This post is not something I have ever done before, but when I saw the reader statistics for Being Woven on this past Easter Sunday, I was so very humbled. I just want to share them with you, my readers.
On Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, “Being Woven” had 298 visitors from all around this world. 240 must have “googled,” “binged,” searched for “He is Risen.” 240 people read the Easter post “He is Risen!” from March 24, 2016, on “Being Woven.”Five years ago! It is short but has a powerful punch. Plus 9 people came and read the Easter message for 2021. These are messages that never grow old, never change, never is anything but great news to those who believe for He has, indeed, risen! Jesus rose and conquered death. Hallelujah!
And it can, hopefully, be good news, great news, for those who are searching for Christ without even knowing exactly what they are needing and why they are needing it.
I am humbled by my Magnificent and Holy Lord. He called them to this blog, which was originally born in Jesus, written about Jesus, since 2009. Over the years, through the words I type, God teaches me more than I could ever imagine. He uses this blog to mold me to look more and more like Christ. I am so very grateful.
My prayer over every visitor is that the messages here will touch each one way beyond anything I can control or hope, or more than the words that my fingers type. My prayer over me as I type each post would be that they be guided by the Holy Spirit and not me. I am quite sure that is not always the case, but I pray it is for most.
Let me share the countries from which they came on this past Easter Sunday, April 4th, 2021:
Trinidad & Tobago
All over this world!
Nothing is too hard, too big, too small, too wide, too deep, or too narrow for God to bring the Gospel to others. I could not have imagined 12 years ago when I began this blog just how He would use this very woman who is continuously being woven.
“He reveals mysteries from the darkness And brings the deep darkness into light.” Job 12:22
As I pray Ephesians 3:14-21, please join me:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant [me] to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in [my] inner being, so that Christ may dwell in [my] heart through faith—that [I], being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that [I] may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that [I] ask or think, according to the power at work within [me], to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11
The Name of Jesus …
Jehovah is salvation …
Jesus was a fairly common name in that time. Joshua and Jesus mean “Yahweh saves” or “the Lord is salvation.”
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
Jesus, the Son of God, the Savior of mankind, God incarnate took on human flesh for the purposes of God. He carried our sin to the cross. There, He shed His blood as a sacrifice for us.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13
Salvation is the key to life and death. Seeking God and the redemption He offers through His Son, Jesus Christ, is the ultimate gift, given freely. May we accept it with open eyes, hearts, and hands.
But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you.In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. Acts 3:6-7
I may not have gold or silver either. I may not drive a fancy car or live in a mansion, but I have so much more. I am rich. Christ is my Everything. He is my All. He is my Provider, my Protector, my Husband, my Savior, my Peace, my Bread of Life and Living Water. He is the Name above all names.
From Matthew Henry: Commentary on Acts 3:“Christ sent his word, and healed him (Ps. 107:20); for healing grace is given by the word of Christ; this is the vehicle of the healing virtue derived from Christ. Christ spoke cures by himself; the apostles spoke them in his name. Peter bids a lame man rise up and walk, which would have been a banter upon him if he had not premised in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth: “I say it by warrant from him, and it shall be done by power from him, and all the glory and praise of it shall be ascribed to him.’ He calls Christ Jesus of Nazareth, which was a name of reproach, to intimate that the indignities done him on earth served but as a foil to his glories now that he was in heaven. “Give him what name you will, call him if you will in scorn Jesus of Nazareth, in that name you shall see wonders done; for, because he humbled Himself, thus highly was he exalted.’ He bids the cripple rise up and walk, which does not prove that he had power in himself to do it, but that if he attempt to rise and walk, and, in a sense of his own impotency, depend upon a divine power to enable him to do it, he shall be enabled; and by rising and walking he must evidence what that power has wrought upon him; and then let him take the comfort, and let God have the praise. Thus it is in the healing of our souls, which are spiritually impotent.“
Again, from Matthew Henry: Commentary on Acts 3: Peter lent his hand, and helped him (v. 7): He took him by the right hand, in the same name in which he had spoken to him to arise and walk, and lifted him up. Not that this could contribute any thing to his cure; but it was a sign, plainly intimating the help he should receive from God, if he exerted himself as he was bidden. When God by his word commands us to rise, and walk in the way of his commandments, if we mix faith with that word, and lay our souls under the power of it, he will give his Spirit to take us by the hand, and lift us up. If we set ourselves to do what we can, God has promised his grace to enable us to do what we cannot; and by that promise we partake of a new nature, and that grace shall not be in vain; it was not here: His feet and ankle-bones received strength, which they had not done if he had not attempted to rise, and been helped up; he does his part, and Peter does his, and yet it is Christ that does all: it is he that puts strength into him. As the bread was multiplied in the breaking, and the water turned into wine in the pouring out, so strength was given to the cripple’s feet in his stirring them and using them.
