that which is good and focus much, much less on that which is not.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Caring through Christ, ~ linda

Immanuel

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“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.”  Isaiah 7:14

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Immanuel = “God with us” or “with us is God”

symbolic and prophetic name of the Messiah, the Christ, prophesying that He would be born of a virgin and would be ‘God with us’

designates Him as being truly “God over all blessed forever”

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from Chuck Swindoll, “Jesus: The Greatest Life of All” —

There are many names given to Jesus using the phrase “He shall be called,” both in the Old and New Testaments. This was a common way of saying that people would refer to Him in these various ways. Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).  None of these titles was Jesus’ actual name, but these were descriptions people would use to refer to Him forever.  Luke tells us Jesus “shall be called the Son of the Highest (Luke 1:32) and “son of God” (Luke 1:35), but neither of these was His name.

In two different places, the prophet Jeremiah says in referring to the coming Messiah, “And this is His name by which He shall be called, YHWH, OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jeremiah 23:5-6; 33:15-16). Now we know that God, the Father, is named Yahweh.  Jesus was never actually called Yahweh as though it was His name, but His role was that of bringing the righteousness of Yahweh to those who would believe in Him, exchanging that righteousness for our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). Therefore, this is one of the many titles or “names” which belong to Him.

In the same way, to say that Jesus would be called “Immanuel” means Jesus is God and that He dwelt among us in His incarnation and that He is always with us.  Jesus was God in the flesh.  Jesus was God making His dwelling among us (John 1:1, 14).  No, Jesus’ name was not Immanuel, but Jesus was the meaning of Immanuel, “God with us.”  Immanuel is one of the many titles for Jesus, a description of who He is.   **

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As a Baby, He is with us.

As a Boy, He is with us.

As a young man, He is with us.

As Jesus, sitting at the right hand of the Father, He is with us.

He was always with us, even before the creation of the world.

He was with us when we were born into this world.

He has walked with us throughout our days and will continue until the end of our old age.

Those who know Him as their LORD and Savior, He will take us to Heaven and be with us for eternity.  Halleljuah!

May your Christmas be filled with the love, the light, the beauty of our LORD, Jesus the Christ.   May we focus upon the One Who came in the flesh as a newborn baby, yet grew to be crucified…for our sake...for our very lives.  May we look up and see the One Who loves us so that He came with the purpose of dying so that we might live.  He is with us always and in all ways.  He is Immanuel.  As we ponder this name, may we truly sense the power of having God with us…always, in all ways.  I have changed the way I read that Name, understand that name, breath that name.  Thank You, LORD Jesus.  Amen.

 

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Graphic/Photo at top:  https://sammytippit.org/immanuel/

** Chuck Swindoll, “Jesus: The Greatest Life of All”

Simply Jesus

 

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This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.  Psalm 118:24

As we seek the LORD, following the star, may our hearts know the way to the Savior.  May we find the way.  May sweet and simple be the journey.  As we ponder this season, this season of plenty, this season of giving, this season of gathering, this season of family and friends, food and feast, may we remember Why we celebrate CHRISTmas.  May the eyes of our hearts see the One, see Jesus, and know that He is all that we need.  The gifts may mean a lot to some for some time.  Yet…The Gift changes everything forever.

My soul will make its boast in the LORD;
The humble will hear it and rejoice Psalm 34:2

CHRISTmas is the touch upon my heart to know the One Who came to save my life, to change my life, to love me to death and love me into His Kingdom.  Praising God.

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you.  He is your example, and you must follow in His steps. 1 Peter 2:21

CHRISTmas takes me from the beginnings of this Child wrapped in swaddling clothes here on earth.  His time began long before that when He was with God, the time of  creation, yet I have come to truly know Him from this poignant point called CHRISTmas, His birth.  I must look upon this Child to see Who He is, to follow Him.  I am His sheep.  He is my Shepherd.   I am ever so grateful LORD.

“I am the Good Shepherd; I know My own sheep, and they know Me, just as My Father knows Me and I know the Father.  So I sacrifice My life for the sheep.”  John 10:14-15

LORD, You came…You came to call me to Yourself, to call me one of Your own.  As a Baby, You were just a baby to most.  Some knew You were to be King of the Jews.  Some knew that yet did not understand.  Some knew You would be the Savior.  I saw You as a baby until I really saw You as God, as my Savior, as my LORD, as my Shepherd.  Oh, Jesus, thank You for opening my eyes, for coming to me, for me, desiring my hearts and wishing to make a home in it.  Oh, I am so very blessed.  LORD, You are the tiny Baby under the star.  You are the Boy Who could talk to the rabbis.  You are the Man Who taught thousands.  You are the One Who was crucified and died on the Cross for me, for so many millions more.  Thank You.  You are God.  You are One in Three…God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit. 

A Baby.  As You were protected once by Your mother, Mary, You cover me and keep me safe now.  As Your parents taught You, You teach me.  You are the Holy One of Israel.  You rule over my heart.  Father God, this Gift You have given, Your One and Only Son, the One Whom we celebrate His birth each year, thank You.  Thank You.  In the Name of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us, I pray.  Amen.  

 

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Christ – The Lamb of God

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Again the next day John was standing with two of His disciples, and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”  John 1:35-36

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a lamb

Christ is the sacrificial lamb.  His death, endured so innocently, waited for its time so patiently,  lead to the atonement of our sins.  He was the One Who sacrificed His all for each of us.  He endured so much because He loved us so.  He paid the price for us all…for me.  Thank You, Jesus. 

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:... 1 Peter 1:19

Jesus lived His life with us on earth without a blemish or a spot.  He was consecrated to God, set apart to be holy and devoted to His Father.  Through Him, we are blessed and able to also be consecrated.  Oh, Father, only that I would be able to walk in His steps.

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.  Colossians 1:21-23

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“They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”   Rev 7:16-17

 

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Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”  Rev 19:9

Dearest Father, I long to know the One Whom I call Lord…well.  I want to truly understand how He was willing to die for one such as I…how He loved me so in order to be the Sacrificial Lamb for me.  He is so beautiful and caring, loving and filled with kindness.  Thank You, Father for Jesus, the Sacrificial Lamb.  Through my gratitude, I open my heart and mind to learning more and more about You, the Holy Trinity,,,the Three-in-One Who are always with me for every need.  Oh, I thank You.  May my heart be still in order to know You, to see You, to be with You.  May we sense the celebration of the birth of Christ Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas.  In the Name of Christ, I pray to You.  Amen.

 

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