Threshing Floor

 

Oxen thresh grain with hooves and men separate kernels from straw.
Oxen thresh grain with hooves and men separate kernels from straw.

גֹּרֶן

goren

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. 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. 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.   

 

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The Mystery

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μυστήριον

mystērion

from a derivative of μύω mýō (to shut the mouth); a secret or “mystery” (through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites):—mystery

Mystery

  • something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain, a riddle
  • the condition or quality of being secret, strange; a person or thing whose identity or nature is puzzling or unknown
  • the secret rites of Greek and Roman pagan religion, or of any ancient or tribal religion, to which only initiates are admitted
  • the practices, skills, or lore peculiar to a particular trade or activity, regarded as baffling to those without specialized knowledge
  • and chiefly Christian Theology–a religious belief based on divine revelation, esp. one regarded as beyond human understanding, an incident in the life of Jesus or of a saint as a focus of devotion in the Roman Catholic Church, esp. each of those commemorated during recitation of successive decades of the rosary.

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly.  When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.  This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.  Ephesians 3:1-6

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  Colossians 1:27

God chose the time and the place for His mystery to be revealed.  Just as we are able to understand a Truth in His Word, He knows when to reveal something to our individual hearts and minds.  In Paul’s time, God knew that the time was His to reveal the Truth in order to break down the wall between the Jew and Gentile.  He wanted the Gospel preached to the Gentile world and they would, then, be partakers of the privileges instead of lying in ignorance and idolatry forever.  He surely desired that the Jews, His Chosen People, would also see clearly now.

For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face,that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:1-3

The veil would be removed in Christ.

Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end.  But their minds were hardened.  For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts.  But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we all, with unveiled face, 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 3:12-18

This mystery, thus made known, is Christ in you (or among you) the hope of glory. Observe, Christ is the hope of glory. The ground of our hope is Christ in the word, or the gospel revelation, declaring the nature and methods of obtaining it. The evidence of our hope is Christ in the heart, or the sanctification of the soul, and its preparation for the heavenly glory.”  Matthew Henry

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  1 Corinthians 15:51-52

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Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.  1 Timothy 3:16

Father God, I shout Hallelujah! because You have removed the veil for all to see the Truth of Your blessings, this greatest of all mysteries.  I am so grateful that I know You through Your Son, Christ Jesus.  I have Christ in me, hope of glory in me.  Such blessed moments!  May I seek Your face and kneel before You for You are power and glory and honor and blessing.  You are the God of all, All in all…Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent.  Praising You, Father for revealing Your mystery to us.  I pray in the Name of Your Glorious Son, Christ Jesus.  Amen.  

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Christmas Coming…

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Christmas coming Oh! to breathe the air of God as He comes to us as a child, as Immanuel, as the breath of Heaven, as the Way, the Truth, the Life.  

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  John 1:1

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.  John 1:9

Oh, to be sensitive and anticipating Christmas coming!

Where I've Seen Jesus ... in the Midst ...

Mary heard and knew Christmas coming:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.  And the virgin’s name was Mary. …”  Luke 1:26-27

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”  Luke 1:31-33


And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born
 
will be called holy—the Son of God.”   Luke 1:35

Mary honored Christmas coming:
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.  Luke 1:38

Joseph became aware of and honored his vows for Christmas coming:

… an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”   Matthew 1:20b-21

When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called His name Jesus.  Matthew 1:24-25

Elizabeth felt Christmas coming:

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!  Luke 1:41-42

John recognized Christmas coming…from the womb:

…the baby leaped in her womb.  Luke 1:41

Zacharias prophesied Christmas coming: 

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to His people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  Luke 1:76-79

The shepherds saw, heard, and believed Christmas coming:

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:9-12

The angels rejoiced for Christmas coming:

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 among those with whom He is pleased!”  Luke 2:13

Simeon awaited Christmas coming:

And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  Luke 2:26

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen Your Salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel.”  Luke 2:29-32

And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”  Luke 2:34-35

Anna, the prophetess waited, was sensitive to, and then praised Christmas coming:

And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of Him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.  Luke 2:38

The wise men saw Christmas coming:

“For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.”  Matthew 2:2b

Prophets prophesied Christmas coming:

Micah – But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.  Micah 5:2

Ezekiel – And I will set up over them one Shepherd, My servant David, and He shall feed them: He shall feed them and be their Shepherd.  Ezekiel 34:23

HoseaLet us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”  Hosea 6:3

Isaiah – Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.  Isaiah 7:14

Thus says the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nation, the servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”  Isaiah 49:7

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

Christmas coming:

  • in a manger over 2000 years ago
  • in Salvation
  • in Grace
  • in Truth
  • in the Word
  • in a cloud 
  • in my heart each day
  • in the praises of His people
I see Christmas coming.  Christmas comes in the Christ, directly to my heart as my LORD and Savior.  He comes in the quiet of prayer.  He comes in the darkness as the bright and shining Light.  He comes in love and joy.  He comes as the Word.  He comes in a song.  He comes every day, every moment of every day.  Some I miss.  Yet He comes and waits.  I wait with anticipation and adoration.  I feel Christmas coming from the inside-out.  Truly remarkable moments!