Father, that which You will for me, for my life, is mine when I ask in the Name of Your Holy Son, Jesus. I have a heart filled with gratitude. I love You. Amen.
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:15-23
…the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Amen and Amen.
“If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom you crucified, Whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:9-12
God, Who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things, through Whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. Hebrews 1:1-4
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified inthenameoftheLord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11
…so that thenameofour LordJesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:12
Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorifyGodin that name. 1 Peter 4:16
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inthename of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,… Matthew 28:19
Whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:13-14
Whether I walk amongst strangers or with those I know, I can only be a light in this world when I depend on Jesus to light me for He is the Light. I cannot do anything without Him. He is the Source by which I am able to love, to pray, to light a dark place. He holds me that I may hold another. He loved me first that I may splay love where I go. It is by the power of His Name that I can do the things…through Christ, my Lord and Savior.
LORD God, I love You so. Thank You for drawing me to Yourself. I pray that I may draw others to You by the light that shines from within in by the Light that is Jesus. You are molding me to look more and more like Jesus with every day, with every breath. Your very Presence is with me as I draw near to You, my Father. I desire You to be the center of my life. I pray that I would want nothing more than You, LORD. I pray my love will grow for You with each day. I pray in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen.
But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ Luke 23:28-30
For if they do these things whenthe wood is green, what will happen whenit is dry? Luke 23:31
wet (as if with rain), i.e. (by implication) sappy (fresh):—green
(through the idea of scorching); arid; by implication, shrunken, earth (as opposed to water):—dry land, withered.
Pilate has turned Jesus over to the people to be crucified.
The innocent, the unblemished Lamb, the Holy One, the One without sin…if they crucify this One, Christ Jesus, then what will they do to the ones who have sin, are guilty, are the withered ones?
In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. John 5:3
Those who are less than perfect, which is all of us…
Those who are withered as dry wood, the man with the withered hand, those with withered, old skin, those who are less than physically whole…
Where do we stand in this scenario? We are not the green, new wood of Jesus. We are, in ways of our own, the ones who are less than He is, by far. Yet, there are ways to remain near to Jesus and return to Him where He sits at the right hand of God.
If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.John 15:6
come to Jesus as our LORD, our Savior
know that He died and rose again
abide in Him
be planted in the waters of the Lord
yield fruit that glorifies God
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.Psalm 1:3
LORD Jesus, teach me Your ways so that when my days are numbered I may return to You for You have called me. May I be steadfast in my walk beside You, obedient in Your way. May I stand near and learn from You so that I may glorify our Father in Heaven. LORD, I want to be planted in You, my Living Water, quenched in the richness of Your Word. May this tree bloom, seed, and become the fruit of love and joy, of peace and patience, of kindness, goodness, and faithfulness, of gentleness, and self-control. May the fruit of righteousness come through You, my Christ, to me so that I may give glory and honor and praise to God. May I walk in Your light for this fruit is found in all that is good, right, and true. I want to be pleasing to You, taking no part in unfruitful works of darkness. Your Word is a lamp unto my feet. It is a light unto my path, keeping me upright and on the narrow path. I pray all of this, LORD. This is not an easy road, but it is the one I desire for all the days of my life. In You, the Bright, Shining Star, I pray. Amen.
Just what is the measure of a woman who has grown to an old age? When the joints hurt doing simple household chores? When she feels unable to help herself or those she cares about? What if she lives in a total care facility — even has to wear a diaper? Or when Dementia or Alzheimer’s or a stroke or heart attack has taken the mind or abilities away? From a physical standpoint, old age seems immeasurable.
The world measures by physical beauty — slender figure, wholesome complexion, youthful hair color and agility. When so much of that worldly beauty changes, what is there to measure? Gray hairs, wrinkles, poor eyesight, hearing loss, protruding belly, mental slowness? The world’s yardstick is tough on her. The moral and spiritual character often is torn asunder. Yet, God measures differently.
Creator God made His children in His Image. Can one allow the world to be the judge? God is Judge — He sets the standard. No other. Beginning to end, He sustains, carries, and promises.
God speaks to us through His Word. I continue to ponder this highway that I am on. I feel His nearness, His love for me, His joy as I learn from Him. I walk the road with God.