Thank You, Heavenly Father, for blessing us with Your One and Only Son.  Thank You for opening the eyes of my heart to truly see Christmas coming.  May I be sensitive to Christ coming, the Holy Spirit within me forever teaching me, praying for me, loving me.  May we each take the time to ponder the Truth of Christmas.  May we each treasure the beauty of Your gift to us.  The Son of Righteousness has come to us, to me.  He is the absolute expression of Your Love to us.  He is our King.  He is our Shepherd.  He is our LORD.  He is the innocence of the Babe in the manger.  He is Birth in me, Rebirth in me.  He is Forgiveness.  He is Love.  He is Salvation.  I thank You, Father, for Your Son… for Christmas Coming.  Amen and Amen.  Selah…
Where I've Seen Jesus ... in the Midst ...
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Anna Comes

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.  She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.  She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.  And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of Him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.       Luke 2:36-38

ὥρα

hōra

day, hour, instant, moment, season

“at that very hour”

Anna lived in the temple.  Her life was now devoted to God in prayer and fasting.  Anna ‘just happened’ to arrive at that place where Mary and Joseph had brought Jesus to present Jesus to the Lord.  This was at the time of purification.

Anna arrived at that moment, in that instant, and in that place where Simeon had already come by the Holy Spirit.

Father God, this woman named Anna has come to Jesus and knows Who He is.  Father, she could only know Your Son because Your Holy Spirit had given her the gift of knowledge at that moment.  She was expecting You to send the Messiah to and for her people.  She knew because she believed…she trusted…she spent time with You every day and knew You so beautifully.  Oh, LORD, how most precious is Your servant.    

προσδέχομαι

prosdechomai

to receive to one’s self, to admit, to give access to one’s self

to await (with confidence or patience):—accept, allow, look (wait) for, take

to expect: the fulfillment of promises

The phrase (“all who were waiting”) from other versions:

“them that looked”

“had been waiting expectantly”

“who were looking forward”

“who were looking”

For to us a Child is born,
to us a Son is given;
and the government shall be upon His shoulder,
and His name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

God foretold of His coming.  Anna believed.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for Me
One Who is to be ruler in Israel,
Whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days.  Micah 5:2

Anna read God’s Word and believed this Truth, confirming God’s gift of redemption.  Hallelujah!

I know that Jesus came.  I believe.  I read God’s Word now and try to understand the words God has given me.  No matter what my head understanding may be, my heart does understand.  I do look up.  I wait.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.  Titus 2:11-14

Father, I wait.  I look up.  I know a little.  I am so filled with gratitude for the Gift of Your Son.  I know Him as my Lord and Savior.  I know Him by Your Word.  I know Him because He is my Shepherd and I am His sheep.  I know His voice.  I look up.  I wait.  Anna knew that many were waiting…waiting for their redemption. 

λύτρωσις

lytrōsis

a ransoming, redemption

deliverance, esp. from the penalty of sin

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

Anna knew her God and knew His promises.  She awaited His coming.  And once she saw the Christ, she spoke God’s  Truth to all she could.

Father, You have given me another insight through Anna.  I am so blessed to discover Your Truth in Your Word by Your Holy Spirit.  As Anna was bold, may I become bold to spread the Good News to all I encounter.  Your love for us, whether Gentile or Jew, is so powerful and kind.  I pray that Your Gift be received by all…by ALL.  I have received this Gift from You, yet I wait for His second coming.  I wait.  I look nigh.  I expect…for my belief in Jesus is whole.  It is more than enough.  I pray in the Name of Your Son, Jesus.  Amen.

“‘…and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”  Luke 3:6

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Painting–Simeon’s Song of Praise by Aert de Gelder, 1700-1710/Public Domain:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nunc_dimittis#/media/File:Aert_de_Gelder_-_Het_loflied_van_Simeon.jpg

Caught But Not Trapped in New Age Religion

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Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.   1 John 4:1

I was raised in a Christian home, learned about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.  (Please note, for later in this conversation, that I said, “…learned about….”)  We were a Navy family and moved every two to four years, therefore changed churches without changing denominations.  I was not introduced to Jesus as Someone with Whom I could have a relationship.  In my senior and fifth year of college, I lived away from home and did not attend church at all.  Shortly after college, I married a man who never had attended a church and wanted nothing to do with one so having a spiritual conversation was not even an option.  (Let me throw another fact in to be absorbed a bit later: Before marrying him, I heard a quiet voice say to me, “You are not to marry him” which I ignored completely.”)  Upon divorce ten years later, I felt “something” was missing from my life.  I set out to find a church that I felt comfortable in and landed upon one with a very strong singles’ group.  This church was a different Christian denomination from my childhood one, yet also did not introduce me to Jesus, only spoke about Him.