1The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; 2 it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you. John 15:16
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. …. So there was much joy in that city.Acts 8:5, 8
I desire to abide in You, my LORD, being obedient and submissive to You. I want to be a fruit bearer, honoring You with joy and song.
3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. 4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”
“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”Luke 22:32
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 1 Thessalonians 5:14
May I serve You, my LORD, with boldness and strength, acceptably, with reverence and awe.
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; 7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
“…to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in Me.’ Acts 26:18
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.Psalm 46:4
Oh, LORD, You are my All in all. You are the One Who turns me from darkness to light, from blind to seeing, from deaf to hearing. You set me apart for Yourself. I am so very grateful. May the springs flow through me as I walk in this world…that I would be Your witness, Your light, Your salt.
8 And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. 9 No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.
Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. ….” Jeremiah 6:16a
This highway stands before me. I ask for the ancient paths and walk upon them for this is the good way. I know I shall find rest there. Thank You, LORD.
10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”Revelation 7:17
I praise You, LORD. I sing and rejoice for I know You. You are my Guide. You are the Way of Holiness. Hallelujah! and Amen!
from an unused root meaning to smooth; a threshing-floor (as made even); by analogy, any open area:—a barn-, corn-, threshing- floor, a threshing-, void- place before the gates of a city
Freshly harvested grain was thrown into a large pile in the very center of the floor. It was then hand raked onto the area of the floor where the oxen would walk around and around, breaking the husks away from the actual grain. This area was called the threshing floor. It was flat and hardened by the passing of oxen over the sheaves, sometimes pulling a sled designed to separate the grain from the husks, the tares (weeds, false grain) from the wheat. Afterwards, the stalks and grain were thrown up into the air (winnowing) so that the wind would blow the unwanted chaff away, leaving the kernels.
The threshing floors were also important places and were often used as landmarks. Men and royalty often sat in the gates of a city, often on or near a threshing floor.
And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. 1 King 22:10
The words, threshing floor, is one word in the King James version of the Bible. In looking up the Hebrew, we find the same word, goren, is for both threshing and for floor. Thus, translating the Hebrew into English gives us threshingfloor as one word. Other versions of the Bible separate the two words but translate them individually from the one word, goren.
Joseph, with his kinsmen and Egyptian followers, halted for seven days at the threshing floor of Atad to lament the death of Jacob.
When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they lamented there with a very great and grievous lamentation, and he made a mourning for his father seven days. Genesis 50:10
Travelers might welcome a threshing floor to stop for the night as the hard, level spot would be preferable to surrounding stony fields for tents.
David bought a threshing floor to build an altar to the LORD.
1 Then satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. … 7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel. … 18 Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan (Araunah) the Jebusite. … 20 Now Ornan was threshing wheat. He turned and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. … 24 But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” 25 So David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site. 26 And David built there an altar to the Lord and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. … 28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there.1 Chronicles 21:1, 7, 18, 20, 24-26, 28
Have we felt that something is worth more to us when it is bought and paid for by our earnings? Do we take things for granted when they are given to us for nothing? Is more value placed upon that which we buy, whether by money, labor, or things traded?
This same piece of property was to be where God’s Temple was to be built by Solomon.
1 Then David said, “Here shall be the house of the Lord God and here the altar of burnt offering for Israel.” … 7 David said to Solomon, “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house to the name of the Lord my God. 8 But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood before Me on the earth. 9 Behold, a son shall be born to you who shall be a man of rest. I will give him rest from all his surrounding enemies. For his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for My name. He shall be My son, and I will be his Father, and I will establish his royal throne in Israel forever.’ 11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, so that you may succeed in building the house of the Lord your God, as He has spoken concerning you. 1 Chronicles 22:1, 7-11
Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.2 Chronicles 3:1
Mount Moriah is where Abraham sacrificed his son, Isaac, to God.
He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” Genesis 22:2
Threshing floors were places of judgment:
Rejoice not, O Israel! Exult not like the peoples; for you have played the whore, forsaking your God. You have loved a prostitute’s wages on all threshing floors. Threshing floor and wine vat shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail them. Hosea 9:1-2
But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand His plan, that He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor. Micah 4:12
Threshing floors were places of blessings as well. Sheave offerings were laid there to the Lord.
And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, My great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and My people shall never be ashamed.Joel 2:24-26
Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.” And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”Ruth 3:3-5 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may His name be renowned in Israel! Ruth 4:13-14
Jesus bought me by His blood. I am forgiven and paid for by the High Priest with His life. I am to be winnowed, ridding me of the chaff.
“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:12
Have I felt that something is worth more to me when it is bought and paid for by the sacrifice of my LORD? Is more value placed upon that which has been purchased for me by the sacrifices of Jesus? Is the gift of forgiveness of the debt I cannot pay and for which I owe such that I am so humbled?
LORD Jesus, I thank You for the love You have for me, for redeeming me. You have blessed me beyond anything I could imagine. I know that a day will come for my judgment. I also know of Your forgiveness of this child. I want to continue to be winnowed for I desire to become more pure for You with each day. I want the chaff to be blown away, then burned. I want only the kernels to be left so that I may make You a loaf of bread. I know You are the Bread of Life, yet I want to give You this gift from my heart. How can I really thank You, Jesus? You have done so very much for me. I am humbled with gratitude. Thresh me on Your threshing floor, my LORD. Separate the weeds and husk from the very grain of me. Winnow me to purity, to wholeness, LORD, for I want to be wholly Yours. In Your beautiful Name, I pray. Amen.
Horace Williams, Jr. commented on a post here @ Being Woven (April 29, 2016/Memory’s Music) which so touched my heart. It was in regards to the topic and the love he has for his father. I have invited him to be my guest today.
My father is a wonderful man! I am blessed to be his first born son and his namesake. I have not written specifically about him on my site even though it was intended in the parent references I’ve made on several occasions. My father and I have a very unique relationship but as I have grown older and wiser, my desire is to live like he lives in representing Jesus Christ.
Today, I want to share with you some highlights so you can know him a little better and then I will convey how music has impacted my father’s life and continues to do so. Growing up as a child, I can remember my father and his love for classical music. I did not really understand it at that time and I can remember thinking where are the words? How can you listen to music with no words, I would ask myself? Two of his favorite composers are Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.
I admit as I got older I began to understand his affinity for classical music. In fact, I am listening to one of my favorites (Tchaikovsky) right now as I type this. He composed so many great pieces of music such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and my favorite, his Piano Concerto No. 1. As a former piano player myself, I can only dream to have played like this, but I digress! Now back to my father. Here are some highlights to give you a “peek” into just who he is.
Fantastic facts about my Father:
Faithful Husband. Dad and Mom celebrated their 50th wedding Anniversary this year!
Fantastic Father of five children.
Fortunate Grandpa to 11 amazing grandchildren. I say fortunate because my parents had to be wondering if I would ever give them a grandchild. I think my mom stopped asking me fifteen years ago!
Fluent in 4 languages. (at one time he was) English, Spanish, French, and German
First class Army Veteran. Dad was a distinguished Army Captain of the MP’s during the time of the Vietnam War.
Former Pastor, Church planter, and Home Missionary. It was during my dad’s time in the Army that He came to know Christ as his Lord and Savior and felt led to attend Bible College. He then became a Home Missionary as God directed him to start a church.
Free Taxi Driver. I can still remember either dropping me off or picking me up in the wee hours of the night from work regardless of how many hours he had worked that day.
Frequently Awkward Adviser. I think because my father saw us as so different, he had a hard time figuring me out at times. Although he always advised me in love growing up, our differences made it hard on him at times. For example, I loved playing sports; he played in the band. He loved Sci-fi movies and I prefer a great mystery or love story. Oh, how I wish I had listened to those “awkward” conversations growing up. Looking back now, they were filled with such Godly wisdom.
Fighting a difficult battle with the debilitating Alzheimer’s disease. Yes, you read correctly. My father now suffers from Alzheimer’s. A few years ago my father was t-boned while driving my car as I was recovering from the stroke. My car was totaled; he was okay, just a little shaken. It was at that moment we wondered if there might be something wrong with the safest driver I have ever known. I remember the day he told me his diagnosis was confirmed. He kept repeating it to anyone who would listen… I have Alzheimer’s. It broke my heart!
As I watch Alzheimer’s progressively attack my father’s brain, I go to God in prayer asking for peace in my father’s mind. I do not understand the disease and I’m not sure anyone does. I’ve read research articles and reports on the subject. It was stated in one article that sometimes Alzheimer sufferers remember things buried in their heart.
I feel my father’s love when he greets me with a kiss and calls me by my name. His love for music is still evident. For our parent’s 50th anniversary, all of my siblings pitched in and we got them tickets to the symphony. It was a performance of both Beethoven and Mozart. My mom said he absolutely loved it! He sat still for the entire two-hour performance and did not move a muscle! (I would include a picture but they are all pretty dark.)