When I moved back to be near family again, I found another church. It was what I came to know as a New Age church. They taught things that made me “feel good.” I finally thought I had found what my heart and soul had been missing. Although Jesus was taught as “a good teacher” as was Buddha, and some philosophers, those who had founded this “religion” were the most revered. The Bible was used as a resource, but their “bible” was a text book created by the founders. Parts and pieces of many religions worldwide were integrated. I thought very little of these oddities as they seemed to be right and good. I was so hungry that this “stuff” made sense. I attended weekend workshops which left me feeling happy and self-loved. I studied books that espoused the self and the god within. I was taught that the mind could control everything. There was an integration of science, religion, nature, and philosophy. I participated in this for about ten years. I was confused often by their teachings, but I felt good, so that seemed to be all that mattered. I ignored the confusion as best I could.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15

I moved a couple more times, continually seeking this kind of church. On the last move in 1990, this brand of religion had no presence in this city. I sought no others at that time. Then, a dear friend committed suicide, leaving a note at my apartment so that I would end up being the one to find him. My world came tumbling down. Believing that I could handle this alone, that this “self” would get me through it all, I was hit squarely between the eyes. I realized that all that I had thought to be truth were lies, bold-faced lies. I began attending a Christian church, but, once again, the introduction to Christ was lacking. These denominations that I am calling Christian (and not New Age) are predominant ones in the United States. Jesus is believed in. Where was the invitation to have relationship with Him? …the admission of sin? …the call to repent and ask forgiveness? Where?

I met my second husband who is a Christian and who has a relationship with the One and Only Savior, but this fact was unbeknownst to me initially. On our first couple of dates, he listened to my mixed-up beliefs when he spoke of spiritual matters. He shared Jesus, Scripture, the Truth with me. Tears welled up in my eyes on our second date. Tears, for me, are a tell-tale sign that a vulnerable part of me is touched. The Truth had done that, as we know It surely can do. After seven months of his patience, his gentle love, his Christ-like ways, our spiritual conversations, plus his dear mother sharing the LORD with me, I finally turned to Jesus, as I was lying alone on my bed one morning. I asked Him to be my LORD and Savior through an acknowledgement of my sin, repenting to Him, and beseeching His forgiveness. I had spent year after year living a life filled with sin and disbelief. I was not a “bad” person, but I did not believe. After hearing that “still, small voice” in 1971, I continued to wander along wrong paths, making wrong choices for another 22 years. I was 45 when Jesus, the Holy Spirit came to live in my long-awaiting heart. And I have never looked back. I have dug into the Bible deeper and deeper, and continue to do so.

In these past 21plus years, I have discovered that I had beautiful women friends from the various places I had lived praying for me, for my salvation. They rejoice now. One dear woman prayed for me, but, before she could and did, she had to come to know Jesus as her own LORD and Savior. We had met in a New Age church. She came to Jesus about two years before I did so her prayers were lifted high to the LORD for she knew where I was headed if I stayed on the track I was on. We both stand in awe of our amazing God. He never gave up on us. Hallelujah! Thank You, Jesus!

Religions espousing self, mind-over-matter, the prosperity gospel, use textbooks or books other than the Bible as their bibles, these so-called religions are manmade. They are not of God. And why were churches, considered mainstream Christian denominations, not teaching that Jesus wanted to be the LORD and Savior of our lives and, to have that, we needed to have a relationship with Him? I pray that since I last attended one of those churches, they have come to see this Truth. Oh, I pray, Father, that they have changed.

If we know someone “caught in a ‘church’” that teaches New Age thoughts or they are attending a Christian church that teaches ideologies that are not Biblical, we need to be the Christ that they may never see any other way. We must step out in faith, guiding them by love, prayer, words and actions. Our conversations should be centered around Jesus as LORD and Savior. If they are turned off and will not listen, then pray. Be Christ to them in the way you speak and in your behavior.  Most of all, pray.

You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be know and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, Who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:2-6

He Looked Beyond My Faults
by Dottie Rambo

Amazing Grace..Shall always be my song of praise.
For it was grace, that brought me liberty,
I”ll never know, just why Christ came to love me so.
He looked beyond my faults and saw my need.

I shall forever lift mine eyes to Calvary,
To view the cross, where Jesus died for me
How marvelous, His grace that caught my falling soul
He Looked beyond all my faults and saw my need.

I shall forever lift mine eyes to Calvary,
To view the cross, where Jesus died for me
How marvelous, His grace that caught my falling soul
He Looked beyond all my faults and saw my needs,
Christ looked beyond all of our faults and saw our needs.

Father God, I thank You, thank You dearly, for saving me by the Blood of Your precious Son. You caught my falling soul, looking far beyond my faults. You saw the need of this soul. You never left me nor forsook me, LORD. You were standing at the door. Thank You. I love You so, my dear Abba Father. On knees before You, I weep with joy as I realize the beauty of my salvation. These hymns, above and below, mean more to me today as I write this piece than they ever have, Father. With tears for Your bottle, I thank You. Amazing grace, how can it be? In the Strong and Saving Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Amazing Grace
by John Newton, 1779

Amazing grace!
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

As I am…Being Woven ~ linda

Photo/Graphic: John 1:5 @ Heartlight