Mom also plays the local classical music station when they are driving as too much talking seems to perturb him at times. My father has always been a fan of the “old school” hymns. He never really has been a fan of the contemporary Christian music. He loves hymns like The Old Rugged Cross and How Great Thou Art. One hymn that has special meaning and seems to have stayed with him through everything is My Hope is Built on Nothing Less. It is a beautiful and inspiring hymn from the 1800’s, a song overflowing with hope in Jesus and our foundation in Him.
Just a few days ago we all went to visit our parents. He sat down in the chair next to me and asked me how I was doing. I told him I was feeling okay, but was having a little pain. He looked me in the eye and recited the first verse of this song to me. It was all I could do to keep from crying. I got up and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered, I love you, Dad. I’m not sure I will ever understand why this is happening to such a kind, loving, and brilliant man with a heart for God. I trust my Father in Heaven and I ask Him that He bless my earthly father with peace of mind…even if it’s the few minutes of listening to or hearing his favorite songs.
I’ve included a beautiful video of the song my dad recites to me every time he sees me. I pray you are encouraged and inspired. Please pray for my father and grace for my mother.
Blessings to you and yours,
Horace Williams Jr.
I am a single, Christian man who loves the Lord Jesus with all his heart. I am also the oldest of five siblings. In the Summer of 2010, I suffered a devastating stroke that could have taken my life. My entire left side was paralyzed due to a ruptured blood vessel in my brain! However, God has given me a second chance and I want to glorify Him every day. As my love for Christ grows deeper, it’s my desire to share my faith with others. I pray you find help, inspiration, and encouragement as I share with you about the transforming power and love of God.
Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, Indian Blankets…so vivid and lush in the Texas Hill Country this past week. The peak of wildflower season here…we decided to venture there for a few days. It was beautiful.
God’s Glory shone all around us wherever we drove. Winding Farm-to-Market roads, County Roads, and two-lane Texas Highways. Flowers everywhere. BUT…photographs of these flowers do not give the real carpet-effect on this screen. Each stem stands about 6-8 inches high…some clumped together…some spread apart. The colors are so much brighter in person. You know what I am saying!
A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:6-8
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:22-25
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,
and His righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep His covenant
and remember to do His commandments.
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
and His kingdom rules over all. Psalm 103:13-19
YES…these beautiful flowers were at their peak while we were there, but they will fade. The season is now to see them at their best. The beauty…clearly there. God created these amazing flowers. He created us…you and me. We, too, will fade in these physical bodies, but if we are born again in Christ Jesus, we are of imperishable seed . We will meet the Lord in Heaven one day. These Scriptures tell us that God’s Word does not fade, nor does His love.
Father God, You are my All. You are my Creator and the Love of my life. You made these beautiful flowers for my eyes to behold. The colors and the fragrances remind me that You are near. Father, thank You for allowing us to get away for a few days in order to see the splendor of Your natural world. We enjoyed it so. You show us Yourself as we journeyed along the winding roadways of the Hill Country. Oh, Father, You are truly Glorious. You remind me that I am dust and am fading as I age, but You sent Your Son Who took my sins away. I have been reborn with imperishable seed and will live in eternity with You. Oh, Father, what a gift! These little flowers remind me of the awesome sacrifice You made for me. Truly, I pray, in the Name of Christ Jesus. Amen.
For a brief history of Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson’s beautification desires for the nation as well as Texas:
“Decades ago, Mrs. (Lady Bird) Johnson recognized that our country was losing its natural landscapes and its natural beauty. As much as 30 percent of the world’s native flora is at risk of extinction.”
“Getting on the subject of beautification is like picking up a tangled skein of wool,” she wrote in her diary on January 27, 1965.“All the threads are interwoven — recreation and pollution and mental health, and the crime rate, and rapid transit, and highway beautification, and the war on poverty, and parks — national, state and local. It is hard to hitch the conversation into one straight line, because everything leads to something else.”
Mrs. Johnson wanted to beautify the nation’s capital during her time as First Lady. She and others did so much to make Washington, D.C., a capital city to be proud of as they filled the Mall, parks, and streets with flowers and new landscaping, refurbished run-down neighborhoods, and so much more. She told the Society for a More Beautiful National Capital, “Over the past three years, the people in this room have produced nearly two and a half million dollars to take steps toward making this nation’s capital more livable and more beautiful. Not only is your handiwork enjoyed by the three million people who live and work in this city, it can be seen also by seventeen million visitors who come here each year, and our work has inspired other cities across the country.”
She played a large part in getting the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 into and through Congress, although she would have liked it better if it had passed without so many amendments. It called for control of outdoor advertising along the nation’s Interstate Highway System and other federal primary highway systems. It also required certain junkyards along Interstate or primary highways to be removed or screened and encouraged scenic enhancement and roadside development.
From the time Mrs. Johnson left the White House until she died in 2007, Mrs. Johnson never stopped desiring to beautify this country. Mrs. Johnson and “actress Helen Hayes founded an organization in 1982 to protect and preserve North America’s native plants and natural landscapes. First as the National Wildflower Research Center and later as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, this special place exists to introduce people to the beauty and diversity of wildflowers and other native plants.”
Mrs. Johnson (and the Wildflower Center) encouraged the planting of seeds along roadways. Many Texas highways and byways share the fruit of this labor in bright and brilliant color each Spring!
You did it all, Father. Times past, and times today.
Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the midst of the earth.Psalm 74:12
Bowing with a humble and gracious heart…
The living, the living, he thanks You,
as I do this day;
the father makes known to the children
your faithfulness.Isaiah 38:19
Telling our children about our Father God…
Reminding generations of Whom they came from…
What He did for us, for all and everything…
One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.Psalm 145:4
Today and yesterday…
God’s power and strength in the midst of our weakness…
God’s wisdom when we know not…
God’s might when the enemies surround…
Joy and praise to the Holy One of Israel
…to the God Who delights in all creation
…to the God Who lights this world and takes away the darkness
In singing this psalm we ought to give God the praise of what he has formerly done for his people, to represent our own grievances, or sympathize with those parts of the church that are in distress, to engage ourselves, whatever happens, to cleave to God and duty, and then cheerfully to wait the event. Matthew Henry (from his Commentary)
Father God, You are worthy of my praises. I am on my knees in quiet as I thank You for everything You have ever done for me, with me, in me, over me. You have graced me with Your Love and Your Salvation. You have protected me with You right hand. You comfort me in times of need. You show me Your righteousness through Jesus, Your Son, and a glimpse of Your righteousness through the lives of godly people here on earth. Praise You, Father, for all goodness and kindness that You shower upon me. You are Holy, LORD. You are Grace and Love and Might and Power and Peace. You are my All in all. I love You, LORD. I am praying in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to Me.If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.”This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” **
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and He sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before Him and that followed Him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when He entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”Matthew 21:1-11
Jesus knew His time was near. He knew the Scriptures filled with prophecies about Him. He knew.
A beast of burden is a draught (draft) animal that carries or pulls heavy loads, such as a donkey, mule, llama, camel, or ox. It can also be any domesticated animal trained to perform tasks for humans, such as a herding dog or a trained falcon. Often, the animal will be under a yoke, teamed up with one or more of the same kinds of animals.
Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey, as per the prophecy in Isaiah 62:11. The donkey, the beast of burden, carried the One Who would be carrying our burden of sin to the Cross. Jesus came that we might be saved. Jesus came that we be made white as snow, cleansed of our sins, for the Father.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Isaiah 1:18
Jesus calls us to follow Him and bear our crosses. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.Luke 14:27
Yet He is there by our side to carry the load with us. “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 11:29-30
Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved.Psalm 55:22
He wants our dependence, our submission, our obedience.
All God’s plans have the mark of the cross on them, and all His plans have death to self in them. —E. M Bounds
We, as Christians, are called to help one another as He helps us. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.Galatians 6:2
As we approach Palm Sunday, may our hearts turn to the One Who came to this earth to save us from ourselves. May we look to the One Who carried our sins to the Cross, cleansed us wholly, that we could be His.
“It is to the Cross that the Christian is challenged to follow his Master: no path of redemption can make a detour around it.”― Hans Urs von Balthasar, Unless You Become Like This Child
I have received the most beautiful gift, Father, for which I am ever so grateful. May I never look upon a “burden” as being too much for me. May I see Jesus yoked with me in all that I am called to do and to be. May I remember Who the Holy One is Who used a beast of burden to ride into Jerusalem, but became the One Who carried all of the burdens to the Cross where He died a terrible crucifixion, yet He did this for me. I praise You, LORD. Hosanna, in the Highest. Hosanna, oh save, I pray. “Praise God and his Messiah, we are saved.” Hallelujah. I rejoice in the Holy One. You are my salvation, LORD Jesus. You knew and you know, LORD Jesus. You know me, Jesus. Praise Your Holy Name. In the Glorious Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.